Hello! Dr. Lee in the house.
I am here to share an interview I conducted with a patient that became a medical marijuana patient. Usually when I look at a patient intake form and see ‘no marijuana’ experience,’ I kind of assume that the person has smoked a little something-something here and there and are just being sheepish.
Once in a while, I get patients that are more-or-less brand new to the marijuana world. I usually end up spending a lot more time with these folks (20 minutes vs 5-10 for experienced patients) because there’s a lot more to say.
One of these fantastic patients has had an excellent experience with medical marijuana. We got a chance to catch up a few months after she first got certified. She very kindly agreed to participate in this publication!
I will be calling her by the alias Artemis to preserve her privacy! And because it’s fun.
Hi Artemis! What medical condition did you receive your medical marijuana certification for?
Hey Dr. Lee! I received my medical certification for migraines but I have also found it EXTREMELY beneficial for my fibromyalgia pain which had been just as debilitating as the migraines.
What medications had you tried for your medical condition?
For my migraines, I had mainly been treated with immediate relief medications like Maxalt and Imitrex. As my migraines continued to get worse we tried amitriptyline and Topamax which didn’t do much. I had started using the Aimovig injections but that makes me nervous because it’s so new and its hard to believe that a medication the only side effect can be constipation.
For my fibromyalgia I had been treated with steroids, tramadol, Neurontin, gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, & Vicodin. Neurontin and Gabapentin did absolutely nothing for me, and Lyrica and Cymbalta actually started to cause cognitive deficits that took over a year to pin point and a LOT of therapy time to get back.
I’m sorry to hear that! Side effects of traditional medications are hard to avoid. Almost everyone that comes through our website mentions wanting to reduce other medications. I know you mentioned that you had tried some therapy and other things too!
That’s right! Over the course of 10 + years I had been in and out of physical and occupational therapy programs. I would say that the changes were modest, but it was important because I learned to listen to my body! I do have a therapist that I see once a month still but she allows me to just vent and talk about whatever I feel like I need to talk about to help manage my stress. Other take-aways from therapy that I do still use are journaling and art therapy.
How did you decide to become a medical marijuana patient? Did you talk to other physicians about it?
I actually looked into medical marijuana a couple of years ago and did some research on my own to see if either condition qualified in my state. But, the process just seemed so daunting and expensive that I didn’t even consider pursuing it.
Then last year around March, my neurologist asked if I had considered it because she had heard good things about how it had helped people with my medical conditions. I went back to researching and bounced it off of my therapist and my rheumatologist.
I was surprised that I had not one but 3 physicians telling me that it definitely couldn’t hurt to look into marijuana!
Wow! It’s really nice to hear that other providers are becoming more open to recommending marijuana! I’m very glad to hear that. How long do you feel like the process took?
Once I finally stopped procrastinating, I felt kind of silly that I waited so long. I was able to find a provider that I felt would be a good fit through Green Mind Physicians, and I made an appointment very easily for the very next day and upload supporting documents before the appointment.
How did you find Green Mind Physicians?
I found Green Mind Physicians from a website called the Medical Marijuana Community.
I choose Green Mind Physicians because Dr. Lee was literally the only doctor that emailed me back with answers to my questions regarding the process like how long would it take? What would I need before hand? What would be needed as far as medical records? Ect. That right there immediately made me feel like I mattered. And the fact that they worked with me on the price as opposed to some practices wanting $350 for the initial appointment and then $250 for each follow up.
What was your appointment and application process like?
Dr. Lee answered almost all of my questions, I received my certification letter within a half hour of my appointment along with directions on how to fill out my states application. Honestly filling out the states application took the longest of everything.
The next morning I had my provisional card and was on my way to my dispensary!
With the pandemic it took 2 months to get my physical card but that wasn’t a big deal, as I was able to use my provisional card.
What products have been working the best for you?
I have found that 1:1 or 2:1 blends work better for me. I use my rub almost every single day and its equal parts CBD, CBDA, and THC. I also have a 2:1 flower ( Blackberry Web ) that I can use during the day.
That makes sense! There’s definitely an emphasis on high THC products on the recreational side of things. Often patients using cannabis for various medical conditions find lower THC products a little more reasonable for daily use. Any other tricks you want to share?
My most recent treat that I discovered on accident and have only seen once are Cannabis infused honey sticks ( I need to make sure I stock up the next time I see them at my dispensary). I like to put those in my tea before bed so I can actually achieve a restorative sleep which.
I think this has really helped with the reduction of my pain and the reduction in the amount of migraines I experience a month.
Thank you so much Artemis!! We’re so happy to be a part of your health care journey and glad that things are working out so well!
Thank you for allowing me to be part of this and I cant wait to read the article!