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What Is Marijuana Yoga?

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June 20, 2018 9:00 AM

What_is_Marijuana_YogaWestern culture has fully embraced the art of yoga while adding new extensions to the traditional practice. Acro-yoga, hot yoga, and yogalates sound familiar to most people, but the next yoga wave mixes in a new aspect: marijuana. Keep reading to discover what this type of yoga class entails.

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It’s Still about the Practice

Marijuana yoga takes you through the same flow with an added twist: You’re allowed to smoke before and during class. It’s very much a normal studio from the outside, where you enter like you would for any other yoga class. Instructors guide you through the lesson, which is still filled with the usual downward dog, eagle, savasana, and myriad other yoga poses.

While cannabis yoga classes are popping up everywhere, their instructors stress that marijuana yoga classes aren’t places to buy cannabis or simply hang out and smoke. It’s still a workout and mindset class, and yogis have to bring their own cannabis with them if they plan to inhale.

Yoga studios can evoke feelings of trepid intimidation: Everyone is dressed in fashionable yoga clothes, everybody seems to have each pose perfected, and some participants and instructors themselves can be intimidating. Here, participants flow in a different atmosphere—one that’s significantly more chill and doesn’t come with the fear of having to fit in a certain exercise mold. Despite the green substance, however, the class is still just about yoga.

You Can Take a Few Tokes in Between

It’s common practice in yoga class to be invited to take sips of water between poses. At a marijuana yoga class, you’ll be invited to take a toke, in addition to a glass of water. While most yoga classes begin in savasana, here, participants are seen catching up and smoking before class starts.

Yogis enjoy a blissfully buzzed class that provides a new perspective and laidback effect. You may find yourself more open to certain poses as your pain fades away.

Yogis who have attended a marijuana yoga class agree that the ability to smoke throughout the flow strengthens their ability to tune into what their bodies are telling them and maintain steady breathing throughout. A big part of yoga is channelling controlled deep breaths, and the enhanced focus from marijuana presents that opportunity to do so. Some yogis and instructors advocate that smoking makes them feel a heightened awareness of the operation of their poses and the philosophy behind them.

Cannabis allows participants to truly let go and lose any former inhibitions when attempting new poses they’d otherwise find themselves intimidated by. While there are still yogis who debate this effect, if it helps participants feel more comfortable in class, who knows where that could lead? Of course, we already know the benefits of cannabis extend beyond yoga.

It’s Redefining Relaxation

In addition to feeling a good stretch, most participants feel additional relief. Throughout class, teachers and researchers have noted an increase in enjoyment among their students. Marijuana yoga classes aren’t just about inhaling cannabis—they’re about developing personal yoga skills in a non-intimidating environment. The core of these classes circles back to embracing the practice and fine-tuning skills. They’ve merely introduced the benefit of an additional substance.

Participants who have taken these classes find marijuana mutes the voices and intensifies the senses for a refined practice. Professionals and instructors alike comment that lowered inhibitions allow yogis to feel less apprehensive about trying new poses. This lack of worry is freeing for those who’d otherwise be nervous in a traditional class.

What conditions can medical marijuana treat? For more information on the benefits of medical cannabis, speak to the licensed professionals at Aleafia Health.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

5 Predictions for the Future of Cannabis Production in Canada

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June 18, 2018 9:00 AM

5_Predictions_for_the_Future_of_Cannabis_Production_in_CanadaThe future looks green as Canada becomes one of the first countries with a national legalization plan for marijuana. This is noteworthy for current and future licensed producers, paving the way for some interesting industry trends. Here are five predictions for cannabis production in Canada.

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1. Accelerated Licence Approval

It’s a tough process to get every step of the licensing application completed to be a licensed producer. The growth and rise of applications in Canada, however, indicates that new applicants are learning from past mistakes. They’re getting guidance on all parts of the process, entering the market with improved success rates.

