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5 Ways to Save Money on Medical Marijuana

  • While legal medical marijuana access is improving across the country, the lack of insurance coverage still limits some patients’ access. Luckily, there are several ways you can save money at the dispensary while still satisfying your treatment needs.
  • Hunting for deals, becoming a loyal member at your local dispensary, trying cheaper and more effective cannabis products, and taking tolerance breaks are all effective and budget-friendly solutions.

More and more people are discovering the medical value of cannabis and the power of natural, holistic healing. State governments are catching on too; 38 states now have medical marijuana programs in place.

Virtual medical card recommendation services like TeleLeaf are enabling more patients to legally obtain medical marijuana, but many still face financial barriers.

One such barrier is that, currently, medical marijuana is not covered by insurance. While this may limit some of your options, by no means does it remove all of them.

At TeleLeaf, we recognize that receiving your medical recommendation is merely the beginning of your healing journey. So, we’ve compiled practical strategies for saving money on medical marijuana without sacrificing your needs.

#1: Find Dispensary Deals and Special Offers

At first glance, marijuana costs seem steep. Louisiana pharmacy prices, for example, range anywhere from $10 to $25 per gram of marijuana. But like any business, dispensaries and pharmacies offer lots of deals and discounts to entice buyers and drive sales.

Instead of being pleasantly surprised at the checkout counter when you happen to qualify for a discount, seek those deals out and plan your purchases accordingly.

First, make a list of all the dispensaries in your area and compare what each charges for the products you usually buy. Then you can start digging into their deals to find the best offers.

Here are just a few examples of common dispensary deals:

  • Wholesale offers: Often, it’s cheaper to buy certain cannabis products in bulk. You can often find wholesale flowers, along with pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, and more.
  • Early bird specials: These typically include special discounts on certain products that are only valid during the first hour after the dispensary opens.
  • BOGO deals: Buy one, get one free! A classic.

If you can score good deals in addition to using some of the other tips below, you’ll be in the green in more ways than one.

#2: Try Less Expensive Weed Alternatives

You can also look for cheaper (but still potent) cannabis products.

Shake and popcorn are two prime examples:

  • Shake weed gets its name because of how it’s collected. It consists of small pieces of flower that “shake off” whole buds and fall to the bottom of the bag. Shake is still perfectly smokable, so instead of tossing it, dispensaries sell it at a lower price than whole buds.
  • Similarly, popcorn buds are smaller than whole buds (like little pieces of popcorn), so they’re priced lower. The only real difference is their size; popcorn still produces the same potent effects as whole-bud weed.

Popcorn is also a smart purchase if you’re new to smoking or want to try a new strain. You’ll still receive the same high quality as whole bud, but for much cheaper.

#3: Reap the Rewards of Dispensary Loyalty Programs

Medical marijuana dispensaries care about their patients, which is why they typically have loyalty programs that benefit you and your wallet. Some dispensaries offer new patient discounts that apply for your first few visits.

After that, you may qualify for any of the following:

holding credit card while typing in laptop

  • Reward points programs: Many dispensaries will award you points with each purchase you make, which you can save up and then redeem in-store for more products.
  • Cash-back offers: Similar to reward points systems, some dispensaries will give you back a certain percentage of each purchase that you can then use to pay for future purchases. While you usually have to save up points before spending them, cash-back can be redeemed at any time.
  • Special discounts: As a loyalty member, dispensaries often give you access to deals that other customers don’t have. They’ll often send you regular notifications and updates about their current deals so you’ll always be in the loop.

Building a strong relationship with your local dispensary will benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you earn more affordable access to your medication, but you’ll also find a community of like-minded people and be able to ask the on-staff marijuana experts for advice when you need it.

#4: Use Full-Spectrum Cannabis Products

Generally, if you use less marijuana, you spend less. This doesn’t always mean cutting back on your usual doses, though. You might need to simply switch the products you’re using.

Cannabis contains hundreds of different chemical compounds: cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more. Each compound produces unique effects on your body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which regulates mood, pain, and many other internal functions.

Many medical marijuana products contain a high concentration of one of two well-known cannabinoids: THC or CBD. But if you use products with a broader spectrum of cannabis compounds, you can experience what’s known as an “entourage effect.” This theory states that cannabis produces greater effects when all its compounds interact both with your ECS and with each other.

When you’re browsing your dispensary’s medical marijuana selection, look for products that contain a wide range of cannabis compounds, like:

  • Whole flower
  • Full-spectrum edibles, like cannabutter
  • Broad- or full-spectrum CBD products

While these products don’t have as much THC, they may produce an equal, if not more powerful, reaction thanks to the entourage effect. This heightened effect allows you to feel more while taking less, saving you some cash in the process.

#5: Consider Taking Tolerance Breaks

Have you found recently that you need to take higher doses of your usual marijuana products just to feel the same effects as you did when you first started using them? If the answer is yes, you should consider taking a temporary tolerance break.

Building up a marijuana tolerance is not inherently a bad thing; sometimes, you want to relieve your pain without as intense a high. But when you have a strong marijuana tolerance, you have to use more—and buy more.

young woman sitting on benchMost marijuana users are encouraged to take regular tolerance breaks, or T-breaks, to reset their tolerance and save money.

Here’s why:

  • When you overuse marijuana, your endocannabinoid system desensitizes itself to THC and other cannabinoids, reducing their potency.
  • About two days after you stop using marijuana, your endocannabinoid receptors will “reset” and resensitize themselves to the effects of cannabis.

Depending on your current tolerance, you may need to wait longer before returning to regular use. Your T-break frequency will also vary. Listen to your body: when your usual dose isn’t hitting like it used to, it might be time for a break.

If you use marijuana every day to manage a chronic condition, the idea of stopping use, even temporarily, may be the last thing you want to consider. But tolerance breaks are probably the most beneficial for daily marijuana users. Your products will work better, and you’ll save a few extra trips to the dispensary.

If a cold turkey approach isn’t possible for you, consider one of these alternatives:

  • Swap high-THC products for high-CBD products
  • Slowly wean yourself off of marijuana, then return to using a lower dose
  • Use the lowest possible effective dose until your tolerance resets

TeleLeaf Makes Pain Relief a Reality

Another potential way to save big at the dispensary is to get a medical marijuana card.

In some states, medical marijuana cardholders don’t have to pay the same sales tax that recreational users do. And in states like Vermont, Connecticut, Minnesota, and others, medical marijuana isn’t taxed at all.

You can be approved for a medical card today by scheduling a virtual appointment with one of TeleLeaf’s certified doctors. There’s no risk involved; if you don’t qualify for a card, you’re guaranteed your money back.

But wait—your relationship with TeleLeaf doesn’t end there. Our experienced and caring pharmacists are happy to help you find the most effective—and affordable—products and doses to help you on your unique healing journey.


National Conference of State Legislatures. State Medical Cannabis Laws

KSLA News 12. The cost of medical marijuana in Louisiana

Healthline. What Is the Interaction Between CBD and THC?

Weedmaps. What is a cannabis tolerance break and when is it useful?

Marijuana Policy Project. Medical Cannabis Dispensary Laws: Fees and Taxes

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