Why Anxiety Is An Overlooked Mental Health Disorder (And 5 Tips On How To Treat It)

Anxiety can be provoked by an infinite number of situations, scenarios, thoughts, and/or biochemical reactions. It’s a feeling that everybody experiences from time to time, and yet every person’s anxiety feels different.

Anxiety can be triggered in one person by a scenario that another person would find totally benign. Each person has their own unique suite of anxiety triggers. It is often not possible to really know why a person has come to feel anxiety in a certain situation. But what seems certain is that it is the meaning that a person ascribes to a situation or thought that provokes the anxiety, not the objective situation itself.

Anxiety is a word. It is a label we use that points to a feeling, an emotion, a psycho-physical state. The condition is somewhat amorphous, though it has symptoms that most people can empathize with. Each of us knows when we are experiencing that uncomfortable feeling that we have come to call anxiety.

Anxiety can be a mild irritation or it can be an all-encompassing, engulfing, paralyzing tornado. It can be felt chronically throughout the days and years (and decades), or it can come screaming into a person’s momentary experience suddenly and without any warning, leaving them unable to function.

Here’s why anxiety is an overlooked mental health disorder, and what you can do to treat it.

MMJRecs - MMJ plant
Image by pixundfertig on Pixabay: MMJ can be used to treat anxiety.

Anxiety Is An Overlooked Mental Health Disorder

Anxiety is one of the most overlooked mental disorders. It is often underdiagnosed, dismissed, or mistaken for something else. Because anxiety occurs quite regularly in its mild form for the vast majority of people, there is a notion that it is not such a big deal and not necessarily worth seeking treatment for.

Unfortunately, anxiety sometimes comes with a stigma attached. Some people don’t want to admit that they feel anxious because they associate anxiety with weakness. The ill-informed notion that anxiety is shameful or a sign of weakness has done a huge amount of harm in terms of mental illness diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?

Anxiety often includes some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Uncomfortable physical sensations
  • Headache or nausea
  • Worry and negative predictions
  • Irritability
  • Depressed thinking
  • Physical tension
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating

How To Treat Anxiety

The great news is that if you suffer from anxiety to the extent that it is negatively affecting your quality of life, there are several effective ways that your anxiety can be treated.

Here are five tips on how to treat anxiety.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, commonly known as CBT, is a form of therapy that has proven very effective at tackling anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on examining the thoughts and beliefs that a person holds that provoke anxiety and finding out if they are actually accurate. CBT also prioritizes the implementation of new, healthier behaviors that will show you that you can live fully in spite of anxiety, or even that you can get rid of anxiety altogether.

CBT is best done with the help of a qualified therapist, but you can also implement CBT strategies on your own, working from books on the topic or online resources.

2. Reading

You can treat your own anxiety by reading some of the many excellent self-help books that teach you about anxiety and how to combat it. Reading and learning about anxiety will provide you with the knowledge and understanding that will allow you to handle your own anxiety if and when it arises throughout life. Three books that we recommend are: Feeling Good, Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway, and A Guide To Rational Living.

3. Medical Marijuana

Some people use medical marijuana for anxiety and report that it is very effective at dulling the anxiety response. MMJ for anxiety can calm a person down and settle the mind. Marijuana also often instigates a feeling of positivity and enables sleep. A word of warning: some patients report the opposite and say they find that MMJ can increase feelings of anxiety in certain circumstances, so be cautious in determining whether it works for you.

MMJRecs - growing cannabis
Image by TerreDiCannabis on Pixabay: Medical marijuana for anxiety can be quite effective.

4. Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is a brilliant way to alleviate anxiety. The endorphins released during exercise have a very calming effect and make people feel happy and positive. Exercise is also great for physical health and improves sleep quality. When we are well-slept and healthy, we are less prone to anxiety.

5. Meditation

Meditation seems like hell to a lot of people! This is because they believe that in meditation you are supposed to stop yourself from thinking. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, it is the opposite.

Meditation is when you watch thinking happening. It is meant to demonstrate that your thoughts are not your doing, that they are being generated by the brain. It is meant to show you that you do not have to be held hostage by the output of your brain.

When you meditate, you can begin to detach from thought and to see thoughts as objects that arise and then disappear inside your awareness. This can result in not taking your anxious thoughts as seriously as you used to.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

The best way to get a medical marijuana card for anxiety is to go to the MMJRecs online clinic and set up a consultation with an MMJ doctor in your state. The MMJ doctor will examine you and verify if your anxiety is treatable with medical marijuana. Once your suitability is confirmed the doctor will email you a legal medical marijuana physician certification form instantly.

Featured image by talipozer on Pixabay

Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania Just Surpassed $1bn In All-Time Sales: But What Are The Qualifying Conditions?

Since 2016, Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical cannabis legislation, SB3, has offered those with certain medical conditions relief in the form of medical marijuana. Recently, Pennsylvania surpassed $1 billion in all-time sales of medical marijuana. Evidently, the program is quite successful.

If you’re a Pennsylvania resident and interested in finding out if you qualify for medical marijuana, then read on for all you need to know.

Is Marijuana Legal In Pennsylvania?

Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, but recreational use is illegal. In some cities, being caught with a small amount of marijuana will not get you in trouble, but it does remain illegal at the state level.

Qualifying Medical Conditions For MMJ In Pennsylvania

Several conditions qualify you for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Anyone with a terminal illness qualifies, as well as anyone diagnosed with:

  • Autism
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Severe intractable or chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Neuropathies
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Cancer remission therapy is also a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Children under the age of 18 with a medical condition that qualifies under the law can also be given an MMJ card. A parent, legal guardian, or caregiver will need to administer the MMJ to the minor under the Safe Harbor Letter, which allows them to possess and administer MMJ on behalf of the minor.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: Pennsylvania MMJ is a big hit, so is it easy to get a medical card in PA? If you have a qualifying condition, yes.

Anyone who is registered as an MMJ patient (and their caregiver) is protected from discrimination, arrest, and prosecution under the MMJ laws in the state. These legal protections do not cover the user or caregiver until their MMJ card has been received. It’s also important to note that it is not required for employers to accommodate the use of MMJ by employees on-site.

Having A Physician Certify Your Condition

Under Pennsylvania law, patients must be under the care of a doctor who can issue them certification for medical marijuana during an in-person visit. Certifications are required to state that the patient does indeed have one of the qualifying conditions and that it is believed they will benefit from the use of medical marijuana. A doctor must register and report to the state Department of Health if the qualifying patient no longer needs access to MMJ due to improved status in their condition.

Limits On Usage

There are only certain types of products legally available in Pennsylvania for MMJ users: oils, creams, tinctures, gels, pills, ointments, non-whole plant forms for consumption through vaporization, and liquid.

It is not legal to sell MMJ edibles at MMJ dispensaries in Pennsylvania. However, it is legal to introduce MMJ products into items you eat or drink if that is how the patients prefer to administer them. You cannot smoke MMJ, either. Dried flower vaporization is now legal in the state, but it still cannot be smoked.

MMJ Dispensaries In Pennsylvania

Only 150 dispensaries are allowed to legally operate in the state at once. Each dispensary can have up to three locations. Dispensaries must submit applications to become state-sanctioned.

Fees For A Pennsylvania MMJ Card

There is a $50 fee to apply for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. You’ll need a state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license with a current address, to apply, and a background check must be completed.

MMJRecs - cannabis vape
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA? Be sure you know the rules before you shop.

Can You Use A Pennsylvania MMJ Card In Another State?

Using an MMJ card from another state to access medical marijuana is called reciprocity. In Pennsylvania, no reciprocity is offered. The state does not recognize the MMJ programs of other states; its MMJ program is only open to residents of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana program is a great thing for the 300,000+ residents who have taken advantage of it so far. If you have questions about MMJ in PA, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which administers the program, to have your questions answered. You should also discuss this program with your doctor if you feel you qualify for it, and if it might help you to live a more productive, pain-free life.

Featured image by Scott Serhat Duygun on Unsplash

How Does Medical Marijuana Treat Seizures?

If you or a family member suffers from seizures, you will know just how debilitating they can be. Seizures vary considerably in their severity, but nearly three million Americans experience them regularly in some form or other. One of the most challenging things to have to deal with is the suddenness with which seizures can come on. This lack of warning is not only potentially dangerous because you could be anywhere and doing anything when a seizure strikes, but it can also really affect your confidence, and might even prevent you from going to work or socializing as much as you would like.

Over the past few years, a lot of research has been conducted about seizures and medical marijuana. Many sufferers are looking for an answer to the question “Can MMJ help seizures?” Below, we’ll take a look at some of the research results and some of the popular strains and dosages, and advise you on how to get a medical marijuana recommendation for seizures.

Does medical cannabis treat seizures?

Research into the beneficial effects of medical marijuana in treating seizures and many other conditions has been ongoing for a number of years. It takes time and is not easy to carry out due to a number of federal regulations and various constraints, including financial ones. According to epilepsy.com, recent studies have concluded that a certain type of CBD has proved beneficial in treating some epileptic sufferers who have not previously responded to traditional medicines.

Furthermore, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a drug called Epidiolex, which is made from a plant-based form of CBD, as a treatment for people who are dealing with severe seizures – specifically, any adult or child two years of age or older diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). Studies show that some of the participants had a startling drop in seizures after taking Epidiolex. Clearly, there is some truth in the claim that MMJ can help treat seizures, although more research is still needed.

How does medical marijuana treat seizures?

The jury is still out on the relationship between seizures and medical marijuana, and how exactly MMJ works to eliminate or reduce the number of seizures. One theory is that CBD can play a part in affecting the hippocampus, which is a hub in our brain where information is exchanged. Seizures can occur if this exchange is messed up. Another theory is that CBD can interact positively with our NMDA receptors, which play a big part in our learning and memory capacities. That’s the science bit! But basically, a lot of anecdotal evidence – as well as more and more scientific research – supports the fact that MMJ can help in reducing the number of seizures you suffer.

MMJRecs - CBD oil

Image by Julia Teichmann from Pixabay: How does medical cannabis treat seizures?

The best dosage and strains for treating seizures

If you want to know more about seizures and medical marijuana, it’s necessary to get professional advice. Your physician may recommend trying MMJ alongside your traditional medicine, or you may like to try it in place of traditional medicine to cut down on nasty side effects. Whatever you decide to try, it’s important to take the right amount and a suggested strain that is best for you. Recommended dosages for treating seizures are:

  • 16mg of CBD + 2mg of THC for small children up to teenagers;
  • 25mg daily for teenagers 15 years and above, or a weight of 100lbs or over;
  • 25mg twice daily for adults.

We do advise you to check these amounts with your physician or local medical marijuana dispensary.

The best way of ingesting MMJ for controlling seizures is via edibles, oil, or tinctures. Two recommended strains are Charlotte’s Web and White Widow. The former is definitely the most popular. Named after a little girl who had Dravet Syndrome, Charlotte’s Web was developed by Colorado-based growers specifically for her. Once Charlotte started using the specially formulated cannabis oil, the number of seizures she suffered reduced dramatically.

The second recommendation comes from The Netherlands. A hybrid containing both Sativa and Indica, White Widow is one of the most common strains of MMJ, popular for treating a number of complaints. It contains terpenes, which are known for being effective in the treatment of seizures.

MMJRecs - MMJ recommendation

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay: You can get a medical marijuana recommendation for seizures to make managing your condition a little easier.

How can I get a medical marijuana recommendation for seizures?

