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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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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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Veterans Need Safe Access To Medical Cannabis

Healing With Cannabis Is Worth The Risk

After all the work Rep. Blumenauer and Senator Merkley did to give veterans safe access to medical cannabis in the latest funding bill for the Veteran’s Administration, that section was stripped from the bill and when it finally passed Congress, it was still not in there. Instead of VA doctors being allowed to sign off on medicinal cannabis paperwork, veterans will continue to do what the rest of us do when our doctors won’t sign the damn paperwork. We go to a clinic that specializes in cannabis applications. I pay nearly $200 to see a doctor at a local clinic because my doctor won’t sign mine either. Then, it’s another $2oo to the state for the card itself which took almost three months to get this time around. My disabled veteran husband could get a card for a reduced rate as could other disabled veterans in the state, but no. Congress had to be assholes again and continued to prevent VA doctors from prescribing cannabis to veterans.

I wonder. Do any of them experience PTSD? Do any of them experience pain? Have any of them had cancer? Have any of them had autoimmune conditions? Have any of them had diabetes? What about Crohns? Or Parkinson’s? Anything?

Within three months of consuming cannabis infused coconut oil, cannabis infused glycerin (tincture), raw cannabis in smoothies, and smoking/vaping, my severe rheumatoid arthritis was in clinical remission. After thirteen years of excruciating pain, inflammation and endless swelling, I was finally regaining control over my life. I was so ill that I believed I wouldn’t survive. And after my doctor gave up on me telling me that he had done all he could and that all we could hope for is to try to make me as comfortable as possible (without considering cannabis of course), I began making medicine. He never told me I was in clinical remission. I had to discover that by getting my records for the cannabis clinic.

Cannabis can help anyone who uses it. It’s not addictive irrespective of what anyone else says. It’s safe and effective and our bodies are set up with an endocannabinoid system with receptors ready and waiting to interact with the cannabinoids in cannabis. It’s just part of our design as humans. For the government to lie about this plant is shameful. And given all that we now know about it, to continue this sham is beyond the pale.

The VA negotiated lower drug prices. Kudos for that. But as my husband knows first hand, as acceptable levels for blood testing were lowered, more drugs are prescribed, so where again is the savings? Cannabis can reduce prescription use by veterans, particularly where pain and depression are concerned. Why on earth wouldn’t the federal government leap on such a find? But no. Instead, they’re either living in the past, believing the propaganda and hype, or they’re getting ready to hand it off to Big Pharma.

Either way, veterans were, once again, left hanging by their government. And thank you to everyone who worked on this, particularly Jeff and Earl. You guys have really been there and I know veterans like my husband appreciate everything you do. And I know you won’t give up until everything is made right for those we depend on and who defended us with all that they had.

One day I hope to write a post shouting to the rafters that our cannabis nightmare is over. That our government finally pulled its head out of its ass and told everyone the truth. Cannabis is safe and effective to use as medicine for a myriad of conditions. It’s also safe for recreational use, far more than alcohol has ever been. And it’s safe to give children, and it doesn’t have to be in CBD form only for that to be true, when in fact, it’s the whole plant that we need.

And I hope that when I write that post, I’m also able to say that we favored decriminalization over legalization. As we’ve discovered in Oregon, voting to legalize doesn’t necessarily make it so everywhere in the state, even though that’s what we all voted for. Here in Oregon, we’ve learned that our vote matters not, particularly where cannabis is concerned.

Had we simply decriminalized and said grow whatever you want but if you sell it then you’ve entered another area that we’ll regulate in the same manner as we regulate food, I think we’d be much better off. Dispensaries would be for patients and recreational outlets would be for everyone else. As it stands now, recreational outlets aren’t ready and dispensaries for patients are being used for that purpose. And for patients, that blows.

And to think all of this nonsense began with a lie to make other people rich.

