I’d like to begin by thanking everyone for the massive amount of love and support I received from my last post. It was not easy for me to admit my cannabis use for my mental and physical health issues. There is a stigma surrounding cannabis use, and if I want that to change, I need to do something about it. It wouldn’t be right for me to advocate for a change without following through.
Since then, a lot of you have asked me how cannabis might help them. I am by no means a doctor (I don’t even play one on TV), so none of this should be taken as medical advice. I can share what works for me. Everyone is different and has a unique chemistry. What affects me one way may or may not affect you the same.
THC vs. CBD
The short answer: It depends.
Because the cannabis plant is so versatile, it can be used to treat many of my mental and physical symptoms.
If I’m not looking for a high or to treat my chronic pain and digestive issues, I look to the pie chart above to see what’s available. One of the brands that has done an amazing job of offering products in a non-smoke or vape form is LEVEL Blends. Their ProTabs (pills you swallow like a Tylenol) and Tablinguals (tablets that dissolve under your tongue) provide a discreet, traditional method of treating symptoms with cannabis-based products.
The above are just a few examples of LEVEL’s product selection. The packages are all clearly labeled with dosage information and intended usage. Yes, the Indica ProTab hit me as if I were eating any other edible on the market. Modern packaging has given birth to what is now called microdosing, defined by Leafly as:
taking small amounts of cannabis in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects that can interfere with the demands of daily life.
In other words: reaping the benefits of cannabis without getting so high we can’t function.
And when I do want to get so high I can’t function, that’s what the Indica ProTabs are for. I don’t need a bong, pipe, or lighter; I just need a glass of water.
CBD oils and lotions are being used to treat chronic pain and inflammation. One of the products that has worked best for me is the Plain Jane High CBD Body Lotion by High Gorgeous.
Hear me out. Yes, I understand it’s marketed toward women; however, it relieves my tendinitis so well, I don’t care what they put on the outside of the bottle. When my shoulder flares up, I don’t need to reach for an ibuprofen; I can just rub some of this into it and stretch a little for instant relief. Regardless, I highly recommend this for anyone who suffers from arthritis, tendinitis, swollen joints, etc.
Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid
When I do smoke to get high, I have to take into account the strain’s effects. Does it stimulate the brain? Will I get the giggles? Am I going to melt into my couch? Because I struggle with anxiety and depression, I need to look for strains that will counter those symptoms. I need to maintain a delicate balance; If I overcompensate for my depression, my brain gets overstimulated, and I get panic attacks. If I overcompensate for my anxiety, I get too lethargic.
Leafly is an amazing resource when taking all of these factors into consideration. They provide a simple breakdown of each category of strain:
- Indica: These are the strains that will make you sleepy. They’re generally used to treat insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety. One way it’s referred to is “in-da-couch”.
- Sativa: These strains will inspire the brain like a strong cup of coffee. Sativas are generally used to treat depression and inspire creativity.
- Hybrid: Any combination of two or more strains. They are usually classified as indica or sativa-dominant, depending on which strains were combined. Hybrids can be used to treat a myriad of symptoms (again dependent on strain combination) or as heavy indica/sativa strains.
You’ve probably guessed that I lean toward indica or indica-heavy hybrid strains. While it’s tempting to explore the creative aspects, sativas generally send me into major panic attacks, during which I am a danger to myself and those around me. That being the case, I tend to play it safe when selecting a strain.
Whether you’re using cannabis medically or recreationally, it’s important to pick which effects you’re looking for. If you’re at a dispensary and your budtender shoves a strain in your face without asking you what you’re smoking for, leave. Don’t look back. Be selective in your cannabis products. If you’ve never tried cannabis before, take it slow. You don’t have to run before you walk. While it’s true that it’s highly unlikely you’ll overdose on cannabis, too much of it will make you feel awful. It’s OK to start small and work your way up.
The brands and strains I’ve found work best for me in general are:
- Mendo Breath by OutCo. This is an indica that puts my mind right where I want it to be. I feel like I can finally relax; my anxiety melts away.
- Holy Grail by OutCo: An indica-heavy hybrid, it adds the euphoria I look for to treat my depression without overstimulating my mind and causing panic attacks.
- Triangle Kush by Hot Box: This one is a recent discovery, and I am so glad I came across this one. This is another indica that puts me right where I need to be: relaxed both mentally and physically.
- SD Cannabis: A branch of OutCo which, from what I’ve seen, has their top-shelf, best-of-the-best products. They’re OutCo’s luxury brand, if you will; the Lincoln to their Ford. Just half of one of their indica pre-rolls will put me right to bed within minutes. Their hybrid hits me like a strong Holy Grail and keeps me going through the day.
I cannot stress enough how important education and research are when choosing cannabis products. It’s OK to go in blindly, but make sure your budtender listens to your concerns and addresses each of them. We’re learning new facts about cannabis all the time. I am so excited about all the research being conducted and look forward to its results. It’s time to end the stigma behind cannabis and start using it for the benefits it provides.
Have you had experience with cannabis products? What works for you? Let me know in the comments.