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FAQs

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.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Medical Marijuana Card?
  2. What is Medical Marijuana?
  3. What is a Medical Marijuana Doctor (MMJ Doctor)?
  4. Which States Have a Medical Marijuana Program?
  5. What is Telemedicine and How Does it Work for Medical Marijuana?
  6. In Which States Can I Access Medical Marijuana via Telehealth/Telemedicine?
  7. How do I Prepare for my MMJ Telemedicine Appointment?
  8. A Rundown of Things Needed to Qualify for MMJ Online in Most States
  9. How Do I Know if I have a Qualifying Condition for Medical Cannabis?
  10. What do you mean by HIPAA Compliance?
  11. Is Medical Marijuana Legal in the US?
  12. Does My Insurance Cover the Cost of an MMJ Card?
  13. How Much Does it Cost to Get an MMJ Card?
  14. Is Payment for My MMJ Card Online 100% Secure?
  15. How will Leafwell Show up on my Credit Card Statement?
  16. How Long Until I Receive my Recommendation Letter or MMJ Certificate in the Mail?
  17. How Do I Get an MMJ Card Online?
  18. Can you Mail my Medical Cannabis Recommendation Letter to Another State?
  19. Why Would I get a Medical Marijuana Card if Cannabis can be Purchased Recreationally in My State?
  20. Is Medical Marijuana Addictive?
  21. Can you Overdose on Medical Marijuana?
  22. Does Medical Marijuana Interact Negatively With Any Other Drugs?
  23. What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and What Does it Do?
  24. THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?
  25. What Are Cannabinoids?
  26. What Are Terpenes?
  27. What Are Flavonoids?
  28. Can You Get Medical Marijuana on Prescription?
  29. What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?
  30. What is the Entourage Effect?
  31. Do I Have to Get High or Stoned to Take Advantage of Medical Marijuana?
  32. How Do I Dose Medical Marijuana?
  33. What Do I Do if I Take Too Much Cannabis?
  34. How Do I Consume Cannabis?
  35. What Are the Differences Between Edibles, Tinctures and Vaping or Smoking?
  36. What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
  37. What is Cannabis sativa?
  38. What is Cannabis indica?
  39. What are Autoflowering Cannabis Strains, aka Cannabis ruderalis?
  40. Is CBD Psychoactive? Will CBD Get You High?
  41. Is Cannabis More Potent Today Than in the Past?
  42. Does Marijuana Give You the Munchies?
  43. What is Hemp?
  44. What Are the Benefits of Medical Cannabis? What Conditions Does Medical Marijuana Work For?
  45. What Are the Negatives of Medical Marijuana?
  46. How Do You Use Cannabis Legally?

What is a Medical Marijuana Card?

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.

What is Medical Marijuana?

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 CBD or THC tincture dropper on a white plate next to a marijuana nug and drops of oil made into a heart surrounding the tincture bottle.
Tincture. From https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cannabis-Nug-Oil-Heart-Bottle-on-Plate-by-workwithsherpa.jpg. Author: Sherpa SEO. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

What is a Medical Marijuana Doctor (MMJ Doctor)?

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.

Which States Have a Medical Marijuana Program?

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

What is Telemedicine and How Does it Work for Medical Marijuana?

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.

In Which States Can I Access Medical Marijuana via Telehealth/Telemedicine?

You can qualify for a medical marijuana identity card online with Leafwell in the following states:

How do I Prepare for my MMJ Telemedicine Appointment?

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.

medicine mobile phone object pulse research scrutiny smartphone stethoscope technology telephone treatment wireless phone telehealth telemedicine
From: https://pixnio.com/science/medical-science/stethoscope-mobile-phone-diagnosis-pulse-cardiology-medicine-healthcare (Public Domain – CC0)

 

A Rundown of Things Needed to Qualify for MMJ Online in Most States

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:

  • Photographic ID – driving license, state-issued ID card, US passport. For minors, a birth certificate is suitable as well.
  • 2 x Proof of address from within the last 3 months, such as a letter from a hospital or state department, bank statement, utility bill (not cell phone), insurance letter, or rental/mortgage agreement.
  • Medical records – this can include doctor’s notes, medical images (e.g. MRI, X-rays), and medication lists.
  • A passport-style and -sized photograph, saved onto your computer (and in hard copy as well if the application is being mailed in).
  • A completed application form for MMJ, whether for yourself or a minor & caregiver.
  • A signed medical marijuana certificate from a physician licenced to practice in the state. Some states (e.g. New York) also require the physician to have completed a course on recommending medical marijuana.
  • A computer, smartphone or tablet with a reliable internet connection and working camera, microphone and speakers.

How Do I Know if I have a Qualifying Condition for Medical Cannabis?

