Medical marijuana is a general term for cannabis derivatives prescribed to help ease the symptoms of specific ailments.
Although the Cannabis Sativa plant is popular as a recreational drug, it is increasingly being used for its therapeutic effects. The two active ingredients in the cannabis plant that has medicinal properties are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD delivers many health benefits without making you high. THC is also beneficial but is responsible for the euphoric intoxication caused when using marijuana. While marijuana is recognized as a therapeutic substance in the medical world, its use is not legal everywhere.
In fact, medical marijuana is not prescribed to every patient. Patients need a medical marijuana certification to use cannabis products for their health conditions. But what conditions qualify you for a medical marijuana card? Let’s find out.
How is Marijuana Used for Medicinal Purposes?
The conversation about the use of marijuana as a whole is nothing new in the medical world. Plenty of research has found the active ingredients of the cannabis plant to help ease the symptoms of many health disorders. The most well-known benefit of marijuana is pain relief, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
While this is true, it is also important to mention that medical marijuana is not a strong enough painkiller to numb severe pain associated with injuries or even surgeries. Instead, it has proven useful in alleviating chronic pains associated with different ailments and old age.
Medical marijuana is quite effective in pain relief and can be used in place of some over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Other than pain relief, medical cannabis is also beneficial for helping cancer patients going through chemotherapy cope with the treatment’s side effects.
Conditions That Qualify the Use of Medical Marijuana
There is no doubt that medical marijuana benefits patients suffering from certain ailments. However, as mentioned earlier, not every condition qualifies a patient to get a medical marijuana card.
Each US state specifies its own list of health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Hempland has a detailed breakdown of the states with medical marijuana programs. Here are some of the conditions that can be medicated using cannabis products:
- Epilepsy and seizures
- HIV and AIDS
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Severe nausea
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
It is important to mention that this list presents only some qualifying conditions in every state. Essentially, one of the reasons for qualification is if the disease is disrupting your daily life.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card
The first course of action is to consult with your doctor, as they are in the best position to determine whether cannabis can alleviate the condition you have. Moreover, your physician will also let you in on the possible side effects you should expect.
It is only after approval from your doctor that you can proceed. Remember, this doesn’t apply to the use of medical marijuana alone. It is always a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking any supplement or medication.
The next step is where your state laws come in. As mentioned earlier, state laws regulating medical marijuana use are not the same. Nonetheless, you will likely have to sign up online and provide the details necessary for the medical marijuana registry.
Keep in mind that you need to provide proof of consent from a registered physician. Providing accurate details is paramount since you must renew your card after a certain duration. However, this is only necessary if you continue the treatment. If you are getting help from a caregiver, you will need to provide their details as well.
Finally, it is also worth mentioning that there is an application fee for the card. Your specific state of residence will determine how much you need to pay. Depending on your state, you can either get immediate access or wait for weeks to get your card.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
With a medical marijuana card, you can easily walk into a licensed marijuana dispensary and buy a cannabis product of your choice. Having a medical marijuana card comes with its benefits, like access to better discounts from dispensaries.
Also, you can buy cannabis in larger quantities and even go for more potent products. It is common for dispensaries to reserve products with higher concentrations of THC or CBD for patients who need it for medical use as opposed to those using it for recreational purposes.
Medical marijuana comes in many forms, including pills, oils, sprays, flowers, and topicals. The time it takes for the product to work depends on the mode of consumption and its potentiation.
Is Medical Marijuana Right for You?
Although the use of medical marijuana is still a topic of contention, research has proven that it is beneficial for easing many health disorders. But not everyone can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of marijuana. Make sure to research your state’s requirements and consult a physician to determine if you’re a good candidate for cannabis therapy.
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