Welcome to Cannabis Bites: Cristina's Personal Medical Cannabis Journey

I was born and raised in Colombia at the height of the drug cartel wars and the Pablo Escobar era in Medellin. By the mid-80s, approximately 60% of the marijuana available in the U.S came from Colombia. This horrific war claimed many lives, including my father, who was on the illegal side of the cannabis industry. I grew up with a repulsion for the cannabis plant, even though our native tribes have been using it for medicinal purposes for generations. In 2003, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions which brought in unbearable and debilitating pain. In 2007, when I moved to Canada, my husband suggested medical cannabis, and I almost filed for divorce (not even kidding). I was ready to pack my bags and head back to Colombia.

In 2015, the untamed generalized pain caused by fibromyalgia led me to change my views on cannabis. I added medical cannabis to my pain and anti-inflammatory toolkit box. I became more passionate about it after giving birth to my son in 2019. My rheumatologist and family doctor prescribed Oxycontin (a type of opioid) to put out the fire caused by a horrible postpartum Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up and the C-section incision. I refused narcotics altogether due to the unpleasant side effects (i.e. nausea, decreased appetite, drowsiness, brain fog, constipation, headache, and even anxiety). Sadly, there were no other options offered to treat my chronic pain. Since I could not breastfeed my boy after two weeks, I was able to resume my medical cannabis therapy with a physician's assistance from the Canadian Cannabis Clinics and later on with the Apollo Medical Clinics' support.