Which Countries Are Next For Medical Marijuana Legalization In 2021?

Which countries have been taking steps towards medical marijuana (MMJ) legalization that could potentially be finalized in 2021 or shortly after? This question is being asked by patients all over the world who would see a massive benefit in their quality of life if they could avail of medical marijuana treatment.

Medical marijuana is now proven beyond doubt to be a very effective treatment for a whole host of painful and debilitating conditions. Patients are getting a whole new lease on life thanks to MMJ treatment, which is extremely effective in pain management and symptom reduction.

MMJ can improve the symptoms of a large number of health conditions, such as epilepsy, headache, chronic pain, insomnia, glaucoma, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, seizures, nausea, and multiple sclerosis.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana plant
Image by RexMedlen on Pixabay: Medical marijuana laws in 2021 will differ considerably around the world.

Medical Marijuana Legalization Around The World

Medical marijuana has been legalized in most US states. The minority of states in which MMJ is still illegal seem certain to follow suit over the next few years. The weight of evidence demonstrating the wide array of benefits of MMJ treatment is simply too compelling to ignore.

Plenty of other nations around the world have by now also legalized medical marijuana. Several countries have sensible, liberal MMJ programs that their citizens can avail of. But many countries have legal MMJ almost in name only, with limiting and restrictive laws that make MMJ available to only a minority of people with very specific medical conditions.

All of the countries that look like they may make more progress towards legalizing medical marijuana in 2021 fall into the category of having some amount of current MMJ legality. But that legality tends to involve such restrictive programs that almost none of their citizens qualify, and for those who do, the product range available is extremely limited.

Medical Marijuana Laws In 2021

Medical marijuana legalization is not usually a sudden, one-fell-swoop type of situation, especially when the decision is being made at a national level. Nations are large entities that contain a wide range of conflicting pressure groups within their borders.

In the US, for example, medical marijuana is still not legal at a federal level, but most US states have now legalized medical marijuana. Nations as a whole tend to move more slowly than individual states. For example, Oklahoma went from a staunchly anti-MMJ state to a very liberal legal MMJ state almost overnight, when voters approved State Question 788 in 2018.

Which Countries Will Legalize Medical Marijuana Next?

France

Sativex, which is a mouth spray containing chemical extracts from the cannabis plant, is currently available as a treatment in France. But a full medical marijuana program is yet to be legalized and implemented in the country.

Former Minister for Health Agnes Buzyn is an influential figure in French public health policy and has stated her support for an MMJ program on several occasions. Also, the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products has concluded that it would be “appropriate to authorize the use of therapeutic cannabis… in certain clinical situations.” Given these high-profile endorsements, it seems only a matter of time before France fully legalizes medical marijuana.

Ireland

The Irish Medical Cannabis Access Programme is operating on a pilot basis for the next five years. Only a medical consultant (and not a general practitioner) can prescribe a marijuana-based treatment. The only patients eligible for treatment with MMJ in Ireland are those with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy; intractable nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy; or spasticity associated with MS who have not responded to standard treatments.

Ireland’s legal MMJ program is preliminary and very limited. However, it is a start, and seems likely to expand once the initial pilot stage is complete.

The UK

The UK technically legalized treatment with medicines derived from marijuana in 2018. But the country’s MMJ program has been derided for being MMJ-legal in name only. Only three MMJ derived medications are available to patients: Sativex (only for MS patients), Nabilone (only for treating chemotherapy side-effects), and Epidiolex (only for epilepsy patients). These medications are only prescribed if all other treatment options have failed.

Alex Fraser, patient access specialist at Grow Biotech, echoes the disillusionment felt by millions of UK citizens when he says, “We’ve seen a huge reluctance from doctors and pharmacies to risk their licenses by facilitating access. The vast majority of people (…) are still being forced to rely on the black market to source their medication.” Given the public outcry and strong demand for MMJ treatment in the UK, it is only a matter of time before the country widens and improves its MMJ laws.

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Image by pixundfertig on Pixabay: Which countries will legalize MMJ next?

Countries Where Recreational Marijuana Is Legal

Marijuana laws are somewhat unclear and indecisive in many countries. Some countries have fully legalized recreational marijuana. However, quite a few countries do not have a specific legal marijuana law, but have made marijuana usage effectively legal, with public marijuana consumption common and never punished.

The following is a list of countries in which recreational marijuana is legal, or effectively legal:

  • Argentina: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Australia: Recreational marijuana was legalized in the Australian Capital Territory, which includes the capital city Canberra, in 2019.
  • Belgium: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Cambodia: Technically illegal, but culturally accepted. Cambodia is full of restaurants offering “happy meals” that are infused with marijuana.
  • Canada: Fully legal recreational marijuana.
  • Colombia: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Czech Republic: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Ecuador: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Mexico: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Netherlands: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted, and products are available to buy in the country’s famous coffee shops.
  • Portugal: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted.
  • Spain: Recreational marijuana use is decriminalized and widely accepted. Spain’s famous “smoking clubs” are fully legal in Catalonia.
  • United States: Several states have fully legalized recreational marijuana.
  • Uruguay: Fully legal recreational marijuana.

Featured image by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana Patients: 7 Things You Should Know About Driving

Medical marijuana (MMJ) can be a useful tool when helping to treat a variety of physical and emotional health conditions. If you’re thinking about applying for an MMJ card or already have one and want to find out more about the rules surrounding MMJ usage, it’s important for you to know the laws around medical marijuana and driving.

Read on for some helpful information that should keep you on the right side of the law!

Can you drive on MMJ?

One of the most commonly asked questions that medical marijuana patients have is whether they’re permitted to drive while under the influence of cannabis. This question is actually quite complex with a lot of different factors.

First off, every MMJ patient is different in terms of the quantity of cannabis they’re ingesting and how often they need to use it. This means that the level of which someone is intoxicated from the MMJ can vary from person to person. Some individuals might not experience a “high” feeling, while others might find themselves in a state that is not conducive to safe driving (experiencing slow reaction times, lack of concentration, etc.).

What is the legal limit for medical marijuana when driving?

This question can also be a little tricky to answer, mainly because each state has its own set of rules (especially states that permit recreational marijuana). But when you’re asking yourself, “Is there an MMJ limit when driving?”, it’s important to realize that anytime you have marijuana in your system, you’re likely to be considered an impaired driver.

Even if you have a valid MMJ card, law enforcement will potentially view you as intoxicated if they have cause to stop you. Having substances in your bloodstream (whether they’re legal or not) can still affect your driving, so in the eyes of the law, you probably shouldn’t be driving at all if you’ve recently used your MMJ products.

 

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Image by Christina Winter on Unsplash: It’s best to avoid driving after you’ve used MMJ products in case you’re impaired.

 

Here are a few other important things to keep in mind when it comes to MMJ and driving.

1. You need to know your own limits before you get behind the wheel

For some people, it might be hard to not drive after they use MMJ products (especially if they require pretty frequent usage). It’s crucial to experiment with different strains of MMJ and frequency of use to discover your own personal limits. If you feel at all impaired, it’s best to avoid driving.

2. You can still get a DUI with MMJ

There are different regulations from state to state, but because marijuana is still considered illegal on a federal level, there is always the potential for you to be pulled over by law enforcement and charged with a DUI if they think you’re intoxicated and unable to operate a vehicle safely.

To be convicted of a DUI, a prosecutor must show that you were under the influence of marijuana at the time you were driving, even if it was legally prescribed. They can demonstrate this by showing that you had a certain concentration of THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) in your system, or by showing that you were actually impaired, which is usually illustrated by you breaking some traffic laws or getting in an accident.

There are 17 states that have a zero-tolerance policy; in these places, simply having marijuana in your system while driving is illegal. Make sure you know what the regulations are in your state to avoid getting charged with a crime or involved in an accident.

3. There are severe consequences for driving while intoxicated

If you’re pulled over by law enforcement and they have reason to believe you’re intoxicated, you could receive some pretty harsh punishments. Depending on what law enforcement decides to do (and if you’ve posed a threat to other cars on the road), you could be ticketed, fined, or faced with jail time. If you’re a repeat offender, you could get your license suspended or put on probation.

More severe penalties are imposed if you’re charged with reckless driving, are involved in an accident (especially one that results in injury or death), or if you have a minor in the car with you at the time of the stop. Most police will not care if you have an MMJ card if the result is one of these things – you would still be considered to be breaking the law.

4. There is no standard sobriety test for MMJ

At this time, there is no specific field test for marijuana like there is for alcohol (such as a breathalyzer). If you’re stopped and law enforcement believes you’re intoxicated, they might still perform a standardized field sobriety test. This consists of a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, a walk-and-turn test, and a one-leg stand test, all of which can allow the police officer to tell whether you’re impaired or not.

Even if they can’t use a breathalyzer in the field to definitively test whether you’re high, they’ll use these tests to decide whether to ticket or book you. Most likely, your blood will be tested if you are arrested; the amount of THC in your bloodstream will be used against you (even if it’s from medically prescribed marijuana).

 

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Image by Zac Ong on Unsplash: If you’re pulled over and found to be intoxicated, you could get charged with a DUI.

5. You can drive with MMJ stored in your car if you have your card

In most states where MMJ is legal, you are permitted to store products in your car. To be on the safe side, it’s best to put your products in the truck or the backseat, so if you’re pulled over the officer can’t assume you’ve recently imbibed.

If you can avoid it, it’s probably smart not to carry your MMJ around with you. Of course, you’ll need to transport it from the dispensary to your home, but the less time you have the MMJ with you, the less chance of police finding it in your car and you having to explain it to them. You do always have the option of denying officers the right to search your vehicle if you’re pulled over, but this can sometimes make you appear as if you’re hiding something.

6. Consider traveling with your MMJ card and a doctor’s note

To help avoid searches of your car like the one mentioned above, it’s a good idea to always travel with your authentic MMJ card with you at all times. This, along with a doctor’s note, can show law enforcement that you’re entitled to have MMJ in your possession.

While it won’t get you out of trouble if you’ve been pulled over for violating a law, it might help your case if you can demonstrate that you have a legal reason for having MMJ products in your car.

7. Use other modes of transportation when possible

Because you can’t foresee all issues that can arise from using MMJ before you drive, your best bet is to use other forms of transportation whenever you can.

Getting rides from friends and family, taking public transportation like the subway or bus, or using a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft to get around can mean you may use your MMJ products without worrying about what will happen if you get behind the wheel of a car. This is the safest option, both for you and for other drivers on the road.

If you want to make sure you’re completely avoiding any legal issues that can come up while using cannabis and driving, do some research on the specific laws that exist in your state so that you’re completely informed. You do have rights as an MMJ cardholder, but you should also keep your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road in mind whenever you use your medicinal cannabis.

When using MMJ, try to skip getting behind the wheel if possible, and you won’t have to worry about being impaired and breaking any laws.

Featured image by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash

Vanlife And MMJ: All You Need To Know

There are so many reasons people are choosing to travel or live in motorhomes these days. Whether you want to explore the country during college break or during your retirement, there are advantages to RVing that everyone can appreciate.

If you’re thinking about going on a vanlife medical marijuana adventure, you might be wondering what you need to know before setting out. Here’s a quick run-through of some info on vanlife and MMJ that can help you get started.

The rules of vanlife

First, it’s important to note that the rules surrounding the usage of cannabis and transportation don’t differ too much between a short trip and residing in a motorhome. So, technically, the same rules apply to MMJ and full-time RV living as they do for quick trips around your state.

With that point in mind, here are some suggestions around MMJ and vanlife that can be helpful to remember (including your rights as a traveler).

Do your research

The most critical aspect of your travels will be to know the state’s laws wherever you’re traveling. Even with a valid MMJ card, there are certain limitations to how much cannabis you can legally carry at any time. Because these differ by state, you’ll want to make sure you know the limits in every place you’re traveling to.

Pay attention to state boundaries

On the same point, you should always note when you’ve crossed the border into another state so that you’re aware of the specific laws in that state. Generally, it’s not recommended to cross state lines with marijuana in your RV because this does violate federal law. In fact, if you transport MMJ products outside of the state where they were purchased, you could be cited for possession (which is a misdemeanor and could earn you up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine).

In some extreme cases, transporting marijuana over state borders could even get you a drug trafficking charge (up to five years of prison time and/or a $250,000 fine!). If possible, stick to one state while you possess MMJ or wait until you’re in a new state before purchasing more product.

 

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Image by Rota Alternativa on Unsplash: Using your MMJ products discreetly inside of your RV means you’re less likely to draw attention.

Only carry as much MMJ as you need for your trip

One way to be a little more careful is to only bring with you as much product as you’ll need for the duration of your trip. Carrying large quantities may make you seem suspicious to law enforcement if your vehicle is stopped and searched.

Never open or consume MMJ while the vehicle is in motion

It’s a good idea to think of MMJ products in the same way you would alcohol. You can receive a DUI if you’re found to be impaired while operating a vehicle, especially a large one like a campervan or RV.

Neither drivers nor passengers should be using cannabis products (even if they’re prescribed) unless you’re parked somewhere where it’s legal to imbibe. Never do so on the open road!

Store your MMJ products responsibly

Always keep your products stored as far away from the driver’s seat as possible – for example, in a back cabinet. If you’re pulled over, you don’t want to give law enforcement any reason to think you’ve been dosing while driving.

Some states even require marijuana to be stored in childproof containers with specific seals that make them more difficult to open. Check the regulations for the specific state you’ll be traveling in to make sure you’re handling and storing your products legally.

Be extremely careful about where you park your vehicle

If you’re going to be bringing your MMJ products on the road with you, it’s absolutely critical that you research where you’ll be parking your RV and what the location’s regulations are surrounding cannabis possession. Even if it’s for medical purposes, it is still illegal to possess or consume cannabis on any federal land – this includes national parks and National Park Service areas.

Even in states where recreational marijuana is legal (such as California or Colorado), you are still prohibited from having cannabis in these areas of federal land. Getting caught with MMJ in one of these places could result in you being charged with a misdemeanor, fined, or even banned from the parks.

On the same note, many RV parks and campgrounds don’t permit marijuana usage either; they are allowed to kick you out if they find you have these products. So, do thorough research ahead of time on any place you’ll be stopping, whether it’s to rest for a while or to stay overnight.

One other note: try to consume your MMJ discreetly, so you’re less likely to draw attention from authorities or other campers. (Edibles can be a great way to stay under the radar with your MMJ usage!)

 

MMJRecs - vanlife medical marijuana

Image by Caleb George on Unsplash: Make sure you’re parking your campervan in areas where cannabis use is permitted.

Carry your MMJ card and a doctor’s note with you to show to authorities

Don’t forget to bring your valid MMJ card with you on the road so that you can present it if you’re questioned by law enforcement or park staff. To err on the side of caution, you might also want to consider bringing a note from your doctor that explains your health condition and your need for MMJ products. This step might help in case you need to explain to authorities why you have cannabis products in your RV.

If you don’t already have this type of documentation, applying for an MMJ card can be a great idea if you’re a van dweller. If you don’t have a home residence, you can try applying for a card in the state you’re residing in currently, or one in which your driver’s license or identification has been issued.

It just takes a medical certification and letter from a licensed doctor (or you can go through MMJRecs) to show that you have a physical or emotional condition with symptoms that can be alleviated through the use of MMJ. The application process can typically be done online through each state’s particular MMJ governing board. Once you have your MMJ card in hand, you’ll have added benefits such as being allowed to possess more product, receiving possible discounts on sales tax, etc.

Make sure to do as much research as possible before you begin your trip so that you can be prepared to follow the laws wherever your journey takes you. As long as you’re a responsible vanlife MMJ user, you’ll be able to use your MMJ products without any problems!

Featured image by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Can I Take A Road Trip With Medical Marijuana?

Is there anything more fun than hitting the open road for an adventure? There are so many benefits to choosing road-tripping versus other forms of travel. You can pack light and have more freedom to go wherever the journey takes you – oh, and it’s also typically a cheaper option for travelers on a budget! But can you road trip with medical marijuana?

There are some regulations you need to be informed about before you embark on your trip. Read on for a guide to traveling with medical marijuana (MMJ).

How to travel with medical marijuana

You’ll want to feel as carefree as possible once your road trip begins, but there are some things you should keep in mind when planning your trip so that you don’t have to spend time worrying about them later.

Plan out your route

Some road-trippers like to make decisions on where they’re going spontaneously. This can be a little trickier when you’re driving with MMJ products in your car, because you need to be careful where your route is taking you.

Anytime you enter a new area (especially a new state), you’ll need to be aware of what the legal limits are for carrying MMJ products. A little research ahead of time can ensure that you’re following the law no matter where your travels take you.

Try to avoid crossing state lines

Because cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, you do have to be cautious when you road trip with medical marijuana in different states. In general, it’s not a great idea to cross state lines with MMJ products in your car, because you’re breaking federal law.

If you transport marijuana outside the state in which you purchased it, you could be cited for possession (a misdemeanor that could cost you a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail!) if you get pulled over by law enforcement. In some cases, you could face even harsher penalties, such as a drug trafficking charge of up to five years of prison time and/or a $250,000 fine.

If crossing into another state is a definite part of your itinerary, try to wait and purchase your MMJ products once you’re in the new state to avoid crossing state lines with cannabis already in your vehicle.

Do not consume MMJ products if you’re going to be driving

In many ways, the law views intoxication from cannabis the very same way as it does alcohol. If you’re found to be under the influence of marijuana (even if it was prescribed), you could be charged with a DUI.

To avoid any issues, make sure that someone else is driving if you’re going to be using your MMJ products, or wait until the cannabis has left your system before getting behind the wheel.

 

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Image by Alex Jumper on Unsplash: Try to avoid using MMJ products if you’re going to get behind the wheel.

Store the MMJ as far away from the driver’s seat as possible

If you’re wondering how to travel with cannabis in the car, the answer is to keep it completely separate from the driver. Your safest bet is to stash it in the trunk or in the backseat, so if you do get pulled over, law enforcement will not have reason to suspect you’ve been dosing while you’re driving.

In the same vein, try to keep your containers sealed (some states require MMJ product be stored in childproof containers with specific seals on them). Either way, remember to never consume marijuana while the vehicle is in motion – which means no open containers while you’re out on the road.

Only carry the legal limit of MMJ for the state you’re in

It’s a good idea to only possess as much cannabis as the legal limit allows in the area where you’re traveling. You might have more difficulty with law enforcement if you’re pulled over and they find a large quantity of marijuana in your car.

It might be inconvenient to have to purchase more frequently during your trip, but it can be safer to have smaller amounts in your possession at any one time.

Have your MMJ card with you at all times

Carrying your MMJ card with you can help protect you if law enforcement wants to know why you have cannabis (especially in states where recreational marijuana is also illegal). To go one step further, you can bring a note from your doctor that explains your health condition and why you need MMJ to help treat it.

It’s always better to have these two things with you rather than risk ending up wishing you had packed them.

Research the stops you’ll be making to see if it’s legal to have marijuana

There are many places in the US where it’s still illegal to consume marijuana (especially state parks and some rest stops). To make sure you’re always on the right side of the law, look up all of the places you’ll be stopping or staying overnight to find out what their policies are about cannabis possession and consumption.

 

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Image by Jorge Saavedra on Unsplash: Research your route ahead of time so you’re aware of how to travel with cannabis in the car.

Use MMJ products with discretion

Wherever possible, it’s safest to use your cannabis products discreetly or in private. You’re much less likely to draw attention to yourself (from law enforcement, campground owners, other travelers, etc.) if you’re dosing in a less overt way.

Think about switching to tinctures or edibles

On the same note, if you want to make sure you’re using your products with discretion, consider switching the form in which you’re ingesting them. For example, tinctures or edibles are much harder to spot and can be more portable, so you’re less likely to have any problems using these types of MMJ products.

There’s no better time to take a road trip in the US. Try to remember these tips and use your MMJ products responsibly during your entire journey. With everything from gorgeous state parks to fun city sights, road-tripping allows you to see everything the country has to offer – without requiring you to leave your MMJ at home!

Featured image by Averie Woodard on Unsplash

Can A State Recriminalize Medical Marijuana?

Marijuana has come a long way in the United States over the past decade. A mere handful of years ago, there was nowhere in the U.S. you could purchase marijuana legally. Today, you can get medical and recreational marijuana in 11 states as well as Washington D.C. And more are sure to be on the way, with several other states putting measures to further legalize marijuana in many states. But can a state recriminalize medical marijuana?

If you’ve been wondering “Can my state make MMJ illegal again?”, here’s what you need to know about where things are likely headed regarding legal marijuana in the current climate.

A Brief History of Marijuana

Back when the United States first came into being, cannabis was widely grown for hemp. As other crops such as cotton became more popular, hemp fell out of fashion and cannabis plants were no longer encouraged to be farmed. But marijuana from the cannabis plant was increasing in popularity. In fact, by the end of the Civil War in the United States, marijuana was a popular addition to tinctures and medicines. By the 1930s, marijuana was quite popular in many communities.

So, when did it start to become criminalized? After the prohibition of alcohol had come and gone, a movement to outlaw marijuana gained traction in the 1930s. By 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act had been passed, essentially making marijuana illegal throughout the United States.

Since the prohibition in the 1930s, the pendulum has begun to swing the other way. More and more states are decriminalizing marijuana, while a few others have made medical marijuana legal. Several have even made marijuana legal for everyone, medical condition or not. But as far as the federal government is concerned, marijuana is still illegal. And that leads to some interesting questions about its legality overall, even if you live in a state that has totally legalized it.

 

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Image by Christina Walker on Unsplash: Many people might be wondering “Will MMJ always be legal in my state?”

Medical Marijuana vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

Conflicts between the federal government and state laws may lead you to think that there’s a difference between medical marijuana and marijuana, but the truth is that they really only differ by legal definitions.

Medical marijuana is used by people with certain qualifying medical conditions and is purchased at MMJ dispensaries that are overseen by the state government. “Regular” marijuana, on the other hand, is simply marijuana for non-medical use. It’s also called “recreational marijuana” since users do not need to have proof of a medical condition to use it.

Legalization, Decriminalization, and Medical Marijuana

There’s really no set definition to any term regarding the use or legalization of marijuana in the United States. However, there’s a broad way to understand the difference between the terms:

  • Decriminalization – Many states do not allow medical or recreational marijuana, but they have decriminalized it. That means that there is generally no prison or jail time for those who possess limited quantities of marijuana. That doesn’t mean there are no legal penalties in place; it simply means you may not go to jail for having possession of marijuana.
  • Legalization – For the states that have totally legalized marijuana, there are no government-enforced penalties for possessing or using marijuana. This often includes growing it in your own home, but rules vary from state to state.
  • Medical marijuana – States that have approved marijuana for medical use allows doctors to recommend the use of marijuana to treat certain conditions, which differ from state to state.

Can MMJ Be Made Illegal Again In My State?

It’s important to understand that, as previously mentioned, the federal government still considers marijuana illegal. In fact, according to the federal government, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has, in their eyes, no medical use with an increased potential for abuse. That puts it in the same category as other drugs such as heroin, and in a more restrictive category than drugs such as methamphetamines and cocaine, which are Schedule 2.

 

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Image by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash: Will I always have access to MMJ in my state, you may ask? Chances are good that many states will only continue to move forward with MMJ legislation.

 

At any time, Congress could legalize marijuana, but as it stands now it’s a question answered state by state. If you live in a state with medical marijuana, legal marijuana, or even decriminalized marijuana, the laws can change at any time with a bill approved by the state’s government.

Marijuana has an interesting history. So can a state recriminalize medical marijuana? Well, while there’s always a chance of history repeating itself and local and state laws sliding backward, the current climate points toward more states getting on the legalization train.

Featured image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

Ways Medical Marijuana Laws Have Changed In Response To Coronavirus

Sales of medical marijuana have not died down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many medical marijuana patients have stocked up on supplies as many people have stocked up on toilet paper and other important household goods. Understandably, they’re afraid of a disruption in the supply chain that would keep them from accessing the MMJ they use for treatment. Some are even exploring growing their own medical marijuana for the first time.

There are certainly tough decisions ahead for many communities. If you’re a medical marijuana user, you may be wondering, “How has COVID-19 affected the medical marijuana industry?”. While the information is constantly changing, there are some important things to be aware of. Here’s how medical marijuana laws have changed in response to coronavirus.

COVID-19 Response In States With Medical Marijuana

What has changed depends largely upon where you live and your state’s answer to the question, “Are MMJ dispensaries an essential service?” In California, for example, many local governments consider marijuana an essential medicine for residents. Dispensaries are continuing to operate as essential businesses as long as they have a medicinal cannabis license. The same is true in places such as Colorado and Illinois.

In Michigan, medical marijuana laws surrounding delivery restrictions have been loosened, and the state is allowing for temporary curbside pickup in an effort to reduce contact between people. And in Nevada, medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to stay open but must adhere to a precise set of social distancing protocols established by the state. However, in Iowa, dispensaries are allowing temporary curbside pickup, but home delivery is still not an option.

To check what is happening in your state and stay up to date with current information, you should check the website of the governmental body that oversees medical marijuana licensing and distribution.

 

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Image by WildOne on Pixabay: Make sure to check into how medical marijuana laws have changed in response to coronavirus in your state.

Can You Still Apply For An MMJ Card During Lockdown?

What if you’re in the process of applying for a medical marijuana card? The good news is that in many states, this process has not been shut down either.

Arkansas, for example, is still processing medical marijuana applications and extending expiration dates due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Maryland has taken steps to authorize telehealth sessions for those seeking written certification renewal and extending the agent registrations that have been set to expire within 30 days of the state’s emergency order.

It seems as if states with legal medical marijuana are doing what they can to ensure that patients still have access to licenses. Again, you should check with the local licensing agency in your state to find out exactly what you must do to qualify for an MMJ card.

I Have A Compromised Immune System – Can I Still Get MMJ During The COVID-19 Lockdown?

If you are a medical marijuana patient and you need access to supplies but are considered high risk for COVID-19 because of a compromised immune system, there still may be ways to get what you need.

As mentioned, many states with MMJ have addressed this concern, allowing for delivery or curbside pickup. Some options that may be available in your state include:

  • Online ordering and delivery. Many states allow you to order over the phone to arrange for pickup or delivery. Jump online to find out what is available to you in your area.
  • Telemedicine. If you need to consult with a medical provider, many places allow you to skip face-to-face visits with medical providers for renewals or even new MMJ cards.

Better Sanitation Protocols

The answer to “Have MMJ laws been relaxed during coronavirus lockdown?” is yes in a lot of cases – but when it comes to sanitation, things have been taken up a level. Dispensaries across the board have been stepping up their sanitation protocols during the pandemic.

If you need to physically go to a dispensary to access your MMJ, you can bet that social distancing is enforced along with increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and the use of personal protective equipment by staff and other patrons. Many dispensaries have even implemented special hours for the elderly and those that are at higher risk during the pandemic. Check to see if your local dispensary is among those that offer this service.

 

MMJRecs - cannabis products

Image by Cheifyc on Pixabay: MMJ dispensaries are an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic

How To Take Care Of Yourself During COVID-19 Lockdown

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not expected to go without your medical marijuana, but you should also do what you can when you go out to protect yourself and your health. Make sure to stay at least six feet from people when entering a dispensary and wear a mask or facial covering if it’s been deemed essential in your state in order to go out in public. Make sure to wash your hands frequently as well – this is one of the best things you can do to limit your exposure.

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What’s The Legal Amount Of Medical Marijuana Buds I Can Possess?

“How many MMJ buds can I legally possess?” is a question every medical marijuana patient needs to know the answer to. Possession of medical marijuana buds is legal in an ever-growing number of states. Colorado blazed a trail with early legalization of MMJ, and by 2018 even more traditionally conservative states such as Oklahoma have legalized medicinal marijuana and implemented liberal MMJ programs. But the law on possession of MMJ buds is not uniform across all legal MMJ states.

Laws On Possession Of MMJ Buds Vary From State To State

The legal amount of marijuana buds for possession can be a tricky subject, as information is always very state-specific. The rules about the amount of MMJ buds you can possess at a time are different in each state and range from only 1 ounce in Alaska to 24 ounces in Oregon and Washington. A majority of states allow 2 ounces, but it is always important to check with the authorities in your home state to find out exactly how many MMJ buds you can legally possess at a time.

MMJRecs - cannabis plant

Image by futurefilmworks on Pixabay: Law on possession of MMJ buds varies state by state.

What Is The Law On Possession Of Medical Marijuana Buds?

The law on possession of MMJ buds can be complex. The various laws cover issues such as how many buds a person can possess; how many plants a person can cultivate at home; where dispensaries can be located and what specific products they can sell; what medical conditions qualify a person for legal cannabis buds possession; and when and how an MMJ card needs to be renewed.

Each state’s MMJ program has different rules and regulations on these topics. When you become a medical marijuana card holder, it is essential that you educate yourself on the specific MMJ laws in your home state, as they are sure to have their own nuances and bespoke elements. A clear understanding of the law on possession of medical marijuana buds will make using your state’s MMJ program easy and hassle-free.

How Is The Law On Possession Of MMJ Buds Different To Laws For Recreational Marijuana?

Some states, such as California, have legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. If you live in one of these states, it is still beneficial to have a medical marijuana card if you have a qualifying health condition. This is because laws on possession amounts, the number of plants you can legally cultivate at home, and even the types of products available can be different for MMJ card holders.

Traveling With Your Medical Marijuana Buds

Traveling with your medical marijuana buds is complicated. There are many legal grey areas that can trip people up. Marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, and MMJ is still illegal in almost half the states in the country.

MMJRecs - travel

Image by JESHOOTS on Pixabay: Traveling with your MMJ can be a legal minefield.

Are There Any Rules On Crossing State Lines With MMJ Buds?

Crossing state lines with your medical marijuana buds means you are breaking federal law, even if you are traveling between two legal MMJ states. Confusingly, some airports in legal MMJ states do not confiscate marijuana, while others do. If you are traveling and you would like to take your medical marijuana with you, it is very important that you contact the relevant authorities in all of the locations you will be passing through. Failing to check before you travel could result in you losing your medical marijuana or, even worse, having to pay a fine or even being prosecuted.

Remember To Stay Within The Legal Amount Of Marijuana Buds For Possession

All states have a limit to the amount of medical marijuana you can possess at any given time. Even states with legal recreational marijuana have limits on how much marijuana a person can possess, how much they can cultivate, what age a person has to be in order to use marijuana, where it is legal to use marijuana, and what forms of marijuana can be used.

Not staying on the right side of these medical marijuana laws can result in, at best, having your marijuana consisted, and at worst, prosecution. Always do your homework and keep abreast of the details of the medical marijuana laws in your home state.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

Getting a medical marijuana card is a simple process in most states. Although some have tighter rules regarding who qualifies to get an MMJ card, the process of getting a medical marijuana card is the same in all states. The easiest way to go about it is to have an online consultation with a local licensed medical professional who can recommend you for an MMJ card.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For An MMJ Card?

The qualifying conditions for an MMJ card vary state by state. In the majority of states there is a list of qualifying conditions that commonly includes: cachexia; cancer; glaucoma; hepatitis C; chronic pain; nausea; epilepsy; seizures; multiple sclerosis; Crohn’s disease; and Alzheimer’s disease. In the most liberal MMJ states, such as Oklahoma, a doctor can recommend MMJ for any medical condition that they believe will benefit from MMJ use.

MMJ can massively improve your quality of life. But it is essential that you stay on the right side of your state’s MMJ laws, and this involves knowing exactly how many MMJ buds it is legal to possess. So always consult with your local authorities, because the legal amount of MMJ buds, as well as many other MMJ laws, is unique in each state.

Featured image by gjbmiller on Pixabay

4 Reasons Why MMJ Patients Are Allowed To Possess More Marijuana Than The General Public

The laws surrounding marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational use, are constantly changing and differ from state to state. However, there are still some very straightforward advantages to having a medical marijuana (MMJ) card. One of the biggest benefits is that typically, MMJ patients can possess more marijuana than those who are using it recreationally. That means that an MMJ card increases legal possession of marijuana in states where recreational marijuana is now legal (such as in the state of California).

Medical marijuana recommendation and possession

There are currently 11 states that have legalized recreational marijuana in the US:

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts

These states have also legalized medical cannabis possession with a recommendation from a physician. In these states, even though recreational marijuana use is legal, there’s still a benefit to owning an MMJ card, because it means you’re allowed to possess more cannabis product than the general public. For example, in California, recreational users are only permitted to carry one ounce of flower or eight grams of cannabis concentrates at one time. Edibles are restricted to only 10mg of individual doses being carried at a time. However, with an MMJ card, patients are able to buy and carry up to eight ounces of flower and no limit on concentrates. Medical marijuana users also don’t have to pay sales tax on their MMJ purchases. Some of these regulations can differ from state to state, so it’s crucial that an individual interested in becoming an MMJ card holder looks into these laws before buying or possessing cannabis products.

MMJ Recs - MMJ dispensary

Image by Get Budding on Unsplash: MMJ patients can possess more marijuana product than recreational users.

In the remaining states that still have a ban on recreational marijuana use, MMJ patients have the benefit of having access to and growing their own cannabis products legally. In Oklahoma, MMJ possession with a card is legal, and people are permitted to possess up to three ounces of marijuana, six mature plants, six seedling plants, one ounce of concentrated marijuana, 72 ounces of edible marijuana, and up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence. Individuals without an MMJ card are prohibited from possessing any marijuana.

Why MMJ patients can possess more marijuana

There are many reasons why MMJ patients are afforded more benefits by having an MMJ card. Here are some examples of why MMJ card holders need to have access to more marijuana products than other recreational users.

1. For travel purposes

Because MMJ users consume marijuana products for help with specific medical conditions, they need to be able to take their MMJ products with them if they’re going to be gone for an extended period of time. Thus, they often need to stock up and possess larger quantities of marijuana to pack for their trip. It’s crucial that they have enough product to help with their medical symptoms while they’re traveling.

2. In case they can’t get to a dispensary

Folks struggling with physical illnesses often find it difficult to make it in-person to a dispensary. They also might have issues with mobility because of their medical condition or don’t have proper transportation that can get them to a dispensary. Dispensaries might also be far in distance, have inconvenient hours, or are just generally inaccessible. For these reasons, MMJ cardholders can benefit from purchasing larger quantities of product than a recreational user would need. That way they can stock up on the products they need without having to worry about when they can get back to a dispensary in person.

3. Need to try multiple strains

MMJ patients often need to try several different strains to figure out which is the most effective in alleviating their symptoms. They might need to sample more than one strain before they arrive at the right one for the treatment of their particular ailments. Having larger quantities of product makes it much easier for them to sample different strains at one time without having to keep going back to a dispensary for other strain options.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant

Image by Shane Rounce on Unsplash: Individuals may need to try different MMJ strains to determine which one is right for them.

4. Need to try different forms

There’s also a trial-and-error process for patients to determine which form of MMJ product (tincture, vaping, edibles, etc.) is the best for their specific needs. MMJ cardholders often need to experiment with different forms of MMJ and being allowed to possess larger quantities of cannabis lets them do this without any legal repercussions.

If individuals have a medical condition that could qualify them for an MMJ card, they can head to MMJRecs to get evaluated by a doctor. The team can do the whole assessment virtually, so the patient doesn’t have to worry about the inconvenience of leaving the house. If the patient does qualify, MMJRecs can provide an official medical marijuana recommendation, ID card, and grower’s permit all for one flat rate. With a valid MMJ card, patients can have access to all of the many benefits of being a card holder, including the right to possess more marijuana than the general public. This can make things easier for all of the reasons listed above. Even in states with legal recreational marijuana use, having an MMJ card can be a huge lifesaver!

Featured image by Ndispensable on Unsplash

What’s The Legal Amount Of Medical Marijuana I Can Grow?

Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states. Well, we say legal, but in fact marijuana is still defined as a Schedule 1 drug, making it an illegal substance under federal law. Luckily, though, each state has been given leeway in deciding how marijuana – both medical and recreational – can be grown and used. So you can rest assured that if you know the rules that apply in your particular state, and you obey them, there won’t be any feds knocking at your door. If you live in a state where MMJ is legal, then you might be wondering how to grow medical cannabis and asking yourself questions like, “How much marijuana can I legally grow?”

What is the legal amount of MMJ to grow?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer when it comes to the legal amount of marijuana to grow. Firstly, you are obviously not allowed to grow MMJ at all in a state where it’s illegal. In the states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes, the rules vary quite considerably. The following are some examples of rules from several different states: anyone over the age of 21 can grow up to 6 marijuana plants, where only 3 of the 6 can be mature and flowering at any one time; a house containing several adults over the age of 21 can only grow a maximum of 12 plants; medical marijuana is legal, but it can only be bought from a dispensary and not home-grown; a qualifying patient may grow his or her own medical marijuana, but only if you live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.

So, to be clear, these are just some of the rules from only a handful of states. Therefore, it’s important that you determine exactly the legal amount of MMJ to grow in your own state so that you are not breaking the law. We’ve said that the feds are pretty laidback about the rules, but many marijuana arrests are made under state law. It’s a fairly general rule that you can’t grow more than 12 plants per household adult over the age of 21.

MMJRecs - how to grow medical cannabis

Image by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels: If you’re wondering “How much marijuana can I legally grow?”, it’s always best to check your particular state’s rules and regulations.

How to grow medical cannabis

It’s a good idea to learn a few basics about how to grow medical cannabis before you begin. First of all, it’s important to choose the right strain. Hopefully the medical expert who recommended you for your MMJ card will have suggested the best strain for your particular condition, but if not, do seek out advice on this before you purchase your seeds. Outdoor planting and cultivation is easier, cheaper, and better for the seeds, as they will respond quickly to the sun during the day and the dark at night. Some states, however, don’t allow you to grow your MMJ outdoors, so again check the situation in your own state.

If you have to grow the plants indoors, you will need to invest in a light of some sort. It’s true that medical marijuana can grow in total darkness, but the plants respond best to plenty of light and hydration. They also respond well to fertilizer, particularly during the initial growth period. Using a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content during this phase will result in speedy growth. Once the plant starts to flower, change to a phosphate and potassium fertilizer, which will encourage the buds to grow. For more tips on how to grow medical cannabis, the rules governing growing MMJ in California may be of help.

Are there different laws for growing MMJ versus recreational marijuana?

In some states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational as well as medical purposes, you may be allowed to grow it for both uses. Again, you will need to check the rules pertaining to your own particular state, but if you wish to grow cannabis with MMJ recommendation, you’re generally allowed to grow more than you would for recreational use. This is because the states in question recognize the need for MMJ and wish to take care of their legitimate MMJ card holders. Growing marijuana for medical purposes means that you are far more likely to just want it for your own use, whereas recreational users might be more tempted to sell it if they’re given free rein on how much they can cultivate.

MMJRecs - MMJ plant

Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay: Be sure you know the best practice for how to grow medical cannabis.

Do I need an MMJ card to grow marijuana for medical use?

If you wish to take advantage of your state’s rules governing the cultivation of MMJ, then you must have a valid MMJ card. There are many conditions that qualify people for a card, including but not limited to: anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and various chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. You can check out a full list of qualifying disorders here on MMJRecs.

If you don’t already have a card and think you might qualify, we can offer you a relaxed, stress-free assessment with one of our medical experts. These assessments generally take less than 20 minutes and can be done via telemedicine, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your house or enduring a face-to-face evaluation. If our expert decides that you qualify, your card will be dispatched immediately so you can start purchasing your MMJ from a dispensary or begin the process of cultivation, once you have determined the legal amount of marijuana to grow in your state.

Growing your own MMJ is definitely a more convenient and economic way of ensuring that you always have your favorite strain to hand. Just be sure that you are knowledgeable about the absolute best way to grow medical cannabis and of the legal amount of marijuana to grow, so that you stay on the right side of the law.

Featured image by cytis from Pixabay

What Are The New Changes Made By The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority In 2019?

Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but now some big changes are coming to the program through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. If you live in Oklahoma, now is the time to familiarize yourself with these new rules and regulations so you can take full advantage of the medical marijuana program in your state. Here’s what you need to know about medical marijuana in Oklahoma for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

The Changes to Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma in 2019 and 2020

The new rules passed in House Bill 2612 over the summer roll out changes for both patients and purveyors of medical marijuana alike. For patients, these changes include:

  • Firearms – According to federal law, illegal drug users cannot lawfully own guns. In Oklahoma, medical marijuana patients have the right to own firearms despite what the federal government says.
  • Discrimination – The new law allows employers in professions such as hazardous materials handling, firefighting, and heavy machine operating to consider the medical marijuana status of the patients when hiring. For patients in other professions where safety is not an issue, employers are not allowed to discriminate based on the employee’s status of testing positive for THC or having a license to use medical marijuana.
  • Disabled veterans – The new rules allow veterans that are 100% disabled to pay the reduced $20 fee for a medical marijuana license. This is down from the standard $100 fee.

For businesses, a few new rules apply as well, including:

  • Certificate of compliance requirement – When applying for a business, certificates of compliance must be included for zoning in their jurisdictions as well as compliance of waste, building, and fire code. Review of applications now works on a 90-day timeline.
  • Tracking – Businesses must have a sort of seed-to-sale tracking system in place that will help to reduce the chance of product diversion onto the black market.
  • Updated packaging requirements – The new rules also require information to be placed on medical marijuana products that note the potency of the product as well as if it’s been tested for contamination.
  • Sales – Licensed growers can now sell flower, clones, and seeds to other licensed growers. Licensed dispensaries can also sell to other licensed dispensaries.

MMJ Recs - medical marijuana

As well as MMJ patients, dispensary owners need to be up-to-date on the new changes in Oklahoma medical marijuana laws.

New Licenses Available from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

There are five brand new license categories for medical marijuana in Oklahoma under HB 2612. These are:

  • Short-term patient – A patient who meets the requirements of a two-year license but only needs to utilize medical marijuana for a short amount of time can now qualify for a 60-day license.
  • Education facility – This license allows nonprofits to educate people about growing, packaging, processing, and testing of medical marijuana.
  • Testing laboratory – These licenses are for laboratories that test medical marijuana.
  • Transporter – Standalone transporters of medical marijuana can now have a license for storage and distribution.
  • Transporter agent – This license is in addition to the transporter license to be able to transport marijuana, not simply store and distribute.

The Impact of New Rules to Medical Marijuana in 2019 and Beyond

These new rules will have the largest impact on employers in Oklahoma – in a very positive way. In “safety-sensitive” positions, employers will now have recourse to take action against or even terminate someone they believe to be under the influence of marijuana on the job. But employers also cannot discriminate against someone based on their positive test for marijuana when they legally obtain medical marijuana as an MMJ patient.

Of course, protections for users of medical marijuana were strengthened by the new rules as well. Registered users of medical marijuana cannot be denied access to firearms or public assistance due to their medical cannabis use. And don’t forget that disabled veterans can now pay less to obtain a medical marijuana license.

MMJ Recs - MMJ plant

There are many positive impacts of the new rules implemented by the OK Medical Marijuana Authority

How to Qualify Under OK Medical Marijuana Authority Rules

If you have yet to take advantage of medical marijuana in Oklahoma in 2019 but are interested, you must be 18 years old to qualify for the medical marijuana program and be evaluated by a licensed physician or podiatrist. If a minor suffers from a condition deemed by a doctor to benefit from use of MMJ, then the legal guardian, parent, or caregiver can get two separate physicians to fill out Medical Marijuana Recommendation forms within 30 days of other another, then apply for the license.

You must prove you are a resident of Oklahoma by proving a state-issued ID card or driver’s license. A valid United States passport can also serve as proof of residency.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority may have changed a few things this summer, but the goal remains the same: to get medical marijuana to the people who benefit from it. Learn about these new changes in Oklahoma medical marijuana and take advantage of all your state has to offer.

What Is The Legal Status Of Medical Marijuana In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma has joined a number of states throughout the United States that have legalized medical marijuana (MMJ). Because of its legality, MMJ products have been able to help a growing number of people who can find health benefits from using marijuana. Check out the info below to help you learn all you can about Oklahoma and MMJ laws.

Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?

Although recreational marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma, in August 2018, the state made medical marijuana legal. Since then, there has been a surge in people applying for MMJ cards, with over 151,000 people (about 3.5% of the state’s population) signing up for MMJ licenses. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the board that authorizes MMJ cards, has seen its offices overwhelmed with MMJ applications – sometimes receiving as many as 3,500 a week! In fact, OK MMJ laws have led to the state having more MMJ users per capita than any other state in the U.S. In general, Oklahoma residents are happy about the changes in the law. Because MMJ products can be useful for a variety of conditions (including everything from cancer and glaucoma to HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s), many people are taking full advantage of medical marijuana being legalized to help alleviate or eradicate painful or bothersome symptoms they experience.

MMJ Recs - MMJ product
If you’ve been wondering “Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?”, the answer is a resounding yes!

Will MMJ laws in Oklahoma change?

There have been some minor tweaks to the MMJ laws in Oklahoma in recent months. In August 2019, Oklahoma veterans with a permanent disability only have to pay $20 for their MMJ card (rather than the standard $100 fee). Additionally, law enforcement now has electronic access to the information that’s on an individual’s MMJ card (such as their picture and unique 24-digit ID number). The state will also be rolling out changes to the programs that work with laboratory testing, electronic tracking systems, and short-term licenses in order to better regulate and oversee MMJ usage. Because lawmakers are working to amend the laws rather than completely dismantle them, it seems likely that the legislation making MMJ legal is likely to stay in place. There are still basic laws about growing, cultivating, and using MMJ products, including that you are permitted to possess:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your residence
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana on your person outside of the home
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edibles
  • Up to 6 mature plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants

Even with a valid MMJ card, you are not legally allowed to buy MMJ any place besides a state-licensed dispensary (so purchasing from a dealer or another MMJ cardholder is prohibited!)

It’s also not very likely the state will reverse MMJ legality anytime soon because the state is seeing major growth in the number of dispensaries being opened (with around 1,500 dispensary licenses being approved since MMJ was legalized). With increased sales of MMJ products (of upwards of $23 million in sales a month), Oklahoma is also earning state and local taxes to the estimated tune of $2 million a month. More money in state coffers means they’re less likely to head down the route of making MMJ illegal again. In fact, there’s a good chance that the selling and usage of MMJ will only continue to be more accepted in the state (by both MMJ patients and lawmakers alike).

MMJ Recs - person holding marijuana
Be sure to know all you can about OK MMJ laws before you utilize medical marijuana in the state.

How do I get my OK MMJ card?

You’ll want to get your own MMJ card if you have a medical condition that qualifies you to use MMJ products. In order to apply for one, you can go to omma.ok.gov to get an application. You’ll also need a medical professional to help you complete your application; they’ll need to verify that you do have a health issue with symptoms that could be improved with the usage of MMJ. If you don’t have a medical professional to turn to, you can always use the services of MMJRecs. You’ll also need to pay the $100 application fee and provide proof of residency and proof of identification (more details can be found on the OMMA website about this).

