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Tag Archives: medical marijuana

The Pros and Cons of Edibles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edibles were my first choice when I began medicating with marijuana. You will understand why after you read my pro list.  However, there are a few drawbacks.  Today we take a look at both to help you decide if edibles are for you or not.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pros

  1. Discretion:  Unless I announce it, nobody has a clue that the candy or baked good I am eating has cannabis in it.
  2. Easy on the lungs:  Unlike smoking or vaping, you won’t cough up a lung while medicating.
  3. Long lasting: The high from edibles lasts much longer than from smoking or vaping.  The long lasting high is what gifted me with restorative sleep right from the beginning.  With smoking or vaping I would wake up in pain after a few hours, whereas I would sleep through the night, minus a quick potty break, and wake up feeling well rested.
  4. Cost: The price tag on edibles terrified me when I first began looking at dispensary menus.  But after I realized that each product was more than one or two doses, I discovered just how affordable edibles were.  For example, a $12 chew caramel candy that was marked as 4 doses turned out to be 6-8 doses for me.  Another thing I didn’t expect was that I only needed a full dose before bed.  I could get through most days waiting to medicate until evening and when I couldn’t I only needed a small portion of the sixth or eighth that I would need at bedtime.  Last month during my bout of bronchitis I turned back to edibles.  Each night I would eat either a half or whole square from a 12 piece candy bar.  I paid $15 for the bar which at half a piece per night would yield 24 doses.  The only way edibles wouldn’t be cost effective is if you purchase baked goods that will go stale after a day or two.
  5. Easy to micro-dose:  Knowing the dosage of each edible makes it easy to breakdown and know how much you are taking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cons

  1. Storage: First, you want to make sure you keep edibles out of the reach of children.  Secondly, depending on the type of edible you need to make sure that you store your edibles at a temperature that it won’t melt in.  Thirdly, make sure that ants, other insects, or your pets can’t get into your storage container.
  2. Strains: Unlike flower and vape, it is almost impossible to find an edible manufacturer that lists what strain was used.  Some will notate whether they used a hybrid, indica, or sativa, but even that isn’t enough to know exactly what to expect.
  3. Waiting for it to kick in:  Edibles are not my go to form when I need to fall asleep fast.  It can take anywhere from 30-120 minutes to kick in.  This can make it difficult to follow a strict schedule.
  4. Different effect from same product: One piece of candy from the same package doesn’t always end with the same result.  Everything can vary from one bite to the next.  From how long it takes to take effect, how long the high lasts, and the high itself.
  5. Long lasting: While mostly a pro, the long lasting effect can become a con when you need aren’t able to carve out a solid 8 hours of sleep.  I am not talking about 8 hours from the point of consumption, but from the point when your meds take effect.

 

Be smart when first trying a cannabis edible of any kind.  Start with a small dosage, approx. 2-5mgs for first timers.  If you aren’t feeling any effect, wait 90 minutes after consumption before increasing your dosage.  Remember that you cannot overdose from cannabis alone.  With that said, DO NOT take with opioids or other narcotics.  If you are feeling too high, you can try combatting the effect by eating, sleeping it off, or take some CBD.

 

 

 

 

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Cannabis versus Opioids: A Different Kind of Relief

 

 

 

 

Cannabis versus Opioids: A Different Kind of Relief

The pain relief I receive from cannabis varies from the “relief” I received from opioids.  For some this is a deal breaker, for others it opens the door to a new way of living.  Today I will share the difference between how cannabis and opioids relieve my chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, psoriasis, and abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring and how the difference changed how I go about my life.

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.

Was it really relief?

When I was fighting chronic pain with opioids, I defined relief as no longer feeling pain.  With the right combination of anxiety medication, valium, muscle relaxers, and opioids, I was able to reach my definition of pain relief, but it came at a cost.  I could not function on the amount of medication I was taking.  Every day I had to make the choice between being present and functioning for my family or relieving chronic pain.  I want to say that I was tough and chose my family over my chronic pain, but I didn’t…… Truth was that I couldn’t!! My daily pain level was so intense that I couldn’t function without my cocktail of meds either. Each pill came with a handful of side effects that created a need for more medication.  Opioids were the cause of my frequent and painful urinary tract infections.  The money spent on emergency room visits due to new pains and complications from my medications killed my bank account.  I feared life without my meds.  I feared the how much worse my pain would be if I wasn’t able to have opioids in my system 24/7.  Even worse, I feared the pain that I would experience when they wore off.  Pharmaceutical pain medication at its best masked my pain and at its worst made me sicker than I really was.

