toward cannabis - is it right for you?
MONROE — Seniors may be becoming more open to cannabis for healing aches and inflammations.
Cannabis advocate Nancy Southern, 70, gave a “Cannabis 101”-style class at the Monroe Community Senior Center last week.
“It’s no longer about rolling a joint and getting high,” Southern told the roughly two dozen people in attendance.
She works for the marijuana retailer Satori at its Bellingham store.
For medicines, people looking for help can look for “CBD” oils and ointments made from hemp.
Marijuana and hemp originate from the cannabis plant. Some cannabis plants yield hemp, which isn’t highly psychoactive; other variants yield marijuana, which has psychoactive properties — in other words, it gets you high.
Cannabis is being used for salves, ointments, tinctures under the tongue and as smoke-able and vape-able material.
Every package of cannabis has a THC rating and a CBD rating. THC is tied into psychoactive euphoria, and strains such as OG Kush are grown for the potent THC levels. Others have strong CBD levels but also carry a balance of THC levels.
Look for ratio levels on the package, Southern recommended.
Before buying anything, identify how you want to ingest CBD, Southern said.
The folks from Satori suggest starting out with a tincture, which sprays under the tongue. There also are ointments and salves that do not let chemicals into the bloodstream.
You do not need a medical marijuana card in Washington state to purchase cannabis.
Even so, talk with your primary doctor on incorporating cannabis into your health choices. Many doctors are becoming more in tune with marijuana since it’s been legal since 2012 in the state.
Selecting a marijuana retailer to buy medicinal marijuana from ideally means finding one that has a medical license. The shops with the medical endorsement usually have knowledgeable specialists who can speak to cannabis’ medicinal purposes.
Some shops orient toward recreational users, others blend in medicinal uses. If the
sales clerk’s first words come along the lines of “what kind of high are you looking for?,” you might need to shop around some more, John, a budtender from Satori, said.
Alterations to the 2018 Farm Bill unchained THC-free CBD derived from hemp from being a federal Schedule I drug. This exploded sales nationally, Southern described.
Even so, Southern warns to buy products from local sellers versus online. Pure CBD oil is squeezed from hemp, and hemp’s industrial uses may mean the plants are not being grown naturally.
A good shop can show you a “certificate of analysis” showing how it was grown.
Marijuana sellers are highly regulated. They can’t operate like doctors, or give dosage recommendations. The products cannot be labeled with medical claims.
Cannabis is not like a prescription pill, with a cause and effect. Cannabis has been shown, though, to promote homeostatis, which is setting the right conditions in the body for it to heal itself.
But before trying that edible, take bite-sized amounts. Don’t down the whole brownie. Be in a place where you don’t have obligations to drive anywhere.
As Southern says, “start low (dosage) and go slow.”
Southern’s journey with marijuana was that is was an accessible recreational drug during the 1960s and 1970s, with a brief resurgence in the mid-1990s. But it was two years ago that she began trying it for medicinal purposes after her health took a downturn.
The medicine helped. Now, through a bit of trial and error, she’s helped figure out what helps her and what works best for a good night’s sleep.
Her audience perhaps admired the idea of a good night’s sleep most of all.
State Department of Health: Call 360-236-4819 or email
Select list of medically licensed stores in
These stores have a certified medical marijuana consultant on staff as well as have the ability to create and issue recognition cards for qualifying patients:
• Bothell: A Greener Today - 425-419-416 - 119315 Bothell-Everett Hwy
• Bothell: Herbal Nation - 425-486-1111 - 19302 Bothell-Everett Hwy
• Downtown Everett: Buds Garage - 425-321-9471 - 3015 Everett Ave.
• Central Everett: Kushmart - 425-374-7029 - 6309 Evergreen Way
• South Everett: Kushmart South Everett - 425-582-00881 - 3220 Highway 99
• South Everett: THC Connection - 425-332-6436 - 11325 Highway 99
• Gold Bar: Gold Bar Marijuana - 360-217-8905 - 17002 415th Ave. SE (off of Pickle Farm Road at U.S. 2)
• Lake Stevens: Cannablyss - 425-374-8106 - 2705 Hartford Dr.
• Lynnwood: Puget Sound Marijuana - 425-678-8106 - 14608 Highway 99
Source: Washington State Department of Health, as of December 2018
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