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“Where Can I Buy Marijuana?” Here’s Where to Start

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September 06, 2017 3:30 PM

Where Can I Buy Marijuana- Heres Where to Start.jpgMedical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and ailments is becoming increasingly common. A recent study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy revealed that 63 percent of 250 chronic pain and mental health patients surveyed preferred cannabis to opioids, in fact. And with 130,000 registered marijuana users and counting in Canada today, it’s easy to see that the stigma around marijuana as a medical treatment is dropping.

But with legalization of marijuana still a year away and the gray market being wide and varied in quality, you might be finding it tricky to answer the question “where can I buy marijuana?” as a prospective patient. Well, we’re here to provide you with great starting points for your first time purchasing marijuana.

Talk with Your Doctor about Licensed Producers

If you aren’t already registered as a medical marijuana user, now’s the best time to approach your doctor about the matter. Health Canada has, as of August 11, 2016, replaced their Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

The ACMPR aims to be more progressive than the MMPR by allowing authorized Canadians to not only purchase marijuana from LPs, but also grow a limited amount of the plant themselves or designate someone qualified to do so in their stead. The Allard et al v. Canada Federal court ruling deemed it unconstitutional to take away Canadians’ right to grow their own natural medicine.

The ACMPR is also part of the federal government’s plan to accelerate the production of quality cannabis for the rapidly expanding Canadian market, as there’s a potential shortage of marijuana predicted for next year.

There are currently 56 LPs in Canada, which can make answering the question of “where can I buy marijuana?” tricky. If you want a few specific recommendations for top LPs, keep reading.

Organigram Inc.

If you want to engage with an LP that’s dedicated to customer support and educating new medical marijuana patients, Organigram Inc. is a great place to start. Along every step of the way to becoming a regular client, they have a customer service hotline available to help you with registering. You can also learn about the different strains and products they have on offer and you can place orders.

Their whole website, in fact, is designed around answering your “where can I buy marijuana?” question, not to mention any questions you might have about various strains (indica, sativa, or hybrid) and cannabis properties. You can also order according to strains or by cannabinoids, a.k.a. the chemical compounds found in different strains of marijuana plants, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Organigram Inc. was recently interviewed about the potential marijuana shortage and what they’re doing to ensure they’ll be able to keep up with demand come Canada Day 2018. They currently produce, according to CEO Greg Engel, 6,000 kilograms of marijuana annually and plan to improve that amount 20,000 kilograms by 2018’s end. There’s a clear reason they’re a leading LP in Canada.

Tweed and Bedrocan Canada

Tweed and Bedrocan Canada are top-notch marijuana producing firms that have merged as of 2015 to become one of the most dominant LPs in the country. If you’re wondering what this means for the question of “where can I buy marijuana?” these two firms, along with other brands that have joined since, are household names for long-time users.

Tweed and Bedrocan Canada offer a wide array of cannabis-based products that are high in quality and come in multiple different forms. Customers can buy marijuana in its popular flower bud form, oil, softgels, and milled. And each product has a handy breakdown of the different cannabinoids and terpenes (aromatic oils) present in it.

Your doctor or health practitioner will have comprehensive information to provide you on which LPs are most accessible and applicable to your medical needs. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to talk to your doctor about marijuana.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

The 3 Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Arthritis

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August 30, 2017 12:00 AM

The 3 Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Arthritis.jpgArthritis is a catchall term to describe 200 or so rheumatic diseases that affect a person’s joints and connective tissues. The symptoms of arthritic conditions can include inflammation, improperly healed injuries, tingling or numbness in extremities and general stiffness of joints. At present 4.6 million Canadians (1 in 6 Canadians aged 15 or older) report symptoms of arthritis. That number will only increase as Canada’s baby boomers continue to age.

Arthritis pain can be debilitating and prevent those who suffer from it from fully enjoying life. Having your everyday functions of your body impaired greatly affects your sense of agency and overall quality of life. Traditional painkillers for arthritis, whether prescriptive or non-prescriptive, can mitigate some of the symptoms of the disease but often come with harsh side effects. Perhaps it’s time to consider natural alternatives for pain management.

