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Medical Marijuana to Treat Kids with OCD, Autism ...

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Wayne, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi All,

    I viewed a thought-provoking video segment on ABC News' program 20/20 this past week regarding medical marijuana. The full title of the article segment along with access to the video is at:

    "Marijuana From Mom: Mother Says Drug Helps Son Cope wioth Severe OCD -- Parents Resort to Medical Marijuana to Treat Kids with OCD, Autism"

    I've long believed a lot of OCD is likely a result of some kind of brain injury and/or severe allergic reaction occurring within the brain. The mother in this video (at about the 3:00 minute mark in the 8-minute video) explains how a low-THC tincture is able to "take the edge off" of her son's OCD behavior. I suspect much of the brain activity associated with autism and/or OCD may be similar to what many of us experience ("brain static", or "agitated exhaustion", or "brain fog", etc.).

    I've endeavored for years to come up with the best way possible to deal with my own anxiety/edginess, excessive neuronal firing, etc. I used the benzodiazapine Clonazepam (generic Klonopin) for about 10 years, but was uncomfortable with the side effects. I was able to wean myself off of this over a one-year span, and then able to stay off by using micro-current therapy (alpha-stim). More recently I've been adding some EFT tapping techniques, and a number of other polarity and energy balancing techniques. These all help, but I still feel I'm losing ground to the neurological stress I'm dealing with.

    Which brings me to medical marijuana. After hearing the reference to the low-THC medical marijuana tincture, I'm now considering whether it might be worth it to explore this option further. I was wondering if anybody else has considered this, what they may have found out, whether they ended up trying it or not, etc. In short, I would love to hear what anybody's thoughts or experiences might be on this subject.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best, Wayne
    vli likes this.
  2. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Here are some thoughts... that is very thought-provoking, but probably would only be masking symptoms, much as the benzodiazapines do. And I was on benzo, for years, but did not like the side-effects. Getting off that was hard, imagine getting off pot, if you were using that for CFS but tired of the side-effects.

    Incidentally, I don't know if this is addressing the real cause, but when I went on an intensive B-vitamin protocol, inspired by Rich VanK and Freddd's work, most of my neurological symptoms resolved. No more agitation/anxiety/edginess, etc. In fact I do not remember EVER being this settled and calm before, at least not since my early childhood.
  3. judderwocky

    judderwocky Senior Member

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    Benzos are addictive. Marijuana is actually shown to be less substance forming that even alcohol. It has no inherent addictive nature, unless you have an addictive personality. Also the positive effects being investigated for it extend beyond the "calming" ones... it reduces glutamate overactivity in people with OCD, schizophrenia, it acts a neuroprotectant preventing damage to cells that are undergoing damage... a recent study, i think the journal of harm reduction actually noted that schizophrenics were more functional on it and had better adaptive skills...


    for instance one study showed that people who consumed alochol and marijuana actually incurred less brain cell death than those that simply consumed alcohol... other protective effects have been demonstrated ... it stimulates CB1 receptors which are important in a lot of diseases...

    you might do a hunt through mpp.org , or even norml.org ... they have aggregated a small number of the studies...but there are ton more on pubmed. They have some interesting commentary on research. Many of their complaints about methodology in research are not unlike those you hear voiced in this community on separate issues. Guess who funds all the research. /grin

    i'm not suggesting complete anarchy with respect to this substance... but research has turned over some very interesting and unexpected results over the last few years. it is definitely a branch of research that has suffered due to stigmatization.

    everybody is different... some people may not react to it well....

    i'm one of those weird individuals that reacts to claritin... most people don't have any trouble wiht it.... but it makes my heart rate go through the room, and my mind races for hours until it wears off...

    so i would always advise caution... no substance is uniform in its effect.
  4. George

    George waitin' fer rabbits

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    I "had" a diagnosis of OCD and Aspergers but refused to take any medication for it cause I figured, what the hey I like being weird. (grins) But the coupla times I smoked pot I just went right to sleep. So I never saw the allure of pot. Huh, course I wasn't counting tiles on the floor either so I guess it did work.
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Kurt,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I too believe marijuana, like benzos, would only be masking symptoms. I appreciate your comments about your successful experience with an intensive B-vitamin protocol, which I suspect could be addressing the real cause. This is an area I want to explore further, hopefully quite soon.

