Living a ‘well-thy’ life: Before taking any medicine, know what you’re taking

Medical cannabis is cloned, grown, and then harvested in Camp Verde by Harvest, Inc., Camp Verde’s most recent cultivation facility. Valerie Borrego says she would “probably be dead by now” if it wasn’t for medical cannabis. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Medical cannabis is cloned, grown, and then harvested in Camp Verde by Harvest, Inc., Camp Verde’s most recent cultivation facility. Valerie Borrego says she would “probably be dead by now” if it wasn’t for medical cannabis. (Photo by Bill Helm)

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Verde Valley residents discuss their health, use of medical cannabis

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VERDE VALLEY – Valerie Borrego says she would “probably be dead by now” if it wasn’t for medical cannabis.

Automotive accidents, and the PTSD that resulted from them, caused the Cottonwood resident to reconsider the medicines she was taking – and look for something that would ease her pain. And allow her to rest.

Now, three years later, Borrego wants to be an advocate for medical cannabis.

“It’s all about being healthy, which I now call “WELLthy,” says Borrego, who recently retired from a career in the public school system. “If you don’t have your health, then what else matters? If you don’t take care of your body, then where are you going to live?”

Borrego says that her medical cannabis “affords me the sleep I need, to go along with the other healthy lifestyle I have incorporated and taught for years.”

“If I do not get good sleep which is at the deeper REM levels, my body does not rejuvenate and heal, therefore I am less likely to make better food choices or have the energy to exercise and/or not even have the energy to get through a work day let alone have energy to go dancing, hiking or play volleyball like I love to do,” Borrego says.

Borrego says that anyone who either uses medical cannabis or has considered trying to get a medical marijuana card should do plenty of research, just as they would before taking any other prescribed medicine.

“I was an athlete, so being this tired all the time for years was getting really old,” she says. “The body is meant to move and be joyful in that ability to move. I did try many things, including prescription drugs which were against my beliefs. Let’s face it. Desperate people do desperate things.”

The more she learned about cannabis, the more Borrego learned that the plant has healing qualities, with our without THC.

THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is one of about 400 chemical compounds found in cannabis. Another chemical compound found in cannabis is Cannabidiol, which is not a psychoactive compound.

“I do not care to be high,” Borrego says. “I am asleep when the medicine hits my head. The CBDs to me are the most important components of the plant, and one does not need a card to take advantage of the many companies that are selling their CBD products that can be found at most health food stores. These CBDs come from hemp.”

Says Borrego, education is key.

“It is a very interesting subject to take on and research the history to understand how cannabis got a bad rap in the first place,” she says. “Educated people can make an informed decision if it is right for them or not.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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