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How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card From A Doctor

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In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, four out of five permanently inhabited US territories, and the District of Columbia. The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is fighting to reform harmful cannabis legislation.

There is quite a bit of variation in cannabis laws from state to state, including how it can be produced, sold, and consumed. The first state to pass a medical marijuana program was California in 1996. After California started the first medical marijuana program, several other states soon followed suit.

While the United States has medical marijuana programs across the country, cannabis remains federally illegal and is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance with no medical value. To learn why cannabis is illegal in the United States, check out our article Why Is Weed Illegal?

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What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical marijuana card is a license issued by your state that indicates that you can use, buy, and grow cannabis products in that state. A medical marijuana card typically contains information like your full legal name, your date of birth, your address, your patient license number, and your photograph.

RELATED: Does Your Medical Marijuana Card Work In Other States?

In general, most states’ medical marijuana cards last for about one or two years before you need to renew the license. Some states will allow you to purchase cannabis with an out-of-state medical marijuana card, while others will not. If you are a medical cannabis patient and are planning to travel, it is a good idea to look up local regulations if you intend to use your medical marijuana card while out-of-state.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

First and foremost, you need a doctor’s recommendation to get your medical marijuana card. In some states like California, you can do a quick 5-minute consultation with a doctor over the phone and get your medical marijuana card online. In other states like Oklahoma, you need to have a face-to-face consultation with a physician.

RELATED: Can You Fly With Medical Marijuana?

Of course, you need to have a qualifying condition to get a medical marijuana card. Qualifying conditions vary from state to state. In California, doctors will often recommend cannabis for back pain, insomnia, anxiety, as well as cancer, glaucoma, Chron’s disease and a variety of other conditions. Other states like New York have a more restrictive list of qualifying conditions.

What Is a Cannabis Doctor?

Not all doctors can recommend medical cannabis. Only cannabis doctors registered in your state can recommend medical marijuana. However, some states will require medical tests from your primary care practitioner to verify that you need a medical marijuana card, so it is always a good idea to consult with your primary care practitioner first.

Before you meet with a cannabis doctor, it is worth noting that no doctor in the United States can prescribe cannabis. Prescriptions are under the FDA, and cannabis is federally illegal. Cannabis doctors work around these legal barriers by “recommending” cannabis.

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What to Expect When Getting Your Medical Marijuana Card

While your experience will differ state to state, there are some general points that the cannabis doctor should touch on during your consultation. You should expect to be asked about your health conditions, any medications you may be taking, and any questions or concerns you have about using cannabis products. The cannabis doctor may ask you about your symptoms and advise you on what times of day to ingest based on your goals.

RELATED: Do Dispensaries Share Your Information With The Government?

Additionally, your doctor should advise you on any adverse side effects that you may experience like increased heart rate, dizziness, drowsiness, and more. After you have spoken with your doctor, you may need to register with your state’s health department. You should look up your state’s regulations to make sure you take the proper steps to get your medical marijuana card.

In California, you don’t have to do anything further and they will send you an electronic copy of your medical cannabis recommendation. It may take a few weeks to get the physical copy of your medical marijuana card, but you will be able to use the digital copy right away to purchase cannabis medicine.

Now that you know how to get a medical marijuana card, you can use Jointly to find the best products and optimize how you consume cannabis so that you can enjoy your ideal experience every time. Jointly is cannabis wellness app that teaches you how to achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. Jointly allows you to track and record your CBD and cannabis consumption, including the dose, time of use, cannabinoid profile and various other factors that can influence your experience. As you track your cannabis consumption on Jointly, you will learn about the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience and how to eliminate side effects. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.



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How To Keep Your Lungs Healthy And Happy As A Marijuana Toker

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This is the second article I’m going to write where I highlight some of the more undesirable effects of smoking cannabis. Before the lynch mob comes for me, I’m writing this while smoking a joint with literal tar dripping from the edge.

Nonetheless, I believe that willful ignorance is idiotic and one must be ruthlessly honest about one’s own behavior. The fact of the matter is that smoking any substance has a negative impact on the human physiology.

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Over the past week or so, I’ve been seeing more headlines about a small study that looked at cannabis smokers, tobacco smokers, and non-smokers’ CT scans to see if they could visibly see effects their substance us one the lungs.

You can spot a smoker by merely looking at CT scans, and so the researchers wanted to see what the effects of cannabis were.

Study co-author Dr. Giselle Revah, a cardiothoracic radiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada, said it’s possible to see that someone is a heavy or longtime cigarette smoker just by looking at their CT scan. She wondered if marijuana, the second most commonly smoked substance after tobacco, would show similar results. She was surprised to find little information existed.

For this study, the researchers compared chest CT results from 56 marijuana smokers, including some who also used tobacco, with 33 who smoked only tobacco and 57 nonsmokers. Roughly 75% of the weed smokers had emphysema compared to 67% of the tobacco-only smokers and 5% of nonsmokers.

Additionally, there were some men who had enlarged breast tissue within the cannabis group. Of course we don’t know how many “some men” are within the small sample group.

While the sample size of the study was very small, I can very much imagine that chronically smoking weed will have some detrimental effect on the lungs. While lung cancer isn’t very prevalent in cannabis smokers, it makes sense that there would be damage to the air sacs in the lungs.

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The Working Theory

According to the researchers, the nature of how people smoke cannabis could play an important role in the type of damage they are seeing.

First, cannabis smokers tend to smoke without a filter. The filter serves to cool down the smoke and filter out some undesirable plant matter, etc. Most people do make “cardboard filters” by rolling a piece of cardboard and putting it in the end of the joint or blunt.

However, this doesn’t provide the same level of filtration as a tobacco filter which has cotton doused in chemicals. While the other stuff in the filter is probably murderous, the filtration of the smoke from the burning plant matter is superior to rolled up cardboard.

RELATED: Is Smoking Weed Bad For Your Lungs?

Then there’s the factor of cannabis users “holding” the smoke in their lungs. This is a cannabis myth where they want to “absorb as much THC per hit” as possible. However, the truth of the matter is that you absorb up to 97% of THC from the smoke in the first 2-3 seconds. Therefore, you just need to inhale, hold it for a second or two, and then release.

Holding the smoke will not “get you higher”. What is getting you higher is oxygen deprivation. When you enter into a hypoxic state, you can feel light headed which in combination with the THC makes you “feel way higher”.

At the end of this article I’ll provide you with some exercises to “get higher” without needing to hold any smoke.

Nonetheless, researchers believe this is why there was greater evidence of emphysema in the CT scans of cannabis smokers than tobacco smokers. They also said the golden words: more research is needed. And with good reason. The sample for this study does not indicate anything. It simply shows some correlation between CT scans and cannabis users, but with a sample size that small, you can’t definitively say that this is true across the board.

RELATED: Is Your Vaping Device Leaching Heavy Metals Into Your Lungs?

Irrespective of whether it’s true or not, the information provided by the research does give you the opportunity to mitigate the damage from cannabis smoke. An informed cannabis smoker can reduce risk armed with actionable information.

So for the rest of this article we’re going to be talking about ways that you can keep your lungs healthy as a cannabis smoker.

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Don’t Inhale So Deeply

When you’re smoking weed to get high, you don’t have to inhale a full lung of smoke. You simply need to know how to inhale diaphragmatically. However, even if you don’t know how to inhale diaphragmatically, you simply need to take a hit up till where it’s comfortable.

Trying to force as much smoke into your lungs as possible won’t “make you higher”. In fact, if you want to achieve the “highness” from oxygen overstimulation or deprivation, then stick to the end of this article. I’ll show you exactly how you can “trip balls” on O2.

Nonetheless, just take normal tokes. No need to over do it. You can always take another hit if you need more. However, trying to force an ungodly amount of smoke in your lungs could have a more detrimental effect on your overall health over time.

Don’t Hold It Like a Dumbass!

While I have spoken about this above, I think it’s important to reiterate that holding it in doesn’t necessarily make you higher. Rather, you’re playing around with the dynamics of the breath and you don’t need to hold in smoke to achieve similar results.

It’s best to smoke up, rest, and then dive into breathwork or something similar if you truly want to “trip balls”. If that’s what you’re after.

