Friday, April 22, 2016

Medical Cannabis Program

( my recent email advocating for myself and all patients )

Medical Cannabis Program
Jason Barker <dukecitywellness@gmail.com> Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 5:59 AM To: angela.soliz@state.nm.us
Bcc: Anita Briscoe <abriscoe.7911@gmail.com>, larry@larranaga.com, mark.moores@nmlegis.gov, johnnygreen@theweedblog.com


Jason M. Barker
Medical Cannabis Patient
ID Code: 0190414 (exp 3/23/16)
8708 Palomar Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

 PH: 505­449­7460 
dukecitywellness@gmail.com

Medical Cannabis Program 
New Mexico Dept. of Health 
1190 St. Francis Dr, S3400 
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Good Morning Ms. Soliz,
My name is Jason Barker, I am a patient in the Medical Cannabis Program and one who is waiting for their card 
renewal to completed. My qualifying condition is PTSD, in actuality its Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; I also live with Asperger's Syndrome, Poland's Syndrome; in addition to having a melanoma spot to be removed from my scalp on my head in 9 days. My renewal application for my card renewal and ppl paperwork was turned by me in person on Feb. 22nd 2016 at 9am to the MCP Office, my Card expired March 23rd; as of yesterday when I called the MCP office, mine is on day 45. Making it now 13 days to not have access to medicine, I'm one of these patients stuck in " medical cannabis purgatory" and not only does this raise great concern of my own situation in dealing with this matter but all the other patients too. What gave me my PTSD (leading to the CPTSD) was being molested as little boy growing by two neighbors, later in life I worked as an EMT doing Beach Patrol work in Hilton Head Island, SC) ( I assure what people can do to themselves is extremely sad ). I have also been mugged and sexually assaulted again in later in my life. Before I was a patient in the program, Doctor's were just happy to keep pushing an array of pills on me, and use of some have left me predisposed for early onset dementia. The first Doctor I saw through Presbyterian, was Dr. Charlie Jimmy who I had removed by the State Medical Board for over­medicating his patients with Xanax and Valium.

HEALTH
MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS

REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARDS REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARDS:
Registry identification card renewal application: Each registry identification card issued by the department is valid for one year from the date of issuance. A qualified patient or primary caregiver shall apply for a registry identification card renewal no less than 30 calendar days prior to the expiration date of the existing registry identification card in order to prevent interruption of possession of a valid (unexpired) registry identification card. Certifications from certifying providers must be obtained within 90 calendar days prior to the expiration of the patient’s registry identification card.


I have done all that is stated above for that process.

I also realize the Medical Cannabis Office is now using BioTrack, I had a nice conversation with Mr. Sparks from Biotrack yesterday, and that can affect things. I have also seen the medical cannabis office has had hiring ads up for expanding their staff and its also clear that they need to expand the size of their office to enable them to have room for new staff and equipment. I also know there is more than enough funding coming in from the medical cannabis program for those things to happen. Why has this not happened, what or who is the hold up and do they realizes they are jeopardizing people's lives by with these delays? Does the Department care about these patients and me? I'm a Catholic and Republican; lucky enough in college to work for Presidential Candidate John Kasich ­ does our Governor here in New Mexico have any idea the pain we go thru?

For me right now not having any medicine, I've lost almost 12 lbs ( I'm 40 years old, 5'5'' and 108 lbs ). My federal income last year ­ $0.00! I barely get enough money to eat on through SNAP and the State provides me a little over $200 a month for my disabilities.

I'm lucky to be able to sleep three or four hours before the nightmares I get that; I wake up feeling like I'm having a heart attack only to be awake and go into a flashback of seeing a woman I was on fire rescue to save in Hilton Head but we failed and could not save her because she filed a bathtub with gasoline and set herself on fire because of her abusive husband. And more and more of the symptoms from my debilitating condition rear their ugly head as my anxiety and panic attacks are so bad without my medical cannabis ­ I pass out and pee my pants. Do you have any idea what it's like to experience that in PUBLIC ­ how shameful and embarrassing it is...I have tremors, I'm scared, and constantly feeling cold. My self confidence is gone.
I'm stuck now in a emotional numbness; and back being extremely agoraphobic with avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the nightmare that is my life! I now have persistent fear, horror, anger, guilt, feelings shame haunting me once more since they delay and not being able to get the medicine my Doctor's have put me on so I can try to have somewhat of a life. And this disruption in my medicine, forced off it "cold turkey"; it will take me weeks to get back to a healthy state where I can begin to function again, and it will take even more time to gain the weight back I have lost.

The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board also has meeting set for Friday, April 29th 2016 at 10am. I have be planning on submitting a Petition at this meeting for over 6 months now and because of my card renewal and the current delays ­ this right of mine has been stolen away from me. As I can not meet the Petition requirements because I do not have my new medical card ID Code.
This seems extremely unfair to me as a patient, as it is not my fault that I can not meet these requirements but yet I am them one punished.


With the new Biotrack System, knowing this is a new program and new to the staff in the MCP office ­ why was there not further training provided ? How come the Department of Health has not granted a 30 or 45 day window of extents ion to all medical cannabis patients on there Card expiration due to these delays?
What can I do to help the Department of Health with this ? What can other patients do to help? ( My website and Facebook Pages below have the latest Scientific Research listed )

I look forward to a prompt reply. Thank you.
Best ­
Jason Barker
505.449.7460 
https://www.facebook.com/DukeCityFitness/ 
http://www.dukecitywellness.com/
www.facebook.com/PTSD­Riders­on­the­Storm 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

LECUA United Patients Group Of New Mexico


  1. The Group Defined: to provide the latest scientific and medical based research for medical cannabis for the: patients, prospective patients, community education & information, physicians / medical professionals,  local & state organizations. The Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and political purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, 1986, or the corresponding provision of any future federal law.
    1. For Whom:
      1. Prospective Patients/Caregivers to the Medical Cannabis Program, Current Patients/Caregivers in the MCP
      2. Cannabis Guild Members, Dispensary Management/ Employee’s
      3. Medical Cannabis Ancillary Business, & Medical Professionals.
      4. * General Membership inclusive, is ALWAYS offered for FREE, with additional professional, business and corporate membership levels available for charitable donations.

    1. Doing What:
      1. Promoting the LECUA Compassionate Medical Cannabis Program in the State of New Mexico through educational initiatives and through Local, State & Regional Lobbying.
      2. Provide a open online & public forum and website for Patients, Prospective Patients, Producers, Ancillary Business, and Medical Professionals.
      3. Provide information on obtaining and maintaining a New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program ID card for Patients, Caregivers, and a Personal Productions License.
      4. Provide Medical Cannabis Cultivation Information & Education.
      5. Provide Information & Education on approved medical providers.
      6. Provide Information & Education on State and Federal regulations on medical cannabis  use, cultivation, and possession.
      7. Promote the safe use and access to medical cannabis in the State of New Mexico.
      8. Promote the decriminalization of cannabis in the State of New Mexico by providing education and information through scientific research and medical research to Local and State Legislators with an active hand in writing legislation.
      9. Working together to find common ground with the State Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to ensure the scope of the Lynn & Erin Compassionate Use Act, 2007, is in the best interest and application for the patients.
      10. New Mexico has been providing Medical Cannabis to patients in the State since 1978; It’s time for New Mexico to return as the leader of medical cannabis in the Southwest,  amongst the Top 3 Programs Nationally, and then Top 10 World Wide.
    2. How: Establishing A Scientific and Medical- Patient Health Focused Foundation
      1. Election of Board of Directors Officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, (Immediate Past President - after 1 yr), At-Large (Patient Rep), At-Large(Caregiver Rep), & At-Large(Producer Rep). *Even Number of Seats thus tie votes go to membership floor to break tie.*
      2. Creation of Board of Directors Advisory Committee: 3 At-Large Members and eventually 2 Immediate BoD Officers (after 1 yr).


