Questions about medical cannabis?
NutriChem answers all your FAQs about medical cannabis
With its recreational legalization in 2018, there is a lot of hype around cannabis. But with this comes much misinformation and confusion. While medical cannabis will not cure every chronic health condition, it is a useful deprescribing tool. It can also be safe and effective treatment for “The Big 3” of medical cannabis: chronic pain, anxiety, or sleep problems.
NutriChem’s Ottawa-based medical cannabis clinic, run by Adam Livingston, PharmD, RPh., provides more guidance than typical medical cannabis consultations. You will be under the care and guidance of a team of healthcare professionals, providing a safer way to try cannabis, rather than simply experimenting on your own.
NutriChem offers advanced medical cannabis expertise, access to medical cannabis prescriptions, registration with licensed medical cannabis producers, and a personalized treatment plan with products and dosage. However, under the current Health Canada regulations, NutriChem is not a medical cannabis store or cannabis dispensary.
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Cannabis
What can I treat with medical cannabis
Because cannabis has been illegal or heavily restricted until only recently, there has been a lack of strong clinical evidence supporting its use. However, most clinicians concede that cannabis can be a safe and effective option for pain, anxiety, and sleep issues if used appropriately.
There are currently many ongoing clinical studies exploring cannabis’ use in these areas as well as many others. The evidence is starting to catch up to what many healthcare providers have known for quite some time.
High-dose CBD is already being incorporated into guidelines for use in epilepsy and seizure conditions. Both CBD and THC can be used in cancer patients for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), as well as to help limit spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Many people also use CBD oils for joint pain, arthritis, and inflammation. Low-dose THC from Indica strains of cannabis can be quite effective for sleep as well, on its own or in combination with CBD as well. Cannabis is a sort of “pleiotropic” substance, meaning that it has a variety of potentially useful therapeutic effects.
If I use medical cannabis, will I be “stoned”? Do I have to smoke it?No and no!
There are two major pharmacological components in cannabis: CBD and THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of cannabis. It is a good anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic, but does not produce a “high” or euphoria. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that can produce a “high,” but can also be useful in a variety of medical conditions.
Getting “stoned” is considered a side effect of medical cannabis, and something that we work hard to avoid for our patients. If your goal is to get “high”, there is a recreational stream that can accommodate, but if your goal is to improve your medical condition with minimal side effects, then medical cannabis could be a good option for you.
The vast majority of our patients do not smoke their cannabis, but instead use cannabis oils and sprays, which confer more therapeutic benefits with less health risks than smoking or vaporizing.
Are there risks when using medical cannabis?
Yes, especially when using the THC component of cannabis. A lot of the risks and side effects from cannabis are related to high-dose THC use. The majority of our patients use primarily medical CBD oils, and only if needed, combine these with low-dose THC oils, typically for sleep or complex chronic pain.
At our Ottawa medical cannabis clinic, we limit the risks of cannabis use by keeping THC dosing to a minimum and maximizing the therapeutic potential of CBD. However, when CBD and THC are combined in an effective ratio that depends on the individual patient’s response, they have a synergistic effect that can be better than using either one component alone.
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