How to Design A Cannabis Treatment Program
So you’d like to use cannabis for medicinal, health or wellness purposes – now what?
It’s possible that you originally received your prescription from a doctor, so you know cannabis is what your condition requires right now. Or perhaps you’re in an adult-use state, and you understand your health and wellness will benefit from cannabis but don’t quite know the best method for treatment. There’s so much to know! When your cannabis choices are expanded at dispensaries and in legal states, it can be quite confusing. Not only is it important to understand the methods of ingestion, and to test and tweak dosage, but it’s also key to understand the lifestyle factors that effect your cannabis treatment program, which strains may benefit, and when.
Your cannabis treatment regimen is a holistic wellness program that considers your lifestyle, the symptoms you suffer from, and how cannabis might affect you to ensure you select the right strains and ingestion methods for day and night care – as well as supplementary CBD care, if necessary.
When considering strains and methods for Day Care, it’s important to minimize the sleepy, tired effects of cannabis with a low dosage. It’s about taking enough medicine to help with pain, without adverse side effects or sleepiness, enabling you to function and focus throughout the day.
Typically, this will comprise sativa strains which are uplifting, active and rejuvenating in comparison to indicas, which are better left for night treatment. The most popular Tikun strain for day care is Midnight, a combination of THC & CBD, which has been shown to produce a grounded, focused and calm effect. The entourage effect of combining THC and CBD typically mitigates some of the confusion, dizziness and “headiness” of THC and has been reported by many to help with daytime functioning at work and at home, while reducing anxiety and pain. Another popular day care strain, Alaska, is high in sativa and typically creates an uplifted, invigorating and motivated effect.
Due to the sometimes intensely arousing effects of sativas such as Alaska, it’s ideal not to consume them after 5pm, when they can act almost as caffeine does in keeping you awake and alert. (Of course, in large quantities even the most uplifting sativa may result in tiredness, though!) Although indicas are typically recommended for Night Care, the exception is for patients with chronic pain, cancer and other debilitating diseases, where the strong effects of indica on the body can be very helpful for intense pain, shakes, tremors and nerve pain. In those cases, begin with a lower dose, and be prepared for sleepiness.
Indica strains have a slowdown effect on the body and typically produce feelings of relaxation, tranquility and serenity – as well as sleepiness!
Patients who experience severe pain and neuropathy often rely on indica strains to help titrate opiates and other medications, and to limit the severity and frequency of pain. For those with sleeping issues, indicas can be extremely helpful for getting to sleep and staying asleep – so it’s also a good idea to experiment with tinctures, edibles and other ways of ingesting cannabis to receive a long-lasting effect. For anyone with trouble sleeping, sativas are not recommended after 5pm, when their uplifting and arousing effect can interfere with sleep patterns.
Using an indica in the evening to help relax and wind down is helpful for anyone suffering from stress or anxiety, but be prepared for the inevitable tiredness to hit and prepare for bed in advance.
Popular Tikun indica strains include Erez, Or and Eran Almog.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound contained within cannabis that produces no psychoactive effects and can be used during the day or night. At Tikun, our highest CBD strain is Avidekel, which is indica-dominant and therefore may cause overall tiredness in large quantities, but is typically fine to use during the day or night. Midnight, while also high in CBD, is also balanced with THC and as a sativa, is often used during the day for patients with mild pain. Since CBD has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body, it is ideal for addressing the source of the pain and inflammation while simultaneously medicating with THC strains that can help with the immediate pain or other symptoms.
CBD may take time to activate in the system and is recommended to use on an ongoing basis with daily administration of tincture or smoked flower. Add CBD to your treatment program by taking it daily in tincture, edible or vapor form, or smoking it as an alternative to other flower strains.