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Telemedicine Makes Medical Marijuana Industry More Efficient

Telemedicine is simply an online medical consultation service — sort of like Skype with a prescription pad.
PHOTO Dwayne Bent


Telemedicine Makes Medical Marijuana Industry More Efficient

Many patients are getting their medical recommendations online.

In this post-do-it-yourself daze we are living in, where technological advancements have allowed an entire population to become reclusive to the point of making Howard Hughes seem sane, it makes sense that the population is starved for more efficient methods for receiving medical advice without leaving the comforts of home.

Even the cannabis community is guilty of shying away from a time when it was necessary to meet face-to-face with a healthcare professional in order to secure a recommendation to purchase medical marijuana. These days, patients are leaning on telemedicine, a system that allows the sick to chat it up with a doctor directly from their computer or smartphone and obtain all the necessary paperwork to buy legal weed without so much as putting on a pair of pants. It is the latest in the digital dumb down of civil society, one that is said to be revolutionizing the medicinal cannabis trade.

Telemedicine is simply an online medical consultation service — sort of like Skype with a prescription pad. It allows patients to communicate with a variety of doctors and specialists without having to visit any location other than their couch. This system was once only available through larger healthcare operations, but now that technology has brought the world together in a bizarre, one-dimensional way, telemedicine is becoming more prevalent throughout the medical profession. It is especially catching on in states where medical marijuana is legal, as it provides a hassle-free connection between patients and those physicians certified to recommend the herb.

For some, this service is the most practical means for exploring medical marijuana. It provides patients with a clandestine source for treating their respective health conditions with cannabis sans the judgment or criticism that can come from their regular doctor. Military veterans held back by governmental controls have been known to benefit from telemedicine. Basically, anyone trying to keep a low profile about their medical marijuana use can participate without being subjected to the social eyes.

“Many of our clients are veterans and 25- to 40-year-olds that are trying to medicate themselves for reasons such as work stress, anxiety, ADHD or other issues that traditional medication hasn’t been able to resolve, and that cannabis has been shown through studies to help with,” said Tom Neilly, project manager for Canada’s NamesteMD. “More commonly, we find people are trying to persuade their parents or grandparents to look into cannabis as a healthcare option for pain and things like that.”

“Alternatively,” he continued, “they may be trying to help their kids and are too embarrassed to ask their family doctor about using medical cannabis. I think a lot of people still feel there is a huge stigma about cannabis, that only people that want to get high use it. But there is a big difference between recreational cannabis, which has high THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis that causes a ‘high’) and medical cannabis, which mostly contains CBD and negligible THC and doesn’t make people high, but has been found in small-scale studies to have beneficial properties for some people.”

Although telemedicine is catching fire in the world of medical marijuana, some potential patients remain in the dark about how the service works. But it really is as simple as connecting with one of several online platforms that play host to doctors all across the nation (and in Canada) who can provide patients with the essentials needed for program participation.

Some of the most recommended telemedical marijuana services are PrestoDoctorHello MD and Meadow MD. These services, however, have limited range. Only patients living in California, New York and Nevada can participate.

Fortunately, offers a comprehensive list of cannabis-friendly physicians who accept telemedicine appointments in nearly every state where the herb is legal for therapeutic use.

It is important to understand that telemedicine services geared toward the medical marijuana community are not just easy ways to get legal weed. The doctors involved do evaluate patients, checking medical history etc, in an effort to provide them with a personalized medical marijuana plan. The overall goal is to get people feeling better, not just get them high. So expect to experience a somewhat thorough consultation in a manner similar to what is done in a regular doctor’s office. The main takeaway from this service is it offers convenience. It is not designed to cheat the system.

TELL US, have you ever used telemedicine?

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