E89 - Its About Smoking Lyme

Brent Alarie is informed he has COPD, then it was multiple sclerosis. No wait, he receives another diagnosis of blood cancer. These were just a few of the catastrophic verdicts given to describe how his body was betraying him. He needed to create change and prepare for his enviable death. With a new bucket list he started living his best life under the circumstances. A six-year painful journey, of the most insane symptoms and being bounced from one diagnosis to another, finally comes to an end. Brent is told he has chronic Lyme Disease. A new journey begins with learning to live with the on-going symptoms of Lyme and regular pharmaceuticals do not help with the chronic nerve-pain. He was never a drug-guy, but after a friend gave him Cannabis, he finds therapeutic relief. Brent shares how he now balances his life with nutrition and Cannabis. Kirk and Trevor bring their second story on how Cannabis brings relief to people suffering from this Monster sickness in which we call Lyme Disease.

Friday, 05 August 2022 07:54

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Music By

Wreckin So
Desiree Dorion
Marc Clement

(Yes we have a SOCAN membership to use these songs all legal and proper like)

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Published in Episodes, Brent Alarie

Episode Transcript

Trevor: Kirk. We're back. 

Kirk: Hey, Trevor. How are you? 

Trevor: Good. All right. I'm going to out you a little bit. We were playing around a little bit before we started recording, and we had a Kirk, you’re on Zoom moment because, you know, it's hot here today and you came on to the zoom call. Oh, natural. 

Kirk: Well, not totally. I had my pant is on. No, I am. I'm in my basement. I'm converting a space in the basement as a full-time office. It's nice and cool down here. And I was upstairs on the dining room table and I was doing some work preparing for our talk. And yes, I may have been without a shirt. 

Trevor: So, it's all good, man. It's all good. 

Kirk: You know, this is our second episode on Lyme disease, and it's timely for me and Michelle. We have a dog. We have a big, a medium size, a large medium sized dog who likes to run. So, we often find ourselves walking in tall grass, long distances with our dogs. So, the dog naturally brings home. 

Trevor: Ticks.

Kirk: Ticks, and also as we do and it's become a little bit of a game for us and not necessarily a fun game, but we try to outdo each other with the number of ticks that we bring back from our walk. So, we, um, we do a couple of checks. The first check is that as we're walking and they're crawling up your leg, you pick them off and you try to kill them as you go. When you get back to the vehicle, you know, you dump the dog into the into the back of the vehicle. Now, the dog the dog is on tick medicine, So, the ticks dry up and fall off the dog. But then we will go through, you know, quickly de-tick ourselves before we get into the car. Then we come home and you know, again, you change your clothes and check your clothing for ticks. It's become quite a it's become quite a routine for us. And last night, I mean, I think we counted about six ticks on me and about eight ticks on Michelle. Last night as we're dozing off, I hear I hear this this streak I got a god-damn tick. And sure enough, Michelle rips a tick, not rips it, but does a tick on her leg. She takes the tick off and then she's up half tonight. So, we found I think we found three ticks in the bed last night. So, I mean, these are ticks that have not attach themselves to us, which is nice, but this is a very timely one for us. 

Trevor: Oh, it is. And and as usual, I think Michelle's a nicer person than my lovely wife. My lovely wife and up in the middle of the night a while ago with the tick and it was near her pillow. So, instead of just, you know, getting rid of it she flicked it on to me because, you know, then it'll be Trevor's problem. Anyway, and neither of us are tick experts but just to throw out most of what you and Michelle saw found were wood ticks. And the one we're supposed to be more concerned about for Lyme disease is the black legged tick. And unfortunately, they are tiny. Picture a black sesame seed with legs, So, they are very easy to miss. But anyway again we. 

Kirk: Yeah there but they're here we have Lyme in our district.  I've been all things Lyme for the last couple of days reading on on stuff and Brent is a layman but he lives with Lyme So, he knows a lot about Lyme and I did a lot of following up So, yeah. Lyme is not a disease you want So, we have we have this fellow that and he'll introduce themselves and let them introduce themselves now. 

Brent Alarie:  Hey I'm Brent Alarie from the band Wreckin' So. 

Kirk: So, Brent has been to the WAC. I've met him. He's a musician. I did not know a lot about him before. 

Trevor: If you're not from Dauphin, what's the WAC. 

Kirk: Oh, the Watson Art Centre. The Watson. It's the Art Center. I think we've mentioned it many times in the four years we've been doing this podcast 

Trevor: We have, but it, it's one of our nicest performance spaces in Dauphin. 

