The only way to legally access medicinal cannabis is to have it prescribed. But that is easier said than done. The barriers to access at the moment are huge. Many people have had their doctors simply decline them up front, stating that medicinal cannabis does not work.
In this article I will show you how to safely and legally get a medicinal cannabis prescription from your GP.
Steps Towards Getting A CBD Oil And Medicinal Cannabis Prescription In NZ
Firstly, you need to consult with your family doctor (GP) and gauge their response. It could go either way! Your GP will either be open minded and willing to listen, or they could be outright against it. If your GP is open minded, you are in luck! Keep talking about it.
I suggest the following tactics to help you during the consultation:
1.Email Your GP
I suggest you email your GP beforehand and tell them that your intentions. This will give them a chance to make up their mind about it. Otherwise, if you put them on the spot, they will be naturally more inclined to refuse.
At the end of the day, you are asking them to make a legal prescription which they are legally liable for.
If your GP is outright against it, at least you will know beforehand, before wasting your time and money in the consultation.
2.Book A Double Appointment
The most challenging part of your doctor’s job is time management. Help them to help you by paying a little bit extra to make the appointment twice as long. This will make your doctor more relaxed and less rushed in the consultation. Being more relaxed will help them consider the topic in greater detail.
They will also likely not know much about medicinal cannabis and will need to invest some time reading up about it, and the legal situation in New Zealand.
3.Bring Written Information
If you are the source of information that your GP needs, they will struggle less to issue you a prescription. Bring written material from reputable sources. There are many resources available online.
The Cannabis Clinic has it’s own version of a medicinal cannabis pack you can take to your GP. This is our favourite means as it is written specifically for doctors in New Zealand. It tells them exactly what they need to know about prescribing Medicinal Cannabis oil to you.
It describes the interactions and important medical information your GP will be looking for.
You can also check the Bpac guide to Medicinal Cannabis oil. It is useful but unfortunately outdated and lacks sufficient detail.
4. Understand That Medicinal Cannabis Is An Unapproved Medicine
One issue which may put your GP off in prescribing Medicinal Cannabis oil to you is that Medicinal Cannabis is an unapproved medicine. This basically means that there is no proven research out there which confirms that Medicinal Cannabis is a treatment for a particular health condition.
This is not a bad thing. It is just the truth. There is no major financial incentive to push forward medicinal cannabis research.
For example, it is well known that the medicine called Cilazapril is used to lower blood pressure. It is approved for that condition. The same cannot be said about medicinal Cannabis products.
This is relevant to you because it means that, to make your prescription fully legal, you need to sign an informed consent form stating that you are aware of this.
You can get a copy of the informed consent form here.
5. Guide Your Doctor To The Products
Even if your doctor is happy to prescribe, they may well not know where to point you or what to write on the prescription.
What products are available? How much do they cost?
I am unable to list all of that here for you in detail, so you will need to do your own research when it comes to this.
Or, simply ask your doctor to write the script and you can decide later about the type and source of product.
I would recommend your doctor just writes a generic “Medicinal Cannabis oil” script with no particular brands mentioned. You can take that script to the pharmacy to discuss the best product choice for you.
What Should I Do If My Doctor Refuses To Prescribe It?
Unfortunately, this is a question we get asked too often. You may find that your doctor or specialist has a strong stance against medicinal Cannabis in general. If you have done the above steps, there is not much you can do. But you still have options.
Try the following steps:
1.Talk To Your Specialist
If your condition involves hospital-based specialists, email them to ask if they would consider prescribing you cannabis oil. You may find you get a totally different opinion or response! Every doctor’s opinion and perception is different, and some may be more willing to prescribe than others.
2.Consult A Second GP
If your clinic has multiple GP’s, ask if you can talk to the other doctors to see if they would have a different opinion about it. You may be surprised!
This is not an ideal situation for you but if you are desperate to try cannabis oil then changing to a GP who you know beforehand is open minded about it may be a sensible solution.
If you plan to do that, I strongly encourage you to inform your GP so that they are aware. This alone may change their mind about prescribing it to you when they see how determined you are.
Not sure who you can go to? Unfortunately there is not database of GP’s that I am aware of that are pro medicinal Cannabis. I suggest you contact MCANZ to see if they have suggestions as they have a lot of experience with different GP’s.
4.Consult With The Cannabis Clinic
We exist to help those patients who have chronic and debilitating conditions, and whose previous treatments have not been effective. You are always welcome to consult with one of our doctors at the clinic to get advice about medicinal Cannabis and find out if using such products may be suitable for you.
We employ open minded and experienced doctors who can help you through such a decision. We also are able to help you navigate your choices when it comes to products available in the market as we know what is available. With this knowledge, we also try help you save money to bring the costs of the products down.
Simply fill out an online consultation request form and we will be in touch to arrange and make it happen.
For a lot of people, getting a prescription for cannabis oil is a difficult and daunting process. But it does not have to be! With the above steps, you will be a lot more empowered to get a positive and supportive response. I have written it from my personal experience in dealing with patients with medicinal cannabis and other natural treatments.
Share with us your thoughts and story. How easily have you been able to talk to your GP about medicinal Cannabis?