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Not getting the relief you are looking for from your Cannabis?

Remember back in the day when you first smoked weed or started using medical cannabis? When one or too hits off of that joint would give you a long lasting and powerful relief? This is exactly what one of my patients recently asked me at a follow up appointment.

Mrs. Smith, a 53 y/o Female who was dealing with severe and chronic joint pain associated to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Had tried a number of pharmaceutical medications including Immune modulators and opioids with little relief. Had never used Cannabis in the past, not even in college and was hesitant about it. After getting her card she started using vaporized cannabis oil and she remembers that only one hit would give her the relief she was looking for and seem to last her 3-4 hours. As time went by, she noticed that she had to used to 2-3 and ever 4 hits to get the same relief she got before with only 1 hit. Mrs. Smith went to her local dispensary and the Budtender suggested she tried a cannabis oil concentrate which she did and seemed to work better for a while but then again it’s power seem to fade away over time. Mrs. smith even tried smoking flower out of a pipe and again after a few weeks she found herself using more and more flower to get the same effects.

I immediately suspected that Mrs. Smith had developed tolerance to her medicine, a problem most medical Cannabis patients go through. Tolerance can develop fairly quickly, someone who medicates 3-4 times a day will develop some type of tolerance after a week or so when using more than the optimal dose. The good news is that the tolerance is fairly quick and easy reversible. Just after a few days your cannabinoid receptors start working better and after a few weeks are completely back to normal.

Why do we develop tolerance to Cannabis?

When patients use Cannabis products, THC activates CB1 receptors in the brain and this abnormal increase in activity gives patients the so called high. Once THC is gone, this activity returns to normal. If THC is used repeatedly, several times per day over several days to weeks, without letting the brain return to normal activity the brain with adapt to minimize the increase in CB1 receptor activity. To do so, CB1 receptors are reduced in number by a process called internalization and their effects are weakened by a process called desensitization. When this happens, patients need to consume more THC to achieve the same relief they did before with less. This is called Tolerance and can lead to more money being spent.

In a recent study scientist found that regular daily Cannabis users had up to 20% less CB1 receptors than the participants from the control group who did not use Cannabis. What was surprising in this study is that no matter how much cannabis they consumed, after just a two-day tolerance break, test subjects started growing their CB1 receptors back.

There are a few things that you can do to avoid developing tolerance to cannabis!

✅ Remember that it’s associated usually with heavy daily users so the most important step is finding your optimal dose and stick with it.

✅ Tolerance has a stronger associated with patients that medicated multiple times during the day as compared to those who use high dose less times.

✅ The trick is to use the smallest amounts of cannabis needed to achieve the desired effects. This approach is called micro-dosing and is particularly useful for medical users who need to stay medicated throughout the day.

✅ Avoid using concentrates, they will only saturate your receptors faster and lead to tolerance sooner. The answer is not more THC or a more concentrated form of TCH, you might just need to add more CBD to your regimen instead.

✅ Try using longer acting routes. While the inhalation route is great for quick relief, patients find themselves medicating more often when compared to the oral route like tinctures and capsules which in turn leads to tolerance quicker.

✅ Avoid waking and baking. If the moment you wake up, you stimulate your CB1 receptors with THC, by the end of the day this receptors will be saturated already and you will not have the same effect that you had early in the morning.

If you already developed tolerance to your medicine and find yourself using more and more medicine and spending more and more money, it might be time for you to take a tolerance break. For actual Medical Cannabis patients this might not be something easy, these patients are plagued with 24/7 debilitating pain, traumatic thoughts and symptoms that most people could not tolerate and Cannabis has been the only thing to give the relief but trust me, once you finish this 6 day protocol developed by the world renowned Dr. Dustin Sulak, you will be able to find your optimal dose, increase the benefits of cannabis by lowering your tolerance and increasing your sensitivity to cannabis.

“Using the correct dose is the single most important factor in having a successful and therapeutic relationship with cannabis” Says Dr. Sulak

6-Day Cannabis Sensitization protocol

Patients typically see the following results after completing the 6-day Cannabis Sensitization Protocol:

-Users reduce the amount of cannabis they use by up to 60% per month. Patients are able to save thousands of dollars a year by using less medicine.

-Increase in desired medical benefits. The vast majority of patients find that less cannabis equals more positive results and less undesired side effects.