If you’re caught by law enforcement with marijuana and you don’t have a valid MMJ card, you could face consequences of a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in prison (if you’re carrying less than 1.5 ounces of cannabis) and a fine of up to $1,000. The charges and fines are much more serious for subsequent offences or for selling marijuana. Similarly, being caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under the age of 12 could mean you face double penalties. The amount of marijuana you’re carrying and the location you’re at when confronted by law enforcement could also impact your punishment. Make sure you have a legitimate MMJ card and always get it renewed every year to avoid getting caught with an invalid, expired card.

MMJ laws in Oklahoma are pretty similar to those of the other 32 states that have legalized it so far. With the growing number of people who are applying for MMJ cards, it’s likely the popularity and acceptance of medical marijuana will only just increase with time. To take advantage of the legal status of medical marijuana in Oklahoma, you can apply for your own MMJ card today.

What Strength of MMJ is Legal in Oklahoma?

If you’re considering using medical marijuana (MMJ) to help ease symptoms of a health problem you’re dealing with, you might be wondering, “Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?”. The answer is yes! It can be a relatively easy process to use medical marijuana after obtaining an MMJ card. However, not being familiar with the different strengths and strains of marijuana products out there can cause confusion. Well, here’s some helpful information to help take the guesswork out of determining the legal marijuana strength in Oklahoma and which products you should be using.

First, MMJ products are typically divided into three categories:

  1. Indica – originates from the Hindu Kush mountains in India and has a relaxing effect; can also be used for chronic pain and insomnia
  2. Sativa – has more energizing effects; boosts energy levels and creativity
  3. Hybrid – a combination of these two types

From there, dispensaries can divide these three types into specific strains. The strains most popular in Oklahoma include Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Durban Poison, Hindu Kush, Mazar Sharif, and Afghan Kush.

MMJ Recs - medical marijuana
Now the authorities have made MMJ legal in Oklahoma, there are plenty of varieties available to patients.

If you’re wondering “How strong is Oklahoma MMJ?”, you should get informed about the general strength of MMJ products. Unfortunately, determining the strength of MMJ products isn’t always completely straightforward. Although there should be a “total THC” number on the label of the product you’re buying (or what the dispensary lists it as), there’s no standard for calculating this and some dispensaries calculate the number in different ways. You just need to check out the actual amount of THC or CBD in the product, which can depend on the content of the product and the method you use to consume it. The highest strengths are usually between 10 and 35 total THC level (out of a percentage of the dry weight). The most common MMJ strength in Oklahoma ranges from 8% to 20% THC. However, if you decide you need something stronger, your local dispensary can probably assist you in finding the right strain and strength for your medical needs. Bottom line: the MMJ strength in Oklahoma that you need can be found pretty easily, especially as more state-licensed dispensaries are popping up throughout the state.

The MMJ laws in Oklahoma are pretty similar to the ones in other states in the U.S. where medical marijuana usage is legal. With a valid MMJ card, you are allowed to have:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your home
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana on your person when you leave your residence
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edibles
  • Up to 6 mature plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants

This means that you’re permitted to grow and cultivate your own marijuana plants if you have an MMJ license. Please note: you are only legally allowed to purchase from state-licensed dispensaries in Oklahoma, which means you’re prohibited from buying any marijuana products from a dealer or another MMJ cardholder.

So, how do you figure out which plants to grow or which products to purchase? Your best bet is to have a consultation with someone who works at the nearest dispensary. Most employees are very knowledgeable about their products, including which particular strains and strengths would work the best to help with your symptoms. You can let them know exactly what you want to use MMJ for (everything from relief from nausea or inflammation to reduction of symptoms of glaucoma or Parkinson’s). They’ll be able to point you towards products that won’t be too strong for you, but that will still help alleviate your symptoms.

MMJ Recs - weighing MMJ
Dispensary employees can usually help answer questions like “Which strand of MMJ is right for me?” and “How strong is Oklahoma MMJ?”

There are also some websites out there (like Leafly) that offer MMJ products that can be delivered to your home. This site is helpful because it allows you to easily compare various strains and strengths side by side. By seeing the THC content of each option, you can better tell which products will work best for you. Even just spending a little time doing research online can help point you towards the strength/strain that other people with your ailments have found helpful in the past.

The good thing about there being different strengths and strains of marijuana is that you don’t have to commit to just one. Experimenting with a variety of products can help you narrow down your search for the right product for your specific needs. Because pretty much all strengths and strains are legal in Oklahoma, you’re free to use whatever you wish as long as you have an MMJ card. If you don’t have an MMJ card already, you can apply for one through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) at omma.ok.gov. You’ll also need to consult with a medical professional who can verify that you do have a health condition with symptoms that could be alleviated with the usage of MMJ. If you don’t have a medical professional to help with this, you can use the services of MMJRecs. They can connect you virtually to a licensed physician who can help you complete your application. You’ll also be required to pay a $100 application fee (or a discounted fee of $20 if you are on Medicaid SoonerCare or Medicare). As soon as you receive your official MMJ card, you can legally purchase MMJ products in Oklahoma.

Although it can be tricky to figure out which strain and strength of marijuana is right for you, you always have the option of getting advice from a local dispensary or try experimenting with different products. Once you find the perfect option for you, you’ll get all of the benefits of using MMJ in the great state of Oklahoma.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal In Oklahoma?

These days the legality of marijuana varies from state to state. Medical marijuana (MMJ) is now legal in Oklahoma – but is recreational marijuana legal in Oklahoma? Currently, no – the use of recreational marijuana is still prohibited in the state. But there are constant changes to these laws, surrounding both recreational and MMJ use, so here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Oklahoma

MMJ in Oklahoma was officially legalized back in August 2018. Since that time, more than 151,000 Oklahoma residents have applied for MMJ cards from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). This number means that about 3.5% of the state’s population now has MMJ licenses – with more MMJ patients per capita than any other state in the U.S. In order to get a valid MMJ card, you must have a qualifying condition that OMMA recognizes to demonstrate you have a need to use MMJ products. These common conditions can include (but are not limited to):

  • Cancer (or a similar illness that can possibly be terminal)
  • Parkinson’s
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

You also might experience symptoms from a variety of conditions that could be alleviated with the use of MMJ. These can include things like chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, or inflammation. In order to see if your condition qualifies, you should check with your physician or connect with OMMA before submitting your application for an MMJ card.

MMJ Recs - recreational marijuana
Is marijuana legal in Oklahoma? That depends on the type of use.

MMJ laws in Oklahoma cover what a person with an MMJ card is able to legally do. After you’ve been issued an MMJ card, you are permitted to have:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your residence
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana with you outside of your home
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana (also known as edibles)
  • Up to 6 mature plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants.

These laws, therefore, permit you to ingest marijuana products, as well as to grow and cultivate your own plants. However, it is important to note that MMJ cardholders are not allowed to purchase products from any other kind of dealer or another MMJ licensee. MMJ users are only legally allowed to purchase from state-licensed dispensaries.

Recreational Marijuana in Oklahoma

If you’re wondering, “Is marijuana legal in Oklahoma?” the answer is no in terms of recreational use. Both the possession and sale of marijuana is illegal in Oklahoma at this time. Under the Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101: Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, possession of marijuana without an MMJ card comes with a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in prison or a fine of $1,000. Subsequent offenses count as a felony with a penalty of 2–10 years in prison with fines up to $25,000. If you’re caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under the age of 12, you could face double penalties (or triple penalties for subsequent offenses).

For selling recreational marijuana, the charge is a felony with a prison sentence between 2–10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses result in double penalties. There’s a much more serious charge if you’re involved with trafficking marijuana. If you’re caught trafficking between 25 and 1,000 pounds of marijuana, the fine could be between $25,000 and $100,000. Dealing with over 1,000 pounds of marijuana results in a fine between $100,000 and $500,000. Other factors are taken into consideration when you’re charged with one of these crimes, including the amount and location of the sale and whether you already have a criminal history. For serious offenders, the maximum sentence could be life in prison for the selling and distribution of marijuana. There are also driving under the influence (DUI) charges to watch out for that can result if you’re operating a vehicle impaired after using marijuana (whether it’s MMJ or recreational).

MMJ Recs - medical marijuana container
Be sure you’re up to speed with all the medical marijuana laws in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma and MMJ now go hand-in-hand with the increasing popularity of owning an MMJ card. To make sure you’re completely covered, apply for your MMJ card today. You can head to the  omma.ok.gov website, where you can get started on your application. There is a $100 application fee (or a discounted fee of $20 if you use Medicaid [SoonerCare] or Medicare). Fill out the application with your personal info (date of birth, address, etc.), and have your medical professional fill out the Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form. If you don’t have a doctor you trust, MMJRecs can help connect you to one virtually – so you never have to leave your house to get your medical certification. You’ll also need to show proof of Oklahoma residency (like with a copy of your driver’s license, ID card, utility bill, etc.) and proof of identity (which can also be your driver’s license or ID card or from your U.S. passport). Your application is complete once you’ve submitted a clear, color, full-face digital photograph of yourself. OMMA will then review your application. If you’ve met all of their requirements, you’ll receive your MMJ card in the mail within 14 days. Your MMJ card will then be valid for the next two years; once it expires, you’ll need to renew your license by submitting a new application (and another fee) at that time.

Although recreational marijuana is not legal in Oklahoma, if you have a qualifying condition, you should look into obtaining an MMJ card. That way you can legally grow and possess marijuana products without breaking any laws!

Does Oklahoma Accept Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Authorizations?

With so many different rules and regulations governing the use of medical marijuana in all of the 50 states, some of you may be wondering: “Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma?” Well, just over a year ago, Oklahoma did indeed join the increasingly laden bandwagon by becoming the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. With over 151,000 people having since applied for a license, Oklahoma currently has more MMJ card holders per capita than any other state. However, they’ve gone a step further with MMJ laws in Oklahoma. Instead of just sticking to the traditional list of qualifying conditions, Oklahoma state has declared that all physicians are free to recommend MMJ for any condition they deem appropriate. And furthermore, unlike other states, they decided not to put a cap on the number of MMJ business license holders in the state. Way to go, Oklahoma! They may just have started a trend – only time will tell.

If you’re planning on visiting this wonderful state, you may be wondering, “Can I use my MMJ card in Oklahoma?” Well, you’re in luck – Oklahoma is one of only 17 states that currently recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations. Simply put, this means that if you own a current, up-to-date MMJ license in your own state, it will be recognized in Oklahoma. You will be allowed to purchase and possess: up to 3 ounces of usable cannabis (personal possession); up to 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis, up to 72 ounces of edible cannabis; and a maximum of 8 ounces of usable cannabis at a residence. But you can’t just turn up at a dispensary in Oklahoma and flash, say, your California MMJ card.

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You’ll need to apply for a temporary MMJ license if you want to access medical marijuana on your visit to Oklahoma.

What you will need to do is apply for a temporary license. This costs $100 and is valid for 30 days, but is renewable. This temporary license not only allows people with out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations to purchase and to use MMJ in Oklahoma; you will also legally be able to grow it. You can apply for your temporary license via the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). They will need information such as your full name, date of birth, address, telephone number, email address and details about your out-of-state MMJ card. Proof of ID will also be required, along with the patient’s signature, which must be dated within 30 days of the application being lodged. If your application meets all the requirements, you will receive your ID card plus a letter of approval by mail within 14 days of your submission.

Clearly this means that you need to plan ahead if you’re arranging a trip and wish to use your MMJ card in Oklahoma. As mentioned, you can renew your 30-day temporary license, but this must be done in good time prior to its expiration date. It’s worth noting that although MMJ laws in Oklahoma are in place to help and support visitors with out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations, acceptance of a temporary license together with an out-of-state MMJ card is completely at the discretion of individual dispensary owners. It might be worth your while calling ahead to a dispensary to check that they will accept your license. Before your visit, it would be a good idea also to familiarize yourself with the MMJ laws in Oklahoma. It’s good to know what to expect; forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

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If you’re a resident of Oklahoma and you’re planning to travel, there are 17 states that recognize out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations.

But what if you’re a resident of Oklahoma, and you wish to travel? Is your Oklahoma MMJ license legal in other states? Well, the same rules apply to you as to a visitor coming to your state. If you’re visiting one of the 17 states that currently recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations, then you’re in luck. These states include California, Washington, Washington D.C., Colorado, and Hawaii (check out the full list if your state is not among the few mentioned). If the state you’re visiting is included, then all you need to do is apply for a temporary license, as per the information above. You will need to find the relevant local body in the state that you’re visiting and submit all the details required, including a color photo of your Oklahoma MMJ license. Remember to do this more than two weeks in advance of your trip. Provided you supply all the required details, you should receive your temporary license in the mail, and you’re then good to go. Again, it’s advisable to phone ahead to a dispensary in the state you’re intending to visit, just to check that they are happy to accept your temporary license. In most cases you should be fine, but one or two states have stricter rules (Arizona, for example), so it’s always worth checking ahead to make sure you’ll be able to get your usual supply of MMJ while you’re away from home.

Whether you’re planning on visiting Oklahoma, or whether you’re a resident there and thinking of traveling to another state, the key to being able to use your MMJ card while out-of-state is research and knowledge. Remember also to allow time to apply for your temporary license, rather than leaving it to the last minute.

Why Oklahoma Could Be A Considered A Progressive State With Its Medical Marijuana Laws

More progressive states have been making it easier and easier for patients to have access to medical marijuana for years – but there are a few places where this progressive policy may come as a bit of a surprise… States like Oklahoma, for example.

Oklahoma isn’t necessarily known as the most progressive state, but with its legalization of medical marijuana, there’s a case to be made that Oklahoma may be one of the most progressive places for medical marijuana in the country.

Oklahoma and Medical Marijuana: A History

In 2018, the voters of Oklahoma made their voices heard and State Question 788 was approved to allow a legal medical marijuana program. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority was set up to register patients in the program and one year later, Oklahoma ranks near the top of the 33 states that have approved MMJ legislation in participation from its citizens in the program.

When it comes to their medical marijuana policy, there’s a case to be made that Oklahoma is one of the most progressive. They have more approved growers and dispensaries than states that approved medical marijuana many years before them, such as Arkansas. This is due, in part, to a non-competitive application process for growers and dispensaries that largely lets the market decide when enough is enough.

Oklahoma officials see that the demand for medical marijuana is there, so they want to help people to have easy access to apply for licenses and get recommendations. It could be said that, when it comes to medical marijuana and access, Oklahoma is right up there with more traditionally progressive states like California.

MMJ Recs - holding MMJ
In Oklahoma, marijuana is medicine and they make it easy for their residents to get it.

How is Oklahoma Different?

There are a few important ways that Oklahoma differs from other states in how its medical marijuana program is run. For starters, they don’t have a specific list of conditions that qualify a person for a medical marijuana card. Whether or not a person can benefit from MMJ is left up to their healthcare practitioner to decide.

There are also no limits on how many medical marijuana dispensaries can be opened at once. In the first year, the state has approved over 1,500 dispensaries – and that number is only going up. That’s more business licenses than Colorado approved in their first year of MMJ operation.

The Legal Status of Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma

Since the passing of State Question 788, those who have a MMJ card in Oklahoma can legally consume marijuana. They can also legally possess:

  • Up to three ounces of marijuana
  • Up to six mature plants
  • Up to six seedling plants
  • Up to eight ounces of marijuana in their home
  • Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
  • Up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana

Anyone with a medical marijuana license may also legally consume it in places that allow the smoking of tobacco and edible marijuana can legally be consumed anywhere. It’s important to note that on a federal level, all forms of marijuana remain illegal, so even if you have an Oklahoma medical marijuana card you are not exempt from prosecution on any federal lands in Oklahoma such as National Parks, tribal trust land, and military posts.

How to Get an Oklahoma MMJ Card

To get approved for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, you first have to be a citizen of the Sooner state. You must also generally be over 18, though some minors can be approved through a caregiver for a license.

There are no qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, but you must still get the approval of a doctor, who must then prescribe it for you. The most common conditions treated with medical marijuana include:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic pain
  • Terminal illness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Neuropathic pain disorders
  • Anorexia/Bulimia
MMJ Recs - MMJ medicinal use
Know the law so you can safely get your medical marijuana and use it to its fullest advantage!

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority charges a fee of $100 to get the card and it needs to be renewed every two years. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, then the application fee drops to $20. Applications are generally approved within 30 days.

You have to admit, Oklahoma sure does make it simple and straightforward for their residents to obtain an MMJ card and use it to help them treat medical conditions. That makes it one of the most progressive states in the union – at least when it comes to medical marijuana!

How To Get An MMJ Card In Oklahoma

In June 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Licensing began later that year in August, allowing citizens to apply for an Oklahoma MMJ card, and to date more than 151,000 people have done just that. This means that the state of Oklahoma has more MMJ card holders per capita than any other U.S. state. It is not, however, one of the 11 states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, so it’s important to understand the rules and regulations around applying for and using your Oklahoma medical marijuana card. We’ll first take a look at some qualifying conditions and then go on to explore how to get an MMJ card in Oklahoma.

There are more and more conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana and that would qualify you for an MMJ card in Oklahoma. These include but are not limited to AIDS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal cord injury. Common symptoms of these and other conditions that can be relieved by MMJ use are cramps, tiredness, nausea, inflammation, headaches, and seizures. When you become aware of the large number of symptoms and ailments that have shown to be helped by the use of MMJ, it’s no wonder such a high percentage of citizens have applied for and received an Oklahoma medical marijuana card.

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More than 151,000 people have applied for an Oklahoma MMJ card to date.

If you think you might qualify, the best way to get an MMJ card in Oklahoma is to apply online via MMJ Recs. This is a great option if you don’t want to go through your own physician, or if you simply can’t travel to see your doctor. With MMJ Recs, the process is easy and straightforward. You simply fill out a standard medical form online and include any relevant medical notes or documents. An in-house medical expert will then carry out an evaluation with you via the wonders of telemedicine – in other words, over the phone or through Skype. You don’t have to travel or have a face-to-face meeting. You can ask the expert anything you like about the process or about any concerns you may have. They will enquire about your qualifying condition and why you believe taking MMJ may help. Moreover, our expert will be able to advise you on the best medical marijuana strain to use and the optimum amount for your particular ailment. Rest assured that your application and consultation will be treated with absolute respect and privacy. You will also need some kind of proof of residency in Oklahoma; your driver’s license or ID card, for example, or even just a current utility bill. Once approved, your Oklahoma medical marijuana card will be sent to you in the post and you can put it to immediate use.

There is, of course, a minimal charge for owning an Oklahoma MMJ card, and it needs to be renewed annually. Once you own a card, though, the renewal cost each year is considerably less than the initial output. It’s important to remember to renew your card annually, as failure to do so could result in a fine – not to mention the fact that you may not be able to purchase or use the medical marijuana that you might have come to rely on. MMJ Recs can also help with renewing an existing Oklahoma MMJ card.

There are a few rules surrounding ownership of an Oklahoma medical marijuana card. A card allows you to legally possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana; 6 mature and 6 seedling marijuana plants; an ounce of concentrated marijuana; and 72 ounces of edible marijuana. If you’re smoking your medical marijuana, then you can do so in any place that normally allows regular tobacco smoking. There are no restrictions on where you can consume edible marijuana. It’s important to remember that even in states where medical marijuana has been deemed legal, ALL forms of it are still illegal under our federal law. This means that you cannot have or consume marijuana – medical or otherwise – on any federal lands in Oklahoma. If you have any questions or concerns around the rules governing ownership of an Oklahoma MMJ card, then check out the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, which is the state regulator.

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An Oklahoma MMJ card allows you to grown up to 6 seeding marijuana plants

Currently, Oklahoma is not one of the 11 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. But that could change tomorrow! Or in the near future, in any case. If it were to change, your Oklahoma MMJ card would still be very much worth hanging on to and renewing when required. It will ensure continuity in obtaining the best MMJ strain for you, from a reputable dispensary as opposed to a possible unknown, online seller. If you are under 21, you won’t be allowed to use marijuana for recreational purposes, whereas you can qualify for an Oklahoma medical marijuana card from the age of 18. With your Oklahoma MMJ card, you will never have to pay tax on medical marijuana products.

Hopefully, this has helped enlighten you on the process of how to get an MMJ card in Oklahoma. If you are suffering from a debilitating condition that has seen little relief from conventional medicine or methods, then why not apply online now and talk with one of our understanding experts to see if you might qualify for an MMJ card? The process is simple, and we will guide you every step of the way.

Is Oklahoma An MMJ-Friendly State?

Although medical marijuana (MMJ) is not legal in all 50 states in the U.S., there are some states where citizens are taking full advantage of their MMJ cards. Oklahoma made medical marijuana legal back in August 2018, and since then, more than 151,000 Oklahomans have received MMJ cards from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). That number means that more than 3.5% of the state’s population are MMJ card holders. With more MMJ cards per capita than in any other state, Oklahoma has definitely become a very MMJ-friendly state. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

What is the history of MMJ in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma first officially banned recreational marijuana back in 1933. Up until recently, cannabis users and growers were prosecuted under the full extent of the law. Medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2018, making Oklahoma the 30th state to do so. Unlicensed possession of marijuana of up to 1.5 ounces is still punishable by a misdemeanor conviction and a $400 fine if a medical reason can be provided. Since 2013, DUI (driving under intoxication) penalties include being jailed for no less than 10 days and for no more than a year. A second offense requires longer sentencing. Non-licensed making of hashish or cannabis brownies may include life imprisonment. However, Oklahoma MMJ laws allow for MMJ cardholders to make and possess these products.

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MMJ in Oklahoma is legal, but you must abide by the specific laws and restrictions surrounding it.

What are the laws surrounding MMJ in Oklahoma?

OMMA carries out statewide regulations for medical marijuana use in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma MMJ legal status declares that an MMJ card holder can legally possess:

  • 3 ounces of marijuana
  • 6 mature marijuana plants (or plants that are in the budding stage)
  • 6 seedling marijuana plants (or plants that are in the vegetative state and are not yet budding)
  • 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • 72 ounces of edible marijuana (also known as edibles like brownies or candy)
  • 8 ounces of marijuana in their residence

Currently, smokable forms of MMJ can be legally consumed in any place that allows smoking of tobacco products. Edibles can be consumed anywhere. Please note that even with an MMJ license, you are still only permitted to buy MMJ products from state-licensed dispensaries. It is illegal to purchase from a dealer or from another MMJ card holder.

What are the qualifying conditions for an Oklahoma MMJ card?

Oklahoma is one of the few states with legalized medical marijuana that doesn’t have a specific set list of medical conditions that will qualify. However, there are some common conditions that will ensure you qualify, including:

  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Cancer (or another terminal illness)
  • Glaucoma
  • Parkinson’s
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Medical marijuana has also been shown to be helpful in treating serious symptoms such as chronic pain, severe nausea, muscle spasms, and inflammation. In order to see if your medical condition will help you qualify, you’ll need to consult with a licensed Oklahoma physician to get evaluated. They will need to assess your condition and determine if MMJ could be helpful with your particular symptoms. From there, they’ll need to help you complete your application form. If you don’t have a medical professional that you trust or if it’s challenging for you to make it to an in-person appointment, consider connecting virtually with a licensed medical professional through MMJRecs. They can also assist you in completing the medical certification portion of your application.

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It’s easy to apply online for an Oklahoma MMJ card.

Where do you get an Oklahoma MMJ card?

You’ll need to fill out an application to get an MMJ card. So, to get started on that application, head online to the omma.ok.gov website. You’ll need to pay a $100 application fee using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card). There may be additional credit card processing fees added to your transaction. You can pay a lower fee of $20 if you use Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare. Your application will require some of your personal info, such as your full name, date of birth, residence and mailing address, telephone number, email address, and your signature. Your physician will also need to complete and sign the Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form. To show proof of Oklahoma residency, you’ll need to include a digital color copy of one of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • ID card
  • Voter ID card
  • A utility bill for the calendar month preceding the date of application
  • A residential property deed
  • A current rental agreement for residential property

Additionally, you’re required to provide proof of identity, which can be your driver’s license, ID card, U.S. passport, or tribal identification card. The application also needs you to submit a clear, color, full-face digital photograph of yourself. After you’ve submitted your application, OMMA reviews it. If you’ve been approved, you’ll receive a letter and your MMJ card in the mail within 14 days. This card will be valid for two years, at which time you’ll need to renew your license by submitting another application and paying the fee again. You can make this process easier by going through MMJRecs.

Because the state has become so tolerant of MMJ users, it’s a great place to live if you’re interested in getting medical marijuana in Oklahoma. So apply for your MMJ card and remember to follow all of the regulations laid out by OMMA, and you’ll quickly see the benefits of medicinal cannabis use.

Do I Need A Medical Marijuana Card In Oklahoma?

Since 2018, medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Oklahoma. That means that if you live in Oklahoma and have been awarded a state-approved medical marijuana license, then you are eligible to legally purchase and consume marijuana. There are limits to what you can have on your person and in your home, as well as qualifications you must meet in order to get a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, which is why it’s important to understand the law and your rights under it. If you’re from the Sooner State and think you may benefit from medical marijuana, then here’s what you need to know.

Do You Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Oklahoma is unique in that its medical marijuana law leaves it up to the discretion of the doctor treating you to decide if MMJ would assist in the treatment of your condition or illness. To put it simply: A doctor can recommend medical marijuana as a treatment for any condition they see fit.

This is great in that it gives your doctor full discretion, but it has disadvantages too. Your doctor may not consider medical marijuana to be an appropriate treatment for you. Luckily, if you find that’s the case, then you can simply consult another doctor for a second opinion.

Some of the most common conditions that doctors recommend MMJ for include (but are not limited to):

  • Seizure disorders such as epilepsy
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Terminal illness
  • Nausea
  • Inflammation
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia

If you think you can benefit from medical marijuana, then talk to your doctor. Remember, according to federal law, marijuana cannot be prescribed. Doctors are protected in recommending it to their patients, but they cannot help you to obtain it. That means they will not discuss specific cannabis products with you nor will they talk about dosages or strains. What they can do is fill out a form that shows they discussed the risks of the use of marijuana with you and certify that they believe the benefits to be worth it in the treatment of your illness. Once they sign off on the form, you have 30 days to obtain your medical marijuana card online via the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority website.

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A medical marijuana card in Oklahoma can help you to lead a happier and more productive life.

The application fee for a medical marijuana card is $100. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, the fee is only $20. You should be notified within 14 days of your submitting your application whether you’ve been approved.

Once you are approved for a card, then you will receive an identification card with your photo, date of birth, name, city and county of residence, the expiration date of the license, and a unique license number just for your medical marijuana card. It is valid for two years from the date it is issued. Simply present it when buying from a licensed dispensary.

What the Law Allows

Once you have a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, it’s not a license to have as much marijuana on you as you’d like. In fact, the state law only allows you to possess three ounces or less on your person, 72 ounces of edibles, eight ounces of cannabis in your home, or six mature plants.

The law also requires you to only buy MMJ products from a licensed dispensary. All dispensaries must be a licensed medical marijuana retailer. It’s illegal for you to purchase from someone who is not licensed or from another patient who has a medical marijuana card.

It’s also important to note that a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma also does not allow you to use marijuana in your workplace. While your employer cannot discriminate against you due to your status as a medical marijuana patient, they can still write you up or enforce rules against using it in the workplace or being impaired when on the job.

A few other crucial things to note about an Oklahoma medical marijuana card is that:

  • It does not allow you to take marijuana across state lines – especially to a state where medical marijuana is not legal
  • It does not allow you to go to another state that has recreational marijuana laws and bring marijuana back into Oklahoma
  • You cannot smoke marijuana in places that tobacco is prohibited
  • You cannot purchase marijuana with a credit card; dispensaries only accept cash
  • You cannot give your medical marijuana away to another person
  • You cannot operate a motor vehicle when under the influence of medical marijuana

Make sure you understand and follow all the laws surrounding medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

Your Rights

You may be worried about what to do if stopped by police with MMJ on you, which is why it’s important to understand your rights in Oklahoma as a medical marijuana patient.

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Make sure you’ve got your medical marijuana card and have a firm grasp of your rights under the Oklahoma law.

First and foremost, have all your basic bases covered. That means you should always keep your MMJ card or a copy of it on you. Also, always keep the medical marijuana you have in its original containers from the dispensary and keep your receipt. When transporting medical marijuana in your vehicle, make sure it’s someplace that is not accessible, such as your trunk.

You can still be charged with driving under the influence if police suspect you to be impaired due to marijuana consumption. That’s why it’s important that you familiarize yourself with and follow all laws surrounded the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma. If you’re ever confronted by police, you don’t want to give them any reasons to take further action.

Oklahoma and Medical Marijuana: Everything You Need to Know

More and more people across the country are getting to experience the benefits of using medical marijuana (MMJ). Since August 2018, residents of Oklahoma have been able to legally apply for an MMJ card. As of this month, more than 151,000 patients have turned in applications to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (or OMMA, the agency that issues MMJ cards). That means that Oklahoma has more MMJ patients per capita than any other state in the U.S., with more than 3.5% of the state’s population applying for MMJ cards. Plus, with more licenses being issued for growers and dispensaries, there’s never been a better time to get an Oklahoma MMJ card. So, if you’re asking yourself, “Where can I get an Oklahoma medical marijuana card?”, look no further – we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

What is an MMJ patient license?

The legal status of MMJ in Oklahoma means that you can fill out an application with the state and then obtain a license in order to lawfully buy, use, and grow medical marijuana and related products. The license comes in the form of an identification card (or an MMJ card) that can show you’re legally permitted to possess medical marijuana. The card will have your name, photo, date of birth, city and county of residence, the type of license, the date the license expires, and your unique MMJ license number on it.

What are the qualifying conditions for an Oklahoma medical marijuana card?

There are a wide variety of qualifying conditions that can help you qualify for an MMJ card. These can include but are not limited to:

● Chronic pain
● Severe nausea (often due to chemotherapy)
● Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
● Cancer
● Terminal illness
● Spasticity
● Muscle spasms
● Glaucoma
● Inflammation
● HIV/AIDS
● Crohn’s disease

You will need to be evaluated by a physician who can then attest to your condition on the application. Your doctor must indicate that they have a physician/patient relationship with you and that they’ve determined that your medical condition means you can receive therapeutic or palliative benefits from the use of medical marijuana. You can also work with a medical professional online through consultations with MMJRecs. This can be a great option if you don’t have a doctor you trust, or if it’s difficult for you to make it to a doctor’s office.

MMJRecs - signing papers
The process of applying for an Oklahoma MMJ card is pretty straightforward.

How do I apply for an MMJ card?

You’ll need to fill out an application to start the process of obtaining an MMJ card. The applications can be found online at omma.ok.gov. On the application, you’ll be required to provide the following information:

● Your full name
● Residence and mailing address
● Date of birth
● Telephone number and email address
● Physician information (with a physician signature)
● Patient signature (which must be dated within 30 days of the application date)

You’re also required to submit valid documentation to show proof of Oklahoma residency. This can be a digital, color copy of one of the following:

● Oklahoma driver’s license
● Oklahoma identification card
● Oklahoma voter identification card
● A utility bill for the calendar month preceding the date of application (cell phone or Internet bills are not valid)
● A residential property deed
● A current rental agreement for residential property

You’ll also need to provide proof of identity, which can be your driver’s license, ID card, US passport, or tribal identification card, as well as a clear, color, full-face digital photograph of yourself. Plus, you’ll be required to include the Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form that your doctor must fill out with their information.

How much does the Oklahoma MMJ card cost?

Your application fee will be $100; however, if you can provide proof of Medicaid (SoonerCare) or Medicare enrollment, you can pay a reduced fee of $20. You must pay with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. There will be an additional credit card processing fee added to the transaction as well. Please note that if your application is not approved, you won’t be able to receive a refund for this money.

What happens after I submit my application?

After submitting your application, the OMMA will review it. If you’ve met all the requirements, you’ll be issued an approval letter and your MMJ card within 14 days of sending in your application. From then on, your approved MMJ card will be valid for two years (unless your license is revoked for some reason). You will need to renew your license when the two years is up by submitting another application at that time (which you can also do using MMJRecs services).

MMJRecs - medical marijuana
These days, Oklahoma and medical marijuana go hand in hand!

What are the laws surrounding MMJ in Oklahoma?

There are several laws in place to make sure that Oklahoma MMJ cards aren’t being misused. With a license, you may possess:

● Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your residence
● Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
● Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
● Up to 6 mature plants
● Up to 6 seedling plants
● Up to 3 ounces of marijuana with you outside of your residence

If you don’t have a valid MMJ card, you could possess a fine-only misdemeanor for having up to 1.5 ounces of herbal cannabis. You are permitted to obtain your medical marijuana from your own cultivation of plants or from state-licensed dispensaries. Even if you have a valid MMJ card, you’re still not permitted to legally buy marijuana from a dealer or from another MMJ cardholder in Oklahoma.

To get all of the health benefits and to alleviate symptoms from a variety of medical conditions, join the growing number of people in your state, and apply for an Oklahoma medical marijuana card today.

The Four Most MMJ Friendly States In America

As it stands in 2018, medical marijuana sits at a distinctive crossroads in American society. Over half of the country has embraced it; 29 states have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes, with the 30th state almost sure to follow this year. Across the remaining 20 states, however, medical marijuana remains a contentious issue. Some are dead set on never leaglazing it at all. The problem is that a medical marijuana initiative would not be a federal law; each state has to make their own laws when it comes to MMJ, hence the wildly varying results and surprising outcomes.

Take New York for instance. Many thought that due to its liberal leanings, New York would be a flagship state for the legalization of MMJ. On the contrary, NY’s initial attempt at medical marijuana was one of the most conservative in the country, coming a full 18 years after California first legalized MMJ in the U.S. in 1996. There have since been concerted efforts to overturn some of the more restrictive legislature, with varying degrees of success. What it does prove is that MMJ law is a tricky subject to get a handle on for many state governments, and it could be a while before we see a U.S. with 50 MMJ friendly states. That doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of the country that are fully pro-medical marijuana; there certainly are. If you’re wondering where exactly they are, then luckily you have to look no further than this handy article!

MMJ Recs - Golden Gate Bridge

Colorado is one of the most progressive MMJ friendly states in the country.

1. California

California places number one on this list of MMJ friendly states, as it was the first to take the leap and legalize medical marijuana way back in 1996. The Compassionate Use Act, or Proposition 215, was a revolutionary piece of legislature that paved the way for future states to lay their own groundwork. In the 22 years since it pioneered MMJ law, California’s enthusiasm for the treatment has not waned. Recently, the state passed a law that aimed to legalize recreational marijuana from the beginning of 2018. While some thought that the introduction of this legislature might make medical marijuana obsolete in California, in fact, the exact opposite turned out to be true. The government reaffirmed its commitment to its MMJ program by introducing a sales tax rebate for all medical marijuana patients or holders of a medical marijuana card. As recreational marijuana is slowly introduced into the Sunshine State, it looks as though MMJ will remain as strong as ever.

2. Colorado

Colorado was hot on California’s heels, and was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in the country; their legislature passed in 2000. Most marijuana advocates will recognise Colorado as the pioneer of recreational marijuana legalization, however. The state took that previously unheard-of initiative back in 2012. It makes sense that a state that has been committed to medical marijuana since the early days was also keen to legalize recreational marijuana, and like California, their initiatives go hand-in-hand. When it comes to MMJ, however, the Colorado market is startlingly robust, based on over seventeen years of experience. The MMJ industry is worth around $450 million to the state, so it’s no surprise that they’re keeping it in tip-top shape.

3. Washington

Colorado is often thought of as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana and is often seen as the poster state for the cause. However, Washington was equally pioneering, and legalized at exactly the same time as Colorado in 2012, paving the way for recreational marijuana laws to be loosened across the country. In fact, Washington is AHEAD of Colorado when it comes to medical marijuana. The state passed Initiative 692 in November 1998, just two short years after California trailblazed the initiative. The list of Washington’s qualifying conditions is also pretty extensive, making medical marijuana available to all sorts of patients who may be able to benefit from the medicine. Through the years Washington has seen extensive amendments to their medical marijuana bill, and in 2018, it proudly stands as one of the most inclusive and progressive MMJ friendly states in the country.

MMJ Recs - Maine Coastline

Maine has been committed to advancing its MMJ policies.

4. Maine

Maine might seem like an odd entry on this list, but it’s certainly doing its part to progress the MMJ cause. Medical marijuana became legal in 1999 (so even before Colorado), but under very strict regulations. This rules were relaxed significantly in 2005 with the passing of Question 5, which aimed to explicitly establish a Maine Medical Marijuana Act. Since then, the state has gone from strength to strength when it comes to MMJ; the most recent example of this advocation came just at the beginning of this year, when the state’s health care body approved progressive new legislature. These new remits will see an increase in the number of dispensary licenses across the state, while also loosening requirements under which medical marijuana can be used.

The above MMJ friendly states are shining examples of progressive medical marijuana treatment, but they are by no means the only states doing great work to advocate the cause. Hopefully their leadership on this important cause can inspire other states to investigate legalizing MMJ in their own territories.

Now That Recreational Marijuana Is Legalized, What Does That Mean For MMJ Patients?

Marijuana in America is a tale of two strains. On the one hand, there is medical marijuana, or MMJ for short, which has been gaining traction as a progressive new health care option for the last two decades. On the other hand, there’s recreational marijuana, which has recently seen an upsurge in support, and has been legalized in nine states and Washington D.C. The question on many users’ minds, especially MMJ patients, is do they hurt or help each other? And while it might be still too early in the game to say definitively, we can make some educated guesses based on the states that have incorporated both so far.

Recreational marijuana is set to have its biggest year in 2018. It started out on the wrong foot, when President Trump’s Department of Justice, headed up by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced that it was repealing a key Obama-era memo that prevented federal meddling in each individual state’s marijuana laws. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, meaning that the feds can still come down hard on the drug, even in states where it’s legal to use it recreationally.

MMJRecs - Street Signs

Many MMJ users might be wondering how newly introduced recreational marijuana laws affect them.

However, as with much of our current administration, the rescinding seemed to amount to posturing and nothing more. There is little evidence so far that the government will do anything to combat marijuana on a federal level; it seems content to leave it well enough alone in states that have already legalized the drug. If you think it seems contradictory that the drug can be prosecuted on a federal level while legal on a state level, don’t worry; the majority of the Justice Department might just think so too. Federal prosectors around the country released vague statements soon after the rescinding, stating that there would be no new crackdown in recreationally legal states.

This is great news for California, the state that opened the world’s largest legal marijuana market to date on January 1st. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana way back in 1996. Since that time, it’s always had a remarkably liberal policy towards marijuana in general, and cemented that status on November 9th, 2016, when it took the plunge and made recreational marijuana fully legal too. The state gave itself fourteen months to get the legislation together and prepare its citizens for a full move to legality, culminating in the January 1st, 2018 deadline.

Though California was certainly not the first state to legalize marijuana recreationally, it is definitely the most important yet. The state constitutes the world’s sixth largest economy, and of course, is the largest state in the U.S. Some four hundred businesses were approved to licence, and many cities all over the state have passed laws allowing local businesses to sell marijuana. Despite this, there have been some teething problems with the new legislature, and it’s with these discrepancies that we can measure the impact of recreational marijuana against medical marijuana.

Essentially, despite all the good will in the world, California is not ready to implement such a large recreational program of marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal for 22 years, and although it’s largely been smooth sailing, there are still some lingering issues. It’s a tall ask for a state to bring together a previously black market industry (which, despite being a black market, is undoubtedly huge), and signs are that it’s not as straightforward as some in government would have hoped. For a start, every city in the state has to come up with its own distinct rules on what exactly can be sold and where, and to what degree. This makes for a confusing situation, as there’s no one rule to bind them all.

MMJRecs - Downtown Los Angeles

Marijuana laws for both medical and recreational use still differ from state to state.

In terms of MMJ patients who might be worried that their medical marijuana ID card is invalid because recreational marijuana is legalized, there’s a simple answer: don’t be. MMJ, procured from licenced dispensaries, is still the safest and most effective way to alleviate the symptoms it has been prescribed to you for. Your doctor will know which strain is best suited to your particular ailment. It’s not a good idea to attempt to self-medicate, nor is it a sure thing that all MMJ strains will be legally or immediately available in a recreational capacity.

As if to underline the importance of MMJ, the government of California has introduced a sales tax break to medical marijuana patients, indicating its continued commitment to the MMJ cause and legislature. If we take what’s currently happening in California as a microcosm for the whole of the U.S. we see that MMJ and recreational marijuana will undoubtedly continue to co-exist simultaneously, and even benefit from each other as they do. While the future is a little cloudy, especially when it comes to the number of states that have legalized medical but not recreational marijuana, there is no doubt that both strains will continue to exist harmoniously in the U.S. for a long time to come.

Is America the Most Progressive Medical Marijuana Country in the World?

As Americans, we like to think that our country is the most forward-thinking nation out there. We like the idea of allowing our citizens to have more freedoms than they might be awarded in other countries. But is the U.S. the most progressive country when it comes to the usage of medical marijuana?

As more states in the U.S. are legalizing recreational marijuana, the whole country is looking to see how the regulations of cannabis (both medicinal or not) are being enforced and utilized. Because the U.S. is at the forefront of this, many outside countries are paying close attention to see how the laws are implemented. The use of MMJ cards was first established in California in 1996. Several states followed suit, including Hawaii and Colorado. Currently, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is legal in 29 states (as well as the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.). Although medical marijuana use is legal in many states, the actual regulations can vary greatly from state to state.

So, how does the U.S. compare to other countries? Here’s some info on medical marijuana policies around the world.

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How does the U.S. compare with other countries when it comes to recreational and medical marijuana laws?

Colombia

Colombia has legalized MMJ usage, and citizens are permitted to possess up to 22 grams at a time. They also have a very relaxed law that states that one person can grow up to 20 marijuana plants if it’s for personal consumption. This number is a lot higher than most countries, like the U.S., which only permits six plants to be grown at one time for recreational use.

The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is fairly new to the MMJ game with legislation only being passed in 2013. There have been regulations instated to decriminalize marijuana usage, with Czech citizens being allowed to grow up to five plants at a time. Also, individuals can possess up to 15 grams of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish. The nation even hosts a big festival named Cannafest, which celebrates marijuana.

Italy

Medical marijuana has been permitted in Italy for quite some time, and the country has progressed to become one of the most unrestricted marijuana areas in the world. Italians voted for the decriminalization of possession of drugs (so individuals with small quantities of five grams or less are no longer subject to criminal charges). Citizens are also permitted to grow a reasonable amount of marijuana plants, as long as they are not used for trafficking purposes.

Jamaica

Although medical marijuana is legal in Jamaica, recreational use is still against the law. However, the country has recently relaxed its laws on possession and has decriminalized it for medical use and for the purpose of Rastafarian religious ceremonies (where cannabis or “ganja” is used as a sacred herb that allows the soul to rise).

The Netherlands

The Netherlands (especially Amsterdam) has gotten the reputation of being a major marijuana-friendly region. There are even “coffee shops” that allow consumers to take part in marijuana sales. In 2017, the Dutch government even legalized the production of cannabis. Additionally, MMJ products can be purchased without a prescription.

Portugal

Portugal has decriminalized marijuana since 2001, when they decided that the possession of any drug found in small quantities would not be considered illegal. Portugal is very progressive in the fact that they believe drug use should be deemed a health issue, not a criminal one. Instead of arresting their citizens for drug possession, those found with drugs are sent to medical panels (with a psychologist, social worker, and legal adviser) who all work to come up with an appropriate treatment plan for that individual.

Spain

Spain actually has relatively relaxed laws since medical marijuana can be purchased without a prescription. Consumption by adults in private locations is legal, which means citizens can grow marijuana plants for personal consumption (as long as they’re kept hidden from public view). However, the selling and trading of cannabis products is still illegal.

Uruguay

In 2013, Uruguay made history by becoming the first (and only) country in the world to fully legalize marijuana (including the possession, selling, transportation, and growing of cannabis). The marijuana market is still strictly regulated since citizens are only allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at their residence, and each individual can only buy a maximum of 10 grams per week. However, the main upside is that prices of marijuana products are cheaper than in other countries. Plus, MMJ products can be purchased without a prescription.

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MMJ laws differ greatly between countries, but luckily the U.S. can still be considered among the most progressive.

Once you learn about how other countries are controlling the usage of marijuana products, you’ll find that the U.S. is right up there in terms of being forward-thinking. Although different states have a variety of laws regarding consumption of recreational marijuana, those with MMJ cards in the U.S. face less restrictions with your cannabis. Although recreational users are limited to one ounce of flower (or eight grams of cannabis concentrates) at one time, MMJ cardholders can purchase and possess as much cannabis as the treatment of their medical condition requires. These limitations also apply to edibles; recreational consumers can have a maximum of 10mg doses at a time, while those with a medical marijuana card don’t have this restriction.

So, while there are many countries working towards positive changes with both recreational and medical marijuana, America is one of the most progressive countries out there – striving for laws that permit MMJ users to purchase and possess the cannabis products that will be the most obtainable and effective for them. And maybe the U.S. can take some ideas of what has worked in other progressive countries to help move us even further along.

Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In Australia: Which Country Will Be Next To Legalize MMJ?

Early in 2017, Victoria became the first Australian state to legalize medical marijuana. Other states and territories in the country quickly followed suit. As with many countries worldwide, the discussion surrounding this important issue was long and protracted. Australia currently has to import medical cannabis from overseas, once a patient has been prescribed it by an authorized medic. The change in the law means that not only will the importation process be sped up, but also that Australia is now allowed to start growing its own medical cannabis. This means obviously that waiting time for patients prescribed with medical marijuana will be cut. Good news indeed!

Portugal was the first actual country to legalize medical marijuana, in 2001. The U.S. state of California, though, was way ahead of the game, legalizing MMJ way back in 1996. The next few countries to follow where Portugal blazed a trail were the Czech Republic, Finland, Holland, Spain, and Greece. Many more countries have since jumped on the increasingly popular bandwagon. California and a few more states – including Washington D.C. – have just recently legalized marijuana for recreational as well as medicinal use. No doubt other countries will keep a close eye on California to see how this legalization plays out and will then probably, in time, do the same. If you’re interested to know which countries currently allow marijuana for medical purposes, have a read here.

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With many children suffering from debilitating illnesses that can be treated with medical marijuana, several countries seem to be changing their attitude towards MMJ.

So which country might be the next one to legalize medical marijuana? Let’s take a look at Ireland first. This little country is taking big steps towards legalization. It’s a slow process though – any proposed bills have to pass through long and drawn out parliamentary procedures before they have a chance of becoming law. The bill for legalization did pass its second reading in Parliament at the end of 2017, though, so progress is being made. The current law states that the Minister for Health can grant a special license for the use of MMJ, if he sees fit. The first such license was awarded in 2016 to a two-year-old boy with Dravet Syndrome, which allowed the treatment that he’d started in Colorado to be continued. A more recent case in Ireland made headlines when Ava Twomey’s mother – Vera – set out on a walk from her home in Cork to Dublin (some 186 miles) in order to raise awareness of her child’s plight. Ava (7) suffers from Dravet Syndrome, too, which meant that she was having several, severely debilitating epileptic seizures a day. Shortly before Christmas 2017, Ava was granted a license for the medical cannabis she needed and so the family was able to return home to Ireland from the Netherlands, where they’d been living in order to access the cannabis oil Ava needed. Since taking the cannabis oil on a regular basis, Ava’s seizures have stopped completely. A heart-warming story indeed and one which will surely increase the chances of Ireland being one of the next countries to legalize medical marijuana.

