Essential Tremor is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary shaking or trembling
movements, most commonly affecting the hands and arms but also sometimes affecting the head, voice, or legs. The tremors can range from mild to severe and can worsen with movement or stress. ET is the most common movement disorder, affecting up to 1% of the population, and it typically starts in mid to late adulthood, but for Steve it began as a kid.
While the exact cause of essential tremor is unknown, it is believed to be due to abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain, particularly those involved in controlling movement. There is a genetic component to the disorder too. This hereditary condition has led his father, sisters, son and daughter to all having different levels of progression. When speaking to Steve he described the feeling as if you were sitting in a massage chair turned on high, vibrating intensely 24/7 and that’s what his day looks like, centered behind his diaphragm.
There is no known cure for Essential Tremor, but there are several treatments that can help manage the symptoms. These include medications such as beta-blockers and anticonvulsants, which can help reduce the severity of tremors, as well as occupational therapy and physical therapy, which can help improve coordination and reduce the impact of tremors on daily activities. In some cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may also be recommended, which involves implanting electrodes in the brain to help regulate abnormal movement signals.
According to Steve, he hasn’t had the best of luck with doctors being willing to hear him out and listen to him or even let him demonstrate how it’s effective, by putting a few drops of an RSO base oil, along with a combination of cannabis derived terpenes and cannabinoids. He doesn’t take any of the 43 different medications that he had previously been on for ET. Cannabis has been a major part of his healing journey for the last three years, when he started experimenting with this plant. There’s been multiple doctors who have lost Steve as a patient, simply because they wouldn’t listen to him. It also seems to be that they’re losing a Pharma patient because cannabis is healing him instead and it’s definitely a threat to the pharmaceutical industry.
Upon entering Steve’s home, he purposely didn’t want to medicate before we got there so we could see the severity of his shakes and then to see them subside. By using the RSO combo in the morning,(about 160-200 mgs) which is about 6 grains of rice, it takes quite a bit for him to help. He applies about six drops to his wrists. Eventually, he stops shaking and his symptoms are not as prevalent from the start. This is applied two times throughout the day, followed by a nice dose of RSO to help him sleep throughout the night. This formula is what he’s been experimenting with on his own, making his medicine with the help of other knowledgeable minds.
I got to sit down with Steve and chat with him about growing up, his experiences with Essential Tremors and figuring out what’s going on with it, and how he handles this disease on a daily basis. To get to know him a little better, I asked him how he grew up and what life was like dealing with ET.
Since third grade, Steve grew up in the house we were sitting in, that he currently lives in right now. I could only imagine the nostalgia and memories, being a 70 year old man living in the house you grew up in. 1962 is when they moved into the home and the main road was a dirt road at the time in the city; not anymore! Steve’s dad dealt with ET, and his mother had it too. Steve and both of his sisters also dealt with this disease, which I quickly learned can drive you absolutely mad, not being able to handle the symptoms. Steve has always had a gift of being a caretaker for other people and took care of his sister before she passed.
Drinking alcohol has been known to control the outer shakes and your cognitive function, but that can be a slippery slope. This disorder can cause people to create suicide by alcohol, and dealing with high anxiety symptoms. This method was always helpful, but not a good habit. Steve completely quit drinking though a few years ago and chooses to medicate with plant medicine only now.
Growing up was pretty tough for Steve and having Essential Tremors really affected him as a kid, even more so than being an adult. He started noticing the shakes whenever he was in first grade. His teachers even noticed it but didn’ know what to do with it, much like the doctors today he says. It wasn’t easy for him to make friends because no one wanted to talk to him, he was made fun of and always was alone, with horrible anxiety. He failed first grade and was happy taking an F, because he couldn’t get up in front of the class and talk at all. Even as an adult, he’s had trouble with finding work for the same reasons. No one wants to hire you if they see you shaking, while working on machines and working on cars often. Steve emphasizes on the fact that he’s had to reinvent himself so many times for this exact reason. The anxiety that ET brings you can come out of nowhere and makes you so anxious that you just have to keep going and allow yourself to stay busy.
Anything with purple Steve says he is attracted to and it helps him. Myrcene and Caryophyllene are terpenes that tend to help with anxiety. His first time trying RSO happened to be a full-spectrum White Widow strain that was a 1:1. It calmed his inner tremor down to 50% of what it is normally and he could actually sleep. He currently has a grower, nourishing a 1:1 strain for him now.
The disease itself changes and you have to know how to deal with it, so you can live a life to where you feel like you have some kind of healing control of your body, without it driving you mad and living a miserable life. Sounds intense, but that’s exactly what ET is, it’s intense and affects your life, your brain function, your heart, and really all areas of your life. Cannabis has been a huge tool and trauma healer for Steve.
Steve’s main goal is to help kids with this disease. To have a program and the tools in place to diagnose kids in school with it and be able to recognize this disease and what to do so they could help themselves and be better students and take care of their wellbeing, without feeling lost and alone.
During our time together we also touched on the power of other plant medicine that he hasn’t had the opportunity to dive into just yet, but plans on it to see how other plant medicines are also very beneficial to our cognitive and physical functions and could actually be surprisingly healing and powerful to a body that is experiencing Essential Tremors.
Essential Tremor Awareness, Mental Health & Cannabis Awareness are what Steve is passionate about. The power of cannabis as medicine and what it’s doing for people who experience ET is truly amazing and deeply healing in more ways than one. You can’t help but think what it would be like for everyone to be able to have access to this plant, including those who are incarcerated. This plant will eventually be healing to an entire Nation, once it goes Federally legal. In the meantime, people like Steve can share their stories and he even had the chance to medicate in front of the OMMA team and they were very moved after seeing the results right before their own eyes. He’s living out his childhood dreams and it’s touching to see. It’s one step at a time with like minded people helping others and gathering as a community to be heard.