Marijuana has been used as medicine, as well as recreationally, since people first discovered the effects of the plant when ingested. Then in the 1900’s, it began to gain a reputation, and not a very good one. Marijuana was lumped in with all other illegal drugs, and people have gone to jail for as little as possession of one gram.
There are so many compelling reasons to legalize marijuana, but there are many things that need to be taken into consideration before everyone can just walk into a cannabis store and buy whatever they like. While marijuana is not necessarily a ‘bad drug,’ people do abuse it. The question of how to identify whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana while driving, and ‘how much’ is the legal limit are just two of the challenging questions facing policy-makers as we get closer to legalization. But legalizing it only makes sense; police and the courts won’t be wasting time and money trying to stop the flow of illegal marijuana, and the government can even make money from the taxes from the sale of the wonder plant. This will not only save money, but it also brings in tax dollars. Legalizing marijuana also leads to job creation. There are more positives than negatives to legalizing the leaf.
One change that any currently registered marijuana patient should take note of, and if you’re thinking about applying for a medical marijuana card, you should take into consideration now, is that most Licenced Providers (LP) in Canada will give priority to their already-registered medical marijuana patients, which means when the recreational orders start pouring into these LP’s, you should still be able to get your medication. So if you’re on the fence about trying it, keep in mind that if you get your card before the legislation to legalize it is passed, you will have priority when you order if your LP has chosen to go this route.
- Glaucoma – helps reduce pressure in the eyes
- controls epileptic seizures very effectively (Strain: Charlotte’s Web)
- helps with sleep issues
- there is some research showing that CBD oil can help in weight loss
- helps with pain
- some strains can help with migraine relief
- increases appetite for those who are very ill (cancer patients, chemo patients)
- reduces stress & anxiety in some people
- marijuana may begin to be used as a treatment for opioid addiction
These are just a few reasons why people turn to marijuana for treatment.
Marijuana isn’t just ‘pot.’ Particularly when it comes to using marijuana medically, it really, really matters what strains you use, and deciding which is which can be a very daunting task. Here’s some of the lingo you need to understand in order to figure out if you think this is for you:
- CBD – Cannabinoids. Alone, CBD does not get you ‘high’ but you can get a lot of pain relief, sleep resolution, anxiety reduction, and more from it.
- THC – Tetrahydracannabinol. The psychedelic mind-altering chemical in marijuana. Can also help with all of the above, and a combination of CBD and THC is commonly considered to be more effective than just CBD alone.
- Indica strains – indica strains are usually great for night-time, as they cause more sleepiness. Many Indica plants have more CBD in them than Sativas.
- Sativa strains – more energizing than Indica strains, these are better for daytime use.
- Hybrid – a hybrid is the result of the genetics from two or more strains being combined. The strains may be either Indica- or Sativa-dominant, or a combination of both.
- Flower – the buds of the plant, this is what you would smoke or dry-vape.
- Oils – there are two types of oil – oral and vape liquid oil. Oral is great because it lasts longer, 6 – 10 hours, enough for a good night’s sleep, whereas smoking it or vaping it usually only lasts 1 – 2 hours. You can get an additive CBD oil or a combination of THC or CBD that you simply add to your favourite vape liquid (you can even use it in a zero nicotine vape liquid), and in some places, if you’re very lucky, you can find flavoured vape liquids already infused with the right amount of CBD and/or THC in it.
- Vape – there are two ways to vape – liquid or dry herb. Vape liquid containing CBD or THC can be vaped in a liquid vaporizer, and the dry herb vaporizers heat up the ground-up flower so you can inhale it without all the contaminants that go with smoking the flower in a joint, pipe, bong, etc. Shatter and wax can also be vaped in the right vape devices.
- Tinctures – Tinctures go under the tongue.
- Shatter – if you are new to using medical marijuana you’ll wonder what ‘shatter’ and ‘dabbing’ are. They’re just a different way to consume the extracted CBD/THC. Can be vaped in the right vaporizer. People who dab claim that it’s much more potent than the flower itself; therefore it’s not really for beginners.
- Wax – very similar to the above, can be vaped in the proper vaporizer.
- Edibles – gummies, baked goods, chocolates, all matter of goodies can be made with CBD/THC oil for a fun delivery method. The problem with edibles is they take a long time to kick in, (a couple of hours), and you really, really have to start small with these or you’ll easily overdo it (unless there’s no THC in it).
- Vape pens & cartridges – some LPs sell pre-loaded disposable vape pens, and also vape pens that have replacement cartridges. These are liquids.
- “Couch Lock” – a heaviness and sleepiness that is caused by some higher THC strains – good strains for bedtime.
- Topicals – these are topical creams, lotions, patches, balms, and so on that are used topically. There is some question as to whether the THC/CBD can actually cross skin effectively, with no proof yet that it actually does, but some people swear by them.
There are obviously a lot more terms out there, but let’s just get started with these. Most LP’s will recommend that you use an oral oil or edible at night, and dry-vape during the day. It’s a personal choice, but before you drop $300 or more on a vaporizer, you should be doing a lot of research. Don’t buy a super-cheap one; you’ll just end up buying a higher-quality vape in the end. Consider whether you want your vape to be capable of only handling dry herb (the flower) or whether you’d like one that can also do wax and shatter. Figure out how you want to ingest the CBD or THC before you lay out that much money. Get online, thoroughly explore the various options, and the benefits and negatives of each before jumping in and buying a lot of paraphernalia you may never use.
There is a lot of grey area in the medical marijuana field right now, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. You can legally order your products from an LP, but you can only belong to one LP. If you’re looking into getting a card, check out the different LP’s in Canada to decide which one you would prefer to go with. There is usually a fee associated with changing your LP, so it’s important to choose one that’s going to have a good selection, is reliable, does 3rd party testing on their products, and has what YOU need. Yes, you can go to one of the local cannabis shops, but they are really in the grey area – they’re currently not strictly legal, but they’re also not usually bothered, as police have more important things to worry about. Having said that, they do get raided once in a while. If legalized, the LCBO will be controlling the sale of cannabis products in Canada, so it’s unclear what will happen to those cannabis stores once it’s legalized and controlled.