Medical Marijuana In 2021: All You Need To Know

In recent years, there have been many changes to the legislation around medical marijuana. A substance that was once classified federally as a Schedule I in the Controlled Substances Act is now, in many places, considered a breakthrough medical treatment for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain; nausea and vomiting, often associated with chemotherapy treatments; and tight or stiff muscles often found in people with Multiple Sclerosis.

In 2020 alone, the increase in legalization of medical marijuana gave people access to the treatment as long as they have a condition that is certified to be managed with its use. In 2021, more changes are likely to occur in regards to the laws and regulations surrounding the use of MMJ. Read on for all you need to know about medical marijuana in 2021.

How Many States Legalized Marijuana In 2020?

As of late 2020, medical marijuana was completely legal in 38 states. The states that have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
MMJRecs - CBD oil bottle
Image by Anshu A on Unsplash: Some states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, but only in the form of CBD oil.

Out of those 38 states, two legalized the use of medical marijuana for the first time in 2020: Virginia and South Dakota. South Dakota voted to pass bills on both recreational use and medicinal use of marijuana, making it the first state to vote on both at the same time.

With new legislations coming into effect for these aforementioned states, many people can now gain access to an MMJ card to help treat their specific qualifying condition. However, these states were a little late to the party, and some other states remain apprehensive about the legalization of medical marijuana.

Which States Will Legalize Marijuana In 2021?

The current momentum the legalization of medical marijuana has sustained could lead to further legislation being passed in states that have failed to act so far. This could be difficult for many states, though, because they already tried to no avail during the 2020 ballot, meaning they may have to wait until 2022 to make their push.

Idaho, for example, was delayed in making medical marijuana legal due to COVID-related complications. Some activists have already filed a petition to bring the issue in front of voters in 2022. Nebraska is also on the list for potential legalization, as a petition to get medical marijuana on the 2022 ballot has already commenced.

One state is a hopeful solo contender when it comes to the legalization of medical marijuana in 2021, and that’s South Carolina. There will be certain restrictions put in place, such as how the marijuana is consumed, but Senator Tom Davis thinks that 2021 may just be the year the bill passes.

2021 Medical Marijuana Laws

When taking a look at new laws that may be put into effect, it’s important to consider that all states can pass their own laws and legislations surrounding the use of marijuana as medicine. Each individual state controls what can and can’t be done.

With the growing list of states that have approved marijuana for medicinal use, certain issues may come into effect. For example, if a person has an MMJ card in one of the approved states, can they purchase products in another state with the legal sale of medical marijuana using that same card? This depends. Some states will allow out-of-state visitors to use their MMJ cards, while others will not.

The same rules and regulations in place now – such as methods of ingestion, how much MMJ can be purchased at a time, and the list of qualifying conditions – will likely vary from state to state, so it can be hard to get a snapshot of the country as a whole since it’s operating so individualistically.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant
Image by Matthew Sichkaruk on Unsplash: Medical marijuana changes could be big if the country decides to legalize at a federal level.

Federal Legalization 2021

The federal legalization of medical marijuana would change the country forever when it comes to treatment and care options for those suffering from a qualifying condition. There has been quite the shift that could lead to federal legalization as early as next year, and it has a lot to do with who has control over the U.S. Senate. If the ongoing battle of power leans towards to Democrats come January’s decision, it will likely mean that legalization bills will pass through both the Senate and the House with ease.

This could bring widespread changes if laws are regulated at a federal level. For example, the United States is part of several international treaties that prohibit the legalization of marijuana. Since it continues to be illegal at a federal level, the country is not in violation of any of those treaties. Although Canada has been able to legalize federally without any backlash, the United States may not face the same fate.

It can be hard to determine what will happen with medical marijuana in 2021, but many states are making moves towards to full legalization. With the majority of the country dipping its toes in the waters of legalized marijuana, whether medicinal or recreational, it’s safe to assume that MMJ will continue to make waves throughout the United States as 2021 progresses.

Featured image by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash

US States With Access To MMJ Have Seen 20% Drop In Certain Opioid Use

There are many health crises currently affecting the United States. But one of the deadliest is the opioid epidemic, which has wreaked havoc across the country. In 2019, more than 130 people died every single day from opioid-related drug overdoses. That amounts to a shocking 47,600 deaths every year.

While the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared opioid abuse a public health crisis in 2017, great strides have not been taken to appropriately tackle the issue.

However, in an effort to decrease opioid usage (mostly through legal prescriptions from physicians), some medical professionals are recommending their patients use medical marijuana (MMJ) products in place of opioid prescriptions to manage pain symptoms. A recent study indicates that US states with access to MMJ have seen up to a 20% drop in certain opioid use.

What is the MMJ effect on opioid use?

Doctors are increasingly suggesting their patients switch from highly addictive prescription opioids to MMJ products because they are much safer, and they are not addictive. The above-mentioned study specifically focused on orthopedic surgeons (who are the third-highest prescribers of opioids); it noted that, in states where MMJ products are legal and available, up to 20% fewer opioids were prescribed.

The fact that MMJ products are accessible makes a huge difference. In states with more restrictive MMJ laws and access to low-THC products only, there wasn’t much of a decrease in opioid prescriptions. So, when MMJ laws are less restrictive and dispensaries are easily accessible, patients have a much easier time using MMJ products to treat their symptoms versus relying on the riskier option of opioids.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ bud

Image by Christina Winter on Unsplash: States with access to MMJ have seen decreases in their opioid usage.

Does MMJ decrease opioid use?

If doctors are willing to suggest MMJ products to their patients in lieu of prescribing opioids, MMJ usage can end up decreasing overall opioid usage in the health care industry. Several studies have shown that MMJ products could affect the opioid epidemic; when switching to a cannabis regimen, many patients are able to reduce or completely stop taking their opioid prescriptions.

This means that the cannabis effect on opioid reliance could start to turn the tide of the epidemic – the more people who aren’t introduced to taking opioids in the first place, the fewer incidences of opioid addictions and overdoses will take place. Additionally, opioid users who become addicted often end up turning to even more dangerous drugs (such as heroin) in order to get their fix. This leads to even more deaths – which could be prevented at the outset if a patient were presented with an MMJ option instead of an opioid prescription.

Could MMJ replace prescribed opioid use?

Although there will always be some physicians who prefer prescribing opioids to their patients, it’s possible that MMJ products could replace these more dangerous medications for a lot of people in the future.

Let’s take a look at three main reasons why MMJ products can be a much better alternative to opioids.

MMJ products are much safer

Opioids are highly addictive and frequently result in fatal overdoses. Marijuana isn’t physically addictive, so patients don’t need to ingest more and more to feel the effects. Additionally, individuals don’t have to taper off when stopping MMJ usage; there’s no danger in stopping cold turkey.

Aside from not being addictive, there’s another main physical benefit of MMJ products – there are no side effects! Aside from feelings of euphoria and relaxation, and sometimes an increased appetite, MMJ products don’t have any of the nasty side effects that opioids do (anything from nausea and dizziness to constipation and loss of appetite). Overall, using MMJ products is a much safer, more natural treatment option for pain management.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ edibles

Image by Margo Amala on Unsplash: Different forms of MMJ (like edibles) make it easier for patients to treat their symptoms without side effects.

MMJ products are easy to use

There is a lot of versatility when it comes to using MMJ products versus opioids. MMJ products can range in their potency and in how they’re ingested (smoked, vaped, in edibles, tinctures, etc.) so that they can be used in a more personalized way for each individual patient.

Each person can work with their physician or with an expert at their local dispensary to come up with an MMJ regimen that works for their particular symptoms and needs.

MMJ products are cheaper

Even though opioids are sometimes covered by health insurance, a month’s supply of pills (such as Oxycontin or Vicodin) can cost anywhere between $40 and $550! People addicted to opioids can go through a month’s supply much more quickly, leading to an incredibly costly habit.

MMJ products can be much cheaper, especially depending on the form that’s most helpful to the patient. Some states also offer discounts for people who own MMJ cards. For example, in California, MMJ cardholders don’t pay sales tax on any of their MMJ purchases, making MMJ a much more cost-effective option than opioid drugs.

As more studies are conducted in the future, it will likely become even more evident that relying more on a cannabis-based treatment regimen can lead to a decrease in opioid usage (and in overall addictions and deaths in the US). Therefore, states that are more supportive of MMJ usage will see opioid cases continue to decrease. Turning to MMJ products could be the catalyst needed to finally end the fight against the opioid epidemic in this country.

Featured image by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana And Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): All You Need To Know

For parents whose children have an autism spectrum disorder, finding a way to make their children’s lives easier is a big priority. So can medical marijuana help kids with autism? Luckily, medical marijuana is offering a bit of hope to these families to help children with communication, repetitive behaviors, social skills, and overall quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about medical marijuana and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a condition related to the development of the brain. It can impact how someone socializes with others and perceives the world around them, causing problems with social communication and interaction. It can also encompass repetitive patterns of behavior, difficulty controlling anger or mood, and even self-harm behaviors.

Asperger’s syndrome and autism are two of the most well-known diseases on the autism spectrum, but there are a variety of disorders that fall under the ASD umbrella.

Medical Marijuana And Autism Spectrum Disorder

There have been many studies done to explore how medical marijuana can treat adolescents with ASD, and the results are quite promising.

The body’s endocannabinoid system works to regulate things such as excitability, anxiety, hunger, and pain. Cannabinoids such as MMJ and CBD oil can give the endocannabinoid system a boost to help restore balance to the system and prevent some of the symptoms of ASD.

In some studies, medical marijuana has been found to help alleviate some issues adolescents with ASD deal with, such as seizures, flares of temper, and angry outbursts. Cannabis-based products and medical marijuana can help to reduce erratic actions and calm those who suffer from these issues. The reason MMJ works to calm children with ASD is that it helps them to relax and focus on what they’re doing.

Medical marijuana is a tool that can be used to promote the safety and health of patients with ASD and improve their quality of life.

 

MMJRecs - growing MMJ at home

Image by Rick Proctor on Unsplash: The benefits of medical marijuana and CBD oil for autism are vast.

Cannabis And Autism: What Symptoms Of ASD Can Be Treated With Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana has been found to ease certain symptoms displayed by those with ASD, such as:

  • The tendency to cause self-harm
  • Communication issues
  • Seizures
  • Problems sleeping
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Language
  • Social communication

Medical marijuana can also help adolescents with other sensory issues such as food acceptance and other feeding issues.

How to Use Medical Marijuana For ASD

When used in a young person’s medical treatment, medical marijuana shouldn’t be smoked. Luckily, there are several ways to use medical marijuana for ASD that don’t require smoking anything.

Some other ways to deliver MMJ to an adolescent include:

Edibles

If the child doesn’t have issues with food due to sensory problems, you can create edibles for them. Most medical marijuana dispensaries carry edibles such as brownies, cupcakes, or even gummies and chocolates that deliver marijuana to the system.

Sprays

Cannabis sprays come in a wide range of flavors to help deliver the marijuana directly into the mouth.

Juices

It’s quite simple to blend a medical marijuana tincture with fresh fruit juice or put it in a smoothie.

Vaping

Vaping is a way to get medical marijuana into the system as fast as possible, and it’s not as bad for the lungs as smoking.

For many medical marijuana users, including people with ASD, the focus is on overall health and wellness. That’s why there are so many delivery methods for medical marijuana – so everyone can find a way to take it that works for them.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ strain

Image by Christina Winter on Unsplash: Cannabinoids and autism spectrum disorder are a new field of research with promising results.

How To Get Medical Marijuana For ASD

How to get medical marijuana depends on where you live. To get medical marijuana for ASD treatment in a state with legal medical marijuana, you must first get a written prescription from a doctor for the child in question. Finding a qualified doctor is easy to do, but ensure you check the laws in your state regarding how to qualify for medical marijuana.

Caregivers can be approved to pick up and administer medical marijuana for those who are underage. That may require a separate MMJ card, which is another reason to check the laws in your state.

Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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.

 

MMJRecs - medication

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

Should Medical Marijuana Have A THC Cap?

Because medical marijuana (MMJ) is still a fairly new enterprise in the U.S., lawmakers are continually coming up with new regulations to better monitor its safety for consumers. One of the biggest questions that has come to the forefront is “Should medical marijuana have a THC cap?”. Lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would answer this question to help more closely regulate MMJ products.

What does a THC cap mean?

First off, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical found in marijuana plants that is responsible for its psychoactive effects. Basically, it’s what gives people a feeling of being high, often accompanied by a relaxed or euphoric state. Some people feel that THC caps should be implemented so that MMJ products’ effects would be limited (with the goal of decreasing a too big of a high in a person’s system). Several lawmakers tried to introduce a bill to cap THC, citing some research that indicated high levels of marijuana were linked to psychosis and/or schizophrenia in some marijuana users. They have also expressed concern that individuals under the age of 21 were consuming MMJ products with high THC content, which could create possible mental impairments.

Current law only restricts THC levels in edibles, which generally contain around 10 mg of THC per serving. Industry experts posit that this level is much higher than what most people would consume in a single dose anyway. Lawmakers were also trying to get a bill passed that would cap THC at 10% potency in smokable MMJ products as well as edibles. They also wished to put into effect a law that would prohibit doctors from prescribing full-strength MMJ products for patients under 21 (with exceptions for patients who are terminally ill, or whose doctors can make a case for them needing higher levels of THC because of their medical condition). None of these bills have been enacted into law yet.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ strain

Image by Christina Winter on Unsplash: MMJ products could potentially have a THC cap placed on them in the future.

Is there a THC cap for medical marijuana?

Because different states have varying laws regarding marijuana, you may be asking yourself, “What is the THC cap on medical marijuana in my area?”. Many opponents of the proposed amendment to place a THC cap on MMJ products say that if the bill passed, it would only hurt MMJ patients. They suggest that a cap could force prices up for MMJ users and drive individuals to buy black-market products in order to self-medicate with higher THC levels. The following states have all tried to push legislation through recently without success:

  • Colorado: Advocates tried to get a plan passed to push the limit of THC to 16%, but withdrew the plan in 2016.
  • Washington: A proposal to cap cannabis at 10% THC has stalled and likely won’t move forward.
  • Alaska: A proposal to cap marijuana at 76% THC was voted down.

Is there a limit on how strong medical marijuana can be?

It can be confusing to tell whether there is a THC cap for medical marijuana in each state or what the cap is, so the best thing for an MMJ patient to do is to research their individual state’s MMJ laws before purchasing or consuming products. A typical dose to treat symptoms of a medical condition is likely much lower than what the cap would be anyway.

Additionally, effective doses of MMJ also differ from person to person. One individual might find their symptoms are alleviated by a low dose of a cannabis tincture with 5% THC, while someone else might find that even less THC does the trick to give them relief. Patients should do their own experimenting (with the help of their doctor) to determine what form of marijuana and which dose would be the safest and most effective for their specific needs.

 

MMJRecs - medical marijuana grinder

Image by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash: Patients should work with their doctor to determine which TCH level will be the most effective for them.

How can a patient get MMJ products?

People who are suffering from a physical or emotional medical condition (ranging from cancer symptoms to glaucoma to post-traumatic stress disorder) can find benefits in using MMJ products. They can get evaluated by a physician at MMJRecs to see if they’d be a good fit for an MMJ card. The whole process is done online, so it provides all the convenience of a virtual experience. Once the process is complete, the MMJRecs physician will provide the patient with an MMJ card that gives them access to legally purchase medical marijuana products in their home state.

Many MMJ advocates argue that a cap on THC would mean that patients who use MMJ products to treat their medical conditions would be facing an unfair limitation to a product that is helping them. They suggest that the government stay out of establishing a THC cap and let patients work with their own medical professionals to determine what will best help them. Perhaps physicians are much more equipped to help their patients determine proper THC levels or the right strains than lawmakers are. For the time being, most individuals will be able to find the MMJ products with the THC levels that they need. But there’s always a possibility that legislation could get pushed through to change this in the future.

Featured image by Gras Grun on Unsplash

5 Therapeutic Differences Between CBD & MMJ

In 2020, both medical marijuana (MMJ) and cannabidiol (CBD) are mentioned in the media, in advertising, and in everyday conversation more than ever before. Both MMJ and CBD have become treatments du jour for a wide range of ailments, from glaucoma to insomnia to chronic pain and even depression. Both substances are improving the lives of millions of people in numerous wonderful ways.

But what are the therapeutic differences between CBD and MMJ? This can be a confusing question for a lot of people, because the two substances are very intermingled (often quite literally) and are mentioned together frequently. Are they the same thing? Are they drastically different?

Well, the fact is that they are not the same thing. MMJ contains CBD, but CBD does not contain MMJ. So while CBD and MMJ have a lot in common, they often have quite different effects and uses. In this article, we will discuss the differences between CBD and MMJ.

MMJRecs - cannabis flower

Image by Seaweedjeezus on Pixabay: MMJ has many therapeutic benefits.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. It is a psychoactive substance that is used for medicinal and recreational purposes by people all over the world. The flowers, fruits, and leaves of the cannabis plant are harvested and dried to form marijuana, which can be smoked and inhaled, vaped, or added to foods and drinks.

A Brief History Of Marijuana

The cannabis plant originated in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Evidence suggests it was used for spiritual purposes in burial ceremonies across Eurasia since before 3,500 BC. It was introduced to the western world in 1842 by Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who researched marijuana while working as a medical officer with the East India Company in Bengal and brought a quantity back to Britain.

Marijuana was first made illegal in the United States in 1906. It remained a criminal offense to use marijuana nationwide until 1973 when, slowly but surely, states began to decriminalize the use of marijuana. In 2012, after much lobbying and deliberation, Washington became the first U.S. state to lift the ban on marijuana. Since then, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana, and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.

What Is MMJ?

MMJ stands for “medical marijuana”. MMJ is, for all intents and purposes, the same as any other type of marijuana. The distinction comes only in its legal status. In 22 states, marijuana is illegal unless it is for medicinal purposes. In these states, it is not permitted to use marijuana unless it is prescribed by a medical professional.

What Is CBD?

CBD is cannabidiol. It is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the active compounds in marijuana. It is used for medicinal and health-boosting purposes.

MMJRecs - CBD

Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: CBD is often used in oil form.

What Are The Therapeutic Differences Between MMJ And CBD?

There are several therapeutic differences between CBD and MMJ. These are important to understand, because they will inform your decision on which substance is best suited for your particular needs.

1. MMJ Has Psychoactive Effects

MMJ has psychoactive effects that are caused by the compound THC. Generally, the more THC a strain of medical marijuana contains, the more psychoactive it will be. While CBD is an active compound in MMJ, it is not in any way psychoactive. CBD, when taken on its own, has no psychoactive effects.

2. Treatment With MMJ Or CBD Requires Different Legal Considerations

A key difference between CBD and MMJ is their status under the law. MMJ is legal in 33 states plus D.C. MMJ is still illegal under federal law, although state laws hold sway and the federal ban only means that MMJ cannot be taken across state lines. CBD, on the other hand, is legal in all 50 states.

3. CBD And MMJ Provide Different Therapeutic Benefits

CBD and MMJ provide different therapeutic benefits. CBD is mainly used to treat pain, insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, and IBS. MMJ is used to treat a wider range of medical conditions. including glaucoma, chronic pain, MS, migraines, cancer symptoms, arthritis pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

4. CBD And MMJ Have Different Side Effects

The only potential side effects of CBD are mild diarrhea, tiredness, and a change in appetite. MMJ can have stronger side effects that include increased appetite, drowsiness, increased heart rate, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, paranoia, and exacerbation of schizophrenia symptoms.

5. CBD And MMJ Can Be Ingested In Different Ways

CBD is ingested mainly in oil form. CBD oil can be taken in capsules or added to foods or drinks. MMJ is most commonly smoked, but can also be vaped, eaten, or added to drinks.

How Do You Apply For An MMJ Letter?

The best way to apply for an MMJ letter is to have an online consultation with a licensed MMJ medical professional. MMJRecs is an online telemedicine platform that sets up consultations between MMJ patients and MMJ doctors in their state. Getting an MMJ letter is an easy and quick process that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Featured image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay

How To Decide Whether To Use CBD Or MMJ

If you’re suffering from specific physical or emotional symptoms, you might be interested in using medical marijuana (MMJ) or CBD products to help alleviate those symptoms. However, things can get confusing when it comes to how to decide whether to use CBD or MMJ. Both substances offer relief from some medical conditions, but a few aspects of their usage can differ. Keep reading for a breakdown of the differences between CBD and MMJ so you can make an informed decision.

What is marijuana?

Also known as cannabis, marijuana is a mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. It can be consumed in a ton of different forms, including cigarettes, water pipes, vaporizers, and even food products (called “edibles”). The main psychoactive or mind-altering chemical in marijuana is called THC. When it’s consumed, many people experience a feeling of euphoria and a sense of relaxation. Some people might also experience heightened sensory perception, an altered perception of time, and/or increased appetite. There are 11 states in the U.S. in which recreational marijuana is currently legal.

What is MMJ?

MMJ, or medical marijuana, is marijuana that is used for medicinal purposes. Currently, there are 33 states in the U.S. that offer legal medical marijuana. MMJ products are used to treat a variety of physical and emotional medical conditions, including but not limited to:

 

MMJRecs - marijuana plant

Image by Sam Doucette on Unsplash: Medical marijuana can help treat a variety of medical conditions.

 

Many people wonder, “Do I need a prescription to use MMJ?” The answer is technically yes. In order to get legal MMJ products, you are typically required to have a licensed physician in your state fill out a written form that verifies you have a valid need for MMJ. Some states also require you to apply for an ID card. The exact requirements for MMJ usage do differ from state to state, so it’s always a good idea to check with your individual state’s regulations before you act.

If you don’t have a physician who can help with the documentation you might need, MMJRecs is at your service! They can connect you virtually with a doctor who can assist you with your medical certification (as well as offer a way to get your ID card) so that you can get all set up to purchase MMJ products at your convenience.

What is CBD?

CBD comes from the word cannabidiol; it’s one of the two properties found in marijuana (the other being THC, the one that gets you high). CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana products and is sold in many forms, including oils, gummies, and extracts. Because of its lack of THC, you won’t feel high when you use it, but you can still feel its many positive effects, such as relief from pain, reduction in symptoms of anxiety, and lower blood pressure.

So, is CBD the same as MMJ? They’re similar in that they treat many physical and emotional symptoms, but the main difference is that you won’t feel high when you use CBD. There are also a few things CBD can help with that MMJ products can’t, including reducing symptoms of depression, decreasing seizures, and helping with psychosis. CBD is legal in 23 states. Another 14 states do allow CBD oil to be legal. There are just three states that have completely banned CBD products: Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

What are the differences between CBD and MMJ?

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I use CBD or MMJ to treat my symptoms?”, there are some main differences you should keep in mind.

  1. You do not need any kind of medical intervention to purchase CBD products if it’s legal in your state. In fact, it’s possible to purchase CBD products in many stores and online. You might want to try CBD products if you don’t want to get evaluated by a doctor (like you would need to do in order to purchase MMJ).
  2. There are basically no side effects when using CBD. Marijuana can cause increased heart rate, coordination problems, dry mouth, red eyes, memory loss, and slower reaction times. High rates of THC use (and long-term use) can also result in possible long-term psychiatric problems.
  3. Not every drug test will result in a positive for CBD use, but all drug tests will result in a positive for MMJ products.

So, when considering whether to use CBD or MMJ products, research which would better treat your individual symptoms and best fit your needs. Some people might find that CBD products work well enough to treat their issues (including things like easing migraines, decreasing seizures, and working as an anti-inflammatory). However, MMJ products might be a good option if CBD products won’t do the trick. For example, CBD products won’t help with increased appetite, but MMJ products can.

 

MMJRecs - cannabidiol

Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: CBD oil has virtually zero side effects, so you can always use it safely.

 

Bottom line: Both CBD and MMJ products are safe to use and don’t need to be monitored by a doctor in order for you to use them. If you’d like to limit the amount of side effects or don’t wish to have the feeling of being high, CBD products will work well for you. CBD is also legal in more places in the U.S. However, MMJ products are great for people who want relief from their symptoms along with experiencing a euphoric and relaxed state.

Talk to your doctor before trying any of these products to make sure they won’t interact with any other medications you might be on or other physical conditions you have. Then you can start getting the benefits of these products as soon as possible!

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Can Medical Cannabis Help Treat Lupus?

There are currently more than 240,000 people living with lupus in the US today. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues and internal organs (including the brain, heart, and lungs). The inflammation caused by lupus results in patients experiencing chronic pain, tissue swelling and damage, and extreme fatigue. There is currently no cure for lupus, but some of the symptoms are treated with prescription medications, including corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. For people who don’t want to rely on medications that often come with significantly unpleasant side effects, or for whom medication is not effective, they’ve found they can treat Lupus symptoms with MMJ (medical marijuana). So, is it true that lupus patients and medical marijuana are a good match? Keep reading for more info about how cannabis can help treat lupus.

Can medical cannabis help lupus patients?

Lupus is often marked with periods of remission where symptoms are not as noticeable. But patients can experience what are called flare-ups, where their symptoms can be felt significantly (and which can lead to potentially debilitating physical issues). During these flare-ups, patients are often looking for any type of relief from the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing. To help combat these symptoms, doctors are always searching for what can be potentially helpful to lupus patients.

In recent years, researchers have found that cannabis helps in fighting inflammation that is present for lupus patients. It can decrease inflammation in the body by suppressing specific parts of the immune system. Cannabis actually lowers levels of interleukin-2 and raises interleukin-19 (an anti-inflammatory protein). Marijuana also has the added benefit of being able to alleviate pain, which is why so many patients with chronic pain are proponents of cannabis usage. Patients can ingest it in a number of different ways, and they often experiment to discover which strains and which forms help to give them the most relief from their lupus symptoms. These can range from edibles (like gummies) to tinctures or vaped liquids.

Does CBD produce the same effects?

CBD (cannabinoid) products are basically a component of marijuana that doesn’t have THC, which is the ingredient that makes you feel high. CBD has swept the country in recent years – you can find it in everything from oils and edibles to beauty products and caffeine drinks. Without the psychoactive effects, CBD can be used for a huge variety of reasons (including anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and chronic pain) without a person feeling high or unable to function.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ and CBD

Image by CBD-Infos-com on Pixabay: Hemp extract or CBD oil can be helpful in treating symptoms of lupus.

 

Researchers have begun to study the effects of CBD on lupus patients who are using it to reduce inflammation and decrease pain levels related to the condition. Although more research needs to be conducted, initial results seem to indicate that high levels of oral CBD can help alleviate some lupus symptoms in patients with the disease. Some researchers think that CBD products are the most effective when they’re used in combination with other marijuana compounds. This is known as the “entourage effect,” and many scientists note that taking an isolated chemical in pill form might be less effective than if a patient uses these products altogether. So, along with CBD products, the answer to “Can MMJ help lupus patients?” is yes!

Why is it useful to have an MMJ card?

If individuals want to try out CBD products, they don’t need any official documentation or intervention from a doctor. In fact, these products can be found in a ton of stores or online. However, if a person wants to obtain MMJ products, they’ll need an MMJ card, which can be obtained through MMJRecs. There are tons of benefits to owning a card (even if the person lives in a state where recreational marijuana is legal). For example, MMJ cardholders can:

  • Grow their own MMJ products at home
  • Possess more product at one time
  • Get tax benefits (like no sales tax in some states)
  • Have access to more licensed dispensaries

With an MMJ card, people are entitled to grow and possess more product so they can effectively treat their medical condition without having to worry about running out of the MMJ products they need.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant

Image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash: Having an MMJ card means a person can grow their own cannabis plants.

How do I get an MMJ card?

A patient simply needs to have a qualifying medical condition in order to be eligible for an MMJ card. There are a large number of conditions that will qualify, ranging from eating disorders and cancer to glaucoma and chronic pain. To get started, MMJRecs can help by providing a complete doctor’s recommendation and an official MMJ card that can be shown at dispensaries or to law enforcement. It’s a super convenient way to obtain a card (without having to go through any government red tape) – and the entire process can be conducted online!

It’s important to remember that you should check with your doctor before starting to use any marijuana or CBD products, but if you’re wondering, “How can medical marijuana help lupus patients?”, you can always try this avenue of treatment to find out if you’ll be helped by MMJ or CBD products.

Featured image by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

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

Marijuana laws can be quite confusing. As it stands in 2019, the drug exists in a kind of grey area, where it’s legal in some states and illegal in others. Muddying the waters further is MMJ, or medical marijuana, a type of cannabis utilized by patients suffering from a spectrum of conditions. MMJ is legal in far more states than its recreational cousin, but can still prove confusing for patients and non-patients alike. When it comes to actually growing marijuana, the stats become even more confusing. The bottom line is that MMJ patients can grow more marijuana than non-MMJ patients, or recreational users. You might be curious about why this is, or wondering “How much cannabis can I legally grow?” We examine this and more in our breakdown below.

1. They Require More For Their Health

The single biggest reason, and maybe the most obvious one, is that MMJ patients require more marijuana for their health. For them, marijuana isn’t recreational; it’s crucial to their overall well-being. Think of it as medicine. If the average person could cultivate their own medicine, for whatever condition they suffer from, then they most certainly would. It’s no different for MMJ patients. The list of conditions that MMJ can provide relief from is vast and wide. Some are temporary and require only modest amounts of the drug. Others, like Parkinson’s or MS, are far more serious, and therefore require more effort to keep in check.  So what exactly is the legal amount of cannabis to grow? Well, this varies wildly from state-to-state. More confusingly, it’s ever-changing. Here is a list of current state regulations, but as MMJ is a developing medicine, these are all subject to change.

 

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Growing House

Image by noexcusesradio on Pixabay: Many patients can grow marijuana with MMJ recommendation.

The best policy is to keep up to date with your local health care professional, or online with trusted sources like MMJ Recs. They will help you keep abreast of the situation, and ensure you stay within legal limits.

2. They Want to Control the Purity of the Product

For patients battling chronic conditions, the purity of the MMJ is extremely important. The more pure the product, the stronger the effect. If you’re battling an extremely debilitating condition, then you want to be in control of the marijuana you take. One good way to do this is by growing the product yourself. It should be said that much of the medical marijuana grown in the U.S. these days is very pure, and manufacturers put a lot of effort into ensuring the quality of their product. However, a homegrown touch can just serve to ensure that patients are availing of the purest product possible, meaning an MMJ recommendation and growing marijuana go hand in hand.

3. It’s Cost-Effective (and Time-Effective)

Conditions that require a constant supply of medical marijuana can become expensive for patients, in both financial terms and time-efficiency terms. Going back and forth from dispensaries every other week can be draining, and the cumulative cost of the medicine can become overwhelming for some patients. Growing their own marijuana provides a valuable option which both relieves financial pressure and provides easier access to the drug. Growing marijuana properly might take a little while to get the hang of, but if you’re dealing with a chronic condition, it’s likely to be worth it over the long haul. Just make sure you keep on top of the legal amount of cannabis to grow, depending on where you are in the country. Recreational users of marijuana don’t have this necessity, and therefore can adapt their spending as they go.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Sample

Image by brujaisma on Pixabay: MMJ patients can grow more marijuana than recreational users.

4. Non-Reliance on Dispensaries

As well as costing patients both time and money, dispensaries are the only avenue for patients to avail of their medicine. Therefore, they become totally reliant on them as the sole outlet for MMJ. Giving patients the option to grow their own MMJ at home removes this dependency, and may serve to make them more content in the long run. Again, for recreational users, marijuana is a luxury item, so this reliance isn’t really a factor for them. Therefore, it makes sense that MMJ patients can grow more marijuana than the general public.

MMJ Recommendation and Growing Marijuana

Before you can start growing your own marijuana, you have to possess a valid MMJ recommendation, or MMJ card. While the process to achieve this varies from state-to-state, by and large it’s fairly simple. If you suffer from one of the conditions listed on the state’s individual rundown of qualifying conditions, then you can avail of MMJ, and even obtain your MMJ card easily over the internet. These MMJ cards need to be renewed every year; patients can easily do this through an experienced site like MMJRecs. Some states have a very long and broad list of qualifying conditions. Others are more narrow and specific. But, as MMJ usage becomes the norm, more and more states are accepting the drug as a valuable, natural medicinal option. Over the coming years we should see more states embracing MMJ, and subsequently allowing patients to grow their own.

However, before you start any kind of MMJ cultivation operation, make sure to check all legal avenues you can. You must be completely certain that it’s legal in your state, and that you abide by the parameters set down in the law.

Featured image by quinntheislander on Pixabay

The 8 Best MMJ Sweets On The Market

Since its introduction in 1996 in California, patients have been finding unique ways to incorporate medical marijuana into their daily routine. As well as all the legislature, advocation, and vilification of MMJ, there’s also a fun side too; you can mix and match your medicine with a large variety of sweet treats, making it more appetizing, appealing, and fun! MMJ sweets are all the rage with some patients, and it’s easy to see why – once you try some, you’ll be hooked.

To date, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, with a 30th and 31st likely to follow this year. A number of liberal states have also begun the arduous process of legalizing recreational marijuana, although this doesn’t look set to detract from medical marijuana programs in the states it’s being introduced in. In the case of California, for example, the government recently introduced a sales tax rebate for MMJ patients, which means they don’t have to pay tax on their medicine. This initiative shows the commitment to MMJ from long-standing proponents, and hopefully other states will follow suit.

If you’re looking for new, unique ways to incorporate MMJ, then check out this handy list of MMJ sweets below. Of course, there are many ways to avail of medical marijuana, and not all of them will suit you; make sure to check with your doctor which form of MMJ works best for your specific condition!

Gummies are seriously tasty even before you add in some MMJ.

1. Leaf Eater Gummy Leaves

Everyone loves gummies, right? Well, with these incredibly moreish and potent candies, you’ll definitely find your sweet spot. Leaf Eater is a West Coast brand that loves to cram its product with MMJ; a single gummy carries a hit of 80mgs, with just two of the candies providing a satisfying and relieving 160mgs of marijuana.

2. Cheeba Chews

Cheeba Chews have the distinctive pedigree of being one of the first legal distributors of infused edibles in California. They’ve been producing their award-winning MMJ sweets for eight years now, so clearly they’re doing something right! Their individual dosage of 10mgs won’t take your head off, and if you prefer or require a lighter touch to your medicine, this could be the sweet for you. Their packaging is also nice and discreet as well, making them unlikely to be sampled by eager children, which is always a plus if you have kids around!

3. Kiva Confections Chocolate Bar

Kiva Confections have also been in business for a long time, producing some of the classiest MMJ sweets on the market. They rigorously test their chocolate for artificial ingredients, and aim to give their customers the highest standards. Their packaging is also awesome, and the taste is sublime; some of the best-tasting marijuana chocolate out there for sure.

4. Wana Sour Gums

Wana hails from Colorado, a notoriously MMJ friendly state that was also one of the first in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, along with Washington. Their informed packaging makes it exceptionally easy to keep track of exactly how much you’re taking, which can certainly be a problem if you forget you’re eating marijuana-infused sweets.

MMJ Recs - Chocolate Bar

Chocolate is one of the most popular MMJ sweets.

5. Dixie Mints

Dixie Elixirs produces a wide range of MMJ edibles, and is one of the few companies that offers marijuana-infused mints to their customers. When you think about it, it’s a great idea for an edible; not everyone likes sweet things, or wants to keep sweets around their house. The mints provide a perfect compromise for patients who still want to avail of edibles, but want to do so without the sugar intake. These delicious mints come in a variety of flavors, so you’ll have no trouble finding one you like.

6. RemedyPlus Gummies

RemedyPlus gummies are some of the coolest MMJ edibles on the market. Packaged like old-school sweets you’ll love and remember from your childhood days, their range includes rainbow belts, space worms, and dozens of other retro classics. Doses depend on which type of candy you choose, and can either be pretty light or significant, depending on your preference. Just remember to choose your dose first, not which type of sweet you prefer!

7. Kaneh Co. S’mores Brownie

Kaneh Co. has carved out a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality, delicious edibles and MMJ sweets; you could even eat them without the added THC benefit. When you factor in that their tasty offerings are also beneficial to your health, they make for an unbeatable treat. Their brownies are incredibly satisfying; they’re produced without preservatives, too, so you don’t have to worry about any artificial nastiness. If these guys just produced brownies with no additional MMJ ingredients, it’d be totally fine, they’re that delicious!

8. Punch Chocolate Bar

Punch’s chocolate offerings are both delicious and potent. They separate out into little chunks so you can keep track of how much you’re eating. This is especially important when it comes to this edible, as it can pack quite a… Well, punch. And unlike some other MMJ chocolate brands, they’re intent on keeping it fresh, coming out with new flavors and conceptions every season.

