Marijuana 101

Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, is derived from the Mexican Spanish word Marijuana. In Asia, the earliest recorded medicinal uses of the Cannabis plant date from the 3rd millennium BC, to the Father of Chinese medicine. For several thousand years, marijuana has been commonly used across the globe on every continent to treat symptoms like aches and pains, nausea, muscle spasms, lack of energy, and lack of appetite. There are no known deaths caused by marijuana ingestion. Current research shows no significant correlation between long-term marijuana use and development of serious negative health effects.

Types of Medical Marijuana...
Sativa vs Indica and Hybrid Strains

Cannabis Sativa

Day Time Medicine - Energizes and Stimulates, Reduces Depression, Relieves Headaches and Migraines, Reduces Awareness of Pain, Increases Focus and Creativity, Supports Immune System, Stimulates Appetite, Reduces Nausea, Higher THC

Cannabis Indica

Night Time Medicine - Deep Relaxation, Reduces Pain, Reduces Anxiety, Relaxes Muscle Spasms, Stimulates Appetite, Reduces Inflammation, Relieves Headaches and Migraines, Aids Sleep, Anticonvulsant, Reduces Intraocular Pressure, Higher CBD

Hybrid Plants

"Hybrids" are crosses between sativa plants and indica plants. Hybrids may be sativa-dominating, indica dominant, or 50/50. Different strains have different sativa/indica ratios. Hybrids allow patients to choose the type of medicine or specific strain that possesses the best combination of healing properties.

Methods of Ingestion...


The smoke of the marijuana bud or flower can be inhaled via pipes, bongs, joints, etc.

Pros: It is a quick and efficient way to deliver an accurate dose of medicinal cannabinoids because the effects are felt almost immediately. Patients can stop smoking once the desired relief is reached. 

Cons: Increased risk of bronchitis or other respiratory irritation. 


Marijuana can be ingested in the form of capsules, tinctures, concentrates, & edibles. 

Pros: These methods cause no direct damage to lungs. Consumable forms tend to have a stronger effect and are considered more potent. The heat of preparation activates other beneficial elements of marijuana. 

Cons: Long duration (2-4+ hours), less dosage control. 


Marijuana is available as balms, lotions, ointments or rubbing alcohol solutions. Good for treating skin diseases; provides mild local pain relief. 

Pros: One will not experience the euphoric “high” feeling, rather, only local pain relief. 

Cons: The potency of topical applications is limited. Also, external application will not treat certain symptoms treatable only by the ingestion of marijuana. 


A vaporizer is required. Vaporizers use gentle heat (versus flame) in order to heat the active ingredients (THC/CBD) in marijuana, so that they may be inhaled by the user. This method prevents the plant itself from burning. 

Pros: Efficient way to deliver the medicinal elements without affecting lungs with smoke inhalation.Vaporizing requires less marijuana than conventional smoking. 

Cons: Vaporizers are costly ($60 - $500). 

National Statistics

  • + In 2009, 16.7 million Americans aged 12 or older had used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed.
  • + Over 83 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at least once.
  • + Currently, 18 states and Washington D.C., allow the use of medical marijuana by state approved patients.
  • + There are no records in extensive medical literature describing any proven, documented Marijuana-induced fatalities - Reported deaths from FDA-approved drugs number in the tens of thousands.

U.S. Legal Facts

  • + In 1619, America's first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, ordering all farmers to grow Indian hemp seed
  • + According to the US Census, there were 8,327 cannabis plantations of over 2,000 acres each by 1850
  • + In 1915, Utah passed the first US state anti-marijuana law, as the legislature began to enact laws outlawing all Mormon prohibitions as criminal laws
  • + By the end of 1936, all 48 states had enacted laws to regulated Marijuana. The following year every state had enacted laws criminalizing the possession and sale of Marijuana.

Countries where medical use of marijuana is accepted or where marijuana is decriminalized: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, India, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and The USA. 

Approved Ailments

  • Cancer
  • Severe & Chronic Pain
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Hepatitis C
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • ALS
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's
  • Cachexia

Visit the Arizona Department of Health Services for more info.

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