Seeking the Facts on Medical Marijuana

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/science/seeking-the-facts-on-medical-marijuana.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0

I think the time has come for us as a global community to agree on what we want to know and then go get it. And our patients need to move away from self-experimenting with substances and derivatives we don’t know about, and move to a situation where we know what they are using and where we can better help them. This isn’t going away.

One of the great things about medical cannabis is that it isn’t necessary for a doctor to be involved with the treatment.  It is easy enough for patients to experiment with different strains; and in more mature cannabis markets, patients have both access and a variety of strains to choose from.  And just like this doctor says:

Interestingly, our patients appeared to actually use very small quantities of the drug to control their symptoms, a lot less than recreational users…

That’s because it’s very easy to take cannabis.  It’s very easy to titrate the dosage based on — at least in the case of smoking it — the immediate effect.  I don’t have a lot of experience with edibles and extracts, but I assume it’s a little more difficult to find the right dosage through those delivery systems.

But once you feel the drug’s effects, you don’t need to keep smoking it.  With good bud, a few puffs is all you need, and you’re good to go.  Unless you’re using a higher dose at night for sleep, smoking more than you need is just a waste.  And as expensive as medical cannabis is in most states, no user wants to waste even a tiny trichome.

In other words, you don’t need the advice of a doctor to be a medical cannabis patient.  Bud can’t hurt you, so feel free to experiment.  New users should, of course, start slow, maybe with a THC level of around 10%, depending on tolerance and pain levels.  Don’t start with a strain that’s over 20% THC unless you know what you’re doing.

Patients in cannabis programs don’t rely on their doctors to tell them how to choose their medicine or navigate their state’s program — patients rely on the information from other patients, which is why it’s so important to spread the word about your own cannabis experiences in your state.

Perhaps those who suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar may want to consult a specialist in THC/CBDs before attempting treatment, but patients have more expertise than doctors when it comes to cannabis.  Heck, the internet has all the information you’ll ever need about marijuana — but it’s only in the experimentation with different products that you’ll find what you need to know.

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