Tag Archives: Marijuana

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Before the 1960s, many Americans had never heard of marijuana, but today it is the most often used illegal drug in this country.

Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other drugs made from the same plant. Strong forms of cannabis include sinse-milla (sin-seh-me-yah), hashish (“hashî for short), and hash oil.

All forms of cannabis are mind-altering (psychoactive) drugs; they all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals.

Marijuanaís effect on the user depends on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. THC potency has increased since the 1970s but has been about the same since the mid-1980s. The strength of the drug is measured by the average amount of THC in test samples confiscated by law enforcement agencies.

Most ordinary marijuana has an average of 3 percent THC.

Sinsemilla (made from just the buds and flowering tops of female plants) has an average of 7.5 percent THC, with a range as high as 24 percent.

Hashish (the sticky resin from the female plant flowers) has an average of 3.6 percent, with a range as high as 28 percent.

Hash oil, a tar-like liquid distilled from hashish, has an average of 16 percent, with a range as high as 43 percent.

CHRONIC PAIN FROM HELL (6th Entry in Pain Chronicles)

Author: Jana Christian

My husband and I were just sitting here discussing his worsening pain. Just saw the doc today who has FINALLY evaluated Donís latest MRI of his neck and lumbar spine. To quote the doctor, ìDon, I donít know if I can operate or help you, as you donít respond very well to surgeryî. Then he suggested another myelogram. My husband, Don, burst into tears.

Well, see ìChronic Pain from HELL!!î RE: the torture my hubby suffered during his last myelogram three years ago. My husband told his doc, ìthree years ago, I had to be held down by three bouncers the size of refrigerators in order for you to do the test because my spine was so full of scar tissue you couldnít even find a space to stick the needle. Your report said you sedated me. I was NOT sedated, no pill, no needle was given to me: not then, not EVER. At the time you told me youíd never subject me to another myelogram. And now today you donít even remember the procedure??! What theÖ?#@%^$$î.

Don was also told his Workmanís Comp insurance company (the very lovely state-run pool my husbandís case has been dumped into, but I digress into yet another scream-fest) wonít approve him to go to a pain clinic. Heís been turned down about three times. I think his rights are being violated in a big way. Duhhh.

The doctor then referred him to a neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion. So now MORE waiting. More weeks flying by without anything but marijuana (and not much of that, due to the fact weíre both on a fixed income).

The doc then gave Don a script for 30 Tylenol 3 ñ FOR A WEEK!! (well, WHOOOOP, WHOOOP, Boring Alert ñ why not put a bandaid on a heart attack.

I swear, is there ANYONE out there with the brains God gave them who can help my husband find relief from his agonizing pain? Anyone out there with any compassion. Does NO ONE care? Iím beginning to wonder.

You know how obnoxious a person is when they drink alcohol to excess, and theyíre belligerent as Hell? My husband snaps at the drop of a hat without alcohol because of the pain. Heís on the edge day and night. If the phone should ring, I pity the poor fool on the other end. If wakened from a half-assed sleep, he will startle immediately and snap his neck sitting up, so pumped up with adrenalin as he is with this pain.

Weíre beginning to wonder if the public is safe from such a person, whoís been kicked to the curb by the health care (and I use the term loosely) system, has no access to pain medication, has to threaten his doc that heís going out to get street drugs just to get a script for codeine. Are you crazy? Are you nuts? Guess what George? You guessed it, the war on drugs is a dead pink elephant in the eye of progress. I can say no more.

Can marijuana help with inflammatory pain?

In the new study, researchers identified the receptor on sensory nerve cells that is activated by condiments like mustard and wasabi, as well as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other strong-tasting vegetables. The receptor, called ANKTM1, is a member of a family of cellular channels known as the transient receptor potential (TRP) family.

There is evidence that ANKTM1 is involved in activating pain-sensing nerve cells in response to inflammatory agents. Knowing that isothiocyanates send ANKTM1 into action could give a “starting point” from which to develop drugs for inflammatory pain, which marks conditions such as arthritis.

In another finding, the researcher and his colleagues found that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, also activates ANKTM1.

The significance of this is not yet clear, but the finding broadens the “classical view” of how THC and cannabis-like compounds act on the nervous system.

