7 Diseases That Can Be Treated with Medical Marijuana

Over the past four decades, treating diseases with medical marijuana has been on the rise. The credibility of cannabis has grown in the medical community as a possible solution to treat chronic conditions and diseases. While marijuana hasn’t demonstrated that it is the ultimate solution or cure to end a disease in general, it can help soothe the effects of chronic diseases, inhibit diseases from developing at a rapid pace and possibly become a replacement for opioids to handle emotional and physical pain.

This is how marijuana positively contributes to the following seven diseases:

1. Depression

A study from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions tested how marijuana affected chronic stress in rats and used this information to coincide with equivalent human responses. In this experiment, researchers found that when the rats were bound by rodent restraints for long periods of time — a source of chronic stress —  the production of their brain’s endocannabinoids rapidly decreased. In regards to human beings in long-term stressful situations, these receptors influence how well a person can process thoughts, gauge emotions and behave, and they even can impact a person’s cognitive ability to handle pain and anxiety. When there is a lack of endocannabinoid production in the brain, an individual is at risk of developing depression. Marijuana can play a role in restoring cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in the endocannabinoid system, and helping ease the depressing.

2. Anxiety

Like depression, anxiety reduces the endocannabinoid production in the brain and inhibits an individual’s ability to cope with pain and stress. However, the use of marijuana to treat anxiety can go either way: It can either deplete anxiety or increase it. While marijuana is meant to bring a person into a tranquil state, some individuals possess a brain chemistry that simply does not react well with the plant’s chemicals. In other cases, marijuana has been able to prevent unwanted anxiety attacks, stimulate a calmer “fight-or-flight response” to stress and all-together provide the user with a “high” that releases any tension in the body.

3. Epilepsy

Given that epilepsy is a cause of seizures (also known as “electrical storms”), medical scientists have created a specific CBD formula that is proven safe for individuals to use because it possessed little to no effect on the sensitive psychoactivity of epilepsy patients. Some of the first tests with marijuana, such as a 2015 test at the NYU Langone Medical Center, actually demonstrated that it had the ability to suppress seizures. Because of this, researchers and developers have been able to manipulate marijuana compounds to tailor to an individual’s epileptic condition, keeping in mind that this disease affects multiple people differently.

4. Alzheimer’s

Marijuana diminishes the intensity of hallucinations, improves poor sleeping habits and stops aggressive outbursts suffered by individuals with Alzheimer’s. The main source of Alzheimer’s is its rapid production of beta-amyloid proteins, which cause plaques to develop in the brain and dangerously reduce the necessary peptides in amino acids that enable one to properly function. Most importantly, marijuana can slow this build-up of proteins to prevent existing Alzheimer’s from deteriorating an individual’s brain.

5. HIV/AIDS

 The HIV virus weakens the immune system, but marijuana softens the impact of disorienting and uncomfortable symptoms of a weak immune system, such as nausea, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, severe headaches and fevers. Furthermore, in this particular study from Spain in 2008, marijuana was proven to prevent chemical reactions in the body that create HIV compounds.

6. Cancer

While marijuana does not fundamentally cure cancer or diminish its symptoms, it is able to reduce the discomfort in certain treatments that many cancer patients undergo. Cancer patients who use medical marijuana endure a lessened amount of inevitable nausea and vomiting caused by their chemotherapy treatments. Furthermore, cannabinoids improve appetite and can ease the neuropathic pain that is a result of severe nerve damage caused by chemotherapy.

7. Drug Addiction

Though it seems counter-intuitive, recovering addicts can use medical marijuana to reverse the effects of opioid addiction, decrease unwanted drug cravings and even diminish the emotional and physical symptoms of addiction. This is due to the chemical compounds of cannabidiol, which binds to brain receptors that induce a safer “high” and counteract impairments and mental damage caused by long-term drug abuse. Lastly, marijuana can even replace addictive painkillers since it targets the same nerve receptors as opioids without putting the user at risk for chronic addiction.

TELL US, what diseases do you treat with cannabis?

