Are you struggling with a health condition and you’re wondering if medical marijuana can make a difference?
Cannabis is improving the lives of many people who struggle with health issues. If you’re wondering how to get medical marijuana, you’re not alone. Keep reading our guide to learn about some conditions that qualify for medicinal marijuana, and how you can get it in your state.
- 1 What Is Medical Marijuana?
- 2 Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana
- 3 How to Get Medical Marijuana
- 4 Taking Care of Yourself
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is the use of cannabis plants to help treat certain diseases and health conditions. Many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, despite the federal law prohibiting its usage. For states that allow recreational use of cannabis, medical marijuana patients still benefit by having access to a variety of stronger products.
Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana
To get medical marijuana, you need to be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition for your state. Each state’s laws are different, so you’ll need to find out what your state considers a qualifying condition ahead of time. We’ve made a list of the most common medical conditions that should qualify you for medical marijuana:
Cannabis is great for cancer patients because it diminishes the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Some of these symptoms include nausea, pain, inflammation, and loss of appetite.
Even more importantly, recent research is suggesting that THC and other cannabinoids can delay the growth of cancer cells and even destroy some. Despite this information, cancer patients should not rely on only marijuana to treat their cancer and should continue their recommended treatment plan.
People with HIV or AIDS benefit from the use of cannabis as well. About one-third of HIV/AIDS patients use it to help alleviate nausea, appetite loss, cachexia, and pain associated with their disease.
These symptoms can make taking essential HIV pills, called HAART, almost impossible, so the use of marijuana can make a life or death difference for many patients.
Epilepsy or Seizure Disorders
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound of cannabis, is prescribed to people with epilepsy because it significantly decreases seizure activity. CBD is even safe enough that it’s often used to treat pediatric epilepsy.
The properties of cannabis that make you get high are only found in THC, so using CBD will not cause any impairments, even at high doses.
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a devastating diagnosis that often comes with a cocktail of drugs to treat various symptoms. Medical marijuana can treat many of those symptoms and reduce the need to take so many pills.
Marijuana is used in MS patients to help alleviate the symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, inflammation, incontinence, constipation, and even mood issues.
Chronic pain is a broad condition, but it often qualifies you for medical marijuana. Cannabis is a better alternative to addictive painkillers because it provides pain relief with fewer side effects, and it’s typically more affordable. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, reach out to your doctor to see if medical marijuana is an option for you.
The use of medical marijuana can dramatically improve the quality of life for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, Glaucoma, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s. Cannabis helps increase mobility and cognitive function, and it can help relieve spastic muscles.
PTSD and Other Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other severe anxiety disorders can sometimes be managed better through the use of cannabis. Medical marijuana is also known to help treat insomnia and reduce nightmares.
How to Get Medical Marijuana
We’ve made a broad guide on how to get medical marijuana, but as we mentioned above, every state’s marijuana laws are different. If you’re in a state that hasn’t legalized it, then you’ll need to figure out another course of action:
Check the Qualifications for Your State
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is only legal in 36 states, so first you’ll need to make sure that your state is one of them. The next thing you’ll need to do is make sure that your medical condition qualifies for medicinal marijuana in your state. If you’re unsure of where to get this information, you can look for your state here on the NCSL website.
Get a Cannabis Card
Once you’re familiar with your state’s laws and you know that you qualify, you’ll need to get a prescription from your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t feel comfortable with prescribing cannabis, ask if they can refer you to a doctor that will. Alternatively, you could also look up medical marijuana doctors near you and schedule an appointment with them.
Find a Dispensary
Once you’ve got your cannabis card, you’ll be able to get your medical marijuana. When you look for dispensaries in your area, be sure that you’re going to a medical marijuana dispensary and not a recreational one. Always bring your cannabis card with you to the dispensary, even if you’ve been there before!
Once you’ve started looking at dispensaries, you’ll discover that there are a lot of different products available. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different strains, doses, and methods of use to help understand what will help treat your condition the best.
We’ve made a brief breakdown of the different methods of using medical marijuana below:
- Smoking a joint
- Smoking through a hand pipe
- Smoking through a water pipe, such as a bong or bubbler
- Smoking through a hookah
- Inhaling through a vaporizer
- Consuming in a tincture
- Consuming in oil, through cooking or capsule
- Consuming in an edible, like these CBD infused edibles online
- Applying a topical ointment
Taking Care of Yourself
Medical marijuana can offer many benefits to people suffering from health conditions or diseases. If you qualify for medicinal cannabis in your state, you should reach out to your doctor and see how it can help you too.
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