Holding it in doesn’t provide any inherent benefit, therefore, simply cutting out this practice can reduce the stress you place on the lungs.

Don’t Smoke Too Much!

If you’re smoking from the moment you open your eyes to the moment you’re closing them, you might have a dependency on cannabis. Nonetheless, even if you’re chronically impaired, then why not switch things up. You can have edibles, you can vape, you can even have tinctures.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Enjoy Weed Without Smoking It

All of these non-smoking alternatives can reduce the impact of the “smoke” on the lungs. Maybe instead of your regular wake and bake, you can take a few drops of tincture and drop it into your coffee. That way you get the morning buzz without burning any plant matter.

Smoking Marijuana
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Bongs or Bubblers

While a bong can certainly give you more volume of smoke per hit, it’s also cleaner because the smoke gets filtered through the water. Therefore, if you’re going to smoke, using a bong is actually not a bad idea. All you got to remember is to take moderate tokes.

RELATED: Secondhand Bong Smoke Way More Toxic Than Tobacco — Here’s Why

While there isn’t too much “science” on the quality of bong smoke (I wonder why), it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you add a filter to the smoke you’ll get fewer harmful particles. Does this make it safe?

Of course not! But certainly less harmful than smoking a blunt!

Vaporize

Vaping eliminates the combustion process from “smoking marijuana”. However, I would argue that vaping “dry bud” should be the gold standard of vaping. When it comes to pre-mixed cannabis, you don’t know what else they put in there. However, when we’re using straight up cannabis in a dry herb vaporizer, you’re heating up the process enough to turn the cannabinoids into vapor but not enough to start combustion thereby eliminating smoke altogether.

Whether vaporizing might have some other risks involved — only time will tell. However, when compared directly to smoking, it’s certainly a lot less riskier.

RELATED: Study: Weed Vapes Send A Toxic Gas To Lungs

An added benefit of vaporizing is that your weed lasts longer. You get more “toke per bowl” with a vaporizer than with a traditional pipe. Therefore, even though the price tag of a Pax pocket vaporizer might be hefty, after a month or two of use, you would have saved that much money in weed.

vaping
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Keep Your Lungs Active

One thing that I’m very surprised about is that there isn’t more education on breath control. The fact of the matter is that the cardiovascular system is responsible the majority of the energy you wield. Think about it.

How long can you go without food? In some cases, a human being can go months without food. How about water? Water is a more essential element for the human condition seeing that 60% of our mass is water. Therefore, you can go for roughly one week without water before you suffer organ failure. I’m sure there are some people who can go even longer, but the average Joe and Jane would only be able to do a few days at most.

RELATED: Smoking Weed Vs. Edibles: Which Is Better For Your Brain?

Now how about air? Air is so vital to your life that the vast majority of people can only go a few minutes without air before they cease to exist.

Yet, despite this being such an important function for living, we hardly have any education on how to properly breathe, how to regulate our nervous system using the breath etc.

One would think that with such a vital resource for sentient life, we would have countless studies on the subject matter. However, that isn’t really the case. Modern science is only now getting into the “science of breathing” and we have been “re-discovering” some ancient truths.

The fact of the matter is that the breath has been studied extensively by ancient cultures. The Vedic Sciences have entire volumes dedicated to “breath control” or “Pranayama”.

Pranayama, for those who don’t know, is basically yoga for the lungs.

A Few Exercises You Should Try

Deep slow breathing is definitely something that everyone should try daily. Not only is this proven to relax and calm down your nervous system, it also can help provide mental clarity and help declutter the mind, lower your blood pressure, and increase your dopamine levels.

To do this, you simply have to inhale slowly through the nose shooting the air into the diaphragm. Once you have filled the diaphragm to the brim, then open up the mid section of your lungs, and finally the top. Try to inhale in a single smooth movement.

RELATED: Should I Stop Smoking Weed?

On the exhale, with pursed lips, simply let go for about eight seconds of exhalation. This full expansion allows your lung to extend completely, and helps exercise the lung. In the book “The Yogi Science of the Breath” they call this type of inhalation the “Yogic Complete Breath”.

