Using Cannabis for Health: One Woman’s Story of How She Overcame an Addiction to Opioids With Marijuana

In the midst of an opioid epidemic, studies are showing that states with “[m]edical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates.” This anecdotal case of a woman who successfully stopped using oxycontin by using cannabis was written by Humboldt County writer, Sharon Letts and first appeared in PROHBTD.

In 1997, 28-year-old Oregon resident and stay-at-home mom Amy Mellen was pregnant with her second child when her physician prescribed Percocet for severe migraines that began when she was in college.

“My migraines were debilitating,” Mellen shared. “It was impossible to care for my oldest daughter, while pregnant with my youngest daughter. I get vision tracers that take over my entire field of vision—my face, lips, and fingers go numb—and I have a horrible time forming words to speak. These symptoms begin before the actual headache happens.”

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the third-most prevalent and sixth-most disabling disease in the world, with “an extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms.”

The Mayo Clinic lists triptan medications as commonly prescribed to treat migraines. Triptans are serotonin receptor agonists that narrow, or constrict, blood vessels in the brain to relieve swelling or inflammation. Side effects from triptan may include “reactions at the injection site, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness.”

Of the many brands of triptan, Mellen initially took sumatriptan (brand name: Imitrex). Dosing recommendations for the drug say it should be taken right away, then stopped for lengths of time, due to patients developing a tolerance. In a few months’ time, Amy said she needed a stronger dose.

Regina Nelson, PhD, is director and founder of The eCS Therapy Center in Denver, Colorado. Her doctoral studies had a concentration on medical cannabis, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), and daily dosing; on which she’s penned four books, to date.

“Many women find that migraines increase with their menstrual cycle or during menopause,” Nelson explained. “Hundreds of women have reached out to the eCS Therapy Center for help with this issue, and most find that a daily regimen of cannabis oil helps alleviate the inflammation that is believed to cause migraine pain, while decreasing the frequency of migraines over time.”

Pregnancy & Pain Killers

After giving birth, Mellen’s obstetrician prescribed the antidepressant Effexor, which is also used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It’s listed on Drugs.com as a “selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor,” or SSNRI, and is commonly cross-marketed by pharmaceutical companies as a pain killer.

“I wasn’t depressed, and still don’t feel I am, or ever was—but I’ve been on antidepressants of some kind for 19 years because of the pain issues,” she said.

Mellen noted her migraine pain worsened during her menstrual cycle, so Lupron, often used for endometriosis, was added. Longtime use is dangerous, but Mellen said that during the three months she took the medication the migraines subsided dramatically.

“My doctor at the time thought a hysterectomy might ease my symptoms, as every time I had a period, my migraines were worse, but my insurance company didn’t agree, so I was kept on the pills,” she explained. “By 2001 I was in such pain and bleeding so badly, I was screaming to go to the hospital.”

With this latest visit to the ER, doctors found fibroids, and for reasons that aren’t clear, a partial hysterectomy was approved by her insurance company; with Mellen stating it lessened her migraines overall.

Accidental Addict

The following year in 2006, after a near-fatal auto accident worsened her pain, Amy said her dependency on the pain medication increased.

“I rolled my car three times,” she recalled. “My head and left arm hit the asphalt on the highway each time I rolled. After five hours in surgery, I woke up in a hospital bed with a morphine pump that didn’t even touch the pain—so I was then given Dilaudid—and that’s what began my nightmare into addiction.”

According to Drugs.com, Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is an opioid pain medicine for “moderate to severe pain.” A narcotic, its many side effects include a central nervous system depression in which breathing slows or stops. With misuse, the drug can result in addiction, dependence and overdose death.

“I had never used pain meds before, except for the migraines,” Mellen explained. “And I knew nothing about what they do to our bodies and brains. I went home from the hospital after two weeks with bottles of OxyContin, Percocet, muscle relaxers and more.”

By 2008, after 18 months on the OxyContin, 30-year-old Mellen said she began seeing news reports of people becoming gravely addicted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that opioids (painkillers) and opiates (heroin) “killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record.” Alkaloids from opium poppy, which are used to make heroin, also make up the active compounds in opioid pain relievers.

