My continuing adventures with medical marijuana

I started out smoking my pot with a homemade pipe, but I hated that pipe, so I got a store bought one, but I hated it too. I then bought a bong, and it’s far superior to the pipes, but I would prefer to not smoke anything, so last week, I threw two cups of marijuana leaves into a pint of olive oil, and heated the oil at 220° F (104° C) for two hours. The result was neither pretty nor tasty, yet palatable enough on toast. The only real downside to the mixture is that it takes so long to work (up to three hours). I’ve also had a problem getting the dosage right. One night I wouldn’t feel anything after swallowing a rounded teaspoon; the next night, a heaping teaspoonful would practically leave me catatonic. Because I’m trying to make my marijuana experimentation as pleasant as possible to Peggy, the catatonic nights posed some behavioral challenges. When you can barely walk or talk, just saying goodnight is difficult, yet I consider it important that I be able to function more or less normally when I’m high, so the challenge isn’t altogether unwelcome.

Yesterday, I decided to take a new tack, so I bought a bottle of 190 proof alcohol, and mixed it with nearly a quart of marijuana leaves (see photo). Now, I just have to shake the mixture twice a day, and in two weeks, the THC will have leached out of the pot and into the alcohol, at which time the foul smelling and horrible tasting concoction can either be taken with an eyedropper or rubbed into the skin. I will admit to no little curiosity about this combination of two intoxicants, which is infamous for landing people in the ER. Now, going to the ER when you’re having a bad time of it on pot isn’t the best idea in the world because—unless you’re psychotic anyway or your marijuana is impure—your only real danger comes from panic. So, you ask, how does that work, exactly? Well, think of marijuana as being like water in a lake. If you’re learning to swim, and you panic in the water, bad things happen unnecessarily, and so it is with marijuana, although with the latter, the bad things are all inside your head, and should go away after several hours if you are able to remain calm.

Before I close, I’ll report on my physical therapy appointment yesterday. The night before, I was in so much pain from my exercises that I needed marijuana, Requip, Neurontin, and oxycodone to sleep even a little, so I decided to ask the therapist if it made sense for me to keep exercising since, no matter how little I do or how much time I take off, the pain is still intolerable. I never got to ask because he told me straight away to stop exercising for a month, at which time he would like to see me again. As he pointed out, I’m already up to 80% flexibility in the shoulder that I had surgery on in April, and so it would be reasonable for me to give up the exercises for good.

While I’m reporting, I’ll add that I saw my surgeon last week. He said he was unhappy about having done three surgeries on me only to have each of them leave me in even worse pain. I try to stay upbeat around doctors to keep them from becoming discouraged, and so I did what I could to cheer Mark up, but I went away feeling badly about the appointment because I’m afraid he’s going to balk about doing a fourth—and hopefully final—surgery. Before you remind me that it’s the job of the doctor to comfort the patient instead of the other way around, I’ll just mention that what should be the case and what is the case are often miles apart. If you have a doctor whom you like as much as I like Mark, it pays to make your time with him something that he will feel good about because frustrated doctors tend to dump patients, even when, as in my case, a negative outcome is almost surely unrelated to any mistake the doctor made or could have foreseen.

I just realized that I’ve gained eight followers since I started writing about marijuana. Are some of them narcs, politicians, or talk show employees who will soon take my words out of context and feature me as an example of why Oregon’s medical marijuana law should be overturned? I’m torn between wanting to be as honest about this subject as I’ve been about other subjects, and not wanting to harm the future of medical marijuana, or get myself arrested, or make myself into an object of public ridicule. Maybe the mass of conservatives really are well-meaning people of conscience, but all I see in their leadership is greed, bigotry, dishonesty, and the willingness to destroy any and everyone who gets in their way; all in the name of their “Blessed Savior.” Oh, but I forgot; it’s our supposedly liberal president who reversed his campaign promises when he ordered the latest war on medical marijuana. Are no politicians to be trusted, ever? No, no politicians, ever. No politicians, no government agencies, no military spokesmen, and no religious leaders. Power does indeed corrupt, if not always, nearly always.


