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How to Find the Right Licensed Medical Cannabis Producer for Your Needs?

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February 06, 2019 9:00 AM

How_to_Find_the_Right_Licensed_Medical_Cannabis_Producer_for_Your_NeedsThere are more than 100 licensed medical cannabis producers in Canada today. The number has expanded rapidly in the last few months, as more producers came on board to meet expected demand after legalization.

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Many people see the increase as a positive development, since it gives medical cannabis patients more choices. Instead of choosing from a very limited number of producers, you now have a much wider range. Increased competition between producers also means the range of medicinal cannabis products available should also increase.

At the end of the day, this makes it easier for people using medical cannabis to access the medications they need.

Having more choices also has other effects, and not all of them are positive. For example, it’s now much more difficult to be sure you’re choosing the right licensed medical cannabis producer for your needs.

Following these tips can make it easier to find the perfect fit.


Ask What Products the Licensed Medical Cannabis Producer Offers

The first thing you’ll want to do when you’re trying to choose a producer is see what products they offer. If they don’t have the product you’re looking for or something close to it, you’ll want to choose another.

Most producers have a wide range of options, so this likely won’t narrow the field too much. You may find your options more limited if you’re looking for an organic product or if you want CBD products made through a certain process. Some strains of cannabis are proprietary, meaning they’re only available from one producer.


Look at the Producer’s Record

How long has this licensed medical cannabis producer been in business? Many of the producers now licensed by Health Canada have only recently obtained their licences.

Others have been operating for quite some time. This isn’t to say a producer who has been in business for years is inherently better than one that’s been operating for six months.

You should always take a look at a licensed medical cannabis producer’s record, however, and those that have been in business longer will have a more comprehensive record, including reviews and testimonials. What do other medical cannabis patients say about them?

Smaller producers may not have yet had the time to establish a reputation, but they may still be the right fit.


Inquire about Special Programs

Medical cannabis can be quite expensive, and there’s limited financial assistance for those who need it. One of the places you can often turn to is your producer.

You should inquire with any licensed medical cannabis producer about special programs they have in place, such as discounts for veterans. They may also offer compassion pricing designed to make medical cannabis more affordable and accessible for patients.

You’ll probably want to ask about other cost factors and programs as well, such as shipping. How does the producer ship their product? Do they offer any bulk discounts or expedited shipping?


Think about Transparency

One thing medical cannabis patients want from medical cannabis producers is transparency, so you should be on the lookout for a producer that’s willing to share details about how they operate.


Test Customer Service

Perhaps the most important question you can ask about a licensed medical cannabis producer is, how does their customer service stack up?

A producer might have great prices and a wide selection of products, but it won’t mean much if they don’t offer great customer support.

To find out how a producer compares to others, give their agents a call or send an email. Evaluate the response. Is it quick? Are the representatives supportive and willing to talk?

Following these tips can help you narrow the field and find the right licensed medical cannabis producer for your needs. Getting the medicine you need is easier when you have the right people on your team.


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Understanding the Language of Cannabis

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January 30, 2019 9:00 AM

Understanding_the_Language_of_CannabisIf you’re new to cannabis, you’re likely learning a lot. There’s so much to know and to consider before you make your first cannabis purchase.

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One thing you may find particularly overwhelming is the language of cannabis. The industry has its own terminology and jargon. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you may find yourself confused.

Keep this glossary handy as you navigate the terrain of the cannabis market. It will help you understand what you’re looking for and what you’re getting.


What Is Cannabis?

The first term you’re going to encounter is the word cannabis itself. Many people believe they’re familiar with this term, but doing more research may muddy the waters more than expected.

What exactly is cannabis?

Most often, it refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. This product goes by many different names, including marijuana.

The term can also be used to refer to other products made from the cannabis plant. This includes extracts, oils, and concentrates.


The Ingredients in Cannabis

The effects of cannabis are caused by what’s in the plant. Cannabinoids are some of the most famous substances found in cannabis, responsible for many of the plant’s medicinal effects.

You may be familiar with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, which are considered active. There are also inactive cannabinoids, such as THCA. The process of decarboxylation uses low heat to transform these substances.

Cannabis also contains terpenes, which creates distinct flavours and odours. Terpenes also have medicinal effects. Different strains contain different terpenes, which helps account for their differential effects.


