Category Archives: Cannabis Education

Concentrates

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Many people are confused as to what hash and keif actually are. On the most basic level, hash is pressed keif. Over time, several methods of pressing keif into hash have come into existence. Just google it or look on youtube. You will find numerous methods. Some known methods include using an iron, a toaster, or water but ultimately the result is the same. Keif is turned into hash.

Keif is the crystals or trichomes on the bud itself that fall off. There can also be some plant matter mixed in, but keif is a very fine powder substance. Consumers are able to collect keif when using a grinder that has a screen and a section to collect and save the keif created when grinding up marijuana. Both are a great addition on top of whatever you are smoking! Keep in mind all concentrates are CONCENTRATED forms of marijuana and as such produce enhanced effects.

Types of Cannabis

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Today, there are literally too many strains of cannabis out there to discuss every one of them or their varying effects. What we can say is that there are generally three categories of cannabis. The first two are INDICA and SATIVA, and the third is a HYBRID, or mix of the two in many different combinations. The mix can vary widely with many different strains involved. The dominant strain will vary as well, allowing users to really dial in to their personal needs and achieve desired results. In the end, it all comes down to what you are trying to treat with cannabis.

 

Indica

This strain of cannabis is recognized more as a night time medication, typically because of its pleasant sedating effects. Users can often become “couch locked” after use. Indica tends to be more valuable treating issues related to the body, for example, treating pain issues and insomnia. Indicas are great for relaxation purposes, stress relief, and for an overall sense of serenity and tranquility. Some say that Indicas can sneak up on you. What they mean by this is that it will hit you all at once and put you straight to sleep.

Terms often used to describe Indica: Body Dominant, Sedating, Relaxing, Muscle Relaxant, Pain Reliever, Reduces Nausea, Increases Appetite, Increases Dopamine, Helps with Insomnia

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Sativa

The Sativa strain is considered more of a daytime medication with users feeling a very cerebral effect. Some report a feeling such as a rush of energy and a buzz in the body, a great way of getting work done without being sucked into your couch. The sativa high is thought of as being uplifting and optimistic. People who suffer from depression or ADHD report that sativa works wonders for them.

Terms often used to describe Sativa: Mind Dominant, Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Depressant, Activating, Uplifting, Increases Alertness, Increase Energy, Enhance Creativity, Reduces Nausea

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Hybrid

There are many cross-strains of marijuana, also called a Hybrid, resulting from fertilization between Indica and Sativa plants. This opens up many possibilities, as strains can be certain percentages of either type of plant. For instance, maybe you like the body relaxation that comes with an Indica, but would like to remain somewhat alert. A 70% Indica, 30% Sativa mix might be the right plant for you. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the Hybrid strains.

All of this information above is based on tendencies and not absolute rules about how people will react; marijuana highs are definitely an individual experience. Most users find ways to enjoy both Indica and Sativa, rather than claim allegiance to only one strain. Indica can be a great way to relax after a long day of work or at the end of a long night out. Sativa is good for mellowing out while still retaining the ability to think and act somewhat precisely. Now that you know some differences… Try a pure Indica, a pure Sativa, and a 50/50 Hybrid to see if you can see the difference in the high. You will be pleasantly surprised!

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Smoking

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A joint, blunt, pipe, bong, steam roller, bubbler, dabs, hookah, vaporizer…. All methods used to smoke marijuana. Do you have a preference? Many people use what they were shown to use the first time they smoked and have no idea that other methods of smoking are out there. One of the most underutilized methods, yet the most effective and efficient, is vaporizing. Vaporization is the amazing process that heats marijuana to an optimal temperature, just before burning, allowing the release of THC into the air through vapor. The result…wait for it…..90% THC!!!  AMAZING!

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Edibles

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Marijuana edibles have been around for years, but today they are one hot commodity in the medical marijuana industry! The “old school” pot brownies are still around and many people try their hand at making home cooked goodies in trial and error, but… WOW, many providers have taken on marijuana edibles as a passion and we are seeing some amazing creations. Long time smokers are passing up buds to enjoy a cookie, muffin, honey, candy, popcorn, nuts, drinks, olive oil, soup, and so much more. The list is endless. It is fair to say that the revamped medical marijuana edibles have opened a new realm for people needing medication but not wanting to have to smoke to receive the benefits of the medicine. Edibles are also a discreet way of medicating that can be enjoyed where smoking is not possible.