    In my situation, I've tested positive for Lyme, and I feel a big part of my "brain static" comes from that. I've likely had Lyme for as long as 30 years, and it apparently can hide away in all kinds of nooks and corners of the body, making the bacteria hard to treat by conventional methods. So I may have to be content with just addressing symptoms, at least for the time being.

    I ran across an article by Jill Neimark once, who wrote that the only thing that stopped her agitated brain activity from Lyme Disease was hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). She stated in one of her articles,

    "Hyperbaric oxygen treatments trigger a marked increase in the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria, help new blood vessels grow, saturate tissues with healing oxygen that helps stop damage from toxins and inhibits the growth of anaerobic bacteria. They also improve brain function."

    I'm mentioning this here because HBOT would definitely be a first choice for me if it was available and affordable. It's the affordable part that has me looking elsewhere for solutions at this time.

    Since I don't have any interest in getting "high", I was wondering if you or anybody else might know whether the active ingredient(s) that gives marijuana medicinal qualities is the THC, or is it other parts of the plant as well. Perhaps it's not known.

    Regarding your B-Vitamin protocol. It's been on my mind to go over many of the posts related to this topic, but it always feels so overwhelming for me to get started. I think there's more than a thousand posts on one thread alone, and I think there are certain admonitions about making sure you don't make some wrong decisions because of potential serious affects.

    I was wondering if you could briefly describe how you were able to sort through all this information and come up with a plan that worked well for you. If I could get a sense that I could sort through some of this, I would certainly make it a priority ahead of trying medical marijuana.

    Thanks much.

    Regards, Wayne
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Medical Marijuana -- Neuroprotective Aspects - Glutamate Overactivity

    Thanks much Judderwocky for your reply. I had an aunt who was schizophrenic (passed away many years ago), and your information makes me wonder if I might share a common genetic component of glutamate overactivity with her (who was a real sweetheart).

    I really like your comments about the neuroprotective aspects as well, which is a big concern of mine. I believe it was Paul Cheney who prescribed Klonopin, at least in part to protect the brain from excessive neuronal firing. It just feels that whatever it is I experience is a result of neurological stress within my brain, and I feel I need to take whatever steps I can to protect myself.

    One thing I find interesting about having an illness such as ME/CFS, is that it almost "forces" us to go outside our comfort zones or our traditional ways of thinking at times. An acquaintance suggested several years ago whether I might want to try medical marijuana to see if it might help. I pretty much dismissed it out of hand until recently. But when I watched the 20/20 segment, something told me that I shouldn't be so dismissive; perhaps there's something of value here I've been closing myself off to.

    The good information you posted gives me a little more to go on, and I appreciate the time you took to share it here.

    Best, Wayne
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  7. judderwocky

    judderwocky Senior Member

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    Glutamate might have a pretty strong link to XMRV recently... supposedly it contains some homologues to glutamate receptors.... which could explain a lot of things ive been through...

    you also might try N acetyl Cysteine or Alpha lipoic acid for neuroprotection... also N - acetyl cysteine has been used in some studies to reduce glutamate overactivity in some of these disorders as well.... it has several methods of action that are pretty intereating

