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Indica vs. Sativa

There are two main strains of cannabis: indica and sativa. Both strains can be used for medical and recreational purposes. Selecting the appropriate strain of cannabis is an important question to consider when determining how you will consume cannabis. 

Sativa cannabis is known for its energizing effects that can be used to treat anxiety, reduce stress and enhance creativity and focus. Indica is known for its ability to increase relaxation and can help aid in reducing insomnia. 

Strains of Cannabis

When determining the plant that will meet your needs, selecting specific strains can be more helpful than the broader indica and sativa descriptions. Strains are often distinguished by their individual cannabinoid and terpene levels, which is the plant content that determines a strain’s overall effect. 

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

A cannabis plant is comprised of many naturally occurring chemical compounds called cannabinoids, that are responsible for both the positive and negative effects of cannabis use. The two main cannabinoids identified and understood by the scientific community are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis plants, from which the “high” or euphoria is derived when using cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not generate the same “high” feeling as THC. Nonetheless, its physical benefits include reduced pain and nausea, seizure prevention and migraine relief. Although less commonly analyzed than Cannabinoids, levels of Terpenes in the strain of cannabis are also impactful on the overall effect of consumption. 

Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that affect the plants smell directly, as well as their overall effects. For example, a common terpene Bisabolol is known to reduce inflammation and irritation, whereas linalool can improve relaxation and boost mood levels. Both cannabinoids and terpenes should be considered when selecting the right strain for your use. Nonetheless, the broader Indica vs. Sativa levels remains very helpful as an initial starting point for understanding how to consume cannabis to effectively optimize the effects you are looking for. 

Deep Dive into Sativa: 

Cannabis sativa originates in primarily hot, dry climates. Sativa plants are tall and thin with finger-like leaves. The plants can grow taller than 12 feet. In general, sativa plants have lower doses of CBD and higher levels of THC. Sativa is known for is energizing and anxiety-reducing effects. Sativa strains may enhance productivity and creativity. Due to its stimulating effects, sativa is recommended to be used in the evenings. 

Deep Dive into Indica:

Cannabis indica originates in the Middle East, in harsh and dry climates. Indica plants are short and stocky with bushy greenery and chunky leaves. The plant produces more buds than Sativa. Indica strains have higher levels of CBD and less THC. It is known for its relaxing effects, and ability to reduce nausea, pain, and increased appetite. As indica is known to result in deep relaxation, it is recommended to be used in the evening. 

Deep Dive into Hybrids:

There are also hybrid strains, which are grown in greenhouses or farms, that have a combination of sativa and indica strains. Hybrid plants are selected by producers for their unique impacts. For example, they can be grown to increase the THC percentage. Hybrids are typically classified as either sativa-dominant, indica-dominant, or balanced. 

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How much are Canadians Spending on Cannabis

Canadian Spend on Legal Cannabis in on the Rise.

According to a report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, in  2018, Canada’s spend on legal weed between 2017 and 2018 increased by almost a two-fold from $755 million to $1.6 Billion. Canadians continue to purchase weed from the black market. Stats Can be determined that Canadians spent $5.7 billion on weed in 2017. Nonetheless, as of 2018, Canada is now the third-largest consumer of legal marijuana in the world. 

As legalization overtakes the black market, Canada’s legal weed market is projected to hit $7.8 billion in 2022. In five years since legalization, Canada will become the top legal weed consumer globally and will surpass California. 

Although recreational cannabis will continue to dominate the sales of medical marijuana, by 2022, sales for medical use will be approximately $1.5 billion. Cannabis consumption per capita is also increasing in Canada. In 2018, the figure was 25 percent, up by 4 percent in 2017. 

In 2019, the most significant factor of legal cannabis consumption is the opening of retail shops that match supply with demand. At the beginning of 2019, Ontario opened 25 privately-owned retail stores, by owners whose licenses were granted on a lottery-basis. In Downtown Toronto, there are four private cannabis retailers, whose shops continue to have customers lined up down the street to access their product. Although the 25-store cap was instituted to manage a nation-wide supply glut, it is going to be lifted. 

