Listen to This!
Are you new to medical cannabis?
Have you tried medical cannabis with less than stellar results?
Are you overwhelmed by the avalanche of conflicting information that you must wade through to try to find answers?
If so, then this podcast is for you!
Today I’m going to be talking about what you can do to significantly increase your chances of finding success with medical cannabis.
Within my Medical Pot Guide Facebook Group, I have heard from many new users of medical cannabis who shared their stories of frustration and confusion.
All-too-often I hear from people who are frustrated with their first experience due to zero perceivable effects and no relief for their conditions while others experienced overwhelming intoxication for hours with no perceivable benefits for the conditions that they were using it for.
Others get frozen like a deer in the headlights trying to figure out what is true within the mass of conflicting information available on the internet.
One of the biggest problems is that there is a plethora of information and an army of very well-meaning, self-described, medical cannabis experts in social media, who freely provide contradictory and very questionable advice for anyone who will listen.
For somebody who is turning to cannabis for the first time, it can be very overwhelming and frustrating. Many end up quitting after their first initial attempts.
The sad part is that many of these people would have had a very good chance of finding success with medical cannabis if they had been able to get the right advice early on.
So, if you are new to medical cannabis or know somebody who is considering medical cannabis to treat their conditions then this podcast may be just what you need to get you on the right track.
To make this whole process easier I recommend that you first get yourself a copy of my FREE pdf called The New Cannabis Patient’s Roadmap. It will make the whole initial process a whole lot easier.
In it, I take you by the hand and step-by-step, walk you through the entire process from determining if cannabis will be able to treat what ails you to if AND where you will be obtain it. You’ll want to open the pdf online to take advantage of the many links to resources that will help you in this whole process.
CLICK HERE to get your free PDF – The New Cannabis Patients Roadmap
Can medical cannabis treat your conditions?
If you’re thinking about trying medical cannabis, one of the very first things that you should determine is if cannabis may be able to treat your physical or psychological issues. Believe me, if you go into any of the Facebook groups on medical cannabis you will be told that cannabis will be able to treat or CURE whatever it is that you’re dealing with.
While, due to the nature of how cannabis is able to effectively treat many conditions, a lot of this information may be somewhat accurate, but the degree of success or the means to success may be clear as mud after your initial experience.
So, what I’d recommend that you do is take a scientific approach and do some of your own research on the internet. One of the very best sites for getting accurate information on whether cannabis can treat your conditions is to go to the united patients group website. This is a fantastic resource that you should all know about.
The United Patients Group was founded by John and Corinne Malanca and it has become a powerful reference tool for how to treat many conditions with cannabis. Sadly, Corinne Malanca passed away last year from cancer. They were one of the early interviews that I did with the medical pot guide. They have been a great resource and source of support for me since then.
I usually go to their site and just enter the condition that I’m looking for within the search bar and then read up on the many results that it returns. You can also go to the conditions page where they list many conditions and then provide links to all of the articles for each one.
You should be able to determine here if cannabis may be of benefit to you.
Another good source is medicaljane.com. They have a plethora of information for treating many conditions with medical cannabis.
I would be careful with going to some of the more mainstream medical sites, such as webMD. You’ll find a lot of information regarding medical cannabis, but I have found that it isn’t always that accurate and often reflects the anti-cannabis bias or ignorance that can be pervasive in the mainstream medical community.
What kinds of cannabis do you have access to?
Okay, so after your initial research, you’ve determined that cannabis may be able to help with what ails you, so now the next step would be to determine if, and how, you will obtain your medicine.
If you live in a legal state, then you theoretically should at least have access to some form of medical cannabis that may be able to help you. Some legal states are very tight and have very narrow access to a very limited type of cannabis. Some states only allow CBD oil with less than 3% THC.
Other legal states provide access to just about anything you could possibly want and some of those even allow you to grow your own. So, you need to determine what the story is with your state’s medical cannabis laws. You can do this easily by doing an online google search.
One good resource for this is the NORML where you can find details on the present status of your state.
If you unfortunately live in an illegal state then you have some very basic, but important decisions to make. It really comes down to 2 choices. Are you willing to move to a legal state to obtain your medicine OR are you willing to break the law and risk criminal prosecution? This could mean losing the custody of your children and even going to jail.