    (although there is a caveat to this if you have heavy metal exposure.... they are chelators so some people say that you should start out slowly on some of those things if you have mercury issues as they will move heavy metals around... supposedly if you take really large amounts of NAC it will move the mercury around in your body... and since NAC crosses the blood brain barrier, any mercury that gets bount to it will also crosse over ... so some of the mercury might temporarily be present in the brain even though it might have been stored somewhere else in the body... no studies show an increase in neurotxicity from heavy metals while on NAC though... they actually show huge reductions in damage across several different types of poisoning and oxidative damage... but some people still stress to start off with a chelator that doesn't cross the blood brain barrier that will remove heavy metals outside of your brain, and then after those resevoirs are cleared up to add additional chelators that do cross the barrier like Nacetyl cysteine... this would only be if you were worried about your heavy metal levels... otherwise its considered pretty safe... it can even be used to prevent liver damage from acetometaphen overdose)
  8. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

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    Hi Wayne,

    I tried medical marijuana for sleep and did not find it helpful. I never tried it for anxiety- and only had one period in the illness when anxiety was a big problem (I think because of lyme disease)- but luckily that cleared up on it's own. I think a tincture would be far better than smoking- breathing in any kind of smoke is bad for you. For me, I would never treat anxiety with mm because I already feel tired and groggy all the time! MM only makes me feel more out of it. Though I have to confess that I still have some mm lying around, because I have a lot of nausea and have found it effective in taming that symptom.

    good luck and let us know if you try it,

    JAH
  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    When I smoked it when I was well, it used to affect my memory badly so I cant figure out why anyone with CFS would want to use it when our memories are already often struggling.

    It actually makes some paranoid.. and can set off mental illness etc schizophrenia in some (my dads smoked it I think just before he got schizophrenia.. he thou also was under a lot of stress). Ive also known people who have gotten addicted to it.

    Ive seen a photo of what smoking that does to someones brain, It shrinks it!!! (not sure how shrinking your brain would help CFS either).

    Last time I smoked it (when i was in remission of the CFS).. something went very wrong and I lost 2-3? days of time.. it was like I ended up overdosing on it, i went into breathing difficulties and then went unconscious, waking up completely unaware of what day I was in. (never again.. scary)
  10. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Ya, I smoked pot to self medicate when younger(i now realize) for aspergers. I think it may have made things much worse, if not put me in the place I am at now. I smoked cigarettes, and pot at a young age. Had a stressful event and now I have chlmydia pnuemonia. So it is very likely the XMRV and the rest all allowed this to get out of control to where I am at now.
  11. judderwocky

    judderwocky Senior Member

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    I can't speak to your experiences. There are different effects the drug has on individuals... it does affect short term memory recall while you are under the influence. It does not kill brain cells. That has been repeatedly established. It actually seems to promote the growth of new ones if anything... like i said... it might be better to look at the studies... like i said before... a lot of people have misperceptions about this drug that were formed from very early very very very poorly structured studies.... if you take the time to look through the wealth of research on this it is actually quite surprising... I would like to see some more controlled studies done... the problem is getting universities and research institutions permission to carry out the experiments... though other countries are producing a lot of research and don't have those hangups... there are a lot of unanswered questions that would be used to neuroimmune disorders of several types
  12. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    All my information is second-hand, since I haven't tried MJ myself and have never been a drug user. But I know people who are fairly knowledgeable on the subject.

    Since medical MJ was legalized in California it's been kind of a laughable situation - it's widely known that essentially anyone can get a prescription, if you go to the right doctor - and there are plenty of doctors on tap for the purpose. Here in LA there are medical MJ dispensaries all over the place - although some have recently been shut down due to the implementation of zoning restrictions, there are still a lot of them around, in entertaining variety from shabby storefronts to chi-chi boutiques.

    Even though it's an open secret that a huge proportion of this "medical" use is actually recreational, there are still many people in the business who take the medical uses very seriously. Intensive breeding of different strains with different qualities has become very sophisticated. Some strains (I am told) are better for pain relief and don't make you as "high," some are better for anxiety, some are well suited for nausea/appetite problems, etc. Of course this is all anecdotal - but I think it is plausible enough that there is a broad range of possible effects depending on the strain and how it is delivered. And much of this is fairly recent development - people who smoked pot twenty years ago in college (I didn't even do *that*!) experienced something quite different from today's product.

