My name is Omar Khayyam Siddiqui. I’m a veteran, a paratrooper, and I served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2002, while the war was still as freshly won as the memories were deep. I served in the 82nd in whole from 2001 to 2003. In 2001, while in jump school, I suffered my first mTBI (mild Traumatic Brain Injury). I suffered a second mTBI with a small ligament tear to my left knee on my last jump before we deployed to Kandahar. Being the only native speaker my unit had, I did not get my head injury checked or pursue further care for my knee pre-deployment for fear of letting down my unit.
After returning home from Afghanistan, I dealt with chronic migraines everyday, back spasms, herniated discs, torn ligaments, and hearing loss in my right ear. Alcohol and pain killers were able to mask my reaction to the pain, but it didn’t block the pain I had inside. This pain I would come to know much later was PTSD. I would remain misdiagnosed for almost a decade.
Having the wrong diagnoses probably contributed to my drinking since my care was not being handled properly. My alcoholism went unnoticed by many for a long time. I managed to work as a cop, corrections officer, daycare worker, nurses aide, and lab processor; all while being a hardcore alcoholic. In November of 2006, I lost my wife, my law enforcement job, and home. The VA did eventually help me quit drinking on March 3rd, 2007. But I wouldn’t stop taking pain medication for another seven years. It was in 2014 that I found medical cannabis through the help of my wife and have managed to avoid big pharma ever since.
Since discovering medical cannabis, I’ve lost over 100 pounds, managed a 4.0 GPA, we’re pregnant with our first child, and I have found new ways to handle my pain and insomnia.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
The most beneficial cannabis product for me thus far has been RSO or Rick Simpson Oil. First, let me say I do not have cancer, the primary reason most people utilize RSO. Rick Simpson, a Canadian cannabis enthusiast and engineer, developed it using THC-rich indica cannabis and 99% isopropyl alcohol. He managed to treat and cure his skin cancer with this resin like mixture.
Since Rick Simpson went public with his recipe and its benefits in 2003 many people have found relief. There are a vast array of benefits to be had from ingesting RSO. Since it is a full spectrum cannabis extract or FECO (full extract cannabis oil), it gets absorbed by every membrane through which it passes. It can be made into an edible, used sublingually, as a suppository, and even topically. My preference is to drizzle it on a piece of dark chocolate and let it melt in my mouth before ingesting.
Now I’m going to discuss my personal experience with RSO as it relates to my PTSD, insomnia, chronic migraines, and muscle spasms. I have been taking RSO since August of 2018. I began by doing the research on various dosing protocols for cancer, and the reviews from actual patients who have had success with them.
Since I did not have cancer, I realized ramping up my dose quickly was not needed or advisable. Instead, I created my own protocol based on my current tolerance, pain level, and amount of time I had to sleep each night. I started with three drops and increased three drops every other day. With a few exceptions I managed this same dosage increase like clockwork over about 90 days (checkout my daily RSO journey on YouTube, Captain Kush Beard).
During that time period, I went from ingesting just three drops to a full gram at the end of 90 days. In that time, my sleep increased from four hours a night to an average of 7.5 hours a night. Also, my pain level has drastically decreased, the need to smoke during the day is less, and my tolerance for sudden noises and even patience level have all improved substantially.
I still take the RSO every night, and utilize cannabis as needed during the day. But I don’t feel the same sense of dread or pain level I once had. RSO has played a strong role in my improved outlook for the future as well. Rick Simpson and this magical plant have given me the ability to help other veterans have hope again. I use the knowledge I have gained from working in and alongside the industry to help other people as much as I can. Most of the RSO in Florida is hybrid or indica based but there have been some game changers as of late. With companies like Altmed/Muv coming out with quality strain specific RSO, the possibilities are endless.