Did you know that according to the Government of Canada, there were 10,004,714 packaged units of cannabis sold in Canada in September 2020 for both medical and non-medical purposes?
If you’re thinking of using medical cannabis in Canada like so many Canadians already are, then chances are you have any questions about the process of buying medical cannabis. You might be asking yourself questions such as:
“How does cannabis work?”
“Should I smoke cannabis, or buy cannabis oil products?”
“How much does medical cannabis cost—and is it covered by my insurance?”
Especially if you’re a first-time medical cannabis user, you might really not know where to start, which can be stressful and confusing. That’s why we’ve put together this guide.
By helping you understand what medical cannabis can do for you and how you can purchase it, you can find the best medical cannabis for you. Instead of worrying, you can get the benefits you need from medical cannabis. Read on to learn more.
The first question you might have is, “How does medical cannabis work?” If you’re a first-time user, it’s smart to understand how cannabis can have positive effects on your body and mind, whether you suffer from anxiety or arthritis.
The reason weed has been so popular for such a long time is because of how it positively interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body. This system regulates many processes in our body, like digestion, stress regulation, immunity strengthening, and others.
The endocannabinoid system spreads throughout much of our body and is present in our nervous system, digestive system, and in our skin. The reason CBD and pot work is because they also have cannabinoids—so when we introduce them to our bodies, there’s a positive result throughout.
Medical cannabis works by providing several potential benefits to your body and well being. These benefits could include chronic pain relief, help with weight loss, stronger lung capacity, the regulation and prevention of diabetes, the treatment of depression, the regulation of seizures, and lessening the symptoms of ADHD and ADD.
Medical cannabis, because it can treat so many different illnesses and conditions, is a great choice for people how can't or would prefer not to seek relief from traditional medications. If this is the case for you, you may be eligible to purchase medical cannabis.
Whether you’re planning to smoke cannabis or take canna orally, it’s important to understand what medical cannabis is. As opposed to recreational cannabis, the use of medical cannabis is first approved by an Authorised Healthcare Practitioner to specifically attempt to help you with a medical issue.
When you’re getting medical cannabis, your first step will be to meet with an Authorised Healthcare Practitioner.
After you’ve reviewed your symptoms and talked about how you plan to use medical cannabis, your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner will prescribe you a medical cannabis card. Once you have your medical document, you’ll have access to medical cannabis in Canada.
When you’re meeting with your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner, it’s smart to bring a few documents that will make it more likely for them to put through your forms for a medical cannabis card.
These documents include a hospital discharge summary, MRI or X-ray results, consultation notes, a doctor’s note, prescription bottles or lists of medications, and a referral letter.
Your family doctor may know quite a lot about your health, but if you’re meeting with a doctor who specialises in providing medical cannabis cards, providing more information will make both their job and your life easier.
Before you purchase your medical cannabis in Canada, there’s a minor wait period between when you speak to your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner and when you can buy your medical cannabis.
This is because you have to wait for your registration forms and medical marijuana prescription to be faxed to the licensed producer. After a couple of days have gone by, the licensed producer will get in touch with you once they’ve received your prescription.
If you don’t hear from them by then, get in touch with your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner to ensure that all your forms and prescription have been sent and processed correctly.
Once you’ve heard from the licensed producer, it’s easy to pay. All you have to do is pay over the phone, using your credit card or pre-paid card. Unfortunately, licensed producers cannot accept another form of payment, such as debit card, cheque, or money order.
Then, once your order has been made and paid for, the licensed producer will let you know when you can expect your package to arrive. Mark this date and time in your calendar, as you will have to be home to receive the package from the courier.
However, if you miss the courier’s arrival time, there’s no need to worry. They will leave you a note with where you can pick up your package from.
The total price of medical marijuana vary depending on what strain you buy, as well as the dose and amount you buy in total. Generally speaking, it can be quite affordable, though prices vary.
Given that there is a limit of a thirty-day supply you can buy of medical marijuana, your total cost for the month shouldn’t be too high. Your supply will depend on the amount needed that you have discussed with your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner.
When you’re first deciding which licensed producer to buy your medical cannabis from, we recommend listening to any recommendations your Authorised Healthcare Practitioner may have.
That said, however, you are free to choose any licensed producer who appeals to you. If it’s your first time buying medical cannabis, visit their website, doing your research on what their prices are and what strains they have available.
