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Learn the steps and forms needed to obtain a medical card
Understand the process when talking to your doctor
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Contacting your doctor is important not only for finding out if you qualify as a patient eligible for medical cannabis but also to help you understand how the treatment works and get some real professional advice on how to make medical marijuana work for you specifically.
Remember when talking to your doctor about the use of medical relief they must complete the Physician Written Certification Form and mail the form to the Department of Health. Your appointment must be within 90 days of submitting your application to the Department.
There are a number of conditions that qualify for the use of medical cannabis as a treatment. Remember that the benefits of medical cannabis vary from condition to condition making a meeting with your physician even more critical as they will be able to help you understand the ways that medical cannabis will help you specifically.
The Illinois Compassionate Use Act of Medicinal Cannabis is dedicated to the effective use of medical cannabis as a treatment to improve the lives of patients suffering from qualifying medical conditions. Here are a couple of things to remember when meeting with your physician.
Before meeting with your physician get to know how medicinal cannabis works. Be aware of the side-effects such as feeling parched, dry-eyes, or experiencing drowsiness or anxiety. Have an idea of what benefits you wish to see. Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you suffering from a long-lasting stomach pain or lack of appetite? Tell your doctor how you feel about the treatment and why you are considering it. Your doctor will likely discuss with you the pros and cons of medicinal cannabis. Click here to take a cannabis crash course.
Remember to bring your available medical records and make sure that your physician is aware of any other medications that you are currently prescribed and/or taking regularly. Click here to see all the forms.
A Brief History of Medicinal Cannabis
There have been references to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes since as early as 2700 B.C. where according to legend, the emperor Shen Nung, widely considered the father of Chinese medicine, is said to have investigated it’s use in treating conditions ranging from malaria to poor memory. In the 15th century B.C. the earliest written reference to cannabis is said to be found in the Chinese Pharmacopeia or Rh-Ya. The early Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo (c. 140-208 AD) is credited with being the first person to use cannabis as an anesthetic. He powdered the plant and mixed it with wine.
The use of cannabis has been similarly recorded in the civilizations of ancient Greece, India, Egypt and the Medieval Islamic world. From these times there is a commonly held observation that the overuse of cannabis can lead to weakened eyesight, impotence, and hallucinations that were popularly described as “Seeing demons.”
Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy is credited with introducing marijuana as a medicine in the 1830s to Western Europe. He first conducted tests on animals and before administering the treatment to patients suffering from muscle spasms, stomach cramps and general pain.
In the middle of the 20th century researchers who were looking into ways of detecting cannabis intoxication discovered that smoking marijuana reduced intro ocular pressure: fluid pressure in the eye that may lead to glaucoma. In 1964 Doctors Albert Lockhart and Manley West found, through studies of health effects of cannabis in Jamaican communities, that Rastafarians had unusually low glaucoma rates
In the 1970s a synthetic form of one of the active chemicals in cannabis, THC, was produced and approved for use in treating patients undergoing chemotherapy. Swallowing was difficult for these patients as they usually experienced violent and uncontrollable nausea. This lead to the concept that smoking marijuana was the best form of taking cannabinoids into the bloodstream because of the immediacy of the effects.
Most recently the investigation of medical cannabis and it’s benefits is being done in clinical trials in the United States and other areas such as Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Israel.