“I thought to myself, no, that will never happen to me!” Mellen said, emphatically. “I had never done drugs, let alone been addicted to them. My doctor suggested I switch from Oxy to methadone, and that’s when I became a legal junkie. I asked her, ‘Isn’t that for heroin addicts?’ But she really had no other help for me, her hands were tied. All she could offer was the lesser drug.”

Mellen said she was also offered Suboxone, a drug commonly used in addiction treatment centers to replace OxyContin with some success.

“I chose not to use Suboxone because I thought, what’s the point of taking another pill that would do the same thing—and I would still be addicted?” she added. “I’ve seen tons of testimonials on the web of people just as addicted to Suboxone, and then needing higher and higher doses.”

Mellen, who had never been “a partier” as she put it, was now in the same category as a heroin addict, rapidly gaining weight in the process.

“I’ve had weight issues all my life,” Amy explained. “It’s because I use food to cope with my feelings. I also suffer from OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder], and it felt like my obsession with food turned into an addiction with the painkillers added. By 2010, my weight ballooned to 410 pounds.”

Benzo Brain Madness

Aside from the weight gain, Amy said she dealt with post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. According to Addictions and Recovery, opioid addiction symptoms can include “mood swings, anxiety, irritability, tiredness, variable energy, low enthusiasm, variable concentration, and disturbed sleep.”

“Benzo brain, or PAWS, is real,” Mellen shared. “My brain has no idea how to regulate emotion, common sense is out the window, and I have an awful time making decisions.”

A recent “live” Facebook posting showed Mellen in tears in her car, having driven to an entirely different town than a scheduled meeting was located.

“I was never like this before the meds,” she said in anger. “I had so much patience before—for my kids, my husband. Now, nothing moves fast enough in my brain. I forget things and have to retrace my steps all day long—and that’s really no joking matter.”

Replacing Pharma with Plants

Mellen said she had never tried cannabis when a friend of her husband, Todd, reported he cut his Oxy intake in half just by smoking.

“I first smoked to see if it really worked,” Mellen said. “When it gave me relief, I asked, ‘What’s next?’”

Mellen was still in pain while on the pharmaceuticals, but fearful of upping her intake. Studies done by Dr. Donald Abrams, Chief of Hematology-Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, completed in 2011 at the University of California at San Francisco, demonstrated that taking cannabinoids with prescribed painkillers can reduce the amount of pain meds needed by 25 percent overall. His research also showed a 30 percent reduction in morphine intake and about a 20 percent reduction in oxycodone, specifically, just by smoking cannabis.

And though Dr. Abrams said he has many patients using cannabis products who are able to stop pain medications, anti-nausea therapies and sleeping pills, he’s still skeptical of its effects without proper trials.

“We have no clue as to how they [cannabis products] are absorbed, how long they last, or anything as no studies have ever been done with a product of known composition [to the cannabis oil],” he clarified.

On May 9, 2015, Amy said she took a half grain of rice-sized piece of cannabis oil with a spoonful of peanut butter.

“Every two weeks I increased the dose, but I was still on the pills,” she said. “As the oil started working, my doctor told me my blood sugars had dropped.”

Metformin, which she took for type 2 diabetes, was the first prescription med to leave Mellen’s pharmacopeia, which had ballooned to 41 prescription pills and supplements a day. She needed so many pills, not only for the original diagnosis, but to quell many symptoms thereof.

“Every couple of weeks another medication or supplement dropped off as I increased my cannabis oil intake,” she said. “On July 31, 2015, less than three months after starting the oil, I took my last five-milligram Percocet.”

Dr. Nelson has had many experiences with patients at The eCS Therapy Center in Denver, with a stated “100 percent” of all cases reducing pharmaceutical use.

Reports show that prescriptions for opiates and narcotics may be reduced up to 25 percent in legal states such as Colorado, but most don’t appropriately credit cannabis as being a contributing factor,” Nelson said. “Prescription pain medications are the greatest killers in our society. Cannabis is non-toxic, and most find it to be an incredible replacement for most pharmaceuticals over time.”

