Over the last decade or so, both telemedicine and medical cannabis have exploded in popularity and viability. To the average layperson, “telemedicine” and “medical marijuana” were relatively unknown terms until well into the noughties, but both are now buzzwords, firmly established in the lexicon and synonymous with forward-thinking, cutting-edge health care.
Telemedicine is the catch-all term for any patient/health care professional consultations done remotely using modern communications technology. Telemedicine has been made not only possible, but easy, by the advent of super-fast broadband and powerful smartphone and mobile device technology. Thanks to telemedicine, it is now possible to consult with a health care professional anywhere in the world in seconds from the comfort of your own home.
Medical cannabis has become the treatment du jour for many medical conditions. Its meteoric rise over the last decade has roughly (and coincidentally?) paralleled the rise of telemedicine over the last few years. Medical marijuana is now legal in almost half of US states. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions and symptoms, from chronic pain to insomnia to anxiety.
The rise of telemedicine has obvious and massive advantages for medical cannabis patients. And the rise of medical marijuana has surely helped to facilitate and fuel the rise of telemedicine. In telemedicine and MMJ, we can witness two glorious (and initially separate) revolutions melding together and merging into one, big, beautiful “new world order.” Hallelujah!
Here are six ways that telemedicine has made medical marijuana patients’ lives a lot easier.
Telemedicine Does Away With the Need to Queue in the Doctor’s Waiting Room
Many people end up ill (or double-ill) as a result of the time they have to spend waiting in a germ-filled doctor’s waiting room. For many cannabis card-holding patients whose medical conditions may be chronic or psychological (and who may otherwise be totally healthy), catching a flu or stomach bug is hugely inconvenient, but thanks to telemedicine, it’s now also totally unnecessary. Doing your MMJ consultations via telemedicine means you can stay out of the doctor’s waiting room and away from the contagious germs of other people.
Telemedicine Allows Much Greater Choice of Which Doctor to Consult With
Not all physicians have cottoned on to the benefits of medical marijuana card usage. Some conservative “dinosaur doctors” still believe cannabis is for stoners and would rather prescribe liver-dissolving, depression-inducing, libido-sapping synthetic drugs to their patients instead of natural, healthy medical herb. If your local doctors are mostly of this ilk, telemedicine allows you to bypass them and connect with more forward-thinking physicians in cyberspace.
Telemedicine Provides Ease of Access For Patients Who Struggle With Mobility
For medical cannabis card holders who have conditions that involve chronic pain, stiffness, or a lack of mobility, or for patients who require the use of very strong, indica-dominant MMJ strains that result in “couch-lock,” getting to the doctor’s office can be very difficult. So for people in this situation, being able to consult with a doctor using telemedicine from the comfort of their own home is a godsend.
Telemedicine Means Massive Time Savings
Many medical marijuana card holders lead hectic and busy lives, juggling young families with high-octane careers that require a ton of time, energy, and dedication. For these folks, time is an extremely rare and valuable resource. Wherever they can save time they will, and telemedicine allows them to do this in a big way by avoiding the hour-munching chore of driving to the doctor’s office, twiddling their thumbs in the waiting room queue, and then making small talk with their dithering old family doctor – and all of this before finally getting down to business! A telemedicine consultation is much faster than a conventional, in-person consultation, and so it can save a patient with a hectic schedule valuable time.
Telemedicine is Best For Emergency Prescriptions
There is nothing worse than running out of MMJ at an inopportune time (over the holidays, for example). If you need an MMJ prescription in a hurry, or at a time when the local doctor’s office is closed, then the best way to do this is to use telemedicine. Using telemedicine, you can consult with a physician at any time of the day or night and get that valuable prescription you need. Unfortunately this does not guarantee that the local dispensary will be open, but at least you’re halfway there!
Telemedicine is Ideal For Patients Who Live in a Remote Location
For cannabis card patients who live in the wilderness, far from any doctor’s office, telemedicine makes life a heck of a lot easier. Consulting with a physician via smartphone from the comfort of your own Appalachian log cabin is so much easier than jumping into your jeep (or two-seater seaplane) and making the long trek to the nearest urban settlement to consult with a doc face to face!