(647) 835-4212 admin@socomedical.com
Why Does Cannbis Work for You? : Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Why Does Cannbis Work for You? : Endocannabinoid Deficiency

The Endocannibinoid System 

There are over 480 natural components in cannabis.1 Terpenes are natural chemicals that provide symptom relief once entering the cells and tissues of the body, but also contribute to the smell and colour of all natural organic things. The receptors in our body, which respond to terpenes, are specialized receptors that are part of the Endocannabinoid system (ECS) – “which helps modulate the functions of the body, including sleep, appetite, anxiety levels, pain perception and cognition” 1 – at all times!

The ECS is the largest neurotransmitter in the body.2 Composed of a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors that are compacted in all mammalian brains, “essentially [it is] a vast signalling networking found in all the vertebrates that regulate physiological process”3

So far, synthetic pharmaceutical drugs that aim to target the endocannibinoid system have failed.4

The Pharmaceutical therapies of today are centrally based on endogenous molecules. Examples of such are Insulin and Cortisone-based medicines; successfully given to patients with diabetes, and the latter used to relieve pain and reduce swelling. 4

Comparatively, endocannabinoids have a far superior localized action, though shorter-half lives (meaning the symptom relief wares off faster than common slow-drug release pharmaceuticals). 4 Since endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, one of the major hurdles researchers and doctors will have to face is identifying cannabinoid content in specific strains, the potential symptom relief, and the specific physiological/psychological processes targeted at a synapse level.

nerves-346928_1280In 1992, Dr Raphael Mechoulam, discovered that the ECS also produces an endocannabinoid in the brain called anandamide. 4 This endocannabinoid binds with CB1 receptors in the nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors are bound to those in the immune system. 4 Anandaminde can intensify the effects of THC, as well as has a synergistic effect by inhibiting its uptake of CBD. 1 CBD keeps more anandamide in the patients system, enhancing the immune system’s ability so it can use its own natural chemicals to rid the body of such things as inflammation, bacterial infection, and cancer. 1

There is a clear medical theory that a shortage of edocannabinoids can cause diseases, due to deficiency, that targets the immune and nervous system. Through countless research studies,  these endocannabinoid molecules are been shown to be pivotal “for balance and good health”. 1

How does it work?


THC’s attracts to the following cell receptors: 1

  • gonads (sex cells – testes and ovaries)
  • brain
  • endocrine glands (hypothalamus, thyroid, pancreas etc.)
  • connective tissue
  • central nervous system’s CB1 receptors


CBD attracts CB2 receptors within the immune system and other related glands such as the tonsils and spleen. CB2 receptors are found in the brain, at lower doses than CB1, ergo they respond to CBD heavy strains, with greater reaction and symptom relief.

In the British Journal of Pharmacology, 2010, more evidence was found that cannabinoid receptors differ in their density throughout the body. 1 For example, CB2 receptors are far denser in the gastrointestinal system than anywhere else. 1 These receptors change the body’s response to such things as pain and inflammation in the intestines and colon. One can conclude that CBD heavy strains provide the most symptom relief to those suffering from IBS and IBDs (such as Crohn’s disease and Colitis), given the density of CB2 .

“When the ECS has supplemental external cannabinoids, patients gain long-lasting, and immense relief. Cannabis is so effective in combating the effects of Crohn’s disease, that almost half the time the disease will go into full remission.” 1

Depending on an individuals own ECS, and the density of the receptors they have naturally in their body, a person may respond more to one strain of cannabis over another.


Locations of high density CB1 & CB2 receptors throughout the Human Body. Source: https://kannaway.com/endocannabinoid-system/

For example, if a person has naturally high amounts of CB1 receptors, they would be more sensitive to THC heavy strains, where as a patient with naturally less than average number of receptors, such as CB2, will experience little therapeutic effects from CBD heavy strains. This may mean that the patient will need greater amounts of CBD and/or needs to add THC, combined with other terpenes, that target their receptors through synergy.

