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4 Tips For First-Time Medical Marijuana Patients

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This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

After some thorough discussion and debate, many states are now recognizing the viability of medical marijuana to help treat and alleviate the symptoms of several health problems. Of course, this isn’t to say the use of medical marijuana is absolute. There are metrics that have to be observed, such as limits in terms of dosage, sources, and the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Once you’ve been given a prescription by a qualified doctor, you have to be very cautious about all your decisions and choices related to using medical marijuana. You must make sure that the medical marijuana you use will complement other medications and will not affect its effectiveness.

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RELATED: How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Your State

With that in mind, here’s a handy guide for first-time medical marijuana patients so you can stay safe and healthy as possible when using it.

Prepare For A Lot Of Research

While there are different kinds of medical marijuana products and manufacturers being sold in dispensaries today, these are not made equally. There are those better than other products, performance-wise and quality-wise. Because your intended usage of marijuana is for medical purposes, it’s just but fitting for you to focus on products and manufacturers that are reputable and well-known in the medical field for their top quality.

There are many ways to do your research, apart from taking in the advice of your doctor:

  • Online Resources: The Internet is an information superhighway, so take advantage of the availability of resources you can find online. For example, you may find marijuanadoctorsrx.com helpful. Just be sure that you’re only reading from credible sources. The Internet can give you insights into the reputation of certain brands and manufacturers, so before you head out to a dispensary, you may already have an idea of what brands you should look out for.
  • Talk To Other Medical Marijuana Patients: If you personally know of anyone else who are medical marijuana patients, you can also ask for their advice as to what brands and types of products to trust. Especially because they’re patients themselves, you can trust them enough not to recommend any product or brand that they know isn’t reputable or of good quality.

Know The Conditions That Are Approved For Medical Marijuana

Do note that medical marijuana isn’t absolute. This means that there are only a few illnesses or conditions that your state may have approved for medical marijuana use. So, if your illness isn’t on the list, then you most likely won’t be given a prescription or clearance by your doctor to take medical marijuana.

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Some of the common conditions that are approved for medical marijuana include:

  • Cancer
  • Eating Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Hepatitis C

With this list, however, do remember that this isn’t absolute. It can differ from one state to another. To be sure, check with your local medical authorities as well.

Learn What To Do When You Visit A Marijuana Dispensary

Because your intended usage of marijuana is for medical purposes, this means that you’re going to need a prescription before you can be given certain products from a dispensary. But you don’t have to be so anxious during your first visit. You can liken this to a visit to your trusted pharmacy. Most people working in dispensaries are very chill, and they’ll be more than willing to help you out with your medical concern.

You also don’t have to stick to just one dispensary. You can start with the one that’s closest to you. If the products aren’t there, then you’re welcomed to look for other dispensaries that may have the available brand and type that you need.

There Are Different Types Of Products Available

When your doctor gives you clearance for medical marijuana, it’s not all the time that they’re going to specify the kind of product you’re going to use. In many instances, they may specify only the potency or the amount of CBD that should be in every marijuana product you’re going to purchase. This will have to be computed alongside the required dosage and frequency set by your doctor.

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The budtender or staff curator at the dispensaries you’re buying from will gladly help you to ensure accuracy. But you’ve got to be prepared to come face-to-face with numerous options of medical marijuana products to choose from.

These medical marijuana products all have their respective pros and cons. So, it’s up to you to choose according to your preferred type, or what you’re most comfortable with:

  • Cannabis Edibles: These are popular among many patients because they’re easy to consume. Especially for those that have an aversion to capsules or gels or because they’re already taking too many in a day, cannabis edibles are easier to digest. These can be incorporated or mixed with drinks or be used as a key ingredient when cooking the patient’s food.
  • Cannabis Topicals: These are great for patients who need a more localized effect or feel of their medical marijuana. Typically, these are for those patients using medical marijuana to alleviate chronic pain. It’s best to do a patch test with topicals first to make sure that the patient’s skin will not have an adverse reaction to it.
  • THC Vapes: Vaping cannabis, even for medical marijuana is getting popular, because of its ease of use.

Conclusion

With so many more patients getting pleased at the benefits of medical marijuana, it’s not surprising that there’s increasing approval for its use in many places. If you’ve been given that clearance by your doctor, the next thing to do is to procure a safe and quality medical marijuana product and administer it in the proper and correct dosage. It’s not worth sacrificing your health for anything. So, always be mindful of the tips above.