Types and Strains

There are two different plants in the cannabis family. The most famous are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. People will talk about sativa and indica strains, which really refers to the type of plant.

There are also hybrids plants, which cross indicas and sativas. Heirlooms are plant strains that haven’t been crossbred with others.

Different plants have different phenotypes, meaning their genetics influence them to show different traits.

A famous strain is the indica Kush, sometimes called Hindu Kush for where it was originally cultivated. Today, there are many related strains, all of them with “Kush” in the name.


Types of Cannabis Products and Methods of Use

There are many different cannabis products. There are dried cannabis products. These are typically smoked, but they can also be used in food products, called edibles.

Concentrates and oils are typically refined from the flowers. They’re both more potent. Cannabis resin is used to create kief and hash from the cannabis plant’s trichomes, glands that secrete the sticky resin.

Hemp is another cannabis product, but it usually isn’t considered for recreational use or medicinal use. It’s used to create paper, cloth, and more.

Vaporizing cannabis is a popular method of consumption. Smoking is also popular, although it usually isn’t recommended since it can lead to health issues.


Learn More about Cannabis

This guide will help you begin to understand some of the complex terminology around cannabis and its use. There’s still more you can learn. Processes and procedures in the industry have their own terminology, such as flowering time and trimming.

The industry is even developing terminology for particular kinds of jobs and companies within the supply chain.

The more you know about cannabis, the more informed your decisions will be. By better understanding the terminology, you’ll be able to make better choices for your treatment plan.


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Are Opioids Overprescribed?

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January 16, 2019 9:00 AM

Are_Opioids_OverprescribedOver the past three years, Canada and the United States have watched their respective opioid crises continue to deepen. Despite initiatives to curb illicit opioid use and reduce opioid-related health incidents, the numbers have continued to rise across North America.

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Canada has the second-highest number of prescriptions in the world, following only the United States. This fact has led some to wonder if opioids are overprescribed in Canada.


Swapping Opioids for Cannabis

Among those who argue opioids are overprescribed in Canada, advocacy for medical cannabis has been growing. Cannabis is seen as a potential alternative treatment, which could help move people away from opioid medications.

There’s evidence for this. Some patients have reported being able to drastically reduce or eliminate their dependence on opioid medications when using this alternative treatment. Others have pointed to the growing number of people using medicinal marijuana in Canada, as well as the number of medical professionals embracing it.

This leaves the question of how the opioid crisis got started. Many people want to place the blame at the feet of medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies for overprescribing.


The Rising Number of Prescriptions

There’s been a clear upward trajectory in the number of opioid prescriptions in Canada over the past two decades. Annual opioid prescriptions now exceed 20 million, one for more than half of the entire Canadian population. Some estimates suggest one in every three Canadian adults is taking opioid medications.

These are massive numbers, which speaks to the growing epidemic of chronic pain and other conditions. It also illuminates one potential source of the opioid crisis in Canada.


The Most Effective Treatment?

Some people suggest the number of prescriptions has reached such heights because of increasing diagnoses of chronic conditions such as pain. They also suggest opioid medications are among the most effective treatments, which is why medical professionals automatically turn to them.

Others suggest the pharmaceutical industry has played a larger role in influencing physicians’ reliance on opioids as the treatment of choice for patients. Some suggest pharmaceutical industry players offered financial incentives to doctors and other professionals.

This, they say, fuelled the meteoric rise of opioids and accelerated the number of prescriptions being written.


Opinions Changing, But Is It Too Late?

Opioids have long been known to be highly addictive, but physicians and other medical professionals prescribed them to Canadians at alarming and increasing rates over the last 20 years.

Now, however, some physicians are turning away from opioids. The number of prescriptions has actually started to fall, which seems like good news at first glance.

Unfortunately, many doctors are merely cutting off their patients, rather than offering alternatives such as cannabis. These patients, unable to get more of the medication they’re now addicted to, seek out other sources. Sometimes, they obtain additional prescriptions from other medical professionals. In many cases, they turn to the black market trade.

Experts point to this latter option as the true reason for the opioid crisis. As people have turned to the street to find their medication, they’ve unknowingly purchased potent opioid medications like fentanyl and carfentanyl.


What’s the Answer?

As the opioid crisis proves, simply reducing the number of prescriptions and cutting off patients is not the right answer. While it’s good that the number of opioid prescriptions in Canada has started to fall, more must be done to support those who are already dependent on these substances.