-Using the correct dose is the single most important factor in having a successful and therapeutic relationship with cannabis. People who use their optimal dose of cannabis can avoid building tolerance and retain the therapeutic effects for years or decades.

-Your goal is to use the minimum amount of cannabis and achieve the maximum amount of benefits possible. Many longtime cannabis users have been amazed by the effects of the Cannabis Sensitization Protocol and say 2 puffs gets them better relief than the 1 or 2 joints they were smoking before.

Day 1 and Day 2 – A 48-hour Cannabis Fast.

Probably the most difficult part of this 6-day journey. Remember that your goal is to increase your sensitivity to cannabis.  Your cannabis fast needs to be intentional. Think of it as a positive event and pick a comfortable place and time to begin your 48 hour fast. To make the fast easier you should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. 48 Hours from now you will be ready to use Cannabis again. Your body will develop more cannabinoid receptors during this period and will continue to develop more over the next twenty-four hours. To make the next twenty-four hours easier, remember to support your fast. Use the suggested foods, vigorous but enjoyable exercise, and the healing practices in our Wellness section to increase natural cannabinoid levels and curb your cravings. Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. At the 48 hour mark you will break the cannabis fast.

Day 3 to Day 5 –Increasing your sensitivity

Congratulations, you have passed the toughest part of the protocol. For the next 3 days you will be able to medicate but only minimally. Your goal is to feel the slightest effect from cannabis. Your body’s sensitivity to cannabis will continue to increase during the next three (3) days, allowing you to experience greater therapeutic results with less cannabis. Take 1 inhalation (From a vaporizer or pipe). Wait 5 minutes.  If you can feel any minimal effect from the inhalation, stop and go about your day. If you can’t feel no effect at all, then repeat the cycle. Take another inhalation. Wait 5 minutes. Stop once you feel the slightest effect.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Most of the time less cannabis is more. Listen to your body and don’t take more than necessary. Remember to follow the process of taking 1 inhalation, waiting 5 minutes and trying to feel the slightest or minimal effect each time. Depending on the route use to medicate, you can use Cannabis up to 3 times per day if inhaled or 2 times per day if ingested. Make sure to stay hydrated, keep your goal in mind, exercise and used Cannabis enhancing foods.

Day 6 – Finding your optimal dose

Today you will find your optimal dose, the lowest cannabis dosage needed to achieve the optimal benefits. On days 3-5, you’ve been using cannabis to find the minimum dose required for you to feel a minimal effect. Today, you will be increasing your dose of cannabis to achieve your optimal effect. Take 1 inhalation, wait 5 minutes, and see the effect it had on you. If you do not feel the desired relief from your symptoms, you may increase your dosage by repeating the process. Stop the process once you feel the optimal benefits or once you feel relief from your symptoms. This should be your optimal dose.

Use this optimal dose every time you medicate and only go over that dose if you need it. Some patients are able to medicate using their optimal dose for months and even years without having to increase it. If you find you are constantly going over your optimal dose it might be time for you to change strains, change dispensaries or change the route you’re using. It might also be time for another tolerance break since many Cannabis users repeat this protocol every 2-3 months to help them maintain a healthy and sustainable relationship with cannabis.

Endocannabinoid-Engancing Foods And Activities

An essential part to this protocol is to enhance our bodies endocannabinoid system by feeding the appropriate foods like those high in essential fatty acids like hemp, flax & chia seeds, sardines and anchovies. Chocolate, herbs, spices, and tea can naturally help the endocannabinoid system (ECS) function optimally, improve your health, and enhance the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.

Certain activities can naturally enhance the endocannabinoid system’s function, improve your health, increase the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis, and feel great. Accompanying the protocol with your diet and the proper stress reducing activities like meditating, yoga, breathing exercise and social interaction can really help patients achieve their goal.

Going back to Mrs. Smith, she started the 6-day sensitization protocol and despite recalling that it wasn’t easy, she completed it and, after the last day, she was able to find her optimal dose. She been able to stick with it thus saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. If Mrs. Smith was able to do it, so can you.

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Juicing Cannabis: Relief Without The High

The act of juicing leafy greens like kale and spinach as a nutritional supplement may not come as a surprise to many of you, but have you ever thought about juicing the raw cannabis plant? Believe it or not, Marijuana is one of the most nutritionally complete food sources known to man. And what many patients don’t realize is that raw cannabis delivers therapeutic effects without the traditional ‘high’, similar to CBD.