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Alleviating Anxiety & Depression with Cannabis

Feeling anxious or depressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety and depression are two of the more common issues we hear about at the dispensary where I work, especially around the holidays. As a patient consultant and educator, I see hundreds of patients a week and help them find relief with cannabis. Here are some of the successful medicating strategies I’ve learned:

There is no standard dosing that fits everyone.

Much comes into play when you’re looking at the right amount of cannabinoids for an individual — personal metabolism, genetics, hormone levels, how much you’ve eaten, and how you feel that day in general.

THC in lower doses soothes both anxiety and depression.

Some patients get nervous about trying THC, but starting with a small amount and working up to the desired goal can be a way to avoid unwanted effects. A small puff of sativa lifts a mood and motivates without causing anxiety and a very low-dose Sativa edible or sublingual preparation can create the same effect.

CBD is an excellent solution for treating depression and anxiety.

High-CBD flowers, edibles and sublinguals are available in many different ratios. I explain to patients that cannabidiol is about homeostasis rather than euphoria. CBD generally takes people to a base level where they can be functional and calm without the grogginess of benzodiazepines. Experimentation with various ratios is essential, as we all metabolize cannabinoids differently. More balanced ratios (1:1-1:4) often are helpful for depression while larger ratios (18:1 and higher) are exceptionally useful for anxiety and anxiety-causing disorders such as OCD. As with THC, microdosing is key — the goal is to find the optimal amount for balance and relief in the body. It’s important to note that large amounts of high-ratio CBD can act as a depressant.

Strain selection is important for appropriate therapy.

Different strains contain specific terpene profiles that influence effects. Sativas are uplifting and for overcoming a depressive episode. Some strains can exacerbate anxiety — another reason microdosing is the best approach to successful medicating. Hybrids are effective for both depression and anxiety.  They can range from calming and functional to uplifting and creative. Be aware of strains that cause negative effects for you personally and look out for those genetics in new strains you try. Indicas can be helpful for anxiety, but be careful when you’re dealing with depression as they can exacerbate mood, making it harder to get out of bed or leave the house if there is too much sedation.

PHOTO Gracie Malley

All plants, including cannabis, have naturally-occurring terpene molecules, which create the unique scents of strains and display specific effects in the body.

Terpenes that alleviate depression are beta caryophyllene (β-caryophyllene) and limonene. Beta caryophyllene, one of the more common terpenes found in cannabis, can be found in hops and black pepper and is known to have more stimulating effects. Limonene, more often found in sativa-dominant strains, is also found in citrus and has uplifting antidepressant properties. Terpenes that help anxiety are linalool and myrcene (β-myrcene). Linalool, primarily in indica-dominant strains, has anti-anxiety properties and is found in lavender. Myrcene, another common terpene found in cannabis that is also in mangoes. Note that both terpenes have sedating properties not ideal for treating depression.

Mode of medication is important.

Smoking/vaporizing cannabis metabolizes differently in the body than consuming edibles. When smoking or vaporizing dried flowers the effects are felt almost immediately, including the therapeutic effects of the flower’s terpenes. Edibles are great for microdosing and have a longer therapeutic effect. Higher dosages of edibles can be problematic — the way we metabolize them produces a drowsier feeling towards the end of the experience whether they be sativa or indica which is undesirable in cases of depression. They can also create a next-day “stoned-over” effect, which can make motivation difficult.

It’s amazing to have patients come in to say they’ve been able to stop taking Xanax, Ativan, etc. These drugs are debilitating, addictive and make it hard to have a functional and productive lifestyle. As cannabis use evolves and becomes normalized, people are discovering they can take control of their depression and anxiety on their own terms using natural medicine that lacks the side effects of pharmaceuticals.

This article was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, have you used cannabis to treat your depression or anxiety? What were the results?

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When Your Partner Doesn’t Smoke…

For a true cannabis connoisseur, almost nothing sounds better than having a loving partner who you can share your most favorite thing with. Aside from always having a go-to person for a smoke sesh, the two of you get to compare notes about your favorite strains, geek out over new infused products and never have to worry about the other person judging you for doing something you enjoy. But, sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. The way life works out, you may find yourself involved with someone who is anywhere from casually uninterested in cannabis to deeply critical about its use.

