Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is medical marijuana?

A: Medical marijuana is a prescription drug consisting of the dried buds of the female cannabis plant. The active ingredient is THC, a cannabinoid, which interacts with the system in the brain involved with pain transmission. Marijuana provides relief from several serious symptoms such as severe pain, chronic nausea, loss of appetite, muscle spasms and others.

Q: Can marijuana help with my medical condition?

A:Medical marijuana has been prescribed for a range of conditions that cause chronic pain, chronic nausea, appetite loss, sleep disorders, muscle spasms or seizures. Some of these conditions include AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, arthritis, fibromyalgia, hypertension, etc. In addition, marijuana is used in the treatment of Glaucoma, and has been used for Depression, ADHD and neurological conditions.

Q: Am I eligible to receive medical marijuana?

A:If you suffer from a serious medical condition that causes chronic pain, chronic nausea, appetite loss, sleep disorders, muscle spasms or seizures, you may be eligible to receive medical marijuana. For more information, see our eligibility page.

Q: How can I apply for authorization to possess medical marijuana?

A:To apply for authorization to use medical marijuana, you first need the support of your doctor. Then you and your doctor will need to fill out a series of forms and provide proof of your identity. For complete details on how to apply with the Health Canada MMAR program, visit “How do I get an MMAR number?”

Q: Where can I find the Health Canada MMAR application forms?

A: VIMM explains what each of the forms is used for to help you determine which forms you will need. We also have direct links to printable versions all application forms.

Q: How long does the application process take?

A: Health Canada will reply within 10 days of receiving your application with any immediate issues such as missing forms or information. Altogether, the application can take up to 10 weeks to be processed depending on the urgency of the applicant’s condition and how complete and thorough the application materials are.

Q: How should I approach my doctor about medical marijuana?

A: The more prepared and informed you are ahead of time the better. VIMM has a preparation checklist as well as talking tips to help you talk to your doctor about medical marijuana.

Q: I have an MMAR number but need a designated grower to supply my medicine. Can you help?

A:We certainly can! VIMM can pair you with a reliable designated grower and help with all the necessary paperwork. Please contact us to be connected with a designated grower now.

Q: I’m a patient and would like to grow my own marijuana. Is that possible?

A:Yes it is. You will need to submit Form C of the MMAR Application Forms, “Application for Licence to Produce Marihuana by Applicant”.

Q: How do I become a designated grower?

A:You need to find a patient to grow medicine for, and submit Form D and proof of your identity along with the other forms in your assigned patient’s MMAR application package. For more information see our Growing Marijuana Legally page.

Q: How many patients can one individual grow medical marijuana for?

A:One individual grower is allowed to grow medicine for up to 2 patients. At the same time, a maximum of 3 patients can be provided for at any single street address. For more information see our Growing Marijuana Legally page.

Q: How many plants can I grow for my current prescription?

A:Based on a prescription of 1 gram per day, there is an easy formula to calculate how many plants you can grow and how much dried marijuana you can store:

  • Indoors: 1 gram/day = 5 plants & 225 grams in storage
  • Outdoors: 1 gram/day = 2 plants & 750 grams in storage
  • Both: 1 gram/day = 4 plants indoors + 1 plant outdoors & 375 grams in storage

Q: What does VIMM do?

A:VIMM helps patients connect with designated growers of medical marijuana to provide them with free legal medicine. We also guide patients through the process of becoming authorized by Health Canada to use medical marijuana.

Q: Do you sell marijuana to patients?

A:At this time, our designated growers are offering to provide medical marijuana to patients free of charge.

Q: Where does your marijuana come from?

A:Our medical marijuana is grown on Vancouver Island according to the strictest standards of safety and quality.

Q: How does marijuana benefit your health?

A:Marijuana has been found valuable in the treatment of many illnesses and conditions throughout history. On this page, you can find a few of the benefits patients experience from using medical marijuana today.

Q: What are the side effects of marijuana use?

A:The side effects of marijuana vary quite a bit among different strains and different people. Negative effects range from drowsiness and loss of focus to agitation leading to fear and paranoia. Such effects are temporary and go away within a few hours. Smoking marijuana carries many of the same risks as smoking cigarettes and is not advisable. Because of the adverse health effects of smoking, other methods of ingesting marijuana are preferable.

Q: Who should avoid marijuana?

A:Patients with a history of heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other disease of the airways, drug or alcohol abuse or dependence, or a serious mental disorder, such as schizophrenia should all consult their doctor before trying medical marijuana. You should also avoid marijuana if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, planning to get pregnant, or if you are allergic to any cannabinoid.

Q: Is there a minimum age to participate in the MMAR program?

A:There is no minimum age requirement to apply for authorization to use medical marijuana as long as you have the support of your doctor.

Q: How do you take medical marijuana?

A:There are many methods of ingesting marijuana including eating, drinking, vaporizing and smoking. For more information, visit Ways to Use Marijuana. We also have techniques and recipes for preparing marijuana in edible forms, in tinctures, and more information about vaporizers.

Q: How much marijuana do you need to take, and how often do you take it?

A:Medical marijuana prescriptions vary depending on the patient’s condition and the strain of marijuana. Your doctor can help you determine the right dosage for your situation. When you are approved by Health Canada, a daily limit will be printed on your MMAR card. The average use of marijuana for medical purposes is from 1 to 3 grams per day. If you are just beginning to use marijuana, you should start with a small dose and increase it gradually until you reach a comfortable level.

Q: Can you use marijuana while on other medication?

A:Some pain medications have been proven to be more effective in combination with marijuana. However, with all medication, different combinations can have unpredictable effects. You should always consult your doctor before combining any medications.

Q: Are there alternative methods of using marijuana besides smoking?

A:There are many ways to use marijuana besides smoking. You can make oils or butter for use in baked goods and other foods, herbal tea infusions, tinctures and other edible forms of marijuana. You can also use a vaporizer to inhale THC without actually burning it — much less harmful than smoking!

Q: What’s the difference between Sativa and Indica?

A:There are two basic types of Cannabis plants, Sativa and Indica. Sativas are taller plants originating from Mexico, Columbia and Southeast Asia. Sativas usually have a higher THC content and cause a stimulating, uplifting effect. Indicas are shorter, dense plants originating from Afghanistan, Morocco, Tibet, etc. Indicas have a more sedative or relaxing effect and can be used for anxiety reduction.

Q: How should I store my medical marijuana?

A:Always store your marijuana in a cool, dry and above all SECURE place. Consider using a safe or other locked secure container to store your medicine.

Q: Is marijuana legal?

A:Marijuana is still a controlled substance, and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes is a criminal offence. Marijuana is only legal when used by an authorized patient for medical purposes.

Q: Are you a compassion club?

A:VIMM is not a compassion club, although we are similar in nature. We only work with patients who have, or are applying for, a valid MMAR license number from Health Canada.

Q: Can I carry medical marijuana with me on trips outside Canada?

A:At this time, most other countries do not allow marijuana use or possession for any purpose. It is definitely not a good idea to carry marijuana while travelling internationally.
Van Isle Medical Marijuana

Medical Benefits of Marijuana

  • Relieves chronic pain from a variety of causes and reduces the need for addictive narcotic pain killers.
  • Increases appetite, relieves nausea and vomiting, reduces pain and helps patients sleep while undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Improves appetite, may reduce pain and helps HIV patients sleep.
  • May reduce brain and lung tumors and slow the growth of cancer, may stop breast cancer from spreading throughout the body.

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