The Newbie’s Guide to Choosing Medical Cannabis Products

Medical cannabis is rather unique from a shopping perspective. When a newbie goes into a medical cannabis pharmacy for the first time, they are presented with a range of brands and products. How does the new patient make a choice? Choosing medical cannabis products is not like going through the racks at a clothing store.

Unfortunately for medical cannabis newbies, the brand trap makes it difficult for them to zero in on the products and delivery methods that work best for them. A new patient might step into the Beehive Farmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah only to be immediately drawn to products from the Cookies brand. But are those the best products for him?

Beehive Farmacy owners say it is always best to discuss purchase choices with the on-site pharmacist before making a decision. Usually, a cannabis pharmacist will want to discuss a number of important things before making a recommendation.

1. The Patient’s Qualifying Condition

At the top of the list is a patient’s qualifying condition. Chronic pain is easily the number one condition cited by medical cannabis patients on their card applications. Other qualifying conditions include cancer, PTSD, persistent nausea, and seizure disorders. But here’s the thing: different conditions are addressed with different forms of medical cannabis. There is no one-size-fits-all cannabis product for every qualifying condition.

A pharmacist wants to know what a patient is dealing with. They also want to understand the patient’s symptoms. Qualifying conditions are the starting point because they influence nearly everything else that goes into a purchase decision.

2. The Patient’s Goals

Hand-in-hand with a patient’s qualifying condition is what they expect to get out of medical cannabis. A chronic pain patient might be looking for medication that helps take the edge off throughout the day. Meanwhile, a PTSD patient might be looking at medical cannabis to help him sleep better.

Patient goals impact everything from delivery method to dosage. And unlike prescription medications, medical cannabis can be extremely flexible in dosage and delivery. Patients have choices.

3. When and How Cannabis Will Be Used

Pharmacists typically ask patients how and when they intend to use cannabis. This plays into delivery method. At home, a patient’s preferred delivery method might be vaping. At work, however, vaping may be impractical. The patient might need to rely on a tincture or gummy during work hours.

This all matters because delivery methods impact the effects people experience with medical cannabis. Vaping products and tinctures get THC into the system very quickly. Edibles work more slowly. That being the case, patients need to plan intake based on how and when they need relief.

4. Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles

Last but not least, a typical pharmacist will want to discuss cannabinoid and terpene profiles with new patients. The main cannabinoid everyone is after in medical cannabis is THC. But cannabis plants produce more than one hundred cannabinoids and terpenes. Different combinations offer patients different effects. By understanding exactly what a patient is dealing with, a pharmacist can usually recommend an appropriate cannabinoid and terpene profile.

Even with all of these topics discussed and hashed out, choosing the right medical cannabis products is not an exact science. Newbies often need to try several different products and delivery methods to figure out what works best. It’s par for the course.

If you are new to medical cannabis and struggling to understand what’s best for you, take some time to talk to a cannabis pharmacist. Let the pharmacist help you choose the best medical cannabis products for your condition and circumstances.