The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issues an identification card to a patient who has a certification from a physician authorizing the patient to obtain and use medical marijuana. Instructions are available here.

One or more of the following conditions:


To be be eligible for a medical marijuana card you must:

  1. Be a Colorado resident
  2. Be 18 or older.
  3. Have a qualifying medical condition


Minors are eligible for a medical marijuana card if:

  1. Minor and the primary parent are Colorado residents
  2. Minor has a qualifying medical condition

Qualifying Medical Conditions 

  1. Cancer
  2. Glaucoma
  3. HIV or AIDS
  4. Cachexia
  5. Persistent muscle spasms
  6. Seizures
  7. Severe nausea
  8. Severe pain
  9. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds present in cannabis that affect the body and mind through their interaction with special receptors in the brain and nervous system. The human body has cellular receptors that bind with the active components in cannabis. There are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis.

Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds found in the Cannabis plant. The two primary cannabinoids contained in Cannabis are cannabidiol, or CBD, and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Cannabinoids found in cannabis and ingested are called phytocannabinoids and scientists have discovered cannabinoids produced within the body called endocannabinoids. Several doctors found the first endocannabinoid called anandamide in 1992.

Though medical research is limited due to federal limitations on research, there are recent exciting medicinal discoveries of the effect of several cannabinoids and their medicinal benefits. Six of the most common cannabinoids are:

THC – The most well-known cannabinoid and the most psychoactive. THC has the ability to alter behavior, mood and time perception, and consciousness. It is responsible for the euphoric feeling some people consider as being “high”

THCV – Is a psychoactive cannabinoid that may help treat diabetes and is being investigated as an anti-obesity medicine

CBD – Studies have shown this non-psychoactive cannabinoid to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, blood pressure lowering, pain reduction properties, among other potential benefits

CBN – Somewhat psychoactive cannabinoid (~10% activity of THC). CBN occurs when THC is exposed to light and/or heat. It is known to cause drowsiness and reduce spasms

CBG – Is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that may have the ability to counteract and prevent tumor formation

CBC – A cannabinoid that has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and potential promising antibiotic properties

Though there is significant debate about the existence of the subspecies of cannabis, Cure views strains in five major divisions.

Sativa – originates from tropical/equatorial regions where the warm climate where the plant grows tall, reaching toward the sun

Sativa Effects – uplifting and energetic, cerebral high, vibrant flavors, appetite modifier, enhance creativity, relive stress, day-time use

Hybrid – genetic combinations of Sativa and Indica strains with varying percentages of each with a blend of Sativa and Indica effects. Most strains available today are hybrids due to decades of cross-breeding to create strains with more desirable effects, appealing terpene profiles, and disease and pest resistance

Indica – originates from mountainous and higher elevation regions where the plant evolved to be shorter and thick to protect itself from harsh elements and wide temperature variation

Indica Effects – calming, body high, sedative, earth flavors, anxiety reduction, causes drowsiness, relieves pain, night-time use

The difference between these is just words. There are no physical or biological differences between cannabis and marijuana. Though the number of species within the genus is disputed current understanding is there are three main species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis (Hemp). Marijuana is a nickname of Mexican origin, coming from the word marihuana and has been used colloquially over the last 90+ years. Most states that have implemented medical programs have used the more familiar medical marijuana nomenclature.
Varieties of cannabis are bred to intensify specific characteristics of the plant such as taste, smell, color, height, potency, and cannabinoid content among other items. Typically strain names are chosen by their growers, and often reflect the parent strains and/or properties of the plant such as taste, color, smell, and/or the origin of the variety. This is similar to the variety of apples one sees at the grocery store, they are all apples but have different flavors, colors and taste.
Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants including cannabis, fruit, vegetables, trees, bushes, and some insects. They often have a strong smells and biologically may protect the plants that produce them by deterring herbivores and by attracting predators. Terpenes are the primary constituents of essential oils widely used as fragrances in perfume, diffusers, and alternative medicines such as aromatherapy.


Source: Click Here

Pen vaporizers or vape pens are small vaporizers shaped like a pen or most electronic cigarette. These devices are typically discrete and easy to use. Vape pens almost always utilize conduction heating making it important that you understand how to operate. This will most likely be the most common method to medicate in Pennsylvania.
Waxes, shatters, crumbles, and oils are a concentrated form of cannabinoids and terpenes and are therefore referred to as cannabis concentrates. Due to these products being a concentrated mix, you have the benefit of only needing a very small amount to get achieve the same quantity of medicinal effect. For patients looking to vaporize concentrates, you will need a vapor pen or device that is capable of heating and vaporizing concentrates nearly instantaneously.
Cannabis-infused topicals are a relatively new mode of medicating with cannabis. Topicals enable many patients the accessibility, safety, and efficacy of a proven method of using medication. Topicals are typically cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Often times these are non-psychoactive and are chosen by patients who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana without orally consuming the medication.

In states with medical cannabis laws, opioid overdoses drop by an average of 35%. This effect is larger in states that have had medical marijuana for longer periods. See article here.

For additional information on cannabis and opioids please refer to this PDF prepared by Adrianne Wilson-Poe, PHD and distributed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer on October 11, 2017.