The usual cycle begins when I divert, even slightly, from my regular sleep and awakening time. For instance, if I work a night shift on one job and then teach an early class at the other, I lose sleep. By the time I settle down to sleep, it’s late and my optimal 7 hours of sleep is down to 6 or fewer. And too little sleep one night does not result in a guaranteed better night the next. In fact, the opposite is usually true. I get over-tired, making sleep impossible when I am wide awake from having gone through too many tired hours.
Ordinarily, I fight insomnia with sufficient exercise, healthy diet and strict sleep times. Sometimes months pass without a bout. But lately–the last two years lately–I am not able to avoid it even with careful attention.
I am not one to medicate. Yes, I like a glass of wine with dinner and a cold IPA after a long week, but pharmaceuticals I avoid. Most sleep aids leave me with a hangover and homeopathic remedies have not proven successful for me to date. And every one knows alcohol disrupts sleep when the effects wear off during the night.
A friend donated “medicinal” marijuana to me for the cause a while ago, which helped me sleep during some of those insomnia episodes. After high school, pot stopped being fun since it only made me fall asleep, a condition I wanted to avoid most of my life. But now, that is just what the doctor ordered–literally.
I visited a pot doctor and a dispensary today to get a “recommendation” and “medicine.” It was rather surreal to this old girl who has not purchased pot since 1977. I had heard about the different varietals and experienced the potency surge–like pot on steroids–but I was amazed at the various applications, combinations and methods to use this plant once purchased simply as a dime bag for ten dollars that yielded either good stuff or bad.
The dispensers at the dispensary were quite informed and professional, affording me samples and sniff tests to entice my discerning nose to the subtleties in aromas. And though I sniffed and nodded, I had to confess to total ignorance.
“Just give me something that will make me sleep–the entire night–and still allow me to teach a 7:20 a.m. class as a human not a zombie, ” I requested. After all, this was the purpose, the reason for this trip and experiment for a cure or at least relief.
“Girl Scout Cookies,” she replied, and I went home with my Rx bag of enough medicine to last me for the next one hundred bouts of insomnia or my lifetime, whichever comes first.
I must say, the number of tweaks to whatever you eat, smoke or apply is mind boggling. There is something for whatever ails you, and not merely back pain, insomnia, stomach ache, anxiety, depression and soreness. There’s even a recommended varietal for writer’s block (or was a I sold a bill of goods?).
You can spray cannibis oil on affected areas of muscle pain or rub in ointment if preferred. You can eat candies, cookies or marshmallow puffs, according to the literature I perused while at the “shop.” You can quarter, halve or pop a whole cookie in your mouth depending on your tolerance for THC, cannabinoids or late night sugar snacking.
According to my doctor, the edibles are best for sleeping through the night but not the heavy bodied indica types that leave residual hangovers (though all of them can in the wrong dose). Hybrids seem best. But timing is everything with those, not so good with an unpredictable work schedule or late night shifts. Who has the extra two hours to wait or gumption to eat pot at work? Not me.
We’ve come a long a way from pot brownies, I guess.
Curious about why California, the earliest leader of pot legalization, is late on the bandwagon behind Colorado, Washington and Oregon (D.C., maybe too), I researched and found politics, money and petty bickering between purists and pragmatists, both vying for the initiative that will finally win the day after failed attempts in 2010 and prior. As it stands, the 2016 initiative, California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which is finally down to only one initiative–so far–is still gathering solidification and blessings from grandfather NORML and political power ReformCA, two big backers of pot legalization.
Hopefully, sensible law will win the day, one that de-criminalizes marijuana use completely, not in some half-assed mock health law, though I am not knocking the compassionate care legislation that gave real patients medical marijuana relief. I suspect some of my fellow office visitors at the doc’s today just wanted to recreate, and so played the sick card. The farce should end.
As for me, I’m playing the guinea pig and research subject (this whole experiment is merely for research purposes and a good story, right?). Stay tuned for updates.