Kristen Bell recently made headlines when she admitted that she regularly smokes in front of her husband, Dax Shepard, who prefers not to partake for personal reasons. Luckily for the two of them, it’s a non-issue but for other couples, it can definitely create some friction unless you have some tips for keeping communication around it open and honest. It can be more than a bummer when your special person is weird or judgmental about smoking cannabis or eating edibles — it can actually be a deal breaker.

Before it gets that far, though, there are some things you can do to ease any potential tension. Educating your partner about cannabis is one of the most important things you can do. So many people misunderstand how useful cannabis can be for so many different people for many different reasons. Some people use it to help manage their pain, depression or anxiety while others incorporate it into their yoga practice, wellness routines and diets. Still, there are other people who just like chilling out, being social and enjoying a mental break. All reasons for use are valid and you should feel comfortable expressing where you fall on that spectrum.

You can also set some healthy boundaries that the both of you can work on together. For example, if smoke bothers your partner, you can agree not to smoke directly in front of them and use a vape or enjoy edibles instead. If their shady comments and subtle eyerolls whenever you pull out your paraphernalia for the third time that day get under your skin, talk to them about toning it down. You can also encourage them to do something that helps them unwind and chill out as well. Maybe they can stretch or meditate for 15 minutes while you smoke. Perhaps they can pour themselves a glass of wine and sip at their own leisure. Giving them something to do or an activity to keep them from getting bored while you smoke can help them from feeling like smoking takes away from your time together.

Still, with your best efforts, differences in lifestyle can be too much to handle for some relationships. It’s up to you whether or not you feel like breaking up over your partner’s attitude towards cannabis is worth it or not. On the surface it may seem like it’s just about cannabis but the real issue is whether or not your partner accepts you and your lifestyle as is. It’d be the same if you were vegan, agnostic or into longboarding — if your person can’t respect how you choose to live your life and makes you feel bad about it whether it’s intentional or not, then it’s probably best to part ways.

It’s okay if you have a partner that prefers not to use cannabis but just make sure that they are open to you being yourself, want you to feel comfortable doing something you enjoy and are willing to compromise if necessary.

TELL US, does your partner smoke cannabis?

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A Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Using Cannabis to Cope With Chemotherapy

When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, I decided to get my California medical cannabis card and used medicinal cannabis products for effective symptom management. This helped me avoid taking other pharmaceuticals that could have caused further complications during treatment. There are so many things I wish I would have known then that I know now, but my expertise today helps other patients make empowered choices about their cannabis use.

My first experience in a dispensary left me feeling as though I was doing something wrong and had me fearful of asking questions. When I did ask questions, I received vague answers. In turn, I made mistakes in my self-medication and, though not fatal, at times it was uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Part of the disconnect with my dispensary experience was that I didn’t know how to find what worked for me. We have a broad general knowledge of how cannabis — with its many modes of medicating, chemotypes and cultivars — manifests in the body. But human beings are walking chemistry experiments, which means there will be differences in our reactions. We need to find our personal patterns with cannabis (or any ingested substance for that matter) by paying close attention to what we choose and how (or if) it helps to have a better understanding of how to use cannabis as medicine.

Journaling is a great way to keep track of the types of cannabis you’re using and document their effects. What worked, what didn’t work and why — along with how much of the medicine you took — are important things to track and relay to a dispensary during your next visit. The key is to find the lowest dosage in the appropriate ratios that create the desired effect in your body.

Chemotherapy’s side effects take a huge toll on everyday life. The experience of having to get so much sicker in order to get better impacts not only your body, but your mental health as well. Cannabis can help manage symptoms stemming from both the body and mind and, in some instances, can act as a preventative measure against further damage.

Here are some of the more common side effects of chemotherapy and how cannabis interacted with each of them:

(Please note that each type of chemo has its own particular side effects and some of us are more sensitive to these drug treatments than others.) 

