I am #HighRiskCovid19. This is a very scary place to be in the world right now. Luckily thanks to the efforts of millions of people I don’t even know, I can feel relatively ‘safe’ hidden away in my home. For that I will be forever grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to be there for me, to be there for us. Thank you for figuring out a way to work from home. Right now it’s two weeks we’re asking you to sacrifice. We can figure this out if we work together.
But what if this wasn’t just two weeks? What if this was your life sentence? What if it was a drop in the bucket?
The time to talk is NOW. How would you ask the world to change if you couldn’t go back to your normal job? How can we work together to make our society better? I’m going to share my story. Not because I really want to but because it is important for people to understand where I’m coming from. It is something I posted a few weeks ago which was meant for others grappling with chronic pain, not the masses. It outlines my condition, my medication and how I deal with it. However – if it opens the eyes of just one employer, just one more business to create remote job positions – then I share it freely with the world in hopes of change.
Please, while everyone is sitting on the cusp – wondering when you can get back to work, where the money will come from, how you will get by – Remember – this too shall pass.
It won’t pass for everyone though.
You know someone that this will not pass for. I AM SOMEONE. You know me, or someone like me. Someone you want to help but don’t know how. This is it folks. This is how you help. Change society while society can see the issues. Stand united for accessibility. Stand united for home care givers. Stand untied for flexibility for people with small children. Change the restrictions society has placed on remote work that offers a livable wage. The time to talk is now. Share your story.
What a gorgeous day. It feels like spring. If you haven’t started thinking about your outdoor grow this year then its time to get cracking. Don’t panic. You’ve got tonnes of time, but its a great day to start planning your attack. Are you going to get some clones or are you going to try growing from seed this year? Is it your first year? Excited to get started? In the fall I did a post on seed selection. If you’ve never done this before and are feeling lost give it a read:
If you are suffering from chronic pain I would suggest giving CB Dutch Treat from Crop King Seeds a go. I just harvested a beautiful indoor organic home grow from one of these seeds and personally it has been wonderful for me. Everyone is different but if you’re taking a shot in the dark about which strain to choose anyway I can assure you I will be growing more and have a couple of friends that are very enthusiastic to have one of these beauties in their backyard this year too.
I can’t think of a more perfect way of celebrating international women’s day then choosing the ladies you are going to grow this year. Embrace your inner healer and join the ranks of these phenomenally influential cannabis loving women:
Thank you leafly.ca and Colleen Fisher Tully @colleenftully for the great read
Don’t be afraid to give growing a chance. Watching a seed germinate and thrive is an amazing process. Watching a seed germinate and shrivel is a learning process too though. Don’t despair if your first try doesn’t work out. Start chatting with your plant obsessed friend. You know the one. They’ll be thrilled to help you.
It started with a broken toe. For all of you with Chronic conditions, bear with me … it was a everyday happenstance that lead me through an unexpected life change.
I stubbed my toe on the couch. THE COUCH. Of all the dumb things. I was in a bit of a state at the time, I’ll admit it. I was worked up and power cleaning my house and once again, I stubbed my toe. This has always been a very regular occurrence. I have bad depth perception and am constantly walking into things.
This annoying, but common affliction, certainly put an end to my everyday life in August but it was nothing a little time couldn’t heal so I bucked up and relaxed in the sun with magazines and edibles and enjoyed myself as best I could. At the time I would admit, worse things had happened.
It slowly became apparent it was not healing as fast as it should. If the weather turned bad I was bitch slapped right back to the day I busted it in an alarming torment of pain. Surely this wasn’t normal. Eventually the bone healed, and the pain started to decrease. Sweet, sweet salvation. Brief, but sweet.
Pins and needles. A pain in the bottom of my foot. Was there another small fracture that was missed? As the initial injury healed strange symptoms started to develop. Small changes to my footwear and massaging would help for a bit, but then I continued to worsen. By December a snowstorm would render me incapable of walking. After Christmas I took time off work to heal. I spent two weeks on the couch and I was feeling adventurous enough to run some errands. *Shakes head sadly*. I had to buy a cane to get home and I have been unable to walk without one since. It worsened. Snowstorms and cold conditions trapped me on the couch in a way I never could have imagined. Getting to the other side of the room was an impossible feat that only the bravest of mountain climbers would attempt – or those in desperate need of a toilet.
