Every Question You (and Your Mom) Have on Weed

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Tomorrow is Mother's Day so whether you're about to answer rapid fire questions about your cannabis use, what CBD actually is or are curious on the effects of weed, motherhood, and pregnancy we rounded up your biggest questions and asked a doctor to answer them. Dr. Caroline Hartridge is a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who is licensed as a General Practitioner in New York. With her own line of CBD products Dr. Hartridge is an expert on not only the research that's out on cannabis but her anecdotal experience with patients.   

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According to the World Health Organization CBD is deemed a “safe” compound. However, there is not enough data for us to extrapolate this safety to the developing fetus. I encourage all patients to consider the risk to benefit ratio of all interventions, including, do nothing.

In rat studies, CBD administration is associated with better outcome when exposed to infection in utero and a Brazilian study on rats demonstrates the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD on the intestinal wall.

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This study is heavily referenced and shows no statistically significant developmental differences among the cannabis consumption group. That being said, until more research it out, it is not recommended to use while pregnant, as noted previously, all patients need to consider the risk and benefit. 

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CBD is highly likely to be transferred to breast milk. We do not have adequate data to outline risks/benefits of CBD use while breastfeeding. We do know ECS regulates the suckling response in newborns.

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I encourage patients to consider the risk to benefit ratio of all interventions. Some patients experience unfavorable side effects from their pharmaceuticals, other patients lab results steer us towards alternatives. In my practice, patients report improved anxiety control with medical cannabis when compared to their traditional pharmaceuticals. 

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For the ladies looking for CBD ONLY, I developed a highly effective topical with magnesium for muscle spasm relief. It is legal in all 50 states, organic, vegan, edible and intentionally contains No THC.

From studying the ECS, we know that a little THC (and all of the other cannabinoids) contribute to an entourage effect (read: less active ingredient needed for greater effect) BUT it also means you have THC exposure, and could, get high. Does that make it better for pain? The answer appears to be user dependent. 

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Smoke, of any kind, can affect respiratory tissue. There are limited studies on the health effects of second and third hand cannabis smoke. But, there is sufficient data to show second hand smoke exposure leads to cannabinoids and metabolites in bodily fluids and can lead to psychoactive effects (read: hot boxing can get you high).

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If smoking whole flower is your choice of consumption, look to minimize your exposure to chemicals by selecting organic products. If you roll look for papers without bleach. If pipes/bongs are your delivery method, choose inert surfaces. Consider the flame source, hemp wicks are a cleaner way to smoke than butane lighters.

If this is a daily habit, take the opportunity to honor your body as much as possible throughout your medication ritual.

Vapes are an alternative to smoking whole flower and certainly remove the carbon component. Make sure vape products have certificates proving they are clean from residues and heavy metals. We do not have enough data on the long-term health effects of vaping cannabis.

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Learn your optimal dose by starting low and slow. If you are using a vape pen, edible, whole flower, concentrate, topical, or bath soak I would still start with a low dose and administer the next dose slowly.  

If you are naive to the product, read instructions and follow instructions. Always feel free to reach out to your healthcare provider or pharmacist at the dispensary with questions or concerns. 

Some patients (hell, most of us) may fall into the ECS deficient category. In which case, the low and slow may not work well and you may need a higher dose to start and then taper down.

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Use “I” statements. Here are some examples…

I’ve noticed you’re dealing with pain/anxiety…I see how it hurts you. 

Seeing you in pain/anxious makes me feel _____.

May I speak to you about something that is unsolicited?

Are you happy with your treatment plan for your pain/anxiety?

Are you interested in learning about evidence-based, plant-based treatment alternatives?

I find these products help me with my pain/anxiety.

Question not answered here? Try this post on 10 things CBD Actually Does

And no, CBD doesn't get you high :) It can help with this though.

Thanks for being nice.