Your first time in a dispensary can be very overwhelming. We are used to our doctors telling us what, how often, and how long to take each medicine. Treating with marijuana requires a different mindset then is promoted within the modern medicine community. A patient has to be their own advocate, be willing to research strains and uses, have patience to find the right medicines (strains), and must think of the dispensary as a pharmacy. These things will help make your transition to MMJ smoother.
- A medical marijuana patient must be their own advocate and do their own research into strains. If you are the type that goes into your doctor’s office armed with information about different treatment options to discuss, then this is a good possibility for you. Most doctors are not very educated in the nuances of cannabis. You are going to have to decide which symptoms you are wanting to treat and if there are any medications you are trying to replace. Discuss anything relating to replacing pharma with your doctor. Just like there are many different brands of pharma that treat a host of illnesses, the same is true for cannabis. Think of each strain as a different medication. Strains have varied uses because the chemical ratios of cannabinoids are able to be modified. For example, when treating insomnia, I tried several indica varieties until I found one that worked for me. Once I decided on the Alien OG, I found strains that were “related” and started to see if they had the same effects. Unfortunately, it was a matter of trial and error. There are a lot of research resources available to the internet wise patient who is truly wanting a safer, natural treatment for their illness. In essence, your journey into the world of medical cannabis should help you be more in tune with your body and assist you in taking charge of your treatment.
- The old adage that patience is a virtue, is correct when it comes to medical ganja! You will find that some strains give adverse effects (like some pharma), you will “over do” it at least once, and some may find this is not for them. Cannabis requires a LOT of patience whilst trying to find your strains, routines, and dosing. Everyone reacts differently, so it is much more difficult to predict which strains will be right for you. I find this true with pharma too. Most Autoimmuners react very differently and the disease itself will vary wildly within our ranks. We are used to it, but I think this would be an adjustment for someone without autoimmune issues. The first few strains of sativas I tried actually made my pain worse. It worked on muscle pain, but I was hyper aware of the bone on bone pains. I really was thinking that cannabis was not for me, but then I tried an indica and slept like the dead! That particular strain of indica left me a bit groggy, so when I went to find another similar strain – I stumbled upon Alien OG! That was when I realized that there were thousands of strains with varied ratios of cannabinoids that might work for me! I started to research and ultimately found the daytime routine I use now (and am still tweaking).
- As you walk into a dispensary filled with “weed” and counter-culture merchandise, you have to think of this as a pharmacy and not a “weed shop”. When you go to your chemist (pharmacist), you know why you are going and have a general idea of what you want to get. You may even have to call around to different places to find what you are looking for.
- Some of the most common uses for cannabis are: head aches, migraines, insomnia, pain, seizures, muscle spasms, anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-tumoral, anxiety, and depression. Your local dispensary should have attendants that are familiar with the product and its uses.
- Always ask your “budtender” for recommendations. Most likely, the budtender will not be as severe a patient as those reading this, so you will have to keep this in mind – but generally they will give you a starting point to search. This is how I found almost all of my strains. Not every recommendation has panned out, but not all recommendations for pharma have worked either. I am just happy I don’t have to buy a whole prescription before I know if it works for me!