The Bipolar Diva said...

Well I'm one of those evil conservatives that says legalize the stuff. It'd stop a whole host of problems. Also, I'm not greedy, but if someone works hard I say they should enjoy the fruits of their labor. As far as bigotry, you've seen my family, none of that going on here. I don't see the need to destroy anyone in the name of my Savior, but you have me on dishonesty. Well, sort of. I pretty much tell all to the blog world on my "secret" (and different URL if you want it) blog. It's just certain other people I tend to keep things from. So I have to wonder if I fit your vision of a conservative? Oh well, I love you no matter what you think of me. But as for legalizing marijuana I'll be on of the first on board.


OneOldGoat said...

I would certainly hope that no narcs, politicians, or the like, are lurking and waiting. I think you are being smart about the whole thing. What I've taken away from your posts - all of them including this one--is that you are doing what needs to be done to feel better. I wish you the very best. Personally, I think this world would be a better place if more people (including myself) would have the guts to be as honest as you.

Linda said...

I agree that power corrupts even with the "spiritual" leaders, but I won't name names.

I was shaking my head over your MJ experiments. Have you tried brownies? They are supposed to work even better than smoking. I would attest to that but you have me paranoid over the possibility of who lurks about in the shadows. jk

You're lucky to have a doctor you care about, but I'm sorry your pain has been so severe at times. The idea of surgery is very scary to me as I'm sure it is to you. Maybe a second opinion? Pain is so demoralizing.

Feel better and try some cookies or brownies and see how they work for you. They sell them in the marijuana stores in Humboldt. Just a suggestion. :-) Although, why is it I feel you have already tried this option?

Snowbrush said...

Diva, dear, maybe I failed to express myself adequately, but I meant to make it clear that I was generalizing based upon the actions of modern day conservative (if you can even call the Republican Party conservative) leadership. I have none/zilch/nada respect for these people because all I can ever see that they care a fig about are rich people and corporations. BTW, even before you said how you felt, I never doubted that you would be in favor of an overhaul of the drug laws.

Oh, thank you so much for your kind words, Goat!

The Bipolar Diva said...

Many ♥ s to you and I forgot to say that you really sounded good in this post.

Snowbrush said...

Thank you, Diva baby.

Linda said: "Have you tried brownies?"

People who mix their pot with oil or butter as I did usually put the oil or butter into recipes. Cookies appear to have taken over from brownies in popularity, and I've twice heard of cookies that were so loaded with pot that even 1/4 cookie was too much. As for a second opinion, Mark is my fourth orthopedist, the reason being that I didn't trust the first three.

Beau's Mom said...

Power does not corrupt. Only the corrupt seek power.

Hey, I LIKE that!

Showed up for my CAT scan today sans the dye, and they had me scheduled for an MRI with Dye. Contrast mediums give me pancreatitis so I bailed.

I'm sure I'd be feeling lots worse if I hadn't.

As for your mixtures and tinctures using marijuana, it seems you're wasting a LOT of marijuana on experiments.

Go miniature. Use little bottles of this and that with the ingredients and amounts listed. If one doesn't work, you haven't lost much. If one does, you have the recipe!!

I'd gladly enter into your research. I just don't have the ingredients.

ellen abbott said...

The war on drugs is a failure and it's time that it was given up and a new approach taken, like legalization. You'll figure out your dosage. I'm sure there must be some guidence out there. But I have to ask, why you think a fourth surgery will work when the previous three failed?

The Elephant's Child said...

You do sound better, which is WONDERFUL. Brownies/cookies/cake would sound the way to go - and you can always start with a small piece and increase it at need. Good luck.

Snowbrush said...

Beau's Mom said: "Power does not corrupt. Only the corrupt seek power."

I would guess that it runs both ways. What I mean is that some people get into politics because they are corrupt, whereas others get into politics because they are idealistic, but their experiences destroy their idealism.

Beau's Mom said: "you're wasting a LOT of marijuana on experiments"

I use every last teensy-tiny bit of that marijuana! It's a rare day that I throw out something that valuable even if--as in this case--I didn't have to pay for it.

Ellen said: "You'll figure out your dosage. I'm sure there must be some guidence out there."

My experimentation has given me a pretty fair handle on the olive oil mixture, at least. My initial difficulty was caused by the impreciseness of the measurements (for example, how much marijuana does it take to fill a cup?), the greatly varying concentrations of THC even on different parts of the same plant, and the fact that most people cook with the oil as opposed to eating it straight up as I have been doing.

Ellen said: "I have to ask, why you think a fourth surgery will work when the previous three failed?"

The first two surgeries fixed the problems they were meant to fix, but no laboratory tests could have told the surgeon whether or not those problems alone were responsible for my pain. The third surgery was a partial joint replacement. My best chance at pain relief would have been a total replacement, but I didn't want that unless Mark felt strongly that nothing less would have helped, and he didn't. Maybe another doctor would have felt differently, but I don't expect Mark to be perfect; I just expect him to give a rip and to be competent. As for the fourth surgery, it would be a replacement on the other side, and, once again, I will push for a partial unless Mark insists on a full replacement. I had rather gamble than to have a surgery that is more extensive than necessary, especially when the glenoid side (the socket side) of the joint would have to be re-replaced every 8-15 years. I'll add that, although I haven't gotten pain relief with my last surgery, full recovery takes two years, so things could turn around. I don't regret anything about any of these surgeries. Mark and I both put our best thinking into our decisions, and if we were wrong, it wasn't something that we could have foreseen had we tried harder to make the best decision.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I've seen several friends helped by the stuff and even though I'm so straight-laced, I've never smoked a cigarette, I think it should be legalized too!

Maybe you need to shake your olive oil???

Snowbrush said...

Creekhiker said: "Maybe you need to shake your olive oil???"

Well, I left the leaves in the oil instead of straining the oil out with cheesecloth, and then I put the mixture into a covered bowl that I placed in the frig. Believe me, it is not a pretty site.

Natalie said...

WoW!It has been such a bloody difficult road for you, Peggy and Mark too!

I have faith that you will sort it all out, as I know you are intelligent, brave and tenacious. I wish you all the bestest, bestest, the Universe has to offer and then some in your endeavours. :)xx

kylie said...

I doubt i am telling you anything new, since you research so thoroughly but you know there is a good chance that you will get a better ethanol extract if you use some water in it. a 30-45% ethanol is most commonly used in the manufacture of herbal medicine. also, as for how much leaf to put with how much liquid, 1:1 measured by weight is considered optimal but it may be neccessary to use more liquid in order to fully wet the herb.

best of luck with the experiments and of course with the pain.

oh and by the way, there is no waste involved in the making of extracts even though it migh feel that way when you throw out the extracted leaf


kylie said...

and now i have to apologise, on doing some reading the general rules relating to herbal extracts appear not to pertain to grass

The Tusk said...

Last ramble to you went into your Spam folder. I mentioned this to you and you didn't recall that it had. So I presumed that there were way to many diversive comments for the government to behave any other way then to Spam it. I then commented more mildly, but the initial comment to an earlier blog was in reference to LSA not LSD. There is a natural hallucinogenic made by the honey providers here on earth the BEES.
It is made from the Mountain Laurel and Rhodedendrum plant. The actual leaf worn on the Olympians of Greece was rumored to be the Rhododendrum and not the Laurels.

This little known Green Honey as it is reffered to by those in the know is not for public consumption, but the Greeks were known to have lost a battle or two after tasting Honey from the wrong harvest. A spoonful has the same effect as a tab of LSD, only no long lasting effect, more of a drunkeness that wears off after 12 hours or so.

LSA is very hard to find, but last I heard it was in Australia, it is my belief this is where the dancing bear was before his passing, but that of course is only pure specualtion.

Good luck in recieving this post, God Speed and legs spread apart is not what your google searches should bring you. Try a search through BEES and Honey Harvests and the Green Honey known as LSA.

Mixes of this nature might help your blending of potencies, Honey by many is believed to be a natural medication used for salve on cuts and bruises as well. Beats mud I would think.

julie said...

I have to say I am really enjoying your recipe stories....A tip ..butter...the more fat the better...
I have a friend who has a card...he suffers suicidal migraines...a lump even grows on his forehead during an episode...I was visiting one day when he was baking cookies...without any thought I sampled a little bit of dough and picked at some cookie crumbs...within the hour I was laying down with no ability to move my limbs...none...I was in that state for over an hour. And that is the problem with just don't know what dose you're getting...however you seem to be on a mission to nail it pleased you are getting relief.
As a side neighboring Fresno County they have past an ordinance that will keep growers from growing outside. And no growing inside or outside withing a 1000 feet of a school, church, park, government building, etc. In other words they are shutting down growers. Once again making it more difficult for people to get their medicine...what a waste of over stretched law enforcement.

Winifred said...

Crumbs you are brave to use that stuff. I'm such a coward and a control freak I'd be terrified. Still if it gives you some ease all the better. Looks like Peggy is benefiting too bless her.

Glad you have her & Mark to help. Tale care.

Kert said...

Hello Snow,

I do Marijuana once or twice in a month when the stress is too much to bear. It is more scarce here, however, as MJ is illegal in my country being a highly Catholic country (and they're proud of it). It relieves me from my horrible stomach aches, which I guess, is very much related to my anxiety.

It worked efficiently for me when I smoked it with gin. Not sure if it has the same effect when you mix them. My friend usually bake them with brownies or cook them with pasta, but I haven't tried those personally.

Anyway, I just wanna say thank you so much for your messages, Snow. It really uplifted me. And I'm proud to say that there have been improvements, though little. But now I know that there are people who do care. This is my e-mail, by the way:

It's been so long, Snow. I really miss our correspondences.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I asked a friend who is an expert in these matters. Ingestion of of the thc can vary greatly depending on time of day and how much you've had to eat. That was probably a factor in your dosage...

nollyposh said...

i understand the doc thing... and the logic behind it... Makes all the difference in the world... In my world anyway and yours too it seems... Don't give up Snow, you just might figure out a combo that will help not only yourself but others suffering too... But geez wouldn't life be easier if the pollies & pharmaceutical comp's would just came on board too and make a bludy pill or something as they have with so many other narcotics! (Makes my little spider senses tingle to think that there just may be some conspiracy theory as to why they don't!) (((hugs)))

All Consuming said...

Keep on with the experiments, and by posting your experiences you're helping very many people who wouldn't know where to begin with the stuff. Hey, if you find a successful way of taking it that doesn't involve inhaling or cake I might join you! I've always found cake to be too much hard work in terms of getting an even amount in each one, like you say, one bit and nothing happens and another makes you sky high nuts-a-go-go. Also if there's cake I can eat, and I get munchies....all the cake will be gone and I'll just be fat as hell and bolloxed to boot.

I have a similar relationship with my consultant as you have with Mark. At least he feels something for you and wants to make it better which is more than I can say for some health professionals. I know another op would be hard to contemplate, only you know if it's a road you can travel down again, my instinct is to say go for it, and that's with my history of bad ops too. But then I just want you out of pain, so it's a selfish motive on my part. xxx

Jayne said...

Snowbrush- Thank you for stopping by and leaving a message with your thoughts. It means a lot to me.

