Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Guide

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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Guide

Posted by Jason Draizin on 06/22/2017 in Medical Marijuana

what is thc
Medical marijuana is becoming more prominent as a treatment for disease and chronic debilitating conditions. In some places, there is a stigma some users must overcome. One compound in marijuana called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, takes most of the blame for the negative view of marijuana in the US.

But the same THC that can make you high also has positive health benefits. People suffering from debilitating diseases who cannot find relief from their symptoms in any other way are learning they can turn to marijuana as an effective treatment. With continued research, medical science can better understand and make use of the psychoactive mechanisms in THC for advanced healing.

What Is THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol?

THC is perhaps the most well-known chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. All varieties of cannabis contain THC, although some contain very little and others are THC dominant. THC is referred to as a cannabinoid for its role in making up the cannabis plant.

Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in various cultures across the globe. In modern times, it rose to prominence in the American drug subculture in the 1960s. Research studies done at the time concluded that cannabis use did not lead to more serious drug use or violent behavior.

thc discovered in 1964

It wasn’t until 1964 that scientists discovered the chemical component in marijuana that made people high – THC.  A synthetic version of THC, dronabinol, was developed and marketed in the US and Canada. Marinol, trade name for dronabinol, is clear or amber colored and becomes oily and sticky when heated.

THC is believed to protect the cannabis plant from UV rays and herbivores. It is considered aromatic terpenoid, part of the phytocannabinoid family. THC is not soluble in water but mixes well with lipids and alcohol. When consumed, THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and brain to produce a euphoric effect.

Cannabinoid receptors exist in the brain to work with the endogenous cannabinoids the body naturally produces. Natural cannabinoids produce a mild euphoric feeling when they are produced in abundance, such as at the end of a good work out. THC inserts itself in this natural pathway to euphoria and increases those positive effects.

Cannabinoid receptors are associated with memory, pleasure, thinking, time perception and coordination. All these functions can be affected by the detection of THC at the receptor sites. The exact effect depends on the amount of THC consumed, the level of natural cannabinoids in the system and several other health variables.

When THC is consumed in its natural form, it is accompanied by other chemical elements of the cannabis plant. One other prominent component of marijuana, CBD, blocks the effects of THC. Each cannabis plant has a different ratio of THC to CBD, so the euphoric effects may be tempered by this balance.

Benefits of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Like all drugs, when THC enters your bloodstream and reaches your brain, it inserts itself in several communication pathways. This is how THC changes your mood to the euphoric state described by users.

thc effects
THC also changes your perceptions in other ways and has known physical effects, a few of which are:

  • Pain relief. The active ingredient in medical marijuana that blocks pain is THC. THC helps reduce even severe pain caused by damaged or inflamed nerves. People who suffer chronic pain conditions who do not respond to other pain medications often get relief from a high THC ratio strain of medical marijuana.
  • Appetite stimulant. Marijuana users are familiar with the hungry feeling you get when you are using the drug. That is the THC acting on your brain to stimulate appetite. For people suffering from wasting diseases or undergoing strong chemotherapy, appetite stimulation provides many medical benefits.
  • Sleep aid. THC in small doses can induce relaxation and promote sleep. Some experts suggest it’s safer than other drugs that treat the same condition, like Ambien or Lunestra.
  • Anti-inflammatory. When THC interacts with the central nervous system, it changes certain proteins and disrupts genetic expression. The THC acts as a strong anti-inflammatory. This property is especially helpful for fighting autoimmune diseases where inflammation, as an expression of diseased genetics, causes severe pain.
  • Anti-toxin. Amyloid beta proteins are the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease. These proteins build up in brain cells and block communication. THC removes these proteins from damaged brain cells, preventing the amyloid plaque from building up.
  • Anti-cancer. Studies have shown THC has an effect on certain cancer cells that is promising for a potential cure. THC enters the cancer cells and causes them to commit suicide. THC does not have the same effect on normal cells.
  • Anxiety reduction. THC boosts the brain’s own natural system for stress reduction by mimicking endocannabinoids, a natural brain chemical. Endocannabinoids regulate anxiety, and, by increase the level of cannabinoids in the brain, THC helps this system work better.

Studies continue to reveal new benefits of THC, but these are the predominant effects of current high-THC strains of marijuana.

Uses of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

The synthetic version of THC, dronabinol, is marketed by prescription only, for relief of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment. It is also used as an appetite stimulant for patients battling AIDS and to relieve the pain for multiple sclerosis patients.

synthetic thc

The THC found in medical marijuana has several medical applications when used in its natural form, including:

  • PTSD. The THC in marijuana can cause memory impairment, which makes it a good therapeutic tool for combatting PTSD. Medical marijuana also reduces stress and reduces nightmares in those suffering from PTSD.
  • Asthma. THC helps relax muscles and reduce stress. Studies have shown that it can improve asthma symptoms. Even when smoked, marijuana can improve breathing in asthmatics.
  • HIV/AIDS. THC reduces nerve pain and anxiety for HIV/AIDS patients. It also stimulates appetite to help them maintain a healthy body weight and improve sleep.

thc hiv aids

  • Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the result of a plaque that builds up in the brain and disrupts the communication system. The memory loss and other cognitive deficiencies are related to parts of the brain no longer communicating with other parts. THC reduces the level of certain proteins in the brain, so the plaque cannot form.
  • Glaucoma. THC reduces pressure in the eye by dilating the blood vessels, relieving the pain of glaucoma.
  • Opioid addiction. THC reduces the anxiety of extreme opioid cravings in recovery to prevent relapse. It also enhances mood to overcome withdrawal symptoms, including depression. Marijuana can become an alternative option for opioid addicts while they are working on overcoming their addiction.

Marijuana has no real health or overdose risks, and once a patient is off opioids, it is much easier to step-down the marijuana until the addiction is eliminated.

  • Epilepsy. THC disrupts the electrical impulses in the brain that cause seizures. It keeps the neurons from being over excited and protects them from damage. Epilepsy patients find a significant reduction in the length and frequency of seizures with cannabis. It allows them to ween off prescription medicines and live a more normal life.
  • Attention deficit disorders. Attention deficit is generally attributed to an overload of sensory information. The brain is bombarded with thoughts constantly and is unable to prioritize them and focus on some and ignore the rest. THC suppresses sensory input to the brain, so there are fewer thoughts to sort through. It may also use the endocannabinoid system to reduce overstimulation in the brain.
  • Multiple sclerosis. This degenerative disease can be slowed by the THC in cannabis. By reducing inflammation and blocking nerve pain signals, THC also reduces pain for patients.

thc for ms

  • Arthritis. The pain of arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints. THC reduces inflammation and relieves pain.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a progressive disease for which there is no cure. THC can help increase appetite and maintain healthy body weight to improve quality of life.

This is just a sample of the conditions for which THC can be a useful treatment. As research continues into the effects and uses of THC, more applications will likely be discovered.

Side Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Every substance you put in your body has an effect and a side-effect. The side-effects are the results you do not want and can vary from drug to drug. Some drugs have severe side-effects, but we use them because the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

thc side effects

With THC, the severity of side-effects is minimal. In fact, some of these side-effects may not be considered detrimental at all.

  • Increased appetite. Like other therapeutic drugs, steroids for instance, THC makes you hungry. This side-effect can lead to unwanted weight gain. In patients suffering wasting diseases or anorexia, this effect can be useful.
  • Dry mouth. THC binds to receptors in saliva glands and reduces their output. A dry mouth can be an uncomfortable side effect of THC use. Dry mouth, when not treated, can also lead to dental complications.
  • Paranoia. Although THC reduces stress, in larger doses, it can induce stress and panic. This is perhaps the most serious side effect of marijuana overdose. The paranoia can last several hours until the THC has cleared the brain. THC is not known for flashbacks. Once the paranoia subsides, it will not come back without another overdose of THC.
  • Temporary memory loss. This is another reason THC should not be taken when you need to be awake and alert. The temporary memory loss it can cause will make it difficult to function with any serious cognitive task. The memory loss from THC use is not permanent and will subside a few hours after use.
  • Red eyes. This side effect can make it difficult to hide your marijuana use, but it is not a significant health risk. The THC in cannabis dilates blood vessels in the eyes, giving a red appearance. Eye drops will reduce the redness until the effects of THC wear off naturally.

There is some question to whether THC is addictive. Any substance can become addictive due to the mental and emotional side of addiction. If marijuana becomes addictive, it is primarily due to the THC content. The psychoactive properties of THC produce a euphoric effect that your brain could crave.

An addiction to marijuana has fewer health risks than many other drugs. Cannabis offers health benefits, so using it responsibly will not deteriorate your physical condition. A proper balance of THC and CBD can reduce stress, improve mood and heal brain injury.

The impact THC has on the pleasure centers in your brain is not nearly as strong as opioids. The desire to use more marijuana is usually tempered with the relaxation effect that calms anxiety and renders sleep.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Therapy and Treatment

The most accessible form of THC is found naturally in cannabis where it is tempered with other natural cannabinoids. Although there are three main strains of the cannabis plant, there are hundreds of hybrid strains, making it a little more difficult to find the THC you are looking for.

thc in cannabis

Of the three main types of cannabis — indica, sativa and ruderalis — sativa has the highest THC content. Hybrid strains that are sativa dominant are the ones you want to look for in your THC therapy. Here are some of the popular ones:

Strain

THC

Conditions Relieved

Girl Scout Cookie

17-28%

stress, pain, depression, lack of appetite, headaches

The White

18-29%

stress, pain, insomnia, depression, lack of appetite

Death Star

20-24%

stress, pain, insomnia, depression, muscle spasms

Gorilla Glue #4

25-29%

stress, pain, depression, insomnia, lack of appetite

Bruce Banner #3

29%

depression, stress, pain, fatigue, nausea

Blissful Wizard

28-34%%

nausea, insomnia, pain, stress lack of appetite

Tutankhamun

28-30%

depression, stress, pain, insomnia, fatigue

Ghost Train Haze

27%

depression, stress, pain, fatigue, headaches

 

When you find a strain of medical cannabis that has the THC level you need and affects the conditions you are concerned about, you are on your way to beginning THC treatments. The next step is to find a delivery system that works best for your situation.

thc consumption

Marijuana does not have to be smoked to gain the medical benefits. There are several other ways to consume medical marijuana to get the relief you need.

  • Vaporized. Vaping is becoming a popular alternative to smoking. Although it looks similar, with portable vaporizers about the size of a pipe, there are health advantages to vaping pot over smoking. Vapor is not as hot as smoke and does not contain the byproducts of burning marijuana. Inhaling the moist vapor may protect your lungs from damage, and it allows the THC to enter your bloodstream through your lungs rather quickly. The effects of vaporizing cannabis can be felt within just a few minutes.
  • Topical applications. Creams and lotions infused with THC can be used for localized areas of pain. They are fast-acting because the THC is absorbed through the skin and works on the nerve ending in that particular region without having to cycle through your bloodstream first. Most topical applications of THC do not get to your brain through your bloodstream. They just block the pain in your extremities.
  • Edibles. Eating marijuana-laced products is a good way to get THC therapy without smoking or swallowing pills. The THC in edibles goes through your digestive system and is then absorbed into your bloodstream. It can take up to an hour or more for you to feel the effects of THC delivered this way. The dose tends to be stronger, though, because it is concentrated when it passes through your liver.
  • Concentrates. Cannabis can be soaked in a solvent like alcohol or oil to dissolve the cannabinoids. When the solids are strained out of the solvent, the result is a very concentrated product. Just a drop or two of a concentrate can deliver a whole dose.

Concentrates can act quickly when placed under the tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream. THC administered this way goes immediately to the brain and reduces symptoms like nausea instantly.

A marijuana doctor can help you match the proper healing strain of cannabis to your diagnosis and suggest a dosage for you to begin with. When you go to a dispensary to purchase your medical marijuana, the staff there can teach you different ways of taking medical marijuana and find the delivery system you feel comfortable with.

Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Legal?

The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a couple synthetic THC drugs for use with prescription on a limited number of conditions. Marijuana, which contains THC naturally, is still banned by the FDA. 

As the psychoactive component to cannabis, THC is the reason marijuana was banned in the mid-1900s. There was concern about addiction and the prevalence of recreational marijuana users in the US, especially around the time of the Vietnam War, and drugs that can make you high were targeted by President Nixon’s war on drugs.

More recently, many states have promoted a medical marijuana program that allows controlled use of cannabis products for medical purposes only. These programs are carefully monitored by state agencies that track the patients, doctors and suppliers.

thc prescription

Most states with medical marijuana programs issue a special certification to doctors who want to prescribe cannabis products to their patients. Doctors receive special training in the accepted uses of medical marijuana and what conditions it can be used to treat.

Patients in those states need to register for the medical marijuana program and are only given access to the medicine if a doctor certifies that they are suffering from a condition that can be improved by cannabis and not by any other means. These states also collect data on which conditions are treated by which strain and if the treatments were successful.

Medical marijuana states regulate the cultivation of cannabis and production of medical grade products. In some states, only low-THC cannabis is acceptable for distribution to eligible patients. Dispensaries must verify the patients are registered in the medical marijuana program, and there are limits on how much marijuana product they can sell to an individual at one time.