If you have cancer, this can be a very serious and painful dilemma. If those two are not doable options for you then cannabis is not for you.
Most states either allow or are fairly laxed with hemp CBD oil which is below 3% THC and is readily available online. But beware. In some states you can still end up in jail if they catch you with it.
There are also a lot of bad players who sell CBD oil online. Despite their glowing claims, you often-times do not know what it is that you’re ordering. You could end up with a worthless vial of oil with little or no CBD in it all or even worse, it could be laced with pollutants and pesticides. And sometimes, you end up with nothing because they just rip you off and then disappear.
With that said, there are some excellent companies out there that sell hemp CBD oil online. These companies can be trusted and provide valid test results for their products.
The two that I wholeheartedly recommend are KUSA, out of Eugene, Oregon and Theramu out of Bakersfield right here in California.
They both provide top quality products and are socially responsible.
Okay, so after going through those steps you should now know if cannabis can help you and that you, at least theoretically will have access to some form of it.
Determining what forms of cannabis may treat your conditions.
Deep dive into what kinds of medical cannabis will benefit you
So now you need to dive down a bit deeper to determine what kind of cannabis would best treat your conditions and then where you will get it from.
Consultations from a Medical Professional with expertise with cannabis.
I highly recommend that you obtain a consultation from a medical professional who is very experienced with treating your conditions with cannabis. This may involve some upfront expense, but it may actually save you a lot of time, money and headaches with going through all the experimentation and guesswork that you may face trying to find the right approach to treating your conditions.
This is especially important if you are trying to treat any serious condition such as cancer, seizure disorders and neurological issues such as Parkinson’s or MS.
CLICK HERE for my recommendation for medical professionals who specialize in treating their patients with medical cannabis.
A medical professional with expertise in treating your condition with cannabis will substantially increase your chances of success.
Doing your own research
So, either you obtain some guidance from a medical professional or you can go it alone, with the help of friends, family, and your support on social media. Just remember what I said earlier that there will be a lot of contradictory information and recommendations for treatment on the internet. So, you really need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
If you are treating pain, inflammation, or some somewhat less serious condition then you can get some good information on the best modes of treatment and best strains to use from websites such as The United Patients Group and Medicaljane.com.
You can also check out Leafly.com to try to determine the strains that would work best for you. Their strain database is truly amazing and the information that you can get there can be very helpful.
Determine the forms and strains of medical cannabis that you have access to.
Before you get too carried away on strains just yet it would be a very good idea to see what types of medical cannabis and strains that you’ll actually have access to.
If your state allows for flower, oils and other products that contain THC, then you need to determine what your options are. This may mean a trip to your nearby dispensaries or possibly a trip to their website to see what’s on their menus.
In the county that I live in California, they do not allow open dispensaries, but you can order online and have it delivered, which is friggin fantastic. So once you know the types of products that you have access to then you can do your research on strains, or talk with your medical professional, if you are lucky enough to have access to one.
Let me give you a quick word of caution here. Bud-tenders in dispensaries are very rarely actual medical professionals so relying on them for treatment or medical advice can be a bit foolhardy.
Many of them do know a lot about cannabis and the effects of strains so I would ask away but don’t take what they say as gospel.
Speaking of strains, let me talk first a bit about the basics of choosing a strain that will benefit you and not send you into the stratosphere. This will go a long way to making your first experience a good one.
Let’s first look at the basics. Though there is some dispute as to the accuracy and real distinction between them, strains today are considered sativas, indicas or hybrids. Most, if not all, strains out there are really a combination, or hybrid of both. It is much easier to consider strains as either sativa dominant or indica dominant.
It’s important to understand that hybrid strains combine the different characteristics of both sativas and indicas resulting in a strain that is ether sativa dominant or indica dominant. They can be very beneficial for dialing in specific medicinal traits for treating physical or psychological conditions.
Sativa dominant strains
Sativas are a very energetic strain. They stimulate the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects appetite, mood and sexual function. Okay, so far, so good.
Because it can be very stimulating and energetic, you wouldn’t want to be using it for sleep.
I personally like sativas for their effects on creativity. It can enable you to look at the world from a very interesting and unique vantage point.
Sativa strains can be very effective for treating chronic pain, ADD, fatigue and depression.
Indica dominant strains
Indica dominant strains are the yang to sativa’s yin. Indica tends to be more relaxing with a more full-body effect. Indica strains are often used for sleep disorders and pain relief.
Many people who use medical cannabis prefer to use sativa strains during the day and indica strains at night.
Know Your Cannabinoids
First, start off with strains that are low in THC and high in CBDs. THC is the molecule, or better known as the cannabinoid, that is responsible for the psychological high, and at the higher percentage levels of THC, it can cause you to feel paranoid and increase your anxiety level significantly.
Cannabidiols, or better known as CBDs, are the cannabinoids in cannabis that provide a lot of the medicinal qualities without getting you high. CBDs are also a moderating factor for THC and so choosing strains with high CBDs and THC will result in less of a psychological high, than those with the same THC but lower CBDs.
CBDs are really amazing. CBDs are shown to have anti-psychotic effects and have been effective in the treatment of mental illness such as schizophrenia. CBDs also contain very powerful anti-inflammation properties making it effective for treating many auto-immune diseases such as arthritis, lupus, vitiligo, inflammatory bowel disease, pernicious anemia, and many more.
CBDs also contain antioxidants that help to lower your risk of cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s. It is known to be very effective as an anti-tumor medication. Not bad for a plant that you can grow in your closet.
And for you that don’t want to get high at all, the good news is that there are a lot of strains that are very effective medically, with very little THC, and therefore have little to no psychoactive effects. Look at strains like AC/DC, Charlottes Web, or one of my faves, Blue Jay Way. They all have very low amounts of THC, but have enough to provide excellent pain relief.
On the other hand, some of the higher THC strains can be very effective for pain relief and for relief of stress and anxiety, so they can be very beneficial. The highs that are produced by many of the mid to high THC strains can help with focus, energy, mood and can be quite uplifting. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Many of the high THC strains, such as Jack Herer, are very effective for treating anxiety and PTSD, but only in lower doses, taking too much will cause just the opposite effects, sending you into the darkness with paranoia and anxiety.
This is the perfect segue for talking about one of my favorite topics. I want to introduce a term and concept that will be instrumental for enabling you to get the most bang for the buck from your medical cannabis. This term is microdosing.
In the last several years micro-dosing has become the industry buzz-word for the effective method of determining the optimal dosing and administration of medical cannabis. Micro-dosing is exactly what it sounds like. It is a technique to determine the smallest dose required for an individual to effectively treat their condition with medical cannabis.
Like many medications, medical cannabis exhibits something called a biphasic effect. In laymen terms, this means that the effects of medical cannabis changes as the quantity of the dose changes.
This can sometimes mean that the effectiveness of the medication falls off after reaching a certain dose level. With cannabis, it can also mean that the effects at low doses can be completely opposite to the effects at higher doses. For example. Very low doses of cannabis may produce a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, but if you increase the dose level you may reach a point where you experience high anxiety and paranoia, quite the opposite.
The biphasic effect with cannabis can also be extended to tri-phasic or even multi-phasic where there are several bell curves in people’s responses to different dosing levels thus creating a scenario where the benefits of the cannabis can increase and decrease several times, depending on the dosing level. You can imagine how complicated dosing can quickly become with that kind of variation.
It is well-known that people who consume cannabis for a long time and/or in large doses develop a tolerance for cannabis thus requiring them to increase their dosage to obtain the same results.
Micro-dosing with cannabis has the benefit of enabling many people to avoid building a tolerance by keeping the dosing level below the level where this occurs. This enables people to effectively treat their conditions with significantly less medical cannabis. As a result, their medical cannabis become more effective at lower doses over time.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, the renowned Medical Director of cannabis clinics in New England and creator of The Healer website, states that, “…Eventually I discovered that most people have a certain threshold dosage of cannabis, below which they’ll actually experience a gradual increase in health benefits over time, and above which they’ll start building tolerance, experiencing diminishing benefits, and more side effects.”
The basic technique that can be used if your inhaling it is to take one small puff and then wait 20 minutes and check-in with yourself to determine if you are experiencing the level of relief that you would like. If not, then try another puff and then wait 20 more minutes.
