Patients once again see the value in a medical cannabis license

Published Apr 6, 2023 09:00 a.m. ET
Unsplash / National Cancer Institute

Now that cannabis has been legalized for recreational use in so many parts of the world, it’s not uncommon for medical users to either give up a medical license or chose not to obtain one at all. But now in certain countries like Canada, an increasing number of patients are realizing that there are benefits to being licensed, even if they once firmly believed this official documentation was entirely unnecessary.

Here, we’ll explore some of the many reasons why some people choose not to get a license once recreational cannabis becomes an option as well as the allure of an established modern medical cannabis market today.

How recreational cannabis reduced the appeal of a medical license

Once recreational cannabis becomes legal and widely accessible, many patients feel they no longer need a medical license, and it’s not difficult to see why. After all, it’s suddenly really easy to walk into any recreational dispensary and make a purchase without visiting a doctor or trying to convince one to supply a prescription, and most don’t have the luxury of insurance coverage anyway.

In some places, it can be difficult to find a healthcare provider who is willing to recommend cannabis, and the process of getting licensed isn’t one that’s always simple to navigate. At first, it may seem easier, faster, and more discreet for medical consumers to rely on the recreational market for the products they need, but that isn’t always the case.

The expanding medical cannabis market and its allure

Yes, recreational cannabis is legal, and in the beginning, it expanded at an astounding rate which meant that there were far more options in terms of available products to choose from, which is a great thing when you’re a medical patient with unique needs. However, the medicinal side of the industry in many countries and states has grown to include a wide variety of offerings, many of which are formulated specifically to treat specific medical conditions.

Medical cannabis was once limited to just a few options that included only a few strains of flower, or in some regions little more than synthetic cannabinoids in tablet form but that has changed in many places like Canada. This country is home to a thriving medical cannabis market that includes everything from topicals, edibles, oils, capsules, and tinctures to a variety of strains that are all created specifically to offer relief for a wide range of conditions such as chronic pain, depression, and insomnia.

Many of the medical cannabis products that are available today are more potent with higher concentrations of cannabinoids than their recreational counterparts, which means that licensed patients now have a better chance of achieving relief that may even be longer lasting.

Insurance coverage for medical cannabis products


In the beginning, medical cannabis was practically never covered for patients no matter how great their insurance may have been, and that is something we’ve seen slowly change for the better, as some of the biggest companies out there have chosen to add cannabis products to their list of covered treatments. Of course, this has yet to become the standard, and many still refuse to pay a single penny for this more natural therapy.

Still, there are now more options out there, and in most cases, patients must have a valid license or prescription in order to qualify.

How medical cannabis products are formulated to treat specific conditions

One of the biggest benefits of having a medical cannabis license is that you’ll suddenly have access to a whole market that is filled with products that are often formulated to treat certain conditions and symptoms, allowing patients to choose flower or any other number of derivatives that are more likely to provide relief effectively.

One great example of this is seen in medicinal products that contain higher levels of CBD than most on the recreational market, and this cannabinoid in particular has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of medical conditions including but not limited to epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain.

The same is true for THC-specific medical cannabis products, which can deliver relief for conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite associated with cancer and HIV/AIDS. Additionally, many of these options also include other therapeutic cannabis-derived compounds such as cannabinoids, micro cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical extracts all of which work in tandem to enhance the overall effectiveness of a product

It just makes sense

With so many great new options formulated to meet the unique needs of medical users and improved access to insurance coverage that can make this holistic therapy much more affordable, many patients are once again seeing the value of having a license or prescription for cannabis.

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