Cannabis has been revered and utilized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years across the globe. The ancient Chinese developed ma fei san, or cannabis powder, to relieve pain. They also prescribed forms of the plant to settle body spasms, to relieve gout, and to treat mania. The Egyptians documented its aid in treatment for the eyes, (glaucoma), inflammation, cooling of the uterus (fertility), as well as administering enemas.
Today in 2018, millennia later, we continue to implement the miracle plant for a variety of ailments, and to improve our quality of life.
Oak View’s own, Aurora, shares her story of how her discovery and use of medical cannabis miraculously changed her life’s trajectory, and refined her existence.
Seventeen years ago, Aurora’s life in New York was radically altered by a devastating accident which rendered her with brain injuries, and nocturnal seizures. When doctors were finally able to understand and diagnose her condition, she began what she calls her ‘’pharmacological odyssey’’. After running the gamut of recommended pharmaceutical medications, she was left with a significantly diminished sense of self.
‘’My memory capacity was disturbed. I couldn’t drive my car, or think clearly,’’ she said. She recalls not being able to walk or run normally due to compromised right-left brain coordination, having trouble articulating speech, being artistically repressed, and not wanting to get out of bed some days. She had a far lesser quality of life. It felt like a ‘’downward spiral.’’
Once she finally found a drug with minimal side effects, (which allowed her to function relatively normally), she constantly had to have her liver toxicity monitored, and had to cope with a persistent, low-grade skin rash. She just wasn’t the same person she was before the accident.
Living in New York at the time, significantly limited her exposure to the full benefits and spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids; specifically CBD. New York hadn’t yet become a ‘’green state”, and the cannabis selection was black market only, not high in CBD, and from questionable grow sources. It wasn’t until she traveled out west to Mendocino, California, that she was introduced to better quality, high CBD plants. It was also there, where she learned about concentrated cannabis oil as medicine. She was taken in as a patient by a group of spirited, retired women, who were expert breeders of organic, high CBD plants. It was through this unique garden club that she first experienced how CBD oil would positively affect her brain.
“I was excited to get back to my natural states of vibrance, creativity, and technicolor. I’m happy to say that I am functional and clear-thinking, in a way that I wasn’t when I took so many of those mind-obscuring, psychoactive drugs, as I had before.’’
So, naturally, Aurora uprooted her life, and moved out to sunny, progressive California. It was here that she began to practice growing some of her own medicine, became a medical cannabis advocate, and began to thrive. “My life is 10 million times better than it was before,’’ she affirmed.
In addition to experiencing a calm and clear brain-body connection, Aurora also had a “musical awakening.” She taught herself to play the piano and to read sheet music. With the compromised brain state that she had before, she could not play more than one hand at a time, and was limited. Her gifted artistic expression of painting also then took flight.
“It used to be a lot harder for me to organize the paintings. The work that I do is very mathematical, and has a lot of symmetry to it. When my brain was less organized due to seizures, it was harder to reach these levels of complexity. The work I have from when I lived in New York, before my introduction to CBD, was like looking at more basic puzzle pieces. My levels of complexity have doubled and tripled, and I don’t expect it to stop.” She exclaimed. “I wouldn’t say the plant gave me anything that I didn’t have already. Rather, it took away the friction, impediments, and constraints, and made it so that all the good stuff in my heart can come out.”
When asked if CBD works at inhibiting her seizures, due to anti-inflammatory properties, she said, “Yes, Absolutely. Both CBD and THCa (found in the raw state of the plant) are anti-inflammatory. She incorporates the raw plant into her daily protocol by juicing the fan leaves, or making them into raw truffles. She consumes approximately 100 mg of raw CBD each day. She also vapes another 50-75mg of it throughout the day. She mindfully includes a daily practice of eating an anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic diet and exercises with her dog, Cheeky. “Cheeky and I walk 4 miles a day now, easy!’’
I asked whether she found benefit in the synergistic union of CBD and THC together, or if she preferred to work specifically with CBD as medicine. She emphasized a strong belief that the two cannabinoids should be paired for a beneficial balance. She underlined the aspect of biodiversity. “We are all different, and so we can have very different experiences with the medicine.’’ She further shared that CBD is actually as stimulating as a cup of coffee to her, and kept her awake when she initially took it before bed. She says, “Especially for people working with epilepsy, I find THC to be very beneficial.’’ Aurora takes her final dose of the day just before bedtime. “I also take 25mg of THC at night before bed in order to have an unbroken sleep.” If given to a young person, or someone with an aversion to its psychotropic effects, THCa and/or gradually increasing dosage of THC as a suppository may be supplemental options.
Aurora’s powerful journey and connection with the cannabis plant reminds us that we are all connected. Our connection and synergy with this plant is a reminder of our true nature, and the beauty and connectivity that exists all around us.
“It’s a wonderful partnership.” She says. “I am able to become the full person that I am supposed to be, as opposed to some mediocre or diminished version of who I could have been.”
by Isolda Restrepo