Up in Vape
Vaping Marijuana and Pain
Greetings and salutations from your friendly neighborhood Vaping Man! Hahaha, a bit of humor before we get started on this week’s column, which will discuss medical marijuana and chronic pain. I am getting, in my mind at least, way behind in getting my columns out in a timely manner. I know, I know, and all y’all that deal with chronic pain know each day is an adventure.
Which Tim Will We Get Today?
I often wonder which ‘Tim’ is gonna get up in the morning. It varies from day to day, sometimes it varies from hour to hour or even minutes to minutes. There are those days when I’m hurtin’, but if it is anything major I can take one of my Morphine pills and be good for a few hours, and I can get done whatever it is I need to get done…no problem. Then it could be the ‘Tim’ that gets up hurtin’ big time, one of those days where, if need be, I could possibly go out and get whatever needs to be done done… not without a decent rest period in between tasks and its gonna take more than one of my Morphine pills to get me through a day like that.
Mind you, even though I go out and do what I need to do, I pay for it big time, as in, I will pass out early, sometimes around 8:00-9:00 pm. Or…it could be the exact opposite, I might not sleep, or I will pass out and then wake up around oh… might be midnight, 1,2 3 am, I never know how it’s gonna turn out.
THEN, there are those days when I wake up hurting like hell, can barely move because my back and legs are so FU*KED UP, all I want to do is get semi- horizontal, cuddle up to my favorite mod or 2, cover my legs so when our 19-year-old cat decides she NEEDS to use my lap as her sleeping spot for the next 8 hours. Needless to say, I have more of the latter days than of the former days. Even though I hurt and really don’t want to move, there are days when shit has gotta get done and seeing as how I am the only one at home at the time, I have the pleasure of getting these things done. I don’t usually mind as I can hopefully get out, move around, maybe feel somewhat better… yea…right. Not always but sometimes it works out that way. How about you? Does any of this sound familiar?
Can Marijuana Play a Role in Our Pain Relief?
What to do, what to do… Actually….it is more like…what to take, what to take… to quell this pain and still function? I’m not saying drink a 5th of bourbon, vodka, or whatever your favorite adult type beverage may be, or anything so destructive. Besides, you drink a 5th of anything besides water, iced tea, or sodas, you won’t be able to function. At least I wouldn’t be able to function. So, this week I want to touch on something that has been on my mind more often than not these days. That is… medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Scary
“What is medical marijuana?” I’m glad you asked! After doing a bit of research online, (Remember….Google is your friend!) I found many references to medical marijuana. Actually there is no, zero, nada, no difference between what one can buy from their supplier (drug dealer), and medical marijuana. How about that one? Thought there was a difference didn’t ya? So did I! I figured there was some strain, or additive, hell I don’t didn’t have any idea what the difference was between them, but shouldn’t there be?
So, from what I was able to glean from my research was that there are so many different strains of cannabis that it is extremely difficult to put them into some type of category. Most of you know, or maybe you don’t, that the two most common strains of cannabis are; Sativa and Indica.
However, even though we hear that when you get you 4-finger bag of Sativa or Indica they probably aren’t… they are all hybrids, all or most of all strains of cannabis are hybrids, another fact that I did not know.
“So….Tim, what the hell does this have to do with vaping?” I’m glad you asked, because what y’all may or may not know is that vaping marijuana is a hell of a lot easier on your body than rolling a joint, or filling your bong, hookah, or what have you. Here are four interesting facts I found about vaping marijuana; they are:
1: Vaping marijuana eliminates a lot of the harmful toxins found when burning marijuana. Smoking marijuana is safer than smoking cigarettes, but, there are those pesky toxins you need to be aware of.
Vaping, on the other hand, heats marijuana up to a temperature that evaporates the active ingredients yet it doesn’t get too hot and combust or burn. Those who vape marijuana can avoid all those nasty toxins that are found in cigarettes.
2: Vaping marijuana is also healthier on your lungs; there have been studies that show while vaping, as we all know, is 95% better than smoking cigarettes. It was also shown in one study vaping causes little to none lung issues. Some research scientists have reached the conclusion that vaping appears to have some potential to minimize some respiratory problems. The end, in some cases, it turns out to be that switching to vaping just might be good for your health!
