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Story of Courage: Jaime Cruz

I was cannabis naïve. In the quest to find a simple way to medicate in microdose strength, I found the selection of microdosing-reworked recipes to be lacking, and a near complete absence of short and precise instructional videos.

Having spent 25 years in the medical field, both in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian, I knew there was a missing element for myself and many others. It started as a hobby, producing concise instructional videos to assist others in creating microdose edibles. Tens of thousands have viewed my videos and learned to create microdose edibles in their own kitchens.

What brought me to medical cannabis

I experienced back pain for the first time in tenth grade. I was an active gymnast and it had taken its toll. I am an Air Force veteran with 25 years in the medical field.

I have run the storybook gamut of short- and long-acting pain medication, injections, anti-inflammatories, etc. I also have MCTD, which, for myself, is comprised of lupus with overlap symptoms from Sjogren’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

I experienced a particularly flare in 2016. In a matter of months, my weight dropped from 140 pounds to 97 pounds with 13% body fat. I was cachectic and grossly underweight for my height of 5’4″.

On September 26, 2016, I nearly lost my life. I went into hypovolemic shock. Moments before, I told my partner, Joe, that I felt I needed an ambulance. After several hours of fluid resuscitation, I was transferred to ICU with an IV pressor to force my blood pressure to stay above 100 systolic. After transfer from the ICU, I remained hospitalized for several more days with several specialty consults and various tests. Upon discharge, I followed up with my GI, hematology, and rheumatology.

Lupus had taken aim at my bone marrow and my digestive tract. I showed anemia of chronic disease and autoimmune pancytopenia. The GI specialist scheduled the standard two diagnostic tests: EGD and colonoscopy. Upon conclusion of the EGD, I was informed that I had gastroparesis with accompanying gastritis along with a few other three-plus syllable words. My stomach was not emptying as it should, causing my body to ignore nearly all caloric intake. I had stopped the weight loss, but was unable to put weight back on. I had no appetite and severe bouts of acute nausea.

The "magical molasses"

In November 2016, I met Joe’s mother. Jackie had retired from the medical field, but was a bonafide granola-baking, macramé-making hippie with a great molasses cookie recipe. She used this recipe for one purpose: To allow the spice and molasses to assist in making “the dank” as we so lovingly call it. I did some rudimentary research to acquire the best strain of cannabis for my particular needs. We settled on Bubba Kush.

I have to back up a tad. I found out recently that I had an anxiety disorder and PTSD, and had been having panic attacks for two decades. I had been coping with the trigger by avoidance. This sort of stress can bring about a flare.

Moving forward again, bubba Kush… If you recall from the beginning of my journey of adulthood, I joined the U.S.A.F. I never judged my friends for smoking cannabis. I simply did not partake. It was outside the boundaries in my mind. This brings us to the molasses cookies. At first, it was like a few cookies here and there. I started gaining weight! I was on the rebound of this severe flare. I started bringing cannabis to Jackie and we would bake molasses cookies. Further research taught me about decarboxylation prior to baking the cannabutter. Before I knew it, I’d gained back 30 of the 43 pounds I had lost. My clothes fit again, I looked healthy, and I felt good. Really really good! I wasn’t reaching for a Percocet as often, and frequently forgot to take one at my scheduled time.

Healing gone hobby

A year later, I was making molasses cookies with decarbed ground flower flour at a ratio of 14 grams to 13 dozen cookies. Joe and I deduced that we could expect a 10% THC content on the cannabis and therefore I surmised I was packing 1400mg into 144 cookies. Our estimate was about 10mg per cookie. In July 2017, my spine physician was in agreement that I was a prime candidate for MMJ. I saw a local physician, Dr. Greg Sonn, in December 2017 to get the process started. I received mu email approval in January 2018. I’ve since discontinued opiate pain medicine, and with minimal withdrawal symptoms, with medical cannabis.

In the following month, I came out of the cannabis closet and I have formed a hobby around this new passion. I’m a microdoser, if you will. I hope to help others openly enjoy what cannabis has to offer. That is my driving force behind 420RxCCC CruzCannaCooking. 

Let's get cooking

I’m a huge fan of microdosing cannabis and if you are too, these recipes aren’t only delicious and easy to make, but they carry all the wonderful benefits of cannabis. 

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