One of the beautiful things about living in Washington is that I am currently able to use cannabis as medicine and have safe access to it. With the latest chatter about medical cannabis being shut down and rolled into the recreational market I am compelled to point out some very big differences between recreational use and using cannabis for medicine and health reasons.
I sometimes find it amusing and slightly offensive when people suggest that I only medicate by smoking and probably just get high all of the time because that is how they relate to marijuana. Most people only know cannabis as a something that is smoked recreationally for the euphoric effects. That is, in fact, how I was introduced to cannabis so I can empathize with that thinking. When I started using cannabis for chronic pain I was exposed to a whole different world where one does not ever need to get high to benefit.
Here are a few ways that my medicinal cannabis use is different from recreational use:
1) I am not on a mission to be high. In fact, most recreational users would be disappointed with the effect of many of my cannabis medicines because the majority of them are not psychoactive and do not make you high. If I were limited to only using the recreational marijuana that is specifically designed to make you high I would not experience the same level of health benefits. Believe me, I’ve tried, it is not the same.
2) I don’t need to smoke my medicine because I have safe access to other options. Smoking, while effective, is the least effective way for me personally to take cannabis as medicine. I have several other delivery methods besides smoking that do the job well. Most of my recreational friends only smoke their cannabis and while I can be social and partake with them on their recreational level it is a different experience for me.
3) I eat raw cannabis. I eat and juice the leaves and the flowers of organically grown plants to receive 60 times the medicinal benefits of other delivery methods without any psychoactive effects. It is amazing. To get the full benefits of using raw cannabis this way one must take it consistently which requires a steady supply of raw plants. It is honestly not possible to find raw cannabis unless I grow it myself or know somebody who I trust that grows organically and can occasionally provide it to me. Recreational users do not even know that cannabis is a vegetable and superfood of this planet.
4) I use cannabis concentrates. I add it to my food or take it sublingually and it is amazing for my pain. Many recreational users have never even seen a medicinal cannabis concentrate.
5) I don’t eat the “pot brownies” found at a party just because they have cannabis in them. Not only am I picky about my food but using cannabis as medicine has taught me that unless I know who made the infused treat, how potent it might be, and exactly what is in it I should always pass. Recreational users will not only partake in the pot brownies they will often have another before the first one kicks in.
6) I use cannabis for multiple reasons: Chronic pain, inflammation, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorders, migraines, anxiety, and depression. Recreational users are using marijuana to get high.
7) I use high CBD cannabis strains which are amazing as medicine but not so popular among the recreational crowds because they do not deliver a THC high. Recreational users are not often familiar with what CBD even is.
8) I use cannabis topicals on my skin that don’t make me high but do make my body more comfortable to live in. While these topicals are very therapeutic, they are recreationally boring.
I frequently hear goofy remarks from recreational cannabis users about how they wish they had their medical recommendation so they could be high all of the time. (I often want to say they could have mine if they would also take my scoliotic spine and chronic pain.)
I love the recreational users. I used to be one myself, back in the day. I embrace the freedom, generosity, and friends that surround the use of recreational cannabis and hope that my options and freedoms as a medicinal cannabis patient remain through the implementation of legalizing cannabis in Washington.