Medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy has been a hot topic in recent times. A cannabis becomes legal over more of the country, we are exploring more and more of the positive medicinal effects. Research is promising, but in short stock due to legality itself. Each study you come across shows some positive benefit associated with sufferers of epilepsy. So, the problem presents itself— how do they gain access?
Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana: Limited Access for this Medical Community
Those exploring the option of medical marijuana as treatment typically start in the same place. They start with those pharmaceuticals given to any patient suffering from epilepsy. But the tough part starts when those medicines don’t give them their desired results. Whether it be the side effects or the medicine just, plain not doing its job— when you get desperate for relief, you begin to search elsewhere.
Some states have put into effect a law for ‘compassionate access’ for those who have given a hard fought effort to use the medicines put into place by the traditional providers. This allows for those approved individuals to gain access to cannabis as a form of treatment for their disorder. In doing so, they are provided an alternative treatment that can help those roughly 30% of people with epilepsy who cannot find relief in traditional medicines.
Putting a limit on research
Because legality is still so split from state to state, we are missing out on a lot of research. While the research that we do have has shows promising and positive effects, the lack of representation within the science community still leaves cannabis as an outlier. The excuse for not giving it a try is often rooted in a lack of evidence to support positive claims. Therefore, for many, an attempt at treating in a more holistic fashion will not be an option.
State-by-state legality as a gatekeeper and a potential danger
For those who want access to this medicine to treat their epilepsy, not being in a legal state can be life-threatening in a number of ways. Some will not even consider seeking access due to the laws. But, there are many who will take the risk and go at it illegally. This can put them in danger of arrest, robbery, kidnapped, and worse. Some patients will use their lack of access as a reason to either relocate permanently, or risk transporting material back to their home state.
Stacking up the side effects
A huge benefit for some suffering from seizures is the difference in side effects in cannabis compared to tradition medication. There are many different options when it comes to seizure medications. And some side effects are less than others— but a few that show up quite constantly are as follows. Headache, fatigue, nausea, itchiness, loss of appetite, liver toxicity, weight gain, hair loss, and so on— these are only a few of those mentioned on the Epilepsy Foundation’s page on medications, here.
When it comes to medical marijuana, it affects everyone differently. But, there are also a few side effects that can present themselves based on how your body interacts with the medicine, much like other epilepsy medications. Some side effects that may occur are as follows. Dry mouth, dry/red/glassy eyes, increased appetite, anxiety, short-term high-blood pressure, and so on.
When it comes to choosing a medicine…
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to treating an issue of any kind, especially a neurological disorder. So you have to find what works for you. We wish you luck in your journey to finding an acceptable and effective treatment.
When it comes to consuming marijuana, there are plenty of ways to do it. Think about it, you can use water pipes, you can vaporize it, you can make a tincture out of it, you can roll it, and you can even cook with it. That’s right, there are plenty of different ways for you to get high. The fact that you can do consume it in tons of different ways, makes it easy for anyone who wants to use it, to use it. But the thing is, the way that marijuana effects your body varies depending on how you use it. Take smoking versus eating your marijuana high— the way your body reacts is different. From onset time, to healthiness, there are tons of different factors in why you should choose which method you go with.
Smoking versus eating your marijuana high
Aside from the super obvious differences between these two methods, such as smoking or digesting, smoking versus eating your marijuana high is really quite different. First of all, eating your high is much healthier. Think about it, you’re not inhaling anything. Therefore, your lungs aren’t compromised in any way. We all say it, marijuana isn’t bad for you. And there’s no research to say that it is, but let’s face it, inhaling anything into your lungs isn’t great for them at the very least. So, by eating edibles, you’re skipping all the nastiness and instead, trading it in for a easy treat.
Not to mention, if you are precise with your dosing of the edibles, you’ll have a more precise means of getting high. When it comes to marijuana, for those who are trying to use it medicinally, dosing is quite important. Think of it as any other medicine, you do not want to ‘overdose’ the intended amount. If you pack a bowl, you can guess the potency, but you really aren’t quite sure. If you make or buy an edible, you know within a small variable, how potent that edible is and you can choose how much to eat according to that. Making it a bit more foolproof than other methods might be.
