4 Herbs That Improve Your Health And Happiness

Many people tend to underestimate the almost magical-like powers of various herbs on both your health and happiness levels. When people aren’t feeling well, whether physically or mentally, they tend to consult their doctor first and foremost.

While traditional medicine certainly has its place, it does not always produce the kind of results you want. Traditional medicine is also known to produce a wide variety of side effects and can cause additional problems.

This is not to say that traditional medicine should be avoided; on the contrary, traditional medicine is highly important and you should always consult your doctor first.

However, you should also consider the benefits of herbal remedies, especially if you’re not experiencing success with traditional medicine.

Alternate therapies have proven to be effective; in some cases, they may even be more effective than traditional forms of medicine.

That’s precisely why alternate therapies are growing and gaining more ground. They are also entirely natural and do not result in the same side effects as traditional medicine.

Whether you suffer from anxiety, chronic pain, or any other disorder that could affect your health and happiness, there are herbs that can be very beneficial.

Herbs That Improve Health and Happiness

  1. St. John’s Wort

    St. John’s wort has been used for centuries as a natural antidepressant. St. John’s wort has traditionally also been used as a folk remedy to treat various sleep disorders.

    Recent research, however, has shown that it is indeed effective in treating relatively mild to more consuming depressive disorders, such as moderate depression.

    In fact, one study found that St. John’s wort was as effective as antidepressants but without the side effects that come from traditional antidepressant medication.

    It should be noted that products with St. John’s wort can vary by a fair bit, so it’s important to ensure you have the real deal.

  2. Passionflower

    Passion Flower

    This flower has mild narcotic compounds that encourage sleep. Research has also found very positive evidence that passionflower can be beneficial for various anxiety disorders.

    Passionflower can be consumed in a variety of ways, including teas or as capsules.

  3. Kava Kava

    The same study that found passionflower had a positive effect on anxiety disorders also found kava kava to be beneficial for anxiety disorders.

    In fact, the world’s first clinical trial of kava kava found that the plant significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, particularly in those with generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).

    The benefit of kava kava, like many other herbs on this list, is that the risk of becoming dependent on it is very low. The risks of experiencing any side effects is also low.

    Kava kava is a medicinal plant found in the South Pacific. It has been said that native Polynesians actually used kava kava to encourage social interaction at community events.

  4. Cannabis

    Cannabis Plant

    Cannabis has a 6,000 year old history. The earliest recorded history of cannabis being used for medical purposes was observed in both Serbia and Mongolia in 4000 BC.

    While cannabis has had a complicated history, cannabis has been clinically proven to be beneficial for a variety of different conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety, as well as sleep disorders, to name just a few.

    In 2017, the largest-ever study on cannabis found that cannabis reduced chronic pain, reduced spasms in those with multiple sclerosis, and even reduced nausea in those undergoing chemotherapy.

    On the topic of anxiety, a recent landmark study in Canada found that 40% of patients who were prescribed medical cannabis to treat both anxiety and pain stopped using benzodiazepines, their prescription medication, within 90 days. 45% stopped using their medication after a year.

The Takeaway

In many cases, various herbs have been shown to be just as effective at treating many illnesses as traditional medication, especially when it comes to anxiety disorders. When you improve your mental health, your overall well being and happiness levels are also improved as a result.

While it is recommended that you always consult a medical health professional before taking any herbal remedies, the research shows that herbs can make you healthier and happier.

If you are interested in using medical marijuana to improve your health and happiness, consider Apollo Cannabis Clinic. Apollo Cannabis Clinic is Toronto’s premier medical marijuana clinic that has been successfully treating thousands of patients who have anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, sleep disorders, and many other conditions.

To schedule an appointment, click here. For more information on how medical marijuana can improve your health and happiness levels, contact us here.

Disclaimer: Please note that the above information does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Again, it is also always recommended that you consult a medical health professional before attempting to use any of the herbs mentioned above.

Meditation And Other Habits To Improve Sleep

Roughly ⅓ of Canadians suffer from poor sleep. They either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least some of the time.

The problem is that poor sleep—sleep that is not long enough and sleep that is poor quality—is linked to many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, depression, reduced well-being, and all-cause mortality.

Did you know that improving your sleep can be as beneficial for your happiness levels as winning the lottery? Research has proven it.

When it comes to how much people should be sleeping every night, it is recommended that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night.

Seniors who are 65 and older should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.

Needless to say, quality sleep is important for both your physical and mental health, as well as overall well being.

Below you will find how you can improve your sleep through meditation and other habits.

How To Improve Sleep

How to Improve Sleep

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

    There are many different types of meditation, all of which offer their own benefits, but it is mindfulness meditation, in particular, that has been proven to improve sleep quality.

    Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on your breathing and then directing your attention to the present moment—your feelings and experiences in the moment—without thinking about the future or past.

    If you notice your attention is wandering, it is perfectly acceptable. This is natural. All you need to do is acknowledge that your thoughts have drifted and then direct your attention back to your breathing.

    The reason why mindful meditation is effective is because it evokes the relaxation response in your body; essentially, it puts the body in a state of relaxation instead of stress. This is important because many sleep disorders are tied to stress.

    It is recommended that you practice for 20 minutes during the day and then again before falling asleep. The reason why it is recommended to practice during the day is so that you effectively train your body to trigger the relaxation response in your body faster.

    However, you should practice while sitting up in a chair during the day so you don’t fall asleep.

    There are many guided meditation apps available that will actually guide you through the process (of course, ensure that you are limiting your exposure to short-wave blue light at night as this affects both the length and quality of sleep).

    Not only has mindfulness meditation been proven to improve sleep quality, but it has also been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, and pain.

  2. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

    The Canadian Sleep Society recommends several different practices for maintaining sleep hygiene, all of which can be beneficial for sleep. This is what sleep hygeine looks like from morning to night:

    • Wake up at the same time every morning/go to bed at the same time, even on the weekends. This one is important and it’s often overlooked!
    • Exercise regularly
    • Avoid napping late in the afternoon or evening
    • Avoid eating heavy foods before bedtime. Also avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
    • Have a relaxing bedtime routine (such as soaking in the bathtub)
    • Have a good sleeping environment (limit noise, light, and so on)
    • Ensure that your bedroom is only used for sleep and intimacy. Even watching television should be avoided
  3. Consider Medical Marijuana

    Research has also shown that medical marijuana is an effective sleep aid and by a significant margin. This was found in studies dating back to the 70s. It is specifically the level of THC that makes it an effective sleep aid.

    THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, but when cannabis is derived from a specific type of cannabis plant (the indica plant), users report feeling sedated and their muscles also relax. In turn, people can sleep better as a result of being more relaxed. You can read more about it here.

How To Improve Sleep

The Takeaway

Sleep is important and it should be prioritized. You likely noticed a theme throughout this article: stress reduction and taking time to relax can promote better sleep. Whether you practice meditation before bed or you soak in a warm bath, relaxation is key to quality sleep.

Practicing good sleep hygiene, like waking up and going to bed at the same time every day is also important. Medical marijuana has also been shown to be beneficial for sleep.

If you are interested in using medical marijuana to improve your sleep or to aid in a sleep related condition, consider Apollo Cannabis Clinic. Apollo Cannabis Clinic is Toronto’s premier medical marijuana clinic that has been successfully treating thousands of patients who have trouble sleeping, those with sleep disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, and many other conditions.

To schedule an appointment, click here. For more information on how medical marijuana can improve your sleep, contact us here.

4 Important Facts About Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles are cannabis-infused products that you can eat or drink. Virtually any food can be infused with cannabis, from baked goods like brownies and cookies to hard candies to hot and cold beverages. As such, edibles offer a delicious way to consume marijuana in comparison to that of smoking. In fact, edibles are becoming the most popular method of consuming marijuana. Of course, it’s not hard to see why!

Marijuana edibles are typically made by infusing cannabis with cooking oil or butter, making canna-oil or canna-butter. These can then be used to make a variety of edible foods. With that said, marijuana edibles can be potent and unpredictable given that rates of absorption differ so readily. Here are four important facts about marijuana edibles.

  1. Marijuana Edibles Are More Potent

    Marijuana edibles are actually much more potent than regular marijuana. The reason is due to the psychoactive component found in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and the way it converts in the body. Once it’s consumed, it changes into a different substance in the liver that delivers effects that are twice as strong and also last twice as long as when marijuana is inhaled. Essentially, the liver breaks down the THC and converts it into a more powerful chemical called 11-hydroxy-THC. Keep in mind that the effects of edibles can be particularly great on an empty stomach, so it’s always best to consume edibles with other food.

    On top of this, it also takes our bodies longer to process cannabis when it is ingested instead of being inhaled as it is slowly absorbed through the stomach and intestinal tracts. With smoking, peak blood levels happen in as little as 3 to 10 minutes. Again, this is because THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs, reaching the brain mere seconds after.

    Ultimately, the effects of consuming the edibles don’t become immediately apparent, which can cause people to eat more, as you will see below. This is especially true since edibles tend to taste quite pleasant. This is a common mistake that many people make. They consume too much, which can result in unpleasant and uncomfortable effects.

