Looking forward to getting a medical marijuana card in Santa Rosa? Great! But before you go any further, take a step back and ask yourself, what do you know about medical marijuana?
The medical use of cannabis has been revolutionary in recent times. More people are coming forward to experience the benefits of this green herb. But one thing to remember before you begin using medical cannabis is that you cannot go in unprepared.
It’s only a recent development since cannabis is recommended by doctors as a treatment for medical ailments. But this does not mean that cannabis is safe or that you can use it in whatever way you want. You have to be very careful with the way you use it and how you handle it in public areas. Because one small mistake and you can end up surrounded by medical bills or legal troubles. So, let’s update your knowledge about medical marijuana.
Cannabis is Therapeutic
The major reason why cannabis plunged to one of the top spots in healthcare and medicine is the fact that it is therapeutic. Cannabis is a storehouse of chemicals such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids etc. that have an immense therapeutic effect on the body. You may have heard of the chemicals THC and CBD. These are the two most well-known and well-researched cannabinoids that are widely used for their medicinal potential. The way these chemical components work is by acting on the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system in your body is responsible for maintaining a state of equilibrium so that the body works optimally. With the help of the CB receptors that are spread all across the body from the brain to the tiniest cells, the system is able to achieve the state of equilibrium. Now, these cannabinoids react with CB receptors and activate them to deliver various effects on the body that we associate with medical cannabis. The most common of these effects are anti-inflammation, pain relief, anti-anxiety, antiemetic and appetite stimulation.
The diverseness of such therapeutic effects is the reason why cannabis is recommended as a treatment for several medical conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, seizures, PTSD, anorexia, spasticity etc.
Medical Marijuana is Legal
For a very long time, cannabis was always seen with the stigma of being a psychotropic drug that’s illegal. Well, gone are those days as cannabis today is the future of medicine. As we’ve discussed in the previous point, cannabis is therapeutic. And there are several anecdotes and scientific research to prove this point. This is the reason why the legalization of medical cannabis began in 1996 with California and has since been adopted by 33 states of the US. That’s right, medical cannabis is legal. But the legalities are still not that simple.
While the state government accepts the medical use of cannabis, the federal government is against it. The US Food and Drug Administration does not accept cannabis as a medication in terms of safety and efficiency. This is the reason why cannabis still sits under the Schedule 1 Drug category according to federal laws. Confusing isn’t it?
Well, no need to feel lost. As long as you follow the medical marijuana laws of your state and own a legit medical cannabis card, there’s no need to be anxious or afraid. You have legal security and the right to buy, use and grow medical cannabis for your personal use.
You Enjoy Exclusivity
The best part about medical cannabis is the long list of perks that come along with it. In every state, you must have a medical cannabis card or recommendation from a board-certified doctor to be able to use medical cannabis. But that’s not the only thing that a medical card offers you. Along with letting you use cannabis legally, here are a few advantages that an MMJ card gives you.
- The age limit for cannabis cardholders is 18 years. The age limit is generally set at 21 years in recreational states. But, considering that cannabis is used as medicine even by younger patients, the age limit is lowered for anyone with a medical card. In fact, medical patients younger than 18 years can also get a medical marijuana recommendation.
- The state government exempts sales and use tax for people with a medical card. Also, you can use the MMJ card to ask for special discounts or different price points for cannabis products. It will help you save a lot of money.
- You can carry 8 times more cannabis than recreational consumers. This helps patients carry more dosage so that they don’t have to come back frequently for a restock.
- You have access to all the state dispensaries and online stores in the state, unlike recreational cannabis consumers who are not allowed to buy from a medical-only dispensary.
- With no potency limit, you can buy high THC strains too if they are recommended by your doctor.
- You can grow up to 99 cannabis plants at your home
You Can Still End up in Legal Troubles
I know you thought that medical cannabis is legal so it is safe and offers your security. Well, that is true but there are exceptions. Do not think that if you own a medical card, you can get away with anything. You must not misuse the leverage given to you. Because when you do break the laws, you may end up in legal trouble.
For example, medical cannabis gives you the benefit of growing up to 100 square feet of cannabis at home. You can even get a grower’s license and increase the limit as per your need. However, homegrown cannabis should be for personal use only. You must not sell your harvest or use it for any commercial purpose. The same is the case with cannabis purchases from dispensaries or online stores. Do not use the discounts you get with a medical card to buy cannabis for someone else. If caught, you may face a legal penalty.
Also, whether it is medical or recreational cannabis, it should be used in private spaces only. Do not consume cannabis in public areas or around people. And never drive under the influence of cannabis or do any activity that can endanger your safety as well as of others.
Cannabis Has Side Effects
We have discussed a lot about the benefits of medical marijuana and its potential as a medicine. But along with the benefits, cannabis has its side effects too. The most commonly reported side effects of cannabis are red eyes, munchies and cottonmouth. Each of these effects are because of the cannabinoids THC and CBD. They react with the CB receptors and cause changes in the body such as the ones mentioned. So it’s something you will have to deal with if you need to consume cannabis regularly. However, you can reduce the effects with certain tips and tricks and make the entire experience tolerable.
Another major side effect of cannabis is that it is very easy to overdose on it. If that happens, you may experience an uncontrollable high, fatigue, paranoia, nausea, vomiting and even anxiety. The effects may even stay until the next morning. The only way out of it is to microdose and continue doing so as long as you are using cannabis for your treatment.
Now that you are aware of the few important things about medical marijuana, go ahead and apply for your medical card. You can also ask the relevant questions to your doctor during the consultation and make sure that you are aware of all the right ways to use medical cannabis for the best possible experience.