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.

What do you mean by HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”, a U.S. passed in 1996. In summary, HIPAA does the following:

  • Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information, including all medical and prescription records
  • Provides the right to transfer and continue health insurance coverage when you change or lose a job;
  • Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and
  • Reduces health care fraud and abuse.

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.

Does My Insurance Cover the Cost of an MMJ Card?

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.

How Much Does it Cost to Get an MMJ Card?

The costs associated with getting an MMJ vary for each state. Most state processes require payment at a few stages:

  • To see a state-licensed physician
  • To apply to the state (as a patient and/or a caregiver)
  • To renew your card/certificate

Click on the link to see an up to date list of how much it costs to get an MMJ Card in your state.

Is Payment for My MMJ Card Online 100% Secure?

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.

How will Leafwell Show up on my Credit Card Statement?

The charge will appear as “GCM Partners, LLC” which is Leafwell’s third-party payment-processing partner.

GET AN MMJ CARD

How Long Until I Receive my Recommendation Letter or MMJ Certificate in the Mail?

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.

How Do I Get an MMJ Card Online?

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.

Telemedicine consultation.
Telemedicine consultation. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/intelfreepress/6948764580/sizes/o/in/photostream/; author: IntelFreePress (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Can you Mail my Medical Cannabis Recommendation Letter to Another State?

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.

Why Would I get a Medical Marijuana Card if Cannabis can be Purchased Recreationally in My State?

Assuming you suffer from a qualifying health condition, there are several reasons to obtain a medical marijuana card rather than simply purchasing marijuana recreationally:

  • The amount of tax you pay for medical marijuana is much less than the tax on recreational marijuana
  • Dispensaries prioritize marijuana inventory and store capacity in favor of medical marijuana cardholders
  • Some states permit medical marijuana cardholders to grow personal amounts of marijuana at home

Remember, recreational marijuana is illegal at a federal level.

Is Medical Marijuana Addictive?

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.

Can you Overdose on Medical Marijuana?

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.

Does Medical Marijuana Interact Negatively With Any Other Drugs?

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:

  • Opiates/opioids
  • Benzodiazepines, barbiturates and other sedatives
  • Warfarin
  • Immunotherapy for cancer
  • First-generation antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

You may need to reduce the dosage in order to utilize cannabis safely and effectively. Cannabis also interacts with alcohol (ethanol).

Oxcarbapezine; Trileptal; benzodiazepine; anticonvulsant; epilepsy; medication; antiepileptic drug.
Oxcarbapezine/Trileptal, an anticonvulsant. Image created 7/23/2006 by Elizabeth Roy. {{GFDL-self}} Rights released. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trileptal_tablets.jpg

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and What Does it Do?

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.

Structure of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Blue = CB1, green = CB2.
Blue – CB1 receptor structure. Green – CB2 receptor structure. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cb1_cb2_structure.png. Author: Esculapio at it.wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0.

THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

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.

What Are Cannabinoids?

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:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) – acidic precursor is cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Non-intoxicating, and has anti-psychotic properties.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – acidic precursor is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). Psychoactive.
  • Cannabichromene (CBC) – acidic precursor is cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Non-intoxicating.
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) – acidic precursor is cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). CBG is the “parent” cannabinoid, and THC and CBD start off life as CBG.
  • Cannabinol (CBN) – THC degrades into CBN over time, so there is no acidic precursor. Slightly psychoactive.
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – acidic precursor is tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid (THCVA). THCV is anti-psychoactive in small doses, but psychoactive in larger doses. These effects at different dosages is referred to as “biphasic”.

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.

What Are Terpenes?

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:

  • Pinene
  • Beta-caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • Limonene
  • Delta-3 Carene
  • Terpineol
  • Humulene
  • Ocimene
  • Myrcene
  • Terpinolene

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.

The terpenes found in CBD and cannabis oil, and what they do.
The terpenes found in cannabis and full-spectrum CBD (cannabidiol) oil.

What Are Flavonoids?

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.

Can You Get Medical Marijuana on Prescription?

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:

  • Dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) – a synthetic version of THC that is prescribed for those suffering from cancer, undergoing chemotherapy or AIDS/HIV patients. Unlike natural THC, synthetic THC is not as well tolerated by most patients. It is suggested that the other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant make taking THC a more pleasurable experience.
  • Nabilone (Cesamet, Canemes) – another synthetic version of THC. Nabilone may be prescribed for cancer and chemotherapy patients, and there is some evidence showing that nabilone could be useful for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, irritable bowel disorders, fibromyalgia, and short-term relief of Post-Traumatic Stress DIsorder (PTSD).
  • Epidiolex – a CBD-based product derived from cannabis plants. Epidiolex was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, who research and make medical products derived from natural cannabis.

