8 Things You Need To Know About THC And How It Works

What is THC? How does THC work? Is THC the same as CBD? Is THC effective at treating pain? Is THC the same as MMJ? These are just some of the questions that people have about THC and how it can benefit them.

There is quite a lot of confusion in the general public about what exactly THC is, as well as how it relates to medical marijuana and the more well-known compound CBD. In this article, we will discuss THC, what it is, how it works, its benefits and risks, and how it can help to treat various medical conditions and their symptoms.

 

Image by 7raysmarketing on Pixabay: THC is found in the cannabis plant.

What Is THC?

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is one of the active compounds found in medical marijuana. THC is responsible for most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects. Different strains of medical marijuana contain different levels of THC. The amount of THC present in an MMJ strain will have a profound impact on how powerful the strain is and on the type of psychological effects it induces.

Is THC The Same As CBD?

THC and CBD are both compounds found in medical marijuana. They are the two most active compounds found in the cannabis plant and the two biggest contributors to the physical and psychological effects of MMJ. THC and CBD are not the same thing, and they have different effects.

THC and CBD both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, but they induce very different physiological and psychological states. While CBD mainly affects the body and creates a physically relaxed feeling, THC affects the mind and induces the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.

How Does THC Work?

THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When THC binds to these receptors, it activates them, and this impacts memory, thought, emotion, concentration, and coordination. THC can stimulate feelings of pleasure and euphoria, bring on vivid hallucinations, and encourage novel mental associations. It also distorts sensory and temporal perceptions.

Is THC Effective At Treating Pain?

THC is very effective at treating various kinds of pain. It does this primarily by activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout the nervous system, which has the effect of lowering pain.

The other way THC reduces pain is by stimulating a psychoactive response in the brain. The euphoria, pleasure, distorted sensory and temporal perceptions, and hallucinogenic effects of THC often stop the brain from focusing on pain, greatly reducing the patient’s awareness and experience of pain.

 

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Image by Derneuemann on Pixabay: THC is effective at treating pain.

How To Consume THC

There are several different ways to consume THC. The most common way is to smoke it in a marijuana joint or pipe. The downside of this method of ingestion is that it is associated with various health risks caused by smoking.

Other, healthier ways to consume THC include vaping; eating, in the form of marijuana-infused candies, cakes, or meals; and drinking, in the form of marijuana-infused teas, juices, and soft drinks.

What Strength Of THC Is Considered An Average Dose?

Different strains of medical marijuana contain different amounts of THC. Also, the method of ingestion will affect the amount of THC released into the system. Raw cannabis contains very little active THC, as the compound only becomes effective once it has been heated, which results in the activation of the compound – a process known as decarboxylation.

When smoked or vaped, THC enters the bloodstream quite rapidly, and the effects are felt almost instantaneously. When eaten, THC takes a lot longer to take effect, as it is processed by the liver first. This can mean that a person must wait between 30 minutes and two hours after they have eaten MMJ-infused foods for the effects of THC to take hold.

The average recommended dose of THC from edibles for a beginner or low-tolerance patient is 5–10 milligrams.

Can THC Be Dangerous?

Like any chemical compound, THC can be dangerous if abused or consumed in too large quantities. Some of the possible side effects of consuming THC include anxiety, increased heart rate, increased appetite, dry mouth, memory loss, inability to sleep or increased drowsiness, exacerbated schizophrenic symptoms, red and watering eyes, loss of coordination, and slower reaction times.

While using THC in moderate doses is usually safe and has many health benefits, it is certainly not advisable to operate machinery or to drive a vehicle while under the influence of THC.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

If you have not yet gotten an MMJ card, the easiest way to get one is to apply online at MMJRecs. MMJRecs will set up an online consultation between you and a medical marijuana doctor in your locality who can examine you and write a medical marijuana recommendation letter. The process couldn’t be easier!

Featured image by gjbmiller on Pixabay

Can Medical Cannabis Work In Conjunction With Medication

What are the effects of using medical cannabis in conjunction with other medication? Does your marijuana interfere with other medication? It is important to understand how any combination of drugs you are taking will work together and the effects that mixing them will have on your body and mind.

In order to avoid any unwanted effects from drug interactions inside your body, it is crucial that you keep your doctor informed and listen carefully to his or her advice.

Pills

If you are taking traditional medical and medical cannabis, we advise asking your doctor what the effects coud be.

Although there is not a wealth of peer-reviewed studies on interactions between medical marijuana and commonly-used medications, there certainly are potential side effects that can occur when MMJ is taken alongside other drugs. Many widely taken prescription and nonprescription drugs, when taken in combination, will react chemically inside the body. These reactions can be good, bad, or benign. Cannabis card patients and their doctors should consider the potential reactions that both prescribed and ‘over the counter’ medications will have with the cannabis they use, because sometimes those reactions are not inconsequential.

Marijuana can have an additive effect when taken in conjunction with certain pain medications. This additive effect, when one drug amplifies the effect of another, is called ‘potentiation’. The effect can be unpredictably strong. Cannabis is often prescribed alongside NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for the relief of pain symptoms from arthritis. The combination is very effective for reducing pain. Patients using their California medical card alongside painkillers need to be careful because the potentiation of these drugs can lead to drowsiness or depression of the central nervous system which controls heart rate and respiration.

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis is a wonderful herb but it’s best to learn about its effects on your body before consuming.

Medications that are dedicated central nervous system (CNS) depressants or sedatives can bring on a feeling of drowsiness. Certain strains of MMJ (usually indica-dominant hybrids) that have a similar effect can greatly enhance the effects of these drugs. Some medications prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, depression and, as previously mentioned, pain relief fall into this category. So be aware that taking sedative drugs and using medical cannabis may knock you out more than expected.

Antihistamines, which are used in the treatment of allergy symptoms associated with hay fever, have a depressing effect on the CNS. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so when used in combination with a California weed card can have a potentiated effect.

Antihypertensives are commonly used by people with hypertension to lower their blood pressure. Some strains of medical cannabis, especially sativa-dominant strains, can temporarily increase blood pressure, so if you are taking drugs to lower blood pressure be aware that certain strains of weed may counteract their effects.

Hormone medications can be effected by medical cannabis use. Marijuana can make the oestrogen used in birth control or as hormone replacement therapy less effective. This means the intended effects of these drugs may be compromised. What’s that we hear in the distance?? Oh it’s the the pitter-patter of tiny feet. How exciting!!! Or not. Seriously though, the effects of medical cannabis on birth control pills is often negligible, but it’s always best to be extra-safe and talk to your physician.

Marijuana can slow blood clotting, so when it is mixed with prescription medicines such as warfarin that slow blood clotting, or with nonprescription drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin that have the side effect on slowing clotting, this may result an increased risk of bleeding and/or bruising.

The effect of medications that metabolize within the liver may be strongly impacted by the presence of medical marijuana in the system. Cannabis has been known to slow down, or speed up, certain processes the liver uses to break down medication. This can result in medications being at a higher blood concentration or lasting longer than would normally be the case, or alternatively, being processed more rapidly and losing their effect more quickly. Therefore, the dose or frequency of these medications may need to be adjusted when they are being taken in conjunction with medical marijuana.

It has sometimes been noted that certain medications that may be used to treat patients with cancer, HIV, and people who have had an organ transplant may sometimes interact with medical marijuana. Since many people with these conditions use medical cannabis to manage their symptoms, it is important to check with a doctor to be sure that the particular drugs you are taking are appropriate to take alongside MMJ.

Cannabis has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of metformin (known by the brand name Glucophage) which is used as an aid in controlling the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients, as the effect of lowering blood sugar is opposed by cannabinoids.

Also, marijuana can cross the placenta and be excreted in breast milk, so it’s best for breastfeeding mothers to discuss the potential risks of breastfeeding while using their MM card with their doctor.

So these are some of the more common potential side effects of mixing medical cannabis with other drugs. There can be many advantages to using your 420 card along with other useful drugs, but it is always wise to be conscious and aware of what you are putting into your body, and how those substances will react with each other.

I Have PTSD: Which Medical Marijuana Strain Do I Need?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder that affects certain people who have experienced a highly traumatic event. Being involved in warfare, extreme violence, or a road accident, or being the victim of child abuse, sexual assault, terrorism, or other threats to life can result in a person experiencing PTSD. It is also an affliction that can be treated with the use of medical marijuana.

Approximately 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and 11-30% of soldiers returning from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan have the condition. The main symptoms of this brutal condition are flashbacks, chronic anxiety, depression, insomnia and nightmares. Sufferers respond to innocuous events and cues in the external (and their internal) world with an acute panic response, because they remind them of the initial trauma they experienced.

There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD. By aiding in something called memory extinction, marijuana can help reduce the association between innocuous stimuli in the present and traumatic events from the past. It also calms the body and mind, reduces stress, and aids sleep.

MMJRecs - PTSD

PTSD can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.

There are plenty of studies to back up marijuana’s effectiveness in treating PTSD. A University of Haifa study from 2014 showed that rats that were exposed to trauma, who received a synthetic cannabinoid within 24 hours, did not exhibit PTSD symptoms, however rats that were not treated with the cannabinoid did develop symptoms. This study led to an understanding of the neurological characteristics of the behavioral effects of PTSD. In traumatized subjects there was an increase in brain receptors associated with emotional processing. Cannabis was shown to decrease the numbers of these specific receptors in the areas of the brain that imprinted traumatic memories.

A study by Dr. George R. Greer MD in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2014 showed that participants with PTSD reported, on average, a 75% reduction in major PTSD symptoms while using medical marijuana. Dr. Greer reported, “Many PTSD patients report symptom reduction with cannabis, and a clinical trial needs to be done to see what proportion and what kind of PTSD patients benefit, with either cannabis or the main active ingredients of cannabis.”

As well as evidence from studies, there is also a wealth of anecdotal evidence self-reported by sufferers of PTSD who say that their lives would be unbearable if it wasn’t for the positive impact that medical marijuana has on their debilitating condition.

There is no doubt that medical marijuana is a very effective treatment for PTSD, but not all weed strains are equally effective. Here is a list of seven hybrid strains that people have reported work particularly well in combating PTSD.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can help sufferers of PTSD.

Blue Dream is widely available with a California medical marijuana card. It is a mildly high-THC hybrid, and offers very reliable relief from PTSD. The sativa-dominant strain has an energizing and buoyant effect. It contains a nice dose of indica which produces a warm feeling of physical relaxation also. The herb is not very strong, so you can go about your business, feeling clear headed and fully functional while enjoying its PTSD-busting effects.

Grand Daddy Purple is a very pleasant indica-dominant hybrid that produces feelings of happiness, positivity and relaxation. It is often used by cannabis card holders who suffer from depression, and is widely regarded as an excellent strain for treating PTSD.

Stress Killer this is a high-CBD strain created by Royal Queen Seeds and easily available to people with a California medical marijuana card. It has quite low levels of THC, and is ideal for people who enjoy a mild but very manageable psychoactive effect. It will produce a light, sedative high and is ideal for relieving the anxiety that comes with PTSD.

A very popular indica-dominant strain that is famously good for pain and stress relief is Blueberry Kush. This is a big favorite with California marijuana card holders. It puts the body into a very relaxed state, and is widely availed of by PTSD sufferers.

Northern Lights is a massively popular indica-dominant strain that is used extensively by people with cannabis cards who suffer with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. It brings on a mellow high and is a fantastic sleep aid. It takes hold fast and knocks you out hard. Northern Lights and heavy machinery are not happy (or safe) bedfellows!

Even more of an insomnia-wrecker is Master Kush. This is a firm favorite of people who are cursed with chronic and extreme insomnia. It is a very strong strain that is not for first time smokers. You should be an experienced 420 card user before you use this powerful strain! It will knock you out hard and fast, producing a super-mellow high and ultra-relaxed body. Don’t bother getting munch, you won’t be needing it! Oh and make sure you are seated somewhere nice and comfortable when you smoke this awesome strain, because you probably won’t be moving very far for the foreseeable future!

Pineapple Express is a relatively mild sativa-dominant hybrid strain with a THC content of about 20%. The effects are pleasantly relaxing. It provokes a warm, happy feeling, and is eminently usable for during the day. Many PTSD sufferers have enjoyed the effects that this pleasant strain has given them.

