The Reluctant Cannabis Patient

So, how did I get started with medical cannabis? I have asthma, PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks. When Old Hippie and I went to a medical cannabis gathering awhile back, someone there said that smoking cannabis was good for asthma. I almost said bullshit to his face. Smoke, particulates, perfume all hurt my lungs. My lungs ache (no kidding here!) as the airways start to close up.

I have read that many people with mild or moderate asthma have had good results with cannabis. THC can act as a bronchodilator which is a chemical that relaxes airway muscles, bringing relief from bronchiospasms (asthma attacks). This is a good example of how cannabis works differently for different people. I don’t have severe asthma, but I do have permanent lung damage and allergies, and these combine to make me extremely sensitive to any airborne particulates. For people with any lung problems whatever, it seems to me the height of folly to smoke anything, as all smoke stresses or damages your lungs to some degree. There are so many other ways of taking cannabis anyway!

When Old Hippie first started with medical cannabis he smoked and I choked, so I had to be on the other side of our home when he used it. Once he discovered vaping, I tried it and choked some more, both times with different strains. I needed my albuterol inhaler twice and also diphenhydramine (AKA Benadryl  — we buy generic) to stop the irritation and relax my airways and sinuses. I would recommend vaporizing (for those who prefer inhaling) if it doesn’t bother your breathing…it’s much, much safer and healthier than smoking!

When Old Hippie discovered edibles made by others, he had a few “adventures” and I was reluctant to try any edibles. I do not enjoy being high. I don’t want to be over a [3] on the highness scale. I do not like feeling like my mind is out of control or having time dilation, or feeling that my heart or lungs are working overtime (I have high body sensitivity).

Old Hippie did a lot of research for both of us. I listened and learned and followed his links. Indica versus Sativa. I need the former, he a mix of both. My favorite is Purple Kush or its variants. I cannot tolerate any amount of Sativa. It makes me feel angry, irritable, on edge and ready to destroy something.  Not who I want to be at all.

He also experimented with putting cannabis in coconut oil capsules (Canna Caps), cannabutter and tinctures. So after a lot of trial and error, he made me a special milk chocolate batch (for Mother’s Day!) and also butter to try. The 1/2 inch thick chocolate was made in standard square chocolate candy molds and had to be cut into smaller and smaller pieces until I found the right dose. For me the right dose is one that doesn’t go past a [3] — and that stops my anxiety before it becomes a full blown panic attack. If I need faster relief, I use tincture.

The grass green (pun intended!) butter tastes awful at first. But the taste grew on me after a few weeks. I eat asparagus and artichokes and the flavor was close to those vegetables. Just a bit more “green” (chlorophyll) tasting. I first tried the cannabis butter on Ritz or Triscuit crackers to mask the taste. Now I can eat it plain. My dosage? About a large pea sized piece. He made a quarter pound of cannabutter at once, and we froze most of it in airtight containers and thaw pieces as needed.

I take cannabis edibles, whether butter or capsules or chocolate, as needed. I have sometimes been able to go 3 weeks without it.  I only need a small dose to meet my needs, not multiple daily doses every day. I’m lucky compared to other patients.

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