Medical Marijuana, how I got my card

*this is solely my experience, it may be different for others.  I live in Arizona, the requirements can be different for different states, and the type of product offered can be very different also.  You can read a good article about the whole process on Leafly, here.

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As soon as we moved to Tucson I started the process of getting my Medical Marijuana card.  I received it on my birthday (July 2nd).  Here’s the process I went through:

First I had to get an Arizona Driver’s License, thankfully I kept my license up to date even though I hadn’t driven in years.  To get my license I had to prove my identity and prove I live here, I took a copy of our lease and mail that had been forwarded from our previous address.  Within an hour after arriving at a DMV I had my temporary license in hand, after 2 weeks I received my official license in the mail.  Very shortly after that I went in to apply for my Medical Marijuana Card.

To obtain a Medical Card from the Arizona Department of Health I needed to take my medical records that proved I have been dealing with one of the approved conditions on the list for over a year, in my case severe migraines, to a doctor to see if I qualify.   To find a doctor who will do these referrals was pretty easy, I just looked in the local free paper, there are plenty of ads (I actually think this is kind of weird)   I saw an ad that looked a bit more professional than some of the others and emailed them (as most of you probably know, I don’t use the phone because of my hearing loss).  The doctor I saw is a Naturopathic Doctor, she reviewed my records briefly and checked my vitals.  She told me a little about Medical Marijuana, and told me I should receive my card in a couple of weeks.  Oh, I also had to pay a fee to the doctor and a fee to the state, the doctor fee can vary, the state fee is set.  You can get the recommendation from the doctor and then file your own paperwork online with the health department, but I decided to pay the extra little bit to have the doctor’s office do the filing for me, they even took my photo for my ID.  So to break down the cost, the office visit was $100, the processing fee (to have them file all my paperwork) was $20, and the state fee is $150 so the total cost to get my the card was $270.  The state fee is $75 for those with a SNAP card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

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Ads found in the Tucson Weekly  (I’m not against recreational use, but if this is a medicinal only state, then treat it like medicine.  The ads like those above give medical patients a bad name.)

 

If you are interested in even more details, this link will send you to the center where I saw my prescriber.  Actually it isn’t “prescribed”, it is recommended, doctors honestly don’t have enough knowledge about the efficacy of marijuana (the different strains vary in what they do, some are sedating, some are energizing, some help pain, some cause paranoia…..there is no way to actually just prescribe marijuana like you do other medications, you have to know all the different aspects of the different strains and delivery methods, therefore they really have no idea how to dose it.  The center that I went to offered a 15-minute Complimentary Consultation to discuss the available types and delivery method for cannabis, and suggested strains to help with my condition.  They also suggested a dosing schedule.  I felt this visit too short, however, since I had already done a lot of research I didn’t need a lot of guidance (or so I thought), but I welcomed the advice on strains and dosing.  The center also offers a couple of workshops, one teaches how to make edibles because it’s much cheaper to make your own, (these are an additional cost).

After receiving my card I visited a Dispensary that is located close to my house. (since then I’ve done some research on the different dispensaries in the area and I will make sure to take advantage of the best deals, it kind of blows my mind that they offer sales, I thought all the dispensaries would have the same prices and the same products, but it can vary greatly.  I should note that the dispensaries are non-profit, however, some also sell paraphernalia, I don’t know if they are allowed to make a profit on that, it seems like they should.

When we arrived at the dispensary someone greeted us at the door and welcomed us in.  We walked into what appeared to be a somewhat large lounge, the actual shop was in another room that had to be opened for me to go in.  Stuart was not allowed in the shop with me even though I told them I needed him to hear, to compensate they had a pen and paper so we could communicate that way if needed.

A very sweet girl met me at the door and gave me a tour of the shop.  She pointed out a cart that contained CBD products only and told me that anyone could come in and buy those, they simply took the cart out to the lobby and had them shop from there.  I noticed that she kept pointing out the strains with the highest amount of THC, they are more expensive, so I was wary about taking her advice as to what I needed.  (I have since been back to this dispensary and another and found the people I spoke with very knowledgeable and were able to really help me figure out which products to try.)