This is why here, at SoCo, we suggests that you are honest about your medical conditions, follow which strain terpenes (smell) appeal to you, and keep a journal of the symptom relief you experience. Our staff is educated in the cannabinoid content of our products and can help navigate you in finding the right therapeutic strains.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)

Coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004, this deficiency characterizes symptoms found where there is not enough endocannabinoid system signalling. There are several ways in which your body can have a deficiency in ECS signalling. 2

  1. There might not be enough endocannabinoids synthesized
  2. There might not be enough cannabinoid receptors
  3. There may be too much of the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids
  4. There may be enough endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, but there is not enough signalling happening.

Most research shows that disease states related to CECD are indicated by chronic pain, dysfunctional immune system/nervous system, fatigue and mood disorders.

In several studies, Anandamide and THC has been shown to inhibit high releases of serotonin, particularly in the despair-513529_1280platelets of the blood plasma; this further supports the medical theory that serotonin released from platelets is crucial to generating migraines.5 The same imbalance of serotonin levels in the platelets is also thought to be related to fibromyalgia, but in this case the levels of serotonin are too low – changing a patient’s “aberrant perception of pain.”5 In a epidemiological study, 63% of those suffering from Fibromyalgia also suffered from migraines.6 Looking at these studies, serotonin levels in the brain have a huge influence on pain perception and the nervous system, all of which are part and influenced by the ECS.

“Parkinson’s disease is caused by deficiency in dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for movement and motivation. Depression is suggested to be a deficiency in serotonin, and is treated with antidepressants that raise serotonin levels. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by deficiency in acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that modulates memory, decision-making and wakefulness.”7 Further studies have shown that Phantom limb syndrome, glaucoma, PTSD and bipolar have also been associated with clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). 3

Next Approach:

Natural endocannbinoids found in your body include dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, glutamate and GABA (a neurotransmitter that helps induce sleep). It is the conclusion of Dr’s, and researchers in the cannabis field, that your body can have too much or too little signalling of any other neurotransmitter systems, leading to disease.  2 5 7

What is interesting is that many diseases thought to be caused by CECD, are much more frequent in countries that have adopted Western lifestyles. 2 IMPACT Network believes all humans have the right to restore balance to their endocannabinoid system using the phytocannabinoids of their choice, and fully supports cannabis legalization. 7 Yet it is in these Western cultures, like Canada and the U.S.A, where legalization and regulation is a constant battle, and in return the population health and wellness suffers.

One may question whether the endocannabinoid system can be targeted, just as therapeutically, by compounds other than those found in cannabis; the answer is NO. Can the endocannabinoid system be targeted and somewhat supported by environmental factors; the answer is YES.

There are several proposed ways to help a deficiency in the ECS signalling: 2 3 8


  • eat more substances that boost levels of endocannabinoids in your body and brain:
    • flaxseed, black pepper, Echinacea, and carrots have been most scientifically noted
  • make lifestyle changes:
    •  eliminate medications that decrease your endocannabinoid signalling (speak to your local pharmacist for further information. Some evidence points towards certain blood pressure and cholesterol medications, as well as SSRIs)
    • make frequent exercise a weekly routine – helps circulation and regulates neurotrasmission
    • try to create proper sleep hygiene to ensure a full night’s rest
  • consume phytocannibinoids (rare cannabinoids that come from other plants)
      • A great stimulator for CB1 receptors is kava, a peppery root naturopathically known to have relaxing, anti-anxiety effects. This can be found in most health food stores in tinctures and teas.


REMEMBER: Cannabis contains over 140 types of cannabinoids, discovered thus far, therefore it is the most complex and nourishing substance to the ECS and those suffering from CECD !


Project CBD interviewed Dr. Russo, a board certified neurologist, and the medical research director at Phytecs, a biotechnology company that specializes in developing different ways of targeting the endocannabinoid system for therapeutic benefit. 8  CBD is a cannabidiol that synergies THC, but also provides its own benefit, therefore it is a buffer:  “– a buffer is something that will work both ways as need be. So, for example, in the endocannabinoid system one of its main roles in the brain is to regulate neurotransmitter function and again, if there’s too much of one kind of neurotransmitter it will bring it down, if there’s too little it will bring it up. 8

