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*

tumblr_mxibizQBB11qj5gcqo1_1280

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.

 

758dcee164dd9e86b7972e96191329d0-1

 

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

 

 

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3 Months with Diabetes Type-2

Three months in — and much has changed in my life.

I feel remarkably better.  A lot of things I’d been attributing to growing older (though I’m in my 50’s) turn out to have been symptoms and side effects of high blood sugar/diabetes.  I remember noting in the late spring that I was experiencing some unusual physical changes — but taken individually, they were simple to ascribe to weather, depression, and simply being a bit lonely because Jim was away.  Hindsight makes it obvious that I should have seen all these small changes as part of a bigger picture and pattern.  It took new eyes to see my health in snap-shot and realize how unhealthy the picture really was.

My fasting blood sugar has dropped by more than 60%.  In general diabetes terms, that means I’ve gone from critical to guarded.  It doesn’t mean I’m not diabetic — it just means I’m managing it well with diet and exercise.  For now, at least, I can do this without medication.  I am not insulin resistant — so my life from here on out is about making it as easy as possible for my pancreas, liver, kidneys, and heart to function well.

Unlike all the many (many!) times in my life that I’ve “dieted” to lose weight, I rarely — if ever — feel hungry.  One of the main tenants of eating right for a diabetic life is to not let yourself ever go too long without a meal or snack.  So, I often have a small snack when I first wake up.  Then, my largest meal of the day is breakfast, followed by a moderate lunch, a big snack after some exercise, a moderate supper (almost always soup!) and — if necessary — a small bedtime snack made of mostly protein/fiber so I’ll have fuel to burn through the night and not wake up hungry.  Three meals and three snacks is a good prescription for a growling tummy.

Since I have a cap on the number of carbohydrates I eat (<60 at any given meal; <40% of total daily calories) and a minimum number of fiber-carbs (75g) — it would be next to impossible to eat enough food right now to maintain my current (outrageous) weight.  As a result — I’ve lost 28lbs over the last 90 days.  So far, all my energy has been going into deciphering Type-2 Diabetes — so I haven’t paid much attention to losing weight.  I’m guessing that at some point it will take more effort.  But for now — it would be hard to argue with this kind of success.  I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing.  😀

I’ve also discovered that small portions of foods I really enjoy have a particular kind of advantage.  I really look forward to half a cup of grapefruit juice every couple of days.  Grapefruits are by far my favorite fruit — and until the last 2 weeks I hadn’t found a way to work them into my diet.  It was just the math and planning-ahead that was getting in the way — so now, my favorite is back in the mix.

Similarly — I’ve always loved nuts of all kinds.  But since nuts are extremely dense foods (almost all protein and fat,) it means eating them 1 ounce — or at most, 1 1/2 ounces at a time.  I’m not sure if it’s the anticipation or the limited serving size, but this has seemed to make me appreciate them more than ever.  Olives, avocados, and cheese fall into the same category.  All these have taken on the luster previously held only by desserts.  They are treats — in 1/2 oz and 1 oz dishes.  It also means that guacamole, pizza, and a BLTA sandwich suddenly fall into the category of luscious diversions!

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I’m guessing this is a lot harder for people with a profound sweet tooth.  But for me — it’s a savory menu I can enjoy for the rest of my life.

I have to admit that my husband, Jim, has been more help over the past 3 months can I could have imagined possible.  When all I could think of to eat in keeping with the guidelines given by diabetes lilterature was canned soup, simple salads, and boiled eggs with double-fiber toast — he left his previous meals behind and ate soup etc. with me.  He supported me in trying new foods, new products, and new recipes — and ate right along with me (except for the nuts, as he’s allergic to them.)  He never tried to pressure me or steer me in any direction, but he let me talk things through even though the process doesn’t apply to him.  I’m sure this was as tedious and boring to him as it was for me; but, there was necessity to this learning curve — and he helped tremendously.

Learning to live with Type-2 Diabetes is a lot like learning a new language.  There are subtleties and nuance to it.  And luckily, I married a polyglot.

In late spring, before all this started, I saw Tom Hanks on Letterman’s Late Show.  He looked tall and slim and more healthy and vigorous than I’d seen him in a years.  I remembered him talking years earlier about how much he loved vente rich-coffee drinks and all the pastries, quiche, and foods that inevitably go with them.  Back then he was talking about how he was having to watch his weight because it was getting out of control.  But this time — he was talking about how his doctor had broken the news to him that he  is now fully Type-2 Diabetic.  He went on to talk about how he’d lost weight and was eating better than he ever had — without insulin or medication — just diet and exercise.  He was full of energy and just — happy!

Well.  Me too.

😀

 

Figuring Out my Type-2 Diabetes — Post 2: The Honeymoon Phase

So -- what does a hedgehog eat?

So — what does a hedgehog eat?

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes.  Here’s a post about that….

This is not particularly surprising.  While the disease does not run in my family — my mother was diabetic.  But she was the first on both sides of my family tree.  It was not surprising that she was diabetic, since she ate sweets like they were heroin and she’d been addicted since birth.

