Jeff, 43

Red Mountain BC
Red Mountain Skiing

Jeff had a major skiing accident.  An avid skier and mountain biker, Jeff took on Red Ski Mountain, BC whenever he had the chance.  In April 2000 he had a bad accident.   During his fall, his belt buckle wedged in to his ribs essentially pushing them in.  Doctors said they had pushed ribs back into place before but had never pulled them out.  So, they left it.  He also found out he had bruising around his heart.  He complained to doctors about the constant pain in his ribs.  They eventually healed but not properly.

Taking months to heal, Jeff got back on his mountain bike and then his skis.  In 2003 he had another skiing accident.  “When my ribs healed all crooked, it ended up throwing my lower back out.”  Jeff’s medical report indicates 2 spinal injuries.

In 2006, one of his best friends breaks his back skiing, Jeff suggests he get a medical cannabis prescription.  His friend does and gets set up with his own home grow.  A year later, he recommends Jeff get his for his back pain.  So Jeff fills out the forms and takes them to his doctor.  His doctor refused to give him a prescription despite the pain he was in.  When Jeff left, he was angry, he decided he would just grow it anyway.

Homegrown

“And I did for years and years until I moved up to Needles after a property dispute.”  Fed up, Jeff and his girlfriend found a nice acreage and set up their own RV site.  They built their home and lived peacefully for about 2 years.  That’s when Jeff met his new Wingnut Neighbor.  Jeff describes his first encounter where he witnessed the neighbor kicking his dog after chasing him in his car for getting out.  Over the next while, the other residents have their own encounters.  Many avoiding Wingnut, finding him nosy and off putting.  Jeff still tried to be neighborly offering him gas to run his generator and the odd doobie.  

busts-picIn February 2016, Jeff watches three cars pull up to his property.  Police.  With assault rifles drawn, they grabbed Jeff and threw him in a cruiser, at this point Jeff says to the officers, “Well, I guess I should have gotten a medical license.”  Even though at that time, in BC,  you couldn’t get a grow licence, you could only get set up with an LP.  They raided him, taking about 60 clones, 30 2 1/2 foot tall plants and three large plants.  They were looking for dry buds “because cops aren’t that educated on cannabis,” Jeff says.  They went through his entire house, through every drawer and even Jeff’s outhouse.  They questioned his girlfriend, Jeff insisted that it was all his, his girlfriend had nothing to do with it.  After a lengthy discussion, the police didn’t want to charge him but had to put it forth to the crown.  They even suggested how he should grow to avoid persecution.  Had he grown just 2 big plants with 2 big lights, they would have just cut it down and walked away.

Jeff was charged in February 2016 with Production and Possession plus a $5000 fine.  Charges against his girlfriend were dropped.

It turned out, they were looking for someone else in his area.  Someone with a large grow and trafficking operation.  Someone Jeff didn’t know.

During the Sheriff’s investigation of this more well known individual, he trespassed on Jeff’s property, found a couple of marijuana leaves in a bucket, but because he was trespassing he claimed instead that he could “smell wet marijuana vegetation” and filed for a warrant, was denied by the first judge but granted by the second.  Jeff’s lawyer was confident he could get his case thrown out, for a mere $18 000.

In the meantime, Jeff learns the Wingnut Neighbor has his own legal issues with unpaid child support and he learns he is the one who tipped off the police in the first place.  Jeff has a verbal altercation with the neighbor at which point the neighbor calls the police and tells them that Jeff is in a biker gang.  “The only bikes I ride are mountain bikes”  Jeff quips.  This begins a lengthy quarrel with this neighbor which even results in several YouTube videos posted by Wingnut against Jeff and the community.

In July 2016, a physical altercation erupted where Jeff was assaulted.  Jeff didn’t hit him back.  Instead Jeff files a complaint against Wingnut.  The police talked him out of pressing charges and didn’t take any witness statements but told him it would be kept on file.  A few days later, another altercation occurs where Jeff was once again assaulted.  Jeff presses charges this time.  The Neighbor claims that Jeff hit him and then Jeff is in turn charged.  He’s automatically put on probation from prior cannabis charges.  The charges were later dropped against Jeff and the charges against The Neighbor are reduced from assault to Fearful Injury.  

The case goes to court and was in the newspapers.

During this, Jeff gets his medical license and permit to grow because of the Allard injunction and Jeff’s Production and Possession charges are reduced to Possession over 30, no production and a $2600 fine.

Jeff can now grow his medicine in peace.  He likes indica strains best, Purple Kush is his personal favorite.  He prefers to smoke cannabis for pain relief in his ribs and back and it helps him to sleep.

On another note, The Wingnut Neighbor is arrested for terrorizing the community with a machete and chainsaw…  his home has since been burnt down, no one knows by who.

Jeff feels like the system failed him initially.  All of this could have been avoided had his doctor signed off on a medical cannabis prescription and grow license.

On Legalization,  Jeff feels like “It’s just another matter of controlling and reaping the benefits of that control.  14 years for selling a gram?  Ridiculous.”

If you use cannabis to treat pain/illness and would like to be featured, leave a comment or contact me through the Contact tab.

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Read Roger’s story from last week…

Sam

 

Images/Further Reading

Red Mountain Ski Hill  http://www.redresort.com/mountain/stats-map/

Homegrow Image  http://www.westword.com/marijuana/colorado-legislature-passes-bill-limiting-homegrow-plant-count-8920519

Cannabis Bust Pic  http://highroulette.com/stoner-blog/big-marijuana-busts-arrests-2012/

Marijuana Laws in Canada  http://www.marijuanalaws.ca/site-map.html

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Roger, 52

Rick Simpson Oil
RSO

Five years ago, Roger had to leave his job as an inter provincial auto technician.  His hip was giving out and causing him a great deal of pain.  He had an unsuccessful hip surgery on one side and it impacted the other side from compensating for the weaker hip.  He had to wait 3 1/2 years for surgery.  Residing in New Brunswick, doctor wait lists and surgical wait times can be lengthy as is often the case in Eastern Canada.