What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

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.

What is the Entourage Effect?

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.

Do I Have to Get High or Stoned to Take Advantage of Medical Marijuana?

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.

How Do I Dose Medical Marijuana?

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:

  • Take it slowly, especially when it comes to THC. Start off with a low dose (between 1 mg and 5 mg is the usual starting dose), then increase as needed until you feel better, not necessarily high or stoned. This is your therapeutic dose.
  • Microdose edibles if you are using them. Beginners are advised to avoid edibles until hey have more understanding of the effects of cannabis on their body.
  • You can use CBD to dampen the effects of THC. If you take too much THC, have some CBD to hand.
  • What do you hope to achieve with cannabis? Many people use cannabis to reduce their intake of painkillers or sedatives, and to help reduce chronic pain, eat a full meal, and/or get a good night’s sleep. Set yourself some achievable targets, maybe come up with a plan alongside your medical cannabis physician or healthcare worker, and use cannabis to help you reach your goals.
  • Remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Everyone has their own endocannabinoid system, so you may need something different. Yes, there are some patterns  according to condition and physiological similarities across populations, but you may require a particular cannabinoid-terpene profile.
  • Treat cannabis as you would any other medication, with pros, cons, and areas where it is useful and where it isn’t.

What Do I Do if I Take Too Much Cannabis?

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).

How Do I Consume Cannabis?

There are many ways to consume cannabis, including:

  • Vaporizers
  • Vape pens
  • Smoking – rolling papers, bongs, pipes, chillums and so on
  • Dab rigs
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles and drinkables
  • Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
  • Transdermal patches
  • Topicals/salves/lotions
  • Bathing products, such as bath bombs
  • Pills
  • Capsules
  • Inhalers
  • Sprays
  • Suppositories

You can read more about the pros and cons of each consumption method here.

What Are the Differences Between Edibles, Tinctures and Vaping or Smoking?

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).

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

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.

Full extract of cannabis oil (Rick Simpson Oil, RSO) in a syringe. Medication contains CBC, CBD and THC.
Full extract cannabis oil (RSO). Often used for cancer. Author: Stephen Charles Thompson (anon_lynx). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FullExtractCannabisOil.jpg. CC BY-SA 3.0.

What is Cannabis sativa?

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).

What is Cannabis indica?

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.

What are Autoflowering Cannabis Strains, aka Cannabis ruderalis?

Cannabis ruderalis is a type of cannabis that grows in Russia and the Eastern Europe region. Unlike Cannabis sativaCannabis 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.

Cannabis; weed; marijuana; cultivars; genotypes; cannabis sativa; sativa; indica; ruderalis.
Author: MOCA Cannabis; from https://moderncann.com/general-cannabis/

Is CBD Psychoactive? Will CBD Get You High?

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.

Is Cannabis More Potent Today Than in the Past?

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.

Does Marijuana Give You the Munchies?

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.

What is Hemp?

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.

Legal hemp plant growing outside.
Hemp plants. Author: Attercop311. From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hemp.JPG. Public Domain picture.

 

What Are the Benefits of Medical Cannabis? What Conditions Does Medical Marijuana Work For?

Here are the potential benefits of medical cannabis:

  • It can reduce the intake of more addictive medications, in particular opioids and sedatives.
  • Use of powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be reduced by medical cannabis.
  • Cannabis is a pharmacy in a plant, containing hundreds of compounds that can be used for a number of different conditions in a variety of different ways. This means it can be used for health problems that are almost the opposite, e.g. obesity and anorexia/bulimia (eating disorders), or insomnia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Cannabis could be particularly useful for autoimmune disorders of various kinds (e.g. Lupus, Type-1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease) and neuroinflammatory diseases (such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy).
  • Cannabis could be useful for various kinds of pain, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain. It is one of the few medications available that can work to overcome “total pain”.

What Are the Negatives of Medical Marijuana?

  • Using too much THC long-term can negatively impair cognitive ability and memory, especially if use started when young. This can be mitigated to some extent by the use of CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids and terpenes. Older people are not as sensitive as young people (under 25) to the negative effects of THC.
  • Smoking cannabis is not ideal, and can damage the throat and lungs.
  • Just like many other medications, medical marijuana may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Dry-mouth (aka cotton mouth).
  • Red eyes.
  • Tiredness that can last into the next day.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Nausea/vomiting if too much THC was used.
  • Lack of definitive clinical evidence of the efficacy of cannabis for some conditions.
  • Not suitable for those who are prone to psychosis. Those with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia ought to avoid using THC (CBD may be useful, though).

Essentially, there are pros and cons, risks and rewards, just like any other medicine.

How Do You Use Cannabis Legally?

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).

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