Importance of finding the right treatment

In Blog // on January 6th, 2013 // by // No comment

Working in the Westcoast Medicann Society, the change in individuals after treating their health issues with medicinal marijuana is pronounced.  Often though, it takes time to figure out the best way of medical administration for our patients.  We recognize that each person has individual needs and will react to medicinal cannabis in individualized ways.

There are several approaches to using cannabis for medical purposes, and each method differs in patient reaction.  Here are some options:

Smoking medicinal cannabis is a very fast and efficient way to access the effects.  When inhaled, the medicinal and psychoactive properties of the plant move quickly into the blood stream.  Physical effects can be felt in minutes – which is very helpful in controlling the amount of medicine one intakes.  Smoking works rapidly for relieving nausea or muscle spasms, and the relief can last for a few hours.  There are compelling emotional effects when smoking, due to the THC, which levels depend on the varying strains available.

Vaporizing is another form of inhalation. The vapour produced comes from heating the plant material to a temperature just shy of combustion.  Vaporizing is ideal for those who need quick relief but cannot handle the irritation of smoke on the throat and lungs.  Compared to smoking, patients have described vapour producing different emotional effects, where there is a greater clarity of thought.  Because vapour is essentially odorless, it’s also a fabulous choice for those needing to medicate in more public places.

We can eat cannabis too.  The active ingredients can be extracted into butters, oils, or milk.  The pain reducing, mind-calming and overall feelings of well being can be enhanced when combined with other fatty foods because the medicinal properties are fat soluble.  The effects are strong and last longer when eaten, but the onset of physical and emotional change can sometimes be unpredictable.   Ingesting medicine is completely suitable for chronic pain or other persisting symptoms.  It takes practice to find the right dosage.  Anxiety and feelings of distress are most reported after eating.  On the other hand, those with a certain metabolic makeup find little to no effectiveness.

Although cannabinoids don’t really work in water (that is, cannot be brought to full potential), cannabis tea is a less potent alternative, but an alternative with unique properties that some people find very comforting and calming.  It takes a teabag amount for soft effects, which can be quite a bit of herbal medication for those on a tight budget.

Mouth sprays are absorbed through the mouth’s membranes, but also swallowed which means the effects may come at different stages – from immediate relief to feelings of alleviation several hours later.

Topical creams are both soothing and have physical healing properties – where the medicine attacks diseased cells and prompts regrowth of healthy cells.  Usually made with essential oils and delicious aromas, creams, ointments, tinctures and gels can be a welcome change to the heady feelings of inhalation or ingestion.

There is a real importance to finding the right treatment for our patients.

First of all, there are profound feelings that accompany successful therapy that we strive to share with our patients.  When the medicine targets chronic pain, or nausea, feelings of debilitating anxiety, or any other symptom of illness that a patient has been struggling with, the relief is indescribable.  It’s truly like a miracle.  This is the ambition of medicinal cannabis and it can be achieved!

There are several general factors that can be identified, but there are also subtle nuances in individual patients that take time to get to know and craft a prescription for.

We are often asked about timing – when does one start to ‘feel it’?

How long does it last and what should one expect to feel?

What will target pain?

What will make one sleepy?

What will make one hungry?  Or happy, or creative?

Will one become more anxious?

Will one become debilitated or completely lethargic?

The truth is, the effects of using medicinal marijuana can be strange and even frightening to those who are new to the medication, but there are ways to use cannabis with real success.

Look forward to the next blog discussing how to deal with the effects of medicinal marijuana and how to medicate as comfortably and as effectively as possible.

Also, check out http://heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/medical-use-of-cannabis for this incredibly helpful website with excellent articles.

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