More than half of the states in the US have legalized medical marijuana. Others have legalized products with low or no THC to allow for the use of CBD or cannabidiol. The laws differ in each state regarding growth, use, and who can obtain the drug for medical purposes.
In terms of federal policy, cannabis is a prohibited substance. In 2014, an amendment was made that prevents the Justice Department from spending funds when it comes to interfering with state laws on medical marijuana. The main consequence of its status as an illegal substance is a restriction on medical research of the drug.
As a result, it can be quite challenging to understand medical uses. Everything from the benefits, to whether you need a prescription to take it, or a permit to grow it remains unclear for many. Here is some information that we hope can help.
One of the positive impacts of the changes in the law is that the growth of cannabis is becoming a more standardized industry. This means you can find more reliable sources of medical marijuana. A safe, reliable, and high-quality product is becoming the norm from professional growers.
Some states, such as Missouri, permit registered patients and their caregivers to grow a small amount of marijuana. They can purchase medical strains, such as California seeds, and cultivate them in enclosed premises. Growth is now starting to occur on an industrial scale, backed by science and technology; but it requires a lawyer and some work to get a permit.
Obtaining Medical Marijuana
Not all states permit marijuana growth, and for many, it isn't a realistic option. The first step in the process is to obtain a medical marijuana card. Around 30 states issue cards and allow for the use of the medical form for holders. It gets more complicated regarding eligibility as different conditions qualify in various states.
If your condition is recognized, you'll need your medical records to prove you have it, and a recommendation from a doctor that marijuana will help. Once you have the card, you can obtain medical marijuana through state-approved dispensaries and health clinics, and you can legally use the products. You will most likely need to renew your card after a set time.
As mentioned above, research into cannabis has been restricted for many years, which means discovering the benefits of the drug has been slow work. There are three active compounds in the plant THC, CBD, and CBN. Most of the research that has taken place focus on THC and CBD.
THC is known as the psychoactive compound in the drug, whereas CBD is believed to offer the majority of medical benefits. Synthetic forms of THC are prescribed to people receiving chemotherapy to prevent vomiting and nausea. CBD has been used in the first FDA approved drug Epidiolex for severe forms of epilepsy.
Anecdotal and preliminary evidence shows that medical marijuana is used for pain, anxiety, sleep issues, epilepsy, nausea, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and muscle spasms. CBD, in particular, is being used to treat pain and inflammation as well as neurodegenerative conditions.
A Clearer Picture
Obtaining and using medical marijuana is easier than ever, but there are some things you need to know to be able to start the process. We can expect to see changes in the coming years that improve the standard of cannabis that's available. However, further steps need to be made in the research of the drug.
Medical marijuana can be used for a number of conditions, including cancer, Crohn's disease, and Alzheimer's. It is legal in many states in a medical form but remains illegal at a federal level. Many states allow for growth by registered patients and caregivers. Alternatively, you can obtain the drug through dispensaries with a specific card.