One of the main differences between these two methods is the onset time. When it comes to smoking versus eating, the onset time of your high is pretty instantaneous— a few seconds, with the peak of it hitting within a few minutes. But when it comes to edibles, the onset time is at minimum 30 minutes. It can be up to a few hours even before you feel it in your system, making it a bit more unpredictable than the latter. This is one of the main decision points for a lot of people. When it comes to edibles, there’s much more of an unpredictability as to how and when it ‘hits’ you.
It’s all in preference
Ultimately, how you consume your marijuana high is all up to you. From rolling up, to using a piece, to eating it— the way these will affect you always has a slight bit of variability. So, you pick! Find your favorite method and explore the others, when it comes to marijuana, how you use it is all in preference!
A huge problem on the black market these days are counterfeit dispensary products. Home-grown buds, home-baked edibles, and dangerous homemade concentrates are wrapped in neat little packages that look professional enough. But what you might not know, is those labels come in bulk from websites such as Amazon. This allows opportunistic dealers to bump the price of their products a bit. After all, an official label makes them a little more desirable to someone who won’t look into the name behind the product.
Counterfeit Dispensary Products
If you go to Google right now and type in ‘marijuana labels, you can easily gain access to an abundance of them. From THC markers, to official labels that are ‘state compliant’ at the drop of a hat. Sure, these products are also for the legitimate business people. But, making them this easily accessible is causing a great problem for buyers and legitimate dispensaries.
When you read the reviews on the products, you get a range in responses. From: ‘I work at a dispensary and we use these every day’ all the way to ‘makes my product look very professional’. That last one is the beginning of the problem. By taking your every day street weed and wrapping it up in a pretty little package, you are deceiving buyers and also staining the hard work of dispensaries.
Dispensaries and growers go out of their way to provide quality, organic, lab-tested products that are compliant with state law.
By taking a short cut under their same labels— there is the potential for loss of business and also loss of reputation when product that is not theirs, goes out under their name. It’s quite common. A street level distributor will make or purchase concentrates or flower in bulk. Repackage the product into the standard mylar bags and parchment paper, slap on a CA/AZ/WA/CO compliant label and charge an extra $10 for it.
Know your sources and don’t buy from third parties
The key is being smart. Ask to see the product, ask to smell, sample— whatever you need to know to test the quality for yourselves. Go to the dispensary yourself if you can help it, as a legal dispensary will be dispensing the authentic product. But if you can’t do so, don’t trust easily. Nowadays, every person you talk to is ‘getting their stuff’ from Colorado, Washington, and the likes. We would like to believe them. But that just isn’t always the case. So do your research, learn the product, trust your source, don’t buy counterfeit dispensary products, and use your authentic products responsibly!
The key to a good smoking experience is all in grinding your buds. There are plenty of different grinders on he market, but a select few that are worth the hype. But what’s all the ruckus about? And why do we even do it? Here’s our guide to why we grind and what we use to do it:
Grinders: A Guide to Why We Grind and What We Use
If you’re an avid smoker, you probably are quite familiar with why you do what you do. But to others, it might not make too much sense. I know people who have always used their hands, and they chalk it up to preference. But you’re missing out on a few things.
For starters, when you skip the grinder and just use your hands, you’re smashing the buds. This pulls of and crushes some of the trichomes, which lessens the potency. And! You’re missing out on an even burn when you smoke. By pulling it apart instead of grinding it up, your 1)smashing it and 2) breaking it into uneven pieces.
By doing this, you’re going to end up wasting a bunch of product because some parts are dense and some are light and fluffy. What a grinder does is it takes the bud itself, and it shaves it into uniform pieces that will burn in a uniform pattern.
Not to mention, if you’re using a smaller piece, such as a one-hitter— the pieces that are not evenly ground up will do nothing more than clog it up. Smaller pieces, even smaller bowls, can easily clog when there are too many chunky pieces.
So, what do we use?