According to Dr. William Courtney, a dietary raw cannabis specialist and a strong believer in the plants healing powers, “you are actually walking away from 99% of the benefits cannabis provides when you cook or smoke cannabis.”

Why is Raw Cannabis good?

The seeds contain fatty acids like Omega-6, Omega-3, Omega-9, and palmitic acid. It also has vitamins like Vit A, B1, B2, B6, C, & E and minerals like iron and calcium. In its protein, it contains important amino acids which we cannot synthesize on our own. The leaves contain vital antioxidants, minerals and elements like calcium, iron, potassium, carotenoids, zinc and selenium. It shares limonene with lemons, beta carotene with carrots, and high levels of anthocyanins with blood oranges/cherries. Anthocyanins are known to be a non-narcotic but highly effective analgesic.

What are the benefits of raw Cannabis?

Raw cannabis and it’s acidic form is rich in cannabinoids and nutrients capable of preventing and healing some diseases. While vaporized or smoked cannabis can be used as a medicinal therapy, juicing raw cannabis can help prevent health issues before they even arise. Since it can assist with immune system function, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, improve bone metabolism and neural function it has been labeled the “most important vegetable on the planet”. In your daily life, it can enhance your health, boost your energy level, reduced inflammation, gastrointestinal relief, and decreased muscle soreness.

The primary cannabinoids found in raw cannabis are THCa and CBDa – the ‘a’ designating they exist in their acidic form. Given that THCa is non-psychoactive, patients are able to take large therapeutic doses without having to lose functionability or deal with negatives side effects of too much THC.

Dr. William Courtney says, “If you don’t heat marijuana, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams and use the plant strictly as a dietary supplement by upping the anti-oxidant and neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams of CBDA and THCA. It is this dramatic increase in dose from 10 mg of psychoactive THC to the 500 mg – 1,000 mg of non-psychoactive THCA, CBDA, and CBGA that comprises the primary difference between traditional medical marijuana treatments and using cannabis as a dietary supplement.”

How to juice your Cannabis!

The important part here is that you use raw, freshly harvested plant material as the decarboxylation process begins to occur immediately after harvest. Take extra caution to avoid any plant material that may have been exposed to pesticides or other microbiological contaminants. Do not be surprised if your local dispensary here in Florida does not have a fresh supply of good raw cannabis available. This is why having a program that supports home grown here is really important.

You can juice nearly any part of the cannabis plant; colas, leaves, and even the seeds. A masticating juicer (aka cold pressed juicers) is a must. It use a slower, crushing and squeezing action as opposed to centrifugal juicers, which use sharp teeth and high speeds to spin pulp around in its chamber. This is an important since the high speeds associated with some juicers cause heat, which can inadvertently convert your THCa into THC.

Raw cannabis juice is best when consumed immediately following the extraction. Also can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen into ice cubes and stored in the freezer for several months. The raw juice has a strong, bitter, leafy green taste; therefore, we recommend combining the cannabis with the juice of other fruits and vegetables.

Easy Receipt Juice Extractor Method

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
15-20 fresh cannabis leaves
1-2 raw buds

Equipment
Juicer
Metal strainer or cheesecloth
Medium bowl

Directions
1. Thoroughly wash your plant material and soak in cold water for 5 minutes.
2. Turn on the juicer and feed the leaves and bud through the chute.
3. Once the juice has been extracted, remove the pulp.
4. Squeeze pulp by hand over a cheesecloth or strainer to release remaining juice. Discard pulp.
5. Consume immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days

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Top Medical Cannabis strains to treat pain

Cannabis reputation has changed considerably in the last several years. Both society and the medical community are beginning to understand and appreciate cannabis for its potential health benefits. One of the most interesting health benefits is its possible ability to treat and relieve pain. The pain relieving properties in different medical cannabis strains may help migraines, soothe headaches and sore muscles, reduce inflammation, help manage nerve pain, and more.

There are 2 main ways of how it treats pain, CBD works via the Anti-inflammatory route while THC works via antinociceptive and anti-hyperalgesic effects at the peripheral and central levels, as has been demonstrated in acute and chronic pain models.

