This is a fireside chat with Caleb and Shane from cheaphomegrow.com. This is a story of how Caleb treats his back pain using cannabis.
(Disclaimer: The below interview/fireside chat shouldn’t be used as medical advice. This is one person’s story about how he treats his back pain with cannabis.)
Below the YouTube and Soundcloud files is a transcription of the audio/video files.
Shane: Hello everybody. This is Shane from cheaphomegrow.com. I am not so much interviewing, but having a fireside chat with Caleb. Caleb was on the show last month, he talked about how Cannabis saved his life, and today he’s going to be on the show again. We are going to talk about his back pain, so Caleb, please talk about yourself a little bit and go right into your back pain and how Cannabis has helped you with your back pain.
Caleb: Thanks for having me on the show again Shane. I’m Caleb, and I tweet on Twitter @CANNiLIVE. Like Shane said, I was on the show last month, and I came back again to talk more about my back pain. I have a bulging disc and got it from a car accident a couple of years ago. I was rear-ended while I was sitting at a stop light and I was out of work for a little bit. Thank god for a couple of days.
Caleb: I didn’t have insurance at the time, so I didn’t think anything of it. After, I took some time off. I was (had been) working out in the gym a lot, I enjoy the gym. I just kind of laid in bed and kept myself from doing anything too strenuous.
Caleb: And after I thought it healed I went back to the gym, and fast forward a year and a half later, I don’t know, they might be together I was working out in the gym one day, and I was squatting, I got done doing a set and then I put the bar back up and I felt a warm liquid come down my back,but there was no liquid there, and I guess one of my discs popped out.
Caleb: You know I couldn’t bend down to pick up my bags. After that, I was kind of embarrassed, and I had just started a new job too, and I got stuck on the toilet. I couldn’t get off the toilet. I couldn’t put my socks on. I had a hard time getting dressed for a while and it kind of really sucked.
Caleb: I’m a pretty active person I’m usually always on the go, and it has me sitting tight right now, and I’m learning more and more to listen to my body and not to mess around with backs because I’m paying the price for it. Some of this stuff was maybe out of my control a little bit.
Caleb: You know I have to do some something like the move. I had to move my parents because my dad was in a car accident and has back and shoulder problems (so) I’m helping him out. Every time I do some serious lifting, I pay a price for it for a little while. It’s uncomfortable. Some days I don’t know what’s worse, standing up or sitting down.
Shane: Wow. That’s what’s tough; I’m sorry to hear that.
Caleb: Some people have it a lot worse than me, but it’s something that claws at you all day long. It’s not that it’s unbearable, there’s pain, it hurts. After a while (I) learned I have a pretty large tolerance for pain, but it pokes at you day in day out and then it becomes mentally and emotionally exhausting as well.
Shane: Right, that’s true. You bring up a good point there. Everybody talks about physical pain but often, I think after a certain point people that are in pain are of course in physical pain, but at a certain point they get to a place where mentally it starts to affect them.
Shane: Would you say that the case for you?
Caleb: Oh yeah. Especially when.., I’ll put it to you like this: I was in the gym every morning at 4:20, every single morning. I know it sounds funny you know, “420”. It wasn’t planned like that or anything, but I’d wake up about 3:45, and by the time I got to the gym it was about 4:20 am. I was in there religiously. I lost a lot of weight from not working out, and I’m not eating as much as I was.
Caleb: That was my outlet. I use Cannabis as an outlet now, but I had this other outlet. I’ve got one of those minds that never shut off; it’s always running, so working out was a good way for me to burn off some additional stress through a different way. I may not be able to do that. That’s also adding on to the emotional, mental path because I’m getting irritable quicker, different things like that. I’m not sleeping as well, things of those nature all right.
Shane: Well that brings up my main question here. How has using Cannabis played a role and helping you fight your back pain?
Caleb: It’s my “go to.” I consume it in multiple ways. For instance, I start off with tincture the morning in my tea. Then I’ll pack an edible to take to work. Nothing too potent where I’m incoherent at work and my eyes are super bloodshot, but just enough for me to be functional but alleviate pain. I sit down all day, so that’s not good on my back. I get to work, I start sitting down about 7:30 and by 9:00 I’m squirming in my chair trying to be comfortable. So the edibles help while I’m at work. You know I’ll tolerate what I can’t kill off at work.
Caleb: But as soon as I get home… You know I just got into dabbing recently. That’s a great way for me to just you walk in the door and get pretty much instant relief. The nail with the creme brulee torch. You drop your wax in there, and to the moon, I go. That’s pretty sweet. I come in and rip a bong or do a bowl and I start getting dinner around. I try to try to keep my diet pretty clean and pretty fresh in hopes that with having proper nutrition that maybe it will re-work something in my body, have everything flow together. That, and the latter part of the evening I’m enjoying things, hitting bongs all night long until I pretty much go to sleep and I do that, and I lay on the couch, and I lay in bed. Taking that pressure off my spine or smoking, it allows me to get a couple of hours of peacefulness to myself; you know just enjoy the moment.
Shane: Is there any particular strain of Cannabis that you use for your pain?
Caleb: I just got some OG Kush. I know there are so many varieties out now, but this is more like what I used to get five to seven or eight years ago. What I’m getting to smoke is pretty true OG, but it doesn’t seem to do much for my pain. I got some Cali-O and oh man, is that nice. That just melts it right away.
Shane: what do you mean? When you say melts, you mean it treats the pain pretty quickly?
Caleb: Oh, Yeah. Have you ever had your leg fall asleep on you?
Caleb: You start shaking it, and you start waking it up, and you get that tingly feeling? It’s almost like a relief comes down, and I get that tingly feeling, my pain doesn’t feel as heavy. I get almost instantly comfortable. You get some of those strains, the one hit wonders? You take a wack. That’s how that Amnesia Haze was, the first dab I did. I turned and looked at my brother, and I looked at his boy, and I thought ‘oh shit,’ and they said “what”? I was in some serious pain that day! I stood up straight afterward. It feels good. I could be functional again. That was a decent one (strain).
Shane: You are referring to the OG Kush, right?
Caleb: No, that was the Amnesia. The OG Kush… what I’ve been doing is I have been mixing that and the Cali-O together. It’s been pretty nice. I’ve always loved those two. But I’ve been wanting that pain relief in there. I just rolled up more like a 3 to 1 ratio with the Cali-O in there. (If) I smoke too much of the Cali-O it puts me to sleep.
Caleb: Yeah. I’ve never used the recent strains (mentioned) online, but I’ve had Cali-O before. I was just smoking back when I was a kid just to smoke, and now I’m researching them to see what’s going to help me with my pain and everything, and I’ve been reading this: it acts more like a sativa if you if you only smoke a little bit and then act more like an indica the more you smoke it. Yeah, they’re not lying!.
Shane: So you’re more partial to indica, is that correct?
Caleb: Yeah. Seeing how I acquire cannabis, I don’t get to pick types, if I want high CBD strains, or not. I’m interested in having something with a little more CBD to see how that alleviates my pain. I do use CBD oil, and I have isolate slabs.
Shane: Regarding curing your pain how do you use the CBD oil? How do you administer it? Do you take the oil itself? Do you put it where you are having pain?
Caleb: No, I use it sublingually. I leave it under my tongue for ten or fifteen seconds. After that, it’s already in the back of your throat.
Caleb: I have the isolate slab, I break off a little crumble and get that little cherry medical kind of flavor. That’s pretty good at pretty quick, but I like the oil for the full spectrum. You get more out of the medicine. It’s like an orchestra that’s completely instant.
Shane: I think you know we’re talking about there. My next question, I think we talked about this but is there any specific way you like to use Cannabis? Is there a method, in your experience, of ingesting cannabis that’s more effective than another when treating your pain?