If after 20 minutes you still are not receiving the relief necessary, then resume the micro-dosing test the next day starting off with 2 puffs.
Of course, you can still take more puffs to help you with treating your condition but after doing 2 trials over 40 minutes your accuracy for combining doses is diminished by the effects of the first dose subsiding.
I’ll talk more about microdosing when I talk about the specific delivery methods coming up.
Okay, so let’s talk a bit about testing. You want to make absolute sure that your medical cannabis is safe to take and that it has in it what the label or bud-tenders claim that it has in it. So, you will need to first know exactly what is in it.
It is very important to know what other chemicals may exist in your medical cannabis, such as molds, mildews, fungi and pesticides. The existence of any of these can be very dangerous and even fatal. It is also very important to know of any residual solvents that may be present from the extraction process.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a state where it is legal to obtain medical cannabis then you usually can obtain all this information from your dispensary. If they don’t have it then you should be very wary of obtaining your medical cannabis from that source.
In some legal states, such as California, you can have a sample of your own cannabis tested for its cannabinoid profile. and for toxins and pollutants. This is a very good idea if you obtain your cannabis from a questionable source or if you grow your own. It can be very difficult to determine if you have any mold, mildew or fungus on your plants.
You should also know that many of the lab-tested samples of Hemp CBD oil that is available from overseas and the US did not match their claims and labels so buyer beware if you are considering using Hemp CBD Oil. Again, I recommend that you use hemp CBD oil from a highly trusted source such as KUSA or Theramu. Any company of value will have independent and up-to-date testing data for all of their products.
No matter what your source of cannabis is I highly recommend that you test your products. Buying cannabis off the street or from an illegal source increases your chances of having cannabis tainted with pesticides and other pollutants.
A whole lot of home grown cannabis has mold or fungus and often it is very hard to detect after it has been cured and dried. Smoking tainted cannabis can be very dangerous to your health.
In many of the legal states you can send in a sample of your cannabis to independent labs where they can be tested to determine exactly what is in it. It’s a very good idea.
Many people, including me, were initially introduced to cannabis as a means to get high, and the method of choice and convenience was smoking it.
Even now the number one method of consumption is still smoking it. In fact, I did a poll in my medical pot guide Facebook group and by a margin way beyond of 2 to 1, the members chose smoking over any other mode.
While smoking is a very effective way to get high, it is not the method of choice for actually treating many conditions. In fact, smoking it can often have just the opposite effects then what you’re looking for.
Smoking cannabis exposes it to temperatures of around 1200 degrees F. While THC can take the heat, so to speak, the other cannabinoids and terpenes throw up the white flags at temps above 450, so you are literally burning up a lot of the medicinal qualities of the cannabis.
On the other hand, using a vaporizer at 400 or below, will keep those good guy cannabinoids and terpenes in fine health and therefore share their goodness with you and your endocannabinoid system.
Many people judge the effectiveness of their cannabis by how high they get but it’s really apple and oranges. Setting your vape on the lower temps may not get you as high, but it will still provide all the goodness of the plant. It also is way easier to microdose using a vape or vape pen.
It is very difficult to microdose when smoking it. The reason so many people get paranoid and suffer from a lot of negative effects of THC is that they get way too much, thus causing them to get just the opposite effect from what they are looking for. It’s from the bi-phasic effect that I talked about earlier.
Smoking is hard for a lot of people who don’t like to inhale smoke. It can be very harsh and it is also very easy to get too much THC.
Smoking concentrates, such as wax and shatter, are not for the faint of heart and definitely not what I’d recommend for somebody who’s just starting out.
Concentrates such as this were created pretty much for the very high concentrations of THC that you can get. With these concentrates a little dab will do you. Pun intended. I’m pretty much a lightweight anyway, but I once took a single puff of a joint that had some wax in it and I literally passed out within 1 minute. I’m talking loss of consciousness and not dozing off to dreamland. I woke up in my hallway. So I would give them a wide birth if you’re new to medical cannabis.
So let’s talk about vaping. This is my delivery method of choice. It has so many benefits. It’s very clean and easy. It doesn’t produce that tell-tale skunky smell and it’s very portable and discreet. it’s also very easy to microdose with a vape. To be honest, I haven’t smoked since a friend of mine gave me a co2 vape pen to try. It’s that good.
