Contact us today! Tel: 1-877-560-9195 | Fax: 647-729-4766

Contact us today to book your appointment!

This is the first post

Cannabis and Exercise

Cannabis and Exercise

Posted By: Dr. Singh

Cannabis and exercise can be each used in their own ways to manage common everyday symptoms such as stress anxiety, pain, inflammation from arthritis and relaxing the mind and uplifting mood. Cannabis and exercise are also a powerful combination for those wanting to reach their fitness goals and maintain a healthy overall lifestyle. When used in conjunction, cannabis and exercise may have a more powerful effect.

Disclaimer: Please consult your physician before combining medical cannabis & exercise 

Many people with past injuries or arthritis turn to cannabis during exercise to help them manage pain and inflammation. Cannabis may allow an individual with arthritis to continue walking or doing light strength training to manage their condition.

Other cannabis consumers use the plant to help them attain focus for exercise and prolong their tolerance for exertion. For example, sativa strains are thought to be beneficial in this area due to their euphoric and uplifting effects.


Why Is Exercise Important?

There are many benefits to physical activity and it is recommended that individuals get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both preferably spread throughout the week. It is also recommended that individuals add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
Regular physical activity has been proven to manage weight, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, increase strength in muscles and bones, decrease risk of falls, help individuals recover quicker from an injury or illness and create an improved mood associated with more energy.

Many individuals exercise to improve their mood and help combat daily stressors and anxiety-inducing situations. Exercise is a good distraction from daily worries and produces serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones which are all important regulators of mood. Physical activity also fatigues the body and results in improved sleep quality.

Exercise is also a great way to reduce the effects of arthritis and maintain bone density. A study released in 2009 looked an intensive diet and exercise regime for patients with arthritis and found that it was critical to maintaining weight to reduce the symptoms of the disease or slow its progression. The study concluded that patients who were able to achieve significant weight loss throughout the research period had improved function in the affected arthritic joint.


The Runner’s High

It is a well known that fact that running, or vigorous walking, stimulates endorphin and serotonin production in the brain and coupled with cannabis this “high” can be intensified. A study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence looked at the effects of stored cannabis on the body while exercising. It was found that regular cannabis use led to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being stored in fat cells. When a subject exercised there was a 15% increase in blood THC levels due to the body burning fat and releasing THC back into the bloodstream. This produced effects similar to that of consuming small amounts of cannabis and these effects were found to last up to 28 days after consuming cannabis, taking the term “runner’s high” to a whole new level.

Another study found that exercise activates the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the same way that cannabis does. The body naturally produces cannabinoids which bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system to reduce feelings of pain and symptoms of inflammation, resulting in the perceived “exercise high”. When cannabis is consumed in conjunction with exercise the effects on pain and inflammation are magnified and symptoms may be better managed.


Cannabis and Insulin Levels

One of the biggest reasons that people exercise is weight management or weight loss, and cannabis can help. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that fasting insulin levels were 16% lower in regular cannabis users. Additionally, the research showed that regular cannabis consumers had 17% lower insulin resistance levels and demonstrated a lower average waist circumference as compared to non-cannabis users.

Insulin levels are important in that they trigger the body to take in sugar (glucose) to provide the body with energy. If there is a surplus of insulin in the body it will lead to weight gain and associated diseases.


Cannabis and Yoga

Cannabis infused yoga classes are becoming the newest trend when it comes to exercise. Whether yogis are attempting to reduce pain and inflammation to improve their practice or are seeking mental focus and clarity while on the mat, the benefits of cannabis are numerous.

Ancient Buddhists viewed cannabis as a “spiritual medicine” and incorporated its use into many aspects of daily life, including meditation. These early Buddhists recognized the ability of cannabis to elevate the mind, further opening the “third eye” to spiritual awakening. Cannabis was often part of ritual ceremonies and periods of meditation for its effects on reducing pain and inflammation, relaxing muscles, elevating consciousness and improving focus.


Pair Exercise with the Right Product

When combining cannabis and exercise it is critical for consumers to choose the right product. The biggest question to ask is “what do I want to get out of my exercise session?”. For some individuals, the goal may be to reduce pain and inflammation, relax muscles and allow their bodies to better tolerate exertion. In these cases, a hybrid strain will likely work the best as it stimulates CB2 receptors and acts directly on pain signals being sent by the central nervous system.

In contrast, if a consumer is looking to harness their focus and energy on a more intense workout, a sativa product will be of benefit. This will allow the consumer a euphoric state which is generally accompanied by clear mental focus and energizing effects.

Finally, for consumers who are not looking for the associated “high” from cannabis, CBD products are a better choice as they have non-intoxicating effects. CBD acts on CB1 receptors found mostly in the brain to decrease pain signals and reduce inflammation. Consumers also report that CBD is beneficial in elevating mood and restoring calm and focus to the whole body.


How Can Apollo Cannabis Help?

Apollo Cannabis has been conducting observational research on cannabis and associated diseases since 2014. Our staff includes doctors, specialists and patient educators who will work with each patient to formulate an individualized treatment plan that is best suited to their needs. In order to meet with one of Apollo’s doctors visit apollocannabis.ca and fill out an intake form. Once the form has been received a representative will contact you to schedule an appointment with the doctor.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cannabis

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted By: Dr. Singh

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects seven to eight percent of the population at some point in their lives and Canada has one of the highest incidence rates at 9.2%. Women are also twice as likely to be affected by the disorder and it can develop at any age.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often associated with soldiers who have served in combat and involves a physiological reaction to a witnessed or experienced threat. For instance, a soldier may develop PTSD after witnessing his friend killed in combat or being involved in an IED explosion.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may produce flashbacks, intense thoughts about the event, and a constant re-living of the memory. If left untreated it can become a debilitating disorder and impact everyday life.

Cannabis has been shown to improve symptoms of PTSD and help users cope with flashbacks and intense thoughts. Many patients claim that it relaxes them and reduces symptoms of hyper-awareness.


What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by exposure to a traumatic event or perceived threat. PTSD is common in cases of child abuse, sexual violence and combat. Not everyone who experiences these types of events develops PTSD and symptoms vary greatly between individuals.

PTSD is caused by hyperarousal and long-term stress of the primitive brain which causes chemical changes to occur. Individuals with PTSD suffer from a state of constant hyperarousal and are extremely sensitive to events or situations that trigger negative memories. People with PTSD may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares and experience intense feelings such as guilt, anger, fear and sadness.

When left untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause individuals to become withdrawn and avoid social situations. It can also lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness.


Traditional PTSD Treatment

Conventional treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often involves the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) to help with regulating mood. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the body and central nervous system that regulates a number of systems including mood. Serotonin deficiency is often associated with depression and low mood and is caused by a tryptophan deficiency in the body.

Tryptophan is consumed through an individual’s diet and is found in foods such as turkey, nuts, cheese and red meat. If there is insufficient tryptophan consumed through diet individuals will demonstrate low serotonin levels.  

Traditional treatments may also include behavioral therapies, anger management and counseling to deal with the actual traumatic event that was experienced. It is crucial for individuals with PTSD to work through the event that triggered the disorder. If this trigger is not dealt with and worked through people often will continue to struggle.

One of the biggest issues patients have with serotonin reuptake inhibitors is their effect on arousal. It is common for people who take SSRI’s to have difficulties becoming and staying aroused regardless of their environment. For many individuals, this side effect makes the medication difficult to consume on a long term basis.


Cannabis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There are numerous subjective reports that cannabis has a significant role to play in the treatment of PTSD, but further research is needed to determine exactly how cannabinoids can manage symptoms and help treat the disease.

A 2013 study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence looked at the prevalence of substance use among patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The study found that motivation for substance use was frequently attributed to sleep difficulties. Researchers found that participants with higher PTSD scores were significantly more likely to consume cannabis to help them sleep. The study concluded that cannabis was an effective coping mechanism for subjects looking to improve their sleep patterns, although further research is warranted to determine how cannabis acts on a physiological level.

Another study published in the Journal of psychoactive Drugs looked at reports of patients with PTSD who used cannabis to manage their symptoms. The study found that patient scores on the Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Scale for DSM-IV (CAPS) were reduced by 75% in individuals who used medical cannabis. The results found that “cannabis is associated with reductions in PTSD symptoms in some patients, and prospective, placebo-controlled study is needed to determine efficacy of cannabis and its constituents in treating PTSD”.

Apollo is also studying the effects of medical cannabis & PTSD.


Veterans with PTSD

After the drawn out conflict in Afghanistan, many Canadian soldiers are returning to Canada with symptoms of PTSD. Statistics indicate that up to 10% of all Canadian soldiers returning from combat will experience PTSD and it is the second leading cause of disability among military members.

Many members of the military have reported that services available to help soldiers are not adequate and often fall short of helping soldiers regain normal lives. Continued cuts to federal funding are also working against those suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: there is no money available to improve mental health services for military personnel.

