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Complete newbie helping mom with MMJ!

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by mmjdaughter, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    First of all I want to express my appreciation to this forum for being such a great resource on MMJ! I've definitely learned a lot from reading the posts here.

    My 60-year-old mom has suffered for years from severe insomnia, anxiety and joint pain. It seems like we've tried everything - sleeping pills, herbs, acupuncture - all with no lasting effects. We've been so frustrated with past treatments that just don't work! So today I finally went with her to her evaluation appointment at MMEC and we had a great experience getting her verified and set up with physician's letter and ID. The doctor was very understanding and soothing.

    Our next step, going to a dispensary, was a little harder. I did try smoking a few years ago in uni, but it was on the rare occasion, so I have basically zero experience with marijuana! In the end we came home with some indica in capsule form. I wanted to ask the staff some more questions about what to get, but they were a little pushy and my mom felt some anxiety coming on, so we just went the conservative route and came home with the capsules. Planning on administering one tonight about an hour before bed. She'll eat a light supper around 6pm so the food doesn't interfere too much with the meds, and we'll see if she can finally get a good night's rest and get some relief from all the stress that comes with insomnia.

    So my question is, where do we go from here? I need advice! We will have to wait and see if the indica capsules are effective first, but beyond that I have no idea what methods of intake we should experiment with. I have a feeling that the capsules aren't the best or most cost-effective way to go. Edibles are out because she can't have all the added sugars. A vaporizer seems like a big investment and I don't know where to start with smoking (we also want to avoid the carcinogens inherent in smoking). Tinctures also seem like a viable option, but I don't know if we should purchase a tincture ready-made, or try to make it at home ourselves.

    Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks so much!

    - mmjdaughter
  2. First of all unless your a care-giver your not allowed by law to be in possession of any type of MMJ.

    Edibles are the way to go and can be made without sugars, like hard Candy can be made sugar free
  3. Hi hon, I'm "Granny" and I'll walk you through a lot of what you need to know. I will be referring to my list a lot- you can access the list by clicking the first link in my sig at the bottom of this post.

    Edibles give better pain relief, but they can take a while to have an effect (15 minutes to 3 hours). Just how long depends on your body and what you have eaten recently. THC dissolves into alcohol, oils and fats- sugars have nothing to do with their absorption! Many diabetics make "canna-oil" or "canna-butter" to add to their favorite home recipes. In my list, there are bunches of recipes in the section "Methods of Use - Edibles"- some like "canna-oil" are diabetic friendly. (I'm type 2, incidentally.)

    Tinctures are usually over-priced and very easy to make at home. They can be made with either alcohol (use the highest proof you can find), or with glycerin (buy it at the local health food store). The list has the recipes for making your own tinctures in "Methods of Use -Tinctures".

    Vaporizers seem expensive at first, but are really economical! They use less cannabis than smoking. Odors are minimized. The problems with combustion by-products are totally avoided by vaporizing.

    The left-over cannabis from vaping can be used to make moderately effective edibles. (Yes, you can get medicated twice on the same dose of cannabis! :eek: First by vaping, and then re-use it in an edible.) See "Methods of Use- Vaporizers" for a full run down on the health benefits. Vaporizers are worth every penny! :)

    Capsules from a dispensary are a "crap-shoot"- no telling what strain(s) went into them!

    Try another dispensary. Each one is different- if you felt they were "pushy", they aren't worth supporting! You are not "locked in" to one dispensary! Shop around!

    Care-taking is a touchy subject lately. Lots of hassle about just who can be a care-taker. The definition now includes that you have to actually do more than just supply cannabis- you have to assist the person with every day help- like taking them shopping, helping with housekeeping, etc.

    However, since you are her daughter, and would likely be doing these things already, you should have no real hassles. I'd draw up a simple contract naming you as her care-giver, just to be safe. With any luck, Prop 19 will pass this fall and much of this will soon be unnecessary!

    Check the sections in my list on "Sleep Modulation", "Pain" and "Anxiolytic Effects" for more articles and studies that your Mom will be interested in.

    Cannabis is an amazing healing herb!

    Hope that helps!

    Granny :wave:
  4. Damn. you guys are awesome.

    i love the fact that everyone helps each other on the city.
    i dont understand how the stereotypes ever came to be
    damn yellow journalism.

    to the OP.
    i hope you mother is able to finally find relief
    if you dont want to "invest" so much at a time

    i recommend the Magic Flight Launch Box
    as a starter vaporizer.

    Just my two cents, vaporizers are indeed helpful

    Good luck to you.
  5. good luck man, im sure gc will offer a lot of help just by existing...very good place to refer theory AND practice you know?.....:smoke:
  6. Thank you so much for your kind replies and your support! Especially Granny. You all bring a big smile to my face. Much love to the GC crew. :gc_rocks:

    So I'm writing this at 8:30am and I haven't heard a peep from her bedroom. Usually she's up at the crack of 4am! So I'd say this first night was a resounding success. I'll talk to her when she wakes up and see how she feels.

