What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana has been used for thousands of years. It’s made from plant called Cannabis, which contains many active ingredients. Decriminalization of marijuana in Netherlands started back in 1970s, which allowed its use for medical purposes. It was first country to do so. Since then, other countries have followed suit, and medical marijuana is now…

What Is Medical Marijuana?
John Kees

Author: John Kees

Publish Date: July 17, 2023
Last Update Date: September 14, 2023

What Is Medical Marijuana And How Is It Used?

What exactly is medical marijuana? Medical marijuana is certain type of plant called Cannabis that contains many chemical substances such as compounds called cannabinoid, which can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and increase appetite, among other benefits, and has very high levels of CBD. 

Marijuana can be used in various ways: smoking, form of capsules, liquids, edibles, or rubbing it on skin. Cannabis is used to treat various health problems, such as depression and anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and nausea.

State laws in many countries regulate its use, and it is only available to patients with specific medical conditions who have precriptions from doctors.

Active Ingredients In Cannabis: CBD And THC

Active Ingredients In Cannabis: CBD And THC

Cannabis contains large quantities of cannabinoid, natural substances found in Cannabis sativa plant.

Most known component is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). But there are also other substances in marijuana, such as cannabidiol (CBD).

Since THC is main psychoactive component of marijuana and is responsible for “high” that people experience when they use it, plant with higher CBD level has much lower THC content and will, therefore, not get you high.

CBD will not get you high and has shown anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and neuroprotective properties.

Some cannabis products contain only CBD, some contain high CBD and low THC, while others contain balanced ratio of THC and CBD; patients can choose product that best suits their needs based on their symptoms.

You can buy cannabis products in pharmacy under prescription.

It’s usually sold in form of oil or other extract, wich contains high amount of THC or CBD. You can also get pills and tinctures with different concentrations of these substances.

Is Cannabidiol Addictive?

Many people use term addiction loosely to describe things they don’t like. But medical definition of addiction is compulsive use of substances despite negative consequences.

According to this definition, cannabidiol is not addictive. It is non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plant and does not produce “high” associated with use of marijuana. Studies on animals and humans indicated that CBD has no addictive properties or potential.

However, if you’re using marijuana for medical purposes because your doctor told you to and now you feel you need it to function normally, this is different than addiction in usual sense of term. There is no evidence to suggest that it can lead to physical dependence or addiction.

Use Of MJJ And Benefits Of Marijuana As Medicine

Use Of MJJ And Benefits Of Marijuana As Medicine

Cannabis has been of medicinal use for thousands of years. It was mentioned in ancient Chinese and Indian texts as treatment for various ailments.

Cannabis is effective in treating many symptoms and illnesses. But there’s more to it than just smoking or eating Cannabis.

Marijuana contains variety of active ingredients that have different effects on body. These components, especially THC and CBD, are used in many other ways than smoking or eating for medical purposes.

Active ingredients are THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive substance, meaning it changes how you feel and think. CBD is not psychoactive and doesn’t affect how you feel.

You can use cannabis oil to treat some illnesses and conditions.

Cannabis oils are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from marijuana plants.

There are different ways to do this, but most oils are produced by cold extraction. Plant matter is put in solvents such as olive oil and alcohol.

Then it’s put in centrifuge to separate oil from the solvent. It’s possible to filter it again if you want to remove more of solvents.

Oils are often diluted with another oil or butter so they can be ingested easily. Most oils contain THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Cannabis oils are used to treat certain illnesses. Cannabis oil contains very high concentrations of CBD and not that much THC.

This oil is not made from marijuana leaves but from flowers and buds of plants.

This oil can be used in food or drink, by vaping, or as ointment.

In this course, we will discuss all possible ways of using cannabis and what conditions you can treat with it.

Anxiety And Depression Relief

Everyone gets anxious now and then. But if you have an anxiety disorder, your worries, fears, and nervousness are more intense and debilitating than normal.

Your anxiety can be so strong that it starts to interfere with your daily life. You might find it hard to function at work, school, or in social situations.

Anxiety disorders can negatively affect your mood and behavior. Anxiety disorders often occur along with other mental health problems, such as depression.

Recent studies show that marijuana can help patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Studies showed that persons who used cannabis noticed great improvement in their symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to those who did not use it.