Can I Grow Weed With A California Medical Marijuana Card?

California medical marijuana card owners are well served by a small army of friendly, knowledgeable, and well-stocked MMJ dispensaries. But there is also a lot to be said for cultivating your own medical cannabis.

It is a beautiful feeling to sit back, relax, and spark up a bowl that you yourself have reared, tended to, and watched develop over a period of several months. It is a very satisfying experience to grow your own weed, and a rewarding day when you smoke the herb that you have produced with your own hands. It provides a lovely feeling of accomplishment.

MMJRecs - California Medical Marijuana Card

As long as you have a California Medical Marijuana Card, you can grow your own weed.

But what does the law say about cultivating your own cannabis? Does a California medical marijuana card enable a patient to grow their own weed, and if so, in what amounts, and where?

Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, which came into effect in 1996 makes it legal for patients and their primary caregivers to grow their own medical marijuana for personal use, provided they have the recommendation and approval of a licensed California physician.

The law explicitly covers cannabis cultivation for personal medical use only. Under Proposition 215 patients are allowed to grow whatever amount of medical marijuana they require to treat or manage their particular illness. 420 card patients can be prosecuted if they exceed these reasonable limits. They can also get into trouble for exceeding a local jurisdiction’s cultivation limits.

In 2004 a legislative statute went into effect that broadened Proposition 215. It allowed California medical marijuana card patients to form non-profit medical cannabis growing collectives and cooperatives. Many collectives and cooperatives now operate in the state, however, like in so many areas of MMJ law, exact policies vary from local jurisdiction to local jurisdiction, and many local governments within California have banned or restricted the rights of patients to set up collectives. Collectives tend to attract the attention of law enforcement, and large outdoor grows with over 100 plants are risky as, although they are not necessarily in breach of Proposition 215, they carry a five-year minimum sentence under US federal law.

MMJRecs - MMJ

Do you fancy growing your own MMJ? Just make sure you’re on the right side of the law.

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which came into effect January 1st 2016, established a system for the permitting of marijuana cultivation and dispensaries. It allows patients to grow up to 100 square feet of cannabis for personal medical use, and primary caregivers with five or less patients to cultivate up to 500 square feet. The cultivation of amounts above this is considered to be growing for commercial sale, and to do this a license is required. Again though, this does not mean a local government cannot enforce its own restrictions or bans on the cultivation of medical marijuana in its own jurisdiction.

Problems with law enforcement are always a possibility when cultivating your own MMJ. Patients have been arrested for growing amounts that police deem over and above what they require, or due to complaints from other residents in an area, or for having dubious recommendations. Patients have ended up on trial, needing to prove the veracity of their medical marijuana cultivation needs. The State Supreme Court has ruled that patients have the same rights to medical cannabis as they do to any legally prescribed drug, thus, patients who have been arrested for cultivation can request dismissal of charges at a pretrial hearing, and the dismissal will be granted if the can convince the judge that there is no probable cause that it wasn’t for medical purposes. Patients in this situation, when acquitted, will have their plants returned to them.

You can grow your medical marijuana on your own private property. However, landlords are not obligated to allow tenants to cultivate medical cannabis on their property, and some local jurisdictions have enacted zoning laws that restrict where medical marijuana can be grown.

Proposition 215 does not allow California medical marijuana card patients to sell their excess cultivated medical marijuana. Legal caregivers and members of growing collectives can charge for their expenses in growing for others, but always on a non-profit basis.

When Proposition 64 comes into effect in January 2018 at the earliest, it will become legal to cultivate recreational marijuana. It will be possible to cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants. Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure”.

These new cultivation laws will not affect the existing legal rights of California medical marijuana card holders to grow as much as they need under the original Proposition 215, or up to 100 square feet under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.
So yes, it is certainly possible to grow your own MMJ in California, but always be wise and aware of how much you are growing, where you are growing it, and what your local jurisdiction’s specific rules and regulations are.

The Difference Between Smoking And Eating MMJ

You may be thinking that marijuana is marijuana regardless of how it gets into your system, but you’d be sorely mistaken. Smoking, eating, and drinking medical marijuana creates different strength profiles and each process has hugely varying half-lives. And therefore, the type of ailments that each form of ingestion is best suited to treating differs greatly. The two most common forms of marijuana consumption are smoking and eating. Knowing exactly how each form works in the body allows you to make an informed decision as to which is most appropriate to your needs. This article is going to give you the ability to make that informed decision. The only other thing you need to stock up on MMJ is a medical marijuana, card which can be purchased online. Without further ado, let’s get into the differences between smoking and eating marijuana!

 

MMJRecs - MMJ

Whether you’re more suited to smoking or eating MMJ will depend on your tolerance, preference and ailments.


The Science

There are two places where THC can be processed: in the brain and in the liver. Where THC is processed is dependant on how it enters the system. Eaten cannabis gets metabolized by the liver. Smoked or vaporized cannabis is instead absorbed by the lungs and moves to the THC receptors in the brain.

Getting from edible cannabis to cannabinoids being released through the blood is a slow process – taking between 60 and 120 minutes. The metabolizing of these cannabinoids in the liver happens below the surface with no effects presenting themselves until the cannabinoids are released into the blood plasma. Once released, the effects can last anywhere from four to six hours.

The delayed onset of edible marijuana can mean that inexperienced users may consume too high of a dosage as they confuse the delayed onset with low potency. This can lead to folk to have extremely poor experiences that take many hours to subside. Due to the difficulty in titration with edibles, we recommend the lowest dose possible to achieve therapeutic effects. And from there you can work toward your sweet spot. Patience is key here.

As well as producing a longer-lasting high, eating marijuana produces a much stronger high. This means consumption rates and dosage amounts can be reduced. Many people become interested in edibles because they don’t enjoy the harsh experience of smoking or are worried about the long-term health effects associated with it – this is particularly true of those with lung conditions. Let’s not forget that every drug that has positive effects on the body, also comes with a slew of negative effects – some of which may seem non-existent because they are undetectable. Medical marijuana is no different. So for those requiring frequent marijuana consumption in order to temporarily reduce the effects of chronic pain, or to help with epilepsy etc, having a method to reduce daily dosage while increasing the length and potency of the drug is hugely helpful: meaning they are able to tap into the benefits with much less risk.

Due to the way cannabinoids are metabolised in the liver, in order to have the release of the psychoactive effects of cannabis when eating it, marijuana needs to be heated in some way with a form of fat. You won’t feel a high if you eat it straight without preparation as the digestive system is unable to process THC directly. THC is fat soluble. So cooking with fat – olive oil, coconut oil, butter –  will release the THC from the cannabis and allow it to bind with the fat. Once bound to fat, THC becomes processable by the liver. On top of this, it becomes palatable (don’t try eating raw cannabis unless you are seeking tastebud misery).

MMJRecs - edible MMJ

Brownies aren’t the only form of edible MMJ…but they might be the tastiest!

Though edible marijuana is often associated with brownies, or a similar assortment of divine, sugary deserts, almost anything you can think of can be infused with cannabis. It has a strong taste, however, so ensure it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients being experimenting with dosage and dishes.     

On the other hand, the effects of smoked marijuana can be felt within seconds. Smoking marijuana gets THC into the blood much faster and at higher concentrations, but it dissipates far sooner too. This allows even the greenest of users to stop before the point of no return. For this reason, we prepose starting with smoking and moving onto edibles if it suits your ailment or your preferences.

And there you have it, the difference between smoking and eating medical marijuana! Pick whichever suits you and your ailment or settle for a combination of the two. But whatever you do, make sure you have your medical marijuana card before you attempt to purchase. The easiest and quickest way to get your medical marijuana card is online. Happy smoking/eating!

Why Cannabis Oil Is An Excellent Pain Reliever

Customers with medical marijuana cards are now able to buy specifically tailored medical cannabis products to aid them in their fight against pain. Cannabis oil is one of those products.

“The traditional use of Cannabis as an analgesic, anti-asthmatic, and anti-rheumatic drug is well established. Our results would suggest that cultivation of Cannabis plants rich in CBD and other phenolic substances would be useful not only as fiber-producing plants but also for medicinal purposes in the treatment of certain inflammatory disorders.”

Amazingly, this was the conclusion to a paper published in ‘The British journal of clinical pharmacology’ by The School of Pharmacy at the University of London, in 1988. They showed that medical cannabis could be four times more effective than Aspirin at giving pain relief and reducing inflammation. 

The scientists themselves acknowledged that this news was in no way groundbreaking; people have been using medical marijuana as a painkiller for millennia. One of the earliest references is in a Chinese legend in which the mighty king prescribes MMJ tea as an anti-inflammatory, way back in 4700 BC, and there are references to the plant being used both medically and socially in almost all Asian, European and African countries since records began.

What the ancients didn’t understand was the science behind this magical plant. Modern research has begun to unravel the mystery and it is uncovering a wealth of health benefits. The reason cannabis oil is so good for your health is because it has cannabinoids in great abundance. It’s these cannabinoids that are proving exceptionally effective at treating a whole range of ailments. These cannabinols mimic the body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids, which govern many bodily functions. Sleep, appetite, the immune system, pain and many more areas are controlled by these and when there is an imbalance medical cannabis can help restore that balance without any dangerous side-effects.

THC, the most famous of the 80 odd cannabinoids present in MMJ, has always stolen the limelight as it has the most obvious effects on the brain – for this reason it has been studied more and is understood a lot better than its quieter (and second best known) companion cannabinol, CBD. Because of its effects, commercially THC has been the more sought after cannabinol, so for decades strains were bred for more and more THC potency. This meant that the benefits of CBD were largely overlooked.

But why is CBD that important?

Research is showing that CBD has incredible pain-inhibiting and anti-inflammation properties. One of the most effective ways to reap the benefits of CBD without having to smoke medical cannabis is to ingest cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is the cannabis plant extract. It is chock-full of cannabinoids and generally has higher levels of CBD to THC, although make sure to check before you go ahead with your purchase. Medical marijuana card holders who don’t want any of the ‘stoned’ effect can now buy cannabis oil with no THC in it, allowing them to carry on their day as normal.

The idea that cannabis oil is an effective pain reliever is not up for dispute at this stage

CBD has proved to be very effective in the treatment of epilepsy (even on drug-resistant forms such as Dravet Syndrome). Strains such as Harlequin, Charlotte’s’ Web, Cannatonia have been bred specially to have very high concentrations of CBD and very low level of THC. These strains are being used to produce medical cannabis oil with a low enough THC content to be suitable for even children! So for those of us who don’t want the ‘high’ associated with marijuana, these oils are perfect. But don’t worry, you can still get oils with high THC levels if you want to enjoy the benefits of both of the major cannabinoids.

As a treatment, cannabis oil has been shown to be very effective at targeting certain receptors (glycine receptors) that are important in causing inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. The test suggested that CBD would be effective at relieving chronic pain for illnesses associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by severe nerve damage. Again, the Harlequin strain and Cannatonic strain are going to be most effective with their high CBD contents. These anti-inflammatory strains will provide relief from chronic inflammation pains caused by arthritis.

Back pain, muscle pain and wounds can be treated with these oils. Topicals can be made by mixing cannabis oil with lotions or diluting it with oils such as hemp oil or coconut oil. These topicals have traditionally been used as an antiseptic but can also be used as a burn and bite relief, and rubbed into sore muscles. This method is becoming more popular with people who want the health benefits marijuana has to offer but, again, don’t want to take up smoking.

MMJRecs - cannabis oil

Cannabis oil can ease pain and give you back your regular life.

Research is only in its infancy, but the evidence is corroborating the stories and experiences of countless medical cannabis users from over the millennia.

Cannabis oil is a fantastic pain reliever – it can help regulate sleep, smooth running of the digestive system and alleviate anxiety and depression. Taken correctly, cannabis oil is good for you and it’s getting better with every study.

 

Do I Still Need A California Medical Marijuana Card If It Is Legalized?

On November 8, 2016, California voters voted, by a margin of 56% to 44%, to pass Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in the state. The details of the 60-page proposition are complex. The vote to legalize recreational cannabis use came 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Now that voters have decided to make recreational cannabis legal, what will become of California medical marijuana card holders? How will their rights be affected? Will medical marijuana users still need a California medical marijuana card to consume their medicine in the state?

