Sharon blogs, reports, quotes & nags about cannabis
Cannabis was my Gateway to other Beneficial Plants
When I was 24 years old I knew I wanted to be a gardener. Unable to learn in a traditional setting, I enrolled at a local occupational center to earn a certificate in gardening maintenance. I sat beside immigrants and young men with their sights on becoming maintenance workers at golf courses and city parks.
Initially, I worked for a lady who only planted flower beds, with my goal of having my own gardening service one day.
After a year working for others, my Aunt Janice lent me a down payment for a little red Nissan truck, and via word-of-mouth, I eventually had more than 30 clients; designing, planting and maintaining flower beds in high-end neighborhoods where I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles.
That parlayed into planting vegetable gardens, and I raised my daughter eating out of the garden.
I didn’t fully understand the importance of what it means to our bodies to eat an abundance of produce, herbs, and spices from the garden to prevent major illness, until I moved up to Humboldt County and presented with breast cancer.
As detailed in my “Sharon’s Cancer Story,” I had smoked cannabis since I was 16, giving it up after getting pregnant with my daughter (something I know now I didn’t have to do).
As also detailed, because I was working in media in the cannabis capitol of the world, I was given cannabis oil by Southern Humboldt remedy maker and farmer, Pearl Moon, of The Bud Sisters.
That first night I didn’t need my sleeping pill I’d relied on for years for sleep difficulties from Thyroid Disease and Menopause; the next day I no longer needed my pain killer for a partially disabled knee. In two and a half weeks, upwards of ten prescription medications and supplements were no longer needed; with the cancer gone in two and a half months.
This made me look at plants in another way, as I learned that cannabis is a super food, or a plant with numerous benefits – with many more super plants out there to learn about.
The second addition to my Apothecary cupboard was chamomile, as I discovered it too is a super food, with the ability to replace the Valium, I had needed prior for anxiety. It also quelled pain when used as a topical – in the same way CBD (cannabinoid) only or cannabis salve would. A study found it’s also an antioxidant and kills cancer cells; with yet another study showing an ability to combat depression.
A severe bout of allergies in the Southern Baja desert enlightened me to the use of Nettles as allergen – clearing up my sinus in minutes when made into a tincture (steeped in gin, I initially made a tonic cocktail, then used it as a tincture with a dropper). Nettles are also an immune system builder and liver cleanser. Who knew?
I’ll tell you who knew, the Apothecaries prior to the 1930s. Apothecary was the method of healing with plants around the world up until synthetic patents were created that could only attempt to mimic the healing benefits of the super foods – or super plants, already in use for thousands of years.
Each night I take one cannabis and one chamomile oil capsule before bedtime; preventing the cancer from coming back and others from starting, and keeping myriad symptoms at bay from Thyroid Disease and menopause; as well as hormonal depression.
This past summer I was given a new product to try from Emerald Health Bioceuticals, said to feed the endocannbinoid system (ecs) that accepts the beneficial compounds from plants in the same way cannabis does.
With the tag line, “Beyond CBD,” the product and subsequent ad campaign alerts us to the fact that many beneficial plants have the CBD compound and other complex super food qualities that prevent numerous negative ailments… inflammation, infection; and are anti-oxidants, preventing against cancer, adjust blood sugars and regulate hormones.
To test this product I decided to forgo the chamomile cap at night and began taking two caps of Endo Bliss, a combination of beneficial herbs said to promote a “positive mood outlook,” while supporting the ecs.
Main ingredients in the Bliss formulation include Saffron powder, and “PhytoCann” complex; a proprietary blend of six proven herbs and botanicals to activate the ecs in the same way cannabis or CBD does.
As listed, the complex includes, clove oil, black pepper, ginger, Echinacea, peony, and magnolia.
A few years ago I did a story on cloves and its abundance of Beta-caryophyllene or BCP, as noted in the following exerpt:
Cannabis also contains a little known compound called Beta-caryophyllene or BCP, said to nearly mimic CBD with no psychoactive properties, found in the most fragrant herbs and spices, such as oregano, black pepper, and cinnamon.
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences July of 2008, a team of pharmacology and neurology experts from Switzerland, Italy, and Germany reported that BCP is in fact a dietary cannabinoid, responsive to both CB1 and CB2 receptors within the Endocannabinoid System.
The findings named BCP as a “potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.”
The paper goes on to state, since the team knew Cannabis strains vary wildly – especially in oil delivery preparations – five “commercial” Cannabis essential oils lacking CBD were tested in young mice during this controlled study.
The conclusion stated that BCP, taken with a daily intake of 10 to 200 mg. “could be a dietary factor that potentially modulates inflammatory and other pathophysiological process via the Endocannabinoid System.”
