Cannabis Saved My Life: An Anniversary Of Sorts

Jan Erickson
4 min readSep 13, 2018


Today marks three years since my last Humira injection for rheumatoid arthritis. I achieved clinical remission from severe RA in early 2011, after becoming a cannabis patient in June 2010, growing my plants, and then making my medicine. I used raw leaf in my smoothies, smoked and vaped cannabis, and ingested glycerin-based tincture and cannabis-infused coconut oil capsules daily. And after two and one-half months, I was in clinical remission after thirteen years of complete hell.

I remained on the biologic because I was terrified I would see a return of symptoms if I discontinued it. I stopped the sulfasalazine, naproxen sodium (2 twice daily), two different blood pressure pills, metformin (added because of the RA/meds and the insulin resistance that happened), and tramadol. I had discontinued methotrexate after five years because tests were showing it was damaging my liver. Even after all of that, I was still prescribed a biologic, but none of it moved me out of the severe range. I experienced excruciating pain 24/7. It was debilitating and I thought I was dying, especially after the second blood pressure pill was prescribed. I lost so much fluid I had been retaining all of those years in two weeks time that a flare triggered that would last two weeks longer than a year. Flares typically don’t last more than a week. So, this was concerning.

I was prescribed mycophenolate (CellCept) seven months later and it caused so many severe side effects that I discontinued it on my own six months later after developing an infection in my jaw requiring two dental implants. My doctor at the time told me that all he could do at that point was to try to keep me comfortable. I thought to myself, until what? He moved to the east coast shortly after that. He never explained himself. But by then, I was in clinical remission. The conversation happened a couple of weeks before I began my cannabis treatment, something he wouldn’t sign off on. So I never explained my recovery before he left and he never asked.

So here I am, three years later and my most recent doctor believes I should still be injecting the biologic. Not happening. Ever. So I don’t go to that doctor anymore. I did something NONE OF THEM COULD DO. While I don’t expect them to kiss my ass, I do expect the medical community with whom I interact to be respectful of my efforts. Ask me how I did it. Or order my book, Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist. It’s available on Amazon and free to read on Kindle Unlimited. It’s all in there. But don’t tell me I need an expensive drug that didn’t do anything for me. Because I’m not listening anymore.

I now focus on teas that keep toxins from building up in my body along with herbal tinctures I formulate myself. I primarily use what I find in the yard, dandelion, cleavers, chickweed, nettle, comfrey, red clover among other herbs I grow in my medicinal herb garden. Everything that’s either here naturally or that I intentionally grow to keep my immune system balanced, and yes, cannabis is still part of that. The picture at the top of my post is of a variety I bred using pollen from a male plant which I painted on a branch of a female plant. I wanted to control where the pollen went and not have the whole plant seed out so I ended up with around one hundred seeds when the plant was finished. I call it Ripperwise, a blend of Pennywise male pollen with female Jack the Ripper. Pennywise is higher in CBD so breeding it with Jack the Ripper potentially gives the final plant a higher amount of CBD than it would have had, not that it really matters. It’s the whole plant that heals, not a single aspect. And Ripperwise is lovely medicine.

I took a risk by choosing this path. But after researching the health benefits of cannabis while my plants were growing, I learned so much that I felt confident that I would at least make whatever time I had left in this life a little more comfortable than the prior thirteen years had been. I had no idea I would be where I am now when I began. But I’m so thankful that I am. I couldn’t walk without a cane when I was ill. Now I take long walks averaging five to six miles without any issues. And it’s thanks to cannabis. It took a saturation approach to reverse everything I was dealing with, but it worked.

I don’t think I would be alive today had I not chosen cannabis as not only a treatment but more importantly, the solution.

I am truly blessed.

Originally published at on September 13, 2018.



Jan Erickson

Blogger at Empath✵Witch✵Reiki Master✵Kenpo✵Herbalist — Author of Shifting Perception and more…