Currently, the black market for weed sales is nearly double in North American then the legal market. However, as supply issues are addressed, and Canada’s regulators determine appropriate distribution, testing, marketing, and packaging laws, amongst others, the share of legal weed will inevitably increase. 

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HOW TO MAKE CANNABIS BROWNIES

Consuming Cannabis:

Medical cannabis can be enjoyed responsibly beyond traditional vaporizing and smoking methods. In fact, marijuana can be consumed in the form of edibles, and can be quite delicious, such as a cannabis brownie! Edibles offer cannabis users the opportunity to enjoy the effects of THC without having to learn to smoke or inhale marijuana.

 

Determining your Dosage:

Before consuming edibles, it is important to know that the effects of THC on your body will be different when it is eaten, versus smoked or vaped. This is because, unlike traditional inhaling methods, when consumed, the body metabolizes THC in a different way. For example, the length of time it takes to become high, and how long you feel the effects of the marijuana, will be dependent on your body’s metabolism, and factors such as how much food you have eaten that day. Given the inherent differences between consumption and inhalation of cannabis, it is recommended that you start slow when consuming brownies (or any other form of marijuana edibles) to determine an appropriate dose.

 

Indica or Sativa Brownies?

Like smoking or vaping cannabis, the strain of marijuana will also impact the effects of the edibles in which you consume. For example, an Indica-dominant strain will offer more of a relaxed and couch-ridden feel, whereas a Sativa-dominant strain will give you more of an energetic feeling.

 

Making your Brownies:

Before diving into making your first batch of cannabis brownies, you first have to decide whether you will make your brownies from a box (like Betty Crocker), or from scratch, at home. For the highest quality experience, we recommend that you make your brownies from scratch. We further recommend that you use a cannabis-butter, as opposed to an oil, for the most optimal tasting product.

 

The next obvious question, is how much weed for the weed butter? As the intended goal is to achieve the euphoric feeling from THC, without overdoing it, we recommend using half standard butter, and half weed butter. For example, if the recipe calls for ½ cup of butter, use ¼ of weed butter, and ¼ of standard butter.

 

Ingredients required for weed butter

  • 1 pound of unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce of ground marijuana
  • 3 cups of water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass dish

 

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of weed butter
  • 1/3 cup of traditional unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease a cooking pan with a cooking spray or oil
  3. Mix cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and set aside
  4. Melt butter (both cannabis-infused and standard) into a saucepan until it is melted. Do NOT let it boil.
  5. Mix sugar and vanilla extract into melted butter
  6. Add sugar-vanilla-butter mix into the mixing bowl of dry ingredients, with the 2 eggs
  7. Beat the mixture in the mixing bowl until it is of a velvety and smooth consistency
  8. Pour the brownie into your baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes
  9. Allow brownies to cool
  10. Ding! Your brownies are ready to enjoy. Serve and consume responsibly.

 

I hope you enjoyed our best practice recommendations for cannabis brownies.

 

If you or someone you know is looking to be prescribed for medical cannabis, feel free to reach out via phone (1-844-312-5143) or email (associates@medmc.ca).

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The Great Outdoors: Hiking with Cannabis

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the ground is ready to be walked on. Summer is the time for explorers and adventurers to get outside and get back to where they feel comfortable. What’s a better way to relax outdoors than to bring some cannabis along with you on a hike through nature? Here, we’ll look at some tips and tricks on how to make the most of any hike, while using cannabis to enhance it even further.

A tip that bodes well with all travellers and explorers would be to bring extra water. Hiking, especially uphill at times, can be very taxing on one’s body. This is more true for when you’re in a hot or humid environment. Not only is this beneficial to stay hydrated, but cannabis can also make your mouth much drier, depending on the strain. To add to this, it’s also important to know your route and track where you’ve been. There have been too many times where I’ve been hiking in what seems like a small area, and I’ve gotten lost for quite some time. In these cases, water also helps a ton!

When adventuring, it’s important to travel light and be portable. This also includes your cannabis as well. It’s much easier and lighter to bring something small and compact like a joint or vaporizer, than a bong. It’s also more discreet if that’s the route you’re trying to take.

One thing to keep in mind while hiking with cannabis is to be respectful of your surroundings. This includes people, animals, and the environment around you. It’s important to leave others room to enjoy the space they’re hiking in too, so don’t be sitting in the middle of a commonly-walked path, smoking a joint. Instead, find a rock, log, or area large enough for everyone off the path and make yourselves comfy. Being respectful to animals means not blowing smoke in close proximity to them, including your own pets.

Respecting your environment occurs when you pick up after yourself, including bringing with you any litter like leftover joints. This also includes stomping out any burning materials before they can harm or injure the people or wildlife around you. Staying conscious of the environment around you is key because you don’t want to be risking a forest fire in a dry forest by lighting up and disposing of a joint that’s still lit.

If you or anyone you know is in need of a cannabis prescription, let us know via phone (1-844-312-5143) or email (associates@medmc.ca)!

Happy Hiking!

 

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How to Protect Your Cannabis

The stigma around cannabis has reduced significantly in Canada since its official legalization in 2001. Cannabis now, for the most part, is accepted as a legitimate form of medication. Many people who are skeptical about trying cannabis are worried about how they can keep their medication away from children, animals, and other sticky fingers who think its the same as recreational cannabis.

The good news is this article gives you tips and tricks how you can keep your cannabis safe, whether it’s in a prescription bottle purchased from a licensed producer, your homemade edibles, or even being grown outdoors!

When you order cannabis from a Licensed Producer, even if it’s in the form of dried flower, oil, or capsules, it will always be contained in a child-proof medicine container. These hard-to-open bottles have been proven to effectively keep young children away from cannabis. Many patients also choose to use mason jars with rubber-sealed lids. Many containers are scent-proof, as well! This is a great alternative for those who are worried about others accessing their cannabis because many Licensed Producers are now providing your prescription labels separately so that you can attach them onto any storage container that you prefer. 

This can be especially useful to prevent pets from being tempted by the smell. STASHLOGIX has perfected the medicine bag design, with lots of spots to organize your cannabis, as well as accessories inside. It even has a lock to keep everyone out. 

Another way to ensure that your cannabis is safe from children and pets is to store your homemade edibles as securely as you would the rest of your medication. This could mean having them in a plastic container that’s stored in a locked medicine bag in your fridge or cupboard so that you can keep them edible while also remaining secure. It’s also important to note that you don’t want to be leaving any tools used while baking lying around with cannabis on them for children or pets to seek out and consume. Whether you just baked some delicious caramel blondies and there’s still crust baked onto the tin, or whether it’s the pot you used to make butter sitting out, make sure you wash these products right away to avoid any unnecessary trips to the hospital or veterinarian!

A large part of growing cannabis is the fear that it might be seen or smelled by intruders, whether that be animals or humans. One of the biggest tips in the industry is “no tell, no smell, no sell.” This means that the best way to prevent anyone knowing about your cannabis growing (thus, preventing it from being stolen) would be not to tell anyone about it, to prevent the smell from travelling, and not to sell it to anyone. I personally know of cases where patients growing their own medical cannabis have only told a few close friends that they were growing, and the next thing they know, their entire crop is gone. This is why it’s so important, in most cases, to stay discreet about the fact that you’re growing cannabis. A good way to ensure your cannabis growing outdoors remains scent-proof is to keep your plants out of sight. It is always important to prevent your plants from being harmed or stolen. This can be done by camouflaging them with tomato plants and large flowers. 

Another great tip for hiding plants is to have very pungent herbs in your garden. The scents from herbs can both hide your cannabis plants and prevent the smell from being recognized to passersby. Another less helpful tip, but one that’s worth bringing up, is knowing which strains grow to be a short or tall length. We recommend doing some research before you start growing so that you can determine what strain variety is best for you! 

If you or anyone you know is interested in obtaining a cannabis prescription to order from producers or grow your own, feel free to contact us via email (associates@medmc.ca) or phone (1-844-312-5143)! 

By: Bryar Pace

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How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System?

You’ve just started a new job and you quickly find out that your employer partakes in random drug testing, but you rely on your cannabis to get you through the day without pain, anxiety, and pain. 

Because of this, it’s important to know how long cannabis will affect you and how long it can stay in your system. That way, you can keep your job and your treatment going without any hiccups.

There are tons of answers online stating how long cannabis will stay in your system and it’s difficult to understand why the times vary so much. The bottom line is the duration is different for everyone but this article will help you narrow that down!

One of the major factors that affect how long you’ll be affected is the way in which you consume cannabis. Inhalation (which includes smoking and vaporizing) and ingestion (which includes oil, capsules, or homemade edibles) affect you and how long the effects will last differently. 

Inhalation typically affects people instantly and can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. Whereas ingesting cannabis can take effect within 30 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you metabolize, what you ate prior, your body mass and more. The high from ingesting cannabis can also last anywhere from 4-8 hours. 

However, these effects can last shorter or longer depending on a few other factors. These are good to be aware of in case you plan on driving after or heading to work. The first of those factors is the THC content of the strain. A quick rule of thumb is the higher the THC content, the “higher” you’ll feel and the longer you’ll typically feel the effects. Another factor involved is one’s body fat content. THC will often attach itself to the fat in foods, like yogurt or cheese, causing people to feel the effects of cannabis longer. It actually reacts the same in the human body when it comes to one’s fat content, heavily involving one’s metabolism as a large part in the process.

Along with body fat content and metabolism comes to exercise. Exercising regularly can help reduce the risk of THC coming up in a drug test. This is due to the fact that fat loss while exercising can have the potential to rid of any fatty tissue that THC may have attached itself to, as well as burn off the cannabinoids that may be sticking around in the body. One of the biggest contributors to exercise as a whole is hydration. It can help when it comes to cannabis and drug tests because becoming dehydrated means that there will be less water in your blood or urine, which can increase the concentration of cannabinoids in those fluids. This is unwanted because there will be a greater chance that those traces of cannabinoids from cannabis will be detected.

Another factor that will greatly affect whether you’ll test positive in a drug test is how often you ingest cannabis. If you’re an avid user and have been for years, it’ll take much longer, sometimes around 5 weeks, for all traces and by-products to be eliminated in your system. This varies greatly with someone who only partakes on occasion, who might lose all traces of cannabis within 10 days.

Now that you know more about how THC and cannabinoids metabolize in your system, it’s easier to figure out which methods of drug testing might bring up traces of cannabis after you’ve consumed it. 

  1. Urine Test 

The first method and most common option is a urine test, or “urinalysis”. This will typically recognize cannabis consumed within the last 7 days. However, a note of warning, if you smoke frequently, it might show for as long as 3 months. 

  1. Blood Testing 

Another method is blood testing, which can detect cannabis use within 2 to 7 days for regular users but might only recognize cannabis consumed with 24 hours for the occasional user. This varying time frame is why workplaces often test using blood.

  1. Hair Follicles 

Another method of testing for cannabis is through hair follicles. This can be a very effective way of testing for cannabis because it can pick up someone with an active use for months after consumption, even if they’ve stopped use after that. However, it isn’t as effective with users who consume on occasion.  

  1. Saliva 

The final method of testing for cannabis is with saliva. Saliva drug testing will pick up cannabis use within the last 4-6 hours. This is what’s commonly used by law enforcement when someone is pulled over.

