Saturday, 20 May 2017

Stone City Gardens~ Dear Local Minds in Regulation


This post is to my local members of change:

MP Mark Gerretsen
MPP Sophie Kiwala
Mayor Bryan Paterson
About Kingston
Visit Kingston Soon!

I believe in putting my desires out into the universe to help them come to fruition.  So, in light of this I'd like to announce that with your help, I will have a storefront just down the street from each of you. My storefront could be beside our beloved and ever-growing Stone City Ales.  To match marketing I might call it "Stone City Gardens".

Like SCA, I too will 'produce' my commodity in the rear area of my location.  My commodity, like SCA's is rich and ripe with its own historic culture and pride.  With our Government's plans to legalize my commodity, tax-paying citizens like myself are going to start coming out of their prohibition-imposed Cannabis closets.  No more Canadians should feel the need to hide in closets!!  :-)

How many Kingstonians are illegal medicinal Cannabis users?  How many simply ingest Cannabis in place of wine or beer?  Where are they buying their product?  Is it safe to ingest?  Has it been grown without pesticides?  There is currently nothing in place to protect these people who are soon to shed their criminal skin.  Surely you can see that storefronts are necessary now if not next Spring!

While the SCA crew produce incredibly tasty craft beer ~ try the Green Goddess! ~ I will produce medical grade Cannabis and legal Cannabis derivatives in all forms.  I will offer classes and guidance to all who wish to medicate with this safe plant and this will help with Ontario's push to "denormalize smoking".  The real magic with Cannabis is happening when we eat it;  not when we smoke it.  Heck, my storefront will offer pick-your-own leaves for juicing or eating!

Who else will supply my location?  SCA offer wines and beers from other local craft businesses. What pride they must feel!  Will I be allowed to feel this pride too?  Kingston is full of green-thumbed gardening geniuses who could help supply my store.  Kingston Organics & Hydroponics is ready to supply them, local security companies are ready to secure them, all we really need is a testing facility. Kingston's Queen's University Chemical Engineering Department could break new ground by creating testing facilities that could be adopted by municipalities province and nationwide.


Stone City Ales production area >



< Stone City Gardens production area
By day I work up the street from you counseling new patients in the safe use of legal medicinal Cannabis.  My co-workers and I join the wee circle of local Cannabis educators.  Wee but growing rapidly by the way as at last count the City of Kingston now has seven locations to get legal.  My knowledge of safe ingestion methods for individual ailments is solid and growing daily as is my knowledge of the evolving legal status of this plant in Canada.  I'm perfect for the job since I'm already guiding locals at work and now weekly on CFRC Queen's Radio where I co-host "Medical Grade Canna Chat" on Thursday nights at 7pm with my counter-balance and friend MC Sinical.

We just need regulation.  There are other municipalities allowing storefronts right now.  Check out my buddy's storefront "Carter's Cannabis" in Huntsville.  They see the need for safe product and they see the benefit a successful retail outlet like a Cannabis dispensary can provide a city.

Dear local leaders, members of parliament, and Mayor Paterson, we have an airport to expand, homeless to house, and a bridge to build.   This city is changing, let's do this right!

We'll see how many times I can get this blog post shared on my social media!!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Agreeing on Cannabis


For as long as they've been together, John and Linda have agreed to disagree on the topic of Cannabis.  What Linda calls his dope;  John calls his medicine.  By now, the house wouldn't smell homey to even Linda without that faint whiff of herby skunk.

John will tell you that his blood runs green without the faintest hint of humour.  He's used Cannabis every single day since the age of 14.  At 60, he believes his body is a machine fueled by a well-oiled endocannabinoid system.  This machine has been through a lot and normal wear n' tear does not describe the damage his active life has left him with.  If he didn't smoke Cannabis he'd undoubtedly be one of the millions addicted to opioids for pain.  Thank God for Cannabis.

Linda's pain treatment has not been so successful.  She's been through the gamut of meds for pain and inflammation, never really finding relief.  Lyr!ca, Cympa!ta, so many pills.  The heating pad and a hot bath have been her comfort over the years, along with a glass of wine or two.  No matter how many times John has urged her she refuses to even try his medicine.

Last month after reading about the success others were having with Cannabis infused oil, John decided to try to smoke less but ingest his cannabinoids in other ways at every meal.  He'll tell you plain and simply that his life changed once he found The Magical Butter Machine.  The crazy thing is, Linda will tell you the same thing.

The MBM got a workout that first month with John making butter and baking edibles, making tinctures and making oils.  One night he took a cup of his freshly made Canna-Coconut oil and added some local Beeswax to it.  When it was cooled he decided to do something he never did before and offered to rub some cream on Linda's legs.  Her Fibromyalgea really made the back of her knees ache and stiffen after sitting for any length of time.  So John rubbed some on both of them, kissed Linda on the forehead as she sat reading her e-reader, and went to watch hockey downstairs.

Within twenty minutes Linda stood atop the stairs yelling down at John about how good her legs felt. She'd tried other creams but they usually warmed or cooled or numbed while this just took away the pain and stiffness.  She felt no pain but no numbness either.  Because Linda thought Cannabis was only ever smoked, it never occurred to her that the cream would be made with it until she saw John's grinning face climbing the stairs to kiss her.

"I made it in my magic machine." he said and he kissed her on the nose.

"And THAT'S what you rubbed on my legs?  Really?" squeaked Linda with a look of shock and awe on her face.  Had she been so wrong for this long?

The two made their way to the kitchen where John proudly handed Linda the little jar of light green cream and just said, "Where does it hurt my love?".

The rest as they say is history for John and Linda.  Sure, they still had pain and stiffness but now that they were ingesting their cannabinoids among healthy fats, their health is improving in ways they never imagined it would.  Biological annoyances that they once took as simply part of aging are a thing of the past now and they've even bonded over baking their edible medibles.

That plant ... she's just good for everything!




Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Goodbye $5 Grams


Today marks my one year anniversary of being a legal Cannabis patient.  I've been chasing the $5 dollar gram right from day one out a combination of need and a matter of principal.  I refuse to take part in the belief that a pricier gram is a more medicinal gram.  And I refuse to feed into the capitalistic machine that allows medicine to be profitable.  Believe you me, that $5 a gram is still making loads of profit!

My first producer was Bedrocan where I had "True Compassionate Pricing" and months of choosing from 6 different $5 grams. Today I would pay $8.50 with a compassionate price of $6.80 there.  Their selection dropped to 5 strains and half are usually only available in pre-ground or what they call "Granulated".

Next I jumped to MedReleaf where I once again had the choice of 2 different $5 grams.  Within months those began to waver in supply where I really only had the one to choose from.  It was like buying on the street all over again!  A few months later both of those $5 grams jumped to $6.50 without warning and remain that price today.

Next I hooked up with Organigram where I always paid between $5.25 and $6.50 per gram.  Today I couldn't buy a gram even with my compassionate pricing under $7.50.  Not that I would.  Although I thank them for taking care of that pesky appetite and weight problem I had.  Can't wait to see what happens with that class action law suit!

I ran for abcann when given the chance but could only ever afford their pre-ground for about $5.35 a gram and now I couldn't buy one gram under $8.50.  Once abcann started trading on the stock market, bye-bye went the $5 grams.

Finally I settled with Aurora and after kissing so many frogs I was so happy with them, still am!  I once again qualified for their compassionate pricing of $5 grams down from $8.  But this ended today and effective June 1st, all Aurora grams are $9 or $6 with discount.

Good bye $5 gram, we had a good run.

Part of the Health Canada regulations for Licensed Producers is a restriction on marketing and advertising.  But allowing them to make their own prices IS marketing and it leads patients to jump from one to the other searching desperately for the illusion of affordability.  How can you still allow any kind of self regulation in healthcare amid capitalism?  It defies logic that anything good will come of it.

So many things happen today actually.  I have my one-year performance review where I work.  I hope it comes with a raise, now that Aurora increased the price of my medicine by 20%, I'll surely need one!

I can see a glimmer of hope in the future for me though, since I patiently wait for Health Canada to approve my application to grow my own in my closet for under $1 a gram.  Honestly, feeling healthy shouldn't be this stressful or expensive.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Canna-Maple Candy



It’s Spring in Eastern Ontario, the season where Maple gives liquid love to mankind. Speaking of giving, a very generous friend gave my Daddy a jug of this golden nectar from trees around my home town.  My Daddy shared some with me and I knew I had to make candy.  The only decision was:  plain or medicated?  Medicated it is.


I believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how many ways we can use the Cannabis plant.  One of the best ways for patients who have little to no appetite is in the form of candies and toffees.  The reason for this is simple; this method takes advantage of the multitude of tiny blood vessels under the tongue that lead right into the bloodstream. When we suck on candy or toffee, the cannabinoids can linger in the mouth and under the tongue for longer thus giving more time for mega absorption directly into your circulating blood.  Another benefit of sublingual administration is that it protects the precious compounds from coming into contact with other substances like digestive enzymes and stomach acid that can degrade them.


2 cups Maple Syrup (nectar of the Maple Goddess)
4 grams CBD-dominant Cannabis (decarboxylated)


When I write about my creations, I in no way believe it is the one and only way.  But I like to be versatile so I decided to decarb my bud differently this time.  Normally it goes into the oven but this time it went into my double boiler for 40 minutes on burner heat 4 to 5 with foil covering the top.  I stirred occasionally to ensure even heating.  We want all of those cannabinoids to vibrate and knock those acids off so they’ll fit into our cannabinoid receptors.

Next I simply took 2 cups of maple syrup and added that right to the decarbed bud in my double boiler. Stirring occasionally, I let that simmer on 4 or 5 for approximately 1 hour.
For me, the double boiler is a safety measure as I find it almost impossible to get liquids up higher than 215*F. When it comes to infusing cannabinoids into a solvent like Maple syrup, it’s more about time than temperature.  

Next, strain and transfer into another saucepan that will allow us to ramp up the heat to candy-town temps!  Once your canna-syrup reaches 240* to 250*F, pull it off the burner and let it cool approximately 10 minutes to about 175*F and start stirring.  I wanted this to be smooth and last a while in the mouth, so I only stirred it for 2-3 minutes and then poured that onto parchment paper.  Once hard, a smash to break up and voila!
In waste-not-want-not fashion, I also kept the syrup-soaked bud to be ingested over time. No cannabinoid left behind in my kitchen!  


This canna-maple candy has been wonderful in the mornings when I’m not ready to vape or smoke.  For the past year or so I’ve suffered from fairly extreme anxiety in the mornings before work.  Cannabidiol is an anxiolytic and calms my nerves without sedation.  The candies are wonderful with my morning coffee since the maple is still strong with only a hint of the herby flavour coming through at the end.  So if you’re looking for a new way to ingest your Cannabis, try making some medicated maple candy!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Medical Grade Canna Chat Radio Show: Pilot Episode



Over the past year or so I've been saying yes more often.  I've been tweeting and e-mailing, even buggin' the DJ's that work in the same building as I do, trying to get on the air!  Twitter got me on the Amherst Island Radio Show with my buddy Eric.  Email got me on "Free the People", winner of 2016 Best Hip Hop show on CFRC Queen's radio.  Give me time, those other DJ's will have me on their shows eventually!

The DJ and creator of "Free the People" is also a patient and that half hour show led into at least another half hour unrecorded after show.  Lemme tell ya, if this guy and I were in charge, shit would be fair and proper, and then some.  But alas, we have to start small and work our way up to running things.  So with that in mind I'd like to introduce the "Medical Grade Canna Chat" on CFRC
Queen's radio.

Click here to listen to the pilot episode aired Thursday May 11th 2017 at 7 pm < you'll have to add this date and time into the drop down menus in that link.

This is the episode that introduces Kaz and my back stories and what has led us to use Cannabis.
Looking forward to future shows we'll discuss:

Current affairs regarding Cannabis.
Medical Cannabis news.
Recent personal experience.

Topic suggestion?  We'd love to hear them!
Questions & comments?  Those too.

One show down ... so many more to go!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Molly's No-Bake PB Canna Bites


I pride myself on being a fairly waste-not-want-not person.  I like to reuse, regrow, repurpose, or redistribute any time I can.  After many months' batches of Cannabis oil, I had quite a collection of little balls of cheesecloth filled with oily plant material.  Each had a different shade based on leaf to bud content or time in the oven decarboxylating.  I decided to practice some alchemy.

Alchemy, noun:  "a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life." ~Merriam Webster Dictionary

My pooch is gettin up there in years.  By the 7x dog to human conversion, Molly would be 70 years young.  She's spry for her age, likely because she's been on the herbal for about four years now. Aside from second-hand Cannabis smoke and the odd stem or nug she may eat off the floor in the smoking room, we've been giving her Cannabis oil for several years now.

Thunderstorms and fireworks are Molly's kryptonite.  Oh, and the monthly fire alarm test.  She would sit vibrating for hours sometimes.  But now, she immediately goes and stands by the cabinet where I keep the oil and waits to be given her dose.  If I don't see her, she'll stomp in place tapping with her nails til I look.  Within 20 minutes, she's grabbing her ball to play.

Cannabis improves Molly's quality of life.

I decided to take the left over and now oil soaked Cannabis mashes and mix them with some turmeric for its incredible anti-inflammatory powers and peanut butter to please the patient.  In my trusty double boiler I added all ingredients with some added coconut oil to manage consistency.

1+ cup Cannabis mash                                                                                          
2 tsp Turmeric
2 Tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter

Mix together well and heat on low until desired consistency, that being like thick gravy.  Coconut oil hardens at room temperature and these will be stored in the fridge.  Pour out into a baking pan or tupperware dish and store overnight in fridge.  Portion accordingly starting with very small pieces until you know the effects.

I don't imagine there is much THC in the mash but there are other compounds that sedate like Cannabinol or CBN.  This cannabinoid is actually the result of age and oxidization of THC.  So there are times and for some conditions where the older, dryer, and shakier the product you're using, the better.  The research is still out as to how long you'd have to leave your buds to oxidize before conversion takes place.  Add that to the list of needed studies.  People suffer needlessly daily due to sleep problems and insomnia.  Cannabis can help.

***This article and the products referred to herein, is Molly approved.




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cannabidiol: Nature's Anti-Anxiety


A dog barks three blocks away and Sarah suddenly wakes.  Like bubbles rising slowly up the side of a glass of pop, her consciousness comes to.  Within seconds she remembers that tomorrow is a work day and the tsunami begins.  In a rush it starts below her stomach and up into her heart--it feels like it skips a beat.  She's now wide awake, feels like she's drowning, must breath purposefully and deeply. Soon begins the nausea and that dull, unwavering ache deep in her stomach, pushing on her lungs.

Sarah used to suffer badly and she still suffers, but at least now she's found something that will help her in the moment, whichever moment it happens to be.  The pills they prescribe for anxiety are oftentimes overly sedative and addictive.  And one wonders, how can one medication treat all of the many opposing symptoms that come along with an anxiety diagnosis?

As Sarah learned very quickly through this investigation into medicinal Cannabis, the Canna she uses to treat the anxiety she feels at 3 am is not the same Canna she should use to treat her anxiety at 8 am. Sarah's early early morning anxiety requires Tetrahydrocannabidiol to put her thoughts to bed.  While her before work anxiety requires Cannabidiol or CBD only because CBD is an anxiolytic, meaning it treats anxiety.




For we anxiety sufferers, this revelation of separating these two medicinal compounds for certain situations was life altering.  And for many of us, the process is simply putting different Canna in the bowl, vape, doob, or drop of oil.  No big deal!

And of course, it's not quite this simple either.  I mean, all of the magic in the Cannabis plant is not only due to these two cannabinoids.  There's a whole supporting cast, a whole team of back up singers, a band of brass or woodwinds.  And, those two cannabinoids do behave differently when in the company of different ratios of these oftentimes silent partners in the healing.  Most mornings, Sarah chooses a CBD only sativa dominant strain or the Oil made thereof.  The terpenes and other cannabinoids in a sativa helps to wake her up and begin to think about things other than barfing. While at 3 am she'll choose an indica dominant strain to sedate the body and induce sleep.

The Canna-World is evolving so quickly and mad-scientist/ tree-huggers are seed-breeding their little hearts out creating new ratios of indica/sativa dominance in the Cannabis you can buy.  In doing this, they're almost custom making medicine hand-in-hand with Mother Nature.  Now, that's a team I'd like to be on!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Farmer's Eye Fattens the Cow & the Crop


I work in a clinic that assesses patients for medical cannabis.  Our doctors also respect your right to grow.  The gardeners are coming out of the woodwork to partake in some horticultural therapy.  A patient was given a grow script a few weeks ago and in conversation about growing asked me how a person avoids getting mold, mildew, or spider mites.  I told her plainly from my own limited experience but also the knowledge I'd been given by friends and articles I've read that you can keep any botanical ailment at bay with careful daily inspection.  

I grew up in rural Farmerville Ontario with horses, so I learned a lot about animal husbandry.  At some point in time I was told an old adage that is more like a way of life than a mere saying:

"The farmer's eye fattens the cow."

The best farmers spend time with their animals getting to know each one.  These are humans who see farming as a partnership not a master-dominant industry.  And just like cattle, ensuring your green Goddesses are healthy requires among others, two major things:  time and your attention.

This is one of the main reasons why I herald the new home cultivation rules of the ACMPR.  Not only is growing therapy for the grower, but it saves us money too.   Some are worried that the average Canadian can't grow this plant safely but growing 5 to 20 plants is much different than growing enough plants to fill a factory! Careful daily inspection is a bit harder to perform when you're talking about 100's of plants.  And outside in the sterilizing rays of the ultra violet Sun mold is not the same problem that it is inside a factory.  The Sun kills the harmful microorganisms while it gives power and vigor to others that feed on them!  Any time we can take the strain off of the legal producer program, it's a good thing.  And growing your own leaves you with so many more usable parts of the plant!  From leaf to root there's medicine.

Growing can also be purely selfish and that's okay too.  Great effort must have some reward or it would never be repeated.  There is therapy in sharing energy with a plant such as Cannabis.  It grows like it's its job!  Each cycle growers revel in the sheer speed of growth seen by many strains out there. Others treat gardening like a courtship, getting to know each plant's evolving personal watering preferences.  Weeks later they harvest and repeat the whole thing over again.  It reminds me of the construction and then the destruction ritual of the Tibetan Sand Mandalas.



There is ritual in that cycle of life however bounteous the harvest.  The time a Cannabis grower invests in his or her crop can often be immeasurable though.  But the benefits of the time spent can be therapy that evens it all out in the end.  One gardening rules stays:  the closer the attention, the better the outcome.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Licensed Producers In the Best Position to Push For Insurance Coverage


Millions of Canadians are prescribed medications that are paid for by insurance coverage.  For many of them, this coverage is what allows them to take the prescriptions their doctors prescribe, as they simply couldn’t afford them otherwise.  Coverage encourages prescription compliance, and the studies are there to prove it.

In 2012, CMAJ published an article that researched the effect of cost on adherence to prescription medications in Canada.  They found that approximately 1 in 10 Canadians report cost as being a reason they don’t fill their prescriptions.  When they considered respondents with insurance coverage, their findings were clear, “After multivariate adjustment, we found that lacking insurance for prescription drugs was associated with a more than fourfold increase in the odds of cost-related nonadherence.”  There are even statistics that show a direct correlation between co-pay fees and adherence.  The lower the co-pay, the more likely that prescription will get filled.

As more and more retirees show interest in cannabinoid therapy, they’re faced with the shocking truth that switching from pharmaceuticals to Cannabis means a few hundred dollars out-of-pocket a month. That's a hard pill to swallow when you've had almost everything covered for years.  Cost is a definite roadblock for many who want to try Cannabinoid therapy.  Not so single-payer after all eh?

Statistics from 2012 state that 2.3 million working-age Canadians were on disability, a quarter of which were considered severe.  Cannabinoid therapy works very well for many severe disabilities like chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, MS, some cancers even.  So as it stands today, if any of these income-limited citizens wants to try cannabinoid therapy they have to pay for it out of their disability payments.  Many juggle food and medicine each month, rationing everything at all times.  This undoubtedly affects country-wide healthcare costs.  As long as Health Canada refuses to consider medical cannabis a medicine, both patients on disability and patients with insurance coverage will have to pay out of pocket for their cannabis.

Insurers say they cannot cover our medical marijuana prescriptions because Cannabis has no drug identification number (DIN).  And, at least by the standards Western medicine has set thus far, they’re right.  Is this one little acronym going to keep safer medicine out of the hands of Canadians?

Upon further inspection I learn that the DIN has much less to do with how the drug affects you, and much more to do with tracking, categorizing, and marketing.  The number itself is computer generated and upon search, will tell you everything from the manufacturer to the mode of administration.  But since a DIN is granted only after testing is done, the DIN in effect, ensures that the product has undergone sufficient testing. You see the problem.  No one wants to pay for studies on something that they’re not going to reverse engineer.  And as far as the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, we have the right to use this plant however we see fit (aside from using organic solvents).

Pharmaceutical companies spend millions proving the safety, efficacy, and detriment of the chemical concoctions they sell.  But with successful medicines, these companies reap the rewards.  If most LP’s deem themselves a part of this industry, shouldn’t we expect the same from them?  It must be choking for some pharmaceutical companies who only sell pills, to see certain LP’s posting profits, hiring celebrities, buying mobile units, and trading on the stock market for selling something that they spent no funds to prove or create.  Who else would we expect should pave the way to not only societal acceptance through studies, but to attain insurance coverage for their patients?

We seem to be at a standstill in Canada where studies are concerned.  So many are done on animals not humans.  So many are done in other countries, where standards differ from our own.  But who better to perform these crucial human studies than the ones who have all the plant product!  They’re literally growing more every day!  And as time flies by, some of these LP’s are even opening storefronts where information and assistance can be attained.  Those outlets would be a great place for data recovery and study product distribution.  Sort of like study headquarters for participants to report to.  All under the strict guidelines that the ACMPR demands of the Licensed Producers.

From a Licensed Producer’s viewpoint, I want you to adhere to your doctor’s authorization, and have a recurring monthly order with me.  But from a patient perspective who sees the prices LP’s charge, I can tell you that isn’t likely to happen every month.  ACMPR patients supplement their medicine by buying elsewhere, meaning the LP’s are missing out on revenue.  Putting in the time, resources, and might that is required to legitimize this medicine to the point of insurance coverage is good for their bottom line.  Insurance coverage encourages compliance, and Cannabis compliance may just have more to do with convenience than with price or quality.