I can tell from this post, and from your comment made to me that you are a very strong and compassionate man. It's very kind of you to want to stay upbeat around your doctor, so not as to discourage him. We forget sometimes that this process, this medical journey, tests and trials and procedures wear on the physicians, as well. They worry, just as we do.

I hope you find the right mix. I know if I had the opportunity to employ marijuana as a pain killer, I'd be looking for lots of creative ways to cook it up and serve it.

I wish you well, Snowbrush. I like your style. ;)

Brian Miller said...

way to tell it straight man...i hear you on corruption of for politicians i think you need to be a little cracked to run for the job...

hope you find the relief you need...

thanks for popping in today...

julie said...

HI...I just finished watching the documentary "Waiting to Inhale" on FSTV....It's a little dated, but it's still pertinent today in regards to medical marijuana...and of course it made me think of you...I think you'll enjoy it, so here is the first of 10 clips

Stafford Ray said...

Popped over to see how you were and find you battling to find a medium and appropriate dosage to manage the pain.
Seems to me those questions could be the subject of a bit of official research!
Re politicians of the parliament or the pulpit. Seems they all want us to suffer as much pain and have as little fun as possible and are continually looking for ways to impose their narrow little ways on the rest of us.
So my friend, keep telling it like it is and defying the killjoys!

Friendly-J said...

I say LEGALIZE it EVERYWHERE!!!!!!! I live near Delaware and they just passed there law a couple months ago. So I will be heading there to partake in the RIGHT!!!! Snow I agree with some of your other comments. Cooking with it in all sorts of different meals will make for a great relaxer with minimal overloading anxious feelings. Brownies are great but grind it up VERY FINE. And use fudge brownies instead of cake. (this coming from the guy that is on the weight loss mission, FROM TOO MANY BROWNIES!!!) But anything taken in moderation is OK!!!! The point to it all is that MJ is the best pain reliever in the world. It also does great for sleeping threw the night, to wind down after the long day of back breaking work when all the muscles are tight and contracting. This loosens everything and creates that sense of AHHHHHH...... Cheers and GL.....

Gaston Studio said...

Don't know much about medical MJ, Snow, but I'm sure you'll experiment until you find the right method of delivery.

Beau's Mom said...

Either you're too stoned to write (and if you are, bravo) or you're hurting too bad to write.

You can see there are a lot of people who drop in several times per post just to check up on you. Be glad we all don't live on your street or your supply would be quickly disappearing.

Robin said...

Hi Snow....I am "White Rabbit" late again.... "snowed under" (a-ha-ha, so witty..) with my own bouts of depression...

I am such a "pot-virgin"....although my Ex was (and probably still is) a user... as a non-smoker, I found it nearly impossible to use....but I think in cookies, it might work for me...

My pain is emotional rather than physical...but an aching heart is still hard to cope with.... seeking and finding anything to make one's body and mind relax is a key to easing pain of any kind.

You are so open and honest and brave about your life.....I really admire you.... (plus you are so sweet with your animals)...I keep you always in my I tell our mutual friend, Nollyposh, will get better.

Sending you, Peggy, Brewsky and Blue many hugs from San Francisco!

♥ Robin ♥

Snowbrush said...

Robin said: "My pain is emotional rather than physical..."

Robin, you just told me much that I didn't know. If one can stay upbeat in the face of physical pain, then physical pain is preferable to emotional pain. For the most part, I succeed in doing this, but it is a struggle everyday of my life.

Beau's Mom said: "Either you're too stoned to write (and if you are, bravo) or you're hurting too bad to write."

No, babe, I just get busy and/or overwhelmed. As for being too stoned to write, I don't get that way much. Of course, WHAT I write might seem pretty weird at times.

Friendly said: "Brownies are great but grind it up VERY FINE."

I'm told that the best way to cook with pot is to heat it in butter or oil as I did, strain the oil or butter from the leaves with cheesecloth, and then use the oil or butter in cooking.