For the calendar year 2017 at least, the answer is a definite yes. Proposition 64 will not come in effect until January 2018 at the earliest, which means dispensaries won’t start serving recreational users until at least that date. Implementing regulations is a complicated and time consuming process. Under the new law the ‘Bureau of Marijuana Control’ will not start issuing recreational licenses until at least 2018, and so a cannabis card is fully essential for the entirety of 2017 at least.

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Make the new marijuana laws work for you!

Until the new law comes into effect, anybody who needs to use cannabis for what the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 calls “any condition for which marijuana provides relief” will need to visit their primary physician and request them to write a recommendation, or visit a specialized ‘cannabis doctor’, or get a California medical marijuana card through one of the many online doctor services that enable patients to get a medical marijuana card online.

But even come 2018, when the state is required to begin issuing licenses to recreational weed shops, different localities have the right to set different rules, so it is by no means clear how recreational use will play out. There is a lot of red tape to be hacked through.

There has been some apprehension amongst long-term MMJ users, who rely on easy and reliable access to medical marijuana to control debilitating physical and/or psychological pain. Some patients fear that people who don’t respect the drug and just want to get high are going to clog up the market and give the plant a bad name, while people who genuinely need marijuana as medicine will be forgotten about. They also worry that Proposition 64 will impose stricter regulations on where California medical marijuana card patients can consume their medicine and how much they could grow.

California medical marijuana card

California medical marijuana card holders will be affected by marijuana legalization – but could it be for the better?

Some patients have also been concerned about how the measure might affect the cost of their medicine. But it looks as though the law will not have an adverse effect on MMJ pricing because it exempts California medical marijuana card patients from paying sales taxes, which will keep consumer costs down. It also caps the cost of getting an optional ID card confirming a person’s status as an MMJ patient at $100, and with many counties now charging up to $175, that could also lead to savings.

Indeed, experts have stated that the passing of Proposition 64 does not negatively affect the rights of medical marijuana patients established in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and will in fact improve them, so even once Proposition 64 is fully in effect, there will still be advantages to being a certified medical marijuana patient.

While recreational use will not be allowed in public, card-carrying medical patients will still be permitted to smoke medical cannabis in most areas in which tobacco smoking is allowed. And, while recreational consumers will be limited to growing six plants at a time, medical marijuana patients will continue to be able to grow up to 100 square feet of plants.

Proponents of the law believe its implementation will certainly broaden rights and access for California’s 1M+ medical cannabis users.

Matt Kumin, a San Francisco attorney who has represented medical cannabis clients for twenty years, is confident. He has stated “The sky is not going to fall, I think this is actually a new day for medical cannabis patients.”

How will the new law look? Many people predict California dispensaries will simply have two lines, with one for 420 card patients and one for recreational customers. Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2012, and recreational sales now account for 60-70% of the market. But both recreational and medical sectors continue to grow year on year in the state.

Much of how Proposition 64 plays out in California will depend on how cities and counties decide to implement it, since each jurisdiction controls what types of cannabis businesses can open and operate inside their boundaries.

Local governments also have the right to impose local taxes on top of state taxes, so while there’s a lot to be hopeful about, things are still a bit unclear, and may be for some time to come, especially in terms of differences between different jurisdictions within the state. For example, there could be areas in California where medical dispensaries are operating, but recreational use is still not happening.

So for the next year for sure, and maybe even beyond, there are definite advantages to being legally recognized as a medical cannabis patient, and having a California medicinal marijuana card, as opposed to being a mere recreational user.

The History of Medical Cannabis in the United States

In recent years, the widespread use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been gaining traction. As more studies are conducted, an increasing amount of evidence supporting the health benefits medical cannabis provides is coming to light – leading to an increase in those electing to obtain a cannabis card.

Whether it’s to assist with the nausea associated with cancer and HIV/AIDS treatments, pain relief, insomnia, anxiety, or a myriad of other ailments, patients are frequently turning to the all-natural treatment it delivers. It’s no wonder that as of June 2016, 29 states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for medical use.

While it may seem that the United States has been relatively quick to adopt the use of medical cannabis over the past couple decades – and indeed has been when compared to many other countries – the use of cannabis to treat health conditions dates as far back as 2737 B.C.

Thousands of years before the United States even existed, Emperor Shen Neng of China was prescribing marijuana-infused tea to his people. This tea was used to heal gout, malaria, rheumatism, and, rather humorously, poor memory. The wonders of the drug then spread throughout the globe; reaching Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – with doctors prescribing it for both general pain relief and child birth.

Documented evidence of medical cannabis being used in the U.S. did not occur until the late 18th century, when early editions of American medical journals noted that hemp seeds were effective at treating venereal disease, incontinence, and inflamed skin. This was further popularized in the U.S. by the Irish doctor William O’Shaughnessy, who worked as a physician for the British East India Company.

As the use of medical cannabis developed from O’Shaughnessy’s findings, more and more treatments began to utilize its medicinal properties for easing the symptoms of a range of conditions, including cholera, tetanus, and rabies. Year-on-year, the popularity of medical marijuana was growing exponentially.

By the end of the 19th Century, the tide of American attitudes towards medical cannabis began to dramatically shift, falling as quickly as it had risen. Unknowingly to them, it was discovered that between 2% and 5% of the U.S. population had become addicted to morphine, due to it being a secret ingredient within many medicines at the time.

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis has a long, interesting and occasionally amusing history.

The U.S. government was quick to act, introducing the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. While cannabis was not targeted specifically, the very fact that the distribution of morphine and opium was now under doctors’ control, inherently led to a sudden shift in American drug policy. Eight short years later in 1914, the Harrison act was introduced and the consumption of drugs was defined as a crime.

23 states had outlawed marijuana by the year 1937. This was in-part due to the arrival of a wave of Mexican immigrants – many of whom bought the drug with them – or simply to try to limit the amount of morphine addicts who were looking for something new. In the very same year, the Federal Government then passed the Marihuana Tax Act, outlawing the non-medical use of marijuana.

Marijuana was now criminalized, with harsh penalties being enforced upon anyone who was to be found distributing or consuming. The only exception was during World War II, when the government planted vast fields of hemp crops to supply rope to the Navy. Mandatory sentences for drug offenders then came into motion with the passing of the Boggs Act and Narcotics Control Act in the 1950s.

As the 1960s and 70s rolled around, the public perception of marijuana altered, and laws criminalizing the drug were eased. However, the Reagan Administration – with its get-tough drug policies – halted any potential progress from being made, and the use of marijuana continued to indict severe penalties.

This continued until 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. While this was met with a slew of critics – to this day estimating that there are around 1,000 illegal marijuana shops in Los Angeles alone – several more states followed California’s lead in the years to come; with Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Maine all legalizing medical marijuana before the turn of the century.

As the medical benefits of marijuana further come to light, a direct response is being seen in the amount of states that are legalizing the drug for medicinal use with each passing year. In 2016 alone, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas all became additional advocates to the medical cannabis cause – equal to the number of states from the previous three years combined.

Unfortunately, as marijuana remains illegal at the Federal level, acquisition from anyone who is not a licensed physician is strictly prohibited – unless within a state which has legalized the drug for both medical and recreational use – such as Colorado and Washington,
therefore housing licensed dispensaries.

For Californians looking to reap the rewards of the passing of 2016’s Proposition 64, you’ve not too much longer to wait until your marijuana use is not solely limited to medicinal; with the government deadline for issuing pot shop licenses being no later than January 1st 2018.

What’s The Science Behind Medical Marijuana?

For any medical marijuana card holder who’s just as interested in the science behind medical marijuana as they are the effects, delving into the genetic makeup of the plant begins with cannabinoids. The number of diverse cannabinoids contained within cannabis is vast; with scientists recently upping their discovered cannabinoid count from 104 to 111.

Cannabinoids come in all shapes and sizes, with some having much more of an impact on the body than others. For a long time, the solely discussed cannabinoid was tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC was first discovered back in 1964, and is the primary ingredient which provides the feeling of euphoria. THC, along with cannabidiol (CBD), are the key compounds for medicinal purposes.

An increasing number of Americans each year are turning towards medical marijuana for its ability to alleviate pain, insomnia, and anxiety, and also treatment for those suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS. The medical benefits received from marijuana are due to a combination of cannabinoids, and how they interact with the human body. But how exactly do cannabinoids work?

Cannabinoids are sets of chemical compounds that bind themselves to receptors in the body that make up what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. Many of our bodily cells possess specific binding sites containing cannabinoid receptors. Not only does our body naturally produce endocannabinoids which influence our appetite, mood, and memory, but as we consume medical marijuana, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD also bind to these receptors.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical marijuana – so much more than just a plant!

Cannabinoids we inhale or ingest work by imitating the compounds already found within our bodies, increasing the potency of the chemical’s effect. THC and CBD are by far the most commonly cited cannabinoids found within medical marijuana. While THC has a strong affinity for the CB-1 receptors found in the brain, CBD prefers CB-2 receptors, which are found throughout the body.

For a current or potential cannabis card holder, knowing the difference between THC and CBD is vital, as they provide remarkably different effects and benefits. As THC is a strongly psychoactive cannabinoid, consuming THC-rich marijuana can help with pain relief and nausea. While CBD is effective at relieving insomnia, stress, and anxiety; THC should be avoided in these instances due to its potential causation.

For the longest time scientists believed that the CBD cannabinoid had little-to-no effect on the CB1 receptor site, however new data now shows that this isn’t the case. While THC has a more direct impact on the CB1 site, CBD has now been shown to influence how the receptor responds to THC stimulation – meaning that depending on the particular ailment, a mix of both THC and CBD may be advantageous.

The cannabis plant itself contains more than 500 natural compounds – with cannabinoids making up a significant percentage. As the wide range of cannabinoid compounds interact with our body’s receptors within the central nervous system and immune system, for example, our body is affected in a litany of varying ways: from loss of short-term memory, to a slowing down of reaction times.

While both THC and CBD have been shown to assist with the treatment of a number of conditions, they aren’t the only important cannabinoids found within medical marijuana.

Cannabinol (CBN) is formed through oxidization when THC is exposed to the air. CBN can provide a less potent but similar psychoactive effect to THC, yet when the two are combined together it can make you feel drowsy – assisting with those suffering from insomnia. Both cannabinoids are also the only ones that have been found to fight pain through the use of endorphins and relaxing blood vessels.

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, similar to CBD, and is in-fact the building block for both THC and CBD. While more commonly found in hemp than in varieties of cannabis, it has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure – ideal for patients with glaucoma, as well as a significant pain reliever.

The third most common cannabinoid in the marijuana plant is Cannabichromene (CBC). While CBD often gets all the fame, in some strains CBC can actually take dominance. Research carried out in 2010 found that when coupled with THC, CBC becomes an effective anti-inflammatory, and has shown promise in fighting breast cancer.

With nearly half the states in the U.S. having legalized medical marijuana, it’s no wonder great strides are being made in extracting healing from its chemical compounds. Through latching onto receptors in the body, cannabinoids are able to greatly improve the standard of living for a variety of patients.

While a great source of alternative medicine, if you’ve recently acquired or are thinking about obtaining a medical marijuana card, it’s important to have the science in mind. As cannabis widens the blood vessels and increases heart rate, use is not advised for anyone with a heart condition, for example. But above all, between THC, CBD, and the many other compounds, know which strain is right for you.

4 Awesome Medical Marijuana Smoothie Recipes

Juicing is EVERYWHERE in California these days. From the yoga worshipping goddesses of Los Angeles to the hippies of San Francisco, everyone is getting in on the not so faddish health-fad that is revolutionizing the way we consume our healthy greens. Whilst most California medical marijuana card holders know the many benefits of juicing your MMJ, we dare you to go one step further and enjoy all the benefits of juicing with the added deliciousness of a smoothie.

Like juicing, making a smoothie with your medical marijuana has many benefits over smoking/vaping/tincturing. The main benefit you’ll experience using this method is that by keeping your MMJ raw, you’ll avoid any psychoactive effects that only occur when it is heated – a big plus for those medical marijuana card holders who want to consume their cannabis without the dazed side-effect.

