Medical Marijuana Council

January 21, 2011

The Medical Marijuana Council provides a great deal of information on medical marijuana and studies that have been done regarding marijuana and it's effectiveness and safety with regard to various illnesses.  Most all information they provide is in layperson terms and is extrapolated from scientific studies to help the patient who is considering medical marijuana make a decision. 

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Medical Marijuana Doctor Inquiry

Blog posts : "dispensaries"

Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis Differences

April 14, 2010

When you visit a medical marijuana dispensary the budtender will typically ask if you prefer an indica, sativa, or hybrid.  This question is referring to the different species of marijuana.  Beyond the species are different strains of marijuana which you can find more information on a large variety of marijuana strains by visiting our "Meds" page.

An indica species is often associated with the terms "couch lock", and "buzzed", and considered a medication felt more on the body.  Meaning it puts the patient  into a very relaxed, sedated state, and will often aid with sleep.  Many patients prefer indica strains at the end of the day, as indica often results in an increased appetite, and the ability to relax and unwind, and to also aid with anxiety, and sleep.  An indica strain of marijuana is considered to be more felt on the overall body. Everyone is different however, and of course it depends on the specific indica strain as to the amount of THC and CBD in the strain.  There are patients who prefer indica strains throughout the day to aid them with high levels of anxiety, and can function normally.  There are other patients who only prefer indica at the end of the day. 

A sativa species is often described as a "giggly heady" medication that is considered more of a "heady" medication.   Meaning it tends to uplift your mood and send your mind into a thought provoking  mode, and also sometimes increasing the level of communication.  Sativa is often preferred by patients who are looking for an uplifting thought provoking medication.  Some patients claim sativa strains give them energy and help them focus.  Artists and musicians have often claimed that marijuana enhanced their creative energy, and the species that would likely aid in this circumstance would be the sativa strain.  Many patients prefer sativa during the day. 

As with many medications there are patients who claim the opposite affects.  For instance that on a sativa tend they to become very relaxed and experience the "couch lock" description that is often associated with indica, and that they tend to be focused and energetic on an indica strain.  Just like with other medications, the affect depends on the person.  Some drugs such as Benadryl will knock some people out, and yet make other people hyper.  

Today, most marijuana is a combination of a sativa and indica species and is referred to as a "hybrid".  You can always visit our "meds" page to find out more information on hybrids and the percentage of indica and sativa. 

There is another specifies of marijuana that is not readily available called the "ruderalis" species.  Ruderalis is not typically found in the medical marijuana industry as the THC level is found to be lower.  Ruderalis has been crossed with sativa and indica however will result in lower THC. 

Below is more information on each species of marijuana.

Cannabis Sativa: Cannabis Sativa is a marijuana variety that likely originated in the Himalayan lowlands. The Sativa species is the tallest of the three cannabis species with outdoor plants reaching a height of 20 to 25 feet in height. Sativa is also less bushy than indica and can be grown closer together. Due to the height of this species, sativa has been utilized for its longer fibers since man began to cultivate it. Sativa is now cultivated all around the world.

Cannabis VarietiesTHC from the sativa plant is generally lower when compared to the indica species while CBD is higher. This results in a sativa that produces a heady or more energetic high. The yield of the sativa plant is less than that of the indica plant. This is mostly due to the tall and spindly nature of the Cannabis Sativa species. Sativa also takes more time to mature and is best suited for growing outdoors.

Many strains of sativa have been developed for indoor growing as well as having been combined with indica strains in order to create new strains with more desired characteristics such as a greater yield and bushier plants.

Cannabis Indica: Cannabis Indica is a marijuana variety that likely originated in the Himalayan highlands. Indica is the bushiest of the three marijuana species and is in the middle of the three cannabis species when it comes to height. Plants grown outdoors will rarely exceed ten feet in height.

The increased THC and decreased CBD in the indica species results in a much heavier stone that has more of a body high when compared to sativa. The yield of indica is greater than the sativa plant and it takes less time reach maturity.

Cannabis Ruderalis: First discovered in Eastern Europe (central Russia) by Russian botanist D.E. Janichevsky, this very short cannabis variety is known for its ability to grow in colder, harsher climates and its ability to switch from vegetative growth to flowering once it has grown 5 to 7 sets of leaves. What this means is that this plant can flower regardless of a change in light due to a shorter day.

This plant grows only 24 inches tall at most. Certain breeders have created new cannabis varieties crossing ruderalis with indica and sativa in order to create a heavy budding plant that will grow in harsher conditions. Cannabis varieties crossed with ruderalis result in a lower THC count, however, the plants are shorter and mature quicker.