    As such, it’s imperative that users start out with a low dose (typically between 2-5mg of THC) and wait to see how they react once the cannabis is completely metabolized. It takes six hours for the edibles to be thoroughly metabolized and users should not take any more until this amount of time has passed, especially in the beginning.

  2. Marijuana Edibles Deliver Very Long-Lasting Effects

    As you saw above, the effects of marijuana edibles can last twice as long as smoking or vaporizing cannabis due to the fact that it gets converted into a more potent chemical. What you may or may not know is just how long these effects can last. Depending on the dosage, the effects of consuming marijuana edibles can last anywhere between 4 and 12 hours. Keep in mind, this is just a rough estimate and it varies greatly, patient to patient.

  3. Users Feel The Effects of Edibles At Different Rates

    Users also feel the effects of marijuana edibles at very different rates after consuming them given the unpredictability of absorption, which is different for everyone. On average, effects are felt somewhere between 30 to 90 minute after the edibles are eaten. Essentially, the edibles have to be digested first.

    Some, however, don’t notice the effects for more than three hours. These effects can peak as many as 2 and 6 hours later. The effects will also differ based on a variety of individual factors, from age, gender, metabolism, weight and fitness level. Whether or not you have consumed edibles in the past will also influence the effects. What’s more, effects can vary on an individual and daily basis.

  4. There Are No Recorded Cases People Overdosing on Edibles

    While it is still important to determine the ways in which your individual body reacts to various amounts of edibles before eating too many of them, know that even if you consume too much, there have been zero recorded cases of people overdosing on marijuana edibles. It can certainly make you feel uncomfortable, but the effects are not fatal.

Where Can You Get Marijuana Edibles?

As far as the legal cannabis goes in Canada, edibles cannot be purchased from licensed providers. Patients need to make their own. However, edibles can be made using oil or dry marijuana purchased from a licensed provider. In the case of dry marijuana, it can be made into a cannabis-infused oil or butter, which can be used in baking and cooking, as you saw above. The benefit of homemade baked goods is that users can control how much they want to use. They can also control the taste.

If you are interested in using medical marijuana to treat anxiety, consider Apollo Cannabis Clinic. Apollo Cannabis Clinic is Toronto’s premier medical marijuana clinic that has been successfully treating thousands of patients with anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD and many other conditions. To schedule an appointment, click here. For more information, contact us here.

How Medical Marijuana Can Treat Anxiety

Anxiety disorders, which are characterized by excessive feelings of apprehension, worry and even fear, are among the most common mental health disorders in both Canada and the rest of the world. One of the most recent Canadian Community Health Surveys from Statistics Canada shows that more than 12% of Canadians have reported that they have been diagnosed with either an anxiety or mood disorder – the equivalent of 3.7 million people. It can be assumed that this number is likely even higher given the number of people who do not seek treatment,
About Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are often chronic in nature, lasting at least six months, and tend to get worse without treatment. Contrary to popular belief, anxiety disorders often do not get better with time. Symptoms can certainly come and go, but treatment is still usually necessary when it comes to anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders can cause serious impairments in one’s life, with social and occupational impairments being among the most common. There are also many different types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When it comes to treatment, pharmaceutical medication and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy are often the first lines of defense. The problem with some medications, in particular, is that patients can build up tolerance to it, causing them to take higher and higher dosages. It can then cause very painful withdrawal symptoms. But there’s new hope! Studies are now showing that medical marijuana can also be an effective form of treatment for some types of anxiety disorders as well, often without the negative side effects often associated with pharmaceuticals

Clinical Research On Medical Marijuana and Anxiety

Medical marijuana is quickly gaining ground when it comes to treatment for anxiety, especially for those with post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, research is continuing to show the positive effects of medical marijuana on anxiety, just take a look at a few examples below.

A 2014 study found that marijuana can increase the presence of endocannabinoids, which are naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain. The problem is that stress reduces these chemicals; some researchers believe that less endocannabinoids could be a cause of anxiety disorders.

A recent landmark study coming out of Canada has found that 40% of patients who were prescribed medical cannabis to treat both anxiety and pain stopped using benzodiazepines, their prescription medication, within 90 days. 45% stopped using their medication after a year.

Clinical research has also shown that vaporizing medical cannabis or using edible oils can reduce PTSD symptoms in some patients. This study, which was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, found that symptoms were reduced by as much as 75%. However, there have also been studies showing the positive effects of CBD, a major component of marijuana, on generalized social anxiety disorder. The study found that CBD significantly reduced social anxiety disorder due to its effects on the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain.

