How you can Get a Medical Marijuana Card – Few Easy Steps

We list the few easy steps to guarantee that you get a medical marijuana card on the same day as you apply. You can use the card today.

Many people, including myself, have sought at-home treatments for stress and other health issues after being compelled to spend more time at home owing to increased anxiety. I finally got the confidence to apply for a medical marijuana licence last year after using cannabis for anxiety and migraines for a number of years. I was eager in knowing what choices were available at local dispensaries and hoped to find a more dependable and consistent way to take this medicine. While I was pleasantly pleased by how easy the process was, I wish I had been better prepared for a few bureaucratic obstacles. I suspect that I am not alone in this. To visit site to get a medical marijuana card in a few easy steps go to HappyMD now.

States have varying processes for acquiring a medical marijuana card, but they all adhere to a similar structure. If you’re interested in applying for a local ID card, learn the basics of the application procedure below. First you must connect with medical marijuana doctors.

Initial consultation should be with one’s primary care provider.
In order to qualify for a medical cannabis card, you must have been diagnosed with one of the specific qualifying conditions that your state authorises to be treated with medical marijuana. According to medical marijuana doctors interview with HappyMD, the first step in contemplating medicinal cannabis to treat a medical condition is to check the state’s list of qualifying disorders (often located on the website of the state health department) to discover whether you have one of these diseases. (mmj doctors, a specialist in pain and medicine, approves patients for the use of medical cannabis through the online portal HappyMD.)

It may seem superfluous to contact your primary care mmj doctor before registering for a medical card, considering that the majority of us do not have them on fast dial. The 420 doctors, president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, tells HappyMD. They will be aware of the efficacy (or lack thereof) of different treatments for you in the past and may alert you to potential medication interactions.

And if you want to use cannabis to treat something totally new, such as back pain, “such things need an assessment and a workup,” according to the medical marijuana doctor.

Additionally, you may need a letter from your primary care physician in order to be permitted to use cannabis for certain medical conditions. Dr. cites MRI or X-ray results or a letter from a physician as examples of such proof. He recommends utilising “anything with the diagnosis printed on it.” Therefore, beginning with this first conversation is an excellent way to get the ball rolling with a physician you already trust and to get any documentation you may need in the future.

Make an appointment with a doctor on the list of those authorised to issue a medical certification for a online medical card.

Medical marijuana patients must be certified by a physician authorised by state law to do so. If your primary care physician is also certified to issue medical cannabis patient certificates, obtaining one from them should be rather straightforward. Not everyone has access to a primary care physician who is also a specialist in cannabis therapy, so it may be important to locate one.

The medical marijuana doctor that the endocannabinoid system is not taught in medical school. Regardless of the state in which you reside, you will need to find a physician who is either a cannabis specialist or has cannabis-related training.

Your state’s health agency may provide a list of licenced physicians and other medical professionals in your region. You may also locate cannabis doctors using internet sites such as HappyMD.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a virtual consultation through a service like as HappyMD, which links patients with licenced cannabis doctors in their location via video chat, may become increasingly attractive.

Thirdly, talk with your physician to design a treatment plan that meets your specific requirements to get a medical marijuana card.

The purpose of your meeting with a cannabis specialist is to establish that you suffer from a qualifying medical condition for marijuana. The next step is to discuss your medical history and concerns with your physician at HappyMD; together, you may choose the most effective way to manage your symptoms with cannabis.

Prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, a patient must be diagnosed with one of the state-approved conditions. Some illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain, appear on many lists. Nonetheless, there are some fascinating paradoxes. Migraines and menstrual cramps (also known as dysmenorrhea) are not classified as qualifying conditions in New York, although they are in New Jersey.

You may be surprised, though, by how much flexibility for interpretation these phrases provide. In New York, qualifying ailments include chronic pain and “pain that impairs health and functional capacities as an alternative to opioid addiction or drug use disorder,” but not migraines. According to a certifying physician, the medical marijuana doctor, there is a whole class of ailments that people may not realise qualify as chronic pain and similar conditions. He stresses that prolonged headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, and TMJ pain may be classified as different conditions.