Kirk: Brent played here with his Southern rock band Wreckin' So.  Good guitar driving Southern rock and roll really, really enjoyed the set he did in Dauphin.  And he picked up on our podcast. So, he is a listener of this podcast and I've been promising him an episode for a while and with all the walks and the ticks, I thought of him and I threw out a message on Instagram and said, Hey, man, you're still interested. And he said, yes. So, this is our interview. Is there is there anything up front you want to mention about it before we start? 

Trevor: Well, there's So, much. And he obviously does a better job than me explaining what's going on with him. But just things to listen to when you're listening for a story. You know, how long between he started having symptoms and he got diagnosed. The fact he was a very anti-drug in general and cannabis in particular before this happened.  On top of everything else Lyme related it's just a really interesting My Cannabis Story. 

Kirk: Exactly. It is a My Cannabis Story. And I guess the caveat I want to throw out here is that you and I are not by any means Lyme experts. I've done some studying on it. It's a very insidious disease.  For a person to have Lyme undiagnosed for several years is not, it's not a good thing. It's not a good thing.

Trevor: And also not uncommon. Again, not Lyme experts but you and I see people through our work and whatnot. I can name three or four other people that I've run into that, it seems to be more common than you would think to have miscellaneous weird symptoms for unfortunately months to years before it gets nailed down to Lyme. 

Kirk: Yeah, no, exactly. And but I think doctors are more aware of it now. For example, last year when we had our new COVID puppy, we went for walks and sure enough, we did have a bull's eye, a bull's eye rash discovered on us and on antibiotics for about four or five weeks, hammering it. And I guess the thing is, is that as I read more about Lyme is that it's very difficult to diagnose because of the bacteria. So, I guess let's get into Brent's discussion. Yeah. And it'll come out of it. 

Trevor: Okay.

Kirk: Wreckin' So. You are Canada's Southern. What do you call yourself? Southern. 

Brent Alarie:  I right now I'm going by Canada's Southern Rock Band. 

Kirk: Yeah. Yeah. You play you played the WAC a few years ago, and I really enjoyed you guys. 

Brent Alarie:  And we want to be back. We want to come back there. We have an entire Southern Rock show we're working on. And it's going to be different than what we've done before. It's going to be real Southern rock with all the players and all of the unison guitar solos and the harmonies and the backup singing and all that stuff. 

Kirk: So, you are a full-time musician who makes your living off of playing music? Yeah. 

Brent Alarie:  Well, that's what that's the direction it was going until the pandemic. And now I'm like, because of Lyme disease, I can only work like I can't do what I was doing. Construction. Right. So, I had to I got to find a new career path and I was hoping that it would be music and it was going that way until everything shut down with between music and acting. I was pretty busy. Yeah. So, let's hope we can do that. I would like to make that my goal in my career. Definitely. 

Kirk: Okay, So, let's just get right into the conversation. When did you first I guess there's a couple of things there. When did you get diagnosed with Lyme? But then how long before you actually had the confrontation with the tick? Did that all happen? Why did you just start the story from there? 

Brent Alarie:  So, I first got started getting sick in 2008, 2009, and nobody knew what it was. I went undiagnosed for until 2011 or two. Actually, when it really got figured out was 2015. 

Kirk: You had six years, six years of Lyme disease. Wow!

Brent Alarie:  Misdiagnosed and mistreated.  Like the experts were treating me for everything under the sun except for Lyme. Nobody knew it was Lyme. I had the symptoms. I had the most extreme and extraordinary, confusing symptoms. They thought I had blood cancer. They're checking me for blood cancer. They're checking me for all these other disorders, like my red blood cell count. My white blood cell counts were just completely out of whack. So, I was being treated for everything. Then it wasn't that. Then they thought I had COPD from welding and possibly polycythemia, which goes with that thrombocytopenia polycythemia. The blood issues. So, I have something going on in my blood that they couldn't figure out. And it ended up being, in 2011 we sent off my blood to California and it came back. I had like 11 or 12, 13 Lyme disease and a whole pile of co-infections with it. So, I had everything under the sun that you can get from a tick and that explained everything. Like I was losing my sight in my left eye. I had the most insane symptoms that you could possibly have, the maximum extremity of the Lyme disease symptoms I had. 

Kirk: So, joint pain. Flu leg pain, stomach cramps. 

Brent Alarie:  Yeah. And that's why I got into music, because I got So, sick. And being diagnosed with blood cancer, I thought I was a goner. Like, I thought that was it. So, a friend of mine asked me to come up and jam at Army Navy in Selkirk at the Jam. So, I was at the point where I said, I'm going to say yes to everything. So, I said yes, and it just took off and I just kept doing it because I thought I didn't, you know, at the time I thought. How much time do I have? So, I'm just going to do everything I possibly can. Make my bucket list exponential and get everything done and do whatever I want. Then I could say I left on a good note, did whatever I want to do. Right. That's what started music. 