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Marijuana Registry Notice

April 10, 2010

The Colorado Marijuana Registry updated it's web page.  Below is a new notice they posted: 

Registry Home

ATTENTION MEDICAL MARIJUANA REGISTRY CUSTOMERS:

DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF APPLICATIONS, THE OFFICE OF VITAL RECORDS WILL NO LONGER:

1) REVIEW APPLICATIONS
2) ISSUE RECEIPTS
3) ANSWER QUESTIONS AT WINDOW

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Vaporizing Marijuana

April 6, 2010

So you want to learn about vaporizing marijuana?  How does it work?  Why would I vaporize?  There are several reasons people choose to vaporize, but first let's explain how a vaporizer works.  Vaporizers gently heat the plant material to release the marijuana's active ingredients - THC and CBN.  When heated to the IDEAL temperature range of 356 - 392 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant releases the THC and CBN without burning the plant and creating smoke, but rather creates a thin mist or vapor that is ready to be inhaled.  392 degrees F is the boiling point of THC.  Higher temperatures are achieved by burning marijuana such as smoking a joint, which destroys some of the THC.  This is why vaporizing is more potent.  Many marijuana smokers will set their vaporizer to "420" degrees F, however this is not the ideal temperature.   Generally marijuana tastes better (depending on your taste) sometimes it takes getting used to.  It is easier on the lungs, less harsh on the throat, and a little bit goes a long way.  Smoking marijuana with a flame can generate temperatures of over 1200 degrees, so you are inhaling a bunch of stuff you don't need to be inhaling, like the leaves of the plant and a lot more carcinogenic toxins.  When vaporizing, you are mostly releasing only the active elements you want.  The plant material when done is browned.  Vaporizing is a much healthier choice than smoking as you get very minimal tar, or other "in-active" ingredients.  Marijuana has hundreds of different ingredients which have no effect.  There is no reason to be inhaling these.  Vapor is not smoke.  Cannabis vapor is more potent than smoke.  Many say that vaporizers give a different effect then traditional smoking, a more clear, healthy pronounced effect. Some of the BETTER vaporizers are pictured.

The Volcano Vaporizer is considered one of the better vaporizers.  The cost is around $500.

There are a couple of Different Types of Heating Methods

Direct/Conduction Heating:  The classic glass dome type vaporizer, which works by placing your ground herb on a small metal plate which then heats up to the desired temperature.  (when grinding the herb make sure it is in small chunks, not ground to a powder)  The reason this is called direct hearing is because the herb is placed "directly" on the heating element.  This method is not as desirable, since the herb touches the heating element, it can burn and produce a gross "burnt popcorn" like taste.  This method is not as efficient also, sometimes not vaporizing the herb completely.  This style of vaporizer has been in use since the 1970's.  

Indirect/Convectional Heating:  This is the superior method for vaporizing herb.  Your marijuana will never directly touch the heating element, instead, direct hot air is passed over it releasing the good stuff.  Since it heats evenly, you stand a much greater chance of completely vaporizing your marijuana, increasing the efficiency and effect.   It is advisable to look for a ceramic heating plate, rather than metal, as the metal seems to put of by-products and smells like a soldering iron.

Vapor Delivery Systems

Stored Vapor:  Using this method of delivery, the vaporizer creates the vapor, then stores it in a glass dome or balloon style bag for consumption when ready.  The glass doe types don't provide the volume to store a "big hit".  The bag type however is able to accommodate large amounts of vapor, packing a nice punch!


Pictured above is the Arizer V-Tower Extreme, which includes a remote control.  The heating element is ceramic.  It comes with the bag, and food/medical grade plastic whip with detachable mouthpieces.  Wherever possible the strongest high quality glass is used.  Glass is inert - toxin free.  Some other vaporizers use metal, wood, plastics and teflon.  (although the outside is metal this does not come in contact with the heating element, and is insulated with non-toxic material).  The V-Tower Extreme vaporizer runs approximately $300. 

Direct Lung Delivery: When you inhale from this type of vaporizer, the hot air passes through the herb, sending the vapor directly into your lungs.  This method allows for much larger hits because you don't need to store the vapor, limiting the size of the hit.  The more you inhale, the more you take in (provided there is marijuana left to vaporize).  Another positive is the clean, fresh tasting vapor.  Some models have a built in fan to get a higher volume of air moving into your lungs.

Marijuana is not the only herb you can inhale from a vaporizer.  You can use dried herbs from a garden or purchase them from homeopathic stores, an herbalist or online stores. Sage is used to help people suffering from insomnia. Eucalyptus clears the sinuses.  Jasmine and lemon offers a pick-me-up of energy and mood. Lavender and chamomile is  good to reduce stress and relax. Rosemary and sandalwood help fight depressive feelings. These are just a few common herbs used with vaporizers.  An herbal expert can help you create a blend that may be ideal for specific conditions such as a Ylang Ylang, sandalwood, lavender and rosemary blend that reduces stress and helps with depressive moods.

Why not vaporize?  Some vaporizers take as long as 9 minutes to heat up.  Vaporizers can be expensive. (however there are cost savings as you don't need to use as much herb to medicate since it is more potent).   Vaporizers are not as covert.  Vaporizers are not typically as portable.  Although there are portable vaporizers they are often the longest in terms of time to  heat up.

Vaporizers range in price from $50 for portable hand held pipe looking vaporizers to over $500 for the larger clunkier models.

The iolite vaporizer is a portable (it can fit in your pocket), and runs off butane (which is in a separate chamber).  We haven't tried this vaporizer yet, however have heard good things, therefore it is our present choice for portable vaporizers. The manufacturer of the iolite has been producing butane products in Ireland for decades plus it has a 2 year warranty.  It may take a little longer to heat up, but that is a trade off for the portability.  We're told typically 7-9 minutes.

If you use a marijuana vaporizer please feel free to comment on the brand you use and your likes and dislikes! 

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Marijuana Health Facts

Hemp Car & Hemp Building

Marijuana Parody

Prohibition Effects

Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer

History of Marijuana

History of Marijuana II