Medical marijuana is one of the best alternatives to the threat of chronic pain and other medical conditions. However, most states where it is legal require patients who want to use cannabis as a treatment to have a medical marijuana card.
This article discusses what medical marijuana is and how you can get a medical marijuana ID card, including some of the requirements of most states in the U.S.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is a term used to refer to marijuana as a medicinal treatment. It is a natural plant-based medicine that is derived from the marijuana plant and is used to treat various conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and seizures. Medical marijuana is typically prescribed by a doctor and can take various forms, including as a pill, a vaporized liquid, or oil applied topically.
While some people find relief from their symptoms with medical marijuana, it is essential to note that it is not a cure-all and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
The Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana
The primary difference between recreational and medical marijuana is the purpose for which it is used. Medical marijuana is used for the treatment of specific health conditions and symptoms, while recreational marijuana is used for personal enjoyment.
In contrast, recreational marijuana is not prescribed by a doctor and can be obtained from a recreational marijuana dispensary. It is typically used to relax rather than for treating a specific medical condition.
Another key difference between medical and recreational marijuana is the potency of the products. Medical marijuana products are typically more potent and contain higher levels of Cannabidiol (CBD), the compound that is responsible for the therapeutic effects of marijuana.
Recreational marijuana products, on the other hand, often contain higher levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that enables the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana ID Card?
The process of getting a medical marijuana card may vary from one state to another. Hence, it’s best to research the requirements, qualifications, and steps to getting one before heading to your county or city’s health department.
Here are the simple steps for getting a medical marijuana ID card:
Look at your state’s list of qualifying conditions
Go to your state’s official website and search for the section where you can see how medical marijuana is regulated in your area. Next, determine the qualifying conditions that will make you eligible for a medical marijuana ID. Some of the conditions that could get this ID include the following:
- Chronic pain
- Wasting syndrome
- Severe nausea
- Recurring muscle spasms
Get in touch with a medical marijuana doctor who is registered to certify you for a card
Next, gather all of your supporting documents related to your medical condition. You may also need to consult with a registered physician to give you a certification for the medical marijuana ID. Make sure to deal only with certified medical marijuana doctors to avoid complications.
Figure out a plan that works for you
Discuss with your doctor the role of medical marijuana in your treatment. They will give you a prescription and advice on using medical marijuana products. Then, complete the application form for your medical marijuana ID card.
You May Need to Register With the Health Department, Depending on Your State
Finally, make an appointment with your local health department. On the day of the appointment, submit all the requirements and the application form. Pay the application fee and get your photo taken for the ID card. Finally, wait for it to be approved.
Note that state laws regarding medical marijuana ID in your area may vary from California pharmaceutical marijuana law, where you can also apply as a primary caregiver.
Where To Get Medicinal Marijuana
If you have a medical marijuana ID, you can buy medical marijuana from any dispensaries that are approved by your state. Depending on the state, the medical marijuana ID card may allow you to buy more cannabis products. In some cases, it may also allow you to purchase marijuana products with higher levels of THC.
Some state health departments, like the Washington State Department of Health, even list medically endorsed and approved stores where people can get medical cannabis. The data even contains the location of the store, its address, and its contact info.