By Michelle Ann Rizzio
Although we all have an endocannabinoid system how do we know if it is or isn’t regulated? How do we discern how to properly dose ourselves with cannabis? What do we do when we over medicate with cannabis (spoiler: use CBD) ? Let alone dissect which cannabinoid or terpene we need for optimal wellness of our endocannabinoid system. Not everyone has the time to become a “cannascientist”.
I have been medicating with cannabis for a decade to provide relief of a frustrating part of my body called my L5 disc. It is everyday degenerating and the chronic pain doesn’t have plans to go away anytime soon. In my late teens and early twenties it was highly suggested that I have back surgery, that I commit to a 30 day refill of heavy muscle relaxers and opiates, and that my path was that of my L5 being my focus in life. I said no and threw myself into the Prop 215 cannabis space in 2010. I attended many lectures and symposiums in San Francisco and immersed myself into learning everything I could about this plant and what its many varieties could offer to my body. My success with pain management using cannabis in its various forms has inspired many family members and friends to turn to cannabis for their pain management as well.
I am asked a multitude of questions about cannabis daily because I am a full-time cannabis professional interacting with consumers of all types including those in the very curious world just outside the cannabis bubble. My favorite one is simple, “how do I heal myself?” The first thing I recommend is to 1. Study Thy Self. I highly recommend The Patient Journal from Gold Leaf (www.shopgoldleaf.com) if you love writing things down. This fancy journal comes prepared with leading questions to help you fine tune your cannabis therapy by listing symptoms, products, effects (both positive and negative), and how you used the product. If you’re more tech savvy and believe logging it on your phone would be more effective I love the Releaf app (www.releafapp.com). This super handy app allows you to track and log your experience with cannabis super easily from your Apple or Android phone.
Being able to have this fantastic data to review after a month, 6 months, and even a year of Studying Thy Self makes it very easy to discern how to continue providing yourself with relief and healing with cannabis. Making notes of your experiences with different cannabinoids and terpenes allows you to better explore the dispensaries offerings and makes your relationship with various cannabis brands more simplified. Seeing that CBD helps your migraines consistently, that pinene relieved you of your inflammation during work, or that THCV really assisted you with your weight loss goals can really make the difference of how you utilize cannabis down the road. As we continue to exist in an illegal federal landscape, educating ourselves with knowledge of our own body and how this plant works with us is the best way to design a structured therapy with our cannabis use. Additionally, keeping up with cannabis education is also crucial. My favorite resource for FREE cannabis education is https://www.green-flower.com/ . This website is literally like the Youtube for cannabis. It has so many areas of the cannabis space to explore, including lectures and talks from medical professionals in the field.
Take your time while immersing yourself into this rich space of taking your health into your own hands, and remember that even cannabis is not a quick fix but a therapy that will offer consistent relief and healing as you grow more familiar with your wellness needs, and the wide scope of benefits cannabis can provide.