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The Medicine Makers: Choosing Cannabis to Heal Post-Op

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Joint Opinions

The Medicine Makers: Choosing Cannabis to Heal Post-Op

The time has come to really walk the talk. Tomorrow morning I will get a hip replacement, and I intend to replace opiates with cannabis post-surgery as much as possible. I began my research months ago, asking advice from every person I know who makes their own tinctures and magic potions out of cannabis. The result is a collection of bottles and cans and jars full of pain relieving and anti-inflammatory concoctions which should ease me into a relaxed and healing body.

The operation is happening right here in Mendocino County, at the new Frank Howard Memorial Hospital. The joke is that it has the best restaurant in town, as the vegetables and most of the food served is organic and locally-sourced. All the rooms there are private and a masseuse will come to the room, along with someone to wash my hair. Sounds more like a spa than a hospital, so I am trying to think of this as a “vacation.”

Swami and I went to a pre-op class where they taught us exercises and gave advice. When the discussion of anesthesia and pain relief came up, I freely stated that I intend to use cannabis products post-op as much as possible. Surprisingly, the “Joint Care Coordinator” (seriously, you can’t make this stuff up) simply asked me to bring my own cannabis meds with a schedule for the nurses to follow for administration. When she instructed everyone to stop all anti-inflammatories 10 days before the operation, I quickly asked if that included T-Relief (a homeopathic arthritis remedy) and cannabis. Her immediate response was to stop the T-Relief, but that cannabis was fine. “In fact,” she said, “ cannabis can thicken the blood while the problem with anti-inflammatories pre-op is they thin your blood too much.”

The Joint Care Coordinator (this is also my new name for Swami as he usually rolls the joints, with great care, in our household) went on to tell the story of a nurse who was getting a hip replacement a few years ago. She absolutely insisted on using cannabis for pain relief until they relented. When the doctors and staff began to see the amazing results, they couldn’t help but recognize the benefits. Not only was she healing faster and was able to do the exercises with more ease than other patients, but she also did it with a smile! It was clear that the opiates slow down the healing process along with everything else. Ever since, while the hospital staff can’t bring up the subject of marijuana or recommend it, they also do not deny patients the option if they bring their own supplies.

I know three other women now who have undergone a hip replacement using cannabis for pain relief. All agree that it helped tremendously. Each also stressed the need to do the exercises religiously to enhance healing. Considering the pain I have been in for several years with this hip, I can only dream of it fading away. I often eat a strong edible before going to sleep now to get me through the night, so I feel quite comfortable dosing myself in hospital and afterwards in recovery.

Luckily, I have some incredible friends who are supreme medicine makers. I’ve consulted with some of them to help gather the necessary goods. Along with excellent advice since she just went through this a couple months ago, Jude Thilman at Dragonfly Wellness Center in Fort Bragg gave me some MJ4X medical oil concentrate,  which is basically what we have known as Rick Simpson Oil, but this is truly made with organic methods. Very pure stuff. She instructed me to place a tiny bit of it on a toothpick and smear it inside a vegetable capsule to make it easy. It is very high in THC and is also used by cancer patients for their pain and healing. In addition, she gave me some of her high CBD (Ratio 1:20 THC-CBD) Bhutan brand tincture for pain. My friend Rosebud tells me that strong CBD has been proven to help stimulate bone growth and healing. So I’ll do that as a balance.

Another medicine maker I consulted was Hummingbird Lane Farms, who I’ve seen before at the Farmers Markets at AREA 101 in Laytonville. Luckily one was held recently so I could stock up on her magic potions. I’ve used her spray-on oil in the past which is super fast working, a brilliant delivery system, but for this I went for her tinctures and salves. She recommended her glycerine based tinctures the Sierra Berries for day and the Blue Dream for night.

After all these drops and oils and capsules and fresh organic veggies from the garden, a girl needs a treat! That’s where the edibles come in. Of course I love sugar, but eat very little of it as it doesn’t love me so much. However, I make exceptions for edibles. So I have stocked up on my favorite via my friends at Harborside Health Center. After months of research, I have settled on the Altai chocolate covered cherry Pips. They are bite-sized and yummy, with a perfect balance of sweet and sour. Plus, I love how you can titrate them so well. Each little cherry is 10 mg of cannabis, a light dose for me, so I can start slow and build up as necessary. Not only do they make me feel good in my head, but in my body as well.

