Medical Cannabis 101
How is Medical Cannabis Going to Make Me Feel?
Cannabis affects everyone differently, and each patient is going to have their own unique experience. This is true for all forms of plant-based medicine. We emphasize that experimenting with products is the first and best step to finding the optimal form of symptom relief, following the motto, “Go Low and Slow.” It’s important that the patient consumes at a monitored pace and pays close attention to their reactions. We encourage patients to journal or take notes about their usage.
What’s a Cannabinoid?
Cannabis contains roughly 100 different cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds secreted by the plant’s flowers. Cannabinoids work by mimicking compounds that our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which help regulate internal health and stability.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most widely known cannabinoid, as well as the most prominent in the plant in terms of volume. It is responsible for the ‘high’ or psychoactive effect that marijuana users feel. THC also has an analgesic effect, can control nausea, and can stimulate a patient’s appetite.
Cannabidiol & CBD-Rich Products
CBD (Cannibidiol) is the second most prominent cannabinoid and does not have any psychoactive effects. Products rich in CBD can be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment or as an anti-seizure treatment, including pediatric epilepsy. There’s growing evidence that CBD may also stop the metastasis of certain types of cancer, as well as helping with a number of other conditions.
How Do I Choose the Best Product for Me?
There are many ways to consume cannabis. To assist patients in navigating their choices, we categorize products through two primary filters: Method of Consumption and Need State. Our Method of Consumption chart arranges products into classes such as Inhalation, Sublingual and Ingestion and offers general guidelines for the potential onsets and durations of effect. Read more on Methods of Consumption, here.
What is a “Need State?”
Need State refers to the quality of symptom relief patients are looking to achieve. We have developed categories based on three Need States; Relax, Restore and Revitalize. These categories are defined by 4 important criteria: Genetics, Cannabinoid Content, Terpene Profile and Patient Feedback.
Relax refers to products that combine Indica-leaning cultivars with terpenes known for their sedative and calming effects. We recommend Relax products for nighttime symptom relief to help consumers achieve a restful sleep.
Restore combines balanced ratios of CBD to THC with terpenes known for their anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects and are formulated to create symptom relief with functionality and a feeling of being grounded. We recommend Restore products for day or night symptom relief depending on the consumer and the context.
Revitalize refers to Sativa-leaning cultivars with terpenes known for their uplifting and mood-enhancing effects. We recommend Revitalize products for daytime symptom relief to help consumers feel invigorated, focused and creative.
Indica vs. Sativa
Indica and Sativa are the two unique strains of the cannabis plants. A third category, hybrids, also exist. Generally speaking, Sativa-leaning cultivars provide a more uplifting and energetic psychoactive effect, while India-leaning cultivars provide a more relaxed or mellow effect, often well suited for nighttime use. Hybrid plants provide a mix of the two strains.