Cannabis 101

What is Medical Marijuana?

 

 

Facts of the Matter – Learn the basics of marijuana.

Marijuana has a variety of benefits for the mind and body. It can aid in managing pain for various ailments, help reduce symptoms or be a source for positive overall well-being. The use of marijuana and its cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, show significant potential in providing an array of positive effects versus traditional methods.Marijuana, as an option, is not a new concept. Right now, however, we’re in a time of new and exciting possibilities for fully understanding, utilizing and offering all of marijuana’s benefits.


How does marijuana affect the body?

Marijuana interacts with receptors both directly and indirectly with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a group of receptors located in the brain and throughout the central nervous system.


What are THC and CBD?

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. The most well-known cannabinoid, THC is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. Its possible benefits include:

  • Stimulating the mind
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Increasing appetite
  • Relieving pain

CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is gaining attention for its role in treating neurological disorders and mitigating THC’s psychoactive effects. Its possible benefits include:

  • Mitigating inflammation
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Enhancing sleep
  • Controlling seizures

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are fragrant, organic oils that give marijuana plants their unique beneficial qualities and flavor. There are more than 200 known terpenes, each with a different profile and set of effects. Terpenes bind to the endocannabinoid system throughout the brain and body to deliver beneficial qualities and effects.

Marijuana Species

Sativa

Sativa strains are invigorating and provide cerebral effects including euphoria and increased energy. They are recommended for patients with symptoms that include fatigue, depression or mood disorders.

Possible benefits include:

  • Uplifting euphoric effect
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
  • Increased activity

Indica

Indica produces more sedative and relaxing effects and provides deep body relaxation. These strains are recommended for patients suffering from symptoms such as insomnia, pain or anxiety.

Possible benefits include:

  • Soothing body euphoric effect
  • Comfort
  • Calmness
  • Enhanced focus

Cannabinoid/ Strain

A strain is the variety of plant within a species. Strains define a specific cannabinoid profile—the mixture of THC, CBD, etc. within it. Each strain has its own physical characteristics, or phenotypes, such as height, leaf structure, and color. Depending on the strain and its corresponding cannabinoid profile, the plant will deliver varying effects and possible benefits. Strains can be pure or hybrids of Sativa and Indica.

Sativa

Sativas are more invigorating and provide more cerebral effects, including, euphoria and mental clarity.

Recommended for: 

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Depression

Possible effects: Reduce stress, increase mental clarity, increase focus

Indica

Indica produces more sedative and calming effects and provides deep body relaxation.

Recommended for:

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety

Possible effects: Reduce stress, reduce anxiety, relieve nausea and vomiting, relieve pain, stimulate appetite, reduce fatigue

Hybrid

Hybrids blend the phenotypes of Indica and Sativa, and the presence of THC and CBD will fall along a spectrum between Sativa and Indica.

Recommended for:

  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • HIV/AIDS

Possible effects: Reduce inflammation, relieve nausea, relieve pain, regulate digestion, reduce stress, reduce anxiety, relieve nausea and vomiting, relieve pain, stimulate appetite, reduce fatigue

Sativa-Dominant Hybrid

Strains that lead with the euphoric effects of a Sativa but also have some of the relaxing properties of an Indica.

Recommended for:

  • Epilepsy
  • Movement Disorders
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Possible effects: Relieve pain, relieve seizures, relieve anxiety, inhibit involuntary muscle movement, energize and uplift

Indica-Dominant Hybrid

A hybrid that is more Indica-dominant provides a more relaxing effect with the exhilarating attributes of Sativa.

Recommended for:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Inflammatory Diseases
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Neuropathy
  • Spinal-cord injuries and diseases

Possible effects: Relieve nausea and vomiting, stimulate appetite, reduce fatigue, relieve pain, reduce seizures, regulate digestion, relieve depression, relieve insomnia, reduce muscle stiffness and tightness, relieve muscle spasms, reduce stress

How to Use Medical Marijuana

 

 

Start low and go slow.

Medical marijuana can offer significant benefits for patients, but the effects of marijuana aren’t always immediately felt. Everyone responds differently. Finding the most effective product and optimal dose may take time and varies with different illnesses. Methods of using marijuana can be discussed with a PharmaCannis pharmacist and patient care representative to find a method that will manage your symptoms while working with a method of delivery that is comfortable for you to use. Finding a balanced ratio of CBD and THC that creates the right combination of both cannabinoid compounds is the goal. The basic principle for dosing medical marijuana is “start low and go slow.”

Marijuana has a wide margin of safety and there is a limited risk of overdose. However, caution is warranted until you fully understand the effect that the marijuana may have. Dosage varies greatly among individuals, even when treating the same condition. Please consult with one of our pharmacists or patient care representatives with any dosing concerns.

There are many factors that impact the effect, including:

Amount used (dosage)

Attaining desired results relies on using individualized dosing. Using marijuana in excess of an individual’s optimal dose can lead to diminishing returns and adverse outcomes.

Strain used

A strain is the variety of plant within a species. Strains define a specific cannabinoid profile—the mixture of THC, CBD, etc. within it. Each strain has its own physical characteristics, or phenotype, such as height, leaf structure and color. Depending on the strain and its corresponding cannabinoid profile, the plant will deliver varying effects and possible benefits. See a list of strains and possible effects

Method of consumption

It is important to choose a delivery method that works best for you and your condition. Absorption rates vary based on your chosen method of consumption.

Ratios

Ratios appear on all of our packaging for greater transparency. THC is used to affect pain relief as quickly as possible. CBD is used as an adjunct to the pain relief offered by THC; and has been shown to help reduce systemic inflammation, as well as help regulate the symptoms of neurological conditions and cancer. You can ask your PharmaCannis pharmacist or patient care representative more about ratios during your consultation.

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Potential Risks and Side Effects

 

 

Each person responds differently

Like any medical option, marijuana’s efficacy may vary and possible side effects exist. Particular strains and/or ratios will not always be effective for a given symptom. The effectiveness of a strain and/or ratio of medical marijuana will be dependent on your personal response and sensitivity to the individual product, and it is important for you to work with your pharmacist or patient care representative at the dispensary to help match the products to your unique needs.

Dosing 101

Figuring out the optimal dose that will work best for you usually requires making adjustments along the way. What works for one person may not work for another, and it also depends upon your level of comfort. Finding a balanced ratio of CBD and THC that creates the right combination of both cannabinoid compounds is the goal. The basic principle for dosing medical marijuana is “start low and go slow.”

You should also be aware that marijuana use may also cause short-term effects related to:

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Sense of time

Marijuana has been shown to distort an individual’s perception of time, typically slowing time down.

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Attention span

Long-term marijuana use can have an adverse effect on attention span.

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Problem solving

Marijuana can diminish or impair an individual’s problem-solving skills.

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Verbal fluency

Long-term marijuana use can have an effect on one’s verbal memory or ability to recall words.

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Reaction time

Marijuana has been shown to impair one’s reaction time.

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Psychomotor control

Certain psychomotor skills may be influenced by marijuana use.