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How to get a prescription for CBD oil or medical cannabis

How to get a prescription for CBD oil or medical cannabis - featured image

There are four ways to get a prescription for CBD oil or other medical cannabis products:

  1. From your doctor or specialist
  2. From a cannabis clinic ("canna clinic")
  3. From a cannabis telemedicine service
  4. From an in-home nursing service

Here's what you can expect from each of these approaches.

Your doctor or specialist

Very few doctors and specialists are readily prescribing cannabis, for a variety of reasons. Many will simply refer you to a cannabis clinic, or even suggest you go buy it from a retail store.

If your doctor is knowledgeable and willing, count yourself lucky. That said, they are unlikely to have time to educate you on all of the ins-and-outs of medical cannabis, or help you decide which license producer to register with. Nor are they likely to have staff at their clinic who can help.

[By the way, Wayfare works with quite a few doctors who are prescribing cannabis but count on us to provide educational support to their patients. We can even help prepare documents you can take to your doctor.]

Cannabis clinics

Over the past few years a number of specialized cannabis clinics have opened up. These are typically staffed by doctors who work there on a part-time basis. These doctors may come from specialties including psychiatry, surgery, and anesthesiology. This means that some patients may see a heart surgeon for their arthritis! But really, bless these doctors for making time to learn about cannabis and help people.

The educational portion of your visit, where you select a licensed producer and product, is quite often handled by a lay person who may have the title of "cannabis educator", "canna counsellor", or "patient educator". These people rarely have medical training, although they may be knowledgable about particular strains, the pricing programs of the various producers, and how to use a vaporizer.

Cannabis telemedicine services

You can get on a video conference with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner, who will assess you and provide an authorization for medical cannabis. Some of these services are stand-alone whereas others are provided by cannabis clinics as described above.

The educational component of the service may again be handled by a lay person, sometimes via a separate video call or by telephone through a call centre.

In-home nursing service

You can think of this service as a mobile cannabis clinic. The nurse will come to your home, provide education, take a medical history and connect with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner to obtain the authorization. She will also help you select an appropriate product and help register you with a licensed producer so you can order products by phone or on-line.

There is usually a cost for this service, however it is very often fully-covered by insurance as a home nursing expense.

Wayfare falls into this category, although we do often work with patients' own doctors, and there are some cannabis clinics who refer to us to provide extra support for patients.