Like Pharmaceutical companies, Licensed Producers just want the bill paid.  If a DIN or the equivalent thereof is required for that to occur, it just seems logical that the Licensed Producers themselves be the ones to foot that bill.  I foresee a CDIN (Cannabinoid Drug Identification Number) perhaps grouped by ailment identifying ranges of cannabinoids and terpenes found therein.  Or one umbrella DIN to cover the whole team.

In the end I believe that this DIN argument is simply a foot-dragging attempt to delay progress.  Someone is profiting, so why change the status quo?  Because the status quo isn’t benefiting the average Canadian.  When we adhere to our prescriptions, the country’s health care costs go down.  We need to demand coverage for all insured and all those on social assistance.  We know what needs to be done.


Thursday, 30 March 2017

DIY Cannabis Skin Cream~ Enemy to Skin Infammation


The numbing power of THC has been a part of my skin care arsenal for a few years now.  It's incredible how quickly this cream relieves the sting of painful cuts and the ache of sore muscles.  For many of us our emotions are linked to the health of our skin.  Stress or emotional experiences can bring on irritating rashes that itch and all it takes is one minuscule tear in the skin's epidermis for infection to occur.

This happened to a woman I know.  Her rash always erupts on her 'decolletage' or chest/neckline. It's a good thing frilly scarves are in style right now.  Within days she had itched so much while she slept that she was red, sore, itchy, and bumpy from throat to nipple.

People who've worked with me can attest I'm one to whip out my own homemade meds.  In this case, I had some homemade Cannabis oil made with a high CBD strain in coconut oil that I told her to use over the weekend.

On Monday she reported that the oil didn't help the rash, though it made her skin soft.  So I decided to do an experiment.  That night I made a small batch of Coconut Cannabis oil with a moderate 16% THC Cannabis strain, and gave a small jar to the same woman.  After straining, I added a small chunk of Beeswax to make it a nice creamy consistency.  I'll add a nice aromatic oil of lavender or rose to future creams but didn't have any on hand at the time.



Within moments of applying this cream, my friend sat in awe of the total lack of irritation she felt. The Beeswax made it stay in place and kept it from rubbing off on her shirt.  She applied it several more times over the next day and was almost completely healed within three days.

What's even more encouraging is the fact that the texture of her decolletage, that ultra-feminine part of the female physique was now smoother, softer, and younger-looking than before.  This irritation had created a dry, almost scaley film on her skin that was nowhere to be seen or felt now.  Not only did the cannabinoids ease and heal her inflammation, but the idea that the cells themselves may potentially be invigorated and made more youthful is exciting.

If you're like the thousands of people who suffer from rashes, psoriasis, eczema and other skin issues, you should make a small batch of this cream.  The results are truly amazing and yet not surprising since cannabinoids are showing in studies to kill antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA.  Soon, Dr. Mechoulam and his awesome Israeli research team will prove that there are cannabinoid receptors in the skin as well as the gut, organs, brain, and bones.  More and more I see that our body craves cannabinoids.  This plant just does a body good!

Cannabis Oil today ... Cannabis Skin Care lines tomorow!  I say make your own :-)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

We Have the Power to Change the ACMPR



I work with the LPs daily & I used to work with the banks daily.
Like many of you, I criticize some and support others.

I also own technology made by manufacturer's who don't care about their employees or source for materials.  We all own material goods with parts made in factories that have no clue what employment standards are.

We wish it were different, but we accept it because we like having material goods and we believe
our voice has no power.

What is really blowing my mind lately is how so many of us can't see the legal Cannabis industry in the same way.  We have no problem yelling about that.    Keep it up!

But I believe that every industry has good & bad players.  Some deserve our respect while others deserve legal action.  To cloak them all as evil is incorrect in my opinion.

We humans are adaptable, opportunistic, and eager.  Some of us learn very quickly how to make money.  You can't really be surprised that the LPs are taking advantage of the absolutely chokingly lax regulations surrounding their operation!!

Don't harass the player, HARASS THOSE WHO MAKE THE RULES & REGULATIONS!!!

I love reading your rants and I love seeing your passions in print, on protest signs, in tweets, on forums.   Keep it up!!

But put pen to paper PLEASE and yell at your Members of Parliament!

They think the status quo is working!!  They believe that Canada's legal Cananbis program is efficient and doesn't require their attention.

When they see the many ways that this entire program is inefficient, unsustainable, and NOT about health, they'll pay more attention!

But right now, our members of Parliament think mail-order medicine is working.  They'll never know any different if we don't tell them.

Please write your MP & MPP and tell them how you feel about our legal Cannabis program.
Any contact is engagement, but remember ... hand-written is always better.

#OhCanada150

Canadian Member of Federal Parliament contact info.
Canadian Member of Provincial Parliament contact info.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Coconut Cannabis Alchemy~Apartment Style


**** the oil from this process was fairly weak.  If you have been ingesting Cannabis or oil made with it for a while, you may want to increase the amount of product used.  If you are a brand new user or are planning on feeding this to your pet, this recipe is a safe place to start.



Infusing Cannabis into a fat is a surprisingly straight forward process.  It involves two distinct steps that rely on strict heat control and timing.  There are a bazillion different methods and for small batches I've come up with this one.  Mainly, you need to set aside about 4 hours of your time and voila ... you just made your own medicine.

Cannabinoids bind to any fat, I prefer coconut oil.  I made some oil a few nights ago in my small apartment.  It yielded me about half a cup of medicine that I take sublingually (under the tongue).

I used:

2 grams Cannabis buds
1.5 grams Cannabis trim
1/2 cup Coconut oil

You will also need:

Heat-safe gloves/mits
A double boiler
medium sized mason jar
ceramic dish with lid
thermometer that goes over 200F
cheese cloth

The first process is called "decarboxylating" or "activating" your Cannabis:

To put it simply, in their natural form many of the medicinal cannabinoids in Cannabis are like jigsaw puzzle pieces that don't fit into our body's receptors.  Everything from sea sponges to humans have an endocannabinoid system~ a naturally-occurring system of receptors that accept this plant's compounds.  By burning or heating the Cannabis, you break off an excess piece of the jigsaw so now it easily fits.

For my fellow cooks, you're basically roasting here.  Pre-heat the oven to 290F.  While it heats, the Cannabis will exude an herby, almost onion-y scent.  Wrapping it in a little pouch of parchment paper definitely reduces the smell and also ensures even heating of the buds.

Break the buds apart with your fingers to cranberry sized pieces.  Many recipes tell you to grind, but there's a new train of thought suggesting that the cannabinoids leach out of the Cannabis more easily left intact than when ground into the organic material.  Halfway through the Coconut oil simmer, the buds easily mash up with pressure from a wooden spoon.


Place the parchment pouch inside a ceramic or glass baking dish with a lid (or foil in a pinch).
Roast for 30 minutes.


In the meantime, melt 1/2 cup Coconut oil in a mason jar.


Add your "activated" Cannabis.  At this point, I took the mason jar out of the
water and placed it into the ceramic dish so that if any buds fell too quickly,
they would be in that dish and easy to scoop out.


Halfway through, remove the oil from the double boiler and gently mash the
buds around to allow for effective leaching.


Simmer for 3 hours being careful that water doesn't boil dry underneath (kept
at #5 on my stove-top burner.)
Use a thermometer and ensure that the oil doesn't go above 220F.
The double boiler is a control measure as it's difficult to get the oil above 210F
or so.  At this point, the Cannabinoids need more time than heat to leach out into
the fat.

Strain when oil is cool enough to ring out with hands.
I always keep the bud in a waste-not-want-not fashion.  I usually add it to
my next batch.  It keeps for a long time in your fridge in a baggie.


And ... voila!  All you need now is a dropper/syringe measuring ml's.
Start low and go slow.  Dose on a full or partially full stomach.
Start by taking .25 ml held under the tongue and held for 30 seconds, then swallowed.
Wait 2 hours and judge how you feel.  Wait 4-6 hours before re-dosing at this point.