Pain management for diseases like arthritis is one of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana. When using the correct strains for specific physical ailments, marijuana can effectively minimize arthritic pain. Read on for the best strains to choose for arthritis and why.

1. Harlequin

When treating arthritis pain, it’s important to keep in mind your specific symptom. Part of the reason traditional pharmaceuticals can be ineffective in comparison to medical marijuana is that a lot of traditional meds don’t account for symptoms beyond inflammation. If you experience predominantly inflammatory pain and experience chronic fatigue as a result, you should consider a hybrid strain like Harlequin.

Harlequin is a sativa-dominant strain of medical marijuana, which means it promotes better energy levels in patients alongside amazing pain-relief for its high cannabidiol (CBD) content. CBD is the most effective cannabinoid (or compound) for treating arthritis. Harlequin’s high concentration of CBD also counteracts the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of the plant, preventing this strain from being too intoxicating.

Harlequin is the best strain for patients who need daytime medication for arthritis symptoms.

2. Blue Widow

Blue widow is another hybrid strain, but this one is slightly indica-dominant, meaning it’s a calming strain of medical marijuana. Indicas are the best cannabis for sleep and insomnia, making them ideal for those with arthritic symptoms who don’t need to be kept up at night. Blue widow’s parent strains are Blueberry (an indica known for its high THC content) and White Widow (another hybrid which has a reputation for lifting moods and energy).

Despite having a higher THC count than Harlequin, Blue Widow is balanced enough that it offers both strong anti-inflammatory properties and deep relaxation. This strain is the best middle ground between harlequin and the last strain recommended on this list.

3. Blue Aurora

Indica-dominant strains like Blue Aurora are potent, causing full-body effects of drowsiness and calm. Blue Aurora, like Blue Widow, is great for treating insomnia, pain, depression, and even nausea (to a certain extent). Some people with arthritis have gastrointestinal disorders as a symptom and so Blue Aurora can not only improve sleep but appetite, too.

Blue Aurora does have a few minor side effects, however, that one should weigh against its many benefits. Mainly, those who use the strain have reported dry mouth and moderately dry eyes. Patients who are thinking about using medical cannabis should always beware side effects—but this caution applies to all medicine, really.

It’s best to discuss medical marijuana with your doctor before you try to dose with one of these strains. You need to know in-depth where your pain stems from and what the worst symptoms of your arthritis are before you can properly treat your pain. Learn how to speak candidly about why marijuana is the best pain management therapy for you.


Topics: Marijuana Strains

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Treat Pain?

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August 23, 2017 9:00 AM

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Treat Pain.jpgHave you ever wondered how marijuana is able to treat pain? Well, you’re not alone. Recent studies have shown that medical marijuana can bring particularly effective relief to treating chronic pain. Yet, while scientists were able to prove with a January 2017 study that cannabis can be an effective treatment, it’s still difficult to locate the specific mechanisms in the human body that enable this relief.

What is known now, however, is that medical marijuana (of the right strain and properly dosed) is effective enough to be an alternative to opioids. By contrast marijuana, which is known to stimulate appetite, reduce anxiety, and promote better sleep cycles, is more beneficial than opioids, which have been causing addictions and overdoses. 63 percent of chronic pain and mental health patients surveyed said they preferred cannabis to opioids in fact, with the number one reason stated being “fewer adverse side effects.”

So, what do we know for sure about how cannabis can treat ailments? Check out below for some interesting facts about how this drug is a game changer.

Our Endocannabinoid System

The way that our bodies receive the chemical compounds that come from medical marijuana contributes to how pain is treated with the drug. Our bodies possess cannabinoid receptors and producers throughout our systems. The endocannabinoids, cannabinoids produced by our bodies, and their receptors known as CB1 and CB2 can be stimulated and controlled in different ways by consuming cannabis.

The endocannabinoid system, to put it simply, has receptors practically everywhere in our bodies. From our nervous system to our organs to bones and even in our blood. Therefore, when you take a medical dosage of marijuana, which has very similar set of botanical cannabinoids (a.k.a. phytocannabinoids) you can affect the way different parts of your body react and deal with discomfort.