Kirk: That's amazing. Go again. Just the root of the story, going back. Any idea when, where you were when you found the tick? No. No bull's eye. Nothing like that. 

Brent Alarie:  Nothing. There was no wood tick on me. I mean, I'm a I'm an outside guy, right? I live in the forest as much as I possibly can. I live in the forest. I moved to where the forest is. I'm always in the bush. So. Yeah, it to whoever. 

Kirk: So, six years. So, walk me through it. So, finally, you got a diagnosis. You're you obviously have a family practitioner. 

Brent Alarie:  He's amazing. 

Kirk: Yeah. So, walk me through it. How did all this happen? Well, we'll get to the cannabis eventually, but walk me through the story. 

Brent Alarie:  So, if we go back to 2008, I was going through a bad divorce and everything else. And anybody who has Lyme knows that if something traumatic happens and your immune system gets knocked down, the bug comes out rampant and he just devours your soul, basically. While your immune system down, he comes out and he parties. So, when that was happening, that's when I really got sick. And that's when all the I guess the misdiagnosis started happening. My doctor is, the guy's a genius. And he's really like he is one of those guys that goes the extra mile for his patient. He did endless research and he got to the bottom of it. But it took a long time. Every time he would send me to the experts, that's when the path got redirected. They were focused So, hard on the symptoms rather than the cause that all they were looking at was treating symptoms. So, that was that was the premise of my misdiagnosis. But it got to the point where I was given a Handy Pass. Like, I couldn't even walk. I couldn't walk a block. I could really barely make it a block. I wanted to cut my feet off. That's how much pain they were in. And there's still, like I still have the pain symptoms from it. I've had all kinds of herbal assistance throughout this whole journey. And the only thing that worked for the pain was the THC. I tried CBD, I tried everything. And the only thing that worked was THC just the way it's transmitted. I guess. 

Kirk: You're a young man. 

Brent Alarie:  I'm 48. 

Kirk: So, this all happened. It's all happened. What, in your late thirties then? Yeah. Yeah. So, again, a young man given notice that you may have a deadly disease. 

Brent Alarie:  Back then, I was super fit. I was I was into bodybuilding MMA and everything. Like I was a machine. I'd work a 16-hour day and then still go to the gym for an hour or So, after work. And like, I was nonstop. I was on the go 24 seven and then to be hit with that basically went from 100 miles an hour to zero overnight. 

Kirk: So, they treated with antibiotics like six, seven weeks of antibiotics. 

Brent Alarie:  I did years of antibiotics because it was I had So, many co-infections. Lyme disease is So, insidious that if one, let's say one bacterium gets inside you and then multiplies, and if your immune system is strong, it'll combat it. And then that Lyme parasite forms a cyst around itself to protect itself. And it goes into hibernation until you're weak again. And then it comes out with vengeance. So, it's like. I would be treated for a bit and I'd be okay for a bit and then I'd be really bad. I would hit the wall or whatever. Like being an active guy, you have to regulate yourself. When they say Lyme Disease is a self-managed disease, like, they're not kidding. You have to pay attention to everything going on in your life and you just got to say no. Like, I just shut things down and take a break. You have to. There's nothing else you can do. If you don't, it's going to keep coming at you. And it's going to make it worse. And it's going to build up. And then you're going to get to the point where it's going to take you a year to combat it again. So, it's So, insidious and it grows in you for like over a period of time. The only way to really combat it from all my reading and what my doctors come up with this, you have to treat it the same way. You have to insidiously get rid of it. You can't bombard it because then it goes into panic mode and forms a cyst and then you're done. The antibiotic cannot penetrate that cyst. 

Kirk: Okay. 

Brent Alarie:  And it works man. For ten years of getting sick, it's ten years of getting better and I'm getting better every day. But it's 100% nutrition now. Like I'm past pharmaceuticals and everything. I am 100% nutrition based, combating the bacteria for sure. 

Kirk: So, let's talk about cannabis then. How did that how did what's the journey that you discovered cannabis helps?

Brent Alarie:  Well, here's going even further for the cannabis. I'm an anti-cannabis guy. I'm an anti drug guy. And my whole life I was brainwashed about how evil weed is. It's bad for you and it's the devil's lettuce and all that; all the bullshit, basically. I was dating a girl who had, I had never smoked it. I was dating a girl who had smoked it said, you know, this might work for you. And So, I went to my doctor and I asked him for it and he gave me a CBD. A prescription for CBD and I did. I use that for months with no benefit at all. It didn't help my feet at all, CBD didn't work and we did a little bit of research after going for MRI's and stuff. They actually thought it had MS because of the symptoms and the MRI, the test results and all that stuff. So, it was just it that wasn't the case. 