The most important thing is to keep in mind that every person is different and what works for one person might not have the same efficacy on others. We recommend trying several of these suggestions and maybe even experiment with them in different forms, like topicals, oils, or even transdermal patches. Smoking and vaporizing are good ways to get the plant’s painkilling properties quickly and gives the patient the full entourage effect.

 

1. ACDC

ACDC is a very effective hybrid strain with a high concentration of CBD and THC and it’s usually in every list to treat pain. Medical cannabis strains with a chemical profile high in both CBD and THC may offer a similar, uplifting pain-relief experience.

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2. Blue Dream

Blueberry indica and sativa Haze mixed to create a hybrid for fighting pain. Blue Dream claims to produce full-body relaxation coupled with mental alertness. As a result, it’s become popular for people looking to manage chronic pain during the day. Its sweet berry aroma doesn’t hurt its popularity either.

 

3. Blueberry Kush

Indica strain recommended by users for bedtime use because of it’s soothing and full-bodied relaxation effect. Constant discomfort can leave you feeling tense and wound up. Blueberry Kush may be able to help. Along with potentially managing pain and treating insomnia, Blueberry Kush may be a good choice for ADHD, mood disorders, nausea, and headaches.

4. Cannatonic

Cannatonic contains less than 6 percent THC and will not induce a psychoactive high, making it a stellar daytime choice. High in CBD and terpene, Cannatonic is considered a restorative strain. A sought-after choice for chronic pain sufferers for its smooth, therapeutic effects.

5. Canna-Tsu

Canna-Tsu, a sativa-dominant hybrid, is a favorite due to its minimal psychoactive effects and high CBD levels. With Canna-Tsu, easing pain symptoms does not need to halt the progress of your day or come with an inconvenient “high” feeling.

 

6. Harlequin

A strain users love for pain relief. Claimed to be chock-full of antioxidants and neuroprotective compounds, this multifaceted treatment option is perfect for people who don’t enjoy the heavy effects of more THC-heavy strains. A mellow and balanced daytime option, Harlequin is often used by patients with neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis pain, or a brain injury.

7. Sour Diesel

A pungent-flavoured sativa strain also known as “Sour D,” Sour Diesel is another one of the strains heavy in THC and low in CBD, making it a good daytime option.Though it is known to produce a psychoactive effect, patients state it is usually linked to an invigorating and energizing feeling and patients say it’s a great option for pain without the heavy, sedated feeling.

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What is RSO?

Rick Simpson oil or RSO is a thick and dark cannabis-derived oil that has an especially high concentration of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol . THC has very potent effects that, when concentrated, have shown signs of being able to treat a variety of ailments. RSO is usually made with indica-heavy strains of marijuana because Rick believes that the highly sedating effects of Indica would help aid in the healing process. He also recommends people doing their own instead of buying it at a dispensary. Here in Florida only Trulieve and MUV currently carry it and can sell it in bulk if necessary.

Rick Simpson had Skin cancer and says the benefits of RSO directly contributed to his remission. With claims like this, many others took note and tried it for themselves, and some even claiming that their stage 4 cancer went into remission after using the RSO.

Rick had several ailments before the cancer and had started smoking Cannabis to help with his pain. Later doctors noticed three bumps on his skin that were cause for concern, the biopsy confirmed it was cancer. He use a topical cannabis oil applied on bandages. After four days of this treatment he removed the bandages and saw that the tumors had disappeared. This positive response to the topical cannabis application solidified his belief in the healing and therapeutic properties of cannabis so he wanted to share it with everyone.

The main characteristic of RSO is that it is a whole plant extract, meaning nothing is added or removed from the plant’s natural chemical composition and it provides patients with full spectrum benefits in oil form.  RSO is fully decarboxylated which ensures that THC-A will become activated (or psychoactive), and as a side effect will cause the consumer to feel a mental high.  RSO has a dark brown color as well as an intense taste and odor of the cannabis plant.  

Some guidelines have been adopted for the treatment of Cancer and despite being completely experimental some patients are adding it to their treatment plan. The goal is not easy to achieve since patients should consume 60 grams of RSO in 90 days. Patients have to be able increase their consumption rapidly. Some recommend starting with 3 very small doses daily of about the 1/2 the size of a grain of rice for week 1. From weeks 2-5 patients should double the intake every 4 days and for weeks 5-12 patients should be able to consume 1 gram per day until the 60 grams are gone(usually 90 days).