Medical cannabis could be one potential way of supporting these patients as they transition away from opioid medications. Cannabis appears to be both effective and safer than opioids. For many, it seems to be the cure for the overprescription of opioid medications in Canada.


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Why the Medical Cannabis Industry Is Here to Stay

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January 09, 2019 9:00 AM

Why_the_Medical_Cannabis_Industry_Is_Here_to_StayCannabis was legalized across Canada in October 2018. With the Cannabis Act finally coming into force, many people foresaw the end of medical cannabis in the Great White North.

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In fact, there were many experts and medical professionals calling for Health Canada to put an end to the medicinal cannabis program that has existed since 2001. With adult-use cannabis now legal for everyone, there was no need to continue with a medical program.

Others, including patients, argued this would be the wrong choice. A medicinal cannabis program is still very much needed, and the medical cannabis industry doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.


Does Canada Need Medical Cannabis?

The question for most people right now is whether or not cannabis for medicinal purposes still warrants special treatment. The Cannabis Act has introduced many laws governing the personal use of cannabis for Canadian adults. Most patients using medicinal cannabis are governed by these laws.

Many medical professionals, industry experts, and patients themselves argue a medical program is still necessary in Canada. There are quite a few reasons, including access for minors, higher carry limits, and even compassionate pricing and tax deductions.


Age Restrictions in the Cannabis Act

One of the major concerns about making cannabis legal in Canada was the potential for it to fall into the hands of children and teenagers. Public education campaigns have been launched, urging users to keep cannabis away from their children.

Under the law, people under a certain age are restricted from buying cannabis products. The age varies from province to province. Most provinces use their legal drinking age. In Ontario, for example, a person must be 19 to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis.

Adults who purchase cannabis and resell it or give it to minors can be charged, the same way they can be charged for providing alcohol or tobacco to minors. Parents purchasing medicinal cannabis for their children could be penalized.

The medical program would allow young persons to access this treatment option under the direction of medical professionals.


Medicinal Cannabis Patients Can Carry More

Another commonly cited issue with the Cannabis Act is the limit it places on personal possession. Under the Act, a person can carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public.

Medicinal cannabis patients sometimes need to carry more. If a patient is returning home with a 30-day supply of cannabis, with an authorized dosage of five grams per day, they would be carrying 150 grams on them. If they happened to be stopped, they could be charged.

A medicinal cannabis program makes allowances for what patients need.


Concerns about Access and Pricing

There are other concerns about leaving medical cannabis patients at the mercy of the recreational market. One is concerns about supply and access. Adult-use cannabis products conform to the desires of the recreational market, which may or may not reflect patients’ needs.

Patients may find other users buying up their medication. Worse, they may find stores stop carrying the medicinal products they need if there’s little market demand for them.

Prices are another concern. Currently, the medical cannabis industry works with patients to address concerns about prices. Insurance companies are now offering coverage for medical cannabis.

If the medicinal cannabis program is ended, patients will lose these forms of financial assistance. What’s really needed to make cannabis affordable for patients is provincial coverage, but that wouldn’t be provided if no medical program exists.

The end result would be some people who would have to go without their medication due to cost.


The Industry Will Keep Researching and Innovating

All of these concerns point to why it’s necessary for the medical cannabis industry to remain in Canada. Another good reason is continuing research and innovation. So much more is being learned about medicinal cannabis, and companies will continue to develop new products to assist patients.


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Why Medical Cannabis Affects Patients Differently

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January 02, 2019 9:00 AM

Why_Medical_Cannabis_Affects_Patients_Differently-1You’ve probably heard the phrase “different strokes for different folks.” It means everyone is individual and unique. This is certainly the case when it comes to medical cannabis.

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In simple terms, each person reacts differently to cannabis. Two people may experience equal or opposite reactions to the exact same strain and dose of cannabis. This can obviously be frustrating for medical cannabis patients who are trying to find effective symptom relief. It can also frustrate their doctors and other medical practitioners who work with them.

The key to working through this scenario and finding the right cannabis strain and dosage for you is understanding why medical cannabis has such different effects for different patients.


Medical Cannabis Is Affected by Your Body

Every human being has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has two types of receptors. Every human body produces endocannabinoids to some extent, and those substances interact with the ECS to support and maintain health.

