Recently, I took a friend to a recreational marijuana shop here in Boulder. I introduced her to THC-A, a newly discovered cannabinoid that has no psychoactive effect. Like me, she has Multiple Sclerosis and was looking for something to help with inflammation and overall health.
I started taking THC-A sometime in 2017 when I first found out about it from my friend Karin, founder of Sweet Mary Jane. Karin is incredibly knowledgeable about all things cannabis, and always on the cutting edge. I love learning about hemp, marijuana, and the like from her.
I want to briefly touch on THC before we get to THC-A. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive component of marijuana. I do not like it. I don't want to get high and this is the cannabinoid that creates a feeling of euphoria along with the munchies, and whatnot. Personally, I'm not very well versed in that. I've heard that THC is fantastic for pain control, but thankfully, that's not an issue for me. I walk and work out every day which seems to prevent the muscle spasms that most folks with MS deal with.
THC-A, or Tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid, is a precursor to THC. Simply put, THC-A is the unheated form of THC. I love THC-A because you get the benefits of the herb without the high. It's the perfect thing for a middle-aged woman like me.
I have a friend in California, a hippie in his late 70's who grows cannabis in his back yard. He eats it raw, on his salad every day, and this way he gets the benefit of the whole plant without the high. One day, he decided to have soup for lunch and he tossed his weed into it. He told me he was higher than a kite. Why? He had heated the plant in his soup, converting THC-A into THC. Big mistake if you are avoiding psychotropic effects when you take cannabis.
I've studied herbs since 1993, and I look at marijuana as a plant-based remedy. It is not perfect, but like many plants, it has numerous uses and benefits. As with most herbs, I believe in ingesting a complete form of the plant. Given that I don't grow marijuana, this becomes a bit complicated.
Right now I'm using a product from Sweet Mary Jane that is a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC-A. I take it before bed. Every now and then my neck acts up and applying this oral tincture to my neck, thereby using it as a topical treatment, relieves that pain in a couple of minutes.
I do a lot of things to improve my health. Although I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, I recently learned that I've actually suffered from it since 1993. Given that I've been living with this disease for almost 30 years, it seems like my lifestyle strategies are working fairly well. Still, one of the issues is that I do so many things at once that I can't really tell what the exact benefits are from each treatment. Some of us don't have the time to do one thing at a time, and I'm ok with that. I generally think that using this 2:1 tincture each night has been helpful. Can I tell you exactly why? No.
If you're looking for more in-depth information on Marijuana, you might like to read the book, A Woman's Guide to Cannabis, by Nikki Furrer, a cannabis lawyer, cultivator, and CEO of Fleur, a cannabis company that develops products with a focus on women’s health. It came out at the end of 2018 and is full of incredibly up-to-date information on the budding herb industry.
Cannabis, or medical marijuana, is thought to relieve inflammation, pain, and the symptoms of arthritis and seizures. I first wrote about it here in an article called, Top Five Alternative Treatments for Epilepsy. In that piece, I described the benefits of Charlotte's Web, a strain of medical marijuana high in CBD, along with the Keto Diet, as optimum alternative treatments for some seizure conditions. Given that more than 20% of epilepsy patients get absolutely no relief from pharmaceutical treatment,1 it is cruel to not make alternatives like cannabis available to them.
Have you tried medical or recreational cannabis? Is medical marijuana legal in your state? Here in Colorado cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use, and its sale is highly regulated and heavily taxed. If you have used cannabis, what was your experience? Has it been helpful or harmful? Leave a comment and let me know!