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Monday, September 8, 2014

Ask Dr. Beth - with Dr. Beth Fisher

Dear Dr. Beth: 

     I have been growing for four years specifically for myself and another patient. I hurt my back a few months ago and my neighbor has been helping me carry water, soil, and other heavy jobs. Now he has approached me about becoming partners. He will do the heavy lifting and routine work for this grow and the next while my back heals. We would split the grow 60/40 (I would get the 60 percent.) What do you think? 

Healing Grower

Dear Healing:

     I would really take time when making this decision. While the thought of getting help sounds wonderful, the negative side is that you could get ripped off for all of your grow and possibly worse. To add salt to your wounds, you may not be able to file a police report, so you could be out equipment, medicine, and revenue. Before you consider ask yourself these questions: 

1) Does this person have loose lips? Do they talk about everyone and everything? 

2) Does this person borrow things from you and not return them? Are things missing after they leave your grow area? 

3) Is this person listening or taking notes when you share grow info with them? Or do they respond with a story about themselves? 

4) Do you enjoy the company of this person for long periods of time? (If you are a quiet person and they talk non-stop... just say no.) 

5) How do they treat the girls? (Showing respect is big on my list. These beautiful plants deserve love and respect. They are giving up their lives so I stay healthy and happy.) Do they enter the grow and start changing the girls’ environment (changing the radio station or turning up the volume, talking on the phone, turning on or off lights all interfere with growth).  Do they lovingly pour water around the edges of the plant containers to encourage extended root growth or just dump the water and go onto the next one?  

6) Are they showing signs of “green gold fever?” That is the look of greed combined with thoughts of getting rich quick with a Cannabis grow. When they talk about money, their eyes get sparkly and glazed over. 

     If your answer is yes for any of these questions, stop and escort this person from your grow. It will not turn out well. 

     One possible option is for you to pay/trade your neighbor for physical work. That way he/she will learn about growing, you get the physical help, and you keep control of your grow. Propose that to him/her…and observe their response. If they start to get huffy or come up with excuses on why that won’t work, you know you made the right decision of not partnering with this person. They have just shown you that they want more than your knowledge. 

Dear Dr. Beth:

     I finally have my MMJ card and am ready to begin using medical Cannabis. Where do I go? What are my options? 

Brand New MMJ Patient

Dear Brand New:

     In Michigan, you have a choice. You can either go to a dispensary or find a caregiver. But before you decide to use a dispensary or caregiver, you need to find out a few things regarding your medical needs. 
First, find the medicine that works for you. Will Cannabis flower buds address your pain issues? Or do you need an ointment for your stiff hands? If you need a variety for specific issues (for example, if you have pain issues from arthritis, you may want to investigate the variety AK47). You may have to make several phone calls to find the right dispensary that carries that variety. Or you could contact Michigan Organics where I always go when I am back home in Flint (Jerry rocks!). Ben, Jerry, and the rest of the crew are there to help you find what you need. This dispensary can suggest similar varieties and ways to optimally use the medicine. 

     If you are familiar with what you need and aren’t near a dispensary, consider a caregiver. The caregiver’s goal is to help a specific number of patients with medical Cannabis (Five patients is the maximum number for caregivers in Michigan.) Caregivers specifically grow exclusively for their patients; these humble heroes are able to grow and interact with dispensaries to get you exactly what you medically require. They also are able to help you complete the state of Michigan medical Cannabis paperwork. For more information, contact Michigan Medical Marijuana Caregivers. It is important to know that if you choose to use a caregiver, then you are forbidden by the state of Michigan to go into a dispensary without them. It will also cost you $10.00 to register with the state to have a caregiver. 

     In the end, take some time to discover what you need for your own medical condition, determine whether this can be best met through a dispensary or a caregiver. Don’t forget that if you choose a caregiver, there are forms and fees that must be completed and paid in order for your caregiver to start growing for you and providing meds from other sources.

Dear Dr. Beth:

     I have used Cannabis on and off for the last few years.  A few weeks ago, I met a wonderful woman who embraces the Cannabis/Hemp lifestyle. I told her I smoked pot and then asked her out for dinner. Unfortunately, she won’t go out with me. She told me I was a poser and said she only dates men who embrace the Cannabis lifestyle. What can I do to have her see that I have what it takes to be her “Canna Guy?”

Crazy for Canna Love

Dear Crazy:
      Wow, that must have hurt! See her challenge as an opportunity to learn more about Cannabis and “The Cannabis Way.” Fortunately, I can give you a few suggestions. 

     There are three things you can do to hopefully win the heart of this special woman:

•  Learn: Read about the research on medical Cannabis. Discover how Cannabis kills cancer cells, reduces pain levels, helps with muscle spasms, etc. Become aware of which states have passed medical Cannabis legislation, listen to Cannabis radio, both talk and music. Take a Cannabis growing, cooking, or processing course either online or at your dispensary. 

•  Listen: Take time to listen to patients tell their stories of how Cannabis saved their lives. Watch videos of veterans testifying on how Cannabis helps them cope with their PTSD. Listen to the stories of patients as you wait in the dispensary. Be all ears and no mouth. Learn how Cannabis has changed lives. 

•  Live: With your new understanding, enjoy! Go to Cannabis conferences and festivals, discover a Cannabis political group in your area, take a trip to the Denver area and experience Cannabis tourism a “free” state. (Note: At this time, Washington State is experiencing a shortage of legal recreational Cannabis. So flying there just to experience recreational Canna might be a wasted trip.) 

     I can’t guarantee you will win this woman’s heart, but hopefully this journey will lead you to a greater awareness of Cannabis. And who knows where that may lead! There are many Canna women out there. Know yourself first before you start to seek one. 

Hi Dr. Beth,

For the last several months I have been crumbling one or two buds over my yogurt before bed. When I was at the last MMM Conference in Grand Rapids, someone told me that eating raw buds would irritate the stomach wall. What do you think? 

Please Advise,

Dear Alan,

     Years ago, we were told not to eat the leaves or the buds as they would irritate our digestive systems. But that was then. Now, we know that Cannabis leaves and buds can be eaten and juiced for their health benefits! Raw Cannabis doesn’t give you a euphoric feeling like smoking; more like a healthful tonic. Within one to two weeks of ingesting raw Cannabis, patients report decreased pain, increased mobility, and sharper mental decision making skills. 

     In my home, we juice instead of eating our Cannabis leaves and buds. We juice with a plain old juice extractor, nothing fancy. I use the leaves and young tender stems with an occasional bud on top. Make sure your leaves/stems/buds are fresh (I use them within 24 hours of picking them due to possible irritation from the spines on the back of the leaf.) After picking your greens, rinse and cover them until ready to juice. If you want juice without any of the pulp, try a wheatgrass juicer. 

     I use a juice extractor versus eating my leaves raw based on an earlier experience with ingesting Canna. I was experiencing pain and muscle spasm due to a leg injury.  My wonderful Michigan caregiver made me capsules from the leaf (as per Michigan Canna laws). After a few days of pain relief, there was continued irritation in my lower intestine and I had to stop.

     But Alan, if eating Cannabis buds with your yogurt presents no digestive issues, I would keep using it. If you are concerned, keep a chart of when you ingest your Cannabis bud and have indigestion during the same 24 hour period. If it starts to bother you, you can try juicing. 

Dr. Beth Fisher is the Chief Creative Officer for Senior Medical Cannabis. Senior Medical Cannabis provides seniors with a wide range of information and supports relating to Cannabis; legal/legislative, medical,  political, and social issues. 

She is on the HempWorks radio show on Fridays at 2:00 p.m. 
on the  Time4Hemp radio station 


  1. Dear Dr. Beth,

    Thank you for all of the great information and helpful hints!

    I had a few questions, and so does my friend but we don't want to bother you with silly questions, although some information would help.

    How would one of your readers or listeners reach you to submit a question for this column?

    Grateful in MI

    1. Thanks! I can be reached at

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