DISCLAIMER: This post is about Cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is illegal in many states. Please be aware of this if you choose to use cannabis as a treatment option. Also, be aware that I am simply passing this information on as it relates to my recovery from RA. I definitely am not an expert at all things cannabis. But, this information needs to be available to those that are sick and dying while our healthcare system simply sits by and watches.Also note that I will continue adding information to this post for some time. So, check back now and again for any updates.
Let’s talk about Cannabis
Ok. Let’s talk. This is a sensitive subject and what you read here, might surprise you. So, have a seat. Right there is fine. Ok, perfect! I want you to be comfortable, because this is really, really important. Before we talk, I want you to relax and open your mind and then take a big breath. Because, you are about to learn that something that has been criminalized, demonized and voraciously blocked from use by the public, is actually medicine. A gentle, effective medicine that can bring you back to a state of health and happiness, without the horrible side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
More States allow for Medical Marijuana
You’ve seen the headlines, another state implements a medical marijuana program. And, you’re intrigued, but not convinced. It has to be bogus! We’ve been well taught that marijuana (I’ll call it a more respectful name, Cannabis) is an addictive, gateway drug that causes you to drop out of school and permanently reside on your parent’s couch with a never ending bag of Cheetos.
Well, what can I say? There are several reasons why cannabis has been prohibited, but I would argue that none of those reasons have anything to do with your safety or health. You see, cannabis is like the Swiss Army Knife of plants. When grown as hemp, it can make paper without devastating a rain forest. It can make clothing, rope and be eaten as food. It can even be used as safe insulation for housing that is pest and mold resistant. Yet, even though hemp does not get you high, it has been banned for more than 70 years.
When grown as cannabis (Marijuana), it can be used as medicine. Yes, you heard me right, medicine. Yes, Marijuana can actually be good for you! I know, right now you are thinking that this could not possibly be true. You are thinking that people just say it’s medicine so that they can get high, right? Well, that is exactly what the makers of pharmaceutical drugs and other items that cannabis and hemp can replace, want you to believe.
But doesn’t Marijuana make you stupid?
But wait! My (Brother, sister, uncle, etc) smokes marijuana and they are underachievers that are constantly in trouble with the law! How can this be true? Well, if you ask me, those people would likely be underachievers even if they didn’t smoke marijuana (think about that for a minute). And, if marijuana weren’t illegal, their trouble with the law might actually diminish.
Unfortunately, due to the climate that has surrounded marijuana for decades, you will rarely see or here about the hard working, smart and respected people that use marijuana. Why? Because they know that they could be arrested, fined, imprisoned and barred from having a driver’s license if they are caught. You would be surprised if you knew all of the people around you that use cannabis for one reason or another.
At the time of this writing, there are 30 states that have some kind of medical marijuana program. Many of these programs are too restrictive to be of any real benefit. But, even in those cases, it’s a start. Additionally, 8 states have now approved recreational marijuana. All but four of these states are still in the process of implementing these new systems. But, at least now, as a nation, we are working to right the wrongs and allow americans to treat themselves with this natural medicine.
8 States have voted to allow anyone over the age of 21 to purchase, possess and consume cannabis. Of course, those in the justice system continue to say that cannabis is bad for people and bad for society. And yet, the evidence, from people just like me that have successfully used cannabis to recover from serious disease, paints a completely different picture. The good news is that people are no longer buying into the anti-marijuana rhetoric. Nationwide polls say that the majority of americans believe that marijuana should be legal, especially when it comes to access for medical reasons.
So, should we be legalizing this marijuana stuff? Well, the short answer for me is, a resounding yes. Marijuana has been proven to be safer than alcohol. You can easily die from consuming too much alcohol in a single sitting. Alcohol has been proven to cause liver damage as well as numerous other medical issues. And, although there may be some benefit to a daily glass of wine, you won’t find any anecdotal stories about how budweiser cured someone’s cancer or successfully treated their Fibromyalgia. And yet, we can buy alcohol on every street corner. And, I’ll just say that even though I know that alcohol has the potential to harm me, I would be amiss if I weren’t allowed to drink my occasional beer, mixed drink or glass of wine.
As an adult, I know that I must be reasonable with my alcohol intake. And, despite the fact that the government does not block my access to it, I’m still alive and well even though there is alcohol in my refrigerator right this moment. Go figure!
Cannabis 101. Let’s start with the basics.
- History as a medicine- Cannabis (non-slang term for Marijuana) has seen documented use as a curative agent for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Before cannabis prohibition, doctors prescribed cannabis for a myriad of illnesses. William Shakespeare, Queen Victoria (menstrual pain) and even John F. Kennedy (Back Pain) all used cannabis. In the late 1930’s, cannabis was demonized and made illegal. One of the main reasons given…it made black men look twice at white women. Read more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/harry-anslinger-the-man-behind-the-marijuana-ban/
- Hemp- The non-psychoactive form of cannabis (Hemp) can be used to make a plethora of things like CBD Oil, paper, rope, clothing, food and on and on. Yet…it is illegal. Our country actually imports a large amount of the hemp that is used in the US, from China. Let’s stop importing it and grow it here at home, using our own safety and purity standards.
- Safety profile- There have been no known documented deaths caused directly by cannabis. They say that you would have to ingest the equivalent of 1500 pounds of cannabis in a limited time period to actually die from it, which would be pretty much impossible to do. So, very safe. Now, with that in mind you still should not drive while under the influence of cannabis. Even though it is not quite the same as driving drunk. As a rule, you simply should not do it and you could very well get arrested for operating while intoxicated, just the same as alcohol. Planning your use for times when you know that you won’t need to drive, is the responsible way to approach consumption.
Different types of cannabis
Not all cannabis is the same. There are different (basic) types of cannabis that can literally affect us differently, depending on the make up of a given ‘strain’. There are literally hundreds of strains of cannabis, each having a slightly different effect than the other. One strain might make you sleepy, another might act more like caffeine and make it nearly impossible to sleep. Another might make you more hungry, while another might make you less hungry. Either way, the stoner stereotype, that we most often associate with cannabis, is mostly fallacy because different strains have different effects as do different quantities.
- Sativa- Sativa strains of cannabis tend to be more euphoric and uplifting in nature. Prozac is a poor substitute for what a sativa strain of cannabis does naturally. The euphoric part of marijuana is the part that for some reason legislators feel is inappropriate. Somehow, it’s bad for us to feel happy while we are recovering from horrible illness.
- Indica- Indica strains tend to be more relaxing, promoting sleep and pain relief. Cannabis oil made from Indica strains taken before bed almost completely guarantee a long, restful night’s sleep.
- Hybrids- Hybrid strains are some kind of mix between Sativa and Indica, which gives these strains some effects from both types. In other words, a hybrid might take away the pain, without making you sleepy as an example). Now that we are learning more about the actual science behind the plant, growers are able to breed different hybrids towards a specific medical goal.
Methods of ingesting cannabis
There are many different ways to ingest cannabis. For years it was believed that you could only either smoke cannabis or eat it in Aunt Mary’s ‘magic’ brownies. As with anything, what we know about cannabis and the methods of ingestion have grown immensely.
- Smoking- Of course, everyone knows that you can ingest cannabis by smoking the dried leaf and buds of the plant. Although there is no known connection between the ingestion of cannabis smoke and cancer, I would still think that other methods of ingestion that did not involve taking smoke into your lungs, would be healthier in the long run. That’s just an opinion though.
- Vaping- Vaporizing cannabis seems much healthier and way easier to live with than smoking it. When smoking marijuana, you tend to lose a lot of the products effects in the smoke as it continues to burn, even when not inhaling. It is said that vaporizing is much more efficient as there is no loss to smoke. Vaporizing also uses the material much more efficiently and, I think, you get way more for your money. Plus, with almost no smell at all, vaporizing, in most cases, can be done inside with virtually no residual odor and no odor left on your clothing or hands. So, much the same effect, without the lingering smell.
- Cannabis oil- Although cannabis oil (Otherwise known as Rick Simpson Oil RSO or Full extract Cannabis Oil FECO) can potentially be smoked or vaped, the real medicinal value seems to be in simply ingestion by mouth. Cannabis oil is typically a thicker, dark colored paste-like oil that you simply put in your mouth (or mix with food) and swallow. Unlike smoking or vaping, it can take as long as 3 hours before you notice the effects of cannabis oil. Many use an indica based oil and take it an hour or two before bed and never really notice anything other than the need to go to sleep. When taken overnight, in the right amounts, there will likely be no residual effects come morning. Occasionally, if you push the amounts to a little more than you normally take, you can feel a ‘little’ hangover effect in the morning, which is normally alleviated with a little caffeine. But overall, the oil is gentle, forgiving and effective at treating many, many illnesses.
- Obtaining the oil- Cannabis oil can be purchased pre-made at most dispensaries in states where it is legal. Additionally, you can make your own. In fact, there is a machine called the ‘Magical butter Machine’ that makes the oil for you in about 5 hours.
- Dosing- You do want to make sure that you start by using a very, very small amount of oil and then move to a larger dose gradually. And by a very small amount, I mean like literally a drop of oil that is approximately half the size of a grain of rice. Then, move up the amounts as you are able and see fit. Your body will tell you what is right for you. Do use caution. Although taking too much of the oil will not hurt you, it could make for a really uncomfortable evening where you basically have to go lay down and ride it out for a few hours. If this happens, it is generally NOT a reason to go to the ER. Lay down, close your eyes and wait it out. It will pass.
- Child safety- Please, please keep any and all cannabis products (especially the oil or any edibles) out of the reach of children. Bad press, due to people not treating cannabis with proper respect, can have drastic consequences on the overall public opinion of something that can literally save your life. Be responsible, for everyone’s sake.
- Infused Oils- Different oils like coconut oil and Olive oil, as well as butter can be infused with cannabis which you can consume directly, or you can (carefully) add to almost any recipe. Consuming your cannabis in this fashion will normally give you more of a sleepy, relaxed body feeling as opposed to a euphoric head-type high. this is due, in part, to the fact that cannabis consumed orally passes through the liver first and affects us a little differently because of the way the body processes it. Consuming infused oils can take up to an hour and a half before you feel the effects. So, go ‘Low and Slow’ as they say and make sure that you wait 90 minutes before you decide that you need to take more so that you can be sure that what you have taken is completely in effect.
- Infused edibles- Edibles that contain cannabis are another method of ingestion. Some people prefer this method to other methods, for ease of use. The same ‘Low and Slow’ warning applies to ANY type of edible.
- CBD Oil- CBD (cannabidiol) is present in most strains of cannabis to some degree, but is normally present in very small amounts. However, some strains (like ‘Wife’ and ‘Cannatonic’ contain much higher levels of CBD. According to all the latest research, CBD Oil is one of the most important chemical attributes that cannabis can have as it is well known to help with seizures, as well as a myriad of other severe ailments. However, a lot of research shows that CBD works better in concert with THC. In other words, CBD Alone might be less effective than CBD combined with at least some THC.
What kind of illnesses can Cannabis oil possibly treat?
There are numerous testimonials available on the internet where people have touted its use for a plethora of diseases and ailments. So, I will list, what I think, are great candidates for treatment via cannabis oil. But, please don’t for a second think that if your disease is not listed that it won’t work to help treat it.
Other diseases that can potentially benefit from cannabis, cannabis oil or CBD heavy oil
(Again, not meant to be a complete list. Just meant to give you an idea)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (or Rheumatoid disease in general)
- Chronic fatigue
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Many, if not all types of Cancer, including brain cancer.
- Gulf war illness
- Psychiatric disorders like ADD/ADHD/Autism/Bipolar/depression/schizophrenia
- Lyme Disease
- Bacterial infections
- And many, many more.
Don’t take my word for it, read more here:
I’ll add more links to this list in the near future.