medical marijuana

What can be done–PTSD & Cannabis

To date, there are 2.5 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of whom have served multiple deployments, and return home to face the struggle of re-adjusting to their old lives. Doing the things that were sources of hope during battle, like being with family, going to the grocery store, watching tv, going for a walk, the things they reached for when the fight was hardest, have become a struggle instead.

For some, the scars are physical, but for many combat vets the return home brings with it long-lasting psychological trauma.

It has been estimated that more than half a million veterans struggle with the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Defined by the American Psychiatric Association as an anxiety disorder triggered by an extremely stressful or traumatic event, sufferers continually re-experience their trauma, even years after it occurred. Vivid memories, auditory hallucinations, flashbacks, and nightmares disrupt their lives on a daily basis. Twenty-two percent of veterans commit suicide everyday–a frightening statistic, even more so when you learn it is only an estimate. (Cannabis Now; 2015)

Facing an overwhelming sense of fear and alienation, feeling disconnected from their friends and family, combat vets find themselves stuck, unable to relax to life outside the battlefield. Panic attacks, shortness of breath, a fear of being closed in, depression, and, unfortunately, violent outbursts are all too common. An array of treatment options is not. As a condition, the first case of PTSD was not treated until 1980, and because of this the research is limited.

What has been made clear though, is that along with flashbacks,  and unwanted memories, nightmares are one of the most common ways sufferers relive their trauma. Waking up feeling stressed and exhausted, returning combat soldiers spend their days agitated and anxious, in a constant state of combat readiness.

There are five stages of sleep. Stages 1 through 4, and a stage called rapid eye movement sleep, or REM. Each stage is progressively deeper and the complete cycle is repeated several times during the night. When awakened during REM sleep, subjects report dreaming. Why we dream during sleep is still unknown, there are many theories, but nothing definitive.

What someone with PTSD needs most is to sleep, a chance to rest, but more often than not, they can't do so. Dreams bring back harsh memories and often times, Veterans with PTSD are reliving the horrors of battle during the time that should be resting softly. Medication used to help patients sleep offer more sleep, but without the restfulness, and often accompanied by harsh side effects.

But what do know about cannabis and its effects on sleep?

Unfortunately, not much. Most of the research on cannabis and sleep was conducted in the 1970s. But what was found, and has continued to be reported amongst users, is that cannabis, even in low doses, reduced time spent in REM sleep. Cannabinoids, compounds active in cannabis, have been found to mimic chemicals found naturally in the brain. These chemicals and their biological pathways make up the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is,  among other things, responsible for regulating sleep.

Cannabis has been found to affect sleep in five distinct ways. To lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, while increasing the time spent asleep, providing deeper sleep while shortening REM sleep cycles, and helping patients to breathe more easily. And while research is restricted based on the legal status of cannabis, veterans have been fighting for their right to access medical marijuana from the very beginning. In February 1978, the first medical cannabis law was enacted thanks to the efforts of two men, a veteran, Lynn Pierson, and the very first medical cannabis patient and its strongest advocate, Robert C. Randall. (Cannabis Now; 2015)

Today returning combat vets  struggle with the complicated task of re-adjusting to civilian life. They dream not of the good things they did, or the people they saved but instead are haunted by the things they were unable to prevent, and by the violence they witnessed.

Veterans use cannabis for many of the same reasons as most patients: anxiety, chronic pain, depression, inflammation, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, however, with no other condition has cannabis proven to be more helpful than it has with treating PTSD.

Living Art Installation

Ask someone why they have a particular houseplant, or any houseplant for that matter, and the answer usually falls somewhere between, “someone gave it to me,” and “I thought it looked cool.”

It’s that gift you get for someone when you have no idea what to get them. Or maybe you get excited and buy one every time you move—lucky if you’re still remembering to water it six weeks later.

I choose something that isn’t terrible, and that doesn’t cost more than everything else, hope it doesn’t take too much responsibility, and figure it’s worth more than flowers, that it’ll last longer at least, since it isn’t dead to begin with.

In elementary school, middle school, high school, we learn about photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide, plants release oxygen—more nature means more breathable air. I had always thought we were talking about trees, redwoods, whole rainforests—the Amazon. Turns out though, a houseplant is more than just some pretty face, that these small attempts to green up the place are in fact making our lives happier and healthier.

According to the EPA we spend nearly all of our time indoors, almost 80% of it. We go from our homes to school, or work; to the library, and the coffee shop, and out to dinner, and to the movies; into stores and on public transportation, and then back home again—and bringing everything that we’ve picked up along the way right back inside. Everything from carbon dioxide to pesticides to something simply referred to as “volatile organic compounds.” If you really want to be grossed out, read the EPA’s Indoor Air Report.

So, NASA scientists did a study, as they’re known to do, and what did they find? What is it keeping all those toxins at bay?

Drumroll please…

Houseplants!

Houseplants filter out toxic air pollutants the same way any tree would. They’ve even been found to help fight the common cold. 

Being under their influence houseplants can reduce anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and can significantly reduce feelings of fear and anger by replacing them with a sense of calm and well-being.

But if you fill your apartment with potted plants and Ficus trees, there’s a good chance someone is going try to have you committed. Plus I’d have to figure out how to get a tree home on the bus.

What you can do though, is hang them from the ceiling and everyone will think it’s coolest thing ever.

And if you’ve been by Bloom Room recently you may have noticed our small attempt to add a little more green to the space. Having replaced the holiday snowflakes hanging just over reception with a whole array of plants that little, if any care.

You can use any type of low light houseplant. We used common ivy varieties, and Tillandsia air plants, but you can use anything that has a solid root system in place (not succulents though).

Air plants are great because they take hardly any attention at all. They absorb everything they need through their leaves—no soil, no potting,  no plant food. Instead of staying rooted in one place, they can grow just about anywhere, on rocks, in glass jars, or on dead branches, using their roots to keep themselves grounded wherever they might happen to be. And even better, they thrive on neglect! A little mist of water once a week, some circulation, and they’re good.

Ivy isn’t much work either. Once you get them set up they’ll get growing all on their own. You start by taking apart the plant and root systems. Remove the entire root soil bundle from the pot and spread it out on a larger surface to work the roots apart. Rinse the soil off of the roots before placing them in the jar, fill with enough water to submerge the roots. Make sure to keep the water filled, and that’s about it.

They’ll be cleaning up your air in no time. Or you can come by Bloom Room and breathe in some of ours.

Reception

San Francisco Mint Plaza

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54Mint

Everything is exceptional - from the antipasti to the dolci: the menu at 54 Mint in Mint Plaza bursts with mediterranean flavor steeped in rustic-italian inspiration. Try the pizzetta (think homemade flatbread & homemade sausage)  and make sure you try each and every dish at least once. If you try 54 Mint Ristorante in San Francisco - you’ll meet old-country flavor without leaving the 7x7.

bluebottlecoffee

The aroma alone is worth a fifteen minute wait. Drip coffee happens over time - it’s never rushed. Hot water washes warm notes of hazelnut and chicory into your single serving - and voila!

“My freshly dripped Blue Bottle Coffee is now ready for cream and sugar.” At least, that’s your initial response. Sip it without modification and indulge.

sffirecu

Located at 12 Mint Plaza, this branch of the San Francisco Fire Fighter’s Credit Union is straight across from the SF Chronicle Building on Mission Street. SFCU reimburses for all ATM fees (in other words use any and all other bank ATMs and SFCU will pay your fee without question - automatically!) and they have a groovy SF Fire Credit Union iPhone app and the sleek SF Fire Credit Union Android app as well 

mezzanine

“Mezzanine is San Francisco’s premiere live music venue, nightclub, and event space, showcasing DJs and live performances from some of the newest, most talented artists in music, and hosting performances that span all genres – from Indie-rock to Hip Hop, Nu-disco to New Orleans Brass.

Mezzanine has steadily become one of the Bay Area’s primary destinations for live music, giving both the artist and concert goer the finest amenities, hospitality and performance quality. Centrally located in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, Mezzanine features two state-of-the-art sound systems, and industry renowned lighting.”

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Everyone knows Bloom Room SF! Think 4G eighths, tax always included, and lab-tested premium flowers! We also carry an epic array of concentrates and edibles. We do Medical Marijuana the way Blue Bottle does Coffee. We take this medicine seriously - and that’s why we offer our patients serious value!

