What is Medical Marijuana and What are the Benefits? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

What is Medical Marijuana and What are the Benefits?

Medical Marijuana is currently legal in 33 states and an increasing number of Americans are turning to this for pain relief. Despite this, many people still have not warmed up to what the potential benefits are. Unlike what the perception may be, medical marijuana is not a taboo subject and it’s time the masses understand what exactly it is and why so many people are using it.

How Do I Get Access?

Unless your state has approved otherwise, you typically cannot just walk into a shop that sells medical marijuana and buy what you want. Instead, you will be asked for a card before you pay. This is your MMJ card which you will need to apply for. In order to get this card, you will need to follow a few simple steps. Applying for your card, you will need medical records showing you have a qualifying condition. These can vary from state to state and they cover a broad range of illnesses.

Alongside these records, a doctor’s consultation is required, although in some cases these can now be done online. Several companies offer assistance in this application process. Cards are good for one year so you’ll have to re-apply 12 months after your card is issued. Insurance companies will normally not pay for the product itself although they will usually cover consultation fees. Although prices for cards vary, they are usually within the $50-$100 range, making it an affordable option for most people. With a series of simple steps, you can get access to medical marijuana. But what are you actually getting access to?

The Product

The product comes in a variety of strengths and forms. Many states have maintained a ban on smoking the substance, even in medicinal form, so instead there are a range of vapes, tinctures, capsules and pills on offer. Some dispensaries even offer it as a suppository. MMJ products tend to offer refined forms of two particular compounds found in the plant. These chemical compounds are known as cannabinoids. THC (or tetrahydrocannabinols) is the compound mainly responsible for the high. CBD or cannabidiol has many benefits and is not psychoactive. In some cases, the two compounds can be found in equal measure in one product. It’s worth taking the time to talk to each supplier to find out about their full range and the pros and cons of each product. All stores should have a licensed medical professional on the premises.

The Benefits

It’s really important to talk to a doctor before using any substance to treat a symptom. The exact benefits will vary depending on the compounds in the product you have bought. In general, medical marijuana has been used to treat pain, loss of appetite, seizures, opioid addiction and particular mental disorders. It is also being looked at as a symptomatic treatment for immune system disorders such as HIV/AIDS. Alongside the health benefits, using is also legal (with your card). This means you do not have to worry about the fines or jail time that come with using illegally purchased drugs. Furthermore, all products are quality controlled by a legitimate business. When you purchase from a reputable supplier you know exactly what you are getting, which is a far cry from buying from outside sources.


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