This is because Cannabis has calming effects on body and mind. People who suffer from depression or anxiety often have racing thoughts and increased tension and alertness in their bodies.

Cannabis lowers these feelings and helps to relax. In addition, it improves memory so you can process your experiences better.

Pain Management And Improved Sleep

One of first medical uses for Cannabis was pain management. Marijuana has been shown to reduce pain perception and can be used as an alternative to opioids.

Smoked or ingested Cannabis reduces chronic pain, improves sleep, and increases overall quality of life in patients with cancer.

Studies also show that marijuana use is not associated with development of opioid addiction.

Cannabis has been shown to improve sleep in people with insomnia and PTSD and to reduce chronic pain.

Research has shown that using marijuana for pain relief can also improve quality of sleep.

Sleep is very important for healing and regeneration of body. Marijuana can, therefore, be useful in treatment of certain illnesses.

Improved Appetite And Weight Gain

Studies show that some patients experience improved appetite and weight gain after taking weed. In some cases, this effect is so strong that they are able to discontinue their regular medications.

In addition to improved appetite, many patients also report changes in taste. This makes it easier for them to eat, and they can swallow larger amounts of food at once.

Cannabis can help you to recover from anorexia or cancer that causes loss of appetite. This is due to fact that it stimulates your appetite.

Cannabis can also help you to gain weight if you suffer from chronic illness and have lost weight.

Use Risks And Side Effects Of Marijuana

Use Risks And Side Effects Of Marijuana

Although cannabis can help with certain medical conditions, you should be aware of some risks and side effects.

Cannabis is not harmless and can cause damage to your health if not used properly.

In this chapter, we will discuss risks and side effects of cannabis use.

Short-term Side Effects

Most common side effects of cannabis are different kinds of feelings, such as high. This doesn’t concern you if your aim is to use it for medical purposes. But you still have to know what to expect.

Listed below are some of side effects you can experience when smoking or otherwise consuming weed:

  • Short-term side effects of using cannabis can include:
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Altered judgment and coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased appetite (known as “munchies”)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
  • Changes in mood, such as anxiety or paranoia
  • Impairment of short-term memory and learning

Side effects can vary depending on individual and method of consumption. Additionally, some people may not experience any noticeable side effects.

Before starting cannabis treatment, it is recommended to discuss any potential risks and benefits with doctor.

Long-term Side Effects

Long-term use of cannabis can lead to number of potential side effects.

Listed below are some of side effects you can experience when smoking or consuming cannabis:

  • Respiratory problems: Smoking can irritate lungs and lead to chronic bronchitis. Regular smokers can develop higher risks of respiratory diseases such as chronic cough.
  • Affects memory and concentration: Long use of cannabis can impact memory, attention, and learning. Long-term use of Cannabis can have negative effects on concentration and mental sharpness.
  • Mental health issues: cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms.
  • Reduced life satisfaction: Studies have shown that people who use weed for extended periods of time may have reduced life satisfaction, including lower educational and career attainment and reduced relationship and social functioning.

It is important to keep in mind that effects of long-term cannabis use can vary depending on number of factors, including frequency and duration of use, method of consumption, and individual factors such as genetics and existing mental health conditions. 

Before starting Cannabis treatment, it is important to discuss any potential risks and benefits with doctor.

Who Can Prescribe You With MMJ Card

Who Can Prescribe You With MMJ Card

You can only get prescription for medical marijuana from licensed physician, such as medical doctor or physician assistant (PA) who has special permission from his state to prescribe medical marijuana in your state and who is registered with state cannabis medical program.

Doctor must certify that patient has qualified medical condition that could be treated with cannabis, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, or cancer.

Processes and requirements for obtaining Cannabis Medical Card card vary by state, so it is best to check with your state laws about med cannabis programs for more information.

Reasons You Can Get Cannabis Card

Medic cannabis cards can be obtained for various medical conditions. Here is list of conditions:

  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Do Cards Expire And How To Renew Your Card

Cards expire after one year and have to be renewed. You can do this by visiting your doctor or contacting State Health Department.

You would have to pay fee again if you were prescribed med cannabis for 12 months ago. After renewal and before use, you’ll have to visit your doctor again.