Between April 1 and July 31, 2017, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs reimbursed 5,190 veterans for medical cannabis. The Canadian Forces began to realize that cannabis use was a growing trend and was beneficial in treating symptoms of PTSD in soldiers returning from combat and put a policy in place to reimburse members for medical cannabis medication.

A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army reported that after two tours in Afghanistan he came home and began having difficulties. Retired Lt. Col. Robert Martin stated “I came back in February of 2009 and my wife at the time realized that something was drastically wrong, but I wouldn’t listen. I’d failed a Canadian Forces physical fitness test for the first time in my 34-year career. I felt that my career was over because of that”.

Martin stated that medical cannabis was crucial to his recovery and “within two days I was off my highly-addictive chemical sleep sedative”. His improved sleep patterns helped him return to normal functioning and daily activities as he was finally getting the rest his body and brain needed.


How Can Apollo Cannabis Clinics Help?

If you are suffering from symptoms of PTSD and would like to find out more about how cannabis may benefit you, visit apollocannabis.ca and fill out an intake form. Once this form has been completed a patient care specialist will call you to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. During this appointment you will discuss your medical history and learn how using cannabis may benefit your condition or symptoms.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

Posted By: Dr. Singh

The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) can be attributed to an Israeli scientist named Raphael Mechoulam. This discovery came in 1964 when Mechoulam learned how to isolate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the first time. This led to the discovery that the Endocannabinoid System is present in all living things that have skeletal vertebrae.

Mechoulam stated “by using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance. We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant”.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the first endocannabinoid receptors were located in the brains of rats. This led to further mapping of the Endocannabinoid System and a discovery that the number of receptors in the brain was larger than any other system.

Currently researchers are trying to discover how the Endocannabinoid System maintains homeostasis in the body and what happens when the system becomes deregulated. Scientists are also studying the effects of different cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, and their effects on different disease processes.


What Are Endocannabinoid Receptors?

Endocannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, are the largest physiological set of receptors in the human body. The human body naturally produces cannabinoids which act on the endocannabinoid receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. These cannabinoids send messages to the brain to regulate a number of different bodily functions including hunger, mood, sensations of pain, inflammation and temperature as well as many others.  

CB1 receptors are located in the brain and nervous system and regulate functions related to pain and inflammation, hunger, mood and others. They are also contained in the liver, lungs and kidneys and when dysregulated may cause a wide variety of symptoms. CB1 receptors react distinctly to the cannabinoid THC when introduced into the body.

CB2 receptors are found mainly in the immune system. They are also found in the spleen and gastrointestinal system. CB2 receptors regulate functions such as appetite as well as immune system functions such as pain and inflammation. CB2 receptors are very reactive to the cannabinoid CBD.


How Do Endocannabinoid Receptors Work?

The Endocannabinoid receptors are best described as a lock and key system. Each cannabinoid, such as THC and CBD, are the keys and the endocannabinoid receptors are the locks. When THC and CBD enter the system externally, such as with cannabis consumption, they keys (THC and CBD) seek out their corresponding locks (endocannabinoid receptors). Once THC and CBD have located the appropriate receptor they latch on and the lock “clicks” open.

For instance, it is this process which regulated the feeling of having the “munchies” after consuming cannabis. If a CBD rich product is consumed it will bind more readily with CB2 receptors which causes a reduction in nausea and hunger. If a THC rich product is consumed it will bind with CB1 receptors in the brain and may stimulate the centre for hunger.


What is the Entourage Effect?

Dr. Ethan Russo was the Neurologist responsible for discovering the Entourage Effect in the Endocannabinoid System. In his pioneering article titled Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and Phyto cannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects, he discusses how cannabis compounds, such as THC and CBD, influence each other’s mechanisms.

The Entourage Effect also includes terpenes and flavonoids, which are naturally occurring essential oils found in the cannabis plant. Terpenes are responsible for giving cannabis its unique aroma and can be found in the small crystals that cover the buds of the plant. Flavonoids are also found in the crystals on the buds and provide the flavour profile unique to each strain.

Cannabinoids acting together, rather than in isolation, have more pronounced and wider ranging effects on the Endocannabinoid System.


Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Endocannabinoid Deficiency is a term used to describe a dysfunction in which the body does not produce enough natural cannabinoids. When this deficiency is present it causes the body to leave homeostasis and have various symptoms manifest. In essence, the body is not producing enough of what it needs to remain in homeostasis and external approaches are needed to rectify the issue.

