The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) passed Amendment 126.96.36.199 last week, which details a number of changes to the reciprocity portion of the New Mexico Cannabis program.
These changes state that:
A New Mexico qualified patient can no longer be enrolled as a reciprocal patient.
New Mexico residents are no longer able to join the reciprocity program*. If you are a New Mexico resident, and wish to get a medical card, you can now only do so through the NMDOH. You can no longer get one from any other state outside of New Mexico.
*A resident of New Mexico can enroll as a reciprocal participant only if they are a member of a New Mexico Indian Nation, Tribe, or Pueblo medical cannabis program.
A reciprocal patient’s place of residency must match their place of enrollment.
A Colorado resident can only participate as a reciprocal patient by 1) providing proof of authorization to participate in Colorado’s program (like a Colorado medical card), and 2) providing proof of residency in Colorado through their government-issued identification (like a Colorado driver’s license).
Everest is now required to verify that a reciprocal patient’s state of residency matches the state of their medical cannabis program enrollment. Unfortunately we are unable to sell to anyone who cannot provide matching documentation. All medical cannabis dispensaries in the state of New Mexico are subject to disciplinary action if these regulations aren’t adhered to.
Important Reminder: Proof of medical cannabis program enrollment must be in the form of a physical card or other physical document issued by a governmental entity authorized by law to enroll you in the medical cannabis program in your state of residence. Permission from a medical practitioner, such as a written letter from your physician, is not enough proof of authorization to allow you to register as a reciprocal patient.
Please stop into any Everest Apothecary location today to learn more about these changes and have your reciprocal program documentation re-verified by our patient care technicians. We are here to help as best we can!
On July 1, 2020, the New Mexico state legislature began allowing out-of-state medical cannabis patients to purchase medical cannabis within the state of New Mexico, through a new program called “reciprocity”.
Issued under Senate Bill 139 (SB139), which was sponsored by democrat Jerry Ortiz y Pino in 2019, the reciprocal program permits legally-registered, medical cardholders from any state (outside of New Mexico), the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and New Mexican native tribes to purchase cannabis in the state of New Mexico, without worry of criminal persecution or any additional fees.
New Mexico’s reciprocal program is considered to be one of the most liberal reciprocity policies nationwide. According to GlobeNewswire, no other medical cannabis reciprocal program in the U.S. currently recognizes Tribal sovereignty in accepting authorizations approved by Tribal nations or pueblos. In addition, out-of-state patients may obtain medical cannabis for conditions other than those listed as qualifying by the New Mexico Department of Health, and they are not required to comply with New Mexico’s patient card application nor renewal requirements.
The program has paved the way for hundreds of out-of-state patients to shop at licensed New Mexican dispensaries. According to the Associated Press, there were about 1,700 registered reciprocal patients in New Mexico as of October 2020. The program would likely be growing at an even quicker rate if the coronavirus pandemic and its related travel bans weren’t an issue.
If you are an out-of-state visitor wishing to shop at Everest as a reciprocal patient, you must present our patient care technicians with a government-issued ID and physical proof of enrollment in another state’s medical cannabis program. As stated in the amendment to SB139, effective Oct. 8, 2020, this proof must be in the form of a physical card or other physical document issued by a governmental entity authorized by law to enroll you in the medical cannabis program in your state of residence. Under this amendment, permission from a medical practitioner, such as a written letter from your physician, is not enough proof of authorization to allow you to register as a reciprocal patient.
As a reciprocal participant, you may purchase and possess up to 230 units (or 8 ounces) of cannabis in a 90-day period. You are not permitted to transport any medical cannabis that you purchase in New Mexico over state lines into another state, and you must follow all other state laws while on your visit.
If you are an out-of-state, legal cardholder, please stop into any Everest Apothecary location and we can get you registered as a reciprocal patient today!
Maximizing the medicinal value and the overall effect of your cannabis begins with learning what to look for, and how to choose what’s right for you. Since the effects of cannabis vary from person-to-person, it’s important to consider their basic elements and the experience they produce.
Aroma – A common quote in the cannabis industry is “Your nose knows,” meaning that if you like the smell of a strain’s terpenes its highly likely that you will enjoy the effect of the strain.
Color – Look for vivid hues of dark green to purple and the presence of orange and red hairs. The red hairs are called stigmas and, although it is not always the case, high-potency buds tend to have a lot of hairs.
Trichomes – Look for sugary crystals on the surface of the flower—these are called trichomes and have high concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and THC.
Density – The ideal density varies by strain; buds that are dense and hold more mass are a good indicator that they came from a healthier plant than buds that are fluffy or “larfy.”
Texture – When your flower breaks down, it should have a sticky but dry texture, this is good sign that there is a high amount of trichomes within the buds.
Seedless – It is highly uncommon for seeds to be found in high-quality cannabis strains; the presence of seeds usually means the plant wasn’t grown in a controlled environment…although finding a seed in your favorite bud could be like “finding a pearl in an oyster.”
