- Jennifer Betz
What’s the Difference Between a Medical Marijuana Prescription and a Recommendation in Louisiana?
"The Devil is in the details” could not ring truer when it comes to medical marijuana legalization in Louisiana.
Hang-ups about whether or not doctors could write a “prescription” for medical marijuana was a roadblock to the state moving forward with access for people suffering from conditions like chronic pain, anxiety and cancer for years. Then, lawmakers came up with a solution that changed everything:
Can I Get a Prescription for Medical Marijuana in Louisiana?
You cannot get a prescription for medical marijuana in Louisiana, but you can see a Louisiana marijuana doctor for a recommendation. The reason for the specification is that doctors in the United States can only write prescriptions for substances that are approved for medical use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Marijuana can’t be approved for medical use by the FDA until the US Drug Enforcement Agency declassifies it. As of right now, marijuana and its derivatives are considered Schedule I controlled substances.
This means that the US Drug Enforcement Agency has deemed marijuana to have high potential for abuse, no medicinal value, and to be in the same category of drugs as heroin.
The MORE Act, passed in the US House of Representatives at the end of 2020, would declassify marijuana. If that happens, states will be able to establish and regulate their own medical marijuana programs in a more straightforward, accessible manner.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Louisiana?
If you are a resident of Louisiana suffering from one of the many qualifying conditions, you can find the natural relief you deserve by getting yourself a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor. Many lawmakers and citizens of Louisiana have long understood the therapeutic value of cannabis and its derivatives, and now you can get completely legal access with a Louisiana marijuana card.
If you have not yet gotten a recommendation from a doctor, now is a great time to get one! Spring is here, and using medical marijuana may help you get over the 2020 COVID winter blahs and get moving again.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our doctors and staff are the most knowledgeable and understanding around. We are here to help you find the best path forward into more natural treatment for your symptoms. Give us a call at (833) 253-2943 or schedule an online medical marijuana evaluation appointment with a Louisiana doctor today!
How Does a Medical Marijuana Recommendation Work?
If you have been diagnosed with a condition that qualifies for treatment with medical marijuana, you can simply talk to a doctor about recommending it. Many people are uncomfortable communicating to their general practitioners about using medical marijuana. That’s why Louisiana Marijuana Card doctors are available to answer all your questions through a confidential and secure telehealth appointment.
Once you have your Louisiana marijuana recommendation, you can visit any dispensary in the state. At your local medical marijuana dispensary, a pharmacist will help you understand the best products to meet your treatment goals. You’ll be able to find THC-infused edibles, tinctures, lotions and creams, as well as concentrates and metered-dose inhalers (MDIs).
What’s the Difference Between A Medical Marijuana Dispensary and a Pharmacy?
The differences between your local pharmacy and a medical marijuana dispensary are a bit confusing in Louisiana because of the way the program is set up. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy determined that the only businesses that could apply for a license to distribute medical marijuana were existing pharmacies.
The existing pharmacies—once approved—could no longer operate as pharmacies that sell regular prescription medications. Instead, they had to entirely make the switch to cannabis products.
So the local H & W Drugstore switched its New Orleans Tchoupitoulas Street location to a dispensary, but its other locations have remained regular pharmacies. Other medical marijuana dispensaries in Louisiana have similar roots as neighborhood pharmacies before making the switch to offering cannabis products including medical-grade THC and CBD.
What Can I Buy at a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Dispensary?
When you visit a medical marijuana dispensary in Louisiana, you will find all the natural relief you’ve been looking for! Most dispensaries in the state sell a variety of medical marijuana products as well as CBD products to help you feel your best all the time.
Louisiana dispensary pharmacists are extremely knowledgeable, and they can help you pick out the products that work for your goals. Products are all tested for safety and accurate labeling, and the only producers allowed to operate in the state must follow stringent quality guidelines.
When you visit a Louisiana dispensary, you are likely to find products in a variety of formats, including the following:
Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)
A metered dose inhaler, or MDI, operates much like a regular inhaler. Puff precisely measured doses into your mouth and inhale. The benefit of using medical marijuana this way is that it is the fastest-acting method available.
Some people feel it also offers the highest level of control. You’ll start feeling the effects within minutes, and they wear off faster than with other medical marijuana modes of use.
Medical marijuana tinctures offer the greatest level of flexibility. Doses are measured out in a dropper, and this means that you have complete control over how much you take. If you have a busy day and you don’t want to feel impaired, you can take a smaller amount and still get relief. If you have more time to relax, you can take a larger dose and get a great night’s sleep, too!
In addition to flexibility with dosing, you have more options in how you take your medical marijuana tincture. You can simply swallow it, add it to your favorite food or drinks, or take it sublingually for faster-acting relief.
The medical marijuana edibles available in your local Louisiana dispensary are gelatin-based like gummy candies. You need to be careful and start out slowly with edibles, because they may be surprisingly powerful.
The main drawback to medical marijuana gummies is that they can take up to two hours to have any effect. You need to wait the full two hours in between your first dose and taking more, though, because the effects can hit you out of nowhere. You don’t want to eat a marijuana gummy, think everything is fine, then take more before you know how the first one is going to make you feel.
These highly concentrated doses are also known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. RSO is generally reserved for people who have cancer or very severe symptoms that need intense management, due to the high dose in each syringe.
These can be taken orally or sublingually, like a tincture.
Medical marijuana topicals are intended for more targeted applications. If you’ve got chronic pain or muscle spasms, this is the format you’ve been waiting for. Available in creams and lotions, you just rub it on, and enjoy fast-acting relief.
Topicals are a great way to manage your pain if you are trying to avoid impairment, too. Since you aren’t ingesting or inhaling any THC, you won’t feel “high” when you use them.
Most of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Louisiana are also offering CBD products to complement your cannabis choices. CBD is another cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It is most often extracted from hemp, which has no THC, or a very low concentration.
Some people use CBD to give the effects of their medical marijuana a boost, and it may also help reduce some of the impairment that often accompanies cannabis use.
I’m Ready - How Can I Get My Louisiana Marijuana Card?
There is one last detail regarding getting approved for medical marijuana in Louisiana. You will not receive a physical card like in most other states. Once we verify you have a qualifying condition and that you would benefit from treatment with medical marijuana, doctors at Louisiana Marijuana Card will call or fax your recommendation into the dispensary of your choice.
You never have to worry about losing your card, because you will be in the system at your dispensary. They will be able to look up your registration with them, along with your preferences and treatment needs every time you visit.
Relief can be just around the corner, and dispensaries in Louisiana are now authorized to deliver to every precinct in their district.
Give us a call today at (833) 253-2943, or schedule an appointment to get a medical marijuana recommendation evaluation today so you can feel your best tomorrow!