Ireland’s geographical neighbor, the U.K., could also well be in the race for the next country to legalize MMJ.  Like Ireland, the U.K. currently has very strict rules under which CBD oil can be given to patients. Cannabidiol was recently re-classified as a medicine by the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency. An 11-year-old boy named Billy Caldwell was the first child to benefit from this change in law. Billy had been suffering from epileptic seizures every day since he was baby; sometimes as many as 100 fits in one day. He was first given cannabis oil in California (where, of course, medical marijuana had been legal for some time), which resulted in a dramatic reduction in his number of seizures and then a complete cessation of them. Back in the U.K. (Northern Ireland, actually, but it’s part of the U.K. rather than Ireland), his own GP saw the wisdom in continuing with Billy’s treatment and so prescribed him the cannabidiol. Research is currently ongoing in the form of clinical trials around a pure form of cannabis, which is specifically engineered for medicinal purposes. If these trials prove successful, the U.K. will almost certainly be well on the way to fully legalizing medical marijuana.

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Many more countries seem set to follow in the footsteps of Australia and the U.S. when it comes to legalizing MMJ.

France is often seen as a fairly laid-back, enlightened, and libertarian country in many respects, but to date it’s somewhat behind its European counterparts when it comes to marijuana. Sativex, a cannabis-based prescription mouth spray, was only approved in France in 2014; it was the sixteenth European country to legalize this particular treatment, which is mainly prescribed for MS sufferers. However, with a newly elected liberal-minded president – Emmanuel Macron – word is that France could well be one of the next countries to legalize MMJ. He has already eliminated compulsory prison sentences for petty marijuana offenses and, during his campaign to become president, Macron professed a desire to relax other French laws relating to marijuana. So this country does have a bit of way to go yet, but if the new president follows through with his promises, we could certainly see France as one of the next countries to legalize medical marijuana.

With so many countries now following the example set by the state of California, surely it’s only a question of time before most of the world accepts that MMJ is the way forward in the treatment and relief of many acute diseases.

Which State Will be the 30th to Join the MMJ Revolution?

The medical marijuana revolution has gained some serious traction in the last few years. It started with a slow trickle all the way back in 1996, but as of the end of 2017, 29 states have legalized MMJ, with the majority of those laws coming into effect within the last decade. The trend seems to be very much in favour of legalization, with recreational use also coming up fast behind. But the question many advocates across the country are asking is: who will be next in line to pass the crucial legislation?

West Virginia was the most recent place to make the leap, and was the only state to join the cause in 2017. Because each state has their own laws, and because the process of introducing medical marijuana is a hot topic in most places, with plenty of debate and strong positions on both sides, it takes a long time to see the process through to completion. Fortunately, the majority of states now have turned the tide in favour of medical marijuana, so the rest should follow sooner or later. That’s the good news.

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29 states down; 21 to go.

The bad news is that it’s taken over 20 years to get to 29 states, and among the remaining 21 are some hard-line conservative areas that are against marijuana legalization of any kind, let alone decriminalization. So while the figures and statistics might look encouraging, and 29 states in the bag is certainly an encouraging number, it should be remembered that for West Virginia’s lone passing of their MMJ bill, there were 13 states who postponed or denied the legislation in 2017. These were Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Included in that number are a few unsurprising states, who traditionally take a conservative stance against the more liberal leanings of MMJ pioneers like California and Colorado. But there were also some surprises in there; Utah, with its proximity to both the aforementioned states, is surrounded by relaxed MMJ laws, and was thought to be a frontrunner in the race for the next state to sign up. Nebraska also looked all set to be a serious competitor in that race, much to the surprise of the rest of the country, as it’s traditionally seen as a Republican stronghold. However, their bill fell through in May of this year, when it was no longer viable for the 2017 session; though it will carry over to 2018.

The good part of all this failed legislature is that people are at least talking about MMJ laws in states all across the country. These bills are up for debate, with residents and governments taking their meanings and implications seriously. Those who advocate for medical marijuana will no doubt see the legislature pushed through again, hopefully next time with a different, more positive result. But among all the stalling was one state who technically put an MMJ bill through this year, and will more than likely see some form of the medicine go statewide in 2018: Iowa.

Technically, the state passed the bill in May 2017, making medical marijuana legal in Iowa. But the MMJ laws have yet to be implemented, and the state is still trying to figure out the exact specifics of the law, such as what forms of MMJ will be allowed, and who exactly will be allowed to produce and dispense the drug. Despite this delay, plans are being implemented for widespread dispersal, with the state selecting the first official state medical marijuana manufacturer at the end of November. However, this is with a view to solely legalize the oil variant of MMJ, a form of medical marijuana that has been proven to be less effective than smoking.

MMJ Recs - Iowa Sign

Iowa might be the next state to board the medical marijuana train.

Hot on Iowa’s heels are two other states that could potentially be the 30th state to legalise MMJ. They are Wisconsin and North Carolina. Both states have pending MMJ legislation with their governments that will carry over into 2018. Studies show that 74% of North Carolina citizens support the legalization of MMJ, a strong, significant majority that might help to convince politicians and push the bill over the edge.

So whether it’s North Carolina, Wisconsin, or Iowa, or indeed any of the other states who are close to passing an MMJ bill, it’s clear the MMJ revolution will certainly not end with only 29 states on the board. There will be a thirtieth, and a thirty-first beyond that, and so on and so forth. The real question is whether the country can unite all 50 states under the medical marijuana banner, and if that mammoth task can be managed, how liberal each legislature will be. Whatever the outcome, it’s clear the medical marijuana tide is turning and turning fast; and that can only be good news for the millions of patients across the country who can benefit from its multi-faceted properties.

Why California MMJ Patients Will Save Thousands Of Dollars A Year In Sales Tax With An MMJ Card

The stigma attached to marijuana is beginning to fade as more and more people experience the benefits this controversial herb has to offer. For instance, it can act as a pain reliever by relaxing and controlling muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis, it can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as well as control epileptic seizures and treat glaucoma. The list goes on, and if you feel you could benefit from medical marijuana yourself and you’re lucky enough to live in one to the 29 states in the US that have legalized it, it’s time to go to your doctor for an MMJ card.

The process in obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation is straightforward and doing so means that you will be able to go to dispensaries for advice and obtain medical marijuana for your health issues. The reason behind getting an MMJ card is because under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, therefore a recommendation from your doctor or physician is required in order to prove that you need the medicine to treat your condition. Your doctor must be licensed to recommend medical marijuana and they will firstly discuss with you whether this will be the best treatment to help you if you suffer from illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, or chronic pain. Once it has been decided, they will then be able to provide a written and signed certification. Next, the patient must register with the department of health in their state and medical marijuana program unit. Upon registration with your photo ID, you will then receive your MMJ card, which provides various benefits.

MMJ - flowering marijuana plant

Medical marijuana has many benefits for those suffering from chronic illness or pain.

One of the advantages of holding a MMJ card is that you will be able to grow your own plant (up to six!). In addition to this, you are allowed to carry a larger amount compared to somebody without a recommendation, and you won’t face any problems as a potential dealer if you run into law enforcers. Furthermore, come January 2018, the legalization of recreational marijuana is to come in place. What does this mean for people using marijuana for medical purposes though? It is advised to still have your MMJ card with you for convenience, as the new regulations will not be fully operational immediately. More importantly, an even better reason to keep hold of your MMJ card is due to the potential of saving a good amount of money in terms of sales tax. A number of places charge additional tax on recreational marijuana, whereas sales tax is exempt on marijuana products such as edibles, concentrates, and topical treatments. This means when you take into account the average cost of cannabis, the cost of application, renewal, doctor’s appointment and MMJ card, you can save some sweet cash if you’re using at least around four ounces per year (approximately $238 annually). Moreover, in California, the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program offers a tax discount to card holders who have a recommendation.

As of January 1st 2018, the laws are set to change as the legalization of recreational marijuana takes place, but given the benefits of having a recommendation, it is a good idea to have an MMJ card – especially if you feel you need cannabis for health purposes as opposed to recreational purposes.

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If you have an MMJ card in California, you can save money in sales tax.

Overall, not only are there a number of proven benefits to using marijuana to treat various ailments and conditions from depression to cancer, but obtaining a medical marijuana card through your doctor or medical practitioner could ultimately help you save money on tax. Being in possession of an MMJ card also means you can carry more medical cannabis compared to a recreational user and you will have access to different forms of the medicine such as tinctures, vaporizers, sprays, and patches. You will also have the advantage of having access to professional advice from either your doctor or from people who work at the dispensaries as opposed to a budtender.

If you’re looking to try medical marijuana to help with your health issues, the best way is to get a recommendation from a medical professional as it meets the requirements of the various regulations, but additionally, it will help you save money on sales tax. It is worth noting, however, that in the New Year 2018, tax compliance among medical marijuana businesses may increase as California’s legalization of recreational use of cannabis takes place. Nonetheless, having an MMJ card not only gives you extra options as there are over 3000 dispensaries that sell medical cannabis in California, but you will also have access to a wider variety of products. Also, you do not have to travel to a doctor to get a recommendation if you have access to telemedicine, because then everything can be done online. But one of the bigger advantages here has to be the fact that you will be saving a lot of money given the tax benefits compared to somebody without an MMJ card.

MMJ Patients Don’t Pay Sales Tax: Why You Still Need A Medical Marijuana Card In California After January 1st

As medical marijuana usage spreads across the U.S. (29 states and counting), recreational marijuana is following, hot on the heels of its medically utilized cousin. Seven states and Washington D.C. have currently legalized the drug, with Maine set to follow suit and become the eighth, potentially very soon. A key state that has pioneered both recreational medical marijuana card usage is California; it was the first to legalize MMJ way back in 1996, and last year, on November 9th, the state voted to legalize recreational usage, the day after a tumultuous presidential election.

As a concession to the long-standing MMJ community in the state, from November 9th, 2016, qualified patients or their primary caregivers were exempted from retail sales tax on medical cannabis, medical cannabis concentrate, edible medical cannabis products, or topical cannabis if they present a valid medical marijuana identity card (or MMIC for short) issued by CDPH at the time of purchase. The state-wide rollout of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, commonly known as Proposition 64, is due to kick off on January 1st, 2018 – a mere two weeks from now. The state has had 13 months to prepare itself for the inauguration of recreational marijuana. The question is: is it ready?

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

Medical and recreational marijuana will soon be legal in the state of California.

In short, the answer is no. At least not completely. California is a huge state, and while there has been significant headway made in the rollout, most cities and counties won’t be ready to sell recreational marijuana by January 1st. A lot of the hold-up is due to the systematic regulation of what was very recently an unregulated, billion dollar industry; naturally this will take some time, and many locales are estimating an extra six to 18 months  to get the systems in place. However, as of January 1st, both medical and recreational marijuana will be legal in California, leading many existing patients to ask a very pertinent question: will a medical marijuana card still be needed following legalization?

The answer to that question is a resounding “yes,” for two main reasons. The first is that, ideally, your medical marijuana will be a specific strain that is suited and prescribed especially for your specific condition. Therefore, the only way you can guarantee a continued supply of your specific medicine during the big changeover is with a medical marijuana identification card. No one knows exactly how long it’ll be until every area of California is up and running selling recreational marijuana. So on the first day of 2018, keep to your tradition and acquire your MMJ the usual way: with your medical marijuana card in hand.

The second big reason is that you won’t be able to get recreational marijuana anywhere in California for the foreseeable future. MMJ dispensaries are only licensed to be just that: medical marijuana dispensaries. They won’t just start selling recreational marijuana, and you will always require an MMJ card to purchase the drug from their outlets. Therefore, you can happily conclude that the only way to get MMJ in California for much of 2018 will be with that all-important card. In an ideal word, recreational and medical marijuana would be available hand-in-hand from January 1st; however, that’s just not feasible, and the sad truth is that the state is woefully unprepared for a mass rollout of recreational marijuana on that date, despite the fact that it will technically be legal to sell it.

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If you’ve already got an MMJ card in California, you’ll still need it after the new legislation is rolled out.

Another question that many citizens across the state are asking is, “If recreational marijuana is so close, do I need to bother picking up a medical marijuana card?” Again, the answer to this is a resounding “yes,” mainly for the two reasons listed above. But another perk of registering for a medical marijuana card is that you’ll pay no sales tax on the medicine. This is a major benefit, and one that should be factored in to each individual’s decision about MMJ. Proposition 64 does not in any way abolish the state’s medical marijuana program – it simply makes a couple of amendments to it. The California Department of Public Health will continue to produce the cards and maintain a registry of patients.

Unfortunately, the situation as it stands is extremely uncertain, and will remain so for some time. No one in the state, from the government to the sellers, knows exactly what form recreational marijuana will eventually take, or how long it’ll be until it is properly regulated. There is some concern over a potential black market inflation because of the stall, which comes with the added disadvantage of slowing the whole thing down further. Currently (and for the foreseeable future), the only legal, advantageous, and ultimately secure way to avail of medical marijuana in California is via a medical marijuana identity card. This will ensure each patient gets the uninterrupted medicine they require from state-licenced dispensaries, and will continue to provide them with MMJ’s many proven benefits.

The Difference Between California and New York Medical Marijuana Laws

The advent of the medical marijuana card is fast spreading across the U.S. From California to Colorado to Alaska, more states are becoming more MMJ-friendly as the world starts to wake up to the innumerable benefits that the plant provides. Following the thinking of other like-minded progressive states came New York. Although most people would think of New York using the same terms that they’d think of California — modern, liberal, diverse — what comes as a surprise to most people is that their medical marijuana laws are among the strictest in the country and a far cry from the super-relaxed laws of the Golden State.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Cards

In California, acquiring a medical marijuana card could not be easier. You fill out a short questionnaire and are then transferred to a doctor who will carry out an online assessment from the comfort of your own home. If they think you’re suitable for an MMJ card, your certification will be posted out with a day or two. Simple huh!?

In New York, it’s a slightly more convoluted process. First, you must book an appointment with you doctor to present them with the illness you think makes you a suitable candidate for medical marijuana treatment (we’ll get into qualifying illnesses later). It’s important to note that the doctor you go to must be registered with the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. If they’re not, they won’t be able to provide you with medical marijuana certification. This doctor will carry out an assessment to determine your suitability for the program. If they think you satisfy all necessary criteria, they’ll provide you with your New York MMJ certification.

When you have this part of the process done and dusted, you must then apply for your Registry ID Card. This is the identification card you must bring with you when you visit the dispensary. This card is acquired by submitting an application to the Department of Health’s Online Patient Registration System. Once your application is rigorously processed, you’ll receive your ID card in the mail.

CA vs. NY: Qualifying Conditions

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In New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness to get a medical marijuana prescription.

California medical marijuana laws are pretty relaxed when it comes to for what you can be prescribed MMJ. If your doctor thinks you have a genuine case for a prescription, then you’ll get it regardless of your ailment.

New York’s medical marijuana laws aren’t quite as embracing. In New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness such as HIV, Parkinson’s or ALS to get a medical marijuana prescription. Even then, your illness must exhibit significant symptoms such as chronic pain or seizures. These medical marijuana laws are becoming slightly more lax, with post-traumatic stress disorder thankfully getting added to the list of qualifying ailments, but doctors cannot and will not prescribe for anything other than the few illnesses that the law allows.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Consumption Methods

If you ask a Californian medical marijuana card holder what their favorite way to consume MMJ is, they could give you any kind of answer: smoking, edibles, teas, tinctures. You name a way and you can bet that Californian MMJ card carriers have tried it.

Unfortunately for their New York counterparts, the same level of flexibility is not accommodated. Under New York law, only liquids and oils (for inhalation and vaporization) and capsules are allowed to be used to consume medical marijuana. This means no edibles, no smoothies and absolutely no smoking. If you’re caught smoking medical marijuana in New York, you’ll find yourself in trouble with the law regardless of whether you have a medical marijuana card.

CA vs. NY: Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

Not only are certain methods of consumption illegal, but home cultivation is also illegal in New York — another contrast to California. On the Pacific Coast, you can grow up to six mature MMJ plants or 12 immature ones once you have a grower’s license. Although it is likely that New York will relax their medical marijuana laws to mirror California’s, this may not come to fruition for a while.

CA vs. NY: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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New York law only allows for five companies to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana

Although California dispensaries could not be easier to find — and with new ones popping up all the time — New York law only allows for five companies to cultivate and dispense medical marijuana. This will soon be changing as a law was passed late last year to bring this number up to 10.

CA vs. NY: Recreational Marijuana

Probably the biggest and most noticeable difference between Californian and New York medical marijuana laws is the fact that smoking marijuana for recreational reasons has been legalized in the Golden State. New York is likely to follow suit eventually, but until then, cannabis smoking is strictly for those with medical marijuana cards.

Although both states’ willingness to embrace medical marijuana should be lauded, we can’t forget that the plant is actually still illegal at a federal level in the United States. Thankfully, due to the federal government’s laissez-faire attitude on the topic, this is rarely ever an issue for medical marijuana card carriers in either state.

It’s easy to chastise New York and its draconian medical marijuana laws when we compare them to California’s, but we should refrain from doing so. Any sort of legalization is a step in the right direction, and once we see states moving progressively like this, we should be embracing them for it.

Where Can I Find a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in New York?

Living ain’t quite as easy for New York MMJ card holders as for their fellow countrymen. Although other states — we’re looking at you, Cali! —have made it super simple to find a medical marijuana dispensary with one on nearly every block, they’re not quite as ubiquitous in the Empire State.

Sadly, this is not the only way New York differs from other states when it comes to medical marijuana laws. New York has its own unique restrictions on acquiring and using medical marijuana, and oftentimes, this is to the detriment of MMJ card holders living there. For example, did you know that you can’t smoke MMJ at all in New York? Or that you can’t consume it in edible form, either?

The strange and restrictive medical marijuana laws in New York have left MMJ card holders baffled as to why legislators have made them so strict. Our best guess is that they want to draw a clean line between recreational and medical users of cannabis by outlawing methods of consumption that are typically associated more with the former than the latter.

It’s also worth noting that you must suffer from a life-threatening illness to get New York medical marijuana certification. Illnesses that fit this description include HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, your illness must exhibit “associative or complicated conditions” such as seizures or chronic pain. Thankfully, medical marijuana laws are becoming more inclusive with legislation signed to include post-traumatic stress disorder on the list of allowed illnesses for the New York medical marijuana program.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Certificate

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In keeping with the other strict New York medical marijuana laws, acquiring your MMJ card is slightly harder here than in other states.

Before you start to think about which medical marijuana dispensary you want to use and where to find it, you must first get your MMJ certificate. In keeping with the other strict New York medical marijuana laws, acquiring your MMJ card is slightly harder here than in other states. Your first step in getting your medical marijuana card is having a consultation with a doctor who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. This doctor will assess you and your condition for suitability for the program, and if they think you satisfy the necessary criteria, they’ll provide you with your medical marijuana certificate.

Although your certificate is the main piece of documentation that you need to bring with you when you visit the medical marijuana dispensary, you’ll also need to get yourself a Registry Identification Card for the Medical Marijuana Program. This is done online via the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration Program. Once you complete this — and your application is approved (which can, unfortunately, take a while) — they’ll send you your ID card.

If you will be visiting a medical marijuana dispensary and acquiring medical marijuana in your capacity as a carer, you’ll need to have your caregiver’s registry identification with you as well as your patient or loved one’s MMJ certificate. Failure to bring these will mean you will be denied service at the medical marijuana dispensary.

What Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in New York Offer

New York dispensaries are thankfully dotted relatively plentifully throughout the state. From Albany to Erie and from New York City to Westchester, you’ll find a medical marijuana dispensary in just about every corner of the Empire State. New York dispensaries offer medical marijuana in all legal forms, including tinctures, extracts, oils and liquids. All these forms come in different strengths, and you can choose whatever one that best suits you based on your ailment and treatment plan. Medical marijuana dispensary staff are pleasant and friendly and are always happy to assist customers in any way that they can.

Where You Can Buy Medical Marijuana in New York

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For MMJ card holders who are too ill to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary, there are now some companies who will deliver MMJ straight to your door.

To find the nearest dispensary to you, check out this list from the Department of Health. Although this list may not seem extensive now, last year new medical marijuana laws were passed effectively doubling the number of companies who can dispense medical marijuana, which means you can expect more and more dispensaries to open up within the next year or two.

For MMJ card holders who are too ill to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary, there are now some companies who will deliver MMJ straight to your door. Companies such as Vireo Health have only in the past few weeks started their delivery service in New York City and Long Island, with a view to expand it to Westchester and Staten Island. This will eradicate the problem of traveling to dispensaries for people with debilitating diseases.

Although selling medical marijuana is a relatively new thing in New York, dispensaries are providing the same level of professionalism seen in other states that are more used to MMJ provision with medical centers such as Columbia Care leading the way. New York dispensaries are calm and relaxed spaces, and thankfully, they don’t feel clinical at all. An important aspect of New York dispensaries is their accessibility. Most — if not all — have been designed with accessibility in mind, which means that people of all physical ability can access them easily.

As New York’s medical marijuana laws become laxer, we’ll start to see more and more dispensaries sprout up around the state. At present, the majority of MMJ card holders do have access to a local medical marijuana dispensary, and soon anyone who doesn’t will be able to get their medical marijuana delivered straight to their home.

Your Rights When Traveling with Medical Marijuana

Lots of people may think that there’s no reason to leave California. With sunny weather and a wide variety of cities, people, cuisines and activities, residents of the Golden State could be forgiven for staying put. However, if you’re someone who has been bitten by the travel bug, what options do you have for traveling with your medical marijuana?

It can be scary and alienating, so read our handy guide to the logistics of traveling with medical marijuana before the pre-travel panic sets in! It is not easy to travel with MMJ, so if you’re really panicking, it may be better to stay within California. However, if you really want or need to travel and if you’re able to follow some of our advice, you may find the process slightly less stressful.

Traveling by Car

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As medical marijuana laws vary from state to state, things can become tricky when you leave sunny California.

Arguably, this is probably the easiest option as you’re the boss in terms of what goes in and out of your vehicle. It may limit you in terms of how far you can go, but as far as the roads are concerned, you should be OK — as long as you don’t cause trouble.

You need to become familiar with the medical marijuana laws of the state to which you are traveling. As medical marijuana laws vary from state to state, things can become tricky when you leave sunny California. The bad news is that even if you travel somewhere with legal medical marijuana, you may not be able to bring MMJ products from another state across the border. You will also be unable to buy medical marijuana without a valid MMJ card for that state, for which you must be a legal resident.

In addition, for those who grow their own, it is usually illegal to transport marijuana plants across state borders, regardless of the medical marijuana laws in your home state and the state you’re traveling to.

If you’re worried about the legality, it may be easier to stay home, but it is possible to be discreet in your MMJ use if you’re careful. Obviously, avoid toking up in public, and stick to odorless vaping as this can be disguised as tobacco. Even better is edibles as they can be easily disguised as run-of-the-mill food items — as long as you don’t share them with anyone! 

Traveling by Train

The same rules apply with traveling by train as by car except that you will have to be more discreet as you will be surrounded by fellow passengers and rail staff. In addition, you will be subject to the rules and regulations of your rail carrier, which will likely follow federal law, which states that marijuana is an illegal drug.

It is also illegal to smoke on most trains, so vaping or smoking is out regardless of your preference. It may be easier to employ edibles, as advised above, or tinctures, which are an excellent option when you’re in need of a discreet way to take your medical marijuana.

 Traveling by Air

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Federal law is also the letter of the land in airports, so the TSA is likely to be harsh on patients who travel with MMJ, regardless of their legal status in their home state.

Air is by far the most difficult option when traveling with medical marijuana. The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, carry out incredibly strict bag checks, and sniffer dogs are often employed in major airports to detect drugs. Federal law is also the letter of the land in airports, so the TSA is likely to be harsh on patients who travel with MMJ, regardless of their legal status in their home state.

The reality is that you are unlikely to get away with traveling with any form of medical marijuana, be it buds, oil, tinctures or edibles. The TSA is just too strict, and the checks carried out are just too thorough. If caught with any form of marijuana, be it recreational or medicinal, the TSA can confiscate your items or refer you to law enforcement, who can arrest, charge or caution you depending on the severity of your offense.

Sadly, the medical marijuana laws at a federal level have failed to catch up with the 29 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized cannabis for medical usage, and federal laws govern most of the traveling that happens in the U.S. If in doubt, it’s better to travel without your medical marijuana as it is often just not worth the legal trouble.

If you’re unable to go without, research vacation options within California. From wine country in Napa to glamorous Los Angeles and techy San Francisco, there are lots of options open to you as a user of medical marijuana. Sometimes it’s just better to have the peace of mind that comes with staying put and being able to go about your business as you see fit while treating your conditions in the way you’re able to in California. Happy travels!

7 Things a New York Medical Marijuana Patient Needs to Know

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed medical marijuana legalization into law in July 2014, he made New York the 23rd state to do so. Although this was most definitely a step in the right direction, New York’s medical marijuana laws are still among the strictest in the country, so it can be hard for medical marijuana card holders to keep up with what’s allowed and, more importantly, what’s not. For those of you who may not be au fait with the MMJ 411 in the Empire State, we’ve made a list of seven things that all New York medical marijuana patients need to know.

Acquiring Medical Marijuana in New York Takes a Few Steps

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If you are specifically interested in getting medical marijuana, it’s important that you choose a physician who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program.

The process of getting medical marijuana in New York isn’t quite as straightforward as it is elsewhere. The first step in doing so is going to your doctor to discuss with them the issue you think might qualify you for medical marijuana certification.

If you are specifically interested in getting MMJ to treat this ailment, it’s important that you choose a physician who is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. This doctor will do an assessment of you and your illness, and if they think you are suitable for it, they will issue you with a medical marijuana certificate. After this, you need to register with the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration Program. This will get you your Registry Identification Card, which will enable you to acquire MMJ.

You Can Only Get Medical Marijuana at Registered Dispensaries

Once you have your Registry Identification Card, bring it to any one of the registered dispensaries that are dotted around the state to acquire your medical marijuana. It is important that you bring your certificate with you, too, or else you will be denied service. If you are acquiring MMJ as a caregiver, you must bring your caregiver’s registry identification and your patient’s certification. To find out where the nearest registered dispensary to you is, see this list.

New York Medical Marijuana Laws Are Much Stricter Than Elsewhere

Although any kind of legalization should be welcomed with open arms, New York’s medical marijuana laws are unfairly restrictive. Unlike California, in New York, you must be suffering from a life-threatening illness such as cancer, ALS, HIV or multiple sclerosis to receive medical marijuana certification. Even then, your ailment must have “associative or complicated conditions” such as chronic pain or persistent muscle spasms.

Additionally, some methods of medical marijuana consumption have been banned (more on that later), and you cannot deviate from the method of administration appointed to you by your doctor. When you’re at the dispensary, you can only acquire 30 days or less worth of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, unlike other states, you cannot grow your medical marijuana at home.

Different MMJ Strains Help Different Ailments

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marijuana strains. Every strain is different, and different strains relieve different ailments differently. Choosing the right strain of medical marijuana to use to treat your ailment is a vitally important part of the treatment process, and you and your doctor should put a lot of consideration into it. Although this can be a long and boring process, it’s well worth the benefits you’ll be reaping once you find the right one. For more information on what strains are best to tackle different types of pain, check out our blog post on the topic.

You Cannot Smoke Medical Marijuana in New York

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Medical marijuana card holders are safe in the knowledge that they have access — albeit restricted access — to the plant that brings them so much relief.

Unlike other states that have legalized the use of the plant, New York has banned all smoking of medical marijuana. This bizarre news came as a surprise to just about everyone who had been campaigning for legalization. Although smoking is not often the preferred method of consumption for medical marijuana card holders — due to the obvious detrimental health effects — it is still annoying for those who are most comfortable consuming this way.

Medical marijuana card holders are still somewhat at a loss as to why exactly this strange rule was brought in with many speculating that it could be because smoking marijuana is typically more associated with its recreational use rather than its medical use. Although this is likely to change eventually, until then, medical marijuana card holders are strictly advised to stick to other methods of consumption.

There Are Several Ways You Can Consume Medical Marijuana

Unfortunately, the New York restrictions on medical cannabis don’t just disallow smoking, but the use of MMJ edibles to treat your ailment is also prohibited. Although this does limit medical marijuana card holders somewhat when it comes to how they can consume, there are still other options available.

The main method of consumption that New York medical marijuana laws allow is the use of liquids or oils for vaporization or inhalation. Vaporization — or vaping as it is more commonly known — is a very popular method of consumption even outside of New York. With vaping, you use a vape pen which heats up your MMJ and creates a cloud from it that you then inhale. Vaping doesn’t overheat cannabis, which means that you’re benefiting from every one of those all-important cannabinoids, which would be destroyed by other methods such as smoking. Alternatively, you could inhale the MMJ liquid using a purpose-built inhaler, which can be easily obtained at a dispensary.

New York medical marijuana laws also allow for the use of MMJ capsules, which can be taken orally. This is a great option for those medical marijuana card holders who might not be comfortable with inhaling MMJ.

You Can Consume Medical Marijuana Anywhere in New York

Like in other states, the key to the consumption of medical marijuana in New York is discretion. Although you may be completely within the realms of the medical marijuana laws by consuming in an obvious manner, this won’t be taken well by the local authorities, and you could find yourself in a spot of a bother anyway.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you’re always discreet. Consuming discreetly is pretty easy to do in New York as the only methods of medical marijuana consumption allowed here are discreet ones. Most vapes come with a scent to mask the weed smell from vaporizers so those around you while you’re using will be none the wiser.

Although New York is slightly more restrictive than other states when it comes to their medical marijuana laws, as the world becomes more marijuana friendly, these laws will become laxer. Whether we’ll eventually see full recreational legalization, we won’t know for a while, but for now, at least medical marijuana card holders are safe in the knowledge that they have access — albeit restricted access — to the plant that brings them so much relief.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida: The Steps That Need to Be Taken

More than 70 percent of Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 2. The new amendment will be a game changer for Florida medical marijuana patients, caregivers and health care professionals. It will revamp the state’s alternative health care laws and massively modernize the very conservative and limiting Florida medical cannabis laws that have been in existence since 2014.

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Despite the landslide majority vote in favor of more liberal Florida MMJ laws and the impending deadline for implementation, there is still heated debate happening around medical marijuana.

Amendment 2 will ensure much better protection for industry workers, patients, caregivers and physicians. It will also make medical marijuana a realistic and safe treatment option for many people in the state of Florida who, up until now, would not have been eligible for treatment with a cannabis card. Once the new rules are in place, there will be a much wider variety of medical cannabis products, as well as a larger spectrum of strains and strengths, from which to choose. This is all wonderful news for Florida and its inhabitants.

The state is legally required to adopt new medical marijuana laws by July 3, 2017. There will then be a bedding-in period of a few months before the state is obliged to have the new system fully up and running by September 2017.

Despite the landslide majority vote in favor of more liberal Florida MMJ laws and the impending deadline for implementation, there is still heated debate happening within the corridors of power, not to mention homes, cafes and public meeting spaces throughout the state, about the exact nature of the new MMJ laws and the specific details of what the new rules should look like. Many details of the new Florida medical marijuana program have yet to be finalized.

The debate is so heated in Florida because there are conservative in positions of power in the state who are not happy about the adoption of what they regard as laxer drug laws. It is due to these competing factions that much has yet to be decided.

How Much Medical Marijuana Can Patients Get?

Although it is fairly clear that patients will qualify for marijuana treatment with a variety of illnesses such as glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms — similar to other legal MMJ states — it is still not clear what size of prescriptions the law will allow for various conditions. It has yet to be decided how much medical marijuana a patient will be allowed to acquire each day. Will it be left up to the discretion of the patient? Or will there be limits on the amount of herb a person can buy depending on what condition they are suffering from? It is hoped that the Department of Health will decide to allow a flexible amount of medical cannabis to be available and for the patient to decide what they require.

Which Medical Marijuana Products Will Be Available?

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The only thing known is there will be no cap on the amount of THC medical cannabis products sold in the state can contain.

What medical marijuana products will be available has also not yet been finalized. It is hoped and expected that a wide range of products — from edibles to oils to aerosols and ointments to fresh and dried bud — will be available from dispensaries. But the exact details of what will be available are still unclear. What is known is that there will be no cap on the amount of THC medical cannabis products sold in the state can contain. 

What Are the Zoning Laws?

One particular point of contention that is proving particularly difficult to sort out is the exact details of zoning laws for dispensaries. There will be a large increase in a number of dispensaries opening in the state, and not every citizen or city is happy about having a dispensary in their locality. Many cities and districts, including Miami Beach, have put a temporary freeze on new dispensaries opening in their jurisdictions while they attempt to iron out the issues in a way that pleases as many local residents as possible. This is an issue that urgently needs to be sorted out.

What Qualifies a Person as a Caregiver?

It also remains to be decided exactly what circumstances and conditions will qualify a person to become a caregiver, how many people one person can be a caregiver for, and what exactly being a caregiver will allow a person to do on behalf of the patients they are caring for.

What Will It Cost to Join the Registry?

Another detail that remains undecided is the cost of applying to join the Florida Patient Registry. Joining the registry will be mandatory, but the costs involved remain unclear.

Can You Grow at Home?

Unfortunately, under the new amendment home growing will remain illegal. This puts the Florida medical marijuana program well behind other legal MMJ states such as California and Colorado on this issue. Allowing patients to grow their own herb, just as they like it, would have been a huge step in the right direction. Sadly, this is a step Florida did not take on this occasion. Hopefully, in the near future, there will be a rethink on this particular detail of the state’s medical cannabis program.

What About State vs Federal MMJ Laws?

One last gray area (and this applies to all legal medical marijuana states) is the contradiction between state MMJ laws and federal cannabis law. There is nothing the state itself can do about this issue, but surely, as more and more states vote to legalize medical cannabis, it will become unrealistic and silly for the federal government not to look into changing federal MMJ laws concerning medical weed.

It is an exciting time for Florida. They are joining the medical marijuana party in earnest. Amendment 2 will not be a silver bullet — it will have shortcomings, not allowing home cultivation being an obvious example — but it is a big leap in the right direction. There are a number of steps that still need to be taken and decisions that need to be made before full implementation is possible. Time is running out. Get your skates on Florida!

How and Why the State of New York Legalized Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has been legal in the U.S. since 1996 — if you live in California that is. For other states, it’s been an uphill battle to legalize medical cannabis, and for some, the battle rages on. As of May 2017, medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, and several others allow the use of marijuana in its oil form, with limitations on THC content (i.e., the psychoactive component of the drug).

Even where medical cannabis is legalized, the medical marijuana laws regarding its use vary wildly from state to state. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is also shifting rapidly across the U.S., muddying the waters on medical marijuana laws and marijuana usage as a whole.

Although California is leading the charge on both fronts, especially when it comes to medical marijuana, over on the East Coast, the traditionally liberal and progressive New York has put in place a surprisingly restrictive and limited medical cannabis program. The state became the 23rd in the U.S. to embrace medical marijuana when it was made legal in mid-2014 under an act known as the Compassionate Care Act, signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

At the beginning of his tenure, Cuomo announced plans to introduce medical marijuana legally to the state but was also noted and criticized for his long-held anti-marijuana position. Although Cuomo stated he was receptive to change on the medical marijuana front and approached the subject with an open mind, many feared that his medical marijuana laws would be too strict.

Medical Marijuana Laws in New York

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The state became the 23rd in the U.S. to embrace medical marijuana when it was made legal in mid-2014 under an act known as the Compassionate Care Act, signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

These fears turned out to be well-founded upon the introduction of the CCA, which contained a critical clause that allows the New York Department of health to pull the plug on the medical marijuana program any time it chooses.

The list of qualifying conditions is also fairly short compared to other states, with only severe illnesses entitling patients to medical cannabis. On top of this, doctors can be punished under federal law for suppling marijuana to a patient who doesn’t fit the required conditions.

The narrow qualifying conditions include cancer, ALS and other motor neuron diseases, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS. This means that only around 10 percent of patients who could benefit from marijuana can actually legally avail of it, which is seen by many as far too restrictive.

The number of dispensaries allowed statewide is also pretty narrow, with only up to 20 dispensaries being grated licenses and only five manufacturers being granted the permission to grow marijuana. For as state composed of just under 20 million people, this seems relatively minuscule to medical marijuana advocates.

No Smoking Medical Cannabis in New York

Another measure that is seen as overly harsh, particularly when compared to other states, is the decision to forbid the smoking of medical marijuana, the most traditional method of taking the medicine. This is regarded as another attempt to appear anti-marijuana by the overly conservative Cuomo.

But it considerably limits patients’ methods and ease with which to avail of their medicine. As it stands, patients are only allowed to consume medical marijuana through vaporization, oils, foods and pills, which is, unfortunately, not the cheapest ways to consume the drug — or the most effective.

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In New York, you can’t legally smoke medical marijuana.

Smoking marijuana has traditionally been held as the quickest way to avail of the drug’s effects. When it comes to chronic and severe pain relief, most patients will want their medicine to work as quick as possible, forcing them to illegally smoke it or purchase a vaporizer, costing them hundreds of dollars on top of the amount they’ve already paid for the medicine. Cuomo and his supporters argued that smoking is not in the interest of public health, but this particular decree is seen by many as yet another attempt by Cuomo to straddle the line.

Just before the bill’s introduction in 2014, the governor spoke about the upcoming legislation.

“We’re going to be sending up a bill shortly that we believes strikes the right balance,” he said.

It was the result of near-constant pressure from medical marijuana advocates, lead by Sen. Diane Savino, the Senate sponsor of the bill, and Assembly sponsor Richard Gottfried. Assemblyman Gottfried admitted the bill was a compromise and also expressed concerns about the projected 18-month implication, concerns which turned out to be largely unfounded as the program got up and running on schedule.

It was a thorny path to medical marijuana legalization in New York, but now that it’s here, hopefully, things can continue to improve. There are certainly signs of it, with advocates campaigning for new conditions to be added to the list of qualifiers. Just recently post-traumatic stress disorder was accepted on the list, expanding some horizons in that sense. At the end of last year, the state Department of Health announced that it will be lifting and revising growth limits due to increased pressure from advocates and patients alike. All in all, things look good for the future of medical marijuana in New York.

The Legality of Medical Marijuana in New York Explained

The legality of medical marijuana in the states has come a long way and has overcome many obstacles since 1906 when heavy restrictions were placed on marijuana. At one point, it was even classified as a poison. Today, however, marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 29 states, including New York. Since 2014, thanks to the Compassionate Care Act, patients are now allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes to treat illnesses such as cancer, HIV and AIDs. There has been evidence that medical marijuana can help with problems from glaucoma to epileptic seizures. People have also reported that medical cannabis has helped with inflammation and pain and with coping with the side effects of chemotherapy.

Medical Marijuana Laws in New York

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New York holds much stricter medical marijuana laws, especially with regards to the qualifying diseases and the form of medicine allowed.

In comparison to other states such as California, however, New York holds much stricter medical marijuana laws, especially with regards to the qualifying diseases and the form of medicine allowed.

First, only a handful of illnesses is considered qualifying conditions if you want to try medical cannabis. Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDs and multiple sclerosis are just a few of the ailments. However, recent medical marijuana laws have loosened to allow chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder to be classified as a qualifying illness that could allow for the treatment using medical marijuana. This means that if you have severe pain for three months or more that has not responded well to other treatment, then you can apply for a certification from a medical practitioner.

How to Apply for Medical Cannabis in New York

There are a few stages when it comes to applying for medical marijuana. It is not simply a case of going to your doctor and asking for a prescription, which is actually illegal. The first step is to see if your condition comes under the list of qualifying ailments.

The next step is to ensure that your medical practitioner is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Only then can they give you a certification for medical cannabis.

Once you have received your certification, you need to register for the Medical Marijuana Program through the department’s online patient registration system.

The last step is waiting to receive a registry identification card, which you will have to show when you go to the dispensary facility.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana in New York

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There are currently less than 1,000 qualified doctors in the city who can prescribe medical marijuana.

Out of around 2,000 dispensaries in the United States, there are only a few dispensaries available in New York. Moreover, there are currently less than 1,000 qualified doctors in the city who can prescribe medical marijuana.

Why is this number so low? It is likely to do with the fact that marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug and is considered illegal by the federal government. A possible reason for the strict medical marijuana laws could be that lawmakers are highly suspicious of marijuana being used for recreational purposes. Despite the positive stories people have reported from using medical cannabis to treat their illnesses, the state still believes that this alternative medicine can pose risks.

The Prospect of Recreational Marijuana Use in New York

On the other hand, exciting news has emerged recently hinting that marijuana could also possibly be legalized for recreational use in the Big Apple. If this goes ahead, then, naturally, the expansion of medical marijuana will likely increase, which would hopefully allow more people to have easier access to this natural alternative.

How You Can Consume Medical Marijuana in New York

In terms of the form of medical marijuana allowed in New York, only tinctures and oils are legal, and these can be inhaled, vaporized or taken orally in capsules. Smoking is strictly prohibited.

Furthermore, the amount that you have in possession also has a limit. There is a 30-day supply max at any one time. There are different classes of felonies for just being in possession of cannabis; therefore, it is important to ensure that you always have your registry identification card with you.

On top of these restrictions, the cost is also a big factor that explains why a limited number of people have access to medical marijuana. In comparison to other states such as California and Colorado where cannabis will cost you roughly $15 to $25 a day, in New York, you would have to pay around $180. This is a major problem for people who may qualify for medical marijuana but cannot afford it.

In conclusion, New York possesses much tighter medical marijuana laws with regards to the qualification, form and process of obtaining medical cannabis, especially compared to other states such as California. The number of doctors willing to prescribe medical cannabis and the cost appears to be limiting the number of potential patients.

Things are gradually becoming more lenient though for instance in terms of the types of ailments accepted, and there is hope that the legalization will be less restrictive. But overall, it seems that New York still has some catching up to do compared to other states when it comes to making medical marijuana more easily accessible and affordable for people.

What a Medical Cannabis Patient in New York Needs to Know

Medical marijuana has been making waves on the West Coast since it was first introduced in California in 1996. Since then, especially within the past five years or so, other states have introduced medical cannabis to patients across America. New York became the 23rd state to introduce the drug when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law in July 2014. But for a state with a liberal reputation and voting history, New York’s medical marijuana laws are notorious for being some of the most restrictive and complicated. It can be tough for patients across the U.S. to keep track of medical marijuana laws as it applies to their home state, so for the medical cannabis users of New York, we’re here to make it easy!

Medical Marijuana in New York

Although the conditions that permit medical cannabis use in California are wide, varied and loose, New York is, unfortunately, a lot more restrictive — or at least it has been for the past two years. Officially, you must suffer from a specific, severe, debilitating or life-threatening affliction such as cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, ALS or neuropathy problems. On top of that, you must be suffering from “associated or complicating conditions” for your particular disease, specifically wasting syndrome, chronic pain, seizures or persistent muscle spasms. This rigid and largely severe conditioning is undoubtedly what gives New York its harsh reputation in the medical marijuana arena, though there are recent signs that these laws are being relaxed.

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New York became the 23rd state to introduce medical cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law in July 2014.

A bipartisan bill that would introduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition was passed by the Senate Health Committee and now awaits the final hurdle of approval.

There is also heavy campaigning by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal to add menstrual cramps to the list of qualifying conditions, a motion that has seen celebrity support from Whoopi Goldberg and is currently being pushed forward.

So, although the initially restrictive measures for medical marijuana in New York might be disheartening to potential patients, there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel, a light that can only grow stronger as more and more states around the U.S. begin to adopt medical marijuana laws.

How to Obtain Medical Marijuana in New York

The first step to obtaining medical marijuana in New York is to present to your physician with a condition you suspect might entitle you to medical cannabis treatment. The physician will make an assessment, and if he or she is registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, they may make a recommendation for medical cannabis and issue you with a certificate.

The next step in a pretty convoluted process is to register with the Medical Marijuana Program through the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration System. After your registration is thoroughly processed, you will receive a Registry Identification Card, which is the all-important document to legally get you inside the dispensaries and start availing of medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Rules in New York

So now you’re through the dispensary door, you should know a thing or two about how much medical cannabis you can carry around with you and how exactly you can avail of it. Unlike California, New York has made the bizarre decision to forbid all smoking of medical marijuana. The only approved forms of taking the medicine are liquid and oil, for vaporization or inhalation, or capsules that can be administered orally. Exactly why the Department of Health has banned the smoking of medical cannabis remains a mystery. We can only guess that they wanted to draw a firm and decisive line between medical use and recreational use. Although this may change in the future, as it stands currently, smoking is a no-go for the medical cannabis patients in New York.

MMJ - Statue of Liberty

The first step to obtaining medical marijuana in New York is to present to your physician with a condition you suspect might entitle you to medical cannabis treatment.

All the details about how you can take your medical cannabis must be written on your certification form by your physician. This means you can’t deviate from the methods of administration you enter initially. The form will also contain information about the authorized brand or use. Again, this is in sharp contrast to states like California, who are much more liberal with the methods of procurement and administration. As marijuana has now been legalized for recreational use in Cali as well, we can hope that the situation will not remain so rigid for NY; though it may take some years to catch up.

Again, this is in sharp contrast to states such as California, which is much more liberal with the methods of procurement and administration. As marijuana has now been legalized for recreational use in California as well, we can hope that the situation will not remain so rigid for New York, though it may take some years to catch up.

When you arrive at the dispensary, it is also important to note that they can only hand out a 30-day supply or less, and unfortunately, it is illegal to grow your own medical marijuana at home. State-registered dispensaries are the only way to obtain the medicine, and even then, there are many hoops to jump through.

While the medical marijuana in New York is undoubtedly restrictive and strict relative to other states, the good news is that it can only get better. It might seem like an uphill battle to avail of medical cannabis at this point in time, but there are people working behind the scenes to make sure everyone in New York gets a fair shot at availing of the many benefits of medical marijuana.

The Difference Between California and Florida MMJ Laws

On Nov. 8, Florida voters chose to legalize medical marijuana, following in the footsteps of California, Washington, Maine and even Alaska, where MMJ has been legal since 1998. In fact, medical marijuana has been legalized in 29 states, with the majority of MMJ laws passing in the past five years. Florida finds itself in the middle of legalization, but the heartening news for supporters is that the bill, known as Amendment 2, was passed with 71 percent of the votes, which, in political terms, is huge.

There’s still a ways to go, though, and it’ll be a while before patients in the Sunshine State are able to avail of legal medical marijuana. Although MMJ has technically been legal since January 2017 and around 200 doctors in Florida are legally qualified to prescribe it, it’s only available by presenting a government-issued ID card, which must be prescribed to patients by September 2017. That’s a long wait, and there are many potential legal challenges and appeals by opponents that can clog up the works in the meantime. The Florida legislature and Department of Health are still hammering out the exact rules and regulations regarding that will govern the industry, leaving patients in an uncomfortable gray area.

Fortunately, the precedent for full legalization is in place. In 2014, Florida legalized small quantities of low-strength MMJ for very specific severe illnesses and only after patients had been seeing their doctor for at least three months. So citizens can be hopeful that the full legalization will pass through without too much trouble, even if it takes a little while to roll out the plans. With 71 percent of the votes, there can be no doubt that the people of Florida have spoken. To go against that will would amount to political suicide, even for those staunchly opposed to MMJ legalization.

CA vs FL: Qualifying Conditions

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California was the first state to introduce MMJ laws, under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

When people think of MMJ laws, the first state that probably comes to mind is California. It was the first state to introduce MMJ laws, under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which means it’s been pioneering the legalization of the drug for an astonishing 21 years now.

There is a large range of traditional qualifying illnesses that enable a patient to avail of MMJ in California, including nausea, chronic pain and migraines, but there is also a clause that allows physicians who are licensed to practice in California to prescribe MMJ for debilitating illnesses at their own discretion. Subsequently, physicians have recommended medical marijuana for an even larger number of conditions, including as insomnia or depression.

This will likely not be the case in Florida, where physicians will be limited to what conditions for which they can prescribe MMJ. As it stands, only severely debilitating illnesses qualify a patient for MMJ.

CA vs FL: Possession Amounts

Another large point of contention for the new Florida law is possession amounts. California is very liberal with their possession laws. Under Proposition 215, patients are entitled to carry whatever amount of MMJ they deem necessary to treat their condition. This comes with a caveat, however; if a person is found to be carrying obviously excessive quantities of marijuana, they can be arrested or they can be fined for exceeding local MMJ laws.

Under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which passed in January 2016, patients in California are permitted to grow their own MMJ in plots up to 100 square feet. This extends to 500 square feet for primary caregivers and/or physicians with fewer than five patients.

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California is very liberal with their possession laws.

In Florida, however, the limits of possession have yet to be determined, but it is certain that patients will have to acquire their medicine through state-licensed dispensaries with home cultivation off the table. Florida wants to keep a keen eye on everyone involved with MMJ, at least at the beginning of its introduction.

By way of contrast, California doesn’t even require its patients to register for an ID card, making it very difficult for the government to keep tabs on everyone using MMJ. Opponents of MMJ in Florida point to California’s lax policies and subsequent experiences as negative and regard their liberal introduction of the MMJ laws as a testing ground for subsequent states.

Federal MMJ Laws vs State MMJ Laws

Under federal law, any kind of marijuana possession is a crime. This led to a confusing gray area in California, where no one was sure whose legal jurisdiction should be upheld. The compromise was reached in 2002 when it was decided that each county and city should decide on their own. The result of this is a confusing web of crisscrossing MMJ laws, leaving some areas of California inundated with dispensaries while others are almost completely MMJ-free.

Florida would do well to learn from California’s successes and mistakes when it comes to implementing its own MMJ laws, hopefully making the introduction of medical marijuana a triumph for both the people and the state as a whole.

5 California MMJ Dispensaries We’d Like to See Set Up in Florida

As of Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters elected to follow in the footsteps of their Cali cousins and legalize medical marijuana. The bill, titled Amendment 2, was voted through with an overwhelming majority (at least in political terms) of 71 percent, indicating widespread approval for a law that supporters have been aggressively trying to pass for the past three years. It was a significant victory for the pro-legalization side; however, as with most controversial political movements, it does come with a few teething problems.

The major hurdle, at least immediately, is the fact that MMJ won’t be legally available in Florida until June 3, 2017. This is largely due to a holdup with MMJ cards, which will be legally required to obtain MMJ. Although medical marijuana became formally legal in the state in January 2017, patients will have to wait until June to get their hands on the all-important card. There’s a lot that could go wrong between now and then, with many different creases to smooth out in regards to the how and where of distribution.

Looking ahead with an ever-optimistic outlook, we’ve chosen five MMJ dispensaries that are already a hit in California and that we hope will make the cross-country trek to Florida in the not too distant future!

California has been pretty progressive in their legitimization of MMJ, and more recently, marijuana in general. There are top-quality dispensaries up and down the state, and as MMJ becomes more and more accepted, they will only become more effective and efficient. Florida would do well to follow their example, start implementing some policies and making room for MMJ dispensaries that have been successful on the West Coast.

Harborside

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With more than 200,000 registered patients, Harborside is one of the most popular and significant MMJ dispensaries in the U.S.

The popular Harborside dispensary can currently be found in two locations in California: Oakland and San Jose. It was founded 11 years ago by a fellow named Steve DeAngelo and has been growing stronger ever since. With more than 200,000 registered patients, Harborside is one of the most popular and significant MMJ dispensaries in the U.S. It’s pretty forward thinking, too. Harborside was the first of its kind to support educating the elderly, war veterans and severely ill children. With that kind of track record, it would be more than welcome to set up shop in Florida!

Granny Purps

Renowned for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and family-style management, Granny Purps is a popular dispensary located in Santa Cruz. It’s been in business for more than seven years and has accumulated more than 23,000 patients on their books. Despite the success, it hasn’t lost its personal touch, and it treats each of its patients like an old friend. Florida could certainly do with its homely touch when MMJ kicks off on the East Coast.

The Green Cross

The Green Cross (we see what you did there) serves sunny San Francisco with some top-quality MMJ. It opened its doors in 2004, kicking off with a storefront in the affluent Noe Valley neighborhood. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now runs a new storefront in the Excelsior District. The Green Cross was one of the first dispensaries to introduce a delivery service, and it has a reputation for being socially minded, especially in the areas they operate in. They offer patient counseling and caregiving services and strive to employ local residents. It’s this attention to detail and caring attitude that have given The Green Cross its stellar reputation in the local community and beyond.

A Green Alternative Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Have your MMJ discreetly delivered to your door with A Green Alternative’s highly efficient delivery service.

A Green Alternative is a little different from the others on this list because it is a nonprofit organization. It exists to help its patients through a number of debilitating diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and arthritis. It operates out of San Diego and serves much of Southern California. You can visit them in person for an evaluation or have your MMJ discreetly delivered to your door with its highly efficient delivery service. Florida is going to need a few of these nonprofit clinics if it hopes to fully integrate MMJ into its society.

The Apothecarium

Another successful dispensary operating out of San Francisco, the Apothecarium not only has an awesome name but it is also a stylish addition to the new wave of dispensaries popping up along the West Coast. It offers a wide spectrum of medical options for their patients, including flowers, edibles, concentrates and topicals. You can pick it up in their fancy premises in the Castro District or register for home delivery by becoming a member. All you need is your valid doctor’s recommendation and a government-issued ID, and you’re good to go. The forward-thinking Apothecarium also offers reward schemes to loyal patients as well as discounts to seniors and veterans.

All in all, there’s a wide range of choices available to California MMJ patients with dispensaries convenient to every major city and suiting all styles. We look forward to Florida incorporating the same diversity and eventually growing into the same varied and valued community that can be found on the West Coast.

Will Florida Legalize Medical Marijuana to the Same Extent as California?

The results of the U.S. presidential election overshadowed the results of a few very significant votes: the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier in the night on Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters (who played a major role in the presidential election, too) passed a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, which was, in fact, the first victory scored by the pro-legalization side on a critical night in America. It took the people of Florida some serious legwork to make it to the legalization stage, but will they follow their West Coast allies in making medical marijuana available to the same extent?

This serious legwork should not be underestimated. The pro-legalization side in the Sunshine State has had a serious fight on their hands for the past few years, even to reach the point they’re at now. Unlike California, where it’s possible to avail of medical marijuana with a medical marijuana card, the situation in Florida is a little thornier. The vote brought to the table this past November was one of the briefest legalization laws ever passed in America. From start to finish, it only takes up five pages. It’s titled Amendment 2, and although you may think that the brevity of the law makes it clear and concise, it actually provides more problems than solutions.

It essentially means there are a lot of details left to iron out and many debates to be had over the intricacies of the bill. And it’s already had some teething problems since its birth. Although the law was accepted in November, it wasn’t actually passed until Jan. 3, 2017. And it’s not even fully legal yet.

Although medical marijuana is legal in spirit in Florida, Amendment 2 specifically states that patients must obtain a letter of certification from a physician and a state-issued, valid medical marijuana card. Fair enough. The problem lies in that fact that these required ID cards are not available to citizens and won’t be until at least June 2017.

Fortunately, there is a mechanism in place that states that the Florida Department of Health must finalize its medical marijuana regulations by June 3, 2017. So with a bit of luck, there won’t be too much dillydallying.

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According to Amendment 2, the Florida Department of Health is responsible for overseeing the implementation and regulation of medical marijuana.

The question, then, is what can go wrong in that time? The introduction and management of the state’s new MMJ laws will be overseen by two key people: Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Celeste Philip and Gov. Rick Scott. Scott is the man in charge, but Philip runs the Florida Department of Health, which, according to Amendment 2, is responsible for overseeing the implementation and regulation of MMJ. For Scott’s part, he opposed medical marijuana in 2014 but has had little to say in recent months about Amendment 2 and its implications.

That could be because he’s playing to the gallery. About 71 percent of Florida’s voters were in favor of legalizing MMJ, and Scott could potentially make himself very unpopular very quickly if he pushes back against the will of his people. So it’s clear to all involved that this is a crucial time in the quest to legalize MMJ in Florida. The Senate is preparing its medical marijuana plan, and it remains to be seen exactly what routes and decisions will affect it. The issues on the table are varied and intricate. The most controversial ones comprise who should be considered eligible for MMJ treatment and how many licenses should be given out to marijuana growers.

MMJ - Los Angeles

California has been a kind of trailblazer in many respects on the issue of MMJ, and it’s great to see other states following their lead.

It remains to be seen whether Florida will embrace MMJ laws to the same extent as California. Two main features of California’s laws have yet to be discussed in relation to the Sunshine State, as they’re regarded as too liberal to be introduced immediately. The first is that California has no limits on possession of MMJ, whereas Florida requires that patients have a physician’s recommendation before they acquire MMJ from state-licensed dispensaries. California also allows patients to cultivate their own marijuana at home. In Florida’s case, this is not allowed to any degree.

California has been a kind of trailblazer in many respects on the issue of MMJ, and it’s great to see other states following their lead. Even though Florida has a fight on their hands with a good few issues to smooth over, the fact that Amendment 2 was supported overwhelmingly by the people should provide a clear path to legalizing MMJ across the board. Although it remains to be seen if Florida will be as welcoming to the treatment as their partners on the West Coast, the good news is that the first few key steps have been made successfully. Only time will tell how Florida implements the legalization of medical marijuana and when exactly it’ll be freely available to patients.

The Most Medical Marijuana-friendly Countries in the World

In California, medical marijuana card holders are blessed when it comes to how the state views MMJ. Not only does the Golden State have some of the laxest medical marijuana laws in the country, but it is also only mere months away from legalizing the plant for MMJ card holders and recreational users alike.

Although Californians have a tendency to see their state as the center of the universe, it is not the only place that has such open-minded medical marijuana laws. Countries all around the world have similar laws whereby MMJ card holders gets to enjoy the same type of freedom you get here at home. Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the most medical marijuana-friendly countries in the world

The Netherlands

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Amsterdam has long been lauded for its relaxed attitude toward medical marijuana.

Where else could you start except for in the weed capital of the world? This northern European country has long been lauded for its relaxed attitude toward marijuana in general and medical marijuana in particular. It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands’ medical marijuana program is probably the best in the world with huge amounts of government money going toward research to better it even further. MMJ users in the Netherlands have two options when it comes to obtaining the plant: informally from a recreational dispensary or formally through a pharmacy. Accessing marijuana in the Netherlands is as easy as you’re going to find anywhere else in the world with about 700 weed dispensing “coffee shops” spanning the country.

Jamaica

Jamaica is seen by some as the beating heart of the global marijuana community; however,  for a country with such a prolific and well-documented history of promoting the plant’s recreational use, Jamaica only actually decriminalized the possession of marijuana in 2015. Nowadays, with the bureaucratic nightmare of decriminalization behind them, Jamaica is every ounce the MMJ mecca that it has always been believed to be. It even has a cannabis licensing authority that is in charge of the cultivation and distribution of the plant for medical and scientific purposes. Although MMJ is not easily accessible to everyone in Jamaica, if you have your California medical marijuana card on you when you’re traveling to the country, you can get a permit in the airport for a few dollars that will allow you to consume MMJ wherever you want.

Uruguay

Uruguay hit the headlines in 2013 for becoming the first country in the world to completely legalize marijuana, which destroyed the country’s powerful drugs cartels. In Uruguay, you’re welcome to grow up to six plants of your own at home or acquire some from the state-controlled marijuana dispensary program — and you don’t need a medical marijuana card to do so. Although this program has had some teething problems, nowadays, the price for MMJ is so low that everyone can afford it, which means that those in vital need of its healing powers can access it easily. Uruguay has been somewhat of a trailblazer on the South American weed scene. Since the legalization of the plant in 2013, Chile and Colombia have followed suit, and more are set to follow.

Canada

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Canada has had a medical marijuana program since 2001.

Our northerly neighbors may not have total legalization yet — they’re working on it! — but they do have a pretty great medical marijuana program that has been in place since 2001. In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in Canada, you must have a diagnosis and a recommendation for MMJ use from a licensed physician. Then you can acquire the plant from any of the 29 licensed producers who are accessible from every corner of the country. According to recent data, about 29,000 Canadians are now benefiting from the wonder plant.

Israel

Believe it or not, Israel is also a trailblazer when it comes to medical marijuana research. It was an Israeli scientist who was one of the first researchers to identify cannabidol (CBD) and who later determined the structure of tetrahyrdocannabidiol (THC). Ever since the 1960s, the small Middle Eastern country has been refining the study of the plant, and in 1992, it approved marijuana for medical use. Today, around 25,000 Israeli patients use the plant to treat a whole host of ailments.

Denmark

Although MMJ is not widely accepted through the entire Scandinavian country — you could see yourself slapped with a fine for openly consuming outside of the Christiania district of Copenhagen — the Danish attitudes to cannabis are pretty lax. Medical marijuana has been legal in Denmark since 2011, and all you need is a prescription to legally acquire and consume it. Although only three types of cannabis are legal for medical use — sativex, marinol and nabilone — a whopping 88 percent of Danish people are in favor of the total legalization of all types of medical marijuana.

As attitudes start to become more liberal and more parts of the world start to open their eyes to the wonders of medical marijuana, you’ll begin to see more countries become havens for both MMJ card holders and recreational users. Unfortunately, some areas have quite a long way to go when it comes to marijuana acceptance, but overall, the world seems to be moving in a more weed-friendly direction than ever before.

What the New Bills in the House and Senate Mean for Medical Marijuana in Florida

In November 2016, Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which took effect in January 2017. The controversial amendment formed part of the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative and was designed to extend the rights of patients, allowing for more potent strains of medical marijuana in Florida to become available and to be used in the treatment of a wider variety of medical conditions.

However, since this amendment has passed, and with just one month to go in the session, Florida lawmakers remain at odds as to how to carry out and put into practice the new amendment. Senate and House members disagree on the finer details of how to expand access to the drug, from licensing additional distributors to cover the increase in demand to requiring patients to be seen by the same doctor for at least three months prior to receiving their prescription.

What Does Amendment 2 Mean for Medical Marijuana In Florida?

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Amendment 2 means higher-strength strains of medical marijuana will be allowed in Florida.

Under Amendment 2, medical marijuana use will expand beyond the limited prescription of low-strength strains allowed under the 2014 law. The new legislation also expands the list of ailments that qualify for a medical marijuana prescription from cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms to include post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and potentially other chronic conditions.

It is still yet to be determined whether the new amendment will expand the rights of patients to choose how they would like to ingest their medication. Currently, patients are only allowed topical lotions with vaping being permitted only in the cases of terminally ill patients. This means that smoking, consuming edibles (brownies, gummies, lollipops etc.) and taking tinctures are still illegal with or without a legal prescription.

What Bills Concerning Medical Marijuana in Florida Are Being Debated?

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Follow SB 406 and HB 1397 to keep tabs on medical marijuana in Florida.

There are two major bills at play: Senate Bill 406, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, is viewed as more permissive and has drawn support from advocates in the medical marijuana community. House Bill 1397, sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, has been criticized for being overly restrictive and is heavily backed by the Drug Free America Foundation.

What Do These Bills Aim To Achieve?

SB 406 would eliminate the current requirement that states that patients are required to be under a specific doctor’s care for at least three months prior to receiving a prescription for medical marijuana in Florida. HB 1397 would keep such restrictions in place, something that the medical marijuana community claims will outprice many of the patients who could benefit from the prescription.

Doctors are already experiencing a significant influx of new patients eager to qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. As of now, there are currently seven dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana in Florida. SB 406 would immediately expand the number of licenses issued to medical marijuana distributors in the state to allow for the rapid increase in demand. HB 1397 would first require that more 250,000 patients sign up for medical marijuana in Florida before expanding the pool by an additional five businesses. This pool would continue to increase when sign-ups reach 350,000; 400,000; and every 100,000 patients thereafter.

SB 406 would also establish a coalition for medical marijuana research through Tampa’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute and would require that an independent laboratory test all medical marijuana for quality and potency before it is made available to patients. Given the federal government’s previous troubles in producing medical-grade marijuana for patients, these last amendments have received a warm welcome by the medical marijuana community.

What Will Happen If Lawmakers Can’t Agree?

Amendment 2 states that the new legislation for medical marijuana in Florida must be adopted by the state by June 3, 2017, at the latest. If the Senate and House can’t agree on a workable bill by the end of the session May 5, then the health department will be required to issue the regulation on its own. This would make the new legislation much more vulnerable in terms of various legal challenges and would ostensibly leave the issue in the hands of the courts.

Stay tuned for further news on medical marijuana in Florida and what the new legislation will mean for patients’ right to access, conditions that will qualify for use of medical marijuana, different ways to dose with MMJ legally, and the different strains that will become available and how best to use them. In the meantime, if you’re curious about medical marijuana, its benefits and the rights of patients in other areas of the country, then check out the other articles on our extensive blog.

 

Why Traditional Medicine Is Finally Coming Around to Medical Marijuana

Attitudes toward marijuana within the United States have been dramatically changing throughout recent years. As each voting cycle passes, an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana: 28 states and Washington, D.C., permit the use of medical marijuana, and eight of those states also allowing recreational consumption.

In 2016, a Gallup survey found that 60 percent of American citizens support complete decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose and a larger percentage support marijuana exclusively for medicinal use.

Although the public at large now has favorable views on the drug, what about those within the fields of traditional medicine?

WebMD, a popular site used by health professionals, conducted a survey in 2014 asking 1,544 doctors across 48 states and 12 specialties if they support the legalization of medical marijuana. The survey found overwhelming support for legalization. Most doctors said the drug should be legal in their states or, at the very least, an option for suffering patients.

With this support for medical marijuana, why is there still a significant lack of scientific research being conducted? Unfortunately, marijuana is still outlawed by the federal government, designated a Schedule I substance with “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.” Due to the strict federal oversight of medical research, making progress is easier said than done.

Many credentialed doctors have come forward to express their issues with the government standing in the way of important medical research in relation to marijuana.

“Millions of patients are using this plant, and we need to understand it,” says Sue Sisley, a doctor and researcher at the University of Arizona. “It is negligent for states to go selling cards to marijuana patients without actively conducting rigorous medical marijuana research that’s necessary.”

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A Gallup survey found a majority of Americans support medical marijuana.

So why are experts in the field of traditional medicine finally coming around to medical marijuana?

Although research into the drug is far less extensive than it should be, a number of studies have shown findings that suggest marijuana holds the potential to treat a plethora of medical problems — and often more effectively than traditional medicine. The list of ailments that can be treated with the use of marijuana is wide-ranging. Below we examine some of the most promising of treatments.

Nausea and a Loss of Appetite

According to the Institute of Medicine, medical marijuana can greatly assist with nausea and a loss of appetite. Evidence supporting this is obtained through studying those going through treatment for cancer, such as chemotherapy. Common side effects of cancer treatment are rapid weight loss, along with a loss of appetite. A study out of St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, found that through the use of medical marijuana, patients’ nausea and appetites improved by an average of 38%.

Parkinson’s Disease and General Pain Relief

Parkinson’s disease and general pain relief are often cited as the most common reason why patients choose to consume medical marijuana. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that the psychoactive properties of marijuana could be particularly helpful in treating Parkinson’s. A different study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that the pain experienced by patients with HIV dropped by 30 percent more than 50 percent of the time through the use of marijuana.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Medical marijuana is also used to support United States veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 8 million adults each year. Findings out of the NYU Langone Medical Center concluded that the chemical properties of marijuana are particularly poised for addressing PTSD. “We know very well that people with PTSD who use marijuana often experience more relief than they do from antidepressants,” says the study’s lead researcher, Alexander Neumeister.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression affect an estimated 12 percent of Americans. These conditions do not always stem from a traumatic incident but can occur based on the time of year. A research team from Brazil conducted a study surrounding seasonal affective disorder and found that marijuana treatment, when used in moderation, demonstrates a significant decrease in both anxiety and depression. These findings were supported by a separate study out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesee.

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The list of ailments that can be treated with the use of medical marijuana is wide-ranging.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Although scientific evidence remains limited to animal trials, various stories have circulated regarding those who suffer from epilepsy and seizures. Many of those affected claim that medical marijuana has helped their epilepsy. One woman went as far as to say, “Without medical marijuana, I wouldn’t be alive today.” Multiple families have even moved to Colorado to receive a special strain of marijuana to treat their children’s seizures.

Despite the evidence, marijuana remains a contentious issue in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a vocal about keeping marijuana illegal at a federal level. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” he says. Sessions also recently stated that marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin. Needless to say, with extreme opinions such as these at the peak of government, laws are unlikely to be changed for the better any time soon.

Traditional medicine has come around to medical marijuana, even if some politicians don’t agree. The Epilepsy Foundation calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to relax its restrictions on marijuana so it can be properly studied is just one example of the countless groups of people offering their support. Let’s hope that in the years to come, organizations, members of the public, and politicians alike can find a common ground.

Medical Marijuana in Florida: The Story So Far


On Nov. 8, 2016, Florida vote overwhelmingly in favor of the controversial Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, which allows patients diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions to lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana.

Some have argued that, even with this new amendment in place, the rules set by the Florida Department of Health that outline the new regulations for the issuance of identification cards, qualification and standards of caregivers, and rules for the registration of medical marijuana treatment centers are still too restrictive and would make it more difficult for new businesses to enter into the industry.

So what does all this mean, and what rights do patients have? How does one apply for a medical marijuana card in Florida? Can any doctor prescribe it? How long does it take, and where can you access it? The following article aims to answer all these questions and shed some light on what this new amendment will mean for patients, their caregivers and family members, and the public at large.

What Rights Have Changed?

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With the passing of Amendment 2, more people will be able to use medical marijuana in Florida.

The new amendment will allow the use of medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions that have been diagnosed by a licensed physician. Back in 2014, the Florida legislature approved the use of low-THC and non-smokable medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures and muscle spasms under the Right To Try Act. Last year, this was expanded to include patients with terminal conditions and allowed them to use stronger strains of MMJ. Under Amendment 2, patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other similar conditions will now be covered. So, a wider pool of patients will now be allowed access to medical marijuana as a form of treatment, and the MMJ itself will be available at a higher-THC concentration.

How Do You Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Florida?

Patients must be at least 18 years of age and be a Florida resident with a valid Florida I.D. to provide proof of residency. If you do not have a Florida I.D., then you can use an out of state I.D., passport or another valid form of photo identification in conjunction with a proof of residency document, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Patients must also obtain legitimate medical records from their primary physician that state they’ve been treated by for at least three months prior to application and that outline their diagnosis and medical history.

All patients will be required to register with the Department of Health — more details on this will follow once the Florida medical marijuana program has been fully implemented.

Finally, patients must also show that they have tried other forms of treatment, without success, and their ordering doctor must determine that the risks of this form of treatment are reasonable in respect to the benefits to the patient.

Can Any Doctor Prescribe It, and How Long Does It Take?

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Florida physicians must complete an eight-hour course and examination before they can prescribe medical marijuana.

To acquire access to medical marijuana in Florida, patients will first need to seek treatment from a licensed physician for least three months before they can validate their prescription. Additionally, the physician must have completed the required eight-hour course and examination. Of the 340 doctors that are already fully licensed, many have reported that they have received an influx of new patients to seeking medical marijuana as a form of treatment. There are currently 1,495 patients registered in the state of Florida, but that number is expected to increase steadily in the coming months. The Office of Compassionate Use, which is tasked with regulating medical marijuana in Florida, has predicted a significant increase in registered physicians within the first quarter of the year to cope with the rising demand.

Where Can You Get You Medical Marijuana?

There are currently seven licensed organizations within Florida, with five already authorized to distribute medical marijuana. At least one more additional license will be granted following a recent settlement made between the Department of Health and two southwest Florida nurseries. Once the patient registry reaches more than 250,000, an additional three licenses will be made available, with one being designated solely to black farmers. The dispensaries currently open are in Tallahassee, Clearwater and Tampa, but according to the Florida League of Cities, 55 cities statewide have put zoning moratoriums in place that either ban or heavily restrict dispensaries from opening. Most of the moratoriums that have been put in place are temporary while the cities and counties await news of the new regulations to come out from the passing of Amendment 2.

How Long Until Medical Marijuana Is Legalized Throughout the US?

Marijuana laws in the United States have made great strides in recent years. Since California first made medical marijuana legal back in 1996, 28 other states and Washington, D.C., have followed suit. Although more states have also legalized medicinal marijuana use in certain respects, limitations are still in place that often restrict psychoactive strains and require a physician to prescribe the drug versus simply recommend it.

Nevertheless, the outlook on marijuana throughout the U.S. is clearly shifting in its favor. Not only is medical marijuana perfectly legal in more than half of the states, but also recreational use is permitted in eight of those states with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada all electing to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2016. So how long until the rest of the country follows in their footsteps?

This is a question that isn’t easy to answer. Several key factors play a huge role in predicting which states will be next in casting a positive judgment on the use of medical marijuana. Given the results of the 2016 general election, along with the subsequent picks for certain positions within government, a wrench (or two) have certainly been thrown into the mix.

For example, although the general public has voted to legalize the use of marijuana on a state-by-state basis, cannabis use is still illegal under federal law. Despite there being a total of 44 states in which some form of cannabis law exists, the federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act, which does not recognize a difference between medical and recreational use.

Medical marijuana laws have come a long way in recent years.

Under federal law, cannabis is treated no differently than other substances such as heroin and cocaine. Furthermore, Jeff Sessions, Alabama senator turned attorney general, is known to have a bitter disdain for any kind of marijuana use. Sessions once “joked” to an African-American colleague that he had no issue with the KKK, “until [he] found out they smoked pot,” and was quoted as saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

So, perhaps it wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath for a change in federal law. However, as the federal government does not have the ability to direct state and local police, and with only 80,000 out of 1.2 million law enforcement agents operating at a federal level, tackling pre-existing marijuana laws would be rather difficult. Although states looking to legalize medical marijuana may face an uphill battle, it’s unlikely that they’ll stop trying.

So, which states are the most likely to legalize the use of medical marijuana next? Several states passed legislation in 2016 in the herb’s favor, and there were 13 more states that put forward legislation, including those outlined below. Although roadblocks may have been met, it’s clear that there are some states that will be pushing for medical marijuana in the coming years.

In fact, lawmakers in numerous states have already introduced medical marijuana bills in the 2017 session. Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

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Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

Kentucky has already implemented a highly limited law regarding cannabidiol (CBD) strains of medical marijuana, allowing patients with intractable epilepsy and a written recommendation from their physician to obtain CBD oil. Gov. Matt Bevin has also acknowledged medical evidence associated with marijuana. Furthermore, a 2013 Kentucky health poll found that 78 percent of state residents support legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes.

Missouri put forward the New Approach Missouri Bill in the 2016 election. Although regrettably falling short by 23 signatures to make the ballot, this bill would have given voters the opportunity to decide upon the use of medical marijuana. On Jan 5, 2017, Republican Rep. Jim Neely introduced House Bill 437, which would allow terminally ill patients access to marijuana. Additional support is highlighted through a 2016 public poll, which found that 62 percent of Missouri voters support medical marijuana.

It may surprise you to find Texas making this discussion, too. The historically conservative state still currently holds some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. But in 2015, lawmakers legalized low-THC cannabis oil for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. State Sen. José Rodriguez has since proposed a constitutional amendment authorizing the possession and sale of marijuana for medicinal use. Polling also found 71 percent of Texans support expanding medical marijuana treatment.

Although not as likely as other states, the possibility for North Carolina’s medical marijuana laws to be reassessed is certainly viable. Several bills introduced by legislators have suggested new policies will come eventually, and a CBD-only bill was approved in 2014 for those suffering from intractable epilepsy. With a 74 percent approval rate, polling found an overwhelming majority of residents are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

As is apparent from numerous state laws regarding the use of medical marijuana, progress is happening. Although it is unlikely to be legalized at a federal level anytime soon, more states are becoming increasingly liberal in their outlook toward the drug. Further state legalizations or not, cannabis is assured to continue its immense growth across the U.S. going forward into 2017 and beyond.

How And Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Decriminalized Medical Marijuana

At the age of 20, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the youngest man to ever win Mr. Universe and went on to win the title a further three times, and win the Mr. Olympia title seven times. He then set his eyes on Hollywood and despite his mountainous size and thick Austrian accent, he was able to quickly rise up the ranks, becoming the most successful and popular actor of the 1990s. From there he changed lanes and became the Governor of California in 2003. Due to his popularity while in office, he managed to win re-election by a landslide and did much for the state of California that he will be remembered for, his hand in decriminalizing medical marijuana being one such thing. In this article, we will be discussing how and why Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the Governor of California, decriminalised the use of marijuana.

California has always been a forward-thinking state, being the first to establish a medical marijuana program – Proposition 215 in 1996 and Senate Bill 420 in 2003. This allows people the right to obtain and use marijuana for any illness provided they can get a recommendation from a doctor. The Californian Supreme Court deemed there ought to be no cap on the quantity of the plant a patient may possess in their private residence as long as it is strictly for personal use. In order to make the purchase medical marijuana a smooth process, a patient must have a medical marijuana identification card. These are issued by the California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). Many cannabis dispensaries accept doctor recommendations, but if you get your 420 card online, it will be quicker, easier and cheaper.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger helped legalize the use of medical marijuana throughout all of California.

It is important to make a distinction between decriminalization and medicalization of marijuana. Decriminalization of marijuana – the treatment of possession of small amounts of the drug as a civil, rather than a criminal, offense – began in July 1975 with the Moscone Act. This made possession of one ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine, and more severe punishments for amounts exceeding that.

So in this case, decriminalization began much sooner than medicalization, however, the medicalization of the drug also progressed at a much more rapid pace. Arnold Schwarzenegger certainly played a role in speeding up the process of marijuana from a criminalized to a decriminalized drug. Firstly he never shied away from telling people that he smoked cannabis throughout the 1970s. As an ambassador for strength, health, hard work, and success who smoked often, he was shining proof that marijuana was not worthy of its negative reputation and repercussions. This did much for the drug’s public standing and would inevitably contribute to the decriminalization of marijuana.

Though it was not only in an oblique, celebrity-focused fashion that Arnold managed to affect the trajectory of marijuana in California. On September 30, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law CA State Senate Bill 1449. This resulted in further reductions to the charge of possession of one ounce of cannabis or less, from a misdemeanor to an infraction – with no mandatory court appearance and, more importantly, no criminal record. The law became effective January 1, 2011.

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This useful herb is legal to smoke for medicinal purposes all over California, thanks to Arnie.

And this was the nail in the coffin for those trying to hold onto the past – a place where control and punishment were rife and help and rehabilitation were sorely lacking. It was this point, California approached the legalization of marijuana at a noticeably quicker speed. By 2016 California voted for Proposition 64 legalizing the sale and distribution of cannabis for recreational use in both a dry and concentrated form. But licenses won’t be issued for cultivation and business establishment until 2018. Until that point, your best bet in purchasing marijuana is from a medical marijuana dispensary, so make sure you get your medical marijuana card online.

Now you know how and why Arnold Schwarzenegger decriminalized medical marijuana you may have a new-found respect for him. The history of medical marijuana in California is rich, diverse and definitely worth looking into further. And the knowledge of how far the state has come will certainly provide a greater sense of appreciation when you smoke, drink, or eat your legally owned medical marijuana. The next logical step is to legalize it in all states. This would have advantages far beyond the medicinal, such as dramatically increased tax revenues for the state (illegal drugs cannot be taxed), and the reduction of drug-related crime. Make sure you have your medical marijuana card so you can start to benefit from the drug’s long list of health benefits.

The History Of Medical Marijuana In California

Marijuana is America’s number one cash-crop and has been around since the founding of America. It is woven throughout the tapestry of our history – the founding fathers even wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper! But for various reasons, its use was prohibited in the 1920s and by the 1930s it was regulated as a drug in every state. Despite the plant’s almost endless uses and medicinal benefits, multiple attempts to legalize marijuana failed. Until now: 30% of the United States of America has decriminalized the use of marijuana. Some states have gone as far as to legalize marijuana’s recreational use – a huge step. And this progress should continue at an exponential rate. California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use and now over 200,000 Californians have received approval. As well as being one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. California’s marijuana journey from legal to illegal and back again has been an interesting one to say the least and one certainly worthy of an article – hence this article! In this article, we will be discussing the history of medical marijuana in California. 

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Medical marijuana in California has a long and illustrious history.

Pre-Criminalization

Hemp is one of the oldest known domesticated plants having been cultivated for over 12,000 years. America’s colonists grew hemp to support its expansion in the Americas. George Washington pushed for the growth of hemp and even grew the stuff himself. Throughout the 18th and 19th century the use of hemp for paper, textiles, clothing, rope, paint, insulation, food, and animal feed became ubiquitous throughout the states. Medicinal preparations of cannabis were sold at pharmacies from the early 1850s. However, much was unknown about the plant and it was dumped alongside opiates as a dangerous poison and this eventually led to its prohibition despite it being a huge cash crop, with a smorgasbord of practical and medicinal uses.

Criminalization

The Poison Act was passed in 1907 and following two amendments – one in 1913 and one in 1915 – the possession of “extracts, tinctures, or other narcotic preparations of hemp, or loco-weed, their preparations and compounds” became a misdemeanor and the sale or possession of “flowering tops and leaves, extracts, tinctures and other narcotic preparations of hemp or loco weed (Cannabis sativa), Indian hemp” except with a prescription, was forbidden.

In 1925, possession, which was previously treated similarly to distribution, became punishable by up to six years in prison, and sales on the black market, initially misdemeanors became prosecutable by up to six years. In 1927, laws made to prohibit opium usage were extended to include hemp. After this point, penalties for marijuana possession, sale, and growth ballooned out dramatically and the possible jail time became substantial – up to 15 years.

Decriminalisation

However things couldn’t continue to degenerate, criminalization of any drug can only have so much momentum as prohibition fails completely to thwart the use of drugs. Even in cases where a drug’s use has negative ramifications physically, mentally – and economically, socially, and culturally by extension – prohibition fails us and helps black market drug dealers. Far better in every case is the governmental controlling of dangerous substances and the rehabilitation – not condemnation – of substance abusers so that they may live normal lives independent of drugs. More and more Californian people began to catch on to this way of thinking.   

Decriminalization of marijuana, which treats the possession of small amounts of the drug as a civil, rather than a criminal, offense, was established in July 1975 when the Legislature passed Senate Bill 95. Proposition 36 of 2000 was approved by a majority of voters, requiring that “first and second offense drug violators be sent to drug treatment programs instead of facing trial and possible incarceration.”

Then in 2010, the CA State Senate Bill 1449 was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This further reduced the charge of possession of one ounce of cannabis or less, from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

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Medical Marijuana in California

In 1996 voters approved of California’s medical cannabis program, proposition 215, making medical marijuana in California legal. This modified state law to grant people with any of a given list of chronic illnesses the “legal right to obtain or grow, and use marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a doctor”. The law also ensured that doctors would not be reprimanded for recommending the drug, and state and federal governments were “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need.

So there’s our history of medical marijuana in California. We hope you now have a better idea of how far the state has come and that this will provide a greater sense of appreciation when you smoke, drink, or eat your legally owned medical marijuana. The next logical step is to legalize it in all states. This would have advantages far beyond the medicinal, such as dramatically increased tax revenues for the state (illegal drugs cannot be taxed), and the reduction of drug-related crime.  Make sure you have your medical marijuana in California card so you can start to benefit from the drug’s long list of health benefits.

How A Medical Marijuana Card Can Free You Of Daily Pain

Pain plays a vitally important role in the human body. Whether we like it or not, pain acts as the important alarm system that tells us when something is wrong – we simply cannot live without it. For those of us who suffer from chronic, daily pain the search for effective and long lasting relief seems endless and oftentimes when something potent enough is prescribed it comes at the cost of debilitating side effects. Thankfully, as California medical marijuana laws become more lax, cannabis card holders can now enjoy the unrivalled pain relieving effects of MMJ without fear of being persecuted for doing so.

Nowadays, those with a medical marijuana card have been using the plant to treat a whole spectrum of painful disorders such as arthritis or peripheral neuropathy, it’s even been used to treat the pain caused by childbirth! When it comes to the pain-relieving power of medical marijuana, we really can’t underestimate things. A clinical trial conducted by Mark Ware MD at McGill University in Montreal found that as little as three puffs of MMJ a day significantly reduced the chronic nerve pain of medical marijuana card holders enabling them to live more independently and sleep much better.

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Here’s the chemical formula behind cyclization of cannabinoids – interesting, no?

So how exactly does MMJ ease pain? Put simply, it does so by working in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system within the human body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating some of our most important biological functions like sleep, immunity and pain. It does so by releasing endocannabinoids to control these functions when they start to get out of whack. When endocannabinoids are not able to deal with this problem on their own, this is where we get into serious trouble and where pain can start to spiral out of control.

When one consumes medical marijuana as a way of relieving this pain, the active cannabinoids within the plant mimic the work of the endocannabinoids giving them a much needed boost and enabling them to do their job better. Although there are hundreds of cannabinoids present in MMJ, the most well-known and hard-working ones have to be tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC acts as an extremely potent pain reliever and anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant and muscle relaxant. CBD, on the other hand, has potent anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and anti-psychotic properties. These two components have an amazing synergizing effect insofar as they work exponentially better together than they do alone. As THC is the ingredient in MMJ that produces psychoactive effects, it’s important that CBD is present for those medical marijuana card holders who want to enjoy the benefits of their MMJ without the drowsiness that can come with it.

As well as cannabinoids, medical marijuana also contains terpenoids and flavonoids which work in conjunction with the other active components of the plant to provide the body with further relief from pain and inflammation. This combination not only provides pain relief but also has been noted to ease nausea, stimulate bone growth, prevent seizures and even reverse the growth of some cancer cells.

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Many doctors are treating medical marijuana card holders with the useful MMJ herb.

As for the best strains of cannabis to treat pain, we’ll have to get more specific. Different types of pain can be vastly different in the way they need to be treated – you wouldn’t treat chronic nerve pain with an Aspirin! The same logic applies when you’re treating any sort of pain with medical marijuana, you need to use the appropriate strain for your ailment or else you could find it entirely ineffective.

 

For migraine relief go for a strain like Blueberry Headband. This strain is known for its ‘cerebral’ effects that target pain straight at the crown of your head, giving you near instant, targeted relief.

If you suffer from chronic spinal pain, opt for indica strain Mazar. Mazar is absolutely packed with cannabinoids that have an extremely potent painkilling effect, much more so than other strains.

Although most medical marijuana card holders typically wouldn’t use a sativa strain for pain relief, Harlequin is the exception to the rule. Perfect for treating inflammation and arthritis pain, Harlequin’s high CBD content makes it an effective pain reliever. The buzz given off isn’t as strong as other strains as well making it a perfect daytime consumable.

For generalized pain, opt for ultra-MMJ ACDC which has near unrivaled painkilling abilities. The secret to ACDC’s superpower comes from the fact that it contains very high levels of both THC and CBD making it the ultimate pain relieving medical marijuana out there.

Left unsatisfied by more traditional methods, people who suffer from chronic pain have benefited greatly from the medical professions increasingly lax views on cannabis as a form of analgesic. Cannabis usage as a way of relieving pain has been an absolute godsend for California medical marijuana card holders and thanks to the advent of more progressive MMJ laws across the country, more and more people now have access to the potentially life changing plant. As ever though, it is imperative that you talk to your physician and obtain a certified California medical marijuana license before embarking on your treatment.

Cutting Through The Controversy Surrounding Medical Marijuana

Despite the fact that a raft of new states voted to legalize medical marijuana, and many voted to legalize even recreational use of the drug, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding cannabis use in the United States. The herb is still illegal at a federal level, and simply crossing a state line with your medical marijuana can turn you from a law abiding citizen into a felon with the potential to do some actual jail time.

The nation is now a patchwork of legal and illegal states. Many forward-looking jurisdictions have opened their eyes to the medicinal benefits of this ancient plant and are issuing suitable patients with an mm card. Unfortunately, many other jurisdictions are still convinced that pot is the devil’s pubic hair – poisonous, maddening, and deeply evil.

So why the controversy? Why do different states, and even different people, look at marijuana in such a different way?

Physicians of the 19th century had a great deal less complicated, synthetic, expensive (and massively profitable) pharmaceutical drugs at their disposal. But one treatment they relied heavily on, to treat labor pains, asthma, nervous disorders, sexual dysfunction, and even colicky babies, was a fluid extract of “Indian hemp extractums”, also known as Cannabis Indica. In the late 1800s marijuana was considered a “superstar” drug in America and Europe, with over 100 scientific studies published in the 19th century verifying its effectiveness.

MMJ was the most popular medicinal drug for much of the 19th century in America, only being overtaken slightly by morphine and aspirin towards the end of the century.

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There are a lot of half-truths and myths surrounding medical marijuana use.

All was well. But then dark forces stepped in…

In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act was introduced. This made possession, sale or transfer of cannabis within the United States illegal, apart from a few industrial exemptions which were massively taxed. This was a sad day in American legal history because the bill was passed based on extremely shaky evidence that dubiously suggested marijuana was addictive and lead to antisocial behavior. Preston Peet, in his book ‘Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs’ suggests that the real purpose of the prohibition on cannabis was to destroy the hemp industry, making synthetic fiber more valuable and enriching the fat cats who owned the synthetic fiber patents. Was it an early taste of how brutally, nation-destroyingly effective Washington lobbyists would become?

This new prohibition on marijuana really muddied the waters and confused a nation about the possible effects, good or bad, of marijuana. It lead to generations of people assuredly, proudly, fearfully, but ignorantly, exclaiming that weed ‘sent people crazy!’ and was a harmful ‘gateway drug’ that made people violent, destitute, and demented. Misinformation was peddled at a national level and millions of people were successfully brainwashed.

Thankfully we are now managing to claw our way, as a nation (some states quicker than others), out from underneath that particular rock. The light is bright, too bright for some, but we are slowly getting used to it.

A Renaissance is taking place. Rafts of genuine studies are being done, and the truth about marijuana and the medicinal benefits of using a California medical marijuana card are becoming irrefutably clear.

In the last few decades a host of studies have been done that show medical marijuana to have massive potential in treating a myriad of ailments and diseases. Conditions as diverse as nausea, anxiety disorder, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington’s disease, sickle-cell disease, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, PTSD, and anorexia nervosa have all been successfully treated with the use of a 420 card.

Excitingly, it is looking promising that cannabinoids may also be a useful weapon in the battle against cancer, both its prevention and its treatment. Many studies on laboratory animals have now shown that cannabinoids can inhibit tumor growth. They appear to kill tumor cells without harming the surrounding healthy cells, mainly by inhibiting the process of angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. This gives cannabinoids an advantage over chemotherapy, because the latter tends to destroy healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.

Studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids can be effective in killing cells from many types of cancers, including lung, thyroid, leukemia, skin, uterus, breast, colorectal, stomach, pancreatic, prostate, as well as a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

This is all very positive news and is adding to medical marijuana’s new, positive image.

Many doctors and physicians in medical cannabis-friendly states are now more willing than ever to learn about the benefits of MMJ, and are more open minded to prescribing their patients cannabis cards, than at any time since the late 19th century.

After almost 80 years of controversy, ignorance, and misinformation, this versatile and useful plant is coming in from the cold and taking its rightful, and uncontroversial, place at the top table of modern medicine.

Medical Marijuana And Modern Medicine: The Real Story

Modern medicine is slowly but surely waking up to the huge health and healing benefits of medical marijuana. MMJ is now being used to treat and manage a whole host of physiological and psychological diseases.

However, despite a slew of studies showing its effectiveness, and mountains of anecdotal evidence from cannabis card patients who have benefited from its use, there is still controversy surrounding medical marijuana. In many circles, marijuana is viewed as a harmful and deviant drug. Rigid thinking in this area means that many people refuse to see cannabis as anything but the dangerous and degrading substance they have been brainwashed into believing it is.

Marijuana’s bad reputation comes from decades of baselessly awful press, and a large amount of deliberate misinformation that’s been peddled by malevolent and cynical forces with sinister agendas.

For much of the 19th century, physicians happily, and to great effect, prescribed Cannabis Indica for a wide range of ailments including nervous disorders, labor pains, nausea, asthma, sexual dysfunction, and headache. Well over 100 studies published in the 19th century validated its effectiveness. Marijuana was well and truly a ‘superstar’ of 1800s medicine. Cannabis was to the 19th century apothecary, what Conor McGregor is to the 2017 UFC.

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Medical marijuana and modern medicine: a match made in heaven?

But in 1937 things changed. The Marijuana Tax Act became law and the use of marijuana for medical purposes or otherwise became illegal. Propaganda was disseminated that said cannabis was of no medicinal benefit and that it was, in fact, sinister and harmful. Stories of people going crazy and committing acts of wild violence and sexual depravity while under the influence of the evil herb marijuana were circulated and the notion that weed was a satanic and horrendous poison seeped into the national consciousness. These wild stories were thoroughly false and baseless, yet a naive populace believed them anyway.

According to author Preston Peet, in his excellent book ‘Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs’, the underlying purpose of criminalizing and vilifying cannabis was to kill the hemp industry, and make the big business interests who ran the synthetic fiber industry even more filthy rich. It seems possible that the alcohol industry, which had just exploded after the end of prohibition in 1933, also stood to benefit from a total ban on marijuana.

Marijuana stayed strictly ‘off the menu’ for doctors and patients (on an official basis at least) for the next several decades, until eventually the mood began to change in more enlightened parts of the nation during the 1990s. California passed Proposition 215 in 1996 which allowed the use of medical cannabis in the state for people with a California medical marijuana card. Gradually other states opened their eyes to the undeniable benefits of issuing medical 420 cards and followed suit, legalizing marijuana for medical use. By the beginning of 2017, 28 US states had legalized medical marijuana.

