The paradigm has shifted for individuals in Illinois who legally access and medicate with medical cannabis. As we step out of the darkness and into the light, you may have some questions about navigating the issue of medical cannabis with your children. In this text, I will focus on medicating vs. intoxicating, and the value in being open with your children about your medication. Always keep your medicine out of reach of children and youth. Take extra caution with edibles that resemble popular food items such as candy.
The language you use to discuss cannabis around your children will certainly affect how your children perceive your use of medical cannabis. The concept is one of medication, and not intoxication. Leave out any slang terminology (getting high, stoned, etc...) and stick with scientific and medical terms. This will help your children to see cannabis as medicine and not as a recreational drug (as they may have already learned).
The most commonly utilized methods of medical cannabis consumption include inhalation, oral mucosal absorption, gastrointestinal absorption, and topical application. You will choose the most reliable and effective delivery method based on your medical condition/symptoms. Although consuming medical cannabis via the gut and/or oral mucosal is most discreet, inhalation is an efficient method to use medical cannabis in managing quick symptom relief. Just as with other medication that is consumed quickly and privately (for example, swallowing a pill), consuming medical cannabis would be no different. For example, inviting friends over to medicate with you may send an unclear message to your young ones. So keep consumption consistent with using a medication.
Although you may use your medical cannabis in private (not wanting your children to be exposed to the smoke), try not to be secretive about it. When children feel that parents are "sneaking" something, it may make them feel worried and insecure. Openly talking to your children about how your medical condition is improved with medical cannabis use is the best route to go. Please feel free to contact the SEVEN POINT. team for assistance with this topic.
Could you benefit from having a Designated Caregiver? For some, it may be easy to know if having a medical cannabis caregiver is necessary. Other times, this may not be so clear. "A designated caregiver is a person who is selected by a qualifying patient as the person authorized, on the qualifying patient's behalf, to possess, obtain from a certified medical cannabis dispensary, dispense and assist in the administration of medical cannabis". A designated caregiver assists a registered Illinois medical cannabis cardholder with any aspect of using medical cannabis. This includes a family member, a friend, or anyone you trust to assist with your healthcare. Some of the roles of a caregiver include:
If you need a caregiver, but you are having a hard time identifying who a good caregiver may be, please contact us and we can help you with this process. Please encourage any potential caregiver to attend one of our educational workshops to both learn more about medical cannabis, as well as to complete the caregiver application.
Do you feel comfortable discussing cannabis with your doctor? Chances are that you are one of the many individuals who do not. These individuals include both those who currently medicate with cannabis (accessing cannabis through the illegal drug market), and those who have only recently heard about cannabis and it's evidence-based therapeutic benefits, but feel uncomfortable broaching the topic with the doctor for fear of being judged or even shamed. Even though medical cannabis is legal in Illinois and many other states, judgment and negative stigma continue to cling to this highly promising, diverse, therapeutic plant.
Cannabis is a natural plant that has numerous evidence-based applications/indications for use. From treating glaucoma to quelling seizures, to calming spasms in MS and treating neuropathic pain, cannabis has the ability to improve quality of life for so many people who suffer from hard to treat conditions. It is your right to ask your doctors if he/she is current with the large evidence-base (19,000 peer-reviewed articles on pubmed.com) of scientific literature highlighting the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis.
Please know it is your right to initiate this conversation with your doctor. Be sure to identify the specific symptoms of your medical condition in which you need relief, inform your doctor that you have read studies/learned that medical cannabis can help, identify the negative, troubling side-effects of your current medications (if this applies), share with your doctor if you are currently using medical cannabis to treat your condition/symptoms, and know that you can call or email me to assist with finding scientific articles to share with you (and you can then share with your doctor). Remember, if you have a diminished quality of life from your conditions/symptoms, the question is, not why try medical cannabis, but rather, why NOT give medical cannabis a try.
Please join us for one of our informational workshops to learn the science of medical cannabis, the application process to obtain a medical cannabis registry card, and gain confidence in initiating this type of discussion with your doctor. Please also join us if you have an experience of your own that you wish to share!