Medical Marijuana offers many benefits to both the body and the mind. There are several different methods that can be used to consume this natural medicine. Some of these methods are quite simple, while others tend to be much more complicated. Additionally, some methods take a while to kick in, while others allow you to feel the effects instantaneously. As the world of medical cannabis grows, new methods are being developed. This article will discuss the newest method: Dabbing.
Methods of Use
The most popular method is smoking. It’s simple and allows you to feel the effects quickly, however, not everyone can do it. There’s also the option to consume edibles, but these will take longer to kick in. You can steep fresh leaves in boiling water for a tea, but this process neglects to include many of the beneficial compounds that the flower has to offer.
In order to make cannabis into a liquid that is much more potent, a stronger solvent must be used, like CO2 or Butane. These solvents can extract the cannabinoids and other good stuff the flower has to offer and turn it into a tiny, yet highly-concentrated, amount of liquid.
Heating this concentrated liquid will evaporate the solvent, leaving you with a sticky substance called wax or shatter. This is the product that is used for dabbing.
Dabbing requires a few different pieces of equipment. You need a water pipe, nail, dome, torch and dab tool. First, any bong can be converted into a dab rig. They do sell specifically designed dab rigs, but they can be quite expensive. A nail is a crucial component to dabbing, as this is the piece that will be used to heat the wax. You place the nail where the bowl would go in a water pipe. The dome sits over the nail to catch the vapor. The dab tool is used to place the wax on the nail and the torch is used to heat it.
Once the wax or shatter has been heated, the vapor will be caught in the dome. Once you inhale the vapor from the dome, it will rapidly make its way into your bloodstream. You will feel these effects very quickly, and they will be intense as this substance is very potent.
Benefits of Dabbing
Dabbing produces intense effects very rapidly. People that require fast relief will tend to choose this method. It usually requires just one hit and the effects will last much longer than the effects of smoking. Dabbing is also said to taste better and contains no ashy by-products.
Risks Associated with Dabbing
Dabbing is certainly not the safest method of using marijuana. The end-product is extremely potent which makes it possible to overdose. No one has ever died from overdosing on marijuana, however, consuming too much too quickly can result in paranoia, panic attacks, increased heart rate and even passing out (which can lead to accidental injury).
Consuming any amount of marijuana can lead to tolerance and/or withdrawal. Since this method uses such a potent liquid, the withdrawal symptoms can be even worse. These symptoms may include nausea, insomnia, depression, mood swings, headaches, nightmares or night sweats.
It is always possible, especially if you’ve made your own wax or shatter, that there will be residual solvent in the product. While the heating process should cause most of this to evaporate, this is not always the case. Residual butane can cause mild lung irritation, but is not a serious side effect.
How to Dab Safely
The best option to ensure that you dab safely is to buy your concentrates from a licensed vendor. This will save you from the complicated and sometimes dangerous extraction process. It will also ensure that you’re getting high quality, SAFE product.
If you’re going to dab, invest in an actual dab rig instead of a converted bong. It’s simpler and safer to use.
Lastly, ease into it. Don’t do too much, too quickly. Dabbing can be extremely intense, so proceed with caution. Get yourself a scale and be exact. Using just a little too much can cause negative side effects.
In order to try out dabbing for yourself, you must be a medical marijuana card holder.
If you are a Florida resident experiencing symptoms or suffering from an illness that may qualify you to become a medical marijuana patient, call Marijuana Doctor at (786) 224-4005 or schedule your free phone consultation ONLINE, today!
Before we can go over the main benefits of CBD oil, we must first understand what it is in the first place. There are more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is one of the most well-known cannabinoids, the most popular being Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, for short.
THC is known for offering many health benefits, especially it’s euphoric properties (the classic high-feeling). CBD offers many of the same benefits, without the psychoactive effects. This makes it safe and effective for people that require relief, but are not looking to experience a high.
Benefits of CBD Oil
This is by far, one of the most popular effects of CBD oil. It has been shown to interact with the pain receptors in the brain to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. An even greater benefit of CBD oil is that it doesn’t produce any of the nasty side effects that sometimes come along with opioids. People with all different illnesses experience relief with CBD oil. It’s often prescribed for people suffering from cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, gastrointestinal issues and many other diseases with painful symptoms.
Many studies have shown that CBD oil doesn’t just treat physical symptoms, but also mental health conditions. CBD has the ability to decrease stress and anxiety which is extremely beneficial to those who are suffering from PTSD, panic disorder, depression and even just general anxiety. Due to the sedating properties of CBD oil, it can also be used as an effective natural sleep aid.
Initial research indicates that CBD oil may have the ability to slow or even stop tumor growth in colon cancer and even leukemia. It may also be able to slow the spread of cervical cancer. It’s important to note that no human trials have yet been conducted so we cannot say for sure that CBD oil cures cancer. It is extremely promising, however!
Contains Anti-Seizure Properties
CBD oil can be quite helpful to patients that suffer from seizures as a result of epilepsy. One study conducted showed a 40% decrease in the number of seizures a patient experienced. There has also been some evidence to show that CBD oil can treat tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
A study was conducted on mice where one group was given CBD oil while the other group was not. 100% of the mice in the group that did not receive CBD oil tested positive for Diabetes while only 32% tested positive in the other group.
This list is far from exhaustive. There are many more benefits of CBD oil than just these five alone. We’re not saying it’s magic, we’re just saying it’s pretty darn close! If you suffer from any of the illnesses or symptoms mentioned above, you should consider CBD oil for yourself.
For many soldiers, the price of war lingers long after the battle has been fought. After returning home, veterans often continue to fight harrowing struggles to just to readjust to civilian life. Many are fraught with chronic pain, depression, and PTSD from the physical and mental rigors of combat. In fact, post-traumatic stress disorder affects nearly 30% of Vietnam War veterans, 12% of Gulf War veterans, and up to 20% of veterans from other middle-East conflicts according to the US Veterans Administration (1). Conditions like these lead to another disturbing statistic which plagues our nation’s heroes… suicide. In 2014, an estimated 22 United States military veterans committed suicide each day according to a report released by the Veteran’s Health Administration (2).
Clearly, something must change.
How Traditional Medicine Has Failed Them
As with most chronic conditions these days, the traditional method of throwing prescriptions at it until something works, simply isn’t working. A writer for the American-Statemen, Jeremy Schwartz, wrote about his findings while researching military expenditures:
“…the military drug purchases also paint a picture of a fighting force increasingly reliant on antidepressants, psychotropic drugs and powerful narcotic painkillers that critics call dangerous and that have been involved in a growing number of prescription drug overdoses. The military spent at least $2.7 billion on antidepressants and more than $1.6 billion on opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and hydrocodone over the past decade. More than $507 million was spent on the sleeping pill Ambien and its generic equivalents.”
In many cases, doctors are over-prescribing medications which can lead to lethal combinations, accidental overdoses, and increased health complications. In May 2013, a reporter interviewed a veteran diagnosed with PTSD (3), who recalled being prescribed twenty-five different drugs at one time, which his own physician called a “poison cocktail.”
How Cannabis Treatment Could Rescue Thousands
In order to understand how cannabis could be a more effective treatment for cannabis, we must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body and the part it plays in developing chronic disorders like PTSD, anxiety, pain, and neurological disorders. Although the ECS exists in every vertebrate animal, it was only discovered in 1992 by Israeli researcher, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. The ECS consists of two tiny antennae on cells called cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. They receive signaling molecules, or endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG. The overall goal of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis, or balance, in the body by signaling other cells to behave a certain way.
In people diagnosed with PTSD, test results revealed low-production of anandamide according to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). A deficiency in endocannabinoids means receptors are not firing like they should. Research has shown THC from cannabis is very similar in effect to our own anandamide; thus, supplementation with cannabinoids from cannabis may help fill the gap.
Martin Lee, from ProjectCBD, stated in this article for Leafly.com (4),
“Scientists have determined that normal CB-1 receptor signaling deactivates traumatic memories and endows it with the gift of forgetting. But skewed CB-1 signaling, due to endocannabinoid deficits (low serum levels of anandamide), results in impaired fear extinction, aversive memory consolidation, and chronic anxiety, the hallmarks of PTSD.”
Politics, Red Tape, and Road Blocks
While science and research continue to progress, the federal government, unfortunately, is not. The Veterans Administration and the Department of Justice have hampered veteran access to the potentially life-saving herb. As recently as July of this year, the House voted (5) to prevent VA doctors from discussing medical marijuana with their patients. In fact, the actions have prompted leaders from the American Legion to get involved, urging the Department of Justice to reschedule the drug to allow proper research, and the VA to back research already in progress (6).
Many state laws regarding marijuana have changed in the name of “compassionate care” for many ailments, so one must ask, does the federal government have any compassion for the people that fought for them?
At Marijuana Doctors, we believe in compassionate care for everyone. If you suffer from PTSD or chronic pain, and would like to know more about how medical marijuana can help, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today.