How to Fit MMJ Into Your Daily Life

If you’re thinking about using medical marijuana, you might be anxious as to how you can make it fit in with your daily life. MMJ has a difficult reputation, but thanks to a rise in use, further legalization, and increased research in the area, more and more people are turning to it in order to treat the symptoms of illnesses that can be difficult and debilitating. The good news is that it’s an incredibly flexible medication and you just need some specialist advice in order to integrate it into your life.

The first step is to log onto the internet and seek a medical marijuana specialist. While seeing a doctor online might seem a bit odd, the internet is one of the best places to seek advice on medical marijuana. As many traditional doctors have outdated ideas on what MMJ is and how it can treat patients, many specialist websites have been established online to provide patients with advice on how best to treat their conditions.

The next step is to make an appointment and then log on to speak to your doctor online. They will ask about your condition and talk to you about the best medical marijuana treatment plan for you. Medical cannabis can treat a variety of symptoms of conditions including, but not limited to, cancer, HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. There are different forms and strains of medical marijuana that can have different effects on the body.

MMJRecs - joints

Joints are just one of the ways you can take MMJ.

Once you have your medical advice, you need to ascertain how MMJ is going to affect you and if you need to make special accommodations in your life in order to integrate your new treatment. Some strains of medical marijuana can have side effects such as drowsiness, which are not ideal when you’re working full-time or have an active social life. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to work out a treatment schedule that allows you to take your medication without interfering with your daily routine.

After picking the strain that’ll best treat your condition, you then need to decide which form of medical marijuana you’re going to take. The possibilities are endless and you are definitely not limited to smoking joints. Vaping, edibles, topical treatments, oils, and tinctures are just the tip of the iceberg and depending on your daily routine, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you’re unsure as to the best form of MMJ for you, the best thing to do is to go to a reputable dispensary for advice on what would work best for you. Not all strains will be available in all forms, but a dispensary employee will be able to give you advice on what works best.

When you have your medical cannabis, you’ll have to decide how best to take it. If you’re a busy professional, a discreet form of MMJ, such as a tincture or oil, would probably be best. Edibles are also a good way to take medical marijuana as long as you ensure that no one else mistakes them for normal candies or cookies and mistakenly eats one. You don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s marijuana journey! If you have a more relaxed or flexible lifestyle, you can make the choice for yourself. It’s just important to make sure that you take your treatment with supervision if drowsiness or similar side effects are in play.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical cannabis is easy to incorporate into your daily life to treat the symptoms of your illness.

It is also important to remember the legality of medical marijuana while you’re traveling. While marijuana is legal for recreational reasons in some states and for medical reasons in others, it is still illegal on a federal level. This means that you cannot bring medical cannabis on planes and you could be arrested for bringing it into states where it is still completely illegal. This is obviously incredibly frustrating for people who rely on medical marijuana to go about their day to day business, but you do not want to risk getting on the wrong side of the law. It is often worth consulting a legal professional on this subject, especially if you’re traveling out of your state on a long-term assignment and genuinely can’t do without your MMJ.

Like any new medication, you will need to adjust your life slightly to your new medical regime. However, the payoff will always be worth it. Whether you’re using medical marijuana to improve your appetite, to reduce your nausea, or to control your seizures, you will feel a new lease of life in adding medical cannabis to your life. As well as physical symptoms, you may be able to use MMJ to help your mental health, so why not get some information and give it a try? It’s likely that you’ll never look back.

Medical Marijuana and Stigma: 6 Myths Busted

Medical marijuana is something that suffers from a lot of stigma. While it offers real treatment to many patients who suffer from a variety of conditions, it is the victim of misinformation from people who believe it to be nothing more than a legitimized street drug. The truth is that medical marijuana helps people who need it most and the most common myths can be easily dispelled by common sense and evidence.

1. Patients are Addicts

This myth is often spread by people who have little experience in the conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana. Many people use medical marijuana, including people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, depression, anxiety, and a range of other conditions. These people are not addicted to their treatment but need it to keep them well so they are not debilitated by the symptoms of their conditions, some of which can be overwhelming. We don’t say that patients being treated by mainstream pharmaceuticals are addicts, so why should we do it to MMJ users?

2. MMJ Encourages Teens to Use Marijuana

Medical marijuana is only prescribed to children and teenagers when they really need it, such as when they are suffering from debilitating seizures or nausea. Doctors who advise patients to take medical marijuana do so when they know that it will vastly improve the quality of their lives. Medical marijuana is not a dangerous and recreational drug, but a legitimate treatment that allows all patients, including teenagers, to be able to better manage their symptoms. It is simply untrue to say that medical marijuana is pushing teenagers into drug use when it is allowing them to live better lives.

MMJRecs - medical cannabis

Image by Michael Moriarty from Pixabay: There has been so much stigma surrounding medical marijuana that it can be hard to distinguish truth from myth.

3. Medical Marijuana is a “Gateway Drug”

This is another myth that treats medical cannabis differently to other drugs and treatments. Due to marijuana being illegal in the past, many people do not believe in its ability to treat symptoms of various conditions and assume that people who use medical marijuana will be encouraged to use hard and illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine. People who use medical cannabis are not seeking a high, so are not likely to move onto hard drugs in order to chase that high. Patients are not taking medical marijuana for fun, so linking it to hard and illegal drugs is completely invalid.

4. Patients Must Smoke MMJ to Experience Positive Side Effects

There are so many ways to ingest medical marijuana and most people who take it do not smoke it. When you go to a dispensary, they will be able to advise you on a range of different forms of medical marijuana. You can eat MMJ in the form of edibles such as candies, cookies, and brownies, and you can use lotions and other topical products to absorb it through your skin. You can also use tinctures and oils to ingest it orally, as these forms are only the tip of the iceberg. You have so many options when it comes to taking MMJ that you’ll soon realize how ridiculous this myth is.

MMJRecs - MMJ in hand

Image by Stay Regular from Pixabay: As MMJ becomes more widely used, more people are realizing that the stigmas surrounding it are untrue.

5. Patients Use MMJ to Get “High”

Just like how people who take prescription painkillers in a legitimate and medical environment are not looking to get high, medical cannabis patients are not seeking recreational effects from their treatment. Patients seek all kinds of treatments for their conditions, but the end goal is always the same. They just want to feel better and to live the best life they can alongside the conditions that they have to live with. Conflating recreational drug use and medical treatment is not helpful and discourages patients from seeking help.

6. There Are No Proven Medical Benefits of MMJ

Medical marijuana has been shown to help patients who suffer from a range of conditions. It helps people with depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions to feel calmer. It helps cancer patients and those suffering from HIV/AIDS to fight their debilitating nausea. It also helps people with tremors and seizures to manage their symptoms so they don’t have to be constantly aware and suffering their symptoms. People with wasting illnesses can also have their appetites improved by medical cannabis. In short, there are many ways in which MMJ has been shown to help people, and research is constantly continuing and evolving.

If you need help finding out more about medical marijuana, it’s easy to gain access to an MMJ letter from a doctor who is expert in the area. Then you will be able to visit a dispensary and gain access to the treatment that you need in the form that works best for you. Medical marijuana can’t cure your condition, but it can help you manage the symptoms so you can live a happier life.

 

Featured Image by angie3888 from Pixabay 

5 Benefits of Having A California Medical Marijuana Card

With over half of U.S. states legalizing medical marijuana (29 at last count), the drug is starting to be accepted as something more than simply an outlier treatment; it is a genuine, progressive form of therapy with tangible results. Although MMJ faced (and still faces, in some states) stiff opposition from conservative politicians, the wave of advocacy has been equally strong, leading to a steady increase in legalization over the years. The first state to adopt MMJ in legislation was California; it was also one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, which became legal on the 1st of January this year. Many patients are asking the question: if recreational marijuana is legal, do I still need to avail of the state’s MMJ program and own a California medical marijuana card?

This might seem like a conundrum for many patients; if they can just go up and buy marijuana legally from a local dispensary, then why bother with a doctor’s visit, a prescription, and a medical marijuana card? This is logical thinking, but the situation is a little more complex than it first appears. Marijuana, both recreational and medical, is a relatively new industry, and there are many different aspects to it. However, on balance, the answer is a resounding yes. Even in the face of legalized recreational marijuana, a California medical marijuana card is still a great idea; and here are five benefits of having one!

MMJRecs - Marijuana Leaf

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

1. You Don’t Pay Sales Tax

Possibly the biggest incentive of a California medical marijuana card is that you can avoid paying sales tax on MMJ. This generous measure was introduced by the government as a way to reaffirm their commitment to their long-standing medical marijuana program, and to keep it running happily side-by-side with the newly introduced recreational rollout. We all know that health care can be an expensive venture, particularly if a patient suffers from a chronic condition. This sales tax rebate helps patients save money on every purchase, but only if they have a valid California medical marijuana card.

2. California’s Been Doing It The Longest

As mentioned above, California was the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana, and pave the way for the state of the countrywide legislation as it exists and develops today. The Golden State legalized the drug under Proposition 215 in 1996 – this  ruling was also known as the Compassionate Use Act. As California’s had over 20 years in the MMJ business, all of the teething problems have been ironed out, and the operation runs smoothly and effectively. Indeed, California is considered one of the very best states in the U.S. to avail of medical marijuana; while the recreational rollout will inevitably come with its own set of problems and issues, the MMJ program will continue functioning as normal.

3. There’s a Long List of Qualifying Conditions

California is known to be one of the most liberal states when it comes to a list of qualifying conditions that patients must suffer from to utilize medical marijuana. While the qualifying conditions cover a host of serious illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS, arthritis, and AIDS, one of the most important entries on the list is “chronic pain”. It is well known and researched that marijuana can ease general symptoms of pain, and chronic pain is a condition many suffer from at some point in time. The inclusion of this symptom on the list allows doctors to prescribe MMJ to patients who can’t pinpoint their pain to a specific location. This is in stark contrast to some states, who don’t include chronic pain on their list of qualifying conditions, thereby limiting the treatment options for potential patients.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Flowers

Patients in California don’t pay sales tax on MMJ.

4. There Are Plenty of Vendors To Choose From

The MMJ program is so well-established in California that wherever you live, you won’t have to look very far to find your nearest vendor. New York came under fire recently for severely limiting the dispensaries in the state to under 20, which could potentially put pressure on the whole infrastructure of the industry. There are no such restrictions on Californian dispensaries. Not just any one can go about setting one up, of course; there’s still a hefty amount of procedure and licences to go through and obtain. However, you’re bound to find a dispensary closely to you when you live in California.

5. You’ll Have Access To Many Different MMJ Strains

As previously mentioned, it’s unknown at this early stage what kind of teething problems the widespread legalization of recreational marijuana will come with. There are bound to be some, however; taking an established black market industry and dragging it in to the light in one fell swoop is certain to come with some issues. You might think that you won’t need a California medical marijuana card once recreational marijuana is legalized, but without the card, you’re unable to follow your doctor’s specific advice. He or she will know which strain is the correct one to treat your condition, and chances are that strain won’t even be available in the recreational arena, at least not in the early days. Individual strains affect people and conditions differently; if you’re taking marijuana medically, it’s surely sensible to stick to your doctor’s advice and take the most beneficial strain for you.

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.

Why 2018 Is Already The Best Year For MMJ Patients

Medical marijuana has had a long and difficult road to get to where it finds itself in 2018. Although MMJ has many proven health benefits, and can ease symptoms of a wide variety of illnesses and afflictions, the progressive drug therapy has seen itself radically criminalized in some circles, and continues to be a point of contention for many conservative governors, senators, and councilmen/women.  However, the outlier medicine has made fantastic strides over the last decade or so, which means that 2018 is looking to be the year the pendulum swings fully in favor of MMJ and its assorted infrastructure.

The tide started to turn way back in 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. This was a big deal 22 years ago, and although it wasn’t the first state to complete the circle and legalize recreational marijuana (that particular accolade goes to Colorado and Washington simultaneously), the Golden State has continued to be a frontrunner in marijuana advocation and legislation throughout the past two decades. The state legalized recreational marijuana the day after a tumultuous presidential election, and can (in theory) start selling the drug this year. More on that later.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Plant

Will 2018 be a turning point for medical marijuana in the U.S.? We think so.

Currently, 29 states (and Washington D.C.) have legalized medical marijuana, so we’re well past the halfway threshold in terms of cumulative state legislation. Signs are strong that the 30th state won’t be too far off, and several more look set to follow throughout 2018, meaning that this year could potentially see the biggest turnover of states to pro-green status since California ruled in MMJ’s favor 22 years ago. However, because medical marijuana doesn’t constitute a federal initiative, the way these 29-and-counting states are approaching MMJ is wildly different, and can have consequences for patients depending on their location.

Evidence of these interstate discrepancies can be found in the case of New York. The East Coast state has long been considered a liberal bastion, and can usually stand toe-to-toe with the large liberal stronghold on the West Coast that is California. However, when it comes to medical marijuana, New York seemed to stumble; this is largely due to the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, being highly against marijuana in general, and seeing it as a “gateway drug,” even in a medicinal capacity. This didn’t stop MMJ being legalized in New York in 2014, but it was introduced as one of the most restrictive and conservative programs anywhere in the country, which surprised many people. One obvious example of this restrictiveness is that patients could not consume the drug in its leaf form, which has been regarded as the most potent form, and the most likely to help ease symptoms.

Fortunately, in 2018, patients could see the situation change for the better, courtesy of NY’s neighbours, New Jersey. Intense advocation has already seen the qualifying condition “chronic pain” added to the list, which has opened up MMJ care to  whole host of patients who could previously not access it. 2018 will more than likely see recreational marijuana legalized in New Jersey, as well as Massachusetts and even Connecticut, surrounding New York with liberal marijuana laws. Under that kind of pressure, Cuomo and the conservative elements of New York are sure to crack, paving the way for recreational marijuana, and helping the cause of medical marijuana in the process.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Buds

The legalization of recreational marijuana is in fact helping the cause of medical marijuana in several ways.

You might wonder why medical marijuana has a place at all if recreational marijuana is taking the country by storm. In fact, the opposite is proving to be true; the legalization of recreational marijuana only serves to heighten the importance, and provide advantages to, the cause of MMJ. Take California as an example. Recreational marijuana was due to start being legally sold in the state as of January 1st, 2018. However, due to intense concerns about expanding a previously black market-based operation into the full light of legality, it has yet to occur, and looks like it won’t for some time.

What has occurred is a sales tax break for patients using medical marijuana, which is fantastic news for those who are committed to using the drug to treat their ailments. Also, the specialist care that doctors provide to patients when it comes to selecting the correct strain of marijuana for their conditions is still paramount; self-medicating with recreational marijuana is a very poor idea indeed.

So, the advancement of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws go hand in hand; instead of one eclipsing the other, they in fact work in tandem. This has already been proven at the start of the year in California, and as 2018 goes on and both causes are furthered simultaneously, the future looks bright for medical marijuana. Even though it’s only March, it’s easy to see why many people are considering this year the best year yet for MMJ; and with many months still to go, it could shine brighter yet.

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.

An In-Depth Look at MMJ Qualifying Conditions

Medical marijuana has been legalized in the U.S. since 1996, although the legislature applies on a state-by-state basis. The first state to blaze the trail was California, and since then, 28 others have followed in its footsteps, with several more waiting in the wings, on the cusp of legalization. Unfortunately for patients, MMJ law is not a federal affair, which can lead to a host of caveats for each legalization bill depending on the state you’re in. One of these caveats is the list of MMJ qualifying conditions for each state – that is, the conditions for which medical marijuana is an applicable and legal treatment.

Essentially, in order to qualify and avail of medical marijuana and allow doctors to legally prescribe it to you, you must have a diagnosed ailment that appears on the list of MMJ qualifying conditions accompanying every MMJ law that has been made per state. Once you’ve confirmed that your condition is on the list, then you can apply for your medical marijuana card from an authorized physician; this can be your primary care doctor, or it can easily be acquired online via telemedicine sites. Once you have that, you are free to visit dispensaries and avail of the medicine, in accordance with the supply and possession laws of each state.

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MMJ qualifying conditions vary from state to state, so it’s best to check your local policies to see whether you qualify.

Marijuana has been medically proven to lessen the symptoms of a great number of diseases; in fact, it has been used as a medicine in some form for many years, even preceding the introduction of it into law by California in ’96. However, not all states agree on what should be legally treatable with MMJ. The main reason for this is a worry that they might come across too vague, which would lead to abuse of a drug still considered illegal in many places in a recreational sense. Even with the advent of legal recreational marijuana, which has been legalized in eight states so far, MMJ qualifying conditions are still a hot topic among state governments.

In California, for example, the policy has always been very liberal in favour of medical marijuana, and the state’s MMJ qualifying conditions reflect that. Even though recreational marijuana has been legalized in the state since November 9th, 2016, it is still advantageous to have a medical marijuana card, because there are specific strains that treat specific diseases much better than the recreational strains. California and Colorado have also offered reduced sales taxes to patients in an effort to preserve their long-established and successful medical marijuana programs, which is a huge incentive for patients to continue with the program. There is also the fact that a state-wide rollout of medical marijuana has not yet been achieved by California, and could still be some way off, looking at the current progress on that front.

The most common MMJ qualifying conditions and ailments are pretty much seen across the board, in whatever state you’re in. They include cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, which are all conditions where the marijuana can induce relaxation to remove some of the pressure and stress on the muscles and afflicted organs. There are also many other less common illnesses which are listed on each state’s MMJ qualifying conditions list, although be aware that it does change from state to state.

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Laws regarding MMJ are very different in California than they are in New York.

One of the most controversial of these conditions is listed simply as “chronic pain,” which, when you think about it, is more of a symptom than a condition in and of itself. However, it is a crucial one to list on the spectrum of qualifying conditions because it allows a great many sufferers to avail of the medicine without needing to be specific about their condition. It also allows doctors a freer hand in prescribing the medicine, as they won’t be too caught up in the legality of what they’re prescribing and what condition they’re prescribing it for. “Chronic pain” was in the wording of the first MMJ qualifying conditions outlined in the U.S., by California in 1996, but unfortunately, not all states agree that it should be included.

One controversial example was New York, a state which is known for its generally liberal leanings. Many expected it to follow suit with a progressive medical marijuana bill, but not only did it take 18 years to get the bill through the Senate, when it was revealed, it proved to be an extremely restrictive piece of legislation. One of the many issues was the absence of “chronic pain,” an omission that left many patients unable to avail of the drug. Due to intense lobbying and pressure, “chronic pain” has since been added to the NY list of conditions, but unfortunately, there are still a few states where that is not the case. As we work toward building an MMJ-friendly country, it’s good advice to take note of MMJ law in each individual state, and make sure your specific condition is listed.

A History of California MMJ Policies (And What the Future Might Hold)

California might just be the leading medical marijuana state in the country. It has consistently been ahead of the curve when it comes to marijuana legislature, both recreational and medical, and its liberal approach to the medicine has no doubt eased many patients’ suffering in the 21 years it’s been legalized. As the number of states who have legalized MMJ tips over the halfway mark (29 and counting), the question is, will California retain its frontrunner position as the leading state in the medical marijuana arena? And what exactly does the future hold at this critical juncture in marijuana law, when the state’s government tries to introduce a recreational rollout against the well-established and successful California MMJ program?

California’s liberal leanings towards marijuana started way back in 1975, when it was among the first states to decriminalize the drug, under the Moscone Act. In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger added further measures to decriminalization in the form of State Senate Bill 1449, which further reduced the charge of possession on one ounce of cannabis or less, levelling it with an infraction, which constitutes a small fine and no court appearance.

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California has always paved the way when it comes to MMJ legislation and progress.

The 1975 decriminalization program paved the way for the California MMJ bill to be passed in 1996. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, passed with a narrow 55% majority, making California the first state to legalize medical marijuana for people suffering from cancer, AIDS, migraines glaucoma, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses, demonstrating a remarkable range of qualifying conditions, even back in 1996. Over the years, the wording surrounding this law has been strengthened and clarified, and in 2010, the limit of possession on medical marijuana was lifted after the California Supreme Court ruled in People vs. Kelly. The key wording now lists a number of conditions, followed by the phrase, “and any other condition for which marijuana provides relief.” While other states have faltered in their ascribing of qualifying conditions, California has made the medicine accessible to every single patient who can possibly benefit from it, and in turn has reduced the pressure on doctors, who may worry about breaking the law if their patient’s illness doesn’t adhere to the qualifying conditions.

The passing of Proposition 215  was a watershed moment in the history of medical marijuana, and paved the way for many other states to follow in California’s footsteps. In the intervening 21 years, as a further 28 states have come on board the MMJ train, California has never wavered in its commitment to its program, and has gone to great lengths to implement a successful dispensary rollout across the state. The result is a program which is much more progressive than many other states, including the likes of New York, which implemented a surprisingly regressive MMJ bill in 2014.

Under Proposition 215, patients with a physician’s recommendation, and their primary caregivers, are allowed to cultivate their own strains of MMJ, and as an alternative, SB 420 allows patients to come together in collectives to grow their own medicine. The amount of medical marijuana grown must be in concordance with the size of the collective, and growth that exceeds this number is still liable for prosecution. However, this setup is set to change at the end of 2018, and all collectives must be licenced within the state. This gives patients a large range of options for growing and acquiring their medicine, and makes access easy for any patients that wants (or needs) to avail of the drug.

MMJ Recs - San Francisco Skyline

With changes afoot for both recreational and medical marijuana, what does the future hold for California?

On January 9th 2016, California voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Although they’re not the first state to do this, they have long been proponents and advocates of marijuana in general, so it came as little surprise to most people that they were among the frontrunners to legalize. Many people wondered how the recreational program would line up against the well-established California MMJ program, and indeed, that is the question that dominates conversations about the future of marijuana in the Golden State.

California has a lead-in time of 14 months to roll out their recreational program, with recreational marijuana becoming legal on the 1st January 2018. However, this proved to be too little time to completely overhaul a previously underground and decidedly massive industry; as it stands, it is actually impossible to purchase recreational marijuana anywhere in California, and that looks to be the case for some time.

A medical marijuana card is still the best way to procure the medicine in 2018, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Just because both forms of marijuana are legal, it doesn’t mean that MMJ will become obsolete; in fact, it’s quite the contrary. The government actually imposed sales tax rebates on California MMJ when they passed the recreational law, renewing their commitment to the long-established MMJ program and providing patients with a cheaper cost for their medicine in the process. Ultimately, California looks set to continue being the shining example of MMJ progressiveness that it has always been.

California Vs. Colorado: Which Is The Best MMJ State?

When it comes to the continuing legalization of marijuana, in both its medical and recreational forms, two states are leading the charge, and have been for some time. They are California and Colorado, two major game-changers when it comes to medical marijuana, who adopted the beneficial legalization policies very early, and set a precedence that 27 other states have chosen to follow in the years leading up to 2018. What the future will bring for MMJ is unclear, but the ideal is to have all 50 states on board, with medical marijuana fully legalized across the whole of the United States. The remaining 21 states who have yet to sign MMJ into legislation would do well to look to California and Colorado as shining examples. But how do the two MMJ titans stack up against each other?

Let’s take a look at California first. The West Coast state has the honour of being the first state to legalize medical marijuana in legislation, during a critical vote on Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, which took place all the way back in 1996. Since that time, governments in California have been working to redefine and stabilize the legalization, resulting in one of the most liberal MMJ states in the country, a distinction California wears with pride. When contrasted with some of the more restrictive MMJ programs of other states, like New York (which, despite having a liberal-leaning reputation, surprisingly adopted an extremely harsh MMJ legislature), California’s progressive stance stands out even more.

California is leading the charge when it comes to marijuana legalization.

There are MMJ clinics and dispensaries all around the state, serving a large number of people suffering from a diverse number of illnesses. The wide range of qualifying conditions outlined in Proposition 215, most notably “chronic pain,” which refers to a wide number of patients’ grievances, has allowed people all over the state to benefit from medical marijuana’s therapeutic effects. As MMJ has been proven to reduce pain in many areas, resulting from many different conditions, the qualifying condition of “chronic pain” is an extremely important one, and is a caveat that many other states would do well to implement in their own legislature, both present and future.

On November 9, 2016, the day after a tumultuous presidential election, California became the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana. However, the law only came into being on January 1, 2018, and as the state quickly discovered, 14 months was not enough lead in time to fully implement the legalization of a widespread, previously underground industry. Cities and counties up and down the state were not ready to sell recreational marijuana by January 1, despite significant progress being made in the rollout. For now, and for the foreseeable future, a medical marijuana card is still required to avail of marijuana in California, primarily because it’s not available anywhere else as it stands.

In light of the lengthy recreational legalization process, and as a nod to the state’s significant and well-established MMJ community, the Californian government introduced a measure whereby MMJ patients don’t pay any sales tax whatsoever on their medicine. This is a significant incentive and a show of commitment to the long-running MMJ program set up in 1996, and proves that the government are focused on incorporating recreational marijuana harmoniously alongside medical marijuana.

Colorado was hot on the heels of California when it came to legalizing MMJ, passing its own bill, Amendment 20, in 2000. Both Colorado and California decriminalized marijuana way back in 1975, so have always been at the forefront of marijuana laws in the U.S. In 2012, Colorado continued that trend by becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, a revolutionary move that paved the way for marijuana legislation across the country, and also made America’s various MMJ programs more robust by legitimizing MMJ in the eyes of many citizens.

Colorado follows closely in California’s footsteps with its progressive MMJ policies.

Like California, Colorado medical marijuana is taxed differently to recreational marijuana, so it is still extremely beneficial to own a Colorado medical marijuana card. Also, the selection offered to medical marijuana patients is far superior than the recreational spectrum, and will be tailor-made for a patient’s specific condition, making them the optimum choice for marijuana taken medicinally. There is also the option of edibles for MMJ patients, which is not afforded to recreational users. For both states, the option of a medical marijuana card, even in the face of recreational legalization, is still the optimum choice for patients suffering from marijuana-treatable conditions.  MMJ cards can be acquired over the internet, via telemedicine, and don’t take long to arrive at your door.

When it comes to differentiating the two pro-marijuana states, there’s little difference when it comes to their MMJ programs. Both have tax rebates stemming from the legalization of recreational marijuana, and both have a range of qualifying conditions that allow a wide variety of patients from across the state to avail of the many benefits of MMJ. No doubt both California and Colorado will continue to bear the torch for medical marijuana in the years to come.

The Best MMJ Complimentary Exercises for Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is experienced by millions of Americans across the country each day. The sometimes crippling affliction is one of the number one reasons cited in medical marijuana card applications every year. Though MMJ on its own can be pretty power-packed when it comes to banishing those lower back blues, sometimes you need a little something extra to get you feeling yourself again. If you find yourself wanting a little bit more relief than your MMJ card can afford you, try some of these back-pain-busting exercises.

Decompression Breathing

Yes, you heard that right: our first exercise on the list is simply breathing! Well, not quite. Decompression breathing is the exercise of taking nice deep breaths as you make an attempt to lengthen your body as much as possible. This not only is great for increasing blood and oxygen flow around the body but it also essentially acts as a “reset” button, teaching your body to get your spine long and strong once more.

How to do it:

Stand perfectly straight with your toes touching and your heels slightly apart. With your weight on your heels, start to gently pull them towards each other, keeping your knees unlocked as you do it. Then, reach your arms upwards as you press your fingertips together, totally elongating your body. At this point you should feel every tiny muscle in your body stretching. Inhale and lift your ribcage upwards away from your hips. Exhale and tighten those important core muscles to sufficiently support your spine. Repeat this exercise at least 15 times per day and you’ll soon find yourself feeling a few inches taller, and most importantly, you’ll start to feel your chronic back pain melting away.

There are several simple exercises you can do to help manage chronic back pain.

Pilates Pelvic Tilt

Most pilates exercises could find there way to the top of this list, if we’re honest. MMJ card holders and non-card holders alike swear by the all-over body workout they get when they practice, saying that it’s great for mind and body alike.

Pilates works by strengthening those all-important core muscles that support and align our spines, meaning that you’re making sure every bit of your backbone is exactly where it needs to be. As well as soothing your chronic back pain, it also significantly reduces your risk of injury by building up those muscles and increasing flexibility. Pretty neat, huh?!

Of all the pilates exercises that could work to ease your chronic back pain, we think the pelvic tilt is one of the most effective and easy to do. It stretches your lower back muscles, drawing out any pain while also strengthening your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

How to do it:

Place a soft mat on your floor and lie faceup on it. Bend your knees and keep your ankles directly under your knees. While exhaling, tilt your hips up slightly. Keep your butt on the floor and keep your back nice and flat. When your hips are tilted, hold for five seconds, then return to your starting position while inhaling. We recommend doing this 10 times every morning.

Stretching it out regularly can help you reduce pain.

Transversus Abdominis Muscle Strengthening

Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Hey! I’m meant to be doing back exercises!” But trust us, strengthening those abdominal muscles can be just as good for spinal alignment as more targeted work (and you might just get some hardcore abs in the process!).

Though abdominal exercises are usually targeting at the “six pack” area, with this exercise, you’re going to focus instead on the transversus abdominus. This is how you’ll achieve greater spinal stability, which will in turn reduce your chronic back pain.

When you’re doing this exercise, it’s very important to maintain a neutral lumbar spine position – i.e. don’t unnaturally force your back all the way onto the floor. Instead, just lie on the ground as you would naturally, allowing your back to maintain its natural curvature upwards off the flat surface.

How to do it:

Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your knees and feet shoulder-width apart. Draw your belly button inwards toward your spine – this is where it’s important to maintain that neutral back position! When you exhale, reach towards the ceiling as if you’re trying to grab something dangling above you. After this, raise your head and shoulders gently off the floor and hold tight for two seconds. Return to your starting point while exhaling and repeat until you get too tired to continue. In order to really get the benefit of this back-pain-busting exercise, we recommend doing it once per day, four days per week.

With these exercises, your medical marijuana card, and some nutrient-packed MMJ fighting in your corner, you’re bound to start feeling a difference when it comes to easing your chronic back pain. If you’re already doing the exercises but don’t yet have an MMJ card, get in touch with us today and we’ll organize an online consultation with a qualified health professional in order to get you one. The MMJ revolution has begun – don’t miss out!

Will the MMJ Revolution Spread to Non-MMJ States?

The medical marijuana revolution is well and truly upon America. It started with a trickle, and little by little grew into a full-on flood; in 2017, 29 states are MMJ legal, and many more look set to follow over the coming months and years. The medical marijuana cause is bolstered by the increased acceptance of recreational marijuana in certain parts of the country. It stands to reason that if people are being allowed personal use, patients in need of its therapeutic benefits become impossible to deny. Although they are two separate strands of the same essential argument, MMJ stands to gain the most ground as the debate continues across America.

So where did MMJ start? Well, basically, medical marijuana has been around for a long time, and it wasn’t always considered an illegal substance. American medical journals dating all the way back from the late 18th century recommend using hemp seeds and roots for medicinal practices. 1914 was the first time the substance was criminalized, and any gains made in the subsequent decades were derailed by the Reagan in the 1970s, when he came down hard on drugs. Since that time, however, the trend has shifted towards relaxation. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, and by 2009, twelve more states had followed its lead. Fast forward to 2017, and 29 states have gone green for medical cannabis, as well as the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. West Virginia is the latest state to join the revolution, with the remaining 21 still to follow.

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Will medical cannabis be made legal in all 50 states?

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though. 1996 to 2017 is 21 years, which is a long time to cover just over half the country. Judging by those statistics, we can estimate that all 50 states will be MMJ legal by 2038, which seems a crazy amount of time to wait for what is tried and tested medical care. Also, while California pioneered the medicine with little resistance, and had some of the most liberal MMJ law in the country, the same rules don’t apply in every state.

A surprising battle was fought in the traditionally liberal stronghold of New York, for instance. The Governor there, Andrew Cuomo, has long held a conservative stance on medical cannabis, and was hesitant to bring in a blanket MMJ law such as California’s without curtailing it with some limiting caveats. The debate took up most of 2014, and although the MMJ law eventually passed, it was not without some seriously restrictive measures. One of the biggest issues is that New York does not allow patients to smoke medical marijuana, which is proven to be the most effective method of administering the medicine. There is also a heavy restriction on the amount of dispensaries that can sell MMJ, which limits the amount of patients that can be served at any one time.

Upon its legalization, there were also very few qualifying conditions in the New York bill. Qualifying conditions are important, because the more specific they are, the more doctors are limited (by law) in who they can administer the medicine to. At the advent of the bill in NY, only severe conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and ALS were approved to be treated by MMJ. This is problematic because one of the conditions that most benefits from the drug is ‘chronic pain’, which can occur separate from any named disease. This also lets doctors be much freer about who they can prescribe too. After much campaigning, ‘chronic pain’ was added to the list of New York MMJ qualifying conditions, but the MMJ cause in the East Coast state is still on very thin ice, with some maintaining that it has been designed to fail from the start.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

MMJ laws differ significantly from state to state.

New York is just one example of a state where MMJ law has had (and continues to have) birthing problems. Unfortunately, not every state agrees with the core tenets of MMJ practice, and so there are wildly varying caveats to each state’s bill. The federal government can’t  make one definitive ruling on MMJ law, so until then, we’re stuck with going on a state-by-state basis, with all the red tape and bureaucratic back-and-forth that entails.

Another debilitating factor is that many of the hardline conservative states such as Alabama are proving to be a very tough sell indeed when it comes to MMJ. ‘Legalizing drugs’ in even the vaguest sense (even if it benefited sick people) would seemingly represent a major corruption of values. Though marijuana possession has been gradually decriminalized in Alabama, those in the know suggest that it will likely be one of the last states to make medical cannabis legal. Ultimately, it’s a matter of time and waiting, however frustrating that may be. The MMJ revolution will eventually spread to all 50 states of the U.S.A.; but how long it takes to do that is currently anyone’s guess.

6 Ways To Avoid Laziness and Lack of Productivity When Using MMJ

An unfortunate side effect of some strains of medical marijuana is laziness and a lack of productivity. These effects hit some cannabis card users more than others. While some people swear that they are far more productive whilst under the influence of medical cannabis, for many other people marijuana-induced ‘couch lock’ and inaction can be a real problem.

Most marijuana card users need their medicine regularly (many are daily users) and so in order for them to move forward in their lives and achieve what they want to achieve, it is crucial for them to discover ways to avoid laziness and a lack of productivity. MMJ patients need to be sure they can enjoy the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana while staying on top of their lives and being energetic, vibrant, and self-actualizing.

So with that in mind, here is our list of six ways you can avoid laziness and lack of productivity when using MMJ.

Clarify Your Goals Making clear and compelling goals is a crucial step towards ensuring that you stay productive. Humans need to be inspired to be focused and industrious. If you are not excited about your projects and life direction, it is all too tempting to be slovenly and laze on the couch wasting time. To avoid this, make a list of your goals and ask yourself why you want to achieve them. Make your “why”s compelling and exciting. Get thrilled about what you could achieve if you put your mind to it. Create vivid pictures in your mind of how good it will feel when you achieve your desires and hit your targets. And when you are tempted to stay on the couch and watch “just one more” episode of the Netflix series du jour (even though you have work to do), remind yourself of why you need to work… and inspire yourself to get to it!

Set Yourself Rules It is important to have clear rules about when, what, and how much you smoke. For example, if you are more productive without MMJ in your system (and your medical condition allows you to get away with having weed-free periods), then schedule the bulk of your productive work for before you smoke. Set yourself the rule that you must get all of your work done before, say, 5pm, and that you cannot smoke until 5.01pm. Make rules that work for you and allow you to avoid laziness and stay productive. Stick to them. Hold yourself accountable. Regularly breaking your rules will be stressful and guilt-provoking… And it should be! Discipline equals freedom!

MMJ - getting work done

It’s easy to stay productive while using MMJ if you set yourself a few simple rules.

Make Daily Schedules A great way to make sure that you stay on-track in life and get everything important that you need to do done, is to make intelligent daily schedules. Trying to balance the list of all of your important daily tasks in your memory is stressful. Instead, make a list, stick it to the wall, and then it’s “set and forget”! Having a formalized and clearly visible list of the important daily tasks that make your life better is reassuring and majorly stress-reducing. Ticking tasks off your smart daily schedule once they are done is very satisfying. And the first hit of MMJ after you’ve completed your entire daily schedule is the sweetest hit imaginable!

Choose MMJ Strains That Increase Energy and Motivation A very practical way to avoid laziness and lack of productivity (especially if you need to use MMJ while you work) is to choose strains that energize you. Typically, this will be relatively high-THC and low-CBD strains. A strain such as Lemon Power Haze, which has high THC and very little CBD, will tend to motivate, energize, and provoke high levels of productivity.

Kill Perfectionism A mindset that tends to lead to inactivity and a huge lack of productivity is the dreaded “perfectionist” mindset. Seeing as absolute perfection does not exist in the known universe and is merely a mental abstraction (everything can be improved in some way if you look hard enough!), people who demand perfection of themselves are burdening themselves with a debilitating and discouraging demand that they do the impossible. Instead of being a perfectionist, try to adopt the mindset that “good enough is good enough” and remind yourself again and again (and again if needs be!) that perfectionism is the sworn enemy of productivity, and one of the most lethal dream-killers in the known universe!

