Microdosing with Cannabis

When it comes to most medicine, taking more isn’t always the best course of action, and cannabis is no exception to this rule. Modern marijuana patients are beginning to experiment with less.

Microdosing, which involves taking the minimum amount of a substance to reap the maximum benefits, is not a new concept. For decades, it has been associated with hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD. Patients who microdose note a wealth of benefits, both medicinally and financially, but how do you know if it’s the right regimen for your needs? This article will cover why patients should microdose and how to effectively microdose.

 

Three Reasons You Should Microdose

    1. Marijuana causes anxiety. While cannabis is an excellent aid for ailments such as chronic pain and PTSD, normal to high amounts of THC are known to exacerbate pre-existing anxiety. Through microdosing, you’re able to yield the positive benefits of the cannabinoid without experiencing its psychoactive effects.
    2. Marijuana makes you hazy. It’s no lie that a common side effect of marijuana is a general absentmindedness. Microdosing allows you to stay under a threshold where you would normally get “high”, so you can remain alert and energized.

 

  • You want to save money. Even though marijuana is much less expensive than comparative pharmaceuticals, you still want to make the most of your valuable. Medicating with oil pens and edibles allows you to accurately microdose. This makes it easy to measure your medicine while stretching your dispensary budget.

 

How Do I Microdose?

Microdosing is very easy to do, but it’s worth noting one size does not fill all. The “minimal effective dose” will vary vastly from patient to patient, depending on factors like metabolism and tolerance. These 5 simple steps provide you a guideline to begin the microdosing journey:

 

  • Take a 48-hour break. Studies show that 48 hours is oftentimes enough to give your body a break and bring your tolerance down to a beginner’s level. If you want to begin microdosing, give your endocannabinoid system a couple days to relax and reboot.
  • Be self-aware. To get the best results from microdosing, you need to really listen to your body. Recognize how cannabinoids affects your mood and energy levels, amongst other things. This is the most important factor in an effective regimen.
  • Start with 1:1. Experts recommend beginning with a one-to-one ratio of THC and CBD, preferably with a tincture for the most-accurate dosing. (To note: one puff of a joint is approximately 10mg of THC).
  • Keep a journal. Without a dedicated log, you have nothing to reference for the future and make the most out of microdosing. Note emotions like calmness, physical effects like hunger, and any other factors you believe are worth documenting.
  • Find your minimal effective dose. If 1:1 produces no psychoactive effects after 45 minutes to an hour – increase by 1mg. Continue to increase until you feel a noticeable difference after consuming, which establishes your dosage.

 

Once you’ve found your minimal dosage, repeat the process of gradually increasing the amount to establish your “therapeutic range” (the minimum to maximum effective amounts for you microdose). Then, you will be able to take the minimum amount on a daily basis, and you are officially microdosing!

We hope this article was an effective aid to teach you about the benefits of microdosing, as well as how to begin the process. If you have any further questions regarding microdosing, please do not hesitate to visit the dispensary and meet with one of our patient consultants.

 

Top Products Sold in Dispensaries

With the proliferation and the legalization of cannabis dispensaries, today’s marijuana users can choose from a wide variety of options and product specialties. So, with all these options available, what are the most popular products and how do they do in the market? The most profitable products include edibles in the form of chocolates, gummies, and cakes, as well as pre-rolls, concentrates, tinctures, and vape cartridges.

Here is a list of the top products sold in marijuana dispensaries:

Flowers

The traditional marijuana buds or flowers remain the most popular product among cannabis users. Accounting for almost half of all purchases, Flowers remain an undeniable favorite. However, a widespread introduction of new products can cause a shift in the market. The potency of the bud ranges from 10% to 20%, which is often less powerful when compared to other marijuana products available on the market. However, flower products are often the first choice for inexperienced users and their sales help grow dispensaries new-customer base.

Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates or “dabs” including wax, shatter and oils are also a popular consumption method. However, a lot of people feel intimidated by concentrates because of the incredibly high potency levels. Most people prefer sticking to the flower because of the more complicated consumption methods associated with concentrates. Most concentrates are extracted using butane, CO2, hydrocarbons, alcohol, heat, propane and water. The potency of concentrate typically falls from 50% to 80% and can sometimes be pushed to 90%. As the potency increases, dosing gets trickier – this is why some people are reluctant to break into the concentrates market.

