Canada Marijuana Prescription – Introduction
Thousands of Canadians are federally licensed to possess and use medical marijuana anywhere in Canada. It is proven to be a safe, virtually side effect free alternative to all pharmaceuticals. If you are new to medical marijuana, the only way to legally protect yourself from possession charges is through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) which came into effect on August 24th 2016. In this article we will outline the 4 steps to acquiring and using your Canada Marijuana Prescription.
Canada Marijuana Prescription – Step 1: Make sure you qualify
The first step in this process is to consult with a physician to make sure that medical marijuana is a safe option for you. I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve done the research and medical marijuana is completely safe.” While it is true that there has never been a documented case of death due to marijuana overdose and the biggest risk of overdose is potentially falling asleep, marijuana may not be advisable for certain patients.
Patients that have a history of substance abuse and/or addiction are not well suited to use marijuana as they may form a habitual addiction (not chemical) and will need to address the underlying psychological issue before including medical marijuana into their therapy.
Patients who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia and a few other mental disorders may trigger this genetic expression with the use of marijuana and are not advised to use marijuana in in their therapy.
Teens under the age of 16 are not advised to use marijuana since their brains are still in a very active state of development and an artificial coping mechanism may be created with the use of marijuana that will present risks of a habitual addiction as well.
Patients with certain respiratory conditions may not be able to consume medical marijuana through smoking or vaporizing and therefore are not well suited. Ingestion is an alternative form of consumption for these patients but unfortunately Health Canada has restricted the production of edibles or any other form of processed medicine which presents an issue for these patients. When you consult with your physician they’ll run through all of these exceptions to make sure that your safety comes first.
Canada Marijuana Prescription – Step 2: Determine your dosage.
Your physician will help you determine what dosage you’ll need for your prescription. The average dosage according to Health Canada is 1-3 grams per day. We’re not sure exactly who or what they based this average on but we know that this number is not very useful since dosage will depend on several factors including, condition, symptoms, previous experience with marijuana, tolerance, strain, type, and method of consumption. For example some epileptic patients that require a constant supply of high cbd cannabis oil may consume anywhere from 80g-160g of dried marijuana. Some patients that use marijuana as a topical oil may use just as much. Some patients who require a steady dose of lower THC medicine will also require higher doses since they are consuming a weaker strain. Discussing this with an experienced physician will allow you to come up with a treatment plan that will work for you.
Canada Marijuana Prescription – Step 3: Choose a Licensed Producer
Once you have your prescription from your physician with the appropriate dosage, you must now select a licensed producer. Your prescription can only be used to register with one licensed producer. If you want to switch producers or use more than one producer to obtain unique strains you will need a new prescription for each one since Health Canada does not permit licensed producers to return your prescription to you. Choose wisely as each licensed producer has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Some have fewer strains to make selection easier on the novice but this limits variety for personal efficacy. Some have high end connoisseur strains that have specific characteristics that you might be looking for in a strain but charge higher than average prices. Some producers irradiate their product for those with vulnerable immune systems and some grow strictly organic. Some sell whole flowers/bud some sell milled and ready to roll. Some have high CBD strains and others have extremely high THC strains. Some producers offer compassion pricing for those extremely sick patients that require government assistance. To help you in your search we’ve put together a licensed producer buyers guide outlining the differences between the producers.
Canada Marijuana Prescription – Step 4: Choose your strains
There are as many strains of marijuana available as there are varieties of wine. Finding a strain that works for you is strictly trial and error. Recommendations are always a good place to start but no two people have the same biology even if they have the same condition or symptoms. Only your body can tell you if you’re getting relief from pain or if you’re able to combat insomnia. Certain strains have faster onset and others are gradual depending on your needs and preferences. Some last longer and some dissipate quicker. Some provide more psychoactive effects and some are more physical.
In the world of strain breeding breeders will create strains with specific characteristics by crossing varieties with known attributes for the desired combination. Marijuana comes in three basic species of cannabis; sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Sativa’s generally provide more of a euphoric uplifting energetic effect while indica’s provide more of a relaxed, sedative, and mellow effect. Ruderalis contains little to no THC and is usually only cross bred to introduce more preferential growing attributes such as automatic flowering or faster blooming cycles but this is more of a concern for the grower and not the consumer.
In the same way that french cooking relies on a few basic mother sauces to create all the other sauces, growers depend on original landrace genetics to create all the varieties we see today. This is why many strains share common name components such as afghani, morrocan, hindu, colombian, kush, haze, lemon, blueberry, skunk, etc. These varieties all have attributes that will appear in any strain using those genetics. Knowning which genetics you prefer will make it easier to select other varieties with those same genetics since you know they already work. If you don’t know where to start, your licensed producer will be able to guide you through the strain selection process which you can fine tune yourself over time.