A Beginners Guide to Medical Cannabis in Maryland

If you’re a first-time patient or considering medicinal cannabis as a solution to your chronic condition, Peninsula Alternative Health discusses what you need to know about medical cannabis in Maryland: 

  • Only licensed Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries supply qualified patients and caregivers with this alternative medicine.

Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland, is one of 30 state government-approved medical cannabis dispensaries. More than 170 physicians and more than 18,000 patients have registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), according to an article by The Baltimore Sun.

The state also approved 14 growers as of Dec. 2017.

  • You must have a qualifying condition. In order to receive medicinal cannabis as an alternative form of treatment in Maryland, you must have a qualifying condition that’s severe enough that other traditional forms of medication haven’t lessened the condition’s symptoms.

A registered physician supplies medicinal cannbais if you have cachexia; anorexia; wasting syndrome; severe, chronic pain and/or nausea; seizures; severe or persistent muscle spasms; glaucoma; and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is also a clause giving consideration to any chronic health condition not currently relieved by traditional therapy but believed to be improved by the use of medical cannabis.

Talk to a registered physician about your symptoms and medical history to see if medical cannabis would be an appropriate option for you.

  • Different medicinal cannabis strains exist. Thousands of medical cannabis strains exist, and each falls into three main categories: Sativa, indica, and hybrid. Each strain differentiates based on their potency of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its other cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD).
    • Sativa is known for its effect on the mind. Its psychoactive effects are often described as “euphoric”, “uplifting”, and “stimulating”.
    • Indica is known for its effect on the body, and its effects are often described as “heavier”.
    • Hybrid strains are a crossbreed of indica and sativa strains. They’re indica- or sativa-dominant and contain regulated levels of CBD and THC based on what you need.

Sativa-dominant strains offer a stimulating, uplifting feeling with a calming effect on the body. Indica-dominant strains offer physical pain relief with a less stimulating feeling. 

  • Cannabinoids are an important factor. Cannabinoids, also known as phytocannabinoids, are differentiated from endocannabinoids due to their production from enzymes in a plant as opposed to being manufactured in a human.

Cannabinoids offer different medical benefits of medical cannabis, including pain relief, anxiety and nausea prevention, inflammation and tumor reduction, antibacterial and antifungal properties, bone stimulation, and more.

For more basics, check out A List of Cannabinoids and Their Effects.

  • Traditional prescription drugs and medicinal cannabis must be closely monitored by your physician or pharmacist. If medical cannabis is co-administered with over-the-counter or prescription drugs, troublesome drug interactions may occur. It’s important to be aware of this and discuss all options with your physician as medication adjustments may be needed.
     
  • Methods of administration depend on your preference. Maryland dispensaries offer many ways for you to get the necessary relief in various consumption methods of medicinal cannabis, including vape pens, transdermal patches, tinctures, tablets, and drinks.

However, medicinal cannabis edibles in any form are illegal in the state of Maryland. For more information about available medical cannabis products in Maryland, check out our blog.

  • Not a single person has died from a cannabis overdose. You may be hesitant to try this treatment due to its lack of mainstream use. However, did you know prescription drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are all federally legalized and regulated but cause more harm than good?

About 23,000 people died from a prescription drug overdose in 2010.

“An estimated 88,000 people...die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

More than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. The most widely used drug in the US has a 30 percent addiction rate, too.

Since cannabis has been utilized in human history, not a single cannabis overdose has been recorded, according to the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, the reason why medicinal cannabis is a hot-button topic in politics and society is based in stigma and stereotype.

We know that your medicinal cannabis journey requires further education and a consistent consultation by a registered physician and other industry professionals. Peninsula Alternative Health is here to ensure a safe, educational and quality experience..

For more information about the benefits of medical cannabis and medical cannabis in Maryland, contact our team.