You can start increasing often when needed by .05 intervals until you reach the
proper dose.  This could take several days.  Go slow!  Each of us must find that
sweet spot.  If you cannot stand the taste,  gelatin caplets can be purchased online
or at any health food store.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Barb's Crunchy Canna-Yogurt Parfait


Good memories of active lives are what many a senior can boast.  But physical activity catches up to us and the wear and tear on our joints is a major draw-back to this aging thing!  We ache when we move, we ache when we don't move.  And the pills they prescribe only do so much.  When the side effects from the ineffective medication starts getting old, many people look to other ways to kill the pain.

At least that was the case with Barb and Jim, two lovebirds in their mid-70's living their golden years in their homestead out in the country.

"Well, says Jim, they put us out to pasture and we got bored y'see.  But every time we made plans to DO anythin' we'd spend more time sitting and resting than actually doing! We knew we had to find something new.  The cane helps but y'know..." shrugged Jim almost whispering in his slight Irish brogue.

Without as much as a breath Barb takes over, "Well the grandson Jimmy was the one that got us on to the Cannabis, he bugged Jim for months to take a puff off his wee little pipe but Jim didn't want anything to do with smokin' it.  And that was just as fine with me."

When they invited me over for tea, I knew I was in for a treat.  I was told that Barb had an herb garden out back so our tea would no doubt be home-grown.  Because of this, using Cannabis in Barb's kitchen felt pretty normal to her-- after all it's just another plant.

As promised Barb waited for me to arrive before she began to prepare Jim's medible.  She was a bit of a foodie so each day brought about a different creation of love, fruit, and activated cannabis.  Step by step Barb went through her process.  Jim sat at the table pretending to read the paper and sipping his decaf, peeking over the rim of his favourite old mug.  He loves the special treatment;  and Barb loves him.

Barb's Crunchy Canna-Yogurt Parfait

1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt
Unpasteurized Honey
Cherries, Blueberries
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
0.65 grams Cannabis hybrid strain 8% THC 8% CBD, decarboxylated.

Within 20 minutes to an hour, Jim begins to feel the medicinal compounds taking effect.  His stiffness and pain subsides, his worrying lessons and he finds it effortless to smile.  Now he and his bride can leave the house for a day of visiting in their community.

Decarboxylation/Activation process:

This process changes the shape of the molecules so they can be absorbed by our bodies easing our pain and ameliorating our health.

1) Carefully chop bud into course pieces with a knife
2) Wrap in parchment paper and place inside a covered pyrex dish
3) Roast in over at 275*F for 20 minutes
4) Let cool




It turns out that Barb's crunchy canna-yogurt parfait is so great that it'll take your pain away so you can throw your cane away!!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Alternative Views on the CC Dispensary Closures


I get digital rotten tomatoes thrown at me a lot some days.  But for years I bit my tongue and these days my tongue wags too fast for me to catch it between my teeth so here it goes again ...

I can't help but look at the dispensary raid situations and Cannabis Culture closures from more than one angle.  I see so many angles here.  They force me to urge you to please be careful with your activism.

The laws surrounding the sale and supply of Cannabis in Canada SHOULD be different.  However, they remain firm and pushing the envelope can leave you with hands covered in paper cuts.  These are cuts that, like criminal records, brand you forever with lifelong future-changing scars.

You have to ask yourself how much the CC closures have to do with Cannabis at all?

Many of us are disheartened by this Project G (so ridiculous I refuse to allow it the digital tag).
We see it as a break in the forward momentum that leads to us having legal storefronts.  But I don't think we should be very surprised that the law was upheld--however unjust, and that those who broke it over and over and over and over again, were arrested.  If this were a Shakespearean play, we'd all have seen the foreshadowing as time and time again JT told us the law will be upheld.

Aside:   HURRY UP WITH REGULATION PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU!!!

It is undeniable that CC has made law enforcement look like a joke.  And, law enforcement wasting time and tax-dollars stealing medicinal dried plant products from the market IS a joke.  Especially at times on a Sunday--is nothing sacred?

Yet, in my opinion these charges are NOT about your right to consume, buy, or grow Cannabis.

This entire thing is because of the ongoing defiance.  We have to ask ourselves, would we be so upset if the one in cuffs was your buddy on the street?  Because as far as the law is concerned, CC & buddy on the street are the same thing.  That in itself is a cry for regulation!  All the buddies on the street providing safe affordable medicine deserve to do so in a storefront NOT just the ones with deep pockets and long distance connections.

This isn't about placing blame or pressure on anyone but those making the rules or in this case,
not making the rules.  And as each day more and more baby-boomers get legal to use and possess medicinal Cannabis, they're confused to watch the news and see bags of it being taken out of storefronts by Police!

So, I will attempt to slow my tongue and present this as a loud call for action to our Parliamentary body:

YOU'RE CONFUSING CANADIANS !!!

Is it legal or is it not?  The plant grown in the factory is licit but the plant grown in a basement is illicit?  What does that even mean?  With proper testing, quality control can become an industry and home-grown norm that is only now being implemented by big players like Aurora.

This confusion and lack of transparency puts legal Cannabis patients at risk daily and the snail's pace we're using to finalize recreational legalization is forcing otherwise law-abiding citizens into the position to break the law just to use this plant.

I for one am a law-abiding, tax-paying Canadian and I demand Cannabis dispensing storefronts by summer !!



Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cannabis Chit-Chattin' on Amherst Island


After years and years as the couch activist, I'm fightin' the lock and lifting up and out and on the town.  I'm puttin' myself out there with no fears or cares.  At least none that I'll admit to myself.  In this, I'm making friends, connections, sharing knowledge, giving power and hope to others.

A few weeks ago I tweeted about getting legal in my city and a local radio station CJAI 92.1 FM liked that tweet.  So I took that as a break in the ice ... ice that I'm learning is always thinner than we think it is.  I suggested we hook up for a chit chat show about Cannabis.  From there, plans were made and here we are.  Have a listen here.


From the Ferry dock to the barn was a punishing walk as the wind chill tried its best to hold us back. The barn is the studio now, a fitting retrofit for this ultra-rural speck of dirt just off the edge of our great Lake O.  This was my first ever radio chat so I was nervous at first, no doubt about it.  But the host Eric made me feel right at home.

As it turns out, I like to talk Pot.  I have a Cannabis confirmation bias where I see its potential everywhere.  For instance, that speck of dirt called Amherst Island would make a wonderful rural area for Cannabis to be grown.  I know for a fact that there are serious organic farmers over there growing heirloom wheat like Ref Fife, who would appreciate the incredible growing power that lives within this plant and all of its many strains and sub-species.

As Eric explained, I'm in a position now to see many sides to this situation.  I'm a legal medical Cannabis user who manages my depression with Cannabinoids alone.  I buy my medicine through the mail now.  But I also work in the industry helping other patients get legal to possess and use this new and exciting medicine.  For years I've been telling anyone who will listen about Cannabis.  It's a bit of an inside joke that people now come to me to hear it, rather than me just bombarding them with info they didn't necessarily ask for :-)

The clinic I work for has many locations and each one is here to help you learn.  Canadian Cannabis Clinics evolves with the laws and the regulations so we're able to keep you informed at all times. Every day I get emotional listening to success stories and every day I'm told to do what's in the best interest of the patient.  Working inside that sentiment every single day feeds my desire to scream it from the roof tops even more!

