Is Your Medical Marijuana Safe to Use?

By Ellen Lenox Smith, Columnist

When you smoke, ingest or administer medical marijuana into your body, it is important to know that it is safe to use. Ideally, the marijuana was grown organically and is pesticide free.

Here are simple tips that might help you to determine where you stand.

Purchasing from a Private Grower:

  • Be sure to check with them to see what products they use for the soil and nutrients, to be sure the plants are growing organically.
  • Most growers will at some point have to face a bug infestation. Make sure they got rid of them by using an organic product. You do not want to ingest toxic substances.
  • You also need to know how they work on being consistent in creating their oils, tinctures, topical ointments and edibles. It is important when you find a medication that is compatible with your body, and that you be able to purchase it again and have similar results.

Purchasing from a Marijuana Dispensary:

If you are going to a medical marijuana dispensary or compassion center to purchase cannabis, you have the right to ask those same questions.

  • Do they know who their suppliers are and where the marijuana was grown?
  • Do their suppliers grow organically?
  • Ask how they make sure there is consistency in creating their tinctures, oils, edibles, drinks, etc.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has created standards for medical marijuana called Patient Focused Certification (PFC), a non-profit, peer reviewed, third party certification program for the medical cannabis industry.

PFC addresses product and safety concerns “to promote the adoption of safe and reasonable industry standards and regulations from seed to consumption.”

If you see a marijuana package carrying the PFC label, like the image to the right, it has met their standards and has been certified.

Don’t be shy. This is your life and your body. Be sure to know that whoever you purchase your medication from, that it is being grown safely for you!

Ellen Lenox Smith suffers from Ehlers Danlos syndrome and sarcoidosis. Ellen and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical marijuana advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation and serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition.

For more information about medical marijuana, visit their website.

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.