Today is a fascinating time with the emergence of new science in the field of medical cannabis.  Two of the plant’s most exciting features are its extreme low toxicity, as well as its broad effectiveness for many different types of medical conditions.  How is it that cannabis can help such a wide range of symptoms and health issues ranging from PTSD to cancer and arthritis, MS to Crohn’s disease and epilepsy, as well as insomnia, pain and muscle spasm?  The answer lies in our body’s endocannabinoid system, which acts like the internet of our body to help cells coordinate our immune response.   The endocannabinoid system helps our body organize itself by helping cells communicate better to create physiologic balance.acc-feature-cancer-patient

Unlike conventional drugs which can have very serious toxicity issues for patients, cannabis possesses very low toxicity.  Cannabis is far less toxic than aspirin or Tylenol for example.  No patient or recreational user has ever died from an overdose of cannabis.  In fact, cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever, which makes it an excellent option for folks who have chronic pain and are on long-term medications such as opiates.  Emerging science shows that folks using medical cannabis for their chronic conditions actually are able to reduce the amount of their more toxic medications.

Medical cannabis patients in chronic pain can use cannabis together along with their opiate based painkillers, and cannabis has the special ability to help pain medications work more effectively without adding toxic risk.  This translates to fewer accidental deaths from prescription medications.  In fact, states with legal medical cannabis show a 25% reduction in accidental opiate prescription deaths.  The low toxicity of cannabis can save lives by reducing patient dependence on more toxic medications.  This is an intelligent approach to medicine and allows patients to safely control their pain and reduce their risk of toxicity to the liver, stomach, and kidneys.

medmarijuanaNot all cannabis is the same, in fact there are more different types of cannabis than there are types of dogs.  The reduced psychoactivity of CBD-rich cannabis strains for example, makes these strains a terrific treatment option for patients seeking pain relief, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-spasm effects of cannabis without the sedation or head-high of other types.

Medical cannabis patients do not have to get high to experience pain relief, nor do they have to smoke cannabis to use it as medicine.  Delivery methods besides smoking include topical creams, edibles, raw juiced cannabis, and vaporization.  These methods provide patients a variety of options to tailor cannabis to their own special situations.

The healing power of cannabis gives patients a low-toxic alternative for many of their chronic medical conditions.  Because of its complexity, a proper medical cannabis recommendation requires more than just a few minutes of a doctor’s time, and includes information on cannabinoid content, strain selection, and delivery methods. If you’re not getting this information from your doctor, you’re not getting a real cannabis consultation and are missing information on the full value and healing potential of the plant.

70-DrJake-Office20110408-2197Yours in health – Dr. Jake Felice, ND, LMP

Seattle and Woodinville, WA