The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting a Medicinal Cannabis Prescription in NZ

Despite medicinal cannabis being legal in NZ, some people are struggling to access it. Follow this step-by-step process for getting your CBD & THC prescription.

There are a range of reasons why it could be difficult to get a medicinal cannabis prescription. Some doctors are still very hesitant about prescribing CBD. Even you might be hesitant to ask, considering the historical connotations with illegal drug use and getting ‘high’. But, with all the incredible research showing CBD and THC can help a range of problems, you have every right to enquire about it as a medical treatment- it is a legal, legitimate, and effective treatment.

Be proactive, follow the steps below, and get your medicinal cannabis prescription.

1. Do Your Research

Before you approach your doctor, it’s important that you do some research into medicinal cannabis. By doing this, you can address your doctor’s concerns up front and be educated about the treatment, risks, and any problems. Answer the following questions:

  1. What problem do you want to treat with medicinal cannabis?
  2. Is CBD/ THC an appropriate treatment for this problem?
  3. What scientific evidence is there that medicinal cannabis could help you?
  4. Are there side affects you need to be aware of?
  5. Can you take it in conjunction with any other medicines you’re taking?

There are a lot of blogs and articles out there about medicinal cannabis, but you need to access peer reviewed journals and science-based articles. We recommend places such as Google Scholar, or the NCBI website.

These articles can be really difficult to understand if you’re not trained to read science journals. This is why we recommend our blogs, as they are written in plain, understandable English, and link to peer reviewed articles.

2. Understand What Products Are Available

Medicinal cannabis is legal, but that doesn’t mean that people can access every CBD or THC product. Doctors can only prescribe a limited number of products, in a limited range of forms. For example, they can prescribe sublingual (under the tongue) drops, but there are no topical ointments or patches available yet. This range of products is growing and changing regularly, so it’s worth reviewing regularly.

The legislation also only allows for three month’s supply to be prescribed at any one time.

3. Give Your Doctor a Heads-Up

If you have a doctor that you regularly see, it could be courteous to email them before. Tell them you’ve been researching medicinal cannabis for your treatment, and that you’d like to discuss it with them. You could also email them the links to the studies you’ve found.

This gives them time to do their own research (and they have access to more medical journals than you do). They may also let you know they aren’t comfortable prescribing cannabis, referring you to someone who is, or giving you the opportunity to seek out another doctor.

Book your appointment—ask the receptionist if it would be wise to book a double appointment since you want to spend time discussing the options available.

4. Be Open to Their Advice and Thoughts

On the day of the appointment, be prepared, but remain open to their input. Your doctor is highly educated and may have opinions or problems you may not have considered. For instance, some medicines can react to cannabis, or another existing condition may be affected by the drug.

Use the time to discuss your reasons for wanting medicinal cannabis, and then listen to any opinions or problems your doctor may have.

Remember that they have your best interests at heart; they want you to be healthy and happy.

What if Your Doctor Won’t Prescribe Medicinal Cannabis?

If you have researched medicinal cannabis and remain convinced it will be beneficial to you, seek a second opinion. You should expect the best treatment that will increase your quality of life and improve your health. If you’re not sure who to approach, speak to us at The Pain Clinic. We have an in-depth understanding of medicinal cannabis and can ensure you get the treatment that will help you.

Just be aware that if  doctor has denied your request on reasonable and legitimate concerns, it is likely other doctors will also not prescribe it. No good doctor will prescribe you cannabis if your condition if there is no evidence it will help, or if it will interact with other medications you are on.

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