There are so many different types of delivery methods, smoking, vaping, tinctures, transdermal patches, various edibles (from cookies to hard candies), drinks, and concentrates….so much it is mind blowing.  The doctor I saw recommended I use a tincture and vape.  A CBD tincture 10 mg, 3 times a day, as a migraine preventative; and a CBD:THC 1:1 tincture to help me sleep.  It was also suggested I vape for acute pain, since I have a dry herb vaporizer I was given the name of a few strains that would help, I was also given the strength I’d need if I wanted to use an oil vaporizer.  This was a good starting point, but I have a lot more to learn.  This article can give you more of an understanding of what CBD and THC are and what they do: “CBD vs THC: What’d the Difference?”  (I have found the best information on Leafly.com)

 

In my next post I will tell all about what I’ve tried so far, and things I wish I knew before I started this journey.

****NOTE****  I admit I’m very nervous about writing this article.  Please be kind to me, do not treat me as a drug seeker.  I am not looking to get “high”, I simply want the pain to lessen.

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Migraine Madness

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My migraines are never under a 6, the average is a 7.5.  10 means you go to the Emergency Room.  Unless I was dying I wouldn’t go to the ER for a migraine.  I do not think they could help, and I do not want to labeled a drug seeker.

This post is personal.  No links to studies to back up what I’m saying.  Nothing more than what is happening to me.

On March 22nd I had a migraine.  Every day since March 27th, except 1, I’ve had a migraine.  Yes, I’ve had a migraine for 43 days out of 44.

This is not a medication rebound headache.  I have not taken medication for more than 15 days in a given month.

Can you imagine the days I haven’t used medication?

When I use medication I have Maxalt, Toradol, Toradol injections, …and well that’s about it for my rescue meds.  I am on others that are supposed to help keep these buggers away, but as you can tell, it isn’t working.

I’ve gone through a DHE protocol of 3 shots for 3 days.  During this time was the day I didn’t have a migraine.  I still had a headache, but it wasn’t a migraine.

Why is this happening to me.  Well I have a guess, but I don’t really know.

After I had my seizures my Neurologist told me that Topamax can cause seizures in some people.  This medication is used to prevent migraines, but it is also used for seizures.  So the thought is that the seizure drug I was on actually caused my seizures. I was on it for a long time before I got seizures, but there was this little hiccup problem with that medication right before I started having seizures that probably caused it to go crazy.  Our mail order pharmacy didn’t fill my prescription on time.  They had a problem with the prescription and didn’t tell anyone.  Things got so crazy I was off of my med for over a week, it may have been close to 2, when I finally got my prescription I just started taking the full dose, I didn’t think about ramping up.

So I ramped down and got off the Topamax and the seizures stopped.  I was off of the Topamax for less than a month when these migraines started.  I normally have about 15 migraines a month, some months a little more.  Very few months have I had less than 15.  I used to think the Topamax didn’t do a lot to prevent my migraines, now I am pretty sure it did.  Right now I’m so ready to go back on this drug.  If I have a seizure I’ll stop it.  (I wouldn’t say this if the seizures had been hurting me, but from all the tests, the only harm they cause if the twisting of my body.)  Unfortunately, I kinda doubt my doctor will be willing to take this risk.  Maybe there will be something better.

Today my neurologist called in another medication for me.  I’m to have 2 more DHE shots and take this new medication right before I go to bed for 3 days.  (I’m sorry I don’t remember what the medication is, I’ll find out when Stuart gets home with it.)

If this new medicine regimen doesn’t work I don’t know what the doctor will do.   I’m lucky that my neurologist specializes in headaches.  She actually runs a Headache Clinic.  I’m confident we will be able to get these migraines under control.  She won’t give up.

During this past month the vertigo has showed it’s ugly head again, but not as often as I would have thought.  I do question if this vertigo was Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) .  I’ve had a couple of attacks of rotational vertigo (where I see the world spinning around), most has been motion vertigo (where I feel as if I’m moving but I’m not).  Rotational vertigo is by far the worse.  I had a bought of that yesterday, but it wasn’t too bad.  The world would spin for a few seconds then for hours I’d feel like I was moving or that when I moved I had absolutely no balance what so ever.  Yesterday could have been MAV, I just don’t know.  It was a very bad day.  I woke with a Migraine at 9.5 on a 0-10 scale.  This causes me a lot of stress, stress causes a Meniere’s attack, of course that causes vertigo.  I’m leaning toward Meniere’s because my hearing was way off all day.

Most of the month I’ve been having motion vertigo, this was only the 3rd time I’ve had rotational vertigo.  I’m not sure why the rotational vertigo has calmed down, but I’ll take it.