Fatigue

Cancer treatments can leave you wiped out or overstimulated. Inhaling small amounts of uplifting sativa flowers or using a sativa-based low dosage (2.5 – 5 mg THC) sublingual preparation (dissolved under the tongue) can lift your mood without being too sedating.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a common symptom of chemotherapy. If you are having problems getting to sleep, inhaling indica flowers can be helpful. If you are having problems staying asleep, using an indica edible will keep you peaceful overnight. Remember, if you feel a little “stoned over” in the morning, you should take down the volume of the edible. In either case, if there is anxiety around sleep or inflammation with pain, a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC may be more appropriate.

Infection & Immune System Issues

It’s important to note that though there have never been fatalities from cannabis use alone, there are significant risks around using untested products, dried flowers in particular, if you have a compromised immune system. Untested products can contain mold, fungus or mildew that might mildly irritate someone with a hardy immune system but can sicken or even kill someone with a compromised immune system. Many states require testing nowadays, but if the state where you live doesn’t, ask companies whose products you want to use if they test and ask to see the reports.

Nausea & Vomiting

Using THC in an edible or smokable format during chemo helped me to forgo using anti-nausea drugs after my first day of treatment. For me, that was huge, as the antiemetics proscribed to treat nausea have constipating side effects that, for a colon cancer patient, can be deadly. It’s important to note that though CBD ratios help with nausea, they can also act as an anorectic, which is problematic if you’re already having issues with eating. Eating candied ginger will also help with nausea.

Decreased Appetite

Smoking or eating small amounts of THC will help pique appetite. For patients that are particularly sensitive to THC, I will often recommend trying the non-euphoric cannabinoid THCA. If you do need some CBD in your regimen around meal times, try a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio in either an edible or smokable format because the introduction of THC can help counter CBD’s appetite-reducing properties. I always like to give some non-cannabis advice around this issue as well. The book that saved me while going through treatment is called “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen” by Rebecca Katz. This book addresses the nutritional challenges of treatment and offers great recipes to address a number of symptoms and get you eating again. I can’t praise it enough.

Anticipatory Nausea & Anxiety

The night before or the day of chemo can cause anxiety and anticipatory nausea. Higher CBD ratios such as 18:1 CBD to THC in an edible or tincture can help take down the jitters and nausea while keeping you clear-headed.

Constipation From Opioid Usage & Opiate Withdrawal

Another challenge during my treatment was using opioids. There were times I needed them for pain management, such as when I had my colon re-sectioned and the tumor removed, or for the intense discomfort I felt from my neuropathy. But the constipating effects were challenging, as were the withdrawal symptoms I felt when I weaned myself off after two weeks of using opioids after surgery. Using THC helped me lower my opiate use by amplifying the analgesic effects of Norco, the medication I was taking, without creating danger. It smoothed out the withdrawal effects as well — the restlessness, pain and sleeplessness disappeared once I started adding cannabis to the mix. Another great tool for avoiding constipation is something you can make at home called “power pudding.” It’s a home remedy involving prunes and bran and you can find many recipes for it online.

Mouth, Tongue & Throat Problems

Chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells in the body and does not discern which are cancerous or not. This is why some of us have upset bowels and diarrhea, or experience mouth, tongue and throat discomfort when receiving chemotherapy treatment. Cannabis is great for soothing pain, taking down inflammation and helping in the healing process. Tinctures rich in CBD are especially helpful. However, if you are experiencing mouth irritation, it would not be a good idea to use an alcohol-based tincture, as it will further irritate mucous membranes.

Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)

The platinum salts — including oxaliplatin and cisplatin — used in chemotherapy, along with other chemotherapeutic agents, are known to cause neuropathy in patients. Neuropathy is weakness and pain that one feels, usually in the hands and feet, thanks to damage to peripheral nerves. Some people feel it the first round of chemo, others later in treatment and we all feel it in different intensities and have different recovery times. I am seven years out of chemo and I still suffer from neuropathy. A 2014 study found that CBD prevents neuropathic pain and thermal sensitivity, while not negatively affecting nervous system function or the efficacy of the chemotherapy treatment. Taken before, during and after treatment, patients have reported not getting neuropathy, experiencing it to a lesser degree and bouncing back much faster with less residual pain and numbness.

