What is Marijuana?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed or by other names, is a genus of flowering plants that are commonly grown in wild temperate and tropical areas of the world. Cannabis is also capable of growing in any climate as it can be easily cultivated with the use of technology such as indoor hydroponics.
Once harvested, dried, and cured, cannabis is then consumed using different methods for both medical and recreational reasons. Respective variants of the plant will produce either a sativa, indica or hybrid strain, all of which will affect the user differently.
A Closer Look
Marijuana normally consists mainly of THC or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol which is the most active chemical compound and the one responsible for the psychoactive effects or “high” experienced by the user. However, there are numerous other beneficial compounds (nonpsychoactive) in cannabis including (CBD) cannabidiol, (CBN) cannabinol, and many others.
Furthermore, different plants are breed for specific purposes and extraction processes often even focus on extracting one or multiple compounds depending on the medical need. For example, CBD strains and extractions provide the medical benefits of CBD but because only trace amounts of THC exist, they fall within legal territory.
For centuries now, cannabis has been used for medical purposes since it is a helpful aide when it comes to various health conditions. Cannabis is of course also used for recreational reasons due to the aforementioned psychoactive compound THC and the “high” or euphoric feelings it produces for the user.
Benefits aside, consuming too much cannabis can lead to temporary hallucinations, rapid heart rate, and paranoia. Other temporary side effects may also be experienced, however, even an “overdose” of marijuana cannot cause physical death, unlike many prescription pain killers and other common medicines pushed by big pharma.
Cannabis is also a depressant so it is capable of slowing down the function of the central nervous system, affecting the messages going between the brain and the body, and chronic use may cause depression in some individuals.
Overall, though, cannabis is truly a remarkable plant and as the medical community continues to study it and the public further embraces it, the medical benefits will only be further realized.
What Are the Medical Uses of Cannabis?
For centuries now, cannabis has been proven to be helpful for different medical ailments. Some of the conditions often treated with cannabis include the following:
- Vomiting and nausea during chemotherapy
- Severe weight loss, particularly in people suffering from cancer, anorexia nervosa, and HIV or AIDS, for cannabis can stimulate appetite
- Helps with many neurological disorders involving muscle spasms, including spinal cord injury and sclerosis
- Relieves pain in people experiencing arthritis and even cancer
This list also just scratches the surface and the medical issues that cannabis can treat is growing steadily as more research is done on medical marijuana as a whole.
If you feel that marijuana may benefit you, be sure to consult with your doctor first. While cannabis is generally very safe and can be safely mixed with many prescription medicines, it’s always best to get the advice of a medical professional just in case.
Strains Of Medical Marijuana – The Basics
Medical marijuana is not a single uniform product. There are hundreds of compounds in its chemical makeup which all have distinct features and health applications. With legalization, it has now become possible to tap into the potential benefits of each cannabis compound. THC-heavy strains provide a different kind of relief from CBD-heavy strains.
Let us learn some basics about Indica, Sativa, and hybrid medical marijuana.
The Sativa strain of cannabis is known for its stimulating effects and can be safely taken during the daytime without affecting your sleep patterns. This is a favorite among those involved in creative tasks and is known as an antidepressant.
The Indica variety helps those who want to relax because of its sleep-inducing properties. It is also used as a pain-relief medication. Indica increases your appetite, a reason it is used in treatment for eating disorders.
Hybrids have been created, blending the features of these two varieties and there are plenty of combinations.
How you consume marijuana can also determine its effect on you. Most people smoke it while there are some who add it to food. Yes, we are talking about edibles. Due to the metabolic process, edible marijuana is broken differently from smoked medical marijuana and results in different reactions from the body.
Buying Medical Marijuana – Simple And Transparent
Depending on the country or state you live in, cannabis can be purchased in a number of ways, legally or illegally. Obviously you will want to research cannabis laws in your location before considering either option, especially the latter for it can come with heavy consequences.
Many places only offer “medical” marijuana with a doctor’s prescription but you can also purchase it legally for recreational use in many states in the USA. For example, California, Oregon, Washington, and Denver have some of most lax marijuana laws in the nation.
If you live in a medical only legal state, purchasing cannabis is as simple as getting a doctor’s note and then visiting your local medical marijuana dispensary. On the other hand, if you happen to reside in a recreational legal state, a doctor’s note isn’t even required. In fact, you can even order online from a mail order dispensary.
Pretty crazy that there was a time when cannabis use was connected to mental illness in an almost hysterical manner – Reefer Madness may be a quirky pop culture totem now, but there was a time when it was the gospel in the war against drugs. Thankfully, discussions around medical uses of cannabis are more nuanced and balanced these days and we can thank science and research for that – along with ample historical evidence. But just like all good things in life, medical marijuana too should not be abused.
State laws differ so always make sure that you are buying medical marijuana only from legitimate sources. These vendors would have followed all the necessary compliance and they provide you with more choice of top quality products – what more could we want?
Dispensaries like Mission Organic deliver you their products in seven days a week and they stock the best ones in different forms. In California, medical marijuana can be bought by anyone who is at least 18 years of age, provided they show a recommendation that is issued by a certified medical practitioner.
A Beginners Guide to Marijuana Consumption
Marijuana, cannabis, and hashish, how many synonyms to these words do you know? I am sure – plenty of them! Everyone has heard these words many times, in everyday life, the movies, in the street, or even at home.
In what context did you understand these words for the first time? Did your parents tell you that marijuana negatively affects your health or is addictive? Did they also tell you that marijuana could be helpful and that many people use it for medical purposes?
Today thousands if not millions of people use marijuana both for recreational and medicinal use. Since may states have legalized marijuana for adult consumption, research in cannabis has been making well deserved leaps and bounds and thus is bringing it more into the forefront of modern society.
For those who use the plant for medical reasons and experience the profound healing properties of the herb, there is no question that cannabis deserves its place in their medicine cabinet. States where marijuana has been legalized have even seen a reduction in opiate addiction!
Have you considered using marijuana for recreational or health reasons? Perhaps it’s time to check with your doctor to see if it may be an option for you.
Here’s a quick look at why people consume cannabis and popular ways marijuana is consumed.
Reasons People Consume Marijuana
What is the main reason people use cannabis? Surely they use it to relax! Well yes, but this is only one of many reasons. Marijuana smoking also brings euphoria, talkativeness, decreased anxiety, enhancement of sensory experiences, increased appetite, and more.
People consume marijuana for a variety of reasons and each consumer is different from the other. No person reacts the same to marijuana just as no person reacts the same to pharmaceutical drugs or alcohol.
Medical patients consume marijuana mainly because the plant has very few side-effects compared to pharmaceuticals and in many cases does a better job at treating their medical issues like chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, lack of appetite and other health issues. Perhaps check with your doctor if cannabis is new to you and you’re currently dependent on pharma or over-the-counter products, for cannabis might just be something worth trying.
Recreational folks consume it simply for the fun of it. Marijuana can be looked at similar to the way people go out on the weekends to have a drink. In moderation the plant is pretty harmless, and for this very reason it is a favorite weekend pastime of many.
Reasons Marijuana Isn’t for Everyone
Obviously marijuana isn’t ideal for everyone and so it comes with some caveats. Cannabis consumption may cause hallucinations or strange dreams among other negative effects. The list can be pretty long like any other drug you take, but marijuana is relatively harmless, even in large doses when compared to most if not all pharma drugs used to treat similar ailments. Consult with a marijuana doctor to get the full scoop.
The length of the effects vary according to a persons peculiarities, basically how one reacts to cannabis personally and to the quality and potency of the drug, and the consumption method used. If you do consume too much, simply stay calm and relax. Marijuana cannot kill an adult or even a child if consumed, even in large quantities, and the effects are temporary.
A great technique with over-consumption is to continually tell yourself that you will be ok and to focus on your breath. Once the peak period is over it is usually smooth sailing from there. Now if a child overdoses on marijuana, it is best to contact a poison control center just in case, thought chances are that they will be just fine once the scary effects wear off.
At the end of the day, nobody can know how cannabis will affect them until they’ve personally tried it. If you do and then determine cannabis doesn’t feel right to you, simply don’t use it. Or perhaps check with your doctor for you may simply have consumed too much and so it may be worth another try at a lower dose or via a different consumption method. For example, don’t start out your marijuana journey with edibles, many have a bad experience when doing so. One puff on a pipe is all you need if new to cannabis, and then from there you can progress to two hits, et cetera. Or if you are prescribed edibles by your doctor, start out with the smallest dose recommended by them.
Ways People Consume Marijuana
Vaping has fast become a favorite method to consume cannabis among many. Modern technologies now propose to vape cannabis through individual marijuana vaporizers from Vapingdaily and others. Many folks love this option because of convenience and the comparatively reduced negative effects on the lungs. Vaping is also very popular because the process doesn’t have the pungent smell which is associated with combustion consumption methods. Vaping starts with a vape cartridge that contains cannabis oil and vaporizer pen which is basically a device with a battery that connects to the cartridge. Vape cartridges come in a convenient form which is essentially cannabis that has been extracted into liquid form. Simply screw the cartridge to the pen and you’re ready to consume. The vape pen has a button which you simply press to then consume the oil.
One of the more traditional and nostalgic ways to consume marijuana is to roll the flower into a joint, spliff, doobie, jay, et cetera. Rolling a joint takes from one to ten minutes depending on whether you are already experienced in doing so. However, many people feel rolling a joint entrenches upon their time and thus they prefer other methods to consume the plant. Using a joint rolling device can speed up the process or you can always opt for one of the many alternative methods to smoke if it isn’t to your liking. Joints are very popular in the recreational scene because of the overall experience. Passing the joint around with friends is a popular pastime and bonding experience for the marijuana connoisseur.
Using a pipe is a very popular way to consume marijuana flower, however, many people will choose other methods to consume for various reasons. While using a pipe is super simple, the pipe isn’t always favored because the experience may be harsh depending on the quality of the pipe. With lower quality pipes, the heat source can irritate the throat and you may inhale (sometimes hot) particles of weed while you puff. The fact pipes eventually get clogged and require fairly consistent cleaning to remove obstructions from the pipe, is yet another reason people often choose an alternative path to consume the herb. Overall though pipes are a popular option and there are a variety of products to choose from, which can help you avoid the aforementioned cons.
A tincture of cannabis is essentially an concentrated alcoholic extract of cannabis, though there are other extraction methods and chemicals used to create tinctures. Alcohol is by far the most popular way to extract cannabis into a tincture. The tincture used to be the primary method of consumpion before marijuana was outlawed with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. Basically cannabis is soaked in alcohol and all the terpenes (flavors) and cannabinoids (medicinal compounds such as THC or CBD) are extracted into the liquid, which is then consumed via a dropper under the tongue, or what they call sublingual. This method isn’t really popular today in the recreational sector, however, tinctures are fantastic for medical patients, especially those who have lung issue and thus cannot use smoking or vaping devices.
Edibles are simply food items such as candy, cakes, or even drinks that are infused with cannabis. Cannabis is extracted via different methods and usually turned into butter or oil to make it convenient to add to edible creations which are then cooked. This method is super popular today, especially with the growing medical community. Edibles have no real negative health effects thanks to the oral consumption method, and the potency of edibles is enhanced because of the way cannabis is absorbed into the body differently because of first pass metabolism, which changes the major compound in marijuana called THC to a more potent form called 11-Hydroxy-THC. Edibles are not for beginners and it’s best to start out slow. One big potential negative of edibles is that you can get very high and experience an intense psychological experience if you’re not careful. Depending on the person, this experience isn’t always fun. The biggest pro to edibles is the sedating and pain reduction effects. Edibles produce more of a body high so to speak, at least in reasonable quantities.
Capsules, Tablets, Dermal Patches, Oral Sprays, etc.
The variety of ways to consume marijuana are many. These methods are less popular but have their place in the marijuana world, notably with those who use cannabis strictly for medical purposes. Capsules, tablets, dermal patches and oral sprays are unique options for those who may not be able to or for those who do not prefer traditional consumption methods. New methods of consuming cannabis are continually being created on top of the ones we’ve covered here. Check with your local budtender or ask your doctor which option is best for you, if you’re not sure where to start or if you tried other methods and weren’t happy with the effects or experience.
Notes on Cannabis Consumption: What to Look Out For
Cannabis can be utilized in many different forms. Its effects may also vary significantly depending on how it is consumed. Here is a closer look at some of the more common consumption products/methods:
- Marijuana flower – This is the most common form of cannabis that many users consume. It is when the flowers’ buds and dried leaves of the cannabis plant are typically smoked using a bong, pipe or joint.
- Hashish – It is made from a secreted gum (resin) of the cannabis plant that is gathered and squeezed into blocks, sticks, or balls.
- Hash oil – It also is known as cannabis oil or in another term, honey oil. It is the liquid form of cannabis extracts that are often added to the tip of a cigarette or a joint and then smoked.
- Edibles – Cannabis is also added to different kinds of food. These are referred as edibles. Usually, it takes around 1 – 1.5 hours before experiencing the effects because of the first pass metabolism effect when consuming products orally.
When consuming cannabis, especially edibles, it’s important to keep in mind some of the following considerations:
When it comes to edibles, overconsumption or overdose is very common with new users. Because of first pass metabolism (digestion), it takes longer for a user to feel the effects. Users often think they should consume more to immediately feel its effects. Unfortunately, consuming more can later cause some uncomfortable or even very scary psychoactive effects including temporary psychosis. Also, food that consists of inconstant levels of THC can cause users difficulty in regulating the amount consumed as well. In conclusion, it’s therefore best to start out with a very small amount when eating a cannabis edible to negate any possible negative side effects.
Smoking or Vaporizing:
On the other hand, the effects of cannabis can be felt immediately when it is vaporized or smoked. The chance of overdose is dramatically reduced when consuming cannabis via the lungs. However, health concerns might arise in the long-term when smoking cannabis, particularly if it’s mixed with tobacco. Vaporizing is generally considered safer than smoking because the carcinogens are dramatically or completely reduced when using quality products and equipment.
The Bottom Line
Marijuana use is gaining widespread adoption for many reasons. The many medicinal benefits cannabis offers medical consumers and the popularity of marijuana as an alternative to alcohol or other drugs for recreational consumers is a big motivator in the continuing growth of the plant.
Is marijuana for you? This depends. You will only be able to know if you try it for yourself, however, be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning. For example, marijuana may not be a good option since it may negatively interact with other drugs you are taking, such as antidepressants.
Pros and cons aside, there’s no denying that cannabis is likely to progress as we progress, and chances are it’s here to stay whether you like it or not.
Potential Health Risks of Cannabis Consumption
While cannabis is an amazing medicinal plant that can treat a number of ailments, it also has potential side effects that may negatively impact your health or well-being.
For example, excessive use of cannabis may cause sexual dysfunction, impairment of judgment that could lead to accidents, chronic bronchitis, suppressed body immune system, reduced brain function, acute memory loss, and other issues.
However, it’s worth noting that not everyone will experience these side effects and many are only temporary. Many proponents of cannabis even go as far as saying that cannabis has no long-term negative health effects.
In my opinion, claiming marijuana is harmless and that it has no long-term negative health effects is irresponsible, though. In time, however, the long-term health effects of marijuana will come to light as more and more research is done due to legality opening up more each day globally. Until then, I’m not 100% convinced that cannabis is completely safe.
How you consume cannabis and how much you consume makes a big difference here as well, so this is definitely something to note. For example, smoking marijuana vs eating it; the former is not as healthy for pretty obvious reasons.
