What can be done–PTSD & Cannabis

PTSD Blog-01

To date, there are 2.5 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of whom have served multiple deployments, and return home to face the struggle of re-adjusting to their old lives. Doing the things that were sources of hope during battle, like being with family, going to the grocery store, watching tv, going for a walk, the things they reached for when the fight was hardest, have become a struggle instead.

For some, the scars are physical, but for many combat vets the return home brings with it long-lasting psychological trauma.

It has been estimated that more than half a million veterans struggle with the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Defined by the American Psychiatric Association as an anxiety disorder triggered by an extremely stressful or traumatic event, sufferers continually re-experience their trauma, even years after it occurred. Vivid memories, auditory hallucinations, flashbacks, and nightmares disrupt their lives on a daily basis. Twenty-two percent of veterans commit suicide everyday–a frightening statistic, even more so when you learn it is only an estimate. (Cannabis Now; 2015)

Facing an overwhelming sense of fear and alienation, feeling disconnected from their friends and family, combat vets find themselves stuck, unable to relax to life outside the battlefield. Panic attacks, shortness of breath, a fear of being closed in, depression, and, unfortunately, violent outbursts are all too common. An array of treatment options is not. As a condition, the first case of PTSD was not treated until 1980, and because of this the research is limited.

What has been made clear though, is that along with flashbacks,  and unwanted memories, nightmares are one of the most common ways sufferers relive their trauma. Waking up feeling stressed and exhausted, returning combat soldiers spend their days agitated and anxious, in a constant state of combat readiness.

There are five stages of sleep. Stages 1 through 4, and a stage called rapid eye movement sleep, or REM. Each stage is progressively deeper and the complete cycle is repeated several times during the night. When awakened during REM sleep, subjects report dreaming. Why we dream during sleep is still unknown, there are many theories, but nothing definitive.

What someone with PTSD needs most is to sleep, a chance to rest, but more often than not, they can’t do so. Dreams bring back harsh memories and often times, Veterans with PTSD are reliving the horrors of battle during the time that should be resting softly. Medication used to help patients sleep offer more sleep, but without the restfulness, and often accompanied by harsh side effects.

But what do know about cannabis and its effects on sleep?

Unfortunately, not much. Most of the research on cannabis and sleep was conducted in the 1970s. But what was found, and has continued to be reported amongst users, is that cannabis, even in low doses, reduced time spent in REM sleep. Cannabinoids, compounds active in cannabis, have been found to mimic chemicals found naturally in the brain. These chemicals and their biological pathways make up the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is,  among other things, responsible for regulating sleep.

Cannabis has been found to affect sleep in five distinct ways. To lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, while increasing the time spent asleep, providing deeper sleep while shortening REM sleep cycles, and helping patients to breathe more easily. And while research is restricted based on the legal status of cannabis, veterans have been fighting for their right to access medical marijuana from the very beginning. In February 1978, the first medical cannabis law was enacted thanks to the efforts of two men, a veteran, Lynn Pierson, and the very first medical cannabis patient and its strongest advocate, Robert C. Randall. (Cannabis Now; 2015)

Today returning combat vets  struggle with the complicated task of re-adjusting to civilian life. They dream not of the good things they did, or the people they saved but instead are haunted by the things they were unable to prevent, and by the violence they witnessed.

Veterans use cannabis for many of the same reasons as most patients: anxiety, chronic pain, depression, inflammation, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, however, with no other condition has cannabis proven to be more helpful than it has with treating PTSD.

4th of July: Reach Out

The 4th of July is upon us, which of course means it’s time for the annual watching of Independence Day!

On a recent viewing, while getting choked up at Bill Pullman’s rousing presidential address, before the citizens of earth battle aliens for the fate of the world, (you know the one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLywiaM6PA) something stuck with us here at Bloom Room, “we will be united in our common interest…”

Here in California, we were wise to have been early adopters of the amazing medicine that cannabis is. While there are still many struggles faced by the medical cannabis community within the state, we are very fortunate to have safe and dependable access to medical cannabis. Elsewhere, many Americans are still suffering.

Twenty-seven states still lack any form of access to medical cannabis, and many of the legalized twenty-three (and D.C.) lack actual infrastructure to support the laws that have passed.

In Illinois, for example, medical cannabis was passed into law “effective” January 1, 2014. In the year and a half that has followed, 2,500 patients have been approved for medical cannabis. While initial patient numbers were hopeful, applicant numbers have begun to trickle recently for some reason.

It might be that of the 2,500 approved patients in the state, not a single one has legal access to medicine yet.

This is because Illinois just approved its first growers and dispensaries for operation in February of this year. The matter was in bureaucratic gridlock for months (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Rauner-Awards-Medical-Marijuana-Licenses-and-Permits-290584431.html), and it will be some time before dispensary doors open. No exact date is in sight, only hopefully “by the end of the year.”