Expect to address your medical history, current medications, and any concerns you have about using cannabis in this manner with your doctor; the nature of this conversation will differ depending on who you visit.

The medical marijuana doctor emphasises the importance of understanding the patient’s symptoms and recommended dose plan. Timing is key when it comes to a physician’s recommendations on the cannabinoids and cannabinoid ratios to look for in products. Some may provide an energising, daytime mood, while others may produce a soothing, nighttime mood.

During this evaluation, your physician should also advise you of any possible adverse outcomes. An increased heart rate, nausea, and vertigo are all potential adverse effects.

After reading this, you should have a decent idea of what to look for at a dispensary, but keep in mind that no doctor in the United States may legally prescribe cannabis. As the medical marijuana doctor noted, this means that, unlike in a pharmacy, where you may have an antibiotic prescription filled, you will not be able to get a specific prescription that a dispensary is required to fill. However, you should request as much assistance as possible from your physician in accessing the necessary materials.

Depending on your location, you may be required to submit a report with the health division.

Regarding the use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons, state rules and processes differ. Some states require patients to register with the state health department before to getting their ID card; in places such as Connecticut and New York, this is a needless bureaucratic bother, but it is normally not a significant impediment for patients.

The particular state rules that apply to you will eventually be established by your state of residence. The medical marijuana doctor says that you should not worry about anything in California. If the physician approves, they may just click a button to email you a recommendation, and you will also get a hard copy in the mail. If you have any questions regarding the next actions to take after earning your certification, you should consult your doctor or your state’s health department website.

The medical marijuana doctor reassures his patients that, for the most majority of them, “obtaining the card is not a significant obstacle.” If they are unable to figure it out on their own, though, we will gladly provide a help. If we are unable to help you, we may refer you to the state’s cannabis commission for intervention.

After obtaining your card, you may visit a dispensary.

Plan on waiting several weeks to get your physical card by mail from your state’s health agency. If your doctor approves it, you may be eligible for a temporary medical cannabis card that will enable you to visit a dispensary and purchase cannabis for therapeutic reasons.

Ask the budtenders at the dispensary for guidance if you have questions about the marijuana they offer. It’s a good idea to have your doctor’s recommendations on hand, but bear in mind that each dispensary has a slightly different range of goods (which is why the medical marijuana doctor sometimes recommends specific dispensaries).

The image shows a woman on a medical marijuana card

When you next visit a dispensary, don’t forget to carry your card with you. Because dispensaries are not allowed to take credit cards, you may need to bring another form of identification and cash.

If there is a pharmacist on duty at your dispensary, you may choose to check with them before making any purchases.

Dispensaries are increasingly employing cannabis pharmacists with specialised training on the physiological effects and pharmacological interactions of cannabis. Several jurisdictions, like New York, require licenced cannabis pharmacists at all establishments inside their boundaries.

Before acquiring cannabis, the medical marijuana doctor advise checking with a dispensary’s cannabis pharmacist. the medical marijuana doctor adds that each dispensary will have a distinct assortment of products, and the pharmacists will be in the best position to advise you on your decisions.

The medical marijuana doctor warns, however, that specialised dispensary pharmacists may not be the most impartial providers. He reveals that despite possessing a pharmacy degree, they work for a dispensary. Accordingly, “a conflict of interest exists there.”

Contact your care team if you have any questions or concerns.
Even licenced medical experts and pharmacists may be unable to anticipate the effects of cannabis on a particular patient. Keep in mind that it may take some time to develop an appropriate medical cannabis treatment plan.

Contact your cannabis doctor if you’ve tried anything and didn’t like how it made you feel, if you didn’t believe it achieved its intended purpose, or if you’re having trouble acquiring your card. Dr. says, “I tell them constantly, ‘I’m going to give you my email address,’ because he really cares about their health. This covers the situation in which you are having trouble registering.

Legally, naturalised citizens are not required to purchase medical marijuana in the United States. In order to get a medical marijuana card in a state that allows it, applicants must often produce proof of residency.

However, since marijuana is illegal under federal law, being a medical marijuana patient may make it more difficult for you to enter or stay in the United States. If you are a visitor or lawfully present in the nation, you may be interested in knowing about residence requirements and the availability of medical marijuana.