July 2016, Roger had been involved in a dog attack resulting in severe right shoulder damage and nerve damage in his neck.  He is currently waiting on MRI results.

Prior to that, Roger had been involved in a motocross racing accident as a teenager that ended up crushing the bottom vertebrae in his lower spine.  Doctors told him that he could expect to be in a wheelchair by age 40.

“I’m a tough frenchman” Roger chuckles.

Roger managed his pain symptoms with a number of opiates and anxiety medications, “I can’t remember all the names, but they put me on SSRI’s…” he tells me he felt suicidal.  “I wanted to blow my brains out.  So for that reason, I turned to cannabis.”

“I can’t lie, since I’ve been young, I’ve preferred smoking cannabis over drinking but it wasn’t until 4 years ago that I started reading about the properties of cannabis and the pain management possibilities.”  Roger’s father had just passed away from cancer.  “Three months from diagnosis to death.”  Roger spent every day he could with him vowing to find an answer.  He discovered cannabis oils in regards to cancer treatment .  The results exceeded his expectations in regards to pain relief.  “I didn’t think ingesting oil would work as well as it did.  The first time I ran out, within 3 months my hip and back were both really bad.  However, within a few weeks of ingesting oil, I was able to do things again without a lot of hindrance.”  Sometimes not even noticing the relief he was getting until he was doing things he couldn’t do previously.

Roger now grows his own medicine.  He blends his own oils and makes cookies and infuses foods with it.  He prefers indica for the relaxed state of mind it gives him.  It also helps him sleep and relieves his anxiety, overall giving him a better quality of life.

Homegrown Medical Cannabis
Medical Cannabis

Now Roger focuses his talents and knowledge on developing a high THC high CBD strain to help people who need it.  It’s important to note, he doesn’t charge anyone.  “I’m not a rich man but I am a man of values and helping the sick is high on my list of priorities.”

“I’ve developed a strain that produces roughly 25% THC and 10% CBD.  It’s my go to strain for pain.”  Roger makes oil with this strain, which he calls Sheeba.  He says he has given it to 3 different people who were diagnosed with cancer.  “The best result was a brain tumor that shrunk by 75% within 3 months.  The doctor claimed the chemo pills were working, when in actuality, the patient never took them and only consumed the  cannabis oil.  He was given 3 months to live… 2 years ago.”

Homegrown Sheeba
Roger’s Sheeba

Roger does not use opiates or prescription anxiety medication anymore.

I asked Roger if he had any advice for people looking in to medical cannabis.  His answer, “Don’t look back.”

When asked about the impending Legalization, Roger said it’s a sticky situation.

“Its not going to be legalization so much as a monopoly run by a very organized cartel.  I agree with recreational use, but we cant combine medical and recreational, they are (altogether) different.”

He adds, (From a Facebook post)

“There are people that have had serious issues with pain management and a few other medical issues that have made them make the decision to either use opiates, or anxiety medication, what have you, (then they) try cannabis to control it.  I’m one of them.  After years of using pharmaceutical medications, I decided to try to help my body by going natural, and for me it works by ingesting the oil.  Then there are people trying to ride the medical train to just get high for recreation, don’t get me wrong, I get it, but it is wrong to flog the system.  To be fair about it why can’t people wait for the recreational to be legal?  It’s not like those people would do anything different anyway, so go get your weed and smoke it like you always have.  It makes me wonder about the dispensary doctors giving medical cards to anyone that has a $100, without medical documentation regarding their health problems.   All it takes is word of mouth to get one (prescription), if nothing else, I have had 3 doctors, not from a dispensary look at my medical conditions, looked at the years of opiates and other medications that haven’t worked and agreed, it is worth trying because of the long term issues I have and will have for the rest of my life, leaving me unable to walk for more than a couple of hours a day and limited use of my arms which is very trying at times.  For those of you who don’t know, I was supposed to be in a wheelchair by age 40, but I’ve battled adversity for a long time.  Being 52 now going on 53, things are getting very noticeable now compared to 10 years ago when I was very able.  Have I been around the “demon weed” most of my life?  Yep.. Did I use it for recreation?  Yep.  Did I enjoy it?  Yep.   But when I started ingesting cannabis oil for pain, I realized something I didn’t know, recreation and medical ARE two different things, and as of late I am seeing the differences between the two, so smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink, but leave my medicine alone.  Many say all use is medicinal, but I beg to differ.

 

If you are using cannabis to manage or treat pain/illness and would like to be featured in our blog, please contact me through Comments or through the Contact Tab.

Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Sam

 

 

Images/ Further Reading

RSO oil image  http://www.kindconcentrates.com/our-products/rick-simpson-oil/

How cannabis oil is changing lives of cancer patients https://www.leafly.ca/news/health/a-drop-at-a-time-how-cannabis-oil-is-changing-lives-of-cancer-pat

Everything you need to know about Rick Simpson oil https://merryjane.com/culture/everything-you-need-to-know-about-rick-simpson-oil

How to make Rick Simpson Oil, Natural cure for cancer https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/01/26/rick-simpsons-hemp-oil-medicine-natural-cure-for-cancer-using-concentrated-cannabis-oil/#how-to-make-rick-simpson-oil

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) Learn about Rick Simpson and how to make RSO https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/01/26/rick-simpsons-hemp-oil-medicine-natural-cure-for-cancer-using-concentrated-cannabis-oil/#how-to-make-rick-simpson-oil

 

Jessica, 44

Small Intestine TumorsThree years ago, Jessica started to not feel well.  She was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and nausea.  A tumor had formed in her small intestine.  It took a while to diagnose and find as tumors rarely grow in the small intestine being that’s it’s predominantly cartilage and it requires Endoscopic ultrasounds and scopes to detect.  The symptoms it causes include weight loss, bleeding if it becomes ulcerated, nausea and possible bowel obstruction.  It took four scopes and surgery and 8 months to locate the tumor and remove it.