      1. Committees: (2-5 members per) Fundraising, Budget & Finance, Membership, Public Relations, Marketing  & Communications, Awareness & Patient Outreach, Veteran’s Committee, and Medical & Scientific Research.  ( BoD VP sits on PR Com., BoD Sec sits on Membership Com., and BoD Treas. sits on Budget Com. )
      2. Online Group Forum
      3. Attending and providing public comments at Local and State medical cannabis and cannabis events, meeting and hearings.
    1. Where:  Group meetings to be held throughout the State of New Mexico, with a central satellite office in Albuquerque and branch offices to be created.
  1. Legal Structure: The Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and political purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, 1986, or the corresponding provision of any future federal law.                    ( To Be Established Wednesday, April 20th 2016 )
  2. Statement of Nondiscrimination: Notwithstanding any provision of the above goals, future bylaws and code, the Corporation and its members shall not discriminate against any director, officer, employee, applicant, member, patient, or any participant on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, marital status, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identification.
  3. LECUA United Patients Group Lineage: Working Closely with the best in the medical cannabis  industry, United Patients Group (UPG).  Be Informed. Be Well. Non-Profit 501(c)(3)  Education and Information. www.UnitedPatientsGroup.com  ,based in California, is an unparalleled resource and trusted leader in Medical Cannabis for physicians, patients and organizations. UPG acts as a virtual hand for patients, by helping them navigate through this ever-changing industry.  Additionally, we offer online CME education courses and one-on-one consulting to physicians and medical institutions. CME courses include: Medical Cannabis and its applications in Fundamentals, pharmacology, Neurological Disorders, Oncology, Pain Management, Palliative Care, Psychiatry, Safety and more. Education is paramount in the potential for Medical Cannabis treatment. Therefore, UPG acts as a conduit between worldwide medical institutions and the medical cannabis industry. Recognizing the importance of promoting continuity, quality service and unification within our industry, we are dedicated to establishing and maintaining the highest level of Ethics. Mission is to educate the public and the medical field in Cannabis treatment.




  1. LECUA United Patients Group Goals :
    1. Offer online Medical Cannabis Institute CME education courses and one-on-one consulting to physicians and medical institutions. CME courses include: Medical Cannabis and its applications in Fundamentals, pharmacology, Neurological Disorders, Oncology, Pain Management, Palliative Care, Psychiatry, Safety and more.Education is paramount in the potential for Medical Cannabis treatment.
    2. Increasing the types of qualifying health conditions in the State’s Medical Cannabis Program to ensure safe access for one’s own health and well being.
    3. Removal of: 7.34.4.8 L Maximum Concentration of THC in Concentrates
    4. Removal of the 2015 change to PPL Application to be compliant with HIPPA and the intent of the LECUA
    5. Advise, Inform and Educate the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
    6. Proper decriminalization of cannabis in the State of New Mexico by providing education and information through scientific research and medical research to Local and State Legislators with an active hand in writing legislation.
    7. And more to come ( inclusive process - share your thoughts and goals ).

















UNITE-NETWORK-GROW-INFORM-KNOW-EDUCATE-ACTIVISM-VOTE-HEALTH-WELLNESS

     All rights reserved. LECUA United Patients Group 2016. Prepared by Jason Barker: Duke City Fitness & Wellness/HEMP-Duke City

Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Patient Guide To Medical Cannabis


UNITE - NETWORK - GROW - INFORM - KNOW - EDUCATE - ACTIVISM - VOTE - HEALTH - WELLNESS

Know Your Medicine...Duke City Fitness & Wellness believes that all patients should receive the highest quality medicine to fit their specific needs.  This section provides the medical cannabis patient a complete overview of all aspects of using medical cannabis and types of cannabis medicine.

Key Terms Defined

Medical cannabis: or medical marijuana can refer to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms; however, there is no single agreed upon definition

Cannabis Strain: a genetic variety or varieties of medical cannabis; Indica, Sativa,  Hybrid, & Ruderalis.

Indica Strains: are sedatives/relaxants and are effective for treating the symptoms of medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and tremors. Indicas have a higher level of cannabinoids than sativas, which results in a sedated body-type stone. Because indica strains may cause feelings of sleepiness and heaviness, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis at night. And many dispensaries will color code its strains on menu's & list all Indica Strains in Purple or Blue.

Sativa Strains: are more of a stimulant, and are effective in appetite stimulation, relieving depression, migraines, chronic pain and nausea. Sativas have a higher level of THC than indicas, which results in a psychoactive and energetic mind-high. Because sativa strains may cause feelings of alertness and optimism, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis during the day. Typically Sativa will be color coded in a Red Color.