Trimmed – A tedious manicure ensures that only the richest parts are the flower are sold; only leaf that is covered in trichomes called “sugar leaf” is sometimes kept.
Live Weighed – This deli-style weighing process allows patients to see the product they will be purchasing, the container it came from, and (post COVID) to take a whiff of its terpene profile. Pre-packaged flower not only restricts the patient from monitoring their purchase amount, but the quality of the cannabis leaves much to be imagined.
Testing – As a business requirement, dispensary flower is to be thoroughly analyzed through a third-party lab that can reveal cannabinoid percentages (THC, CBD, THCV), terpene profiles and, most importantly, the cleanliness of the flower.
Percentage Shopping – A common mistake made by patients is to base their purchase decision on the percentage of THC. While data indicates that a strain with a higher THC percentage will have a stronger psychoactive effect, a high THC percentage has the potential to heighten anxiety and exacerbate pain. The best experience is produced from strains that are rich in terpenes and all other cannabinoids, not just THC.
Everest Apothecary takes great pride in serving our community and providing every patient with the right product for their medical needs. Please stop by or call any location and one of our Patient Care Technicians will be more than happy to provide more information regarding cannabis and how to elevate your experience.
By Joseph Mendoza, Dispensary Manager, Everest Apothecary
A staple on the Everest menu since we opened, Super Lemon OG is popular for its unique and highly effective terpene profile. This sativa-dominant hybrid is a cross between Super Lemon Haze and Captain Krypt OG. It delivers a balanced high with an uplifting, energetic effect and is a great choice for at-home workouts or DIY projects.
With such a rare terpene profile consisting of Caryophyllene, Farnesene, and Limonene, Super Lemon OG has a therapeutic euphoric effect that provides relief for anxiety, depression and stress. Farnesene, specifically, gives this strain its fruity aroma and has many anti-inflammatory health benefits. Working intermittently, Caryophyllene and Limonene are ideal for pain, gastrointestinal discomfort, and muscle spasms.
Super Lemon OG, or SLOG, has a strong citrus aroma with a sweet, peppery diesel undertone. Clinging together in pebbled clusters, these dense, sage green buds are covered with red hairs and crystalline trichomes. These trichomes contain the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes, and give Super Lemon OG its therapeutic benefits, flavor and potency.
With a heavy resin production, Super Lemon OG is a great strain for producing the highest quality in concentrates such as our Hoodoo™ Live Caviar and Live Diamond Sauce.
So the next time you stop by Everest, pick up some Super Lemon OG flower or Hoodoo concentrate. Staying home? Have it delivered to your doorstep with our A-1 delivery service.
Everest Apothecary’s Delivery service started out during COVID-19 as a response to increased demand, here is the experience you get as a customer.
There is nothing more satisfying than clicking a few buttons and having something delivered to your doorstep. In the pre-COVID world, the only time you could get something delivered in Albuquerque was when you ordered food. In a post-COVID world, you can get marijuana delivered to your doorstep.
Did you hear that? You can literally sit at home, order your medicine from your computer, and never have to leave your house to pick it up. Okay, that was a bit of a lie. You WILL have to leave go to your front doorstep to sign the receipt, but I digress.
Check out Everest’s Delivery VideoBelow:
I feel like there are two types of people during this pandemic, the ones who are working (and feel so grateful that they’re able to work, that they are working overtime to prove their worth to their team/company or growing their personal business) and the ones who are not (shout out to all of you that have been making masks and making the most of this time).
I fall into the former in fact, so much so that I currently have a semi-permanent indent of my chair pattern in my butt. That being said, I NEED some cannabis but don’t seem to have the time to GET said cannabis. I saw an email from Everest Apothecary about their cannabis delivery and decided I had nothing to lose. I tried it out so you don’t have to. I’m going to go over the entire process so you know what to expect. Hold on to you Pantalones because it’s about to get….
I am not a paid sponsor. I am just an individual who either doesn’t have a lot of spare time or has terrible time management skills (I’ll let you be the judge). Either way, I needed something that was simple, easy, and convenient. Below, you will find the 10 steps I experienced when ordering my medical marijuana delivery. I hope this outline gives you a better idea of what to expect when you order online from Everest Apothecary.
Delivery Menu: The delivery menu from I Heart Jane was easy to maneuver. I like to stick to 1:1 CBD: THC strains because I have low tolerance, and I was able to find the high CBD strains quickly. I was even more excited to see that one of their new CBD dominant strains, B4 was also available. Initially, I was bummed when I scrolled through the edible options and couldn’t find a 1:1 so I added a 200 mg chocolate bar (more on that later).
Add To Cart: I added everything to my cart and made sure to add in my FREE ½ gram pre-roll. Everest is constantly offering different promotions for those using the delivery service. Who am I to say no to a free pre-roll?!
Decision to Order: I’m a cart camper. I put hundreds of dollars of items in my online carts and then I let it sit them sit for an undisclosed period of time until I forget about them. I put items in my Everest cart a few days before I actually ordered. Big mistake, this was the most simple online delivery I’ve ever done.
