By Ellen Lenox Smith

As we work to remove the stigma of cannabis as just a social drug to get high, we need to become educated to understand its use as a medical treatment. We all need to understand how to select the right product, the compatible way to administer it for each individual, and what to expect. I am hoping these tips will offer some helpful guidance so that you, too, can safely consider the use of medical cannabis for the issues you are trying to find answers for.

Will I be Allowed to Use Medical Cannabis in my State?

Many states have programs, but you must have a certain condition to qualify. To find more information about the qualifying conditions in your state, visit https://norml.org/laws/medical-laws/.

States differ in their application processes, but typically require a doctor’s note or medical record stating you have one of the listed conditions before you can apply. It is important to approach a trusted doctor about signing the form confirming you have a qualifying condition.

If your condition(s) qualify, the next step would be to contact your Department of Health and fill out the necessary form, normally available online to download.

Will My Cannabis Be Covered By Insurance?

Currently, five states — Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York – explicitly allow for employees to have their medical cannabis expenses reimbursed. By contrast, seven states expressly prohibit workers’ compensation insurance from reimbursing medical marijuana-related costs: Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington.

In all other jurisdictions, the law is either silent on the issue or states that insurers are “not required” to reimburse employees who are injured on the job for the costs related to their use of medical cannabis.

Should I Use a real Cannabis Product or a CBD Product made from Hemp?

Here are the main distinctions between a real cannabis product and a CBD product made from hemp.

  • CBD from hemp – less than .3%THC and legal to purchase in most states.
  • CBD from the cannabis – over.3% THC and a medical card must be obtained to use
  • CBD products from hemp will, in time, create a positive urine result since it does contain THC in smaller percentages.
When deciding whether to use the cannabis plant or a CBD product from Hemp, do not be afraid of having THC in the medical cannabis. There are various percentages of THC in the strains you can choose from to start with. For many living with pain, the THC in the cannabis plant is needed to help relieve your discomfort.
CBD from hemp can be a concern with drug interactions, unlike most using the actual cannabis plant. For instance, if you are on a blood thinner, be sure to talk with your doctor to be sure this is a good fit.

Children with seizures – about 6 months success with hemp CBD but in time, some research suggests that the cannabis plant is needed with the THC for an effective form of treatment for many patients.

To be sure the product you are considering to purchase is safe to use, request to see the Certificate of Analysis or code for their web address to see the number of compounds in the product solvents/contaminates included % of THC included.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you find out that your state will allow you to qualify to the program, then look for part two of this article to get educated on how to move forward.