With California medical cannabis still being a relatively recent legal development, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Here’s a beginner’s guide to answer some of the most common questions.
What are the qualifying conditions for California medical cannabis?
Many people apply for a California medical cannabis license in order to treat a condition that hasn’t been helped by more conventional medicine. People unfamiliar with the potential benefits of medical marijuana are often surprised at the sheer diversity of patients that use it on a regular basis. In the state of California, medical marijuana can be used to treat the symptoms of serious ailments such as HIV and AIDS, lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma and fibromyalgia. Medical marijuana is also used to treat eating disorders, anxiety, migraine headaches and fight the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If you don’t see your condition listed, that doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a California medical cannabis card however, as the law allows for other chronic or terminal illnesses to be treated this way.
How do you qualify as a medical marijuana patient?
You must first get a recommendation from a licensed healthcare provider. If possible, you should book an appointment with your primary physician in order to discuss receiving a recommendation for your ailments. If this is not possible or if you’re uncomfortable discussing the use of medical marijuana with your doctor, there are also a number of healthcare professionals who specialize in seeing patients to assess them for the use of medical marijuana or you could look into a weed license online. In California, any licensed physician will be allowed to give you approval before proceeding to apply for your cannabis card.
How do I get my California Medical Cannabis Card?
In order to get your medical marijuana, a doctor’s note will suffice at your local dispensary, although it will need to be verified on your first visit. Many patients, however, apply for a medical marijuana card to make the process simpler and easier in the future. This program is run by the state of California and once you apply with your doctor’s approval, it means that your details will be placed on an online state register so that physicians, dispensaries and any law enforcement will be able to quickly verify your legal right to use medical marijuana.
Your California medical marijuana ID is extremely useful to have on your person at all times because it shows that you are legally allowed to possess or cultivate marijuana for personal medical use. Should this question ever arise from the police or other law enforcement agencies, you can produce your MMJ card immediately, giving you legal protection at state level.
How do I get my medical marijuana?
Check online to see where your nearest medical marijuana dispensary is located. There are dedicated apps that can help you find your nearest one, or Google Maps will be able to help. You will need to bring along your doctor’s recommendation or your cannabis card, along with a form of identification that proves that you live in the state of California. You should note that if you visit the dispensary without a California cannabis card, the dispensary will call your doctor to verify your identity.
What kind of medicinal cannabis should I use?
Discuss with the dispensary staff what kind of medical marijuana is right for you. For a first time user, the different strains and products can be confusing. Don’t be afraid to take your time and talk with the staff about your condition and what you hope to achieve through use of medical marijuana. They will be trained to give you the best possible experience and guide you through the process. They will be able to recommend any particular strains of MMJ that will work best for your condition, as well as talk you through any possible side effects. There’s also a wide variety of possibilities for the way you ingest your medical marijuana in California; if you don’t want to smoke it perhaps you might be better suited to trying edible products, using a vaporizer, ingesting oil capsules or even applying a topical ointment instead.
As you become a more experienced medical marijuana user, you will be better able to navigate the variety of strains and options available. Many experienced users are able to tell the quality and strength of the different product by smell. There’s even a saying amongst medical marijuana users that ‘the nose knows!’ and it’s not uncommon for patients to smell a variety of strains before deciding on one to try.
You can also use the internet to do some research of your own and perhaps connect with other medical marijuana patients who have the same conditions as you. Ask them what strains helped them the most and how they prefer to consume their MMJ. Finding the right fit for you can involve some trial and error but it’s worth it to find the best solution.