Why Speaking with your Pharmacist about Cannabis is Beneficial
Medical cannabis consumers can gain indispensable knowledge from their pharmacist.
Although there is a developing body of knowledge around the effects of Cannabis, much of it has yet to be fully understood. Most of us don’t have the time to review the latest studies of cannabis's effects on the human system, and thus, as acceptance of cannabis grows, our need for competent and vetted information about the plant and it many possible uses is on the rise.
FACT : October is American Pharmacists Month, recognizing the many contributions pharmacists provide in health care and their community.
Doctors may help us determine whether or not cannabis is a viable option for our health needs. Budtenders may be able to help us choose an available strain for sale based on the benefits reported to them by users. But a pharmacist who is up to date on the current state of knowledge surrounding the plant can point out more information about a broad array of information surrounding the plant in addition to other medications and their uses, including how they interact with one another or how they can enhance one another synergistically. Here are three reasons you should consider speaking to your pharmacist about cannabis use.
A Pharmacist Can Help You Build A Working Health Plan
If you're familiar with the way doctors complete their exams and appointments with patients, you'll notice they often have a team working in sync with one another. There's the physician, the physician's assistant, the clinic nurse, a staff assistant or surgery scheduler, perhaps a physical therapist, and the list goes on depending on the kind of doctor you're seeing and the care you're being provided. They all have unique roles in ensuring the care you receive is efficient, and often the pharmacist is overlooked because s/he isn't at the appointment with the rest of the team and therefore isn't consulted.
However, a pharmacist's job extends beyond providing a patient with medication prescribed by a doctor. Pharmacists can answer many questions about your medications you may have, including OTCs (over-the-counter medications). They can recommend supplements based on your needs, let you know whether the supplements you're currently taking are from a reputable manufacturer, provide counseling for cigarette smoking cessation, diabetes, asthma, etc.
And when it comes to cannabis, a knowledgeable pharmacist can help you put together a plan of action regarding dosing levels, times during the day it's be best to take cannabis, and whether it's known to interact with any meds/supplements you're already taking.
A Pharmacist Can Help You Stay Updated
A characteristic of a great pharmacist is his/her ability to stay updated in the world of pharmaceutical studies. Some pharmacists that work in states with legalized medical cannabis have accepted that the plant is being considered and used as a medicine for various ailments. Some of them believe that staying updated in the field of cannabis studies is crucial. Patients that turn to cannabis either to substitute a medication or supplement one will have questions, and a pharmacist that acknowledges cannabis may have answers. The best answers will come from a source that's updated, in-the-know, has proper resources, and is professional.
Right now there's high demand for clinical studies regarding cannabis’ capacity to treat certain ailments; cannabis’ side-effects; cannabis’ effects on brain development, etc. The list is endless. However, only a limited number of studies can be done with the plant's current standing as a Schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Also, clinical studies may have trouble finding the right kind of volunteers needed for specific studies or finding funding adequate to their needs. But as studies are slowly processed and published, a pharmacist with access to the most current information can stay on top of new knowledge, and can have the ability to ensure s/he stays updated with the health plan specifically crafted for you.
A Pharmacist Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Often, a pharmacist offers counseling for various personal health concerns, such as smoking cessation or diabetes management, along with a variety of other ailments requiring consistent attention and treatment. If you're familiar with cannabis being used as an analgesic, you may have seen how the plant has risen in popularity regarding its use as an opioid replacement. While a pharmacist cannot recommend using cannabis as an opioid replacement, you can certainly ask how to safely and effectively reduce the amount of opioids you're using while integrating cannabis. S/he may have the answers as to how to cut down on prescription medications effectively, can offer the counseling you need, and can suggest any other supplements that could be useful during the journey. The goal of a pharmacist and physician are ultimately the same - they want to see you at your top level of health and performance and will do what it takes to help get you there.
Benefits of Speaking with Your Pharmacist
To sum it up, these are the reasons speaking to your pharmacist can be beneficial:
- S/he can keep you updated concerning medical findings surrounding cannabis.
- S/he can help you figure out what your dosing level should be.
- S/he can inform you of side-effects as well as interactions cannabis has with other meds.
- S/he can create a day-by-day plan as to when to take cannabis versus meds.
- S/he can craft future meds for you with the knowledge you're also taking medical cannabis.
- S/he can provide the counseling you need.
If you're interested in the benefits of utilizing the knowledge your pharmacist can provide you, don't hesitate to speak with him/her about medical cannabis.