The first day of taking two of the Endo Bliss capsules, I felt as uplifted as I had with the chamomile in a very short amount of time, and I didn’t need to take a chamomile cap in the daytime, as needed for anxiety. I continued to take two a day until the bottle was gone, or about 30 days. Then, I purposely didn’t take the chamomile cap to note the difference. In no time my anxiety and a lower mood reared its ugly head, and I resumed my chamomile once more.
I can assuredly say, the Endo Bliss worked. Other proprietary combinations by Emerald Health Botanicals include, Endo Sleep, Endo Inflame, Endo Calm, and Endo Brain – providing clarity of mind, focus and cognition, to name a few positive side effects.
I live in Mexico, where plant-based remedy is common, with botanica shops my go-to for herbal combinations, treating many common ailments.
I purchased a bag of such plants labeled for sleep that included pieces of bark & leaves from lilac, orange blossom, purple toronjil, orange leaves, and pyracantha. Instructions said to steep in water for a strong tea to aid in sleep. I decided to make some capsules using the same alcohol reduction recipe for cannabis oil, using a 96 percent alcohol sold in Mexico ($7 U.S. a liter).
The results were nothing short of spectacular, as the capsule knocked me out with no negative side effects – I woke up refreshed, knowing the ingredients also had other properties, feeding my ecs in the same way cannabis and other super plants do.
In Mexico, there are but a handful of teas on market shelves – all medicinal: chamomile, lemon balm, hibiscus, and my favorite, Siete Azores, Seven Blossoms – with seven beneficial plants in one tea, used as prevention and remedy.
I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it, we as a species have gone too far from the garden, while simultaneously adding toxins and empty food to our environment and diets.
If you are a cannabis partaker or patient and are only smoking to relieve symptoms from ailments, add ingesting to your regiment – at least five to 10 milligrams of CBD or a THC infused ingestible will make a world of difference to your body. It will also save you money on flower to burn, as you won’t need to smoke as much or as often when ingesting a micro-dose.
For optimum health and prevention, add other beneficial herbs to your daily dose and diet, and feel better fast, confident that you chose the correct gateway to good health – cannabis.
Pets & Plants
Why dogs & cats need plants in their diet.
Domestic pets, if left to their own devices in the wild, will eat field mice, gophers, and other herbivores; consuming everything but the spleen and large intestine. Protein is found within the bones and flesh of the animal, but its stomach is full of plants and grains, with animals ingesting the contents in the process. It’s a trickle down effect of beneficial plant compounds that feed the endocannbinoid system (which improves all biological systems), while strengthening the immune system.
Recently, a friend asked why they should include plants in their pets diets. Though dogs and cats naturally consume plants via the explanation above, the best reason to provide beneficial plants to your pets is also about prevention, as domestic pets are typically fed empty foods that are highly processed with questionable ingredients, actually weakening their immune systems and leaving them open to all kinds of disorders - with thyroid disease, diabetes, cardio and digestive issues, chronic pain, and cancers.
Cats and dogs are biologically the same as humans - they get the same ailments, they just can’t give us a heads-up on early symptoms that could be red flags for the serious ailments listed above.
The Veterinary Oncology & Hematology Center states cancer accounts for nearly 50 percent of all disease-related deaths each year, with our furry friends closer to the ground, suffering as much or more than we do from toxins in our environment and dirty food practices.
As detailed in an article from Natural News processed pet foods contain “meat meal,” cooked down at temperatures between 220 and 270 degrees, allegedly sterilizing the contaminated meat used from a stated plethora of “road kill,” euthanized animals from zoos and animal shelters, and meat classified as “4-D,” or “dead, diseased, disabled and dying.”
Author Ann Martin in her book “Food Pets Die For” reveals some 200 tons of animals present to pet food manufacturers per month in Los Angeles alone, with the sodium phenobarbital residue used from euthanasia still in the mix. Residue from this concoction containing fecal material is dried and pulverized into a brown powder then used as an additive to pet foods and livestock feed – with farmers referring to it as “protein concentrates.” Martin states that more than five million tons of processed slaughterhouse leftovers were are used for animal feed in the United States each year.
Knowing how damaging processed food can be, it’s incentive enough to make homemade food for ourselves - why not our beloved pets? Why have we equated their food with the best deal on the shelf, spending pennies per day feeding them?
I’ve advocated for dosing our pets with cannabis as prevention and for healing disease, but giving them beneficial vegetables and herbs in their diet is the same kind of daily prevention.