Seizures are one of the qualifying conditions for an MMJRecs card. Simply apply with us online for a relaxed evaluation with one of our qualified medical marijuana doctors. This consultation can take place virtually if you prefer not to travel or have a face-to-face meeting. If our expert deems that you qualify for a medical marijuana card, it will be sent to you right away so that you can start using it at your local dispensary. You will also be allowed to grow your own plants.

If you or a loved one suffers from seizures, help and relief might just be a click away. Contact us now to find out more about seizures and medical marijuana and discover if we can help make a difference in your life.

Featured image by Add Weed on Unsplash

Do Primary Caregivers Need An MMJ Card?

If you live in a state with legal medical or recreational marijuana, then you’ve likely run across the term “primary caregiver.” Have you ever wondered what a primary caregiver does and how that relates to medical marijuana? Here’s what you need to know about medical marijuana laws as they relate to primary caregivers, including how to get a medical marijuana recommendation as a caregiver.

Medical Marijuana for Primary Caregivers

A primary caregiver is defined as an adult who is legally able to buy, deliver/transport, and/or assist in administering medical marijuana to someone with a valid medical marijuana card. Caregivers may need to purchase medical marijuana for their patients and act on their behalf legally, so that means they must be aware of any and all rules and regulations surrounding MMJ recommendation for primary caregivers in the state in which they live.

Legislation in states with legalized medical marijuana protects both caregivers and medical marijuana patients from any criminal penalties, allowing for the use of a caregiver as long as both the patient and caregiver are abiding by all laws.

MMJRecs - MMJ dispensary

Image by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash: Primary caregivers for medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to purchase and transport medical marijuana, a valuable service for patients.

This protective legislation is different from state to state, but there are several legal stipulations that state laws have in common if you want to become a medical marijuana caregiver. In general, these stipulations for caregivers state that they must:

  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Be a resident of the same state as the qualified patient
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America
  • Legally agree to assist the medical marijuana patient with their use for medical purposes

You need to check with the caregiver laws surrounding medical marijuana in your particular state in order to find out what other stipulations may be required. In certain states, a caregiver must not have a criminal record and may only care for a maximum number of medical marijuana patients (usually five) at any time. They may also never buy or deliver medical marijuana to someone who is not officially their patient with a legal MMJ card.

How to Become an MMJ Caregiver

In most states, primary caregivers must fill out a separate application than the patient. These applications often include application fees and the responsibility of annual renewals in order to keep their status as an MMJ caregiver legal.

Do Primary Caregivers Need an MMJ Card?

In general, a medical cannabis card for a caregiver is a requirement. That’s because even in states where medical marijuana is legal, the caregiver who intends to buy and transport it needs to be licensed to do so – by having an MMJ card. You should note that this isn’t the case in all states, so it’s important to double-check with local laws to see what is required of you as a primary caregiver.

MMJRecs - mmj in hand

Image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash: If you want to become a primary caregiver for medical marijuana patients, then chances are you need a medical cannabis card for a caregiver.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Recommendation as a Caregiver

If you’re a primary caregiver or are looking to become one, then it’s important to know if you qualify for your own MMJ card and how to get it. In many states, to get a medical marijuana recommendation for primary caregivers, you’ll first need to ensure you have a qualifying condition, which is something your doctor (or MMJRecs!) can help you with. It’s not so much of a specific diagnosis but an injury, illness, or disability that your doctor believes would benefit from the use of medical marijuana. Some common conditions that qualify include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anorexia and bulimia

These are simply examples – talk to a doctor if you believe you have a condition that would benefit from the use of medical marijuana.

You’ll also need to prove your residency in the state you’re looking to get the MMJ card in. A passport or driver’s license will do the trick. Once you have identification and a doctor to sign off on it, you’ll need to fill out the proper paperwork through the government body in your state that controls medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana laws are meant to help people gain access to medication that assists them in dealing with a condition, and primary caregivers are a big part of getting patients the help they need. If you’re a primary caregiver, then it’s important to know the laws in your state surrounding your role so you can provide the best care to your patients.