In addition to this, by consuming your MMJ in delicious smoothie form, you’re leaving all the good, medicinal properties of the plant totally unharmed by heat meaning you can benefit from its power completely, with no important nutrients burned out.

To get started on your new gastronomical adventure, all you need is a blender, some ingredients and your California medical marijuana ID card! Here’s our pick of the 4 most awesomely delicious MMJ smoothies that you can make yourself at home.

Start off your day right with the ultimate medical marijuana breakfast smoothie

MMJRecs - medical marijuana smoothie

Who needs to smoke medical marijuana when you can make a delicious smoothie?

This recipe is perfect to start off your day. The mixture of ultra-healthy kale with cucumber, cantaloupe and banana will mask the weed taste of the smoothie with delicious fruity goodness to get your body moving first thing in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic hemp milk
  • ½ Tbsp. organic hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp organic flax seeds
  • ¼ cup organic green kale
  • ¼ cup organic cucumber
  • 1 slice organic cantaloupe
  • ½ banana
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ¼ cup)

Blend all ingredients except the cannabis until completely mixed. Add your cannabis at the end and blend on pulse until optimum consistency is achieved.

 

Treat yourself with a Pear, Sweet Potato and MMJ smoothie for lunch

MMJRecs - pear smoothie

Pick your favorite fruit and build an MMJ smoothie around it!

Smoothies act as the perfect meal substitute for those of us looking to stay away from greasy, unhealthy lunch staples like burgers or burritos. When the mid-day cravings start to niggle at you, grab your blender and opt for this ultimate hunger buster instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 pears
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • Water as desired
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

First, dice your sweet potatoes and pears. Then blend these two ingredients well followed by the orange juice. Finally, add your cannabis and water as desired.

 

Beat the afternoon slump with a banana, blueberry and MMJ smoothie

MMJRecs - medical marijuana smoothie

Combine medical marijuana with fresh fruit and milk: beautiful!

As fruits are naturally low in sodium, fat and calories and high in nutrients, this smoothie is particularly super-human when it comes to giving your body a much needed mid-afternoon boost. The hemp and flax seed add some extra protein and healthy omegas whilst the fruits and MMJ boost you full of medicinal goodness, alleviating your symptoms and tasting delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large strawberries
  • ½ cup whole blueberries
  • ½ cup regular almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 tbsp. hemp seed
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

Blend all ingredients except for the MMJ, only throwing this in at the end so as to avoid heating it with the blade.

Indulge in a luxurious peanut butter, banana and MMJ smoothie

MMJRecs - smoothie

PB & J? Nah, try PB & MMJ!

Probably the most mouth-wateringly delectable smoothie on the list is the holy-trinity unifying peanut butter, banana and MMJ smoothie. This is the perfect end of day treat that is sure to leave you with a full stomach and a soothed body.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of ice cream
  • 2 cups of milk
  • Fresh raw cannabis (about ½ cup)

If you’re allergic to peanuts, opt for some equally delicious almond butter instead. Blend all ingredients to completion only adding the MMJ at the very end until optimum consistency is reached. Add ice cubes if desired.

 

Please note that if you’re using your MMJ card to treat cancer, or any other sugar-feeding disease, it’s advisable that you consult your physician on exactly what you can put into your smoothies as certain fruits can be high in sugar and thusly can exacerbate your condition.

Remember, as your blender blends it releases heat so you need to keep your medical marijuana as far away from the blade as possible. The best way to do this is to blend all your other ingredients completely first, then add your MMJ and blend on pulse until you get the consistency you want.

In order to benefit the most from your medical marijuana smoothies, Dr William Courtney, founder of the Cannabis International Foundation (CIF), recommends splitting them up into smaller portions that can be consumed during the day at your leisure. As drinking a smoothie is much more discreet than other MMJ consumption methods such as smoking or vaping, they’re easier to consume at work, on the go, or wherever else you may need them. Tasty and undetectable?! We like the sound of that!

Even if you get stopped in your car by an overzealous cop, you’re not going to get in trouble for having a smoothie with you, especially if you have your cannabis card to hand.

Although making medical marijuana smoothies can seem like a bit of a nut-job idea at first, once you start you’ll understand why 420 card holders all over California are now reaching for the blender instead of the joint – you’ll just wish you started sooner!

3 Must-Try Recipes For Medical Marijuana Brownies

If you’ve received your medical marijuana card online, or through an evaluation service, and have been smoking medical marijuana for any time at all you’ll know that this can result in a serious case of the munchies. In an effort to curb these post-smoke cravings you might be considering edible forms of medical marijuana – the most common of which is marijuana brownies. Or maybe you’re here in search of a different kind of high. Either way, we’ve got what you need! In this article, we are going to provide you with possibly the tastiest medical marijuana brownie recipes so you can eat marijuana to your heart’s content. Enjoy!

Weed Brownie Effects

Unlike smoking medical marijuana, eating it causes a far slower initial release of its cannabinoids – chemical compounds found in marijuana – such as THC and CBD. The high also persists for far longer than that of smoked marijuana, lasting anywhere from four to eight hours.

Making Canna oil/Cannabutter

In order to have the realize of the psychoactive effects of cannabis – namely THC – when eating it, marijuana needs to be heated in some way with some form of fat. You won’t feel a high if you eat it straight without preparation because the digestive system is unable to process THC directly.

Fats can be oil, butter, milk. This is because THC is fat soluble and water insoluble. This means you must cook the cannabis with a fat, such as butter or oil. This will release the THC from the cannabis and allow it to bind with the fat. Once bound to fat, THC becomes processable by the digestive system. On top of this, it becomes palatable (don’t try eating raw cannabis unless you are seeking taste bud misery).

The best way to control potency is to know how much THC is in the medical marijuana you are using. When buying from a dispensary this is listed on the package. Start with a weaker strain and go from there.

Method

Grind up the marijuana in a grinder or blender until it becomes very fine.

Pour oil or butter into a frying pan.

Spread the marijuana across the pan.

Turn the burner on low, until until the oil and powder start to simmer.

Turn burner heat to the lowest setting. Leave the burner on for 3-6 hours (longer is better).

Stir every 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a filter to strain all the marijuana bits out.

At this stage, you should have a brown colored oil.

Kitchen Preparations

Make sure you’re baking in a well-ventilated kitchen as cooked weed has a particularly pungent smell. Open a window, turning on the fan, and placing a towel under the door.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can transform regular brownies into your new favorite medicine!

 

Just The Best Chocolate and Weed Brownies

Ingredients

2 tbsp. cannabutter

185g unsalted butter

185g dark chocolate (at least 70%)

50g white chocolate

50g milk chocolate

85g self-raising flour

40g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

275g white sugar

 

Method

Cut butter into small cubes and tip into a medium bowl.

Break dark chocolate into small pieces and add to the bowl.

Melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally to mix.

Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.

Turn the oven on to 356°F(180C).

Tip flour and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and get rid of any lumps.

Chop the white chocolate and the milk chocolate into chunks.

Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in the white sugar.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy. It’s ready when the mixture looks really pale.

Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the egg/sugar mixture, then gently fold together with a spatula.

Gently fold in the flour/cocoa powder.

Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks.

Pour the mixture into a baking tin. Put in the oven for 25 minutes.

 

Coffee Weed Brownies

Ingredients

2 tbsp. cannabutter

2 tbsp. stick unsalted, organic butter

4 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70%)

3 eggs

1 ½ cups white sugar

280g white sugar

2 tsp your favorite ground coffee bean

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)

Lightly grease a baking tin with some butter.

Melt chocolate, over low heat until it’s all melted.

Take the chocolate off the heat and slowly add unsalted butter while whisking.

Next, add the sugar. Whisk until sugar has completely dissolved into the mix.

Add the salt, vanilla extract, eggs, cannabutter and ground coffee beans. Gently whisk for two minutes.

Next, using a spatula blend in flour until completely mixed.

Transfer batter to greased tin.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes

 

*If you’re unsure if they’re cooked, take a knife and push it to the base of the pan. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.

MMJRecs - brownies

Oh, go on then…

Peanut Butter Weed Brownies

Ingredients

3 tbsp. cannabutter

225g crunchy peanut butter

225g bar dark chocolate, broken into pieces (at least 70%)

280g soft light brown sugar

3 medium eggs

100g self-raising flour

 

Method

Set aside 50g each of the peanut butter and chocolate.

Heat oven to 356°F (180C).

Melt remaining peanut butter, chocolate and all the sugar in a pan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has just about melted.

Turn off heat and use a spoon to beat in the eggs one by one.

Add the cannabutter.

Stir in the flour.

Add to tin.

Melt reserved peanut butter in a pan, until runny, then drizzle over the brownie. Bake for 30-35 mins until it has a crust, but the middle is still slightly runny.

Melt remaining chocolate, drizzle over the brownies.

Allow to cool and then cut into whatever size/number of brownies you’d like.

 

Take these three must-try recipes and bake up a storm. Let us know what you think and feel free to experiment with them in the search of your perfect brownie!

How Medical Marijuana Reduces Deaths From Pharmaceuticals

Marijuana has long been eschewed and demonized by mainstream medicine. Prior to rigorous testing, medical practitioners are extremely wary to recommend the use of any drug to patients for fear of causing more harm than good, as well as for fear of possible backlash – lawsuits, bad press, etc. – and anecdotal evidence has to be overlooked in the medical world. Only conclusive, clinical studies gain the acceptance of doctors and scientists and that’s the way it should be. However, often anecdotal evidence – unequivocal as it may seem – is enough for the general public and they may become frustrated with the medical world’s caution and bureaucracy (in most of the world it has previously been incredibly difficult to study marijuana, as it has long been an illegal substance) leading to its lagging advocacy of certain drugs and procedures. It’s hard to say whether medical science would save more lives moving quicker or if that would be to its detriment, and that’s outside the scope of this article. This article will instead focus on how medical marijuana has reduced deaths from pharmaceuticals since its adoption into medicine. After reading this, if you have one of the 49 conditions aided by medical marijuana, we’re sure you’ll be looking for a medical marijuana card online. Enjoy!

Every day in the US, 2,500 more youths (12-17) abuse a prescription pain reliever. More than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs, more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin. Prescription drugs give the illusion of safety and this makes them incredibly dangerous and makes their users highly susceptible to overdose.  

The availability of medical marijuana has reduced opioid abuse and overdose deaths because it has offered people an alternative for pain relief. Three of five opioid overdoses occur in people with legitimate prescriptions for pain pills. The replacing of prescription drugs with marijuana reduces opioid-related deaths – there were 1,700 fewer deaths in 2010 alone. Marcus Bachhuber reported on marijuana legalization, “Such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time.”

The journal, Health Affairs, looked at prescriptions covered by Medicare between 2010 and 2013. They found that “the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly once a medical marijuana law was implemented”. This is significant. The most notable decline was in painkiller prescriptions, which fell by 3,645 daily doses per physician after medical marijuana laws were implemented! There were also statistically significant reductions in prescriptions for drugs used to treat seizures, depression, psychosis, anxiety, nausea, and sleep disorders.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana and pharma

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that medical marijuana is much safer than opiates.

In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration found that abuse of the painkiller Fentanyl killed more than 1,000 people that year in the US. It is thirty to fifty times more powerful than heroin. Marijuana, on the other hand, is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose, yet still acts as a painkiller. Pharmaceutical companies are heavily invested in a highly lucrative industry so are unlikely to stop selling dangerous and unnecessary pharmaceuticals. Rather than focusing on changing things at that level – which will prove a slow and difficult process -, legalizing medical marijuana in all states will allow those needing pain relief to find it in a drug that has no chance of killing them from overdose and isn’t illegal. As well as pain relief, the use of medical marijuana has a whole slew of other medical applications, including: nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and seizures. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, and so can be used by those suffering from HIV, AIDS, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.

MMJRecs - Pills

Many practitioners are considering using medical marijuana as a go-to treatment for several ailments.

More than 30 percent of the U.S. population lives under some form of marijuana decriminalization, and according to a multitude of studies, these change in laws have not contributed to an increase in marijuana consumption nor negatively impacted adolescent attitudes toward drug use. It’s time that medical marijuana receives the recognition as a safer alternative to pharmaceuticals so that lives are saved. It’s time that the medical world adopts it not at its outer echelons, but rather at its nucleus. Medical practitioners should be recommending medical marijuana instead of other painkillers in a whole host of circumstances but this won’t happen until its accepted throughout the medical community, and subsequently accepted by all areas of society at large as a viable and safe way to treat ailments.