The level of endocannabinoid production varies based on a number of factors. Your age is a huge one, as endocannabinoid production appears to taper off as people grow older. Older people may have lower levels of endocannabinoids as a result. Other factors, such as sex, ethnicity, and many others also play a role.

Health conditions can also factor in endocannabinoid production, absorption, and effectiveness. Some digestive tract conditions, for example, appear to reduce the production of endocannabinoids.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is the fact that everyone has a different optimal level of endocannabinoid production. Some people need higher levels of endocannabinoids to function, while another person may get by with a much lower level. You can think of this as your unique biochemistry.


Introducing Cannabinoids to the ECS

As established, your ECS is unique to you. When you begin introducing cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis, your ECS will react differently than another person’s. You may find you require large doses of certain strains to achieve even minimal effects. Another person might favour microdosing with the same strain to see those same effects.

Essentially, your body “interprets” cannabinoids differently than another person. This accounts for the huge range of effects, even using the same strain and similar doses.


Accounting for the Dose Curve

Cannabis is an interesting medication because its effects differ in large and small doses. At low doses, you may notice you feel relaxed and even sleepy with some strains. Those same strains in large doses may produce the exact opposite effects, making you anxious or hyperactive.

Most medications don’t exhibit this effect. They produce the same effects, and large doses just make those effects more potent.

This is why it’s so important for patients to find their optimal dose level, which is the minimum dosage needed to achieve the desired effects.


The Effects of Terpenes and Flavonoids

Another factor medical cannabis patients should account for when it comes to the different effects of cannabis is the other active substances. Terpenes and flavonoids are responsible for smells, tastes, and colours, but they also have medical benefits of their own.

Terpenes in particular appear to interact with cannabinoids to enhance or inhibit the effects of medical cannabis. Myrcene, for example, appears to enhance the sedative effects of THC. This is known as the entourage effect.

Research into the effects of terpenes and flavonoids is still in its infancy. It’s quite possible that people have individual reactions to different doses of terpenes as well, adding another layer of complexity to the medical cannabis puzzle.

If you’re trying to find the right dose and strain, this situation may feel frustrating. Understanding why you might not be achieving the effects you want, however, can help you make better treatment decisions.


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5 Unexpected Ways Medical Marijuana Can Make Your Life Better

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November 07, 2018 9:00 AM

5_Unexpected_Ways_Medical_Marijuana_Can_Make_Your_Life_BetterIn the last few years, there has been growing interest in cannabis and what it can do in the medical field. More research than ever before is being conducted, and more medical professionals are beginning to embrace it as a potential treatment for their patients.

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Patients with a wide array of different conditions are now testing medical marijuana for themselves. While research is still preliminary for many conditions, people are curious to see if medical cannabis can help them, especially where other treatments may have failed.

There’s little doubt that, for patients with conditions such as chronic pain or those undergoing cancer treatment, medical cannabis can change their lives. There are so many benefits—even beyond symptom relief. Here are a few of the more unexpected ways medical cannabis could help improve your life.


1. Medical Marijuana Could Help You Sleep at Night

Chronic pain patients often credit medical cannabis with helping them get a better night’s sleep. Pain can keep them awake at night, and medical marijuana helps soothe pain.

Medical cannabis is actually a more powerful sleep aid than merely dulling pain, and many people who live with sleep disorders find it helpful. In fact, it can be a great alternative to other sleep aids such as sleeping pills.

Medical marijuana contains cannabinoids, particularly THC, which can help lull you to sleep. If you’ve been experiencing trouble sleeping, then medical cannabis might be helpful.


2. It Could Help People Manage Anxiety

Another potential benefit of medical marijuana is its ability to soothe and relax people. While some studies have shown that cannabis can contribute to anxiety, many others demonstrate its ability to help people manage anxiety more effectively.

Cannabis may also be able to assist people with managing their stress levels more effectively. THC in particular is noted for its ability to help people relax. In turn, anxiety is lessened.


3. It Might Help People Manage Their Appetites

Another potential benefit of medical cannabis is its ability to help people better manage their appetite and, by extension, their weight.

Cannabis is mostly known for its ability to improve appetite. This is well-known in popular culture, but science backs it up. THC in particular helps boost appetite, and it even increases people’s appreciation of food.

Other cannabinoids may play a role in suppressing the appetite. CBD has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger. This could be useful for helping people who need to manage their weight.


