Medical Marijuana 101 - Classes Available

Now that you have your medical marijuana card, what are the next steps?  Come to one of our weekly classes and learn how medical marijuana can help me.

Classes are every Saturday at noon in the Doctors Dispensary classroom.  Reserve your spot by calling our office at (580) 771-2009 or emailing heretohelp@doctorsdispensary.com

Guide to using medical cannabis

Concentrations or percent of each type of cannabinoid ranges widely from plant to plant and strain to strain.

 

The first identified and best-known cannabinoid is THC. THC has the most significant psychoactive effect of the cannabinoids. The ratio of THC to other cannabinoids varies from strain to strain. While THC has been the focus of breeding and research due to its various psychoactive and therapeutic effects, non-psychoactive cannabinoids have physiologic effects that can be therapeutic.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) relieves convulsions, inflammation, anxiety and nausea—many of the same therapeutic qualities as THC but without psycoactive effects. It is the main cannabinoid in low-THC cannabis strains, and modern breeders have been developing strains with greater CBD content for medical use.

  • Cannabinol (CBN) is mildly psychoactive, decreases intraocular pressure, and seizure occurrence.

  • Cannabichromene (CBC) promotes the analgesic effects (pain relief) of THC and has sedative (calming) effects.

  • Cannabigerol (CBG) has sedative effects and antimicrobial properties, as well as lowers intraocular pressure.

 

Different people have different experiences. One individual may feel stress relief, while another feels over-stimulated and stressed, while another feels energized and on-task. There are many factors that impact the effect:

  • Amount used (dosage)

  • Strain of cannabis used and method of consumption

  • Environment/setting

  • Experience and history of cannabis use

  • Biochemistry

  • Mindset or mood

  • Nutrition or diet

  • Type of cannabis used

 

Though cannabis is biologically classified as the single species Cannabis Sativa, there are at least three distinct plant varieties: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, though the last is rare. There are also hybrids, which are crosses between sativa and indica varieties. Cannabis used for fiber is typically referred to as hemp and has only small amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, usually less than 1%.

All types of medical cannabis produce effects that are more similar than not, including pain and nausea control, appetite stimulation, reduced muscle spasm, improved sleep, and others. But individual strains will have differing cannabinoid and terpene content, producing noticeably different effects. Many people report finding some strains more beneficial than others. For instance, strains with more CBD tend to produce better pain and spasticity relief. As noted above, effects will also vary for an individual based on the setting in which it is used and the person's physiological state when using it.

Sativas

 

The primary effects are on thoughts and feelings. Sativas tend to produces stimulating feelings, and many prefer it for daytime use.

 

Some noted therapeutic effects from use of Sativas:

  • Stimulating/energizing

  • Increases sense of well-being, focus, creativity

  • Reduces depression, elevates mood

  • Relieves headaches/migraines/nausea

  • Increases appetite

 

Some noted Side-Effects from use of Sativas

  • Increased anxiety feelings

  • Increased paranoia feelings

 

Indicas

The primary effects are on the body. Indicas tend to produce sedated feelings, and many prefer it for nighttime use.

Some noted Therapeutic Effects from use of Indicas:           

  • Provides relaxation/reduces stress

  • Relaxes muscles/spasms

  • Reduces pain/inflammation/headaches/migraines

  • Helps sleep

  • Reduces anxiety

  • Reduces nausea, stimulates appetite

  • Reduces intra-ocular pressure

  • Reduces seizure frequency/anti-convulsant

  • Some noted side-effects from use of Indicas include feelings of tiredness and “fuzzy” thinking

 

Hybrids Strains bred from crossing two or more varieties, with typically one dominant. For example, a sativa-dominant cross may be helpful in stimulating appetite and relaxing muscle spasms. Crosses are reported to work well to combat nausea and increase appetite.

 

Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates

The dried flower or bud from the manicured, mature female plant is the most widely consumed form of cannabis in the U.S. Elsewhere in the world, extracts or concentrates of the cannabis plant are more commonly used. Concentrates are made from cannabinoid-rich glandular trichomes, which are found in varying amounts on cannabis flowers, leaves and stalks. The flowers of a mature female plant contain the most trichomes.

 

Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis can be ingested or eaten when added to cake, cookies, dressings, and other foods. It can also be brewed into a tea or other beverage. Digestive processes alter the metabolism of cannabinoids and produce a different metabolite of THC in the liver. That metabolite may produce markedly different effects or negligible ones, depending on the individual. Onset of effects are delayed and last longer due to slower absorption of the cannabinoids.

Various forms of converted cannabis can be used for edible medicating. Each can be made from cannabis flowers, leaves of concentrates such as hash. The potency of the edible will depend on the material used in making it and the amount used. Edibles made with hash will be stronger than those made from leaf trim.