- Jaimie L. Gradus, DSc, MPH. Epidemiology of PTSD. US Department of Veterans Affairs. [Online] March 30, 2017. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/PTSD-overview/epidemiological-facts-ptsd.asp.
- Janet E. Kemp, RN, PhD. Suicide Rates in VHA Patients through 2011 with Comparisons with Other Americans and other Veterans through 2010. s.l. : Veterans Health Administration, 2014.
- Kennedy, Douglas. [interv.] Chris Wallace. FOX SPECIAL REPORT: DRUGGING THE AMERICAN SOLDIER. Fox News, Charleston, June 21, 2013.
- RAHN, BAILEY. Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Leafly.com. [Online] April 30, 2014. https://www.leafly.com/news/health/cannabis-and-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd.
- Shane III, Leo. House rejects plan to let VA doctors talk about marijuana. Military Times. July 26, 2017.
- The American Legion. Legion to VA: Support cannabis PTSD study. Legion.org. [Online] September 21, 2017. https://www.legion.org/veteranshealthcare/239200/legion-va-support-cannabis-ptsd-study.
In June this year, Florida legislation approved (1) the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program. Prior to this, the program only covered epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, and terminal illnesses. Now, patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other similar conditions at the discretion of the prescribing doctor. However, months after the change, many patients are still waiting for their applications to be processed.
Doctors and patients alike remain frustrated with the process. Beyond the obvious time delays, many patients have had their applications rejected and returned for minor technicalities which means starting the process all over. Another waiting game, while patients suffer through symptoms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Ivan Fields, the CEO of Marijuana Doctor stated,
“Department of Health – Office of Medical Marijuana is obviously understaffed based on the unreasonable amount of hold time when calling in in the amount of time it takes for them to approve applications and print ID cards. We’ve been told that Department of Health has put out a bid for a third-party provider to handle the ID cards for the state.
I feel that the 71% of the voters who passed this amendment should call their local government representatives and alert them of the situation. The Department of Health is not doing the right thing by the patients seeking treatment, I’ve heard many stories of patients dying while waiting for the medicine including one of our own.”
Adding the additional conditions has put a burden on the Department of Health, who is responsible for approving medical marijuana applications. As of June, there were just short of 17,000 Florida medical marijuana patients, but since the addition of the new conditions that number spiked to more than 31,000 by the end of August. This influx of patients seeking medical marijuana has overwhelmed the small staff at the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use, which consists of only three full-time and nine part-time employees.
The lack of staff in the regulating office, some patients have been waiting up to 90 days for their card to arrive. Even when everything goes as planned, medical marijuana patients are waiting as long as a month before receiving their medical marijuana identification card, so they can begin purchasing the medicinal herb from area dispensaries.
To understand the delays, the Miami Herald recently spoke with Department of Health spokeswoman (2), Mara Gambineri who commented on the current state of affairs within the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. Although the department has received funding to hire 55 new employees, Gambineri mentioned outsourcing operations in an effort to help improve the situation and speed up application processing. To date, the department handles more than 1,000 phone calls a day and has up to 3,000 applications pending at any one time.
“As the program continues to grow, we agree that it is not sustainable to handle in house long-term, which is why we are outsourcing these functions as directed by law. However, while we work through the procurement process, we continue to do our best to process applications and respond to inquiries in a timely manner,” Gambineri stated for the Miami Herald.
In addition, Florida law requires doctors must be certified through a course to prescribe the medication. Although this course was originally an eight-hour requirement, it has been reduced to two hours. Unfortunately, no facility has started teaching the condensed curriculum, the old curriculum is no longer valid leaving doctors in limbo waiting to be certified. Meanwhile, patient numbers continue to increase, prescribing doctors remained relatively stagnant leaving just over 1000 doctors available for more than 31,000 patients.
Clearly, patients suffering deserve better. While bureaucrats wrestle with red-tape, people continue to suffer with ailments and symptoms. As Fields stated, the 71% of voters who voted (3) for the amendment during the November election should be urged to contact their local representatives and challenge the delays. Contact your representative today to ask why people continue to suffer.
- Reedy, Joe. Florida Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Legislation. US News & World Report. June 23, 2017.
- Smiley, David. Trying to get a medical marijuana card soon? Don’t hold your breath. Miami Herald. August 23, 2017.
- Kam, Dara. Fox News WTVT – Channel 13 Tampa. www.fox13news.com. [Online] Fox News, November 8, 2016. http://www.fox13news.com/news/politics/florida-voters-approve-medical-marijuana-amendment.