Blessed Be

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Another Batch of Cannabis Oil

It’s time again to make some cannabis oil. It’s that thick, sludgy resinous oil made from cannabis that saves lives. I know because it saved mine. I originally used a method described by Rick Simpson, but then I found an oil distiller that sits on my kitchen counter and I like that even better. With the oil distiller, I can capture my expensive grain alcohol rather than letting it evaporate into the air.

Although I’ve done some posts about making cannabis oil in the past and I included the method in Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist, I thought I would go through the methodology again in case anyone needed a refresher. It takes a pound of dried cannabis bud and two gallons of grain alcohol to strip the cannabis bud of its lifesaving properties.

first rinsestirring the cannabisI like using the work bag from my hash payload bag set to run the alcohol through the cannabis. It’s strong and has the largest screen on it to allow the resin to pass through into the alcohol. The other payload bags have smaller screens and they’re used to make hash. So we added some cannabis bud to the work bag and then poured half of our grain alcohol over it after which we mixed it around.

squeezing out the alcohol

squeezing-out-the-alcohol-2After squeezing out the first rinse, we discovered my husband grabbed the wrong bag so we carefully transferred the cannabis along with the resin that accumulated into the work bag we should have used originally. The smaller micron is necessary for capturing the resin, but since we want that resin to stay in the alcohol, the larger micron bag needs to be used.

So after my husband put on his glasses, we rinsed the cannabis a second time with the other half of the grain alcohol. Most of what we need is stripped during the first rinse, but it’s best to rinse it again to get what is still left on the bud. And it’s particularly important when you’re old and can’t remember to wear your glasses.

squeezing-second-rinse

Now after squeezing out the second rinse from the proper bag, we poured the alcohol mixture into the oil distiller, plugged it in, watched as it eventually began dripping the extracted alcohol into the catch container. Grain alcohol is expensive, so it’s really nice to be able to reuse it. When the alcohol reached a little above half way, we turned off the unit, waited the suggested 20 minutes for it to cool, and then openedoil distiller it to add more alcohol mixture. We did this one more time before we were finished. Each time we added more alcohol mixture, we poured what had collected in the container into another bottle for future oil-distiller-readyuse.

 

When the distilling process is complete, I put the remaining oil in a cup and placed that on a coffee warmer to finish the extraction process. There’s always a little bit of alcohol at the end in the oil and letting it sit uncovered on a coffee warmer allows the remaining alcohol to evaporate. It appears as bubbles on the surface and when the bubble stop, it’s finished. The oil can then be put in a jar or drawn up into a syringe for easy dosing. I use a jar as well as a silicone container for mine. If the oil alcohol mix in distilleris going to be used slowly then I would keep it in the refrigerator.

 

A pound of bud only creates a quarter cup of oil, so it would be impossible for me to use aoil in the distillerny of it if I didn’t grow my own cannabis. I have no clue what a pound of medicinal quality bud costs these days but I know it’s out of my price range. Dosage reportedly begins at an amount the size of half a grain of rice and then with conditions as serious as cancer you work up to a dime’s size amount.

Cannabis oil can be used topically as well and many folks use it to treat skin cancer. I used it on an area on my back that didn’t look right and within two weeks it was gone. It seemed to draw out the mass and then it came off. I don’t know what it was but that’s what happened. I also use it in cannabis based salves to give them additional strength. Cannabis is versatile, whether ingested raw, smoked or vaped, or ingested as a prepared medicine and irrespective of the method used to medicate, healing is the result.oil in silicone

I always get about a half cup of oil initially when I put it on the coffee warmer and today was no different. That will reduce by half and I’ll end up with a quarter cup of oil which I’ll use to keep my RA in check. This oil was made from Cuveé, a strain from TGA Genetics. Cuveé grows prolifically and outside the buds get really big. The branches tend to get heavy and droop so it’s best to keep the lower branches pruned. When they drag on the ground it only invites bugs and other problems. I love Cuveé. It’s beautiful and it’s a wonderful, relaxing medicine.

So that’s it. We began the process around three in the afternoon, which is too late by the way, and finished around 1:30 am, but the oil distiller makes it far safer than letting the alcohol evaporate outside with a fan blowing on it. Plus I was able to capture almost all of the two gallons of grain alcohol we used.

