Using Legal Cannabis / Medical Marijuana: 10 Week Experiment

IMG_08481This post is a diary of sorts.  A chronological compilation of my notes, Facebook status updates, links, and photos having to do with my first experiments in cannabis.  It represents a learning curve — and some surprising conclusions.

I was too young to be a hippie by a year or two, though my freshman college wardrobe was bell bottomed blue jeans and madras tops, maxi skirts and halter tops, wedgies and earth shoes.  That was a long time ago.  Now, I’m a semi-retired artist, corporate trainer, technical writer, school teacher, grad student, single-mom (done with that!).

I have several “medical conditions” — that have taken and continue to take a lot of time and energy to deal with.  (and a lot of drugs)

I’m dyslexic (sorry- – no drugs for that!)  Type-2 Diabetic (I control that with diet and exercise rather than drugs.)   High functioning autistic (Asperger’s — no drugs for that one either.)  I’ve had surgery on both legs many years ago — which now turns into sort of a steady-state and slow moving arthritis.  I have asthma so bad that for over 15 years I had a handicap license plate so I could get out of the West Texas dust and pollution.  I have a slight familial tremor (think early Katherine Hepburn, as opposed to late-life Hepburn) and the accompanying stammer.  And I’ve had chronic migraine headaches since I was 13.  Chronic as in, 4-6 of every 7 days on average for 35 years, (though in the last decade — research, experimentation and reading has reduced that by more than half.)  However, headache days are still all day and all night when they happen, and they can sometimes last for 2 or more weeks at a time.

Don’t get me wrong.  By the time you are my age, you’ll have a list like this, too.  Maybe shorter.  Maybe longer.  Maybe with more serious / severe / life threatening problems.  Maybe not.  But this is my list.  And if you know anything about any of these problems — then you know they come with a whole parade of secondary symptoms and issues.  Like the social anxiety and communication paralysis that goes with Aspergers.  Or the cough that can turn into a suffocating seizure with life-threatening asthma.  This is my list, without a lot of elaboration.  And I’m pretty clear that there’s no magic bullet (or magic brownie) that’s going to fix social awkwardness — so we’re looking for specific outcomes, not pie in the sky.

li8xjjubfrcp9dfqbtvoAnd since 2012, I live in Oregon, where Medical Marijuana has been legal for over a decade, and recreational marijuana has been legal for over a year.  There is a dispensary less than 4 blocks from my house — and over 15 more within a 25 minute drive — so it seems to me it’s time to broaden my research.

Before starting this — my arsenal of drugs to deal with the migraines includes opiates, anti-nausea drugs like phenergan, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, , steroids, anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives, caffeine, and off-lable uses for strange other drugs prescribed by headache specialists and other doctors.  (I have a bad reaction to some migraine specific drugs that have been prescribed — including unconsciousness.)

Trust me — I’ve tried more folk remedies, herbal teas, darkened rooms, meditation, hypnosis, sound therapy, aromatherapy, accupuncture, accupressure, chiropractic adjustments, happy thoughts, special diets, fasting, massage therapy, drugs and drug combinations than I can count.

I am not using “a little headache” to get out of work, church, school, family gatherings, personal responsibility, or social obligations.  I can’t even count the number of times or the number of people who think they can talk me out of migraines with their pitiful, uninformed, and condescending personal opinions.  Migraines are about fluid im/balance, blood flow, blood pressure, blood vessel dilation, muscle tension, chemical/hormone im/balance, emotional stress, and in some cases, allergic or auto-immune responses.

Adjustments to diet that improve fluid and chemical balances; discovery of the foods and other allergies that directly cause one or more of those physical changes, blood pressure medications, the hormone changes associated with menopause, and corrected sleep patterns have gotten rid of more than half my migraine days.  And unlike my first family physician who assured my mother that headaches were all in my 13-year-old imagination (like menstral cramps) (!) — current medicine is pretty clearly trying to help chronic migraine sufferers find a better quality of life.

flowering-begins-1

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May 14, 2016

Some interesting starting point reads I’ve found to satisfy my curiosity and feed the need for useful info:

https://smile.amazon.com/Emperor-Wears-Clothes-Marijuana-Conspiracy/dp/1878125028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469636829&sr=8-1&keywords=jack+herer

61FEC9TQTGL._SX360_BO1,204,203,200_Jack Herer  wrote this — sort of anecdotal history and reference book for marijuana, written while it was still so illegal that you could lose your freedom for decades just for having it in your possession.  It has a kind of Cheech-and-Chong stoner’s charm to it — Jack Herer is now the name of one of the most widely sold medical-use strains available.  There are only a few strains named for specific people — kind of a tribute, and a way to make sure some of the “pioneers” of this Westward expansion are recognized for toughing it out, fighting the good fight, and being so focused on legalization for so many years.

And the humor and the artwork will make you smile if you’re over 50.

**

13322007_10206741744807641_6225528099064418361_nhttp://www.leafly.com

Leafly.com is one of several online resources — filling in the gaps of information for all types of users — legal, illegal, medical, life-long stoners, newbies, curious, angry, ecstatic, disabled, healthy, sick, chemo patients, retired, college students, veterans, politicians, middle class, blue collar, white collar, Gen-X, Baby-Boomers, Millennials, stoned, and sober.  Their “Cannabis 101” series of articles provides the vocabulary, and reflects some of the evolution of marijuana since it was first legalized for medical use, and later for recreational use in the US.

They offer snapshots of over 1000 different strains, a majority of the dispensaries across the country (including menus of what each dispensary has for sale– kept up by the shopkeepers.)  Dispensaries have to pay to be included, and as long as you’re online in your browser — you can also price-compare between dispensaries.  (Prices aren’t allowed on the app — but are allowed on the big website.)   While there are several informational sites online — so far, leafly.com has been the most complete and helpful, and is kept up to date, religiously.

A lot of the information is purely anecdotal, but the science is also there (what there is of it so far….)

The best thing about Leafly.com is that they are staying current with information, scientific research, laws, and everything-WEED related.  The second best thing about Leafly.com is that it is entertaining.  Reading just the names of over 1000 strains is an adventure all by itself.

**

51Op0r-r2hL._AC_UL160_SR127,160_https://smile.amazon.com/Green-Field-Marijuana-Dan-Michaels/dp/1452134057/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466727393&sr=1-3&keywords=green

This book is only 2 years old, published in 2014 — but some of the info is already out of date, or explained better elsewhere.  However– the photography of hundreds of different “nugs” (nuggets) — the flowers of different “strains” of the plant — are beautifully detailed, with accompanying information on each strain.  Leafly.com talks about strains in more detail, and it augments with new info and data constantly — but the photos and the book itself are just lovely.

51vGURug+LL._SX260_https://smile.amazon.com/Official-High-Times-Cannabis-Cookbook/dp/1452101337/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469642932&sr=1-1&keywords=high+times+cookbook

The High Times Cookbook has several things about it to recommend.  First — they’ve been doing this for years.  So again, you get the long view.  Next, their recipes include more than sweets — which for me as a diabetic, is very important. Third — and probably most important — they provide a lot information and answers to basic questions that  only come up if you’re using your pot in the kitchen.  They also have all the basics about making infused oils, tinctures, and other media for ingesting pot.

There are cannabis cookbooks popping up every day as legalization becomes more pervasive — but this is the best starting point I found.  Some others show a lot of promise — and others show a lot of mis-steps.  As with all cookbooks, do some serious thumbing-through to make sure the author is using ingredients and ideas that sound like something you’d really enjoy.

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May 19, 2016

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Magical Butter pot — comes with everything you need to make infused butter, oil, tincture, glycerin concentrate….

😀
I love learning new things…
🙂
(in case this isn’t obvious — this is a machine that makes infused butter, oils, tinctures, infused alcohols, infused vinegars, and topical oils/creams with marijuana [or other herb of your choice])

if you watch some of the youtube videos that either show how to use it, or are there to review the machine — there are some really cute ones where the cooks(!) keep tasting their wares and get progressively more and more stoned as they go….

