So I keep thinking about trying medical marijuana since it just got legalized...

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  • I'm curious what the procedure is myself. I live in a state that is looking to have a vote this year to go recreational, and does do medical. I'm not into all these opioids or muscle relaxers as I'm on 4 meds just for my gut alone and no matter what I have to be able to function I have kids I can't be all drool drool crazy on pills no matter how bad things get for me and I think medical would be a very viable option but I don't even know where to start... Which dr do I ask or do I even ask a dr? Do I go somewhere else? I don't even know where to start.

  • Go to a dispensary and ask them if they know any doctors that give authorizations, that's how I found mine.

    I pay $60 a year for mine.

  • There is one in the town I'm near I guess I've just always been too nervous to walk in and ask. I don't know I guess I just felt like a 20 year old at a bar with no ID and I can't go in there without a card lol. I'll have to try to track it down and call them sometime or something. I never even thought of that.

  • If you're 21 or over you can go in and ask.

    I'm only 20 so my mom goes in for me. I go to this super secretive weed club where they check your paper at the door. If its like that just tell them you'd like to know of any doctors or PA's or ARNPs that can authorize

  • What state are you? In Michigan there are doctors that only see you for certification for getting your card or you can just go through your primary.

  • Also, not to invalidate you and I don't have a lot of experience with dispensaries, but I didn't think you could just, you know, do that?

  • Yeah you can ask. If they're a good dispensary they'll be happy to help

  • If you were in WA I could help you out haha

    I believe there are also people that get authorizations from a doctor online, that might be an option too?

  • Honestly I'd start by doing research on your state's system for it, like look through the state's site on the program. That may also lead you to doctors who could help.

  • Program?

  • Like ours is called the Michigan medical marijuana program. The program, the system through which all parts related to it work.

  • Oh wow, yeah I didn't even know there were programs for it.

    I don't think WA has one but I guess I'm not certain oin that haha

    What state are you in, Jessica Faber?

  • It won't make you gain weight or give you acne, and it used to reduce muscle spasms and pain. In my experience of prescriptions, it is a much more gentle and effective choice than many other compounds to reduce pain and spasm.

  • I have TD and it works great as a muscle relaxer

  • Xxxxxxx Yzzzzzz I used to be in Michigan but I'm in Illinois now. I think they are getting pretty loose with things here too because they are looking to pass recreational this year too. (They need to Illinois is broke as a joke lol) My friend told me ehlers danlos is not on the list here but it's probably just because it's so rare but it would probably still be covered. I have malabsorption issues and borderline personality disorder too. I haven't been accessed for what else with the ehlers yet and am on 4 meds for just my gut alone already so my fingers are crossed

  • Illinois

  • I don't know if someone has brought up CBD, but this is the kind of marihuana that doesn't get you high, just has calming and pain relieving effects. I take it in pill form and have had wonderful results with no side effects.

  • I get lots of muscle pain in my neck thx to kyphosis, so that effect could really help!

  • I've wondered about that, it was my other question. So with that stuff removed from it it still helps with pain?

  • Funny think- the neurosurgeon I saw a few weeks ago said kyphosis does not cause pain or muscle spasms!!!

  • Xxxxxxx Yzzzzzz omg I wish! I can't believe how uneducated on these things some docs are. One ER doc once told me that POTs is not associated with EDS.

  • CBD helps with pain, THC helps keep your mind off of it.

  • You can also rub it into your skin when it's in a balm.

    At natural food stores they sell it, just look for anything marked Hemp or CBD.

    Works on tight muscles, joint pain, etc.

    Don't need an authorization for hemp since it doesn't have enough THC in it to get you high.

  • Oh yeah absolutely. When 99.9% of the THC, which is the element in marijuana that gets you high, is extracted out, you're left with CBD which is the component of marijuana that has pain relieving, anti inflammatory, calming effects so there's no high, just the medicinal effects. For me the CBD pills (I take 10mg at a time) help me sleep, help with joint pain, anxiety, and a lot of other things. It still gives you a lazy effect so I only take it after work, but it's a great entry point if you're worried about having a "bad trip". I also take edibles sometimes but you have to be careful and watch the dosage, because eating to much will get you too stoned and if you struggle with POTS, it can effect that negatively (or at least it does for me). The CBD pills can be pricey, about $6 a pill, but it's important to find a good quality one (it should come in a bottle and have dosage information).