The flares worsened. The pain had slowly started creeping up my leg by October, now it shot all the way up to my ass. It swelled, turned red, then red with white dots. Socks or anything besides loose pyjamas were impossible and I kept my feet elevated in a little igloo of blankets that kept the offending foot warm with a hot water bottle but ensured that it was never even brushed by a blanket. I moved on crutches to avoid the ground. Any level of minor touch was unacceptable during a flare. “Pain killers” were a joke to be taken in the hopes that it would do something, anything, to reduce the chaos.
Specialists. “Its a form of nerve damage, that much is obvious.” Referred to another specialist. “I can’t help you. You need to be sent here.” Specialist: “We’re going to need to run some tests.” For the love of god and all that is holy can someone give me something for the pain? Lyrica to help dull it so I can sleep and get to the washroom without crying.
Eventually the Toronto Rehab Clinic. Four specialists at the hospital convened. Clinical diagnosis: Complex regional pain syndrome.
I was prescribed Prednisone with a promise that I’m in for a rough ride. That is accurate. The pills are small, which is good because for the first 5 days I need to take *12* of them in one dose. It then decreases to 11, 10 etc. They render me incapable to taking care of myself at the moment. I have a brief hour or two in the morning of clarity before I take it and turn into a pile of goo. If I am lucky, this could fix me. The doctors are optimistic. The hope is we caught it early enough to prevent permanent damage and disability. For now though I still don’t know. I sit on the cusp of my old life and whatever lay ahead. I dutifully take my medication and make sure I get in my vitamins and eat when I can – a selection of soft mushy foods my husband brings to me.
One great thing I can say about all of this is that I have been very open with all my doctors about my cannabis use and not once has anybody given me any grief about it. In general I have been using CBD oil or 1:1 strains. These have helped me significantly with the nausea and the severe anxiety that this medication brings on.
Why am I sharing all this now? Because I know I’m not alone. Someone else out there is going through this, or something relatable, and really needs to hear this. I am not a doctor and these opinions are my own. So for whomever you are, these are the things I like to help get me through this right now: Food, cannabis, relatable articles and music.
Starting that list with food seems laughable, but very very important. You’ve got the classics – Premium Plus Soda crackers, Lipton’s chicken noodle soup – original, full salt. Sometimes you’ve just gotta get SOMETHING in. Moving on from there to something mushy and digestible with actual vitamins we enter the baby food and toddler snack isle. Being advised to ensure you get all your vitamin C is one thing, but if you’re already choking back 20+ pills a day the last thing you’re interested in is taking one of those bad boys too. Mott’s Fruitsations my friends. These tasty little gummies pack a full dose of vitamin C for the day. You can slowly enjoy them a piece or two at a time without pissing off your stomach and enjoying something with a bit of flavour. Later in the evening when the nausea has let up a bit? Presidents choice organics Mango strained baby food. I love mangos. I’m so serious about this. If there is something you love, but know you can’t possibly get in right now, send someone to get it in pureed form meant for a 6 month old.
Nom nom nom.
Cannabis. No where have I found any articles that advise against cannabis for the particular drugs I’m taking, nor have any of my doctors forbidden it. The main issue here is that drug interactions simply have not been fully researched yet. For this reason I like to keep it minimal while I let the prednisone do its work. Here are two of my preferred products from the Ontario Cannabis Store at the moment:
I use this to help with the nausea and anxiety. I’m already off in la la land, I really don’t need to add THC to that mix.
I like this one later in the day once the harsh meds are wearing off. I also have a lovely 2:1 strain that I grew myself. Everyone is different. Just like traditional medication, things that work for one person do not necessarily work for someone else. Personally I really like Solei as a brand.
