Monday, August 4, 2014

Cannabis Oil Questions Answered, #2

What would be the effects of this oil if you were to take it?

Sophie in motion

An anonymous commenter yesterday left the above question with the following statement:
 There was a story on our local news last night (Philly area) about a family who had moved to Colorado for their daughter (they are from NJ) and the mom said [she] dreaded "the first day she was a little stoned." I know you have stated that the concoction made is low in the psycho reactive properties and felt that this woman just put back any progress made to legalize this drug!

First I'll answer the question because it's an important one, and then I'll discuss the rest of the comment, because it's actually even more important.  I have tried Charlotte's Web -- a small amount, because it's liquid gold as far as I'm concerned, and I felt, literally, nothing. There are trace amounts of THC in the Charlotte's Web oil, and from my limited understanding of medical marijuana, I know that it's a whole plant product and that each component is essential for optimal benefit. This means that a small amount of THC, the psychoactive part of the plant, is necessary, but because it's only a trace, it's nearly impossible to get psychoactive effects unless you were to drink vast amounts of it.

That being said, there have been times when Sophie seems "stoned" or probably more descriptively, sedated,  after taking Charlotte's Web, particularly in the early days when she was on a much larger dose of Onfi, the benzodiazepine that we are currently weaning. Many people have noted that the combination of cannabis and the benzos can cause sedation -- too much sedation -- and many have observed and noted that the children who do best on Charlotte's Web are clean of benzos. This hasn't been the case for us, though. Sophie is still on a considerable amount of Onfi and has had a dramatic decrease in seizure activity (95%). We hope that as we continue to wean her from the Onfi and then the Vimpat, she will improve even more.

That being said -- and perhaps this post could be sub-titled That Being Said -- the oil needs to be shaken quite vigorously before it's drawn into the syringe and given. The mixture is oil-based -- things separate, it's darker, it's lighter, etc. When Sophie has appeared "stoned," I figure it's because she actually received a bit more THC in that dose than she might have if I'd shaken it better or it's from the bottom of the bottle and a tad more concentrated.

That being said, I am of the mindset that being a "little stoned" is not something that anyone should be concerned with as far as our children are concerned. Given the numbers of drugs that these kids have been on, the debilitating side effects, including dizziness, nausea, headache, sedation, agitation, depression, suicidal ideation -- the list goes on and on, not to mention THE SEIZURES -- being a little stoned might very well be a positive, if you get my drift. At the very least, it pales in comparison to the dangers of current anti-epileptic drugs that children and adults with refractory epilepsy have taken for much of their lives. As the mother of a child who has been on 22 drugs that have not helped her one iota but have, rather, caused her to feel, probably, like shit, for much of her life, I could care less if she feels a bit stoned every now and then.

That being said, I support the full legalization of marijuana, even for recreational use. I am not a pot smoker, have not, with the exception of that little bit of Charlotte's Web, smoked or ingested or otherwise partaken of marijuana in nearly thirty years. And thirty years ago, I never inhaled it, either.

That was a joke (the never inhaled it part).

That being said, I understand there's a real danger to going down the road of pure cannabis -- without THC. Keep thinking whole plant. Watch the videos I've posted about the plant. Educate yourself. I believe we owe the people on the front lines of legalizing marijuana, even for recreational use, enormous gratitude. They began this revolution, and I cringe when people say they don't support legalizing it. I feel like their reservations don't come from an educated position but are, rather, cultural and have no basis in science.

That being said, thank you for your question, Anonymous. It was an important one.


  1. That being said, this is an important discussion for the book you are writing. Thank you for your context and clarity. Just thank you.

  2. Great post Elizabeth. I would try the Charlotte's web too! I agree with you that Benzo's are so much more debilitating and the withdrawal so horrible that stoned would be good thing in comparison. It is hard to imagine what Sophie must go through to come off some of those drugs, or how surreal it must be for you, after all these years, for something to actually work to help her.

    It seems like we are on the cusp of such a cultural shift regarding this crazy prohibition, and I wonder sometimes about the connection between the recreational vs the medical push, which one is driving which one, and I'm finally hopeful at how quickly our laws are changing, it's about damn time.

    Thank goodness there is change. I can't wait until you have easy access to the best possible product for Sophie.

    I love the idea of you writing a whole book of That Being Saids... I'd read it right away. I haven't told you this yet, I apologize, but Hope for Sea Change was such an intense read for me, so beautifully written and so frustrating and heart breaking and yet so hopeful. I read much of it out loud to my husband on a road trip. We were dumbstruck and humbled at your strength, perseverance, advocacy and love.

  3. Why are people so afraid that being stoned would be something horrific? Millions of people seek the experience and as you pointed out and have pointed out and should continue to point out, the drugs these people have been on have been fucking them up in the worst ways and here's this drug with the possible but unlikely side-effect of being stoned and oh! Whoa! Can't be having that!
    Steven Gaskin said, (and I don't know if this is true) that the root word for "stoned" was the same as for "astonished."
    Whether it's true or not, I like the idea and in my experience, I can see why that might be.

  4. I love that you are entertaining these questions and doing it so well! What an awesome education you are providing for folks who need real, honest information.

  5. What a great post, Elizabeth.

    Just to add to the mix a bit--which supports your information--Dan was experimenting with Simpson Oil for his cancer in the month before he died. The THC is totally there in Simpson Oil. It's a different product from Charlotte's Web.. He was so stoned he couldn't stand up. However, he was already completely destroyed by the chemo and radiation. Simpson oil has purportedly helped a lot of people. Like you, I truly hope marijuana, both medical and recreational, is legalized. Now, I'm going to go have a gin and tonic. But I'm not going to swallow.

  6. "Now, I'm going to go have a gin and tonic. But I'm not going to swallow."

    What a great line! The New York Times recently came out in support of federal legalization, as William Buckley did a quarter of a century ago. The absurd prohibition of this plant in all its forms, from the most specifically cultivated buds to industrial hemp that can be made into all kinds of fiber and other products, has to end. The sooner the better.

  7. Dear Elizabeth-I live in a state where recreational use is legal, thanks to the advocates for medical use. I care not one whit that some folks are using pot to get high. I DO care that those folks who need the benefits of weed have access to it. What worries me is the long arm of the FDA and big Pharma trying to regulate and "own" the patent to THC and it's constituents. It's a plant. Just a plant.

    So is peyote, but that's another story.

    Love to you and Soph

  8. Thank you. For the education you are giving me.

  9. Terrific post. I could not agree more about legalization. I don't understand the continued resistance -- to me, it's like opposing gay marriage. It's useless shouting into the wind for the most baseless of reasons. These changes are coming!

  10. Great post. Thank you, as always, for your clear and straightforward writing. Agree, agree, agree.



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