Marijuana 101: The Top Tips for First-Time Medical Marijuana Patients
Nearly 55 million Americans use marijuana every year. Wanna find out what all the buzz is about?
We’re here to help! Follow along with this handy little guide for first-time medical marijuana patients. We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know to get started.
Let’s take a look!
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Recommendation
Medical marijuana is recommended to patients by their doctors. These recommendations allow patients access to medical marijuana dispensaries and services.
To obtain a medical marijuana recommendation, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.
At your appointment, your doctor will have you fill out a form. This form asks your prior medical history and the reason(s) you wish to seek medical marijuana treatment.
Your doctor will call you in when ready for a brief physical exam: this mainly entails a blood pressure check. Your doctor will then ask you a few more questions to give the most accurate assessment for your treatment plan. Once finished, your doctor will give you a medical marijuana recommendation that will last for one year.
Congratulations! You’re nearly there, just a couple more steps.
To apply for your medical marijuana recommendation card, head over to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to complete the process. Your doctor will have already input some of the details from the form you filled out, now you just need to plug in the rest.
You’ll need to upload a picture of your Florida driver’s license or state identification card, as well as proof of residency. Once done, and payment is made with a credit or debit card, you’re all set!
Once your card arrives in the mail, you’re free to visit your first dispensary!
Visiting a Marijuana Dispensary
If you’re worried about visiting your first dispensary—don’t be! The people working there are very friendly, very chill.
There’s no rhyme or reason for selecting a dispensary, just ask around and choose one that’s close by. You’re welcome to try a different dispensary at any time.
Once there, you may have to be buzzed into the main door. Inside, you’ll be in the front lobby of the dispensary. Here, you’ll greet the security staff and tell them you’re a first-time patient. Most dispensaries offer some freebies to first-time patients, so be sure to let them know.
They’ll take a record of your identification and recommendation card and have you sign a few forms. Once that’s completed, they’ll send you on into the fun part of the dispensary!
Take a moment to soak it all in. Dispensaries can be quite overwhelming for first-time patients, but also so exciting.
Questions to Ask the Budtender
No need to be shy, the budtenders behind the counter are here to help you!
They’re very knowledgeable on all the strains of marijuana, all the different forms of marijuana you can take, and everything else you might be curious about in the store.
If you seem a strain of weed you’d like to check out, ask! Budtenders are happy to let you take a whiff of the flowering buds to get a sense for their aroma and flavor. And they’re happy to give any recommendations based on what you’re looking to purchase.
Still, it’s nice to go in beforehand with a little bit of information, so we’ll break down the basics for you.
Indica vs Sativa
Most medical marijuana patients will tell you there are two forms of “high” you can get from marijuana.
The first is the relaxed, zen high that many patients seek for physical injuries or illness. This falls under the indica category.
The other type, sativa, gives most patients a heady, artsy high. Some prefer sativa strands because they find it opens their creative channels for inspiration.
Also, there are hybrid strains that blend a little bit of both.
CBD vs THC
THC and CBD are the active compounds found in flowering cannabis buds. They are extracted from the marijuana plant and then sold as potent concentrates.
CBD (cannabidiol) is the active compound that most attribute to general, physical relief. It eases stress and anxiety, reduces pain, and increases appetite. Doctors will often recommend CBD extracts to patients seeking the medicinal benefits of marijuana without the “high” feeling.
In contrast, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active compound in marijuana that gets you high. The greater the potency, the better your high and the longer it will last.
Most people are familiar with smoking marijuana or ingesting in the form of baked goods infused with marijuana. But there are a lot more ways to take marijuana nowadays!
Let’s take a look:
- Flowering buds
- Marijuana-infused edibles
- Cannabis-infused beverages
- Cartridges for vapor devices
- Marijuana oil concentrates
- Cannabis tincture concentrates
- Marijuana-infused creams and topicals
- Cannabis wax concentrates
- And more!
For your first time, it’s best to stick to something simple like a joint to smoke. The effects are immediate, and you have much more control over your high.
If you’d like to eventually try out edibles, be sure to check out our proper dosage guide!
Other Tips for Medical Marijuana Patients
Start slow and enjoy the experience.
You’ll only ever get so high, so don’t feel the need to ingest as much as possible. It’s not like alcohol. There’s a limit, and once you reach the threshold there’s no going beyond.
That said, be careful around edibles! It’s much more difficult for first-time patients to gauge how an edible will affect them. They can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to activate, and once your trip begins there’s no turning back.
That said, most of the time using marijuana is a very fun, very chill experience. Just be sure to have some food around, the munchies are no joke! Or have your favorite restaurant on speed dial for delivery.
Speaking of, once you get the hang of the different strains and marijuana products, look into medical marijuana delivery! Most dispensaries offer this option, saving you the hassle of making a trip into the store.
More and more medical marijuana patients across the United States are enjoying the benefits that this miracle plant has to offer.
All it takes is a phone call to your doctor, so book an appointment now!
Let us know how it goes!