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Medical Marijuana

The Benefits

Cannabinoids, such as delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), are naturally occurring chemical strains in marijuana. THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids found in higher concentrations, but vary from plant to plant (strain by strain). Much like pharmaceutical companies engineer various drugs to treat a condition, medicinal growers breed and grow various hybrid plants to treat a multitude of illnesses and ailments.


CBD is often used for its variety of medicinal uses and because it is not psychoactive (does not produce the “high” feeling). In 2013, the FDA approved CBD for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy after studies revealed the potential for CBD as a safe, alternative form of care for those suffering from epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric conditions. It’s an excellent alternative to highly addictive opiates for pain management, it also acts as a sleep aid, reduces nausea, relaxes muscles, increases appetite, and more without the harmful side effects and long term ailments associated with modern medicine.


THC on the other hand has a more stimulating, uplifting affect which helps combat depression. Like CBD, it works for pain management, stress relief, and acts as an appetite stimulant. These are some of the benefits many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy enjoy.



Canabinoids and Children

A documentary that came out in 2018, Weed The People, examines the use of medicinal marijuana among children. The reason Abby Epstein says they chose to focus on children was in an effort to remove the stigma so people see that cannabis has legitimate benefits. Like the mother of Sophie Ryan who suffers from a rare Optic Pathway Glioma brain tumor said to Huffington Post:


“And yes… she is still on daily doses of cannabis oil! She is on a 2:1 ratio of high THC to CBD meaning she gets more THC to help kill her brain tumor. I can’t even begin to explain how great it’s working, and not only when it comes to killing her tumor. Chemo really kills a person’s appetite and literally 1-2 hours after Soph takes her THC dose she is eating like a champ. She is so strong and chubby, and looks like a normal healthy kid most days.”



While medical marijuana research is gaining more attention and funding, it still has a lot of catching up to do when compared to the major prescription drugs. Without funding, it’s difficult to conduct studies. What studies are available show promise, even in small groups. For example, in 2013, a study conducted among Crohn’s patients found 5 of the 11 cannabis recipients went into full remission during the 8-week period. 10 of the 11 patients receiving cannabis during this period “…produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits.” One study does not mean we should make this the gold standard for Crohn’s Disease treatment, but it should lead to more studies and trials.


So let’s ditch the stigma and get to work promoting health. As Rikki asks in her documentary:

“How can a 6-year-old have an open-ended prescription for the poppy-derived, strong narcotic pain reliever, Oxycodone, but not have access to a gentler, non-addictive alternative like cannabis oil?”


If there are safer alternatives, they should be utilized not stigmatized.

Qualifying Conditions
  • Cancer

  • Glaucoma

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

  • Hepatitis C

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Crohn's Disease

  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:

    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;

    • Severe and chronic pain;

    • Severe nausea;

    • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;

    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

The Process
  • PLEASE NOTE: We are no longer offering this service to those who are not current patients in our practice.  

  • Schedule your evaluation. You can schedule online or call the office and Vanessa will help you. At your visit we will review your medical history in detail, review any necessary outside records, and perform appropriate physician exams.  Your visit will last 30-45 minutes, leaving plenty of time to answer any questions you may have and discuss the basics of medicating with cannabis. We may also discuss other treatment options for your condition and provide you with resources for seeking out those services if not available in our office.

  • Submit the application. In order to obtain your medical marijuana card, we must submit an application to the Arizona Department of Health, but don't worry, we will help you with this process. They will review our documentation and have up to 5 business days to issue an approval. Once approved, you will receive an email from them with confirmation and a list of state-certified dispensaries. Medical marijuana cards are now digital and will be available immediately upon approval.  

  • Visit a dispensary. Once your card arrives in the mail, you are now able to go to a dispensary to explore your options for medicating with cannabis.  The dispensary agents ("bud tenders") will discus with you various strains and methods of using cannabis to help get you started. There may be a bit of trial-and-error in the beginning until you find what works best for your body and condition, so be sure to let them know if what you're using is ineffective or difficult.  

Medical Marijuana Service Fees


Office Visit Fee: $150

Application Fee

  • $150 w/o SNAP Benefits (food stamps)

  • $75 w/SNAP Benefits (food stamps). Requires current documentation. 


You can find a more complete list of service fees HERE

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