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A Guide for Nervous Patients Exploring Cannabis

    • The best way to combat nervousness surrounding first-time medical cannabis use is to expand your own cannabis knowledge

 

    • Contrary to propaganda messages of the past, cannabis is safe—in particular, dispensary-grade medical cannabis is highly regulated, rarely addictive, and impossible to overdose

 

    • If you’re still on the fence, consider reading patient testimonials and speaking with an informed healthcare provider

 

    • To ensure a positive first experience with medical cannabis, begin your treatment journey in a serene, safe environment, like your home. Additionally, start with a low dose and slowly increase the dosage based on your results and desired effects.

 


If you’re considering medical marijuana for nerve pain, mental health support, or improved sleep, you might be wary of this alternative treatment method. And your skepticism makes sense—the mainstream media of the past bolstered the stigma around cannabis for generations.

But today, TeleLeaf is here to shed light on this holistic and effective healing method. As the best online medical marijuana card service on the market, we’re committed to expanding cannabis knowledge to help prospective patients find all-natural relief.

If you have burning questions about cannabis, you’ll find answers in this guide.

Easing Your Worries About Cannabis

If you’re nervous about cannabis, your worries are likely rooted in safety. But contrary to propaganda messages of the past, marijuana is extremely safe: it’s highly regulated, you’re unlikely to get addicted, and it’s nearly impossible to overdose.

Medical Marijuana Is Highly Regulated

Since neither medical nor adult use (“recreational”) marijuana is legal at the federal level, cannabis is mostly regulated at the state level. In states with cannabis legalization, marijuana is:

  • Restricted to certain users – Dispensary or pharmacy access is limited to people over the age of 21 or patients with verified recommendations from licensed healthcare professionals.
  • Lab-tested – While regulations vary by state, all jurisdictions with legal dispensaries require products to be independently lab-tested and labeled. Products purchased legally from cannabis dispensaries or pharmacies are safe. Patients always know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase a product.

While products purchased on the black market aren’t always guaranteed to be safe, dispensary- or pharmacy-grade products are carefully monitored to ensure consumer safety.

Medical Cannabis Has a Low Dependence Potential

If you use medical marijuana intentionally and follow your provider’s treatment plan to the letter, you’re very unlikely to develop a dependence on cannabis.

We know what you’re thinking: “Cannabis is a drug, and all drugs are addictive.”

In truth, the conversation about cannabis dependency isn’t black and white:

  • Cannabis Use Disorder is real – There is a medical name for marijuana addiction: Cannabis Use Disorder. Addiction is characterized by disruption to your normal life—your job, family responsibilities, or social patterns. But medical cannabis patients can avoid the risks of dependence by using only as much cannabis as they need, dosing intentionally, and talking through their treatment plan with licensed healthcare providers.
  • Tolerance is real – Over time, patients develop tolerance to marijuana: their bodies get accustomed to a certain dose, and they eventually need to increase their dose to experience the same effects. Like dependence, tolerance is also easy to manage and prevent. Taking tolerance breaks and creating an intentional dosing schedule with a healthcare provider are just two methods patients use to maintain healthy tolerance.

Overdose Is Nearly Impossible

While dependence and tolerance are both possible for cannabis patients, overdosing on marijuana is almost physically impossible. Here are two key things to know:

  • To overdose on THC (the only psychoactive compound in cannabis), you’d need to smoke or ingest about 1,500 pounds of marijuana in less than an hour. Dried cannabis flower is very lightweight; this is a volume of cannabis that’s almost impossible to visualize, let alone access.
  • There have been zero fatal overdoses from cannabis, according to the CDC. Meanwhile, about 112,000 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2023 alone.

With all of this in mind, it’s certainly possible to overconsume cannabis—a phenomenon affectionately known as “greening out.” But greening out doesn’t pose any risks to your health. Plus, eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and sleeping off your high are all it takes to recover.

Considering Medical Cannabis? Start Here

If you’re ready to apply for a medical card for depression, nerve pain, anxiety, or another condition, but you’re still hesitant to try cannabis, this is the place to start.

#1 Read About Patient Experiences

While the safety notes above may have quelled some of your worries, it’s completely normal to be nervous about starting a new medication. That’s why we recommend reading about fellow patient experiences.

While marijuana legalization is relatively new, people have been using cannabis for generations. So, there’s a wealth of anecdotal evidence available, especially online.

Plus, the community of both recreational users and medical marijuana patients is very welcoming; if you have a question or a concern, it’s easy to find answers and advice.

#2 Find a Healthcare Provider You Can Trust

After reading about how other patients use cannabis for anxiety, depression, sleep health, or nutritional support, you might decide that it’s time to try this all-natural healing route for yourself. The first step to getting a medical marijuana recommendation is finding a healthcare provider you trust.

