Some people may choose to share recreational cannabis around, but if you’re looking to use cannabis as medicine, you need to treat it like medicine. You wouldn’t try another person’s heart medication, so you shouldn’t be looking to try someone else’s cannabis for your arthritis. Safety first!

A couple of things to keep in mind: not all cannabis is the same, and not all people respond to it the same way. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing cannabis for medical purposes. What condition are you living with? What symptoms are you trying to address? Are they different at different times of the day? What proportion of active ingredients should the strain have? How is the drug going to be taken? Do you have any other health conditions?

The answers to those and more questions will help you and your doctor determine whether medical cannabis is something you might want to try – and will help guide everything from strain selection to dosing to how you take it.

If you and your doctor do decide to proceed, know that the process of getting these factors right may take some time – time for your body to adjust to the drug, and time to identify the right strains and dosages for your symptoms. So expect a little trial-and-error, and be patient. In the end, it may not be right for you – or it might make an enormous difference in your quality of life.

For more information, check out our newly updated brochure, “Medical Cannabis: A Guide to Access”, available on our website at arthritis.ca/medicalcannabis.

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