What else does RSO allegedly treat?

The main claim behind RSO is that it can treat cancer. However, many RSO supporters claim that it has helped in the treatment of other conditions, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • infections
  • chronic inflammation
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • drug addiction
  • depression
  • multiple sclerosis

However, there is little direct evidence to support these claims.

In conclusion, more research needs to be done since there ins’t enough evidence to support these claims. So keep going to your Oncologist and follow their recommendations but adding Rick Simpson Oil to your regiment will not hurt you at all and, if it ends up helping you beat Cancer, why not do it. If it didn’t help you beat, at least it helped you give it your best fight.

Find out if you qualify for a medical marijuana card for FREE!

How to get a Medical Cannabis Card in Florida

Medical Marijuana has been available as a safe treatment in Florida since Amendment 2 pass in October of 2016. Since the more than 300,000 patients have benefited from it.  To get a card you need to have a qualifying condition like cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class”.

You need to be seen by a certified Medical Cannabis doctor who will recommend the use of it and register you in the Medical Marijuana Registry. To find a local doctor you can go to Floridahealth.gov Medical Marijuana Registry or call the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use at 850-245-4657.

After been registered by their MMJ doctor, patients have to register themselves with the Florida DOH, pay a $75 fee for the card and wait 3-4 weeks to get a temporary card.

Patients can receive a 70-day supply at a time x 3 equaling the 210 day certification time allowed. After that, they have to be seen again in order to get a new recommendation.

Prices typically range from $200-$300 for the initial evaluation. We come in around the same price but we offer to comfort and confidentiality of being evaluated in your home. We also don’t charge for follow-ups or per 70-day prescription like other MMJ office do. We strive in keeping it transparent for the patient.

After receiving their temporary card patients can go to any of the approved dispensaries statewide and get their medication. Patients can expect to spend around $100-$200 for their medication per month but this number really depends on the amount of milligrams the patient uses and how many times per day.

Keep following for more info on Medical Cannabis.

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Does weed make you lose weight?

Can Marijuana help you lose weight?


Does weed make you lose weight?


If the questions is: Can Marijuana help you lose weight? then the answer is yes, but make sure to read the fine print. There is no doubt that Cannabis provides stress relief, helps with pain and makes your creativity bloom. Approved as a medical treatment for seizures, chronic pain, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis among other, proves its versatility. It is also approved for patients that suffer from wasting syndrome associated with AIDS and chemo induced nausea/vomiting in cancer patients because it helps them gain weight by increasing appetite.

It is of popular knowledge that Cannabis can give you “the munchies”. Patients usually describe it as a voracious hunger that makes them want to eat everything they see. So this might lead you to think that potheads are more obese than non-smokers but in realty they are less.  Several recent studies have found that daily marijuana use is associated with a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, and lower fasting insulin blood levels. Does that mean cannabis is the secret to weight loss? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

This might be a multi-factorial coincidence that can be explained in many ways.

  • Studies have shown that the weight gain seen with Cannabis applies to patients that are underweight and sick. Patients that had a normal BMI did not gain more weight but did choose a less healthy diet.
  • Another reason may be substitution; the smokers could be seeking comfort by smoking more marijuana, rather than eating more, non-smokers might used food to treat their anxiety.
  • Others have suggested that obese people, or people who chronically over eat, do so because the process triggers a reward center of the brain. By stimulating the same area of the brain, overeating acts like a “drug”. Cannabis users get their own high and don’t need to overeat in the same way so tend to be less obese.
  • Some speculate that cannabis can regulate weight by interfering with CB1 receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for regulating memory and appetite, and when triggered, can cause memory lapses and an increase in appetite. With chronic use, these receptors can become desensitized making the user less likely to gain weight.

Appetite regulation

Appetite is controlled by region of the brain called the hypothalamus which then regulates the secretion of two different hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

Leptin creates the sensation of satiety while Ghrelin stimulates hunger.

Ghrelin, which is regulated in the hypothalamus is stimulated by CB1 receptors. This is how THC creates such powerful cravings.

CBD, however, happens to be an super effective CB1 blocker. Animal studies showed that rats given CBD ate less food than the control, and CBD has been shown to increase leptin levels.