  • In some states, only specific providers can recommend cannabis; some states also only allow marijuana recommendations for certain health conditions. In Louisiana (TeleLeaf’s home state), this isn’t the case:
  • Any licensed provider can recommend medical marijuana in Louisiana
    In Louisiana, providers can recommend medical marijuana for any condition that stands to benefit from cannabis treatment

It’s easier than ever to get a medical cannabis recommendation: start with TeleLeaf, the internet’s most efficient, affordable, and helpful cannabis care network.

#3 Visit A Cannabis Pharmacy or Dispensary

In some states, you may need to complete an application process to receive a physical or digital medical cannabis card. The healthcare provider you use for your cannabis recommendation can help you complete these additional steps.

In Louisiana, however, your provider will send your recommendation right to a pharmacy of your choice—there’s no need to apply for a card. Your recommendation is your ticket to enter a cannabis pharmacy.

Navigating a cannabis dispensary or pharmacy is simple:

  • Explore your choices – Read any posted menus to get a feel for product options and prices.
  • Talk to a budtender – Cannabis dispensary workers (known as “budtenders”) are experts on marijuana products. Chat with them about what you’re looking for, and be sure to share any reservations you may have about cannabis. They’re happy to help you start with user-friendly, low-dose products.
  • Check out – While medical marijuana isn’t covered by insurance as of 2024, check out our guide to budgeting for the dispensary.

#4 Set the Scene

After picking up your medical cannabis, it’s time to set the scene for your first dosing experience. If you’ve chosen a product with THC (a psychoactive compound that produces a high), curating your environment is particularly important. Here are some tips:

  • Start in a safe place – Administer your dose in a quiet, serene, and safe environment: ideally, your home. If you’re using cannabis for the first time, this isn’t the moment to smoke a joint on a park bench.
  • Prepare materials – During your first cannabis experience, have a few supplies ready: a glass of water or two, a nutritious snack, and a journal to record your experiences.
  • Find a buddy – If you have a trusted friend or loved one, consider asking them to supervise your first dose if you’re nervous about using alone. While cannabis is completely safe, recruiting a buddy might make you feel more at ease.

#5 Start Low and Slow

Once you’ve curated a cozy space, it’s time to take your first dose of medical cannabis. How much should you take the first time? Here are two tips for first-timers:

  • Start low – Start with a low dose: a quarter or half of an edible, just one drop of a tincture or oil, a pea-sized amount of a topical product, or just a few puffs of a joint or vape.
  • Go slow – Edibles, oils, topicals, and tinctures can take time to kick in. Wait at least two hours before taking another dose. Smoking applications take quicker effect; wait at least a half hour before smoking anymore. Increase your dose in small increments.

#6 Consult with Your Provider

After a few first experiments with medical cannabis, talk to your healthcare provider about:

  • What’s going well with your cannabis treatment
  • Any side effects or challenges you’ve encountered
  • Tweaking your treatment plan or chosen product if needed
  • Your long-term goals with medical cannabis

Your healthcare provider is an expert on all things medical cannabis—you can trust them to guide you through the treatment process, answer your questions, and calm your nerves. Keep them in the loop as you tinker with your dose, try new products, and reach new milestones.

TeleLeaf: A Resource for Cannabis Newcomers

Although the media would have you think otherwise, there’s no need to be scared of medical cannabis. Even if it’s not the right treatment for you, medical marijuana is highly regulated, safe, and easy to personalize.

If you’re ready to start your medical cannabis journey, turn to TeleLeaf: the best online medical marijuana card service on the market today. Our network of informed and compassionate healthcare providers can help you find the all-natural, plant-based treatment plan that works for your unique needs.

Reach out to us to start the medical card process now.


Sources:

PBS. Why So Many Americans Now Support Legalizing Marijuana, in 4 Charts.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/why-so-many-americans-now-support-legalizing-marijuana-in-4-charts

American Oil Chemists’ Society. The Highs and Lows of Cannabis Testing.
https://www.aocs.org/stay-informed/inform-magazine/featured-articles/the-highs-and-lows-of-cannabis-testing-october-2016?SSO=True

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Is Marijuana Addictive?.
https://archives.nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive

The Independent. Here’s How Much Marijuana It Would Take to Kill You.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/how-much-marijuana-take-to-kill-you-fatal-weed-a8043856.html

NPR. In 2023 Fentanyl Overdoses Ravaged the U.S. and Fueled a New Culture War Fight.
https://www.npr.org/2023/12/28/1220881380/overdose-fentanyl-drugs-addiction

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