 

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis Oil is cooking oil infused with cannabinoids. Various means to extract include heating the oil and cannabis mixture at low temperature in a frying pan or pot, double boiler, or slow cooker then straining out the plant material. Can be used in any recipe that includes oil and that doesn't go over 280 degrees Fahrenheit (evaporating point). Think cookies, cakes, candies, and other food items.

 

Cannabis Butter

Cannabis butter is butter infused with cannabinoids. Heat raw cannabis with butter to extract cannabinoids into the fat. Various means to extract include heating the butter and cannabis mixture at low temperature in a frying pan or pot, double boiler, or slow cooker then straining out the plant material. Can be used in any recipe that includes oil and that doesn't go over 280 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Tincture

Tinctures use ethanol alcohol (e.g. pure grain alcohol, not rubbing alcohol) to extract the cannabinoids. You use droplet amounts, and it is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth.

 

Spray

Sublingual sprays is another way of using a tincture. Use ethanol alcohol to extract the cannabinoids. You use a pump to spray cannabis-alcohol solution under your tongue.

 

Cannabis Topicals (applied to the skin)

Cannabinoids combined with a penetrating topical cream can enter the skin and body tissues and allow for direct application to affected areas (e.g. allergic skin reactions, post-herpes neuralgia, muscle strain, inflammation, swelling, etc.).

  • Cannabinoids in cannabis interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found all over the body, including the skin.

  • Both THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) have been found to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.

  • Topical cannabis use does not produce a psychoactive effect, which is different from eating or inhaling the medicine.

 

Different types of cannabis topicals include:

  • Salve: cannabinoids heated into coconut oil combined with bees wax and cooled. Rub directly on skin.

  • Cream: cannabinoids heated into shea butter combined with other ingredients and cooled. Rub directly on skin.

 

Topicals may produce anti-inflammatory and analgesic or pain relief effects.  Research has to date been limited to studies on allergic and post-herpes skin reactions and pain relief. Anecdotal reports on topical treatment efficacy include:

  • Certain types of dermatitis (including atopic) and psoriasis

  • Balm for lips, fever blisters, herpes

  • Superficial wounds, cuts, acne pimples, furuncles, corns, certain nail fungus

  • Rheumatism and arthritic pains (up to the 2nd degree of arthritis)

  • Torticollis, back pains, muscular pains and cramps, sprains and other contusions

  • Phlebitis, venous ulcerations

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Menstruation pains

  • Cold and sore throat, bronchitis

  • Asthmatic problems with breathing

  • Chronic inflammation of larynx (application in the form of a Priessnitz compress)

  • Migraine, head pains, tension headaches

  • Pharmaceutical Cannabis or Cannabinoids

 

Cannabis Consumption

How Can I Use Cannabis More Safely?

Adjust the way you use cannabis. One of the great aspects of cannabis is that there are many ways to use the medicine effectively.

 

Ingest via Eating

This is one of the safest ways to consume your medication, but understand that the effects from eaten cannabis may be more pronounced and onset of the effects will be delayed by an hour or more and typically last longer than inhalation. Using edible cannabis effectively will usually take some experimentation with particular product types and dosage. Digesting cannabis also metabolizes the cannabinoids somewhat differently and can produce different subjective effects, depending on the individual.

Use small amounts of edibles and wait 2 hours before gradually increasing the dose, if needed. Take care to find and use the right dose-excessive dosage can be uncomfortable and happens most often with edibles.

Try cannabis pills made with hash or cannabis oil or ingest via Tinctures/Sprays

Find your ideal dosage to enhance your therapeutic benefits. Start with no more than two drops and wait at least an hour before increasing the dosage, incrementally and as necessary.

 

Apply via Topicals

This is one of the safest ways to consume your medication and may be the best option for certain pains or ailments. Rubbing cannabis products on the skin will not result in a psychoactive effect.

 

Inhale via Smoking

Because the effects are noticed or felt quickly, this is a good way to get immediate relief and find the best dose for you. Research has shown that smoking cannabis does not increase your risk of lung or other cancers, but because it entails inhaling tars and other potential irritants, it may produce unpleasant bronchial effects such as harsh coughing.

Smoke as little as possible. Try 1 to 3 inhalations and wait 10 to 15 minutes to find the right dosage. Increase dosage as necessary.

Take smaller, shallower inhalations rather than deep inhales. Holding smoke in does not increase the effects; studies show that 95% of the THC is absorbed in the first few seconds of inhaling.

 

If consuming with others, for health reasons, try not to share the smoking device. If sharing, quickly apply flame to the pipe mouthpiece or wipe with rubbing alcohol to kill germs.

 

To avoid inhaling unnecessary chemicals, use hemp paper coated with beeswax to light your medicine rather than matches or a lighter or fumes when heated or melted. If you do use one, change the water frequently to limit exposure to germs and viruses.