When driving, it’s important to know that generic lengths of time have been quoted for how long cannabis might last in your system, but it’s important to know that you should not be working, driving, or operating machinery if you still feel impaired in any way. It’s also good to note that the only surefire way of definitely passing a drug test is to abstain from cannabis use altogether.

To find out about laws relating to drug-testing or roadside testing in your area, contact the drug-related branch of your local law enforcement.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Edibles

At MMC, we do not want you to feel like cannabis dosing or choice of consumption should feel scary, intimidating or out-right foreign. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you are new to edibles, we want to make sure that your first experience is successful. 

Below is a five-step guide that will walk you through the fundamentals of dosing cannabis edibles. 

1. Read the Package Dosing Guidelines Carefully  

Don’t consume an edible blindly, although you can’t die from cannabis you still want to be able to function. The best way to learn your gage is to start low, we recommend 5 mg. As a rule of thumb the legal market gauges THC/CBD content in terms of milligrams. 

Cannabis edibles are often found in the following dose intervals: 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg. A “standard dose” is considered to be 10 mg, but someone new to cannabis may have a low-tolerance and we recommend starting with half of that. 

Our veteran and medical patients tend to need higher doses because they use cannabis as medicine, but despite what category you fall into we recommend starting low and building up. 

Micro-dosing is always another option, which is when you take 3-7mg’s at a time so that you don’t feel ‘high’. This method is used to gently stimulate the body which can improve mood, focus, appetite, and creativity. Some medical patients state that micro-dosing is the most effective method to alleviate their symptoms. 

2. Factor in Your Tolerance 

Once you have figured out what your tolerance is, stick to it. If you want to try more do it in smaller batches. Don’t try to “keep up” with more experienced consumers. Experienced, high-tolerance consumers not only need a higher dose to achieve desired effects, they also tend to be a lot more resilient to THC-induced side effects. If you have a low THC tolerance you can experience negative side effects like paranoia, anxiety, and dizziness—which is not fun.  

3. Be Patient and Excersise Restraint

It takes about 30-50 minutes for the edible to kick in depending on various factors including how you metabolize food. Wait this amount of time before you take anymore and write down somewhere how much you took so you know what to take next time.

It is super important that you wait for the edible to kick in before you take any more—especially when you are consuming edibles that do not have any cannabis taste. It can take up to 12 hours for the effects of edibles to leave the body if you consume too much, so it is important to keep this in mind the next time you start snacking on tasteless edibles. 

Waiting out the edible increases the likelihood that you’ll have a positive and in-control experience with cannabis. As stated above,  body fat and metabolism vary between individuals and it’s hard to determine when an edible will kick in. It could be 30 minutes later, or it could take over two hours. 

4. Consider What You Have Eaten Prior 

Before you consume an edible you should consider how much you’ve eaten and what you’ve had to drink. An empty stomach means your edible may kick in more swiftly, and if this is the case, maybe think about starting with half a dose.

Another thing to keep in mind is how much alcohol you’ve had to drink. Alcohol can increase THC blood concentration significantly, so dose modestly if you plan on mixing the two!

5. Enjoy Edibles in a Comfortable Place 

Edibles are great because they are portable and discreet but for people who are new to edibles you want to ensure that you are eating and enjoying them in a comfortable setting. 

If you are going to try a larger dose it’s best that you try it at home and among familiar faces. It’s always a good idea to have your best friend or partner there with you, especially if it’s your first time. The presence of a loved one helps keep any anxiety-related side effects at bay.

If you do become uncomfortably high despite following these guidelines, don’t panic! 

Read Leafly’s 8 Ways to Counteract a Too-Intense Cannabis High, and know that trial-and-error is often an integral part of finding that perfect experience! 

Contact MMC today for more info on how you can obtain a medical cannabis license! associates@medmc.ca or 1 (844) 312-5143 

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