This youtube video was the very first I found when I started reading/ researching how to start this project, so she is near and dear to my heart:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVkydpXvwuc&feature=share

Below is the link to the Magical Butter machine people (if you buy it anywhere but from them directly, their warranty is invalidated — which is okay, since they give you a better discount on the phone than any secondary market seller, or even the individual “stores” merchants sell it for on Amazon.)

https://magicalbutter.com/

oh — AND — if you decide to order one of these from the company — use this link and it will give you a discount code to get $25 off the price, and I’ll get a discount on purchase too for the referral!

http://magicalbutter.refr.cc/5XF5X7Z

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May 23, 2016

I’m going to do now what I never did in college — or anywhere along the path, for that matter. I’m going to learn about something that was touted as the most dangerous activity short of

whats-legal-1

Here’s a link to Leafly.com’s page that breaks down, state by state, what conditions are eligible for treatment with Medical Marijuana.

jumping out of a moving car.  In the 8th grade, we got shown very serious films featuring Sonny & Cher, the First Lady, and some really dour looking physicians and suits. They all said we would be setting ourselves on the road to failure, financial ruin, prison, disastrous health, hell, and/or Skid Row if we even smelled a little cannabis.

But that was Texas. (and still is.)

Fast forward, and here we are. Where I live now, there are “dispensaries” within blocks of my house. 16 within a 25-minute drive (this is a vacation spot and recreational destination, after all.) The average price is $10/g — with a 25% sales tax for recreational users. And after just 6 months of legal sales, they’ve already made enough in sales tax in the state to build 3 new elementary schools.

States are falling like a slow-motion domino train, finally admitting that maybe the fundamentalist sewn-shut-tight-asses may have over reacted. And possibly cut off their noses to keep from smelling the wrong flower in the garden.tumblr_o2rngxbDS81v8amego1_500

A good friend in college once told me that my imagination needed weights, and not wings — and that was why he (a serious smoker of the forbidden weed) thought I’d be better off without it. And I took him at his word.

I’m thinking he didn’t have all the facts. Imagination is not the only consideration. PAIN in a real thing. Social anxiety is a real thing. Asthma and arthritis and chronic migraine headaches complete with nausea, vomiting, light-sensitivity, and insomnia — are real things. And for those real things — I have a medicine cabinet full of pills which I’d like to lose.

It was a different weed back in those college days, and a different world. A lot has changed. Including me. 😀

I’ll let you know.

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May 27, 2016

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Here it is: the wicked, evil, destroy-your-life, addictive, gateway drug, brain-cell killing, fast-track-to-hell, civilization destroying, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, throw-you-away-and-lose-the-key illegal flower.

nug-2

This is a flower. A nug. A bud.

It even looks scary. Like a carnivorous coral or something. And it not only has its own chemical and genetic evolution, vocabulary and sub-culture — it’s a little ugly, as flowering plants go.

And it’s not any prettier in person.  Honestly, people.  It looks like a little plant turd.  And makes me wonder how bad life must have been for the people who first thought of smoking it.  (of course, I feel the same way about mushrooms…who thought of eating fungus on purpose?)

Maybe the first users came across it burning in a forest fire, or after a lightning strike — and were trying to duplicate the happy accident!

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May 30, 2016 (rant)

So pleasure, fun, leisure and health — and even some freedoms — have been — for most of the existence of humanity, the purview of the few. The advantaged. The privileged. The elite. The upper class.

During Prohibition — how many of those groups of people were actually imprisoned for possession of liquor? Good God! Liquor during Prohibition is how the Kennedys made their fortune! Mayors, police officials — many had private cellars that stocked their parties and dinner tables.

Long before alcohol re-entered the common cabinet, movie stars, public figures — all avoided public scrutiny by virtue of their own elite status.

And while a lot of musicians, singers, actors, politicians and athletes may have had their hands spanked or been publicly shamed or fined for possession/use of weed — those are not the people filling prisons.

And for much of the last 200 years, those who lived openly homosexual lives who were artists of fame were surrounded by winks and nods of acceptance by their own community — while passing under the radar of most others. Politicians and public figures of note were as likely to be homosexual, or (like J. Edgar Hoover, some other variation on the sexual theme) as they were to be Republican, southern, brunette, or vegetarian!

Free choice of who to marry and where to live. Ownership of property. Decisions about having and raising children. Military service. Quality education. Accessibility to higher quality of life in any form… Available health care. Elder care. Child care. Medicines. High quality food.

The truth is — choice (all the choices) is something that has — at least in the past — belonged to the powerful. Only. Whether powerful by wealth, fame, inherited position, or talent and skill. And they guarded it with great greed. They chaired the committees to make it illegal and out of reach to the average person. They led the lynching parties to rid the world of those choices for the masses. They preached, campaigned, and instructed “the rest of us” on the evils, dangers, pitfalls, and temptations of the the flesh.

All the while — enjoying all the choices themselves.

And giving up any of those privileges is painful. It’s like pulling teeth. It comes with a great, loud tantrum and a lot of kicking and screaming.

But thanks to (Uncle) Ben Parker, “the rest of us” started figuring it out, so that now it’s inevitable:
With great power comes great responsibility.
And one of the things they’re responsible for is their own honesty.
For making the world better.
And for creating a fair world.

“Whoever said life was going to be fair” is the handy-dandy lie they told us for years. A glib slogan. It was a way to get out of having to actually create fairness — which is hard. Making the world a fair and just place means they have to give up some of the private-ness of choices they’ve been guarding as their own special stash. The secret cellar of choices and opportunities they held on to as proof of their special privileged position.

Life may not have been fair in the past — but unfairness is not the natural state of things. Creating fairness is an honorable — and possible — goal. It may be the only really honorable goal.

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June 3, 2016sweet-purple-5

Okay people-who-may-know-more-about-this-than-me….
I’m getting the feeling that either I”m doing this wrong, or there’s been an awful lot of fuss about this plant with no good reason.

**

I got several responses from friends on FB about this.  They bacially confirmed that I was “doing it right”.

And one artist friend looked at the close-up photo of a cannabis flower I included and asked what it was a picture of — which makes sense since he lives in a country where you can be executed for growing the plant.

(!)

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June 5, 2016

AH HA! Got it. (figured out the last question I asked about marijuana)

So the thing I was forgetting is that I (also) don’t get the same effects/results drinking alcohol that a lot of people do.

13336068_10206802246640149_6475033126694103966_nA lot of people drink to “let their hair down” — to set themselves free from their inhibitions and from the demands/expectations of living in a civil(ized) society. It’s a ticket to not having to think-first, or not having to consider what people will think before you act or speak. Alcohol — for a lot of people — is the grease that lets the door to their unconscious mind swing open. And the Big Bear escapes.

And I think that’s what makes drinking so attractive to a lot of people — and in some way explains the addiction, too. It’s not *just* the alcohol that creates a physical addiction for a lot of people –it’s the addiction to the emotional/mental freedom, as well.

When I drink — I get the physical result of muscles relaxing. I spend a lot of time tensed up, because of my tenuous relationship to other people. It’s part of the high-functioning-autism/Asperger’s profile. I have a lot of trouble talking and just being around people I don’t know. Crowds. Crowded / enclosed places (malls, grocery stores, parades, airplanes, subways, churches….) So I spend a lot of time tied up in knots, so to speak. It’s fear, anxiety, and dread — all balled up and living in my shoulders, back, neck, arms, legs — pretty much anywhere there’s a muscle –> I’m tense if there are people around.

What I don’t get from alcohol — is that “release” that sets my unconscious mind on a beeline toward speaking up in public. My unconscious already speaks up in public! And in private. I don’t have the same kind of inhibitions or social insulation that others have to discard (or fight their way through.) It’s the autism. When I drink — it’s a muscle relaxant that tastes good.

Enter cannabis.13344654_10206796279290969_168342809151578980_n

I’m thinking that much or most of what people describe as a “high” — is a lot like the common high from alcohol. It’s a way to get past the conscious mind and straight at the unconscious. That’s why artists of all flavors talk about being more creative and focused under the influence.

Except I already have the doors to my unconscious open most all the time. Maybe — all the time.

What I notice about using marijuana for medical reasons are the medical results and physical sensations. A low level muscle relaxation, equivalent to about 1/2 – 1 shot of vodka in a Bloody Mary. A slight fuzziness of thought — like really small amounts of nitrous oxide gas at the dentist’s office. Aches in my wrists, thumbs and knees where I have arthritis fade away. My handwriting becomes easier to read because my slight familial-tremor disappears. I’m drinking more iced water/iced tea. I can read for longer at a time because my eyes don’t get tired. I sleep through the night instead of waking up after every sleep cycle.

But after trying 6 different strains of cannabis? — with wildly differing chemical profiles? –> no giggles and silliness; no munchies; no giddy happiness, no extra talking or “free-associating”; no surges in creativity; no euphoria. None of the set-your-spirit-(unconscious)-free stuff associated with stoner-hood.

None. Nada. Zip bupkis goose-egg ZERO. Nothing.weed-jars
Because you can’t swing wide open a door that isn’t there.

