The alarm goes off at 6:45 and I hit the snooze button as I’m overwhelmed with a huge wave of nausea. Taking a deep breath, I reach for my loaded pipe and lighter taking a hit and breathing slowly. I lie still for a moment and take another hit as I feel nausea begin to subside. One more, and I’m ready to get dressed and ready for the day.
As I go through the day, I manage various tasks trying to keep my anxiety at a reasonable level. While I’m at work, I can’t smoke but I have CBD capsules handy in case anything gets too intense. Always prepared for a panic attack or a sudden wave of pain or nausea to take over.
At the end of the day, I’m in pain. I clock out and head to my car. As I drive home all I can think about is the vaporizer at home waiting for me. I get home and take a hit of wax and a deep breath, change into some more comfortable clothes and go out with coworkers, or start on some homework, depending on the day.
I struggle with many physical and mental illnesses. I have degenerative arthritis in my ankle, chronic nausea, migraines, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. When under the care of a psychiatrist, I have been on up to 15 different prescription medications. Antipsychotics, anti-anxieties, anti-depressants, tranquilizers, pain killers, anti-nausea, muscle relaxants just a concoction of chemicals that were supposed to help me “get better.” All they did was make me worse. I finally started getting better when I started smoking weed.
In high school, I tried it a couple times. I wasn’t an avid smoker, but I would partake on occasion. Once I started college, I didn’t really interact with it much until I dropped off a coworker at her place late one night and she invited me to smoke. I figured why not and took a hit. As it started to affect me I began to wonder why I didn’t smoke more. My anxiety was less and my mind was slowing down enough to understand what was going on. I could see things in full vibrant colors. I was in less pain and my nausea was subsiding. “This is wonderful,” I thought.
Living in Colorado at the time, I decided to get my medical marijuana license for chronic pain. After the doctor signed off on my card, I could go to a dispensary and look around and choose what I wanted. For years, I would go to the dispensary and pick out edibles, flowers, concentrates. I tried sodas, candies, oils and so many different strains. There were creams and pain patches all with cannabis in them for medication. As I got more experienced with marijuana, I started making my own oils and learning how to treat different things. I’ve made full meals with cannabis in them.
I started getting better. I stopped taking prescription medication. However, it was difficult to find a job. A lot of places drug test and even though I was using it legally since it is not legal on a federal level, there were a lot of places that would not hire you. So, I finally had the motivation to work and be productive, yet I couldn’t because places wouldn’t hire me for taking the only medication that seemed to be effective.
I found a way and found jobs, they paid less but it was better than nothing at all. I was still able to go to the dispensary and pick up my supplies, easily purchase my medication. Circumstances then arose where I had to move to a state where it is not legal yet. So I hoped for the best but knew that I might end up having to go back on some prescriptions if I had any hope of being productive in the future.
The first few months were rough, I had daily panic attacks and could barely sleep. I had to go back on three medications and I was not happy about it. It was a very difficult experience not being able to have the medication that I knew would help me.
After some time, I was able to get my medication again and things improved drastically, again. I went off the medications for the second time and felt healthier and better. I started performing better at my job and created stronger relationships because my anxiety wasn’t overpowering me.
There are millions of people that use cannabis as medicine and have a daily routine that involves cannabis. They wake up and smoke for medicine and not recreation yet they have a constant fear that they could be arrested or fired due to their usage. Marijuana has never killed anyone, ever. It is impossible to overdose and can be regulated in a manner that allows people to get the help they need in a natural manner.
The chemicals in Cannabis are already naturally occurring in our bodies. Some people produce more than others and therefore may not have the need or desire to consume cannabis. However, some people are lacking in those chemicals and may need more to balance their system. It is just like someone who is anemic taking an iron pill daily. It is a plant, an herb, that is wonderful medicine with natural benefits.