Dr Russo too believes that many diseases affect neurotransmitter levels, and along with countless researchers and doctors, is somewhat at a roadblock to pursue further research of the human endocannibinoid system and CECD. Due to the constant stigmatization that has taken place both in the government and  medical community, there is hesitancy and red tape where there shouldn’t be:

“First and foremost, we need to better understand the role of the endocannabinoids in our lives and our health status. That’s been ignored, possibly because of its name – having cannabis in the name of this pejorative connation has impeded education, even in medical school. Basically, it hardly exists. Let’s consider this. There are more cannabinoid receptors in the brain than there are for all of the neurotransmitters put together. That being true – and it is – recognizing that fact, why would one ignore this system? Why isn’t this being taught? Our public needs to know about this and how lifestyle and diet affect this system, and how it could be brought to bear to improve their life condition.” 8

Scientists from countless of fields believe there are other receptors within the ECS to be discovered. With a more thorough understanding of cannabinoids and how terpenes interact with unknown receptors in the ECS , the possibility for new cannabinoid therapies and products to target specificefic diseases, disorders and conditions is bountiful and should be pursued.

However, until more research is administered, patients who use cannabis to treat a condition have to depend on evidence from other patients, 1 and the support by a community that will encourage, empower and educate. 

For more scholarly resources and further explanation of CECD, please find a list and blurbs compiled here: http://www.researchecs.com/CECD3.pdf

Smith J. Cannabis, the Brain, and the Central Nervous System. Guardian Liberty Voice. http://guardianlv.com/2016/01/cannabis-the-brain-and-the-central-nervous-system/. Published January 27, 2016. Accessed October 17, 2016.
What Is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency? Impact Network. http://www.theimpactnetwork.org/endocannabinoid-deficiency/. Published October 21, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2016.
Sander J. What Impacts the Endocannabinoid System Besides Cannabis? The Marijuana Times. https://www.marijuanatimes.org/what-impacts-the-endocannabinoid-system-besides-cannabis/. Published August 3, 2016. Accessed October 19, 2016.
Gould J. Cannabis: 4 big questions. Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v525/n7570_supp/fig_tab/525S18a_G1.html. Published September 24, 2015. Accessed October 20, 2016.
What is clinical endocannabinoid deficiency? Sensi Seeds. https://sensiseeds.com/en/blog/what-is-clinical-endocannabinoid-deficiency/. Published March 25, 2013. Accessed October 20, 2016.
Fibromyalgia and Migraine. Migraine Survival . http://www.migrainesurvival.com/fibromyalgia. Published 2016. Accessed October 19, 2016.
Ross DM. Founder’s Message. Impact Network. http://www.theimpactnetwork.org/founders-message/. Published 2014. Accessed October 20, 2016.
CBD P, Russo DE. Dr. Ethan Russo: CBD & Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency. Project CBD. https://www.projectcbd.org/article/dr-ethan-russo-cbd-clinical-endocannabinoid-deficiency. Published June 21, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2016.
Diary of a Pain Killer: Bonjour Mes Amis

Diary of a Pain Killer: Bonjour Mes Amis

According to a number of news sources this morning,  “Ontario plans to treat patients addicted to opioids with a safer but more expensive pharmaceutical therapy and to open pain clinics to improve access to medical care.”1


I am horrified. 


I have worked in some of Toronto’s top pain clinics. I have worked alongside doctors who are renowned for their swift use of lidocaine and botox for nerve block injections. I also have worked alongside the same doctors who have continuously over-prescribed narcotics, catered to opiate addiction, and aided to the deaths of innocent people.

While the government is taking notice to the rising number of opiate deaths per year, have they thought to ask why? How?  

No… and the the answer is MONEY, dirty, dirty MONEY. Most “Pain Specialists” cater to opiate addiction. Period.

life-saving-swimming-tube-737370_960_720To them, the responsibility of properly caring for and observing an addiction risk is blinded by the $$$ potential of each patient.

I have witnessed “Pain Specialists” abuse administrative staff and the OHIP billing system recklessly. I have seen coverups and negligence, all while these doctors continue to open clinics across the city!?

At Yonge & Dundas,  the patient demographic primarily consists of those in the lower income bracket. The majority of patients have some sort of social aid, many of which are part of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Few have traveled hours from outside the city to see the “specialist”, others are here, just like they’ve been every week for the past year.

Generally, in very blatant terms, the typical appointment goes as follows:

1.) Please pee in a cup (OHIP: ~ $30.00)  

Doctor: Its not like we will say anything if you are positive for cocaine or fentanyl (which you haven’t been prescribed.) We just want to clear your name with OHIP, plus appear to the college that we are following protocol. We will take note that you did the urinalysis, but don’t you worry; it will be input as it should properly (wink……/ I won’t do anything to intervene with possible opiate abuse or the selling of the prescriptions I prescribe to you, yet it is not in your urine.)


2.) Tray Fee (OHIP: ~ $60.00)

Doctor: Now I’m going to review your chart. I may look at you or dismiss you completely depending on how well my stocks are doing this morning. I could indulge in a 60 minute conversation about the future of porpoise mammals; all those patients in the waiting room will wait for their drugs, haha.


3.) Nerve Block (OHIP: ~ $40 per site)

Doctor: So, are you in pain?

I won’t do anything if you don’t like needles. BUT, I will say I did some injections because if I just gave an Rx refill every week, without consultation, I’d be audited!

If you are in pain, let me jab you with this needle in an un-compassionate way. It won’t really matter how well I administer these nerve block injections because 1.) you’re a dumb patient who doesn’t know how this should actually feel & 2.) by the time I’m done, you won’t feel anything anyways!  That being the case, it looks like we will do 10 injections, just because…you want relief right!?


4.) Rx (OHIP: ~ $60+)

Doctor: Here is a prescriptions for 60 tablets of OxyContin, and 60 tablets of Percocet. Take the ‘Oxy’ three times a day + the ‘Perc’ when needed. By the way, these go for $60-$80/pill on the street! Haha …. no actually don’t. But you can…


*Patient leaves clinic*


5.) OHIP Billing

Doctor: Hello secretary who I wish to be in high heels and perfumed, but also deal with urine cups and the disposal of needles. Please enter these charts into the Electronic Medical Records system and bill OHIP.

Secretary: There, like a zombie, she begins the data entry. She ends up charging OHIP, for a 15 min appointment, $550.00.

The doctor has 36 patients today…Some take more injections, higher dosages, but a typical billing to OHIP is around $20,000 A DAY.


With this kind of daily income, and support from the government (which has yet to find a way for huge corporate gain in the medical cannabis industry) – of course pain clinics will proliferate around the city!!!!!! And guess what, so will ADDICTION.




The idea is: “Lets get the population dependent on opiates, which cause other problems like renal and liver failure. Then we will be able to prescribe them more medication to manage these adverse effects, while slowly building an addiction to the opiate used in the first place for pain management. Once the patient is hooked with addiction, lets continue prescribing the drug OR put them on something like Suboxone”, a drug now welcomed in Ontario pain clinics as a first-line treatment for opioid addiction.1

Suboxone contains agonistic properties, like those of morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl; It TOO is a habit-forming drug, even at regular doses, and “shouldn’t be taken by someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction”.2

This drug is a narcotic and can cause addiction, overdose and death.2

Like opioids, it also has unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and frequent blood tests will be needed to check liver function.2


“Canada is the world’s second-largest per capita consumer of opioids and the fallout is being felt across the country”1, following good old Big Pharma – America. It was just last week that a report found that from 2009 to 2014, at least 655 Canadians died as a result of fentanyl overdose, a powerful opioid that is prescribed to those suffering from chronic pain.1  

I myself know of two patients who were killed by acclaimed Pain Specialists. An older female patient died of renal failure; the other due to blunt force trauma caused by someone wanting to steal their fentanyl. The rational of the doctors was “They were old”, “He was poor, what did you expect?”. I can tell you now, she didn’t want to take the opiates in the first place; he requested physiotherapy for months instead.

Do No Harm – yea right.

“Ontario plans to treat patients addicted to opioids with a safer but more expensive pharmaceutical therapy and to open pain clinics to improve access to medical care.”1

What about the integrity of the doctor? What about actual patient care and counselling? Will there be a clinical psychologist made available, covered by OHIP, for monitoring of these patients?

If a patient could benefit more from higher contents of magnesium in their diet, epsom salt baths, and a cannabis edible at night…. there won’t be any $60 tray fee. There won’t be a needs for a “safer but more expensive pharmaceutical therapy”. 1

I woke up to today’s Globe and Mail, front page :

Ontario plans new treatment for opioid addiction

But it should read:

Ontario introduces new opiate and opens more pain clinics to cater to opioid addiction, in response to the loss of patients (consumers) who have resorted to cannabis as a proper and safer way of pain management.


Lucy Vera is a contributing writer and member of SoCo Medical. 

HOWLETT K. Ontario plans new treatment for opioid addiction. The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-plans-new-treatment-for-opioid-addiction/article32325988/. Published October 12, 2016. Accessed October 12, 2016.
Cerner Multum I. Suboxone Pronunciation Generic Name: buprenorphine and naloxone (BUE pre NOR feen and nal OX one) Brand Names: Bunavail, Suboxone, Zubsolv. Drugs: Know more. Be sure. https://www.drugs.com/suboxone.html. Published July 26, 2016. Accessed October 12, 2016.
Medical Marijuana for Dogs & Cats

Medical Marijuana for Dogs & Cats

Veterinarians aren’t empowered to prescribe cannabis to pets, just like Medical Doctors aren’t empowered to prescribe cannabis to human – but that doesn’t mean it lacks useful medicinal value.

Big Pharma and the Pet industry (North America’s two largest money making verticals) do not want you and your best, four-legged friends to know how you could be approaching your health and wellness holistically and at a frugal cost. According to veterinarian Dr.Gary Richter, and the veterinarian doctors of Canna Companion, cannabis can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions including, but not limited to:1,2


  • Control chronic pain & inflammation associated with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and FIC/FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) etc.
  • Acts as a neuro-protective agent reducing seizure frequency and intensity
  • Decreases nausea and stimulate appetite
  • Reduces cancer-associated symptoms
  • Aids in decreasing severity of dementia
  • Managing symptoms associated with Glaucoma
  • Reduces bronchial spasms in asthmatics
  • Lowers anxiety, thus increasing focus during training sessions
  • Supports the immune system for conditions like food allergies and immune-mediated diseases
  • Improves Quality of life/ Hospice care


Like humans, and all other mammals, cats and dogs have natural cannabinoid receptors which are part of an entire endocannabinoid system (ECS).3 The ECS is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-perception, mood and memory, as well as mediating the psychoactive effects of Cannabis.3 Nearly every tissue within a mammal’s body contains receptors which respond to the components found in cannabis, acting separately but holistically with the body’s other receptor systems (ex. central and peripheral nervous systems).2


The stem of a cannabis plant is hemp, which has the lowest amounts of the psychoactive component of THC (~0.3%)4, which produces the “high” sought after by recreational users. Hemp is effective given it naturally contains the compound cannabidiol (CBD), which affect the endocannabinoid system.2 However, CBD has a symbiotic relationship with THC, and the medicinal effects of CBD are further enhanced with some presence of THC. 1,2,4,6,7  

Dr Sarah Brandon, a veterinarian and cofounder of Canna Companion claims “We’ve seen better results with a little THC”.6 Dr. Brandon’s products contain some psychoactive properties (a little bit of bud), and if used at the proper dosage in proportion to the animal’s size, “there is no reason they should ever become intoxicated by it.” 6

animal-1280588_1280For products that are already on the market though, most use industrial/food grade hemp, imported from overseas, low in extractable cannabinoids (medicinal value) and bred for its fibrous properties.2,5 Furthermore, one cannot guarantee that the farming practices of these countries stay within the saftey regulations of Canada (ex. refrain from using harmful pesticides.)

Like us humans, cats and dogs can encounter endocannabinoid deficiencies which makes it “very easy to inadvertently overdose your pets on cannabis”, or in humans, “greening out”. This is why observation and patience is pivotal when administering cannabis. The general rule of thumb is to give the smallest dose possible and gradually work your way up until you find the “smallest yet most effective dosage level”.5

Veterinarians know the signs of marijuana overdose in pets considerably better than any other drug, with 96% of reported cases in dogs and only 3 % in cats.7 We conclude this is due to a dog’s ability to gobble up edibles like no tomorrow! Most cases of marijuana intoxication from a single ingestion/incident, resolve over a period of 3-12 hours, without lasting damage.Regardless, one should know the signs. 


Overdose/Cannabis Intoxication presents itself differently in canines vs. felines. Anxiety presents itself far more in dogs, especially if the dog had a tendency to fearfulness prior to ingestion.7 Overall it is important to understand that your pet is in a mental state where it does not understand what is going on, why it feels the way it does, why or how its state has been altered. This means that things like exaggerated, sudden movements or noises may be more impacting than prior to ingestion.

Dr.Richter, whose facilities include California’s Montclair Veterinary Hospital & the Holistic Veterinary Care Centre, reports that overdose can present itself in different ways:

“A lot of it might be what you expect. The animal will start to look a little bit spacey and get a bit wobbly,…(most) dogs will develop the syndrome called static ataxia, where basically they’re standing still and start to tip over but catch themselves before they fall….If the overdose is substantial enough, the pet’s blood pressure level may not be particularly stable or they won’t eat [or drink].”1

Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in the U.S, says “You would think [dogs would] become sedated and wobbly, but almost a quarter of them become quite agitated…They’re trying to pace. They’re panting. You reach out to pet them and they jerk their heads away.” 8 It is important to remember that animals can also get “high” from secondhand smoke too, and while the vast majority of these overdoses are not fatal 1, 2, 8 they most definitely can be traumatic, not to mention, pricey experiences for pets and their families. 

With that being said, one of the worst pains you can encounter is witnessing a beloved member of your family suffer and not know how to help. Fear of overdose should not veer you away from considering this form of veterinary care. As ABC News reports, “One woman from Fort Bragg was ready to put down her dog due to how sick and in pain he was, but the day before he was scheduled to go under, she administered…..just like that the dog was up, walking around, and acting normally again.” 6

Magic or MJ?

Like with humans, many dogs and cats have found great relief with medicinal marijuana. Wendy Mansfield, owner of an ailing 80 lb canine, says, “Instead of taking four pills, two of them narcotics, Kali now gets three to four cookies every few hours and a pain blocker to help her sleep at night.”5 The difference is, a dog can’t go to jail.


Create Your Own Pet Treats:

It’s easy, simple, and a cost effective form of compassionately caring for your pets!

What you will need:

-1 x 1/4 lb of Ground Up Hemp/ Cannabis Stem Powder 

-basic ingredients suggested for home made cat and dog treats.

HERE and HERE are great resources to find recipes that your four-legged hombres can enjoy.


  • One source recommends: THC-to-CBD ratio of 1:1 for pain relief and appetite stimulation. A THC-to-CBD ratio of 3:1 is recommended for conditions associated with extreme arthritis, for example.3
  • Another source recommends a prescription of “one drop of liquid marijuana put in cheese for every 10 pounds of body weight”8
  • The most common side effect in smaller mammal cannabis ingestion is mild lethargy (which usually subsides in 3-4 days) and looser than normal stool, given hemps high fibre content.2,5


Do not ignore your animal’s weight and fragility when administering cannabis. It is highly recommended that  pet owners start with a lower dose and gradually increase the amount as needed. We also urge pet owners to consult with a vet before taking their animals off prescribed medication.

IN CASE OF OVERDOSE: If you believe your animal is overdosing and fear for its safety, take your animal to your nearest veterinary hospital. Most vets administer oral charcoal as a form of absorbing any toxic products found in the animal’s stomach.7 If ingestion was observed or thought to be recent, and the pet is lucid (knows what’s going on and has normal body strength), they will probably proceed by induce vomiting.7 “If more time had passed, a laxative (e.g. Sorbitol ) might be given to flush out the contents of the pet’s digestive tract.” 7



1 Frye, G. (2016, February 16). Medicinal cannabis for your pet? Here’s what you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.learngreenflower.com/articles/84/medical-cannabis-for-your-pet-2016-2

