At one point in my life, it felt like I was eating more pain medication than food. After over a decade of being on pain medication, my tolerance was through the roof. There was no real answer to things and I was on the losing end of a fight for my health and dignity. My world was falling apart, barely holding on to my family, living in a car while they stayed with my in-laws. Everything was taking a toll on me. Mentally and physically I was falling apart. Being able to only spend real time with my wife and kids when I brought them to and from work and school and back to my in-laws. Although everyone turned their back on me and faulted me for the position my family was in, my wife never lost hope in me.
I was tired; I didn’t feel like there was any hope left in things. I couldn’t make sense of things. I didn’t understand how things turned out the way they did. My issues stem from an ATV crash I was involved in back in my early 20s. I was in the 926th Security Forces Air Force Reserves Unit patrolling the base one year for the air show. Here I am, all these years later with three kids and a wife living without them in a car. The cold lonely nights got to me, and one day I took the wife to the cemetery to visit my grandfather’s plot. He was the person whom I looked up to the most in life and, whom I named my first born Warren after. It was here I found myself explaining to my wife how I was ready to give up on things completely when she stopped me. She started to tell me she felt that God and my grandfather were trying to tell me something. She pointed out that my grandfather’s plot number is 420 while reminding me, our son Warren was born 4/20. At that moment, I felt like there was some sort of hope for me.
I knew there was more to things than “smoking weed,” when it would come to help me, but I was not exactly sure how to go about things. At this point, I would start to spend my time without my family on the internet trying to get any information I could about the benefits of cannabis on the body. I learned the best I could out of the information I came across about our body’s endocannabinoid system. To me, it seems it promote better “all around” quality of mental and physical health. I then tried to understand how the opiates were actually affecting me. From what it seems the long term opiate use caused my body, to not only, add receptors in my brain, gut, and spine, but it also stopped my body from naturally being able to produce the chemicals needed to bind to those receptors. Opiate Addiction is not about willpower or being weak, it is a chemical imbalance of the brain and cannabis is the most effective way to balance things out.
Once we were able to save enough money and get back under the same roof again, we took the chance and put what I learned to the test. Anyone who has ever dealt with addiction and detoxing knows detoxing is a scary experience. It is literally dragging your body through hell. It is feeling like you are dying the worst of deaths over and over. In my opinion, it is what drives overdoses. It’s almost like people would rather continue on fighting that feeling and risk and gamble what they would consider the “peaceful way.” Luckily for me, by ingesting cannabis, I was able to beat that sickness. At first, I was really simple and to the point with things. I would mostly infuse honey. Using that throughout the day while smoking a joint or two as well.
It was January 19th, 2018 when I took my last pain pill or any form of opiate. I use cannabis to manage my chronic pain from my injuries and all the added physical and mental issues that came along with the long term opiate use. Eating cannabis is the best way for me to achieve things. I feel it is the best way for the cannabinoids to get distributed throughout the body effectively. In my time of working and cooking with the cannabis plant, I have learned that it can be incorporated into just about any meal or dish once you understand the basics of things.
The two most important things for cooking cannabis is decarboxylation or “decarbing” and low heat. To keep things basic, decarbing is activating your cannabis. It is needed to get the full potential out of your cannabis. It is achieved by putting your cannabis on a baking pan in the oven before you start to infuse anything. The times and temperatures suggested a range of 200° to 240° for 20 minutes to an hour. It seems the lower the heat the longer you can leave it in the oven. Keep an eye on things. The aroma will start to get stronger and the cannabis should start to turn a bit darker becoming brittle and easily crumbled.
After you are done decarbing your cannabis, you are ready for the next step which is infusing the cannabis into an oil or butter. Allowing the cannabis to infuse into something with a high-fat content makes it easier for the body to absorb and break down. Coconut oil, butter, and honey are the three main things I use to infuse my cannabis. This part takes a bit of time and can be done so by adding your cannabis to your oil or butter to a jar and putting it into a crockpot filled with water on low for at least 3 to 4 hours. The longer the better for this step some even leave in for 12 hours. It’s important to pop the top at a time to release any pressure building up. Other than that it is low maintenance until it’s time to strain.
Once strained and cooled you can add to any dish that calls for it. Coconut oil can be used in replace of butter for some dishes. It just depends on your taste at this point. Dosing edibles are tricky and should be done so with consideration. I would recommend undergoing things before overdoing them. Ingesting too much cannabis at one time can be very unpleasant. So please be cautioned in doing so, I would also recommend doing as much personal research as you can on your own before you actually jump into things. Once you get the hang of basic infusing and have your dosing figured out the possibilities could be endless when it comes to incorporating cannabis into your diet.