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Medical Marijuana FAQ

Medical marijuana FAQ and facts

Medical marijuana has an incredibly wide range of uses, so as it grows increasingly common for those with various afflictions to utilize medical marijuana, it’s only natural for folks who are unfamiliar with the concept to develop some questions.

We’ve taken the time to gather some medical marijuana FAQs and answer the most common questions many people have on the subject.

What Is Medical Marijuana?arrow

Medical marijuana is the use of the marijuana plant (or its internal chemicals, known as cannabinoids) to treat a range of conditions.

Medical marijuana products are not inherently different from recreational marijuana products, but there is stark contrast in their intended use; medical marijuana can be used to alleviate symptoms of varying diseases and conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy to Glaucoma and PTSD.

How Do You Get Medical Marijuana?arrow

In order to obtain medical marijuana in the state of Colorado, you must have a medical marijuana card. The process of procuring your medical marijuana card involves visiting the doctor and filling out an application with the state; you can learn more about what to expect by visiting our page on becoming a patient.

Once you have your medical marijuana card, you can simply seek out a medical marijuana dispensary and begin to look for the products that will best serve your needs. We have an experienced team that is ready to help you find the right medicine for you.

How Do You Take Medical Marijuana?arrow

Generally speaking, you can either smoke medical marijuana in the form of flower, or ingest medical marijuana products, such as edibles.

Depending on a medical marijuana patient’s specific condition, smoking is sometimes not an option, or they may want a high degree of control over their dosage; in these situations, edibles are preferable to flower.

How Does Medical Marijuana Work?arrow

Medical marijuana impacts areas of the brain known as cannabinoid receptors; these receptors are responsible for signaling different parts of the nervous system which impact things like appetite, pain, and movement, among others.

Because medical marijuana contains cannabinoids, the brain believes that it is producing chemicals of its own, thus allowing cannabinoid receptors to encourage the nervous system to perform a range of activities, like alleviate pain and stimulate appetite.

How do I know which strain is the best?arrow

You and your care coordinator will review your ailments and discuss your needs. For more information about how medical marijuana can help with specific conditions and diseases, please see our Ailment Guide. For a general overview of the specific strains we carry, see our Strain Guide and for general information about marijuana, please see History of Medical Marijuana. To determine the best medical marijuana strain for you, it is important to understand the differences between the two main strains: Sativa and Indica. NaturaLeaf have extensive knowledge about which strain is best for your condition.

Should I smoke or eat the medicinal cannabis?arrow

Several of the active ingredients in cannabis are extractable in fat and alcohol. These extracts can be used in edibles, such as baked goods, and topicals, such as tinctures, and lotions and can be made into other forms for those that have respiratory issues preventing them from smoking cannabis.

Are there any side effects from medical marijuana?arrow
  • Medical cannabis may cause dizziness due to lowered blood pressure.
  • Medical cannabis may cause a decrease in coordination or thinking skills while medicated
  • Medical cannabis may increase heart rate and/or blood pressure initially which may be problematic for patients with heart conditions or severe anxiety
  • Effects vary from person to person and should be monitored and discussed with your caregiver
What should I not do after using medical cannabis?arrow

It is advisable that you follow these suggested guidelines:

  • Medical cannabis mixed with alcohol may cause vomiting or nausea
  • When ingesting medical cannabis, begin with small bites and wait for your reaction
  • Heavy smoking may lead to respiratory infection or potential harm
  • Do not drive a vehicle or operate machinery
What is the difference between ingesting and smoking?arrow
  • Smoking-effects are generally felt within the first 10 minutes and may last from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Smoking methods included rolled cigarettes, pipes, water-pipes, ice-pipes and vaporizers. NaturaLeaf can help you with your choices.
  • Ingesting/Edibles-effects may be felt within 30 minutes and last up to 8 hours. Effects may take longer if the stomach is full and may vary depending on your metabolism.
  • Topicals-effects may vary depending on the strain used for preparation
How can Medical Marijuana help treatable illnesses and ailments?arrow
  • In Alzheimer’s patients it may prevent the formation of Alzheimer’s plaques
  • In Arthritis sufferers may work as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory
  • For Asthma suffers it may open airways to the lungs
  • In brain cancer patients it may reduce tumors and kills cancer cells
  • In breast and lung cancer it may stop the cancer from spreading
  • May brighten the mood in those with depression
  • May reduce eye pressure for those with Glaucoma
  • Head injury sufferers may have experience the benefit of neuro-protective properties and speedier recovery time
  • In HIV patients it may reduce neuropathic pain, improve appetite and aide in sleep
  • Hypertension sufferers may find it lowers blood pressure
  • A non-addictive pain killer for chronic pain patients
  • It may regulate the effects of some diagnosed with A.D. D.
  • In Fibromyalgia patients, it may increase appetite, act as a pain reducer, fight nausea, and act as a sleep aide
  • For those with spinal cord injured it may reduce muscle spasms, improve appetite and relieve
What is the difference between recreational and medical marijuana?arrow

While both medical marijuana stores and recreational marijuana stores sell similar products, the overall shopping experience is generally very different. Other aspects that set the two apart are:

  • Significant Savings - Medical marijuana dispensaries are able to offer lower prices for patients (members). When purchasing from a medical dispensary, the patient also pays less in taxes, avoiding excise and retail marijuana taxes, when compared to recreational dispensary customers. This is a large cost savings.
  • Medical State Protection - Colorado has amended its state constitution to protect red card carrying medical marijuana patients. That's something to consider in case the federal government doesn't like the new Colorado recreational landscape. You are therefore better protected from criminal charges with a medical card.
  • Limitations on Sales - If you don’t have a medical marijuana card you are limited to one ounce of cannabis at purchase and in your possession. Recreational dispensaries are also limited in the amount and strength of products they can sell you. Medical card holders can have a minimum of two ounces to purchase and have in their possession. Some medical card holders can qualify for even larger possession and purchase limits.
  • Customer Service - Perhaps the greatest benefit is having specialized customer service. We take more time with every patient. We listen carefully as every patient is unique and has different needs. Medical marijuana dispensary staff are educated in the products they sell and strive to find the right medication that will best serve you.

Buying from a recreational dispensary may sound novel and exciting but you'll be limited in your purchase amount and strength, you will spend more money, you will be more at risk without your red card and you will have a more impersonal, hurried shopping experience.

If you have questions, talk to one of our bud tenders. They can walk you through the medical marijuana licensing process quickly and seamlessly.

Given the widespread use of medical marijuana, it’s no wonder that more and more people are becoming curious about the ability of cannabis to assist with various conditions. The NaturaLeaf team is always available to answer any medical marijuana questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more!