Caleb: I’ve always enjoyed smoking. I was dabbing the CBD, but I wasn’t dabbing wax. I just recently found somebody who’s got some pretty good stuff, some variety too, so I’m going to get a little more into that. I have been liking that just for just how fast it works, but you’ve got no fire. Smoking it.., I always prefer smoking it. That’s for me. I want more instant relief, but I do like taking edibles with it to get longer lasting (effect). I don’t like edibles too strong, but I definitely like a mild edible to take my pain away, that works like an accent. That’s kind of how I treat it. I take them every eight hours or so.
Shane: Yeah. It’s either 8 or 12 I believe.
Caleb: Yeah, it’s a lot easier on my gut.
Shane: Yeah, that’s true. And personally, as I’m getting a little bit older, I have some stomach issues as well.
Caleb: Do you use Cannabis at all to help alleviate your stomach issues?
Shane: For my stomach issues, no. I’ve just been I’m dealing with them plus I don’t have massive stomach problems. It’s only when I eat like a raving pig, that’s when I have (issues), which is stupid. I’m 34. When I was 18-19, even 24 years old, my diet back then was significantly different than it is now.
Caleb: Well absolutely.
Shane: I can’t get away with the same diet, Yes. And I’m certainly not an overweight person by any stretch of the imagination. I go to the gym; I work out. I’m not overweight or anything like that. I’m certainly treating my stomach issues. No, I don’t use Cannabis.
Caleb: It’s funny you bring that up, (that) you’ve been working out. Have you ever see with the old bodybuilders? They will eat clean for six days and on Sunday they would eat whatever they want. They have their wives cook them these crazy meals. They ate cakes. And they would have a cheesecake, a chocolate cake, two or three different kinds of cake, and they had them all in one day. And they talk about how to be bloated. Well, I do that because I’m into bodybuilding and I want to do what the old guys did. Old guys usually had it right the first time. (Then) I’m like, ‘let’s go old school with it,’ I know you mean when you overeat. You are messed up the next day.
Shane: Yeah you are. It’s not like I’m 17 years old or 18 years or even.
Caleb: When you don’t even notice it that much back then.
Shane: Right, exactly. It doesn’t affect you. I remember when I used to play hockey. I used to play hockey for Boston Junior Bruins in the EJHL, and before every practice, when school was out, I used to go to McDonald’s, Burger King. I would wolf down a couple of burgers or Big Macs and fries and then an hour or two later I was out playing hockey and getting a check. I was what, 17 18 19 years old? And I didn’t think anything of it. But if I ever did that now, I would be sick for three or four days.
Caleb: Absolutely! I don’t even do fast food. It’s funny you say that because my before and after football practices, we’d go down to the McDonald’s, right down the street. They had plenty of athletes in there trying to put on some weight, or something.
Shane: Right. I have any fast food in over a decade. But back then I could get away with a lot of stuff, but not anymore.
Caleb: Man, a decade, that’s a long time. Hats off to you.
Shane: Thank you. Thank you. Listen, this question just popped into my head. I remember our last conversation was about a month ago on the show and you talked about opioids. So here’s my question to you: Do you believe marijuana or Cannabis, is as effective as opioids for treating pain?
Caleb: The way I see it, it’s not that there’s no use for opioids because I do believe there are some people out there who are just in brutal pain and they’re dying, and that’s what makes them culpable, so be it.
Caleb: But concerning being as effective, and this is the kind of how I stand on it: opioids are effective in the beginning, right? But as you build a tolerance to it, you need more, and more, and more for it to be effective and more and more ends up killing you whereas with Cannabis if you get the right strain, it’s going to alleviate your pain.
Caleb: You know there are days where it doesn’t alleviate all of my pain. Yeah, I have some discomfort. If you take enough opioids, you’re going to get numb. But you might also stop breathing too, trying to kill the pain with that, whereas I could eat five edibles if I want, sit there with bongs until I pass out, and I’m still going to wake up tomorrow.
Caleb: But by that point in the night, I hate to say that I’m getting obliterated, but I’m smoking myself as far as I can, and I don’t do this you know before driving before work or anything.
Caleb: As I said, I tolerate some pain because of legal reasons and whatnot. It’s effective. If you eat it, you smoke it, ingest it in multiple ways, in multiple forums and get all the different active ingredients, and you know the CBN, the CBA, CBD, the THC, the THCa.. get all, the full spectrum. It’s got to be super effective when we do it like that, right? I mean, that’s that’s my thinking.
Shane: Sure. So, you’re not saying that its opioids don’t work, because they do. But you know if you take too much of them you’re going to die because you’re going to get addicted and you build up a tolerance, and the more you take, the higher likelihood that you’re going to you know become addicted and die. Is that correct?
Caleb: Yeah, that’s right. This month you’re taking two every 4 to 6 hours like the bottle says, Right? Well, next month you told the doctor that’s not enough, so he wrote you for five milligrams to ten milligrams, two every 4 to 6 hours. That might be good for another two or three months, and then you’re back saying “Doc, I need some more.” Now we jump to the next year, and then we jump to the third year, and now we’re getting off the Hydro and Oxycodone and moving on to something a little stronger. It’s a vicious cycle. They’ll have to put you on a maintenance drug, it’s ridiculous.
Shane: Yeah, I see what you’re saying there. I know we’ve talked about methods of usage for you, but I’m curious. Would you try, or have you tried any Cannabis pain relief cream or cream at all?
Caleb: I would like to. I haven’t. Do some people put THC in there?
Caleb: Yes, I’m pretty sure where I get my CDB from, I think they have cream on their (inventory). You know I don’t know anybody that used it. You know I don’t know anybody that’s used the THC cream either. I’m just intrigued by how that works, to be honest with you. Unfortunately, it’s not legal for me to obtain it. Not that Cannabis is either. It’s been decriminalized, but I would have to get that in the mountains.
Shane: Right. Right. I hear you. Here’s an interesting question that I think you’ll enjoy giving me an answer to. You know how there is a patch for people that smoke. If, you smoke you can wear a patch.
Caleb: Yeah, Nicoderm CQ or something.
Shane: Right, exactly. Here’s my question: If somebody invented what’s called a Cannabis patch, would that be something that you would want to wear? Would you entertain that?
Caleb: That’s revolutionary. Oh my god. Hell yeah, I’d wear that. Would you wear it?
Shane: Sure, why not?
Caleb: I like (them), I don’t want to refer to them as gimmicks because I want to believe that a lot of these products are here to stay. My hats are off to everybody who was able to get the product out like, that is pretty creative. They all amaze me. I want to try; it’s all foreign to me, where I’m at.
Caleb: I like the traditional route of smoking. I don’t think there’s any else like it, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to experience all of it although I’ve had some of the name brand carts and edibles that are out there, but the things like the sprays and inhalers, you’re talking about a patch and all that stuff that I don’t get to see out here regularly. I’m interested.
Shane: This begs the question of trying to turn it into a free market or business. And personally, I think that would be the answer, in letting people do what they want and creating something new, and see if it works.
Caleb: Yeah, I think it’s also a great tool because a lot of people want the medicinal benefits, but they don’t want to smoke or vaporize it.
Caleb: There have been more and more people, with this opioid crisis going on, I think they’re getting more and more hip to what Big Pharma is really about, and people are getting away from (it). They’re taking untraditional holistic approaches to different aspects of life. Not everybody wants to pop a pill either, but slap a patch on it. Pretty cool.
Shane: Right. I’ve interviewed doctors and lawyers and pretty influential people, and you’re right. A lot of people have no interest in smoking or getting “high” from cannabis, but the same people that don’t want to do that, they also want to enjoy the health benefits of using cannabis. That creates an opportunity for somebody to come in and create either a product or the multiple products, that will target that marketplace. You don’t want to get high, but you still want the benefits from using Cannabis? Well, this product is for you. I think that might be where the direction of this is going.
