Multiple Sclerosis & Cannabis: Can Marijuana Or CBD Oil Help With My Pain

Just before Christmas, I decided to buy myself an early holiday “present” and FINALLY headed to a local Marijuana shop to try and learn more about, and purchase something to try and help with the pain that I live with, thanks to Multiple Sclerosis.  Through the numerous blogs and websites that I follow, along with information provided in the MS support groups I am in, I know that many MSers have had great success in managing their pain and spasticity through Cannabis or CBD Oil. It might seem crazy stupid that I had not yet given Marijuana (Cannabis) a try, especially since pot is legal here in Washington state AND my doctor has written me a prescription for MMJ for the past three years but this would be my first foray into trying it.

So why the HELL have I waited so long and not tried it?  It’s hard for me to explain, but as my pain has gotten worse and worse, I have tried many different medications for the pain and spasticity (Baclofen, Tizanidine, Diazepam,Gabapentin, Methodone, Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline.) Although each did provide SOME relief, nothing really brought the pain levels down significantly.  Rational or not, I seem to have put Cannabis (Marijuana) on a back burner – something that COULD be there, as a last resort if all else failed.  I have absolutely NOTHING against it (or using it) and don’t really know WHY I did this, but I did. In my mind IF I tried it and it didn’t work then I was in a shit ton of trouble, because what then?  It would then seem to me that I had run out of options.

But the pain has gotten worse, my “good days” of lower levels of pain fewer and far between, so I decided to get my ass down to the store and see if they might have something to help me.

The first thing I have to report is: I found the most wonderful, knowledgable and kind woman to help me navigate my way in a store (Evergreen Market) that was filled with things I knew NOTHING about. With the advent of Marijuana being legalized and many (if not all) MMJ shops closing, I had worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anyone familiar with the products I would be looking for to battle the pain. I figured that recreational pot shops are just that – for recreation and I assumed that most of their clientele are there seeking to get a high.  Meanwhile, I wanted something that would STOP the pain and NOT get me high.  It seems my assumptions were not completely accurate.  Plenty of people use Marijuana for many different medical reasons and many staff members are very knowledgable about the different strains and options.

In hindsight it may have been beneficial to do a bit more research before I went in.  There are so many great resources out there now, providing information about all aspects of Cannabis and even ones like this post about Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Treatment.  Preparation to know what questions to ask might have been a good idea, but she did a great job walking me through different options and information and I left the shop with my bag in hand – hopeful and more than a bit nervous (again, the “what if this doesn’t work” mentality.)

HERE is what I decided to try and what I have learned so far:

 

Lotionz by Potionz

I first decided to give the straight oil a shot.  To be fair, there were other options that had flavors and different ways to dispense it but I figured taste wouldn’t make a difference if it helped with the pain and sipping from a vial seemed doable.  For the most part, I was right, I don’t really mind that it doesn’t taste great – nothing a mint or piece of gum can’t fix and sipping it isn’t a big deal.  But it does make it difficult for me to know how much I am taking when I do take a sip.  I know it is likely about 4-5 mg but certainly much less than the 40mg a whole vial contains.  As for effectiveness; it DOES provide some relief – although not nearly as much as I had hoped for.  Perhaps if I were to take the whole thing at once it would provide more pain relief but haven’t yet tried that.  Baby steps.

Herbal Pastille’s Mr. Moxey’s Mints

(Ginger)

Although I DO like the fact that I KNOW definitely how much THC (1mg)and CBD (5mg) is in each serving (1 mint) I have to admit that in this case- taste DOES matter.  Unlike the oil that I just swallow and then can grab something to erase the taste, this is a mint (hence the name) and I honestly can not stand the flavor of these.  I thought since I love ginger that it would be a good choice, but not so much.  I do like the fact that they are in the little tin that I can just through in my bag to have on hand when out and about and the pain is bad.  I am sure that if I actually liked the flavor (even a bit more than I do) that they would be all gone by now.  But as it is, I kinda dread having that taste in my mouth for the 5-10 minutes it takes for it to dissolve.  I am looking forward to seeing if there are other flavors to try!

 

Fairwinds Pure CBD & Vape Pen

(Pure Oil – CBD 10:1- CBD 4.0mg THC 2.6mg)

Again, there seemed to be some improvement to the pain, but not life altering by any means.  As with the oil, I am not sure just how much I am getting and don’t really know how many puffs I am supposed to take.  And can I take TOO much?  It does seem to me that this is the quickest form of relief out of the three though, so it does help in a situation that I need quick relief.

