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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

Can Medical Marijuana Be Used to Treat Addiction?

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May 24, 2017 9:00 AM

Can-Medical-Marijuana-Be-Used-to-Treat-Addiction.jpgPublic knowledge concerning cannabis and addiction is muddled at best. On the one hand, a substantial portion of the population still subscribes to the “gateway drug” theory, despite substantial evidence that says otherwise. This view holds that marijuana users are more likely to abuse harder narcotics such as cocaine, heroin and others. 

However, a new perspective has emerged as North America struggles with a growing opioid epidemic. Voices ranging from frontline healthcare practitioners to recovering patients have argued that medical marijuana may have a role to play in addiction treatment. Some even argue that this substance represents an alternative to the highly addictive opioids currently used to reduce severe and chronic pain. 

Yet medical experts remain unconvinced about cannabis’ usefulness, and there are few sanctioned medical studies that support the drug’s use in substance abuse therapies. As a result, the issue offers more questions than answers. Does medical marijuana influence addiction? If so, how do current public health policy and legislation affect its efficacy? This article will shine a light on these issues and more.

The Problem with Opioids

By now, Canada’s opioid problem is common knowledge. Canadians consume the substance more often than the citizens of any other country worldwide. These numbers alone are alarming, given the drug’s addictive qualities and its high potential for overdoses, but the proliferation of fentanyl has made the problem even more deadly. 

Fentanyl is a concentrated opioid that can lead to overdoses if more than a few hundred micrograms are consumed. Its toxicity levels may be 100 times higher than morphine, which makes it highly dangerous. While fentanyl does have medical applications, illicit versions of the drug are prevalent on the black market. This makes it difficult for users to take accurate doses, and the substance is often mixed with recreational drugs such as cocaine and heroin, which increases the overdose risk. 

As a result, opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed across the country since 2015. Last year, British Columbia suffered 332 deaths due to fentanyl, while 193 Albertans died after consuming the substance. The rates are even higher when other opioids are factored in. Ontario lost 529 people to opioids in 2015, and 162 of those cases involved fentanyl.

How Marijuana Can Help

Opioid addiction often starts after a doctor prescribes the drug to treat severe or chronic pain. Medical marijuana contains properties that can help alleviate these conditions without the potential for addiction. While the substance doesn’t treat the cause of the pain, cannabis can make these symptoms less acute. For this reason, advocates believe that it represents a viable alternative to opioids.

Medical evidence thus far has suggested that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contains pain relieving properties. However, these traits usually reach their full potential when paired with cannabidiol (CBD), another active component in marijuana. Isolating these chemicals from one another would reduce the psychoactive effects of the drug, but it would also negate its painkilling benefits.

What are the Complications?

Like many claims about marijuana, its efficacy in addiction treatments has yet to be substantiated with definitive medical evidence. Additional clinical trials are needed to prove its suitability in this area. However, its pain-relieving properties do suggest that, with further research, prescribing medical marijuana may prove useful in combating opioid abuse.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Help Relieve Chronic Pain?

Posted by Administrator


May 17, 2017 9:00 AM

Can-Medical-Marijuana-Help-Relieve-Chronic-Pain.jpgOne in five Canadians suffer from conditions that cause them chronic pain, and if you’re one of the millions that experience such symptoms, then you know finding relief is anything but easy. Chronic pain is poorly understood and unless you have a doctor who can effectively treat your symptoms, you’re often left stranded on a year-long (or more) waiting list for pain specialists. Canada does have publicly funded pain clinics, but most Canadians live too far from them to take significant advantage of them.

Having an accessible and reliable pain management plan is crucial to your welfare, especially when you’re dealing with chronic pain. The Canadian Pain Society has stated that more than half of Canadians who go untreated at pain clinics are dealing with severe depression because of interference in their work and personal life. Within this context, it’s easy to see why Canadians are interested in medical marijuana as a possible recourse to pain relief.

But with all the misconceptions flying around these days about marijuana use, it’s not nearly as simple to draw conclusions as to whether it’s an effective solution. That’s why we’re going to present you with the straight facts about whether medical marijuana can help relieve chronic pain.