Delivery Time: You get to pick your delivery time slot. ARE YOU LISTENING, PAPA JOHNS? Everest isn’t here to play games with you. They aren’t going to make you guess when your order will be delivered, they’re waiting for you to tell them when to deliver it. Talk about convenience. It was about 3:30 when I ordered and I chose to have it delivered between 5:00 and 6:00 pm (that was the earliest option).
Enter Information: You can order online even if you’re not a current Everest patient. All you need is a photo of a government-issued ID, and a front and back photo of your medical card. They do remind you that if the address they’re delivering to is different than what’s on your ID, you will have to provide proof of residency. AKA you can’t get your medical marijuana delivered to your friend’s house, just your own.
Debit or Credit: You don’t pay until you receive your order. They don’t take cash (I mean, who has cash these days anyways? Sigh… we miss you, bartenders) but, you can pay with any debit or credit card.
Delivery Tracker: You know when you order Dominoes and then you get to watch the updates live on your computer? Well, guess what. Everest Apothecary has the same thing. I watched as they verified my identification, prepared my order, and then sent it out the door. For someone claiming to be as busy as I did earlier, was this worth watching the tracker fervently? Perhaps not, but while in a pandemic…
Quicker Delivery: As soon as my order was verified, I received a text confirmation and a phone call from my new friend, Marc. He told me that he got my order and wanted to know if I wanted him to drop off my medicine even earlier. “HELL YES I DO, MARC!” I told him excitedly. He told me he would be there around 4:20 pm (I know, the irony). He also double-checked my order, I told him I would have loved to order a Pax Pod vape along with the green apple 1:1 cartridge. (The Pax Pod is one of the coolest vape pens I’ve ever seen. You can control your temperature, dosage, and more from an app on your phone. Plus it’s incredibly discrete.) Do you know what Marc did? He was able to customize my order and switch my total so that I got the pax pod, the cartridge, and the B4 flower. That is what I call customer service!
Discretion: I live in a condo with a bunch of 60-70-year-old conservative busybodies that still believe marijuana is a gateway drug so I didn’t want my new friend Marc pulling up in a delivery car that screamed: “I AM GOING TO SMOKE THIS” since my nosey neighbors would see it and complain that I was ‘using drugs’ in the condo. (Karen, you don’t want to come across me in the elevator if I’m on a high anxiety level and I don’t have my medicine. I will rip your wrinkly old ear off with my teeth and I won’t even feel bad about it.) Thankfully, Marc informed me that their deliveries are discrete. The cars are unmarked and the entire process is incredibly low key. My medicine even came in a brown sandwich bag. For all they know, Everest Apothecary could just be delivering a special snack.
Accurate Delivery Time: At about 4:10 pm, I received a text message alerting me that my order was 10 minutes away. I put on my mask, grabbed a squirt of my hand sanitizer, and walked downstairs. At 4:20 on the dot, Everest called me to tell me what car to look for. Marc and his delivery buddy get out of the car. We say our pleasantries through our masks as they double-check my ID and my medical marijuana license. They swipe my card, hand me my receipt and we parted ways.
I was able to go from ordering to receiving my order in less than two hours. I didn’t have to leave my house and more importantly, I didn’t have to take more than a 5-minute break from working to pick up my order. This delivery service is convenient, simple, and incredibly discrete. I cannot wait to finish my medication and do another online order. This is the first time I will not be cart camping. See you soon, Marc!!
If you have thought about getting a medical marijuana card but didn’t know what to expect at your appointment (and beyond) this article is for you.
Getting a marijuana card can be nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it and you don’t know what to expect. I (27-year-old female, nonsmoker, nondrinker) decided to get a medical marijuana card to help with chronic lower back pain. I did extensive research to look up what to expect but realized there was nothing that answered all of the questions I had.
This article is going to take you through the process of getting a medical marijuana card for the first time. I asked the doctor a bunch of questions so you can go into your medical marijuana prescription appointment knowing things that I wish I had known before.
You’ll learn about why I decided to get a medical marijuana card (even though I don’t drink or smoke), what conditions certify you for a medical marijuana card, what medical marijuana doctors can diagnose you with on the spot, how long your medical marijuana card is good for, and how long it takes your medical marijuana card to ship. I’m hoping that this article can be as useful to you as learning this information was for me.
Let’s get to know each other a little bit better.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you don’t have your medical marijuana card and you’re interested in learning more. We already have that in common.
I’ve had lower back pain since I was a teenager. When I was younger, the doctors told me it was from the sports I had been playing and my posture. When I got to college, each doctor I went to told me a different story. I tried acupuncture, chiropractors, stretching and yoga, muscle relaxers, you name the ‘solution’, I’ve tried it. Every doctor told me their diagnosis was the correct one and each time I would be filled with hope… until I tested out the solution that didn’t work. The back pain would sometimes be so intense that I would have to take a break from work until the wave passed.
Finally, a friend suggested that I try to get my medical marijuana card. Perhaps instead of medication or pill acting as a bandaid to the problem, medical marijuana would help relieve some of that chronic pain by allowing my body and muscles the chance to relax. For someone who doesn’t smoke, drink or really do much else besides work and explore the outdoors (I know, I’m probably really selling you on how fun I am), one might wonder, is a medical marijuana card the right choice for my chronic pain?
There are many reasons to go with legal cannabis usage, here are 6 of them:
Safe Products – You know these flowers and products are being cared for in a safe, state of the art facility, and regulated for potency. You won’t have to worry about any harmful additives or special surprises (not the good kind).
Natural Treatment – Everyone is different but cannabis offers a natural way for your muscles, body, and mind to relax. Cannabis buds (flowers) are from a strain of hemp plants, which can be found in nature.
Variety of Treatment Options – You can ingest your marijuana in whichever way is the most comfortable for you. There are salves, vape pens, edibles, pills, tinctures, prerolls, oil, wax, and much more.
Educational Staff – The staff at any dispensary (I may be biased, but the staff at Everest is some of the best) is incredibly educated on the products they offer. You can go in, explain your symptoms and what you’re looking for. They will always answer any questions you have and give you their recommendation. Trust me when I say I stress tested the number of questions one could ask. They answered ALL of them.
Daily Deals – I can’t speak for the other dispensaries, but I joined Everest’s email list and they offer different discounts for every day of the week. I’ve never worked with an outside cannabis consultant, but I just have a feeling that they aren’t as big on ‘Happy Hour Pricing’ as a regulated dispensary. They also offer deals on their other products, such as vape pens and tinctures.
Better Than Pills – When I went to get treatment for my chronic pain, the suggestion was always a pain killer or muscle relaxer pill with a laundry list of side effects. Each had a warning about becoming addicted, suicidal, nauseous, depressed, drowsy, anxious, and a handful of other fun side effects. Marijuana was presented as an a la carte option. No side effects, except the ones you’ve been looking for.
Specific Dosage – You can get super specific dosages with anything you’re looking for. You can do CBD/THC hybrid EVERYTHING. If you’re concerned about too much THC, you can get a product that has more CBD than THC for a more relaxing effect without the head or body high. (Pst. I was told to ask about custom chill pills at Everest… passing it on)
There are so many more reasons why getting your medical marijuana card is a great option but let’s move on.
I nervously made my appointment with a recommended Nurse Practitioner, Kathy. Getting an appointment was simple. I just called the number on Everest’s website, left a voicemail letting them know I was interested in getting my medical card and received a call back from 420 Connect after about 4 hours.
Once my appointment was set, I felt nervous. I felt like I was cheating the system by getting a medical marijuana card. Did I really need it?! With great power comes great responsibility… I felt like the nerdy kid sneaking into the college party. Can I get in trouble for this? Will people be able to sense that I have my card? I tried to let the nervous nerdy, straight edge kid doubts wash over me and waited not-so-patiently for my appointment.
One week later, I walked into Everest Apothecary was instantly greeted by a friendly staff member that led me over to the waiting area. Not even 5 minutes later, Nurse Kathy came to get me.
We sat down and I explained some of my symptoms, lower back pain transferring into abdominal pain so severe that it would distract me from work. I had 6 years of doctor visits and recommendations on solutions. I gave her approval to access my medical history so she was able to validate and qualify me. She explained to me that in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card, you must have chronic pain or have had at least one of the symptoms below for 3 months or more.
Here is the list of symptoms that qualify you for a medical marijuana card:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS),
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord (with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity)
Hepatitis C Infection currently receiving antiviral therapy
Inclusion Body Myositis
Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated Arthritis
Lewy Body Disease
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Opioid Use Disorder
Painful Peripheral Neuropathy
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the only symptom that can get diagnosed during your medical marijuana appointment. What that means is that if you don’t have records that indicate you have been suffering from PTSD, you can get diagnosed in house.
As of right now, you do not qualify if you have PTSD from COVID-19 BUT if you do have PTSD that has lasted over 3 months and has been retriggered by COVID-19, you could qualify.
Severe Chronic Pain
Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
As she pulled my medical records, she explained the process and the medical marijuana card in more depth so I fully understood what I was getting myself into (Spoiler: It’s even better and cooler than I thought).
Medical Marijuana is a Prescription – She started by letting me know that having a med card is like having a prescription for a medication. Your card is discreet and although they do not protect you from drug testing at a job, you get the same discretion as you would picking up medicine from CVS. The only people who know your subscription are the people who need to know, and those filling it.
New Mexico Medical Marijuana Cards are Good for Three Years – Kind of. They used to distribute you a new card every year with your renewal, but they wanted to save on plastic. Now, your card is good for three years BUT you still need to recertify once a year. You will see your recertification dates on your card.
You can Recertify Over Video – Recertifications don’t need to be in person anymore (I guess there are some silver linings from COVID). 420 Connect has a video option. You cannot do a video visit if you’re using them for the first time, but if you’re an existing patient you have the green light.
