Using Telemedicine to Get Your Child a Medical Marijuana Card

The vast majority of states now have some form of medical marijuana (MMJ) program. This is an exciting development for those looking for a new way to manage difficult-to-treat medical conditions. It has also made cannabis-based medicines available to more people than ever, including children and adolescents.

The use of medical cannabis for minors is controversial, but, in some cases, it offers a ray of hope where other therapies have failed. This article explains how to get an MMJ card for your child and how to weigh the benefits against the risks.


Can Minors Get Medical Marijuana?

Most states with medical marijuana programs grant under-18s access to cannabis in certain circumstances. However, it is less straightforward than applying for an MMJ card as an adult.

The applicant must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and have a parent or legal guardian act as a caregiver. This means they will be responsible for purchasing, transporting, and administering the applicant’s medicine.

This is not usually a significant issue, but some parents may be reluctant to let their children use cannabis. In these cases, it will be necessary to have an in-depth discussion with the child’s physician to determine the potential benefits and risks before deciding whether to proceed.

Another possible hurdle is that some states require two doctors’ certifications before a minor can apply for an MMJ card. Sometimes, the second certification must be from a specialist or pediatrician.

Each state has different rules, so check online to find out how to get an MMJ card for your child in your area.


Why Get an MMJ Card for Your Child? 

There are many reasons someone might consider getting an MMJ card for their child.

Usually, it is when conventional treatments have proven ineffective or if the side effects of pharmaceuticals are unmanageable. However, not everyone can apply for medical marijuana. There are certain “qualifying conditions,” and these vary from state to state.

One of the most common and best-researched qualifying conditions among minors is refractory seizures or epilepsy. This means seizure disorders and epilepsy that do not respond to standard medications.

The FDA has approved a cannabis-based medicine called Epidiolex, containing pure CBD for children with certain seizure disorders. But some parents prefer using whole-plant cannabis to utilize its other beneficial compounds.

Another possible use for medical cannabis in minors is managing autism symptoms, such as irritability and anxiety. Other conditions it may help include spasticity, Tourette syndrome, and nausea or vomiting due to chemotherapy.

But while medical cannabis may be helpful for children with these debilitating conditions, there are also some risks to consider. It is essential to weigh these against the potential benefits when deciding whether MMJ is a good option for your child.


The Benefits and Risks of Cannabis for Children

In addition to being an alternative to conventional treatment for the abovementioned conditions, medical cannabis has several further benefits. It is a natural substance and, as such, may produce fewer side effects than some pharmaceuticals. This is especially true for cannabis with a high CBD content and low levels of THC.

THC is the intoxicating chemical in cannabis and is responsible for many of its side effects, including mood changes, confusion, and anxiety. THC is also the compound that has made using medical marijuana to treat children somewhat controversial.

THC has been linked with an increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia in some individuals, and the risk is higher when cannabis use is initiated at an early age. There is also a greater likelihood that those who start using cannabis early will go on to develop dependence. Finally, those who start using cannabis before age 16 may experience cognitive impairment later in life.

Therefore, medical marijuana is often seen as a last resort for minors. If it is recommended, then it may be that high-CBD, low-THC strains are the most appropriate. Parents considering this option should have an in-depth discussion with their child’s physician to determine whether the potential benefits outweigh the risks.


How to Get Your Child an MMJ Card Using Telemedicine

If you have decided that the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risks, the next step is learning how to get an MMJ card for your child. The process varies from state to state; some have stricter guidelines than others.

Generally, you must first consult a physician who will confirm that your child has a qualifying condition and write a recommendation. In some states, minors must get recommendations from two physicians.

Next, log onto the state program’s official website and complete the application. You will need to fill in the applicant’s details and those of the parent or guardian who will act as a primary caregiver. You may need to provide additional documents, such as a state ID or driver’s license, as proof of residency.

Then you play the waiting game. Some states issue digital MMJ cards within a few days of approval, while in others, you must wait for a physical card to be mailed. To learn more about the application process in your area, check the state program’s official website for further details.

If you are lucky enough to live in a state that allows telemedicine, you can significantly expedite the process using / and other similar services.

These providers allow you to speak to a physician online and then take care of the application process on your behalf. They are often more affordable than visiting a physician in person, and some even offer money-back guarantees if your application is unsuccessful.

So, if you are considering getting your child an MMJ card, it makes sense to simplify the process by using telemedicine. Check online to find out whether telemedicine is permitted in your state.

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