I haven’t been around so much this past week, because the pain is getting to me.  I’m falling into Migraine Madness.

So, all my ramblings lead to one thing.  My head HURTS.

The Fay Farm CBD Muscle Rub – Review and Give Away!

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“This is a sponsored post for The Fay Farm CBD Warming Muscle Rub. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in now way influenced by the company.”

I’ve never had a review or give away on my blog before, but when The Fay Farm asked me to try their Warming CBD Muscle Rub I thought, “Hey, that sounds really interesting!  I bet my readers would love it.”

The rub was created by the co-owner for his mother who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, he told me that has allowed her to sleep through the night.  I thought that was pretty cool, and so very nice.

I received my package a little over a month ago and I’ve been giving the Warming CBD Muscle Rub a try.  I had been out for a bit the day I got the package and my neck was causing me a lot of pain, so I decided to try it out right away.  I was very shocked when I put it on and the pain got better.  Did it go away?  No.  But it got better!  That’s a big thing for me.

I have degenerative discs in my neck, it has really been acting up lately and the pain from it has been more intense than normal.  The pain is sharp, burning, stinging; all kinds of fun.  It also causes the muscles surrounding that area to become very tense, of course intensifying the pain.  The rub worked very well on the muscle pain, the pain right at the discs bit.

CBD oil is a key ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). Unlike THC (the ingredient in cannabis that gets you “high”), CBD does not cause a ‘high’. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine.  CBD can come from regular cannabis plants or plants harvested for hemp.  The CBD oil that comes from hemp is legal. The CBD oil that comes from regular cannabis plants is not legal in most states.  The CBD oil found in The Fay Farm Warming Muscle Rub is hemp oil.  Read more about Hemp Oil, here.

The organic ingredients are Sunflower, castor, herb- infused olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, menthol, camphor, 50mg CBD oil, cayenne pepper, arnica, essntial oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, ginger, cassia, and clove.

From the ingredients I saw that most have some properties that can help relieve pain, like arnica and the cayenne pepper, ect.  I’ve tried Arnica and things like Icy Hot, Capsacium cream or Tiger Balm… and thought they didn’t help as much as this CBD Muscle Rub..  During the past month I’ve tried Arnica and Tiger Balm again just to make sure, and yes The Fay Farm’s Warming CBD Muscle Rub does help me more than either of those.  I even tried my prescription Voltaren Gel and felt the warming CBD rub helped more. I can really smell the cloves and other essential oils.  Some might find the smell a bit strong, but I found it much more pleasant than things like Icy Hot.  (I have to note here, I’m very sensitive to smells, this is a bit strong to me, but it isn’t artificial or really stinky, I haven’t had a problem with it.  Hubby says it’s a light sent, he also agrees it’s not offensive.  We both kinda like the smell.)

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The rub is softer in viscosity than I thought it would be just looking at it. I thought it would have the consistency of petroleum jelly, but it is softer, smoother.  When I first got it I put my fingers in to get some and I got a lot more than I intended.    Now that I know the consistency it is very easy for me to use.  I’m glad it doesn’t come in a tube because I never feel like I get all of the ingredients out of a tube, and if I happen to get too much on my finger I just scrape my finger over the side and put it back in the tin.  You can’t do that with a tube.

Will it work for you, well only you can decide that, and since you are one of my readers you can receive 10% off your entire order and free shipping (in the U.S. only) by mentioning “Picnic” or “Ants” in the comments when you order you products!  (When you add everything you want in your basket, just add ‘picnic’ or ‘ants’ in the comment section of the order form and you will get 10% off.)  Yes, you get to take 10% off your whole order, not just CBD products, and the offer doesn’t expire.  How cool is that??

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They sent me a normal size and 2 sample sizes so I thought I’d share with 2 of you.  I’m giving away two (2) .5 oz sample containers of The Fay Farm’s Warming CBD Muscle Rub.  If you’d like to receive one of them, just leave me a comment and I’ll randomly pick the 2 names. (if you’d like to leave a comment but don’t want to enter, please let me know) That’s all there is to it.  You have until April 29th to enter and I’ll announce the winner on May 1st.  (sorry but this give away is only available to those in the continental US.)

I’ll also send the winners an email.  Do not leave your email in your comment, I will get it from the information you supplied the first time you made a comment.  If you don’t get an email, you can always check back here.

If I do not hear from the winners by May  6th, alternate winners will be picked.

I hope you enjoy the rub as much as I have, or more!