Furthermore, Apollo is currently studying the effects of medical cannabis on patients with PTSD with encouraging preliminary results. Stay tuned! ( or something like this )

As you can see, it is clear that there is certainly a positive link between medical marijuana use and at least some forms of anxiety, particularly PTSD. But, then again, studies have also shown benefits of medical marijuana on other forms of anxiety such as social anxiety disorder. Medical marijuana also has the potential to decrease the need for certain prescription medications like benzodiazepines.

How Medical Marijuana Can Treat Anxiety

With all of this said, what is it that makes medical marijuana a potentially effective treatment for those with anxiety? It is specifically the presence of the chemical compound Cannabidiol that is responsible for its anxiety-reducing effects. CBD is one of 85 naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis. It is not psychoactive, which means that it doesn’t produce feelings of paranoia, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, another component of cannabis. CBD also does not make users feel “high.” It also reduces the negative effects of CBD. THC, however, as you can see, can have the opposite intended effect on anxiety when consumed in high doses. That said, THC has been shown to offer other medical benefits, including reducing stress when consumed in low dosages.

Above all, it’s important to find medical marijuana that has the right balance between these two compounds and one that works for YOU, the patient. Different strains have different levels of chemicals, which is why sometimes you will hear that medical marijuana can make anxiety symptoms worse. Often, however, this is because the user is not using the correct marijuana strain or is taking too much. If you are interested in using medical marijuana to treat anxiety, consider Apollo Cannabis Clinic. Apollo Cannabis Clinic is Toronto’s premier medical marijuana clinic that has been successfully treating thousands of patients with anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD and many other conditions. To schedule an appointment, click here. For more information of how medical marijuana can treat anxiety, contact us here.

Know Your Rights: Medical Marijuana In The Workplace

On July 1st, 2018, recreational cannabis will be legalized in Canada.

When medical marijuana is prescribed to a patient, it is considered in the same class as any other prescription drug. If you were given antibiotics for an ear infection, you would take them as directed. If you were given medication to control your blood pressure, you would also only take it as prescribed.

The same goes for medical marijuana. However, when you are on antibiotics or blood pressure medication, you do not have to disclose this information to your employer. You are required to disclose prescribed cannabis use.

Medical marijuana in the workplace

Your employer cannot discriminate against you for having a prescription for medical marijuana as per the Human Rights Code. This legislation protect us from discrimination in the workplace, including the use of prescribed medical cannabis.

Your employer cannot simply fire you because you are using medicinal cannabis to treat an injury or disorder. But, if you require accommodations, your employer does need to be aware if you are using cannabis at the workplace.

Your employer may prohibit the use of recreational cannabis during work hours, and attending work impaired.

This is to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Your physician is not allowed to reveal details of your medical history, ongoing treatment or any other personal information to your employer without your consent.

The employer can ask your physician or the independent examiner the following questions:

  1. Will my employee have the ability to perform their job tasks safely? For example, if your job requires you to work heavy machinery, your employer will explain this to the physician/examiner.
  2. Does the consumption of medical marijuana influence my employee’s cognitive ability or judgement while they are under the influence of this medication?
  3. Are there other side effects of the medical condition being treated with medical marijuana that I should also consider and how can I better accommodate my employee should these side effects occur?

What can your employer NOT do?

Your employer must accommodate until the point of undue hardship. This includes allowing employees to step outside to vaporize medicine, and the revision of duties to accommodate the condition. Your employer cannot, however, create a new, tailored position but should rather ensure tasks respect the known limitations of the employee.

Furthermore, an employee cannot be fired for using medicinal marijuana if they have a prescription. Moreover, all drug testing must be random and the employer must have sufficient evidence that the employee is impaired. Testing may be conducted after an incident, a part of rehabilitation, or as a precondition to employment, a promotion or a transfer.

The only time your employer can seek action against you or let you go is with cause – for example, if your consumption of medical marijuana has tampered with your ability produce quality work. Or, if you are impaired while on the job and are putting the safety of yourself and others at risk.

How and where do you consume your medication at work?

If your employer has designated an area for you to take your medication, please respect that decision. If your prescription is delivered in the form of a spray, drops or edibles, your employer may not designate a specific area for you and allow you to consume your medication where you see fit.

It’s important to note that a cannabis prescription does not entitle an employee to smoke or vaporize in the workplace.