Kirk: Give me give me a timeline there. Give me. So, 2016, you said you got diagnosed. 

Brent Alarie:  In 2015 diagnosed.

Kirk: So, when did the cannabis when did your girlfriend hand you cannabis? 

Brent Alarie:  That was in 2018. I think. 

Kirk: So, you were diagnosed, you were getting treatment. She hands you, I guess a joint. And you tried it. Did you feel better your first? 

Brent Alarie:  I still didn't try the joint that I had. I had tried CBD for months and then I went back to the doctor and he said that the CBD will only work if it's local pain. But from what I had going on it was neurological pain. So, the, the feeling is in my feet, but the pain was caused in the, in the nerve chain somewhere directing the pain to my feet. After going back to see him, he said that the CBD is not going to work. You need the THC would work because it affects your brain and I don't understand it, but he said it would work and he gave me some THC pills because I'm I was at the time super pharmaceutical... I didn't know anything about alchemy or anything. I didn't know anything about anything other than it came in a pill. You bought it in supplement, especially being a bodybuilder, right? Supplements. You use supplements.  And So, the THC pill worked, but I didn't feel like it made me feel groggy and sluggish and it didn't feel good at all. So, that was when she came on with the idea and a little pre-rolled spliff there. And, you know, it it ended up being that it worked. And I mean, I other than getting really stoned for the very first time, the pain was gone. Like my feet were a million times better. 

Kirk: Okay. And So, you sure you enjoyed that? And all of a sudden you said to yourself, Oh, my God. 

Brent Alarie:  I said, Well, that felt good. And then a buddy of mine had some. So, he gave me a great big giant bag of it, and then that was it. And then I was using it for bedtime. So, I would I would smoke it before bed. I'd watch a movie, and then I'd wake up in the morning and I'd still my feet, my knees, my back, everything was still good. So, it was working. I just carried on that way for since then. 

Kirk: So, wow, you're your doctors, your family docs. You've had your doctor for quite a while before the Lyme Disease and stuck with the same family doc. So, how did your family doctor when you said, I want to try cannabis how how was he or she with that? 

Brent Alarie:  It's amazing because, the whole time I was seeing him and I was going there with problem after problem. I kept telling him I didn't want to be on pills. So, he would always give me the advice about nutrition and I'd be like, Yeah, I know about nutrition, but I'd kind of shrug it off. So, when he found out I didn't want any pills at all, he really helped me with the like we, we buckled down and made everything about nutrition and lifestyle. And I don't have any pills right now. No pills, zero pills. The only thing I do right now is, is THC at night. That's it. 

Kirk: And you do it. You do it through a flower or pill. 

Brent Alarie:  Through flower. You don't want any pills. I've converted, I've made butter and I've done all kinds of stuff, but I usually just smoke. Just smoke a joint at night. 

Kirk: I guess I'm wondering if there's something to do with the entourage effect. Like, you are taking the CBD pills with no real effect, and the THC pills made you tired and you went to flower. I wonder if it has something to do with the Entourage effect. Was it all being in one? I am just pondering. 

Brent Alarie:  Yeah, yeah, sure. I know that even if I make edibles and stuff, I feel like I did with the THC pill, I have hangover. Your groggy the next day? But I never want to be groggy. I always want to be alert. 

Kirk: So, have you found that any specific strain has helped you? 

Brent Alarie:  Definitely. Anything that's Indica. Indica is the best. Sativa is good because then you can be active. But for me, the it doesn't hammer the pain like the Indica does. The Indica gets rid of the pain.  I've done, you know, I've done some days where I worked 16, 17 hours and come home. And the prime example was I did 20 hours in the studio and I came home and I was just spent. My back was finished, and I was still supposed to go out and watch a buddy's show. And the show is actually a buddy of mine after work ritual. Imagine that. So, I'm laying on the couch and I'm like, I guess I'm not going. And my brother was staying there for a bit and he rolled the joint and brought it to me. I was laying on the couch like crippled, couldn't move and I smoked a joint. And then an hour later I was sitting up and I'm like, Oh, I guess I'm going to the rock show. So, it was, it's crazy, but it's magic, man. It's, definitely medicine. 

Kirk: Do you belong to any Lyme Disease groups or do you belong to any forums. 

Brent Alarie:  There's hundreds. I got a lot of flack, during pandemic, about my belief about the whole thing. And what nobody understands is that the majority of my friends on Facebook and I'm at like 4990 something with people dropping off stage because I guess I'm abrasive. Probably 85% of those people are Lyme Disease patients that I've met through the forums and the groups. Right. I'm in a documentary about Lyme Disease called "Monster Inside Me." It's out now. You can see it. It's a pay per view one, but it's I think it's worth watching. There's a lot of really interesting information in there, but it's a it's a different monster. And Lyme Disease is different animal. 