Certain persons may receive a legal medicinal marijuana card in the United States.

In view of the Food and Drug Administration’s categorization of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, there are no limits on who may apply for a medical marijuana card. This is due to the fact that no such programme exists under federal law. Numerous states in the United States administer their own medical marijuana programmes, each with its own legislation and procedures.

In a few states, evidence of residency is occasionally necessary to get a medical marijuana card. If you have a permanent residency in a state that has authorised the substance, you may see a licenced physician, get a recommendation, and submit an application for a medical marijuana card.

In the absence of a local address in the legalised state, however, the situation becomes more problematic. In California, non-residents may apply for and get a medical marijuana card, although in other states, proof of residency is required.

A copy of your state-issued identification card is also necessary when applying for a medical card. A valid driver’s licence or state identification card will suffice.

Can Non-Legal U.S. Residents Acquire Health Insurance Cards?
You may apply for a medical marijuana card if you have a permanent residency in a state that has legalised medicinal marijuana and you are not a U.S. citizen. Some states, such as Texas, need confirmation of residency, but others, such as California, just require proof of identification.

However, if you have ever used cannabis and are applying for a green card or citizenship, you may be refused entrance into the United States. A medical marijuana card provides publicly accessible evidence of cannabis use, which may or may not be worth the possible penalties in terms of future citizenship.

How to Obtain Medical Marijuana While in the United States

Plan a Trip to a State Where Cannabis Is Legal for Recreational Use
If you want to visit or currently reside in a state that permits adult-use cannabis, you do not need a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana programmes have stricter financing and application restrictions than recreational marijuana programmes. If you go through them, you won’t have to worry about finding a place to reside in a legalised state. You just need to provide identification proving you are at least 21 years old.

Since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, anybody transferring it from one state to another loses the safeguards provided by the previous state’s legalisation programme. If you want to stay on the right side of the law, you should not carry cannabis over state lines. To avoid problems at the border, you should dispose of your cannabis before leaving the state.


You cannot get a medical marijuana card or purchase cannabis from a medical dispensary if you do not legally reside in a state that permits it. A vacation to a state where recreational marijuana usage is legal would be great for avoiding this issue completely.

Now that medical marijuana is allowed in the majority of states in the United States, obtaining a medical marijuana card is easier than ever. Moreover, 64% of Americans feel recreational marijuana usage should be legalised universally.

With a valid medical marijuana card, patients may legally use the substance to treat a variety of medical illnesses. The federal government does not recognise any medical purpose for marijuana, and the substance remains federally illegal. However, depending on where they live, medical marijuana cardholders are protected from criminal and civil penalties at the state level. Medical marijuana patients and their caregivers may lawfully obtain cannabis from state-run clinics, wellness centres, and dispensaries with a valid identification card.

Prior to being legally permitted to consume marijuana, anyone seeking a medical marijuana card are need to visit with a physician holding a valid medical cannabis licence. Applicants may lawfully obtain marijuana from state-approved providers in order to relieve the pain and suffering connected with their illness, disability, mental health condition, or accident after gaining approval from a specialist or physician.

Expect a fee (for example, the Pennsylvania medical marijuana card costs $50).

Here Are the Six Straightforward Steps to Obtaining Your Medical Marijuana Card There are a number of steps that must be performed before a medical marijuana card can be given.

First, familiarise yourself with your state’s medical marijuana rules and restrictions.

As of the end of 2018, around 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalised medical marijuana consumption with medical marijuana cards, subject to a variety of laws. The different nations are listed below:

This includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Before applying for a medical marijuana card, you should get familiar with your state’s rules. Varied states have different rules surrounding the approval process for medical marijuana, thus it is essential to investigate these prerequisites beforehand.

Before applying, you should determine if your state grants medical marijuana cards for your particular condition. Cancer, glaucoma, and Crohn’s disease are among the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Arizona. However, Connecticut’s list is lengthier and includes sickle cell disease and ulcerative colitis, neither of which are on Arizona’s list. Anxiety may qualify you for a medical marijuana card in New Jersey. It is impossible in New York. To determine if your state offers coverage for your disease, contact your insurance provider.