Because THC is still banned by Federal law, doctors in medical marijuana states do not write prescriptions for the medicine. A marijuana doctor makes a recommendation for cannabis therapy and enters it into the state-wide database with the registered patient’s account. The dispensary has access to this information from the database and can confirm and fill the doctor’s recommendation at the patient’s request.

The possession and transportation of THC or any marijuana product in public is against Federal law, even where states allow it. Some states have begun to set up dispensary delivery services so patients can receive their medical marijuana at home. The dispensaries are licensed and secured to carry the medicine for medical deliveries.

If you’d like to learn more about the THC legislation in your state or would like help contacting a dispensary, contact Marijuana Doctors today! 

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Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Medical Marijuana Implementation Bill Signed Into Law by Florida Governor

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Medical Marijuana Implementation Bill Signed Into Law by Florida Governor

As promised, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill to implement the legalization of medical marijuana.

The governor’s signature comes after the House amended and passed the bill with a 103 to 9 vote, which was followed by a 29 to 6 vote in the Senate. The new law implements a medical cannabis legalization initiative approved by voters last year (Amendment 2). Controversially, the legislation removes patients’ ability to actually smoke medical marijuana, leaving them to rely on other methods of consumption such as edibles and tinctures.

“Don’t get me wrong: this legislation is FAR from perfect. But it is a major step forward for patient access, and is drastically different and more patient-friendly than either chamber’s original implementing bills”, says Ben Pollara of Florida for Care. Pollara was previously the Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group that successfully placed Amendment 2 on last year’s ballot.

It’s a big moment—but our work must continue as we make sure local ordinances, agencies and other entities don’t put additional road blocks to patient access”, Pollara said following Governor Scott’s signature. “We are also going to work to try and solve some of the remaining deficiencies of the bill, like the ban on smoking, which violates the clear intent of the amendment that was passed.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:55:11 +0000

Vermont Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Compromise Bill

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Vermont Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization Compromise Bill

Vermont’s full Senate approved a bill today that would legalize marijuana, and addresses concerns Governor Phil Scott expressed when he vetoed a similar bill in May.

Legislation that would make marijuana legal for those 21 and older in Vermont was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, the first day of a two-day veto session. House Bill 511 reflects a compromise between legislative leaders and Governor Scott, who vetoed a similar bill in late May. It will now go the House, where passage by a three-quarters vote will put it to the desk of Governor Scott who plans to sign it into law.

The law approved by the Senate would make it legal for those 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis beginning July 2018. It would also be legal to grow up to two mature, nd four immature cannabis plants. In addition, a study commission would be created to develop legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the amended bill “would extend the time allotted by S. 22 for the commission to submit its report, add additional agency directors and the defender general to the commission, and increase penalties for dispensing marijuana to minors or exposing them to marijuana smoke in cars.”

“Vermont is poised to make history by becoming the first state in which the legislature and governor end the disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition. Just over a year from now, adults will have the same freedoms to grow and possess cannabis that our neighbors in Maine and Massachusetts enjoy,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The question is no longer ‘if’ Vermont will stop penalizing adult cannabis consumers, but ‘when’.”

Simon continued; “There is no good reason for the House to delay passage of this modest and sensible legislation.. Now that Gov. Scott has agreed with the House and Senate that marijuana should be legal for adult use, House Republicans should follow the governor’s lead and vote to advance this compromise. Failing to waive the rules will only mean the marijuana regulatory commission has less time to do its important work.”

Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey of 755 registered voters conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Only 39% are opposed.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:32:25 +0000

New York Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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New York Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying medical marijuana condition in New York has been passed by the state’s legislature and sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 5629today with a 50 to 13 vote. The Assembly version of the measure, Assembly Bill 7006, was passed in May with an overwhelming 131 to 8 vote. The legislation allows those with PTSD to legally purchase, possess and use medical cannabis, given they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state.

“State lawmakers are standing up for thousands of New Yorkers who are suffering from PTSD and might benefit from medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope Gov. Cuomo will do the same and sign this important legislation. With a single swipe of his pen, he can help countless people find relief.”

“Military veterans, first responders, and victims who have survived assault all deserve society’s respect and the best available treatments; they should not have to abandon their homes and move to another state in order to seek access to medical marijuana,” said Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. “This is compassionate and commonsense legislation that is widely supported by the public as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.”