CHRONIC PAIN FROM HELL ñ AND BEYOND!! (Part V)

Part V in My Never-Ending Quest to Get Medical Marijuana Legalized

Dear Doc Zombie:

Itís the day after my husbandís most recent brush with apathy at the hands of the UN-health system. Anyone following our story AND in Chronic Pain will relate, Iím sure.

My hubby, Don, had an MRI of his cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back), which revealed ñ GET THIS..new ALERT. All discs in his spine are either ruptured, pressing on the nerve center of his spinal column, radiating pain down both arms and legs, to say nothing of the entire head and shouldersÖall but 5 discs in his entire spine are damaged and getting worse.

So we show up at the surgeonís office yesterday. We wait for over an hour in his bleak and boring (no music) dungeon of a waiting room, and then get ushered into the ante-chamber of bad news. The doc enters smiling and shaking his head as if to say, ìDon, you know that youíre screwed, of course. You shouldnít even be walking, never mind be alive and not-quite-kicking. Then he spends about 5 minutes, seems totally un-prepared for our visit, tells us he has to pull Donís MRIís and makes another appointment for next week!!! I was so pissed, I couldnít see straight. You mean, youíve had the results for 1 _ weeks and we show up, and you donít have them? After waiting over an hour in excruciating pain.?? Are you for real?

For the last month and a half, we have had to endure more torture waiting for approval of my husbandís recent treatment by the surgeon from the damn insurance company. Never mind a Pain Clinic. The doc DID prescribe something for pain (finally..first time in 3 years, and with ALL my husbandís documented injuries. It is inhumane), Tylenol with Codeine..Well, Whoopie-teee-aye-ohÖTry putting a band-aid on a heart attack, why donítcha? Then, to add insult to injury, he cuts him off after a weekís worth of codeine. What an empathetic creature.

Then he informs us that the local pain clinic doesnít accept the insurance (Workerís Comp, for Godís sake!!) my husband has. So where are we? Square ONE, thatís where. OH, the doc also said ìItís not my job to prescribe medications to anybody who needs itî, all this while Iím staring at a diploma that he got for ìPAIN MANAGEMENTî..What theÖ.????? I donít get it. OH, then he says he knows of docs in Massachusetts who prescribe Marinol (liquid THC) which is legal, but he wonít do it out of fear. Is this who I want operating on my hubby?

What a crock of crap. Who do you have to shake uncontrollably around here to get people to listen to reason? Iím the one watching my husband shuffle to the bathroom at 2:00 a.m. after hours of turning over and over in bed (like some hot dog on a grill at 7-Eleven), and dying of the pain, NEVER finding comfort, and being made to feel invisible by the health care system (and I use the term VERY loosely), a system that no more cares about my husband than they care about the elderly, the indigent or the homeless, never mind people who suffer Chronic Pain.

Who cares about Sleep Deprivation?? Who cares that you canít even lift a gallon of milk, because itís too damn heavy, or that by the time you wash your face and raise your arms for that long, youíre exhausted? Isnít this the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? But Bush procures billions to free Iraq, while my husband and I and millions of others donít have relief, not to mention the 43 million that have no health insurance. Itís an outrage, thatís what it is. DAMMIT!!

NO ONE CARES. Is there not a doctor in the house who can tell us how to get Marinol prescribed in a state where it IS LEGAL, because several of our Vietnam Vet friends have scripts for it. So whatís the deal? Maybe if my husband could get Marinol, all the extra money we have will NOT have to be spent on other medication and we can get necessities like furniture, health insurance, etc.

As it stands now, I have NO MEDICAL INSURANCE other than Medicare (thank God for that!!). I have neck and back surgeries coming up and suffer the tortures of the damned. It sure would be nice to live like a semi-normal person, but acceptance of reality is all there is.

The reality is this: Our conditions WILL DETERIORATE as we get older. Marijuana is our only source of pain relief. We go broke trying to buy it, because the ëpowers-that-beí are so damn greedy, theyíre all in ëití together. The damn drug companies, the politicians, the insurance companies, the DEA:..OH IT IS TOO HIDEOUS to talk about.

When will people see?? What can we do that Iím not already doing to speed the process along vis-‡-vis legalizing Medical Marijuana???

I welcome any feedback which could be of benefit to my husband and me. And now, my weary neck and hands retreat..more later, and thanks, as always, for listening. Hey, Doc..in case I donít get in touch before the holidays, you and your family have a fantastic Christmas and a peaceful and joyous holiday.