If you haven’t renewed your card yet, you can request new one at any time. Your doctor will send your medical information to state, get new card in return, and will be able to renew it for you in future at any time.

Cannabis card isn’t valid forever.

If you have an expired card, you can no longer buy med cannabis at shops, and you can no longer grow your own.

This means that if something happens to your health, you won’t be able to obtain any med cannabis.

And if you suddenly start feeling very bad, this is certainly not what you want to happen. Therefore, you must renew your card as soon as possible.

Get Cheap Plastic Medical ID Card Online For 20$ Cost

If you want to know more about getting med cannabis card, we can help you. We know everything there is to know about laws and how to get your card as quickly and easily as possible.

We can help you with choosing right strains for your medical condition and how find dispensary near you.

Getting medical cannabis card online typically involves following steps:

  1. Check if you are suitable: Check if you can use medical cannabis card in your state and make sure you have qualifying medical condition.
  2. Consult with licensed doctor: Schedule an appointment with licensed doctor who is authorized to recommend medical Cannabis. You can find such doctors online or in your state’s health department.
  3. Fill out an application: After consultation, doctor will complete recommendation for medical cannabis card, which you will then need to submit as part of an application to your state’s health department or designated medical cannabis program.

There is usually fee for obtaining medical cannabis card, which can be paid online.

Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive your medical cannabis card.

Can You Use HSA To Pay For Medical Cards

Although medical Cannabis is not yet legal at national level, many states have made it legal.

Many states have also legalized purchase of medical marijuana with health savings accounts (HSA). If you’re in state where it is legalized, you can use HSA to pay for your medical card.

In some states, medical marijuana is legal at state level but not at federal level. In this case, you can’t use HSA to pay for your medical card.

How To Store Your Cannabis

How To Store Your Cannabis

Best way to store your Cannabis is in glass jar with small holes in lid. This way, it will always be airtight, and smell won’t escape.

Always use dark bottles, preferably ones with twist caps so you can close them realy well.

You could also use vacuum bags or jars with valves. These keep your marijuana fresh longer and also prevent odor from spreading.

Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when storing Cannabis:

  • Don’t refrigerate cannabis
  • Don’t store your product in the freezer
  • Please don’t keep it close to any source of heat, such as radiator or heater

Choosing A Medical Marijuana Doctor And Dispensary

Choosing A Medical Marijuana Doctor And Dispensary

To get valid card, you’ll need prescription from doctor. It’s best to visit medical office that specializes in cannabis.

Medical offices like these will have specialists and staff members who can help you find suitable treatment.

You’re also certain to find plenty of products in dispensaries they have in their listings.

It’s there that you can get your prescription from doctor. Afterward, you can go to any other dispensary to order your products.

After choosing strain that suits your needs best, you’ll need to find dispensary where you can buy this particular cannabis.

There are several things to consider when choosing medical marijuanas dispensary. Here are some things we advise you to do when looking for dispensary.

  • Find out about what each dispensary offers
  • Learn about their perspective on medical marijuanas and their philosophy
  • Consult with patients who have visited this dispensary before
  • Visit your chosen dispensary in person and talk to people who work there.

Only then will you be able to determine whether or not this is right place for you.

Dispensary’s location, opening hours, parking possibilities, service, and quality of products they offer are all important factors.

You can do lot of research beforehand and talk to people who use MMJ, but there’s no substitute for visiting dispensaries in real life. 

How To Find A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Near Me

There are various ways to find suitable med cannabis dispensaries. You can, for instance, check out following site:

  • Weedmaps: Online site map with all weed dispensaries in your area
  • Google: Just type in “weed dispensary near me” and see what comes up on site.

How To Get Prescription For MMJ

First thing you have to do is visit doctor. There are many types of doctors that can prescribe you with med cannabis card. Primary care physicians, neurologists, and psychiatrists are all valid options.

You can also visit specialist in med cannabis, who will get your prescription ready in minutes. If you live in state where there are no dispensaries yet, then you’ll have to wait until opening of first one.

State Legal And Federal Laws On Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana laws in different states have made headlines over past few years.

Legalization of Cannabis for medical purposes has increased significantly over last decade. But what does this mean for people who use medical marijuana?