If Governor Cuomo signs the legislation into law, or allows it to become law without his signature, New York will become the 27th state that allows medical marijuana for PTSD.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:39:49 +0000

Why Are Doctors Hesitant to Prescribe Medical Marijuana?

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Why Are Doctors Hesitant to Prescribe Medical Marijuana?

Posted by Jason Draizin on 06/12/2017 in Medical Marijuana

doctors hesitant to prescribe marijuana

Marijuana has a storied history of medicinal uses. Ancient Chinese, Egyptian and even Roman healers used it both internally and externally for pain relief and long-term disease treatment. Even Queen Victoria used it to ease her pain during labor.

Today, marijuana is approved for use across the United States in nearly half of the states plus the District of Columbia. Advocates promote it as a treatment for cancer, hepatitis, glaucoma, ALS and even HIV. The FDA has even approved basic research on marijuana’s potential as a treatment for childhood epilepsy.

However, many doctors still haven’t embraced marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine. Almost half of Colorado’s physicians believe doctors shouldn’t prescribe marijuana and a minority believes it has no benefits at all.

So why do doctors believe what they do — and why are they so hesitant to embrace marijuana as a medical therapy? Here are a few of the most common reasons doctors treat medical marijuana so cautiously and how you can talk to your doctor to assuage some of their larger concerns.

1. Lack of Comprehensive Study

One of the biggest factors physicians and lawmakers point to is the lack of extensive research on marijuana and its effects. Because it is a Schedule I controlled substance, federally-funded research labs have been unable to study the effects of marijuana and its efficacy as a treatment option for patients.

Especially scarce are the placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials most doctors depend on to determine the effectiveness of therapy. Until the results of such clinical trials are published, many doctors will continue to be hesitant to prescribe marijuana for their patients.

Although clinical trials aren’t yet available, there have been thousands of studies on marijuana that are now available online. If your doctor wants proof of marijuana’s efficacy, start there. You might also want to emphasize that marijuana is non-addictive and nonlethal, unlike opioid prescriptions.

2. Conservative Bias

Though you might see doctors adopting the latest new surgical technology or medication on TV, in reality doctors are very cautious when it comes to taking on new therapies. While new technology and therapy may seem to be the popular thing, it’s daunting to physicians, as their patients’ lives are often on the line.

In those situations, it’s more comfortable for them to stick with what they know works. With marijuana, many doctors have operated for a long time under the belief that it’s a highly addictive and harmful drug. To change the script on weed completely is too much for many doctors. Additionally, new physicians who may be more open to the idea of marijuana are being trained by more conservative mentors — since they’re new to the field they’re more likely to default to the thoughts and opinions of their teachers.

The stigma against marijuana amongst doctors is a strong one and may be difficult for your doctor to get past. One of the most important things to do if your doctor is hesitant due to their biases is to present them with research about the benefits of marijuana. You should also make it clear to them that you’re seeking marijuana for purely medical reasons — not to get high. They don’t want to feel like they’re simply your dealer.

3. The Alternative “Stoner” Culture

The culture surrounding marijuana has become just as much a deterrent as the plant itself. Strain names, though arbitrary, can be off-putting and difficult to take seriously when they incorporate the name of a sex move or swear word. Marijuana is also closely associated with other aspects of stoner culture, like alternative medicine, Americanized Eastern belief systems and “hippie” culture.

While this is all a natural result of marijuana prohibition and the history of marijuana usage in the United States, it’s uncomfortable for doctors to handle and makes them less likely to treat it as real medicine.

When talking to your doctor, be sure to avoid aspects of alternative medicine and stoner culture that they might find unpleasant. Focus on the science around marijuana treatments and try to find a local dispensary with reasonably-named strains that have detailed descriptions. This should help your doctor ease into the idea.

4. Dosing Control

One of the most important aspects of prescribing medications is balancing dosages and managing quantities of medication for patients. Doctors like treatments that are quantifiable and repeatable so they can more easily monitor and customize their patient’s treatments. It’s also important because marijuana interacts with some drugs and can even decrease the efficacy of anesthesia, which can pose a problem during surgeries.

marijuana dosages

If dosing is a major concern for your doctor, some producers have started labeling their products with the amounts of THC, CBD and CBN they contain. Though not all dispensaries have started doing this, MMPR-licensed producers have all been forced to start adopting this labeling procedure.

