How does the Doctor decide what kind of Medical Marijuana I should take?


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Route of Administration

Medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana cannot be inhaled. So smoking marijuana or using it in a vaporizing device for inhalation is still against the law.

However, other routes of administration for medical marijuana are allowed. This includes pills, suppositories, edibles, oils, and topicals. Due to the nature of medical marijuana distribution Louisiana, it is uncertain whether all of these forms will be available to patients.

The route of administration is important for a number of reasons: patient ease of use, patient comfort, and effectiveness of treatment.


Active Compounds

The active compounds in medical marijuana are THC and CBD. The medicinal products available to patients have varying degrees of THC and CBD. Some have mostly THC, others have mostly CBD, still others have approximately equal amounts.

Why is this? Well despite both THC and CBD being the active compounds in medical marijuana, they both have very different uses.

Some medical conditions respond better to THC, others respond better to CBD, and still others respond better to equal amounts. Does your doctor know how much THC and CBD and in what amounts is needed for your medical condition?



The strength basically means how potent the medication is. A general rule should be that the strength of your medical marijuana should be enough to treat your illness, but no more.

Firstly, taking more medication than you need can be extremely costly financially. Secondly, taking a higher dose than necessary exposes the patient to more side effects.


Side Effects

The next consideration that any doctor prescribing medical marijuana needs to know is how to reduce side effects. What good is taking medical marijuana if the side effects are worse than the benefits of the treatment?

Your doctor needs to have a good grasp of the various side effects of THC and CBD and know how to reduce unwanted side effects.


Time to effect

The time to peak effect is how long it takes the patient to feel the effects of the medical marijuana. Some preparations have a short time to effect.

This would be good for someone that needs medical marijuana for an acute issue, like an active seizure.

However, a short time to peak effect is not always a good thing because those medications also tend to wear off quickly, requiring multiple doses per day.



Your doctor also needs to consider the duration of the medication. This basically means how long the effects of the medical marijuana last for.

The benefit of a long duration is that you need to take medical marijuana less frequently throughout the day. Also medications with a longer duration of effect tend to be better for medical conditions that have constant symptoms, such as pain from metastatic cancer.



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Thanks for reading

Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana