Many people in Maryland and Delaware are looking at medical marijuana for arthritis pain. It is not surprising either given that worldwide 350 million are affected by arthritis and right here in the U.S. more than 40 million suffer from arthritis.
When we think about arthritis, we only tend to think about one or two different types of arthritis. It turns out that there are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Most people with arthritis complain of joint pain, which may range from mild to severe and may be constant or intermittent with flare-ups.
So, it is no surprise that many are looking at medical marijuana in Maryland and Delaware as a safe and affordable alternative for pharmaceutical drugs for arthritis. If you would like to know if medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Maryland or Delaware marijuana doctors.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis in its many different forms is a chronic and debilitating illness. There are many different symptoms, but the most common symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion
While there are many different forms of arthritis, the two most common types of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): An autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. RA commonly affects the hands and feet and leads to painful, swollen, and stiff joints.
- Osteoarthritis (OA): A degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. It often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints.
How Medical Marijuana Can Reduce Arthritis Pain And Inflammation
Medical marijuana can help arthritis pain and inflammation by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. In the 1990s scientists discovered this complex system of receptors that are located throughout your body in areas like your brain, nervous system, digestive system, skin, and more. It is primarily involved in transporting chemical signals throughout your body and generally keeping you in balance.
The active ingredient of cannabis, THC, is especially known for having pain reducing characteristics, and both THC and CBD in the cannabis contain anti-inflammatory properties. The THC in medical marijuana interacts with your endocannabinoid system’s receptors in nervous system tissue, immune cells and bone and joint tissue. These receptors respond to cannabinoids helping to reduce both pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
How To Take Medical Marijuana For Arthritis
Medical marijuana can come in several different forms, but one form that seems to work well for patients experiencing chronic pain is in a cannabis oil form.
Cannabis oil for arthritis comes in a bottle that will resemble a standard medicine bottle with an eye dropper that you have seen for other medications. These bottles are often referred to as tinctures. When you take medical cannabis oil you are taking THC sublingually. This means that you place drops of THC underneath your tongue and allow it to absorb into your body through the glands in your mouth.
You do this by holding the medical marijuana oil for arthritis underneath your tongue for about 30-90 seconds. The longer you can hold the oil under your tongue the better. After you have held the oil there you can swallow whatever liquid remains in your mouth.
How Long Does Cannabis Oil Take To Work?
Typically, you will see the oil begin to take effect within about 30 minutes when you take it this way. It is not instantaneous because it needs some time to get processed throughout your body. This is a highly effective way to take THC, though, as you do not lose some of the potency of the THC this way as you would when it has to go through your stomach and liver to enter your body in an edible form.
An added benefit of taking THC oil for arthritis is how long it remains in your body. When you take medical marijuana in an oil form it typically has effects for between 4-6 hours. This is longer than if you were to smoke marijuana which will typically only last between 1-3 hours when you consume it that way. We have found that having a longer effect in the body is better for individuals suffering from conditions that cause chronic pain like arthritis.
How to Get Medical Marijuana for Arthritis
Do you think cannabis will help alleviate the pain that you experience from arthritis? If so, you may be interested in enrolling as a Delaware or Maryland medical marijuana patient. In Maryland, it is a two-part process that involves registering with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and getting certified for medical cannabis by a medical marijuana doctor. In Delaware it is also a two part process that first requires getting certified by a Delaware medical marijuana doctor and then submitting an application to the Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana.
Submitting An Application To The State
The first part of the process is registering as a patient with the state of Maryland. In this process you will verify that you are a Maryland resident by uploading documentation such as a license, state ID, or other forms of identification to verify your address. In this process you will also be required to upload a passport photo which will be used on your Maryland medical card.
The state will also ask in this process some demographic questions and ask for an email address and telephone number. If you are a veteran who receives health care from the VA system or are enrolled in the Medicaid system, the state will ask for a scanned copy of your insurance card. In addition, if you are a part of Medicaid system, they will also ask for a copy of your eligibility letter to be uploaded.
After 3 to 4 weeks the state will send a medical ID number to the email address you registered with the state during the application process. This medical ID number is what your medical marijuana provider will need to certify you.
In Delaware, once your provider at Green Relief Health has filled out the Provider Certification form on your behalf you must complete the rest of the application packet. It contains two pages of demographic/employment information and a Medical Release Form that you must sign and initial. It is important to note that you MUST apply within 90 days of the provider’s signature.
You can find the official state application (including all three forms – the Provider Certification Form, the Patient Application, and the Medical Release Form) here. Once you complete the application packet, submit it (along with the $50 application fee) to:
Delaware Division of Public Health
Medical Marijuana Program
ATTN: MMP, Suite 140
417 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
You can fill out the application and apply online. However, the Division does not accept faxed and electronic submissions of applications. Also, under certain circumstances, the Division may waive the application fee. You can check whether you qualify for a fee waiver by accessing this form.
The Delaware Health and Social Services department will either approve or deny your application within 45 calendar days. If anything is missing or incomplete, the department will return the form to you with instructions for resubmission. If it rejects your request, you must wait a minimum of six months before you can reapply.
Certifying For Medical Cannabis
With your medical ID number in Maryland, you will then be able to go to see a medical marijuana doctor to get certified as a medical cannabis patient. Your doctor will need this number and will also need documentation of your qualifying condition. The list of qualifying conditions in Maryland and Delaware is long, but severe and chronic pain caused by arthritis is a qualifying condition.
The type of documentation you can provider to verify your condition includes medical records, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, X-ray results, study findings, and more. Your medical cannabis provider will evaluate these and certify you if you meet the requirements. Once you are certified you will be able to access any of the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries or compassion centers.
If you wish to know more about cannabis and arthritis and improve your quality of life, you can contact us today to speak with one of our medical marijuana providers to walk you through the process.