4. It May Increase Enjoyment of Exercise

Exercise is good for everyone, and most Canadians don’t get enough of it. Some people are limited by health conditions such as chronic pain. Studies show that even those who have chronic pain or conditions like arthritis, however, can benefit from some physical activity.

The problem for most people is that exercise isn’t always enjoyable. Some research suggests cannabis may be able to increase people’s enjoyment of exercise. CBD in particular is believed to increase attention and focus, which could make exercise more pleasant.

This, in turn, helps you manage your health as well. Exercise has many benefits for the body, including lowering stress levels and improving cardiovascular health.


5. It May Boost the Immune System

If you’re someone who experiences frequent colds or other health ailments, especially during the winter months, you might be interested to know medical marijuana could provide an added boost to your immune system.

Early studies suggest endocannabinoids and cannabinoids could play a role in regulating immune function in the body. The result? A healthier you.

The benefits of medical marijuana go beyond merely eliminating pain or assisting with a particular health condition. As research continues, a clearer picture of the many ways cannabis supports human health will emerge.


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5 Signs You’re a Medical Cannabis Rookie

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October 17, 2018 9:00 AM

5_Signs_You_re_a_Medical_Cannabis_RookieMore patients are being authorized medical cannabis than ever before. In fact, there are more than 200,000 patients across Canada now, and the number continues to grow.

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Many of these patients are likely cannabis-naïve, meaning they’ve never used cannabis before. If any of these five signs describe you, you’re probably a medical cannabis rookie yourself. That’s okay, though. Everyone has to start somewhere. Admitting you’re learning and looking to the experts can help you overcome your rookie status and become a knowledgeable and safe medical marijuana patient.


1. You Don’t Store Your Medical Cannabis Properly

How do you store your medical marijuana? Is it in the fridge or a ziplock bag? If so, you’re likely new to this medication.

Neither of these methods are great ways to store cannabis. While some people recommended storing cannabis in the fridge to prolong its freshness, there’s no evidence this actually helps. Instead, store cannabis at room temperature, in a dark place, in an air-tight container.

The same goes for ziplock bags. While this storage method has been perpetuated in the mass media, it’s just not a good way to store your medicine. It’s not airtight to start, and the clear plastic allows harmful light to damage your medical cannabis.

Instead, store medical marijuana in colored glass or plastic containers, similar to other medications. Also be sure to store it out of reach of children and pets.


2. You Don’t Carry Your Authorization

If you don’t carry your authorization with you, you’re probably a medical marijuana rookie. Having your authorization with you is important in case you’re asked to produce documentation. This paperwork is what allows you to legally possess cannabis. Without it, you can be charged.

You might think this will change when cannabis becomes legal in Canada in October. You’re still going to want your documentation with you. There’s a legal limit on how much recreational cannabis you can possess. Many patients are authorized to have much more. Without the right documentation, you could face charges.


3. You Think Smoking Is the Only Way to Use Cannabis

If you look at the way cannabis culture is portrayed in the mass media, you might be left with the impression that smoking is the only way to use medical marijuana.

This is absolutely not true. There are many different ways to use medical marijuana. These include oils, sprays, topical creams, as well as synthetic cannabinoids. In fact, doctors don’t even recommend smoking, although it remains a popular choice.

You should be concerned about smoking medical marijuana, since there are risk factors involved. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.


4. You Experience Anxiety or Panic

Medical cannabis can occasionally cause adverse reactions in some people, particularly if the marijuana contains THC. This psychoactive substance can trigger anxiety or panic. This is particularly true for cannabis-naïve patients.

If you’re cannabis-naïve, don’t be tempted to take a higher dose than your doctor recommends. You may be eager to see if you can get relief from your symptoms, but higher dosages can have unwanted side effects.

Start low and go slow is good advice for anyone, not just the rookie medical marijuana patient.


5. You’re Not Sure Who to Ask for Advice

You’re all set up with your authorization. You’re storing your cannabis correctly, and you’re starting low and going slow.

You still have questions, though, and you’re not sure where to turn to get them answered. Luckily, there are many places you can turn for great advice. Check out a medical cannabis clinic or talk to a licensed producer. You might even talk to your doctor.

There’s no shame in admitting you’re a medical cannabis rookie. Learning more about medical marijuana and knowing where to turn when you have questions will help you become a knowledgeable patient.