Stafford said: "Popped over to...find you battling to find a medium and appropriate dosage... Seems to me those questions could be the subject of a bit of official research!"

Which is, of course, what I am conducting, although it is difficult without millions of dollars in grant money.

Julie said: "I just finished watching the documentary "Waiting to Inhale" on FSTV...."

Thanks, Julie, I'll check it out.

Brian said: "as for politicians i think you need to be a little cracked to run for the job..."

I hate the bastards. I know there must surely be good politicians, but they're like lawyers in that they dirty themselves by association.

Jayne said: "It's very kind of you to want to stay upbeat around your doctor, so not as to discourage him."

On the one hand, I want to be real, but on the other, I know that my surgeon isn't the best person to go to for encouragement. For starters, specialists tend to, at best, be good at their speciality while being blind (or at least inept) regarding things outside their speciality. Time is also a factor. If I see Mark for twenty minutes, it's a long appointment.

All Con said: "I know another op would be hard to contemplate, only you know if it's a road you can travel down again, my instinct is to say go for it"

Your instinct means a lot. Frankly, I was surprised to find Mark feeling so low. My guess is that doctors--esp surgeons--need to dump their failures in order to keep their confidence up. Of course, Mark hasn't dumped me yet, but I didn't like what I was hearing from him. As for a fourth surgery, I would have to be well into my recovery from my surgery in April because recovering from two of these things at once would be overwhelming. In fact, I don't know how I could bear it, although I know I would find a way.

Nollyposh said: "Don't give up Snow, you just might figure out a combo that will help not only yourself but others suffering too..."

You remind me of Renee in that you're suffering from a life-threatening disease, yet you find the strength to encourage me. I thank you for that. I've literally fantasized about flying to Australia to meet you. I wouldn't for various reasons, not the least of which is that we're on very contradictory paths in many ways, yet I love you, Nolly, and I want the best for you. I just wish I could make you well.

Snowbrush said...

Tusk, I'll have to look up that honey!

Winifred said: "I'm such a coward and a control freak I'd be terrified."

If you were in a pleasant place listening to pleasant music, and you had the support of a trusted friend who understood the marijuana experience, you would surely do fine.

Julie said: "no growing inside or outside withing a 1000 feet of a school, church, park, government building, etc."

Oregon has a law that makes penalties for even having pot much greater within a thousand feet of such places, and would you believe it, the medical marijuana law doesn't address this issue, so it's up to the cops in every discrete area of the state whether to bust you or not?

Thank you, Natalie.

Kylie said: "the general rules relating to herbal extracts appear not to pertain to grass"

Righto. I actually traded in some vodka for the ethanol because the more alcohol, the better.

Creekhiker said: "Ingestion of of the thc can vary greatly depending on time of day and how much you've had to eat."

No doubt there are many variables, but the difficulty in getting a standardized dosage is surely the greatest of them. This is something I hope to remedy with the tincture.

Kert said: "It worked efficiently for me when I smoked it with gin."

Would you believe that I've never drank while smoking pot because I figured the alcohol high would screw up the pot high? I'm rare in this way, of course.

rhymeswithplague said...

I smoked one REGULAR cigarette in my life, when I was 17, and I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it. Plus both my parents were heavy smokers and both died of cancer (but not lung cancer, odd). So smoking anything does not appeal to me in any way, and certainly not marijuana, unless I were in severe pain like you are, Snow.

Eating brownies, however...I could go for that. Not that I ever have, the MJ kind, I mean.

I will leave you with a film/literary reference: "I Love You, Alice B. Toklas"

Maybe Gertrude Stein was on pot when she wrote, "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"....

Wine in Thyme said...

Have you ever consulted with other therapists or surgeons?

Snowbrush said...

Wine said: "Have you ever consulted with other therapists or surgeons?"

I'm now with my fourth shoulder orthopedist, and I've gone through even more physical therapists.

Joe Todd said...

Alcohol over olive oil any time LOL