Phytocannabinoids: The Natural Relievers

One of the little-known facts of medical marijuana is that it contains well over 400 chemicals. This fact is why it’s very important to have a discussion with a doctor before dosing with a specific strain of marijuana. When you buy medical cannabis products from any random dispensary it’s difficult to determine what the chemical makeup of the strain you’re buying.

The chemical compounds found in marijuana, as previously mentioned, are phytocannabinoids which can affect your body’s pain-response mechanisms. The most effective phytocannabinoids for relief are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and both privilege specific endocannabinoid receptors.

CBD is great for treating inflammation, spasticity, and seizures to name a few and since it binds to CB2 receptors there’s little to no psychoactive side-effects. CBD is also effective at reducing anxiety, nausea, and insomnia, making it a good choice for treating neuropathic conditions and chemotherapy-related symptoms. THC is also proficient at treating seizures and neuropathic conditions as it binds to CB1 receptors in the brain that regulate excitability and relaxation, but does cause a psychoactive high as a side-effect.

How You Dose with Cannabis Counts

Besides the chemical compounds found in the plant, marijuana treats ailments to varying degrees according to how it’s consumed. When you inhale marijuana, whether as a smoke or a vapour, the THC or CBD goes straight to the brain and affects your system faster. You won’t experience the effects of marijuana for a long duration of time, however, so it’s important to take note of what condition you are treating for beforehand.

When you ingest marijuana as a pill or an edible product, the chemicals are metabolized in your liver and stay within your system for longer. This type of dosing is particularly effective for chronic pain issues that last for long periods of time. But if you dose this way, be aware that it can be trickier to gauge the concentration of cannabinoids.

With legalization of medical cannabis coming next year, it’s useful know just how the plant can offer effective relief.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Help Fight Fatigue?

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August 16, 2017 9:00 AM

Can Medical Marijuana Help Fight Fatigue.jpgFatigue is a fact of life for many in our modern society. Whether patients experience tiredness from overwork, disorders like anxiety or insomnia causing lack of sleep, or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), it’s a very common condition.

There’s no specific treatment for this condition, since there’s not much positive medical findings to help point patients towards an optimal treatment plan. Every individual experiences fatigue differently, which is why doctors often prescribe things like antidepressants and sleeping pills to patients. But with a drug overdose issues affecting Canadians across the country, it can be dangerous to rely on pills alone to fight symptoms.

Medical marijuana is a good alternative to traditional nonspecific treatments of overtiredness because it works with the natural chemicals in your body’s system to regulate your energy levels. Want to know exactly how medical marijuana can help fight fatigue? Read on.

Endogenous Cannabinoids and Energy Levels

Cannabinoids, the compounds found in the cannabis plant that include medicinal ones like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), can regulate and modulate your body’s mental and physiological reactions. Cannabinoids can initiate this regulation and modulation process because our bodies have an inherent endogenous cannabinoid system.

When we consume medical marijuana, whether in the form of smoke, vapour, or edibles, cannabinoids attach themselves to special receptors in our brain and throughout our nervous system. If you are taking specific strains of marijuana to fight CFS, the cannabinoids within these strains will most likely have a higher concentration of CBD which is known to keep energy high.

When you’re using marijuana to treat CFS or overtiredness from crazy work schedule versus using prescription pills, you can experience a more immediate boost, naturally. When you inhale marijuana, cannabinoids reach the brain faster, although ingesting the plant can give you effects that last for a longer period as cannabinoids are metabolized in the liver.

Energizing Strains

There are different strains, or types, of marijuana plants that can be used to treat an assortment of ailments. Marijuana can treat anxiety, muscle spasms and neurological pain, as well as reduce nausea and vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy, but only when you’re using the right strain for the ailment or condition in question. When you plan to use marijuana to treat your tiredness, you should be clear on what the best strains are for that condition.

As mentioned above, high-CBD strains of marijuana are good for regulating energy levels. As well patients should keep in mind that sativa plants are better for energy than indica plants are. There are few differences between sativas and indicas, but the main one relates to their cannabinoid ratios. Sativas have a high CBD-to-THC ratio, while indicas have a high THC-to-CBD ratio.

