Marijuana aids a plethora of medical conditions, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Studies have shown that up to 85% of women suffer from at least one of the symptoms these disorders may bring.
In the 1800s, cannabis was a common medicine use to alleviate menstrual cramps, general pain and anxiety. It went out of fashion as marijuana use became regarded as a reckless option, though it has been phased back in as the legal and societal approval of medical marijuana use increases.
Treatments for PMS and PMDD typically include pain killers, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants. Pain killers can become addictive and do long-term damage to the liver and kidneys. Muscle relaxants have similar drawbacks. Anti-depressants (such as Prozac and Zoloft) take several days to start working, so relief is not in arm’s reach. Even with the other pill options, pain killers and muscle relaxants take 40-60 minutes to kick in. Cannabis helps these symptoms immediately, much sooner than pain killers and muscle relaxants will begin to take effect. Additionally, cannabis is not physically addictive or as harmful to the human body.
These other options only address the pain of cramping, headaches and back aches. While the anti-depressant approach may help with the anxiety, it may not. Many women have to go through several different anti-depressants before finding the right one. Moreover, there is also insomnia that often accompanies these symptoms. Zolpidem (Ambien) is often prescribed to aid in sleeping. Why take three of four different pills?
Marijuana is an safer alternative that is not considered “alternative medicine”. If smoking is not the most desired activity, vaporizing or eating might be a better fit. Though eating the drug may take longer to notice the expected effect, it typically lasts longer. This is usually seen as a plus in medicine under most circumstances.
For centuries, many have suffered from their natural cycles with little or no relief in sight. Years of seeking a cure-all or a safer alternative may have finally come to an end. There are not many reasons to look further than cannabis.
Originally Published: December 9, 2011
WHEN my mother-in-law was in the final, harrowing throes of pancreatic cancer, she had only one good day, and that was the day she smoked pot.
So I was heartened when, at the end of last month, the governors of Washington and Rhode Island petitioned the Obama administration to classify marijuana as a drug that could be prescribed and distributed for medical use. While medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, it is still outlawed under federal law.
My husband and I often thought of recommending marijuana to his mother. She was always nauseated from the chemotherapy drugs and could barely eat for weeks. She existed in a Percocet and morphine haze, constantly fretting that the sedation kept her from saying all the things she wanted to say to us, but unable to face the pain without it. And this was a woman who had such a high tolerance for pain, coupled with a distaste for drugs, that she insisted her dentist not use Novocain and gave birth to her two children without anesthesia. But despite marijuana’s power to relieve pain and nausea without loss of consciousness, we were afraid she would find even the suggestion of it scandalous. This was 1997, and my mother-in-law was a very proper, law-abiding woman, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College in the 1950s. She’d never even smoked a cigarette.
But then an older family friend who worked in an AIDS hospice came bearing what he said was very good quality marijuana. To our surprise, she said she’d consider it. My husband and I — though we knew nothing about marijuana paraphernalia — were dispatched to find a bong, as the friend suggested water-processing might make the smoking easier for her. We found ourselves in a head shop in one of the seedier neighborhoods in New Haven, where my husband went to graduate school, listening attentively to the clerk as he went over the finer points of bong taxonomy, finally just choosing one in her favorite color, lilac.
She had us take her out on the flagstone patio because she refused to smoke in her meticulously kept-up house. Then she looked about nervously, as if expecting the police to jump out of the bushes. She found it awkward and strange to smoke a bong, but after a few tries managed to get in two and a half hits.
And then she said she wanted to go out to eat.
For the past month, we’d been trying to get her to eat anything: fresh-squeezed carrot juice made in a special juicer, Korean rice gruel that I simmered for hours, soups, oatmeal, endless cans of Ensure. Sometimes she’d request some particular dish and we’d eagerly procure it, only to have her refuse it or fall back asleep before taking a bite. But this time she sat down at her favorite restaurant and ordered a gorgeous meal: whitefish poached with lemon, hot buttered rolls, salad — and ate every bite.