In conclusion, make sure to be responsible with your actions to avoid complications, which may discredit the positive and helpful effects of cannabis. Moderate and responsible consumption is the best approach here.
Trimming Cannabis: How It’s Done and How You Can Do It
After paying attention and attending to your cannabis garden, it is now time to complete what you started. According to bestpot.ca, trimming is the process of cutting leaves from buds of marijuana and also known refereed as “manicuring.” This is ordinarily done to enhance appearances and get rid of the unpleasant taste. Some people fear the process of clipping cannabis buds; however, there are some approaches to make the whole process efficient and enjoyable. Understanding the basics before picking up the tools might help in ensuring that the buds are perfectly trimmed.
Why Trim Cannabis?
There are several reasons why trimming cannabis is necessary. For aesthetic purposes, marijuana usually look finer and appealing when adequately pruned. The outward form of an appropriately manicured cannabis appears tighter and uniformly attractive like those seen in photographs. Untrimmed buds will ordinarily look less appealing to many buyers and users. Also, trimming reduces the harshness of cannabis, removing the additional leave matter enhances its smoothness, and it is, therefore, less irritating to the throat and the lungs.
Additionally, sugar leaves contain less concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, cutting the protruding leaves helps in exposing the parts of buds which are rich in this chemical compound. Many growers will opt to trim buds, but they also do not want to waste any content of THC; hence they will process the trimmed leaves to extract any contents of THC in them.
When to Trim Cannabis?
Ordinarily, the process of trimming should start several days before harvesting, during this time the larger fan leaves get eliminated. Growers generally remove the fan leaves in the weeks leading up to harvesting since this is the time senescence starts, a phase when the large fan leaves naturally terminate their functional life and start withering. It is recommended to begin removing the dead leaves before harvesting. However, if trimming is done too early, it might interfere with the plant’s growth since it might slow down or stop growing days afterward. It is advisable to wait until the last week before harvesting leaves should be dried.
Trimming Techniques for Cannabis
Trimming is essential for cannabis growers. There are a few techniques that can be adopted. Machine trimming is convenient for large-scale and commercial growers. When this method is applied, the bud will be aesthetically pleasing but is not the favorable option for flavor. Additionally, the trimming devices may also cut the bud material that contains trichomes which are responsible for the weed scent. Usually, different marijuana plant produces buds of varying size and shape, but the trimming machines are insensitive of these differences and are also unable to locate the buds crystallized in resin. The disadvantages of this method include the high cost of hiring and maintaining the gadgets. Also, adjusting the apparatus guarantees losing trichomes and potency.
For small-scale growers, trimming can be done using the hands. With this approach, commercial growers need to hire experienced workers who have the required skills to trim the buds by hand. This method requires training to ensure that cannabis is appropriately handled and processed. For example, workers should know how to hold the bud to make sure they avoid compromising the shape of the bud.
Advantages of Wet and Dry Trimming
Manicuring can take place in two windows of time. It can be done on the harvest day when the plant is still alive. This is known as wet trimming and is the most commonly used method. This approach has several advantages which include allowing open access to the buds. Also, it is easier for growers to remove the dead leaves with their hands when the plant is still wet. Additionally, when the cannabis is fresh from the garden, it is easy to rotate the buds and the stems to locate the ideal cutting angles. Besides, wet trimming facilitates bud drying because additional foliage which contains the moisture is removed. The main disadvantage of this technique is that it is time- consuming and also expensive for commercial growers.
On the other hand, dry trimming is conducted after four-ten days after harvesting when some of the moisture has evaporated. This method benefits growers from areas with dry climate. Also, growers prefer this approach because it is less sticky and it is easy when using the shears. However, the process of drying before trimming can result to unevenly wicked bud which can affect the quality of the cannabis.
Equipment for Trimming
1. Cannabis Trimming Scissors
A pair of sharp, sterilized shears is essential for every grower. The best shears are ergonomic and should fit with the user’s grip; this is important especially when trimming is expected to take several hours because it prevents hand cramps. Furthermore, the scissors should be easy to clean because they get stickier with time.
2. A comfortable chair and place
Ordinarily, it takes several hours before the buds are adequately trimmed. Therefore it is advisable to make sure you get a comfortable seat in a cool place with enough light and fewer particulars that are likely to contaminate the products.
3. A clean tray
This is an essential tool that every cannabis grower should have. It provides a convenient place to store the buds being trimmed and it can also be conveniently placed on the lap. It is also important to consider the material of the tray before making purchases and ensure it is easy to clean. Stainless steel is the most appropriate.
4. Cleaning supplies
The trimming scissors are likely to slow down when they get sticky due to resin accumulation. Therefore, a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol vital. Alcohol helps in weakening and removing resin while the fabric is used to wipe the blades thus ensuring they are spotless.
Trimming Stages for Dry Technique
1. Removing the Fan Leaves
Cannabis harvested directly from the garden will have branches wrapped by fan leaves. Since these leaves contain little or no trichomes, it is essential to get rid of them before drying cannabis. Here a machine may be used to remove most of the large leaves.
2. Cutting Buds from the Branch
Once the cannabis is dry, the trimming process may begin. The buds are snipped from the branches. However, during this time the actual trimming has not yet started. The buds are stored in a paper bag ready for the next stage.
3. Fill the tray and trim
The buds are loaded in a tray; one should not fill the tray as this might slow down the process of trimming and might also cause disorganization. Here you should cut the stem at the bottom carefully to prevent the bud from breaking down. Also, you should trim off any extra plant matter.
Tips for Trimming Cannabis
When trimming cannabis one should use the tip of the shears and not the sides, this ensures the tool stays clean and may also reduce stickiness. Additionally, to ensure that a uniform surface area is created around the buds, everything that is not covered in trichomes should be trimmed. Once dried the buds should be stored in airtight containers for curing, this can be done in a glass mason jars.
Overall, trimming cannabis is a delicate process, and it should, therefore, be treated with a lot of care to prevent significant setbacks such as bud breaking. Additionally, it is important to ensure that one has the required skills such as the expertise of handling the buds and the trimming shears. Once cannabis is trimmed, it should be loaded correctly in a curing jar and stored in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight.
Potential Neuropathy Healing Properties of Cannabis
Neuropathy is a pretty common problem that people experience due to their nerves being damaged, the effects of neuropathy can manifest in a variety of ways, neuropathic pain being one the most common one.
The reason why one’s nerves become damaged can vary from irresponsible alcohol consumption to lifelong afflictions such as diabetes and inherited disorders. Neuropathy can be pretty complicated since the symptoms, reasons,and effects vary from case to case, the worst thing about neuropathy is that currently there is no cure for it, the only thing doctors can do is help patients manage their symptoms in some cases through medication and therapy.
There is one form of neuropathy that most people have heard of; chronic pain. Chronic pain is experienced when one has to deal with symptoms of neuropathy in the form of physical pain, chronic pain can be quite debilitating and usually requires patients to take strong pain management drugs that have long-lasting effects on their health.
So far doctors have only been able to make chronic pain more bearable,however, we might have a much better treatment for chronic pain just around the corner. In fact, we have had this treatment option under our noses for quite some time now; medical marijuana.
Cannabis has been classified as an illegal drug for quite some time now, however,authorities are finally beginning to recognize its numerous medicinal properties, marijuana has been legalized in several countries already for medical use since it can help control the spread of cancer, treat seizures and do a lot more.
Marijuana can also help alleviate pain, making it a promising alternative to the currently available pain reducing drugs, the debate on whether marijuana can be used as a pain medicine has been around for quite some time now. In 2014, a meeting was held by the World Congress in Buenos Aires where the use of marijuana as a pain relief drug was discussed extensively.
