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Yes. Cannabis is currently legal in Canada for medical and recreational purposes. Issued by Health Canada, the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) outlines the regulations pertaining to the consumption of medical and recreational (adult-use) cannabis.
The term medical cannabis refers to the use of the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes. The potential health benefits of medical cannabis have been reported to range from reducing pain and muscle spasms to alleviating nausea associated with chemotherapy.
A healthcare practitioner can authorize your medical document for anywhere from three months up to one year.
The legal age to hold a medical document for cannabis in Canada is 18 years old in Alberta and Quebec, and 19 in all other provinces. Any person(s) under the required age looking to obtain a medical document must be accompanied by a parent(s) or guardian. Person(s) under the required age must have an authorized consenting adult accompany them at their appointment. Physicians will not administer medical cannabis to any person(s) under the required age without a consenting adult. You must be a Canadian resident to qualify for a medical document in Canada.
To qualify for medical cannabis, you will need to provide appropriate medical documentation confirming your diagnosis by a healthcare professional. The licensed medical cannabis doctor or nurse will assess and analyze the information you have provided and decide whether you are eligible for medical cannabis.
NamasteMD does not provide licenses to grow and sell cannabis. In most provinces, Canadians are able to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, but are unable to sell the grown product. In order to be eligible to sell cannabis, you must obtain a license from Health Canada, and, in some cases, a license from the Canada Revenue Agency. Products with over 0.3% THC must also have an excise stamp.
Like all drugs, cannabis could potentially be abused, which could lead to addiction. Always discuss the potential risk of abuse and addiction with your healthcare provider to decide if medical cannabis is right for you.
Patients should not operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis. Some reported effects of cannabis, such as sedative and intoxicating effects, may impair your motor skills and reaction times.
Within Canada, you can carry medical cannabis with you as long as you have the correct documentation stating you are a recipient of medical cannabis. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) allows medical patients to fly with cannabis. You can only carry a 30-day limit; which is a maximum of 150 grams of herbs. It is important to note, if you are carrying cannabis oil, you must remain within the limit for liquids (under 100mL).
You cannot travel internationally (outside of Canada) with cannabis, with or without a cannabis medical document. It is illegal to carry cannabis out of Canada’s borders – even if you are travelling to a country or state where medical or recreational cannabis is legal.
Consumers have reported that smoking or vaporizing cannabis will make them feel the effects of cannabinoids almost immediately. Consuming edibles, on the other hand, can take up to 2 hours to feel the onset of the effects. The intensity and duration of the effects of cannabis will depend on several factors, including how it is consumed, the amount used, and how the body responds to the active ingredients.
Vaporizing is a way to inhale the active components of medical cannabis while avoiding the by-products of burning plant matter. Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis past the boiling point of the active compounds but below the point of plant matter combustion. Other forms of consumption include ingesting cannabis edibles, oils, and extracts. Depending on the product, you may also be able to consume it topically.
There are several ways in which medical cannabis can be consumed. Each method of consumption works differently, depending on how you consume, how much you consume, and your individual tolerance. You can vaporize, ingest edibles, apply to the skin with creams, or put a few drops of oil under your tongue, among other methods.
Terpenes are chemicals that exist in unique combinations across different cannabis plants and give them their aroma. Both terpenes and cannabinoids are produced and stored in the part of the cannabis plant known as its trichomes - oil glands that give some cannabis buds a white, frosty appearance.
The terms “indica” and “sativa” are technically botanical terms that are used to describe the shape of cannabis plants, but have been commonly used to characterize cannabis plants based on the type of biological response experienced. “Indica” is used by some people to describe a plant with more relaxing or sedating effects, while the term “sativa” is sometimes used to describe plants with more uplifting or energizing effects. Though they may have been found useful by users, these terms have not been scientifically validated.
THC and CBD are both forms of cannabinoids, or active ingredients, that are found in cannabis. THC (delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and has intoxicating and other pharmacological effects on the human body. Another abundant active ingredient in cannabis is CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. It does not have the same noted effects as THC, and may counterbalance some of THC’s effects.
Cannabinoids are the active ingredients, or ingredients that trigger a biological response, found in cannabis plants. To date, over 100 types of cannabinoids have been identified, and these compounds are not produced by cannabis alone. Some are produced by other plants, some are found in the human body, and they’ve also been replicated in a laboratory for use in a variety of prescription medications. Two of the most well known cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD.