I don’t shy from sharing that I am still smoke cannabis/weed at seventy. I have smoked it in moderation for nearly fifty years and it hasn’t made my mind sloppy, damaged my brain cells, prevented me from having a successful career or taking care of my health and looks. I’m a life coach, health/beauty advisor and yoga teacher who meditates daily and follows a healthy lifestyle which indicates that a cannabis smoker cannot be stereotyped as someone who invites an unwholesome life.
When I was diagnosed with skin cancer at the beginning of this year, I was prescribed Premium Hemp Extract (300mg CBD) to strengthen my immune system, smoked weed to chill my mind and feel blessed to say I am now clear of the disease. How much these remedies helped I cannot say since I have no concrete proof but I do know that weed is used successfully to treat everything from depression, panic attacks, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and more – which we’ll talk about later.
My introduction to cannabis came as a result of working for the Rolling Stones (1970 -1974). Nearly everyone in the music biz smoked back then. I shared spliffs with many of the greats, the majority of whom I can confirm were not drug addicts. Keith (Richards), my favourite Stone, admittedly was but his views on life were mind openers – And still are, as became apparent this week when he hit the headlines for saying ‘he smoked a spliff mixed with his father’s ashes to honour him’. I haven’t read comments on the article but can more of less guarantee that most non cannabis smokers reacted with an ‘urgh’ whilst cannabis smokers thought it through and viewed it as ‘cool.’ I just wish I’d thought of it when my mum was cremated. Oh well. Live and learn.
But back to cannabis. I do see the dangers and cannot wait for the day when it is legalized worldwide. The reason I say this is because our teenagers are in danger. These days they are at the mercy of unscrupulous drug dealers who sell chemical compound weed called ‘Skunk’ and if anything will rot their brains it is this. However, it isn’t just drug dealers who are unscrupulous. Some pharmaceutical companies fall into the same category. The last thing they want is for cannabis to be legalized since many will go out of business. We have been fed untruthful propaganda. It is therefore our responsibility to gather facts before passing judgement on subjects we may not be familiar with.
Many European countries, already turn a blind eye to small amounts for personal use. It is legal to grow one female plant for personal use in Belgium. It is legal to buy and smoke in Amsterdam’s ‘coffee shops (for over 18s). There are many countries where cannabis grows wild so those people are in the clear (Bit difficult to prosecute someone for picking something created by nature eh?).
Cannabis is a vast subject. Dependent on which male/female strains are married together produces different effects and results. In the future when distribution falls into the hands of qualified doctors, they will be able to prescribe the exact strain suitable for our particular health issues. At present, there are negative aspects to smoking cannabis/weed. If you don’t know what you are doing, overuse it or smoke a strain which isn’t suitable for you as an individual, it can cause paranoia – or worse still a ‘whitey.’ A whitey is akin to your worst drunken scenario and definitely not an experience I would recommend. Having suffered one in my early smoking days it did however teach me to be more savvy!
For the millions (like me) who respect and do not abuse cannabis/weed we have only good to report – although I bet if the press gets hold of this article, they will twist my words and cast me in the light of a whacky loony as per norm. Do I care? Not too much, but when I want to vent an angst against the press where do I go? To the hippie sites I’m a member of where I can talk with my tribe without fear of being judged. We don’t look down on others because they sin differently to us so why should we be looked down on? If cannabis can be described as a drug, it’s a ‘love’ drug which transforms people into tree huggers who feel deeply about the plight of the world, mistreated animals and injustice – and do not, in the main, judge others by race, class or colour. Alcohol drinkers have a tendency to become abusive, aggressive and violent. This is rarely the case with a cannabis smoker.
When I started smoking cannabis/weed, I was not fully clued in regarding pitfalls and perhaps lucky to have had neither the curiosity of desire to venture further afield. Young women of today are in a different league and can talk eloquently on the subject, which is why, for the purpose of research, I turned to another Facebook page I am a member of called Bake ‘N Slay. Women commented in their hundreds to share how weed helps them and to aid my attempts in waking up a sleepy world. (Bless you ladies). I would love to have listed all their helpful comments but since I don’t want to keep you up all night reading lol, I’ve picked a small cross section to highlight different perspectives and uses.
Alison: ‘I smoke because I suffer from severe nausea and I’m also bipolar. I got sick of taking all the meds. They dragged me down. I had no energy and no emotion. Smoking enabled me to come off every single medication. Now I’m a much more active mom and all-round happier woman.’
Karen: ‘I smoke for many different reasons. Anxiety, depression, pain from four herniated discs in my back but mainly epilepsy. Before I started smoking I used to have 40 seizures a month. Now I have zero. Such a blessing.’
April: ‘I smoke weed to help cope with severe anxiety and depression. I’ve done tons of research so pick strains that are more geared towards helping panic attacks. I also use hemp oil to help me cope as well.’
Debra: ‘I smoke weed because it calms me down when the world feels as though it’s against me. My whole family smokes which is a huge stress reliever for us all really – and has enabled us to talk about anything without aggression or ill will.’
Jackie: ‘It got me off Xanax and through the withdrawal period. Since I started smoking weed I stopped feeling angry all the time. It also helps me eat which I wasn’t able to taking just big pharma meds.’
Loraine: ‘As a child I had many conditions ranging from clinical depression, mood disorders, anxiety and uncontrollable ADHD. Medications prescribed for me ruled my life, didn’t do an ounce of good until I graduated high school and tried smoking weed. Since that time I never needed to return to my psychiatrist and don’t need meds which I felt were slowly killing me.’
Marianna: ‘OCD, IBS, arthritis and CTD are things I suffer with. Smoking weed helps so much with my symptoms and honestly I’m a better person when I smoke. I play with my son, I’m productive and happy.’
Alyssa: ‘I smoke weed to self-medicate and for recreational purposes lol. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 20 (I’m now 23). I developed it from my anxiety/depression. I take Zoloft which is OK, but don’t like taking my Vyvanse. It helps me get stuff done but I hate the side effects. I can’t eat which makes me feel sick and if something triggers me while I’m on Vyvanse, my brain will focus on that and lead to full break down crying bouts. I smoke a Sativa in the morning and am able to get stuff done WITHOUT Vyvanse side effects. I smoke an Indica joint at night to help me wind down because my anxiety otherwise keeps me awake even when I’m exhausted.’
Michelle: ‘Weed helps me to relieve stress and pain. Helps sleep. Social thing as opposed to getting wasted. Helps me tune into others and the earth. Helps me be a more loving, patient person.’
Natasha: ‘Don’t know what I’d do without weed in my life. I suffer with epilepsy, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, panic attacks and muscle spasms in my neck. May not help spasms but takes the pain away. I was sick of taking all the meds what wiped me out and made me feel like a zombie. I now function like a human being and feel much more relaxed – which helps a lot with my symptoms.’
At this point in your life, you might be thinking ‘weed isn’t for me and I have no intention of trying it’ but give it a few years when it is prescribed in a controlled medical environment and has a different status due to legalization and I have a feeling you might change your mind and join my tribe. Hope so brothers and sisters. If not. Respect. Sending peace and love.