2 King, I. (2015, March 30). Pot for Pets: How Medical Marijuana Can Help Your Cat. Retrieved from http://consciouscat.net/2015/03/30/pot-for-pets-how-medical-marijuana-can-help-your-cat/

3  Aizpurua-Olaizola, O., Elezgarai, I., Rico-Barrio, I., Zarandona, I., Etxebarria, N., & Usobiaga, A. (2016). Targeting the endocannabinoid system: Future therapeutic strategies. Drug Discovery Today. doi:10.1016/j.drudis.2016.08.005

4 Benhaim, Paul. H.E.M.P.: Healthy Eating Made Possible. London: Fusion, 2000. Print.

5 Truong, A. (2015, April 13). The marijuana industry’s newest customers are sick and elderly dogs. Retrieved from http://qz.com/377887/the-marijuana-industrys-newest-customers-are-sick-and-elderly-dogs/

6 Hesse, J. (2016). Pets on pot: Is medical marijuana giving sick animals a necessary dose of relief? Retrieved October 01, 2016, from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/23/medical-marijuana-sick-animals-california

7 Hines, R., DVM, PhD. (n.d.). What Would Be The Signs Of An Overdose? Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.2ndchance.info/marijuana.htm

8 Stepko, B. (2015). What You Should Know About Medical Marijuana for Pets. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from http://news.health.com/2015/05/06/what-you-should-know-about-medical-marijuana-for-pets/


“Greening Out” & What To Do?

“Greening Out” & What To Do?

According to Health Canada, the primary adverse side effects of Cannabis/Marihuana/Marijuana are1:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, feeling faint or lightheaded, fatigue, headache;
  •  impaired memory and disturbances in attention, concentration and ability to think and make decisions;
  • disorientation, confusion, feeling drunk, feeling abnormal or having abnormal thoughts, feeling “too high”, feelings of unreality, feeling an extreme slowing of time;
  • suspiciousness, nervousness, episodes of anxiety resembling a panic attack, paranoia (loss of contact with reality), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist);
  • impairments in motor skills and perception, altered bodily perceptions, loss of full control of bodily movements, falls;
  • dry mouth, throat irritation, coughing;
  • worsening of seizures;
  • hypersensitivity reactions (contact dermatitis/hives);
  • higher or lower blood levels of certain medications;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • fast heartbeat

WAIT. The above adverse side effects also resemble those of a Panic Attack. It is common, after ingesting Cannabis, to recognize a change in ones motor abilities,  psychological perception (time, light, space etc.), alteration of physical sensation etc.. While these adverse effects can take place and be alarming, the same can occur with over the counter analgesic pharmaceuticals such as Tylenol and anti-nausea medications like Gravol.

Remember: “Greening Out” should NOT veer one away from using Cannabis as a form of medication. NO ONE has ever died from being too high. While what your feeling may be unpleasant – it is not dangerous.

If you find yourself “Greening Out”:

1.)  Relax

  • frogs-1644927_960_720Sit down (we recommend you do not stand up and pace, nor lay down if this increases your sense of vertigo and/or nausea) If you are tired, “sleeping it off” can be the solution to feeling TOO high.
  • Know with certainly that the intense feeling you are encountering will pass. Again, NO ONE has ever died from being too high. While the sensation may be unpleasant – it is not dangerous. 
  • Breathe: In 4 Seconds, Hold 7 Seconds, Out 8 Seconds. Remember to maintain slow, full breaths at a a consistent, comfortable pace.     