It means that in certain states it is legal buying weed seed; or to use, possess and grow cannabis for medical purposes. However, despite state cannabis laws permitting use of MMJ, it remains illegal under Federal law. That creates complicated situation regarding wether or not you can use medical marijuana to treat your health condition without breaking any marijuana laws.

Since 1937, cannnabis has been classified as Schedule I drug, meaning that it has “high potential for abuse” and currently not accepted medical use in treatment in United States.

This is despite fact that other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are Schedule II. This classification makes cannabis illegal under federal law.

However, many states have passed their own legislation regarding marijuana laws. As of 2017, there were 29 states, plus District of Columbia and Guam, that had legalized med cannabis in some form or another.

In many of these states, doctors can prescribe med cannabis to patients without worrying about legal implications thanks to 1996 amendment made to Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by Congress.

This amendment left responsibility for determining legality of med cannabis up to states and state legislatures instead of federal government.

Although there are many positive benefits that come along with using med cannabis, especially when compared with prescription painkillers (most of which also have addictive properties), there are still some lingering effects from its Schedule I classification that prevent it from becoming more widely used than it already is. 

Can You Drive And Can You Fly With Medical Marijuana Products

It is not legal to drive if you are high on any substance, including med cannabis.

However, there is no specific dosing limit for MMJ. Instead, it is illegal to drive while impaired by any substance. If law enforcement sees you driving erratically or otherwise seems that you are impaired, they can detain you and test you for drugs.

If they find evidence of cannabis in your system, they can charge you with driving under the influence (DUI).

That being said, legal cananabis state has established specific legal limit for 0.3% THC in blood when driving.

 So don’t drive after consuming med cannabis products.

When it comes to traveling and flying on plane with med cannabis:

Most airlines have strict policy about flying with weed. You can only bring small amount of cannabis on board plane. In some states it’s legal to use med cannabis, but that doesn’t mean you can fly with it.

You can’t take any weed or products containing THC through security at airport, or in your carry-on luggage or in checked baggage. This also applies to CBD oil and other products containing higher than 0.3% THC, because they are also considered as THC.

You can however bring cannabis products that contain less then 0.3% THC.

Medical Marijuna usually contains high amount of Cannabidiol (CBD) and low amount of THC, while recreational or regular Marijuna contains high amount of THC and low amount of CBD.

If you do bring cannabis on board plane, you risk being arrested and having product confiscated. And of course this will be noted in your background check by TSA agents when you try to fly somewhere else.

Missouri: Medical Marijuanas and Firearms Law

Many people taking medical cannabis ask if you can own a gun if you have medical card, answer is no.

You are not allowed to own or buy firearms if you are MMJ patient in Missouri.

This is because of Federal Law that makes it illegal for anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance’ to possess firearms or ammunition.

Since marijuana is illegal under Federal Law, you are considered user or addict of controlled substances.

This is why you won’t be able to own or buy firearms while you are patient.


OMMU – Office of Medical Marijuana Use is division of Florida Department of Health responsible for implementing and enforcing the state’s medical marijuana program.

This state medical agency was founded in 2017 and is responsible for making sure that cannabis laws regarding medical use are being followed.

They also issue MMJ cards to patients, caregivers, and doctors and manage MMMP. You can contact them for questions regarding medical marijuana or MMMP program.

MMURegistry Online Registry

Medical marijuana cardholders in Arizona are required to register with Arizona Department of Health Services. Patients and caregivers may register online.

Cannabis patients and caregivers in Michigan must register with Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Patients and caregivers in Ohio must also register with LARA, which is now called Bureau of Medical Marijuana Control (BMMCP).

Cannabis patients and caregivers in Missouri must also register with Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) Online Registration System for Medical Cannabis Patients & Caregivers.

Cannabis  patients and caregivers in Minnesota must also register with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).


Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) oversees medical marijuana program approved in state.

Cannabis Program site has more information on cannabis state medical laws and regulations.

You can call State of Arizona Medical Marijuana Helpline or visit any one of 16 dispensaries in state to get more review about program.


Medical Marihuana Act prohibits use of medical marijuana in public place or while operating or being in control of any motor vehicle or watercraft.

Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) was initiated in 2008. Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) regulates Medical Marihuana Facilities (MMF).

