Florida cannabis regulations updateRead More
If there’s one person who really knows her stuff about medical cannabis, it’s Mara Gordon.
Gordon is the founder of Aunt Zelda’s, an organization that works with medical cannabis patients and offers their own lines of specially formulated cannabis products.
Gordon and the Aunt Zelda’s team are perhaps most famous for the amazing work they have done with cancer patients.
However, tumors aren’t the only thing the Aunt Zelda’s staff treats with cannabis medicines. They also work with medical cannabis patients experiencing chronic pain.
Chronic pain is perhaps the most common ailment that causes patients to seek out medical cannabis recommendations.
In an astounding Green Flower online course, Gordon reveals how the Aunt Zelda’s team uses cannabis to treat chronic pain and teaches viewers how to make the most of their cannabis medicines.
Hoping to improve the efficacy of your cannabis medicines? Here are Gordon’s top seven ways to make cannabis work better for pain.
1. Consume your cannabis medicine with fat
Believe it or not, adding some fat into your diet prior to taking cannabis medicines can drastically improve both the herb’s psychoactive and medicinal effects.
To explain why Gordon recalls a personal anecdote:
“I had some leftover infused oil and I went ahead and basted a chicken with it. Well, I ate the white meat and the other people ate the dark meat and they got high and I didn’t because there’s not as much fat in the white meat as there is in the dark meat.”
While the chicken story is just an example, there is some real science behind Gordon’s experience.
The most famous psychoactive in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a lipid. Other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), are also lipid molecules.
What’s a lipid? A fat.
According to Gordon, eating fat before partaking in cannabis “...increases the bioavailability of the cannabinoids, because [cannabis] is fat soluble.”
Gordon recommends taking cannabis medicines after munching on something like an avocado or almond butter, which are both healthy sources of fat that are easy to digest.
2. Learn how terpenes interact with your body
There is much more to the cannabis plant than THC and CBD. In fact, it’s well-known that the plant is capable of producing several hundred different molecules.
While cannabinoids like THC and CBD tend to get the major press, the phytochemicals that give each cannabis cultivar its unique scent shouldn’t be overlooked.
These aroma molecules are known as terpenes.
Not only do these compounds provide a remarkable aromatic experience, but they’re also responsible for the nuanced effects of each cannabis strain.
As it turns out, having a knowledge about the terpenes in cannabis may affect your experience with the plant can make or break a quality cannabis medicine.
“If you have a THC product during the day, you’re going to want one that has limonene in it or something like that to make it more uplifting, you’re not going to take in the morning something with myrcene, for example, because then you’re going to feel sluggish from it and that’s something you would take at night.”
Limonene is a terpene aroma molecule that provides a stimulating citrus scent.
Myrcene is a hypnotic and sedative terpene that provides the drowsy and sleepy effects in many common cultivars. Myrcene has a musky aroma and is also found in hops.
“Always ask to see the lab results,” says Gordon, regarding tested cannabis products. “And then you have to learn how certain terpenes interact with your body and then once you know that just try to repeat it.”
3. Use topicals
Topicals are oft under-appreciated cannabis products. Cannabis topicals are infused balms, creams, oils, lotions, and any other product intended for external use.
While a topical may not be the end-all solution to chronic pain management, they certainly do have a way of easing surface pains, inflammation, and perhaps even stiff muscles.
Topicals are an excellent addition to pain management treatments, as they help to provide surface-level relief.
Most cannabis medicines are either ingested or inhaled, so topical cannabis offers a third layer of pain management that many medical cannabis patients find helpful.
“When you’re dealing with that deep, deep nerve pain, a topical is not going to touch it. But, in many, many cases, you have associated tense muscles because you tend to hold your body in a certain way when you’re suffering in pain. You cause all sorts of problems, and there’s a lot of nerves that are at the surface area.”
“If you use a topical in those situations,” explains Gordon, “then you’re going to have focused relief without any of the psychoactivity.”
4. Pick healthy products
Sadly to say, not all cannabis products are created equal.
“Make sure that you pick very healthy products,” says Gordon, “so you’re doing this with something that you’re not doing any harm to your body at the same time.”
While the standard budtender might sell you a joint or a brownie, these products don’t make for the best cannabis medicines.
They may be fun and somewhat relieving, however, both of these products also contain elements that detract from health rather than encourage wellness.
While cannabis has not been conclusively linked to lung cancer, smoke from joints contain many carcinogenic compounds that can be irritating to the tissues of the lungs.
The popular brownie, while delicious, is also made out of two of the most inflammation-causing foods: sugar and refined flour.
Similarly, many vaporizer pens contain thinning agents like propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol. When heated to high temperatures, research has shown that these compounds can combust into formaldehyde and other carcinogens, potentially causing harm.
5. Start low, go slow
Those with serious pain conditions may need to consume a decent amount of cannabis before they reach an effective dose.
However, starting at the standard effective dose for most pain patients isn’t always a good idea.
Why? Because the effects of the cannabis medicines may be too strong and it increases your chance of negative side effects of the herb.
Negative side effects can include anxiety, nausea, increased pain, and excessive drowsiness.
However, these side effects can be avoided entirely if you give your body enough time to grow accustomed to the new treatment.
When it comes to medical cannabis, the motto “start low, go slow” is important to remember.
“People are always going to start low and move slowly up to a therapeutic dose,” says Gordon.
“But, the reality is that when you start out at five milligrams or three milligrams that’s not going to keep you asleep for very long. That’s going to make you feel high, potentially, and only for a very short period of time before you need more.”
“When you get to 15 to 25 milligrams,” she continues, “that seems to be a sweet spot where people can stay for years, at that point, and not have to keep going up on it.”
6. Avoid sugar, gluten, and inflammatory foods
Cannabis medicines work best when they’re also accompanied by meaningful lifestyle changes.
Perhaps one of the most important lifestyle changes to include while on a medical cannabis regimen is an anti-inflammatory meal plan.
Certain processed foods, refined sugars, and gluten-containing foods can increase inflammation, potentially increasing pain and detracting from the effectiveness of medical cannabis.
“Getting up and moving, stretching, eating healthy, making sure you stay away from wheat, sugar, and things that cause inflammation in the body,” are all habits that should be included alongside a medical cannabis regimen.
“I think people have to be aware that it’s not like people can take a pill and you can get better. You have to be an active participant in your healing process,” says Gordon.
7. Don’t consume too much
While Gordon’s course discusses many different tactics for using cannabis for chronic pain management, one message she hopes to drive home is that, with this herb, less is more.
“I think the vast majority of people use too much cannabis,” explains Gordon. “It’s not scare, however, I think that there’s a scarcity about it that keeps it at a higher price point for what it is.”
“But, if you can keep the dose down at what it really needs to be, you can save people a lot of money and improve the availability of it.”
There are several different mental health conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana.
The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed #marijuanaplant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine, until recently.
However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.
Because the marijuana plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses and symptoms, many people argue that it should be legal for medical purposes. In fact, a growing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical use.
According to researchers, there are two active chemicals in Marijuana which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC has the ability to do a lot, to say the least, but most notably to relieve more chronic pain while CBD can affect the brain without creating the feeling of a ‘high’ paranormal effect to help restore whole body balance.
In Florida Medical Marijuana indicates licensed dispensaries from licensed medical cannabis physicians who make recommendations for treating ailments and other illness with the help of unprocessed, extracts of the plant as well as the whole marijuana itself.
Patients administered with recommendations for medical cannabis report multiple benefits of CBD. It has been known to help in epilepsy, PTSD, breast cancer, treating insomnia, various forms of pain, anxiety and many minor to severe case illnesses. Many certified medical professionals can prescribe marijuana to treat such ailments.
We Know That..
