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Tips for First-Time Medical Marijuana Patients

Feb 02, 2023
Tips for First-Time Medical Marijuana Patients
Medical marijuana contains compounds that have drug-like effects in the body. Like any other medical treatment, first-time users need to consult with a health care provider before starting medical marijuana. Click here to learn more.

If you’re trying medical marijuana for the first time, you may have a lot of questions and concerns. And you should. Marijuana contains hundreds of compounds collectively called cannabinoids that have drug-like effects on the body. 

Before starting medical marijuana, talk to a medical professional to make sure it’s the right treatment for you. 

At Legacy Health and Wellness, our board-certified preventive medicine and public health physician, Dr. Ifeoma Ogbonna, is a registered medical marijuana provider for the state of Texas. 

We only recommend medical marijuana for qualifying patients if the benefits of the alternative therapy outweigh the risks. Here, we want to share some tips for first-time medical marijuana patients.

Do you qualify?

Every state has its own laws about marijuana use, including the list of medical conditions that qualify for the use of medical marijuana. Residents of Texas have access to medical marijuana through Texas’ Compassionate Use Program (CUP). 

By law, the following conditions qualify for CUP:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 
  • Autism
  • Terminal cancer
  • An incurable neurodegenerative disease

Before you can get medical marijuana in Texas, you need to consult with a CUP-registered physician like Dr. Ogbonna. After a thorough evaluation and discussion about medical marijuana, she then determines if medical marijuana can benefit you. 

Understand your prescription

In Texas, we only prescribe cannabis that’s low in tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). THC is the cannabinoid in marijuana that has psychoactive effects. Low-THC cannabis contains so little THC that it doesn’t have this psychoactive effect, meaning it doesn’t make you high. 

Additionally, medical cannabis in Texas is only prescribed in a form you can swallow. This ensures you get the right dose for your condition with fewer risks of unpleasant side effects. 

It’s impossible to control marijuana dosing when smoking the plant because the buds and leaves have varying amounts of cannabinoids, making it harder to predict how it may affect you. 

Know where to go and what to bring

Once we determine you can benefit from medical marijuana, Dr. Ogbonna enters your medical marijuana prescription into the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). 

You can then pick up your prescription at any of the state-licensed dispensaries. These dispensaries have access to CURT and fill your medical marijuana prescription per your doctor’s orders. 

In order to pick up your prescription, you need a photo ID and must provide the dispensary with your date of birth and the last five digits of your social security number. 

Take as prescribed

We treat medical marijuana like any other drug prescription, and you need to take the medication as ordered to get the benefits. 

For our patients, we schedule regular follow-up visits to see if medical marijuana is helping and monitor for side effects. These regular visits give us a chance to adjust your treatment so you get the best possible outcomes. 

If you have one of the qualifying conditions and traditional medical interventions aren’t working, then medical marijuana may be something to consider. 

We can talk to you about the therapy, how it works, how it might help you, and the potential drawbacks. Call our office in Austin or Cedar Hill, Texas, today or book an appointment online