Legal Marijuana Alternatives (Both Medical and Recreational)

Legal marijuana alternatives can provide different options for different people. You might be looking for something to handle a medical condition, legal ways to get high, or more information on Delta-8. So we’ll cover all of the above. 

Let’s dive in. 

Quick Summary

Cannabis plants produce recreational and medical marijuana. But between the risk of an employer drug test and criminal penalties in many states, you have other options for similar effects and natural remedies for medicinal use without running afoul of your state or federal government.

Read more here on medical vs. recreational marijuana.

CBD products and delta-8 THC products come from a legal loophole in the 2018 Federal Farm Bill. Other options replace prescription drugs like opioids, but with fewer side effects. Federal law doesn’t prohibit any of these similar products.

If you have any questions on how all of this affects your life insurance, give us a call at 888-987-8447.

Medical Alternatives to Cannabis

Did you know that in states with legal recreational cannabis, opioid abuse goes down? Awesome, right? 

Most people self-treating with cannabis use it for pain or chronic pain, according to Harvard Medical School. It doesn’t have the sedation effects of opioids and is easier on the stomach than NSAIDs for people with ulcers or GERD. 

medical marijuana alternatives

Other people also take it to ease anxiety, contrary to the typical paranoia side effect reported. 

Kava-kava. People tend to take this to ease anxiety and stress. It’s also useful for pain and relaxing muscles. Kava comes from an island plant on islands in the south pacific. The roots are ground into a powder and mixed with water to consume. 

The caution with kava comes from links to severe liver damage, particularly if combined with alcohol. WebMD recommends taking it for no longer than three months. 

Valerian root. A common herbal remedy for insomnia, it can also help with anxiety, depression, menstrual cramps, and stress. 

There is little peer-reviewed research on the effectiveness of valerian (as seems to be common with most herbal medicines because there’s no funding incentive.) There don’t appear to be any adverse effects with short-term use. 

Ginger. Another root (technically rhizome) on the list, it’s great for nausea and tastes delicious. It also promotes good digestion, contains antioxidants, and has possible anti-inflammatory benefits. 

The only downside is eating too much in a sitting can upset your digestive system because it promotes “efficient digestion,” so food leaves the stomach faster. 

Turmeric and black pepper. There must be something healthy about roots because we have turmeric, which works as an anti-inflammatory. With the number of health conditions linked to low-grade total body inflammation, we should probably all eat more of it. 

It also has antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties, with more peer-reviewed research to back up the claims. 

The weird part about turmeric comes from the chemical (curcumin) that becomes more bioavailable when mixed with the piperine in black pepper. A delicious combination, anyway. There’s no harm in incorporating a lot of it into your diet. The only harm is spilling it on the counter, where it will stain! 

Echinacea. A good cure-all plant, evidence suggests it boosts immune function, lowers inflammation, relieves pain, and has extra antiviral, antioxidant and hormonal effects. According to Mount Sinai in New York, a review of 14 clinical studies indicates that it can be a great supplement to prevent (and quickly get over) colds.

Always take it with food. Otherwise, you may suffer from an upset stomach. 

The 2018 Farm Bill had some interesting side effects as far as legal marijuana alternatives. It allows hemp production as long as plants contain less than 3% THC

So what do people do? 

Figure out how to synthesize THC from industrial hemp. Technically legal at the federal level. However, some states are beginning to regulate it. New York just passed a prohibition on Delta-8 products. 

People report similar but milder highs compared to smoking, vaping, or edible THC. 

And, because there’s no regulation, it can be sold anywhere – most commonly in convenience stores. 

The good news is that you don’t have to risk legal ramifications if you live in a prohibition state. 

The bad news is that because it’s unregulated, who knows what’s in those cartridges and gummies? Look into reputable brands and only buy from companies that seem to care about their customers’ safety. 

There are lots of ways to get high. Many of them are not fun or have scary effective-to-overdose ratios. So we’re ignoring those because your health matters. 

Instead, we’re looking at legal ways to have a mind-altering experience without extreme risk to your health. 

legal ways to get high

Salvia. You can buy this at many corner stores. It causes brief hallucinations, about 15 to 20 minutes. It was used by the Mazatec people in pre-colonial Central America as part of religious ceremonies. 

While non-addictive and without hangover effects, there have been no medical studies on long-term use. 

Kratom. Connecting with your opioid receptors (it’s not an opioid), it can act as pain relief, a stimulant, and create a euphoric effect. 

Sensory Deprivation. Some people experience psychedelic effects, but not all. Studies so far are inconclusive about that part of float tanks. However, other mental or physical benefits seem like a good thing to try at least once. Most major cities have float tank centers or have them installed in spas. It generally runs upwards of $100 for an hour. 

Delta-8. We covered loophole weed earlier. It’s a legal alternative in states that still classify cannabis sativa as an illegal drug. It’s synthesized from low-THC hemp as a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. It’s not regulated and available in edibles or vape cartridges. 

CBD. Hemp-derived cannabidiol doesn’t get you high. Instead, it binds with your cannabinoid receptors to relax you. Cannabinoid research is still in its infancy, but we’re slowly getting there.

Kava-Kava. It produces a mild euphoric experience but a chill version. 

Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only, and we do not encourage any illegal behavior. Also, please look up medical research before trying anything. Stay healthy. 


All of these legal products can be used for recreational purposes in the United States, some with psychoactive effects. Most aren’t prone to drug abuse, but the chemical compounds vary widely. It’s smart to talk to your doctor just in case they might affect any other medications that you’re taking.

Also, it’s always a good idea to double check the company background and sources for any herbal supplements. It’s a poorly regulated market.

How Marcan Insurance Solutions Can Help

At Marcan, we keep tabs on the insurance industry and help people find life insurance who may otherwise not qualify, whether due to cannabis consumption, legal marijuana alternatives, or anything else. 

Give us a call at 888-987-8447 if you have any questions. Your calls are confidential and fall under HIPAA regulations.