With all these statistics seemingly indicating that medical marijuana reduces deaths from pharmaceuticals it seems the next logical step is to legalize its use in all states.

Where Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

Proposition 215, otherwise known as the Compassionate Use Act, was passed in the state of California in 1996. This law gives individuals the right to use and possess medical marijuana legally. It also allows prospective medical marijuana patients to speak with a doctors regarding medical marijuana use, dosage etc; and, equally important, it allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in dealing with a whole slew of ailments. So if you have an illness that you believe will be alleviated through the ingestion of medical marijuana but don’t yet have your California medical marijuana card, this is definitely the article for you!

What is a Medical Marijuana Identification Card?

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) was specifically established to create a State-authorized medical marijuana identification card (MMIC), along with a registry database for verification of qualified patients and their primary caregivers. The MMP (medical marijuana program) web-based registry allows law enforcement and the public to verify the validity of a qualified patient or primary caregiver’s MMIC as authorization to possess, grow, transport, and/or use medical marijuana within California.

What Medical Conditions Qualify?

MMJRecs physicians recognize over 49 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Some of the most common qualifying conditions treated include: AIDS; anorexia; arthritis; cachexia (wasting syndrome); cancer; chronic pain; glaucoma; migraine; persistent muscle spasms; seizures; severe nausea; any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits a person’s ability to conduct one or more of major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the person’s safety, physical, or mental health. The following link provides a full list of the qualifying conditions and symptoms so be sure to check it out before applying: Qualifying Conditions

What Do I Need?

Any form of U.S. identification and a condition for which medical cannabis can be recommended.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana card

Learn all about your medical marijuana card before you apply, so you know what you can and can’t do with it.

Where Do I Apply For My Card?

You can get a doctor’s recommendation by asking your primary physician, visiting a 420 doctor at an evaluation center or online through a service like MMJRecs.

Any doctor licensed to practice in California can evaluate you and issue a medical marijuana card. However, not all doctors are comfortable recommending marijuana as an aid for ailments. So we recommend a doctor that specializes in the recommendation of Medical Marijuana.

That leaves 420 doctors at evaluation centers and online services. Often evaluation centers are stuck in hard-to-reach places in dangerous neighborhoods, have long wait times, and little time with the doctor, leaving you uninformed about how to use cannabis as an effective treatment option.

Online services such as MMJRecs, have chosen the most knowledgeable medical marijuana doctors from across the state to provide patients with the fastest and most secure MMJ evaluations. They are also highly informative, providing patients with a tailored, deep knowledge of dosage, strains etc, benefits and risks.

Is My Personal Information Safe?

The Medical Marijuana Application System does not contain any personal information such as name, address or social security number. It only contains the unique user ID number and when entered the only information provided is whether the card is valid or invalid. This ensures that only those in need of medical marijuana are able to purchase it. So yes, your personal information is completely safe!

MMJRecs - california

Getting an MMJ card in California is a simple process for anyone in need of medical relief.

What Does an Evaluation Entail?

You’ll be asked to fill out a standard medical form, and you’ll able to upload any medical documents you may already have. The evaluation itself often lasts just a few minutes and involves a video/phone conversation with a doctor about your current condition, medical history and how marijuana might help you.

Keep in mind, most online evaluation services won’t charge you unless you’re approved by the doctor; the consultation is free otherwise – you can’t lose!

What Now?

Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a digital PDF version of your recommendation via email, which you can use that same day by printing it out – though not all dispensaries accept this version. Next, you’ll receive your medical marijuana card and official recommendation letter in the mail complete with your name, date, patient ID #, expiration date (you must renew your medical marijuana card each year), a doctor’s signature, embossed seal. Now you can enter marijuana dispensaries and make purchases. Alternatively, you can order marijuana delivery through marketplace sites.

And that’s it! Over 1.4 million patients in California have a doctor’s recommendation for using marijuana as medicine, and now you know the ins and outs of the Californian medical marijuana card application, you’re well on your way to all the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana! 

Medical Marijuana and the Law: An Overview

Each and every year, an increasing number of Californians are turning to medical marijuana to help ease a multitude of conditions and ailments. But for those not well versed in the area of medicinal cannabis use, the law is often a topic of concern.

While the use of medical marijuana in California has been a reality for some time for those in the possession of a cannabis card, recent developments, such as the passing of Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, has many people questioning what this means for continued medicinal use.

Since Proposition 215 passed back in 1996, it has been legal to purchase and grow marijuana in California if you have a cannabis card; the most common reasons for doing so being to assist with sleep, nausea, and bodily pain. Obtaining a cannabis card is a relatively simple venture; with online services allowing 24/7 access to doctors who are able to provide a written recommendation within minutes.

Yet even with a valid card, there are certain restrictions which should always be kept in mind. Under Proposition 215, patients are able to obtain whatever amount of marijuana is necessary for their medical needs. However, being in the possession of an excessive amount can still lead to authorities placing you under arrest.

Since January 1st 2016, qualified patients are able to cultivate up to 100 square feet of marijuana for their personal medical use. But just because you are in the possession of a cannabis card, does not mean you are exempt from legal ramifications.  

MMJRecs - Legal

Medical marijuana patients need to be on the right side of the law.

Several cases over the years have placed legal patients in trouble with the law due to various reasons. Questionable recommendations; growing excessive amounts; complaints from neighbors, are all things to keep in mind when growing and consuming cannabis. And for those in rented accommodation, landlords also have the right to disallow the use of marijuana on their premises.

Selling marijuana without a license is not allowed under any circumstance. Further restrictions include the location of the consumption of marijuana. Generally speaking, it is ill-advised to consume cannabis in any kind of public area; being within 1000 feet of a school, or within a no smoking zone, can lead to severe police intervention.

As of November 2016, 28 states and Washington DC have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Nevertheless, as federal laws still deem marijuana illegal, transporting it across state lines is strictly prohibited – even if traveling to another legalized state. So if you and Mary Jane were thinking about taking a road trip together, best to reconsider.  

Since the passing of Proposition 64 in November 2016, a common cause for concern among cannabis card holders in California has been how this affects their current rights. The short answer is that if you currently possess a cannabis card, it is still the most effective way of procuring marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Under Proposition 64, Californians are able to grow up to six plants for their personal use, and can purchase up to an ounce without a doctor’s recommendation. However, the general public won’t be able to purchase marijuana in stores until sometime in 2018. So if more than an ounce or immediate use is necessary, a cannabis card is still the way to go.

In addition to this, patients with a state ID card, which can be signed up for with a doctor’s recommendation at county health departments, are eligible for a break in local sales taxes. So while the masses are legally able to consume marijuana in California, those with a cannabis card are still currently at an advantage.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana

If you consume medical marijuana, knowing your legal rights is essential.

Since the passing of Proposition 64, additional laws and restrictions will be placed upon the distribution and consumption of marijuana, such as the amount of THC (the psychoactive agent within the drug) allowed within edibles. However, as cultivation limits are less stringent for medical marijuana card holders, homemade products are able to be far more potent if desired.

While the law is altogether kinder to those consuming marijuana for medicinal purposes, there are obvious laws which apply no matter how the cannabis has been obtained. While medical patients are legally able to grow whatever they need, driving a car while under the influence, or attempting to transport the drug onto a plane can have serious consequences.

Under Proposition 64, a Californian flying within state with under an ounce will not face any criminal charges, and may even be allowed to fly with it in their possession. With medical marijuana, the same rules apply. TSA are not obliged to allow marijuana through security however, due to being governed by federal law, which provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently from non-medical.

If you have been strongly considering obtaining a medical marijuana card, it is still the most effective way to obtain the drug. With greater accessibility and far fewer restrictions than that of recreational use, a cannabis card is a quick and easy application away.

Why is a Medical Marijuana Card known as a 420 Card?

For medical marijuana card holders and recreational users worldwide, the term 420 has a certain significance. Each year on April 4th, cannabis users congregate in public areas to mark the date by catching up with friends and smoking some weed – medical or otherwise! Locations made famous for this get together include Hippie Hill in San Francisco, the University of Colorado’s Boulder Campus and UC Santa Cruz’s Campus, whose unofficial 420 event became so big that students received an official email from the University’s Vice Councilor for student events which stated that, “The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the university and surrounding community”. But how exactly did the term 420 become so popular? How is it that a California medical marijuana card is now often being referred to as a 420 card?

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San Rafael High School is where the Waldos coined the term ‘420’.

Well, there’s been quite a backstory to this one, and quite a few myths being circulated too. Whispers have been going around since the 1970s about how the term came about. Depending on who you’re talking to, and what state of inebriation you find them in, people swear that the term for a 420 card was coined as a product of any one of the following: the fact that Hitler’s birthday was April 4th 1889, it’s the number of active chemicals that are in marijuana, it’s the multiplied result of the titular numbers of Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35” and many more. Probably the most famous myth attributed to the coining of the phrase is that ‘420’ is police code for ‘marijuana smoking in progress’ – something that has since been debunked as no such code exists in California police code.

In reality, the story behind how a 420 card became known as such is a simple one that was borne out of an easy way to avoid detection when smoking weed. In order to give you a more detailed picture of the origin of the term, we’re going to have to take you back to 1971 in sunny San Rafael, California and introduce you to a group of friends called the Waldos.

The Waldos were a group of five friends from San Rafael High School, simply named for the fact they used to hang out at a wall. One day sometime in 1971, the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who had a plot of land near Point Reyes Peninsula Coastguard Station on which he harvested weed. However, this man was no longer was able to tend to his crop. Armed with a treasure map, supposedly drawn by the grower, the friends decided that they were going to seek out and take the weed for their own. As this was in the days before mobile phone communication, the Waldos decided that they were to meet at precisely 4.20pm, after track practice, at the Louis Pasteur statue outside the entrance to the school. As they passed each other in the hallways, the friends would remind themselves of their plan by saying “420-Louis” to one another which was eventually shortened to 420.

As expected, the first few trips were unsuccessful in locating the patch. Determined as teenage boys are, they continued to search week in week out, each time meeting at exactly 4.20pm beside the statue of Louis Pasteur. Although the friends were disappointed in their failure to find the stash, they had found themselves a new code word along the way. Waldo Steve explains why the word caught on among their friend group: “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, ‘420,’ and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Capper says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”

How did a term used by a tiny group of high school stoners evolve into the worldwide phenomenon that it is today? It has a lot to do with Californian band The Grateful Dead. The Waldos were intrinsically linked with the rock band since they upped tools from Haight Ashbury in San Francisco and moved to just a block away from San Rafael High School. Waldo Mark’s Dad looked after real estate for the band and Waldo Dave’s older brother Patrick was good friends with their bassist Phil Leash. The Waldos started to hang out with the Dead at parties and rehearsals where weed smoking was near compulsory. Whenever someone passed around a joint, it was punctuated by someone saying ‘Hey 420’.

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The Grateful Dead were instrumental in propagating the ‘420 card’ phrase.

As the band continued to tour throughout the ’70s and ’80s, the phrase was tossed around in their circles and in their fan communities. However, until High Times magazine caught wind of the phrase, it was confined to within the Grateful Dead subculture. It was only when the High Times wrote about it that it became the international phenomenon that it is today.

Unfortunately for the Waldos, High Times proliferated the myth that 420 and the subsequent phrase of 420 card had originated from California police code instead of their autumn excursions in 1971. When the friends started to hear the phrase more and more they took matters into their own hands and contacted High Times directly in 1998 to set the record straight. After much back and forthing between the Waldos and the magazine it was wholly agreed upon that the friends were telling the truth and that it was them who coined the globally recognized phrase – something that they have yet to cash in on!

So next time you refer to your California medical marijuana card a 420 card, you’ll know exactly who to credit for the term: The Waldos!

How Medical Marijuana Affects Sleep

 

Due to its relaxing affect, cannabis has long been the go-to sleep aid for medical marijuana card holders and recreational users alike. Even the most persistent insomnia can, in some cases, be improved, if not cured, by indulging in a pre-bed toke. Although there is some contrarian theories, the general consensus is that medical marijuana has an overall positive affect on sleep, especially for those MMJ card holders who use their online medical marijuana recommendations for ailments that reduce their ability to get to sleep such as chronic pain or epilepsy.