3: Vaping marijuana brings faster relief for pain issues. Some folks might prefer to put marijuana into brownies, or make up some marijuana butter, what have you. It has been proven that vaping marijuana is way faster, gets into the system faster, then consuming any edibles. Edibles have become extremely popular as has vaping marijuana, be it at the street level or what you purchase from a marijuana “pharmacy”. Eating marijuana has a tendency to sit in your gut and takes longer to get into your system. So, vaping is the way to go, if you ask me.
4: Vaping marijuana has way less side effects overall; medical marijuana users, even recreational users, already know that the side effects are minor.
There are lots of us who live in states that do not have legalized marijuana, and therefore pain relief through vaping marijuana isn’t an easy option. My state of Florida is one of those states. However, I know there is another bill in the Florida state legislature that could make medical marijuana a real option. From what I hear it stands a good chance of passing…this time. Last year or the year before, it came up but it was SO restrictive that it was no wonder it didn’t pass. That said, most of those who vaped marijuana for pain relief felt more functional and had less side effects, so this is an issue that should be resolved by every state.
I’m not saying that marijuana, be it medical or otherwise, is the way to go in every case, but there are quite a few conditions that folks suffer with and might find relief via vaping marijuana. Among those; pain, spasms, nausea and/or a lack of appetite. Seizures, of which there are a wide variety of different types of ‘seizure’ resulting from various injuries or accidents.
Most typically you’ll find our brave men & women in the military, who have suffered TBI or traumatic brain injury would be a big one. I think treating TBI’s with medical marijuana would be helped by vaping marijuana. Epilepsy being another condition that could be helped by vaping medical marijuana. On a personal note, there is also anxiety disorders, of which my daughter suffers after her stint with the U.S. Army. I could go into much more details about this, however I think ya’ll get the idea.
Medical Marijuana is controversial I know, but I didn’t write this to stir up more controversy, but rather to give some thought on the subject. We need to rid ourselves of the ginned up hysteria that goes all the way back to “Reefer Madness” nonsense, and talk about the possibilities of real, genuine benefits of this plant that is so maligned.
Those of us who do suffer from intense chronic pain will do damn near anything to make the pain go away. When I was a kid in my late teens I smoked pot on occasion. I did again after I had gotten through Army basic training, through my school and then on to my duty station, only on very rare occasions. In Germany, where I was stationed for a bit, it was hash, which I really liked, (who doesn’t Tim? – ed) it didn’t take long to get totally toasted, in a good way. Then I became a cop, so for the next ten to twelve years I didn’t touch the stuff.
After all that I went into Corrections, and then I got hurt, and that is when my use of marijuana started up again. Only for a short time though, once the state decided on random urine tests I couldn’t take the chance, I needed my job more than I needed pot.
Once I retired, it was an on again off again use, and finally…I got older, and my views on pot changed. I was never against it personally, I feel now that maybe we should legalize it, tax the shit out of it, and be done with it. But we can’t do that because we’re supposed to civilized! My ass, we aren’t nearly as civilized as most people think.
Medical Marijuana and Vaping for Pain Relief
All I am trying to do here folks is to get y’all ta thinking, as the saying goes…think outside the box (mod). We deal with pain, day in day out, I don’t think any one of us who suffers from chronic pain has a day when the pain isn’t there, and whatever works should at least be considered, including marijuana.
So, give me your thoughts on this, are those of us who live in states that won’t or don’t consider medical marijuana as a viable treatment modality, do we need to take our plight to the politicians, or the media, or…. will it even matter? Look what happened last week with the FDA and electronic cigarettes. All the talk, all the petitions, all the email, none of it changed the outcome on the federal level. But on the state level, this is where we have hope, both for vaping e liquid and marijuana.
I would argue that vaping marijuana is a viable treatment modality, that more doctors who deal in it with it see a marked improvement of their patients. No, I’m not about to say…. “hey let’s legalize pot”, and that’s it. No, there HAS to be some regulations in order for it to be considered as a form of treatment. What will it treat, what form will it be, leaf, powder, pills…? There is a lot to consider when moving forward with something that has been stigmatized for decades. I believe that Florida and other states that are considering a bill for medical marijuana could take a page from California and Colorado. I think Washington state and Washington DC, as well as Oregon have, or may be considering, a bill for medical marijuana, or legalized marijuana, I may well be wrong on that last part, so please let me know if I am.
That is gonna do it for me this week folks. Gonna proofread and print a copy and send this to my Spinfuel columns folder on my laptop. It’s been an interesting topic I think; one I am sure will generate some comments. I’m just gonna say good day and good bye until next week my friends.
Be well, stay safe, God bless, and….VAPE ON!