    In your research you can look up the different types of marijuana (CBD included) and see some videos and articles that'll help you decide which way to go. I wouldn't worry too much about side effects, but it is important to talk to your doc before you try it, even if he or she is judge mental, as these drugs can interact badly with other meds.

  • I took too many edibles one time, got a little paranoid.

    Yeah try it out with and without THC in it. The CBD only (hemp) works for a lot of people but who knows, you could be weird like me and need THC in there too. Just not too much if it's your first time and give edibles an hour or two to work.

  • itd be nice to do kind of a combo of the two, like take CBD when my pain is bad but it's not bothering me and then THC when it's getting to a point I can't take it anymore. And I had no idea they took an hour or two lol so that's really good to know so I don't take more thinking it's not working-that could have a bad outcome!

  • Oh yeah, edibles you've gotta give them time. A lot of people who haven't used mmj before make the mistake of only waiting half an hour, decide its not doing anything, and then eat/drink more and then feel it a little too much.

    Smokeables you feel within 10 minutes and it doesn't last more than maybe three hours, edibles take about an hour and could probably last you a whole day.

    Tinctures work fast and last long.

  • Emmett Johnson really good advice, because I tend to be kinda sensitive to normal medication, so I could see that being a problem. Like, taking more and then having it hit way too much. There was one time when I had a surgery and was supposed to take pain meds, and anything over one of pills day made me nauseous, itchy, and increased my POTs so bad I had to be hospitalized for a night because I couldn't afford to fall on crutches. Def. not a good thing to have happen the first time I try mmj!

  • Be aware that it doesn't help everyone. For some people it makes things worse, actually. Like when the muscle relaxant aspect actually translates into more dislocations and/or it being almost impossible to stay upright and conscious.

  • Yea they gave me a muscle relaxer for pain... I haven't taken it as I hardly get around as it is... Have been debating taking it at night maybe but idk... Still just been looking at and thinking about it lol

  • Yeah it definitely affects one differently than pain meds.

  • Every state regulates medical marijuana differently. Check to see if your state has a MMJ registry -- ana. You want to be extra cautious if Montana does this. California does not. Here in CA, the doctor making the recommendation (it's not a prescription) just has a medical file and records of the recommendations so they can verify your recommendation to dispensaries. If your state has a registry, being on this list can be used to bar you from other rights, like owning a gun. Being on a registry makes you vulnerable to the feds, and that is not something to take lightly under the current Attorney General who HATES all forms of marijuana use. Research the details of what is actually allowed in your state and your county because these can vary. And remember that the Feds don't give a shit about state laws, so if you live on federal property, for example, don't even go there.

    Now that I've gotten the legal bits out of the way, I'll share my experiences related to your other concerns. Use of marijuana is highly idiosyncratic. Two people can consume the same strain and have similar use backgrounds but still have completely different reactions. If you know somebody who is already savvy about mmj, have them introduce you to the information about selecting strains based on cannabinoid levels and strain qualities. In my experience, the quality of "indica" vs "sativa" has very little impact on my reaction to a strain. Levels of cannabinoids is more important, and I only go to dispensaries who provide the cannabinoid levels of their products. Generally speaking, indica is for body-oriented stuff, but it will probably make you very sleepy and some people even describe an indica "hangover" the next day. However, sativa is not without its problematic side effects and can induce paranoia and shaking. In terms of cannabinoids, CBD and THC are the two main ones. CBD is known for its pain relieving and anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, however CBD does absolutely nothing for my pain. Neither does THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes you goofy and hungry. Studies show that cannabis may not actually impact pain the way we think it does but rather alters the perception of pain. So it is more likely that it just makes you not care about your pain rather than reducing pain levels. Some people swear by cannabis topicals, but I don't think there is any evidence that these actually work and I suspect they are more placebo.

    Edibles. Be careful. Everyone has a bad edible story because it takes at least an hour for the effects to be noticed and so people take too much. While you can't overdose on marijuana in the traditional sense, consuming too much can be extremely uncomfortable. And there's nothing you can do but endure it. If you start with edibles, start with half a dose and work up from there. You will have to do even more experimenting because of the delayed effects.

