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How to Obtain Medical Cannabis in Western Pennsylvania

By Daniel Casciato

While marijuana is a drug prohibited by U.S. Federal, many states, including Pennsylvania, now allow patients to use marijuana for medical reasons such as treating pain, nausea and other symptoms.
Medical marijuana — also known as medical cannabis — is a term for derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant used to help people relieve serious and chronic symptoms.

In fact, one of the major reasons why people are seeking medical marijuana is to manage chronic pain, according to Ken Schultz, co-founder and National Sales Director for Compassionate Certification Centers. In Pennsylvania, the commonwealth’s medical marijuana program provides access to medical marijuana for patients with specific medical conditions, such as chronic pain.

“As far as chronic pain goes, the medicinal value in the anti-inflammatory properties of marijuana can really help you get off opioids,” he says. “Whenever you use cannabis properly and you get your dosing right, it can actually work on your pain receptors in a similar fashion that an opioid would, but it's a much safer option. You can't overdose on cannabis. People believe cannabis is a gateway drug. It is not. It has no physiological addictive properties.”

Obtaining medical marijuana through Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program involves four steps:

  • Register for the program through the state’s Medical Marijuana Registry.
  • Have a physician certify you for one of the medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.
  • Pay for a medical marijuana ID card.
  • Get medical marijuana from an approved dispensary in Pennsylvania.

Compassionate Certification Centers, with 12 offices located across western Pennsylvania, can also help local residents streamline this process by providing professional, private evaluations for patients seeking to legally obtain a Medical Marijuana Card. All of its physicians are licensed and in excellent standing with their medical boards.

“If you're looking to become part of the medical cannabis program here in the state of Pennsylvania, you can go to our website and we can get you in for an appointment where you can come in, see our nurses and our physicians who are highly educated on how to properly use medical cannabis for medicinal reasons, and we can help get you started,” says Schultz. “We can attest to the fact that you have one of the state-qualified conditions. We can start helping you out and make recommendations on how to properly dose it because the big thing on medical cannabis is that there is no prescription.”

Finding that right treatment plan is critical, explains Schultz since everybody's endocannabinoid system responds a little bit differently to the treatment. Unfortunately, some people don't get the proper education on how to properly dose themselves, and then there's a concern across the medical community.

“Understanding what some of the side effects might be is really something that the industry needs,” he adds. “Some companies in this space are really not zeroing in on the proper dosing and how to properly use it for medicinal value. Our physicians are very well versed in understanding how to get people started on the right medical cannabis treatment plan that'll work for them.”

Schultz points out that there is a lot of misinformation about medical cannabis.

“There's also still many people who have no idea what medical marijuana actually is and if it can help them,” he says. “I would encourage everybody to do more research and to educate themselves. It's been around since B.C., and it's one of those treatment options out there that, until you get educated on it, you really don't realize the benefits. The more we can have people go out and actually do their homework before they pass judgment, I think the better.”

For more information, visit www.CCCregister.com.

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