Editor’s Note: On the Sickle Cell Warriors Facebook page, a few warriors have asked questions on using marijuana to control sickle cell. As an organization, we choose not to support or contest this choice, however, here is some information to help guide your decision. Our resident health & wellness expert, April Farrell-Hasty interviewed several people to create this report. The views in this post represent her personal opinions and should be viewed as such.
I hear a lot of warriors smoke marijuana for mild pain and nausea relief. I’m not endorsing marijuana with this article, especially if it’s not legal in your state. However, if it’s legal in your state why not? If you qualify for medical marijuana why not? I am and always will be an all-natural girl. I had acupuncture yesterday. I do homeopathy and aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation. I’ve been vegetarian for 27 years. I believe in natural over allopathic medicine. Several universities here and abroad have proven that cannabinoids work for chronic pain. Cannabinoids are the property in marijuana that reduces pain.
If you want to go a more traditional route, there is actually a pill form of marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marinol) is the prescription the doctor can write for you that is a prescription for synthetic marijuana pills. However it lacks many of the compounds found in natural marijuana. It’s often prescribed for cancer and HIV patients to reduce nausea and to increase their appetite. I’ve asked dozens of sickle cell patients and several doctors, but no one I could find is prescribing Marinol for sickle cell patients. However is it right for sickle cell? I can’t answer that. Everyone’s body is different. Each person must also make their own personal decision on the legal and ethical implications.
More and more states are legalizing medical marijuana. California has even established green clinics, where the practitioners treat patients and prescribe marijuana. The interviews were from a broad mix of people in various states (CA, CO, WA, FL), some had sickle cell, and some did not. Here are some ideas to consider before to take the plunge.
Is it legal in your state? Make sure you are following all the rules in the state you are currently living in. And understand that the rules may change from state to state in how you obtain, how much you can carry, and what the requirements are to receive MJ.
Does it work to manage your pain? This should be one of the top questions to consider. If it doesn’t work on your sickle cell pain, then why even bother?
How will you partake of the marijuana? Most of the SC warriors I talked to smoke their marijuana. I don’t understand why. Everyone knows smoking is harmful, especially for sickle cell patients. [alert color=”770011″ icon=”128227″] With sickle cell, our lung tissue is already disadvantaged from acute chest syndrome, previous respiratory conditions, sickle cell crises’, and susceptibility to infection.[/alert]
I only talked to one person who makes marijuana food or tinctures. I think ingesting is better for you than smoking. Why do something harmful to your body? You’re trying to create wellness., not get lung cancer from smoking. If you are going to use it, use it in a manner that won’t further harm your body. Make or buy a tincture or food. Make oil, flour, or butter. Vaporize.
If you are going to smoke it cut back. Smoke once a month or less. Try to smoke as little and as infrequently as possible. The goal is to create better health. Not make your health worse.
If marijuana was illegal in your state, would you still use it? I personally would not. I’m sick enough without adding the prison system. In one of my previous jobs, we used to do eye exams in prison. The prison systems’ optometry equipment was at least 10 years older than what we were using at the time. If you were to go to jail you would not have as good medical care as you do now. Is it worth it? Not to me. My health care is really important to me. It’s the thing that has kept me as healthy as I am now and I don’t want to jeopardize that or my freedom.
To conclude, here are a few other tips from my interviews.
[alert color=”770011″ icon=”59290″]Use organic. Don’t smoke. Favorite products are Dama oil, Bhang Infused tonic, edibles, making cookies or brownies. They recommend buying a good marijuana cookbook. I was told that if you use edibles it works better than smoking and the effects last longer. However smoking is faster for nausea.[/alert]
Tell me your experience. Would you use marijuana? If you did would you consider not smoking it? Would you use it for your child with sickle cell? What do you think about marijuana legalization?