This approval trajectory is forecasted to speed up as businesses and potential growers polish their business plans and succeed in significantly higher approval rates. Learning from those who made mistakes the first round has left newcomers better equipped with valuable knowledge for designing future facilities and drafting applications.

2. “Diverse” Producers

We’ve seen niche pockets in the food and health industries, and marijuana may be the next area to join in. While producers are somewhat similar across the board, over time, unique producers are bound to develop throughout the country. Innovative business formulas are paving the way for more creative ideas, and this could contribute to different types of licensed producers. As for today, here’s what new medical cannabis patients should know about licensed producers.

Craft marijuana could be as regular as craft beer, creating a new angle entirely. We could see “organic” producers and small, artisanal licensed producers. A new class will trailblaze ahead as producers become distribution experts or selling connoisseurs. What are the most common medical marijuana strains? They’re likely to evolve as the industry expands.

3. Exporting Experts

Canada’s legalization of marijuana opens new doors regarding marijuana exporting, and this new market has not been missed by well-capitalized cannabis companies. Canopy and Aurora Cannabis Inc. are two Canadian examples ready to play internationally, having already discovered a unique window of opportunity to make themselves indispensable cannabis exporters—at least until other countries are set up with a federal marijuana regulation.

It only makes sense to expand outside our borders: Canada will have the compliance, the regulations, and the production system in place to provide the foreign market with a broad-based, quality-controlled supply. Legalizing this product across the country implements a new standard for the medical cannabis industry, and it’s these standards that act as great prospects for other countries that don’t yet have the mechanisms in place regarding national legalization.

4. Streamlined Regulations

Regulations can be tricky to understand and stringent to follow, which is understandable given the government’s thorough process in vetting potential producers. Protocols may loosen slightly once the industry becomes established. The bar will always remain incredibly high, but as time passes, even Health Canada may be able to find areas that could benefit from flexible regulations.

Quality and security are big issues, but even producers will learn where they can adapt these guidelines. The industry as a whole will learn what works and what doesn’t to grow from their past mistakes and operate more efficiently.

5. Outdoor Businesses

At some point, we may very well see outdoor licensed producers. Canada is so geographically large and has so many diverse regions regarding the weather and climate that there’s huge potential to specialize in and grow various strains outside of greenhouses in different parts of the country. It will be a slow transition, and Health Canada will have to be on board with outdoor growers, but if enough pressure exists to grow cannabis outside, it could very well happen.

For more information on the medical marijuana industry, check out Aleafia Health. Their knowledgeable staff and researchers stay up to date on changing regulations, industry trends, and everything related to medical cannabis.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

Can Seniors Use Medical Cannabis?

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June 15, 2018 9:00 AM

Can_Seniors_Use_Medical_CannabisYou might be shocked when you first discover that grandma was recently approved for medical cannabis, but she isn’t the only person in her age bracket using it. Seniors are the fastest-growing population of new users.

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It’s okay for grandma to use medical marijuana. Keep reading to discover why.

Yes, They Can

It may seem unconventional, but the elderly population is not discriminated against when it comes to medical marijuana. While the golden generation grew up in a time when this medication was heavily stigmatized, they’ve slowly let go of their preconceived notions, beginning to understand the array of benefits medicinal cannabis may offer.

Medical cannabis is a beneficial option that can assist with seniors’ aches and pains. It’s used to treat a large number of health conditions. Seniors considering this option, however, should make sure to first discuss the possible treatment option with their family doctors to determine whether it’s right for them.

It Fights Their Common Ailments

Medical cannabis helps reduce a large number of pain points common to seniors. This authorization is known for relieving chronic pain, arthritis, and other related aches. It assists with appetite loss, glaucoma, and neurological disorders. Studies have shown it may boost neurological performance in brains—particularly great news for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It may combat the effects of these deadly diseases by halting the production of the toxic brain proteins that prevent the brain from accessing information.