All You Need to Renew Your Card is a VALID Drivers License – Seems simple enough (some people are having issues because of COVID and MVD shutdowns), but those license expirations can sneak up on you. Make sure your license is valid before going into to get your medical marijuana card.
Once You Qualify, You ALWAYS Qualify – The state grandfather’s you in no matter how long it’s been since your card has expired. What that also means is that if you qualified because of PTSD, you don’t have to go through any past trauma again just to get recertified. You are set for life.
Your Card Takes 30 Days on Average to Ship – I know, this one kind of sucks. You get to check out the dispensary when you go in for your appointment but then you don’t get to go back until you have your card (wamp WAMP) but note that it’s coming from the state health department so there isn’t much anyone can do to expedite that. Thankfully, you only have to do this every three years.
Appointments Are 30 Minutes or Less – Renewal appointments are 15 minutes and first-time patient appointments are 30 minutes. You can come in and get qualified on your lunch break! In a world where going to the doctor’s office can take up an entire day, this is a well-welcomed change.
She pulled my records, printed off some paperwork that I signed that verified everything I had told her, addressed it, and sent it off. 30 minutes later, I was trying to catch a glimpse of all the products Everest had to offer on my way out. I am currently in the waiting period for my medical marijuana card but I hope to keep you updated when I receive it in the mail, when I go into the dispensary and purchase my first few items, and then when I test out Everest’s new delivery service.
Stay tuned for more of my journey into the world of medical marijuana!
If you’re interested in booking a new patient appointment with 420 Connect, contact them here.
If you’re looking to set up delivery through Everest, click here.
You’ve probably seen the non-stop arguing amongst politicians, soccer moms, journalists, cops, doctors, activists, and more–all hitting you with a tidal wave of melodrama and exaggeration until you don’t know what to believe! Medical marijuana has been a controversial hot topic for years, ever since the Controlled Substance Act passed in 1970 and labeled it a “highly dangerous and addictive” drug. The worst part is, this leaves some of the most vulnerable Americans without an opportunity to make informed choices about their healthcare options based on scientific proof.
Both recreational and medical marijuana users are familiar with (and very much value) the calming effects of certain strains of bud. Many people turn to cannabis over pharmaceutical drugs to treat a wide variety of health conditions ranging from anxiety to sleep disorders. There is one demographic in particular taking more and more interested in the benefits of alternative medicine — veterans. This group of Americans has seen one of the biggest increases in medical marijuana use in recent years due to their desperate search for alternatives to opiates and antidepressants to combat PTSD.
Let’s start with the basics: what is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition found in people who have experienced a traumatic event or series of events. The most widely known demographic experiencing this condition is military veterans, although more recent research has shown that at-risk youth in urban areas, women who have experienced sexual assault, and civilians in war-torn regions are highly vulnerable to PTSD as well. The nature of these traumas varies widely, but symptoms of post-traumatic stress much more consistent: nervous sweating, shaky hands, and heightened heart rate. These responses can be triggered by minor daily encounters like loud noises, claustrophobic and crowded places, and certain social environments.
Your body has a whole host of reactions when you find yourself in danger. These automatic reactions prepare you to either fight for your life or run away to save yourself. This isn’t always a bad thing–these mechanisms can actually prove life-saving in a dangerous situation! But too much of a good thing can prove harmful over time. PTSD is an excessive expression of this normal fight-or-flight response.
Symptoms of clinically diagnosed PTSD can include:
Re-living the traumatic event through nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, etc
Staying away from activities that remind the person of the trauma, including emotions and places
Consistent anxiety and being “on edge” constantly, that can show up as being jumpy or skittish, having sudden angry outbursts, insomnia, irritability, or self-destructive habits
Adverse changes in mood and thinking that can include depression, anti-social behavior, difficulty focusing, mood swings, and apathy
You might be diagnosed with PTSD if these symptoms continue for a month or more, and it’s good to keep in mind that not every person experiencing PTSD will encounter every symptom. Symptoms like this can also take months or even years to develop after the traumatic experience. Out of every 100 people in the United States, about 7-8 will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. During any given year, about eight million Americans have PTSD.
As with many other mental health conditions, PTSD is associated with higher rates of substance abuse, especially among veterans. Those suffering from the condition often turn to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs (prescription or otherwise) to help them handle their symptoms. PTSD has also been closely related to suicide risk. Tragically, an estimated 22 veterans are lost to suicide on a daily basis, and many prescription drugs used to help combat PTSD have unfortunate side effects and addictive potential of their own. In recent years, using weed for PTSD has rapidly gained popularity as a natural alternative to prescription drugs.
The question is, can you really use weed for PTSD?
The use of medical cannabis to treat PTSD is a controversial idea but as the opioid epidemic worsens, many military veterans and other PTSD sufferers have turned to marijuana for help. The anecdotal support for cannabis for PTSD is there–but why is it hard to find scientific studies centered around veterans?
Since marijuana was considered a dangerous and illegal substance for so long, scientists are only just beginning official research into the world of cannabinoid benefits. Researchers have long had restrictions on performing extensive studies comparing medical cannabis to prescription drugs. Even though many states have legalized marijuana, it is still a Schedule I drug under federal law. This means that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a federal organization, has not explored or supported these potential new and safer ways to treat veterans with a wide array of mental health problems.
So here we are today: even though medical cannabis is now legal in the majority of US states, veterans still find themselves trapped in a “catch 22”. VA physicians are forbidden from testing or even casually recommending marijuana products as potential options for veteran patients. This is especially frustrating when you consider that most of the very limited weed for PTSD studies have found that while results have proved promising, more solid research and scientific inquiry is necessary to come to helpful and concrete conclusions.
But wait, there’s good news! In recent years, as the world has opened its mind more and more to the possibilities of medical marijuana, there have been many exciting steps forward in scientific research. A study published just in 2019 found that cannabis is already helping people affected with PTSD to lessen symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. Researchers from the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and the University of British Colombia found that people with PTSD who medicated with cannabis reported far lower rates of intense depression and thoughts of suicide than those who did not use cannabis over the course of a year. In the paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers wrote that these findings are initial proof “that cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.” This exciting report is the first to show evidence of the connection between PTSD, cannabis use, and severe mental health changes in a study with a large sample size.
As the American public and legislators begin to open their minds, more scientific studies can be funded. This promising research will hopefully someday lead to widespread access to these options, and as we learn more about the benefits of weed for PTSD, medical professionals will be able to recommend alternatives to patients beyond pharmaceutical drugs.
How to access cannabis for PTSD
Fortunately for many PTSD sufferers, medical marijuana has been taking the nation by storm in recent years and as of January 2020, weed for PTSD is approved for medical use in 35 US states and territories. You can find the full list HERE!
If you live in one of these places and are dealing with PTSD–great news! You can look into getting a medical marijuana card in order to access weed for PTSD.
For a resident of New Mexico, here are the steps to getting your medical marijuana card:
Talk to a doctor. You will need to get a signed doctor’s statement from a physician licensed to practice in NM. Be sure to have your medical records on hand. At your appointment, the doctor will ask you questions about your condition to determine if medical marijuana is a good option for your case. If your doctor doesn’t approve of medical cannabis as medicine regardless of the state law, you can also book an appointment at many of the other clinics and doctor’s offices around the state. Many facilities specialize in consultations for using weed for PTSD and other disorders.
Submit your online application. Once you have your official physician’s note confirming that you are a valid patient, you can register online with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). Submit the applicationto receive your MMJ card in the mail within 7-10 business days.
Hey, that was actually easier than you thought, wasn’t it?
So once you have your medical marijuana card — what’s the best way to use weed for PTSD?
The first thing that’s important to understand is the difference between THC and CBD cannabis strains. If you’re looking for something for daytime use, high-CBD strains are preferable due to their mood-stabilizing properties. For helping with restful sleep at night, turn to high-THC marijuana. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the CBD content, the less intense the high will be. Pure CBD strains with less than 1% THC will not provide any high at all, in fact!
Even with these guidelines, there is still an overwhelming number of choices when you’re deciding which strain of bud for PTSD is right for you. Though more research is necessary, there are a number of strains that are widely accepted as the most successful in managing symptoms of PTSD.
Here are the top 5:
Blue Dream — This is one of the most popular and widely available hybrid strains across the country in states that have legalized weed. For PTSD, is known for having a significant effect on uplifting your mood and providing a euphoric, long-lasting high. It has a high THC content between 17-24%, with a low CBD content of 0.1-0.2%, and provides soothing full-body relaxation and can help ease you into social situations as well!
Headband — Headband is an indica-dominant hybrid with high THC content (around 20%) great for relaxing the mind. The benefit of this strain of weed for PTSD is that it can help you skip the sleep stage where most dreams (and nightmares) manifest, and go to a deep and dreamless sleep instead. Because of this, be sure to use this strain later in the day, preferably before bed.
Pineapple Express — This smooth and balanced strain comes with a clear-headed feeling which makes it a good option if you want to be out and social, but are feeling symptoms of anxiety. Pineapple Express is a sativa-dominant hybrid, and especially good for creative types looking to get their inspiration and creativity flowing. Its high THC content gives mood-boosting effects as well.
ACDC — Much like Pineapple Express, ACDC is a great option for the daytime when you want to relax, but be focused and productive as well. With a high-CBD 20:1 ratio, you can have all the calming benefits of the strain without the high of a THC-heavy strain. This is a good beginner cannabis for PTSD sufferers who are new to the world of weed for PTSD.
Master Kush — This potent strain is not ideal for beginners, but if you have been using bud for PTSD and are looking for help with insomnia this can be a huge help. Master Kush’s euphoria and ecstatic feelings will have you floating off happily to sleep with a 20% THC content.
