I've been on Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation's 3:1 CBD Pure formula now for almost six months! I'm happy to report that my health is on the upswing!
One of the main reasons why I needed to make the transition off my anti-epileptic medication was due to my body being in a constant state of neutropenia — a condition where white blood cells are too low. This is a rare side effect from taking Lamotrigine (brand name Lamictal). My white blood cell count became so low I had to see an oncologist to rule out cancer. I was getting sick all the time, too. I simply had no immune system to fight off anything. I also wanted to see if I could tackle an essential vocal tremor that cropped up about a year ago. I'm able to tame it with diaphragm work, but I wanted to rule out Lamictal being the culprit for that condition, too. So once the pandemic hit, I knew I honestly had no choice but to transition off my medication and try a new approach.
It took six months to wean off my medication and it has taken another six to be fully on the CBD oil tincture. I had tried CBD oil before, but without much success so I was somewhat skeptical about what my results would be. Titrating off a MAJOR medication — during a pandemic — was incredibly difficult. My brain was not in a good place. It threw me into a full-blown state of depression. You see, Lamictal is primarily used to treat bipolar disorder. It just so happens to really help focal epilepsy, so folks like me get that drug even if we're not bipolar. And well, you can certainly see how this might create its own slew of side effects. It was brutal. And honestly, transitioning over to CBD was hard, too. I was scared. I could not afford for anything else to go wrong. I have focal epilepsy that spreads into full blown tonic clonic seizures that can occur in clusters. It's extremely dangerous. Another really scary aspect of the transition was a total loss of concentration and the ability to really cry. To feel. I was here, but I was not here. And of course it was 2020, and that made it all worse because I couldn’t even perform.
Some of you might be like, “What? Performing with this madness?” Yes! Performing music for people is my purpose, epilepsy be damned. I know my body. Epilepsy has been riding in the seat alongside me my entire career. I know how to get on stage and do my job. A job that I love. If anything, living with this condition has enabled me to really help people, folks I would have never met had I not been on a public stage. And losing that platform to connect with people did more than just impact my finances as an independent artist. It flat-out punched me in my soul.
But, here’s the silver lining I found in the midst of that. I don’t want to say “bright side,” because I’m mindful that there is no such thing when we’re talking about the big picture of a pandemic that has taken well over 500,000 lives in our country alone. But I must be honest in
saying that having a year to sort out my own health and medication concerns while I was unable to play live shows was, in its own way, a godsend. Because I definitely needed that forced “time out.”
It was mid-October when I began to titrate onto my CBD tincture. At first, I was really tired. I'm talking sleeping for twelve hours at a time type of tired. That lasted about a month. But then, slowly ever slowly, I began to feel better. And I’m still beginning to feel better. Concentration is returning. The depression is lifting. I can cry again. I can feel again.
The brain seems to be wanting to heal. And I can tell the CBD is working really well on me. So much, in fact, that I am able to wear contacts more than glasses these days. You see, my special glasses have a filter that blocks light for me. This way flashing lights at night or pop ups on my computer don't aggravate my condition, and I can look directly at flickering candles and ceiling fans aren't an issue, either. My glasses with their “purple haze” may look a little strange, but they really do protect me. But that said ... it’s nice to not have to wear them all the time. And that’s what I call progress.
I take things one day at a time, and I still have a long way to go. But this is where I'm at and I wanted to share my experience with you. I also want to add that not all CBD is the same. I'm not on “over the counter” CBD. I'm on a medical-grade product that's specifically designed to treat patients with qualifying conditions under the Texas Compassionate Use Act. Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation is the only legal medical marijuana cannabis producer headquartered in the state of Texas. If it wasn't legal and if it wasn't the real deal, I would have never dared to even try this. But it is, and I did, and I feel better. I feel hopeful. I feel inspired. I feel.
From Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation Website:
Our 3:1 is a Balanced tincture that is specifically formulated and lab-tested to treat patients with symptoms of qualifying conditions such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, terminal cancer and over 100 neurodegenerative diseases as specified under the Texas Compassionate Use Act.
Formulated with more balanced levels of CBD and THC and minimal inactive ingredient additives, Lone Star 3:1 is produced using hydrocarbon-free, high purity CO2 extraction processes and rigorous state-of-the-art testing to ensure consistent medicine that is free of heavy metals, microbials and chemical contaminants.
When I was in my early 20's, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Against all odds, and in spite of my medical condition, I've enjoyed a wonderful career as a touring singer-songwriter for three decades. But it has definitely been a challenge navigating my health and the drugs I take to keep my condition under control.
I have never taken a passive approach to managing my seizures. Through trial and error, and after countless hours of studying and consultations with different doctors and nutritionists, I have learned not only what treatments work best for me and which ones don’t, but that the way my body reacts to certain drugs can change over time. Sometimes it’s not even a matter of a particular anti-epileptic medication not stopping seizures effectively; worse, it’s when the side effects of whatever prescription I’m taking ultimately prove to be more destructive to the quality of my life (and even potentially more dangerous) than the condition of epilepsy itself.
That’s when I know it’s time to stop, go back to studying, and course correct — always to the end of trying to live the healthiest and best life I can. Just because I have epilepsy doesn’t mean I’m about to ever let it have me.
So now, here I am, about to try something bold and brand new — not just because I know it’s time for a change, but because I’ve once again done my homework. I have spent many months (years, really) extensively and diligently researching the benefits of medicinal cannabis. And, based on what I’ve read and seen regarding its effectiveness in managing seizure conditions like mine, I feel rock solid with my decision to begin taking it in tincture form, as prescribed by my neurologist and custom prepared by the state-approved dispensary, Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation.
This will be uncharted territory for me for sure, but I believe in what the folks at Texas Original are doing. I look forward to working with them and plan to tour their facility soon. And, because I’ve long hoped that sharing my experiences about living with epilepsy might help others facing similar challenges, I also plan on keeping anyone interested in my medical journey updated via this page.
Compassionate Cultivation is the only Texas owned and operated company licensed under the Compassionate Use Program to manufacture and dispense medical cannabis for qualifying patients. In the beginning, this only allowed for Texans suffering from intractable/refractory epilepsy with a prescription from a neurologist to have access to this medication. In 2019, Texas expanded the program to include: all epilepsy and seizure disorder, autism, ALS, MS, spasticity, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, peripheral neuropathy, ect.,) and allows for any registered specialist to prescribe.
Based just outside of Austin, Compassionate Cultivation is committed to producing the purest, highest quality, and consistent medicine that is truly changing lives. This is not consumer hemp-based CBD which is readily available throughout the state. Hemp-based CBD is only allowed to have up to 0.3% THC legally while their medication can have up to 0.5% THC by weight (the maximum amount allowed in Texas). Additionally, since they are regulated, every batch is tested for purity, consistency, and quality which also differentiates them from the consumer products available over the counter.
Their patients are seeing miraculous results and, not only is their quality of life improving, but many of them are also able to reduce or completely stop taking their other harsher addictive medications with terrible side effects. These following success stories are only a few examples of the positive feedback the folks at Compassionate Cultivation receive every day about the results people achieve from taking their medicine.