During this conference, neuropathic pain treatment was also discussed, during the meeting,a Pain Clinician from the McGill University (Mark Ware) laid out a lot of scientific reasoning that supported the use of medical marijuana as a valid pain medicine. According to the Pain Clinician, THC and CBD (natural, synthetic or endogenous) had a significant effect throughout one’s nervous system.
Along with scientific proof highlighting marijuana’s ability to deal with pain, there are plenty of documented cases of cancer patients and people suffering from chronic pain making use of medical marijuana to manage pain levels. In some cases, marijuana was capable of providing pain relief that conventional drugs were not capable of.
Marijuana is going to become legal in many more countries quite soon, and once that happens a lot of people will have access to a safer and more effective pain relief medication. The marijuana legalizing movement is a fairly recent one,however,synthetic THC compounds have been used legally within the US since 1985. These synthetic compounds were mostly used for cancer and HIV patients,however, they have also been prescribed to people with chronic pains.
Research on synthetic THC led to scientists finding out that synthetic marijuana supplements are much safer than natural ones, despite the fact that marijuana is illegal in the US, there has still been a comprehensive amount of research regarding this plant.
If you are suffering from neuropathy related pains and have trouble managing them then you should seek professional help that will allow you to explore the various treatment options you have.
Medical marijuana is gradually becoming a legitimate form of medicine and you should definitely start considering it as an option, not only does it provide better pain relief, it is much safer to use and causes no long-term damage to your health.
For more guidance on neuropathy related supplements, take a look at NeuropathyHelp.co supplements guide, a great place to learn more about neuropathy, what causes it and what can you do to manage your neuropathy related symptoms.
Remember, with the right kind of help and with a positive attitude, one can gain better control over their lives and make sure that their illnesses do not rule over them.
How Marijuana Impacts Your Exercise Performance
You might not consider cannabis an asset to your workout routine, but it’s high time you let mary jane help with your gains.
Given the amount of stigma associated with medical marijuana throughout history, antiquated “studies” exploring the intersection between fitness and cannabis largely concluded that the substance does nothing in the way of improving exercise performance.
New studies, however are finding more links between cannabis and exercise efficacy than ever before.
For decades, cannabis was speculated to interrupt growth hormones, but these findings have ultimately been ruled as inconclusive and biased.
Now, as legal cannabis continues to infiltrate popular culture and receive more coverage from websites like MjCareers.info, CannaRecruiter.com, Ganjapreneur.com and others, fitness experts are re-evaluating how cannabis can improve your workout routine.
Marijuana Effects on the Body
Smoking or consuming cannabis with significant levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) releases the neurotransmitter, dopamine in the human brain. Dopamine is found in the nucleus accumbens part of the brain, which is often referred to as the “reward center.” The reward center makes people feel good and helps to stimulate pleasure, movement and focus.
Marijuana Exercise Benefits
Everyone’s heard of the runner’s high, but what does it really mean? Interesting enough, runner’s high is not only real, it releases dopamine as a similar response to smoking cannabis. Now, try combing runner’s high and cannabis and you can really see how great it feels to be physically active.
A recent study found that individuals who consumed cannabis, followed by exercise had 15% higher THC levels than individuals who consumed without working out. Herb.co explains that this is because as fat metabolizes, the THC stored in fat cells is released back into the bloodstream and increases the high.
Working Out While Stoned
Before going into detail on how cannabis affects the body before, during, and after exercise, let’s get some facts straight. The American Journal of Medicine recently published a study concurring that regular marijuana users have 16% lower fast acting metabolism levels and 17% lower insulin resistance levels than non-smokers. Additionally, cannabis is said to encourage healthy metabolic functioning, rather than hindering it as some of the uninformed have historically believed.
There are many reasons individuals may choose to get stoned before exercising. One of the oft-mentioned arguments is that it helps to stimulate and encourage their desire to work out. After a long day at work or an argument with a friend or family member can be enough to squash your exercise plans for the day.
Cannabis, however, acts as a great source of inspiration for getting off the couch and into your sneakers. It has also been shown to help people dial in their exercise routine, blocking out any intrusive thoughts or worries they might experience without cannabis.
Marijuana and Athletic Performance
Since there have been few studies of the effects of cannabis use on professional athletes, it’s hard to tell exactly how or if cannabis boosts athletic performance. On the one hand, cannabis has shown to adversely affect coordination in certain subjects, yet it also helps athletes with the jitters of performance anxiety and helps to put them “in the zone.”
One thing is for sure when combining cannabis and athletics: don’t get too high. While a nice buzz can help inspire your athletic endeavors, consuming too much cannabis can make you paranoid or increase your chance of injury by losing sight of your bodily limitations.
Looking at the range of professional athletes who’ve admitted to using cannabis, there is certainly anecdotal evidence that suggests the substance won’t destroy your chances of reaching your potential as an athlete. Just ask the winningest olympian in history or Carmelo Anthony. With that said, I wouldn’t suggest toking up if it has the potential to disqualify you from an event.
Smoking After Working Out
One of the most effective ways cannabis interacts with exercise routines is in the recovery process. We all know how it feels the first (and second) day after a long run or a tough workout; well, as it turns out, cannabis can be your best friend in helping your achy muscles recover. Medical cannabis has been used to treat many individuals who experience chronic pain and can be equally beneficial for athletes and fitness lovers.
As a lifelong runner, I have intermittently relied on cannabis as a major recovery technique after marathons and weeks of intense training. There’s nothing like a great cannabis edible to take your mind off the months and years you’ve spent literally pounding your feet against the pavement, or tripping on roots in the forest.
The Science of Strains in Exercise
The basics of cannabis strains can be broken down into three general classifications: sativa, indica and hybrid. These three strains produce different effects and facilitate different results depending on what kind of physical activity you are engaging in.
Sativa strains most often produce a stimulating effect in subjects that leaves them energized, cerebral and motivated. This strain is especially good for long distance running and other cardiovascular activities that require consistent aerobic movements. The one “drawback” of sativas while exercising is the heady, cerebral effect it engenders.
While perfect for doing creative projects or having conversation, these effects aren’t always the best for focusing on a workout. For this reason, I recommend sativa strains like Sour Diesel and Amnesia Haze, which have long lasting effects and won’t keep you too much in your head.
I’d also recommend using a sativa dominant hybrid. Hybrid strains are crosses between indica and sativa strains and produce effects associated with each strain. Hybrids are great for exercise, as they are uplifting, without being overwhelming. A perfect example of an “active” hybrid is OG Dogwalker, which provides the perfect amount of energy for a long hike.
Indica strains are known to produce significant body highs and put you more in touch with how you feel physically. Unlike sativas, indicas are less cerebral and allow your mind to focus with more clarity. Indicas are excellent for slower yoga flows and sustained postures. Once again, hybrids are your friend here. An indica dominant hybrid like Girl Scout Cookies works great for workouts like Pilates, which have aerobic and anaerobic elements.
In terms of finding out which strain works best for your exercise routine, the best thing you can do is try out several different options! Consider keeping a journal to compile how each strains makes you feel pre and post workout, as well as during. This can help you narrow down what process works best for you when combining cannabis and physical activity.
Final Word: Demand For More Studies
From what we know to be true about cannabis and exercise, the hallucinogenic plant shows no evidence of adversely affecting exercise gains or harming an individual’s hormone response to working out. On the contrary, cannabis can help to stimulate healthy fitness habits, increase focus during workouts and help athletes to recover.
An Uphill Battle
Admittedly, there are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning cannabis and exercise performance, encouraging a demand for more funding and government-supported research in cannabis science. The legal marijuana industry still has an uphill battle as a result of outrageous Schedule I drug classification by the DEA since 1970’s Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act under Richard Nixon, that positions cannabis as more addictive and less medically beneficial than cocaine, meth and Adderall.
