You may think you’re doing a favor by introducing your ailing friend or family member to medical cannabis. However, many factors are considered when prescribing a medical cannabis strain for your specific condition. The exact strain may not work the same for your friend or family member.
It’s also illegal to share medical cannabis in any form in some states. Check out Peninsula Alternative Health’s list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t share this alternative medicine:
Sharing medical cannabis is illegal.
Did you know that passing a joint or sharing a topical cream made of medical cannabis is illegal in some states?
“If this is a joint and I give it to you, I've distributed it,” marijuana attorney Warren Edson said to Westword, an independent weekly newspaper in Denver, Colorado. “How is that legal? How is that exchange legal?"
According to the 2016 article, the state of “Michigan's medical cannabis dispensary system was set up on a patient-to-patient sales model that its courts have since ruled is against the state's medical marijuana laws -- and its rules are very similar [those] in Colorado.”
Edson tells Westword that Michigan patients often cite “Amendment 20 and the double-negative section”. The Amendment permits patients to purchase and possess cannabis legally from caregivers. However, recent additional caregiver regulations have invalidated that citation.
In Denver, a city ordinance prevents redistribution. Colorado dispensaries put warnings on all packages to clarify that the purchase is for the qualifying patient only.
Each patient requires different medical cannabis strains.
Physicians must consider a variety of factors when prescribing cannabis to a patient. They begin by diagnosing the qualifying condition based on the severity of symptoms and if other traditional treatments have rendered unsuccessful.
After a full diagnosis, they consider the patient’s family medical history, current level of physical activity, and other health factors.
Once a full diagnosis of the patient’s qualifying condition and subsequent symptoms is determined and coupled with medical history, physicians finally research and recommend a variety of specific strains.
Each strain provides different levels of THC and CBD, as well as other cannabinoids to alleviate severe symptoms of qualifying conditions. Symptoms can include anxiety, decreased appetite, low bone growth, and muscle tremors. However, trial and error ensues to find the absolute best medical solution for the patient.
Because so many important factors go into finding the perfect strain, it’s recommended that patients avoid sharing medical cannabis. Each strain has a different effect on each patient, and some effects might worsen unconsidered symptoms of patients who haven’t seen a physician yet.
Sharing slows the overall necessary conversation.
It’s no secret that medical cannabis is still a taboo subject in many states. Even in legal states, the conversation redirects to more specific matters, such as workplace use, local government protections, state-regulated dispensaries and growers, and so on.
By sharing medical cannabis, the conversation diverts away from more important subjects like health and insurance. It also feeds into the stigma that hinders many states from legalizing this alternative treatment.
In conclusion, don’t share your medical cannabis with anyone. It’s illegal, can exacerbate a condition or subsequent symptoms, and refocuses the conversation on an age-old stigma. If you want to educate a friend or family member about the benefits of medical cannabis, direct them to a local dispensary or physician.
For more information about medical cannabis in Maryland, click here to talk to the team at Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury of Wicomico County.