medicinal cannabis.

The growth and sales of medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996, and in the 20+ years since then, over thirty other states have joined it in introducing medical marijuana programs. Advocates for medical marijuana, commonly referred to as MMJ, believe it should be prescribed like any other medicine, both for those diagnosed with serious illnesses such as epilepsy and cancer, and for those with chronic ailments like anxiety and insomnia.

How does cannabis work?
Cannabis works well with the body because of a system we all have—much like the respiratory, digestive, and central nervous systems—called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. Natural compounds found within the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD, bind with this system to regulate everything from pain sensation to mood. Regulating the ECS through consumption of medical marijuana helps bring our body back to homeostasis, which means a more balanced and healthier life.

How can I consume medical cannabis?
At Euphora, we believe that cannabis is medicine, and we believe in having a medicine chest with a wide selection of options for intake so that everyone finds a product to match their individual needs. Flower is cannabis in its raw form and can be smoked and inhaled through vaporizers, pipes, and joints. The parts we smoke—called “flower,” “herb,” or “bud”—are the sticky parts harvested from the female cannabis plant. In order to activate the plant’s naturally occurring compounds, called cannabinoids, it must be heated; this is why we smoke the dried cannabis.

Another way to inhale flower, either dried or reduced to a concentrate, is through vaping. Vaping is a more discreet way to use cannabis because a vaporizer is an easy to carry, handheld device that doesn’t produce smoke. The concentrates used in vaporizers are cannabis extractions that can be either a distillation (parts of the plant distilled for specific effects) or a whole plant concentration that’s simply a processed form of the plant. Vaporizers often include additives to thin the oil, so pay attention to ingredients when purchasing vaporizers to make sure you understand what’s in your vape besides cannabis. Many vaporizers are now on the market including disposable vapes meant for a set amount of dosages and others designed to address one concern at a time: sleep, relaxation, energy, etc.

Can I consume cannabis without smoking?
Smoking may not be the form newcomers to medical marijuana will feel most comfortable using as a consumption method, which is why it’s important that cannabis products have evolved to include many intake forms. If you’re not interested in inhaling cannabis smoke or vapor, another beneficial option is ingestion. The form most people are familiar with is edibles, which are any food product that include cannabis as an ingredient. The edibles market has exploded, so you’re no longer limited to brownies and cookies. Medicated treats are available and in no short supply, but for those looking for alternatives to sweets there is everything from nut mixes to granola bars, plus a variety of infused drinks including tea, coffee, and sparkling water. It’s important to remember when consuming cannabis via an edible to follow the old adage, “Start low, go slow.” You won’t feel the effects of cannabis at the same rapid pace as you would when inhaling it because it has to move through your digestive system and into the liver to be processed. That means you might not think a high is coming and could double your dose before the first one kicks in. The time it takes to feel the effects varies depending on your rate of metabolism.

Ingesting cannabis doesn’t have to include a snack break. Other forms of ingestible cannabis include tinctures that you squirt into your mouth via a dropper, tablets or capsules for a more medicinal approach, and even oral sprays or breath strips that dissolve on the tongue. The possibilities are nearly endless, which gives you the shopper plenty of opportunity to find a product that matches your comfort level and fits with your lifestyle. Self-care is an ongoing process that requires you to listen to your body and nurture its many evolving needs. Medical marijuana in an important tool in your wellness toolkit, and one we think fits perfectly with a holistic, plant-forward lifestyle.