Feb 05

DrBobMMJ moves to WordPress

DrBobMMJ.com was our original website, and has hundreds of articles and posts dating back to 2010.  It was a ‘Joomla’ site, an older form of website that is rather difficult to work with.  We’ve moved it to a WordPress site and will spend a couple of months updating the articles and cleaning up the site. Our main site will remain www.denalihealthcaremi.com.

While the site is fully functional here, we are going to spend some time dealing with 5 years of ‘randomness’ in the posting and organization of the site and in a couple of months we’ll have this puppy running smoothly.  The articles and posts are all here, we don’t need to register any more, and pretty soon we’ll have everything organized and filed properly and the site will be much more usable.  You will be able to reach it just by using the www.drbobmmj.com address, and it will be migrated directly there when the editing is done.

Thanks for your patience and your support of our practice and our efforts to make cannabis a part of ‘standard’ medical practice rather than ‘alternative medicine’.

The DrBobMMJ website contains our blog archives, Dell’s Classroom for grow tips, our call to action for the years 2011 to 2013 and a variety of other information from the early years of Denali Healthcare.  All of this information will be reviewed on the drbobmmj website, updated and organized for for current information and a glimpse into the evolution of medical marijuana in Michigan.  Enjoy and be sure to check your card expiration dates!

Dr. Bob


Jan 26

Legally Obtain a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card

 Finding a Medical Marijuana Doctor Near You is Easy:

In 2008 Michigan passed a law allowing for the use of marijuana for medical purposes to treat the symptoms of several diseases. For patients suffering from chronic pain or chronic disease, this provided an alternative, more natural solution for their problems. Because marijuana is not a pharmaceutical, it cannot be purchased from a pharmacy like traditional medications can. In order to gain access to medical marijuana, patients must have a card indicating their doctor’s belief that it would be beneficial to them.  You then have to grow it yourself or have a ‘caregiver’ grow it for you. The medical marijuana card is the proof that you have this permission from your doctor. To get a medical marijuana card in Michigan, you must have what is called an “qualifying condition.” and the medical records and documentation to support it.

Qualifying Conditions:

torn paper with AIDS typed on it Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for HIV and AIDS[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for HIV Medical Marijuana may help the symptoms of HIV including pain, nausea, and neuropathy. You will need confirmatory blood testing and medication.  Call Denali Healthcare for more information 989-339-4464
Holding hand of sick child Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Hepatitis C[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Hepatitis C You can obtain a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Hepatitis C from Denali Healthcare. Blood work and proof of treatment qualifies you.  Call 989-339-4464 for details.

diagram of eye/glaucome Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Glaucoma[/caption] Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma- Denali Healthcare Glaucoma has been a primary indication for medical marijuana due to its effects on intraocular fluid production, absorption and drainage. To qualify you will need medicals record showing glaucoma and treatment.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464
smiling little girl with cancer Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Cancer[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Cancer Patients can obtain a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Cancer with proper documentation. To Qualify you need medical records confirming cancer listing type and current therapy. Call Denali Healthcare 989-339-4464 
Crohn's Disease and Cannabis Michigan Medical Marijuana for Crohn’s Disease[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Crohns A Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Crohns Disease many help with your symptoms of pain, nausea and inflammation.  To Qualify you need recent medical records confirming the diagnosis and treatment.  Call Denali at 989-339-4464
ice bucket challenge Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for ALS[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for ALS- Denali HealthcareGet your Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for ALS. The diagnosis must be confirmed by your medical records.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464 www.denalihealthcaremi.com
Mother kissing daughter Michigan Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer’s Disease[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Alzheimer’s Disease You can obtain a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Alzheimer’s Disease. Medical records confirming the diagnosis and a guardian required for certification.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464 for details and an appointment.
Very Thin Man with Wasting Michigan Medical Marijuana for Wasting Syndrome[/caption] Wasting Syndrome and Medical Marijuana- Denali Healthcare Wasting Syndrome is more than being thin or underweight. Poor nutrition impairs the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease.  Medical Marijuana can help stimulate appetite.  Call Denali Healthcare 989-339-4464
Neurons firing Michigan Medical Marijuana for Pain[/caption] Medical Marijuana, Chronic Pain and Inflammation- Denali Healthcare One of the first uses for medical marijuana was for chronic pain. We explore the basis of this use with the endocannabinoid system- Call 989-339-4464 Denali Healthcare
medical marijuana and nausea Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Nausea[/caption] Medical Marijuana and Nausea- Denali Healthcare Medical Marijuana has been an effective treatment for nausea due to chemotherapy, hiv, and chronic illness. Bring medical records confirming treatment for nausea with medication.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464
Electrical Storm in the Brain. Get your Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Seizures[/caption] How Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy Go Hand in Hand How medical Marijuana and Epilepsy are closely related. the Endocannabinoid System is responsible for the anti-seizure activity of Cannabis.  Current treatment of a seizure disorder and medical records confirming the diagnosis.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464
Neuron image You can Get your Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Muscle Spasm.[/caption] The Benefits of Medical Marijuana on Muscle Spasms Michigan Medical Marijuana is approved for use in muscle spasms. The Endocannabinoid system is involved in neuromuscular disease and spasm.  To Qualify you need medical records confirming the diagnosis and showing treatment.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464
rescue of a drowning boy by EMT Robert Townsend You can get a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for PTSD[/caption] PTSD Now a Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana in Michigan After two panels, many meetings and scores of public testimony, Lara has officially added PTSD as a Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana in Michigan.  To be certified for PTSD, you must have a FORMAL diagnosis of PTSD from a mental health professional.  Call Denali Healthcare at 989-339-4464


