New to (medical) cannabis?

New to (medical)  cannabis?

First and foremost be proactive. Even if your doctor refuses you an authorization since cannabis is legal for adults 21+ in the State of California you have options open to you. It surprises people but most in the medical industry are not well informed on medical cannabis and, because it is a specialization, the endocannabinoid system. New patients attempting to ease the burden of symptoms related to their illness must take the time to learn about medical cannabis as it relates to their specific condition and health status.


I want to try medical cannabis but don't have a medical cannabis authorization. What can I do?



Under California’s Prop. 215, patients are entitled to whatever amount of marijuana is necessary for their personal medical use. However, patients can be arrested if they exceed reasonable amounts and they can be cited or fined for exceeding local laws. The passage of Prop. 215 makes it possible for some medical conditions to be easily self-treated with a small amount of cannabis that would easily fit within the state's cannabis limits. Be advised that if you want to treat a condition which does not fall into the state's parameters for conditions you may not be eligible for a medical prescription under Prop. 215. A prime example would be sleep issues. Sleep issues do not count as a qualifying condition for getting a medical cannabis authorization.

So my doctor has recommended that I try medical cannabis and I have an authorization; Now what do I do?


First keep in mind that the law has changed and as of the Winter of 2015 we are in the middle of California’s process for implementing regulation. Stay current on legal issues. As of the time of this writing, the formal regulat implementing AB 643, 243, and 266 goes into effect July 1, 2017 and brings a lot of changes. You will see dispensaries close - some permanently and some temporarily as certain older collectives with their taxes in order will be allowed to apply for a I502 retail license. Until July 1, 2016 patients will be allowed to grow 15 plants, but on July 1, 2016 unregistered patients will only be allowed 4 plants.


BUDDHII believes the most cost-effective approach for the vast majority of patients is to produce their own medicine. One of the true "opportunities" of medical cannabis is its potential for patient accessibility and its low cost of production and retail price. Historically, one's pain could be relieved for less than $1 and some patience. The current national approach to legalization, regulation, and taxation are changing the cost dynamics in yet unforeseen ways, but currently “legal” medical cannabis at the state level is more expensive than its black market counterparts. The US health care system - notorious for ever-increasing costs – may add additional upward pricing pressure for the generally smaller cooperative/collective dispensary distribution centers that exist today. It won't be getting cheaper. If you possess a legal medical authorization, we at BUDDHII believe you should consider growing. It would amaze you how cost-effective it is. Most patients only require a few plants for their annual medicinal requirements.


Furthermore, the only way to ensure your cannabis is pesticide free  is to grow your own product until medical regulations take effect in 2017-2018. If lack of interest, living situation, or health concerns prevent you from growing your own, and your use of medical cannabis is small by next summer you might decline to get an actual authorization. The value of an authorization is that it allows one to grow one's own medicine. The tax benefit are negligible, if any, at this time due to IRS rules related to businesses involved with Schedule 1 (or Schedule 2) substances and State tax requirements related to cannabis “sales”.


With so many medical cannabis products, how do I know which one is best for me?



There are now thousands of cannabis products available with more being developed every month at a rapid pace. Many consider vaping cannabis if your medical condition calls for it. Almost half of all the medical cannabis patients we here at BUDDHII have met with over the last five (5) years were individuals with very little experience with cannabis. Many of these individuals were hoping to eat cannabis or take a pill. It is important to understand that the consumption of the cannabis flower has very different effects on the human body than absorption through inhalation (via smoking or vaping).


Cannabis has been roughly divided into two "subspecies"; cannabis sativa and cannabis indica.  When each is medicinally inhaled they have very different effects. Sativas tend to give patients an energized and more alert feeling while indicas exhibit a more sedative effect.


Thus if you have arthitis and you are looking for something to help you move in the daytime vaping cannabis sativa is one of the best options. You could also explore the non-psychoactive CBD - but CBD is most effective when combined with THC (found in either sativa or indica strains). Learn more about the active ingredients in cannabis. When one eats cannabis - it stays active in one's system for almost twice as long as vaping the product. An ingested dose of cannabis requires up to two hours to take effect, making it a difficult system to manage in the day time. In contrast, if one has a sleep disorder eating a little cannabis product appears to be the best current method of usage for that condition.
Get familar with the variety of products and come to understand how they work and you will be successful in treating your condition.
Not all edibles/medibles are the same. Edibles can be sublingual - and they hit the system quite rapidly - twenty minutes versus two hours. Drinking or beverage-based cannabis products can also take effect very rapidly. Using cannabis gel caps (aka mari pills) to more selectively direct cannabinoids to the body's CB2 receptors is another edible mode with excellent results for those with autoimmune conditions.
Ultimately, there is no substitute for being knowledgeable about your medical condition and open to engaging in a proactive process for finding out what works best for you and your individual circumstance.


What is a vaporizer and is it a safe way of using medical cannabis?



A cannabis vaporizer is a device used to vaporize the active ingredients of cannabis. The extracted vapor can be collected in a bag or inhaled directly through a hose or pipe. With no combustion involved there's significantly better efficiency in extracting the active ingredients. Smoking wastes approximately one third of the cannabis but vaporizers significantly reduces waste/loss which saves money.
Although vaporizing your cannabis can save money, improve quality and reduce carcinogens in such a way that vaping is ultimately better for  your health and cleaner, it is important to understand that these benefits assume that the product being ingested is pure and free of pesticide and other contaminants.


Can you please tell what strain to use?



As a cooperative, we believe the focus on cannabis strains at the patient level is overemphasized. Focus on how the particular plant has been grown is very important. How a plant is grown affects the cannabinoid and terpene ratios, in other words, the potency and distribution of the active ingredients.


In addition, as a professional industry medical cannabis is sufficiently nascent that many of its newer participants are not able to definitively identify/differentiate the large variety of strains out there.


Generally, when someone finds a "strain" that works for their condition what they have usually “found” is a hybridized plant or “hybrid” (almost all strains are now mixes of indicas and sativas) grown in a way that produced the certain cannabinoids and terpenes in ratios compatible to assuage the symptom set of your medical condition.


The above serves as additional reason to support our members’ efforts to grow; once an appropriate strain is found to address your particular condition, access, quality, and consistency can be assured through a personal garden or via use of member services and BUDDHII’s cooperative infrastructure.