How I Stopped My Phantom Limb Pain with Cannabis

HelloMD spoke with Charles Rutherford of Boveda. Boveda leads the industry in humidity regulation technology and allows both producers and patients alike to preserve the quality of their cannabis products. Charles spoke to us about his personal journey with medical marijuana and his experience using cannabis to ease his nerve and phantom limb pain after losing his foot in a terrible motorcycle accident.

Do you use cannabis as a medicine?

Yes, but I never had fun with cannabis recreationally in my life, it wasn’t really for me. Three years ago I got hit by a careless driver on my motorcycle, and this resulted in the amputation of my left foot. Phantom limb pain and nerve pain have become a constant and painful problem for me. Yet, the doctors only means for me to deal with this pain was to give me more and more opiates.

Opioid abuse is not a road I wanted to go down. I live in Minnesota and we have a medical marijuana program, so I was able to try marijuana for my phantom limb pain. Because of cannabis I was able to stop using opioids because I could use marijuana for both the pain relief and it allows me to sleep at the end of the day.

The funny thing is, that even though we were operating our business within the cannabis industry, I was very skeptical about patients using cannabis as medicine. It was only due to my own desperation to stop my own pain that I eventually tried cannabis. It has been amazing what it has done for me. I went from being a skeptic to a believer overnight.

How did this influence you?

My personal story, and how cannabis helped me with phantom limb pain, informs everything we do at Boveda in relation to cannabis. I have a personal passion for medicinal cannabis and how it can help others. Through marijuana we can alleviate the huge epidemic of opioid addiction and death, so I have made it my own personal crusade to make sure that the flower stays in the best position it can be for people who do use it as a medicine.

I also work to help expand the knowledge and understanding of the industry. At Boveda we have commissioned a lot of testing so we can see what exactly is happening to the cannabis flower at different stages of storage and what is really the maximum storage time it can have. We are also looking to see if there is a best objective curing method and a best objective storing container, and since my story informs all of that, I would say that 95% of my attention is on cannabis.

What I have discovered is that people around me who were skeptical about cannabis and had a certain idea of what a ‘cannabis user’ looked like has completely changed. I am a competitive athlete, I still compete in skiing, golf, and mountain biking, I’m a professional, and I don’t ‘look’ like a cannabis user.

In my circle of influence that has definitely reverberated. People who have had certain feelings about cannabis and about what ‘those people’ (who use cannabis)’ look like or do, know that I am not any of those things. Since I don’t have a fear of sharing my story and I am not involved with a lot of things that the stereotypical marijuana user is, it is good at helping convert people to the idea that cannabis is a medicine and it can be used safely and effectively.

What about cannabis in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, we haven’t seen a lot of people go towards cannabis. I think there’s only maybe 1,100 people who are patients here in Minnesota. Because of some of the restrictions on what qualifies for medical marijuana, as well as restrictions on growing and administration methods, it has put it out of reach for a lot of people. I’m not sure if this kind of program will ever survive here, because of how it was put into place, which is a real shame.

What do you think about recreational use of cannabis?

The reality is, I come from a spot with personal beliefs of personal responsibility. I think people are being hurt by the status quo, so I think we shouldn’t be asking if we should legalize medical marijuana, but rather, are people getting hurt by the status quo?

Are we okay with people getting addicted to opioids? Are we okay with making the cheaper and logical leap after opioids, something that can kill people even faster, like heroine? Are we okay with people getting a medication that can kill them right from their doctor?

So, there is clearly a paradox in the status quo. The safest option for people medically is something that isn’t prescribed to them by a doctor, meaning marijuana. Yet the thing that can kill them, opioids, is what their doctor is handing out to them. I think people should have the ability to responsibly decide what they put inside their body and clearly cannabis is a safe and effective medicine.

How do we sway the negative stereotype of cannabis?

People need to tell their story of how marijuana has helped them. I encourage friends who have family members who are against medical or recreational marijuana to tell my story. I am a conservative, Republican, Christian who has volunteered at church every Sunday for the last six years. I am an NRA member, I carry a gun, I am a competitive athlete, and I am a professional. Those qualities don’t normally fit into what people see as a typical cannabis user, which is why my story, in addition to being a medical case, is a political case as well.

This is also what a cannabis user can look like. Marijuana legalization, however, does not have to be a political issue, because being a conservative I believe in personal responsibility. So once again, using cannabis responsibly is exactly what I believe in. Stories of people who don’t normally fit into the cannabis mold and show people that a cannabis user can be anyone are important. Peoples’ perceptions or prejudices may keep them from listening to certain people, so finding the right messenger to get the message to certain people is crucial.

Anything else you would like to add about Boveda?

Our product is unique and uniquely valuable. Boveda is being used by some big brands because they understand that it is the right thing to do for safety and quality of their cannabis. For personal use at home, we recently just released our 58% humidity formula for people who wanted a slightly lower humidity for their cannabis flowers. You just pop a Boveda pack in with your flowers and it adds or removes moisture as needed, then locks into the moisture that is encrypted into the Boveda pack.

Written and Posted by: HelloMD

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How Does Humidity Affect Your Cannabis?

There are many elements to consider when properly curing and storing your cannabis. One of the most crucial considerations is managing the relative humidity (RH) of the plant material while it is stored in an airtight container. Having too much moisture will increase the risk of contamination by mold or mildew, while having too little moisture will cause the trichomes to dry out, becoming brittle, harsh, and less effective as the essential oils that carry the cannabinoids and terpenes slowly degrade.

Luckily, there’s a solution that avoids the difficult balancing act of monitoring the ambient humidity of your climate, maintains the ideal RH, and gives you a powerful tool to give your cannabis the best possible cure.

What is Ambient Humidity?

Ambient humidity is what’s happening outside your container of cannabis. It could be your bedroom, the trunk of your car, or the outdoors. In air conditioned homes, the humidity is usually 20-30% because the AC scrubs moisture out of the air. In a heated home, the humidity will often be even lower as the furnace scrubs much of the ambient humidity.

In the time it takes to open and prepare cannabis for consumption, the flower can lose a detectable amount of moisture. Without a proper way to monitor and adjust humidity in your container, the cannabis will dry over time.

Using humidity control products like Boveda 62 in the container allows you to quickly replace the lost moisture both in the air and in the plant, so the cannabis is the same original quality every time. Some would even make the case it gets better with age, like wine or cigars.

The RH “Sweet Spot”

Humidity control packs can monitor ambient humidity and add or remove moisture to deliver a precise RH, giving your cannabis the optimal moisture content and keeping it true to its original form. For example, the Boveda 62, developed after repeated requests from cannabis aficionados to create a pack that held a lower RH, keeps your buds at the perfect 62% RH level.

To determine the best RH for cannabis, we hired a third party laboratory to do a moisture sorption isotherm on a single strain of cannabis. A moisture sorption isotherm test applies a wide range of humidity levels to an item and determines an RH range in which the properties of the item doesn’t change. For the strain of cannabis the lab tested, 59-63% RH showed to be ideal.

In the same way nature has gifted the world cannabis, it gifts us the natural salts that provide the key to balancing RH levels. Different salt compounds hold a varying range of moisture, which makes it crucial to source a salt that stabilizes moisture content at an ideal 62%.

Many who prefer vaporizing their cannabis are finding they favor even lower humidity levels, such as the 54%. Personal preference can also dictate your ideal RH “sweet spot,” with elements like plant density and personal taste being the deciding factors.

How Does RH Affect the Curing, Drying, and Storage of Cannabis?

If you want the best possible cure, you need to store cannabis in an environment with stable RH within the ideal range. The ambient humidity isn’t much of a concern, because Boveda responds to conditions inside the container, absorbing or releasing moisture to maintain the ideal 62% inside.