Vapes come in all forms from big desktop models called volcanos to small vape pens that fit easily into your pocket. I LOVE the CO2 Cartridge vape pens. You can pick them up for less then $20.
There are vapes that you can use with flower and there are vapes that you can use with oils, and some even do both.
Vapes have a lot of benefits. First of all, they are very easy on your throat and lungs when done correctly. You are inhaling vapor as opposed to smoke from burning cannabis. The vapor is created by heating the cannabis to lower temps, thus avoiding the burning altogether.
The trick is to take small puffs and hold it in your mouth for a second to cool, before inhaling. And like smoking, you only need to hold it for about 2 seconds. After that, there is no further absorption in the lungs. So, there’s no need to hold it until you turn purple from the lack of oxygen.
Vaping is a good way to ensure maximum bio-availability of the cannabinoids and terpenes because it goes straight to your bloodstream, via the lungs.
Vaping also tastes better then smoking. To me it tastes like tea. It’s also a lot more discreet. If you smoke a joint, everybody within 100 yards of you will know that you’re smoking marijuana… or think that there’s a skunk nearby. Also, the odor that smoking leaves on your clothes will turn you into a human skunk. Have you ever been in a room when somebody, who just recently smoked some cannabis, walks in? Voila…a human skunk.
It is also much easier to control the high with a vape. I have also found that the high with vapes are much better and less crushing, making it less likely for you to experience the negative psychological effects of being too high. This means no more paranoia and social awkwardness. Maybe that’s just me though.
Many of the vape pens have temperature controls. The rule of thumb is that the higher the temperature, the more THC you will get, and thus you will experience more psychoactive effects.
You can get a whole lot of the medicinal value of the cannabis at the lower temps and avoid getting the high. And don’t be fooled into thinking that you aren’t getting any benefits because you don’t see a huge cloud of smoke when you vape. The vapor itself is very clear. The higher the temperature, the more cloud or smoke that you will see. So you need to determine the effectiveness of the cannabis by how effectively it treats your condition, not how much smoke or how high you get.
That why microdosing with a vape is so much easier too. Just take one small puff and wait 20 minutes, as I said earlier. Then checkin with yourself to determine if it is providing the relief that you’re looking for.
So now let’s talk a bit about consuming edibles
Eating cannabis can be an excellent way to consume cannabis, and is the method of choice for many. It seems like you either like it or you don’t…there’s not much in-between. Maybe it depends on whether you have had a good or bad experience in the past. Me personally, I’m not a big fan because I don’t like to be high for that long. It can be for hours and it seems like you can be groggy the next day if you eat some the previous night. I never have that effect with a vape pen.
it’s one of the best options if you don’t want to inhale cannabis, but there is a big word of caution with using edibles. The effects of eating cannabis can be delayed by hours and then once felt, can last a lot longer than if you inhale it.So be very careful with dosing. And the big mistake many newcomers make with eating is to eat too much, too soon.
It is very important to remember that consuming edibles may cause the THC to produce stronger psychoactive effects…for hours!
If you do get too high, do not panic. It will not cause any damage other than being uncomfortably high for what may seem like an eternity.
If you do get too high then you can chew on 2-3 raw peppercorns and that will help to ease you down. Hey, Neil Young swears by it and who am I to question Neil?
So be very careful and start off with tiny doses and be patient! Be sure to wait at least 2 hours before eating more. You’ll thank me!
It is much easier now to do micro-dosing with edibles due to the smaller dose packaging available at dispensaries where you can find individual packages of edibles starting often at 1 or 2 milligrams.
Annie Nelson, wife of Country Singer Willie nelson, and creator of Annie’s edibles has a very popular protocol that she freely shares. Annie says to, wait 48 hours to reset your tolerance threshold, then take a 1 milligram dose in an edible and wait 90 minutes AND set the alarm so you don’t forget. Then when the alarm goes off check in with yourself honestly to determine how well that dose provided relief for what you’re treating. If not enough, then wait a day, and then increase your potency to 2.5 milligrams. Keep doing until you find the dose that provides relief for you.
Remember too, that all strains will affect you differently, so try to obtain an edible with a strain that has the cannabinoid and terpene profile that will best address your issues.