 

MMJ - man working out

Staying fit and healthy goes hand-in-hand with staying active and productive.

Stay Physically Healthy Finally, in order to be productive and energetic, it is crucial to maintain good energy levels and health. Do this by getting regular physical exercise, eating healthy food (even when you have the munchies!), and sleeping well.

Adopting some or all of these strategies should make sure that you avoid laziness and lack of productivity when using MMJ. Now, up and at ’em, you industrious busy bees!

6 Best Strains of Medical Marijuana For Inducing Sleep

Before we get into the best strains of medial marijuana for inducing sleep, let’s talk about insomnia.

Insomnia is a frustrating and debilitating condition that impacts the lives of 60 million Americans. Not being able to sleep, despite being tired, drained, and having little energy, is very unpleasant and can lead to all sorts of negative physical and psychological effects.

For most of us, the harder we try to fall asleep, the more difficult it is to do so. If you suffer from insomnia it can be damn near impossible to drift off, no matter how many sheep you count!

Conventional sleeping pills are one solution, but they can have unpleasant physical and mental side effects. They can also be addictive and many people develop crippling dependencies that are extremely difficult to escape.

Another cure for insomnia is medical cannabis, and now that cannabis cards are legal in 29 states, more and more people who find it difficult to get some shut-eye are using particular MMJ strains for sleep benefits.

It seems that medical cannabis really is a bit of a magic bullet when it comes to treating insomnia.

MMJ - medical cannabis plant

Did you know you can use medical marijuana for inducing sleep?

But not all strains of medical cannabis are created equally when it comes to blasting people off into dreamland. Indicas, with their less heady and more heavy, relaxing body-high, are usually best for inducing slumber. Most sativas, on the other hand, tend to have a more energizing, heady effect that may in fact keep you awake.

But not all indicas are equally insomnia-crushing either – some strains will knock you out more assuredly than others. So here is our list of the six best strains of medical marijuana for inducing sleep.

Big Bud is a very strong indica plant with (yes, you’ve guessed it!) big buds. These big buds contain a super-dose of potent CBD that will make your eyelids feel heavier than boulders in no time. Big Bud will essentially knock you out within a few minutes. With this CBD-heavy beast circulating in your bloodstream, sleep is guaranteed. It is advisable to put your pajamas on and brush your teeth before you hit Big Bud, because you might not manage to do so afterwards.

Pound Hammer is an indica that is renowned for its mind-quieting and anxiety-reducing properties. For people who struggle with a head full of frantic thoughts and incessant self-chatter, Pound Hammer is a great choice of medical marijuana for inducing sleep. It gradually turns the volume down to zero on your self-talk and your worries, replacing them with a silent, dreamy, relaxed calm. Once you have a few hits of Pound Hammer there’s no turning back – it is well and truly time to say (or slur) “goodnight.”

MMJ - man sleeping

Try one of these strains for some quality shut-eye.

Afghan Kush is a famous old indica strain that incites a heavy, drowsy, body-focused high. It is brilliant for getting rid of pain and quieting anxious thoughts. A few hits of Afghan Kush will give you a strong desire to eat anything you can get your hands on, but an even stronger desire to sleep. So don’t smoke unless you are ready to fall asleep pretty darn soon, and quite possibly wake up 10 hours later covered in chips and chocolate wondering, “What the hell just happened?”

Blue Mystic is one of the less potent “insomnia-blasters” on the list. It will not necessarily knock you into a coma in the same way that Big Bud or Afghan Kush will, but it will give you a delightful body-high and a warm, tingling feeling of relaxation. The chilled-out body-high and feelings of wellbeing that Blue Mystic induce will gently nudge you into a zone in which you can chill out and watch some TV, but you could also kick your shoes off, lie back, and drift off into a warm, fuzzy snooze. Blue Mystic is ideal for people who have mild insomnia or just like a little hit of something light to help them unwind, and maybe nap in front of the TV.

Bubba Kush is a hybrid of Bubble Gum and Kush. It has a relatively low THC content of 16%. Bubba Kush gives a strong, CBD-induced body-high. It is very relaxing and almost numbing. A few hits of Bubba Kush and you will have a blissfully clear mind (almost as if you’ve just been on a month-long meditation retreat!). With Bubba Kush massaging your neurons, the world moves in slow motion and sleep becomes impossible to resist. A gallon of strong coffee couldn’t keep you awake after a few tokes of Bubba Kush.

Critical Mass is an indica-dominant strain that is a heavy sleep-inducer. It has a mellow, earthy, citrus flavor and strong, strong sedative qualities. When the Sandman gets even a faint whiff of Critical Mass in the air, he drops whatever he’s doing and immediately follows his nose straight to the source, where he gently puts his index finger on your forehead and whispers “Sleep.” Just a few hits of Critical Mass and you will be ready to pass out wherever you happen to be sitting… Preferably in the comfort of your own home!

Are New York’s Medical Marijuana Laws Going to Relax Any Time Soon?

New York State’s new medical marijuana program, which came into effect on the 6th January 2017, has been criticized by a lot of people for being one of the most restrictive, limited, and non-user-friendly medical cannabis programs in the entire country. And these criticisms are certainly not unfounded. The New York medical marijuana card program is extremely limited in its current form.

There is an abundance of very strict and highly limiting rules and regulations wrapped tightly around the New York medical card program, and as a result of this, many physicians, providers, and patients feel severely hamstrung and unable to get optimal value from the program.

Currently only a limited list (much more limited than in other parts of the country) of ailments and conditions qualify a person to be treated with medical marijuana. Initially, only cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy Huntington’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and neuropathy qualified a person to be prescribed MMJ. More recently, on 22nd March 2017, chronic pain was added to the list. It was hoped that rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, and dystonia would qualify a person, but the Department of Health has refused at this time to designate these conditions a suitable to qualify a person for a New York medical cannabis card.

The laws are currently very strict regarding dispensaries. There are very few dispensaries in the state in which to use a New York marijuana card. The new program only allows 20 dispensaries in total to operate in the entire state. This situation makes life quite difficult for many MMJ patients.

The New York medical marijuana program is strict and not at all user-friendly.

The only dispensary on Manhattan, located near the 3rd Avenue subway station, is far from the welcoming, educational mecca to medical marijuana that many of the dispensaries in other, more MMJ-friendly states are. It is a tightly controlled building with unmanned security gates (almost prison-like) that patients get buzzed through. It is clean and efficient but it has no interesting edibles or innovative new strains of smokable herb to explore – a Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of delightful medical cannabis treats it most certainly is NOT! There is zero edible or smokable MMJ for sale. Only tinctures and oils that can be taken from an inhaler or vaporizer are allowed in New York State, and the prices are higher than in most other states in the country. Insurance companies in the state do not cover a patient for medical marijuana use.

The certificate provided to a patient by a doctor recommending MMJ use must have stated upon it the type of MMJ they should use, the method of administration and the amount – this prevents a patient from experimenting with different types of medical cannabis and different methods of ingestion, which is very limiting.

New York residents are hoping the list of MMJ qualifying ailments will grow in the future.

Home cultivation is still strictly prohibited by the New York State program.

So for these reasons the medical marijuana program in New York State is currently very tight and restrictive. But there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. There seems to be a very slow but gradual creep towards opening up taking place. A more relaxed and inclusive regime may not be too far away.

One gets the impression that, even though change and movement is slow, the vast majority of changes that occur over the coming years will result in more relaxed laws.

Despite the fact that the list of qualifying conditions is currently very restricted, there is a definite cautious open-mindedness detectable from the scientists at the Department of Health that are responsible for investigating what ailments should qualify a patient for MMJ treatment. While they are currently of the opinion that a shorter list of conditions is treatable by MMJ than their compatriots in most other states, they have reassured the public adamantly that they are keeping up-to-date on all new research and are completely willing to change their minds as soon as compelling evidence presents itself. This bodes well for a future relaxation of the laws regarding qualifying medical conditions.

This willingness to change the specifics of the program was demonstrated in March 2017 when ‘chronic pain’ was added to the list of qualifying ailments, opening the door to many new potential patients.

And the progress continues. PTSD looks likely to become a qualifying condition in the near future. A bipartisan bill that will designate PTSD a ‘qualifying condition’ has already passed the Senate Health Committee and is currently awaiting approval by the Senate.

Another ailment that looks like it will imminently be designated a ‘qualifying condition’ is dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps). Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has introduced a bill to allow menstrual cramps to be treated with MMJ. She is confident that the bill will be passed. ‘We’re a progressive state. It did take 20 years to get medical marijuana to be the law, but we’re going to work hard to get it passed.’

It seems like her optimism is justified. The cannabis card New York program is currently tight and restrictive, but as Rosenthal says, New York is a traditionally progressive state, and its MMJ program, although currently restrictive, does seem to be moving towards a more relaxed and open place, slowly but surely.

Medical Marijuana Can Help Your Performance in Certain Sports

Athletes use all sorts of weird and wonderful methods to enhance their athletic performance. Extremely hot saunas, extremely frigid ice baths, unusual eating schedules, supplements and performance-enhancing drugs (both legal and illegal) are just a few of these methods. Can medical marijuana also be used in a way that will improve performance in certain sports? It seems so.

Cannabis is a banned substance according to the World Doping Agency. Still, rumors abound that certain big name athletes have used medical cannabis to improve their performance. Many sporting superstars have spoken out about using weed to calm their minds, heal their bodies and improve their game.

MMJ and Athletes

MMJ Recs - basketball spin finger

Although it’s considered a banned substance, MMJ has been hailed by some athletes as helping them do better in their sport.

Stephen Jackson, who played in the NBA from 2000-2015 with the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, has talked about occasionally using marijuana before and during NBA games.

“I just gotta be real, you know it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games, it’s been some games where I smoked before the game and was on the bench after three minutes sitting on the sideline, ‘Please calm down. This high has to calm down.’ I done shot three shots that went over the backboard, like, I’m going to be honest, like, ‘Ah, I gotta calm down.’”

Former Chicago Bulls point guard Jay Williams told Fox that he reckons 75-80% of NBA players use medical marijuana – with little concern for drug tests.

Arnold Schwarzenegger famously smoked weed in the cult bodybuilding movie ‘Pumping Iron’ after winning the Mr. Olympia title. Was this merely a celebratory joint, or was he using MMJ for its recovery inducing properties?

UFC fighter Nick Diaz was banned for 18 months when he tested positive for marijuana use. He said, “If I’m at home and I’m training, doing my same things every day, then I’m definitely going to want to use cannabis. It’s gonna help.”

MMJ Recs - Jiu Jitsu

Some athletes who practice jiu jitsu, like Joe Rogan,  have admitted that smoking medical marijuana before a match increases their game.

Famous podcaster, UFC commentator and ace Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Joe Rogan has, on numerous occasions, said he smokes before he plays BJJ and it improves his game considerably.

Professional ultramarathon runner Avery Collins has said he often uses medical marijuana during his ultramarathons (however, not during official events). Speaking to the Wall Street Journal he said, “If you can find the right level, [medical cannabis] takes the stress out of running,” “And it’s a post-race, post-run remedy.”

So plenty of big name athletes swear by medical weed’s effectiveness. But why might it be a good reason to improve sports performance?

Medical Marijuana and Sports Performance Benefits

One benefit of having a medical cannabis card is that MMJ can increase mental focus. This can mean an athlete is less prone to distraction and more acutely focused on the task at hand – playing their sport to the best of their ability. Marijuana can get rid of irrelevant thoughts and mental white noise.

Using your California medical marijuana card induces feelings of relaxation. This can be beneficial when an athlete is performing, as it can get rid of stiffness and stifledness brought on by mental or physical tension. It can also help after a performance when an athlete needs to relax as thoroughly as possible in order to recuperate.

CBD-heavy indica strains of medical cannabis can be useful sleep-aids. This can be hugely helpful for an athlete both in the run up to a performance, where getting adequate rest is crucial, and after a performance, when sleep is needed to allow the body to heal and recuperate.

California medical marijuana card use can reduce anxiety, and this can be invaluable to an athlete who is prone to getting nervous before a performance. Anxiety can be a big hinderance to an athlete and if medical cannabis can alleviate this anxiety, an athlete is freed up to perform at their very best.

Medical marijuana use is known to loosen tight muscles, which is very helpful for athletes, particularly after a hard game, race or fight when muscles have been used to the max and need to loosen, rest and heal.

The fact that cannabis increases appetite is very valuable to athletes who need to put on a lot of muscle. Bodybuilders and fighters in particular go through periods when eating a lot of calories is crucial – medical herb can help with this.

MMJ and Sports Performance Downside

There are also a few downsides for athletes using MMJ, such as it can increase heart rate, which can lead to him or her becoming fatigued more quickly that they would otherwise.

California marijuana card use can lead to impaired memory. This can lead to soccer players forgetting what direction they are supposed to be shooting, and even boxers entering the ring with no shorts on!

Medical cannabis cards can lower reaction time, which is obviously not ideal if you are involved in a fast sport such as tennis, basketball or skiing.

Smoking cannabis can damage lung capacity, which will decrease cardiovascular health.

So the jury is out, but there are certainly some positive signs that MMJ can really help with athletic performance. If you are a professional athlete, beware that cannabis is a banned substance, but if you are an amateur, then maybe give it a try and see for yourself how your performance is affected.

The Pros and Cons of Consuming MMJ

Like most things in life, medical cannabis use comes with some pros and some cons. As the old saying goes: “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” and this is certainly the case when it comes to medical marijuana use.

Many of the pros are so life-enhancing that, for many people, they make the cons easily handleable and well worth it.

If you are going to use a California medical marijuana card it is best to know exactly what you are getting yourself in for – the good, the bad and the ugly! So here is a list of some of the most common pros and cons associated with medical cannabis use.

The Pros of Medical Marijuana Use

It is now proven beyond any reasonable doubt that medical marijuana provides effective pain relief. It’s pain-relieving effects are on a par with (and often better than) the leading prescription painkiller pills on the market today. But cannabis card use comes without many of the unpleasant side-effects that pills have, such as addiction and loss of libido.

California weed card use causes an increased appetite. This is very helpful for patients who, due to the specifics of their illness or their mental state, find that they have little or no appetite, and so struggle to get the requisite nutrients and calories into their bodies.

The cancer-fighting properties of medical herb are now becoming more and more apparent. Research is now suggesting that cannabinoids can help to inhibit and (even completely stop) tumor growth. While chemotherapy tends to kill healthy cells as well as cancerous cells, cannabinoids appear to attack cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Many PTSD sufferers report considerable reduction of their symptoms when they use a California medical card, and there is solid evidence to back up these anecdotal reports. A study at the University of Haifa showed that rats who were exposed to trauma and then given cannabinoids did not develop PTSD, while rats that were exposed to trauma but received no cannabinoids did develop PTSD (poor rats).

Dr. George R. Greer MD in Santa Fe, New Mexico says that according to his research, PTSD patients report, on average, a reduction of 75% in their symptoms when they use MMJ.

Medical cannabis, in its raw form, is mega dense in nutrients. As a dark and leafy green plant it is rich in iron, calcium and fiber. The cannabinoids and fatty acids found in the cannabis plant reduce inflammation, improve cellular function and reduce damage from free-radicals. Juicing medical marijuana is very healthy.

Many patients report a marked reduction of anxiety symptoms when they are under the influence of medical cannabis. The CBD has a strong calming effect on the body, relaxing any tensions that may be present. The THC can induce feelings of calmness, well-being and even euphoria – and it’s difficult to be calm, euphoric and anxious all at once!

There is solid scientific and anecdotal evidence that MMJ calms muscle spasms. This makes life a great deal easier for people who suffer from seizures, various symptoms of multiple sclerosis, physical injuries and cramps.

MMJ Recs - eye close up

MMJ has been found to help those patients with glaucoma feel less pressure in their eyes.

MMJ eases the pain of glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged by a buildup of intraocular pressure. The THC found in medical cannabis has been proven to reduce intraocular pressure by approximately 30% for up to four hours.

For people who suffer from insomnia, a good, strong CBD-heavy medical cannabis can promote sleep and win them some much-needed rest, recuperation and rejuvenation.

The Cons of MMJ Use

Much anecdotal evidence points to medical marijuana-use promoting laziness and a lack of productivity. Regular cannabis-use can make a person so relaxed and listless that they have little motivation to do anything apart from laze on the sofa watching TV and eating candy.

Despite the fact that CBD-heavy strains of marijuana often cause a patient to fall to sleep, it is often a poor quality sleep. Many heavy cannabis user report waking up feeling tired, drowsy, foggy and heavy-eyed, almost as if they are experiencing an alcohol-induced hangover.

As we mentioned earlier, California marijuana card use is good for stimulating appetite. However, the other side of this coin is that excessive weight gain and even obesity are a risk with heavy weed use, and specifically the longing for food that can come with it.

MMJ Recs - man eating cookie

Using medical marijuana can cause people to eat more and gain weight.

Heavy MMJ use can bring on feelings of sadness and depression. This may be linked to a general existential angst brought on by guilt and worry about being lazy and unproductive (due to MMJ use), and/or to a consistent lack of high-quality sleep, or it could be to do with chemical imbalances in the brain brought on by too much exposure to the psychoactive THC in MMJ. Either way, weed seems to cause depression in some people.

Chronic medical marijuana use has been reported by many people to increase general anxiety levels. As we mentioned earlier, many forms of acute anxiety can be reduced and eased in the moment with MMJ use. However, over the long-term, general anxiety levels can often be raised by (relatively heavy) cannabis use.

So, now you know the main pros and cons and you can make your own educated decision. Good luck!

How to Grow Medical Marijuana in California

More and more California MMJ card carriers are cultivating their own plants at home, and it’s easy to see why. Though most cannabis card holders are likely to get their main supply from their local dispensary, it’s a useful – and fun – way to make sure you’re never caught without the wonder plant.

Before you consider home cultivation, it’s prudent that you get an MMJ card. This card will allow you to legally access medical marijuana – and it’s seeds – to treat your ailment with. The process of getting your MMJ card is quick and easy and can be done online from the comfort of your own home. While some people may question this ease of access, it can make a life changing difference to someone who has an ailment that leaves them housebound.

Getting Your MMJ Card

When applying for your California medical marijuana license you’ll first be asked to fill out a short, simple questionnaire on your ailment and how it affects your life. When you complete this questionnaire you’ll start your ‘virtual doctor’s visit’ via our HIPAA telemedicine platform. This ‘visit’ is an online consultation with a state licensed physician. Your appointed doctor will give you a full medical evaluation, where you’ll be asked a few non-invasive questions about your medical history and your ailments. This consultation should take you no longer than 20 minutes.

If the doctor thinks your suitable for a medical marijuana card, they’ll tell you there and then and you’ll be emailed your MMJ card recommendation straight away. When you receive this, it can be printed off immediately and brought to an MMJ dispensary for use. Your physical embossed copy of the recommendation will arrive in a few short days.

Know the Medical Marijuana Laws

MMJ Recs - trough in soil

If you’re going to grow MMJ in California, make sure you know the rules and limitations of Proposition 64.

It’s important that if you intend to grow medical marijuana, that you’re au fait with the laws surrounding cannabis cultivation with an MMJ card. Proposition 64, which came into effect on January 1 of this year, made home cultivation legal – within certain limits. Under this law, California medical marijuana card carriers may possess up to one ounce of the plant and can grow six mature, or twelve immature plants of their own at home. These laws apply to everyone aged 21 and over.

As home grow laws are still in their infancy, they’re not too fraught with taxes and restrictions yet, but as the medical marijuana program evolves, this may change. Make sure to check with your local authority before you get your hands dirty to ensure you’re growing within the limits of the law.

Roadblocks to Growing MMJ

Unfortunately, even with the promotion of home cultivation as a supply solution for MMJ card carriers across California, there are still some roadblocks to accessing equipment or information. As marijuana possession is illegal at a federal level, online retailers are reluctant to sell MMJ growing equipment for fear of legal repercussions.

Similarly, garden centers and nurseries have in some cases been withholding on information on how best to grow the plant, regardless of whether the customer has a medical marijuana card or not. As attitudes and laws surrounding MMJ further relax, this problem should become near obsolete.

Best Practices for Growing Medical Marijuana in California

MMJ Recs - Glove on wooden post

If you’re going to grow MMJ to help with your ailment or condition, know the best practices so you can get the best results.

Like with any other plant, it’s important to know the growing habits of MMJ before you plant your first seeds. Unusually, medical marijuana can exhibit periods of bloom in total darkness, but it’s best to give it plenty of light, water and fertilizer.

Medical marijuana responds very well to fertilizer, especially during the vegetative period of growth. During this period, use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to stimulate rapid growth. When the plant flowers, use a fertilizer that’s high in phosphate and potassium to encourage the growth of large, lush buds. Unlike other plants, MMJ’s response to fertilizer is so strong that the more you give it, the bigger and lusher it will grow.

Following the flowering stage of the medical marijuana life cycle, it will sadly die, and the whole growing process should begin again.

Depending on where you live in California, there are different rules and regulations about where you can grow MMJ. These rules are decided by your local authority, so it’s important to get in touch with them before you plant your seeds.

Though outdoor cultivation is easier and less expensive, a lot of local authorities limit growing to indoors. Unfortunately there has been no confirmation as to why that is, but it’s assumed that it’s because some neighbors don’t like the sight – or smell – of the plant.

If your local authority allows it, grow your medical marijuana outside. If your plants are exposed to the sun all day long, and the dark all night long, they should experience rapid growth and start to bloom big, beautiful flowers in no time. To get the same effect through indoor growing, you’ll have to invest in a indoor grow light.

Take your time to choose what MMJ strain you want to grow. It’s best to cultivate a strain that will effectively treat the ailment outlined on your cannabis card. If you’re not sure of what strain will work best to treat your illness, check out our guide here.

Although home growing is now legal in California for medical marijuana card carriers, it’s still inexplicably illegal at a federal level in the United States. Thankfully, the federal government adopts a laissez faire attitude on this topic, so it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get in trouble with the feds for doing a little home cultivation.

If you feel like your green fingers are up for a gardening challenge, apply for your California MMJ card today and get digging!

When MMJ Can Work Better Than Traditional Medication

If you have a debilitating illness that affects your life on a daily basis, you’re probably going to try anything (like MMJ) that might help alleviate the symptoms. Conventional medicine generally follows the line of prescribing traditional medication. There are obvious reasons for this.

First, medics are trained in and knowledgeable about which medication helps with which ailment. They might not wish to deviate from the conventional path of offering tried and tested drugs to treat the long, and ever-growing, list of crippling diseases and illnesses. They might be afraid to ‘think outside the box’.

Another, more skeptical, reason is the drug companies and the amount of money that they generate. Who wants to be the one to rock that particular boat? So, let’s look at how owning a California medical marijuana card could be a better route for you to venture down.

Medical Marijuana Research and Support

MMJ Recs - Marijuana saying on plant

Many researchers and medical professionals support the use of MMJ for qualifying conditions and ailments.

It’s a fact that every drug has a side-effect. In some cases these side-effects are minimal and rare, but in other cases they can be pretty devastating and almost as horrible to deal with as the illness they’re designed to treat.

If you could avoid this, that would be a good thing right? If you’re currently on medication for chronic pain for example, the chances are you’re definitely suffering from some nasty side-effects. MMJ is far less harmful and also a less addictive way to treat persistent and chronic pain. A clinical trial was conducted in 2010 that found that just three puffs of cannabis a day can help reduce extreme pain.

Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly more accepted by the medical profession and by the general public, too. CBS News conducted a national poll in 2014 which found that 86% of Americans were in favor of doctors being allowed to prescribe cannabis for serious, debilitating illnesses. That’s a lot of people backing an alternative to traditional drugs.

It’s widely believed that medical marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce swelling and can help with pain management. It’s not just the numbing effect that smoking or consuming cannabis gives you – it can actually help relieve your symptoms.

Dr Allan Frankel, one of the world’s leading authorities on dosed cannabis medicine, has been looking into the beneficial effects of medical marijuana since the 70’s. He is now convinced that it can play an important part in modern medicine. He thinks that many people are still against it because they’ve been indoctrinated to view cannabis as a dangerous and addictive drug. He thinks prescription drugs have a far greater potential for sparking addiction.

Dr Frankel stated, “In the US in 2010, there were four times more deaths among women from prescription painkiller overdose than for cocaine and heroin deaths combined.” This should make us very wary of prescription drugs and more willing to consider the alternatives.

Benefits of MMJ

If you’re in possession of a cannabis card then you have access to a lot of medical help and advice for your illness. You will be able to speak to doctors in confidence about your MMJ use and dosage. This can be done online or in person. These specialists will advise you about the best strain or strains for treating your condition and the amount you should take.

You’ll also have access to licensed dispensaries and specialized and protected medical marijuana sites. So you’ll be able to inform yourself on all the pros and cons of medicinal cannabis – something that’s not always so transparent with traditional medicine.

MMJ Recs - Prescription Dugs

Traditional medication, like pills, takes longer to go into effect than if you were to consume medical marijuana.

Another plus about MMJ is that – if you choose to smoke it – it gets into your system straight away and therefore, starts working immediately. Traditional medication, of course, takes longer to have an effect. Also, providing you get the right strain and the correct dosage, you won’t suffer any of those nasty medication side-effects with medical marijuana. You just get a general good feeling and a realization that your symptoms aren’t hitting you quite so badly.

Taking the correct dosage is important though; if you take too much it can cause paranoia and/or nausea, so be sure to get advice on this. If you prefer to ingest your medical marijuana, by experimenting you can determine how long it takes to start working and you can then decide the best time to consume it on a daily basis.

If you suffer from any of the 50 or more conditions that would qualify you for a cannabis card, it’s certainly worth looking into. You have nothing to lose by giving it a try, and plenty to gain. The best way to start is to apply for your medical marijuana card online.

The medical card evaluation is a simple, quick and private process. It will include a brief discussion with a specialist over the phone or via Skype, during which you’ll be able to ask any questions you like about usage, dosage, any side-effects and MMJ versus traditional medication.

Once approved, your California medical card will be mailed to you in a matter of days. You’ll then be at liberty to grow your own plants and/or to buy your recommended strain and dosage from recognized suppliers. Remember to always seek medical advice if you decide to come off any long-term prescribed medication.

Will California Always Be the Biggest MMJ State?

California is a trendsetter in many ways. It’s a center for entertainment and culture in the US, it’s full of the latest advances in technology and it has a massive start-up culture. Its weather is fantastic, the agricultural landscape is active and thriving and there exists the most liberal and exciting medical marijuana laws in the country.

California was the first state in the US to legislate for medical marijuana. Patients had been using marijuana for medical reasons illegally for a long time, and anecdotal evidence suggested that it provided excellent results for people suffering from a wide variety of different conditions.

History of Medical Marijuana Laws in California

MMJ Recs - holding small weed bud

Many medical marijuana professionals in California supported Proposition 215 because they had seen good results for patients with conditions like cancer, HIV and AIDS.

Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed by 55.6% in 1996, which allowed for the use of marijuana for medical reasons for numerous conditions. The Yes campaign was spearheaded by marijuana activists from San Francisco who had noticed that marijuana had helped many suffering from HIV/AIDS in the gay community.

As well as anecdotal evidence from users of medical marijuana, many medical professionals also publicly supported Proposition 215, stating that they had also seen good results for patients suffering from conditions like cancer, which was far less stigmatized than HIV/AIDS at the time.

After the passing of Proposition 215, California was the first state to have legislated for medical marijuana. This presented problems at a federal level, as marijuana was and still is, considered a controlled and illegal substance. California held strong on its right to legislate for treatment for its citizens and the program has run successfully since 1996, inspiring other states to bring in legislation for medical marijuana.

However, there have been some DEA raids on dispensaries and farms in California, and the Supreme Court has ruled twice that federal law can overrule state law in some instances.

Despite some opposition from federal sources, patients have been happily accessing medical marijuana in California since 1996, and it is clearly the capital of medical marijuana usage in the United States.

Accessing MMJ in California

MMJ Recs - Golden Gate Bridge sunset view

Accessing MMJ in California is much easier than in other states because there are many more medical cannabis dispensaries and open laws.

As well as its early adoption, it is also very easy to access MMJ in California. The first step is to organize a visit with a medical professional who can assert your need for medical marijuana. This does not have to be in person and you can actually do a consultation online. The medical professional will ask you about your condition and suggest ways to treat it with medical marijuana.

If you are deemed a suitable candidate, you will be sent a stamped, dated and signed letter, which you will be able to bring to any dispensary to avail of any form or strain of medical marijuana that you think will be able to help you.

Upon visiting your local dispensary, you will be able to speak to the people working there, who will be able to help point you in the right direction for the best treatments for you. There are many different forms of medical marijuana, as well as different strains. Strains contain varying levels of THC and PCP, which offer different types of relief – depending on your condition.

MMJ Recs - hemp plant growing

Choosing the right medical marijuana strain will offer different types of relief and effects, depending on your condition.

You can choose to buy joints to smoke, edibles like candies or baked goods, lotions and salves to rub into your skin, tinctures, vape liquids… amongst many other forms of MMJ. The only limit is your imagination!

Medical Marijuana Conditions in California

California is also notable with its liberal medical marijuana laws for not placing limits on the conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. In other states, such as New York, there is  a strictly regulated list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana, but this does not exist in California, which is great for citizens of the state.

Evidence suggests that there are a variety of conditions, both physical and mental, that can be successfully treated with medical marijuana. These include epilepsy, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease – amongst many others.

For many patients, the fear of being rejected for medical marijuana treatment can be a big deterrent for seeking treatment, as well as the stigma of using marijuana for medical reasons. Due to the proliferation of medical marijuana in California, as well as its place in the state for over twenty years, these issues do not seem to affect patients in the Golden State.

MMJ Recs - beautiful beach view at sunrise

California continues to not only be a beautiful state to live in, but also the top state for medical marijuana use.

California is rightly lauded as a mecca for patients who need medical marijuana and has served as an inspiration for many states that have followed in its steps. Many patients have actually relocated to California for the sole reason of seeking treatment that they cannot access in more conservative states.

Californians are lucky to be able to access this treatment that should be available to all citizens, but the battle continues on at other state levels and federal levels to provide medical marijuana to all residents of the United States.

6 Ways to Avoid Putting on Weight When Using Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has many benefits. Amongst them: pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep promotion and appetite stimulation. But as is so often the case, too much of something good can become something bad.

Medical cannabis can be so effective at appetite stimulation that a patient can quite easily end up eating too much and gaining weight.

Eating and drinking can be extremely arousing and enjoyable to a person who is under the influence of MMJ – flavors are enhanced, textures are more pronounced and the sensation of fullness often seems to go AWOL. All of these factors make overeating a very easy trap for medical cannabis card users to fall into.

Luckily, you do not need to be a slave to this overeating tendency. You are not helplessly destined to become fat due to California medical marijuana card use. It is not written in stone that you must get rounder, softer and heavier as the years of medical marijuana use tick by. You can put lifestyle structures and habits in place that will make sure you stay on the right track, getting healthier, slimmer, fitter and stronger as time goes by.

Here is our list of 6 ways to keep the weight off and stay healthy while you use medical marijuana. Try a few of these out and you will be amazed at the positive results you get!

Lifting heavy weights is an excellent way to build discipline and keep off weight when using medical marijuana.

Lift Heavy Weights

Heavy lifting will burn fat and build muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat you may actually get heavier from weight-lifting. However, you will be heavier because you have more muscle on your body. This fundamental change in body composition (more muscle, less fat) will increase your health levels across the board – from cardiovascular fitness to structural integrity to bone strength.

Weight-lifting burns calories, so consistent weight training will lead to fat loss (provided you are not consuming so many calories that the effects are offset – it can be easy to reward yourself after a tough weights session with an eating binge – don’t do this if you want to lose weight).

So, lift heavy weights in order to build bigger, stronger muscles and keep fat levels down while using your medical marijuana card in California.

Do Cardio/HIIT

Doing cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming is great for your overall health – especially lung capacity, heart health, psychological well-being (nothing gives you an endorphin blast quite like finishing a tough cardio session) and fat loss. A regular schedule of cardio sessions (especially if paired with some consistent weight training) will keep your fat levels low (again, provided you don’t undo all the good work with massive overeating).

Long sessions of moderate, consistent cardio (30 – 60 minutes) are effective, but if you are stuck for time short blasts of intensely effortful cardio (HIIT – high intensity interval training) are also very effective. Three 60 second blasts of top effort on a stationary bike or sprints, broken up with a minute or two of soft strolling, will be enormously beneficial, not very time consuming and will make sure that you stay slim while medicating with your California MMJ card.

Take Up a Sport or Physical Pastime

If you are the type of person that just can’t stand formal exercise or gym environments, you can still get good exercise in by taking up a sport such as volleyball, soccer, or a physical pastime such as yoga, dancing or hiking. Regular participation in a sport or physical pastime will mean you are working hard, using your body and keeping your weight levels down while using a California medical marijuana card.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. People have been using fasting as a way to control weight and increase general health since time immemorial, and now the science is catching up with the anecdotal evidence. A fasted period gives the body a chance to reset itself, often dipping into a state of ketosis (a beneficial state in which the body burns its fat stores for fuel because it’s run out of the carbohydrates you’ve been eating).

When you fast, after an initial spike in hunger, ghrelin (the hunger-inducing hormone) actually decreases, so not eating gets easier as time goes by. Fasting gives your body the chance to devour its own fat. Fasting also increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels.

One of the most popular fasting methods is 16/8, which means you fast for 16 hours and feed for 8 hours. Some people find it easier to fast in the morning (essentially skipping breakfast) and some find it easier to eat until early evening and then fast until breakfast. People report increased mental clarity during the fasted state, increases in exercise performance and decreased weight from fasting.

If your illness permits, give fasting a try; it may be a very valuable weapon in your battle against a bulging belly.

Cut Out Sugar and Simple Carbs

Unfortunately you can’t always have everything you want in life. Trade-offs always need to be made. Many of the most appealing and delicious foods and beverages are also the most fattening. Simple carbohydrates, of which sugar is the simplest, tend to be exceedingly fattening to most people. Sugar, in the form of cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, white bread, pasta and beer will put fat on your body.

There’s no way around it (unless perhaps a Michael Phelps-style training regime). For mere mortals (who are not Olympic athletes or genetic freaks) eating simple carbs will lead to weight gain, so to avoid putting on weight while using MMJ… lay off the sugar.

Being extra cautious and responsible while shopping for food is a wise way to make sure you don’t put on the pounds when using medical marijuana.

Shop for Groceries Wisely

Last but not least, shop wisely. Often when you are under the influence of cannabis your ability to be disciplined and “just say no” to fattening foods and drinks is severely compromised. To offset this don’t shop while high and also try not to have unhealthy foods in your house. This means that when you are at your least disciplined you will not be able to make the kinds of food choices that would make you fat.

You may regret not buying those Oreos when you are rummaging through your cupboards hungrily late at night and under the influence, but you will thank yourself in the morning!

Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in California: All You Need to Know

Although medical marijuana cards have been in use in California for what seems like forever, it can still be intimidating as a new MMJ card holder to step into a dispensary for the first time. Even the most confident cannabis card carriers can find themselves to be a little nervous at the prospect of their first dispensary trip.

So what exactly does a new MMJ card holder need to know before they take their first steps into this bright new world? Let us enlighten you!

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, so choose your dispensary wisely. The quality of dispensaries differ greatly with significant disparities on price, selection and quality – depending on what dispensary you go to.

Do your homework and check out what dispensaries are available before you make the journey. You can find a list of all of California’s medical marijuana dispensaries here.

Choose Your MMJ Dispensary Wisely

Dispensaries vary in function across California, with some choosing to focus on medical marijuana, some on recreational use and most focusing on a mixture of the two. Make sure to go to a medical marijuana dispensary or a hybrid dispensary, as staff in the recreational dispensary may not be trained to give you correct medical advice on suitable products.

If you elect to go to a hybrid medical recreational dispensary there will usually be two entrances: one labeled ‘medical entrance’ and the other labeled ‘recreational entrance’. Make sure that as a medical marijuana card holder you go through the medical entrance.

A Warm Welcome

When you get into the dispensary you’ll see a staff member seated behind a glass window in a waiting room. This is the person who you’ll show your medical marijuana card to. They’ll quickly appraise the card, make sure you’re the person who the MMJ card has been registered to, and then will grant you access to the main part of the dispensary where you’ll purchase your medical marijuana products.

Don’t forget to bring your MMJ card to the medical marijuana facility or you may just be window shopping!

It is absolutely imperative that you bring your California medical marijuana card with you when you visit the dispensary. Without your MMJ card, you will not be allowed access to the medical part of the dispensary and will not be allowed to purchase medical marijuana products.

While You Wait

Sometimes, you may be allowed immediate access to the main part of the dispensary, but know it is pretty common to have a short waiting period before you’re allowed in. This should last no more than 10-20 minutes. The purpose of this waiting time is to allow each patient ample time with the ‘budtender’, who will advise them on the best products to buy to treat their ailment.

While you wait, it’s a good idea to do a little research into exactly what you want to buy at the dispensary (if you haven’t already done this at home). Sure, browsing the entirety of the dispensary can be interesting but trust us, the dispensary’s budtender will seriously appreciate it if you’re au fait with the product selection before you arrive.

Nowadays, a lot of California dispensaries have online menus, so these are worth checking out in advance of your trip.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Each case in a California MMJ dispensary will be well labeled, but unless you’re clued in as to what strain you’re looking for, these labels will look like gibberish (we’re looking at you Golden Goat!). Know the difference between your indicas and your sativas before you get to the dispensary or know exactly what strain of MMJ you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what strain would be best to treat your ailment, check out our handy guide here.

The great thing about a medical marijuana dispensary is that it has well-trained staff who can help answer any questions or concerns.

Knowing what you want doesn’t mean just knowing what strains you want – you should also know through what method you want to consume. Are you looking for some tasty edibles? Some aromatic topicals? Or just a few vape cartridge refills? By knowing exactly what you’re looking for in advance of your visit, your dispensary experience will be as seamless as possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re after make sure to ask the budtender for their advice. These people are friendly trained professionals and it’s their job to make your dispensary experience as comfortable as possible. They’ll know what strains or products are best suited for your needs and will deliver their advice with a smile to put you at ease. At a dispensary there is no such thing as a stupid question so ask as many as you need to!

One Last Reminder

As well as remembering to bring your medical marijuana card with you for your trip to the dispensary, remember to bring cash with you, too. Though most dispensaries are starting to become more card-friendly, a lot of them are still strictly cash only establishments. Avoid the stress of being caught penniless by making sure you have enough cash to make your MMJ purchases that day.

Remember, every dispensary is different and it may take you a while to find the one that’s a good fit for you. Shop around your locality and choose your dispensary wisely, basing your decision on which one makes you the most comfortable.

Which Ailments Are Covered Under New York Medical Marijuana Laws?

If you’ve read anything about medical marijuana, it’s likely that you’re aware of the very forgiving laws in California and are open to trying different strains and methods to treat your illness or condition. From anxiety, depression, eating disorders and multiple sclerosis, to cancer and Parkinson’s disease, medical marijuana can help alleviate many symptoms of different illnesses or conditions.

However, not all states have the same laws and New York has a particularly strict medical marijuana program that only covers certain illnesses and ailments.

Cancer

MMJ Recs - Hospital Room with Beds

Although some think that using medical marijuana for cancer symptoms shouldn’t be allowed, many have found that MMJ has helped alleviate the pain associated with cancer.

Cancer can be defined as a condition that is typified by abnormal cell growth. It can occur at any site on the body and means that tumors form due to cells reproducing too quickly. As a result of these tumors, other symptoms can occur including pain, bleeding, coughing, visible lumps and blood in urine or stool, depending on the site of the cancer. It can be easily treated through surgery or chemotherapy or can be a terminal illness – depending on the cancer’s location and the time of diagnosis.

HIV/AIDS

HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system, destroying white blood cells and thus the body’s ability to fight illness. AIDS is the associated syndrome that occurs when HIV progresses into obvious illness. Symptoms of AIDS include pneumonia, Kaposi’s sarcoma  (a very rare form of skin cancer), sweating and diarrhea. HIV is transmitted through blood and sexual fluids and is most commonly passed on through sexual intercourse, sharing of contaminated needles for intravenous drug use and from mother to baby in utero.

ALS

MMJ Recs - Hospice Worker with Patient in Wheelchair

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a severely debilitating disease that causes people to lose all muscle function.

ALS is also known as motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and it affects neurones that control muscles in the body. It means that those affected by this condition slowly lose control of all muscle function and become unable to walk, speak, feed themselves or control bodily functions. It is a slow-killing disease and most sufferers die from losing the ability to breathe while sleeping.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that controls movement in the body. It is characterized by an unstable posture, muscle shaking and rigid limbs. It is slow-progressing and really impacts the lives of those affected, as it becomes impossible to take care of oneself without assistance due to incessant muscle shaking and posture limitations.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease that affects the coverings of nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It can present a variety of differing symptoms depending on the type of MS present, but symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, general pain, diarrhea and muscle spasms. While it is not typically defined as a terminal illness, it does have the potential to limit the life expectancy of those who are diagnosed with it.

Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity

Intractable spasticity is a muscle control disorder that is usually cause by trauma to the brain or spinal cord. It is most common in those who have suffered an accident such as a car collision, fall or abuse. It is defined by spasms, deformities and generalized muscle and bone pain.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterised by seizures. The severity and frequency of the seizures varies from person to person and is also dependent on the type of epilepsy diagnosed. It can be present from birth or can be brought on by brain injuries, brain tumors or strokes. Epilepsy diagnosed in childhood can sometimes disappear with the onset of puberty.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of autoimmune illnesses that involve the ulceration or inflammation of the bowel and lower intenstine. The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are often very painful and can limit the sufferer’s ability to live an independent life due to the need to be close to a toilet.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is nerve damage that an affect any part of the body. Its cause can be obvious or totally unknown and symptoms include tingling, numbness, tremors and extreme pain.

Chronic Pain as Defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)

The NYC MMJ bill defines chronic pain as “any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications, has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options; and where there is documented medical evidence of such pain having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset.”

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a genetically inherited illness that results in the destruction of brain cells. Symptoms usually begin in late thirties or early forties and include random muscle jerks, subtle changes in personality and random eye movements. Sufferers then degenerate further and sleep and muscle control are affected. Death most commonly occurs within twenty years of diagnosis from pneumonia, heart disease or suicide.

MMJ Recs - Close Up Cannabis Plant

Medical marijuana is helpful from a wide range of symptoms, from something serious, like cancer, to something more common, like nausea.

As well as one of the conditions above, you need to be suffering from one of the following associated symptoms or conditions as a result of your illness:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscles spasms 

Obviously, it is far more complex a process to get an MMJ card in New York than in other states. The best thing to do is to speak to your primary care physician if you suffer from one of the above conditions and to get their advice on if this is a good route of treatment for you to pursue.

Why an MMJ Card Will Probably Always Be Necessary in the US

Medical marijuana has a long and fascinating history in the United States of America. It was first legalized in California in 1996, and since then, 29 states across the country have embraced the legalization of it by residents owning an MMJ card. It’s been a tough road, but if the trend continues, more and more states across the country will vote the medicine though in due course; many of the twenty nine swinging to legalization in the last few years.

The process by which a patient can avail of medical marijuana differs in each state, but one thing that unites all medical marijuana procedure is the crucial MMJ card; you have to procure one if you want to avail of the medicine.

These MMJ cards can be obtained from a registered healthcare professional like your GP, or even online, from professional health outlets on the internet. It’s quite a straightforward process in most states to sign up for the MMJ card, and it doesn’t take too long to start using medical marijuana legally.

But interestingly, running parallel to the country-wide debate about MMJ legality is a debate about recreational marijuana legality. Indeed, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and California have all legalized recreational MJ as well as medical MJ; the question now becomes: If marijuana is legal, do patients have to bother with an MMJ card at all?

MMJ Laws and Medical Marijuana Cards

The good thing about an MMJ card is that it can be obtained from a registered healthcare professional and even online.

Like every controversial topic, the answer isn’t straightforward. In Colorado for example, the answer is no and yes. You aren’t required to have an MMJ card to buy marijuana in the state of Colorado; anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to purchase the drug for recreational use (which of course, can include medical by default) in doses of 1/4 ounces maximum.

However, without an MMJ card, you can only purchase marijuana from recreational stores and not the licensed dispensaries. So the onus is on you to ‘self-medicate’ as it were, and forgo the insight and advice that you might avail of at medical dispensaries.

California MMJ Laws

In California, the issue as it stands in mid-2017 is even more thorny. Cali legalized recreational marijuana last November 8th, on the same night that Donald Trump was voted President-elect. Some thought that they could throw their MMJ cards out of the window and immediately start availing of recreational marijuana, but things didn’t prove to be so simple.

Though the recreational bill passed, it’s going to take the guts of a year to set up, with the first marijuana being projected to be sold legally in early 2018. So until that time, it’s MMJ cards all the way; though when the law does kick in down in California, the same logic as Colorado applies. It’s much better to have an MMJ card and avail of the medical practicalities that one affords, rather than dish out recreational doses to yourself.

What Cannabis Cards Are Used For

An MMJ card is strictly for state-use only, and is exclusively available to those residing in the state in question. All you need is a qualifying condition as described by each state’s respective MMJ bill, proof of residence in the state, and a doctor who can sign your forms and validate you.

If you suffer from a serious condition, it is absolutely worth availing of an MMJ card, even if you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. This is one of the big reasons why an MMJ card will probably always be necessary in the U.S.; the fact that it’s used to treat such a large range of conditions – some which require large doses and some which require separate carers to procure or even home-grow medical marijuana for their patients.

MMJ Recs - Weed

Medical marijuana cards will always be useful for those with qualifying conditions like anxiety, cancer, glaucoma and so much more.

This spectrum of ailments goes all the way from the vague and mild of ‘chronic pain’ (or in California’s exceptionally lax case, ‘any condition for which marijuana provides relief’) to the specific and severe of Parkinson’s or cancer.

When you’re dealing with that amount of ailments, you should absolutely consult with a doctor before procuring any medicine and get licensed up with a legitimate MMJ card. That way you know you’re benefitting the most from the medicine, rather than self-medicating with recreational stock.

It’s also useful to know what form to take MMJ in; smoking, oil and edible forms can all be prescribed and covered under an MMJ card. Again, your personal doctor is the best person to advise you.

So ultimately, for the eight states and counting that have legalized recreational marijuana, the question is not really ‘Will an MMJ card always be necessary?’ but something more like, ‘Am I better off with an MMJ card?’ The answer is almost always yes.

So if you live in a legalized state and suffer from a condition that you suspect MMJ can help with, then talk to your doctor as soon as you can about registering for a legitimate and simple-to-procure medical marijuana card.

Is It Safe to Treat My Child with Medical Marijuana?

Ever since the dawn of the medical marijuana card, there has been rife debate over whether children should be allowed to be entered into the MMJ card scheme. The issue has long been a touchy subject, with arguments on both sides insistent that they’re morally right.

Not helping the pro-MMJ card for kids side is detrimental media portrayals of medical marijuana and those who benefit from it – especially parents. In many parts of America, marijuana is still viewed as a recreational drug whose only use is to get its users high. Unfortunately, this negative press means that the issue of children and medical marijuana is rarely explored rationally.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the vast majority of the MMJ card naysayers are people who don’t have very sick children themselves. Having been untouched by the tragedy of having a helplessly ill child, the ‘no’ debaters’ opinions on the topic often lack validity, clarity and worst of all, empathy.

Although many Americans believe allowing children to have medical marijuana cards is not right, desperate parents all over the country feel like they have nowhere else to turn after pharmaceuticals fail them time and time again. What can start as a desperate last hope for relief, can become a gentle, effective treatment plan that sees their little ones get their lives back.

The Effect Use of MMJ on Children

Medical marijuana is currently being used to treat a number of life limiting conditions in children like cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy and other neuromuscular diseases.

It’s not surprising that a majority of the MMJ card naysayers are those who have not tried everything else imaginable to help their sick child.

One thing that the kiddy MMJ card naysayers are right about is that like all other children, cannabis card carrying kids should not be smoking the plant. For this reason, most parents treat their children with medical marijuana tinctures. A tincture is an concentrated form of MMJ that is made by mixing the beneficial elements of the plant in an alcohol based solution.

Administering MMJ to your child via a tincture is really easy and can be done simply and discreetly whenever your child needs to consume. The tincture essentially looks like an eyedropper and you use it by dropping the solution directly into your child’s mouth, or into their food. If your child is picky about taste, you can opt instead to drop it onto their skin and rub it in.

A common argument for the banning of children having medical marijuana cards is the worry that by using MMJ, children are exposed to the psychoactive parts of the plant. But what if a non-psychoactive strain could be developed? Well that’s exactly what some American scientists have done.

Charlotte Figi’s Medical Marijuana Story

The Charlotte’s Web strain – named after Charlotte Figi, a 5-year-old Colorado girl who suffers from Dravet’s syndrome – is a strictly medicinal form of MMJ that has been specially bred to not contain THC, a.k.a. the psychoactive element of the cannabis plant. Although the strain is still in its infancy, scientists are optimistic that it could be used to effectively – and gently – treat seizures in young children.

When Charlotte herself began treatment with this new wonder strain, she was initially given very low, non-psychoactive doses. In the week that followed her initial treatment, she went a full seven days without a seizure, down from the 300 that she had the previous week. Eight months later, she saw a 99% seizure reduction.

With this trial in mind, it’s clear to see how medical marijuana can be positively life-changing for certain children. With a medical marijuana card, they can live fuller, happier lives, not weighed down by the negative symptoms of their ailments.

Choose the Type of MMJ Wisely When It Comes to Kids

However, we must also take away from this trial that when it comes to treating a child with medical marijuana, choosing the right strain is key. There are plenty of other child-friendly strains on the market if you can’t get your hands on Charlotte’s Web. Strains like Harlequin and AC/DC are just as effective at treating various ailments and come with little to no psychoactive effects, thanks to the fact that they are high in CBD and low in THC.

If you’re considering using MMJ on your child, you must consult with your child’s doctor before embarking on a medical marijuana treatment plan.

It’s important to remember that as is the same case with adults, every child will not respond to medical marijuana treatment the same way. Effectiveness of the treatment will vary among different children, with some of them simply not being compatible with the drug. It’s vitally important that you consult with your child’s doctor before they embark on a medical marijuana treatment plan.

Whether you are for or against the use of medical marijuana to treat sick children, you can’t deny the mountains of evidence piling up to suggest that MMJ is an effective, kind treatment for sick children. Children across the country are seeing the very real results of being on a medical marijuana treatment plan, with many of them getting full control of their life debilitating illnesses.

If you feel like your child could benefit from having their own medical marijuana card, get in touch with us today and we’ll guide you through this life changing process.

3 Musicians Who Love Medical Cannabis

For better or worse, drugs have always been synonymous with the music industry. Some of the biggest acts in the world have confessed to being ‘inspired’ by various narcotics; The Beatles were on them, Pink Floyd were on them, Keith Richards is still on them. Out of all the drugs out there however, marijuana reigns supreme; it features all over the musical spectrum, from rap to psychedelic prog rock, and most musicians aren’t shy about professing their love for it. Some go the extra step, and become full on advocates for legalization; a select few are heavy proponents of medical marijuana, and have been furthering the MMJ cause in the public eye.

This kind of mainstream support for medical marijuana has certainly helped the cause, with some performers relentlessly campaigning for the drug over many years. The recent spate of MMJ legalization (29 states to date have legalized the medicine) is certainly a victory for advocates, and the trend looks set to continue over the coming months and years. Some musicians are advocates of marijuana in general – some specifically MMJ – and some even view the popularity of the drug as a premium business opportunity, lending their name to dispensaries and stains.

With all this celebrity endorsement in mind, we’re taking a look at three prominent musicians who’ve publicly endorsed or supported MMJ in the past, some of whom remain heavily involved in marijuana advocacy across the U.S. in 2017.

Melissa Etheridge

MMJRecs - Melissa Etheridge

American rock star Melissa Etheridge has been a fan of medical marijuana since she claims it helped her recover from breast cancer.

Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge is one of the most outspoken proponents of MMJ, especially after she underwent a traumatic experience with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2004, Etheridge managed to beat the disease and is now completely cancer-free; she ascribes her recovery to her use of medical marijuana. She has since claimed that she believes everyone who uses marijuana ‘is doing so medicinally, whether they consider it so or not’.

Last year, Etheridge put her money where her mouth is and set up her own company, Etheridge Farms, which will soon be providing patients in California with her own homegrown product. Etheridge was also highly vocal about New York’s lackluster efforts to legalize MMJ, and called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass the Compassionate Care Act for patients across the state, which he finally did in 2014.

Despite the bill going through, New York legalized an extremely conservative MMJ program, which has undergone heavy criticism since its introduction three years ago. So it looks like Melissa still has a bit more work to do on the east coast; hopefully she might turn her advocacy attention back there sometime soon!

The Game

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The rapper known as The Game is a proponent of MMJ; he created his own strain earlier in 2016 for use in traditional cigarettes and drinks.

A recent newcomer to the MMJ scene is rapper The Game, who sees the legalization and recent acceptance of the medicine as a business investment. While he’s not the first star to involve himself in the marijuana business, he’s doing it in an innovative way; in August last year he became an official partner in The Reserve, an MMJ dispensary which operates out of Santa Ana, California. The Reserve is a legally licensed dispensary, which makes The Game the first celebrity to partner with an outlet of this kind.

He stated that he ‘finally has a platform to legally cultivate and sell a plant that saves lives and is changing our world in a positive way’. The rapper also created his own strain earlier in 2016 for use in traditional cigarettes and drinks, and is planning on creating a few more strains for his new partnership with The Reserve.

The Game isn’t the only hip hop star to dabble in marijuana creation; fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have both invested in marijuana and developed their own unique brand of the herb, which is used medicinally and recreationally in legalized states.

Sting

MMJRecs - guitar

English rocker Sting has been an avid fan of medical cannabis use, especially because he believes it helps those with qualifying illnesses and conditions that need it for their health.

English rocker Sting has been a vocal proponent of ending America’s ‘War on Drugs’ for many years. In 2010, he came out with a strongly-worded article in the Huffington Post where he allied himself with the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization which champions the smart legalization of some drugs and condemns the failures and titanic costs of the ‘War on Drugs’. In the article, Sting explicitly mentions medical marijuana, and pointed out that those who are suffering from a variety of illnesses that could be effectively treated or eased by marijuana do not have access to it.

Obviously a lot has changed in the seven years since Sting wrote the article, and many across America can now legally access MMJ, but his point still stands; if it is an effective treatment for specific conditions, shouldn’t everyone who’s suffering be able to avail of it if they choose?

So it’s clear to see that music and marijuana remain steadfastly aligned in 2017. Hopefully we will see more and more musicians supporting the cause of MMJ as the medicine is embraced in states across the country.

3 MMJ Policies New York Needs to Change to Take on California

There has always been a rivalry between the east coast and the west; whether it’s sport, politics or hip hop, New Yorkers are always determined to out battle Californians. In the arena of medical marijuana however, as it currently stands, there is one clear winner.

MMJ was legalized in California way back in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996; in this way, the Golden State was way ahead of the other 49 on the medical marijuana front. Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada followed Cali’s lead in 1998, and over the last twenty odd years, MMJ has been steadily legalized in 29 different states in the U.S.

One of the most recent states to take up the cause was, surprisingly, New York. The government in Albany only passed the required act in July 2014, following a lengthy debate in the state senate. This made them the 23rd state in the U.S. to legalize MMJ (a staggering statistic when you consider New York’s traditional liberal leanings).

Even more startling was the restrictiveness of the bill when it was finally unveiled to the NY public; despite passing with a landslide, it was in fact one of the most conservative in the whole country.

Cuomo has long since taken a staunch anti-marijuana position, and the Republicans in the Senate got a little weak in the knees at the prospect of MMJ legalization escalating rapidly to recreational legalization. The result was a bill that failed to cater to the basic needs of most patients across the state.

While the signs are good that this restrictiveness is set to change due to continued pressure and advocacy from support groups, it doesn’t change the fact that it puts New York light years behind California when it comes to MMJ law.

With that in mind, here are three major policies from Cuomo’s bill that need to change if New York wants to draw even or surpass the Golden State.

MMJRecs - Weed in Hand

Since smoking is the most effective way to consume MMJ, New York needs to legalize smoking medical marijuana to be as forward-thinking as California.

1. Introduce Smoking

As patients in California know, smoking marijuana is the most effective form of consuming the drug, and the most potent method of treatment for  a myriad of conditions that MMJ can ease. Bizarrely, this was the one form of consumption that was left out of Cuomo’s bill – presumably because it is the form most associated with recreational use.

In a effort to distance himself from the thorny issue of recreational legalization, Cuomo insisted on a smoking ban. New York patients can instead consume the drug in the form of extracts, tinctures, oils and edibles.

Meanwhile, over on the west coast, smoking is far and away the most common form of consumption for patients. By limiting the use of MMJ, New York established itself as one of the most restrictive medical marijuana states in the country. This needs to change and change fast if they’re hoping to consider themselves a forward-thinking, progressive home for MMJ.

2. Allow More Registered Organizations

Advocates for MMJ recently scored a big win when they got the qualifying treatment ‘chronic pain’ added to the New York bill. This crucial clause, which opens up the benefits of MMJ to a whole range of patients, was absent from the initial proposal.

The trouble is, the 2014 bill only contains provision for five Registered Organizations (ROs), which the state licenses to produce and distribute medical marijuana. Each RO can only operate a maximum of four dispensaries each, leaving a total of twenty dispensaries serving the entire state of New York.

With more patients signing up thanks to the ‘chronic pain’ addition, this startlingly limited number of dispensaries simply won’t be enough to cover all patients in the state. In stark contrast, California has no limit on the amount of dispensaries; New York should certainly look to the west coast for inspiration on this one.

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If New York really wants to help MMJ patients feel better, then the state needs to add more medical marijuana facilities.

3. Take the Power Away From the Governor

Under the Compassionate Care Act of 2014, Governor Cuomo and by extension the senate, have the power to quash medical marijuana if they feel it’s being abused. With a Republican-leaning politician like Cuomo, this could happen at anytime, leaving MMJ patients in New York with a big old sword of Damocles hanging over them.

If it was voted in fairly, then the law belongs to the people; the power to take it away shouldn’t be in the hands of one man. Instead of this regressive clause, both Republicans and Democrats should look to compromise and keep in mind the best interests of the people.

Since last November, when California followed Colorado’s lead and legalized recreational marijuana, the debate has been all about the legality of marijuana in general; having New York all paranoid about medical marijuana, which has been embraced by 29 states and proven to be effective for sufferers of a whole range of conditions, seems extremely regressive and archaic.

MMJ Edibles: So Much More Than Just Brownies

If you’re in possession of a cannabis card, then you’re hopefully aware of some of the benefits it entitles you to. One of these benefits is that, in most cases, you’re allowed to smoke medical cannabis wherever regular smoking is acceptable. While this is good news (if that’s your preferred method of imbibing MMJ), a lot of folk prefer not to smoke it, and instead they choose to consume MMJ edibles.

Medical marijuana can and is used in lots of recipes these days: sweet, savory, starters, soups, main courses …. you name it. They are all known as MMJ edibles. If you choose to consume medical marijuana via food then of course, unlike smoking, you can do it anywhere. No one can tell you that you’re not allowed to eat your special brownie or piece of cake in a confined space where you might cause offense to ‘non-brownie’ eaters!

Brownies Aren’t the Only Way to Consume Medical Marijuana

Most people think that MMJ brownies are the only snack available to them. While they are very popular (and ever so tasty), brownies are by no means the only way of consuming cannabis. These days, the more portable edibles come in many different forms, including cookies, cake, chocolate bars and sweets. You can buy them from any online licensed sites or from your local cannabis clinics and dispensaries, providing you have a medical marijuana card.

MMJ edibles are god to keep in the house for when you need them, or just to carry around with you to have wherever and whenever you want. Another bonus is that it’s a much more discreet way of getting your hit than smoking medical marijuana (if this is a concern to you).

What You Should Know About Medical Marijuana Edibles

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Even though it takes longer to get MMJ into your system when you eat it, you still get an awesome feeling that relaxes your entire body.

Remember that it will take longer to get the MMJ into your system via food – generally between 30 minutes to an hour – but once its’ there, it does stay longer. Depending on the amount you take, the effect can last between 4 and 12 hours. Also, you don’t need such a high dosage in food as you do for smoking the stuff.

If you’re new to edibles, make sure you know how much you’re taking. State laws require that packaging displays the amount of THC content. 10 milligrams of THC counts as one serving – but if you’re of small stature or a slight build, this might be too much. Start off with 5 milligrams and see how you go.

Remember to wait for the effects to kick in. Many people who consume rather than smoke cannabis report that it gives a gentler and more relaxing high. It’s been described as a complete body high rather than just a head high.

All About MMJ Edibles

Some of the awesome edibles available to you these days include pineapple delight bites, sea salt caramel bon bons, glazed pecans, truffles and marshmallows. Check them out online or in your local dispensary! There are many more to choose from so you can have fun finding your favorite.

If you’re into baking, why not source a few simple recipes to have under your belt? As a cannabis card holder, one of the benefits that you may not be aware of is that you’re allowed to grow up to 100 square feet of your own marijuana plants.

The introduction of Proposition 64, which comes into effect next year legalizing the use of marijuana in California for recreational purposes, means that anyone will be allowed to grow up to 6 plants in their own home. But imagine how many more you can grow in 100 square feet! And once you grow it, you can choose to smoke it and/or use it in all sorts of edible ways.

If you decide to make your own edibles, it’s important to remember that your medical marijuana has to be heated with some form of fat to make canna oil or cannabutter. You can’t just use raw cannabis in your recipes, as our digestive system is not up to processing the THC.

When cannabis is cooked, the THC is released and binds together with the fat, thereby making it processable and thus acceptable by your body. You can make your own cannabutter of canna oil, or you can purchase it from a registered dispensary using your California medical card.

MMJ Recs - Toasting Beers in Sunset

Medical marijuana root beer and tea are just two options for consuming cannabis in liquid form.

MMJ Edibles are not just things you eat – you can have a liquid edible, too! This refers to any drink that has been infused with cannabinoids (an invention that’s becoming increasingly popular in California). There’s cannabis tea of course, but did you know that there’s a cannabis root beer available that will knock your socks off in more ways than one. Check it out!

If you’re not yet in possession of a cannabis card and would like to find out more about the process, it’s easy to get all the details and to apply for your medical marijuana card online. Check out here how to do it. If you do qualify for a California marijuana card, it will be mailed to you, and you can then immediately start reaping the rewards. This of course, may include buying an array of tasty MMJ edibles or trying out your very own cannabis recipes.

What Rules Do I Need to Know When Buying Medical Marijuana in California?

In 2016, California passed Proposition 64, or The Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This act legalized owning small quantities of legal weed, but that doesn’t mean you can rush right out and buy it. The legalization doesn’t take place until 2018, so unless you have a California medical marijuana card, it’s still illegal for you to buy weed, but oddly enough, not to possess it.

Luckily, getting your hands on that card is a lot easier than you might think, and once you have it, you’ll be able to legally buy marijuana at dispensaries across the great state of California. Here’s everything you need to know about legally buying medical marijuana in California.

Thanks to the internet and more medical professionals offering their services, you can now get an MMJ card online.

How Do I Get a California MMJ Card?

California was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the practice dates back to 1975. A lot has changed since then, and getting your hands on a medical marijuana card is a lot easier than you think.

What you need to get a medical weed card is essentially a note from a doctor. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, this doctor’s letter isn’t a prescription, but rather a recommendation. Marijuana is used to treat literally thousands of ailments, so finding one that can help treat you is simple.

The best news is that you can now even get this all done online, saving you the time and hassle of going through the process of visiting a specialized weed doctor! Technically, you don’t need the card, and all you need is a letter given to you by your weed doctor. But the card fits right in your wallet, so it’s worth getting and it saves you the hassle of carrying around the letter (which would inevitably become damaged). With this card, you’ll be able to legally buy weed at dispensaries all across California.

What Are the Restrictions to Buying Cannabis with a Medical Weed Card? 

In California, you need to be 18 years old and own a medical marijuana card to legally buy weed. That is, unless you have a registered carer who is legally able to buy it for you. Without a medical marijuana card, you’ll need to be 21 years of age when you’ll be able to legally buy weed.

It’s also important to remember that you need to be an official resident of California to get your medical marijuana card. You’ll need either a birth certificate or a California ID, with proof of residency. Without this, you won’t be able to legally buy weed in California.

Where Can I Legally Buy MMJ in California?

Instead of feeling weird or scared to buy medical marijuana in a secret place, you can now purchase it at dispensaries across the state of California.

Gone are the days when you’d have to resort to finding shady dealers on street corners, never knowing what kind of weed you were going to get. You can now legally buy weed with your cannabis card at thousands of dispensaries across California.

A simple Google search will tell you where the closest dispensary to you is. You can even read reviews about them online to make up your mind if there are a couple in your location.

How Much Medical Marijuana in California Can I Legally Buy?

Without a medical marijuana card, you’ll only be allowed to carry one ounce of marijuana on yourself, or purchase it from a dispensary when it becomes legal. With a weed card, you’re entitled to have 8 ounces of marijuana on you at any time and can buy weed from your local dispensary in quantities up to 8 ounces.

How Many Marijuana Plants in California Can I Have with an MMJ Card?

If you are growing medical marijuana in California, the best place to do it is in your back yard.

You can grow 6 marijuana plants with your registered cannabis card. Without a card, you’ll only be able to grow one plant. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you can start growing weed in your front lawn. All weed plants will need to be out of public sight.

We’d recommend growing them in your back yard, and if you don’t have the option of doing this, then use a tarp to hide them from the general public. As an extra bonus, it will also stop them from being stolen.

The great thing about California is that it’s one of the most fertile places on earth. You won’t need special equipment or expensive lights to get started. Literally, just a couple seeds, soil and regular watering and you’ll have some beautiful marijuana plants in no time!

Where Can I Legally Consume My Medical Marijuana in California?

If you’re a California native, you’ll be used to smelling faint aromas of marijuana in public spaces. This is just part of our culture. However, this is technically illegal, and with or without a medical marijuana card you’re only supposed to be able to smoke weed in your own private residence. 

While state authorities don’t enforce this with an iron fist, we recommend being safe rather than sorry when it comes to your public consumption. While there won’t be prison time, there may be some pretty sizable fines.

Just use your own judgment and don’t do anything that puts you or any members of the public in danger. Especially don’t smoke near children – this is where fines can quickly become far more severe and possibly even lead to jail time!

5 Unusual Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana

Now, more than ever, MMJ card holders have so many choices when it comes to how they can consume their medical marijuana. While there are some MMJ purists who stick to smoking or vaporizers, medical marijuana card holders are by no means restricted to these more traditional consumption methods.

Once you have your MMJ card, the world is your oyster as to how you can consume your cannabis. Want to brew it up in a tea? Go for it! Feel like topicals might be more your style? Slather up!

From the weird to the wonderful and everything in between, here are our picks for 5 unusual ways to consume medical marijuana.

Tea

People have been experimenting with tea for thousands of years, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that more and more people are starting to drink medical marijuana-infused tea. Tea – like medical marijuana – is naturally reparative and soothing, so the combination of these two super ‘foods’ is a match made in MMJ heaven.

On its own, tea is full of hard-working antioxidants, theanine and phytochemicals, making it a great body booster in and of itself. As well as that, drinking a warm cup of calming tea has been proven to improve concentration, lower stress levels and even tackle bouts of depression.

Making medical marijuana-infused tea is seriously easy and can be done using the normal method – check out our how-to guide here – or using tinctures – more on those next!

Tinctures

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Tinctures are a great way to effectively administer medical marijuana – and they’re fun to use!

Back in the day, tinctures used to be one of the most popular ways to consume medical marijuana. Nowadays, popularity has dropped off in favor of other methods, but that doesn’t make using tinctures any less effective.

So what exactly is a tincture? Put simply, a tincture is a concentrated form of MMJ that is made by mixing it with an alcohol solution. This concentrated solution is a great way to consume as you can easily regulate dosage. A tincture is stored in a glass or plastic bottle with a dropper implement within the lid. Tinctures are delightfully discreet when it comes to consuming in public thanks to this design – they just look like a regular ‘ol eye dropper.

A tincture is used by dropping the alcohol solution into your food or drink or under your tongue. Those who don’t want to consume orally can apply it directly to their skin. From here the MMJ solution is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Tinctures are extremely efficient in delivering MMJ goodness, as they contain all 80 of the essential cannabinoids in the medical marijuana plant. Tinctures are also perfect for children with MMJ cards, as they can be administered easily and users don’t experience the psychoactive effects that can come with other methods of consumption.

Topicals

Like tinctures, topicals are another great way to consume medical marijuana without experiencing the psychoactive effects of the plants. As topicals are applied directly to the skin, they don’t come with a head high that can lead to bouts of anxiety or paranoia.

Topicals come in tons of different varieties, most of which you’ll be able to find at your local dispensary. Popular kinds of topicals include balms, creams and lotions.

While topicals may not be great for treating ailments like anxiety or depression, they are really effective at treating chronic pain and inflammation when applied to the ailing area. Topicals also act as an antibacterial agent – meaning they’re great for speeding up the healing process of cuts and scratches.

Suppositories

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Suppositories are one of the most effective ways to reap the benefits of medical marijuana.

While consuming medical marijuana via a suppository may not be one of the most popular methods of consumption, you better believe it’s one of the most effective ones! When you ingest MMJ orally, you lose between 5-10% of the plant’s effectiveness as it’s digested by the gastrointestinal tract.

By consuming medical marijuana in suppository form, you’re bypassing the gastrointestinal tract entirely, meaning nothing is being wastefully digested and you benefit from every ounce of goodness in your MMJ.

The active components of the medical marijuana plant – e.g. the CBD, THC and cannabinoids – are absorbed directly into the bloodstream in a much higher concentration than they would be if they were ingested orally. MMJ suppositories take about an hour to take effect and the effects last up to an impressive 10 hours.

If you’re using your MMJ card to treat any gastrointestinal ailments, using suppositories is highly recommended, as they won’t upset your illness by passing through your digestive tract.

Patches

Patches – or transdermal patches – are adhesive patches laced with medical marijuana that are affixed to the skin. Similar to nicotine patches, medical marijuana patches release small amounts of MMJ onto the skin – and into the bloodstream – throughout the day of wear.

In contrast to topicals or tinctures, patches penetrate all 7 layers of epidermal skin delivering systematic – instead of localized – relief. The handy thing about using MMJ patches is that after you put one on in the morning, you don’t have to remember to keep dosing throughout the day – great for forgetful MMJ card carriers! Patches are non-psychoactive and can be personalized to suit your own dosing preferences.

Choosing the right method of consumption for you is a journey that takes time. It’s important to remember that there is no one umbrella method that suits every MMJ card holder – you’ll have to do a bit of trial and error before you figure out what’s right for you. But when you’ll do, you’ll be on cloud nine.

Is Medical Marijuana Only for the Elderly?

In recent years, medical marijuana has been through a transformation of sorts. It’s gone from being a taboo and negative subject to becoming more widely accepted, and even preferred, by some as an alternative to modern conventional medicine. There are various proven benefits as well as downsides to taking medical marijuana, so it’s always best to do some research and speak to a medical professional before considering this form of medication.

In the past marijuana, which is also known as weed or cannabis, was illegal and viewed as a recreational drug. Today, it is still illegal in most countries, but in the US, it has become legal for medicinal use in 29 states, including California and New York.

Some of the benefits seen after the use of this unique plant include easing epileptic seizures, chronic pain and inflammation, in addition to treating anxiety and depression. If it’s so useful then how come everybody with these ailments don’t use it?

Why Isn’t MMJ Widely Accepted?

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Although medical marijuana is widely accepted in many US states, there is still a stigma attached to it.

Firstly, it is still slowly but surely becoming accepted as a safe alternative to conventional pharmaceutical drugs, but there is still doubt among many as to the efficacy and ability to treat certain diseases. Furthermore, a lot of scientific research is still to be done, and it may not be widely available or affordable for those that do wish to use cannabis to help with their illnesses.

Because of the stigma still attached to cannabis, many people who still consider it a drug question its suitability, and the thought of allowing it for adults – never mind for children or teenagers, even if it is in the form of medicine – would seem unacceptable. There has been proof however, that it helps with glaucoma, an eye disease which creates pressure on the eyeball, and this normally affects people over the age of 40.

It also slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s, a mental disease that normally occurs in middle or old age, and it is said to help arthritis and insomnia. It is even known to slow down the growth of cancer cells.

But does this mean that medical marijuana can only benefit the elderly?

Breaking the Myth That Medical Marijuana is Only for the Elderly

Because there are various methods to take medical marijuana, like in the form of tinctures, smoking, vaporizing or edibles, it is actually suitable for young people and children, as well as the elderly.

For example, there have been recent reports of parents giving cannabidiol – a cannabis oil extract to their children to help treat epilepsy and even cancer. This form of medical marijuana means that none of the plant has to be smoked – rather, a few drops of oil are put in the mouth or even mixed with food and consumed.

