Topic: Cannabis Basics

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Dec 26, 2019 09:04PM - edited Jun 22, 2021 05:07PM by exbrnxgrl

Posted on: Dec 26, 2019 09:04PM - edited Jun 22, 2021 05:07PM by exbrnxgrl

exbrnxgrl wrote:

I have been using cannabis for the past few years. My main goal in using this is pain relief, de-stressor and for sleep. I have read some stories of using cannabis to cure cancer, but there is simply not enough data for me topursue it's use for that purpose.

Let me start by saying that I live in a legal state, both medical and recreational. My purchases and self experimentation are just that, my own personal experience. Your experiences may be different. If you're wondering why there isn't more scientific based research on weed, it is still completely illegal on the federal level, so not many research dollars available.

Cannabinols are the active ingredients in cannabis. With some variations, the major cannabinols are CBD and THC. CBD is not psychoactive, THC is. Cannabis plants fall into two major categories, Sativa and Indica. Indicas are known to be more sedating. This is the stuff that creates “couch lock". Sativas are thought to be more energizing. It gives more of a giggly high and is less sedating. On top of this there are many hybrids.

In addition to knowing if your weed is Sativa or Indica, different strains within each category will have varying amounts/ratios of CBD to THC. If you live in a legal state, this information should be available on the packaging. Other very important info on the packaging will be percentages of these ingredients. For instance, due to my high tolerance, I generally look for products that are at least 20% THC, 5% CBD , though for sleep I prefer a 1:1 ratio. The higher the CBD level to THC, the less “high" you will feel.

Strains... what can I say except there are hundreds, especially with all of the hybridization and mixing of strains. Here are some favorites:

Sativa- Durban Poison, Jack Herrer, Lemon Haze

Indica- Gorilla Glue, most Kush strains, Zkittlez

I have tried most, but not all, of the available forms cannabis come in. Edibles are great but for me, the time from consumption to onset of effects has been very inconsistent. Some of the edibles such as cookies and candy bars are so delicious that you can wind up eating lots of sugar! Vaping was ok, but gave me a sore throat so I no longer vape.

I prefer capsules or sub-lingual drops and use a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio. This is what I usually take about 90 minutes before bed or even earlier. For immediate effects, I find there is no substitute for smoking a joint.

My only advice for those who are interested in cannabis is to go low (dosage) and slow(wait some time before taking more). If you have access to a legal dispensary, the bud tenders are usually quite knowledgeable and can advise you. In the end, it boiled down to a lot of self experimentation and too many Kiva brand dark chocolate bars 🤣. BTW, if you consume too much THC, i.e. you get too high, CBD can help counteract that.

While not an expert, I have years of personal experience under my belt and am happy to share what I have learned. As with anything that has psychoactive effects please do not drive or do anything that requires an unimpaired state of mind to do. I should add that I only use cannabis at night as I still work full time*. Lastly, if you are not in a legal state or simply choose not to use legal dispensaries there is no way to know what you're getting. In my state, the legal dispensaries are very expensive due to high taxes, but I am willing to pay that because I know what I'm getting (this includes if it is organic, indoor or outdoor grow etc.)

* I’m now retired! 6/4/2

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 26, 2019 10:26PM elainetherese wrote:

Thanks for doing this! I'm sure many breast cancer patients will benefit from your expertise. We just got medical marijuana in my state, but I've been doing better with my sleeping lately. However.....if my insomnia comes back (and it's possible), what do you recommend for that? (Sleep has been a struggle since my sons were born.)

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/23/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/17/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/9/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 26, 2019 11:41PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

ElaineTherese,

Thank you, but I won’t claim expertise. How about someone who has done a lot of experimentation and is happy to share the good, the bad and the ugly 😉?

For sleep, I prefer tinctures that you hold under you tongue for at least a minute before swallowing. Mucous membranes in the mouth, especially under the tongue, really speed up absorption. You can try a 100% CBD oil but beware of cheap or bargain basement prices. High quality CBD products are pricey. Personally, I think at least a little THC makes for a more effective sleep product. Try starting with an 18:1 (CBD:THC) ratio. If you don’t mind feeling a little buzzed as you’re falling asleep, you can start moving toward products where the CBD:THC ratio is more balanced. I use a 1:1 tincture. You can also find capsules with similar ratios. I would also recommend that you follow the dosing guidelines on the packaging and go low and slow until you find your sweet spot. Take car

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 27, 2019 12:59AM - edited Dec 27, 2019 01:00AM by thisiknow

If you are dosing for the edibles or tinctures, try 5mg THC to start with...no more if you're a beginner. Then depending on your 'tolerance' level as time goes on, increase or decrease the dosage as needed.

If you're vaping, look for the 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD. You actually shouldn't get buzzed with that ratio, but the other day I vaped 14% CBD with only 9% THC and still got buzzed so I don't know what happened. But like exbrnxgrl said above, CBD takes the buzz out of THC so that's really good to know if you get too much THC and get anxious as a result. You will soon learn enough so that never happens again.

Don't smoke it. You want to avoid combustion for your lung's sake, and it's the reason vaping ejuices or Cannabis is so much less dangerous than smoking tobacco.