You can make your own edibles for dosing but keep in mind that it’s very important have a very good idea how much THC is in the amount that you’re adding to your edible batch so you can accurately determine the THC content of your individual doses.
It can also be a good idea to infuse oil with cannabis and then have it tested so you know exactly how much THC is in the oil. That way you will be able to evenly distribute the cannabis in the preparation of the edible and then know exactly how much THC and other cannabinoids are in in the individual portions of your edible.
Consuming Raw Cannabis
Another delivery method that I believe will be the health food of the future is eating raw cannabis. You do this by blending the whole plant, leaves and all, into a smoothie drink.
A very attractive reason to do this is that you consume THCa, which may contain many of the medicinal benefits of the cannabinoid THC, yet it has NO PSYCHOACTIVE affects. Yep, you don’t get high at all, which is the top complaint of people new to medical cannabis. There still needs to be a lot more research with it but raw cannabis may be very beneficial on many levels.
This can be a very effective way to ingest cannabis, but… it can also be very expensive. This is because it requires a lot more cannabis per dose, than the other methods. It also requires that the plant be fresh, as in, not dried at all…I mean fresh right off the bush! This means that you need to have access to fresh cannabis year around, which means that you either must grow your own, or you’ll need to have access to fresh, whole cannabis from other sources, which can be prohibitively expensive, especially from a dispensary.
I think the best way to determine the dosing of raw cannabis would be to approach it as you would a food supplement in that you’re consuming the raw cannabis as a supplement to maintain the health of your endocannabinoid system as opposed to treating any condition.
Medical Cannabis Topicals
Topicals can be very soothing for localized pain and symptoms, such as for arthritis, neuropathy or for conditions like chronic regional pain syndrome. But don’t discount it as mildly effective treatment, topicals can deliver some very powerful medicine and get very impressive results.
It turns out that our skin is very efficient at absorbing oil-based topicals and most of them won’t get you high at all. In fact I’ve never heard of anybody getting high from topicals. It can be very effective for people with MS and other similar neurological conditions.
Topicals can be an effective way to deliver cannabinoids into your tissues. I know that Theramu uses emu oil as a carrier. Emu oil has shown to absorb very deeply into your tissues… even beyond the skin layers to the connective tissue and ligaments. It is also an anti-inflammatory on it’s own so it makes an excellent carrier oil.
Most people love topicals. They are definitely worth investigating.
Micro-dosing with topicals is typically not that much of a concern because you don’t get high so if you don’t feel any benefits for the first ½ hour then try some more.
I have learned that some of the benefits take a few days to over month to get the maximum effects so it’s a good idea to consume the entire jar or bottle before judging it’s benefit for what you are trying to treat.
Trans-dermal patches are now becoming popular. While relatively new on the market, trans-dermal patches hold a lot of promise for treating many conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and nerve pain.
They typically come in 10mg and 20 mg doses and some may be cut inhalf for smaller doses.
There are some quality patches available in many dispensaries and online that deliver some longer-lasting relief. You do want to be careful of your source and be sure to see the test results of the products. Mary’s Medicinals makes an excellent patch that you can purchase online.
I think that you will be seeing a lot more patches available in the next few years. They are an excellent way to dose your cannabis over several hours. Think of them as anti-inflammatory patches.
The benefits of patches are many. They are easy to apply, usually non-psychoactive, may provide relief for up to 12 hours, and are very discrete.
Transdermal patches typically take 20 – 30 minutes to take effect. They really don’t lend themselves to micro-dosing so my advice is try a 10-mg patch and if you don’t receive benefit then try a 20-mg patch in 24 hours.
The reports in are mixed as to their effectiveness. For some, they are very effective at treating their symptoms, while others find them less effective. They are certainly worth trying if you have conditions that may benefit from them. Some people may experience skin irritation but they don’t have any side effects that would be considered dangerous.
Another excellent way to take cannabis, especially if you’re adverse to inhaling, is to do it sublingually, under the tongue, using a spray or concentrate dropper.
Consuming cannabis this way keeps the bio-availability of the cannabis as high as possible ensuring that you get a good dose of the medicinal components of the cannabis. Tinctures come in all different forms and concentrations.