To find out more information regarding cannabis and exercise, conduct some research of your own by reading peer-reviewed articles from unbiased publications and medical journals that lay the facts out, rather than try to push an agenda. Cannabis might just be the key to keeping this next year’s New Year resolution.
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Does Marijuana Help With Fitness and Recovery?
The utilization of cannabis as an illicit drug has been an issue across the globe and it’s no less complicated by the fact that different countries are anchored in their own unique beliefs and systems surrounding the plant.
However, there is no denying that the legalization of cannabis in the medical field is gaining more and more public support. People in general have become much more aware of the medical benefits of cannabis and this will only grow as legalization continues to sweep the planet.
This article seeks to educate the reader on whether or not weed can benefit your fitness and recovery.
Cannabis on Fitness and Recovery
Cannabis can be a fantastic aide to improve fitness motivation and focus, boost energy, and help your muscles recover by reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality. Here’s how cannabis can impact pain, sleep, and focus:
Cannabis and Pain:
There have been quite a few studies that show the utilization of cannabis can relieve chronic pain, especially when using strains heavy in (CBD) Cannabidiol. Since CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory nature, it can be a great weapon against sore muscles and joints. CBD can be helpful for other general aches and pains as well. For example, CBD is great for headaches.
Cannabis and Sleep:
Many fitness enthusiasts and athletes use cannabis to help themselves both unwind in the evenings and fall asleep. Quality sleep is crucial for both muscle and mental recovery. For anybody that works and plays hard in and outside the gym, it’s not always easy to fall asleep. Indica dominant cannabis strains can do wonders for anyone struggling to fall asleep, including full-blown insomniacs.
Cannabis and Focus:
I personally know quite a few fitness enthusiasts who consume cannabis before every workout and outdoor fitness activity. While this isn’t necessarily the best practice, cannabis can definitely improve your focus and even improve your motivation to work out. That said, consuming too much cannabis can potentially disconnect you from your body and you may injure yourself when losing focus. For example, you can get too much in your head, forget to tighten your core, and potentially injure your back in the process. Also, if you’re having to rely on cannabis everyday to get yourself motivated, you may have an underlying problem to sort out. All this aside, you can’t deny the powerful motivation and energy that Sativa dominant cannabis strains can offer.
The Bottom Line
Despite all its positive medical benefits, we can’t deny the fact that overuse of cannabis can have potential negative consequences. Be responsible with your usage and actions to avoid complications. A little goes a long way when it comes to cannabis consumption.
On the other hand, cannabis use is generally very safe and in the eyes of many regular consumers and experts alike, the pros far outweigh the cons in too many ways to detail here. I personally agree with this and find cannabis to be a wonderful aide for health and general fitness when used moderately and responsibly.
5 Surprising Effects of Cannabis on Your Fitness Routine
The topic on cannabis has continued to shift and now more people than ever are talking about the benefits of using cannabis.
Its usage has also grown and it is now attracting people from different professions who would want to enhance their work routine. Among those who are benefiting from cannabis are athletes, who have used it as a way to enhance the performance of their workout.
Top 5 Effects of Cannabis on Your Fitness Routine
There are plenty of literature online on this topic, if you wish to read more, but for now, if you would like to know how this works, listed here is how cannabis affects your fitness schedule.
#1. Reduces soreness between workouts
Cannabidiol (CBD) found in cannabis contains anti-inflammatory properties, and the advantage is that it is non-psychoactive, so you don’t get the ‘high’ feeling that comes with smoking weed. After a workout, the body undergoes a natural inflammation effect, which can be challenging to overcome. You can find CBD in topical creams, sprays, e-liquids, and capsules, which can help you to curb stiffness and soreness that happens after workouts. This means with controlled consumption of CBD, you can achieve greater flexibility and be prepared to work out the following day.
#2. Cannabis will help you to recover from injuries
Injuries are common especially if you undertake heavy workout. When you get injured, you may be forced to go for a prescription and this could mean you will not be able to work out for some days. With a good dose of cannabis, you can alleviate the pain and also recover from the injuries within a shorter duration. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) works the same way as opiates and treats pain.
#3. It activates your brain
The brain is an important part of your workout that helps to keep you motivated. Cannabis has a therapeutic effect that helps in dealing with stress and anxiety, and it clears the brain to allow you to focus on what you are doing. It could be used as a way to raise motivation before you go out to work out. Cannabis could help you to have higher focus on your workout. It enhances the mind-body connection you need to keep going with your workout, so it will help you to achieve endurance.
#4. Improved performance
Seeing that you can work out longer without interruptions due to the motivation of cannabis, it’s also fair to say you can be able to achieve better results from your workout routine. If your goal is to lose a certain amount of calories every week, with cannabis you could even exceed this mark because it motivates you to keep going, and in case of pain it helps you to get relief quickly.
#5. Muscle recovery
Your muscles are affected when you work out. Some of the properties of cannabis target muscle inflammation in the area where you apply the topical cream and this helps to reduce the recovery time. Athletes who understand the benefits of cannabis are able to do better with their work out.
The Bottom Line
Taking cannabis to boost your workout routine is something that could help you to achieve excellent results. It offers you good results within a short duration and is a perfect solution when you want to get rid of pain and inflammation. It also boosts motivation and clears stress and anxiety that might be bothering you.
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Top 3 Medical Marijuana Workout Benefits
You may not have thought about medical marijuana being something that can help your workouts, but it does.
In fact, thousands of Americans across the country are utilizing the beneficial effects that cannabinoids provide like, promoting muscle growth, quickening healing times, and reducing the pain associated with getting fit.
Not to mention, the other health and wellness benefits that scientific studies are showing medical marijuana, and CBD oil have.
Florida Studies Show CBD Oil Can Benefit Your Workouts
In the sunshine state medical marijuana has been legal since 2017, when legislation allowing qualified patients to get a medical marijuana card in Florida was enacted.
Today, patients with pain, anxiety, depression, seizures and a whole host of other conditions can easily become approved. This is great news for the over 220,000 people who have MMJ cards already and who may already be experiencing the benefits firsthand.
On top of the many amazing health benefits that medical marijuana offers those with medical conditions, healthy folks can use marijuana products to help them recover faster and improve muscle growth.
Here are three ways medical marijuana can benefit your workouts…
#1. CBD Oil Reduces Inflammation and Promotes Healing
It’s no secret that having a healthy body will greatly improve your workouts, and the time it takes for your muscles to repair after working out. One of the most important and useful things that cannabinoids (CBD) does is reduce inflammation, by systematically working to make cells and systems in the body function more efficiently. This causes the body to naturally increase healing times, by reducing the inflammation that slows this process down.
#2. CBD Promotes Muscle Growth
Another huge benefit of CBD oil to the fitness community is the way it promotes muscle growth. Obviously, you must be actively working out to see these results, and many people do. By interacting within the human endocannabinoid system, CBD oil promotes optimal functionality throughout the body. It does this by allowing all the cells within the muscle tissue and other tissues to grow and heal faster. In fact, its been proven that when the body is functioning at its best, all the systems work better, including rebuilding muscle tissues.
Since CBD oil is legal in all 50 states, under the 2018 Farm Bill, anyone can buy it and use it legally. The most popular products for fitness will include, CBD muscle rubs, lotions, and topicals, although, taking CBD oil tincture is easy, and very effective too.
#3. THC is Great for Pain
Although still taboo to some people, medical marijuana is legal in most states across the country in 2019. Literally millions of Americans can legally buy it and use it to benefit themselves anyway they see fit. Now using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does cause an uplifting euphoric effect, which can be used to drastically reduce the pain, associated with hard workouts, without any negative health effects.
If you live in a state where its legal then you will probably find THC products like, THC oil, vaporizers, flower, topicals, infused muscle cream, and more.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a natural way to improve your bodies own ability to increase the benefits from working out, then, medical marijuana and CBD oil can help.