Collect your health records When applying for a medical marijuana card in the majority of states, you will be required to provide evidence of medical treatment and list any ailments for which you feel marijuana may be beneficial. This involves obtaining a written declaration from your physician authorising the use of medical marijuana to treat your specific medical condition. Frequently, your physician will need to collaborate with the state’s health and/or human services department in order to submit the proper paperwork.

Present your proof of residency documents

Most states have residency requirements for medical marijuana cards; thus, you should be prepared to produce proof of lawful residence. Without valid identity, you will not be able to advance.

Fourth, learn about the approved uses of medical marijuana.
You should be aware with the sorts of qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card. Your state’s health and human services agency likely provides a list of conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana certificate. On such a list would include glaucoma, cancer, MS, ALS, diabetes, PTSD, and epilepsy.

Have a doctor recommend you

To lawfully use medical marijuana, your physician must first agree that doing so would help you feel better while coping with your illness’s symptoms. However, not all medical specialists are convinced that marijuana offers the same amount of pain relief as its advocates say. Obtaining your doctor’s consent to use medical marijuana may first seem insurmountable; thus, it is essential to equip yourself with as much evidence as possible to convince him or her that this medication is required for you.

After a specific period of time, medical marijuana should be replaced.

In various places, the validity of a medicinal marijuana card is often restricted to one year. After a card’s expiration date, you must renew for it. Contact your state’s health office to learn more about the length of time your medical marijuana card will be valid.

For What Reason Do You Need a Medical Marijuana Card?

In places where marijuana use is prohibited, acquiring a medical marijuana card is mandatory. Depending on whether it is deemed a misdemeanour or a civil offence, possession and use of marijuana are penalised by fines and possibly jail time in certain jurisdictions.

Therefore, a medical marijuana card permits you to legally use marijuana for medicinal reasons in your state. If you have a valid marijuana identification card issued by the state, you may use marijuana without fear of arrest or punishment in that state.

Is Medical Marijuana Effective for Glaucoma?

Cannabinoids are a class of chemical substances that are uniquely produced by the cannabis plant. There are around 60 distinct cannabinoids found in nature, but only a few have been studied extensively. The major psychoactive component is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (often known as “THC”).

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol are two more well-known cannabinoids (CBN). Cannabinoid profiles change depending on cannabis species, cultivation methods, and harvest locations.

Cannabis sativa, which has high levels of THC, and Cannabis indica, which contains high levels of cannabinol (CBN), are the two most common types of cannabis. The human body also makes its own cannabinoids (called “endocannabinoids”). Throughout the neurological system, cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) to regulate neurotransmitter release.

Intraocular pressure was shown to be reduced due to cannabis use in the year 1971. Eleven healthy volunteers were examined by optometrists both before and after they smoked 2 grams of cannabis to see how much of an impact the drug had on the human visual system.

Intraocular pressure changes in the participants ranged from +4% to -45%, which was a surprising finding. Later research has shown that around 65% of glaucomatous eyes would have a 30% pressure decrease after inhaling cannabis. Dosage-dependent blood pressure reduction lasts for three to four hours.

Intraocular pressure may be lowered by many cannabinoids, however THC is most notable among them. It is believed that it decreases tear production and increases tear drainage via binding to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the eye.

THC’s blood pressure-lowering impact is not centrally mediated but rather a direct action on the eyes. Given this, it’s reasonable to assume that eyedrops would be an effective delivery method. The optic nerve is also said to benefit from THC’s neuroprotective properties. However, there is little support for this function.

There is evidence that CBD mitigates some of THC’s blood-pressure lowering effects. Both THC and CBD are found in varying concentrations in cannabis plants, so this is crucial information to have.

The use of cannabis to treat glaucoma has a number of drawbacks. First, the blood pressure-lowering action only lasts for a short time (three to four hours), thus regular dosage is required. For an illness that must be managed constantly throughout one’s life, this is obviously not feasible.

According to estimates, eight to ten smokes of marijuana would be enough to manage IOP for a whole day. This dosage would be more costly than standard glaucoma treatments and would have serious adverse effects on mental and physical health.