This is a good place to share a quick word about Hemp CBD Oil. Remember that I mentioned earlier about how many of the hemp CBD oil companies can not bet trusted and how you should make sure that you purchase it form a good source like KUSA or Theramu.
For many people, Hemp CBD oil is the only game in town, and the only type of medical cannabis that they have access to. I’ve been hard on them in the past but I do know that hemp CBD oil can be a very effective treatment for pain, inflammation and a host of other conditions. So, if this is your only option, or if you are adverse to the psychoactive effects of THC, then there are hemp CBD oil products that are very effective.
With that said, We do know that the non-hemp, full-plant cannabis oil is significantly more effective for some serious chronic diseases and conditions, such as cancer, than its hemp counterpart.
And we do know that THC is a very important component of it. THC makes CBD more effective, and the CBD tends to lessen the high produced by THC.
With tinctures in general, It’s easier to control dosage with individual sprays or drops of concentrate. To start, take just one spray or a couple drops under the tongue and wait at least 10 minutes. If you don’t feel any relief than repeat that dosing and wait at least 20 more minutes. Keep repeating until you obtain the desired effects. There are some tinctures available at the better dispensaries or you can make your own, though this can be a complicated process.
Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO)
For many people who are treating serious chronic conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Epilepsy and chronic pain, full extract cannabis oil or FECO, is the medicine of choice. It often require very precise dosing and provides stronger medicinal effects than you can get from any other form of cannabis.
For people treating these conditions, I highly recommend that they do it under the supervision of a medical professional experienced with treating their conditions with cannabis.
Oftentimes your cannabis medical professional will provide a recommended dosing protocol that you should follow. They can then adjust the protocol according to your response to the dosing.
Typically, the dosing protocol will consist of you starting with a rice size drop of the oil sublingually, and then waiting at least 90 minutes to determine the effects of the initial dose. Optimally, you should wait 24 hours and double your dosage and wait another 90 minutes to determine the effectiveness of that dose. Then repeat until you find the dosage that works for you.
It is also very important to know that taking large doses of FECO will most likely cause you to build a tolerance to it, thus requiring larger doses. That is why it is best to increase your dosage as slowly as possible.
You will be able to reset your tolerance level but that will mean not having access to cannabis for 2 – 7 days, depending on your tolerance level and individual metabolism. This may not be an option for people in the middle of cancer treatment with cannabis. It is best to consult your medical cannabis professional.
Medical Cannabis Suppositories
And now, bringing up the rear, we have medical cannabis suppositories. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Don’t laugh or wince. Medical cannabis suppositories have enormous potential but are still not quite ready for prime-time.
Many proponents claim that they deliver up to 75% absorption into the bloodstream yet there is no clinical evidence to support that claim. Many swear that they are effective but I have my doubts as do many doctors.
The problem is that THC and CBD and all the other cannabinoids and terpenes are fat-soluble and thus are not absorbed into the walls of the lower intestine and colon.
The real absorption rate is probably around 3%, which is not a very effective dose.
Eloise Theisen Eloise Theisen MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, the founder of Green Health Consultants, says, “Cannabis is fat soluble and not well absorbed into the mucosa of the mouth or rectum. Most pharmaceuticals are formulated to be water soluble, so our bodies can absorb them better. Absorption of THC rectally is most likely around 3%. Many people feel the THC rectally, but I do not think they are getting the absorbency rate of 50-70% as hoped.”
So, for now, I would not believe the hype, especially if you are trying to treat a serious condition like cancer. It could potentially be a fatal mistake.
Finally, I’d like to talk about using a multi-pronged approach to using medical cannabis.
For many people, particularly the ones suffering from one or more serious medical conditions, they find that using more then one method for consuming cannabis is actually more effective.
Some people use a tincture or full extract cannabis oil orally on a regular basis and then supplement that with using a vape pen to treat pain when needed.
Others will use a CBD oil with very low THC during the day while at work and then consume an edible after dinner to treat pain, or to help them sleep. This works well at night because edibles can last for a long time.
The point is that medical cannabis is very unique due to the many ways that you can take it and the many diverse effects that the different strains can produce.
There are countless ways to combine the different modes and strains to customize your own treatment protocol. It may take a lot of experimentation, but it will be worth the efforts and no matter what the combination, it should provide some level of relief for your particular conditions.
