The subject of Cannabis – a sticky one. Do you accept that it’s unlawfully outlawed – or use it anyway? I don’t endorse illegal activities. I’d just like to let you know that I use Cannabis to medicate my chronic pains, of which I’d been struggling with for the past 10 years of my life. And it works. It really works.
I was born with a condition called hip dysplasia. A relatively common condition amongst newborns, and it means my hips weren’t in their sockets. I was in a harness for the first year of my life, and my first word was ‘Vaseline’ because my parents used it to create a barrier between my skin and the harness so it wasn’t uncomfortable. I think. I was 1; I don’t happen to remember.
My condition, hip dysplasia, hasn’t meant my hips have (thankfully) ever dislocated. But, it has lead to what myself and parents predict is (or will be) osteoarthritis – a condition caused by a preexisting lack of cartilage or something along those lines. My mother has osteoarthritis in her fingers, and we wouldn’t be shocked if my chronic hip pains were a result of the lack of cartilage in my hip joints. This is because once cartidledge has been degraded, it cannot be reproduced by the body.
How does Cannabis help this?
I have no clue, despite the amount of time I have spent studying the flower. My main areas of research pertain to THC, since it’s the only effective cannabinoid I have experienced that actually alleviates my pains and swelling in the hip and knee joints (a secondary problem, caused by the shit hips.
THC stands for Tetra Hydra Cannabidiol, and is a compound comprised of many proteins including the proteins that your brain receptors perceive as stimulants, and which give you the epic release of being high. THC doesn’t harbour any psychedelic effects – which is why Cannabis isn’t labelled a psychedelic.
It’s wrong to even call it a drug.
The word suggests, to me, that Cannabis is some sort of concoction of chemicals created by a scientist in a lab to treat a specific problem. For example, ibuprofen is used to target inflammation by thinning the blood slightly (which is why people shouldn’t use it too much – in the case that it could cause stomach bleeds and crohn’s disease) and paracetamol, a pain medication which is very light and works by ‘blocking’ the pain receptors.
Cannabis is a miracle flower. It’s actually a plant, and no, THC is not a genetically modified strain of Cannabis designed to make the user high – Cannabis/Weed/Kush/Marijuana/Grass/Green is the THC rich plant, and Hemp is known for its properties of – nothing medical.
Hemp is an amazing and sustainable material. I personally own a lot of hemp clothing, accessories and face and skin products (the skin products, I’m not an advocate of. Just buy normal stuff). The average red maple tree takes anywhere from 10 to 15 years to reach maturity, growing at a rate of just a foot or two per year; hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa, can reach as high as 20 feet in 12 to 14 weeks.
I do not, however, promote the use of Hemp and other compounds such as CBD and CBG within the cannabis plant for medical conditions, because I’ve experimented. Trust me on this one. Here’s why.
I believe that for me, I didn’t even get to the stage of experiencing placebo. My condition, a constant inflammation of the hip sockets and joints, often leading to shooting and stabbing pain around my lower back and sides of my thighs, is caused by (surprise!) a lack of cartilage within my hip joints. This means swelling physically and within the intricate and more hidden parts of my joints, deep down, and also inflammation and stabbing pains as aforementioned.
The reason why THC is believed (and has been proven to) stop spasms and overactive cells and muscle groups is because THC slots right into the brain’s pre-existing ‘cannabinoid receptors’. The body contains these awesome things called receptors which are chemical structures, composed of proteins, that receive and transduce signals that may be integrated into biological systems. This means your endocrine system produces things called ‘endocannabinoids’ – a compound with a similar molecular structure to THC, however is naturally produced by the body. Of course, the amount of preexisting endocannabinoids could contribute to the tolerance within the body of externally consumed THC – no matter the THC content, due to some bodies producing different quantities of proteins as opposed to other bodies.
The benefits of cannabis
Now, onto the fun stuff. Just kidding. Biology and chemistry is fun. When THC slots into those little holes (receptors) just waiting to be filled with lovely THC and other phytocannabinoids, the body physically goes through some changes:
- Your blood pressure will reach a lower level, which is why it’s recommended to chat with your doctor before consuming Cannabis (in any way, no matter if there’s THC or not)
- Lower blood pressure = less constricted arteries = lower chance of strokes and heart attacks.
- Lower blood pressure = a better flow of proteins and cytoplasm within the veins and blood stream = better absorption of other things such as vitamins, supplements, etc.
- This consequently will speed up your metabolism and make you hungry as heck. Don’t fight the urge to binge eat though. A mindful nutritionist and food coach friend of mine has a focus of removing the stigma around food and likes to encourage intuitive eating – so do that. Eat intuitively. If you’re hungry, eat! Eat everything!
- THC can help people recover from cancer but has not been proven to prevent it nor slow the process – however if your immune system is at a low from chemotherapy then you might benefit from Cannabis. It’s very important to note that if your cancer was oestrogen-aggravated, then you shouldn’t use Cannabis. Cannabis has been known to increase oestrogen levels and you don’t need to increases the chances of falling unwell again.
- Lower blood pressure will also help you with period pains, hip spasms, shooting pains up the back, and literally most ailments us humans suffer with. We are so mortal that it’s embarrassing. Have you seen elephants walking around with tusks hanging off? They’re soldiers. We’re babies.
- Increased levels of serotonin (the happiness hormone) and progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone (the sexy time hormones, and yes, all sexes have some amount of these hormones!)
- This all contributes to a healthy and better homeostasis within the body. You couldn’t find a healthier alternative to the huge pharma culture we all hate so much.
How long it takes
The more you smoke, the less you will need eventually to get the effects from the compounds within. Your body won’t necessarily build up a tolerance, however the receptors can ‘cling onto’ phytocannabinoids (externally consumed THC) and you won’t need as much due to your body having a ‘reserve’. On top of this, due to the similar molecular structure observed within both endo and phytocannabinoids, the two can meld together (this is called a covalent bond) and therefore last longer in the body. How amazing is that?
It takes 30 minutes for somebody 5’6″ and 9 stone to experience the effects of Cannabis (this somebody is me by the way). This means my spasms seize entirely and I’m free of pain until two or so days later, when the Cannabis has left my system. The spasms then reappear and I medicate once more. The effects I observe are actually incredible – and it’s crazy how this method of pain alleviation is illegal for me.
Thanks for taking the time to read about Cannabis – studying this flower, to me, has been incredibly fun and I’m so glad I became a part of this community. We all medicate together, because it works. Feel free to ask me any questions, or let me know if I have made any inaccuracies and I’ll happily change them.