Pain Relief with Cannabis and Concentrates
A Story of HOPE by our Dip Device Winner
Thank you for all that you do, John. You and United Patients Group are a critical resource for medical cannabis patients.
I am a 41-year-old woman living in Santa Barbara, California. Medical cannabis has helped me deal with depression and anxiety from undiagnosed ADHD since I was 16 years old. It helped me focus and cope with the intense emotions of a teenager. My parents did not know at first, and upon their awareness, this was greatly discouraged. It was seen as something that was “evil, immoral, not what good people do” and being the oldest of a very large Catholic family, this was strictly impressed upon us. This was hard for me because I felt like a bad person, and always wondered why I was different. I felt a huge amount of anxiety & depression from this, and cannabis helped me feel better, focused and calm. As I grew older and realized that anxiety & depression are typically co-morbid with ADHD, I was put on antidepressants and mood stabilizers, but they made me feel very strange. Smoking cannabis was the one thing that helped.
In college in Maine, I grew cannabis, made edibles, and enjoyed sharing cannabis with my friends. I have degrees in Biology and Botany which are very applicable. I have always been interested in herbal medicine, nutritional healing, and wellness, so cannabis was a natural progression.
In Dec 2000, my housemate and good friend Hannah Corbeil was murdered in our home at 3 AM. Colin, my other housemate, and I woke up to a gunshot that ended the life of our dear friend in our home. It was incredibly sad, and her murder was never solved. It was especially horrible for her family. That summer, I was working as a Caretaker and Ridge-runner on the Appalachian Trail in Maine, when I was struck by a very intense episode of what was later diagnosed as Myofascial Pain Disorder. Mine manifests mainly in my head, jaw, neck and upper back and is thought to be due to stress and trauma. This was an entirely new experience and it was incredibly painful. The only relief offered was Novocain shots directly into the muscles on my head to release a multi-day long spasm. The pain was nearly unbearable, and I was prescribed muscle relaxants which made me feel mentally foggy and clumsy. I typically use cannabis flower, tinctures, and topicals as my main forms of ingestion. Edibles seem to make me mentally foggy and tired. And even cannabis was only taking the edge off. It was hard to function in my daily life with my head in a painful, ever-tightening vice grip. It was hard to focus on what people were saying, all I wanted to do was push my head into a pillow to try to push back into the excruciating squeezing of my skull, neck and jaw.
I realized that I needed to work on managing my life so that my muscles did not seize up again because I was afraid of the level of pain I had experienced. I needed to find a way to better manage my stress which seemed to be the main cause, so I went to therapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbalists, massage therapists, chiropractors, doctors, and more. This all helped immensely though I was still grinding my teeth at night. The years of intense grinding and clenching from stress had cracked and broken many of my teeth! I have been working on repairing and managing my TMJ, and my overall stress. I work multiple jobs, and shortly after a stressful situation, I would often have an “attack” of incredibly painful muscle spasms.
With the advice & assistance from a friend, I discovered that vaporizing cannabis oil concentrates really helped relieve the pain. It took about 2 hits using a propane torch and strange bong contraption of Gorilla Glue rosin and my muscles started to relax. It was very strong, and almost immediately effective for a couple hours. Breaking the pain feedback loop helped me finally relax and reduced the inflammation and slowly relaxed my iron helmet of muscles. But using a bong with multiple attachments and a torch was not ideal, I live in a studio so space is limited, the torch is a bit overwhelming and trying to figure out the correct temperature was challenging. I found very little information from credible sources regarding best practices. However, it really helped the pain. I prefer to smoke cannabis flower as the concentrate oil is very potent and I use it as medicine. Cannabis flower and high CBD tincture helps manage the ADHD, anxiety & depression, and I use the concentrates more sparingly for intense pain and muscle spasms. I combine cannabinoid medicine with a holistic lifestyle including diet, exercise, meditation. This is what I have found to work best for me.
I’m excited to try the Dip Device because it looks like a simple device. As a woman, I find that the concentrate arena is very male dominated and there is a huge gap in education for consumers. I work with patients and there is a huge lack of information for the medical benefits also.
Many thanks John!! 🙂
Respectfully submitted by Liz Rogan
If you’d like to share your Stories of Hope…we would be honored. You can submit to Hope@UnitedPatientsGroup.com