5. The Opioid Epidemic

Prescription narcotic abuse is a deadly problem in the United States today, killing thousands of people each month. With so many people suffering from prescription drug abuse, doctors are getting more training than ever on how to spot drug-seeking behavior and how to prevent over-prescribing addictive drugs. Considering what the narrative on marijuana has been for the past century, it’s no wonder why doctors are treating marijuana with the same wariness they’re trained to treat opioids.

If addiction is a primary concern of your physician, cite the evidence that marijuana is non-addictive and non-lethal, even in extremely high doses.

6. Scammers

Doctors who prescribe marijuana have to be exceedingly careful with their prescriptions. If doctors prescribe too many people, they might be accused of fraud and face fines, criminal charges and even revocation of their medical licenses. Especially problematic are scammers — people who seek out medications they don’t need. Many doctors have been burned by this type of person before and are naturally wary of prescribing controlled substances as a result.

If your physician is concerned that you might be a scammer, give them evidence of your need and time to process why you need a prescription. Your doctor needs to be able to trust that you’re not a recreational user looking for a medical prescription, so give them as much time as you can to get over their initial wariness.

Learn More About Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana still faces several challenges on the road to national legalization. Keep up-to-date on the latest news in medical marijuana issues by following our news blog. Simply check out our Medical Marijuana page to catch up on our latest articles!

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Published at Mon, 12 Jun 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Temporary Regulations Set for Medical Marijuana Doctors in PA

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Temporary Regulations Set for Medical Marijuana Doctors in PA

Posted by Jason Draizin on 06/13/2017 in Medical Marijuana

pa marijuana regulations

As 2017 pushes forward, so does Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, which is developing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program for a 2018 release. So far, the department has built its Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup, as well as opened and reviewed applications for growers, dispensaries and labs.

The department’s latest step is the release of temporary regulations for doctors interested in helping patients through medical pot. The released regulations detail how physicians register and qualify as a medical marijuana practitioner, as well as how they issue patient certifications or prescriptions for medical pot.

What PA’s Temporary Regulations Are Proposing

Pennsylvania’s temporary regulations offer essential information for doctors interested in prescribing medical marijuana, as well as insight into the state’s approach to regulating practitioners.

Per the regulations, to register as a medical marijuana physician, doctors must:

  • Own an active medical license from the state of Pennsylvania
  • Complete and submit an application for registration

The registration application requires several pieces of information and supporting documentation, which includes:

  • Name of associated or owned medical practices
  • Work contact information
  • Education, training and experience
  • Credentials and area of expertise
  • Medical license number
  • Certification stating the applicant’s medical license is active and in good standing
  • Complete history of professional disciplinary action and an explanation for the action
  • Disclosure of direct or economic interest in medical marijuana organizations

The Department of Health prohibits approved practitioners from several actions, including:

  • Advertising their services as a medical weed doctor
  • Issuing prescriptions or patient certifications for their personal use
  • Acting as a caregiver to patients they’ve prescribed medical marijuana too
  • Receiving or giving medical weed samples
  • Accepting any form of payment to certify and issue a prescription, aside from a patient consolation fee

Doctors approved as medical marijuana practitioners do not have to file for renewal. They remain active until one or more of the following events:

  • Immediate or temporary professional disciplinary action
  • Inactive, suspended, expired or revoked medical license

Physicians are free to reapply after they’ve resolved either of the above causes for dismissal. If they’ve received disciplinary action, however, they must document and prove the issue has reached a resolution. The inclusion of evidence doesn’t guarantee a doctor will be recertified, though.

How the Regulations Affect Doctors and Patients in PA

The temporary regulations proposed by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health affect physicians and patients in different ways.

Registered doctors, for example, are required to review the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program before issuing or modifying a medical marijuana prescription. The purpose of the program is to ensure the prescribed medical weed interacts with any other controlled substances prescribed to the patient in a positive way, which prevents the possibility of an adverse reaction.

marijuana doctor training

Doctors also undergo a four-hour training course before offering medical marijuana to patients. The course includes:

  • Overview of federal medical marijuana laws and Pennsylvania’s provisions for the medicine
  • Review of scientific research on medical weed and the endocannabinoid system
  • Recommendations for prescribing medical pot for certain illnesses or chronic diseases
  • Suggestions for dosage amounts and forms of medical marijuana based on different patient needs

The Department of Health plans to offer the course through approved training providers, which will be listed on the department’s website. The state boards of medicine, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and nursing will all adopt the course as a continuing education credit as well.

How these regulations affect patients is by providing them with safety and security, as well as the knowledge that their doctor is educated and trained in medical marijuana. The state is more than approving doctors — it’s ensuring they have the knowledge to offer quality care to those in need.

