THC, CBD & MANAGING TBI
I feel like I need to explain myself to my family and friends bout my recent acknowledgement of Cannabis use in my life with a brain injury. So, with that said, here we go…
I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury in 1994, the words “my life ended but I did not die” never did seem more true. (thanks for the phrase, Kara Swanson!)
I want to raise awareness to the brain injured population that CBD and THC may improve your life, although it may not be for everybody. And that’s where I want my family leadership training attributes to shine through. I am boldly going where no family leader has gone and I do hope I get FLTI to think outside the box and to continue to support me.
I do qualify to get a Colorado medical cannabis red card from the state but I chose not to go there because I feel it’s an elite club where you have to buy in for $40 a year to get high caliber medical weed doses and pricing of Cannabis where rec priced weed is still expensive but OK by me, I just may need a second or third dose to get me where I need to be. For that $40 yearly fee, I would rather save my elusive cash and work on my politics of feeling good.
The use of CBD and THC to ease the devastating effects of brain injury including the suppressing involuntary muscle contractions on the right side of my body, improve myself/my well being to a more improved state of body/state of mind as well as reducing the chronic body pain I used to have from my broken back and suffering right knee. It also heightens my body/mind awareness to allow me to finally accept and acknowledge that I do have a TBI (which has always been something I never have liked to admit), has worked miracles for me and finally my personal acceptance. I am who I am… The list of benefits goes on and on and I do not need to provide further proof of benefits beyond what I have already posted.
There are many new studies about the use of cannabis in treatment for brain diseases, but not so much about traumatic brain injury and it needs to be entered into the conversation. There are many attributes that Cannabis provides me that I felt it was time to go public with my usage. Many of these studies are still in the infant stages and I do not have the time to wait, for me it’s personal as my clock is now on the winding down side of my life now that I am 50+ years old… Let the documentation start, you may not like what you read here but this needs to happen, and no I do not want to live my life as a research specimen, I just want to live the best life I can and Cannabis helps me do that.
So much so, that I opted out the high country ski resort lifestyle far before the legalization of recreational Cannabis (for pain and comfort reasons because of the cold) to move from living and working for a Summit County ski resort for 20 years and relocate back to Denver. At the low point of my recovery process my family celebrated things like being able to lift my right arm above my head unassisted, heck even walking was a major challenge as I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair in the beginning.
Then there are my daily activities to sustain my life, like a healthy heart for one -you know fitness and bike riding, talking without the TBI dialect and I was in constant, agonizing pain that I just accepted as a part of the “new me’ and never made too much as fuss about it because I did not want an opioid induced life.
When i finally got out of Craig Hospital I was weaker than anytime in my life from muscle-mass loss and going from a rather active lifestyle of building and repairing ski lifts, skiing 100+ days a year, and windsurfing in the summer to being completely sedentary and being pushed around in a wheelchair. I dealt with being mentally exhausted not from a lack of sleep, but just life in general, and general depression from not being able to live life the way I used to.
Brain injury can be generalized as the slow road to dying where symptoms worsen, and remissions in progress when symptoms improve only to set you back again. In short, not the ideal way to live, not working and contributing to society. Enter my FLTI and family leadership training.
In 2002 Dakota was born and that all changed, I had to be there for him each and every day and that forced me into a fitness regimen which led to a better diet, which opened healthy conversations with my Dr, and that opened his conversation with me about Cannabis and how it could be beneficial in my life. I have become schooled extensively from my research on cannabinoids and brain injury because there is little out there and this is the path I chose, I know it may not be the popular choice but I do not have the time for lengthy studies to happen and I have not offered to let them study me because that is not what my life is about. CW Botanicals in Colorado Springs along with John Hopkins University are jest now starting comprehensive research on brain injury and Cannabinoids and I follow it regularly in my news feed.
I’m now a strong believer that the environment can cause changes to the functions and characteristics of our DNA controlled genes that affect my life.
When I mention the environment, I like to include diet, daily physical activity, quality mental health, personal happiness, no stress, good air quality, etc.. You know, the good things in life and I like being in a healthy environment.
These outside factors, in particular, these can alter the DNA function and are called Epigenome. Because of the immunosuppressive qualities of THC, it’s something you can introduce into your system in order to trigger a change – particularly for the genetic characteristic of chronic inflammation. Cannabis use increases the levels of anti-inflammatory proteins and decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory proteins. Cannabinoids can also help heal acne and skin rashes or dry skin, areas of skin affected by autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, can be treated effectively but not in my particular case, in my opinion. Cannabis can also help with pain management.
I swear by my BHO or Butane Hash Oil using a THC concentrate vaped from my O.Pen Vape, CBD laden concentrates are right up there as well as my flower inhaler, and sometimes potent edibles but not so much so.
Vaping concentrates have been a somewhat crucial part of my routine. Vaping a little THC an hour before I go to bed allows me to sleep soundly all night every night, yet allowing me to keep an ear open for the disturbing sounds a sick child can make at night, which is so important when you have a mind and body that is working at 150% all day, where everyday everything is more difficult.
Fatigue is a huge factor for brain injury and it’s the easiest to prevent. Edibles are an expensive way to dose yourself on a cost per unit basis compared to inhaling flower or concentrates. Vaping CBD oil has had profound effects on my right side muscle spacicity, my walking stride, the speed of my stride, body coordination have all improved, not healed, but improved, it has even helped in my processing of information in real-time; where before I had to fly by the seat of my pants in order to think on the fly and go with the not always right decision, and that my friends, has been the biggest noticeable life changing event that I have noticed and that friends sealed the deal for me. You may say you have never noticed that before in me and I say to those people, I got pretty good at faking it.
I am done faking it…
I hadn’t even considered the use of cannabis in treatment for my brain injury until I started researching Cannabis effects on the brain and injury when recreational cannabis became legal in my home state of Colorado in 2014 with all the references to how it helps the brain injured, but I wanted to know how. With brain injury seizures may be a way of life and Cannabis does help with that, but not me. I wanted more information, but there was, and still is, very little beyond brain injury seizure control because it’s a schedule 1 drug and hospital research can be jailed for doing good.
I’ve met and grown to appreciate my built-in support system/Native Roots Littleton dispensary family. If it’s not the cannabis products, then it has to be all the dedication and happiness the budtenders project and I have shared with them on how it’s given me a second chance at feeling normal in life again.
My life is so much more than your perceived view of me being high, it’s not like that at all, i am just able to take on life with a better understanding what I need to do to get er done. So please do not judge me until you have walked 27,000 steps in my shoes.
Pretty heavy, huh?
If anybody wants to start a conversation with me, or just has questions, I will respect your privacy.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled .com session.
** This is the first hand account of my personal experience with cannabis and traumatic brain injury and in no way should be construed as actual Medical Advice, and with that said,
“The Beat Goes On…”
Mike is not a TBI doctor, he is just an advocate for traumatic brain injury. He offers his advice on brain injury from a survivors perspective and it is up to you to take or ignore his advice. Meaning he is not responsible in any way for your actions. He offers his advice for free on the world wide web and you should take it as such, cheap advice.