We want to be able to provide knowledgeable resources to our patients, as well as perspective users of medical marijuana. Below are some resources that we feel are a good start to your personal research into the use of medical cannabis.

Cannabis Education:

See: www.erowid.com for more information on cannabis.

 

Cannabis sativa , is a tall plant, generally between 8 and 12 feet. The leaves have long thin fingers and are light green. The more equatorial varieties have more yellow pigments to protect the plant from intense light. Sativa buds are long and thin and turn red as they mature in a warm environment. In cooler environments the buds may be slightly purple. Sativa plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite mild. It is a source of fiber for rope and other products and it contains THC which gives smokers the psychic effects they seek. The leaves of this plant are smoked but the most highly prized part of the plant is the top.

 

Cannabis indica, is plentiful in the Mideast, India, and Central Asia especially Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Pakistan. It is a short plant, generally between 3 and 6 feet, and its leaves have short broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark green sometimes tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves may become significantly more purple. It is a strong smelling plant with a "stinky" or "skunky" smell. The smoke of indicas is generally thick and more prone to cause coughing when inhaled. Indicas are the traditional source of hashish.

 

Cannabis ruderalis is a debated third variety of cannabis found in Russia, Poland, and other eastern European countries. Schultes classified cannabis as having three species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis based on the formation of the seed pods. There is some debate as to whether there is justification for this third category. Some features of ruderalis are large seeds, short weedy plants (4-6 feet tall) and a lower level of thc than sativas or indicas.

(Retrieved from http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_info6.shtml )

 

Cannabis Duration

Smoked

Total Duration

1 - 4 hrs

Onset

0 - 10 mins

Coming Up

5 - 10 mins

Plateau

15 - 30 mins

Coming Down

45 - 180 mins

 

 

After Effects

2 - 24 hrs

Hangover / Day After

0 - 24 hrs

 

Cannabis Duration


Total Duration

4 - 10 hrs

Onset

30 - 120 mins

Coming Up

30 - 60 mins

Plateau

2 - 5 hours

Coming Down

1 - 2 hours

 

 

After Effects

6 - 12 hrs

Hangover / Day After

0 - 24 hrs

 


 

Duration is strongly affected by dose, tolerance, and individual reaction. Those who use cannabis regularly experience a shorter duration than those who do not. Note that most cannabis users smoke multiple times in a single session and this extends the duration.

 

For oral consumption, duration is complicated by stomach contents and delivery mechanism. Taking THC-capsules on an empty stomach lasts much shorter than eating THC-containing cookies or food, which take hours to fully digest.

 

There has been some research into the pharmacokinetics of THC (how it moves through and is processed by the body). See Grotenhermen's research, which showed that the peak THC concentration after smoking was between 15-30 minutes and sloped down for 1-2 hours. He also showed that oral consumption caused the THC levels to peak between 2 and 4 hours and last for 4 to 8 hours.

EFFECTS LIST #

The effects of smoking cannabis are usually lighter than those of many other recreational psychoactive substances. People are generally capable of carrying out normal actions and activities while high.

 

POSITIVE

  • mood lift, euphoria
  • increased giggling and laughing
  • relaxation, stress reduction
  • creative, philosophical, abstract, or deep thinking : ideas flow more easily
  • increased appreciation or awareness of music; deeper connection to music; increased emotional impact of music
  • increased awareness of senses (eating, drinking, smell)
  • change in experience of muscle fatigue; pleasant body feel; increase in body/mind connection
  • pain relief (headaches, cramps)
  • reduced nausea, increased appetite (used medically for this)
  • boring tasks or entertainment can become more interesting or funny

NEUTRAL

  • general change in consciousness
  • increased appetite, snacky-ness
  • slowness (slow driving, talking)
  • change in vision, such as sharpened colors or lights
  • closed-eye visuals (somewhat uncommon)
  • tiredness, sleepiness, lethargy
  • stimulation, inability to sleep (less common)
  • blood-shot eyes (more common with certain varieties of cannabis and inexperienced users)
  • mouth dryness, sticky-mouth (varies with strain)
  • interruption of linear memory; difficulty following a train of thought
  • cheek, jaw, facial tension / numbness (less commonly reported)
  • racing thoughts (especially at high doses)
  • time sense altered (for example, cars seem like they are moving too fast); time dilation and compression are common at higher doses

NEGATIVE

  • nausea, especially in combination with alcohol, some pharmaceuticals, or other psychoactives
  • coughing, asthma, upper respiratory problems
  • difficulty with short-term memory during effects and during periods of frequent use (Ranganathan M, D'Souza DC, Psychopharmacology, 2006)
  • racing heart, agitation, feeling tense
  • mild to severe anxiety
  • panic attacks in sensitive users or with very high doses (oral use increases risk of getting too much)
  • headaches
  • dizziness, confusion
  • lightheadedness or fainting (in cases of lowered blood pressure)
  • paranoid & anxious thoughts more frequent
  • possible psychological dependence on cannabis
  • clumsiness, loss of coordination at high doses
  • can precipitate or exacerbate latent or existing mental disorders