So my earlier post wondering if I was “doing it wrong” — no.
Evidently I”m doing it right. I just needed to give some careful thought to expectations.

And I’m still pretty sure that all the fuss (arrests, imprisonments, lawsuits, debates, fines, just-say-no campaigns, ATF raids, three-strikes-you’re-out-s, family fights, and stern pulpit sermons and classroom filmstrips…) was / is waaay out of proportion with the plant itself.

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June 7, 2016

well. this is interesting.

biz_magicalbutter102013b_11748111_8col

If it’s tasteless and odorless, you are making it wrong. This is frustrating news for me since I don’t actually like the taste….

Pot is fat soluble. I made “canna-butter” — infused butter — in the “Magical Butter” Cooker. All the resources / cookbooks say you can make it with a 1:32 ratio of cannabis to/ butter (or coconut oil); or, with a dilution as high as a 1:8 ratio.

That’s a very wide gap. As low as 1/4oz to 1c, or as high as 1oz/1c.

So I journeyed too the middle, and used 1/2oz of cannabis to 1c of butter.

All the youtube videos where people are demonstrating this recipe talk about how it’s the perfect way to use cannabis — because you can hardly taste it, and the effects last longer, and with the right cooking temperature and the right amount of time — it uses every trace of the relevant drugs, so — no waste. It also can take as much as 2 hrs to kick in after you eat it as opposed to the nearly instantaneous effect felt with smoking, vaping, or dabbing cannabis..
Lots of differences.

For my first test-taste, at my 1:16 ratio, I used 1/4t on a half english muffin. 2 hrs later, I was beginning to feel very relaxed. 3 hrs later I fell asleep. 5 hrs later I fell asleep again. It’s now 8 promo_box_2hrs later and I”m still a little sleepy. My speech has slowed down. The connection between thoughts and words takes longer. I had started to get a headache, but it has since faded. Really thirsty. It feels like mild inebriation.  Maybe equivalent to a couple of beers or a glass of wine

This is the most effect I’ve experienced.
I would not be safe behind the wheel of a car.

So — first thing to do is soften the Magic Butter, and cut it with fresh butter. Maybe 50/50. Maybe more diluted than that. This recipe needs to be diluted to be useful.

And — you can certainly taste the cannabis.
To the exclusion of everything else. Maybe the new dilution will help. [it didn’t]

this is an image of "decarboxilyzing" weed in advance of making infused butter or oil. Basically, the butter will just be bad-tasting green stuff to clog your sink and drain if you fail to do this. Remember: closed container; 220 degrees f; 1 hr.

this is an image of “decarboxilyzing” weed in advance of making infused butter or oil. Basically, the butter will just be bad-tasting green stuff to clog your sink and drain if you fail to do this. Remember: use a closed glass container; 220 degrees f; 1 hr.

And in the future, I’ll eat it late in the day.

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June 9, 2016

holy cow that butter has a strong aroma.
Garlic butter has less.

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I cut it —
2 1/2 c sweet cream butter : 1 c magic butter

did nothing to the scent — I used just a touch in 1/2c of cheesy mashed potatoes. I couldn’t taste it at all except for the aroma.

We’ll see in a few hours how the dosage works out.

3hrs later:
it’s not really glow-in-the-dark green. It’s more like key-lime pie pastel green — especially since I cut it with the regular butter.
— and I’m just a bit more relaxed than I would otherwise be.  No inebriation.  No slowed reaction time.  Just — chill.

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June 13, 2016

 

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Why is this chart important?  Because these are the temps you have to hit to “activate” each chemical.  Smoking always hits even the highest required temps which is why smoking has such a wide and deep list of physical effects.  It also destroys some chemicals before they can be felt.  Baking brownies at 425 for just 10 minutes before turning the heat down to 375 or 350 will activate all the chemicals without destroying others.  But most people do not vape higher than 170 or 180 c — which means they never trigger the CBN, Linalool, or THCv.  And if all you’re interested in the the THC, you don’t have to vape hotter than 160 c.

lol.
I did the math on the diluted batch of Magic Butter I made.
It works out to 21.53mg/t THC, and 7.6mg/t CBD per teaspoon, (+all the other micro amounts of the other chemicals like limonene, linalool, etc.)

By comparison, the max dose allowed in a retail edible in CO is 10mg THC. In OR, the max is 5mg/edible (like a single cookie.)   That means 1/2t of my butter is equal to 1 CO cookie, or 2-OR cookies.

So this morning I made a recipe of 6 apple-bran muffins with 1T of my butter, so each muffin has 1/2t of butter — Which should work out just about right.

It also means that batch of MButter I made has 434.7 total teaspoons of butter. That’s 869 1/2t doses. Which I can’t possibly eat before the butter goes bad.

It also means that it comes to about $0.55/dose. (including the cost of the machine!)
Compared to the $6-$12/dose shops sell brownies and jelly beans for. And mine don’t have a bunch of sugar

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Terpene info-graphic from Leafly.com

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June 13, 2016

514_400x400_NoPeel[1]

the original question was: Is there another choice for dealing with my migraine headaches? I’ve tried everything else — with varying degrees of success, as well as varying degrees of side effect.

So I’m living where both medical and recreational cannabis are as easy to come by as vanilla ice cream — and pain management in general and migraine relief in particular are high on the list of pains and ailments for which medical marijuana is prescribed.

I did the research. I read A LOT. There are 2 ways to use pot for pain/migraine problems: as a prevention, or as a remedy.

For 12 days, I used it as preventative. Very small dose, 1x day.b7294835c59cd6d5afa9441a31eed991
Late yesterday, as the weather changed — simple sinus problems began transforming into a migraine. I used 1-dose’s worth of muffin — and the headache backed off.

But by the time I woke up this morning, it was coming back. Blasting through my head like an oncoming train.

So I figured this was a good test. I started with 2 little muffins.
Two hrs later, the headache was worse. I ate 2 more muffins.
Two and a half hours later, My head still hurt. Worse.
In for a penny –> in for a pound. I ate 2 more muffins.
Magic blueberry-pecan-cinnamon-applesauce bran muffins. With flax seed meal and chia seeds.
(This is all I’ve had to eat today. muffins that weigh-in at 7.5g fiber 7g protein each.)
An hour later —
wait —
wait —
no headache. NO HEADACHE.

14-SS-2012-02Too-EarlyTwo hrs later, no headache. Relaxed.
Two hrs later — still no headache. Still relaxed. Head completely clear. I ate half a muffin to celebrate.
Two hours later — no headache. I ate the last half-muffin. And it’s bedtime.

Ding ding ding ding! First trial: success.
12 days in a row with no headaches. Day 13: headache. How much as a remedy rather than as preventative? Turns out, 7 muffins, spread out over 10-12 hours.

—-next morning—-
no headache.
😀

What did I learn? Make the muffins stronger so I don’t have to eat as many to get the same effect. 7 muffins turned out to be all I ate yesterday.

And yes. 1 time doesn’t prove anything. So now I go back to 1 muffin/day. Though I think next time I”m putting the butter in a nice pot of clam chowder.  I’m really sick of muffins.

___________________________

June 14, 2016

lol.  Just one of the silliest bits of high-writing….

https://www.leafly.com/news/lifestyle/we-debated-the-best-munchies-ever—and-heres-what-we-think

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June 15, 2016

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Today’s diabetes-friendly Magic Muffins: Chocolate-Raspberry Cinnamon Pecan Bran Muffin (baked in a pan like brownies….)

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June 18, 2016

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Driving back from Tillamook yesterday, our favorite veggie/fruit stand had raspberries just brought in — so fat and electric red they almost didn’t look real.

Today, we have raspberry-chocolate chip (sugar free, of course) bran muffins.
(basic apple-bran muffin recipe [basic bran made with organic unsweetened applesauce instead of other liquids 1:1 substitution], +2c fresh raspberries +1c sugar free semi-sweet chocolate chips +1/2 c cocoa powder +1/2c wheat bran +dash of cinnamon +dash of salt +1/2 t apple cider vinegar

…and baked in a pan like brownies.

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June 23, 201613315731_10206741745487658_8602537830592502701_n

can I just say,
WTF is wrong with all those decades’ worth of people who made the cannabis plant not only illegal, but made it illegal to do research on it!?!?!?!

