Monday, December 23, 2019

THC & CBD for Menstrual Maladies

Image result for cannabis women

Despite half the (cannabis using & human) population being female, not much is written about the plant's interaction with the menstrual cycle or how its main components--THC & CBD--may help with common complaints like PMS or cramps.  Women as far back as Queen Victoria have used cannabis to alleviate painful periods, and there are all kinds of products in today's market aimed at women, such as Foria & Whoopi Goldberg's "Whoopi And Maya" line.  Are they worth the dough or just a bunch of hype?

Hormones have a profound effect on the mind & body--almost like a drug themselves.  The number of conditions affected by the female hormones estrogen & progesterone are numerous; a few of them include:   PCOS, endometriosis, migraine, PMS/PMDD & uterine fibroids.  Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis & lupus also affect women disproportionately.  While not a panacea, weed can help with the pain, nausea, depressed mood & spasticity associated with these conditions if used in the right doses at the right time.  The trick is finding the route of administration & product that works best for you.

THC & CBD are not the only substances in cannabis though they are the most abundant & most physically active in humans.  Together they have a synergistic effect, enhancing the impact of each other in a way that makes the overall experience more pleasant.  THC is the "psychedelic" mind-altering one that affects perception of time & causes the munchies, giddiness, laughter & intoxication classically associated with the plant.  CBD has essentially the opposite effect, acting as a mild anti-psychotic with relaxing effects that quiet the mind.  It can also stop a bad THC "trip" in its tracks if you get too high. 

Different strains of cannabis contain different amounts of THC & CBD.  There really is no "best strain for PCOS" or any other condition; if you want something high in CBD, simply type "CBD strains" in to Leafly.com or Wikileaf.com & see what pops up.  The majority of medical strains are selected for their soaring THC content, usually upwards of 19%, so that's not hard to find.  Much is made of the Sativa/Indica distinction but research has shown that most strains are a hybrid of both these days.  Terpene content is the most accurate indicator of effects:  limonene & pinene are associated with a more uplifting, focused & invigorating effect while linalool, myrcene & caryophyllene are more pain-relieving & relaxing.  These terpenes can be detected just by smelling the buds in many cases. 


Breaking It Down

Image result for fake cbd
Understanding cannabis helps you rise above the BS.

Not all cannabis & hemp products are created equal, especially when it comes to CBD.  This booming market is entirely unregulated & products often contain little or none of the CBD advertised on the label.  Oils, gummies & topical formulations are less concentrated & thus less likely to be effective than isolates that contain 98-99% pure CBD in solid form.  As for route of administration, sublingual (under the tongue) and vaporized are the most direct way to ingest CBD so it bypasses first-pass metabolism & isn't destroyed by stomach acid.

If you prefer full-spectrum effects, you can smoke hemp/CBD flower which contains all the other cannabinoids & terpenes that occur naturally in the plant.  Both hemp flower & CBD isolate are legal in all 50 states, though full-spectrum CBD products can cause you to fail a drug test since they contain trace amounts of THC.  If this is a problem for you, stick to isolates.  Always choose brands that offer 3rd party lab tests for pesticides, heavy metals & diluents like Vitamin E acetate.

As for THC, I find that most products from licensed medical dispensaries are reliable in the general sense.  If you're new to THC, always start low & go slow so you don't trigger a panic attack.  According to Leafly.com, THC sensitivity is highest in the first two weeks of your cycle (the Estrus Phase) & decreases a bit during the 2nd two weeks (Diestrus Phase).  In my case, THC makes me paranoid & aggravates my migraines if taken during Week 3 of my cycle (PMS week) when I already feel moody.  I respond best during period time (Week 4) and neutrally during the Estrus Phase.  Everyone is different so keeping a journal can help you track your progress & reactions during various points in your cycle.

Here is a great list of weed products for endometriosis & vulvodynia pain.  I've reviewed several THC edibles & other medicinals that I loved from medical dispensaries in my state, as well as some CBD products that offer lab testing & are affordable.  If you live in an illegal state, you'll have to obtain your weed from the black market.  Always opt for plain bud in the black market & avoid THC vape carts since they're often contaminated with toxic lung-injurious agents like mineral oil or Vitamin E acetate.  Sadly, even edibles can be laced with fentanyl & other deadly cuts these days, hence why plain flower is the safest bet.  It's not common but fentanyl analogues have turned up in every illegal drug on the market so better not to risk it.



Weed Where the Sun Don't Shine

Related image
Cannabis tampon

Two products I'm dying to try are cannabis suppositories & weed "tampons".  Sounds weird but it also makes sense that putting the medicine close to the source of pain would be most effective.  Tommy Chong uses weed suppositories to treat his rectal cancer, as he attested to in a recent interview.  (He's also covering his bet with chemo & other proven treatments which is important to note).  One suppository costs $20 at my local dispensary so I haven't gotten around to trying them yet, but I'll post a review when I do.  There have been times I've hurt so bad I considered going to the ER for endometriosis pain & nausea & weed was the only thing that touched the pain.  I highly recommend it for acute pain caused by uterine spasms in endometriosis & PCOS.

