• Jennifer Betz

How to Ask Your Doctor for a Virginia Marijuana Card


how to talk to your general practitioner about medical marijuana

Remember that you and your doctor are working together to find the wellness path that works for you.


Picture this: You’ve done your research, and you know without a doubt that you qualify for a Virginia marijuana card. You have had back pain for a while now, and you want to ask your doctor about recommending medical marijuana to help alleviate the symptom without using prescription painkillers.


It’s the day of your annual checkup, you’ve got a list of questions and talking points, and you feel prepared to bring up the subject of cannabis with your family doctor. Then the moment arrives, you hear Doc ask if you have any other questions, and you shake your head “no”. And then the door closes.


If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you are not alone. Most of us are afraid to talk to our doctors about our health-related habits unless it’s to say that we started running three miles a day or cut sugar out of our diets.


Why is it So Hard to Talk to Your Doctor About Medical Marijuana?

Cannabis is an especially intimidating subject to bring up with your doctor because it still comes with plenty of stigmas and taboos. People seem to either be very passionately for, or staunchly against, marijuana used for medicinal purposes—and it’s hard to tell how your doctor will feel.


Just because Doc wears a tie with palm trees on it or socks with sunglasses on them doesn’t mean they are entirely cool about “weed”.


Plenty of factors go into the knots in your stomach when you think about talking to your doctor about medical marijuana.


Fear of Judgement

No one likes to be judged, and doctors often seem like the most judgmental people on Earth. They tell you when you need to eat less carbs, when you need to get off the couch, and when you need to slow down at work so you don’t have a heart attack.

Feeling Rushed

Healthcare practitioners are spending less and less time with their patients. General practitioners spend between 13 and 28 minutes with their patients, and one in four of them spends less than 12 minutes on an exam. For every patient a health professional sees, there are usually ten more waiting, too.


This means that there is not much time to build a rapport with your doctor. Seeing your doctor may feel less like visiting a partner in your well-being, and more like passing by a QC inspector on an assembly line.

Your Doctor May Also Find it Uncomfortable Talking About Medical Marijuana With Patients

Doctors can’t just go around willy-nilly recommending treatments to people just because that’s what a patient wants. They have the medical group and hospital system where they practice to answer to, and malpractice insurance companies set their own boundaries on what doctors can and cannot do.


Sometimes, your doctor can’t recommend medical marijuana even if they want to, because they are prohibited by a supervising entity. For example, Veterans Affairs doctors cannot recommend medical marijuana to their patients, but they are required to advise and work with patients who are already using medical marijuana as part of their treatment plan.


How to Bring Up Medical Marijuana at Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

Here are some steps you can take to make sure your conversation goes smoothly:


  1. Make sure you know that you have a condition that will improve with medical marijuana use.


  1. Ask your appointment scheduler to book a little bit of extra time for you because you have questions to ask your practitioner. They might be able to accommodate you, and it will feel good to take off the weight of being rushed.


  1. Make a list of questions and talking points. Write them down or keep them on your phone for your appointment.

  2. Rehearse your questions if you need to.

  3. Remember that you are paying your doctor to be a part of your healthcare team, which means that they are working for and with you, not the other way around.

  4. Be prepared to hear “no”. If your doctor says that they cannot recommend medical marijuana, then you do have other options. Virginia Marijuana Card is here to provide medical marijuana referrals and unlimited follow-up visits if you need help fine-tuning your treatment plan.

  5. Talk to your doctor about whether they will be able to advise your cannabis use and supervise potential future drug interactions if you get a recommendation from another doctor.


Remember That You Have a Right to Quality Healthcare and Natural Relief

Authors of a literature review published in Medical Science Monitor made their conclusions about the benefits of medical cannabis clear when they wrote, “Patients have a right to all beneficial treatments and to deny them this right violates their basic human rights.”


Some doctors may be in a tight spot if they work for a medical group that forbids recommending medical marijuana, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to help their patients get the relief they deserve. Other doctors may be flat-out against using medical marijuana to treat conditions because they don’t understand how it works and choose to stick to outdated ways of thinking.


You have a right to treatments that would be beneficial for your symptoms, and medical marijuana is becoming recognized more and more as a legitimate medicine.


Virginia Marijuana Card is Here to Help!

If you are having trouble getting your doctor to understand how cannabis can help you take control of your health, then it might be time to give Virginia Marijuana Card a call at (888) 633-5808.


Our dedicated patient support staff will answer all your questions about medical marijuana and empower you to find your own path to wellness. When you’re ready, you can schedule a telehealth marijuana evaluation appointment online.


Our practitioners are here to walk you through getting started with medical marijuana, and to advise you on how to talk to your other healthcare professionals to coordinate a care plan that works for you.


Get a marijuana card and take back control of your health!




Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!


205 views