The ZZZZZ factor

One of the problems I had with opioids is that they made me hyper.  They didn’t knock me out or make me sleepy, instead because they masked pain so well, I felt like I was super woman.  Instead of allowing my body to rest or heal, I would clean the house or do yardwork.  The problem with this was that my pain sources weren’t being addressed and although I couldn’t feel the pain increasing while medicated, I surely felt it once my meds wore off.  The aftermath also prevented sleep because I was in too much pain. My only choice was to pop more pills to numb that pain.  Unfortunately that only created more problems.  The first difference I noticed between treating pain with opioids and cannabis is that with marijuana I was able to sleep.  And I am not talking about a short nap or what I used to refer to as my opioid pain comas (medicating to the point of sleeping for days with only short intervals of being awake/alert), I am talking about getting a solid 7-10 hours of sleep per night! For the first time in my chronic life I was actually reaching levels of restorative sleep and wow, what a difference getting a good night’s sleep makes!!!! Sleeping like I should have also reduced how often I needed daytime naps.

Fully aware of pain sources

When I was treating pain with prescription narcotics I couldn’t tell you where my pain sources were.  Without pain meds my entire body, every inch, inside and out was screaming for relief.  With opioids I felt nothing. Cannabis not only made me aware of where my pain sources were, but what movements or activities would aggravate them.  Marijuana does not mask my pain, but it does provide relief.  As my medical marijuana kicks in, all my reactionary pain subsides and I am fully aware of my pain sources.  Instead of numbing my body, cannabis takes the pain from my sources and reduces it to a tingling sensation.  The perk of being able to recognize exactly where my pain is stemming from gives me the knowledge I need to make better self-care choices.

A guiding light

Cannabis guides me.  It shows me where my pain is coming from and helps me prevent it from worsening.  When medicated I can feel by whether the tingling sensation gets more intense or not if what I am doing is contributing to my pain level.  Between getting the sleep and relief I needed each night, I only had to micro-dose occasionally during the day.  To this day I rarely medicate during the day unless I have pushed too far.  Typically since I began medicating with cannabis 6 six years ago, I do so in the evenings only.  Not waking up totally inflamed made it easier for me to recognize which of my daily activities were increasing my pain and causing more damage to my body.  This prompted me to make changes to my life by changing my expectations, modifying how I did things, and discovering new ways of living a good life despite my chronic illnesses.

No longer living for a pill

Before cannabis, CBD, and PEMF therapy, pain and the pills I took to mask it ruled my life.  I only made plans if I knew I had enough pills to get through them.  If I planned something that didn’t allow me to medicate until I returned home I would spend my entire time out wishing I was at home.  I needed pills to function, but functioning led to increasing my pain, and then being sentenced to bed for weeks or months because my body couldn’t go on.  With cannabis I no longer worry about being out without it.  I know that whatever I put myself through that day, I will be able to undo it that evening.  This is something that would have never occurred with pharmaceutical pain meds.  As long as I was masking pain and unable to recognize exact pain sources and what made them worse or better, I would have never made any changes to how I lived.  Cannabis made those changes visible and possible, which in turn gifted me a life that I love.

Masking pain is not pain relief, it does not improve the quality of your life.  If you feel worse after your meds wear off, then your pain management plan is not working! My advice to someone who is new to cannabis or only tried it a few times is to commit to it and be open to making changes. Whether you start with CBD only or with THC, make it a regular part of your life.  With both, I only noticed significant changes after extended periods of time.  In regards to the pain in my feet, twelve years of opioids did nothing and I ended up not being able to walk or stand for more than five minutes.  After cannabis, it took several years before I could walk any distance without excruciating pain, but it happened!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cannabis for chronic pain: Let’s talk dosage

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article is part of an ongoing series. Click here to read entire series.

So far we have dispelled some myths like the only way to medicate with cannabis is to smoke it.  I have shared a legal way to try cannabis.  Last week we discussed 4 popular ways to medicate with marijuana and today and we are going to talk about one of the most confusing aspects to someone who is knew to medicating with cannabis, how to figure out dosages.

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.