One of Nelson’s books, The eCS Therapy Companion Guide, helps patients ingest the right amount for a specific need.

“Patients find that by titrating slowly to a comfortable dose between one and five milligrams per kilo of weight, over time, they can gain control of their pain issues with a focused use of cannabis therapies,” Nelson added.

Greener Pastures 

Mellen said it took three months to replace the pills, with 100 pounds shed within the first year, and 205 pounds shed, all told.

Dr. Abrams, though, disagrees with Mellen’s insistence that going off the pills helped her lose the weight. “Sounds like this woman lost a lot of weight, which can also go a great distance in decreasing her symptoms and getting her off drugs—more so than using cannabis, for sure,” he added, though Mellen’s weight loss timeline begs to differ.

According to a paper published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institute of Health website (PMC 4204468), cannabis is said to stimulate appetites in HIV/AIDS and cancer patients, but in studying the general population of short and long-term cannabis users, a “lower body mass index” was found. In other words, cannabis is said to stimulate appetites where needed, while regulating metabolism in the average weight bearing person.

Another paper published in The American Journal of Medicine found that regular cannabis consumers have what’s called “fasting insulin,” i.e., insulin levels in the body before eating, 16 percent lower than non-cannabis users. The study also showed 17 percent lower insulin-resistance levels in cannabis users, with smaller waistlines overall.

Mellen just celebrated her two-year anniversary of replacing painkillers with cannabis. Her doctor is currently weaning her off a low dose of antidepressant, Wellbutrin, her last prescription medication.

Her daily cannabis regimen includes the use of topicals via lotions and salves; ingesting infused foods; taking low doses of oil, and smoking or vaporizing cannabis flower, which she said gives her immediate relief of pain and anxiety, in combination with the other applications.

“I’ve self-detoxed 27 times over the years, and it’s not a pretty sight to transition off opioids—ask my family,” she said. “In retrospect, I know it wasn’t a good thing to do without having something better to replace it with. Now I feel confident to share my story with others, so that they can be helped. The situation with opioids in the U.S. is serious, and you can’t just tell someone to stop taking them. I would have never been able to do this without transitioning to cannabis.”

While Mellen is frustrated with the health industry today, she doesn’t blame her doctor.

“My doctor’s hands were tied,” Mellen said. “I believe our government’s denial of cannabis as medicine keeps doctors from knowing the truth. When I told my doctor I took my last Percocet, and finally explained my cannabis use, she actually started tearing up and said she wanted to run to the top of the building and shout it out to the world, but she couldn’t.”

While Amy’s physician witnessed Mellen’s transformation and went on record to say she is “fully supportive of Amy,” she hesitates to make her name public, fearing patients will reach out to her for advice, when she isn’t trained in cannabis as medicine.

“Amy is really the one who did 100 percent of the work,” her doctor explained. “It’s super amazing that she is now speaking out and can be a role model and mentor others who are going through similar struggles.”

Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, MD, PhD, FAAPMR, is a physician based out of Seattle with a focus on cannabis as medicine, science and medical geography. Dr. Aggarwal said he’s not surprised about Mellen’s story in the least.

“Significant dose reductions in chronic opioid use, improvement in blood sugar control, improvement in mood, migraine prevention—all of these effects have been documented in the clinical trials and epidemiologic literature for cannabis,” he explained. “Not to mention, early 20th century medical literature, wherein Sir Dr. William Osler, the father of Internal Medicine, and founder of Johns Hopkins [Hospital], was known to be of the opinion that cannabis was the most superior treatment for migraines.”

Aggarwal said, if cannabis had been used in the beginning of Mellen’s treatment, many problems could have been avoided, stating, “This too, is a common refrain from patients who have discovered this treatment.”

In 2016, 47-year-old Mellen moved from Oregon to Maryland after her husband, Todd, was promoted at work. She immediately began speaking out in a very public way, becoming one of Maryland’s first registered cannabis patients in its new medical program.

