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How to Add Cannabis to the Medicine Cabinet

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How to Add Cannabis to the Medicine Cabinet

As many of you know I have been using cannabis for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since diagnosis in 1987. Even though for decades I was breaking the law by using cannabis its health benefits were so important to my well being that I felt it was worth the risks.

When I was first diagnosed with MS there were no disease modifying drugs or a standard of care treatment for MS beyond addictive pain killers & narcotics. My mother was a prescription pill addict my whole life so I quickly said no to any drugs the doctors offered instead turning to essential oils & cannabis to help my initial symptoms of muscle spasms & limb jumping.

To this day I use cannabis even though many of my symptoms have left the building due to diet & lifestyle choices.

After my healing began as a faithful Warrior who follows The Wahls Protocol I was able to go off of over 24 medications for the treatment of MS. I thought at this time I should also stop using cannabis. It became clear after about 12 weeks that cannabis was helping me with more than the symptoms I originally thought.

Little did I know all that cannabis was managing outside of diet & lifestyle.

I have scary issues with my throat due to MS. Sever spasms or becoming rigid as we call it in MS. Literally it is like a 'Charlie Horse'  that most often happens with your feet, but it is your throat. When I stopped using cannabis throat symptom returned as well as a low level of anxiety. Both of which I thought my diet & lifestyle choices had healed 100%. It was not until I stopped using cannabis that I learned how much of a role THC had in healing these two important symptoms.

Even though I am a Wahls Warrior who is a walking miracle I continue to use cannabis for the treatment & management of MS.

One of the most common questions I get regarding cannabis is where to begin. Many of my tribe reach out to ask how to get started. I wanted to give some insight into the process & some best practices using cannabis as medicine.

Most important to note is I am not advocating anyone step outside of the law regarding the use of cannabis. Although this was how I operated for many years exclusively until 2006 when I moved to CA where medicinal cannabis was legal. Today recreational use is also legal in CA & many states around the USA. 

Strands: There are 3 varieties of cannabis & they are either strands called Sativa, Indica and/or a hybrid. Each one offers a different medicinal tool.

  • A Sativa will help you stay active & alert offering an overall calming effect. I find Sativa helps to calm your mind while allowing you to function without feeling high.
  • An Indica on the other hand offers an overall body effect often inducing sleep & a large sense of relaxation. An Indica strand is great for pain & sleep.
  • Hybrids are a mixture of both Sativa & Indica typically having one higher in concentration than the other. Depending on which is dominant defines the type of effect. Hybrids are classified as either Sativa or Indica dominant.

It is important to remind ourselves that we are all different & our bodies are the ultimate source of information.

When offering medical cannabis in most states it is required that the community have options for usage beyond smoking. Below I will outline the different ways most states offer cannabis to the consumer.

Edibles:  You can find cannabis in edibles of all kind from pop to brownies & even infused butters. I personally do not recommend using edibles without checking the ingredient list. Many are filled with sugars & things that do not support a conscious life. The standard dose is 10mg of THC per serving with many edibles offering more than one dose.

Edibles can take on average one hour to feel the effects. Many times edibles are hard to manage due to dosing not being exact producing an outcome that is powerful for some & not effective for others.

I strongly suggest when using edibles to put the day aside to see how your body reacts. I have learned that everyone is different & there is a learning curve that is quite individual. Only when consuming edibles have I had experiences that felt like I was tripping & produced a negative outcome. However there have also been times where the use of edibles have delivered exceptional results.

Due to the nature of unpredictability of edibles I advise to plan a day at home where you can ride the wave until you are able to have the correct dosing.

Tinctures: A sublingual form is also available which are called tinctures. This is another method for using cannabis that is easy & very effective. Although they are the least used form of cannabis they are still very powerful.

Tinctures are liquid forms of cannabis that include THC which can be administered by putting a few drops under your tongue. Tinctures are easily absorbed with many feeling the effects within 15 minutes of using. This treatment is quicker, easier to regulate & often more effective than edibles. I have personally found great success with tinctures even though I prefer to smoke bud.

Vaping: Cannabis is also available in Vape Oil. Vape oil is considered the healthier alternative to smoking. The THC & CBD oils are extracted & often added to coconut oil. Vape pens are needed to administer the oil by heating it up for smoking.

Vaporizing cannabis has been shown to not have the same negative effects on the lungs that traditional smoking does. However one has to pay attention to what is added to the cannabis oil for vaping. Some companies do add unhealthy chemicals that make this method not a good choice.