Also, there is no THC, meaning no ‘high’ or psychoactive effects that occur, therefore people can get on with their day to day lives without having to worry about not being clear-headed.

Moreover, medical marijuana has also been reported to provide therapeutic benefits to children with autism, which currently affects more than 400,000 children in the US and is an increasing developmental disorder. Because of the different ways available to take medical marijuana, it can actually be very safe and a good alternative option to help young people.

Tinctures and edibles are normally the ideal way for children, as it is easy to control the dosage, the taste is mild and it can provide long-lasting relief. Another reason medical cannabis may seem an attractive option to parents is the fact that it comes from a plant and therefore, is viewed as more natural – as opposed to manmade medicine.

In addition to this, conventional prescription drugs can have negative side effects, such as addiction to these drugs for pain relief, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and headaches. If this is the case, then it may be worth considering the other route in the form of medical cannabis.

MMJ Recs - Row of Pills

One benefit of using natural medical marijuana over prescription drugs is less chance for unwanted side effects.

It is worth noting that medical marijuana may not be for everybody, so it’s a good idea to educate yourself on all the options and speak to your doctor. Although it is legal in 29 states, a downside is that you have to go through a process and see if you qualify for the medicine. If you do, it can also be very pricey and difficult to obtain.

In conclusion, medical marijuana – although still controversial with opposing views and opinions – has shown benefits to people of all ages, and should not be viewed as only advantageous to the elderly. It has many benefits and is viewed as a safer and more natural option to pharmaceutical drugs, which can in some cases, be ineffective and cause unwanted side effects.

However, there is still more research to be conducted to prove the long-term advantages of this alternative medicine, but the results so far seem promising.

Why New York MMJ Patients Will Need a Medical Marijuana Card After 2018

Compared to its sister on the west coast, New York is surprisingly conservative when it comes to medical marijuana. Since 1996, the Golden State has allowed people with a range of illnesses and conditions access to this miracle drug, and it has improved countless lives since then.

However, New York has only legalized medical marijuana in 2014, and the conditions that you must meet to qualify are long and strict. Coming into 2018, there are several things that you’ll need to know if you’re a New Yorker who wants to use medical marijuana.

Conditions for Medical Marijuana Use

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If you live in New York and want to use medical marijuana, make sure your condition is on the approved list set by the government.

Firstly, the list of conditions that render you eligible for MMJ is quite limited in New York. There are only certain ailments that qualify you to receive medical marijuana, and the laws are very strict in adhering to the recommendation of MMJ to them.

If you suffer from cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord damage with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, chronic pain, chronic nausea, severe muscle spasms, cachexia or Huntington’s Disease, you will be eligible for treatment with medical marijuana, but depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are sadly not covered.

The good news is that, effective in 2017, medical professionals will be able to recommend treatment of medical marijuana to patients online, and they will not have to undergo an in-person consultation in order to receive their medical marijuana card. However, it is not the only documentation that you will need in order to receive an MMJ recommendation.

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Effective this year, medical professionals can recommend treatment of MMJ to patients online.

As well as the recommendation from a healthcare professional, you will need to gather your medical records, outlining that you suffer from one of the approved conditions for treatment by medical marijuana. You then have to submit these documents, along with proof that you are a resident of the state of New York, to the state authority. Then you will receive your medical marijuana card, which will allow you access to state dispensaries.

Another thing to remember when applying for a medical marijuana card in New York is that your medical professional will have to recommend the strain for your treatment and you will only be able to buy this specific strain. This eliminates any chance for experimentation with different treatment types and forms.

It is very important to have a clear and honest discussion with the medical professional who is carrying out your consultation so that they can decide what is the best course of treatment for you.

All About MMJ Laws in New York

Since bringing in its laws in 2014, New York is slowly but surely relaxing them. Certain conditions have been added since the laws were brought in and there is no limitation on the potential of conditions that can be added. This is at the discretion of the state governor, so depending on the politics of upcoming politicians, more conditions may be added to assist citizens of New York.

Campaigners are fighting for looser laws that will help more patients, but this will take time and is dependent on sympathetic legislators taking medical marijuana seriously as a legitimate treatment for numerous ailments.

MMJ Recs - MMJ Rolled

Dispensaries in New York, which are limited in numbers, can only dispense certain forms of medical marijuana to patients.

Laws regarding dispensaries in New York are also very strict. Dispensaries can only dispense certain forms of medical marijuana to patients depending on their recommendations, and there is a limit on the amount of dispensaries that can be operated by the same owner. Dispensaries must also be fully registered with the state and will undergo regular inspections to ensure that they are operating to the full letter of the law.

It is also very important to remember that the personal cultivation of medical marijuana is still illegal, despite medical marijuana being legal. If you are able to access medical marijuana in New York, you are still unable to grow it for yourself. All MMJ must be accessed and purchased through a state-sanctioned dispensary through the form recommended for you by a medical professional. You will be liable for legal consequences if you grow your own medical marijuana.

MMJ Recs - Smoking Shisha

As more people become educated about the benefits of medical marijuana, more states will start to legalize it.

While these limitations are frustrating, especially given the much more liberal laws in other states, the future is likely to be easier for medical marijuana patients. As stigma is reduced and the world at large becomes more educated about the benefits of MMJ, legislation will follow.

The public are mostly sympathetic to patients being treated with medical marijuana and the stereotype of stoners trying to circumvent the legal system is slowly but surely being demolished. The best thing to do if you live in New York is to live to the letter of the law, carry on taking your medication as advised, and hopefully as time goes on and the law is relaxed, everyone who needs treatment with MMJ will be allowed to access it in New York.

Which Medical Marijuana Strains Treat Anxiety?

Anxiety is just one of the many debilitating conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana strains. It is often one of the more challenging disabilities to have to deal with because firstly, unlike pain or reduced mobility of some sort or an illness which drastically changes your appearance, anxiety is not always visible to other people.

Secondly, it clearly inhibits the sufferer in social circumstances, which is difficult to handle and can make life very restrictive. Luckily, if you are in possession of a cannabis card, help is at hand.

Recommending MMJ for treating anxiety is not as straightforward as recommending it for other types of illness. This is because, for some people, taking marijuana can actually make their anxiety worse, and throw in a bit of paranoia to boot. If you are one of these people then you need to be very careful about which strain of medical marijuana you obtain with your California MMJ card.

Watch That THC Content

Research has shown that medical marijuana strains which are high in THC content are more likely to increase your anxiety. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Something you might not know is that our bodies naturally make cannabinoid chemicals.

Certain areas of our brain, which are associated with things like pleasure and memory, contain cannabinoid receptors. THC is attracted to these areas and by attaching to them, certain things like memory, pleasure and thinking are all heightened. So you can see how this might be very welcome by some people, but not great for those prone to anxiety.

The good news is that there currently many strains available that contain little or no THC. The best strains for treating anxiety are known as hybrids, which means they contain a mixture of both sativa and indica.

The main thing you need to know about these two elements is that sativa tends to be more energizing and uplifting; whereas Indica gives you a stronger higher which makes you more sleepy. Bear this in mind when selecting the best strain to help with your anxiety.

If you experience anxiety on a daily basis, the good news is that there currently many medical marijuana strains available that contain little or no THC.

Here are a few medical marijuana recommendations for you to research and sample. It’s worth experimenting with several different strains to find out which suits you best, as no two illnesses are the same and no two people react in the same way to MMJ.

Cannatonic

This MMJ strain contains 50/50 sativa and indica, as well as quite high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD), which is known to reduce anxiety. You might not get a great ‘high’ from it, but it will help to relax you without clogging your brain. It has a nice lemony, pine scent.

White Widow

By way of a contrast, White Widow contains higher levels of sativa and will give you a greater, kinda spaced-out high without leaving you too sleepy. It’s one of the more famous strains, which was first cultivated in Holland. If this is your way of dealing with anxious situations, then don’t be put off by the name!

Grandaddy Purple

A popular hybrid strain, Grandaddy Purple contain more indicas than sativas. The result of this is more relaxation and a feeling of calm, with the added bonus of persuading your body to release any stress. It’s a popular strain with cannabis card holders, featuring a mixed berry and grape aroma curtesy of its parent plant – Purple Urkle.

Strawberry Cough

One of the more popular choices for anxiety sufferers. Strawberry Cough is one of the milder strains, containing sativa and offers a good balance between relaxation and energizing. As you probably guessed, it has a sweet strawberry aroma and after-taste, but beware of the thick smoke which is responsible for the second half of the name – cough!

Chocolate Chunk

(We kid you not) this is a 100% indica strain which has a – guess what – chocolatey after taste! It’s helpful for panic attacks, as well as general anxiety, and its effects are quite long-lasting, so you don’t have to take much of it. Along with the chocolatey aroma, this strain gives off quite a musky, earthy smell.

When it comes to MMJ strains for anxiety, there are some that taste like fruit and others that taste like chocolate.

So, there are five recommended strains for you to try out if you suffer from anxiety. If you’re not yet registered for a cannabis card, it’s easy to get your medical marijuana card online, via MMJ Recs. You just need to fill out a standard medical form and upload any relevant medical documents.

You’ll then have a short evaluation – either over the phone or via Skype – with one of our medical marijuana experts. You will need to tell him or her about your disability and why you think taking medical marijuana would help alleviate your symptoms. Your specialist is highly trained and professional; everything you divulge will be treated in absolute confidence. If you’re approved for a California marijuana license, it will be forwarded to you by mail.

Once in possession of your medical marijuana card, you will be able to purchase marijuana from licensed premises, as well as buy it online. You can also grow your own plants – you’re actually allowed to cultivate up to 100 square feet of marijuana plants. Find out which strain relieves your symptoms and then grow it yourself so that you always have it to hand. It couldn’t be easier!

Hopefully, now you are on your way to making a decision that may help change your life.

6 Ways to Make Sure You Get the Right MMJ Strain

It can be very difficult to navigate the world of medical marijuana if you are unfamiliar with it, so it’s important to do your research and shop around to get the best treatment available to you. As well as the stigma associated with the treatment, the options available are just mind-boggling!

We’ve compiled a list of ways to ensure you find the right MMJ strain for you so that you can live the best life possible with the condition you have.

Research the Treatment

MMJ Recs - Unsure Lady

If you’re unsure of the best type of MMJ strain to use for your illness or condition, contact a medical professional.

Most people who are eligible for treatment with medical marijuana may not be aware that they can access it. Depending on the state that you live in, if you suffer from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, anorexia nervosa, epilepsy or countless other conditions, you may be eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

First, find out if your state allows medical marijuana treatment. If it does, research the terms and conditions of the conditions allowed for treatment. Some states, such as California, are quite liberal about allowing citizens access to MMJ but others, such as New York, have very strict guidelines.

Go to a Reputable Medical Professional

MMJ Recs- Stethoscope

To learn more about medical marijuana strains, you can go online and talk to a medical professional, who will answer any questions.

If you live in a state with liberal MMJ laws, you may be familiar with the sketchy establishments that can assign you a medical marijuana letter. These are often quite intimidating, so a good option for first-time patients is often an online consultation. You can log on, have a video chat with a qualified medical professional who will ask about your condition.

Don’t worry about judgement. These professionals are open and really believe in the power of MMJ to treat people like you. They will then send you a stamped and signed letter that you can then use to access medical marijuana.

Get a Good Dispenser

Along with a good medical professional to recommend the treatment of medical marijuana for you, it is so important to get acquainted with the best dispensary possible. Put simply, dispensaries can make or break your medical marijuana experience. They are the experts who can advise you on the best strains and delivery methods available to you.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know a lot about MMJ, the best thing to do is to go in, be completely honest about your lack of knowledge and let the dispensary employees point you in the right direction. Think about it like asking a bartender for their advice on the best kind of cocktail to drink!

Research the Strains

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It’s best to know the differences between the different MMJ strains so you can get the proper one for your personal needs.

As well as speaking to your dispensary, it is possible to do your own, independent research. There is a wealth of knowledge available online on different strains and how they can effect and treat different conditions. Using strains with CBD, THC or a combination of the two in different strengths will have differing effects, so it’s important to be educated in relation to what works best for your condition.

Luckily, there is a wealth of knowledge online relating to strains that can treat different illnesses and if you have any difficult questions, this is something to ask your dispenser or medical professional. There is no such thing as a stupid question!

Research Methods of Delivery

MMJ Recs - Piece of Chocolate Cake

When it comes to MMJ strain edibles, the possibilities are sweet… and endless!

Often, when people think of medical marijuana, they think of stoners lighting up massive joints, but the reality is that MMJ can be delivered in so many different ways. People rely on edible MMJ in the form of cakes, candies or brownies, vape pens, body rubs, oils, tinctures and joints. These are just some of the ways that MMJ can be administered, but the sky is the limit.

Again, doing research online for some fun DIY projects or speaking to your dispenser about the wide range of treatments available are the best ways to go. There are treatments that you may not even consider, for example, women often use MMJ medicated body rubs to treat extreme pain associated with endometriosis or period pain, often reporting excellent results.

Enjoy Your Treatment!

Amongst all the paperwork, travel and research associated with medical marijuana, people can often forget the most important part of the journey: enjoy yourself! MMJ is truly a miracle drug that also offers some fun side-effects, aside from the soothing treatments associated with its medical administration. Don’t feel the need to be boxed in to any one form of treatment. Be flexible and play around with different things until you find the options that work best for you.

Make it fun and a treat that becomes the highlight of your day. It’s not like the mundane routine of popping a pill daily. You will be able to live your life better, stronger and unfettered by your condition, so make sure you celebrate that!

MMJ vs. Modern Day Medicine: Which Is More Effective?

In today’s world, people are becoming more and more health conscious. Unless you have been living off the grid for the past few years, you will surely have heard of MMJ. This is an alternative form of medicine which people are trying in place of modern day conventional medicine. There have been reports of successful outcomes from using this herb as medicine, but it is also worth mentioning that a lot more research still needs to take place in order to confirm its efficacy for certain diseases and illnesses.

Using marijuana as medicine dates way back to 2737 BC, when the Chinese emperor Shen Neng prescribed it in the form of tea as medicine. It was believed to have helped various illnesses such as gout, rheumatism, malaria and pain in general. The use of this herb gradually spread all over the world, but in 1937 was outlawed by the American Government. Today, it can still be used medicinally as long as it is prescribed by a medical professional.

Medicinal Benefits of Medical Marijuana

MMJ Recs - Cannabis Plant

The one downside to using MMJ is that it’s only currently legal in 29 US states, so not everyone has access to it.

There are numerous benefits of using marijuana medicinally. For instance, people have reported that it helps with epileptic seizures, glaucoma and slowing Alzheimer’s, as well as preventing the spread of cancer and helping with depression and anxiety. Furthermore, it can be taken in various ways to suit the patient.

For instance, it may be easier for some people such as children to take medical cannabis in the form of tinctures, where a few drops are placed under the tongue. Another way is of course to smoke it, although this may not be ideal to some, it does provide a more instant effect compared to the tinctures.

If there are so many benefits then why doesn’t everybody turn to this naturally growing plant to cure disease? Firstly, medical marijuana is only currently legal in 29 US states, so it is not yet available to everybody and there is a procedure to follow if you would like to try this method of medicine. You must have proof that you are a resident in one of the legalized states and your condition has to be on the list of eligibility.

The next step is to find a doctor who is qualified to prescribe medical marijuana. Only then will you be able to obtain an MMJ card and take it to the dispensary for the cannabis medication.  Despite the growing popularity of this plant, there is still skepticism over its effectiveness.

In terms of pharmaceutical drugs, which the majority of people turn to when they have an illness, they are much easier to obtain and have helped greatly to fight and ease the symptoms of illnesses from the flu to cancer. Moreover, the nature of modern medicine is entirely science-based, focusing on surgery, drugs and radiation to treat the symptoms.

Downside of Using Modern Day Medicine

MMJ Recs - Thermometer with Pills

The downside to using modern day medicine is that possibility for addiction and abuse.

Nonetheless, there is also a downside to conventional medicine. Not only is the addiction and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs on the rise, but for some people they simply do not work at all. This could be largely due to a case of the infections or disease adapting to certain drugs. Another reason as to why people may prefer to opt away from using modern medicine is the side effects that come with them.

Drowsiness, upset stomachs, fatigue and muscle aches are just some of the undesirable effects that can be caused by certain drugs, and could explain why many are looking for a more natural and unconventional alternative.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Overall, there are pros and cons to both medical marijuana and conventional medicine. If you want to try medical marijuana, it is more complicated to obtain and you will have to go through a number of steps to see if you are eligible. It can also be very pricey and there are limited dispensaries which have this form of medicine.

On the other hand, there have been promising results from people in the legalized states claiming to have seen major improvements in their ailments and illnesses with the use of marijuana. Furthermore, the side effects are less severe compared to conventional medicine ,as it is a natural herb, although taking it in the form of smoking may cause respiratory problems.

With modern day medicine, it is widely available and in certain situations, would be more suited to treating patients for example when a physical intervention is needed such as surgery. It is also scientifically backed and has helped many people fight infections and disease.

The downside is that people can become reliant on certain pharmaceutical drugs, such as painkillers, and the side effects can be very unpleasant for instance in the case of chemotherapy to treat cancer where hair loss and loss of appetite is common.

Overall, medical marijuana can come across as a safer option, but is not without its disadvantages, and modern day medicine has been proven to work, but its efficacy today is starting to be questioned. Whichever form of medicine you choose, it is subjective and dependent on your history, type of illness and personal preference.

 

Which MMJ Strain is Best for Treating Migraines?

As medical marijuana becomes a widespread treatment across the United States, patients are familiarizing themselves with the various strains, and sussing out which ones work best for their particular ailment. It might come as a surprise to newer patients not used to marijuana that the drug even comes in different MMJ strains; but there are in fact subtle differences between the various different strands.

When it comes to treatment of the various afflictions for which MMJ is affective, the components and of each strain can have varying effects.  As medical marijuana becomes legal in more and more states across America, it benefits patients to know which strain is best to treat their particular ailment.

One of the most common causes of pain in humans is a headache. They can be debilitating and resilient, but can be largely managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Migraines are a different sort of headache altogether, and can’t be so easily tackled with the usual methods. Migraines usually affect one side of the head, pulsating with a constant rhythm and producing waves of often searing pain. The onset of a migraine can be accompanied by visual disturbances known as scintillating scotoma, where zigzag rainbow patterns distort the patient’s vision.

Unlike normal headaches, which usually disappear with a good night’s sleep, migraines can last from a couple of hours for up to three days, and will usually not abate or ease during the attack. They can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting, and can often make the sufferer extremely sensitive to light and sounds.

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Migraines, which are extremely debilitating and usually last days on end, can be treated with some specific MMJ strains.

Migraines are uniquely debilitating, and usually take days to fully recover from. Despite them being fairly common (over 15% of the global population have suffered from them at one time or another), not a lot is known about how they’re caused. It’s suspected that a mixture of genetics and environmental factors conspire to cause an attack, but the exact reason that they flare up remains unknown (for now).

What is known is that medical marijuana can successfully treat migraines, and that it has been used as a remedy for many years. It’s undeniable that marijuana is an extremely effective pain reliever, and as it comes to prominence as a legal, reliable treatment in 2017, we are in as good a position as any to explore how MMJ can help patients even further.

A number of recent studies have shown that MMJ can not only combat migraines when they flare up, but it can also help prevent them in the first place, which makes medical marijuana a vital tool in fighting these vicious headaches. But which strain is best? Well, in fact, there are a few strains that can effectively treat migraines; here are five of the best.

MMJ - Marijuana

With studies proving that medical cannabis can not only combat migraines when they flare up, but they can also prevent them, it’s no wonder more people are trying MMJ strains.

White Widow

This is a powerful and potent strain of marijuana that can help you relieve some serious pain when the situation arises. A classic strain that hails from the Netherlands, it should assure patients of its quality. You can avail of it uplifting, euphoric effects while still being assured of powerful pain relief, as it settles the body into full relaxation mode. Its strength is derived from the icy white resin that dusts its buds, and works especially well at removing that muscle tension which makes migraines so insufferable.

Sour Diesel

Also known as Sour D, this strain is a lot more appetizing than it sounds. A sativa-dominant concoction that smells a lot like diesel, Sour D is a fast-acting solution for when migraines spring up without any prior warning. The effects of this particular MMJ strain include a dreamy, heady sensation, as well as a potent burst of energy.

Sour D is not just useful for migraines; it is one of the go-to strains for those suffering with general headache pain and depression as well, making it a serious contender for the title of best strain currently on the market.

Purple Kush

When all that migriane pain just gets the better of you and nothing’s taking the edge off, often the best thing to do is simply sleep. Purple Kush is a pure indica, which is pretty easy to come by. Heavy indica strains have long been renowned for their significant sleep-inducing effects, and sometimes, this can be just what the doctor ordered; literally.

Purple Kush creates long-lasting body-numbing sensations, which can be just what you need to sleep your way through a migraine. Just be careful when you decide to take this strain; its knock-out effects means it’s best used just before bed.

The person in the best position to advise on your medicine is of course your doctor, but it’s no harm to know what works best for your specific ailments. Migraines are severely debilitating afflictions, but with the right medicine, most of their symptoms can be combated effectively, or even prevented altogether.

Luckily for sufferers, this medicine is becoming more and more accepted all over the United States, meaning that help is well and truly at hand.

What California MMJ Patients Think of New York’s New Medical Cannabis Legislation

Twenty nine states across the U.S. have now legalized medical marijuana, although the strictures of each respective legislation differ wildly. Although MMJ has been legal in at least one state in America since 1996, it still remains a contentious topic among local governments – a contention which becomes apparent with even a cursory glance at the various bills and acts which inform the legality of the medicine across the country. In fact, you don’t even have to look at all the bills; you can look at just two, a comparison which comprises the opposite coasts of the country.

California have always been way ahead of the curve when it comes to medical marijuana. They were the first state to introduce MMJ, way back in 1996, and their loose, liberal approach has informed the way many states approach the controversial subject. It took a further two years for any other state to get MMJ legislature through their respective senates.

Though it wasn’t the first state to introduce recreational marijuana (that was Colorado and Washington simultaneously in 2012), Cali has long been seen as a marijuana advocate stronghold, and followed through with their recreational legalization in November 2016, concurrent with the U.S. presidential election.

Californians Have a Leg Up When It Comes to MMJ

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One benefit Californians have over New Yorkers when it comes to medical cannabis: patients aren’t required to get a state ID card or an MMJ card.

MMJ patients in California have it pretty good. Their 1996 bill, Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, still holds up in 2017, despite some vague wording at the time of its issue. There are a whole host of qualifying conditions, not just serious ones, and the list includes the all-important qualifier ‘chronic pain’, which covers many different forms of debilitation, without needing the doctors to diagnose a specific illness before prescribing.

In fact, the law goes one step further, and qualifies any debilitating illness where the use of MMJ has been “deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician”. This gives doctors a lot of free rein to prescribe to their patients, without worrying if their treatment plan is in danger of breaking state law.

There are also no possession limits specified by Prop. 215, and home cultivation of the medicine is permitted. However, patients could find themselves in hot water if they grew amounts of marijuana that were obviously excessive to their needs; to clear up this situation, the government added an amendment to the original bill in 2016, which declared that a patient may cultivate up to 100 square feet of marijuana, while primary caregivers with five or fewer patients can cultivate up to 500 square feet.

Most importantly, patients in California are not required to get a state ID card or a MMJ card. They’re both optional, but residents of the state can avail of medical marijuana freely without either of them.

Medical Cannabis Laws in New York

All that freedom stands in stark contrast to New York’s take on the matter of MMJ. Californian patients would think that NY’s legislation was extremely conservative; and they’d be right. The usually-liberal leaning New York shocked MMJ advocates up and down the country in 2014, when it introduced one of the most restrictive medical marijuana bills in the U.S. Initially, it was seen as an extremely conservative step, but a necessary one, given that New York governor Andrew Cuomo has been vocally anti-marijuana (in any form) in the past. Looking at the legislature, it reads almost opposite to California’s bill of eighteen years previous, although of course, they are broadly the same piece of law.

MMJ Recs - Beverly Hills

New York’s medical marijuana legislation is pretty much the exact opposite of California’s 1996 MMJ bill.

Initially, New York had a small list of severe diseases under its qualifying conditions. These included cancer, AIDS, ALS, MS and Parkinson’s, although crucially did not include the all important ‘chronic pain’ clause that California’s law has. Since last year, after pressure from MMJ advocates, this has since been rectified, and ‘chronic pain’ is now a fully fledged, MMJ-legal condition in New York.

A second part of the bill that shocked Californians, and has yet to be rectified, is the prohibition on smoking the medicine. Smoking has long been known as the most potent and effect method to consume marijuana; when it comes to medical cases, it’s important that patients give the medicine the best chance it can to work. Unfortunately, under Governor Cuomo, smoking MMJ was considered too much of a risk, and not included in the bill.

Other restricting factors include absolutely no cultivation permitted, and a limit on how many dispensaries can operate in the state at a time (only twenty). This again is in stark contrast to the West Coast, where patients could be sure of picking up their medicine locally and easily.

Looking to New York, patients in California would be shocked to learn that there is only one dispensary for every 27,000 square kilometers of the state. This makes access hard, and also crucially makes it more troublesome for critically ill patients to get the treatment they need.

Although things are changing in New York, they’re still a long way off the liberal leanings of California’s law. Observing the happenings on the East Coast, MMJ patients in Cali are no doubt thanking their lucky stars that they live where they do; conversely, NY patients have got a fight on their hands to bring their legislature up to California’s gold standard.

6 Delicious MMJ Juice Recipes

Medical marijuana card holders sure are a creative bunch. Since the dawn of the MMJ card, patients across cannabis friendly states haven’t been short on imagination when it comes to finding new and innovative ways to consume the plant.

Most California medical marijuana card holders are rightly on board with the healthy lifestyle that has long been held paramount across this beautiful state. With a strong focus on health and wellbeing, Californians are the benchmark to which every other state pits its own healthy ambitions to, desperately trying to keep up with the good example set to them.

One health revolution that the Sunshine State is particularly well known for is the juicing phenomenon that swept the state in the mid 2000s. Not being ones to scrimp on their physical fitness, Californians started to drink more and more nutrient packed juices to boost their immune systems and overall health. Since Californians are similarly trailblazers when it comes to the use of medical marijuana, it came as no surprise to anyone that these two miracle phenomena would be combined into one, ass kicking super drink.

When ingested within a juice, medical marijuana can be consumed in higher doses without negative side effects. These doses are infinitely more packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, fiber and those all important cannabinoids, due to the fact the plant isn’t being heated, therefore leaving all the goodness undamaged.

In addition to being delicious, MMJ juices are packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, fiber and cannabinoids.

Interested in starting your delicious MMJ juice journey? Of course you are! Here are a few tasty recipes to get you started.

MMJ Green Meanie

This Hulk-colored mega juice is absolutely packed with iron – great for boosting your red blood cells – and vitamin K – a super soldier in the fight for good bone health. Gulp a tall glass of this bad boy in the morning and you’ll be primed to tackle anything that the day might throw at you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large kale leaves (sliced)
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 small green apple (cored and sliced)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

*NB It’s imperative when making MMJ juice that you don’t juice your medical marijuana for too long, as the heat of the rotating blades can damage the nutrients inside the plant.

Afternoon Slump Energy Booster

As the name suggests, this is a great juice to sip on when you start to feel your energy dip in the afternoon. It contains enough natural fruit sugars and electrolyte packed coconut water to wake you back up and keep you going.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of lychees in syrup (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup peaches (frozen, thawed and sliced)
  • ¾ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

Apple and Pear-rie Full Body Blast

Boost just about every part of your body with a couple of mouthfuls of this vitamin-packed super juice. Containing vitamins A, B, C and E, this delicious treat will leave your skin looking radiant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium apple (cored and cubed)
  • 2 medium soft pears (cored and cubed)
  • ½  cup cherries (fresh with pits removed)
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

MMJ juices contain some pretty good ingredients – medical cannabis, of course, but also everything from fresh berries and kiwi to good-for-your vegetables.

Anti-Inflammatory Juice Boost

This juice is packed with anti-inflammatory super foods to tackle your ailment right at its source. For the best – and juiciest – results, make it with canned pineapple in juice, instead of syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 4 celery stalks
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • ½ green apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 knob ginger
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

Super Purple Juice

This vegetable-heavy juice is filled with cancer-fighting compounds and anti-inflammatory agents, making it quite the super juice. Packed to the brim with beets, carrots, kale, cabbage, ginger and lemon, there’s a whole lot of goodness in a tall, purple glass of this stuff.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • ¼ head red cabbage
  • 1 red beet
  • 1-2 carrots
  • ginger, 1 inch piece
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

Migraine-Targeting Boost Juice

As headache-prone MMJ card holders will tell you, there’s nothing quite like a debilitating migraine to leave you bed ridden for a few days. If you need fast relief from a head splitting pain, mix up a glass or two of this super juice and you’ll be feeling right as rain in no time.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pineapple
  • 3-4 leaves kale or a bunch of spinach
  • 1 stick of celery
  • ¼ lemon
  • ½ inch ginger root (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh, raw medical marijuana

Method:

  1. Juice all of the ingredients – except the MMJ – until completely blended.
  2. When you’re satisfied that everything is thoroughly mixed, add the MMJ and blend on pulse until desired consistency is achieved.

If these recipes sound too tasty to turn down, get your hands on a juicer, some crisp, fresh MMJ and your medical marijuana card and you’ll be starting on your way to making your own juicy creations in no time.

Not sure of how exactly to juice your MMJ? No worries! Check out our handy how-to guide and you’ll soon be sipping your way to better health.

5 MMJ Strains That Are Perfect to Consume at Work

It’s time to forget those stereotypical images of the lazy, sleepy stoner. These days, marijuana – particularly medical marijuana – is no longer associated with lethargy, drowsiness and lying on the couch in your underwear all day, working your way through a whole tray of cookies. For too long, medical marijuana card holders had to put up with being portrayed as this damaging stereotype. Thankfully, with the further spread of the medical weed card and use of MMJ strains across the country, these nonsense falsities about cannabis card carriers are being debunked faster than you can say ‘Duuuuude’.

While there are undeniably some MMJ strains that can make the user less active, there are plenty of other strains that boost energy, focus concentration and get your creative juices flowing.

Choosing the Right MMJ Strain

The key to choosing the right medical marijuana strain boils down to the age old indica vs. sativa argument. On a chemical level, the two types of MMJ are significantly different, with indica strains exhibiting a high THC: CBD ratio while sativa strains exhibit the opposite. Although indica strains do have their uses, they’ll end up giving you that all over body stoned feeling, a.k.a. the dreaded couch lock. After you consume indica, you are exponentially less likely to be productive. For this reason, indica should be steered clear of while you’re working (unless you want to get into a raging argument with your boss!)

Sativas, on the other hand, are uplifting and energetic and can be consumed while working with no negative side effects. Not only will you experience no bad side effects, but you’ll also find yourself more productive, more positive and much more likely to get a whole lotta work done.

Here’s our top picks of the best sativa strains to consume while at work.

MMJ Recs - Man Working

Instead of making you drowsy and unmotivated, there are plenty of MMJ strains that can boost energy, focus concentration and get your creative juices flowing.

Jack Herer

There’s a good reason why Jack Herer is one of the most popular strains on the market today. The strain is energizing, uplifting and incredibly mentally stimulating, making it the perfect go-to strain for busy medical marijuana card holders. If you’re got a tight deadline looming and are starting to become a little overwhelmed by the task at hand, consuming even a small about of Herer will help. If you can’t get your hands on Jack Herer itself, opt for a derivative of the strain, like Jack the Ripper or Galatic Jack.

Sour Tsunami

Some MMJ card holders find themselves to be incompatible with high THC strains, as they can leave them anxious, drowsy or nauseous. If this sounds like you, Sour Tsunami will be a godsend. Sour Tsunami is a high CBD strain that is excellent at focusing concentration. This mellow focus will enable you to complete mountains of work, without any added stress. If you consume this at work, the only thing you’re at risk of doing is bothering your colleagues with a seriously upbeat, positive attitude.

Haze

Like Jack Herer, Haze is one of the most popular strains of MMJ on the market, and for good reason. This strain is ever popular for work consumption due to its unrivaled ability at combating depression and fatigue. Perfect for consuming during a mid afternoon slump, Haze will provide you with the energy – and the attitude – that you need to smash your day’s targets with no stress.

Purple Trainwreck

The spicy lemon and berry scent of this incredible strain is enough alone to boost your energy levels for the day. Twin that delicious scent with the euphoric, energizing, pain busting effects of PT, and you’ve got yourself the ideal strain for using at work. Effects of this strain are strong and immediate, so you’ll start to feel all that goodness wash in straight after consuming it. When using Purple Trainwreck, it’s important to be careful with your dosag- smoke too much and you could fall victim to the dreaded couch lock.

Sour Diesel

As a strong sativa strain, Sour Diesel produces a euphoric head high that is ideal for focusing your mind on the work task at hand. You can forget needing a morning coffee when you’re consuming Sour Diesel, as it is the ultimate awakener, providing you with enough energy and mental stimulation to keep you buzzing throughout the work day. As well as significantly tackling fatigue, Sour Diesel is excellent at warding off work related anxiety, stress and depression.

Cinex

Cinex is a marvelous sativa dominant hybrid strain that is a firm favorite among those with particularly challenging jobs. When consumed at work, Cinex produces a cognitive stimulation effect, similar to that which you’d get from a good, strong cup of coffee. If you have a complex task that you need to carry out with razor sharp precision, consuming Cinex will guide you through it with ease. While there’s no doubt that this strain can be invaluable to some MMJ card holders at work, it’s important to note that you should be careful with your dosage, as too much Cinex can cause users to feel anxious.

MMJ Recs - MMJ Strain

The MMJ strain Cinex is as powerful as a strong cup of coffee, but don’t consume too much or you’ll get too anxious and won’t be able to focus.

By opting for any of the above MMJ strains, you’ll be sure to banish any notion of inactivity for your important work day. As you would in any other environment, it’s important that you consume discreetly while you’re work, so as to avoid any discomfort for yourself or your co workers. For tips on how to consume discreetly and respectfully, check out our handy go-to guide.

Why You’ll Still Need an MMJ Card After Weed is Legalized

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, when the medical cannabis program was first approved. It was the number one state to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. Since then, many people with a debilitating illness have applied for and have been successful in receiving a California MMJ card. Once in possession of this cannabis card, owners can buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries, order it online from specialized and protected sites, and even grow their own plants. This has made life a little more palatable for those suffering from such conditions as arthritis, MS, AIDS and cancer – to name but a few of the 50 qualifying conditions.

Twenty years later in November 2016, the people of California passed Proposition 64, which legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes for adults over the age of 21 in the state. So, you might think that your 420 card is now redundant right? Well, you’re actually wrong. There are many reasons why you will need to retain and renew your MMJ card, once the law becomes effective in 2018.

MMJ Card Legalization Process

For the remainder of 2017, you will most definitely need to hang on to that California medical card. The Proposition will not come into effect until January 2018 at the earliest. The process of implementing this new law is pretty elaborate, so it’s safe to say that it won’t all happen overnight as we’re all celebrating the countdown to the New Year – there’s a lot of bureaucracy to get through first. Dispensaries will be allowed to start serving recreational users starting in January, but you can bet they won’t all be ready to do that – and some may delay or choose not to do so.

Even once we’ve reached 2018, when the state is required to give recreational weed shops their license, different localities within the state can set their own rules, so it’s not necessarily going to be a clear-cut done deal.

Recreational Use of Medical Marijuana in Public

One of the most important reasons why you will still need your MMJ card is that recreational use of MMJ will not be allowed in public places, even once the Proposition becomes law. However, if you have a California marijuana license, you will still generally be allowed to smoke medical cannabis where tobacco smoking is allowed. Remember to carry that card with you at all times!

MMJ Card Medical Needs

MMJ Recs - Isolated Man

If you’re a long-term medical weed card user, you will still have the respect of the medical professionals once it is legalized.

Some long-term MMJ card users are naturally worried that, with the legalization of cannabis, their medical needs may be belittled or forgotten about. They feel that the drug won’t be respected in terms of their requirements and how it benefits their lives. While it’s true to say that this may happen in a few cases, cannabis card holders should be assured that they will still be able to speak in confidence with doctors regarding their medical marijuana dosage, and use and that they will still have the respect of the medical professionals.

Growing Medical Cannabis at Home

Another obvious benefit of hanging on to your card once cannabis is legalized in California is that the new law will allow people to grow up to six plants only in their own home. As a cannabis card holder, you will still be allowed to harvest up to 100 square feet of marijuana plants on your own land.

The Price of Medical Weed

The final bit of good news and another reason why you will still need your card is that however the new proposition affects the price of marijuana, with a California medical marijuana card, you won’t have to pay more as you are exempt from paying sales taxes. Good news, huh?