The Type of Pain You Experience Matters

One of the primary details to determine pain-relief through medical marijuana use is what type of pain you experience. In Huffington Post's discussions with Dr. Mark Ware, a prominent physician in pain management and treatment as well as the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Ware highlights pain conditions caused by damage to the nervous system (both peripheral and central) as those most effectively treated.

Conditions like diabetic neuropathy, post-traumatic pain from surgery, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries are a handful of examples for which pain relief through medical marijuana can be useful. There have been small studies done concerning pain management for chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer (both the disease itself and its treatment) that showed positive results, too.

A recent report released last January by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine also backs up these claims stating that one of its key findings was that the primary reason patients seek marijuana is to treat chronic conditions. Although the exact pain mechanisms aren’t understood yet, doctors know that our bodies have natural cannabinoid receptors, which play a role in pain control.

Reported Benefits

Patients who have been asked what benefits they’ve experienced frommarijuana for pain relief report various benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to: improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and less discomfort. Other known benefits of marijuanause for pain management are reduction in nausea and a healthier appetite, and reduction in muscle spasms (which are often a symptom of chronic conditions like sciatica).

Know the Strain Right for You

Now that you know medicinal marijuana is most effective for specific kinds of chronic conditions, you should determine with your doctor what strain or type is right for you. There are many different strains of medicinal marijuana to help with specific health issues you might experience. Some are geared more towards relieving intense pain, while others focus on reducing seizures/neuralgia. There’s even a strain that can improve symptoms of glaucoma.

We know that there’s a lot of stigma surrounding conversations of marijuana use with doctors, which is why it’s in your best interest to learn how to talk to your doctor about the matter. The more you educate yourself on what medicinal marijuana can do for you, the easier it will be to communicate exactly how and why you need access to this natural pain reliever.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

Liberal Government Tabled Legislation to Legalize Marijuana by July 2018

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May 03, 2017 9:00 AM

Liberal-Government-Tabled-Legislation-to-Legalize-Marijuana-by-July-2018.jpgJuly 1, 2018 will be a historic day in Canada if Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government gets its way. On April 13, the party proposed two bills that would effectively legalize marijuana. According to the CBC, one outlines regulations for the use and distribution of cannabis, while the other concerns driving under the influence of the drug. 

The move comes during a wave of pro-legalization sentiment. If passed, these bills will make Canada a trailblazer for recreational marijuana. Uruguay is currently the only country to legalize the drug, though some U.S. states have taken similar measures. Other countries have opted for decriminalization, but Canada’s new laws would make it even easier for adults to access the drug. 

While the bills may face changes before they’re passed into law, they do put an end to months of speculation about what it would look like to legalize marijuana. This article will summarize a few important developments that everyone should know about these proposed laws.

What Will Legalization Look Like?

Many aspects of marijuana legalization have yet to be determined. While the federal government is responsible for this legislation, the provinces will dictate specific policies within their jurisdictions. For example, the bill dictates that no one under 18 can buy marijuana, but provincial governments can raise that number as they see fit. The provinces will also decide where and how marijuana will be sold. However, the federal bill doesn’t prohibit retailers from selling alcohol and cannabis simultaneously, which opens the possibility of sale through liquor control boards. 

Even if the government does legalize marijuana, not all forms of marijuana will immediately be available for purchase. The bills allow designated retailers to sell marijuana buds and cannabis oil, but not edibles. They also ban the sale of cannabis through vending machines and prevent visitors from bringing marijuana into or out of the country.

So Marijuana Will Be Completely Legal?

The short answer is no.

If the bill is passed, existing marijuana laws will remain in effect until July 1, 2018. Three MPs with the New Democratic Party (NDP) criticized this decision, arguing that it would result in further charges and convictions for marijuana possession. After the legalization goes into effect, those over the minimum age can keep up to 30 grams of cannabis at a time. Exceeding that amount will result in a fine.

Since only designated retailers will be able to sell cannabis, illegal trafficking will remain a crime. It will carry a 14-year maximum prison sentence, as will selling to minors. Impaired driving laws will also punish those who attempt to drive in a two-hour window after consuming drugs.

Significantly, the bills don’t mention anything about pardons for previous marijuana convictions. The NDP has argued for these measures, while Conservative health critic Colin Carrie argued that the bills offered vague policy for provinces and municipalities.

What’s Next?

The bills must pass through the House of Commons and Senate before they can be given royal assent. From there, the provinces will need to set their own regulations for marijuana legalization. While this legislation represents a first step for legal cannabis in Canada, there remains plenty of work to do be done.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

5 Things You Might Not Know about Medicinal Marijuana

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April 26, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Things-You-Might-Not-Know-about-Medicinal-Marijuana.jpgWhat we don’t know about medicinal marijuana could fill a book. Contradictory studies and widespread misconceptions about the drug have clouded the public’s judgment. As a result, many of the beneficial aspects of the substance have yet to be discovered. 

However, general knowledge about cannabis increases with every passing year. As more regions decriminalize or legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational purposes, further research can be done. These pioneering areas act as blueprints for policy concerning marijuana sale, consumption and laws. In turn, this shows the benefits of the drug and influences other areas to adopt similar measures. 

Still, everyone has plenty to learn when it comes to cannabis. If you’re still a layman when it comes to lids, read on. This article will fill you in on a few little-known facts about the drug sensation that’s sweeping the nation.

1. People Have Used Marijuana Since Prehistory

Marijuana is a drug enjoyed around the world, and evidence suggests that it’s been that way for a long time. Signs of the plant’s use has been found throughout Chinese, Roman and Egyptian histories, whether as a type of medicine or as a recreational tool. 

Some even believe that Homer was referring to the drug when he described the mythical substance “nepenthe” mentioned in the Odyssey. While this isn’t verifiable, it would be fitting, as nepenthe was a drug designed as a medicine that alleviated sorrow.

2. Estrogen Can Increase Sensitivity to Cannabis

It’s easy to think of marijuana as a drug that affects everyone equally, but that simply isn’t the case. Different strains produce different results, and an individual’s own characteristics can influence the drug’s effect. For example, women have traditionally suffered from greater risk of addiction to cannabis, and now researchers may know why. 

A study from Washington State University found that female rats experienced greater tolerance and sensitivity to cannabis compared to their male counterparts. This may have major implications on the way marijuana is researched, since tolerance studies are usually performed on men. While human patients may react differently to the drug, these findings still represent a sobering development in medicinal marijuana research.

3. THC Levels Have Increased by Eight Percent Over the Past Two Decades

The notion that modern marijuana plants are more potent than their predecessors has been common for years. But is there any scientific backing for this idea? In fact, there is.

A 2016 study published in Biological Psychiatry found that samples seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1995 contained an average of four percent THC. However, marijuana confiscated in 2014 contained an average of 12 percent. Over this same period, cannabidiol levels decreased by more than 0.13 percent. Thus, there’s at least a little truth to the idea that weed isn’t quite what it used to be.

4. Marijuana Doesn’t Necessarily Get You Stoned

If you’ve turned on a television in the last 50 years, you’ve probably seen depictions of marijuana users. Despite what television producers would like you to believe, though, the drug doesn’t necessarily make you giggly or hungry. In fact, certain strains have much different effects. 

Strains like Cannatonic de-emphasize THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Instead, they feature heavier doses of cannabidiol, which produces a more relaxed effect than other variants. These types of cannabis are ideal for medicinal marijuana users who don’t want to live through a fog of impairment.

5. It’s Believed to Aid in Brain Cell Growth

Marijuana is commonly believed to impair function, but it may also have a much different benefit. Results from a 2005 study suggest that marijuana can actually help regenerate brain cells in the hippocampus, improving both mood and memory over time. Many see cannabis as a miracle drug, but this information gives that idea new meaning.


Topics: Medical Marijuana

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