I’m sorry, but I’ve been trying this out for over 3 weeks, and I still haven’t found a way to consume enough of the relevant chemical components to feel out of control in any way. It puts me to sleep before I start feeling anything remotely deserving of the word “high” — and every single effect/side-effect has been positive.
** It is relaxing like 1/2-1 shot of booze in a cocktail.
** It vanishes my hereditary tremor (hands etc)
** It vanishes my stammer
** It knocks out pain — from joint pain, to back pain, to migraine headache pain as well or better than opiates.
** It has a positive effect on my social anxiety (Asperger’s) — as in, I don’t feel anxious around people.
** I’m sleeping 6-8 hrs straight through the night for the first time in about 20 years.

HINT: you can add softened cannabuter to sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt to make dips -- the spicier, the better.

HINT: you can add softened cannabutter to sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt to make dips — the spicier, the better. Try it in a SW-Ranch dip, or a chipotle-green onion dip….

** For whatever reason — no nightmares.

And it’s not addictive.
And at least so far, it isn’t in the domain of BigPharm.
And insurance doesn’t cover it because it’s still federally illegal.
And it doesn’t taste good enough to over-use.
And it’s expensive as hell.
And I’d rather the taxes go into the state coffers than the high-tab profits into the hands of illicit drug operations.
And if even half the research being done now pans out –not to mention the potential and unknown future research — this could be something really useful to more people than they’ve even guessed at.

WTF were these stick-up-the-butt, “Just Say No”, my-rules-for-you / no-rules-for-me elitist lawmakers and zealots doing messing with medicine and chemistry and research!?!?!
TELL THEM TO MIND THEIR OWN GODDAMM BUSINESS
and let scientists do science.

____________________________

[After I posted this to FaceBook, I received this helpful link from daughter-in-law, Dannie:]

It’s a must-read for first-timers like me.

http://brucealanblock.com/why-marijuana-became-legal/

____________________________

June 25, 2016

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Today’s Magic Muffins:
Whole Wheat & Oat Bran Muffins w/ fresh Oregon marionberries, chopped hazelnuts, nutmeg & coconut flour. And cannabis, of course.

_____________________________

June 26, 2016 (rant)

Why is it that government and politicians think that questions of intimacy, reproduction, and gender are their business? Did they just assume it by divine right? and if so, which divinity? the divinity of the founding fathers? which founding fathers? they were not only NOT fundamentalist (or Baptist, catholic or Methodist…) they weren’t even all card carrying christian.

and do we as a nation really believe men have the right to decide anything for women regarding their bodies? and if so, does that mean women have the right to decide similar questions for men? If so, I would consider vasectomy (and/or chemical castration?) to be a good imposed choice for all men over 40. Certainly for all men who have reproduced more than 2 times. For all men convicted of violent crimes — especially spousal or child abuse of any kind.

How about a 3-strikes-you’re-out government mandated sterilization for child abusers, sexual abusers, spousal abusers, and all those convicted of hate crimes of any kind? That’s right — you get 2 chances to change your ways, then snip-chop-take-this-pill-and-go-to-therapy.

That would be a good use of this divine right. Let’s make it illegal to reproduce if you have ever been convicted of a violent crime.

Maybe that’s why a woman president is a little scary. Women might actually expect that turnabout-is-fair-play thing.

Better still — how about if we just take matters of reproduction, gender, intimacy, and marriage off the table all together. That would be the real fair play.

__________________________

June 27, 2016

13529183_10206955006459049_4965255707728936225_n

So here’s the problem with Magic Butter (cannabutter) — okay, there’s more than one problem:
1. If you use butter on veggies, you leave much of the butter on the dish or in the pan. veggies don’t actually absorb butter, they just wear it.
2. the kinds of things that DO absorb and hold butter are things like rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, oatmeal, etc. ALL of which are mostly carbohydrates — which do not play well with diabetes. OR, baked goods like brownies, muffins, cakes, pies, cookies etc — which are more than mostly carbohydrates — they’re mostly sugar carbs!
3. if it’s made with olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter —
colorful-little-mmj-nugs-thcfinderyou escape all the saturated fat, but you’re left with the same problems — dressing stays on the plate, rather than the lettuce — and unless you plan on licking the plate/bowl, makes measurement/dosage practically impossible.

The muffins I’ve been making are really good. And they work really well. After a month, STILL NO HEADACHES. But my average blood sugar is up by about 25-30 pts. So we’ve got the ingredient — I just need to figure out how to get the benefit without losing a kidney or some toes. I can’t smoke it — ASTHMA. I coughed for days when I tried it. I can’t muffin it — DIABETES just won’t take muffins every day.  There are Medical Marijuana sodas, lemonades, and even tea-bags and k-cups — but the commercial edible dosage is low, for a seriously high price-per-dose.

You know that amazingly satisfying mixer you get on airplanes or trains? This is it. By itself, it will mix with vodka and make a passable Bloody Mary -- but see recipes below for a bit of variety and tweaking.

You know that amazingly satisfying mixer you get on airplanes or trains? This is it. By itself, it will mix with vodka and make a passable Bloody Mary !

So I’ve been looking into tinctures. Like the butter, the base liquid (high-proof alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or vinegar) gets infused with all the chemical components and flavors of the cannabis. Glycerin makes a low-glycemic sweet tincture (has little effect on blood sugar;) vinegar makes a much weaker tincture — you’d have to take 4-6 times as much to get the same effect; high-proof alcohol burns like the devil if you put it under your tongue as sources recommend.

So somehow, I’ve ended up back at my favorite drink: the Bloody Mary. In an ice filled coffee cup: 5.5oz mixer + 26 drops of Magic Hooch + lime juice + olive juice/brine
😀
T61HcSPu9XdL._SL1500_omorrow: we add shrimp, cilantro, onions, and avocado!!!!z

(really!)

!!!!!  Recipe !!!!!!

– – – – – – – – –

BASIC Bloody Mary-Jane recipe:

-5.5oz can Mr. & Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mixer
-1 oz spicy cocktail olives
-1/2t olive juice
-1/2 t lime juice
-1 dose (about 1/2t for me, but your dose may be different) cannabis tincture made w/ alcohol
-ice
-smile 😀

*for the record, that’s just about 95 calories — mostly from the olives — so if there’s a garnish, inclusion, or condiment you like better than olives (like steamed shrimp, oyster, a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, avocado chunks, jalapeno slices, pickle spear, shredded cabbage pom-pon, pickled onion slices, lime/lemon wedge, a blackened grilled shrimp, a spring onion, a McDonalds hash brown patty, a rasher of crisp bacon, a spear of grilled bell pepper, a string cheese stick, lightly steamed sugar peas pods, pickled green beans, carrot sticks, a handful of grape tomatoes, celery stalk, asparagus spear, pepperoncini, a crisp sweet potato fry, those tiny baby ears of corn, half a hard boiled egg, or even pepperoni sticks/slice or a nice single baby back rib?  GO FOR IT!!!  I just happen to love olives!  But this Bloody Mary Jane is just a gazpacho waiting to happen!!!

_____________________________

June 27, 2016

Here’s a link to the basic recipe for making Cannabis Tincture using a Magical Butter pot:

https://magicalbutter.com/recipe/magicalbutter-tincture

__________________________

June 30, 2016

Cannabinoids info-graphic from Leafly.com

Cannabinoids info-graphic from Leafly.com

Here’s a link to the “Cannabis 101” series of articles and videos available through Leafly.com:

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/the-leafly-starter-pack-a-comprehensive-guide-to-medical-cannabis

vsog-cannabis-very-special-og-weed-frosty-buds-thcfinder-0029111Here’s the real bottom line on legalizing marijuana at the federal level. This is a chemically complex bit of nature, which, like real aspirin (found in various forms in nature, like the bark of the white willow tree and other plants) has many effects. None of them are “side effects” unless you try and pretend it has only 1 actual reason for existence. All the effects are potential reasons for using this plant.

It is amazing, frightening, galling, horrifying to me that lawmakers and others have managed not only to keep cannabis illegal, but that they have completely suppressed the knowledge that it is a pain killer, anti-inflamatory, anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, ….(there are about 20 of these descriptors which are all medical applications….)

Let’s just think about how many people are dying from accidental overdoses of pain killers. How many people are using the highly addictive opiates? Too many to count. But here we have cannabis, which is not addictive — and as far as I can tell is just as effective.

It’s subtle, rather than the deflating of the pain balloon that happens when you take opiates. Instead of “BAM the pain is gone,” it’s more like “hey — my head was hurting before, but — not any more.” It’s also, “hey — I just woke up and my knees (feet, back, elbows, hands, hips) don’t hurt. At all.”