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5 Ways to Consume Medical Marijuana without Smoking

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September 05, 2018 9:00 AM

5_Ways_to_Consume_Medical_Marijuana_Without_SmokingModern scientists seem to be torn on whether smoking cannabis can have negative physical side effects on the body. One study concludes that smoking cannabis “is associated with a high frequency of central airway inflammation,” similar to those who smoke tobacco products. This is a concerning conclusion—inflammation of the lungs can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can cause lifelong problems associated with breathing and poor airflow.

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If you’re a health-conscious individual with chronic pain or another eligible medical condition, this might be alarming to you. What are you supposed to do if you can’t smoke your authorized cannabis? There are other ways to consume marijuana without smoking it. This way, you get the positive benefits of medical cannabis without the potentially harmful side effects of smoking.


1. Edibles

Are you looking to manage your pain or condition(s) while also satisfying your sweet tooth? Edibles are a popular option for individuals looking for a delicious twist to taking their medication. Most notably baked into cookies and brownies, cannabis can be infused into butter (referred to by some as cannabutter) and baked into a variety of different delectable treats, turning your medication time into a multi-functional snack time.

If you’re looking to make your own, know that you may not know the proper doses. As such, it is not recommended as an intake method. Speak to a professional at Aleafia Health before you get started to learn more.


2. Topical Balms

Is your pain localized? If so, balms may be a good way to treat your pain directly on the spot where treatment is needed. If you’re not a big fan of the munchies or other psychoactive effects of cannabis, balms are a great option for you.


3. Transdermal Patches

Just like nicotine patches, you can administer your cannabis pain medication through a transdermal patch. This is a long-lasting solution, perfect for people who are looking for a longer treatment phase, compared to what you get when smoking marijuana.

Transdermal patches can be used both day and night, providing you with the relief you need at all hours of the day. The additional discretion transdermal patches provide is one of the many reasons why this type of cannabis administration is so popular.


4. Cannabis Tincture

Similar to cannabutter, cannabis can also be infused into a drink, sometimes referred to as the gold or green dragon. This mixture can easily be made yourself, providing you with a homemade solution to all your pain needs.

Once a tincture is made, it can be stored for years, allowing you to prepare your medical marijuana doses ahead of time.

Tinctures can be added to many different foods you eat, but unlike most edibles, will keep your calorie count down significantly. From juice to Jell-O, you can add cannabis tinctures to anything and have it go almost completely unnoticed.

However, it’s important to note that while this might be a more delicious option, adding the tincture to foods and drinks will take longer for it to be absorbed into your body. If you’re looking for fast-acting relief, it’s best to put the mixture directly under your tongue. Although it might not be the tastiest thing you’ve ever eaten, it’s effective.


5. Capsules

If you already have a medication regimen that includes other prescription drugs, capsules may be the easiest addition to your current routine. Capsules tend to be potent and concentrated, making it a desirable option for long-time cannabis consumers.

Worried that capsules will be made with a gelatin-based product? Don’t worry, there are many vegan options to satisfy the needs of any and all medical marijuana users.


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How to Network Your Way into a Cannabis Job

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August 01, 2018 9:00 AM

How_to_Network_Your_Way_into_a_Cannabis_JobThe changing marijuana industry is creating an entirely new crop of jobs in Canada. If you’re interested in working in this field, don’t delay. Work your way into the cannabis industry and discover who you should be meeting with and talking to.

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Attend Conferences and Trade Shows

There are tons of industry events happening in Canada that are teeming with like-minded individuals. Listen and take advice from those who have already made their mark. Sit in on panels, stop by tables, and chat with everyone you meet. People across the country come together to showcase their products and services at these industry events.

Canada has many hemp and cannabis conferences happening throughout the year—you just have to check your calendar. HempFest Cannabis Expo, Grow Up, and the Canadian Cannabis Business Conference are just a few. The people and ambiance at these shows create diverse, inclusive settings, so don’t be shy when you’re there. It won’t do you much good if you stay quiet. You never know who you’ll meet or how they can help you.

Before you go, you might find it useful to educate yourself on trends, studies, and related issues currently happening in the industry. It will give you some talking material when you’re there, acting as easy introductions if you’re nervous about talking to strangers. Think of your newfound knowledge as a conversation starting point and surprise them with seven amazing cannabis history lessons.

When you attend any of these events, consider dressing for a different part. You might think that the stereotype of this industry leaves people dressed in a lowkey, laidback fashion, but that’s no excuse to be sloppy. It’s okay to be casual, but always err on the professional side with your attire.


