Healthcare modernization has paved the way for the medical use of Cannabis. Since its discovery decades ago, scientists and researchers have conducted clinical studies to understand the positive health benefits of medical marijuana (MMJ).
Medical marijuana can be added to drinks or food, inhaled through a vaporizer, smoked, applied topically, a patch stuck to the skin, or placed sublingually. It has been proven to treat various diseases as an alternative to conventional medicine.
Buying medical marijuana products must be used responsibly. Research and medical advice are needed to get the right product for you.
Meanwhile, here’s how to get a cannabis prescription:
- Check its Legality in Your Country
Check if the state you live in legalizes Cannabis. MMJ is considered illegal in federal law; however, several countries have already allowed it for medical use for specific conditions.
Countries that legalize MJJ are as follows: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.
Some states can also use MMJ but with strict restrictions: Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Laws and conditions vary from state to state. Some states issue a medical marijuana identification card. You can present it to a credible pharmacy or drug store to buy your prescribed medicine.
If it’s legal in your country, you can consult a physician to get a cannabis prescription. You may check marijuanadoctorsrx.com and other resources online to get a list of medical marijuana doctors near you.
- Consult With a Physician
Physicians need to assess your medical history and conduct laboratory and physical exams to evaluate if your condition is qualified for MMJ use. This step is necessary since MMJ can manifest adverse effects, harm you, or worsen your condition.
After the assessment, the proper dosage, frequency, and type of MMJ product will be provided. An overdose is unlikely to happen, but high precautions must be raised, especially for first-time or sensitive users. People with hypertension, diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart, and brain problems are highly likely to develop unpredictable side effects.
The dosage will depend on one’s weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) – a correct dosage prescription can guarantee safe and optimal MMJ product benefits. A gradual increase in dosage can be suggested as well.
MMJ is qualified and commonly used for the following conditions:
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Muscle Spasms
- Epilepsy or Seizures
A physician’s assistant (PA) or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) can also provide a cannabis prescription in some states.
- Get a Medical Marijuana Card
Depending on the state’s law, the medical doctor or a healthcare worker will give you instructions towards the next step – signing up MMJ registry is mandatory in most states.
You will be asked to disclose your full legal name, present physical address, phone number, type of condition, and present the physician’s approval. After getting your MMJ card, you can now buy your medicines in authorized drug stores or pharmacies near you or online.
Things to Know About Medicinal Cannabis
There are several subspecies of the Cannabis Sativa plant. The hemp plant is commonly used in medical marijuana. It contains a non-psychoactive compound, Cannabidiol (CBD), suitable for patients as it doesn’t produce a ‘high’ feeling.’ The counterpart component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is usually eliminated through purification processes because it’s responsible for eliciting mind-altering effects.
CBD alleviates pain and other disease-related symptoms when incorporated into daily health and wellness. Many CBD products are available in the market, such as topical creams, lotions, transdermal patches, oils, tinctures, vaporizers, sublingual sprays, and edibles.
The most common adverse effects of MMJ have reduced appetite, tired reddish eyes, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, and body fatigue. They are only mild and resolve shortly.
There are further classifications of the products according to the types of compounds present in the formula:
- Isolate CBD only contains pure CBD molecules. There are no traces of THC, terpenes, cannabichromene (CBC), or cannabinol (CBN). No psychoactive side effects manifest due to intensive purification processes.
- Broad Spectrum CBD includes CBN, CBC, and terpenes molecules. THC is removed, same with the Isolate CBD.
- Full Spectrum CBD has THC molecules, producing a mild ‘high’ feeling. The term ‘entourage effect’ is coined because it’s believed to produce many potential benefits due to the presence of all components.
MMJ products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Physicians likely recommend those with a certificate of analysis (COA) and abide by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines. COA products are tested and proven by a trusted third-party source.
The FDA has authorized doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to organize clinical trials. Studies are still conducted to this day to know more about the health benefits of Cannabis.
Medical Marijuana in Combating Various Conditions
There are arguments about whether medical marijuana has short-term or long-term health benefits. Though interested, many are still skeptical about using MMJ due to fear of getting high or addicted.
However, evidence-based journals, medical trials, and positive reviews from users prove that it can effectively alleviate symptoms and treat conditions. It significantly helps older people and individuals who have taken aggressive medications, therapies, or treatments before as a natural alternative.
Medicinal Cannabis is increasingly popular nowadays. Only several states in the United States of America, Canada, and Europe have legalized it, whether for medical or recreational use. It’s still considered illegal in federal law. That’s why laws are implemented, restrictions are established, and cannabis prescriptions are required.
A consultation with a physician or nurse practitioner is highly recommended. Medical history, assessment, laboratory examinations, and accurate diagnosis determine if you are qualified for MMJ treatment.
There are contraindications and precautions for high-risk individuals who need serious attention. The proper dosage and frequency are written in a prescription. Make sure you take medical marijuana responsibly.