I navigated the winding road to acquiring medical cannabis in Canada. Whoever paved the road may have been drunk. This is my simplified guide to getting CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana.
So you're thinking about getting CBD Oil are you? No? Well, maybe you're just curious about this component of cannabis that's having a trendy moment right now. Luckily Keto and celery juice have been kind enough to make room for it.
CBD Oil if you don't know is a component of cannabis that has no psychoactive properties. In other words you don't get high. It's shown promise in treating a variety of ailments including epilepsy, anxiety and osteoporosis.
I was curious about CBD oil for treating my Generalized Anxiety for two reasons. 1) Because I'm a skeptic and I like to prove things true or false and 2) because at the height of my anxiety I was willing to try anything that didn't involve paying to join a sex cult (free would have been fine.)
Table of Contents
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a component of marijuana that has no psychoactive properties. In other words you don't get high.
The best article I've read comparing the hype and hope of CBD oil is this article from The New York Times. If you only read one article about CBD oil, it's the one you should read.
O.K., so I decide I'm going to try CBD oil to see if it does anything for my anxiety. I've made the decision. I have decided.
I had NO idea how to get it. I'm in Canada where both medical and recreational marijuana is legal across the country yet I don't have a clue about how to get any. For real, I could probably find pot through a friend or neighbour in about half an hour but it took me days to figure out how to get CBD oil legally.
Did I need a prescription? Could I just go to a pot shop and say Hey, load me up with some of that CBD stuff. I have no idea how much I need so maybe just give me a bucket of it.
In a panic (on top of the panic) I called my friend Leslie who a bit of a CBD expert. She's been taking it and giving it to her children to stop tics (associated with PANDAS) for years. Leslie is a regular mom, yoga instructor, bee keeper and CBD advocate. I was surprised when she said she gets calls from confused CBD curious Canadians all the time.
In 5 minutes she explained everything and described the different routes I could go to getting CBD oil. This is the process in a nutshell.
How to Get CBD Oil
(the short version)
- Get authorized for medical marijuana by either your family doctor or a medical marijuana clinic.
- Register with a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis products that's been authorized by the government. (your clinic or doctor will help with this)
- Order your product online from your licensed producer and get it delivered to your door.
That is how it works on its most basic level. Here's how the winding road went for me.
How to Get CBD Oil
(the long version)
- I went to see my family doctor and told her I wanted CBD oil for anxiety. She told me she has never authorized medical marijuana because she doesn't know enough about it to feel comfortable doing so. However she was happy to refer me to one of my two area clinics.
Right after my doctor appointment, I headed straight to my local Kentucky Fried Chicken location, now ... a marijuana clinic. Hello Cannabissssss.
TIP: If you're embarrassed or shy or don't want to talk to your family doctor about medical marijuana you can bypass them altogether and go straight to a clinic. You do not need a doctor's referral to go to a medical marijuana clinic.
2. Walking into the clinic I was greeted by gaggle of women who welcomed me and asked what they could do for me. I HAVE ANXIETY AND I'M SCREAMING IN MY HEAD, SO I WANT TO TRY CBD OIL RIGHT NOWWWWW is what went through my mind. Out loud what I said was, I'll take a snack pack. No I didn't. I said I wanted to get authorized for medical marijuana so I could have access to CBD Oil.
I was guided to a leather sofa and asked for my email address and phone number. Within seconds I had been sent a form to fill out when I got home and sent on my way.
Once I had filled out the form (which asked about prescriptions I was taking, a brief medical history and various ailments I may or may not have) I submitted it and waited for a call from them. Within a couple of days I was called back and an appointment was booked for that week for me to see the clinic's nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are also allowed to authorize medical marijuana use and some clinics use them as opposed to doctors.
TIP: If there isn't a clinic near you, you can contact almost any clinic in your province or state and they'll arrange a Skype meeting with their doctor. So you don't even need to leave your house.
3. I went in for my appointment a couple of days later and was reminded at how un-pothead this place was like. It was very pretty.
After being offered a glass of water I was ushered into a private room to speak with the nurse practitioner for about half an hour. She went over some of my complaints (anxiety, migraines, not sleeping) and asked what I was currently doing for these things. I told her about the prescriptions I take for anxiety and migraines and how effective they are. Truthfully my anxiety medication worked perfectly until this whole episode and my migraine medication works 80% of the time. She said she believed CBD oil could help with my anxiety, migraines and even my recently fitful sleep. I was authorized to use medical marijuana.
4. I was ushered into another room to speak with the patient advisor who would go over how CBD oil works and how to figure out what dose you should take. That's the thing. There is no rule. It's not like Oh, for anxiety we give you 30 mg of anxiety a day, morning and night. You have to take a tiny bit and see how you do that day. You keep increasing your daily under tongue squirt of oil until you feel like your symptoms are gone.
My patient advisor, Ashley.
5. Once the dosing was explained to me, my patient advisor Ashley sent my medical marijuana authorization to an LP (a government licensed producer of cannabis). That's the only way a licensed producer will let you buy any cannabis products from them. They need to be sent your authorization from a doctor or nurser practitioner. Otherwise you can't order from them. I was actually registered with two different LPs (Green Relief and CannTrust) because CBD oil is in such high demand that producers often run of stock. Being registered with 2 producers means if one is out of oil and you need it, you can get it from the other producer.
Tip: There are several Oils, each one very different.
CBD Oil (which I'm taking) contains a high percentage of CBD and only trace amounts of THC. The THC is typically less than 1%. You get no high.
1:1 Oil contains equal parts of CBD and THC. You get a buzz.
THC Oil contains a higher percentage of THC and less of CBD. You get high.
Each oil can vary in their strength so read the label and about the product. It will all be clearly marked on the bottle or website.
6. It was another few days before I received an email from my LPs saying they had received my documents and I was free to purchase their cannabis products.
7. The first LP to authorize my use was CannTrust so I ordered from them on a Thursday and had my CBD oil by Monday.
Tip: Cannabis Oil comes in a variety of strengths with a common strength being 24-26 mg per ml. Green Relief has a CBD Oil that contains 42.9 mg per ml. That's the highest there is right now. The higher the strength the less of it you have to take, but the more it costs.
8. Once you get your oil you just pop a plastic cap into the top of it, insert the dropper into it (more of a syringe really), turn the bottle upside down, pull out your dosage and you're done.
The oil can be anything from clear to golden.
9. Stick the syringe under your tongue and squirt the oil under there, then just let it kind of dissolve/mix with your spit. Eventually you'll have to swallow it, but letting it sit under your tongue helps to absorb it into your system. It tastes like flowers and grass. I found it kindda gross, but you get used to it.
That's me super-casually squirting CBD under my tongue from the comfort of my foyer.
It can take 60 - 90 minutes for the CBD to get into your system.
So. I've been taking it for over a week now and you want to know if it works.
I don't know. My anxiety level is way lower, yes, but it's not completely gone. It could be that time is all I needed to ditch my bitch, anxiety. Or it could be that CBD works but I haven't figured out the right dose just yet.
According to the one really good scientific study on CBD and anxiety you actually need 300 mg of CBD to reduce anxiety. Not the 20-50 mg a day that most people take.
300 mg is about ⅓rd of my $90 one month supply.
I wish I could either say Yes CBD cured my anxiety, or Nope, don't waste your money. But at this point I can't tell you either of those things. I'll keep taking it for a few months and reassess.
As far as downsides to it go, I have to admit to having developed a constant craving for fried chicken.
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