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Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis With Cannabis

Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis With Cannabis

I really shouldn’t read articles about Rheumatoid Arthritis anymore and I absolutely should NOT read any comments that might be posted. Even when my RA was severe, I could only handle so much time on forums because it was too depressing. Rheumatoid Arthritis sucks. When it took over and became severe, which it remained for thirteen years, my entire life changed. The fatigue alone was like nothing I had ever experienced, more along the lines of mononucleosis than feeling over-worked or having gone without sleep for too long. It was like all the energy I had to even breathe was compromised or missing. I immediately had begun retaining fluid at an alarming rate and my normally frail appearance was replaced by someone I didn’t recognize and since I wasn’t on steroids, this was the disease itself doing this. I felt as if I was sloshing about in boiling hot water. It was horrible. And none of my doctors did a damn thing to deal with that.

I’ve had six rheumatologists over the years with most eventually moving to other areas leaving me wondering what fresh hell I would go through upon meeting a new doctor. My current rheumy never saw me when I was so ill, having come on board after I achieved clinical remission. I’m sure it’s frustrating when there’s not much she can do for me now, but it is what it is.

When I read articles discussing the different issues we experience and then the solutions they offer, I want to scream. But when I read the comments RA sufferers leave, I want to scream and cry. I understand extreme pain because I experienced it 24/7 for all those years. It’s a pain so all-consuming that you enter a new normal that few can relate to. Until joint damage becomes visible, we don’t necessarily look sick. We might walk more slowly and we might forget what we’re saying in the middle of a sentence or where our car is parked or be unable to dress ourselves or walk without help, but it’s all good because most people have all sorts of suggestions for us that if we’d only just try what they suggest our lives would be oh so much better. Right. And then here I come telling people that cannabis can change everything.

After thirteen years with severe rheumatoid arthritis, I became a cannabis patient in 2010 and by the middle of March 2011, I was in clinical remission, something the drugs I was prescribed could never achieve. I never told my rheumy at the time why I was well because he wasn’t interested in signing off on my cannabis card application. If he had ever confronted me about why I suddenly got well, I would have told him. But he never did that and moved away before we legalized recreationally here in Oregon. After that happened, I felt comfortable telling my current rheumy about how I healed. It made no difference, however, because we don’t discuss it, only when am I going to go back on biologics. I’m not. Or how much pain and stiffness do I have upon rising and for how long. None and none unless I overdid it in the garden the day before. I turn sixty in October. I walk four miles per day, sometimes more. I got well. By myself. I fail to see why that’s a problem or why folks just can’t be happy for me.

I want so badly to tell everyone who responds to these articles that they can step off the chronic illness train and take command of their healing. But I know that not everyone has access to the amount of cannabis necessary with which to saturate their bodies in order that they heal. It’s the approach I took, but then I grow my own. I was unable to grow for myself initially so my husband took care of everything until I could finally help with the garden. I processed the cannabis into medicine, but even with that, he would pitch in when my hands gave out or the fatigue was too much. In addition to the plants I have for processed medicine, I keep a few smaller plants to pull leaves from to include in fruit smoothies. Raw cannabis leaf or bud still contains healing plant acids that dissipate when the plant is dried or processed. It also has the advantage of medicating without the psychoactive effect that smoking or ingestion of processed cannabis creates. So it’s a great way to medicate with cannabis during the daytime and I still use it in my daily smoothies.

I also know what it’s like to worry about everything when we’re ill with this awful disease. Could I do all of my grocery shopping or would my husband have to park me in the produce department while he ran around the store getting everything we needed? Or could I even get out of the car and walk into the store at all? Doctors tell us that they understand this disease only so far. I’m not suggesting that these folks aren’t caring or compassionate or good at their jobs, but that there’s an option that many aren’t in a legal position to embrace given the federal issues they and their DEA license could possibly face, particularly with the current Attorney General. And potential cannabis patients face the same concerns when the state in which they live keeps cannabis in all forms illegal. So as much as I would like to flood the comments section for articles on rheumatoid arthritis with how I healed or a link to my first book, Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist, I don’t. Instead, I head over to the blog and work out my frustrations here.

