That’s me—42-year-old mother of two—in the pictures splayed before your eyes. Me, modeling among cannabis crops with the chutzpah of Bella Hadid. Before you start calling me “bad mom,” let me explain. This is a story about destigmatizing the plant that most people perceive as a drug for stoners, demystifying the benefits of medical marijuana. This is my story.
My medical marijuana journey started four months ago at the gentle nudge from friends who were thriving from incorporating CBD and THC into their lives. I noticed they were calmer, glowier (yes, that’s a thing) and happier. I was curious. But I was also apprehensive. My last brush with weed left me begging my husband to drive me to the ER because “the aliens are coming for me with a vengeance.”
So why, you may ask, would I ever revisit marijuana? Let’s rewind back a little more. After the birth of my first child, I suffered from postpartum depression. It was the darkest period of my life. Under the care of a psychiatrist, a cocktail of antidepressants and antianxiety medications literally saved me. Fast forward to my daughter’s 12th birthday and it occurred to me it was time to wean myself off these medications because while I felt hunkydory, I felt numb (emoting felt impossible), heavier (10 pounds extra) and my energy levels were at an all-time low. My gut was telling me it was time to toss my beloved pills and take a holistic route. But let me be clear: I am not suggesting you change any medication unless you discuss it with your doctor.
I paid a visit to Dr. Michelle Weiner (double board certified in Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and expressed my desire to wean myself off my medications. I explained that my meds were making me complacent, lethargic, heavier and that I’m reaching for my Klonopin quite regularly to sleep through the night.
Dr. Weiner suggested I transition to a natural, organic solution. We explored my taking cannabidiol (CBD) to treat my 6 o’clock scaries—the time of day I feel most anxious and antsy, and oftentimes referred to as “sundowners syndrome.” CBD is void of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it has no psychoactive effects. “My patients with anxiety do well with CBD oil,” says Dr. Weiner. “I add the CBD to the current pharmaceutical until the patient feels noticeably better, meaning he/she is at the optimal dose, then slowly wean the pharmaceutical over time.”
I start with 5 milligrams (twice a day) of CBD—the nonintoxicating cannabinoid—while waiting for my medical marijuana card to see if I can achieve significant benefits. Once I get my card, I can incorporate THC (the psychoactive property in cannabis) to enhance the entourage effect because multiple cannabinoids working in synergy will have a more beneficial effect on the endocannabinoid system.
After speaking to countless friends, patients and Dr. Weiner, I’ve become fascinated with medical marijuana and its champions. I’ve met women who swear medical cannabis improved their mood, marriages and sex lives. I’ve encountered successful businessmen who benefit from the plant’s stress-melting properties. The same goes for my friend with epilepsy. People with gastrointestinal issues tell me a puff from their THC vape eases their stomach spasms. I’ve also met cancer survivors who sing the Green Goddess’ praises. Dr. Weiner has witnessed medical miracles when treating opioid addicts, chronic pain sufferers, Parkinson’s disease patients and women seeking menopause relief.
So why the stigma? More than half of all Americans have access to legal medical marijuana, which means more and more Americans of all ages are starting to use cannabis to cure what ails them. It’s high time we change the conversation and create space for understanding the wellness weed.
In my experience, a high-CBD/low-THC tincture leaves me calm, focused and more creative. I am not high but I am content. Jolly. Giddy. I am well.