Medical Marijuana FAQ

What is cannabis?

Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, ganja, grass, pot, weed, and a number of other slang terms, refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant, which can be smoked or taken orally to produce psychoactive effects or to treat certain medical problems. The chemical THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is believed to be responsible for the “high” feeling the drug gives its users. Today, the drug is legal for medical purposes in over half of the United States, including Maryland and the District of Columbia.

What is medical marijuana?

More and more states are passing laws to allow the medical use of marijuana to treat symptoms of a wide range of health issues, including chronic pain and nausea. Patients who live in a state where medical marijuana is legal can now obtain a “medical marijuana card” after a state-licensed doctor has given a written certification. At that time, the patient is added to a list that allows you to buy medical marijuana from a state-approved seller, which is called a marijuana dispensary. To learn more about how to get a marijuana card in Maryland, visit our How to Get a Card page.

What is medical marijuana used for?

Medical marijuana can help with treating a wide range of medical conditions including:

  • Chronic or severe pain
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Anorexia
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Chronic or severe muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

To learn more about the use of medical marijuana for treating the above conditions, visit our Qualifying Conditions page.

What are the effects of using medical cannabis?

While the effects of medical cannabis will differ based on a range of factors and the individual person, the most common side effects of using medical marijuana include:

  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Sleepiness
  • Euphoria

Is medical marijuana legal in Maryland?

Yes, the use of medical marijuana is currently legal in the state of Maryland when a patient has done all of the following:

  1. Visited a Maryland-licensed physician who provided written certification for medical marijuana use.
  2. Registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC).
  3. Obtained an MMCC ID card OR used a valid government-issued ID card after being added to the MMCC Patient Registry.
  4. Purchased marijuana from a Maryland-licensed dispensary.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Maryland?

A patient can apply for a medical marijuana card after a licensed Maryland medical marijuana doctor has recommended the use of medical marijuana for a qualifying condition. At that time, a patient can apply to the MMCC to be registered and can purchase marijuana from Maryland-licensed dispensaries. Learn more about the steps for getting a marijuana card in Maryland here.

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