You can practice this a few times per day and you will notice a significant improvement in your overall vitality. It’s also a good way to take a moment to re-center yourself, if shit is going a bit haywire.

smoking marijuana
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Do Some Breathwork

While the yogic complete breath is definitely going to be something that will give you a boost in life, doing regular breathwork is probably one of your best bets to strengthening the lungs. There are plenty of styles of breathing out there, so depending on the type of person you are, you’ll find something that fits.

A good way to get your feet wet is to buy a breathwork bundle pack, which contain several different modes of breathwork. That way you can experiment with different techniques and see which ones you like.

RELATED: Why You Should Be Practicing Mindfulness When Toking

Of course, there’s also plenty of free material on Youtube where you can experiment with the breath. Not only will you see a major improvement in your breathing capacity, you’ll also feel an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility as the breath is directly tied to the autonomic nervous system.

In other words, when you realize that by changing your breathing patterns you can actually flip a switch in your nervous system — it’s a game changer!

Sticky Bottom Line

In the end, these suggestions are simply meant to make you aware of the fact that whenever you smoke anything, you’re still doing some damage to the organism. Being conscious about what it is you’re doing can go a long way in mitigating lasting damage.

At the very least I hope you realize that you don’t need to hold big monster hits to “get higher”.

In fact, if you want to get “high” on the breath, just go ahead, smoke a bowl of your favorite weed, wait like 10-15 minutes, and stretch. Then, lie down flat on the back, put on some headphones, and do this breathwork video.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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How To Buy Weed – The Fresh Toast

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The first time you enter a dispensary, it can be intimidating. With so many product types, insider jargon like dabs and sauce, and obscure cannabis measurements like quarter of weed or dub of weed or zip of weed, it is normal to feel a bit timid. But lots of people visit their first dispensary and find a welcoming, wellness-oriented community waiting with open arms.

The Jointly Magazine’s Cannabis 101 section will teach you everything you need to know from cannabis jargon, to weed measurements, to helpful how-tos. This article highlights everything you need to know about how to buy weed legally – online and from a dispensary.

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How to buy weed from a dispensary

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind if you or someone you know is planning to visit their first dispensary. If you are planning to buy weed from a dispensary, don’t forget to bring your government ID and medical marijuana card, if you have one.

Have an ID card and cash ready

You need a government-issued ID (verifying you’re over 21 years old) to get into a cannabis dispensary. While some dispensaries have ATMs, everyone uses it, so you might find it out of order. It is best to bring cash to avoid any issues. Some dispensaries accept credit or debit card payments as well.

Think about what you want

How do you want to feel? Do you want a cannabis product that makes you feel energized or relaxed? Do you want to smoke cannabis flower, or would you prefer something easy and discreet like a tincture? Different cannabis ingestion methods can have different effects.

Ask questions

Ask questions whenever you need assistance. The budtenders there to help you. You can also ask your budtender to explain how to use the products.

Buy your products

Once you have found a product, all you need to do is buy it. Just resist the desire to vape or smoke a joint near the dispensary, as it generally illegal to consume cannabis in public—although you should check your local laws and regulations. Now you know how to buy weed from a dispensary.

How to buy weed online

Buying weed online is very convenient. Of course, you can only buy cannabis online if you live in a state where you can legally purchase cannabis from a dispensary through an online point-of-sale system.

RELATED: How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card From A Doctor

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Buy legal cannabis online

To avoid purchasing through an illegal internet operation, visit your dispensary’s website and navigate to online purchases. If online purchases are not available in your area, you cannot buy cannabis online. Some dispensaries have paired with delivery services, while others require you to come in in-person to pick up your cannabis products. Watch out for websites that request cryptocurrency payments or e-transfer.

Find top-rated products for your goals 

Jointly is a cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and match with the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences of hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.

If you’re ready to discover new products and reach your goals, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or explore your matches on the Jointly website.

RELATED: Understanding THC And TAC On Cannabis Labels

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Are you curious about Jointly?

Whether you want to improve sleeprelieve daily stress, or just relax and refresh, Jointly can help you reach your goals with cannabis.

With Jointly, match with top-rated products, and build lists of your favorites to save, share, and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.

