I sat down to write a post about this awesome, legal Hemp Flower I found in a store near me. Now that I can go buy this, it's time to evaluate it against the other cannabis that I'm pretty much dependent on...
Then I realize that this will mean talking about things i don't want to, namely what's wrong with me that the hemp helps. I find this difficult, and to be useful it should be frank, personal, and gross, which not everyone wants to read. Therefore, the gross personal stuff is in the bottom section, and while it may help the rest make sense, be warned before you scroll down to the end.
To begin with, I have extensive experience with varying grades of THC bearing (and some that wasn't) cannabis, but this is my first try at using a CBD cannabis (certainly a tested, labeled one) for treating the various physical symptoms I have.
These are initial personal observations, anecdata etc; I do not suggest that anyone else might have the same results and so on. If this can help someone I'd be happy, but I do not represent it as medical advice.
What hemp helps #
In the morning, I wake up with thickened, hard to shift mucus in my sinus and throat, and coughing barely moves it. Smoking tobacco helped a lot when i was younger, more by drying and thinning that snot, and suppressing the need to cough, I think. It still does but Hemp opens the airways and loosens the phlegm and then I can cough it out and actually breathe. which is a glorious moment every morning and a frightening ordeal when i have nothing to smoke or am trying to abstain.
Depending on weather and what I'm doing, the effect of high THC herb seems to last 2 to 6 hours, more often towards the shorter end of the range. Colder weather is much harder on me, and I smoke more, more often. The CBD herb (which says 14.5% on the label and which i believe is pretty accurate) doesn't have the bronchiodialator effect for as long, perhaps half an hour to 2 hours.
I've never had much appetite, but THC has been a reliable way to turn eating from a chore into an enjoyable experience. I will sometimes want to snack with enough THC in me; which is otherwise never happening anymore. I keep a variety of 100+ calorie snacks onhand and force myself to eat something when I refill my tea glass. With THC, (and I mean a lot here, more about dosages later) sometimes I'm anticipating what i want to eat more than I'm after more fluid.
The CBD by itself is not giving me that. Much less THC, in the presence of a high CBD load, is having a positive effect on appetite. I suspect that having a high CBD load is slowing the metabolism of THC and keeping it effective longer here.
The CBD seems to be less effective than THC when alone, which fits with the effects on appetite. Together seems to be more effective than either alone.
I'm not as confident reporting observations yet here because it will be a few more weeks before my digestion has been through all of the usual states. So far the CBD has not been as effective at relieving cramping, but it has enabled me to more quickly pass higher fiber foods that I would otherwise have suffered longer for.
Arthritis pain #
Nothing to report yet, time will tell. THC hasn't exactly been pain releif, it has made it much less irritating that something hurts to do, and enabled me to do it anyway. I doubt CBD will help much here.
Aspirins / OTC NSAIDs etc / Opiates can all work for me for that specifically, I almost never use them because the side effects are worse than the pains.
Muscle cramps #
I've occasional foot and leg or arm muscle cramps that I think are related to the psioratic arthritis, I cannot report that THC or CBD have had any effect on them directly.
THC's general stress relief / irritability masking must help however.
Social anxieties #
THC is incredibly valuable to me for efforts to interact with others. Going out in public is annoying and stressful; with enough THC in me i can go out, do a thing, come home, and be glad I'm done.
Without, I'm tormented by insecurities and lash myself with how I made mistakes, looked the fool, etc. MUCH more stressful. My wife tells me she can't tell the difference from the outside. "Perhaps a bit more relaxed when you're high"
CBD has not really helped at all here. I have some habit of chatting amiably over a pipe and the ritual is of use, but for anxiety I need the real, in some amount.
CBD is "not psychoactive"; but I find that doesn't mean you can't feel it. Expressing that feeling meaningfully is a different challenge. Part of THC's effect for me is to reduce peripheral distractions. I notice the light beams through the tree leaves, but the play of shadows at the edge of my vision isn't a constant static noise to fight. CBD has a bit of that, enough to notice. With neither, that comes back strong.
Which leads to the promised words on dosage:
Just how much do you smoke? #
As much as there is? ... is this a trick question?
Many people don't like to be high, they feel slow, fuzzy, etc. THC has never really taken me that way. I find it makes me more open to joy, and lessens the grip of irritants. I'm an extraordinarily irritable, unhappy person so that's all good.
"Most cannabis users self-titrate" is a common phrase in the literature, it means that people have a natural daily dosage they gravitate to and seem to be happy at. For me that runs 1.5gm to 2.5gm a day, depending on how good the herb is and how heavily im thinking.
Apparently that's a lot. Even before the effect of how one smokes, which in my case is near as efficient as possible, I believe. More on that in another post. I know that using other methods (joints, other pipes etc) I smoke 2 or 3 times as much to keep running. So I don't do that, and stick to my condenser.