HANGOVER / DAY(S) AFTER

  • dry mouth
  • tired, red, dry, or itchy eyes
  • joint stiffness
  • fatigue, drowsiness, foggy or slow thinking
  • reduced memory skills, slower speed of recall

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS (after stopping heavy use)

  • mild to moderate, non-life-threatening withdrawal symptoms occur after daily use in some users.
  • Withdrawal symptoms normally last 2-4 days, up to six weeks with long term use. Severity of symptoms is related to frequency and duration of use and individual sensitivity.
  • anhedonia (reduced experience of pleasure)
  • headaches, general unease/discomfort
  • difficulty sleeping
  • desire to smoke cannabis
  • slight loss of appetite
  • finding non-stoned life a bit dull, increased boredom
  • fatigue, lethargy
  • slow thinking, talking
  • stoned-like abstract thinking, impatience with or annoyance at linear thinking

 

KNOW YOUR EDIBLES

Food-based cannabis medicines affect patients differently than inhaled cannabis.

 

Start low and go slow.

For cannabis-naive or first-time edible patients we suggest starting with a half-dose edible and observe the effect that the lightest strength has on your body and mind. Gradually increase the strength if necessary.

- When eating or drinking cannabis, it can take up to 1 to 1+1/2 hours to see effectiveness, and that effect can last 8-12 hours, depending upon individual body chemistry.

- Start with 1/3 of the edible and wait at least one hour to observe effects before taking 1/3 more. Then continue to titrate up until desired effect.

All of our edibles are carefully enhanced with a consistent strength and will not vary. Once you get the desired effectiveness at a certain dosing, then you can rely on that same dose in the future

 

*Caution: It is important to not cross medicate or use alcohol, as the effects may be strengthened and cause a THC overdose: extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or nausea. Do not operate machinery or drive while medicating with edibles. Reserve a specific time and a safe comfortable place when medicating.

- If you over-medicate, Cannabis is not toxic or lethal. The symptoms will disappear in a few hours.

Stay calm, hydrated, and eat food.

- Medical cannabis is safe and all active cannabinoids will be processed by your body without toxic or

Long-term effects. Taking medication on an empty stomach can intensify effects. We recommend taking this medication with a protein or fatty food, such as; Raw nuts, or nut butter to increase the absorption and decrease the risk of over-medicating.

 

Please Keep Out Of The Reach Of Children!!

All enhanced products and medication should be kept in a safe, preferably locked location so that children cannot access them. This is especially important in a time when medical cannabis is under scrutiny and it is always important for the safety of our children.

 

 

Medical Marijuana Use
Marijuana has many possible medical uses. Positive effects are claimed for ailments such as cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma. AIDS can cause a loss of appetite known as the "wasting syndrome" which can lead to drastic weight loss and weakness. Chemotherapy used in the treatment of cancer causes nausea resulting in an inability to keep down food. Marijuana's healing nature for these two illnesses is a result of it's ability to increase a person's appetite as well as relieving nausea allowing a patient to regain weight. Marijuana reportedly helps glaucoma patients by reducing ocular pressure which can cause damage to the eye.

 

Use of marijuana is relatively safe. There are no confirmed deaths caused by marijuana alone, although deaths can and do result from injuries sustained while intoxicated. When combined with alcohol, cannabis has been shown to reduce driving ability and can contribute to traffic accidents.

Negative Health Effects
: A list of health-related references can be found on the Cannabid References Page. A very good introduction to the negative health effects of cannabis is the paper "Adverse Effects of Cannabis" by Hall W, Solowij N published in The Lancet, 1998 (14(352):1611-6). A brief summary of these can be found on the Cannabis Basics Page.

Some people may experience panic attacks (including extreme feelings of dread, accelerated heart rate, feeling as if they're going to die) from smoking cannabis. [See the
Psychedelic Crisis FAQ for information about such an occurrence.]

Chronic smoking of marijuana can lead to respiratory ailments associated with smoke inhalation. A
1995 study suggests that use of a bong or water pipe does not necessarily lower the overall ratio of particulate matter to THC and may be counterproductive. In other words, it lowers the particulate matter, but it also lowers the amount of THC. For the same effects, a person may have to smoke more...thus raising particulate matter back to a level equal to that inhaled from unfiltered sources (joint or pipe).

Politics & Health
: The political climate around cannabis and other recreational psychoactive substances has made it complicated to find balanced opinions about its safety and risks. The Federation of American Scientists has an interesting article on the issue of cannabis-risks and the political motivation on those on both sides of the issue.