I, on the other hand, have never had a sweet tooth — probably out of disrespect for my dear, unsainted mother.  Instead, I have a savory tooth, if there is such a thing.  As equivalencies go — it turns out to be not that much different, since savories are so often carb based — and non-sugar carbs are just sugars in slow motion.

So here I am.  And I think I’m going to write down my journey into this new phase of life.

Here are my starting point particulars:

  • 59 years old.
  • Waaaay overweight.  Morbidly screwed.  This is not a new condition.
  • Asthmatic. (not new news here, either.  This is lifelong and severe.  In fact, I’ve had dreams all my life of dying by asphyxiation, and being smothered by what I, as a child, called “The Winter Cough.”)
  • Dyslexic.
  • High-functioning autistic/Asperger’s.  Something I’ve only had a name for for the last 2 years.
  • High blood pressure, well controlled by the simplest meds — beta-blockers and diuretics.
  • Arthritis, but only painful in very cold weather.  Knees had surgery in 1977.  Hands lost some function in 2009.

71tDVR7F81L._SL1500_So that’s where I am.   And now I’m in a steep learning curve trying to learn a new way of calculating, shopping, cooking, record-keeping, and thinking about my metabolism and food.

And so far — that complex of new information is not only a bottomless pit of numbers, facts, and calculations — but also demands that I basically forget everything I know about cooking.91pf9Kw1Y8L._SL1500_

And that’s a hard thing.  I’m a really good cook — and I find myself picking up a can of Progresso soup and putting it in the microwave instead of cooking — because I’m too hungry to stop and recalculate a recipe because I’m soooo hungry I can’t wait.  !

The only 2 people I’ve ever known who were diabetic had convinced me that it was giving up favorite foods that was the terrible horrible god-awful part of being diabetic.  But — so far, that hasn’t been true for me.  My breakfast this morning was identical to breakfasts I’ve eaten at least 1 day a week for the last umpteen years of my life.

91HByawHCwL._SL1500_The only things I’ve consciously given up so far are liquor, sodas (except flavored soda water and carbonated juices) and desserts.  I’ve switched from carb-y snacks to mixed nuts.  I’ve switched from 16oz glasses of juice to 5oz glasses — and mostly V-8 and tomato juice.  I’ve pretty much stopped eating in restaurants for the time being until I get this portion-control accountancy loaded in as the default software of eating.  I’ve made a couple of purchases — 3 microwave safe bowls for heating Progresso soup, some left-over containers that hold 1/2 c and 3/4 c — so I don’t have to weigh and measure every time I get hungry, and a little table-top oven thingy to make pizza.  I don’t foresee any time when I could eat restaurant pizza, since I’d have no idea of what/how much was actually in it.  By making my own dough — I know exactly what I’m getting, and I can put whatever the hell I want on it, including extra fiber in the crust, extra pizza sauce on top, and green olives (which restaurants NEVER have!)! ! !

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supplements_text-web

Fiber by the gram!!

Which actually sounds like a life-improvement, to me.

So that’s where I am.  Living each day with a computer open to My Fitness Pal and it’s database of details, re-arranging my kitchen, donating a lot of pre-accountant foods to the food bank, making space on the table for a food scale, and learning to think things through — ahead of when I need to eat.

I would like very much to learn to control this with diet and exercise — and barring a lot of physical deterioration (pancreas, liver, etc) — that should be possible.  That’s the goal.

Because exercise burns off excess sugars in the bloodstream, basically lessening the strain on insulin producing cells — I’m now walking on the treadmill before both lunch and supper.  That seems like the most positive change besides diet I can make.  Upping my metabolism can only help.

I’m not sure how long it will take to see if this will be possible — but I’m in this full-throttle.  If it can be done, I intend to do it.  Or at least do as much as is physically possible!

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😀  So far, so good!!!

Praying for the Camera

This is an article from NPR on a theoretical  conflict between religion and “Obamacare” —

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/11/261699145/when-the-right-to-religion-conflicts-with-a-changing-society?

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.

This would be NPR attempting to appear unbiased, I guess, but  – this doesn’t hold water. Religion is trying to fight for the cameras. If the issue is really individual liberty (so the individual has the right to choose his/her beliefs and whther or not to act based on those beliefs) then the nuns are attempting to subvert this freedom in their employees by believing for them and blocking all avenues of independent thought and choice.

As in all other forms of politics — “follow the money…” (Woodward and Burnstein, All The President’s Men), and “The thing you gotta know is / Everything is show-biz…” (Mel Brooks, The Producers.)  In this case, a bunch of nuns who want to

  1. generate press like this, and
  2. perhaps keep from having to pay something they don’t want to pay — or,
  3. to generate support among the flock, and
  4. accept donations gladly.

I’m attributing motive where there could very well be none — but with something as precious and basic as Freedom of Religion on the line — I don’t think we should assume naïvety.  Among other things — the “Little Sisters of the Poor” have the entire Catholic Machine behind them — including all the lawyers.  Surely someone has pointed out to them that they don’t have an honest Constitutional leg to stand on.  Maybe they’re trying to believe one into existence.