If seniors are wary about smoking cannabis, they can explore different forms, such as cannabis oil. Regardless of the form they choose, this medication may provide effective, long-lasting relief.

It’s a Safe Alternative

Seniors are often prescribed painkillers, which can have dangerous side effects. Those currently taking medical marijuana say they prefer this medication over other prescriptions, such as opioids, because there’s little risk of developing a dependence on the drug.

Medical cannabis is relatively non-addictive and has a very strong safety record. Highly addictive painkillers, by contrast, can be incredibly addictive and require higher dosages as the patient becomes accustomed to its effect.

It’s Not for Recreational Use

Marijuana was a largely taboo drug for the elderly, but medical research and science has since come a long way. The stigma surrounding marijuana is largely decreasing, leaving many people more willing to explore this alternative medication.

There are so many strains on the market that don’t include the psychoactive features found in the recreational edition. CBD strains, which don’t contain the high feeling associated with THC, are commonly prescribed to relieve pain. Medical marijuana is not an illicit drug. This authorization is purely for medical purposes, with dosages approved by the doctor. Patients can be sure they’re taking a safe product. If your parents or grandparents aren’t sure what kind best fights their illness, they can explore the medical cannabis strains that are right for them.

It’s Improving Their Quality of Life

Children caring for their elderly parents want to see their parents happy, enjoying life, and receiving the best care possible. Medical cannabis makes their symptoms manageable, so they can move forward with their usual routines, less any substantial pain or significantly drained energy. Aging parents and grandparents still get to play with their grandchildren, take walks in the neighbourhood, and continue with their day-to-day lives.

It’s important to destigmatize and demystify marijuana. If you’re a senior yourself or a child looking after older parents, you may want to consider medical cannabis as an alternative medication. For more information and the latest updates on medical marijuana research, look to Aleafia Health. Their research, knowledge, and continuing education leaves them well-equipped to answer any of your questions surrounding this medication.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

5 Ways Marijuana Is Used Medicinally

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June 08, 2018 9:00 AM

How_Is_Marijuana_Used_MedicinallyMarijuana is a psychoactive substance that is obtained from the cannabis plant. The term medical marijuana refers to the use of the substance for treating symptoms of health disorders. Doctors authorize the use of marijuana— either unprocessed or its extract — for relief from different symptoms.

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In this post, you will learn about the benefits and uses of marijuana for medical purposes.

1. Seizures

Marijuana has been used to control and reduce the frequency of seizures. The substance has been found to be effective in getting rid of spontaneous seizures. Cannabinoid compounds in marijuana provide an anticonvulsant effect. This effectively lessens the occurrence of seizures in individuals. Studies have reported that individuals who take a measured amount of the cannabis plant report a reduction in the frequency of seizures from hundreds a week to just once a month.

2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Another medical benefit of taking marijuana is relief from the anxiety symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many states and provinces in the US and Canada have approved the use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD.

The reason is that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that is responsible for most of the effects of marijuana, is similar to the cannabinoids produced naturally in the brain. So, the use of marijuana is effective in regulating PTSD symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and fear.

3. Pain

Probably the most common medical use of marijuana is in controlling pain. Many studies have provided empirical evidence of the analgesic properties of THC chemical present in cannabis. The substance has been proved to be effective in reducing neuropathic pain due to headache, HIV infection, damage of the brachial plexus, rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain, cancer pain, and neuralgia. It can be used in combination with, or as an alternative to, opioids for significant pain relief.

4. Inflammation

Marijuana has also been proven effective in reducing painful symptoms due to inflammation. The cannabis substance has anti-inflammatory benefits providing much relief from pain. Individuals who have used marijuana have reported decreases in the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. This has resulted in reduced side effects due to using anti-inflammatory medications.

5. Glaucoma

Many studies have found that the use of marijuana results in reduced symptoms of glaucoma. The studies have found that the use of the psychoactive substance lessened the intraocular pressure. This reduced the need for surgery or medications for treating glaucoma in individuals.

