Spring 2018 MWNH – Ailment and 
Treatment Guide

 

Welcome to the first edition of our Medicine Wheel Treatment and Ailments Guide. Medicine Wheel Natural Healing is an Indigenous cannabis dispensary in Alderville First Nation. We created this catalogue to help our clients find the best possible cannabis related treatment for their ailments.

Before you decide to use cannabis in your healing journey, we do recommend that you consult with your doctors and other health care professionals. Remember that the healing journey is more than just the medicine we put in our bodies. It is a lifestyle we choose, a state of mind, our diet and daily exercise; by taking all these steps we move toward reaching a better state of health and balance.

Please click for the download link for the PDF of the Ailment and Treatment Guide.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that is associated with increased pressure within the eye causing damage to the optic nerve. This can lead to:

  • Loss of vision
  • Appearance of rainbow colours and circles around brought lights.
  • Eye pain  
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting

Benefits: Cannabis smoking has been shown to decrease the pressure within the eye that causes damage to the nerve. This is thanks to cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties. Treatment with cannabis has slowed and even stopped the loss of vision. It helps with alleviating pain and nausea associated with headaches from pressure within the eyes.

Treatment: The most direct method of intake is to use topical eye drops of 2.8% THC drops. This method lowers the IOP which is the leading cause of nerve damage in the eye. Other options include smoking or vaping which is fast acting.

Recommended method of intake: Edibles, smoking, topicals, eye drops.

Restless leg syndrome (RLS)

RLS is a disorder of the nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs. People experience various sensations especial when at rest that cause an irresistible urge to move their legs. Symptoms include:

  • Various sensations in the legs
  • Itchy skin
  • Pins and needles
  • Creepy crawly sensation
  • Sleep disturbances

Benefits: Studies have found that inhalation of cannabis works best. The quickness of inhalations allows for the decrease of various sensations in the legs. Strains containing THC help with sleep disturbances as well.

Treatment: Due to the nature of RLS, smoking or vaping is most effective right before bed as the effects do not last for a long time, but will aid in falling asleep.  Sativa strains work best due to their relaxing properties. A combination of smoking for the quick effect and an edible can allowed for a restful sleep all night.  

Recommended method of intake: Smoking, vaping, edibles.

Arthritis

Arthritis refers to joint pain/inflammations or joint disease of which there are many different types. The two most common forms of arthritis are Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, which then becomes inflamed and swollen. Osteoarthritis is this most common form of arthritis and is a degenerative conditions caused by aging bones, obesity, or injury. Symptoms my come and go as well as be mild or sever and can cause permanent joint changes:

  • Joint: swelling, pain, stiffness, redness, tenderness and warmth
  • Fatigue
  • Deceased range of motion

Benefits: Cannabis has shown to be beneficial to those suffering with any form of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s regulation of pain. People suffering from RA find it alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and aids with sleep. With the use of cannabis, patients have reduced or even eliminated their use of pharmaceutical drugs, which means eliminating all of the negative side effects that come with them. Although there is no treatment of osteoarthritis, cannabis aids with the symptoms that accompany this ailment through its pain regulation and anti-inflammatory properties.

Treatment: A combination of THC and CBD would be most effective, depending to time of usage as well as pain intensity. Strains higher in CBD help with pain management throughout the day without any psychoactive effects, whereas strains with THC are better suited for the night. Treatment can also include a combination of methods such as smoking as well as topical use. Smoking delivers rapid pain relief although it does not last long. Therefore a combination with a tincture or edible would offer the most relief from symptoms.

Recommended method of intake: Topicals, edibles, oils, tinctures, smoking, vaping

Crohn’s and colitis

Colitis is an inflammatory disease that occurs within the inner lining of the colon. Crohn’s disease can appear anywhere in the digestive tract and often affects all layers of the bowel walls. Its symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Weight loss and reduced appetite
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Inability to defecate
  • Pain due to inflammation

Benefits: The benefit of using cannabis for the treatment of Crohn’s and colitis is that it offers relief from pain associated with cramping and general pain, as well as pain associated with inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties characteristic of cannabis reduce inflammation within the colon as well as the digestive track. This in turn allows the body to more properly digest food and allows for more regular bowl movements.

Patients with Crohn’s can sometimes suffer from “opportunistic” infections. CBD anti bacteria effects can help with the prevention of these infections.  