Important facts about medical marijuana in the workplace:

  • You cannot share your prescription of medical marijuana with coworkers (or anyone for that matter). The prescription is based on your pain management needs and may be too strong for others even if they claim to have been injured too. The quality of medical marijuana is far superior to those of the illegal version and is not designed for recreational use.
  • If you feel like your judgement and cognitive abilities have been impaired by the use of medical marijuana, tell your supervisor immediately. Do not keep working if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, no matter what your job entails. Many people assume that because the do not operate heavy machinery they can fight through the side effects of medicinal cannabis. Even if you sit at a desk, the moment you feel out of sorts from using your prescribed medical marijuana, let your superior know.
  • A medical cannabis prescription does not entitle an employee to unexcused absences or late arrivals to work.
  • In the Province of Ontario, e-cigarettes and vaporizers are banned where smoking is already prohibited.
  • Health Spending Accounts are the preferred benefits option for employees as medical cannabis is not currently covered under traditional drug plans.

Please contact us for more information regarding medical cannabis at the workplace.

Are You Eligible For Medical Marijuana?

Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) has been in effect since August 24th, 2016. The ACMPR details the result of a Federal Court ruling that allows Canadians to access medical marijuana. However, medical marijuana is not available to just anyone. Eligibility depends on many factors.

Are you eligible for medical marijuana?

If you suffer from chronic pain and have tried traditional medications and therapies but to no avail, you could be eligible for medical marijuana. Many people who receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis are suffering from chronic pain symptoms that have been present for more than six months.

For many people, the symptoms of chronic pain can prevent them from working, leaving the house and enjoying life. Medical marijuana offers the chance to regain your strength and ease chronic pain. Furthermore, people who suffer from chronic nausea or a sleep disorder may also be eligible for medicinal cannabis, as are people who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Patients who suffer from an ailment or disorder other than chronic pain, nausea, sleep disorders, or PTSD can still be eligible for medical marijuana.

While it’s not necessary to be referred from a doctor, it is preferable. You will then be assessed by a physician for medical cannabis. If this treatment option is deemed appropriate, it will be prescribed.

What conditions can be helped by medicinal cannabis?

There are a myriad medical conditions that can be helped by the use of medical cannabis. When you meet with an Apollo healthcare practitioner, if they deem cannabis an appropriate treatment option for you, they will prescribe the amount of marijuana you are supposed to take per day. If you have any of the following conditions, you may find the use of medical marijuana helpful in dealing with the symptoms of:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anxiety/anxiety disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Auto accident injury
  • Back and neck issues
  • Brain injury
  • Cancer
  • Chronic nausea (caused by medication, chemotherapy or otherwise)
  • Chronic pain
  • Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy (to help control seizures)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Kidney Failure/Dialysis
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleep disorders
  • Spinal Cord injury/disease

How do you know if you are suffering from chronic pain, nausea or a sleep disorder?

As aforementioned, chronic pain is defined as any constant discomfort that lasts longer than six months. This could be caused by an accident or other factors such as an old sports injury that never healed, sciatica, arthritic conditions and so on.

In terms of chronic nausea, this occurs when you are get a feeling of uneasiness or “seasickness” in your stomach for extended periods of time. This is generally caused by the body’s reaction to treatments like chemotherapy.

There are many types of sleeping disorders, including insomnia, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, recurring nightmares or terror dreams and sleepwalking. Generally, if you experience an ongoing disruption in the quality or quantity of sleep, and this impacts your ability to function in daily life, you may suffer from a sleep disorder.

Who can prescribe medical marijuana?

Only healthcare practitioners like physicians, psychiatrists and nurse practitioners can prescribe medical marijuana. The physician must be a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and hold a valid licensing authority in the province they work in. They must also hold a valid narcotics class 1 license. Nurse practitioners are also recognized as eligible authorities to prescribe medical cannabis .

What documentation do you need to present?

When visiting Apollo’s physician or nurse practitioner, you must present your valid provincial health card.

  • Depending on your age or condition, you may be required to have a referral from your doctor
  • Most patients can be seen by Apollo with simply supporting documentation of their primary condition ( for example, a prescription bottle for opioids if you have chronic pain, or clinical notes from a doctor diagnosing you with anxiety, if you are looking to obtain medical cannabis for anxiety)
  • For patients who do not have access to supporting documents or a referral, our clinic can still book an appointment through our harm reduction program
  • If you are a veteran, you will need your K number and list of awarded conditions if you wish to get covered by VAC for the cost of your medicine
  • If you are on any social assistance ( example ODSP, CPP disability ), please bring in proof of this to your appointment, so we can ensure you are registered for a licensed producer who offers compassionate pricing

What are you allowed to keep in your possession?

You are entitled to keep up to a 30-day supply of dried marijuana or its equivalent (sprays, drops, edible medication and so on). The maximum amount you can possess is based on 150 grams or the lower amount of what has been recommended by your doctor. For instance, if you are required to take two grams of dried marijuana daily, you are allowed to possess up to 60 grams at one time (2 grams x 30 days = 60 grams).