Following are simple recipes that combine raw meat (animals don’t de-bone and cook meat in the wilderness), grains, veggies and herbs they will love. While cats are more finicky, a dog will eat just about any combination. I’ve also included an infusion recipe for fish oil and chamomile that can be mixed into the food, or dosed with a dropper. See Apothecary page for benefits on chamomile.
See #notjustcannabis page under the Apothecary page for additional information and recipes.
Infused Fish Oil
1 liter Fish Oil
1/2 c. chamomile flower
Simmer on low in a crock pot or a sauce pan on the stove for approximately 30 minutes, or until oil turns golden in color - stirring often to prevent burning.
This mixture can be added to pet food or administered with a dropper, daily.
Chamomile is a super food, it’s many benefits include inflammation (pain), infection, antioxidant, and is calming for pets.
Shown in the photo are other super foods that can be used: (clockwise) Moringa, Chamomile, Guanabana, and Cannabis.
Note: if using cannabis, know that heat will cause the oil to be psychoactive. Infusing in a cold process takes up to two weeks, leaving the compound as THCA - and non-psychoactive.
See Apothecary page for information on cold-steeping. This recipe can be used with others oils, but finicky cats like the fish oil.
Photo: Sharon Letts
Twenty Bong Hits
Emotional Issues & Cannabis
A friend and I were comparing notes on using cannabis to treat chronic depression. At this friend’s lowest point, doing 20 bong hits in a row seemed to do the trick momentarily, but it wasn’t sustaining.
How many of us have done this – holed ourselves up and smoked for hours to get emotional relief – but, it doesn’t come, it just numbs.
Suffering hormonal depression for 13 years with Thyroid Disease, in my fifties I rediscovered the herb for emotional relief, then my symptoms were increased going into Menopause. Teary-eyed emotions turned into crying jags, only quelled by hitting the bong.
A favorite essay penned, Cannabis: Calming the Crazy Bitch (see Essay page), details what women deal with emotionally via hormonal imbalances, and how I was inevitably helped overall via ingesting cannabis for myriad symptoms from both disorders.
That said, I’m still triggered by life situations and still deal with depression, anxiety, and occasionally, an overall sense of dread coming out of now where – a simply awful feeling, common with hormonal symptoms.
Another issue from both Thyroid Disease and Menopause include a type of Agoraphobia – not a fear of going outside, but a sort of paralysis to leave the house, or my safe space. When I was suffering just from Thyroid Disease I couldn’t get off the couch, add Menopause, and at times, I can’t leave the house. Both are helped dramatically with cannabis use.
A study out of Washington State University’s Department of Psychology, reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders, by lead study author, Carrie Cuttler, showed a reduction in depression levels just by taking one hit of cannabis high in CBD. Ten hits of a combination of THC and CBD found a decrease in stress levels, with two hits showing a clear reduction in anxiety.
At ten hits my friend would have found some relief, why continue on to 20?
As was explained to me by Dr. William Courtney while I was still in-house at the Times-Standard in Eureka, California, smoking gives merely a fraction of the beneficial compounds of the plant – with the patient literally burning up any help remaining, with effects gone in about an hour, and more smoking needed.
In this regard, smoking can add up to an expensive delivery of the remedy to the system. It’s actually quite inefficient and extravagant.
I’m not suggesting giving up burning flower. This Educated Stoner knows better. There’s nothing quite like smoking fresh and flavorful terpenes from flower. The effect is immediate and as uplifting as a morning jog – raising endorphins and distressing like nothing else can.
I am suggesting that smoking be done in tandem with ingesting, or to top off ingesting, increasing the efficacy of the medible, activating the entourage effect, giving better overall, longer lasting relief for symptoms, while saving the pocket book the expense of pricey flower.
This can also be said for dabs, but more so, as dabs are expensive. If you’ve reached that level of efficacy with burning flower, and now need to step up to smoking concentrates for effect – then needing more and more concentrates for the same feeling – you should probably think about ingesting to compensate, as this mode of operendi is telling you that your tolerance has risen and needs to be brought back down.
(See next blog post for information on titrating up or down.)
So, the next time you are in that dark place, taking one hit after the other, with little effects on your emotional state, you might want to try a little tincture or a medible, enacting the entourage effect, giving you an overall sense of well being, for a longer amount of time.
Cannabis: Needing too much weed for less effects?
Building biological tolerances to plants, titrating up or down to correct.
Since using cannabis oil for a breast cancer scare in October of 2012, I’ve been sharing my personal, and seemingly miraculous prevention and healing from cannabis in publications around the world, and on daily social media posts.
I’ve been able to deal with issues such as UTIs, chronic pain, sleep disorders, depression, skin tags and cancers by using several delivery modes of cannabis and plant-based compounds.
