Photo by Lucy La Riot
It’s time I come out of the canna-closet. My story began when I was 15 years old. That’s when I started using cannabis recreationally, but I never paid attention to any potential medicinal effects until age 22. At this point in my life, I felt I wanted to change my life to become “healthy”. I was in the process of losing weight and thought that by eliminating all sugar, carbs, and intoxicants I was doing myself a great justice.
One hundred pounds and one year later, I began to incorporate these unhealthy foods and alcohol back into my life. However, not cannabis.
Around this time I had moved into an apartment with my ex-boyfriend in New York City. Things were great until I started getting sick. It was so bad at one point that I was sent to the ER after returning to work the day after Thanksgiving. But they were unable to tell me what issues I was having with my stomach.
Shortly after that I began experiencing tremors so intense I would collapse to the floor, unable to move freely. The episodes between stomach illness and uncontrollable tremors became closer and closer together until it drove a wedge in our relationship.
I don’t remember what influenced me to start utilizing cannabis again, but it was exactly what I needed. I would call the delivery service as much as possible, trying to buy the strongest strains they had available. This was when I began to realize that cannabis was an essential part of my well-being; it was a biological need.
Time passed and I moved back to New Jersey to begin my single life and continue my massage therapy education. While in massage school I completed a case study on fibromyalgia. From this study I was led to believe that I may be dealing with this condition. My diagnosis of fibromyalgia was confirmed by my doctor in 2013.
Fibromyalgia does not have a rhyme or reason to it. My body will shake uncontrollably from tremors due to any type of stress. Days can go by without eating. I also collapse to the floor from fatigue which takes away my ability to walk.
For four years I tried to use street cannabis to maintain my condition. It is nearly impossible to get the correct strain on the street. Unknowingly, I would get sativas that would spiral my tremors out of control. At this point, I decided to really educate myself about the medicinal virtues of cannabis.
It took 3 years out of a 4 year span of trial and error until I decided to take a trip to Denver. Prior to my trip, I did not have the capabilities to be able to successfully walk more than 5 minutes without pain. I used ONE Mary’s Medicinal 1:1 CBD/THC patch and that same day I was able to walk 5 miles.
From this discovery, I knew I needed CBD and began purchasing Charlotte’s Web (a high CBD/low THC strain of cannabis) regularly. The majority of my symptoms had significantly decreased and I was working more regularly without pain and flare ups.
I received my medical marijuana card from the state of New Jersey in 2017. I have never been so grateful for anything in my life. Cannabis has given me the ability to work for myself. Cannabis has given me my life back and for this I am willing to give my life to cannabis.
My mission is to help as many patients and non-patients with this plant as possible. I want to spread education in reference to cannabis and to help to provide empowerment to others. It is important for me to remove the stigma. This IS medicine, this medicine gives lives back. Let us live.