Archive for May, 2013

Treating a Migraine with Cannabis

IMG_1075

I have been writing on this post all week with a spirit of desperation and frustration. For three days I battled a migraine that sucked the sunshine out of my soul. Despite the head pain, physical discomfort, back pain, light sensitivity, nausea, lousy memory, anxiety, and slight disorientation I attempted to live life like a normal human. If you get migraines you know it brings life to a halt no matter how much you need to get done, how much you would rather be living, or how badly you would just like relief from debilitating pain masticating your brain.

In the spirit of finding a cannabis remedy that  would work for the migraines that I have had off and on since age 9, I decided to take advantage of this difficult week to experiment with some new mmj medicine I hadn’t tried yet.

My migraine showed up on Monday morning. I woke up with that little feeling I was getting an ugly headache, the perfect time to apply a cannabis migraine topical salve to my forehead, temples, and the back of my neck. I’m not sure how to explain if the topical provided any relief except that it seemed to hold the headache at bay for a while. Still, I could feel my headache build all morning and around noon it hit me with its full impact, vomiting and all. I made it home and turned my bed into a cocoon, hoping to be able to sleep it out. I only slept for about 30 minutes. Got up, did a few necessary things and took some indica cannabis tincture and ibprofen (which I generally use just for headaches.) That let me sleep for 6.5 hours overnight. I needed more.

I woke up Tuesday morning with my headache still there, nauseous, and feeling really defeated that I was going to have to face another day with my head in a dark black cloud. This is where the feelings of desperation set in. I vaped a little cannabis flower and that helped to mute the nausea and pain and allowed me to pretend to be human enough to leave the house.

Around noon I had a raw cannabis smoothie and I noticed my mood lift a little and my symptoms mute some. I contemplated taking something for further relief but I also felt so tired of being the person who seemingly has to take medicine everyday just to function at normal. I protested by trying not to take anything else. That lasted but a few hours. The frustrating part was that anything I took didn’t take the symptoms away totally although it did seem to mute the pain some.

Wednesday I woke up feeling a little better but still battling. I decided that it was a great day to fully medicate. I started my day with a dose of RSO cannabis concentrate (blue dream and harlequin). Later that morning I medicated with OG Kush. I continued with an afternoon medible… you get the idea. I was very medicated by bedtime and I got some very needed rest and relief after a few days of struggling.

Thursday I woke up feeling ok. I was still sensitive to light, physically weak, and felt like there was a potential that my migraine could come back, but for the most part I was fine.

What did I learn this week about using cannabis for migraines? I needed to use a lot of it to get real relief but I did get some relief. Vaping is helpful for the nausea and seems to mute the pain some but not so much with the mental cloudiness. The medibles were helpful for sleeping and some relief of pain and anxiety. The topical salves seemed to be effective during the window between first feeling a headache and having it hit full blown so you can get your cocoon prepped, get hydrated, get medicated, and get to bed.

I was reminded this week that sometimes we have no control over the things that we endure. Here’s hoping that maybe this was my last migraine ever.

Until next time, may you remain perfectly medicated.

-TwiceBaked

60 Days of Raw Cannabis

IMG_1046

It has officially been 60 days that I have been ingesting raw cannabis. To put it mildly, my life has changed in the past two months. While I’ve been using cannabis as medicine for almost two years, taking it in the raw form has brought my well-being to a new level.

Here is what has changed for me:

Relief from Painful Mornings. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to be excited about doing anything in your day when it begins with pain. Two months ago mornings were the time of day when my body was stiff, uncomfortable, and slow to move. Bending down to do anything was a huge challenge before 9am. That has slowly been dissipating. I still have a small amount of difficulty in the mornings but getting dressed is not nearly as challenging as it was.  I have taken advantage of this relief to move more. I’ve been pushing myself to spend a good 30 minutes being active as soon as I get up. Everyday calls for something different but I’ve been walking, stretching, hiking, or dancing first thing on most mornings and while it is not easy, it feels really good.

I feel really, really happy. Like really happy. Just a few short months ago I was dealing with a heavy bout of depression, the lovely side effect of chronic pain. Days after starting raw cannabis I noticed my overall mood changed to feeling super happy. Not high, just happy! Of course, I still have other moods but overall it feels good to be in a positive state of mind.

My energy has increased.  At one point I was needing to take a nap every single day. I felt like a slug. Now I get up with the sun and am able to go all day without too many dips in my overall energy. I’ve been taking advantage of this by exercising a little more which takes me to the next awesome thing that has happened…

I gained muscle. Did you know that there are properties in cannabis which can act as a bone-stimulant? I’m learning that too. Over the past two years I lost about 30lbs and some of that loss was muscle mass. This is concerns me because I am also trying to prevent bone loss as I age and deal with an already compromised skeleton. If you have ever tried gaining muscle, you know it is work. Your meals need to be regimented and clean, your workouts need to be regularly dialed in, and you need to stay dedicated to it daily. So this is exactly what I have been doing and it is working. I am feeling my strength improve and I am once again seeing muscles. That feels amazing.

My libido went up.  That is all. (Cue blushing.)

IMG_1037

About two months ago I also made another change- I quit all sugar. This is also very significant and a large part of why I feel so great. Although I eat well, eliminating this apparently toxic and severely addictive substance has proven to be a big challenge. It would seem though that I am coming out on top because I don’t even really want it anymore. Now if I eat sugar I get all the pain, inflammation, and depression that used to be my old normal. This change has taken some serious dedication on my part. I have to love my body more than sugar. Not always as easy as it should seem.

I still deal with digestive issues, I have to be very careful what I eat, I still experience pain, and I still have days where I don’t move as much as I need to. My health didn’t suddenly become perfect because I quit sugar and started eating raw cannabis but I do feel a level of vitality that I have not experienced in a long while.

Eating raw cannabis every day has been amazing. It has opened the door to feeling well and allowed me to keep adding other positive steps into my lifestyle. I always take advantage of the days when I feel really good and thankfully I have been receiving more of those lately. I am so grateful for that.

IMG_1061

Thank you, Cannabis.

-TwiceBaked

The CBD Cannabis Root Experience

IMG_1020

This week I was given a totally different way to try cannabis. Dried, activated, aeroponically grown cannabis root. I’d never heard of such a thing either. I was told it was super high in CBDs (cannabidiol): the anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, antibacterial, antispasmodic (among other things) part of cannabis that makes it such a valuable medicine. I was also told that I would not be getting high from this and that it would counteract the effects of  any medicine that had THC in it. I was ready to try it.

IMG_1009

There were two things that I wanted to experiment with. First, I wanted to see how it affected me and if it was good for pain and discomfort. Second, I wanted to see if the CBD root would actually counteract a dose of THC.

I will be honest and tell you that I kind of did my experimenting a little backward. I did the THC part first, as I’m sure you can guess why. It’s seemed like it would be more interesting.

IMG_1014

Day 1:

6:30am- I ate a healthy dose of cannabis concentrate that was high in THC. I decided that it was a good idea to see if the CBD root would counteract the THC that I had taken.

11am- I was still feeling the effects of my morning concentrate and decided to take the first dose of cannabis root, 1 tsp. I poured a little in my hand and ate it dry with a snack bar chaser and some water. It didn’t have much flavor but was not super easy to get down only because it was so dry.

12:30am- I took a second 1tsp dose. This time I poured it into my smoothie. I was left feeling relaxed and possibly a little more quiet than I normally am. The bottom line, I was fairly medicated all day. Can I say that the CBD took down the THC? I’m honestly not sure but it was a pleasant experience nonetheless.

I decided to do the second half of my experimenting the next day without THC involvement.

IMG_1018

Day 2:

6am- I took a 2 tsp dose of cannabis root in my smoothie. Around 7:30am I could feel it kick in. Early morning back pain melted away and I was left feeling relaxed and good without a THC ‘high.’ This lasted for a large portion of the day. I felt perfectly medicated for daytime activities, energetic, happy, and physically feeling good. Funny how much better things work when you take them as instructed.

I’m not sure that you will be able to find cannabis root at a collective near you but it is an interesting and noteworthy thing to see how people are continuing to find new ways to use the cannabis plant.

I am so grateful to have been able to try my medicine in this form and experience something new from cannabis.

That is the sweetest of greens.

-TwiceBaked

When Cannabis Gives You the Munchies

IMG_0880

As you may know, taking cannabis can stimulate your appetite. In some cases that is totally awesome. You can gain weight and even enjoy your food on a new level. In other cases this is not so awesome because you can gain weight and enjoy your food on a new level. I have experienced both sides of the munchie coin.

During my first month as a cannabis patient I gained a bunch of weight that I didn’t need. I frequently felt like I was eating all of the food in my house. (Did I mention that I really like food?) Over time that seemed to balance itself out but during that segment when my body was already holding on to too much weight it felt a little daunting to think that I seemed to have no control over my appetite.

On the other hand there have been times that I have needed to gain weight and have been able to use the munchies as an advantage to do so.  It is really hard to eat when you have no appetite or feel cruddy. Cannabis can help that by not only stimulating your appetite but also enhancing the pleasure of eating.

Having experienced the munchies both as a positive experience and a challenge has taught me some tricks.

1) I have learned that certain cannabis strains are more likely to give you the munchies than others. Do your homework, try different strains, and find out which ones will suit your needs the best.

2) Consider your cannabis delivery method. I have found that eating cannabis does not stimulate the appetite as much as smoking or vaporizing. See if that is the same for you. One word of caution about medibles and appetite: If your medibles (or food) contain sugar, the sugar alone will stimulate your appetite, make you crave more sugar and possibly cause you to clean out your cupboards looking for it. It’s not always the cannabis affecting your appetite.

3) Plan your food. Keep your cupboard and fridge stocked with food that makes your body feel good and that is easy to prepare. If you are trying to avoid unhealthy foods than make every effort to keep it out of the house. If you are anything like me, self-control is a cute theory. If there is any junk food in the house, I will always go for it first. I find success in this area when my fridge is stocked with healthy food I could eat all day without taxing my body and digestive system.

4) I try to remember how big my stomach actually is. Put two fists together and that is supposedly the size of your stomach. Uh, I can eat a lot more than that but it is a helpful way to remember that it is not necessary to eat more than I should.

5) Take advantage of your cannabis experience by slowing down and really enjoying your food. Chew every bite well. Breathe. Relax. This simple tip helps your body digest your food better and allows you to be a more conscious of what you eat and how it makes you feel.

6) If eating too much is a concern for you, try keeping a food journal. Write down the time, what you ate, and how you were feeling at the time. It can also be helpful to keep track of what cannabis strains you are using and how it affects your appetite.

7) Drink water. Sometimes when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. I find cannabis dehydrating so keeping my water tanks full remains a big priority.

The bottom line is to consistently set yourself up for nutritional success. It’s all about making sure that your body is being fed the nutrients that you need so you can have energy, reduce inflammation, and feel well.  The munchies happen, its all in how you deal with it.

Until next time…Eat your greens and be happy.

-TwiceBaked