To be crystal clear on what strain is right for your individual situation as a patient, you should learn how to talk to your doctor about marijuana. Not only will this increase your personal knowledge of how to effectively treat your tiredness, it will decrease the stigma attached to a drug that can improve people’s quality of life.

Cannabis is more Effective Than Traditional Pharmaceuticals

Marijuana is frequently misrepresented as a gateway drug, being classified as Schedule I substance (the same classification as heroin and LSD). Yet, when used correctly, the cannabis plant can be much more beneficial than traditional pharmaceuticals. Studies have shown that marijuana’s therapeutic ratio (how much of a medicine’s dose for therapeutic effect is needed measured against how much causes toxicity) is so high it’s impossible to quantify. 86 percent of Hepatitis C patients who experience fatigue as a symptom can complete therapy with medical marijuana versus only 29 percent for those who didn’t.

The plant can successfully fight fatigue because it works with natural chemicals within your body’s system instead of artificially regulating or modulating your chemical makeup. Marijuana can correct any imbalances within your system without the potential toxic side-effects of traditional pharmaceuticals.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

A Complete Guide to Cannabis Allergies and Symptoms

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August 09, 2017 9:00 AM

A Complete Guide to Cannabis Allergies and Symptoms.jpg

Medical marijuana offers many benefits for patients depending on the strain of the plant being used and the ailment in question. In recent years, scientific studies have revealed that there is conclusive evidence that marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain. More specifically, marijuana’s chemical compound cannabidiol (which our body has natural receptors for) can effectively treat muscle spasms and neuropathic pain experienced from multiple sclerosis and nauseous side-effects of chemotherapy.

Despite growing awareness of what cannabis can do for various patients there’s also an attendant concern about allergic side effects of the drug. As a pollinating plant, researchers have found that cannabis can cause an array of allergies to occur in some patients who are sensitive to it.

Want to know all there is to know to date about cannabis allergies and symptoms? Then continue reading for our complete guide.

Possible Allergies to Medical Marijuana

A specific type of marijuana plant, cannabis sativa, can cause several allergic reactions in patients. The reactions are as follows: rhinitis (hay fever), conjunctivitis (pink eye), pruritus (itching), contact urticaria and/or angioedema (skin rashes, hives or swelling), and asthma. Some allergy experts claim that the rise of these allergic reactions is due to a non-specific lipid transfer protein present in sativa called Can s 3. Other medical practitioners believe reactions are due to a high-concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Since the marijuana industry still faces a lot of stigma, allergic reactions to the plant in its different forms has unfortunately been underreported. But willfully neglecting the study of such allergies is dangerous, as some doctors like Toronto’s Dr. Gordon Sussman have determined that in some cases patients can be hypersensitive to marijuana. Some patients have hypersensitive or even anaphylactic responses to cannabis.

Allergists like Dr. Sussman are currently working towards a better understanding of what causes hypersensitivity and allergies to develop in patients who have been using marijuana long term for their medical therapy.

This issue is even more import when you consider how legalization is in the works for next year. As such, marijuana should be destigmatized and patients who might have allergies to marijuana should be able to easily discuss this and other related matters with their doctor.

Symptoms of Allergic Reactions

Patients and those considering therapeutic treatment should have a good working knowledge of cannabis allergy symptoms. According to current allergist research, sensitization can occur through consumption whether by inhalation, cutaneous (skin) contact, ingestion, or intravenous needle.

Like pollen-related allergies, patients can experience nasal congestion, a stuffy or runny nose or post-nasal drip, sneezing, itchy throat, coughing and problems with breathing. These symptoms are mostly found in those who consume marijuana through inhalation.

For those who consume marijuana by ingestion, or who generally handle the drug with their bare hands, symptoms of itching, hives and swelling have been reported. When a person is hypersensitive to marijuana or experiences anaphylaxis, these symptoms are more pronounced and difficulty in breathing and talking occurs alongside other symptoms. For workers at dispensaries, developing a sensitivity or hypersensitivity could result in seasonal asthmatic reactions.