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“As one of San Francisco's most unique boutique salons, we are an experienced team of fashion forward and passion driven stylists who pride ourselves in providing outstanding and personalized customer service; as well as behind the chair, behind stages of fashion shows and editorial photo shoots.

Located in the city's newest urban oasis of Mint Plaza, we're nestled in a sunny corner unit with 360-degree view provided by our 8th floor accommodations.

We provide personalized and detailed attention to our top quality work in a convenient and comfortable setting. Whether it's color, cut, extensions, a fabulous style or blowout; a total new look or something for a special occasion – there is a stylist here to fit your personality and needs. We also give great thought and consideration into the products that are used here in the salon.

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“Gentle Star is an original & progressive San Francisco medical spa, offering a portfolio of clinical skin rejuvenation services. Dedicated to the artistry of non-surgical esthetic transformation, Gentle Star's founders Dr. Thomas R. Ellis and Craig T. Shishido (Medical Esthetician) are inspired by the fusion of art, beauty and medicine.

Cutting edge medical esthetic treatments are delivered in a true San Francisco urban retreat. Tucked away in the historic 1907 Haas Candy Factory Warehouse across from San Francisco Shopping Center, Gentle Star is a quiet oasis where you can rediscover your inherent beauty. Come feel the beauty with us and get energized with a special experience that is uniquely Gentle Star.”

BloomBashSF to Celebrate Bloom Room SF's First-Year Anniversary

Raw Papers, Free Marijuana Joints, and Edibles All Day Saturday! You can also look forward to Samples of Bhang Chocolate's Caramel CBD Bar, Auntie Dolores Edibles, as well as the Volcano and Vapir Rise Vapor Hookah Experience!

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Bloom Room & San Francisco Thank Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Supporting Medical Marijuana!

Dear Dr. Gupta: On behalf of Bloom Room, and the many medical marijuana patients in San Francisco, we just want to say, "Thank You."

The polarized modern media machine rarely progresses a dialogue between opposites, antagonists, or volatile skeptics. Facts are doused with opinion and engulfed in the fire of the inflammatory response, accusatory remark, and unsubstantiated claim. Instead of getting caught up in the mix and mockery of our manipulative media culture, you stand as a beacon of medicine - as a pioneer of healthcare.

Thank you kind sir! We tip our beanies to you :D

Keep up the great work,

Team Bloom Room SF

Here are a few reasons why we want to thank Dr. Sanjay Gupta! Medical cannabis means a lot to the patients of San Francisco - and his support reaffirms the stability of a much needed resource:

1) Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses the legalization of medical marijuana on CNN. He illustrates the outcome of the Colorado and Washington elections for complete marijuana legalization, and then he touches on the topic of medical marijuana with Dr. Julie Holland - author of The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis.

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2) Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses medical marijuana with Anderson Cooper on CNN. They talk about safety of medical cannabis and the effects of THC - the most potent cannabinoid in the plant - and how it affect the brain. Dr. Gupta illustrates the increasing potency of medical marijuana with a graph of THC percentages, and then mentions how the "loss of short-term memory" is only a short term side effect of cannabis.

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3) Dr. Sanjay Gupta travels around the world as he cuts through the smoke of medical marijuana to illuminate the truth about the patients who benefit from it. This is the intro for his CNN special report: WEED: A Sanjay Gupta Special

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4) The outcome of his year-long investigation of medical marijuana, Piers Morgan interviews Dr. Sanjay Gupta about him rescinding the statements he made in a 2009 in Time Magazine - Why I Would Vote 'No' on Pot. Dr. Gupta brings up the science of medical marijuana, and how the American public has been "systematically" mislead about it.

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Medical Cannabis Research

Our friends at www.UnitedPatientsGroup.com have been busy compiling excellent data to support the various medical benefits of cannabis. Since, 1974, there have been hundreds of clinical trials - and most of them result in a pile of evidence supporting the true medical value of clinical cannabinoids (or medical marijuana). Here are a few graphics, depicting the diverse applicability of medical cannabis [marijuana]: Image

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Medical Cannabis [marijuana), specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as a treatment for managing the side effects associated with chemotherapy.