You’ll also want to look into how long it will take them to ship to you, and what their return policies are if you aren’t happy with what they send you. Keep in mind that you can split your prescription between two Licensed Practitioners maximum, so choose carefully.
Even though we’ve just covered the usual way of getting a medical cannabis card and buying medical cannabis, there is an alternative option you can use. If you have a smartphone, you can use the Medical Marijuana Services app, MMS MD, to do the entire process from home.
Because of the power of telemedicine, you can use the MMS MD to access Authorised Healthcare Practitioners on your phone, instead of having to set up an appointment with them in person. This will save you time.
Additionally, the practitioners associated with this service are cannabis compassionate, so they understand why you might want to use it for a variety of conditions. This makes them more likely to put together the paperwork needed to get your medical cannabis card.
They’ll also walk you through the process of finding the right Licensed Commercial Producer (LCP) for you. If you’re unsure about how to purchase medical cannabis as a first-time user, this might be a good choice for you, since it makes the process simple.
Even though it’s preferable to get a medical cannabis prescription with a doctor’s referral—simply because this will make things easier on your end—you can get a medical cannabis prescription without one.
Instead of having an Authorised Healthcare Practitioner send your forms to the licensed producer, you will get in touch with them, sending the correct documents that demonstrate your need for medical marijuana.
These documents should include consultation notes, MRIs, and anything else that you consider relevant to the condition you’re treating with medical cannabis. You will also want to include a list of current and past medication, an official list printed out at your pharmacy.
Another option is to get your medical cannabis online without a referral. This is an easy option that means you don't have to send all these documents. Instead, you can get your medical cannabis quickly without any hassle.
You can do this at Namaste MD. We provide a free online medical consultation that minimises wait time. After this, you can buy whatever medical cannabis product you need quickly at CannMart, a medical cannabis online store.
When buying medical cannabis, you should be aware of the different cannabis products available to you. More options for medical cannabis are now legal, including the initial dry flower form, soft gels, and prefilled vaporiser cartridges.
Additionally, now that they can be legally sold as medical products, edibles are now becoming popular because of ease of use.
There are some insurance companies that cover medical cannabis. Even though this was once not the case, it has become more common since a large health insurance company in Canada started covering Cannabis use in 2018.
The insurance companies that cover medical cannabis are:
Also, there is compassionate pricing offered by many Licensed Producers. If you have low income, they’re likely to give you a discount on the products you buy. Additionally, if you are on ODSP, you can have a vaporiser fully covered.
If you’re a military veteran, then you can be covered for up to 3 grams daily. If you aren’t sure if you’d benefit from compassionate pricing, get in touch with the Licensed Producer directly.
As a legal medical cannabis user, it’s important that you know what your rights are. The Cannabis Act, which was enacted in 2018 and has had new regulations come in since then, provides you with those rights.
The first important right you have because of The Cannabis Act is that you can buy from a federally licensed seller. Whether you’re doing your paperwork through an Authorised Healthcare Practitioner or the MMS MD, once you have your medical cannabis card, you have the right to buy from federally licensed sellers.
Do you have a bit of a green thumb? Then you should register with Health Canada so that you can legally produce your own cannabis. This is a limited amount and should be used only by you. In addition to giving you some gardening to do, you can save money this way.
You can also have someone produce cannabis for you. This will save you money, and if you’re a bit nervous about trying cannabis for the first time, it can also reassure you that you know exactly where you’re sourcing it from.
While there are many benefits that come from cannabis use, and it rarely causes health issues, there are some cases in which it’s best to not use cannabis. If you’ve ever suffered from psychosis or it runs in your family, then you’ll want to stay away from medical cannabis.
Additionally, if you’ve struggled with addiction in the past (especially to cannabis itself), then it can be too easy for your medically-accepted cannabis use to become addictive. If you suffer from respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, this isn’t a great idea.
Finally, if you’re a nursing mother or pregnant, under 25, or taking antiviral drugs or medications, medical cannabis isn’t the best choice for you.
Do you need more information on where to find the best medical cannabis in Canada, or how to take it?
We have all the answers you need, here at Namaste MD. We make it easy for you to book your medical consultation with a healthcare practitioner, who can answer any questions.
To learn more, book a free consultation with us here.