Oz Fest

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When I visited the MMJ dispensary for the first time, the choices were staggering. There was stuff you could smoke, stuff you could apply topically, stuff you could inhale, drops and wafers you placed under your tongue. There were edibles ranging from cookies to gummy bears to honey. Each item had a specific THC content, presumably designed to target specific pain or anxiety levels.

After making my selection, I wandered over to the front desk to study the “menu” of items more closely, and it was like reading a foreign language. Everything was sorted by category (edibles, oils, etc.), but the actual terminology is what was so foreign. I presume that with time I’ll understand most of it, but for now I am a complete greenhorn, and wish I had asked if they had paper copies I could take home to study.

Before I arrived, the only thing I was sure about was that I was approved for 2.5 oz. of product each month. After one visit, I’ve only scratched the surface of product knowledge except for one thing: based on what I selected, 2.5 oz. is a hell of a lot of product to consume in one month.

All of the available choices, and their degrees of potency (buzz factor) made this a difficult decision. Part of me would have loved to go retro and bring an actual 2.5oz bag of agriculture home, just to see how it compares with what I remembered from back in the old days. In reality smoking the stuff was a never a consideration because it isn’t something you can do discreetly, and the aroma is unique and lingers, to say the least. The last thing I wanted to do is smoke pot in front of Shodan, or have him ask what that smell is.

Edibles and stuff that I could rub into my skin was not high on my list either. For one, it takes longer for the medicinal benefit of these products to take effect, and I could envision Shodan, who is a sneak when it comes to candy, finding a stash of gummy somethings and chowing down, so scratch that off the list. Honey didn’t appeal to me either because I thought that could get messy. Plus I know I would not want to waste a drop, and have you ever been able to get every last drop of honey out of its container?

I considered the drops that go under your tongue, but passed on that too, but don’t remember why. I gave serious consideration to a wafer type thing that dissolves under your tongue, but passed because they didn’t have a version I could take during the daylight hours (weekends only or after work) that would not impact me cognitively. The only version they had in stock had a higher THC content, which for me meant it could only be taken at night. I was also a little spooked about how strong these might be when the pharmacist suggested I start by cutting them in quarters and take them in that quantity until I was comfortable with the dosage. I can see myself revisiting this option in the future once I become more familiar with what I can tolerate, because of all the options, this is the most discreet.

My selection was the CBD oils that go into a small, cylindrical container called a “slim,” that isn’t quite the length of a number 2 pencil but is similar in width. I have two slims, one for the daylight hours (less THC) and one for night time (more THC). The containers these slims come in are marked AM and PM.

The top of each slim has a small hole in it, and, interestingly enough, the bottom of the slim shines red when you are inhaling what is inside. This process looks a lot like vaping. You place the end of the slim with the hole in it, after you remove a plastic cap of course,  into your mouth, wrap your lips tightly around it and inhale, sucking the contents into your lungs. Then you hold it for as long as you can (as least that’s what I do) before exhaling. Sometimes a little vapor emerges when you exhale, which might mean you’ve taken too much, but it is nothing like the swirling cloud you see with the electronic cigarettes. It is barely noticeable, in fact, like a fine thin mist, and it works pretty quickly.

I chose an AM and PM version because I wanted something that would address the restless leg issue and general anxiety during the day without feeling incapacitated, and something stronger at night to address the leg issue plus whatever aches and pains I am dealing with. So far it has worked like a charm.

Each container has less than half an ounce of oil in it, and the pharmacist estimated that each would provide thirty hits, which if true would last an entire month. I guess we’ll find out if the doses I give myself are correct by how soon I have to replace either slim. I did the math, and I can get three sets of these each month if I had to and still not surpass my allowance.

As far as sticker shock is concerned, there wasn’t any, which might have been the most surprising development. My out of pocket expense is higher for most of the MS meds I have and am currently taking than what I paid for both slims.