Add to that, it’s almost impossible to take “too much”. At the very least it will just put you to sleep. At most — it will just put you to sleep. It won’t tear up your internal organs like Tylenol. It won’t cause edema or raise your blood pressure (or any of the gazillian other bad effects of taking steroidal anti-inflamitories.) Kidneys, liver, stomach — all safe with cannabis.

So why are lawmakers, doctors, BigPharm, religious folks, tight-ass old goats and busybodies etc so intent on keeping the stigma (and laws)??? Who knows what further research will reveal?! Who knows how many people would be able to leave the opiates behind?

saved18And if it fixes the nausea at the same time it fixes the pain? Or, if it fixes the social anxiety at the same time it elevates mood? Or, if relieves stress at the same time that it prevents/calms seizures and tremors? If it eases the pain at the same time it relaxes muscle spasms? If it prevents panic attacks and nightmares at the same time it increases your appetite? If it makes you feel better emotionally at the same time it makes you feel better physically? (OH GOD, NOooooooo!!!)

The real shame is that it doesn’t seem to be able to open-up a closed mind, or erase 100 years of misinformation.

safe+drug

Just a little FYI….

____________________________

July 7, 2016

okay. so — 6 weeks: 0 migraines.images-6
I’m coming surprisingly close to calling this experiment a success.

To be clear — I’ve had 6 different days where I started getting a migraine — but in every case, I took a dose of cannabis (either in a muffin or in a tincture-bloody Mary as soon as it began, and the headache backed off before becoming severe, and before reaching “full-blown blinding, throwing-up, sound-and-light sensitive migraine” status.

I made a 40oz batch of tincture on Sunday — so I’m in Bloody Marys through at least November. 😀 (And I’ve still got lots of butter on hand for baking.)

___________________________

July 7, 2016

trueterpenes-large-nerolidol-1

Met this company (okay — it was a guy, not a company) when I went to get my medical card for cannabis — he sells 13 of the pure terpenes found in marijuana. Because of legalities, they are drawn from other botanicals where they naturally occur (Linalool in lavender, humulene in hops, limonene in citrus peels, pinenes in pine, caryophyllene in black pepper and clove etc.)

True Terpenes

The chemical components of cannabis that produce the benefits/effects are about 100 different cannabinoids and terpenes. (probably more) But fewer than 20 responsible for *most* of the effects, aromas, and flavors have been identified so far.

xxssi_ibeGetWCCImage

What has in the past been solely about pleasure, is entering a critical period of scientific access, methodology, and — capitalism.

Remember — being in cannabis prohibition and being on the Schedule 1 drug list has prevented research for the last 100 years. We know the effects of that baseline of 20+/- components because of their presence in other herbs, flowers, roots, leaves etc.

This one – nerolidol – is present in lion’s share in Neroli (bitter orange blossom — and is what I spritz on in hydro-distillate form (from the online site naturesgift.com) to ease the social anxiety-type reaction I have to being in crowds, or meeting people. Only a handful of the 1200-or-so cannabis strains that have been analyzed so far show significant amounts of nerolidol — but manymanymany more show trace amounts.

Leafly.com's analysis of a single strain (Trainwreck -- often used for medical purposes -- showing cannabinoids and terpenes present. This kind of information is the future of real medical use....

Leafly.com’s analysis of a single strain (Trainwreck — often used for medical purposes — showing cannabinoids and terpenes present. This kind of information is the future of real medical use….  The real problem is that the same strain VARIES from grower to grower, eco-system to eco-system, and even season to season.  In other words — this footprint will be completely different for Trainwreck grown in a different state, or a different climate.  Thus the need for every harvest to be tested separately — and that’s a lot of testing.

The combination of terpenes and cannabinoids is what makes up the chemical fingerprint of each strain — and carries the information that allows growers/breeders to predict the effects of the strain. More than average linalool produces a flower that is more relaxing/sedating. (as in the lavender sprays you spritz on pillows, or rub as lotion on a baby to help relaxation) More limonene makes a flower that has more mood-elevating or anti-depressant characteristics — like the citrus oils you wear/spray around the house to be uplifting and to cheer the place up)

But it is the wildly varied composition where the magic happens. They’ve already discovered that one (and probably more) of these chemicals is what makes it easier for the body to absorb and use many of the others. Still another acts as a sort of glue that lets 2 of the other terpenes work together in a different way than either works in isolation. It’s the combination of caryophyllenen and alpha-pinene (a known bronchodilator) which is most likely responsible for the positive effects on asthma — which is always of interest to me.

This is where the next wave of discovery is going to happen — people have been smoking this stuff all this time without knowing the why, what, how, and what-if of it. The point (are you listening, Big Pharm?) is not to isolate each component and patent it in a pill and market it as a single drug for a single purpose. Especially when we really have so few answers about how these 100+ chemicals interact. Probably the biggest pharmaceutical error of the last 150 years was when they isolated aspirin and left the rest of the white willow fingerprint on the vine. But once they isolate it and synthesize it — all the interactions are lost.

Terpene-Sheet

This is what the chemical analysis of marijuana looks like.  (At least from this specific laboratory, for this specific strain — “Scooby Snacks” — grown by this specific grower, in this specific year/season.  The same strain grown by a different grower in a different geographical location will have a different chemical profile.  Grown in another weather year,   even by the same grower, it will have a different profile.  No part of this analysis is absolute and Permanent.  Not even the ratio of one chemical to another.

nyc-diesel-weed-nyc-diesel-cannabis-nug-thcfinder-006The magic is in the complete profile. Nature is complex for a really good reason.

Cannabis is worth the trouble BECAUSE it doesn’t JUST relieve pain, but also relaxes muscles, vanishes depression, relieves muscle cramps and spasms, counters sleeplessness, vanishes nightmares, relieves social anxiety, dilates blood vessels, relieves asthma, quiets panic, reduces the number and severity of seizures, relieves nausea and dizziness, — etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. That they think a couple of these terpenes and cannabinoids may also help the immune system fight bacteria, viruses, fungus etc., and defend the body/brain against heavy-hitters like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is just more reason to let the researchers do their thing.

And yes. I’m going to try adding a single extra drop of pure nerolidol to my Bloody Mary, and see if jiggling the fingerprint/profile of my tincture will give me more anti-anxiety effect.
Let the experiments begin!

home-mobile1B*There are now a couple of companies marketing a personal chemical analysis instrument — this one, My DX, offers several software options that will let you analyze your food, your water, the air you’re breathing, or the cannabis in your stash.

MyDx-1appthumb_1

We haven’t seen a lot about how the results of this hand-held hardware/software compares to the big mass spec equipment results, but it’s an intriguing idea.  If the current price (several hundred) falls to a workable price-tag, and if its results turn out to be comparable, then this is how my own tinctures and butter/oil can be tested for potency and to set dosage more accurately.

 

MyDx-3

__________________________

July 16, 2016

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“nobody ever said life was fair” is the quippy response created by conservatives so they could blow off doing the hard work of making the world a fair and just place.

Yes, it’s hard.

The real truth is NOBODY EVER SAID LIFE WAS EASY.

Unfairness is not the natural state of existence.

___________________________

July 22, 2016

Bubbler2__77894.1394764451.1280.1280okay, fine. I finally stumbled upon a strain of cannabis that explains the difference between *high* and *stoned*. Very first time I’ve gotten this kind of physical effect — it was very interesting. I am assuming it was a result of the combination of the specific strain (Black & Blueberry Kush) and the new experiment of attaching the vaporizer to a water-pipe type cooling process.
–Pulled all the irritating particulates out of the vapor, and cooled all the irritating heat. No irritation –> no cough, and pretty much instantaneous results. (What started off as the beginnings of a bad migraine just evaporated.) That was 8 hours ago, and the migraine did not return.

__________________________

July 25, 2016

Jim says that maybe the reason some people want so badly to keep cannabis illegal is because it offers reduction/relief from physical pain and emotional stress to the average person.
*cough*politicians*cough*

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Just a little FYI….

__________________________

July 26, 2016

Okay. Cannabis report.
After 10 weeks.

after reading a pile of reviews (and watching videos demonstrating how to use and clean) this is the vaporizer I bought....

after reading a pile of reviews (and watching videos demonstrating how to use and clean) this is the vaporizer I bought.  You can control temp to the degree — which matters since we know the “activation” temp of each of the major cannabinoids and terpenes (and we’re learning about heat and dozens of the chemicals present….)

