Nobody enjoys a paying a visit to the doctor. We live in an age where such visits can be an anxious burden for a host of reasons, but one that we can all surely agree on is the ever-present specter of COVID. Who wants to sit around a waiting room full of sick people these days? This discomfort is compounded when the reason for your visit is to get a refill on a prescription – a situation that will inevitably arise at some point in your journey through our antiquated healthcare system. It’s no surprise that telemedicine is becoming more and more the norm, and if you’re of a mind to experiment with a different form of medicine, Releaf Med is an excellent place to begin your journey.
Some call it cannabis and some call it medical or medicinal marijuana, but whichever lingo you choose, Releaf Med is an efficient, speedy and affordable gateway to getting the medicine you need. Their aim is to connect patients with licensed physicians that can help offer patients relief from a variety of medical conditions including (but not necessarily limited to) cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, nausea, weight loss, migraines, seizures, anxiety and sleeplessness. A far more complete list of conditions can be found on their website. As someone who for most of my life has had issues with anxiety as well as more recent bouts of sleeplessness, I was eager to find out if the folks at Releaf Med could get me started on a safe, legal cannabis journey.
Releaf Med unsurprisingly requires the entering of personal medical information, a photograph of a driver’s license or state ID, and a credit card number, but I saw no red flags during the process of signing up. Everything about their site struck me as legit. While they do not require you to upload any pertinent documents from your family physician (though there is a field that allows for it), it is best to answer all of their questions as thoroughly and honestly as you can, in order to get a proper diagnosis. The process is unlikely to take more than 15 minutes, and ends with an eSignature. The cost is $199 (though I was provided a code [MMM420] which gave me a $20 discount), and Releaf Med will put a hold on your credit card for that amount until after you have your phone or video consultation, at which point you will be charged. The Releaf Med fee is annual – that’s good for a prescription for an entire year. The amount would only be refunded if the doctor is unable to provide you a recommendation.
The next step is to make your appointment. I chose to do it over the telephone. The options were pretty open, down to ten minute intervals. I set up my appointment for the following day at 1:30 in the afternoon with Lawrence Weber, MD, PhD. Fast forward to the next day and I was contacted much earlier than my scheduled appointment. Dr. Weber called me just before 11AM, and it came up on my phone as “No Caller ID.” Naturally I did not answer, and Weber left a detailed message explaining that they like to get things going as quickly as possible, and that he would call me later, which he did, around noon.
This time I picked up, and though he was perfectly amenable to calling me back at the scheduled appointment time, he assured me the process would only take a few minutes (which it did). So we went over my medical history (which he had access to thanks to what I’d provided the Releaf Med website), he asked me a few questions, and in under 10 minutes we were finished and he’d sent off my prescription recommendation to Medicis Pharmacy in Lake Charles.
One issue that I also suffer from that Dr. Weber specifically told me he couldn’t help me with is depression. While this was of course not an ideal answer, it was reassuring that Releaf Med and/or Dr. Weber was not in the business of just saying “yes” to any patient with any condition that comes their way. There seemed to be careful, professional considerations at play here and I’m sure patients with far more physically debilitating issues would be given more time.
Once I hung up the phone with Dr. Weber, I got a call no less than 10 minutes later from Medicis Pharmacy, and I chatted with Stephanie, who was happy to fill my prescription, and I could come in to pick it up at my convenience. So in a less than 24-hour period from when I first logged into the Releaf Med website, I was all set up and ready to go, for an entire year, for the cost of $179. Releaf Med and the subsequent visit with Dr. Weber were quite possibly the least stressful and time consuming medical experiences of my entire life, which for a guy suffering from anxiety in the time of COVID, was a relief.