Who is Peace in Medicine?
Peace in Medicine is a grassroots, community-based, healing
center offering support and alternative health resources to
people facing health challenges. We are a California nonprofit
operating the first special use permit (issued 06/27/2007)
for a medical cannabis dispensary in the City of Sebastopol.
Our primary goal is to advocate and support a proactive approach
to health management by providing a local, affordable, and
safe environment to dispense medical cannabis and offer other
alternative health services.
Peace in Medicine is proud to be a member of the Sebastopol
community and looks forward to providing quality health services
for the residents of Sebastopol and greater Sonoma County.
We would appreciate any feedback regarding this first edition
of our member handbook. Patient input and suggestions for
improvement will be considered for future handbook editions.
Sensible Cannabis Use
The information below is reprinted from the Cannabis
Like any medicine, cannabis can be misused. Excessive or
inappropriate use can contribute to problems including sleepiness,
overeating, and time management issues. Due to the political
climate surrounding cannabis use research, clinical studies
have produced widely conflicting conclusions about the true
benefits and potential side effects of cannabis use. Always
listen to the advice of your doctor and use good judgment
when using medical cannabis. These guidelines help identify
ways of using medical cannabis in a positive way.
- Adults should use cannabis as part of a healthy, balanced,
and responsible lifestyle.
- The decision to use cannabis should be made freely, and
not as a result of social pressure.
- Cannabis users should be well informed about its effects
on themselves and others. These effects include both legal
and health risks and personal consequences.
- Never use cannabis as an excuse for antisocial or irresponsible
- Cannabis users should model and reward responsible use,
particularly with new users.
- Develop sensible cannabis use limits for your self based
on personal, health, situational, and cultural factors.
It is important to be objective about your personal cannabis
use and listen to the constructive advice of others.
- Avoid cannabis use that puts you or others at risk, such
as when driving, at work, or in public places. Remember,
personal use of cannabis is still illegal under federal
law, and penalties are stiff.
- Use of cannabis by children is inappropriate and should
- Cannabis use should contribute to, rather than detract
from, a patient's health, well-being, creativity, work,
relationships, and social obligations.
Methods of Consumption
Medical Cannabis can be ingested in many different ways.
Effects may vary slightly with different methods of consumption.
The length of time it takes for the medicine to take effect,
and the length of time that the medicine remains effective,
can vary greatly with different methods of consumption.
The most common ingestion method has traditionally been to
smoke the dried flowers and/or leaves of the cannabis plant.
Dried cannabis can be smoked in a pipe, rolled into a cigarette
(or ‘joint’), or smoked using a water pipe (commonly
called a ‘bong’). Water pipes were once thought
to filter out some of the carcinogens in cannabis smoke, but
studies suggest that there is no significant health benefit
to smoking from a water pipe over other smoking methods. Regularly
smoking any plant material can have a negative impact on pulmonary
health, and therefore Peace in Medicine recommends patients
use vaporizers or edible forms of medicine whenever possible.
A vaporizer is a device that allows the patient to separate
the cannabinoids (the therapeutically effective chemicals
in cannabis) from the plant material without burning. This
is possible because cannabinoids vaporize (turn to a gaseous
form that can be inhaled) at a temperature lower than that
required for burning. As a result, the patient can inhale
without taking in the burned plant material that constitutes
“smoke”. While scientific studies are lacking,
it is commonly believed that vaporizing is a healthier form
of ingestion than smoking cannabis. Vaporizing is believed
to mitigate many if not all of the negative effects of smoking.
It tastes better as well. If you are used to smoking your
medicine, you may think that you aren’t “getting
anything” at first when you vaporize, because vapor
does not burn the throat. Even though the vapor doesn’t
burn, it is still quite effective. Use caution and wait a
few minutes to feel the full effects before taking more.
Edibles are foods cooked with butter or oil that has been
infused with cannabis. Edible cannabis usually takes longer
to take effect (20 minutes to an hour or more) and the effects
generally last longer than smoking or vaporizing. Edibles
taken on an empty stomach will take effect significantly faster
than if taken immediately following a meal. It is difficult
to know how strong an edible medicine will be, and because
it can take an hour or more to feel the full effects, it is
easy to over-medicate. Use caution! If you have taken your
medicine in an edible form, wait at least an hour to be sure
you know how strongly it will affect you before taking more.
Any food that contains butter or oil can be made with cannabis-infused
butter or oil, but the most common edibles are cookies, brownies,
cakes, or candies.
Oils and Honeys
Cannabis infused oils can be used directly in foods, consumed
in capsules, or mixed with honey to be used in tea or on other
A tincture is a concentrated form of cannabis in an alcohol
solution. Tinctures can be taken under the tongue or mixed
into water or other beverages.
Types of Cannabis Medicine
Cannabis Flowers and Leaves
Commonly referred to as ‘buds’, the flowers of
the cannabis plant are the most potent for medicinal properties.
The leaves of the cannabis plant also contain some cannabinoids,
but in much lower concentration. The flowers and leaves of
the plant can be smoked, vaporized, or used to prepare edibles.
Hash or Hashish is manufactured by separating the trichomes
from the cannabis flowers, to create a concentrated dose of
this specific part of the cannabis plant. (The trichomes are
the reddish ‘hairs’ that you see on dried cannabis
flowers.) The trichomes are then processed into a relatively
solid paste or block. Hash can be somewhat powdery or more
solid and sticky, depending on exactly how it was processed.
Kief is also made from the trichome part of the cannabis flower.
Kief is just the dried trichomes, without any further processing.
It comes as a dry powder. It can be smoked or vaporized or
used to make edibles. It is often sprinkled on the top of
cannabis before smoking or vaporizing, to augment the trichome
content in the flowers. Some grinders (used to evenly cut
up the cannabis flowers before vaporizing or smoking) have
a small-mesh screen at the bottom for the purpose of collecting
kief over time.
Sativa vs. Indica
Cannabis is the botanical name of a genus of annual flowering
plants in the Cannabaceae family. There are over 150 species
and 10 genera included in the Cannabaceae family. Besides
cannabis, the hop plant (often used in the production of beer)
is also part of the Cannabaceae family.
Some species of cannabis (indica and sativa) produce fairly
large amounts of a chemical known as Tetrahydrocannabinol
(a cannabinoid commonly called THC). Cannabis plants that
are grown for their THC content are referred to as marijuana
plants. Plants in the cannabis genus are commonly referred
to as hemp plants, but the term hemp is more appropriately
used to describe cannabis plants that are cultivated for commercial
purposes (like clothing, fuel, etcetera) rather than THC content.
Medical cannabis comes in two basic types: sativa and indica.
Each type has its own distinct set of characteristics. Medical
cannabis types are available from pure sativa strains to pure
indica strains, and include every combination in between.
Cannabis Sativa is a tall, slower growing and maturing plant
that typically has long thin leaves which may vary in color
from light green to darker greens. Sativa buds are long and
thin and turn red as they mature in a warm environment. In
cooler environments the buds may be slightly purple. Sativa
plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite
mild. It is a source of fiber for rope and other products.
The cannabis sativa medicating effect is often characterized
as uplifting and energetic. The effects of a cannabis sativa
are mostly cerebral. They give a feeling of optimism and well-being,
as well as providing a good measure of pain relief for certain
symptoms. A few pure sativas are also very high in THC content.
They are known to have a quite spacey, or hallucinogenic,
effect. Sativas are a good choice for daytime medication.
Cannabis indica is a short to moderate height bushy plant,
generally between 3 and 6 feet, and its leaves have short
broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark green, and are
sometimes tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves
may become significantly more purple. It is a strong smelling
plant with a “stinky” or “skunky”
smell. The smoke of indicas is generally thick and more prone
to cause coughing when inhaled. Indicas are the traditional
source of hashish.
The cannabis indica medicating effect is most often described
as a pleasant body buzz. Indicas are great for relaxation,
stress relief, and for an overall sense of calm and serenity.
Cannabis indicas are also very effective for overall body
pain relief, and often used in the treatment of insomnia.
They are the late evening choice of many patients as an all-night
sleep aid. A few pure indica strains are very potent in THC,
and will cause the “couchlock” effect, enabling
the patient to simply sit still and enjoy the experience of
Know Your Rights
Peace in Medicine operates under the provisions of the California
Health and Safety Code 11362.5 and 11362.7 and City of Sebastopol
Ordinance Chapter 17.140. However, some local jurisdictions
may place additional restrictions on your rights as a medical
cannabis patient. You must determine what your local guidelines
Until federal law catches up with California’s progressive
stance, possession of medical cannabis remains illegal under
federal law. The good people at Americans for Safe Access
have prepared the following guidelines for patients who use
medicinal cannabis, should you have occasion to interact with
law enforcement officers.
Americans for Safe Access says:
Medical Marijuana Patients, Be Smart!
Many arrests for cannabis possession are due to traffic violations
and noise complaints.
- Travel Safely: do not smoke and drive. If you travel with
cannabis, make sure your vehicle is up to code and your
cannabis is concealed, preferably in your trunk.
- Be a Good Neighbor: Loud music and domestic disputes
can lead law enforcement to your home.
- Be Discreet: try not to smoke where others can see you
and never leave cannabis items in plain view.
Don’t Consent to a Search!
If the cops say: “Do you mind if I look in your purse,
bag, home, or car?”
You say: “I do not consent to a search.”
When cops say: “Why not? Are you hiding something?”
You say: “I believe in my Constitutional right to
privacy and I do not consent to a search.”
Note: this probably will not stop an officer from searching
you, but it can help get any evidence thrown out in court.
Do NOT let an officer into your home without a search warrant.
Check the address, the date (reasonably recent), and a judge’s
If law enforcement knocks on your door, step outside and
close the door behind you while you find out why they are
there. Don’t leave the door open.
If they do enter your home with or without a search warrant,
say “I do not consent to a search.”
Exercise Your Rights!
There are 3 levels of police interactions ad safe ways to
handle each encounter.
ASA provides a wallet-sized card that contains all of the
above information. Go to www.safeaccessnow.org
for this and lots more valuable information.
- ‘Casual Conversation’: Ask if you are being
detained. If not, walk away.
- Detention: If you are being detained, ask why! Make them
cite the law (and remember what they say)!
- Arrest: Say “I choose to remain silent and I want
to see a lawyer” (Remember to remain silent.)