Would you believe it has now been over 7 years that I have been using medical cannabis over pharmaceuticals? It’s kind of a big deal and here are seven reasons why it has been so significant for me.
1. No Negative Side Effects
For the past 7 years I have missed out on the groggy, uncomfortable feelings of side effects that I was experiencing with prescribed medications for pain and inflammation. I’ve heard enough first hand stories of people who have been using the very drugs that I was being prescribed seven years ago to know that I made the right choice to stop them and find something else. Each year that I am able to avoid pharmaceuticals and their compounding negative side effects on my body is another year that I am able to enjoy a better quality of life and focus on health.
2. Adventures in Cannabis
Over the past seven years my choice to create a long term pain management plan using pot over painkillers brought me an unusual education about the plant and entry into a thriving unregulated medical cannabis scene that led into this current regulated adult use industry. I am blessed to have also gained professional experience in the cannabis industry doing everything from content creation, blogging, social media, speaking, networking, events, sales, trimming, garden work, lobbying, and protesting.
3- Multiple Symptoms Helped With One Plant
7 years of using one single plant, cannabis, to regulate my body’s homeostasis. I do use it multiple ways for multiple symptoms (pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, migraines) but whether I apply it topically or put fresh leaves in my smoothies it is all coming from various strains of the same non-toxic plant.
4- Cannabis Helps Me Focus On My Health As A Lifestyle
7 years of working on my health with a focus on prevention, nutrition, and happiness. I have always been a health centric person but having an alternative method to manage my chronic health conditions has opened me up to different options and allowed me to find helpful treatments like acupuncture, Bowen, and the Scoliosis Activity Suit. Cannabis has definitely helped me to positively manage my chronic condition and significantly slow progression.
5- Seven Years Of Paying For A Medical Cannabis Authorization
You didn’t think this list would all be flowers did you? I bring this up to shed light on the current system for patients in Washington State. For the past 7 years I have annually been going to a doctor and paying for them to write and process a medical cannabis authorization. My initial regular doctor wouldn’t even talk to me about it. The state of Washington has been so backward that when they implemented adult legal use they failed to upgrade and include a functional system for supplying medical cannabis to patients. Having to maintain my authorization and also register with he state so that I can have some arrest protections, grow my own, or get a weak discount at some pot shops for non-medical grade products has not been helpful or adequate for filling my medicine needs. I look forward to sharing and supporting fixer bills to medical cannabis in Washington State with you as they come along.
6. Growing My Own
For the past 7 summers I have been utilizing the rights provided to me by my medical cannabis authorization and grown my own. I have to say that experiencing the plant from a gardener’s perspective has given me much insight into how I can use it. Growing my own cannabis has allowed to experience the health benefits of gardening, consume it raw in my diet, learn how to harvest/dry/cure, and experience how to turn this plant into therapeutic tinctures, topicals, and edibles, etc. Knowing how to do all of that has been incredibly helpful in dealing with the lack of products in stores and my MMJ budget. However, having such a small plant limit is inadequate for filling my needs. WA-wa.
7. Learning To Be NORML
It was brought to my attention at this week’s Norml Women of Washington meeting in Seattle that even after 5+ years into us having ‘legalization’ in this state, there are still 600,000 people per year being arrested for marijuana possession in this country. When I hear stats like that I am motivated to get more involved in educating lawmakers and others in my community to end the social injustice that is wrapped up with cannabis.
7 things I would say to myself 7 years ago…
1. Take it slow. At first I thought I had to feel high for it to be therapeutic. The higher the better. LOL.
2. Unless directed by your doctor to use high doses, consume as little as you need rather than consuming a lot to see how much you can tolerate.
3. Get a good flower vaporizer and use it more than smoking it when possible. I say this because I have often found vaping over smoking flowers to be the most beneficial for immediate relief of ending or at least muting a migraine headache.
4. Try not to lick the spoon too much when you are making edibles. You might get too high and that might be uncomfortable for a few hours.
5. If you ever take too much cannabis and feel too high, you are still going to be ok. Sip on some lemon water while doing something that helps you feel calm.
6. Stay low key about your cannabis medicine use but share your knowledge as often as appropriate. Don’t be shy about sharing your story if it might help somebody else have a different option that may benefit their health too.
7. Grow your own and expand your gardening knowledge from those who can not only grow impressive cannabis but also their own organic fruit and vegetables.
Here is to seven more, as needed.