Throughout my years of practice in the medical cannabis field, there is one thing that all patients tend to worry about. It is the stigma that is associated with marijuana and the subculture of those that use it recreation-ally. Many patients feel that they will be associated with or considered a drug abuser. The most challenging are those who work in professional fields and those with strong religious beliefs. However, I’d like to provide a comforting perspective that comes from a proper understanding of the medications and the different methods of use and dosing.

First, in the medical field, we refer to marijuana as cannabis. This eliminates the use of the word marijuana and association to any negative connotations. Personally, I have nothing against the word.

Using cannabis as a medication is not about being “stoned.” Most patients can use dosages that do not create the “high” associated with marijuana.

There are many different ways to use cannabis. The traditional form of inhaling via a joint/cigarette or glass pipe/bong are not the only ways to use cannabis. There are different vaporizing units that can be used. Along with the use of concentrates, the process of inhaling and dosing cannabis has significantly improved.

Unlike other medications and drugs, cannabis does not have addictive or dependence issues associated with it. Patients can stop cannabis at any time without experiencing withdrawal or other serious medical problems.

In the end, once patients can achieve the proper dosage and find relief from their ailments, they usually find using cannabis outweighs any concern over the stigma. Having medical professionals guide you through the acclimation and initial dosage adjustment can help ensure that the maximum medical benefits are achieved. The medicinal benefits are undeniable as evidenced by the adoption of medical cannabis laws across the United States.

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