When surgical and non-surgical treatments don’t work for a condition, alternative medicine can bridge the gap, whether it’s for treatment or for managing certain symptoms. Medical marijuana is one such option.

But are medical marijuana doctors the same as regular doctors? Read on to find out:

Basic differences

First things first: the FDA categorizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance. This means that no doctor can legally ‘prescribe’ medical marijuana. A more appropriate term would be ‘recommend.’

A medical marijuana doctor recommends medical marijuana products to those who fulfill certain qualifying criteria. They only have these privileges under state law, since the federal government still doesn’t recognize medical marijuana as a viable treatment.

In terms of qualifications, a medical marijuana doctor isn’t necessarily any different from a regular doctor. In fact, they might just be a general physician with a specialization or a certification. However, there is a difference: a medical marijuana doctor must have carried out extensive research on the uses, proven benefits, and side effects of medical marijuana usage.

Required certification

Required certification

Another essential difference is certification. This bolsters the credibility of the medical marijuana doctor. Let’s take the example of New York. In order to qualify for a medical marijuana certificate in New York, the practitioner must be qualified to treat patients who deal with opioid and substance use disorders.

Other than that, the practitioner must register for at least one of the courses offered under the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program. These courses comprise important information regarding medical marijuana dosage, overuse, methods of administration, dependence, side effects, and any possible interactions. The syllabus for the courses can be downloaded here.

Once the practitioner has taken the desired courses, they must then register themselves with the Medical Marijuana Program online.

What is a medical marijuana doctor’s job description?

Here are a number of responsibilities that fall under a medical marijuana doctor’s domain:

  1. They must be aware of all prevalent state laws with regard to the use of medical marijuana.
  2. They will inquire about the patient’s history regarding both medical marijuana and other drugs.
  3. They will carry out tests and evaluations to see if the patient meets any of the qualifying criteria.
  4. They must be aware of the different methods of administration, all of which work under different conditions.
  5. They must counsel the patient regarding the required dosage and the harmful effects of overdose and addiction.
  6. They must ensure that the recommended medical marijuana derivatives comply with acceptable THC levels.

If you wish to seek medical marijuana solutions for a qualifying ailment, Indica MD will put you in touch with a reliable medical marijuana doctors New York. We are offering telehealth services in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Buffalo, and nearby areas during the pandemic.