I began my journey of learning the power of cannabis 16 years ago at the age of 31. I had used cannabis recreationally off and on most of my life but had never looked into the health benefits. By the time I was 31 I had worked many physically taxing jobs to support my family and had injured my back a handful of times but always bounced back quickly. This came to a quick end when I felt a pain go down my leg at work one morning. I didn’t report it and continued working for almost a month more. At this point I was to the point of having trouble walking etc. and sought medical help. This was the beginning of six spine surgeries and monthly refills of opioids. I took over the course of 10 years methadone, morphine, dilaudid, oxycontin, and oxycodone. Even after copious amounts of these drugs I was always in pain. My mood was affected, my energy and worst of all was the fear of running out.
I began reflecting on what was actually helping and what was hurting. I began looking into using cannabis as medicine. I realized that when I smoked or ingested cannabis I got more pain relief then when I took opioids. This was my aha moment. I decided then and there that I was taking my life back. I started weaning myself off of opioids. One of the proudest moments in my life is the day I called the pain clinic I had been a regular at for 7 years and told I no longer needed their services. I was choosing to treat with cannabis only.
The next hurdle was the depression and flat mood I was left with after 10 years of narcotics. Once again cannabis saved me. It helped me to regulate the depression until my bodies natural chemicals were able to regulate. This was not easy- it took about two years but it was worth it. I have since been able to stop 2 other medications by replacing them with cannabis.
I am a daily user of cannabis in all of its forms. I smoke it, eat it and use it topically- both THC and CBD.
I still take some medications for type 1 diabetes and will have to for the rest of my life. My approach is a common sense approach. No, cannabis does not cure everything. Cannabis is not going to fix my pancreas or my damaged nerves but it can help. Cannabis does stimulate my appetite so I can eat- my lack of appetite is from neuropathy of my stomach from diabetes. Cannabis does decrease my pain and allow me to focus on other parts of my life. Cannabis allows me to be a contributing member of society by allowing me to be clear of mind and healthy.
So, is cannabis a cure all for every disease and ailment? No. Is cannabis suitable for some diseases and at the very least an appropriate supplement? Yes! I am a living testament to that. I am 8 years clean of opioids and I am on 4 less pharmaceuticals and the healthiest and happiest I have ever been.
Common sense, my body my choice of medicine not the government.
Becca Nichols age 47. Mother of 5, grandmother of 3. Full time activist. Treasurer and executive board member of THSI.