 It is important for anyone new to medical marijuana to know that eating and smoking marijuana affects individuals differently.  When marijuana is inhaled, the active components are absorbed directly into the bloodstream in the lungs and the effect is almost instant. This is not the case when marijuana is digested. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour for the full effects to be felt, and the final result is often stronger and lasts longer. Many patients are discovering that eating cannabis provides a more gradual psychoactive effect and a more powerful body feel, which treats their medical condition better than inhaling smoke or vapor.  Depending on the dosage of the edible, and the edible tolerance and metabolism of the patient, the range of medicinal effects can be all over the spectrum. The best way to find your favorite edible is with some experimentation and recommendations.  The best edible is always the one that simultaneously provides the most medicinal relief and is enjoyable!  For those concerned with taking too much…Over-medication on edibles is something best never experienced but if it does happen; remember, you are going to be fine, cannabis is one of the safest and least toxic medicines available.  Just remember it takes a while to feel the effects, so try not to over eat.

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Tincture

cache_3611356804Tincture is not something new. It has been around for years and, in fact, has been widely used before cannabis was banned in 1937. Tincture by definition is an extraction of active cannabinoids from plant material. Tinctures are easy to use and are typically purchased in dropper bottles to be administered sublingually (under the tongue). The medicine is rapidly absorbed into the arterial system and is quickly transported to the brain and body. All a consumer needs to do with tincture is use a few drops, wait for the desired medical effects, and either use more or stop as the situation indicates. Dosing will vary greatly by patient tolerance and metabolism, but effects are felt much quicker compared to eating an edible.  One trick is to not swallow the dose as, if swallowed; absorption will be in the GI tract. Many patients, though, add their tincture to a cup of tea or cranberry juice for easy delivery. When tincture is used in a beverage, absorption will be slower than if absorbed under the tongue. This method is often desired due to the burn associated with alcohol tinctures.

 

Many patients who utilize and benefit from medical cannabis do not wish to smoke due to the perceived health hazards of smoking or for other personal reasons. Cannabis products are available today that provide significant relief without smoking and if edibles aren’t your thing don’t give up! There are plenty of cannabis edibles that don’t involve a lot of calories or wait time to feel the effects. Tinctures allow for faster, more manageable dosing.

 

Tinctures come in a few varieties and are either alcohol based or glycerin based, but both provide the same effect. The glycerin based tincture will require a bit more volume for the same effect. This type of effects felt will be determined by the strain of cannabis, Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid, used to make the tincture. Refer to the section on strains to determine what best fits individual needs.

CBD- Cannabinoids

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While the use of cannabis (marijuana) goes back many thousands of years, medicinal uses and the brain chemistry that makes this herb so intriguing to humanity is just beginning to be understood. It has been said that even Queen Victoria had used CBD-rich Cannabis for menstrual cramps. The special active compounds in cannabis are referred to collectively as “cannabinoids.”  The most well-known and talked about cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), because of its psychoactive effects, but studies have found that the other cannabinoids have numerous medical benefits.

Cannabinoids have been divided into subclasses.  The following are the most common that you may hear or read about:  Cannabidiols (CBD), Cannabigerols (CBG), Cannabichromenes (CBC), Cannabidiols (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabinodiol (CBDL), Cannabicyclol (CBL), Cannabielsoin (CBE),  Cannabitriol (CBT), and other miscellaneous types.

Cannabidiol —CBD— is a compound in Cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and actually counters some of the effects of THC.  CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids, contributing up to 40% of cannabis resin and is completely non-psychoactive.  Combining THC and CBD have been found to increase clinical efficacy while reducing adverse effects.  CBD works synergistically with THC, bolstering its medical effects while moderating its psychoactivity.  This means that a plant with a greater percentage of CBD may reduce the intensity of the effects of the THC, which in effect lowers the potency of the plant.   After decades in which only high-THC Cannabis was available, CBD-rich strains are now being grown by and for medical users.

Canna Best offers the high CBD strain called Harlequin.  Members that have tried Harlequin have reported noticeable pain and anxiety relief.

Some medical benefits include:

YES LIST:

Has been found to relieve convulsions and other movement disorders.  Is an anti-spasmodic and antiepileptic.

It is also effective in reducing inflammation (anti-inflammatory), anxiety (anxiolytic),  nausea (anti-emetic)

It is a powerful pain reliever (analgesic).  It is effective in both peripheral neuropathic pain and central pain

It has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth (anticarcinogenic)

It is an immunomodulator and helps the immune system function more efficiently

It is a neuroprotectant and a powerful antioxidant.  It has applications in treatment for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cerebral ischemia, and brain and nerve damage from stroke.

It is an anti-psychotic and recent research has indicated it is effective in treatment of schizophrenia

CBD could be effective in easing symptoms of a wide range of difficult-to-control conditions, including: rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, PTSD, epilepsy, MS, antibiotic-resistant infections and neurological disorders, to name a few.

Has been found to be effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders like IBD and Crohn’s Disease

***Refer to the diagram for additional medical benefits.