Kirk: And lots of people are using it. We've interviewed we've interviewed somebody, Sue, earlier in Saskatoon, and she's a Lyme patient and it's helping her. She finds that every So, often she has to take two weeks off. 

Brent Alarie:  Yeah, I think I take a lot of time off, too. I mean, for me, for singing I any time I have a gig or practice, I take time off. I have a gig. I probably don't smoke it for a week to two weeks. We recorded a new album that might be coming out right away. I've got a whole bunch of new music. We've got a new album. When I went out to Edmonton to record this new album, I didn't. It was pretty much a whole month. I didn't smoke just So, I could go in there and give her everything I got. 

Kirk: And that because when you, when you, when you're using cannabis, it just makes you groggy or it's helping with the pain. 

Brent Alarie:  It's for me, it's just a throat irritation. So, when I sing, I sing from my toes. So, if I cough or something like that the day before or if I have a big coughing fit, then the next day I feel it when I'm trying to sing. 

Kirk: So, okay, so. So, inhalation works better than ingestion. You're saying you're using oils. Do you try oils? Like does that help with it at all when you when you eat it? 

Brent Alarie:  It does. But then I have the hangover again. So, I'm kind of I'm stuck. I can I can do the edibles and they work great. But then I end up I got to make sure I have the day off the next day or whatever. Otherwise I'm groggy, but maybe it's the dose. I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing. 

Kirk: All right. Well, but yeah, it's interesting to talk to you about this because, like, I mean, no offense, man, but you look like a guy that's been in the cannabis for like 40 years, right? 

Brent Alarie:  I ask every time I go to the airport, that's what they assume. I'm pulled over every time. Yeah, it's constant. It's a constant thing. Everybody just assumes that I'm this big pothead. I mean, I am now, but I wasn't, you know, I wasn't my entire life until I was, you know, late thirties. And even then, I didn't start using it daily for medicinal purposes until the last probably three or four years. It was, you know, a little bit here and there for the pain, but now it's like I use it everyday. Every night unless I'm singing or whatever. Right? 

Kirk: Right. So, as a Lyme patient, I guess at your level, if it wasn't diagnosed for like five or six years, my understanding of Lyme is that it's going to be very difficult. You're going to have recurring for the rest of your life, I guess. 

Brent Alarie:  Yeah. Chronic Lyme. I'm diagnosed with Chronic Lyme and co-infections So, with the Lyme infection because everyone just thinks that you get bit by wood tick and it's one parasite. They carry hundreds of micro parasites, including a parasite that exists inside the Lyme parasite. The Lyme parasite has a micro parasite inside it that has been linked to Alzheimer's. So, it's like you get bit by wood Tick it's like Russian Roulette with an evil genius bacteria. 

Kirk: That's yeah, that's too bad. I am. That's too bad. Anything I haven't asked you anything you wanted to make sure people knew about cannabis and Lyme? 

Brent Alarie:  Lyme Disease is a monster. So, the biggest thing with Lyme Disease is cannabis is a great pain reliever for me because of the neurological pain that I have. I don't know if it's for everybody, but it definitely helps for me.  I think if you have Lyme Disease and you have foot or back pain, I think it's going to help you. One of the things with Lyme Disease that helped me the most is if you have Lyme Disease and you don't know how to treat it and it's confusing, look up Candida and treat yourself for Candida because it's the same kind of bug. It's anything that will grow, yeast will grow, Lyme Disease will grow Candida. So, if you treat your body as the way you're infected with Candida, your whole life will change. You've got to remove the sugars that feed the growth of yeast. So, that's the big thing. I guess that's my biggest advice to anybody who's suffering like I am and was, is you got to do the pain management because as soon as you control your pain management, you can do things. You know, the biggest I think the biggest clot, I don't know what it is. The biggest thing that holds people back with Lyme Disease is the mobility. Once you're in pain, you can't do anything. And then you gain weight and you you get depressed and it just becomes a really vicious cycle. So, if you can get your mobility under control and you can do things, you're going to fix the rest of it because your body will start working properly. That was my big thing. And I'm I lost like 70lbs in the last year and I feel better than I've ever felt in probably the last ten years. 

Kirk: Cool and going to your band, you guys got gigs lined up for the summer. You got a tour figured out? 

Brent Alarie:  Well, we were working on a few things, kind of got on a late, jumped on the festivals late. So, we have one gig lined up and then nothing until the fall. I'm kind of waiting. I have a few things really being released that I wanted to bombard everybody with what's coming out and then book gigs. So, we may not hit the festivals and stuff till next year. We're going to book theaters this year like the WAC. We're definitely in to book that. We're going to book as many theaters as we can this winter to get the show on the road.  The literal Southern Rock Show on the road. 

