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From Chapter 2: Cannabis Makeup

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 From Chapter 3: Cannabis Forms of Use

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 From Chapter 4: Cannabis Potency & Dosing

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by A. Arthur Fisher

I first tried marijuana while in college. It seemed like most of the smartest students would get high every now and then. So began a short affinity with the substance. I say short because I quickly realized that I could not study while under the influence. Or work. Or sleep. Of course, back in those days, getting high was just that. If I couldn’t study drunk, why would I think I could do so while high? 

As I graduated college and began my move into a more structured, professional life, marijuana was simply no longer of interest. Then in my late 40s, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It took nearly two years for doctors to figure out what the problem was after my health had suddenly started to deteriorate. My disease onset was fast and aggressive. Before doctors were finally able to make a certain diagnosis, I remember thinking that I was going to die soon. With the help of various experimental techniques, I’ve since been able to get my health under better control.

Although MS has caused me to suffer ambulatory and cognitive symptoms, my biggest problem is pain. Pile disease-damaged nerves on top of a dysfunctional spine, and you’ll have a mess of pain. It wasn’t until three years into this mess that a neurologist finally prescribed me medical marijuana (MMJ). I hadn’t requested the prescription; it was just handed to me, a note that said I have a disease for which the state of California considers marijuana a treatment. It wasn’t technically a prescription, and it didn’t include any instructions.

Read more …Foreword


Cannabis is a strange beast. It exists in several different realms, each with its own aura, point of focus, and language.

There is the cannabis of the world of illegal drugs. This cannabis has an air of danger, fear, and addiction. Words you hear in this realm of cannabis include: Weed, wasted, addict, stoner, schizophrenia, illegal, Schedule I, war on drugs.

There is the cannabis of the world of recreational drugs. This cannabis has an air of calm, relaxation, euphoria, uninhibitedness. Words you hear in this realm of cannabis include: dab, vape, budder, wax, rig, shatter, blunt, kief, bubble hash.

And there is the cannabis of the world of healthcare. This cannabis has an air of science and discovery. Words you hear in this realm of cannabis include: cannabinoid, receptor, decarboxylate, tetrahydrocannabinol, synergies, agonist, acids.

But what if you’re simply a new medical user who wants to feel comfortable with the big picture? You want to be able to get past the aura of fear and illegality. You want to feel comfortable being a cannabis user. You want to be able to ask your doctor, as well as your cannabis dispenser, thoughtful questions. You just want to feel comfortable using cannabis to address your pain or your glaucoma or your insomnia. So how do you weave your way through the different worlds and get the basic information you need? 

Read more …Introduction

Errata for The Medical Cannabis Primer

p. iv, Disclaimer, 3rd column, 2nd paragraph: "Neither the Author, the Editor nor the Publisher is responsible for the claims or validity of external websites, research papers, studies, or opinions."

p. 1, 1st column, 3rd paragraph: "Cannabis for medical use is the subject of this compendium. Opponents of the use of medical cannabis have three primary objections."

p. 10, 2nd column, bottom of page: " examined the number of deaths for 17 different FDA-approved drugs used to treat conditions that cannabis could also be used to treat."

p. 19, 2nd column, last sentence: "Potent indica strains may give some patients what is called 'couchlock,' a condition in which they become so relaxed that they can barely get up from the sofa."

p. 23, Figure 2-7: Parts of the Cannabis Plant: Stigmas contain trichomes

p. 28, Figure 2-12: Illustration of Cannabis Calyx & Pistil: Caption under illustration should read, "Cannabis trichomes—resin glands—are found on sugar leaves, bracts, sepals, and pistils."

p.30, Figure 2-14: Photo of Cannabis Stigmas: Caption under illustration should read, "The green leaves in the center are the calyxes, and the opaque tentacles are stigmas. The calyxes and stigmas are both covered in trichomes."

p. 34, Figure 2-20: Cannabis Compounds: "Some 483 Cannabis Compounds"

p. 36, 1st column, 3rd paragraph: "There are two well-documented endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, although there are others as well."

p. 47, Figure 3-4: Purchase Units: 7th row, right column: "1 cartridge" 

p. 72, Right column, 2nd paragraph: "New gene selection techniques, cross-breeding methods, cultivating techniques, and processing technologies will continue to feed the availability of new forms and methods of cannabis ingestion in the coming years.

p. 83, Right column, top of page: "4-9: Factors Influencing Effects of Cannabis on Individuals" should be "4-7: Tinctures: Dosage in Drops"

p. 83, Right column, bottom of page: "In this respect, cannabis is not much different from those other medications."

p. 86, 1st column, last sentence: "Finally, the rate of absorption of cannabis in edibles and the duration of the effects are much higher when cannabis is ingested with healthy fats."

p. 92, Figure 5-2: THC Ratio by Condition: Autoimmune Diseases

p. 120, Medical Disclaimer, 2nd column, 2nd paragraph: "Neither the Author, the Editor nor the Publisher is responsible for the claims or validity of external websites, research papers, studies, or opinions."

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