Welcome to our new Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at email@example.com.
My brother lives in North Carolina and has Stage 4 colon cancer. His body is really sensitive to medication and the pain meds just don’t work well. A friend said marijuana is what got him (and other cancer survivors) through it — both for pain as well as being able to eat. Medical marijuana is only legal in N.C. in synthetic pill form. Do you know anything about the synthetic pills? Because they don’t seem to have the effect that my friend (who smoked it when he had colon cancer) experienced.
Cancer is way too prevalent in our modern times, my heart goes out to you and your family. I’m not a doctor, but I know one who has discussed cannabis with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
According to Denver-based Dr. Alan Shackelford, there are 108 active compounds in botanical cannabis. The combination of compounds is believed to cause the different observed effects of cannabis. Marinol, the prescription form of marijuana, is one compound, synthetic THC.
Marinol is FDA approved for appetite stimulation and nausea treatment, but isn’t particularly effective. The other problem is pronounced psychoactivity, or significant mental or mood effects. The psychoactivity depends on the concentration of THC. In botanical cannabis, the other compounds can lessen the effect of high THC concentrations.
Ultimately for pain, Shackelford said that “several studies done since 2010 have shown conclusively that botanical marijuana, whether smoked or vaporized, is extremely effective for some of the most difficult-to-treat types of pain, in particular neuropathic pain.”
Shackelford added that topical marijuana extracts are extremely effective for pain treatment and do not have any psychoactive effects. XO
We are in Boulder wanting some weed. Where should we go?
–Budless in Boulder
As progressive as Boulder likes to be, the city has been as slow as molasses in January setting up regulations for recreational marijuana sales. It likely won’t be until mid-February for recreational purchases from licensed centers. If you want the recreational cannabis store experience, you’ll have to go outside of Boulder County. Find a center or two to check out on The Cannabist’s map. Study your options, call before you go if you have a particular strain in mind, take a fun-loving day trip outside the Republic and get a fresh perspective. XO
Read more Cannabist Q&A: Travel, blood donations, fighting insomnia.
We understand that a person is only allowed to purchase up to one ounce (recreationally). If you are growing your own for personal use, how much can you possess on your own property? Three plants, if grown correctly, will produce more than an ounce.
Can we produce pounds and store it with the rest of the canned goods for a rainy day? And if we’re not smoking but still growing, exactly how much of our personal grow can we store on site and what is the ordinance covering that issue.
–Homegrow in Highland
This question reminds me of the math puzzle about cannibals and missionaries in the canoe. To help us both out, I contacted Denver attorney Warren Edson to help with the paddling, so to speak.
Warren cited Amendment 64 (now called Article 18 of the Colorado constitution). Section 16 subsection 3(b) says you can possess up to six plants, with three or fewer being mature flowering plants AND the marijuana produced by the plants, as long as the growing is done in an enclosed and locked space. The marijuana produced by the plants cannot leave the premises or be made available for sale. XO