An added benefit is the state’s commitment to checking and maintaining its set of registered doctors. Each year, the Department of Health plans to review each registered practitioner. The review will verify the status of the physician’s medical license and any disciplinary action in the last year. Yearly evaluations allow Pennsylvania to maintain a list of qualified and licensed doctors for patients across the state.

Specific regulations that will affect patients include the issuing and modifying of patient certifications. Per the temporary regulations, doctors cannot write a medical marijuana prescription lasting more than one year. Prescriptions are also only modifiable every 30 days, though doctors can change them sooner by contacting the Department of Health.

Each of these regulations encourages patients to continue seeing their physician on a regular basis, as well as talk to their doctor about possible prescription adjustments to develop a dosage that works for their symptoms.

What the Regulations Mean for the Future of Medical Marijuana in PA

Pennsylvania’s continued development of its Medical Marijuana Program reveals the state’s commitment to releasing a program that is safe, reliable and trustworthy. Its regulations for medical weed practitioners emphasize that goal further, as the requirements demand an active medical license in good standing.

Other regulations, such as the practitioner prohibitions and required training, all contribute to the state’s goal of producing a program that’s aligned with everyday health care, which promotes the fact that marijuana is a medicine that helps patients find relief from pain that isn’t alleviated by pharmaceutical drugs.

The investment by Pennsylvania to develop its Medical Marijuana Program suggests the program’s 2018 launch will be successful. Its success and integration with health care could encourage more Pennsylvanians to consider a medical pot prescription as a natural remedy for chronic pain or other illnesses. Trained and educated practitioners may also recommend marijuana prescriptions to their existing patients, who may benefit from the natural medicine.

Find Medical Marijuana Doctors in PA

At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we help patients discover and connect with licensed and certified medical marijuana physicians in their area. It’s a quick and easy way for you to find a practitioner that’s educated, caring and passionate about helping you reach relief from your daily pain and discomfort.

Find a compassionate medical marijuana physician in Pennsylvania, or in nearby states where medical pot is legal, by using our comprehensive doctor search services.

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Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Researchers find increased pot use by college students

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Researchers find increased pot use by college students

The Columbian / Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A study by Oregon State University researchers has found college students at an undisclosed large public university in the state are using more marijuana since recreational pot became legal two years ago.

The Register-Guard reports the researchers’ study was published Wednesday in a journal called Addiction. The study found increased use is mainly by students who are binge alcohol drinkers and by students who are under the legal pot consumption age of 21.

OSU researchers also found increases at six out of seven universities around the country. But the unnamed Oregon university rose above the others with the highest increase.

Data for the study came from 10,924 undergraduate students ages 18 to 26. The researchers also used existing data, previously collected by the University of Michigan.

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Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:11:21 +0000

Study: Cannabis Consumers Among the “Most Well-Adjusted and Successful of American Adults”

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Study: Cannabis Consumers Among the “Most Well-Adjusted and Successful of American Adults”

A new study has found that many of the stereotypes surrounding cannabis are untrue, and that cannabis consumers are among the “most well-adjusted and successful of American adults”.

According to the study by BDS Analytics; “Public support for cannabis legalization is stronger today than ever before, yet the “stoner” stereotype — apathetic, unsuccessful, flaky — persists. But not, we believe, for much longer.”

According to the research group; “Cannabis consumers, it turns out, are among the most well-adjusted and successful of American adults, based on results from BDS Analytics’ landmark cannabis consumer research study, the first of its kind in history. The ongoing study is the most comprehensive and detailed look at cannabis consumers ever conducted.”

One theme that clearly emerges from the research is the “overall healthy well-being of cannabis Consumers (people who consume cannabis), when compared to Acceptors (people who do not consume cannabis but might consider it) and Rejecters (people who do not consume cannabis and would not consider it).”

Among the findings, Cannabis Consumers are:

Accomplished Personally and Professionally

  • Average annual household income among California Consumers is $93,800, compared to $72,800 for Acceptors and $75,900 for Rejecters.
  • The percentage of people holding master’s degrees among California Consumers is 20 percent, compared to 13 percent for Acceptors and 12 percent for Rejecters.
  • Full-time employment is enjoyed by 64 percent of Colorado Consumers, compared to 51 percent of Acceptors and 54 percent of Rejecters.

Satisfied with Life

  • Nearly five in 10 Colorado Consumers agree they are more satisfied with life today than they were a year ago, compared to about four in 10 among Acceptors and Rejecters.