Skin Changes

Chemotherapy can cause dry skin and inflammation from radiation. Luckily, the skin loves cannabis. Topicals are completely non-euphoric, which makes them a great mediator to use at any time and ideal for those who need symptom relief without euphoric effects. Often times, I’ll suggest a patient use the same high-CBD tincture they are taking for anxiety or pain and apply it as a topical for irritation from radiation. CBD takes down the inflammation and THC helps mitigate pain — and collectively, they help the skin heal so much faster. A topical salve with a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC will heal dry and inflamed skin with great emollient effects.

After chemo, many patients may find they are still experiencing side effects such as anxiety, residual pain and depression. Healing from chemotherapy is a long process. The cannabis knowledge gained through treatment can also help address this phase in symptom management. In addition, be kind to yourself. As survivors, we must take a restorative approach to healing and learn how to be ourselves in a whole new way.

TELL US, have you or a loved one used cannabis as part of coping with chemotherapy’s side effects?

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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How to Use Cannabis to Help with Holiday Stress

People talk about the holidays as a happy and carefree time, but the reality is, for many of us, they’re a recipe for stress. 

Thirty-eight percent of people in one Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey said their stress increases around the holidays, citing lack of time and money, the pressure of gift exchanges, and family gatherings among the top stressors. Another survey by Healthline found that 62% of people consider the holidays stressful, with money being the biggest source of anxiety. 

“The holiday season is notorious for being a stressful time as consumers decorate their homes, shop for gifts, and plan travel accommodation while also handling the usual day-to-day rituals of work, family, and home management,” said Nimesh Patel, MD, co-founder and Vice Chairman of the Board of Redbird Bioscience. “Even though it all pays off in the end, seeing family and enjoying their company, the stress buildup can be extremely unhealthy.”

We may not be able to make our families easier to deal with or avoid all the costs of the season, but cannabis can be one means to alleviate holiday-induced stress. There’s a reason, after all, for the stereotype of the chill stoner. One study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that, on average, medical cannabis users experienced a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress shortly after smoking.

“The pressure to perform over the holidays is enough to take anyone over the edge. Cannabis can be a great medication to use to alleviate your symptoms,” said Jarret Patton, MD, who runs a cannabis-based practice in Pennsylvania.

Cannabis can help manage stress and anxiety.  

If there’s an upcoming event that you know will be stressful, like a family meal or a shopping trip, Patton suggests using cannabis beforehand to take the edge off. However, there are disadvantages to smoking during the day, since being intoxicated can mess with your performance at work and other responsibilities, said Jordan Tishler, MD, President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists and CEO of InhaleMD. If you can, it’s best to stick to a low dose before bed. This will actually help you throughout the next day.

(Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)
The holiday season is known to be a stressful time for many concerned with finances, travel, and family relationships. Cannabis is one tool people can use to help manage stress and anxiety.

While some say the stress reduction they get from weed depends on whether they’re using an indica or sativa, the strain isn’t really important, said Tishler. “There are thousands of strains, but frankly, any will do,” he said. “For the most part, the chemical composition of strains overlaps to the point of no clear difference when assessing medical outcomes.” The thing to pay attention to instead is the CBD:THC ratio. 

If you don’t have much experience using cannabis for stress relief, it’s best to start with a CBD-dominant strain, because these generally have the most relaxing effects, said Patton. Plain CBD is a good bet if your main goal is stress relief. 

“CBD interacts directly with your endocannabinoid system to regulate important chemical messengers that are responsible for mood,” Patton explains. “This is the best alternative to pharmaceuticals such as prescription anxiety medication, which can often come with a slew of unwanted side effects.” 

However, some people find that strains with more THC work better for them, so you may need to do some experimenting. Tishler usually recommends 15% to 20% THC to provide an “entourage effect” — that is, to take advantage of the synergistic actions of different cannabis compounds. The research on CBD’s use for anxiety is still inconclusive, as the animal studies done so far use very high doses, he said. Plus, CBD is especially prone to interactions with other substances, so you should talk to your doctor before using it. 

(Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)
People new to cannabis may want to opt for high-CBD strains. CBD is known to help regulate important chemical messengers that are responsible for mood.

