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Medical Use of Cannabis

Cannabis can be used for a wide variety of ailments, however rigorous clinical research is still relatively limited due to federal government regulations. Around the globe, however, controlled trials are taking place and more scientific information on the therapeutic effects of cannabis is being established.

Treatable Conditions

  • Alzheimer's Disease: reduce agitation and nighttime tossing and turning, stimulate weight gain.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: slow disease progression; reduce pain, appetite loss, depression, drooling.
  • Chronic Pain: reduce nerve-related (neuropathic) pain, allow opioid treatment at lower doses.
  • Diabetes Mellitus: slow disease progression, protect from eye disease, reduce neuropathic (nerve) pain, reduce symptoms of heart-muscle disease (cardiomyopathy).
  • Dystonia: reduce muscle tension and involuntary, painful muscle contractions.
  • Fibromyalgia: reduce pain and muscle stiffness, improve sleep quality.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: reduce cramping, abdominal pain, acid reflux, intestinal secretion, disease activity.
  • Glaucoma: reduce intraocular (eye) pressure. Gliomas/Cancer: inhibit tumor growth, reduce nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy.
  • HIV/AIDS: reduce neuropathic pain, anxiety, nausea, appetite and weight loss.
  • Incontinence: improve bladder control, reduce bladder inflammation/overactivity.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: reduce pain, spasticity, depression, fatigue, incontinence.
  • Parkinson's Disease: alleviate L-dopa induced dyskinesias (LID), reduce tremor, rigidity and psychosis symptoms.
  • Pruritus: reduce itching in conditions such as kidney and liver diseases.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: reduce joint pain and swelling, suppress joint destruction and disease worsening.
  • Insomnia: induce sleep and/or improve sleep quality.
  • Tourette's Syndrome: improvement of tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Active Compounds

Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), Terpenoids.There may be more than 60 other cannabinoids and more than 200 terpenoids in cannabis.

How this Medicine is Supplied

Cannabis comes in various forms: dried plant material (“buds”, tea leaves), concentrate (hash, “wax”, tincture, oil, capsules), topical salve, edible (including drinks).

Do Not Use this Medicine if:

  • You are allergic to any cannabinoid or terpenoid.
  • You have a history of serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia or severe depression.
  • You are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. In addition to the risk of smoking, the use of cannabis when you are pregnant may be a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome. Uterine exposure to cannabis may also cause behavioral (attention) problems in the child.
  • You are nursing.
  • You have Hepatitis C.
  • Important: there may be other conditions where this product should not be used but which are unknown due to limited scientific information.

Before Using this Medicine, Always Talk to Your Physician if:

  • You have heart disease.
  • You have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other disease of the airways.
  • You have a history of alcohol abuse or dependenceYou have a history of drug abuse or dependence.
  • You have a history of a serious mental disorder.

How to Use This Medicine

Use this medicine as directed by your doctor. Dosage and frequency of administration will vary according to route of administration (smoke, vaporization, ingestion, skin), percentage of therapeutic ingredients, and other medicines taken. Ask your doctor or dispensary to explain what dosage, mode of consumption, and frequency is best for you. Remember that concentrates have higher dosages per weight of medicine than other forms. Make sure you give the medicine sufficient time to take effect. This is especially important with the edible form of cannabis where therapeutic effect may take up to 1-2 hours before taking effect. Eating too much medicine too fast may cause unwanted side effects. Use this medicine only for the length of time recommended by your doctor. It is not recommended to use this medicine in combination with tobacco.

Important Safety Information About This Medicine

  • If you have not consumed cannabis before, it would be prudent to have someone with you the first time you use it. It is important to start by using small quantities. Stop if you begin to feel confused or agitated.
  • After you stop using cannabis, it remains in your system for several weeks to months. Therefore, during this time, tests that screen for cannabis may be positive.
  • Cannabis may inhibit your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. This can last up to 24 hours after consuming.
  • Cannabis may interact with several drugs. Tell your doctor which prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products you are currently taking, particularly:

1. any drugs that slow down the central nervous system, causing drowsiness. This may include sleeping pills, tranquilizers, some pain medications, some antihistamines or cold medications or seizure medications, and cannabis

2. when using antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Possible Side Effects of This Medicine
From Initial use:

  • 1. When you first start consuming cannabis, you may experience mood reactions such as euphoria, relaxation, time-distortion, perception of enhanced sensory experiences, loss of inhibitions, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, amnesia, delusions or hallucinations.
  • 2. Fast heartbeat; this may be more of a problem if you have heart disease.
  • 3. Facial flushing or red eyes, dry mouth, headache.
  • 4. Right after consuming cannabis you may get dizzy or feel faint when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Try getting up more slowly. If lying down, sit on the edge of the bed and let your feet dangle for 1 to 2 minutes, then stand up slowly.

From Long-term use:

  • 1. Wheezing or a chronic cough, if the medicine is smoked.
  • 2. May impair short-term memory attention and concentration. These effects usually disappear after you stop using cannabis.

If Overdose Is Suspected

It is possible that the above mentioned side effects occur. Usually these will resolve themselves within a short period of time when medication is stopped. Often fresh air, staying hydrated and eating will help. Contact your doctor immediately if symptoms persist.

Proper Storage of This Medicine

Store in a tightly closed, opaque, child proof container, in a cool, safe and secure place. Store away from heat, moisture and light.

General Information

  • If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, collective consultant or other health care provider.
  • This medicine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is recommended. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your collective consultant about how to dispose of unused medicine.
  • This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about this medicine.
  • Keep this medicine out of reach of children and pets.

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