Parents Raising Families

  • Cannabis Consumers are the most likely segment to be parents in California: 64 percent of Consumers are parents, compared to 60 percent of Acceptors and 55 percent of Rejecters.
  • In addition, Consumers in California are significantly more likely to have children ages 10 years or younger at home — 37 percent of Consumers compared to 23 percent of Acceptors and 11 percent of Rejecters

Active Socially and Creatively

  • Among Colorado Consumers, 36 percent agree they are very social people, compared to 21 percent for Acceptors and 28 percent for Rejecters.
  • Acceptors in Colorado were more likely to enjoy the fine arts and describe themselves as creative.

Enjoy the Outdoors

  • When compared to Rejecters, Consumers in both Colorado and California say they enjoy outdoor recreation at a higher rate — 50 percent for Colorado Consumers compared to 36 percent for Colorado Rejecters, and 57 percent for California Consumers compared to 26 percent for California Rejecters.

Nurturing and Volunteers

  • In California, 60 percent of Consumers agree that they are nurturing people, compared to 41 percent of Rejecters. Also, 38 percent of Consumers say they volunteer their time to help others, compared to 25 percent of Rejecters.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:45:14 +0000

Secret Service Can Now Smoke Marijuana

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Secret Service Can Now Smoke Marijuana

By Mike Adams, TheFreshToast.com

The Secret Service can now smoke marijuana: Apparently, it was really hard to find people to fill positions.

It has become so difficult for the U.S. Secret Service to find recruits that have never before experimented with marijuana that the agency’s new director, Randolph Alles, has thrown his hands in air on the issue, announcing last week that he has relaxed the drug policy for potential new hires.

During a recent press briefing, Mr. Alles, who has been at the helm of the agency for less than three months, told reporters that it has become necessary for the Secret Service to be a little more lenient when it comes to dealing with job candidates that may have used marijuana at some point in the past.

It is for that reason that, as of last month, the agency’s drug policy has been revamped to not immediately disqualify a candidate with a history of cannabis use. Instead, the Secret Service is now giving consideration to the length of time a person has refrained from using the herb when reviewing his or her application.

For example, applicants younger than 24 are only required to show they haven’t used marijuana for a period of 12-months. Other candidates, 28-years or older, are expected to be pot-free for at least five years.

Although the agency will no longer discount candidates who admit to smoking a little weed, Alles said the agency would still maintain a strict interview process, which includes a polygraph and an extensive background check.
Now that marijuana has become legal in a growing number of states, and attitudes over the dangers associated with the substance have become more relaxed among the majority of civil society, it has become next to impossible for federal agencies, like the Secret Service, to track down qualified applicants that have not at least tried smoking weed.

If the previous drug policy were to continue, Alles said the agency would struggle to fill thousands of positions.

The agency’s new drug policy is expected to facilitate in the placement of nearly 10,000 new employees over the next several years.

“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Alles said, according to CNN. “It’s more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past.”

There is speculation that the Secret Service, whose only two jobs are to provide security for the president and his family and investigate financial crimes, is beefing up personnel in an attempt to deal with all of the anti-Trump cases that are expected to emerge over the next four years. It is the duty of the agency to investigate every threat made against the President of the United States, even if the supposed menace comes in the form of Photoshopped image posted by a D-list comedian.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:33:53 +0000

Maine Legislature Approves Bill to Prevent Medical Marijuana Patients from Being Denied Organ Transplants

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Maine Legislature Approves Bill to Prevent Medical Marijuana Patients from Being Denied Organ Transplants

Maine’s full legislature has has passed legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants.

Maine’s LD 764 has now been approved by the state’s House of Representatives, and Senate, meaning it will soon be sent to Governor Paul LePage for consideration. The bill, filed by State Representative Deborah Sanderson (R) with eight bipartisan cosponsors, “prohibits the medical use of marijuana from being the sole disqualifying factor in determining a person’s suitability for receiving an anatomical gift.”

The full text of the one-page measure can be found below:

“Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows

     Sec. 1.22 MRSA §2423-E, sub-§10 is enacted to read:

10.Receiving an anatomical gift. A qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana may not be the sole disqualifying factor in determining the qualifying patient’s suitability for receiving an anatomical  gift.  For the purposes of this subsection,  “anatomical gift” has the same meaning as in section 2942, subsection 2.”

If LD 764 becomes law, Maine would become the eight state to protect medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants based solely on their use of medical cannabis.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 01:17:02 +0000