Join Professional Groups

Extend your network beyond events and trade shows, and become a member of different cannabis groups filled with individuals, enthusiasts, patients, and more. CaneXions and Women Grow are just two groups in a field of many. You can even join forums of cannabis-focused sites for additional communication avenues. Find out more with five of the best blogs to follow about medical marijuana.

Take part in their online presence—many of these groups have Facebook, in addition to other social platforms, where you can join in by participating in forums, asking questions, and chatting with those also interested in this area.

It’s important that you engage with others in these groups. People will become familiar with who you are, which could be useful should an opportunity arise in the future: You might be the person that group member thinks of first. Let other visitors know who you are and what you do.


Know Your Strengths and Interested Sectors

If you already know where it is that you specifically want to work, you’ll give yourself a leg up and can focus your networking efforts in that area. Are you looking to apply as a grower or licensed producer? Do you want to work in a clinic? Are you interested in an ancillary area, such as writing for a marijuana-based news channel?

From cultivating to testing, there’s a variety of spaces to work within the cannabis sector. Knowing what you want ahead of time can help you focus on meeting the people who can get you into those specific sections.

Think about your personal mission within this business. Evaluate your strengths the way you do when you’re searching for other jobs. Whether you have amazing people skills or a strong science background, there’s a way you can apply those traits to a career in the cannabis industry.

Al these placements give you a chance to put your name out there, learn more about the industry, and forge relationships with people you may one day work with. For more insight on the medical cannabis industry, visit Aleafia Health.


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How Can Medical Cannabis Overcome the Street Drug Stigma?

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July 18, 2018 9:00 AM

How_Can_Medical_Cannabis_Overcome_the_Street_Drug_StigmaEven though the number of people discovering the overwhelming benefits of medical cannabis is growing, this product continues to leave a bad taste in many citizens’ mouths.

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Here’s how this authorization can overcome its storied past.


The Beginning of the Stigma

The mainstream media has long painted marijuana as a dangerous drug and a menace to society. It’s still largely considered the “gateway drug,” despite the fact that other substances, such as alcohol, have been thought to influence users’ decisions before marijuana enters the picture.

Years of negative conversations in North America have made it difficult for generations to overcome former misconceptions. Old attitudes and stereotypes are hard to look past. Yet, this picture is inaccurately painted. Brainwashing propaganda of the past has caused much of the stigma, then and now. Those using it today, however, are hardly “stoners” or bad people. They’re finding a way to cope with their pain, and medical marijuana provides that solution.

It’s a very slow change to convince the public of medical marijuana’s benefits, particularly when ignorance, lack of knowledge, and preconceived values continue to take hold. The stigma does nothing but hurt medical marijuana users. Those uneducated about this medication only think of one component: THC, which is the cannabinoid that causes the high effect. Taking medical cannabis is hardly about the high: It’s about relieving pain and combatting illnesses to be able to continue on with daily routines.


A New Kind of Education

Is marijuana better or worse for your health than alcohol? Consider this never-ending debate in the fight and stigma against this drug. It’s time to educate yourself. How do you do that? You look to a variety of resources and expand what you know. Consider these five ways marijuana is used medically. Use your newfound knowledge to educate the uninformed. The best way to overcome the current stereotype is to educate society.

As a patient, arm yourself with the facts—plenty of incorrect stories are out there. When confronted by the opposing side, have your knowledge, such as research, studies and statistics, ready to back up your claim. You want to provide those without the right information the best guidance possible. Interested parties should stay abreast of industry studies and news, policy changes, and the latest research. It’s important to expose others to the correct research to change attitudes.

You want people to really see that this medication is truly helping you live your best life. Share your story. This can be a particularly effective mechanism if you’re trying to convince a friend or family member who’s struggling to understand this medication’s benefits.


Marketing for the Future

It’s time for new marketing strategies, advertisements, education sessions, and other similar methods to enter the field. The talk surrounding medical cannabis has to shift in a new way that allows users to understand its benefits. Slang-free marketing, clean images, and patient testimonials help lower the opposition towards this medication.

Overcoming misconceptions will no doubt play a part in changing views. While the crossover between medical and recreational may never disappear, destigmatizing its old image is a big step towards decreasing an outdated and misinformed stereotype.


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Topics: Medical Marijuana

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