Finding an ideal dosage is difficult, even for those who aren’t new to medical marijuana. There are several reasons for this like; there are many different strains, one method may hit your system harder than another, and other personal factors like if you ate before medicating, how sleepy you are, etc. While I have learned to expect a similar experience when using one strain night after night in the same manner, there will be a night where my experience is totally different even though I did everything the same. With that said, the different isn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. Some nights the high takes longer to hit, sometimes the high lasts longer than others, and then there are times when the exact same dosage of another product is nothing like what I have had with others.


I have two examples of products having a different effect. For some time I needed 25-50mgs of the edibles that I had been purchasing to fall asleep and relieve chronic pain from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. Then I tried 10mgs of another brand and holy moly!! That 10mgs hit me harder and faster than 50mgs of the brands I had been taking. Needless to say that became my new medication as I needed less and was able to save money. Most recently I purchased an 200mg chocolate bar that could be broken down into 12 squares at approximately 16.6666mgs per square. That is too much for me, unless I plan on sleeping in the following morning. So I break mine down into half squares at approximately 8.3333mgs per serving. This is still an extremely strong dose for me. Funny thing is I have had other chocolates that were much stronger in dosages and they never hit me like this brand does. To micro dose with this chocolate bar I would have to break each square into eighths. Fourths would be more like a typical dosage for me.


Finding your dosage will  be harder depending on whether or not you want to feel high. If you don’t want to feel high, you will need to micro dose which is to take very small amounts. This is easier to do with edibles and tinctures versus vaping or smoking. With that said, most people advise others to begin with 2mgs. If you are wanting to micro dose, I would try 1mg and increase as needed. Personally I find it easier and most effective to take a larger dose of 5-10mgs at bedtime. This allows me to reach a restorative level of sleep and rarely do I feel the need to medicate during the day and can wait for my nighttime dose. If I do need daytime relief, I have a little CBD and run PEMF treatments before digging into my cannabis stash.

Combined with cannabis, this inflammation fighting device has taken my pain management plan to a new level of awesomeness! Check it our for yourself and if you should decide to give it a try, remember that my discount code DIVA will save you $55.00

Micro dosing with flower isn’t impossible, it just isn’t as easy or convenient to do so. To do so, use a pipe and only put enough to take a hit or two in it. Then wait and see how that effects you before taking more.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you happen to get higher than you are comfortable with, you will not overdose. I will discuss what to do if you get too high in a future post. With that said make sure that you are not consuming a synthetic weed or street weed. Know where your weed was grown! Do not use pharmaceutical pain medication along with it.

 

 

 

 

Remember, start slow and low, no more than 2mgs! Wait, then add more later if necessary.

Now that you know where you can try it, have options on how to consume it, and have an idea how to begin dosing, next week I will explain what to do if you get too high and want to bring it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cannabis for chronic pain: Choosing how to take it

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cannabis for chronic pain: Choosing how to take it

This article is part of an ongoing series. Click here to read entire series.

Now that you have found a legal way to find out if cannabis will help relieve your chronic pain, it is time to figure out which way to consume it. The perk of visiting a state that has legalized recreational marijuana is that you will have access to some amazing products.  Today I am going to cover several different methods of medicating with cannabis and how you decide which form fits your lifestyle, needs, and budget.

Edibles

 

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.

 

Edibles were my first choice when I began combatting chronic pain with cannabis six years ago and there were several reasons for this.  The first being that I didn’t want to smoke around my family.  My daughter was young, I couldn’t risk my husband failing a drug test at work, and my neighbors at the time were not ones who needed to know what I was doing.  Thankfully edibles turned out to be the best thing to start out with.  Unlike the high from vaping or smoking, the high from edibles lasts much longer.  If I smoked a joint before bed, pain would wake up halfway through the night.  The high from an edible can last anywhere from 6-10 hours which provided me the best sleep of my life!  Edibles are also easier to micro-dose with.  It was easy to breakdown an edible and know a close approximation of how much cannabis was in each piece.  Another reason I liked edibles is that they are discreet.  My favorite reason for loving edibles is the cost! When I first began medicating with cannabis, I didn’t have a large budget.  In fact I often only spent $50 a month.  I did this by purchasing edibles that could be broken down easily and that wouldn’t go stale before I finished them.  Cheeba Chews and FlavrX candies are two of my favorite brands. I currently purchased a 200mg candy bar from LaFamilia that is so strong that I only need half of one square at night.  There are 12 squares.  That one bar that I purchased for $15 is going to yield me 24 nights of rest!

My average dose for evening is 5-10mgs. This dosage gifts me with the restorative sleep that I had been without for 13 years.  When I needed to micro-dose during the day I would only take 1-2mgs.  After awhile I rarely needed any to get through the day and was only medicating at night.  The thing to remember with edibles is that while the effect lasts longer than other forms, it also can take longer to take effect.  You may not feel the effect from an edible for up to three hours after consuming it.  This can make it a little tricky to time your nighttime meds.  Even if you take the same amount of the same product every night at the same time, when it hits will never be the same.  Because of this you will want to make sure that you won’t need to drive or do anything of major importance after taking your meds.  They could hit you within 30 minutes or not for several hours.  Generally, if I don’t feel something after an hour, I will have a little more.  If you have never consumed cannabis, I recommend starting at 2-3mgs and work up from there.  While you don’t have to worry about overdosing on cannabis, a lot of first timers are either put off of or become afraid of the high when they consume more than they were ready for.  Take it slow, do it on a regular basis, and overtime you will notice your overall pain level reduced.  The only real con, besides how long it can take to take effect, I can think of with edibles is that outside of sometimes having the choice between a hybrid, sativa, or indica, most edibles don’t share what strain was used.

Flower

One of the perks of smoking is that the high and the relief it brings hits quickly.  If I find myself in need of instant relief, but also want a solid night’s sleep, I take a few hits from my pipe after eating an edible.  Because I stopped needing the all night relief that edibles bring two years ago, I have been trying other forms of consumption.  Some nights I just want to medicate and be done, while other nights I want to savor the smell and flavor of it.  Smoking cannabis is something to be enjoyed and not rushed.  To be honest, I wasn’t able to appreciate the wonder of flower when I first began medicating with it because I was only focused on relieving my pain and falling asleep.

Pros of medicating with flower is that you can pick strains that have qualities that address your needs.  For example you can choose strains that work better for sleep, creativity, nausea, pain, anxiety, etc… Don’t just pick a strain at random and then say that cannabis doesn’t help you.  You may have picked a strain that would NOT help you.  To get the best results you will have to do some research.  My go to sites for strain reviews are Leafly and Weedmaps.  Another pro is that the high hits fast.

Getting and renewing your medical marijuana recommendation in California and New York has never been easier! Californians click here and New Yorkers click here!

There are few cons to medicating with flower.  The smell, everyone will know what you are doing.  The cost, flower, especially quality flower can get quite pricey.  Shop around and find a dispensary that gives the best deals.  Shopping during sales helps to keep my flower budget from growing out of control.  Figuring out your dosage is not as easy with flower, which makes it harder to micro-dose with. Last but not least, you cannot smoke it anywhere you want.  Most places that have legalized it for medicinal and recreational use have made it illegal to smoke in vehicles or in public places.

 

 

 

Vape

Each combo pack includes case, CBD cartridge, batter, and charger.
Click here to order yours today!

 

Vaping has quickly become one of my preferred ways to medicate with cannabis.  As for as anyone watching all they will assume is that I am vaping nicotine.  Vaping does produce vapor when exhaling, most do not have the odor that flower does.  Most cartridges come with a 510 thread that will fit most battery pens.  Pictured to the left is my combo pack from Bio CBD+.  The battery pen also works with the THC cartridges that I purchase from my dispensary.

Just like with smoking flower, the high and relief hits quickly, often within 5-15 minutes.  While there are nights when I take anywhere from 6-8 hits from my pen, there are some where I only need two or three.  Start slow.  Try two hits, then wait a good 20-30 minutes before taking another hit.  I love vaping and will be ordering an herb vaporizer later this month.  With that I will be able to vape flower and then later use the dried herb to make my own cannabutter.  Talk about pulling double duty and saving money!!!  The only cons I have found with vaping is that not all brands share what strain was used.  That is one of the reasons that I love FlavrX.  Knowing which strain I am purchasing helps me find the ones that best address my symptoms.  BTW Tropical Trainwreck is fantastic from muscle relaxation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tinctures

So you want something discreet, like edibles, but you want something that takes effect quickly like flower…. Tinctures may be for you.  With a tincture you just place a few drops of the liquid under your tongue and voila, you should be feeling better within 15 minutes.

