Access To Medical Cannabis In Washington Is Changing

Access To Medicinal Cannabis Is Changing in Washington.

Access To Medicinal Cannabis Is Changing in Washington.

I started this blog because I wanted to share the challenges and triumphs of using medicinal cannabis. Back then I didn’t know many other cannabis users never mind ones who knew how to use it medicinally. Through books and the internet I taught myself how to cook with it and started eating it for my health issues.

Once I got my medical cannabis recommendation my first access to it was at a chosen dispensary 30 minutes from my house. I would really only buy cannabis flower there because the only other thing they had were edibles ‘poisoned’ with gluten, dairy, and sugar not to mention a little expensive for somebody taking multiple doses each day. From there I would take my flowers and make my own cooking oils and edibles.

These days my access looks much different. I was eventually able to join a collective garden where I not only have access to quality, organic flower but fresh leaves for juicing, and solventless concentrates. While there, I am able to learn how to grow my own garden and ways to process my own plants. This type of insight has been invaluable as a patient who, in the perfect world, would like to eventually grow all my own strain specific garden.

Through networking and visiting every medical cannabis farmer’s market I could, I found a few favorite MMJ growers and processors who I can go to for strain specific cooking oils, superfood edibles, topicals, oral care products, and suppositories at a reasonable cost. I so appreciate having these people in my life. They teach me something each time we talk and I don’t have to work nearly as hard to get the specific medicine that I need. I can give them a list of terpenes that I need and they not only know what I’m talking about, they are able to hand me back products, not just flower, that do exactly what I need them to do.

With the changes to the medical cannabis laws in Washington, my access is also potentially changing back to the similar dispensary experience it was when I started taking it. My collective is being significantly shrunk. They are having to go from 15 plants per patient to 15 plants for the entire collective property to supposedly service everybody involved. While I work with some very impressive growers, time will tell if they are able to produce enough medicine with the new limits.

My access to infused edible makers that only existed in the medical marijuana market are also going to disappear unless they get into the regulated cannabis market. The products will not likely be as cost effective or strain specific if they even exist at all. Who is going to come out with a regulated cannabis suppository? 

One more big change that affects me is the reduction of how much cannabis I am allowed to keep at one time. This could even affect the way I am juicing raw cannabis. The very way that I thrive on cannabis requires plenty of plant matter and while I don’t get high from using it like this, when available I make it an effort to consume several ounces of cannabis in one day if I am taking in in raw juice form. If I couldn’t juice anymore, it would feel like a step backwards in my health management.

The future of medical cannabis in Washington seems to be changing daily and keeping up with these changes to protect myself and my family has been weighing heavily on me. Where I may have felt carefree about using cannabis in the past, for the moment, I feel somewhat oppressed as I am learning and adapting to the changing cannabis laws.

While I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude about the fact that I still have safe access to legal cannabis, I can’t help but feel concerned that my herbal medicine has been severely restricted, not because my doctor has prescribed me less but because uneducated law makers decided it made sense.

-TwiceBakedinWA

Cannabis Prevents My Suicide

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Suicide and cannabis often only shows up in the media as reefer madness propaganda about people consuming marijuana edibles and either killing themselves or somebody else when the reality is that cannabis is daily helping the suicidal who are able to choose this as a treatment.

I first heard of cannabis and suicide while watching a video by Coral Reefer, where she was talking about cannabis preventing suicide by providing a valuable tool for the severely depressed. I really appreciated her openness with the subject and it opened me up to talking more freely about my own cannabis use for depression.

Then I met Patrick from Rainier Xpress, a medical cannabis collective in Olympia, who is creating a supportive medical cannabis community for  veterans. From him I learned that 22 veterans per day are committing suicide from PTSD. His hope is that all veterans will have the option to put a cannabis vape pen in their mouth instead of a gun when they get the urge to ever end their life. I admire his strengths in putting himself so out there with a very intense topic.

I am fully aware that you can use cannabis to manage depression because I do it myself. I understand that when I am feeling dark and anxious it is a physiological issue and that I will need to physically look after my brain in order to pull through that depressed state. Cannabis helps immensely to lift dark moods and the anxiety feeders that they travel with.

The idea of suicide is nothing new to me and while I have wanted to exit this body more than once, successfully dealing with it to keep living has taught me to treat myself with more compassion and stay vigilant about following a lifestyle that supports positive mental health. Going through a bout of severe depression and anxiety is scary and confusing and not at all a reflection of your perceived reality of life but more a literal lack of nourishment to the brain.

Cannabis, good sleep, regular exercise, meditation, and proper nutrition are the main daily tools I use to keep me lifted from depression, anxiety… and as dark as it is to say, even suicide. Taking care of my mental health is one of the main reasons I use cannabis because when my depression and anxiety are managed I also experience less pain and inflammation. How about that?

Stay lifted, my friends.

-TwiceBakedinWA

Fresh Cannabis Pulp, All The Healthy Kids Are Doing It

Fresh picked cannabis leaves.

Fresh picked cannabis leaves.

I get excited about having raw cannabis leaves during the summer growing season. Fresh picked they are so fragrant and plump I intuitively feel like I am about to make a good choice for my body if I eat them.

While frequently I will run leaves through a juicer to extract pure cannabis juice, I also like to simply put them into a blender with a little water or coconut water and make a pulp.

Fresh Cannabis Pulp

Fresh Cannabis Pulp

I store that pulp in the fridge and use it in smoothies and other yummy summertime beverages. It will keep in the fridge for about three days.

You can freeze the pulp in ice cube trays to preserve it further, but you will lose the live enzymes and affect the flavor.

Why blend and use the pulp over juicing? One reason is fiber. Bringing this superfood fiber into your nutrition will feed and “cleanse” your digestive system. When your digestive system is running right, your brain will run right.

Happy Raw Cannabis Blending!

-TwicebakedinWA

Dr. Ethan Russo On Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

This week I made the trek to Vashon Island to see a talk on Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency by Dr. Ethan Russo at the monthly VIMEA meetup.

Speaking to a full room of cannabis patients, growers, processors, and enthusiasts, Dr. Russo zoned in on chronic medical conditions that demonstrate endocannabinoid deficiency.

One of the biggest things that I took away was his point that the fact that the brain and the gut are very connected. You can’t have a healthy brain without a healthy gut and vice versa. I also appreciated that he mentioned other natural ways to boost your endocannabinoid system: proper sleep, cardiovascular exercise, and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet.

I totally get that dealing with an endocannabinoid deficiency is about bringing your body into homeostasis. It seems simple enough to just use cannabis to boost your system but it really takes effort to put the other lifestyle pieces together.

As Dr. Russo stood there talking in depth about migraines I was ironically sitting in the audience with my hat low because my eyes were feeling sensitive to the lights and I had my own migraine coming on. I left feeling more determined than ever to keep on my own health regimen with the passion it requires even despite the migraine that put me in bed the next day.

I am very grateful to have been able to see Dr. Russo speak and to learn more about not only cannabis but ways to help the very conditions I am dealing with. What a treasure.

-TwiceBakedinWA

5 Years On Weed

I just mentioned two powerful methods of using cannabis for wellness that don't get me high. Do I still use other methods that are psychoactive? Absolutely, and as often as is compassionately necessary.

I am going into my fifth year as a cannabis patient. What a ride it has been. When I was first going through the process of getting a legal doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis I was dealing with scoliosis, severe pain, muscle spasms, migraines, depression, anxiety, low immunity, and digestive sensitivities.

Actually, I still deal with many of those issues but I have learned how to manage them better using cannabis. My journey with medical marijuana has allowed me to explore in depth the many ways to use cannabis for absolute relief of my symptoms.

Not only that, but I have seen another side of my health restored where I am not just using marijuana to only relieve my symptoms, I am able to use it to experience what it feels like to mentally and physically thrive when everything is running right.

My approach to medical cannabis has been a holistic one. I know that it is a superfood like no other and consuming it in its raw form gives me energy and makes me feel alive. Raw cannabis has also, more than once, provided a lift from depression, which to me feels more significant than even the pain relief.

Let me just say that this medical cannabis stuff is work. At least the growing and the juicing part of it is. I juice raw cannabis and that requires that I collect leaves, more than I can currently grow myself. I am part of a medical cannabis collective where one of my jobs is to prune plants which gives me plenty of fresh plant matter during growing season. I am so grateful to have this arrangement available to me because it took me a lot of networking to find it. I can’t imagine not juicing it now as part of my long-term health management program. 

While at one time I dismissed that a topical could be effective for my conditions, I now find myself also using cannabis topically for relief of more things than just pain. I use them to relieve migraines, menstral cramps, muscle spasms, muscle soreness, and even anxiety. I’m so thankful to have a simple potion in my bag that I can apply no matter where I happen to be and where I don’t even have to think about whether I am taking an indica or sativa. I no longer travel anywhere without a topical on me and I try to keep a healthy stash on hand in my medicine cabinet.

All this being said, I want more than relief in this life, I want to experience what it is like to thrive. I’m not looking to get high and zone out, I’m looking for the ability to climb mountains and check in.

For those of you who have followed me along the way, thank you so much for your support.

-TwiceBakedinWA

Seattle Cannabis Freedom March 2015: We Don’t Want Your Drug War!

On Saturday hundreds of cannabis activists and enthusiasts gathered in Volunteer Park and then took to the streets of Seattle for the sixth annual Cannabis Freedom March.

The police escorted procession was led by Ah Warner’s Cannabis Basics car with hemp activist Joy Beckman standing out of the sunroof with a blow-horn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VQK0tyMtM&list=LLW0HZVnHpIyEpZ0Z1CU7o8Q&index=6

While nobody was being obnoxious about their public pot smoking and being very respectful to the multitude of police traveling with us, I can report there was ample pot smoking in the park, along the march, and when we arrived to Westlake to see live music and more speakers.

The highlights of the day included some very motivating and empowering speakers like Danica Noble of NORML’s Women of Washington talking about parental rights for people who responsibly use marijuana:

Morgan from MJBA’s Women Alliance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uatly_8IRrI&index=78&list=PL1PttceL7NFxEfQgqjBtcUAKHtHUro2iG

Shawn Denae from the Washington Bud Company:

A sweet moment with Nana’s Secret, Cecilia Silverton and TwiceBaked talking about medical marijuana topicals:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFCB1PtrcqI&list=PL1PttceL7NFxEfQgqjBtcUAKHtHUro2iG&index=82

Filmed on location: MJBA’s Week in Weed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HsHhVLTbHk&list=PL1PttceL7NFxEfQgqjBtcUAKHtHUro2iG&index=81

I came home from the march feeling empowered and thankful to be part of such a kind, forward thinking, and hard-working cannabis community.

The Dream Of Marijuana Business Is Alive In Portland

Yesterday I traveled with the Marijuana Business Association to Portland, OR where about 75 local cannabis entrepreneurs gathered at the Lucky Labrador for a monthly MJBA Meetup.

It would appear that the dream of running a marijuana business in Portland is alive and strong. The people that came out were very enthusiastic for what is happening in Oregon’s newly forming cannabis industry although many of them still seem to be figuring out how they will fit into it.

I was reminded of what it felt like to be in a room of cannabis entrepreneurs and enthusiasts in Washington even just a year ago. A lot of the people there were just starting to come out to the business world, their friends, and their family that they are into weed and they may even get into the business of it. It made me smile to think of the progression of my own journey from out of the weed closet to all over the internet.

I left the Portland MJBA Meetup somewhat amused how people there view Washington kind of like a competitive sister state. I heard a few times that people think Oregon is ‘going to get it right’ and be the model for the rest of the world looking to legalize. I wonder if those people will still feel that way after a year of dealing with the OLCC as they navigate an industry that is literally changing day by day.

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