Jane* suffered for many years with chronic pain associated with her PMS. Her pain became so debilitating on a monthly basis that she often had to miss work and interrupt other parts of her daily life. Being someone who seeks out a more natural cure, Jane chose not to take birth control and other narcotics prescribed to her by her doctor to ease her pain, “that has been my whole journey, natural health…to tell you the truth many times doctors told me to try birth control, but I just didn't feel right about it…I was more willing to try medical marijuana.” Though Jane was skeptical about medical marijuana at first, a friend encouraged her to try it, “she used it herself and had found it to be a miracle worker,” Jane said, “she has been my wing lady to help me figure it all out.” Jane, however, was a little surprised when the idea was first proposed,
“I knew it has helpful for cancer patients, but I didn’t know anything else about it…I did a lot of research, after doing research I found it to be legit. It really is something that helps people…I want what I put in my body to actually heal it, not just be a symptom manager. I saw medical marijuana as natural, its an herb, and it wouldn’t harm my body. There are a lot of pharmaceuticals on the market with a lot of side effects and medical marijuana has none that aren’t manageable. It’s very easy to use, it’s just great! Even if you take too much there aren’t serious repercussions.”
She chose to use vaporization and edibles because they were the most clean way to put the medicine in her body. She avoided smoking because of worries about carcinogens. Vaporizing is also very discrete for Jane, since it produces much less smell and residue than traditional smoking. She also looks for quality in her products and dispensaries so she knows what she is putting in her body. She uses various strains, and CBD to THC ratios, for different times of day and to manage particular symptoms. To manage her pain or help her with falling asleep, she takes Indicas with high levels of CBD. She uses a Sativa to manage her symptoms when she wants to be awake and active. Jane has also found Sativa to be helpful in managing her general anxiety and anxiety attacks.
She mentions her use of medical marijuana to people close to her, but for the most part she sees herself as an “anonymous advocate” because of the stigmas surrounding marijuana usage. “I don’t know how much I can voice how amazing it is without possibly losing a job or something like that,” Jane does, however, reach out to people who she thinks could really benefit from using medical marijuana. She has reached out to a friend suffering from strokes because she has seen the success that medical marijuana can have on people who suffer from many different ailments.
Jane did copious amounts of research on medical marijuana before starting her journey and she recommends that people educate themselves fully about cannabis before jumping in. She found a lot of her resources by just searching google and youtube. She has also found success in a reliable dispensary that she can reach out to for questions. She takes in all information about marijuana that she can find, but she does aim to find information specifically tailored toward the medical field.
Jane has seen her whole experience of using medical marijuana as life changing,
“It was kind of my last resort. I was in a hard place after 5 years of so much physical pain and many years of emotional pain as well. Doctors couldn’t seem to help they just said everything was fine with me. They kept on asking me if I wanted to take this medicine or that medicine and I said no. I was wondering if there was any natural solution for my problems. I was at the end of my rope and [medical marijuana] has been an amazing help. At the same time it was so economical compared to other medication.”
Due to her success, and the positive experiences she’s heard about from so many other people, Jane would love to see a normalization of medical marijuana. She wishes she did not have to worry about the stigma attached with the use of medical marijuana. Jane believes the message really needs to get out that medical marijuana is a medicine, so people no longer have to worry about being open,
“It is amazing how much of a life saver it is and how much of stigma there can still be. That was one of the hardest things about it when I first started using [medical marijuana], I was not only figuring it out but also figuring out how open I could be about it…someone who genuinely needs this shouldn’t have to be so worried about how society views them for using it.”
She is constantly wary about the social stigma and she believes the key to breaking that cycle is advocacy.
Her advice for people considering medical marijuana: people should educate themselves, find a trusted support system to help them through the process, and just give it a try if they think it can help them with their struggles. She admits it probably would be a little scary if she didn’t have her friend and her husband to help her through the process, but Jane says there are resources out there for everyone. However, they can be hard to find, which is another change she hopes to see coming from the industry soon. Her final words of advice,
“If you look at some of the side effects that many different drugs have, especially if you might be at the point where your being prescribed narcotics or anti-anxiety medication, give medical marijuana a try before you commit to harsher medications because it has so few side effects… Give it a shot, we’re blessed to be able to try it.”
*names have been changed for anonymity purposes