Kirk: That's great. I really enjoyed last time you guys were here. It was it was a good show is a good time. 

Brent Alarie:  Awesome. Yeah. We'll have to do it and maybe we'll come and shoot the shit with you before we play. 

Kirk: I guess again I want to reiterate Brent used some terminology that I wasn't really familiar with, but talking about cyst formations and that sort of stuff. My understanding is that this is caused by a bacterium that's very similar to the syphilis bacterium. So, there are similar symptoms from it, such as the Alzheimer's he mentioned and joint pain. And I won't be able to pronounce the Greek words. 

Trevor: I think it's Borrelia Burgdorferi.  I'm not I'm not quite there.

Kirk: Yeah, go ahead. 

Trevor: No, no, that's as close as I'm getting. 

Kirk: But I guess, you know, it comes in stages. There's stage one, stage two, stage three, the primary, the secondary and tertiary, which is a word I have trouble with. And I guess after being diagnosed, you know, four or five years after the symptoms started, he's safely into the third stage of this disease. 

Trevor: Yeah. And just to reiterate, he went through it. But think about this. He he started getting sick with something in 2008. It wasn't till like 2015 if that, you know, they had it nailed down and along the way they thought: blood cancer, COPD, polycythemia, multiple sclerosis. Like, you know, it was just all these weird symptoms that, you know, maybe it's this, maybe it's that. And it's just, you know, you don't want to see anybody go through that. But it just gives you an idea about how insidious and we're overusing it, but how insidious Lyme Disease is because it can sort of mask itself as So, many other things.

Kirk: And again, from the research I've been doing, he's on the right track. It seems to me that after a course of strong antibiotics for a long period of time and most antibiotics, depending on the infection, you have 5 to 10 days depending on the infection. We are talking about weeks. 

Trevor: Usually, usually under 2 weeks. It's kind of the maximum for all quote unquote, normal infections. 

Kirk: Yes. Like when you get something this insidious, you're on it for several weeks and sometimes a lifetime, I notice. But I guess, you know, talked about balanced diets and all that. And, you know, again, this is not a Lyme specific show, but it is, you know, if it is a disease that we Canadians and North Americans need to be aware of and Europeans. But let's do anything else. You want to say about Lyme? Do you want to just duck into the cannabis? 

Trevor: I want to go into cannabis. 

Kirk: Let's do it. 

Trevor: But now, again, this is anecdotes, but it's just interesting that, you know, we talked, you mentioned, Sue Litwin a little bit during the interview. And we mentioned or again, Sue has said several times that THC is the part of cannabis, that that helps her with her Lyme symptoms. Because, you know, we talk about other conditions where the CBD seems to be more of the quote unquote medicinal part. So, Sue said several times, you know, emphatically that it's the THC. And just interesting, Brent said the same thing and the other because, you know, a pharmacist him talked about the difference between inhaled THC and oral THC and how he felt the inhaled was better. And, you know, I obviously do not have the end-all-be-all answer of why, but it's just interesting to remember that they do act differently in the body. So, the simple bits is inhaled, goes into the body faster, alSo, leaves faster. But the drug in the body kind of changes because the when you inhale it, you get pretty much THC unchanged, more or less into the bloodstream when you inhale it. When you eat it, it goes to the liver and starts the metabolizing. You get a lot more of one of the metabolites, which is 11-hydroxyTHC. Now, there's other metabolites, too. But when people talk about getting a quote unquote different high off of inhaled versus eating, that's true. Because the 11-hydroxy-THC actually is psychoactive as well. You know, maybe it's medicinal as well, who knows? But just the what not, who knows? I'm sure someone knows. Trevor: doesn't know. It's just interesting. You do actually get different cannabinoids, subtly different, in your system, whether you inhale or you, it goes orally and the other is the bioavailability. Sorry, the pharmacist gets a little geeky on this, but that's how much of what you take in goes into your bloodstream. So, when you're inhaling, it's kind of all over the map. It goes, you know, the study I was reading, you know, they're estimating between two and 56%. So, that's a huge range. Well, they said, yeah, but it's really hard to control for number of puffs, time in between puffs. How long you held it in your lungs, your lung volume and and and and and and even when they literally had people have a computer paced smoking. So, you know, the computer said, okay, inhale now hold till the beep. Stop and then repeat. Even when they did computer pace like that, they had huge differences between the different subjects, how much THC got in them. So, it's just interesting. So, you can see from a medical point of view another reason why we quote unquote like the oral, because it's more... It's easier to figure out exactly how much is going in. But for people who really like the THC, need the THC, want the THC, finds it helps them. More of it probably goes into your system, goes in faster and stays of THC longer than if you do it orally. Now, are any of those relevant in this case, I don't know. But it's just something to keep in mind about the way we get THC and the other cannabinoids into the body actually could affect how it's going to affect the body. 

