Getting outside, hiking along a trail with our favorite furry friends next to us: it is basically the quintessential Flagstaff scene. For Marty, this was one of his favorite pastimes. Marty didn’t want to lose the excitement that comes with exploring the wilderness around Flagstaff. When he began having hip pain, which led to an eventual surgery, Marty was nervous that he wouldn’t be able to continue his active, adventurous lifestyle. With the help of medical cannabis, however, he has been able to continue being the outdoorsy, fun-loving person he is, without excessive chronic pain to bring him down. We are so happy to present this conversation with Marty, exploring his own experiences, advice he would give to others and the future of the cannabis industry. Thank you, Marty!! #hmhlovesyou
High Mountain Health:Tell us a little bit about your history with cannabis?
Marty: I have been using cannabis for about 25 years. When I was younger I battled an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa. Cannabis helped with my anxiety over food and helped to make it possible to have a healthy meal without guilt. In May of this year, I had a total hip replacement and cannabis helped greatly with pain management. Cannabis allowed me to be diligent with my rehab and to be able to rest comfortably so I could heal much quicker.
High Mountain Health:How has cannabis therapy changed your quality of life? Have you noticed any specific changes?
Marty: Cannabis therapy has allowed me to do what I love to do most – being in nature hiking with my dogs. I also teach fitness and cannabis therapy has been incredibly beneficial in reducing my pain so I can teach class effectively. Ater my hip surgery, I received a prescription for an opiate for pain, Oxycodone. This drug made me incredibly nauseous and very tired. As soon as I was able to start with my medicinal cannabis treatment my nausea went away and I had my energy levels back. Cannabis also relieves my pain more effectively than the prescribed opiates. My favorite thing to do is to be active with my dogs. To go out on long hikes or trail runs and I could not do that with my bad hip. This led to some depression because of the feeling that I would never be able to hike through the woods with my dogs without being in pain. Medicinal marijuana has allowed me to go hiking again and to be active with my dogs without the severe pain I was experiencing. So, medicinal marijuana has helped me to live my life again — to do what I love.
High Mountain Health:What particular strains are your favorite? What methods of consumption do you most often use?
Marty: I do not necessarily have a particular favorite strain. I like a good Indica for the evening when it’s time to relax and a Sativa for my daily activities. I always like a good hybrid that has high THC levels. I look for a strain that has high THC levels because my tolerance can be a bit high. And I like to smoke the flower. I just love the way it tastes and smells.
High Mountain Health: How do you think cannabis’ reputation has changed over the last 10 years?
Marty: Cannabis is much more accepted than it was 10 years ago. I think most people know the medicinal effects of cannabis and how it has helped so many people. Cannabis users are no longer looked at as a “druggie” and they do not have to hide the fact that they use cannabis. I believe cannabis will be legal in the United States soon because most Americans know that this is not a dangerous drug that it is a healing medicine.
High Mountain Health:What advice do you give someone who is new to cannabis?
Marty: My advice would be to do some research. Find a good dispensary with knowledgeable staff like High Mountain Health. They should know the difference between Indica and Sativa and which one would work best for them. I would also tell them to start slow. Be careful of the dosage amounts especially with edibles. Too much too soon to a new user can cause high anxiety and nausea. And don’t mix it with alcohol.
High Mountain Health:How do you hope to see the industry change/improve?
I would like to see cannabis legal across the U.S. But it must be properly regulated and not controlled by the big money pharmaceutical industry. It should be grown by individuals that have the knowledge and a passion for this medicine. Not by a corporation just looking to make money. I also believe the dosage, especially for edibles, needs to be more regulated. I still get confused with edibles about exactly how much I am ingesting. But I also believe that employees of the dispensaries need to have knowledge of all types of strains and how those strains help with different medical issues. Patients who are coming in with health ailments need to be addressed by someone who is educated in cannabis strains and the healing purpose of each strain. They should also be educated in the different types of health ailments that people have who are coming into the dispensaries.