Appetite Supressant Strains

  • Strains that contain THC-V (tetrahydrocannabivarin) deliver a high energy and euphoric feeling along with appetite-suppressing qualities. One high THC-V strain some users can access is Black Beauty, Pineapple Purps and Doug’s Varin.
  • Those rich in the terpene humulene that has a similar effect to THC-V with appetite. Sour OG, Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies, and Skywalker OG are good examples.
  • A sativa dominant strain with the terpene limonene, for instance, has been found to help promote weight loss. Ex. Super Lemon Haze, or Jack Herer
  • Strains that combine high levels of THC-V and humulene, like Green Crack, will pack an energetic punch while preventing you from reaching for the fridge;
  • Cannatonic is high in CBD giving patients an upbeat feeling while helping crave their appetite.

In conclusion; There’s simply no silver bullet when it comes to rapid, lasting weight loss. Losing weight requires discipline, dedication, and time. Still, anyone who uses Cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can rest assured that marijuana won’t make them fat. What Cannabis can do is help get your body and mind in rhythm and help you enjoy and get more out of your workouts by keeping you motivated. Just make sure to chose the correct strains that provide appetite suppressant properties and the correct diet to match your healthy needs.

Medical Cannabis in Florida

Treating Anxiety with Cannabis

A number of distinct compounds play a role in the cannabis effects. These are called Cannabinoids. Some increase appetite, some reduce inflammation, some even show promise for fighting cancer. Of these compounds, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most known. These cannabinoids impact our sense of well-being and state of mind.

We’ve learned that endocannabinoids play a role in regulating everything from appetite and sleep to the joyful bliss of a runner’s high. They do so by modifying the release of other neurotransmitters that have a more direct impact on mood, energy and anxiety.

Endocannabinoids help maintain homeostasis” (the brain’s baseline state) via what’s known as retrograde signaling (feedback loops that travel backward through a neural circuit to reset the system.) Their regulating activity at CB1 receptors influences both excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain.

CB1 receptors are distributed all over the body but mostly in high numbers in areas of the brain that appraise threats and manage our fear response. Binding of endocannabinoids appears to decrease the brain’s reactivity to threat — which helps explain why many people experience the cannabinoids as anxiety-relieving.  

But with regular use of cannabis, your number of CB1 receptors decreases — that is, they are down-regulated. So although the compounds in cannabis can induce a feeling of calm and well-being by binding to CB1, they leave areas of the brain less sensitive to our own natural endocannabinoids. With cessation of cannabis use, CB1 receptors begin to recover their normal numbers within days.

Here’s where it gets interesting: THC demonstrates a bi-phasic dose effect. This means that at low doses it does one thing, and at higher doses it does the opposite. This is not really news to anyone who has ever tried marijuana, as it’s common knowledge that a little makes you mellow, a little more can give you anxiety. What’s surprising is how narrow the dose window between happy and anxious – especially for the new or infrequent user. A significant proportion of patients with new-onset panic attacks report cannabis as the trigger and worry that they’ve caused lasting damage. (The answer is no, but when your brain has an intense scare it tends to revisit the experience again and again, perhaps to assess the actual threat.)   

Medicating with marijuana isn’t as simple as getting any kind of Marijuana — every strain has unique effects and different routes offer different effects. But it isn’t terribly complicated as long as you do your research and consult with your doctor and dispensary. Indica is high in CBD, which is known for its ability to decrease anxiety, while Sativa has THC, which can cause anxiety. So you’ll want to find an Indica or Indica dominant hybrid that has a high amount of CBD.

  • Cannatonic: For the THC-sensitive, we recommend this high CBD strain. It typically has a CBD profile that sizes up to its THC content in a 1:1 ratio, which helps blunt the anxious edge that a lot of anxiety-sufferers experience with cannabis.
  • Amnesia Haze: Has about 20 percent Sativa in it, meaning it doesn’t make you as tired as a pure Indica strain would. On the other hand, you may want to be extra careful when using Amnesia Haze, since the THC in Sativa can make you more anxious.
  • Chocolate Chunk: Chocolate Chunk provides full-body relaxation and its another example of a pure Indica. Since it’s so powerful, you may only need a small amount to get results.
  • Girl Scout Cookies: Hybrid with 60% Indica and 40% Sativa. Great for PTSD patients since it replaces some missing chemicals compounds in their brain that affect memory. 
  • Harlequin: Harlequin works similarly to Amnesia Haze, due to its small amount of THC. It relaxes users while keeping their minds clear and alert.
  • Northern Lights: This full Indica gives you a powerful body relation will providing stress relief, in addition to helping you sleep and relieving pain.