“The most heartbreaking part of my story is, if I had known about the cannabis oil I’m on now years ago, I might not have had to go through so much, and put my family through so much,” she lamented. “It could have saved me a world of pain, literally and figuratively.”

Photo credits: Flickr/JenniferDurbanFlickr/AlvelynAlkoFlickr/EthenYan and Flickr/NenaB.

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51 comments

  • Trillium Hummingbird

    As a recovering alcoholic, prescription opiate/benzodiazepine user, who also has a 40 year history of cannabis use, I will always say that one drug does not replace another. The phenomenon of replacing one drug with another is called Cross Addiction.

    There are options, including Suboxone and Subutex to help you get off opiates. Do them in the short run, to get through primary withdrawal only. Sweat out post-secondary withdrawal, without drugs, and you are free!

    Then, just don’t take drugs! Ever again! THIS is the hard part! It’s NOT impossible!

    Drug use is a slippery slope. You take one drug, pretty soon you are taking ALL of them!

    There is no substitute for personal strength, when you decide to go clean and sober. Only total abstinence from mind altering substances will bring you peace.

    Smoking dope as “medicine” may work to relieve your symptoms, but as a lifestyle, it is not medicinal use you advocate, but simple self deception. Make all the excuses you want, trading one addiction for another means you are delusional, and not ready for sobriety.

    When you hit bottom, and you will, you will realize that the slippery slope works against you, just like anyone else, I hope you actually get to clean and sober.

    Go to a comprehensive medical detox/rehab, like the one at St Helena Hospital. The education alone is worth the price of the program. This is a faith based program, and they take patients who can’t pay…

    Cannabis is NOT medicine. We don’t know if it is beneficial, and it may be doing harm. Cannabis use may also trigger a relapse into Opiate use.

    I need to state that the patient above has a complicated history of psych disorders co-occurring
    with pain, overweight and substance abuse. I hope she finds peace and eventual recovery.

    I have 7 years. Being clean and sober gets you higher than ANY drug! Good luck!

    • You said:
      “Cannabis is NOT medicine. We don’t know if it is beneficial, and it may be doing harm. Cannabis use may also trigger a relapse into Opiate use.”

      Cannabis may not be “medicine” by your definition, or the fda’s.

      But it is medicinal. I don’t need to tell you about terminal cancer patients who want quality of life. If you know you know, if you dont, you dont. I helped a couple in my life, working at a high end dispensary.

      I also grew for a cancer patient from 2000-2012. Obviously he was not terminal, but it helped his appetite and nausea sickness.

      Picking one story is just that, one story. The woman in this article has been relieved of 40+pills a day by using cannabis. She should be happy about cannabis use for that.

      Had an aspirin done the same as cannabis for this woman, maybe that’s what this story would be about – and you could feel better for her. But cannabis, medicinally speaking does -and did do – way more for her and most others.

      Absolute sobriety as a cure all is just not a reality, nor is it a medicine.

    • Pure bunk. I’ve used it for years for pain – I’ve used it since 1970 or so. I haven’t partaken in awhile now, don’t really care. But if I can’t sleep due to pain, at age 62, it works wonders. You are an addict, and I’m sorry about that. I could be an alcoholic if I practiced well enough. It runs in the family. But your opinion is utterly devoid of any real information at all. Weed works. I reject all pharmaceuticals for as long as humanly possible.

    • [edit] If you read the article yoy would understand thst she uses because it is helpfull in all adpects of her life. [edit]

  • Pot is not medicine.

    Prop 215 was a fraud designed to fool enough people to eventually make pot legal.

    • Trillium Hummingbird

      On the other hand, the social and environmental costs of cannabis prohibition, have proven, finally and about 50 years late, that cannabis should be grown like any other commodity, and should be cheap and freely available. The best indicator of this is places like Trinity, Lake, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties, where life has been screwed sideways into the “twilight zone” of insanity.

