One of the most frequently asked questions about medical cannabis is how one becomes a medical cannabis patient. Surprisingly, it is not that hard. It is so easy that millions of people now use medical cannabis regularly. Whether or not that is good is a matter of opinion.

    Since California began pushing for legal medical cannabis back in the 1990s, public perception has changed dramatically. A majority of American adults now believe medical cannabis should be legal nationwide. As for becoming a patient, it starts with understanding the issue of qualifying conditions.

    Everything Isn’t Treatable With Marijuana

    Whether you prefer the term ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana’, the reality of medical cannabis is that it isn’t a treatment for every ailment under the sun. You might think so based on some of the wild claims made by marijuana advocates. Nonetheless, medical cannabis is no different than any other kind of medication in the sense that its applications are limited.

    Relief from chronic pain is consistently at the top of the list of complaints cited by patients looking to use medical cannabis. Other conditions include:

    • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
    • General nausea.
    • Cancer-related nausea and pain.
    • Seizure disorders.
    • Anxiety disorders.

    The thing to remember is that each state with an active medical cannabis program has its own list of qualifying conditions. There is no uniform list utilized across the board.

    Visiting With the Medical Provider

    State regulations typically require patients to visit with a medical provider prior to using medical cannabis. Let us use Utah as an example. The Beehive State’s program allows for two types of medical providers known as qualified medical providers (QMPs) and limited medical providers (LMPs).

    The operators of the Beehive Farmacy in Salt Lake City explain that both types of medical providers can be doctors, advanced practice nurses, and orthopedists already licensed to prescribe controlled substances in the state. The difference between the two is in medical cannabis education and certification.

    A Utah QMP has undertaken additional training in order to earn certification from the state. By contrast, the LMP has not. QMPs in Utah can recommend cannabis to more than 1,000 patients at a time. LMPs are limited to just fifteen patients.

    At any rate, a medical provider must confirm the qualifying condition and believe that the condition is treated appropriately with medical cannabis. They then make a recommendation to the state. In turn, the state issues the patient a medical cannabis card.

    A License to Purchase

    Really, the hardest part about becoming a medical cannabis patient is finding and visiting with a medical provider. Once you have a provider’s recommendation, applying for a card is pretty seamless. In nearly every case, application is made online.

    A medical cannabis card is essentially a license to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis medicinally. In Utah, a consumer cannot even enter a medical cannabis pharmacy – or medical marijuana dispensary, if you will – without a valid card.

    The states have their different rules about how much can be purchased and possessed at any one time. There are also differences between the states in terms of what is purchased at a given visit. Some states pretty much allow patients to self-medicate. Other states require that patients work with pharmacists to determine potency, dosage, and delivery method.

    A Straightforward Process

    It is not hard to become a medical cannabis patient in the thirty-eight states (and District of Columbia) with medical cannabis programs. The process is straightforward and as easy as can be. If your state allows medical cannabis and you have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition, you might want to look into it.

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