STEPS TO OBTAINING YOUR UTAH MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD
#1: Identify if you have a qualifying condition
Individuals with one or more of the conditions listed in the link below are authorized under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act to receive a medical cannabis patient card.
RESTRICTIONS- Cannabis cards may not be issued to CDL drivers. We advise you to consult a Utah attorney first.
Utah Department of Health website
#2: Make an Appointment to meet with Dr. Jensen
Note: We are currently accepting patients 21 years of age and older.
#3: Register with the Department of Health
Create a Utah ID & register for a Medical Cannabis Card through the Department of Health EVS.We will send you and email with links and steps on how to create your Utah ID.
#4: Meet with Dr. Jensen
Meet with a QMP that believes in the use of cannabis and its derivatives as a successful therapeutic option for patients suffering from chronic and debilitating illness.
The medical cannabis card entitles patients to legal protection afforded by the Medical Cannabis Decriminalization Act memorialized in Utah State Code 58-37-3.7.
#5: Visit a Dispensary / Pharmacy
Your Medical Cannabis Card will be issued electronically. Once you receive your card, you can visit a Utah Dispensary and start your treatment.
While the Federal Government has been dragging its feet over how to treat marijuana as a medicinal product, the states have not. To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of cannabis, and a number of others are considering bills or voter initiatives to do the same. The first state to legalize medical marijuana was California in 1996.
What is medical marijuana, or cannabis?
Medical marijuana simply means using the cannabis plant or chemicals obtained from the plant to treat various diseases or health conditions. Acquiring medical cannabis is different than a doctor prescribing a certain drug. For medicinal cannabis, a doctor has to “recommend” it as therapeutic treatment for a chronic or debilitating condition. Generally, these recommendations are required for a person to enter a cannabis dispensary.
As for the plant itself, cannabis contains over 80 different unique compounds called cannabinoids. Each of those compounds has a different effect on the body. Most everyone has heard of two of these compounds — cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The high that is associated with smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana comes from THC. Cannabidiol, in contrast, does not create any psychoactive effects.
In most cases, cannabis has a higher CBD content, so users don’t feel the euphoria/high associated with recreational marijuana.
History of medical marijuana, or cannabis
- The first records of marijuana being used medicinally date back to ancient China, as far back as 2737 BC. Writings show marijuana being used to treat rheumatism, gout, constipation, and absent-mindedness, among other conditions.
- Ancient Greeks used marijuana to treat the wounds of horses on the battlefield. As for humans, they used cannabis to treat inflammation, ear pain, and other ailments.
- In the second century, the Egyptians began to use marijuana to treat cancer.
- It came to the West in 1830 when an Irish doctor by the name of William Brooke O’Shaughnessy brought marijuana back from India, where it was being used medicinally. O’Shaughnessy then used marijuana to treat epilepsy, chronic pain, muscle spasms, and rheumatism.
- Marijuana was listed from 1851 to 1941 in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an annually released compendium of drug information published by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. Marijuana was an acceptable medical product during this time, but it fell out of use when synthetic medicines — pharmaceuticals — were developed.
How does a patient get cannabis?
To obtain cannabis, a person needs written recommendation from a licensed doctor in states where cannabis is legal. In some states, this recommendation then enables the person to acquire a cannabis ID card. This differs from a drug prescription for a specific brand name or generic drug. With marijuana, the doctor recommendation or ID card enables you to enter a dispensary and then decide what product or products you want to buy to treat your condition. Each state that has legalized medicinal use has its own list of qualifying conditions.
Maybe your chronic pain is just that, chronic, and it isn’t responding to the “traditional” treatments your doctor is using. Maybe you don’t want to be the next statistic of opioid addiction and seek a more natural option for relief. Or maybe you just want to know more about medical marijuana/medical cannabis.
There isn’t any shortage of information out there, and it can seem overwhelming. Just the list of strains can seem daunting, everything from Jilly Bean to Gorilla Glue #4. There are hundreds of available types.
Here’s a little education to get you started on your quest. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant genus that produces three species of flowering plants: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana really only use the sativa and indica species. When the two are crossbred, it is called a hybrid.
When in a cannabis dispensary, the jars of cannabis flower (what you may have heard called bud in the old days) explain what the strain is; its levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids; and its medicinal characteristics (i.e. pain relief versus insomnia, etc.).
Marijuana is not a different thing — it is simply the slang name for cannabis.
Different strains for different pains
As a broad general rule, indica cannabis strains provide strong “body effects,” which are good for pain relief. This also means a strong or “heavy” high. This means you won’t want to plan on a big client meeting the day you use it.
Sativa strains provide strong “mind effect,” meaning they are good for relaxation and conditions that affect the mind. Think headaches, depression, anxiety, that kind of thing.
Hybrids are bred to get the best of both worlds. Now you’re really confused.
THC versus CBD versus CBN versus THCA
The active ingredients in cannabis are called cannabinoids. Each works by binding to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. It’s as if this system was designed to respond effectively to cannabis. These are what provide the pain relief, stop the muscle spasms, calm the anxiety, etc.
- THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive compound in a cannabis plant. This is the compound that makes you high, provides euphoria, whatever you call it. THC works as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, and is used to treat cancer, chronic pain, arthritis, convulsions, glaucoma, insomnia, and lots more.
- CBD is cannabidiol. CBD is one of the many other cannabinoids found in marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. It is found to reduce nausea, suppresses seizures, is anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and has anti-cancer qualities.
- CBN is cannabinol. It is a metabolite of THC. While THC has high psychoactive effects, CBN produces less of a “high” effect and has numerous medical benefits. It is used for its sleep-inducing properties in treating insomnia. CBN also is an anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant.
- THCA is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Raw cannabis (that hasn’t been heated to, basically, activate it) is being put into smoothies and such as a superfood because of THCA. THCA is a cannabinoid that is non-intoxicating/euphoria producing because it is a larger molecule that doesn’t fit into the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. Ah, but when you heat THCA (or let cannabis age), it becomes THC.
How cannabis does its magic
Within the cannabis plant there are over 400 natural compounds, 80 of these are only found in cannabis plants. These 80 unique compounds are cannabinoids. Cannabinoids relieve symptoms of various body and mind problems by attaching to receptors in the brain. These receptors in the brain seek similar compounds that occur in the human body, things like dopamine.
There are five major cannabinoids in cannabis that are particularly effective for relieving all kinds of health problems with our bodies. Each of the five produces different physical and psychological effects.
What ailments does cannabis treat?
You can look at the corresponding page on qualifying conditions, where an overall list of the most common conditions approved for cannabis use are covered. This is a combination list of sorts, mashing all the states that allow cannabis together.
But the overall list of medical conditions where cannabis is proving to be an effective treatment is quite long — everything from Lou Gehrig’s disease to multiple sclerosis, chronic pain to anorexia. Instead of trying to list everything here, this takes the five main cannabinoids and gives an idea what they are used for medicinally.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the best known of the cannabinoids in cannabis, although CBD is making a move on it. Physically it acts as a muscle relaxant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Psychologically it acts as a stimulant. Cannabis strains high in THC are good for patients who need relief, but want to remain active and alert.
THC has these functions in cannabis:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Stimulates appetite
CBD (cannabidiol) reduces the psychological effects of the THC present. Stains high in cannabidiol are effective for illnesses with strong physical symptoms.
CBD has these functions in cannabis:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced nausea
- Pain reduction
- Slows the spread of cancer
CBN (cannabinol) is very similar to THC, with less psychological effects. CBN is produced as THC breaks down within a cannabis plant. High levels of CBN can produce strong head highs.
CBN has these functions in cannabis:
- Lowering intraocular eye pressure (glaucoma)
CBC (cannabichromene) works together with THC to enhance the effects of THC, kind of a wingman for its more well-known acronym. High levels of CBC will make a high-THC cannabis strain more potent.
CBC, working together with THC, has these functions in cannabis:
CBG (cannabigerol) is not found in high amounts in most cannabis. It has no psychological effects, but is believed to be one of the oldest forms of cannabinoids, essentially a parent to the others.
CBG has these functions in cannabis:
- Lowering pressure in the eye
- Sleep assistance
You can see that by crossbreeding strains, all of these five cannabinoids can play different roles. Growers analyze their strains and seek certain levels of the major cannabinoids, depending on what medical condition they are seeking to target.