If you aren’t aboard the medical cannabis revolution, it’s time to wake up and smell the CBD oil.
Whereas use of the plant, often in oil form, was once confined to the likes of Noordhoek and Kommetjie (big up to the folks on the other side of the Lentil Curtain), it’s now become increasingly mainstream, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
Many, many South Africans have had experiences similar to that of Jay Naidoo, a founding General Secretary of Cosatu and former Minister in Mandela Government, and his wife, author Lucie Page.
He has detailed his experience in a Daily Maverick post, which begins as follows:
My life changed the day my wife had a cannabis muffin. It was my 60th birthday, and a friend of ours had brought pot muffins instead of the traditional bottle of wine or champagne.
My wife has been suffering from a very rare and potentially fatal form of menopause — hot flushes every 20 minutes, 24/7, so powerful she often vomited. I once took her to hospital after she had spent 116 hours awake and lost 4.5kg in those five days. I sometimes had to wring the sheets in the morning because she would lose so much water at night because of her sweats. She had been taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy) but the oncologist asked her to stop because suspicious activity had been noticed on her ovaries.
“These hormones might kill you,” said the oncologist.
She tried every other cure — homoeopathy, Chinese herbs, meditation, diet change. Nothing worked. She gobbled down so many tablets — for anxiety, nausea, insomnia, depression. But the meds just made her like a zombie. She wasn’t functioning. She had no life. I was devastated and helpless.
Every other cure, and nothing worked, but then Jay’s wife, Lucie, ate a weed muffin:
On 20 December 2014, my 60th birthday, her life changed. And mine. After eating her pot muffin, around 7 pm, she had a beautiful evening, dancing away and chatting. She said she didn’t feel any different, no buzzing effect. We went to bed at midnight. In the morning I was surprised. Lucie had slept through the night. No hot flushes. No soaking sheets. Our friend had left her five muffins. Lucie took one a night. She was symptom-free for five days. On the sixth night, bang! Full blown menopause.
Brief aside – if you’re heading to a 60th, or a 50th, or any birthday really, and you’re kinda bored of bringing along a bottle of wine or champagne that’s just going to get lost in the mix, weed muffins and brownies are often a big hit.
Just label them clearly and tell people, because unwittingly ingesting one can be a rollercoaster ride. Serious brownie points if you go all out like these below:
Anyway, back to Jay and his wife’s amazing recovery:
She joined one of the underground groups at the invitation of her friend who has a son with Dravet syndrome. From hundreds of epileptic fits a day, he had come down to one or two a month. In this group, people were treating themselves for Parkinsons, Alzheimers, depression, anxiety, autism, anorexia, glaucoma, diabetes, ADHD, Crohn’s disease, lupus, PTSD, osteoporosis, epilepsy, cancer and so much more.
Lucie discovered that we have been using hemp and cannabis for thousands of years. A 26,000-year-old hemp rope has been found in China. Proof of the plant being used as medicine dates back 12,000 years and an ancient Chinese notebook was found containing the details of the benefits and effects of cannabis on our health.
Jay then details how marijuana came to demonised at the beginning of the 20th century, with South Africa the first country in the world to ban cannabis, way back in 1911.
America soon followed suit, due in large part to the efforts of Harry Anslinger, the creator and director of America’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and the world turned its back on one of the most important medicinal plants in existence.
Thankfully, and finally, the tide is turning:
The empirical evidence is growing. The news is spreading. Around the world governments, doctors and most importantly people are demanding a choice in how they want to heal. Our SA universities can become centres of excellence in the study and research into health products from cannabis. We could become the global laboratory of medical cannabis, given the extent and quality of the plant in southern Africa.
Another ignored fact is that cannabis has been an essential indigenous and sacred medicinal plant in the pharmacy of thousands of traditional healers in SA. It is also estimated that more than half a million growers in our most impoverished rural communities have been growing cannabis for hundreds of years and support millions of their dependents with these incomes.
Lucie has actually written a book about her journey, Sex, Pot and Politics, with this simple message at the centre of it all:
“It’s not right that we have to choose between suffering and dying or going to jail. I rather heal illegally than die legally.”
As you can imagine, Jay (below, with Lucie) is pretty happy in light of the recent legal developments here in South Africa:
The fight to legalise and integrate medical cannabis in our official pharmacopeia is a fight for our right to health as enshrined in the International Declaration of Human Rights.
If I have a wife who is healthy and well today, I have medical cannabis to thank. I am deeply grateful to those who swim against the current of prejudice and stigma, such as eminent jurists, Judge Dennis Davis, Deputy Chief Justice Ray Zondo in the recent Constitutional Court judgment and so many valiant journalists, users, advocacy groups, traditional healers and growers who continue to fight for this indigenous medicinal plant and the choice over how we want to heal ourselves.
A little something to consider for all the Luddites who think that the battle to legalise the personal use of cannabis was frivolous.
Feel like celebrating? Why not grow a massive marijuana plant and enter this competition?
Yup, the tide is turning.
[imagesource:twitter/enca] After nearly a year-long excavation, Egyptian archaeologists...
[imagesource:twitter] Fans of the hit HBO series Succession are in for a treat. HBO has...
[imagesource:wikicommons] According to an article in Express, a friend of Michael Schum...
[imagesource:shopriteholdings] Retail giant Checkers have launched a series of adverts ...
[imagesource: Everyday Health] The average human scalp contains about 100 000 hairs and...