It is prudent to first talk about different strains and the different ways in which they promote or inhibit sleep. Sativa strains, such as Amnesia Haze or Sour Diesel, may be among the most popular in the world due to their unrivalled buzz and long-lasting effects but they also act as a stimulant to those who take it, giving them an uplifting and energizing experience. While this can be great for alleviating stress and depression or even helping you overcome your writer’s block, these effects are not conducive to you nodding off with ease. If you’re currently using your California medical marijuana card to obtain sativa strains, then it’s best that you avoid MMJ for at least a few hours prior to your going asleep. On the other end of the MMJ spectrum are the indica strains, such as Purple Kush and Northern Lights, which give you the relaxing, analgesic effects that help ease you off soundly to a great night’s sleep. It is also worth noting that the older your cannabis is, the sleepier it will make you feel. This is because as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) degrades, it is turned into cannabinol which is a much more potent sedative than new medical marijuana.

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Medical marijuana can work as a great aid for those with insomnia.

The most noticeable effect that medical marijuana will have on your sleep cycle is that it was dramatically reduce the amount of time it will take you to fall asleep – a phenomenon that has proven invaluable to the millions of insomnia sufferers across the country. The ingredient to thank in MMJ for this amazing effect is THC which has been proven in countless studies to significantly reduce the time it takes for both healthy sleepers and insomniacs to fall asleep. Not only does THC have a direct ameliorative effect on the speed at which you fall asleep it also drastically reduces symptoms of other ailments which inhibit sleep such as PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain etc. It’s important to remember that if you’re consuming your MMJ as edibles, they take a little bit longer to kick in. However, once they do start working you’ll notice that they work better than inhalation methods for making your sleep last longer. As with other issues you may be using your MMJ card to treat, it’s important that you don’t take too high a dose when using medical marijuana to help your sleep cycle or else you may experience a negative impact on exactly the thing you’re trying to treat.
Although 420 card holders will probably notice the affect that MMJ has on their ability to fall asleep the most, medical marijuana most positively affects sleep at stage three. Stage three sleep, also known as slow wave sleep, is the deepest stage of non-REM sleep. During this stage it is hardest to awaken the sleeper as they become dramatically less responsive to external stimuli. Medical marijuana has been observed to significantly lengthen the amount of time that users spent in this stage of sleep. This is incredibly beneficial to the sleeper as the most damaging effects of sleep deprivation are as a result of a lack of Stage Three sleep. Deep wave sleep is crucial to the restoration process that occurs when we sleep thusly those who use MMJ can notice that they feel more restored and rejuvenated when they wake up.

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If you have trouble sleeping, medical marijuana could be the answer.

One stage of sleep that medical marijuana is observed to have a negative effect on is REM – although no one is quite sure whether this is really as bad as it sounds. Scientists still aren’t exactly sure what purpose REM serves, making it harder to determine whether going without it is really that bad. Medical marijuana significantly reduces the amount of time users spent in  REM. Medical cannabis users report that over time the amount of dreams they have lessens and become less vivid the longer that they consume. This is because dreaming entirely occurs within the REM stage. However, if you no longer need your medical marijuana card and halt your usage, you’re quite likely to experience REM rebound whereby your re-immersion into REM will lead to you having intense, vivid and sometimes lucid dreams.

Another lesser reported positive effect that medical marijuana has on sleep is that it restores respiratory stability by modulating serotonin signaling in the brain. Although this may not mean a lot to those without respiratory problems, to the millions of sleep apnea sufferers across the US it is potentially life changing. Sleep apnea is an affliction that manifests itself with pauses in breathing and shallow breathing during the sufferer’s sleep. According to a 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, “THC stabilizes autonomic output during sleep, reduces spontaneous sleep-disordered breathing, and blocks serotonin-induced exacerbation of sleep apnea.” Although this is one small study, the implications of this are huge as it could mean that the millions of sleep apnea sufferers across the country could opt to take an MMJ pill before bed to treat their ailment instead of using a cumbersome mask.

The positive effects that MMJ has on sleep are obvious for 420 card holder. With the advent of easily applying for a California medical marijuana card online, more and more people can benefit from what is being described as the ultimate sleep aid. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from sleep related issues, you’d be crazy not to avail of this amazing service which will nearly guarantee you the best night’s sleep of your life.

Tinctures and Topicals: The New Way to Consume Medical Marijuana

For those not comprehensively versed on the medical marijuana landscape, you may be surprised about the amount of ways marijuana is able to be consumed, and how alternative methods work in radically different ways. Many often assume that smoking or baking cannabis is the only means of consumption, but while that may once have been true, today the options are plentiful.

Medical marijuana: Tinctures and Topicals

Tinctures and topicals are an excellent alternative way to consume medical marijuana.

If you’re one of the many cannabis card holders in California, or are thinking about obtaining one, then learning about the medical marijuana that’s right for you is essential. Not only are there several strains, each with a range of chemical compounds that affect the body in different ways, but the method of consumption is equally as important of a factor when considering side-effects and lifestyle.

Of all the varying ways in which people are consuming medical marijuana, tinctures and topicals are two of the most recent developments. If you’re a cannabis card holder who focuses on a healthy lifestyle, and are concerned about the effects inhaling smoke may have on your body, or even the calories gained from eating baked goods, then tinctures and topicals are ideal alternatives.

Tinctures are typically made by first removing any unwanted part of the marijuana plant, and then taking the herbs and placing them within a glass jar. The jar is then filled with alcohol, tightly sealed, and left to sit for weeks (during this process topping up the alcohol may be necessary). Once a few weeks have passed, the planet material is strained out and you’re left with your tincture to bottle up.

Commonly, tinctures are used orally; placing a drop or two under the tongue, but it can be applied to the skin also. Tinctures are often used to help those suffering from sleep disorders, migraines, menstrual cramps, or even the common cold. Finding the correct dosage comes down to a case-by-case basis – if 1ml isn’t enough, try 2ml the next day, and so forth until you find the right amount.

Medical marijuana: Tinctures and Topicals

You can get medical marijuana-infused balms and lotions to treat localized areas of your body.

For obvious reasons, none of the health concerns which go hand-in-hand with smoking are prevalent with tinctures. For relatively little cost, tinctures are simple to produce and easy to regulate – being able to put a drop or two within any homemade meal with minimal added calories. Furthermore, if stored in a cool, dark location, they will last for many years, allowing convenient repeat use.

On the opposite side of the same cannabis card holder’s coin, you’ll find topicals. These cannabis-infused lotions, balms and oils are absorbed through the skin to relieve localized pain, soreness and inflammation. Unlike many other methods of consuming medical marijuana, topicals do not provide the euphoria associated with the herb, so are best suiting for purely medicinal purposes.

When applied to the skin, topicals work by binding to the CB2 receptors of the body. CB2 receptors are triggered by the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, or by cannabis compound such a cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the ingredient which often leads to that high sensation). However, even if a topical contains THC, it still won’t induce the high gained from smoking.

The lack of a high is due to the fact that topicals cannot breach the bloodstream. Instead, they are the ideal choice for more surface issues: headaches, skin conditions such as eczema, or even arthritis can all be treated through the use of topicals. When THC is left in its acid form and combined with CBD, they work together to relieve inflammation, while also containing muscle and joint relief components.

As with tinctures, topicals are relatively simple to make at home: melting waxes and other preferable ingredients and mixing them with the cannabis-infused oils. The beauty of topicals comes from the fact that you can customize them to nth degree. Once you have found the combination of ingredients which fit your taste, your product is not only easy to apply, but will last far longer than more traditional means.

Anyone who has purchased cannabis with their medical marijuana card will know that it isn’t as simple as it seems. Different combinations of ingredients instruct each strain and their effectiveness for any given ailment. As with purchasing the herb itself, tinctures and topicals come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, each with their individual benefits for various conditions.

If electing to sample the more modest marijuana methods, experimentation can work wonders. With no adverse effects on the body, and a myriad of ingredient combinations and processing methods, transdermal products such as tinctures and topicals are best experimented with until your find ones that work for you.

Fortunately for any cannabis card holder, more and more options for topical remedies are revealing themselves as time goes on. So if you’re suffering from pain or inflammation, these new modes of marijuana consumption are well worth exploring.

How to Curb Sugar Cravings After Smoking Medical Cannabis

You’ve smoked some medical cannabis. You’re feeling great. Then all of a sudden you get the urge to eat everything in sight. You promised yourself the last time that that was the last time. The plan was to resist the temptation to gorge. But it just feels so right. Once everything edible in sight is out of sight (and into your belly), you ransack the food cupboards and the fridge. Things you would have never considered before are making their debuts. You’re creating gastronomical gems that would have Wolfgang Puck weeping with joy.

Then the effects of the medical cannabis start to fade and you’re left with the destruction of your gluttony: empty packets of the fattiest, sweetest junk food you never even knew you had litter the floor and stare up at you in judgment, and a protruding stomach follows you wherever you go. Yes, every smoker has been on the receiving end of cannabis’ most notorious effect: the munchies. And, though for many the binge may be minor – or desirable for certain ailments and diseases (anorexia or HIV/AIDS come to mind) -, many others are binging hard and putting on unwanted weight.

This article is directed toward the latter group. We will walk you through the science of marijuana-induced food cravings and provide a powerful method to curb those cravings. Before we begin, don’t forget to get your medical cannabis card online if you haven’t already! Alright, now onto the main content.    

Why Does Smoking Medical Cannabis Cause Cravings?

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Stay away from sugary foods after smoking medical cannabis.

Smoking weed modifies two processes in the body that cause the munchies: olfaction (the capacity for smelling) and appetite regulation. We’ll discuss both processes and their weed-induced adaptations below.

Fasting from food for brief periods can increase the level of natural cannabinoids in the mammalian brain, which, in turn, triggers us to eat more when we’re hungry. What’s interesting is that it’s specifically the activation of cannabinoid receptors in the nose – specifically the olfactory bulb (the primary brain region controlling the sense of smell) – which leads to an acute sense of smell that causes the devouring of grub.

Studies have shown that endocannabinoids (cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems) can disinhibit circuits of the olfactory bulb when triggered. When these receptors are activated by external cannabinoids, such as those found in marijuana, the consumption rate goes up again. Research points to THC causing the increased sense of smell. So our main tip to curb your cravings: find a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Note: strains low in THC are non-psychoactive, so if that’s something you require for you ailment, use a combination of the tips below instead.

medical cannabis sugar cravings

Many people use medical cannabis as a painkiller – but it can also cause serious hunger!

A connection exists between leptin and cannabinoids. Scientists have shown mice that don’t make leptin have oversized appetites and they have unusually high concentrations of cannabinoids in the hypothalamus (which deals with hunger control amongst other homeostatic systems). Young-Hwan Jo, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, took a look at slices of mouse hypothalamus. When he brought cannabinoid compound into contact with neurons, the neurons fired. But when he first added leptin (also known as the “hunger hormone”), the neurons did not activate. Leptin helps keep hunger at bay by ensuring that the cannabinoids in the brain and throughout the gut are not over-activating. So our second tip: eat foods that increase leptin sensitivity and induce proper utilization of the hormone. Creating a leptin diet is beyond the scope of this article, but lean proteins, oatmeal, green tea and fish are some great examples (do not under any circumstances combine them!).

Another great tip: don’t rely on willpower, be prepared. Don’t expect yourself to act in times of weakness the same as you do in times of strength. Willpower is a finite thing, so depend upon it as little as possible! Instead, simply get rid of the temptation, and willpower is no longer needed. This may mean clearing your house of all the junk food. Or, if you’re really a slave to your temptations, it may mean also giving your wallet to someone you can trust until the effects have worn off. In addition, either prepare healthy snacks beforehand to satiate the certain hunger, or just fast/lower calories approaching your smoke and binge guilt-free!   

 

And that brings us to the end! Try out this method and let us know what you think, and don’t forget – you need a medical cannabis card in order to take advantage of the many unique health benefits of cannabis.

Which MMJ Strains Are Suited To Treat Certain Ailments?

Medical marijuana is a complex drug. To ingest whatever source available with no consideration for taste/strength/effect is the way of the recreational user. However, those who use marijuana for its medicinal properties in the treatment of a disease or ailment will naturally seek out a deeper understanding of marijuana and its many different strains to better combat their particular ailment. After all, knowledge is power, and power in the realm of recovery/treatment can make all the difference to your health!

In this article, we are going to go through several particularly interesting marijuana strains in relation to the
ailments they are best suited to treat. Though we will only speak of what the scientific literature has proven to have efficacy, we still recommend getting advice from a medical practitioner before picking a specific strain. Then, get yourself an MMJ card online and, without further ado, let’s begin!

MMJ

Your doctor or budtender can recommend the right strain of MMJ for you.

Don’t Strain Yourself

Now that MMJ has been legalized in many states, it has gained the attention of modern medicine. Medical practitioners have found a plethora of health benefits of the plant, ranging from the prevention of epileptic seizures (2003 study for the VCU Department of Neurology) to improved lung health (2012 study published in Journal of the American Medical Association). And, in order to isolate the chemical compounds within marijuana responsible for these benefits, they are genetically modifying the plant and using these strands to treat very specific conditions. The positive implications of this advancement in the plant’s use are tremendous.

The choices of MMJ strains are almost inexhaustible, and in each individual case the strain that is most appropriate will vary, so some experimentation is recommended. The strands available – indica, sativa, and hybrids – all contain a whole host of cannabinoids. In fact, there are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, each responsible for distinct effects in the body. A cannabinoid is a class of chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors (involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain, mood, and memory) in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis. It’s responsible for the high as well as being anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (preservation of neuronal integrity so you stay sharp), and antiemetic (prevents vomiting). Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major component of the plant and the one accountable for many of the medicinal properties. Scientists say that CBD modulates electrical and chemical activity, thereby quieting the excessive activity in the brain that causes seizures.

There are two main species of marijuana: sativa and indica. Both come with a unique smell, taste, and strength profile. Sativa has a fruity, sweet aroma while indica tends to have an acrid, stinky odor. But the most important distinction between the plants is the amounts of THC and CBD in them. Plants with high levels of THC are typically considered indica; while plants with high levels of CBD are typically considered sativa.


Therefore, indica strains will be psychoactive making the user more relaxed and sleepy, while providing all the health benefits of THC. Indica is used to treat a larger number of conditions including cancer (chemotherapy), HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, insomnia and glaucoma as it is proven to be highly effective at reducing nausea, stimulating appetite, and reducing intraocular (eye pressure) pain amongst other things. Indica is characterized as giving patients a “body high”.

Sativa, on the other hand, will be far less psychoactive, increasing creativity, energy, and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the maintenance of mood balance and plays a huge role in the prevention of depression). With its high concentration of CBD – hypothesized to be an antipsychotic – it’s used to treat mental and behavioral issues such as depression, bipolar, ADHD, as well as epilepsy. Sativa brings about a cerebral high.

A simple way to remember the above distinctions between sativa and indica in relation to your ailment is to consider where the high takes hold: sativa, induces a cerebral high, and so is intended for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and psychotic conditions; indica induces a body high, therefore, is intended for the treatment of physical conditions.     

Below are some quality strains that are worth trying if you’re looking to treat any of the ailments listed above.

Sativa/High CBD Strains

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MMJ is used to treat a variety of diseases and ailments.

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Harlequin
  • Avidekel
  • Cannatonic
  • Sour Tsunami

 

Indica/High THC Strains

  • Black Destroyer
  • OG Kush
  • Amnesia
  • Tutankhamon
  • Pineapple Chunk

 

That’s it, folks! We hope you’re going away with a great deal more knowledge than you arrived with and that that knowledge informs your usage. Don’t forget, you need an MMJ card in order to take advantage of the many unique health benefits of the different strands and the easiest way to get an MMJ card of your own is to order it online.

Is Medical Marijuana Better Than Prescription Pills?

People with California medical marijuana cards have been reporting that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, anxiety disorder, depression, and insomnia.  

Not only is medical cannabis showing a great ability to ease the painful symptoms of disease, but it is also showing potential for actually improving health and functionality in its users. Research from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom has found that cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in cannabis, can help to reduce brain damage and improve neurological functioning following a stroke. Another study, from the National Cancer Institute, found that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.

The use of medical marijuana has no known severe side-effects. A Canadian study conducted on 215 patients with chronic pain found that after using medical marijuana for one year, patients “had no greater risk than non-users (control group) to experience serious adverse events”. Many people have been using their cannabis card for years and have reported no ill effects, and only positive, life-enhancing results.

Prescription painkillers, on the other hand, seem to be doing a lot of damage to a lot of people.

Prescription painkillers can have a number of adverse side-effects that can lead to severe health complications for users. People have reported side-effects such as liver spots, severe headaches, and bleeding gums. Opioid painkillers can lead to chronic constipation, which can lead to colon cancer down the line.

A 2008 study showed that the common symptoms associated with opioid-based prescription painkillers include “sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression”. It went on to say that, “Physical dependence and addiction are clinical concerns that may prevent proper prescribing and in turn inadequate pain management. Less common side effects may include delayed gastric emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, muscle rigidity, and myoclonus.” That’s quite a list of negatives!

A recent study has shown that opioid drugs used to relieve pain in cancer patients may stimulate the growth and spread of tumors.

The physical effects of using your California medical card certainly seem to be safer than asking your doctor to prescribe painkillers.

medical marijuana

Prescription painkillers can have much worse side-effects than medical marijuana.

Addiction is another major issue. American citizens make up 5% of the world’s population, yet they consume 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. Prescription painkillers can be highly addictive. They are often derived from the same sources as other highly addictive drugs such as heroin and morphine. They are frequently abused by adults and teenagers alike. 54.2% of pain pills in the US are obtained free from a friend or relative.

Tolerance to prescription painkillers tends to build up quickly, so people need to take more and more to get the same effect. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that prescription drug abuse in the USA is an epidemic. As of 2010, an estimated 52 million Americans over the age of 12 use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

Experts believe that the rise in heroin use could be in part due to prescription painkiller abuse. When people become hooked on prescription painkillers, but then can’t get a hold of any, they often turn to heroin. So those people who peddle the old myth that marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’ should be leveling that accusation at prescription painkillers, which have a great deal more in common with harmful and illegal drugs like heroin than cannabis does.

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana has proved to be a much more effective remedy than prescription painkillers in a lot of cases.

Medical cannabis is non-addictive, and there is no evidence that you need to constantly up your dosage due to developing a tolerance to it. People use their California marijuana card for years at the same levels without needing to up the dose.

With the number of people addicted to painkillers increasing year on year, it seems that medical marijuana could provide a valuable and safe treatment alternative.

Both medical cannabis and prescription painkillers have potential psychoactive side effects, but the long-term effects of cannabis use seem to be much safer. Studies show that long term opiate use can lead to decreased brain function. Whereas most strains of cannabis, particularly low THC/high CBD strains, appear to have little to no effect on cognitive function at all. So for people suffering from chronic pain, your 420 card could offer similar relief to a prescription painkiller but without the negative effects of long-term opiate use on cognitive function.

Deaths caused by prescription drug overdose outnumber deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined. Every 19 minutes someone dies in the United States of a prescription drug overdose. 17,000 people die of prescription pill overdoses per year. There are zero recorded deaths related to cannabis overdose. Ever. This is a big difference!

The legalization of the mm card may be a big factor in a 25% decrease in opiate-related deaths in the states that have legalized mmj so far. That’s a 25% reduction in deaths caused by pain pills, heroin, and morphine.

Pain medication should make your quality of life better, but it seems that a lot of current prescription painkillers in fact make people’s lives worse. Taking prescription pain-pills can lead to physical dependence and chronic, life-threatening side effects. Medical marijuana is very effective at relieving pain, and is less dangerous than opiates.

So it seems that getting yourself a California medical marijuana card may well be a better option than using prescription pills.

 

Feature Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

What Legalization Could Mean For Medical Marijuana

The election threw up a lot of surprises, mainly with who will become the next President of the United States; however, one thing that wasn’t that much of a surprise is that Proposition 64 was passed in California. It’s been a long time coming, and it was almost a guarantee to pass when it featured on the ballot. When you look through Prop. 64, it’s a big read; the 62-page document that lays out California’s plan to tax, regulate and control the sale of marijuana across the state. There are a lot of medical cannabis card holders across California who strongly opposed Prop. 64 and some that were happy with it. In this article we’re going to explore what Prop. 64 means for the medical marijuana community and how it might affect the future of cannabis in California long into the future.

The law & what you can grow

mmj-3-2

Even with legalization, it’s definitely preferable to own a California medical marijuana card, especially if you grow your own.

Ever since California passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, those with a medical marijuana card have been able to legally buy and consume from dispensaries across the state. They have also been able to grow medical marijuana at a level that has regularly increased over the years.

A lot of dispensary owners and CA medical marijuana card holders have been particularly worried that with the introduction of Prop. 64 the stipulations and rules that were laid out in the Compassionate Use Act would be watered down, and it would result in more restrictions placed upon the growth and use of medical marijuana for MM card holders.

However, Prop. 64 has acknowledged and prioritized cannabis card holders to ensure that their rights are protected. Currently since Prop. 64 has passed every resident of California can grow and consume marijuana. But unless you have a medical marijuana card, heavy stipulations are placed on how much marijuana you can grow on your property.

Current rules dictate that marijuana users without a MM card are restricted to growing 6 plants on their residence, while those with their 420 card are allowed to grow up to 100 plants. This is a huge difference and there is no indication that Prop. 64 will alter this rule in any way.

The law & where you can smoke

medical marijuana

The law is still undecided on how legalization will affect where you will be able to smoke medical marijuana.

Another thing that medical marijuana card holders are worried about is how it will affect their ability to smoke and consume their medical weed in public places. Under current regulations those possessing the credentials of a medical marijuana card are allowed to smoke or consume medical cannabis in any place that tobacco smoking is permitted.

However, now that weed has been legalized in California a lot of MM card holders are wondering if these rights will be affected. The good new is that this is not going to change with the passing of Prop. 64. The same rights of medical marijuana patients will remain in place, but there will be stricter regulations placed on those who do not have a weed card.

The full extent of these regulations are currently being explored, but having a California MM card will give you a lot more benefits than not having one. In fact, leading proponents of Prop. 64 on the medical marijuana patients side think the passing of Prop. 64 will lead to a lot of additional benefits including access and rights for those holding cannabis cards.

Where you can buy your marijuana

What a lot of users didn’t understand about the passing of Prop. 64 is that just because it passed in November, that doesn’t mean that non-medical marijuana card holders can just rock up to their local dispensaries and buy weed. In fact, it won’t be until mid-January, 2018 that licenses will even be issued for retail units to sell weed to no- California MM card holders.

Many people think that local dispensaries will be divided into two lines of people, those with medical marijuana cards and those without. The priority will always be placed on those with a CA MM card. Without one, for the next year you’ll have to grow your own weed, buying it will still be illegal, at least until licenses are issued to official sellers. It’ll be a long wait for those without medical marijuana cards to start buying and consuming regularly and legally.

What does Prop. 64 mean for the price of marijuana in California

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Medical marijuana card holders should be protected from inflation in the price of marijuana.

Even with the passing of Prop. 64 the rights of medical marijuana card holders are going to be protected and even improved. However, one of the main questions the legalization of weed has MM card holders asking is, when is California is going to want to start taking their piece of the profits and is weed is going to get more expensive?

California stands as the world’s sixth biggest economy by itself, but it’s still a little broke, which is one of the reasons that Prop. 64 finally passed. Legalizing weed will mean hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars made in tax for the state of California.  Under Prop. 64 California will add a 15% excess tax onto the sale of weed. They will also levy a tax on those who grow marijuana of $2.75 per ounce of leaves and $9.25 per ounce of flowers.

While this sounds like terrible news for those of you with MM cards, THERE IS GOOD NEWS. None of these taxes or levies will apply to those of you with a medical marijuana card, so you’ll still be paying far below those without one.

We hope that this article explains that despite the passing of Prop. 64 those of you with California cannabis cards will not only have your rights protected, but in a lot of ways improved.

