While many may associate cannabis with stoners and hippies, it's actually used by people of various ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. In recent years, medical cannabis, also referred to as medical marijuana has been gaining traction as a treatment for various ailments. While medical cannabis can be helpful for a variety of conditions, there are a few misconceptions that abound. Here are three things to know about medical cannabis:
State Laws Vary
Medical marijuana is regulated state by state. In some states, it's legal and can be accessed from approved dispensaries. While in others, it remains illegal even for medicinal purposes. As of 2017, 29 states and Washington D.C. allow medical cannabis. Each state is also different in terms of things such as registration requirements and fees. The list of approved conditions also varies from state to state. Some states will accept other state's registry IDs while others will not. There are also differences between the states regarding how much cannabis can be purchased or possessed at any one point in time.
Conditions That Can Be Treated
It's also important to be aware of which conditions can be treated with medical marijuana. Cannabis is mainly used as a form of pain relief and a way to increase appetite. The conditions that are thought to respond to medical marijuana are varied and numerous. Medical cannabis has been used as a treatment for various types of cancer, anxiety, arthritis, Lyme disease, glaucoma, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and much more. However, it's important to remember that laws vary from state to state concerning which conditions medical cannabis can be used for.
For those who have a condition that can be treated with cannabis, in most states a doctor's recommendation is needed to obtain it. After getting a recommendation from a physician, the patient can register with their state and find a dispensary. Physician's recommendations are left to their own personal discretion. In some cases, a second opinion may be needed if a primary physician is unwilling to recommend treatment with medical cannabis. Cost is also another factor to consider. An ounce of marijuana will cost between $200 and $400 on average. Concentrates cost between $20 and $60 per gram and edibles typically cost between $2 and $5 per dose.
Medical cannabis is effective at treating a variety of ailments. However, at the moment it is only legal in 29 states. Knowing which conditions can be treated with cannabis in these states is important before seeking a doctor's recommendation. Prices can also vary and medical cannabis is available in more than one form.