How to Become a First Time Medical Marijuana Patient

Physicians, Medical Marijuana and the Law

Photo credit - Physicians, Medical Marijuana and the Law

A Guide to Medical Cannabis in California.

This guide is designed for Californian's that want to use Cannabis therapeutically for the first time. 

Cannabis or MMJ refers to the fresh Marijuana plant and dried buds that are used for smoking/vaporizing or producing edibles and extracts.

The contents of the following paragraph alone should be enough to get you going.   Subsequent material elaborates on the basics of Marijuana therapy and provides valuable information that every MMJ "veteran" should know (but often does not).

"Holy shit. I’ve been probably the purest individual you will ever meet. Totally straight-edge. It is a known fact that I’ve never done anything at my school. Up until today. I went to a concert and finally tried smoking marijuana (a joint) today. I took 4 hits. Big mistake." - Standard Rookie


MMJDOCTORONLINE has made the process to legally access Medical Cannabis very simple.  Using a Telehealth compliant system, you can complete an application online within minutes, using only a, PC, smartphone, ipad, laptop or other computer gadget.

New patients can apply here, online for a physician's 420 Medical Cannabis Recommendation that allows patients to legally purchase Medical Marijuana from any dispensary or club in the State of California.  

Doctor's Recommendation - How to become a Medical Cannabis patient

A Physician's Recommendation allows qualified medical Cannabis patients, to possess, consume, transport and grow Cannabis under California Proposition 215.  Accessing a doctor that specifically evaluates for Cannabis use means that Cannabis will be considered as a viable treatment for your condition and symptoms.

Once you decide to try Cannabis as a treatment, you must obtain a 420 “Recommendation” for Medical Cannabis use from a licensed California MD.

A Recommendation is just a little different from a traditional prescription and uses the language, “I recommend” rather than “I prescribe", to comply with the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Proposition 215. 

A Recommendation letter can be written by ANY LICENSED CALIFORNIA MD, who does have to be your primary physician.

A MMJ Recommendation letter must include:

  • Dr.’s signature
  • Date the statement was written
  • Dr's contact Phone number or website where Cannabis dispensaries can call to verify the Recommendation
  • The date of expiration or re-evaluation of the Cannabis Recommendation, usually one year

The Recommendation statement may optionally include, a reason for treatment, the dose, or guidelines of use. 

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: Medical Cannabis Doctors often have systems in place that make it very simple for dispensaries to contact them at any time for verification of the physician’s statement. Here at MMJDOCTORONLINE, we are available 24/7 for verification via our website or phone number. It is important that medical records are maintained in a secure, HIPAA compliant system as we do.

"Medical Cannabis oil had done what years of antibiotics had failed to do, it had given me my life back,

--  Shelley White, Author

Getting a MMJ ID Card

It is also a good idea to obtain a certified Patient MMJ I.D. Card.

MMJ ID cards stream-line the registration/verification process at Cannabis clubs and dispensaries; for the first time and in return visits. Normally, a dispensary will verify your letter of Recommendation at registration.  ID Cards expire after a year, so it is important that you have 24/7 access to your doctor to renew. 

To get an MMJ ID Card, you need a Doctor's Recommendation and a Valid Driver's license, or photo ID with proof of California Residency.

Medical Cannabis - Efficacy

Over the past forty years, researchers have found out how the bioactive molecules of Marijuana work.  Cannabinoids are the main bioactive molecules of Marijuana that work to moderate brain and body nerve receptors and in effect a relief for a great variety of conditions such as:

  • pain - analgesic
  • neurological disorders - sedative, balancing
  • immune system - infection - antibiotic

For a detailed information about of specific Conditions and Symptoms click here.

Cannabis Use - Managing Your Health

Medical Marijuana - How to Find Your Way


Medical Marijuana contains the following medicinal components.

THC - Psychoactive

CBD - Non-psychoactive

Other Cannabinoids - mostly non-psychoactive

Essential Oils - non-psychoactive

The combination of the Cannabinoids or Profile of THC, CBD, essential oils and other components give different strains their properties of bouquet, taste and effect.  People that do not enjoy a marijuana high would be advised to seek out a strain that is balanced, with lower quantities of THC and higher amounts of CBD.  The difference can be "night and day".

Common Marijuana Strains

Indica and Sativa are the two main types of Cannabis.  Crossbreeding and selection of the two main species, Sativa and Indica, has led to a wide variety of hybrid strains that provide unique characteristics.

Though strain genetics vary enormously, Indica and Sativa plants are generally distinct in a number of ways.  Differences come from the plant's expression of DNA which codes the proteins that manufacture Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.


  • Plants are tall with thin leaves, grows up to 20 feet tall
  • Effects tend to be uplifting and energetic cerebral, spacey or hallucinogenic
  • Suitable for Day use
  • Origin is somewhere in Central Asia


  • Plants are short, with wide leaves, are densely branched
  • Effects tend to be relaxing and calming with body buzz or ‘couch lock’
  • Suitable for night use
  • Origin is somewhere around Pakistan

Indica Strains - Examples

Skunk Shot

BC Bud



Northern Lights

Purple Kush

Sativa Strains- Examples

Acapulco gold



Jack Herer

Malawi Gold (Chamba)

420 Medical Marijuana Doctor & the Law

420 Medical Marijuana Evaluations & the main Cannabis Laws that affect patients in California

Sour Diesel

Hybrids - Examples

Charlotte's Web


White Widow

For a description about different more than 200 Medical Cannabis Strains click here.

High CBD Strains - Wave of the Future

Lightly psychoactive or non-psychoactive strains are making their way onto the market.  These varieties can provide superior results over high THC strains, complete with the sedating calming effects, less the Cheech and Chong type high.


Dosing Methods

  • smoking
  • inhalation
  • transdermal
  • sublingual



Smoking is the method most commonly associated with Cannabis.   While research shows Cannabis is not associated with lung disease or cancer, vaporization technology is a convenient alternative to concerned individuals.   Ways to smoke include hand pipes, water pipes, rolling papers, hookahs.

Hand Pipes

Pipes are the most common smoking device.  They are simple, easy to use and portable. Hand pipes trap the smoke produced from burning Marijuana, which is then inhaled.

Water Pipes

Water pipes of fame include many variations of bongs and bubblers. The burning Marijuana is pulled through water, which removes some water soluble compounds and the active ingredients are inhaled by the user.

Rolling Papers

Joints are marijuana cigarettes.  Cannabis is rolled in a commercially available paper made of hemp, bamboo, and rice.


Vaporizers is now the popular choice for health-conscious Cannabis patients. A Vaporizer steadily heats the herb to a temperature, high enough to extract THC, CBD, and other Cannabinoids, but low enough to prevent the release of some potentially toxic compounds. Vaporization significantly reduces odor, which makes for more convenient and inert social interaction. 

Vaporizers are also compatible with many forms of Cannabis medications such as oils, concentrates and wax. 


Oral delivery means, administration through the mouth of Cannabis derived tinctures, ingestible oils, and infused food/drinks. 




Tinctures are usually an alcohol extract of Cannabis that concentrates the active ingredients.   Tinctures afford a dosage control, are fast-acting effects and come without the perceived health risks associated with smoking.   Ethanol alcohol is commonly used to pull out the solvent fat-soluble Cannabinoids and oils.  Vinegar or glycerol is used as well.

Three or four drops of the tincture are placed under the tongue where the active ingredients immediately go into the bloodstream. If swallowed, tinctures are immediately absorbed by an empty stomach and are soon processed in the liver, resulting a more erratic overall absorption.

Cannabis Oil Capsules

Cannabis oils can either be swallowed directly or be taken in capsule form.  

Cannabis-infused edibles

Edibles are defined as any food that contains Cannabis.  Normally edibles are baked so that THC is "activated" and becomes psychoactive. Compared to inhalation, edibles are longer lasting and tend to cause powerful full-body, psychoactive effects.

Edibles are often infused into foods with a high fat content, such as butter or cooking oil.  The reason is that the active ingredients are fat soluble and help deliver the medication to the system.


Cannabis oils extracts are added to creams, lotions and other skin formulations.  The active ingredients, such as THC, CBD and other medicinal Cannabinoids are absorbed slowly into the skin, is then absorbed into the blood and delivered throughout the body.



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