In two of the blogs on my web site, I’ve shared that continued use of cannabis oil, along with daily micro-dosing, smoking and topical use, have not only quelled numerous ailments, my daily use has prevented me from getting sick in the first place, or has substantially reduced cold or flu symptoms in scope and duration.
That was up until this past year, when I became challenged in my life situation, subsequently (I assume) weakening or stressing my immune system – while (I assume) finally becoming tolerant to the strong cannabis oil that (I assume) had kept me healthy up until that point.
In researching tolerance to plant-based remedies, each search turned up more information on tolerance to prescription medications, and the need to increase dosage. The same tolerance can be said for plant-based remedies.
In the cannabis community, titrating down after building tolerance to cannabis use is common. I’ve known many patients and recreational users who stop smoking for up to two weeks at a time, and return to partaking, with newfound feelings of euphoria, tolerated after constant use.
Recently, a friend stopped medicating with cannabis for two weeks as a test. She had replaced alcohol with cannabis some years prior, and had a newfound life as a better mom and wife with cannabis. Her abstinence was not pretty, though, and she became symptomatic and an unsympathetic human in record time.
Tolerance: L. Tolerantia
1. The ability to endure unusually large doses of a drug or toxin.
2. Acquired drug tolerance, a decreasing response to repeated constant doses of a drug or the need for increasing doses to maintain a constant response.
No, stopping cannabis use cold turkey when you are a needful patient is not a good idea. Plant-based remedies are proactive, and you must be in tuned to the needs of your body for proper use. That said, titrating down for efficacy is another story altogether.
One young women in her 20s was smoking a good amount of dabs daily, treating a chronic condition. I suggested she begin ingesting at least the minimum 10 milligrams of an edible or medible (same thing), as this would cause her to need less dabs as often.
The key is knowing why you are medicating or recreating, and what your true dose or tolerance is,
For myself, I had titrated down prior from my nightly cannabis oil intake before, as it can take more and more to help me get to sleep when I become used to it. Just as in prescription meds, that Valium needs to be increased for the same effects over time.
In my case, with life stresses added, it seems the same dose I had taken for years just wasn’t keeping illness at bay. Winter of 2017 found me on the edge of getting cold or flu four times – never lasting longer than two or three days, but the symptoms were more pronounced.
Most patients who ingest a cannabis concentrate daily have less inflammation and complications thereof, and less to no infections. This means, when I presented with a cold or flu, lacking were the fevers, chills and body aches that are typical when the body is fighting infection, as the cannabis quells those symptoms. My main symptoms were fatigue and some bronchial – made worse by my smoking carbon – causing me to switch to vaporizing.
However, by January of 2018, I began presenting with low-grade fevers and then infections, starting with staph infections on my right leg; an eye infection; and then an ear infection.
This concerned me, as I had been literally ailment-free for the better part of five years – and gloating about it, I might add.
My solution was not to run to the doctor for a round of antibiotics. Why would anyone use “anti-biotics,” seriously, anti – your body? That kills everything.
No, I quickly researched other plants that have the same anti-infection, antibacterial, and antiviral compounds as cannabis, titrated down from my oil, and added Moringa and chamomile concentrates to my daily regimen.
arthritis and other joint pain, such as rheumatism
allergies and asthma
constipation, stomach pains and and diarrhea
stomach and intestinal ulcers or spasms
heart problems, including high blood pressure
low sex drive
bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic
Natural allergy fighter or hay fever
PMS natural remedy and other menstrual disorders
Natural arthritis cure and rheumatic pain reliever
Within 24 hours the low-grade fever and ear ache were gone, and I’ve not had any other complications or signs of infection in two-weeks since.
Am I assuming a lot by insisting that plants are the answer to everything? I’ve been told by many I’m irresponsible to share the stories of healing, yet I continue to share, as I and others continue to heal.
Why do I continue to share? Because in writing for you all, I’ve done my homework. Plants are strong medicine.
Since the late 1930s the pharmaceutical industry has been in the profitable business of patenting synthetic compounds that can only mimic the strong healing properties of plants.
The FDA was created to support this theory. Medical schools within our universities were created on the heels of patents of synthetic medicine, not Apothecary – the age old tradition of plant-based remedy.
Prior to the creation of pharmaceuticals via petroleum byproducts, all we had were plants and Apothecary. America’s first Surgeon General was an “Apothecary General,” and used plants on the battle field during the Civil War – including cannabis concentrates for severe pain during surgery.
If you are under the impression that cannabis, or plants in general, may not work for you, the issue may well be that you just have not found your true dose or plant for your specific ailment.
