That time weed put me in the ER…

So mary-jane and I got into our first fight. For the first time in over 5 years, we had a disagreement, it got a little violent, I ended up in the ER, and I realized I needed to re-evaluate my relationship with her because obviously it was no longer healthy. Wait, what! A stoner confessing that weed made her sick! No one wants to hear or admit that, especially when you love cannabis as much as I do and especially when you see how amazing of a medicine it is. But just like anything, too much of a good thing can be harmful, and I learned that the hard (and expensive) way. Let’s back up to the beginning shall we?

Long story short, I have been doing a lot of energy work and self reflection since turning 30 this past summer and some of the side effects of that can be physical. For example, after running a half marathon and taking a sacred hike in the Black Hills at the end of August, my body (violently) let me know that I could not longer eat red meat, like steak, after a lovely birthday dinner with friends. Not entirely by choice, I have been mindful to not consume large amounts of meat since then. Another example is, my body no longer tolerating the same amount of cannabis that I had been previously consuming. 3 weeks after being in the ER with the steak incident as I call it, I was once again wearing a hospital gown reporting similar symptoms, frequent vomiting, stomach pains and nausea, lethargy and relief when taking very, very hot showers or baths (for me, CBD baths of course). Well all of those, especially that last one, are symptoms of something doctors are calling cannabis hyperemesis, aka, ‘weed sickness’.  Trust me, when the doctor said that, if looks could kill, he would have needed CPR. No stoner wants to hear that their ganja, their medicine is what’s making them sick. And you definitely don’t want to be told you have to lay off it for a month when your in pain and nauseous in the hospital. Yet this was the second time in a month that I ended up in the ER, in need of fluids, so maybe it was worth doing a little more research. I concluded that the doctor is not wrong. (He doesn’t know why he’s right, but that’s because they don’t teach the endocannabinoid system in medical school. anyway)

Basic anatomy lesson, all humans a other mammals have an endocannabinoid system, one giant puzzle inside of us. It’s found in our brain and throughout our body in what are called CB1 and CB2 receptors (among other things). It regulates everything from temperature to mood to appetite to memory function. Its ultimate goal is to bring the body to homeostasis, which means balance. You can remember that because there’s OM in it. (I just realized that myself). So we have this system, this puzzle, and we produce puzzle pieces to keep it running smoothly, we call these endocannabinoids (endo-body, cannabinoid). When we do not create enough of these puzzle pieces to complete the puzzle, our bodies and minds struggle, with diseases like epilepsy, alzheimer’s, and mood disorders to name a few. In these cases, introducing external cannabinoids, those found in plants, primarily in the cannabis plant, can serve as replacement pieces to complete the puzzle. That is why epilepsy, cancer and senior patients respond so well to cannabis oil treatment. By consuming cannabinoids they are rebalancing their body and mind. Cannabis is pretty much like meditation in plant form. Anyway, cannabis works great when there are missing puzzle pieces. But what about when the puzzle is complete, all the pieces are in their place, everything is running smoothly, but you just keep trying to add more puzzle pieces. You’re going to mess up the puzzle dude. And that exactly what I did. I was consuming more than my system needed or could process and it ended up making me sick. Like, really sick. And in hindsight, I had been sipping on the vape pens and taking mad dabs for a while leading up to it. So I admit, I was abusing my relationship with Mary-Jane, and therefore I needed to re-evaluate my consumption habits. So, mostly due to being really sick, I didn’t smoke for 3 days, and then I had a little edible, and then i had a little bedtime bowl and that seems to be working nicely. I even had a small post workout dab, and that was fine too. I feel it’s healthy to take a look at habits now and then to make sure that they are still serving their proper purpose, and if they’re not, adjust them accordingly. Again, it doesn’t mean I have to quit weed forever, heck I didn’t even quit for a week (she’s literally my longest relationship) but lowering my tolerance and consuming less is allowing me to re-develop an appreciation for my medicine.

So if you ever find yourself with persistent, violent vomiting followed by hot showers, and you’re convinced it’s food poisoning or a blocked intestine, or a sensitivity to cheese.. I recommend you hydrate, take electrolytes, go to the ER if you must (usually a good indicator that it’s time to go to the ER is when you repeatedly ask yourself if you should go to the ER. but get ready for the bill. stupid hospital bills) and lay off the weed for a couple of days. When you start back up, start low and go slow. It’s amazing what even a short break can do for your tolerance. My single evening bowl gets me high as a kite and its lovely. The takeaway from this is 1. Our endocannabinoid system is really important and we have to properly take care of it, just like the rest of our body 2.It is possible for weed to make you sick 3. Don’t panic, hydrate, stop dabbing and try higher CBD strains instead. Remember, our goal is to stay happy, high AND healthy. That’s what I call hOMeostasis.

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