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How I ended up buying weed with my Catholic mom

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My mom, Evelyn, is 58 years old, Catholic, and a certified nurse. She tried smoking cannabis once in high school, but has called it “dope” ever since. My dad was an engineer in the air force and my siblings and I were never exposed to any kinds of recreational drugs growing up. We live in Colorado, but if you told me as a kid that one day I’d be buying weed with my mom, I would’ve said you’re nuts.

So how did we end up at the dispensary together?

In January 2008, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Three months later, she had seven tumors removed. We felt betrayed by our doctors who, for years, had confused her tumors for weight gain. It was a difficult time for the family as my mom went through surgery, chemo, and prescription bottles full of drugs that made her more sick.

But my mom toughed it out, bringing the family closer in the process. In 2009 she was declared cancer free.

We were happy until 2011, when it returned. This time as thyroid cancer. She had her thyroid removed and underwent radiation treatment. It burned the skin on her neck, making it raw. It took months for her incision and skin to heal.

Two years later, I suggested she try cannabis. It was 2013 and everyone in our home state was talking about it: marijuana legalization.

“But I don’t want to get high,” was her response. Considering everything she’d been through, I thought it was funny that getting high was what worried her.

Luckily, not all strains of cannabis get you high. Many of the cancer patients who claim to have experienced tumor reduction from cannabis used strains low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and high in CBD, a cannabinoid that has substantial medicinal benefits.

I wanted to learn more about this magical cannabinoid that could help patients without making them feel like they are at a Grateful Dead concert. ProjectCBD.org helped. I was able to find several studies and articles about high CBD cannabis being used to successfully treat cancer.

I forwarded these articles to my mom until she agreed to bring it up with her oncologist. He told my mom he didn’t know much about cannabis and asked if we would share him on the research we’d done. After looking it over, he gave us the green light to try it. None of the other treatment options were working.

On average, it takes about a month to get a medical marijuana (MMJ) card. Since cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, doctors can’t scribble down cannabis as a prescription to grab at the pharmacy. You must first fill out an application for registration, which we found at the Department of Public Health’s website. It includes the Physician Certification form, which her doctor completed for her. We took the application, the physician certification, a copy of my mom’s photo ID, a $90 check for the registration fee, and dropped them in the Medical Marijuana Registry drop box in Denver.

In March 2014, she recieved her MMJ card in the mail.

But my mom wasn’t ready to turn into a cannabis consumer just yet. The card found its home in a drawer, shunned. Recreational cannabis had been legalized in Colorado a few months prior, but my parents took a let’s-wait-and-see approach. In January, one year into recreational cannabis legalization, we learned thatcrime rates had decreased, as well as traffic fatalities.

That same week, we found out that some newer, smaller tumors in her torso had increased slightly in size. It was time. I told her not to worry, I’d look up a medical dispensary for her and go with her so we could be partners in crime.

In Colorado, there are three types of cannabis dispensaries: medical, recreational, and those that sell both.

We chose a medical dispensary in Boulder called Green Dream Health Services. I thought it would more comforting for my mom to wait with other patients than to stand in line with people mostly there to get high.

Green Dream was the right choice, clean, professional, and intimate. It was easy to find off a busy street with a green cross and a large sign directing us to the dispensary.

We were greeted at the reception and asked to fill out a 2-page intake form, much like the forms you fill out at the doctor’s office.

I was given a visitor pass, since I don’t have a medical license, and we walked to the back of the dispensary where the cannabis is sold.

The specialist behind the counter was young, professional, and answered all of our questions:

Mom: What product should I take?

Specialist: Concentrated oils high in CBDs are believed to be best for treating internal tumors.

Mom: How do I take the oil?

Specialist: Simply eat it! The taste is pretty horrible so most patients put it on food. Try toast with some nut butter and jam. If you can handle the taste, it’s better to put the dose under your tongue where it can be absorbed more efficiently.

