BATTLE CREEK MICHIGAN
Michigan and Medical Marijuana
June 20, 2018
I lived in Washington State recently, where recreational marijuana is permitted by the State (not by the Federal Government) all sales staff are required to be educated about the various problems with overuse, as well as the basics of the law (no public consumption, and stay away from where children are, but in your own home it’s pretty much whatever you want to do. If you rent, your landlord can prohibit smoking.) And of course sales staff need to be informed about the various varieties and applications. Sales staff are usually called “budtenders,” sort of a pun on bartenders, but you cannot consume the product at the point of sale, unlike a bar.
You walk into a marijuana shop in Washington and show your ID, and it’s like a candy store, lots of creative promotional packaging, flashy colors and advertising, in addition to dried flower buds (loose, packaged in various sizes from a single gram up to an ounce, and pre-rolls which are also still called joints) there are a wide variety of edibles. The thing about edibles is that an hour later you might still be waiting for the effect, so you eat some more, maybe a little more after that, then discover that you have taken too much. An overdose can be uncomfortable but it will pass in an hour or two, just walk around or sit or lie down and relax, maybe drink some water, and most of all do not panic. Take a deep breath and make the best of it as best you can. Most edibles actually are candy infused with cannabis, so you must be careful to keep them away from children, who love to gobble candy.
Colorado has a less showy approach, its all about medical marijuana, no advertising, no flashy packaging. When you walk in they scan your ID and then you enter a separate locked area with glass counters showing lots of big glass jars full of bud. They weigh out what you want and it goes into a plastic bag you put in your pocket.
Neither Colorado or Washington permit public smoking in a cafe as in fabled Amsterdam. Each state has to figure it out in its own way, so stay tuned.
An important discovery in the science of medical marijuana is the Endocannabinoid System.
All people and many animals have natural receptors in their brain that correspond exactly to some active components of cannabis. Don’t take my word for it, look up “endocannabinoid system” for yourself.
Marijuana is not for everyone. If you feel uncomfortable with its effects then STAY AWAY FROM IT! There are many forms of medicinal cannabis that do not cause the “high” intoxication effects. There are new kinds of marijuana still being developed.
Back in the prohibition days one could either buy what the black market bootleg dealer had or not. It was simple. Take it or leave it. Nobody thought much about the possibilities of different kinds of marijuana.
With legalized marijuana there are choices, and each type has some different effects.
There are three main types: indica, sativa, and an expanding range of hybrids which are a combination of the original two in various ratios.
Sativa is said to be more energizing and mind-stimulating. It might keep you awake. It might make you a tiny bit paranoid. Or not.
Indica is said to be more relaxing and produces a body high. It will most likely allow you to sleep after a while.
The names of the strains or botanical family trees of cannabis are like rock band names, which mean everything to those involved, but for the most part are simply colorful. Dig this: Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Durban Poison, Jack Herer, Jack the Ripper, Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Island Sweet Skank, Dutch Treat, Romulan…
There are something like 80 different kinds of Cannabidiols (active ingredients) found in marijuana. There is so much to learn about them.
Terpenes are one of the fast growing frontiers of medical cannabis research.
There are 100+ kinds of terpenes, usually distinguished by their smell, such as having the scent of lemons, or pepper, or lavender, or pine, for example.
Limonene smells like citrus and is uplifting, it can provide stress relief, and has some interesting properties including being antidepressant, antifungal, antibacterial, and some say it dissolves gallstones.
Beta-caryophyllene smells something like black pepper, it is sometimes of little psychoactive effect but has a useful therapeutic effect reducing inflammation.
Linalool smells something like lavender and is relaxing, it is good for promoting anti-anxiety, its anticonvulsant, and anti-acne. That last one is puzzling, for the best results do you consume it orally or rub it on your skin? I have so much to learn.
Pinene smells something like pine and has a clear, bright, sunny effect, some say it can provide asthma relief, it is antiseptic and is said to promote memory retention.
Smoking is harsh, the safer way to consume marijuana using your lungs is through vaping, which heats the herb up enough to release the active ingredients without causing it to burn. There are some vape devices that work exclusively with oils or extracts, and some that you can put dry flowers or leaves directly into the device.
Overall, I find that marijuana causes me to feel happy and works best when used the least. Some say that the ideal situation is taking it once every other week or so, some say that daily use gives the best results. Excessive use can overload the endocannabinoid system and is counter-productive, at some point you just wont get any higher so take a break. I am still figuring out what works best for me. As I write this, marijuana is illegal for me in Michigan (medical marijuana in Michigan is prescribed for serious health problems listed below) so I am busy doing other things these days. Reading for example, here are some interesting books:
Cannabis Pharmacy: The practical guide to medical marijuana by Michael Backes forward by Andrew Weill
The oldest cave paintings depicting what appears to be a marijuana leaf date from 12,000 years ago in Europe. Emperor Shen Nang in China includes cannabis in his medical teachings. The chapter on Varieties of Medical Marijuana contains a page spread for each strain, the chapter on uses covers applications and is organized by disease.
Mary Jane: The complete marijuana handbook for women by Cheri Sicard
Lots of pictures and information about everything from methods for consuming, nomenclature, culinary topics, legal advice, growing it at home, and generally transitioning into legal cannabis.
Brave new weed: adventures into the uncharted world of cannabis by Joe Dolce
A very detailed tour of current research. Names dropped: Dr. Donald Abrams, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the Weizmann Institute, Yehiel Gaoni, Dr. Allyn Howdett, Dr. Melanie Dreher, Dr. Ester Fride, Dr. Ethan Russo, and many more.
Cannabis for chronic pain: a proven prescription for using marijuana to relive your pain and heal your life by Dr. Rav Ivker
This book has lots of interesting details and examples of the author’s personal experiences using cannabis for relief from pain and for treating specific diseases.
Michigan Medical Marijuana is prescribed for the following conditions:
Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, or nail patella.
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Severe and chronic pain
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or
Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Chronic Pain, Spinal Cord Injury, Autism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tourette’s Syndrome, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and, any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.
Is liking something like chocolate an addiction or an indulgence? I guess it has to do with quantity and the quality of your life.