    I agree that controlled studies with some kind of consistent product would be much better than all this anecdotal stuff, and of course the reasons there haven't been more done are political. (We do have a ballot measure coming up for full legalization in California, which is very unlikely to pass, but support for legalization is broadening.) I am very conservative about experimenting on myself, but I am an utter newbie at CFS - and haven't yet exhausted the conventional medical options. But I'm keeping my eyes and ears open.
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  13. mcgraw1011

    mcgraw1011

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    I also had a diagnosis of OCD and Aspergers but refused to take any medication. Beause I figured out what the heck I look like being weird. I would rather smoke a regular cigarrette rather than a marijuana.
  14. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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  15. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Huh! Interesting topic Wayne! :Retro smile:

    I've a number of thoughts on this subject but am a wee bit brain numb this morning after a major town trip yesterday, please excuse my jumping around while I try to get them out. :Retro smile:

    When I was 18-24 there were times I smoked a fair amount of pot. Not nearly as much as many of my friends, but pretty much at least a little bit every day (little bit was often all I could afford or likely would have been more). Basically, my experience spans a broad spectrum between 'occasional' use and 'heavyish medium' use.

    When I became ill at 24 I stopped smoking completely but this was actually largely due to two factors. 1) Didn't know what the heck was going on with my body and seemed best not to use it. 2) Simply couldn't afford nor find it even if I wanted it, which at times it sure seemed like it would have been nice.

    About five years ago (when I was 28), it became available to me again and my health had pretty much sorted itself out as to what was happening to it. I started experimenting with smoking again because some of my symptoms were just the sort I knew it could help with.

    I'm a big fan of medical marijuana because even before becoming ill myself, I had used it at times medicinally and knew of its potential good uses. The passing of that law in California was probably the only thing I ever voted on that actually did any good. lol

    So a few thoughts on my observations of self experimentation:

    * Its definitely not physically addictive. It is however emotionally addictive. All depends on your personality. If you use it to escape problems in life, then its a lot more likely to feel addictive. If you use it as medicine then its something easily put aside those times you have no need for it.

    * It is extremely helpful in a world of not wanting to take stuff from big pharma. You can control your dosage and with any luck, what additives are with your medication.

    * Supply is a big factor. Those of us in states with medicinal marijuana will have an easier time, but to be honest I've never gotten it from one of those sources though there is a dispensary in town. Trying to get to the doctor for it here in Olympia isn't the easiest thing and understandably my own physician will not sign the paperwork. That being said, its not exactly hard to find by other means in Washington State. But you must be careful of where you get it because as Mark 20001 has posted - it can be laced with all sorts of stuff if not a trustworthy source. Also included in that would be pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, molds, and other drugs. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU GET IT.

    * It is the only thing I've found that is a guarantee to help with my PTSD episodes. This is HUGE for me as typically when they occur, I can assume I'll be down and out of life for about 3 weeks on average - almost completely unable to do anything at all. However, I found that with some mm used liberally for the first 3 days of an episode, it will swing my neurotransmitters back to a more normal balance and I only lose those 3 days out of life instead of 3 weeks. The third day usually being one where I feel good again but still use it to make sure the effect holds. Luckily, through other self help means I've been pretty much PTSD episode free for nearly a year. :Retro smile:

    * It is also a fantastic thing to use for nausea or (at least in my case) intestinal cramping caused by a food sensitivity. This was a use I found for it back before becoming ill and it worked much better than OTC drugs for the same purpose. Used to be if I ate something with trace amounts of rice in it, I'd be in agonizing pain from intestinal cramping for about 6-8 hours. Doubled up and crying type of pain. But a little mm and within 20 minutes I'd be good again.

    * Smoking for anxiety... really hit or miss. I've learned to recognize what anxiety it will help with and what it won't, some it does make worse however I've learned how to deal with that as its mostly just a bad case of itchies for me that go away after a hour.

