Cannabis is now legal in far more states than it isn’t. But that doesn’t mean its use and benefits are fully understood by most people. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.
This is a difficult area. Theoretically, you could travel within a state where Cannabis is legal — say from San Francisco to L.A. You would need proof of your doctor recommendation, and the amount would need to be below the limits of both the county you’re leaving and the one you’re traveling to. But TSA officers are not legally qualified to verify a recommendation or a cannabis card, so if they find the cannabis they are required to call the local police to verify it.
Interstate travel is a bad idea for basically the same reasons. This is because the Federal Government still does not recognize legal marijuana. It’s a better idea, if you’re heading to a state where Cannabis is legal to simply buy and use what you need when there.
Most states where Cannabis is legal also allow patients to cultivate a certain number of plants for their own personal use. You can usually buy small female (flower producing) plants called “clones” at most dispensaries. Some of these dispensaries even offer cultivation classes.
The days of cannabis-infused edibles being either brownies or cookies are in the dark ages. Today, most dispensaries carry an assortment of infused edibles. These include ice cream, cereal, snacks, hummus, chips, candy, olive oil, gummies, and many other different items. Dispensaries usually also follow dietary restrictions in their offerings, such as gluten-free, organic fair-trade, vegan, and the like.
Cannabis-infused edibles are a great option for patients who don’t want to smoke their medical cannabis. Vaporizers heat up marijuana to a temperature that vaporizes the THC, but they don’t create the smoke. Topicals allow you to put cannabis-infused salve, lotion, balms, or oils directly on your skin, usually to address pain and inflammation. Most topicals don’t have the psychoactive effects associated with smoking or ingesting marijuana. You can also use transdermal patches on your skin. They provide even dosages and longer timeframes, usually from 8-10 hours of relief.
Many people use medical cannabis to improve their sleep. However, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some strains can make patients anxious, which would be the last thing you’d want if you’re not sleeping well. Do some research and talk to your doctor about possible side effects. Still, compared to prescription sleeping pills, no one has died from using cannabis to help with insomnia.
Friends and family or caregivers can obtain a legal permit known as a caregiver’s permit or caregiver’s card. This enables them to enter legal cannabis dispensaries to buy products for the bedridden person. Some states are experimenting with delivery services, as well.
Hash or hashish is the resin collected from the trichomes of the cannabis plant. This resin is brown and sticky, and it contains large quantities of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Like cannabis flower, hashish can be smoked or put into edibles.
Cannabis is the botanical term for the plant — genus cannabis. Marijuana is simply the common term, or slang, for cannabis. They are one in the same.
Cannabis comes in countless varietals and strains. These all fit into two marijuana families, indica and sativa. If the strains are mixed, this is called a hybrid.
Indicas are often used for treating physical illnesses and pain, and insomnia. Sativas have a more mental effect, where users feel awake or feel more energy. They also have an effect on the eye, and are used with eye conditions such as glaucoma. Still, there is a ton of variation to be researched for a new patient.
Just this year, the FDA approved a drug with an ingredient derived from the cannabis plant. The drug is called Epidiolex. It is a cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. This is the first time the FDA has approved such a product for any medicinal use. Surely, many more are to come.