This is where THC and CBD come in. Consuming cannabis allows THC and CBD to enter the Endocannabinoid System, bind to endocannabinoid receptors and return the body to a state of homeostasis. The Endocannabinoid System is also unique in that it communicates “backwards”. In the ECS cell-to-cell communication inhibits immune response, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation and normalizes stimulated nerves. This provides a system of checks and balances. The naturally produced cannabinoids check to make sure that additional cannabinoids are needed in the ECS before allowing external cannabinoids to enter the system.

Scientists admit that they still have a mountain of knowledge yet to be discovered when it comes to the Endocannabinoid System and how dysregulation of the system leads to dysfunction.


How Does Cannabis Impact the Endocannabinoid System?

The cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in cannabis all act together on CB1 and CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. In a person with Endocannabinoid Deficiency this means returning the body to a state of homeostasis.

The Endocannabinoid System regulates a number of different processes in the body including mood, memory, pain and inflammation, hunger, sex drive, and many others. If a person is experiencing high levels of pain, for instance, cannabis will act on CB1 receptors in the brain to reduce inflammation and produce an analgesic effect.

A study in the British Journal of Anaesthesia found that the advances in cannabis-based medicine are just as effective as traditional opioid treatments. This is extremely important as there is currently a worldwide opioid crisis, with the number of prescriptions for the potent pain-killers on the rise. Opioids are addictive and come with a number of serious side effects. The study found that CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain play a vital role in nociception, or the perception of pain. Cannabis was found to be just as significant in reducing nociceptive pain as traditional opioid treatments.


How Can Apollo Cannabis Clinic Help?

Apollo Cannabis Clinics have been conducting observational research on cannabis and different conditions since 2014. We provide a 7-day-per-week hotline for patients who require assistance with their medication and employ patient educators who will work with individuals to help them better understand cannabis and the role it may play in overall health.

If you are interested in becoming a medical cannabis patient fill out an intake form at apollocannabis.ca. Once completed a representative will contact you to schedule an appointment with one of Apollo’s doctors or specialists.

Vaporizing vs. Smoking

Vaporizing vs. Smoking Medical Cannabis

The two most popular methods for cannabis consumption are smoking and vaporizing, although there are many other options for consumption including edibles oils, capsules, and decarboxylated flowers taken orally.

Vaporizing is rapidly gaining popularity as it does not burn cannabis and therefore does not produce as many harmful by-products. Vaporizing is also more discreet than smoking cannabis. Some describe the smell of vaporized cannabis as ‘burnt popcorn’. 

Many medical cannabis users are turning to vaporizing as it is considered a healthier alternative to smoking and is the most doctor recommended method for consuming dried cannabis.


What is Vaporizing?

Vaporizing, or vaping, is the process in which a substance turns from a solid or liquid state into a gas with the application of heat. Vaporizers contain an oven which gently heats cannabis just enough to release the compounds THC & CBD, without burning the material. This produces a vapour which is then inhaled into the lungs.

Vaporizers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points, but most are portable handheld devices that are easy to take on the go. Vaporizers can be filled with ground dried cannabis buds and offer an efficient way to consume cannabis.

Vaporizing cannabis produces immediate effects as the mechanism of consumption is similar to smoking and the compounds enter the bloodstream and reach the brain within seconds. The effects of vaporizing last 2-3 hours and many consumers prefer its clean taste to that of smoking cannabis.


Why is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking?

Smoking involves the process of combustion and requires fire for THC, CBD and other cannabinoids to be released into the body. Smoking cannabis produces over 100 toxins, gases and particulates that are inhaled into the lungs, which can cause irritating effects. Individuals who smoke cannabis are more prone to respiratory infections and bronchitis and it may take them longer to heal from colds and flus.

One of the pioneering studies to look at smoking versus vaping found that participants reported fewer respiratory effects when vaping versus smoking cannabis. Researchers also noted that smoking cigarettes had compounded negative effects on respiratory symptoms in people who smoked cannabis.

Another survey study reported that participants who vaped cannabis perceived the health benefits to be greater and found it less harmful to their health than smoking. Researchers also found that people who use vaporizers tend to be younger, started consuming cannabis at a younger age and more dominantly male.

For many medical cannabis users, respiratory issues play a significant role in the symptoms they are trying to manage. In these instances vaporizing is seen to be a safer more effective approach to consuming cannabis medication. Vaporized cannabis can be consumed in short puffs rather than long drags off a joint or bong and is more discreet when in public. Vaporized cannabis produces very little odour and consumers report that the taste of vaporized cannabis is preferable to smoked cannabis.


