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Please choose your current state to get the most up to date information about medical cannabis.
Got a question about Medical Marijuana. You’ll hopefully find the answer here. For questions and answers specific to your state, please visit our ‘Get A Medical Card’ page for your state. If you’ve got a question and our website doesn’t have the answer, head to our chat window in the bottom right corner and speak with one of our clinic staff in minutes. If you need more information about the effects and uses of medical marijuana, check out our FAQ page here, although we go through some medical marijuana FAQs below as well. Check out our glossary if you come across a term you don’t understand and need a definition.
A Medical Marijuana Card (or MMJ Card) is a physical or digital permit which can be shown to licensed dispensaries to demonstrate that the carrier can legally buy medical marijuana. Some states do not require you to have an MMJ Card and will accept the doctor’s certificate/recommendation instead. However, where a card is an option, we recommend you apply for one and carry it at all times as it offers additional benefits and legal protection.
Medical marijuana is the use of the cannabis plant for medical purposes. Medical marijuana can be taken in the form of tinctures, topicals, salves, edibles, vaping (extract or flower), transdermal patches, pills/capsules, inhalers and bathing products.
Medical marijuana contains chemicals and compounds called cannabinoids. These interact with our body’s natural Endocannabinoid System and can deliver powerful effects including pain relief, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and anti-anxiety.
Read our FAQs about Medical Marijuana blog for more information.
A medical marijuana doctor is a doctor who is licensed to practice in a state with a medical marijuana program (MMP), and who has been approved to recommend or certify a patient for medical marijuana. All doctors working with Leafwell are licensed and qualified medical marijuana physicians.
Alaska, California, Colorado, D.C,. Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have legalized recreational cannabis use and have medical marijuana programs.
Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have medical marijuana programs in place.
Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming have Low-THC Medical Marijuana laws in place.
Alabama, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin currently have pending Medical Marijuana legislation.
SPEAK TO AN MMJ DOCTOR
Telemedicine or telehealth is the practice of using technology to see a doctor from the comfort of your own home. With advancements in technology, you don’t need to travel to see a physician now. Instead, you can use secure, HIPAA-compliant platforms like Leafwell to speak with an experienced doctor via your mobile phone or computer.
Just like a ‘traditional’ doctor’s appointment, you’ll need to provide your medical records ahead of seeing the physician so they have a clear overview of your medical history and are best informed on how they can help you.
Our telemedicine service is 100% confidential and 100% HIPAA-compliant. This means all of your personal information and medical information is safe and secure.
You can qualify for a medical marijuana identity card online with Leafwell in the following states:
Ahead of meeting with a Leafwell physician, we recommend you gather our medical records together, including any current prescriptions and medications. This is because it’s important that our doctors get a clear picture of your health to allow them to make the best recommendation for you.
The appointment occurs via our telemedicine platform and is quick and easy. Our physician will ask you questions, just like your doctor would, to build up an understanding of your health and your qualifying condition. We ask that you answer honestly and are transparent with the doctor. This allows you to get the best medical advice possible.
Although states can differ slightly about what documents they will accept, here’s a list that will get you by in pretty much every state:
Every state program offers a list of qualifying conditions for which patients can apply for an MMJ card. Some states have restrictive lists, others have broader qualifying conditions. No two states are the same, however. But some conditions are commonly found across all programs including cancer, degenerative neurological diseases, HIV/AIDS and PTSD.
To find a list of the qualifying conditions for your state, visit our state specific medical card pages.
HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”, a U.S. passed in 1996. In summary, HIPAA does the following:
More information about Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Most states now have a Medical Marijuana Program which allows patients to use medical marijuana for a range of qualifying conditions. If you live in a state which has an active Medical Marijuana Program, you can apply for a card which will allow you to purchase and carry medical marijuana according to the laws within your state. However, at the federal level, marijuana and cannabis is still an illegal product.
No, unfortunately not. This is because marijuana is illegal at a federal level and therefore insurance companies will not cover any costs associated with medical marijuana. However, some states will offer discounted rates for patients who are beneficiaries of some state or federal benefits such as Medicaid.
The costs associated with getting an MMJ vary for each state. Most state processes require payment at a few stages:
Click on the link to see an up to date list of how much it costs to get an MMJ Card in your state.
Yes, payment is 100% secure.
Leafwell’s payment processor uses the same encryption as banks do, so your credit card data is completely safe. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
The charge will appear as “GCM Partners, LLC” which is Leafwell’s third-party payment-processing partner.
GET AN MMJ CARD
A hard copy of your recommendation letter will be sent to the address provided on your application form. This usually takes between two and five business days.
There are some differences between states, but the general gist seems to be: speak to a qualified medical marijuana physician; get certified; create an account with the state medical marijuana program and fill out the application form; pay fees; get your medical marijuana card once approved. The main difference seems to be at which point you submit your details to be registered with the state medical marijuana program. In some instances, you do it before or during your medical marijuana appointment. In others, it is after you have your certificate.
No, you must provide a local address. However, most patients don’t require a physical letter and just submit the PDF version which is emailed to you from Leafwell directly after your successful consultation.
Assuming you suffer from a qualifying health condition, there are several reasons to obtain a medical marijuana card rather than simply purchasing marijuana recreationally:
Remember, recreational marijuana is illegal at a federal level.
Marijuana is not addictive in the same manner as amphetamines, cocaine, opiates/opioids and even long-term alcohol use are, although there is a condition known as “Marijuana Use Disorder”. There is some amount of dependence, but there is not a huge level of physical or psychological withdrawal for most people. Read this blog about medical marijuana and addiction for more information.
What might be interesting is that cannabis could actually prove to be an alternative to addictive, opioid-based prescription painkillers. States with medical marijuana programs tend to see falls in pinkiller prescriptions, and beta-caryophyllene could have anti-addictive properties. Cannabis could therefore be seen as an exit drug rather than a gateway.
No, you cannot have a deadly overdose from the use of cannabis alone. You can, however, take a little too much (in particular THC), which can make some people feel paranoid, dizzy, or sick/nauseous. There does not seem to be any evidence suggesting that overdose on CBD is possible, although it can interact negatively with other medications. CBD is a “grapefruit” cannabinoid in that it can interfere with the metabolization of some types of drugs in a similar manner to grapefruit. CBD desensitizes the liver enzyme cytochrome P450 (CYP 450), which is the pathway many drugs are processed.
The reason why you cannot overdose on naturally-derived cannabinoids is because the body breaks them down very quickly, meaning that dangerous amounts are never built up. The endocannabinoid system is not as specialized as other receptor systems, like serotonin, dopamine or opioid systems. Specialized receptors have evolved to take in a particular neurotransmitter, and these are more difficult for the body to breakdown quickly.
Yes, it can. Consult your physician if you intend to use cannabis and have been prescribed or are undergoing one of the following drugs or treatments:
You may need to reduce the dosage in order to utilize cannabis safely and effectively. Cannabis also interacts with alcohol (ethanol).
The endocannabinoid system refers to the mammalian body’s production of its own naturally-occuring THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The ECS also refers to the cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), which take in instructions from cannabinoids, and the enzymes that break these cannabinoids down (e.g. fatty acid amide hydrolase, or FAAH, which breaks down anandamide and THC).
The ECS is intimately involved in keeping the body’s physiological processes in balance (homeostasis). The ECS is involved in many of life’s most essential processes, such as the sleep-wake cycle, appetite, regulating the immune system, contributing to the pleasurable effects of exercise, and fertility, amongst many other things. When the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated, or if the body isn’t producing enough of its own endocannabinoids, health problems arise (called “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency”). Check out this article if you would like tolearn more about the ECS.
THC is a partial agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and has both psychoactive and anti-inflammatory effects. CBD, meanwhile, is non-intoxicating and is an inverse agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This makes CBD almost the opposite of one another. In fact, CBD can be used to dampen the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD does not bind very well to cannabinoid receptors, but does bind to serotonin, vanilloid and opioid receptors. This gives CBD many potential uses, including for depression, pain and anxiety. THC can be useful for increasing appetite, reducing nausea/vomiting, pain and insomnia. Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties.
Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors (and sometimes other receptors, too). They include anandamide and 2-AG, which are produced naturally by the body (endocannabinoids); and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant or any other plant in nature, like THC and CBD (phytocannabinoids). Cannabinoids can instruct the brain to carry out certain functions, e.g. THC’s CB1 receptor agonism gives instructions to the brain that increase the desire for food.
The cannabis plant contains six main cannabinoids, but there are up to 150 of them. The big six cannabinoids are:
You can get more information from our cannabinoid-terpene table. The peppery terpene, beta-caryophyllene, is also considered a cannabinoid as it is a selective partial agonist of the CB2 receptors in the immune system. This gives beta-caryophyllene anti-inflamatory effects.
Terpenes are what gives cannabis its unique smell. They are hydrocarbon based, and they interact with cannabinoids in a variety of ways. Terpenes also contribute to the cannabis plant’s many therapeutic effects, and can determine some of the psychoactive effects a particular variety of cannabis can have as well. Check out this page on terpenes to learn more about the effects of terpenes and how they interact with cannabinoids.
The cannabis plant contains up to 220 different terpenes. Some of the most common ones are:
Terpenes that have had oxygen added to them (“oxidation” or “oxidized”) are called terpenoids. Terpenoids are terpenes that have gone through some form of chemical change, which can change the effects they can have to some extent.
Flavonoids are compounds that give the cannabis plant its flavor. Cannabis contains up to 20 flavonoids, of which 3 are unique to cannabis: cannaflavins A, B and C. Other flavonoids include vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin and kaempferol, which are found in many other fruits and vegetables as well. Flavonoids also contribute to cannabis’ effects.
No, medical marijuana is not available on prescription. However, there are some cannabinoid-based products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include:
These are cannabinoids developed in a lab, and are not derived from the cannabis plant or any other natural source. Synthetic cannabinoids can sometimes have similar effects to naural ones, but in some cases they are farstronger and more dangerous. Synthetic cannabinoids can have some medical uses, but their unregulated use should be controlled to some extent. Synthetic cannabinoids are generally far more dangerous and addictive than natural cannabinoids. Avoid using them.
The combination of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids and the therapeutic & synergistic effects they give are called the “enoturage effect”. Cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids tend to work better in combination,and the negative effects of a cannabinoid can be mitigated to some extent. For example, THC’s psychoactivity and negative impacts on short-term memory can be reduced by using CBD and pinene.
There may be instances where an isolated cannabinoid is better to use, and there are certainly instances where a certain cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profile is better to use than another (which is still an entourage effect). Most people tolerate a mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes well, compared to cannabinoids used on their own.
No. THC is just one of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. There are hundreds of others with huge medical benefits, and many are not psychoactive. Moreover, these cannabinoids can be used to balance out THC’s psychoactivity, so you can take advantage of cannabis’ and THC’s medical properties without the need to get high or stoned. Use CBD in equal or greater amounts to THC if you want to reduce psychoactivity.
Dosing medical marijuana is a complex subject. First of all, there are many active compounds (cannabinoids,flavonoids, terpenes/terpenoids), all of which contribute to cannabis’s effects in important ways. For a more detailed look, check out our guide on dosing, as well as our conditions page. Here’s some basic advice for now:
Remain calm and don’t panic! Panicking can make any anxiety you are feeling worse. Sit down, listen to some music or watch a film, drink some water, have something to eat, and remember: it will pass soon.
Other things you can do include taking some CBD, or even chewing on some black peppercorns, to reduce THC’s psychoactivity.
Fresh air and/or a warm bath can also help, as can a cup of herbal tea (avoid caffiene, as this can enhance THC’s effects in some).
There are many ways to consume cannabis, including:
You can read more about the pros and cons of each consumption method here.
Edibles take longer to take effect (about 1-2 hours), but the effects are much stronger, lasting a whole day if a lot of THC is taken. This is becuase the THC in edibles is metabolized by the liver first, turning THC into the more psychoactive 11-0H-THC.
Tinctures are taken sublingually (under the tongue). They take effect within an hour (usually 15-30 minutes). They are stronger than smoking/vaping or edibles, but not as strong as edibles. Tinctures are usually cannabis-infused oils (canna oil). Tinctures are easier to dose compared to edibles. The effects of tinctures can last between 4 and 8 hours, although the effects can last longer if a lot of THC was used.
Smoking and vaporizers can take effect immediately, as the cannabinoids pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream. Smoking and vaping have the shortest-lasting effects, but some people require immediate effects for their condition (e.g. someone going through a panic or asthma attack, or someone suffering from a sudden onset of Parkinson’s tremor).
