The New Patient's Introductory Guide to Medical Cannabis

You are new to the whole Medical Cannabis thing. You have visited a Qualified Medical Provider (QMP) and obtained your Medical Cannabis Card. You are all set for your first visit to the pharmacy. But you’re nervous. You don’t know what to expect and wish there was a guide to Medical Cannabis. Well, take a step back and breathe. You are not alone.

Medical Cannabis, or Medical Marijuana if you prefer, is still fairly new in Utah. It’s pretty normal for new patients to go into it with more questions than answers. But the good news is that QMPs and Pharmacy Medical Providers (PMPs) are usually more than happy to help. Feel free to ask whatever questions you might have. In the meantime, we have put together this introductory guide to Medical Cannabis that we hope will answer at least some of those questions.

How Safe is Medical Marijuana?

The debate over marijuana safety has been raging for decades. Political ideologies aside, historical and medical evidence does not suggest that marijuana poses any significant dangers to human beings. Better yet, a scientific research report published in 2019 cites evidence suggesting that human beings have been safely using marijuana for thousands of years. It has been utilized medicinally and for religious observances for a long, long time.

You should also know that, to date, there are no reported deaths that have been directly linked to marijuana over-consumption. In other words, Medical Cannabis patients are not harming themselves or dying as a result of overdosing.

How Is Medical Cannabis Consumed?

Historically speaking, the most common way to use cannabis has been to smoke it. Utah regulations prohibit smoking it, so Medical Cannabis patients in the state have other options to choose from. Here is what we currently have to work with:

  • Dry heating and vaping
  • Ingestible capsules and tablets
  • Gummies and homemade edibles
  • Tinctures and oils
  • Topical applications.

There is no one-size-fits-all delivery method for every patient. Your best bet is to talk things over with your QMP and PMP.

Will Medical Cannabis Make Me High?

The first thing most people think of when the topic of cannabis comes up is getting high. That can be a scary proposition for new patients who have never used Medical Cannabis before. Here is what you need to know: your medicine might make you high, but it might not. It really depends on the cannabinoids you are using.

THC is the cannabinoid that causes the high effect. So if your medicine contains THC, you are likely to experience those feelings. However, some Medical Cannabis medications contain little or no THC. Instead, they offer CBD as the primary cannabinoid. CBD does not induce those high feelings.

How Do I Figure Out My Dosage?

Getting dosage right can be a tricky thing. First, accept the reality that you probably won’t get it right the first or second time. In fact, do not be surprised to find yourself adjusting delivery method and dosage throughout an entire lifetime of use. That is the nature of Medical Marijuana.

We recommend that you work with your PMP to determine how to best utilize your medicines. Also, track your usage. Write down how much medicine you use, how frequently you use it, and how it affects you. That is valuable information your PMP can look at to help you determine the best dosage.

Consult our “Find Your ‘Just Right’ Dose” guide to Medical Cannabis for more information on tailoring your cannabis dosing to your unique needs.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Medical Marijuana. You have a lot to learn, but there are plenty of people standing by ready to help. We trust you will find the Medical Marijuana community welcoming, friendly, and always willing to come alongside and assist you in your journey.

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Published May 3, 2022

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