Then she wanted to go to Kimball’s, a local ice cream place famous for cones topped with softball-size scoops. The family had been regular customers starting all the way back when my husband and his brother were children, but they hadn’t been there since her illness. My husband and I shared a small cone, which we could not finish, and looked on in awe as my mother-in-law ordered a large and, queenishly spurning any requests for a taste, polished the whole thing off — cone and all — and declared herself satisfied.
We were of course raring to make the magic happen again, but it never did. The pot just frightened her too much. She was scared her friend would be arrested for interstate drug trafficking, that my husband and I would be mugged in New Haven; she was afraid she’d become addicted or (à la “Reefer Madness”) go insane. It was difficult watching her reject something that had so clearly alleviated her nausea and pain and — let’s admit it — lightened her mood in the face of the terrible fact that cancer had invaded nearly every essential organ. And it was even worse to watch her pumped, instead, full of narcotics that made her feel horrible. The Percocet gave her a painfully dry mouth, but even ice chips made her heave. We were reduced to swabbing her lips with little sponges dipped in water, and waiting out her agony.
My husband and I have dredged up the memory of that one good day many times since, how she smiled and joked, for the last time seeming a little like her old self.
After the funeral, saying goodbye to all the family and friends, supervising the removal of the hospital bed, bedpans and related paraphernalia, one of the last things my husband and I did, under the watchful eyes of the hospice nurse, was destroy her remaining Percocets. We opened the multiple bottles and knelt in front of the toilet to perform this secular water rite, wishing there had been other days, other ways, a softer way for her to leave us.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, the author of the novel “Somebody’s Daughter,” teaches writing at Brown University.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on December 10, 2011, on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: My Mother-in-Law’s One High Day.
Win Concert Tickets At The Farm Every Saturday!
As part of The Farm’s Summer Music Therapy Series we’ll be giving members tickets to awesome upcoming summer shows. Any Member who makes a purchase is eligible. Drawings will be held every Saturday at 4:20. Don’t miss out!
Big Head Todd & The Monsters with The Barenaked Ladies – Saturday June 9th, 2012 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater
Blues Traveler with Fitz & The Tantrums — Wednesday July 4th, 2012 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater
String Cheese Incident — Saturday July 7th, 2012 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater
JOIN TODAY – THERE ARE MORE TO COME!
Every Wednesday 4-6 Farm Members can come and receive FREE Haircuts! First come, first serve – no appointment required.
The Farm’s Alpha Blue Takes 2nd Place At First Ever High Times Medical Cannabis Cup In Denver, CO
We are thrilled to have won 2nd place in the Sativa category at the High Times Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cup! Alpha Blue is a cross between Blue Dream and Sour Diesel. It has a sweet, diesely flavor and the effects are body calming with uplifted spirits. Great as a pain relieving functional, day time medicine. This Sativa is available only at The Farm.
By DJ Short – CANNABIS CULTURE
If you want the most fragrant, delicious pot on the planet, use organic nutrients and flush your buds.
If you want to grow some of the finest herb on the planet, then the True Fragrant varieties of cannabis, such as Blueberry, Blue Velvet and Flo, are an excellent place to start. I speak from experience, as I am the goddess-father of these fine products, which have all come to me from various sources and locations throughout the years. I have had an excellent and productive relationship with the herb since my early teens in the very early 1970′s. I have had the fortunate opportunity to not merely sample many of the great cannabis strains, but to have saved and grown their seeds. The last time I used any seed stock outside of my own was in 1982.
I think that my breeding successes are primarily due to a very discerning palate and sense of smell. A strong and pleasing odor is the dominant feature expressed in the True Fragrant varieties. But you must remember that subtle and subjective characteristics such as “fragrance” and “bouquet” are dependent upon their environment as much as their genetics. I cannot emphasize enough the fact that it takes the purest of environments to grow the purest of herbs.
Bio vs Hydro
The purpose of this article is to help guide you in understanding the basic needs of these and other fragrant varieties, and how to best maintain their uniqueness, originality and quality. The key word to this understanding is “organic,” or what the Europeans like to call “bio” methods of production, (as opposed to chemical and most hydroponic methods). Simply put, there is no real substitute for the complex relationship of plants and organic soil.
There are those in the hydroponic industry who will argue that certain hydroponic methods are nearly organic and very productive. I don’t disagree. However, the main focus of the hydroponic industry is that of production, or quantity, whereas my focus is on quality.
Granted, there are situations where a hydroponic system may be superior to an organic one, especially when the grower wants only one crop and the absolutely highest yield. Sadly, the fact is also that many people simply cannot tell the difference between hydro and organic products, or they simply don’t care.
The quality of the hydroponic product may be increased greatly by employing the simple “two week flush” method prior to harvest. This means that only pure water, with no additives or nutrients, be given to the plant for two weeks prior to harvest. This will only slightly decrease production, while greatly increasing the quality of the finished product.
I have found that generally the potency of a given variety of cannabis has to do with the ratio of glandular secreted resins, compared to the overall fibre production of the plant. A higher ratio of resin to fibre generally indicates the superior quality and chemical composition of the resin, and the greater potency of the product. Therefore, in order to maintain potency while increasing production, this ratio must be maintained. It has been my experience that the more one increases the fibre production and overall size of a given plant, the more one decreases this ratio and, therefore, decreases potency.
This quality/quantity ratio is much less of a concern to the grower who is producing in the great outdoors. I can honestly say from experience that all of the “True Fragrant” varieties are major producers when grown in their particular “sweet spot.” Blueberry and Flo have both reached 500 grams per plant, multi-harvested between October 1 and November 7, grown near the 45th parallel in the Pacific Northwest. These plants lost little of their overall appeal despite the increase in production. However, the product of the smaller plants still tended to be more desirable than the larger ones in the outdoor environment.
Someday, when we are allowed to properly produce herb in the great outdoors, we will once again see and experience some of the truly finest examples the planet has to offer. These “fine herbs” come from very specific geographic locations which I refer to as “sweet spots.” Certain examples would be: The Northern Californian-Southern Oregon coastal regions; the highland Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas regions of Mexico; highland and valley Colombia; Thailand; the islands of Hawaii; Nepal; parts of Afghanistan; and the Hindu Kush, to name but a few. It is in these “sweet spots” that the most favorable and specifically desirable characteristics are acclimated phenotypical. Selective inbreeding hardens the desirable characteristics and gives us specific, varied strains. I am very curious to see and experience exactly what our years and multi-generations of indoor breeding are going to produce when returned to these great outdoor “sweet spots.”
Indoor environments are extremely limited in comparison to the great outdoors. The outdoors is a complete and complex system, balanced by many various circumstances. It is sometimes difficult enough to help provide and maintain the proper balances organically in an outdoor garden. Yet although properly providing and maintaining an organic environment indoors is truly a challenge to face, it is not impossible.
Airborne, soil-born, and water-born pests, fungus, mold, algae and bacteria are just a few of the organisms that can attack a crop and seriously weaken production. It is often too easy to treat these maladies with simple applications of toxic chemicals, and a bit more difficult to solve the problem in a clean and organic way. Yet here are a variety of adequate organic pesticides and fungicides on the market today. There are also living organisms such as specific predator insects and nematodes. If you feel you must use a commercial chemical product, try to find the least toxic one available for the purpose, and use sparingly. Never apply anything toxic to your plants once they’re in the budding cycle.
Another factor to consider is what to use as vitalizers and fertilizers. The bulk of commercial fertilizers and vitalizers (along with most commercial pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) are synthesized from petrochemical by-products and are not truly natural products. Worms, seaweed, bat and bird guano, fish, green manures and most of their by-products are examples of substances that are naturally produced that provide plenty of good, clean nutrients to the plant. There are now many specific products suited for the indoor organic gardener. Consult your local or favorite organic garden centre for more detail.
