Article by Sarah Samedi, High! Canada
To be perfectly honest, I’ve smoked marijuana since July 31st of 1995. We sat on the edge of the escarpment, looking over the downtown of my city, and passed a joint back and forth. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and we were celebrating in our own way. We were too young to drink legally, and my friend’s sister had gotten her the joint as a gift. It was my first experience and it was so positive, so affirming, that I have smoked regularly ever since. It helped my moods – I suffer from depression and severe anxiety – stimulated my appetite, and gave me the concentration to study at school. Even then, I was using medicinally. I just didn’t know it.
Fast-forward to 2015. I was in my 30’s, and I wasn’t feeling well. Every time I would get my period, it would cause me to cramp until I’d vomit. Marijuana was the only painkiller that would work appropriately for me, specifically Indica strains, known for their painkilling properties.
In early 2016, the issue became that my period wouldn’t stop. I approached my doctor at the time, and she offered me different kinds of birth control. At the time I smoked, so I insisted against birth control, and she finally acquiesced to giving me bloodwork.
At midnight, the lab phoned my home, informing me that I needed to go to the nearest hospital for a blood transfusion. You see, a normal red blood cell count is somewhere between 100 and 150, and mine was around 52. Away we went, and I slept in emergency while I took two bags of blood. After a barrage of tests, MRIs , C T scans and an ultra sound for good measure, it was decided I needed surgery. My ovaries were approximately the size of footballs and needed to be removed.
Turns out, it was cancer, and it was everywhere. My ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix, my appendix and a protective layer of fat all had cancer. When I was told it was Stage Four and that I would require chemotherapy, I approached my oncologist about using marijuana during treatment, and if I could get my license. She was enthusiastic, to say the least!
The thing is, with chemotherapy comes side effects: nausea, vomiting, hair and nail loss, chronic joint pain, large muscle aches, etc. There are prescription drugs for these issues, all of which I had except the nail loss. I did exactly one round of these drugs before receiving my license, and switched immediately to bud.
I discovered a couple of Canadian strains: Chemo and Juicy J Kush, both bred out of British Columbia. I would smoke Chemo when I’d take treatment for its anti-nausea properties, as well as its cancer-fighting CBD content. For joint pain, which I still experience, and likely will for the rest of my life, I smoked the Juicy J Kush.
Chemotherapy wasn’t pretty: I was bald, I had no lashes or brows, and was completely hairless, kind of like a sphynx cat! This wasn’t entirely bad, being that it was June of 2016 and it was a hot summer. I smoked daily, roughly every three hours, to maintain comfort and mobility, as well as to stimulate my appetite.
I can’t imagine my recovery without lower, without concentrates, without the benefit of something that is natural, pure, and simply grows out of the ground. For all the chemicals I’ve had to take, my natural medicine always seems to work best. I smoke in preference to any other method of delivery, and I think that’s a residual effect from quitting smoking cigarettes. It also works the fastest for me, giving me relief in a matter of a few minutes, rather than having to wait for a pill to take effect.
I am not a stoner. I’m not a burnout. I have a life, a family, friends, and a job. I use marijuana to feel good. It heals me. Why judge me for that?