COVID has brought mental health into our national conversation, and we are all dealing with extreme levels of stress and anxiety. The Kush Nurse – aka Sandra Guynes, an RN with 15+ years of experience – shares how cannabis helped her PTSD, and we get inspiration from a New York Times article to help alleviate symptoms of hopelessness and loneliness. Plus, 3 strains for stress and 3 podcasts we think you’ll love.
April Pride: This podcast discusses cannabis, and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Sandra Guynes: For the last a hundred plus years, since 1930 something, but pretty much every nursing textbooks, all these textbooks, mostly they have chapters on cannabis abuse or marijuana abuse; and, how to help patients go through treatment for this. That’s what you get when you open up a textbook. There’s no section on how wonderful and amazing cannabis is.
April Pride: Welcome back to How to Do the Pot. I’m April Pride and I do the pot. This is the audio newsletter. If you’d rather read it, visit dothepot.com and subscribe to our email newsletter. And, if you like How to Do the Pot, please share it with someone and rate and review us on Apple podcasts, it helps more people find the show.
April Pride: The four letters PTSD are woven into our modern lexicon from song line to punchline. And, while some turned to music to soothe symptoms of PTSD and others to humor, more and more we’re turning to cannabis. Certainly during these days of COVID, there’s talk of cannabis as an essential service, in no small part to ensure those who depend on cannabis to mitigate symptoms of PTSD and other mental health diagnoses can get their medicine. To date, most of the research studies on cannabis for PTSD have focused on Veterans. Still, the evidence is not enough to support clinical recommendations, both for Vets or anyone in the general population diagnosed with PTSD.
April Pride: You just heard from Sandra Guynes, AKA, The Kush Nurse, speaking to Kia Baker, the host of The Female Veterans Podcast. Sandra’s a nurse with over 15 years of experience. Her story of finding cannabis to help the PTSD, she experienced after a traumatic birth, inspired her to help others find the right cannabis medicine. Kia and Sandra have graciously shared audio from a recent episode, and you can hear more of their story on The Female Veterans Podcast, available wherever you listen.
Sandra Guynes: I am so glad that Veterans now have more, how do I say, access, but at least the ability to be honest about their consumption. And, not feel like it’s something that’s going to be scrutinized, or cause them to lose the benefits that they’ve earned fighting for this country. One of the things about cannabis is with PTSD, it’s really helpful because it decreases your REM sleep cycle. So, it decreases the ability for you to have nightmares. So, with a lot of PTSD sufferers, that’s one of the biggest triggers of the nightmares and night terrors. Not the first time, but a few times after that, you’ll start to have some more psych effects, where you can maybe recall memories and things like that; which is really good for PTSD sometimes, because you’re recalling these memories, but the memories can be recalled in a way where your body is not in that fight or flight reaction.
Sandra Guynes: And so, I recalled a lot of things from my birth with my daughter and that helped me settle those emotions and things in my brain. Because, I always felt like I’m dying, because in that moment I was dying, and I never got rid of that emotion. So, whenever things stressed me, I went back to that stressful emotion, I’m dying. And, it just always would take over me. I would tell people, “It was like a wave.” And, I would be sitting there gently playing in the water; and then, all of a sudden it’s like I can’t get out from under this tide.
April Pride: COVID has brought mental health into our national conversation and we’re all dealing with extreme levels of stress and anxiety. A New York Times article written by Dr. Jennifer Taitz, an Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at UCLA, titled, How to Reduce Your Risk of PTSD in a Post-Covid-19 World. I’ll link to it in the show notes. Share some ideas that inspired me to think about how weed can help. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD or you’re trying to manage a whole lot more stress than usual, a high five to help us all come out of 2020 feeling better. Number one, what is post traumatic stress disorder? PTSD is a mental disorder that develops following a stressful, frightening or life threatening event. 10 percent of women develop PTSD in their lives. Number two, with COVID, Dr. Taitz says, “We are in the middle of the trauma, not post-stress.”
April Pride: So, she reminds us that during a crisis, we need to take breaks to soothe ourselves. I like to say that if you can find a silver lining during COVID, you’re one of the lucky few. If you think I should shove silver up my ass, there is definitely a strain to adjust your thinking, and my ass thanks you. Number three, love yourself and others. No matter how good it may feel to play the hater, studies show that dropping judgment can significantly reduce loneliness. So, if you decide to say yes to a CBD tincture before lunch or your roommate takes an edible while house cleaning, give both of you a break. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and the hills are ablaze.
April Pride: Number four, try not to overthink. I dare you. Dr. Taitz says, and I quote, “I can’t emphasize enough that it’s normal to feel anxious now.” Yay, we’re all finally normal. To process thoughts about the pandemic that replay in your mind, she offers some techniques for when your thoughts aren’t useful. Engage in mentally absorbing activities, like working on a crossword puzzle, or just working. Or, grounding yourself by noticing three sights, three sounds and three sensations in your environment, again and again. When ruminating starts, catch it and exchange it for gratitude. Number five, the endocannabinoid system or the ECS, is showing promising results, linked to diminishing symptoms of PTSD, including excessive threat processing and anxiety. To learn more about the ECS, listen to our podcast, How to do the Pods Pain episode.
April Pride: And of course, three beloved strains to treat PTSD. Pennywise, which is a one-to-one strain, that offers mental clarity and focus with milder intoxicating effects. Trainwreck, it’s exactly as it’s name describes. It’s a high THC strain that offers a rush of euphoria and awakens creativity. I really love train wreck. Jack Herer, is the feel good strain; and, it actually shares a dominant terpene with train wreck, terpinolene; which we’ll get into more in future episodes, as we dive deeper into these strains. But Jack Herer, it’s the feel good strain, and it’s very motivating. It’s a great strain to organize your garage. Offers constant euphoria without uncomfortable spikes. Have you heard about our new series Saturday Strains, yet?
April Pride: In our COVID induced reality, do you find yourself questioning what day it is? As a result of not knowing my place in space and time, I’ve definitely lost some rituals, like appreciating a long and decidedly unproductive for other people’s purposes, Saturday morning. We at, How to Do the Pot are bringing the special back to Saturdays, with the new series called, Saturday Strains. In about five minutes, we’ll get into the weeds, with one strain and learn How to Do the Pot. What’s special about Saturday Strains, a quick high five to countdown, what you can expect to learn about each weeks strain. Number one, what does it help with? Number two, how do I want to feel? Number three? What do I want to do? Number four, is there CPD? Number five, what do other people say about this strain? I’m April Pride and I Do the Pot. And, I’ll be your guide on all things strains, every Saturday, this fall.
April Pride: Here are three podcasts, we think you’ll love. I like Design Matters, which is hosted by Debbie Millman. It’s the first and longest running podcast about design. It’s like 15 years old. Is that crazy? Guests are creative luminaries. Ellen likes Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig. The most successful podcast ever. A true crime story told over the course of a season. And, to do the pot, we definitely think you should listen to The Female Veterans Podcast, we mentioned earlier. Thank you again to, The Kush Nurse and post Kia Baker, who is also the co-producer of an upcoming series, Women Warrior Stories for the Veterans Channel.
April Pride: Thank you for listening to this audio newsletter. Let us know what you think. Find us on Instagram at Do the Pot, and you can follow me at April Pride. And, for lots more information about cannabis and women, visit dothepot.com. Thanks to my co-founder, Ellen Scanlon, Madi Fair, our marketing manager, and our producer, Nick Patri. I’m April Pride, and we’ll be back here soon with more of How to Do the Pot.
So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.