Marijuana is globally known today and is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. The compounds available in Marijuana react with various cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body, in nerve cells and brain cells. The immediate to short term effect (usually 30-45 minutes) causes a decrease in discomfort and pain with more long-term relief. Nascent researches have also found out that marijuana can be effective in age-related problems like vomiting, nausea caused by glaucoma and chemotherapy and chronic pain. its anti-inflammatory properties is a key element to the plants popularity.
Despite these properties, Marijuana is still considered as a Schedule I substance federally Yet, over 30 states have made cannabis legal for medical use (over 40 states have legalized industrial hemp).
Methods To Use
Today there are various forms to consume marijuana from smoking, consuming its seeds to using cannabis-infused products.
It can have mood-altering properties and there can be a few mild side-effects like dizziness, blood pressure related issues, and "cotton" mouth. So it is recommended to always keep the use of The Medical Marijuana Center resources and education tools close by where you are safe with ReleafMD under the supervision of a certified medical marijuana Doctor Kelly King.
Very little research, if any, supports marijuana having negative long-term effects on the cognition in adults. A study was conducted by Harvard’s Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery program that studied a group of people using marijuana to treat PTSD, chronic pain, sleep problems and anxiety. It was found that after 3 months on cannabis, there were no symptoms which indicated a decreased cognitive function. On the other hand, there was an improvement in executive function skills.
NOTE: These benefits can also vary individually and can be affected by family predisposition as well as medical history.
#7.) Increases Appetite
Conditions such as HIV, eating disorders, hepatitis, and dementia can lead to a loss of appetite. Over time, this can result in severe malnourishment or even death. THC is known for increasing appetite.
While some have written off these effects as a case of the “munchies” there is something much more profound going on here.
With the right approach, THC hunger-inducing effects can dramatically improve quality of life. And in some cases, even save lives.
#8.) Enhances Senses
You may not consider on other THC health benefits, but hear me out...
Many people have steered away from THC due to its psychoactive effects.
In fact, a lot of prohibitionists claim this is what makes cannabis so “dangerous” in the first place.
However, people have been enjoying the psychoactive components of the cannabis plant for thousands of years.
Cultures across the globe incorporated the plant in spiritual ceremonies and rituals for this very purpose.
While the psychoactive effects of THC may not agree with everyone, that doesn’t mean we all should steer clear.
Especially given that it is impossible to fatally overdose on THC.
Cannabis used with intention and the right dosage levels provides countless benefits.
From life-changing revelations to enhanced creativity to deeper personal insights.
For many people, the enhancing effects of THC provide very real psychological benefit and relief.
#5.) Helps Treat PTSD
It’s estimated that 8 percent of Americans (24.4 million people) currently suffer from PTSD. To put things into perspective, this number is equal to the size of Texas.
PTSD can include symptoms such as agitation, severe anxiety, depression insomnia, nightmares, and social isolation – it can be a crippling condition.
Yet, THC has shown to be a highly effective treatment option. Some psychiatrist say that THC-rich cannabis is the only treatment. In fact, studies have confirmed that THC eases a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including agitation, depression insomnia, flashbacks, and nightmares.
This means that for those suffering from PTSD, they can finally get the peaceful sleep they need to heal and regain balance in their lives. All they need is access to safe cannabis and guidance on how to best implement it into their lives.
#6.) Promotes Brain Growth
Believe it or not, the medical benefits of THC for the brain may be even bigger than we thought. Not only does THC protect brain cells, it also stimulates brain growth.
How does it work?
THC activates the “CB1 receptor” in our brains. This stimulation promotes a process known as long-term potentiation which improves the brain’s ability to learn.
Scientists also discovered that like CBD, THC causes brain cells in the hippocampus to grow.
Some research even suggests that THC can protect spatial memories.
This is why small doses of cannabis can treat or even prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
If that weren't enough, we also have a study showing people with THC in their systems are 80% more likely to survive head trauma!