Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Let's Talk About Medical Marijuana

Let's just start here and get this out of the way...


Now that we have had a good laugh, allow me to explain that this is NOT what medical marijuana is all about.  It's not about getting stoned and losing touch with reality.  It's about relief from symptoms in a natural way that is non addictive and safe. It offers a chance to avoid, wean down, or get off of pharmaceutical medications altogether.  Medicines like opioids - you know the thing that is a huge epidemic crisis in this country.  Medical marijuana is safe and no one has ever needed Narcan because of using marijuana.   

There are many different forms of medical marijuana and many different ways to use it.  In Ohio, the only legal way to use marijuana is edibles, vaping, tinctures, or creams and oils.  You cannot legally just get a bunch of weed, roll a blunt and smoke it up.  Which I think is good.  And the majority of what chronic pain patients are looking for is relief, not a high, so they use products that have a higher CBD to THC ratio. (For more technical information on the differences between CBD and THC please go HERE and read this.) And then there is this handy little chart:


Recently, my cousin Jenn, who also has a great blog about chronic illness, wrote about her experience obtaining her medical marijuana card.  I encourage you to go to her site HERE for the whole post.  Meanwhile, here are some highlights that I think are great to be aware of. And a HUGE thank you to Jenn for writing this post.  It's well done, informative and vitally important to talk about. 

"The waiting room was very clean and quiet. With the exception of a pod cast playing which didn’t bother me one bit. It was not filled with drug crazed lunatics like some government officials think it would be. Just people like me, in pain and so badly want it to stop." "The doc called my name so my hubby and I proceeded to the exam room. Exam room was comfortable and clean. Typical looking exam room. I sat on the couch next to the doctor as we began to talk about my health conditions and fibro. He reviewed my records and test results. The doc and I did talk about different forms available and what he thought would be best for my symptoms."  "All in all I did have a very good experience. I do recommend going there to obtain a recommedation for medical marijuana. Honestly, I was afraid that with medical marijuana recommendation places popping up (just like some pain clinics) that it could be real sketchy. But this place wasn’t like that at all. I was impressed of the cleanliness, ease to make an appointment and the thorough exam." What I am hearing here, is this process is treated like a regular doctor's visit - even much different and better than a pain clinic visit. It's above board. It's not sketchy. It's not a dirty, back alley with some sleazy guy slinging drugs out of a shed or a car. It's professional and it's going to help a lot of people who legitimately need it.
Please take a moment to view this video to learn some of the basics about medical cannabis. This was put together by the Gastrointestinal Society, the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Medical Cannabis Video.  It explains, in layman's terms, how cannabis affects the body and helps various chronic illnesses, and also discusses the downfalls and risks of use - which still cannot compare to the risks and side effects of major pharmaceutical drugs.

Upon researching - A LOT - about cannabis and Crohn's disease, I found this article and the following blurb caught my attention: "Though people who use it often report improvement in pain or easing of diarrhea, there's no objective evidence that marijuana actually reduces the gut inflammation that's at the core of the disease."  I have two things to say about this: 1)  If it improves my pain and eases my diarrhea when nothing else does, why wouldn't I use marijuana?  After fighting for over 23 years, why the hell not?? Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time has had a front row seat to my struggle and failed medication after medication and not being able to get any kind of successful treatment.  2)  There is no "objective evidence" for why I have such pain and diarrhea anyway, so I definitely don't need "objective evidence" to prove to me that marijuana works.  Having chronic pain, no appetite, diarrhea over 12 times a day, major weight loss, and all the rest of my symptoms never even skew a standard blood test, but we all know it isn't normal to live this way and that it isn't healthy. Marijuana eases those symptoms - every single one of them. If medical evidence can't tell me what's wrong, I don't need medical evidence to prove to me that something will fix it, especially when I know it does. 

There you have it folks, my advocacy of medical marijuana.  I will be going for my own appointment soon and am looking forward to what they have to say to me about my specific situation.  I'm also looking forward to finally achieving some relief of my symptoms. I'll keep you posted on the progress.  And please actually click these links, read the articles, watch the video, and most importantly, visit Jenn's blog and read her full post.  

Be well!


No comments: