Relieving pain is medical marijuana’s most popular purpose; however, it is also a powerful ally for fighting more nuanced diseases and disorders like depression. Depression is a serious illness that affects millions. In fact, the Center for Disease and Control has found that more than one in twenty Americans twelve years of age and older report moderate to severe depressive symptoms in the past two weeks. With a huge variety of strains available, many are well suited for treating and alleviating symptoms of depression. The key is finding the one that works best for you; Of course, everyone has their own preferences and a unique endocannabinoid system. While this list will be accurate for most, all of these strains will have a variety of effects on patients. As always, be aware of your disposition towards indica and sativa strains. Consult our guide if you are unsure or curious. Now, let’s take a look at the top five best strains to fight depression.
Vaping has been popular for many years. In fact, “vaping” was Oxford dictionary’s word of the year in 2014. The demand for cannabis vape pens has continued to increase due to the advantages vaping offers. The benefits are clear: the ease of use, the discretion of medicating without the typical cannabis smell and vaporizing is easier on your lungs than smoking. There are many options available, so it is important to know what to look for before going off and investing a large sum of money. Vape pens have two major categories: dry-herb vaporizers and concentrate vaporizers.
A dry-herb vaporizer uses the ability of cannabinoids like THC to be transformed into a water vapor at lower temperatures than need to combust plant material. This means that no actual smoke is produced when you use a vaporizer as cannabinoids can turn from liquid to gas without igniting. Dry-herb pens are beneficial as you are vaporizing cannabis in its natural state; meaning, you get the original spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes the plant grew. This is one of the cleanest ways to inhale cannabis. The pen has a chamber that you pack with ground herb much like the bowl of a pipe. Depending on the pen, it will take several moments or a few minutes for the pen to reach the temperature needed to vaporize.
Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is a full extract cannabis oil meant to be taken orally or applied topically. RSO is a marijuana extract made utilizing a solvent to extract cannabinoids. The most common solvent used to produce RSO is grain alcohol, but some other solvents like ethanol or butane are sometimes used. Flower (bud) material is placed in a large container and alcohol is added. The entire mixture is stirred and crushed into the alcohol. After a time, the alcohol is drained from the remaining plant material. That mixture is then heated in a container, such as a rice cooker, so that the residual alcohol evaporates. The end product is a high potency oil often dark in color with a thick consistency. RSO can be siphoned into a syringe style applicator for dosing which offers the advantage of a long shelf life as oxidation does not easily occur.
Medical marijuana, or cannabis, has long been known for its sleep inducing effects. Not all cannabis is created equal and some cannabis, often referred to as sativa, can produce a more awakening, energizing experience. Cannabis plants that produce a more relaxed body high are often referred to as indica. These indica plants usually help relieve patients of physical pain as well as insomnia; however, the effects of a cannabis strain will vary among individuals. For more information about the difference between indica and sativa, read our blog article What’s The Difference Between Indica and Sativa.
It is important to try a variety of strains to figure out the best medicine for you. Using other people’s experiences and reviews will help channel your own treatment plan, but you won’t know what works for you until you try a variety. Because THC medication can result in intense psychoactivity, over medicating or using a high THC cannabis may impede your ability to sleep. If you are new to cannabis, be sure to start small and slowly increase the amount of medication overtime as needed.
We have gone through a long list of cannabis strains and have found the five we find most helpful in allowing us to get a full night’s rest. Starting with number five:
There are a variety of ways beyond smoking to utilize medical marijuana such as vaping flower or concentrates, using edibles, tinctures, and topicals like balms or lotions. These various medicines are used to tackle a wide array of health issues including cancers, crohn’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain to name a few. With such a wide range of symptoms, how does cannabis interact with the body to help treat or alleviate such issues? The answer is a system found in humans and a majority of animal species: the endocannabinoid system.
Chances are, you’ve heard of THC. This cannabinoid produced by marijuana has pain relieving and palliative effects, but it is most famous for its psychoactive properties. There are also multiple cannabinoids found in marijuana that affect the body differently than THC. Cannabidiol or CBD has many of the same benefits that THC has; however, it does not produce the hallucinogenic or “high” effects. Different amounts of THC and CBD can be used on their own or in combination to create a unique medicinal effect that can address a wide array of issues.
One of the most common side effects when using a medical marijuana treatment is the lack of motivation that comes with some high potency strains. Though higher potency strains are perfect for tackling a variety of issues such as chronic pain or nausea, they can often leave you feeling couch-locked or lethargic. Yet, there are a variety of strains whose cannabinoid and terpene content make them ideal for providing an energetic and productive experience.
The following is a list of the top five strongest strains for productivity that will have you energized and ready to tackle the day while providing palliative effects.
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 changes 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 four 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.