Jointly also helps you track your cannabis experiences through reflections that help you understand what’s working, and what’s not. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your experiences.

So if you’re ready to enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or explore your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.



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5 Signs That It Is Time For A Cannabis Detox

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With winter and the holidays fast approaching, elastic waisted sweat pants and mid-afternoon sunsets have also reemerged. The dawn of the holiday season not only brings cheer, but also tends to bring some lethargy and increased consumption. You may have already noticed a bit of cold weather weight gain as your activity has decreased. Maybe your weed consumption has increased as more hours are spent indoors.

Perhaps your cannabis consumption has even increased a little too much. But determining when your cannabis habit has become a bit more than a habit can be a bit tricky.

Knowing when it’s time to take a break from cannabis is an individual decision with many variables at play. Still, there are some universal red flags that you can look out for to see if it might be time for you to put down the bong and give weed a break. Here are five clear signs that it is time for you to take a cannabis detox.

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Your Cannabis Budget Keeps Expanding

One of the easiest signs to notice that maybe it’s time to cool it on cannabis is purely financial. This warning sign is relatively easy to track – just check your bank account. If you notice you are spending a lot more money on weed than normal, it usually means two things. For one, you are definitely getting high more often than you used to. It also means that your tolerance has gone up. 

As we have reported in the past, the more you use cannabis, in turn the more you need to consume to achieve the same effect. If your tolerance and weed budget has more than doubled going into the holidays, perhaps a tolerance break is in order. At the very least, it will help get your weed budget back to a manageable number.

You’re Getting High When You Shouldn’t 

Another sign that you are in need of a weed detox is if you find yourself getting high in situations where it is not socially acceptable, or downright illegal. If, for example, you are driving around aimlessly while high, this is a big red flag. If you are showing up high to work and hoping the boss doesn’t notice, then you should probably take a sober look in the mirror and see how you can change this behavior. 

RELATED: Why Your Marijuana Tolerance Break Isn’t Working

Worse, if you have lost your job, sacrificed relationships or had other negative impacts due to getting high when you shouldn’t, you should really think about taking a break. These impacts are often caused by cannabis dependance, which can happen when we rely on cannabis (or any substance) as a crutch.

You Feel Like You “Need” It For Certain Activities

There is truth to the saying “too much of a good thing.” While cannabis can be deeply therapeutic, if abused, just like pretty much any substance, it can have harmful effects. While marijuana is not very physically addictive, at least not in the way that nicotine, opioids, or alcohol are, it can lead to dependence in some. Cannabis use disorder, as defined by the CDC, is “are unable to stop using marijuana even though it’s causing health and social problems in their lives.” It mentions some symptoms to include using more marijuana than intended, and “using marijuana even though it causes problems at home, school or work.”

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You’re Cannabis Use Is Weighing on You

Another big red flag that it is time for a detox is if your cannabis use is affecting your wellbeing. If you are dwelling on how often you get high and it makes you guilty, or even depressed, then maybe it is time to regroup. Sure, as we have reported before, some studies have suggested cannabis can help with some symptoms of depression.

RELATED: Can You Really Blame Cannabis For Your Cannabis Addiction?

But other studies, like a 2017 study on this subject, found that, “cannabis reduces perceived symptoms of negative affect in the short-term, but continued use may exacerbate baseline symptoms of depression over time.” So it is too soon to tell whether weed is helping or hurting your own unique mental state.

Taking a break, and accompanying that break with productive and healthy activities is a great way to get your mind right. You can always get high again down the road, but your happiness and mental health is paramount, and if you think cannabis is getting in its way, give it a rest.

Your Routine Has Become Lethargic (And Is Mostly Indoors)

It can happen to the best of us, but sometimes we hibernate more than any human being is meant to. This lethargy can be heightened by cannabis use, as it can be incredibly easy to get high and do nothing but snack all day when it’s below freezing outside. Sure, lazy days are part of winter, but every day? That might be pushing it. 

Consider your health. If, for example, you find that your clothes don’t fit, or if you are winded walking up a flight of stairs that normally causes you no issue, then maybe consider a pivot in your lifestyle. A cannabis detox is often a great place to start.



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