The GROSS, frank description of symptoms #
I think I have some of the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis. All a doctor has said to me on the matter is that I cannot afford a diagnosis. I have had one person tell me (when I was a teenager) that I looked like someone with CF; I looked it up then and what I learned scared me enough to not want to think further on it.
I have been diagnosed as having Crohn's disease; Psoriasis, and Psoriatic Arthritis, and my reading says all these symptoms tie together neatly as autoimmune response, which whenever it hits mucus membranes badly appears to be called Cystic Fibrosis.
I know my conditions express on a cycle, for some reason, if my elbows itch, I'm not likely to have the arthritic pains. Those signal their appearance a few days ahead of time when my fingernails and toenails grow rapidly and oddly, separated from the nailbed and bubbled.
The stomach issues are nasty, I produce a lot of mucus and have had bowel control issues all through my life. When the Crohns expresses I get parts of the intestine clench shut tight as possible, sometimes for minutes as a sharp cramp, sometimes days as a boulder i can feel.
Some days I will have no energy (like cant stand up), a horrible leaden feeling all through my gut, and I know that i will soon be crapping out a mucus cast of my entire intestine. (Once i got one unbroken, single piece; i was so tempted to take a picture.)
That makes digestion interesting; I'm rarely hungry, and if I'm at all tense while I'm eating or if it's just that kind of day, the food will be coming back out rapidly and sometimes still recognizable; on a bad day i will eat something irritating after something blocking, which leads to fun things like constipation with leakage... the best of both worlds.
There are foods I avoid because they have often triggered symptoms, there's foods I liked that I gave up because they might've had something to do with a particularly bad episode. I always enjoyed meats, for a while there I called myself an "almost obligate carnivore"; but I stopped making that joke as often as what and where i could eat became more limited.
I always liked candies, with a special fondness for dextrose based stuff. I didn't realize that I was exhibiting that preference until late and I'm still not certain if it's related, but I do know that a few ounces of dextrose can give me enough of a kick to actually digest a meal, rather than fall over for a few hours and wake up bloated.
My teeth were horrible from childhood; several baby teeth stacked and some without enamel and so on. I had them all pulled and got dentures thanks to the charity of a sympathetic dentist some years ago, and that improved life immeasurably. Late 20's, with a couple teeth lasting a few years longer. I remember the swollen, irritated, bleeding gums still. I never really saw it then as "psoriasis like irritation around the teeth" but i can see it that way now.
I had my gallbladder taken out in 2006; I'd had issues with liver swelling back to high school, but never diagnosed as gallbladder related until, at age 34, it blew up and stayed that way. I'm a skinny white male and the doctors were extremely reluctant to even test for gallstone, as I had no risk of it.
It took 45 years for me to recognize these symptoms and confess that they limit my physical capabilities now; partly because they weren't so severe when i was younger, partly because I was raised in a family that presumed my ill health was simply a question of willpower. Boy howdy, did I ever learn willpower.
I can fault the few doctors I've seen for not putting together these signs and offering cogent advice; but I never wanted to talk to them in the first place and must take full responsibility for that. I'm sure realizing that some people can't be helped is one of the harder parts of their job.
In the past few years, after a go around with lipid pneumonia from vaping and a tractor with an open crankcase; I came to see how much of my daily life was involved with clearing mucus from my lungs. It's fairly astounding how easy it is to live with restricted breathing when you've gone just a day or two without a clear bronchial tube. It just becomes normal.
I have said I have "spider silk snot", which term is not as widely used on the internet as it should be. Some days its worse than others, if im in an environment below 71F temperature for any time, it will become worse rapidly. Coughing alone doesn't significantly move it, but I cough and snork a lot anyway. To the point I know it annoys others, but all I can do about that is prefer to be alone and away from them as far as possible.
For those and other reasons I have considerable social anxiety; I can go out to the store etc but it is very draining. A grocery trip when the store is crowded can leave me wrung out with the stress for a few days afterwards. Attending a pleasant party with small talk can leave me irritable and snappy for a week, on top of accentuating all the physical symptoms with stress.
Men only #
There is one more symptom, which I want to lay out for any other poor sod who has suffered it. When I hit puberty, and began masturbating, I took a while to realise that my seminal fluid was often thick and I would have to go to extra effort to expel it all. Apparently this usually leads to fertility problems in those with more severe symptoms.
Not doing so resulted in something very much like testicular torsion, where one or both testicles swelled to several times the normal size and were incredibly painful. Yes, that's embarrassing and hard to talk about, and the people I tried to talk to didn't want to hear it, so I had to suffer several occasions of this without letting on my balls had swollen up like grapefruits and hurt.
Its a different world today and young men suffering similarly can find help easier. If anyone finds this list of symptoms and has had thick goo otherwise, they might be similar. Be advised and go for the second or third tug until you're drained. Multiple orgasms in men are a thing. A blocked seminal tube can resolve by itself but if it doesn't the consequences can get BAD.