Another constraining element is tachyphylaxis. Nine individuals with advanced glaucoma were given inhaled THC pills every four hours in one trial. Even while everyone saw an improvement in their intraocular pressure (IOP), seven out of nine individuals eventually stopped responding to the treatment. All of the patients decided to stop therapy between one and nine months in because of a lack of efficacy or systemic adverse effects.

Producing synthetic cannabinoids devoid of psychotropic qualities or giving cannabinoids through eye drop might lessen the drug’s systemic effects.

There are two avenues being explored. In order to reduce intraocular pressure, HU211, a synthetic counterpart of THC, has been developed. The hydrophobic nature of cannabinoids has hindered their intraocular penetration thus far, but this may be solved by employing a microemulsion or cyclodextrin to assist the drops pass through the tear film.

Cannabinoids show promise as a potential novel glaucoma medication. Since they target a separate class of receptors, they may complement preexisting glaucoma therapies rather than competing with them. Unfortunately, the systemic effects, short duration of action, and probability of tachyphylaxis associated with cannabis use make it a poor choice as a therapy for glaucoma, especially when inhaled or ingested.

Research in the future should zero down on specific compounds rather than using variable plant samples. If cannabinoids are to have a role in the treatment of glaucoma, I believe it will be via the topical use of a synthetic equivalent of THC.

Cannabinoid Therapy for Cancer: Does it Work?

Cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have shown anticancer effects in cell culture and animal models (but paradoxically also accelerate the growth of others). However, none of these research prove that cannabis may prevent or treat cancer (many drugs look great in cell cultures and animal models but fail in definitive clinical trials). Two preliminary clinical studies using cannabis for the treatment of brain cancer have been reported, and one of them shows promise for treating a particularly deadly form of the disease with little toxicity. Saying that cannabis can heal all forms of cancer is irresponsible and perhaps hazardous. Also, there’s evidence to suggest that delaying conventional therapy in favor of alternative methods might have a negative impact on cancer results. It is reasonable to use as an integrative treatment for those indications given its demonstrated benefits in helping treat cancer side effects like loss of appetite, neuropathic pain, and nausea; however, it should not be used in place of conventional therapy, especially in situations where curative intent is desired.

Wish cannabis could eliminate cancer altogether. I really hope this is just me wishing it into being. As oncology caregivers, our hearts are filled with delight when our patients achieve remission and with pain when they experience relapse. All of us in the medical community would be thrilled if our patients could have higher success rates and fewer negative reactions to treatment.

I have been treating patients with AIDS-related cachexia, chronic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite due to cancer or chemotherapy for the past 18 years, and I have found that all of these conditions respond very favorably to cannabis or its psychoactive ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When the results of these cases showed the possibility for a hitherto underestimated intervention, I published case reports of their amazing outcomes (for example, a case of Xeloda and graviola tea associated with a 5-year remission in a patient with metastatic breast cancer). I’ve promised publication of their case to many patients who’ve used cannabis or its isolates in the hopes that it will cure their metastatic sickness. However, I have not seen a single patient whose metastatic cancer miraculously went into remission after being treated with cannabis or cannabis products alone.

As a general oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Donald Abrams has firsthand experience with medicinal cannabis in the state that first authorized it in 1996.

I have worked as an oncologist in San Francisco for 33 years, and I can state with confidence that the vast majority of the patients I have treated have taken cannabis in conjunction with their conventional medical therapy. That’s why I’d have a lot more survivors if cannabis worked to treat cancer. Although oncologists insist that the plural of anecdote is not evidence, most of my patients have probably used inhaled cannabis in the past, and so their plasma concentration probably does not approach that which can be achieved with the highly concentrated oil preparations (no data on this is currently available). The thing that makes me sad and upset the most is when a patient comes in for a consultation with a possibly curable malignancy but instead chooses to treat themselves with cannabis oil instead of traditional cancer treatments. However, there is currently no evidence to warrant making such a determination.

In spite of the uncertainty, Dr. Abrams writes, “What we do know is that cannabis is genuinely a great therapy for many cancer and treatment-related side effects—nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, pain, melancholy, anxiety, sleeplessness.”

Since Dr. Abrams has been at the forefront of cannabis research in both HIV and cancer treatment, he will be able to summarize the scientific evidence on the advantages of cannabis and its isolates in a manner that no one else can during a SIO webinar on September 13, 2018. You’ll get an education in cannabis science, but you’ll also get insight into the political and social obstacles he faced in his pursuit of cannabis’s medical potential. I strongly advise you to register for this lecture (link below), which is free for SIO members and just $20 for non-members.

Though it’s true that cannabis isn’t a cure-all for cancer, there is preliminary evidence from cell lines and animal models that it may have an anti-cancer impact in people. While promising, it is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of medications that show promise in preclinical models fail to show any benefit in final human trials, including the reduction of cancer or the extension of life expectancy.

Please allow me to go over a brief refresher of cannabis 101 so that the language used in this blog is clear. Over 400 compounds have been isolated from the cannabis plant, the majority of which come from the two main species, C. sativa and C. indica. To keep things clear and straightforward, we may break down its parts into the following categories:

  • Cannabinoids Non-Cannabinoids
  • THC Terpenoids
  • Cannabinoid (CBD) Flavonoids
  • And more than a hundred others

In humans, there are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is mostly expressed on neurons in the brain and central nervous system, and CB2, which is primarily expressed on non-neuronal tissues including immune cells. These receptors can also be expressed by cancer cells; however, there is conflicting evidence on whether this bodes favorably or poorly for prognosis. However, other studies have reported effects that are not prevented by inhibiting these receptors, suggesting that cannabis’ effects on cancer are not confined to contact with these receptors. Among cannabinoids, THC is the most well known for producing psychotropic and appetite-stimulating effects. Also known as CBD, cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid that has shown promise in cancer research.

Some synthetic (cannabinoid-based) medications like dronabinol (Marinol and Syndros, delta-9-THC), and nabilone have been authorized by the FDA (Cesamet, THC-similar). The FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol naturally produced from cannabis) on June 25, 2018, making it the first non-synthetic cannabinoid to be authorized in the United States. It is used to treat two uncommon and severe types of epilepsy. Health Canada approved nabiximols (Sativex) in 2005 for the symptomatic treatment of neuropathic pain and in 2010 for the symptomatic reduction of muscular spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis; this was the first cannabis medicine to get regulatory clearance in North America. Nabiximols is a cannabinoid and non-cannabidiol rich extract of Cannabis sativa with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio.

Both terpenoids and flavonoids, which give plants their color and scent, perform important biological roles. For the sake of brevity, we will not be discussing these two classes of chemicals in relation to cancer in this blog post, with the exception of the entourage effect, which will be discussed at the very end of this blog.

The example of Rick Simpson is the one that my patients bring up most frequently when we talk about anecdotal evidence (and yes, I regard anecdotal evidence as proof, but not of very high quality if it is not consistently duplicated in others) for the anti-cancer properties of cannabis. According to online sources, Rick was diagnosed with several basal cell carcinomas of the skin (not metastatic) and, after reading about the promising results of cannabis oil in preclinical studies, decided to apply the oil topically to his lesions and leave the bandage on for several days to treat his skin cancer. They (the lesions) went away. Even if the oil really was the cause of the remission, we still don’t know if it was a placebo effect (remember that it is also well known that duct tape can cure warts, but no more so than placebo), correlation not causation (did he or those who have followed suit receive any other intervention? ), or if it was worth researching in the treatment of basal cell carcinomas.

At best, extrapolating from this case (and the preclinical evidence) that cannabis oil is a suppressed cure for all types and stages of cancer is an educated guess; at worst, it’s a delusion that’s gone viral on the internet and is endangering the lives of patients with curable cancer who might choose to take cannabis oil instead of conventional therapy without any scientific follow-up with imaging or surgery. While the cell line and animal model studies imply that skin malignancies may have decreased angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptors, Rick Simpson’s case report does deserve additional inquiry (Casanova et al).

As of this writing, only two prospective clinical studies have been conducted to examine the potential anti-cancer effects of cannabis or its derivatives. Antiproliferative effects were shown in some of the 9 patients who underwent intracranial injection of THC into an aggressive brain tumour termed glioblastoma multiforme, according to a phase I (preliminary trial to determine safety of the novel intervention) study done by Guzman et al (though not due to the THC).