I’ve had 2 days where I started to get a migraine headache last week (I blame the Republicans) — but both times, I did the Bloody Mary-Jane, followed by vaping (through a water pipe cooling bowl) a dose of Black & Blue-berry Kush grown by Green Dragon Farms here in Oregon (I only say that because it is one of their newly hybred strains and is only available from them at this time) —
AND
both times, the headache vanished within minutes, before it had time to develop into a blinding, sick, throwing-up sleep-in-a-dark-room migraine.

!

this little piece of wood + silicone tubing turns any cup or glass into a water-pipe like filtration/cooling system. (Made by Magic Flight)

this little piece of wood + silicone tubing turns any cup or glass into a water-pipe like filtration/cooling system. (Made by Magic Flight)


TODAY, I woke up with a full blown migraine. Sick. Nauseated. Eyes sensitive to light. Curl-up-and-die headache.

!
I could barely see to put the dropper of tinc into the glass.

!!
And the vaporizer thing was a real challenge since my hands were shaking.

!!!

But — within 10 minutes — no headache. My eyes were still light-sensitive, so I laid back in my recliner and closed my eyes. That was about 9am.
6 hours later, I woke up so thirsty I was gagging —
but no headache.

This is called a "bottle rocket" -- also made by Magic flight -- that turns any bottle (evenwater bottles) into a waterpipe-like cooling/filtering set up.

This is called a “bottle rocket” — also made by Magic flight — that turns any bottle (even water bottles) into a waterpipe-like cooling/filtering set up.  The picture is a link.


6 more hours later, still no headache.
And I’m thinking that about settles the question.
I lived 45 years having a migraine headache 4-6 of every 7 days. sometimes they lasted in excess of 2 weeks and I had to basically flood my system with opiate pain killers to get out of the spiral.

This makes 10 weeks — with no headache that has lasted more than 10 minutes when treated with cannabis (longer when using just edibles without vaping.) –And not even very much cannabis. By my calcs, a vaporizer dose is about 20% of 1g. Each tincture dose is less than 10-15% of 1g. So 1/3g of cannabis is doing in 10 minutes what I’ve previously treated with consecutive doses of hydrocodone over periods of days.

F&c% just say no.

haha!

haha!

 

new-1pcs-rastametal-font-b-pipe-b-font-font-b-water-b-font-smoking-font-b-1

CONCLUSIONS?

6256376557_eecbcc7e12_b

Still working on this.

But —

  1.   If you are new to medical cannabis, start by READING first.  That’s me, anyway.  If you’re a good extrovert, go to your local dispensary and TALK to somebody.  Either way, LEARN the basic vocabulary, and what the available delivery methods are like.tumbleweed-joint-roller-1-1
  2. The reputation, anecdotal evidence, and traditional benefits of any strain — including Maui Waui/Wowee, Purple Haze, Afghani Kush, and all the others are pretty much meaningless.  The hybridization of the species has turned any facts about pot from previous decades into history.  Pot in 1960 had less than 10% of the THC or other chemical components that pot in 2016 has.  Which means you would have had to smoke/ingest 10 hits of 1960 weed to get the same effect as 1 hit now.  Jumbo-Joint-RollerEven if the strain has the same name.
  3.  Figure out how you are going to deal with dosage.  If you are using pot strictly for fun and recreation, then which and how much of the cannabinoids and terpenes are present is just a matter of taste.  But if you are a medical user — the decades of “buy-it, smoke-it, and chill” how-to are irrelevant.  As clever and interesting as strain names are — the only thing that matters in the commerce of medical cannabis is the numbers.twaxjointinsidebudder
    –>An ounce (28g) of cannabis that is 10%THC and no CBD = 2.8g of THC.
    –>An ounce of the strain “Critical Mass” cannabis (28g) that is 15% THC and 15% CBD = 4.2g THC, and 4.2g CBD — which is 8.4g total medicine, that’s 50/50 THC and CBD.G_joint-roller-hemp-fibers-raw-110mm_1-1
    –>An ounce (28g) of the strain “Pineapple Express” cannabis that is 30% THC with only traces of CBD will also yield 8.4g total medicine, but it will be near-0g of CBD but a big whopping 8.4g of THC.
    **Why is this important?  Because if you know you need a minimum of 10mg of THC and 10mg CBD twice a day, the ounce of Critical Mass described above made into butter or tincture is going to yield 420 doses — that’s 210 days worth.  If, however you need 4 doses a day, that ounce will only last half as long (105 days.)  If you are heavier (like me) it will take a larger dose to get the same effect.
    AND YOU THOUGHT ALL THAT MATH IN SCHOOL WAS A WASTE OF TIME….images-5-1It’s also important to mention here that without actual testing — any dosage numbers an individual user/cook comes up with for their own brewed/created tincture, butter, oil, vinegar, glycerin concentrate, brownie, cookie, or clam chowder is just a rough calculation.53cfd7800e7578290ddd801920338f40-1You can’t get exact verified numbers without exacting, scientific analysis. You have no way of knowing exactly how much of the chemical is left in the pot, or the dregs/pomace of the plant matter  (Though a lot of people keep the butter pomace and add it to recipes for dense foods like brownies and cookies.)  Your percentages and ratio of THC:CBD  will be very close — but the exact number of mg/dose will always be approximate.  If it doesn’t seem to be doing enough — add a few drops.  If you fall asleep too easily — you might decrease the dose by a bit.
  4. You have to stay up-to-date regarding research.  Most analyses of cannabis on the shelf in a dispensary today (2016) will tell you only the THC and CBD numbers. tumblr_lmwj90hhk11qhfg8bo1_500-1 As we learn more about the other cannabinoids and the terpenes, the available information will/should multiply.  In the same way we now know which of the Big-2 (THC/CBD) are most important in treating specific symptoms/complaints — we are on the verge of knowing much much more.  So that will mean parsing between strains with specific outcomes in mind.  And chances are very good that the growers and those experimenting with the genetics of the plant will create strains that laser-target specific outcomes like sleep, mood elevation, or relief from social anxiety.
  5. magic-flight-bottle-rocket-2A lot of people will tell you that the only part of the cannabis that has medical applications is the CBD — and that if you are a medical user, that is all you need to buy/use.  At least until a significant amount of research can be done, don’t rush to use isolated componants of cannabis.  All these chemicals come packaged together for a reason — there is something very successful about the mix within the plant that we don’t want to break apart without a good reason.
    Pay attention to the terpenes and cannabinoids — be part of the learning process we are going through now.  These are the best first steps after almost 100 years of research interruptus.  We already know that the efficacy of some of the components is dependent on interactions with other components — and this is probably just the beginning of understanding “whole plant” and “entourage effects.”
  6. The most pervasive (and least talked about) effect of this plant for me has been increased b429_zoom_1412698610lood circulation.  I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal, so let me explaine:  Circulation is one of the big monsters of Type-2 Diabetes.  Decreased circulation is why wounds don’t heal as fast for diabetics — and why blindness and amputation of extremities are part of the long-term prognosis for un-managed –and even well-managed diabetes.  Without good circulation — you get cold a lot. Shisha-Parts Without good circulation, you don’t get over minor bacterial or viral infections as fast, so you spend more time out of circulation.  Without good circulation, you are more likely to have problems with kidney infections, liver function, sexual unresponsiveness, neuropathy, and a host of other scary complications.
    –So, while increased blood circulation is not given a lot of attention, and Diabetes is not generally thought of as one of the conditions Medical Marijuana can help (though there is some early indication that a few of the cannabinoids/terpenes can help stabilize blood sugar) — the truth is, this may be my second most significant result of using cannabis, right up there with managing life-long chronic migraine headaches.

 

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marijuana-bongIf you have MS, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, epilepsy or other seizure problems, anxiety, stress, depression, arthritis, or if you’re in chemo —

If you have lost your appetite, can’t sleep, can’t relax, can’t eat because of nausea or another medical condition —

If you live with a tremor whether it’s heriditary or from Parkinson’s, ALS, or one of the other tremor-symptom diseases —

If you have bone-breaking or painful chronic muscle spasms or cramps —Metal-Acrylic-upscale-classic-retro-smoking-water-pipe-Multifunction-hose-Hookah-Ben-Type-pipes-for-smoking

If you have insomnia, night terrors or just troubling nightmares —

Do the research.

DO THE RESEARCH.

The only real evidence of intelligence is to learn.

white-green-cross-1

 

 

Real Banana Pudding & Type-2 Diabetes: A Love Story

My sweet-tooth has always been rather limited — I usually go for the stuff with cheese, gravy, or salsa on it when I’m looking to splurge…
but when I do crave desserts — it’s either banana pudding or this amazing cherry-pecan pie my grandma made.

