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Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that’s made of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the cannabis plant. Medical marijuana can help treat symptoms like pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who have health problems like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis. Is medical marijuana helpful and… Medicinal Cannabis Find a Doctor If you are looking for a cannabis clinic or a doctor with a medical marijuana practice, MarijuanaDoctors.com is your one-stop resource. The doctors who appear in our listings have

Medical Marijuana

Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that’s made of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the cannabis plant. Medical marijuana can help treat symptoms like pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who have health problems like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis.

Is medical marijuana helpful and safe?

Medical use of marijuana has been studied for decades. But experts still don’t agree on how safe it is or how well it works.

Some experts don’t recommend marijuana because:

  • It’s not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • It may impair your memory, judgment, and coordination. It can increase your risk of being in a car crash.
  • Marijuana smoke may harm your lungs.
  • There are legal drugs for pain and nausea that may work just as well.

Other experts recommend marijuana because:

  • It can be a substitute for pain medicines (opioids) that have serious health risks such as overdose and death.
  • It can improve appetite and relieve nausea in people who have cancer or AIDS.
  • It may help relieve symptoms such as pain and muscle stiffness from multiple sclerosis.

Be sure to let your doctor know if you’re using medical marijuana. If you’re pregnant, it’s not safe to use marijuana.

What are the risks?

Marijuana can interact with other medicines. It can be dangerous if you use it with medicines that make you sleepy or control your mood. These include sedatives, anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and opioids. And it can be dangerous to use marijuana with alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

Marijuana raises your chance of bleeding if you’re on blood thinners. And it can affect your blood pressure. So use caution if you take blood pressure medicine.

Talk to your doctor about other medicines you use before you try marijuana. And talk to your doctor about any personal or family history of substance use disorders or mental health problems. Using marijuana may make these problems worse.

Marijuana may affect your judgment, memory, and concentration. And it may affect your coordination and decision-making. Do not drive or operate machinery after you use marijuana. Talk with your doctor about when it’s safe to drive.

Long-term use of marijuana may increase your risk for severe nausea and vomiting. This is called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. People who have CHS may feel very thirsty. They may have belly pain and diarrhea. They may vomit more than 20 times a day. Bouts of vomiting may last more than 24 hours.

Some people who use marijuana may develop cannabis use disorder. This can range from mild to severe. People who have it may find it hard to control their use. And they may keep using marijuana even though it’s having harmful effects on their life.

The risk of this disorder is higher in people who:

  • Start using marijuana when they’re young.
  • Use it every day.
  • Have other substance use disorders and mental health problems.

People who use marijuana often and then quit may have withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include anxiety, trouble sleeping, and intense cravings for the drug.

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If you smoke marijuana, the smoke could damage your lungs. It may make you cough or wheeze. And it may cause lung infections like bronchitis.

If you use medical marijuana and are pregnant (or think you might be) or you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor. It can affect your baby’s development.

How do you use medical marijuana?

People can smoke medical marijuana. They can also:

  • Brew it into tea.
  • Inhale it as a vapor.
  • Spray it under the tongue.
  • Apply it to the skin.
  • Eat it in prepared or homemade foods.

There are many types, or strains, of marijuana. Some strains are much stronger or have different kinds of effects than others. Talk to your health care provider or to the staff at the dispensary (sometimes called a budtender). They can tell you about the different strains you can try for your condition.

You may feel the effects for hours after you use the drug. How soon you feel them and how long they last can depend on many things. These include:

  • How much of the drug you used.
  • How you took it.
  • How long you’ve been taking it.
  • How your body responds to it.

Some people use medical marijuana after trying other common medicines.

Are there alternatives to medical marijuana?

Doctors can prescribe two legal alternatives to medical marijuana. They are dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Both of these drugs contain a man-made form of THC, the main chemical in marijuana.

Nabilone is used to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol also can relieve this kind of nausea and vomiting. It may also improve the appetite of people who have AIDS. Both of these drugs can be used to relieve pain and spasticity from multiple sclerosis. Both drugs come in pill form.

Talk to your doctor if you think these medicines might help relieve your symptoms.

What is synthetic marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana is made of dried plant material that is treated with chemicals that produce effects like marijuana’s effects. It is sold in the form of incense under many names, such as K2 or Spice. The labels often claim that these products are “safe” or “natural.” But in fact, the active chemicals are created in a lab. And they have not been tested for safety.

But young people often try these products because they are easy to buy and they may not be detected by drug tests.

People think that using these drugs will make them feel the same as when they use marijuana. But these drugs can be stronger than marijuana. And the effects are hard to predict. That’s because the type and strength of the chemicals used are often unknown. Some people have reported severe symptoms, such as:

  • Fast heart rate and high blood pressure.
  • Vomiting.
  • Feeling agitated or confused.
  • Feeling like others want to harm them (paranoia), or seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations).

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: November 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine

Official Site of The State of New Jersey

The State of NJ site may contain optional links, information, services and/or content from other websites operated by third parties that are provided as a convenience, such as Google™ Translate. Google™ Translate is an online service for which the user pays nothing to obtain a purported language translation. The user is on notice that neither the State of NJ site nor its operators review any of the services, information and/or content from anything that may be linked to the State of NJ site for any reason. –Read Full Disclaimer

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Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Medicinal Cannabis Program

New Jersey’s Medicinal Cannabis Program (previously the Medicinal Marijuana Program) helps registered patients under the care of licensed medicinal practitioners safely access cannabis-based medicine from regulated and monitored facilities.