Medical marijuana patients are not eligible for state-issued medical cards. Still, they can obtain a registry ID card from the county health department or local marijuana laws enforcement agency if they reside in a county with no county health department.

County sheriff will not issue registry ID cards to anyone under age of 21.

In order to qualify for registry ID card, an applicant must be a resident of Michigan and have valid Michigan driver’s license or state-issued identification card.


Medical Marihuana Control Program is responsible for registration of patients, caregivers, growers, and dispensaries in Ohio.

You can apply for MMCP card online on MMCP site. After filling out application form and paying fee, you will receive your card by mail.

Application process in Ohio is very easy. You just need to provide some basic review about yourself and attach proof of your diagnosis.

Some counties have locations where you can pick up your card if you are unable to receive it by mail, like Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa and Maryland.

Future Of MMJ Research

Future Of MMJ Research

Despite legalization of medical marijuana in several states and many more considering it or already having legalized it, federal laws have made plant research difficult.

Because Cannabis is still classified as Schedule I narcotic under federal law, it makes it hard for researchers to get their hands on any product to study.

Furthermore, because of status of Cannabis as Schedule I narcotic, any research on it must be approved by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA has not shown much interest in cannabis research and has made it clear they will not provide Cannabis for such research.

This does make it hard for researchers to start or continue their studies on med cannabis effects. With more states legalizing med cannabis use, hopefully, more research will be done into plants and their benefits.

National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is part of National Institutes of Health Care.

NCCIH conducts and supports research on complementary and integrative health and promotes scientific understanding of botanical medicine, dietary supplements, and mind-body therapies in health and disease.

Their mission is to explore complementary and integrative health approaches (like med cannabis), study their effectiveness, and provide research-based information to public.

NCCIH has done lot of research on med cannabis, mostly on its effects on pain, but also on other medical conditions.

They have studies that show positive effects of MMJ on HIV wasting syndrome and on spasticity among multiple sclerosis patients, but also studies that show no effect at all.

Medical community relies heavily on scientific evidence when it comes to treatment options, so it’s important that we have accessed to highest quality research. That’s why NCCIH needs more funding.

NCCIH also provides information for general public about health benefits of these therapies. 


Here are most commonly asked questions with answers regarding medical marijuana:

Are all states legal for medical marijuana use?

No, not all states are legal.

However, most states have legalized some form of MMJ.

Some states have only legalized CBD oil, while others have full legalization. Some states require physician recommendation, while others require MMJ cards.

States that have not legalized cannabis are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska (if state-registered), North Carolina (if state-registered), Oklahoma (if state-registered), South Carolina (if state-registered), Tennessee (if state-registered), Texas and Wisconsin.

Can You Lose Weight If You Use Medical Marijuana?

Answer to this question depends on how you use cannabis. Smokers tend to eat lot because they get hunger pains.

But if you vaporize your cannabis, you won’t experience these urges because no tar is produced.

Can Truck Drivers Use Medical Marijuana?

Yes, drivers can use med cannabis. As long as they’re not driving themselves, it’s no problem whatsoever.

Can You Be Fired If You Use Medical Marijuana?

Answer to this question is simple: yes. You can be fired if your employer learns that you’re using medical marijuana because it’s illegal substance.

And just because it’s legal in some states doesn’t change fact that it’s still illegal under federal law. Employers are allowed to fire you for using medical marijuana without any consequences.

Can Teachers Use Use Medical Marijuana?

Answer to this question is clearly no. You can’t be teacher if you’re intoxicated, and that applies to medical cannabis users as well.

If you use medical marijuana, you can’t become or remain teacher because you would be under the influence of intoxicating substances during working hours.

It’s same with police officers, fire fighters, and other professionals who work in safety critical positions where they have to be fully alert at all times.

Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana In Pa?

Yes, but you can’t smoke anywhere you want. You can only smoke in your own home, or somewhere you have right to be.

Can Nurses Use Medical Marijuana?

It is well known that many medical professionals use medical marijuana. However, it’s not always legal in your state.

If you’re nurse and you’re working in hospital, you can be fired if your employer finds out you use medical marijuana.

Can Veterans Use Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana card isn’t dispensable to veterans.

But if you have chronic or severe pain, PTSD, or depression, you can apply for other dispensation.

About the Author

Share the Love: