Medicinal Cannabis in CT: What’s in a name?

 

Did you know that in the state of CT, the dispensaries carry cannabis medicine, and give it names that are unfamiliar  and unrelated to the common name for the product?   For instance, one of my favorite cannabis strains is called Bubblicious. This medicine helped to heal some of the neurological problems I was having, including double vision and eye droop.  If I were to move to CT and look for that medicine, it would be nearly impossible to figure out which one it is.

Here is the state law:

Sec. 21a-408-59. Brand Name

(a) A producer shall assign a brand name to each marijuana product. A producer shall

register each brand name with the department, on a form prescribed by the commissioner,

prior to any sale to a dispensary facility and shall associate each brand name with a specific

laboratory test that includes a terpenes profile and a list of all active ingredients, including:

(1) Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC);

(2) Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA);

(3) Cannabidiols (CBD);

(4) Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA); and

(5) Any other active ingredient that constitutes at least 1% of the marijuana batch used

in the product.

(b) A producer shall not label two marijuana products with the same brand name unless

the laboratory test results for each product indicate that they contain the same level of each

active ingredient listed within subsection (a)(1) to (4), inclusive, of this section within a

range of 97% to 103%.

(c) The department shall not register any brand name that:

(1) Is identical to, or confusingly similar to, the name of an existing non-marijuana

product;

(2) Is identical to, or confusingly similar to, the name of an unlawful product or

substance;

(3) Is confusingly similar to the name of a previously approved marijuana product brand

name;

(4) Is obscene or indecent;

(5) May encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes;

(6) May encourage the use of marijuana for a condition other than a debilitating medical

condition;

(7) Is customarily associated with persons under the age of 18; or

(8) Is related to the benefits, safety or efficacy of the marijuana product unless supported

by substantial evidence or substantial clinical data.

(Effective September 6, 2013)

 

While I have often said that the names of the medicine such as “headbanger” and “blue dream” don’t sound very medicinal, the fact is that they absolutely are medicinal.  People should know what they are getting when purchasing the medicine without confusion.    It’s great that the content of the medicine is on the label for sure. That said, the medicine has been around a long time, and those who use it are often already aware of the strains that help them. Giving them other random names isn’t fair to the patient, who then has to navigate these names to determine what will work.  Is it simply a ploy to increase sales, just like big pharma? 

Yes, the pharmaceutical companies have been doing this for a long time. There is the chemical name and then the common name. For instance,  valium is actually diazepam and percocet is actually oxycodone with acetominophen.   Why are the drugs renamed by pharmaceutical companies?  I’ve attached an article below about that subject for you to read.  But make no mistake, when it comes down to it, it’s all about marketing and sales. Lets face it, long chemical names can be difficult for consumers to pronounce, and state out loud to the pharmacist or physician. I have to say here though, having to say the chemical name may in fact be helpful, reminding the individual that they are in fact putting chemicals in their body every time they take a drug.

So why would CT follow a pharmaceutical model, and rename cannabis strains?  We can speculate further,  but it’s more productive to move forward and work to change this.  When one is suffering with medical conditions that require medicinal cannabis for healing and reducing symptoms, why should one have to purchase medicine that may or may not help?  Especially when if one knew that actual strain names, one could make an informed purchase and not waste money, time and effort.   Is it about sales and greed? Is it about fear?  We don’t know, but at Bulldozer Health we are about to find out with the help of CT volunteers Joe Delaney and Cody Roberts. We will keep you posted about our conversations and work with the CT State Committees and Representatives.

This blog post, is a part of a series about our project to help patients in CT with this issue and much more! If you would like to volunteer in CT for Bulldozer Health Inc., please contact us via our website at http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

 

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/fyi-how-does-drug-get-its-name

The Girls Hour with ARIBAND and Jorian Oxygen

Please listen to “The Girls Hour” Podcast. In this episode the girls interview Ari from ARIBAND and Jori Costello from Jorian Oxygen.  They also discuss the upcoming Take back your health America benefit concert in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 1st 2016.

 

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

Opiate Addiction can be Curtailed with Cannabis: One Story

alone twitter6According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of drug overdoses in the U.S. stem from prescription opioids and heroin. In fact, in 2014 more people died from drug overdoses than any other year on record. Today the CDC estimates that 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.  Yet they are still being prescribed to people on a daily basis.

I know first hand how this goes. I have lived with chronic pain and fatigue most of my adult life. Around 2003 I was given a prescription for Vicodin for pain management by a qualified physician.  I had suffered with psoriatic arthritis pain and joint problems for a long time when I was given this prescription to take the drug 2- 3 times a day.  I thought it was Heaven sent.  I could work as much as I wanted as long as I had the Vicodin on board.  I took it not only for pain, but it seemed to increase my energy levels.  I was hooked. No one ever talked with me about addiction or about the fact that this drug was just simply masking problems in my body.  It was allowing me to shut out my body’s pleas for help. But all I knew was that it took away the pain, and gave me more energy.

Then muscle relaxers, or benzodiazepines, were added for nighttime use to help relax my muscles and help me sleep.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were also added during the day.  The doctor did not review the side effects or warnings regarding these drugs.  They simply told me that the drugs would help.  Sure, I could have looked that all up myself, but frankly I was working 50-60 hours a week, raising a family and trying to keep my house in some sort of order.  So I just blindly followed what the doctors were prescribing and telling me.   I was already a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Boston University in a health field.  I hadn’t just stepped off of the turnip truck.  I just wanted to be able to continue with my life with as little pain as possible.  Like many people, I didn’t understand what true health was, or that a quick fix wasn’t really a fix.  I wanted to go to the Doctor and have him do something to me, give me something that would help me keep going with as little bother on my end as possible. I was a very busy woman.

The doctors prescribed  other drugs too.  Sometimes I still needed a short course of steroids.  And then there were the biologic drugs,  such as Enbrel, Humira and Remicade. The doctors had me try them all to see what would work best based on my subjective reports and the blood work and MRI tests they ordered.  I ignored the strict warnings on the drugs inserts about cancer and lowering one’s immune system.  The Remicade worked the best overall for reducing my symptoms.  I would go to the hospital to have it delivered by infusion, amongst cancer patients receiving chemotherapy drugs. I wasn’t thinking about the future or about the long-term negative effects that this regimen was causing in my body. On occasion, I would think about how ironic it was that I was receiving a drug that was known to cause cancer, amongst patients receiving chemotherapy infusions.  Then I would put it out of my mind, because I wanted to be able to work and do the daily activities that seemed more important than some distant possible cancer or the fact that my body might not be able to fight off a serious illness.  This drug, along with the opioids,  was what seemed to work to keep me going.  In time, they had to increase the Vicodin dosage and frequency.  I figured it just went with the territory.  I had no idea I was addicted to opioids, or that my doctors had created this pain cycle in my body that would have to be stepped up once I became sicker in 2011.

So when they told me I would die in 2011, and placed me on high doses of steroids and chemotherapy to treat dermatomyositis, I wasn’t worried when they also switched the pain pills to Percocet and Morphine. My pain had worsened, almost to an unbearable level. I needed something more.  I then became completely snowed and  addicted and I didn’t even know that was the case, until two years later.

When I started taking back my health in 2013, I started to  withdraw from the prescription drugs including the Percocet and Morphine.  This was  when I realized just how addicted my body and mind were to the prescribed drugs I was taking.   The withdrawal symptoms hit hard. I was shaking and sweating almost constantly.  I had shooting pains down my arms and legs.  I couldn’t complete a thought without my mind racing. The years of Vicodin use, and then the Percocet and Morphine had taken their toll.  I could see why people turned to Heroin when Doctors carelessly removed a patient’s ability to obtain opioid drugs like Percocet because they suspected that either  the patient was not taking it as prescribed, or selling it.  And doctors, who take an oath to do no harm, so easily put patients in this position. Thankfully, withdrawal from the drugs was my choice. I was ready to accept the consequences of my choice. But I was in the depths of Hell.

I had other drugs to withdraw from also.  Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Valium, and Xanax to name just a few.  I had been placed on 16 different pharmaceutical drugs during the illness that nearly took my life.  I wanted to see if I could get off of most of them, to see  how my body could function without all of those chemicals.  I had changed my mind and decided I could be healthier, and that was what drove me forward.  That, and the desire to live a good life, not one addicted to prescription drugs.  Not one that brought me to the hospital almost every month. Not a life that was just simply living in survival mode.  It was beyond difficult, but I knew I was on the right path, if I could just get through this devastatingly horrible withdrawal.

Then  a friend suggested I use cannabis, to not only help with withdrawal symptoms, but to heal some of the dis-ease in my body.  The friend suggested that it would treat pain and inflammation, depression, anxiety, neuropathy and more.  I looked it up and realized that they were right. It could treat all of those things and more. I had only smoked cannabis recreationally as a teenager, and had no idea it was also medicinal.  After a couple weeks of withdrawal Hell without the cannabis, I decided to try some of the cannabis medicine with my friend.   I really had nothing to lose. To my surprise, the pain, the sweating, the shaking and the shooting pains diminished to a very tolerable level that afternoon. My friend encouraged me to use more, and when I did the symptoms disappeared. Most marked, was the pain disappearing, and the anxiety reduction to a tolerable level. Just like that,  I knew this was my all natural medicine alternative to all of those drugs. The withdrawal process went much smoother after that.  In fact, I came off of 7 drugs in 30 days. Then, I became a legal cannabis patient in the fall of 2013 in Massachusetts. I felt very fortunate that I lived in a state where I could do that.   The legal caregiver I then obtained reviewed all of my diseases and symptoms, and tailored the medicine to what I needed for my health.  The pain and anxiety were continuing to lessen. I had strains of cannabis for sleep, for pain, for energy and more.  My true healing journey had begun.

Today I continue my journey in taking back my health which includes nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, cannabis, vitamins, herbal treatments and more.  I am opiate, antidepressant, benzodiazepine, and anxiolitic free because cannabis is working in my body to heal all of the things that the drugs I was previously on were just masking.   Use of this natural drug builds on itself positively in the body over time.

Positive health change is possible for everyone with proper education and access.  Pharmaceutical drugs do have their place.  Opioids have their place even, especially in acute situations.  But patients must be educated, and everyone needs access to all alternative health methods including cannabis for true proper health.  While I feel ending cannabis prohibition is really the best choice, legalizing it medically in all states is a step in the right direction. Below, you will see a list of those states who will have it on the ballot in 2016.  It is my belief that until cannabis and other alternative health methods are available to everyone, none of us are truly free, and this horrific opiate epidemic will continue.  We must all demand better.

Take back your health America!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

 

Which States Are Going To Be Voting On Marijuana Reform In November 2016? | The Weed Blog

Help Bulldozer Health Inc. to make cannabis medicine available to patients:

https://www.facebook.com/Cannabis-Compassion-and-Wellness-Community-143225446101787/

If you are in need of access to alternative health care, please contact us via our website to see if funding is available via Bulldozer Health Inc. in your state.

RI DRUG CARTEL?

What if every tomato plant that you grew was taxed? Or if the local farm stand was taxed per plant for the vegetables that they grow?  I am not familiar entirely with the laws regarding farm stands, but I have grown my own garden before, and no one from the city came to assess it, per plant, for tax purposes.

According to the Providence Journal, RI Governor Raimondo essentially wants to tax personal and small local cannabis growers in RI, per plant, by tagging those plants.  In fact, she wants to tax each and every plant not grown at a compassion center.  Proposed fees are $150 per plant for growing your own medicine,  and $350 dollars for caregivers who grow- for up to 5 patients.  This would essentially put small local growers out of business, put personal growing to a stop,  and force people to purchase their cannabis at larger centers.

Here is the article:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160202/st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/l.php?u=https://shar.es/1hLY8T&h=EAQHtib4nAQFBTn7WGaT1CdcfS9yLR3we1SuQ8_jGNHt4fQ&enc=AZNWfu2SIUHPHlG03-ytfmMshxWtWAnI174RjLgEL5yJcxflaWO03E2L236rfYrpMc_McS2Ayd-cetBP_b1O5WMyyIG0q1vBGF66lwirmgEA34y2bLrvL4F3dzYft4xv6moYqTAQneLPuLjvtQu1aPL1UDdnCpkzfNrPSCuKOvIV2LJ7PFxPyW13wrF7Z7YVxv8&s=1

Whether you live in RI or not, please call the Governor’s office and let them know that this is an injustice.  Remember, while this may not be YOUR home state, but it very well could be. We are one human race.

Take back your health America!

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge

Phone number for the Governor’s  office:  401.222.2080

 

U.S. Government Patent on Medicinal Cannabis

The U.S. Government holds patent 6630507E1 on Cannabis used for medicinal purposes. Yet, they state that it has no medicinal purposes and does not cure anything. This is hypocrisy of the highest order.

Please call the White House comment line and ask the President to change the classification of medicinal cannabis from a schedule 1 drug.
The phone number is  202-456-1111

#TakebackyourhealthAmerica

 

Please watch and share!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

Use of Medicinal Cannabis in the Hospital

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I recently became ill with symptoms of chest pain, jaw pain/tooth pain, and scapular pain.  Since those can be signs of a heart attack, I thought I should pay attention.   I decided a long time ago, that while most Western Medicine practices just aren’t for me, I would go to the hospital if I had these particular symptoms. With my genetics, family history, and personal history of heart disease it is the wisest thing to do.

