Archive for October, 2013

How is Medicinal Cannabis Different From Recreational?


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.



Double Ginger Hemp Cookies


I have vowed to let cookie season make a comeback this year. I kind of quit eating cookies about two years ago when I discovered that I had a gluten intolerance. After one too many failed batches of sad looking cookies I lost my desire to bake them anymore. I have since gotten over my pouting phase and I am now on a mission to not go through another holiday season without cookie making day. I am reinventing my favorite recipes so that my body will thank me too.

Gingersnaps were on the top of my list of cookies to be reinvented. I made them raw, added hemp, and sweetened with dates instead of sugar.

Raw Ginger Hemp Cookies

1/2C hemp seeds

1/4C chia seeds soaked in 1/4-1/2C+ water

1/2C cashews, soaked in water 2-12h and drained

1T fresh ginger, minced

1T ground ginger

1T ground cinnamon

8 medjool dates

1/4C coconut oil, gently melted

1) Soak the seeds. Cashews for a few hours and chia seeds until they have gelled together.

2) Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until it becomes cookie dough texture.

3) Roll dough into little balls and flatten to desired cookie height.

4) Chill and store in the fridge or freezer, according to your preference.



I can’t wait to play with this recipe again. The results were delicious.


Spicy Pumpkin Hemp Pie


I love pumpkin pie but since falling in love with hemp and quitting sugar I felt compelled to reinvent and upgrade this very important dessert. 

Free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar but packed with spices and nutritional goodness this pie is easy to make and a treat to eat. Most of all, I figured out how to get the nutrition of hemp into the recipe so I could also eat it for breakfast and have quality energy for my day. 

Spicy Pumpkin Hemp Pie


1/2 C walnuts

1/2 C hemp seeds

2T coconut oil, melted

6 dates


1C cashews (soaked overnight)

3 dates

2T raw ginger, 

1 1/2T cinnamon

1/2T allspice

1/2T ground cloves

1 can pumpkin puree, 15 oz

1) Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor to be as smooth or crunchy as you like. Press into a pie pan. I greased my pan with a little smear of coconut oil.


2) Combine all filling ingredients in a blender/food processor until smooth. Pour on top of crust.

3) Chill in fridge until set. About 30 minutes. 

4) Keep leftovers refrigerated.


When I was first making the filling I didn’t think it was going to be sweet or flavorful enough but once the spices had a chance to meld and I tasted it with the date crust there was plenty of for the taste buds to enjoy. 



Happy, hempy, pumpkin goodness. Indulge generously. 


5 Ways Cannabis Manages Chronic Back Pain


Chronic back pain is a condition like no other.  It’s a horrible ailment, actually. I am somehow one of those people who will always have issues with my spine. While I have been dealing with this stuff since I was a preteen it wasn’t until my very early 20’s when every doctor I saw started freely prescribing me synthetic drugs to manage my spinal condition. I’ve tried to avoid taking too many synthetic pills too often because they always end up making me feel like crud, they mess up my digestive system, I don’t ever want to be addicted to them, and the idea of having to take them from now until I die as a way to cope with pain is not a future I am about to roll over for. There are better options to consider.

When I first explored using cannabis as part of my long term pain management I honestly thought that it just worked by acting more like a mental mask or a distraction from the pain. I didn’t fully understand how beneficial cannabis would be for managing the enormity of my chronic spinal condition. Turns out a lot of people I know still believe that cannabis only provides a happy distraction for pain, so, for you I write the following… 

5 Ways that Cannabis Helps Manage Chronic Back Pain:

1) Cannabis is a natural pain killer. Cannabis doesn’t just mask pain or distract you from it, it works with your body to relieve physical pain. One of the biggest plusses of using cannabis (for me) has been the pain relief without the unpleasant synthetic drug side effects or the potential risks with long-term use of synthetic medications. When you’re looking at a potential lifetime of chronic pain, you tend to take the  long term side effects of pain medication very seriously. 

2) Cannabis acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Having aches and pains caused by inflammation is a miserable experience and over time can negatively impact your overall health. Cannabis brings inflammation down to relieve pain and discomfort. Ideally, your pain management program will also be able to find what may be triggering inflammation in your body so you can address it from all angles.

3) Cannabis acts as a natural muscle relaxer and suppresses muscle spasms. Back spasms take chronic pain to a whole new level. I used to take muscle relaxers regularly to deal with muscle spasms but now that I have been taking cannabis regularly, muscle spasms and super sore overactive back muscles hardly ever happen.

4) Cannabis calms anxiety. Experiencing chronic pain creates anxiety, stress, and tension in the body. The anxiety, stress, and tension in the body create more pain thus building a vicious cycle of pain that never ends. Using the right strain of cannabis can significantly reduce or eliminate anxiety altogether by calming down the body and nervous system. Once you break the cycle of anxiety from creating stress and tension in the body, less pain will follow.

5) Cannabis helps to lift the depression that can come with chronic back pain. Being in pain every day and dealing with a debilitating back condition is one of the most challenging things a person can go through and there are predictably going to be dark spells along the journey. Pain can create a physical depression and depression can create more physical pain. Cannabis can lift the depression that will benefit not just your body but also your mental health. 

Cannabis: The pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer that also acts as an anti-anxiety and an anti-depressant. One plant working naturally and synergistically in the body to heal, calm, and create well-being.

Pain is supposed to be one of those things in our body that is there for our benefit. It is our job to listen to what it has to say,  respect it, and do what is necessary to relieve it in the healthiest way possible. Cannabis is one effective option and worth considering if you are somebody dealing with chronic back pain.