Edibles

Up to 13.1% of all marijuana-related transactions involve THC-infused edible products. This makes them the second most popular type of cannabis product sold in the US. While dosing can be a challenge, many people prefer edibles over any other forms of medical marijuana because of the large numbers of options available. You can opt for marijuana-infused cakes, chocolates, gummies, brownies and other sweet options. For added convenience, you can buy products infused with specific doses, to remove the need for guesswork and portion control. However, effects from the consumption of edible marijuana products can take up to an hour or more before setting in. Additionally, edibles do not always offer a constant experience, though some people claim it provides them longer pain relief.

Live Resin

Live Resin is a concentrate like shatter or wax. This type of marijuana product is higher in terpenes than any other cannabis material. If you are wondering what terpenes are, they are oils secreted by the cannabis plant that contribute to its distinct flavor and aroma. Live resin typically has a much higher THC concentration than products like edibles or flowers.  It is considered to be a premium product in the marijuana market and has a higher price tag.

Vape Pens

Vapes pens have also become a typical method for ingestion of cannabis concentrates, making up approximately 8.2% of all industry transactions. You can buy a generic vape pen in almost any dispensary for around $45, whereas some of the brand name options can run close to $90. For comparison, a high-quality vaporizer might set you back more than $200. One of the most notable advantages of “vaping” is that it takes effect within 5 to 30 minutes and offers accurate dosing levels.

Beverages

Cannabis-infused drinks make up to 3.7% of total market transactions. Many patients prefer these beverages over other options for ease of consumption and lower dietary fat than their edible dessert counterparts. The booming business has an impressive growth rate. At present, patients can choose a multitude of products including coffee, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, and more. Some of the best -known brands include Keef Kola, Newton’s, and Jane’s Brew.

Pre-Rolls

Pre-rolled joints are ranked as the third most popular type of medical marijuana. Most people prefer pre-rolls because the product is discreet, moderately inexpensive and disposable. Despite popular belief, pre-rolled options contain the same high-quality cannabis that most dispensaries sell in flower form, making them a smart purchase for all types of users.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some valuable information that sheds light on current and up-and-coming marijuana products. For more information, consider paying a visit to your local dispensary.

Top 3 Benefits of Medical Marijuana That Can Save Your Life

Did you know that the top 3 benefits of medical marijuana are linked to diseases that are leading causes of death?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cancer (#2), Stroke (#5), and Alzheimer’s disease (#6) are on their list of leading causes of death. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

The benefits of medical marijuana are only starting to be identified, and these will continue to increase once it becomes easier to conduct research.  While many states have legalized it; marijuana continues to be classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 Substance, meaning it has no accepted medical value and it has a high potential for abuse http://www.businessinsider.com/difficulty-of-study-medical-marijuana-2013-8

This federal classification as a Schedule 1 Substance https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml

creates a significant obstacle for scientific research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana.  However, early medical marijuana research has already identified two beneficial active chemicals:  cannabidiol (CBD) impacts the brain, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) relieves pain.

 

#1 BENEFIT – STOPS THE SPREAD OF CANCER

Cancer, as the second leading cause of death, has touched the lives of most people   https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Active chemicals in medical marijuana stop the spread of cancer. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/marijuana-and-cancer_n_1898208.html

Research conducted at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco discovered CBD may turn off a gene called Id-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025276

Cancer cells make more copies of the Id-1 gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps the cancer cells spread throughout the body.  However, the use of CBD found in marijuana turns off the Id-1 gene and thereby stops cancer from spreading.

In addition, significant research also indicates THC found in marijuana has anti-tumor effects http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2014/06/18/jbc.M114.561761

Furthermore, medical marijuana helps relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, pain and nausea.  Researchers from Harvard Medical School indicate these benefits may be linked to the drug’s ability to reduce anxiety.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/medical-marijuana-and-the-mind

 

#2 BENEFIT – PROTECTS THE BRAIN FROM STROKE

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death.  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Research done on animals by the University of Nottingham indicates that marijuana may protect the brain from stroke damage by reducing the size of the impacted area of the brain.  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/03/cannabis-may-help-stroke-recovery_n_4376100.html?just_reloaded=1