    My preferred form of medicating is vaping. I used to have a table top vaporizer, but now I use vape pens. The pens probably have some health downsides compared to tabletop, but they are considerably less harsh on the lungs than combustion. The variety of hash oil cartridges available in California is dizzying. There's everything from 100%CBD with no THC to super concentrated THC (sometimes in the 80% range). These are called concentrates, and they are not legally available in all MMJ states. You will want to look for a concentrate with a much lower THC level (like in the 30-40% range) otherwise it will be way too strong as a new MMJ consumer. Cartridges are expensive right now, but this is probably the fastest and most comfortable way to test what works for you because the effects are nearly instantaneous. Much easier to make sure you don't overmedicate, imo.

    In terms of medical stigma, I imagine this varies geographically. Where I live in San Francisco, I have experienced far more medical stigma around alcohol and tobacco use than all types of marijuana use -- recreational or medicinal. I always make sure to inform my medical practitioners whether I've had any and they always dismiss it as no big deal. When I insisted that the mmj might be a trigger for my orthostatic hypotension, my cardiologist gave en elaborate explanation about why that wouldn't be the case and then said, "It seems like it provides you with relief and I don't want to take that away from you." Never thought I'd hear a doctor say that. Is medical marijuana as accepted in your area and at your medical facility? Best to talk to other mmj patients near you to find out. Or just ask your doctors their opinion before informing any of them of your intention.

    As for side effects, I never experienced weight gain or acne, even though I specifically use MMJ for appetite stimulation. Some strains make me nervous and shaky so I avoid those, and definitely in the early years it can impact motor function while under the psychoactive effects of THC. The one issue I would caution you about is addiction. Do not believe the myth that you cannot become addicted to MMJ or have a problematic relationship with it. It's not necessarily a gateway drug, but its extremely beneficial effects can lead to dependency. This can cause stress in other areas around finances and travel because MMJ is widely unavailable and criminalized. Practice moderation, and use rules and rituals to make sure you are mindful of your use. Take a week off every 6 months to reset the cannabinoid levels in your brain. Have alternatives ready for when you can't access MMJ. And YES you can fly domestically with medical marijuana and the TSA has zero jurisdiction to take it from you. Just be mindful of what the laws are where you are landing.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions as this is an area I feel passionately about -- both the pros and the cons. Good luck!

  • It looks like Montana is a registry-based system:

  • The stuff you get in the health food store and not at the dispensary is made from industrial hemp and is not considered to be of medicinal quality.

  • Keep in mind that pills are still basically an edible. You just don't have to eat them. My system used to tolerate ingested cannabis, but no longer. It makes me very nauseous, and nausea is one of the reasons I use cannabis so it is counterproductive for me. I get no benefits from ingested marijuana at all anymore, which is a bummer.

    Shaina, the ideal that you're talking about of dosing with CBD and then THC is totally feasible with what is available in some places these days. It just depends on whether it is geographically accessible to you. Also, it is usually recommended to use CBD and THC together and vary the ratios at which they are used for different effects. I find the information produced by the Care By Design company here in California to be super helpful on the subject of CBD and the ratios and all that. They also make great products. If you ever plan a trip out here to CA, you'll want to pick some up.

  • Is Illinois a registry state? The are voting to legalize recreational this year (and goodness they should Illinois is so broke... Tax that stuff and fix the budget deficit lol. Colorado and Washington made over the first year? Yet Illinois is considering taking physical education out of schools because the can't afford the equipment and teachers (again) I have a good feeling though as our senator has been wanting to legalize it since he's been in office. Most of us can't drink because our meds and other stuff for pain doesn't work because our meds, or we just sit there looking at a never ending rx of opioid pain killers and narcotic class muscle relaxers and we really just don't want to go there and I view it as an excellent alternative... Aren't half as addictive and not a quarter of the side effects or damage. Did you guys get accepted on the ehlers diagnoses alone? I don't think it shows up in our list but it might be because it's so rare. I have malabsorption and other GI issues, a slight personality disorder, and anxiety that are diagnosed too and I have an rx of perkiset and tizanidine in my drawer right now that I just don't really have much interest at all in... I deal with pain and etc for now because ick... I don't want to be all drool drool and uncomfortable

  • Mine was under chronic pain, plain and simple. Joint pain, migraines, gastroparesis, etc.