Personally, I haven’t really noticed how long the effect of tinctures lasts when compared to flower or edibles, mainly because I don’t use them often.  While discreet, it creates a mess in my bag if the cap comes loose, not to mention expensive over the contents that spills out.  Most tinctures also taste terrible! I prefer using tinctures for toothaches or to quickly medicate in bed if I wake up to pain that won’t let me fall back to sleep.  Tinctures are fairly easy to micro-dose with and unless you are holding a billboard, no one will know that you are medicating.

While there are other ways to medicate with cannabis, these are the top 4 that you should consider for your test run.  Just remember that if you are traveling to try cannabis, don’t go crazy purchasing a bunch of products.  It is federally illegal to possess cannabis and cross any of the United State’s borders, this includes state borders.  You can not visit, purchase, and try cannabis in California and return to Arizona with the remainder of your stash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to legally try cannabis for chronic pain

Where to legally try cannabis for chronic pain

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have received many inquiries lately from people who want to see if cannabis could help relieve their chronic pain, but they either don’t live where medical marijuana is legal or it is legal for medicinal use where they live, but they don’t want to sink a fortune into entering their state’s program only to discover it doesn’t help them.  Today I am going to share a legal and safe way to find out if adding cannabis to your pain management plan is for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best and most legal option is to plan an extended visit (at least a week) to a state or country that has legalized cannabis for recreational purposes.  I say most legal, because in the United States, it is illegal to be in possession of or to consume marijuana on a Federal level.  Before you say, hey I can’t afford a vacation, think about this…. A. It is not a vacation, it is a mission to find out if cannabis will improve your chronic pain.  B. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Save money by reaching out to friends and relatives that live in those areas and ask to stay with them.  C. Think of it as an investment. You either find out that it doesn’t work and you are out that money or it does help and you recoup that money with a better life once you begin at home.  We’ll talk more later about how to make the trip more cost effective, but for now let’s figure out where to go!

Here is a list of the states and countries that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes as of the publication of this post:

Alaska

California

Colorado

Maine

Massachusetts

Michigan

Nevada

Oregon

Washington

Northern Mariana Islands

Canada (Click here to learn more about Canada’s cannabis laws)

While recreational use is legal in the District of Columbia and Vermont, neither allows it to be sold so I would not consider either as options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When considering where to go, keep a couple of things in mind.  If you don’t do well in cold climates, don’t visit Alaska or Michigan in the winter.  If extreme summer heat, we’re talking triple digits, increases your pain, don’t book a trip to Vegas during the summer.  Another thing to consider is, who do you know there? Do you have friends or family that are cannabis connoisseurs? Going into a dispensary for the first time can be an intimidating experience when you are new it.  Not only can they accompany you, they can also help you choose products.

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways for my Facebook groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you have chosen your destination, you need to figure out where you are going to stay. The most affordable would be to stay with friends or family.  Just make sure that they know why you are visiting and what you are planning on doing while there.  Not everyone wants cannabis in their homes. Don’t be a douche, respect your hosts and if they are cannabis connoisseurs be sure to share!  Another perk of staying with someone who partakes regularly, they can help you not freak out when the high hits and help you decrease the high if you try too much.

My second suggestion is to book an Airbnb that allows smoking, if you are choosing to try it in that manner, or book through a cannabis tour service. Note that Airbnb does not have a policy against the possession or consumption of cannabis.

Here are a few cannabis lodging services/tours to help you on your mission.

Bud & Breakfast

My 420 Tours

TravelTHC

Have a cannabis travel business and would like to be listed in this post? Email The Disabled Diva to ask how at admin@thedisableddiva.net

Your last and least favorable option if you are planning on smoking would be a hotel/motel.  Most have no smoking rules and most state recreational cannabis laws prohibit smoking cannabis in public places such as a smoking area.   Anyways, there are other ways to try cannabis that doesn’t include smoking…. and I will cover that next week along with how to find the products you want to try.

One last thing to think about….. If you are traveling to try cannabis, do not purchase more than you think you will consume while there.  It is federally illegal to transport cannabis over state/country borders.  This includes all modes of transportation, including air.

