Dear MS Neurologist,
I know you’ve already been to school and learned about all the things related to treating my MS. You also spend lots of time – hours and even days – learning about the latest and greatest advances in medicine and ways to treat the symptoms of MS. But I read in the headlines that medical marijuana is coming to our state soon, and this is one more thing you will need to learn to add to your armamentarium (medical bag of tricks). You will need to better understand the different pharmacological benefits of various marijuana strains so I want to point you to this site that will better instruct you on the sixteen strains recommended for MS.
This is a web-based resource to give you the straight dope because you won’t get this in any medical text book or through Continuing Education courses to earn CEUs. As a pre-study course you may want to consult a horticultural guide to better understand the differences between sativas, hybrids and indicas.
My first important point in the lesson is you should not be influenced by the names. As mom always told us, don’t judge a book by its cover. Marijuana names are not as smart sounding as Aubagio, Rebif, Tecfidera, and all the other already established drugs except perhaps for Glatopa which could easily cross over to the medical marijuana name list. For example, Yabba Gabba Goo, has a playful name, but it is listed as effective for both MS and Crohn’s disease and depression and muscle spasms; its benefits are euphoria, relaxation and energy. Sour Mango says it tastes a bit like a sour patch kid crossed with mango and will help with energy as well but it doesn’t list benefits of treating muscle spasms. I’m sure this sugary tasting high is different than the one you get when actually consuming sour patch kids.
One thing different about these names than the usual MS drugs is all of them will be words you already know and won’t have trouble pronouncing, such as Double Diesel, Super Jack and Medicine Man (promoted as a medicinal delight).
This resource will also help you to better understand your patients when they come to you with a request such as ‘I want to talk to you about Flo,’ which has nothing to do with urinary streams or moving with the crowd. Instead, Flo is recommend for muscle spasms and anxiety, but should only be prescribed for nighttime use since its effects are relaxation and sleepiness.
There’s so much to learn about these new treatments and no one is expected to know it all, so remember there are tutorials available online and most come with photos and can be used as a refresher course. This could be useful when patients arrive in your examining room and pull out a fresh bud, and want to know if it will help a particular symptoms but they are unable to tell you what it is. After all, you are expected to be the expert of everything, and able to help weed out the things that don’t work well. Here’s a sample of the pictorial guide as a referencefrom www.marijuana.com, these four strains are recommended for muscle spasms.
There won’t be an exam after you study this information; we know memory is affected by consuming marijuana and we’re unsure of the contact high you might encounter through these photos and your patients. You also won’t need to worry yourself about an aptitude test on filling a bowl, rolling a J, or sifting seeds, as those skills fall to other sources. But it would be nice if you could keep some brownie recipes handy when your patients ask for alternative consumption methods.
Until medical books and training catch up with contemporary practices, I hope you will find this guide useful.
Your best bud,