All in all, none of them provided enough relief for me to be over the moon excited.  But what I have come to understand is that it is a learning process and I have a lot to learn and plenty of options to try.  I am NOT yet discouraged that the relief isn’t that significant because I am realizing that there are many different factors to take into account

  • how much CBD do I need to feel relief
  • how long will relief last?
  • can I take TOO much CBD?
  • do I need to find products with a bit more THC?
  • if I do need the THC content to be higher, can I avoid feeling high and can I still drive?
  • what is the best way to use it? (oil, vape, edibles, transdermal patch or topical ointments)

As I explained to my new MMJ BFF at the shop, I am hesitant about the THC.  The very few times that I did use Marijuana in my earlier years I didn’t particularly like it or how it made me feel.  But I have also begun to read that a combination of the two is often used for people with Multiple Sclerosis looking for relief from the pain and spasticity.  According to Project CBD “THC and CBD are the power couple of cannabis compounds—they work best together. Scientific studies have established that CBD and THC interact synergistically to enhance each other’s therapeutic effects…extensive clinical research has demonstrated that CBD combined with THC is more beneficial for neuropathic pain than either compound as a single molecule.”

I would LOVE to hear from you about your experiences with Cannabis and CBD oil and your MS or chronic pain!  What works for you?

Let me know if you know of helpful resources I could check out.  Given it’s growing popularity AND the fact that it seems to be helping so many people living with MS I am thinking of adding another section to my MS Resources Page for Cannabis/Marijuana.

 

**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advise of medical professionals.  Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **

29 Replies to “Multiple Sclerosis & Cannabis: Can Marijuana Or CBD Oil Help With My Pain”

  1. I think that you should try smoking it, sativa is the best. It gives you more of the relaxing body high than the brain high. Also I take Naproxen for pain. I don’t take much cause any medication I take hurts my stomach. I hate those days where you’re so much in pain that you can’t do anything. Much love for all my MSers out there.

    1. Hi Johanna! Thanks for sharing. Interesting that you say Sativa gives more relaxing body high – I have been reading the opposite. BUT I think this is a great example that it all depends on you and how your own body feels and responds. Your reaction to one thing may well be completely different to mine (or others) I’m continuing to experiment and have been pleased with the results:)

      Cheers!
      Meg

  2. Thank you so much for writing about this! There is so little information on this. No one seems to really know what to take and how much. Of course it is different for everyone, but some guidance would be helpful. Meg, I also go to Evergreen Market – the one in Renton (have gone twice).

    What I’ve gotten is the Kronic Tonic CBD oil. I still have issues with spasticity, stiffness, and pain (muscle or nerve??? idk which), but it does seem to help. Baclofen doesn’t seem to do much for me anymore.?

    Love that you’re sharing whatever info you have…

    Maybe we could do a field trip to Evergreen Market together sometime.

    Sylvana 🙂

    1. Hey Sylvana!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and for your kinds words! I am just finishing up on this weeks post about my second visit to the shop, and what I tried this time. Should be up in a few hours.

      I would love to do a MS MMJ field trip! The two folks that I have met, James and Alyssa, are both amazing. I highly recommend chatting with them if you have questions. Oh, and be sure to mention my name (or blog) Pretty sure they know who I am now:) Shoot me an email if you ever have time for a trip down there. (meglewellyn@gmail.com)

      Cheers,
      Meg (aka BBH)

    2. I live in Alabama. I wish this option was available to me. I am in an MS relapse now & my neurologist quit the practice he was in November. Only person left is the nurse practitioner & she doesn’t have admitting privileges. I have Zanaflex, Klonopin. & percocet…but I can’t function on those. I am in bad shape with kids & a grandma with alzheimers to take care of.

  3. My naturopathic doctor told me to try cbd oil. It is not legal in Michigan. I get the cbd oil from hemp from Lucky Vitamin. I get the 25 mg caps. Swallow and no THC!! I take up to 3 at a time. Depends on pain level. It reduces inflammation and works. I walk straight without pain. Want to try real from cannabis. Will talk to neuro.

    1. Hi Jeri!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share:) Capsules are on my growing list of things to try!

      Good luck chatting with your neuro. Hopefully you will be able to try it. Let me know how it goes.

      Cheers,
      Meg (aka BBH)

  4. Hello my friend, I have have just found out about it via a tweet few days back. Many are although saying it’s effective don’t know the extent of it.

    Hope the best for you my friend 🙂

  5. I have MS, Fibro and arthritis bad and finally took the plunge to try medical mj here and thus far notta works really for pain of all the strains thu far tried caregiver is growing a couple plants that is higher in CBD for me which takes time but that I cant wait to try and see if works I don’t want to be loopy or stoned thru out day but would like relief aside all the darn pills. and smoking during day don’t like cuz if I can smell on me so can others. 1 thing I did find it works for is my mood issues , sleep if I do a smoothie and as well helps my baddddddddddddd snoring lol but wake more stiff and sore then day before is downside and as well use to much of medical milk I wake like I’m drunk,lol

    1. Thanks for sharing! One of the things that I have figured out is that there IS a lot to learn and many different things/options to try and finding what (if anything) that works for each of us can certainly be a process. I tend to NOT be a particularly patient person and if something doesn’t work the way I want or hope I usually just move on. BUT I am determined to see this one through and NOT give up. After posting this the other day, I have had many (via here, FB, Twitter & email) reach out to me offering up great info and advise. Armed with a bit more info I made a return trip to my local pot shop to try a few more things – and I have learned more and realized a few things and can’t wait to share!

      Stay tuned for the continuing story of Meg trying Medical Marijuana:)

      Cheers!
      Meg (aka BBH)

  6. I’m in Australia and it isn’t legal yet. Some days I get horrible pain to the point where I just want to die. I have a small smoke of the illegal stuff (I have noticed a difference between hydro and bush) and my legs start working, I can do fine motor skills with my arms and my depression is bearable again. I would really love to hear more about this so I can find legal ways to enjoy life again

  7. Illegal here in wc but I don’t care it’s the only thing that helps me with my pain. I don’t want the high and I don’t want to smoke so when I can no longer stand it I eat it. Just a little bit helps.

  8. When my spadicity pain was at its worst the only thing that worked was the good old illegal shit. I’d smoke a hit or two, not for the high, but it was the ONLY thing that helped.

  9. Hm, I guess I was incomplete. Let’s see, I use the pen mornings and evenings with my other ton of medication. Four or five puffs usually covers me until next dose. The pens are convenient and neat. A minor down side is the oil is sluggish at low temperatures in winter, so I either sit the pen over a hot cup of coffee or hold it under running hot water for a minute. The oil warms up and vaporizes fine then.

    For me, I don’t really notice the effect of the cannabis while I am using it, which is wonderful. I’m not interested in the recreational use of marijuana, so the low THC has little effect that I notice; not any really. What I do notice is when I forget to puff my pen. In half a day my symptoms of pain, tremors (big time!), cramps, and what little control I have get unpleasant. Hit the pen, and they symptoms go away in short order.

    I don’t have an answer for you on taking too much vape. One of the reasons I like vape is the ability to control my intake. I use enough to suppress my symptoms and then carry on with my day. I am curious about the skin patches that are now available. I forwarded to you the notice on the patches from Leafly this morning.

    Have a tremor free day, Megara. 😀

    1. Thanks my friend! SO much to learn and figure out – BUT it all makes me optimistic. The thought of getting the pain level down to manageable again is DREAMY! Keep thinking – SHIT imagine what all I could accomplish IF it could be better now that balance and mobility is better. I could fucking ROCK the world again:)

      Smooch!
      Meg

        1. Oh you bet! I have already received a shit ton of helpful information and am gearing up for another outing to the pot shop to lay in provisions. Will be sure to write updates as I go along:)

          Cheers!
          Meg

    1. Hey Stubor!

      Thanks! Questions…. how many puffs do you take at a time? Do you feel the effects of the THC at all after using it? (relaxing of mind is fine but remember feeling VERY paranoid, not good:) Can you take TOO much when it is so high in CBD? How long does it last?

      Sorry, this is a subject that I have many questions on. I realize that it will be different for everyone but just trying to get some general ideas. The few times I have brought it up in Cannabis focused groups I was hit with information overload and had a hard time walking away with anything constructive:)

      Meg:)

would LOVE to know what you think...