Treatment: Strains high in CBD help reduce severe inflammation and discomfort within the digestive track (4% or higher). Strains containing 30 mg of THC and 15 mg of CBD (2:1 ratio) have shown to be the most beneficial.

Other options include topicals, which can be applied to the abdominal area to decrease pain and intestinal motility. Juicing the raw leaves of cannabis if available allows for the intake of THC-A, reducing the inflammation and symptoms associated with Crohn’s.

For those suffering with severe pain or discomfort, because of potency, concentrates are strong enough to ease pain and discomfort.  

Recommended method of intake: Smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures, topicals.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term for progressive lung disease. COPD is characterized by:

  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Excess mucus
  • Chronis cough

Benefits: Breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, are all characterized by inflammation within the lungs caused by disease.  The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis reduce inflammation within the lungs that causes many of the symptoms associated with COPD. Some studies have found that low levels of CBD have helped treat nicotine addictions as well which lead to COPD.

Treatment: Strains containing both THC and CBD are effective in the treatments of inflammation. THC was found to deactivate inflammatory proteins where CBD has continued to reduce the amount of inflammation. Ingestion through edibles or oils in food is favourable due to the nature of COPD, smoking as well as vaporizing, may irritate the lining of the lungs.  

Recommended method of intake: Edibles, oils.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder categorized by unpredictable seizures, with a wide range of types and control varying between people. Along with seizures one might experience many other symptoms such as:

  • Convulsion
  • Blackouts
  • Confused memory
  • Fainting
  • Loss of bowel/bladder control
  • Body stiffness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Fearfulness or anger
  • Sudden bouts of chewing or blinking

Benefits: Cannabidiol was effective in reducing frequency as well as severity of seizures in patients suffering with epilepsy. High levels of CBD have shown to drastically reduce seizures and some people even became seizure free. Patients struggling with treatment resistance epilepsy are encouraged to try CBD since many patients have found treatments to be very effective.  

Treatment: Treatment of epilepsy with cannabis is done through CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Avoid strains containing THC, which may cause anxiety and impairment. Vaporizing or mixing oils into food each day will reduce the likelihood of seizures, as well as side effects associated with seizures.

Recommended method of intake: Oils, vaping, edibles.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. It is often found coexisting with other chronic pain conditions. Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Widespread pain
  • Moodiness
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive and memory difficulties

Benefits: Cannabis strains containing both THC and CBD are known to be the best pain relievers. Those suffering from fibromyalgia have found that treating their symptoms with cannabis rather than prescription drugs, they can better treat their ever changing symptoms as well as not have to suffer with all the side effects that come with prescription medication. Strains containing CBD and THC can relieve widespread pain and headaches.

Treatment: Microdosing throughout the day helps to aid with pain intensity. Using strains higher in CBD or CBD oils minimizes psychoactive effects but decreases pain as well as provides the body with energy to get through the day. Microdosing strains that contain higher level of THC, decreases cognitive and psychoactive side effects.
In the evening a combination of indica edibles as well as vaporizing will allows for good night sleep, which then helps with controlling symptoms the next day.  

Recommended method of intake: Smoking, vaping, tinctures, edibles

MS- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS occurs when the immune system attacks myelin, which wraps around nerve fibers. This effects how the nerves work and therefore the damaged nerve fibers are not able to correctly send signals throughout the body. This can lead to:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Unusual sensations
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Lack of concentration  
  • Bladder/digestive problems

Benefits: Cannabis strains that contains equal to or higher amounts of CBD than THC are most beneficial to those suffering with multiple sclerosis. Cannabis has a positive effect on muscle spasticity, stiffness and pain. People find that spasms decrease, muscles relax and they have more control over their body. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of THC and CBD, inflammation within the brain has decreased in patients over time. The ability of THC to stimulate appetite causes the body to release digestive enzymes, which in turn increase the body’s metabolism and aid in any gastrointestinal issues people with MS might have.

Unfortunately due to side effects of THC, we do not see much of an improvement with cognitive functions.

Treatment: Thus far the best treatment for those who live with MS includes treatment specifically with indica strains. These strains have more of a body relaxation effect, and less of an energetic effect. Indica edibles an hour before bed will aid with insomnia, and can help with staying asleep longer. During the day CBD oils or extracts can be mixed in with food to help with any pain and muscle stiffness or spasms.

Recommended method of intake: Oral spray, and extracts, edibles