I recently was speaking with someone about our Bulldozer Health Inc. project, and telling them that medicinal cannabis changed my life for the better. The use of it, allowed me to get through the withdrawal process from pharmaceutical drugs with fewer symptoms. It also effectively replaced 7 pharmaceutical drugs in a months time. Over time, it replaced 15 of the 16 pharmaceutical drugs I had been placed on.
This organic medicinal treatment decreases the pain, anxiety, depression, and overall body inflammation that I suffer from in a more complete way than the pharmaceutical drugs ever had. But as I was discussing this with the person, I felt that twinge in my stomach that I get when they ask the question, “Well, how do you use it? You don’t smoke it do you?” After over a year of discussing this with people, this is still the most dreaded question that I receive. I think it is because people often have an uninformed and reflexive prejudice against smoking cannabis and calling that smoking, “medicine”. This prejudice may even extend to its users. It’s interesting, because I feel this attitude of condemnation has improved toward those who cook it into their food, or use the oil or tincture, but not towards those who smoke it. I find myself having to qualify that I “only smoke it when I need to quickly bring pain down, or reduce anxiety”. When the truth is, I really shouldn’t have to explain at all. Cannabis is my medicine, and smoking it is an acceptable route for this medicine.
I have been reading articles related to the link of cancer to the smoking of cannabis. The fact is there are concentrations of certain hydrocarbons, in the cannabis when it is smoked. This has caused some fear that chronic smoking of cannabis may increase risk factors similar to those that increase when someone is smoking tobacco. But cannabis smoke also contains cannabinoids such as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabinoid). These are non-carcinogenic, and in fact, show some anti-carcinogenic properties, in the articles I looked at.
So the fact is, the use of cannabis by the route of smoking has not been definitively linked to cancer in humans, including those cancers associated with tobacco use. And it may even decrease cancer risk. I tell people this, and they look at me with the kind of look that one gives a two-year old when they come out of a room after being quiet for 10 minutes and you ask, “What have you been doing? ” and they respond, “Nothing”. I tell them at that point to do their own research so that they can see it with their own eyes. I feel everyone should do this anyway for all matters related to their health or any substance that they are going to put into their body. This is part of what health empowerment is all about.
There are times that I feel very bold. At a big event not too long ago, I said, “I use cannabis daily, and when I smoke it, I do inhale”. Everyone laughed. My attempt at a joke was to be bold and state it up front, giving people cause to think over their opinions about it. When one on one with someone though, if I am feeling bold, I look someone directly in the eye and say with conviction, “I cook it into my food, juice the leaves, and smoke it a couple of times a day. I smoke it also if I need quick pain or anxiety relief”. For some reason, I find it necessary to let them know that my route of choice is eating and juicing it, not smoking it.
So I had to examine whether the need to explain how I use the medicine, was purely for their education, or because I had a residual prejudice myself against smoking it. Or if I was worried I might lose some credibility with the person if I boldly stated I was a cannabis smoker. I think the truth lies in some combination of all that.
I have decided that in the future when someone learns that I use cannabis medicinally, and asks, “Do you smoke it?”, I am simply going to say yes, and see what comes next. This way, I am not encouraging people to continue the stigma against the smoking route of this important medicine.
I also want to point out, that when I was being infused with Remicade every six months to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, no one asked me, with that judging look in their eyes, “Are you shooting up that drug that can cause cancer?” They didn’t because infusion of Remicade and drugs like is, is a widely socially acceptable route to take with a pharmaceutical drug. Additionally, it is thought that the cancer causing element to this drug is a risk that is acceptable to take. I used to be one of those people, but that is no longer true. I’ll take the risks that go along with the medicinal use of cannabis over that any day, no matter the route I take for its use.
Yes, my name is Wendy Love Edge, and I smoke cannabis daily.
Take back your health America!
Wendy Love Edge