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Medical Marijuana for Pain and Sleep and the PEM (!) in CFS

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Cort, May 22, 2010.

  1. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    I understand that you may not have the energy for this, or the desire to do so. The Pennsylvania state legislature currently has bills in both houses that do not look like they will pass, the house bill is held up in committee. If you felt like contacting your state rep. and state senator with the reasons you would like to consider trying it as an alternative, and how many other things you have tried to get relief, it couldn't hurt. I've been meaning to do this but I'm still burned out from my social security appeal last week. The bills in question are House Bill 1393 and Senate Bill 1350. I've been meaning to research the issue further, so I will let you know if I am able to find out any more about it. I really really doubt it's going to go anywhere, but I figure it's worth a try.

    This is an article in my local paper about it

    http://citizensvoice.com/news/legislators-wary-of-medical-marijuana-1.804908

    There were some more but this is pretty much the necessary facts.
  2. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    A thing about anxiety. For some, THC reduces anxiety, for others it can increase it. I am in the middle, sometimes I feel very relaxed, other times very anxious.

    The anxiety is very unpleasant for me, and that is the main reason for me taking it orally. I just don't get anxious that way. I also seem to get a bit less high, though everything I do seems much more pleasant and enjoyable.

    So maybe for some who get anxious, eating is a solution.

    Unfortunately for those of you in the States, it really can be too big of a risk no matter how you do it.
  3. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    I've got a friend with HIV who smokes weed daily, for pain I believe. I have used it recreationally but health wise it makes me worse.
    There must be more effective painkillers around?
    For anxiety, low sugar, no coffee and high magnesium helps me...
  4. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    Dr. Yes, I don't pretend to get more than the gist of this abstract, but it's interesting. So we're looking at a possible broad-spectrum antiviral, am I reading that right? Or at least not a skinny-spectrum antiviral (I'm trying to come up with impressive terminology, too).

    Sarahg, good for you for writing, and I loved this quote: ' "I think it's time we begin the discussion about why we don't allow marijuana for medical use when we do allow many more toxic and harmful prescription drugs for pain. For me, it's a common sense kind of thing. There is pain and suffering that is occurring that does not need to occur because we say medical marijuana is not legal," Mundy said Friday.' It's just what the doctor who prescribed for me said. She also asked me an interesting question, "Does it help with anger?" I said yes, because it helps me think about things in a different way. She was compiling data to compare it to alcohol, a known provoker of anger. Not to mention liver damage, and all kinds of other nasties. Why alcohol is considered benign and marijuana evil was a wonderment to both of us.

    leaves: for me, marijuana is only a partial painkiller, but I have known people with injuries who depended on it to keep functional. If there's one thing this disease makes clear, it's that everybody is different in their responses. I rely on marijuana more for its ability to help me sleep, and keep nausea and depression and anxiety away. (By the way, I really like your signature.)

    About this last: I have noticed that a lot of people seem to assume that drugs act on them; it's not a two-way deal. In my observation and experience, this is entirely untrue. Consider the amount of discussion on this forum about remedies which work wonderfully for one and devastatingly for another. Clearly, our bodies are entering into a dialogue of pharmacological action. (It's called pharmacodynamics, I believe.)

    So I think, in terms of drugs which are psychoactive, it's really important to understand that we are not passive things standing there while the drug acts on us. (There are cultures which would find us absurd for even imagining this for a minute.) If my first experience of a psychoactive drug is without guidance, it might also be in a setting which makes me anxious (it might even be on a level I'm not conscious of; something like the flickering of fluorescent lights, or offgassing carpets, or a stuffy room). That anxiety might be augmented by the drug. After that, I would associate the drug with that anxiety, and I might expect (and set myself up for) anxiety whenever I took it.

    The source of anxiety might also be inside. If I am given to low-level anxiety, or I have something nagging my mind, or if I simply have a feeling I don't want to feel, then marijuana might augment that, too. My experience is that marijuana makes us more sensitive on a lot of levels. (I don't understand how that works with nerve pain, but then plant drugs are much more complex and subtle than synthetic ones; they aren't just a sum of their chemical constituents. There's something extra there, which I call the spirit of the plant, but if that's too woo-woo you can just call it incomplete scientific understanding.)

    What I'm trying to say is that at least some of the problems with marijuana might be that it is bringing up things we'd prefer not to look at, the way lancing a boil brings up pus. It doesn't feel great, but it's healing.

    Another problem with marijuana might have to do with the heavy onus illegality puts on it; I certainly feel different now I'm using it legally, it's a great relief to me. But I still feel sort of degenerate, because it's illegal in many places and because it gets me high and makes me feel good. The culture I was born to looks on pleasure with great suspicion. Is pleasure really so unhealthy?
  5. Carter Burke

    Carter Burke Guest

    I actually came down with CFS after smoking for quite a few years, and I know many others who did too - it may have been putting off the inevitable; it may have been contributing to it.

    It's interesting if it inhibits replication of certain viruses. It certainly used to give me a good 8 hours sleep a night. But using it can lead to adrenal fatigue, which can be a major part of CFS - some people think it IS CFS.

    I *feel* marijuana gave me problems with hypoglycemia, OI and fatigue, and when I quit I think my immune system was in haywire for some time afterwards as I started getting all sorts of weird seasonal allergies; picked up every cold around; etc. It might give symptomatic relief, but I've not heard of anyone 'smoking' themselves better. I actually find CFS symptoms very useful in telling me whether I've got my protocol on track or not, so I've never taken anything to reduce them. I also wonder if I'd be as strict with my recovery protocol if I'd been smoking.
    redrachel76 likes this.
  6. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    sunday,

    I couldn't agree more with regards to the anxiety. I have come to the same conclusions myself.

    Unfortunately CFS causes a lot of anxiety for me. Not only by making life generally difficult, but also on some biological level (perhaps my messed up cortisol??). It's been a problem for me. And I am sure that the high simply makes me more aware of it.

    So for me to get the benefits of the medication, I have to do it in a way that doesn't amplify the pre-existing anxiety. I think this could be true for many with CFS.
  7. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    That's a good point about anxiety going with CFIDS; I get it, because I have the "tired but wired" thing. But for me, weirdly, my anxiety (long a fellow traveler) has actually diminished with this disease. It just takes too much energy and it doesn't do any good, lying on my back in whiteout has made that really really clear. I don't have the energy to spend on fighting or worrying. It feels terrible and does me no good.

    Not to say I'm never anxious and don't worry - I have to move, and since my last move severely degraded my health, that's a concern, not to mention finding a place I can afford and live in. But since I can only stand for limited amounts of time, I've given up doing everything for myself - I can't even do that in tiny bits. And all sorts of people have rallied around offering help. Very interesting. A little difficult, because I've always prided myself on self-reliance (as if there were actually such a thing).

    I've wondered if whatever deficiency or wrong wiring or whatever caused my CFIDS didn't start a long time ago, because I've been anxious since about 5. It's odd that my physical decline marked a severe decrease in anxiety. I've been working on that a long, long time, but it's almost as if the illness has done some of the work for me. I can't describe it; it feels biological, just the way you describe your anxiety.

    What a weird disease! I guess one complaint I can't make is that it's boring. And neither are the people who have it.
  8. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    I find your post interesting because I feel it was literally that negative for me too, as I said I had only been a casual smoker before but started smoking quite intesley but only for a week or two and then bang I was never the same again quite literally. Ok i except I may have been teetering awfully close to that cliff edge and it just gave me the final push but it was the final push MCS, the cold thing, allergies as you say. Personally I would avoid, esp now I have major MCS
  9. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

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    I have a friend in a medical-marijuana legal state (although as mentioned earlier it's still illegal at the federal level and possible to get arrested, although the the DEA tends to concentrate on growers and sellers) who has encouraged me to try it. He deals with chronic pain.

    He makes a few points.

    - There are many (thousands, I believe) of strains with some geared towards different things - helping with anxiety, pain, sleep, energy (although I'm not sure it would help us much) etc., such that one can find a strain that can probably help at least one symptom but probably not the spectrum of things we deal with. It sounds like a nighttime pain/sleep solution could be a good thing.

    - (As mentioned previously) edibles can be a good solution as it eliminates the smoking part. There are also hash ("concentrated" THC) that are supposed to act somewhat differently than marijuana edibles and I'm told are freqquently used for bedtime.

    - There is a fairly new method of smoking called vaporizing. It works by heating the marijuana to a temperature where it releases THC and other active "ingredients" in a "vapor" cloud without burning it. This reduces many of the problems with smoking - greatly reducing the chance of cancer, etc.

    I don't know if I'll try this but I'll proceed with caution as I would with any medicine.

    Fortunately I live in a state where I could try it (I don't know any MMJ patients, I don't get out much) and there is a lot of information about what strains help with what problems on the internet (lots of forums) and the dispensaries are supposed to be helpful in selecting this medicine as well.

    Otis
    vli likes this.
  10. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    Good point about the strains, Otis, and also the other items. (If anyone is interested, my sleeping dose is made out of the shake from the flowering tops - which is to say, it has a lot of the same stuff hash has in it. Watch out for poorly-homemade hash, though. It's nasty. It might possibly make you sleep, but it might also just give you a headache.) I need to research the strains more, I think. So much hybridizing work has been done in the last 30 years, it's really a pity most of it was illegal, because there probably would have been better records and we would know more about each strain.
    redrachel76 likes this.
  11. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

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    Well, all they looked at in that study were gamma herpesviruses like EBV and the one that is thought to cause Kaposi's sarcoma. But yeah, they also suggest the possibility that it could be broader spectrum.