Before I became a cannabis patient, I had been reading Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief. One day I decided I was fed up with this bullshit disease and I told my body that this had to stop. I began speaking to my cells and telling them that playtime was over and it was time to get on with it. I was done with chronic illness, and I meant it. It was then that I ordered my medical records and sent them to the cannabis clinic in Portland. I received an appointment after they reviewed my records and we drove to Portland on the day of my appointment. I met with a nurse and then the doctor and we chatted about my RA and how cannabis could help me heal. With my signed paperwork in hand, I mailed everything to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program office and waited a little over a month for my card to arrive. It took a little over a month and then it arrived. And in the time it takes to have a baby, I was in clinical remission. We grew over the summer and after harvest, I had enough to begin making medicine and at the end of December 2010, I was ready to create a medicating program for myself. By the middle of March 2011, I was in clinical remission. I had begun gradually discontinuing my prescribed medications remaining on the biologic until September 2015 when I injected my last dose on September 13.  I’ve had no return of symptoms in almost two years and I continue to support my recovery with cannabis medicines along with herbal tinctures and teas I formulate to keep my immune system functioning normally.

It’s hard to deal with RA even when we have support from the medical community. Because as nice as they all are, all that seems to happen is that we stay in one place. We might fluctuate back and forth and have better days now and then, but we seem to stabilize somewhere and it’s never in the direction of remission. I’ve read about some folks for whom RA is either acute and then over or never seems to dominate their lives, but for many of us, it’s a forever thing. I just decided to reject that premise and try something different. And it worked. And even though not everyone can take that same approach, in time laws and beliefs may change so I’m going to say it anyway:

Cannabis can heal chronic illness. Life can be lived either without or with fewer limitations. After thirteen years of pure hell, I can barely remember what I went through now, probably because I don’t want to, but still, it speaks to a recovery that I didn’t plan on. I thought I would be ill for the rest of my life and I couldn’t have imagined I would feel as I do now. And cannabis did that. A plant that never should have been made illegal has brought healing and a sense of peace that I thought was gone forever.

So, let go of what you think you know about this plant. It just might save your life.

 

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When Life Becomes A Preexisting Condition

Life As A Preexisting Condition

In the new guy’s version of life in this country, preexisting conditions should be allowed only for those who can pay for them. And one foolish congressman even went so far as to suggest that the sickest among us should be paying more than people who have remained healthy as if chronic illness or cancer, for example, are due to someone’s irresponsibility or negligence. He probably didn’t like it when the smart girl blew the curve in school either.

But here’s the thing. We live in a country where income inequality is the norm and that translates into not enough money to eat well. Most people don’t grow their own food anymore so they have no control over the pesticides used on the crops or whether or not the seeds used were genetically modified into something our bodies don’t recognize.

Instead, we’re put on the treadmill of chronic disease, beholden to the medical community, although well-meaning, who focus on symptom treatment in lieu of actually figuring out how we became sick in the first place. Other than doctors in functional medicine or herbalists and naturopaths, most don’t consider diet, mindset, emotional issues, or environmental factors that could be at the root of chronic illness preferring instead to prescribe this pill or that injection.

I suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for over thirteen years, but it was for that length of time that it was severe. Nothing the doctors did relieved any of the pain, inflammation, fatigue, swelling, or fluid retention that I experienced. Instead, I seemed to stay in one place, severe. When a commercial came on television selling a medication for RA they would always say it treated moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I would look at my husband and remark that someday I hoped my RA would be moderate. It was one of those moments of dark humor that got us through those years.

And now that I’ve been in clinical remission for the last six years and off the last of the prescribed drugs since September 2015, my doctor did some blood work and lo and behold, the daily coffees my husband makes that would make a barista blush have affected my glucose level. I got a call from her nurse and she told me that my doctor wants to schedule an A1C test to screen for diabetes. No discussion, or even the glucose number, just go have a test.

Perhaps they didn’t notice in my chart that my primary care doctor when I was so ill had prescribed Metformin after doing a glucose tolerance test and endless A1C tests, diagnosing insulin resistance when my glucose numbers stayed elevated. After becoming a cannabis patient in June 2010 and making my own concentrated medicines at the end of that year, two and one-half months later I was in clinical remission. I began discontinuing several of the prescribed drugs on my own that I could safely do, but when discontinuing the Metformin the same primary care doctor who initially prescribed it helped with that. A change in diet has always been the way to get my glucose number to come down but instead of having that conversation first, it’s test time.

Now with the republicans in the process of destroying health care in this country, the last thing anyone needs is to have a diagnosis of something that’s situational in nature that can then become a preexisting condition. You’d think if Congress wants to go this route of endangering the citizenry so that the wealthiest among us become even more wealthy, they’d legalize cannabis. The tax revenue alone would be staggering. Prescription drug costs would be considerably lower, our collective health likely improving overall, but then the drug companies who line lawmakers’ election coffers might not be so generous at the next election. So the struggle for truth and dignity continues.

Apparently, rape is now a preexisting condition if this monstrosity is signed into law. Does this also apply to children who are raped by their fathers? Will they be punished with a preexisting condition if they report the abuse? The congresspeople who voted for it, my own congressman included, exhibit an astonishing level of moral bankruptcy and have clearly lost their fundamental compassion for humanity. One wonders how they sleep at night, but after today’s kegger at the white house in celebration of their victory, I’m sure they’ll sleep like babies.

If this passes the senate, then women like my daughter-in-law won’t have their pregnancies covered. Medicaid will be trashed and Medicare is next. They’ll leave everyone hanging and people will die as a result. There has never been a clearer example of us versus them ideology than what we’re seeing now. It’s destructive and unsustainable, but it’s full steam ahead anyway.

Even if this doesn’t pass the senate, as members are signaling that it will not, today’s vote gives us a window into the mindset of the people who believe the death of our citizens is an acceptable outcome. But when we finally have health insurance that we can depend on and republicans want to either take that away or make it completely unaffordable, something tells me that our response will be greater than the republicans can imagine let alone survive.

The republicans shouldn’t have targeted women and children in this bill. They shouldn’t have targeted veterans, seniors, or the chronically ill. Because when a mother finds that her child with asthma or cancer can no longer get the care she so desperately needs, trust me the ground will open up around them and shit will get real. Women, mothers or not, are sick of the government’s interference in our lives and as republicans continue their destructive behavior, we’ll pay close attention and then we’ll vote their sorry asses out of office.

I sat by the new hives out in the apiary today watching the new bees become acclimated to their new homes. They exist in unified presence with each other, each one valued and necessary. They work together to feed the brood and to protect their queen. Everything is about the survival of the colony, a notion of family that escapes republicans now in control. None of this surprises me, however, now that the fascist floodgates have been flung open. The cruelty present within the republican mindset is breathtaking. It’s nasty and to think they celebrated with a beer after it was done.

So now we await the Senate’s response. I won’t be holding my breath. Besides, in the process, I’d probably develop another preexisting condition, irresponsible person that I am.

Just ask Mo.

Update: got my blood test results and after Jerry’s insane coffees it was only 114. Now I see why she neglected to mention the number. I wouldn’t have mentioned it either lest I be laughed off the phone. Now ADA recommends <100 even though the test range is 74-106 for fasting 12 hours except that I probably only fasted for 7 or 8. Why does the number keep going down? My theory: it puts more money in the pocket of Big Pharma as more prescriptions are written. Still not drinking anymore of that coffee even though it’s yummilicious. 

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Insurance Coverage For Medical Cannabis

Insurance Coverage For Medical CannabisI read an article in the National Memo describing how judges are beginning to issue orders regarding insurance coverage for prescription medical cannabis. It’s interesting that the rest of the world moves on while the Federal Government digs its head further into the sand on this issue. The rollout of cannabis legalization in states like Oregon has had mixed results. Colorado seems to have figured out the process even with the banking issues but I don’t live there so I don’t really know first hand what patients experience in their state. Washington State apparently has its own set of problems.

The Oregon legislature, on the other hand, decided to rewrite the law that we voted into place so that what we have now doesn’t exactly resemble that original measure. People invested in land to grow cannabis only to discover that the legislature voted to allow areas to ban such grows if they so desired instead of allowing the original law to stand as written. The original law allowed for that possibility but by a citizen vote every two years and not by city governments. It wasn’t the best situation to invest your money in given a potential ban written into the law as far as I was concerned, but at least cannabis growers would have some time to get started. But with the legislative changes how many growers were dead in the water after investing everything they had?

Retail outlets are only now opening with dispensaries fulfilling their role in the interim creating potential headaches for patients. A report was issued to the committee governing cannabis in our state regarding the black market aspect that still exists and of course, the blame was placed on medical growers going rogue. Never mind the position the Oregon Legislature has put everyone in, growers, patients, business owners alike, by changes we didn’t vote for and the over-regulation of everything. It’s the medical growers. Right.

Many cannabis users become excited at the thought of legalization without realizing the problems it creates. We’re essentially asking for a plant to be legalized that should have never been criminalized in the first place. By legalizing, we validate what the government did all those years ago instead of standing firm on the truth that cannabis is safe to use in whatever manner an individual chooses.

Hemp was made illegal at the same time as cannabis which was ridiculous at best but made the cotton and paper products industries happy. Paper should be made from trees and clothing should be made from cotton. Hemp could be processed into fuel or into manufacturing supplies of all kinds, but the federal government decided that it was better to protect some business owners over hemp farmers. Instead of using corn which strips the soil of its nutrients in the production of gasoline, hemp could be used, a better option given it actually nourishes the soil where it grows. But, no.

Although medical cannabis is expensive to buy in dispensaries, and insurance companies covering medicinal cannabis would go far to defray that cost, in truth, cannabis should be readily available in all forms in the produce department as well as the organic food and supplement section of your local grocery store. We shouldn’t need a prescription that needs to be reimbursed by an insurance company in the first place.

Cannabis should be freely grown, purchased or used by anyone who wants it with no restrictions whatsoever. Again, doing anything else validates and gives cover to the government’s initial decision to criminalize a plant that was safe and part of our country’s pharmacopeia. They lied. It’s as simple as that. And people have gone to prison for that lie and suffered from ill health when they could have used a herb that was safe.

The current Attorney General is as backward on the issue as he could possibly be and it’s difficult to believe any sane policies will emerge from his office. But as insurance companies may find, until a judge determines that the cannabis laws are unconstitutional, they along with the rest of us will have to put up with federal and state controls that get us nowhere.

 

References:

  1. Short, April M. Should Your Insurance Company Pay For Medical Marijuana? Judges Are Starting To Rule That Way. The National Memo. March 20, 2017.

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Healing With Cannabis Is Worth The Risk

Healing With Cannabis Is Worth The Risk

It felt as if my body wasn’t my own. I had retained so much fluid that it felt as if I was sloshing about in boiling hot water. My thirteen-year nightmare with rheumatoid arthritis was surreal. It exploded into my life preventing any further training in Kenpo. Although my husband and I had closed our school, as a Black Belt I still trained daily, but that was over when the debilitating fatigue and pain began. I still had no idea what was happening to me but it was clear that something was terribly wrong.

I began to walk slowly, experiencing excruciating pain in my feet. I had always been a high energy person so this was concerning. By the time I saw my primary care doctor, my hands were also painfully swollen but his response was less than supportive. I would discover much later that I was experiencing all of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but on that day, my doctor diagnosed nothing. By his estimation I was fine.

Eventually, I would be diagnosed with RA and prescribed drugs that only made my body even more toxic. Disease modifiers, anti-inflammatory drugs along with two different injectable biologics were my primary medications until I became insulin resistant and needed another prescription for that. I was on blood pressure medicine but it wasn’t enough to keep my blood pressure in check given how much fluid I was retaining. It wasn’t until my blood pressure skyrocketed after seven or so years after beginning treatment that a second medication was added, this one containing a diuretic. Along with my blood pressure normalizing, the diuretic caused so much fluid loss in the first two weeks that I woke up one morning engulfed in a flare that would go on to last slightly longer than one year. My C-Reactive Protein test was 46.5; normal, I was told, is 5 or less. The medications weren’t helping me. I was a mess and only getting worse.

My husband had been encouraging me to become a cannabis patient throughout my treatment. He had been researching the success others had using cannabis to treat all sorts of conditions and begged me to apply for my OMMP card. I resisted for some time but when the year-long flare began, I was so ill at that point that I really didn’t believe I would survive, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply for my card, receiving it in June 2010.

While my cannabis grew I used raw leaf in my daily smoothies. From my research, I learned that raw cannabis contains plant acids that transform into other compounds through the drying process. Plant acids are healing and patients were reporting success including raw leaf and bud in their self-treatment so I did that as well. When my harvest was done I began making concentrated medicine. I infused dried bud into coconut oil for capsules and made glycerin tincture to use in tea. At the end of December 2010 I began my own treatment plan using raw cannabis, tincture, capsules, as well as smoking for pain relief and by the middle of March of 2011, I had achieved clinical remission. Just like that.

I never told my rheumatologist at the time what I was doing. He wasn’t interested in signing off on the application so I decided it was none of his business. I began slowly discontinuing the medications I had been prescribed, waiting for symptoms to return. They didn’t. The last prescribed medication I discontinued was the biologic I was injecting twice monthly. I had reduced that to once a month with no return of symptoms. Since I’m also a herbalist, I was supporting my remission with herbal tinctures I formulated, so I felt comfortable discontinuing the biologic in September 2015. To date, I’ve had no return of symptoms and the only change I’ve made with my cannabis medicine along the way was adding actual cannabis oil to the mix. That’s the thick, sludgy oil that’s so helpful with cancer, Crohn’s and other issues. I use a small amount now to keep things in check.

I was expected to buy into their program and not think for myself. But if I had continued along that path, I believe I wouldn’t be writing this now. And now we have a president and an attorney general who seem to want to put my life and the lives of other patients at risk again by suggesting that cannabis is dangerous. The new attorney general apparently believes that it’s almost as bad as heroin addiction which is ludicrous.

The entire west coast has legalized recreational cannabis and over half the states have legalized medical. The tax revenue alone has opened the floodgates to legalization across the country. Seniors opting to medicate with cannabis are discovering that they can reduce the number of prescriptions they’re taking, a concern of Big Pharma I’m sure. But that’s too bad considering what this new regime plans to do to everyone’s healthcare. We must have options when they seek to give us none.

I know first hand how well cannabis replaces any number of prescribed medications. If the destructive health insurance changes the Republicans are insisting upon are voted into law, seniors will have even greater difficulty purchasing their medications. If cannabis can replace those medications then they need safe access to that without fear of arrest.

Veterans, my husband included, need safe access as well to help relieve the crippling effects of PTSD from which so many suffer. Because if the Republicans have their way and privatize veteran’s health care, safe access to cannabis will become more important than ever. These men and women served us honorably and with dignity. Their return home should reflect the same commitment and respect they gave our country. The last thing any of them needs is to face uncertainty over their healthcare concerns.

To say the government lied about the safety of cannabis is an understatement. Lives have been ruined through incarceration and for what exactly? To preserve a lie told long ago? How many people would be alive and well today if they had cannabis as a treatment option? Ideally, raw cannabis should be considered as a dietary staple, available for purchase in any produce department. I’m convinced that had my mother had access to cannabis oil, she might still be alive instead of dying at sixty-five from COPD and congestive heart failure. Children who have survived cancer using cannabis oil go on to live healthy lives. A boy in Colorado with Crohn’s has become a vocal advocate for healing with cannabis and is living a happy and healthy life. Families move across the country to live in states with medical cannabis when it’s the only thing that will save their child.

Cannabis is safe to use medicinally or for recreation. Research from around the world supports this truth. CNN did a three-part investigative series where Sanjay Gupta discovered the truth about the efficacy of cannabis in treating so many conditions. But Congress, the DEA, and the new attorney general have other ideas. Truth matters not to these people, but the stakes are too high to give up now. Too many of us have had our lives saved by this blessed plant and we’re not going away anytime soon. We’ll stand up to the nonsense because as we all know, healing with cannabis is definitely worth the risk.

So give it your best shot, Mr. Sessions. A veritable cannabis army awaits, many of us silver-haired and not done living yet.

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Healing Versus My Constitutional Rights

Evidently my Second Amendment right to purchase a gun has been sacrificed for my healing. In the eyes of the federal government, a cannabis user, patient or otherwise, is prohibited from purchasing a gun. Oh I can have a gun, I just can’t go and buy one.

All I wanted to do was survive my illness. It was clear that all the prescriptions I was taking did nothing so after exhausting all other choices I became a cannabis patient in 2010. Within three months of making and using concentrates, I was in clinical remission. But apparently I’m also given to violent crime. Potheads. We’re a dangerous bunch. Someone  on a terrorist watchlist can buy a gun, but a nice, friendly cannabis user, not so much.

It was awful being as sick as I was. There were no answers or solutions, only more Doctor visits, blood work, and more useless drugs. And all I did was get sicker. When I became a cannabis patient, it was because I thought I was going to die. My C-reactive protein test was 46.5. It’s supposed to be less than 5 so I was a mess and my doctor at the time responded by prescribing Cellcept, a drug for lupus and for preventing the rejection of newly transplanted organs. When I couldn’t take that anymore, he informed me that we were out of options.

So I got my card, grew some cannabis, and upon harvest made my medicine. And six years later I’m off all prescription drugs and I use only cannabis along with some herbal tinctures that I formulate. And the funny thing is, I don’t ever feel compelled to rob a bank or engage in petty crimes. I just healed.

Now, it’s not that I want to run down to my local gun store to buy a weapon. I have plenty. But to take away my constitutional right to do so reflects a level of stupidity that can only be asserted on a governmental level, dumbasses all. All because I’m healing with a plant that my state says I’m legally allowed to use.

As citizens of the greatest country on earth we should be able to choose our own method of healing or recreation without losing our constitutional rights. The laws against cannabis use are based not on truth but on a profit motive. Losing our rights because of a lie has gone on for far too long. 

It’s time that common sense matters more that lies based on fear and profit. Remove cannabis from the federal drug register. It does not belong there. Decriminalize instead of legalize and then maybe truth will become more important than the lie.

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A Little Honesty Would Have Been Nice

Apparently the federal government is not yet ready to remove cannabis from the Federal Drug Register. NORML is reporting that the Feds aren’t going to reschedule cannabis after all. Never mind that a profit motive put it there, because it was never about truth. I guess they’re going to allow universities to “study” it now. As if that’s never happened in kitchens across this country, or in Israel and other countries around the world. Evidently Americans aren’t capable of using cannabis responsibly, whatever that means. At least not without years and years of “acceptable” research.

You’d think cannabis would be illegal because it’s dangerous and addictive. But all the hysteria surrounding cannabis’s so-called addictive nature was founded on a lie. Cannabis isn’t addictive, nor is it dangerous. It is, however, the source of healing for all sorts of people, myself included.

Cannabis is an effective treatment for autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis in my case), epilepsy, diabetes, pain, PTSD, cancer, and any number of other conditions that arise when our endocannabinoid systems have nothing to interact with. Our receptors need the cannabinoids found in cannabis so that our bodies can handle the stresses of daily life that all too often result in chronic illness. When the cannabinoid receptors are firing properly our bodies are healthy, when they’re not, illness results. So it would seem the issue is a simple one:

The government has lost its mind and still cannot find it.

It’s embarrassing, really, to think that we have some of the most intelligent people in the world working for our government yet the truth is still not important in the final analysis. Instead people are still arrested for a plant that heals. But then there’s no money in health, only chronic illness, because truth is irrelevant when profits are at stake. I mean, if we actually stopped locking people up for cannabis, we’d certainly see a reduction in the prison population, a job-killer for sure, so we can’t have that. What on earth would all those private prisons do without potheads taking up space?

CNN did an excellent three-part documentary series called Weed with Sanjay Gupta, but I guess a brain surgeon’s investigation isn’t enough to sway the DEA. Various states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, my state included, and others have legalized medical cannabis use. I think half the country or better has done one or both. Every poll I hear about says that the majority of Americans believe cannabis should be legal, so how is it that the DEA can override respected scientists and the majority of citizens who want legal cannabis? They look like fools.

If alcohol and cigarettes are legal in this country, then cannabis should be as well. This notion of legalization with extensive restrictions isn’t legalization. It’s still control. Alcohol isn’t restricted, nor are cigarettes, and cannabis should be no different. If it’s legal, it’s legal. And in the case of cannabis, it’s safe to use unlike alcohol and cigarettes.

Aren’t we tired of crap that makes no sense? I sure am. And I’m pretty certain that everyone sitting in a jail cell for cannabis is as well. All the lives ruined by unnecessary prosecution and prison sentences, and for what exactly? Increased profits for Big Pharma? Asset-forfeiture? All over a little weed?

Cannabis makes us feel better. It heals not just our bodies but our emotions and our minds. There’s nothing like it and to think our government would rather lie about this plant than treat the American people with respect and dignity by telling us the truth is shameful and appalling.

Enough is enough. Come clean. Do the right thing by all of us. The American people will begin to heal and we’ll do that on our terms, not defined by and built upon a lie. Chronic illness will give way to actual health. I know because I healed with cannabis and I’m healthier now at 58 than I’ve ever been in my life. And that can happen for others.

All we need is a little honesty, a little truth, and then for our government to step out of our way.

 

Links:

  1. DEA Reaffirms ‘Flat Earth’ Position With Regard To Marijuana Scheduling

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My Cannabis is Medicine, Not An Income Source

So my package arrived via Fedex yesterday and instead of the driver simply handing it to me, he asked about buying some of my crop. I had no clue what he was talking about. Jerry and I were finishing up the dome greenhouse we put in and I thought maybe he had assumed something. But no. He was talking about the cannabis I grow to keep my rheumatoid arthritis under control.

He danced around the subject as I kept saying I didn’t know what he was talking about. I don’t grow anything to sell. I turned my vegetable garden into a witch’s herb garden – pentacle shaped and that. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. Eventually, he told me what crop it was that he was wanting from me.

I was stunned.

I asked him where he heard I was growing cannabis. He said all the neighbors told him. Well, only my neighbor next door uses the word crop to describe anything growing, so I know it was him who told this oh so foolish man. I’ve never grown outside until last year when it was legal to do so recreationally. I only grew one of my allotted plants outside. Jerry grew his allotted amount so that’s what folks might have seen. We gifted what we needed to do to stay within our limits to family members who wanted some. That’s what I’ve always done. OMMP patients believe they’re to donate when receiving cannabis or clones. That’s not actually how the law is written, so I’ve never taken any donations, much to the consternation of some of the patients I’ve given clones to.

I keep clones around for my next grow. So, the lights are on over the cloner irrespective if they are used for the next grow, or for smoothie material. I grow some plants to harvest raw for my daily smoothies. So not everything grows all the way to flower. I reserve one plant for a hydro bucket. I harvest the leaf for smoothies and I tincture the root. The root in water is much easier to clean than when grown in dirt, so I decided one day to simply alleviate that by growing hydroponically. Duh. Besides, it’s fun to lift the plant up to see all the nice white roots that are growing.

But back to the oh so foolish Fedex guy. I told him I’ve been a cannabis patient since 2010 and it saved my life. He started stammering, and I cut him off. I told him that I turn everything I grow into medicine to keep me well. I told him that I’ve never sold any of it and I’m not about to start doing so now. I told him that I was uncomfortable with the conversation and he was to leave immediately. Then I told him never to come back on my property.

He left and I went back down the driveway to tell Jerry what had just happened. He was as stunned as I was. We can all legally grow four plants now in Oregon. OMMP patients can grow six as well as clones and smaller plants not in flower. Oregon allows patients to keep enough smaller plants on hand so that the grow process can be continual. This is important particularly if starting from seed because you have to wait for signs of gender to show before you know if you have a female or not. So patients have some wiggle room in the event they can’t grow from existing clones for some reason. Sometimes genetics become tired and you need to start again from seed. So we have enough room count-wise to do that.

Jerry will grow his plants outside again this year. I’ve reduced my grow down enough to compensate for his amounts and I only grow three or four plants into flower now instead of six. Clearly I don’t care if people know because I’ve written a book about my experience. But no one should be approaching anyone about buying their cannabis. Grow it yourself. You can now. It’s legal. Or go to a dispensary to buy some. They’re not just for patients anymore. Or at least until the actual retail outlets open. But it’s available everywhere in Oregon now. And if you live in a town where dispensaries are banned (which is ridiculous, but whatever), then the next town over will have lots of places to buy cannabis. Leave private people alone. And for the love of Goddess, never approach someone about cannabis who lives behind a series of locked gates. Except we didn’t put them in because of the cannabis, but because of trespassing neighbors.

But here’s the thing. If you are on someone’s professional grow site, there are all sorts of rules and regulations growers need to follow now. And I’ll bet selling to a Fedex guy privately isn’t included in those rules.

And no, I’m not going to turn him in to Fedex. And people: stop speaking in code about cannabis. And stop calling it marijuana.

~Blessed Be

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Chronic Illness is Unacceptable

cannabisThe world has lost some cool people in the last few days. First it was David Bowie, then Alan Rickman, Mic Gillette from Tower of Power, and now Glen Frey. Shocking, all of them. But Glen Frey’s death hits close to home for me. I suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for around fifteen years, thirteen of those years it was out of control. Medications prescribed by my doctors did nothing but keep me in the severe range. I would hear commercials on television about medications for moderate to severe RA and dream of the day I would actually be moderate. Because mine went from minor to severe practically overnight.

RA is debilitating

I read that Glen suffered for fifteen years with RA. Fifteen is such an interesting number. My first doctor (I’m on my sixth) told me that most RA patients die fifteen years sooner than other folks. He also was angry that I didn’t get a pneumonia shot before beginning Enbrel, a biologic he prescribed a year into my treatment. Evidently, he couldn’t seem to comprehend that it was his responsibilty to tell me about it and to then have one of his nurses actually give it to me. Instead, he yelled at me. I walked out and never went back. I contacted my primary care doctor and I was able to get the pneumonia shot from her.

My second, third, fifth and sixth doctors are/were nice people. I’m sure they did well in school and know all sorts of things about rheumatic conditions, but they missed the boat with me. Cannabis made the difference, not the drugs they all have prescribed. And it’s sad that it’s taking so much time for the medical community to catch up with what cannabis patients all know. Politically, cannabis legalization doesn’t typically line campaign coffers so to date, it’s not a relevant issue on the campaign trail.

Secondary illnesses are common

Secondary illnesses are common with RA. In my case, fibromyalgia, but for others, excessive inflammation attacks our vital organs and is so destructive. I developed insulin resistance, resulting in Metformin three times a day. My fluid retention that my illustrious doctors NEVER dealt with caused my blood pressure to rise so much that after 10 1/2 years I insisted that the second blood pressure mediation prescribed contain a diuretic. I lost so much fluid in the first two weeks that it triggered a flare that would last two weeks longer than a year.

I developed an infection in my jaw that would result in two dental implants a year later. By then, I was juicing cannabis leaf and including it in my daily smoothies. The flare ended a month before the dental implant surgery. Any surgery is potentially a problem with RA sufferers because we don’t heal well. An autoimmune disease, RA is treated with immunosuppressive drugs. A few days prior to receiving my cannabis card in the mail, my fifth doctor prescribed CellCept which did nothing to end my flare and was a complete nightmare to experience. It’s typically for lupus and to prevent organ transplant rejection. More immune suppression and the side effects were just horrible. So it’s easy to see how we become sick with other issues on top of the RA. How any of us survive this is a miracle.

There must be a better approach

So I’ll end with my premise. Chronic illness is unacceptable. Health is our natural state, but we spend billions each year supporting an industry built on the belief that it is. We become our illness. And it’s easy to see how that happens with RA and conditions like it given their debilitating nature. And it’s not like we’re given a choice in the matter unless we explore other methods of healing.

Anthony William, the Medical Medium, tells us in his new book, Medical Medium that lemon balm kills EBV, the virus that may be the actual cause of RA and other conditions. A article in Science Daily from a study published in 2004 by University of South Florida Health Sciences Center discusses how EBV may be involved in RA’s disease process, and that THC reduces EBV’s effect. Given that I went into clinical remission so quickly after beginning my treatment with concentrates, I have to believe it does more than reduce symptoms.

Last summer I created an herbal formula involving cat’s claw and some other herbs to take daily for my RA. Herbs tone and nourish our bodies, bringing balance and stasis, so that disease finds no purchase. I’ve always been drawn to lemon balm and now I know why. An empath, I naturally gravitate to what heals me. So, I’ve added some lemon balm tincture to my treatment.

I’m lucky to live in a state where cannabis has been legal medicinally since 1998. And last year, we fully legalized. And with all the problems associated with legalization unfolding, at least we all have the ability to choose cannabis in Oregon. I have no idea if other folks can heal the way I did, but why not? Why shouldn’t everyone have that same chance? Instead, those in control appear to want everyone to remain chronically ill. After all, it’s where the money is, and profit rules everything in this country.

And why should any of us run out of time when there’s so much life yet to live?

~ May Goddess bless all on their journey of healing.

 

 

 

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I Published My First Book

It’s up on Amazon in Kindle format..and I thank everyone in advance for checking it out!

UPDATE: I had to reload the book in a different format so that the pictures would appear..it’s updating now on Amazon, so it should be fixed soon. I think this part is more stressful than actually writing the book..

 

Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist

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Hindering Patients: What’s With The OMMP?

OMMP

Apparently there’s another nightmare brewing for OMMP patients. The Oregon Health Authority has been given additional oversight and now wants in our homes to look around. I’m not sure when our right to privacy flew out the window, but apparently that’s what they want to do. Do cannabis patients NOT have HIPAA rights? All the increased fees will no doubt fund this fishing expedition, but since the extra money goes to other programs, I suppose we’ll see more increases to offset this travesty.

No one comes in to check how much Aleve I have. Nor do they come in and check what other doctor prescribed prescriptions I have. But with cannabis, they feel compelled. Because after all, we’re not patients, we’re drug addicts. Not that cannabis is addictive or anything. I don’t sell any of my cannabis, because I need it to stay alive. I might give a clone or two to another patient, but really I do that so they learn to fend for themselves. I’ve even given small cloning tubs to patients so they’d learn how to take their own clones and continue their gardens on their own.

All because we legalized..

But here’s the thing. This is all happening because we legalized cannabis recreationally. Instead of simply implementing that law, they decided to go after the OMMP, as if patients were ever the problem. They put zero rules on growers, ever, and now they want to crack down on everyone. Patients are just trying to heal or stay healthy. I know plenty who never see the plants their grower grows for them, and they’re charged a ridiculous amount for an ounce per month of cannabis that belongs to them and not to the grower. No one’s stupid. We know what they do with it. The Oregon legislature could have dealt with this problem long ago, but they chose not to do so. And how we have this nonsense to deal with.

I grow my own cannabis. I don’t use a grower other than my husband. But I have a basic right to privacy. Measure 91 prohibits affecting OMMP patients, which is being completely disregarded now. As patients, we’ve all sat back and watched this unfold in horror, knowing full well that we will be the last ones thought of in this debacle. This is not the law I voted for. Had I known my life would be turned upside down in the process, I would have voted no. Besides, legalization like this is not true legalization. It’s just further control that treats everyone like criminals. And for what? A plant that heals?

Between the committee tasked with implementing Measure 91 and the Oregon Health Authority, they’ve really screwed the pooch here. All at the patient’s expense.

Get it through your heads, people. We don’t become patients to get high legally. We become patients, not to be harassed, but to heal. Now, leave us alone to do just that.