    Thanks again for the advice - so helpful - and we will definitely go through this information together in the coming weeks and months. And we will vote yes when November rolls around!

    I'll keep you updated with our progress and come back to bug you once in a while if I have any questions I can't find the answers to! :D


    - mmjdaughter
  7. She's up. I was totally wrong. Turns out she had an awful night - getting sick, throwing up, really bad reaction. She may have overdone it with the indica capsule. Now that I think back, we should have melted it down first so she could sip a little at a time and we could gauge her reaction, instead of downing a whole capsule. She's pretty weak and groggy right now. We decided when she gets better and if she's up for it, we'll try using a vaporizer or tincture for intake, a little at a time.
  8. the smoke isn't even that harmful for you.... but, yeah id go for either a vape or buy some oil. its very concentrated THC that you only have to smoke 1 dab to get VERY medicated.
  9. #9 fluxo, Oct 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2010
    As Amazing66 said, the Magic Flight Launch Box is a great starter vaporizer for you to check out. It is very reasonably priced ($100) and works great, there are tons of GC members who will recommend it. When smoking/vaporizing the effects are more immediate than edibles and your mom can comfortably test her reaction one hit at a time. Also, this allows you to try specific strains and see which ones help the best. There's a link for the vape below, I know you can buy them online, not sure if stores sell them.
  10. Just read you thread and I can't believe the differences in your experience with the dispensary you went to
    and the dispensary that Sweetie went to,
    It's a crying shame that some dispensaries are in it just for the money and the patient comes in second.

    If you are able check for another dispensary.

    Good Lord Yes!
    Smoking or even better vaping is the only way you can montor the effect of the treatment and how much is need to get the desired effect.

    Please tell your Mother not to give up because it will help, when administered corectly.

    Also, make sure you and your Mother, both, read the info provided by Granny, as you will not find a more complete reference of MMJ anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE.
  11. I think that capsule was too high a dosage since she got sick. That is the biggest problem with edibles - it is hard to establish a dosage. When you do try it, it will take some time for the edible to hit you. So, you need to try a small bit at a time and wait for it to kick in. It takes up to 3 hours.

    To start you should smoke or vape because it is effective in up to 30 minutes max and you can smoke a little wait and then stop or smoke more depending on how you feel. I also recommend the Magic Flight Launch Box. You can find more info on vaporizers at

    Hope your mom gets well soon and has a better experience with MMJ and with a dispensary.
  12. Yeah, I'm really kicking myself for letting her down the whole thing at once. Really not a smart idea!

    We got in touch with a more reputable dispensary over the phone today and they were very understanding about our situation. We'll be visiting them soon. I'll let you guys know how it goes! Thanks again for all the advice and kind words.
  13. Smoking is the simplest way, and cancer risk is relatively low unless it's done often. A bong will help to filter out tar and make it less unhealthy.

    Vaporizers are worth it, but the high is different and may not give her the same relief as smoking. The same is true for eatables, the high is different, so don't just try one method. Try a few and find out what gives her the most relief.

    Making sugar free eatables is fairly simple. Just get a recipe that requires cooking oil and look up one of the many videos on how to make cannaoil using just a pan, pot, oil and cheesecloth.

    Be careful though - make them weak at first (an 1/8th for one dish of brownies is more than PLENTY) and have her only try a 1X1 inch square, wait three hours and then determine if she needs more. Body highs are great for pain relief, and eatables are great for body highs, but they hit you very hard! You don't want her to have a bad trip.

    There are loads of recipes. Pot can be put in almost anything as long as it bonds to something fatty, like oil, milk, or butter.

    My advice would be to start with a simple pipe, which will be for sale at dispensaries and should give you an idea how sensitive she is so you can proceed from there.

    Here are some important tips to keep from giving her too much.

    • the tighter you pack it, the stronger it is
    • the more weed you burn, the stronger it is
    • the longer you hold it in your lungs, the stronger it is
    Go slow and let us know how it helps! :wave:
  14. It may not have been the cannabis...I've also seen butter based capsules which were really stale/rancid. Some unscrupulous folk also use moldy weed for their cannacaps. Esp. this year when parts of CA have hand an unusually cool growing season.
  15. Capsules are always a bad start. Like others said you can't really gauge how much you need. Where as one person might take 2 capsules, another (Especially a first time user) won't tolerate even 1 capsule.

    You don't necessarily know what strain goes into the capsule....though your dispensary SHOULD be able to provide this information, my understanding is many cannot.

    Keeping in mind, MMJ has a much more potent effect on first time users. If you smoke it you can simply take a puff or two, and relax, wait to see what happens. Then you can upgrade the dose from there....something you can't do with pills.

    Lastly, I've often heard the capsules are very unpredictable, either working improperly, or in your case causing a bad reaction.

    My advice normally would be to smoke it first, to gauge tolerance and effect. That all depends on how well she could handle the smoke. If she has never smoked anything in her life, she probably will not handle it well at first....which is where vaporizers win out. There's no smoke, and it's actually being shown that vapes not only do not harm your lungs, but in some people with things like asthma and chronic bronchitis....they actually make breathing easier.