a man with nail patella syndrome Nail Patella Syndrome[/caption] Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Nail PatellaThe Nail Patella Syndrome is a rare genetic disease characterized by deformed joints and underdeveloped nails. The diagnosis of Nail Patella is documented in your medical records.  Denali Healthcare 989-339-4464

Getting the Recommendation from Dr Townsend and Denali Healthcare

At Denali Healthcare, PLLC, we provide professional, defensible medical marijuana certifications for Michigan patients that qualify under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Our evaluations are fully compliant with the bonafide doctor/patient relationship amendment the the MMMA. We were, in fact, among the experts consulted by the Michigan Legislature to help define what a bonafide doctor/patient relationship was as that act was being written. Denali Healthcare has locations throughout Michigan, with main offices in Ironwood, Marquette, Gaylord, Mt. Pleasant, Saginaw, Cadillac, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.  We are adding offices in the near future in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Escanaba.  You can easily find a Denali Location Near You. Or call 989-339-4464 and we’ll tell you What You Need for Your Michigan Medical Marijuana Card. If you can have your medical records faxed to one of the Denali Healthcare clinics our staff will help schedule a visit to obtain the recommendations needed to obtain your Medical Marijuana card. We will look at your records, determine if you are a candidate, then make the recommendation for you.

Applying for the Card At Denali Healthcare

Once you have the recommendation, we will print the Michigan Medical Marijuana Form and Dr. Townsend will fill out the designated information on the form. You are then ready to submit the form to the State. The form will have the instructions to submit to the Michigan Department of Community Health. The state government states that you will have your card within 15 days of submission, but give them 20 just to be on the safe side.

Let Us Help Start the Process for You

Getting a medical marijuana card in Michigan is not difficult, if you have one of the conditions for which the use of the drug has been approved. The main challenge has been finding a doctor who is willing to recommend the card. So contact Denali Healthcare today. We strongly believe that you will experience the benefits of this treatment nearly immediately. Getting your Michigan Medical Marijuana card is simply a matter of coming in to see us with your medical records, filling out some paperwork and waiting for your card to show up in the mail.

Where would you like to go from here?

smiling man with arms crossed. Michigan Medical Marijuana Card[/caption] Denali Heathcare: Michigan: MMMA Card, Medical Marijuana Card, Section 8 Defense Denali Healthcare offers evaluations for Michigan Medical Marijuana Cards under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws. Call 989-339-4464 for details.To Qualify you need current (within 3 years) medical records and must be seen in person by one of our physicians.  Free on line and in person follow up is provided with the cost of your certification and is expected. Most patients can control their symptoms with 1 ounce of cannabis a week or less. We will notify your doctor of your certification if you request us to do so.
Dr. Bob Townsend and Lexi the dog

Dr. Bob Townsend of Denali Healthcare and Lexi in the Cadillac Office

Denali Healthcare Locations

Denali Healthcare Locations

Denali Healthcare locations in Michigan Denali Healthcare locations throughout Michigan are connected electronically and offer holistic pain management, suboxone therapy and momma cards.
Denali Healthcare of Michigan

Denali Healthcare of Michigan

Denali Healthcare: Michigan: Pain Management, Alternative Medicine, Suboxone Learn about Denali Healthcare and Dr. Bob Townsend. We offer suboxone therapy, MMMA evaluations, and pain management the Denali way. Call today-989-339-4464

Jan 26

Medical Cannabis Card for Wasting Syndrome

  • a patient with wasting syndrome

Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for Wasting Syndrome

Wasting Syndrome/Cachexia:  HIV, Cancer, Crohn’s, Parkinson’s, Nausea

The appetite stimulant effects of cannabis were reported in the literature as early as 1845.  THC (CB1 Agonist) stimulates appetite when present in low levels.  High levels interfere with the mechanical aspects of feeding due to the psychotropic and sedative effects of THC.  CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system, in fat cells, and in the liver.

  • The hypothalamus is the area of the brain responsible for appetite and is rich in CB1 receptors.  Animal experiments confirm that activation of these receptors with anandamide trigger feeding activity, while blockade impairs appetite.  The cannabinoid equivalent to anandamide is thc, which has psychotropic effects.  Low levels of thc also trigger appetite, but high levels impair actual feeding activity in animals due to the psychoactive properties.
  • In fat cells, CB1 receptors modulate lipid metabolism and promote fat deposition.  An adverse effect in humans is obesity and metabolic syndrome, however blockade holds promise for treatment.  In situations where the patient is nutritionally compromised, as in wasting syndrome and cachexia due to diseases such as HIV and Cancer, these CB1 effects on lipids and appetite hold promise to reverse the nutritional deficiency and return the patient to a healthier body weight.
  • CB1 receptors in the liver predispose the patient to ‘fatty liver’ due to the effects on lipid metabolism.
  • Skeletal muscle CB1 receptors play a role in promoting insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes.
  • The endocannabinoid system is involved in the suckling activities of newborns.

Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system.  Cachexia results with the energy expenditure of the body outstrips the intake of nutrition- one example known to many people is emphysema where the lungs do not properly absorb oxygen resulting in rapid breathing to increase the amount of air available for exchange- the resulting work outstrips the patient’s ability to take in nutrition and the body weight falls. Furthermore, age and hormonal related changes in appetite and absorption of nutrition (and deposition of fat), also play a part.  When compounded by chronic disease, this effect becomes significant enough to require treatment.

Increasing the caloric intake and fat deposition by activation of the CB1 receptors holds promise to reverse the nutritional deficits caused by the stress of chronic disease.  Selective or general blockade of CB1 receptors holds promise for the treatment of metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Selective blockade of hypothalamic receptors may find use as an appetite suppressant in the treatment of obesity.

Jan 26

The Forgotten Medical Marijuana Patients

  • The Forgotten Medical Marijuana Patients

The Forgotten Medical Marijuana Patients

Focus on the Forgotten Medical Marijuana Patients

This is the 4th annual Dr. Bob’s Call to Action- A summary of my thoughts on goals we, as a community, should try to accomplish in 2014. Previous years focused on talking to your doctor, expanding the program by encouraging a friend ‘on the fence’ about registering, etc. This year I want to focus on the forgotten Michigan medical marijuana patients.

Since the start of the program, the detractors of the MMMA have constantly harped about how those that voted for medical were ‘duped’ into thinking that medical marijuana was to be used for ‘seriously ill if not terminal patients’ only, and that the backers of the Act were using it to effectively legalize drug use. The report of the program seems to bear that out at first glance, but on deeper reflection they give us a clear direction for the coming year.

Analyzing The Numbers

Forgotten Medical Marijuana Patients

The forgotten medical marijuana patients

According to the ‘Michigan Medical Marihuana Act Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2013′ published Dec 4th, 2013 there are approximately 118,000 active patients in the state. There are problems with this report. First, HIV and AIDS are listed as two categories, yet they are the same. So are Cachexia and Wasting Syndrome, and the totals of all the conditions come to 103%.  My own experience shows that most patients have several qualifying conditions, yet the report seems to say otherwise as the total of all is close to 100% rather than 120 or 130% as one would expect if many had pain and spasm, or cancer and nausea, as one would expect. But let’s assume the numbers are correct. What do they tell us?

The Conditions Voters ‘had in mind’ When They Voted:

No one would disagree these are serious and potentially terminal conditions. Those that suffer from them are clearly ill and deserve our vote for compassionate use of medical marijuana.  They account for approximately 9,504 patients or about 7.9% of all medical marijuana patients in the state.

 ‘Orphan Conditions’ Not Generally Considered

The ‘orphan conditions’ with very low incidence.  ALS and Nail Patella account for a total of 36 and 24 patients in the ENTIRE program.  Add to that Alzheimer’s and you have another 36 patients for a total of 96 patients in the entire state using the certification program for these conditions.

Other Conditions Patients are Certified Under

These conditions account for 113,796 patients or just shy of 95% of the program. This is a staggering number, and clearly patients are seeking an alternative to the typical prescription drug therapy that has been so accepted and over prescribed in the past for these conditions.

If we are to believe the numbers, then it would seem the ‘backaches’ outnumber the ‘real patients’ by more than 10 to 1, and confirm the detractors’ assertion that the ‘compassion of the voters’ for very sick or terminal patients is being turned into an excuse for getting high by folks with minor problems. IF the numbers are to be believed, I see some trends here. Medical marijuana is becoming a ‘one trick pony’ for chronic pain.  Much as AIDS was initially viewed as only being a problem of gay men. The importance of medical marijuana is being diminished by further characterizing this ‘chronic pain’ as being ‘minor’ and not ‘worthy’ of special permission to use a schedule 1 controlled substance.

Chronic Pain is a Real Problem

This needs to be countered by the fact that chronic pain is life limiting, that 1 in 5 visits to primary care doctors are for complaints of chronic pain, and chronic pain, treated with 4 time a day narcotic such as Vicodin, accounts for over 13,000 doses of narcotic per month per physician in primary care (120 doses per monthly prescription x 5 patients per day x 22 working days per month). If the use of marijuana can reduce that by 1/2, that will reduce the total number of doses per year by nearly 80,000 doses of narcotic per physician. So chronic pain is a good use for medical marijuana and exactly what the voters envisioned.

There are only 3156 certified for cancer, 312 AIDS patients, and 1236 with Glaucoma in the ENTIRE PROGRAM. How many cancer patients are there in Michigan? According to this report issued by the State of Michigan there were about 19,000 active cases of AIDS in Michigan in 2012, yet we have 312 AIDS patients in the medical marijuana program? Why is this?  What are we going to do about it? Why do I call these patients the ‘forgotten medical marijuana patients’?

The Many Uses for Medical Marijuana

In order to gain acceptance by the medical community, medical marijuana cannot just be a ‘one trick pony’. It is approved for many conditions.  It is effective for many conditions. WE MUST USE IT FOR MANY CONDITIONS! We must make sure that those conditions the ‘average man’ on the street thinks should be treated with medical marijuana are in fact treated with medical marijuana. It is far to easy to minimize chronic pain as justification for special permission to use a schedule 1 controlled substance, yet a ‘real’ condition like cancer only accounts for a tiny percentage of the total.  We need to increase that percentage, we need to remember the forgotten patients. Cancer and HIV both have very active community support groups. Can we get the discussion of Medical Marijuana started in these groups?

I am going to make it a point to reach out to these groups in 2014, to explain how and why marijuana can help their conditions and improve the quality of their lives, and to encourage participation in the program. I ask that every Michigan medical marijuana patient look for these groups, find a glaucoma patient to encourage, or support a relative with cancer and GET THEM INVOLVED with the program. The pain patients come on their own, if for no other reason that chronic narcotics are not helping them. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is constantly on the news talking about medical marijuana patients and their ‘backaches and sore shoulders’ in a manner that portrays marijuana as a drug that has no ‘healing powers’.

Patients Are Being Left Out

Cancer patients are under the care of oncologists in hospital cancer centers. They are not, in many cases, allowed to offer marijuana as a matter of hospital policy. HIV patients are in federally funded programs as well. They are not being educated about medical marijuana. Similar situations apply to Crohn’s, Glaucoma, and Seizure patients. They are NOT getting the information from their clinics. We need to step up and help them learn about cannabis.

You could say it is up to us- the medical professionals in cannabis medicine. to educate them. But only 1500 doctors out of more than 30,000 primary care doctors wrote even ONE certification in 2013. There are simply not enough of us, and we are too busy trying to meet the need to educate the sheer numbers of groups and individuals that need to get the message. So my call to action is to you, the 118,000 patients in Michigan. Find a glaucoma or cancer patient. Educate them. Encourage them to research on their own and ask questions. There are many hospice patients in Michigan, if you know one, educate them on the quality of life issues with medical marijuana. Educate their hospice nurse. Get these people involved in the program. Medical Marijuana is not just for pain. Let’s prove that in 2014.

Legislation May Change for the Better

Due to a change in attitude in Lansing, we may have legislation that makes dispensaries legal soon. Many seriously ill patients are not physically capable of growing their own marijuana, and don’t have the first clue how to find a caregiver. With dispensaries, these barriers of access to Medical Marijuana may be lifted. It is time for them to use that access and participate in the program to make their lives better. Let’s get the focus on the forgotten medical marijuana patients and bring them in.

Dr. Bob Townsend

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Aug 18

Are Dispensaries the Solution for MMJ in Michigan?


(Article from Marijuana Business Daily)

Michigan lawmakers could be close to approving a solution to the state’s medical marijuana problems.

The state Senate advanced two bills to the floor, meaning legislators could vote on them as early as this fall.  One bill would legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, while the other would approve edibles products.

Both bills passed the House by wide margins last December.

If the bills pass, they would help rejuvenate Michigan’s battered MMJ industry.

In February 2013 the state Supreme Court ruled that dispensaries are illegal under Michigan’s 2008 medical marijuana law. That decision forced many of the state’s dispensaries to close, while others were raided by police. Dozens of dispensaries still exist in cities that haven’t cracked down, yet they operate in a very tenuous situation.

The two bills are not yet a lock to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) said the bills still need some work before they are voted on. Richardville said he is concerned about dispensaries’ proximity to neighborhoods and playgrounds, as well as product potency.

Dr. Bob Update- both bills were never brought to a vote in the Senate and the process will start over again in 2015.  Since the bills failed to pass many dispensaries that remained open in anticipation of their passage closed, some of those that remained open were raided and shut down.

Jul 01

Will “CBD only Bills” limit the usefulness of Cannabis?

Soldiers in Combat are not the only ones that suffer from PTSD

Treatment of PTSD

Sweeping across the nation are new legislative Bills for “CBD only”, which would eradicate all cannabis strains with THC. However, it is widely known that these bills are erroneous and in danger of denying treatment to millions of patients.

On one hand, legislators and lawmakers are finally consenting to the idea that the Cannabis plant is actual medicine, but on the other hand, they are saying that only part, not the whole plant is medicine. This way of thinking will be the cause of great tragedies for patients who benefits from the entire plant.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when you consider the progress we are making with the studies of the CBD, and how great of a medicine it is, it’s very invigorating. Every day new reports come out showing the medicinal benefits of the CBD. These reports and the readily acceptance of “CBD Only Bills” shows that more people believe in CBD as a medicine, and now we have scientific evidence to back it up, but this can also be said for THC and the overall medicinal value of medicating from the entire Cannabis plant.

So what are THC and CBD??..

THC and CBD are two of at least 85 types of cannabinoids which makes up the Cannabis plant, many of which have documented medical value.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acts upon the specific sites in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. CB1 (central nervous system) and CB2 (immune system) are the two cannabinoid receptors influenced by using marijuana. Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception.

THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria. It also interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for forming new memories.

THC has been known to treat:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Nausea from Chemotherapy
  • PTSD
  • Cancer
  • Progressive diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and glaucoma, and many more.
    • Reduce Insomnia
    • Act as an antipsychotic for people suffering from schizophrenia
    • Possibly offer relief for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and Epilepsy
    • Help stop the growth of cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth, for example, when injected into breast and brain tumors in combination with THC.
    • Prevent the memory impairment and disorientation associated with THC

Cannibidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that possesses a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When present in high quantities, CBD enhances THC’s positive effects while negating many of the negatives. It’s clear both cannabinoids coexist in the plant for a reason, often acting synergistically.

CBDs will counter some of the less desirable side-effects of THC, like anxiety, paranoia, rapid heartbeat and short-term memory loss. In high doses, it can help insomniacs sleep, but in smaller amounts, it can be energizing. It can also reduce inflammation, nausea and convulsions.

CBD has also been shown to:

So, now the burning question is whether CBD should be isolated or not, when treating patients or should THC and CBD work in tandem. Well, let’s look at the medical condition called PTSD, which affects thousands of people, mostly veterans and former military personnel.

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety condition caused by disturbing episodes, such as military combat or sexual assault. Three classes of symptoms characterize PTSD: re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyper arousal (e.g., flashbacks, social isolation, and insomnia). The persistence of PTSD over time is attributed to changes in brain chemistry that occur at the time of the trauma, when adrenaline and stress hormones are hyper-responsive.

Researchers have found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD. Researches have also determined that normal CB-1 receptor signaling deactivates traumatic memories and endows it with the gift of forgetting. But skewed CB-1 signaling, due to endocannabinoid deficits (low serum levels of anandamide), results in impaired fear extinction, aversive memory consolidation, and chronic anxiety, and the hallmarks of PTSD.”

We now consider what this all means in relation to THC and CBD….

Combining THC and CBD have been found to increase clinical efficacy while reducing adverse effects, even with only trace amounts of THC added. (CBD works synergistically with THC, bolstering its medical effects while moderating its psychoactivity)

While THC binds to a cannabinoid type one (CB1) receptor in the brain, CBD exerts more activity at the CB2 receptor. When both THC and CBD are present, CBD can interfere with THC’s binding to the CB1 receptor, possibly neutralizing any psychoactive effects.

Additionally, CBD increases the production of anandamide that occurs naturally in the human body, and also prevents anandamide from being broken down, resulting in an indirect increase in endocannabinoid tone with none of the effects of THC.

This scientific breakdown is one of the main reasons why “CBD Bills only”, is ludicrous and it implies that Cannabis or shall we say medicinal marijuana should only be treated for certain patients, such as kids who suffer seizures, and not PTSD patients or people who suffer from chronic pain or fibromyalgia.

CBD is a wonderful medicine and it may one day prove to be one the best medicines known to man, as there is still so much more to learn about CBD and all of the medical benefits it affords. Consequently, THC is also a wonderful medicine and it can also one day be considered one of the best medicines on earth.

There can be a reasonable and valid argument made on behalf of THC and CBD, but the real question should be, why these cannabinoids can’t be used as medicine separately and together. They both come from the same Cannabis plant and both are amazing. We have millions of people throughout the world suffering from a variety of ailments that may need a predominant strain with THC or a predominant strain with CBD.

In conclusion, when there is scientific proof that something is an actual medicine that heals, diseases even cancer, we shouldn’t deny it, but embrace it. Not only a small part of it, but all of it. And this how we should look at the Cannabis plant as a whole and not in parts.


A.k.a. Yung Kushy

(add references)

“Dell’s Classroom”




Apr 28

Vape Pen Explained By Vape Pen Review

What is a Vaporizer Pen?

Vaporizers have been around forever but due to the increasing popularity of oil & wax concentrates, many people are now learning about them. So you may ask what exactly is it? It is basically a smoking device that leaves behind all of the harmful effects that are normally associated with combustion & burning process of smoking. These devices produce pure vapor without having to inhale any of the other toxins. The newest introduction into the market place is a device known as a  ”vape pen”, which has quickly become one of the best types of portable vaporizer due to their discreetness. If you’ve been to a local bar or restaurant lately, you might have noticed people smoking out of an electronic cigerrate. Well, a vape pen functions very similiar to that except for the fact that it allows you to insert your own dry herbs or oil & wax concentrates into it.

How Does It Function?

The vape pen works by producing a vapor that becomes inhalable as a person uses the device.  The device contains a central heating component that enables it to slowly heat up the dry herbs/oil/wax  between 350 to 400 degrees right before the point of combustion. The result of this is vapor that is produced in the purest form. Normal smoking devices often rise in temperatures of over a 1000 degrees which can burn the product and result in harmful toxins and unwanted residue inhaled to your lungs.

Benefits of A Vape Pen

After reading the above paragraphs regarding vaporizer pens work, you probably have realized that one of the single greatest benefits of using a vapor pen is the health benefit.  ”Vaping” is by far the purest method of smoking and as a result it is the least harmful to your body. No more nasty toxins and residue being inhaled means less pollution to your lungs and reduced chance of becoming sick.  As great as this may sound, it might not even be the greatest advantage of this new device.  Vapor pens come in different designs but almost all of them are extremely small and portable, usually able to fit right into your pocket.  The fact that these devices are so tiny and easily confused as an “e-cig” makes them highly discreet and turns into the best portable vaporizer you can own.  Even when the vapor is exhaled from the unit, it is virtually odorless.  The discreetness of these units enables to you bring them with you almost anywhere you want, which in my opinion makes it a must-have item.

Can All Vaporizer Pens Be Used with Dry-herb, Wax, and Oil?

The short answer to this question is no. Most vape pens are designed to work specifically with dry herbs or exclusively with waxes and oil. However, there are some unique vapor pens that claim to work with all 3. You can view dry herb vape pens here  and learn about the difference between vaporizing dry-herbs, wax, and oil.

How Do I Decide Which Vape Pen is Best for Me?

All portable vaporizers are not created equal and there are a number of different factors that go into determing which vape pen fits you best. Some of the factors to consider are:

Price: Vaporizer pens can cost anywhere from $50 up to the $300 mark. It is up to you to figure out how much you’re willing to invest into owning one of these devices.

What You’re Burning: Some vape pens work only with dry herb, some work only with oils & wax concentrates, and then there are others that work with both. You have to know what you plan on using it for before you can make the decision on which one will work best for you.

Dell J.

Mar 20

PTSD Approved as New Condition for MMJ


  • rescue of drowning boy, ptsd

    PTSD is common in rescue workers, police and victims of crime or tragedy.

There are Six Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD:

symptoms of ptsd

  1. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event involving death, bodily injury and experienced feelings of fear or helplessness.
  2. The event is relived again and again.
  3. The person seeks to avoid things that remind them of the event or withdraws.
  4. The person is hyper-vigilant, angry, or has exaggerated startle responses
  5. The symptoms continue longer than one month after the event.
  6. The symptoms impair the patient socially or interfere with normal function.
  7. Acute PSTD has a symptom duration of less than 3 months, Chronic PTSD is more than 3 months.

How Can Cannabis Help PTSD?

Most treatments for PTSD currently revolve around what is called ‘cognitive therapy’- Basically patients are led on exercises and discussions to ‘think through the problem’ in the individual and group setting.  Part of the treatment involves sharing experiences with others with similar experiences and working towards replacing the exaggerated fear responses with more healthy coping mechanisms.  Therapy can last for years and involve medication to help with depression.

Medical marijuana can interfere to some extent with cognitive therapy and provides an escape from the distressing thoughts.  While it may prolong the treatment duration, it can in many cases provide a needed break in the stress, improve the quality of the patient’s life in the short term, and may prevent catastrophic complications such as suicide, violent behavior and relationship problems.

Denali Healthcare is taking the position that the patient should have input into their therapy for PTSD.  In some cases, patients can tolerate intense cognitive and other traditional therapies, in others the patient may require immediate relief of symptoms.  We feel this is best determined on a case by case basis and the patient should have a say rather than be ‘told’ they must limit themselves to specific treatments.

While PTSD is traditional viewed as a disorder of combat veterans, any traumatic experience- exposure violent death in an automobile accident, loss of a child, assault/rape, and physical/psychological abuse are examples of civilian cases of PTSD. The photo for this article depicts the 1982 drowning death of a child that affected the 19 year old EMT at the left of the image to this day.

What is the Denali Healthcare Standard for Certification for PTSD?

The diagnosis of PTSD is serious and life altering.  It may affect the insurability and employability of the patient for life.  It may result in disability determinations. It cannot and should not be diagnosed by non-mental health professionals, and certainly should not be diagnosed based on a single meeting in a hotel or dispensary clinic for the purposes of obtaining a medical marijuana card.  It MUST involve follow up to protect the patient from potentially life threatening complications- To give someone a diagnosis of PTSD and walk away is akin to telling them they just had a heart attack and wishing them luck as you walk out of the room.

Accordingly, the Denali Healthcare Standard for the Certification of Patients with PSTD is as follows:

  1. The diagnosis MUST be formally made by a mental health professional according to the standard of care- by appropriate criteria and over a series of evaluations.  The mental health professional making the diagnosis must have arranged for follow up with a treatment plan and appropriate safety measures.
  2. Patients MUST have documentation of the diagnosis IN HAND when requesting certification.  We will not request records or in any way make the diagnosis ourselves.  Appropriate records include, but are not limited, letters from their therapist, medical records supporting the diagnosis, and/or a disability determination of any percentage for PTSD.
  3. Denali Healthcare will administer a standardized screening test for PTSD as part of the patient record (if PTSD is the only qualifying condition claimed).

Our Concerns about PTSD as the sole criteria for a certification.

The use of PTSD as the sole criteria for certification carries with it the risk the ‘low standard’ clinics will attempt to use a single evaluation by a ‘checklist’ of some sort to make the diagnosis (especially by non-mental health providers) simply to qualify the patient to pay for a certification.  This carries with it several risks.

  1. PTSD could become viewed as a ‘sham’ condition simply used to qualify the patient for a card.  This disrespects those that truly suffer from the condition and decreases the seriousness of the disorder.
  2. If PTSD is diagnosed and not properly followed up, people could die.  There are 18 suicides a day on average in veterans due to complications of PTSD, not to mention broken homes and lives.  If it is identified, it must be followed up.
  3. Once ‘labeled’ with the diagnosis of PTSD, patients face lifelong problems obtaining life insurance and possibly health insurance.  If they can, it may be at a higher premium than their demographic peers.  It may limit their employability, ability to own firearms, and a host of other issues.
  4. In the event a patient applies for disability, the discovery by the hearing officer that the diagnosis was made by a non-mental health professional to obtain a medical marijuana card may not turn out well for an otherwise deserving patient.

The addition of PTSD to the qualifying condition list is a huge advance for medical marijuana patients, and it may save lives.  It carries with it a high potential for abuse and must be applied carefully by qualified providers and certification physicians.  Denali Healthcare is more interested in the safety and well-being of our patients than their certification fees, so we will adopt a conservative and well documented approach to the use of PTSD as the sole criteria for medical marijuana certification.

We encourage all high standard clinics to adopt and publish similar criteria.


Mar 13

6 Things I would do if I Owned a Dispensary!

First off, if I was to open a dispensary, there are some obvious things I would do, such as installing a very high tech security system, with 10 Pit Bulls, 8 Doberman Pinschers, and 20 Ninjas guarding the door…wink, wink*! But seriously, if I was to open a dispensary, I would really want it to be unique and tailored for the patient. The patient is the most important aspect of a dispensary.

In many states, including my state of Michigan, we are not allowed to have legal dispensaries. Patients have to have a caregiver to acquire their meds or grow their own.

[When referring to the word “meds”, this can be marijuana flowers, oils, and or medibles]

So as I contemplate how unfair it is for us law-abiding citizens to not have credible access to our meds, I begin to think about how cool it would be to own my own dispensary and what things would I do to make my dispensary the best.

Well, after further contemplation, I compiled a list of 6 things I would do if I owned a dispensary. This list is from my own personal perspective, but feel free to make up your own list of things you would do or you can think of ways to improve my dispensary!

  1. $20 a gram limits- Our prices of meds will range from $5 to $20 a gram. No meds will cost you more than $20 a gram no matter how good it is. We will also sell meds for $5 a gram, this will be our low end, and affordable for the low-income patients. Patients must qualify as low income in order to purchase meds for this price. All meds and price ranges will be first come, first serve basis. We will post messages on Facebook or Twitter letting our patients know what strains are available each day.
  2. Dab Bar- Inside my dispensary, there will be a Dab Bar. This Dab Bar will be an elaborate set-up put together like a real bar, where patients can step –up and order one of our many selections of dabs from some of the most potent strains available. Our set-up will allow patients to take a dab on sight, as there will be a variety of vaporizers to use, the Dab Bar would be similar to a Hookah Bar!
  3. Weekly Grow Classes and Informational Sessions- Every week, we will offer “Grow Classes” and “Informational Sessions” teaching patients how to grow top shelf buds, make Rick Simpson and hash oil, bubble hash, etc. During the informational sessions, we will discuss all the current affairs with Medical Marijuana, and what we as a people can do to improve this law, and how to stay in compliance with our current medical marijuana laws.
  4. Free Med Day- Once a month, my dispensary along with my growers will donate meds to the low-income and less fortunate patients. On this day, qualified patients will have access to free meds, as we will give away free meds for a whole day.
  5. Create Jobs- One of the most important things a community needs to survive is the availability of employment. As my dispensary thrives, I will put an emphasis on creating employment for the community. Whether it’s bud trimmers, growers, teachers, drivers, customer service, etc., my dispensary will create jobs for the community, and we will take pride in putting income into households and adding tax money to the local economy.
  6. Home Delivery Service- The home delivery service will mostly be offered to the elderly, disabled, and severely ill patients. There is no way this group of patients should have to go to a dispensary and stand in line for their meds. Instead we will personally and gladly deliver meds to these patients’ door steps.

This concludes my list of things I would do if I owned a dispensary. And although, I am sure there is a lot more to it when owning a dispensary, and there are many things I left out, I feel if I was to implement these 6 things, I would have a very successful dispensary.

My mission would be to serve the patients in the highest capacity, and to spread love, joy, and meds through-out my community. Join me in this thought process and think of some things you would do if you owned a dispensary.

Owning a dispensary may be a little far-fetched at this moment and time, but you have to admit that it would be very awesome to own a dispensary!

Dell J.

a.k.a “Yung Kushy”



Mar 01

The Dangers of the Decriminalization of Cannabis

A Physician Response to the Dangers of Decriminalizing Cannabis

I am Dr. Robert Townsend, President of Denali Healthcare, a Mt. Pleasant Pain Management office.  I read with some interest the ‘Guest Voice’ Article on the ‘Dangers of decriminalizing marijuana’ by Michael Covarrubias.  Despite my concern about retribution I felt the need to respond to the outrageous claims made in the article.

It seems that drug enforcement officers such as Mr. Covarrubias seem to have an outline for these articles.  I’d like to respond to several of their ‘talking points’ about the evils of medical marijuana.

Big Cannabis has duped the voters

A common theme used by those with a vested interest in the ‘War on Drugs’ is that there is a hidden hand at work- Big Cannabis.  Big Cannabis is a ‘tool’ of the drug cartels and a danger to truth, justice and the American Way.  They talk about the ‘intent’ of the voters to help terminal patients.  They talk about marijuana financing heroin and cocaine.

The truth of the matter is the voters are not as stupid as they would like us to believe.  They knew EXACTLY what they were voting for.  My 75 year old mother wanted to help cancer patients AND those with chronic pain when she voted for the Act.  I suspect many others did as well.  As for financing drug cartels, marijuana does not do that.  The fact that marijuana is illegal and people are forced to buy it from criminals does.  Fortunately, we have medical marijuana in this state, so people can grow it themselves or buy it from their licensed caregivers.

Cannabis Patients are Poor Parents

All this nonsense about children being kicked out of their bedrooms so people can grow marijuana is designed not to show the danger to children, but to show their marijuana smoking parents are incapable of caring for them properly.  Good parents would never do such a thing, so ‘weed’ smoking parents must by definition be bad.  We see this angle constantly being exploited by CPS, vindictive ex-spouses, and the courts, despite the protections built right into the Act to prevent such assumptions.  Sen Rick Jones is even attempting to ram through a bill forcing parents to choose between children and medicine to formalize the mindset.

Children and College Kids

A common theme is to associate marijuana use with children.  Actual state statistics show that of 130,000 medical marijuana patients in this state, only 44 are minors.  Having certified about 1/3 of them, I can assure you that most will not live long enough to be majors and all are gravely ill.  They are exactly the ‘terminally ill’ patients the voters were ‘duped’ by ‘Big Cannabis’ about, yet because the image of a toddler with a bong is what you are trying to project, you conveniently leave out the ‘duped voter’ angle.  In my practice the average age is 51 with well documented medical conditions.  Fewer than 17% are under the age of 30.

Cannabis is different now… and dangerous

Your study suggests that there is THC on the surfaces of homes of medical marijuana patients, and that somehow this is so dangerous that you need to wear protective gear as if you were cleaning up a meth lab (note the association of cannabis with meth to control the mindset of the reader).  Yet THC is harmless, and in fact there are literally thousands of studies showing medical benefit.  Meth is not.  Unlike cannabis, cocaine is legal, far more dangerous and addictive, and is schedule 2 and available for medical use. I wonder what the risk of even nanogram levels of marijuana on a coffee table will have any adverse effect with transdermal absorption.  But if you are worried, please feel free to wear your bunny suit.

Cannabis hurts performance and makes you stupid

Last I checked, cannabis was not used as a performance enhancing drug.  We all know how it hurts athletic performance in people like Michael Phelps.  You would be amazed at how many very smart people at companies like Microsoft or Google actually use cannabis yet still manage to muddle along and turn their companies into Fortune 500 operations.

Cannabis is a Gateway Drug

Mr. Covarrubias discussed his interviews with college students and how they claimed cannabis was the cause of their woes.  Let’s get this clear.  He wasn’t interviewing them for a term paper, or a newspaper story.  He was ARRESTING them.  They were sitting there, in handcuffs, facing a charge that likely would ruin their lives- impacting their employment, student loans, even military service.  I am sure they told the authority figure with the badge anything he wanted to hear.

The gateway drug for heroin is prescription pain killers- more than 51% started their habit at the doctor’s office.  The vast majority of people get their first exposure to ‘illegal’ drugs with alcohol and underage drinking.

In closing, as a citizen, a voter and a member of the medical community, I wish to personally thank Mr. Covarrubias and his brother law-enforcement officers for the job they do keeping us safe from dangerous drugs.  I just want to very clearly tell him that Marijuana is NOT one of them.  The major adverse side effect of marijuana is exposure to the criminal justice system.

Dr. Robert Townsend is President of Denali Healthcare in Mt. Pleasant, a pain management clinic.  He uses cannabis certifications as a tool to reduce the use of more dangerous narcotic pain medicine.  He is not a card holder and has never personally used marijuana.

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