Medical Marijuana in California: 9 Frequently Asked Questions

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Before we started relying on modern medicine for every ache and scrape, marijuana and other gifts of nature were the only healing substances used to treat, cure and prevent health disorders. In fact, marijuana has been used for centuries to heal a wide array of health problems.

Over recent decades, marijuana, or cannabis, has reemerged as an alternative therapy for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and insomnia and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, and migraine. With the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis across the United States, patients now have a treatment option at their disposal without the multiple side effects of conventional medicine.

If you’re looking to explore using medical cannabis or simply want to learn how it works, the following information will provide you easy insight into the subject.

What is medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana is not really different from recreational cannabis. The tremendous healing properties of marijuana come from chemical substances called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, which contains more than 100 different types of such compounds, each having its own healing potential.

However, the cannabinoids THC ((tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) is the most extensively used and widely researched for their psychotic and healing effects on the human brain and body. While both compounds are medicinal, THC is well-known for its intoxicating nature while CBD is revered for its calming, non-intoxicating effects.

Which cannabinoid is used for treating health disorders?

Both THC and CBD are used to treat medical conditions previously only treated with regular medication. Different varieties of the cannabis plant have differing levels of THC and CBD and medical marijuana patients who don’t want the mental “high” caused by THC prefer to use CBD-based medication.

Depending on your health condition, the severity of your symptoms and your overall health, your medical practitioner will prescribe the correct type and dosage of medical marijuana you should use.

What conditions are treated with medical cannabis?

Currently medical cannabis is being used for a number of serious health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic inflammation, asthma, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBD, appetitive loss in persons with HIV, spinal cord conditions, neuropathy, Hepatitis C, skin diseases, certain cancers, epilepsy, glaucoma, lupus, PTSD and depression.

CBD is also used to alleviate the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, such as chronic body pain and nausea.

Where and how can I get medical marijuana in California?

If you have a recommendation from a certified physician (or an MMID, discussed below) and you’re 18 years or older, you can walk into an authorized medical dispensary in California to buy medical cannabis. Find a dispensary near me. You’ll need to produce two documents—your MMID or doctor’s note and a valid government-issued ID showing your age.

You can also have your supplies home-delivered from dispensaries such as Mission Organic center in San Francisco, which sells both recreational and medical marijuana.

What is a medical marijuana card?

A medical marijuana identification card (MMID) is a government authorization that allows qualifying individuals to purchase medical cannabis from licensed state dispensaries.

In California, it is not mandatory for patients to have an MMID as they can show a doctor’s note to buy medicinal cannabis, but having the MMID comes with several benefits. It gives patients access to tax rebates, lower prices, discounts, and ongoing support in the medical cannabis community.

Remember that every US state has its own list of health disorders that qualify for treatment with medical cannabis. Check the qualifying conditions in your state before applying for an MMID.

How is medical marijuana consumed?

While traditionally smoking was the most common way to use marijuana as medicine, today it is available in a number of different forms such as edibles, capsules, pills, softgels, juices, vaporizers, tinctures, topicals and suppositories.

More and more patients are opting for these safer ways to use marijuana to avoid the side effects of smoking which could worsen their health and negate the positive effects of marijuana.

What is the right dosage of medical cannabis?

Opinion varies on this subject as each patient needs a specific dosage based on the severity of their symptoms and their tolerability of medical cannabis. While 0.2g is generally considered a safe and sufficient dose in most cases, you may find relief with a lower or higher dosage.

Your physician is the best person to advise you on the dose you need, the best delivery method and the right cannabinoid concentration in your medication.

Does medical cannabis have any side effects?

Over-dosage can cause the typical side effects associated with marijuana consumption. Overdosing can result from using the wrong strain, wrong concentration or incorrect delivery method. For instance, if you’re using cannabis edibles, there is a strong possibility of overeating.

Controlled and responsible use of medical cannabis is not known to lead to any major side effects. When you start using it for the first time, you may experience some degree of lethargy, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and blood pressure changes. Any severe side effects must be reported to a qualified health practitioner and the use of the medicine should be discontinued.

Indeed, as with any other medicine, the best way to use medical cannabis is to educate yourself about its composition, use it responsibly, start with small doses, give a few hours between doses, buy only from a government-approved dispensary, like Dank Nation Dispensary, and keep track of your overall consumption over a period of time.

What is the best way to store medical cannabis?

There is a limit to the amount of cannabis you can possess at a given time, so you will not have large quantities to deal with. Despite that, proper storage will protect the potency and efficacy of your medicine and prevent wastage.

The best way to store your medical cannabis supplies is to use a glass container with a tight lid and place the container in a cool and dry place, away from heat sources, humidity and sunlight. Also ensure to keep cannabis out of reach of children and pets, and dispose of the expired medication safely.

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