A life-changing experience

Cannabis 101: CBD vs THC

A column by Dr. Pierre Milot, PhD.

Part 1


Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, what may seem like an ordinary event may eventually turn into a life changing experience, but you just don’t know it yet.

Winter of 2017 was when one of those moments occurred.  Little did I know then, that the visit of a good friend of my wife Christine and I, to our house in Florida, would mark my life forever.

It must have been the coldest winter that I’ve ever seen in Florida, that year, but yet our young friend decided to drive all the way down to Florida for a mere six days’ visit.  She arrived tired, but happy to be in what she called ‘Florida weather’. Young and full of energy, after a lightening rest, she wanted to go visit all the local cool sights she could during her short visit.  And we did: froze our bums off on a short trip on a sponge fishing boat in Tarpon Springs, visit hand made cigar shops in the legendary Floridian Ybor City, amongst other fascinating highlights of the area.

But our friend, being much enlightened on the subject of cannabis, of course insisted on introducing us to the world of smoke shops, better known as ‘Hookah shops’.  There are many in Florida, and I always was a bit reluctant to open up to that sort of ‘experience.’ I say experience, because it is a surprising one for the neophyte who never tried to survive in a room so full of smoke.  Later, I would learn that it is not smoke but vapours that you could cut it with a knife, literally. Never could I understand why people do this sort of thing. I just didn’t see the point…until now.

Pictures in order:  Hookah Water Pipe, Bong and Vape Pens

After my initial shock was over, and under the guidance of the shop’s attendant, I purchased a couple of items: a CBD topical salve and a bottle of CBD capsules. Having read a bit on the subject and being somewhat familiar with the medicinal properties of cannabis, I would do a pain management trial on myself, I thought.  You see, I am afflicted by serious and painful back problems due to past sports injuries. This forces me to take strong opioids to mask the pain and I don’t like it, but did not have any other alternatives, since I’ve tried just about everything else. So, somewhat skeptical, I started taking my CBD the same night, a bit concerned of the weird effect it may have on me.  Remember, I was a neophyte at that point.

The next day, as we were visiting Ybor City, the birthplace of cigar-making in North America, she struck again.  This time it was a full store-front cannabis shop, the first one I had ever seen. Upon discovering the store on the main street, she grabs me by the coat lapel and all excited she says, ”Come on, Pierre, come and look at this place, you’ll see it’s great.”  All in good fun, looking at Christine and shrugging my shoulders, I walked inside to take a quick peek, and WOW, I was awestruck. The size of the place must have been at least two thousand square feet, all shelved and exhibiting a massive amount of glass vials, jars of all sizes, weird looking glass pipes, bongs, huge hookah Turkish smoking apparatus and hundreds of vape pens of all sizes, shape and colours.  Everything was glowing beautifully under strategically positioned bright ceiling lights. Its was marvellous. The place must have been heavenly for addicts, I mistakenly thought. “No THC or psychotropic products sold here, sir, as it is still illegal in Florida, only hemp-based CBD and accessories,” said the store clerk, proudly.  

After a detailed and impressed perusal of the place, I decided to further my personal trial and bought more product: two 30 ml tincture / oil vials of 350 mg ea. of organic CBD.  Needless to say, that after this experience, I was extremely motivated to investigate this cannabis phenomenon further while testing the products on myself.

That year, two months after my initial intake of CBD, I still had not noticed any significant change in my pain level, except for the fact that nothing weird ever happened to me because of the CBD intake.  It was now time to leave Florida and come back home where I could resume my experimentation. I proceeded to research where I could buy more CBD products, but this time at wholesale price as I was seriously considering adding CBD as an adjunct natural medicine to complement my anti-anxiety therapies.

Of course, I found a multitude of good sources on the Canadian market, bought a small quantity of products, mainly for me at first, as I needed more testing before using it with my clients.  The weeks and months strolled along and slowly and with meticulous observation, I noticed an improvement in my pain level, enough to allow me to lower the amount of prescription drugs I was taking.  I went from eight x five mg pills of Oxycodone down to five pills a day. Already a small victory, but nothing compared to what was coming my way. The true transformations were yet to come.

In my next article, I will fast forward to the present and reveal the phenomenal changes that took place in me within those two years.  When I think about it, I am still awestruck and have a hard time believing it.

Talk to you later.

Dr. Pierre Milot, PhD., is a Certified Medical Cannabis Counsellor
 and resident of Winchester, Ontario.


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