Jul 7, 2017 12:20 PM

10 Things Patients and Caregivers Need to Know About Medical Cannabis

Consuming medical cannabis may still seem a bit weird to many. The herb that was recently completely banned and illegal is now proclaimed to have lots of medicinal properties that can help you with a number of health problems. No one wants to joke with their own health, and when it comes to your loved ones, you want to be one hundred percent sure that the treatment you give them is really helpful and necessary.

It is true that the medical cannabis industry has many problems and lacks regulation. Even if the doctor prescribes marijuana to you or your loved one, you have all the reasons to doubt whether it is worth consuming. This topic is usually enfolded in lots of myths and rumors. This is why we are offering you to learn ten things that may clear the matter and explain the most confusing details.

1. Cannabis does not always make you high

Those who are new to the whole topic of cannabis may be surprised to find out that cannabis does not necessarily provide you with euphoria or any psychoactive effect. In fact, even the most psychoactive herbs can deliver only the medical benefits with little to no “high” if you control the dosage.

The compound that is “guilty” of producing the high effects is called tetrahydrocannabinol, or simply THC. It is the part that makes you giggly, uplifted, and relaxed. These effects can also be therapeutic, especially for those who are fighting stress-related conditions or depression.

If you do not want to get any psychoactive side effects but wish to experience the health benefits THC provides, there is a solution for you. The so-called “microdosing” allows patients to receive the medical properties of the compound without getting high. It means you consume a dose that is enough for the THC compound to start interacting with your endocannabinoid system but not enough to activate its psychoactive effect.

Dangerous Cannabis Interaction With Prescription Medications
Dangerous Cannabis Interaction With Prescription Medications
Cannabis is the newest medical tool that is gradually conquering the field. Though scientists have already studied many aspects of the plant, they do not know all the nuances of the plant's interaction with the traditional prescription medications.

However, apart from THC, cannabis contains another very useful compound called cannabidiol, or CBD. This component does not have any psychoactive effects at all. Instead, it has a whole lot of medical benefits, such as anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and pain-relieving properties.

You can ask the budtender in a dispensary to help you choose the right strain or cannabis product for your needs. On the market, you can find both THC-rich and CBD-rich flowers as well as evenly-balanced hybrids.

If you want to know more about cannabis compounds and the properties they have, you can find the information here.

2. Cannabis is not always about smoking

Smoking flowers is the most popular way of consuming cannabis yet not the only one. Especially when it comes to medical herb, there is a wide choice of different products that can deliver you the same or even bigger benefits compared to a regular joint.

You may have different reasons for avoiding smoking, and you are not wrong. This way of consuming cannabis can irritate your lungs and throat; moreover, it makes it difficult to measure the dose.

So, what are the options?

First of all, you can use a vaporizer with cannabis concentrates. It is considered to be one of the healthiest and safest ways to consume the herb. It allows you to measure the dose, it is safe for your lungs (the vapor is not hot and does not create heated particles as opposed to joint smoke), and its healing effects come almost immediately.

Apart from this method, you can also look for other options, such as:

  • raw cannabis (smoothies, juices, etc.)
  • tinctures
  • edibles
  • topicals
  • medical cannabis oils
  • transdermal patches
  • capsules, etc.

If you need, you can even use several options at the same time. For instance, to treat menstrual cramps, you can both smoke the herb and apply a topical rub. You may also couple appetite-inducing concentrates with raw cannabis juice or smoothie.

Remember that cannabis-infused edibles can be tricky since they start working only after about an hour, so the risk of eating more and more and eventually overdosing is quite high. Choose tested products that have instructions about the recommended dosages to avoid undesirable side effects.

Answering Most Important Questions About CBD
Answering Most Important Questions About CBD
There are many questions about CBD that bother people. While scientists conduct numerous studies to unravel the secrets of this cannabinoid, most people are left in the dark. To reveal the basic information that any stoner or patient has to know about CBD, let us look at those questions that people ask most often.

3. Medical cannabis is not a panacea

There is no magic pill that will cure all illnesses, and you should not expect that from cannabis either. It can treat lots of health conditions but not all of them. Plus, every single case requires a different amount of herb and a different kind of herb.

Some strains contain more THC, some have a higher level of CBD, and there is a variety of strains that have even parts of the two. So, how do you know what you need and how much of it you need?

The best option is to ask a doctor. A specialist can help you choose a certain product that suits your problem the best. If you decide to experiment by yourself, be prepared that finding the right strain or product will take time (and, obviously, money).

The best thing in this situation would be to google as much information on the subject as you can and then ask the budtender to help you with your choice. However, you should always remember that budtenders are not doctors, and the reaction of every person to herbal products is individual. Even if something has helped you once, it may be useless for your loved one who has the same health problem.

Dangers for Medical Cannabis Patients: Look Closer at Products You Buy
Dangers for Medical Cannabis Patients: Look Closer at Products You Buy
As the cannabis industry has not fully developed yet, not all states have mandatory systems of consumer safety requirements. It is crucial to be able to choose the goods that are completely safe for us, especially for those people who use marijuana for medical purposes.

4. Choose the right strain or cannabis product

To understand whether a certain product is working for you, you had better avoid taking several different items at the same time. This way, you can notice any changes in your state.

If it is possible, try not to consume the cannabis product in the middle of the day. It would be better to choose a calm place and moment when you have plenty of time to understand whether the herb is helping. You have chosen the right strain/product if:

  • You do not experience any (or at least very little) negative side effects such as dry eyes, headache, anxiety, or paranoia;
  • the pain goes away, even if it does not happen immediately;
  • your stress, fatigue, or anxiety level goes down;
  • you feel comfortable and calm/energized (depending on your expectations);
  • your mood elevates, and negative thoughts leave you;
  • you do not feel overly sedated, and
  • you feel sedated enough to fall asleep (if it the purpose of your cannabis consumption).

