Category Archives: tips

Traveling

Traveling has to be considered a con when medicating with marijuana.  The illegality makes it impossible to travel with your medicine and in need of other options.  We recently had to travel, and of course, we decided traveling with mmj was not worth the risks it poses.   The trip started fantastic (I medicated that morning), but by the end I was in some pain!

Ideally, it would be nice to be able to travel under a mmj umbrella.  While I know this won’t happen for a long time, the federal government needs to protect patients from being treated like criminals for choosing a treatment that is safer, and more effective than pharmaceuticals currently available.  At the very least, states allowing for legal medical cannabis, need to work together to have some reciprocal agreements.  This way, a patient from Colorado vacationing in California, can fill their medications there without issue.  No one should have to go without medicine, or be forced to take dangerous medicines because of seriously draconian laws.

But about the trip:

I medicated in the morning before we left, and was fine for the first day.  By day 2, my hips down to my ankles were swollen.  I guess it didn’t help that we encountered some mental weather too.  My muscles seized up at times, and tramadol was no relief.  Since this experiment has started, we had several “Polar Vortex” fronts come through, but this is the first one I have felt like this.  Needless to say, I had to increase my narcotics for the duration of the trip.  (Anytime you see the words “POLAR VORTEX”, imagine a dramatic reading of them in James Earl Jones’ voice with ominous music in the background.) This “Polar Vortex” was felt insanely.  While the pain was most unfortunate, it did tell me that the cannabis was giving me relief.

Aside from sleeping better (sleeping period), I was getting significant pain relief and anti inflammation benefits.  At this point in the opiate wean, I was on under half of what I was on when I started this journey, with only some mild withdrawal.  Without the cannabis, my opiate intake has to increase in order to function.  I guess it is just nice to know it is working.  However, I think I will allow myself more opiate when traveling.

 

Beyond Bud

For those with extreme pain, there are even stronger versions of cannabis available.  Some patients need pain relief equal to morphine or above, and this is the matching marijuana.  Keep in mind, with pain relief this strong – you will be high, the modality is of no matter.  Happily for cannabis though, unlike morphine, these extra-strength punches still keep their non-toxic properties.  An overdose results in sleep, rather than respiratory arrest.

Keef

Keef (kif, kief) is the a powder made up solely of trichomes that have broken off the plant.  When you grind your marijuana to vaporize it, the bottom bud chamber has a screen that allows the fine powdery trichomes to fall through.  This accumulates into keef which can be added to whole flower cannabis, used for edibles and products (after processing), or can be used by itself.  Keef is probably the least potent, and I would not really use it alone.  However, it gains potency and stand alone appeal when pressed into hash.  Which brings us to…

Hash

Hash is truly an ancient medicine.  It is pure trichomes and incredibly potent.  There are several different kinds of hash, but one of the most popular is bubble hash.  Bubble hash is made by separating out the trichomes in ice water through fine and finer mesh cloth, then drying it out.  Because it is just the pure trichomes, hash is very concentrated.  A small amount is usually all that is needed to dull most pains.  It can be added to a bowl, vaporized, and made into hash oil.

Hash Oil

Hash oil is the most pure form of cannabinoid medication available.  It contains a very filtered and concentrated oil, depending on the raw materials starting with!   This is what is given to the Dravet’s Syndrome patients.  Their oil doesn’t have high amounts of THC, but does contain whole plant cannabinoids.  This oil can be varied by strain, or mixed with other strains to form precise cannabinoid ratios.  When you are looking at hash oils medically, be sure it is tested so you know what is in it.  This not only tells you what ratios of cannabinoids there are, but tests for contamination.  Hash Oil is known under many names: budder, honey oil, wax and more) and can be made in just as many ways.   Popular extraction methods include using butane, CO2, and alcohol.  Be sure you purchase from someone reputable who won’t lie about their methods.  Certain solvents cannot be taken internally, some shouldn’t be inhaled, but all are effective.  Most often I see Butane Hash Oil (BHO) or Phoenix Tears (usually non-psychoactive high CBD).

 

For those who need the strongest benefits available, there are many options available.  As with dried flower cannabis,  be careful where you purchase your products from.  Medically speaking, you want to know what you are using and document it.  This helps you decide what, if anything, is working best for you.  Also keep in mind, not all states have labs established to test these products, and your caregivers can not send their products out-of-state to be tested.  If this is the case, urge your legislature to develop regulations for labs so you can get the cleanest, safest medication in standard doses!