July 22, 2018
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Medical Cannabis

Dr. K. Clarke-Bennett - A Better You Medi Spa and Wellness
Dr. K. Clarke-Bennett - A Better You Medi Spa and Wellness's picture
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August 10, 2017

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being a physician who would one day recommend the use of cannabis for any reason. However, after hearing anecdotal stories from patients who have benefited immensely from the use of cannabis, learning about the current state of emergency associated with opioid overdoses, and seeing Maryland approve the medical use of cannabis, I felt compelled to do my due diligence in learning more about this form of therapy.

According to the Medical Cannabis Network, cannabis is currently being used in the United States as medical treatment for cancer, seizures, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, insomnia, hypertension, interstitial cystitis and many more conditions. Each state that approved legislation has defined a set of qualifying conditions for the use of medical cannabis.

In Maryland, as found on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website, medical cannabis can be recommended for any condition that is severe, for which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and if the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by the medical use of cannabis. In addition to the aforementioned ailments, if the patient has a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe loss of appetite, wasting, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms, medical cannabis is a treatment option.

The first step to obtaining a recommendation for medical cannabis is to complete the free online registration with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (mmcc.maryland.gov) as a patient or caregiver. Once registered and assigned a patient registration number, one must see a medical-cannabis-recommending physician or provider for approval. It is important to have hard copies of a portion of your medical records that verifies the diagnosis for which you are seeking treatment with cannabis. Once approved by the physician or medical provider, your patient registration number will be used to generate an online recommendation that dispensaries will have access to. You will receive a hard copy of your certification at the end of your medical appointment. Recommendations are valid for one year. Should you desire to have a medical cannabis ID card, you can request one through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission for a small fee once you obtain your recommendation.

While we are aware of the many benefits of using medical cannabis, the risks associated with the use of cannabis are not yet fully understood, and such use may involve risks that have not been identified. It is also crucial to also understand that medical cannabis has not been approved under federal regulations and has not been deemed legal under federal law. So, when contemplating the use of medical cannabis, be sure to have a conversation with your doctor or see a provider who has registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

For more information, contact Dr. Clarke-Bennett at A Better You Medi Spa & Wellness, located at 1114 Town Center Boulevard, Suite C, in Odenton. Call 410-672-2700 or visit www.abetteryou-llc.com.

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