The good news is that in most cases, you cannot cause yourself a serious overdose that causes real harm. The worse that may happen is that you get too high for a while.
Just take it low and slow and you should be just fine.
Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that you shouldn’t take any kind of medication without first consulting with your doctor.
Okay, so that was a whole lot of information packed in one podcast.
Additional Tips for Success
So let me leave you with some additional tips to help you with your first encounter with the great green weed.
1 – Learn the concept of microdosing. It will suit you well and go a long way by helping you to zero in on your best dosing level, and probably save you a lot of time and money to boot.
2 – Start off with high CBD low THC strains to help reduce or even eliminate the high associated with cannabis.
3 – By all means try edibles but be very careful with taking too much. It can take 2 hours or more for you to feel the effects. This is where microdosing is very important.
4 – I recommend that you choose vaping cannabis over smoking to start off with. It’s way easier to dose, and easier on your throat and lungs, and it doesn’t make your house or clothes smell like pepe la pew. And it is very convenient and effective for many conditions.
5 – As a rule of thumb sativa dominant strains will give you a head high and energize you while indica strains will give you a body high which will often send you to your couch or bed. Both of them have their place. Many people use the sativas during the day and the indicas at night.
6 – Using a medical diary to keep track of your dosing and strains can really help you to dial in an effective dosing protocol and help to familiarize yourself with the strains, and their cannabinoid and terpene profiles, that work well for you.
7 – Sharpen your online research skills. Find the websites that provide reliable and up-to-date information. Learn to be skeptical of anything that you hear or see on the internet. There is a whole lot of pseudo-science out there that sounds like the real deal. Learn how to fact check and to check sources of stories and studies. Just because it was written by a doctor or some other medically credentialed author doesn’t make it true. Dig deep and develop trusted sources.
8 – Consider obtaining the advice of a medical professional who specializes in cannabis. It may save you lots of time, frustration and money from trying to figure out on your own the best course of action for treating yourself with cannabis.
9 – Join a group, either online, or within your community, of like-minded people who will support you in your journey of medical cannabis education. I highly recommend my Medical Pot Guide private Facebook group. They’re a great bunch of people and there are a lot of medical cannabis professionals and experts to answer your questions. You can find the links to the group in the shownotes.
10 – Make the journey an adventure. Make it a sojourn of discovery. Keep an open mind and an open heart. Just remember that medical cannabis has enabled many people to get their lives back by enabling them to get off of opiods, knock down their cancer, stop their seizures, and reclaim control of their lives on their own terms. This is worth pursuing and I think it’s worth devoting a significant part of my life to send that message out
Bonus Tip – Don’t expect to always get immediate results. Sometimes it takes a while for you to see or feel the benefits right. Give it some time for your body to respond to the cannabis. Keep it up for a month or finish off the entire container with your product. Sometimes too, it will take a while to zero in on the best dose that provides benefits.
Cannabis is very individual and so there is not really a set dosage or method for treatment that works for everyone. And, as I said earlier, obtaining the guidance of a medical professional experienced with treating your conditions with cannabis can significantly shorten the experimentation stage. So just be patient and keep following the path I’ve talked about.
I have never met anybody that medical cannabis didn’t couldn’t provide some benefits.
Please contact me a firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this podcast or my mission of spreading the truth about medical cannabis.
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These are excellent resources for new patients looking for more information on medical cannabis
The United Patients Group (UPG) is an unparalleled resource and trusted leader in Medical Cannabis for physicians, patients and organizations. UPG acts as a virtual hand for patients, by helping them navigate through this ever-changing industry.
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.
Aunt Zelda’s is a pioneering, data-driven, developer of cannabis-based plant medicines. Their products are the result of years of research and development by founders, Mara Gordon and Stewart Smith, in consultation with knowledgeable physicians and world-renowned researchers.
NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable. They have an excellent site packed with information regarding their mission to change the laws of cannabis. They have an excellent database with a detailed summary of each state’s laws for cannabis.
Medical Jane serves a vital and multi-faceted role in the cannabis community. Since its founding in 2012, Medical Jane has grown to be a respected voice for patients, caregivers, and advocates of legalized cannabis.
PubMed is an excellent source for peer-reviewed research. PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites