Are you new to medicating with medical cannabis? Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been growing your own cannabis for years, keeping a journal could greatly help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of your cannabis treatment plan. This journal should be personal and may change over time as you become more accustomed to medicating with cannabis. One of the best things a journal can do is help you accurately recall how much medication you took at a given time. A journal can also be an aide to help you differentiate between strains, types of edibles, and brands. Journaling can even be used to help you budget and plan the best time to refill your medicine cabinet. This will help reduce the stress of wondering when, what type, and how much medication you should get next time.
Concentrates made from cannabis have been around for a long time; yet lately, the term has become a bit enigmatic. Perhaps you have heard of wax or are familiar with hash. These are two forms of cannabis concentrate that have been extracted through different methods. While there are many aspects of cannabis that can be extracted, the most common elements are cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Concentrates are aptly named as they are more potent than smoking cannabis flower, making it ideal for those who need a fast acting, high dose treatment to alleviate their pain. To understand the nature of concentrates, we need a better understanding of how cannabis produces the medicines known as cannabinoids.
Medical marijuana treatments can be used to alleviate many ailments; however, too much medication can result in some unpleasant side effects. Often referred to as a “marijuana overdose”, patients may experience nausea, vertigo, paranoia, and panic attacks from a large dose of cannabis. These negative effects can last up to four hours and leave a patient feeling exhausted for even longer; on the other hand, cannabis will not shut off a person’s autonomous functions like lungs breathing or a heart beating. This is why many find cannabis to be a far less dangerous pain remedy than opioids. For further reading on cannabis and opioids, please, check out our blog post on the difference between cannabis and opioids.
With proper dosing, patients might never experience the negative side effects of cannabis. It may be difficult to predict this dose because everybody’s endocannabinoid system is different. On top of that, cannabis comes in many forms that each affect the body uniquely. For example, smoking a joint or eating a brownie will give a patient very different experiences even if both treatments offer an equivalent amount of THC. This is largely due to the way our livers process THC. For inexperienced patients, we recommend starting with a very low dose, one toke or 5mg of eaten THC, and slowly increasing your dose over time to meet your needs.
One of the most well known ailments to be treated with cannabis is glaucoma; even Bill Maher jokes that he smokes cannabis to treat his glaucoma. Despite the popularity of the cultural allusions, glaucoma is a serious medical condition that often results in irreversible blindness. Cannabis has been shown to help alleviate pain symptoms, and patients suffering from glaucoma have praised the holistic properties of cannabis, both smoked and eaten. Most of this praise focuses on the benefits of cannabis with high THC contents, but other cannabinoids may also help, potentially even more than THC.
Opium is a plant containing opioids which reduce pain by binding to opioid receptors. Cannabis is a plant containing cannabinoids which produces a diverse range of effects by acting on cannabinoid receptors. The Drug Enforcement Agency lists several opioids including heroin as schedule I drugs. They also list all cannabis, hemp, and cannabinoids as schedule I drugs. This means the DEA sees cannabis and heroin as comparable threats to society that offer no medical benefit. So, what is the difference between opioids and cannabis, and why would someone choose to treat their pain with one over the other?
Recently, medical marijuana has gained traction as a viable medication to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Often, people with PTSD use cannabis to calm their mind and reduce the frequency of nightmares.
When you begin to explore the world of medical marijuana, some of the first terms you’ll come across are Indica and Sativa. Generally speaking, these terms refer to the two major classifications of the cannabis plant that have their own particular attributes and effects. However, these are not set-in-stone classifications but general guidelines that signal what patients can anticipate when using a strain of cannabis, including medicinal effect, bud structure, smell, taste, etc.
Of the various ways to medicate with cannabis, ingesting or eating it in some form is one of the most effective. One of the oldest and most versatile methods of ingesting marijuana is the tincture. Cannabis tincture is a particular liquid that has been infused with cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. This medicine is usually kept in a bottle with a dropper for ease of dosing. Traditionally, tinctures are made using alcohol, but other mediums such as glycerine and MCT oil, a coconut oil that has a more fluid state, are also forms of tincture.
Due to the nature of cannabis being listed as a schedule one drug by the federal government, few clinical trials have focused on the effects of medical marijuana on seizures. As such, there is no concrete analysis on the exact relationship between marijuana and seizures. The success that has been attributed to cannabis treating seizures is largely anecdotal, made popular by news outlets such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special on cannabis.
By its very nature, medical marijuana is defined by its moisture content. This moisture content change rapidly depending on the climate where it is kept. While this is one of the most important aspects when considering how to store cannabis, it is not the only factor to consider.
Think of other consumables such as food or wine that have parameters to adhere to in order to keep a consistent quality and freshness. With this in mind, the following are 4 tips to consider when deciding how to store your medicine in a safe and practical manner.
While there are many methods of smoking medical marijuana that have their own particular benefits, traditionally the most popular approach is the preroll. Perhaps you’ve heard of this term before; maybe you have been confused by the nomenclature:
A preroll is simply ground cannabis rolled cylindrically with rice or hemp paper that often includes a cardboard tip for ease of use and comfort. Once referred to as a marijuana cigarette or joint, the term “preroll” gets its name from the fact that the cannabis has been previously rolled and is ready to be smoked immediately.
Although many people associate medical marijuana with smoking, a large portion of patients prefer eating or drinking cannabis infused products, commonly called edibles. Due to the fact that the medicines produced by marijuana are easily extracted with fats and oils, most of these edibles include butter, coconut oil, peanut oil, or other common baking fats. While it is relatively easy to produce potent brownies or cookies, it is difficult to accurately dose these baked goods.
There are two ways your pets may encounter cannabis, often called medical marijuana: either you are intentionally using the medication to help your pet, or your pet has accidentally eaten some of your medication. In both cases, your pet will be caught off guard by the effects of the medicine. Therefore, it is very important to understand how cannabis will likely affect the animal.
There is more to medical marijuana than just smoking or vaporizing. For those patients that do not wish to inhale smoke in order to medicate, there are marijuana edibles: food or drink items that have been medicated with cannabis. Through lab testing, Arbors Wellness and other experts are able to determine the potency of an edible, making it easier for a patient to properly dose. Potency can range from low to high dose, making marijuana edibles effective for treatment of pain from minor aches to more long-term chronic ailments.
Ann Arbor, Michigan’s leading medical marijuana dispensary Arbors Wellness has launched a new website to educate people about cannabis. ArborsWellness.com is an online destination for Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) cardholders to learn more about the Ann Arbor dispensary, its current menu, weekly specials, and more.