By: Sharon Letts *Including a recipe for homemade cannabis oil Last week while hiking with my dogs in the hills above my home, I tripped-up on a divet, face-planted and fractured my ankle, with the ankle popping out of socket. As with my last fracture and broken bone prior, I was determined to use […]
By: Sharon Letts
*Including a recipe for homemade cannabis oil
Last week while hiking with my dogs in the hills above my home, I tripped-up on a divet, face-planted and fractured my ankle, with the ankle popping out of socket.
As with my last fracture and broken bone prior, I was determined to use only cannabis oil and shun the pharmaceuticals once again.
As noted in my Daily Dose: Serious Wound Care with a Cannabis Protocol, a Harvard study noted that cannabis was not strong enough to quell broken bone pain. They were wrong.
By the time we arrived at the emergency room I had already taken four of my own cannabis oil/guanabana/coconut capsules. These are my nighttime capsules, not strong enough for severe pain.
(Guanabana is a South American superfood, also an immune system builder)
They gave me a low-dose shot of morphine, after I explained to the doctor and nurse the cannabis oil will enhance anything else I do, and pharma should be reduced.
Sure enough, in no time I felt completely wasted on the morphine. My body felt numb, and my head felt as though it was in a bubble. No clarity or focus, no being or feeling present, as with cannabis. I was also nauseous, feeling as though I would throw up.
It really felt as though I could have done a lower dose of the morphine, but dosing is the greatest challenge – especially when you are telling medical staff for the first time that cannabis is an analgesic. How would they even know how to adjust dosage?
Important to note, swelling and inflammation was not spectacular for how serious the injury was, reconfirming what an excellent anti-inflammatory cannabis is.
Less Pharma, More Weed
Surgery included plates and pins, and promised unimaginable pain. I was out of cannabis oil, about to make a batch soon, scraping the last bit from the little jar given to me by a friend, who was making me another batch. (As far as we know, we are the only two in our community who know how to make it, leaving me eternally grateful for my friend and her skills.)
The surgeon set me up in my hospital room with a cocktail of strong painkillers, including opioids, in an IV drip. As soon as I came to from surgery they gave me a dose – being aware that I was taking the cannabis oil. It didn’t take long to realize it was way too much with the oil. I passed out, literally, for a few hours, then never did the on-demand drip again.
When the surgeon came in at the end of the day he was shocked to see that I didn’t need the cocktail, and was only doing one-third of the Tramadol (opioid) prescribed. Now he knows.
In the meantime, I scrimped on the oil, taking it in tandem with Tramadol. The surgeon prescribed a 300 milligram dose to start, and then would raise it, as needed. Done in tandem with the oil, I found I only needed to take 100 milligrams with a piece of thick oil about the size of two grains of rice; reducing the opioids by one-third. A welcomed outcome.
As detailed in an investigation by the Journal of the Association of Medicine (JAMA), When a state legalizes cannabis, opioid use drops substantially.
Even if someone is just smoking, the efficacy of the pharmaceutical is raised. Even if they are eating an edible just to get high, they won’t need as much pain killers for that time period.
Many teaching moments. This isn’t my first rodeo. My last fracture on the other foot was less than a year ago; the break before that with a serious wound was a little over a year ago. I’m happy to educate by example, but this is getting ridiculous.
The Entourage Effect
As said, cannabis is an enhancer and can increase the efficacy of whatever else you are doing, including smoking while ingesting. The cannabis oil does the trick as far as pain, swelling, inflammation, and tissue regeneration – not to mention, help with sleep, appetite, and more. As far as smoking on top of ingesting, it adds a much needed lift immediately.
I say lift, because that’s where the word high comes from. We are not stoned, we are lifted. Stoned comes from the alcohol culture and has nothing to do with the way we feel while medicating, or medicating to recreate. And it has nothing to do with what happens physiologically, as endorphins are lifted and dopamine is created in the brain.
So topping off with smoking or vaporizing cannabis adds another layer of relief.
The cannabis oil also deals with any negative side effects of the pharma. With opioid use comes constipation and bloating following surgery. In the past, when I’ve come out from anesthesia, I typically throw up, as is common. But none of that happens when I take cannabis oil prior to surgery.
I also have the anesthesiologist come in and tell him how it all works, but it’s hard to say how it works in tandem with anesthesia. The common thread is that medical professionals just do not understand how strong the oil is and how beneficial the plant itself is. This is my third time going under using cannabis oil, and there have been no complications.
Chamomile also works well in tandem with cannabis. I typically have chamomile/coconut capsules on hand, but was out of them this time around, as well. Chamomile takes the edge off the high amounts of THC found in the oil (as does CBD), while calming anxiety – something I suffer from. Chamomile also acts as an antidepressant (per study) and raises endorphins, giving you a general overall feeling of well-being.
Topical lotions add to the overall effect. I’m lucky enough to have had a bottle of CBD and citrus body lotion, made in collaboration with Honey Pot and Laganja Estranja, at the hospital and on my bedside at home. Citrus combats stress, anxiety and depression, and gives a lift just by deeply inhaling what’s called the limonene terpene.
I also had a bottle of Mary’s Medicinals CBD oil to top everything off for a little extra effect. CBD alone is good for pain relief, but this serious pain needs a whole plant, strong oil to be ingested.
My friend dropped off a bottle of 30 cannabis capsules, with a strong dose of oil in each – about the size of two grains of rice. I ended up taking two every three to four hours, only adding one hundred milligrams of Tramadol, as needed.
The thing is, I really haven’t felt any great pain. I’ve been more afraid of the anticipation of the pain that could come, knowing what all the hardware looks like under my skin. The most I’ve felt is a slight stinging until I can medicate.
The cannabis oil takes about the same time to work as the Tramadol, about 20 minutes.
Cannabis Oil Recipe
4 cups ground plant material (small buds, stem and leaf – whole plant)
1 liter grain alcohol (high proof, 90 percentile)
Cover the ground plant material with the solvent, and let soak for up to five minutes*
Strain in a fine mesh or sheet and pour into a rice cooker, set it to warm, leave the lid open
It should take between three to four hours to cook down
They may be plant matter in brown chunks, do not use this. Tilt the rice cooker insert to pool the oil, and carefully uptake from the clear liquid.
You will have a thick, brown resin remaining. These are the essential oils of the plant, where the medicine is.
Just prior to the final reduction, add two tablespoons of coconut oil to the mix. This will keep it from burning (ruining the medicine). Adding coconut is also a good delivery into the bloodstream.
I take a whiff of the mixture, as you can smell the alcohol if it hasn’t cooked off. With the coconut in there, it can sit a bit to make sure the alcohol has completely evaporated.
Using a measured pipette, using a capsule holder, fill caps with 1 milliliter of the mixture. If there is any alcohol (or water from weak solvent) in the mix, the capsule will melt. Test by filling one up and checking.
Keep in the refrigerator to solidify and keep fresh. This essential oil is precious, use it in a timely manner for freshness and efficacy.
*Longer soaks have shown lower numbers of beneficial compounds, diluted by too much chlorophyll.
JAMA investigation, opioid reduction with cannabis use:
Study of chamomile as antidepressant:
Daily Dose: Serious Wound Care with a Cannabis Protocol: