As the Founder and Executive Director of My Compassion, I would like to share with you my personal experience with using cannabis for medical reasons.
After an injury in 2008 my son recommended I talk to a Doctor about cannabinoid therapy when he saw I was not recovering well from an injury. I took his advice and after obtaining a recommendation, I applied with the state and received my card. I was uncertain of what to expect with this familiar but new approach to medicine.
When I began to use the flowers from the plant for pain relief and inflammation, I was taking several prescription medications and started to notice a reduction in how often I took them. I began feeling better, I was no longer refilling my scripts and after awhile I didn’t need the stomach medicine I had to take as a result of them. My headaches were mild enough that the only medicine I needed to carry was over the counter. I went from obese (according to the charts) to losing 50 lbs, I became more social and was no longer depressed.
Over the past eight years, I have personally experienced and witnessed the beneficial effects of cannabis not just for myself but thousands of others. The one thing I found comfort in was that I could not overdose from it, unlike many of the pills I was taking. Starting out I was slightly concerned about the addiction level but have since realized that when unable to use cannabis due to travels, my anxiety from not having it is much less, than when I try to give up drinking diet soda. As a former cigarette smoker who quit 7 years ago, I know what addiction feels like and cannabis is nowhere close.
Like any medicine, cannabis can be misused and while there are numerous medical reasons to use cannabis, excessiveness can contribute to problems including sleeplessness, overeating, and time management issues. However, patients have also experienced the more cannabis they use; the less likely they are to drink alcohol and use opioids.
These guidelines below may help those who use medical cannabis identify ways of accessing the alternative medicine in a positive, safe and mature manner.
- Adults should only use cannabis as part of a healthy, balanced, and responsible lifestyle.
- The decision to use cannabis should be made freely, and not as a result of social pressure.
- Cannabis users should be well informed about its effects on themselves and others. These effects may include legal risks, health and wellness and personal consequences.
- Never use marijuana as an excuse for antisocial or irresponsible behavior.
- Develop sensible cannabis use limits for yourself based on personal, health, medical, situational, and cultural factors. It is important to be objective about your personal cannabis use and listen to the constructive advice of others.
- Avoid cannabis use that puts you or others at risk, such as when driving, at work, or in public places. Remember, personal use of cannabis is still NOT LEGAL under federal law, and penalties are stiff.
- Always keep your cannabis locked in a safe, dry place away from minors.
- Smoking cannabis in the presence of children is inappropriate.
- Cannabis and alternative medicine use should contribute to, rather than detract from, a patient’s health, wellness, creativity, work relationships, and social obligations.