The above are just some of the common medical uses of marijuana. The substance has also been proven effective in reducing the symptoms of arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and many other diseases.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

7 Things to Know about Prescription Cannabinoids

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June 06, 2018 9:00 AM

7-Things-to-Know-about-Prescription-Cannabinoids-compressorPrescription cannabinoids are a form of medical marijuana available to patients. While most people are familiar with other variations, such as dried marijuana and cannabis oil, this form could also be prescribed to treat your medical condition. 

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If you’re interested in prescription cannabinoids, here are seven facts to know regarding this product.

1. They Help Combat Various Symptoms

Prescription cannabinoids are similar to other forms of medical cannabis, as they’re all authorized to relieve pain and related symptoms. For those suffering from multiple sclerosis, this authorization has been clinically proven to reduce muscle spasms, sleep disturbances, and pain. Additionally, strong evidence exists that highlights its benefits in relieving neuropathic pain and decreasing vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

2. They’re Not a Synthetic Version of Cannabis

Prescription cannabinoids shouldn’t be confused with synthetic varieties. Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals that are similar to the cannabinoid compound found in the plant but are often unsafe, misleading, and harbour unpredictable side effects. They’re usually blended with herbal mixtures, which gives them a different appearance, taste, and smell. 

These synthetic versions aren’t regulated. The product’s quality is a guessing game, and patients can’t be sure what’s inside. Prescription cannabinoids are federally approved medications that have been tested for quality, so the patient knows they’re receiving a safe, pure medication.

3. They’re Available in Different Shapes

This medication is available in two forms: spray and capsule. The most common form available in Canada is a spray form, known by its trade name as Sativex. Sativex is a combination of THC and CBD, and it’s sprayed under the tongue or inside the cheeks in dosages authorized by the doctor. Capsule forms exist, but not all are licensed in Canada. Marinol and dronabinol are examples of capsule forms that are no longer approved here.

4. They Provide Long-lasting Relief

Can medical cannabis help with pain relief? Prescription cannabinoids certainly can. They move slowly throughout the body, providing an effect on the user that is much more protracted, especially when compared to inhaling or smoking medical marijuana. This is great news for patients looking for long-lasting relief.

5. They Don’t Lead to Addiction

Medical marijuana studies have shown that this drug won’t cause users to develop an addiction—a scary side effect that sometimes results from other prescriptions. Patients using prescription cannabinoids don’t tend to develop a physical dependence, and they can feel safe knowing they’re taking a medication that helps them without negatively impacting other aspects of their lives.

6. They Do Have Side Effects

People often have questions about medical marijuana and its side effects. Everybody reacts differently to their medication. Common side effects of prescription cannabinoids include disorientation, dizziness, nausea, and tiredness. While most are completely manageable, you should talk to your doctor if they become bothersome.

Your doctor needs to know of any unpleasant side effects you experience, so they can adjust your prescription as necessary. It’s also important for your doctor to be fully aware of your medical history. Taking different medications can have negative results, and your doctor will want to be aware of any potential issues beforehand to address them properly.

7. They’re Likely Covered by Your Healthcare Provider

As a patient, you’re likely wondering whether health insurance covers this medication. Canadian insurance companies are slowly beginning to add medical marijuana to their plans, but in most cases, prescription cannabinoids are covered by your private insurance company or a government-funded plan. Any drug with a drug identification number, such as Sativex, can be easily added to your benefit plan because it’s already listed in the healthcare system. However, confirm this detail with your insurance provider first.

For more information about prescription cannabinoids, talk to the licensed professionals at Aleafia Health. Their doctors and nurse practitioners can provide you with the latest information regarding medical marijuana, cannabis oil, and prescription cannabinoids.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Reduce Opioid Use in Canada?

