Medical Marijuana And Epilepsy: All You Need To Know

Can medical marijuana treat epilepsy? This is an important question that needs to be thoroughly explored by any patient or carer of a person with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a serious medical condition that can be dangerous if not properly treated. Treatment of epilepsy is complex, but there are some signs that medical marijuana may offer benefits to some epileptic patients.

It’s important for those with epilepsy to remember that proper treatment and symptom management are paramount. No treatment should ever be tried without detailed consultation with a medical professional who has expertise in epilepsy.

Is epilepsy a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card? Is medical marijuana safe for epileptic patients? Can MMJ benefit people with epilepsy? These are all complex questions with nuanced answers. In this article, we will detail some important things you need to understand about medical marijuana and epilepsy.

 

MMJRecs - epilepsy

Image by geralt on Pixabay: Epilepsy originates in the brain.

 

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the U.S. It is a chronic condition that affects the nervous system and can affect people of all ages. The condition is characterized by recurrent, often unprovoked, and unpredictable seizures that can vary in intensity and duration and are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain.

The History Of Epilepsy

The word ‘epilepsy’ comes from the Greek word “epilepsia”, which means “to seize”. The first mention of epilepsy from antiquity is in a Babylonian textbook from at least 2000 BC. This ancient text records several types of epileptic seizures and suggests that the cause of seizures is evil spirits.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460–370 BC) was one of the first people to realize that epilepsy was a brain disorder, but his accurate view of the condition was not generally accepted until the 19th century. Throughout the intervening 2000 years, people with epilepsy were generally viewed with fear and superstition.

In the 19th century, neurology became a serious medical discipline, and as epilepsy began to be better understood as a brain condition, drugs began to be used to treat it successfully.

The Symptoms Of Epilepsy

The main symptom of epilepsy is seizures. Epileptic patients can experience a number of different types of seizures, classified as focal onset, generalized onset, or unknown onset seizures. These different types originate in different parts of the brain, have different symptoms and effects on the body, and require different types of treatment.

While seizures can affect any part of the body, they always originate in the brain. The cause of epilepsy can be a brain injury, genetic factors, family history, metabolic causes, brain structure, or, often, causes unknown.

 

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Image by dgoapb16 on Pixabay: There are several epilepsy medications available.

 

Usual Epilepsy Treatment Plans

There are several types of medicine available to treat epilepsy. For most people, one of these medicines will be effective at preventing seizures. It is crucial that an epileptic patient gets the right medicine for their version of the condition.

For around 60% of patients, the first one or two medicines they try will work. For some other patients, a third or fourth medicine, or a mixture of medicines, may do the trick. But for approximately 36% of patients, none of the medicines they try will work to fully prevent seizures.

For people who do not respond to early medicines, a process of trial and error is required, under close supervision from their doctor, neurologist, or epilepsy specialist. For these people, a combination of medicines or alternative treatments will often be the best course of treatment.

Is Epilepsy A Qualifying Condition For A Medical Marijuana Card?

The qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card vary state by state. But in most legal MMJ states, seizures brought on by epilepsy are a qualifying condition for an MMJ card.

Can Medical Marijuana Be Effective At Treating Epilepsy?

Is medical marijuana effective for epilepsy? While it is legal to prescribe MMJ for epilepsy in most legal-MMJ states, the jury is still out on the extent to which medical marijuana can help epilepsy patients. Epilepsy is complex, and each person’s version of the condition is somewhat unique. Some treatments can do some patients more harm than good.

Medical marijuana may help some epilepsy patients. MMJ should be tried as a treatment under strict supervision and direction from a patient’s doctor. Epidiolex is a CBD-derived drug that is FDA-approved and can be an effective treatment for epilepsy. CBD and MMJ can have significant interactions with other drugs used to treat epilepsy, so caution is essential.

Some patients have been able to ween off other epilepsy medications because Epidiolex or MMJ has proven so successful a treatment for them. But this does not happen for everybody.

Treatment of epilepsy is complex and different people respond differently to various treatments, so while MMJ can be effective, it is essential that it is tried tentatively and under the strict supervision of a doctor, neurologist, or epilepsy specialist.

How To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card

The best way to apply for a medical marijuana card is to have an online consultation with a local MMJ physician through MMJRecs. This way you can talk with a professional from the comfort of your own home and get an MMJ card recommendation quickly and easily.

The Benefits Of An MMJ Card Over Recreational Marijuana Access

Many U.S. states now allow recreational marijuana use. In these states, it is still beneficial to have a medical marijuana card, because it enables you to choose from the widest range of MMJ products possible and in many cases to purchase, possess, and cultivate larger amounts of cannabis than would be allowed for recreational use.