MMJ is now firmly a part of modern medicine with physicians prescribing a California medical card for physiological conditions such as vomiting, migraines, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, nausea, sickle-cell disease, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, muscle spasms, and asthma, as well as psychological conditions like anxiety disorder, insomnia, bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD.

The benefits of cannabis cards for modern medicine are now being thoroughly explored and studies are bringing a whole host of new and unexpected benefits to light. Studies on laboratory animals are showing that the cannabinoids found in MMJ can inhibit tumor growth, and even kill tumors by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. This is an excellent development in the fight against cancer. Cannabinoids even seem to have an advantage over chemotherapy because, while chemo tends to annihilate healthy cells as well as cancerous cells, cannabinoids seem to kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells intact.

Not only is MMJ easing the pain and suffering of patients with a raft of different diseases, and showing potential to kill tumors, but it is also, according to research from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, showing great potential to improve neurological functioning after a stroke, and a study from the National Cancer Institute is even suggesting that it could have a protective effect against the development of certain tumors! Hurray for cannabis!

So the real story of medical marijuana and modern medicine is a beautiful love story. There was a passionate honeymoon full of laughter, lust and wild nights. Then came a tumultuous middle period in which mistrust, wild accusations and hurt feelings lead to an acrimonious break-up. But that break-up was ultimately character building, and it let the lovers realize just how much then really meant to each other, and they finally got back together in a wonderful reunion, and a renewed, more mature, and deeper love flourished, and looks set to continue to flourish forever more! Warms your heart, right?

Can Medical Cannabis Work In Conjunction With Medication

What are the effects of using medical cannabis in conjunction with other medication? Does your marijuana interfere with other medication? It is important to understand how any combination of drugs you are taking will work together and the effects that mixing them will have on your body and mind.

In order to avoid any unwanted effects from drug interactions inside your body, it is crucial that you keep your doctor informed and listen carefully to his or her advice.

Pills

If you are taking traditional medical and medical cannabis, we advise asking your doctor what the effects coud be.

Although there is not a wealth of peer-reviewed studies on interactions between medical marijuana and commonly-used medications, there certainly are potential side effects that can occur when MMJ is taken alongside other drugs. Many widely taken prescription and nonprescription drugs, when taken in combination, will react chemically inside the body. These reactions can be good, bad, or benign. Cannabis card patients and their doctors should consider the potential reactions that both prescribed and ‘over the counter’ medications will have with the cannabis they use, because sometimes those reactions are not inconsequential.

Marijuana can have an additive effect when taken in conjunction with certain pain medications. This additive effect, when one drug amplifies the effect of another, is called ‘potentiation’. The effect can be unpredictably strong. Cannabis is often prescribed alongside NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for the relief of pain symptoms from arthritis. The combination is very effective for reducing pain. Patients using their California medical card alongside painkillers need to be careful because the potentiation of these drugs can lead to drowsiness or depression of the central nervous system which controls heart rate and respiration.

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis is a wonderful herb but it’s best to learn about its effects on your body before consuming.

Medications that are dedicated central nervous system (CNS) depressants or sedatives can bring on a feeling of drowsiness. Certain strains of MMJ (usually indica-dominant hybrids) that have a similar effect can greatly enhance the effects of these drugs. Some medications prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, depression and, as previously mentioned, pain relief fall into this category. So be aware that taking sedative drugs and using medical cannabis may knock you out more than expected.

Antihistamines, which are used in the treatment of allergy symptoms associated with hay fever, have a depressing effect on the CNS. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so when used in combination with a California weed card can have a potentiated effect.

Antihypertensives are commonly used by people with hypertension to lower their blood pressure. Some strains of medical cannabis, especially sativa-dominant strains, can temporarily increase blood pressure, so if you are taking drugs to lower blood pressure be aware that certain strains of weed may counteract their effects.

Hormone medications can be effected by medical cannabis use. Marijuana can make the oestrogen used in birth control or as hormone replacement therapy less effective. This means the intended effects of these drugs may be compromised. What’s that we hear in the distance?? Oh it’s the the pitter-patter of tiny feet. How exciting!!! Or not. Seriously though, the effects of medical cannabis on birth control pills is often negligible, but it’s always best to be extra-safe and talk to your physician.

Marijuana can slow blood clotting, so when it is mixed with prescription medicines such as warfarin that slow blood clotting, or with nonprescription drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin that have the side effect on slowing clotting, this may result an increased risk of bleeding and/or bruising.

The effect of medications that metabolize within the liver may be strongly impacted by the presence of medical marijuana in the system. Cannabis has been known to slow down, or speed up, certain processes the liver uses to break down medication. This can result in medications being at a higher blood concentration or lasting longer than would normally be the case, or alternatively, being processed more rapidly and losing their effect more quickly. Therefore, the dose or frequency of these medications may need to be adjusted when they are being taken in conjunction with medical marijuana.

It has sometimes been noted that certain medications that may be used to treat patients with cancer, HIV, and people who have had an organ transplant may sometimes interact with medical marijuana. Since many people with these conditions use medical cannabis to manage their symptoms, it is important to check with a doctor to be sure that the particular drugs you are taking are appropriate to take alongside MMJ.

Cannabis has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of metformin (known by the brand name Glucophage) which is used as an aid in controlling the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients, as the effect of lowering blood sugar is opposed by cannabinoids.

Also, marijuana can cross the placenta and be excreted in breast milk, so it’s best for breastfeeding mothers to discuss the potential risks of breastfeeding while using their MM card with their doctor.

So these are some of the more common potential side effects of mixing medical cannabis with other drugs. There can be many advantages to using your 420 card along with other useful drugs, but it is always wise to be conscious and aware of what you are putting into your body, and how those substances will react with each other.

I Have PTSD: Which Medical Marijuana Strain Do I Need?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that affects certain people who have experienced a highly traumatic event. Being involved in warfare, extreme violence, or a road accident, or being the victim of child abuse, sexual assault, terrorism, or other threats to life can result in a person experiencing PTSD. It is also an affliction that can be treated with the use of medical marijuana.

Approximately 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and 11-30% of soldiers returning from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan have the condition. The main symptoms of this brutal condition are flashbacks, chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares. Sufferers respond to innocuous events and cues in the external (and their internal) world with an acute panic response, because they remind them of the initial trauma they experienced.

There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD. By aiding in something called memory extinction, marijuana can help reduce the association between innocuous stimuli in the present and traumatic events from the past. It also calms the body and mind, reduces stress, and aids sleep.

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PTSD can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.

There are plenty of studies to back up marijuana’s effectiveness in treating PTSD. A University of Haifa study from 2014 showed that rats that were exposed to trauma, who received a synthetic cannabinoid within 24 hours, did not exhibit PTSD symptoms, however rats that were not treated with the cannabinoid did develop symptoms. This study led to an understanding of the neurological characteristics of the behavioral effects of PTSD. In traumatized subjects there was an increase in brain receptors associated with emotional processing. Cannabis was shown to decrease the numbers of these specific receptors in the areas of the brain that imprinted traumatic memories.

A study by Dr. George R. Greer MD in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2014 showed that participants with PTSD reported, on average, a 75% reduction in major PTSD symptoms while using medical marijuana. Dr. Greer reported, “Many PTSD patients report symptom reduction with cannabis, and a clinical trial needs to be done to see what proportion and what kind of PTSD patients benefit, with either cannabis or the main active ingredients of cannabis.”

As well as evidence from studies, there is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence self-reported by sufferers of PTSD who say that their lives would be unbearable if it wasn’t for the positive impact that medical marijuana has on their debilitating condition.

There is no doubt that medical marijuana is a very effective treatment for PTSD, but not all weed strains are equally effective. Here is a list of seven hybrid strains that people have reported work particularly well in combating PTSD.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can help sufferers of PTSD.

Blue Dream is widely available with a California medical marijuana card. It is a mildly high-THC hybrid, and offers very reliable relief from PTSD. The sativa-dominant strain has an energizing and buoyant effect. It contains a nice dose of indica which produces a warm feeling of physical relaxation also. The herb is not very strong, so you can go about your business, feeling clear headed and fully functional while enjoying its PTSD-busting effects.

Grand Daddy Purple is a very pleasant indica-dominant hybrid that produces feelings of happiness, positivity and relaxation. It is often used by cannabis card holders who suffer from depression, and is widely regarded as an excellent strain for treating PTSD.

Stress Killer this is a high-CBD strain created by Royal Queen Seeds and easily available to people with a California medical marijuana card. It has quite low levels of THC, and is ideal for people who enjoy a mild but very manageable psychoactive effect. It will produce a light, sedative high and is ideal for relieving the anxiety that comes with PTSD.

A very popular indica-dominant strain that is famously good for pain and stress relief is Blueberry Kush. This is a big favorite with California marijuana card holders. It puts the body into a very relaxed state, and is widely availed of by PTSD sufferers.

Northern Lights is a massively popular indica-dominant strain that is used extensively by people with cannabis cards who suffer with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. It brings on a mellow high and is a fantastic sleep aid. It takes hold fast and knocks you out hard. Northern Lights and heavy machinery are not happy (or safe) bedfellows!

Even more of an insomnia-wrecker is Master Kush. This is a firm favorite of people who are cursed with chronic and extreme insomnia. It is a very strong strain that is not for first time smokers. You should be an experienced 420 card user before you use this powerful strain! It will knock you out hard and fast, producing a super-mellow high and ultra-relaxed body. Don’t bother getting munch, you won’t be needing it! Oh and make sure you are seated somewhere nice and comfortable when you smoke this awesome strain, because you probably won’t be moving very far for the foreseeable future!

Pineapple Express is a relatively mild sativa-dominant hybrid strain with a THC content of about 20%. The effects are pleasantly relaxing. It provokes a warm, happy feeling, and is eminently usable for during the day. Many PTSD sufferers have enjoyed the effects that this pleasant strain has given them.

Can I Grow Weed With A California Medical Marijuana Card?

California medical marijuana card owners are well served by a small army of friendly, knowledgeable, and well-stocked MMJ dispensaries. But there is also a lot to be said for cultivating your own medical cannabis.

It is a beautiful feeling to sit back, relax, and spark up a bowl that you yourself have reared, tended to, and watched develop over a period of several months. It is a very satisfying experience to grow your own weed, and a rewarding day when you smoke the herb that you have produced with your own hands. It provides a lovely feeling of accomplishment.

MMJRecs - California Medical Marijuana Card

As long as you have a California Medical Marijuana Card, you can grow your own weed.

But what does the law say about cultivating your own cannabis? Does a California medical marijuana card enable a patient to grow their own weed, and if so, in what amounts, and where?

Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, which came into effect in 1996 makes it legal for patients and their primary caregivers to grow their own medical marijuana for personal use, provided they have the recommendation and approval of a licensed California physician.

The law explicitly covers cannabis cultivation for personal medical use only. Under Proposition 215 patients are allowed to grow whatever amount of medical marijuana they require to treat or manage their particular illness. 420 card patients can be prosecuted if they exceed these reasonable limits. They can also get into trouble for exceeding a local jurisdiction’s cultivation limits.

In 2004 a legislative statute went into effect that broadened Proposition 215. It allowed California medical marijuana card patients to form non-profit medical cannabis growing collectives and cooperatives. Many collectives and cooperatives now operate in the state, however, like in so many areas of MMJ law, exact policies vary from local jurisdiction to local jurisdiction, and many local governments within California have banned or restricted the rights of patients to set up collectives. Collectives tend to attract the attention of law enforcement, and large outdoor grows with over 100 plants are risky as, although they are not necessarily in breach of Proposition 215, they carry a five-year minimum sentence under US federal law.

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Do you fancy growing your own MMJ? Just make sure you’re on the right side of the law.

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which came into effect January 1st 2016, established a system for the permitting of marijuana cultivation and dispensaries. It allows patients to grow up to 100 square feet of cannabis for personal medical use, and primary caregivers with five or less patients to cultivate up to 500 square feet. The cultivation of amounts above this is considered to be growing for commercial sale, and to do this a license is required. Again though, this does not mean a local government cannot enforce its own restrictions or bans on the cultivation of medical marijuana in its own jurisdiction.

Problems with law enforcement are always a possibility when cultivating your own MMJ. Patients have been arrested for growing amounts that police deem over and above what they require, or due to complaints from other residents in an area, or for having dubious recommendations. Patients have ended up on trial, needing to prove the veracity of their medical marijuana cultivation needs. The State Supreme Court has ruled that patients have the same rights to medical cannabis as they do to any legally prescribed drug, thus, patients who have been arrested for cultivation can request dismissal of charges at a pretrial hearing, and the dismissal will be granted if the can convince the judge that there is no probable cause that it wasn’t for medical purposes. Patients in this situation, when acquitted, will have their plants returned to them.

You can grow your medical marijuana on your own private property. However, landlords are not obligated to allow tenants to cultivate medical cannabis on their property, and some local jurisdictions have enacted zoning laws that restrict where medical marijuana can be grown.

Proposition 215 does not allow California medical marijuana card patients to sell their excess cultivated medical marijuana. Legal caregivers and members of growing collectives can charge for their expenses in growing for others, but always on a non-profit basis.

When Proposition 64 comes into effect in January 2018 at the earliest, it will become legal to cultivate recreational marijuana. It will be possible to cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants. Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure”.

These new cultivation laws will not affect the existing legal rights of California medical marijuana card holders to grow as much as they need under the original Proposition 215, or up to 100 square feet under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.
So yes, it is certainly possible to grow your own MMJ in California, but always be wise and aware of how much you are growing, where you are growing it, and what your local jurisdiction’s specific rules and regulations are.

The Difference Between Smoking And Eating MMJ

You may be thinking that marijuana is marijuana regardless of how it gets into your system, but you’d be sorely mistaken. Smoking, eating, and drinking medical marijuana creates different strength profiles and each process has hugely varying half-lives. And therefore, the type of ailments that each form of ingestion is best suited to treating differs greatly. The two most common forms of marijuana consumption are smoking and eating. Knowing exactly how each form works in the body allows you to make an informed decision as to which is most appropriate to your needs. This article is going to give you the ability to make that informed decision. The only other thing you need to stock up on MMJ is a medical marijuana, card which can be purchased online. Without further ado, let’s get into the differences between smoking and eating marijuana!

 

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Whether you’re more suited to smoking or eating MMJ will depend on your tolerance, preference and ailments.


The Science

There are two places where THC can be processed: in the brain and in the liver. Where THC is processed is dependant on how it enters the system. Eaten cannabis gets metabolized by the liver. Smoked or vaporized cannabis is instead absorbed by the lungs and moves to the THC receptors in the brain.

Getting from edible cannabis to cannabinoids being released through the blood is a slow process – taking between 60 and 120 minutes. The metabolizing of these cannabinoids in the liver happens below the surface with no effects presenting themselves until the cannabinoids are released into the blood plasma. Once released, the effects can last anywhere from four to six hours.

The delayed onset of edible marijuana can mean that inexperienced users may consume too high of a dosage as they confuse the delayed onset with low potency. This can lead to folk to have extremely poor experiences that take many hours to subside. Due to the difficulty in titration with edibles, we recommend the lowest dose possible to achieve therapeutic effects. And from there you can work toward your sweet spot. Patience is key here.

As well as producing a longer-lasting high, eating marijuana produces a much stronger high. This means consumption rates and dosage amounts can be reduced. Many people become interested in edibles because they don’t enjoy the harsh experience of smoking or are worried about the long-term health effects associated with it – this is particularly true of those with lung conditions. Let’s not forget that every drug that has positive effects on the body, also comes with a slew of negative effects – some of which may seem non-existent because they are undetectable. Medical marijuana is no different. So for those requiring frequent marijuana consumption in order to temporarily reduce the effects of chronic pain, or to help with epilepsy etc, having a method to reduce daily dosage while increasing the length and potency of the drug is hugely helpful: meaning they are able to tap into the benefits with much less risk.

Due to the way cannabinoids are metabolised in the liver, in order to have the release of the psychoactive effects of cannabis when eating it, marijuana needs to be heated in some way with a form of fat. You won’t feel a high if you eat it straight without preparation as the digestive system is unable to process THC directly. THC is fat soluble. So cooking with fat – olive oil, coconut oil, butter –  will release the THC from the cannabis and allow it to bind with the fat. Once bound to fat, THC becomes processable by the liver. On top of this, it becomes palatable (don’t try eating raw cannabis unless you are seeking tastebud misery).

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Brownies aren’t the only form of edible MMJ…but they might be the tastiest!

Though edible marijuana is often associated with brownies, or a similar assortment of divine, sugary deserts, almost anything you can think of can be infused with cannabis. It has a strong taste, however, so ensure it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients being experimenting with dosage and dishes.     

On the other hand, the effects of smoked marijuana can be felt within seconds. Smoking marijuana gets THC into the blood much faster and at higher concentrations, but it dissipates far sooner too. This allows even the greenest of users to stop before the point of no return. For this reason, we prepose starting with smoking and moving onto edibles if it suits your ailment or your preferences.

And there you have it, the difference between smoking and eating medical marijuana! Pick whichever suits you and your ailment or settle for a combination of the two. But whatever you do, make sure you have your medical marijuana card before you attempt to purchase. The easiest and quickest way to get your medical marijuana card is online. Happy smoking/eating!

Why Cannabis Oil Is An Excellent Pain Reliever

Customers with medical marijuana cards are now able to buy specifically tailored medical cannabis products to aid them in their fight against pain. Cannabis oil is one of those products.

“The traditional use of Cannabis as an analgesic, anti-asthmatic, and anti-rheumatic drug is well established. Our results would suggest that cultivation of Cannabis plants rich in CBD and other phenolic substances would be useful not only as fiber-producing plants but also for medicinal purposes in the treatment of certain inflammatory disorders.”

Amazingly, this was the conclusion to a paper published in ‘The British journal of clinical pharmacology’ by The School of Pharmacy at the University of London, in 1988. They showed that medical cannabis could be four times more effective than Aspirin at giving pain relief and reducing inflammation. 

The scientists themselves acknowledged that this news was in no way groundbreaking; people have been using medical marijuana as a painkiller for millennia. One of the earliest references is in a Chinese legend in which the mighty king prescribes MMJ tea as an anti-inflammatory, way back in 4700 BC, and there are references to the plant being used both medically and socially in almost all Asian, European and African countries since records began.

What the ancients didn’t understand was the science behind this magical plant. Modern research has begun to unravel the mystery and it is uncovering a wealth of health benefits. The reason cannabis oil is so good for your health is because it has cannabinoids in great abundance. It’s these cannabinoids that are proving exceptionally effective at treating a whole range of ailments. These cannabinols mimic the body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids, which govern many bodily functions. Sleep, appetite, the immune system, pain and many more areas are controlled by these and when there is an imbalance medical cannabis can help restore that balance without any dangerous side-effects.

THC, the most famous of the 80 odd cannabinoids present in MMJ, has always stolen the limelight as it has the most obvious effects on the brain – for this reason it has been studied more and is understood a lot better than its quieter (and second best known) companion cannabinol, CBD. Because of its effects, commercially THC has been the more sought after cannabinol, so for decades strains were bred for more and more THC potency. This meant that the benefits of CBD were largely overlooked.

But why is CBD that important?

Research is showing that CBD has incredible pain-inhibiting and anti-inflammation properties. One of the most effective ways to reap the benefits of CBD without having to smoke medical cannabis is to ingest cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is the cannabis plant extract. It is chock-full of cannabinoids and generally has higher levels of CBD to THC, although make sure to check before you go ahead with your purchase. Medical marijuana card holders who don’t want any of the ‘stoned’ effect can now buy cannabis oil with no THC in it, allowing them to carry on their day as normal.

The idea that cannabis oil is an effective pain reliever is not up for dispute at this stage

CBD has proved to be very effective in the treatment of epilepsy (even on drug-resistant forms such as Dravet Syndrome). Strains such as Harlequin, Charlotte’s’ Web, Cannatonia have been bred specially to have very high concentrations of CBD and very low level of THC. These strains are being used to produce medical cannabis oil with a low enough THC content to be suitable for even children! So for those of us who don’t want the ‘high’ associated with marijuana, these oils are perfect. But don’t worry, you can still get oils with high THC levels if you want to enjoy the benefits of both of the major cannabinoids.

As a treatment, cannabis oil has been shown to be very effective at targeting certain receptors (glycine receptors) that are important in causing inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. The test suggested that CBD would be effective at relieving chronic pain for illnesses associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by severe nerve damage. Again, the Harlequin strain and Cannatonic strain are going to be most effective with their high CBD contents. These anti-inflammatory strains will provide relief from chronic inflammation pains caused by arthritis.

Back pain, muscle pain and wounds can be treated with these oils. Topicals can be made by mixing cannabis oil with lotions or diluting it with oils such as hemp oil or coconut oil. These topicals have traditionally been used as an antiseptic but can also be used as a burn and bite relief, and rubbed into sore muscles. This method is becoming more popular with people who want the health benefits marijuana has to offer but, again, don’t want to take up smoking.

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Cannabis oil can ease pain and give you back your regular life.

Research is only in its infancy, but the evidence is corroborating the stories and experiences of countless medical cannabis users from over the millennia.

Cannabis oil is a fantastic pain reliever – it can help regulate sleep, smooth running of the digestive system and alleviate anxiety and depression. Taken correctly, cannabis oil is good for you and it’s getting better with every study.

 

Do I Still Need A California Medical Marijuana Card If It Is Legalized?

On November 8, 2016, California voters voted, by a margin of 56% to 44%, to pass Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in the state. The details of the 60-page proposition are complex. The vote to legalize recreational cannabis use came 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Now that voters have decided to make recreational cannabis legal, what will become of California medical marijuana card holders? How will their rights be affected? Will medical marijuana users still need a California medical marijuana card to consume their medicine in the state?

For the calendar year 2017 at least, the answer is a definite yes. Proposition 64 will not come in effect until January 2018 at the earliest, which means dispensaries won’t start serving recreational users until at least that date. Implementing regulations is a complicated and time consuming process. Under the new law the ‘Bureau of Marijuana Control’ will not start issuing recreational licenses until at least 2018, and so a cannabis card is fully essential for the entirety of 2017 at least.

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Make the new marijuana laws work for you!

Until the new law comes into effect, anybody who needs to use cannabis for what the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 calls “any condition for which marijuana provides relief” will need to visit their primary physician and request them to write a recommendation, or visit a specialized ‘cannabis doctor’, or get a California medical marijuana card through one of the many online doctor services that enable patients to get a medical marijuana card online.

But even come 2018, when the state is required to begin issuing licenses to recreational weed shops, different localities have the right to set different rules, so it is by no means clear how recreational use will play out. There is a lot of red tape to be hacked through.

There has been some apprehension amongst long-term MMJ users, who rely on easy and reliable access to medical marijuana to control debilitating physical and/or psychological pain. Some patients fear that people who don’t respect the drug and just want to get high are going to clog up the market and give the plant a bad name, while people who genuinely need marijuana as medicine will be forgotten about. They also worry that Proposition 64 will impose stricter regulations on where California medical marijuana card patients can consume their medicine and how much they could grow.

California medical marijuana card

California medical marijuana card holders will be affected by marijuana legalization – but could it be for the better?

Some patients have also been concerned about how the measure might affect the cost of their medicine. But it looks as though the law will not have an adverse effect on MMJ pricing because it exempts California medical marijuana card patients from paying sales taxes, which will keep consumer costs down. It also caps the cost of getting an optional ID card confirming a person’s status as an MMJ patient at $100, and with many counties now charging up to $175, that could also lead to savings.

Indeed, experts have stated that the passing of Proposition 64 does not negatively affect the rights of medical marijuana patients established in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and will in fact improve them, so even once Proposition 64 is fully in effect, there will still be advantages to being a certified medical marijuana patient.

While recreational use will not be allowed in public, card-carrying medical patients will still be permitted to smoke medical cannabis in most areas in which tobacco smoking is allowed. And, while recreational consumers will be limited to growing six plants at a time, medical marijuana patients will continue to be able to grow up to 100 square feet of plants.

Proponents of the law believe its implementation will certainly broaden rights and access for California’s 1M+ medical cannabis users.

Matt Kumin, a San Francisco attorney who has represented medical cannabis clients for twenty years, is confident. He has stated “The sky is not going to fall, I think this is actually a new day for medical cannabis patients.”

How will the new law look? Many people predict California dispensaries will simply have two lines, with one for 420 card patients and one for recreational customers. Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2012, and recreational sales now account for 60-70% of the market. But both recreational and medical sectors continue to grow year on year in the state.

Much of how Proposition 64 plays out in California will depend on how cities and counties decide to implement it, since each jurisdiction controls what types of cannabis businesses can open and operate inside their boundaries.

Local governments also have the right to impose local taxes on top of state taxes, so while there’s a lot to be hopeful about, things are still a bit unclear, and may be for some time to come, especially in terms of differences between different jurisdictions within the state. For example, there could be areas in California where medical dispensaries are operating, but recreational use is still not happening.

So for the next year for sure, and maybe even beyond, there are definite advantages to being legally recognized as a medical cannabis patient, and having a California medicinal marijuana card, as opposed to being a mere recreational user.

The History of Medical Cannabis in the United States

In recent years, the widespread use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been gaining traction. As more studies are conducted, an increasing amount of evidence supporting the health benefits medical cannabis provides is coming to light – leading to an increase in those electing to obtain a cannabis card.

Whether it’s to assist with the nausea associated with cancer and HIV/AIDS treatments, pain relief, insomnia, anxiety, or a myriad of other ailments, patients are frequently turning to the all-natural treatment it delivers. It’s no wonder that as of June 2016, 29 states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for medical use.

While it may seem that the United States has been relatively quick to adopt the use of medical cannabis over the past couple decades – and indeed has been when compared to many other countries – the use of cannabis to treat health conditions dates as far back as 2737 B.C.

Thousands of years before the United States even existed, Emperor Shen Neng of China was prescribing marijuana-infused tea to his people. This tea was used to heal gout, malaria, rheumatism, and, rather humorously, poor memory. The wonders of the drug then spread throughout the globe; reaching Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – with doctors prescribing it for both general pain relief and child birth.

Documented evidence of medical cannabis being used in the U.S. did not occur until the late 18th century, when early editions of American medical journals noted that hemp seeds were effective at treating venereal disease, incontinence, and inflamed skin. This was further popularized in the U.S. by the Irish doctor William O’Shaughnessy, who worked as a physician for the British East India Company.

As the use of medical cannabis developed from O’Shaughnessy’s findings, more and more treatments began to utilize its medicinal properties for easing the symptoms of a range of conditions, including cholera, tetanus, and rabies. Year-on-year, the popularity of medical marijuana was growing exponentially.

By the end of the 19th Century, the tide of American attitudes towards medical cannabis began to dramatically shift, falling as quickly as it had risen. Unknowingly to them, it was discovered that between 2% and 5% of the U.S. population had become addicted to morphine, due to it being a secret ingredient within many medicines at the time.

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis has a long, interesting and occasionally amusing history.

The U.S. government was quick to act, introducing the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. While cannabis was not targeted specifically, the very fact that the distribution of morphine and opium was now under doctors’ control, inherently led to a sudden shift in American drug policy. Eight short years later in 1914, the Harrison act was introduced and the consumption of drugs was defined as a crime.

23 states had outlawed marijuana by the year 1937. This was in-part due to the arrival of a wave of Mexican immigrants – many of whom bought the drug with them – or simply to try to limit the amount of morphine addicts who were looking for something new. In the very same year, the Federal Government then passed the Marihuana Tax Act, outlawing the non-medical use of marijuana.

Marijuana was now criminalized, with harsh penalties being enforced upon anyone who was to be found distributing or consuming. The only exception was during World War II, when the government planted vast fields of hemp crops to supply rope to the Navy. Mandatory sentences for drug offenders then came into motion with the passing of the Boggs Act and Narcotics Control Act in the 1950s.

As the 1960s and 70s rolled around, the public perception of marijuana altered, and laws criminalizing the drug were eased. However, the Reagan Administration – with its get-tough drug policies – halted any potential progress from being made, and the use of marijuana continued to indict severe penalties.

This continued until 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. While this was met with a slew of critics – to this day estimating that there are around 1,000 illegal marijuana shops in Los Angeles alone – several more states followed California’s lead in the years to come; with Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Maine all legalizing medical marijuana before the turn of the century.

As the medical benefits of marijuana further come to light, a direct response is being seen in the amount of states that are legalizing the drug for medicinal use with each passing year. In 2016 alone, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas all became additional advocates to the medical cannabis cause – equal to the number of states from the previous three years combined.

Unfortunately, as marijuana remains illegal at the Federal level, acquisition from anyone who is not a licensed physician is strictly prohibited – unless within a state which has legalized the drug for both medical and recreational use – such as Colorado and Washington,
therefore housing licensed dispensaries.

For Californians looking to reap the rewards of the passing of 2016’s Proposition 64, you’ve not too much longer to wait until your marijuana use is not solely limited to medicinal; with the government deadline for issuing pot shop licenses being no later than January 1st 2018.

What’s The Science Behind Medical Marijuana?

For any medical marijuana card holder who’s just as interested in the science behind medical marijuana as they are the effects, delving into the genetic makeup of the plant begins with cannabinoids. The number of diverse cannabinoids contained within cannabis is vast; with scientists recently upping their discovered cannabinoid count from 104 to 111.

Cannabinoids come in all shapes and sizes, with some having much more of an impact on the body than others. For a long time, the solely discussed cannabinoid was tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC was first discovered back in 1964, and is the primary ingredient which provides the feeling of euphoria. THC, along with cannabidiol (CBD), are the key compounds for medicinal purposes.

An increasing number of Americans each year are turning towards medical marijuana for its ability to alleviate pain, insomnia, and anxiety, and also treatment for those suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS. The medical benefits received from marijuana are due to a combination of cannabinoids, and how they interact with the human body. But how exactly do cannabinoids work?

Cannabinoids are sets of chemical compounds that bind themselves to receptors in the body that make up what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. Many of our bodily cells possess specific binding sites containing cannabinoid receptors. Not only does our body naturally produce endocannabinoids which influence our appetite, mood, and memory, but as we consume medical marijuana, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD also bind to these receptors.

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Medical marijuana – so much more than just a plant!

Cannabinoids we inhale or ingest work by imitating the compounds already found within our bodies, increasing the potency of the chemical’s effect. THC and CBD are by far the most commonly cited cannabinoids found within medical marijuana. While THC has a strong affinity for the CB-1 receptors found in the brain, CBD prefers CB-2 receptors, which are found throughout the body.

For a current or potential cannabis card holder, knowing the difference between THC and CBD is vital, as they provide remarkably different effects and benefits. As THC is a strongly psychoactive cannabinoid, consuming THC-rich marijuana can help with pain relief and nausea. While CBD is effective at relieving insomnia, stress, and anxiety; THC should be avoided in these instances due to its potential causation.

For the longest time scientists believed that the CBD cannabinoid had little-to-no effect on the CB1 receptor site, however new data now shows that this isn’t the case. While THC has a more direct impact on the CB1 site, CBD has now been shown to influence how the receptor responds to THC stimulation – meaning that depending on the particular ailment, a mix of both THC and CBD may be advantageous.

The cannabis plant itself contains more than 500 natural compounds – with cannabinoids making up a significant percentage. As the wide range of cannabinoid compounds interact with our body’s receptors within the central nervous system and immune system, for example, our body is affected in a litany of varying ways: from loss of short-term memory, to a slowing down of reaction times.

While both THC and CBD have been shown to assist with the treatment of a number of conditions, they aren’t the only important cannabinoids found within medical marijuana.

Cannabinol (CBN) is formed through oxidization when THC is exposed to the air. CBN can provide a less potent but similar psychoactive effect to THC, yet when the two are combined together it can make you feel drowsy – assisting with those suffering from insomnia. Both cannabinoids are also the only ones that have been found to fight pain through the use of endorphins and relaxing blood vessels.

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, similar to CBD, and is in-fact the building block for both THC and CBD. While more commonly found in hemp than in varieties of cannabis, it has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure – ideal for patients with glaucoma, as well as a significant pain reliever.

The third most common cannabinoid in the marijuana plant is Cannabichromene (CBC). While CBD often gets all the fame, in some strains CBC can actually take dominance. Research carried out in 2010 found that when coupled with THC, CBC becomes an effective anti-inflammatory, and has shown promise in fighting breast cancer.

With nearly half the states in the U.S. having legalized medical marijuana, it’s no wonder great strides are being made in extracting healing from its chemical compounds. Through latching onto receptors in the body, cannabinoids are able to greatly improve the standard of living for a variety of patients.

While a great source of alternative medicine, if you’ve recently acquired or are thinking about obtaining a medical marijuana card, it’s important to have the science in mind. As cannabis widens the blood vessels and increases heart rate, use is not advised for anyone with a heart condition, for example. But above all, between THC, CBD, and the many other compounds, know which strain is right for you.

4 Awesome Medical Marijuana Smoothie Recipes

Juicing is EVERYWHERE in California these days. From the yoga worshipping goddesses of Los Angeles to the hippies of San Francisco, everyone is getting in on the not so faddish health-fad that is revolutionizing the way we consume our healthy greens. Whilst most California medical marijuana card holders know the many benefits of juicing your MMJ, we dare you to go one step further and enjoy all the benefits of juicing with the added deliciousness of a smoothie.

Like juicing, making a smoothie with your medical marijuana has many benefits over smoking/vaping/tincturing. The main benefit you’ll experience using this method is that by keeping your MMJ raw, you’ll avoid any psychoactive effects that only occur when it is heated – a big plus for those medical marijuana card holders who want to consume their cannabis without the dazed side-effect.

In addition to this, by consuming your MMJ in delicious smoothie form, you’re leaving all the good, medicinal properties of the plant totally unharmed by heat meaning you can benefit from its power completely, with no important nutrients burned out.

To get started on your new gastronomical adventure, all you need is a blender, some ingredients and your California medical marijuana ID card! Here’s our pick of the 4 most awesomely delicious MMJ smoothies that you can make yourself at home.

Start off your day right with the ultimate medical marijuana breakfast smoothie

MMJRecs - medical marijuana smoothie

Who needs to smoke medical marijuana when you can make a delicious smoothie?

This recipe is perfect to start off your day. The mixture of ultra-healthy kale with cucumber, cantaloupe and banana will mask the weed taste of the smoothie with delicious fruity goodness to get your body moving first thing in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic hemp milk
  • ½ Tbsp. organic hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp organic flax seeds
  • ¼ cup organic green kale
  • ¼ cup organic cucumber
  • 1 slice organic cantaloupe
  • ½ banana
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ¼ cup)

Blend all ingredients except the cannabis until completely mixed. Add your cannabis at the end and blend on pulse until optimum consistency is achieved.

 

Treat yourself with a Pear, Sweet Potato and MMJ smoothie for lunch

MMJRecs - pear smoothie

Pick your favorite fruit and build an MMJ smoothie around it!

Smoothies act as the perfect meal substitute for those of us looking to stay away from greasy, unhealthy lunch staples like burgers or burritos. When the mid-day cravings start to niggle at you, grab your blender and opt for this ultimate hunger buster instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 pears
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • Water as desired
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

First, dice your sweet potatoes and pears. Then blend these two ingredients well followed by the orange juice. Finally, add your cannabis and water as desired.

 

Beat the afternoon slump with a banana, blueberry and MMJ smoothie

MMJRecs - medical marijuana smoothie

Combine medical marijuana with fresh fruit and milk: beautiful!

As fruits are naturally low in sodium, fat and calories and high in nutrients, this smoothie is particularly super-human when it comes to giving your body a much needed mid-afternoon boost. The hemp and flax seed add some extra protein and healthy omegas whilst the fruits and MMJ boost you full of medicinal goodness, alleviating your symptoms and tasting delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large strawberries
  • ½ cup whole blueberries
  • ½ cup regular almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 tbsp. hemp seed
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

Blend all ingredients except for the MMJ, only throwing this in at the end so as to avoid heating it with the blade.

Indulge in a luxurious peanut butter, banana and MMJ smoothie

MMJRecs - smoothie

PB & J? Nah, try PB & MMJ!

Probably the most mouth-wateringly delectable smoothie on the list is the holy-trinity unifying peanut butter, banana and MMJ smoothie. This is the perfect end of day treat that is sure to leave you with a full stomach and a soothed body.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of ice cream
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

If you’re allergic to peanuts, opt for some equally delicious almond butter instead. Blend all ingredients to completion only adding the MMJ at the very end until optimum consistency is reached. Add ice cubes if desired.

 

Please note that if you’re using your MMJ card to treat cancer, or any other sugar-feeding disease, it’s advisable that you consult your physician on exactly what you can put into your smoothies as certain fruits can be high in sugar and thusly can exacerbate your condition.

Remember, as your blender blends it releases heat so you need to keep your medical marijuana as far away from the blade as possible. The best way to do this is to blend all your other ingredients completely first, then add your MMJ and blend on pulse until you get the consistency you want.

In order to benefit the most from your medical marijuana smoothies, Dr William Courtney, founder of the Cannabis International Foundation (CIF), recommends splitting them up into smaller portions that can be consumed during the day at your leisure. As drinking a smoothie is much more discreet than other MMJ consumption methods such as smoking or vaping, they’re easier to consume at work, on the go, or wherever else you may need them. Tasty and undetectable?! We like the sound of that!

Even if you get stopped in your car by an overzealous cop, you’re not going to get in trouble for having a smoothie with you, especially if you have your cannabis card to hand.

Although making medical marijuana smoothies can seem like a bit of a nut-job idea at first, once you start you’ll understand why 420 card holders all over California are now reaching for the blender instead of the joint – you’ll just wish you started sooner!

3 Must-Try Recipes For Medical Marijuana Brownies

If you’ve received your medical marijuana card online, or through an evaluation service, and have been smoking medical marijuana for any time at all you’ll know that this can result in a serious case of the munchies. In an effort to curb these post-smoke cravings you might be considering edible forms of medical marijuana – the most common of which is marijuana brownies. Or maybe you’re here in search of a different kind of high. Either way, we’ve got what you need! In this article, we are going to provide you with possibly the tastiest medical marijuana brownie recipes so you can eat marijuana to your heart’s content. Enjoy!

Weed Brownie Effects

Unlike smoking medical marijuana, eating it causes a far slower initial release of its cannabinoids – chemical compounds found in marijuana – such as THC and CBD. The high also persists for far longer than that of smoked marijuana, lasting anywhere from four to eight hours.

Making Canna oil/Cannabutter

In order to have the realize of the psychoactive effects of cannabis – namely THC – when eating it, marijuana needs to be heated in some way with some form of fat. You won’t feel a high if you eat it straight without preparation because the digestive system is unable to process THC directly.

Fats can be oil, butter, milk. This is because THC is fat soluble and water insoluble. This means you must cook the cannabis with a fat, such as butter or oil. This will release the THC from the cannabis and allow it to bind with the fat. Once bound to fat, THC becomes processable by the digestive system. On top of this, it becomes palatable (don’t try eating raw cannabis unless you are seeking taste bud misery).

The best way to control potency is to know how much THC is in the medical marijuana you are using. When buying from a dispensary this is listed on the package. Start with a weaker strain and go from there.

Method

Grind up the marijuana in a grinder or blender until it becomes very fine.

Pour oil or butter into a frying pan.

Spread the marijuana across the pan.

Turn the burner on low, until until the oil and powder start to simmer.

Turn burner heat to the lowest setting. Leave the burner on for 3-6 hours (longer is better).

Stir every 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a filter to strain all the marijuana bits out.

At this stage, you should have a brown colored oil.

Kitchen Preparations

Make sure you’re baking in a well-ventilated kitchen as cooked weed has a particularly pungent smell. Open a window, turning on the fan, and placing a towel under the door.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can transform regular brownies into your new favorite medicine!

 

Just The Best Chocolate and Weed Brownies

Ingredients

2 tbsp. cannabutter

185g unsalted butter

185g dark chocolate (at least 70%)

50g white chocolate

50g milk chocolate

85g self-raising flour

40g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

275g white sugar

 

Method

Cut butter into small cubes and tip into a medium bowl.

Break dark chocolate into small pieces and add to the bowl.

Melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally to mix.

Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.

Turn the oven on to 356°F(180C).

Tip flour and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and get rid of any lumps.

Chop the white chocolate and the milk chocolate into chunks.

Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in the white sugar.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy. It’s ready when the mixture looks really pale.

Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the egg/sugar mixture, then gently fold together with a spatula.

Gently fold in the flour/cocoa powder.

Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks.

Pour the mixture into a baking tin. Put in the oven for 25 minutes.

 

Coffee Weed Brownies

Ingredients

2 tbsp. cannabutter

2 tbsp. stick unsalted, organic butter

4 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70%)

3 eggs

1 ½ cups white sugar

280g white sugar

2 tsp your favorite ground coffee bean

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)

Lightly grease a baking tin with some butter.

Melt chocolate, over low heat until it’s all melted.

Take the chocolate off the heat and slowly add unsalted butter while whisking.

Next, add the sugar. Whisk until sugar has completely dissolved into the mix.

Add the salt, vanilla extract, eggs, cannabutter and ground coffee beans. Gently whisk for two minutes.

Next, using a spatula blend in flour until completely mixed.

Transfer batter to greased tin.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes

 

*If you’re unsure if they’re cooked, take a knife and push it to the base of the pan. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.

MMJRecs - brownies

Oh, go on then…

Peanut Butter Weed Brownies

Ingredients

3 tbsp. cannabutter

225g crunchy peanut butter

225g bar dark chocolate, broken into pieces (at least 70%)

280g soft light brown sugar

3 medium eggs

100g self-raising flour

 

Method

Set aside 50g each of the peanut butter and chocolate.

Heat oven to 356°F (180C).

Melt remaining peanut butter, chocolate and all the sugar in a pan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has just about melted.

Turn off heat and use a spoon to beat in the eggs one by one.

Add the cannabutter.

Stir in the flour.

Add to tin.

Melt reserved peanut butter in a pan, until runny, then drizzle over the brownie. Bake for 30-35 mins until it has a crust, but the middle is still slightly runny.

Melt remaining chocolate, drizzle over the brownies.

Allow to cool and then cut into whatever size/number of brownies you’d like.

 

Take these three must-try recipes and bake up a storm. Let us know what you think and feel free to experiment with them in the search of your perfect brownie!

How Medical Marijuana Reduces Deaths From Pharmaceuticals

Marijuana has long been eschewed and demonized by mainstream medicine. Prior to rigorous testing, medical practitioners are extremely wary to recommend the use of any drug to patients for fear of causing more harm than good, as well as for fear of possible backlash – lawsuits, bad press, etc. – and anecdotal evidence has to be overlooked in the medical world. Only conclusive, clinical studies gain the acceptance of doctors and scientists and that’s the way it should be. However, often anecdotal evidence – unequivocal as it may seem – is enough for the general public and they may become frustrated with the medical world’s caution and bureaucracy (in most of the world it has previously been incredibly difficult to study marijuana, as it has long been an illegal substance) leading to its lagging advocacy of certain drugs and procedures. It’s hard to say whether medical science would save more lives moving quicker or if that would be to its detriment, and that’s outside the scope of this article. This article will instead focus on how medical marijuana has reduced deaths from pharmaceuticals since its adoption into medicine. After reading this, if you have one of the 49 conditions aided by medical marijuana, we’re sure you’ll be looking for a medical marijuana card online. Enjoy!

Every day in the US, 2,500 more youths (12-17) abuse a prescription pain reliever. More than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs, more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin. Prescription drugs give the illusion of safety and this makes them incredibly dangerous and makes their users highly susceptible to overdose.  

The availability of medical marijuana has reduced opioid abuse and overdose deaths because it has offered people an alternative for pain relief. Three of five opioid overdoses occur in people with legitimate prescriptions for pain pills. The replacing of prescription drugs with marijuana reduces opioid-related deaths – there were 1,700 fewer deaths in 2010 alone. Marcus Bachhuber reported on marijuana legalization, “Such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.”

The journal, Health Affairs, looked at prescriptions covered by Medicare between 2010 and 2013. They found that “the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly once a medical marijuana law was implemented”. This is significant. The most notable decline was in painkiller prescriptions, which fell by 3,645 daily doses per physician after medical marijuana laws were implemented! There were also statistically significant reductions in prescriptions for drugs used to treat seizures, depression, psychosis, anxiety, nausea, and sleep disorders.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana and pharma

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that medical marijuana is much safer than opiates.

In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration found that abuse of the painkiller Fentanyl killed more than 1,000 people that year in the US. It is thirty to fifty times more powerful than heroin. Marijuana, on the other hand, is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose, yet still acts as a painkiller. Pharmaceutical companies are heavily invested in a highly lucrative industry so are unlikely to stop selling dangerous and unnecessary pharmaceuticals. Rather than focusing on changing things at that level – which will prove a slow and difficult process -, legalizing medical marijuana in all states will allow those needing pain relief to find it in a drug that has no chance of killing them from overdose and isn’t illegal. As well as pain relief, the use of medical marijuana has a whole slew of other medical applications, including: nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and seizures. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, and so can be used by those suffering from HIV, AIDS, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.

MMJRecs - Pills

Many practitioners are considering using medical marijuana as a go-to treatment for several ailments.

More than 30 percent of the U.S. population lives under some form of marijuana decriminalization, and according to a multitude of studies, these change in laws have not contributed to an increase in marijuana consumption nor negatively impacted adolescent attitudes toward drug use. It’s time that medical marijuana receives the recognition as a safer alternative to pharmaceuticals so that lives are saved. It’s time that the medical world adopts it not at its outer echelons, but rather at its nucleus. Medical practitioners should be recommending medical marijuana instead of other painkillers in a whole host of circumstances but this won’t happen until its accepted throughout the medical community, and subsequently accepted by all areas of society at large as a viable and safe way to treat ailments.

With all these statistics seemingly indicating that medical marijuana reduces deaths from pharmaceuticals it seems the next logical step is to legalize its use in all states.

Where Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

Proposition 215, otherwise known as the Compassionate Use Act, was passed in the state of California in 1996. This law gives individuals the right to use and possess medical marijuana legally. It also allows prospective medical marijuana patients to speak with a doctors regarding medical marijuana use, dosage etc; and, equally important, it allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in dealing with a whole slew of ailments. So if you have an illness that you believe will be alleviated through the ingestion of medical marijuana but don’t yet have your California medical marijuana card, this is definitely the article for you!

What is a Medical Marijuana Identification Card?

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) was specifically established to create a State-authorized medical marijuana identification card (MMIC), along with a registry database for verification of qualified patients and their primary caregivers. The MMP (medical marijuana program) web-based registry allows law enforcement and the public to verify the validity of a qualified patient or primary caregiver’s MMIC as authorization to possess, grow, transport, and/or use medical marijuana within California.

What Medical Conditions Qualify?

