Recently, cannabis has become legal to buy and use in many states, including Connecticut. Whether you have used cannabis before or are thinking about trying it for the first time, you might have questions about how cannabis can impact your health.
Why Talk About Your Cannabis Use?
When reviewing your overall health, it’s important for your healthcare provider to know if you are using any substances, including tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis. Depending on your health and medical history, substances may have side effects or otherwise affect your well-being.
This includes if you:
- Have a chronic health condition, like heart, lung or kidney disease
- Have an existing mental health condition
- Are scheduled for surgery or a medical procedure
- Are pregnant
Your provider is there to care for you. Don’t be embarrassed to bring up your cannabis use. Your cannabis use may impact how your provider decides to treat any symptoms or conditions you may have. By being honest with your provider about your cannabis use, it can help them decide the best course of treatment for you. Leave enoughtime in your appointment so that you can have a real discussion about how cannabis use can impact you specifically.
What to Ask
Depending on your existing health condition(s), different cannabis products may impact you differently, including possibly making existing health conditions worse.
- Ask about how the cannabis products you are using can affect your body based on your personal health history.
- If you have a chronic health condition, talk about how using cannabis might impact your health.
- When going over your medication list, ask how your medications may interact with cannabis use.
- Cannabis use can affect anesthesia use during surgery and medical procedures. It can also impact how your pain is managed afterwards. If you have a medical procedure or surgery planned, talk to your doctor about your cannabis use and how it can impact your procedure and recovery.
- If you are pregnant, cannabis use could lead to problems for the baby including limited fetal growth, stillbirth, low birth weight and long-term brain development issues. Talk to your doctor about other ways to manage symptoms like nausea, sleeplessness or discomfort.
Things to Consider
- When you buy cannabis products from a licensed retailer or dispensary, the products have labels that give you valuable information about the product including ingredients, dosing and potency. Consider bringing the label with you to your appointment so your provider can review the information.
- If you are employed by a company that has set policies on cannabis use, they may require a drug test. Talk to your
provider about the process and how your cannabis use may impact your results.
- As with any substance you bring into your home, it’s important to know how to safely use it, store it, and dispose of it. You can get this information from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Cannabis website at http://ct.gov/cannabis.
What To Do If You Think You Need Help
Cannabis use can lead to cannabis use disorder. If you are worried about the amount of cannabis you are using and how it is affecting your health or everyday life, share your concerns with your provider. They can help connect you to treatment or support.