Now that the magic Genie of Medical Cannabis has been let out of the bottle, most of us are asking now what?
Do we all just start smoking weed, or munching on medicated brownies – or both?
What about the Paranoia, munchies and short term memory issues?
What about the medications I am already taking?
Is this SAFE?
As a clinician who lives in a small town, especially a town that is World-Famous for its ‘Kootenay Bud’, most of my patients are VERY aware of most of the benefits and ways of ingesting Cannabis.
Also, as a clinician, I find myself stuck between the legal fence posts of Federal Legislation and the By-laws of the governing body for my profession. A proverbial rock and a hard nugget of Hash.
Personally, as a patient with complex, chronic auto-immune disease, who benefits from Medical Cannabis, I feel obliged to share my experience.
If you are considering Cannabis for health reasons, then you will need to get a specific recommendation from a clinician. Feel free to share this article to help them understand what Medical Cannabis Protocols look like.
What follows is in no way my medical advice or recommendation.
No licensed health care professional can recommend or prescribe Cannabis without risking their license to practice – mostly because their is no Malpractice Insurance for Cannabis ‘Errors’. This is a messy topic and I will keep you posted on any REAL changes to how this works. I am sharing this for educational purposes only. I can only recommend that you use this information with the direct supervision of a licensed and knowledgeable practitioner. If you can’t find anyone locally, get in touch and I will see if I can help.
As you will see, it is NOT ABOUT GETTING WASTED!!!
This is a Generalized Medical Cannabis Protocol for Chronic, Degenerative and Autoimmune Diseases. It is based on years of scientific research and even more years personal experimentation. If there is a theme to this approach to using Cannabis medically, it is to minimize the amount of time people spend feeling ‘wasted’. I understand that some people want a break from physical pain and/or mental and emotional pain, and I am not saying that is a bad idea or evidence of addiction or self destructive behavior.
If you need a break – Take a Break! Shifting your state of being is your birthright.
If this conversation is about Medical Cannabis, then the conversation is about resolving your illness by finding the root cause and treating the deeeper why, instead of focusing on masking your symptoms. This kind of protocol is meant to last for months – or for the rest of your life. Hopefully, over time, you will need less and less supplementation and your lifestyle and diet can get a bit looser. For now, lets agree that four months is the minimum.
If you are presently taking and strong Pharmaceutical medications – DO NOT DO THIS ALONE!
The stories I could tell of people ending up in the Emergency Ward at the hospital because of unexpected drug and Cannabis interactions could fill a book – or make for a hilarious and sad reality TV show. I am not kidding friends, we are talking potential ambulance rides and red faced explanations.
OK, enough with the stick. Here is the strangely green carrot.
As there are many factors in any complex medical condition, removing the most common and erosive triggers from a patient’s lifestyle and diet. In most cases I recommend the following Dietary Protocols. Improving your health with dietary changes is a VERY personal experience. With all challenging experiences you have a choice, feel empowered or feel passive. One of the best ways to feel empowered is to do some research and align yourself with what feels right. If you are unfamiliar with these therapeutic diets, make some tea, get a pen and paper and GET CURIOUS! What if changing your diet could change your life?
Gerson Protocol and Diet (potentially Vegetarian/Vegan)
Ketogenic Diet (potentially Vegetarian/Vegan)
The use of the non-psychoactive Cannabis alkaloid CBD (Cannabadiol) is the safest and most therapeutically advantageous beginning to the use of Medical Cannabis. CBD has several medical attributes and functions best when taken 3 times per day. These functions include: Immune Modulation, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-anxiety and several others. Research suggests:
5 mg of CBD orally, 3 times per day, for a week, then try:
10 mg of CBD 3 times per day, for a week.
If you feel twice as good then stay with 10mg. If you feel more-or-less the same, go back to 5mg. Your liver can only use 5 mg at a time. If money is a concern then stay at 5mg and add more adjunct compounds (see below). These adjunct therapies can rapidly increase the speed at which your body heals.
In order to increase the Immune modulating benefit of CBD, I recommend the addition of:
Vitamin D3 @1000 IUs, 3 times per day
Vitamin K2 @100 mcg, 3 times per day
Chaga Tea 3 times per day
Ashwagandha 600 mg, 3 times per day (Careful with Arthritis)
There at least 50 known Immune Regulating and Adaptogenic Compounds available. The above list is meant to begin a conversation with your clinician. What makes the most sense for you?