      I sincerely hope that we get to cannabis grown on farmland, by business-people. It’s sad that folks want to alter their consciousness as a lifestyle and call it “medicine” or whatever, but the prohibitions our society maintains against personal behavior need to expire.

      Cannabis may not be medicine, but there should be no law preventing anyone from exploring the use of cannabis.

      I can’t wait until I see the Humboldt Farmer’s market folks out with a basket of bud, $20/lb. I hope I live that long!

    • George, I understand you may not agree with the politics of the proposition, but if you truly do not think pot has any medical benefits I would love to hear what you do consider to be medicine..

      • Trillium Hummingbird

        It is my opinion that medicine, as practiced in this country, is mostly a paradigm of applying chemicals to symptoms. Many drugs prescribed by physicians appear to me to be useless, have unpleasant side effects, or are addictive in long term use. Many drugs we commonly are prescribed lose their effect over time, as the receptors degrade or mutate. We end up taking a chemical which our neuro-chemical structure can no longer utilize. Cannabis ALSO causes mutation and derangement of neuro-chemistry, endocrine systems, and nerve transmission with long term use! So you smoke it more and more, but the effect is less and less. This is when you are at risk of co-occurring drug use and subsequent addiction to OTHER drugs.

        Doctors are not trained on how to clean up the mess that prescription drugs can cause. They only understand the application of chemicals to symptoms, and often they don’t understand even that very well. Trusting doctors seems dangerous to me now.

        AND, using cannabis from a dispensary, for, whatever, may resemble “medicine” in many ways. A person “dispensing” cannabis, based on, whatever training (?) or none at all, how is that medicine? Anecdotal evidence, from him, or from patients, seems inconclusive to me. Relief for a condition, as reported by a person on drugs, also seems suspect.

        In the end, what are we do do?

        From my point of view, we need to be advocates for our own care! I try to educate myself, and make my own decisions, and I suggest you do too! Simply consuming medical care did not work out well for me. Neither did cannabis use.

        Take control, be aware, question everything, and choose your own path.

        If you are the “train wreck”, I hope you can recover.

        Drugs are almost never the answer. Cancer and terminal patients should always, however, be kept comfortable, if desired and if it is clearly indicated.

        • So cannabis did not help you, that you know of.

          That’s what I’m hearing you say.

          Sobriety is tits, and better than medicine for pain. Is that what your saying?

          Do you recommend arnica, trillium bird?

          What do you do when you can’t eat from 3 days of nausea?

          • Trillium Hummingbird

            Uh, lost track of just what you are saying. Smoked weed 40 years, cause I liked it. Towards the end, it didn’t work so well. Never used it as medicine, since no one thought of it that way until the 90’s… If Arnica works for something, take all you want – you are missing the point.

            If I had terminal cancer, I would be asking for Heroin, Cocaine, and Vodka. Wonder what I would receive… And I don’t know if I would use indica again.

            • Yes, I have missed your point.

              It seems one of your points is self advocation for medical applications.

              Yet as this woman in the story advocates the benefit of cannabis for herself, you slam it down.

              So…..did I miss your point?

            • And also, because it shows how we can all develop bubbles to live in that shape our concepts, you stated:

              “Never used it as medicine, since no one thought of it that way until the 90’s…”

              That’s absurd.

              Please read and educate yourself as you say you do:

              https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201105/history-cannabis-in-ancient-china%3Famp&ved=0ahUKEwi27Pvc8vDVAhWDTSYKHQ9CDwYQFggcMAA&usg=AFQjCNHlDdeeEnXoVrLyqi1Byk5jXAZb-Q&ampcf=1

              Medicinally speaking it’s been used for over 4000 years.

              • Trillium Hummingbird

                People have complicated physical and psychological profiles, medically speaking. Co-occuring conditions often exist. Psych disorder/pain complex/depression/diabetes/overweight, for instance.

                When one drug doesn’t work out, should we substitute another? Possibly yes, but I would always say, “take a break, get clean”.

                Do what you want. This patient has many issues, but wanted off opiates. I have a problem replacing one bad treatment with another. My opinion. My experience.

