Guest post by Michelle Bilodeau
Since I became a mom almost two years ago, my relationship with cannabis has changed, ever so slightly. I am very vocal about it IRL and on my social feed, because, for me, smoking cannabis helps to boost creativity, while CBD [blogger’s note: this is the chilled out ingredient that has a reputation as being less psychoactive than THC, the more popular ingredient found in marijuana] helps me with day-to-day anxiety, the aches and pains from training for my third half-marathon, as well as lessening the severity of my monthly menstrual cramps. And if me being vocal about these aspects of my life helps other women feel like they can reach out to ask questions, or turn to cannabis as a remedy for their own health concerns, that makes me happy!
My daughter will essentially grow up in a world where cannabis is legal, and one where her grandfather uses it for medical reasons. So we plan on being open with her and educating her about everything — not just cannabis, but sex, drinking and drugs. I believe that if you take the stigma away from something, it becomes less shiny, less of something that needs to be hidden. And that is good for my daughter and society in general.
I have dabbled in consuming cannabis on and off since I was a teen. But what really brought me back to it was a little surprising! My father-in-law has now consumed cannabis medicinally for over 10 years, and it was his and my mother-in-laws openness to cannabis that really helped me find my voice in the space. My thought was if my in-laws aren’t going to judge me about something that has such a stigma attached to it, well, it’s easy to be loud and proud.
I have seen first-hand how cannabis has helped my FIL manage symptoms and pain from a myriad of ailments, including hip replacement surgery and a neurological issue that causes his muscles to fasciculate, which was growing ever more painful over time.
So, as I started digging into cannabis as medicine, I learned so much about how the provocative plant benefits women in particular. Scientists have now found that women have more endocannabinoid receptors in our body than men, mostly centred around our reproductive organs. Cannabinoids (aka CBD) is one of the main elements that make up cannabis, and our receptors are cells in our body that are open to receiving these. Most people have heard of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in cannabis that gives you the high. And the general public is now becoming more aware of CBD, cannabidiol, which is being used in studies for epilepsy, concussions and more, thanks to its therapeutic properties and the fact that it is less psychoactive.
As a society, there is a lot we still have to learn about cannabis. And that will come with time and research, which Canada will likely be at the forefront of now that we’re going to be only the second country in the world to legalize it.
3 ways to use cannabis to improve your health and wellness
Cannabis might not be for everyone. But if you’re open to trying it, here are a few tips: Definitely start low, and go slow, until you find the proper dosage. Going low means trying products that have a low THC content. Mirco-dosing is the best way to test out how your body will reacts to different strains — this is the going slow part. And stay within a comfortable space, like your home, until you know how you’re going to react — it will help keep any anxiety at bay and allow you to fully get into your experience.
Cannabis is often associated with a feeling of lethargy. And when used in the proper way, it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Look for an Indica strain, the strain most often associated with calming nerves. It has been dubbed ‘in-da-couch’ because it gives you that feeling of wanting to do nothing but chill which is sweet relief for insomnia sufferers.
Is your period a diva?
Does your monthly meeting with Aunt Flow leave you crampy and exhausted? Next time you can’t get away from your hot water bottle, try some marijuana. Depending on your method of choice, you really have options. If you’re into smoking, a Sativa will help you stay alert while taking away your pain. Or if you don’t want to get high at all, try a CBD tincture or oil to help take away your aches. And while they are a bit harder to find at the moment, cannabis infused suppositories or tampons are said to really help relieve period cramps, and quickly, because the cannabis gets to the heart of the matter directly.
Over being in pain?
Whether you are training for something in particular or you just have a nagging jolt of pain that won’t go away, cannabis can certainly play a role. CBD, and cannabis in general, is now known for its anti-inflammatory properties. While some athletes have taken to ingesting cannabis before a long session at the gym or a long run, amateurs can rely on a CBD tincture or tea post workout to help with aches and pains. There are also lotions and balms that can be used topically to help with localized pain, if you have a specific injury that you’re seeking treatment for. And if you’re looking for something a bit more potent, start to look into edibles with higher THC percentages.