Hybrid Stains: hybrids and cross-breeding of Indica and Sativa strains produce varieties that carry some characteristics of each parent. For example, adding sativa to indica strains adds mental clarity and decreases sedation effects. And adding indica to sativa strains can decrease or even eliminate the sativa tendency to stimulate anxiety. Hybrids are often referred to based upon the dominant subspecies inherited from their lineage, eg: pure indica, mostly indica, mostly sativa, or pure sativa. Instead of using pure indica or pure sativa, many patients can benefit from the use of hybrid strains. Hybrid Strains are color coded in Green.

Ruderalis: Cannabis ruderalis is native to areas in Asia, Central/Eastern Europe, and specifically Russia, where botanists used the term "ruderalis" to classify the breeds of hemp plant that had escaped from human and cultivation, adapting to the extreme environments found in these climates. The effects of cannabis ruderalis alone are minimized by its naturally low concentrations of THC. However, the stability and short lifecycle make ruderalis versatile and attractive to breeders who want to take advantage of its autoflowering trait. Ruderalis genes offer the ability for breeders to create an autoflowering hybrid with the advanced potency and flavor profile from its genetic partner. Ruderalis is comparative to to being a potential sub-species of Indica, identified with a similliar color code of Purple or Blue.

Hash Plant Strain: This Indica Dominant Strain type of the precious Afghani (Indica), is descended from one of the finest hash-making cultivars ever brought from the Hindu Kush (Indica) to the west. Cannabis strains known generally as hash plants are found throughout the countries that border these mountains, but very few have the pedigree of this Hash Plant - a living definition of the stocky, chunky, beautifully sticky Afghanica genotype. The direct ancestor of Hash Plant was developed in the Northwest USA and came to Holland.


Cannabinoids: 

There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis and roughly 500 compounds found within the plant. While these cannabinoids do present medical benefits on their own, they seem to work together to promote even greater health. This is known as the “Net Effect” or the “Entourage Effect”.

Probably the most known cannabinoid found in cannabis is THC. This psychoactive cannabinoid is responsible for producing the sense of euphoria associated with cannabis consumption. However, more recently CBD has also been gaining in popularity particularly for medical applications. And a lot of dispensaries will color code strains dominant in CBD with Orange.

CBD: has a wide potential for treating many conditions including:

Schizophrenia – due to the anti-psychotic nature of CBD, this compound could pave the way for new schizophrenia drugs. This is might be because CBD may stabilize disrupted or disabled NMDA receptor pathways in the brain.

Seizures – CBD has shown to be very effective in treating epilepsy. While there aren’t currently “accepted” treatments as of yet, for some patients such as Charlotte Figi, this compound has been the difference between life and death.

Nausea – CBD is an antiemetic, meaning it reduces nausea and vomiting.

Inflammation – CBD is also an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cancer – As well as THC, CBD is an anti-tumoral agent and can be used to treat certain types of cancer. For other cancers, THC works better such as Prostate Cancer.

Depression – CBD is also an anxiolytic and an anti-depressant meaning it can help for a wide range of anxiety disorders and depressive conditions.


THC: 
Apart from the euphoric sensation induced by THC, there are plenty of other medical properties of this compound. Below is a short list of some of the medical benefits of THC.

Pain Relief – 60% of patients use cannabis for pain relief. This is due to the fact that THC activates pathways in the central nervous system and in turn blocks pain signals being sent to the brain. Particularly useful for neuropathic pain, THC has provided relief for thousands of patients around the world.

PTSD – ‘Short Term Memory Loss’ was considered a ‘bad thing’ for quite some time, that was until a deeper understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome was unveiled. To simplify what happens with PTSD, the patient is ‘stuck’ in a looped memory of a past trauma. THC helps interrupt these loops allowing the patient to deal with the trauma.

Nausea – THC has been available for nausea in pill form since 1980+. This has been used to treat nausea induced by chemotherapy and is one of the few pills containing THC that is legally available on the market.

Appetite Stimulation – Another benefit of THC is stimulating appetite. Patients undergoing chemotherapy have found that THC helps stimulate their appetite regardless of the nauseating effects of chemo. Studies have also suggested that it could be a potential treatment for anorexia.