I haven’t figured out the cherry pie, but I have found a way to do banana pudding that works out with my Type-2 Diabetes. And since portion control is the key to just about everything — notice that the dessert dishes hold 4oz (1/2c).IMG_2389

for 4 servings:

-1 package Fiber One Vanilla Pudding Mix
-2 Murray’s sugar-free Pecan Shortbread cookies (like Pecan Sandies), crumbled
-1 oz (weight, not volume) Brothers (freeze dried) banana crisps, crushed
-1c + 1oz (1 1/8c) whole milk
-4t Bob’s Red Mill Quick Rolled Oats
-4t chopped pecans

Put 1/2 crumbled cookie in the bottom of each dish. Add 1t each of the pecans and oats.

Mix the pudding mix and milk until thoroughly blended (I use a little stick mixer and let it mix until it whips a bit), then fold in the crushed bananas.

IMG_2392

Pour the pudding (evenly divided) over the cookie crumble in each little cup, then cover and refridgerate for at least 1 hr. It keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Each 1/2c serving will have 235 calories; 12g fat, 6g protein, 30g carbs, 7g sugar, 6g fiber
—–

By comparison, a normal serving of banana pudding (the kind I grew up on) would be closer to 5-6 oz (or 8-9 on holidays); nonetheless, the stats would still tell the tale: 1/2c serving:

265 calories; 12g fat, 6g protein, 32g carbs, 21g sugar, 2g fiber.

Not a lot of difference except where it counts: in the sugars and the fiber. The whole point of making something healthier to fit with a Diabetes focused menu is to cause food to metabolize into sugar more slowly so as not to overburden the system with sugar that it can’t either use, store, or process. Fiber slows down this conversion.

And the closer other numbers are (calories are close to the same; and fat/protein are identical) — means the dish will be just as satisfying and filling at the end of a meal . In this case — the revamped diabetes-friendly recipe gives my grandma’s banana pudding a real challenge — I really like the swap fo pecan sandies for vanilla wafers — and the addition of a few extra pecans. It gives it a little of that banana-bread taste and some crunch.

Could I make it lower calorie? sure. 1% milk would remove some of the creamy-ness. I could use just the oats and forget the cookie. I could omit the pecans. I could forget the whole thing and just eat 4 slices of freeze-dried banana and a sugar-free vanilla jelly bean. But that’s not really the point for a dessert. The whole idea was to satisfy a craving for a comfort food dessert that comes up once in a blue moon.

Put this dessert with a modest grilled tuna filet, a serving of roasted veggies and a small salad –> and you’ve got a dinner fit for a celebration! (of course, for a birthday or something, I would probably serve the pudding in teacups or wine glasses, instead of the brightly colored plastic cups….)

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Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt — So Healthy Your Mouth Can’t Wait!!!!!

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It’s SUMMER FROZEN TREAT time!!!!!

Yes, I’m Type-2 Diabetic — but this is a summer treat (okay, not just summer — it’s too good to limit to a couple of months between June and September) and healthy in so many ways, you’ll choose it no matter what.nutrition panel

This is for a 1.5 quart batch — which, when frozen, is 8x 3/4-cup servings, OR 12x 1/2c servings in little Tupperware or Ziplock/Glad containers, OR 16x 3oz frozen treat bars — on a stick or in a tube.

Here’s the nutrition and ingredients for 8 x 3/4-cup servings:
(HINT: remember to NOT fill the containers completely — stuff expands as it freezes!!!!  If there’s a little left — it’s a bonus!)

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  • 20.00 oz strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (mix to your taste)
  • 5 T C-Salts (Buffered Vitamin C + Minerals)
  • 0.25 tsp Sea Salt
  • 16.00 oz, Greek Gods Yogurt Traditional Greek Plain (not low or no-fat)
  • 100.00 g, Just Like Sugar Table Top Sweetener
  • 10.00 Drops (0.12 ml), Better Stevia Drops
  • 12.00 packet (0.8g), True Lime (Crystallized Lime juice)
  • 1/2 packet Fiber One Vanilla pudding mix

Puree berries until smooth in a blender with True Lime, salt, and C-Salts.  Add whole-milk Greek Yogurt  and Stevia drops, then the Just Like Sugar.  Blend for a few seconds, then let it stand for at least 3 minutes — then blend again and partially “whip” the mixture — this adds some air and gives it a slightly different texture when frozen.

From this point, you can either pour the mixture into an ice cream freezer, or portion it into frozen treat molds or tubes.

The treats have a much different texture than traditional ice cream/frozen yogurt because when made without sugar, the emulsion/elasticity of sugar+fat does not occur.  This is why most people will prefer these as bars on a stick.

I actually like the frosty ice-y popsicle consistency, and the slowed eating process of eating it out of a cup/container…. but that’s probably just me.

Here are some of my favorite tools —

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These nifty zip-lock squeeze-up baggies are made by a company called Zipzicle — you can get them straight from the manufacturer, or from Amazon, and other online merchants. I use these when I’m low on freezer space — they slip into unbelievably small spaces both to freeze and to store. And if you’re eating from a picnic cooler — there’s no small parts to keep track of and take home.

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Zoku makes some wonderfully whimsical ice-pop molds — this is by far my fave (and thematically appropriate for life on the coast) They’re a little steep in price — but made of safe and durable silicone. Hand washable and simple to remove once the pops are frozen hard. (More like this pictured below)

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Zoku round pops mold. Makes 4, about 3oz —

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Zoku “quick freeze” pop maker. You can get a single, a double like this, or a triple. Each one freezes 3 times before you have to re-freeze the core. These pops can be plain-Jane, or dolled-up with fresh fruit/nuts, krispies etc. Pops take about 10 minutes to freeze — and a little longer after the first go-round.  I like to add toasted flake coconut and toasted almond slices….

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Zoku triple pop maker — with some fancy examples!

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Glad 1/2c re-usable containers. Ziplocks’ are square — just as good, but harder to get the good stuff out with a spoon when they’re frozen hard. Tupperware and Rubbermaid make them this size in a more durable material — but these last upwards of 10 times to re-use.

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Excellent 1 1/2 qt ice cream freezer from Cuisinart. Read the instructions first (I didn’t) and it will save a headache. Hint: It has to be turned on and going before you add the liquid you’re freezing. lol

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There are some great silicone molds where you just add the sticks and freeze. I got these 3oz containers on Amazon for under $10 —

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You can get these push-up / squeeze tubes at any kitchen shop — some even have the little lids attached so they’re harder to lose. They hold from 2-4 oz depending on brand.  Hint: Stand them up in a cup to freeze in case there’s a leak….

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Here are the brands I use:

Naturally probiotic -- tart -- creamy -- high protein -- and yummy.  This is the real thing!

Naturally probiotic — tart — creamy — high protein — and yummy.

Not just buffered Vitamin-C, but also calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potasium!

Not just buffered Vitamin-C, but also calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium!

This is the purest lime flavor you'll ever taste short of just eating a fresh lime....

This is the purest lime flavor you’ll ever taste short of just eating a fresh lime….

either the

either the “Table Top” or “Baking” versions will work. Both add 4g of fiber per 5g Tablespoon.

Cabbage Patch Soup — A Stew For All Seasons

After eating a really wonderful bowl of soup at our local deli, I went online to find inspiration for my own version.  A cabbage-based soup is relatively easy to steer into the “great for diabetics” category because of all the wonderful fresh veggies that help make the soup so heavenly.

Unlike soups based on potatoes, rice, noodles, and cream — a cabbage soup like this doesn’t have all the carbohydrate hurdles that stand between diabetics and their lunch.  –which makes me very happy.  It’s more like a cabbage roll made in a bowl!

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Each 2-cup serving of this recipe will have about 265 calories, 26g carbs, 10g fiber, 10g sugars (all from the natural sweetness of the veggies,) 25g protein, .75g of vitamin c, .75g of potassium, plus a generous count of both iron and Vitamin A.  The fat content depends on the fat content of the ground beef you use.  I went very lean, and limited the fat to about 4-5g/serving.

Great with toast corners or oyster crackers — or just as-is.  It’s also good served with a dollop of sour cream!

  • 2 lb lean ground beef, browned thoroughly
  • 1 c chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 c diced shallots
  • 3 c diced celery
  • 1/2 c thin sliced carrots
  • 2 lg jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 lg poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 lg head of green cabbage, chopped coarsely (about 10 cups)
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 3 c beef stock (like Swansons)
  • 3 c V-8 spicy hot juice
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t Penzey’s Tzardust Memories seasoning blend (don’t scrimp on this — the combination is complex and delicate)
  • 1 1/2 t finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t hot paprika
  • 1 t salt

Yes — it’s a long list of ingredients.  This is not quickie microwave soup — but serious, simmer it for hours soup.

