Becoming a Legal Cannabis Patient

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It seems like nowadays commercials for pharmaceutical drugs have been dominating the air waves, promising relief from ailments with side effects that seem far worse then the illness itself. The profitability of pharmaceuticals has led to the development of drugs that breed dependence and that dependence leads to side effects that require more drugs. What can a patient do then? Well, with the help of education and the willingness of patients to think outside the box when it comes to alternative medicines, the world is slowly waking up to the wonders of medical marijuana. 

The patient base that visits has a wide experience spectrum. Some people have a long history with cannabis as a medicine. Some still refer to the plant as "pot" or "weed" or "dope". Many are still caught up in the medical/recreational debate and don't even realize that if a patient uses cannabis recreationally, it's still positively affecting the health of the body. The only difference between recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is simply intent. 

Full of healthful terpenes and flavonoids, cannabis is also packed with chemical compounds known as cannabinoids (pronounced kuh-NAB-in-oids). The two that currently get the most attention are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is responsible for the euphoric effect felt when using cannabis but its lesser know counterpart is CBD. Known for having no psychoactive effect stronger than caffeine, CBD is generally the "gateway cannabinoid" for new patients. Cannabidiol becomes a wonderful way for people to experience the amazing healing properties of cannabis without the euphoric side effects of THC. All in all, these wonderful little compounds work in best in tandem -- creating incredible symptom reducing benefits like pain relief, anti-inflammation, better sleep, decrease in anxiety, reduction in nerve spasticity and much much more. 

Many people who've never tried cannabis before base many of their phobias on stigmatic “stoner” or "pothead" stories that deal with police raids, prison sentences and drug cartels. Many fear that if they become a licensed patient, their name will get put on a list that will inevitably be in the hands of the authorities. Well, allow Hopegrown to dispel all of those unfounded rumors. The path to becoming a medical marijuana patient starts with a simple doctor's appointment. On the Hopegrown site, patients will be able to browse a network of reputable doctors that provide a Letter of Recommendation or a Doctor's Recommendation. Because medical records are protected by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act), it is illegal for any of that information to become available to employers or law enforcement. leads prospective patients to dispensaries that are patient-focused. In a nutshell, these are organizations that adhere to certain standards of being safe, clean, welcoming and knowledgable. The result is a network of collectives that focus on the medicinal aspects of cannabis, pay their taxes, educate their employees and patient base while still striving to provide the safest and most effective medicines. 

When visiting a doctor to obtain a recommendation, new patients will need to bring a driver's license or some form of picture ID. It's wrong to assume that California residency is contingent -- there is nothing in the current law that states that. To be on the safe side, many doctors only give recommendations to California residents and most collectives do not admit non-residents. However, it is possible to find individual doctors and organizations who will help out of state visitors find the medicine they so desperately seek. Hopegrown recommends that calling ahead to any doctor or collective before visiting to make sure they can assist special circumstances. 

The doctor's main concern will be: how does cannabis help the illness the patient is battling? Once the patient obtains his/her medical marijuana recommendation, it might be best to search for local dispensaries and collectives via the Hopegrown Finder. This will ensure a successful connection with a collective operating with the patient in mind -- providing simple answers and solutions to difficult health problems.  

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