Asthma – Since the 1970’s, researchers have known that THC improves the breathing of asthmatics. While attempts to make a suitable inhaler has been largely ignored due to the staunch rules against cannabis, people believe that modern day vaporizers could suffice in providing relief to medical patients suffering with asthma.

Glaucoma – Similar to Asthma, the beneficial effects of THC on Glaucoma has been documented since the 1970’s, many Americans have been using THC to treat their glaucoma.

Insomnia – Another medical benefit of THC relates to sleep. While preferably Cannabis indica is used in this treatment, many Americans have found relief in cannabis for cases of insomnia. These studies date back to the 1970’s.

There are plenty more effects of THC on the human body, however this shows that THC should not be demonized as it has been over the past few decades. The medical efficacy of this compound is yet to reveal the totality of the benefits to the human condition.


Where to Buy Medical Cannabis
Medical Cannabis is most often obtained from stores called LPNN'S or Dispensaries. The dispensary experience is unique: you are both a customer in a retail store and a patient looking for medical treatment guidance. Dispensary employees and owners try to ensure the best customer service experience they can – they don’t want to waste your time or money, nor do they want you to suffer needlessly. All medical marijuana dispensaries require patients to have a current/valid state-issued MCP Card  and for of National or State ID to enter the store and make a purchase. Key things to know about the dispensary shopping experience are:
Product availability will vary between stores.
Prices won’t be the same at every dispensary.
Dispensaries have their own unique varieties of cannabis plants and cannabis products.

Despite a dispensary owner’s best efforts to keep costs manageable, medical cannabis products can be quite expensive. Prices are based on factors such as cost of procuring product and sales taxes. Like any other retailer, dispensaries compete with each other by offering discounts and specials.

The person working behind the counter at a dispensary is called a patient consultant, peer educator, or budtender. A typical job description for a  patient consultant look something like this:
“… experience in retail sales. Possession of, or willingness to obtain, a comprehensive understanding of medical cannabis and its various applications for patients is essential, as is eagerness to learn, … (Budtenders) should be comfortable troubleshooting patient questions and concerns, have meticulous attention to detail, and be personable and honest in all interactions.”

So, just like patients, patient consultants are expected to educate themselves on the broad range of available cannabis strains, marijuana-infused products and their optimal medical uses. Dispensary owners train their staff in-house, but they encourage patient consultants to learn from their own experience and research – research that relies heavily on information or feedback that patients bring to them.

It’s a dynamic that goes both ways. As a patient you put a massive amount of trust and reliance into a good patient consultant. You need to have more than a standard customer-retailer relationship.

Here are a couple of basics to have in mind when beginning a discussion with a patient consultant:

What they can do:
Introduce you to a wide range of products
Describe strains, cannabinoids and their effects
Explain how to calculate dosage

What they can’t do:
Give medical advice
Guarantee how something will affect your body
Prescribe specific dosages
When you ask a patient consultant for a specific product and dosage recommendation, a vague, “a lot of people like this one” response can drive you nuts, but this isn’t necessarily a reflection of a budtender’s knowledge or customer service skills. Because they are not licensed medical professionals they legally can’t give any advice of a medical nature. They can only share anecdotes from other customers and their personal experience. While it’s easy to get frustrated or annoyed when a patient consultant doesn’t have instant, deep answers to your questions, keep in mind that they are working within limitations meant to protect you.
How to Talk to Your Patient Consultant

A patient consultant is a de facto caregiver; this makes clear, accurate communication quite important. Even a small misunderstanding could result in recommending the wrong type of product for your condition or an incorrect dosage.

This is significant because nailing down the perfect cannabis regimen takes a lot of trial and error. Part of the goal is to minimize any potential unpleasant experiences, particularly allergic reactions or side effects with other medications.

When you first approach a patient consultant they will ask you a few “starter” questions to get an idea of what you’re shopping for:
What effect are you looking for?
What strain are you interested in?
How do you want to consume?

If you have little or no experience with cannabis, these questions can confuse or intimidate you. This in turn can affect how you discuss your needs. The answers they’re looking for are designed to narrow down the choices of products to only those that work for you.

Finding what works best not only takes patience and trial and error, but is compounded by the sheer amount of medicinal possibilities and combinations. Everything from methods of ingestion to cannabinoid levels to strains and much more make for near-countless options.