As for cannabis and its psychoactive properties, unless you are used to the "high," you must titrate up slowly over time, initially - or you will have a bad trip. No other way to explain it. You won't die, but you might think you are. Cannabis won't stop your heart, but it does affect the central nervous system, causing anxiety, panic attacks, and heart palpitations - but, it won't stop your heart.
If you’ve been a long-time user and are unable to keep illness at bay, or you just aren’t feeling the euphoria any longer – titrating down may be a good idea.
For good information on daily dosing with cannabis, read Regina Nelson's book, The eCS Therapy Companion Guide, on Amazon
Challenging the Cold/Flu Season
Entry #5, January, 19, 2018
Smokeless remedies from Albany's Canna Kitchen in Oregon. Smoking is a great top-off, but ingesting is key in prevention and building a strong immune system.
Photo: Sharon Letts, Albany’s Canna Kitchen, Oregon
Moderately Severe Epidemic: Building a Stronger Immune System
Plants = Prevention
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly six percent of all Americans currently seeking medical care are presenting with flu symptoms. Tracked by the CDC’s Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network; approximately 2,000 doctor’s offices and clinics around the country are reporting fevers of at least 100 degrees, with a cough or sore throat.
Up until 2012, the percentage of Americans presenting with flu symptoms topped at around two percent. This year, flu symptoms are quickly turning into pneumonia, with every state but Hawaii reporting widespread illness; with 34 deaths reported by the end of 2017, and the toll still climbing.
Fortune Magazine reports, the 2018 flu season may turn out twice as bad as the last; with the H3N2 flu strain especially dangerous for the elderly, who’s immune systems are already challenged.
With the CDC reporting this year’s flu vaccine may be just 30 to 40 percent effective, building your immune system to combat the bug is essential. Getting a flu vaccine is still encouraged, though the savvy cannabis patient understands that boosting the immune system means bulking up on whole foods, infection-fighting herbs and other beneficial plants from the garden.
This writer found out just how important plant-based concentrates are, after using cannabis oil to treat breast cancer more than five years ago. Aside from doing away with numerous prescription meds, I’ve had nary a cold, flu or headache since. But, this 2017/18 flu season has been different. For some reason I’ve fought off a bad cold, three times in just a few months.
Luckily, due to my ingesting habits, the symptoms do not last longer than a day or two. This is prompting me to share what I’ve been through, what my symptoms have been, and how I’ve upped my ingesting to beat it down in a short amount of time.
Firstly, my symptoms never include headaches, body ache, fever, or chest pressure; only upper bronchial – or runny nose. Symptoms can include a scratchy throat, but never a sore throat. I liken this to lack of inflammation and infection – two key remedies from cannabis and other beneficial plants. Cannabis is also an analgesic, hence no body aches, etc.
I do feel fatigue, and the need for rest. If I were the average American, I might take an over-the-counter cold-relief medicine, and work through my illness. Would this help heal my body? I think not. It would artificially dry up the congestion, masking the symptoms; while eliminating fatigue with a synthetic stimulant.
Rather, I choose to up my ingesting of cannabis concentrates, along with a chamomile concentrate for added measure and general overall well-being. Chamomile has the same benefits that fight against inflammation and infection, it’s an anti-oxidant, and it wards off depression – giving me an overall sense of well-being.
Cannabis concentrate put into capsules makes an easy delivery. Using the caps as a suppository gives no head-high, as it bypasses digestive system and the liver.
Photo: Sharon Letts
I follow the entourage effect protocol – ingesting a variety of concentrates via tinctures, capsules, and micro-infused dishes using cooking oils, vinegar, and sauces made with infused base ingredients. I also drink beneficial teas, juices; and eat soups made with lots of vegetables and fresh herbs.
The entourage effect also includes smoking cannabis, as that delivery increasing the efficacy of other treatments and deliveries.
I use a cannabis-infused coconut oil to rub on the bottom of my feet, getting the medicine of the plant to my systems via the pathways shown here, as an additional delivery of the benefits.
Using a topical body lotion infused with equally beneficial plants is part of the whole-body system. I also rub the bottom of my feel with a cannabis-infused coconut oil, as feet are a pathway, feeding vital organs and systems throughout the body, rounding out the entourage effect.
My prevention protocol includes nightly ingesting of the stronger cannabis oil concentrate, cooked down in an alcohol reduction; but while I’m symptomatic, I ingest it during the day and rest or sleep – as shutting down allows the body to heal.
Five years ago, I didn’t have this plant-based protocol. I used to get the cold or flu several times a year, and would be laid up for weeks at a time. I used to joke, “if you take medicine a cold/flu can last up to two weeks; if you don’t take meds, it can last 14 days.”
I was often overweight, with a challenged digestive system; while on many prescription medications and supplements for several disorders; including chronic pain, and Thyroid Disease with menopause, which combined, causes double-duty hormonal issues with myriad symptoms, too numerous to name here.
My immune system was weakened due to my poor diet and lack of exercise, which I blamed solely on my hormonal disorders, with one pill after another added regularly, to no avail.
I had no idea about our Endocannabinoid System (eCS), and how plants feed all our systems through it, keeping us healthy. We’ve gone too far from the garden for too long now. If you aren’t feeding your eCS, your body won’t be able to fight off infection or worse, as we have become endocannabinoid deficient.
I’m grateful for my time in Humboldt County, for the knowledge shared by farmers and medicine makers allowed me to see that merely smoking the plant – while enjoyable, is only getting a fraction of the benefits into my systems. Ingesting plant concentrates is keeping my immune system strong enough to ward of illness, as demonstrated fully during this cold and flu season.
If you are a cannabis patient, up your game by ingesting, and feel the difference on a daily basis. All those nagging ailments may slowly fall away as your endocannabinoid system, and your health thrives.
Cannabis and the Common Cold
Entry #4: February 20, 2017
It's officially cold and flu season and I'm seeing a lot of people in the cannabis community and beyond posting they are sick. Because I'm an extreme Cannabis Nag and Educated Stoner, I've decided to reiterate my success in staving off cold, flu, or even a headache in the past five years I've been ingesting cannabis and other plants on a daily basis.
And this isn’t bragging, as much as it’s a shout-out for help to my comrades. For there’s nothing quite as sad to me as those in the cannabis space who are not educated on everything this plant can do.
Our bodies are sponges and are greatly affected by dirty air, water, and soil – subsequently leading to dirty food. Add empty processed foods and a lack of real foods to our diets on a daily basis, and our physical well-being is continually challenged.
Following is a breakdown of cold and flu symptoms. Think about what symptoms are from infection and that present inflammation. Symptoms such as fevers, chills, pain, and bronchial congestion - these are the red flags of infection in the body. Fever, mucus – even chills are the body’s way of fighting infection.
Keep just some of the following infection-fighting plants in your system on a regular basis, and you’ll have less infection and inflammation in your body – and subsequently, your body won’t have to raise a fever to fight on its own. Add cannabis to your diet and it's the quintessential pain, anti-inflammatory and anti-infection remedy, with more than 480 beneficial compounds all told.
If I feel a cold or flu coming on, I simply up my ingesting of strong cannabis oil or tincture, adding additional deliveries, such as infused apple cider; drink strong beneficial tea - such as chamomile; and take to bed – for rest is key in fighting any ailment.
Rest is actually an incredibly healing act, though we’ve been told to take a pill and not miss a day of work or school. The kids with the perfect attendance records weren’t healthier than other kids, they were just going to school sick, after taking a pill to mask symptoms.
As suggested by the American Cannabis Nurses Assoc., three deliveries of cannabis as medicine are key (methods to get the medicine of the plant into your systems): topical, ingesting, and smoking (vaporizing clears bronchial). Shown here: Cannabis oil, juiced leaf (frozen in cubes), topical salves, suppositories (no head-high), kief caps.
My own daily doses of plant-based concentrates include taking the strong RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) at night for sleep and prevention (replacing prescription meds, preventing breast cancer); infusing drinking water with herbs and spices; alcohol infused with cannabis and other beneficial herbs and spices as a tonic (see Apothecary Page for recipes); infusing cooking oil and vinegar with cannabis and herbs; adding fresh herbs to all my cooked dishes – and eating lots of chopped vegetable salads, with more chopped herbs, fruits and spices in the mix.
Eating from the garden (or produce isle) is not only healthier, it’s actually less expensive than buying processed foods or eating out – and you’ll feel better in the long run, that’s a given.
To surmise, if you are a cannabis advocate, activist, or enlightened patient, thank you for your support in quelling the negative stigma surrounding cannabis use. If you haven’t yet added the plant and other beneficial herbs to your daily regime in as many ways as possible, you may want to take another look at the fight for wellness that accompanies the fight for the freedom to medicate. You’ll be surprised at how good it will make you feel.
Yours in Wellness,
CBD fighting inflammation in the body: Project CBD
More than 480 Beneficial Compounds in Cannabis
Environmental Toxins and Alzheimer’s, Scientific American
Cardio Inflammation, Stanford
National Institute of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine:
Infection-fighting plants: Plants an Antimicrobial Agents, Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Cannabis as Anti-Inflammatory
With Cannabis, the Dentist is my friend.