Of course as it should be with any new dietary supplements, or medications, its important to see a physician before you begin.
Unless you live somewhere marijuana is legal for recreational use, you will need a doctor’s recommendation anyways, which will increase your chances of using marijuana correctly, and in the most beneficial, safe way possible.
5 Ways Lifters Can Use Marijuana to Boost Fitness Results
The entire world is slowly but surely accepting the recreational use of marijuana, and so an increasing number of medical professionals and athletes are coming out about its benefits for overall health and fitness performance. From the benefits of hemp oil to marijuana flowers, edibles, and other products, cannabis is becoming widely popular as one of the best natural remedies for a number of ailments and conditions.
Particularly, lifters have been using marijuana for decades now in an attempt to ease the mind, repair the body, and achieve better results in training and in competition. But you have to use it strategically in order to maximize your results, and avoid some common fitness mistakes in the process. Here are the five ways to use marijuana to become a better athlete.
Make Good Use of the Munchies
Everyone knows that marijuana can cause your appetite to soar, which is why it’s usually not recommended for untrained individuals to indulge in cannabis if they are unsure how to maintain a healthy eating regime. For trained individuals, though, increasing your appetite with marijuana can help you achieve your fitness goals faster. The lies in focusing on healthy foods that fit into your diet program.
This is especially beneficial to those of you who are trying to put serious size on your frame, as it can be quite difficult sometimes to reach your daily caloric limit and protein intake. Once the munchies start to kick in, have your healthy, protein-rich snack at the ready. If you’re still hungry but have met your portion limits, fill up on pure aqua and wait for this “phantom” hunger to subside.
Banish Performance Anxiety
Real athletes have real performance anxiety, especially prior to a particularly grueling training session, or a competition where everything is at stake. If you’ve ever pushed your body to its limits or tried to achieve better results overall, you know that taking your training to the next level can be quite daunting at times. After all, there is nothing a lifter fears more than a heavy set of squats or a particularly long stretch of walking lunges.
The good thing is that marijuana can help you banish performance anxiety and thus get your head in the game. As a natural relaxant, cannabis can help you reduce anxiety prior to training or competition, just make sure to use the CBD cannabinoid instead of its psychoactive THC counterpart. While THC will influence your mental readiness and acuity, CBD will bring all the benefits without the unwanted mental haze.
Relieve Tension in the Body
But it’s not just the mental anxiety that tends to hold you back in training – it’s also about pre-workout tension and how it affects your performance in the gym. Your body can get very tense during the day, which makes warming up in the gym that much more difficult, and your training session that much longer. This not only takes time out of your schedule, but can make your workout less effective if you fail to loosen up properly before hitting the weights.
This is why athletes around the world are increasingly using pure cannabis such a marijuana flower strain to relieve the tension in their body prior to working out. Taking a couple of puffs prior to exercise will allow your entire body to loosen up, but not relax completely, in order to increase mobility and flexibility when warming up, and reduce the risk of injury. You can then warm up much faster and push yourself in training safely and effectively.
Recover Faster Workout to Workout
Speaking of loosening up, there is no denying that marijuana, as a natural analgesic, is one of the best post-workout recovery tools on the market. And if you’ve been lifting weights or training for any amount of time, you know how important proper post-workout recovery is for your performance in the gym. But beyond that, you know how important recovery is for your long-term results.
That said, sometimes it can be difficult to relax after a particularly long day and a tough training session. Your muscles are sore, your central nervous system is broken, and you’re having trouble recovering in time for the next workout. To aid the recovery process, be sure to use marijuana along with proper nutrition, plenty of rest, and of course, proper sleep.
Optimize Your Sleeping Schedule
Proper sleep is one of the most important rules every athlete should follow. If you want to live the fitness lifestyle and achieve the results you’re after, you’ll have to start going to bed earlier and sleeping a solid seven-to-nine hours every single night. Fail to stick to a strict sleeping schedule, and you will hinder performance and impact your physique in a negative way over the long term. With that in mind, consider using marijuana as a natural way to relax before bed and banish the tension from your body and mind to ensure a good night’s rest.
Marijuana has become one of the most popular supplements in the modern fitness world, and for a number of compelling reasons. Use marijuana to take your fitness game to the next level, and become a healthier athlete in the process.
How Marijuana Affects An Athlete’s Performance
For a long time marijuana has been famous among athletes, celebrities, and fashion models. Athletes tend to be more concerned about their fitness and physique than anyone else, and they frequently buy marijuana for physical and mental satisfaction.
Medical marijuana or cannabis is now legal in over 25 states, and in nearly nine countries, and it is used not just for medical reasons but for recreational purposes as well.
Some athletes believe that marijuana is good for them as it promises an active body and relaxes their minds. Fitness enthusiasts also often depend on cannabis for their survival.
Marijuana: An Athlete’s Friend or Foe?
There is a lot of controversy associated with marijuana or cannabis. Many doctors still believe that it is harmful to human health, but some athletes and celebrities claim that it has never done anything wrong with their bodies but the opposite in fact.
Pro-pot athletes tend to use cannabis because they claim that it provides instant energy to their bodies and brains. Many of them love smoking while at home or prior to the game. A few have also stated that it helps them remain in place and keeps their focus maintained throughout the game.
Regardless of what athletes or celebrities say about cannabis or medical marijuana, we cannot neglect that it is potentially harmful to their health. Many health experts claim that marijuana or cannabis can disturb the blood flow in the body, weaken the blood vessels, damage the immune system, and create problems for the entire body.
While athletes might use cannabis for focus and coordination, they still cannot neglect that cannabis or marijuana is potentially harmful to their bodies. Eben Britton has talked much about NFL players who use cannabis for pain and stress management. According to him, marijuana is good for nothing and can cause serious mental and psychological problems. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Possible Pros of Cannabis Smoking for Athletes
San Francisco-based fitness expert Zach Scioli has been an advocate for cannabis therapy. According to him and many others, cannabis or marijuana is good for health as it alleviates pain and helps them manage stress and anxiety. Christopher Louie, the CEO of Made in Xiaolin also states that their cannabis or marijuana is not harmful to human health and can be used on a regular basis without any worries.
#1. Helps manage stress and anxiety
Most of the athletes suffer from stress and anxiety. Many of them get depressed when the game is about to he lost or the burden of practice is too high. In such circumstances, they begin using marijuana or cannabis considering it a perfect way to manage stress, depression and anxiety.
#2. Treats muscle spasms
Various athletes complain about muscle spasms and feel that cannabis can help them recover from the complication. Studies indicate that marijuana can help athletes strengthen their muscles and reduce muscle spasm to an extent thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties for making it possible.
#3. Improves sleep
Experts have revealed that marijuana or cannabis can help ease sleeping disorder. Anyone suffering from irregular sleeping habits, including athletes, can opt for marijuana after the recommendation of a doctor. Fitness experts often recommend marijuana to their clients as they say that it can help them improve their sleep duration and quality. A study published in 2015 suggested that the regular use of marijuana can help recover from all sleeping diseases in a short time.
#4. Improve mental activity
Contrary to different controversies, marijuana or cannabis has long been used to improve mental activities. Athletes who need to have lots of stamina and must be mentally prepared to face challenges opt for marijuana and enjoy a healthy life. A study published in the Nature Medicine journal reveals that various fitness experts rely on marijuana to maintain their brain power and mental capabilities.
Possible Cons of Cannabis Smoking for Athletes
Besides many claimed benefits of consuming cannabis, many believe marijuana or cannabis may damage our lungs, kidneys, heart, stomach and other body parts. Some potential cons of cannabis for athletes are mentioned below.
#1. Smoking cannabis may damage the lungs and kidneys
Health experts have revealed that marijuana or cannabis can hurt the performance of athletes as it directly impacts their lungs and kidneys and can lead to death too. All athletes are aware of the fact that healthy kidneys and lungs are must for their overall fitness; it is essential for them to wary of smoking weed or anything that could damage their lungs or kidneys.
#2. Cannabis can affect their memory
It is important for every athlete to remember the tactics and strategies of the game. What if he forgets everything and ends up losing in the field? This happens with athletes who depend much on cannabis for their survival. Studies have proved that weed or marijuana can weaken a person’s memory and lead him to forget almost everything. It directly impacts their brain cells and can kill neurons in a large number and at a rapid rate.
#3. Increased chances of chronic disease
One of the major risks of using cannabis is that it can cause chronic pain, depression or another disease. The long-term use of weed or marijuana can impact one’s chronic health and cause immediate or sudden death. Thus, athletes should stop using it in excess and must quit on cannabis if they have been using it for quite a long time. It can also increase the risk of schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases and may cause the heart attack or brain stroke. So, cannabis is potentially dangerous to human health.
Three Famous Athletes Who Smoke Weed
For quite a long time, a large number of athletes have been using cannabis as fashion or to fight depression and stress. Weed is banned in different parts of the world, but many athletes still buy it from the Internet and use it per their requirements.
Some famous athletes who have used weed or marijuana are mentioned below, though there are many more famous athletes who use cannabis. Who are your favorite pro cannabis athletes? Let us know in the comments!
#1. Seantrel Henderson
Seantrel Henderson was in the limelight due to his habit of using cannabis unwisely and untimely. He was once suspended from the NFL, and his history with cannabis went back even further. Seantrel did not quit on the use of marijuana and accepted his defeat. While his time at the University of Miami, he was said to be using cannabis along with a number of friends.
#2. Ross Rebagliati
This pro athlete loved smoking weed, and it is believed that Ross Rebagliati has used the best and most expensive varieties of cannabis in his life. In 1998, after winning the gold medal, Ross was tested positive for a drug test (THC), and this damaged his reputation to an extent.
#3. Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr is one of the legends of basketball. He won numerous championships and gained recognition in no time. Steve has a huge fan following all over the world, and only a few of them know that he used to be a weed smoker. During the peak days of his career, he used medical marijuana in excess and openly claimed that he wouldn’t be able to get rid of this addiction.
The Bottom Line
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana, how it impacts athletic performance and an athletes overall health, especially long-term health. An increase in funding and government-supported research in cannabis science is something we hope to see in the near term so we can finally lay to rest many unanswered questions.
Perhaps a potential future federal re-scheduling will be the catalyst to finally legitimize the claims of many that cannabis is not only beneficial to athletic performance but also our general health. Or perhaps this new science backed evidence will prove otherwise. That is the big question…
Until then, many current consumers will surely continue to consume cannabis to boost their athletic performance, whether perceived or otherwise. And as more states jump on the legalization bandwagon, marijuana job opportunities and dispensaries will further flourish, exposing even more consumers to cannabis and in turn opening up trial opportunities to athletes curious and ready to experiment with the plant.
Vaping Cannabis and Reducing Pulmonary Health Risks
Smoking tobacco has long been proven harmful to your health, and science leaves little doubt that the smoke that is inhaled from combusted tobacco produces carcinogens that may lead to cancer. Combustible tobacco for example, generates about 70 carcinogens. The vaping process, which heats the elements to just below the burning point, does not force the organic material to undergo that chemical conversion, and is therefore safer.
But what about burning cannabis? Are the health risks the same? A study by the National Institutes of Health does warn against continued exposure to smoke-based irritants, but also notes that, “A review of 19 studies revealed elevated exposure to tars, dysfunctions in alveolar macrophages and histological deviations in bronchial mucosa, but no elevated risk for lung cancer, particularly after controlling for tobacco use.” The NIH paper also noted that one study found that, “after controlling for nicotine use and other factors, cannabis users had an FVC [forced vital capacity], total lung capacity, functional residual capacity and residual volume comparable with those who had not used it.”
The medical language in the NIH study does lend credence to the argument that cannabis is relatively safe, although the paper does conclude that “further work is needed” to determine if there is any link between cannabis use and lung cancer. “Any attempt to try to equate cigarettes and cannabis exactly is probably a fool’s errand,” the study says, but it does put cannabis’ impact on lung cancer in perspective, noting that only 189 cases of lung cancer occurred in over 49,000 participants in a study.
Erring on the Side of Caution
Although the studies would suggest that smoking cannabis is probably safer than smoking tobacco, it would be irresponsible to conclude that there is absolutely no risk. Smoke is smoke, whether you’re burning tobacco or cannabis, and smoke is an irritant. There is always going to be the potential for a negative health impact, especially among younger smokers and teens whose bodies are still developing. The NIH study does say that, “The teen years may be a particularly important time to avoid smoking entirely given that it is a critical period in lung development when exposure to irritants may have a dramatic impact. The point does, however, support the need for some type of intervention, such as the vapourizer, if teens need medical cannabis.”
Whole-plant vaporizers are becoming more widely used and accepted, especially as vaping becomes more popular and those who use cannabis recognize that vaping reduces those irritating respiratory side effects. As the trend continues, online dealers of cannabis vaping hardware are proliferating, with shops like Nug Republic offering a selection of dry herb and concentrate vaporizers that delivers more variety than the smaller brick-and-mortar shops.
Vaporizing Reduces Risk
Most earlier research on the effects of cannabis did not control for the type of inhalation mechanism, but those studies that do so demonstrate some benefit of vaporizers, which sidestep the potential respiratory risks. The NIH report says, “The majority of studies suggest that vapourizers adequately reduce risk of pulmonary symptoms, although complete safety may require a regulated source of plant material, rather than ‘street’ samples, which produce ammonia.”
One vaporizer experiment compared vaporized research-grade cannabis with burned cannabis. In the study, vaporization yielded vapor which mainly included cannabinoids, with only trace amounts of three other compounds. The smoke produced from burned cannabis on the other hand, produced a lower ratio of cannabinoids to overall gas space, with a total of 111 detectable compounds, five of which were organic pollutants with known toxic and carcinogenic effects. It’s clear that the findings suggest that vaping cannabis greatly reduces those toxic byproducts, in much the same way that vaping tobacco reduces the carcinogenic effects that are delivered primarily via tobacco smoke.
The report concludes, “Suggestions to patients to consider choosing vapourization over burning methods appear to be worthwhile.”
An Argument for Legalization
Whether vaporized or smoked though, there is a risk when purchasing cannabis on the underground market. NIH further notes that street samples of cannabis will include some toxins that cannot be eliminated by vaporizers, and when researchers compared street samples with legal samples using ion-flow tube mass spectrometry, the street samples included more toxins, including ammonia. A legalized and regulated market will help to eliminate these sorts of problems.
The results of the study are clear: “Smoking marijuana does not harm lung function as dramatically as smoking tobacco does.” However, respiratory irritation such as tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughing will increase, and it does have the potential to alter lung function, and the study concludes, “The cannabis vapourizer appears to be an ideal harm-reduction approach to safer use.”
What To Do When You Get Too ‘Recreational’
Now that cannabis is being decriminalized and legalized nationwide, a new breed of newbies has begun experimenting at a time when cannabis potency has never been higher. The ultimate result of this is a lot of paranoid, freaked out, and disoriented stoners who literally bit off more than they can chew. This expression is profoundly accurate when you consider that most people have a hard time tolerating edible marijuana products. This is because your body can absorb massive doses of the psychoactive ingredient THC and carry you on that long hard trip for hours of insanity.
Let’s consider how to combat this, in greater detail, below…
What to do when you overdose on edibles?
Although the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana cannot injure you beyond fleeting episodes of paranoia, dry mouth, and anxiety, too much THC can make these sensations very intense. The problem with edibles is that the high can last hours and exhaust you if you were not prepared to take such a trip. The easiest way to deal with an edibles overdose is to sleep it off. You can also try taking a few drops of CBD oil to calm down those overactive nerves, thereby, reducing the weird sensations that too much THC can cause.