  • "Patients and caregivers may register with the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program." px

  • Medical mj is the only thing that's saved my life, my doctor was for it as well. Way better then shoving our face full off pills that cause way more problems( in my case anyways) I'm off of 22 meds and down to 2 now thanks to mj

  • Thank you

  • So it looks like I just need to fill out an application and have my paper diagnosis that seems easy enough.

  • Good to know-the pills could work better when I don't feel like making brownies or getting the candy form, god knows I already eat too many sweets as is. Sad that it makes you nauseous! It's hard to find a pain control system that works with this disorder. Gets frustrating after awhile. Ca isn't terribly far from montana, it's only like 2 states over I believe

  • That's how I feel-I'd like to get off of all the different medications eventually. Amitryptilline and gabapentin are the worse side effect wise:/

  • I agree. I was on both as well, I've had good success with lyrica and a sleeping pill. I use mj threw out the day and it's givin me my life back. I don't feel sick and it's the only thing I have ever been on that actually takes pain away for a period of time

  • Very helpful advice! I feel like copying and pasting this into my phone and keeping it for when I get started on the process, because it's so complete and explains everything. I love that we can learn from other peoples' experiences on this site. I feel like my biggest pet peeve is not knowing what to expect, so having a ton of information going into it feels so final. As for what you said about addiction-I totally agree that it can be addictive. I had a friend in high school who's whole personality changed as a result of it. My system for pain control is always that I try to distract myself for an hour. If I've temporarily forgotten about the pain for awhile while watching a movie or browsing pinterest, then I'm not in enough pain to take something. If I haven't forgotten, I'll take only 1/2 of the lowest dose, and never more. I'm almost out of pain pills from my ankle surgery a year ago, but they've lasted me this long for that reason. I feel like it'd be a pretty good system to use with MMJ, with a side benefit being that I won't have to worry about asking my doc for more meds, or look like a drug seeker. My mom had to pay $500 for a drug test just to get pain relief for a few weeks for a knee that is torn and needing surgery:/

  • Xxxxxxx Yzzzzzz I've heard of people having lots of relief with lyrica. It'd be so nice to get on a program without ami and gabapentin. The effects on my appetite alone are worth staying away from them someday

  • Shaina Noel right! I was so sick, couldn't eat like nothing helped. Mj relieved my pain and inflammation, relives my nausea and depending on the strain gives me my appetite back. I also better wake up happier. My emotions were dictated by pain and now this something that actually makes a dent on my pain, I'm so much happier and feel like I can enjoy my life and my family again

  • You can save this whole thread in your Facebook account. Click the little arrow like you're going to edit or delete your post and then click "save post". Super handy!

    THC is not good for adolescent brains and can cause lots of problems for young people who use it regularly. The older you are when you use it for the first time, the less likely you are to experience adverse brain effects and to become addicted.

  • I'm just relaying info that I have personal experience with *shrug*

  • I use RSO, you can eat it, turn it into a balm, whatever.

    I just put mine on whatever I'm eating and it works an hour later.

    Only thing you can't do with it is smoke it.

    That might be an option for you if you want something kinda versatile?

    It's also quite cheap. I paid $12 for a syringe full and it's lasted 10 months so far.

    If you're ever in WA, let me know. I know good places/doctors here :p

  • Good to know though

  • Yeah here's some more information about it, though several of these points of criticism are true about cannabis and cannabis-derived oils, as well. I think the risks of using hemp-derived CBD would be reduced in a topical product compared to one that is ingested. is-derived-cbd/

  • And if it works for you and doesn't seem to be creating any adverse reactions, I always say don't fix what isn't broken.

  • It probably also depends how reliable the source is. The store I shop at has never steered me wrong, but of course I can't say that for every natural store out there haha

  • Since the DEA has clarified that they consider CBD to be illegal, we may be seeing fewer of those products in non-medical states. It depends on what the DEA wants to focus on and what the current administration encourages them to take on.

  • So relieved we have it legalized in Mt, I hope to God it doesn't get voted out again bc so many people need relief!

    lol Emmett natural stores can definitely be a good or bad thing depending on who runs them. It'll be interesting to see what the one here is like, def. a new experience for me!

  • Shaina Noel

    I've been going to the one I go to since I was 2, I have so much trust in them haha

  • With the RSO used in cooking-does it ever cause anxiety if you aren't used to it yet or haven't taken it before? I have a friend who swears mmj gave him anxiety a couple hours after but I've always heard it makes you calm if anything.

  • Anything with THC in it can give you anxiety. It depends on how your body reacts to it all.

    It calms me down a lot, it even relaxes my muscles (not to a point that I dislocate though), but there are plenty of people who react VERY negatively to it. I'd say if you or your friend are not sure about it, smoke a little bit.

    It's also possible to calm you and then turn into anxiety or the other way around, but you don't hear about that as often.

  • When in doubt, use it for the first time around a trusted friend who will stay sober until you feel comfortable so they can talk you down if you get paranoid. I used to get paranoid because of mmj's nebulous legal status and about people judging me for being high or whatever. Then I realized nobody gives a fuck as long as I'm not acting absurd and I no longer got paranoid. Even if you get anxious, you'll probably still be able to respond to basic reason. And remember that sometimes people don't feel anything the first time they consume marijuana. That was certainly the case for me. Opt for indicas or high CBD to minimize risk of paranoia and anxiety.

  • Same as Shannon Bolt for me, I didn't feel it the very first time. But the first time I smoked mmj it was a sativa (kind of an upper). I respond to indica (calms).

  • You'll want to do a lot of safe experimenting to see what works for you. Whether you like edibles, smokeables, or tinctures more. Sativa, indica, or hybrid. Lower THC than CBD or higher.

    There are a lot of options but it also means there are always new things to try to fit your needs.

    And like Shannon Bolt said, make sure you have a trusted sober friend around to keep you calm if shit hits the fan.

  • Thank you guys for all the info and sharing your experiences! I feel like I'm going into this unformed now

  • Oops *informed lol

  • Hey! So I have my medical card here in Cali and I can't tell you what a world of difference it has made for me! I 100% agree with Samantha Fligiel, DO NOT start out with an edible, I did that and boy was it a big mistake! They take about an hour and a half to kick in and being new and uninformed I was impatient (and in pain) so I took more and then ended up taking too much. It's really uncomfortable to be stuck in a high for like 5 hours, especially if you're someone like me who likes to be in control of their body. I would also recommend a vape. I have a Kandypen called 'Donuts' that I love. It's good for beginners because it does not have tiny heating coils inside the heating chamber that you need to clean, worry about, maintain and eventually replace. Normally you would put the wax right on top of the heating coils, with my pen (donuts) the heating element is a round, ceramic plate...shaped like a donut! Much easier to maintain. Sorry, that was a lot of very specific info. If you want to PM me, i would be happy to answer as many questions as you have. When I first started I tried everything and ended up wasting so much money, but you live and you learn I guess!

  • I'm guessing you're using a bulb tank that you directly put wax into. This is probably not a great option for a beginner because it requires extra tools and understanding the technology. Pre-filled cartridges are much more straightforward, imo.

  • Nope, no tank. It's just a regular pen.

  • I'm a beginner for the most part myself which is why I got this pen. It's highly rated and specifically recommend for new users.

  • Don't you have to use a little tool to put the wax in the reservoir?

  • Although I do love pre-filled cartridges as well! They're a bit harder to find here in San Jose but well worth the $.

  • Oh, sorry! I thought you meant one of those giant add on tank things! Yeah, it's just a small, silver looking tool with sort of a little spoon at the end that you can use to scoop the wax and put into the chamber. It's really easy, I figured it out on my first go with no instruction what so ever.

  • Omg I can imagine that would be uncomfortable! Especially when it's your first time trying it, like it will be for me. I can't stand alcohol because of the out of control feeling, so can totally see how it could be a bad experience. And specific info is good, I love that with all you guys' shared experiences here I'm getting such a good idea of how things work and what to expect! It'll be interesting to see what all they have here in Missoula. We have one dispensary here that seems like a bigger building, so you'd think they'd have some of these options there