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How to combat chemotherapy nausea with cannabis and staying calm

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Seventy percent of chemo patients complain about nausea, even after taking prescribed anti-nausea medication. The good news is that cannabis and other herbal remedies can help. Here are some things to do before, during, and after your chemotherapy treatments to feel better.

1. Combat anxiety before treatment

Oncologist Julie L. Ryan researches nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy. You can read about her experiments here. She says that anxious or stressful thoughts can lead to nausea because your brain and your gut are connected. Reducing your anxiety about an upcoming treatment may decrease your chance of feeling sick the day of chemotherapy. One of the best ways we have found to naturally reduce anxiety is through meditation. Practicing meditation before chemo treatment can make you feel empowered and to free you of any unhelpful expectations.

If you’ve never meditated before, or even if you have, The Mindfulness App can help. The Mindfulness App is $1.99 and includes free meditation sessions with the option of purchasing more for $0.99 each. Start by downloading the app from the iTunes app store here, or from Google Play, here. Open the app once it is downloaded and choose “Guided Meditations” or “Silent Meditations” from the homepage, and then select how long you would like to meditate. The Mindfulness App includes 3, 5, 15, or 30 minute guided meditation sessions. Beginners might find the “Guided Meditations” helpful at first. Also, wear headphones when meditating to help minimize distractions such as footsteps, conversations, and other noises.

You can also find a meditation circle in your area by typing ‘meditation’ into the search box at meetup.com. Or, if you want more personalized guidance, you can find a licensed meditation teacher in your area by visiting the official Transcendental Meditation website and typing your zip code in the search box.

2. Take a small dose of cannabis the day of treatment

Smoking or vaporizing medical marijuana before chemotherapy can help deal with persistent anxiety and nausea. The National Cancer Institute, the federal Government’s chief organization for cancer research and education, explains that Medical marijuana is more effective than anti-nausea pharmaceutical drugs.

Try smoking or vaporizing a small dose of marijuana before you leave your home for chemotherapy if you experience nausea before your appointment. If you have a long commute to the chemo clinic and someone is driving you, bring a handheld vaporizer with 2 small doses of marijuana in the car with you. One dose will be for the drive to treatment and the other for the drive home. We like the Pax Vaporizer by Ploom, which costs $249.99 and can be purchased here.

A sativa–dominant strain with a fruity flavor is ideal for pre-treatment medicating. The sweet taste and aroma of this strain will be more palatable for patients who don’t have an appetite. Check out this list from leafly.com of strains that help specifically with nausea. We recommend these sweet tasting sativas: Sweet Diesel, Laughing Buddha, and Strawberry Cough.

During treatment, make yourself as comfortable as possible and try to keep your mind at ease by revisiting the Mindfulness App if you’ve downloaded it on your phone. You may be at a chemo clinic for a few hours so choose to do a 30-minute meditation session.

Another way to stay calm while you pass the time is to read a book, or listen to a podcast. Umano is a smartphone app that lets you listen to audio articles for free. It even features a Cancer Support Community. Here’s how to get the Umano app and to connect to the Cancer Support Community:

1. Download the app from iTunes or Google Play

2. Select topics you are interested in and Umano will personalize your homepage to include articles that you might like.

3. Once your homepage has been created, click “Explore” on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and search “Cancer Support”

4. Click the channel tab and select “Cancer Support”, which will take you to the Cancer Support Community homepage.

5. Click follow and receive updates and article suggestions from the Cancer Support Community.

Of course, you can choose a different topic if you’d like to take your mind off cancer for a bit.

3. Practice relaxing after treatment

Chemotherapy is very stressful on the body, so it is important to rest immediately after treatment. If post-chemo nausea and vomiting prevent you from being comfortable, there are few things you can try to manage these intense side effects. On your way home from your chemo treatment, vape the second dose of marijuana you’ve brought with you. Then, close your eyes and try to sleep.

When you arrive at home, you can smoke a larger dose of marijuana. You can also vape again, but do not smoke and vape because the combination can actually stimulate the body instead of relax it. At this time, choose a strain that will relax the body and mind more fully. Look for an Indica-dominant strain such as Chemo. According to Wikileaf, Chemo is a strain that was developed in the 1970s to help treat nausea and pain that comes with chemotherapy. Chemo is known for its strong potency, so be careful and start with a small dose if you’ve never tried it before.

You can also make your own herbal drink to ease an upset stomach. Ginger tea has been used since ancient times to treat nausea. You can purchase ginger tea bags or prepare tea from scratch with fresh ginger root. Try adding a little honey to soothe your throat if inhaling the cannabis makes it dry.

Sacred Medicinals, a company that makes cannabis drinks, sells something called Easy Rider Cider. This sweet cider not only eases upset stomachs, but also contains a lot of other nourishing ingredients to help your body recover. It’s easy to transport, so try taking a bottle with you in the car that you can enjoy immediately after treatment. To learn more about this product and where to purchase it, visit the Sacred Medicinals website by clicking here.

Peppermint lozenges are very soothing to the stomach. Peppermint also cools the body down, so if you experience hot flashes in addition to nausea, sucking on a peppermint candy can help to kill two birds with one stone. Just make sure you buy mints that contain peppermint oil and not artificial mint flavoring.

You might benefit from a warm bath infused with essential oil. Add 5-10 drops of either cardamom or basil essential oil into a bath and soak for at least twenty minutes (Shealy). chemotherapy nausea

Do you have any great tips for stopping nausea in its tracks? Please comment below to share them with others.

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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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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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