What is the difference between dried cannabis and cannabis oil?
Cannabis oil is processed by the body differently than dried cannabis, coupled with various ingestion methods. The result is a gradual onset of effects in comparison to smoking or vaporizing dried cannabis. Many patients report experiencing the effects of cannabis oil for a longer duration than smoked or vaporized dried cannabis.
Is medical cannabis covered by Health Care benefits?
Most insurance plans don’t currently cover medical cannabis. However, under certain circumstances medical cannabis can be claimed as a medical expense for tax purposes.
Does cannabis have a DIN (Drug Identification Number) for insurance coverage purposes?
Health Canada has not classified medical cannabis as a drug, therefore it does not have a Drug Identification Number. When Health Canada classifies it as a prescription drug, a DIN will be issued to medical cannabis to aid our patients with reimbursement. Currently, there are a few insurance companies who have agreed to cover cannabis as a form of medication. Please speak with your insurance provider and get in touch with Tidal should your insurance provider agree to cover your medical cannabis.
How does medical cannabis work?
Medical cannabis works through the bodies endocannabinoid system; this system regulates physical and mental processes in the body. The natural compounds found in cannabis called “cannabinoids” interact with the endocannabinoid system to help maintain a state of balance, or “homeostasis,” in the mind and body by influencing how cells communicate with each other. For example, cannabinoids interact with the regulation of appetite, immune system functions and pain management.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system – which has an important role in regulatory functions throughout the human body. Cannabinoids produced by the body are called “endocannabinoids”, and those produced by plants like cannabis are called “phytocannabinoids”. Cannabinoids are the compounds in the cannabis plant responsible for physiological effects of cannabis. THC and CBD are the most well-known.
What is THC? What is CBD?
THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids with higher concentration in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. CBD is a cannabinoid that has many potential medical benefits without the lethargic or potential euphoric effects of THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most famous cannabinoid. It is the cannabinoid responsible for potential euphoric effects from cannabis.
Like cannabinoids, terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds that the flowers of cannabis plants secrete. There are more than 100 different terpenes in cannabis plants, and they’re responsible for giving cannabis – and each strain of cannabis – its unique scent. Terpenes, however, are present in almost all plants, and aromatic plants such as mint have particularly strong terpene profiles. Terpenes are also valuable for the way they interact with other chemical compounds in cannabis.
How do I speak with my physician or health care practitioner about medical cannabis?
We would suggest you spend some time researching ahead of time and come prepared with some thoughts around how you think cannabis could help you. Please make your health care practitioner is aware of your medical background, any existing conditions you might have, and the medications you’re currently taking, including information from other health care specialists (naturopath, chiropractor). If you’re looking for a referral for a cannabis-educated practitioner, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-833-275-1420.
How do I find the right dose?
Cannabis affects everyone differently, so it is important to receive guidance from your health care practitioner. If you have any further questions please call us at 1-833-275-1420 and we’d be happy to discuss with you.
Does cannabis have any side effects?
Patients generally tolerate medicinal cannabis well. A low dosage often provides satisfactory relief, allowing side effects to occur infrequently. When side effects do occur, it is usually the result of a high dosage, fast titration (increase in dosage) or combined use with a substance such as alcohol that intensifies the effects.
Known side effects of medicinal cannabis are dry mouth, mood-alterations, insomnia and a faster, increased heartbeat and fatigue. Other effects include relaxation, fits of laughter, hunger, and heightened sensitivity to the perception of colour and sound.
Patients may also experience slower reaction time and lower awareness, particularly during the first few hours of use. For more information, please review the Health Canada document entitled “Consumer Information—Cannabis (Marihuana, marijuana)”. Should you experience any unexpected side effects while taking cannabis for medical purposes, stop consuming cannabis immediately and contact a health care practitioner or go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.
Can I drive if I am taking cannabis?
According to the College of Family Physicians of Canada, while using cannabis you should not drive for at least:
- 4 hours after inhalation;
- 6 hours after oral ingestion;
- 8 hours after inhalation or oral ingestion if the you are experiencing euphoria or high;
Please speak to your health care provider for further information.
What does cannabis help relieve?
Cannabinoids may be used for the relief of a number of symptoms associated with a variety of disorders that have not responded to conventional medical treatments. These symptoms (or conditions) may include:
- Severe refractory nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy;
- Loss of appetite and body weight in cancer patients and patients with HIV/AIDS;
- Pain and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis;
- Chronic non-cancer pain (mainly neuropathic);
- Severe refractory cancer-associated pain;
- Insomnia and depressed mood associated with chronic diseases (HIV/AIDS, chronic non-cancer pain);
Symptoms encountered in the palliative/end-of-life care setting
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms or conditions; for more detailed information about therapeutic uses, as well as about adverse effects, please consult the “Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) and the Cannabinoids” on Health Canada’s website.