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June 04, 2018 9:00 AM

Can-Medical-Marijuana-Reduce-Opioid-Use-in-Canada-compressor-1Opioid-related deaths are up. Is marijuana the answer? The opioid epidemic in Canada shows no sign of slowing down. Doctors believe cannabis is one viable option to combat the crisis. Here’s how medical marijuana is helping reduce opioid use in our country.

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The Problem with Opioids

The opioid epidemic has spread like wildfire across North America. In 2017, Canada broke a national record for opioid-related deaths. The number of deaths from January to September alone surpassed the total deaths in 2016. The high number of overdoses and its addictive properties have made it one of the worst prescriptions for patients. 

For a long time, opioids were the go-to pain medications prescribed by doctors to treat symptoms of chronic pain and related issues. Today, it’s responsible for deadly side effects and addiction. This strong pain relief medication has now caused detrimental recourse, leaving patients highly addicted to the drug. It may have beginnings as a legitimate prescription to manage pain but, over time, it’s become an epidemic. 

Opioids’ harmful impact has left many wondering what better options exist for treating and relieving pain. Medical marijuana is one possible alternative. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine highlighted how states in the U.S. that have legalized marijuana show a lower number of opiate deaths than states that haven’t. While results are inconclusive regarding whether this is directly caused by cannabis itself, it’s a hopeful sign in an otherwise bleak landscape.

No Need for Continual Increases

Opioids bind to the body’s opioid receptors. Cannabis binds to the cannabinoid receptors, the body’s internal pain relief system. Both medical marijuana and opioids provide pain relief. Both use similar pathways in the body. Both release dopamine in the brain’s reward path, which results in patients feeling the sense of pleasure from taking the medication. However, it’s been noted that taking marijuana instead of opioids may pre-empt the rewarding effects opiates generate, therefore decreasing the patient’s need to reach for that drug. 

Although both cannabinoid and opioid receptors rely on common signaling pathways, marijuana has very low potential for addiction and an almost non-existent likelihood of overdose—compare this with opioids, where the possibility of addiction and overdose is incredibly high. 

Patients using opioids eventually need their dosage raised because their bodies become accustomed to their current intake. Patients authorized medical cannabis don’t develop the same reaction. They can continue taking the same dose and feel the same amount of relief.

A Safer Alternative

Opioid withdrawal is a painful process. Patients may experience insomnia, nausea, restlessness, and vomiting, among other side effects. It may even lead to death. Those authorized marijuana, however, don’t experience those effects. Marijuana provides the same effective relief without addictive qualities.

In studies, patients who substituted opioids for cannabis reportedly experienced fewer side symptoms, and they felt safer using this authorization instead of the traditional drug prescribed. While the patients who switched to medical marijuana still experienced some minor effects, they felt a sense of relief and in better control of their symptoms while treating their conditions.

Marijuana could be a valuable alternative. Even if additional pain relief alternatives exist, years of science and research are needed to develop a marketable solution. Meanwhile, thousands of Canadians are already reaping the benefits of medical cannabis. This solution presents itself as a viable means of helping users fight opioid addiction.

Looking for an alternative to opioids? You can learn more about the beneficial impact of medical marijuana over opioid prescriptions by speaking to the doctors and nurse practitioners at Aleafia Health. They understand the helpful role cannabis plays in changing patients’ lives for the better.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

Dried Marijuana, Cannabis Oil, or Prescription Cannabinoids: Which Should I Get?

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May 30, 2018 9:00 AM

Dried-Marijuana-Cannabis-Oil-Or-Prescription-Cannabinoids-Which-Should-I-Get-compressorWere you approved for a medical cannabis treatment but you aren’t sure what form is best for you? You might be asking yourself: What are the best and healthiest ways to consume medical marijuana? There are three different forms of this medication. Discover how each one can work for you.

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Dried Marijuana

This is the form most people are familiar with, whether they use this drug or not. Patients receive the actual buds, which they can vape or smoke. For those who are already smokers, smoking dried marijuana will likely feel natural, presenting no lifestyle change. Those who don’t smoke and prefer not to start—even for medication, may want to consider another form instead. 

Dried marijuana moves from the lungs into the bloodstream to provide instant relief, which is a preferred feeling for some patients. The millions of alveoli inside the lungs are surrounded by tiny blood vessels, called capillaries. When cannabis is inhaled, it passes from the alveoli to the capillaries, directly entering the bloodstream and hitting the body’s central nervous system. 

The downside of smoking marijuana is its short-term effect: It provides only an hour or so of relief. If that isn’t long enough, you may want to consider another form for a longer window of pain relief.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil has many health benefits. It’s a great alternative for patients because you don’t have to smoke it—and a dropper makes it easy to count daily doses.

Oil takes a longer journey. It makes a pitstop at the liver before entering the bloodstream. It works in two parts of the body, unlike inhalation, where cannabis enters the bloodstream only. 

Patients looking for long-lasting relief should consider cannabis oil. Its effects last anywhere from six to eight hours.

Prescription Cannabinoids

This form of medical marijuana comes in capsule form—patients can be sure it’s an exact dosage of their daily intake. Capsules contain both THC and CBD components, they activate fairly quickly, and they provide long-lasting relief. For some, taking a capsule is as simple as taking a vitamin. It’s easy, it’s ready, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

Like oil, prescription cannabinoids are discreet. Users who prefer not to make their authorization publicly known will appreciate the low-key intake method—whether it’s at work or a social event. Additionally, this authorization can be filled at a local pharmacy, instead of a licensed producer. Some patients will appreciate the convenience involved in obtaining this medication.

Prescription cannabinoids are highly regulated. Sativex is one common prescription that’s been approved in Canada. It’s made from whole plant extracts of the cannabis plant. Not all prescription forms are made this way—some are synthetic versions of THC. Previous forms, such as Marinol and dronabinol, are no longer manufactured or for sale in Canada. You’ll have to discuss brands with your doctor to find one that’s right for you.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice to decide which form you’re most comfortable with.  Consider how it needs to be taken, how fast you want to feel relief, and how long you want that relief to last. To find out more about which kind of marijuana is right for you, speak to the healthcare professionals at Aleafia Health.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

Why Baking Edibles Is a Bad Idea for Medical Cannabis Patients

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May 18, 2018 9:00 AM

Why-Baking-Edibles-Is-a-Bad-Idea-for-Medical-Cannabis-PatientsMany patients consider baking edibles as an alternative method of consuming medical cannabis. However, this isn’t the best idea. Here are a few reasons why.


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The Dosage Isn’t Clear

Smoking medical cannabis allows patients to know exactly how much medication they’re ingesting. It’s easier to monitor dosage and impact via inhalation because it enters the bloodstream so quickly—users feel the high effect shortly after smoking. Users eating edibles may not feel the effects until three hours later. Edibles take longer to affect the patient, which may cause the person to eat the entire snack in an effort to feel relief. This may leave them feeling far too medicated. 

Even with the right strain, edibles vary in strength. Patients can’t always be sure of the potency in one of these food items. It’s hard to measure how much concentration is in one bite: Is it necessary to eat the entire cookie or just half of it? Authorization is typically measured via milligrams, with 10 mg equal to one dose of THC. One snack can contain more or less than your daily dose. 

The side effects of smoking versus eating are very different, and if the dosage is too strong in edibles, patients will overdo it. Baked edibles don’t provide an accurate view of how much medical cannabis is consumed per snack.

Unintended Side Effects

Both the delay and timing can result in some undesirable side effects that the patient wasn’t expecting. The inability to accurately measure dosage contributes to the unwanted results. The effects of baked edibles are unpredictable, and most patients don’t know how much to eat. 