If I worked for these nuns — who took away my right to choose whether to use contraception or not — my own personal belief would be irrelevant because they are believing on my behalf. For my own good. Like a strict parent. If I stay out too late at night, will they also force me to live within their walls so I can be accounted for at every minute? Do they also take away my freedom to choose what to watch on TV? what to eat for dinner? What businesses to patronize?

Isn’t their whole argument a little patronizing? This is the paternal goal — to control by force, rather that letting the “children” learn and choose on their own?

The only limits to freedom of religion being discussed here are the limitations being attempted by this group of nuns.

REAL freedom of religion would let each individual choose what to believe, and then choose what to do and how to behave based on those beliefs — like whether to use all the insurance options.

REAL freedom of religion? — Not to take away the options.

More Red Wine for Health!?! Oh no! (lol)

Click here to read even more good news about red wine -- drinking it with steak cancels out the negative effects of eating red meat!

Heart health isn’t just a women’s issue, it gets everybody.  So does food poisoning.  Food poisoning?

Yep.

Just pulled this from Women’s Health Magazine — good news all around!  Red wine is good for you. (again)  Not sure when it fell out of grace, but it’s back, with a bang!

Wine, then Dine
Drinking wine with your meal, in addition to being good for your heart, may help ward off food poisoning before it happens. Scientists at Oregon State University recently found that wine can put the kibosh on three common food pathogens: E. coli, Listeria, and salmonella. In lab studies, the wine’s combination of ethanol, organic acids, and low pH appeared to scramble the bugs’ genetic material. All wines have some effect, say researchers, but reds are the most potent.

———-

It's the "Resveratrol" that does the trick, evidently.... who knew?

And…  Try this article from the Mayo Clinic about the effects of red wine on heart health.

I guess this means you not only should have it before meals to kill off all those little bacteria, but with your meal as well — at least if you’re having read meat.

I wonder if there’s some downside to drinking this much wine?

:]

(Click the image to go to the Mayo Clinic site)

————

Moderation Schmoderation

And just in case you thought the Mayo Clinic would get the last word on all this, here’s a link to the official “Doubting Thomasses” of the whole red wine/health question, the  American Heart Association and its pitch for caution, moderation, and a good long look before leaping into the bottom of a wine bottle:

Is it any wonder we don’t trust the medical community?  They can’t seem to agree on something as simple as one glass of red wine.

Maybe we should just ignore them, and drink a glass every day because it tastes good.  Then, if it’s really a miracle drug-food, then we get the benefit.  If it turns out to just be alcohol like all other alcohol, then 1 glass is just 1 glass and we haven’t gone off the deep end into binge drinking, alcoholism, or alcohol poisoning.

Maybe just that nice, warm and fuzzy feeling is a good enough reason to indulge….

Triple-Berry Mini Cheesecakes–Gluten Free (Recipe from Betty Crocker) + Alternatives

Triple-Berry Mini Cheesecakes (Gluten Free) Recipe from Betty Crocker.

The link above will take you to BC’s website for this recipe.

Here are the details from that recipe:

Crust
1 1/2 cups Cinnamon Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal, crushed to 1 cup
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Filling
1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free strawberry yogurt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Topping
2 cups fresh berries (such as sliced strawberries, raspberries and/or blueberries)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Now — Here’s what I’d change, and the reasons why.

I’m perfectly willing to go with Chex cereal to see what it tastes like.  We’re not a gluten-free house — but okay.  Since they’re using butter and sugar to doll up the cereal, it can only be the “gluten-free” part of this equation that they’re relying on for a healthier label.

Likewise, the topping of berries and chocolate sounds good.  I’m all for putting berries and chocolate on just about anything.

My big problem is with substituting Yoplait FAT FREE Strawberry yogurt for 3/5 of the cream cheese (which they’ve already traded out with Neufchatal — the lower fat version of cream cheese.)  Yoplait FAT FREE anything amounts to fat-free pudding/jello that’s gone a bit tart.  Why not opt for low-fat, unflavored Greek yogurt and get the benefits of the living yogurt along with the tartness.  Or better yet — have real yogurt (instead of Yoplait jello) for breakfast, and actually use cream cheese in the cheesecake?  This is a useless change, simply to take the opportunity to insert a brand name into the recipe for advertising purposes.

Yoplait Yoplait Yoplait.  There.  Is everybody satisfied?  How about we get Dustin Hoffman to say it in his Rainman-voice, the way he publicized K-Mart in that movie.  K-Mart sucks.   Ha.  Yoplait sucks.  Haha.

If you’re going to make them mini — that is, fitting in a cup-cake cup.  And if you’re going to get rid of the graham cracker crust.  And if you’re going to use Neufchatal instead of cream cheese.  Well — that still sounds pretty close to cheesecake.

But when you start substituting name-brand geletinized imitation yogurt with no living yogurt bacteria, and even less taste and adding corn starch to try and make it thick like the thing you’re imitating — then why not forget calling it cheese cake at all and just call it

“Tasteless, Low fat, Gluten-free
Substitute for the Real Dessert
You Don’t Exercise Enough to Get Away With Eating,
or Society Won’t Let You Enjoy
Without Tremendous Episodes of Self-Flagelating Guilt”

and be done with it.

Mmm-mmm Good!