At the same time, it’s not a case of “the more THC, the better.” THC alone isn’t usually a good bet because CBD and, possibly, other cannabinoids modulate the effects of THC, which can decrease the likelihood of the weed actually increasing your anxiety, Tishler explains. “It has been shown, for example, that CBD binds to the CB1 receptor that is stimulated by THC and decreases the responsiveness of that receptor to THC.” Cannabis users with higher THC content in their bodies are more likely to experience anxiety than those with more CBD, according to a study in Psychological Medicine.

If you’re caught up in holiday drama and need immediate relief, vaping is the fastest way to get it, said Patton. If you’re planning ahead of time, you can use edibles, since they set in the slowest. Other than the timing, it doesn’t make too much of a difference. “Delivery method is less important for anxiety than for many other illnesses,” said Tishler. “A few puffs on a flower vaporizer (not oil) or a few milligrams of a small edible will be effective.” 

All that said, the best way to use weed for holiday anxiety or stress depends a lot on your specific needs as an individual, so seek medical advice whenever you can. “Overall, while cannabis can be effective for anxiety, no patient should have to go it alone or get advice from unqualified sources,” says Tishler. “Seek a medical cannabis specialist or endocannabinologist.”

Feature image from Shutterstock

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I Lived It: I Went To My First Day of Work Stoned

I’ve always been an awkward person. Like a lot of people, I’ve never felt that I belonged to any particular social circle. I love prog rock, horror films, video games—my interests have thriving communities and usually are fairly inclusive. Yet in spite of this, I always feel like a sore thumb. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing close friends, with whom I’ve had many adventures and good times. But in nearly every job I’ve had, I’ve never been able to fit in with the rest of the staff. Maybe it’s because I hate working, and never really want to be at the place that employs me. 

Or maybe it’s my crippling anxiety disorder, something that has caused me a great deal of distress and dismay in my life. 

I have to suspect it’s a combination of those two elements. It’s not for lack of trying; each and every time I start a new job I attempt to be part of the gang. At this stage in my life, I’ve accepted that I’m an awkward guy, who will never feel quite comfortable in social situations. Living in a city as social as Los Angeles, this can be a challenge. I’ve struggled to hold down a full time job since moving here, and I’ve come to suspect this is largely due to my awkwardness, and general inability to settle into a clique. 

And so it was one fine spring day in LA that I was offered a producing position at a prestigious marketing agency. I only got the job through a close friend who knew people at the company (hooray for nepotism!), and I only accepted because I was desperate. I needed money to pay the bills, which were piling up significantly, and even though I was sure there were far more qualified candidates out there for the position, I needed to survive. Classic LA, am I right? So anyway, I reluctantly agreed to the position, and after telling many-a-lie in a rigorous interview process, I landed the gig. I largely bullshitted my way there—which is how I imagine most producers in Los Angeles get their jobs—and I prepared myself for my first day as a producer at a fancy-schmancy marketing agency. 

Almost immediately, my nervousness began to rear its ugly head. What if they saw through the façade? What if I had to go back on unemployment? What if I couldn’t handle the job’s simplest responsibilities? Worst of all, what if they don’t like me? I was panicking, even beginning to regret accepting the job. I knew I’d have to make a great first impression for my first day, and I have a track record of horrible first impressions.

I picked out a professional, but slightly casual outfit, and I was careful to shave my face and brush my teeth a couple of times. I wanted to be taken seriously, and after a series of disappointing jobs, I wanted to do my best to make this one stick. But even as I prepared myself for success, my stomach knotted with fear, and my heart raced. No matter what I did, I could not get myself to calm down. I knew that when I was this nervous, I was also at my most awkward. I needed a quick solution, and as I scrambled to think about what I could do, I remembered I had just made a trip to the dispensary. I had picked up some flower of a strain I had never tried before— Strawberry Banana. A buddy of mine, Johnny, had recommended I try it out for my anxiety.