Whenever you’re unsure, don’t substitute this for medical advice. Your physician who cleared you for medical marijuana is always your best source for all health-related questions and concerns. If you’re feeling uncomfortable with the medical marijuana type or method used, then make sure to communicate this with your doctor.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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Cannabis

How Much CBD And THC Is In Your Weed? Here’s How To Find Out

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The potency of cannabis is determined by the content level of CBD and THC compounds present in the plant. So, it is normal to be curious about the exact amount of THC and CBD present in a cannabis product before smoking.

In the last decade, hundreds of new strains of cannabis have been created giving smokers a wide range of options to choose from. No two strains of weed can offer exactly the same characteristics. The taste and aftereffects of each cultivar will be distinct from one another.

This has caused a deviation from the normal cannabis culture practiced in the ’70s and ’80s. Back then there were fewer cannabis cultivars and everyone had an idea of the amount of THC and CBD present in them.

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Now, THC and CBD content levels have risen and can be as high as 30% in a weed product, with extracts having very high levels of CBD or THC compounds.

Most of the experienced cannabis smokers have very little idea of how much THC  they’re taking into their system— especially when these products are purchased from unlicensed stores.

Licensed dispensaries have the product’s data. Information like THC and CBD content level, as well as the other compounds present in the products, can be provided by these dispensaries. Seed banks also offer this information to customers.

You must understand that these figures even though they are given by these stores are subject to change. The change may occur due to the duration spent on the shelf, or reactions occurring between the compounds in the weed, etc.

Why You Should Test The THC & CBD Content In Your Weed

Testing your weed before consuming it helps to assuage the fears you might have over the absence of information about a particular weed product.

Cannabis farmers tend to aim for high THC content cultivars of weed when they’re creating a new strain, without giving much thought to the effect of these compounds once they enter the body of the user.

When you test your weed before consuming it, you know;

  • what effects to expect.
  • the right time to use it.
  • the right dosage to consume.
  • whether or not to maximize the cannabinoids levels if you’re a grower.

THC & CBD Testing

This can be done in three ways.

If you have a product procured from a licensed dispensary, you can use the approximate figures provided by the retailer. This way you substitute the figures into a few equations to get the content level of the THC and CBD compounds in the weed.

If you live in a state with approved cannabis laws, you’ll have access to records of hundreds of lab-tested weed samples. Almost all weed products are labeled with approximate percentages of individual cannabinoid compound levels, so far they’re stocked by a licensed store.

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The second method is by grabbing a test kit and running the test in the privacy of your home.

The third is through third-party testing, which is a licensed laboratory.

Are Home Tests Up To Par With Third-Party Testing?

Sure, there’s nothing like third-party testing— they make use of expensive equipment for high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography, however, home testing of your weed is also a viable option.

Home tests are DIY ways of determining the accurate potency of your weed before having some puffs. Depending on your adherence to the steps on how to test your weed at home, you would be able to judge the amount of THC, CBD, and even other compounds like terpenes in the weed.

How To Test The THC & CBD Content Of Your Weed At Home

Cannabis users in most parts of the world do not have access to accurately labeled products, nor do they have records of measured and tested weed samples to reference. So you cannot always use the formula method to determine the content level. You either choose to send samples to a lab or do it yourself.

There are several options to choose from when testing your flowers at home. Some options cost more than the others, however, they give you more detailed results. The cheaper options often give limiting results.

Color Chart Test Kits

These kits test for both THC and CBD. They can be used to test flowers, extracts, and oils. These tests require only a minute amount of material to determine the content reading.

Mix a small sample of the weed with the test fluid. Mix well and when the solution changes color, compare the color with the colors on the chart to determine where it falls.

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The Colour chart test kit method is the cheapest method that can be used at home. They also do not give detailed results. Most charts only show readings for THC levels that do not exceed 20% and CBD content of less than 2.5%.

Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) Test Kits

These kits produce more accurate readings. They can also be used to test for not only THC and CBD but other minor cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and THCV.

Simply mix 0.1g of the weed sample with the test fluid. With the provided pipette, stain the coated glass plate with little quantities of the mixture.

Here, the various cannabinoid compounds present are detected and separated. To find out the content level of each, stain the glass with the dye. Then you can now compare it with the template provided.

Testing Gadgets

This is the most expensive option that can be used to test CBD and THC levels at home. It is used by growers, breeders, and other weed smokers that are so much invested in knowing the cannabinoid content of their weed.

It can determine the level of THC, CBD, and CBN. It can also detect the presence of various terpenes.