California medical marijuana patients!! Although any resident can purchase cannabis for recreational use, having your medical recommendation allows for you to have access to stronger meds, to possess more, and o spend less than those who are purchasing for recreational use. Click here to get your California rec online today! New and renewals! New Yorkers, renewals and new certifications, click here to get yours online today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cannabis is the devil’s lettuce and other reasons people give for not trying it for chronic pain relief

cannabis is the devil's lettuce instagram

It is hard to believe that in this day and age where cannabis has been legalized not just for medicinal use, but in several states for recreational usage too, there are still people dead set against trying it to reduce chronic pain.  Yet every day I hear someone say that they would never try it and below are some of the excuses they give.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

It’s the devil’s lettuce!

Some people believe that marijuana is the work of the devil.  If you believe in the devil, it only makes sense that you believe in God too.  If that is the case, you believe that God created the earth and all that was put on it, including marijuana.  So why wouldn’t you want a natural medication created by the person who created you?  Cannabis won’t make people join in orgies or practice witchcraft.  People who want to do those things will do it with or without it.

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People lose their minds

Some people believe that cannabis will make people do things that they shouldn’t like steal, rape, go on killing sprees, etc. They believe that it will alter and twist the mind of the person smoking it. That they will become evil, twisted, or lose their minds. Truth is millions of crimes are committed by people who have never touched cannabis. Does it have a psychoactive effect? Yes, but so does opioids and alcohol which 99% and of the people who tell me that they are against cannabis are totally okay with.  Cannabis actually brought clarity back into my life.  The physical pain I experienced from my chronic illnesses prior to medicating with cannabis, took over my mind.  I couldn’t think straight.  It would take hours to read and comprehend a few sentences or paragraphs.  I not only struggled with verbally expressing myself, I could barely write out my thoughts.  Yet, soon after I began medicating with marijuana my mind cleared, I could concentrate on what I was reading, comprehend what I had read, and most importantly my ability to express myself both verbally and through writing returned.  Opioids never had that effect.

Stoners are lazy

Some folks assume that people who use cannabis for recreational and/or medicinal purposes will become lazy.  Could someone abuse it and lose their job, home, spouse, etc.? Sure, but so could anyone who never touched marijuana.  The stoners in my circle are some of the most productive, active, and successful people you will ever meet.  They are creative and focused.  I don’t have the time to name the amount of people who have never touched cannabis yet are lazy, have no goals, and lack or have no desire to learn and/or develop their talents and skills.  Before medicating with cannabis I forced myself to leave the house to do something fun with my family a few times a year.  I would spend the months in between recovering.  After I began medicating I was able to start leaving the house several times a month, then every week, to now where I am busy every day of my life. Before cannabis I was in too much pain to do anything, now I am too busy to do everything that I want.

People will judge me

Honey, I have got news for you, people are always going to find a reason to judge you.  Do you allow what others think dictate how you treat your illnesses?  If so, why?  You have the right to medicate and treat your illnesses however you choose.  It is your body and your life.  Don’t let someone else’s closed mind keep you from doing what you want.  Last year a reader sent me a message saying how much cannabis had helped with her pain, but she had to stop using it because her family didn’t approve.  Seriously!!!!??!!!  She was denying herself from the pain relief that she knew was possible all because of what people who didn’t live with her pain thought about it??!!   You don’t have to proclaim yourself a stoner, there isn’t a club that you must pledge an oath to, nor will you have to wear a sign! Nobody has to know! Do you tell all of your family and friends about every medication you take, which includes Tylenol or allergy pills? If I didn’t blog about it, most of the people in my life wouldn’t have a clue that I medicate with cannabis.

I smoked a joint and it did nothing for me

You can’t judge whether or not cannabis will help with your chronic pain.  Unlike opioids, marijuana doesn’t mask pain.  The relief I have experienced has increased through the years, yet how much cannabis I need for pain management has decreased.  Another thing to consider is did you research and try a strain that is suited to your needs?  Every strain is different.  I am always researching strains to see what may be a good match for whatever symptom is bothering me the most.  Not everything that says it is good for a particular symptom is a match for me, it takes time to find a strain that performs the way I want it to.
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I don’t want to get high

 It is possible to medicate with cannabis and not get high.  Some people achieve an acceptable level of pain relief from CBD (one of the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant that doesn’t have a psychoactive effect), but as I have personally experienced, the addition of THC (a psychoactive cannabinoid) is what works best.  However, even with THC I was able to medicate and relieve my pain without getting high by micro-dosing.  Micro-dosing is consuming cannabis in small doses.  In fact I tell people to begin with micro-dosing so that they don’t get so high on their first try that they end up never wanting to  try it again.

I refuse to smoke

Well good for you…… Sorry to be rude, but this comment comes from people who have not taken the time to educate themselves about medicating with cannabis.  You can consume marijuana in various ways.  Cannabis is available in edible forms like candy, baked goods, butter, and beverages.  Tinctures are also great for micro-dosing as you just put a drop or two under your tongue.  Gel pills are also an option, but are hard to find in low dosages.  It is possible to medicate with cannabis and never smoke a day in your life.
This is just a handful of the excuses that people shared with me.  Have you tried it? If not, why?  If it because it has not been legalized in your area, I get it. I too once lived in a state where medicating with cannabis was not a legal option.  However, after experiencing so many improvements in the past 6 years, I suggest doing whatever it takes to get it.  I am not suggesting that you break the law, instead I am saying that if I didn’t live where it was legal, I would move or contact groups in my state/country that are actively working to get it legalized and join their efforts.
Is cannabis for everyone? No, but people need to stop saying that they have tried everything or that opioids are the only thing they can take for their pain without giving cannabis a chance.
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Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

*I am not a medical professional.  Statements in this article are my opinions and experiences, not medical advice. This article contains affiliate links,  meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you click thru, sign up, or purchase a product/service through some of my links. 

Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

mmjandfibro

 

If you are anything like I was before I began medicating with marijuana, you don’t have a lot of experience, if any, when it comes to using cannabis for medical purposes.  For the first seven years of my life with fibromyalgia, cannabis wasn’t legal to use in the state that I lived in. Then I moved to California where marijuana had been legal for medicinal purposes since 1996. Even though it was legal, I resisted trying it for two years.  It wasn’t because I was against it or didn’t want to try it, it was my lack of knowledge that held me back.  I was clueless about the various methods of medicating with it, what strains to look for, how much to take, etc.  What held me back the most was the fear of how much it was going to cost.  Today I am going to share how cannabis made life with fibromyalgia livable, different ways to use it, and how to save money while using it.

How does cannabis relieve my chronic pain from fibromyalgia?

I had been failing to reduce the pain and symptoms from fibromyalgia for almost 10 years by the time I chose to medicate with marijuana.  During those ten years my doctors had prescribed muscle relaxers, opioids, anxiety medication, antidepressants, and valium (this was for sleep as every prescription sleep aid had failed to make me sleep) to, in their words, treat my symptoms. Oh and let’s not forget Lyrica which was supposed to reduce nerve pain, but instead increased it.  The problem is that not one of those pills treated a darn thing.  Most did nothing.  Some provided a smidgen of relief and occasionally something would mask the pain, but nothing was being treated.  With cannabis I was finally treating my symptoms, which made it possible to start living again.  Here is how cannabis has helped me with some of my symptoms in the past six years.

Insomnia:  Before cannabis I either couldn’t sleep for more than 20-60 minutes at a time or I fell into a sleep coma (fatigue so severe that it is impossible to stay awake) for days at a time.  From my first dose of medical marijuana I have been sleeping like I should.  I sleep every night and as the years have passed my need for daily naps has decreased drastically.  Yes, I still have an occasional sleepless night, but pain is no longer my reason for not sleeping.  Pain no longer wakes me up in the middle of the night, nor do I wake up feeling like I have been hit by a bus!

Fatigue: Experiencing a proper restorative sleep each night decreased my daytime fatigue.  In addition I was no longer waking up with a prescription pill induced hangover.  Instead of waking up feeling groggy I began waking up with a clear mind, minimal pain, and with excitement about what I might do that day.  Six years later and I no longer need daily naps.  Sure I take a few naps throughout the week, but taking one or two naps daily is no longer my norm.

Pain: Cannabis relieves and decreases muscle, joint, and nerve pain.  It also serves as my muscle relaxer.  It does this by reducing inflammation.  Another way cannabis helps me reduce pain is that it doesn’t mask my pain like opioids did.  With a high enough dose of opioids I felt like I could do anything and I did! The problem with that was that my body was not getting the rest it needed and what I was doing was making the problem worse.  With marijuana I experience a decrease in my overall pain level.  It eliminates my reactionary pain and reduces my pain sources to a tingling sensation.  This sensation has made it possible for me to feel and acknowledge where my pain sources really are.  With this knowledge I am aware of when I am aggravating them or causing another issue.  Before cannabis, my pain was widespread, I had no idea where the sources were.  Now I know exactly what areas I need to pay special attention to or what precautions need to be taken.

Brain fog: Some may find this funny, as they may assume that medicating with cannabis means being high.  However, that is not always the case.  You see, it is possible to medicate with marijuana without getting high by micro dosing or using CBD only products.  Before cannabis I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  Forget watching a movie or reading a book.  Now I not only can watch and read whatever I want, I am also able to comprehend what I absorb.  I can hear what people are saying.  I no longer avoid conversations.

Depression and anxiety: For close to a decade I was told that anxiety and depression were to blame for my pain….. However, I knew that the truth was that pain was to blame for my depression  and anxiety.  And for the most part I was right! Experiencing less pain and becoming more in tune with my body gave me the ability and insight to live a better life.  I was able to focus on areas of my life that were also creating emotionally challenging situations and could finally find joy in my life.  I still battle my demons, but they are no longer controlling my life.

mmj summit

You don’t have to smoke it unless you want to

The first objection most give me when considering medicating with cannabis is that they don’t want to smoke it.  Well, unless your state’s medical marijuana laws dictate that smoking is the only legal way to medicate with it, your options are plentiful.  You may choose to use edibles, tinctures (an oil that you place under your tongue), or topical oils.  You can use a vaporizer or pipe if you don’t want to smoke a joint. Some people can’t stand the taste of cannabis and prefer to take it capsule form.  Check out the menus on WeedMaps or Leafly to see what your local dispensaries have to offer.

cannabis

What strains are best for fibromyalgia?

According to patient reviews on Leafly these are the best strains to combat symptoms and pain from fibromyalgia: Blue Dream, Harlequin, Cannatonic, Critical Mass, Tahoe OG, Granddaddy Purple, GSC (f.k.a Girl Scout Cookies), Blueberry, Bubba Kush, and Headband.  Click here to learn more about these strains and how they help with fibromyalgia.  Finding your perfect strain may take some experimenting.  I also find that I need different strains depending on the season, my activity level, and other factors. No matter which strain you try first, remember this important tip: start slow!! You will be surprised by how little cannabis is really needed to achieve your desired results.

How to get your recommendation and purchase meds without going broke

If medical marijuana is legal in your state you will need to obtain a recommendation or certification.  Your primary doctor or disease specialist will most likely NOT be the one who prescribes cannabis for your chronic illness.  You will need to search online or look on WeedMaps or Leafly to find a marijuana recommending doctor near you.  The cost of seeing this doctor and to receive your recommendation/certification is NOT covered by insurance (nor do we want it to be, but we will discuss that another day).

Another way to save money is to figure out which form and or strain you need the least amount of.  Don’t always assume that the dosage noted on the package is the least amount recommended.  Example, a 100mg pack of candy from FlavX is broken up into ten 10mg doses.  However, because of the strength of their product I only needed half and each bag provided 20 nightly doses.  I would get 6-8 doses out of a quad dose Cheeba Chew.

Where to get or renew your recommendation:

Arizona: Affordable Evaluations of Arizona. The most affordable option in the entire state, offices statewide, and a caring staff that cares about its patients.  Click here to make an appointment.

California: NuggMD. With this online service there is no need to put your body through the pain of leaving the house to get or renew your recommendation.  Both new recs and renewals are only $39.  Schedule your online doctor appointment today and after you are approved you can order meds online and have them delivered to your home!  Click here to get your California MMJ rec right now! BTW, if you were wondering if a medical marijuana recommendation is worth getting since recreational is now legal in the state of California, the answer is YES.  When visiting state licensed dispensaries medical patients are exempt from sales taxes, don’t have to wait until they are 21 (18+ may get their medical recommendation), and have access to more variety and stronger medications than recreational consumers.  Get your CA rec today!

New York: NuggMD. Again this online service will save you from having to go out, find a ride or drive, deal with traffic, and endure pain when you’re already feeling like crap.  The cost of getting or renewing a New York recommendation is $149.   Click here for your new patient or recommendation renewal.

Would you like your recommending service listed here?  Shoot an email to The Disabled Diva at admin@thedisableddiva.net to inquire about options available. 

 

 

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