Featured image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay

Which States Have The Highest Percentage Of Medical Marijuana Users In The U.S.?

Is MMJ use common in the U.S.? The answer is an emphatic yes! Medical marijuana is bringing life-enhancing symptom relief to people who suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, migraines, chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer symptoms, and glaucoma. The popularity of MMJ is increasing steadily, with new MMJ states coming on board regularly. So which states have the highest percentage of medical marijuana users in the U.S.?

Which states consume the most MMJ is an interesting topic, because the answers provide an interesting insight into how cultural mores and attitudes, as well as legislative and business practices, differ state by state. Finding out which state has the highest percentage of medical marijuana users in the U.S. is a valuable learning experience that can teach us a lot about life in America in 2020.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug derived from the cannabis plant. It consists of the dried fruit, flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant. Marijuana has been taken for thousands of years for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes. The drug has mind-altering properties as well as physically relaxing and energizing properties. Many forms of marijuana are available that have different effects, generally dictated by the amounts and ratios of the most active compounds, THC and CBD, present in the strain.

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Image by StayRegular on Pixabay: MMJ use is common in the U.S.

A Brief History Of The Legal Status Of Marijuana In The U.S.

How popular is MMJ use in America? The answer to this question has varied greatly over time – mainly because legal status, and therefore availability, has changed over time.

The cannabis plant is native to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent and it has been used in and around that part of the world for at least 5,500 years. Marijuana was introduced to the western world by an Irish doctor called William Brooke O’Shaunessey, who brought it to Britain from Bengal in 1842.

Marijuana was used commonly in the United States for medicinal purposes until 1911, when states began to make it illegal. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act essentially prohibited marijuana use at the federal level. In 1973, states began to tentatively decriminalize the use of marijuana while maintaining its illegal status. After this, more and more states began to decriminalize the drug. But it wasn’t until 1996 that the first state legalized marijuana for medical use, and not until 2012 that the first state finally made marijuana fully legal for all purposes again.

Which States Legalized MMJ First?

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. The first state to fully legalize recreational marijuana, in 2012, was Washington State, closely followed in the same year by Colorado.

Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

As of 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. In medical marijuana states, the qualifying conditions and available product ranges vary state by state. They range from the highly liberal – such as Oklahoma, which allows MMJ usage for any medical condition for which a doctor deems it beneficial – to the more restricted, such as Delaware and Alaska.

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Image by Voltamax on Pixabay: MMJ qualifying conditions vary state by state.

Which States Have The Highest Numbers Of MMJ Users?

How popular is MMJ use in America? This is a question that depends greatly on which state you are talking about. California has the highest number of medical marijuana users in the U.S. by a long way, with approximately one million users. Michigan comes in second place with over a quarter of a million users. Oklahoma, which only recently legalized MMJ, deserves an honorable mention because it has a very high per capita usage, which is growing all the time thanks to its liberal, well-implemented and competitive medical marijuana program.

Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next?

Several states seem to be near to fully legalizing marijuana in the next few years. The most likely to fully legalize next are Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri. The states that seem most likely to legalize medical marijuana in the near future are Wyoming and Kentucky.

Is There Any Progress Towards the Legalization Of MMJ On A Federal Level?

Legalization on a federal level is a matter of when, not if. It’s not a huge political issue at the moment, and probably won’t ever be again, because states have made their own marijuana laws, and so legalization on a federal level is really not essential anymore. However, the disparity between out-of-date federal law and the reality that well over half of all states have legalized medical marijuana (and an increasing amount of states also have legal recreational marijuana) means that legalization on a federal level is certainly on the horizon.

How To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Letter

The best way to apply for a medical marijuana letter is to arrange an online consultation with an MMJ doctor in your state on MMJRecs.com.

Featured image by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

8 Things Workers Need To Know About MMJ And The Workplace

What are the employment rights for medical marijuana users? Does having a medical card show up on a background check? Can I be denied employment due to my MMJ card? How does medical marijuana usage affect my performance at work? These are just a few of the questions that many medical marijuana users have around MMJ and the workplace.

A lot of MMJ cardholders are currently employed, and many members of the workforce who do not yet have an MMJ card would benefit a great deal from treatment with medical marijuana. So it’s crucial that workers understand their rights regarding MMJ usage, as well as the effects MMJ usage can have on their work life and performance.

Here are eight things workers need to know about medical marijuana cards and MMJ usage in the workplace.

 

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Image by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels: Can I be denied employment due to my MMJ card?

 

Different States Have Different Medical Marijuana Laws

It is crucial to remember that different states have different laws regarding MMJ and the workplace. Medical marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, although by now a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana usage in some capacity. This means it is essential to find out the specifics of MMJ and workplace laws in your home state.

Employment Rights For MMJ Users

Employment rights for MMJ cardholders are different in different states, so your rights will depend on where you live and what your job is. There is no one-size-fits-all system of employment rights for MMJ users in place across the entire country or across legal MMJ states, or even across all occupations within legal MMJ states.

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires all employers to provide, within reason, whatever an employee with disabilities needs in order to do their job. This is sometimes, but not always, interpreted as meaning that employees can be allowed to use MMJ when they are not at work.

Court Rulings On MMJ And The Workplace

Even in legal MMJ states such as Oregon, Washington, and Montana, courts have decided in favor of employers who have fired employees for MMJ usage. However, the Massachusetts high court decided in favor of an employee who had been fired for MMJ use and held that an exception to the employer’s drug policy was reasonable when it came to medical marijuana use offsite.

Effects Of Medical Marijuana On Physical And Mental Functioning

The reason many workplaces are concerned about medical marijuana usage is that some strains can lead to impaired mental and physical functioning. Certain strong strains with high levels of THC and CBD, such as A-10 and Kryptonite, can induce drowsiness, which can impede your function at work or even endanger yourself and others.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ at work

Image by Free Photos on Pixabay: MMJ users might be wondering, “Can you be denied employment due to holding an MMJ card?”

 

Can You Be Denied Employment Due To Holding An MMJ Card?

Can I be denied employment due to my MMJ card? Yes, in some cases you can. Does having a medical card show up on a background check? Not usually, as it is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). But certain employers will request this information, or they will require that prospective employees undergo a drug test. Some employments have a no-marijuana policy. This includes many federal positions.

Can You Get Fired For Getting A Medical Marijuana Card?

This will depend on the state and the role you perform in your job. As mentioned above, states such as Oregon, Washington, and Montana have all decided in favor of employers who fired employees for MMJ usage. If an employee was hired to a job that has a no-marijuana policy and then got an MMJ card, in most instances and in most states, this could lead to dismissal.

Can You Get Fired For Failing A Drug Test When You Hold An MMJ Card?

If your employer is OK with you holding an MMJ card and dosing outside of work hours, then they will be OK with marijuana showing up in a drug test. This is because marijuana stays in your system for several weeks and so failing a drug test does not imply that the person was dosing at work.

Can You Get Fired For Dosing At Work?

This one is clear-cut. You certainly can get fired for dosing with MMJ at work. Many jobs that allow off-site MMJ use will balk at on-site usage. This is understandable, as MMJ can affect performance quite profoundly.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

If your employer allows medical marijuana treatment, then getting your own MMJ card is easy and can greatly enhance your quality of life. The quickest way to apply for your card is by having an online consultation with a medical professional on MMJRecs.

Featured image by Yash Lucid on Pexels

Are MMJ Smokers More At Risk From COVID-19? (And 5 Alternative Ways To Dose)

Now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has seemingly take hold of the whole world, it can be tricky to know whether all the things you’re hearing about it are factual. You probably have tons of questions surrounding COVID-19, including, “Are medical marijuana patients at risk from coronavirus?” Keep reading to find out more about how you might be affected as a medical marijuana (MMJ) user, and for suggestions on how to dose MMJ without smoking.

Is CV19 a respiratory illness?

COVID-19 is an upper-respiratory-tract illness. Its symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breath, and a fever. The disease is spread through person-to-person contact. If an infected person coughs or sneezes close to you, respiratory droplets can transfer to your nose or mouth or can be inhaled into your lungs. People are considered to be the most contagious when their symptoms are at their worst; however, the infection can still be spread to other people even if the person is not exhibiting obvious symptoms.

Are smokers at risk of developing more serious symptoms?

Because the virus is so new (it only appeared in humans for the first time last year), research is still being conducted towards fully understanding its effects. However, in general, smoking or vaping can lead to suppressed immune function in the lungs and an increase of inflammation. Smokers, vapers, and e-cigarette users have all already been associated with a heightened risk of developing chronic lung conditions. In turn, individuals with chronic lung conditions have also been noted to have more severe symptoms after contracting COVID-19, according to some early research out of China. Therefore, it’s easy to make the connection that smokers are likely more at risk of catching the virus and of having more severe symptoms.

 

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Image by CDC on Unsplash: Does HCoV-19 affect your lungs? Yes – so it’s possible that smokers are at higher risk.