    If she thinks she could tolerate the "smoke", I would try it to ensure that MMJ is, in fact, going to help her situation. Even though almost everyone who smokes MJ expresses relief, as with anything you can put into your body, there is a chance that it simply will not work well for her.

    Good luck, and I hope she has better success next time

    OH, one more thing. Don't have her do it right before bed. Have her do it during the day to build her tolerance. For me...a lot of times what helps me sleep isn't "being high", but instead when I come down from being I've been relaxed and calm for hours.....falling asleep is just simpler. When I don't smoke, I suffer from chronic fact it's 8am....and I didn't go to bed last night.....then again...I didn't smoke either :)
  16. I have insomnia and have found that medicating a couple hours before bed is the most effective. It's the coming down that relaxes me enough to sleep. I especially sleep well if I've medicated on and off throughout the day and quit medicating a couple hours before bed.
    With edibles, I give myself at least 4 or 5 before hours before going to bed. Again, it's the coming down that allows me to fall asleep.
    If you're in Cal., look for Auntie Delores edibles as they are very consistant in dosage. There's chilli lime peanuts, pretziles that are w/o sugar, but beware, these are very strong and comes in sativa @ .75 grams a bag and a combination sativa/indica @ 1 gram. These edibles are considered a quad dose.
    Since your grandmother has little experience, I would recommend an 1/8 to no more than 1/6 of a bag to start around the middle of the afternoon, because the effects take around an hour to start and peak between 2 and 3 hours. She should feel the effects begin to wear off in 3-4 hrs and be pretty much finished in 4-6 hrs. She will still have a hazy, somewhat tired feeling. This is the best time to sleep.
    If she isn't able to fully sleep 6 or more hours, then play with the dosing. Later in the day may help, or uping the dose to start or small dosing at 2 or 3 hrs and quiting a few hours before bedtime.
    I, personally have found that it doesn't really matter if I use an indica or a sativa with this method as the particuliar effects wears off. Sativas have a tendency to be uppity and are difficult to sleep on if the major effects haven't worn off. These effects wear off as you start to come down.
    Goodluck. I am sure mmj will help with the insomnia, which in itself may be caused from arthritis.
    As far as arthritis is concerned: my wife and I both have arthritis, and have found that mmj doesn't actually affect the pain itself very much, but what it does do is to allow our muscles to relax enough for the pain to subside. Also, this relaxation allows us to function more effectively. It's hard to explain because it's not just a physical thing; the mental high actually puts your mind in a place where the pain becomes easier to deal with.
  17. How many MG was the capssule?? haha she prob threw up cause she was too high and not used to it, capsules are super concentrated doses of THC, should crawl before you run haha

    get her a pipe and some indica strains, try Querkle
  18. Hi guys! We went to another dispensary where everyone was very kind and helpful. She'll be trying out a few different strains this week. Thank you all for your support and advice! We'll definitely be keeping it in mind as we go on.

    Last night she took one hit half an hour before bed. She definitely felt the effects, but still wasn't able to sleep well. I think she needs some time before she gets used to it and relaxed enough to be able to rest properly. Tonight we're going to try giving her one hit 2-3 hours before bed, wait to see how she feels and increase the dosage from there.
  19. Earlier will definitely be better! I found for insomnia when I had a lower tolerance it wasn't easy to sleep if I was still feeling it really strongly.

    But when she's starting to come down from the effects would be the best time to try and sleep, so you may find even earlier is necessary since the effects are definitely more pronounced at the level of tolerance your mom will have. So maybe after dinner? (depending on when that is) and then wind down and enjoy the night, sleep should come readily after that :p
    I underlined the parts I wanted to highlight to prove a point.
    1st of, the dispensary people are SUPPOSED to fulfill your requests to the fullest, regardless of THEIR attitudes.
    2nd, THEE best way to use cannabis is a vaporizer, like this one:

    Yes, they are always costly, No, this particular one isn't THE one to get, but the thing your getting is what the plant matter doesn't have: the THC.
    The plant matter has the carcinogens you want to avoid, so use a Vaporizer at all cost.

    The capsules should work fine, but the better question will be how much your grandma will need as a dosage.

    She falls under a couple of catagories that help in the potency ranks, like:
    Age: the older, the LESS it takes.
    Gender: For some reason, GIRLS need less than GUYS.
    Stress: This can affect you, but don't let it get to you to quickly.

    Remember, your responsibility is to make sure that the medication works where needed. If you need a Hybrid to do a sativa's job ALONG an indica, make sure you need the extra sativa before you do anything.
    Sativa's are for ADHD; the mind
    Indica's, evidently, are for Back Pain; the body

    It shouldn't stress/complicate/worry things out of proportion with so much to know, but just remember that she has taken more than what is safe before taking cannabis, so try to identify what is the cannabis at work and the other pills in retaliation.

    Mail back for more info if holes were left unfilled.

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