Harford Magazine - Page 40 - A Budding Industry (3)

Harford Magazine
- Page 40
A Budding Industry (3)
“I hurt every single minute of the day,” Coyner says. “I cough, it hurts. I sneeze, it hurts. I haven’t laid on my belly since 2005.”

Over the years, pain management doctors put him on an escalating dose of the opioids oxycodone and morphine, and eventually added fentanyl transdermal patches into the mix, he says.

Buying and then smoking cannabis flowers has helped Coyner stop using opioids for pain relief. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows prescriptions filled for opioids decrease when states institute a medical cannabis law.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use has both short-term and long-term effects. When a person smokes the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — passes from the lungs into the bloodstream and eventually to the brain and other organs. This can lead to mood changes, impaired body movement, impaired memory, difficulty in solving problems and even hallucinations and psychosis when taken in high doses. Long-term marijuana use can affect brain development. Physical effects, such as breathing problems, increased heart rate and vomiting, can also occur.

While many users say the drug is safe, scientific research on cannabis is limited, given legal restrictions.

But in June, the FDA approved an oral cannabidiol (CBD) solution called Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy in patients age 2 and older. CBD does not cause the “high” that comes from THC.

Coyner says he appreciates the way the industry is now regulated.

“I know now what’s in it,” he says. “It makes you wonder what we have been smoking all these years.”

On a recent visit, Coyner purchased some flower known as “Northern Lights.” Twenty percent of the strain is THC.

Customers don’t have to smoke the drug to benefit from it, RISE Joppa dispensary staff members say.

RISE Joppa offers a THC-infused lemonade and tea “elixir” customers can drink, peppermint-flavored tablets, transdermal patches that allow THC to be absorbed through the skin and powdered tinctures