Flush your buds!
The most important, and perhaps the most simple, aspect to consider involves the last two to three weeks of the bud cycle ? the last two to three weeks of the plant’s life prior to harvest. It is during this time that absolutely NO additives, other than pure water, be given to the plant. This is especially important if you have been using chemical fertilizers.
This is the time when the bulk of the final, “useable” part of the plant is produced. As you may well already know, there are over four hundred separate chemicals associated with cannabis and her effects. It is during the final bud-building stage that most of these chemicals are produced. Thus, it is very important to give the plant as much pure water as possible during this crucial period. I like to remember it as the “rinse” and “flush” cycle. Simply remember to give the plants only water for the last two to three weeks in order to rinse and flush them clean. This is to purge unwanted impurities from the plant.
Pot that has been fertilized right up to harvest is harsh to smoke, sometimes the joint will even sizzle and pop as unmetabolized fertilizer salts combust. Un-flushed pot leaves black ash, is hard to keep lit and burns your throat. Pot which has been organically grown and properly flushed is more flavourful and fragrant, burns easily, leaves grey ash, is easier on the throat and is much more pleasurable to smoke.
Here is an interesting article highlighting the benefits of medical marijuana that was posted on the cancer site Livestrong.
Marijuana (cannabis) is an illegal drug formed from the dried leaves and flowers of a plant called Cannabis sativa. The effects of this drug are produced by the active chemical found in marijuana–THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The use of medical marijuana is focused on applying the beneficial effects of this drug to a patient in an effort to improve the patient’s overall quality of life. The beneficial use of medical marijuana continues to be highly contested–as of 2010, only the District of Columbia and 14 states have enacted laws to protect the rights of a patient to use medical marijuana.
One of the major benefits associated with medicinal marijuana use is the relief of chronic or neuropathic pain. A study published in February 2009 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology examined the effect of medical marijuana treatment in HIV patients who experience neuropathic pain. In this study, Dr. Ellis and colleagues found that 46 percent of patients administered medical marijuana experienced at least a 30 percent reduction in pain. In contrast, only 18 percent of patients administered placebo achieved similar results.
Use of marijuana stimulates the body’s metabolism and causes users to experience an increase in appetite. Numerous disease states–including cancer and HIV–can cause symptoms of decreased appetite to develop in affected patients. If this occurs, patients often lose significant amounts of weight, which can be detrimental to the disease recovery process. The human body requires energy–in the form of ingested food–to fight infection and heal cell or tissue damage. In patients who experience decreased appetite due to a specific disease, medical marijuana may be helpful in appetite stimulation. Medicinal marijuana can signal a food craving within a patient’s body, encouraging the patient to eat to provide energy to the body.
Many patients experience nausea or vomiting due to certain diseases or treatments, such as chemotherapy. The National Cancer Institute reports that THC–the active ingredient in marijuana–may decrease symptoms of nausea or vomiting in certain cancer patients. Controlling such symptoms in diseased patients can improve a patient’s quality of life and may make certain patients more receptive to disease treatment.
Inhalation of marijuana smoke relaxes the muscles within the body. Patients who experience frequent muscle tightness or twitching (spasticity) often have difficulty completing normal tasks associated with daily activities. Such patients may benefit from the use of medical marijuana, as this drug can help reduce symptoms of muscle tension or muscular aches or pains. This form of treatment may increase a patient’s ability to move normally and can promote a more positive quality of life.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/85963-benefits-medical-marijuana/#ixzz1DVPBbkWK
Regulation of Medical Marijuana
In 2000, Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 which legalized the use of marijuana for
certain medical conditions. The Department of Public Health and Environment administers the medical
Since voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000, the number of people in the state who are
legally allowed to purchase marijuana has steadily increased. Continue reading