Reflections of a spectral city flirted with me while taking an empty train back from my psychiatrist. Crisp sunlight bathed classical flourishes on buildings showing off the talent of the early 1900s. Smoothly floating, the delicate stonework passed by as rectangles of light shone off the glass of fresher buildings. When it wasn’t too bright, I could see shapes, my nose, my hand, but little detail. Without any traffic, the train’s movement was as smooth as falling, skipping empty stops along the way. That was before the shutdown, so months ago.
But what I was told was, “Well, if you’re not interested in taking any medication, then we don’t need to schedule another appointment,” by my psychiatrist.
Yet I am interested in taking medication, and I do. As someone with PTSD, I attest to cannabis’s ability to heal. That typical forgetful quality of cannabis can be a fresh perspective. Sometimes it is better to let go and move on. There’s nothing that I found you can do about childhood trauma once you have forgiven the situation and mourned. For me, the next step is smoking cannabis, forgetting my baggage, letting go of my anger, and enjoying the sound of music.
That typical forgetful quality of cannabis can be a fresh perspective. Sometimes it is better to let go and move on.
Living the life that I have has left me frustrated, if not feeling betrayed by the pharmacological system’s approach to cannabis. Some of my family members have died from benzodiazepine withdrawal. I observed family members take benzodiazepines, opiates, amphetamines, and more throughout my infancy. My first experience with pills was around 6 years old. My mother gave me pills to go to sleep, and otherwise stop asking questions.
Now I don’t want to take pills, but I do want to heal. I want to work with my therapist and my psychiatrist to find out what’s right for me. Through years of experience, I already know I do well with low doses of pinene and limonene strains throughout the day. It addresses my depression and assists me in maintaining a normal sleeping schedule. Additionally, smoking in the morning makes my attitude relaxed, without irritability overpowering my mood. Over all, it’s improved my relationship with exercise, sleeping, eating, and responsibility. I’m okay with a cough.
The dark side of pills
When I was on different cocktails of pills throughout my teens, none of them helped. The problem wasn’t me, it was my life. It was trauma. No antidepressant or sleep medication helped me with that. As I took every one, I would go back the next week listing negative symptoms. These ranged from feeling too cold and sleeping all the time to talking involuntarily or hallucinations in response to the various prescription pills, yet all of them are still covered by insurance. If I wanted to get back on pills it would be as simple as getting another appointment.
However, cannabis has helped me address my trauma. It helped me reclaim my appetite, and sleep. It helped me gain independence, start drinking water, and deescalate in times of stress. My psychiatrist and I can’t talk about that objectively, though.
Low doses of pinene and limonene strains throughout the day address my depression and assist me in maintaining a normal sleeping schedule.
We can talk about studies for the entire session and about how mindful living is an effective strategy for healing, but these treatments can’t become official. I have to work to show my experience to my therapists for them to understand what medication works for me. It becomes as much of a learning experience for them as it is for me, if not more. My work as a cannabis journalist leaves me researching cannabis on a nearly daily basis.
So, what am I left with? Why does it matter? As someone with mental health concerns, I know that I need to actively overcome issues of my own. There is no argument against that, and it’s a responsibility I’m happy for. However, if I am to address getting better, I need to be able to do what works, and more importantly, what works for me.
Need for critical medical opinion
While structure doesn’t need to dominate, it would be appreciated within the world of cannabis medication. First off, the dosage of cannabis is relatively unestablished. Second, doctors are not allowed to suggest cannabis products to patients. With no suggestion about what kind of cannabis to take, and no suggestion for how much, treating conditions with cannabis becomes entirely a matter of personal judgment.
What’s holding cannabis back is the illegality on the federal level, which is itself restraining adequate research from being performed.
As an anti-authoritarian, I appreciate this freedom in my life, but I hate it as a patient. Once I’m over the pride I feel for being self-reliant, I do want a critical medical opinion about how different cannabis products affect me, at what dosages are appropriate, and how their interaction with my body affects my conditions. I don’t want someone who knows everything, because nobody does, but a studied opinion is a valued one.
Get cannabis covered by insurance!
If doctors could discuss and prescribe cannabis, then it could be covered by insurance. In my life, that would mean the months I had to forgo cannabis and deal with the horrors of constant migraines and irritability so that I could eat would no longer happen. Instead, I could rely on assistance from the insurance to provide the medicine which my doctor recommends for my lifestyle while trying to build-up my finances.
If doctors could discuss and prescribe cannabis, then it could be covered by insurance.
Of course, all of this could happen. Cannabis isn’t a magical substance different from every other in the word of law. What’s holding cannabis back is the illegality on the federal level, which is itself restraining adequate research from being performed. Once the world moves forward on cannabis legality, then we will finally be moving towards what I want to see, which is cannabis treated with responsibility. Research will eventually allow for prescription, which will allow for insurance coverage.
How could cannabis be prescribed?
To cross a bridge, you first have to arrive at it, so there’s time to think about how cannabis could be introduced into mainstream pharmacology. However, no matter what, data will be required. Companies like Strainprint, who operates the world’s largest observational study of medical cannabis, drive the push for cannabis acceptance.
Strainprint study works by asking verified customers of medicinal cannabis products to rate their experience. After millions of data points, they have assembled a truly noteworthy collection of information.
Cannabis therapy is valid. We need to promulgate the normalization of the substance through accurate medical information.
If cannabis is legalized across more federal governments, then companies like Strainprint can work with medical professionals to spread reliable, responsible, and accurate information about cannabis treatments. While this information won’t be entirely conclusive, neither is information about available medicine. Cannabis therapy is valid, and as people, we need to promulgate the normalization of the substance through accurate medical information if we want to see it used as an alternative to traditional therapies.
Text: Karhlyle Fletcher
Cannabis Therapy – online magazine for cannabis patients and experts alike. Issue No.2 coming soon! In the meantime, check out the issue no. 1 HERE.