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Nutritional Considerations in Medical Cannabis

Good nutrition is essential to maintain your health throughout your life. A healthy diet lowers the likelihood of developing chronic disease. People with chronic diseases can manage their symptoms and prevent complications by eating healthy.

Furthermore, by knowing what types of meals to consume, or avoid, prior to administering cannabis dosages, patients can develop better wellness regimens for their situation. Let’s look at some important nutritional factors to take into account when discussing medical cannabis!

What are Omega-3 fats?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health in people of all ages. They are well-known for their benefits in preventing heart disease in older adults and their involvement in brain and eye development in babies.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be found in foods such as meat, eggs, fish, and nuts.

Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory and support optimal health when consumed in sufficient amounts.

Omega-3s And Your Endocannabinoid System

Most people are unaware of the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is thought to be maintained in balance by omega-3 fatty acids.

The ECS is a crucial system of neurotransmitters throughout the entire body that plays an important role in:

–        Pain
–        Hunger
–        Stress response
–        Inflammation
–        Sleep
–        Muscle movement
–        Energy
–        Mood

Patients may respond more favourably to their cannabis therapy if their diet contains enough omega-3. According to preclinical mice studies, eating enough omega-3 fats results in increased endocannabinoid signalling and stronger sensitivity to the cannabinoids THC and CBD.[1]

Can you combine caffeine with cannabis?

Each day, billions of people rely on caffeine to wake up, or to get through that night shift or an afternoon slump. Chemically speaking, caffeine has been found to increase the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol, which increase wakefulness, increase blood pressure and energy levels. They are the cause of caffeine-induced body stimulation.

It turns out that cannabis functions similarly.

Different cultivars interact with the ECS differently due to their distinct genetic make-up (i.e., cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids). Some cultivars have a stimulating effect similar to that of caffeine.

However, other patients with a history of anxiety or cardiac issues may react negatively to this combination. On the other hand, some patients who battle with low energy and low mood may find this beneficial.

Medical Cannabis and Gastrointestinal Health

The gastrointestinal (GI) system has cannabinoid receptors, which is why some illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), often respond effectively to medical cannabis. The GI tract’s cannabinoid receptors seem to control symptoms including pain, inflammation, and nausea, which are all frequent IBS symptoms.

Bacteria in the GI tract (microbiome) may influence endocannabinoid tone. Bacteria quality can influence mood, gut motility, and brain health. It’s interesting to note that some researchers are looking into the relationship between chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease and the gut-brain axis.

There have been some theories and proposed mechanisms for how cannabinoids, and CBD in particular, may benefit the microbiota. In one study, cannabinoids were used to improve the health of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD)[2]. AUD frequently results in inadequate nutrition as well as liver, intestinal, and brain injury from alcohol. The study discovered that cannabinoids decreased inflammation, regulated gut bacteria, and decreased intestinal permeability in AUD, all of which were beneficial for the microbiome’s general health.

If you have questions about your dietary with medical cannabis regimen, please speak to your healthcare practitioner for a tailored medical cannabis treatment plan to your needs!

Don’t have a medical cannabis document yet? Book an appointment with a healthcare practitioner today!