Although overdosing on marijuana isn’t lethal, it’s certainly an issue you don’t want to deal with and one that may occur if users overeat. Common side effects include feelings of anxiety, panic, and paranoia. Patients may experience psychotic episodes of hallucinations, delusions, and confusion—all of which can be scary to deal with. 

The authorized dose is a recommendation that patients need to follow. People metabolize medical cannabis differently. It isn’t fast-acting for everyone, meaning the effects could rush the patient all at once. Edibles are absorbed through the stomach instead of the lungs, which is why the body reacts differently.

Regulation and Safety Concerns

There’s no way to read the label of home-baked edibles: You’re trusting how much you’ve added from your authorized amount. Baked edibles aren’t a legal form of purchase for medical cannabis. Patients who choose the illegal route and buy them from a dispensary create a new risk for themselves. These aren’t regulated products. Patients can’t be completely sure of the levels contained inside.

Another concern will no doubt affect parents using this authorization: Edibles, such as brownies and cookies, resemble their kids’ favourite snacks. You don’t want to leave these lying around by mistake. Keeping these treats out of reach is an important safety measure.

At this time, baked edibles aren’t recommended as a consumption method. A medical marijuana brownie may sound more appealing than smoking, but take some time to consider this intake method and its risks.

Before you decide to bake medical cannabis treats, speak to the doctors and nurse practitioners at Aleafia Health. While they can’t recommend intake methods, they can give you more information about different types of ingestion and how each one impacts individual patients.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

What New Medical Cannabis Patients Should Know about Licensed Producers

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May 11, 2018 9:00 AM

What_New_Medical_Cannabis_Patients_Should_Know_about_Licensed_ProducersLicensed producers provide patients a legal way of filling their medical cannabis authorization. They have a unique set of rules that allows them to grow and sell this drug within Canada. If you’re a new user of this authorization, keep reading to understand who licensed producers are and how they work.

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Their Purpose

Why get medical cannabis from a licensed producer? Understanding how these businesses operate leaves you better informed as to how medical cannabis is legal in Canada. A licensed producer is a government-approved grower who can also apply to be a seller of medical marijuana. They grow medical cannabis in line with government regulations.

Licensed producers adhere to the strict protocols of the federal government and Health Canada to provide patients with safe, pure, and clean medical-grade products. Their production practices and facilities comply with the listed requirements per Health Canada, and they’re in line with the relevant sections of the Narcotic Control Regulations and the Food and Drug Act, in relation to marijuana.

The Licensing Process

Health Canada is the country’s watchdog for licensed producers. It outlines the strict quality control and mandatory relations for businesses to follow and adhere to.

Licensed producers undergo a thorough application process. Groups are selected because of their ability to create a controlled, consumable product. The government wants to see a concrete business plan; proposed record-keeping methods regarding security, inventory, and destruction; and full and total compliance with ACMPR, the regulations regarding how patients receive medical marijuana. Then, a license may be issued.

Inspections are regularly scheduled to ensure the producer is meeting all practices for cultivating this product in a safe environment. If a producer wants to sell as well, they need to undergo a pre-sale inspection and submit an amended application that includes the sales activity to license, as well as other relevant information required. Only when this is amended license is approved are they given the green light to become sellers as well.

Choosing One

No two producers are the same, and although they’re all regulated, they all carry different strains and products. The staff is knowledgeable, but that expertise extends only to the brands they stock. Once you know what strain you need, take the time to look around. Do some online research and review different producers first. If that sounds overwhelming, start by researching a larger licensed producer—one with multiple strains available.

Doctors at medical cannabis clinics cannot recommend a specific producer—it’s a choice left freely to the patient, but you can ask for a list to use as a starting point. They can advise you of the process for obtaining your authorization.

Read patient reviews if they’re posted; check their websites for FAQs and their company history; and give their support team a call. Talking to a real person can provide an effective perspective that’s missed from reading. Compare their policies, shipping charges, and product costs. You want to ensure that the producer you pick has the correct product and strains for you in a form you prefer.

