My Introduction to Cannabis

My introduction to cannabis began in 1969 when I was a junior in high school.  Back then all we worried about was if the weed we smoked was going to get us high.  That’s all anybody thought cannabis was good for.  There was no discussion about cannabinoids or terpenes or comparisons of different cultivars.  We didn’t smoke it thinking it would help with our anxiety.  And we certainly didn’t use it to help pain – we were young and believed ourselves immortal and didn’t have those types of issues.  All we wanted was to get high.  And all we worried about was getting caught – and, yes, I knew people who went to jail because the police found seeds in their car.

I actually thought that pot was kind of boring because everyone would sit around and get stoned and then not want to do anything.  As an individual with ADHD (undiagnosed until I was in my forties), I wanted to be up and moving around and experiencing the world, not sitting slumped in a chair staring vacantly at the wall.  I would smoke cannabis if it was available but never went out of my way to actively seek it out.  And I certainly didn’t think it was worth the risk of being arrested.  Consequently, entire decades passed where I never even thought about cannabis.  I worked in corporate America, I was married to the love of my life, and I thought my life was pretty good.

After my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I became well versed in how little traditional medicine was able to do for him. And, just like all of us, I accepted what I was told by the doctors and other medical professionals about available treatments. I read about everything that was recommended on-line, I went to support groups, and I kept him active.  The favorite saying for Parkinson’s patients is “If you want to keep moving, you have to keep moving”.    My main point of frustration is that no one told me that approximately 80% of Parkinson’s sufferers develop dementia as their disease progresses.  This is from an article appearing on the University of California San Francisco website.  When you go to, and search for dementia, you find NO articles that talk about this directly.  I’m not sure exactly why this angers me so.  I feel like I was led astray when all that was discussed were his motor symptoms.  No one clued me in on how devastating the dementia would be.

I have spent the years since 2015 educating myself about cannabis.  It’s been a long and frequently frustrating process.  After experiencing the profound improvement that CBD provided for my husband’s Parkinson’s issues, I started questioning why no medical professionals talked about this.  Why wasn’t this on all of the news sites?  Why did we hear only bad things about cannabis – but none of the good things?  Why was this such a secret?  I started endlessly scrolling through the internet looking for answers or guidance or anything that might shed light and provide real science-based information.  And it’s out there – lots of information is out there if you only know where to look.

The amount of misinformation that surrounds cannabis is astounding.  Despite the fact that, here in the US, 38 of the 50 states have legalized either medical or recreational cannabis, there still is fear and doubt, crazy theories, and blatant lies about it. Most of what we see on TV, or read on the internet is just plain wrong, all written by individuals who have no grasp of the complexity of this plant.  A cannabis plant is not the same no matter where it’s grown, or what type it is.  It is an infinitely complex biological organism, with an equally infinite number of variables.