My Cannabis Story: A Nurse’s Perspective

I was introduced to cannabis like most people, in college. I met this really cute boy, who would eventually become my really cute husband. We would drive around campus and smoke in his car. We called them “cruises”. I was in the experimenting phase of my life, trying different types of alcohol, trying out cannabis, seeing what I liked and what I didn’t. 

Turns out, I really enjoyed Cannabis. I liked smoking to wind down at the end of a long day, it helped me relax. It even got rid of the migraines that came with my monthly cycles

I learned that some strains can help you relax (indica) while others allow you to be more social (sativa). I experimented with smoking and utilizing edibles. 

I found out what worked for me and what didn’t. 

Of course, this was all still very taboo back when I was in school. The consumption of Cannabis was looked down upon, it was a drug. You could get arrested or even kicked out of school for it. Therefore, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t use it, unless I felt one-hundred percent safe. I tried to be as “good” as I could with it. After all, I was in nursing school and wanted very badly to graduate. I ended up graduating as class president. I was a lead chair in the student nursing association. I passed my NCLEX and got a job as an RN in the oncology field. I was able to stop smoking and pass all my drug screens. I realized that while I missed it sometimes, it wasn’t addictive. I never had side effects or withdrawal symptoms. 

It wasn’t until a few years ago, with a partial legalization, that I was able to witness its positive effects on my cancer patients. In 2016, medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio. We, as nurses and doctors, were not able to administer the THC tinctures to our patients, but they were able to bring in their own supply and self-administer. In these patients I saw a significant decrease in nausea, an increase in appetite, they were able to sleep better, and seemed more alert and alive during the day. 

After a few years, I started doing travel nursing. I was able to travel to states where marajuana was completely legalized. Patients would come to me feeling so sick, saying that the nausea medicine just wasn’t working, they had tried “everything” and were so frustrated. I would say, “well, have you tried weed?”. They would go home, try it, and would come back so excited to tell me about how much it helped. 

That was the moment I knew I wanted to help educate people about the healing properties of marijuana. I wanted to help break the stigma. To this day, I still have to be cautious about it. I am still an oncology nurse and a very good one at that, but I could have my RN license revoked without that caution. It is my goal to become educated in marajuana’s medicinal properties, break the negative stigma so many have with it, and use my knowledge to educate and help others.

– MaryJ Anonymous

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