2.)  Hydrate

  • Water, juice, cold/hot; hydration is key! Having a drink on hand will combat adverse effects such as dry mouth, and is a basic familiar act to focus on. “Greening Out” is like getting the hiccups – deep breaths, slow sips = decrease in spasm and good distraction.
  • Citrus drinks with Limonene disables and inhibits the effects of Cannabis. If you’re “Greening Out”, lemon juice, the zest from a lime, or a glass of grapefruit juice will do wonders. (Read here to learn more about Citrus and Cannabis)
  • DO NOT combine alcoholic beverages with Cannabis. Alcohol has been proven to significantly increase THC blood concentrations and can significantly further decrease your motor-visual skills (ergo, your ability to drive a vehicle or handle large machinery).2,3

3.) Distractions

  • Fresh Air: Some people find that their mind begins to race and they can’t “turn my brain off”. A change of scenery, still within a realm of familiarity, is a great way to distract yourself and possibly enjoy some of the effects of Cannabis. Fresh air, along with an increase in blood circulation, can also help boost your energy from any lethargic side effects brought on by Cannabis. *DO NOT venture off if you are
    feeling too anxious/paranoid, and refrain from leaving your home if you are experiencing increased light-headedness and/or feeling faint. Fresh Air can be accomplished by opening a window as well!frogs-897981_960_720
  • Art & Entertainment: You can calm your Central Nervous System (responsible for relaying the negative physical & psychological effects of Cannabis) by enjoying familiar forms of recreation that stimulate happy neurological responses. We do not recommend you partake in a new activity that may trigger further panic (Ex. Do not watch a scary movie if you don’t like being scared!) Some examples include, but are not limited to : watching a funny T.V show/movie, listening to music, playing a board/video/computer game, partaking in common meditative practices such as knitting, adult colouring books, other arts and crafts of interest, reading, etc.
  • Black Pepper : Who would of thought? Indeed though, pain is a great way to distract yourself from “Greening Out”. Neil Young swears that crunching down on a couple black pepper corns distracts him from any Cannabis induced paranoia or anxiety 5. When it comes down to the chemicals in the brain, according to a scientific review published by Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology, cannabis and pepper have very similar chemical traits; combining the terpenoids (such as beta-caryophyllene) in pepper, with the tetrahydrocannabinol in Cannabis, has a synergistic chemical reaction on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Therefore, when combined, Cannabis and black pepper have a therapeutic calming effect 4. So, grind a few peppercorns and take a whiff; sneezing may occur.


4.)  Eat Something

  • When you eat food, there will be a decrease in the net biophysical effect of THC-enriched blood in your brain. This is because the blood in your body is rushing to your stomach and digestive track for digestion and absorption of what you are now consuming. In turn, you will have a decrease in the psychological effects of THC and the duration of the your high will decrease.
  • If the act of cooking is familiar and something you take pleasure in, then this could be the ultimate solution for you! Relax and indulge in the munchies.                           

5.)  Be In Good Company

  • If you know anyone who is familiar with the effects of Cannabis and is a good frog-1498909_960_720friend, reach out! Sharing your “Greening Out”experience, along with having company of someone else during your unfamiliar/unwanted “high”, can be reassuring to your nerves and reduce unwanted psychological/social side effects.
  • Remember to ask: what you need, what you don’t want/need, what you think will help. Some patients have been fortunate enough to have friends who will call every half hour until the adverse side effects ware off. Asking for reassurance is OK!


Things To Remember:

  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race: take your time between each dose. Different strains of Cannabis can have effects surface slowly or hit you hard and heavy; pace yourself and do not rush your consumption sessions. Packing in too much THC in a short period of time usually is the culprit to that uncomfortable feeling of “Greening Out”.
  • Proper Time & Place: if you do not know how Cannabis effects you and/or are not fully aware of your surroundings and company, we suggest you consume this medication in a safe and known environment. We do not want you feeling effects such as sudden fatigue or anxiety in an environment you do not know, surrounded by people you are not familiar with. We suggest you dose in your home, during a time when you have few demands on yourself.
  • Become Familiar with Your Limits: edibles can begin to take effect anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion! Gaining insight and understanding your own tolerance for active cannabinoids is something that takes time. So again, back to time, place and pacing yourself. With edibles, best start off with a quarter, then half, and increase doses slowly.
  • Know When to Stop! Everyone has a different tolerance and social environments can sometimes make you lose track of how much you are consuming. Do not forget that each individual has a different threshold, feels the onset of effects at different times, and are consuming for different reasons and symptom relief. What you eat, how hydrated you are, what mood you are in, how much sleep you’ve had – these ALL have an effect on how you will feel and how Cannabis will effect you.

To Mary Jane & The Avoidance of Feeling Green