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The Origins of Prescription Opioids

Plants Not Pills

The search for a perfect painkiller is as old as humankind. For thousands of years ancient societies pressed herbs and flowers to try find a cure for chronic pain, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the discovery of a “miracle drug” changed the course of history like no other drug before.

In the early 1800s, a pharmaceutical assistant named Friedrich Wlhelm Sertürner began experimenting with opium poppies in northern Germany . By then it was well known that the sap from opium poppies could provide effective pain relief. The problem was that not all poppies (or sap for that matter) are created equal. Sometimes the sap wasn’t strong enough. In other cases it was so strong it would prove fatal. What Surtürner discovered was that by isolating a specific alkaloid found in opium, he could administer pain relief in precise doses.

A new drug was born: morphine.

In 1827, the owner of the Engel-Apotheke in Darmstadt, Germany, Emanuel Merck, began to supply morphine on a large scale. The success of his venture led to the foundation of the Merck pharmaceutical company, the first in what would become one of the world’s most powerful industries. Soon afterwards, doctors discovered that injecting the liquid morphine provided quicker and stronger results. The Civil War created an increased demand for the powerful analgesic. From that time on, morphine became a staple on battlefields around the world. Before long it had penetrated the civilian population. Beverages containing morphine were widely sold in US pharmacies. In 1897, a chemist at the Bayer company found and patented another morphine derivative called “Heroin” which was widely used as a cough medicine for children. In addition to opioids, Germany was quickly becoming the world’s largest supplier of cocaine, importing almost all of Peru’s production of the raw stuff for processing and sale.

The reason for Germany as the hub for pharmaceutical production was that it had (and still has) a high concentration of chemists and engineers. Germany also desperately needed to build up a powerful homegrown business that did not rely on foreign imports. Unlike Great Britain, France or Belgium, Germany did not have colonies to rely on for commerce.

World War I would prove another boon for the pharmaceutical industry (war always does), but it had some unexpected after shocks. Addiction to opioids and amphetamines sky rocketed around the world. At the time, pharmaceutical companies were happy to keep up with demand. Not coincidentally, this is the era when we find the first pharmaceutical lobby groups starting to align themselves with politicians, particularly in the US, to ban cannabis, a substance deemed amoral and deadly.

Ironically, long before opioids entered the mainstream market, cannabis in dried and oil form was sold in pharmacies to relieve migraines, indigestion and other common conditions. To give it a more foreign sounding and nefarious connotation, US politicians, with the help of the media, adopted the colloquial name for cannabis used by Mexican immigrant workers: marijuana. Ad campaigns against the substance featured immigrants and minorities, a way of making sure it was associated with race and bred discrimination. In the 1940s, cannabis was federally banned in the US, but opioids in all their ever changing forms have remained legal to this day. The same companies continue to flourish and sell prescription opioids rich in oxycodone. Merck famously supported lobby groups that tried to block legislation limiting the prescription of Oxycontin. 

But Canadians now have an alternative to opioids in the form of medical cannabis. Unlike opioids, which are responsible for thousands of fatal overdoses across Canada each year, there has yet to be a single death recorded as a result of cannabis use. In addition Licensed Producers are far more regulated than pharmaceutical companies and offer safe, effective cannabis in dried, oil and topical forms.

If you or a loved one would like to start accessing safe, effective medical cannabis under Canada’s ACMPR guidelines, then contact Plants Not Pills by clicking here or email info@plantsnotpills.ca

Get Cannabis Covered Under Your Health Benefits

Get Your Cannabis Covered

As many of you have already experienced, we’ve had continued success over the past 12 months in establishing coverage for medical cannabis under major health insurance plans.

We would like to ensure that this service is offered to anyone using cannabis therapy. Please contact us if you have health benefits through your employer, or are covered under a spouse’s plan and wish to have medical marijuana considered for reimbursement as part of your entitlements.

Once successfully approved, your insurance company may cover up to 100% of the cost of dried medical cannabis or cannabis in oil form.

Many patients have reported better outcomes without having the financial stress or burden associated with paying for their medicine.

Feel free to extend this offer to anyone else you know that may be interested.

Highlights

  • NO COST, FEES or COMMITMENTS associated with the process
  • Simple, fast and pleasant. It can take as little as one week to determine coverage
  • You qualify regardless of where and with which Doctor you received your current cannabis authorization
  • If your cannabis prescription is expired it may be renewed as part of the process
  • All your information is kept 100% confidential

                               ___________________________
Please contact us early to begin the process as the clinical staff will work on the order of
requests. Special consideration will be made for patients that have difficulty affording
cannabis therapy. We can be reached by email coverage@plantsnotpills.ca or phone at
1-844-473-6060 or text message 519-317-7701.

Alternately, click here to fill out our coverage registration form and a Plants Not Pills team member will be in touch with you shortly regarding the next steps towards getting your cannabis covered. 

 

Claim Your Cannabis As a Medical Expense

Claiming Cannabis As A Medical Expense

Don’t forget to claim your medical cannabis as a medical expense when you do your 2016 taxes (due on or before April 30, 2017). Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Get Your 2016 Receipts

Most Licensed Producers (LPs) have a section on their websites where you can view your past orders and print your receipts. If you can’t find it, please contact your LP directly as it is their legal obligation to provide you with your receipts.

Step 2: Fill Out Your Tax Forms

When you fill out your tax forms, make sure you include the total amount you spent on medical cannabis over the course of the year on your 2016 tax return.

A complete rundown on claiming medical expenses can be found at Canada Revenue Agency’s Website.

For more information, please email info@plantsnotpills.ca or call us directly at 1-844-470-6063

Why Licensing Will Matter When Legalization Happens

Tax Free Medical Cannabis

Anyone who lives in Ontario understands the burn of having harmonized sales tax (HST) added to nearly every retail purchase. Even when we don’t see the tax, it’s still there. Booze is a perfect example. On top of the LCBO’s significant mark up on imported wines, HST is also added into the price. The result is that what amounts to a $4 bottle of wine in Spain mysteriously turns into a $30 bottle once it hits Canadian shelves. We mention the LCBO because by many accounts (and if Premier Wynne has her way), this is the model the government will implement on recreational cannabis once it is legalized.

On the other hand, medical cannabis under a “Shopper’s Drug Mart” framework will likely be treated as all other medications which by law do not incur any federal taxes. Therefore, medical marijuana license holders may enjoy significant savings in this respect, though in many ways they already do considering they have access to strains for as little as $3,50/gram, compassionate pricing programs and are able to claim their medical marijuana as a tax deductible expense.

Recently, a high profile case has brought up another highly likely scenario: medical marijuana license holders may qualify for partial or even full insurance coverage of their medical marijuana. Imagine…millions of Canadians being able to treat their myriad of health conditions without paying a dime out-of-pocket for their safe, natural medicine…. Now wouldn’t that be something?

If you or a loved one would like to start accessing safe, effective medical cannabis then contact Plants Not Pills by clicking here or email info@plantsnotpills.ca. Use the promo code Health17 and enjoy a $25 discount off all fees associated with licensing.

Season’s Greetings from Plants Not Pills!

Season's Greetings from Plants Not Pills!

Season’s Greetings from Plants Not Pills!

With the holiday season approaching, Plants Not Pills wants to make sure you are giving yourself the gift of amazing cannabis. This is why we’ve put together a short holiday guide below featuring all the newest, stand out strains that our patients and staff have been raving about.

If you or someone you know is not yet licensed, please note that Plants Not Pills is currently offering a $25 dollar discount on its admin fees. Simply register with the holiday promo code HAPPY16 and we will automatically subtract $25 off any admin fees associated with licensing.

If you feel like trying any of the strains below, please contact patientservices@nlphysicians.com or call 226-456-1497 and we will help you add or switch your Licensed Producer free of charge.

From all of us at Plants Not Pills, we wish you the best of health and a very Happy Holiday Season!

Buddha Haze
(THC: 18%, 0.4%)
CannTrust
$10.50/gram This strong sativa, THC- dominant strain is getting great reviews as a second-to-none sleep aid.
Learn More
 

Platinum Mint Cookies
(THC: 17-20%, CBD: 0.1%)
D.S. & FITZ
$12.00/gram Platinum Mint Cookies is an OG Kush and Durban Poison premium hybrid that takes its users to euphoria’s top floor.
Learn More
Blueberry Kush
(THC: 16%, CBD: 0.4%)
CannTrust
$10.50/gram A potent Indica for those looking for a rich body buzz and serious pain relief. Serious relaxation guaranteed!
Learn More
Great Bear
(THC: 16%, CBD: 0.4%)
Aphria
$5.99/gramCurrently Aphria’s strain of the month, Great Bear is an effective and economical sativa dominant, high THC strain… 
Learn More
Embrace 
(THC: 6.1%, CBD: 9.8%)
D.S. & FITZ
$8.00/gram A Sativa-dominant strain, Embrace is known for its ability to relax without sedation, to relieve without …
Learn More
Wilbur
(THC: 2.5%, CBD: 5.88%)
Aphria
$7.20/gramA vigorous THC/CBD sativa dominant strain that is a perfect pick-me-up for the winter blues and also an effective strain for pain relief…
Learn More
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CBD Oil and Chronic Pain

correct-victoria

When a young Queen Victoria was prescribed a cannabis infusion for her severe menstrual cramps, she probably didn’t know the reason for her relief came from a component of the cannabis plant called cannabidiol (CBD).

Though the indomitable British monarch drank her ‘cannabis tinctures’ until she died at age 82, it would be several more decades before medical research would show the reason why CBD works so well for alleviating chronic pain.

In order to fully comprehend the link between CBD and chronic pain, it is important to understand the cannabis plant and its benefit to the human body.

The cannabis plant is made up of 85 different cannabinoids, many of which already exist in our bodies and are processed by endocannabinoid receptors or ‘portals’ found in our nerve endings. The cannabinoids processed by these receptors signal our brain to stimulate appetite, mood and pain sensation.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the plant’s 113 chemical compounds and the second highest abundant in cannabinoids.

When we give our cannabinoid receptors additional cannabinoid-rich cannabidiol (CBD), we suppress the brain’s ability to process pain and hence get the relief that Queen Victoria and millions of other pain sufferers have enjoyed.

Why take CBD in oil form?

Generally, patients who take CBD oil do not feel the principal psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that causes the “high feeling” or hunger typically associated with marijuana.

Placing a few drops of CBD oil on your tongue or incorporating it into a healthy edible is the safest and most effective way to ingest cannabis.

When cannabis is vaporized or smoked, there is a very quick onset of effectiveness that only lasts for about 1-2 hours at peak levels. But when an edible oil is ingested, the peak levels of CBD concentration is not as high, though the concentration of CBD is at peak level for much longer – about 5-8 hours. This means that you can medicate less often while experiencing the same results.

Start accessing CBD oil from a wide variety of Licensed Producers by contacting Plants Not Pills at 1-844-473-6060 or click here to register.