Corinne Malanca, co-founder of United Patients Group, has these tips for communicating your needs clearly:
Describe the symptoms you want to address – Malanca says it’s best to describe your needs in “specific, yet general terms.” For example, instead of outlining your condition in overwhelming detail, try, “My fibromyalgia causes aching pain in my arms and neck that gets worse at night.”
Describe the TYPE of relief you’re looking for – Instead of “I need muscle pain relief” try “I want to calm the throbbing pain for around 8 hours so I can sleep.”
Introduce the question – Malanca suggests phrasing your questions in a way that the budtender can safely answer. For example, “Of all the people you see in my situation…”

Finally, when consulting with a patient consultant, take a few minutes to ask them about themselves and their experience. Get an idea of how many medical patients they work with, and the type of training they’ve gotten.


Usage Techniques For Medical Cannabis

There are many ways to ingest medical cannabis, and patients may find that one method is more effective than another for their specific needs. The effects often vary with each method, sometimes affecting the length of time it takes for the herbal medicine to take effect, or the length of time that it remains effective. Each patient should find which manner is best for them.
1. Smoking Medical Cannabis
Historically, the most traditional form of ingestion is smoking the dried flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant. Hash and kief are also ingested this way. Cannabis can be smoked through a pipe, rolled into a joint (or preroll), or smoked using a water pipe (bong).
For most patients, the effects of smoking dried cannabis are felt almost immediately, but soon begin to diminish. Depending on the individual patient, and the cannabinoid content and potency of the cannabis strain, effects wear off almost completely within 90 minutes to 4 hours. Regularly smoking any plant material, including cannabis for health reasons, can have a negative impact, which is why we recommend patients use vaporizers or edible forms of medicinal cannabis whenever possible.
2. Vaporizing Medical Cannabis
A vaporizer is a device that is able to extract the therapeutic ingredients in the cannabis plant material, called cannabinoids, at a much lower temperature than required for burning. This allows patients to inhale the active ingredients as a vapor instead of smoke, and spares them the irritating and harmful effects of smoking. Those patients who are used to “smoking” cannabis may not feel like they are “getting anything” at first because it does not “burn” the throat. It is advised to use caution and wait a few minutes to feel the full effects. Many patients say that half as much herbal medicine will provide twice the effect when vaporized.
3. Edible Medical Cannabis
Cannabis can be infused into butter or oil that is then cooked in food. Edibles, as they are typically called, usually take longer to take effect than smoking or vaporizing, often 20 minutes to an hour or more. Doses can be difficult to judge, so it is recommended to eat only small portions of edible medical cannabis at a time, and wait at least an hour to assess its effects so you do not over-medicate. Edible herbal medicine will kick in significantly faster if eaten on an empty stomach. In general, the therapeutic effects from eating cannabis last much longer than other consumption methods, often up to four hours or more, and then slowly begin to wear off. Many patients report that this method provides more of a relaxing body effect than the cerebral high that is often accompanied with vaporizing and smoking.
4. Topical Medical Cannabis
Topical herbal medicines are applied directly to the skin or muscles. They include lotions, salves, balms, sprays, oils, and creams. Many patients report they are tremendously effective for skin conditions like psoriasis, joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, restless leg syndrome, some spasms, and everyday muscle stress and soreness. However, unlike smoking, vaporizing or eating the medical cannabis, topicals are completely non-psychoactive—you could take a bath in them, and never get high.
5. Tinctures (Medical Cannabis Concentrate)
A tincture is a concentrated form of medical cannabis in an alcohol, coconut oil, or glycerin solution. Tinctures are highly concentrated and require careful dosage levels, starting out small and waiting to feel the effects before adding more. They can be taken under the tongue or mixed into water or other beverages.

Eating Cannabis for Cancer, Aids, Chronic Pain and Other Medical Conditions
Eating cannabis can be an excellent alternative to smoking, especially for patients who would like to use the herbal medicine but do not want to ingest smoke. Here is some information that you should be aware of and may find helpful. Many members use edibles as a sleep aid, consuming about an hour before bedtime for a sounder sleep.

Food-based cannabis medicines affect patients differently than inhaled methods like smoking or vaporizing.

