So You’re Thinking of Trying Plant-based Medicine: Here’s What You Should Know

As an increasing number of people turn to plant-based medicine as a means to find relief from various symptoms and conditions, there is a greater need than ever for patients and consumers to turn to experts for help. For some, plant-based medicine has been a part of their routine for quite some time now and they have their dosing regimen down to a tee. However, others may just be starting to look into how they can incorporate plant-based medicine into their lives. So the question is, if you’re new to this, where do you even start?

What can I use plant-based medicine for?

A question you might be asking yourself in the beginning is “what are other people in my community using plant-based medicine for?” The simple answer is, well, just about everything. Plant-based medicine balances the endocannabinoid system, which in turn balances every other system within your body. This makes plant-based medicine a great candidate for providing relief from many symptoms. Some of the most common reasons that patients use plant-based medicine include: to manage anxiety, reduce chronic pain, alleviate depression, help with sleep disorders and to provide relief from arthritis, crohn’s disease and cancer treatments. Although there are many success stories, you should always consult your doctor to seek medical advice. 

How should I consume it?

In addition to asking yourself about the uses of plant-based medicine, you may also be wondering about the best way to consume it. There are several different options out there for consuming plant-based medicine and personal preference often dictates your decision. There is really no right or wrong way. If you do not like inhaling medicine, options like tinctures, edibles and topicals may be best for you. Tinctures are dropped underneath the tongue and topicals are placed on the body to help with localized pain relief. Edibles come in many forms including candy, baked goods, butters, beverages and capsules, leaving you with an array of options if you choose this route. 

If you would rather consume your plant-based medicine by inhaling it, you could consider using loose-leaf or an inhalation device. There are even options such as nasal spray or bath salts that are infused with plant-based medicine. The variety of products available makes it easy for each person to choose which works best for them.

Where can I get these products?

If you currently reside in a state where plant-based medicine has been legalized medically and/or recreationally, then you are able to purchase plant-based medicine at a local dispensary. If you are living in a state where plant-based medicine has only been legalized at a medicinal level, then you will need to speak with a doctor to get a medical license before you can do this. 

CBD is legal nationwide and it can be purchased in several different ways. You can visit a dispensary to buy CBD products, but they are now also available at select retail stores and even online. If you are unsure where to find products, use the Gofire App to search for top-rated products near you for different reasons like treating anxiety, nausea, sleep, etc. The Gofire App allows you to search for products in your community that others are using (and liking) and then find where to buy them.

Start low, go slow

Every person is affected differently by plant-based medicine and some people naturally have higher tolerances than others. For this reason, it is important to start off consuming plant-based medicine in very small amounts and gradually titrate up from there. 

Fear of overconsumption is one of the top reasons many adults are hesitant to try plant-based medicine. There are several ways to combat this fear and starting off with a  low dose is your best bet. On top of that, a patient can use a platform such as the Gofire Health Suite to control their plant-based medicine intake. With the Gofire Inhaler, patients can consume plant-based medicine in 2.5 mg increments and dose completion detection allows them to be sure of exactly how much medicine they’ve consumed. In addition Gofire SmartCartridges have microchips that connect to third-party validated lab tests, enabling the patient to control both how much they’re consuming and also be aware of exactly what they’re consuming. 

Do your research

That leads us to one of our most important points, do your research! Keep in mind that plant-based medicine is real medicine. You would not take traditional pharmaceuticals without understanding what is in them and the effects they have. 

Plant-based medicine is far less regulated than traditional medications, so it may require even more research. Though it may seem obvious, the internet now has several resources for patients and consumers to find accurate and helpful information on several different topics. A great resource to start with is Leafly, a site that features information for all levels of plant-based medicine patients and consumers.

In addition to looking online, dispensary employees are also a good resource for information. If you visit a dispensary, you can tell them what you are looking for and they can make suggestions for products that might work for you. 

Talk to an expert

After all we’ve talked about here today, it can still be scary to jump into the world of plant-based medicine. The good news is, there are experts out there that are happy to help you come up with a personalized regimen. A good place to start is by talking to your doctor. A doctor can talk you through different options and help you determine where to start. 

Another option for advice is to use Leaf411, an alternative medicine nurse hotline for people to call and speak directly to a medical professional. Leaf411 is a free service and its mission is to provide education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of plant medicine.

How do I find safe products to use?

With recent reports of lung disease among some product users, safety is more important than ever. Make sure that you have access to the validated lab test of the products you’re consuming. In addition, avoid using concentrates with additives. Look for words like Vitamin E Acetate, Propylene Glycol, MCT Oil and Polyethylene when you are examining chemical reports and do not use products containing these, or any additives. 

In addition, do not use products that allow heavy metals to leach into the concentrates you’re consuming. Stick with inhalers that are made with medical-grade materials to ensure your safety. Finally, do not buy anything, ever, off of the illicit market. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

There’s an App for That

Finally, if you want to do some research, control your dose, view validated lab tests and get recommendations for products all in one place — use the Gofire Health Suite. In the Gofire App, you can search for products that work for your specific ailment, based on crowdsourced ratings from other Gofire users. When you use the app to scan the Gofire DoseCode or barcode of an edible, tincture or topical, you can view its exact chemical makeup and then precisely dose and track the results, creating a specific dosing regimen that works for you. The app currently features hundreds of products and thousands of reviews and is available for free on iOS and Android. 

In addition, the App connects directly with the Gofire Inhaler, a medical-grade metered-dose controlled inhaler made for use with the SmartCartridge. Together, the two allow you to dose plant-based medicine in 2.5 mg increments and link to third-party validated lab tests on the app. 

If you or someone you know is looking to incorporate plant-based medicine into their health regimen, use these tips to get started and purchase the Gofire Inhaler here.