 

Are MMJ smokers more at risk from COVID-19?

There aren’t any definitive studies to show that MMJ smokers are more at risk of catching COVID-19, but it makes sense to assume that inhaling any hot smoke could be damaging to your lungs (especially if they are impacted by coronavirus or even just a regular cold). Smoking tobacco is likely much worse for your lungs because of the many chemicals and harmful ingredients, but smoking MMJ might not be a whole lot better for your lung health.

Should I stop smoking my medical marijuana during the COV-19 pandemic?

Because there isn’t enough proof to definitively state that smoking MMJ is dangerous during the spread of COVID-19, you might want to err on the side of caution and refrain from smoking until there have been more studies conducted to rule it out as a danger. There are several different ways you can dose MMJ without smoking or vaping it, so why not just play it safe and try those instead? As we all discover the effects of the coronavirus together, doing all you can to avoid catching it is a good thing.

What are some alternative ways to dose MMJ?

If you’re unfamiliar with alternate ways to ingest your MMJ products, here’s a rundown of a few options.

1. Edibles

Cannabis-infused foods are one of the most popular ways patients consume their medical marijuana. Most dispensaries carry everything from cannabis brownies and chocolate bars to gummies and mints. Plus, because you can purchase cannabis butter or oil, you can infuse lots of different foods yourself. This can be a great way to get your MMJ dose without smoking. However, it’s important to note that edibles can take a while to kick in (because they have to be digested), so don’t be tempted to eat more if you don’t feel the effects right away. Some edibles might have an even stronger psychoactive effect, so it’s important not to overdo it.

2. Teas

There are lots of different beverages on the market with marijuana in them. You can try fun options like lemonade or cold-brew coffee, or stick to a slightly healthier choice like tea. You can infuse tea at home with THC as well if you’d like to experiment with your own brewing.

3. Tinctures

Tinctures are infused liquids that extract cannabis compounds using an alcohol soak. They’re then applied directly under your tongue. Tinctures are very fast-acting since they enter the bloodstream immediately. This means they’re a great option for quick relief and can be easier to control the dose. There are also tons of flavors and potencies available, so it should be fairly easy for you to find a product that works for your needs. There are ways you can make your own tinctures at home too. If you’re experiencing loss of appetite or nausea, tinctures can be an easy way to get your MMJ dose without having to eat something.

 

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Image by Margo Amala on Unsplash: Anything from an edible (like a cookie) to an ingestible oil can be an alternative MMJ dosing method.

4. Ingestible oils

Basically, ingestible oils are any cannabis concentrate that you can consume orally. Many come in pill form (in capsules or plastic applicators), which means you can swallow them or add them to your food or drinks. Similar to edibles, ingestible oils can take a little while to kick in, so you have to be careful about the dose you’re consuming.

5. Topicals

Topicals are marijuana-infused body products such as lotions or balms. They’re applied directly to the skin for help with pain, soreness, or inflammation. They typically don’t produce a psychoactive effect, so they can be a good option if you need to skip the feeling of being high. They won’t work for everyone’s medical conditions, but for localized relief, they can be helpful.

Ingesting MMJ instead of smoking or vaping it can mean that its effects might not be present as quickly as when you smoke. Therefore, it might take some experimentation to determine the most effective products or strains to help best treat your medical condition. Also, be sure to pay attention to the THC level in all the products you’re consuming so that you’re aware exactly how much you’re putting into your body. Check with your doctor if you’re considering switching to a higher dose of THC in your cannabis products.

As long as we’re unclear about the true effect of smoking on the likelihood of catching COVID-19, it seems like a good idea to play it safe and consume MMJ products in another fashion. Everyone should be doing all they can to avoid infection, so try out an alternative dosing method while we learn more about the virus and its effects.

Featured image by Dimitri Bong on Unsplash

Coronavirus And Medical Marijuana: Everything You Need To Know

As the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic develops, all of us are trying to determine how it affects our day-to-day lives. The pandemic might be affecting your work schedule, your family time, and your social life. But you might also be interested in the situation with coronavirus and medical marijuana patients. Of course, things are changing daily as more information is shared and recommendations are made, but here’s everything MMJ patients need to know about CV19 at this time.

What is coronavirus?

The word “coronavirus” refers to a group of viruses rather than one particular illness. There are several different strains of coronavirus, the newest of which is responsible for the current outbreak. It was officially named “COVID-19” in February by the World Health Organization (WHO). The abbreviation comes from CO for corona, VI for virus, D for disease, and 19 since the first outbreak occurred in 2019.

