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Medical Marijuana and ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Lionheart, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Lionheart

    Lionheart CFS warrior / survivor

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    I have a disabling condition for which medical marijuana has been approved in the state of New Mexico. Actually I know of sixteen different conditions for which this is recommended; painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, hepatitis C infection currently receiving antiviral treatment, Crohn’s disease, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice patients.

    I was wondering if anyone believes that medical marijuana (cannabinoids) might be useful for ME/CFS symptoms and/or if anyone has additional information about the subject?

    Thanks,
    Lion
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Hi Lion,

    Yes, some have found it helpful and there are threads about it if you do a search.

    I opened a chat with you--do you see the invitation?

    Best wishes,
    Sushi
    Lionheart likes this.
  3. Lionheart

    Lionheart CFS warrior / survivor

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    Thanks Sushi, :)

    I didn't see your invitation to chat as I had to log out for a bit, but I appreciate your reply!!! I will do a search and try to get more information about this, don't know why I didn't think to do that first.:confused:

    Peace,
    Lion
  4. MishMash

    MishMash *****

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    If the Feds would make up their minds as to whether MMJ was legal on All levels or not it might open the door to a potentially effective analgesic. This for an illness which has precious few treatments. I experimentd with it in HS and mostly felt uncomfortable paranoia. But folks who are knowledgable in this area assure me the right strain can be found to treat almost any symptom. If you smoke whatever the stoner kid at the party has, it might not be the most scientific trial.

    There are extremely compelling stories from moms who treat their autistic kids with MMJ and have had dramatic success. I hope we can have a little more nuanced debate than the 'just say no' mentality that still lingers from the 80s.
    vli, beaker and Lionheart like this.
  5. I.R.Baboon

    I.R.Baboon

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    It's useful for sleeping, calming down, forgetting things you don't want to think about at the time. But as a medication over the day I think it's rather distracting and tiresome. Also I noticed that different types of marijuana have very different effects, but none of this (in 8 years) was reducing any ME/CFS symptom besides insomnia. Some kinds even made me more aware of pain. I don't know if there's more to expect from medical marijuana (not allowed here), so you may just try it, it does no harm to ME/CFS patients specifically (from my view), but please be very careful.
    vli, peggy-sue and Lionheart like this.
  6. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I've noticed some temporary reduction in pain, and sometimes increased appetite. As IR Baboon said, there are different effects from different strains - some are more sedating and calming, some are more energizing and activating - and it's very difficult to predict what type you might get. If it were medicalized and legal, as it should be, it would be much easier to get the strain that suits your symptoms the best. I think the right strains could potentially have very positive immune effects on ppl w/ ME/CFS, especially regarding neuroinflammation.
    vli, peggy-sue and Lionheart like this.
  7. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Here's the study I was thinking of primarily. But other studies I've seen have shown that marijuana halts or at least greatly slows progression of SIV (monkey form of HIV), with improvement of other markers and symptoms, and obviously that could have tremendous immune implications for CFS, also.

    ScientificWorldJournal. 2011 Apr 5;11:855-65.
    Cannabinoids and innate immunity: taking a toll on neuroinflammation.

    Downer EJ.
    Source

    Institute of Immunology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. Eric.Downer@nuim.ie
    Abstract

    The biologically active components of cannabis have therapeutic potential in neuroinflammatory disorders due to their anti-inflammatory propensity. Cannabinoids influence immune function in both the peripheral and the central nervous system (CNS), and the components of the cannabinoid system, the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), have been detected on immune cells as well as in brain glia. Neuroinflammation is the complex innate immune response of neural tissue to control infection and eliminate pathogens, and Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a major family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that mediate innate immunity, have emerged as players in the neuroinflammatory processes underpinning various CNS diseases. This review will highlight evidence that cannabinoids interact with the immune system by impacting TLR-mediated signaling events, which may provide cues for devising novel therapeutic approaches for cannabinoid ligands.
    vli, EMilo, merylg and 2 others like this.
  8. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    This is anecdotal, but one of my ME/CFS specialists who has treated thousands of ME/CFS patients said that some of his patients report that "when they smoke marijuana, they feel great the next day." This doctor is not a quack either. I don't want to name him by name, but he's pretty highly respected among ME/CFS doctors. He also made a point to tell me that he was not recommending I smoke marijuana. This was in the context of a larger discussion about how different things help different people.

    I later experimented with it, but didn't feel better or worse the next day.

    I remember from before I got sick that marijuana tends to close off one's capillaries and make the extemities feel cold. Obviously, this is a problem with ME too, so I wasn't anxious to exacerbate the symptoms by smoking pot. IIRC, it also increases heart rate. So as someone with tachycardia, I thought this might also be a problem. But I didn't notice either of these symptoms being exacerbated.

    The only benefit I experienced was, for someone who formerly enjoyed alcohol, caffeine, and other types of mood altering substances -- substances which are now ruled out due to ME/CFS -- it was nice to have an option for a little escapism. I couldn't care less whether the law frowns on it. I'm sick and don't have many other pleasurable escapes open to me right now. As far as I'm concerned, I'm due this.

    I suspect that it would be more helpful for people with pain or inflammation issues. But you might want to think twice about it if you have OI/POTS issues (and let's face it, who among us doesn't?), as marijuana results in an initial increase in blood pressure, but then it later drops to lower than normal. It affects everyone a little differently tough, and not everyone will experience the drop. For those people, the initial BP increase might actually help with POTS.
    vli, EMilo, peggy-sue and 2 others like this.
  9. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    hello lionheart...i dont know personally if it helps its not given where i live...but ive seen people on tv talk about it and they say it helps them alot..and i think if it helps someone and they use it as directed then they should use it...

    im on pain medicatons one of which is morphine...it has been a life saver..it doesnt always work..but takes edge off..and has helped me alot...it helps me come on here...though my brain is foggy...im guessing maybe marijuana makes one foggy also? but im aslo able to take walks with kids etc..from time to time...

    so if marijana helps then i think its great
    vli and Lionheart like this.
  10. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    Check out Rick Simpson's Hemp Oil
    Lionheart likes this.
  11. Lionheart

    Lionheart CFS warrior / survivor

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    Am grateful to all for the replies.

    I struggle with PTSD, MDD, ME/CFS, COPD and Fibromyalgia...(not to mention GERD and IBS etc.). I believe that marijuana slows down my thinking and eases stress which is helpful for PTSD symptoms. It seems to ease pain which helps Fibromyalgia/myofascial pain/bursitis, aids insomnia linked to Depression, and eases the symptoms of nausea associated with IBS, but I am still unsure of how it might be helping or hindering ME/CFS. (I must admit though, I haven't had time to read all of the replies in detail, so I have some catching up to do and I look forward to reading more).

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply!!! I appreciate your experience and wisdom.

    Peace,
    Lion
    merylg likes this.
  12. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    I've smoked once since I've had fibro and CFS symptoms. That one time gave me astounding fibro pain relief, but I was so spacy the next day. It seemed to aggravate my ADD. Rats! The day after that I went back to baseline, so the increased spaciness was just temporary.
  13. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    I wonder if your next-day spaciness was because you smoked a sativa strain? You might have better luck with an indica. Of course, most of the stuff on the streets is some type of hybrid of the two, and it's difficult to find out what you're getting....from what I hear.
    vli likes this.
  14. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I used non-medical marijuana for decades on and off, often daily. Never any adverse effects unless I used too much and ended up too stoned to function properly! Never any trouble stopping either.

    I only use it occasionally now but it certainly relieves some ME symptoms, e.g.

    • Nausea
    • Muscle tension
    • Anxiety
    • Insomnia
    • Pain
    • Weakness
    The effects can be near-miraculous. Before smoking, my legs may be weak and aching. A few minutes after smoking, the weakness and ache can be completely gone, and I feel a spring in my step.

    I have masses of info saved on the medicinal benefits of marijuana but I'm sure you can find most of it online. This is a good resource:

    http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis.shtml
    peggy-sue and vli like this.
  15. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I tried it. I only had one strain allowed to me here in Israel, the same strain they give to cancer, diabetes and general pain patients.
    I had to stop because it lowered my blood pressure, and made me feel like POTS/ OH was worse.
    There was a slight inprovement with headache but that was it.
    Don't let my experience put you off b/c maybe you would get a more suitable strain than me or maybe you don't have already low blood pressure like me.
    In short:
    -They told me to drink a sugary drink before and after b/c it lower blood sugar. Only diabetes patients aren't told to do this.
    -Be careful if you have POTS or low blood pressure

    There are lots of threads here including one I posted but I find them hard to search for.
    rosie26 likes this.
  16. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    I tried medical indica strains 3 times for insomnia, in edible and oil form, which did help my insomnia, but made me feel more tired the next day. So stopped.
  17. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Senior Member

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    Thought I would add the following link here, this is the first I have heard that cannabis oil may help with Lyme. Seemed the most appropriate thread I could find:

    http://www.collective-evolution.com...s-oil-on-lyme-disease-and-lyme-co-infections/

    Reading the other posts above it sounds like cannibis may help CFS ME with symptoms, but may exacerbate others. I'm wondering if the oil may have the same issues for OI/POTS, but I never had any experience with it.

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