And Illinois isn’t alone: earlier this month Rolling Stone profiled seven states (in addition to New York) where medical cannabis is technically legal, but far from a reality. (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/7-states-where-medical-marijuana-is-legal-but-barely-accessible-20150609)

So, this 4th of July, we’d like to urge the California medical cannabis community to reach out to the politicians of other states and show our support of our fellow ailing Americans, sharing some of our personal and state-wide success stories with cannabis treatment. The tide is already changing, and every little bit of support can help make that process faster and smoother.

If personal writing isn’t your cup of tea, The Marijuana Policy project has a good form letter, available here: https://secure2.convio.net/mpp/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=415

And of course, a list of our state senators, all of whom have a quick and easily accessible electronic contact:
http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

While we celebrate our independence, let’s also take a moment to express our solidarity. As medical cannabis patients, as Americans, and as human beings. 

Guess who’s coming to dinner???

Heyo!

It’s been a minute since we posted in our Blog.
You’ll notice us start to use it more now, but first things first.

We felt overwhelmingly compelled to share this with the world…..

WE HAVE BOTH OUR AWARD WINNER STRAINS IN STOCK @BLOOMROOMSF

Black Magic (I/S) and Hawaiian Gold (S)

Black Magic (I/S) and Hawaiian Gold (S)

Hawaiian Gold THC 20.0%, CBD .1% [Pineapple X Super Lemon Haze]

Hawaiian Gold

THC 20.0%, CBD .1%

[Pineapple X Super Lemon Haze]

[Blueberry Yum Yum x Super Lemon Haze] THC 20.3%, CBD 0.1%

Black Magic

[Blueberry Yum Yum x Super Lemon Haze]

THC 20.3%, CBD 0.1%

Plus, another one of our house favorites:

[Burmese x God Bud] THC 25.6% CBD 0.5%

Ambrosia

[Burmese x God Bud]

THC 25.6% CBD 0.5%

Thanks for following our Blog.

To sign up for our newsletter, click the button:

Sign Up Now

San Francisco Mint Plaza

MintPlazaThingstoAccomplish

54Mint

Everything is exceptional – from the antipasti to the dolci: the menu at 54 Mint in Mint Plaza bursts with mediterranean flavor steeped in rustic-italian inspiration. Try the pizzetta (think homemade flatbread & homemade sausage)  and make sure you try each and every dish at least once. If you try 54 Mint Ristorante in San Francisco – you’ll meet old-country flavor without leaving the 7×7.

bluebottlecoffee

The aroma alone is worth a fifteen minute wait. Drip coffee happens over time – it’s never rushed. Hot water washes warm notes of hazelnut and chicory into your single serving – and voila!

“My freshly dripped Blue Bottle Coffee is now ready for cream and sugar.” At least, that’s your initial response. Sip it without modification and indulge.

sffirecu

Located at 12 Mint Plaza, this branch of the San Francisco Fire Fighter’s Credit Union is straight across from the SF Chronicle Building on Mission Street. SFCU reimburses for all ATM fees (in other words use any and all other bank ATMs and SFCU will pay your fee without question – automatically!) and they have a groovy SF Fire Credit Union iPhone app and the sleek SF Fire Credit Union Android app as well 

mezzanine

“Mezzanine is San Francisco’s premiere live music venue, nightclub, and event space, showcasing DJs and live performances from some of the newest, most talented artists in music, and hosting performances that span all genres – from Indie-rock to Hip Hop, Nu-disco to New Orleans Brass.

Mezzanine has steadily become one of the Bay Area’s primary destinations for live music, giving both the artist and concert goer the finest amenities, hospitality and performance quality. Centrally located in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, Mezzanine features two state-of-the-art sound systems, and industry renowned lighting.”

cropped-bloomroombanner3.jpg

Everyone knows Bloom Room SF! Think 4G eighths, tax always included, and lab-tested premium flowers! We also carry an epic array of concentrates and edibles. We do Medical Marijuana the way Blue Bottle does Coffee. We take this medicine seriously – and that’s why we offer our patients serious value!

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.47.15 PM

“As one of San Francisco’s most unique boutique salons, we are an experienced team of fashion forward and passion driven stylists who pride ourselves in providing outstanding and personalized customer service; as well as behind the chair, behind stages of fashion shows and editorial photo shoots.

Located in the city’s newest urban oasis of Mint Plaza, we’re nestled in a sunny corner unit with 360-degree view provided by our 8th floor accommodations.

We provide personalized and detailed attention to our top quality work in a convenient and comfortable setting. Whether it’s color, cut, extensions, a fabulous style or blowout; a total new look or something for a special occasion – there is a stylist here to fit your personality and needs. We also give great thought and consideration into the products that are used here in the salon.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.47.33 PM

“Gentle Star is an original & progressive San Francisco medical spa, offering a portfolio of clinical skin rejuvenation services. Dedicated to the artistry of non-surgical esthetic transformation, Gentle Star’s founders Dr. Thomas R. Ellis and Craig T. Shishido (Medical Esthetician) are inspired by the fusion of art, beauty and medicine.

Cutting edge medical esthetic treatments are delivered in a true San Francisco urban retreat. Tucked away in the historic 1907 Haas Candy Factory Warehouse across from San Francisco Shopping Center, Gentle Star is a quiet oasis where you can rediscover your inherent beauty. Come feel the beauty with us and get energized with a special experience that is uniquely Gentle Star.”

Kiva Confections: Chocolate Meets Medical Marijuana

kivachocolate

Bloom Room SF supports local flavor. Medical marijuana started here – and we’re big fans of bay-area marijuana organizations who support quality, consistency, and safety. Kiva Confections is an exceptional chocolate producer; even without their key medical ingredient, cannabinoids – their chocolate is worthy of being in the fancy chocolate aisle at Whole Foods or Molly Stone.

kivablackberrydarksanfranciscomarijuanabloomroom  
kivamintirishmilksanfranciscomarijuanabloomroom kivatangerinedarksanfranciscomarijuanabloomroom kivavanillachaisanfranciscomarijuanabloomroomsf

Kiva Confection produces Premium Medical Marijuana Infused Chocolate. They offer a variety of flavors – all of which contain 180mg of THC (the main ingredient often sought after by many medical marijuana patients in San Francisco0; while they don’t offer a CBD-Rich variety (meaning more cannabidiol than THC per dose) – they have introduced a brand-new edible to our menu: Kiva Confections Terra Espresso Bites!
KivaConfectionsTerraSanFranciscoBloomRoomSF

These delicious coffee beans are wrapped with Kiva’s velvety chocolate bliss. every bite brings wellness and a smile.

As with any medical marijuana edible, Kiva Confections should be broken into small pieces and ingested incrementally every 30-60 minutes. Leave some time between small bites to test your personal tolerance: edibles can last for several hours, so it’s important that patients do not consume a large portion of this medicine right away!

In the event that you do consume too much medical marijuana chocolate – consider a CBD-Rich product like Alta California’s CBD Tincture! Using CBD can help you dissipate the mental effects of THC. If your dose becomes to much to handle – a couple drops of the Alta California Tincture will help you avoid an unhappy experience.

Bloom Room Holiday Party Features Vaporizers, Freebies, and Fresh-Brewed Blue Bottle Coffee!

Thanks for showing up Cannabis Times Magazine! Hope you enjoyed our Pax Giveaway!

Thanks for showing up Cannabis Now Magazine! Hope you enjoyed our Pax Giveaway!
We had our own Coffee Barista serving fresh-ground Blue Bottle Coffee by the drop. Perfect every time!

We had our own Coffee Barista serving fresh-ground Blue Bottle Coffee by the drop. Perfect every time!

Coffee and Cannabis is the perfect combination. We even have exclusive giveaways for fans of Blue Bottle Coffee! Follow us on Facebook for details :)

Coffee and Cannabis is the perfect combination. We even have exclusive giveaways for fans of Blue Bottle Coffee! Follow us on Facebook for details 🙂

The Pax vaporizer was up for giveaway, donated by LivingCannabis.

The Pax vaporizer was up for giveaway, donated by LivingCannabis. Foodie-worthy food provided by Show Dogs in San Francisco.

Is There Such a Thing as Marijuana Addiction?

Let’s define addiction first: According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences.” So, for a person to have an addiction, compulsive consumption leads to negative consequences (like losing your job or health).

Now, let’s explore what most people think of addiction (aka Physical Dependence): according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “the body adapts to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect (tolerance) and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased (withdrawal).”

Therefore, when people think of an addict as someone who is trembling with withdrawal symptoms until they catch their next fix, they’re really thinking of an individual with an extreme physical dependence! While someone might suggest that a medical marijuana patient who uses cannabis so often that they forget to show up for work is an addict, we are uncomfortable with the concept.

Nicotine Leads to Text-Book Physical Dependence

Nicotine Leads to Text-Book Physical Dependence

After all, addiction is a strong word! We think of nicotine addiction, heroin addiction, or caffeine addiction: in all of these cases, the user will experience withdrawal symptoms that damage their health and wellness because their biological material has been manipulated into thinking that it requires the substance to function “normally.”

So, when it comes to medical marijuana, one is only “addicted” if use is negatively impacting life responsibilities; since using medical marijuana helps patients reclaim their life, happiness, and level of comfort – it’s difficult to see medical marijuana addiction as being something that can actually exist! If your cannabis helps you stay functional, helps you maintain productivity, or enhances your ability to meet and exceed life’s demands – than you can’t be considered an addict!