The Grey Area With The New Green: Cannabis For Addicts In Recovery

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The New Green

With the legalization of marijuana in some of the United States, the land of opportunity and capitalism is gradually becoming the land of the red, white… and green. As Americans we have always been interested how to manifest our destiny by profit… and now thanks to the newest laws passed, cannabis seems to be the newest way to make some green. It’s estimated that the cannabis industry is on track to post $24.5 billion in sales by 2021.

Legalized marijuana, also known as “cannabis,” has shed some controversial light on the many medical uses it provides. One of the most useful ingredients in cannabis is from a group of chemical compounds in the plant called cannabinoids, CBD. The newest studies into the beneficial effects of CBD are leading the way towards debunking the “bad science” rap that is the basis of previous cannabis user stereotypes.

The ever-increasing list of success stories that surround CBD and cannabis use has prompted a hot-topic in recovery circles. So many more people suffering with addictions these days are abusing opiates or prescriptions before marijuana. The truth is that an addict and recovering alcoholic has in their nature a desire to want to beat the system, manipulate and/or exhibit drug seeking behavior- that’s part of our disease. However, when it comes to the medicinal use of cannabis to treat very real and very serious health issues, can it affect a persons sobriety, if they use it that way?

The Grey Area: Cannabis In Recovery

The last time I smoked marijuana was a couple of hits about eight or nine years ago, and I just couldn’t even function, it messed me up so bad. I was never a “marijuana person”- it wasn’t my “drug of choice” as they say in 12 step programs.

But now that it’s on its way to becoming legalized in more and more states, I’m noticing that people with addictive brains are starting to question it’s use, and whether or not it’s just like any other drug, alcohol or pharmaceuticals. The danger to disrupting a person’s sobriety lies in its potential mind altering effects. Which brings into question, is it medicinal or recreational?

For a recovering addict there is a big difference between needs vs. wants. For a person in a normal healthy state, there is no need to take a substance with mind-altering components… that would be considered a “want.” However, for people in recovery who have health issues, surgeries and even life threatening diseases, the use of cannabis becomes a big “need.”

The use of CBD therapies has become so mainstream that even Sanjay Gupta did a landmark CNN documentary that forever changed mainstream perceptions. The documentary introduced the world to a girl who suffered from seizures that began when she was three months old. Within one hour of taking CBD extracted oil, it managed to calm her seizures and bring a new possibility of normality to her life, this is nothing less than a miracle.

The Science Of CBD

The purpose of this article is not to be a science lesson, but I have found it helpful to know the basics, especially when it comes to the debate on medical Cannabis use and sobriety.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of a group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. There is also Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabicyclol (CBL), and cannabicitran (CBT) just to name a few.

CBD is the non-psychoactive part of cannabis that actually reduces the euphoric effects, or “high” that comes from THC. CBD doesn’t make people high because it has very little effect on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. When CBD activates the adenosine receptor, the resultant brain activity reduces anxiety.

CBD activates the serotonin receptor, and the vanilloid receptor and the resultant brain activity reduces depression, blood sugar levels, and nausea, alleviates pain and inflammation and provides a whole host of other neurological and biological effects. When used together, these cannabinoids even have a synergistic effect on reducing and completely inhibiting tumor growth.

Using CBD For Cancer: A Sobering Thought April J. who is a member of AA and sober for 15 years was diagnosed with multiple melanomas over the last several years. Her mother had battled with cancer for many years and died from melanoma, so she knew what this diagnosis meant. April found that the traditional routes for cancer treatment were not for her and she decided to look into cannabis as a possible treatment.

April’s research showed groundbreaking studies from Israel and all over the world that demonstrated the superior therapeutic advantages of whole plant CBD. She had heard about the famous RSO oil treatments (the Rick Simpson Oil‘s) and about doctors all over the world working with cannabis plants to create medicine to treat cancer… everywhere except in the U.S.

So thanks to 100% transparency and honesty, she found that her sponsor agreed to stand by her side and take the journey together with April, helping to make sure it didn’t affect her sobriety.

