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If consuming cannabis recently has left you feeling paranoid, anxious, unmotivated, or exhausted, you may be feeling like marijuana just isn’t right for you. Before giving up altogether, note that there is an incredibly wide range of strains and forms of cannabis out there – you may just not have found the right combination for you yet!

The strain of cannabis, the form that it’s in, and how you consume it can all have drastic effects on your body’s reaction to the substance. We believe that a great cannabis experience is available for everyone – it may just take some experimentation and the help of a knowledgeable budtender. Our guide below will help you achieve the experience you’re searching for with marijuana, whether that’s complete relaxation, pain relief, or creative stimulation.

Think About Yourself

Before beginning your search for the perfect strain of weed and consumption method for you, ask yourself a few questions to guide your search. These questions will help your budtender recommend the best options that fit your unique preferences.

What is Your Experience with Marijuana?

If you’re just starting to explore cannabis, you’ll want to steer clear of potent strains smoked through a bong or blunt, as the effects will likely be overwhelming. If you’re well experienced with consuming marijuana, you may want to experiment with stronger delivery methods.

How Would you Like to Consume your Cannabis?

Maybe you hate the idea of inhaling smoke into your lungs or fear accidentally eating too many edibles. If so, these are important considerations to mention to your budtender. Those who dislike smoking may search for edible or vaping options, while people who wish to avoid edibles could try smoking or vaping the drug.

Let your budtender know what you plan on doing when consuming marijuana. Different strains and consumption methods bring different results, and their recommendations will differ depending on if you want to relax on the couch or attend a concert.

Talk to Your Budtender

Once you’ve answered the questions above and have a clear picture of what you want your marijuana experience to feel like, it’s time to visit your local budtender. Visit a reputable dispensary in your area, and outline exactly what you’re looking for to the budtender.

Experienced budtenders will be able to help you determine the best strain for you, as well as how you should consume it and the dosage. Don’t hold anything back – the more information you give the budtender, the easier it will be for them to help you achieve your perfect cannabis experience.

Find The Tools You Need

Based on the answers to the questions you outlined above and your budtender’s recommendations, you may need to shop for a new tool to consume your cannabis. Many dispensaries offer a range of devices, from pipes to bongs, to help you consume marijuana. The staff can help you find the right tools to meet your cannabis goals.

If the options at your dispensary are limited, you can also visit a local head shop that specializes in products to help you consume cannabis. Many head shops will stock a wide range of tools, and staff will be on-hand to help guide you to the perfect vape pen, pipe, dab rig, or other product.

Once you have your chosen marijuana product and tools, it’s time to dive in! While you may not be able to achieve your perfect cannabis experience the first time, view it as an experiment. Highlight what you enjoyed about the first experience, and what could have gone better. These observations can guide you and your budtender as you tweak products, dosage, or consumption methods to help find your perfect high.

You may have heard as medical marijuana as an option to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with your chronic disease. Medical cannabis has been gaining traction around the US as a natural option to many painkillers and prescription drugs commonly used for treating physical pain.

If you’re interested in getting a medical marijuana card and you’re a resident of Illinois, you’re in luck – the state legalized medical marijuana in 2013 for certain chronic conditions. Below, we summarize everything you need to know about applying for a medical marijuana card in the state of Illinois.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis

If you are over the age of 18, reside in Illinois, and have a qualifying medical condition, then you may be eligible to receive a medical marijuana card through the state. Note that not all medical conditions qualify you for a card, so it’s important to meet with your physician before applying.

Medical conditions that qualify you for a medical marijuana card in Illinois in 2019 are:

  • Alzheimers
  • ALS
  • spina bifida
  • cachexia
  • cancer
  • causalgia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • CRPS
  • Dystonia
  • fibrous dysplasia
  • glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • hydrocephalus
  • hydromyelia
  • interstitial cystitis
  • lupus
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • muscular dystrophy
  • myoclonus
  • nail-patella syndrome
  • neurofibromatosis
  • Parkinson’s
  • post-concussion syndrome
  • PTSD
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • residual limb pain,
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • seizures
  • fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • spinal cord disease or injury,
  • spinocerebellar ataxia
  • syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Tourette syndrome
  • traumatic brain injuries.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois

If your medical condition is listed above and you’re interested in treating your disease or symptoms with medical marijuana, there are several steps you have to take before you can pay a visit to your local dispensary.

Receive a Written Certification from Your Physician

To qualify, you must have your physician complete a Physician Written Certification Form, which requires proof that you visited their offices within 90 days of the application date.

However, you can’t visit any doctor – you must have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship,” which means your doctor must take responsibility for the care and treatment of the condition moving forward. The doctor must also certify that they completed an in-person assessment of your medical condition and received your medical history.

Complete Necessary Registration Forms

Once you receive your physician certification, it’s time to complete your marijuana card application form, which can be done online or through the mail. On the form, you must provide your physician’s name and address, as well as a medical marijuana dispensary where you plan to purchase your cannabis.

In addition to the form, you have to submit a 2” X 2” photograph taken in the past 30 days, with a full-face view against a plain, light background. The application will also ask for proof of your age and identity, which can be a color copy of your driver’s license or passport. As well, you’ll have to prove that you’re an Illinois citizen, which can be any official document showing your address (like a lease or bank statement)

Pay for Your Medical Marijuana Card

After collecting the required documents, you’ll have to decide if you want to receive a one-, two-, or three-year card. Application fees for each are $100, $200, and $250, respectively. Payment can be submitted with the online application, or with a money order through the mail.

Once you submit your application, you’ll have to wait for it to be reviewed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how many applications the department receives.