If the strain or cannabis product does not meet your expectations, do not hurry to choose another one. In most cases, if you change the dosage, the effects can also be different.

5. Doses can make a difference

As we have mentioned above, there is no magic pill that could fix every problem. Not only the effects of strains are different; even within one product you can get absolutely different results depending on the amount of substance you consume.

When it comes to medical cannabis that is consumed orally, the standard dose of THC or CBD for an adult person is usually about 10 milligrams. For patients who are fighting cancer, this dose can be increased up to one gram. At the same time, you will need no more than 5 milligrams for treating anxiety or mood swings.

What Should Medical Cannabis Patients Choose: Concentrates or Flower?
What Should Medical Cannabis Patients Choose: Concentrates or Flower?
Medical marijuana patients can choose the form of cannabis they would like to use. There are a few options that suit different individual needs. While infused edibles are universal, the two other forms, flowers and concentrates, have their own pros and cons.

For those who require treatment based on THC but do not want to experience its psychoactive effect, it is recommended to try microdosing. The idea of microdosing is based on the fact that cannabis can interact with our mind and body even when it is present in extremely low doses, as little as one to three milligrams. However, it is very difficult to find a product that would offer cannabis with such a low THC content.

In any case, the right dose is always very individual, and it often takes time to find one.

6. Choose trusted sources

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to cannabis-friendly pharmacies and dispensaries. But even those who are lucky to live in the states that have legalized medical marijuana should choose only trusted sources.

In the variety of cannabis products, there are some that have passed laboratory tests and others that come directly from the growers. Although all those products may be high-quality, it is always better to have proof that the item does not contain any pesticides, molds, or residual solvents.

What Is the Best Medical Cannabis Oil for You?
What Is the Best Medical Cannabis Oil for You?
If you are a new medical cannabis patient, you may be disoriented by a huge variety of medical cannabis oils available at your local dispensary. Though the weed market is flourishing with numerous brands, their wide range of products may puzzle any consumer. The following tips will help you choose the best medical cannabis oil for you.

7. Opt for organic products

If you are growing medical marijuana yourself, you can be sure that there are no pesticides, fungicides, or miticides in them. But what about the cannabis that you buy on the market?

To avoid the unwanted particles in your herb, you had better opt for organic cannabis whenever it is possible. This way, you can be sure that the flowers were treated right and do not contain any chemicals. Not all chemicals are bad, but when heated, some of them may cause allergies or transform into toxic gasses, which makes the medical properties of such marijuana quite doubtful.

The choosing of marijuana goods should be done wisely as in some places, there is simply no cannabis that is labeled “organic.” The thing is, the U.S. Federal Government uses this term as a marketing label, and local companies cannot use it. In any case, it is smart to read reviews on the forums and ask for lab tests if you are in doubt.

8. Choose safe paraphernalia

Cannabis products are not the only ones that can contain harmful particles. Unfortunately, weed paraphernalia can also have some unpleasant additives. It is especially relevant for vapor pens that often have cheap parts that may become toxic or carcinogenic when heated.

For this reason, try to choose the products that do not use plastic or at least contain as little of it as possible. It is also better to avoid any paraphernalia that has polyethylene glycol (PEG) or propylene glycol (PG) in it.

When it comes to concentrates or extracts for vapor pens, you had better choose those that use medium-chain triglycerides or vegetable glycerin as a base.

Cannabis Antibiotics to Fight MRSA
Cannabis Antibiotics to Fight MRSA
Some bacteria nowadays are evolving so fast that scientists cannot catch up with them. Already, some illnesses that have been successfully treated before cannot be dealt with today. To eliminate the risk of dying from once treatable diseases, we resort to alternative remedies.

9. Choose whole-plant treatments

If you need products made of raw plant (juices, smoothies) or extracts, it is better to choose the products that were made using the whole plant. The cannabis industry is relatively new, and there are still lots and lots of things we need to discover about this plant. However, we already know that there are over 400 different chemical compounds in the herb, and all compounds that have already been more or less studied have certain benefits for our health.

For instance, let us take a terpene called myrcene. Terpenes are the aroma molecules that create the unique bouquet of every strain. Myrcene has a distinctive smell of musky mango. It also provides a sedative effect and helps THC interact with the receptors in your brain. It can be really helpful for those who need therapy based on high-THC products.

Science suggests that terpenes have a big influence on the effect provided by other cannabinoids. Since they work synergistically, you had better let them do their work. Whenever you choose a product made from the whole plant, you ensure that you get as many helpful compounds (studied and unknown) as possible.

5 Cannabinoids (Beside THC and CBD) You Should Know About
5 Cannabinoids (Beside THC and CBD) You Should Know About
Most medical cannabis patients are familiar with THC and CBD—the two most common chemical compounds you can find in a cannabis plant. But there are a lot more to cannabis: MJWellness will tell you about five cannabinoids that are less famous but still extremely beneficial to our health.

10. Give cannabis a chance

If it is your first time using medical cannabis, or if you are a caregiver for a person who has never tried this herb before, it is okay to be skeptical about its properties. However, there is so much evidence of the benefits of this flower that people cannot simply ignore it. Give cannabis a chance to demonstrate its best side to you.

Many people are afraid that marijuana, even if it is used for medicinal purposes, will turn a user into an addict. In fact, research shows that cannabis is less addictive than coffee or cigarettes. After so many years of perceiving it as an illegal and dangerous drug, it may be difficult to entrust yourself to this herb. However, if you decide to do it, you will quickly see that it was worth it.

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