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Learn More: Pineapple Express Delivery
We introduced Pineapple Express Same/Next-Day Delivery to our patients because we know that fast, reliable, and safe delivery of your medical cannabis is essential. Starting in October 2022, we're reducing the price for Pineapple Express Delivery to $10.00 and it will be the primary delivery option for qualifying patients. For patients on Direct Billing plans, the $10 shipping fee will be covered by your insurance. How it Works Simply choose Pineapple Express as your shipping method and your order will be fast-tracked to same/next day delivery. Please note, orders that are processed before 12 pm on Monday - Friday qualify for same/next day delivery service. For your convenience, you will receive 2 text messages when packages are 1 hour away and 5 minutes away from being delivered to your address. Tracking Your Order To check the status of your order, enter your tracking number into the Pineapple Express website here. List of Delivery zones Pineapple Express is available to postal codes in the following areas: 1. Greater Toronto Area (same day) 2. London (same day) 3. Ottawa (next day) 4. Kingston (next day) 5. Windsor (next day) 6. Barrie (next day) 7. Durham (next day) 8. Niagara (next day) If you are not available at the time of delivery, please contact the delivery driver to provide them with instructions to leave the package in an area that meets the following criteria (within reason): • The package is sheltered from the weather • The package cannot be seen from the street or by passers-by • The entrance is not shared Direct Billing If your medical cannabis plan allows for direct billing, your order will be shipped once approved by your provider. The $10 shipping fee is now covered by your insurance. Feel free to connect with our Client Care Team at 1-844-756-7333 or if you have any questions about Pineapple Express. We’re here to help!
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Managing Side Effects of Cannabis
People who are looking to use medical cannabis frequently ask: “what are the side effects, and is it addictive?” It is important to break down the answer depending on the patient's unique circumstances and characteristics because there are many different factors at play in this complex question. Is cannabis addictive? Addiction, commonly known as substance use disorder, is possible with cannabis use. However, this is almost always only seen when large amounts of THC-dominant cannabis are taken recreationally rather than medicinally. In fact, a recent report from Health Canada on CBD found that it has a very low risk of abuse and is not habit-forming.1 This is consistent with the 2018 drug dependence WHO report.2 What are cannabis’ side effects? The severity of any adverse effects associated with cannabis use—whether they are negative, unwanted, or unpleasant—must be considered. For instance, while cannabis can cause feelings of relaxation and well-being, some people may find these sensations unsettling. The more severe chronic side effects of cannabis use, however, result from chronic, excessive use. These include  problems with the lungs (caused by smoking), risk of worsening of mental health disorders in some individuals, and infrequently cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. To avoid such side effects, healthcare practitioners advise: ·       Use the lowest amount of THC possible for daytime symptom management ·       Co-administer CBD ·       Micro-dose THC using vaporizer, avoid smoking cannabis ·       Take a 1–2 week cannabis holiday as needed Common adverse events of CBD and THC Cannabinoids like CBD and THC are well known for their analgesic, anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and antiepileptic properties, among others. However, some individuals may experience unwanted and negative side effects, which typically depend on the dose and route of administration. See below for a summary of common adverse events.3 Health effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding Just like many other substances and medications, a pregnant woman or new mother’s use of cannabis can affect her fetus or newborn child.4 Cannabinoids are carried through the mother’s blood to her fetus during pregnancy. They are also passed into the breast milk following birth. This can lead to health problems for the child including: ·       Lower birth weight of the baby ·       Decrease in memory function, ability to pay attention, and reasoning and problem-solving skills ·       Increase risk for future substance use Recommendations to avoid and limit unwanted health effects of cannabis 5 ·       Carefully follow your treatment plan and dosing instructions by your healthcare practitioner. ·       Delaying cannabis use, at least until after adolescence, will lessen the likelihood or severity of adverse health outcomes. ·       Use products with low THC content and high CBD. ·       Synthetic cannabis products, such as K2 and Spice, should be avoided. ·       Avoid smoking cannabis and choose safer inhalation methods including vaporizers. ·       Do not drive or operate other machinery for at least 6 hours after using cannabis. Combining alcohol and cannabis increases impairment and should be avoided. ·       Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume cannabis at all. ·       People with a personal or family history of psychosis or substance use disorder have a higher risk for cannabis-related health problems and should consult with their healthcare practitioner about this. What to do if you take too much THC If you’ve mistakenly taken too much THC you might experience a sudden feeling of heightened sensations, panic, and uncomfortable “high”, which is also known as acute cannabis toxicity. There has been an increase in first-time cannabis users across Canada who may not be aware of the many effects of cannabis, their physiological tolerance, and the delayed onset of symptoms seen with some routes of ingestion6. Although you cannot die from a cannabis overdose, the following supportive care practices should be kept in mind: ·       Completely avoid any dangerous behaviour, such as driving, operating machinery, being around children, or consuming other substances like alcohol. ·       Call a trusted family member or friend who will be there for you and offer comfort. ·       Visit your local emergency department if you have severe intoxication symptoms including chest pain, mental health crisis, or extreme nausea and vomiting. ·       For cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (i.e., cannabis-induced nausea and vomiting), limited evidence suggests that applying topical Capsaicin cream to the abdomen may help alleviate symptoms within 30 to 45 minutes.7 ·       The effects of cannabis typically last longer at higher THC concentrations. ·       Effects from inhaled cannabis usually last 2-4 hours, and ingested cannabis usually lasts 8-12 hours. ·       Keep calm. Most symptoms will dissipate within minutes to hours. ·       Keep hydrated with water and eat healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or cheese. ·       Although there is no medical literature to support it, some cannabis connoisseurs recommend chewing a black peppercorn. ·       Find a quiet place without a lot of stimuli where you can keep calm, breathe deeply, and rest. ·       Take a shower to relax the mind and body. Some research indicates that cold showers can help you feel more alert and grounded. ·       Distract yourself by engaging in calming activities like colouring, talking to trustworthy friends, or listening to your favourite music. Reporting adverse events Please let us know if you have experienced an adverse event. As a licensed producer under the Cannabis Act, we have procedures in place to appropriately report adverse reactions to Health Canada. Call or email Starseed Client Care Team at 1-844-756-7333 or [1] [2],abuse%20potential%20or%20cause%20harm. [3] Adapted from, Cannabinoids and Pain by Samer N. Narouze & Caroline A. MacCallum. 2021. Springer. [4] [5] [6] [7]