Never ordered from the Ontario Cannabis Store? If you’re in the city you can actually pay for same day delivery that will get delivered directly to your door that evening (as long as you order before noon ). If you’ve never tried out this feature or next day delivery it’s actually one of the most useful systems I have ever encountered. Delivery by these two options arrives in the evenings between 5PM and 10PM. You receive a message letting you know it is on its way, then another message an hour beforehand so you know exactly when to be home with your ID ready. A third 5 min notification message arrives before they’re at the door. This gives anyone with limited mobility time to actually be ready and near the door (everybody breathe a collective sigh of relief). The Ontario Cannabis store gets a lot of guff but I can’t express how much more relaxed I am knowing exactly when it will be arriving and not worrying about trying to answer a sudden buzzer.
Read a bit when you can. Relatable articles help me feel like I’m not alone. This article by Brianne Benness is everything you need to hear. I highly suggest following her on Twitter @bennessb.
MUSIC! Before your meds take you down the rabbit hole build yourself a little nest and make sure you’ve got some great tunes on. Happy songs that you know and love are so great. I can not emphasis enough how much this has helped my mental state.
When I first started all this work on my website I had no idea that I would find myself in a position to start talking about acute pain and chronic conditions. I mean, really, what did I know having never experienced anything of the sort. Now that I’m here I will be forever changed.
Lastly remember – You’re not alone. This is from all of your friends, loved ones and myself:
Even if you’ve agreed with your significant other not to exchange gifts, make a little hand made card or write a sweet little note. I don’t care if she/he/they said “I don’t want anything”. This small simple gesture between partners helps keep relationships strong. You don’t need to have money or physical things. Valentines day is about love. Make sure your partner knows you care.
#2. PREORDER YOUR FLOWERS!!!
Whether its cannabis or traditional flowers, this is my best retail tip for everyone.
I came across this lovely article from leafly.com:
It has some wonderful suggestions starting from first dates to your golden years as well as strains for the break-up blues. If you’re looking to branch out from your usual products this is an amazingly well thought out list. You still have time to get them for Valentines day if you order online from the Ontario Cannabis Store today. If you’re in the city you can actually pay for same day delivery that will get delivered directly to your door that evening (as long as you order before noon ). If you’ve never tried out this feature or next day delivery it’s actually one of the most useful delivery systems I have ever encountered.
Delivery is in the evenings between 5 and 10PM. You receive a message letting you know it is on its way, another an hour beforehand so you know exactly when to be home with your ID ready and then a 5 min notification before they’re at the door. This gives anyone with limited mobility time to actually be ready and near the door (everybody breathe a collective sigh of relief). The Ontario Cannabis store gets a lot of guff but I can’t express how much more relaxed I am knowing exactly when it will be arriving and not worrying about trying to answer a sudden buzzer.
As far as traditional flowers are concerned, I can not stress pre-ordering enough. As a florist, I can assure you that coming in on Valentines day and saying you want a really nice bouquet made up is a bad move. It is the second busiest day of the year (after mothers day) and you will most likely be ushered towards the pre-made bouquets because it is unlikely we will have the time to accommodate you, especially if you have very specific tastes or needs. No, your preordered bouquet will not be made with older flowers than the ones you get on Valentines day itself. Flowers need to be prepped after shipping and there are a lot of steps before you buy them. I assure you no one got up and prepped all the flowers needed for valentines day that morning. It has been days of prep work to get the store and flowers exactly as they need to be – cleaned, trimmed and properly hydrated – on the big day. With that in mind, trust that we will select the best of the best for your preordered bouquet. You will get far more time and effort put towards your special day. If you do forget and you have to pull a same day manoeuvre I suggest a small bribe of coffee or cookies to get on your florist’s good side. Seriously. I’m perking up just thinking about a wonderful little surprise like that.
#3. CELEBRATE YOU
Not in a relationship? Don’t WANT a valentines day date? I hear you. I’ve been there. What I suggest is that you do you. Seriously, go do what you want to do, eat what you want to eat and forget about all the rest. One day you’ll find someone that will absolutely love to do the the same things as you or eat the same food, or alternatively they are happy to let you have part of the day as “me time” because you deserve it and so do they. Go embrace yourself and follow your favourite pleasures, who knows who you might meet on the way.
