While living in China, I was fortunate enough to have access to a specialist in Hong Kong; he performed Laparoscopic surgery on my right hip joint (femoral head) which was successful in eliminating most of my pain and increased my mobility for about three years. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, and my other hip was affected so eventually the chronic pain returned, and my daily life and mobility began to deteriorate again. At his time I started to research my diet and made a point of losing the weight and ensuring I ate non- inflammatory type foods. I also began to learn about other “natural” treatments. My experience with pharmaceuticals was not great as I found the side effects of opiates to be too severe for me to continue. I decided to look into the “truth” about Cannabis in relationship to my condition.
After researching the history of Cannabis and its Medicinal value I learned that Marijuana is native to Central Asia; it has been cultivated back as much as 10,000years ago. It was cultivated in China by 4000 B.C. and in Turkestan by 3000 B.C. It has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America. The first evidence of the medicinal use of cannabis as an herbal treatment documented during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Chen Nung 5000 years ago.
From 1840 to 1900, more than 100 papers were published in the Western medical literature recommending it for various illnesses and discomforts. It could almost be said that physicians of a century ago knew more about cannabis than contemporary physicians do; indeed, they were more interested in exploring its therapeutic potential. The first Western physician to take an interest in marijuana as a medicine was WB O’Shaughnessy, a young professor at the Medical College of Calcutta, who had observed its use in India. In a report published in 1839, he wrote that the had found tincture of hemp (a solution of cannabis in alcohol, taken orally) to be an effective analgesic. He was also impressed with its muscle-relaxant properties and called it “an anticonvulsant remedy of the greatest value.”O’Shaughnessy returned to England in 1842 and provided cannabis to his patients.
Armed with this new found information, I proceeded to purchase some local Cannabis and studied how I could make this into an effective medicine for myself. The biggest draw for me was its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory which is delivered by the CBD properties of the plant so I didn’t necessarily need something too potent. I taught myself how to make a cannabis butter I could take in small quantities as needed. After making this “butter” and using it for 1 week, the changes in mobility and overall well being was nothing less than incredible and I became a believer. I have made a point of learning everything I can about this plant and its benefits. The recreational aspects are a given, and I spent my early years experimenting with “the weed” for its euphoric properties.
I had always blown off the Medical aspects of marijuana as a Potheads fantasy. But it was clear that there is much more to this stinky, sticky plant than smoking a doobie and listening to some tunes.