April says, “ If anything “from the neck up” is bad then if you have hip surgery will you say no to Anesthesia? I used my medication exactly as prescribed and all my doctors know I’m in recovery… there are parts of the AA program that really need to be updated to catch up to the advances in modern medicine and to facilitate healing…

Using medical cannabis is not about getting high ... when you do the research you’ll see that the THC is the activating ingredient and it works simultaneously with CBN/CBD and all the other strains of cannabinoids... cannabis is a medicine for those seeking holistic and alternative ways to cure their ailments and diseases. If there was no factually based research proving the benefits of CBD, then why would the U.S. buy a patent on CBD? Think about it! …having other people to help me be accountable is the key to CBD treatments and medical cannabis working for a sober person.”

April had to have a large melanoma on her leg removed via a surgical procedure that took a piece of her leg out. She decided to start a strict and monitored round of Cannabis whole plant oils and tinctures treatments. After just one round of treatment she didn’t have to have anything more cut out for the last year. In addition, all of the new and curious moles that she had put the CBD oil on went away. Now that’s a sobering thought!

The Alchemy Of Medical Cannabis

Antony Jacobs is the owner of Earth Alchemy, diagnosis specific cannabis oil collective that makes all of their own medicines, receiving their cannabis from growers who only grow medicinally.

When asked about the potential of people’s sobriety being affected by CBD and the fear of disrupting their sobriety getting in the way of using CBD treatments, Antony responded with this: “We don’t get people high. It’s all about the strains and dosing and slowly adjusting the concentrated form of a plant to create relief and healing. We work with patients every day with a variety of conditions that are being treated with CBD -everything from sleep issues, anxiety/depression, Parkinson’s, seizures, surgical or chronic pain to getting people off of the opiates they are addicted to, and treating critical illnesses like cancer. There’s no physical addiction to cannabis. There are no withdrawals like with opiates. Every day there are new discoveries about the ways we can use cannabis to treat different diseases... inflammation is linked to many of the diseases we treat and cannabis is an anti-inflammatory. The body respond so positively to cannabis because it really wants to repair itself... cannabis is creating an environment where the conditions in your body no longer welcome these diseases and it gets the immune system working at an optimal level... we work with progressive doctors, clinics naturopaths and a network of people who believe in the difference that cannabis is making in the world of medicine... we have a referral business it’s by word-of-mouth only, so if what we were doing wasn’t working, we wouldn’t have any new patients.”

Cannabis Is Smoking Big Pharma

The last thing that I need to share in the debate over the use of medically necessary cannabis in recovery is that cannabis products are significantly less expensive than many of the prescription drugs that treat the same ailments. For the majority of people who are sick and spending their entire income on drugs (that often cause more problems than they solve), the future of cannabis and CBD may put a monkey wrench into the debilitating control of “Big Pharma,” and in my opinion this is not a bad thing.

With these less expensive cannabis-based products the cannabis industry could replace designer pharmaceuticals for treating everything from cancer cell growth, nervous system degeneration, high blood sugar levels, insomnia, inflammation, seizures and convulsions to psychoses and chronic pain…that’s pretty much our entire population.

This is why Big Pharma and its army of lobbyists are working hard to keep cannabis products illegal. It really is a shame because CBD could have such a profound effect on the lives of millions of people.

(Oh and don’t forget that Big Pharma is currently working to make synthesized CBD in order to cash in on the benefits that it produces).

Cannabis Cures And Recovery Of The Future

The bottom line is that at some point in life, even for people in recovery, people have accidents or surgeries and/or health issues- especially as we age! People in recovery do take prescribed opiates and other pain relieving or disease modifying pharmaceuticals in these situations and must be very careful. They have to; it’s a need not a want. And when taken under guidance in the exact amount, for the exact amount of time, it’s not considered “going out.” So in all fairness, why should using medical cannabis in the same exact way be considered any more threatening? If anything, it seems that the underlying evidence proving and supporting that cannabis has curative effects is becoming the wiser and better choice if properly and legally prescribed by a doctor.

I am in no way advocating the use of any illegal oils or substances, this is under the guise of legal, prescribed, properly used CBD oils for a legitimate, serious medical issue.

We could save so many lives and help so many people with the availability of medical cannabis and CBD oils. We wouldn’t have people walking around stoned or dying, we’d have a much healthier population and a much safer way to deal with major health issues. Could cannabis become the cure all of the future? I don’t know but we will soon find out as it’s future is….growing.

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