There has been speculation that developing hypersensitivity contributes to eosinophilic pneumonia, too.

Molds Causing Allergic Reactions to Marijuana

One last significant note to make about marijuana allergies and symptoms is that if you have suddenly developed sensitivity or hypersensitivity to the drug, you should inquire as to the quality of plant. Some producers of marijuana don’t properly store marijuana and as a result, the plant grows molds. In other words, you might be suffering from adverse side-effects of consuming marijuana that has become moldy. This instance of allergies is especially impactful if you have a poor immune system.

As medical marijuana becomes more accessible and widespread across Canada, medical practitioners, dispensaries, and patients alike must be vigilant about quality of product. Being aware of marijuana allergies, their causes, and their symptoms can save lives and keep patients safe when successfully treating their conditions.


Topics: Cannabis

Study Shows Majority of Chronic Pain & Mental Health Patients Prefer Cannabis to Opioids

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July 12, 2017 9:00 AM

Study Shows Majority of Chronic Pain & Mental Health Patients Prefer Cannabis to Opioids---1.jpgAccording to a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, university researchers found that chronic pain & mental health patients prefer cannabis to opioids. The study was published in February of this year and surveyed 250 patients, 63% of which used prescribed cannabis instead of their other prescribed opioids, sedatives, and antidepressants.

This study highlights the benefits of using medicinal marijuana to not only treat chronic health conditions, but improve one’s overall quality of life. This eye-opening study is significant for those who suffer from chronic pain or mental health issues, but who are on the fence about whether to have open dialogue with their doctor about using medicinal marijuana. Read on for more details.

It’s About Feeling Safe and In Control

The top reasons cited by the 63% of patients who substituted opioids and benzodiazepines with their medical cannabis were for fewer side-effects, feeling safer about using medical marijuana versus traditional drugs, and bettering their symptom management. So, really it’s a matter of patients wanting to feel safer about their prescription use. And feeling safer is knowing that they are in control of their symptoms, both for their medical conditions and their prescription side-effects.

Of all the classes of drugs that patients tracked by the study were using, opioids and benzodiazepines were the primary two classes of drugs substituted. There’s some strong reasons for this as both opioids and benzodiazepines are linked to a high probability of developing dependencies and combination use. Cannabis in comparison to opioids and benzodiazepines have a much lower probability of dependence-forming, and there’s no mortality issue associated with medical marijuana.

A little-known fact about medical marijuana is that dosages for such a prescription are miniscule compared to recreational users’ intakes. In addition, according to a 2010 Canadian Medical Association Journal study the patients who used the small dosages of medical cannabis had greater pain relief than those who used a placebo.

Medical Marijuana Accessibility Could Save More Lives

There’s currently an epidemic in North America related to opioid overdose and dependence. Not to mention that combination use of opioids and benzodiazepines leads to a higher chance of overdose-related deaths. Making medical marijuana less stigmatized and accessible as a regular treatment for chronic pain and mental health issues could save more lives. But current legislation and resistance by more traditional medical practitioners makes it difficult for patients to find out what their options are for acquiring a prescription for their conditions.

Aside from health spending accounts, which allow beneficiaries cover the cost of medical marijuana and any other CRA-approved health expenses, there aren’t many insurance plans that offer such coverage. Increasing the amount of coverage for medical marijuana would go a long way to saving health costs and offering a healthier alternative to traditional drugs.

 Positive Discussions with Doctors

An important part of making medical marijuana more accessible for patients with chronic pain and mental health issues is to learn how to talk to your doctor about the alternative. The stigma of criminalization that’s been attached to marijuana has unfortunately discouraged a lot of patients from openly discussing the medical benefits of cannabis with their doctors.

There’s different strains of medical marijuana and to ensure you are being dosed with the appropriate strain you need to discuss what symptoms of your health conditions need the most managing. We need to encourage open and educational discussions between patients and doctors about what marijuana can do for chronic pain and illness. Otherwise, overdependency on more traditional drugs will only continue.


