How Flower & Related products can help you.
It comes on like a freight train: sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, and malaise. And that’s just the common cold. The flu ups the ante with all those symptoms plus fever, severe headache, and extreme exhaustion— in some adult cases vomiting and diarrhea, although those are more common in kids.
After about five to seven days (of eternity), most healthy adults will bounce back from both colds and the flu. But what can you do in the meantime?
The medical community agrees non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen or Tylenol) are good at treating aches and pains, but that’s about it. Even popular home remedies don’t cut it in the science world: randomized controlled trials of echinacea, vitamin C, and even garlic found these cold and flu go-tos were no better than placebos for reducing symptoms. And Mom’s chicken soup? A 2000 study found it had mild anti-inflammatory benefits to help alleviate symptoms, but not by much.
So…wouldn’t it just be nice to get high and feel better?
What the experts say
We tried speaking with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, but they declined to comment, saying there is not sufficient research to confirm the impact of Flower on colds and the flu.
From a naturopathic perspective, we did reach Dr. Shawn Meirovici, a Toronto-based ND who specializes in pain management. He reiterates there is no direct link between cannabis use and treating colds and the flu. However, he said there is new evidence suggesting symptoms can be managed if cannabis is used responsibly.
The cannabinoids THC and CBD have been shown to have pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
“The cannabinoids THC and CBD have been shown to have pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties,” he says. So, on your sick day when you’re wrapped in a blanket, he suggests cannabis may help reduce body aches, ease inflammation of the airways, and increase relaxation to help you sleep.
As for flu symptoms, he says cannabis may also have “antipyretic or fever-reducing properties, due to its ability to suppress the immune system.”
Plus, if you’re one of those ounce-of-prevention types, he says some research suggests CBD has anti-viral properties.
Feel-better food ideas
If eating cannabis appeals to you on your sick day(s), we caught up with Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of
The Flower Kitchen Cookbook. She says when she’s feeling under the weather she turns to:
bone broth (store-bought or homemade) simmered with cannabis flower
smoothies made with infused hemp milk, frozen blueberries, and probiotic yogurt
overnight oats with apples, wild honey, and cannabis-infused coconut milk
Passing around a joint amongst friends is a fun but quick way to spread germs, so be careful who you light up with.
In the end, the best way to avoid getting a cold or the flu altogether is to stop the spread: wash hands frequently, cough or sneeze into your arm, and stay home when sick.
And Meirovici offers this parting wisdom: “Passing around a joint amongst friends is a fun but quick way to spread germs, so be careful who you light up with.”
If you (or someone you love) just got diagnosed with cancer, that’s obviously very frightening. My heart goes out to you in every way. Now here’s the good news: cannabis can help, and this guide will explain how.
The cannabis plant contains a number of compounds with research-backed benefits for cancer patients. The science-based case that it is a safe and effective medicine will be made below, with plenty of links to double-blind studies, authoritative sources, and leading experts. The takeaway being that the plant and preparations derived from it can provide relief of cancer-related symptoms like pain, nausea, and inflammation. Some research has even shown that some cannabis compounds may slow cancer growth and shrink tumors.
Cannabis can also elevate your mood at critical moments, and even help you psychologically come to grips with the difficult times ahead. This is no small thing.
Cannabis can also elevate your mood at critical moments, and even help you psychologically come to grips with the difficult times ahead. This is no small thing. Many of the medicines you will be prescribed, and procedures you will undergo—helpful as they may be—will leave you feeling depleted (to say the least).
Cannabis is restorative—to body and soul.
To laugh, to escape from pain and anxiety, to step outside one’s self and experience a moment of peace, or bliss, or both—what could be more healing? Now, I don’t have any studies to back up this particular claim, but I have seen it firsthand countless times in my 15 years of meeting cancer patients and writing about their relationship with medical cannabis. And that includes both people who had a lot of experience with cannabis before they got cancer and those who’d never even considered trying it before.