Mom: How much do I take, how often?

Specialist: For anyone just beginning to try cannabis, we suggest starting with a tenth of a gram once or twice a day. You can start doubling your dose every few days as you learn how the prodect affects you.

Mom: What’s the difference between “activated” and “unactivated” oil?

Specialist: Unactivated oil contains THC-acid and CBD-acid as opposed to activated oil which contains pure THC and CBD. Activated oils have already underwent a heating process while unactivated oils can be used in foods that you bake or cook yourself.

The specialist gave us sheets with facts, pie charts, and lab results from the strains we were considering.

She decided on the activated strain “Medicine Woman”, with a high CBD strain with 65.8 percent CBD and only 4.53 percent THC. This meant there was no chance my mom would get high, since the CBD counteracts the psychoactive effect of THC. We were told that it is a new strain and that my mom would be the first of Green Dream’s patients to try it. I took that as a good omen.

That night, about 30 minutes before bedtime, she put a tenth of a gram of the Medicine Woman oil under her tongue. She was surprised at how little the drop of oil was, about half the size of a small grain of rice. She didn’t like the taste. The next morning, I asked her if she felt any different. The oil didn’t get her high, but said she’d gotten the best night’s sleep she’d had in months. She also mentioned that her legs had felt light, like all the tension had been released. buying weed with my catholic mom

Now, we go to the dispensary every two weeks to purchase Medicine Woman. We don’t expect cannabis to work miracles, but we do hope that it can reduce our dependence on other drugs.

Have you been to a dispensary with a relative? Share your experience below.

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Cancer

Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

Medical patients often suffer from not sleeping well. We dug into recent studies to see if cannabis improves sleep. Here are five things you should know:

THC boosts melatonin

The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC has been shown to dramatically increase melatonin production, causing a spike up to four thousand times that of baseline levels. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and sleep.

Increase slow-wave sleep

According to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of San Diego, THC increases the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle, also known as ‘slow-wave sleep’ (SWS). Increased SWS has been linked to an increased reduction of beta-amyloid, the harmful neural protein associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other memory loss conditions.

Reduce REM

While cannabis is known for increasing SWS, it also reduces the fifth phase of sleep, commonly known as rapid eye movement (REM). Less REM means having less dreams, but there is yet to be any evidence of negative effects.

Treat sleep apnea

Cannabis’ sleep-inducing properties are an excellent natural remedy for those suffering from sleep apnea. This helps them to fall and stay asleep easier and with less interruption.

Reduce RBD in Parkinson’s Disease

By using a high-CBD cannabis before bed, you can lessen REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) effects such as tremors, violent movements, and nightmares. High-CBD cannabis has been found to be more effective than Levodopa, a prescription drug commonly prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s and onset-RBD.

More Information

Melatonin and marijuana (Lissoni, P., Resentini, M., and Fraschini, F. “Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol on Melatonin Secretion in Man.”)
Cannabinoids for medical use (Journal of American Medical Association)
Effect of drugs on sleep (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
THC effects on sleep & sleep during withdrawal (Europe PMC)
How Cannabis can help RBD in Parkinson’s (Vanwinkles.com)

Has cannabis had an affect on your quality of sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Cancer

Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

Growing your own medicinal marijuana is a liberating experience. You control all the variables. You know exactly what is in the bud you are smoking. grow box is a discreet and easy way to grow marijuana indoors at home, freeing yourself from dependence on both doctor and dispensary.

Gain independence with a grow box

A grow box is like a tiny, camouflaged green house. It is a self-contained unit with soil or hydroponic growing medium, lights, filters and pumps. Just add seeds, electricity and voila! You are growing your own medicinal marijuana.

Choose the right marijuana strain for you

There are two important considerations when choosing a strain of medicinal marijuana to grow yourself:

Your Medical Requirements – Are you looking for a powerful sedative effect to help with your insomnia or a functional day-time smoke to relieve pain and lighten anxiety?

Your Growing Space – Choose small, bushy strains like Indica or hybrid seeds instead of a tall, leggy Sativa. For your first grow an auto-flowering marijuana variety is the best choice because they require very little care or expertise.

Grow enough marijuana to meet your needs

Grow boxes are available in all sizes. Several surveys in the UK, Canada and the US suggest that most medicinal marijuana patients use 1-3 grams per day, or about 2 ½ pounds per year.

Even the tiny PC Grow Box, which holds just two small plants, can produce two pounds of dried bud per year. The compact SuperBox allows you to grow 8 plants at once with annual yields of 7 pounds or more.

Grow your medicinal marijuana under lights

Marijuana grows best under lights that mimic natural sunlight. There are three common types of grow lights used in the cultivation of marijuana:

  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs)
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Most grow boxes use either CFL or full spectrum LED grow lights. HIDs don’t work well in the enclosed space of a grow box because they get too hot.

While you can grow small amounts of marijuana successfully using CFLs, high quality LED grow lights save electricity and produce the highest yields.

Obtain higher yields using hydroponics

A hydroponic system doesn’t use soil. Growing hydroponic marijuana is not as complex as it may sound.

Many grow boxes come with a simple hydroponic system already set-up. You simply add nutrients, which often come with the grow box, and water. You can even choose to grow marijuana with organic nutrients.

Grow marijuana naturally in soil

Some people prefer to grow marijuana as naturally as possible. The Earth Cab grow box series is one style of grow box designed for soil.

Grow a continuous supply of medicinal marijuana

Once you get started you don’t need new seeds for each growing cycle. You can propagate new marijuana plants by taking cuttings, called clones, of your favorite existing plant.

A dual chamber grow box has a special space for making clones. These grow boxes allow you to produce a constant supply of fresh buds.

Find the perfect grow box for your situation

For the many medicinal growers discretion is essential. Look for a specially designed stealth grow box.

You can also choose a fully automated grow box that allows you to leave town for two weeks and come home to healthy plants.

Use this detailed review of the best grow boxes of 2015 to find the perfect set-up for you.

Grow medicinal marijuana at home with a grow box

Are you considering growing at home? Let us know why in the comments below!

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How Edibles Are Made

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How Edibles Are Made

Since there are so many manufacturers throughout the US, cannabis-infused foods are produced in a variety of different ways. Read up on how your favorite edibles are made and learn how to make your own medicinal treats:

They’re usually made with trim

Trim contains the leftover leaf matter from the cannabis flower that growers usually throw away. It’s less potent than bud, but it’s full of trichomes and can be used in large quantities to produce a stronger effect.

Cannabis is decarboxylated

Decarboxylation activates THC and other cannabinoids to result in a more potent product. To achieve this, cannabis needs to be heated either through smoking, vaping, or baking. The flower is typically cooked for a long time over low heat before it’s used to make edibles. Eating raw cannabis won’t have a very strong effect, and it won’t taste good.

Cannabinoids are extracted

Edibles are infused with highly concentrated cannabis extracts. Depending on the extraction method, edibles can contain either tinctures, canna oil, or cannabutter. If you’re wondering how a specific edible was made, ask your budtender or contact the manufacturer.

Canna oil and cannabutter are common

THC is fat soluble, so cannabis is often cooked with oil or butter. When heated, the activated cannabinoids absorb into these ingredients. Check out this recipe for cannabis cooking oil and this one for cannabis-infused butter. Or try making cannabis coconut oil.

Tinctures are used in hard candies

Some edibles don’t go through a baking or cooking process, so tinctures are added instead of flower. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts made from a solvent like alcohol, vinegar, or glycerol. Rather than passing through the digestive system like cannabinoids in most edibles, these are absorbed by the body and can result in a quicker effect.

Have you ever made your own edibles? Tell us in the comments below.

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