Self-Care Sunday: Using Cannabis To Treat Aches & Pains

I haven’t always been as big a proponent of marijuana as I am these days. I used to dismiss it as “hippie shit” that made me fall asleep, choosing a much more destructive altered state through whiskey, instead. Ten years later, I have certainly changed my tune, especially since the lifelong chronic pain that I have experienced has only increased in frequency and intensity.

For myself and many others, cannabis has become a large part of my self-care. With an estimated $7.1 Billion in sales of legal marijuana in 2016, the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the US, with half of the states having legalized medical marijuana and several states gearing up to vote on recreational usage. The reality of the plant is that it isn’t just for recreational usage; it is a very real pain reliever with antioxidant properties and countless scientific and medical applications, from treatment of Alzheimer’s to cancers.

Non-users often associate the highly beneficial parts of marijuana with being high, but for me it is entirely about the CBD (canabidiol — the main healing element) rather than the THC (the part with the psychoactive ingredient). While it’s always nice to have the option of a recreational high, using CBD for pain management is my goal 90% of the time — it’s impossible for me to work while high, and I rely on a clear head for productivity.

Having lost my father to lung cancer, keeping clear lungs is incredibly important to me. That is why the slew of CBD vapes, soaks, salves, edibles and ingestibles have been a godsend for me.  The great thing about these alternative methods is that while many of them are just a matter of daily self-care for me, some of these options feel like luxurious items that will made your day that much smoother and more enjoyable.

CBD Oil Vapes

There are multiple options for the delivery of CBD and THC. Most of us can agree that while smoking it is the classic way, vaporizing or “vaping” CBD oil is a much more effective and clean solution. Instead of inhaling the carcinogens that come with carbonization through fire, one is merely inhaling heated water vapor that offers pain relief quickly delivered, bypassing the breakdown in the gut and liver which ingestibles and edibles must go through in order to be broken down and delivered through the bloodstream.

My favorite is the “Highlighter” by California-based Bloom Farms. It’s cute, stylish, and they specialize in anxiety-reducing strains — another issue that I have begun treating with cannabis.

Edibles

From brownies to cookies to gummies to taffy, edibles are a tasty and fun way to consume cannabis. If you live in a state where recreational marijuana use is legal, you can walk into any dispensary to buy pre-made goodies produced by expert bakers and growers.

If you are in a state where DIY-tactics are still necessary, there are tons of recipes across the web for cannabutter - the core of every baked edible recipe. There’s tons of theories about how to balance out the flavor of cannabis within the brownies, including using a 50-70% dark chocolate in addition to cocoa powder since the powder is often not strong enough to blend perfectly with the plants’ strong flavor profile.

Check out this recipe for the perfect pot brownie.

Medicated Bath Soaks

What better way to take a relaxing bath than to absorb healing CBD in the process? There are tons of bath soaks out in the world, but personally, I prefer ingredients that create an Icy/Hot or Tigerbalm like cold burn in my sore muscles — or a completely relaxing bath with ingredients like lavender, chamomile, and peppermint oils.

Simply draw a hot bath and toss in a scoopful while you wait for the water to fill. Crawl in and enjoy! Make sure you pay close attention and use as directed, otherwise it may pack a bit more of a wallop than you intended.

Some folks may have psychoactive responses from bath soaks, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to stick to salves.

Medicated Salves

Like bath soaks, salves are often handmade and incorporate essential oils, so make sure the other ingredients don’t irritate your skin. It doesn’t matter how much healing and relaxing CBD is in the product if you are horribly allergic to the lavender or peppermint oil (for example) that is a major component in your salve of choice.

Using marijuana topically is a great way to experience its benefits without the psychoactive response from THC. It provides muscle and joint relief, as well as a reduction of swelling.

Medicated Lube

Vaginal skin is tremendously absorbant, as we learned with the number of alcohol overdoses in the early ‘00s by overzealous college girls doing “pussy shots.” In case you were ever wondering, “Who the fuck would put alcohol — something that would surely burn — into their vaginas?” then your question was answered.

Now marijuana… that’s a completely different beast. If you have any sexual issues like dryness, tightness, lack of sensitivity, etc., getting your vagina high is a great way to change sexual dynamics and bring the fun back to sex.

There’s super expensive lubes out there, but you can also make your own. Yes, you can make your own weed lube that also doubles as a massage oil and salve. Check it out!

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