For more information about the use of medical marijuana and eligibility please contact the Apollo Cannabis Clinic. You may be eligible for medicinal marijuana.

How to get a Medical Marijuana Prescription from Apollo


If you’ve decided that you’re ready to try
medicinal cannabis, we welcome you. We know that for some of you, it may have been a long road of pain and suffering to reach this point, and we are here with open arms to make your journey using cannabis based medicine, easy, educational and as comfortable as possible. For those looking into medical cannabis for the first time, it can often seem overwhelming and confusing to figure out how to actually become a legal cannabis patient. This article will go over everything you need to know about how to obtain a medical marijuana prescription from Apollo Marijuana Clinic. So if you’re ready to take the plunge, read on! We will go over eligibility requirements, how to book an appointment, what to bring and what to expect at your first cannabis appointment with us.

Eligibility Requirements

In order for you to book an appointment with one of our Psychiatrists, Pain Doctors or other qualified physicians, you need to meet some basic eligibility requirements:

  • Have an eligible condition that can be treated by medical cannabis ( see below )
  • Be over age 25 ( some exceptions apply – please call us for more details )
  • Have never been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 or Schizophrenia

Conditions Treated by Medical Cannabis

Most of our patients suffer with chronic pain, however marijuana can help countless medical conditions including ( but not limited to):

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Epilepsy/ seizures
  • ADHD
  • And more!

If you are unsure if your medical condition is eligible for treatment with Medical cannabis, please give us a call so we can do a preliminary phone screening.

How to Book an Appointment

There are 2 ways patients can book an appointment with a doctor at our clinic:

1. Referral from a Doctor

If your doctor is supportive of your decision to explore medical cannabis as a viable option for your condition, the easiest way to get an appointment with an Apollo doctor is through a referral from your family doctor/ specialists. Ask your doctor to fill out this referral form and fax it to us. When we receive the referral fax, we will then contact you to set up an appointment time.

2. “Walk-in” Appointment with Supporting Documents

If your family doctor is a little more old school and hasn’t quite come around to the benefits of medical cannabis, no problem. All we need is supporting documentation of your primary condition in order to book your appointment. Supporting documentation can include a list of prescription medications you may currently be on, or have been using in the past for your condition, clinical notes with a diagnosis from a doctor, MRI’s, X-rays, etc. You will need to either bring in your supporting documentation when you have your appointment, or fax/ email your documents into us prior to your appointment.

Appointments Types

Once you have your paperwork sorted out, whether that’s a referral or your medical documentation, it’s time to book an appointment with our clinic. You can either call us at Toll free at 1(877) 560-9195 or email us at info@apolloresearch.ca.

There are 2 ways you can have an appointment with one of our doctors:

1.In Clinic

Our clinic is located in North York and is easily accessible by either public transit or car. If you live in the GTA, this option is recommended as we can book you in for an appointment at an earlier date and you get to speak with the doctor face-to-face. The appointment is a 3 step process that involves a thorough examination of your medical history ( triage ), the appointment with the Doctor, and then a 1-on-1, individualized education/ orientation session with one of our Patient educators. They will ensure you are 100% comfortable and confident in your treatment plan with medical cannabis.

2. OTN ( Ontario TeleMedicine Network )

If you do not live in the GTA but live in Ontario, we also offer something called OTN or Ontario Telemedicine Network. This means your appointment with our doctor will occur over a video conference call and take place in a hospital or other medical building close to you. Post-appointment, one of our patient educations will still call you to go over your prescription, where to get your medical cannabis, how to take the medicine, legalities of being a medical cannabis patient and much more.

Your First Medical Marijuana Appointment: What to Bring & What to Know

What to Bring:

  • A valid government issued Health Card
  • A list of medications you are currently taking
  • Your supporting documentation, if we don’t already have it (Referral or your documentation)

What to Know:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment as there are some forms that need to be filled out prior to seeing a physician
  • You will have to provide a urine sample upon arrival at the clinic
  • Give yourself some time. We do our best to keep the flow of our clinic running smoothly and efficiently but sometimes we experience a delay given the nature of a Doctor’s office.
  • There are 3 steps: You will first be seen by a Physician’s assistant for Triage where they will take your medical history. You will then be seen by our physician. If cannabis is right for you, you will then be given a tailored medical marijuana prescription.You then sit down with one of our patient educators who will go over an extensive information package with you and ensure you are 100% comfortable and confident in your new treatment plan with Medical Cannabis.
  • We have a $53.10+Tax Orientation & Registration Processing fee. Your actual doctor’s appointment is covered by OHIP, however the educational service we offer has a 1-time fee. This education session will also help you choose and register with a Licensed Producer (LP), who you actually order and receive your medical cannabis from. Some LP’s even offer on the spot delivery so you can order with us in clinic and have your medicine on the way by the time you leave!

We hope this road map to the process of getting a medical marijuana prescription with Apollo was helpful and informative. We encourage you to email or call us at any point for more information, or to book your first appointment. We appreciate you taking the time to learn more about medical cannabis and we look forward to hearing from you, so we can help you discover if this is a good option for your health care.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information on Medical Cannabis, Apollo’s Medical Cannabis Research and our clinic.

Speak to you soon!

 

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana in Canada

For many Canadians, gaining legal access to safe, reliable medical marijuana is the golden ticket to a life worth living. However, with so much conflicting information in the news and online about marijuana dispensaries, coupled with the anticipated, alleged legalization of Cannabis on Canada day 2018, we wanted to shed some light on how medical cannabis works in Canada at the present time. If you’re finding yourself confused by the ‘grey area’ that medical marijuana seems to be categorized in these days, please read on for a straightforward, black and white look at the top 5 things you need to know about legal, medical marijuana in Canada.

1) Medical Marijuana requires a prescription

A medical marijuana prescription, also known as a ‘medical document’, has to be written by a qualified doctor to legally obtain medical cannabis in Canada. This medical document has 3 important pieces of information, which patients should pay attention to:

The Expiry Date

Medical documents are valid as soon as they are written and signed by your doctor – which is on the day you have your appointment. As such, it is important to know how long your prescription is written for, so you are aware of the expiry date. After a prescription expires, legally you are no longer able to purchase or carry medical cannabis on you, unless you have a new prescription.

As an example, if a prescription is signed on February 22, 2017, and is written for 4 months (120 days), the prescription will expire on June 21, 2017. It is always recommended to visit your cannabis doctor at least 2 weeks before the prescription expires so you may be re-prescribed and continue to legally possess and purchase your medical cannabis.

Grams Per Day

Your doctor must indicate the number of grams of dried cannabis they have prescribed to you, per day, based on your medical condition and experience with cannabis, generally ranging between 0.5 – 5 grams per day.  Each month or each 30 day cycle, you are authorized to purchase 30 times your daily amount. This is called your ‘monthly allotment’. Patients can legally possess the lesser of  a 30-day supply or 150 grams.

For example, if you are prescribed 2 grams of cannabis per day, you are allowed to purchase and carry on you up to 60 grams of cannabis per month ( 2 grams x 30 Days = 60grams per month).

THC limit

THC is the psychoactive component in medical cannabis, or the compound that is responsible for patients feeling ‘high’. Generally speaking, the THC content in medical cannabis products can range from <1% – 30 %.  Some doctors will prescribe a THC limit on the prescription which prevents patients from purchasing products that have too much THC, based on the patient’s condition and experience.  

For example, a prescription indicates a THC limit of 20%, so a patient would be unable to purchase strains (varieties) of cannabis that have a THC content higher than 20%. This piece of information is especially important when deciding which Licensed producer ( LP ) you choose to receive your medicine from, as you want to ensure that your LP offers products that accommodate your THC range/ limit.

2) Medical Marijuana can only be ordered and purchased from a Licensed Producer ( plus you can grow your own! ) 

Licensed Producers ( also referred to as ‘LP’s’ ) are legally authorized under Health Canada to grow, produce and sell medical marijuana to eligible Canadians with a prescription. You can think of an LP like a pharmacy. Every LP requires the original copy of your medical document by mail or secure fax. If your prescribing doctor works in a marijuana clinic, the clinic will usually take care of sending your prescription directly to the LP of your choice.

Right now, there are 41 different Licensed Producers  you can choose to receive your medicine from, and the list is growing. So, when deciding which LP to choose, it is important to take into consideration what type of cannabis you will be ordering ( dry or oils ), your THC limit, and your budget. Some LP’s offer compassionate pricing or discounts if you are on government assistance (ODSP, CPP Disability etc ), or are making less than a certain income amount per year. It is recommended to check with each LP directly or contact your marijuana clinic for more information.

Some patients choose to grow their own medical cannabis and this is an option through Health Canada. You can grow the cannabis yourself, or designate someone to grow it for you. It requires an application and prescription. If you’re interested in growing your own medical cannabis, please call Apollo for more details and to book an appointment!

3) Medical Marijuana can only be mailed

At this point in time, Health Canada only allows medical marijuana to be mailed directly to the patient, from the LP. When choosing an LP it is not essential to take into account where they are located as they will always ship out your medicine in 1-2 business days via Canada Post. Some LP’s offer the option to choose Purolator or other mail services, however, Canada Post is standard. Shipping is usually very fast and discreet – in a cardboard box with nothing to indicate  the contents. It’s important to note that the package does need to be signed for, so if nobody’s home at the time of delivery, they will leave you a sticker on your door letting you know where to pick up your medicine.

