Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes.
Cannabinoids — the active chemicals in medical marijuana — are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.
What is medical marijuana used for?
Another issue is that the FDA doesn’t oversee medical marijuana like it does prescription drugs. Although states monitor and regulate sales, they often don’t have the resources to do so. That means the strength of and ingredients in medical marijuana can differ quite a bit depending on where you buy it. “We did a study last year in which we purchased labeled edible products, like brownies and lollipops, in California and Washington. Then we sent them to the lab,” Bonn-Miller says. “Few of the products contained anywhere near what they said they did. That’s a problem.”
Researchers are studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including:
Medical marijuana received a lot of attention a few years ago when parents said that a special form of the drug helped control seizures in their children. The FDA recently approved Epidiolex, which is made from CBD, as a therapy for people with very severe or hard-to-treat seizures. In studies, some people had a dramatic drop in seizures after taking this drug.
In Ontario, your medical cannabis appointments with a doctor are covered by OHIP . Unfortunately, this coverage does not extend to the cost of your medical cannabis.
We encourage any personal medical advice to be taken from your own doctor or one of ours in a 1-on-1 appointment before making changes to your own medicine.
Medical cannabis pills come in a range of available doses—with either THC, CBD, or both—making it easy to increase or decrease the amount you take so you can find the dose that treats your symptoms best with minimal side effects.
Does cannabis in pill form mean insurance companies are more likely to cover it as medicine?
Veteran’s Affairs Canada reimburses eligible medical cannabis patients for the cost of their medicine, up to three grams per day, unless they have exceptional approval from a specialist requesting reimbursement for more than three grams per day. This includes coverage of medical marijuana capsules.
Companies that offer their employees a healthcare spending account as part of their benefits package sometimes offer coverage for medical cannabis. This will cover medical cannabis capsules.
Medical cannabis does not have a drug identification number (DIN), which is required by insurance companies to cover the expense of medication. However, some insurers are now reimbursing the cost of medical cannabis for patients with specific conditions, usually only after other treatments have failed. Some of the conditions that are covered include pain associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and symptoms related to HIV/AIDS. This coverage is for any medical cannabis product, including cannabis in pill form. Check with your insurance company to see if it covers medical marijuana pills.
THC pills and CBD pills are made by filling either a hardshell capsule or a gelatin softgel with cannabis extract diluted in a food-grade carrier oil. The ingredients include cannabis extract—with THC and/or CBD—and a food-grade carrier oil like sunflower oil or MCT oil.