There are lots of videos online to look at and it’s great to see the different equipment people use to make this incredible medicine. To think we can both grow and then make the medicine that saves our lives is amazing. And we can do it in our kitchens! Patients network with other patients or go online to find out what works and what doesn’t. And what seems to work the best and most consistently is the whole plant and not simply one of its components.

The Goddess must of been with me because yesterday I made tomato soup from garden tomatoes as well as another batch of potato soup, began infusing some cannabis into corn syrup for candy, and made oil. But then there’s nothing like a witch who multi-tasks.

Happy healing!

 

Note – this is the distiller I use: Megahome oil distiller

 

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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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The Sounds of Healing

Sound resonates through me so I’ve always loved music. Whether it’s a full orchestral arrangement or a beautiful guitar solo, all music envelops me. And sometimes I’m not sure where the sound begins and I end.

I taught myself how to play the guitar when I was a child, ultimately receiving a Martin D-28 for Christmas when I was fourteen. I loved that guitar, but I eventually gave it to my youngest son as a college graduation gift. Self-taught as well, he plays far better than I ever did and I don’t regret giving it to him.

pineal
Pineal activation

I recently purchased a small tuning fork for pineal gland activation. The idea is that you strike the fork on what looks remarkably like a hockey puck and then hold it slightly away from your pineal gland and feel its resonance. It’s interesting and I liked it. My husband really likes working on his own pineal gland for shamanic journeying and was excited about sound therapy so, of course, I bought some more tuning forks.

I decided immediately that I would utilize them while performing Reiki. Sound healing has been used successfully in many healing settings for years and I’ve always wanted to explore its use. My husband has lower back issues and the forks when applied to his lower back give him relief from the pain he experiences. I have a knuckle on my right middle finger that was damaged by a customer at my former business who decided it was appropriate to crush my hand when he shook it one day. He knew I had rheumatoid arthritis and he could clearly see my hands were swollen, but it was evidently more important to hurt me. Assholes are like that. This happened back in September 2007, and as of this writing, my knuckle is still swollen with nodules surrounding it.

Any attempt by doctors to inject the finger have been largely unsuccessful so I thought I’d try my weighted Ohm tuning fork on the knuckle, and to my delight, I’ve had some success. My doctor can’t actually drain the nodules, so I’m hoping that the sound frequency put forth by the Ohm tuner will break them up. Time will tell, but so far I’m encouraged.

weighted tuners
Weighted Ohm Tuners

There are two types of tuning forks used in healing: weighted and unweighted. Regardless of type, the forks are cut to a specific frequency or hertz rating. The Ohm fork, for example, is tuned to 136.10Hz, the frequency of Earth. I also bought a low-Ohm fork that resonates at 68.05Hz. I have yet to purchase the 128 tuner, but that’s next. The weighted forks are for placement on meridians and trigger points and can be used together or individually.

body tuners
Body Tuners C/G

Unweighted tuning forks are used over the body for chakra and other energy balancing. I purchased a body tuner set as well as a full chakra set and I just love them! The body tuner set is really nice because one is tuned to C-256Hz and the other to G-384Hz and when held up to each ear, they create a perfect fifth and are said to balance yin and yang energies. I plan to use them to begin and end a Reiki session. The blended sound they emit is so relaxing.

crystal and moon
Crystal and Moon Tuners

I also purchased an unweighted crystal tuner as well as a planetary tuning fork having the frequency of the Moon for balancing emotions. I like the idea of using crystals in healing and after activating the crystal, the crystal tuner sends its sound frequency through the crystal and into the body. So of course I added a couple of more crystals to my existing ones I’ll use for this type of healing.