And, of course it wouldn't have been a radio show without some awesome music.  Here are five of my faves from the requests we received.  Some I hadn't even heard before:

"Hits from the Bong"-Cypress Hill

"I got stoned and I missed it" -Dr. Hook

"Smoke Two Joints"-Sublime

"Roll Another Joint"-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

"Legalize Marijuana"-Peter Tosh

I'm hoping to hit the show with more Canna-chat news and info in the spring.  See you then!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Top Five Reasons Why Legal Patients Buy Street Cannabis

***this blogpost was published here thanks to Cannabis Life Network.


The macro view of the supply chain of legal Cannabis in Canada looks effective enough.  When you zero in however, you see the many problems.  I'm sure to many on the outside, with the 35+ licensed producers growing pot like eager beavers, the "black market" should dissipate in no time.  The supply will always and only follow the demand though.  The "black market" will disappear when there are no more customers left without better access or price.  As things stand today, many patients would rather buy street Cannabis than buy from a legal licensed producer.

So, let's look at why a legal medicinal Cannabis patient would buy "street" Cannabis?

#5)  Quality/ Safety Concerns

At the moment, pesticides are on the minds of many a legal Cannabis patient.  To many, this means they all must use them, and if this is the protection Government regulation provides, then who needs it?

To others, the damage to the aroma-therapeutic terpenes that gamma-radiation leaves is clearly evident in the effects felt.  I'm still waiting for the evidence that ingesting killed microorganisms is healthy either!

I'll be honest, a lot of patients have no confidence in growing a plant inside a factory.  There are a lot of us who believe that the Sun cannot be replaced by a light bulb.  There are many who believe that the plant truly thrives outdoors in the presence of millions of minute microorganisms, buried deep down in the ground.  Super-sterile may never be the best way.  Nature is balance after all.

#4)  Choice/ Availability/Touchability

Most patients are locked into buying from one producer at a time, so when they have shortages, the patient suffers, literally.  The alternative is to switch producers, but this is about a two week process. Many of us require THC and THC only at night to ease us into restful sleep.  If you can't buy this from your producer, what will you do?  You'll go to the other supply chain you know of.  If you had a storefront that dispensed Cannabis 24 hours a day like we have for pharmaceuticals, you'd likely go there.

It's also difficult to break out of old habits like seeing and smelling your bud before you buy it. Online photos look pristine but by the time your buds have jostled around a truck for a day, they may look a little rough.  It only takes one rough delivery that cannot be returned to sour even the most law-abiding patient.

#3)  Delivery Failure

Delivery personnel country wide have mixed up the meaning of the word "delivered".  Leaving the slip in your mail box is far from a job well done, especially if you've neglected to buzz up to us!  This happened to me this morning as a matter of fact.  No one buzzed my number.  Luckily I actually ordered properly this month and had some left over, or I too may have had to break bad and call buddy for a quick interim supply!

#2)  Credit vs. Cash

When your medicine is as expensive as Cannabis is, it's truly choking to know that it's going to cost you to pay for it.  Whether it's the cheap $1.50 e-transfer fee, or the interest on your credit card, it's still more than you'd pay if you were able to pay cash.  Buddy takes cash.  Even the fact that we have to pay for someone to deliver it is infuriating when your contact on the street would likely deliver for free or even just meet you for coffee-talk.

#1)  Free Credit

For a very long time now, the people selling us our Cannabis gave us interest-free credit on a regular basis.  I've known people who "front" a few grams now and then and I've had friends who "front" ounces weekly only to square up on pay day and start the process over.  I've fronted many times in years gone by and my gratitude to those people is immense.  The LPs won't "front" you.  Loaning a few grams till tomorrow is not something their stockholders would allow.

Of course in Canada, we await recreational legalization and so the macro view once again sees that allegedly seedy black market disappear quickly.  But it will go no where unless the need disappears, and the need will never disappear if we're made to buy mail-order and factory-grown.  We are green-thumbed Canadians!  Stubborn too.  After all, it wasn't compliance that got us this far was it?

Please join my "Letters for Storefronts" initiative whereby we're sending hand-written letters to our members of parliament demanding storefronts and an inclusive supply chain.




Thursday, 16 February 2017

Stop Visually Profiling Your Cannabis!

***this post was published here on MonroeBlvd. com



To trim or not to trim;  that is the question.

And if you trim, how close do you trim?  Do you leave a little leaf like a fringe on a skirt?
Or do you trim only for the full bud experience?  My friend's hubby has no use for trimming.  He's a 'trim before ya grind kinda guy' and I say, why not?  No need for mix!

#TrimNotTobacco

Cannabis users all over the world have been judging their ganga by looks for years.  I've even heard some people tell me they can decipher the strain just by looks.  I giggle to myself each and every time I hear that.  Truth is, a good trimmer can take four buds from the same plant and trim them so differently, you'd swear they were different strains.

As it stands today, there are likely 1000's of different strains of Cannabis and more being bred as I type.  And of course there are similarities.  I mean, they don't call it purple for no good reason.  The problem however, is that we do indeed ingest with our eyes first.

The culinary industry uses this fact every single day.  Presentation is everything!  Chefs believe very strongly that when you make a judgement on a dish based on looks, it definitely affects how you will perceive the taste.  The same thing is happening with our Cannabis.  Magazines and books only show the cream of the crop and we have new users believing that anything less than sparkly white coated nugs is inferior.  This could not be further from the truth.  I've ingested some pretty shabby lookin' buds and made friends with them quickly.  Looks mean nothing and the idea that you can visually profile a strain before you even touch, taste, or smell it is a fallacy in my opinion.

Much of our legal Cannabis is getting visually profiled.  Patients open up the bottle--a new experience for many who are used to the z!ploc entry method--and immediately make a judgement. Those poor little buds have had a long trip!  Let them freshen' up a bit!  They were jostling around in their plastic jars for hours trying to get to you, the least you can do is try them!  But no, some judge by looks and deem them of lesser value.  Even after ingesting, those bad looks remain in their memory effecting their opinion of the strain and the hand that grew it.

The term "hand-trimmed" is a seal of quality not all offer anymore.  I've had buds that were each carefully manicured by a human, and I've had buds that looked like hard green moon rocks.  Hand-trimmed vs. machine-trimmed.  The truth comes out in the grind every time.  We have to remember that these are flowers and flowers differ vastly sometimes.  If you open your order of Cannabis and don't recognize the flower inside, don't panic!  It may never look like the one in the magazine but that is no reason to shun it.  Grind it, vape it, smoke it!  Experience your receptors' reaction to it.  Feel the aroma-therapeutic action of the terpenes opening you up and motivating your thoughts.  You may find that the ugliest duckling fits your system best.  And you'll never know, unless you try.

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy




Sunday, 29 January 2017

Ten Reasons Why Mail-Order Cannabis Is Unacceptable


Do you ever run out of your medication?  For most Canadians, it's a simple trip to the pharmacy. Some pharmacies even deliver to your door.  But for the 75,000+ Canadians taking part in the ACMPR, running out of their meds is a lot more difficult to fix.

Legal Cannabis only comes in the mail from one of the 33+ Licensed Cannabis producers these days. On the surface and for many patients, this suits them just fine.  But if you're one of the other normal Canadians, there are more negatives to mail-order than there are positives.  At the very least we deserve both mail order and storefronts too.

This is the top ten reasons why I feel that mail-order medicine is unacceptable and not access:

10)  Credit/technology Requirements

Mail order Cannabis requires certain payment methods that only a portion of the Canadian citizenry are able to possess these days.  Credit isn't free and never has been.  Mail-order means that good ol' cash cannot be used.  If we really want to dissolve street level sales who do accept cash, you'll have to give us storefronts where cash can be used.

The notion that every Canadian has access to credit is coupled here with another asinine assumption, that being that every one of us has internet access.  Yes, you can place an order over the telephone, but that doesn't mean that sales clerk is going to be able to tell you what each strain does or whether it would work for you.  And, I've heard horror stories of patients being told they must order online through the producer web site.  Kinda like how bank tellers try to convince you to use the ATM machine next time.

