The marijuana of today is not like what was popular in the 60’s or 70’s. Today’s breeders and farmers are producing strains that have specific THC and CBD (the psychoactive and pain relief molecules in cannabis) properties that treat specific symptoms. Many are using organic growing practices, which enhance the natural properties of marijuana without using any of the pesticides, or fertilizers that change the chemical makeup of the plant, as it exists in nature. Whether it’s: arthritis, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, PTSD or dementia, marijuana can be used in place of many prescription drugs to achieve the same affect, but by using a holistic approach.
Getting to know marijuana is the first step. Sativa strains are a good choice for the mornings, treating ADHD, PTSD, depression, increasing appetite, and overall known for a mood enhancer. Indicas are known for helping reduce body pain and increasing relaxation, helping with insomnia, arthritis pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, fibromyalgia, multiple Sclerosis, lupus, muscular dystrophy and migraines. Hybrids are a combination of both Indica and Sativa and are bred to have characteristics of both plants. Experimenting with hybrids is really the only way to find which is right for you. Ask your caregiver or local bud-tender to help find a strain that fits your needs.
The next frontier in the marijuana industry is the production of high-CBD strains. These strains have low to no psychoactive properties (THC) and early studies have shown that there is high potential for using these strains to treat cancer, autism, epilepsy and other complicated diseases that affect motor functions.
A basic rule of thumb when using marijuana to treat your symptoms is: go slow at first! You can always take additional dosages to achieve the desired effect, but you can’t go back. The good news is, no matter how much marijuana you ingest, you will not die. This fact is important to know; in the history of cannabis there has not been any documented deaths caused directly from the substance. Be sure that when taking your initial dosage you use caution when using machinery or driving. Everyone is different and marijuana affects each individual will differ slightly. If you are taking your first dose you should try and find some support, whether it is a friend or a caregiver. I would recommend having someone you can reach out to for support, even if it’s over the phone.
If you are interested in getting your recommendation for the Michigan Medical Marihuana program, you can ask your physician to fill out a recommendation for you. If your physician will not recommend you to the program, there are other resources for you. Certification Centers are a good source for people looking to get into the program. You can find a list of centers in the back of this magazine or online at leafly.com, mmmrmag.com, or by using Google to find a center near you. If you are going to a Certification Center, you will need copies of your medical records and any other documentation to support your condition. Remember, they are often seeing you for the first time; any documentation used to support your claim is helpful to ensure your recommendation.
You can find the forms mentioned above, online. For people on Medicaid or other public assistance you may qualify for a reduced registration fee, normally $100, Medicaid recipients or people on SSI, receive a reduced fee.