Needless to say, my husband is thrilled. He loves his Reiki sessions and he’s also quite taken with the sound therapy. The crystal healing is an added bonus! Reiki blends so well with other treatment modalities. All we are is a frequency, so it makes sense that we balance and heal ourselves using the same.

chaka set
Chakra Tuning Set

There are more unweighted tuning forks to try but I think I have enough to start with. As time goes on I’ll post my results. But all things considered, I really like using tuning forks. My mood is better, I have more energy, and I feel more aligned. And who knows? With daily use on my finger, maybe my finger will stop bending to the right and straighten back up. It’s on my dominate hand and it affects my flipping off ability and these days, Goddess knows a Crone needs options.

~Blessings!

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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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The Life and Times of an OMMP Patient

I spoke with a very nice lady at the OMMP office today about the whereabouts of my renewal card. I’ve been a cannabis patient in Oregon since 2010. Cannabis saved my life when it put my rheumatoid arthritis in clinical remission. This happened within three months of medicating with more concentrated forms of cannabis which I formulated in my kitchen.

Last year, my cannabis card was late, but the OMMP extended my year by an additional month so I was fine with that. This year, I sent my renewal application along with the $200 fee in May, receiving a letter back dated June 6th saying that everything was fine and I would be receiving my renewal card, with the letter serving as a temporary card for 30 days from the date of the letter. The problem is, as of today, it’s two weeks past the 30 day window. So I called them.

Apparently they’re processing applications received the week of May 16th. I think mine was received the week after that, so apparently it will be another three to four weeks before I get my card. Well, cards because I’m also my own grower, so I receive two cards, a patient and a grower card. Even though the letter indicates 30 days, I’m actually covered longer because my application is in their queue. Not that the letter says anything about that, but the woman at the OMMP assured me that this is so. And I have her name. So it is what it is.

I was also told that I could submit my renewal application up to 90 days in advance of my renewal date which I will do in the future so that I beat the apparent rush. But why this is taking so long is beyond me.

Patients have certainly had to deal with some uncertainty since legalization happened. Dispensaries, which I tend to stay away from because I grow my own, are being used as recreational outlets until they actually open. Cities and counties have been given the opportunity to ban cannabis outlets and farms without a vote of the people as was originally stated in the law that I voted for.

So instead of legalization unfolding smoothly, all sorts of nonsense happened along with something called a listening tour and now patients are in the middle of all of this mess trying to figure out if there’s any cannabis for them at dispensaries or if there will be any for dispensaries to even sell if the larger farms don’t get the go-ahead. And at this juncture, unless they’re going to grow in a greenhouse, it’s probably too late for any new cannabis crops to begin.

All they had to do was implement the will of the voters. I thought that legislators understood this concept, but not so much I guess. And in little blue Oregon. Never thought I would ever see that here.

I thought my vote mattered, and I thought paying $200 for a couple of pieces of paper would actually result in my cards showing up on time. I mean, they could send me a letter. That took time, an envelop, a stamp, printing time, computing time to find my name and then hit print. If they’re taking the time to do that, why not print out the cards, slip them in the envelop and forgo the letter?

They might even save some taxpayer dollars in the process and make a patient compliant and happy in the process.

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Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil

cannabis and coconut oil

It’s time again to make some cannabis infused coconut oil. It’s one of the concentrated forms of cannabis that I make and use to keep my rheumatoid arthritis in clinical remission. I used to ingest the infused oil in capsules, but that’s messy to do even with the capping tray I have. I’ve tried all kinds of methods to fill the capsules with the infused oil, but it’s still messy. Eventually I poured the infusion into plastic containers to keep in the refrigerator. I add some to smoothies and I’ve also used it in cooking. And yes, it’s awesome as a personal lubricant which is all I’m going to say about that. Except that I’ve seen a liquid form of coconut oil at the grocery store that may stay a liquid after infusing which might be interesting to try.

Cuvee

To begin with, I selected a gallon jar’s worth of Cuvée, a lovely strain from TGA Genetics Subcool Seeds. It’s such a beautiful plant that I chose a picture of it for the cover of Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist. In fact, a picture of the full grown plant that I’m making this infusion from appears in the book and in the picture on the right.

