Alternative medicine looks greener and greener everyday. Recent studies have shown the medical benefits of Cannabis to be vast, and the landscape ever changing. So much so, Medical Marijuana Patients are often more informed than their doctors. For those who learn of its healing potential and are brave enough to journey forward, it can feel a little like the Wild West.
Vapor, Oils, Edibles, and Topical lotions are just some of the ways to medicate with Cannabis. These methods are gaining in popularity. Naturally, some questions will arise. Is it safe? Can I get addicted? Are there side effects? What is the healthiest way to consume it? Fortunately there are good answers for all these questions. Seeking the answers is the first step in removing the stigma and starting on a healing path.
First, Cannabis is safe. More specifically it is non-toxic. You could consume large amounts of Cannabis in one sitting (don’t do that) and have no risk of overdose or any harm. In fact, Cannabis is commonly administered to children who suffer from Epileptic Seizures, Autism, and ADHD. Adults with dementia also benefit from Cannabis. Studies as recent as July 2016 show that the cannabinoids in Cannabis can prevent, and potentially, treat Dementia that is caused by Amyloid Beta accumulation in brain cells (a.k.a. Alzheimer’s).
The second thing you should know is Cannabis contains phytochemicals called cannabinoids. The most prevalent being THC (a psychoactive (high feeling) cannabinoid) and CBD (a non-psychoactive (non-high feeling) cannabinoid). Both of these provided enormous benefit to the human body. In fact our bodies produce our own cannabinoids and have a whole system dedicated to them, The Endocannabinoid System.
Cannabis is not physically addictive. Like any behavior that makes you feel good, it may become a habit, but habitual behavior is not the same as physical addiction. Adversely, drugs like pharmaceutical grade opiates are highly physically addictive, very expensive, and require a prescription. Most people who become addicted to these overprescribed opiates end up turning to heroin on the streets because it’s cheaper and easier to get. These opiates are extremely dangerous.
America faces a tsunami of addiction in the coming decades, and Cannabis may provide some high ground (pun intended). Study after study shows the addiction rate of opiates dropping drastically in states where people are given the dignity of legal Cannabis, while other legal outlets with major side effects like alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco are killing us.
Cannabis, on the other hand, has no long-term negative side effects, if used correctly and responsibly. Even if Cannabis is used incorrectly and irresponsibly, the side effects are far from life threatening. For example, you are inhaling toxic byproducts produced from combustion when you smoke dried flowers (buds). These toxins can be a problem; however there are no studies showing that long-term, heavy Cannabis smoking cause cancer or any other life threatening effects. Coughing, wheezing, and short breath are often reported as acute side effects.
The healthiest way to consume Cannabis may depend on your specific ailment or goal. Although smoking is still the most popular among recreational consumers, as mentioned earlier, it is definitely not the healthiest choice.
Food infused with Cannabis is great for those who need a longer and slower release of the medicine. A wide selection of Edibles is available these days. Cookies, soda, pasta sauce, and candy are just a few examples. Most of these edibles are high in sugar so daily consumption for major ailments can be detrimental to your health.
Hands down the healthiest way to consume is by vaporizing the dried flower. Vaporizing allows you to get the benefits of smoking, and more, without the toxic by products.
The line between vaporization and combustion (smoking) is thinner than most people realize.
When vaporized, dried Cannabis Flower must be heated between 355F and 410F in order to get maximum benefit and no toxins. At this range you get all the cannabinoids and terpenes with none of the toxins from burning organic material.
Often, in search of a more smoke like experience, people will vaporize to hot which defeats the purpose altogether. Also, the heating chamber must be separate from the heating element and use convection (touching heated airflow) not conduction (heated surface). Think hot air popped corn vs. grilled charred corn.
Cannabis is as far away from non-medicinal and highly addictive as a plant can get. It is the Swiss Army Knife for homeostasis in the human body. The cannabinoids healing properties are so promising, the Federal Heath and Human Services Department filed a patent on them, and got it.
If you are suffering from PTSD, COPD, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Tumors, or are interested in improving your general overall well being, you may want to reconsider the role of Cannabis in your life.