When I first received my medical marijuana card I was very naive in regards to it’s uses, it’s forms, and truly all of the amazing things it could do. Like a lot of people, I had smoked a joint with friends in high school and college, and a few times since then as well, but I had never really considered it more than an herb that happened to make you feel happy and giggle a lot. After quite a few years of research, and by that I mean reading everything I could get my eyes and hands on, watching videos, listening to stories, and of course partaking, I am a happier, healthier and more empowered marijuana advocate who strives to get real, honest, and reliable information out to all kinds of people. In the past few months however, my dream of creating this blog and business of marijuana advocacy looked as if it was going to have to be something I gave up on as a new health concern arose that threatened everything. The one skeleton in the closet, so to speak, in the cannabis community, happens to be its possible negative effects on some people with certain cardiac related issues. I have worded this very carefully because I don’t want to discourage anyone with a heart issue from investigating how marijuana can improve their lives, AND I do not want to be careless and have people not consider the possible side effects in regards to their own health concerns.
On a Summer afternoon with the family two years ago, up on the mountain here in Flagstaff, getting ready to cut wood for the Winter, I suddenly felt as though an elephant had decided to plop itself on my chest and it was like I couldn’t breathe. I looked to my fiance and tried to tell him I didn’t feel right but he was already turning our vehicle around and flying down the mountain because my lips were blue. I stumbled into the Emergency Room a short time later pointing at my chest, unable to catch my breath and after a few scary hours I had a new issue, Atrial Fibrilation. At 45, that’s a mouthful, and a tab bit frightening, to be honest. My grandmother had terrible heart issues and suffered from numerous strokes, so my anxiety showed up dressed for the occasion before I had time to process what was happening. Luckily for two whole years it was all controlled with medications until this past February when another arythmia showed up on the scene complicating things further. When Atrial Flutter decided to rear its ugly head every cannabis strain I was used to using suddenly was causing my heart to be off to the races and I couldn’t get it under control, giving all my marijuana knowledge a run for the money. The obvious answers came jumping out at me – NO SATIVAS; WATCH the HYBRIDS, the things that seemed to make sense when having issues with a racing heart beat. The plan seemed to be working, for the most part, until one day I had an encounter with what was supposed to be an Indica dominant hybrid.
From all outward appearances, including genetics and effects, this should have been a PERFECT strain for me, including very low anxiety and paranoia, which I had come to assume meant that it would not bother my heart. After another night in the hospital with that stupid thing in my chest giving me a hard time I was excited to sit down and relax with something heavy hitting and mind numbing. What I didn’t expect was that literally three to four hits into a bowl I was sitting clutching my chest and my pulse meter was suddenly reading over 160 bpm. I was sure my fiance and I were heading back to the Emergency Room and I was going to have to tell them I had done it to myself this time. After a few minutes medicating with my handy dandy Delta-8 cartridge from Item 9 Labs, my heart rate returned to normal and I was left wondering what in the world set me off, and I have been having the same experience off and on since with the threat of having to quit using medical marijuana looming over my head. Like I said in my introduction, I truly believe knowledge is a persons greatest weapon, so once again I hit the books and the internet searching for an answer. And after a ton of exhausting research, I have come to find that the key to my heart, and the key to so many other things can be found in TERPENES!
Stay tuned in for the next post on Terpenes!
Photo Credit – Photo by Botanical Rising on Unsplash