Now, it’s perfectly understandable if, after a century of anti-cannabis government propaganda, you’re skeptical about such anecdotal claims. But please don’t let that prevent you from further researching the subject. I believe any cancer patient who takes the time to review the breadth of evidence with an open mind will conclude that cannabis is an option worth trying, whether you’re undergoing chemotherapy or not.
The case for medical cannabis
(Gillian Levine for Leafly)
Let’s start with the bad news: Cannabis remains illegal even for medicinal use in many places around the world. This forces countless cancer patients every year to resort to the underground market, where they risk arrest for simply possessing a small amount of plant matter. Beyond that, it’s also important to understand that cannabis itself is not harmless.
But neither is water, if you drink too much.
So when we talk about the potential risks of cannabis, we need to talk not about it being “safe” or “dangerous,” but in terms of “relative harm.”
When it comes to cancer specifically, there’s been a number of landmark studies proving the safety and efficacy of cannabis.
The first ever study to show that cannabis exhibits anti-tumor properties was originally designed to demonstrate the plant’s dangers, specifically harm to the immune system. Funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society, research published in 1974 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that mice who had tumors surgically implanted and were then “treated for 20 consecutive days with THC” had reduced primary tumor size.
The government immediately pushed the offending study down the memory hole, and pushed on with the War on Cannabis, but three decades later, Dr. Manuel Guzman, professor of biochemistry at the University of Madrid, managed to follow up on the original 1974 experiments, with similar results. In the March 2000 issue of the journal Nature Medicine, Guzman reported that cannabinoids (like THC) not only shrink cancerous tumors in mice, they do so without damaging surrounding tissues.
A year later, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine for the first time demonstrated the efficacy of Cannabis for nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
“Cannabis is the only anti-nausea medicine that increases appetite.”
Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital
“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a cancer patient who has nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, depression, and insomnia,” Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco told Newsweek for a 2013 article headlined Marijuana Is a Wonder Drug When It Comes to the Horrors of Chemo. “Cannabis is the only anti-nausea medicine that increases appetite.”
More recently, in 2017, the International Journal of Oncology published a report showing that cannabinoids produced naturally in a cannabis plant possess anti-cancer activity whether used alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy. While according to research by Yale Cancer Center, a majority of pediatric cancer providers now endorse the use of medical cannabis for children with advanced cancer.
Talking with your doctor
Many physicians and medical professionals (including cancer specialists) remain wholly unaware of the many ways cannabis can support those going through cancer treatments, so it’s important to show up to every appointment armed with as much information as possible. But you should be cautious as well, particularly if you live in a place where medical cannabis is not legal, and admitting to using cannabis could potentially lead to legal trouble, refusal of medical care, or problems with your insurance coverage.
So research thoroughly and choose you words carefully until you determine if you feel safe broaching the subject with your primary care physician and/or oncologist. Also, consider seeking out a cancer specialist who publicly embraces medical cannabis for a more thorough consultation on your particular needs.
How to obtain medical cannabis
If you live in a place with either legal cannabis or legal medical cannabis, you should have no problem accessing what you need through a dispensary. There may be some legal hoops to jump through to sign up for your state’s medical cannabis program, but as a cancer patient you most certainly qualify.
The Leafly app can help you locate the best dispensary within a reasonable distance from where you live, and then you can search their menu online to make sure they’ve got the specific products you’re looking for before you pay them a visit.
Everything you find on a dispensary shelf should be lab tested for purity and potency, but it’s still a good idea to seek out cannabis grown without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Federal law prohibits using the word “organic” when it comes to cannabis, but there are third party certifications that mean the same thing, and certain companies only work with growers using organic methods.
If you live in a place without legal medical cannabis, you’ll have to first carefully weigh the potential benefits of having this medicine in your life against the risk of legal consequences.
The medical cannabis movement has been built on civil disobedience, and the foundational belief that any law preventing the seriously ill from accessing a proven medicinal plant should be actively subverted. So feel no shame, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Think of a person in your life whom you trust, and who already has access to cannabis, and let them in on your situation.
