Medical Cannabis 101

Home » Medical Cannabis 101


Starting your journey as a Medical Cannabis Calgary patient can be an overwhelming experience. Even after finding a physician that can prescribe Cannabis, a new patient will have to navigate the seemingly endless resources and online guidance to choosing the proper products, strains, and consumption methods.


Along with the abundance of opinions there are limited credible resources available that provide foundational education for patients to enable them in making a confident choice for their medical treatment plan. Unfortunately, this makes it hard for new patients to determine where to even start.


SmartLeaf Health Services is here to remove that uncertainty. We strive to guide our patients through each step of the Medical Cannabis framework and have them feeling comfortable and confident as they begin their journey as a Medical Cannabis Patient.




There are some groups that may argue that medical marijuana is no longer needed now that recreational is legal in Canada since October 2018. What those groups fail to understand is that there are still significant reasons why someone with a mild to severe illness should consider medical marijuana vs recreational marijuana instead.


Conditions can become worse if not correctly addressed, so self medicating is risky. It’s important that you have access to the right information, dosages, strains and general help.


Some of the other reasons involve:
You receive the correct CBD to THC balance for your condition
You save on taxes and may be able to bill your insurance, helping you save money

Patients have access to more strains, oils, capsules and licensed producers than recreational users, meaning you get a consistent supply regularly

You receive access to all the information/education you need to help you make informed decisions for your condition


You can learn more about the differences between medical marijuana & recreational by clicking here to read Medical Marijuana Vs Recreational Marijuana – What’s The Difference?




Recreational marijuana has been legal since October 2018, but if you’re suffering from mild to chronic health conditions and are looking to medicate with cannabis, there are still many reasons why you should get a medical cannabis prescription instead of self medicating with recreational.


Here are just some of the reasons you should treat your conditions with medical marijuana. Click here for a more detailed list.


  1. A prescription gives you regular access to CBD oil, whereas many dispensaries are not able to receive a consistent supply.
  2. A qualified physician will prescribe the right strains and THC to CBD balance for your specific condition. This will assure your condition doesn’t worsen due to incorrect doses/strains/types.
  3. Medical marijuana is taxed less heavily than recreational, making it more affordable, and can be claimed as a medical expense when filing your tax return.
  4. Patients have access to more quality strains, cannabis oil, dried cannabis and capsules than recreational.
  5. Your insurance provider may cover part of the cost of treatment.
  6. Physician consultations and prescriptions are covered by Alberta health




There are more than 500 components found within the cannabis plant, including more than 100 active compounds. Below you will find some information about the most prominent compounds:

Tetrahydrocannabinol THC

THC & You

Tetrahydrocannabinol; this is one of the most prominent cannabinoids in cannabis. It binds itself to CB-1 receptors in your brain and therefore is responsible for a variety of physiological effects and has psychoactive properties.

Cannabidiol CBD

CBD & You

Cannabidiol; this is the other incredibly prominent cannabinoid found in cannabis and is especially important to the medical community. It bonds to various CB receptors throughout your body producing a wide array of health benefits without the psychoactive qualities of THC.

Understand All About Medical Cannabis & Marijuana & Their Uses


The chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief of an array of symptoms including pain, nausea anxiety and inflammation. They do this by mimicking compounds our bodies produce called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health.


These are fragrant oils that are scented in the flower’s resin glands that also produce THC, CBD, and other Cannabinoids.  Terpenes,, like Cannabinoids, bind to receptors in the brain to give rise to various effects.
Below are 5 of the most common terpenes and their attributes:


Aroma: Sharp, Sweet, Pine
Effects: Memory Retention, Alertness
Medical Benefits: Inflammation, Asthma (Bronchodilator)



Aroma: Citrus, Lemon, Orange
Effects: Elevated Mood, Stress Relief
Medical Benefits: Anti-Depression, Anti-Anxiety, Antifungal



Aroma: Floral, Citrus, Spice
Effects: Sedating, Calming
Medical Benefits: Insomnia, Stress, Depression, Pain



Aroma: Musk, Cloves, Herbal
Effects: Sedating, Enhance THC’s Psychoactivity
Medical Benefits: Antiseptic, Anti-Bacterial, Inflammation



Aroma: Fresh, Woody, Terpenic
Effects: Sedating, Antibacterial Cleansing
Medical Benefits: Antioxidant, Sedative, Antibacterial


SMOKING Cannabis


While this is the most recognized way to consume cannabis it is actually not the best way to go. The active ingredients in cannabis (both cannabinoids and terpenes) are degraded when heated beyond their boiling point which is required when smoking.

Marijuana oils


This is quickly becoming the most popular way to consume cannabis. Cannabis is extracted into an oil and then can be taken via a dropper or put into pill form. The active ingredients are absorbed along the digestive tract providing a longer active dose, as well as an added level of availability and discretion.



This is done with a device that heats cannabis flower at a lower heat, activating the ingredients in the cannabis and producing a vapor that is inhaled. This can provide the full array of benefits from consuming oil while providing a faster activation time in your body.

Marijuana: Tangerine Dream Buds


While used in fewer applications cannabinoids can be absorbed through the skin via creams, balms, and even patches. Often acting quickly locally (i.e. creams/ balms applied to an inflamed joint) and lasting 1-2 hours.


The Medical Cannabis industry in Canada has made significant developments in the last few years. The focus on important regulations and patient safety has allowed the Canadian market to develop a Cannabis supply chain that provides some of the best quality products in the world. Along with the regulation has come the experience and influence of the highest tenured medical professionals in Canada to enable each industry component which ensure they are medically sound.

One of the fastest growing portions of the cannabis industry is Licensed Producers. Licensed Producers (LP’s) are the companies in Canada that have been provided a legal license to cultivate and sell products directly to patients. Along with cultivation and product development each LP is federally mandated to carry out continuous research and development. This focus on continuous medical and scientific research has created a diverse workforce in the Cannabis industry that employs professionals such as doctors, geneticists, engineers and subject matter experts across several verticals such as quality assurance, supply chain delivery, and horticulture. As a result, there has been development of rigorous checks and balances throughout the Cannabis supply chain and several LP’s also work with independent laboratories to review and validate each product and the medical effects. Like other pharmaceutical industries clinical trials are beginning to work with government regulators to identify and confirm specific attributes and medicinal properties of Cannabis products.

Get Started With Cannabis Today!

Medical Cannabis can help with hundreds of conditions and symptoms.

Find out if you are eligible.