9)  Credit Card payment wait times:

Credit Card:  those of us who carry a balance must time the purchase of our medicine correctly.  Five day payment clearing period + two day delivery means a lot of us are doing without because of credit processing times.  Not good enough.

Pre-Paid Credit:  I bought one of these once because I couldn't wait for my credit payment to clear. What a shock when I realized that it's a 2-day activation period.  I guess I was expected to do without my antidepressant for those 2 days + the 2 days it took to be delivered.

Certified Check:  It's like every single step in this process MUST profit someone.  I have to pay to certify a check?  Yep.  Then you have to wait for snail-mail to deliver it, and then delivery to take place.  So ridiculous.

Imagine if you had to certify a cheque in order to buy your Lipitor or your Cymbalta.  Crazy eh?

8)  Delivery times

For the average price of $10, patients in the ACMPR can be sure their doctor-prescribed Cannabis gets to them by Purolator or Canada Post within 2-3 business days.  And that's fine if you've planned properly.  But if you run out before your Cannabis is delivered, what do you do?  Can you imagine if you had a seizure disorder or were going through Chemotherapy while you waited for this corporate-run delivery service to get you your meds?  Tick-tock as you suffer.

7)  Questionable delivery personnel

I've been legal since May and I've had only good luck with my delivery personnel but others are not so lucky.  I know two Veterans who have had their medicinal Cannabis stolen while in the custody of delivery personnel.  These are heroes using a plant to treat their trauma and hundreds of dollars of it was stolen from them;  one never made it the door, the other disappeared from the sorting station itself.

Have you ever sat and waited for a delivery only to sneeze and miss the knock?  It's like there was no knock at all sometimes.  The door bell works yet, it doesn't ring.  It's easier for delivery people to put that little tag on your knob than it is to actually fulfill the contract that they've been hired to fulfill. It's not good enough.  If I pay $10 shipping because it comes to my door, but then have to drive somewhere to pick it up, then there's a problem isn't there!  What if I don't drive?  What if I'm wheelchair bound?  I'll have to wait to stop my seizures or ease my nausea?

6)  Questionable delivery policies & procedures

My prescription is split between two producers, meaning I buy from two.  The one delivers by Canada Post and the other by Purolator.  Now, the fact that these two are owned by the same entity matters not when it comes to their policies.  Canada Post workers are letter-carriers and as such are not required or allowed to go above the first floor of your tenement building.  I get a call to meet her in the foyer which is fine for me, but once again, what if I were disabled or severely ill?

Purolator on the other hands comes right to my door for the same $10 fee.  However, during the recent postal strike I waited five days for my medicine to arrive.  When I investigated their policies and time guarantees I realized that there are seven levels of service above the "standard shipping" we normally use.  This means that all packages above standard take priority.  You'd think someone would have advised the patients to prioritize their shipping.  I'm sure if it were pharmaceuticals we were buying there'd be a public service announcement to ensure no one goes a day without their pills.
Sometimes I wonder if these double standards would dissipate were Cannabis actually physically addictive!

5)  Extremely Rural Residences

I spoke to a man last week who pays $10 shipping for his medicinal Cannabis yet has NEVER gotten it at his door.  This man lives on a rural route in Ontari-ari-ario where you're lucky if you can see your neighbor's house from the road.  Canada is filled with rural areas of land like this man's that may pose difficulty to delivery personnel and their vehicles.  This guy has to walk half an hour to the sorting station to carry his cannabis-in-a-box half an hour back home.  How long before he gets mugged for his meds?  If we had storefronts, this guy could get a ride once a month to a legal storefront in a civilized manner.

4)  Caveat Emptor: but no returns allowed

'Caveat emptor' or 'buyer beware'.  More than half the legal patients are experienced enough to have purchased Cannabis by seeing it, smelling it, maybe even testing it first.  But you can't do that when you're legal.  Seems ass-backwards doesn't it?  You have to trust that the digital pic on the producer website is what you're actually getting.  It's a lot to ask when you're paying upwards to $15 per gram. And the worst part is, they normally will not take returns or give refunds.  This I can totally understand.  You can't take your Tramadol back to the pharmacy and get a refund.  But a lot of people are getting dinged by the 'pre-ground' option and drop-down menus that default at this instead of whole flower.  Trixy hobbits.  It's a stupid move because many patients think that's what they call whole bud and tell everyone they know that LP cannabis is crap.  If any of the above patients were able to buy their bud in a legal storefront, NONE of this would happen.  Sadly, many of the conditions that Cannabis is prescribed for are conditions that are a exacerbated by stress. Nothin' stressful about paying this much money for something that you're not sure will work. Those are two days of delivery waiting hell.

3)  No face-to-face counsel w/ a Cannabis-educated human

I have a pretty good handle on all things Cannabis, but it's taken me 15 years.  New patients are not getting enough guidance.  Even for the patients using mere milliliters of Cannabis oil per day need more guidance than is available.  Dosing cannabinoids is individual and that is one of the most foreign ideas in healthcare right now.  Patients are advised to start low and raise up slowly, starting at .25 mls.  But that same patient could have a maximum daily dose of 8 mls.  Questions arise quickly, like how fast should I increase?  How soon can I expect to feel it?  Will it impair me?  We're used to taking 2 pills 3 times a day until the bottle is empty.  But with Cannabis, you have to see how it works for you.  Try explaining that efficiently over the phone.  Try ensuring that .25 mls IS what this patient is taking.  Legal storefronts could offer in-person counsel with people who can tell you what to expect and ensure you're dosing properly.  We could make dosing charts with tips and other options for ingestion.  The new patients getting legalized today are used to talking to their friendly neighborhood pharmacist who will explain everything to them.  In fact, you can book hour-long visits with your pharmacist to discuss your scripts!  The fact that the same guidance isn't really offered to patients in the ACMPR is shameful and dangerous in my opinion.

2)  Ordering mistakes=adverse events=healthcare costs

For the Cannabis naive, starting in this program requires that you learn some lingo.  Allowing elderly patients to order over the phone for something so esoteric, is engineering adverse effects from the onset.  Speaking of which, I just spent thirty minutes trying to explain the difference between an Indica and a Sativa cannabis strain to a 72 year old patient.  If she didn't understand me, and mistakenly buys a Sativa strain she's going to be disappointed, and unable to sleep.  There is far too much to learn with this medicine for new patients and they deserve face-to-face counsel when ordering!

Of course, mistakes happen on the other side too.  I know of one patient with a 12% THC cap who was sold a 25% THC oil.  Thankfully he was fine, but others may not be so lucky.  And what happens when a person takes too much too soon? They go to Emerg, that's what happens.  And at Emerg, they're often humiliated, marginalized, given fluids, an anti-nauseant, and the advice to stop using the product immediately.  The other thing about these visits is the cost.  It's been said recently that 1 in 5 visits to the Emerg are unnecessary so piling on even more is going to effect national healthcare costs.  Remember, if the meds these patients were taking were pharmaceuticals, they could have a seated chit-chat with a Pharmacist to make sure they understand it all.  Medicinal Cannabis doesn't get that respect I guess, and neither to its patients.

1)  Missed delivery means the patient must turn criminal

So you've missed your deliver for whatever reason.  Now how will you kill your pain, tremors, nausea, depression, anxiety, insomnia?  Too bad it's not pills you're on, because there's a 24 hour drug store in almost every city out there.  But there are no stores to help you out yet, only friends.  Because of this, many Cannabis patients in this predicament will go elsewhere to buy in a pinch.  According to the rules of the ACMPR though, buying this medicine from anyone other than a licensed producer is against the rules.  The only way to rectify a missed delivery is to step back into your criminal skin, and that isn't good for anybody.

Did any of this surprise you?  Are you as choked as me?  In what Universe can mail-order only medicine really work efficiently and sustainably?  Ugh.... don't even get me started on the packaging involved with mail order only!  With baby-steps it's improving, not nearly soon enough.  Patients in their 90's are even trying medicinal Cannabis.  What must those patients think having seen this plant in all of its many stages of legality?  They likely shake their heads at the insanity of it all, just relieved to not be in cuffs.

 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

You Control Your Future Woes


So it happened again.  A man from my past contacted me to tell me that he's been thinking about me. This is someone I was romantic with and then friends with for a dozen years.  I consider him a friend still.  However, the me that I am today sees through all of that now.  Whatever the hell that is.

The ball was left in my court, his cell number left in my email.  I was to text him soon.  To be honest with you, having been with my hunni for over nine years, the mere thought of what this old friend could want, left me with an empty pit in my stomach.  In one brief online encounter via the 1's & 0's of digital communication, I realized that being emotionally faithful to someone you love isn't done for them.  It's done for you.

Theories abound supporting the belief that guilt causes cancer.  I know for a fact that it causes stomach issues that can potentially lead to ulcers and other daily hindrances like locked bowels. Guilt is stressful and stress can lead to depression. Depression can affect the appetite and we're back to the stomach acid again.  Guilt sucks.

Now, being older and wiser I realize concretely that I can control whether or not I suffer from this tragic human affliction.  I used to do and deal with it later.  Or not deal with it.  But hating yourself for doing the wrong thing is engineering dis-ease in my opinion.

As for the guy, I did consider texting him.  If only to tell him how awesome my life is now.  When I told him I'm a Cannabis Counsellor, he just said "oh".  We used to partake together way back when. Here's the kicker though, and the thing that's left me so proud of my now clear vision ... he never once asked me if I was single, or happy, or looking to reconnect.  He merely dropped his pile of sentimental vagueness on my lap and in my head with no regard for how it would affect me.  That's some shitty shit right there.  If I were in his shoes, I hope to Goddess I'd have the decency to think about the mental well-being of the person I've been thinking about lately.

And I hold no bitterness, truly I don't.  But it's nonsense and it's drumming to distract me from the path that pulls me now.  A test perhaps and I'm FINALLY acing tests again!  Who knew?  I've proven that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  You can change your gullibility and your inability to speak up and out when needed.  So many mistakes are made simply because we cannot find our voice.  Or our gumption.  Or the bravery to stand alone in the crowd.  Or the courage to rock the boat.  Thing is, if we're smart we eventually say fuck the boat and we learn to swim.

Alone is only in your head y'know, we are one, we are all connected.  Shitty shit changes us and sometimes we don't correct the navigation in time before something drastic happens.  Life is hard. But we control so much of it, I see this now.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to the rescue!  CBT, love, forgiveness, and peace of mind.  Or maybe it's the Wolf brain coming through, that basic mammal who's instinct now tells it to preserve thyself.  Your future is in your own control if you feed the good wolf.*

"What you allow is what will follow."

*Cherokee Legend


Monday, 2 January 2017

Licensed Producers in the Best Position to Push For Insurance Coverage



Millions of Canadians are prescribed medications that are paid for by insurance coverage. For many of them, this coverage is what allows them to take the prescriptions their doctors prescribe, as they simply could not afford them otherwise.  Coverage encourages prescription compliance, and the studies are there to prove it.

In 2012, CMAJ published an article that researched the effect of cost on adherence to prescription medications in Canada.  They found that approximately 1 in 10 Canadians report cost as being a reason they don’t fill their prescriptions.  When they considered respondents with insurance coverage, their findings were clear, “After multivariate adjustment, we found that lacking insurance for prescription drugs was associated with a more than fourfold increase in the odds of cost-related nonadherence.”  There are even statistics that show a direct correlation between co-pay fees and adherence.  The lower the co-pay, the more likely that prescription will get filled.  

As more and more retirees show interest in cannabinoid therapy, they’re faced with the shocking truth about switching from pharmaceuticals that have been covered for years, to cannabis which is not yet covered at all. Statistics from 2012, state that 2.3 million working-age Canadians were on disability, a quarter of which were considered severe.  
Cannabinoid therapy works very well for many severe disabilities like chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, MS, some cancers even.  So as it stands today, if any of these income-limited citizens wants to try cannabinoid therapy they have to pay for it out of their disability payments.  Many juggle food and medicine each month, rationing everything at all times. This undoubtedly affects country-wide healthcare costs.  As long as Health Canada refuses to consider medical cannabis a medicine, both patients on disability and patients with insurance coverage will have to pay out of pocket for their cannabis.

Insurers say they cannot cover our medical marijuana prescriptions because Cannabis has no drug identification number (DIN).  And, at least by the standards Western medicine has set thus far, they’re right.  Is this one little acronym going to keep safer medicine out of the hands of Canadians?

Upon further inspection it seems like the DIN has much less to do with how the drug affects you, and much more to do with tracking, categorizing, and marketing.  The number itself is computer generated and upon search, will tell you everything from the manufacturer to the mode of administration.  But since a DIN is granted only after testing is done, the DIN in effect, ensures that the product has undergone sufficient testing. You see the problem.  No one wants to pay for studies on something that they’re not going to reverse engineer.  And as far as the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, we have the right to use this plant however we see fit.

Pharmaceutical companies spend millions proving the safety, efficacy, and detriment of the chemical concoctions they sell.  But with successful medicines, these companies reap the rewards.  If most LP’s deem themselves a part of this industry, shouldn’t we expect the same from them?  It must be choking for some pharmaceutical companies who only sell pills, to see certain LP’s posting profits, hiring celebrities, buying mobile units, and trading on the stock market for selling something that they spent no funds to prove or create.  Who else would we expect should pave the way to not only societal acceptance through studies, but to attain insurance coverage for their patients?

We seem to be at a standstill in Canada where studies are concerned.  So many are done on animals not humans.  So many are done in other countries, where standards differ from our own.  But who better to perform these crucial human studies than the ones who have all the plant product!  They’re literally growing more every day!  And as time flies by, some of these LP’s are even opening storefronts where information and assistance can be attained.  Those outlets would be a great place for data recovery and study product distribution.  Sort of like study headquarters for participants to report to.  All under the strict guidelines that the ACMPR demands of the Licensed Producers.

From a Licensed Producer’s viewpoint, I want you to adhere to your doctor’s authorization, and have a recurring monthly order with me.  But from a patient perspective who sees the prices LP’s charge, I can tell you that isn’t likely to happen every month.  ACMPR patients supplement their medicine by buying elsewhere, meaning the LP’s are missing out on revenue.  Putting in the time, resources, and might that is required to legitimize this medicine to the point of insurance coverage is good for their bottom line.  Insurance coverage encourages compliance, and Cannabis compliance may just have more to do with convenience than with price or quality.

Like Pharmaceutical companies, Licensed Producers just want the bill paid.  If a DIN or the equivalent thereof is required for that to occur, it just seems logical that the Licensed Producers themselves be the ones to foot that bill.  I foresee a CDIN (Cannabinoid Drug Identification Number) perhaps grouped by ailment identifying ranges of cannabinoids and terpenes found therein.  Someone has to prove to Health Canada that Cannabis is indeed a therapeutic medicine.

I believe that this DIN argument is simply an attempt to delay progress.  Someone is profiting, so why change the status quo?  The status quo isn’t benefiting the average Canadian.  When we adhere to our prescriptions, the country’s health care costs go down.  We know what needs to be done.