Types of Vaporizers

We live in a high-tech world which has led to the creation of numerous vaporizing devices for consuming cannabis. There are many different options out there for every lifestyle and price point, so do your research before you purchase this important piece of equipment.

Table Top Vaporizers

Table top vaporizers are for people who like to consume cannabis at home and don’t have the need to take their vaporizer with them on the go. These units plug into a wall socket and are generally larger than portable vaporizers. The benefit to these units is that they contain the most advanced vaporizer technology and offer precise temperature control. This is an important feature for medical users as it efficiently releases a full-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This allows the consumer to tailor the temperature to each individual strain they consume. Health Canada has approved a table top vaproizer called The Volcano Medic vaporizer, to be used by medical cannabis patients at home. 

Portable Flower Vaporizers

This type of vaporizer is ideal for consumers who are always on the go. The one downfall of this type of vaporizer is it usually does not offer specific temperature control, which can cause you to miss out on some of the flavor profiles of the flower. As these devices run on a battery their power is somewhat limited and does not reach the range of temperatures a table top vaporizer can. This type of portable vaporizer is favorable because it allows the user to consume the strain of their choice and switch between different strains. Pricing on portable flower vaporizers ranges from under $100 to several hundred dollars. Health Canada has approved the Mighty Medic vaporizer as a medical device for medical cannabis patients. 


How Can Apollo Cannabis Clinics Help?

Apollo Cannabis Clinics have been assisting patients in understanding the differences between vaporizing and smoking cannabis since 2014. Once an individual is a patient with Apollo Cannabis Clinics they will have access to a 7-day-a-week hotline should they have any questions. Patients also have access to patient educators who will discuss the different consumption methods for medical cannabis and find a method that works best for each individual. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Apollo Cannabis Clinics, visit apollocannabis.ca and fill out an intake form. Once the form has been received a representative will contact you to schedule an initial appointment with one of Apollo’s doctors.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Canada?

IS CBD OIL LEGAL IN CANADA?

Posted By: Dr. Singh

Recreational cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018, under the Federal Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act, but there still remains quite a bit of confusion about what products are legal. CBD oil made from cannabis plants, and produced by Health Canada approved Licensed Producers are legal, both medicinally and recreationally. 

 CBD Oil can be purchased through a Licensed Producer (LP) for patients who have a medical prescription to consume cannabis. You may also be able to purchase CBD oil in legal recreational outlets such as the Ontario Cannabis store, or approved brick & mortar retailers, however, ( at the time this blog was published ) supply is less consistent, than purchasing directly from an LP with a medical prescription. CBD oil found in health food stores, convenience stores, or in illegal dispensaries is not legal or regulated for quality or potency. 

Prohibition of Cannabis in Canada

Although the use of cannabis can be traced back hundreds of years, to ancient Chinese medicine, it remained almost unheard of in Canada until the 1900’s. Soon after its introduction to Canada, cannabis was placed on the Confidential Restricted List under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill after the bill was created in 1923.

Some historians believe that cannabis was restricted due to the publication of the book entitled The Black Candle, by Emily Murphy, in 1922. Emily Murphy was a police magistrate and suffragist who often wrote for Maclean’s Magazine under the pen name Janey Canuck. Her arguments were based on information from anti-drug reformers and police officers, and her book invoked panic after she referred to a “new drug called marijuana” being popular amongst immigrants. Ms. Murphy used numerous prohibitionist anecdotes to show how immigrants, particularly the Chinese, would corrupt the white race.

Cannabis began to gain popularity in Canada in the 1930’s, although the first arrest for cannabis possession did not occur until 1937. Between 1946 and 1961 only 2% of drug arrests in Canada were related to cannabis.

The Popularization of Cannabis

The popularization of cannabis in Canada boomed in the 1960’s, due in part to the “hippie ethos” which spread northward from the United States. Cannabis was being discussed in underground newspapers and on underground radio stations across the country. College students were rejecting traditional values and began to question law makers and authority figures.

Cannabis use increased significantly in the 1980’s and 1990’s as people began using cannabis to treat a wide array of health concerns. Growing use of cannabis for medicinal purposes became a concern for lawmakers. They were forced to put in place medical allowances for cannabis use and in 2001 a regulation on access to cannabis for medical purposes was established.

Medical Cannabis in Canada

Medical cannabis became legal in Canada in 2001. Initially, only two types of patients were eligible for medical cannabis: those requiring end-of-life care and patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions.

This created an upsurge in illegal cannabis use and patients buying their medicine from unregulated sources. As a response, lawmakers put into effect the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) in April 2014. These regulations stipulated that licensed medical patients must buy their cannabis from a Licensed Producer (LP) who was regulated by Health Canada.

In August 2016 the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) replaced the existing Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The ACMPR recognized a patient’s right to produce medical cannabis in all forms including oils, tinctures, edibles and plant flowers. Under the new law patients were no longer required to purchase cannabis only from an LP and could now produce their own medicine, with a valid authorization from their Healthcare Practitioner.

On October 17th 2018, Canada introduced the Cannabis Act, or Bill C-45. Under this new legislation, both medical and recreational cannabis use is federally legal in Canada. There are minimal changes to the medical stream, as patients can continue to purchase directly from their licensed producers and have their medical cannabis mailed directly to their home, including regulated & tested CBD oil.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that comes from the Cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be extracted from both the industrial hemp and cannabis parts of the plant. CBD extracted from the cannabis plants is only sold through Licensed Producers across Canada.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

CBD oil acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all mammals and contains CB1 and CB2 receptors, more receptors than any other system in the human body. Human bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which in turn, act on the receptors to produce a physiologic response. CBD introduces extra cannabinoids into the ECS and can help to regulate many of the body’s functions. CBD gives your body more of what it already produces to promote health, well-being and return to homeostasis.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Endocannabinoid Deficiency is the term used to describe a lack of endocannabinoid activity in the human brain. The term was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004 and is thought to be linked to certain medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, seizure disorders and many more. CBD therapy can activate and engage the endocannabinoid system so that crucial body systems become regulated and maintained.

The endocannabinoid system acts as a master conductor, sending chemical messages and triggering biological actions throughout the body that are critical to health and well-being.

Apollo cannabis clinic, cannabis, medical cannabis

Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil

CBD oil is becoming a more mainstream, natural remedy used for many common ailments and symptoms. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and will not make the user feel “high”. This allows CBD oil to be consumed in a safe way that should not interfere with activities of daily life.

Many individuals are turning to CBD oil as a replacement for pharmaceutical drugs that may have numerous side effects. Other individuals choose to use CBD oil to manage the side effects of medication, such as opioids.

CBD oil is a discreet way to consume CBD and does not require the user to smoke or vape the product. Many seniors and baby-boomers have begun using CBD due to its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effects on overall well-being.

Summary

In order to purchase CBD oil it is recommended that you have a valid medical cannabis prescription/ authorization to consume medical cannabis. This is so you have consistent access to supply from Licensed Producers, and the medical advice on dosing and product selection to be successful with using CBD oil to treat a symptom or condition. 

If you are interested in speaking with a doctor about obtaining a medical recommendation for cannabis or CBD oil, please contact Apollo to book an appointment.

Can Medical Cannabis Treat Epilepsy and Seizures?

Can Medical Cannabis Treat Epilepsy and Seizures?

Posted By: Dr. Singh

You may have heard controversial stories in the news about parents giving their epileptic children marijuana to stop their seizures.

In one case, a 5-year-old with Dravet syndrome was suffering from 300 seizures a week. Although traditional medications were unable to help, a high-CBD cannabis oil reduced her seizures to just 2-3 a month.

In this post, we’ll explore the evidence that cannabis can help patients suffering from various forms of epilepsy.

Read on

Not All Cannabis Products Are Legal. Here’s What Is (And What’s Next)

Not All Cannabis Products Are Legal. Here’s What Is (And What’s Next)

Posted By: Dr. Singh

Cannabis will be legalized recreationally on October 17th 2018—but that doesn’t mean every form can be legally sold. With so many different forms of marijuana, it can be confusing to know which are regulated.

In this post, we’ll walk you through what’s legal now and what could be legal in the future.

Read on

Hemp CBD Oil vs. Cannabis CBD Oil: 7 Differences You Need To Know

Hemp CBD Oil vs. Cannabis CBD Oil: 7 Differences You Need To Know

Posted By: Dr. Singh

You’ve probably seen hemp CBD oils sold online or even in a local convenience store.

With CBD’s therapeutic benefits becoming more widely known, you may have wondered if there’s a difference between oils labelled as “hemp” and “cannabis.”

Some people buy hemp CBD oil assuming it has the same therapeutic benefits. In reality, they are two separate products with different uses.

In this post, we’ll highlight the 7 major differences between hemp CBD oil and cannabis CBD oil.