I've heard from a prominent weed reviewer online that the Foria suppositories were messy & not worth the money.  When all else fails, smoking some good old flower is a reliable & fast way to treat severe pain or nausea associated with menstrual problems.  I find that THC worsens my migraine pain slightly, especially when taken during Week 3 of my cycle.  That's easily remedied by substituting CBD isolate during that week.  As a side note:  CBD has been a more effective preventative for my migraines than Topiramate or anything else, though it may not work for everyone.  It won't abort a migraine in progress but it does reduce the overall number of them when taken daily & consistently.  Your mileage may vary.


Summary

So what's hope & what's hype?  Every lady will have to determine that for herself, as we're all unique & have different needs.  I will say that many product lines are overpriced & don't have any benefits that can't be gotten for much cheaper elsewhere.  Once you understand the basics of THC & CBD, you can cut through the marketing hype much easier.  For instance:  'Hemp seed oil' is not the same as 'Hemp oil' & contains no CBD.  Many CBD companies use deceptive labeling to mislead buyers into thinking they've got a medicinal CBD product when they don't.  Always look for the actual mg of CBD in the product; not the mL of oil or total weight of the product.  If it's not listed, put it back.

Image result for fake cbd
Don't be fooled:  Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD.

Ditto for THC & whole cannabis--if the label or budtender can't tell you whether an item is full-spectrum or how it was extracted (or whatever major detail you want to know), don't buy it.  Don't pay a premium for essential oils or other expensive additives; you can always add those yourself if you want.  Topical products like lotions & bath salts can be tempting to try, but taking cannabis internally is by far the most effective route.  There are cannabinoid receptors in the skin but they absorb weed products so slowly you aren't likely to detect any noticeable effect (with the exception of vaginal or rectal use, which can cause a psychoactive effect if the THC dose is high enough).  Topicals are most effective for skin conditions like eczema, hives, shingles & others that are merely "skin-deep".

If you have severe menstrual or related conditions, weed alone is unlikely to be a total cure but it can be a useful tool in your toolbox.  The risks are relatively low compared to most prescription & OTC treatment options so you may as well try it.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Reflecting On the 2010's: A Long, Strange Trip

As the decade draws to a close, it's a good time to reflect on the past 10 years to see where we went right & what we'd like to improve on in the coming decade.  Since this is primarily a drug blog, I figured I'd do a little reminiscing on my decade of substance use & try to plan what I'd like the "roaring 20's" to look like in this regard.  If you'd like to join me, read on.

Image result for highlights word
Post your favorites!

What drugs did you use in the 2010-2019 period?  My favorites were as follows:

Stimulant/Empathogen:  Methylone.  This magical powder got me out of the house & back in the game when I was feeling low.  Often called "MDMA-lite," methylone felt far less neurotoxic & could be re-dosed over & over for its short-lived rush of euphoria & energy.  It was by far the most benign feeling substituted cathinone of the early 2010's & I was bummed to see it get banned.  I found it more similar to what I expected Ecstasy to be like than actual MDMA was, actually.  My introvert ass even went to clubs & danced with the powdered courage of bk-MDMA.

Opioid/Depressant:  OxyContin 20 mg (old formulation).  It was a close call between the new & old formulations, but the new ones that break down slowly irritate my mouth terribly & cause ulcers on my lips.  Both provide a long-acting rush of hypomanic energy & euphoria that I'd indulge in daily if I could.  I miss having a cheap hookup for these badboys but am probably better off without the temptation.  I was paying $6 per pill while most people were paying $1 per mg. for legit Oxy...or getting burned with fentanyl bombs.  This blessing wasn't lost on me.

Psychedelic/Dissociative:  4-AcO-DMT.   I'm no hallucinogen fan, but I did try a lot of them this decade.  4-AcO was probably the best overall in terms of the reliability of effects.  It's nearly identical to a shroom trip in both feeling & duration, providing 4 hours of trippy tryptamine effects from 25-30 mg.  Bonus:  None of the nausea or nasty taste of shrooms.

Weed Strain or Product:  Simple Cure gummies, Indica-dominant.  I smoked a lot of strains in the 2010's, including some I grew myself & were damn dank.  But my fave weed product had to be Simple Cure gummies (Indica-dominant over Sativa by a hair).  They're easy to dose, taste okay & provide instant effects for me.  So much more discreet than smoking & none of the unknowns of vaping.



LOWLIGHTS


Related image
What drugs from the 2010's would you never touch again?