University of Chicago recently published a study in which they looked at people who had used cannabis before but were not regular users.  It showed that 7.5 mg of THC induced a mild elevation of mood and sense of well-being while 12.5 mg of THC made subjects anxious. So for the infrequent cannabis user, the line between relaxation and anxiety comes down to just a few milligrams. With regular use of cannabis, this window appears to widen: regular users have less anxiety and paranoia associated with THC ingestion than infrequent users.  

CBD also appears to combat the anxiety-inducing impact of THC. Depending on what kinds of signaling activity is going on, what your own endocannabinoids are up to (factors controlled by your mood and physical settings), the arrival of THC and CBD on the scene has a widely varying impact.

Take home point is that for anxiety not always more is better. Trying to find that sweet spot in which Cannabis helps calm your anxiety without overshooting the mark with a dose that makes it worst will be your job since you know your brain better than anyone. And, if you did take too much, remember that no one has died from Cannabis and no one will, also know that CBD helps counteract that feeling and make sure you drink lots of water.

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Understanding our Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system plays many important roles in the human body utilizing its receptors distributed mostly in the brain and gut. It help regulates and keep the body in homeostasis which is the perfect body balance. First discovered while trying to understand the effects of cannabis, and named the endocannabinoid system for this reason.

Because of its widespread effects and therapeutic potential the endocannabinoid system is a major target of medical research. While we have been able to figure out the basics of the system, much more remains to be uncovered and now that more research is allowed soon more information will come out.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoid are the chemical messages used by the endocannabinoid system. Our bodies produce our own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids.

These interact with cannabinoid receptors named CB1 and CB2 to regulate basic functions including mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.

There’s about 80 different cannabinoids found in Marijuana, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and are considered exogenous cannabinoids. When consumed, they interact with cannabinoid receptors to produce different physical and psychological effects in the body.

What is the Endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system has two receptors known as CB1 and CB2. The distribution of CB1 and CB2 receptors within the brain and body explains why cannabinoids have certain effects.

CB1 receptors are distributed throughout the body but, are mostly present in the brain and spinal cord. Found in high numbers in brain regions associated with the behaviors they influence. For example, there are CB1 receptors in the amygdala, which plays a role in memory and emotional processing and the hypothalamus, which is involved with appetite regulation, and . CB1 receptors are also present in nerve endings where they help to reduce sensations of pain.

CB2 receptors tend to be distributed in the peripheral nervous system. They are especially concentrated in immune cells. When these receptors are activated, they help to reduce inflammation which is believed to play a role in many diseases and conditions.

With respect to the cannabinoids found in cannabis, researchers found that THC binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, activating them just like an endocannabinoid would do.

CBD does not seem to bind directly to cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it works by inhibiting an enzyme called FAAH, which is responsible for the breakdown of Anandamide, the most important endocannabinoid in the body. When FAAH is inhibited, it cannot break down Anandamide at it’s normal rate which leads to a Anandamide buildup in the brain.

How does the ECS work?

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally within the human body and are “short-order” neurotransmitters, meaning they are synthesized on demand. In other words, they are only produced when the body signals that they are needed, and they are only present for a short amount of time.

After released, endocannabinoids are quickly broken down by enzymes, which include FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) and MAGL (monoacylglycerol lipase).

When you consume exogenous cannabinoids like Marijuana, large amounts of cannabinoids enter the body and stick around so the endocannabinoid system is activated more strongly and for longer than it would usually be.

The ECS is involved with regulating many basic functions of the human body, including:

ECS Functions

The ECS is involved with regulating many basic functions of the human body, including:

  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Pain
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Movement
  • Temperature
  • Memory and learning
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Neural development
  • Neuroprotection
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Digestion
  • Reproduction

Besides maintaining basic functions, the ECS also acts in response to illness. Tumor cells,for example, have been shown to express more cannabinoid receptors than healthy cells. Studies also show that patients with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, chronic pain and arthritis show higher levels of endocanabinoids.

As a result, some scientists believe the overall function of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate Homeostasis which is a key in maintaining a good balance in life.

