I have been diagnosed with chronic cluster and migraine headaches for over 2 decades now. I have had frequent and debilitating headaches sometimes as much as three times per week in the past, and always at least 2 per month for over 20 years now. I also have chronic sinusitis and allergies, which also contribute to my cluster headaches.
I have followed the Western course of medicine for most of my past, numbing the mind with powerful pain killers and muscle relaxants in order to survive my strong headache episodes. I needed an alternative to prescription-based medicines that often had terrible side effects, were expensive, and often stop working with repeated use, including a rebound effect.
Western doctors had me try everything from anti-anxiety prescriptions to anti-depressants. This was in addition to painkillers and muscle relaxants. I hated these, but gave them a try, as I wanted relief. After months of trials and different brands even, I threw them all away, as I could not stand the side effects and I was not gaining any headache relief.
Over time, nothing really helped whatsoever from my Western-based healthcare providers. I spent a lot of time, had a spinal tap and neurological course of exams as well, and they all came back normal. I spent a lot of time and money trying to find relief, but all I could do was to mask the pain and wait for it to go away.
I have lost many hours of work, leisure and family time for so long now, I was becoming resigned to a just ‘living-with-it” mentality. I was becoming unwilling to try anything new with my doctors from the past, as I never saw any results worth continuing on a long-term or even maintenance regimen, plus it was really expensive and time consuming. My reason for trying cannabis is quite simply to improve my quality-of-life and become pain-free without the use of manufactured and usually synthetic prescriptions drugs.
I was introduced to Cannabis Medication through a series of holistic and naturopathic doctors, friends and family. I have very powerful allies on my side, often very conservative and non-users of anything that has cannabis in it. My closely trusted peers wanted me to consider an alternative to prescription pain/anxiety/depression medicines for starters, and for overall physical well-being as the goal.
I chose cannabis for so many reasons, even though I did not smoke or ingest anything cannabis- based basically since college, over 20 years ago now. I did experiment and smoke marijuana as a college student many years ago, but never was excited about it, and let it go as a passing phase. I was a super light user, so I can’t say I knew too much about it.
My current goal in researching and trying cannabis-based medicine is simply to try a new course of wellness that uses natural products, preferably local, and guided by a different mentality of science, that uses a more holistic approach.
After using cannabis-based products now for nearly 3 months with the help and guidance of both my naturopathic doctor and my wellness manager at Trill in Boulder, I can honestly say I have weaned off almost all my prescription medications. I still have to use a strong nsaid-based pain killer to make it through a work day when my migraines hit me hard at night, and I wake up with them and have to go to work. I also still take antihistamines daily over-the-counter, but the frequency of prescription pain medicines has been reduced by 80% in just 3 months!
I have learned with the help and commitments of the wonderful people at Trill, including the owner himself, how to approach my headache maladies with a completely new and natural approach to management. I did have to be patient with the process, keeping a detailed journal daily, which helped my providers to guide me to new therapies and products over the course of several months. I tried products that I never even knew existed, far beyond marijuana flower. I was told not to smoke after all, for it acerbates my allergies and sinusitis, so I learned how to vape, ingest, use tinctures and medicated patches and try the many different specific parts that make up cannabis medicine. I learned about CBD and THC-A, both of which are now helping me daily, and allowing me to basically discontinue use of any Western-based medicines. I have not refilled my migraine prescriptions since December of last year (3 months now), yet have been able to manage my migraines and even joint pains from long years of playing sports with the help of cannabis and as well as the non-psychoactive benefits of CBD’s in hemp.
My experience as a patient at Trill has been always satisfying and often educational. I have had their staff take the time to work with me, specifically, as well as to follow up with me and seek feedback constantly on my choices of options to work with, as well as my overall wellness. I have been allowed to explore the many options that may or may not help with my ailments, and yet none had any side effects. Some options have worked better than others, and amounts and types have needed to change over time in accordance with detailed journaling. I was very pleased at the willingness of the staff to provide me options to explore while also providing me the peace-of-mind that I was not doing anything unusual or of harm to my conditions. The approach of starting with a doctor’s advice, moving on to a detailed history and followed by a series of follow-up consultations allowed me to feel at ease with the process. I was not and do not smoke marijuana for recreational needs, however I do use cannabis-based medicines from Trill to reduce pain, inflammation and anxiety with great success.
After exploring many options, I have found that concentrated marijuana oils used in a vaporizing pen and tinctures are the best options for frequent and quick medication when needed. I also find that vaporizing mainly sativa strands of flower offer quick and powerful relief, again when needed. I have tried lightly smoking, vaping both pens and larger vaporizers, infused patches, capsules, and tinctures. I believe I need the most rapid relief to manage my migraines, and cannot wait for capsules or patches to release over a longer period of time. I find using a vape pen to gently inhale CBD’s regularly, as well as to have sativa flower on for vaporizing when a strong headache or joint pain affects me, works the best. I am still exploring the use of edibles, and will need to slowly work those in overtime to understand their effect as well.
I have experienced increased sleep cycles, better workdays, and longer lapses between major headache episodes by using cannabinoids in the form of oils, tinctures and vaporized flower. I have also been more productive and have used almost no prescription medication that was formerly the only thing I had to combat my brutal headaches, pain and anxiety episodes. I feel that cannabis is extremely safe, easy to manage and produces no side effects whatsoever. I also like that fact that my cannabis is locally produced, crafted with care and attention to the medical benefits as well as locally owned.
My current state of health is much improved in just a 10-week period of trying many different options with cannabis medicine. The major difference thus far in using cannabis is that I do not have to use powerful and expensive prescription drugs, which were often rebounding on me and came with numerous side effects. I use oils, tinctures, and vape flower to manage my symptoms as needed. Another noteworthy difference since beginning to use cannabis as a medical card holding patient, is my anxiety has lowered tremendously to the use and purchase of safe and helpful medicine that has improved my quality of life so much.
My experience with cannabis was very tentative at first, being a non-smoker and yet knowing the power of nature and science, I was drawn to give it a try, in a legal and monitored manner. Cannabis use has empowered me to find and use alternative therapies to Western medicine with no side effects whatsoever. I have improved my quality of life and lowered my stress tremendously with the help of the folks at Trill in Boulder. Thank you Trill and I especially have to thank Linzay at Trill. Without her guidance, patience, knowledge and understanding, I would have gone elsewhere for guidance most likely.