Stimulant/Empathogen:  MDPV.  Worst.  Stimulant.  Ever.  Caused severe palpitations & shortness of breath in the most minute doses not much bigger than a pinhead.  My stomach gradually got more bloated the longer I used it until I spent the night vomiting/shitting my guts out.  Threw my remaining half-gram in the trash the following day.  This stuff is an asthma attack in powder form.  And I don't have asthma.

Opioid/Depressant:  Phenazepam.  This crap caused a multi-day blackout in which I thought I had mad cow disease.  No lie.  If my ex hadn't been there I could've seriously injured myself.  I ended up eating a gram of ethylphenidate in 2 days while blacked out, among other things.  Runner Up:  Etizolam.  Not to be taken daily or long-term unless you want to end up a broken sack of panic & depression.  Fuck benzos forever.

Psychedelic:  6-Apb.  Took a tablet of this before a social event expecting a 4-FA like experience of euphoria & chattiness since that's what everyone online described.  Ended up with something resembling a cross between mescaline & shrooms.  I looked pale & sickly and left the event early, riding out the rest of the trip in bed for a grand total of 9 hours.  Felt toxic & nasty.  Never again.

Weed Strain or Product:  Spice (synthetic cannabinoids).  Fuck everything about these chemicals.  I hit a bong-load of it with a friend & got way too intoxicated but managed to keep my shit together.  Luckily this was one of the early JWH compounds & not some of the stuff that makes people bleed to death, but I realized later how lucky I was not to have reacted with a seizure or worse.



WISH LIST FOR 2020's



Image result for wish list
What's on your list?

Here are just a few of the goodies from each class I'd like to try this decade.  What's on your list?


Stimulant/Empathogen:  Desoxyn, phendimetrazine, amineptine, khat.  Want to secure a Rx for amphetamines (Dexedrine, Adderall, etc) at some point too.  I've made due with Benzedrex & various research chemicals or herbs all these years & it's time to treat my ADD properly.

Opioid/Depressant:  Dilaudid, methaqualone, barbiturates other than butalbital, GHB, buprenorphine.  Though I'd be fine with more of what I've already tried.  These are just bonuses.

Psychedelic/Dissociative:  Ketamine (nasal spray or oral lozenge).  My psychiatrist brought it up so it's on my mind.

Weed Strain or Product:  Blue Diesel, Strawberry Satori, Golden Pineapple, Kaua'i Electric & literally any landrace from the '60s/'70s.  As for products, I've been eyeballing THC lip gloss, weed inhalers, rosin, live resin cartridges, suppositories & transdermal patches on the dispensary websites.

________________________________________________________________________________


Honestly, I've tried just about everything I care to try & am cool to just have a steady stash of stimulants & opioids for daily low-dose use like I've been doing since I was a teen.  The only thing I really regret this past decade is the etizolam abuse; the health effects & fallout in my relationship were not even close to worth it.  I wouldn't trade the other drug experiences though.  I know I've got to slow down as my 30's progress if I want to have good health & longevity.  And I have slowed way down in the last few years.

Overall, the 2010's were a decade of drastic experimentation & change...both good & bad.  I tried meth & LSD one time each, delved deep into RC's (and back out), pulled myself out of the deepest mental health hole of my life during etizolam withdrawal, got to try a bunch of prescription stimulants I'd always wanted to try, went to a ton of festivals where I tripped my balls off & finally got to experiment with growing my own weed.  I also got my medical marijuana card--a lifelong dream.  I'm a work in progress but I'm proud of where I am today.  (Of course that's not ALL I accomplished but, again, this is a drug blog so I'm leaving my personal info out lol).

I plan to spend New Year's Eve in my room with some weed candies, Fioricet & codeine watching the big countdown on TV.  No fake friends or exes to placate this year.  What are your plans for NYE and the new year?  How will you hold yourself accountable beyond the first few weeks of January?  Sound off in the comments!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

[Review] - Simple Cure Chocolates: Indica-Dominant (5-pack)

Image result for simple cure oklahoma



Since I've already done two similar reviews, I'll keep this one short & sweet.  Simple Cure is one of the few companies in my state's medical marijuana industry that offers full-spectrum products made with native cannabis terpenes.  I'm pretty much hooked on their edibles, which include Sativa- and Indica-dominant gummies.  I've spent a pretty penny on them so I figured why not give the chocolates a try?

I have gastritis & GERD which make both acidic stuff like gummies AND dark chocolate problematic to eat, yet I do it anyway.  But the chocolates are smaller & thus require smaller amounts to bring about effects.  That also makes them a bit harder to micro-dose accurately (I'm a lightweight with THC as you know if you're a frequent reader).  They are somewhat messy too; I always have a hard time eating chocolate without bits breaking off & getting all over stuff.

