By late 2020, more than four million Americans were registered to legally receive medical marijuana for a host of conditions, the most common among them being chronic pain. With more and more states opening up to weed and remedies derived from it, those numbers are only going to grow. For chronic pain patients like myself, cannabis can be a game-changing treatment option.
When it comes to managing incurable illnesses, cannabis is often the only one in a jumble of long-term medications that doesn’t come with serious-commitment-level side effects — which in themselves, can feel like additional chronic illnesses — and one of the few with which relief is felt immediately. It’s also versatile: You can inhale it, you can eat it, you can rub it on the problem area as a salve. You can adjust the THC-to-CBD ratio to be as numbing or as subtle as you need it to be. Weed, as medicine, is a fundamentally personalized experience.
Unfortunately, it’s packaged in a way that often fails to consider the disabilities of the very people it’s intended for. In most states in which you can get it, medical marijuana must be sold in child-resistant packaging. But buyers have found that it’s so childproof it also ends up being patient-proof.
I first encountered this issue with Matter vapes, the house brand of Verilife dispensaries (formerly operated under the name of its parent company, PharmaCannis). With a THC-to-CBD ratio of two-to-one, Matter’s Aqua vape cartridge is potent enough to relieve pain in a noticeable way but balanced enough not to make me too stoned to go about regular daily activities. It’s been my go-to for years, becoming a key part of my routine for managing symptoms of lupus and fibromyalgia and, as multiple budtenders at multiple dispensaries throughout lower New York have remarked during