Spending The First Day of Work Stoned and Cosplaying Sonny Crockett

It was in that moment I hatched a genius plan: I would take a hit or two from my pipe, three at most, and then I’d call a Lyft to work. It was the perfect plan! I’d get just buzzed enough to calm my nerves, and no one at the new gig would be able to tell. Mind you, I had only just started smoking weed, and was very ignorant to the many factors that come into play when you’re getting ripped. For example, I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and although a couple of hits normally wouldn’t do too much, the two tokes of this strong strain on an empty stomach hit me like a sledgehammer. 

It was too late. The damage had been done and I needed to leave the apartment immediately or I’d be late. I called a Lyft and wolfed down some food, hoping it would sober me up a bit. It didn’t. I arrived at the office, my eyes blazing like hellfire. I was also starting this new job on the same day the company held a full staff meeting in the main plaza of the building. To make matters worse, the weed had the opposite effect in that it made me panic more as I was paranoid that all of my new coworkers would be able to tell I was baked out of my mind.

I quickly conjured up yet another brilliant solution—I wouldn’t take my sunglasses off the whole day. Bono does it, and he’s very successful and talented. So I kept my Ray-Bans on and didn’t take them off as I entered the staff meeting on my first day looking like Sonny Crockett. Other than the paranoia, I felt like a million bucks. My muscles and body were light as a feather, and for the most part I was in a good headspace. Everything, and I mean everything was hilarious. I kept thinking how weird it was that we all gathered like herded cattle for company meetings. How stupid it was that we all corralled around our overpaid leaders and listened to nonsense about making ads, something that truly could not matter less. At the same time, I giggled at the guy’s bowl cut in front of me, and smiled at the people staring at me for wearing my Wayfarers indoors.

After the meeting I was whisked away along with some other fresh meat to a guided tour of the office space. I was blitzed out of my mind for this entire tour, and remarked that each and every room I was shown was “dope.” I occasionally received an odd glance or two from my fellow new recruits, who probably thought I was insane, or were well aware that I was blasted with the sweet leaf. I felt like I was floating on clouds as I meandered around the office, letting out a “woah” or “nice!” with each new room. Finally I arrived at my desk, and had to begin my training. The woman I’d be replacing stared blankly at me.

“You can take those off if you’d like,” she said, motioning to my sunglasses. 

I immediately panicked. I hadn’t planned for someone confronting me about my glasses—what would I say? I have photophobia? That seemed like an awfully big commitment, and one I’d have to keep up for the indefinite future. I have bad allergies! This one was actually true, I do have horrible seasonal allergies which sometimes cause itchy and red eyes. Mind you, while this was running through my head I was sitting there in silence, staring back at this poor woman through my cool sunglasses. It must’ve been a pause for her that lasted an eternity. Finally a wide smile cracked across my face. I was so high, I was wearing my “a-ha!” revelation on my face like a grinning doofus. This only enhanced how weird I appeared. 

“I have really bad allergies, and it causes my eyes to get really red and itchy,” I said.

“Oh, I totally get that, I do too,” she responded.

She bought it—or at least, I assumed she did. And so, I removed the glasses, revealing my blood-red eyes. The woman seemed a little taken aback.

“Woah, you weren’t kidding,” she remarked. 

Getting Through The Day In A Haze

And so I continued to stumble through my first day, eventually getting through the training (none of which I actually retained), and assisted by many trips to the kitchen to down glasses of water and snacks in my struggle to sober up. The worst was not yet over however, and I was told that I would be taken around to the offices of the executives so I could meet them all. The paranoia hit me the worst at this moment, as my stoned ass was paraded around the office and as I awkwardly shook hands with each executive. My eyes were half-open with a lazy, shit-eating grin on my face. I also kept darting my eyes back and forth to avoid eye contact, which only could have made things ten times worse. 

Finally, by lunchtime, I had begun to sober up. I attempted to undo the chaotic first impression I had undoubtedly left, and much to my surprise the people I had encountered hadn’t actually noticed much of anything. Or if they did, they simply didn’t care. The job ended up royally sucking, and before long, I had decided that I wasn’t a good fit for it and parted ways from the company. On the day I quit, I went home, took several massive bong rips, and fired up a video game. Is there a better feeling than that? Needless to say, this is perhaps my most triumphant first impression, and one I will not soon forget.