My personal go-to is the Santa Cruz Shredder. What they’re doing that’s a bit different than the competition is that they’re changing the shape of the grinder teeth. Most grinders are built like traditional wheat grinders, where it smashes and yanks to rip the buds apart. But this grinder, has your buds in mind. They changed the shape, and instead of the traditional smash-and-pull, it shaves. It was described to me by the salesman as shaving it into little chocolate curls. What a salesman, am I right?
You have tons of options, but spending the extra bucks is worth it when it comes to quality. One thing to be weary of with the lesser known and generic brands is that bits of the metal within it can shave off into your buds with time. Have you ever notice a quick spark coming from your bowl piece when you put a lighter to it? If so, it might be time for an upgrade.
In the end, it’s all in preference and the Santa Cruz is by no means the only option for you— it just tends to be mine. So do your research, check them out! There are new and innovative products coming out every single day.
When you think about marijuana prohibition, you think about Reagan and the War on Drugs. But the truth is, the stigma of marijuana as dangerous, criminal, and ‘outside the norm’ began long before that in Mexico. In Isaac Campos’ novel, Home Grown, he dives into the origins of the first war on drugs. Which began long before our own and helped to influence the mindset which shapes our modern day policies.
Marijuana Prohibition: The True Beginnings
The life and times of marijuana has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster for recreational users, medicinal patients, marijuana entrepreneurs and cultivators. When you think about where it all went wrong, most people typically go to the War on Drugs and the Reagans. But really, the tides were turning long before then.
In the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Mexico began to stigmatize marijuana and its users. There were multiple publications that began to investigate marijuana for its uses and its users. You can think of it very similarly to the beginning of the war on drugs here in America. The introduction of marijuana as the unknown that was coming for our children. These publications in Mexico had a similar effect to that of ‘Reefer Madness’ here on our own soil.
Conquistadors had used marijuana long ago as a religious substance and a textile. Their sentiment was much like our own ancestors and founding fathers, but doing so linked it to past traditions and religious practice. The early claims of divine ‘visions’ and the supernatural acted as a gateway between marijuana and early ideas of madness. From there, it was off to the races.
The Stigma Begins
Marijuana prohibition has been a reoccurring issue for hundreds of years at this point, with each country taking their own approach to it. Some— don’t bother while others are very strict. But you can see that Mexico and America are very tightly bonded when it comes to how they approached marijuana.
It began quite similarly. Marijuana was a purposeful cash crop which was turned sour by the general public’s idea of the users themselves. As outsiders, criminals, and just plain wrong. By introducing the idea of cannabis as a threatening substance, there was really no going back for quite some time.
But as we faced changes here in the U.S., as did Mexico. Medical marijuana has legalized in Mexico just as it is in much of the United States. It goes to show the cycle of things and how a bad rep can go a really long way. Marijuana prohibition is a thing of the past for some states and Mexico as of now, in terms of medicinal use. But the way the cycles have repeated themselves, does beg the question of if we will face these troubles once again.
Weed comes in many sizes, shapes, and flavors in the twenty-first century. Users are moving away from just smoking the ‘flower’ itself and are exploring the possibilities this plant has to offer. Companies and individuals are producing marijuana oils, waxes, tinctures, edibles, bath products, capsules, you name it.
The varying forms of cannabis concentrates are extremely potent in large doses. Due to the fact that they compact the THC cannabinoid into smaller, varying forms versus your typical leafy green. In short, your dosage will be quite different than what it would be for your typical ‘flower’.
Legal Cannabis Concentrates in South Carolina: A New Wave of Medicine
Because South Carolina has not legalized weed, most of these concentrates are illegal. However, there is one exception. Legislators in South Carolina approved a pro-CBD bill. CBD is another chemical found in the marijuana plant. Basically, it relaxes muscles without causing the user to get high. CBD is frequently used to treat patients with severe epilepsy. Therefore, you can purchase Palmetto Harmony oil in South Carolina.
Some of the oil does contain THC; however, the concentrate is not enough to induce psychoactive effects. Users have testified in front of the South Carolina House and Senate that these, and other oils, have helped treat their children’s epilepsy and verbal disabilities. If you are willing to pay a pretty penny, Palmetto Harmony’s flagship oil is available at some retailers for $220 a bottle.
Penalties for Illegal Concentrates
However, all other concentrates are still illegal in South Carolina. Possessing and distributing illegal concentrates is slightly different than possessing weed. 10 grams or less is a misdemeanor and punishable with a fine between $100-$200 and imprisonment up to 30 days.
Any more than 10 grams becomes intent to distribute which is a felony. Therefore, because concentrates are generally much stronger than weed, you don’t need to possess much for the charge to become a felony. A first offense for more than 10 grams is punishable with a fine up to $5,000 and imprisonment up to 5 years.
All in all, marijuana concentrate is legal in South Carolina but within a fine guideline. THC concentrate is off the table, at least in the amount it would take to give you recreational effects. But CBD concentrates are readily available to those in need. This still seems to mirror the general populations idea that the psychoactive aspect of marijuana is to be avoided.
The right strain for you might depend on what you need from it. Suffering from migraines? Lack of sleep? Lack of appetite? nausea? muscle ache? No matter the symptom, there is a strain of marijuana that is said to benefit you in some way. Following is a list of some of the best strains for your pains:
Finding the right strain for different pains:
Strains for migraines:
Blueberry Headband: this type of hybrid, called a headband hybrid, is supposed to deliver effects straight to your head. This plant focuses in on your specific head related pain, all the while tasting berry sweet!
White Widow: this strain offers a full-bodied high and indica-heavy, pain-fighting qualities that you really can’t beat. But this strain is also quite potent, so start your dosage small and work your way up.
Lack of sleep:
Granddaddy Purple: This is an indica strain, which is supposed to be the best type for dealing with sleep trouble. Sativa strains offer a more ‘heady’ high, often making it difficult to fall asleep. Granddaddy Purple is extremely relaxing and tension-melting. Definitely a top choice when dealing with sleep troubles.
Tahoe OG Kush: This hybrid offers great muscle relaxation and a peaceful high. Reviewers boast its ability to help with insomnia because of the sleepy, euphoric state it offers its consumers.
Northern Lights: this indica strain is a classic for users with stress, anxiety, or nausea. It offers a relaxed, full-body high that can either cure your nausea— or at least take your mind off of it and make you hungry.
Jack Herer: this sativa is a potent, flavorful strain that offers nausea relief and huge appetite-inducing components as well. This strain is popular amongst cancer patients to treat their nausea and loss of appetite.
Muscle and body pain:
ACDC: this hybrid strain boasts heavy levels of both THC and CBD which is great for pain. It offers a full-body relaxation that pain sufferers will really benefit from.
Blackberry Kush: For sufferers that don’t have great access to CBD/THC heavy strains, this indica will suit you just fine. This strain, while not heavy on CBD, offers heavy THC content that targets pain. But beware— this one is sure-fire when it comes to getting couch-locked.
Our point with this is that there is a ‘right strain’ for practically any type of ailment. All of these pains and ailments are usually treated with aspirin or something of the sorts, but medical marijuana offers you a new way of treatment. Gone are the days of ibuprofen as the only answer, now people have more options when it comes to how to manage their pain.
Even in legal states, every smoker should still try to be discrete when smoking in a public setting. After all, you don’t get hammered drunk on a street corner in broad daylight with children around. Being discrete is part of being respectful, but the good thing is— there are plenty of ways to get high without offending anyone. And there are plenty of discrete smoking tools that will get you high without nasty glares or the potential for police presence.
Discrete Smoking Tools
To kick this off, I’d like to introduce you to the ciga-weed. A ciga-weed is a tiny little one-hitter pipe that is shaped and designed to look like a cigarette. You pack up the end and smoke it all in one hit. It’s a simple little thing, and it looks just like a cigarette so you look just like every other smoker on the corner. Pair this dude with a little wooden dugout for the perfect little trippy kit in your bag.
The most inventive, in my opinion, is the inhaler vaporizer.
This little guy is exactly like a inhaler, but it’s a vaporizer. Because it looks like a medical device, your chance of being questioned on it is pretty low. After all, most people don’t harass others about their inhalers. So if you play your cards right, this device can be used practically anywhere. What a fantastic idea.
Little keychain pipes are great little pieces too. They go from being a decoration on your keys, to a bowl in seconds. You just unscrew the bowl piece and reposition it to create the bowl. They’re quite discrete, while also providing the opportunity to really pack a bowl in public and then make that bow disappear. You get the best of both worlds with this little guy.
Last but not least, the lipstick pipe is a perfect one for the ladies. Small, discrete, and will fit right in with your makeup bag. You just pull the cap off, in the same way you would a lipstick tube, and voila— out comes a bowl instead of your favorite fuchsia lipstick. This one is easy to tuck away quickly, as you just have to pop that little cap back on.
There are plenty of ways to get your smoke on without making it obvious. If you can master that, you’ll be able to toke up practically anywhere. But be mindful and respectful, you never know who’s watching!
Chances are that when you grind up your buds to smoke them, you probably toss out those pesky stems. No one likes them. They take up weight, they’re not good to smoke, and they force you to get your hand dirty when smoking. But what if I told you they could serve a better purpose than being a trash can filler? What if I told you there was perfectly good THC hiding in all of those stems? Saving stems might be more imperative than you think…
Saving Stems: What Marijuana Stems Can Do For You
First of all, let me start off by saying that most edibles are made with stems. Like I said, there is plenty of harvest-able THC inside of those stems that can be used in ways other than smoking. Take for example Cannabis butter. Most edibles are made with cannabis butter, and one of the most cost effective ways to make it is with stems. Think about it. You never use them, so what if you were to just tuck them away for later?
Save them for a while, keep them somewhere airtight and when you end up with an obnoxious amount of them— pull out the crock pot. Grind them up the same way you would the weed, put them in some cheesecloth, and make just like normal cannabis butter. This butter is just the same— just make sure to use a larger amount of stems than you would buds to have the same potency, maybe 1/4-1/2 more.
Another popular option is to make stem tea.
Brewed just like any other tea, except you add the marijuana stems. Same deal, get the cheesecloth, and add to your hot water and let soak. The longer you soak, the more the potency. I’d suggest at least eight hours. You can do it alone or add a few tea bags, but I’d go caffeine free! Maybe add some honey for a better flavor. But this stuff is a great, and easy, option.
These two are usually the go-to’s for people with leftover stems. But, the options are pretty endless. From skin creams and salves, to stem hash oil, you can do pretty much anything you’d do with normal buds with these guys.
So make sure you’re saving stems because they aren’t as useless as you might think. Not to mention, in the end— they’re only saving you more money by making sure to use them!
Marijuana is quickly becoming America’s favorite drug and medicine. But as the interest rises, so does the consumption. But how much is too much? And is there a perfect dosage?
What is the perfect dosage of marijuana?
The perfect dose according to herb.co is 7.5 milligrams of THC in your bloodstream, which equals out to about .05 grams of marijuana. Think of this as one hit off of a water pipe or maybe a few puffs off of a joint. A standard joint, according to hightimes.com, has about 36 milligrams of THC in it.
The big problem with choosing a perfect dose is that THC is not a one-size-fits-all system, and my tolerance might not be your tolerance, per se. Think of it like alcohol for a moment. If I drink a six-pack a day and you drink a six-pack every three weeks, that same amount is going to affect me differently. This same rule applies when it comes to marijuana.
Most avid smokers say that their perfect dose sits around 50-75 mg. So, the big thing to remember is that it really differs. When visiting dispensaries you get a better idea of what works best for you because they are able to tell you what is what, and how potent one thing is versus the other.
Finding your ideal comfort level with marijuana is all dependent on trial and error.
I myself have heard some people claim their perfect dose to be around 200-400 mg. While this might seem like way too much to some, like I said, it all depends on your tolerance— which depends on your usage. So while 7.5 mg and 400 mg are quite a wide range, it really can vary that much.
The main thing to remember about finding your perfect dosage is to start small. The metaphor I like to use is when you’re adding spices to a dish. Start light, you can always make your meal more spicy but once its there— it’s there to stay. The same goes for your consumption. You can always add more but once its there, you have to ride it out. So be smart, start small, and have fun!