Colorado doctors have the legal ability to recommend medical cannabis for patients who suffer from debilitating medical symptoms or conditions that research has shown medical cannabis to be effective in treating. Debilitating medical conditions include:
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Muscle Spasms
- Severe chronic pain
- Severe nausea
Physiological Effects of Medical Marijuana
You can expect Medical Marijuana to have some or all of the following medical effects:
Neurological (Brain, Nerves, Nervous System)
- Relaxation and/or Drowsiness
- Pain Relief (works synergistically with other pain medications and is especially effective at reducing pain caused by nerve damage and migraine headaches)
- Intensified sensations
- Side-effects can include panic, sadness, poor judgement, difficulty concentrating, impaired memory, and decreased coordination.
Respiratory (Lungs, Airways)
- Side-effects can include airway irritation. Cannabis smoke can include tar, carbon monoxide, acids, aldehydes, pyrobenzenes and other chemicals.
Circulatory (Heart, Arteries, Veins)
- Mild decrease in blood pressure during use
- Mild decrease in overall blood pressure with long term use
- Side-effects can include a temporary increase in heart rate.
- Lowers pressure in eyes (effective for glaucoma)
- Side-effects can include dry eyes and reddening of whites of eyes.
Muscular-skeletal (Muscles, Bones, Joints)
- Reduces muscle spasms, spasticity, tics and tremors
- Treats ataxia, loss of gross muscle coordination (effective for MS)
- May have anti-seizure effects
- Decreases inflammation of joints
- Side-effects can include decreased coordination.
Digestive (Stomach, Small and Large Intestines)
- Reduces intestinal muscle spasms
- Stimulates appetite
- Decreases nausea and vomiting (effective for chemotherapy)
- Decreases inflammation
- Suppresses inflammation
- Side-effects can include lowering resistance and immunity to infections.
Side-Effects of Long-Term Use
- Mood disturbance (depression, apathy, social isolation)
- Discontinuing use may result in withdrawal symptoms including irritability, insomnia, mood swings and depression that can last one to two weeks.
- You can avoid these long term side-effects by abstaining from Cannabis use for one to two weeks during every 3 months.
Understanding Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana, also known as Cannabis, and spelled Marihuana in legal documentation, has had critics and supporters for thousands of years.
Medical marijuana is simply a natural option for patients who choose to use it rather than rely on prescription pills or other pharmaceutical drugs. Now that Medical Marijuan is hitting the Main Stream and Legalization and acceptance is growing from state to state, its more important than ever to not only know the laws, but also to learn and understand this amazing plant. We will be adding to our resource library over the comming weeks, but below is some general information that everyone should know.
There are two basic types of genetic building blocks for marijuana indica and sativa:
+ Treats Chronic Pain
+ Increases Focus
+ Increases Creativity
+ Increases Serotonin
+ For Day Time Use
Most street pot is typically of the Sativa variety, and is what is responsible for the feeling of getting a person high. Sativas stimulate the neurotransmitter serotonin which acts in the central nervous system and is responsible for mood, appetite, sexual function (a Sativa can provide delayed, and extended orgasms), flight and responses, etc.
By increasing serotonin levels is what causes all of the above effects, as well as the euphoric feeling of being high. Also, if you are on an SSRI antidepressant or consuming supplements such as HTP-5 or Sam-e consult your doctor before using Marijuana for these drugs and supplements can intensify the effects of Marijuana.
– Muscle Relaxant
– Decreases Nausea
+ Treats Acute Pain
+ Increases Appetite
+ Increases Dopamine
– For Night Time Use
An Indica is what is responsible for getting a person stoned and they are the pride and joy of the medical marijuana community, for they truly serve those who are actually sick. This is the Marijuana that reduces nausea for cancer patients, and stimulates appetite the munchies. The THC in Marijuana has even been found to reduce intraocular pressure for Glaucoma patients. Medical Marijuana users can even balance out an Indica with a Sativa so can stay awake, smoke more if needed, and experience the benefits of being both high and stoned at the same time, which brings us to hybrids.
Hybrid Strains of Marijuana
If you are somewhat familiar with pot, and all the names that are given to different strains they typically reference whether the strain will get a person high, stoned or both. The names also sometimes reference where it is from, or what kind of smell, taste, and/or consistency the strain has. Occasionally some strain names just make no sense at all, but most of the time they actually do mean something.
My favorite strain for example is named Shiva Skunk, it is an Indica dominant hybrid that has about 60-80% Indica, and 40-20% Sativa. It has a very heavy skunk like smell which is common of an Indica, and works great for treatin IBS, depression, acute and chronic pain, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It has just enough Sativa to give you the anti-anxiety effects, but a slightly higher amount of Indica to help relax me, and relieve pain.
There is no exact way of knowing the breakdown of Sativa vs. Indica in a strain other than to learn the differences in smell, texture, color, consistency, and how you react to each strain. It is a good idea to try several different strains to see which ones treat your ailments the best with the least amount of unwanted side effects.
Not all strains are created equal, and many of them simply are not very good. Typically the weaker the strain is the less it costs. The good strains are well worth the extra cost, and a good hybrid will ensure that you get the benefits of both kinds of Marijuana at the same time in a single plant.
Getting The Most From Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is expensive, and like any substance the good stuff costs more.
Use a grinder. By grinding Medical Marijuana it exposes more edges of the plant and supposedly increases how much THC you can get out of it, and it enables you to pack Marijuana more efficiently.
The least effective and most harmful way of smoking pot is by using a pipe.
Smoking a joint can get you high or stoned the fastest, but are considerably harmful to your lungs, and tend to waste the most pot as they burn quickly, and the roaches usually have smokable Marijuana that just gets thrown away.
A Water Pipe or Bong is one of the more effective cleaner ways to smoke, and provides for the best taste.
To get the most bang for your buck, and to protect ones self from the harmful elements of smoking I highly recommend investing in a vaporizer. A vaporizer works on the principle that it heats up the Medical Marijuana to the point where the THC / Cannabinoids separate from the plant and are able to be inhaled without actually burning the rest of the plant or using fire in anyway. This ensures that what you are inhaling is simply the key ingredients that actually get you high or stoned without inhaling harmful byproduct caused by combustion.
If you do not want to smoke or vaporize you can also ingest Medical Marijuana by cooking it into baked goods, or use Marijuana tinctures. Marijuana tinctures are a liquid that you spray under your tongue that then gets absorbed into the blood stream.
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