As a cannabis patient, it’s important to figure out what cannabis options are right for you and your symptoms. This begins with research. In last week’s article, we discussed how to find the scientific information on cannabis that applies to you. In this article, we move on from published scientific data and start looking at how to apply anecdotal sources appropriately. Learning what has worked well for others who share your symptoms can be one of the quickest ways to figure out your own cannabis preferences.
The Limits of Current Cannabis Research
It’s always a good idea to start with the scientific research on cannabis when investigating whether it could be helpful for a certain condition or symptom. That said, once you’ve figured out whether cannabis is a viable solution in your particular case, you’ll notice that there are limitations when it comes to this body of information.
For one thing, there’s very little published scientific data about which marijuana strains and methods of use are best for various conditions and symptoms. Most studies simply focus on the plant in general, but don’t say what variety of cannabis they’re using. Some studies mention tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), but very few mention the other cannabinoids or terpenes, and almost no studies mention strain.
So, patients often discover when reading the research that cannabis might help with their condition, but are left without any clues as to what type of cannabis they should try. This leaves them trying options at random, leading to a lot of disappointing experiences.
While the scientific research isn’t always well suited to narrowing down your cannabis options, there are other ways to learn what might help.
Asking for Cannabis Advice From Those Around You
One way that cannabis patients can begin their search for helpful products is to ask people in their immediate circles what’s worked well for them. Do you know any other cannabis users with your condition or symptoms? Try asking them what they’ve found success with. Cannabis consumers usually have a lot of insight into what is and isn’t helpful for them. All you have to do is ask.
If you don’t know any other cannabis consumers dealing with similar problems, you can easily widen your net to find some. Local dispensaries are a great place to make these connections. Budtenders, or cannabis consultants, may have suggestions based on the patients they’ve worked with in the past. And often there are support groups or other events where patients can come together to discuss their medicine. Political advocacy groups for cannabis are also great places to meet experienced cannabis consumers, whom you can talk to.
By talking directly with other cannabis patients, you can get very specific and nuanced information about what’s working for them. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that people can react differently to cannabis strains. What’s worked for other patients may not work for you, so you may need to do a little experimenting to find your best options. Still, learning from others’ experiences can at least give you a place to start.
Online Tools for Learning What Types of Cannabis Works for Others
You can also get online to access a cornucopia of patient reports on what’s helped them. With more examples to learn from, patients are even more likely to find something that works. HelloMD is a great place to start this research, because it makes it easy to learn about other patients along with what cannabis strains and products have been effective for them.
On HelloMD’s Strains and Product pages, patients can review what they’ve tried. Often, in these reviews, patients share what the product or strain was helpful for. You can then browse through these strain and product reviews to learn what’s helping people with needs similar to yours.
You can also find patients chatting about their strain preferences on message boards and blogs. HelloMD’s Q&A platform allows patients to ask questions of our community comprising cannabis doctors, experts and patients. Searching through these questions and answers can provide a lot of insight into what’s working for a number of conditions.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, go ahead and ask your own question. The HelloMD community is full of helpful cannabis experts and consumers, eager to aid others in their cannabis journey.
We’ve also got many articles featuring patient success stories. In these inspiring posts, patients often share key details about their own cannabis regimen. Mining this information could be helpful for you.
Trying Out Cannabis Suggestions
Having access to all of this information is incredibly helpful, because it can give you a short list of marijuana strains, methods and products to explore. By further honing your list of options, it’s likely that at least one of the products you learn about will be helpful for you.
As already mentioned, however, as you try out these suggestions, it’s important to remember that cannabis can affect people differently. You may need to go through a trial-and-error phase before you find the right options for you. It can sometimes take a little bit of patience, but finding the right cannabis options can be life-changing.
In our next installment of the Cannabis for Newbies series, we get into how you can reduce or eliminate the negative side effects from consuming cannabis.
Photo credit: Suhyeon Choi
Need a medical marijuana recommendation? Consult with one of HelloMD’s knowledgeable doctors; it’s easy, private and 100% online.