As part of medicinal treatment, patients receive cannabis orders from their doctor or other health care practitioner of up to 3 oz for every 30-day period. Cannabis orders are filled at one of the state-licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) or dispensaries across New Jersey. Patients unable to travel to a dispensary may designate and register caregivers to make purchases on their behalf.

Do I Qualify?

To become a registered patient with the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program (NJMCP), you must:

Maintain a bona fide relationship with a health care provider who is registered with the program.

A bona fide relationship is defined as a relationship in which the health care practitioner has ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a patient’s qualifying medical condition, where:

  • The practitioner-patient relationship has existed for at least one year; or
  • The health care provider has seen and/or assessed the patient for the debilitating medical condition on at least four visits; or
  • The health care provider assumes responsibility for providing management and care of the patient’s qualifying medical condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, including a personal review of the patient’s medical record maintained by other treating physicians reflecting the patient’s reaction and response to conventional medical therapies.

Be a New Jersey resident.

Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a New Jersey health care practitioner registered with the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program.

Approved qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months to live
  • Tourette Syndrome

Becoming a Medicinal Cannabis Patient

  • Determine if your current healthcare provider is a participant in the program or find a participating healthcare practitioner.
  • With an Authorizing Provider Statement from your healthcare provider you will have a reference ID number and a registry ID number to set up an account to complete your application.
  • Identify an Alternative Treatment Center where you will be able to purchase your medicinal cannabis doses.
  • To set you your account you will also need:
    • A recent full-face, front facing photograph
      • taken within the last 60 days
      • taken against a plain, white background
      • taken without a hat, or glasses
      • taken with eyes open and facial expression neutral
      • taken without filters
      • A current New Jersey government-issued ID or two proofs of residency
        • If you do not have a current New Jersey state issued ID reflecting your physical address you made provide two other proofs of residency from the list below:
          • a utility or cell phone bill from the last 90 days
          • a W-2, 1099 Statement, Form 1098, or other correspondence from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the New Jersey Division of Taxation from the last year that shows patient’s name and address (We do not accept a Form 1040 or Form 1095)
          • Property tax bill, jury summons, Social Security Administration documents, or other federal, state, or local government correspondence issued in the last 90 days that shows patient’s name and address
          • last three monthly bank statements showing the patient’s name and address
          • last three consecutive pay stubs
          • an official deed

          Stay Safe. Stay Legal.

          Being a registered Medicinal Cannabis Program (MCP) patient comes with a responsibility to be compliant with New Jersey cannabis-related laws and regulations. Adherence to the law will minimize health risks, and prevent legal infractions.

          Find a Doctor

          If you are looking for a cannabis clinic or a doctor with a medical marijuana practice, MarijuanaDoctors.com is your one-stop resource. The doctors who appear in our listings have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they are in strict compliance with state laws. As a result, you can choose from a list of trustworthy medical professionals. Search our marijuana doctor directory above for reviews, hours, locations information and much more.

          Finding a Medical Marijuana Clinic

          MarijuanaDoctors.com has a comprehensive list of marijuana clinics located in states where medicinal weed is legal. Make sure your condition qualifies you to take medical cannabis legally. Different states have different qualifying conditions, and some are stricter than others. For example, some states allow patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to obtain medical marijuana, while others do not. You should carefully read the laws in your state to make sure you can legally obtain medical pot.

          Once you find a clinic, see a doctor who is qualified to recommend medical marijuana to treat your symptoms. We make the process easy at MarijuanaDoctors.com. We help you find doctors and conveniently schedule appointments online. Once you choose a physician, you should call your primary care doctor’s office to obtain any medical records that pertain to your qualifying condition.

          We can also help connect you with medical marijuana dispensaries in your area. Remember that the dispensary you choose will be required to contact your doctor to verify your marijuana recommendation. As a result, there may be a delay before you are approved to pick up your medical cannabis.

          Considerations When Choosing a Medical Marijuana Practice

          There is only one way for you to obtain medical cannabis legally, no matter what state you live in. You must have a recommendation from a qualified physician. The doctor you see is not required by law to provide you with a recommendation for medical weed. There is a chance he or she may refuse to write a recommendation, believing you would benefit more from other treatments.

          MarijuanaDoctors.com is filled with listings of physicians who believe in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and will very likely recommend it over other potentially dangerous types of treatment such as opioids. The doctor will need to perform a thorough examination in order to recommend weed for your condition. You and your doctor will also have a discussion regarding any traditional treatments you have received to determine why they may not have worked for you in the past.

          Contacting a doctor who is willing to recommend medicinal marijuana is a great first step, but you may find yourself going through a long process before you can enter a medical cannabis clinic and get your pot. Doctors are under extremely strict guidelines when it comes to medical weed, and they will not automatically provide you the recommendation you need.

          If you have any questions regarding the medical marijuana laws in your state, or you need help finding a medical marijuana clinic or doctor, MarijuanaDoctors.com can help. Contact us online and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have in a timely manner.

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