Entry #3: January 25, 2017
My family spent vacations in Ensenada in Baja California getting our dental work done and riding horses on the beach (see American Stoner in Mexico essay). So, the dentists here were no stranger to me. Five years ago I had a filling done in Ensenada (cost $50 US), but used the Valium typically needed prior for anxiety associated with the mental anguish I go through for these visits. This time, with the knowledge gained from past knee surgery (see Essay, Cannabis & Pain) and using only cannabis, I went into the visits armed with my favorite plant-based medicines, cannabis and chamomile (see Apothecary page with information on chamomile in this site).
The dentist was curious, as I showed him the RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) caps I had made, taking two prior to the procedure. Doctors aren't trained in plant-based medicine, unless they look into it themselves, and cannabis patients typically teach them via demonstration. I strongly encourage cannabis patients to share their anecdotal stories of healing, as it helps educate them while dispelling the myths surrounding the plant.
Part of my anxiety in the dentist's chair comes from severe bouts of claustrophobia. In past visits to the dentist I hyperventilated to tears, feeling like I was suffocating with hands in my face and tools in my mouth. This phobia began when I was held underwater in a swimming pool by a bully when I was nine years old. With cannabis, I'm able to fully relax in a "no worries" state-of-mind.
What started out as a teeth cleaning, ended up a major surgery as my fear of dentist (combined with lack of cash for pricey U.S. work) had kept me away from check-ups for too long. Stitches in two areas were necessary as a deep cleaning and scraping was inevitable.
The dentist offered me prescriptions of an antibiotic along with 800 mg. of prescription Ibuprofen, which I declined. In the five years since putting my breast cancer into remission using RSO I have not had the need for any over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers - as I've had nary a headache since. For if you regularly ingest plant-based concentrates such as cannabis or chamomile, the natural anti-inflammatory and infection-fighting compounds keep minor ailments, such as headaches, at bay.
According to Drugs.com, Ibuprofen is commonly prescribed for peri-operative pain. The synthetic medicine is a NSAID, as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, though its mode of action is "not completely understood," according to the site. Side effects include "cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal." They also have an "increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events, including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal."
After the procedure I mixed one tablespoon of chamomile infused apple cider vinegar (ACV) with a half a glass of water and drank it down. ACV is a great preventive on its own, infused with chamomile it's a double dose of goodness. According to a paper published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ACV has been used for thousands of years as medicine in wound care, preventing inflammation and infection, as touted by Hippocrates, said to be the father of medicine. He also coined my favorite quote: Make medicine thy food, and food thy medicine. It also aided in any digestive issues I may have had as a side effect of the anesthesia, as past bouts included extreme nausea and constipation.
I also did a rinse with the mineral oil infused with chamomile several times throughout the first day after the procedure. Chamomile has many beneficial properties that nearly mimic CBD (cannabinoid), a medicinal compound in cannabis, including staving off inflammation and infection that cause pain. It also takes the edge off of too much THC - which is why I added chamomile infused caps to my aftercare. (Visit the Apothecary page on this site for more information on chamomile.)
RSO measures in at around 80% activated THC - which helped immensely in taking me to anther place under the knife. But too much can also cause anxiety, affecting the central nervous system, causing jitters and sometimes a lack of sleep, which is necessary to heal.
Directly after the procedure I had a surge of creative energy and began setting up the shots you see here. A favorite joke I remember from the 70s is, "cannabis forces us to be more creative than we really are," and it's partly correct. For someone like me who suffers bouts of hormonal depression (thyroid w/menopause), it can lift my endorphins to a better level and get me off my butt. However, after a surgical procedure, the body needs rest to heal - hence the calming chamomile caps taken with the strong THC activated caps.
I slept the afternoon away and when I woke up in the evening I had no swelling, with the pain only a dull reminder of surgery. Before going to bed I took another RSO cap and two more chamomile caps. By the next morning I needed only to rinse again with the chamomile mineral oil, completely doing away with any pain. As I write this it's the next afternoon and I've had no pain since.
Interesting to note, I did not want to smoke with all the ingesting. It just wasn't necessary. Actually, in treating my depression (hormonal from thyroid/menopause) I've found that if I ingest enough chamomile and cannabis on a regular basis, I don't need to smoke as much.
Needless to say, the dentist was astounded by the results. The next morning while checking my mouth, he was in disbelief in the way it had already started to heal - with no swelling or infection at all, and absolutely no pain on day two.
I'm grateful for this knowledge of plants and how they heal and protect us. But I'm more grateful for open-minded doctors and dentists, such as Dr. Herrera, who have the intellect to accept that not all traditional therapies are the end-all to healing.
Yours in Wellness,
Note: Recipes for all above can be found in the Apothecary page. To make many of my remedies I use the Magical Butter machine, The Source, by Extract Craft, and cold steeping - as with the chamomile infused mineral oil.
Notes from the Road
Entry #2: January, 2017
I’ve also taken a few photos - more than 10,000 of them in 2016 alone. Sharing a slideshow here of highlights from the road, along with photos of inspiration for kitchen apothecary, as I continue to use plant concentrates in as many ways as I can.
In the process I’ve met hundreds of people in the cannabis space, patients and entrepreneurs alike, all moving forward in one of the fastest growing industries in the world – with great healing taking place in the wake.
As detailed in my Educated Stoner essay, Cannabis Evangelist, I’ve continued to share my own story of healing with cannabis and other beneficial plants – often to wide-eyed listeners, unaware of anything positive to do with the cannabis due to decades of propaganda - equally unaware of the power of plants for remedies for real ailments.
For the propaganda doesn’t end with cannabis, as many highly beneficial plants that are readily found around the world have also been downplayed for their healing properties. I call it plant propaganda.
Everywhere I go people have been open to hear my story, helping them to be open to real change with their own health and well-being. And I don't say this lightly. Being on multiple prescription meds was not beneficial for me. The pills did not improve my life, I was merely sustained while having to add a cocktail of pills and supplements to remedy the side effects of the medications.
Aside from sharing with our doctors to help educate them, one on one is a great way to share our stories of healing. That said, we desperately need the good news on this good medicine to fully cross over into mainstream, as people are sick and suffering needlessly for lack of real information. Those of us in the cannabis space are in a green bubble of knowledge that must be popped at some point.
Ironically, legalization helps. And though medicine is seemingly being pushed to the wayside in light of the freedom to recreate, the healing is definitely taking place.
Actually, it’s the children and senior citizens who are really being healed in droves, changing the face of the plant forever.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for following my travels. And thank you for Evengelizing the plant. For until the words come out of our mouths, the truth will not be heard.
Yours in wellness,
Thoughts on the Season
Entry #1: December, 2016
Joni Mitchell penned her liner notes for her first album, Ladies of the Canyon, sharing her love of words came from a favorite English teacher who inspired.
For the past five years I’ve used my words within the cannabis space to inspire, to educated and hopefully, enlighten, as I’ve attempted to dispel myths and offer up truth on my favorite healing herb, cannabis.
If someone would have told me in high school I’d be traveling the world writing about weed, I would have accused them of taking the entire tab. This life of a weed writer was not a chosen one, and it’s certainly not an easy path to go down. In fact, it’s a rabbit hole.
The life I chose at the tender age of 24 was that of a flower gardener in Southern California. 17 years of gardening led to hosting, writing and producing a visiting gardens show for television – that’s what parlayed my career into cannabis, ironically, not the plant itself.
For when your own government does not recognize or even support the healing this plant provides, a career path into cannabis is not highly regarded or sought out. And unless you are farming or manufacturing products with the plant, there is little monetary compensation in just writing about it.
Divine intervention propels people to defend the plant. Happenstance in word-of-mouth situations, when healing doesn’t come from traditional methods, is how the good news on good medicine is typically discovered.
Knowing the truth isn’t always pretty. The truth is often a hard pill to swallow, and watching people die and suffer under traditional treatments while knowing the truth is the toughest part about being a cannabis advocate.
This past year America seemingly embraced cannabis, legalizing for recreation in many states, and offering up medicine to more.
I’ve been asked repeatedly how I feel about legalization and my answer is always the same - legalization means more rules, not more freedoms. My new hashtag is #legalizetolitigate, as each new ordinance creates yet another loophole to convict, while non-violent prisoners sit in waiting for meeting supply and demand of the world’s favorite herb.
In my mind cannabis should not be considered a recreational drug at all. I’ll say this until the cows come home, that even the most ardent stoner not believing in its healing benefits is reaping them just the same. You can take the recreational freedoms away, but you can never take the medicine out of the plant.
That said, along with the people’s win on cannabis during this last election, there was also a set-back of epic proportions with the win of a conservative president and his cabinet appointments filled with uneducated opponents of the plant.
The future looks insecure where good medicine is concerned, with our words of truth all we have to combat an uncertain future of healing in the U.S.
Keep talking about the healing. Come out of the smoky closet and support the plant and the people working for change. Evangelize cannabis – for until the words come out of our mouths, the truth will not be heard.
Happy Holidays! Be well, be true, be honest.