    This should be renamed the Pothead Thread. :D
  12. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    Does MM help with insomnia, anxiety, and sickness/nausea? Does it make brain fog and light-headedness(OI) worse?
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Lancelot,

    Marijuana effects vary widely among users. Probably best to read some of the accounts on this thread and try to get a sense whether it might work for you or not. I started another thread in August which has more descriptions of the effects of using medical marijuana.

    Another Marijuana Thread


    I'm still considering it myself, but feel no urgency at this time. I want to experiment with other things first.

    Best, Wayne
  14. lancelot

    lancelot Senior Member

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    Thanks Wayne! I've been considering it for many years as well, but too sick to do anything about it. If it was so simple as to get a prescription from my primary and pick up the meds at a pharmacy like other meds, i would have tried it by now, but it's not that easy being disabled, sick and homebound!

    The malaise/sickness/nausea is unbearable and is really breaking me down after all these years of it. I can't get any concrete patient feedback on MM as it pertains to some of my most severe ME/CFS symtoms-sickness/nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and how it would affect my disabling fatigue, PEM, brain-fog and lightheadedness due to OI. i've exhausted the medication route with powerful sleeping pills(for insomnia), benzo's(for anxiety/wired), and adderall(for lightheadedness/OI). I am looking at MM now to better treat my symptoms and to stop all my narcotic meds which i realize are detrimental to my health in the long run. It's not like i can ask any of my 5 MD's about MM, so any patient feedback is greatly appreciated. BTW, what are you going to experiment with first? just curious. take care!
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Ashland, Oregon
    Hi Lancelot,

    I can sure relate to the symptoms you mention; I've had them all, and it does break a person down after a while. Luckily, I never got into heavy duty medication, although I did take clonazepam for many years. I was able to taper off that with the help of a micro-current device called alpha-stim. The following link will take you to a couple posts I did on a thread where I described some of my alpha-stim experiences:

    Experiences With Clonazepam

    More recently I've ventured into the world of kefir. I just today started a thread on kefir, describing some of the benefits I've had. One benefit I didn't mention was my body (and mind/emotions) have really settled down since I started on this recent kefir protocol. The following link will take you to that thread:

    KEFIR - Depending On / Trusting Our Hunches


    I've got other things in mind besides. Sometime soon I want to develop a list of many natural anti-pathogen / immune support products such as LDN, medicinal mushrooms, beta glucan, transfer factor, oregano oil, etc. and begin taking them consecutively. I've got about 15 things in mind, and feel I can come up with some kind of combination that will be effective to one degree or another.

    For now however, I'm pretty enthused about seeing where my recent kefir experience will take me. I've already experienced significantly less nausea and stomach/GI bloating, so definitely feel I'm on the right track.

    Best of luck to you in tapering off your medications and finding something more natural that will work for you. I tell ya, trying to figure what to do for our health feels like more than a full-time job for somebody that's healthy. Even more difficult when we are so debilitated.

    Let me know if I can give you any more information on any of the above.

    Best Regards, Wayne
  16. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    A lot of people in my home-town use marijuana, and too many of them have developed mental health problems as a result. So many are paranoid, muddle-headed and off on strange mind trips. Granted the stuff around here is pretty strong. But I have just seen too many people see mental health setbacks from it.

    If the nausea and pain are overwhelming and it gets to the point where that overrides mental concerns then maybe consider it, but I really don't think it's good for our brains. It may not be so bad for older people whose brained are fully developed, but for anyone under 30 or so it could be damaging to further brain development.
  17. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101001/full/news.2010.508.html

  18. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    up until about 15 years ago I used to be a very occasional recreational user - I stopped because it either mimicked or exaserbated some neurological symptoms a lot of the time

    it did help more physical symptoms but the trade off wasnt worth it IMO
  19. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I see a lot of people on this thread talking as if there was only one kind of "marijuana" - there isn't. There are now many, many different strains and hybrids with different chemical properties. I think any kind of informed discussion about medical marijuana has to take this into account - what people use recreationally (especially years ago when the medical marijuana industry wasn't as sophisticated as it is today) is not really indicative of what might be available, or potentially beneficial, today.
  20. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    This question might be answered elsewhere but I currently don't have the mental energy to look...

    What are the pros/cons of MM vs. THC? If you might end up trying both, which one should you try first?

    For various reasons THC or MM are the next direction to try for managing my severe pain days, and thankfully I live in a MM legal state. I've put it off for a while because I was concerned about how my doctor would respond, and I just plain don't like the idea of doing something borderline, but I'm getting desparate. If my doctor is favorable he will likely agree to whichever I request (THC or MM) but I'm undecided which. I was going to go with THC because of its predictability and it's less borderline and source isn't an issue, but now reading about cannabidiol as made me undecided again. I know that different varieties have different effects, and being brainfogged right now I can't even imagine trying to manage finding the correct variety and a good source and everything.

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