For sleep I took 10mg of Incredibles Gummies for a few months and that worked well. Because it's an 'edible,' it kicks in after an hour or two so you can sleep better thru the night. But to get to sleep I vape it, and the more THC the better. They say Sativas are energizing/awakening whereas the Indicas are more relaxing, more apt to cause couch-lock. But... that's not always true. I'm finding that vaping a strong Sativa puts me to sleep very quickly, and the gummies help keep me asleep. Anyway, if none of this works, just take two Benadryls. :)

There are many ways to 'take' Cannabis and they're making it very easy to do. "Medical" Cannabis in my state is pretty inexpensive. There is a strain called "Shake" that's made up of all the left-overs from all the jars of strains that have been sold and it's composed of probably 5 to 10 different strains (whatever they're selling at the time). One ounce of Shake is $50 and it's a strong mixture of various CBD's and THC. The drawback is not having a 'specific' strain to evaluate, but then does it really make any difference if it works?

Vaping concentrates (oils, budder, etc) works well for a strong dose that hits immediately. But I find the effects of the concentrates don't last as long as vaping the bud (flower). So for me the concentrates are good for putting me to sleep but not for keeping me asleep.

I have not had to use it for pain because I don't have pain. But if I did I'd want to try many strains to find one or more that worked. It's worth a try. If you can get it legally. Currently, folks in various states are putting "street THC" and Vit E into vaporizers and getting into deep trouble, a few even dying. It's just not worth it to buy street weed.

How I wish they'd been able to do research on Cannabis many years ago. We'd sure have a lot more answers today. There is still a stigma about it but that will likely go away as more and more states legalize.

Others please jump in here if you have experience with Cannabis. And thank you exbrnxgrl for starting this thread.


Age 72 @dx - Oncotype 4 & 15 Dx 7/14/2019, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Surgery 9/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/28/2019 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 27, 2019 01:42AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I appreciate you saying don’t smoke it, but that’s something I’ve had to weigh against the benefits I get from it. Nothing provides almost instant pain relief as smoking. I am pretty adamant about not starting on prescription pain meds so that’s where the trade off comes in. I manage with naproxen during the day.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 27, 2019 06:07AM nancyhb wrote:

Thank you for taking time to share your extensive knowledge, I really appreciate it. I smoked as a kiddo oh so many years ago - and hated it. I’m one of those odd folks who has adverse reactions to being high - incredible paranoia and uncomfortable body buzz, even in small doses. I’ve tried it from time to time over the years hoping for a different outcome, and - because today’s strains are so much more potent than the 70’s - it’s been far worse.

I’ve reall wanted to try CBD but am terrified I’ll end up miserable like before. It sounds like CBD without associated THC is the way to go. Thanks again - you’ve given me some hope!

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam Surgery 12/5/2011 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 1/19/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/12/2012 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/15/2016 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left) Chemotherapy 3/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/21/2016 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/2/2022 Surgery 6/2/2022
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Dec 27, 2019 10:24AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

NancyHB,

CBD is not psychoactive so it cannot make you feel high. However, I would still recommend low and slow should you choose to try it

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 27, 2019 03:46PM nancyhb wrote:

I’ll take that advice to heart. 😊 I’m the only person I know who doesn’t enjoy pot. But I’m looking for something to help with anxiety and sleep, and am tired of one-off prescription meds. Everyone talks about low-dosing THC along with CBD, but I’m simply terrified - is that silly?

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam Surgery 12/5/2011 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 1/19/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/12/2012 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/15/2016 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left) Chemotherapy 3/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/21/2016 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 6/2/2022 Surgery 6/2/2022
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Dec 27, 2019 04:16PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Given your experience, I would say that your concerns are not at all silly! As I said, look for a product that is either just CBD or a higher ratio of CBD to THC, like an 18:1. Taken about an hour before bed or so, it should help with sleep and it’s effects will be gone by morning. BTW, if you use a product containing THC with any regularity you may build up a tolerance and find it doesn’t effect you.

My older dd provides us with a bit of a cautionary tale. She’s always struggled with insomnia. She’s tried melatonin (there are some edibles that contain melatonin as well as CBD/THC) but it gave her weird dreams. I got her a tincture that was 25:1 and it helped her with sleep as well as some back pain. After she finished the bottle, she went to the dispensary herself and bought a bottle of 1:1. She called me later that night and was surprised at how stoned she was! Well, going from 25:1 to 1:1 is a huge leap and,IMO, any product that 2:1 or 1:1 is indeed going to get you high. So my very own dd did not follow the low and slow rule. Let her story encourage you all to go low and slow unless you know you have a high tolerance. If you do overdo it, just go to sleep or use CBD to bring you down.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 27, 2019 04:39PM flashlight wrote:

exbrnxgrl, Where do you purchase the CBD/THC capsules for insomnia? I live in PA. My insomnia is worse on the Tamoxifen. My doctor gave me Elavil to try and it did the opposite made me hyper!! Thank you for posting this information.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy Whole breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Dec 27, 2019 05:00PM edj3 wrote:

NancyHB you aren't the only one. Both pot and hash made me puke my guts out. No thanks!

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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