Eating too much medical cannabis can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, inability to concentrate, diminished ability to focus, rapid heartbeat, increases or decreases in blood pressure, need for sleep, and feelings of euphoria.
How can you ingest cannabis medicines safely?
Learn to manage your dosage effectively…
1. Begin with a ¼ of a “dose” or small portion of herbal medicine.
2. Wait for at least one hour and analyze the effects.
3. If necessary, consume another ¼ dose or small portion.
4. Wait for at least one more hour.
5. If necessary, consume part or all of the remaining herbal medicine.

Do not operate heavy machinery, motor vehicles, boats, or motorcycles while taking edible medication. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing or caring for an infant. Be aware of your surroundings and possible hazards, and prepare for your needs before taking medication.

Remember: Edibles can vary greatly in potency. Products often contain multiple doses or lesser doses of medicine. Weight, metabolism, and eating habits can alter dosage effects. Eating medical cannabis on an empty stomach can intensify effects. Learn dosage management that works for you when ingesting herbal medicine.

If you feel you have eaten too much of a food-based herbal medicine, do not panic, your symptoms will subside within a few hours. Remain calm. Stay hydrated and eat food to help symptoms pass.

Edible medical cannabis is safe and will not cause any long-term toxicity.

A Matter of Privacy

In a dispensary, there will almost always be other people standing a few feet from you when you step up to talk with a budtender. If you aren’t comfortable talking about your needs with other people nearby, ask if you can talk with someone in a quiet spot away from the other patrons. A sensitive, experienced patient consultant will honor this request in a heartbeat. There’s no need to feel awkward asking. Records of your initial medical cannabis evaluation are protected by HIPPA, the federal law covering privacy for health records. However, discussing your condition and needs with a patient consultant are not protected since a patient consultant isn’t a licensed medical professional. Anything you share is at your discretion.

How to Educate Yourself
As you can see by now, patients must do a good deal of research before (and during) their medical cannabis journey.
The internet will become your second home when you’re researching medical cannabis. There is a large amount of information out there, and many reputable organizations have compiled comprehensive sites to guide you.
The resources referenced here aren’t the only places you can find information, but they are kept up-to-date and are easy to understand.

Terminology
Resources: The Cannabist, Mary’s Medicinals, Leafly
Conditions and medical cannabis uses
Resources: United Patients Group, Cannabis Patients Alliance, CannaSOS,Medical Jane, PubMed
Dosage
Resources: Project CDB, Medicate Mate app, Reset.me


Sometimes patients are immobile or are too sick to go to a dispensary. This includes children with severe epilepsy (who are legally too young to enter a dispensary anyway), adults with cancer, or other physically debilitating or terminal illnesses.

In other cases, a patient might have access to a dispensary but their needs require deeper knowledge of medical conditions, specialized cannabis products and dosing.

In situations where you do need to dive deeper, here are other practitioners who can give medical cannabis guidance:

1) Care Consultants

Care consultants are independent advisors knowledgeable in the complete process of treating severe illnesses with medical cannabis. They provide broad information on cannabis for specific conditions, but not specific medical advice.
2) Caregivers

A caregiver is someone that you have designated as your single resource for personalized care. A caregiver can grow cannabis for your personal use and purchase products on your behalf. Laws regarding how much product a caregiver may have, how they buy for a patient, etc. vary from state to state.
3) Nurses

Cannabis nurses are trained RNs who have advanced knowledge of medical conditions and have extensively researched medicinal cannabis. These nurses can’t give specific medical advice, but they can give you in-depth, medical explanations of how cannabis works in your body for a wide range of conditions.

Consultants and nurses can’t sell product directly, but they can advise you on the best methods of obtaining the right product for your specific needs.
Is It Worth It?

At this point, you could easily think that pursuing medical cannabis puts too much burden on the patient and may not be worth all the effort. If you’re expected to know exactly what you want and how to use it before you come to the store, how is a dispensary anything more than a 7-11 for weed?

Taking control of your own medical care is always worth the effort. No one in a dispensary intentionally shifts an undue burden to the patient, sells you the wrong thing or gives you inaccurate information. It’s simply a fact of life that the sparse amount of information about medical cannabis currently available from MDs requires you to learn as much as you can on your own.