Caleb: I hope it does because, as you’re saying I got little lights going off in my head. It’s taking me back to somebody who messaged me on Twitter. She was older, I think she said she was in her 60’s, and she suffers from MS, or something pretty painful, there’s a lot of fly by nights, especially on Twitter. They end up taking advantage of people, and she probably got an inferior product, or maybe she’s she was uneducated, and I tried to educate her, but it seemed like she was done wrong so many times that by the time she made to me, her hope was lost.
Caleb: So, she thought she could take some CBD oil, but if she wanted more instant relief, she should probably have gone with some THC and CBD. CBD doesn’t work, so she went to go cop off somebody, and they gave her that synthetic spice, that (makes) people eat their faces they turned into zombies laying in the street. She goes “yeah that didn’t work, I had synthetic THC.” I’m going, Oh my god, she probably doesn’t even know she was smoking spice.
Caleb: And here she had a bad experience; now she doesn’t want anything to do with smoking. But she’s still intrigued, she still one foot in one foot out because of her bad experience, yet there’s all this information out there how people are treating all different illnesses, especially pain. So it has to lure you back in. It’s just that there’s not safe access for people to get what they what they need, and there’s not enough education.
Shane: Right. Regarding education, the government has been demonizing cannabis for a long time, so I think that that’s why the education is lacking.
Caleb: Oh yeah, absolutely. You can ask the wrong person and be easily misinformed. Yeah, That’s true.
Caleb: What I tend to run into for the greater part is people involved in the Cannabis community are quick to help and free of charge. You know there are other people out there I mean yeah there’s a lot of people that don’t understand the Internet yet. (They) get on there and get lost and might think they found what they were looking for.
Shane: Right. That’s true. That’s a good point. Education is key, but in addition to that you have to go somewhere you actually trust, a source where the information that you read is actually is (right).
Caleb: Right. Is Rhode Island legal?
Caleb: You have you have medicinal shops?
Shane: Yes, we do.
Caleb: Nowadays you would think there’s a lot of people the illegal states that this is happening to so somebody in Rhode Island saying “oh maybe I should try medical marijuana.” Where better to go than a brick and mortar? At least you see it for yourself. You’re not pressured into buying it, and you’re not put in a strange situation where everybody’s on guard.
Shane: Right. Rhode Island does have medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state which is certainly nice, but where you are it’s a bit tough to get or to trust the people that you do business with to get a product that is good.
Caleb: That’s the part that messes me up so bad, that there is a criminal element. How can something so bad be so good? But it is good, and it’s okay to be good, and I’m just glad it seems they like they keep making progress. Depending on what’s going on in the news, It just seems like America as a whole has become more accepting of it.
Shane: Right. Yeah, I sea change for sure.
Caleb: I mean I definitely like seeing the diversity of the people that interact on my Twitter account. All different backgrounds, ages, gender. Everybody is meshing together. It’s Pretty cool.
Shane: True. All right Caleb, before I end the show is there anybody that you want to make a shout out to?
Caleb: StonerFam, the whole StonerFam (laughter) I wasn’t really involved in social media. I’ve had a Twitter account for a while, and I just wasn’t active on it for years.
Caleb: Nor was I really active on any social media. So being able to jump on social media and interact with all these different people from all over. You interact with the same people every day. I’m laughing; I’m learning, helping, teaching. There’s something going on all the time. Great group of people. That’s my shout out. I’m loving everybody.
If you’re interested in listening/reading to interviews with doctors and scientists I encourage you to visit this section of this website. I’ve interviewed the team physician to the Chicago White Sox/Bulls, Dr. Sunil Aggarwal concerning Palliative Care and medical researcher Jacob Miguel Vigil