Topics: medical conditions

Shopper’s Drug Mart Applied to Be a Medical Marijuana Distributor

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July 05, 2017 9:00 AM

Shopper’s Drug Mart Applied to Be a Medical Marijuana Distributor--.jpgAs of last year, Shopper’s Drug Mart has applied to become a licensed producer (LP) of medical marijuana, so that the pharmacy could properly distribute the drug. The move to become a licenses producer has been welcomed by other medical marijuana producers, highlighting that Shopper’s becoming a producer brings more credibility to the cannabis industry.

Shopper’s application to become LP echoes the sentiments of the Liberal government’s tabled legislation to legalize marijuana by July 2018. The pharmacy has been quoted in official statements as having applied to become an LP so that there’s increased “access, safety, quality, and security for thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy.” Shopper’s doesn’t have plans to produce medical marijuana, but instead wants the ability to dispense the drug to patients accompanied by pharmacy counselling.

Want to know more about the implications of Shopper’s Drug Mart’s application to become an LP? Read on for what the above info means for those who are using medical marijuana to treat their health issues.  

Less Stigma

While there’s controversy concerning how pro-legalization plans for medical marijuana will pan out, including what will be done for those currently convicted for the possession or selling of marijuana, there’s a silver lining regarding stigma. Medical marijuana producers welcome Shopper’s application to distribute the drug because it signals to the public that cannabis is no longer seen as just an “alternative” or even a criminal drug.

There are a lot of myths propagated about medical marijuana that make it difficult for patients who seek out its medical benefits to start a serious discussion with their doctors. Often one of the most prominent myths, that marijuana is a gateway drug, lead conservative-thinking doctors to believe that a patient is looking to start smoking only for recreational use. Shopper’s becoming an LP could go a long way towards broadening doctors’ perspectives on medical marijuana as an accepted course of treatment for chronic ailments and diseases.

More Regulation

Despite the positive reception connected to destigmatizing medical marijuana, Shopper’s pro-legalization stance also restricts types of covered usage for cannabis. The pharmacy’s employees will be allowed coverage for medical marijuana for up to $1,500 per year through Manulife Insurance. But according to a memo issued by Loblaw Companies Ltd., who owns Shopper’s, medical marijuana can be prescribed only for “spasticity and neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis and nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy for cancer patients.”

The reason for restricting usage to those conditions mentioned above relates to the amount of “compelling clinical evidence and literature” attached to them. While it’s commendable that Shopper’s is committed as a pharmacy to increase access to medical marijuana as a distributor, limiting the conditions claimants can be covered for ignores the range of conditions (such as migraines, sleep deprivations, etc.) that other claimants can be treated for.

A Step in the Right Direction

While it’s still early yet to determine if Shopper’s transformation into an LP is beneficial for all patients who use medical marijuana, there’s no denying it’s a move towards destigmatizing cannabis. With such a well-known franchise and company accepting cannabis as a legitimate prescription, discussing medical marijuana with your doctor will perhaps become much easier.

Just as with the Liberal government’s legislation to legalize marijuana and decrease associated activities deemed criminal, it remains to be seen if Shopper’s application is empowering or restrictive for patients.

What is certain is that Canada’s experiencing a paradigm shift in how it perceives medical marijuana. The fact that clinical trials and research on the drug are being brought to the forefront with Shopper’s insurance policy with Manulife is significant. The pharmacy’s application is only the beginning of what near future legislation holds for patients who benefit from cannabis.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

The Marijuana Strain Guide for Beginners

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June 28, 2017 9:00 AM

The Marijuana Strain Guide for Beginners--.jpgIt is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all weed is created equal, but this marijuana strain guide will give you the tools you need to understand the major factors that result in different strains. With 779 different strains of marijuana out there, it is important to be informed about the basics before deciding which strain is best for you. As you may have imagined, just as the strain varies based on your needs, so does the required dosage.

What is Medicinal Marijuana Anyway?

Indica and Sativa are the two plants that medicinal marijuana comes from. The notion that there is a difference between the effects of the two plants is controversial and to be determined. For information purposes, it is argued that indica strains have a more relaxing and centering effect, whereas, sativa strains create more of an energetic or psychedelic effect. In addition to this, the plants also differ in geographic origin, physical appearance, and flowering time.

