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15 Articles in Volume 20, Issue #6
Using Photobiomodulation to Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia
20/20 with Mark Wallace: Where Cannabis Fits into Pain Practice
A Commentary on Opioid Stewardship: Fentanyl, Sufentanil, and Perioperative Pain
Adherence and Relapse – How to Maintain Long-Term Gains in Patients with Chronic Conditions
Advanced Practice Matters with Theresa & Jeremy: COVID, Pain, and Power
Analgesics of the Future: Janus Kinase Inhibitors
Case Report: Quadratus Lumborum Block for Managing Pathologic Pain to the Hip
Chronic Pain and the Short-term Effects of Medical Cannabis
Differential Diagnosis: Polymyalgia Rheumatica or Rheumatoid Arthritis
Genicular Nerve Blocks: Field Tips on Prognostic Value and Technical Considerations
Guideline Update: ACR Promotes Pharmacologic Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Navigating New York's Medical Marijuana Program: A Patient Handout
Person-Centered Care: Lessons from the VA’s Whole Health Model
Psychedelics for Chronic Pain: Is It Time?
Resident’s Corner: What Pain Medicine Education is Missing in the COVID Era

Navigating New York's Medical Marijuana Program: A Patient Handout

Created by physicians in a busy New York pain clinic, this one-pager answers patients’ common questions about cannabis use for pain. The document could be reworked for other state programs.

Since the approval of medical cannabis in New York state in 2014, there has been an increasing amount of interest in its clinical use. The role of medical cannabis has been particularly expanding in the pain specialty, where physicians have been seeking more non-opioid based treatments for chronic pain. 

(Editor's Note: See our Side Chat with Dr. Mark Wallace on this subject).

Navigating the state’s medical marijuana program has its challenges due to its:

  • relative novelty
  • multistep registration process
  • reliance on patient understanding and participation in the process.

We identified these challenges in our outpatient pain center and developed an educational handout (available in English and Spanish below) to help guide patients through the New York medical marijuana program. Our objectives were to create an easy-to-read, comprehensive handout that would increase patient education, improve clinic efficiency, and strengthen patient confidence in their treatment plan.

The one-page, single-sided document includes the approved conditions for medical cannabis, available formulations, approximate cost, what to do if medication titration is needed, and a link to local dispensaries. The handout addresses the most common questions that we as providers face when discussing medical cannabis with patients.

Download a PDF (English)

Download a PDF (Spanish)


We distributed this document to patients in our own practice who were candidates for medical cannabis, with a brief explanation of what was included on it. The handout thus far has successfully provided an organized, efficient way to convey information about the program and has been well received.

As the literature behind medical cannabis grows and medical cannabis becomes more accessible, we believe that documents like ours will be extremely valuable. Although this handout is specific for New York, it can easily be modified to represent the needs of patients and providers in other states.

See also, a short-term study on the effect of cannabis by Dr. Ko et al.  

Continue Reading:
20/20 with Mark Wallace: Where Cannabis Fits into Pain Practice
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