It was in the year 2737 B.C. that marijuana was first used as a herbal remedy. The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung recognized the medical potential of the plant for treating debilitating ailments, such as gout and arthritis.
Do you suffer from one of these problems? Perhaps your life has been disrupted by a different kind of medical problem that is no longer responding to pharmaceutical prescription drugs? Chances are, if you are reading this article, you have considered visiting a San Francisco dispensary to peruse the menu and procure some “healing” herbs of your very own.
Before you step foot inside a SF dispensary, there are a few things you ought to know. State laws in California have made it easy for people with a Doctor’s recommendation to buy legal cannabis for medical purposes. However, there are some important facts you must first familiarize yourself to simplify the buying process.
What is a medical marijuana dispensary?
Just like a pharmacy specializes in pharmaceutical-grade drugs, a medical marijuana dispensary will specialize in medical cannabis products. So, what can you expect to find inside a licensed San Francisco dispensary?
Examples of the most common products sold inside a store of this kind include:
- Buds, leaf and trimmings
- Pre-rolled joints
- Cannabis seeds
- Cannabis suppositories
- Cannabis capsules
- Cannabis sprays
- Cannabis-infused drinks
- Cannabis edibles, e.g. candies, baked goods, snacks, gummies and chocolates.
- Cannabis concentrates, e.g. oils, crumble crystalline, shatter, wax and tinctures.
- Cannabis topicals, e.g. lotions, balms and salves
- Accessories, e.g. chargers, batteries, bags, books, papers, pipes and apparel.
The flowers on sale inside a medical cannabis dispensary will vary from hybrids to sativa and indica strains. Visit a Doctor before stepping foot inside a dispensary to understand whether or not you require a high-CBD low-THC strain, or the opposite.
Expect the menu to be pretty big. After all, the list of cannabis plant species is ever-growing! Don’t let the big menu leave you feeling confused, however. If you have any questions, rest assured that there will be a trained budtender on-hand to answer them swiftly.
How will I know which cannabis strain is right for me?
A lot of first-time cannabis consumers will feel overwhelmed by the many scientific terms used to describe the marijuana plant and its extracts. Let’s simplify things a little bit, so that you can make an informed decision in regards to choosing a medical cannabis strain.
Firstly, you ought to pay attention to the cannabinoid profile. In simple terms, the cannabinoid profile will tell you what cannabinoids are contained in the strain. Of the 113 different cannabinoids, there are two main cannabinoids that are proven to boost health in different ways. They are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is non-psychoactive, whereas THC is a psychoactive chemical. Each type of cannabinoid reacts uniquely with the body’s tissues.
The best way to determine which strain is best for you is to discuss your options with a budtender, but not before explaining your symptoms to a Doctor. A medical professional will be able to point you in the right direction and outline the top medical marijuana strains for your specific case.
What medical conditions can be treated using cannabis?
Cannabis can be used to treat an ever-growing list of medical conditions. While some medical conditions will respond better to oral cannabis treatments, others may react better to topical solutions or sublingual solutions.
Examples of the most common conditions and ailments that medical marijuana may be prescribed for include:
- AIDS (HIV)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Asthma/Breathing Problems
- Cancer/Chemotherapy-related Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis/Muscle Spasms
- Tourette Syndrome
- Terminal Illness
Will I need to present a Medical Marijuana (MMJ) card at a dispensary?
After you have visited a local Doctor who can provide you with a written recommendation or certificate of recommendation, you must acquire your medical marijuana (MMJ) card. You can do this online. Make sure you bring this card with you when you visit a San Francisco dispensary, along with your identification card. Any kind of picture ID will usually be accepted, such as a driver’s license or passport. It is basically a form of proof that you are a resident of San Francisco, or wherever you plan on buying medical cannabis products.
What should I look for in the best San Francisco dispensary?
As keen as you may be to start including medical marijuana products in your everyday routine, you should stop and think before you make a purchase. Why, you ask? Well, not every dispensary will sell buds that have been cultivated in a toxic-free environment. Look for a business with a solid reputation, long and diverse menu, professional website and, of course, the necessary licensing to sell medical marijuana.