The second research (Twelves et al.) has only been presented as an abstract so far; the entire manuscript has not yet been published. Patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study were randomly assigned to receive either temozolomide (Temodar) chemotherapy and placebo or temozolomide with a 1:1 THC:CBD oro-mucosal spray, nabiximols (Sativex). The original plan called for just 20 participants to participate in the study’s randomization phase. Since the major goal was safety and not tumor response, it is not possible to draw any firm inferences from these findings. An other red flag is that there was no justification for why 12 people were assigned to THC:CBD and only 9 to placebo in this trial. One patient can make a huge difference in a research of this size. One-year survival (i.e., the probabilities of being alive 1 year after starting the trial) was 56% in the placebo group and 83% in the THC:CBD group. Median survival was 369 days in the placebo group and >550 days in the THC:CBD group. There is preliminary evidence of safety when using nabiximols in conjunction with temozolomide, however more investigation is needed by conducting a bigger phase II trial.

Another popular theory is that cannabis’ anti-cancer effects are amplified by a synergistic “entourage effect,” in which the sum of the plant’s parts is larger than the sum of its parts alone. In a research published in 2018, Blasco-Benito et al. compared the anticancer effects of THC alone to those of a whole plant extract and found that the extract was more powerful than THC in cell culture and animal models of ER+, HER+, and triple negative breast cancer. Similarly, the extract was complementary to the chemotherapeutic drugs tamoxifen, lapatinib, and cisplatin in the treatment of breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, respectively. The authors also found that the extract’s heightened potency did not seem to be related to the 5 most prevalent terpenes, which is in line with the idea that the potency was due to the cannabinoid concentration. Should all breast cancer patients start using cannabis extracts after reading this study? Hardly. Keep in mind that only 10% of medications with promising results in cell cultures and animal models make it through human clinical trials, and over 50% of these failures are attributable to lack of effectiveness (Hay et al). However, these and other studies provide hope to cancer patients who opt to combine cannabis with conventional therapy in the hopes of minimizing treatment-related negative effects. Numerous preclinical investigations, for instance, have looked into the question of whether cannabis and chemotherapeutic drugs might have an antagonistic or synergistic effect. Briefly, synergy is the common thread in investigations with gemcitabine, temozolomide, paclitaxel, and 5 fluorouracil in cell cultures of pancreatic, glioma, gastric, lung, and colon malignancies (reviewed by Maida et al).

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cannabis studies show that they’re completely safe, since certain cancer cells grow more quickly in response to exposure and there may be immunosuppressive effects to consider as well. The immune system is thought to be less conducive to an effective anti-cancer immune response when cannabinoids interact with the CB2 receptor, which is mainly expressed on immune cells. This results in a decrease in interferon gamma production, a decrease in T-cell proliferation, and a shift from a Th1 to a Th2 profile. Other writers have done excellent work reviewing the pertinent papers (Sledzinski et al).

Use caution while using cannabis until it is known how these results will interact with immunotherapy (i.e. PD1/PDL1 inhibitors like nivolumab). In reality, Taha et al. evaluated the medical records of 140 patients who were treated with nivolumab for advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, or renal cell carcinoma in a retrospective observational research. Eighty-nine individuals were given nivolumab, while 51 were were given cannabis in combination with the drug. Cannabis use was the sole significant predictor of poor immunotherapy response, with rates of 37.5% for nivolumab and 15.9% for those who got both (odds ratio 3.13; 95% CI 1.24-8.13, p=0.02). However, cannabis had no influence on either progression-free survival or total survival. Considering the study’s retrospective nature and the various confounding variables, it should be seen primarily as a preventative study, and more investigation is necessary before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

In conclusion, scientific studies have revealed more about cannabis and its cannabinoid chemicals than ever before, and further study may lead to the establishment of medicinal indications for cannabinoids in the treatment of certain forms of cancer. To learn more about the clinical research that has helped de-stigmatize cannabis by showing its advantages in enhancing the quality of life of people coping with cancer and the symptoms associated with cancer treatment, please join the forthcoming webinar by Dr. Donald Abrams. At the very least, you will have gained a deeper understanding of how important research is in empowering people to make better choices about their health. If you happen to come across this post too late to attend or are unable to do so for any other reason, Dr. Abrams has written a number of highly recommended pieces, all of which are referenced at the bottom of this post. More studies will show how we can best use cannabis or its isolates/derivatives for medicinal reasons as legalization of medical marijuana spreads throughout North America, guaranteeing a future with fewer treatment side effects, a higher quality of life, and a greater chance of a cure.

