What is Medical Cannabis used for?
Medical Cannabis can be been used to treat a number of different symptoms and conditions, including:
- Chronic Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Wasting Syndrome/Loss of Appetite
- Seizure Disorders
- Inﬂammatory Bowel Disease
- Anxiety and Depression
What are the possible side effects of Medical Cannabis?
Information on side effects for therapeutic use of cannabis is limited. Some known side effects include euphoria, intoxication-like effects, dizziness, drowsiness, impaired memory, disorientation, dry mouth, and rapid heartbeat. This is not a complete list. Please consult with a doctor regarding possible side effects and what steps should be taken if you experience anything unexpected after using Medical Cannabis.
What are the active ingredients in Medical Cannabis?
The two main components of cannabis are: ∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
THC - Produces the psychoactive effects of cannabis. It also has analgesic, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant and anti-spastic effects.
CBD – Does not cause psychoactive effects. It has neuroprotective, anti-inﬂammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic properties.
How does Medical Cannabis work?
The active ingredients in cannabis act on speciﬁc targets found in the body known as cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located throughout the body and are involved in the regulation of many functions including: brain and nervous system activity, heart rate and blood pressure, digestion, inﬂammation, immune system activity, perception of pain, reproduction, wake/sleep cycle, regulation of stress and emotional state as well as many other functions.
Do I have to smoke Medical Cannabis?
Health Canada recommends that cannabis be vaporized, not smoked. Vaporization is a way to inhale the active components of Medical Cannabis while avoiding the byproducts of burning plant matter. Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis past the boiling point of the active compounds but below the point of plant matter combustion.
When should Medical Cannabis not be used?
Medical Cannabis should not be used if you:
- are under the age of 18
- are allergic to any cannabinoid or to smoke
- have serious liver, kidney, heart or lung disease
- have a personal or family history of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder
- are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- are males wishing to start a family
- have a history of alcohol or substance use disorder
What is the recommended dosage for Medical Cannabis?
Your dosage will be determined in consultation with your doctor. According to Health Canada most people using cannabis for medical purposes are prescribed 1 - 3 grams per day.
How do I get Medical Cannabis?
The ﬁrst step is to visit your doctor (or, in some provinces, a nurse practitioner). If your doctor feels that Medical Cannabis is an appropriate treatment option, he or she will need to complete a “Medical Document” (similar to a prescription). The Medical Document speciﬁes the number of grams per day as well as the authorized period of use.
Once you have a signed Medical Document, you will need to register with a “Licensed Producer” (LP). Only LPs are permitted to supply Medical Cannabis in Canada. In order to register with an LP, you will need to complete and send to the LP a registration form, along with your original Medical Document. It is up to you (in consultation with your doctor) to choose the LP and the strain of Medical Cannabis best suited for your needs.