For a heavier hit, and a solid night’s sleep every time, I go to my old high school friend who makes the most delicious caramels in the world. And do they pack a punch! I think it has something to do with the way they melt in your mouth and hence absorb exceptionally well. I have a feeling that a bit of caramel and a dropper of Blue Dream sleeping tincture, and I’ll sleep like a baby. And when it’s time for exercise, it will be a sativa chocolate cherry and a hit of the Sierra Berries tincture, and I should be dancing with my walker in no time.

Have you used cannabis to heal post-op? Tell us about your experiences.

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  1. HK

    November 29, 2018 at 5:25 am

    I would love to know what they mean when they say CBD is a blood thickener. Blood thinning is critical after joint replacement, unless you want a pulmonary embolism. I would NOT take anything that could thicken the blood. Stick to the topical stuff.

  2. Meeka Leeka

    October 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    I had a Hip Replacement Oct.3. Was giving Tramadil for pain. I could not tolerate the side effects so after 3 days..I took myself off. My pain was tolerable, but doing PT now..the pain is Untolerable. I was wondering if CBD Ediables would interfer with the Blood thinner my Dr has me on?

  3. Tim

    April 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Hello. How did the recovery go? Well I hope!
    Did you get the relief you were looking for? I am researching CBD oil for a friend that just has shoulder surgery and is looking for opiate substitutes. CBD oils are available in our area but he is unsure of their value.
    Please help.

  4. ByPass0023

    January 20, 2018 at 5:59 am

    I experienced a level IV Tibial Plateau fracture along with lateral and medial meniscus tear. Four days into post -surgery I began high ratio CBD oil sublingual spray twice a day. Before using it, my leg that had been operated on was 1.5 times the size of my good leg due to swelling. In under 48 hours. the inflammation/swelling was GONE. The swelling would return with movement and exercise, but my recovery time quickened and my body was much more in tune when CBD oil was in my body. The surgeon warned me that I might never walk right again and that my knee would likely need replacement. Today, 3 months post-surgery, I walked my dog without a cane or any type of assistance and rode my bicycle at high resistance on neighborhood roads. The brand of the oil was Care By Design. BTW, much cannabis was also smoked during this frustrating time of rehab but mainly for pain management and the frequent reminder that there’s still so much beauty to this planet. The cannabis plant, whether indica,sativa, or hybrid, is sacred to me. I used to dismiss it as a recreational pastime, but one can’t help but express gratitude that such a plant exists and that our brains have built-in cannabinoid receptors.

    • katherine dolfin

      June 8, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      hallo bypass0023
      i am so grateful to read about your experience. just had the exact same injury you had and surgery a couple of days ago.
      i checked out the website of the brand you used.
      now i don’t know which of the many choices i should order.
      can you please help me . i so badly want to walk my dog again as well as quickly as possible. just need a kick start as to understand which one worked for you.
      thank you

  5. Christina

    October 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    So.. i’m facing a total knee surgery on tues – oct 17th. how did your recovery go using Cannabis? I don’t want to use TCH so I was hoping for info. on pure CBD oil. … any thoughts on this? thank you!!!

  6. Brandy Willeford

    July 16, 2017 at 11:00 am

    O….M….GOODNESS!!!! TY TY TY SOOOO MUCH FOR THIS INFO!!!!!!I’m having a major revision surgery in a couple of months I live in Alabama but I’ll be going to New York City I have an 18 in Harrington Rod that will probably be removed and replaced with rods and numerous screws up and down my entire spine since I live in Alabama is there any way possible I can get my hands on the stuff you talk about I hate taking medication and I’m just now trying CBD oil I’m not sure if it’s a good grade of course the website says it is but I just don’t know even medical cannabis is not legal in Alabama yet but I am so so desperate to have this surgery and hopefully gain my life back I’m 42 with two and a half grand babies to teach lots of things to I’m extremely active I’m not lazy I’m one of the strongest women every surgeon says they’ve ever met any information on obtaining any of the stuff you talked about would be so so helpful I would be eternally grateful…0:-)

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