Brown the meat thoroughly,then add onions, shallots, peppers, carrots and celery and continue to cook until veggies are sweated.  Add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the cabbage and bring to a boil — then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.  Simmer for at least 2 hours.

Add in the cabbage, and return the pot to a boil — then reduce the heat again and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Taste it for seasoning adjustments.

The cayenne and black pepper add a tiny bit of bite to the background flavor — but if you want more heat, feel free to up the cayenne, or leave a few of the seeds in your jalapenos!

Favorite Recipes Reformulated for Healthy Living!!!! WIFFA STEW

Yes, diabetes.  Yes, overweight.  BUT (or Butt) — I’ve lost 45lbs in the last 5 months, and lowered my blood sugar to the point that I don’t need diabetes medications.  Doing that has taken a lot of attention and focus — to the exclusion of all non-essential activities.

But well worth it.

So here’s my latest reformulated comfort food recipe with blood sugar, calories, and cholesterol in mind…..

WIFFA GREEN BEAN STEW

This will make 8 2-cup servings,
with a little left over for luck.

12 thick cut rashers of very lean uncured bacon

WIFFA GREEN BEAN STEW -- perfect for Christmas Eve dinner.   Once everything's in the soup pot -- let it simmer at least an hour -- the longer the better!

WIFFA GREEN BEAN STEW — perfect for Christmas Eve dinner.
Once everything’s in the soup pot — let it simmer at least an hour — the longer the better!

1 lb 1/4″ thick sliced lean ham
1 lg red onion chopped course
1T olive oil
2 lbs potatoes, cut to 3/4″ to 1″ cubes
2 cans cut green beans
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can original Rotel Tomatoes & green chilis
1/2 c drained prepared pinto beans
2 c spicy hot V-8
4 c chicken stock
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper — more if desired  (I like a lot)
1/2 t thyme

Cut the ham and bacon into 1/2″ wide pieces, and chop onion.  Add meats and onion to the bottom of your soup pot with the olive oil and cook over med heat until browning.

Add chicken stock, seasonings, and diced potatoes and bring to a boil.  Allow to hi-boil for 15 minutes.

Add green beans, tomatoes, V-8 and Rotel and return the pot to a boil.  Simmer high to reduce, uncovered for 45 minutes.  Adjust salt/pepper to taste.

10881633_10203608517398914_7805708856046049941_nEach serving has:

305 calories
6g fat
(2g saturated fat)
38mg cholesterol
sodium depends on how much you add….
965mg potassium
41g carbs
8g fiber
7g sugars
20g protein
100% DV Vitamin C

Learning to Cook for Type 2 Diabetes: Shrimp Jambalaya Stew

It’s now been about 50 days since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

And as good a cook as I (sometimes) am, I have to admit to not cooking very much at all for these first 50 days.  I should by stock (ahem) in Progresso Soups, because I am eating at least 1 can a day — and sometimes 2.  Even my soup-phobic husband is eating at least 1 can a day.

But I am just now hitting the point where I have enough where-with-all to go into the kitchen.  I’ve been learning what foods, when and how much.  I’ve been learning what has an effect on my blood sugar, and how to avoid spikes.  I’ve been sticking to the easiest and least stressful choices so I can use my energy to learn, to walk on my treadmill, and to keep myself focused on what’s important.

Yes, there are a lot of drugs out there to help people with D2 keep their blood glucose levels in line.  And yes, there is insulin.  And yes — all those choices work when nothing else will.  But I’d really like to do this without the drugs if possible — because they all have side-effect.  Complications.  And at least as high a price tag as the grocery bill I’m running — except insurance pays for the drugs, and not the healthier food choices.

Which is nuts.

Anyway.  My fasting blood sugar has gone from 310 on Aug 3, to 180 this morning.  Fifty days and 130 points.

Which is still not good enough.   –but it is better by a mile.

Yesterday I tried cooking a modified recipe for the first time — and it was both delicious and extremely good for me (us.)  So the question of the day is — what exactly constitutes a good-for-D2 recipe?

Here’s the answer — at least for me:

  • Enough protein to keep me fueled until the next meal.  For me, that means a total of AT LEAST 22g of protein.  The outside number is pretty liquid — but the 22g is not up for negotiation
  • Enough fat to keep the neurons firing without interruption.  That means at least 5-7g of real, organic if possible, vegetable fats if possible.  Preferably olive oil, avocado oil, nut oils, etc.  The fats give food more umami, mouth feel, richness…. flavor.  Not to be skimped on.  And again, the outside numbers are pretty liquid.  (More about liquidity in a bit.)
  • I only allow myself 35% of my calories from carbohydrates — so for carb, I have to look at the day as a whole   If I have a “carb-heavy” meal — it’s usually lunch so I can walk on the treadmill both before and after — upping my metabolism so I burn through the carbs more effectively and keep them from stacking up in my system like circling airplanes trying to land at a socked-in airport.
    Therefore — if my recipe is for a lunch meal — it should have between 20 and 60g of carbs per serving.  If the recipe is for a dinner meal — the carbs should number no more than 40g.  And 30 would be better.
    Since there are 3 main types of carbs — fiber, sugars, and “other” carbs — the fewer sugars the better, and the more fiber the better.  I generally limit my daily sugar-carbs to 50g/day.  And I try to eat between 48 and 80g of fiber-carbs per day.  So — a good recipe for me includes at least 8-10g of carb-fiber, and/or fewer than 6g of carb-sugars.
    And I really don’t cook/eat anything that doesn’t have at least 2-4g of fiber.  At all.  Ever.  Or anything with more than 6g of carb-sugars.
    I want a bumper sticker that says I READ FOOD LABELS
  • Main dishes are better if they include at least 1 serving of non-starch veggies in each portion.
  • Main dishes are even better if they include 2 or more servings of non-starch veggies, plus protein and starch and fat.  Soups are really good for this since they are mostly liquid/ broth (volume!) and fit that carb/protein/fat/fiber profile easily.

And in answer to questions I’ve been getting myself, seen on discussion boards, and thought of at other times in my life —

yes, I eat eggs.  Often every day.

yes, I eat real butter on veggies.

I use half & half and agave in my coffee, and stevia or agave in my tea.  And salt on my grapefruit and cantaloupe.  (Look up Alton Brown’s explanation for why salt is the appropriate condiment for many fruits.)

yes, I eat meat.

yes, I eat some sweets, but my principal sources of sweetness are malitol, sorbitol, stevia, agave, Xylitol, and the sugars found naturally in things like milk, corn, applesauce, berries and other fruits, tomatoes, nuts, and sweet onions.

But most of all — YES.  I use some packaged foods.  At least as starting points for recipes.  Easier is always better as long as you don’t sacrifice quality, nutrition and taste.

With all that said, here’s my first recipe:

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Jambalaya Shrimp Stew

  1. 711G1wY7NzL._SL1500_1 package Canterbury Naturals On The Bayou Jambalaya Soup mix
  2. 8 -9 c water
  3. 1 can Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chilis
  4. 1 sm (5.5oz) can Spicy Hot V-8 juice
  5. 1 can Green Giant Mexican Style Whole Kernel Corn
  6. 1 lb Jimmy Dean Natural Breakfast Sausage, browned well and drained
  7. 2 lb shrimp*
  8. 1 t finely ground black pepper
  9. salt to taste

Follow the instructions on the package, except add the corn and browned sausage to the simmering veggie mix and water, then add the Rotel tomatoes 5 minutes before the broth/veggies are done.  Finish the soup except for the shrimp.

Stir in the peeled and deveined shrimp and bring back to a boil, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with a quick squeeze of lemon juice as garnish.

Each 2-cup serving will have about 425 calories,
13g of fat, 33g of protein, 34g of carbs with 6g sugar-carbs, and 4g of fiber-carbs.

*Because of where we live on the Pacific Coast in central Oregon, we have the tiny “Bay Shrimp” here fresh every day — these are the finger-nail sized shrimp that bring the hundreds of gray whales to this area — the whales love them and so do the local chefs.  sp10-oregon-bay-shrimpThey’re fresh and unbelievably inexpensive, so 2 pounds of these little gems in a pot of soup means there are shrimp in every mouthful!

If you don’t have Bay Shrimp in your area — go for the highest quality shrimp you can find/afford.