Gina G. Testimonial
I began my cannabis journey in 2008. I had been through several medical issues and each one became worse the more “help” I received from standard medical professionals or the Veterans Administration.
I needed to do something quick because it was becoming apparent that the doctors were not communicating between each other and one illness that was treated with pharmaceuticals soon triggered another illness because of the side effects.
In comes cannabis. At first I thought, oh yeah, sure this is going to help. I smoked it everyday and found it helped for taking the edge off my pain but I didn’t feel it was quite doing the trick.
Then I met a couple of people who taught me how to make a product called FECO. Full Extract Cannabis Oil is AMAZING STUFF. Because this allowed me to sleep, it helped with the pain and I felt I didn’t need the narcotics as much.
I had been on several medications and not all of them had been removed. I was told to keep taking them until THEY (the doctors) felt I no longer needed them. I went through pain contracts and having the VA with their fingers where they don’t belong. Especially since nothing they were doing was helping me.
Then I found the directive allowing me, as a veteran, to use cannabis. That finally opened a lot of doors for me.
Here is a list of my medical issues throughout my ordeal of detoxing from pharmaceuticals.
My Issues were and are these. The asterisked ones are no longer an issue:
Facet Joint Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease
****Severe Leg Cramps (Intensity has decreased since I have been on Cannabis)
Chronic Dry Eyes
I have had multiple surgeries. Many of which didn’t work well and left me with more pain, (for example my knees, stomach, intestines, hands and feet.) All these areas had surgeries and all still have issues (pain, cramps etc).
On one of my knee surgeries they did a nerve block, nicked the nerve and I was paralyzed for 6 months. Then I had a year of physical therapy that was needed. I still have lingering issues from that surgery as well.
In 2008/2009 I learned to make F.E.C.O. and that was the beginning of my new life. I researched and found that people were using Naphtha and Isopropyl alcohol to make RSO. I just couldn’t get behind those ingredients, coming from the military where MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) are a big deal. I looked the ingredients up in those sheets and they all said NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION or INGESTION and the symptoms were not favorable. Then I found a couple of guys making it with Grain Alcohol. I made a batch. (Everclear or Clear Spring)
One drop 3 times a day until I reached a gram a day. PERFECT but it tasted like crap and I couldn’t take the flavor of cannabis. So I put it in capsules and it worked great for me. ½ gram in the morning and ½ gram at night. Cancer patients use this dosage as a way to treat themselves for cancer. I figured if it’s strong enough for cancer it might help me. I have since lowered my dose to ½ gram a night. But I also use a canna-balm and I smoke it as well. If my pain is bad on a certain day, I take another ½ gram capsule of oil to help with the extra pain. WITHOUT this medicine I cannot function, I can’t do anything without it. I feel alive when I’m using it.
The one in the daytime is made with a sativa and I throw in a bit of indica because THAT is what works for “ME”. Night time doses are made with high indica strains. HIGH CBD strains or CBD only oil… Just does not work for me…it does not work for everyone. Most of us need the whole plant.
I also make a balm that I rub into my joints when I hurt too much and it works great. The balm is made from cannabis oil as well and has other herbs such as lavender, arnica, comfrey, some jojoba and lanolin and beeswax etc… works wonders!
Don’t get me wrong, the pain is always there, and SOMETIMES just as bad as when I was on the pharmas. The difference now is I am not becoming worse with NEW illnesses that will come around from the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
I know that many of my issues (Facet Joint Disease, Bulging Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoarthritis, Sciatica, Fibromyalgia) may be with me for the rest of my life. But now dealing with them no longer is destroying my body from the side effects of what my doctors were prescribing earlier.
I am treating the disease, not the symptoms, and I have a clearer head. I can think where I couldn’t before. I used to spend so much time in bed just wanting to die. Now I am a functioning member of society. I can get to the state Capitol and help to save my medicine. I can go into town and help the economy; I am not costing taxpayers money by taking VA prescribed drugs. I take care of my self with my own medications.
Here is a list of the Medications I used to be on or have been on:
Bupropion (been on different antidepressants this was the latest one)
This doesn’t include all the vitamins and minerals I was on, which I now, for the most part, get through what I eat or drink. Plus growing some of my own food helps. This whole process has taken me since 2008 when I first started until last week when I finally removed myself from Levothyroxine, my last pharmaceutical that I was taking.
I have spent years coming up with the right combination of cannabis plants that work for me and I have spent much time researching. This is something that medical professionals don’t have the time to do for me or they have no desire to do. The doctors I have been seeing DO NOT talk to each other and my health was deteriorating FAST. I needed to take charge of my care and by using cannabis, it seemed like a safe place to experiment.
My doctors at the VA would not help me remove myself from my traditional medications. I pretty much had to do it on my own. I still have most of the pain issues since so far my joints have not started generating new bone or cartilage, but there is nothing cannabis can’t do to help me for the most part. I need the WHOLE plant to make my medicines. Not just a certain compound. For a 90-day supply of oil it takes approx 1 ½ pounds to make it. And that is just for a 90-day supply. So I have to keep making it just to stay in control of my pain. BUT IT DOES WORK. I grow my own and am not asking for anything more than the 15 plants I am allowed already. Six plants WILL NOT WORK for the majority of patients. We are not recreational users. An ounce won’t cut it for most of us. When growing, if some plants die and we are only allowed 6, there is no way that amount would take care of all my issues. I barely make it with the 15 I have. In Eastern Washington, the growing season is not long, most people cannot and will not spend money they need for food or clothing on cannabis. They will grow their own. Most of these people can only grow one time a year, and to make it even more difficult, they live off the grid and have to use generators.
The strains I use, may work for me and my issues but they may not work for someone with Epilepsy or Glaucoma for example. This GREAT PLANT has many strains and each person can tailor their health care plan to fit THEIR Needs. It’s worth taking the time to see what strains work for you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Believe me, I am not alone. And I am only one in a sea of patients with worse issues than mine. If you are fighting us being allowed to keep medical cannabis in Washington State, I hope it doesn’t take you having a family member finding they benefit from this plant, and you did everything in your power to remove it, to make you see that this is Medicine and not just something for Recreation. Think about it!