Remember that regardless of marijuana’s legal status where you live, you should always consult with a medical professional before using weed for PTSD and other conditions. If you are not sure which strain is right for you, don’t be afraid to ask your local budtender what they recommend!
We’ve only just begun to explore the healing possibilities of cannabis for PTSD, and for many other health conditions. Scientists have begun to uncover exciting new properties of cannabis-based treatments, and we look forward to a future where we more fully understand how they fit into treatments for PTSD and other mental health conditions! In the meantime, we hope you find this information helpful in making your own healthcare choices that are best for you and your body.
Want to see what we have to offer at Everest Apothecary? Check out our online menu HERE.
It seems to be everywhere these days. There are hemp oils at your favorite massage place, “CBD water” (whatever that is) at your local coffee shop–and even Whole Foods is selling CBD bath bombs now! It’s a brave new world kids, and we’re not mad about it.
If you’re looking for marijuana-laced goods though, that’s a whole different story. Even if you live in a state that has legalized weed, the only place you can access it is at a licensed dispensary.
But isn’t CBD just flower anyways, you ask? Why can I pick up CBD oil at my local CVS, but I can’t get over-the-counter weed gummies?
The difference comes down to one key factor: marijuana products contain THC, which gets you “high”, and CBD does not.
Here’s the deal: while both CBD and THC are both part of the ever-growing (pun intended) world of marijuana, they have a few essential distinctions that can mean the difference between helping your anxiety…and accidentally turning up to work high. BIG difference!
We’re going to talk about key contrasts between hemp and marijuana and, more specifically, CBD and THC. We’ll start with where they both come from, go over why one is legal and the other isn’t, talk the health benefits each have, and finish up with how to get the most out of your CBD or THC use. Sound like a plan?
Let’s break it down!
Here are the main differences between CBD and THC:
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both natural compounds found in the Cannabis plant, which includes both marijuana and hemp. There are actually dozens of kinds of cannabinoids found in cannabis by researchers, but CBD and THC are by far the most examined and known about.
CBD is a compound found in hemp plants and is best known as CBD/hemp oil in a wide variety of products. To be considered legally hemp (rather than marijuana), a cannabis plant must have less than 0.3% THC content–way too small an amount to get you high. But although it won’t send you to outer space, CBD is thought to have a lot of medical benefits. More on that later!
THC is the cannabinoid that you think of when you hear people talk about marijuana. It is responsible for most of the psychological effects you feel when you smoke bud because it bonds to certain receptors in your brain and can affect your sense of pleasure, memory, thinking, focus, and perception of time.
Marijuana gets you high, and hemp doesn’t–so they must be totally different plants, right?
Wrong! At the base level, CBD and THC are more alike than you would think!
In reality, marijuana and hemp belong to the same genus AND species: Cannabis sativa. They’re more alike than you might think, even if they have such different effects!
CBD and THC are both very similar to your body’s natural endocannabinoids, which means that they can communicate with your cannabinoid receptors in the same way. When they do, neurotransmitters are released. These are the chemicals that convey messages between cells and play a part in your body’s stress responses, ability to sleep, sense of pain and more.
CBD and THC are even more similar when you look close. Very close. Their molecular structure is identical! Both CBD and THC have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. They’re not identical twins though; the way the atoms are arranged is just slightly different, which translates to a drastically different effect on your body.Science is cool!
Wait…but if they’re so similar, why is CBD legal when weed that can get you high isn’t?
Great question! To answer it, we’ll have to have a mini-history lesson. Before the 1930s, marijuana actually didn’t have such a negative reputation. Hemp was used in a lot of ways in everyday American life—to make rope, paper, and more—without government restrictions or bad social implications.
This all changed when the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (forerunner of the DEA) was formed in 1930. When prohibition ended in the US, head of department Henry Aslinger needed to find some way to sustain his job and keep his department alive. Taking advantage of spreading racial tensions (marijuana was heavily associated with black Americans and Mexican Americans), Anslinger had a big hand in pushing through the Marijuana Stamp Act in 1937, making marijuana illegal. Steeped in gross stereotypes and hearsay, this was the birthplace of the demonization of bud. Years later, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 outlawed all cannabis plants and products during the “War on Drugs”.
For much of the 20th century, marijuana was completely illegal no matter what plant it was derived from or what THC content it had. Things didn’t change until the Farm Bill of 2018 when hemp plants were legalized in all 50 states! Thanks to this Bill, hemp-derived CBD had a sudden boom as it became legal for farmers and researchers to work with the hemp plant. That’s why it suddenly appeared everywhere, as if by magic!
What about the THC-heavy marijuana plant though? Is there a happy ending to that story? Believe it or not, marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug, right up there with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Schedule 1 drugs are defined by the DEA as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Doesn’t seem like the best fit, does it? Perhaps we’ll get to see history being made ourselves someday if they change federal law!
The different effects and uses of CBD vs. THC
Alright, you get the picture: THC gets you high, CBD doesn’t. CBD “good”, THC “bad”. End of story, right?
Not quite! There is so much more to THC and CBD than meets the eye. While generally, people think of CBD for medical use and THC as the stoner’s choice, both CBD and THC have potential health benefits that are still being studied and expanded upon today.
Here are the 6 of the most popular uses for CBD oil:
Help with anxiety and depression
Help with cancer symptoms, as well as side effects from cancer treatments like nausea and vomiting
Reduce the appearance of acne
Ease symptoms of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease
Reduce blood pressure and prevent heart damage
Although a lot more research is needed into all of these claims, the possibilities of CBD are exciting!
FUN FACT! Did you know that CBD does not have any known side effects according to the World Health Organization (WHO)? WHO tells us that CBD is safe in surprisingly large quantities, and the only possible side effects are actually from CBD potentially combining with other drugs/medications a person might be taking. With such a safe alternative drug on the market, we hope that someday soon more medical professionals will turn to CBD to help their patients!
People are more familiar with the effects of THC (there are a lot of “stoner comedies” out there). THC can induce a sense of euphoria because it stimulates your brain in the places that are associated with pleasure. Dopamine floods your brain, which gives you a happy and relaxed feeling. Depending on the strain and potency, THC can also heighten your senses and distort your perception of time.
Which option is best for me?
That’s an individual decision, unique to everyone! Here’s a quick guide to choosing CBD or THC:
Choose CBD if…
Choose THC if...
You want to stay clear-headed and functional
You want to feel euphoric and very relaxed
You are sensitive to the side effects of THC like paranoia, anxiety, dry mouth, etc.
You are looking to treat lack of appetite or insomnia
You need to medicate throughout the day to help with chronic health problems like anxiety, inflammation, or pain
You don’t mind (or are interested in) psychological effects like heightened senses or changes in perception and thinking
Okay, so you’re interested in CBD or THC…but what’s the best way to take it?
Just like smoking bud, many people smoke or vape CBD to obtain its benefits. This might not be possible for some people with certain medical conditions though, who still want the benefits that CBD can provide!
You can take CBD in the form of…
Oils and tinctures
These are liquids (usually in oil form) that are infused with CBD and dropped under the tongue in small amounts. Your mouth is full of little blood vessels that help take in the oil quickly. These are a great alternative for people who can’t take pills or smoke!
Creams and lotions
Plenty of masseuses and more are using CBD-infused topicals to help with muscle relaxation and joint pain. Some people have found success using CBD creams to help with skin afflictions like eczema and psoriasis as well.
CBD pills and capsules are more often used as a consistent remedy for seizure conditions and digestive problems. In 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug with active marijuana-derived ingredients to treat severe forms of epilepsy! The only drawback of the capsule form of CBD is that it can take quite some time to see effects once you ingest the pill.
Edible gummies are very popular as a cheaper, easy, and inconspicuous way to take CBD. One of the big benefits is that you always know the exact dosage that you’re ingesting when you take an edible gummy!
This is the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD: inhaling the vapor of CBD oil. Breathing in the compound absorbs it directly from your lungs into your bloodstream. There is still no consensus on whether or not vaping damages your lungs, though, so be sure to do your research and proceed with caution if you go this route.
Here are just a few of the most common ways to use THC…
Most commonly people smoke marijuana in a pipe, joint, or bong. Many people prefer to smoke because of the quick onset of effects, but it should be noted that smoking weed has some similar health hazards to smoking cigarettes.
Inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis plant matter is another fast way to feel the effects. Vapes are also more discreet and polite than smoking since they don’t leave a cloud of odor and the vapor disappears quickly.
There are a ton of options for edible marijuana, and many people choose this form because effects last longer than other methods. On the other hand, effects can take a lot longer to kick in, up to 2 hours depending on the person. Because of this a lot of people accidentally take more than they intend to, thinking they aren’t feeling anything at first. Definitely not speaking from personal experience here…
Whether you’re interested in CBD for its medical benefits, or you turn to THC for a good time, both cannabinoids offer different advantages based on the individual. Having a better understanding of where CBD and THC come from, their effects and the many ways to enjoy them will help you decide which one is right for you!
We understand that there are limitations being put into place every day to help keep our peers safe. There is no higher priority to our team at Everest Apothecary than the safety of our patients and those around them. We have always been focused on our patient’s health and safety, but we have been going above and beyond to meticulously clean our dispensaries.
We have also enacted a new measure of safety:
Get In: We want you to get seen quickly (our average wait time is only seven minutes!) to avoid contact with other patients.
Get Out: We are prepared to fill your order as quickly as possible. Want to speed up the process? You can order online here.
Get Home: Our goal is to get home home as quickly, efficiently, and as safely as possible.
We understand that this epidemic is really affecting those who suffer from anxiety and PTSD. There are a lot of people that rely on our cannabis as a way to relax and stay focused through a day, so we are doing everything in our power to keep you healthy and safe.
Given the new regulations, please note that our exceptional customer service might be a little bit different than you have come to expect. Our stores will remain a safe place for those looking to feel better, in all aspects.
Check out our online menus and nearest location to you HERE