What to do when you overdose on smokables?
There are many strains of marijuana out on the market, these days, that are marketed as one-hit wonders. Although the symptoms of a THC overdose can become exhausting when you take edibles, an overdose when you are smoking can come about suddenly with greater intensity. In order to avoid discomfort, you should be wary of potent strains like Afghani, AK-47, and especially hashish. If you do experience a psychological panic attack or anxiety, you have options other than CBD oil available. You can consume sugar or eat any kind of food to speed up the metabolism of the THC. Food, especially sugar, will activate your kidneys and liver to break down the THC floating in your system.
What else can you do to come down off THC?
If you want to completely avoid the risks of a THC overdose, you have to learn how to quit smoking weed. Otherwise, you will always run the risk of experiencing some discomfort. Some users are prone to psych symptoms because they have an underlying psychological or anxiety disorder. But you can also exercise, drink lots of water, or even smell some freshly ground peppercorns. The peppercorn trick works because peppercorns appear to affect the same neurological receptors as cannabis.
What you shouldn’t do when you overdose on THC?
You should never search the internet for answers because you may come up with anecdotal horror stories. Also, be sure to avoid calling the police on yourself. In addition, you may want to avoid discussing your perceptions with your friends because they may start teasing you with endless inquiries such as “Are you feeling boxed in, spaced out?” Avoiding public places where panic may be intensified and finding ways to relax your mental anxiety are the easiest ways to deal with too much THC.
Because you can’t injure your body by overdosing on THC, you need only overcome your panic. Chocolate, CBD oil, plain water, sugar, and even a pepper mill may help calm your nerves. If all else fails, close your eyes, sleep it off, and tell yourself that it is all just a dream.
Moving Past Marijuana Addiction
It is a common misconception that marijuana is not addictive. But just like any drug, despite all of its more endearing medical qualities, cannabis can be addictive. While some people are purely casual users of cannabis, when use becomes daily or even necessary in order for a person to function, then the odd toke at a festival has become an addiction. This is medically known as cannabis use disorder or CUD.
Whilst most users smoke marijuana in order to get a high, prolonged chronic use can cause medical issues such as insomnia, mood swings and depression. It can also cause dependency on the substance in order to function in daily life.
The good news is that most casual users who realize they have started to develop a dependency are able to quit on their own, depending on how severe their habit was. But for those who used the drug exclusively, the rehabilitation process may be harder to shift without help.
One thing to remember is whether you roll with tobacco or not, you are very likely to experience withdrawal. Ironically marijuana has the same effects on the body during detox as nicotine, causing difficulty sleeping, irritability and increased cravings, so if you’re also thinking about ditching the cigarettes, now might be a good time to start.
As with all addictions, those with severe dependency on cannabis may need to go to a medical unit to aid with their detox. In these instances detox can be extremely stressful and so by attending a medical unit, patients can receive all the care and support they need to get through the rough patch.
Other treatments involve cognitive behavioral therapy, where a trained professional will teach you strategies for coping with and altering your behavior. Contingency management therapy will look at what ‘rewards’ you find in using and seek to replace the undesired behavior with something of equal pleasure. Alternatively, there are also medications available that can help with the process of managing life without marijuana, such as sleep aids or any anxiety drugs to help you manage your symptoms.
Of course no recovery ends simply by deciding to stop. Marijuana it is able to stay in your system from anywhere between 30 to 120 days since ingestion. Recovery is not a quick fix. There are many support groups and care center options to help you stay sober after the transition. These support groups will offer advice, encouragement and even the opportunity for you to help others in a similar situation by sharing your own experiences in group discussion. If a group meeting isn’t your thing though, there are also the options of private therapy and speaking with friends and family. The important thing though is to try not to go it alone, and seek support from loved ones and professionals where possible.
For further information and advice about the Marijuana Addiction please consult your doctor. This article is not a substitute for medical advice.
Cannabis in Oklahoma: A Medical Marijuana Guide for New Patients
Just this past April, medical marijuana sales in Oklahoma hit $18 million, and this is after being legal for less than a year.
According to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, there have been more than 100,000 approved patient licenses just in the last nine months. There are also over 1,400 licensed dispensaries and 2,700 commercial marijuana growers.
Bearing in mind legalization came in August 2018, by December the OMMA had raked in $7.5 million just in registration fees marijuana patients, growers, and dispensaries. With the medical marijuana doing so well, you may be wondering how to get your hands on some.
Luckily if you want to obtain a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma, the process is much more simple than most states. But it is still a process that doesn’t just happen overnight.
How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Oklahoma
Here are the steps you have to take to get a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma.
1. Find a Doctor
In Oklahoma, any licensed medical physician is able to recommend marijuana, but that doesn’t mean all physicians are comfortable with it. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has a list posted of all weed-friendly physicians that are able and willing to recommend marijuana therapy for their patients. While doctors aren’t required to register with authorities, doing so can really help to speed up the process of getting a medical marijuana card. Some dispensaries even hold special events that bring doctors in to consult with patients interested in pursuing cannabis treatment.
2. Consult With Your Selected Doctor
Once you’ve found your doctor, it’s time to pay them a visit. Most states that have legalized medical marijuana have long lists of qualifying conditions for patients applying for medical marijuana cards. But in Oklahoma, no such list exists. A physician can recommend cannabis treatment for any patient they feel will benefit from it.
3. Apply Online
After consulting with your doctor and having them fill out the Physician Recommendation Form, you need to submit an application online. You can go on to the OMMA site for the application. In addition to the form from your doctor, you will need to provide proof of identity, Oklahoma residency, and proof of age (you must be 18 or older). You’ll also need to provide your phone number, email address, residence and mailing address, a clear photo of yourself (like a passport photo), and your physician’s information.
Those under the age of 18 are actually also able to apply, they just have to have a parent or legal guardian present when they go to buy their medicine.
You’ll also have to pay an application fee of $100, which can be greatly reduced by some insurance companies.
And that’s it! In about two weeks, those that qualify for one will receive their medical marijuana card which is valid for two years.
Visiting a Dispensary for the First Time
With your medical marijuana card, you will now have access to all licensed dispensaries in Oklahoma. In the dispensaries you can have your pick of indica, sativa, or hybrid strains. Indica is a much more sedate strain, causing a really chilled out, sleepy high. Sativa is the opposite, giving a more energetic high. You can also get a combination of the two, known as a Hybrid strain.
Medical marijuana products have various levels of THC and CBD to suit different treatments for different ailments. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the most common compound found in marijuana plants and is usually used to treat pain and sleep disorders. CBD or cannabidiol is the other compound found in marijuana which is also used to treat pain.
Medical Marijuana Possession Limits
With a medical marijuana license, Oklahoma residents are entitled to possess three ounces on their person, one ounce of concentrates, 72 ounces of edibles, and in their homes can have eight ounces, six mature plants, and six seedlings.
Out of State Limits
Out of state medical marijuana patients are also allowed to purchase from Oklahoma dispensaries, but they must first apply for a temporary license. These temporary licenses are valid for thirty days, can be renewed, and allow the license holder to purchase, consume, and grow medical marijuana during their time in Oklahoma.
While Oklahoma is historically a deep red state, it has some of the most liberal medical marijuana laws in the nation. Oklahoma residents have embraced the new acceptance and legalization of marijuana, and there are even movements to fully decriminalize the drug. Medical marijuana is so popular in fact that at one point, residents crashed the OMMA website and even shut down their call center while trying to apply for a medical marijuana license.
The Oklahomans pushed to legalize medical cannabis through a citizen-led ballot and it was all pushed through rather quickly with a good deal of political support. Since then, the medical marijuana market has thrived in Oklahoma, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.