Going to the hospital is stressful in itself, but in my case, as in the case of the more than 2 million legal cannabis users nationwide (http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=005889), the stress is magnified because it is unlikely that the hospital will honor a legal user’s card and allow their medicine.  In my experience, they hide behind two policies. The first is that noone is allowed to bring in medicine of any kind from home.  While this is likely a good policy in many cases, the problem in this case is that you can’t bring it from home, and they don’t have it in their formulary for you either.  When I asked the MD in the ER at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester about it, she stated that they had “pharmaceutical drugs that acted the same way”.  That is not accurate information.  You just cannot replace the whole plant effect by isolating some of its compounds and administering them to the patient. Here is an explanation from Leafscience.com, Sept. 2014:

“Marijuana, unlike most modern day medicine, contains a wide range of chemical compounds. Scientists have identified over 60 unique molecules in cannabis known as cannabinoids, which include THC and CBD. Many other non-cannabinoid compounds are produced by the plant that also have regulatory effects.

For example, terpenes, the molecules responsible for marijuana’s smell, have been shown to block some cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain while promoting cannabinoid binding in others. As a result, terpenes are believed to affect many aspects of how the brain takes in THC or CBD, while offering various benefits of their own.

In fact, while THC has gotten most of the attention, studies suggest many of the compounds in marijuana work together to produce a synergy of effects. This is known as the ‘entourage effect.’”

The fact is, there is not one pill or injection in their formulary that can do what use of the whole plant cannabis can do for anxiety, depression, pain and inflammation.  But the doctors are still not educated on this fact despite the growing number of patients who utilize it daily for their health.

The other policy that they hide behind is their nonsmoking policy. The health professionals simply do not understand that there are other very effective routes to take with the medicine. Again, education of physicians is sorely needed to catch up with this important medicine and its health effects.

By the time I had left the hospital after my 5 day stay, my anxiety was at an all time high.  In the beginning, loved ones brought me tincture to take to keep the medicine in my system and doing its job.  But it was frightening when a nurse suggested that she smelled cannabis one night, so I stopped its use.  I really needed them to continue to determine what was wrong with my heart and complete their plan of care on that.  And I was afraid that they would ask me to leave. It just wasn’t the time to put up an argument about it.

Sure, I could have requested Valium or Xanax or something else that they had available.  For me though, that would have been a step backwards.  And while those pills may reduce the anxiety in the moment, the benefit to my health when taking them, just does not outweigh the risk, nor is the effect as therapeutic.

I’ve got to hand it to them though, if you need surgery on your heart, they sure know what they are doing.  Why not step up the treatment and not deny people necessary medicine for their other ailments when in the hospital?  It hardly was therapeutic for me to feel anxiety, fear and body pain during this problem with my heart.  I did take the opiods they offered once I realized I just wasn’t going to have the medicine I really needed.  I did so only when I really couldn’t bear the joint pain from the arthritis any longer. I was in bed much more than I ever would have been at home.  I was also unable to exercise, and my body was letting me know it wasn’t happy.  It makes little sense, and seems to me that the doctors just aren’t following their oath to “do no harm” when they deny a patient their prescribed necessary medicine and instead offer alternatives that can be very harmful.

I called the hospital after I left to get a clarification as to their exact policy on legal card carrying medicinal cannabis users.  After being bounced around department to department, I finally was sent to the patient advocacy office.  The person I spoke with did not know what the policy was. She was very polite and took my information though.  Upon her return call, she informed me that she took the question all the way to the top, and that “St. Vincent Hospital at this time does not allow medicinal cannabis of any kind in the hospital,  even from a legal patient who is registered with the state and has a prescription”.

I feel it is time that we stand up together, demand better, and fix this problem. After all, my experience was simply one example of what is happening across the U.S.  in legal states.  A legal cannabis patient should not be made to go without prescribed medicine for any reason, especially in a medical institution.  The medical establishment wouldn’t consider this for any other medication.

If you would like to join us and work on this issue, please contact wendy@bulldozerhealth.org

Take back your health America!

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulldozer Health Show Podcast Episode #9 Disappearing Medical Freedoms

Please listen to episode 9 of The Bulldozer Health Show “Disappearing Medical Freedoms”

The Bulldozer Health Show is produced by Angela “Oxygen” Edge. You can reach Oxygen on Twitter @oxygenedge
The music is “wake up” by Angela Oxygen Edge

Please click the link below to listen:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2AUgtvJRXo-aU5KN2pSNzVrSzQ/view?usp=sharing

Peace,
Wendy Love Edge
Take back your health America