Although there are a number of active ingredients in these plants, the two that we will focus on are THC and CBD. A great deal of the variability between strains of marijuana is determined by the ratio of THC:CBD in that specific strain. There are a number of factors that differentiate the two active compounds, however, for introductory purposes you only need to know: THC is psychoactive; CBD is not.

Determine Your Goals

Before you begin your search for the perfect strain, you must first determine what the desired outcome is from taking the marijuana. Are you looking for relief from: Nausea? Pain? Migraines? Fatigue? Muscle Spasms? You need to narrow down what you hope to come of your use of marijuana. After you have determined what you want to treat, you are ready to determine which strain will work best for you.

It is also important to decide what the priorities are with the medicinal marijuana treatment, as some strains may do wonders to help with pain relief, but that same strain may also interfere with your ability to complete your routine that day. Fortunately, with so many strains available, it is practically guaranteed that there is a strain that fits your needs.

Different Strains for Different Outcomes

There are a number of different reasons for taking medicinal marijuana, and the strain that will work to achieve your treatment goal is influenced by a number of personal and chemical factors.

Pain is the most common reason that people decide to start taking medicinal marijuana. ACDC is recognized as one of the most effective strains for treating pain. This is because of the high level of both THC and CBD, which is documented to have the best effects on pain relief.

Another common reason that people choose to take medicinal marijuana is to treat nausea. NYC Diesel has gained a great deal of recognition for its ability to increase appetite and decrease body aches, nausea and depression. Many medical marijuana strain guides cite NYC Diesel as a good option for daytime users.

Stories of people living with epilepsy finding relief in medicinal marijuana were widely spread throughout the world. The most commonly mentioned strain for this purpose is Charlotte’s Web, which was named for a young epileptic patient. Charlotte’s Web has a high CBD content, while the THC content is very low (0.3%), allowing those who take it to continue with daily tasks uninterred.

This medicinal marijuana strain guide is just the beginning of your journey to find the strain that suits your needs and desires best. It is important to keep track of the strains you have tried and to educate yourself, with the help of your doctor, about the options available.


Topics: Marijuana Strains

How Effective is Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Relief?

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June 14, 2017 9:00 AM

How Effective is Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Relief--.jpgThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) conducted a study early this year titled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.” This study raised key findings that included how effective medical marijuana was in treating chronic pain. According to the study, there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can be an effective treatment.

There are some qualifiers though, such as the subjectivity of pain from individual to individual and the types of pain being treated. The highest rate of effectiveness in treatment for conditions with chronic pain as a symptom were for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or who were given chemotherapy. The muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting caused by MS and chemotherapy (respectively) were prevented or treated with cannabis or cannabinoids.

The results of this study were most likely part of the clinical literature that inform companies like Loblaw Companies Ltd. (who owns Shopper’s Drug Mart) to cover their employees for medical marijuana.

Want to know more about how effective cannabis and cannabinoids can be for relieving chronic symptoms? Read on for the specifics of how marijuana can counteract chronic pain.

We Have Natural Receptors and Producers for Cannabinoids

What’s remarkable about the human body when on the topic of pain management via medical marijuana, is that it possesses specialized receptors for cannabinoids throughout. Our bodies are very good at binding chemical compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), which are compounds NASEM and other medical researchers find the most favourable for pain-relief.

Our bodies are also proficient at producing what’s called “endogenous cannabinoids”, or cannabinoids that are produced inside of an organism. The modulation of these endocannabinoids affects a wide range of physiological responses, including altering blood pressure or pain response.

It’s the ability of inhaling or ingesting medical marijuana to modulate endocannabinoids in the human body that medical researchers find most compelling regarding chronic pain. The fact that our bodies can naturally receive and produce cannabinoids also relates to how different strains of marijuana can affect various therapeutic effects for patients outside of pain management, too.

Misgivings of Marijuana Pain-Relief

Doctors are still unsure of whether patients are truly using cannabis for therapeutic purposes like pain management. Since there is a recreational side to marijuana, the more conservative thinkers are often swayed by common misconceptions of the drug.