Read on

Terpenes 101: Why They Are Important In Your Medical Cannabis Treatment

Terpenes 101: Why They Are Important In Your Medical Cannabis Treatment

Posted By: Dr. Singh

THC and CBD are two of the most well-known chemical compounds that make up cannabis and can provide medical benefits. But there’s also another therapeutic compound to know about: Terpenes.

In this post, we’ll go over what terpenes are and why they matter in your treatment.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the oils that give cannabis its smell and flavor, but they can also have medicinal benefits.

Cannabis plants can contain multiple terpenes—and the combination helps make each strain (or type) unique. This means plant breeders have many possible combinations and can grow a plant with specific characteristics in mind. This is part of the reason why cannabis can be a personalized medication and can work for various conditions.

There are about 200 different terpenes found in the cannabis plant.

You may have heard cannabis experts commenting on the smell of certain strains. For example, terpenes make the marijuana strain “Blueberry” smell like berries.

Similarly, terpenes are also found in many other plants, not just the cannabis plant. They’re responsible for the citrus scent of lemons and the refreshing fragrance of peppermint leaves.

Potential Medicinal Benefits of Terpenes

Like cannabinoids, terpenes can also play a role in the physiological and psychological effects of a certain strain.

As a 2011 study concluded, breeding cannabis for their terpene content can strengthen and broaden clinical applications.

For example, sedation is a common effect of terpenes. A 1993 study showed that over 40 terpenes have sedative effects when inhaled by mice. Linalool was the most sedating and reduced mouse motility by 73%. Knowing this, licensed producers may choose to grow cannabis specifically to have high amounts of linalool to help patients with anxiety or insomnia.

Fortunately, since many of the terpenes in cannabis are present in other plants, researchers have already studied many of their specific benefits, which we detail later on in this post.

Terpenes and the Entourage Effect

Terpenes not only have their own set of potential therapeutic benefits, but they can make the benefits of cannabinoids stronger.

Terpenes also act in a similar way to cannabinoids (marijuana’s chemicals) in the endocannabinoid system.

They contribute to what’s known as the “entourage effect.” This means that when terpenes interact with cannabinoids, they increase each other’s therapeutic benefits substantially. Put simply, they’re more effective when they’re present together than alone.

However, since there are so many different terpenes and cannabinoids, more research needs to be done to fully understand the benefits of the effect.

To learn more about the entourage effect, we recommend reading The Entourage Effect Explained Simply.

What Role Can Terpenes Play in Your Treatment with Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana doctors can match a condition to a strain that has certain terpenes present. For example:

  • A patient looking for painkilling effects may be prescribed a strain high in the terpene linalool, which is known to relieve pain.
  • Strains high in the terpene limonene may be recommended for a patient suffering from depression.
  • A patient with arthritis may benefit from a strain that has caryophyllene, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

If you’re eligible, a doctor will authorize you a prescription for medical marijuana, which allows you to purchase your medicine from a licensed producer (LP). Unlike illegal dispensaries, LPs must test their products to ensure they’re accurately labeling them. One of the things that analysis labs can test for is terpene content. This means that when you get a prescription, the amount of therapeutic terpenes you’re getting is accurately reported.

Some family physicians may recommend marijuana-based pharmaceutical drugs. However, some drugs, such as Marinol, only contain the cannabinoid THC. Unfortunately, THC alone does not contain terpenes, lessening the drug’s potential therapeutic effects. Interestingly, this could be one reason why 98% of people like natural cannabis more than Marinol, according to a 2011 survey.

Common Terpenes

Below are some of the most common terpenes found in cannabis.

Myrcene

1997 study found that myrcene was one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis. It has sedative effects and multiple therapeutic properties. It can be potentially used as an effective muscle relaxant, painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Myrcene has an earthy aroma and can also be found in mangos and lemongrass.

Pinene

Pinene has an aroma similar to a pine tree and can also be found in herbs like rosemary and basil. It can help with alertness and asthma and may be used as an anti-inflammatory. THC is sometimes associated with short-term memory loss, but pinene helps counteract this side effect.

Limonene

As you probably guessed, limonene has a citrus aroma. It has reported antifungal and anti-bacterial properties and may improve mood. Limonene can also make it easier for your body to absorb other terpenes and chemicals.

Linalool

Linalool has a floral aroma that’s also found in lavender. In studies, linalool has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and antidepressant properties.

Caryophyllene

Spices such as oregano and basil also have high amounts of this terpene. Caryophyllene has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies also suggest that this terpene could be helpful in treating anxiety and depression. Interestingly, some people recommend taking a whiff of black pepper to calm cannabis-induced anxiety (a possible side effect of high-THC medication). One reason why some people report that this works may be that black pepper also contains caryophyllene, which may have mood-altering properties.

Eucalyptol

If you know what eucalyptus oil smells like, then you’re familiar with the scent of this terpene. Some research has shown that eucalyptol can help asthma. It may also have anti-inflammatory, anti-leukemia and immunosuppressive properties. One study found that eucalyptol is almost exclusively found in sativa strains.

Humulene

Strains with high amounts of humulene may smell similar to coriander. In studies, the terpene has demonstrated possible antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

Ocimene

Ocimene is also found in other plants such as mint and parsley. It may have antiviral and antifungal properties and may also help with decongestion. One study found that sativa-dominant strains had the highest concentration of ocimene.

Since cannabis has so many compounds, it’s often ineffective to self-medicate. Medical marijuana doctors can help you personalize your treatment.

You can get a prescription for chronic pain, mood disorders, sleep problems, harm reduction and more. Book a FREE consultation with one of our doctors today.

Can Medical Cannabis Finally Stop Your Neuropathic Pain?

Can Medical Cannabis Finally Stop Your Neuropathic Pain?

Posted By: Dr. Singh

Stabbing, burning and prickling—these are the unpleasant sensations you may feel if you suffer from neuropathic pain.

There are several causes of nerve pain, but it often results from an injury or illness.

Although the sensations may come and go, they’re often chronic and severe. Unfortunately, neuropathic pain affects about two million Canadians.

For some patients, neuropathic pain can’t be fully cured and they must instead work to manage the sensations.

Luckily, many people with severe nerve pain finally find relief through medical cannabis. We’ll detail how treatment with medical marijuana works in this post.

Does Medical Cannabis Work for Neuropathic Pain?

Numerous studies have shown that marijuana can be an effective medicine for chronic pain.

But how does cannabis work to treat nerve pain specifically?

Cannabinoids—or marijuana’s chemicals— can block specific neurotransmitters that cause pain.

A recent 2018 study concluded that cannabis may be as tolerable and effective as pharmaceutical drugs used to treat nerve pain. The authors noted that physician-guided vaporization and oral delivery had the most clinical evidence.

Even if you don’t want to use significant amounts of medical cannabis to control the pain, this medicine could still work for you. Researchers studied a group of patients that still had neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Some patients were given a medium dose to vaporize and others were given a low dose. They found that the low dose worked as well as the medium dose. Not only did it provide relief, but the psychoactive effects, or the “high,” from cannabis was minimal and well-tolerated by sufferers.

Your medical marijuana doctor may also recommend a CBD-based medication, which you can take without getting any psychoactive effects. Recent research has found that CBD is also effective for chronic nerve pain.

Cannabis Compared to Other Drugs for Nerve Pain

If you’re considering using cannabis as a treatment, you should know how it stacks up against other nerve pain medications.

A doctor may prescribe drugs to treat the underlying disease or condition. They may also recommend medication for pain management, including:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (ex. Aleve)
  • Those with relentless pain will need a stronger drug, such as opioid medications

As we detailed above, some patients find relief from cannabis even when traditional drugs haven’t helped the pain. Stronger drugs, such as opioid medication, may not be as effective for neuropathic pain as it is for other types of pain. Research on its ability to treat patients is mixed.

Even if a narcotic pain reliever works for you, there are a variety of side effects. Short-term, they can lead to constipation, drowsiness and nausea or vomiting. On the severe side, opioid tolerance can lead to addiction.

Antidepressants have a variety of possible side effects ranging from nausea to anxiety.

Even over-the-counter pain relievers can be harmful to your heart and stomach when used long-term.

On the other hand, when a person uses cannabis, they may experience milder side effects such as impairment or anxiety.

Comparing the side effects and effectiveness of cannabis to those of other drugs, many doctors will agree that it’s a safer choice.

How to Use Medical Cannabis for Nerve Pain

There are many different types and forms of cannabis. Because of this, your medication can be personalized for you and your pain. However, for it to be effective, you need to get all of the variables correct, which is difficult when you’re self-medicating.

In addition, your medicine needs to be high-quality and consistent, and that’s why a prescription works best. In fact, the authors of a recent study on nerve pain warned against unregulated products sold in marijuana dispensaries.

Our medical cannabis doctors can help you find the medicine that works best for you. If you’re ready to finally get rid of the pain, book a no-obligation consultation today.


En français »