How to go about switching from prescription medications to weed

Published Oct 24, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
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In this era, holistic medicine is trending, and more people than ever before are seeking alternative treatment options to use in place of pharmaceuticals. It’s an exciting time that has cannabis enthusiasts everywhere contemplating the possibilities. That feeling is only amplified with each discovery by scientists and experts who are saying that this plant holds enough power to replace many of the more traditional medicines that we rely on today.

The trouble is that these fantastical stories are just that. Only the brightest highlights that come to be known, and hearing those alone might make even non-cannabis consumers want to make the switch, but to do that safely and successfully, you’ll need to follow a list of steps and processes. It’s not as easy as swapping out one for the other, so to save you the trouble of learning that the hard way, we’ve compiled a list of five steps that every consumer should take as they set out on this all-natural journey towards freedom from pharmaceuticals.

1. Research

One of the most extraordinary things about living in such a technologically advanced world is that we have non-stop access to the internet. This tool can help you to determine whether or not the risks of switching to a pharmaceutical alternative such as cannabis could work for your condition or symptoms. Have other people had success in this way? If so, did they do it by reducing their prescription medicine rather than replacing it altogether? Answering these questions will give you an excellent idea of what could be possible.

2. Request the support of your family doctor

This step is critical, because in many cases, without the help of an expert, there is no way to determine whether or not cannabis is helping or worsening your condition until it’s too late. So if you want the best chance for success, and you don’t want to experience any scary situations along the way as you attempt to wean off of pharmaceuticals. You’ll need to enlist in the help of an expert that is knowledgeable when it comes to your physical condition.

3. Find strains or products that might work for you

Once you’ve done a bit of research so that you’re confident this could work, and you’ve enlisted in the help of a doctor to oversee your progress along the way, you’ll need to figure out which types of strains might work the best to soothe your symptoms. Some might leave you more sedated, which could hinder your ability to perform tasks like driving, whereas others are so low in THC that you won’t feel them at all, while the CBD quietly soothes what ails you. This alone might be one of the most important decisions that you ever make concerning your treatment, so be certain to do so carefully.

4. Start with realistic expectations

In some cases, cannabinoids don’t work well enough as a pharmaceutical alternative all on their own. In others, the mere use of cannabis is enough to devastate the effects of traditional medicines, so it is vital to start with a positive yet realistic state of mind. You want to be hopeful and determined in the idea that you may have found the solution you’ve been looking for, but it’s also important to recognize that this treatment might not work for you, and that’s ok too. This step will reduce the possibility of you taking unnecessary risks and make the let down more manageable if the alternative treatment ultimately fails.

5. Don’t expect to quit pharmaceuticals cold turkey

After several years of taking prescribed medications, your body will become accustomed to what they do for you, and that’s a good thing because, as it adjusts, any potential side effects lessen, and the effects are more regulated. Unfortunately, this also makes us incredibly dependant on certain medicines after taking them for an extended period, so you should never plan or expect to quit your prescription cold turkey. Instead, slow weaning with the assistance of a doctor is most effective.

The rest is trial and error

Even with the help of the very best and most knowledgeable experts and doctors, the process of finding the ideal dose when using cannabis as an alternative treatment will be a challenge that is likely to take time, energy, and dedication. Medicating with cannabis is not yet an exact science, so you’ll need to try out different strains, products, and variations to find something that works for you, so be patient and try your best not to expect instant results.

Cannabis saves millions of lives by providing a safer alternative

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