As such, there are no legal brick & mortar locations ( i.e no ‘stores’ ) where you can go in to purchase/ pick up your medical marijuana. This is where some confusion often lies as there is much chatter about dispensaries in the news. Dispensaries are storefronts which sell marijuana, however Health Canada is very clear when they state “ [ we ] do… not authorize the operation of retail storefronts, such as “compassion clubs” or “dispensaries”. They are illegal.” So, if you are currently getting your medicine from a storefront, or in any manner other than a LP, we urge you to call us at Apollo Cannabis Clinic so we can help you obtain cannabis legally.

4) Medical Marijuana is only available in Dry & Oil form ( at time of writing)

At this point in time, Health Canada only approves the sale of marijuana from LP’s in two forms: dry cannabis, and oral/edible cannabis oil. Dry cannabis usually comes in bud or flower form and is most often smoked or vaporized. Dry cannabis is ideal for patients who need short-acting but immediate symptom relief. When cannabis is heated, through smoking or vaporizing, the THC and CBD is activated and then inhaled. As such, these compounds enter your body immediately and begin working at their peak within 5-10 minutes. However, these effects generally only last for 1-4 hours, depending on the person.

Oral cannabis oil sold by LP’s are taken under the tongue and then swallowed. Because the THC and CBD are absorbed during digestion through this method, the effects peak in 2-4 hours, however this method provides longer lasting relief, generally about 6-12 hours. Some Licensed Producers now offer cannabis oil in a capsule form, which is often more convenient. Patients may choose to use one method over the other, or combine the methods using oils a majority of the time and dry cannabis in a vaporizer for more acute symptom control, for example.

5) Medical Marijuana is not covered by Insurance

Medical Cannabis does not currently have a DIN number and as such, is not covered by OHIP or other government health insurance providers. However, many Licensed producers recognize the expense of marijuana and offer ‘Compassionate Pricing’. Patients who are on government social assistance, or who are making less than a certain income amount per year may be eligible.

Some private insurance companies may cover the cost of medical cannabis, and as the industry continues to evolve we encourage patients to continually ask their provider.

Similarly, Patients who are on ODSP are also eligible to have a vaporizer fully covered, and veterans can be covered for up to 3 grams of cannabis per day. If you want to know if you are eligible for compassionate pricing, it is recommended to contact the LP directly, or call your marijuana clinic for more info.

And there you have it – the Top 5 things that you need to know about medical cannabis in Canada. We hope you found this article interesting and helpful, so please let us know in the comments, if you have any questions or what other topics you would like us to cover!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information on Medical Cannabis, Apollo’s Medical Cannabis Research and our clinic.

 

MMAR vs MMPR: Canadian Cannabis Regulation Simplified

When Health Canada announced in April, 2014 that they were replacing the MMAR with a new set of rules – the MMPR – to regulate the production and distribution of medical cannabis, many people were left asking “but how does this affect me?”

To simplify the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, lets break it down piece by piece.

What is the MMPR?

Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) is a new set of rules and regulations for growing, buying and selling medical cannabis in Canada. With the new regulations, doctors now have the power to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients. Their medicine is purchased through a commercial grower (licensed producer or LP) that has been licensed by Health Canada.

How is it different from the MMAR?

The main difference between the MMAR and the new MMPR is that patients can no longer grow cannabis themselves or have it grown for them. By switching to commercial growers and a doctor prescribed system, patients now have more accessibility and choice.

It has also been said that the switch was the result of pressure from Health Canada to improve access to medical marijuana and cut down on legal home grow operations – which have been getting out of control over the years.

How do I sign up/purchase medical marijuana under the MMPR?

Patients no longer need to contact Health Canada. Instead, patients suffering with eligible conditions (chronic pain, anxiety disorders, PTSD) can obtain a referral from their doctor. If the patient doesn’t have a referral, they can also obtain a prescription providing they have sufficient medical records to support their condition.

Apollo Clinic has physicians on site, therefor we can assess your conditions, prescribe medical cannabis, and educate the patient all under one roof.

Moving forward, the big opportunity and focus will be on educating physicians about the truth surround medical cannabis, it’s scientific components, and the research that is currently underway.Since the power is now in the hands of your doctor, it’s important they have the correct information.

Source: http://www.leafscience.com/2014/04/01/canada-medical-marijuana-mmpr-guide-25-questions-answers/

Photo Credit: Tim & Selena Middleton | cc