Of course, this being California, it’s never been all that hard to find cannabis to hopefully help body and mind.
The team at Accredited Home Care reminds us that the Golden State was the first state in the country to approve medical marijuana in 1996, a goal that advocates had actually been trying to accomplish since the 1970s.
Then, in 2016, voters approved another initiative that made recreational/adult-use cannabis legal, which made it easier for just about anyone over 21 and over to find some.
Much of the legal marketplace is still coming online and the rules are still being written on what can be sold in what communities — all sorts of bureaucracy. Some existing medical dispensaries plan to add more products in the next year, and new stores and growers will be opening around the state as well, although the number and size vary from community to community.
But the bottom line is that medical marijuana should be seen as a useful option for many patients battling a variety of health conditions. Or it’s at least a good conversation to have with your doctor or health provider whether it could help.
This discussion is actually recommended by State of California’s Medical Board to make sure patients are aware of all the details about the plant, how it can affect them, current laws and any other potential risks. Although any adult 21 and over can purchase cannabis now, medical professionals encourage these meetings, especially those who haven’t considered marijuana before.
Casual users might want to get some legal marijuana so they can feel good, and medical patients are similar, but they may be dealing with severe pain or related conditions and are seeking relief from it.
The state has come up with a list of 12 serious medical conditions which could qualify someone for medical access to marijuana.
- Chronic pain
- Persistent muscle spasms, such as one would experience with multiple sclerosis
- Seizures, such as those experienced with epilepsy
- Severe nausea, often from some of these conditions
- Other conditions that severely limit major life activities.
Although some state’s medical marijuana programs specify that receiving hospice care can count as a qualifying medical condition for authorization, it isn’t specifically stated in California law. However, it’s likely that someone on hospice in California may likely have many of these conditions anyway, such as chronic pain or nausea.
However, when the recreational system comes fully online, people won’t necessarily need to have separate paperwork and any adult can buy anything.
Although there is still some social stigma about marijuana or stereotypes that it’s a dangerous party drug enjoyed only by the young people, it is becoming more and more accepted for the ways it can help.
This starts with pain relief. One of the active compounds in cannabis is CBD, which essentially tells the body to reduce pain. It doesn’t, however, produce the temporary mental and physical effects that people associate with all marijuana. (This is due to THC, another compound).
California dispensaries will be able to tell you the percentage of and balances of THC and CBD in various products, which could be a factor in what you choose, what form, and what effects you want.
Common forms of marijuana include products you smoke, products you eat, lotions or patches, or tinctures where you put a drop under your tongue.
Medical News Today said marijuana has been connected to helping mental pain as well as physical pain, including reducing anxiety, helping with PTSD in some cases, and making it easier to sleep.
While authorities are careful not to allow any growers to say cannabis cures cancer, it is believed to help many of the symptoms associated with cancer and treatments of cancer like chemo. For instance, it can relieve pain, improve appetite, and decrease nausea.
All of these can go a long way in helping someone’s quality of life, which is especially vital for those battling life-threatening or potentially disabling health conditions. They will experience less pain and may not need as many pharmaceutical drugs.
While Californians have easier access to marijuana than other states, there are still some rules that must be followed to avoid fines or even jail time.
- No driving. Whether you’re drinking or using cannabis, your reactions behind the wheel can slow and you can hurt yourself or others or damage property.
- Limited homegrowing. Authorized medical patients can grow up to six plants. Local laws may regulate where they grow, such as in your house or in the backyard. More may move someone into a commercial venture requiring more permits and certain zoning.
- Bringing back marijuana or marijuana products from another state or Mexico constitutes interstate or international trafficking. This includes states like Oregon or Washington where cannabis is also legal.
- No public use.
Overall, the team at Accredited Home Care is happy to help clients understand the legal medical marijuana system and how they can benefit from if they choose to.