With all the chat about the legalization of the Devil’s lettuce going on, it was only a matter of time before I decided to weigh in on the subject of cannabis oils. Granted, I came from a generation that might be less inclined to know a heck of a lot about any cannabis health benefits. Due to a continuous cycle of misinformation from doctors and government, the closest we were going to get to knowledgeable “experts” were VHS rentals of Cheech and Chong that stunk like cheap weed.
Now before you start making assumptions about my moral purity, know that I never smoked the stuff and never will. Truth be told, I have a fairly low opinion of those that do. Not that I wasn’t surrounded by it growing up in “Smallville”, Manitoba. Many of the young populations in small towns didn’t have a lot of creativity in dealing with boredom. As such, the local pusher who went by the name of “Peach Cool” was always there to help the kids out. Not me though. I instead rode around on a BMX, hoarded comic books and dressed up like a ninja.
Fast forward to today where doctors in multi-billion dollar research facilities are extracting cannabis oils for public consumption. What earned someone an express-ticket to the eternal grill of the Beastmaster only a few years back, is now a available as a fairly benign health supplement.
HOW TO OBTAIN IT. LEGALLY.
Roughly a year ago, I too managed to obtain a prescription for CBD and THC oil in an effort to combat muscle pain and sleep issues. The process was easy enough. I simply booked an appointment at a local clinic that deals in cannabis prescriptions. Know this…you will get a prescription. You can walk in, say everything is perfect and still get that paper signed. Hell, I was half tempted to say I planned on chugging the whole bottle once I got to the parking lot to see if the doctor would care.
After you get the paper, they send you down the hall to the supplier who I’m sure in no way buys golf trips and cool swag for the doctors in exchange for sending clients their way. You then choose your supplier based on the advice from some overly pierced millennial whose face looked like it fell into a tackle box, and away you go. Within days you get access to online ordering from big-name companies like Tilray or CannTrust which limits you to a certain quantity per month. Try to not look like a guilty criminal when signing for the parcel at the post office.
Now based on your prescription, you will order one of two types of oil: CBD, THC, or a combination of the two.
CBD oil is the decaf coffee of cannabis. It has most of the benefits without making you convinced you’re Napoleon. It’s kind of a Jack-of-all-trades solution for many issues. According to Leafly, CBD is most commonly used for:
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Pain and inflammation
- PTSD and anxiety
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Opioid withdrawal
Odds are most people will be satisfied with CBD and not have a reason to move into THC or a mixture. However, there are instances where this might be a better move.
THC Oil is the stuff associated with psychotropic effects, and as such requires a bit more thought into dosage. Straight dosages are generally reserved for patients who suffer from levels of physical or mental discomfort that go beyond what CBD can handle. And despite what you might think, it will not turn you into a stoner. Well, not unless you go beyond your prescribed dosage anyway.
One cannot say what a every persons response to THC is, as everyone is different. Since I decided to draft myself as a human lab-rat, I only took a few doses of straight THC during moments of extreme back pain and the results were…mixed.
The first time I took a normal dose I woke in the night close to a “freak out” moment. It was decidedly unpleasant and required steady breathing to calm myself down. The effects however diminished rapidly by the third night. So either my body adapted or I officially became a pothead. Nobody up here would notice anyway, as half of Canadians appear stoned due to a diet of Kraft Diner and the cheap Tim Horton’s sewer-backup that passes for coffee up here. After just one week I decided not to use straight THC anymore as it was just too much.
For me, this was far and away the ultimate choice to go with. CBD has a wonderful side effect of putting the brakes on THC effects. THC in turn, seems to amplify the benefits of CBD. I opted for a 50/50 blend before bedtime which provided the perfect solution to muscle pain and anxiety. While some might experience a twinge of THC effects, I did not.
Normal dosage during the day remained a pure CBD oil. I take it on and off as needed and generally only require my 50/50 blend one or twice a week.
While I am pleased with my CBD and THC oils, I also want to set aside any expectations some may have of a health miracle. The fast influx of legalized cannabis has every snake-oil salesman coming out of the woodwork to promise a cure from erectile-dysfunction to cancer. In truth I found the effects generally subtle, and not at all impairing. I slept better when it was needed, but my general vitality and stamina remained the same.
Regarding claims of curing cancer, I also know a lot of potheads who are dead in the ground from it, so I’m putting a BS stamp on that claim just from personal observation. It may very well help with unpleasant symptoms during treatment, but keep your expectations of developing a Wolverine-level immune system in check.
I’m going to give a general thumbs up to cannabis oils since there’s really no harm in at least giving CBD a shot. Just be sure to pursue medical grade, as over-the-counter hemp CBD is not the same quality stuff, and has often been found to contain little CBD at all. If you want the real deal, you need to go through a trusted supplier.