As the industry grows along with advances in cannabis research, expertise will improve at all levels of caregiving. Patients play a tremendous role in this growth by communicating fully with their providers and giving honest feedback as to what works for their condition.

The information you gather and share helps you and the next person to come along.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cannabis and Mental Health




The pharmaceutical industry is alive and wealthy as a result of the tremendous use of psychotropic medications prescribed to patients for the management of various mental health problems. Americans have grown up with television ads suggesting that they can fix just about any problem with a pill. Although some mental health problems may only require counseling or psychotherapy, others may call for medication on a short or long term basis. Science shows a strong mind-body connection and we have learned that a chemical imbalance in the brain can result in various problems such as severe depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder that can be managed with medications. However, many of these medications come with significant side effects and may cause adverse effects, including suicidal ideation. Additionally, the financial strains of these medications create compliance issues with many patients.Anecdotal reports suggest that cannabis could be an effective medication without many of the side effects. 

Studies on the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol or CBD, indicate that it can be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, agitation and bipolar disorder. This is a clear example of why dronabinol (Marinol or synthetic THC) is not a replacement for cannabis. Also, the psychoactive effects of THC is probably the primary reason psychiatrists, addiction specialists and other healthcare providers shy away from cannabis as medicine. It is ironic that the “high” that is so despised by the medical system is prized by many patients suffering from depression.


Addiction Treatment

Cannabis has been portrayed as a gateway drug of abuse that leads to the use of and addiction to stronger drugs of abuse. The psychoactive effects of cannabis have been cited as a reason it cannot be used as a legitimate medicine. When compared to other drugs of abuse, cannabis does not measure up to the addictive potential of tobacco, alcohol, other illicit drugs or prescribed medications such as opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants or barbiturates. Historic medical use of cannabis preparations, anecdotal reports and new research indicate that rather than a gateway drug to addiction, cannabis holds promise as an exit drug from other drug addictions. Cannabis is a drug, though, and as a drug it has indications and contraindications. As with any drug, it should be used in the smallest effective dose.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Reduced Anxiety
Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD may more appropriately be referred to as post traumatic stress syndrome because it is the normal response to an abnormal stress. This condition includes an assortment of symptomology including depression, anxiety, rage, insomnia, flashbacks of the event(s), and isolation. Many PTS victims (especially first responders, victims of sexual assault, rape,  abuse as a child, combat veterans or incest victims with a history of repeated traumatic incidents) have found that cannabis provides more relief than the commonly prescribed medications. The discovery that the ECS is involved in the healing process of the mind to “forget” aversive memories seems to offer an explanation as to why it is helpful for this indication.

Some people don’t know how to cope with stress as a result of PTSD, anxiety, death of a loved one, and they turn to substances like cannabis. Some studies demonstrate that cannabis does in fact help people cope with stressors. Once again the dopamine and anandamide helps a person feel good and relax – both physically and mentally.(Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22736575)


In states where medical cannabis is legalized, many many patients claim that it works wonders for their anxiety issues. There are many arguments that cannabis is safer than many common anti anxiety and anti depressant drugs. Take a drug like Xanax for example to treat anxiety. Long term use of Xanax has been linked to developments of dementia; this is a significant finding.

Some individuals have anxiety so limiting that they cannot socialize, form friendships, and engage in society. If nothing seems to help, why not at least consider medical cannabis in states that it is legalized. Think of all the medications out there to treat anxiety – not all of them work the same way and everyone experiences something different. One medication may help someone, while increase anxiety in another person. Medical Cannabis on the other hand is pretty much universal in the fact that it does decrease anxiety and promote relaxation.

Although there aren’t really treatments for hostility and anger, there is a market for individuals with high amounts of irritability. Typically these people are treated with antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or even certain medications used to reduce blood pressure. In certain scientific studies, medical cannabis was found to reduce hostility in people exposed to a “frustration stimulus.”

It is known that cannabis improves one’s mood as a result of its affect on the brain. It is also able to reduce verbal and internal hostility towards others. This is likely a result of the fact that it makes people relax. If you are relaxed and in a good mood as a result of medical cannabis, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be angry or irritable. (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/961922)



(dedicated to KDS)