MMJRecs physicians recognize over 49 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Some of the most common qualifying conditions treated include: AIDS; anorexia; arthritis; cachexia (wasting syndrome); cancer; chronic pain; glaucoma; migraine; persistent muscle spasms; seizures; severe nausea; any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits a person’s ability to conduct one or more of major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the person’s safety, physical, or mental health. The following link provides a full list of the qualifying conditions and symptoms so be sure to check it out before applying: Qualifying Conditions

What Do I Need?

Any form of U.S. identification and a condition for which medical cannabis can be recommended.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana card

Learn all about your medical marijuana card before you apply, so you know what you can and can’t do with it.

Where Do I Apply For My Card?

You can get a doctor’s recommendation by asking your primary physician, visiting a 420 doctor at an evaluation center or online through a service like MMJRecs.

Any doctor licensed to practice in California can evaluate you and issue a medical marijuana card. However, not all doctors are comfortable recommending marijuana as an aid for ailments. So we recommend a doctor that specializes in the recommendation of Medical Marijuana.

That leaves 420 doctors at evaluation centers and online services. Often evaluation centers are stuck in hard-to-reach places in dangerous neighborhoods, have long wait times, and little time with the doctor, leaving you uninformed about how to use cannabis as an effective treatment option.

Online services such as MMJRecs, have chosen the most knowledgeable medical marijuana doctors from across the state to provide patients with the fastest and most secure MMJ evaluations. They are also highly informative, providing patients with a tailored, deep knowledge of dosage, strains etc, benefits and risks.

Is My Personal Information Safe?

The Medical Marijuana Application System does not contain any personal information such as name, address or social security number. It only contains the unique user ID number and when entered the only information provided is whether the card is valid or invalid. This ensures that only those in need of medical marijuana are able to purchase it. So yes, your personal information is completely safe!

MMJRecs - california

Getting an MMJ card in California is a simple process for anyone in need of medical relief.

What Does an Evaluation Entail?

You’ll be asked to fill out a standard medical form, and you’ll able to upload any medical documents you may already have. The evaluation itself often lasts just a few minutes and involves a video/phone conversation with a doctor about your current condition, medical history and how marijuana might help you.

Keep in mind, most online evaluation services won’t charge you unless you’re approved by the doctor; the consultation is free otherwise – you can’t lose!

What Now?

Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a digital PDF version of your recommendation via email, which you can use that same day by printing it out – though not all dispensaries accept this version. Next, you’ll receive your medical marijuana card and official recommendation letter in the mail complete with your name, date, patient ID #, expiration date (you must renew your medical marijuana card each year), a doctor’s signature, embossed seal. Now you can enter marijuana dispensaries and make purchases. Alternatively, you can order marijuana delivery through marketplace sites.

And that’s it! Over 1.4 million patients in California have a doctor’s recommendation for using marijuana as medicine, and now you know the ins and outs of the Californian medical marijuana card application, you’re well on your way to all the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana! 

Medical Marijuana and the Law: An Overview

Each and every year, an increasing number of Californians are turning to medical marijuana to help ease a multitude of conditions and ailments. But for those not well versed in the area of medicinal cannabis use, the law is often a topic of concern.

While the use of medical marijuana in California has been a reality for some time for those in the possession of a cannabis card, recent developments, such as the passing of Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, has many people questioning what this means for continued medicinal use.

Since Proposition 215 passed back in 1996, it has been legal to purchase and grow marijuana in California if you have a cannabis card; the most common reasons for doing so being to assist with sleep, nausea, and bodily pain. Obtaining a cannabis card is a relatively simple venture; with online services allowing 24/7 access to doctors who are able to provide a written recommendation within minutes.

Yet even with a valid card, there are certain restrictions which should always be kept in mind. Under Proposition 215, patients are able to obtain whatever amount of marijuana is necessary for their medical needs. However, being in the possession of an excessive amount can still lead to authorities placing you under arrest.

Since January 1st 2016, qualified patients are able to cultivate up to 100 square feet of marijuana for their personal medical use. But just because you are in the possession of a cannabis card, does not mean you are exempt from legal ramifications.  

MMJRecs - Legal

Medical marijuana patients need to be on the right side of the law.

Several cases over the years have placed legal patients in trouble with the law due to various reasons. Questionable recommendations; growing excessive amounts; complaints from neighbors, are all things to keep in mind when growing and consuming cannabis. And for those in rented accommodation, landlords also have the right to disallow the use of marijuana on their premises.

Selling marijuana without a license is not allowed under any circumstance. Further restrictions include the location of the consumption of marijuana. Generally speaking, it is ill-advised to consume cannabis in any kind of public area; being within 1000 feet of a school, or within a no smoking zone, can lead to severe police intervention.

As of November 2016, 28 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Nevertheless, as federal laws still deem marijuana illegal, transporting it across state lines is strictly prohibited – even if traveling to another legalized state. So if you and Mary Jane were thinking about taking a road trip together, best to reconsider.  

Since the passing of Proposition 64 in November 2016, a common cause for concern among cannabis card holders in California has been how this affects their current rights. The short answer is that if you currently possess a cannabis card, it is still the most effective way of procuring marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Under Proposition 64, Californians are able to grow up to six plants for their personal use, and can purchase up to an ounce without a doctor’s recommendation. However, the general public won’t be able to purchase marijuana in stores until sometime in 2018. So if more than an ounce or immediate use is necessary, a cannabis card is still the way to go.

In addition to this, patients with a state ID card, which can be signed up for with a doctor’s recommendation at county health departments, are eligible for a break in local sales taxes. So while the masses are legally able to consume marijuana in California, those with a cannabis card are still currently at an advantage.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

If you consume medical marijuana, knowing your legal rights is essential.

Since the passing of Proposition 64, additional laws and restrictions will be placed upon the distribution and consumption of marijuana, such as the amount of THC (the psychoactive agent within the drug) allowed within edibles. However, as cultivation limits are less stringent for medical marijuana card holders, homemade products are able to be far more potent if desired.

While the law is altogether kinder to those consuming marijuana for medicinal purposes, there are obvious laws which apply no matter how the cannabis has been obtained. While medical patients are legally able to grow whatever they need, driving a car while under the influence, or attempting to transport the drug onto a plane can have serious consequences.

Under Proposition 64, a Californian flying within state with under an ounce will not face any criminal charges, and may even be allowed to fly with it in their possession. With medical marijuana, the same rules apply. TSA are not obliged to allow marijuana through security however, due to being governed by federal law, which provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently from non-medical.

If you have been strongly considering obtaining a medical marijuana card, it is still the most effective way to obtain the drug. With greater accessibility and far fewer restrictions than that of recreational use, a cannabis card is a quick and easy application away.

Why is a Medical Marijuana Card known as a 420 Card?

For medical marijuana card holders and recreational users worldwide, the term 420 has a certain significance. Each year on April 4th, cannabis users congregate in public areas to mark the date by catching up with friends and smoking some weed – medical or otherwise! Locations made famous for this get together include Hippie Hill in San Francisco, the University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus and UC Santa Cruz’s Campus, whose unofficial 420 event became so big that students received an official email from the University’s Vice Councilor for student events which stated that, “The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community”. But how exactly did the term 420 become so popular? How is it that a California medical marijuana card is now often being referred to as a 420 card?

MMJRecs - san-rafael-bridge

San Rafael High School is where the Waldos coined the term ‘420’.

Well, there’s been quite a backstory to this one, and quite a few myths being circulated too. Whispers have been going around since the 1970s about how the term came about. Depending on who you’re talking to, and what state of inebriation you find them in, people swear that the term for a 420 card was coined as a product of any one of the following: the fact that Hitler’s birthday was April 4th 1889, it’s the number of active chemicals that are in marijuana, it’s the multiplied result of the titular numbers of Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35” and many more. Probably the most famous myth attributed to the coining of the phrase is that ‘420’ is police code for ‘marijuana smoking in progress’ – something that has since been debunked as no such code exists in California police code.

In reality, the story behind how a 420 card became known as such is a simple one that was borne out of an easy way to avoid detection when smoking weed. In order to give you a more detailed picture of the origin of the term, we’re going to have to take you back to 1971 in sunny San Rafael, California and introduce you to a group of friends called the Waldos.

The Waldos were a group of five friends from San Rafael High School, simply named for the fact they used to hang out at a wall. One day sometime in 1971, the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who had a plot of land near Point Reyes Peninsula Coastguard Station on which he harvested weed. However, this man was no longer was able to tend to his crop. Armed with a treasure map, supposedly drawn by the grower, the friends decided that they were going to seek out and take the weed for their own. As this was in the days before mobile phone communication, the Waldos decided that they were to meet at precisely 4.20pm, after track practice, at the Louis Pasteur statue outside the entrance to the school. As they passed each other in the hallways, the friends would remind themselves of their plan by saying “420-Louis” to one another which was eventually shortened to 420.

As expected, the first few trips were unsuccessful in locating the patch. Determined as teenage boys are, they continued to search week in week out, each time meeting at exactly 4.20pm beside the statue of Louis Pasteur. Although the friends were disappointed in their failure to find the stash, they had found themselves a new code word along the way. Waldo Steve explains why the word caught on among their friend group: “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, ‘420,’ and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Capper says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”

How did a term used by a tiny group of high school stoners evolve into the worldwide phenomenon that it is today? It has a lot to do with Californian band The Grateful Dead. The Waldos were intrinsically linked with the rock band since they upped tools from Haight Ashbury in San Francisco and moved to just a block away from San Rafael High School. Waldo Mark’s Dad looked after real estate for the band and Waldo Dave’s older brother Patrick was good friends with their bassist Phil Leash. The Waldos started to hang out with the Dead at parties and rehearsals where weed smoking was near compulsory. Whenever someone passed around a joint, it was punctuated by someone saying ‘Hey 420’.

MMJRecs - Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead were instrumental in propagating the ‘420 card’ phrase.

As the band continued to tour throughout the ’70s and ’80s, the phrase was tossed around in their circles and in their fan communities. However, until High Times magazine caught wind of the phrase, it was confined to within the Grateful Dead subculture. It was only when the High Times wrote about it that it became the international phenomenon that it is today.

Unfortunately for the Waldos, High Times proliferated the myth that 420 and the subsequent phrase of 420 card had originated from California police code instead of their autumn excursions in 1971. When the friends started to hear the phrase more and more they took matters into their own hands and contacted High Times directly in 1998 to set the record straight. After much back and forthing between the Waldos and the magazine it was wholly agreed upon that the friends were telling the truth and that it was them who coined the globally recognized phrase – something that they have yet to cash in on!

So next time you refer to your California medical marijuana card a 420 card, you’ll know exactly who to credit for the term: The Waldos!

How Medical Marijuana Affects Sleep

 

Due to its relaxing affect, cannabis has long been the go-to sleep aid for medical marijuana card holders and recreational users alike. Even the most persistent insomnia can, in some cases, be improved, if not cured, by indulging in a pre-bed toke. Although there is some contrarian theories, the general consensus is that medical marijuana has an overall positive affect on sleep, especially for those MMJ card holders who use their online medical marijuana recommendations for ailments that reduce their ability to get to sleep such as chronic pain or epilepsy.

It is prudent to first talk about different strains and the different ways in which they promote or inhibit sleep. Sativa strains, such as Amnesia Haze or Sour Diesel, may be among the most popular in the world due to their unrivalled buzz and long-lasting effects but they also act as a stimulant to those who take it, giving them an uplifting and energizing experience. While this can be great for alleviating stress and depression or even helping you overcome your writer’s block, these effects are not conducive to you nodding off with ease. If you’re currently using your California medical marijuana card to obtain sativa strains, then it’s best that you avoid MMJ for at least a few hours prior to your going asleep. On the other end of the MMJ spectrum are the indica strains, such as Purple Kush and Northern Lights, which give you the relaxing, analgesic effects that help ease you off soundly to a great night’s sleep. It is also worth noting that the older your cannabis is, the sleepier it will make you feel. This is because as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) degrades, it is turned into cannabinol which is a much more potent sedative than new medical marijuana.

MMJRecs - sleep

Medical marijuana can work as a great aid for those with insomnia.

The most noticeable effect that medical marijuana will have on your sleep cycle is that it was dramatically reduce the amount of time it will take you to fall asleep – a phenomenon that has proven invaluable to the millions of insomnia sufferers across the country. The ingredient to thank in MMJ for this amazing effect is THC which has been proven in countless studies to significantly reduce the time it takes for both healthy sleepers and insomniacs to fall asleep. Not only does THC have a direct ameliorative effect on the speed at which you fall asleep it also drastically reduces symptoms of other ailments which inhibit sleep such as PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain etc. It’s important to remember that if you’re consuming your MMJ as edibles, they take a little bit longer to kick in. However, once they do start working you’ll notice that they work better than inhalation methods for making your sleep last longer. As with other issues you may be using your MMJ card to treat, it’s important that you don’t take too high a dose when using medical marijuana to help your sleep cycle or else you may experience a negative impact on exactly the thing you’re trying to treat.
Although 420 card holders will probably notice the affect that MMJ has on their ability to fall asleep the most, medical marijuana most positively affects sleep at stage three. Stage three sleep, also known as slow wave sleep, is the deepest stage of non-REM sleep. During this stage it is hardest to awaken the sleeper as they become dramatically less responsive to external stimuli. Medical marijuana has been observed to significantly lengthen the amount of time that users spent in this stage of sleep. This is incredibly beneficial to the sleeper as the most damaging effects of sleep deprivation are as a result of a lack of Stage Three sleep. Deep wave sleep is crucial to the restoration process that occurs when we sleep thusly those who use MMJ can notice that they feel more restored and rejuvenated when they wake up.

MMJRecs - sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, medical marijuana could be the answer.

One stage of sleep that medical marijuana is observed to have a negative effect on is REM – although no one is quite sure whether this is really as bad as it sounds. Scientists still aren’t exactly sure what purpose REM serves, making it harder to determine whether going without it is really that bad. Medical marijuana significantly reduces the amount of time users spent in  REM. Medical cannabis users report that over time the amount of dreams they have lessens and become less vivid the longer that they consume. This is because dreaming entirely occurs within the REM stage. However, if you no longer need your medical marijuana card and halt your usage, you’re quite likely to experience REM rebound whereby your re-immersion into REM will lead to you having intense, vivid and sometimes lucid dreams.

Another lesser reported positive effect that medical marijuana has on sleep is that it restores respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling in the brain. Although this may not mean a lot to those without respiratory problems, to the millions of sleep apnea sufferers across the US it is potentially life changing. Sleep apnea is an affliction that manifests itself with pauses in breathing and shallow breathing during the sufferer’s sleep. According to a 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, “THC stabilizes autonomic output during sleep, reduces spontaneous sleep-disordered breathing, and blocks serotonin-induced exacerbation of sleep apnea.” Although this is one small study, the implications of this are huge as it could mean that the millions of sleep apnea sufferers across the country could opt to take an MMJ pill before bed to treat their ailment instead of using a cumbersome mask.

The positive effects that MMJ has on sleep are obvious for 420 card holder. With the advent of easily applying for a California medical marijuana card online, more and more people can benefit from what is being described as the ultimate sleep aid. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from sleep related issues, you’d be crazy not to avail of this amazing service which will nearly guarantee you the best night’s sleep of your life.

Tinctures and Topicals: The New Way to Consume Medical Marijuana

For those not comprehensively versed on the medical marijuana landscape, you may be surprised about the amount of ways marijuana is able to be consumed, and how alternative methods work in radically different ways. Many often assume that smoking or baking cannabis is the only means of consumption, but while that may once have been true, today the options are plentiful.

Medical marijuana: Tinctures and Topicals

Tinctures and topicals are an excellent alternative way to consume medical marijuana.

If you’re one of the many cannabis card holders in California, or are thinking about obtaining one, then learning about the medical marijuana that’s right for you is essential. Not only are there several strains, each with a range of chemical compounds that affect the body in different ways, but the method of consumption is equally as important of a factor when considering side-effects and lifestyle.

Of all the varying ways in which people are consuming medical marijuana, tinctures and topicals are two of the most recent developments. If you’re a cannabis card holder who focuses on a healthy lifestyle, and are concerned about the effects inhaling smoke may have on your body, or even the calories gained from eating baked goods, then tinctures and topicals are ideal alternatives.

Tinctures are typically made by first removing any unwanted part of the marijuana plant, and then taking the herbs and placing them within a glass jar. The jar is then filled with alcohol, tightly sealed, and left to sit for weeks (during this process topping up the alcohol may be necessary). Once a few weeks have passed, the planet material is strained out and you’re left with your tincture to bottle up.

Commonly, tinctures are used orally; placing a drop or two under the tongue, but it can be applied to the skin also. Tinctures are often used to help those suffering from sleep disorders, migraines, menstrual cramps, or even the common cold. Finding the correct dosage comes down to a case-by-case basis – if 1ml isn’t enough, try 2ml the next day, and so forth until you find the right amount.

Medical marijuana: Tinctures and Topicals

You can get medical marijuana-infused balms and lotions to treat localized areas of your body.

For obvious reasons, none of the health concerns which go hand-in-hand with smoking are prevalent with tinctures. For relatively little cost, tinctures are simple to produce and easy to regulate – being able to put a drop or two within any homemade meal with minimal added calories. Furthermore, if stored in a cool, dark location, they will last for many years, allowing convenient repeat use.

On the opposite side of the same cannabis card holder’s coin, you’ll find topicals. These cannabis-infused lotions, balms and oils are absorbed through the skin to relieve localized pain, soreness and inflammation. Unlike many other methods of consuming medical marijuana, topicals do not provide the euphoria associated with the herb, so are best suiting for purely medicinal purposes.

When applied to the skin, topicals work by binding to the CB2 receptors of the body. CB2 receptors are triggered by the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, or by cannabis compound such a cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the ingredient which often leads to that high sensation). However, even if a topical contains THC, it still won’t induce the high gained from smoking.

The lack of a high is due to the fact that topicals cannot breach the bloodstream. Instead, they are the ideal choice for more surface issues: headaches, skin conditions such as eczema, or even arthritis can all be treated through the use of topicals. When THC is left in its acid form and combined with CBD, they work together to relieve inflammation, while also containing muscle and joint relief components.

As with tinctures, topicals are relatively simple to make at home: melting waxes and other preferable ingredients and mixing them with the cannabis-infused oils. The beauty of topicals comes from the fact that you can customize them to nth degree. Once you have found the combination of ingredients which fit your taste, your product is not only easy to apply, but will last far longer than more traditional means.

Anyone who has purchased cannabis with their medical marijuana card will know that it isn’t as simple as it seems. Different combinations of ingredients instruct each strain and their effectiveness for any given ailment. As with purchasing the herb itself, tinctures and topicals come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, each with their individual benefits for various conditions.

If electing to sample the more modest marijuana methods, experimentation can work wonders. With no adverse effects on the body, and a myriad of ingredient combinations and processing methods, transdermal products such as tinctures and topicals are best experimented with until your find ones that work for you.

Fortunately for any cannabis card holder, more and more options for topical remedies are revealing themselves as time goes on. So if you’re suffering from pain or inflammation, these new modes of marijuana consumption are well worth exploring.

How to Curb Sugar Cravings After Smoking Medical Cannabis

You’ve smoked some medical cannabis. You’re feeling great. Then all of a sudden you get the urge to eat everything in sight. You promised yourself the last time that that was the last time. The plan was to resist the temptation to gorge. But it just feels so right. Once everything edible in sight is out of sight (and into your belly), you ransack the food cupboards and the fridge. Things you would have never considered before are making their debuts. You’re creating gastronomical gems that would have Wolfgang Puck weeping with joy.

Then the effects of the medical cannabis start to fade and you’re left with the destruction of your gluttony: empty packets of the fattiest, sweetest junk food you never even knew you had litter the floor and stare up at you in judgment, and a protruding stomach follows you wherever you go. Yes, every smoker has been on the receiving end of cannabis’ most notorious effect: the munchies. And, though for many the binge may be minor – or desirable for certain ailments and diseases (anorexia or HIV/AIDS come to mind) -, many others are binging hard and putting on unwanted weight.

This article is directed toward the latter group. We will walk you through the science of marijuana-induced food cravings and provide a powerful method to curb those cravings. Before we begin, don’t forget to get your medical cannabis card online if you haven’t already! Alright, now onto the main content.    

Why Does Smoking Medical Cannabis Cause Cravings?

medical cannabis sugar cravings

Stay away from sugary foods after smoking medical cannabis.

Smoking weed modifies two processes in the body that cause the munchies: olfaction (the capacity for smelling) and appetite regulation. We’ll discuss both processes and their weed-induced adaptations below.

Fasting from food for brief periods can increase the level of natural cannabinoids in the mammalian brain, which, in turn, triggers us to eat more when we’re hungry. What’s interesting is that it’s specifically the activation of cannabinoid receptors in the nose – specifically the olfactory bulb (the primary brain region controlling the sense of smell) – which leads to an acute sense of smell that causes the devouring of grub.

Studies have shown that endocannabinoids (cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems) can disinhibit circuits of the olfactory bulb when triggered. When these receptors are activated by external cannabinoids, such as those found in marijuana, the consumption rate goes up again. Research points to THC causing the increased sense of smell. So our main tip to curb your cravings: find a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Note: strains low in THC are non-psychoactive, so if that’s something you require for you ailment, use a combination of the tips below instead.

medical cannabis sugar cravings

Many people use medical cannabis as a painkiller – but it can also cause serious hunger!

A connection exists between leptin and cannabinoids. Scientists have shown mice that don’t make leptin have oversized appetites and they have unusually high concentrations of cannabinoids in the hypothalamus (which deals with hunger control amongst other homeostatic systems). Young-Hwan Jo, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, took a look at slices of mouse hypothalamus. When he brought cannabinoid compound into contact with neurons, the neurons fired. But when he first added leptin (also known as the “hunger hormone”), the neurons did not activate. Leptin helps keep hunger at bay by ensuring that the cannabinoids in the brain and throughout the gut are not over-activating. So our second tip: eat foods that increase leptin sensitivity and induce proper utilization of the hormone. Creating a leptin diet is beyond the scope of this article, but lean proteins, oatmeal, green tea and fish are some great examples (do not under any circumstances combine them!).

Another great tip: don’t rely on willpower, be prepared. Don’t expect yourself to act in times of weakness the same as you do in times of strength. Willpower is a finite thing, so depend upon it as little as possible! Instead, simply get rid of the temptation, and willpower is no longer needed. This may mean clearing your house of all the junk food. Or, if you’re really a slave to your temptations, it may mean also giving your wallet to someone you can trust until the effects have worn off. In addition, either prepare healthy snacks beforehand to satiate the certain hunger, or just fast/lower calories approaching your smoke and binge guilt-free!   

 

And that brings us to the end! Try out this method and let us know what you think, and don’t forget – you need a medical cannabis card in order to take advantage of the many unique health benefits of cannabis.

Which MMJ Strains Are Suited To Treat Certain Ailments?

Medical marijuana is a complex drug. To ingest whatever source available with no consideration for taste/strength/effect is the way of the recreational user. However, those who use marijuana for its medicinal properties in the treatment of a disease or ailment will naturally seek out a deeper understanding of marijuana and its many different strains to better combat their particular ailment. After all, knowledge is power, and power in the realm of recovery/treatment can make all the difference to your health!

In this article, we are going to go through several particularly interesting marijuana strains in relation to the
ailments they are best suited to treat. Though we will only speak of what the scientific literature has proven to have efficacy, we still recommend getting advice from a medical practitioner before picking a specific strain. Then, get yourself an MMJ card online and, without further ado, let’s begin!

MMJ

Your doctor or budtender can recommend the right strain of MMJ for you.

Don’t Strain Yourself

Now that MMJ has been legalized in many states, it has gained the attention of modern medicine. Medical practitioners have found a plethora of health benefits of the plant, ranging from the prevention of epileptic seizures (2003 study for the VCU Department of Neurology) to improved lung health (2012 study published in Journal of the American Medical Association). And, in order to isolate the chemical compounds within marijuana responsible for these benefits, they are genetically modifying the plant and using these strands to treat very specific conditions. The positive implications of this advancement in the plant’s use are tremendous.

The choices of MMJ strains are almost inexhaustible, and in each individual case the strain that is most appropriate will vary, so some experimentation is recommended. The strands available – indica, sativa, and hybrids – all contain a whole host of cannabinoids. In fact, there are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, each responsible for distinct effects in the body. A cannabinoid is a class of chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors (involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain, mood, and memory) in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis. It’s responsible for the high as well as being anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (preservation of neuronal integrity so you stay sharp), and antiemetic (prevents vomiting). Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major component of the plant and the one accountable for many of the medicinal properties. Scientists say that CBD modulates electrical and chemical activity, thereby quieting the excessive activity in the brain that causes seizures.

There are two main species of marijuana: sativa and indica. Both come with a unique smell, taste, and strength profile. Sativa has a fruity, sweet aroma while indica tends to have an acrid, stinky odor. But the most important distinction between the plants is the amounts of THC and CBD in them. Plants with high levels of THC are typically considered indica; while plants with high levels of CBD are typically considered sativa.


Therefore, indica strains will be psychoactive making the user more relaxed and sleepy, while providing all the health benefits of THC. Indica is used to treat a larger number of conditions including cancer (chemotherapy), HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, insomnia and glaucoma as it is proven to be highly effective at reducing nausea, stimulating appetite, and reducing intraocular (eye pressure) pain amongst other things. Indica is characterized as giving patients a “body high”.

Sativa, on the other hand, will be far less psychoactive, increasing creativity, energy, and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the maintenance of mood balance and plays a huge role in the prevention of depression). With its high concentration of CBD – hypothesized to be an antipsychotic – it’s used to treat mental and behavioral issues such as depression, bipolar, ADHD, as well as epilepsy. Sativa brings about a cerebral high.

A simple way to remember the above distinctions between sativa and indica in relation to your ailment is to consider where the high takes hold: sativa, induces a cerebral high, and so is intended for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and psychotic conditions; indica induces a body high, therefore, is intended for the treatment of physical conditions.     

Below are some quality strains that are worth trying if you’re looking to treat any of the ailments listed above.

Sativa/High CBD Strains

MMJ

MMJ is used to treat a variety of diseases and ailments.

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Harlequin
  • Avidekel
  • Cannatonic
  • Sour Tsunami

 

Indica/High THC Strains

  • Black Destroyer
  • OG Kush
  • Amnesia
  • Tutankhamon
  • Pineapple Chunk

 

That’s it, folks! We hope you’re going away with a great deal more knowledge than you arrived with and that that knowledge informs your usage. Don’t forget, you need an MMJ card in order to take advantage of the many unique health benefits of the different strands and the easiest way to get an MMJ card of your own is to order it online.

Is Medical Marijuana Better Than Prescription Pills?

People with California medical marijuana cards have been reporting that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia.  

Not only is medical cannabis showing a great ability to ease the painful symptoms of disease, but it is also showing potential for actually improving health and functionality in its users. Research from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom has found that cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in cannabis, can help to reduce brain damage and improve neurological functioning following a stroke. Another study, from the National Cancer Institute, found that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.

The use of medical marijuana has no known severe side-effects. A Canadian study conducted on 215 patients with chronic pain found that after using medical marijuana for one year, patients “had no greater risk than non-users (control group) to experience serious adverse events”. Many people have been using their cannabis card for years and have reported no ill effects, and only positive, life-enhancing results.

Prescription painkillers, on the other hand, seem to be doing a lot of damage to a lot of people.

Prescription painkillers can have a number of adverse side-effects that can lead to severe health complications for users. People have reported side-effects such as liver spots, severe headaches, and bleeding gums. Opioid painkillers can lead to chronic constipation, which can lead to colon cancer down the line.

A 2008 study showed that the common symptoms associated with opioid-based prescription painkillers include “sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression”. It went on to say that, “Physical dependence and addiction are clinical concerns that may prevent proper prescribing and in turn inadequate pain management. Less common side effects may include delayed gastric emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, muscle rigidity, and myoclonus.” That’s quite a list of negatives!

A recent study has shown that opioid drugs used to relieve pain in cancer patients may stimulate the growth and spread of tumors.

The physical effects of using your California medical card certainly seem to be safer than asking your doctor to prescribe painkillers.

medical marijuana

Prescription painkillers can have much worse side-effects than medical marijuana.

Addiction is another major issue. American citizens make up 5% of the world’s population, yet they consume 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. Prescription painkillers can be highly addictive. They are often derived from the same sources as other highly addictive drugs such as heroin and morphine. They are frequently abused by adults and teenagers alike. 54.2% of pain pills in the US are obtained free from a friend or relative.

Tolerance to prescription painkillers tends to build up quickly, so people need to take more and more to get the same effect. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that prescription drug abuse in the USA is an epidemic. As of 2010, an estimated 52 million Americans over the age of 12 use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

Experts believe that the rise in heroin use could be in part due to prescription painkiller abuse. When people become hooked on prescription painkillers, but then can’t get a hold of any, they often turn to heroin. So those people who peddle the old myth that marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’ should be leveling that accusation at prescription painkillers, which have a great deal more in common with harmful and illegal drugs like heroin than cannabis does.

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana has proved to be a much more effective remedy than prescription painkillers in a lot of cases.

Medical cannabis is non-addictive, and there is no evidence that you need to constantly up your dosage due to developing a tolerance to it. People use their California marijuana card for years at the same levels without needing to up the dose.

With the number of people addicted to painkillers increasing year on year, it seems that medical marijuana could provide a valuable and safe treatment alternative.

Both medical cannabis and prescription painkillers have potential psychoactive side effects, but the long-term effects of cannabis use seem to be much safer. Studies show that long term opiate use can lead to decreased brain function. Whereas most strains of cannabis, particularly low THC/high CBD strains, appear to have little to no effect on cognitive function at all. So for people suffering from chronic pain, your 420 card could offer similar relief to a prescription painkiller but without the negative effects of long-term opiate use on cognitive function.

Deaths caused by prescription drug overdose outnumber deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined. Every 19 minutes someone dies in the United States of a prescription drug overdose. 17,000 people die of prescription pill overdoses per year. There are zero recorded deaths related to cannabis overdose. Ever. This is a big difference!

The legalization of the mm card may be a big factor in a 25% decrease in opiate-related deaths in the states that have legalized mmj so far. That’s a 25% reduction in deaths caused by pain pills, heroin, and morphine.

Pain medication should make your quality of life better, but it seems that a lot of current prescription painkillers in fact make people’s lives worse. Taking prescription pain-pills can lead to physical dependence and chronic, life-threatening side effects. Medical marijuana is very effective at relieving pain, and is less dangerous than opiates.

So it seems that getting yourself a California medical marijuana card may well be a better option than using prescription pills.

 

Feature Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

What Legalization Could Mean For Medical Marijuana

The election threw up a lot of surprises, mainly with who will become the next President of the United States; however, one thing that wasn’t that much of a surprise is that Proposition 64 was passed in California. It’s been a long time coming, and it was almost a guarantee to pass when it featured on the ballot. When you look through Prop. 64, it’s a big read; the 62-page document that lays out California’s plan to tax, regulate and control the sale of marijuana across the state. There are a lot of medical cannabis card holders across California who strongly opposed Prop. 64 and some that were happy with it. In this article we’re going to explore what Prop. 64 means for the medical marijuana community and how it might affect the future of cannabis in California long into the future.

The law & what you can grow

mmj-3-2

Even with legalization, it’s definitely preferable to own a California medical marijuana card, especially if you grow your own.

Ever since California passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, those with a medical marijuana card have been able to legally buy and consume from dispensaries across the state. They have also been able to grow medical marijuana at a level that has regularly increased over the years.

A lot of dispensary owners and CA medical marijuana card holders have been particularly worried that with the introduction of Prop. 64 the stipulations and rules that were laid out in the Compassionate Use Act would be watered down, and it would result in more restrictions placed upon the growth and use of medical marijuana for MM card holders.

However, Prop. 64 has acknowledged and prioritized cannabis card holders to ensure that their rights are protected. Currently since Prop. 64 has passed every resident of California can grow and consume marijuana. But unless you have a medical marijuana card, heavy stipulations are placed on how much marijuana you can grow on your property.

Current rules dictate that marijuana users without a MM card are restricted to growing 6 plants on their residence, while those with their 420 card are allowed to grow up to 100 plants. This is a huge difference and there is no indication that Prop. 64 will alter this rule in any way.

The law & where you can smoke

medical marijuana

The law is still undecided on how legalization will affect where you will be able to smoke medical marijuana.

Another thing that medical marijuana card holders are worried about is how it will affect their ability to smoke and consume their medical weed in public places. Under current regulations those possessing the credentials of a medical marijuana card are allowed to smoke or consume medical cannabis in any place that tobacco smoking is permitted.

However, now that weed has been legalized in California a lot of MM card holders are wondering if these rights will be affected. The good new is that this is not going to change with the passing of Prop. 64. The same rights of medical marijuana patients will remain in place, but there will be stricter regulations placed on those who do not have a weed card.

The full extent of these regulations are currently being explored, but having a California MM card will give you a lot more benefits than not having one. In fact, leading proponents of Prop. 64 on the medical marijuana patients side think the passing of Prop. 64 will lead to a lot of additional benefits including access and rights for those holding cannabis cards.

Where you can buy your marijuana

What a lot of users didn’t understand about the passing of Prop. 64 is that just because it passed in November, that doesn’t mean that non-medical marijuana card holders can just rock up to their local dispensaries and buy weed. In fact, it won’t be until mid-January, 2018 that licenses will even be issued for retail units to sell weed to no- California MM card holders.

Many people think that local dispensaries will be divided into two lines of people, those with medical marijuana cards and those without. The priority will always be placed on those with a CA MM card. Without one, for the next year you’ll have to grow your own weed, buying it will still be illegal, at least until licenses are issued to official sellers. It’ll be a long wait for those without medical marijuana cards to start buying and consuming regularly and legally.

What does Prop. 64 mean for the price of marijuana in California

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Medical marijuana card holders should be protected from inflation in the price of marijuana.

Even with the passing of Prop. 64 the rights of medical marijuana card holders are going to be protected and even improved. However, one of the main questions the legalization of weed has MM card holders asking is, when is California is going to want to start taking their piece of the profits and is weed is going to get more expensive?

California stands as the world’s sixth biggest economy by itself, but it’s still a little broke, which is one of the reasons that Prop. 64 finally passed. Legalizing weed will mean hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars made in tax for the state of California.  Under Prop. 64 California will add a 15% excess tax onto the sale of weed. They will also levy a tax on those who grow marijuana of $2.75 per ounce of leaves and $9.25 per ounce of flowers.

While this sounds like terrible news for those of you with MM cards, THERE IS GOOD NEWS. None of these taxes or levies will apply to those of you with a medical marijuana card, so you’ll still be paying far below those without one.

We hope that this article explains that despite the passing of Prop. 64 those of you with California cannabis cards will not only have your rights protected, but in a lot of ways improved.

How to Become a Budtender in California

The budtender is the first person that any California medical marijuana card holder will encounter when they go to their local dispensary. He or she is the public face of any dispensary, so it is an incredibly important job. Most California medical marijuana card-owning patients rely on the budtender to educate them and help them to find the medicine that will improve their life the most.

A great budtender is passionate about medical marijuana, knows the cannabis card industry, and the product, inside out, and is a ‘people person’ who loves dealing with customers and helping them to improve their lives.

If you are a people person, then being a budtender can be an extremely rewarding and very often heartwarming job. You can create deep connections and friendships with your California medical marijuana card customers and watch as their quality of life massively improves.

If you want to become a budtender, here is what you need to do…

California medical marijuana card

Studying what products are available to California medical marijuana card-holders is an integral part of being a budtender.

Have an extensive knowledge of the products available to a California medical marijuana card-holder

As a budtender, you will need to know all about cannabis strains, their effects, and what ailments each is typically good for treating. You need to know how the product was developed, where and how it was grown, and how your prices compare with those of your competitors. You have to be able to talk about the background of cannabis, and its history. In order to educate your customers, you must be highly educated yourself. Study is crucial – read books on the subject by Jorge Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal. Invest in yourself and your career by doing the necessary work to become a genuine MMJ expert. Make sure that before you attend an interview you are deeply familiar with all of the products that that particular dispensary sells. Being knowledgeable is essential, so do not be afraid to show this off during the interview.

Visit local dispensaries to see how things are done

Visit all of the dispensaries in your local area so you can talk to the budtenders and get some insider knowledge on what products each store carries, and what is most popular with their customers and in the wider California medical marijuana card scene. Meeting these guys and girls who are already doing what you want to do will be invaluable preparation for your career as a budtender, and will no doubt inspire you. Ask them about how they got their position and how they went about becoming experts in the field. Learn from the pros!

California medical marijuana card

California medical marijuana card-holders may want to know everything about what they’re buying, so study hard!

Always educate yourself about new trends and directions in the industry

Study industry blogs and social media to stay on the cutting-edge. Follow industry leaders on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what is hot right now, and what exciting new developments are in the pipeline. Learn about new concentrates, extractions, and infused products. If your customers know that each time they come into your store you will have some interesting bits of advice, and tips about new products that are in the pipeline, they will come back to you again and again, and tell all of their friends about how interesting and informative their trips to the MMJ dispensary are. Also, stay up to date with new developments on the business side of things – who are the big industry names, what strains are making the most money, and what is the latest medical research telling us?

Go to cannabis conventions and meet people

Networking is important in any industry and the medical marijuana business is certainly no different. Cannabis conventions are excellent places to meet industry people from all over the state and beyond. Striking up friendships with fellow weed-lovers can be fun, informative, and can even create opportunities for career advancement. There are over 100 cannabis conventions each year worldwide, with most of them taking place in the USA and Europe. This is both a great way to meet other industry workers, and to learn about the most up-to-date and cutting edge developments in the industry. Put yourself out there, be brave and social, and make those vital connections!

Learn how to be compelling in your description of the product and its benefits

Being a compelling storyteller is an important part of being a great budtender. You want to fascinate, educate, and inspire your customers in equal measure. People need to enjoy the experience of dealing with you and learning about this fascinating subject that you are an expert in, and that will be having a profound effect on their lives. Connecting with customers on a personal level is key. Read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People to learn how to best connect with people and make them feel comfortable and inspired. Learning how to figure out what a customer needs and then sell it to them in a way that ignites their passion and imagination will make you a truly world-class budtender!

Bide your time before enrolling on a budtender course

There are a few budtending schools out there, but the California medical marijuana card industry is very new and the courses vary wildly in quality. You don’t need an official qualification in budtending to become a budtender. Genuine knowledge is the most important thing, and that can certainly be achieved with private hard work, lots of reading, and gaining lots of first-hand experience. With the growth of the MMJ industry, really high-quality courses will surely be established soon, and if you are going to spend money and get educated you want to be sure that your money is well spent, and that the information you are being taught is top-notch.

 

A career as a budtender can be fun, fascinating, and rewarding. It will require hard work and effort, but the experience will be well worth it. Learn, grow, develop yourself, and the sky’s the limit!

I’m Anxious: Which Medical Marijuana Strain Do I Need?

With the legalization of medical marijuana, as long as you have a California MM card, you no longer need to rely on whatever a back alley dealer has in stock for you. Now there are a huge variety of strains and types of medical marijuana available over the counter at your local dispensary. Each strain provides differing highs, and some are better at treating some of the core health benefits that medical weed delivers to you than others. In this article we are going to focus on the best strains of medical marijuana to help you treat feelings of anxiety and stress.

How does medical marijuana help you deal with anxiety and stress?  

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can help soothe anxious feelings.

Marijuana’s ability to help people cope with stress and anxiety is one of the main reasons that getting a medical marijuana card in California is so popular. In fact, despite marijuana providing a wide range of treatments, the herb’s ability at helping people cope with stress and anxiety is the main reason that people report for using cannabis. Through numerous studies, marijuana has been clinically proven to help reduce anxiety and stress disorders amongst patients. This is because it has a direct impact on your brain and particularly on a system within your brain called the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system’s job, amongst a variety of other functions, is used to help regulate and control your feelings of stress and anxiety. This is accomplished through the release of chemicals known as cannabinoids. As you can imagine from the name, cannabis has a component known as THC, which is essentially almost identical to the cannabinoids found in your body. When you smoke or consume medical marijuana you release these replica cannabinoids (THC) into your system and they work overtime on the job your mind intends the cannabinoids to do. With more cannabinoids (within moderation, of course) your body is able to relieve anxiety and relax from stress. For those suffering with aggressive levels of stress or anxiety it can be an amazing way to treat and calm them down.

So what’s the best strain of medical marijuana to smoke to deal with anxiety?

With so many options available at your local dispensary it can be hard to even know where to start. There are too many strains of marijuana to even count, not to mention the huge number of delivery methods including: smoking (joints/pipes), vaping, tinctures, oils, edibles, creams and on and on! However, we’re going to focus on the strains that we’ve found most effective at dealing with stress and anxiety, and leave the consumption process up to you.

medical marijuana

Choosing the right strain of medical marijuana is essential.

Great to start with the Northern Lights Strain

It’s one of the most popular and well-known strains of marijuana, and this is largely down to the fact that it never fails to deliver. This is the kind of strain of medical marijuana that is guaranteed to give you a euphoric dream-like high that sweeps over your body and mind and relaxes and delivers an amazing sense of peace. For those who suffer from acute stress or anxiety, it’s a weed strain that comes highly recommended as it delivers a smooth and long-lasting high that soothes mind and body.

Where is it from? Legend has it it comes from sensi seeds directly from Holland, but it first appeared sprouting on our shores sometime in the late 1980s, around Oregon.

What does it taste/look like? Thick crystal coated buds with a tinge of purple. The main flavors consist of earthy richness and pine.

Get Rich Relaxation from Purple Kush

medical marijuana

Purple Kush is a very popular strain of medical marijuana.

The kush is one of the richest strains of weed when it comes to relaxing the body and mind. However, when you take it be wary that after the initial high you’ll be so relaxed that you’re probably going to want to sleep; that’s how deep and relaxing it is!

Where is it from? Purple Kush is grown across the US and around the world.

What does it taste/look like? Purple Kush looks kind of like a Christmas tree. It’s a dark pine-like green that’s covered in orange hairs that look almost like Christmas lights. The taste is sweet, with earthy tones and vague flavors of grape.

Want something as smooth as jazz? Try the BlueNote strain

This is a rare strain, split between two equally rare sources and typically only found in California. It’s a glorious high that will not only leave you feeling euphoric but also completely energized. It’s not the easiest strain to come by, so expect it to be a little pricey when you rock up with your weed card at your local dispensary, but in terms of the kind of high that will cure what ails you, BlueNote is incredibly hard to beat. It’s a favorite of a lot of people when it comes to dealing with, and fighting off feelings of depressions and anxiety.

Where is it from? A hybrid dream of California and Lebanese seeds.

What does it taste/look like? This is one of the sweetest strains you’ll find and the scent gives you a wonderful smell of cotton candy, plus – even better – it tastes like bubble gum. It’s a truly unique flavor and taste.

The strains above are just a few of the most popular medical marijuana strains when it comes to treating feelings of anxiety and stress. For your chance to sample some additional strains make sure you have a cannabis card and head to your local weed dispensary where they’ll be able give you samples and additional advice.

THC and THCA: What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana

Well, hello there! If you’ve purchased your medical marijuana card online and started smoking, eating or drinking marijuana, creating a desire to unravel its complexity, or you’re considering buying a medical marijuana card but you want to be well informed before you dive in (this is definitely something we recommend), you’re in the right place.

Regardless of what brought you here, you’re here, and you’re hungry (I’m sure it’s not marijuana-induced!) for information. Let us satiate you with talk of THC and THCA. If you can wrap your head around these two little acronyms, you will have a strong grasp on the most significant chemical compounds within marijuana and their physiological effects. Alright, let’s get right to the nitty-gritty science!

Tell Me About THCA

Medical Marijuana and THC

Understanding the science behind THC and THCA will help explain why medical marijuana can be good for you.

THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (say that 5 times fast!) – is a biosynthetic precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So THCA precedes and is related to THC. THCA is found in fresh, undried marijuana.

THCA doesn’t have any psychoactive (mind-affecting) effects – this is why people don’t just eat the leaves (though maybe the pungent taste of raw weed has something to do with it too). However, It does have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (preservation of neuronal integrity, so you stay sharp), antiemetic (anti-vomiting) properties. And it staves off prostate cancer too. All of this means THCA could be of great use to those seeking treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and lupus, or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Tell Me About THC

THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis. Cannabidiol is another major component of the plant. There are at least 113 (I can’t even count that high) different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects. A cannabinoid is a class of chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors (involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory) in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Therefore THC affects physiological processes.

Medical Marijuana and THC

Many people consume medical marijuana without knowing exactly why it helps to ease their ailments.

THCA is present in fresh marijuana but is progressively decarboxylated (to be discussed later) into THC with drying. Under intense heating (smoking or cooking), this process is accelerated.  

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group from TCHA and gives us THC. Simply put, it’s the acid in TCHA that is removed during drying/heating. A simple way to remember this is to look at what letter is missing from the acronym THC that is present in the acronym THCA: that’s right, it’s the ‘A’, which stands for ‘acid’.    

Without the carboxyl group, THC is able to freely bind to cell receptors in the body. Yay!


If smoked, the effects last around two hours, and get going 10-30 minutes after ingestion. Note: psychomotor impairment may continue after the perceived high has stopped, however.

Contrary to the mainstream narrative, marijuana – or THC, to be specific – has been proven to have lots of positive effects on brain cells. THC is a powerful neuroprotectant – we’ve discussed neuroprotectants already, so if you’re confused, it’s possible you require a neuroprotectant. Still confused? Just get a medical marijuana card online and get high and it’ll all become crystal clear!

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan discovered that THC can promote the growth of new brain cells through a process known as neurogenesis (sounds made up, but we promise it isn’t).

Medical Marijuana and THC

There’s a lot of science behind this little plant!

While marijuana is presently illegal in many U.S. states and in many countries, synthetic versions of the chemical have been legally prescribed the world overfor a smorgasbord of ailments and diseases. The first THC-based pharmaceutical, Marinol, was interestingly funded by the National Cancer Institute. In 1985, Marinol received FDA approval as a treatment for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. Since then, numerous other THC -based pharmaceuticals have also been developed. This goes to show you that, despite the prevalent controversy – and illegality of use in many cases – surrounding marijuana use, THC, its main cannabinoid, has proven efficacy in combating many psychological diseases and illnesses.

 

That’s it folks! You’re now all marijuana scientists in your own right. You can enter into any related debate with some serious knowledge bombs and destroy all opposition. We also hope it informs your usage. Don’t forget, you need a medical marijuana card/cannabis card/420 card/any one-of-its hundreds-of-other-names card in order to start enjoying the many positive health benefits associated with the herb.

Best Method For Making Marijuana Tea

So you’ve got your medical marijuana card (if not, don’t fret, it’s a simple process to get one online), and purchased a supply of marijuana. You’ve eaten it and you’ve smoked it but now you’re looking for something a little different. Something healthier, something that gives you a longer, stronger high off of smaller doses, something that avoids the negative judgments of your less open kin/friends/housemates. Well, you’ve come to the right place then! In this article, we are going to going through the benefits of marijuana tea as well as the ins and outs of brewing a superb cuppa. So kettle, sorry, settle in!

Why Drink Marijuana Tea?

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes goes back more than 3000 years. It originated in Jamaica and India, where the medical benefits of cannabis have long been accepted. For pregnant women in Jamaica, marijuana tea was traditionally used as a remedy for morning sickness and pregnancy-related stress. Now it is used the world over by patients in dealing with countless medical conditions. And it is a popular choice for those who wish to avoid the health risks associated with smoking – this will be of particular interest for folk consuming medical cannabis to treat respiratory diseases.

Marijuana tea

The history of marijuana tea dates back 3000 years.

Because marijuana tea is absorbed gradually in the digestive tract – taking between 30 and 90 minutes (depending on the user and the potency of the marijuana) – it provides a slow, steady release of THC, which results in longer-lasting effects. This may be especially beneficial for people who consume marijuana regularly, minimizing the dosage required. Sound appealing? Get your marijuana card online and get your teapot ready!

Butter Me Up!

At this point you might be wondering why any method for making marijuana tea is deserving of an article to call its own: put weed in cup; put hot water in same cup; steep, then drink. That’s it, right? Wrong! With cannabis, tea making is a little more complex: the primary medicinal components in cannabis, are water-insoluble. However, those components can be extracted crudely by boiling the leaves; the heat strips the marijuana oil from the leaves. Then, in order to provide something for the oil to bind to, we must add fat to the mix in the form of butter or any oil you prefer.


Decarbo-what?

Marijuana in its natural state is non-psychoactive so just chewing on some leaves is unlikely to do much for you. Through decarboxylation the non-psychoactive compound THCA is converted into THC, activating its many glorious physiological effects. The heat applied to marijuana when smoking causes decarboxylation automatically. And when cooking marijuana, the process naturally occurs when the cannabis is cooked with oils.

Recipe for da Rasta

Be careful to pay attention to dosage and consider the delayed onset. Users should follow the recipe provided and only deviate from the marijuana dosage after experiencing the length and strength of the high produced – like all other methods of consuming marijuana, drinking marijuana tea may have adverse effects when consumed in excess. Assuming you do this, you should be pleasantly surprised by the effects.

Ingredients

Butter: 2 sticks unsalted

Marijuana: 5 ounces

Water: 2 cups

1 tea bag.

Marijuana tea

It’s important to follow the instructions carefully if you want the best marijuana tea.

Directions

  1. Pour the water into a pot.
  2. Add the butter.
  3. Boil.
  4. Add as many leaves as you can fit in your pan and cover with the butter/water mixture. Leave for 1 hour.
  5. Mash and stir frequently to make sure all THC is extracted from the leaves.
  6. After cooking strain butter from leaf using cheese cloth. Boil a cup of water and use it to rinse out every last drop of butter from the leaves.
  7. Put in fridge (or freezer) to cool. When the butter has solidified, it will separate from the water.
  8. Use a sieve to get rid of the unwanted water.
  9. Add tea bag of your choice and one teaspoon of marijuana-infused butter to a mug.
  10. Pour in boiling water.*

And hey presto!

*Note: do not drink until the marijuana butter has fully dissolved!

And do not feel confined or constricted by this recipe: feel free to push the boundaries and be experimental – add honey or cinnamon, add more or less marijuana, or eye of newt, or whatever else.  

And there you have it, your very own roadmap to some damn good marijuana tea. We hope you’ve found it informative. If you’re yet to get your medical marijuana card, we recommend getting it online – it’s quick and simple and can be done from the comfort of your home. We have articles all about that, so if you’re unsure of the necessary steps, definitely check them out. Happy drinking!   

Why Does Medical Marijuana Make You Hungry?

So you’ve got your California medical marijuana card and you head down to your local dispensary. You’ve found your perfect strain and you’ve got your perfect delivery method. You get ready to head home or to a friend’s house but, you’re overwhelmed with the need to make a pit stop at the nearest grocery store and stock up on supplies. Typically really unhealthy supplies, because you know that after you consume your medical marijuana you’re going to be pretty darned hungry! You’re also going to find yourself surrounded by food wrappers everywhere while you enjoy your high. Why though? What is it about medical cannabis that makes you so hungry? Well, it’s a little scientific, but don’t worry too much were here to help explain why after smoking weed you get the inevitable munchies.

Why you’re hungry? It’s all in the mind

medical marijuana

After smoking medical marijuana, it’s your brain that gets hungry, not your body!

Like all good things in life, your increased hunger level starts with the impact that medical marijuana has on your brain. When you consume weed, you’re consuming the main component of medical marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol, or, for those of us who can’t pronounce that (all of us), it’s more commonly known as THC. THC has the ability to heighten your sense of both smell and taste by targeting your brain’s olfactory bulbs. This in turn tricks your body into thinking it’s starving via the delicious smells and heightened taste sensation you get when high. Essentially, cannabis tricks your body into thinking everything is delicious when you’re high, but this is only part of it. Medical weed also has the capability of making your body forget it’s full altogether, but we’ll get into that later.

 

How did we find this all out?

It all comes down to the legalization of marijuana through CA cannabis cards, which has opened up a more healthy discourse and a series of scientific studies into the drug and the positive effects it can have on users’ lives. Studies carried out on mice recently, which would have never have gone ahead in the past, have really opened up the flood gates when it comes to giving us a better understanding of why smoking legal cannabis makes us so hungry! A new study performed on mice in France called “The endocannabinoid system controls food intake via olfactory processes” has made some substantial breakthroughs in understanding the exact science behind what it is within weed that makes us so hungry.

The study split two groups of mice up. One group of mice were exposed to the main chemical ingredient of marijuana (THC) and another group of mice were not. Each group of mice were provided with equal measures of bananas and almond oils. As you may have guessed, the mice that became high off the THC spent significantly more time smelling the bananas and almond oils than the mice who were not high. The mice exposed to the THC also ate more than the mice who were not exposed and therefore not high. You might be thinking ‘yes, well this isn’t a breakthrough, I get hungry when I smoke my medical marijuana’, but it all comes down to a system in your brain known as the endocannabinoid system. This is where the real science comes in.

What’s the endocannabinoid system and why does it make you hungry when you smoke weed?

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can trick your brain into thinking that your body needs food.

The endocannabinoid system in our brains produces our own cannabinoids, these cannabinoids regulate and control our moods, memory, pain and appetite. As we’ve already mentioned. the main chemical component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and what this chemical does is manipulate the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system, thus mimicking and altering the sensations of hunger, pain, depression and memory. When it comes to hunger it’s all down to your body’s hypothalamus, which produces chemicals telling your body it’s no longer hungry. THC found in cannabis overrides this system and masks these chemicals, essentially confusing your body into thinking that it’s ravenous.

Let’s do a little stoner science instead

Medical Marijuana

When consuming medical marijuana, it’s best to avoid junk food.

The above might all sound a little confusing but to put it in layman’s terms, let’s do a little stoner science. So we’re trying to explain why mice that consumed THC were hungrier than the mice that didn’t and, by proxy, clarify why you are hungrier after consuming medical marijuana than before, even if you’ve just eaten, think about it like this. Your body is full of neurons (like little balls – yep, think of neurons like a kid’s ball pit in your brain). These neurons work together and deliver messages to your brain. Once you’re full, these neurons tell your body you don’t want or need any more food and you stop eating (the ball pit is calm and compact). The THC in cannabis essentially represents you, if you were to dive into that ball pit headfirst! It disrupts the ball pit, which had assumed you were full, and confuses it into thinking you’re hungry again, whilst in the process making foods that are typically kinda disgusting delicious.

It’s all a little complicated, but its straightforward as well, so think about that next time you head down to the dispensary with your 420 card and are wondering why that snack pit stop seems inevitable.

5 Ultimate Christmas Gifts For California Medical Marijuana Card Holders

The festive season is upon us and it’s present-buying time. If you know someone who has a California medical marijuana card and are struggling to find a present for them, fear not! We’re here to help. Perhaps you’re an MMJ user and you want to treat yourself this Christmas, or perhaps it’s a friend or family member that you want to make sure has an extra special stocking filler? Either way, we’ve got you covered with the five ultimate gifts for a California medical marijuana card holder.

These gifts are only meant for those who have a valid California medical marijuana card; if you’re unsure whether your friend or family member has an MMJ card or how they can get one, why not check our qualifying conditions to see if they should apply today.

California Medical Marijuana Card

California medical marijuana card holders will appreciate a vaporizer as a Christmas gift.

Vaporizer

Sure, you may enjoy the ceremony of rolling joints and nothing may feel better than taking that first drag of MMJ from your rolled up roach, but haven’t you ever though that there might be an easier – not to mention healthier –  way?

Turns out, there is. You’ll have seen vaporizers hanging out of the mouths of hipsters for the last year or so, but don’t worry; these tools are not just for the tattooed, skinny jean-ed contingent of society. Vaporizers heat dry medical marijuana to just below 400*F, converting the active ingredients to turn into vapor, which you then inhale. Proponents assert that this is a healthier way to consume medical marijuana as it doesn’t ‘burn’ the herb and thus harm your lungs as much as smoking.

Still not convinced? Check out our article on Is Getting A Vaporizer Worth It? It’ll answer all of your queries and point you in the right direction.

MMJRecs cannabis oil uses

Why not get topicals for a California medical marijuana card holder this year?

Balm

If you don’t feel like getting a vaporizer, or if you feel like getting one and then another gift because, hey, it’s Christmas, you might want to look at cannabis balm, also known as a topical.

Cannabis-infused lotions, balms and oils are all the rage at the moment as they can treat a whole host of afflictions by directly targeting one area of the body. If you have sore joints or a point of inflammation, these topicals can offer localized relief.

Topicals are perfect for California medical marijuana card holders who don’t like the idea of inhaling smoke but still want to relieve their ailments in a subtle and soothing manner.

 

Stash box

After getting you hands on all of these new gadgets and bottles, you’re going to need somewhere to store your new equipment. It’s best to get a proper container, often referred to as a ‘stash box’, so that you know that your property is secure.

‘Stash box’ may have negative connotations in that it’s a place where you ‘stash’ illegal drugs, but as long as you have your California medical marijuana card with you at all times, you won’t be bothered by the police for keeping a small amount of MMJ for personal use.

Cannador offers an excellent container, with its 2-Strain Cannador® box being ideal for someone who wants to store, well, two strains of MMJ. The beautifully carved box contains two glass cups adjustable ventilated lids, as well as a lock and two keys. You can stick your vaporizer and your grinder in the bottom drawer and the wood (which is smell-proof, by the way) comes in walnut or cherry – your choice.

Juicer

If you’re a fan of healthy food porn on Instagram (who isn’t?!), you’ll have already noticed the trend of posting brightly-colored shakes and juices on one’s feed. But did you know that these intriguing libations can deliver your daily dose of medical cannabis?

Anyone with a California medical marijuana card can create  all sorts of delicious concoctions, as long as they have the right juicer, so that could shoot straight to the top of your presents list!

If you’re interested in juicing your MMJ, it’s best to check out Juicing Medical Cannabis: A How-To Guide; it isn’t as simple as chucking a few buds in the juicer along with carrots and apples, but once you’ve mastered the technique, you’re sure to be an instant convert.

Any healthy living fans should also cast an eye over The Health Benefits of Juicing Medical Marijuana to learn why juicing might be the best way to consume your medical marijuana.

Weed Wine

Christmas Gifts for California Medical Marijuana Card Holders

A bottle of weed wine will make the ideal gift for a California medical marijuana card holder.

We know that Christmas is all about Champagne and Sherry but in case you wanted to wet your whistle with something a little different this year, consider investing in a bottle or two of weed wine.

This unique tipple has been around in one form or another for centuries, but it’s only recently that a couple of entrepreneurs have brought the combination of cannabis and wine into the mainstream. Cancer survivor and (medical cannabis dispensary) Greenway owner Lisa Molyneux teamed up with the owner of Verdad Wines, Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, and have released Canna Vine, California medical marijuana card holders and anyone else who can legally imbibe the tasty nectar.

It’s been championed by rock star Melissa Etheridge amongst others and is said to be quite the palate-pleaser.

For further reading, check out Weed Wine: What’s The Hype?

 

There we have it folks, five ultimate gifts for a California medical marijuana card holder. We hope that you have a very merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year when you let us know if any of our gift recommendations were hits!

 

Growing Your Own Medical Marijuana: A Beginner’s Guide

If you have a prescription for medical marijuana but are struggling to find a source, if you simply want to save money, or if you want to go into the business of selling medical marijuana, but you haven’t a clue on how to get started, this is the place to be.

Come to us green and we’ll send you off green-thumbed, with a solid knowledge of strains, growth methods, and best procedures for harvesting and curing your crop – a real blueprint to homegrown, high-quality medicinal marijuana.

We recommend starting small and growing from there (pun intended), lest you decide farming is not for you but you’ve completely decked out your entire house and remortgaged the kids to finance it – you’ve gone beyond the point of return. Alright, without further ado, let’s get to it, fledglings!   

In what environment should I grow my medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana

You don’t have to buy medical marijuana; with the right license, you can grow it yourself!

We recommend that you grow your crop indoors with soil for security, control, predictability, and ease. While you can grow more marijuana outdoors, the quality of the crop can be greatly affected by pests and fluctuations in temperature or rainfall. These environmental issues make crop control – and the consequent crop quality – an expensive affair. Another option is hydroponics (growing plants without soil) which achieves higher yields than either of the other two options; however, its high yields come with an expensive price tag, a complex set-up, and a demanding maintenance regime. So avoid the headache and stick with indoor soil.

Which strain is best?

Well, there can be no definitive answer here: it will depend entirely on the individual and requires some experimentation. The types available – Indica, Sativa, and hybrids – are more or less suitable for treating different illnesses depending on their varying THC, Cannabinol, and Cannabidiol contents. The various strains of Indica and Sativa each come with a unique smell, taste, and strength profile so it’s best to do your research prior to committing to any one strain.   

Our main recommendation here is to pick a strain that is easy to grow. A few examples: AK-48, Northern Light, Aurora Indica, Northern Light Blue and Critical Express (autoflowering).

Your reputation pro-seeds you!

Note: You’ll need a medical marijuana license in order to purchase seeds legally. If you’re unsure how to get a  medical marijuana card online check out some of our other articles which detail the process.

Auto-flowering seeds: the buds in flowers are what contain the active ingredients in medical marijuana, so getting your plants to flower is essential. Unlike normal cannabis plants, which require 24 hours of light to grow and then 12 hours of light to flower, autoflowering plants flower with 24 hours of light. This means you quickly get from seed to weed with no need to separate growing plants and flowering plants. Definitely worth considering for the inexperienced grower.

Feminized seeds: There are both male and female marijuana plants, but only the female plants grow the buds that produce a high. You can – and should – purchase feminized seeds to ensure that you get a high-yield crop.

Note: Under stress, female plants will produce male flowers. Plant stress is onset by under or overwatering, lack or excess of nutrients, ph-imbalance, or irregular light-cycles – here the Goldilocks principle should be applied (it needs to be “just right”).  

Medical marijuana

To grow your own medical marijuana, you’ll need an MMJ card.

I’ve Soiled Myself!

If using garden soil, note that Marijuana needs soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7. For overly acidic soil, use lime to increase pH. To increase acidity, add coffee grounds. Alternatively, you can buy a soil mix designed for marijuana.

Water We Gonna Do?

Ideally PH neutral (pH7). Raise water’s pH by adding either some lime, wood ash, or a pre-mixed solution. Lower water’s pH by adding sulfur, phosphoric acid, or a pH-lowering solution.

Tend to Your Tent!

If you don’t want to use an entire room a grow tent is ideal. They come in all sizes, holding from 8 up to 256 plants. They keep light out, offer easy hookups for your grow lights, are waterproof, and provide an exhaust point. Fantastic for the uninitiated and we’re going to assume this is the set-up you’ll be using.

Let There Be Light!

To grow, your plants will need light provided by bulbs that provide a full spectrum of light, unlike normal household bulbs. We recommend going with LED lights: though they will cost more initially than some other options, they’ll save money in the long-run.

Block out all external light. Your marijuana plants will need total darkness for large periods of time.

Germination

The easiest way to germinate your seeds is by soaking them for a day in a glass of distilled water and then placing them in a warm, moist paper towel. Once it has sprouted, it needs to be put into the soil.

Seedlings

At this stage, it is best to put a seedling under at least 16 hours light every 24 hours – but make sure the light is not too bright.

Flower Power

In the flowering stage, your marijuana plant will finally produce smokable marijuana. During this stage, you will need to reduce the amount of light it receives to just 12 hours. You will also need to adjust down the brightness of the light, using a bulb with 2700k.  Run this light regimen until your plant is ready to harvest.  

Harvesting

The best way to tell whether your plant is ready for harvest is to check the plants’ trichomes (extremely fine hairs that can be seen along the surface of the buds). Using a 30x magnifying glass, check that around 80% of trichomes are cloudy, 15% are amber and 5% are clear. If this is the case, it’s time to cut and dry.

Drying and Curing

Don’t smoke it yet! You need to dry and cure it first. To dry the weed, hang it until the buds are dry to the touch, but do not snap when bent. The most common technique for curing is known as “burping”, which involves putting your bud in an airtight glass jar and opening it for a couple of minutes every 12 hours over the course of a month – how cute!

And there you have it. Your guide to growing your own medical marijuana. Hopefully, this beginner’s guide to growing your own medical marijuana has provided the inspiration to get started and the knowledge to take you to the end. Make sure you get your 420 card before you begin and enjoy growing!

How Medical Cannabis Oil Reduces Stress

For millions of Americans each year, stress is the number one factor that affects their quality of life. Stress can develop from the most modest of places but over time can grow into a much larger issue, leading to insomnia, and even severe anxiety. Fortunately, medical marijuana and the medical cannabis oil extracted from the plant, can work wonders in securing a far more balanced frame of mind. If you’ve been living with stress for far too long, a cannabis card may be able to help.

With a myriad of ways in which to consume medical marijuana, and the differences in chemical compounds within each strain, finding the best type for you can often become a daunting task. For those who are inclined to shy away from the more traditional means of consumption, such as smoking, medical cannabis oil is an effective alternative, one which is able to relieve stress with very little effort, while omitting the usual high that is associated with marijuana.

Medical cannabis oil

Medical cannabis oil can be a fantastic stress-reliever.

Cannabis oil is merely a concentrated, distilled substance obtained from the marijuana plant, where the plant itself has been removed via a solvent. There are two core compounds found within most common types of cannabis: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD) – the former of which responsible for the “high” feeling. Typically, medical cannabis oil which is marketing for medicinal purposes contains far less THC – this being the primary reason why oil is able to have a positive impact on stress.

If you hold or are thinking about obtaining a cannabis card in California, it’s important to know the principle differences in strains (assuming the cannabis is being used medicinally, of course). Simply put, strains with higher levels of CBD are beneficial for those coping with stress, while high levels of THC should be avoided in this instance, due to chronic consumption often causing stress and anxiety. The emphasis on CBD is one of the reasons medical cannabis oil is the ideal remedy for one’s stress.

Opting to acquire a cannabis card is becoming more and more common for people suffering from a range of ailments. Anecdotal and scientific evidence both show that medical cannabis oil has the ability to release pleasure hormones, relaxing the mind in the process. These hormones lend themselves to reducing stress levels directly, allowing a peaceful calm to wash over the body. Through relieving stress, secondary problems such as insomnia or anxiety can also be mitigated.

With medical cannabis oil predominantly consisting of CBD, consuming cannabis in this way is safe, unobtrusive, and efficient, due to its ability to combat a range of underlying issues. If left to fester, stress more-often-than-not evolves into anxiety, which can have a major impact on your standard of living – something roughly 18% of the US population can attest to. However, research conducted at Vanderbilt University found that the CBD compound is able to regulate and relieve anxiety, preventing further stress.

Medical cannabis oil

The oil extracted from marijuana can help relieve a whole host of medical issues.

For those on the fence about obtaining a cannabis card in California, further studies have shown how CBD-rich marijuana (such as that of cannabis oil), can have a dramatic positive impact on people suffering from the effects of stress. A 2013 study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel found that CBD-rich treatment was able to regulate the emotional response found within those who had undergone a significant traumatic experience, preventing stress-induced impairment.  

CBD treatment is able to work wonders on the mind, due to the way that it interacts with the body. Evidence shows that CBD is able to minimize stress through the affects it has on the receptors in the basolateral amygdala (where the majority of sensory information is received) and the hippocampus (the believed center of emotion). Supporting these scientific explanations is the fact that cannabis simply offers therapeutic comfort, with the Institute of Psychiatry stating that CBD offers great psychiatric potential.

Stress can rear its head due to a number of reasons, each specific to an individual’s personality and environment. CBD has been shown to improve cognitive impairment, as well as the discomfort people often have when faced with speaking in a public setting. These benefits also extend to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a 2015 review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy finding that cannabis treatment is effective at supporting military veterans.

A cannabis card is the gateway to relieving a plethora of ailments. Veterans who house PTSD frequently report cannabis treatment reduces their anxiety and insomnia – direct effects of intense stress, which can similarly be applied to anyone in their individual situation. The advantages to consuming products such as medical cannabis oil are tremendous; faster acting than standard prescription medication, and producing few side effects that meds all too often go hand-in-hand with.

The key for any cannabis card holder searching for the most effective herbal remedy is the compound levels. If you find yourself struggling through day-to-day activities due to the impact stress is having on your life, then a CBD-rich strain is the way to go – with medical cannabis oil being a prime candidate.

How To Monitor Your Medical Cannabis Consumption

Medical cannabis has a whole host of incredible benefits. It provides invaluable pain relief for sufferers of many chronic illnesses such as arthritis, glaucoma,

back ache, cancer, muscle spasms, and cramps. It also calms anxiety, aids with sleep, improves appetite, and can ease the symptoms of depression and PTSD. But like with anything good, it is possible to go overboard.

It is easy to become reliant on anything that brings physical or psychological relief, such as painkillers, coffee, wine, food, sex, or pornography. And weed is no different. Being dependent on something means that you are vulnerable, so it is always best to make sure that you, and not your 420 card, are calling the shots.

So with that in mind, here are a few tips on how to recognize if you are wearing out your cannabis card too quick. Monitoring your use of weed is important, and here’s how to do it.

Firstly, you need to be your own scientist and keep a close eye on the effects of your medical cannabis use. How are you feeling? Do you feel different when you are using compared to when you are not? And do you feel different in between sessions when you are not under the immediate influence of medical cannabis? If you are feeling groggy and lethargic, or are finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, then it could be that you are availing of your medical card California a bit too much. Some people can function very well while using cannabis regularly, while others find that it makes them tired and unproductive. Keep a close eye on how your energy levels are reacting to your weed consumption.

Medical Cannabis

If you consume medical cannabis regularly, it’s best to keep an eye on how often you reach for the MMJ.

Another important question to ask yourself is; are you becoming reliant on medical cannabis to function socially? People often enjoy being out and aboutamongst others while feeling a little weed buzz, and it sure is enjoyable to be mellow and relaxed as you go about your business. But if you are becoming dependent on your mm card to feel OK about being amongst crowds and interacting, then maybe you need to cut back a bit because, as I said before, relying on something other than your own mental faculties to be OK is never ideal.

Weed is not physically addictive, but like many non-physically addictive things, such as sex, porn, and gambling, it can certainly be psychologically addictive. If you are getting tetchy and irritable, just counting down the minutes until you can hit the bong, then you may be getting a bit too reliant on your sweet, sweet California medical cannabis. If you feel you couldn’t go a day or two without, then maybe going a day or two without is exactly what you need to do.

An indirect sign that your medical cannabis consumption could be too high is weight gain. Marijuana increases appetite, and if you are getting heavier than is healthy for you to be, then perhaps you need to be aware of how much your medical marijuana is indirectly causing you to become overweight.

A good way to keep your consumption within reasonable limits is to borrow a strategy from the intermittent fasting crowd. The 16 – 8 fast is a way of eating that allows people to eat within an 8-hour window only, and requires them to fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. This is easier than it first sounds because we are usually asleep for 8ish hours of the 16-hour fast. This method of eating means that it’s very difficult to eat too many calories due to the relatively small eating-window. You can apply this method to your cannabis consumption by simply deciding that you will not smoke until a certain time each day, and then smoking within a strict window of time from then. This guarantees that you will have a chunk of weed-free time every day.

Similar to the intermittent fasting idea is to have a No Weed Day every once in awhile (weekly, monthly, or whatever). A day of no marijuana can give your system a little rest and also make the weed taste and feel all the better when you go back to using it.

Medical Cannabis

Keeping a ‘weed diary’ can really help you monitor your medical cannabis consumption.

Another way to make sure you are not overdoing your consumption is to stick to a strain that is not too potent. Bring your cannabis card down to the dispensary and ask for some recommendations for a nice, mellow strain. ‘Harlequin’ is a pleasant hybrid with a 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC, so it’s good for pain relief but doesn’t have too strong of a psychoactive high. ‘One to One’ has a CBD to THC content of 1:1, and it is a very practical strain for many situations. Choosing a modest strain of medical cannabis will help you moderate your consumption.

A final suggestion is to keep a ‘weed diary’. This can be a great idea with any number of things – food, alcohol, and even your thoughts. Simply write down how much you smoke each day, or week, or whatever works for you. When you jot something down you can keep track of it. If you flick back through the pages of your weed diary and you see that the amount you consume is going up and up, maybe you need to be aware of the trend and cut back. Knowledge is power!

So, medical cannabis is an amazing addition to the lives of many thousands of people, and long may it continue. But, like every good thing – too much can be too much, so it’s best to keep track of your consumption.

Medical Cannabis Oil And Cancer: The Facts

Medical cannabis oil is utilized to treat a myriad of conditions, with the number of those who purchase it for medicinal use increasing every year. One of the most common reasons people are choosing to obtain a cannabis card is due to the drug’s effectiveness at combating cancer, and the symptoms related to its treatment.

Medical cannabis oil

Medical cannabis oil is a great tool in the fight against cancer.

Each year, an annual international convention on cannabinoid medicine takes place, gathering doctors and researchers together to combine their findings regarding the effects of medical marijuana. While most of the information aired at conventions such as these is greatly under-publicized, there is no denying the anecdotal evidence surrounding the use of cannabis to treat various conditions.

If you have recently obtained a cannabis card in California for medicinal purposes, the information and options available to you can quickly become overwhelming. From the varying degrees of chemical compounds found within different strains of marijuana, to the plethora of ways in which to consume it, purchasing the drug that’s right for you isn’t always as easy as it seems.

Consuming cannabis through more traditional methods, such as smoking it in a joint or bong, also isn’t for everyone. For reasons such as these, more and more people are turning to medical cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is simply a concentrated, distilled form of the marijuana plant, with the plant material itself stripped away via a solvent. Typically, cannabis oil marketed for medicinal use is far less likely to give the high associated with cannabis use, but can still provide a tangible impact on those suffering from cancer.

Just like its herb counterpart, medical cannabis oil contains two primary ingredients: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). While cannabis oil is more likely to contain lower levels of THC, both compounds found within marijuana have been found to act as a beneficial alternative form of cancer treatment. While no proof suggests cannabis can actually cure cancer, there is significant evidence suggesting it may be able to reduce cancer cells.

Found within every cell in the body are sphingolipids – lipids which specifically manage the life and death of each particular cell. Simply put, if ceramide levels in a cell are high, the death of that cell is imminent. Through the use of medical cannabis oil, THC is able to connect to the cannabinoid receptor site of a cancer cell, causing an increase in ceramide synthesis which drives cell death. While killing cells may sound like a dubious proposition, healthy cells do not produce ceramide in the presence of THC, so only the cancer cells are affected.

Medical cannabis oil

Many MMJ users like to use medical cannabis oil to relieve themselves of symptoms of illness.

For those with a cannabis card, certain steps are advised to make the most out of your cannabis oil. The key to fighting cancer cells is the accumulation of ceramide in the system. Consuming a steady amount of CBD and THC over a consistent period of time is far more beneficial than using a large amount all at once. Keeping firm metabolic pressure on the cancer cells will provide the most advantageous route to maximize the effects of medical marijuana.

Substantial evidence found throughout studies carried out over years suggests that medical cannabis oil is able to combat cancer head-on. In 2013, a study completed at the Complutense University of Madrid found that THC actually causes cancer cells to auto-digest, thus drastically reducing tumor size and prevalence. Many people have claimed cannabis helped them recover from cancer, and while this is indeed the case, frequently this is due to the reduction in side effects associated with traditional cancer treatment.

One of the most effective uses of your medical marijuana card in California is nausea relief. For a wealth of people suffering from cancer, chemotherapy is an uncomfortable and draining reality. However, cannabis oil is able to relieve the symptoms that arise through chemotherapy. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has stated that consuming cannabis can often be more effective than the use of most standard anti-nausea medication.

The range of uses for cannabis in relation to cancer is noteworthy, as they are able to directly affect the disease itself, as well as its symptoms. These symptoms – from nausea, to lack of appetite and pain – can be easily treated through the acquisition of a cannabis card. In fact, a study carried out at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa found that the side-effects that go hand-in-hand with treatment for both cancer and HIV/AIDS were reduced by 38% in patients who consumed medical marijuana.

Through its ability to target both the cause and symptoms of cancer, cannabis – and the oil distilled from its mothering plant – is becoming an increasingly worthy source of treatment for a considerable amount of people. If you have a cannabis card, knowing the chemical compounds and means of consumption which are right for you is important – with medical cannabis oil being a viable and inviting option for many.

A Beginner’s Guide To California Medical Cannabis

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.

California Medical Cannabis

California medical cannabis can even come in the form of massage oil!

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.

California Medical Cannabis

It’s best to be au fait with all of the laws surrounding California medical cannabis before you consume.

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.

Where Can I Consume MMJ With California Medical Marijuana Card?

As marijuana legislation is slowly moving in the right direction, California medical marijuana card holders are now enjoying a much more tolerant, understanding and welcoming society. Marijuana usage is no longer confined to the home and MMJ is finally being recognized for its numerous health benefits. However, as marijuana laws become more relaxed, 420 card carriers are getting more and more confused as to where exactly they can consume medical cannabis. Although laws like Proposition 64 have been passed, public and police responses to marijuana consumption remains mixed and you should be careful about how and where you choose to consume.

California Medical Marijuana Card

Your home is usually the safest and most appropriate to smoke MMJ if you have a California medical marijuana card.

Your home is obviously the best place to consume your MMJ. Not only will you be comfortable, but you’ll also be able to consume your medical marijuana any way you want to so smoke, vape, eat or even drink as much as you need. If baking edibles at home, never forget to keep them out of the reach of little fingers’ or else an unplanned trip to the ER could be on the cards. If you choose to smoke in your garden, always be mindful of your neighbors. Not only is this good neighborly practice but a cranky old coot of a neighbor could get angry and call the cops. Needless to say, a visit from the police will ruin your relaxing afternoon.

Although home is a comfortable and safe place for consumption, for some California medical marijuana card holders it is simply not practical to confine usage to within their four walls. Consuming in public is permitted but complicated due to the USA’s unique legal position regarding MMJ. Even though it is fully legal in some states, federal law dictates that all use of cannabis, medical or otherwise, is still illegal. This paradox goes largely unimplemented, but if you come across the wrong cop, on the wrong day, s/he can still charge you with possession, whether you have an online medical marijuana recommendation or not. It is prudent to be discreet when consuming cannabis in public, so you’re best to opt for vaping, edibles or tinctures instead of lighting up.

Smoking MMJ certainly has its benefits, but it also has several non-health related drawbacks that can limit where you can and can’t blaze up. California law states that marijuana cannot be smoked where smoking is prohibited by law, at or within 1000 feet of a school, recreation centre, or youth centre, unless the medical use occurs within a residence, on a school bus, or in a moving motor vehicle or boat. It is also extremely important to remember that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. This can be defined as driving whereby your mental abilities are impaired by marijuana to the extent that you are unable to drive with appropriate caution. Unlike alcohol, there is no clear cut test to define what the legal limit of marijuana usage while driving is and because of this, it is best to avoid consuming when you’re driving and if you absolutely have to, you should keep it to a minimum.

California Medical Marijuana Card

Very few offices will let you smoke MMJ, even if you have a California medical marijuana card.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of workplaces in California disallow the consumption of cannabis on work property or during work hours, regardless of whether you have an online California medical marijuana card. The Compassionate Use Act doesn’t prohibit employers from disciplining or even terminating employees solely based on their MMJ usage. Only four states – New York, Arizona, Minnesota and Delaware – have brought in laws that protect employees who possess a  medical marijuana license and fail workplace drug tests. In these cases, the onus is on the employer to not only show that the employee was under the influence of marijuana while on the job but also that it impaired their level of work. Until the whole country is as forward thinking as the above states or unless you’ve got a particularly understanding boss, it’s best to keep your marijuana consumption out of the office.

Although taking your MMJ to Yellowstone for a few hours of relaxation may seem like the perfect Sunday, federal parkland is under the remit of federal law and as a result it is strictly forbidden to consume cannabis on its grounds. National park rangers are well known for issuing fines to anyone possessing the drug inside federal parks. Those who can produce a California medical marijuana card are subject to more lenient fines, but are not immune to penalties. Cards need to be renewed each year to remain valid, so you should get your cannabis card online, well in advance of your renewal date to avoid the hassle of paying extortionate fines should you run into an overzealous federal park ranger.

California Medical Marijuana Card

It’s best to do your research on where to consume your MMJ even after buying your California medical marijuana card online.

Federal law makes things especially confusing for California medical marijuana card holders when it comes to traveling. Although some airports like San Francisco and Oakland are MMJ friendly, others are not so much. If you’re unsure of your airport’s stance, it is best to call ahead and ask them directly so as to avoid any embarrassing altercations with security when you get there. It is also worth noting that whether or not you can bring your MMJ onto a plane is totally at the discretion of the Transport Security Authority (TSA). As the TSA is a federal body, they are unlikely to view MMJ any differently from marijuana for recreational purposes and you will likely have it confiscated at security.

Until legislators fully legalize cannabis at a federal level, there is still going to be a grey area about where you can and cannot consume MMJ. If you’re out in public and still unsure of whether you can light up, be smart and opt to vape or have an edible instead. Your relaxation should be of paramount importance, so exercise caution and always be carrying your California medical marijuana card in order to not land yourself in any hot water.

The Health Benefits of Juicing Medical Marijuana

Juicing Medical Marijuana

Juicing medicinal marijuana can be much more pleasant than smoking MMJ.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll know that juicing has become ubiquitous with the health movement that’s been sweeping California. Beets, carrots, spinach and kale are among the range of vegetables that are being thrown into cold-press juicers so that we can benefit from their range of nutrients without removing any of the goodness through cooking. Although California medical marijuana card holders are well used to being innovative when it comes to consuming, very few are aware that juicing medical marijuana can be one of the best, if not the best, way to enjoy its benefits.

Unlike using edibles or smoking, juicing medical marijuana will not expose you to the psychoactive side effects that are caused when MMJ is heated. When you heat medical marijuana you’re converting tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) in raw MMJ into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is its psychoactive form, causing a high. Although some people do enjoy this high, others would much rather just experience the medical benefits of medical cannabis without the dazed side-effect. When you don’t achieve this high there is nothing to obstruct MMJ card holders from ingesting as much of the drug as they need to alleviate their ailments. Dr William Courtney, founder of the Cannabis International Foundation (CIF), noted that when heated, the tolerable dose of cannabis is about 10mg/day. However, when you remove heat from the equation, he states that upwards of hundreds of milligrams can be consumed per day without harm therefore juicing will allow you to consume MMJ in as large a dosage as you require.

Like any other vegetable, cannabis is loaded with nutrients such as iron, calcium and fibre, as well as cannabinoids that are unique to the plant. One cannabinoid, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), is particularly central to the medicinal power of the marijuana plant. Cooking or heating any plant will vanquish nearly all present nutrients within it. It’s estimated that you’re cooking around 90 per cent of the good stuff, including the all-important CBDA, when you heat cannabis, which feels like a massive waste. Left cold, those wonderful little cannabinoids have free rein to work their magic to their best ability and you’ll really notice the difference.

Juicing Medical Marijuana

The trend of juicing medicinal marijuana is sweeping California.

Juicing medical marijuana is definitely the most convenient way to consume it without heat. As cannabis juice on its own is quite acidic, it’s recommended that you combine it with other juices to make it easier on your stomach. Not only can you add it to your usual morning drink, but you can also create a cannabis centered juice if you fancy something different. How about some kale, grapes, cucumber, apple and MMJ to pump up your iron levels? Or some ginger, beets, carrots, apples and MMJ for a rejuvenating detox? You can add cannabis to any delicious recipe that you can think of, so be as adventurous as you like. Although edibles present you with the opportunity to create other tasty treats, typically these also involve the use of high levels of sugar or fats which is counterproductive to creating a healthier you. If you feel that sweet tooth kicking in, opt for a cannabis, sweet potato and pear smoothie instead of a brownie and your waistline, as well as your heart, will thank you. For the best results Dr. Courtney recommends splitting your cannabis juice into smaller portions that can be consumed throughout the day. As drinking juice is more discreet than vaping or smoking, it’s much more practical to consume at work, on the go, at lunch or anywhere else need it. Similarly, if you’re stopped by the cops and they see a bottle of juice in your car, you’re not going to get in any trouble, especially if you have your online medical marijuana card with you.

Juicing Medical Marijuana

The health benefits of juicing medicinal marijuana are plentiful.

Although MMJ is typically used by 420 card holders for treatment of chronic disease or pain, it also works to prevent future disease and maintain current health when juiced. The cannabinoids in raw marijuana possess antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that have been proven to be of benefit to the human body when ingested as a health supplement. Dr Courtney’s research has found that ingesting MMJ in juice can help prevent or diminish a whole range of ailments such as lupus, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders and cellular dysfunction. If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, it’s highly recommended that you obtain an MMJ card online to reap the benefits. Juiced cannabis has also been found to slow, stop or even reverse the growth of cancer cells in some patients – talk about a superfood! Although juicing medical marijuana does have these miracle effects, oftentimes it can take days, or even weeks to notice them. So if you’re becoming impatient while waiting for some of that famous MMJ juice goodness, don’t give up. You know what they say, anything worth getting is definitely worth waiting for.

It is worth noting that, as with any plant, cannabis loses more and more of its nutrients the longer you leave it after it’s been harvested. For this reason you can’t just use any old MMJ for juicing. Make sure that you obtain raw, fresh and pesticide-free cannabis for your juices and if you’re keeping it at home, make sure it’s left in protective bags in the refrigerator. If you’re unsure of what exactly you need to do to begin juicing medical marijuana, take a quick look at our handy guide here. All you need is your juicer, some fresh MMJ and your online medical marijuana card, so get juicing!

Top Ways To Consume Your Medical Marijuana

There are so many ways to actually consume medical marijuana that it can be confusing trying to figure out which particular method works best for you. Ever since the introduction of the CA medical marijuana card, the discussion around weed and how best to consume it has moved from the dark corners of the internet and what your friend Bob says (Bob is not an expert) to an open, healthier and safer forum, full of experts. Everyone has their personal preferences on how they choose to consume medical marijuana but we’re going to run down some of our favorite ways and provide a little advice on how you can find out what works best for you. It can be a case of trial and error and you may want to try a few different methods or even rotate your techniques, but we guarantee that this list has consumption options perfect for everyone.

Top Ways To Consume Your Medical Marijuana

Smoking is the most popular way to consume medical marijuana.

Smoking medical marijuana

This is by far the most common consumption method for consuming California medical cannibals. In fact it has been the most common method of weed consumption for centuries. Typically smoking weed is done via rolling paper to make a joint, or packed into a pipe or bong (water pipe). There are obvious pros to smoking: it is incredibly quick at delivering a high (or instant relief), it’s inexpensive and minimally processed. The main drawbacks to this method though are that it could be dangerous for your lungs and it will leave you and your clothes smelling strongly of marijuana.   

Eating medical marijuana, aka edibles

Edibles are really a study of BMM (Before Medical Marijuana) and AMM (After Medical Marijuana). In the past you’d be limited to chunky and pretty disgusting brownies but now with the advancement of MM cooking supplies the options are limitless. The food doesn’t have to be just about the weed anymore and it’s just as common to have delicious edibles as it is to get a high from them. There are a lot of core benefits to edibles and they are a great alternative to those who don’t want to smoke. They provide a long lasting sense of relief and you can control the dosage quite easily. The drawbacks mainly consist of how long they take to kick in and you have to make sure that children and pets don’t come across them and start munching away!

Top Ways To Consume Your Medical Marijuana

Vaping is a great alternative for consuming medical marijuana as it’s less harsh on your lungs.

Vaporizing your medical marijuana

For those who lack culinary skills and are worried about the harmful nature of smoking on your lungs, getting a vaporizer is a great alternative. You’ll need to buy a vaporizer but essentially it works quite similarly to a bong, with the added positive that there is a less potent smell. For those of you worried about how you’ll smell after smoking medical marijuana, it’s a great alternative to smoking. It also takes effect just as quickly as smoking for those of you looking for a quick sense of relief. Do bear in mind that vaporizers will require maintenance and regular charging though.  

An interesting alternative: Cannabis-infused beverages

We’ve expressed how the advent of Prop 215 and the introduction of medical marijuana in California means that the quality and variety of cannabis based products have increased exponentially. This is also especially true when it comes to cannabis-based beverages. You’ll find that your local dispensary is stocked with bottles of cannabis juices, sodas and smoothies. You’ll also find that it’s quite easy and relaxing to make your own cannabis based tea. Drinking medical marijuana will give you a relaxed, calm and sustained high. It takes longer to show an effect on your body than drinking though, so you’ll have to bear that in mind.    

Lesser known alternatives

The above are the four most popular and regularly used methods of consuming your medical marijuana. Of course, you’ll need a California medical card in order to try these techniques, but just in case none of them float your boat and you want a lesser known alternative to how you can use MM, we’ve got a few lesser known suggestions.

You can use a patch – Transdermal patches are quickly becoming a popular choice for MM users. They work when applied to a hairless patch of skin, typically on your wrist or ankle. This is great for unseasoned medical cannabis users and is more gentle and mild than the alternative methods above.

You can try a medical marijuana spray – Medical marijuana sprays are typically made up of coconut oil and come in a little bottle that is sprayed directly under your tongue. These can be flavored and your average hit contains a mild dosage. They are a great alternative for those who don’t want to smoke and the high is quicker than an edible.   

Last and probably least, you can use a suppository – While this might not be the most popular method, and certainly it’s the most socially awkward, you can actually insert marijuana directly into your rectum. While this may not be palatable to all, patients who use this method swear by it due to the quickness, intensity and length of the high.

You’ll find your perfect method of consuming cannabis as soon as you get your hands on a medical marijuana card, which, luckily for you, is possible to get online. Having this card will open the door to thousands of experts who can advise you on what is the best method for you; with a little trial and error, you’ll find your perfect solution.

Medical Marijuana: Is Getting A Vaporizer Worth It?

You may be looking for an alternative to smoking your medical marijuana and are wondering if getting a vaporizer is worth their typically pretty hefty price tag. Well, this really all comes down to what is important to you, what kind of high you’re looking for, and what alternatives you’ve tried when it comes to consuming medical cannabis. In this article we’re going to explain what vaporizers are and offer a few pros and cons on getting a vaporizer, so that you can decide whether or not it’s worth it as a personal investment. Everyone has different preferences, so with your California medical marijuana card you can head down to your local dispensary and find out what might work best for you.

First off, what is a vaporizer?

A vaporizer (commonly known as a vape) is a device that heats dry medical marijuana to nearly 400*F (which is just below the heat required to light a joint). This allows the active ingredients found in marijuana to be converted into gas, or vapor, which you inhale and exhale as you would when smoking a regular joint. With the advent of the medical marijuana legislation in California, vaping has become a far more common practice. You can find a large variety of devices available on the market but at their core they can really be broken down into one of the following three groups: pen vaporizers, portable vaporizers and stationery desktop vaporizers.

Is Getting A Vaporizer Worth It?Which vape would be right for you?

It really depends on what you want from your vaporizer, how much you’re willing to spend and if you want it to be easily portable. While each is unique and has its own benefits and flaws they all consist of a standard heating source and a delivery system which in turn allows you to vape your medical weed.

If portability is your main objective look at a Pen Vaporizer

They look pretty much identical to the e-cig machines that have become wildly incorporated with tobacco smokers. There are a huge range of vape pens available on the market and their popularity is continually growing. They are also the cheapest vaping option, but medical marijuana purists argue that their delivery method of conduction heating vs. the favored convection heating means that they don’t deliver the marijuana payload as well as other vaping devices.  

Want a good delivery system that is still portable? Check out a Portable Vaporizer

They look a little like a Stanley knife and are slightly larger than their pen cousins, but they are also incredibly portable for those of you on-the-go. The main bonus of a portable vaporizer vs a pen vaporizer is down to the fact that they offer butane and flame options, are more durable, and are easily chargeable when out and about.  

Looking to make an investment? Check out a stationary vaporizer

If you’re looking for the best of the best and the medical marijuana purist’s nod of approval, you might want to look into investing in a stationary vape. They aren’t really portable and will cost you $400 – $700 but their delivery methods are considered more effective by many. They offer a convection heating source and a series of different attachments that open up a whole new experience to your standard ‘draw and drag’ delivery method. Again, they are the medical marijuana community’s preferred vaping system but if you’re going to buy one then make sure you know how to use it and recognize that it is an investment for the future.

What are the main benefits of having a vaporizer?Is Getting A Vaporizer Worth It?

  • Vaporizing delivers a more potent level of medical marijuana than smoking does. This is down to the heating systems that do not actually ignite the weed but find a sweet spot where the active ingredients that give you that calm, soothing feeling of smoking are released without burning the weed.
  • Vaping is better for your health when compared with smoking. This is both in the short-term and the long-term. With vaping, your lungs are not full of smoke and the coughing and shortness of breath associated with smoking are not an issue.
  • Vaping does not smell as strongly as smoking does, it’s more discreet and will not make your clothes, house, or even yourself smell as pungent. Unfortunately, even despite the legalization of weed with a MM card, the consumption is still stigmatized in some circles, so this is a great option for those looking to be discreet.  
  • Vaping actually saves you money in the long run. While the initial investment is high, studies have shown that vaping converts nearly 50% more of the THC found in marijuana into vapor. This in turn means that you’ll be able to smoke less while getting the same high and save more weed.

Is Getting A Vaporizer Worth It?What are the cons of having a vaporizer?

  • It’s really expensive to get started with a good vaporizer. You don’t want to buy a knock-off imitation, which will break quickly and not deliver its desired payload. If you want the best of the best, it’ll set you back a cold, hard $700; however, a good vape pen can be found a lot cheaper, under $100.
  • You have to maintain and charge the equipment. Vaporizers can have charging, cleaning and maintenance issues, so you need to look after them.
  • Some people prefer different methods and don’t like the experience of vaping at all. This is just a matter of personal preference and it’s totally up to you, but we’d definitely recommend that you try vaping before you buy.

