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A Primer on Medicinal Cannabis – Idaho Needs More Health Freedom

The word Cannabis is the real name for marijuana: The Government has made the word marijuana into something to be shunned so for the purpose of getting off on the right track we will be using the word Cannabis in this article instead of the government’s derogatory terminology. We will also refer to the Hemp plant which is a relative of the Cannabis plant and very similar but different in the eyes of the law.

Let’s talk about cannabis oil: otherwise called RSO oil/Rick Simpson Oil or FECO oil. This is where we need to be more specific as there are many different formulations and potencies that are used for specific diseases. RSO oil is four parts THC and one part CBD in which they use a very specific extraction method and dosing protocol.

Cannabis oil is also very patient specific as each patient is different and has different needs, therefore a complete medical examination of what the patients’ needs are is necessary before prescribing a specific oil for treatment. FECO oil is a term for Full Extract Cannabis Oil which refers to the gambit of formulations and dosages in cannabis oil it also refers to a wider range of extraction methods. When asking about cannabis oil you should always ask for the contents in a formulation. For instance a 1 to 1 or 4 to 1 but make sure the person you’re speaking with is using the same terminology you are in that the first number is the THC content and the second is CBD oil content. The reason not to confuse the formula is that THC is the psychoactive portion of the medication.

THC has been proven to kill cancer cells and CBD has been proven to stop them from spreading. How does THC kill cancer cells? They kill them through apoptosis or self-induced suicide. If you were to observe through a microscope THC being injected into a cancer cell you would actually see that cell die off. So if you’re treating cancer you would want both in your medication, this is called the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to all the medicinal compounds in the plant that work together in concert. Whole plant treatment is important in terms of healing.

This brings us to “What is the Endocannabinoid System”? It is a system in our bodies just like the digestive system or the endocrine system and if it should break down it may need to be fed cannabinoids to bring our body back to homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system and the cannabinoids found in cannabis all work within the receptors of your brain and body. We have known of this system in our bodies for a decade and it is still not taught in medical, or nursing schools except in a very few colleges in California.

What are Terpenes: They are fragrant oil secreted in the flowers of the cannabis plant in the sticky resin glands which all have medicinal value, like myrcene which helps with sleep and relaxation, Limonene that promotes focus and elevates mood and Beta caryophyllene that helps with arthritis and autoimmune conditions along with protecting the gastrointestinal tract and more. Terpenes are extremely important although non-psychoactive components of medicinal plants and adding Terpenes to CBD formulas can help with customizing and address specific problems of a patient.

Most people think the only way of consuming medical cannabis is by smoking it: What we must get people to understand that there are different ways to administer medicinal cannabis such as vapor inhalation, tinctures, and sublingual’s, topical in the form of creams for arthritis, transdermal patches, various oils, and even suppositories. We can’t forget edibles or as some people call them mediables which can come in the form of chocolate chip cookie or a brownie even popcorn or pop cycles. Two to five milligrams is a reasonable ingestible dose to start with in the case of cannabis when starting out. When taking this medicine less is more as in a more homeopathic approach and seeing how your body reacts.

Let’s talk about the difference between FECO oil which are heavier oils and tinctures which are very light oils like olive oil or medium chain triglyceride found in coconut oil or even in an alcohol base. Tincture typically comes in a dropper bottle and FECO oil is generally in a needless syringe. Tinctures generally don’t smell and are preferred because they are easy to consume with an eyedropper. Some will come in spray bottles where one spritz is one milligram of tincture.

Most of us are not old enough to remember that cannabis was a medicine here in the U.S. until about 1937 and sold over the counter. There were over 2,000 cannabis medicines made prior to that date produced by over 280 manufacturers. It was considered a successful and effective medicine. Many people would be surprised to know that Eli Lilly one of the largest drug manufacturers had twenty-three cannabis products on the market. Upjohn had thirty or more medicinal products and Parke Davis had twenty-seven and these medicines which were all in the form of capsules, powders and extractions. With these cannabis medicines, they were treating epilepsy, addiction, cancer, even mental illness. Cannabis was being used as a treatment for various diseases up until 1937 for the same diseases we are fighting for them to be used today. Why? Give you one guess. More money for Big Pharma.

Opioids or Cannabis, which is better to relieve pain: Cannabis makes a great substitute for opioids as it eliminates the risk of overdosing and patients say it is as effective if not more effective than opioids and does not produce the unwanted side effects. The DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, defined as having no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule 1 drugs include LSD and heroin. If that is the case, why was it sold by in multiple formats by three of the largest drug companies up until 1937? Could it be that it was too cheap and was curing way too many diseases? Twenty-nine states have legalized medical marijuana, federal law still labels marijuana as an illegal substance. On the other hand, Schedule 2 drugs, which include crystal methamphetamine and cocaine, have been accepted as medical treatments in the United States along with opioids and morphine. Why is it that the drugs you can overdose on are schedule 2 and the one you would not overdose on is schedule 1? Although marijuana can cause health problems if used in excess, he said, there are no known cases of somebody dying from a marijuana overdose. In 2015, more than 15,000 Americans died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Those prescription pills now account for nearly half of all U.S. overdoses from opioids. Doctors in the United States write 259 million opioid prescriptions a year. The sales of these drugs have more than quadrupled since 1999. Marijuana’s designation as a Schedule 1 drug has more to do with historical and political and monetary reasons than any hard data.

We have a movement going on now in our country where our worst medical problems are with those dealing with chronic pain. There is a movement in progress to have hospitals prescribe less opioids and use less addictive methods of resolving chronic pain such as integrative medicine through the use of Chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists etc. Why would we not also include the use of Cannabis in helping to solve this addiction problem that is killing 60,000 Americans a year?

Governor Otter has been a proponent of the drug companies and health insurance companies for many years and vetoed a bill passed by the legislature for the legalization of medicinal cannabis. This caused untold heartache to many of those dependent on cannabis to help their loved ones with their medical problems. It’s time for our Governor to wake up and be ready to sign a bill currently being worked through the legislative process to legalize cannabis. The time is long overdue and the need is great so please let your legislators and our governor know that you want to have true freedom in you selection of what type of healthcare you want. Write, e-mail or phone them today. It’s time for our legislators and governor to stop worrying about campaign contributions from big pharma and start helping those who pay their salaries that are suffering from diseases that can be cured with the use of medicinal cannabis.

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