A Canadian Journey Through Medical Marijuana, Part 1

On March 28th I received my prescription for medical marijuana.

I want to document my journey through this process for several reasons, mostly personal, so my automatic **disclaimer** is that this is what’s going on in MY batshit crazy, made-for-tv-movie kind’o’life.

I also want to endeavour to share current events regarding the legalization of marijuana use in Canada, as, to date, storefront sellers are illegal, and there are various laws still in effect criminalizing its use and sale.

Canada is Going to Legalize Marijuana in 2018″ This is for recreational use. Medical use is currently governed by Health Canada who approves the list of “Licenced Producers” as strains are exquisitely detailed in structure and chemical composition.

The pain from Lupus, fibromyalgia and nerve damage due to an unfortunate, crazy happenstance last summer of an electrocution has brought my pain levels to a ridiculous level of “I want to run headfirst into a wall”, 24/7. No break. Ever.

The pharmaceuticals I’m on (specifically, Tramadol, a narcotic) have been triple-dosed and STILL have ceased to even take theh edge off …and…narcotics. I have refused opiods due to the potential of addiction and the worry of the already damaged heart that keeps me alive. Y’know. Priorities.

  1. Referral from my family physician: This was easier than I’d imagined. When I was back for a script refill and to up my anti-axiety/anti-depressant meds, I’d casually mentioned that “partaking” in some extra-curricular activities on occasion had brought me a level of relief I hadn’t felt before. And, it lasted. AND, I slept!

The referral from my family physician was sent to Canadian Cannabis Clinics and you wait for them to process your referral, and contact you directly to set up an appointment. I was actually supposed to have gotten in to them back in January, but all of my prior medical assessments were under my previous name. I’d had a legal name change effected in December of 2015. Fun times. #notreally

Moving on. Emotions run high.

The reason it took me so long to consider and accept my GP’s suggestion of a referral was due to a couple of reasons:

  1. I knew my parents grew up in the “you smoke weed to get high.” Stigma. People think you only smoke medical marijuana and, most importantly;
  2. My eldest son spent several, awfully traumatic years, as a marijuana addict. There were times I went to wake him up and purposely waited until my younger children were off to school in case….well…in case he wasn’t alive. THAT. He successfully completed a residential treatment program at the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre.

I’ve always been an advocate of the legalization of marijuana…even through all of that. As a Chartered Herbalist (which many forget!) I understand The Everything, not just the sustainability for consumerism. That’s another story.

Anyhoooooooooooooo….

Appointment Day.

  1. Pee in a cup. I thought that was funny that I wasn’t doing it for Lupus (renal issues) or pregnancy (that shop is CLOSED)
  2. Fill out forms. So many forms. About your pain and how it impacts daily function (rating on a scale different activities from 1-10)
  3. See the nurse. Blood pressure check heart/lung listen. List of all medications, description of pain/type and what things you’ve tried to be a pro-active participant in your pain management (massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, yoga, etc)
  4. I saw my doctor via Skype! He explained my ability to use medical marijuana and how it could potentially interact with the pharmaceutical medications I am currently taking
    1. I am to continue taking my pharmaceutical medications in the meantime. At my follow up appointment in three months, we can ascertain whether we can reduce dosages or eliminate various medication(s)
  5. See the counsellor. This is the critical part in Understanding The Everything. The doctor has already electronically passed along to my counsellor, sitting in another room in the office, my “prescription”: 1 gram/day/90 day, max CBD 12%

“Do you have any questions?” he says, right off the bat.

Funny guy. I have about eleventy-billion, dude…grab a coffee for this one.

“I can’t be ‘high’…I have children and a daycare and I’m paranoid and I don’t think I want foodstuffs in the house…and…and…”

Hold up, buttercup….THC and CBD are two very different chemical constituents!!

In short:

THC: Delta-9 tetrahdrocannabinol – the chemical compound most commonly known of the 85+ cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant that causes the “euphoria” or “high” that is associated with cannabis.

CBD: Cannabidiol – the second most common cannabinoid in cannabis after THC. Research is increasingly demonstrating that CBD can have anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic (ironic that one pharmaceutical for Lupus is an anti-epileptic drug…cuz, y’know…I have Lupus, not epilepsy), and anti-anxiety effects. Also, potential neuroprotective capacities.

So? So. *MY* prescription is high on CBD (max. 12%), and very, very low on THC (0.9%) for during the daytime. I can bump up to a 1:1 ratio for bedtime. Whatever helps.

But, how do you take it?

*I* am taking my daytime therapy via oil under my tongue. I *may* choose to vapourize or inhale or use oil for bed time. I really don’t know yet. I have some personal reservations to address.

Unlike pharmaceuticals, using these strains of cannabis IS a measure of trial and error, but without the riDONKulous effects of mixing/switching pharmaceutical pills and contra-indications. Reminds me of the Reaction to Cymbalta of 2017. o.O

What’s next?

I am awaiting registration from my Licenced Producer of the forms the Clinic have sent them, including my prescription. I will receive a telephone call from them with login information for their Producer website.

At that point, I am free to order, online, and receive via indescript packaging my therapeutic product in the mail.

I conclude Part 1 of a Canadian Journey Through Medical Cannabis. I look forward to continuing the process and seeing the effects of my personally determined therapy (see that clever disclaimer hidden in there?) 😉

I have received so much support and suggestions from friends who have experienced their journey through the clinic…I have no fear that I will find something that works for “Me.”

I hope so. The pain is indescribable.

Do you have any questions that I can jot down to try to think of answering as I progress along the process? Let me know in the comments.

3 responses to “A Canadian Journey Through Medical Marijuana, Part 1

  1. Laurie Stewart

    Hi, I wish you well of your new meds. I’ve been on it for about a month and can offer a couple of observations. The high CBD oil from Tweed smells like a dead skunk in August. There is no way I could take it straight. I did find that a chocolate cake mix with added cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom covers it nicely.

  2. Well done. Feel well, Brynn. Keep up the great self care. I’ve never minded the smell of skunk. But a bite of chocolate now and again is a-ok. Great that Canada is allowing medicine for the people.

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