The bud structure is dense and tight, full of resin, yet gives a soft, feminine appearance and isn’t messy to harvest. A primarily indica dominant strain, Cuvée is a cross between Blackberry Kush, Romulan, and Cinderella 99. The smell is a blend between chocolate and cherry in this phenotype, and it’s probably one of my most favorite cannabis plants from which to make medicine.

decarbingInitially I heated the oven to 240º, frantically searched for my oven turkey bags, and after finding them, I poured in the dried Cuvée, tied off the end and put it in the oven for 40 minutes to decarboxylate. Decarbing is important with cannabis so that the THC activates. You can make medicine without decarbing, but your medicine won’t be as potent, so take the time to decarboxylate your bud.

I use an oven turkey bag in my convection oven because it keeps the terpines from escaping during the decarb process. It’s important to open the bag immediately upon removing the bag from the oven so that moisture doesn’t collect. I typically open the bag and pour it out in a large bowl as soon as it comes out of the oven. From there, using latex gloves, I crumble the cannabis with my hands. I don’t grind it like some folks do because the trichomes tend to stick to whatever I’m using to grind with and I’d rather they end up in the infusion. So I try not to disturb the decarboxylated cannabis any more than necessary.

melting the oilWhile the cannabis is decarboxylating in the oven, I melt the coconut oil in my crockpot. When I became a patient six years ago, I played hell trying to find a crockpot with a keep warm setting on it. Low wasn’t low enough evidently, but I persevered and found one. Now I see them everywhere.

Anyway, temperature is important when infusing cannabis because you don’t want to cook the medicinal properties out of it. The keep warm setting does the job without burning the cannabis.

After crcannabis infusingumbling the cannabis bud, I poured it into the melted coconut oil in the crockpot. I’ll let it infuse for the next 24 hours and then when it’s cool enough, I’ll strain the mixture and pour it into containers. After trying various methods of straining, I finally settled on using a fruit press. It presses the spent cannabis into a nice compostable cake which makes clean up a breeze. Other options require more hand strength than I have so this press has been a life saver for me.

The coconut oil can be strained even more using either cheesecloth or a coffee filter, but I like to have a little herb in my infusions so I only strain the infusion with the fruit press. Cannabis likes to infuse in fat and coconut oil seems to bind well with the plant’s constituents. Besides, it tastes good. So use it in capsules or use it in anything else you want. Ingestion is ingestion. All that matters is that cannabis interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system so that health returns.

It’s not about getting high. It’s about healing. And there’s nothing like cannabis for that!

Blessings!

cannabis infused coconut oil

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Crone Balance Tea

Tea harvest

In gathering herbs for tea, I do so intuitively. I have an idea of what I want to accomplish and then I walk around looking for herbs to fit the bill. All of my teas have herbs that address my rheumatoid arthritis. But they also address other issues as well. As a Crone, I also include herbs that help balance and tone. I refuse to take any hormones and so far I’ve been successful in staying away from them.

My raspberries are ripening and each time I pick a bowl, I also harvest some raspberry leaf. Raspberry leaf is a wonderful reproductive system tonic for both men and women. I harvested some leaf this morning and then got a little carried away harvesting other herbs. I like to select small amounts of each herb and then craft a tea from there.

Wandering about my garden area, I found some comfrey leaf, a soothing, demulcent herb that’s wonderful for healing both internally and externally. Comfrey root has a mucilaginous quality to it and it’s useful as a poultice for bruising and wounds. Comfrey leaf I use internally in teas and tinctures and it’s really good as a green mulch or compost tea for the garden. I gathered a couple of leaves and added them to my bowl.

Nettle grows over by my pond. I found it growing in a hanging planter so I grabbed it and planted it next to the main pond (I have four). Nettle doesn’t seem to grow around the High Desert the way it does over in the valley, so I was thrilled to finally have some. Herbalists hate having to buy herbs that grow naturally. Nettle is a liver alterative herb which tones the master cleanse system. It contains Vitamins A and C and nourishes the body.

Holy Basil or Tulsi is an adaptogen, meaning that it goes where its needed in the body. It’s also a nervine and antispasmodic as well making it excellent for rheumatic complaints. I grow three varieties, Vana, Rama, and Kapur, in both the herb greenhouse and in pots on my deck. The smell is both spicy and minty and it’s lovely.

Another adaptogen is spearmint and likely chocolate mint. The chocolate mint is pure nirvana. It smells heavenly and so far I’ve purchased two transplants this year. Spearmint stimulates digestion, settles an upset stomach and has diuretic properties. I pinched a couple of ends off both plants and included them in today’s tea.

I recently harvested some mugwort, so I grabbed a couple of fresh leaves off the plant itself. I like to use fresh herb when I can. Mugwort is a versatile herb with anti-spasmodic, alterative, and sedative properties. It can be used in ritual as a smudge or to simply burn on charcoal in the cauldron for hedgeriding and shamanic journeying.

A beautiful sage plant is growing in a pot on my deck. It has large leaves, larger than I’ve ever seen on a sage plant and I just had to have it. It’s a nice respiratory herb with its astringent properties, but that also works well for rheumatoid arthritis. Sage also functions as a nervine, helping with pain.

Lemon balm or Melissa is a nervine and liver alterative. It reportedly kills EBV which may be at the root of rheumatoid arthritis. So, I grow it and use it daily as a simple tincture as well as in teas. It’s delicate and lemony.

I love the look of California Poppy. I discovered if I harvest it periodically, it grows back more lush and thick than when it comes up initially. A perennial, it comes back year after year. When I turned my outside garden space into a medicinal herb garden in the shape of a pentacle, I planted white California Poppy on each tip of the pentagram. But today, I clipped a couple of yellow flowers and stems for my tea. It has mild sedative properties, similar to its cousin the opium poppy, but not as strong, so it’s safe to use, however I have read that it may aggravate glaucoma, so those people suffering from that condition might want to consult a practicing herbalist before using California Poppy.

I think it’s possible that all four of my beehives are foraging on my borage. I have borage planted in two separate areas of the medicinal herb garden and they’ve gone nuts this season. They’re just covered in flowers and I gathered some as well as a couple of small leaves for my tea. Borage is both demulcent and diuretic and only undamaged leaves should be used. It has a cucumber flavor and can be used raw in salads as well. The flower is lovely to float in iced teas and other summer beverages and has a sweet taste.

Lastly, but definitely not least, I included some oat seed and oat straw in my blend. While not gathered fresh, I just finished harvesting and processing my first attempt at growing oats so they were fresh in that respect. Harvest happens when the oats reach a milky green color. Separating the seed from the stem is exhausting and I kept my arnica tincture next to me while I did it. My middle knuckle on my middle finger of my right hand was damaged by a customer in my former business when he crushed it while shaking my hand, all while knowing I suffered from RA. It was hard to miss my swollen hands, particularly if you held them in any way, but he was not happy with a competitor of ours and because I couldn’t make his experience over there better, he decided to take out his frustrations on me. And now I have permanent damage from his petulant and abusive behavior. You’d think a guy in his mid-sixties would know better, but apparently not.

Herbs like oats and oatstraw, along with comfrey leaf, are nutritive and soothing to the nervous system. Oatstraw is a nervine, demulcent, and tonic. It aids digestion and elevates the mood. Just what a Crone witch needs. I planted the oats in the top point of the pentagram, reflecting Spirit, to nourish and balance Self.

The idea behind today’s tea was to soothe and balance. The events of the past few days have left me feeling somewhat drained, but then that happens with empaths and other sensitive people. I’ve had to limit my news access because otherwise I experience overwhelming pain. I don’t understand the killing of others and we’ve lost too much in the last few days.

So let’s take extra care of each other, love each other instead of all this other nonsense. Let’s be the one family that we truly are.

Blessed Be

tea in pot

References:

  1. William, Anthony. Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal (Kindle Location 998). Hay House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  2. Erickson, Jan. Grimoire of A Crone. Kindle Direct Publishing. Kindle Edition.