Over the years I knew that once medical marijuana was legalized, I would be a candidate for this type of “medical pain relief,” if you will. And honestly, I was happy about this and even embraced it with opened arms. As a younger adult, I was an advocate for the legalization of cannabis and I even wrote a college term paper on this exact subject. I knew that when I had been a user of marijuana, I enjoyed it, and it did not seem as though it were a hard and heavy drug that needed to be illegal; but never in a million years, did I think that I would be alive to actually watch as it became legalized, let alone be a patient whom it would be prescribed for as a medication.
Of course, this year to my surprise, it won the judgement of legalization in some form, across many states in the US. I thought to myself , how this was a great win for different patients all across the board, and especially for patients with chronic pain, to whom I am a part of. I had heard that there was marijuana that was specifically grown for the cannabinoids, or CBD, and that the THC would actually be very low within this type of cannabis. Which made me even more grateful, considering that a lot of things have changed since my wilder days, when I had less, or actually no real responsibility.
I can remember having issues with back pain, all the way back in 2004. That was when the owner of a company that I worked for, was nice enough to send me to a chiropractor and actually paid for the visit. (RIP BJ JOHNS) At this appointment, the chiropractor had examined me, and immediately asked me what type of head or neck trauma I had acquired in my past, due to what he had found within the x-rays that were taken. I told him that I had not been in any type of situation to cause anything to be wrong with my neck. At this point, he and I were both confused. I left that day, and just assumed that he did not know what he was talking about, even though he had pointed out that it seemed as though I had detrimental problems with my c-3 and c-4 vertebrae.
The years passed, and I was beginning to experience more and more chronic back pain, however I just assumed that this was normal aging. Then in 2012, the pain was really starting to take a toll on me, limiting my ability to work, do housework, and even play with my kids the way that I was once able to do. I ended up having two neck surgeries, the 1st one was in 2012, the 2nd one was 2014; neither of them were able to alleviate the pain, and actually made it extremely worse. The medications that I was on , were remarkably high doses of narcotics, and yet still were not able to conquer the pain that I was now feeling.
I filled out all the legal paperwork, and waited until my time (in line, so to speak) until being able to see a doctor to whom would acknowledge, that indeed my pain was severe enough to benefit from medical marijuana. At the time that I got to actually see the doctor, I was not able to purchase my medical marijuana, even though I had a patient id number, apparently I had to wait until the state sent me my confirmation of being able to purchase in the form of a “user registry” medical cannabis identification card. I believe that the required time is actually 90 days, and I was going into my 5th month.
Once I received confirmation then I was able to go to the dispensary and purchase my medical cannabis. There were all types, liquids, sheets, vapes, and even capsules; and then there were also different flavors. It almost seemed unreal to me, like a candy store for marijuana. It seemed to far fetched, but this is how I was making since of it. I was going to just order the CBD oil, because I had recently tried it, and seemed to have a lot of success with it in limiting my pain, thus reducing the amount of narcotics that I had to take in. This was when the dispensary associate said to me, “that’s only cbd oil, and it may not work as well for your condition of pain, so you may want to actually get the low THC medical marijuana, which is actually what your doctor prescribed anyway.” I expressed how I had kids and “did not want to feel high.” He assured me that this would not be the case, and that the low THC was actually grown to not get the “high,” but to ease the pain. So I listened to him, and went on about my way.
I attempted this, “low THC, medical marijuana,” that was supposed to “not get me high,” on many different occasions, trying to find a happy medium. They had told me that I would have to find the right dosage for me, so I would have to try different amounts of the “tokes” from my vape pen, to get to the point to where I would be able to ease my pain. However, I realized soon, that this was helping me to mitigate the pain, but regardless, I was also becoming very high as well. This was very upsetting to me, I did not want to become high, I just wanted to diminish my chronic pain to be able to live the life that I once was able to do. However, how could I? If I was always high, I did not want to do anything, just sit there, nothing more, nothing less.