Medicinal Marijuana

All the kinds of medicinal marijuana I have tried

While I lived in New York I was approved into the medicinal marijuana program. Overall, the process of obtaining certification was easier than I thought. I brought it up to my rheumatologist (which I was nervous about doing) but she thought it was a great idea. She thought it’d be a great alternative to the tramadol or codeine I’d take to help everyday for the pain. She gave me a referral to a medicinal marijuana provider and that provider approved me on the spot and gave me her “recommendation of dosage” which, mind you, was not a prescription like I thought.

In case you were wondering, a “recommendation” is the ratio of CBD to THC that the provider feels would best to help with the symptoms the patient suffers from. She gave me a certificate which I used to make an appointment with one of the dispensaries in NY. That day, I met with a “marijuana pharmacist”. Now, I don’t know if this person was a true pharmacist (I’m assuming?) but we discussed their products and decided on one that the pharmacist felt would be the best option. We based on the provider’s recommendations on whether I smoked/ingested marijuana in the past, if I had any strain preference, or preference of method (smoke, oil, pill, vapor), etc. Based on that conversation, she told me I should try a tincture with a balanced ratio of THC and CBD.

Science lesson!

In case you don’t know, THC and CBD are the two main categories of compounds found in “marijuana” that are found to have an effect on the body/brain. In regards to recreational use, THC is the psychoactive compound that causes that “high” feeling. That’s what contributes to the temporary loss of short-term memory (and the fun feeling that gives you the giggles). CBD, on the other hand, is the compound that gives you that relaxed, chill feeling.

Both compounds help with things like anxiety, pain, and nausea, but they also treat things independently, which is why there is a ratio. For those with symptoms like low appetite and insomnia, they might be recommended products that are full THC or “low CBD: high THC” products. Anyone who suffers from high inflammation, depression or seizures might be better candidates for “high CBD: low THC” or full CBD products. They would benefit greatly from the CBD anti-inflammatory properties. For us lucky folk who suffer from pain AND inflammation, we can benefit from a mix of the two, usually 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, but that can also vary depending on symptoms, needs, and preferences. I’ve even seen 2:1, 1:3, and 1:10 ratios, so you may need to “trial and error” before you find a good ratio for your needs.

How would you like that Marijuana?

In regards to the administration of the compounds, back in New York all that was available were tinctures, sprays, vape, and pills. We spoke a lot about my preferences and I chose the tincture. Tinctures are an oil mixture in the ratio of your choosing (based on what the dispensary provides). You take them by placing a few drops of oil under the tongue and holding it there for about a minute or two. Holding it this way allows the chemicals to absorb into your bloodstream quickly through the capillaries on the underside of the tongue.

The tincture burned at first, and I didn’t quite like the taste. I also didn’t feel like it did anything for me as many times as I tried. Once I was convinced it didn’t work for me, I switched to the vape…which I hilariously never got used to. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to learn how to breathe that smoke in, and almost choked to death. The main way it helped was that I forgot about the pain because I was to busy drinking water and tending to my poor throat.


If you are a smoker or are comfortable with smoking, vaping is fantastic. It absorbs into your blood stream pretty much instantly, and the effect comes on quickly. If you are hesitant at all think about trying another method first. I’ll admit it looks really badass but can cause some painful choking if you are a total noob at it.

Pills are also an option! Just make sure you are aware of how long it will take to work and how long you want it to. Pills are basically edibles, so make sure it will fit with your life schedule. Tinctures and vapes come on fast and last for shorter periods of time. Pills take a long time to process and can be in your system for up to 12 hours. Be informed and see if that is best for you.

But that’s not all!

The New York dispensary I went to also offered sprays. These are aerosols and made similarly to tincture. You spray it in your mouth like a fresh bread spray. It has similar activation time and duration as vaping/ smoking. One new thing I heard about recently was patches. Although. I’ve heard that patches are expensive and don’t last very long. Bummer too, because I thought that would work best for my pain and fibromyalgia.

I’m curious as to what other methods are offered in Philly and if I will have a similar approval system. Hopefully I don’t have to jump through too many hoops.

Do you know of any other methods? I’d love to hear about them!

Wish me luck!


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