If you're wondering how medical marijuana recommendations work, don't worry, you're not alone. The laws surrounding medical cannabis are changing quickly, and to confuse matters further, the rules surrounding how medical marijuana recommendations work vary from state to state. For your convenience, here we go over the universal aspects of how medical marijuana recommendations work.

1. It's called a medical marijuana recommendation (not a prescription) because the federal government's classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance prohibits the sale of marijuana from pharmacies.


2. Know which medical conditions you have that qualify for treatment with medical marijuana in your state. Some states have a wider range of approved conditions that you can treat with cannabis than others, but most approve medical marijuana as a treatment for symptoms of cancer or chemotherapy treatments, AIDS, chronic pain, and anxiety.


3. Only adults who are at least 18 or 21 years old (depending on your state) can get a medical marijuana recommendation for themselves from a licensed health care provider. It can be your primary physician that provides you with a written recommendation for medical marijuana, or you can see a doctor that specializes in cannabis-based medicine treatments. Also, you should know that the rules for obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation for a minor also vary by state, as some only allow children with a serious condition to use cannabis products that only contain cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound, and only after parents consider all conventional treatment methods.


4. With your newly issued medical marijuana recommendation, you can either apply for a medical cannabis card through the proper state agency (which identifies you as a valid patient who is allowed to possess marijuana in an online registry that dispensaries and law enforcement officers can access) or use it to buy medicine directly. 


5. A medical marijuana recommendation allows you to purchase limited amounts of cannabis directly from a dispensary or grower, or maybe even grow a few plants for yourself. However, take note that the doctor who issues your medical marijuana recommendation is prohibited by law from being affiliated with or recommending a cannabis dispensary.


6. Your medical marijuana recommendation will be good for one year, after which you will have to visit your health care provider again.