There are different brands of medical marijuana, along with different types, dosages, and delivery systems. Find out how you can get the cannabis that can actually help you!
One of the main reasons why marijuana became legal in so many states is because scientific evidence piled up regarding how marijuana can actually treat some medical conditions. In fact, more and more studies discovered that marijuana could, in fact, help treat a very long list of maladies. It’s no longer just a drug that people use to get high. Now patients can get them to help with pain and anxiety, and even parents can get medical marijuana for their children who need it.
Of course, this leads to a rather complicated dilemma. How exactly can you find the right kind of medical marijuana? It’s not just that you need to choose between different brands. You have to pick from different types of marijuana, and even get the dosage right. In addition, you have to pick the right way of consuming marijuana, and you have to do it correctly.
Getting things wrong can lead to troublesome results. It’s bad enough if medical marijuana doesn’t work. But if you make the wrong choice or do things the wrong way, you may end up with even more medical issues to add to your current health problems.
Forms and Delivery Systems
In the old days, people mainly smoked marijuana. They lit up the joints or used pipes to get high. Now we have many different forms of marijuana, and consequently, we have different ways of consuming it.
Instead of smoking marijuana, you use a vaporizer instead. You can add cannabis oil to various edibles, whether in food items or in drinks. You can even just swallow pills, or maybe you can apply the cannabis oil on your skin like a lotion to target pain in specific areas.
Here is a general overview of each method you may want to try out. Just remember that we offer only general guidelines as your experience with one may not be the same as another person’s. In addition, it’s not uncommon to get inconsistent results, even from the same type or even the same brand.
Everyone knows that smoking marijuana is actually a rather inefficient way of consuming cannabis to enjoy health benefits. In fact, burning marijuana destroys a lot of the chemical compounds that make the marijuana act like medicine in the first place.
Instead, you can try vaping marijuana. This uses combustion without actually burning and destroying the helpful compounds. It’s not all that expensive to get the vaping device you need either. You can spend just $20 or even less at any dispensary and get yourself a perfectly functional vape pen. With a larger budget, you can get a more sophisticated device that can last longer and deliver the goods more efficiently.
Regardless of what type of vaping device you get, using one involves the same basic steps. You buy and out in the cartridge that contains the medical marijuana. Then all you have to do is to activate the device, usually just by pressing a button. Inhale the vapor, and then exhale it right out. You don’t even need to hold your breath with the smoke the way you’d have to when you smoke the marijuana.
Each cartridge generally indicates how much marijuana it contains, and this often ranges from 150 to 300 mg. You’re also informed as to how many puffs (“hits”) you can expect from each cartridge. Do the math, and you can compute how much marijuana you actually get for each puff.
Newbies should probably limit themselves to just 4 to 6 mg per occasion. Those with experience using marijuana may have developed a tolerance for it, so 10 or even 20 mg may be needed to get the same benefits.
One thing you can expect from using a vaping device is that with this method, you can get quick results. That’s good news if you’re taking a hit for pain relief, as you won’t have to wait too long to make the pain go away. The results can be felt in less than 30 minutes, with some reporting pain relief in 15 or even just 5 minutes.
If you’re taking medical marijuana regularly instead of just whenever you need it, you can try taking it in the medical form. This isn’t a good option for immediate relief, as it takes a long time for the marijuana to get into your bloodstream. It has to pass your digestive system first, and that takes a while.
In addition, trying to accurately gauge the dose you get can also be a problem. This is especially true when you buy an edible with the marijuana already mixed in. However, you can overcome this problem simply by buying a specific dose and then combining it with an edible item.
On the other hand, this is a rather fun option. You can mix in marijuana with various types of baked goods, or even in candies and chocolate. You can prepare a special cup of tea or coffee or even make a cocktail with it. If you like preparing food in the kitchen, you’ll have a grand time experimenting with various combinations of ingredients.
The fun factor increases when you take medical marijuana edible in a social setting. In places where recreational marijuana is legal, you can visit cannabis cafes and have a great time with friends trying out the food and drinks infused with marijuana. In some cases, the tastes of the other ingredients can mask the flavor of cannabis. In other cases, the combination offers new tastes for you to experience and enjoy.
If you are taking the edibles as medicine, you do have to be careful about the dosage. First, you have to find out exactly how much marijuana you’re consuming for each food or drink. This info may or may not be available, and some manufacturers may also show inaccurate information. This means you may have to do some research (including some trial and error) as to which brands and cafes offer adequate amounts of marijuana.
You then have to wait a while for the marijuana to kick in. It may take as long as 2 hours for you to finally feel the effects.
This is another type of edible if you consider it in terms of digestion. But this time you don’t chew the pills at all, and instead, you just swallow the pills. If you don’t like the taste of cannabis-infused edibles and you prefer a “no-hassle” approach, then this may be more to your taste (so to speak).
The advantage here is that aside from the ease of swallowing and the lack of unpleasant tastes, this doesn’t waste your time at least when it comes to preparation. Just pop the pill and you’re good to go. Also, you know just how much marijuana you get from each pill so you can gauge the dosage rather accurately. The effect can also last a long while, so this is great when you eat a cannabis-fused dish before you sleep. You can enjoy pain relief the whole night.
Still, since you have to digest the marijuana it will take time for it to take effect. These pills are also, in general, more expensive than their edible counterparts. Finally, it’s not meant for socializing at all.
Sublingual (Sprays and Tinctures)
The term “sublingual” means “under the tongue”, and that pretty much sums up how you absorb the marijuana. You can get bottles of cannabis oil tinctures and use a dropper to put in a few drops under your tongue. You do the same thing with the spray.
They don’t really taste all that nice, and sometimes you may get a somewhat burning sensation with the sprays. On the other hand, sprays are much more portable and you can use them discreetly. Using a dropper is a bit more of a hassle.
As for how long it takes to take effect, it’s variable. Some people need close to an hour before they feel the medicinal benefits like pain relief. Others only take 30 minutes, and there are those for whom it only takes 5 minutes or so.
With sprays and tinctures, you can gauge the dosage perfectly well too. You get the info as to how much marijuana you get for each drop or spray.
You rub the marijuana balm (also known as a topical wax) where you want it to take effect, such as if you’re using the marijuana for pain relief. Wait for an hour or so, and then the pain goes away. For some people, the effect comes in much faster.
This is great if you’re using this for localized pain. Apply this to sore joints and muscles and the pain in that area goes away. It even works for headaches and migraines when you apply this to your forehead.
It does smell like marijuana, so it’s not always discreet. It may not be professional enough to use in the workplace. You also want to make sure that the balm you get doesn’t have any THC so you don’t get high.
Obtaining Your Medical Marijuana Card
Unless you’re in a state where marijuana can be consumed for recreation, you have to get your medical marijuana card first before you can buy your medical marijuana. Each state may have different rules and procedures, but in general, they should involve the following steps:
- First, go to your regular doctor and get a diagnosis for a condition for which medical marijuana can be used for treatment. Each state that allows for medical marijuana usually has a defined list of conditions, and some conditions which are on the list on one state may not be on the list for another state. So do your research, but that should be easy online.
- If you do have a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana take note of that condition. Better yet, get a prescription for the condition. Get this prescription along with the contact information of your primary doctor.
- Now it’s time to find a doctor who prescribes marijuana. As you may have found out with your regular doctor, not all physicians are willing to prescribe medical marijuana even if it is legal in your state. So, you need to find a doctor whom you know for a fact will offer such a prescription. You can go online and use websites like Leafly.com.
- Call the marijuana-prescribing doctor and schedule an appointment. This is a better (and surer) option than just walking in. Once you get there, you’ll need to provide the information from your original doctor. The cost of the visit can vary, ranging from just $25 to as much as $200. You may want to find out the cost when you schedule an appointment.
- The prescribing physician will then read the info you gave them and discuss the matter. If they’re convinced, they will then give you a prescription for medical marijuana. If you want, you can also get your marijuana card from them. Get the marijuana card as it’s more convenient for you in the long run.
Filling Your Prescription
Now that you have your medical marijuana prescription, it’s time to buy your medicine. You need to find a dispensary that sells medical marijuana. Find one by going online and using websites like Weedmaps.com.
If you’re a new patient, here are some steps you may expect or should take.
- Do some research on the dispensaries and find out what forms of medical marijuana they sell. Look for reviews on the place as well.
- Go to the dispensary and them inform them that you’re a new patient. Be ready with your paperwork, including your marijuana prescription, your marijuana card, and your driver’s license or state ID. The dispensary will then get look the paperwork over and make a copy of the marijuana prescription for their records.
- Fill out a new patient form. This can take a while, as you will have to answer a whole bunch of questions. You may even have to admit to any skills you may be able to contribute to their “collective”.
- Pay with cash. Most of these places don’t accept credit cards or debit cards, because lots of banks and financial institutions are still leery about the fact that medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Technically, you’re not even “buying” medical marijuana—you’re exchanging your cash donation with the collective’s “gift of free marijuana”. Just go with the flow, okay?
- Follow the rules of the establishment you visit. Some dispensaries limit the number of people inside at the same time, so if there are people already inside you may have to wait outside for your turn. Once you’re in, you may want to ask about the products they have. Tell them you’re new, and you may enjoy some promo items.
- Sign up for their website newsletters. This way, you can find out more about the products they offer, and you probably can enjoy discounts as well.
Once you get your medical marijuana, make sure you store them properly. If they’re edible, you’ll need to put them in the fridge. Find out the expiration dates for each product and consume medical marijuana before the expiration date.