The line of logic goes that a patient makes decisions about what type of traditional medicine, like opioids, to use based on what kind of pain they are experiencing. But when a patient chooses from various marijuana products at several different vendors to treat their pain, doctors believe patients lack enough information to choose the best type of marijuana for their individual conditions.

Part of this reasoning follows, seeing as there are several kinds of marijuana dispensaries out there (both recreational and medical). Doctors forget, however, that patients do have access to medical associations that can educate them about what the best strain of marijuana is to use to treat their ailments. There is also an unprecedented rise in opioid addiction in recent years that medical cannabis is helping to curb.

Spreading Awareness of Marijuana for Pain Management

Patients who use cannabis for their chronic symptoms play an important role in helping doctors realize the benefits of properly dosing with the right strain of marijuana. Just as you wouldn’t take ibuprofen for a stomach ache, you wouldn’t take a strain of marijuana that’s effective for reducing anxiety for chronic pain issues.

Learning how to speak to your doctor about medical marijuana will not only help you gain access to the pain-relief that can restore you to a high quality of life, it raises awareness. Painting marijuana with the broad brush of criminal stigma prevents patients with chronic conditions from finding natural and effective relief.

Let’s make the conversation more open and break down some barriers.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

How Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat Migraines

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June 07, 2017 9:00 AM

How Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat Migraines--.jpgIn the 1800s, doctors would prescribe medicinal marijuana as treatment for many different disorders, including chronic pain. Since then, the use of marijuana has become widely stigmatized and regulated. With legalization already happening in a number of places and on the brink in others, the question of “What can medicinal marijuana do for me?” has been on quite a few minds. Medicinal marijuana has been found to be an effective treatment for a number of medical conditions, including migraines.

So…Does it Work?

Because of the great deal of controversy surrounding the medical use of marijuana, and the strict regulations of its use until very recently, there isn’t a conclusive answer. Although we don’t have a unanimous vote on the effectiveness of medicinal marijuana in treating migraines, there have been a number of academic advancements. 

A recent study was published in Pharmacotherapy and found that medicinal marijuana reduced the frequency of migraine headaches. Of the 121 participants who took part in the study, 103 participants reported a decrease in migraines. Of all the ways to consume marijuana, inhaling marijuana was reported as the preferred method because the effects are felt more quickly than edibles.

Why Might It Work?

The reason that many people find medicinal marijuana to be effective in treating migraines is because the active ingredients in marijuana, THC and CBD, bind with the natural receptors in the brain that impact pain perception.  Migraines are caused by brain spasms and overly relaxed veins. Medicinal marijuana treats migraines by causing changes in the outer layers of the brain.

Best Strains to Treat Migraines

THC is the psychoactive of the active ingredients in marijuana. Because of this, migraine sufferers often opt for CBD heavy and THC low strains. Strains with higher levels of CBD are more likely to interfere with the daily routine of the patient.

Cannatonic is a strain known for its relaxing and uplifting qualities, while having little or no psychoactive effect, due to the THC content of only 6%.  This strain has been cited as an effective remedy for pain, insomnia, and more relevant to this article, migraines.

If you are looking for a bit of the psychoactive high with your migraine relief, Sour Tsunami might be just the strain for you. There is a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio, so there is some psychoactive effects, but these are still mild as the percentages for each are approximately 10%.

For migraine relief with a decent high included, patients should consider OG Kush. With a 20-25% THC level, this strain is sure to provide psychoactive effects, whole also treating your migraine. In addition to migraine relief, this strain is cited as an effective memory for depression, anxiety, and nausea. OG Kush results in a euphoric and relaxing high.

 Where do I Start?     

If you are suffering from migraines and aren’t sure what to try next, consider medicinal marijuana. Of course, do your research and consult a doctor prior to beginning any course of treatment.  It is important to ask the experts and have all your information before beginning.

One key piece of information to know before you begin your search is the desired outcome. Do you want pain relief alone, or are you also having issues with insomnia or depression? Do you want to experience a psychoactive high or find a strain that can be used in your daily life? Once you get the answers to these questions, you are ready to start your search. Happy healing!


Topics: Medical Marijuana

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