How to Become a Budtender in California

The budtender is the first person that any California medical marijuana card holder will encounter when they go to their local dispensary. He or she is the public face of any dispensary, so it is an incredibly important job. Most California medical marijuana card-owning patients rely on the budtender to educate them and help them to find the medicine that will improve their life the most.

A great budtender is passionate about medical marijuana, knows the cannabis card industry, and the product, inside out, and is a ‘people person’ who loves dealing with customers and helping them to improve their lives.

If you are a people person, then being a budtender can be an extremely rewarding and very often heartwarming job. You can create deep connections and friendships with your California medical marijuana card customers and watch as their quality of life massively improves.

If you want to become a budtender, here is what you need to do…

California medical marijuana card

Studying what products are available to California medical marijuana card-holders is an integral part of being a budtender.

Have an extensive knowledge of the products available to a California medical marijuana card-holder

As a budtender, you will need to know all about cannabis strains, their effects, and what ailments each is typically good for treating. You need to know how the product was developed, where and how it was grown, and how your prices compare with those of your competitors. You have to be able to talk about the background of cannabis, and its history. In order to educate your customers, you must be highly educated yourself. Study is crucial – read books on the subject by Jorge Cervantes and Ed Rosenthal. Invest in yourself and your career by doing the necessary work to become a genuine MMJ expert. Make sure that before you attend an interview you are deeply familiar with all of the products that that particular dispensary sells. Being knowledgeable is essential, so do not be afraid to show this off during the interview.

Visit local dispensaries to see how things are done

Visit all of the dispensaries in your local area so you can talk to the budtenders and get some insider knowledge on what products each store carries, and what is most popular with their customers and in the wider California medical marijuana card scene. Meeting these guys and girls who are already doing what you want to do will be invaluable preparation for your career as a budtender, and will no doubt inspire you. Ask them about how they got their position and how they went about becoming experts in the field. Learn from the pros!

California medical marijuana card

California medical marijuana card-holders may want to know everything about what they’re buying, so study hard!

Always educate yourself about new trends and directions in the industry

Study industry blogs and social media to stay on the cutting-edge. Follow industry leaders on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what is hot right now, and what exciting new developments are in the pipeline. Learn about new concentrates, extractions, and infused products. If your customers know that each time they come into your store you will have some interesting bits of advice, and tips about new products that are in the pipeline, they will come back to you again and again, and tell all of their friends about how interesting and informative their trips to the MMJ dispensary are. Also, stay up to date with new developments on the business side of things – who are the big industry names, what strains are making the most money, and what is the latest medical research telling us?

Go to cannabis conventions and meet people

Networking is important in any industry and the medical marijuana business is certainly no different. Cannabis conventions are excellent places to meet industry people from all over the state and beyond. Striking up friendships with fellow weed-lovers can be fun, informative, and can even create opportunities for career advancement. There are over 100 cannabis conventions each year worldwide, with most of them taking place in the USA and Europe. This is both a great way to meet other industry workers, and to learn about the most up-to-date and cutting edge developments in the industry. Put yourself out there, be brave and social, and make those vital connections!

Learn how to be compelling in your description of the product and its benefits

Being a compelling storyteller is an important part of being a great budtender. You want to fascinate, educate, and inspire your customers in equal measure. People need to enjoy the experience of dealing with you and learning about this fascinating subject that you are an expert in, and that will be having a profound effect on their lives. Connecting with customers on a personal level is key. Read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People to learn how to best connect with people and make them feel comfortable and inspired. Learning how to figure out what a customer needs and then sell it to them in a way that ignites their passion and imagination will make you a truly world-class budtender!

Bide your time before enrolling on a budtender course

There are a few budtending schools out there, but the California medical marijuana card industry is very new and the courses vary wildly in quality. You don’t need an official qualification in budtending to become a budtender. Genuine knowledge is the most important thing, and that can certainly be achieved with private hard work, lots of reading, and gaining lots of first-hand experience. With the growth of the MMJ industry, really high-quality courses will surely be established soon, and if you are going to spend money and get educated you want to be sure that your money is well spent, and that the information you are being taught is top-notch.

 

A career as a budtender can be fun, fascinating, and rewarding. It will require hard work and effort, but the experience will be well worth it. Learn, grow, develop yourself, and the sky’s the limit!

I’m Anxious: Which Medical Marijuana Strain Do I Need?

With the legalization of medical marijuana, as long as you have a California MM card, you no longer need to rely on whatever a back alley dealer has in stock for you. Now there are a huge variety of strains and types of medical marijuana available over the counter at your local dispensary. Each strain provides differing highs, and some are better at treating some of the core health benefits that medical weed delivers to you than others. In this article we are going to focus on the best strains of medical marijuana to help you treat feelings of anxiety and stress.

How does medical marijuana help you deal with anxiety and stress?  

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Medical marijuana can help soothe anxious feelings.

Marijuana’s ability to help people cope with stress and anxiety is one of the main reasons that getting a medical marijuana card in California is so popular. In fact, despite marijuana providing a wide range of treatments, the herb’s ability at helping people cope with stress and anxiety is the main reason that people report for using cannabis. Through numerous studies, marijuana has been clinically proven to help reduce anxiety and stress disorders amongst patients. This is because it has a direct impact on your brain and particularly on a system within your brain called the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system’s job, amongst a variety of other functions, is used to help regulate and control your feelings of stress and anxiety. This is accomplished through the release of chemicals known as cannabinoids. As you can imagine from the name, cannabis has a component known as THC, which is essentially almost identical to the cannabinoids found in your body. When you smoke or consume medical marijuana you release these replica cannabinoids (THC) into your system and they work overtime on the job your mind intends the cannabinoids to do. With more cannabinoids (within moderation, of course) your body is able to relieve anxiety and relax from stress. For those suffering with aggressive levels of stress or anxiety it can be an amazing way to treat and calm them down.

So what’s the best strain of medical marijuana to smoke to deal with anxiety?

With so many options available at your local dispensary it can be hard to even know where to start. There are too many strains of marijuana to even count, not to mention the huge number of delivery methods including: smoking (joints/pipes), vaping, tinctures, oils, edibles, creams and on and on! However, we’re going to focus on the strains that we’ve found most effective at dealing with stress and anxiety, and leave the consumption process up to you.

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Choosing the right strain of medical marijuana is essential.

Great to start with the Northern Lights Strain

It’s one of the most popular and well-known strains of marijuana, and this is largely down to the fact that it never fails to deliver. This is the kind of strain of medical marijuana that is guaranteed to give you a euphoric dream-like high that sweeps over your body and mind and relaxes and delivers an amazing sense of peace. For those who suffer from acute stress or anxiety, it’s a weed strain that comes highly recommended as it delivers a smooth and long-lasting high that soothes mind and body.

Where is it from? Legend has it it comes from sensi seeds directly from Holland, but it first appeared sprouting on our shores sometime in the late 1980s, around Oregon.

What does it taste/look like? Thick crystal coated buds with a tinge of purple. The main flavors consist of earthy richness and pine.

Get Rich Relaxation from Purple Kush

medical marijuana

Purple Kush is a very popular strain of medical marijuana.

The kush is one of the richest strains of weed when it comes to relaxing the body and mind. However, when you take it be wary that after the initial high you’ll be so relaxed that you’re probably going to want to sleep; that’s how deep and relaxing it is!

Where is it from? Purple Kush is grown across the US and around the world.

What does it taste/look like? Purple Kush looks kind of like a Christmas tree. It’s a dark pine-like green that’s covered in orange hairs that look almost like Christmas lights. The taste is sweet, with earthy tones and vague flavors of grape.

Want something as smooth as jazz? Try the BlueNote strain

This is a rare strain, split between two equally rare sources and typically only found in California. It’s a glorious high that will not only leave you feeling euphoric but also completely energized. It’s not the easiest strain to come by, so expect it to be a little pricey when you rock up with your weed card at your local dispensary, but in terms of the kind of high that will cure what ails you, BlueNote is incredibly hard to beat. It’s a favorite of a lot of people when it comes to dealing with, and fighting off feelings of depressions and anxiety.

Where is it from? A hybrid dream of California and Lebanese seeds.

What does it taste/look like? This is one of the sweetest strains you’ll find and the scent gives you a wonderful smell of cotton candy, plus – even better – it tastes like bubble gum. It’s a truly unique flavor and taste.

The strains above are just a few of the most popular medical marijuana strains when it comes to treating feelings of anxiety and stress. For your chance to sample some additional strains make sure you have a cannabis card and head to your local weed dispensary where they’ll be able give you samples and additional advice.

THC and THCA: What You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana

Well, hello there! If you’ve purchased your medical marijuana card online and started smoking, eating or drinking marijuana, creating a desire to unravel its complexity, or you’re considering buying a medical marijuana card but you want to be well informed before you dive in (this is definitely something we recommend), you’re in the right place.

Regardless of what brought you here, you’re here, and you’re hungry (I’m sure it’s not marijuana-induced!) for information. Let us satiate you with talk of THC and THCA. If you can wrap your head around these two little acronyms, you will have a strong grasp on the most significant chemical compounds within marijuana and their physiological effects. Alright, let’s get right to the nitty-gritty science!

Tell Me About THCA

Medical Marijuana and THC

Understanding the science behind THC and THCA will help explain why medical marijuana can be good for you.

THCA – Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (say that 5 times fast!) – is a biosynthetic precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So THCA precedes and is related to THC. THCA is found in fresh, undried marijuana.

THCA doesn’t have any psychoactive (mind-affecting) effects – this is why people don’t just eat the leaves (though maybe the pungent taste of raw weed has something to do with it too). However, It does have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective (preservation of neuronal integrity, so you stay sharp), antiemetic (anti-vomiting) properties. And it staves off prostate cancer too. All of this means THCA could be of great use to those seeking treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and lupus, or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Tell Me About THC

THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis. Cannabidiol is another major component of the plant. There are at least 113 (I can’t even count that high) different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects. A cannabinoid is a class of chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors (involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory) in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Therefore THC affects physiological processes.

Medical Marijuana and THC

Many people consume medical marijuana without knowing exactly why it helps to ease their ailments.

THCA is present in fresh marijuana but is progressively decarboxylated (to be discussed later) into THC with drying. Under intense heating (smoking or cooking), this process is accelerated.  

Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group from TCHA and gives us THC. Simply put, it’s the acid in TCHA that is removed during drying/heating. A simple way to remember this is to look at what letter is missing from the acronym THC that is present in the acronym THCA: that’s right, it’s the ‘A’, which stands for ‘acid’.    

Without the carboxyl group, THC is able to freely bind to cell receptors in the body. Yay!


If smoked, the effects last around two hours, and get going 10-30 minutes after ingestion. Note: psychomotor impairment may continue after the perceived high has stopped, however.

Contrary to the mainstream narrative, marijuana – or THC, to be specific – has been proven to have lots of positive effects on brain cells. THC is a powerful neuroprotectant – we’ve discussed neuroprotectants already, so if you’re confused, it’s possible you require a neuroprotectant. Still confused? Just get a medical marijuana card online and get high and it’ll all become crystal clear!

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan discovered that THC can promote the growth of new brain cells through a process known as neurogenesis (sounds made up, but we promise it isn’t).

Medical Marijuana and THC

There’s a lot of science behind this little plant!

While marijuana is presently illegal in many U.S. states and in many countries, synthetic versions of the chemical have been legally prescribed the world overfor a smorgasbord of ailments and diseases. The first THC-based pharmaceutical, Marinol, was interestingly funded by the National Cancer Institute. In 1985, Marinol received FDA approval as a treatment for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. Since then, numerous other THC -based pharmaceuticals have also been developed. This goes to show you that, despite the prevalent controversy – and illegality of use in many cases – surrounding marijuana use, THC, its main cannabinoid, has proven efficacy in combating many psychological diseases and illnesses.

 

That’s it folks! You’re now all marijuana scientists in your own right. You can enter into any related debate with some serious knowledge bombs and destroy all opposition. We also hope it informs your usage. Don’t forget, you need a medical marijuana card/cannabis card/420 card/any one-of-its hundreds-of-other-names card in order to start enjoying the many positive health benefits associated with the herb.