What is Medical Cannabis THC & CBD Oils vs. Dried Cannabis Vaporizing Ailments and Treatments Arthritis Chronic Pain Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Irritable Bowel Disease Epilepsy Multiple Sclerosis

What is Medical Cannabis?

Medical Cannabis is the harvested flowers (or bud) of the Marijuana plant, dried and cured, ready for your consumption. Below you’ll find information on how to vaporize and what to look for in a Cannabis strain.

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids

There are two main types of the Marijuana plant: Indica, a nighttime strain; and Sativa a daytime strain.

By combining the two you can get what are called Hybrid Strains, which can carry the characteristics of both parent strains.

Here are some of the effects that patients experience when consuming Sativa and Indica strains:

Indica Attributes
  • physically stimulating
  • sedating
  • relaxing
  • calming
  • body effect
Sativa Attributes
  • slightly energetic
  • cerebral
  • uplifting
  • head effect
  • mentally stimulating
Indica, Sativa and Hybrid strains may all provide relief from

THC & CBD

Cannabis only works as a medicine because of the active compounds produced by the flowers of the plant called Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are not distinctive to the plant being Indica or Sativa, but are brought out through selective breeding and then identified through lab analysis. Below are the most common Cannabinoids:

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most abundant active chemical in Marijuana. It is suggested to be responsible for an array of medical properties that include: anti-emetic, appetite stimulant, analgesic and anti-convulsant properties among others. Most effective in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, appetite, nausea, neuropathy and commonly used for sleep.

CBD: Cannabidiol is the second most common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant (only to THC). It is suggested to have properties that include anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-psychotic, and anti-convulsant properties among others. Most effective in treating seizures, pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

Learn about how Cannabinoids interact with our body in the Human Endocannabinoid System section in the Glossary.

Oils vs. Dried Cannabis

Medical Cannabis is the harvested flowers (or bud) of the Marijuana plant, dried and cured, ready for your consumption. Below you’ll find sections on how to vaporize, make edibles and what to look for in a Cannabis strain.

Vaporizing

Vaporizing is one of the most popular choices for using medical cannabis. It is suggested that vaporizing is better for the lungs as the combustion of the cannabis is more controlled, releasing less harmful substances upon burning. As well, vaporizing provides a more measured dose because the chamber in the vaporizer controls the amount of cannabis used in each session.

Vaporizers come in two versions, larger desktop devices and smaller portable devices. The larger devices allow for greater amounts of cannabis to be used and require being plugged in. While the smaller devices are portable and usually run on a battery.

TealValley suggests you use a vaporizer to consume your dried cannabis as opposed to rolling and smoking it in a joint. If the vaporization method does not appeal to you, Cannabis oils that are taken by mouth are also a great option for your treatment.

Ailments and Treatments

Cannabis is a versatile medicine that can help in many disease states. Through proper assessment, dosing, and monitoring, medical cannabis can serve as a great addition in your healthcare. While medical cannabis is not for everybody, we can help you figure out if it is right for you.

Do you have supporting documentation that you can bring with you to your appointment? (Medical History, X-ray, MRI’s, CT scan.)

Can you obtain a Referral from your Family Doctor, Specialist or Walk in Clinic? Have you ever been diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder?

Arthritis

“The relief I experienced from medical marijuana was almost immediate. Ever since trying medical marijuana, my life has drastically improved. Although chronic pain, related to my post-polio syndrome will always be a part of my life, medical marijuana had helped me manage this pain by providing fast and effective relief for my muscle spasms, acute pains, and arthritis” –Dorothy G

Introduction: Arthritis refers to a collection of diseases targeting the joints. Common symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joint. It can be largely split into two categories, inflammatory (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis) and non-inflammatory (i.e. osteoarthritis).[1]

Treatment Options: Treatment options for Arthritis vary depending on the type of the disease. Broadly speaking, therapy will target the immune system, decrease inflammation of the joints2, and help relieve pain. Talk to your doctor or get in touch with TealValley to speak to one of our partner physicians to learn more about these treatment options.

Medical Cannabis can serve as a useful tool in the treatment of Arthritis in combination with your usual therapy4. It has been suggested that Cannabis treatment for arthritis takes a two-pronged approach: both by reducing inflammation and relieving feelings of pain2,3. TealValley is connected to the largest number of Licensed Producers providing you access to the most strains in dried or oil form to treat your Arthritis.

We have a number of successful patient stories where they have used vaporized cannabis and cannabis creams to help their Arthritis. These stories continue to add up and the Canadian Arthritis Society5 has joined in furthering the use of Medical Cannabis in Arthritis.

Resources
Global News – Cannabis and Arthritis
Safe Access Network – Overview and Patient Testimonials
Dr. Jason McDougall – Cannabis and Arthritis

References
[1]Arthritis – Beyond the Basics
[2]Expression of cannabinoid receptor 2 and its inhibitory effects on synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis
[3]Medical Use of Marijuana – Information for Health Care Professionals
[4]Americans for Safe Access - Arthritis
[5]Canadian Arthritis Society – Medical Cannabis

Chronic Pain

“I will often use an Indica strain of marijuana for neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease, arthritis and several car wrecks. I am 51 years old. My neck pain causes migraine headaches as well. The marijuana works quite well for the pain and I recommend it if you can tolerate it. Do yourself a favor and read up on some of the side effects first. I prefer to take cannabis oil over smoking it though as the oil seems to work better and last longer. But I often will smoke it with good results. Sometimes, if the pain is really bad (usually the migraine) the marijuana alone will not work and I will take an OTC with it. Never needed a narcotic or prescription muscle relaxer since using the marijuana though. Good luck.” –JMB

Introduction: Chronic Pain is one of the foremost common reasons people seek Medical Cannabis treatment. Chronic pain is an umbrella term that refers to many different diseases that cause this problem. Left untreated, chronic pain has devastating effects on quality of life1 for patients and their caregivers.

Treatment Options: Research suggests that Cannabis helps chronic pain sufferers by providing relief of feelings of pain and reducing inflammation[2]. A recent Canadian study[3] showed that the THC component of Cannabis helps provide pain relief when vaporizing a small amount up to three times daily. The release of Cannabis oil through TealValley’s partner Licensed Producers takes treatment of chronic pain one step further by providing a more “long-acting” source of relief.

There continues to be clinical research studies coming out on the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis. Benefits have been seen in pain related to HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, and more. We ensure that our prescribing physicians are always kept up to date on the latest developments in medical research with Cannabis.

Resources:
Canadian Cancer Society – Medical Marijuana
Globe and Mail – Researchers urge medical marijuana over opioids to treat neuropathic pain
Smoked cannabis for chronic neuropathic pain: a randomized controlled trial

References:
[1]The impact of pain on quality of life and the unmet needs of pain management
[2]Medical Use of Marijuana – Information for Health Care Professionals
[3]Nine ways Chronic Pain Impacts Quality of Life

Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Irritable Bowel Disease

“My son is a medical marijuana patient, he is 14 with Crohn's Disease. He takes an oil that is high in CBD but also has THC. It's saved his life! I was against it, but when you have no choice you try it and now I an advocate 100%!!! We love what marijuana has done for our whole family, when one of the family members is so sick the whole family suffers. Now we are back to normal” –Wendy T

Introduction: Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and Irritable Bowel disease (IBD) are a group of diseases affecting various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. In Crohn’s and UC, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract lead to issues like bowel movement problems, abdominal pain, and weight loss1,2. The cause of IBD is unclear, and symptoms are characterized by abdominal pain and alterations in bowel habits like constipation and/or diarrhea3.

Treatment Options: Much like Arthritis, Cannabis is suggested to help decrease inflammation that is present in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In a small study, patients suffering from these diseases reported pain relief, an improved quality of life and weight gain over a 3-month period4.

Through our experience with patients in our network, we have collected testimonials on how medical cannabis has helped treat their gastrointestinal disease. Please get in touch with us today to learn more about Medical Cannabis.

In the News
CNN – 10 places where medical marijuana could have impact
Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Americans for Safe Access – Gastrointestinal Disorders

References
[1]Crohn’s Disease – Beyond the Basics
[2]Ulcerative Colitis – Beyond the Basics
[3]Medical Use of Marijuana – Information for Health Care Professionals
[4]Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study.

Epilepsy

Introduction: Epilepsy is a chronic disease represented by unprovoked seizures1. Usually a combination of medications provides patients stable control of their condition. There is a long history of anecdotal evidence with the use of Medical Cannabis, especially in children with Dravet’s syndrome[2]. The most famous case of this is with using a high-CBD strain, Charlotte’s Web, for a young girl named Charlotte suffering from Dravet’s syndrome[4].

Treatment Options: Our bodies respond to using Medical Cannabis because we have receptors to interact with it – called the endocannabinoid system. Research suggests that problems in the endocannabinoid system contribute to epilepsy, and this is why it is suggested that Medical Cannabis, specifically the CBD of the plant, helps treat some forms of epilepsy[5]. In fact, there is exciting new clinical research coming out with the use of CBD-extract for treating adults and children with epilepsy[6].

If you would like to learn more about using Medical Cannabis and epilepsy, please give our team a call. We would be happy to direct you towards the right resources and healthcare professionals to start you on a journey towards better health.

Resources
CNN and Charlotte’s Web
Using medical marijuana to stop seizures in kids
Science seeks to unlock Marijuana secrets

References
[1]Epliepsy Foundation – What is epilepsy?
[2]Epilepsy Foundation – Medical Marijuana and epilepsy
[3]The case for medical marijuana in epilepsy
[4]Marijuana stops child’s severe seizures
[5]Medical Use of Marijuana – Information for Health Care Professionals
[6]American Epilepsy Society – Efficacy and Safety of Epidiolex

Multiple Sclerosis

Introduction: Cannabis products have been used in the management of Multiple Sclerosis symptoms for over a decade. Research suggests that cannabis helps reduce inflammation in this inflammatory disease leading to an improvement in muscle spasticity, tremors, pain, and sleep disorders[1].

Treatment Options: Patients have used cannabis extracts (i.e. Sativex[2]), synthetic cannabis (i.e. Nabilone[3]), and inhaled dried cannabis to help treat this progressively debilitating disease.

Next to chronic pain, Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common illnesses for which TealValley partner physicians prescribe medical cannabis. While we have some patients who use the synthetic cannabis capsule, most of our MS patients use the dried cannabis vaporized periodically throughout the day.

We are happy to send you literature on Multiple Sclerosis or any other ailments you have questions about.

In the News:
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada – Complementary and Alternative Medications
National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Medical Marijuana
NORML – Multiple Sclerosis

References:
[1]Medical Use of Marijuana – Information for Health Care Professionals
[2]Sativex Fact Sheet
[3]CUPID Trial