When asked about legalization, most people’s biggest concern is the inability to detect if someone is using Cannabis while driving or working. While I fully agree that we don’t want people intoxicated at work or while they are driving, we need to understand that people have been taking pain medication and other prescription drugs and going about their work efforts for years. Cannabis as medicine should not be treated any differently.

Because many patients micro-dose throughout the day, they are never affected by intoxication. Others have such a high tolerance that they are un-affected and are able to go about their daily tasks without ever feeling high. If you have been on pain medication for a time, you are aware of how you build a tolerance. (You are probably also aware of the constipation pain medications bring, Cannabis does not!) With Cannabis you build a tolerance to the high, but not to the relief the plant brings.

It’s actually quite easy to tell when someone is impaired on the job, just as you can with alcohol or any other substance. With Cannabis the eyes are often affected, turning red and puffy. This is not always the case, but most often it is. Just as employees wouldn’t show up to work drunk or high on pain or other medication, I have found that responsible adults do not go to work high, either. If they do, send them home for the day and let them know a lower dose or a different strain is in order.

One of the greatest and least talked about strengths of Cannabis is its ability to help you without getting you high. When the plant matter is not decarboxilated (heated, which activates the THC) you do not get high but your body uses the Cannabinoids where they are needed for pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, seizures, and more. This bit of information is priceless to many.

Fresh Cannabis, Cannabis suppositories, and Cannabis root medicine are all ways to use Cannabis without the high. As with any new medication, you should try it at home first. For more information call Albany’s Canna Kitchen & Research at 541-981-2620.

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