Migraines are the bane of many peoples existence. They come rolling into existence at any time of the day, sometimes sudden or sometimes with warning. The pain can be so severe that many people feel like an ice pick is being drilled into their skull or feel a pressure so severe it is as if their skull is being crushed. There are two types of migraines, migraines with an aura and migraines without an aura. For many, this condition can take the form of chronic migraines, cluster headaches, rebound headaches, sinus headaches, and tension headaches. Side effects from migraines can be severe, ranging from vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, temporary blindness, flashing lights, numbness of limbs or parts of the body, depression, sensory disturbances, colored spots in the line of vision, muscle stiffness, and mood changes just to name a few. Cannabis use either prophylactically (every day to prevent) or abortively (only used once the migraine hits) can help to control and even eradicate this neurological condition.
Cannabis use for me is a lifestyle. I cook and bake with it regularly and ingest it on a daily basis to manage my migraines. I use my medicine prophylactically, which controls my migraines completely. Fifteen episodes a month will drop down to zero when I stay on a strict edible regime. The moment I forget a dose, the next day the process of the migraine cycle will begin. First the Prodromal Phase starts. In this phase I become depressed, irritable, sleepy, and start to crave strange foods. Then the second phase takes over called the Aura. This is where I begin to have visual and sensory disturbances, lights begin to have a halo like effect to them, I smell things that are not there, sometimes I have minimal hallucinations such as dots or hear things that are not there, sounds are magnified like they are coming out of a speaker, I have trouble concentrating and expressing my thoughts, I become anxiety ridden, sometimes I become highly dissociative, my tinnitus acts up, and I become hypersensitive to everything around me. After that, the third phase begins called The Attack Phase or Migraine. I become even more hypersensitive at this point and the only thing that is comfortable is a dark quiet room. Every day activities come to a dead halt because it feels like someone is jabbing an ice pick through my skull. I have intense pressure behind my eyes, my skull feels like it’s being jabbed with a sharp object and put through a vice at the same time, I become nauseous and light headed, and my skull throbs but becomes worse if I try to get up or lean forward. My neck and jaw begin to feel like they are swelling with pressure and the thoughts of pulling out my teeth to relieve the pressure (mind you I would never do that) actually crosses my mind sometimes because of how intense it is. This phase can last anywhere between a few hours to several days. Finally, the last phase sets in called the Postdromal Phase. In this phase, I am left completely exhausted with residual head pain if I get up too fast or lean my head over. I feel drained, cognitively I feel like I have a mental hangover, the depression comes back, and I don’t feel mentally as sharp. Sound like fun? Medicating daily with cannabis has helped me to bypass all these phases and have a better quality of life. In essence, cannabis has saved my life.
The beauty of this recipe is that it recycles the use of left over plant concentrate. Every time that you dab out of your glass rig for the first time of the day, a little part of the oil gets trapped inside the glass where the water is. This happens because after you rig has been sitting out all night in the cool air, the glass and water temperature becomes cool as well. When you light your nail, the rest of the rig is still cool, and the first hit allows some of the oil to re-solidify. Because the oil has passed through an extremely hot nail, the re-solidified oil has been decarboxylized. When people clean out their rigs and dump this oil down the drain they are literally throwing away money and not using their oil to its full potential. By dumping out the water in the rig and replacing it with Everclear, you can “Reclaim” the oil and use it for medicinal purposes to help heal yourself through edibles. This recipe teaches you a simple way to make Ginger Reclaim Syrup and a delicious herbal tea blend that when joined together will help combat any migraine condition.
Mise en place for Ginger Reclaim Syrup:
8 ounces ginger syrup
¼ cup Reclaim
For a lightly dosed medication pour in 1 tablespoon into the crock pot, moderately dosed medication pour in 2 tablespoons, or for an extremely strong medication pour in ¼ cup into the crock pot. Set the pot to low and place in a well ventilated area. Let this mixture cook until the alcohol evaporates and beautiful golden brown oil is left in the pot. It takes about 6-7 minutes per tablespoon.
Now add the ginger syrup and stir with a spatula. Turn the temperature to high and let this mixture cook for 10 minutes. Add in the honey and stir till dissolved. Keep the temperature on high and cook for 10 more minutes. Stir and carefully use a spatula to remove all the ginger reclaim syrup to a clean mason jar. Let cool.
Mise en place for tea:
1 teaspoon lavender
1 teaspoon lemon peel
¼-1 teaspoon ginger reclaim syrup
1 cloth reusable tea bag
Grab your favorite 8oz ceramic mug and pour the tea. Now mix in the desired amount of Ginger Reclaim Syrup until dissolved. Start with a small dose first such as ¼ teaspoon and increase as needed. Drink to ease away your migraine. If your migraine is severe and you find after 1-2 hours that you need more pain relief, you can re-warm your last cup of tea and add another dose of the reclaim. If the first cup relieved the pain after 1-2 hours, then feel free to drink the second cup non-medicated, safe it for another time, or share it with a loved one.
If you have a headache from a cold, sinus infection, or flu, add some Osha Root (Bear Root) the length of a walnut to the tea bag. This root will help numb a sore throat, act as a bronchial dialator, expel mucus, encourage deep breathing, help rev the immune system, and help fight cold or viruses. To maximize these effects of the root, drink the second cup of tea without it being medicated.
Pregnant or nursing women should not drink this tea. As both Osha Root and Lavender are known to promote the start of menstruation.
Store your ginger reclaim syrup in the fridge and use as needed in tea, by mouth, or on food.
For the hardcopy please visit: Skunk Magazine Volume 10, Issue 5