Did you know that according to BNN Bloomberg, legal cannabis sales in Canada were nearly $150 million in February 2019? If you’re one of those Canadians who bought cannabis, or you’re looking to buy now, then you’re among many who use it.
If you’re looking to get a medical cannabis prescription, but your doctor won’t write it for you, then this can be frustrating. Especially if you’re suffering from pain or anxiety that can be alleviated with cannabis use, you may feel stuck.
As a result, you may be asking yourself the questions:
“If I want to get medical cannabis, can I get a prescription without a doctor’s referral?”
“What steps would I have to take to get this prescription without a doctor’s referral?”
Especially if you’re a first time user, you might have so many questions that you’re feeling confused, overwhelmed, or stressed.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide. We’ll answer all the questions you might have about how to get a medical cannabis prescription even without a doctor’s referral. Read on to learn more.
Before you try to get a medical cannabis prescription without a doctor’s referral, we recommend preparing as best you can for your appointment with your doctor. That way, they are more likely to fill out all forms for your medical cannabis card and prescription.
This speeds the process up significantly. Because your authorised healthcare practitioner will have experience in providing these prescriptions and know about authorised cannabis providers in your area, they can get the needed paperwork to them quickly.
To prepare for your visit to your physician, bring with you any evidence that demonstrates you would benefit from smoking weed or taking CBD edibles. Sometimes, physicians don’t actually understand how much medical cannabis can help their patients.
This evidence can include scientific studies on the use of cannabis for different treatments of a variety of symptoms, helping people with pain management and easing of depression and anxiety. When you collect these studies, ensure that they come from the medical community.
Additionally, you will want to collect any information connected to how you, as an individual, can benefit from medical cannabis use.
These documents might include a referral letter, your list of medications, a prescription bottle, another doctor’s note, X-ray or MRI results, or consultation notes. This will help any doctor who isn’t a cannabis expert understand how you can benefit from using it.
You should also show your doctor specific sites that demonstrate the efficacy of medical cannabis, such as Cannabinoids Medicines and the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.
If you do all of the above and still aren’t able to get a referral from your doctor, then there are additional routes you can take to get the medical cannabis prescription you need. The first is going to a cannabis clinic, where a medical cannabis doctor will meet you.
At a cannabis clinic, you’re more likely to find physicians who understand the benefits of using cannabis.
In addition to getting you a medical cannabis prescription and a medical cannabis card, they can give you information about what cannabis might best for you, when to take it, and how much, when.
However, you will have to pay for this service, which isn’t ideal given that healthcare is usually free in Canada. To find a cannabis clinic, you can find a map online of the closest ones near you.
Note that, even if you live far away from a cannabis clinic, you should be able to access them. This is because of telehealth.
Many clinics offer remote consultations and government-approved software that make it easy to go through the entire process of meeting a health professional and getting the medical cannabis prescription and card you need.
Keep in mind that cannabis clinics do not usually have a walk-in policy. You’ll need to set up an appointment with them first, and often, they will require your physician to send information about why you’re meeting with them.
If this isn’t possible, you’ll have to send a self-referral form. We cover how to do this (and what other materials you’ll have to bring) in the next section.
Just like you would when speaking to your doctor about getting a cannabis prescription with their referral, you still need to bring evidence that cannabis is the right fit for you. Since the doctors at the cannabis clinic don’t know you, you will want to bring documents detailing your health history.
Additionally, bring evidence about why you need a cannabis prescription. In addition to the list of medications, MRI, and consultation notes you would have brought to your ordinary doctor, you should be prepared to have notes on why you think you specifically need cannabis.
Some cannabis clinics will ask you to bring a referral from your doctor. If your doctor refuses to do this for you, then you can fill out a self-referral form. This form will include information such as:
Once you’ve filled out this form, you can send it to the cannabis clinic, letting them know if you’re able to come in for a consultation, or if you would prefer to do it online. They will be able to more quickly help you once they have the information needed.
Don’t forget to bring your valid provincial health card to your appointment, too!
Once you have your appointment at a cannabis clinic, there are several things you should be aware of. The first is that if your doctor does refer you, you should be able to have your meeting with the cannabis compassionate doctor free of charge.
However, if you fill out a self-referral form, then you’ll have to pay for the consultation.
The appointment itself usually lasts between twenty minutes to half an hour. Sometimes, it will sometimes include additional information about how to use medical cannabis, what amounts and doses might work best for you, and a meeting with a cannabinoid educator.
Keep in mind that even though you are paying for the service to be seen by a medical cannabis doctor, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a card and prescription. If they feel that it’s not the right choice for you, they won’t give you access to cannabis.
To avoid this from happening, it will help to demonstrate that you aren’t in one of the few groups that usually can’t get a medical cannabis prescription.
Generally speaking, a doctor at a cannabis clinic might not give you a prescription if psychosis is common in your family, or if you have suffered from it yourself. Additionally, if you have ever had addiction problems, then you shouldn’t take cannabis.
Cannabis also isn’t the right choice for anyone under 25, nursing or pregnant mothers, or those suffering from cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses. Demonstrate to the doctor that you don’t have any of these issues, and getting a medical cannabis prescription should be easy.
It’s also more likely for you to get a cannabis prescription if you have one of the conditions it’s usually prescribed for. There are many, from vomiting induced by chemotherapy to autism spectrum disorders. These conditions include:
If you suffer from any of these conditions, then chances are you will be given a medical cannabis prescription. If you have evidence of having them, bring that evidence with you to your meeting with the cannabis clinic doctor.
It will also help if you bring documentation of efforts to treat these conditions. Often, medical cannabis is prescribed after other treatments have already been attempted. For this reason, if you want to ensure that you’ll get a prescription, showing you’ve tried treating them before will make it more likely you will.
At the end of your meeting with the cannabis conscious doctor at the cannabis clinic, you should be given your medical cannabis prescription (if they believe you should have a prescription). They will process your medical cannabis card for you.
Once you’ve received your medical cannabis prescription, you can send it to a Licensed Producer, and tell them how much medical cannabis you want, specifying the form you’ll be taking and at what dose.
After you’ve put your order in, it should take about seven days for your prescribed medical cannabis to arrive. It will be delivered by courier, so ensure you’re home to receive it. If you aren’t, the courier will leave you a note letting you know where you can pick up your package.
Keep in mind that you have a legal limit of two Licensed Producers you can order your medical cannabis prescription from.
Given how difficult it can be to find a doctor or nurse in your area—especially now with the current COVID-19 Pandemic we’re experiencing—getting a cannabis prescription online is another great way of getting a medical cannabis prescription.
While you will be getting a medical cannabis prescription from a doctor in this case, they’re more likely to give you a prescription if you use the right online service. There are online services that are created especially for making medical cannabis doctor appointments, which means you can get your canna.
You can do this on our website, Namaste MD. To get started, you simply set up a consultation to meet with one of our cannabis compassionate doctors.
By “cannabis compassionate,” we mean that, like the doctors in cannabis clinics, they understand that there are many ways someone can benefit from using cannabis. They know it isn’t just cancer patients who can get results, but even someone struggling with mild anxiety.
Once you’ve set up an appointment with the cannabis compassionate doctor, where you review your symptoms and any needed documents, they can submit all the forms needed to get you a medical cannabis card and a medical cannabis prescription.
It doesn’t stop there. Afterward, they’ll help you learn more about finding the best Licensed Commercial Producer (LCP) in your area. This means that you won’t have to do all the research on your own. If it’s your first time using medical cannabis, this is quite helpful.
Do you need to know more about buying medical cannabis, now that you know how to get a cannabis prescription with or without a doctor’s referral? Maybe you want to determine when it’s best to take it, or what product will help with your specific symptoms.
Whatever you need to know, we’re here to help. Here at Namaste MD, we’re experts when it comes to medical cannabis registration, purchasing, and use. Book a free consultation with us to learn more.