Medical Marijuana

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a plant that is grown for many different reasons. I do have to admit that I am a child of the 70’s, so I was introduced to marijuana in my late teens. I grew up in a small town in Texas with not much to do. All my friends smoked marijuana, so of course, I was eventually going to try it! Which I did. I tried it 3 or 4 times. The only thing it did for me back then was make me extremely sleepy. So I decided it was not for me! When my friends smoked or drank, I was always the designated driver because I did not like alcohol and marijuana put me to sleep!

What a marijuana plant looks like.

What a marijuana plant looks like.

Medical Marijuana and it uses

Over the years, I had tried marijuana a few times just to see if it would improve my life in any way. I discovered each time that it just made me sleepy, as before.  I also discovered that the strains nowadays are much stronger than they were in the 70’s. I am very sensitive to all drugs, and marijuana is no different. It only takes a couple of drags and I am totally stoned. However, I really do not like the feeling and I do not like being out of control, or floating. Twice in the past when I took too many drags, I got really sick and started throwing up. I could feel every single thing that was happening to me, and again, I did not like it. Once I developed breast cancer, I had a myriad of problems. One of the biggest problems was sleeping. I could not sleep when I needed to for the life of me! I think part of the problem was that I was so sick that I spent a large part of my day sleeping, and when night came, I could not go to sleep. I was up for several nights in a row. Even though I was sleeping during the day, I still needed some sleep at night. I just could not get it. And I continued to get even sicker because I was not sleeping at night. After only about 2 weeks of sleepless nights, I decided it was time to try something else. I decided to try medicinal marijuana.

In many counties of California, it is legal to purchase medicinal marijuana. We happen to live in Santa Cruz county, one of the most notorious for legalizing marijuana. But there are restrictions to getting medicinal marijuana. The first thing you have to do is obtain a “medical marijuana card” from a licensed doctor. This is a very slippery slope. Although most of my doctors agreed that I should try medical marijuana, none of them could or would write a prescription. My doctors work for a medical organization that restricts doctors from writing the prescriptions. Since this is the case in most circumstances, there are special locations you must visit where there is a licensed doctor that can write the prescription. Not just anyone can get these special cards. You have to have a letter from your primary doctor explaining why you need the marijuana, you have to do an interview with the licensed doctor at the facility, and then the doctor will decide if you qualify for the “medical marijuana card”. If you are approved, you go back out to the receptionist. She takes a picture of your license, and types up a special sheet that allows one to use to go into the marijuana dispensaries and purchase marijuana. You can also purchase a special card the size of a credit card. However, these sheets or cards are not cheap! Just for the visit to the doctor and to obtain the sheet, it costs $125.00. If you want the special card, it is an additional $35.00. Both are good for one year. You have to renew these every year if you wish to continue using marijuana.

There are many uses for medicinal marijuana

Here I will list 14 different diseases/symptoms that benefit from the use of marijuana. Some of these apply to Cancer. Some do not.

  1. Nausea – marijuana can help alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by chemo treatments for cancer patients and also can help AIDS patients deal with nausea and vomiting.
  2. Burning nerve pain in feet and hands – this pain can be caused by diabetes, AIDS, spinal cord injuries, and neuropothy caused by chemotherapy for cancer
  3. Multiple Sclerosis – caused debilitating joint stiffness and muscle spasms, making it very difficult to walk and causes major sleeplessness due to these symptoms
  4. Epilepsy –
  5.  Crohn’s Disease
  6. Parkinson’s Disease
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease
  8. Chronic Body Pain
  9. Anxiety Disorders
  10. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – this disorder is caused by a severe trauma. It can be related to a bad car accident, to domestic abuse, and many of our veterans suffer from this disorder.
  11. Weight Loss
  12. Lupus
  13. Glaucoma
  14. Cancer – marijuana can help with many symptoms of cancer. Some patients use it to help increase their appetite, some use it to help with sleep. it can be used to control severe hot and cold flashes, it can also be used to help with all of the body pain associated with cancer treatments. There are different strains and many different varieties of marijuana.

Visiting a Dispensary

Because there so many different strains and varieties, it is best to spend some time in a medicinal marijuana dispensary and ask a lot of questions. You cannot try before you buy, so initially you are basically just going on a wing and a prayer. If you have friends or family that use it, they can usually give good recommendations. In my case, I spent a lot of time in the dispensary asking questions and trying to figure out what would work best for my situation. Because there are so many problems that can be solved with marijuana, you need to find the right strain that applies to your particular situation.

Marijuana comes in many different forms. The picture to the right shows what harvested marijuana looks like. You can buy large clumps of marijuana like this. It comes in different sizes of grams and the price varies based on the number of grams and the weight of the grams that you purchase. You would crumble this up and make a joint to smoke. You can also put it in a pipe and smoke it.

My doctors advised me NOT TO SMOKE marijuana. Because it is a plant that is susceptible to mold, it can be very dangerous for someone with cancer. If one were to get moldy marijuana and smoke it, the mold would get into your lungs. During Chemotherapy, your white blood cell count can go as low as 100 which is extremely dangerous! It means that your body CANNOT fight off ANY INFECTION, and that includes the mold in the marijuana. Because one may not see the mold that has accumulated on the inside of the leaves, my doctors highly stressed not smoking.

The Many Forms of Marijuana

Marijuana comes in wax, in drops, in liquid and in edibles besides the leafy form. Each of these can be used in various ways. There is a mechanism like an e-cigarette that you can use with the wax. The wax can also be spread over the leaves if you want to smoke. It just heightens the experience. The drops come in a small bottle with an eyedropper. You place a couple of drops either on your tongue or under your tongue. The same goes for the liquid. You can take small spoonfuls of it.

The last form is edibles. This can include cookies, candy and cake. My favorite for myself is called a Dankie. There are 5 different flavors consisting of Happy Seed Red Velvet Cake, (my favorite!), Happy Seed Vanilla, Happy Seed Chocolate, Happy Seed Jelly Bottom, Happy Seed Marble and Happy Seed Seasonal. These consist of things like Pumpkin during the holidays. Obviously, the company name is “Happy Seed Edibles. They are located in Santa Cruz, California. You receive one Dankie in each package. The cost is approximately $14.00. I know, that sounds expensive! However, in my case, I cut my Dankie into 12 equal pieces and take between one and one and a half pieces each night about 2 hours before bed. The Dankie measures about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide and about 1 1/2 inches tall. One Dankie lasts me about 8 to 10 days. That averages out to about $1.40 per day. There really is nothing else that only cost $1.40 a day that will put me to sleep. And I figure $1.40 is reasonable, especially if I get 10 to 12 hours of consistent sleep each night.

I will be doing a report on all of the different kinds of marijuana and what marijuana terms mean. That report will follow in a few days. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need help in any way, PLEASE feel free to contact me. Leave a comment below and I will get back to you!

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