With your California marijuana license you can try a vaporizer in a weed dispensary. Personally, we love them and think you will too, but we hope that this article will help you make up your mind on whether or not it’s the right way for you to consume your medical marijuana.

10 Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis has been vilified in the United States for decades but with the advent of medical marijuana, the stereotypical ‘stoner’ and ‘waster’ representations of weed smokers are becoming a thing of the past. This means that marijuana can be celebrated for its numerous health benefits. We’re going to run down a list of 10 of the most well known and proven benefits of using medical marijuana and let you know how this miracle plant can have benefits for you with your CA medical weed card.

Did you know that cannabis fights cancer?

One of the main reasons that marijuana is slowly being legalized and the fact that you can buy it in California with a MM card is down to the ways that it helps to heal your body. The most important and widely reported benefits of cannabis are found in their treatment of cancer. Numerous scientific studies in the USA and around the world have illustrated that marijuana can kill cancer cells and help patients deal with the stress and pain of this very serious disease.

Weed can help you lose weight

You may be thinking ‘But what about the munchies?’ Well, you’re right and you’re wrong; weed doesn’t make you hungry but rather intensifies your taste buds. In fact, numerous studies have proven that on average a medical marijuana user is thinner than a non-user. This comes down to the fact that marijuana helps to regulate your body’s production of insulin, which in turn helps you to manage your caloric intake.

10 Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

A moderate use of medical marijuana can help those struggling with depression.

Medical cannabis can help treat depression

This belief actually goes back thousands of years and cannabis is widely known as the ‘green Prozac’ for its ability to help treat depression. Depression is the most common and least talked about mental illness in the United States. While there is no definitive proof that medical cannabis can treat depression in the long term, numerous studies have suggested that it does. With moderation, cannabis is known to increase serotonin levels (the happy hormone) in your body, which in turn acts as an anti-depressant and has proven to be incredibly effective.

Did you know medical marijuana can help prevent and regulate diabetes?

It’s important to note that medical marijuana is also really effective at helping to both treat and completely prevent diabetes. This is down to its ability to help your body regulate its insulin production and body weight.

Medical marijuana is safer than alcohol

While cannabis has been demonized, alcohol has long been considered a socially acceptable pastime. However, alcohol is much more harmful to your body than weed is. With the advent of the medical cannabis card in California and the slow legalization of weed this is likely to change. With moderation, MMJ is a much safer alternative to the long-lasting and permanent effects of alcohol.

Did you know medical weed can help prevent Alzheimer’s?

Unfortunately, while cognitive illnesses are completely unavoidable, recent studies have shown that THC found in medical marijuana can help remove toxic plaque found in the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s. While MM won’t be able to cure Alzheimer’s, it can help slow the process and lead to richer and longer lives for those suffering from the illness.

Medical cannabis can be used as a treatment for ADHD

A little know use for medical marijuana is how effective it is at treating ADHD. While the commonly held belief about smoking weed is associated with memory loss and the lack of ability to concentrate, this is actually the complete opposite when MM is used with moderation. In fact, it has been proven that in small and regulated doses medical marijuana can help improve concentration and is an incredibly effective, cheaper and safer alternative to prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin.  

Did you know that medical marijuana can actually help improve your lung health?

This may blow a lot of your minds but medical marijuana doesn’t contain the deadly carcinogenic compounds found in tobacco products. In fact, there are a huge number of recent studies that illustrate that those suffering from serious lung conditions, including emphysema and lung cancer, that can be treated with cannabis and that the results of this treatment can see a regression in their diseases.

10 Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana can be a great help to those suffering from PTSD.

Medical weed can be incredibly helpful treating those suffering from PTSD

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has long been pushing an anti-cannabis agenda but, as countless studies have illustrated, medical marijuana is actually an excellent way to alleviate some of the severe and stressful situations that arise from PTSD. As medical marijuana becomes more mainstream it will continue to treat a wide variety of traumatic experiences, especially helping PTSD sufferers.

Did you know medical marijuana can help cure a headache?

It’s true. Those who suffer from serious and even debilitating headaches can help to alleviate them with medical marijuana. Even though nonprescription medicine like aspirin, Tylenol and Advil are readily available they have a proven history of causing some severe health issues when overused. Medical cannabis is a quick and effective way to relieve a headache when used in moderation.

We’ve only focused on 10 of the health benefits of the miracle drug that is medical marijuana here, but there are hundreds more. Once you get your marijuana license online, you can talk to a doctor about particular ailments and find out how marijuana might just be the perfect treatment for you!  

Why Medical Marijuana Relaxes You

As marijuana moves from dealers and back alleys and towards the forefront of society and trendy medical weed dispensaries, the herb’s health and social benefits are becoming more and more apparent. The popularity of medical marijuana has a lot to do with the benefits it offers compared with the relatively finite drawbacks. One of the most common and popular reasons why people get a medical marijuana card in California is due to MMJ’s relaxing effect. We all know that weed is capable of relaxing us and offering a euphoric sense of calm, but you might be wondering exactly how this is possible. Well if you’re curious about the science behind medical marijuana, we’re here to help; take a long drag and read on.

There are numerous benefits that can be found from consuming medical weed, ranging from weight and metabolism control to pain relief and improved cognitive functionality. However, according to a global poll, the most popular reason that people choose to ingest marijuana is down to its ability to alleviate the stress and anxiety of everyday life.

 

Why Medical Marijuana Relaxes You

Learn a little about the science behind why medical marijuana relaxes you.

Relax for a second: it’s about to get a little scientific

The fact that marijuana is so effective in battling stress comes down to the fact that it contains Tetrahydrocannabinol, or, for pronunciation’s sake, THC. This is the psychoactive constituent found within marijuana, and in layman’s terms, it’s what makes you feel good. The reason it makes you feel good is down to the fact that your body is full of Endocannabinoids (or ECBs), and an endocannabinoid system, which is believed to regulate your body’s anxiety and stress levels. Have we lost you? Take a breath…

OK, real quick, before this gets too confusing, the release of ECBs is generally a good thing as it reduces anxiety and stress. Make sense? Unfortunately, some people have an imbalance in their ECB levels, which leads to a wide variety of stress and anxiety based issues. This is where marijuana and the wonderful TCB comes in. It’s TCB’s job to replicate the job that ECB is supposed to do on its own. This basically means that marijuana helps to replicate a chemical in your body that is proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. Thereby giving you that therapeutic feeling of calm and peace that you get when taking medical marijuana.

Now that the messy science bit’s done, what kind of people can benefit from a medical marijuana card and the drug’s proven stress-reducing capabilities?

It has been scientifically proven in literally hundreds of studies that medical marijuana helps to reduce stress and anxiety, but you might be wondering about a particular issue you may have personally and how it can help you.

Well the truth is, stress and anxiety show their ugly roots in various ways. The main culprits in regards to these feelings are depression, insomnia, hostility, severe anxiety, insomnia and a lack of relaxation. Medical marijuana can get to the root of all of these issues and offer a legal and healthy alternative treatment that has been proven to work for millions of people for hundreds of years!

Need to relax? Medical marijuana can help with that.

Whatever your reason for needing to relax is, medical marijuana can help you. From the most severe examples, such as the death of a loved one or war veterans returning with PTSD to just having a terrible person in your life or having to make a potentially life-changing decision, MMJ is designed to help you relax. A lot of people use alcohol to cope with stress; this is far less healthy, less effective and more dangerous than marijuana. Medical weed has been scientifically proven to help you cope with serious stressful incidents in your life, and to allow you the peace of mind to relax.  

Can’t sleep, suffering from insomnia? Medical marijuana could be your cure for that

Chronic insomnia is a serious and debilitating sleep disorder. Sufferers feel stuck in a constant cycle of exhaustion and stress that deeply affects every aspect of their lives. Weed is a great aid for dealing with insomnia. It promotes a natural feeling of drowsiness, helps to ease the feeling that insomniacs get when their brains are stuck in overdrive and allows their mind and body to relax. Medical marijuana not only helps ease the mind, but it eases the body too, and because of this it is one of the most effective ways of treating insomnia.

Medical cannabis can help treat depression

While long-term studies haven’t covered the full scope of how weed can help you cope with severe depression, its ability to at least quell and contain it (within reason) temporarily is indisputable. Marijuana enables your brain with the ability to release dopamine (the happiness chemical/stuff that actually makes you feel good); this in turn produces a relaxing and coping effect. While medical marijuana alone should never be used to treat severe depression, it is scientifically proven to help abate severe feelings of depression and improve a user’s overall mood. Of course, it’s important to note that MMJ can’t act as a crutch on its own and that those suffering with severe issues should also seek psychiatric help.

Why Medical Marijuana Relaxes You

Medical marijuana can help treat people with anger issues.

Really angry? Medical marijuana can help treat feelings of hostility

Since most of us consider weed to be a happy-go-lucky, relaxing herb, it’s surprising how few people recognize its effectiveness in treating severe anger and hostility issues. This is because anger is typically a direct result of stress, or a chemical imbalance within your system. Medical marijuana helps to improve your mood and relaxes you both mentally and physically, therefore giving you the ability to help combat anger and hostility issues.

If you recognize any of the symptoms above as something you might be suffering from, you might want to consider getting a medical marijuana card online and learning more about what kinds of weed can most effectively treat what ails you.

Ultimate Recipe For Cannabis Brownies

OK, so you’ve got the perfect party, event or chill-out session planned and you need something to treat your guest to. Well, if you and your guests have a California medical marijuana card, and you want to make something guaranteed to impress, we’ve got the ultimate cannabis brownies recipe that anyone can make and bake…

We’re talking luscious thick brownies with some of California’s finest marijuana that will simply melt in your mouth and leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy both on the inside and the outside. Before we get started on this perfect recipe we have to do a little admin for legal reasons. Without a medical marijuana card from our great and wonderful state of California, it is still illegal to buy and consume pot here. So with that messy business done for now, let’s get down to helping you craft some delicious cannabis brownies.

 

Making the cannabis brownies perfect!

If you’re reading this it’s pretty likely you’ve tried a cannabis brownie before, and let’s face it, it was probably pretty average and didn’t compare to the brownies (albeit weed-less) mom used to make for you as a kid. However, just because your brownies are going to be full of MMJ that doesn’t mean that you should have to compromise on taste.

First and foremost it all starts with the ingredients and, of course, your choice of cannabis; the reason most pot brownies are so poorly done is that those making them often just break off chunks of green and blend it through the batter. This means that the weed isn’t well distributed and can be chunky while compromising the taste. Well with the invention of the miracle that is cannabutter this is no longer an issue. With a medical marijuana card, which you can buy online, you can go to a local weed dispensary and get some cannabutter, which is crucial to the perfect pot brownie.

 

Ultimate Recipe For Cannabis Brownies

Always needed the ultimate recipe for cannabis brownies? Now you’ve got it!

The perfect cannabis brownie ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1 ½ ounces of cannabutter (can buy this from a cannabis dispensary)
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ tablespoon of salt

Shopping list ready? Let’s get down to baking these bad boys

Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8-inch square cake pan with butter (not the cannabutter yet) normal butter

Step 2 – Use a saucepan to melt all your butters over medium heat. Add the chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 mins.

Step 3 – Whisk flour and baking soda together in a separate bowl.

Step 4 – Grab a large bowl and add the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and whisk vigorously. Add the chocolate mixture and mix again until evenly combined and finally add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Step 5 – Pour your mixture into your buttered pan and spread evenly.

Step 6 – Bake for 20 mins.

Step 7 – Let it cool for another 20 minutes.

Step 8 – Slice it up into between 6 and 12 squares (depending on your tolerance level for MMJ) and prepare to taste the most delicious cannabis brownies you’ve ever tried.

 

Ultimate Recipe For Cannabis Brownies

You need to get these herbs in cannabutter form for the best cannabis brownies.

After you try these brownies, you’ll know the difference a MMJ card can make!

The secret ingredient to these bad boys really is the cannabutter. It’s potent but not aggressively potent. It’s the perfect tool for any cannabis-based cooking needs you might have. With these brownies, you’ll be able to have one or two that won’t get you insanely high, but will give you the same euphoric feeling of the equivalent to smoking a joint. Plus the added bonus of not having to hunt down those munchies is priceless.

Since the introduction of the CA medical marijuana card, the possibilities of pot have expanded constantly. From edibles like cannabutter, which is also used to make things like pizza rolls and tater tots, to a huge variety of legal alternatives that are all available from your local pot dispensary.  

For anyone who knows the benefits of medical marijuana, getting your hands on that MMJ card and joining the 500,000+ people that have already done so in California is absolutely priceless.

With an MMJ card you can consume weed as you usually would, you can talk to experts and growers, find new and exciting blends and try a few things you never would have found before these cards were available.

Ordering a medical marijuana card online is simple and straightforward; you’ll find a lot more information on this site on how to do so with total ease and no stigma attached.

Enjoy those delicious brownies; we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

What President Trump Means For Medical Marijuana

The US presidential election was a watershed moment for marijuana legalization, with a large number of states voting in some very cannabis-friendly laws. Medical, and even recreational, weed has become legal in a whole slew of new states. Citizens voted to legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota, Arkansas, Florida and Montana, as well as voting to legalize recreational marijuana in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine. So even people who do not have a California medical marijuana card can now access weed in the state, leaving many MMJ users pondering what President Trump means for medical marijuana.

This means that cannabis will become fully legal in most of the western part of the United States, and even the more reluctant east is cottoning on, with Massachusetts and Maine joining the (very relaxed and peaceful) cannabis card party.

What President Trump Means For Marijuna

Many MMJ users are wondering what President Trump means for medical marijuana.

So let’s discuss what President Trump means for medical marijuana. Is he as weed-friendly as huge swathes of the population seem to be? And, crucially, will he be good or bad for the 420 card industry?

So far he has hedged his position on marijuana legalization. His campaign did not take a definitive stance on the issue either way. But based on the interviews he has given on the subject of California medical cannabis, recreational cannabis and drug legislation in general, his opinions seem fairly consistent.

Trump believes first and foremost in a state’s right to choose. He told the Washington Post in 2015, “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.”

He also believes that medical marijuana has definite medicinal benefits and that a California medical marijuana license should be available to all patients who it would benefit. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly in February 2016 Trump said he was, “In favor of medical marijuana, 100%,” and in response to O’Reilly calling medical marijuana a ‘ruse’ he said, “But I know people that have serious problems and…it really does help them.” This is very promising indeed.

When asked by O’Reilly about full legalization in Colorado he said, “I would really want to think about that one bill, because in some ways I think it’s good and in other ways, it’s bad.” He seems to be on the fence regarding full legalization, mainly due to his concerns about the psychological effects of cannabis on its users, “There’s another problem…the book isn’t written on it yet, but there’s a lot of difficulty in terms of illness and what’s going on with the brain and the mind, and what it’s doing…it’s coming out, probably, over the next year or so…I do want to see what the medical effects are.” 

Medical Marijuana

Will President Trump be a good thing for medical marijuana? Only time will tell.

Despite his concerns about recreational marijuana, he seems to believe in state’s rights to choose in this area also. He told C-Span in 2015 that he was against legalization for recreational use, but when asked by the moderator about the state’s rights aspect of it he replied “If they vote for it, they vote for it…”

In 1990 he said the best way to win the so-called ‘War on Drugs’, and to wrestle power away from the drug czars, was to fully legalize. He told the Miami Herald “We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug tzars.”

Comments he made to Bill O’Reilly seem to suggest he is concerned that having a mix of legal and illegal states enables out-of-state drug dealers to source drugs in legal states for sale in illegal states. When O’Reilly claimed “dealers” are going to legal states to “load up on it” and “zoom around the country selling it,” Trump responded, “That’s a real problem.”

Trump has suggested the possibility of reclassifying medical cannabis from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 substance. Schedule 1 substances are federally illegal, while Schedule 2 substances are not, and are considered to have medical benefits, but also addictive qualities. So what President Trump means for medical marijuana may depend on his views on downgrading the herb.

Making medical marijuana legal at the federal level would make an MMJ card available to a larger number of people nationwide, but it would also make medical cannabis a regulated drug, and bring it under the strict control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA would become responsible for approving the manufacturing and processing of medical marijuana, and it could regularly inspect grow farms to ensure that certain standards are being adhered to. The FDA could require California medicinal marijuana companies to prove via clinical trials that cannabis does exactly what is advertised. Clinical trials are extremely expensive and, along with the added regulatory costs, this could cripple smaller growers that don’t have the cash reserves to weather these added costs. This could have the negative effect of putting many small companies out of business and handing the industry over to big drug companies, resulting in homogeneous, lowest-common denominator ‘Mc-medical marijuana’. What President Trump means for medical marijuana growers and the industry in general is going to be very interesting to watch, as he claims to be a shrewd businessman.

So a Donald Trump presidency could prove bittersweet for the medical cannabis industry. He is very friendly to MMJ and appreciates how helpful it can be, but if he decides to reclassify medical marijuana and bring it under the strict control of the FDA this could negatively impact product quality, and put many small growers out of business.

This is all hypothetical at the moment and one thing is for sure: whatever President Trump means for medical marijuana users, we’ll still need our MMJ cards all the way through 2017 as no legislature will change until 2018.

Best US States For Medical Marijuana

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is growing steadily across the United States. 40 states now allow some form of medical marijuana use.

There’s an array of different state medical marijuana programs across the country. But not all medical cannabis programs are created equally – some function well and are high on patient satisfaction, while others are hamstrung by excessive red tape or clumsily written verbiage that puts doctors at risk of federal prosecution. Several states limit marijuana use to the non-psychoactive CBD part of the plant, while several others have dysfunctional medical marijuana laws that require physicians to break federal law by “”prescribing”” cannabis instead of “”recommending”” it (which is considered protected free speech between doctor and patient).

25 states, plus the District of Columbia, now have relatively functional medical marijuana laws. These states still differ in many criteria, such as patients’’ rights and protection from discrimination, access to medicine, ease of navigation, functionality, product safety, and all states have some room for improvement. A 2016 report by Americans for Safe Access found that, “While many states have important elements helpful to patients, no state has yet established an ideal, comprehensive program.””

Here are the ten states that the ASA rated most highly for their medical marijuana programs. These are the honors students in the class. Texas and Louisiana will be staying behind after school to write ““I promise to be more open-minded and kind to my sick citizens”” 100 times on the blackboard.

Medical marijuanaCalifornia (ASA grade – B+) – The Golden State comes top of the class! California is a leader in the medical marijuana industry. Medical marijuana California card holders are the lucky recipients of a truly great service. It has a centrally regulated dispensary system, meaning that there are no differences in requirements or legal limits between counties. The ASA called it, “The “best place in the country for patients to receive legal protections and gain the most timely access”.

Teacher’s comments: If she brings me an apple, next term she gets an A!

Illinois (B+) – Illinois cannabis is some of the best in the country. It has tight product safety regulations that prohibit harmful pesticides, microbes and solvents. If Whole Foods sold weed…, we imagine it would be Illinois weed. The state has only recently seen its first wave of dispensaries open for business, and has done a good job of rapidly implementing its cannabis card program, but unfortunately Illinois still does not allow patients to grow their own plants. According to the ASA, “The legislature should allow patients the right to cultivate their own medicine and replace the lengthy list of qualifying conditions with a simple provision that allows physicians the right to recommend medical cannabis therapy to any patient for whom the benefits would outweigh the risks.””

Teacher’s comments: She’’s doing great work, she deserves to be proud. Try to loosen up a bit and have more fun!

New Mexico (B+) – New Mexico is ramping up its medical marijuana program admirably. Over the last year it has doubled its number of dispensaries to 17, and cannabis cards are now widespread. It has the fifth lowest prices in the country. The state is still weak in terms of civil protection for its patients in areas like child custody, housing and employment.

Teacher’s comments: I believe in her, if she keeps working hard the improvements will come.

Colorado (B) – Medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Colorado, and dispensaries are widespread, so a 420 card is no longer essential for sourcing herb. Patients are offered discount marijuana if they are in financial hardship. ASA says the state could improve in a few areas, namely civil protection for users in the areas of housing, employment and child custody, and introducing state-wide product safety requirements, as opposed to letting each city and county set its own standards as is currently the case.

Teacher’s comments: She is a very talented student, but sometimes she needs to be a little bit careful with the finer details.

Hawaii (B) – Overall Hawaii has done a very good job of implementing its MMJ card program. The state still falls short in the area of product safety. Also, the state requires patients to have an ID card to get their medicine, but people have reported long delays in getting their ID cards issued.

Teacher’s comments: Very good effort, but tardiness is an issue!

Maryland (B) – Maryland provides good product safety, so the cannabis is of a high quality. However, this quality product is still not as widely available as it should be. There is a lot of demand in the state, but there have been delays in licensing dispensaries; the state waited 2½ years before it began issuing business licenses, which was a little bit naughty, to be honest.

Teacher’s comments: Overall good work. She started slow, but is now back on track having recovered well. Better late than never!

Massachusetts (B) – One of only three states that give doctors the right to recommend medical cannabis to any patient for whom they feel the benefits would outweigh the costs, Massachusetts is an impressive free-thinker with truckloads of potential. It can still take quite a while for would-be dispensaries to get their license, and patient civil rights could be better protected.

Teacher’s comments: Huge potential, great imagination, but doesn’’t always work as hard as she could.

Nevada (B) – It’s easy to get cannabis in Nevada, and the product is of a high quality. However, the low possession limits mean that some patients struggle to have an uninterrupted supply.

Teacher’s comments: Good work overall, however she is absent too often and sometimes she forgets her homework.

MMJ Recs - marijuana plant

Many medical marijuana dispensaries in Tacoma and Seattle have recently shut down due to scaled back MMJ programs.

Oregon (B) – Oregon is very strong in all areas. Weed is fully legal in the state, and prices are the cheapest in the country, so a medical card evaluation is not strictly necessary. Cannabis access is widespread, and patients civil protections are robust. With such a strong medical marijuana program the state should beware not to merge its medical program with its recreational program, in order to make sure patients continue to get top-notch service.

Teacher’s comments: A very strong student across the board, however, with her commendable devotion to extra-curricular activities, I’’m a little concerned that she may spread herself too thin. Focus!

Washington (B) – Great product and strong rights protection for patients, however, since full legalization, its medical marijuana program has been scaled back with dozens of dispensaries in Tacoma and Seattle closing down recently. A cautionary tale for Oregon to keep an eye on. Medical marijuana should not be confused with recreational cannabis; one is essential, the other is a luxury.

Teacher’s comments: As always, a very strong student, although I’’m concerned that she seems a little distracted of late. Personal issues?

Can I Consume My MMJ Abroad?

There is a slow-burning but steady and real awakening happening the world over. Forward-thinking countries on every continent are opening their eyes, changing their laws, and allowing people to enjoy the benefits of medical (and even recreational) marijuana on their territory. The Golden State is leading the charge in the US with their California medical marijuana card.

You need a California medical marijuana card to smoke MMJ.

Your California medical marijuana card only lets you smoke MMJ in…California!

It is certainly an uneven awakening. Some countries are very liberal, some still very draconian. Even within the United States, certain states allow marijuanause by any person with a cannabis card, while others still vehemently prohibit it.

As an American, it is illegal to bring your medical marijuana out of your home state. If you have a California medical marijuana card, you can only consume your weed inside California. Federal authorities can arrest you for drug trafficking if you bring your weed out of state, and states without medical 420 laws can arres
t you for possession. If traveling from one medical marijuana-friendly state to another, it is not advisable to take your cannabis through a non-friendly state en route – it’s too dangerous. Some MMJ-friendly states recognize a 420 card from other MMJ-friendly states, but you will still usually need to register in the state you are visiting in order to purchase your weed there. Even traveling within states can be problematic, wi
th certain counties having different rules about the amount of cannabis a patient can have on them. Luckily, this is not an issue in California, where every county must abide by the state’s rules and allow at least the state minimum for every person with a California weed card.

Do not attempt to travel internationally with marijuana. Airports and airplanes are federal jurisdictions and bringing marijuana with you on a plane can easily get you arrested.

Taking your own medical marijuana abroad is not advisable, because as soon as you leave your state your medical 420 license does not entitle you to consume marijuana anymore. You can not consume cannabis in a country in which it is illegal, because each jurisdiction’s laws apply while you are in that specific jurisdiction. So even if you have a California medical marijuana card that does not, repeat NOT, mean you can safely score herb on your relaxing weekend break in Saudi Arabia!!

But while you cannot take your medical marijuana abroad with you, that does not mean you can never enjoy the benefits of weed while overseas.

Sure, there are many countries in which a few hours of relief from your glaucoma can get you heavily fined, thrown in prison, or (if you’’re carrying a large enough quantity) executed. But there are also many countries where getting your medicine is easy, safe and hassle-free.

In a small but growing number of countries weed is fully legalized, although you cannot bring it in or out of these countries. Marijuana is legal and easily sourced (although usually restricted in the same ways that alcohol, gambling, etc. are) in Uruguay, Colombia, Holland, Canada, Czech Republic and certain states in Australia and India (where weed is illegal at a federal level, but legal at state level in many states, and in such states it is often government-run shops that sell ganja!).

Amsterdam Coffeeshop let customers smoke MMJ legally.

In Amsterdam there are several ‘coffeshops’ that allow anyone over 18 to smoke marijuana legally.

In Spain, weed is not technically legal but exists in a grey area and, if consumed in designated ‘’Cannabis Clubs’’, is not punished or prosecuted.

In a whole host of countries cannabis is illegal but has been decriminalized, so while it is technically illegal to purchase and consume weed, somewhat of a blind eye is turned to it if it is done subtly, and if you are ‘caught’ your punishment will be minor or more likely non-existent.

In some countries weed is illegal in name only. In Cambodia it is easy and completely safe to openly purchase and use weed in public with no threat of criminal prosecution or police interference even though it is technically illegal.

Sadly, in many countries in the world it is a truly bad idea to consume cannabis, no matter how bad your glaucoma gets. Indonesia, Singapore (where citizens and permanent residents can be thrown in jail based on urine tests that show they consumed cannabis while on vacation in a country in which it is legal!), Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, have super-tight, draconian anti-cannabis laws, and anyone caught flouting the law is liable to be severely punished.

So, the world, and even America, is a patchwork of friendly and unfriendly jurisdictions. Most of the world is still shaking their fists at the sky, foaming at the mouth, and committing violence against individuals who harmlessly ingest a natural plant that makes their lives better. But every now again we find an oasis of good sense, in which people are free to ease their pain, live life on their own terms and, hell, crazy as it sounds, have some harmless fun!

So my advice to you is to find these glorious kingdoms where the streets are paved with, ahem, green, avail yourself of the laws – e.g., in Cali, you’ll need a California medical marijuana card if you want to consume MMJ – and bestow upon these marvelous places your hard-earned vacation dollars!

Which Countries Allow Medical Marijuana Use?

The legality of cannabis varies wildly from country to country. While there’s a definite trend towards legalization, it is a very slow process. Many forward thinking countries such as Uruguay, Canada, Australia, the United States (but only in 420 card states, where citizens can use their California medical marijuana card), the Netherlands, Colombia and Czech Republic have amended their laws to allow consumption for medical purposes at the very least. But other more conservative countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Ireland, still have draconian laws prohibiting any and all use of marijuana.

Even in countries where weed is illegal, often (when the amount is considered small enough to be for personal consumption) it is decriminalized, meaning punishment may be a ‘slap on the wrist’ or small fine. However there are still some countries where marijuana is lumped in with all other drugs and there is a zero-tolerance stance towards all drugs. In these countries, punishments can be severe. For those who have already got their California medical marijuana card, the concept of not being able to consume MMJ may sound like a travesty. Nonetheless, in Malaysia possession of a small amount of cannabis will land you in prison, and possession of a large amount (over 200g, which, let’s be fair, you would only need if you were juicing!) could send you to the gallows!

There are also some interesting countries where weed is illegal, but not really. And even one mysterious nation where the legality and usage of weed still remains a total mystery. Can you guess where that is? You’re about to find out!

 

California medical marijuana card

If you have California medical marijuana card, you don’t know how lucky you are compared with citizens of some other countries!

Weed-friendly countries

In Uruguay cannabis is 110% legal. Once you are over 18 and a citizen of Uruguay you can purchase and use marijuana to your heart’s content. What is this place, heaven?

Chile allows cultivation of cannabis for personal or medical purposes. Sale of marijuana-derived medications is allowed on prescription from pharmacies.

Medical marijuana has recently become legal at a federal level in Australia, with implementation varying from state to state. So far, medical cannabis is legal with a cannabis card in Victoria and New South Wales. One or two plants may be grown for personal use in the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.

In Colombia it is legal to possess up to 20 plants and/or to have up to 22 grams of weed, for personal consumption. Marijuana is completely legal for medical use.

Medical use of marijuana is fully legal in Czech Republic, and possession of up to 15 grams or 5 plants is considered merely a misdemeanor and subject to a minor fine, which is very rarely enforced.

In the Netherlands it is legal to sell weed is designated ‘coffeeshops’. Outside of coffeeshops, it is illegal but decriminalized to possess up to 5 grams or 5 plants. While being caught with a small amount of cannabis will not lead to prosecution – your weed may well be destroyed, so stick to the coffeeshops!

Although sale and importation of weed is illegal and punishable by jail in Spain, cannabis can be acquired in private ‘cannabis clubs’, of which there are now 500 (200 in Barcelona alone, which is why it’s now known as the ‘new Amsterdam’). It is legal to grow your own weed for personal consumption, although not in any area visible from a public place, i.e. a street-facing balcony.

Medical marijuana is legal in Canada with a government-issued cannabis card. However, plans have been announced to fully legalize and regulate weed in Spring 2017. Yay!

United States federal law designates cannabis totally illegal. However, states have the right to decide their own marijuana laws, and weed is legal for personal use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, the cities of Portland and South Portland in Maine, and in Washington D.C. It is legal for medicinal purposes in 25 states, including California, where after a medical card evaluation, a person can get a California medical marijuana card. It is legal to grow for personal and commercial use in Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, for personal use only in Washington D.C., and for commercial use only in the state of Washington. Medicinal growing is legal in several states, including California with a California medical marijuana card and grower’s license.

In Jamaica it is legal to cultivate up to five plants for personal use. Imminent plans to legalize cannabis for medicinal and religious purposes are also afoot.

Weed is illegal at the federal level in India. However, it is legal or ‘tolerated’ in many states such as West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar, Orissa and the North East. Large tracts of cannabis grow unchecked in the wild in many parts of northern and southern India, and in holy cities like Varanasi and various north Indian states government-owned shops sell marijuana in the form of bhang.

 

Colorado growhouse

Can you believe that plants are illegal in some countries?!

Weed-unfriendly countries in which marijuana is totally illegal but available strictly for medical use

In Israel, Romania, Macedonia and Puerto Rico, cannabis is totally illegal, but available for medical use in very specific cases, such as severe or terminal illness.

Weed is illegal in France; however, it is legal to sell medications containing cannabis derivatives.

Interesting cases

Weed is technically illegal in Cambodia, however cannabis can be purchased and smoked in public without threat of arrest, and use is widespread among locals and foreigners. ‘Happy’ restaurants openly serve food containing marijuana in cities with a lot of tourists such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

North Korean defectors and tourists have claimed there is no law against growing or possessing weed in the country, and that it is not even viewed as a drug. Other reports suggest it is technically illegal but that the law is not enforced. And others still claim that weed is illegal in the country. So it’s a bit of a mystery really, which is a shame, because I have no doubt that a stroll around Pyongyang while high would be (arguably) the most surreal and enjoyable experience available to a human being!

California, which is almost a country onto itself, with a population higher that many of the aforementioned nations, has over half a million registered medical marijuana users. So while weed is (currently, although possibly not for long) illegal in the state, it is very widely used for medicinal purposes. If you are a California citizen you may be wondering how to get a California medical marijuana card. It’s easy, you can go to your doctor and ask him to write a prescription and you’ll get a California medical marijuana card, or you can get a medical marijuana card online by finding a doc in cyberspace who will prescribe you a medical cannabis card online.

So there you go; many countries are now open-minded and intelligent enough to see the benefits of marijuana, as a medicine and even just as a means of relaxing and de-stressing. Kudos to these countries! And to the Malaysias, Saudi Arabias and Irelands of this world – c’mon guys, read up, educate yourselves and get real!

California Medical Marijuana: Which Strain Is Best For You?

When you first get your California medical marijuana license, your first few visits to the dispensary can be quite daunting. The variety of strains available with a California medical card can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know which one will best help with your particular condition. Ultimately, everybody is unique and different strains affect different people in different ways. Some patients respond best to one strain, some to others. Luckily, when you have a California medical marijuana card, you can experiment to your heart’s content!

The two main strains of cannabis are sativa and indica. Both are available to you when you get a medical marijuana card online. Sativa is typically less potent, but tends to have a higher level of the psychoactive compound THC. Most people who use sativa find that it increases energy, focus, creativity, and elevates mood. Sativa is more cerebral and gives a more heady, mind-based high.

Indica strains are more relaxing and sleep-inducing. They tend to relieve nausea, stress and anxiety and give patients a sense of calm. Indica is used to treat a larger number of conditions and is especially good for patients with AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. Indica tends to be more ‘of the body’, while sativa tends to be more ‘of the mind’. There are also many hybrid strains, usually sativa-dominant, or indica-dominant mixtures of the two main strains. The goal of a hybrid is to emphasize certain effects and minimize certain other effects. They are tailormade for various ailments and conditions. Indica-dominant hybrids are good for pain relief, while at the same time maintaining energy levels. Sativa-dominant hybrids are good for stimulating appetite and energy, while at the same time soothing the body, reducing pain, and increasing relaxation.

So, to get you started, here are some recommendations for various strains you can pick up with a California medical pot card, and that work especially well with certain medical conditions.

California medical marijuanaBest California medical marijuana for energy

Girl Scout Cookies is a very popular strain with a high THC content, often over 25%. It is excellent for pain reduction, and for people who enjoy the hard stuff. Girl Scout Cookies is a sativa-dominant hybrid and so it is nice and energizing.

Strawberry Cough is a high-THC strain that is perfect for people who enjoy the energy and psychoactive effects that a strong sativa brings. It’s a super-effective and popular strain, with a delicious strawberry flavor and uniquely uplifting high. With a THC content of 18%, it’s uplifting and ideal for daytime use.

Best MMJ for promoting sleep

Afghan Kush is a potent Indica. This will certainly relax you and is great for alleviating pain and insomnia, as well as calming you down. It’s a pungent and pure indica strain and it will bring on deep, relaxing sleep, so it’s not good if you are operating heavy machinery, or intending to get any work done!

Best MMJ for pain management

The Avidekel strain was bred specifically for the medical cannabis market. It comes from Israel, which is rapidly expanding its medical marijuana program, although recreational cannabis is still illegal in the country. This is a high-CBD strain of indica. It has 1% THC and 15-20% CBD so is very relaxing and nice in the evening.

Best MMJ for alleviating anxiety

Blue Dream is a big favorite with marijuana users who get a medical card in California. It’s a high THC hybrid that is mostly sativa and its effects are energizing. It also contains a little dose of indica and so it gives a pleasant feeling of physical relaxation. You will be nice and clear headed on this stuff so it is is good for during the day when you are out and about.

Bred by Royal Queen Seeds, Stress Killer this is a high-CBD strain with fairly low levels of THC around 11%, ideal for people who like a slight and manageable psychoactive high. It will produce a mild, sedative high and is ideal for alleviating anxiety.

California medical marijuana growingBest California medical marijuana for reducing seizures

Charlotte’s Web is a well-known strain of medical marijuana that’s named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who had a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome which results in hundreds of seizures every month. Having tried many pharmaceutical treatment to no avail, she finally found the Stanley Brothers and the high-CBD strain of cannabis that they had cultivated. This worked where no other treatment had. In her first week of treatment her seizures dropped from the hundreds down to single digits. Charlotte’s Web has a CBD level of 20% and a THC content below 0.5%.

Best medical cannabis for making healthy juices

ACDC, or Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis, is a high CBD strain specifically bred as a form of dietary cannabis. You can smoke or vape this strain but it is especially good consumed raw, and it’s excellent for juicing. Heat converts CBDA and THCA into their active forms, so for people who want the nutritional benefits without the psychoactive side-effects, this strain is ideal.

Best MMJ for inflammation and arthritis

Harlequin is a hybrid 5:2 ratio of CBD to THC, so it’s relaxing and good for pain relief without a strong psychoactive high. This strain is also good for anxiety and mental health issues as it’s very calming, without much confusing psychoactive effects. It’s also good for muscle spasms, cramps, and other similar physical conditions.

Best for California medical marijuana for headaches and migraines

Blueberry Headband is a hybrid strain with a cerebral feel and heady high. This sweet berry-flavored cannabis is excellent for relieving headache.

Best MMJ for multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms and stiffness

One to One has a CBD to THC content of 1:1, so it is a very practical and usable strain for many conditions. It has a similar 1:1 ratio as the pharmaceutical mouth-spray drug Sativex that is used in 24 countries (although not yet in the United States) to alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. So this the perfect strain for people with multiple sclerosis who meet the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis  in California, but can’t yet access Sativex.

Everybody responds differently to each strain and the best way to go about finding what works for you is to get a cannabis card online and experiment with a few different strains to find out which one is your favorite.

Medical Cannabis in California: Why It Became Legal

Medical marijuana has a long and complicated legal history in the United States and its story is not over yet. It may be relatively easy to get medical cannabis in California via an MMJ card, but this has not always been the case. We often accept the criminalization of marijuana as the norm, while in fact historically it has been quite the opposite.

The history

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been around for centuries. In 1841, an Irish physician called William Brooke O’Shaughnessy introduced the cannabis plant into Western medicine, having studied its numerous healing applications in India over the previous decade and even discovered new applications for the drug.

For the next sixty years marijuana was used frequently all over the United States, although the sale of cannabis and its preparation was generally restricted for medicinal use and some states required an official prescription for the remedy, similar to medical cards in California now. Although many people were using it therapeutically, it was also getting a reputation as a recreational narcotic.

 

Medical Cannabis in California plant

Cannabis use were made illegal in the United States in the 1910s.

Making cannabis illegal

In the 1910s, many US states began to tighten up their legislation on cannabis, although the new laws never made cannabis illegal, merely the recreational use of it. This changed in 1937, when a new act effectively made all possession of marijuana illegal across the USA, even for therapeutic purposes. For the next few decades, harsher punishments became mandatory for those in possession of cannabis.

Despite the increasingly harsh calls for punishment from the federal government, several states decided to take the matters into their own hands and decriminalize cannabis, meaning that possession of a small amount was treated as a civil offence. Oregon decriminalized it in 1973, with ten other states following suit. However, this change in the law did not make it easier for people who wanted to use medicinal cannabis, as it was still illegal to grow the plant and, if caught with a small amount, the authorities would still confiscate it.

Medical Cannabis in California

MMJ dispensaries are legally allowed to sell medical cannabis in California.

The legalization of medical cannabis in California

Despite many organizations calling for the reinstatement of medical marijuana, nothing changed until 1996. After a few decades of the AIDS crisis and the increasing use of harsh chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients, the demand increased to change the law. The federal government remained unmoved so a group of Californian activists decided to turn to the people. They gathered the 400,000 signatures required to create a statewide ballot.

Californians passed this vote – called Proposition 215 – by more than 55%, thus allowing the use of medical cannabis in California. From then on, people with a valid doctor’s recommendation and their California medical marijuana license were allowed to possess and cultivate cannabis for their own personal medical use. The first dispensary appeared in Fairfax later that year and now California weed dispensaries are even online, making it even easier for patients to get medical cannabis in California.

Despite the voters’ approval of medical cannabis in California, the federal government still tried to stop the spread of the treatment by holding raids and prosecutions all the way up to 2009. The vote caused a tension between state and federal law but that didn’t stop many states following California’s lead. The public’s acceptance of medicinal cannabis in California had massive consequences all around the country. Like dominoes, various states began to legalize some form of medicinal marijuana, beginning with Oregon in 1998 and, most recently, Ohio legalized it in 2016. Currently, 25 states have legalized it with four more states due to vote on the issue in 2016, potentially bringing the number up to 29 by the end of the year.

The future

Even though there have been great gains made by activists in the last two decades, all use of cannabis, whether recreationally or medically, remains illegal under federal law. The United States still remains in an unusual legal position where people who use medicinal cannabis in California and other states are breaking federal law, despite it being legal in their state. In 2013, the Department of Justice issued a memo to say that if states kept their marijuana markets strictly regulated, they would not step in but that they reserved the right to take action when the government’s priorities were being threatened, for example if marijuana was crossing state lines or if minors were in possession.

However, with nearly half of states now allowing medical marijuana and that number set to increase, the federal government policy may need to change in the future, especially as people can now get a cannabis card online. Now more than ever, it’s becoming increasingly probable that in the future there may be a change in federal law, making the use and cultivation of medical marijuana for personal use entirely legal in the United States. The change in law will no doubt come as a welcome relief to the estimated 1.2 million patients who have a medical marijuana card, and the many more who would welcome the opportunity to do so.

Sleep Problems: Why Medical Marijuana Is Better Than Alcohol

There are a variety of reasons why more and more people each year are turning to medical marijuana to help relieve their ailments. One of the most common across the United States is sleep problems – chronic insomnia in many cases. An estimated 10-30% of Americans are affected with insomnia related symptoms at some point throughout their lives.

For a large quantity of the population who suffer from unruly nighttime restlessness, turning to alcohol is all too often their go-to move. For those fortunate enough to possess a medical marijuana card however, that can be a thing of the past. Whereas studies have shown that alcohol and a good night’s sleep do not mix, evidence suggests that not only is consuming medical marijuana beneficial in combating mild to severe insomnia, but is vastly superior to both alcohol and even a lot of prescription drugs on the market – which themselves can often house addictive qualities and negative side effects.

A common misconception is that having a nightcap right before bed will result in a better night’s sleep. A recent review across 27 studies found that alcohol does not improve sleep quality. While findings suggest that in some cases among healthy people, getting to sleep can occur more quickly after a drink, this is only a short-term effect; conversely reducing the time spent in the deep sleep phase, increasing the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is much easier to wake up from. Furthermore, the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects will be.

Medical marijuana and sleep

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana has been scientifically proven to help users sleep.

If you have a medical marijuana card in California however, cannabis has been shown to greatly benefit the standard of living for those suffering from insomnia related problems. While smoking any kind of cannabis can provide therapeutic qualities, the chemical properties it inhabits can have a potent impact on many types of secondary insomnia (that caused by an underlying issue, such as anxiety or depression). It’s important to understand the differences in marijuana strains though, as some can inhibit sleep as equally as alcohol.

The most common strains come across by cannabis card holders will be THC and CBD; this is due to the advantages they offer to people suffering from a range of illnesses, from insomnia, to cancer and HIV. High levels of THC can be of a detriment to those with secondary insomnia, as it can actually increase the effects of anxiety and depression if relied on too heavily, while high levels of CBD will have little effect on insomnia at all. If these are indeed the strains you’re working with to help lull yourself to sleep, it’s best to stick to a relatively equal dose of both.

alcohol medical marijuana

Alcohol does not actually help you sleep, while medical marijuana really can.

Alcohol and sleep

The medical director at The London Sleep Center in the UK has state that, “Alcohol may seem to be helping you to sleep, as it helps induce sleep, but overall it is more disruptive to sleep, particularly in the second half of the night”. He continues, “Alcohol also suppresses breathing and can precipitate sleep apnea” which is pausing breathing which happens throughout the night. This is effectively summarized by saying that the more a person drinks before bed, the more their sleep will be disrupted.

Even minimal alcohol consumption can interfere with the normal sleep process. Evidence found by Dr John Shneerson, head of the sleep center at Papworth Hospital in the UK, states that, “As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of a deep sleep and back into REM sleep […] that’s why you often wake up after just a few hours’ sleep when you’ve been drinking.” Further disturbances in sleep can come from simply needing the bathroom; as alcohol is a diuretic it isn’t just the liquid you’ve drunk that you’ll be losing either, as it encourages the body to lose extra fluid, which can in-turn comes with the adverse effect of making you dehydrated.

California medical marijuana card holders

For Californians, using your cannabis card is undoubtedly one of the best ways in which you can confront sleep problems head on. The most assured way to counter the effects of insomnia is to seek the indica strain of marijuana. The chemicals found within the indica strain are known to produce a physical ‘body high’, great for relaxation, and preferable over the more familiar THC or CBD. Synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone are proven sleep aids too; reducing brain activity throughout the night, therefore resulting in far fewer dreams, helping those suffering from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder stay asleep.

For cannabis card holders who desire a drink before bed, a prominent benefit to a healthy sleep can come from pairing herbal nightcaps with natural remedies, such as chamomile tea (un-spiked of course). As with alcohol, relying heavily on marijuana to soothe oneself at bedtime can result in a reliance if used too often, so it’s important to take breaks in between long acquaintances, as not doing so will eventually result in worsened sleep.

Sleep problems in those who are lucky enough to obtain a medical marijuana card, can be a thing of the past if used properly. Assuming the suitable strains to fight the effects of insomnia are used, the advantages over alcohol are tremendous – greatly increasing deep and long-lasting sleep. Turning to a nightcap only offers temporary relief; so if you desire to treat those sleep issues efficiently and directly, medical marijuana is the way to go.

Cannabis Card: Ultimate Weapon In The Fight Against Insomnia

If you’re one of the many people in California who suffer from insomnia, the prospect of obtaining a cannabis card due to the known benefits the drug holds when used as a sleep aid, can be an alluring one indeed. Across the United States, insomnia affects a staggering amount of people, with an estimated 10-30% of Americans being affected at some point in their life.

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California Marijuana Legalization Bill: Why It’s Important For Medical Marijuana Card Holders

With the US Elections dominating both the news and the majority of most water cooler conversations for the last few months, you could be forgiven for having missed another important potential change in the governmental system, also slated for November 8th: expanding legal access to marijuana across nine states. With five states voting for the legalization of marijuana and another four voting to legalize the use of medical marijuana, this could have a definitive effect for the medical marijuana industry; however, it’s best to be clear on exactly what effect it will have. The most important question on everyone in this state’s lips is, will you still need to apply for a medical marijuana card in order to consume MMJ in California?  (Skip to the bottom to find out!) (more…)

Weed Wine: What’s The Hype?

Wine and marijuana have long since been thought of as popular relaxants, with many people preferring to smoke medical cannabis as opposed to pouring a glass of wine at the end of a long day. It’s no surprise then that a company has thought to bond the two and create weed wine, an oenophilic craze that is taking California by storm. But what’s the real deal?  And can we get it with a California medical marijuana card? (more…)

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Medical Marijuana Off The Street

Before California legalized medical marijuana, buying MMJ on the street or from a dealer was pretty much the only way to attain it. But then Governor Gray Davis passed SB 420, or the Medical Marijuana Protection Act, that allows medical cannabis to be used by everyone in California, provided that they have an official California medical marijuana card. MMJ dispensaries have since popped up all over the state, meaning that there’s no need to buy medical marijuana on the street anymore.  But some people still do! (more…)