The daytime slim takes the edge off without feeling drugged. The only sensation I experience is a warm, relaxed feeling, and it definitely has calmed the leg. The nighttime version, the one with more THC, does give a body and head buzz, but it is not sloppy or heavy. I’m sure I could get supremely stoned if I took several hits instead of one, but that was never my intent.

The PM version does not impact my ability to have a conversation or function physically. Having said that, if I’m laying in bed, or watching the Red Sox on my 65 inch flat screen (headphones on, of course) on my recliner, I can really feel my body and mind completely relax. It’s almost like I’m floating on a cloud both physically and mentally. It’s quite nice!

My leg has not twitched AT ALL since I started taking the stuff. I haven’t experienced any foot or toe cramps either. Nothing prevents me from falling asleep, and I have not been waking up as often during the night. I’m asleep until the alarm beckons, and feel very fresh and rested when I get out of bed.

I believe my overall temperament has been better, but K would be a better judge of that. I feel less stressed, and am definitely in a don’t worry-be happy mode when the sun goes down.  In case you are curious, the phenomenon you might know as “the munchies” does not exist.

I’ve always believed in the medicinal value of marijuana, and my brief experience with it has strengthened that conviction. I am sure that anyone who is dealing with PTSD, high anxiety, pain of any kind or has gastrointestinal issues that qualify for its use would benefit from it. I strongly encourage anyone that lives in a state that permits this medicine for specific conditions to see their doctors, and ask them to file the paperwork necessary to get them on the program.

For now, I the only regret I have about this endeavor is that I waited so long to take the plunge.

Author: Steve Markesich

I am loving husband, a doting father, a Red Sox fanatic, an aspiring novelist and MS advocate

26 thoughts on “Oz Fest”

  1. I’m overjoyed to hear about the success of this venture! I audibly said “that’s f*ing awesome” when I read that paragraph that begins “My leg has not twitched AT ALL…” That’s great news, Steve.

    I’m going to look into the medicinal benefits of it for someone I know. They’ve not been experiencing what you are, but some other painful physical and mental trauma, of late. Any knowledge on how MM affects stress and anxiety?

    Looks like the time has come to make the stuff legal, 100%, and nationwide. Let’s hope we can get a Congress and Captain in the next few years with the cojones to do just that (and much, much more).

    Glad you’re feeling better, my man. Just don’t go out and shovel snow now. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Based on my experience it would definitely reduce stress and anxiety for PTSD victims. They would have to dose the person appropriately, because you can get more than half baked if that is what you are going for

      BTW, I already know how I am going to go about writing “under the influence” but I am not going to announce it to the world when I do. It will be interesting to see if you notice when that actually happens.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Also, I started to tell Mrs C about your experience this morning, without saying who, and she interrupted me and said “You mean Steve, the guy who asked you to guest blog for him?! That’s awesome!”

    Your Cummings household famous. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steve, I am so thrilled for you. When I read how much this has helped you, I got a huge smile on my face and told my dogs the wonderful news (there are thrilled for you as well)!!!! Seriously, reading this and knowing that you are getting some real relief, makes my day!!!!!! Good on you for taking this leap, my friend!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully this is a long term benefit and not something episodic because I am introducing something new and the MS hasn’t figured out a way to bypass it. That is one of the things I am paying attention to, but yes. So far, so good 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so glad you had a good experience! This entire post was so enlightening as I literally know nothing about all of this. I will say that all I have heard has been wonderful and this is SO helpful to those in need! I am so glad you took the plunge and hope it brings you LOTS of comfort!! I really look forward to hearing even more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you should Kim. I really like the slims, and you should definitely consider one with a higher THC content for the evening hours. If nothing else it should calm your nerves and ease your pain. But it is potent!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been considering taking CBD oil because of my anxiety and back pain. You may have just pushed me to stop thinking and actually just go buy some. Here, we don’t even need to be approved, so no hoops to jump through at all. So happy to hear this is helping you, Steve. Looking forward to following along!

    Liked by 1 person

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