Article and Photography by Jennie Hall-Frantz | Owl Staff
Jennie Hall-Frantz uses marijuana medicinally for scoliosis, fibromyalgia, and herniated discs
Four years ago, I began my journey with medical cannabis. I was afraid to tell people, however, because I didn’t want to be judged. I’ve heard the same thing from other people that smoke, but the tide is changing.
A friend from church said that I wouldn’t believe the amount of Christians that use cannabis for its medicinal effects. I’m not terribly surprised, but they have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not as dangerous as the government made us think in the 1970’s; that came from President Nixon’s political reasoning, not actual test results.
I suffer from scoliosis, fibromyalgia, and herniated discs that can cause me extreme amounts of pain. As a result, I have received pain reducing medical assistance for these conditions.
I began my path toward medical cannabis use because I felt like conventional pain management was treating me like cattle: take a urine test, see the doctor for the oxycodone and fentanyl, then set up an injection appointment next door. Then, that doctor would want to see me for another injection two weeks later. So on and so on.
So, I researched medical cannabis, and my future was clear. Something needed to change after being in pain management for 15 years, and I was nervous about trying this new alternative for my nerve pain and muscle relaxation needs. I went to a local dispensary and they helped me apply. Before I knew it, I had my medical marijuana license.
On my last visit to my pain management office, I recognized that I was taking a leap of faith, with hopeful expectations. The truth was, if medical marijuana didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be able to go back to conventional pain treatment for a month. Marijuana stays in your system for 30 days, and I would not be eligible for pain medicine until my urine was “clean.” I needed to make a decision. So, I asked the nurse attending to me about her opinion on the subject.
With her hand on her hip, she said, “Well! Anything that tells you that it can do all these things for you…what do you think?” To say she was skeptical would be an understatement.
Despite the nurse’s doubts, I left there excited to actually try it. Two days later I had my first appointment with a cannabis doctor and learned so much more. I discovered that a multitude of my medical issues could be addressed, from pain, muscle spasms, GI distress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, anti-inflammatory, arthritis, PTSD, and weight loss.
It can also help with epilepsy, nausea, cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, and side effects of Hepatitis C. Additionally, it can increase effectiveness of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, and alcohol addiction.
CBD is another cannabis product that has amazing benefits, but without the high that comes with products that contain THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. CBD can help with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, sleep, pain, addiction, heart and bone health, cancer treatment, and neurodegenerative disorders.
I’ve had a wonderful experience in my experiment of getting off of 50mcg fentanyl and 40mg oxycodone. I’ve even been able to avoid neck and low back surgeries. It can be a miracle to some people, depending on their needs.
It is predicted that Maryland will vote in question four; 73% of the state is in favor of it, according to The Washington Post. I count myself among that number. I am very excited and happy about the future possibilities this could create for the future of cannabis products in our society.