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CBD strains for Anxiety and Depression

Charlotte’s Web is a cannabidiol (CBD) forward strain that was developed for the purpose of alleviating a young girl’s epilepsy. CBD strains have also been known to relieve anxiety and depression, but only for certain people. Perhaps only benefiting half of a crucial system is the reason. This system helps to regulate your eat, sleep, […]

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Is CBD A Viable Treatment For Panic Attacks?

For those who experience panic attacks regularly, life can be an uphill battle. Not knowing which random event will spark it is almost as bad as the panic attack itself.

For many anxiety sufferers, some days feel like they aren’t worth getting up for. A more severe version of anxiety disorder is panic attacks, and they can be both debilitating and exhausting at the same time. The thing with panic attacks is that you never know when, where, or why the next attack will take place. A longer than usual line at the supermarket could spark it, or an angry email from your boss complaining about your work. No matter how it comes, once that panic attack strikes, it’s almost impossible to get rid of.

People employ various strategies to cope with anxiety and panic attacks, with some success in many cases. A healthy diet, getting the right amount of sleep, keeping hydrated, and working out, All of these are vital factors when it comes to averting panic attacks or at the very least, minimizing them.

However, for those who suffer from more severe panic attacks, medications and psychotropic drugs are often the first port of call. The issue with pharmaceutical drugs though is that they are often toxic, addictive, and cause a variety of side-effects in some patients. These days, many people prefer natural solutions for their anxiety, and that’s where CBD (short for cannabidiol) comes into play.

CBD can be used in different ways to relieve the symptoms and anxiety and panic attacks and is highly effective for some people. CBD can be taken orally and sublingually using CBD oil tinctures. It can also be taken in CBD edibles like cupcakes and gummy bears. CBD also comes in vape form, and CBD flowers can also be smoked or vaporized for immediate effects too.

As it turns out, many anxiety sufferers favor vaping or smoking CBD as the active compound enters the bloodstream instantly via the lungs. There’s also some scientific evidence to suggest that CBD is useful specifically for anxiety and panic attacks.

 

 

A 2017 scientific review of studies by Vanessa P. Soares and Alline C. Campos, entitled, “Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol” looked at Panic Disorder (PD), a condition affecting around 5% of the global population. The study noted that the first line of treatment for PD is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

However, these drugs have some nasty side-effects for many patients and are not a long-term and viable option. It’s already a well-established fact that CBD has anti-anxiety properties, and could be an excellent alternative for a range of mental disorders and issues.

The study looked at a database of other studies; focusing on keywords like cannabidiol and panic disorder; cannabidiol and anxiety, etc. Both experimental laboratory animal and human studies were reviewed, and the results were both interesting and compelling. Many studies concluded that CBD has anxiolytic-like effects in animal models and healthy human volunteers.

As the study notes, “Over the last two decades, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids has been extensively studied. Although cannabis abuse is connected to marked anxiety, panic attacks, depersonalization, and emotional liability (primarily due to the psychotropic effects of ∆9-THC).”

With that said, the study continues, “A growing body of evidence suggests that non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoids could be useful as therapeutic tools. The most promising of these compounds is cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic constituent of Cannabis sativa.”

Research by Zuardi et al. demonstrated that just one 300mg of CBD decreased anxiety in healthy volunteers under SPS test conditions. Another study, carried out by Bergamaschi et al. showed that those suffering from anxiety experienced elevated levels of worry when speaking in public. However, according to the results there, a 600mg dose of CBD led to a “significant reduction in anxiety-related measures obtained during their speech performance.”

This overview of specific research into the connection between CBD and panic disorders certainly go towards supporting the notion that CBD has anti-panic mechanisms. It is also safe and very well tolerated by almost all people when taken orally and in the right dose. The conclusion of the research noted that “phase 2 and phase 3 studies are necessary to demonstrate the efficacy and the dose range of CBD for the treatment of this (panic attacks) anxiety disorder.”

The fact that CBD doesn’t cause dependence, tolerance, or abstinence symptoms, means it could become the treatment of the future, particularly for those wanting to steer clear of addictive prescription medications.

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