Chronic Disease

Day 110 and Weed

As it is 4/20 I thought I’d share how introduced THC into my medical regimen. I suffer from an autoimmune condition that manifests as inflammation in my upper spine making me an excellent candidate for medical marijuana. As a libertarian I’m pro-legalization but I likely wouldn’t have chosen to use THC recreationally except that it happens to be a drug that has demonstrated benefits for my condition and is comparatively less dangerous than other pharmaceuticals I am also proscribed (namely opioids and high dose NSAIDS).

For some context, despite being a native Coloradan I had never smoked weed till this year. As a kid it just didn’t seem appealing (that’s what hippie boomers do), and to be candid as I got older I didn’t love the idea of tying a health need to something that wasn’t legal. I lived in New York for the past 15 years and while I could have had medical marijuana prescription I was frankly too intimidated to try. Without legalization I never would have attempted it.

Since moving home to Boulder during the pandemic I’ve been experimenting with different THC strains as well as combinations of THC and CBD. I’ve purchased a PAX (an expensive vape), worked through different flowers, butters, shatters, edibles and tinctures. It’s been enormously expensive (probably getting to be over $1,000) and demoralizing as quality, impact and consistency is variable. This despite living in a state where it is completely legal and has the foundation of a consumer culture where you can walk into any dispensary to receive quality advice and purchase wherever you like. Weed has a long way to go before it’s reliable in the way that other pharmaceuticals can be.

I’ve found that CBD on its own doesn’t impact me in any positive manner. But CBD when combined with THC seems to have a reasonable analgesic effect. And I do notice I feel better the next day. For me it’s roughly comparable to taking a double dose of aspirin. Different strains don’t impact me much though I experimented with indica and sativa strains own their own as well as mixes. Indica supposedly has more of a body high versus the mental high of a sativa. The only aspect I really noticed was it’s a challenge to notice a body high when vaping. This makes me have a slight preference for mixed as without a mental high it’s hard to judge impact and dosing.

Interestingly I don’t seem to get much of an impact from smoking or vaping period. Which is weird but I’ve got a weird body. I’ll need to Vape for an hour straight to get any noticeable impact. That’s made me much prefer edibles as it’s less time consuming and more controllable. I’ve been leaning towards a hybrid tincture or gummy that is a 50-50 mix of THC and CBD. THC on its own doesn’t seem to cut down the inflammation pain in the way a mix does. It really seems that the more you break out individual terrapins the less effective it is at driving a result.

My absolute least favorite part of using THC is the high. If I could see a reduction in inflammation and pain without THC and only using CBD I would be thrilled. But CBD just doesn’t on its own for me. So I tolerate the high that comes from THC on bad days. I can’t take it during a work day as it does slow me down mentally. I can workout while on THC and it has really improved my capacity to weightlift as exercise improves inflammation so it is a virtuous cycle. That is if I don’t accidentally push myself too hard. That’s a real danger when you feel better than you actually are. Pain killers of any kind are both relief but it’s helpful to remember tier the pain isn’t gone it’s just subdued.

All of this should be caveated with I don’t take very much (generally 2.5mg but sometimes up to 5mg) it’s not a daily drug. I use it as needed when I’m in worse pain than my regular prescriptions don’t cut it. This is all personal and I don’t recommend anyway try out any drug without checking with your doctors. But honestly I’d rather use THC than Tylenol. So happy 4/20!