Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Three
A Life Long Journey
I wasn’t diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder until I was 33 years old. This revelation – that there was a medical reason, of some kind, behind my most confusing moods and actions – caused a paradigm shift that made me look back over my life through a new perspective.
Over time I came to see how this disorder had been with me my whole life, starting as a little child, becoming much more severe during my teen-age years, quieter during my twenties, and then finally an emotion collapse in early 1998 that lead to my diagnosis.
Making My Body Fit
For as long as I can remember I’ve lived in a very uncomfortable body – like I don’t exactly fit in my body, or as if “me” and my body were constantly twisted against one another. As you can imagine, this feeling gets horribly annoying. This is one of the on-going, daily realities I deal with as part of this thing called Bi-Polar Spectrum Disorder.
When I think about my disorder, this is the first thing I think about. After years of feeling this way, discovering something that makes this feeling go away for awhile was like discovering gold.
Unless you’ve lived with a chronic condition you don’t know what just a few hours a day of relief can do for a person. Many times it has been, literally, a life-saver.
Without exaggerating at all I could easily say – “if there was no other thing that medical marijuana did for me, this one thing would be worth all the money I’ve ever spend, all the time I’ve used as an activist, all the time I’ve spent thinking and praying about this issue.” This one aspect of this medicine is that important to me. But that’s not all this plant does for me.
Moods, Getting Stuck, Depressions and Hypo-Manias
Unfortunately, this uncomfortableness I experience isn’t the only symptom of this disorder. There is the ever-changing moods, a roller coaster ride of thoughts, feeling, ideas, and perceptions that move in cycles from high to low, and in cycles within the cycles.
And then there’s the relentless depressions – sometimes you just get stuck in a depression that won’t lift for weeks – like being caught in a giant whirlpool that spins you around and around while dragging you further and further underwater.
During these depressions I have a hard time getting around to using marijuana, often spending the whole day being beat up by a relentless depression before my wife can convince me to take a smoke break, to have a marijuana break.
This may seem odd, but depression pretty much wipes out all your desire to do anything to fix your misery – even the one thing that has worked over and over again.
I can not even count the number of times this has rescued a day from the hard grip of depression and brought me a few hours of relief.
With hypo-manias it’s the exact opposite – I can’t smoke enough marijuana, and I can end up smoking it like cigarettes.
[Note: Hypo-manias are a lot like typical Manias, but don’t go to the same extremes – Thank God!]
I don’t need any encouragement to smoke during a mania, but it helps to keep me from being overtaken by the moment – thanks to marijuana’s well-known mellowing qualities.
But Smoking Isn’t Medicine Is It?
Many people, including our President, Barack Obama, have stated, as if it were a fact, that marijuana is not medicine because it is smoked.
This is, of course, complete nonsense.
Not only is smoking just one of the ways to get the medicine in the marijuana plant into your body, but the truth is, smoking is a very effective and, for the most part, a harmless way to deliver the drug to the body.
Not All Smoke Is The Same
Even though this seems a little elementary to state, I will any way – not all forms of smoke are the same.
When most people think of smoking it seems they think of cigarette smoking, and without thinking it completely through, automatically equate marijuana smoke with cigarette smoke.
But just as smoke from a burning toxic trash dump is different from a camp fire’s smoke, cigarette smoke is completely different from marijuana smoke.
And like I said, smoking isn’t the only way to get the medicine from the plant to your body.
The Medical Rope Trick
Try this picture. Imagine there was a special rope that contained a variety of medicines. These medicines can do great things – if you can just get them from the rope into your body. How could you go about doing this?
One way is to burn the rope and inhale the smoke. While you do ingest a portion of the medicine in a manner that delivers it very quickly to the blood stream and to the brain, you destroy a lot of the medicine in the burning process.
There are several different ways you can smoke marijuana – smoking a joint, using a pipe or using a bong.
Smoking, using a glass pipe is my preferred way to “take my medicine.” I happen to like the feel of marijuana smoke filling up my lungs, but not everyone feels that way though…
Another way to get the medicine in your body is to eat it.
The active ingredients in the plant are alcohol and fat soluble – meaning that you can cook the plant in a fat, like butter, or in alcohol, to break it down and use it as a baking or cooking ingredient.
When you eat marijuana it is processed differently by your body than when you smoke it. It takes longer for the medicine to kick in, and the effects last a lot longer.
I’ve seen so many different kinds of edibles over the last few years, from the standard “pot brownie” to amazing gourmet wonders, from sodas to candies, from cheese puffs to pretzel sticks to extra-virgin, marijuana infused, olive oil.
Unfortunately, I don’t really like to use edibles…
As I stated above, marijuana is alcohol soluble, which makes it possible to make it into a tincture. Tinctures have a long medical history, because it made it possible to remove the medical properties from medicinal herbs and plants and store them until they needed to be administered, nice and conveniently by the teaspoon.
We now have glycerines that make it possible to do the same thing, but without the alcohol.
I love tinctures! I use a brand called MJ Wild Nectars. Here’s something I posted back in 2010 about Tinctures:
Edibles Without The Sugar
Not all medical marijuana patients like to smoke or vape their medicine, but prefer the effects of edibles instead.
The problem is you don’t always want to have to eat something to get that effect… or, if you’re a diabetic than your choices of edibles are severely limited because most edibles are cookies, brownies, cakes and other sweets.
Tinctures might help you get around those problems…
About Alcohol Based Tinctures
In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of leaves or other plant material) or solution of a non-volatile substance; (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome). To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% (sometimes a 90% pure liquid is even achieved).  In herbal medicine, alcoholic tinctures are often made with various concentrations of ethanol, 25% being the most common.
Source: from Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tincture
About Glycerines Based Tinctures
Glycerines have a shorter shelf life than alcohol based tinctures and while they can sit on the shelf I refrigerate mine. Vegetable glycerine has nearly no impact on blood sugar or insulin and is very low in calories (4.3 per gram). It’s sweet taste makes the tincture more palatable than the alcohol based tincture and is a suitable substitute for those concerned with alcohol consumption.
Source: AAMJ – http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/recipes/glycerine_tincture.htm
Introducing MJ’s Wild Nectar Tinctures
Fruit nectar and honey blended glycerin-based tinctures from MJ’s Wild Nectar come in a wide variety of flavors – Raspberry Raw Honey, Perfect Peach Nectar, Chocolate Raw Honey, Mango Tango Nectar and many more.
Donation amount for each bottle is only $25 and provides enough medicine for a number of doses – depending on the strength you require.
Medicating a couple drops at a time…
Application is easy – just a couple of drops on the tongue and then wait 15 to 30 minutes…
Note: Like with all herbal medicines, it may take a couple applications to judge what strength is best for you.
The last Medical Rope Trick I want to mention is the one that is probably the safest and most effective, and that is using a vaporizer.
You don’t have to heat marijuana to the burning point to get it to release it’s medicine. When marijuana reaches a temperature of close to 300 degrees it begins to give off vapors – a tasty mist of medicine – while not causing the plant material to burn.
There are many different kinds of vaporizers on the market to choose from, and quite frankly, I’m not well enough informed about all the different styles to give any advice on which kind to choose.
I will tell you that the best one I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying is the “Volcano” brand, but it’s around $500-$600 (and well worth it) – it’s on my dream list.
Oh That Crazy Federal Government…
In spite of the numerous reports, studies, personal stories and other evidence, our federal Government’s official position is, in a hold-over from the Nixon era, that marijuana has no medicinal value.
This position is scientifically absurd and has been disproved numerous times, but it’s their story, and they’re sticking to it…
“But I’ve been to the mountain top, and I’ve seen the other side… I’m here to tell you that we as a people will get to that other side!”
Coming up in Part Four (on Martin Luther King Day, 2012) I’ll be discussing how you can help change things – Right Now – Today – In This Very Moment!
Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part One
Includes the story: The Man On The Other Side Of The Wall
Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Two
I Get By With The Help Of My Friends – a brief look at my personal history with medical marijuana…