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Jorge moved from Indiana to Oregon in 2015 to join the OMMP program. “My new oncologist was on board with using Cannabis in conjunction with chemotherapy, so I applied for my card within a couple months of moving here,” she said.

Before she was diagnosed with CML, she was using Cannabis to treat the anxiety and stress related to her seizure disorder.

She was familiar with the therapeutic properties of Cannabis and was lucky enough to find an oncologist who would support her decision to use the medicinal plant.

Given the severity of Jorge’s medical issues, the OMMP was equipped to help her navigate Cannabis treatments while in chemo.

“On days when the muscle and bone pain is so intense, Cannabis helps to ease the inflammation. When nausea hits hard from chemotherapy and I can’t stomach food, certain strains ease more than prescription medication. I also make an infused oil full extract Cannabis oil (FECO) melted in medium-chain triglycerides oil (MCT, like coconut oil) to put in capsules and take orally,” she said.

“The Cannabis-infused oil I make for ingesting in capsules also works well as a muscle oil. Sometimes, I make a crock pot of infused olive oil to use in soups and more savory foods. Medicated Olive Oil goes a long way in so many uses.”

Jorge says she’s “late smoker” and didn’t try Cannabis until she was 20 years old with family friends. “[I] felt my stress and anxiety fade. It was brilliant,” Jorge said as she recalls what it felt like after she took her first hit.

“I think I’ve always smoked Cannabis medicinally. I may not have had a doctor’s recommendation all these years, but I have always felt better or more normal while using Cannabis. Instead of saturating my liver with opiates and muscle relaxers to help through the chemo, there’s Cannabis. Instead of taking Phenobarbital and Xanax to deal with my anxiety and seizures, I use Cannabis.”

Cannabis affects everybody differently and Jorge’s experience isn’t uncommon. Traditional strains seem to affect Jorge in the opposite way. Green Crack makes her sleepy instead of awake. The key is to find what works for you, regardless what some pretentious weed writer has to say.

“Instead of saturating my liver with opiates and muscle relaxers to help through the chemo, there’s Cannabis. Instead of taking Phenobarbital and Xanax to deal with my anxiety and seizures, I use Cannabis.”

Jorge said she enjoys all aspects of Cannabis and CBD products to help with her pain. She likes to smoke joints, vapes concentrates and uses tinctures.

“I love Blue Dream, or Blue Haze Buddies vape cartridges. They’re within my price point, and the extra CBD bump the Haze has really helps with inflammation and pain. I also use a CBD tincture made by The Canna Company. They don’t add any extra sugar, and it is 100 percent coconut oil.”

Jorge believes there is judgment around using Cannabis medicinally – even three years into legalization. The pushback from the medical community continues until Cannabis is de-scheduled on a federal level.

“There is still a small stigma associated with Cannabis. It’s gotten better, especially depending on the state in which you reside,” Jorge said. “Nowadays, more people seem eager to listen to how it’s used medicinally. In the past 20 years, since I first partook, I’ve seen the stand on Cannabis go from a taboo subject, where flowers would get you jail time; to be openly discussed in The Oregon Legislature. However, until Cannabis is legal across the nation, and other patients in need have open access, it’s still not enough.”

Image courtesy of Daniel Berman