Simple Cure Indica-Dominant Chocolates

Another downside with the chocolates is the higher calorie content--28 calories per piece compared to only 15 in the gummies.  Again, not a big deal when you eat as few per day as I do but it can add up if you eat entire packs in one sitting.  The chocolates taste more strongly of weed than the gummies too but it's not a huge issue unless you have a major aversion to the taste of hempy chlorophyll.  The point is to get the medicine down...not to enjoy the taste, right?

Back of package

Overall I give these Simple Cure Indica-dominant chocolates a 4.7 of 5 stars for effectiveness & price.  They get the job done better than the vast majority of edibles in this state & are reliably potent from one piece to the next with no variation in taste or effect.  I'll likely stick with the gummies as my mainstay due to the easier dosing, less mess & lower calorie content but would choose these in a heartbeat if the gummies weren't in stock.  They're still preferable to flower or other brands of edibles for me.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

[Review] - Cannabis Flower: The Church CBD (1 gram)


For this week's dispo trip, I decided to splurge & dropped a cool $100 on various edibles (more Simple Cure candies, lol).  I also picked up a gram of a high-CBD strain called The Church CBD, though it was mislabeled as "Church OG" which is actually a high-THC strain with a totally different lineage.  D'oh.  

The Church CBD is an Indica-dominant hybrid child of "The Church" (i.e. - Super Skunk + Northern Lights + Swiss Sativa Skunk crossed with an unnamed CBD-rich strain).  Church OG, on the other hand, is the offspring of an OG Kush phenotype or a possible cross between OG & God's Gift.  Two different beasts albeit with similar names, so it's a shame about the mislabeling on the package.  The dispensary's website lists it simply as "Church"--yet another incorrect label for the CBD-rich version which is correctly named The Church CBD.  "Church" is the parent of what I have.  


The Church CBD (Not "Church OG")

At any rate, this particular cut tested at 7.52% THC & 10.54% CBD.  Right up my alley.  As with the Trident I picked up from the same dispensary, The Church CBD is loud af in the smell department, emitting a pungent odor that wafts out through the container.  I have to wait until everyone's in bed to even break it up.  It cost a mere $12 for a gram. 

The buds are medium-thick, medium-dry & break apart easily.  The smell is overwhelmingly citrus with emphasis on the lime end of the spectrum.  There's no hint of pine, berry or other smells with this cut.  Just pure sour zest that unclogs your sinuses when held to your nose.  Acrid, heady & invigorating like walking through a lemon orchard while drinking a fresh-squeezed limeade.  (Sorry, best visual I could come up with).  The terpene content listed on the dispensary's website includes:  pinene, camphene, myrcene, carene, ocimene, terpinolene, caryophyllene & linalool.  No limonene?  Really?!  All I'm smelling is limes on limes.  


Another terrible budshot :\

The effects?  They're described as narcotic, sociable, calming & relaxed which makes sense when you take the CBD content & slight Indica-dominance (60/40) into account.  And that's pretty much right.  I pack my one-hitter with as much as it'll hold & sneak into my closet for a hit late at night after a day of popping codeine.  I feel it first behind the eyes & am quickly transported to a quite stony state of mind with a twinge of paranoia.  Once the initial anxiety wears off, the high is pretty mellow.  It's 11:37 p.m. when the first wave hits & 12:15 when I start to touch back down to sobriety, killer munchies at 1:00 a.m. & back to baseline by 1:42...feeling pretty drowsy.  This strain is lower in both THC & CBD than Trident, making it a 1:1 strain rather than a 2:1.  Still, I'm DEFINITELY impaired from one hit despite the relatively low THC content.  

Overall I'mma give The Church CBD a 4.6 of 5 stars for effects, price & dry/cure job.  Unlike the Trident, it's more thoroughly dried & doesn't contain any tiny seeds which is a bad look for any medical strain (especially one costing $15/gram).  While Trident is stronger smelling and more potent, Church CBD is easier on the wallet & has more of a kick in terms of mindfuck/Sativa feel.  If you like that, more power to ya.  I do better with Indica strains.  40% Sativa is apparently a bit much for my taste.  As with alcohol, more potent doesn't necessarily mean better...and "better" is subjective anyway.  Despite the low THC content, I guarantee you'd be high if you smoked a fat bongload or joint of this stuff.  I'm gone off one hit.  


Image result for the church cbd strain
Better photo from Google

I'd recommend Church CBD for patients with muscle spasticity, low appetite, epilepsy, nausea, glaucoma, depression & those looking for a solid mid-grade high.  There's not much that stands out about the high itself but the lime-scented smell is unmistakable.  











Getting a Stimulant Prescription

Stimulant Summer couldn't be off to a better start for this little blogger.  My psych doctor gave me the green light to ask my physicia...