Choices and remedies

Learning how pot heals at Choice Health Mutual

Nick Sternberg (left) and Chris Olson of Choice Health Mutual get munchy.

Nick Sternberg (left) and Chris Olson of Choice Health Mutual get munchy.

Photo By Jerome Love

Medical cannabis isn’t as easy as “medicate and feel better.” You have to know what marijuana strains can have a medicinal impact on what symptoms.

At least that’s how co-owner Nick Sternberg sees it. He and partner Chris Olson opened Choice Health Mutual in September 2010 with the mission to provide medical pot to those in need. And no matter what ails you, they’ll probably have a medicine that can help.

For example, a cancer patient suffering from a lack of appetite due to chemotherapy sessions might be offered Hog’s Breath, a munchies-inducing sativa.

If the patient is instead spending sleepless nights tossing and turning, the insomnia-eradicating indicas Afroberry and house strain Million Dollar Purple (see Best Buds, below) work well as sleep aids due to their body-calming effects.

Nervousness can be warded off with the use of sativa strains Strawberry Cough and Pineapple Widow, which will ease anxiety without causing drowsiness.

Other strong sativas, such as Blue Dream and Crazy Train, are a good choice when battling depression. These strains imbue the user with energy while simultaneously enhancing their mood.

Those suffering from chronic pain or rheumatoid arthritis can find relief in cannabis strains high in cannabidiol, or CBD, such as Choice Health Mutual’s Dynamite strain. Strains with a high CBD content have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that combat such illnesses particularly well.

One concern a lot of medicinal-cannabis patients have is what kind of treatment their bud receives before it reaches store shelves. Patients wanting to ensure their medicine is chemical-free are more than welcome to buy from among Choice Health Mutual’s wide selection of clones. And if the patient isn’t quite the green thumb, Sternberg says nearly every budtender there has experience growing and is capable of offering gardening advice.

Smoking isn’t always the best ingestion method for patients, though, and Choice Health Mutual offers an array of alternatives to suit just about every need.

Ideal for these hot Sacramento summer months, it offers frozen cherry-flavored “Otterpop” copies called Epic Ice.

Or if home cooks would rather create their own edibles, Choice Health Mutual offers cannabutter, an ingredient that can be used in anything from brownies to cookies or even sautéed mushrooms.

However, if you’re looking to medicate without taking in extra calories, a number of medicinal salves and tinctures exist for purchase.

The Canna-Bliss sage salves offered can be rubbed on the body part experiencing pain and then covered with a heating pad for extra pain relief.

Tinctures are especially useful for the sleepless by administering a couple of drops to the tongue before bedtime and waiting for the calm body buzz to whisk you to dreamland.