Conclusion

To save yourself the cost and stress of carrying out these tests yourself, you can depend on the figures given by the retailers. This will give you an idea of what your weed contains.

Laboratories provide the most accurate and detailed information while home test kits give you basic or in-depth information about your weed, depending on the kit purchased.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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Essential Guide To Microdosing And Macrodosing Cannabis

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Microdosing is a form of consuming drugs in such a way that you avoid getting extremely high. Once associated with psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs such as magic mushrooms and LSD, more people have discovered the benefits of microdosing marijuana over the last few years. As opposed to macrodosing or getting as high as you possibly can, the point of microdosing is to enable the user to still stay productive and focused in a task.

There really is no right or wrong way to consume marijuana. Whether you prefer to microdose to up your creativity or medicate, or macrodose because you want to feel extremely relaxed or buzzed, it’s all down to personal preferences. There are also many ways you can consume marijuana these days — some are better suited for microdosing while others are best for macrodosing.

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Microdosing Marijuana

A microdose of marijuana is considered between 1 to 2.5 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance of the plant. This is considered the minimum effective dose.

Microdosing small amounts such as these provide the user with the plant’s medicinal and therapeutic benefits without getting too high that you can no longer function. People microdose for many reasons.

General wellness and stress reduction: Studies show that microdosing marijuana is the most effective way to relieve stress and feel happier. Users experience a range of benefits when used for this purpose, such as an increase in physical and mental energy as well as improvements in clarity and focus — particularly when consuming sativa dominant strains. Microdosing indica dominant strains can better relax you at the end of a stressful day.

Medicinal benefits: Microdosing has been shown to be the ideal way to medicate for a variety of conditions. These include pain, migraines, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, Alzheimer’s, and much more.

Productivity: Many artists and creative professionals rely on microdosing to help them get work done. In fact, people in just about any kind of industry can benefit from microdosing cannabis. The right strains and products can enhance clarity and help you tick things off your to-do list. Anyone who has ever gotten too high at work can tell you that being too stoned can actually counter productivity; microdosing may be the answer especially if you also have medical conditions to treat but need to get things done.

Having said that, certain ways to medicate marijuana are more ideal for microdosing. These forms of consumption can help you take controlled, small dosages for your specific needs:

  • Edibles: buying edibles provides an exact way to get small doses. Edibles these days run the gamut when it comes to dosage, which is specifically indicated by the manufacturer in the packaging. You can choose from a variety of edibles that have already been pre-dosed including gummies, candies, chocolates, and even beverages. Edibles take longer to hit, usually 20 minutes to an hour or even more, but its effects can last for hours.
  • Tinctures: these herbal extracts are made by soaking up marijuana plant material in oils, vegetable glycerin, or alcohol. Tinctures are always made with dropper bottles, so depending on how high you want to get, you can opt for low-dose tinctures and customize your very own dose. Just place a drop or two of it under your tongue, and its effects can be felt within minutes.
  • Vape pen: Taking a small hit off a vape pen can give you a controlled dose. This method is ideal for microdosing only for those who know how vape pens work. You may accidentally take a very large puff and get much higher than you expected.

RELATED: What’s The Difference Between The Different Vape Pens On the Market Today?

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Macrodosing Marijuana

Macrodosing weed means taking enough weed to get you really high. For some, this can be as little as 10mg of THC while others with a higher tolerance require taking as much as 25mg of THC or even more.

People macrodose for many reasons: some medical patients need to take a significantly larger amount of THC to feel any relief from their pain or other conditions. There are also some people who simply enjoy being really blazed as they engage in activities such as playing video games, cooking, socializing, or simply unwinding.

Macrodosing marijuana can impact significant benefits aside from pain relief. Users can experience bliss, euphoria, empathy, mild hallucinations, color enhancement, and even depth distortion. To those who are new to taking such large amounts of THC, some anxiety, and paranoia so it’s best to be aware that your macrodosing trip can easily go sideways if you aren’t prepared. It is also not recommended to drive or operate any kind of machinery when you are macrodosing so be sure that you are in a safe setting where you can enjoy your high for several hours. A trip can be as long as 12 hours especially if you consume concentrates.

However, you can easily counter this by having some CBD with you; taking CBD can mitigate the effects of getting too high with THC.