It sure is. The predictions? Well its pretty split in Canada. Apparently our groundhogs don’t agree. Very clever guys. Follow in the footsteps of so many weather predictors before you and keep it vague. In case you’re not sure how it works … if it’s a nice sunny day then the groundhog sees its shadow and runs back in its burrow. Six more weeks of winter. Overcast and snowy? No shadow! Surely this inclement weather means spring is just around the corner. Personally, I tend to hibernate when its crappy out but I guess there’s no reasoning with rodent weather lore.
It’s a rather special palindrome day today too. Did you notice? 02/02/2020. Hindsight is 2020 folks and Bill Murray gets a big fat taste of what its like to try and fix his mistakes over, and over and over again on 02/02.
Exactly how many days was he trapped in Punxatawny? Originally it was stated as 8-10 years, but upon closer inspection of the skills he mastered over the course of the movie a more realistic estimation is 33 years, 350 days.
Say What? Where did they get that number? Well if you’re curious here is a link to a very lengthy article from whatculture.com describing exactly how someone estimated that oddly specific number of days:
It makes his struggles in the movie all the more relatable. Who wouldn’t go nuts?
First of all, that’s as brilliant as the movie itself.
Secondly, I love this scene. How fitting that today also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday and tables everywhere will be laden with a smorgasbord that Phil Connors would happily take on. What’s on your table?
Ok so the Hello Kitty tentacle snack I found in Japan. I’ve never seen them here so that might be a though one to rustle up. Munchie boxes are a Scottish thing and I can’t think of a more fitting meal for a day like today. Sit back, relax, get stoned and eat your heart out.
Unfortunately due to the limited availability of Munchie Boxes in Canada we will have to settle for Chilli Cheese Dogs and Dorito Nacho Supreme. #Ineedasalad
We might need a pizza too.
Whatever you choose, enjoy the game, or at least the halftime show and the commercials. Word on the street is Bill Murray will be staring in one this year. Groundhog Day spoof? I’m in! I could do a little dance …
Don’t let little things like Groundhogs, Gophers or Games get the best of you. It’ll drive you crazy. Just ask Phil and Phil.
Very Thelma and Louise guys.
Instead focus on the good things. Family, friends and most importantly, food.
Good luck [insert your team name here]! And now, without further ado:
What? We’re watching FOOTBALL? Crap. Someone pass me the bong. I’m going to need to pack a Super Bowl to get through this one.
The second rule of legal cannabis is you don’t TALK about legal cannabis.
I know what most of you are thinking. Uh, people won’t shut up about legal cannabis. That is true. However, for people trying to break into the industry with small start ups or for people who simply have a website full of cannabis information, these rules are heavily enforced. For example, as you might have noticed while perusing my website, I don’t actually sell any cannabis products. Yet I am still banned from advertising almost everywhere. Google Ads will not take my money despite the federally legal status of cannabis in Canada. Why? It promotes “recreational drugs”.
Luckily for me this is not my full time job. I did not invest thousands upon thousands of dollars into starting a company that has to jump through hoops of regulations and ridiculous lottery systems in order to simply exist. I am not a legacy owner who was screwed out of permission to sell recreational cannabis after decades of lobbying to end prohibition. Someone whose goal is to simply help people get the medication they need to make it through their day without needing to depend on dangerous pharmaceuticals crammed with opium. I mean why would you want a responsible, well informed person who has been studying this plant for decades to sell it?
Oh. You WOULD prefer that. Too bad. That is not how things work here in Ontario.
I think this is probably a good time to point out that my opinions are my own (albeit heavily researched). I am in no way endorsed by any companies. I am not a doctor. It’s very possible I will be put in some kind of advertising jail for this (again) and not be able to post ads for other random businesses on my site. If I lose out on advertising revenue so be it. It’s a risk I’m willing to take if it means I can give a voice to the muzzled.
The cannabis industry is unable to advertise like any other business. It is barred almost everywhere, and yet alcohol is plastered across buses and billboards. This applies to the medicinal market as well as the recreational market. Big Pharma can advertise all sorts of prescription drugs, naming a plethora of horrific side effects at the end for legal purposes, however you might have missed seeing or hearing anything in traditional advertising platforms about the benefits of cannabis. Once again, it’s simply not allowed. It’s a pity because the most common side effect of low dose cannabis treatments is dry mouth which one can remedy by simply hydrating with water, herbal tea or juice. It doesn’t even come with a list of horrific organ deterioration warnings or explosive diarrhea.