Featured image by Esteban Lopez 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

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For An Oklahoma MMJ Card?

There are many different reasons why someone may need an MMJ card, and these can differ from state to state depending on legislation. But under what conditions do you qualify for an Oklahoma MMJ card? How does it differ from other states you might have lived in? And what’s the process for how to get an OK MMJ card? Let’s answer all these questions and more.

How To Get An OK MMJ Card

In June 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state in the USA to legalize medical marijuana. A couple of months later, licensing began to allow Oklahoma residents to apply for MMJ cards. If you believe you would benefit from an MMJ card, it’s easy to apply online. In Oklahoma, this is done through OMMA, the state body that supplies applications and issues cards. When applying for an MMJ card in Oklahoma, you will need to pay a $100 application fee as well as providing proof of identity and residency, but this is as simple as submitting an ID, driver’s license, or even a utility bill.

You also need the recommendation of a physician, which many people opt to do online. Going through an online specialist such as MMJ Recs means that you don’t have to deal with your normal physician and can seriously cut down on travel. Starting the process online can seem daunting, but it’s actually very simple. You just fill out a standard medical form with the appropriate notes and documents attached, before scheduling a video call where an in-house professional performs an evaluation. If they believe you’re eligible, you’ll be recommended medical marijuana.

MMJ Recs - MMJ card application

Jump online with a specialist like MMJ Recs to see if you meet the qualifying conditions for an Oklahoma MMJ card!

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For An Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Card?

You may be wondering, “Does my illness qualify me for an Oklahoma MMJ card?” You have to be over the age of 18 in order to qualify for an Oklahoma MMJ card, but unlike in other states, there is not a pre-set list of qualifying conditions you must meet to be granted a card. This makes Oklahoma one of the least restrictive states when it comes to issuing MMJ cards. The cards are instead treated like any other kind of prescription (except in this case it is a recommendation), whereby it is up to the discretion of the physician as to whether or not your ailment qualifies you for an MMJ card – i.e. whether you would benefit from medical marijuana.

That said, you can get some idea of the types of conditions that often qualify patients for an MMJ card by looking at what other states list. These include ailments such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, and many more, often with symptoms that include tiredness, nausea, cramps, inflammation, headaches, and seizures. These are just some of the qualifying conditions for an Oklahoma MMJ card, so make sure to check a full list to get a better idea of whether you would benefit from medical marijuana treatment. And of course, the best option is always to talk to a qualified professional, since they will be able to advise you in regards to your specific situation.

Once I Have An OK MMJ Card, Is That It?

Once you have an MMJ card in Oklahoma, there are some restriction on what you can do. Firstly, you may only legally possess:

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

Furthermore, you are free to smoke medical marijuana wherever you can smoke regular tobacco cigarettes, and may eat edibles anywhere – so long as there isn’t a private ban. However, medical marijuana may not be consumed in any form on federal lands – while it is legal in Oklahoma, it is still banned under federal legislation.

MMJ Recs - recreational marijuana

Once you qualify for an Oklahoma MMJ card, it’s important to follow all the laws in relation to using MMJ.

Once you have your MMJ card, it is extremely important that you carry it. Being caught with marijuana without a valid card can result in serious legal ramifications, including fines and prison time. These charges are more serious if you sell marijuana, which can only be done by a registered dispensary.

Moreover, your Oklahoma MMJ card must be renewed annually. There is a small fee for renewal, but it is considerably cheaper than the initial MMJ application process. Many people opt to renew online through services such as MMJ Recs in order to have quick, professional advice from their homes.

Overall, Oklahoma is one of the least restrictive states when it comes to getting an MMJ card. If you believe that you could benefit from medical marijuana, an online evaluation where an expert can advise you on a one-to-one basis could be the perfect option. So long as you are a responsible MMJ card holder, the restrictions in Oklahoma are minimal, and with easy annual renewal, the whole process can be done with little effort.

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.

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.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

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.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

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.