RSO is a highly concentrated form of cannabis oil extracted using ethanol. RSO contains little plant matter, and is full of cannabinoids and terpenes. This makes RSO particularly potent. RSO is a thick, viscous, brownish-blackish, oily liquid. It often comes in a syringe, and people often take it in extremely small amounts the size of rice grain. Rick Simpson Oil can be eaten. Those who find its psychoactivity overwhelming can potentially use it as a suppository.
Cannabis sativa is a herbaceous, annually-flowering plant that is indigenous to East Asia, in the Mongolia region. Cannabis sativa is a term used for both psychoactive cannabis and hemp that is grown for its stalk. Cannabis sativa has been cultivated for thousands of years, and has been used as a source of industrial fiber, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual moods and medicine. Cannabis sativa was first classified by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, and is sometimes called Cannabis sativa Linnaeus.
Cannabis sativa can be male, female or both (hermaphrodite), meaning it can reproduce both sexually and asexually. The ability to reproduce sexually can lead to huge amounts of variation in the physical and chemical makeup of cannabis, and contributes to its ability to handle a variety of environments across the world.
A cannabis plant goes through the following stages of growth: seed; seedling; vegetation; and finally, flowering. A plant in the vegetative stage requires about 18 hours of light at around 100 watts. A flowering plant requires 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark and a light wattage of aroung 250 watts plus (400 – 600 watts ideal, depending on light fixture).
Under the old classification system, Cannabis indica referred to the short, bushy types of cannabis predominantly found in the Afghan region. They tend to have more relaxing effects, and can contain high amounts of both THC and CBD. Cannabis indica was considered a subspecies of sativa, and was often written as Cannabis sativa sub. indica.
Nowadays, the traditional classification system is not thought of as entirely accurate. The idea that indica = short, bushy plants with broad leaves and relaxing effects and sativa = tall plants with thin leaves and uplifting effects is mostly inaccurate. On a chemical level, both indicas and sativa have very little differentiating them. They are both essentially Cannabis sativa grown in different environments.
Cannabis ruderalis is a type of cannabis that grows in Russia and the Eastern Europe region. Unlike Cannabis sativa, Cannabis ruderalis matures and starts flowering after it reaches a certain age, rather than a light cycle. Ruderalis does not contain much THC, but does contain plenty of CBD. This, combined with its quick maturation and flowering times, has seen many breeders cross Cannabis sativa varieties with Cannabis ruderalis. Such varieties are great for those who are new to growing or those who do not have the time or space to grow larger plants.
As CBD is having a physiological effect, then technically yes, CBD is psychoactive. However, CBD is not intoxicating in the same way THC is. Therefore, is is unlikely that CBD will get you high.
Yes, to some extent. The average amount of THC a cannabis plant contains has risen over the last few decades. This is because cannabis no longer needs to be transported long distances, and growing and breeding techniques have improved significantly. This has meant that breeders have been able to create CBD-rich strains of cannabis as well.
However, there were certainly some amazing cannabis varieties in the past, and many of the strains of cannabis we find today are based on them. Also, cannabis testing in the past was not always entirely accurate, so we cannot say that the cannabis varieties of the past were always less potent than today.
This is an interesting question. Yes, THC-rich cannabis can increase your desire for food, as CB1 receptor agonists can make a person feel hungry. However, cannabis contains cannabinoids like THCV, which in low doses is a CB1 receptor antagonist. This actually decreases appetite, and can help regulate the body’s sugar levels as well.
Cannabis users actually have a lower body-mass index compared to non-cannabis users, which is intriguing considering that cannabis increases one’s proclivity for sweet snacks and junk food. There could be other factors that cause this, including cannabis users being more aware of what and how much they eat, but this result follows even with those who lead similar lifestyles with regards to diet and exercise. Cannabinoids’ insulin-regulating properties could be playing a role here.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa that contains 0.3% THC or less. Hemp is predominantly grown for its stalk as a fiber and material to use for construction and clothing. The seeds are useful as a food source.
Here are the potential benefits of medical cannabis:
Essentially, there are pros and cons, risks and rewards, just like any other medicine.
Federally, cannabis is illegal, even if you have a medical cannabis certificate. However, on a state level, cannabis can be legal. Some states have medical-only medical marijuana programs, whereas others have legalized it for recreational users as well. The most legal way to use cannabis in most states throughout the US is by having a valid medical marijuana identification card and physician’s recommendation. This can potentially help you from getting into trouble with an individual state’s law enforcement (although federal agents are another matter).