Medical Marijuana - Friend or Foe?

I'm not shy about the fact that I use medical marijuana but I'm also not one to scream it from the rooftops either! I did create a medical marijuana journal to help people track what works to help their ailments because I have struggled to find the correct strain for my needs, but other than that I don't share too much about it.... until now.

Last Friday was my birthday and I decided to give up marijuana until at least the end of 2020. This decision came for a small variety of reasons but primarily because I have had one of the hardest months of this health journey and I have turned to marijuana so much that it feels like a really unhealthy coping mechanism. I think it is important to see how my body feels without it and to start turning to healthier coping mechanisms. It is really the only habit I have that I question whether it is healthy, and if it is truly helping me cope and manage my symptoms or if it is limiting my healing ability.

On a good day, I don't want to touch it. I like to feel alive and vibrant, marijuana makes me feel heavy and foggy so being high isn't a feeling I deeply enjoy. But these past few years, good days are fairly rare. I would say I might have 30-40 good days a year. I turn to it mostly to give me an appetite, to help me sleep, and to allow my body to get a deeper rest on the days I can barely function and feel trapped by my body. Some days I need it for pain but my pain levels are better these days so I felt like I was ready to make the shift. The pandemic has helped me heighten my level of self care and build a really helpful and healing daily routine so I feel well equipped to turn to different coping mechanisms.

I thought this was going to be a pretty difficult change because I have been using it so much that it feels like an established habit. But I also know that my discipline levels are a little higher than most and once I make a decision, there is no turning back!! Not smoking or using edibles has been easy, I would even say effortless. I don't crave it or want to turn to it and Sunday and Tuesday this week were pretty brutal with severe nausea, dizziness and weakness, days I would normally turn to it in a heartbeat to help relieve my suffering. Thankfully, the way my mind works is that it is no longer an option. It is tucked away above the refrigerator and that is where it shall live until 2021 so I'm happy breaking the habit was easier than I anticipated.

 

Unfortunately, my health has declined every day since I stopped using it and I did not anticipate that AT ALL!! I was on a really good roll for the first time in a long time. These last two weeks have been a breath of fresh air and everyday has felt a tiny bit better, so I really thought that I was on the right track. My Chinese herbs were really helping me gain strength and juicing until dinner was giving me a lot more energy. My digestion has not been very good this year and I felt like my body was finally being nourished on the level it was desperately seeking. My night sweats were under control, the POTS episodes had become manageable and I wasn't passing out or collapsing anymore. I felt a little more productive with better mental clarity, I was able to make dinner at night and walk Bodhi so my energy levels were improving and I truly felt that I had finally figured out a path to healing. I have also been watching Rewired by Dr. Joe Dispenza to help me understand healing on a whole new level and it has made so much sense that I just really felt like all the stars were aligning! All of this was what helped give me motivation to make this decision.

One day without marijuana and I could barely eat dinner on my birthday and I started having drenching night sweats again. I don't think it is a sign the Chinese herbs are no longer working, I think it is a detox response. Night sweats are very common for at least a week and sometimes a month after you stop using marijuana. Also, before I would get them around 3:15am and now I get them around 1am. I'm a bit obsessed with connecting the dots on what gives me different symptoms so I think I just need to persist with the detox and the night sweats will disappear again.

 

Onto the next issue. I tend to get six hours of sleep max even when I do smoke which isn't enough in my doctors eyes. I felt confident I could at least get that amount without weed if I go to bed at 8pm like my doctor recommends. I thought I could fall asleep fairly effortlessly with a guided relaxation but I discovered that alone was not enough. After a few nights of experimenting with different supplements and tea I did find a winning bedtime routine. I use DoTERRA supplements as I am a Wellness Advocate for them and have done thorough research into their products, and I found that taking two Serenity and one Adaptiv helps put me to sleep. I use the Inscape app for my guided meditations, relaxing music, and sleep relaxations so using one of those on top of the supplements and I am asleep in minutes. Last night I didn't even need the relaxation, the supplements worked like magic.

My migraines are back to being daily and as soon as the Excedrin migraine wears off, I feel it again. My neurologist really doesn't recommend heavy use of Excedrin because it can actually cause more migraines but it has only been a couple days and I am hopeful that they start to dissipate and that it is also a detox reaction.

 
 
 

Now last but not least, the appetite issue. Last night Roberto was strongly encouraging me to smoke. I have lost 4.5 pounds since Friday and don't have too much to spare. When I was in the hospital malnourished from doxycycline two years ago I was 134 pounds. Seeing me go from thriving last week to barely surviving this week - Roberto's obvious answer is that I truly need the marijuana in order to thrive. This is where I am feeling a bit lost. It's true, I am on a little decline right now BUT I don't know how much of this is a detoxification response. In my mind, I want to stick to my commitment and let me body get rid of the toxins and THEN see what I am working with. I'm just not quite sure how long to expect these potential detox side effects go on for.

Marijuana is tricky to eliminate. It can stay in your blood for about seven days, the metabolites can be found in your urine for about a month, in your hair for about 90 days, and THC gets stored in your fat cells. I honestly have no idea how long it stays in fat but I have read it can stay for a few months and I know that during that time it can be released back into your blood stream during exercise. Word on the street is never exercise before a drug test if there is any chance you have THC lingering in your system. I haven't even made it a week without it so I know that I need to hang in there for longer if I really want a clear picture.

This has definitely been an interesting little experiment and I thought it was the habit that would be hard to break, I never anticipated that it would cause a setback. I HATE self inflicted setbacks!! What if Roberto is right and I should just get high tonight, have a decent dinner and get back on track? Is it really that simple? Or is it better to listen to my intuition which told me to stop smoking? Of course you probably know my answer. Intuition!

I never listen to what other people think I should do with my life or with my body - I have never been very good at that to begin with and after having so many adverse reactions from trusting doctors instead of trusting myself - I have finally begun to only trust myself. It has taken me a lot of time to get to this point but I finally fully trust the healer within. My doctors know that I have a good head on my shoulders, research everything thoroughly, and will take their opinion into consideration but ultimately I do what I feel is best. Right now, I am going to stick to my gut instinct and continue this detox!! I am still undetermined if medical marijuana is my friend or foe...

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