By Sue Letwin
When my youngest son turned 18, my husband and I began smelling what we thought was cannabis smoke in our house.
My son has always been honest, so we asked him if he was consuming. He was embarrassed, but answered truthfully. He wanted us to know how safe the plant is, so he asked if we would be willing to watch some educational videos. Now, my perception of cannabis had always been limited to “stoners” at our school hanging around outside; we thought they were the lost, lazy kids. I remember one teen in particular looked like he lived a rough life and didn’t seem to have any friends. He helped me decide that I would never use illegal drugs.
Things took a turn when my husband and I watched the videos our son brought up on YouTube. Our eyes were completely opened. He had also written an essay on cannabis and the stream of propaganda perpetuated by the United States government to convince people it was dangerous. We learned this was rooted in discrimination, targeting people of colour and pushing an agenda to advance the cotton industry instead of allowing hemp crops to flourish.
Now, we continued to discuss our teen’s use of cannabis, as we didn’t want him to fall behind in school or become dependent on it. I honestly didn’t think it was affecting him negatively; we saw he was keeping up his grades and didn’t seem different or reclusive. He’s always been an outgoing guy. He’s logical and sensible. To this day, he's healthy and balanced.
I’ve since discovered there's more to cannabis use than the stoner stigma portrays.
During this exploration of weed, I discovered I had Lyme disease. It took several years to track down a doctor who could properly diagnose and treat me. Finally, I found the right match at a clinic in Los Angeles. He asked if I had ever tried cannabis, which I hadn't. He explained that many Lyme patients get relief from the plant, so he gave me some medical hemp paste to try. It helped so much with sleep; I’d been experiencing insomnia, a common symptom of Lyme. I was also going through perimenopause. I would get very sore throughout my body and experience “a herx”, a host of unpleasant symptoms in response to endotoxins being released from the bacteria dying within my body.
When I returned to Canada, I got a prescription for medical cannabis and started to use a 1:20 high CBD oil. I can’t really say whether or not it helped me; it was a trial and error process. It wasn’t until I decreased the CBD oil and started taking small amounts of THC that I began to feel better.
Around this time, I tried vaporizing cannabis. I couldn't believe how much it relieved my pain. I learned that Lyme patients could kill bacteria by ingesting cannabis, but we can experience symptom relief from vaping. This was a real game changer. I figured out how much cannabis I needed to ingest in order to kill some bacteria, while using detox methods and vaping to keep my symptoms at bay.
With my newfound knowledge, I felt compelled to educate others about cannabis, much like my son did for me. My daughter was so impressed, that she encouraged me to monetize what I was doing. Since I couldn’t really work even a half day at that point, she helped me lay down a strategy. That's how INDICApable was born. I got a business license, developed my own website, and started experimenting with recipes; cooking is my first love and I had some experience as a cook. I began teaching people about how to obtain a prescription, general knowledge about cannabis and how to make oil and edibles.
I was so fortunate to have my son helping me all along the way. He taught me a lot about cannabis, its chemistry and how to use it. He's now in his third year of studying chemistry and would like to work for a cannabis lab or conduct research. Along with my oldest son, he created the dry herb and infusion calculators on my site, so that people can figure out the milligrams of THC or CBD in their cooking. My husband also now works for a cannabis nursery. It's a family affair.
Cannabis has become a welcome substance in our household, partly because of my thoughtful, intelligent son who took the initiative to educate his parents. You never know how informed your kids are unless you spark an honest conversation around the plant.
I'm forever grateful to my son for opening my eyes to the healing power of cannabis and the beautiful ripples of love and connection it can bring to our lives.
Sue with her son, Drew.
To learn more about Sue Letwin and INDICApable, visit www.indicapable.ca.