From there, your major concerns are temperature and light. Boveda adjusts the humidity based on temperature changes, but cannabis should always be kept away from high temperatures to avoid decarboxylation or activating the precious cannabinoids. And as widely recommended throughout the cannabis industry, always store you cannabis in a cool dark place.

While Boveda is effective at removing excess moisture, growers should still dry cannabis using their traditional methods, and when the branches feel close to their target moisture content, put the buds in containers with Boveda to help adjust the RH to the proper range for cannabis.

Written and Posted by Leafly

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Boveda for trim?!

A producer in Humboldt feels strongly that even trim needs proper storage in order to retain the terpenes right up until processing. Here’s what he says:

“Trim and extract material exposed to humidity causes’ moisture to be absorbed in the material, resulting in extracts that deteriorate faster. Deterioration reduces extract efficacy and value to the manufacturer, the consumer, and every other link in the supply chain.

Placing a few Boveda in bags of fresh trim helps to create full flavored extracts with mouthwatering terpene profiles.”

Maxwell

Humboldt, CA

For questions, email info@bovedainc.com or call 952.745.2900. Or, if you’re ready to do your plants a favor, hit www.Bovedainc.com/herbal or www.BovedaWholesale.com for wholesale accounts.

15% more terpene retention with Boveda.

After 8 years applying our patented 2-way humidity control ability to cannabis, we’re thankful for the countless global fans who trust Boveda for cannabis curing, storage and merchandising.

The world has known that Boveda is fantastic for cannabis, but now we have the first research on why. And it’s exciting.

As the only product that can control a specific humidity level in packaging, it’s Boveda’s duty to initiate research on the effects of different moisture levels for a number of things we protect. We pioneered research in tobacco, wooden instruments, food and now cannabis. We want to help the world determine what chemical changes happen when different humidity levels are applied to various organic materials, especially one as sensitive as cannabis.

The full text of the cannabis study can be found here, but here’s a summary:

Two identical jars of cannabis, one with Boveda, one without. After 6 weeks they tested the terpenes. The cannabis with Boveda had 15% more terpene retention than the jar without Boveda. That’s a very big deal. That means that even in great packaging/containers which hold in moisture, the indispensable therapeutic terpenes are micro-evaporating into the container’s head space (the air inside) faster if Boveda isn’t in there providing precision, active humidity control and slowing their loss.

This is just the first of more world’s-first testing. Evaluations are under way to discover so much more about how Boveda improves the safety, quality, smell and flavor of cannabis.

Thank you for making us the Global Leader in 2-way Humidity Control!

Charlie Rutherford, Business Development Director

 

What makes Boveda’s Calibration Kit our most important product?

Boveda fans occasionally ask, “What’s your most important product?” I think the Calibration Kit is our most important product because it’s objective proof that only Boveda can precisely control moisture. No sponge, gel, bead or imitation product marketing themselves as “2-way humidity control” make a Calibration Kit, because their contents don’t have the ability to control moisture.

The science community recognizes a saturated salt solution as the only way to control moisture in a chamber, package or container because it’s the only way to add and/or remove moisture and maintain a precise humidity level. That’s 2-way humidity control. 19 years ago, Boveda patented the way to package 2-way humidity control and we still hold those patents today. But that hasn’t stopped imitation products from making Boveda-level claims.

Why should you care about the “science community” when you’re storing cigars, guitars or herbal medicine? Because the science community doesn’t deal in marketing. They deal in repeatable results through rigorous testing.

The same technology we use in the Calibration Kit is used in all Boveda products – a salt solution – meaning the patents that protect our technology for Calibration Kits protect us in the effortless aging of cigars, proper guitar storage, the curing/storage of cannabis and all the other industries we operate.

Can you get by with “competing” products? Sure, in the same way you can get away without a seat belt. By the time you wish you were using Boveda or a seat belt, it’ll be too late.

Charlie Rutherford

Business Development Director, Boveda