Medical marijuana is widely available in developed nations, and despite being illegal at the United States federal level, most healthcare professionals recognize that compounds within cannabis are exceedingly effective at treating certain conditions and disorders. If your doctor has recommended medical marijuana use, you should also be pleased that this treatment is available to you — but if you have never used marijuana before, you might be wary about how to use the drug properly to obtain the desired effects.

Medical marijuana can be daunting, even if you are seeking treatment for a painful or debilitating disease. Here is some valuable information for you at the beginning of your medical marijuana journey.

Accept the Health Benefits

The first step in becoming a medical marijuana user is to understand more about the benefits the drug can bring. Despite marijuana’s federal label as a schedule I drug, most medical professionals accept that cannabis does have many legitimate medical applications, especially in cases where no other viable treatments exist. Some science-backed benefits of marijuana include:

·       Anti-seizure. CBD has been shown to decrease the frequency and intensity of seizures, even in particularly severe cases of childhood epilepsy. As a result, CBD is the foundation of an FDA-approved epilepsy medication, Epidiolex.

·       Anti-nausea. THC works wonders on stimulating the metabolism, increasing appetite and suppressing feelings of nausea, making it an excellent treatment for those undergoing chemotherapy or those suffering from eating disorders or wasting syndrome.

·       Pain management. Both THC and CBD are useful in the mitigation or elimination of pain, which can result from injury or chronic illness, like fibromyalgia, endometriosis and interstitial cystitis.

Undoubtedly, you should talk to your doctor about how medical marijuana might apply to your distinct condition, and you might review available scientific literature about medical marijuana to gain a more holistic view.

Become Familiar With Dispensaries

Once you have your medical marijuana license — which requires a doctor’s signature and an application submitted to your state’s medical marijuana program — you will gain access to medical marijuana dispensaries. These can be intimidating spaces for the beginner marijuana user, but the more experience you have with a dispensary, the less frightening the experience of visiting one will be. You might even start visiting recreational dispensaries before you receive your medical marijuana card, though the experience of a recreational dispensary is quite different from that of a medical dispensary.

When you visit a medical marijuana dispensary, you need to bring with you important documents like your identification, your marijuana card and any information on your condition supplied by your doctor. Budtenders, who are the employees at dispensaries responsible for helping patrons learn about available products, will use this information to guide you toward the most beneficial products. Typically, medical marijuana dispensaries provide a one-on-one experience between patient and budtender, so you should have ample time and space to ask your budtender questions and gain more comfort in the store.

Sample Different Products

Not all medical marijuana products work the same way, so it is important for you to try out different products and document your experiences. Then, you will get a better sense of what products work best for you. Some beginner-friendly products include:

Flower. Trimmed marijuana flower is the plant material you are most likely to associate with marijuana. The easiest way to use flower is to smoke it in a joint (or pre-roll) or pipe, but you can also use it to make your own edibles or concentrates. Your budtender should guide you to strains with lower THC content, and you should inhale only once or twice before giving yourself time to take note of the effects.

Concentrated oils. THC oil can be administered under the tongue to provide immediate effects, and it can also be mixed into beverages and food for simple, homemade edibles or placed in a handheld or desktop vaporizer as a safe, straightforward inhalable. Still, sub-lingual administration, as the under-the-tongue method is called, is the easiest way to accurately dose as well as discreet, a plus for new users.

Edibles. Cannabinoids within food and drink aren’t always marketed to beginners because they can make it difficult to dose correctly and exceedingly easy to overdose. Still, THC gummies, chocolates, baked goods and other edibles are fun, and as long as you have the self-control to nibble small amounts and the patience to see how the effects manifest, edibles can work for you.

The cannabis community is welcoming, and you shouldn’t feel nervous to embark on your medical marijuana journey. If your health and well-being lies just inside a medical marijuana dispensary, you will find comfort and joy soon.

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