Dosing medical cannabis
(Gillian Levine for Leafly)
When it comes to identifying your ideal dosage, the most important thing to know is that you should start with very small amounts of cannabis and slowly increase them until you find what works best for you, without going overboard. This detailed dosage guide from Project CBD offers thorough information on how to optimize the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
It’s also vital to understand that different delivery methods will produce vastly different effects, including how quickly they onset and how long they last. Inhalation will have you feeling relief in less than a minute. Just start with a puff or two, see what happens in a couple of minutes, and then inhale more as needed.
Meanwhile, edibles can take up to 90 minutes to onset, and last for up to eight hours. That makes them ideal for long-term relief, but you run the risk of eating too much before you start to feel the effects. So until you get the hang of it, stick to low-dose edibles (five or ten milligrams of THC) and then slowly up your dose as needed—always waiting at least 2 hours between doses to account for the lag time.
Incorporating CBD-rich cannabis products into your regiment gives you access to another therapeutic cannabinoid, one that is also shown to reduce anxiety induced by larger doses of THC. (Note: small doses of CBD can enhance THC’s intoxicating properties, but large doses appear to counteract unwanted side effects.)
Their Preferred Cannabis Strains
Be sure to remain well hydrated at all times, and ideally share the experience with a friend. Definitely stay home the first few times you use cannabis, particularly as you get used to the experience and while experimenting to find your optimal dose.
Mixing cannabis with alcohol is not a good idea. Mixing it with your favorite music and a game of stoned Scrabble, however, is really fun.
Choosing a delivery method
(Gillian Levine for Leafly)
Several pharmaceutical drugs have been developed using either synthetic cannabinoids (like the THC drug Marinol), or plant derived blends of THC and CBD (like Sativex from GW Pharmaceuticals). What these products all have in common is that theyâ€™re inferior to whole plant cannabis (and whole plant cannabis derived products) in terms of efficacy and price.
As Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a retired Harvard Medical School professor and longtimeÂ leading medical cannabis researcherÂ put it:
Needless to say, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly devoting its massive resources to the development of cannabinoid analogs or other products which can compete with herbal marijuana. But none of these products will be as inexpensive or useful as herbal marijuana. Legality, not efficacy, is their major appeal.
What are the health benefits of CBD Oil?
Medically reviewed by C. Fookes, BPharm Last updated on Oct 29, 2019.
Official by Drugs.com
Many manufacturers of CBD Oil (cannabidiol) products claim CBD is effective at relieving anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, improving sleep, or has other health benefits. A CBD product (Epidolex) has been FDA approved to treat epilepsy.
However, there are very few well-conducted trials to back up these claims, apart from the use of CBD in two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Most trials that have been published have used either marijuana, a combination of CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), or only involved animals. Very few have been conducted on CBD alone.
Over 200 different substances (called cannabinoids) can be extracted from the Cannabis plant; CBD and THC are just two of these substances. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and will not give you a “high”.
There is no evidence it has any abuse or dependence potential and to date there is no evidence that it is associated with any serious side effects, according to the World Health Organization.
The main reason there are few trials to back up the perceived health benefits of CBD is that previous laws lumped marijuana and hemp together in the same basket. However, in December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements for CBD, which allowed for more research into CBD and trials are now underway investigating its benefits for Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety. The government’s position on CBD remains confusing, despite all 50 states legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction.
In summary, the only proven health benefit for CBD current is for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (two forms of epilepsy). Other possible health benefits for CBD (these require further investigating) include relieving:
Muscle-spasticity in multiple sclerosis
Nausea and vomiting associated with cancer
Side effects of CBD may include nausea, tiredness and irritability, and it may interact with some medications, such as warfarin.
Because CBD is currently marketed as a supplement, it is not regulated for safety and purity. Which means you cannot be sure if the product you are buying does contain CBD at the dosage listed, or if it contains any other (unlisted) ingredients. Also, because research into CBD is scarce, nobody really knows the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any medical condition.
5 Strains for when things are straining YOU!
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