John Lyons was set to retire from four decades of training horses and sell his seventy-acre training facility in Parachute, Colorado. Instead, he started one of the country’s first nutraceutical and medical hemp research and treatment facilities, the Colorado Hemp Institute.
Cannabis can treat a number of medical conditions, but by far the most common affliction listed on medical marijuana patient applications is pain. Of the 93,095 active patients on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry, 86,317 — nearly 93 percent — listed severe pain as a qualifying condition, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Unfortunately, several of the most effective cannabis remedies for extreme pain aren’t available at recreational dispensaries in Colorado because of their high production costs; current regulations don’t allow others to be sold commercially. But there are still some good options out there to combat pain, including these five:
After Denver Environmental Health prohibited sales of kratom for human consumption in the wake of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert late last year, advocates for the plant-based pain reliever spoke out, with many saying the product had helped them kick addictions to powerful opioids, including heroin. These testimonials are echoed by Roxanne Gullikson, facility director for Portland, Maine’s Greener Pastures Holisticare, a residential treatment center opening next month that will use kratom in combination with marijuana as part of a formal and comprehensive addiction treatment regimen. To her, Denver’s ban is both unjustified and potentially damaging.
“It’s very counterintuitive,” Gullikson says. “With the rising rates of deaths by overdoses, we need to have all options on the table. And certainly, removing one that’s non-toxic and non-lethal makes no sense at all.”
Fourth-generation farmer Randy Taylor has watched potential income disappear as a hailstorm obliterated plants on the 7,000 acres that he oversees. But having to destroy crops himself is a tougher pill to swallow.
In December, on what he calls “probably some of the hardest days in my life,” Taylor mowed down eighty acres of hemp that had spiked THC levels. The Colorado Department of Agriculture had told the Yuma farmer that his hemp was too hot, above the 0.3 percent THC limit that defines industrial hemp under state law. Taylor’s crop measured at 0.47 percent THC, over the limit by just 0.17 percent.
When over sixty people attended a presentation on weed and pain management at Louisville’s Balfour Senior Living late last month, most of them were joking about coming for the free samples as they settled into their seats. The audience, mostly made up of seniors who live at facility or people with elderly relatives looking for information, asked a number of questions covering the basics of using cannabis to treat medical issues, including how to get started.
There were thirty of us, all women, practicing our breathing in very specific ways for two minutes. Some breathed in through their tongues, rolled like straws, and then out through their noses slowly, while others breathed in and out sharply, using their diaphragms. Both systems felt odd, but the final result left me less skeptical than when I’d first walked in the door.
I felt calmer and less anxious, a common goal of breathing practices and meditation, but that is just one part of the puzzle that Becca Williams solved with cannabis, changing her life in the process. Williams, who describes herself as a “ceremonialist soulcraft practitioner and plant medicine integrationist,” has been performing cannabis elevation ceremonies with a combination of high-CBD flower and Eastern meditation practices for over a year, to “enrich and heal” the lives of others, she says.
Ernest Misko was using medical marijuana to treat his chronic back pain when his elderly cat, Borzo, started having difficulty walking, so he decided to feed the cat a cannabis tincture. Within a few days, he reported that Borzo was moving around much better and seemed to feel less pain.
Misko’s story was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, along with similar success stories of pet owners giving cannabis to their dogs or cats for ailments. But while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the plant seems to help our furry companions in ways similar to those in which it can help us, there’s little research to prove it. To help push the thirst for more information, the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital held a free forum for pet owners and veterinarians on Tuesday, January 23, to discuss how medical marijuana and CBD products can help pets.
After launching a line of CBD-infused products this month, Kim Koehler is making her debut at the Indo Expo in Denver on Saturday, January 27. Her star product? CBD-infused lube.
Koehler says she was inspired to create her brand, Privy Peach, to empower women after dealing with pain and trauma in her own life. After experiencing a sexual assault and living through an abusive marriage, she faced pain and anxiety during sex. Her doctors recommended physical therapy, but she didn’t feel comfortable with that.