Cannabidiol or CBD oil: CBD oil can be derived from both cannabis & hemp. I am going to talk about cannabis derived CBD oil here. This oil is known to have lots of health benefits without any of the psychoactive effects of cannabis most often derived from low THC strands of marijuana. Many use CBD oil to help with pain, tremors, cancer and ADHD.

Hemp oil derived CBD oil can be purchased in every state in the USA & is much different than cannabis CBD oil. This type of CBD oil has shown great promise in helping dogs & autism. Hemp oil is much different than a cannabis CBD oil and should be noted as such. Hemp does not contain any THC making it a very different medicinal tool that is quite effective.

How to Get Started: Check the laws in your state/country to find out how to legally use and/or grow. In 2017 over 26 states have legalized cannabis for medical uses in the USA & 7 for recreational use. However it should be noted that marijuana is still against the law at the federal level and legality is a state decision only in the USA. Being informed regarding the laws and potential risks are highly recommended.

Medical license: For most states a doctor visit either in person or online is required to obtain a medical license. I have been able to get this from all kinds of partners in my wellness team. My 1st license back in 2006 came from my gynecologist and cost about $225. Today in California you can get a license for about $35 from brick and mortar & online establishments that have a doctor on staff for licensing only. It simply is not as hard to get as it was in 2006.

Licenses are good for one year. Once you are legal your information is put online for the dispensary to verify prior to purchase in states where medicinal only is legal. States with recreational use do not require a medical card, however if you have a medicinal need discounts are typically offered making a license advisable & cost effective.

Dispensary: This is where you go to get cannabis in all forms talked about. Most dispensaries have at least 10+ strands plus an assortment of edibles, oils and the tools needed to use cannabis. I highly recommend you talk with the staff (bud tenders) about the best route for you to take. Cannabis is very individual & each strand is different not only in name but in THC, CBD strength. Bud tenders are trained on strands just like a sommelier is on wine. They are very knowledgeable & should be treated just like any member of your healthcare team.

You can find dispensaries online via Weedmaps or simply google for storefronts. Some states like CA have delivery which makes life easier, but also increases the value of a trained bud tender to give you insight into what strands are working the best to support your needs. I value the role of those working in dispensaries & trust their insight & knowledge.

The use of cannabis is still controversial for many. I am sharing my 1st hand experience & knowledge based on the huge role it plays in my life with MS. There is no doubt in my mind that the medicinal benefits have been extreme in helping me tap my best life in the face of the devastation caused by MS even when I was dealing with the stress of breaking the law.

I simply cannot impress upon you enough how much cannabis has been the #1 most effective treatment for living with MS. Even in the face of the miracles that have happened with diet & lifestyle cannabis still holds a huge role in my ability to live my best life.

For anyone who believe that it fries brain cells & produces addiction I am here to call bullshit.

I have better cognitive than most & am not an addict with over 30 years of smoking weed. If you want to talk about brain cells dying and addiction we should look at big pharm & booze.

Not going to lie I am sure this blog post will raise some eyebrows.

For those who can be open to living life outside of cultural norms I hope this post helps guide your best life journey.

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Today is a great day to join the tribe as we raise the roof on life & living.

BAM.

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Pothead here...

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Pothead here...

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DO NOT JUDGE. NO ASSHOLES ALLOWED.  THE END. #icurse Almost immediately after my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I started using marijuana to treat my symptoms and it still continues to this day.  Which was a huge issue for me because I was raised by a mother who was addicted to prescription drugs my whole life.  On one hand I was saying no to Valium which docs freely wanted to give me, but willing to use illegal drugs to heal.  This became a huge issue for many in my family as they say my decision and need to use marijuana as the gateway to be becoming an addict like my mother. I saw it as a saving grace for this not to happen.  Because marijuana is illegal most closest to me considered me a drug addict rather than someone holistically trying to live with MS and it's horrific symptoms. #onesmallstep

From the onset of MS becoming my life partner it brought with it what I call "under-skin jumping."  Basically it felt like my limbs were jumping around all the time in every direction.  As a result of this feeling my body was constantly trying to stop the limbs from 'jumping' and I lived with the feeling of constantly trying to hold them down & in place.  My 'jumping' was so severe that I could not do acupuncture because the needles would move so much they would eventually bend from the constant movement.  Good times had by all when this happened.

Until I moved to California in 2006 I broke the law and smoked marijuana daily to control these symptoms.   Little did I know until recently how much marijuana was really helping in my life beyond 'jumping.'  I just learned in the last few months how much marijuana relieved many symptoms related to MS. For 28 years I spoked marijuana almost daily. Everywhere I want and everyone who knew me was aware I used pot as medicine in my life with MS. Whether they agreed or not they knew if I was around there was a chance weed was on my person. #ohitgetswild

As luck would have it following The Wahls Protocol I healed from almost all of my symptoms related to living with MS. The limb jumping slowly but surely left my body and I no longer lived with this 'jumping' sensation. In   2015 I decided to stop smoking pot after the symptoms that I used marijuana to treat were no longer in my life.

