Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canabis 101

Here's what you can't get from you local street merchant. The scientific information on what it is in marijuana that can help with various symptoms, what types of marijuana are grown for what purposes, and the exact content of what you purchase.

Studies have shown that there are 70 different chemicals in cannabis, called cannabinoids, each having their own unique effect on the body through the nervous system. The two main cannabinoids that are responsible for the effects and  benefits are THC and CBD.

THC--the most well-know chemical in marijuana and the main chemical most people are obsessed with one way or another. This is the chemical that gets you high, so of course this is the only thing most people focus on when they talk about medical marijuana. "Is it really strong?" "You'll be high all day." And other such things are constantly being thrown at me by people who know I am interested. Being high isn't the only thing THC will do for you though. THC helps with stress, pain, and inflammation.

CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, neuroprotective, lowering of blood pressure, and painkilling properties. It works well against convulsions and muscle spasms, and as a great sleep aid. Recent studies have shown success in the treatment of seizures.

Medical marijuana is grown in different categories for different purposes, based on the chemical content. The three main categories are Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. Sativa is high in THC and low in CBD, and Indica is low in THC and high in CBD. Obviously, hybrid is a mix of both. They have various strands cultivated in various ways, and they tell you the percentage of the chemicals.

New Jersey is not allowing the dispensaries to sell the other forms (pill, lollipops, etc.). I personally find this ludicrous. I mean, people needing it don't have enough problems that they have to force them to smoke the stuff? Well, that's for another post I guess. They are allowed to sell sealed containers of 1/4, 1/2, or 1 oz., on which they put the patient's name and ID number from the official NJ Medical Marijuana program. The ID must be in the users possession while transporting it, and it must be in the original container with that number on it. Patients cannot go outside of NJ with it.

So...after my brief education on these things and hearing that the stuff costs $535 an ounce (ouch!), I decided on 1/4 oz. of something to relieve anxiety and help me sleep.That seemed the best way to start for now. I got what they name "Death Star." I don't know who comes up with the names, but this is not helping our plight to get people to take this seriously as a serious medicine...but I digress. Death Star is 30.58% THC (that's VERY high) and 0.74% CBD (also somewhat high). The effects are relaxing, calming muscle spasms, and providing relief from nerve and muscle pain. They told me it should help me sleep.

After coughing up a lung (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration) with a joint, I tried a pipe. A little better but still harsh. I think it is helping with sleep, but I am still logging and keeping track to make this a real experiment so I can relay the true findings after a while, so I will hold off on blogging the specifics until I am satisfied I have done things true to my science-needy mind. I will say though, I went out and bought a vaporizer (like an e-sig) to save my lungs, so I will be using that for a while. Sorry that I can't provide the joint and pipe findings for everyone, but I like my lungs.

As always...stay tuned...