In terms of mental, emotional, spiritual & physical health, over the years I've turned to a variety of sources: Counselling, medication, Energy Healing (Emotion Code, Body Code, Reiki, etc), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, and others, I'm sure.
What I didn't envision as an option was Medicinal Cannabis.
I am a fully active, temple endowed and attending member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints & as such, I've grown up under the mindset that marijuana is considered a recreational drug & is strictly against the Church's health code, called the Word of Wisdom. Basically we like to avoid anything that you could become addicted to, as well as avoiding mind-altering states.
So in January of 2018, when my ex-husband suggested medical marijuana as an option to help with depression, anxiety & some physical ailments, I was a little surprised. He'd watched a documentary by Bill Nye (The Science Guy) showcasing the benefits of medicinal marijuana & suggested we watch it together.
By the end of watching it, I'd decided I'd look into meeting with my Doctor, as well as my Bishop (religious leader in out local congregation), to discuss it's use. My Doctor was on board, and referred me to another Doctor that meets with you & based on her recommendation, will write a Prescription for medical cannabis. Dr. Julie Hildebrand, who works for Trauma Healing Centers, wrote the Prescription for me, and because it was Doctor recommended, my Bishop was on board as well.
It was the beginning of a whole new world for me.
Well - not completely new. I'd been inactive from my church in my early 20's & used marijuana recreationally during that time. Because of this, I was already familiar with the effects & new with some trial & error, I'd be able to medicate easily & effectively.
And that's exactly what happened. In March of 2018, I made my first purchase at a local store that served Medical Patients only. I began researching all that I could about cannabis & how to use it properly for medical use. There was a lot of trying different strains (which, in a traditional, medical sense, would be similar to trying different anti-depressants, or other such pills that your Physician would recommend you try).
Different strains will provide different results. For example, Indica strains are typically for being in a restful state, evening/ nighttime use. Sativa strains are more energy inducing & great for tackling the day.
Dosage is also a key part in proper medicinal use. I've found that lower doses, more frequently, helps to keep things in a good, medicated state, without too much of the mind-altering state spoken of earlier. That being said, the "euphoria"-type feelings that can come are how the cannabis helps with depression. It lifts your mood & overall improves your spirits from a low state to an elevated one.
As always - caution is to be employed & the laws of the land adhered to. I never use cannabis when I will need to be driving. And just as a disclaimer - everything presented here is of my own opinion & results are from my own experiences, unless otherwise stated.
I've found that specific *strains of cannabis can provide specific benefits - and does it better than any prescription medication I've taken. The uptake is much quicker & the effects felt much more immediately. You are in better control of the side effects.
Sativa strains are generally more invigorating - providing uplift & energy. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing & sleep inducing. This is also where you'd get that 'couch lock' feeling - wherein once you sit down - you're pretty much stuck for the night.
A hybrid strain is created when plants of two different strains are blended (I have no idea how this is done - yet - but I'm going to learn!) Therefore you can have a sativa dominant hybrid, or an indica dominant hybrid. The effects are varied so trial & error is essential.
Cannabidiol, or CBD is a phytocannabinoid that was discovered in 1940. It is one of some 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. Clinical research on cannabidiol shows benefits with anxiety, cognition, movement disorders and pain. CBD is also beneficial as it has no psychoactive properties.
Flower, or 'bud' is the cannabis itself. From this raw form it can be changed into extracts, oils, capsules, powders, etc. But all of these methods all come from the root source, the plant itself.
I have found the flower itself to be the fastest and most beneficial method for intake.
I personally prefer to use a 'water filtration system' - a loving, less 'drug' sounding term for a water bong. Research has shown that water filtration reduces both the amount of particulate matter and the number and quantity of toxic substances in the smoke that passes through it. Water filtration removes at least two known carcinogens that would normally be found in the smoke.
One thing that I've been trying to do on this journey is keep track. Keep track of the effects, the benefits, the downsides, etc. I track what I listen to, how it makes me feel, any memories that might come up that need fixing. I track what I end up doing - as usually I find my peaks of motivation, especially for housework, to come when I've medicated. Below you'll find my journalling of my experiences with medicinal cannabis.