JC, Chronic Pain Sufferer

CHRONIC PAIN FROM HELL – Quatro – Fortuitous

ìAdventures in CHRONIC PAIN FROM HELLî
Still MORE Reasons for Legalizing Marijuana ñ NOW!
Dear Diary: Edition One
Author: Jana Christian

So living in chronic pain CAN be fun after all. Except for when you try to do things normal people do, and find your pain is now up to a level 10 on that stupid scale the doctors always use (how can you measure pain using an analogy like that??? Most of the time my pain and my husbandís is usually beyond that flimsy scale, but I digress)Ö.and youíre in a place that now feels like prison and CANíT GET HOME!! Iím talking about the casino at Foxwoods in Connecticut, my God Ödeliver us from there.

So itís been like 8 years since either of us has been there or ANY casino and NOW, they have 4 casinos which are about as easy to maneuver as a maze; I mean our heads were swimming with the teeming masses of people walking around with their heads up their collective buttsÖ.when youíre in Chronic Pain, sometimes you donít get out much and we were overwhelmed, to say the least.
Well, we immediately run over to the Wampum Club ( cuz when youíre broke, you look for cheap or free stuffÖI even bummed a Camel once to get me over the hump Öbut I digress too ).. and sign up, because of course, we have no real moneyÖ(just these 24 outdated chips circa 1993 which is the reason we came here in the FIRST place).

They explain all the benefits of owning one of these cards, and even give me a $5 food coupon because I happened to sign up in my birthday month. WOWWWWW! Iím somebody nowÖI have my Wampum Club card!

Next we head for the cage where they cash in the chips and all. But the chick at the window says ìwell, these chips went out with the cooling of the earthÖand have been recycled..we canít honor them, but if you take them to the cage in Casino 4, MAYBE they will.î [email protected]#$%&*@!!

Well, where the Hellís this magic cage? ..so we ask those helpful fellas in the brown garb that are supposed to be some kind of Indian guide, or otherÖIíd rather be lost in the Tundra with the 3 Stooges than some of these guysÖwe checked in with 3 of them and got 3 different sets of directions.

But you donít understandÖ!! weíre disabledÖhave driven 2 hours on fumes to get here just to use these discarded chips we found in the cellar ñ BURIED ñ while we were packing to moveÖwe canít walk much farther with blown discs in our necks and backs, but off we go to Casino 4Ö(mind you, by this time my husband is doing a fast burn)Öand when THAT happens, all thinking goes out the window and I become emotionally invisible and of no help, except to blabber out nonsense about what he should do (which he canít hear anyway), so I canít tell you how far we actually walked before my husband lost it and announcesÖîThatís ITÖwe are NOT leaving this place until we get some justiceÖyou mean to tell me the richest casino in the world can not offer me a lousy $24 after all the trouble we went to getting here? Are you NUTS!?îÖso off we go to another Wampum Club window so we can throw their cards in their faces along with the $5 coupon for foodÖ(I was not too thrilled with that, as my blood sugar was going down like a narc at a biker rally), but I agreed with my husband. And we were again explaining our woes to yet another employee named Linda, who used the brains God gave herÖcould see a situation about to go out of control, talked my husband downÖmade a few phone calls, and VOILAÖ

The casino manager appearsÖwalks us over to a cage, hands our chips over to the teller, gets us some real cash, and weíre setÖthat simple, and all because a few people had their eyes open while most others are members of the walking dead and donít even know it, bless their hearts. Watch out who you ask directions ofÖthey might be more lost than you..You could end up in Tel AvivÖfood for thought.

But it gets betterÖafter they finally DID honor our chips, we took about Ω hour to A) lose all the cash at the quarter slotsÖB) find another 3 ëguidesí to steer us off track on the way back to our misplaced car, which, by the way, was parked in the Handicap parking lot outside and they had directed us to the indoor garage (see we werenít even aware of the layout at Foxwoods, and felt like we had walked in circles for hours), the upshot of which is that thoí disabled and in excruciating pain, we walked almost the whole perimeter of that gigantic edifice called Foxwoods until I recognized our parking lot.

But by that time, we both needed EMS to resuscitate us, but I digress AGAIN. We made it homeÖtook two of everything, and called NO one in the morning. It was the most fun either of us has had in a LONG time.

I guess in the final analysis, we always were our own best guides to begin with. There were only 2 sets of footprints, but we know the truth. We were amazed at how little there is to miss ëout thereí.

Since the 9/11 massacre, we find peace in little things like just being able to wake up and cook a good breakfast, PAIN and all. I figure life is too short and fragile to sweat the small stuff, so I am reborn on this dayÖ.but enough about feelings.

Anyway dear diaryÖgotta work on my bookÖand get some shut-eye. I leave you with this little ditty, where there is medical weed, there is help inDEED.

angels_inc”

CHRONIC PAIN FROM HELL!! (Third Edition)

(Still MORE Reasons for Legalization of Medical Marijuana)

Author: Jana Christian
Midnight(insomnia)

I watched Real Time with Bill Maher last night, and once again, his comments on marijuana just blew me away!

One guest was Jesse Ventura, the former Governor ofMinnesota. What a breath of fresh air. They were going ’round and ’round on this issue of WHY the government can’t get its head out of its butt when it comes to legalization. Well, Jesse made the most sense when he said that the only reason they won’t legalize marijuana is because the drug companies with all their high-priced bogus man-made drugs (that half of us don’t need in the FIRST place) keep oiling the palms of the politicians to keep pot under wraps and portray it as the Devil, when we all know differently. Well, DUHHH. And you can grow a pot plant in your own backyard for nothing. And wouldn’t the bottom of the ‘war on drugs’ fall out then?

What an unforgivable waste of our money is this so-called war on drugs. Who won? NOBODY. Couldn’t this money be better-spent on feeding our own starving families in THIS country. And speaking of wars, Bush wants HOW much to keep the ball rolling inIraq?? But that’s a topic for the Smirking Chimp.com.

Meantime, in my attempt to educate the powers that be on Chronic Pain, this last Tuesday, my husband re-visited his surgeon. Hasn’t been to see him in 3 years. Three years ago, this surgeon had scheduled Don for surgery (see “Chronic Pain from Hell” (the Case for Medical Marijuana), but subsequently my husband canceled it after his doctor told him “If I were you, I wouldn’t let ME operate on you”, and gave him a 50-50 chance of paralysis.

Tuesday, x-rays were re-taken, and the doc just shook his head, and almost started crying. My husband’s neck looks like so many strands of spaghetti Ò no symmetry to it, but his lower spine has virtually disintegrated. The doctor shook his head and said “I can’t imagine how you’re still walking”. So he ordered new MRI’s on neck and lumbar spine and referred him to yet another Pain Clinic.

Two days later he gets a call from the doctor who informs him that his Workman’s Comp insurance company has gone bankrupt, and my hubby’s case has been placed in some pool of funds run by the state..oh GOD, what next?? Not another state agency. And here’s the good part. They won’t approve the MRI’s until my husband undergoes an IME (Independent Medical Exam), one of the state’s choosing..well, all I can say is [email protected]!#%$**&/. For God’s sake, he’s been out of work for 12 years and has undergone 12 surgeries. What do they want from him?

This means that the excruciating pain my husband’s in (the reason he went back to the surgeon in the first place), will just have to wait, while we wait for approval.

All of this is bad enough, but he has NO medication, and can’t GET any ’til he can get to the Pain Clinic. And to top it all off, we are out of marijuana, because we’re both on disability and can’t afford it. And WHY, because the damn government is corrupt and has no soul. And now I have to stop, because the crushed discs in my own neck are howling at the moon. More later.

Jana

PS Hey, Dr. Zombie!

PPS We did get some medication from a Guardian Angel friend of ours, so my hubby is sleeping like a baby. Beats Valium.

Partners in Pain

By: Jana Christian

I met my husband, Don, over the phone six and a half years ago. At the time, I was living with a woman who was an old friend of Don’s family. Don had called this woman and left several messages. I subsequently called him back to tell him that his friend was out of town. We talked and talked. I read him my poetry. We shared our histories. We cried. We ended up talking for four hours and made arrangements to meet for breakfast the next morning.

We met, we clicked..we meshed; we had so much in common ñ chief among those things was the fact that we had matching injuries. Ruptured discs at C5-6,C4-5, C3-4, C2-4, and L5-S1. Also, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and lots of chronic pain to boot. A match made in Heaven.

We had found our soulmate; someone to identify with, and we married thirty-five days later. Call me crazy, but that’s the way it happened. We couldn’t have found each other soon enough. Both of us were in a self-destruct mode, due to years of chronic pain, and had pretty much given up on hope.

My husband went through six doctors and two unnecessary surgeries before I met him — only to finally find out he had the largest herniated disc at L5-S1 that the doc had ever seen. At first, this last doctor accused Don of just looking for pain killers until he finally did an MRI and apologized to him with tears in his eyes..told Don he couldn’t believe he was even walking with such a large ruptured disc. His first surgery was at age 27. Since then, it’s been a never-ending saga of repeated surgeries, accusatory doctors and staff in emergency rooms..on-going agonizing pain with no relief, and finally acceptance. People just can’t understand. It’s not their fault..too bad they can’t walk in our shoes.

It is SO debilitating living this existence of constant pain 24/7 with another person suffering the same fate. Unless you have it, there’s no clear-cut way of explaining the way it alters your life. But I’ll try.

When someone says they’re in pain, just because they happen to be coiffed and buffed on the outside, does NOT mean you could ever get in touch with the pain going on inside their bodies. I wish people would have more empathy, but how could anyone know, if they’ve never experienced it?

I’m exhausted from feeling as if I have to explain my every activity to people who tell me “Gee, you look fine”. I tell them “You wanna see my X-rays”? That usually does it. One day out of seven you just might get a spurt of actual energy (don’t blow it), if you’re lucky. You race around and try to do it ALL, because for five days, your back and upper body have been useless, and now you feel guilty for not doing enough around the house.

Last week my husband and I cleaned six small windows. With his neck and shoulders (two shoulder replacement surgeries, two discectomies in his neck, and eight other surgeries), and my neck and arms (two Carpal Tunnel release surgeries last year), we had to hang low for three days, we were so exhausted.

I’ve been studying chronic pain for quite a while. I got a kick out of discovering the 3 “s’s” of chronic pain. SADNESS, SLEEPLESSNESS, and SUFFERING. I say they should add another ‘s’ for SUICIDE. Not much to look forward to.

My husband kills me. He drags his body around and tries to always be productive. He pushes himself to the point that it makes me crazy because I worry about his health, and angry, because who has to listen to him groan the next day? You guessed it. But as he likes to say, “I’m not giving in to this”. He works like a dog on our yard and garden, practically drags his hind legs, but dammit, he gets it done. He’s been such an inspiration to me, when I want to give up.

For months when both my neck and back were ‘out’, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t bend, NOR lie down and couldn’t sleep for five nights in a row sometimes and was totally losing it. I took to my bed and wanted never to emerge. If not for Don, I might still be there. Pity party’s over.

Meantime, now instead of sleeping and watching the world go by, I try to make my fingers do the talking, tho’ I can’t type for long periods or very fast (used to do 90 WPM), but doing it piecemeal is better than not at all. I’ve started yoga, because the chronic pain manuals tell you to stay in constant motion, and if I’m not in constant motion, I can only think and feel PAIN, so that’s a new behavior I’ve been doing.

We are blessed with a TENS (Transdermal Electro-Neuro Stimulator) which gives some minor temporary relief, but we maintain our constant pain with prayer and marijuana (WHEN or IF we can afford to buy it) PRIMARILY (see attached article written for Marijuana.com). We used to use alcohol for pain, only to produce more pain in other areas..so that’s out. Then there were narcotics from our doctors..Closest stuff to heroin you can get, and guess what?? No relief, so what’s the point? Gives you an idea as to the intensity of the pain.

We’ve been to physical therapy with maybe some temporary relief..done the pain clinics, been on the traction table, been through surgery, had injections, heat, pain rubs, Reiki, not to mention hypnosis, all with few, if any, results. My plan at first was to just give up if there’s no relief. But today, I know there are people out there with a MUCH worse situation than my own. I’m working on acceptance now..acceptance that my condition IS WHAT IT IS. And acceptance of the fact that I’m my own best doctor, that my pain WILL get worse, that surgery is not an option I’m willing to try on my neck just now after the nightmare stories I’ve heard (the worst ones from my husband), and acceptance that I’m not getting any younger. With these truths in mind, I’m trying to heal from the inside out starting with my attitude. All I have is today, so I better not waste a minute of it.

Today we’re watching the birds in our back yard. It’s an activity which produces much relaxation, and a positive attitude. I’ve been making them my focus, as it’s an activity I can say is very productive. I try to rise each morning with the best outlook I can muster. Some days are a wash. Other days, I actually love life. I’m practicing an attitude of gratitude as I battle my way to freedom from pain..

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