You are in good company as a Medical Cannabis patient who uses the medicine to treat chronic pain. Among all the conditions on Utah’s qualifying conditions list, chronic pain ranks number one. Hopefully, you are finding the relief you need. If not, are you keeping a patient journal of your chronic pain and experiences with cannabis?
Journaling for chronic pain patients is a practice recommended by both state regulators and experienced medical providers. It is the practice of recording how you use Medical Cannabis, when you use it, and how it makes you feel. Journal data can be helpful for several reasons, such as helping you to truly understand how your medicines are working. That same data can give your medical provider valuable information that makes their advice better.
As important as Medical Cannabis journaling is, it cannot be something you consider drudgery. Otherwise, you are not going to do it. So pick some sort of system that works for you. You may prefer a spreadsheet on your computer. You might be the type of person who prefers mobile apps on your phone. If you like old-fashioned paper and pen, the state produces a free PDF journal form you can download and print.
The thing about journaling is that consistency is the key. When you’re treating chronic pain, your experiences are bound to change from time to time. You need a consistent journal to account for those changes. If you are inconsistent, you and your medical provider may not be able to figure out the best path for you.
Chronic pain can be a very complex condition. So to make journaling as effective as possible, it helps to keep track of some very specific things. Taking all the information you recorded with you on every pharmacy visit helps your Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) fully understand what is going on with you.
Here’s what you should be tracking:
First and foremost are your goals. Why are you using Medical Cannabis? Is it only to deal with chronic pain, or are there other symptoms you are trying to address? For example, cancer patients use Medical Cannabis for both pain and nausea.
Your Medical Cannabis pharmacy is undoubtedly stocked with a variety of products. You have gummies, tinctures, and vaping products. Each one may have a different terpene profile. You also have different strains to work with. Tracking all these details can help you pinpoint which products work best for you.
You have probably discovered that different dosages and delivery methods address your pain with differing levels of success. So tracking both gives you a better idea of what does and doesn’t work. Dosage and delivery method information is especially helpful to your PMP.
Believe it or not, the setting in which you consume Medical Cannabis can make a difference. Track where you are when you take your medicine. Record the date and time. If there is anything unusual about the setting, write that down as well.
Wrapping it all up is how Medical Cannabis makes you feel. You may find great relief in one case but very little relief in another. Keeping track of this will help your PMP draw correlations between all the other information and each unique experience it pertains to.
Journaling for chronic pain patients is a fantastic way to get the most out of Medical Cannabis. It is especially helpful for chronic pain sufferers whose circumstances and experiences change from time to time. If you are not journaling yet, why not start today?