RELATED: The Best CBD To THC Ratio To Look For In Your Cannabis Products

Certain types of cannabis are made specifically for macrodosing. Cannabis concentrates are the perfect example. You can easily consume up to 90% of THC in just one hit, making it efficient to macrodose without having to smoke too much. Other ways you can macrodose include using a bong, smoking several puffs from a joint, or consuming edibles with a high amount of THC in them.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to both microdosing and macrodosing. As we said earlier, there’s no right or wrong way. Consumers now have the liberty of choosing from so many products and methods of consumption that you can tailor your dose and experience just the way you like it.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

 



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Should I Stop Smoking Weed?

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This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

We can all agree that when you abuse something, even if it’s cannabis, it will eventually become detrimental to your health and wellbeing. For some, there comes a point in time when they ask themselves, “Should I stop smoking weed?”

It’s an important question and, often times, on pro-cannabis threads, people who ask these types of questions are dismissed. There’s a sense of fanaticism within the cannabis culture that doesn’t help people who are earnestly seeking advice on these topics.

Being someone who has been smoking cannabis for more than two decades (on and sometimes off), I have spoken to my fair share of people who asked me that question. And so, I have decided to answer some of the more frequently asked questions on the topic in the following article. To do this, I always ask people to think about their motivations for wanting to stop or take a break from cannabis.

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I feel foggy, unmotivated when I’m smoking

If this resonates with you, then odds are that you’re smoking too much pot. Cannabis does help “take the edge off,” but it’s also not meant to be a permanent state of being.

Some might say, “You smoke weed every day!” to which I respond, sure, but I’m not “stoned all day”. I wake up early, do a bunch of work, and perhaps take a toke every now and then.

Maybe right after having spent several hours working I would take one or two tokes from some mild weed, get up and go for a walk, let go of the stress and then come back and eat some food, refuel and do some breath work or meditate or take a nap.

As you can see, this is using cannabis in a way that helps my day, but if you’re smoking bong rips first thing in the morning, you need to reexamine your relationship to cannabis and ask yourself, “Why do I need to get this f***ed up every morning?”

Understanding why you’d much rather be zonked to go through life would allow you to identify the issue you’re avoiding.

I’m not saying quit smoking weed; I’m saying, take a break and deal with the root cause of your relentless need to dull your baseline-awareness.

I feel guilty about smoking weed and lie to those around me

Another reason why you may want to quit smoking weed is because of guilt. This rings true for those who have to hide what they do due to “other people’s perception” of it.

Perhaps you live in your parent’s house and simply don’t have enough cash to get a place of your own. It happens. Here you’re pitted against two concepts: do I stay true to myself or bend to the will of others? Choosing either will feel terrible because this is a prime example of a “no-win situation,” especially if there is no possible way of budging the perception of the other party involved.

In these cases, quitting for a time may not be a bad idea, especially if you feel guilty about it. It’s either that or confessing to your parents about your use and simply ripping that scab wide open.

The way I see it — and this is entirely a personal opinion as my editor is going to label this blog post — is that ultimately you have to be true to yourself.

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Guilt is not a way of life, and thus, you must either resolve it by fessing up to those around you and trust that you’ll be fine “eventually” or to quit until you can do it guiltlessly.

The other option is to simply accept the fact that you can’t ever satisfy everyone and ultimately the person who needs to be “okay” with what you do is you.

Just know one thing: whatever you do, it will affect those around you in one way or another.

I only smoke weed because everyone else does

If you don’t like something, don’t do it.

If you’re doing it because your friends do it and won’t accept you if you don’t, find better friends.

If this resonates with you, quit smoking weed immediately.

I got busted for pot and am on probation

I mean, if you’re smoking pot while on probation then you’re either the bravest most “zero-fucks-given” person on the planet or Jason Mendoza from The Good Place.

They may be the same person come to think of it.

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RELATED: This Is How To Know When It Might Be Time To Lay Off Marijuana

If it was me I’d not be smoking weed when I’m under the watchful eye of Johnny law. Weed is good, it’s a medicine, but freedom is better.

Sometimes you have to play the game to survive. iI you’re currently in a bind because of weed, take a year or two off. You have your entire life ahead of you to smoke as much weed as you want.

But for now, you need to lay low.

Here’s some general advice

When it comes to consuming anything, whether we’re talking about food or drugs, or even doing something like breathwork or going to the gym or anything of the sorts, it’s always good to do it in moderation.

If you feel like you need to take a break from weed then give it a try. See how much you depend on it. Hell, I take breaks frequently, especially when fasting or detoxing.

After all, it’s your life and your body, you have to make the ultimate decision. I do hope that this just gave you enough info to get that mind of you ticking away.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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