During her ordeal, Jessica was finding herself riddled with anxiety and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and Fibromyalgia.  Anti depressants and Ativan were added to her already existing regimen of Morphine and Tramacet (an opioid analgesic combining acetaminophen and Tramadol) prescriptions.

One of the many negative side effects of opiates is stomach and bowel issues.  Jessica was finding herself in even more abdominal pain as the medication swelled her abdomen with painful gas and bloating.  “I looked 9 months pregnant.”  She didn’t want more morphine, it was just compounding the problem.

One day, seeing Jessica in pain and misery, her father (who happened to be recovering from esophageal cancer- stay tuned for his story) and aunt brought her some cannabis to try.

It helped.

Cannabis strains
Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Not only did she find it helped her abdominal pain, she found she could eat and sleep far better and didn’t experience the exhaustion and fatigue she had when she was taking pills.  She approached her doctor who was in support of Jessica using cannabis to treat her bowel pain.  Her husband, also a cannabis user now, supported her fully.  She got her prescription and she was on her way to feeling better.

A pleasant side effect of cannabis for Jessica has been how it’s improved her overall mood and reduced her anxiety.  She happily reports she only takes her antidepressant daily now.  She was able to get off of Ativan, Morphine and Tramacet replacing all 3 medications with simple Sativa strains from an online cannabis dispensary.  “I was using a local compassion care program but it was just too expensive.”  Jessica tells me.

Sativa Strains

Jessica has been smoking cannabis for about three years now.  She’s feeling a lot better, the tumor was removed and was determined to be benign.

“I prefer cannabis because it’s natural and doesn’t have the (awful) side effects or the (ugly) addiction side that many pharmaceuticals have.  It’s consistent and doesn’t make me sleepy”  Jessica says about Sativa dominant strains.

Jessica, her husband and fully grown son all use cannabis for pain and anxiety.  “We love the Leafly app, it breaks down all the strains and how you can expect it to make you feel, it’s really helpful”  

On the impending Legalization, Jessica says “They should leave the (already existing) dispensaries alone.  Most of these people have been around cannabis for a long time, they have experience and extensive knowledge and just a better understanding on how it works.”

“Cannabis is just an amazing substitute for so many drugs out there.”

Jessica currently resides in Russell, Manitoba with her husband and daughter.

Check out other great Patient Stories like Jay-Anne

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness, you can contact me through the comments section or through the contact tab.  I’d love to hear and share your story.

Please subscribe to our mailing list so you never miss an article and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @902HigherLiving.

~Sam

 

Images/Resources

Small IntestineTumors  

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/surgery/general-and-gastrointestinal-surgery/colorectal-and-intestines-disorders/small-intestine-tumors.aspx?sub=4

Strains Guide  https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/04/20/marijuana-strains-guide/

Cannabis Sativa Strains  http://www.marijuanaconnections.com/2010/03/sativa-colorado-marijuana-connection.html

Jay-Anne, 59

ME/CFSJay-Anne was a nurse for 20 years.  When she left in 2006, she was working at the London Psychiatric Hospital.

She had been experiencing widespread pain with no apparent cause.  She started losing strength in her left arm and hands.  She experienced a lot of migraines.  Working at the hospital meant she had to be able to react during code whites and be able to restrain patients if necessary.  With loss of strength and use in her hands and arm, it was no longer safe for her or her co workers.

Eventually, she was diagnosed with ME/CFS/ (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Fibromyalgia, myofascial pain plus an autoimmune thyroid disease.

She was put on thyroid medication and Lyrica initially.  Jay-Anne says Lyrica gave her too many side effects so they switched her to Cymbalta.  Five years ago she decided on her own to try medical cannabis because she figured if it could help someone suffering from cancer with their pain, it might help her with her own.

“I just needed to sleep well through the night.”

Jay-Anne was also prescribed a pain medication, a mild opioid, and visits a pain clinic once a week for trigger point injections.  Every 6 weeks, she has Lidocaine infusions.

“Cannabis works the best.  I have IBS also and it’s very helpful with that pain and especially for sleep.”  She adds.

Girl Scout Cookies CannabitJay-Anne says she prefers to vaporize her cannabis or consume it in edibles.  She finds Indica strains to be the best for pain and sleep.  Some of her favorites include Girl Scout Cookies or Kush strains for the evening.  During the daytime she prefers high CBD lower THC Sativa strains to give her energy, focus and pain relief.

“I use an edible at night and it lasts for a full 8 hours or more.”  Jay-Anne says she mainly uses edibles in the evening for the long lasting effects.  She says she gets a small banana loaf for about $40 at a discreet local dispensary in London Ontario and that lasts her a week, only consuming about 1/6 of the loaf at bedtime.

Cannabis Banana Bread
See Below for Recipe

Jay-Anne tells me that cannabis helps keep her pain in check, it helps her get more restful sleep at night and with her other medications and injections, it makes her day to day outlook much more positive.

She has been registered with a few different LPs but found says she found problems with consistency and quality.  “Their stuff sucks and smells like chemicals.”  Jay-Anne emphasizes.

She grew her own, with success.  Then they were stolen.  She now relies on compassionate care, and her local dispensary.

“It’s a ridiculous old wive’s tale that cannabis is a scary drug.  I know now that the world would be better off if more people used cannabis than alcohol.  I was an addiction counselor at one time so I know.”

On the impending Legalization, Jay-Anne says although she wanted it, she’s concerned about the pricing, taxing and whether or not it will receive its own DIN# making it covered under medical insurance programs.

“I think it’s a stupid idea for it to be sold in stores (under the liquor store model).  It should only be sold by the people who know most about it.  The locally owned dispensaries and growers.  I will only stick with those who commit to compassionate care, that have the knowledge, and refrain from using pesticides and chemicals.”

Jay-Anne says she believes that as long as the governments keep the prices high, there will be a black market.  “They’re doing it wrong.  They aren’t listening to the experts.”

Jay-Anne currently resides in St. Thomas, Ontario.

 

~If you are using cannabis to treat pain/illness, drop me a line in Comments or the Contact tab.  I’d love to share your story. 

Sam

 

Images

ME/CFS  http://solvecfs.org/what-is-mecfs/

Cannabis banana bread  http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/marijuana-recipes/2012/12/baked-banana-bread

Girl Scout Cookies  http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/nugs/2014/04/girl-scout-cookies-weed-hybrid-1

 

Rona (50s)

KidneysRenal cancer is terminal.  

 

Rona and her husband were wrapping up their 13 year old excavation business when she first got sick.  In 2014 doctors found a tumor in her kidney.  August 2014 one of her kidneys were removed.  She got sick again.  She tells me, she was advised that renal cancer is incurable and can resurface anywhere in the body, in the skin, the bones even the brain.  It’s unpredictable.  This time it showed up in her pancreas.  She qualified for the Whipple Procedure .  I read that only 15% of people diagnosed with cancer in the pancreas qualify for this procedure, it can only be done in the very beginning stages and is for patients whose tumors are located at the head of the pancreas.  It’s essentially a surgical bypass removing the tumor and re sectioning the remaining pancreas.  She had this surgery in 2016.  Then in November, 2016 they found 3 small clusters of tumors on her pancreas.  She has lost about 50% of her pancreas already so they can’t do anything more.  Chemotherapy is a last resort.  Radiation is not an option because it risks destroying what’s left of her pancreas, which would be fatal.

 

Now she’s in the monitoring stage.  The clusters of tumors were about 1.5cm in size, so she begun consuming cannabis oil as a supplement to her prescription medication for her pancreas.  She puts the oil into capsules and says she uses an indica- based oil that’s high in THC and contains about 2% CBD.  This past August, for the first time since Rona’s ordeal began in 2014, her MRI showed no growth in the size of the cluster.  She continued to take the oil.  She takes almost a quarter of a gram at night for maintenance.  Her last MRI showed the cluster had actually shrunk by 3mm.  This was the first time in a year they had changed size at all, and they shrunk.  She admits this doesn’t sound like much but reminds me that they were small to begin with.  She feels the oil is definitely working.  She also tells me this is the best she’s felt physically since 2014.  

stock-photo-cannabis-cannabis-oil-extracts-in-jars-641825092

In the meantime, this past summer she noticed a large lump on her chest just below her collarbone and because of the type of cancer she has, they examined and removed it right away in case it was malignant.  It was.  A few weeks later, it came back again, within a month, it was back to its original size.   She couldn’t see the surgeon for a couple of weeks so she treated it topically with cannabis oil.  She covered the affected area in oil and bandaged it up for 4 days.  She did this twice.  By the time she saw the surgeon, there was nothing there.  No evidence of a tumor.  Her doctor told her that this particular type of skin cancer can come and go, but Rona says “I asked 4 other doctors if this was the case and they said that they had never heard of that happening before.”  She had more tests done on the area and was given the all clear.  No cancer.  She attributes this to the cannabis oil.

 

On the impending Legalization, Rona says “It’s probably going to do more damage than good with all the regulations attached.”  She feels cannabis should simply be decriminalized rather than legalized so it’s not against the law to have it, but you don’t need all these criminal restrictions.  “It’s a medicine, we definitely need it and at least medical patients should still have access to the (existing) dispensaries.  At least medical patients.”  She states “It’s a healing medicine and should be treated as such.  It can help so many people”   She also adds that doctors should be researching it more and that going through all the hassle of trying to get your prescription, renewing it yearly, abiding by the government rules to go with an LP, just to get garbage (sometimes tainted or poor quality) is just sad and needs to change.  

 

Rona lives with her husband in Sissiboo Falls in Weymouth, Nova Scotia.

 

If you are using cannabis to treat illness or injury please contact me through Comments or the Contact tab.

 

Sam

Images

 

Human Kidneys  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Cannabis oil in jars  www.shutterstock.com

Tina, 48

CPRS

Tina was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS).  Pain resulting from 7 car accidents since 1999.  She has permanent nerve damage and limited use of her right arm.  A former employer from one of the National banks, Tina suffers from several sources of pain.  Fibromyalgia, Spinal Stenosis, bursitis in her shoulder,  sciatic nerve pain, herniated discs, and bone spurs.

Some of the medications she was prescribed resulted in permanent kidney damage.  She’s had a couple of surgeries for kidney stones.  After the last surgery in 2012, she sought out alternative medications when she had little to no appetite after being diagnosed with cataracts caused from steroid medication, and from high doses of Morphine in addition to drugs like Percocets, anti inflammatories, Lyrica, Gabapentin, muscle relaxers and even Oxycontin for a while.  She was up to 28 pills a day.

All I did was wake up to take medication then fall right back asleep.”  Tina tells me all she did was sleep.  It affected her relationships, especially with her children.  “My daughter called me a pill junkie when I was simply taking what the doctor prescribed, as it was prescribed.  I didn’t abuse my medications.”

She went cold turkey off of everything.  This is dangerous to do and I strongly urge you to see your doctor before making any drastic changes to your medications.  There can be deadly side effects, like seizures and even death.  Tina was supposed to be hospitalized and monitored closely as she withdrew from all the pharmaceuticals.  She chose to stay at home having someone with her monitor her withdrawl.

She has since begun growing her own medicine.  She uses the whole plant making everything from canna oil, to topical creams and bath bombs infused with cannabis.  She consumes her cannabis capsules throughout the day and then supplements with edibles, shatter and smoking some of her favorite strains.  She sticks to Sativa strains during the day and Indica for the evening.  Her favorites are strains like Holy Grail, Kalashnikova, Lemon OG, Ghost OG and Hawaiian Hash Plant.  “I strive to ingest about 1800 mg a day.”  Tina tells me that she begins her day with capsules, has an edible or 2 at lunchtime, a couple more capsules and has a joint before bed.  She takes her oil caps every 5-6 hours.  She ensures almost everything she eats contains cannabis, even in beverages, like hot chocolate.  If she needs to, she’ll supplement with some shatter but she admits, shatter lasts her a long time.  She has even experimented with micro-dosing psilocybin, the key component of “magic” mushrooms which has proven to have marvelous effects on pain and well-being.  She’s lost over 140 lbs since going off of all the prescription medications.

Made with cannabis 

Tina is severely physically disabled now.  She uses aids to walk and dress.  She received a wheelchair this past June with funding due to severe nerve issues in her right leg.  However, much of her medical costs are out of pocket for Tina as her employer cancelled her disability back in 2009.  She has had a lawyer for the last seven years to overturn the decision and is currently awaiting her next court date in July 2018.  She also suffered a major house fire destroying all her medicine and her home.  She has since encountered problems with renewing her medical license due to a lack of a permanent address.  She perseveres.

Tina insists cannabis has improved her life drastically.  She’s not as tired and it helps manage her pain levels and improve her mood.  Even her relationships with friends and family, in particular, her children, have improved.  “I can walk and do things and have a routine.  I can carry on conversations.  I have more of a normal life now.”

On the impending Legalization Tina has concerns.  “They haven’t even got the medical side of it right yet.”  She is also unsupportive of cannabis being sold only at retail locations under the strict Liquor store model.  “Cannabis should be seen as medicine and treated as such.”  Like many pain patients, Tina resents being clumped in with the recreational users and terms like pothead because so many of us are simply trying to manage physical pain.
Are you using cannabis to treat/manage illness/pain?  Contact me through Comments or the Contact tab.  I’d love to share your story.


Ensure you never miss an article- subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook.  Find us on Twitter and Instagram @902HigherLiving 

 

~Sam

 

Images

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome  http://www.medicalexhibits.com

Cannabis Oil Capsules (including guide)  https://herb.co/2016/02/01/step-step-guide-making-cannabis-pills/

Cannabis infused bath bombs  https://www.leafly.com/news/pop-culture/high-diy-cannabis-bath-bombs

Cannabis infused lotions and salves  https://www.leafly.com/news/pop-culture/high-diy-cannabis-bath-bombs

Cannabis edibles  https://www.massroots.com/learn/how-to-prepare-for-a-cannabis-infused-meal/

Cannabis hot chocolate (including recipe)  https://www.copymethat.com/r/Ro2Pt3R/how-to-make-cannabis-infused-hot-chocola/

 

Cindy, 46

PTSD300 pills and a bottle of wine.

Cindy thought it was the end.

A history of horrifying trauma – bullying, molestation, spousal abuse, rape, car accidents that led to physical disability – led to a diagnosis of severe domestic PTSD.

Cindy says that because of the mental and physical issues, she was prescribed a cocktail of drugs: Nabilone & Flexeril for pain. Ativan & Clonazepam for anxiety. Seroquel & Mirtazipine to allow her a chance at sleeping. Zoloft & Wellbutrin for depression.  A cocktail ingested for twenty years.  A recipe for “zombie-fication”.  Sleeping twelve hours a day, on average.

I hated life, I hated myself.  I hated waking up.  Every day I woke up I was disappointed.  Every day I would wake up, quickly run to pee and then get back into bed and pray for sleep to take me again.  I really did truly hate being awake, my dream life was so much better.”

Everything came to a head on February 3, 2015.

I came very close to ending my life.  Shit happened that triggered my worst ever panic attack, I was bullied and beat with words by 4 people at the same time, over Facebook, and I was at a point of my life that I just couldn’t fight anymore.  I was done.

So, I sent one of my best friends a text telling her this.  I told her how horribly depressed I was, how full of panic I was.  I told her I had 2 bottles of wine and 300 Clonazepam in my purse and was headed out for a drive to unknown places.  I said I couldn’t deal anymore, I didn’t know how.  I was done.  Lucky for me, she wasn’t going to take that as my answer to life.  A chain of phone calls & texts started, that ended up landing me in the hospital later that evening before any wine or pills were consumed.”

A medical cannabis prescription proved to be a catalyst for change.

My doctor gave me my medical cannabis prescription and I was off.  I started to learn everything I could, best ways to medicate and treat different ailments.  I truly discovered coconut oil/cannabis medication and edibles and my life began to change.”

She discovered that strains like Sour OG aided in the relief of panic attacks and anxiety.  Skywalker OG aided in relief of physical pain.  “For the mental part of my disability, I prefer to vape or smoke, (it’s more immediate) but for pain I find ingesting a variety of oils and edibles are more effective and long lasting.”

Cannabis Brownie

Slowly but surely, the cocktail of pills and medications was whittled down – but it wasn’t easy.

“I’m not going to lie, withdrawal is HARD.  Killer hard by times, but cannabis truly helps with that.  Makes it tolerable, and each day gets easier.  It took me 3 months and 15 days from start to finish to kick eight prescription medications, with the help of cannabis and EMDR therapy lead by my psych.”

Cindy’s journey with cannabis allowed her to go from 12 hours a day spent sleeping, to becoming an activist – starting with Grannies for Grass.

Grannies was started in 2010 by Donna Dassault and her son & his wife, Michael & Diane-Marie Jensen.  They made hemp jewelry and sold it at local farmers markets.  Eventually their little booth would be sought out by the seniors, who would gather to share stories and canna recipes.  Since then, Grannies has grown to be an amazing teaching and learning tool for many folks, and we have expanded to a few countries now.  We continue to grow, learn and educate the best we can.”

The passion for cannabis and cannabis education also led to an employment opportunity with a high-end dispensary in Nova Scotia.

A five month journey, with the help of cannabis, led to a new life.

If You are someone you know are thinking of suicide, you can contact the Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis telephone line 

For support call 902-429-8167 or 1-888-429-8167 (toll free).

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness, please contact me through the Comments section or Contact Tab.

Sam

 

Images/Further Reading

Cannabis brownie/ Edibles: A Beginner’s Guide  https://www.leafscience.com/2017/08/28/marijuana-edibles-a-beginners-guide/

PTSD / Self Assessment Form  https://ohsinsider.com/compliance-centres/psychological-safety/ptsd-self-assessment-form

 

 

 

Sue, 55

Thoracic Spine
Thoracic Spine

Sue was in the military for 21 years, retiring at only 38.  She worked in Military Transport and her specialty was Heavy Equipment.  One day, while on duty, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left her with whiplash.  She was treated for the whiplash for nearly two years, but later on learned that she also had 3 broken discs in her back, T5, T6 and T7 in addition to her neck injury.  After working in Heavy Equipment for over 20 years, that had also taken its toll on her back forcing her to retire early.  The military honorably discharged her for medical reasons.

 

She found herself in pain most of the time.  She was given courses of painkillers and muscle relaxants like Flexeril, Talwin, Demerol and Amitriptyline.  She couldn’t stand the feeling some of the painkillers were giving her.  They left her feeling groggy and cloudy.  She understood some of these drugs were actually habit forming and she didn’t want to end up being addicted to them in the long run.

 

Sue stumbled upon marijuana from her son.  Her son had brought some home and after being against it for so many years, she decided to give it a try much to her son’s surprise.

 

“Sitting there, I was all of a sudden- calm.  I was pain free and very tired.  My normal routine was to take pain pills for my back before bed but this night, I took NONE of them.  I got up the stairs with no pain, It didn’t take me hours to get comfortable and I ended up having the best night of sleep.  Ever.”

 

The next morning, Sue could actually think straight.  “On the pharmaceuticals, I was always disorientated and it took me a long time to wake up only to have to take more pills for the pain.”  She found that with cannabis, she was not only still pain free but it also kept her head clear thus beginning her three year journey to ween herself off of ALL the pharmaceuticals she was being prescribed..

 

Cannabis oil
Cannabis oil

From there she went on to research cannabis further, which led to growing her own plants as she is adamant about pesticides and ensuring her medicine is truly organic and chemical free.  She prefers to consume oils and coconut infused products as she found smoking it aggravated her back from coughing.

 

To tell you the truth I was scared of all this at first, but all the (prescription) drugs I was on left me feeling cloudy, unable to function, unable to think, unable to participate in work related duties or even family functions.”  Sue attributes cannabis to gaining her life back.

Vaping Cannabis
Vaping Cannabis

“I make my own cannabis infused oil and I use a vaporizer during the day if I need.”  Sue tells me that when she was on prescription drugs, she had to take them throughout the day in addition to the evening.  “With cannabis, I just basically need it in the evenings now.”  Sue states.

 

Sue, who has a run a feral cat sanctuary for years, feared that she would have to give it up.  The pharmaceuticals left her feeling worn out and not able to function.  She is happy to report her sanctuary is still going strong, helping feral cats in rural Nova Scotia thanks to cannabis.

 

She still has bad days and worse days, but the good days outweigh the bad now.

 

“I love cannabis medicine.  I’ve found a life now and it’s worth living.  I am living again!”

 

Are you treating illness or pain with cannabis?  Has it changed your life for the better?  Please drop me a line in Comments or hit the Contact tab.  You can also reach us at @902HigherLiving or @LezGeek on Twitter.

 

Sam

 

 

Images

 

Spinal Diagram  http://cheap-auto-insurance-in-florida.com/t6-spine-health-tap-treatment/t6-spine-functionality-of-a-t5-up-to-t9-paraplegic-spinal-cord-injury-levels-functionality-spinal-apparelyzed-coccygeal-sacral/

Cannabis oil  http://kclr96fm.com/carlow-man-describes-trying-cannabis-oil-deal-rare-form-cancer/

 

Types of Vapes  https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/consuming-cannabis/vaporization/

Alex, 32

ms_disease-course_PPMS
Progression Of PPMS

In 2010, Alex was diagnosed with the rarest form of MS.  Primary Progressive MS  (PPMS) which is characterized by its progressive neurological degeneration and the lack of remissions (a break from symptoms) affecting only 15 percent of MS sufferers.  Some of the symptoms of PPMS include; muscle spasms, constantly contracting muscles cause pain and stiffness.  Cognitive impairment, fatigue, vision impairment and bladder and bowel problems.  Most people with PPMS require assistance with everyday tasks.

Alex went through 6 years of pain.  At one point he was on 10 different pharmaceuticals ranging from opioids, muscle relaxants, anti fatigue medication, sleeping pills, anxiety medication and stomach medication from the effects of the other drugs.  In 2015, Alex had an Intrathecal Baclofen Pump (ITB) surgically installed when the pill form of Baclofen stopped working.  (Baclofen helps restore regular muscle function.)  This is a common treatment for MS patients suffering from stiff muscles and spasms (spasticity) and includes a pump being connected to your spine delivering medication directly through the spinal fluid.  The pump holds and releases the medication via catheter.  He was on the maximum dosage; the pump, being on an automatic release schedule began causing Alex to overdose.  “At one point I spent 6 months in a perpetual overdose.”  Alex tells me.

Vegetable-Oil-Canna-Caps
Canna Caps

Alex, no stranger to cannabis, knew that MS patients often use cannabis to control symptoms.  He began researching the most efficient and cost effective methods of medicating with marijuana.  He started growing his own plants and making capsules.  He uses coconut oil to extract the cannabinoids .  By making his own, he eliminates any unnecessary chemicals and poisonous pesticides and he is able to control his dose.  He then added some Distillate which is 99% pure THC sap.  Although he admits he can rarely afford Distillate.

 

He began megadosing with canna capsules increasing his dosage daily.  He found relief.  It helped his spasms, stiffness, his mood and anxiety and even improved his muscle tone enough that he was able to even get up out of his wheelchair occasionally.  He likes to supplement his capsules with edibles in the evening and concentrates that he vapes throughout the day.  Using nothing but cannabis, Alex underwent surgeries and stays at the hospital using nothing but his handheld vaporizer and cannabis concentrates.  He uses a Smoke Buddy when he’s in public.  The device eliminates the little bit of smoke from vaping by exhaling into it.  He says no one’s ever given him a problem and he’s been open and upfront about his cannabis use with doctors.

cannabis-distillate-1280x800
Distillate
smokebuddyoriginal_green_packaging_3.jpg
Smoke Buddy

In June 2016, Alex was able to get off of ALL his prescription pharmaceuticals using only cannabis as medicine.  In February 2017, his Intrathecal Baclofen pump was removed.  He is proud to be off his medications while maintaining a quality of life.  “I am so thankful for cannabis and the amazing people I’ve met along the way” speaking of the Cannabis Community in Nova Scotia where he lives.

Since the debacle surrounding the pump and experiencing overdoses followed by withdrawals, Alex essentially fired his doctor leaving him without a family physician since 2015.  He’s on waiting lists.  In the meantime, his medical marijuana prescription has expired.  He still continues to grow and make his capsules.

“I have a right to produce my own medicine, especially since social programs like Social Assistance refuse to recognize cannabis as medication, limiting patients access to it.  I’ve seen people die with lack of medication and by consuming tainted products.  The Allard Injunction of 2014 protects my right to grow my own medicine.”

Alex has contacted many people in power to address his unique situation so he can avoid any further prosecutions or fines.  He has reached out to his MP, done surveys for the Provincial Task Force and Health Canada.  He has contacted his MLA, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Justice, his mayor and the RCMP.  No one has returned his calls.

Another problem Alex has encountered is staffing.  Being confined to a wheelchair means he relies on caregivers to assist him with harvesting his plants and making his capsules.  He’s run into problems where caregivers refuse to touch his medicine in fear of being reprimanded by their employer or being intimidated by police.  Alex reports that one caregiver had been contacted by RCMP regarding Alex’s cannabis use.  “She was a single mother and was afraid for her kids, worried that CPS might threaten her.”

When asked about the impending Legalization Alex told me he felt like they weren’t focusing on the real issues and frequently construct rules that violates people’s rights.

“You have the same people busting people for marijuana that are supposed to protect you.” it seems like a conflict of interest.

He feels that people on fixed incomes should have the right to grow their own medicine.  He thinks the government should take advantage of all the prime farmland available in rural Nova Scotia and establish Provincial grow fields tended by actual farmers.

“They need to talk to the people involved in the industry and the patients; the real experts and really listen to them.”  He insists.  “After all, look at the mess they’ve created with the medical side of marijuana regulation, what’s going to happen when recreational use becomes legal?”

Alex currently resides in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  He has three beautiful children that are the lights of his life.  He continues to make his capsules and wait on a list for a Doctor.  He is still looking for reliable caregivers.

If cannabis has helped you manage pain/illness please drop me a line via Comments, Contact or Twitter @LezGeek

Sam

Additional Reading

Learn more on making your own Canna capsules here https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/how-to-make-your-own-cannabis-infused-capsules

More About the Allard (MMPR/ACMPR) https://cannabislifenetwork.com/government-releases-access-to-cannabis-for-medical-purposes-regulations/

Government Releases Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes https://cannabislifenetwork.com/government-releases-access-to-cannabis-for-medical-purposes-regulations/

Images

Smoke Buddy http://www.smokebuddy.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/s/m/smokebuddyoriginal_green_packaging_3.jpg

Canna Caps http://www.karunahealthfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Vegetable-Oil-Canna-Caps.jpg

Distillate https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-are-cannabis-distillate-concentrates

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) graph https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Types-of-MS/Primary-progressive-MS

Samantha, 43

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.  Patient StoriesMost people call me Sam, in fact I prefer that.  Only teachers and parents ever called me Samantha.  I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself.  I’m a 43 year old woman with Arthritis all through my spine, hands, feet and hips.  I have Fibromyalgia.  I have Degenerative Disc Disease in 3 spots in my neck and spine, making it painful to sit or stand for any length of time.  I have Endometriosis which has caused me a few emergency trips to the hospital, surgery and the joys of being barren.  I’ve had depression for the entirety of my adult life, being medicated since the age of 18 for that as well as Anxiety Disorder.  I have insomnia.  I am constantly in pain it’s just a matter of behind able to hide it some days.  Some days I can’t hide it.  Most recently, in 2015 I was diagnosed with PTSD.  I haven’t been able to work in 6 years.  I have had a prescription for medical marijuana for 3 years now.

 

Chronic pain and immune system issues became ultra pronounced in 2011.  I was put off work indefinitely.  I can’t handle fragrances, and my last office job left me on all fours in front of a toilet more often than being at my desk actually working.  I have seen a number of specialists over the years, including The Environmental Clinic in Fall River, NS.  Struggling with Chronic illness and pain since I was young, I have tried just about everything for relief.  High doses of antidepressants, increasing doses of anxiety meds; I took Amitriptyline, Elavil, Clonazepam.  I had to take prescription sleeping meds like Trazodone then later Zopiclone.  I took prescription anti-inflammatories for the better part of 20 years until my stomach couldn’t handle it anymore and they stopped working.  I’ve been on Prozac, Effexor, Paxil (which led to a hospitalized suicide attempt in 2001), Celexa, and now Cymbalta.  I’ve taken opiates but they make me really sick.  I don’t enjoy that sinking nauseous feeling I get from opiates.  I’ve tried drugs that were opiate –like and still experienced the same side effects.  Years of prescription drugs have very much affected my liver, to the point where I’m extremely sensitive to medication, even Tylenol.

 

In my late 20’s, during a particularly bad period, the pain was so bad, it left me curled in a ball crying, a friend introduced me to cannabis as pain control.  I smoked a small joint and noticed relief almost immediately.  This was a game changer for me.  From there on out, I made sure to keep a little in the house for when that time of the month came.

 

Anyone with Fibromyalgia knows there are a plethora of symptoms ranging from pain and fatigue, to nausea and digestive problems.  Sure, I could take a pill for pain, a pill for inflammation, a couple of pills for nausea and a benzo for anxiety and then another pill to help me sleep OR, I can have one joint of straight indica and get relief from all those symptoms in one shot.  

 

Over the last 2 years, I have discovered the power of oils.  Personally, I find that ingesting a dose of oil goes way further than smoking a joint does.  The oil works and stays in your system longer making it not only convenient, because you don’t always want to light a joint, it’s discreet, smell free, and long lasting.  They come in a variety of strengths and seem to range anywhere from $35 upwards to $80/g (for honey oil).  

 

Concentrates

 

I like concentrates.  They are ultra strong and give you immediate relief, where oils typically take about 40-60 mins to start working.  The only problem I have with things like shatter, is that it hurts my lungs.  I find it harsh and it often makes me cough, sputter and tear up.  That being said, I tried it with a “Nectar Collector”  and it was a completely different experience.  The Nectar Collector made for a much smoother smoke.  I highly recommend it because you can use that device with any concentrate.  My favorite of the concentrates would probably be Rosin.

 

The 3 Rs: Resin, Live Resin, Rosin

 

Resin
Resin

These are all highly potent and it’s easy to get them confused.  Resin is basically the sap from the plant.  The gooey trichomes where all the medicine lives.  The black crud that we scrape from our pipes and bongs.  High in THC.

Rosin
Rosin

Rosin (what I like) is where the dried and cured flower is pressed under a combination of pressure and heat to release the THC rich resin.  Out of the concentrates, I prefer Rosin personally, because it doesn’t contain any extra extraction chemical like say butane, that’s frequently used in shatter.  It tastes pure, works well and is long lasting.  You can even make this at home with a simple hair straightener if you’re so inclined. 

Live Resin
Live Resin

Live Resin is a fairly new process that involves cryogenically freezing freshly harvested plants at temperatures below -292 degrees using the entire plant; flowers, leaves stems and stalk.  The reason why people are gearing towards this newer process is that it preserves the terpenes (flavour maker, good stuff) and the medical efficacy of the plant.  Other processes like shatter, causes terpene loss because of the heat involved.  Because of the cryogenic freezing portion of this process, Live Resin tends to cost more but it really is fantastic.

 

Edibles

 

I love edibles.  Chocolate bars, caramels and gummies are at the top of my list.  They range in price from about $12/15 per item.  I find I can often get 2 or 3 doses out of a chocolate bar and because you’re ingesting cannabis rather than smoking it, the effects are long lasting.  It’s also odourless and discreet.

 

My ‘Go To’ Strains

 

I stick mainly with pure indica or indica dominant products.  It provides good pain relief and a deeper sleep.  Not to say sativa doesn’t have its place, as a CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) sufferer, nothing perks me up more than my favorite sativa strain- Green Crack. Sativa tends to give you more of a head high than body, but it certainly gives you energy and I also find it great for creativity.  If I’m exhausted and dragging my butt, Green Crack gives me energy and shortly after smoking it I can be found thoroughly cleaning my apartment or walking my dog.  Some of my favorite indica strains include: Black Tuna, Romulan, Rockstar, White Rhino, Purple Kush, ACDC and Harlequin.  (For more good strains for pain- click here

LP VS. Dispensary

 

Initially, I loved my first LP.  I was with Broken Coast in BC.  The product was great and it shipped fast.  The only problem was that it technically cost more because of taxes and shipping.  I also couldn’t purchase less than 10 grams which meant I had to set aside at least $130 any time I wanted to order.  Most disabled people I know, don’t have those kinds of resources and I rarely did/do either.  I’ve tried 2 other LPs and it was/is the same.  No compassion pricing, limited strains, no edibles or concentrates and they are frequently out of strains you rely on.  Oh, and I couldn’t talk to anyone.  Ever.  You have to email them and wait for them to respond.  Needless to say, I’m fond of 2 dispensaries in the Maritimes.  Only 2.  One of which is of course Higher Living Wellness as they are geared towards patients and medical use. The other is where I live in Saint John, NB just because it’s close and they have good product but their service is no where near where Higher Living Wellness Centre is.

 

Cannabis has saved my life- literally.  Before, facing a life full of nothing but pain and sickness doesn’t give you much to want to live for.  At times, depression has debilitated me.  Now, as long as I have cannabis, I can somewhat function like a normal person.  I can do my household chores, go for walks, enjoy the company of friends, complete with laughter, and get a decent night of sleep after.  I prefer medicating naturally and am happy to report I am now only on one prescription medication.  

 

If Cannabis has saved your life, reach out to me through Contact, Comments or Twitter @LezGeek.

 

Sam

 

Images

The Three Rs, Resin, Rosin and Live Resin  https://merryjane.com/culture/resin-live-resin-rosin-whats-the-difference

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.  Presents graphic- my own, Canva