Alaska’s Marijuana Industry – Working For Pain Relief

Feb 12, 2024 | Articles

Alaska is right up there with progressive states when it comes to cannabis legalization. They became the third state to legalize adult use back in 2014, and medical marijuana has been permitted since 1998.

Providing users with a natural and holistic approach to managing pain, residents of The Last Frontier state have been enjoying the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana for years. Getting a medical marijuana card (Alaska) costs just $25 and is fairly easy if you have a qualifying medical condition. 

Since recreational use is legal, you may wonder if it’s even worth having a medical marijuanas card AK? After all, if you’re 21 or older, you can walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis products just by showing your ID, so why go through the hassle of qualifying for an MMJ card?


Well, as it turns out, the medical marijuana market provides some benefits beyond what recreational marijuana can offer. This includes tax exemptions and higher possession.


Recreational vs. Medical Marijuana in Alaska

The main difference between recreational and medical marijuana is the intended use. While recreational marijuana is generally used for enjoyment and to “get high,” people use medical cannabis to manage certain symptoms, like stress and pain.

Although medical marijuana often contains THC, the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects, getting high isn’t the focus. Many MMJ products have a higher CBD to THC ratio, making them suitable for people whose focus is on the medicinal benefits.

Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, often has a high THC content to maximize the intoxicating effects. People may use it in social settings or alone to experience a mind-altering high.

In Alaska, medical marijuana may also cost less because it isn’t subject to sales tax. While the recreational tax rate ranges between 3 – 5% depending on the county, medical marijuana is exempt from tax. This means getting a medical marijuana card (Alaska) could save you money.


Having an MMJ card also means that you can buy medical marijuana in some other states when traveling. This can be very helpful since there are still strict laws around traveling with marijuana. Arizona, Nevada, and New York are just some states that accept out-of-state MMJ cards. Therefore, if you have an Alaskan MMJ card, you don’t have to suffer through your pain and can purchase your medical cannabis products in these states.


Using Medical Marijuana for Pain Relief

One of the most common reasons people turn to medical marijuana is to soothe bodily pain. In Alaska, chronic pain is a qualifying condition that will make you eligible to obtain an MMJ card.

The opioid crisis is out of control in the U.S., with pain pills being one of the main reasons for addiction and overdoses. In Alaska specifically, an influx of fentanyl in the last three years has disrupted law enforcement, overwhelmed health systems, and had a deep impact on struggling Native communities. 

Those suffering from pain, whether it be from an accident, sports injury, or medical condition, are so desperate for relief that they take more and more pills just to ease their discomfort. Since most conventional pain medications are highly addictive and have unwanted side effects, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, many are finding a friend in medical marijuana, a natural and safer alternative to opioids. As reported in one 2016 study, there was a 64% reduction in opioid use amongst chronic pain patients who used medical marijuana. Moreover, these patients had fewer side effects and better quality of life.

It’s worth noting that medical marijuana is not a holy grail cure or treatment for pain, but it could help depending on your type of pain and how you respond to MMJ. You may need to experiment a bit to find a marijuana strain and THC/CBD ratio that works for you.

All that to say, possessing a medical marijuana card (Alaska) can help you get the natural products you need to manage pain. Originating from nature, marijuana is a safer option. It poses a much lower risk of addiction, and a cannabis overdose is almost never fatal. 


Final Thoughts

Using medical cannabis as a substitute for prescription opioids can greatly improve day-to-day life. It’s a holistic and safer approach to managing pain, with fewer side effects and a lower risk of addiction.

Getting a medical marijuana card (Alaska) gives you access to a wide variety of cannabis products that may help with pain relief. They also often cost less than recreational products since there is a 0% tax rate on medical marijuana in Alaska. 


Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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Thomas B.