                I advocate the examination of sobriety. It gives your brain and body a break. It IS a shock, but you get used to it quickly. When all systems have recovered physical and proper neuro-chemical function, you may be more prepared to evolve into the next phase of your life, and things may look different to you. In fact, I GUARANTEE they will!

                People do not NEED to use substances to exist. You sound like you would treat her depression and pain with sour diesel, and then treat her diabetes and overweight with a big box of candy… Knowing a little about a lot of things is not the same as knowing something about anything at all. Which is one way of saying you are not qualified to treat patients suffering from complicated medical conditions with cannabis.

                Usually I would say that YOU need to take a break from the indica, but I have to stop saying personal stuff on Kym’s site…

                The patient in this case has written great copy for the medical pot crowd. I don’t buy the whole deal, but I am glad she is doing better in the short run.

              • Trillium Hummingbird

                Great. Psychology is the answer. Got a degree in it. Wow. Whatever… Pointless to argue pot as medicine.

                Anyone at all can grow and use all they want, and soon no one will call it medicine anymore, cause they don’t have to. It’s legal! Yay!

        • I totally agree with the part about being advocates for ourselves. I know too many people who will blindly follow a dr. or be afraid to do anything without them, not realizing that like everybody else in the world they have agendas too that might not be known. I guess I am lucky that I can trust myself and my body enough to make my own decisions on what goes into it and what doesn’t without relying on the government to steer me along with the rest of the herd.

          • It astounds me that people think doctors are quacks some are and some are not. The doctors in this area practice under hard circumstances as many believe that weed is the cure all for all that ails. MJ certainly helps stimulate appetite with cancer patients it increases the drive for food while diminishing the feelings of nausea.
            Can someone explain to me why you would trust someone at a dispensary with no medical training to treat you vs someone who has gone to school for 15-20 yrs and bases a lot of their practice guidelines on evidence based medicine (research studies).
            Replacing one addiction for another is not a cure but displacement.

            • Certainly, some folks do trust the folks at their dispensary to treat them. But many rely on their medical professionals to help them. I know I do.

            • You go to the doctor and the doctor says you have 3 months to live. And it won’t be pretty.

              The doctor by law can not sell you weed.

              If you choose to use weed in this scenario than the dispensary is the place to buy it.

              No one is suggesting going to the dispensary for medical advice.

              However, if you find the right dispensary than you’ll find good information and people to help you out with the different reasons and effects of different pot varieties, along with appropriate dosage and use applications.

              * The pharmacy works in the same manner. Doctors recommend and prescribe, but the pharmacy is where you pick up and listen for advice with new meds.

              • Doctors can also prescribe things that make the suffering less. I worked with people in the last stages of their life and we do everything we can to minimize the suffering of patients and families.
                I know that studies are being done to investigate the benefits of MJ in medicine but that is just being explored right now. Studies involving MJ in medicine are subject to strict rules by the DEA to ensure quality and consistency in the dosing of medicines which will ensure better outcomes for everyone involved as well as legality.

                • I hope for tons of studies to tell people all sorts of stuff.

                  But until then, listen to the patient and the person.

                  If they say it’s better, they don’t need the studies.

              • Trillium Hummingbird

                And folks working in dispensaries are qualified because, they smoke weed?

                That is not the same as a PharmD, at all…

        • Trillium Hummingbird

          And I never ever will ever believe that cannabis oil is an effective treatment for ANYTHING other than relieving the patient of sobriety. This is a totally unnatural product with completly unpredictable effects, other than intoxication, I mean. And what is the cost of a weeks supply of “tincture of cannabis” and who pays? Who can afford these products? Your insurance?

          The idea that health comes from drug use is too ridiculous to ponder. The patient would be better advised to see a therapist, lose weight, get some exercise, and take her diabetes meds. and stop using cannabis for pain.

          Many patients would be better served by practitioners somewhat more interested in restoring health than in medicating complaints with mind-altering drugs, and patients would be better advised against getting high to solve their medical problems.

          Drug use will eventually cause pain, not cure it.

          • Trillium Hummingbird

            AND, trusting individuals who would have you use one kind or strain of weed, for various conditions, is complete insanity. These are not educated people with experience treating disease, they are crackpots who had to call cannabis “medicine” in order to get around current laws, and to market their products.

            It is quite entertaining how quickly they make the jump from treating pain or whatever, to treating end of life.

            If everyone were dying of cancer every minute, this argument might be applicable, and to me, you all just look like drug dealers with an agenda.

            Fact is, you can grow it, you can use it. Go for it!

            • Coming from the person who thought the 1990’s was the first time people used cannabis for medicine.

              You were only off by 4-5000 years.

              So, now your saying what exactly?

              You can’t be educated and sell pot?

              Or ?

              Youve been wrong about a bit, but you still have a degree in psychology… what does that mean?

              You blew off your inaccuracies like classic denial, but you should know that.

              • Now you just sound like a head case with an attitude problem. Good luck in all your endeavors.

                • I would openly admit I can have an attitude problem.

                  Just trying to argue some points that seem clear to me.

            • There are things to learn for cannabis use. These things may not matter as much to the recreational smoker.

              Indica and sativa strains have different effects, generally.

              Vaporizing is much healthier than smoking.

              Edibles are better if you have respiratory issued.

              Topicals are best for many people’s arthritis.

              Dosage suggestions based on patient history with cannabis, and choice of product.

              The people who benefit most from medical cannabis also may be people who have lived with the notion that it is a drug and all drugs are bad.

              Many of the people who benefit most from medical weed may not tell their friends or family they are using it, fearing reactions like yours.

              On the other hand, most use pot recreationaly. And like you said, go for it. Will do!

              • And stoners understand treatment of medical issues.

                • The amount of facts you and trillium have brought to this debate are overwhelming and convinced me that weed sucks. All the anecdotal stories below and the one above are fake. Anyone who uses weed is stupid. There is no possible potential for weed to help anyone, medically or not.

                  Now I’m in your camp. Thanks for not continuing down a rabbit hole with opinions. I am so thrilled at my new level of knowledge from the teachings you have brought.

                • Trillium Hummingbird

                  Sometimes I get curious about what weed could do for me. Then I listen to what weed users say and read what you users write, and the urge passes.

                  Have a nice life. Weed can’t make you healthy.

    • Trump is not president. Makes about as much sense as your statement. You reject cannabis in favor of oxycontin. I get that. Guess what I reject.

      • Trillium Hummingbird

        You would have to be pretty fucked up to think that I would use oxycontin. Maybe that is WHY you think this!

        You are off your ass, I didn’t say that at all!

  • Great write up! I’m also a full blown alcoholic drug user addict, havnt used or drank in 15 plus years. Overcame my bad choices and only smoke weed and weed consentrates out of all the drugs I kicked the opiates are the worse
    I’m just now fully recovered from an auto accident in dec. With a broken neck my Dr said I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain without pills. Wrong I beat the pain with hundreds of dabs and not one pain pill. Now I’m better and not strung out and ready to concur the world! ( again)

    Disclaimer; punctuation is not one of my strong points…

    • Glad you are better, Gazoo!

      • Thank you very much miss Kym! Hope things in your world are coming together! Much love and respect from my wife and I

    • I used weed as a reverse gateway also, but I found nicotine to be the hardest because it was the last. the key to neck pain which is CNS related is know when to stop. when your fingers go numb you have gone too far. the hardest thing to regulate is your own mentality, it will take time. I had titanium installed 15 years ago with disc removal and the pain associated only occurs when I try to do too much. good luck.

      • Cannabis is NOT a drug some beneficial drugs are derived from Cannabis but it by itself is NOT a Drug!!! Also it is NOT addictive Opioids are extremely addictive, so it only makes sense to use Cannabis to help transition off harder drugs such as the many derivatives of Opium & other addictive drugs!!!

    • Sorry to say , but spelling isn’t either… havnt = haven’t, consentrates = concentrates, concur = conquer ;-D just saying not ragging!!! Congrats on being Opioid free I’m slowly getting there as well with a bit of assistance from Cannabis!!!

  • A great read here. My Turn I have been sober for 33 years. I use to smoke weed back in the day. Then I started drinking mostly beer. I use to build fences in the hot summer sun in Humboldt. We would drink beer all day instead of water.Then after work, we would go swimming and stop by the store for more beer. This went on for many years. Barn parties were fun too in Ferndale drink all night and start all over the next day.This went on for many years until July 1st, 1984. That is when I crashed my Honda Car into a tree on Hwy 36. I ended up with a dislocated hip and amnesia. Never had a drink since that day. Never got help sober on my own. Will power to stay sober has been easy. Some of you that read this will know who I am. Please don’t stop one drug and take another. The best way is to be clean. Thanks for reading.

  • I also used cannabis to recover from a broken neck. I used oil and edibles. It was an incredibly painful injury. I was able to stop crying and throwing up after using cannabis. Some people may think cannabis is not a medicine but it has been for me. It helped me when our local hospital failed me.

  • Cannabis helped her out, I’m happy for her and for us, that’s one more healthy person in the world. Thanks Amy for sharing your story.

  • Pot Industry Propaganda

    Amy could also sue her doctor for prescribing her Percocet during a pregnancy.

  • Great story! Thanks for the details! Yes- cannabis can be medicinal. It is not a cure-all but it can help many people with many different medical problems. It’s important to know that -just as with painkillers- everybody has their own unique brain chemistry and so different strains, different CBD:THC ratios and different forms ( joints, edibles, dabs) will affect different people differently. Talk to people with some knowledge- not all dispensary salespeople are knowledgable!- and find out what works for you. You may need to experiment. This is a field of knowledge in it’s infancy and much of the data is not stastically or scientifically provable. However there are enough positive results to know that there is something here. Many people have found relief from pain and addiction. I helped push Prop 215 because it was right. I was sorry to see so many up here blatantly abuse the medical allowance. I think the over-hype of medicinal qualities was wrong and especially when it resulted in the destructive greenrush here in Humboldt. But at the end of the chaos- Cannabis can help many people live much better lives. Thanks for the story, Kym!

  • It’s a beautiful & helpful story, thanks for sharing.
    Please document this for the research purposes. The FDA will consider it as nothing but anecdotal, because studies were not conducted by their chosen scientists. Keep an eye out for their call for scientists for mmj studies.
    Even the scientist in this article, did the usual “but more studies are needed”… in other words, more grants and fundings. This suggests, he’s quite familiar with how the grant system works.

  • I have just recently learned the wonders of cbd oils, i suffer from cronic migraines as a side effect from shots i recived in the military, seldom did any of the pills and instant tabs work, and often i would end up in the er getting a migraine shot , which didnt take the pain away or the the effects , they merely got me so loopy i didnt care. A friend told me i should try some cbd oil, me not knowing how it was made was very unsure , but he offered it to me as a gift. I kept it aroumd and never used it for several months . Then one day i had an attack that was so bad , i broke down and tried it, 2 droppers full of 16 to 1 cbd oil. In undet a hour i felt it fading and within 2 hours it was completely gone. Now as soon as i feel one coming on i reach for that dropper and that bottle, it has been a year since i have jad to get a shot in the er.

  • I’ve had migraines since I was 14.pot doesn’t help all the time,it helps my muscles,joints,keeps me from throwing up.ive had 3 major diese’s,beat em all,been operated on 7 times,3 house fires,4 car wrecks,now for 14 years been fighting Lymes.my teeth are horrible due to all the meds over the years which caused more shit. The pills although it helped with pain,caused other things. I quit smoking,drinking and don’t take pain pills ever again!! Marijuana has helped me more than all those pills they push on you. And aren’t most drugs (pills) made from plants?Smile

  • Lots of junkies fall back on that herb that was once not good enough of a high, lots of tweekers smoke hella bud so they can get some actual sleep,
    Personally i think thats abusing our precious herbs, fuck junkies! Mentally weak is what they are! Not selling any of it to any of these assclowns!

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