Diseases are largely a result of a failure in achieving homeostasis. Thus, the endocannabinoid system’s role in maintaining homeostasis makes it a unique target in medicine.

The Endocannabinoid system and current medicine

Due to its widespread effects in the human body, the endocannabinoid system shows a promising future in treating many diseases and conditions.

There are currently two major ways of targeting the endocannabinoid system: synthetic cannabis and medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana is the most commonly used way of targeting the endocannabinoid system to treat various conditions. Compounds in marijuana, including THC, CBG and CBD, are known to produce therapeutic effects by interacting with the ECS.

Medical marijuana can be used for a wide variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and palliative care.

Despite the success of medical marijuana, some users experience unpleasant side effects, such as feeling dizzy, lightheaded and high. Some people do not enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis like paranoia and would prefer a treatment that avoids this.

Some researchers are currently looking into whether the endocannabinoid system can be targeted peripherally using synthetic cannabinoids which cannot cross the blood-brain-barrier. This would avoid the side effects of cannabinoids entering the central nervous system and affecting the brain, in other words feeling high.

In sum, the endocannabinoid system is truly a remarkable treasure for scientists and medical professionals. It is very complex, plays many important roles in many vital processes, and holds promising future as a treatment target for many debilitating conditions.

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Different Ways of Using Medical Marijuana in Florida


Medical Cannabis can be used in many different forms and via many different routes. Depending on that specific form and route taken, there will be a different onset of the medication, how long it will last and what type of experience the patient gets. Florida law permits patients to utilize it as Oral, Sublingual, Topical, Vaporized, Rectal and Smokable with edibles coming soon. Make sure you experiment around to find out which one works better for you. Also keep in mind that orals have a very slow onset when compared to vaporizing which is almost immediately. 


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Oral

The oral route is very popular but sometimes difficult to dose due to different metabolism and absorption rates. It has a slow onset at 30-90 minutes so make sure not to over medicate. Also it will give you a longer relief since it will last 6-8 hrs depending on the patient and the amount used. Anything ingested orally and swallowed falls under this category like capsules and oils and soon edibles. 


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Sublingual

Usually used in tinctures forms which are created by soaking cannabis in very high-proof alcohol creating a very potent medication. Cannabis tinctures are dosed sublingual – applied under the tongue or to the lining of the mouth and letting it sit for 10-15 sec. This method bypasses the GI system making it ideal with those that have GI absorption issues. Start tincture dosing at 2.5 milligrams of THC and titrate up to avoid over medicating which is fairly easy with this method. Onset is faster than with the oral route at around 20-30 minutes and last 6-8 hrs.


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Inhalation

Vaporizing cannabis heats the active ingredients to a boil, turning them into an inhalable vapor. While vaporizing avoids the health drawbacks of smoking, it delivers terpenes and cannabinoids to the bloodstream just as fast. Vape pens are the 1# choice by patients but also patients can vape flower in cups or pods available only in a few dispensaries.The process of vaporizing is fairly similar as smoking; inhale, hold for three to five seconds, and exhale. 


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Topical

As technology advances, methods are being created to enhance the absorption of cannabinoids through the skin. Patients have the option of purchasing creams infused with THC & CBD, which are often used to relieve pain and muscle spasms in a localized area. Topicals don’t get you high making them a great choice for pain relief when working or on the go. A new line if topicals, called transdermal, allows the medicine to be absorbed through the skin and then delivered to the bloodstream. They give a full body relief and have a slow release of cannabinoids making then a great choice for the elderly. Onset is fairly slow at 30-60 min but they can last a long time, some even last 72 hrs.  


Rectal

Not a preferred one and not commonly used but has been gaining popularity among some patients specially those that have problems swallowing, cannot vape or need specific relief in the rectal area, lower back or pelvic area. It has a great absorption rate due to the large venous plexus in that region and because it bypasses the GI system.


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Smokable

Since April of 2019 patients can smoke the actual flower. By law they can buy up to 2.5 oz every 35 days and be in possession of 4 oz at a time. Smoking it gives the patient a rapid onset but shorter lasting effect when compared to oral and transdermal Also  the full entourage effect with other cannabinoids present and seems to be a more cost effective. There are risk associated with it and like airway inflammation, chronic cough and bronchitis so every patient has to discuss it with their Cannabis doctor and sign a new informed consent to get approved.