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I remember getting them as early as age 8; pains, pounding, sensitivity- pure agony. I remember my mother looking helpless- but with an understanding of what I was going through. Migraines/Chronic Headaches; my grandmother, my mother, and now- me.
Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, and whatever other over the counter med- split in half (don’t judge my mother, she was doing the best she could for a condition that affects more women than men and had no prescription medication specific to that condition at the time) to help ease my pain. That was the beginning of my life with chronic migraine/headache.
I was a kid that visited the doctor multiple times a year for check-ups. In these check-ups, my condition was always discussed and the same answer would be given- over the counter pills, syrups, and/or remedies. So, that was the beginning of a life full of popping over the counter meds for pain.
If only Cannabis were legal. After almost 20 years of pain, countless over the counter meds, and 5 prescription meds (see- most “migraine” meds aren’t for migraines at all- they are for seizures and the side effects of the migraine- but not the migraine itself), I said “F this!” and smoked a blunt (I’d like to point out that in my teens and early 20’s- I took a puff here and a puff there. This was the first time I smoked in full blunt passing rotation).
It was 2015 when my life changed; sitting at my kitchen table with a few friends. I don’t/didn’t know the strain, I don’t/didn’t know if it was Indica or Sativa. I remember the scent (now I know those are terpenes) was powerful and the Stoners in my life at the time ALWAYS said that “weed is the best medicine”, so, I inhaled (too much and coughed like crazy), then again (much better this time), then again, and well- here I am- a Chronic pain survivor, because of Cannabis.
My story is just one of thousands of stories; below, you will hear from other survivors that chose to heal with Cannabis, those who were saved by Cannabis.
Because the government says that they are allowed to decide what’s best for us all- many of us have suffered and died from their (the government) version of “safe medication”. Shame on you United States government.
I want to dedicate this piece to all of us- survivors, those no longer with us in the physical- that could’ve been here, if not for the ridiculous war on Cannabis, and those that stomp the pavement in an effort to legalize Cannabis.
Survivor Story- Matthew
Matthew, has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Many of his days consist of “breaths that are accompanied by thoughts of dread, hatred of the corporate cage we allow ourselves into, and completely smothered by anxiety.”
He has tried prescription medications, the ones that the government says are “safe”. These “safe” options “at least numbed the pain” but also “killed my libido”.
Matthew chose Cannabis and here’s why:
“I buy an ounce of weed and it lasts me a month. To me, it’s less harmful than Opioids, which tends to be a drug that shouldn’t be in the hands of a depressed person. When I smoke cannabis, the depression doesn’t speak so much. In fact, it usually begins to lighten up on me. It pulled me through the last of college, when grief made me want to quit. I learned how to “use words good”. I was happy in theatre, writing, and life. I found my green escape. Cannabis has worked for me, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to inhale, and then, exhale.”
Survivor Story- Donna
Cannabis studies have shown that Cannabis is great for PTSD. Donna has an intense story; multiple conditions due to multiple traumatic events. Here’s a piece of her story:
“They tried to diagnose me as Cannabis being the problem but- I was using it for survival. I have post-traumatic stress syndrome and I also had heart surgery; Cannabis helps me very much with my nerves being debilitated. I was diagnosed with advanced PTSD within three years of the father of my children and son passing away.
My adrenaline was causing my heart to beat too fast- I developed PVST arrhythmia from too much adrenaline. I started taking pills and it was making me sick so, I started smoking marijuana and it’s the only thing that works. It’s the only thing that calms me and slows me down. Marijuana has relaxed me and has increased my sensory nerves.
Cannabis saved me throughout the years!”
Survivor Story- Karen
There are numerous studies that show that Cannabis is a miracle when it comes to cancer treatment. Karen’s story is one that hits home to many of us- cancer:
“My husband was diagnosed in January, with Stage 4 liver and colon cancer. I found a processor shortly after his diagnosis and he started treating with RSO (Rick Simpson Oil), the following week. He medicated with the RSO and had 12 chemo infusion treatments at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. On October 7th, we are having surgery to remove what is left of his tumors.
Originally, we were told 2 stage 4 cancers, in 2 different areas of the body, and that it would require 24 treatments. My husband did it in 12! I have no doubt the RSO is what made the difference here.”
Survivor Story- Jodi
PTSD and Cannabis- again, multiple studies support Cannabis being effective for this condition/disability. It’s time that out government provided funds for research! Here’s Jodi’s story:
“I started using cannabis when I was 18 because I suffered from PTSD and depression. I started using cannabis as an alternative to antidepressants. I also suffer from fibromyalgia and I face a variety of conflicts physically and mentally such as: muscle spasms, aches, tenderness, joint pain nerve damage, fatigue, apnea, chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and severe depression.
Cannabis has changed my life forever. Not only am I happier, calmer, and more stable mentally and physically- but my pain level is lower and more controlled. I can sleep through the night and not have to face flashbacks of my dreams when I’m medicated, I feel happy and free from the prison of my condition. If it wasn’t for Cannabis, I truly believe I wouldn’t be alive. I know in my heart I would’ve given in years ago before I even saw my 20’s.”
Survivor Story- Mike
Cannabis, Seizures, and Cancer; another marvelous healing story. The government cannot lie to us anymore. Here’s Mike’s story:
“I used cannabis throughout life starting when I was a kid, but what I didn’t know up until a few years ago, how to use it the right way. After a 1995 auto racing wreck on a pro tour, Cannabis became a mainstay in life. I was critically injured in that wreck and that resulted in severe refractory epilepsy – literally no pills would stop the seizures.
I’d end up in ICU intubated – literally on life support as the only way to stop the back to back grand mal seizures on over 3 dozen occasions was to induce a coma. If I had not found out about CBD and learned that ingestion was the key with THC, I don’t think I’d be alive as once I gained control over the seizures in 2013.
Within 2 years, I was diagnosed with a recurrence of a 2003 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma – and was at stage 4. There was not one but two secondary cancers: another type of Hodgkins and Prostrate. I allowed western medicine treatment – all of it: surgery, chemo, and radiation – but cut it short 6 weeks in when my right side went numb. Nobody told me that the chemo could cause the head trauma from the racing wreck to be reactivated – which put me into a wheelchair for nearly 3 years after that
I started ingesting very high doses of THC and did not stop. That was mid 2015 – it took until early 2019 to be 100% in remission from all cancers. 27 Seizure medications in total failed before I discovered that I needed to ingest both THC and CBD.”
Survivor Story- Genevieve
It’s important to share Genevieve’s story, through Mike, who helped Genevieve and her family with Cannabis education/assistance:
“Genevieve was one of countless kids in our huge compassion program back then. When I first encountered her and her mom, Anne Mari, Genevieve was having seizures and, in the past had been hospitalized. When I met Genevieve, she was out of school and in need of a UCLA Clearance to return. I gave her oil on Day one and her mom took her to the doctor the next day – immediately her primary care doctor asked her mom “What happened to her?” in amazement. Anne Mari shared that a compassion guy came by the house and had given her Cannabis Oil.
At the time, Genevieve was on multiple medications that didn’t work for her and was functioning at the developmental age of 3. Jump ahead 36 months later and our Genbug is functioning at developmental age of 13.
Throughout the past few years I have encountered many that wanted to debate in regards to the various studies which state cannabis use causes kids have developmental losses – quickly I point out that those studies are about smoked marijuana and not about ingested cannabinoid medicine.”
Survivor Story- Asia
Many say that Cannabis hurts those with anxiety and bi-polar disorder; however, many with these conditions, like Asia (below) would say otherwise:
“I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I started consuming Cannabis at the age of 17. Cannabis saved and healed me from destruction. I lost my sense of identity, love, and life. I was depressed and in a dark place. I didn’t socialize and I disappeared for a year; I dropped out of school and almost faced homelessness.
Consuming Cannabis helped me remember who I was before the traumatic experience. It helped me remember myself, fall in love with myself; I am focused and clear- I am motivated and working on my Cannabis business- Cannabis marketing.”
Survivor Story- Sheena
Our government would rather we consume 10+ medications, instead of ending the prohibition of a plant. Sheena shares a remarkable story:
“I have three auto immune diseases and I have tried every pharmaceutical med that is supposed to help. From biological meds to pain management- I honestly was getting about 14 prescriptions a month. After my 3rd mass removal surgery, my Oncologist suggested I start using medical marijuana.
After just a few months of treating with marijuana, I was able to get my pick line taken out and I can’t explain how much that means to me. I have never had a quality-of-life this good before. I always thought of myself as broken, and had given up hope that anything is going to help. Now, for the first time in my life I have hope, and I believe that things are going to get better. I don’t just have to survive- I can enjoy life.”
Survivor Story- 1stladyofthewestcoast
The story of a survivor that healed, and used her passion to create her own strain line in an effort to heal everyone:
“I have bipolar depression [and was a] crack baby. I was born prematurely and weighed 2 pounds. Due to my diagnoses, I’ve experienced anxiety, depression, severe fatigue, lack of energy, thoughts of suicide, and high and low mood swings. Basically, feeling like a zombie—just stuck.
I consumed Cannabis for the first time in 2004; my friend asking if I wanted to smoke a blunt. I was very curious and wanted to try. I remember feeling ok, not stressed, not worried, not angry or upset but calm and relaxed, like my bipolar symptoms were disappearing. I noticed being more creative with cannabis. What a lifesaver. It saved me from being on pharmaceutical drugs.
Cannabis helps me feel depression and anxiety free. I feel relaxed, calm, and free, like that scene in Waiting to Exhale when Whitney Houston (Savannah in the movie) exhaled. It was a life-changer for me. I’m glad I tried it because today, my kidneys and liver are healthy, my immune system is healthy and not destroyed by [anti-]depressant medication.”
With all of the benefits recorded in history and currently being reported, and countless survival stories, it’s insane that we are still having to fight for the end of prohibition– for a plant.
This piece is a repurposed version of the original version, which was originally written by the author and published in Oklahoma Chronic Magazine.