Steps to Get an MMJ Card

Hopefully we’ve shown you some good reasons why you’ll still need your MMJ card after cannabis is legalized. If you don’t yet have a card, here’s how to apply for one:

If you think you may qualify for MMJ, then the easiest way to get a card is to buy your medical marijuana card online, via MMJ Recs. You just need to complete a standard medical form online and upload any relevant medical documents onto the site. One of our medical marijuana specialists will then evaluate you over the phone or via Skype. This takes just a few minutes; the physician will need information about your qualifying condition and your medical history, and will ask you why you believe taking medical marijuana may benefit you.

You can ask the specialist doctor any questions you like, and he or she will be available to advise you on the best strain and optimum amount for you disability. All benefits and any associated risks will be outlined to you. Once approved, your medical marijuana card will be sent to you in the mail. Be assured that MMJ Recs will treat any information you give us with the utmost privacy.

MMJ Recs - Hippie Van

At MMJ Recs, we will offer the best service and respect to anyone applying for an MMJ card.

If you are already in possession of a cannabis card, it’s important to remember that you need to reapply for your card every year.

So, our advice is don’t let the new law stop you from applying for a MMJ card or renewing it if you’re already in possession of one. The benefits of owning a card will remain, even once all the red tape has been gotten through, all the issues and concerns have been ironed out and the law is fully operational.

Is it Safe to Consume Medical Marijuana Around Children?

As the medical marijuana card revolution spreads across the United States, MMJ-using parents are now facing the tough question of whether or not they should consume the plant around their kids. Although MMJ isn’t as mind altering as other legalized substances like alcohol, there are still risks associated with consuming medical cannabis around children.

While other safe consumption methods may be up for debate, we can categorically tell you that smoking medical marijuana around your children is bad for them. Like cigarettes, when you smoke cannabis around children, you’re compromising their air quality through your own selfish decisions.

There is no amount of secondhand smoke that is not harmful to children, and breathing it in can lead to them developing a number of serious health issues like asthma, respiratory issues, ear infections and even sudden infant death syndrome.

Study on Children and Secondhand MMJ

Just like smoking tobacco is harmful to children, so is the secondhand smoke from medical cannabis.

According to Dr. Karen Wilson, a pediatrician and author of a study on the effects of secondhand marijuana consumption in children, parents and guardians need to take serious precautions to make sure kids aren’t left susceptible to ingesting or inhaling MMJ.

During her study, Dr. Wilson found that “there is a strong association between those who said there was someone in the home who used marijuana or a caretaker who used marijuana and the child having detectable marijuana levels”.

The children in the study had their urine samples sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which tested it for traces of marijuana. In children who had been expose to marijuana use, 75% had traces of marijuana in their urine.

Vaping Around Children

As vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, researchers are still unsure about whether or not children are at risk of being exposed to medical marijuana consumed via vaporizer. While there is no cloud of harmful smoke produced through vaporizing, a plume of mist does take its place, so it is reasonable to assume that this exhaled vapor may contain traces of MMJ.

As vaporizers need nothing except a firm pull to be ignited, if left unattended, you could find an eager child trying to copy you by sucking on the mouth piece. To avoid this, always make sure your vaporizer – and all your other MMJ equipment – is well out of the the reach of little, curious hands.

Medical Cannabis Edibles and Children

Initial research for MMJ edibles suggests that even low levels of THC exposure can have a negative effect on children.

Nothing is more tempting to a child than a tasty treat lying just within their reach. While an MMJ packed brownie might be just the thing that you need to ease the symptoms of your ailment, if it falls into the wrong hands, you could be making an unplanned trip to the Emergency Room.

If you’re consuming MMJ edibles around kids, make sure to keep them out of their reach. To avoid any arguments, you’re better off to consume them out of their line of vision too. Any refusals to share your delicious treat will be met with a volcanic temper tantrum, so do your best to avoid this situation.

Research into whether or not exposure to smokeless medical marijuana is bad for children is still relatively inconclusive, as there hasn’t been enough studies on the topic yet. Although there is still uncertainty, initial research would suggest that even low levels of THC exposure can have a negative effect on children, particularly affecting their development. These negative effects have been observed in every age bracket, from babies to teenagers.

Better Safe Than Sorry

To avoid exposing your little ones to the harmful effects of medical marijuana, it’s advised that MMJ card holders opt to consume the plant through ‘less exposable’ methods. These methods would include the use of tinctures, patches and MMJ infused drinks and edibles (once kept out of the reach of little hands). These methods, once administered correctly, won’t expose anyone but yourself to the effects of your medical marijuana.

Always set your MMJ doses out early and never have more on you than you’ll need if you know you’re going to be around children.

Although there are perfectly safe ways to consume medical marijuana around children, it’s prudent to remember not to consume too much. If you consume too much MMJ, you’re jeopardizing your ability to properly look after children, thusly potentially putting them in serious danger.

Though most MMJ card holders are fully aware of safe dosage levels, it can be easier than you think to consume too much, especially if your mind is distracted by looking after little ones. If you’re around kids and are worried about accidentally consuming too much MMJ, make sure to set your doses out early and to never have more MMJ on you than you’ll need in that day.

Consuming medical marijuana around children is no problem, once it’s carried out under the right circumstances. In any situation, the safety of the children should be paramount and where possible, should take precedence over your need to consume. If you’re still unsure on this topic, or if you’d like to know more about getting a medical marijuana card, get in touch with us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

The Beginner’s Guide to Vaping Medical Marijuana

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably aware of the omnipotence of vaping. Not just reserved for show-off teens making trick videos on YouTube, vaping has become more and more commonplace in recent times, and is now fast becoming the most popular method of consumption for medical marijuana card holders across the state of California.

For those of you who may not be quite au fait with what exactly vaporizing is – or you’ve been too afraid to ask – here’s a simple beginner’s guide to the phenomenon, without the jargon.

All About Vaporizing

So, what is vaporizing? How do you do it? It should come as no surprise to you that vaporizing is done with a … vaporizer! Simply put, a vaporizer works by heating your MMJ and creating a vapor cloud, which you then inhale and exhale, like you would with a joint.

For those of you want a bit more detail, here’s the science stuff. When you put your MMJ into the vaporizer, it’s heated to around 400 °F, which quickly releases the all important THC in the plant. A vapor cloud is created below the cannabis chamber of the vaporizer, which mixes with all the MMJ goodness above it. When you pull on the vaporizer, you inhale this THC-laced mist cloud, sending it flying through your body to target the symptoms of your ailment. As none of your medical marijuana is burned, there’s no smoke created.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

One of the benefits of vaping: no medical marijuana smoke is created.

Benefits of Vaping

There are plenty of reasons why MMJ card holders would choose to vape over other consumption methods – especially smoking. Unfortunately for MMJ card holders, smoking MMJ is no different to smoking anything else when it comes to exposing you to smoke-related dangers. When you smoke medical marijuana, you’re burning the plant, which then produces tar, carcinogens and other nasty products that should be kept well away from your body. When you vape, the plant isn’t being burned, so there’s no harmful smoke or carcinogens produced.

As most medical marijuana card holders will know, the cannabinoids in the plant are the most important players when it comes to tackling the symptoms of your ailment. These cannabinoids work to tackle pain and discomfort by mimicking the work of the naturally occurring endocannabinoids found in the body. These endocannabinoids are vitally important to your health, as they regulate immunity, pain and sleep so when they’re depleted, you can be in big trouble.

By replacing these endocannabinoids with the cannabinoids in MMJ, you’re restoring your body’s equilibrium, so it’s important that you consume as many of these wonder cannabinoids as possible. Thankfully for MMJ card holders, when you vaporize the plant, you’re inhaling approximately 95% cannabinoids, each one jam packed with the healing power necessary to get you feeling better.

A big reason that more and more medical marijuana card holders are opting to vape is that vaporizing your MMJ is delightfully discreet. The plume of mist created by a vaporizer doesn’t have an unpleasant weed smell. Any smell that may be created by the vaporizer is masked by the flavor of the oil, so people around you are none the wiser that you’re consuming – for all they know you’re just using a regular ‘ol tobacco vaporizer!

The plume of mist created by a vaporizer doesn’t have an unpleasant weed smell, unlike when you smoke a joint using medical marijuana.

Types of Vaporizers

Choosing which vaporizer to buy all depends on what you want out of it. Need something handy and portable? Then opt for a pen vaporizer. These are similar to the e-cigarettes that are currently on the market. The small size of these vaporizers mean they can be carried around discreetly and with ease. Although pen vaporizers can be great, some MMJ card holders would attest that they don’t provide you with the same amount of medical marijuana that more robust vaporizers would create.

If you’re looking for something slightly more durable but with the same portability, get yourself a portable vaporizer. These are slightly larger than pen vaporizers so they pack more of an MMJ punch.

If you cherish effectiveness over portability, then you should consider investing in a good quality stationary vaporizer. Though these machines don’t come cheap – they retail between $400-$700, depending on the model – they are unrivaled in their ability to produce MMJ-packed vapor.

It’s worth noting that although vaping is a great, handy way to consume medical wee, you do need to put some effort into the upkeep of your vaporizer. Try to clean your vaporizer at least once a week to avoid any old residue building up. No one wants to take a pull of their fresh MMJ, only to be met with the foul taste of some weeks-old buds. If your vaporizer is one that needs to be charged, make sure to do this regularly – perhaps overnight – to make sure you don’t get caught needing to consume, without the working equipment to do it.

Although vaping is an undeniably great method of consumption, sometimes even the best methods just don’t work for some people. If you’re not sure of whether vaping is for you, try out a vape or two at your local dispensary to see if it’s a good fit. If you think it’s right for you don’t worry, there are plenty of other consumption methods available to you.

Is New York Going to Overtake California as the Leading MMJ State?

As legal medical marijuana becomes more and more widespread in the United States, the particular ways each state is handling the introduction of the medicine are slowly becoming apparent. There are currently 29 legal MMJ states in the country, across the country from California to New York, and all of them approach the subject a little differently to the last.

While advocates continue to fight the good fight to get the medicine legalized in all 50 states, it’s going to be a long road; so it can be instructive to take a look at how the respective programs of the legalized states have shaped up so far.

California: A Trailblazer for Medical Cannabis

The trailblazer state for MMJ is undoubtedly California, who legalized the drug over twenty years ago in 1996. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, passed by a narrow 55%, and allowed people suffering from cancer, AIDS, arthritis and other chronic ailments the avail of medical marijuana.

Although the proposition was criticized at the time for its vague wording, it was hailed as a major breakthrough by the medical profession, who could now legally recommend MMJ to their patients. From then, California has gone from strength to strength, and has become the guiding beacon for the legalization of both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

California has long been seen as a leading liberal state, as has its counterpart on the opposite coast, New York. America’s largest city has a long history of liberal leanings, and most expected them to carry through with the advent of MMJ. However, that was surprisingly not the case.

New York vs. California MMJ Laws

Quite the opposite occurred actually; when New York finally legalized medical marijuana in 2014, a full eighteen years after California, it was in the form of a shockingly restrictive and conservative bill. One of the sticking points of the new legislation came from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a long-standing anti-marijuana advocate, who insisted that the medicine should not be legalized in smokable form.

MMJRecs - Golden Gate

California allows medical marijuana to be taken in any form, which is vastly different to the MMJ laws in New York.

This greatly limits the potency of MMJ, which is most effective and fast-acting when smoked. In addition, only a small number of diseases, many of them severe, would qualify a patient for MMJ treatment in New York; the 2014 bill didn’t include the blanker term ‘chronic pain’, which critically limits both who doctors can prescribe to, and on what grounds.

In fact, New York doctors themselves had to think very carefully before prescribing the drug. If they were found to be working outside the tight parameters of Cuomo’s bill, they could find themselves breaking federal law.

As it stood upon introduction, New York’s MMJ laws stood in stark contrast to California’s liberal leanings. California allows medical marijuana to be taken in any form, and also includes a wide range of qualifying conditions, which sharply outguns New York’s restrictive measures.

Medical Marijuana Laws: Times They are a Changin’

Things have been changing recently though, and advocates in New York have been applying pressure in order to loosen the conservative bill. These changes, however, bring it nowhere near California’s MMJ legacy; and the problem starts with supply and demand.

It’s hard to walk down any given street in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or indeed any major Californian city, without happening across an MMJ dispensary. Over twenty years of legal medical marijuana have given California an unprecedented head start in terms of cultivation, and the industry continues to go from strength to strength.

Over on the East coast however, things are a little different. Currently, New York’s 2014 bill only allows for five cultivation companies to legally operate in the state, with a maximum of twenty dispensaries (or one every 2,700km). This was initially crippling to the growth of MMJ; though the Department of Health has since recognized its limitations, and doubled the amount of cultivation companies to ten, in a bill passed late last year.

MMJRecs - New York Skyline

One good piece of news is that as of March this year, chronic pain was added as a qualifying ailment for MMJ in New York.

There are also continuing and persistent calls for changing the qualifying conditions in New York, some of which have not gone unheeded. As of March this year, chronic pain was added as a qualifying ailment, after it was announced in December 2016. This opens up a whole new world for medical marijuana in New York, making it accessible for many more people for whom it could prove a major benefit. Despite the early aggressiveness of the 2014 bill, signs are good that the Department of Health are loosening their reins and are looking to put New York on the MMJ map.

However, these new measures simply don’t measure up to California’s lax legislation. In fact, the Sunshine State has gone one step further and legalized recreational marijuana, another bold step in the slowly but surely progressing acceptance of the drug. Although it’s making bold strides, and is certainly heading in there right direction, New York still has a long way to go to make up the ground gained by California.

Until NY, the supposed liberal bastion of the Eastern seaboard, severely loosens its laws, Cali will remain the king of MMJ states. But who knows what the lay of the land will look like five years from now. Until then, patients will on both sides of the country will have to continue fighting the good fight, and advocating the plethora of benefits MMJ provides.

6 Potential Negative Side Effects of MMJ Use to Watch Out For

Thank goodness for the continuing, relentless and seemingly unstoppable liberalization of medical marijuana laws that are sweeping across the United States (and to a lesser extent, the globe) at this moment in history. This period in time will forever be remembered as a genuine renaissance in which medical cannabis reestablished itself in its rightful place at the epicenter of human medicine.

There are a huge wealth of benefits to MMJ use. The magical herb relieves pain, stimulates appetite, stabilizes mood, calms muscle spasms, eases glaucoma, promotes relaxation and sleep, alleviates psychological and physiological tension, remedies nausea, and is even showing great potential to do damage to cancerous cells.

As more and more people are availing of the myriad of benefits that their California medical marijuana card brings, it is important to also create an awareness of the potential negative side effects of MMJ use. Like with everything (including water, exercise and even sex) too much of something, even something very good, can be bad.

The following is our list of six potential pitfalls to be aware of if you are a regular user of medical marijuana.

Constant ‘Munchies’ May Lead to Weight Gain

Using medical cannabis can cause you to get high on life, but it can also get you high numbers on the weight scale.

One of MMJs great benefits is that it stimulates appetite. A good appetite is invaluable for optimal health. But the other side to this coin is that weed can also promote overeating.

The ‘munchies’ are a very real thing. Food and drink tastes especially good when you are under the influence of medical cannabis, and when you couple that with a generally stimulated appetite (and perhaps a somewhat reduced capacity to be disciplined), gorging is always a distinct possibility.

Overeating can be combated by shopping wisely before you ingest any MMJ – buying only healthy foods. You may regret this when you are high, but you will thank yourself the next time you weigh yourself!

If You Smoke Medical Cannabis, You’ll Be Susceptible to Smoking-Related Health Problems

Smoking cannabis, especially if you roll your joints with some tobacco, is not good for your lungs. It can lead to shortness of breath, emphysema and even lung cancer. A good start to combating this threat is to roll joints using only pure cannabis, which means you will smoke less and get a more potent hit of medical marijuana.

An even better way to avoid smoking-related illnesses is to not smoke at all – vaping and edibles are both great ways to ingest MMJ without breathing in any harmful smoke.

Being Under the Influence of MMJ May Cause You to Appreciate (and Even Become a Big Fan of) Music You Would Otherwise Hate

Marijuana induces an altered state of consciousness, and in this altered state, things that are not all that interesting to the ‘sober you’ can seem altogether fascinating. Music that you would otherwise have no interest in, if heard when you are in this altered state, can sound amazing.

This can lead to ‘imprinting’ – which is when you essentially form an irrational attachment, or ‘fetish’, for a song and have a compulsion to listen to it all the time, even when sober. This can lead to a feeling of helplessness and also to embarrassment in social situations. There is no known cure for this. Prevention is your only hope.

Edibles Take Longer to Kick In and Can Be Very Strong, So Beware

It is a common mistake if you are a rookie (or even a seasoned MMJ user who is new to edibles) to eat some weed, in the form of a brownie for instance, and then to sit there twiddling your thumbs for an hour feeling zero effect. Then you eat some more and… BOOM, you get obscenely higher than you’ve ever been in your life five minutes later, as both doses erupt inside you at the same time.

Watch out for this. Edibles are often very strong indeed, and they usually take anything between 30 minutes to an hour to kick in. Be patient.

Medical Marijuana Can Disrupt Your Sleep Patterns

Marijuana use, especially if the strain is high in CBD, can induce sleep. If this happens early in the day and you pass out on the sofa for a few hours, it can be difficult to sleep at your proper bedtime in the evening. It’s a form of weed-induced jet lag. Also, particularly strong MMJ can lead to a very heavy, dead, dreamless type of sleep that can leave you feeling slightly dazed the next day.

A good way around this is to only use very high CBD strains if you have a condition which makes it hard for you to sleep. Otherwise, use strains with more reasonable levels of CBD.

Using Medical Cannabis Can Make You Lazy and Unproductive

Not everyone can be as productive and creative as The Beatles while using MMJ, so be cautious about when and where you take it.

Apparently, The Beatles worked busily on their best albums while baked on marijuana. That must have been some weak weed! All joking aside, some people can be productive and busy while under the influence of medical cannabis, but many people can not.

The very relaxed state that (particularly a high-CBD strain) of weed will bring on is not conducive to productivity. The highly altered state of consciousness and heady high brought on by a THC-rich strain can make you feel energetic and creative, although the art you create when high unfortunately does not always cut the mustard when you take a look at it sober the next day.

A good way to avoid this pitfall is to only smoke later in the day, after you’ve done your important work, or if you need MMJ all day, then try to smoke a lighter strain. Also, try to stay moving so you can avoid getting trapped on the couch watching Judge Judy with a packet of Oreos and a block of cheese.

 

3 MMJ Brownie Recipes That Will Change Your Life

An excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth and give your lungs a break, while at the same time easing your glaucoma, calming your PTSD, controlling your muscle spasms or simply setting yourself up for a top-quality 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, is to bake a batch of medical cannabis-infused brownies.

Chocolate brownies are the quintessential edible marijuana treat! People have been ingesting their medical herb in sweet brownie form since before any of us were born. But the method has not lost its charm. Brownies are scrumptious…and potent!

A decent-sized nibble on a well-made MMJ brownie will transport the nibbler to another galaxy in which time slows down, all worry evaporates, aches and pains melt away, and life’s issues can be seen from novel and liberating new perspectives.

Go Crazy for Cannabutter

The base of all cannabis-infused brownies is cannabutter. It is the vital marijuana-containing ingredient that makes our brownies more than just average brownies, and it’s the part of the recipe that contains the potent, pain-alleviating, health-promoting herb. Basically, it’s crucial.

To make cannabutter, you use your California medical marijuana card to get some good medical marijuana (your cannabutter will only be as good as the weed you use to make it, so don’t cut corners). If you use your California medical card to buy budd in dried-out, ready to smoke form, you are good to go.

But, if you are an amateur farmer who grows your weed yourself, make sure to decarb the fresh leaves by putting them on a tray and baking them for about 40 minutes at 240 degrees. Bake them until they are thoroughly dried out and crumbly, and then grind them up. Melt butter in a saucepan – 4 sticks of butter for every ounce of medical cannabis you use. Once the butter is melted to an oily liquid, gently stir in the dried, ground-up medical weed.

After the weed is thoroughly stirred into the butter, turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer at the lowest possible heat for anything from 2 to 4 hours. Stir regularly. When the mix becomes glossy and thick, it is ready to be poured through a strainer into a plastic food container, and left to cool at room temperature. Once the cannabutter is cooled to room temperature place it in the fridge. Cannabutter complete!

(If you use your cannabis card and make your cannabutter at home, you have no way of knowing the exact THC content, so be wary when baking. We’ve suggested using part cannabutter, part regular butter on your first batch. Experiment and see how the brownies turn out. Change the ratio of cannabutter to regular butter as required.)

Now, without further ado, here are three MMJ brownie recipes that will change your life.

The base of all medical marijuana brownies – cannabutter – is easy to make at home.

Mint Chocolate Chip and Green Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cannabutter
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate mint chips

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Warm the cannabutter and butter in a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Once the butters have melted, stir in the sugar. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.
  4. Using a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Ad the two mixtures together and whisk until totally combined. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and a¾ cup of mint chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and flatten it out. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of mint chocolate chips on top of the mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

They say that blondes have more fun, but so do blonde MMJ brownies!

Bodacious Blonde Brownies

Ingredients:

(Brownies)

  • 4 ounces cannabutter
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

(Frosting)

  • 2 ½ ounces cannabutter
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butters over a low heat. Mix the sugar and eggs until fluffy. Whisk the butters, sugars and egg mix gently until completely combined. Fold the flour, white chocolate and macadamia nuts into the mixture.
  3. Transfer the batter into the baking tray and flatten it out.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. To prepare the frosting, whisk the cannabutter, icing sugar and vanilla extract using an electric whisk until it’s smooth and fully combined.
  6. Whisk in the milk (as required for correct consistency) and peanut butter.
  7. Once the brownies are baked and cooled, spread the frosting on top.

Mellow Marshmallow Brownies

Ingredients:

(Brownies)

  • 3 ounces cannabutter
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 2 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

(Topping)

  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 ounce cannabutter
  • 1 ¼ cups Nutella
  • 4 cups Rice Krispies

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butters and whisk in the sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add the cocoa powder,¾ cup of chocolate chips and salt. When the mixture is fully combined, add the flour.
  3. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. For the topping, sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the top.
  5. Melt 2 cups of chocolate chips and cannabutter over a warm heat. Whisk in the Nutella and Rice Krispies. Add the mixture over the layer of mini marshmallows. Put into the fridge to chill.

Now that you know these delicious MMJ brownie recipes, we hope you’ll give them a try! You can also check out these 4 sweet medical marijuana edibles recipes.

Will MMJ Cure My Aches?

Chronic pain is one of the toughest conditions to live with. There is no standard test for it, it can take many forms, and it often varies wildly from person to person. Most patients are understandably reluctant to rely upon traditional prescription painkillers, many of which are addictive. But what is the alternative to living in constant pain?

Many studies have suggested that medical marijuana can assist in the treatment of chronic pain, and this could offer a lifeline to many people who are suffering daily.

What is Chronic Pain?

MMJ Recs - Stressed Student

Anyone can experience chronic pain in any part of the body, and it can have a harmful effect on your everyday life.

How is chronic pain defined? Simply put, it can be defined as a pain that will not go away and cannot be easily attributed to any one cause. It can occur at any site on the body, be it head, neck, back, limbs or any other area, and can defined as either nociceptive (which means that its root is damaged tissue) or neuropathic (which means that the pain is coming from a malfunctioning nervous system).

As there is no strict test for pain, and because it varies from person to person and medical professionals rely on the testimony of their suffering patients, it is often very hard to find causes and treatments for pain.

Why Use Medical Marijuana as an Alternative Therapy?

Patients have long turned to alternative therapies for pain management, including acupuncture, reiki, diet and other methods. Due to the addictive nature of opioid painkillers, many patients do not want to get into a cycle of carefully killing their pain while running the risk of becoming addicted, having to detox, and then being left without a way of managing their crippling pain.

Medical marijuana is a logical step for anyone attempting to manage chronic pain. It is a natural therapy that comes in many forms, so there really is an option for everyone.

MMJ Recs - Shisha

Although smoking medical cannabis is the most popular form of therapy for pain, there are many delicious edible recipes out there.

Smoking is clearly the most popular option when it comes to medical marijuana, but did you know that you can also get edible medical marijuana, vape pens and even body rubs? These are just some of the many options offered to patients who need help with chronic pain management. Body rubs, roll-ons and creams containing THC or CBD have also proved incredibly helpful for those suffering from chronic pain, as the ingredients attack the pain at the site.

However, if you’d rather focus on smoking medical marijuana, there are definitely some strains out there that will help you in chronic pain management. Edibles are also an excellent option, as they feel like a real treat in the form of yummy cakes, lollipops or chocolate bars. Vapes are really convenient and easily transportable, whereas traditional joints for smoking are best kept for use in the privacy of your home due to their distinctive smell. The smell of medical marijuana actually can be linked to its power in fighting pain, so in this case, the smellier, the better!

Types of MMJ Used for Pain

White Widow, Super Bud and Master Kush are a few types of medical cannabis used to treat pain.

Jack Herer and Super Bud are two strains that are known for assisting in nerve pain, which is a very common form of pain and one of the hardest to treat. White Widow and Northern Lights are best for muscle pain, as they are linked to relaxation (which can help for body parts that are ravaged with tension). Master Kush and Afghan Kush are great all-round pain relievers, and may prove helpful for anyone who isn’t really sure where to start when treating pain with medical marijuana.

Medical Cannabis Advice from Experts

Your local dispensary can be an invaluable source in talking to an expert. They will have dealt with many patients with varying levels and conditions of pain, and will be able to advise you on what works and doesn’t work in relation to the management of chronic pain through medical marijuana.

It may also be helpful to talk to your doctor or a medical professional in relation to managing your pain, especially if you are reluctant to go down the route of traditional opioid painkillers. You will need to speak to a medical professional to gain a MMJ card if you do not already have one, and depending on your state’s laws, you’ll have to meet strict criteria that fits a definition of chronic pain.

It is important to visit a liberal medical professional who takes medical marijuana seriously and views it as a legitimate treatment, as not all medical professionals believe this to be the case.

MMJ Recs - Back Pain

Although studies have proven that MMJ can effectively treat pain, it’s ultimately up to you if you want to try it.

Studies exist that strongly support evidence that medical marijuana can assist in the treatment of chronic pain without the addictive quality of traditional painkillers. The key is to try different strains, as well as different forms of medical marijuana. Get advice from medical dispensaries and medical professionals, but the choice is yours.

There is a strain that works for everyone, and it’s about finding the correct treatment for you so that you can live the best life possible without your chronic pain holding you back.

The Benefits of MMJ vs. Modern Day Medicine

We all know that medical marijuana is a wonderfully brilliant miracle treatment, but did you know that thanks to its effectiveness, it’s now seriously rivaling the popularity of modern day medicine in MMJ card states? While this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to medical marijuana card holders who have long been reaping the benefits of this super-plant, others are shocked at this news, and all because of their indoctrination into the allopathic school of thought.

Medical marijuana has recently gone through a renaissance, thanks to the advent of the medical marijuana card. Before this, MMJ had been subjected to a decade’s-long character assassination created by the proliferation of lies and misinformation during the ‘War on Drugs’. Before this dark period in MMJ history, marijuana had been used to treat all manner of ailments for hundreds of years.

Now that people are more open to the use of medical marijuana, they’re noticing the stark contrasts between using it and using more traditional modern medicines. If you were to do up a pros and cons list for each form of treatment, you’d soon see that the con list for using pharmaceutical treatments far outweighs that of using medical marijuana.

MMJ Reduces Side Effects and Health Complications

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

Unlike modern day medicines, which are known to cause serious side effects and complications, medical cannabis is not known to do either.

It’s no secret that some prescription painkillers come with nasty, life-restricting side effects. These side effects can be anything from chronic pain and depression to decreased libido. On the other hand, medical marijuana comes with no known severe side effects. A study conducted by Canadian scientists found that 215 MMJ card holders suffering from chronic pain “had no greater risk than non-users to experience serious adverse effects” after using the drug for one year. Most long-term MMJ card holders report no side effects following years of consumption.

Medical marijuana is not known to cause any serious health complications. Unfortunately, this is not the case for some modern medicines. Prescription medicines – especially opioid-based ones – can do serious damage to patients after prolonged use. A 2008 study based on life-threatening pharmaceutical side effects stated that opioid-based prescription drugs could cause “delayed gastric emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, muscle rigidity, and myoclonus”.

Not only are these side effects dangerous in their own right, but if they’re experienced for prolonged periods of time, they could facilitate the growth of tumors in the affected parts of the body. In particular, Pharma painkillers prescribed to relieve chronic pain in cancer patients have been observed to stimulate further tumor growth. In contrast, MMJ card holders who have been prescribed medical marijuana for cancer-associated pain have in some instances seen a reduction in the size of their tumors.

Medical Marijuana is Not as Addictive

As a lot of prescription painkillers are derived from the same source as heroin, they can be incredibly addictive. America consumes a staggering 75% of the world’s prescription drugs, and at least half of this number can be put down to addiction. Some doctors will freely prescribe these highly-addictive drugs to line their own pockets with money from Big Pharma so when people are prescribed these pills, it may not be within their own best interests.

Addiction to modern medications is exacerbated by the fact that your body starts to build up tolerance to them, meaning that you need to take more and more to get the same effect. Thankfully, the number of prescription medicine-related deaths have significantly reduced in the past number of years, with some people signaling that this is due to the introduction of medical cannabis cards.

By and large, medical marijuana is a non-addictive substance. While there are some cases of marijuana addiction, these are nearly entirely found within the recreational community. MMJ card carriers are aware of safe dosage levels, and even if they were to consume a little too much by accident, they’d be at risk of no more than feeling a little woozy for a couple of hours.

MMJ Recs - Doctor Online

Since medical professionals have started issuing MMJ cards, the number of prescription medicine-related deaths have significantly reduced.

Of course, there are benefits to substituting modern medicine for medical marijuana altogether, but don’t put the idea of taking them concurrently off the table. For MMJ card holders on vital medication for a life-threatening illness, sometimes it simply isn’t an option for them to come off their prescription. In these cases, medical marijuana is often used as an additional form of treatment, to be taken alongside the original prescribed medication. Medical marijuana is taken by these patients in order to further lessen the symptoms of their ailment, or to lessen the harsh side effects that can come with taking some modern medications.

Pills taken to combat diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease can come with a whole host of nasty side effects that can leave patients incapacitated or in constant severe pain. Medical marijuana tackles these issues, thanks to its exceptional pain-relieving powers, as well as its ability to tackle other subsidiary symptoms like muscle spasms and lethargy. As medical marijuana comes with no side effects of its own, it’s perfectly safe to take it alongside traditional medicines.

We shouldn’t think of medical marijuana and modern medicine as a rivalry at all. MMJ is fast becoming an integral part of modern medicine, with doctors across the country prescribing it to medical cannabis holders for a whole range of medical conditions. When we start to look at MMJ as an addition to medicine, rather than a rival to it, we’re giving ourselves more options to choose from and thus, we expand our treatment horizons.

Some treatments don’t work for everybody, and that’s to be expected, but if we have as wide a range of treatment options as possible, more people will find the perfect treatment plan for them, easing their discomfort and enabling them to live better lives. If you want to explore your MMJ card options, get in touch with us today and we’ll see what’s available to you.

Why New Yorkers are Waking Up to the Benefits of Medical Marijuana

By the time the Empire State legalized medical marijuana back in 2014, New Yorkers had already been acutely aware of its many benefits. Not only had they been inundated with news from other cannabis card states, but they had also been witness to countless legalization rallies, all of which spread the good message of this wonder drug.

Now that New Yorkers are three years into their own MMJ card program, they’re more aware than ever of just how great the plant really is.

The Reputation of MMJ

Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case. Unlike other medications, medical marijuana has been the subject of a decades-long smear campaign. For eons, MMJ had been synonymous with thuggery, addiction and abuse, all thanks to the proliferation of lies and misinformation about the plant.

This campaign reached a head with the ‘War on Drugs’, spearheaded by Richard Nixon in the 1970s, who dubbed drug abuse “public enemy number one”. The lies that spread during this time had long-lasting effects on the status of medical marijuana in society. Any inkling of legalization that was on the horizon was instantly dashed, and left in a smoldering pile on the floor of the legislator’s office.

As this reputation started to subside, more people started to wake up to the massive benefits that medical marijuana could provide to millions of Americans lives. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, with other states following suit over the next two decades.

As New Yorkers had seen more than 20 of their neighbors legalize MMJ before them, they had become aware of the benefits of the plant. By the time medical marijuana cards were introduced to New York, most of the negative connotations associated with the drug had been debunked, and MMJ was now finally recognized as the wonder drug that it is.

Medical Cannabis: An Effective Alternative

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

MMJ is an effective alternative to treating serious illnesses with side effects like anxiety and depression.

Medical marijuana is being used statewide by New Yorkers as an effective, gentle alternative to traditional modern medicines. The medication that is often prescribed for MMJ compatible conditions can be incredibly harsh on the body. Side effects exhibited from the use of hard medications can include depression, anxiety, extreme nausea, tiredness and chronic headaches. While it would be foolish to say that medical marijuana could be completely substituted for any medication, for some less serious illnesses, this is possible.

Patients who are on vital modern medications can also opt to consume medical marijuana as a way of combating the side effects of these medications. A total substitution of a treatment plan cannot always be done, but using the two medications concurrently with one another can be a match made in heaven. Medical marijuana has long been observed to effectively treat typical side effects from harsh medication like stomach pain, muscle spasms and lethargy.

As chronic pain was recently added to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card, New Yorkers are now becoming aware of just how effective a pain reliever it really is. Outside of New York, pain relief is the number one reason that patients apply for an MMJ card. Medical marijuana tackles pain by boosting the endocannabinoids within the body. Furthermore, the THC present in MMJ is an extremely potent pain reliever and when twinned with CBD it works twice as well.

Not only is medical marijuana an excellent pain reliever, it is also effective at tackling the symptoms of a large number of diseases. The severity of the disease is unimportant in this effectiveness, as shown by the fact that you can only get a medical marijuana card for a life-threatening illness in New York. MMJ is thorough at treating associative symptoms such as muscle spasms, seizures and depression, meaning that patients are relieved of the more disruptive aspects of their illness.

Recent Medical Marijuana Legislation

MMJ Recs - Statue of Liberty

Instead of money going into the hands of criminals, MMJ legalization is making New York a much safer state.

Medical Marijuana legislation is big business for the state itself. Recently, California raked in a massive 2.7 billion in marijuana sales across the state – yes, that’s a ‘b’ not an ‘m’! Although the average medical marijuana card holder wouldn’t care much about the massive market this is creating, MMJ sales contribute to the revenue of the state, meaning that it has more money to spend on roads, schools and hospitals. As money is going to the state that once went straight into the hands of criminals, MMJ legalization is making New York communities safer as drug dealers are forced off the streets.

If New York is to rubber stamp the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act that is currently being tabled by legislators, we’ll see even more of a boom in state revenue. This act will essentially legalize all uses of marijuana, regulating it in the same way that alcohol currently is. The market boost that this would bring is a serious motivator for New York state legislators to further the total decriminalization of marijuana.

New York – like the rest of the world – has finally woken up to the wonderful benefits of medical marijuana. As full legalization starts to spread across America, MMJ acceptance will become commonplace, and New York medical marijuana card holders will reap the benefits. Once New York sees the total decriminalization of marijuana, we can realistically expect all the other states to follow suit soon after.

 

Why New York Medical Marijuana Laws Are Stricter Than in California

Why would anyone choose to leave sunny California? The weather is amazing, the people are chill and most importantly, the medical marijuana laws are pretty relaxed.

The Golden State was the first to bring MMJ laws onto its books. While many states have followed suit, not many have as relaxed laws as California does. There is also a great rivalry between the east and west coasts, so how do Californian medical marijuana laws measure up to those in New York state?

MMJ Laws in New York and California

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Buds

The main difference between New York medical marijuana laws and California medical cannabis laws are the forms that are legal to consume.

The short answer is that New York has far stricter rules on medical marijuana than California. While California has had MMJ laws on the books since 1996, New York only brought in limited medical marijuana laws on 2014.

The main difference between MMJ in the states is the forms that are legal. In California, you can consume smoking cannabis, edibles, tinctures and pretty much any kind of medical marijuana. However, in New York, there are strict laws in place relating to what can be consumed. Patients may only consume MMJ via oils or sprays to be vaporized or consumed orally. Edibles and cannabis cigarettes are still strictly illegal.

You are also not permitted to grow medical marijuana for your own use, whereas this is permitted in California. This can present issues for patients who experience the best results from cannabis cigarettes or edibles, as opposed to tinctures, oils or vapes.

Medical marijuana benefits different people in different ways, and the forms that you consume them in can often have differing effects. It’s unfortunate that New York state cannot cater to all of its medical marijuana patients, some of which live with chronic and unmanageable pain, but a broader law may come into effect with continued campaigning.

Obtaining Medical Marijuana in New York and California

MMJ Recs - golden-gate-bridge

In California, the process of obtaining an MMJ card is much easier than obtaining one in New York.

The ways in which you obtain a medical marijuana card in both states are also slightly different. In California, you can visit a medical marijuana professional for an in-person or online consultation. They will ask you the nature of your condition and prescribe medical cannabis to you based on your needs. You then receive your MMJ card and go to your dispensary to pick the form and strain of medical marijuana you need.

In New York, things are far stricter. Patients must suffer from a specified condition that appears on a list that has been ratified by the Commissioner. These conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease, chronic pain (which is very strictly defined) HIV/AIDS, cancer or epilepsy. This means that you need to fit very strict medical criteria before you can even consider seeking a medical marijuana card.

After you have deemed yourself suitable for medical marijuana treatment, you have to visit a registered medical marijuana practitioner. All medical marijuana practitioners must be registered with New York State and noted on a public register. When you visit an MMJ practitioner in New York, they will also decide the appropriate dosage and strain for you, as well as the form you consume it in.

MMJ Recs - Cannabis Plant

When you visit an MMJ practitioner in California, you get to decide your appropriate dosage and strain.

In California, that decision is left up to the patient. For example, you can go to a medical marijuana practitioner in New York State, who will decide you need a certain strain, in a certain amount to be administered and consumed in a certain form. You then bring the “prescription” to a dispensary, who can only give you the medical cannabis that the registered practitioner has decided is most appropriate for you.

As medical marijuana practitioners must register with the state, so too must patients. When you receive your MMJ certificate from your practitioner, you must register as a medical marijuana patient online. You will then be sent a card, which will allow you to receive your treatment. You cannot receive any treatment without your identification card.

Dispensaries in New York are also required to be fully registered and can only carry pre-approved products that can be designated to patients. While there is a wide variety of ways to take medical marijuana in California, practitioners in New York are only allowed to certify patients to take certain types and brands, with varying rates of THC and CBD.

As you can see, the measures in New York are far stricter than those in California, and this mostly just comes down to stigma. In California, MMJ has been around for over twenty years, and most citizens are comfortable with the concept, as it has changed so many lives for the better. New York is still coming around to the idea, and is being incredibly strict so as not to be seen to be condoning recreational drug use.

Hopefully, with time, New York will be able to relax its incredibly strict MMJ laws and allow more people access to a lifeline that has changed people from being in so much pain that they cannot function, to being functional members of society.

 

Medical Marijuana and Depression: The Inside Story

There is still a lot of controversy about whether or not medical marijuana is a suitable treatment for depression. Many physicians and scientists are enthusiastic about marijuana’s potential in this area, while others remain skeptical and cautious, wary of recommending what is still seen by some as an unconventional treatment for an illness of this type.

Medical marijuana and its effects on depression is a fascinating area of study. Solid progress is being made, and excitement is growing amongst both experts and laypeople who are interested in learning more.

With over 350 million people worldwide suffering from depression, MMJ is slowly becoming more acceptable as a form of treating the condition.

For many years there has been a large amount of firsthand, anecdotal evidence from depression sufferers that medical cannabis can help them feel much better. But over the last number of years, promising studies have been coming out, and many respected experts have been going on the record about their belief that cannabis can work wonders for depression sufferers.

Current Treatments for Depression

Depression is a big problem in the modern day, with 350 million people worldwide suffer from the condition. More than ever before, depression is at epidemic proportions. It is a major cause of disability, and a very painful, life-hampering condition.

Currently, talk therapy and antidepressant drugs are the most popular methods of treating depression.

With skillfully applied talk therapy, it is possible to reduce, and even sometimes completely alleviate, a bout of depression. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proven to be a particularly effective form of talk therapy in the treatment of depression. Mild and moderate depressions can often be alleviated by therapy without the use of drugs, and this is recommended because the therapy will tend to deal with the root cognitive causes of the depression, thus ‘pulling it up by the roots’.

If a depression is severe (or if it is not, but a doctor is particularly lazy or corrupt), antidepressant drugs are usually prescribed. Unfortunately, antidepressant drugs often have a host of unpleasant side effects.

Tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs, SSRIs and SNRIs are the four leading forms of antidepressant drug. All of these have negative side effects. These side effects can be even more debilitating than the effects of the depression.

It is unclear whether or not antidepressants are even very effective in the treatment of depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported an analysis that showed that antidepressants had little or no positive effect on people suffering with mild to moderate depression, and that they were only effective in cases where people had severe depression.

In the milder cases, they were no more effective than a placebo. ‘Big pharma’ companies make tens of billions of dollars from antidepressants annually, and doctors are often enticed to prescribe a specific company’s drug with financial incentives and gifts of one form or another. Beware.

More and more experts in the field of depression treatment are saying that medical marijuana could be used in conjunction with, or even instead of, antidepressants.

MMJ Recs - marijuana

Since it is unclear whether or not antidepressants are effective in the treatment of depression, more doctors are open to using MMJ as an alternative treatment.

Research Concerning MMJ Use

Recent research by several highly-respected institutions, as well as important industry insiders, is suggesting that medical cannabis use could provide a host of benefits to people who suffer from depression.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo have been studying endocannabinoids; chemical compounds that are naturally produced in the human brain. These compounds affect emotion, cognition and behavior, and are very similar in their makeup to the cannabinoids found in cannabis.

Chronic stress can suppress the brain’s production of endocannabinoids, and this can lead to depression. It seems quite possible that introducing cannabis cannabinoids into a patient’s system could redress this issue and alleviate depression brought on by chronic stress.

Harvard School of Medicine psychiatry professor, Lester Grinspoon, has done a lot of research on medical cannabis and depression, and he concludes “cannabis has a lot of potential in the treatment of mental illness”, but with the caveat that “it will not work for everyone”.

In his 2003 article ‘Cannabis and Depression’, Jay Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director for the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, said that “while cannabis cannot yet be considered a primary treatment of major depression, it may improve mood when used under a physician’s supervision and in combination with therapy and/or SSRI’s”.

In a 2006 research paper called ‘Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users’, Mitch Earleywine PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, and Thomas F. Denson PhD, Professor of Psychology at the California State University at Long Beach, state that people who use medical cannabis “occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana”.

Some studies are reporting mixed findings. In 2007, a team at McGill University in Montreal tested the effects of THC on serotonin levels. They found that when taken in low to moderate doses, THC increased serotonin levels in the brain. However, when taken in high doses, THC actually decreased the levels of serotonin in the brain. This research suggests that getting the dosage just right is very important.

So, the inside story on medical marijuana and depression is interesting, fluid, developing, and still a little unclear. Things are looking promising, and a lot of very clever experts are getting very excited, but there is certainly still more work to be done. Watch this space.

California vs New York: Which State is Best for Medical Cannabis?

Now that the medical marijuana card revolution has spread to New York, it can be easy to compare and contrast its laws to those in other states. While it’s not fair to compare MMJ card states with marijuana gold standard states – we’re looking at you, Colorado – comparing MMJ-friendly states against each other gives us a better picture of which state is best to live in if you’re a cannabis card holder.

California was a trailblazer in the legalization of medical marijuana with the introduction of Proposition 215 all the way back in 1996. For this reason, MMJ laws in the Sunshine State are some of the best in the country, leaving other MMJ states in its shadow.

Unfortunately for New York MMJ card carriers, the liberal bastion of the eastern seaboard just hasn’t caught up to California’s super lax laws. In fairness to them, they only legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2014, so we can’t exactly hold them to California’s standard, which has been over 20 years in the making.

Qualifying Ailments for MMJ

The biggest area where Californian cannabis laws outshine New York’s is by their classification of qualifying ailments. In California, there is a broad lists of qualifying conditions that allow you to apply for a medical marijuana card. This includes anything from menstrual cramps and anxiety, to cancer and everything in between. Thanks to this, anyone in need of the ameliorative effects of cannabis can access it.

New York’s list of qualifying conditions is significantly smaller, and comes with specific stipulations. To get a medical marijuana card in New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness. According to the medical marijuana program, this is limited to cancerHIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington’s disease and chronic pain.

In addition to these limitations, your condition must present you with life-limiting symptoms in order to qualify for an MMJ card. A doctor can not, and will not, prescribe you medical cannabis outside of these conditions due to the intense pressure put on them by the New York Medical Marijuana Program.

Cannabis Cultivation Laws in New York and California

MMJ Recs - Cannabis Buds

One downside for MMJ card holders in New York: it’s strictly banned in the state to grow cannabis at home.

Home cultivation is strictly banned in New York, with the state’s needs for cultivation limited to production by ten companies. This presents problems for cannabis card holders who prefer to home grow due to mobility issues.

California, by contrast, allows MMJ card carriers to grow six mature plants or 12 immature plants at home once they have the required growers license. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, there doesn’t seem to be any plans on the horizon to ease home growing laws.

Consumption Laws for Medical Marijuana

Noticeably, you won’t see any medical marijuana card holders smoking MMJ in New York, as smoking the plant is strictly illegal. Governor Cuomo never gave a real explanation as to why this is, with many people speculating that he wanted to distance his MMJ program from methods of consumption that would typically be associated with recreational use. While this isn’t a major problem for most cannabis card carriers – a lot of them would steer clear from smoking due to the obvious health effects. This can be a nuisance for the small few who prefer to smoke their MMJ.

Similarly, the consumption of medical marijuana edibles is banned in New York. Unlike smoking, a significant amount of MMJ card holders would consume this way. Using edibles has a whole host of benefits – and is tasty, to boot – so some patients were very disappointed with this law. Being the bastion of MMJ goodness that it is, Californian medical marijuana law allows both smoking and the consumption of edibles once you’re suitably discreet about it.

Getting a Cannabis Card in California and New York

Acquiring a cannabis card in California is a much easier process than it is in New York. In Cali, all you need to do is complete a short, noninvasive online consultation with a licensed mental health professional and voilà, you got yourself a California medical marijuana card! In New York, it takes a little bit longer to do.

MMJ Recs - NYC Traffic

Just like sitting in New York traffic can be a painfully long process, so can acquiring a New York MMJ card.

First, you must go to a doctor and tell them about your illness and your need for a medical marijuana card. 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 prescribe you MMJ, and you’ll be left feeling disappointed. If you have a qualifying ailment and they think you’re suitable for it, they’ll recommend you for medical marijuana certification.

Following this, you’ll have to register for your Registry ID Card. You do this by applying via the Department of Health’s Online Patient Registration System. Once your application is rigorously reviewed, you’ll be sent out your ID in the mail. You’ll need to bring this with you when you visit the MMJ dispensary in New York.

New York’s medical cannabis laws are only in their infancy, so it’s pretty understandable for them to be so far behind their western cousins on the MMJ front. Thankfully, further relaxations of New York’s MMJ laws are on the horizon, with the possibility of total legalization looking likely within the next five years – not bad for a state who only decriminalized MMJ three years ago!

Until then, New York can continue to look to California for inspiration on how to make their state more MMJ-friendly.

 

6 Conditions That Medical Marijuana Can Treat

The ever-growing list of ailments that medical marijuana has been proven to treat seems like it’s never going to stop expanding. From menstrual cramps to bowel cancer, MMJ seems to have an ameliorative effect on just about any illness that can target a human body.

If we were to list every disease, illness or condition that could be helped by the drug, we’d be here all day. Instead, take a look at these six conditions that medical marijuana card holders across the country have seen effectively combated by MMJ.

Epilepsy

Medical marijuana is increasingly being used as a credible and effective treatment for a number of neurological conditions, particularly epilepsy. The active component of medical marijuana that is integral to fighting the symptoms of epilepsy is cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of the plant. The positive testimonies given by MMJ card holders with epilepsy have been mirrored by numerous studies on the potent effectiveness of the drug in its treatment.

During these scientific studies, seizures were reduced by a whopping 54% in those who had been previously unresponsive to other available treatments. Medical marijuana’s success in controlling epilepsy is often at the forefront of the argument for legalization in non-MMJ card states – a testament to its effectiveness.

Crohn’s Disease

MMJ Recs - Doctor

More doctors are seeing that MMJ helps Crohn’s disease sufferers get their appetite back, and it reduces inflammation of the intestinal tract.

Inflammatory bowel conditions, like Crohn’s Disease, are a popular qualifying ailment for a medical marijuana card. Crohn’s Disease is a chronic, painful and uncomfortable disease that affects the intestinal tract. As the disease is sadly incurable, patients with it are unfairly destined to suffer from it in some capacity for the rest of their lives. Symptoms present with Crohn’s disease include rectal bleeding, chronic diarrhea, drastic weight loss and chronic abdominal pain. Medical marijuana works to combat these symptoms in a number of ways.

Predominantly, MMJ tackles Crohn’s by significantly reducing the inflammation of the intestinal tract, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. As well as this, MMJ is the ultimate appetite booster, meaning that those with an aversion to eating when their Crohn’s flares up will get a reinvigorated hunger. Finally, medical marijuana is an unrivaled pain reliever for the unrelenting and excruciating pain that comes with Crohn’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a long-term neurodegenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system. The onset of Parkinson’s is slow, but the results can be devastating. Unfortunately, early detection of Parkinson’s is nearly impossible, as the symptoms come on ever so slightly over a prolonged period of time. As the disease is incurable, treatment for it is based solely around making the patient as comfortable as possible. Brain surgery is of course an option, but most people don’t want the invasion and the risk that comes with it.

MMJ Recs - Medications

Medical marijuana is an alternative to medication that is know to cause nasty side effects.

There are some prescription medicines on the market, but these can come with debilitating side effects like extreme nausea and depression. Medical marijuana is an effective and kind treatment for Parkinson’s, as it comes without side effects – a dream for those on harsher meds. The tremors, jerks and pain associated with Parkinson’s disease all respond positively to MMJ treatment, enabling the patient to live a fuller, more independent life.

Multiple Sclerosis

Like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis is a devastating condition that attacks the central nervous system of the body, particularly going after the immune system. Our immune system is hardwired to fight off unwelcome bacteria that presents itself within our bodies. Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer with MS, the disease confuses our immune system, making it turn against our natural body tissue, particularly our brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of MS include numbness, slurred speech, and in more serious cases, paralysis.

As 200 new cases of MS are diagnosed in the US every week, more and more people are turning to medical marijuana cards to help treat the unrelenting disease. Most MS patients find their medication too vital to substitute it completely with medical marijuana, instead opting to use it as a way to help them deal with the symptoms of the disease. MMJ also helps with the nasty side effects that come from taking medication.

HIV

In former years, a Human Immunodeficiency Virus diagnosis would be a death sentence, stripping the patient of any prospect they had of a future.  Thankfully, with the dawn of wonderful new medicines and technologies, HIV can now be effectively controlled and the patient can live a full and happy life. As there is no known cure for HIV, patients must take measures to ensure they can live comfortably.

Consumed alongside antiretroviral medications, medical marijuana works effectively at easing and ameliorating any pain or discomfort associated with the disease, as well as tackling unwelcome side effects from prescribed drugs.

A study conducted in 2005 found that a staggering 60% of HIV patients across the country consumed medical marijuana in addition to their medication. All MMJ friendly states recognize HIV as a qualifying ailment for a medical marijuana card, so all those in need of the drug can access it with ease.

Depression

Medical marijuana has lovingly been dubbed ‘green Prozac’ by those MMJ card holders who use it to treat their depression. The plant is an effective, natural alternative to antidepressants, which can sometimes come with a whole host of nasty side effects. The reason behind MMJ’s effectiveness at treating depression has to do with a little something called endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical compounds within our brains that regulate our emotions and behavior. When our endocannabinoid production is compromised, we’re left feeling dejected, lethargic and most of all, depressed. The chemical makeup of endocannabinoids is very similar to that of medical marijuana, meaning that when someone with depression consumes MMJ, they’re replacing the depleted endocannabinoids, thus significantly lifting their mood and restoring their emotional equilibrium.

While there’s no doubt that medical marijuana can be an effective treatment plan for any one of these conditions, it’s vitally important that you consult with your doctor before you opt to use it. If you’re unsure of your suitability for an MMJ card, they’ll be able to advise you and talk you through whether it will benefit to your condition.

Will Medical Marijuana in New York Match California in Popularity?

The Californian medical marijuana card program is a shining beacon of MMJ best practice. Those who need to get an MMJ card can do so easily, and without many stipulations delaying the process. As Cali MMJ card holders face so little roadblocks in accessing marijuana, they’re rarely left unnecessarily suffering. This ease of access means that medical marijuana is naturally very popular in California.

California not only makes getting a medical marijuana card very easy, but it also has the infrastructure in place to deal with the high demand. Dispensaries are dotted generously throughout the state, meaning that regardless of where you are, you can easily acquire MMJ.

Unfortunately, not all states can mirror Cali’s wonderful MMJ laws. While New York has been making some concrete steps towards becoming more MMJ-friendly since its legalization in 2014, roadblocks still exist for medical marijuana card holders looking to acquire the plant.

Access to MMJ in New York

MMJ Recs - NYC at Night

Because many physicians in New York are reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana, people outside of Manhattan have a very tough time accessing it.

As New York’s medical marijuana laws are still in their infancy, doctors – especially doctors outside of the city – are unsure of how to toe the line in regards who they can and can’t prescribe MMJ to. For this reason, a lot of physicians around the state are very reluctant to prescribe MMJ, with most of them point blank refusing to prescribe it at all for fear that they’d lose their license. This means that medical marijuana card carriers living outside of Manhattan have a very tough time accessing MMJ.

A lot of prospective MMJ card holders simply cannot make hour-long trips to willing doctors due to the fact that they are oftentimes limited in their movements by their ailment. This unfortunate situation means that the popularity of medical marijuana in New York is dwarfed by that of California.

Medical Marijuana Ailments

In New York, the list of qualifying ailments deemed suitable for the medical marijuana program is much shorter than that of the Sunshine State. In most cases, you must have a life-threatening illness such as MS, AIDS or cancer in order to be considered for the program. This is further complicated by the fact that your illness must also present you with significant life-limiting symptoms like chronic pain or muscle spasms.

A huge number of Californians would have their medical marijuana card in order to treat ailments that are not deemed suitable in New York. Medical marijuana is used to treat all manner of illnesses in California like depression, anxiety, epilepsy and PTSD, and these generous laws are what give life to its popularity there.

Until New York loosens what it considers to be an allowable condition for MMJ treatment, the popularity of medical marijuana in the state will continue to dwindle.

New York vs California MMJ Laws

The banning of certain consumption methods is another thing attributed to the low popularity of medical marijuana in New York. There is a blanket ban on smoking MMJ across the entirety of the state. Most people attribute this to the fact that weed skeptic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to distance New York’s medical marijuana laws from consumption methods that would typically be associated with recreational users, rather than users with MMJ cards.

For this same suspected reason, the consumption of medical marijuana edibles in New York is banned, too. While most MMJ card carriers could get over the smoking ban, banning edibles is a tougher pill to swallow. As ingesting your medical marijuana has tons of benefits, it is the consumption method of choice for a lot of cannabis card holders across the country. The outright ban of edibles has thusly negatively impacted upon the popularity of MMJ in New York.

A lot of the contributing factors as to why medical marijuana is so much less popular in New York than in California can easily be put down to the fact that New York’s medical marijuana laws are much younger than California’s – by a whopping 18 years! Having legalized MMJ all the way back in 1996, California weed legislation has gone through many evolutions, eventually giving rise to the super MMJ-friendly state we have today.

MMJ Recs - Golden Gate Bridge

Medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996, making the Golden State a trailblazer for other MMJ-friendly states.

As weed has been a mainstay of Californian health law since the 90s, it’s more normalized there than it is in New York. Adding to that the fact that recently California announced that it would be legalizing the drug entirely, it’s no wonder that the popularity here outnumbers that of New York so starkly.

Recent New York Medical Marijuana Bills

Thankfully for New Yorkers, the Empire State is moving closer and closer to full legalization of marijuana every day. Recently, two bills were submitted by NY legislators that would potentially create regulations that would see marijuana being taxed and controlled in the same way that alcohol currently is. Not only would this create a huge influx of revenue for the state, but it would also mean that those caught in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would face no criminal charges – way to go New York!

Eventually, medical marijuana will be just as popular in New York as it is in California. Until then, we’ve just gotta be happy that New York – like a lot of other states – is slowly but surely moving towards being much more MMJ-friendly.

Is it Safe to Consume Medical Marijuana if I Have Depression?

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting a staggering 350 million people. In stark contrast to its prevalence, depression often goes entirely untreated, leaving those suffering from this debilitating disease without the help they so desperately need.

For at least the past 400 years, marijuana has been used to treat the symptoms of depression. There is evidence to suggest that long before the advent of medical marijuana cards, the wonder plant was used in India in order to combat the ailment, and since then, this treatment has evolved little due to its simple but effective nature.

MMJ: A Matter of Opinion

Although we’d love to tell you an emphatic ‘yes!’ when you ask if it’s safe to consume MMJ if you have depression, we simply cannot do this. As with all medical treatments, the effectiveness of using MMJ to treat depression depends on the person being treated. While some MMJ card holders would swear that the plant alleviates all their depressive symptoms, others may find that it can worsen their condition.

Lester Grinspoon, psychiatry professor at the Harvard School of Medicine, has gone on the record to say “I think cannabis has a lot of potential in the treatment of mental illness”. However, he too recognizes that like other treatment plans, “it will not work for everyone”.

The Science Behind Medical Marijuana

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds in our brain that play an integral role in cognition, emotional response, behavior regulation and motor function.

Dubbed ‘Green Prozac’ by some medical marijuana card holders, it’s no doubt that MMJ has the potential to be a miracle treatment for depression. While the evaluation of cannabis as a form of natural antidepressant is still in its infant stages, initial research suggests that by and large, medical marijuana does have a positive impact on the moods of those suffering with the ailment.

This is thought to be because of the naturally occurring endocannabinoids that exist within our brains. These chemical compounds play an integral role in cognition, emotional response, behavior regulation and motor function, and their chemical makeup is strikingly similar to that of marijuana.

When we’re put under undue stress, the production of these all important endocannabinoids hit an all-time low, meaning that our psychological state is compromised. When medical marijuana card holders ingest the plant, these endocannabinoids are restored by the cannabinoids in the plant, thus reinstating their emotional equilibrium.

Using MMJ as an Alternative to Medication

Medical marijuana is often viewed as a more natural alternative to using antidepressants, which can come loaded with nefarious side effects. Unfortunately, due to the fact that a lot of doctors are wrapped around Big Pharma’s fingers, they can be eager to prescribe these unpleasant drugs – often in high doses – to patients in order to line their own pockets.

If your antidepressants have you suffering from these unwelcome side effects, you could benefit from treating your ailment with medical marijuana instead. Some people like to come off medication entirely in favor of MMJ, but it’s only recommended to do so on advice from a licensed physician.

If you’re new to the plant, it’s wise to use MMJ as a supplement to your prescribed antidepressants until you think you’re in a good enough headspace to come off them entirely.

As medical marijuana is often used as a pain suppressant, this has the secondary impact of depression reduction in MMJ card holders who suffer from chronic pain. Not only does medical marijuana reduce chronic pain in those suffering from it, it also treats its side effects like insomnia and lack of appetite.

The enhanced independence and mobility that comes with reducing chronic pain mean that these cannabis card holders see their mood significantly improve as their horizons widen again.

Medical Marijuana is Not for Everyone

MMJ Recs - Black and White Back of Girl

If after using MMJ, you feel like your symptoms are worse, then you should let your prescribing physician know as soon as possible.

Similar to other drugs, marijuana will not work to reduce depression in everyone. In fact, in some rare cases, it has been observed to significantly worsen the mood of some MMJ card holders suffering with the debilitating disease. This is thought to be because ingesting cannabis can raise THC levels in the body, which in turn can affect our serotonin production.

Serotonin is the chemical in the body that regulates our happiness, so it’s imperative that we produce as much of it as we can. If this production becomes stifled by consuming MMJ, some medical marijuana card holders may see their good mood deplete.

In more extreme cases, cannabis use has been seen to trigger schizophrenia and psychosis in susceptible patients, although research suggesting this isn’t entirely robust.

Medical marijuana card holders who have been newly prescribed MMJ to treat their depression are advised to monitor their moods closely. If you feel like your symptoms may be significantly worsening, with no sign of reprieve, then you should return to the physician who prescribed it to you and voice your concerns. They will alter your treatment plan – perhaps to a different MMJ strain – and will ask you to continue to monitor your progress.

If you still feel unsure of your condition after another period of time, it’s advisable that you stop your course of medical marijuana.

Successful Strains of MMJ

Different strains of medical marijuana vary in how successful they are at treating certain ailments. Strains that are particularly effective at treating depression include AK-47, Chiesel, Blue Dream and Amnesia Haze.

Depression is an incredibly complex condition, which means there is no clear-cut answer on this one. Using medical marijuana to treat depression can be extremely effective for some people, but it can lead to a worsening of symptoms for others.

As with any medical treatment plan, it’s imperative that you talk through your options in detail with your physician before deciding on any course of action.

How to Get A Medical Weed Card Online: All You Need to Know

The use of medical marijuana is on the rise in the state of California as more and more people become familiar with the drug and its wide range of benefits. But what many people don’t realize is just how simple the process of getting a medical weed card online actually is.

Anyone can apply for a medical weed card online if they believe that they have an ailment that would be helped or alleviated with medical marijuana.

The Laws

MMJRecs - marijuana laws

The passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was a big step for Californians who needed medical marijuana for their ailments.

Proposition 215, colloquially known as The Compassionate Use Act, was passed in the State of California back in 1996. This act allowed citizens who suffer from a variety of different ailments to legally seek out treatment and relief with prescribed use of medical marijuana. It also provided a safe environment for patients to openly talk to their doctors about medical marijuana, the correct dosages, any side effects and the best ways to utilize the drug for their specific needs.

Doctors have also been given a lot more freedom to which conditions qualify for medical marijuana use, including arthritis, glaucoma, AIDS, cancer, anorexia, chronic pain and migraines. For a full list of qualifying conditions you can follow this link here.

Proposition 64, which recently passed in the state of California, changed the laws surrounding medical marijuana for recreational use. This new law has left many patients wondering where they now stand, and prospective clients wondering whether it’s worth getting a medical weed card for themselves.

MMJ Recs - cannabis

Medical weed can be used for a wide variety of conditions, from glaucoma and arthritis to cancer and migraines.

What Proposition 64 Means for Both the Public and MMJ Patients

Under Proposition 64, regular citizens are now allowed to possess and use cannabis recreationally (much like smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol). However, there are still some limitations to this new proposition that don’t apply to MMJ patients, and the law itself won’t properly come into effect until 2018.

This means that it will still be illegal to purchase cannabis for recreational use, and public citizens will have to rely on being ‘gifted’ the substance if they wish to partake legally. Recreational use will still be forbidden in public arenas and consumption will have to remain discreet and in private spaces only. MMJ patients, however, will continue to have permission to dose in most places that tobacco use is still allowed.

The other major difference between the public and MMJ patients with regards to proposition 64 is the amount that one can possess at any given time. Regular citizens will be restricted to one ounce of flowers (or eight grams of concentrate) while in public spaces, and will be limited to just six plants in their homes, whereas MMJ patients will continue to be allowed to cultivate up to 100 square-feet of cannabis at any given time.

Other benefits for patients in possession of a medical weed card are shorter waiting times at marijuana dispensaries (once the public can purchase it legally), a forgoing of the sales tax and protection from the fluctuation in prices incurred when marijuana begins to be bought, sold and traded as a commercial commodity.

The Process of Getting a Medical Weed Card Online

Anyone with a medical condition that believes that access to medical marijuana would be of use to their condition, or will help to relieve some of their symptoms, can apply for a medical weed card online from an online service, like that provided by MMJ Recs.

Online services are handy, as they not only provide patients with direct access to licensed physicians – who are usually specialized in medical marijuana use, the benefits and the correct usage and dosages for specific ailments – but they also cut down wait times dramatically and circumvent the need to make appointments at registered clinics.

Get MS relief with a medical marijuana card online.

Getting a licensed physician to fill out a medical marijuana evaluation online for you takes only a few minutes.

To apply online, you’ll be required to fill out a standard medical form that outlines why you believe that access to MMJ will be of benefit to you. You’ll also need to provide a full medical history of the condition in question and any other medical documentation that you might already have.

The actual evaluation, which is performed by a fully licensed physician, takes only a few minutes and involves a short phone call or Skype conversation. If the doctor believes that you qualify, then they’ll issue you with a recommendation letter and weed card that will arrive in the mail within a couple of days.

The card will come with your full name, date of birth, patient ID, expiration date (a renewal of your card will be required annually), a doctor’s signature and an embossed seal. With this card you’ll be able to buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries or order it online through protected marketplace sites.

And there you have it – all you need to know about applying for your medical weed card online! If you have any further questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.

5 Medical Marijuana Accessories That Can Help Patients

Today’s medical marijuana card holders have it better than ever. Thanks to the advent of the MMJ card, we now have a booming medical marijuana market that not only provides users with the miracle plant, but also gives them a whole host of handy accessories to consume it with.

Long gone are the days where you’d have to roll a joint with some paltry papers and a cardboard roach to be soothed by MMJ. Nowadays, with a little help from these excellent accessories, you can consume medical marijuana in more ways than you can count.

Let’s take a look at some MMJ accessories that are helping out patients across the country.

Medical Marijuana Card

First and foremost, the most important medical marijuana accessory that MMJ patients need is their medical marijuana card. Without this, you won’t be able to access MMJ and thus, you won’t have any need for any of the other accessories on this list!

Getting your California MMJ card is a really easy process. First, you fill out a simple questionnaire about things relate you to and your ailment. After this, you’ll be connected to MMJ Recs’ HIPAA telemedicine platform to complete an online consultation with one of our state licensed physicians. This consultation is an easy and noninvasive process, and you’ll find out then and there if you’re eligible for your medical marijuana card.

If you’re found to be suitable for the medical marijuana program, you’ll be emailed your MMJ card recommendation right away, with the embossed official copy being sent to you the next day. For information on how to get a medical marijuana card in New York see our article here.

Vaporizer

MMJ Recs - Vape Mod

There are many types of MMJ vaporizers, including basic, cheaper models that look like cigarettes, to expensive, state-of-the-art balloon vaping machines.

Vaporizers are fast becoming the most popular way for medical marijuana card holders to consume MMJ. The main appeal of vaporizers is that they don’t force the user to inhale smoke the way that smoking does. As well as this, when you vape your MMJ – as opposed to smoking it – you’re not destroying any of the all-important cannabinoids inside the plant. These cannabinoids are what make your MMJ ease your pain, so you want to keep as much of them jam-packed into your cannabis as possible.

The way a vaporizer works is by heating the MMJ to just below 400°F, releasing the THC inside. This creates a plume of MMJ-infused vapor, which is then quickly inhaled by the user as they pull on the end of the vaporizer. As there is nothing being burned, no smoke is created – meaning that not only is vaporizing better for your lungs, it’s also a lot more discreet.

Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, from ones disguised to make them look like a cigarette, to bigger balloon vaping machines. We suggest that you take your time choosing you vaporizer and that you invest in one of good quality.

A Good Container

While it may seem obvious, investing in a good container for your medical marijuana is really important. MMJ is a very sensitive plant that needs to be kept in a secure place in order to stay in good condition. If weed is kept in an unsuitable carrier, it will either be lost, damaged or gone stale before you realize it.

Medical marijuana containers come in many diverse forms. Some people like the idea of keeping it in a simple wooden box, which can also store all of their other accessories. Although these are great for keeping at home, they’re not ideal for carrying around with you while you go about your day-to-day business.

Another container popular with MMJ card holders is the Medtainer, a purpose-built medical marijuana holder that is airtight and portable. This will keep your MMJ nice and safe when you’re out and about, and its design means it’s not obviously a weed container – important when you’re trying to be discreet.

If you’re looking for something even simpler, opt for a Stink Sack. These plastic pockets are smell proof and come in a childproof variety, making them very popular among MMJ card carriers with kids.

Pipe

Regardless of what your preferred method of consumption is, it’s always handy to have a pipe. Pipes can easily be thrown in your pocket and carried around – should you be struck with the urgent need to consume some MMJ. Unlike other consumption methods, all you need to do with a pipe is pop in some MMJ, light it up and you’re good to go.

Like vaporizers, pipes come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made from glass, metal, wood and plastic. Although plastic pipes are in circulation, we would strongly advise that you never use one, as you’re risking inhaling harmful toxins.

The Monkey Pipe is a simple, handy pipe that is perfect for keeping in the bottom of your bag. Another healthier option would be the Perfect Pipe, a pipe that is similarly easy to carry around, and one that maximizes on THC transfer.

It’s prudent to shop around when deciding on what pipe to use. Although it’s not as important as choosing a vaporizer, you should still choose your pipe wisely to give your body the best it deserves.

Rolling Machine

MMJ Recs - marijuana

Rolling the perfect marijuana joint takes experience, so it may be better for you to invest in a rolling machine.

If you’ve ever tried rolling a joint with no experience, you’ll know exactly how hard this seemingly easy process can be. Learning how to roll can be a long, drawn out process, and even those well-versed rollers can have bad days where their joints leave a lot to be desired.

While this may not be a major problem for recreational users, for medical marijuana card holders, it’s important not to waste your plant in poorly constructed joints. To avoid any rolling-related stress, it’s advisable to invest in a rolling machine. Rolling machines, like this one from RAW, make it so you don’t have to worry about rolling the perfect joint. This can be of immeasurable benefit for arthritis sufferers whose dexterity has been depleted by their ailment.

Although this is only a short list, there are still tons of other great products out there, each designed to make the lives of MMJ patients all the more easy. As the world continues to become more MMJ-friendly, we’ll see even more useful medical marijuana accessories come onto the market.

When it comes to choosing what accessories are best for you, shop around, consider everything and choose wisely.

How to Get Your New York MMJ Card: 3 Easy Steps

In July 2014, New York became the 23rd state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana, following a ‘lengthy and emotional’ debate in the Senate. It ultimately saw the Compassionate Care Act bill being supported by a 49-10 Senate vote.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made no secret of his staunch anti-marijuana stance in the past, signed the bill into law, opening an 18-month window for the New York Department of Health to come up with a viable and complicit MMJ program. The completed program was subsequently launched on January 7th.

While this was great news for suffering patients who were desperately awaiting the legalization of MMJ, the bill raised a few eyebrows due to it being one of the most restrictive in the country. For the usually forward-thinking New York, it was a concerning conservative move, and one that seemed regressive in the face of pioneering MMJ states like California and Colorado. Only five MMJ producers were licensed by the DOH, and only twenty dispensaries were permitted state-wide.

It was also pretty tough to get your hands on an all-important MMJ card, as the list of qualifying conditions was limited to severe illnesses like cancer, ALS, and Parkinson’s. This made doctors wary of prescribing MMJ; if the patient’s condition was seen as borderline or questionable, the doctor could be prosecuted for illegal distribution.

Thankfully, in the months that followed, leading up to the present, mid-2017, progress was made due to near constant campaigning from MMJ advocates. It is now much easier to secure an MMJ card in New York, as the blanket term ‘chronic pain‘ was added to the list of qualifying conditions. Obviously this has a medically broader reach and gives doctors more freedom in prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment plan.

MMJ Recs - Green Cannabis

There are a few basic steps to follow before you get your New York MMJ card.

But there are a few hoops to jump through before you can access your medicine:

Step One

The first step in getting your MMJ state ID card, the all important key to the kingdom, is finding a certified medical practitioner who can recommend you medical marijuana as a remedy. Locating a doctor is quite simple in 2017; you can visit one in real life, or even avail of handy online caregivers, who will happily certify you legally for an MMJ card, as long as your condition meets the state’s requirements.

Once you have that, there’s a little bit more due process to get through; but fear not, you’re almost there.

Step Two

Once certified, you head on over to https://my.ny.gov/ and find the ‘Health Applications’ icon. Once there, locate the ‘Medical Marijuana Data Management System’ link to register yourself. Bear in mind, you will need an NY.gov account to set up your registration; if you don’t have this, it’s simple to create one, and you can follow the link from the MMJ registration page.

Another important thing to keep in mind during the registration process is that you’ll need to provide proof of identity and residency in New York state. An NY-issued driver’s license is pretty perfect for this as it works for both requirements, but if you don’t drive, you can still use a passport photo taken within the last thirty days, and an official document like a utility bill or government-issued letter sent to you within the last two months.

MMJ Recs - New York Taxi Cab

An NY-issued driver’s license can be used to register for a MMJ card in New York.

The Compassionate Care Act states there is a $50 filing fee necessary for all applications, but the kind folks at the Department of Health are currently waiving that fee for all patients and caregivers. If you select the ‘Bill Me Later’ option during this stage, the fee will be waived and you’ll be relieved of this particular financial burden.

If your illness or condition incapacitates you, the next and final stage of the application process allows you to designate up to two caregivers who can collect your medicine for you. These caregivers have to be registered, and must bring their registration with them when collecting the MMJ, as well as their patient’s certifications.

Step Three

Once you’ve completed that step, the only thing left to do is sit back and wait for your ID card to be delivered to you!

After your card arrives, there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin benefiting from your medicine. One important point is that you must keep your MMJ ID card on you whenever you’re carrying medical marijuana, not just when you buy it at the dispensary. The safest bet is probably to keep it on you at all times, like you would a bank card. That way you’ll never be caught short if someone happens to question you on your MMJ.

Also, if you change addresses, or for some reason your name, you’ll need to notify Medical Marijuana Program as soon as possible so they can issue a new card.

MMJ is still finding its feet in New York, but the signs are good that things are changing for the better. As more conditions are added to the qualifying list and it gets easier for patients to benefit from medical marijuana, distribution and dispensaries across the state should grow and multiply, making MMJ available to all who require it.

5 Common Questions and Answers About Using Medical Marijuana

We’re going to assume you know almost nothing about medical marijuana and focus on the real basics of the drug, what it does and how a California medical marijuana card might benefit you. Medical marijuana isn’t for everyone, so before using it, you should know what you’re using and how to use it.

What Is Marijuana?

MMJ Recs - plant

Medical marijuana is nothing more than a plant

This may seem simple, and on a basic level, everyone knows what marijuana is. However, on a factual level, far fewer people know exactly what it is. This commonly leads to the drug being demonized even though countless studies have shown that there are health benefits of using the MMJ in moderation. Marijuana is, by far, the most used recreational drug in the United States.

First things first, medical marijuana is nothing more than a plant. The drug is made of the shredded leaves and sometimes flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. Whatever strain or whatever form of cannabis someone uses, they are all psychoactive, which means they are mind-altering. The plant is made up of hundreds of chemicals, but the most powerful one is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When consuming marijuana, THC has the biggest impact on your brain.

How Do You Use Medical Marijuana?

For the majority of users, marijuana is consumed through rolling loose leaves into a medical marijuana cigarette called a joint. Joints are sometimes mixed with tobacco to cut the intensity of the weed. Others prefer to use a bong, which is a large water pipe that heats the drug into smoke, which is then inhaled. Vaporizers are another common form of medical marijuana consumption that works as mini bongs. With the legalization of medical marijuana and your CA weed card, there have been numerous forms of consumption methods introduced, including edibles, oils, drinks and more.  

What Is the Common Medical Marijuana Lingo?

There are numerous terms that you might hear people use to describe medical marijuana, and the list is ever growing. Here’s a short list of the most common terms and exactly what they mean.

  • Joint: A rolled cigarette-like way to consume medical marijuana
  • Bong: A water pipe that allows you to inhale weed
  • Blunt: A hollowed-out cigar where the tobacco is removed and replaced with marijuana
  • Hash: Medical marijuana mixed with tobacco

The most common nicknames for marijuana include weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, Mary Jane, ganja, herb, chronic, boom and skunk.

What Is Being High Really Like?

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At its height, medical marijuana will give you a feeling of introspective dreaminess.*

If you’ve never experienced a medical marijuana high, you might associate it with films and TV shows that depict the effects of marijuana. When you consume medical marijuana in moderation, the most common effects are a heightened sense of well-being and euphoria. You’ll find yourself talking a lot more and, inevitably, laughing a lot more as well. At its height, the high will give you a feeling of introspective dreaminess, which will eventually tail off into sleepiness and then, most likely, sleep. You’ll also experience feelings of exaggerated emotional and physical sensitivity and strong feelings of camaraderie if you are in a group setting.

The drug will also have a direct impact on your speech patterns, which will be slower. Your ability to carry out a conversation will be impaired as a result of this. Weed also affects your short-term memory. The typical high from marijuana lasts for around two hours but can last for as long as 12 hours if you overindulge.

*You will probably not hallucinate animals driving cars!

Is Using Medical Marijuana Safe?

This question is a lot more complicated than you might think. To put it in the most understandable terms possible, it is scientifically proven that marijuana is safer for you than either nicotine or alcohol. In the case of alcohol, marijuana is actually more than 100 times safer for you, but this, of course, does not mean that it is 100 percent safe. Marijuana is slowly becoming legalized across the United States because of the health benefits it offers those who use it. The most common medical use for marijuana is for people suffering from some form of slight mental illness including anxiety, depression or stress, but there are physical benefits to the drug as well. Marijuana can be used to help treat and even prevent cancer and glaucoma, and it is an excellent form of medication for those suffering from intense or debilitating pain. As the drug becomes more popular and is slowly legalized across the U.S., new health benefits are being discovered almost every day.

Of course, like all good things, there are drawbacks to marijuana as well. Although there is no research that indicates occasional marijuana use leads to any health issues, there are issues with long-term and heavy marijuana consumption. Issues include memory capacity and, in the most severe of cases, schizophrenia.

With moderation, marijuana is safe, but if you’re deciding to take that step to get your California weed card, make sure to talk to your health professional about how much you should use, when you should use it and how often. With that advice, you’ll be good to go.

Will Medical Marijuana in Florida be a Good Thing for Patients

There is a new understanding and acceptance of the massive health benefits of medical marijuana has taken place in the United States over the past decade or so. People around the country are catching onto the fact that this gloriously healthy herb can be of enormous help to patients who suffer from all sorts of physical and psychological ailments.

In 2014, Florida joined in on the action, albeit a bit sheepishly. The state allowed the medicinal herb to be used very sparingly and only in very specific cases. In the rare cases where medical cannabis use was allowed, the strain had to be very low-THC, and the weed could not be smoked. No fun!

But luckily for MMJ-interested Floridians, the good people of the Sunshine State decided by a large majority to upgrade their medical marijuana laws when they voted on the issue in November 2016. More than 70 percent of Florida voters decided to pass Amendment 2 and, in so doing, bring their medical cannabis laws firmly into the 21st century.

What Is Amendment 2?

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Amendment 2 is good for medical marijuana patients and the MMJ industry at large in Florida.

Amendment 2 will change (and greatly improve) the medical cannabis laws in Florida, making it much easier for patients to be prescribed medical cannabis by their local physicians. The amendment will protect doctors, patients, caregivers, industry workers and dispensaries from prosecution. It will recognize many more ailments as deserving of treatment with medical marijuana and will also make a much wider variety of strains and strengths of medical cannabis available across the state.

This is all very good news for medical marijuana patients and the MMJ industry at large in Florida. To have less draconian rules and regulations in the state can only be a good thing, freeing up the industry to innovate, grow and provide the best possible service for its customers. Businesses will be able to operate safely, and doctors and patients will be free to work together in finding the best possible treatments that will increase the quality of life of people suffering from a whole host of conditions. The state will reap major financial rewards, and new employment opportunities will be created. It truly is a win-win.

How Can Floridians Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

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A patient will only need a letter from a Florida physician stating that their condition will be helped by treatment with medical marijuana.

Amendment 2 will potentially put Florida at the vanguard of legal MMJ states. It will match most other open-minded states in the reasonableness and sensibleness of its medical marijuana laws. A patient will only need a letter from a Florida physician stating that their condition will be helped by treatment with medical marijuana and that the benefits of such treatment will outweigh any potential costs. A much broader list of medical conditions will qualify a patient for treatment with medical cannabis, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease.

Caregivers must be 21 years of age or older and must pass a background check. Dispensaries will be allowed to produce and distribute cannabis in a variety of locations all across the state. An extensive variety of marijuana products will be available, such as edibles, oils and sprays. These are all great developments for Florida MMJ patients and the industry.

Unfortunately, patients will not be allowed to grow their own herb, but hopefully, this will be something that the state rethinks in the not-too-distant future.

So a wide variety of high-quality, high-strength medical cannabis products will be available to Florida’s citizens under the new law. Fully legalizing Florida medical marijuana is a wonderful development that stands to improve the quality of life of thousands, if not millions, of people in the state in the coming years.

Why Should You Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

The benefits of medical marijuana use in alternative health care are now well-documented and no longer up for debate. Rafts of studies are showing that MMJ helps with myriad conditions, has strong disease prevention properties and can be a great promoter of overall health. MMJ inhibits tumor growth and even seems to kill cancerous tumor cells while sparing the surrounding healthy cells. This gives MMJ an advantage over conventional chemotherapy, which tends to obliterate all cells in its path.

Cannabis also has strong painkilling properties, calms the minds of people who suffer from chronic anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and shows great potential to improve neurological functioning after a person suffers a stroke. MMJ is is an excellent stimulator of appetite, it reduces nausea and vomiting symptoms, helps alleviate the pain and irritation of glaucoma, calms tense muscles, and reduces spasming. It also seems to control seizures in epileptic patients.

With all these health benefits, it is undoubtedly the case that Floridians will benefit hugely from the introduction of medical marijuana to their sunny state.

Welcome to the party, Florida!

Florida and Medical Marijuana: The New Rules

Florida has allowed access to low-THC, non-smoked medical cannabis as an alternative health care option for patients with cancer or chronic seizures or spasms since 2014. In March 2016, the law was amended to allow access to high-strength medical marijuana for patients with terminal illnesses. But it remained one of the nation’s more conservative and limited medical marijuana programs.

But in November 2016, more than 70 percent of Florida voters cast a vote in favor of Amendment 2, which promises to widely expand Florida’s medical marijuana laws.

Amendment 2 101

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With the passing of Amendment 2, Florida now allows high-strength medical marijuana to be used.

Amendment 2 protects patients, caregivers, doctors, dispensaries and industry staff from prosecution or civil sanction under state law. It will also allow high-strength medical cannabis to be used for a much wider list of medical conditions.

Although Amendment 2 requires the state to adopt the new medical marijuana rules by July 3, 2017, and have them fully operational by September, controversy is still raging. Heated dialogue is ongoing among voters, pressure groups, the Florida legislature, and the Florida Department of Health about what the exact rules and regulations will be within the new system.

What We Don’t Know

Many rules have yet to be written, but there are strict deadlines for finalizing the fine details. Details have yet to finalized about how to issue medical cannabis cards, about prescription amounts for various ailments, and about the specific qualifications caregivers will need. There are also some outstanding issues around zoning laws for the expected increase in the number of dispensaries that will open in the state. Some cities and districts, Miami Beach among them, have put a temporary ban on new dispensaries opening while they decide on their own zoning rules.

These issues must be sorted out by July 3, and the state must begin issuing licenses and ID cards within the following three months.

What is certain is that once the new rules are in place, the medical marijuana industry will be strengthened and the medical cannabis market will be much bigger.

Although the final details are not concrete just yet, we do know a lot about what Florida’s new medical marijuana rules will look like. Here’s what we know already about Amendment 2.

What We Do Know

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Once a person has a doctor’s note, they will then be entitled to obtain an ID card and purchase medical marijuana.

In order to qualify, a patient will need to get a letter from a Florida doctor stating that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and will benefit from using MMJ. Once a person has this doctor’s note, they will then be entitled to obtain an ID card and purchase medical marijuana.

The new rules will allow patients with a much broader range of ailments to qualify for treatment with medical marijuana. Conditions such as AIDS, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, as well as various other physical and psychological conditions with similarly debilitating effects will qualify a patient for medical marijuana use. It will be largely up to the doctor’s discretion, and if he or she believes the patient’s condition is serious and would benefit from MMJ, then the patient will qualify.

In order to become a caregiver, a person will need to be more than 21 years old and will likely need to be submitted to a background check. They will require an ID card from the Florida Department of Health, and there will be a limit on the number of patients they can help.

A physician issuing an MMJ letter will need to examine the patient and explore their medical history. The physician must believe that the benefits of medical marijuana use will outweigh any potential negative side effects for the patient.

Dispensaries (which will be called medical marijuana treatment centers) will need to be registered and regulated by the Florida Department of Health. They will be able to produce and distribute medical cannabis. The Department of Health, in conjunction with local authorities, will determine the number and location of these centers.

It is expected that a wide variety of medical marijuana products, such as edibles, tinctures, aerosols, oils and ointments, will be available from dispensaries. There will not be a cap on the amount of THC allowed in these products.

The Department of Health has yet to determine how much medical marijuana will be an adequate supply, but it is expected that the amount available to patients will be flexible and in accordance with the patient’s self-determined needs.

The new laws do not allow patients in the state to grow their own medical cannabis.

It is important to remember that Amendment 2 will not allow patients to smoke marijuana in public or require employers to allow patients to use MMJ at work. Driving under the influence of cannabis will still be illegal. There will also be the usual contradictions between state and federal law, with MMJ use still illegal at the federal level.

Amendment 2 is an exciting new development, and it promises to be very good for the Florida medical marijuana industry.

Why MMJ Helps Some People Sleep But Not Others

Although insomnia is not one of the qualifying conditions for obtaining medical cannabis in California, it is often a symptom of many of the qualifying conditions that allow you to apply for an online cannabis card. Most people have difficulty sleeping or have periods of wakefulness at some point or other in their life, but true, long-lasting and severe insomnia is something that is very difficult to live with. You’re in pain, and if you could only get to sleep, the pain would go. But you can’t get to sleep because of the pain! First, we’ll take a look at how MMJ can help some people sleep.

Why MMJ Helps People Sleep

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Taking MMJ at night could relieve some of your symptoms and help you fall asleep.

It’s well-known and well-documented that medical marijuana helps reduce stress and aids relaxation. Given this, cannabis can help you fall asleep more quickly. If you are in possession of or qualify for a medical marijuana card in California, then it’s likely that you suffer from a debilitating disease such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, post-traumatic stress disorder or arthritis. All of these conditions — and much more — make it difficult to fall asleep due to pain and other troubling symptoms. So taking some medical marijuana at night could certainly relieve some of these symptoms and help you fall asleep — and hopefully stay asleep — more quickly.

It’s worth pointing out that inhaling medical marijuana will work more quickly than consuming it in an edible, but the effects of the latter last for several hours and will help you stay asleep longer. If edibles are your preferred method of imbibing cannabis, then make sure you take it a couple of hours before bedtime.

It’s well-known that there are many strains of cannabis, so it’s worth getting some expert advice as to which would suit your condition best. You can do this with one of the doctors when you apply for your medical marijuana card online. If you want help going to sleep and staying asleep, then it’s important that you use not only the right strain but also the right amount. You want to calm that brain down a bit, not liven it up just as you’re trying to sleep!

Why MMJ Is Better than Prescription Drugs

Why use medical marijuana to aid sleep rather than prescription medicines? Let’s take a look at this. Of course, there are many prescription drugs available that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. You may have tried different ones. There’s no doubt that they can be effective for most people — but what about the side effects?

These can be many and varied. There’s no available drug that does not have any side effects. Some known side effects from prescription drugs include depression, amnesia, suicidal thoughts, headache, memory loss, trouble focusing and loss of appetite. They don’t sound good, huh?

Now, it may be a question of trial and error because everyone is different, so what might be hell for someone could be OK for you. But that could mean a lot of trials and a lot of errors!

Medical marijuana doesn’t have any nasty side effects — apart from a slight hangover the next day if you imbibe too much. (We’ve all been there!) Of course, due to the fact that there is very little research available on medical marijuana and its effectiveness, we don’t know for sure how it affects the brain or our ability to sleep. But it’s worth remembering that it is a natural, herbal medicine that’s been around forever. You have to weigh this against the fact that the side effects of prescription drugs are well-researched and documented.

Why Sometimes MMJ Doesn’t Help People Sleep

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For some people, marijuana makes them hyper.

There could be several reasons for this. First, it could simply be that you’re using the wrong strain, so check with your medical adviser. Second, you could be using too much. It’s important to get the right balance so that you fall asleep easily, stay asleep and then don’t wake up feeling too groggy.

For some people, marijuana makes them hyper. So obviously, if you’re one of these people, it ain’t going to help you sleep at night! If you are in possession of a cannabis card, then you must be suffering from one of the qualifying conditions. It may be that the MMJ is not relieving your symptoms enough to reduce the pain at night and help you sleep, so again, it would be worth discussing this with your medical provider.

There are more 80 naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana, and each one of these will affect each person differently. So it’s clearly a very complex area in which there are no definitive answers. It’s a question of taking appropriate advice and finding what best suits you.

Dr. John Cline sums it up well: “Cannabis is an exceedingly complex drug preparation, and its effects depend on the variety of the plant, the composition of the chemicals in any given sample, the route of the administration, the setting in which is it used and the psychological state of the user.”

So whether you already have your California medical card or you’re considering applying for a medical marijuana card online, be sure to seek some good advice on your own particular condition in order to obtain the best strain and take the optimum amount that will suit you.

Smoking vs. Vaping: The Best Way to Consume Medical Marijuana

Living in the dawn of the medical marijuana card revolution sure does have its perks. Not only are more MMJ card holders able to access the amazing benefits of this super plant, but they’re also spoiled by all the ways they can consume it. But tinctures, edibles, topical lotions and juices still take a backseat. When it comes to popularity, two consumption methods still reign supreme: smoking and vaping.

Although most people instantly think of lighting up a joint when they consider consuming medical marijuana, a lot of medical marijuana card holders will tell you that this is not representative of their experience. Many opt to vape instead. Although you may be onto something in thinking that vaping is seemingly “better,” the argument is much more nuanced than that. There is no “right” way to consume MMJ, nor is everyone better off choosing one method or the other.

If you’re still humming and hawing over which method to choose, take the following points into consideration. And remember, when it comes to MMJ, you should trust your gut, and choose the method that works best for you — regardless of what others say.

Health

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Burning medical marijuana, just like burning tobacco, produces tar and other carcinogens that actively harm your lungs.

There are no prizes for guessing which of the two methods win when it comes to health. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your whole life, you’re aware of the risks associated with smoking. Unfortunately for medical marijuana card holders, when you smoke MMJ, you’re still exposed to these dangers. Burning MMJ, just like burning tobacco, produces tar and other carcinogens that actively harm your lungs.

When you vape, you keep the MMJ below the point of combustion, so none of the bad stuff is created. Instead, it’s gently heated with essential oils, which means you’re getting all those amazing benefits without the dirty side effects. However, it’s important to remember that though there are countless studies done on the harm that smoking does to you, because of their relative newness, vaporizers haven’t been subjected to the same amount of testing, so they’re ability to do you harm is largely unsearched.

Cannabinoids

What most medical marijuana card holders may not know is that there is a huge difference in how much good stuff is inhaled when you choose to vape your plant over ignite it. When you hit the bong or smoke a joint, 88 percent of what is inhaled is smoke gas with non-cannabinoid elements. As we all know, cannabinoids are the best, most active part of the plant and the part most likely to alleviate you of your ailment. Conversely, when you vaporize your MMJ, the substance you’re inhaling is approximately 95 percent cannabinoid, which is much, much better. These lovely little cannabinoids then get to work instantly to make you feel right as rain.

Potency

One place where vaporizers certainly lose points is potency. Although they do give you a more plentiful blast of those all-important cannabinoids, the effects, more often than, not don’t last as long as when you smoke, which means you may have to consume it more often to get the same buzz.

Discreetness

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A vape pen is an incredibly discreet way to smoke medical marijuana.

One thing that keeps MMJ card holders opting for a vaporizer over a joint is how delightfully discreet it is. Vaping gives you a sense of mystery in what you’re vaporizing. For all anyone knows, it’s just a classic tobacco vape pen. This enables you to consume whenever and wherever you like without fear of backlash from those around you.

Not only is a vape pen more discreet, but it also allows you to escape the added unpleasantness of potent marijuana smoke sticking to your clothes, hair and breath, which is not a stink you want following you around all day, especially if you have important events on your schedule.

Convenience

Some 420 card holders would argue that vaping is infinitely easier than smoking. Sure, you can just hit a button on the pen and — presto — you’re good to go. But it’s not that simple. Most vaporizers are USB chargeable and will need to be plugged in for an hour or two when their batteries waste, which isn’t exactly ideal when you’re stuck in a jam and need a hit. Plus, you need to regularly clean your vaporizer; otherwise, you’ll start to get an unpleasant, stale taste.

Although vaping presents some challenges when it comes to ease of use, something as primitive as lighting something on fire doesn’t. Loading a bowl or rolling a joint is something that can be done anywhere, at any time, provided you have the right tools. Additionally, smoking will give you the same level of relief each time, something that a vaporizer with a weak battery cannot.

Choosing your preferred method of cannabis consumption is an important decision, but always go with your gut instinct. Your body knows best and will respond better to one or the other, sometimes without rhyme or reason. So just trust it, and you’ll be walking on sunshine in no time.

Should Medical Marijuana Be Available to Those with a History of Mental Illness?

If you’re at all informed regarding medical marijuana use, then you’ll be aware that it is considered by some as a trigger for certain mental illnesses. But is it really a trigger, or is that a conspiracy theory preached by those who intend to demonize medical marijuana. It can’t be hard with things such as medical marijuana to separate fact from fiction and then make sound judgments. That’s why in this article we will be discussing whether medical marijuana should be available to those with a history of mental illness. We won’t mince the truth. Rather, we will lay it all out on the table so you can make an informed decision. If you haven’t already, make sure you get your medical marijuana card online.

In spite of government, media and doctors’ warnings about potential mental health issues, many people view medical marijuana as a harmless substance that alleviates stress. On one side of the fence, you have convincing data proving the powerful medicinal properties of the drug in the treatment of many chronic illnesses, diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, nausea, seizures, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, poor appetite and weight loss. Combined with this you have the fact that it’s nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.

Furthermore, THC — the main cannabinoid in marijuana — has been shown to have positive effects on brain cells. THC is a potent neuroprotectant and sparks neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells)! So if you haven’t already, get your medical marijuana card online!

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Medical marijuana is a drug, and every drug has notable physiological effects.

With all these benefits, medical marijuana can seem to do no wrong. However, it must not be forgotten that marijuana is a drug, and every drug has notable physiological effects when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. Anything that changes how your body or brain functions, even temporarily, will have certain drawbacks. This includes even milder drugs such as caffeine. Any decision to use a drug should take into consideration the positives and negatives. Marijuana holds no distinction here.

Although there are almost innumerable benefits to using medical marijuana, it does have its detriments. THC is a psychoactive compound, meaning it affects the mind. Even though THC is a relaxant, in higher doses, it can have the reverse effect, increasing anxiety. Some cannabis users may suffer from hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Frequent use of the drug seems to double the risk of developing long-term schizophrenia in those with a genetic vulnerability. Those who use cannabis while still developing — teenagers and young adults — have a far higher risk of developing schizophrenia, depression or bipolar.

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Medical marijuana isn’t right for everyone.

Who should avoid smoking marijuana then? Generally, those in their formative years or those with a family history of mental illness. Even those who start noticing heightened anxiety or stress during or after smoking should cease usage. The risk is just too high.

Medical marijuana definitely should not be available to those with a history of mental illness. But often mental illness goes undiagnosed, so how to enforce this on a state level becomes especially difficult. Far easier to implement would be the introduction of marijuana education in schools. This would allow students to make informed decisions based on their family history and their age.

But if those with a history of mental illness want to smoke cannabis despite the risks, then finding MMJ strains very low in THC and high in cannabidiol (another major component of the plant) is the next best thing. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. As it doesn’t affect the brain, it far less likely to trigger mental illnesses. There are even CBD oils that contain only trace amounts of THC, and these are likely the best option if you wish to get all the benefits of CBD — anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent — without any of the THC drawbacks.

CBD is an antipsychotic agent. There is much evidence suggesting that the use of CBD in isolation can actually be used to treat psychotic disorders. Ask your local marijuana dispensary for details. If you need a cannabis card, the best place to get it is online!

Hopefully, you now feel a certain illumination concerning medical marijuana use among those with mental illness and can inform others of when (and when not) to avoid weed. There certainly is no simple answer, but having all the facts at hand will lead to better decisions.

If you need to figure out how to get a medical cannabis card online, be sure to check out our other articles, which clearly spell out the process. 

8 Celebrities Who Endorse Medical Marijuana

When it comes to celebrity endorsements, the Venn diagram between recreational and medical marijuana generally appears as a singular circle. Although there are many A-listers whose love of green goes under the radar, as the conversation regarding legalization grows every year, so, too, does the number of celebs who supply ringing endorsements for marijuana use.

For a number of famous faces, using marijuana to assist with medical conditions is a way of life, one that over time has trickled down into recreation. One of the strongest advocates for marijuana legalization is the actress and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg has dealt with glaucoma for many years and uses medical marijuana for pain relief for her eyes and head.

Another one of Mary Jane’s most familiar acquaintances is 79-year-old actor Morgan Freeman. Having spent years suffering from fibromyalgia, Freeman experiences pain in his arm that can often be “excruciating,” with medical marijuana being “the only thing that offers any relief.” He has gone on record as saying marijuana legalization across the board is a long time coming, and he will take it however it comes.

Although numerous celebs known to support the legalization of medical marijuana do not suffer from a medical condition, they often have direct experience witnessing the positive effects it has on friends, family and fellow members of the industry. Alternatively, some are more apt to indulge in marijuana use for recreational reasons, often citing its ability to help them unwind or stir the creative juices.

With more than half the states in the country now offering open access to medical marijuana — and eight of those also permitting recreational use — let’s look at some of the famed supporters of marijuana and a few those whose herbal enthusiasm may just surprise you.

Bill Gates

That’s right: Bill Gates supports medical marijuana.Image by Efes Kitap from Pixabay

That’s right: The richest man in the world supports the use of both medicinal and recreational marijuana. A biographical account of Gates and the uprising of Microsoft, by authors Stephen Maines and Paul Andrews, noted that the business magnate is no stranger to the herb. Gates also voted to pass Initiative 502 in Washington, which led to the legalization of marijuana.

Danny DeVito

Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning actor Danny DeVito has been quoted as saying he is “very excited about the legalization [of marijuana].” When asked about his personal use of cannabis, he was very open about the fact that both he and his wife often partake in a touch of the green stuff. He has also stated that, back in the day, he and fellow actor Michael Douglas bonded by smoking marijuana together.

Rihanna

As one of the highest-selling music artists of the 21st century, Rihanna has a rather large following. Known to care little about the opinion of the general public, Rihanna hasn’t shied away from letting her fans know about her relationship with marijuana. The Barbadian singer even launched her own line of marijuana products at the beginning of 2016 titled “MaRihanna.”

Sir Richard Branson

The second billionaire on the list is Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, which now controls more than 400 companies. Branson, knighted at Buckingham Palace thanks to his contributions to entrepreneurship, is a huge advocate for marijuana legalization. Not only does he often speak out against the prohibition of the drug, but he also is even looking to potentially invest in the cannabis industry.

Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga has admitted to smoking medical marijuana on a regular basis.

Eccentric singer and songwriter Lady Gaga put on what is arguably one of greatest halftime shows in Super Bowl history earlier this year. With a peak viewership of more than 116 million people, it’s no surprise Gaga deals with a fair amount of anxiety. The “Poker Face” singer has admitted to smoking marijuana on a regular basis to help her deal with the stresses of her career.

Zach Galifianakis

Actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis, known for his role in The Hangover trilogy and his award-winning comedy talk show Between Two Ferns, is an avid supporter of marijuana legalization. Not only is he consistently outspoken regarding his love for the green, but also, in a segment on Real Time with Bill Maher (who is also a marijuana supporter), Galifianakis proceeded to light up a joint and pass it to others on the panel.

David Duchovny

Best known for his roles as Fox Mulder on The X-Files and Hank Moody on Californication, David Duchovny has publicly spoken about his use of marijuana several times. “I’m all for legalization,” he said. “I think people are going to smoke pot anyway, and the idea that people are in jail for smoking pot and dealing pot is reprehensible to me personally.”

Snoop Dogg

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Snoop Dogg is arguably more famous for his love of cannabis than rapping.

How could anyone write an article about celebrities and marijuana and not include Snoop Dogg? Arguably more famous for his love of cannabis than rapping at this point, Snoop is seldom seen without a joint hanging from his mouth. The rapper, previously known as Snoop Lion, changed his name due to his Rastafarian beliefs and has even developed his own marijuana product line titled Leafs By Snoop.

With more of the United States embracing the use of medical and recreational marijuana each year, celebrities and the general public alike are striving for a more relaxed outlook from those in power. Here’s hoping they continue to listen.

11 Best MMJ Strains For Depression

There is a growing body of evidence, both research-based and anecdotal, that a medical marijuana card California can be an invaluable tool for improving the symptoms of depression. That’s because certain MMJ strains can greatly improve depression symptoms in many patients.

Certain strains of cannabis can enliven and energize, while others can promote feelings of well-being and euphoria, while others still can relax the body and mind and bring on sleep. All of these can be useful when a patient is battling depression.

Mild to moderate depression can be alleviated pretty effectively by using your California medical marijuana card to pick up some of the following MMJ strains.

Jack Herer

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Like many MMJ strains, Jack Herer promotes well-being, positivity and creativity.

Named after the famous marijuana activist and Emperor of Hemp, this strain is sativa-dominant with a THC content of 17 to 24 percent. It promotes well-being, positivity and creativity, which makes Jack Herer an ideal weed to smoke when you are trying to write and record an original music album or make some exciting art. It gives a nice body buzz and makes the user want to be active. It is very effective at boosting mood, so it is great for combating depression. Use your cannabis card to get ahold of this strain of herb, and watch your depression melt away.

Amnesia Haze

Well-known for relaxing the mind — perhaps that’s why it’s called Amnesia Haze now that I think about it! — this is a sativa-dominant hybrid that often brings on giggling fits and happy feelings — the perfect antidote to a blue mood. This is an energizing strain that motivates the user to get out and into the world.

AK-47

This awesome strain has a trophy cabinet teeming with cups and medals at home. It is an MMJ industry favorite. The high produced by this sativa-dominant hybrid with 20 percent THC is calming while also being quite euphoric. It is a relaxed, hazy, joyful buzz, which will gently but insistently chase away the black clouds of depression. It is available in most good dispensaries with a marijuana card California.

Blue Dream

Many MMJ strains, including Blue Dream, help reduce anxiety and depression.

Easing anxiety and stress is the name of the game here. A sativa-dominant strain with a fair chunk of indica thrown in the mix, too, Blue Dream reduces anxiety while uplifting the general mood and injecting a pleasant shot of positivity into the user — ideal for somebody who is suffering from depression.

Girl Scout Cookies

GSC is one of the indica-dominant MMJ strains with a hefty chunk of sativa DNA in their also, so it packs an impressive punch both physically and mentally. This MMJ strain brings on deep feelings of relaxation as well as a pleasant elevation in mood and a nice psychoactive high. It has a THC range of 17 to 28 percent, which is high for an indica-dominant strain. The creative and euphoric moods it brings on are great for showing depression the door.

Chiesel

This hybrid strain is the result of a wild and steamy love affair between Big Buddha Cheese and NYC Diesel. Either Big Buddha Cheese forgot to suit up, or NYC Diesel lied about being on the pill, but whatever the truth of the matter, Chiesel was born. Although it was a shock at first, everyone now agrees that the world is a better place with the little guy in it! This sativa-dominant hybrid gets people happy and energetic but still leaves them very clear-headed. It inspires creativity, happiness and a pleasant mood.

XJ-13

This robotically monikered weed has a citrusy scent and provides an uplifting high that leaves the user clear of mind, happy and positive.

Jillybean

If you want to smoke during the day and be sure you will still be able to get stuff done, then Jillybean is the perfect strain for you! It has a light and pleasant effect on body and mind and calms both just enough to take the edge off while leaving the user more capable than ever of getting out into the world and getting important work done. A calm focus is the game that Jillybean is playin’. It’s the ideal strain for a depressed poker shark out on the make.

Kill Bill

A 50:50 balanced hybrid, this tasty strain will bring a peaceful equilibrium to your mood. You’ll be calm and relaxed yet eager to get to work. It has a THC range of 15 to 19 percent, so it’s not too psychoactive. A cerebral calm accompanied by an undeniable itch to be creative will descend upon you when this herb gets its crystal-cover claws into you.

Harlequin

Another balanced hybrid, Harlequin will alleviate depression symptoms while leaving the patient’s mind clear, fresh and focused. No matter what is on your agenda for the day, it will be easy when you have traces of sweet Harlequin flowing around with your blood.

Pineapple Express

This delightfully named sativa-dominant hybrid strain’s mom is Trainwreck and pop is Hawaiian. The THC range is 12 to 17 percent, and the effect is a happy, energetic high dancing through a clear and focused mind. The body is relaxed but ready for action, and the mind is euphoric but focused. It’s just lovely!

Your 420 card will feel proud that you used it to get a hold of these awesome MMJ strains.

9 Best MMJ Strains for Treating Anxiety

Anxiety can attack a person in many different ways. For people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, just being out and about, living a normal life, can be a real ordeal, whereas acute anxieties and phobias can render victims totally unable to face even rewarding activities, such as flying in a plane or asking an attractive stranger on a date. One way to cope with these crippling anxieties is to get a medical marijuana card online, and use your 420 card to acquire some of the MMJ strains that are especially good at alleviating the symptoms of anxiety.

Here is our list of the nine best MMJ strains for anxiety. 

Strawberry Cough

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Many people report that certain MMJ strains, such as Strawberry Cough, help them enjoy being out in public.

This high-THC strain has a very uplifting high. It gives the user a real pep as well as some nice and relaxed psychoactive effects. Its energizing effects make it ideal for daytime use, as it leaves its user full of life and ready to get out into the world and connect with others, which is perfect for the person struggling with anxiety. Many people report that this strain makes them really enjoy being out in public, meeting people and chatting. It has a THC content of 18 percent and a lovely strawberry flavor. This strain makes you lively and alert while also maintaining a solid sense of control and calm — a great strain for the anxious patient to pick up with their medical card California.

Blue Dream

A high-THC hybrid that is very popular with cannabis card carrying anxiety sufferers, Blue Dream is predominantly sativa, so its effects are energizing and enlivening. This makes the user clear-headed, happy and eager to go out and be social. This strain has a nice little hint of indica in the mix, too, so the happy energy is accompanied by a pleasant calm and relaxed sensation in the body. Ahh … lovely.

Stress Killer

In times of high anxiety, a patient may benefit from certain MMJ strains such as Stress Killer, which brings on a mild, sedative high. This is a high-CBD strain with relatively low THC levels, so the effects are felt mostly in the body, and the mind is only lightly massaged by a very gentle psychoactive high. Stress Killer’s physically relaxing properties can be the perfect antidote to an acute case of nerves.

Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis

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Some MMJ strains are breed as a form of dietary marijuana.

ACDC, as you may have guessed from the catchy name, was bred specifically as a form of dietary marijuana. It is certainly good to cook with or juice, but it’s also great smoked or vaped. It is a high-CBD strain with minimal THC, so a very mild psychoactive high flutters above a very calm and relaxed physical demeanor. A clear mind operating inside a highly relaxed and mellow body is often a recipe for success, especially in a task that would otherwise provoke anxiety. ACDC is proving to be one of the very popular MMJ strains among anxious patients.

Harlequin

This solid and dependable strain of medical cannabis has a CBD to THC ratio of 5:2. It has quite a bodily high, but it leaves the mind pretty clear. Using Harlequin allows a patient to feel physically calm and relaxed without compromising rationality or the ability to think clearly in any big way.

Afghan Kush

For anxiety sufferers who like to knock themselves out from time to time, this potent indica is the ideal strain. With your California marijuana card, you can get Afghan Kush at all good dispensaries. It’s a favorite of big-time stoners the world over because its powerful punch brings on deep relaxation from the first hit. It is excellent at alleviating the symptoms of acute anxiety and bringing on a deep relaxation and dreamlike sense of calm. Best not to call your mother-in-law on this stuff.

Girl Scout Cookies

GSC is an iconic strain of herb that people from Amsterdam to Anaheim, California, to Afghanistan have been using to calm their nerves and enliven their mood for many years. It has a high THC content of approximately 25 percent, so it packs quite a psychoactive punch. A lot of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients with high anxiety use GSC to replenish their levels of a THC-like brain compound called anandamide, which studies have shown is often deficient in PTSD sufferers a

Catatonic

This pleasant high-CBD hybrid strain has a CBD to THC ratio of 1:1, so it is a very safe bet to use as a mild balm to cool the sting of anxiety feelings when they arise. This strain is relaxing without being overly strong, and it leaves the mind clear and focused.

Canna-Tsu

This strain is similar to Catatonic. It has a high CBD content that allows the patient to relax the body while maintaining an alert mind. The low THC content means you can focus on work while alleviating anxious bodily sensations. This is a practical anti-anxiety strain of medical cannabis.

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.

MMJRecs - PTSD

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.

MMJRecs - cannabis oil

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.

marijuana laws

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.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

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!

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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.  

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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?

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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.

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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

mmj-3-4

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