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To smoke or not to smoke, that is the question

From an infused breakfast to perfectly rolled joints, how you ingest marijuana will alter how the medicine affects your body & mind

  • The Many Methods of Madness
    • Smoking: Roll it, light it, hit it
      • Smoke the dried flowers from a pipe, water bong, or cigarette
        • Pros
          • Minimally processed
          • Instant effect
          • Easy to regulate dose
        • Cons
          • Smoke can be harmful to lungs
          • Not recommended for people with pulmonary damage
        • Vaporizing: For the sophisticated user in all of us
          • Heats the cannabis just below the combustion point so the plant doesn’t burn
            • Pros
              • Easier on lungs than smoking
              • Delivers clean inhalation
              • Less smell than smoking
            • Cons
              • Vaporizers can be expensive
              • Equipment needs to be cared for & maintained
            • Edibles: Foodies can go nuts too
              • A base of fat or oil absorbs active ingredients & can be used for cooking
                • Pros
                  • Lasts longer than inhaling
                  • Easy to incorporate into your eating routine
                  • Good for people who can’t smoke
                • Cons
                  • Effects can take a long time to work
                  • Difficult to judge dose
                  • Someone might accidentally eat a whole tray of brownies
                • Tinctures: Like the village herbalist used to make
                  • Grain alcohol extracts active compounds for a potent liquid solution
                    • Pros
                      • Easy to judge amounts
                      • Great for small doses
                      • Preferred method for children
                    • Cons
                      • Requires a lot of cannabis
                      • Can be very expensive for high doses

 

But how does it work?

  • A Match Made In Nature: Cannabinoids Are Produced in the Body & Also Found in Cannabis Plants
    • The Endocannabinoid System
      • Network of receptors in the body that bind with cannabinoids
      • CB1 & CB2: 2 main receptors control where compounds activate throughout body
    • 80+ Cannabinoids Are Found In Marijuana Plants
      • THC: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
        • Most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana
        • Binds to CB1 receptors in the brain & reproductive organs
        • Produces a psychoactive effect by releasing dopamine in the brain
          • Getting “high” is a sense of euphoria & well-being
        • Good for
          • Moderating pain
        • CBD: cannabidiol
          • 2nd most abundant cannabinoid
          • Binds to CB2 receptors in the immune system
          • Non-psychoactive, reduces mental effects of THC, & has more medicinal properties
            • High CBD & THC amounts create a clear head high
            • Low CBD levels will produce a hazier, foggy feeling
          • Good for
            • Inflammation
            • Migraines
            • Arthritis
            • Muscle spasms
            • Epilepsy
            • Shown promise at fighting cancer cells

92% of patients agree that medical cannabis works for them

  • Why The Grass Is Always Greener
    • Epilepsy: Cannabis may help reduce seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy
      • <.3% THC is in the cannabis tincture given to epileptic children with severe childhood epilepsy
      • 60% of children achieved 50+% reduction in number of seizures
      • 10% became seizure free
    • Chronic pain: Helps relieve physical discomfort of diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia, & spinal cord injuries
      • 5% THC & 2.5 grams/day given to test groups
      • Cannabis user’s symptoms improved “significantly” quicker than control group
      • No adverse effects on kidney, liver, or hormonal function
    • Depression: Replenishes endocannabinoid levels that are depleted from chronic stress
      • 75% reduction of PTSD symptoms
      • States where medical cannabis is legal see a dip in male suicide rates
        • 11% ages 20-29
        • 9% ages 30-39
    • Cancer: Early tests indicate cannabis may destroy the walls of cancer cells & aid current cancer treatments
      • CBD shown to inhibit cell growth of human carcinoma breast cells
      • Supports chemotherapy by reducing nausea, pain, indigestion, & increasing appetite