Kirk: Mm hmm. And what I find interesting is, once again, Lyme Disease and Brent says it, but also, from what I read, is a disease that needs to eventually be taken care of alone. Once they given you the course of antibiotics, it is diet driven. How you keep yourself. Well, keeping your omegas up, you know, keeping your vitamins up, keeping your nutrition well. That's important to Lyme Disease. Going back to cannabis. Cannabis, we've often talked about how difficult it is for Western medicine to use cannabis because it's So, individualized. The last episode we talked about, I was asking why they're not drawing biomarkers or lab serums on people when they when they are treating with cannabis. It doesn't seem to be part of the care when doctors are using cannabis as medicine. And I guess it has to do with the study you're saying. It's So, individualized that maybe it doesn't even matter what the results are? I mean, I would argue that if an individual if you're if you're treating your patients as individuals, you should have an individualized understanding of the of the biomarkers in the body and results. But I'm not I'm not a practitioner nor a lab guy. But this is what I find interesting with Lyme Disease you got to take care of yourself. People are using cannabis Sue Litwin Episode 31 and Episode 65, we talked to the Lyme Warrior Sue. And So, this I guess is our second episode on Lyme. But she also talks again using cannabis individual, individualized for her. That's an interesting study that you read. It just again, just says how difficult plant medicine is. 

Trevor: Yeah. And this was again kind of a geeky and I'll post the link in case anyone wants to read it. The other thing that I got a giggle out of it was done by the NIH. So, it's done in the in the U.S. and they don't really have access to cannabis. So, that was interesting. So, they were talking about and we were giving people cannabis cigarettes with 3% THC. Like 3%. They even sell a 3% in Canada. But anyway. 

Kirk: That would be Hemp, wouldn't it? 

Trevor: Maybe, but anyway. So, yeah. For those of you who haven't been inhaling lately, there much higher percentage of THC here. You're up to 10 - 20. I think some of them are pushing 30% now. But yeah, So, it was it was just they're looking at what we call the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, sort of how it goes into the body. Through the different routes.  Where it goes in the body and how it leaves the body, which was all I'd heard bits of it before, but was nice to sort of see it all, all in one, in one study. 

Kirk: The other thing that popped out for me is Indica and how Indica seems to be the medicine of choice for a lot of the people I've been interacting with lately. I've made a few friends locally and one is true cannabis culture fella who has been growing for like 25 years and he started growing his own medicine about five years ago specifically. And he talks religiously, passionately about his Land Race Indica strains and how truly they help him with his muscle aches. So, I found that interesting that definitely Indica is a strain the people like. Also, I'm finding that a lot of. 

Trevor: Well and I'm going to jump in and keep your hate mail to a minimum. This is just kind of a question from some of the other people we've talked to and some of the breeders and whatnot. My understanding, don't hate me. This is kind of more question is there's not really an Indica or Sativa any more like you know it's even before the relatively recent cross-breeding they're all kind of hybrids now was my understanding. Now I'm not saying that Indica because now don't have more of Terpene X in the Sativa is more of Terpene Y but I thought my understanding and you know if I'm wrong tell us and maybe we'll interview you and find out more. Maybe we finally will get that plant biologist on. But I thought it was getting very... saying Indica or Sativa wasn't necessarily telling us all that much about the plants anymore because everything's been So, intermixed. But again, maybe I'm wrong. 