I have gone to some great meet ups and information sessions, which is really one of the only ways most companies can openly talk about their products. These are products that the public should know about too. For example: One in ten women suffer from Endometriosis. This often causes intense pain during intercourse as well as infertility. ONE IN TEN. Currently these women are told there isn’t a cure. Depending on the degree of severity doctors will suggest hormonal therapy or in extreme cases – surgery. Let’s just remove that pesky uterus shall we? You won’t be needing it anyway. However, quietly lurking in the corners of the internet you will find women who were able to once again enjoy sex with their partners, who were, against all odds, able to become pregnant. How? A regime of cannabis suppositories and cannabis infused lube. The problem is there isn’t enough scientific data or proper studies to back it up. They’re working on it. It costs a lot of money but there are people out there investing in this research in order to give it the viability it needs so they can market and distribute these products. There are companies who are pouring their hearts and souls into helping women everywhere because they have seen such amazing results where there seemed to be little hope. In the meantime, however, they’re not allowed to talk about it. It doesn’t matter if it happens to actually WORK. I don’t even know if I can talk about it for them and name names because I don’t want to get them in any kind of trouble that would delay this process any longer.
So what can I do? Well to begin with I’ll start posting all the upcoming talks and events I can. The more we talk the faster things change. Do I start pushing the boundaries of what’s “allowed”?
I can hear the Canadian protesters now.
What do we want? A level playing field!
When do we want it? Preferably soon to avoid bankruptcy!
Despite all the great changes that legalization has brought, it’s implimentation has created unimaginable red tape issues for the average entrepreneur. The rules put in place cover a thinly veiled cannabis monopoly. In it’s infancy we already need a restructuring of the system in order for it to prosper. Do my viewpoints seem outlandish? Check out this article from global news. It is a tiny drop in the bucket of regulation issues.
Big news today. If you haven’t heard the Ontario Cannabis Store has released new products as of 9am this morning. This big news is annoyingly anticlimactic. Personally I didn’t have high hopes from the start but I was dismayed to find that despite the news that topicals would be available today, they are not. Really guys. Get the press release right. This, of course, is not what most people are after. It’s the release of edibles.
There are 21 products released under the edibles category. Three hours in and most of these are already out of stock. You can still peruse them by clicking on the “show out of stock items” button.
I’ll admit some of them sound tasty but they are very low dose across the board and therefore quite expensive for what you’re getting.
What I find most bizarre about edibles is the hysteria around them. Everyone is so curious to try them for themselves, which is fair, except that you get the same effect from a softgel capsule. It is ingested, therefore the onset is lengthy but so is the accompanying high. You can get 15 pills for the price of 2 cookies. If you want to pay another $5 you can get 15 pills that each have the potency of consuming both those cookies, or gummies or whatever. These can also go awry so tread lightly. For example:
I was at a Christmas party and we each took one capsule. Having already tested them I was sure one was enough. After a few hours with little effect we decided to take a second. Later they kicked in:
No, I did not give THC to the cat. I do assure you that they pack a hefty punch though and should be taken with the same precautions as an edible.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still going to buy some chocolate when it’s back in stock. I’m just saying gelcaps are way more bang for your buck. They are even more discrete than an edible and you can carry them in a tiny pill container like you might do with any medication you take. Go for a sativa or a blend if it’s for fun. Indica will likely make you sleepy or couchlocked.
The other release today was in concentrates. This is exclusively in the oils and sprays category. You can not use any of these products in a vape pen so don’t try. No surprise there. If you are using cannabis for pain it’s great. If you were looking for kief, shatter or the like you’ll have to wait just like the topicals.
