My name is Karin and I am an alcoholic. I have spent the past 27 years abstinent from all mind altering drugs, pills, booze, medications, etc. I have found peace within myself and have helped others afflicted with the disease of alcoholism through working a 12 step program. I was dying from drug addiction and these 12 steps showed me design for living that I will always respect and be grateful for what I have learned. What also came for me in those 27 years is living life and the dreaded aging process. Having fun, challenging myself physically, having a family, carving out careers and finding adventures has been part of what makes me happy. What I did not expect to find was Cannabis. Cannabis was called “pot” when I stopped smoking it and it was the “gateway” drug straight to hell.
My story with Cannabis started when a dear friend of mine told me she had stage 4 colon cancer and was given 3-6 months to live. She was 49 years old and this news was devastating. She was not the kind of person to sit back and let cancer dictate her circumstances so we got busy looking for alternatives. She found that vaping Cannabis was the only treatment that helped her sleep and minimize her pain from the cancer and traditional cancer treatments. Her appetite was gone and Cannabis was the only “medicine” that helped her get food down! Along with Cannabis she sought help from other countries that provided treatments not approved here in the United States. My friend lived for 2 ½ years after her diagnosis. She was 51 years old and 18 years sober when she passed away from cancer in December 2013.
This experience made me start to dig further, find stories, find more studies and listen to what people were using Cannabis for, other than just “getting high”. I was blown away to find there is a medicinal side to Cannabis that I never knew existed. I opened my mind to something that for 25 years I told myself was bad and would kill me if I ever used it. I was completely opposed to pot. I had been appalled at the dispensaries on every other corner opening in my neighborhood and was furious they were there.
As my own curiosity grew, I contacted a company who created topical creams and potions infused with Cannabis. The owner told me that I would not get high using their products which I wanted to try for a massage oil to help relieve pain and inflammation. He sent me samples with his word that I would not get high. Much to my relief (both physically and mentally) I did not get high using these lotions and potions. What I did get is serious pain relief, better sleep and I have not taken arthritis medicine for almost 2 years. Oh, that fabulous arthritis medicine that was prescribed by my doctor, I had to have my liver tested for damage from the prescription drug in order for it to be refilled every three months. I’m pretty sure that is code for “not good for my body”!