Medical marijuana is legally available to all qualifying patients in Louisiana. However, even if you have access to medical marijuana, it can be overwhelming to see many different forms while trying to find the one that is best for you.
Some deliver relief quickly, some not so quickly, and others release a consistent dose of medicine for an extended period of time, while others are shorter.
All medical marijuana patients in Louisiana have access to speak with licensed pharmacists, but it is still important to learn more about your options. This will allow you to have more informed and productive conversations with pharmacy staff when you call and interact with them.
In this guide, we’ll go over the different medical marijuana products and options available.
Flower is the most popular form of medical marijuana and usually the “default” form when anyone discusses marijuana. The flower form or medical marijuana became available to patients in Louisiana as of January 1, 2022.
Flower is sometimes referred to as “bud” or “cannabis,” but all of these terms are referring to the trichome-covered part of the cannabis plant. It is mostly consumed via inhalation through smoking and/or vaporization.
Medical marijuana in its raw form of flower is the best medicinal and most affordable product to the patient community.
Flower can also be used to make your own edibles while providing cost-effective options for those who depend on its regular use.
Metered-dose Inhalers are rising in popularity and are great for those who want fast-acting results or require higher doses for their conditions. They are small, discreet, and easy to use.
They can also have more cannabinoids per dose. Inhalers allow patients to use a concentrated dose of medication quickly and discreetly. These forms are great for convenience and discretion for those who seek it.
Tinctures are a very old form of cannabis consumption that are experiencing a renaissance. They are easy to store, portable, and can be taken in many different ways (e.g. drops under the tongue, in food/drink, etc.).
They’re measurable and long-lasting because they are absorbed by the liver. For those who desire longer-lasting effects, medical cannabis tinctures would be a great option.
Tinctures continue to provide the quality and consistency in improved health outcomes and performance.
The effects of tinctures can be felt in as fast as 15-30 minutes. They offer a controlled and predictable dose, which is why some people find tinctures more comfortable and economical to consume.
Topical creams are great. For those who prefer not to inhale or consume orally, this is a great alternative.
As the name implies, typically they are cannabis-infused balms, oils, or lotions that are rubbed onto the skin. In some states, patients can even purchase transdermal patches.
Topical creams deliver localized pain relief by quickly absorbing into the applied area. When patients use lotions, balms and oils, they generally do not experience cerebral effects. It is a very body-focused medicine.
Topical creams are a great option for topical ailments, new patients, and patients with low tolerances. Topicals have a delayed effect as they are absorbed through the skin.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and Distillate
RSO and distillate oil come in plastic oral syringes, and both deliver potent, concentrated cannabis medicine. RSO is named for a medical marijuana advocate, Rick Simpson, who famously treated his basal cell carcinoma with his homemade oil.
RSO is a full-plant medicine; all of the cannabinoids and phytochemicals from the plant are present in it, which makes it one of the most effective products to use as a medicine. It can be used for symptom management as well as disease modification.
A distillate, on the other hand, is a similar looking concentration of certain isolated cannabinoids and terpenes. Both come packaged in plastic syringes. Distillates are not full-plant products but can be useful for periodic use.
The RSO syringes are a great way to get very precise dosing, and they are also very easy to use. Patients can put the RSO directly on food and consume it. They can also consume it on its own by placing the syringe underneath the tongue or inside of the cheek.
Administer the desired dose and hold for a moment before swallowing. The taste can be a bit strong sometimes, but the effects are well worth it. A little juice will wash it away.
RSO is becoming increasingly popular as a way to consume medical marijuana because of its potency, ease of use, and discretion.
Edibles (Gel-based Chewables)
Edibles typically deliver longer lasting effects than other forms of medical marijuana due to the way that it is metabolized.
They come in various flavors and doses making it great for patients seeking longer effects. Edibles are great options for chronic pain, muscle spasticity, anxiety, insomnia, and many other debilitating conditions.
They are a form of edibles that are easy to store and easy to take. Edibles can take anywhere from 45 minutes up to two hours to feel the full effects, for those who need an immediate effect but seek longer lasting effects can integrate both the inhalation and edible forms of cannabis. This will allow the patient to achieve relief through quicker onset and longer lasting effects.
Medical marijuana consumed through the edible form will vary in its effects depending on your metabolism, daily activity, diet, and other factors. It is a good idea to keep a log of desired and undesired effects for new patients starting their medical cannabis journey.
For new patients, we recommend a simple strategy of starting low and going slow. Because of the delayed effects of edibles compared to inhalation, new patients must be careful to give the appropriate amount of time to measure the full effects of the dose. It is recommended to be mindful of the effects for 2 full hours before consuming more edibles.
The best part, unlike pharmaceuticals, is that it is absolutely impossible to overdose. For new patients and/or new products, it is always best practice to try the products for the first time a few hours before bedtime to become accustomed to the effects before daily integration.
Edibles are an extremely popular form of medical marijuana, becoming the preferred choice of some of the fastest growing patient communities within Louisiana, specifically the Baby Boomers in 2020 and 2021. They carry no odor and deliver lasting medicine to medical marijuana patients.
Where to Get Medical Marijuana
There are currently nine dispensaries available in Louisiana.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
In order to qualify for a Louisiana medical marijuana card, patients must have a chronic or debilitating condition.
The qualifying conditions have continually expanded since legalization, but here are some of the more common qualifying conditions:
(You can find all of them here: https://www.teleleaf.com/louisiana/)
Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation First to Get Any Form of Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?
Getting a doctor’s recommendation is quick and easy. In fact, you can even get your Louisiana medical marijuana card from the comfort of your home!
Our platform at TeleLeaf makes it easier for patients to apply for a medical marijuana card.
Step 1: Fill out an intake form online. When finished, you’ll be put into a virtual waiting room.
Step 2: Get on a call. After waiting, you will receive either a phone or video call from the doctor. A physician will provide the recommendation after they review your medical records to ensure you qualify.
Step 3: Get approved. After you have been approved, your recommendation will be sent to pharmacies/dispensaries in the state.
Step 4: Access to marijuana. Once the doctor sends the recommendation, you will be able to access your products through a licensed dispensary.
Step 5: Initial consultation with pharmacist. The initial consultation is important to help assess the proper dosage, assist with product selection, as well as give you any other advice that may be needed while using medical marijuana. For those with previous medical marijuana experience, the consultation is essentially a guide to assist you in discovering the new products Louisiana has to offer for its patients.
Delivery is available: And did you know that most medical marijuana pharmacies in Louisiana deliver? They do! That means after you have met with your doctor and received access, you can call and talk with a pharmacist and have your medicine delivered to you that day!
TeleLeaf is here to help you. We were created for the patient, by the patient. We are HIPAA-compliant, which means that our platform meets the stringent standards set by the Department of Health and Human Services for protecting private health information.
Visit us at TeleLeaf.com today to start your journey to holistic wellness!
For any questions, please call us at (504) 500-4842 .