COVID-19 is an upper-respiratory-tract illness that was not seen in humans before 2019. It’s believed at this time to have originated in Wuhan, China, but has now spread to many other parts of the globe. The hardest-hit areas seem to be Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and the United States (although cases are present in many other countries).

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how is it spread?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 seem to appear within two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. They generally include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. The elderly and people with pre-existing conditions (especially those affecting the heart, lungs, or kidneys) are all at a higher risk than the rest of the population. This is likely because their immune systems are weaker, so it’s harder for their bodies to fight off the infection.

Researchers believe COVID-19 is primarily passed from person to person through close contact. It’s spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; the droplets can then end up in the mouths or noses of a nearby person or can be inhaled into their lungs. It’s possible that a person can contract the virus by touching a surface or object that has been touched by an infected person and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. People are thought to be the most contagious when they are showing symptoms (or when they’re the sickest); however, it is possible for some spread to occur before people begin exhibiting symptoms.

 

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Image by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash: COVID-19 is believed to be spread primarily through person-to-person contact.

What does it mean now that COVID-19 is a pandemic?

A pandemic occurs when a disease has spread across a large region, such as multiple continents or worldwide. Because COVID-19 has appeared in a variety of countries, it is now considered a pandemic, which means that steps need to be taken to prevent further exposure. Restrictions on travel have been implemented to try to prevent and/or slow down the virus from spreading.

What do MMJ patients need to know about COVID-19?

If you’re a person who uses medical marijuana, you could be affected by the spread of COVID-19 in several different ways. Because of the fear associated with COVID-19, many people have begun to stockpile their MMJ products. Every state differs in the amount that’s allowable for MMJ patients to have at any one time. Some states, such as Massachusetts, are allowing their patients to purchase up to a 60-day supply so that they’ll have enough product in case of an extended quarantine. You should have no problem at least getting two weeks’ worth if you need to do a 14-day self-isolation. To make sure you’re still in compliance, look up your individual state’s regulations before you purchase large quantities of MMJ products.

Can I still get access to MMJ products?

This is the trickier problem for MMJ patients to navigate because there’s so much unknown right now. Most suppliers don’t have a very clear idea of what will happen to their stock in the near future. Some dispensaries and distributors are running out of product because people have stockpiled in a panic. Many companies have noticed significant boosts in sales because of the outbreak. Some people are also stocking up because they believe it might be easier to get MMJ products than their prescription medications (in case shipments are stopped from other parts of the world). It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to buy a little bit more than normal to avoid running out of your product.

How can I purchase MMJ products right now?

Because of social distancing (and some stores having to close temporarily in lockdown areas), many marijuana companies are offering curbside pickup of products so you can avoid being around people. There are other delivery companies that offer door-to-door service, so you don’t even have to leave your house during the pandemic. Each state’s regulations regarding selling MMJ products are different too, but you’ll probably be able to find at least one practical way to get your MMJ while still practicing social distancing or a self-quarantine.

 

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Image by Bench Accounting on Unsplash: You might be able to get your MMJ products delivered to your door.

Will MMJ patients be prioritized over recreational users in legal states?

At this time, it’s unclear if MMJ patients will be prioritized over recreational users. It’s likely that each state will try to ensure patients have access to their medicine, but there isn’t anything set in stone at the moment. An MMJ advocacy group called Americans for Safe Access is currently proposing that officials take immediate action to ensure that MMJ patients have access to products during this time. Typically, states allow MMJ patients to own more product than recreational users anyway, even if they don’t end up getting prioritized.

Is it safe to continue taking MMJ during the HCoV-19 pandemic?

If you’re wondering, “Should I stop smoking during COV19?”, the answer is complicated. If you’re completely symptom-free, there shouldn’t be much harm in smoking MMJ or using other products such as edibles. However, if you’re sick (whether it’s just a cold or a case of COVID-19), smoking can be harmful. Inhaling hot smoke can irritate your lungs and make your symptoms worse. If you’re sick, you can try other methods of dosing if you feel it’s still necessary to use MMJ products to help ease or alleviate other symptoms you’re having. Bottom line: always talk to your physician about using MMJ products, especially if you’re sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

We’re all learning how to cope with coronavirus every day. Your best bet is to be cautious about your MMJ usage – only use it if you have your doctor’s OK, and try to keep a somewhat larger stash at home in case of a quarantine. It might take a little more effort to purchase your product, but ordering from a delivery service or through curbside pickup might help you implement social distancing measures while still allowing you to have access to the MMJ products you need.

Featured image by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash