Enhanced function is the desired result from a medical marijuana prescription.
What Type of Medical Marijuana is Available in New York State
The two main, active ingredients in Medical Marijuana are:
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is best known as the psychoactive ingredient that produces the “high” effect of cannabis, which has earned all of the “negative press.” It stimulates parts of the brain that release dopamine, which creates a sense of well being and euphoria. THC also has properties that can offer relief from the symptoms of pain and inflammation.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound that produces medicinal effects without the mind-altering effects, which can give patients benefits without fear of mental limitations or other unwanted effects. Studies continue to suggest that CBD reduces the intoxicating effects of THC.
CBD and THC are 2 of many cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids and have the same chemical composition with a slight variation in the arrangement of atoms. Benefits from a balance of THC and CBD have been demonstrated by patients worldwide.
Medicinal Marijuana is Distributed in 2 Forms:
a) Tincture: An oil that is placed below the tongue (Sublingual) and absorbed, thus bypassing the liver for quicker onset of action.
b) Syrup: A viscous (Thick) liquid, that is swallowed and absorbed in the small intestine. Liver is not bypassed, this onset slower of action.
c) Pill: A capsule is ingested and absorbed in the small intestine. Liver is not bypassed, thus onset slower of action.
A cartridge filled with a oil is placed in a Vaporizer. Heating coils within the vaporizer heat the oil until it turns into a vapor. The vapor is then inhaled. Thus, absorbed in the lung bypassing the liver for fast onset of action.
As with any prescribed medication, start with a low dosage and progress slowly to find the balance and method that works best for you.
Finding The Right Balance
Your treatment will be a blend of the active ingredients of cannabis to yield the greatest benefits with the least amount of unwanted effects – preferably none. Because Medical Marijuana is derived from a natural, herbal source, like most herbs (and other medications), its properties can affect everyone differently. Some people may benefit from a higher THC concentration and others from a higher CBD ratio.
For example, studies have shown that many chemotherapy patients benefited from a higher THC blend to alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting, while patients with neurological diseases, like epilepsy, often benefited with a higher CBD concentration.
Therefore, to find the balance that works best for you, we recommend that you:
1) Start LOW and go SLOW. This means to begin taking low doses and slowly build up the amount you may need with an active awareness.
a) We suggest that you keep a simple journal of your experience to better organize your observations to formulate the blend that is right for you.
i) Some points of focus throughout the day may be appetite; general thoughts, interests, and attitude; energy levels; pain levels; stress levels; sleep patterns; etc.
ii) It is a good idea to record your dosage histories in your journal.
2) Meter doses to last throughout the day. Like all medication, Medical Marijuana has a “half-life” and you can experience a trough (a drop in effectiveness) if extended periods of time occur between doses.
a) If you choose a sublingual, tincture solution option:
i) The standard prescription begins at 0.5ml twice a day.
(1) To avoid the “trough” feeling, take smaller doses throughout the day. For example, start with 0.25ml every 4-5 hours or try 0.1ml every 3-4 hours and see how you feel. Pay attention to your body to guide you.
(2) You may want to experiment with a larger dosage at one time of the day and smaller doses at other times.
(3) Again, it is a good idea to record your dosage histories in your journal to better formulate your comfortable balance.
b) We recommend you do not take a dosage immediately before going to sleep as some people can experience a boost in energy. This only applies to HIGH CBD blends and a CBD – THC 1:1 ratio. A HIGH THC – CBD ratio can be taken before going to sleep. This ratio, besides reducing pain, is a sleep aid!
Note: Different dispensaries have varieties of products with diverse THC:CBD ratios. We recommend reading the information provided on their websites to choose what feels comfortable to meet your needs.
Doc Tommy Discusses Facing Criticism for Medical Marijuana
Alleviating Fear & Judgment
Many patients relay that, even though they have valid reasons to use Medical Marijuana and have consciously made the choice to become a patient, they still feel the stigma associated with “weed.” Some patients feel guilty even though they experience benefits from Medical Marijuana use!
One of the most popular concerns is the fear of addiction and using a “psychedelic” drug. As with any medication, personal responsibility is paramount. The same risks involved with the misuse of any medication apply, except that Medical Marijuana is carefully cultivated from a natural source. Medical Marijuana in New York State is strictly supervised and monitored in its production for the highest quality. It is your privilege to have the control of and the responsibility for the THC to CBD ratio that you determine is right for you. As always, responsible use of a controlled substance allows for us to keep our privileges and for many to benefit.
Here are intelligent tips to keep in mind about Medical Marijuana use on our Resources page.
Medical Marijuana Access
NYS Registered Dispensaries are comprised of teams of pharmacists and other professionals who will work with you to determine the best product and dosage for you.
To visit a New York State Certified Dispensary, you will be required to provide your (1) Medical Marijuana Qualifying Certificate from a New York State Medical Marijuana Certifying Physician; (2) Medical Marijuana ID issued by the State of New York; and (3) valid New York State ID. Some dispensaries may have additional requirements which should be listed on their websites.
To find a New York State Certified Dispensary, click here.
Article prepared by Goddess Projects