Patients using medical marijuana have had a loud voice in advocating for cannabis legalization. Sincere and earnest, they have spoken from their experience of pain and suffering from scores of brain and body afflictions.
Access to medical marijuana opened doors and minds for millions of medical cannabis users and recreational users throughout the world. The legitimate success of medical marijuana dispensaries created business models for recreational dispensaries.
Still, dispensaries have rules, policies, and procedures. And, first-time customers should know how to navigate the system to avoid making common mistakes.
10 Rookie Medical Marijuana Patient Mistakes Should Avoid
1. Don’t forget your medical card. Once you’ve gone through the process of applying for the state-required medical marijuana card, you don’t want to forget it. You must present it at the front door and will not be admitted without it.
There is no way a medical marijuana dispensary in a registry-based state will allow you to purchase marijuana whether you forgot your card at home or you haven’t yet registered or received your card or renewal in the mail. There’s every reason to carry your card with you at all time, but don’t try to shop a medical cannabis dispensary without your card.
2. Do your shopping before you shop. You should know what you’re smoking. Budtenders are prepared to help you find what you need. But, you can shop the inventory for that medical dispensary online.
With a little research, you can arrive at the dispensary with a shortlist of items that will treat your symptoms, syndromes, or conditions. You must associate the strain, or at least the variety, with its effectiveness in relieving your specific symptoms. You should find out if it’s an Indica, Sativa, or hybrid, as well as what it relieves and what side-effects it produces.
3. Don’t get product overwhelmed. Some customers become paralyzed by the variety of products when they shop at Lowe’s or Bed, Bath and Beyond. They go to the store with a definite plan, but the sheer number of choices confuses them.
You may, for example, find your dispensary specializes in CBD strains and CBD-derived products for patients who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC. That’s fine, but some THC content may be what you need. THC offers immediate and potent help to patients with depression and PTSD, for instance. And, strains combining THC with CBD are sometimes the best application for other conditions.
4. Don’t forget to grind your weed. Marijuana does not come ground for smoking or vaping. Cannabis sold in buds requiring grinding. Grinding avoids wastage and creates a texture that rolls easily into a joint, pats neatly into a pipe, or inserts effectively into a vaper.
It also means you need a good grinder which you can buy at a reasonable cost online or at most dispensaries.
5. Do pace your edible intake. Edible producers have created a problem. Their products are tasty and aromatic. They are offered in inviting packaging, and you can be tempted to pop them into your mouth like other cookies or candies.
But, your systems metabolize edible cannabis differently than smoked marijuana. The cannabis hit comes much more slowly with edibles because they metabolize through the digestive system. And, because the hit comes later, you are tempted to eat some more, thinking that there has been no effect. If you don’t know the dosage of each piece, you risk increasing your intake without intent.
6. Don’t forget a torchlight. Rookies to medical marijuana are not usually into dabbing at their first stages of using. But, if you dab, you must know how. Dabbing produces a fast and potent hit, and it’s becoming increasingly popular.
In any case, dabbing requires heating a nail. And, rookies may risk burnt fingers if they use matches or standard lighters. You must use a torchlight to improve the effect and protect yourself.
7. Don’t use the wrong devices. Cannabis dispensaries carry hundreds of bongs, bowls, and rigs. There are wax pens, oil pens, e-cigs, and vaporizers. And, true rookies don’t know how to use them all.
Throwing the wrong material into the wrong device is an easy way to ruin that device and experience. Most wax pens are only meant for wax, shatter, and crumble, so putting oil in there could ruin it. Putting wax in an oil pen could destroy that, too. Rookies risk losing money and experience without knowing how to use different devices.
8. Don’t put an alcohol tincture directly under the tongue. Alcohol tinctures promise an immediate effect. But, they must be heated to activate the THC.
Slipping the alcohol tincture under your tongue can really burn. Experienced users solve the problem by mixing the tincture in a heated beverage like tea or coffee.
9. Don’t smoke in public or in a car. It varies from state-to-state, but most prohibit smoking cannabis in public. States specifically prohibit smoking weed in or near a dispensary. And, driving while smoking weed means driving under the influence punishable by law.
Having a medical marijuana card is a great privilege, but that privilege does not give patients the right to smoke or use marijuana in public. Most state programs specifically limit usage to personal homes, so don’t think your card will get you out of trouble if you choose to smoke in public.
10. Don’t delay renewing your medical card. Most states require you to get re-registered by your doctor. Securing that appointment and completing your renewal processing will take time.
If you wait until the last minute to renew your card, you may have a lapse in coverage and be unable to purchase from the dispensaries. Most recommend renewing about 30 days before the expiration process.
When rookies make medical marijuana patient mistakes
Making rookie mistakes costs money. For medical patients, making mistakes may mean failing to treat your systems effectively and/or complicating your current health problems.
All in all, the best thing a new patient can do when they are not sure about something is to ask. Remember, every cannabis user was a rookie at one time, so veteran cannabis users are usually happy to help a beginner.