In order to increase the Anti-inflammatory benefit of CBD, I recommend the addition of:
Resveratrol 60 mg, 3 times per day
Alpha-Lipoic-Acid 300 mg, 3 times per day
Golden Milk in the morning or evening as needed. The recipe is available on my website. <?> Link
In order to increase the Anxiolytic (Anxiety Reducing) benefit of CBD, I recommend the addition of:
300 mgs of St. John’s Wort, 3 times per day
100 mg of L-Theanine, 3 times per day
500 mg GABA, 3 times per day
The use of topical ointments have many therapeutic benefits besides the obvious local analgesic affect.Your central nervous system is the nervous system of a primate, and primates rate their survivabilty on their ability to run, climb and be aware of their surroundings. If you are in chronic pain, hold a lot of tension in your body or just can’t seem to relax your muscles, this tells your primate nervous system that you are a wounded animal. I know this sounds a bit weird, but if your nervous system is nervous, then your adaptive physiology and immune system are nervous. By reducing pain and tension from your nerves and muscles, you are telling your instinctual self that you are more adaptable.
If you want to learn more about this check out this podcast on favorite subject, The Primal Paradigm.
Research suggests the application of a topical ointment containing both CBD and THC to any area of your body that is painful, swollen or tense. Apply upon waking , as needed throughout the day and before bed. Don’t skip this step, It makes an AMAZING difference in your symptoms and, more importantly, your Mindset.
Most patients suffering from chronic illness do not sleep very deeply. This is because most chronic conditions starts in the Gut where most of your Neurotransmitters are formed. For example: about 60% of your Melatonin (a sleep hormone) is made in your Gut. Also, most chronic conditions are driven by chronic inflammation, and your body uses Neurotransmitters as anti-inflammatories. Knowing this, it is no surprise that many patients with chronic inflammatory conditions end up on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and/or sleeping pills.
To reduce chronic inflammation, improve depth and length of sleep, research suggests:
Orally ingest 10 – 30 mg of an Indica specific concentrate, 2 hours before bed. It is important to go to bed as soon as you feel the ‘high’ come on. If you try and stay up for more than an hour you will not get a good night’s sleep. In fact you will probably be up all night!
To augment the sleep inducing influence of Indica specific Medical Cannabis:
Eat some dried mango slices or real mango puree one hour before bed, or
3 mg of Timed Release Melatonin, 40 minutes before bed, and/or
A natural sleep aid containing Lemon Balm, Passionflower and Hops. as directed on the bottle.
The objective is to get you into the deeper stages of sleep metabolism, without you feeling hung-over in the morning. If you are looking for more support, check out this article about Sleep Hygiene.
The final step in a Medical Cannabis protocol is the use of THC during the day. This, of course, precludes any use of a motor vehicle, power tools or the care of children and the infirm. If the daytime use of THC is required to manage pain, anxiety, depression or other distressing symptoms, consider and explore:
Orally ingest 5 – 10 mg of THC from a Hybrid strain of Cannabis as needed. Once or twice a day is usually sufficient.
If you require more immediate relief care, then use a vaporizer and smoke a small amount of a Hybrid strain of Cannabis – as needed.
If you feel that you need both immediate relief care and chronic symptom management, then use a vaporizer and smoke a small amount of a Hybrid strain of Cannabis, and at the same time take your edible concentrate. Orally ingested Cannabis lasts for 6 to 8 hours. If during that time you feel you need more relief, smoke a small amount of Cannabis or take more of the recommended adjunct supplementation above.
WARNING! – Many people who suffer from chronic inflammation do not respond well to a pure Sativa Cannabis product.
Contraindication Warning! If you are taking any significant amount of Pharmaceutical medications, speak with a qualified healthcare professional to ensure that there will not be a dangerous Drug/Cannabis interaction.
IN GENERAL, it is advised to keep any use of Cannabis at least 2 hours separate from any significant dose of a Prescription medication.
If you feel that you could REALLY use some consistent guidance learning about your condition and all of the things you can do to improve your health, I highly recommend my infamous ‘Health challenge’. This is a step-by-step, medically supervised, 10 week journey into healing your Body, Mind and Spirit.