Intractable Pain From Rheumatoid Arthritis? Try Medical Marijuana

Do you and your doctor smoke pot together? Drug and Alcohol Dependence conducted a study in September 2017 that concluded that although the use of medicinal marijuana has been decriminalized in 29 states and the District of Columbia, the vast majority of physicians are not adequately trained to prescribe it to their patients. Despite its legality in certain places, “most physicians don’t know much about marijuana,” says Rav Ivker, DO, a holistic family doctor in Boulder, Colorado, and author of Cannabis for Chronic Pain: A Proven Prescription for Using Marijuana to Relieve Your Pain and Heal Your Life.

Lack of an Alternative Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Experts in the field of rheumatoid arthritis agree that the disease is best treated with a combination of aggressiveness and traditionalism if it is caught early (RA). Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications (DMARDs) have been shown to effectively change the course of RA, hence their usage should never be substituted by CAM treatments. As far as we know, DMARDs are the only medication that can decrease inflammation, halt joint deterioration, and lessen the likelihood of long-term problems in RA patients.

Learn about other people’s tried-and-true methods for dealing with RA by reading about them online. Let’s get them on Tippi!

What Effect Does Marijuana Have on Relieving Arthritis Pain?

But what about incorporating marijuana and other forms of alternative medicine into your conventional treatment plan? Despite the apparent effectiveness of cannabis in relieving the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the medical community has been hesitant to embrace this treatment option. However, physicians who recommend medical marijuana to their patients disagree and argue that the drug has enormous therapeutic potential. At least 80 distinct cannabinoids have been discovered, each with the ability to modify the brain’s neurotransmitter release in its own unique way. When it comes to medical applications, “the most successful ones are THC [tetrahydrocannabinol], which is the most psychoactive, and CBD [cannabidiol], which is likely the most highly therapeutic,” explains Ivker.

Potential Marijuana Effect Mechanisms

Proponents of the medicine point to hypotheses about the herb’s potential benefits in order to argue that it is an effective treatment for persistent joint pain. Dr. Matthew Roman, head of the alternative medicine clinic Nature’s Way Medicine in Wilmington, Delaware, claims that medical marijuana may treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis in two different ways. It’s possible that cannabis users would have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect “similar to ibuprofen or an ice pack,” he adds. Furthermore, marijuana may have an effect on immune cell activity. The investigation continues.

Cannabidiol and Long-Term Ache

Almost all of the 7,000 medicinal marijuana patients Dr. Ivker has treated have been dealing with chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis patients often use THCA (9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), another nonpsychoactive cannabinoid. Transdermal patches that deliver the drug straight to the bloodstream are another delivery method. CBD is also available in topical forms, such as lotions and balms, which may be applied directly to the affected areas.

How Marijuana Dispensaries Work, Depending on Where You Live and Who You See

Dr. Ivker recommends that patients in states where medicinal marijuana is permitted get a referral from their physician before purchasing any marijuana. After it is processed, you will be issued a paper valid for use in a medical dispensary. But “you first have to go via a physician, and there are many who are still hesitant to offer the advice,” he adds.

Dr. Roman agrees and suggests being forthright with your doctor about this treatment choice. “Tell them you want to try it and ask them where they stand on the issue.” After all, you should see your doctor before trying any new supplement or cure, as she can assess the risks involved, including any interactions with the drugs you are currently on. In other words, if you want to responsibly experiment with pain therapies, you can’t escape this discussion. If your primary care physician is unable to suggest medical marijuana, you may want to visit a website like Happy MD, which lists physicians in your region who are comfortable treating patients who use cannabis.