If you are a new patient, consider visiting a clinic that also functions as a licensed producer. You’ll save time from researching and ensure you’re partnering with a reputable source. Ask your physician for a referral to Aleafia Health, and see how they can assist you with your medical cannabis authorization.

When looking for a licensed producer, remember: These businesses are licensed to cultivate and/or sell medical cannabis, the product varies by producer, and it never hurts to research multiple producers first.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

7 Ridiculous Medical Marijuana Myths You Should Know

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May 09, 2018 9:00 AM

7-Ridiculous-Medical-Marijuana-Myths-You-Should-Know-compressorPeople don’t always know what they’re talking about, and this is particularly true when discussing medical marijuana. Here are seven creative myths and why they aren’t true.

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1. It’s the Same High in All Strains

No two medical cannabis strains are the same, and while users and patients are familiar with this concept, the overwhelming public isn’t. Different strains are authorized for different symptoms, and each one has varying levels of CBD and THC. 

CBD, commonly found in medical marijuana, isn’t the psychoactive element that provides the high. It acts on different receptors in the brain, actually muting the high feeling, while THC activates other receptors to provide the mind-altering effect.

2. It’s Not Favoured by the UN

People love to use a good authoritarian source to back up their claims, but it’ll backfire quickly if the person has their facts wrong. A 1960 report from the United Nations has been frequently misconstrued by those against using this medication. The report actually reads: “…use for other than medical and scientific purpose must be discontinued.” So, in reality, even the UN understands the potential benefits of this medication.

3. It Can Be Ingested or Inhaled Raw

There isn’t a single healthcare professional who would recommend ingesting or inhaling raw cannabis. Marijuana needs to be heated to activate the THC ingredient, so by that logic, medical marijuana has to be heated in order to experience the medicinal effects. If ingestion is the preferred intake method, medical cannabis can be cooked with a fatty substance, such as butter. If the patient chooses to inhale their medication through smoking or vaping, they’ll have to light up first. Both methods still match the authorized dosage, but it won’t be in raw form.

4. It Can Be Smoked or Ingested and Have the Same Effect

Whether medical marijuana is received in dried form or oil, different intake methods result in different effects. Smoking is a quick intake method that provides near-instant relief, but it has a shorter duration period. Ingesting cannabis-infused edibles takes longer to set in—needing between 0.5-2 hours before users feel its effects, but it lasts several hours longer.

5. It’s Worse Than Tobacco

People are quick to claim marijuana causes more lung damage than smoking. While it does produce some changes in lung function when smoked, the impact is nowhere near as deadly as chronic smoking. There are two probable answers. The first theory relates to CBD’s anti-inflammatory trait. Smoke particulates in tobacco cause lung damage, but CBD’s anti-inflammatory characteristic may actually have protective effects.

The most well-discussed reason relates to a matter of dosage. The two are not equally carcinogenic, and people consume tobacco at a much higher rate than they do marijuana. Users would have to smoke several joints to result in the same amount of lung damage that smoking cigarettes causes.

6. It’s a Gateway Drug

This buzzword term has long been associated with leading the good-willed down a path of trouble. Although many users of hard drugs started with marijuana, the same argument can be made by replacing marijuana with alcohol or tobacco, yet neither gets the same reputation.

Researchers have commented that either of those vices could be the initial starting drug that proceeds marijuana. In addition, several social issues may be impacting users’ influence to get high that extend far beyond this “gateway” drug.

7. It’s an Excuse to Smoke Weed

A big misconception about medical marijuana is that users only want it so it’s easy for them to obtain weed. Medical-grade cannabis provides relief of pain and effectively treats a wide variety of symptoms. It’s not about getting high.

Don’t let these myths fool you. Get to know the facts about medical marijuana. For more information, speak to the healthcare professionals at Aleafia Health.



Topics: Medical Marijuana

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