A lot of these hold ups are due to packaging and quantity restrictions. The amount per package that the government wants to release will once again be very low meaning a lot of excess waste. In the case of ready to consume products I understand this. However, I’m still unclear as to why the packaging on flower needs to be so ridiculous. You can’t just eat a bit and get high. It doesn’t work like that. You have to smoke it or decarboxilate it first. I assure you if your kid is old enough to know that then they’re certainly old enough to figure out how to open a childproof jar. If they’re not it’s like the equivalent of them eating the jar of oregano. It’s just super weird and unpalatable and will have no intoxicating effects. So, you know, keep it in the cupboard where your toddler can’t get into it. If your 8 year old is mowing down in the herb cupboard go get them tested – you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands. Good luck with that one.
Curious to learn more about Edibles? I did a post on that too:
Today I came across a brilliant website and app called Strainprint. I do not know how much it really gets used or if the app itself has kinks, I’ll keep you posted as I discover these things myself, but rest assured it will be tested to the extreme.
The App itself is used to document how each strain makes you feel as you try and stumble through the complex world of strains and administration methods. It helps you to journal what you have tried and remember what worked and helps you to select new strains that have worked for others. What it also does is compiles a massive data set using your information and others to help guide research into strains and specific conditions. The data is anonymous and encrypted.
We are standing at the brink of a tsunami of information about cannabis and its benefits and anything we can do as a community to help guide research will only improve understanding and help us all get the help we need.
You do get rewards points for your surveys as well. They aren’t just taking your info and selling it to corporations without giving you anything. If you think that’s not enough, I will point out they have a Community Forum so you can reach out to others who are going through the same things as you.
This is how they describe it:
Personally I feel it is part of my duty as a scientist and a member of the cannabis community to add my experiences into this data set. It will help improve my own conditions and countless others. Every article I read says the same thing. We need more data. So lets all ban together and give it to them.
I was going to write a serious post today but I’m just not into it. So instead I’m going to tout my love for Harry Potter with a lil 420s funsies post. Today I will guide you briefly through the wizarding world as viewed by one stoned muggle goofing around on the internet. I’d like to start off with a classic:
I’m still not sure why Dumbledore decides to get naked. Also, no one else in the song seems surprised when he shows up nude. Catchy Though.
What do you get when you cross Pokemon Go and Harry Potter? Wizards Unite.
Yeah. That wasn’t a joke. Though the similarities between the two games did lead me to receive an extravagant spell engery gift from an unlikely wizard:
How do like them apples? I think Snape says it best:
Oh the internet and all you clever meme machines.
It’s true. He lives on to this day, making appearances on late night television:
I really do love all things Harry Potter. Now that I’ve trapped you I’m going to bring out the slideshow from my vacation. For real.
Not surprisingly, when I went to Scotland, I headed to Fort William and a steam train ride. Did you know you can ride the Hogwarts Express? Its truly a breathtaking journey too.
The two clear pictures in this collage are stock photos, the others are me trying to get a good shot on a rainy day from the train. I knew we would go over the viaduct, what I didn’t realize is that we would also pass Dumbledore’s final resting place.
Yes, I took this photo.
From a moving train.
With a phone.
Don’t tell me magic doesn’t exist.
J.K. Rowling, words can not describe the wonder you’ve sparked in the hearts of so many unsuspecting muggles. Alan Rickman said it best:
*featured image by Terry Moore, Strangers in Paradise, Issue 51, June 2002
This one is rated R, for Ravish me now.
As the legal Canadian Cannabis market continues to grow, more and more products are becoming available. This trend also penetrates the wonderful world of sex. Yes, there are cannabis infused lubes and cannabis suppositories so this isn’t just about smoking. If, for some reason, you have not tried stoned sex, or you encountered some difficulties (Cotton Vagina? its like cotton mouth) then perhaps you should peruse some articles on the subject.
First off, I present and excellent article from madatory.com written by Sabrina Cognata:
If that one looks familiar to you then you’ve probably visited my funsies page. This page is soon to be split in two, Funsies and Sexytimes as I am finding all sorts of wonderful articles I’d like to share.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, lets turn up the kink. Whether you’re into it or not, it’s still fun to read about. The next two articles are both by Sophie Saint Thomas. She does an article every other week for merryjane.com called Stoned Sex and if you really want to read about what’s what on this subject she’s your gal.