    * There are lots of ways to imbibe it. You can smoke it, eat it, use it as a lotion - all depends on how it is prepared. Each one will make you feel differently when using it, the high you get from eating it is very different than that by smoking it.

    * There are many ways to smoke it that do not require you to inhale a lot of toxic smoke or byproducts of combustion. These are known as vaporizors. They work by heating the mm to the point of the THC being released more in steam than smoke but not hot enough to combust the leaves. It is a much easier high to handle with brain fog or such as many of the psychotropic compounds in marijuana are in the combusted smoke, not the first bit of THC steam that comes off the plant.

    * That last part was pretty important so will say again - it is possible to smoke mm without getting most of the chemicals that make you feel high. You can get the parts that help with pain, nausea, etc without having a vast majority of the high effect. Depending on how you use it, mm can give you almost no high at all from what I understand.

    * I also use it for pain management. You know that full body, every nerve is on fire type of pain? Depending on the cause of it for me, this can really help. Heh, now that I think about it - I should be using some today as it helps really calm my system back down after a town trip. Soothes all the raw nerves and improves recovery time.

    * I also use GABA for similar purposes as nerve soothing now. It really is all self experimentation to see what works best for each of us an in what situation. Rescue Remedy also has a place in my arsenal of things used to sooth various problems. I look at mm more as the 'big nuke' now.

    * As personal preference, I've been steering more and more away from using mm in the last year simply because I'm tired of all my brain fog which is with me each and every day. MM does increase it at the time, but it is a temporary increase of about a hour directly after use. However, when life gives you pea soup fog every second of every day, increasing it even a bit at times can be more than what you are looking for.

    Regardless of my own personal use for it starting to slow down, I still highly recommend trying it out if you safely can and seeing what relief you can find with it for yourself. I would be very likely to try it out more if I had access to the local dispensary simply because I could then get the stuff more tailored to my needs instead of the common stuff I currently have.

    I also think it is a good enough medicine to have around that should I ever have the energy to travel to see the mm doctor and get myself approved, I wouldn't hesitate to do so and then grow it myself! Talk about a fun plant to grow - it should easily be something to delight even the most newbie gardener as it has a huge rate of growth. But my experiences with that are for a different story. :D

    Use wisely and enjoy! Lisa :Retro smile:

    ps - As with any medication, if you are currently on prescription drugs or are sensitive to new medications, proceed with caution and at your own risk. Consider it the same as any new medication and treat it accordingly.
    vli likes this.
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I don't use it myself, but I used to smoke it years ago. I was one of the ones who got more anxious and spooky from it though so I stopped.

    But I do know some people who find that it deals with pain better than any of the medications they'd tried for it. So for those dealing with alot of pain, consider pot for pain relief.:Retro smile:
  17. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Hi Lisa,

    Just re-read your post and saw that you had a reference to the pain relief thing also.:Retro smile:
  18. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Hi Jody!

    Always good with my monster walls of text to pull out a few of the highlights. No worries! :Retro smile:

    You know me, when I'm a bit on the brain numb side I tent to write books where something much shorter would do. :D

    Hugs! Lisa :Retro smile:
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Lisa,

    Couldn't disagree more.:Retro tongue:

    Your wall of text was a great, informative read. :Retro smile:
  20. forgottenstar

    forgottenstar

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    Because of my stomach issues, marijuana is one of the best things for me. A lot of pain medications make me ill so when I have a bad headache, stomach pains (I mean the kind where Im on the bathroom floor in a ball crying my eyes out) or in just general body pain, I feel a lot better after using even after the 'high' has worn off.

    Lately, I noticed my legs cannot seem to relax, like, ever. Its been getting a lot worse over the past few months. It also helps with this.

    I would be afraid to try it during anxiety/panic attacks though because I tend to get bad chest pain during them. That is when I will take half of one of the Xanex that my dr gives me and that knocks me right out.
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