Additional research provides evidence that marijuana has the ability to not only protect the brain during a stroke but even help heal the brain after other traumatic events like concussions.  https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/25/1/35/365149/CB1-and-CB2-Cannabinoid-Receptor-Antagonists

 

#3 BENEFIT – SLOWS THE PROGRESSION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death.  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

The Scripps Research Institute found the active chemical of THC in medical marijuana is linked to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.  http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15145917/ns/health-alzheimers_disease/t/marijuana-may-help-stave-alzheimers/#.WbLYbLKGPIW

The research study from 2006 was published in the Journal of Molecular Pharmaceutics.  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/mp060066m?journalCode=mpohbp   THC was found to block the enzyme in the brain that makes amyloid plaques, thereby slowing the formation of these plaques that kill brain cells and causes Alzheimer’s disease.

How Medical Marijuana Can Improve the Quality of Life for Many Military Vets

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a major health risk for many U.S. veterans. It can severely impair the quality of life and in some cases can lead to life-terminating consequences. Highly stressful and life-threatening experiences in combat leave the marines more susceptible to developing the symptoms of PTSD. PTSD is thought to be the driving force behind this.

It is apparent that PTSD among vets is a health emergency. Physical injuries play an important role in bringing down the quality of their life as well. Various pain-killers, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants and sedatives offered by the healthcare providers do not seem to bring about significant improvement. Marijuana is something that has shown encouraging potential to help with various psychological and physiological issues faced by vets.

The use of marijuana among military vets is on the rise all across the U.S. Even the states where cannabis is not legal, many vets are opting to try out the health benefits of marijuana. According to VA, more than 22% war veterans were using cannabis in the year 2014. That figure has likely gone up since.

The cannabinoids present in various strains of marijuana affect the endocannabinoid system in the human body to reduce the symptoms and effects of PTSD. Vets with PTSD have higher levels of cannabinoids receptors. This makes marijuana a helpful solution for various stress related problems.

The following are some of the many ways marijuana has been shown to improve the quality of life for many vets:

Improved Mental Health

The overall emotional and psychological health of vets suffering from stress disorders is significantly compromised. Reliving the stressful combat scenarios through flashbacks and nightmares can induce impairments, like sleeplessness, depression and anxiety. Occupational instability, family discord, feelings of detachment and estrangement are also common among many vets.

Cannabis is anxiolytic. This is to say it helps reduce anxiety. The anti-depressant qualities of marijuana are also coming to the forefront. Impairment in short-term memory is one of the side effects of marijuana use. Our endocannabinoid system regulates our fear and deals with memory retention. Cannabis affects the system to induce memory impairment. This helps vets’ manage their flashbacks better and improve their ability to deal with stress.

Cannabis has a calming effect on our brain. Many vets are in the state of “constant emotional arousal”. This leads to sleep apnea as well as outbursts of anger and violence. It is hard to focus and concentrate as their brain feels it has to be alert and on guard all the times. Cannabis helps cope with this problem and encourages a calmer and Zen approach to dealing with life.

 

A Better Alternative

Rather interestingly, marijuana is helping veterans bounce back from their dangerous substance abuse. The prevalence of life debilitating substance abuse among war veterans is much higher than the civilian population. According to a study in 2012, 32% of vets with PTSD were also being treated for substance abuse.

Cannabis can provide the relief many vets try to get from the harmful substances, like alcohol and cocaine. It offers them a healthier, more stable substitute. Cannabis can improve the mood and drive of many vets without inflicting irreversible health repercussions that are associated with serious substance abuse.

 

Assistance with Pain Relief

PTSD can make you relive the trauma and induce physical pain symptoms in your body. Sleep disturbance, hyper arousal as well as anxiety contribute to increasing physical tension and stress, leading to pain all over the body. Many vets complain of debilitating pain that makes it difficult to get out of bed.

Many vets develop chronic pain. Fibromyalgia is also common. Cannabis helps calm the musculoskeletal centers of the body and allow the body to relax. Better management of pain improves the vets’ engagement in social, occupational and recreational activities, improving their overall quality of life.

Cannabis is increasingly proving its efficacy when it comes to offering relief from physical and psychological pain for military vets. Healthcare providers should not ignore the benefits of marijuana to health and well-being of vets and recommend appropriate doses of medical marijuana when necessary.