Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Various medical uses were described 4000 years ago by the Chinese emperor Shen-nung in his medical book Pen-ts’ao Ching. Cannabis was mentioned as a medicine in the susruta of India before the 8th century A.D. Today, uses for medical cannabis include treatment of pain, nausea, lack of appetite, sleeping disorders, auto-immune diseases (MS) and glaucoma.
What is medical cannabis?
Medical cannabis refers to the use of the cannabis plant as a doctor-approved herbal treatment. Medical cannabis should be produced from plants cultivated under controlled conditions and should be meticulously inspected to ensure that it is clean and safe for medical consumption.
How does medical cannabis work?
The active components of cannabis (termed cannabinoids) mimic the effects of chemicals (endocannabinoids) that naturally occur in the human brain and body. These chemicals act as ‘signals’ or ‘messengers’ that help control how the body functions. So, the use of cannabinoids to mimic these chemicals may affect different symptoms and how the patient experiences them.
How is medical cannabis different from recreational cannabis?
Medical cannabis is only available when approved by a Doctor for people with specific medical conditions. Medical cannabis should be inspected for cleanliness and quality.
Recreational cannabis occurs in numerous forms and may be adulterated with a number of other substances. There is no standardization and users have no guarantee of potency or content.
How do I medicate with cannabis?
There are several ways to medicate safely with cannabis. Typically, the easiest, fastest way to medicate is to smoke it (via hand rolled joints, pipes or bongs). However, for those where smoking is not an option, there are several other methods.
Vaporizing is very similar to smoking, in that delivery method is through your lungs. However, due to the low heat, no smoke actually enters your lungs; simply cool vapor (much like inhaling steam in the shower).
Edibles are another very popular (and delicious!) method of medication. The majority of edibles deliver a delayed (as opposed to immediate with smoking), physically sedative feeling noticeably stronger than from smoking. Unlike smoking, the intensity of any particular edible is more likely based on the amount of cannabis used rather than what type of cannabis was used in production. It is important to consult with our dispensary associates, in order to find the right size/strength of edible.
Finally, Canmed Wellness offers a wide variety of concentrates and tinctures, as other alternatives. Whether you choose to smoke/vape, buy edibles, or explore cooking with marijuana yourself, our medical associates are always happy and ready to help you find the right treatment for your ailments.
What is the difference between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid strains?
Sativa plants have a higher THC content to Cannabidiol (CBD) ratio and leads to energetic moods. Often used to elevate depressed states. Primarily, sativa strains effect the mind and your emotions. Users of this strain will feel more stimulating, uplifting effects. Creativity is enhanced as well. As a result, sativa strains are recommended for illnesses of a psychological nature and daytime use. Benefits include:
- Reduction in depression
- Headache/Migraine relief
- Energy & Alertness
- Reduction of pain awareness
- Increase in focus and creativity
- Nausea reduction
Indica plants have a higher CBD to THC radio and thus induces a more relaxed state. This strain is most often used for the treatment of anxiety, pain and appetite issues. The effects are predominantly physical. These effects can be characterized as relaxing, sedating and pain reducing. These strains are best used for night time use. Benefits include:
- Reduction in pain
- Muscle spasm relief/Muscle relaxant
- Reduced inflammation
- Sleep aid
- Reduction in anxiety & stress
- Nausea reduction
- Intraocular pressure relief
- Anti-convulsing agent/Seizure frequency reduction
Hybrid cannabis strains provide the best of both worlds. Expert breeders select the top sativa and indica strains and combine them into a brand new strain that maintain the best aspects from both parents. Hybrids can be sativa or indica dominant and have the effects to match.
At Canmed Wellness, we understand that new members will feel daunted with all the selection we have to offer. Never hesitate to ask questions; we are always happy to help educate and assist in choosing the right strain for your needs.
Is there any evidence that cannibis is an effective medication?
Yes. Research on cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system has exploded in recent years. Marijuana has shown efficacy for the nausea and anorexia associated with cancer chemotherapy and HIV chemotherapy, as well as pain associated with spinal cord injury, severe arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Epilepsy and glaucoma are two other common diagnoses for which cannabis has shown benefit. Cannabis and its derivatives is part of the therapeutic armamentarium in palliative care. There are now three commercially available preparations derived from cannabis, produced by pharmaceutical companies.
Is my college against cannibis?
The BC College of Physicians and Surgeons’ recommendation, as well as the CCMPA position, is that physicians may prescribe marijuana if they feel comfortable with it. The MMAR forms are a confidential document between Health Canada, the physician and the patient. The information is not shared with the College or with the RCMP. No doctor has ever gone to court or faced prosecution for filing out a form or for prescribing medical cannabis.
Proposed Daily Amount?
Determining how much the patient currently smokes can do calculating the dose. One could ask the patient how much the bought last time and how long that amount lasted; for example if they bought an ounce (approx. 30 grams) and it lasted a month that is one gram a day. An average cannabis cigarette ranges from 0.5 to 1.0g, so 3 cigarettes a day would weigh a maximum of 3 grams. Health Canada does allow up to 5 grams a day under most circumstances. HIV patients tend to smoke more than that, and Health Canada may allow up to 10 grams a day for these patients.