Little did I know how much more the use of marijuana was helping.

The end of April I rented a guest house in LA and moved in 2 days before heading to Austin for PaleoFX.  Literally I moved in, unpacked my boxes and then quickly proceeded to pack a suitcase to start a month of assorted traveling as PaleoBOSS Lady.  So excited I was to head to my 2nd year of PaleoFX! #paleocommunityrocksbigtime

The plane takes off at LAX and all of a sudden an MS symptom I had not known in over 4 years returns and it is the scariest of all: throat rigidity. Yup the mother of all symptoms happens when we reach 'our cruising altitude' and results in a strong charlie horse in my throat.  Unable to swallow or stop the throat spams I literally panic realizing I am on a plane, traveling alone and unable to speak to share what is happening to me.  My throat is spasming like a mother and I have nothing on my person to help relieve this almost foreign symptom from MS. #damnit

I massage the area, calm my shit and slowly the spasms subsides. I sit in fear for the remainder of the flight especially the landing.  Convinced the atmospheric pressure caused the spasm I wonder if landing will bring the same result.  Happily it did not and once on the ground in Austin I kissed it.  Thankful that the flight reality was not worse and that I am okay.

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When I get home I immediately call my doctor who prescribes Baclofen for me to take before and after flights to relieve the spasms.  This is such a defeat for me since it took me over 1.5 years to ween off of high doses of Baclofen that I took for years to treat my bodily spasms and was my last MS drug to kick to the curb since becoming a Wahls Warrior.  However the scary reality of throat rigidity and 2 upcoming plane rides were enough for me to give in and resume Baclofen in my life. Honestly with each plane ride that I took without issue I was grateful that I had Baclofen back in my 'Bag of Tricks.'

Traveling stops and I wean off the Baclofen but the throat rigidity continues to haunt me. In addition I lose feeling on the left side of my face & the area from my knee to ankle and restless leg starts to come back into my life. I am now not getting on planes or traveling but yet symptoms that were distant memories are coming back and piling on top of one another.  I am scared and surprised this is happening. #doubledamnit

What is causing this to happen?

Living a conscious life not much happens that I am not aware of and how it may or may not effect my body.  I looked for days at my life since the throat issues came back and what could have caused them if it was not the change in pressure caused by flying.  I knew I had just moved and the house became my focus. Sure enough my new landlord had been spraying highly toxic chemicals in the house I moved for roach control (another blog post for this but know I have moved again to a non toxic home without roaches)!  The air travel was enough to wake up my throat rigidity and the continued exposure to toxic chemicals created a petri dish for other MS related symptoms to follow.

So I did an experiment.  

I smoked weed for 3 days one weekend to see what result if any it would have on my body.  The throat jumping stopped immediately and the other symptoms started to slowly go away.  They would all be gone for about 2-4 hours after smoking and some would return in a less threatening form.  I stopped smoking again for 3 days and all of them returned to their full blown nightmare reality.  For the 1st time this BOSS realized how much pot helped MS symptoms beyond 'limb jumping.'

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For some reason initially I felt mentally defeated that I started to smoke weed again. I was so proud to have gone off all medications for the treatment of MS.  Then I realized this too may pass.   It was toxic chemical exposure that caused the symptoms to come back. Weed is the treatment that is helping until my body calms down enough to let go of their death grip on my symptoms. History has shown for me as a Wahls Warrior that these symptoms can leave my body and remain gone as long as my conscious life reality is not effected.

Smoking a little daily to treat the symptoms and it continues to help.  My usage and need are getting less and less each day as my toxic load continues to diminish.  However I am certain the marijuana will always be in my 'Bag of Tricks.'  This medicinal plant has provided me life changing healing for most of my years living with MS and continues to be a much better option than any pill a doc has ever prescribed.

The moral conflict associated with using weed I am over and think that the future continues to look bright for legalization to happen universally in the USA. I hope that many will realize the power to heal both mentally and physically using marijuana holds.  I really think it is time for all of us to stop the demonization of pot and can we all just say AMEN TO THE WEED!

We should instead be having this critical eye on all the drugs and drug companies and leave mother nature alone!

So hopefully I have raised an eyebrow or two or three with this post.  If so I would love it if you could subscribe to my blog!

The community of PBL is the ground in which I stand and your support means the world to me. #truth

Please consider it and never miss another hair raising post!  Namaste my friend.

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