Kirk: I think. No, I'm going to say I know this, I know this. I think from a perspective from commercial cannabis that we're buying at stores and dispensaries, I think it's going to be very hard pressed to say that this is a true Land Race Indica, a true Land Race Sativa. Now, when we talk to our hemp growers now they're definitely growing Sativa, right? And no crossbred, no hybrids. So, hemp growing is definitely a Sativa plant. When I talk to cannabis culture people, when I talk to guys that are growing their own, you know, we talk to the Green Beaver and Paul and the stuff that he's archiving. They do have strains that are Land Race. And what I mean by Land Race is that this is a Hindu Kush Indica from genetics that has been followed for the last ten years. I met I met a guy who breeds his own and is very opinionated cannabis culture guy. And I have a lot of these conversations there. And, you know, then when you get into it, when you get into a conversation with the true cannabis culture guy, you know you're in the game and they're very assertive with their opinions. He's got he's got some Land Race that is Indica. And when I go to look at his garden, you can see the difference. When you look at when you look at his hybrids that he's bred himself and you look at the Land Rates, there's a difference in how the plant grows or the difference in how the flower grows. And there's a difference in the effect you get from the plant. So, I guess what I would say, Trevor, is I think in the commercial trade, when we go to a dispensary and you're asking for a true Indica, I don't think that's I think that's rare. And again, you know, I haven't been to a dispensary and I haven't bought cannabis at a dispensary in probably two years, maybe. I don't know if I do walk into dispensaries for a Road Story. So, I you know, I think there's two ways to look at this. From the cannabis culture, I think Land Race is still out there. Ah Commercial stuff? I think from the scientist’s perspective, and then you get into the conversations with the biochemists, and then they will tell you that there's no difference between strains. But when you talk to somebody who's into the cannabis culture, they like, well, hey, you know, we had the conversation with the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club and how they as a cannabis culture group will test the cannabis themselves to see how the cannabis relates to medicinal, which throws the whole concept of western medicine out the door and I think is what really frustrates practitioners in normal medicine. Is that the right word or just standard medicine or as a pharmacist, is that. Oh, yeah, yeah. You use cannabis? Yeah. Okay. All right. You know, whereas you talk to the guy that's using cannabis and he's got it down to strain the amount.. It's like their own chemists and botanist. 

Trevor: As a pharmacist, I have no problem with that. I guess the problem. Even if, like, if me or a family member was using this as medicine, the part honestly, I still struggle with is the lack of standardization. You know, do you get are you getting the same, quote unquote medicine from one batch to another, from one plant to another, from one year to another? And that sort of been something that pharmacy has been improving, you know? Yes. Send hate mail this way. But that's what we've been proving over the last hundred years. Like even like thyroid pills. You know, they used to literally be made up from ground up pig thyroid glands. And, you know, even in stuff coming from the company would be the amount of thyroid hormone and it would vary from one batch to another. And now we've isolated the actual hormone, and now for sure you've got the same amount in every pill, every batch, every month, every year. Well, cannabis is the other way again, where, you know, is it the same active ingredient, if you want to call it that, from one part of the plant? You know, we've talked about the difference between the crown and a part way down at the bottom it's a different in one plant. Is a different one plant to another? Is a different from one crop to another? Is it different from one growing year to another? And on the one hand, you could say as long as the patient is happy, you know, with symptom control, who cares. But on the other hand, if they aren't happy? Why were they happy last month? And they're not happy this month? It gets harder to figure out. 

Kirk: It does. It's and it's fascinating. It's fascinating. But what I'm learning those who use cannabis as medicine, those who grow their own medicine, man, they are knowledgeable people. But as a as a nurse, I'm like you. The scientific part of my brain goes, but, but, but. But then the other side of my brain, they use it. You're getting benefit from this. It's working for you. How can I say any different? But you're right. If we isolate THC from a Sativa plant, we isolate THC from an Indica plant. It's THC identified in a microscope or however. It's THC. But are those molecules in the body doing something a little different because they come from different plants? I don't know. I don't know. 

Trevor: I think it's more like the other stuff around the THC. But yeah, probably an argument for a better day. Okay. I've had my little spiel about of the smoking versus oral. That was really what I was like part of the digression. Did you have something else you want to say about Lyme or anything else? 

Kirk: No, I just thought I wanted to tell Brent's story. I promised him a story pre-pandemic. I just think it's fascinating and the fact that I'm living with ticks daily, I thought it was a timely story. And I love hearing how people self-medicate using cannabis.  

Trevor: Absolutely.

Kirk: It's why we're doing this podcast. Right. It's the thing is to figure out how cannabis helps people. And here's a story. He has given us a song, So, we'll be playing it. It's one of his own. 

Trevor: I was going to say hopefully one of his.  

Kirk: Yeah, it's one of his own. So, we'll will pluck that up and Rene will find it. And I guess I'm Kirk: Nyquist. I'm the registered nurse. 

Trevor: I'm Trevor: Shewfelt. I'm the pharmacist. 

Kirk: And we are Reefer Medness - The Podcast. You know, on a side note, did I tell you that I had a friend of mine say, "Alexa, play Reefer Medness - The Podcast," and guess what? 

Trevor: And what happened and what happened? 

Kirk: It came up. So, you can play that by just asking Alexa to play Reefer Medness - The Podcast on all of your podcast platforms. And come on, if you listen to us, give us a give us a rating, get on that platform and tell people how much you enjoy us. And if you do that, let us know you did. So, we can cut and paste it and share in social media, participate with us and get our name out there. Tell two people that you listened to us and we were at least mildly entertaining. 

Trevor: Yeah, word of mouth is still the best. Thanks a lot, everybody. We'll talk to you again next time. 

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