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Marijuana, the Pros and Cons.

Started by upanddown on 12/23/2012 7:01pm

I only know of one con, and that is...It's not legal everywhere. At the very least it should be legal for medical use, everywhere!
I haven't smoked it since 1983, and have no experience as far as using marijuana for pain relief. To think that there's a plant out there, that could possibly help provide, even if just a little, safe and effective pain relief, and that it's, "off limits," to me, simply because of where I live, is outrageous! Especially given that Dr.'s write prescriptions for potentially lethal pain meds, because the state in which they practice medicine hasn't legalized the use of medical marijuana. I bet there's a high percentage of Dr.'s, who practice in pain management, that would much rather write scripts for marijuana than opiates. As a patient, I would much rather use marijuana than anything thing else in my medicine cabinet.
I realize marijuana is not a cure all, but if it enabled me to take LESS of the more harmful pain meds I need to take on a regular basis, I would do it without hesitation. (If it were legal.)
These are just my opinions. I don't, and would never "advocate" doing anything which is illegal. I definitely support the legalization of marijuana.
If anyone with personal experience with the use of marijuana for pain relief, can help shed some light on this subject, Id be very grateful. Anything at all that you think may be helpful. (Except moving to a "legal" state that is... It's just not in the budget this week.) :(
Thank you ahead of time for your response. I'm looking forward to learning something new.
Janet :)

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Okay, I'll get the ball rolling. I hate being a slave to pain meds. I have suffered from sudden cessation of long term use of prescription hydromorphone (delaudid), oxy and zanax. ( I really don't want to go back there again.)
I'm hurting all the time because I only take enough pain meds to take the edge off. Why? Because I'm scared to death of being physically dependent on meds (again), especially when pain management can "fire" me for whatever lame excuse they want to come up with. Fear of what happens if I can't get to the Dr's office and I run out of meds. My fear is real and logic.
I'm not new to pain, or meds that help mask pain. All I'm looking for is the least harmful way of coping with it.
Janet. :)
'

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So, I've been investigating this subject and concluded there is evidence that it does actually help relieve pain. I guess, until the state in which I live makes it legal, I'll just have to wait.
Does anyone know, if I went to a place where it was legal for rec. use, and I smoked some, if I were tested for it, (I'm not under a pain "contract" but that could change) I could be "fired" as a patient, even if it were legal WHERE I smoked it? Or is it only legal for residents of those states?
Hmm, just wondering if I should plan a few days of vacation in Colorado this year.
Let me know your thoughts. :)

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It looks like I'm the only one on this site that's even remotely interested in a none addictive alternative to the harmful pain relievers that Dr.s prescribe to their patients hand over fist.
It's a bit confusing actually, that more people aren't behind ANYTHING that is proven safe and effective in enhancing the pain relief of narcotics, especially if the dose of narcotics could be lowered.

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upanddown. First let me say, I wish I'd thought of that username, it describes me to a tee.
Don't get discouraged, I've been reading this thread, so I'm sure others have been as well.
I can't think of a "con" when it comes to using pot for pain relief, or any other reason for that matter. It's just got a stigma attached to it, mostly due to propaganda. People who are SO AGAINST POT are usually totally ignorant on the subject. As with anything, there's risks involved. People with addictive personalities are more prone to "believe" they're addicted to pot. I can't find any solid scientific proof that it's physically addicting, although I won't argue the psychological addiction, after all, anything that relieves pain, calms the mind, and relaxes the body, is tempting. So I can see how it can be habit forming, but no more than coffee. I do think there should be age limits in place, just like tobacco and alcohol.
I hope more people post on this thread. It'll be interesting to hear what other people think, and why.
Lastly, if it was good enough for Clinton, it's good enough for me!

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hey....
how are you doing.
haven't heard from you in a while.
just wanted to say hello.
hope all is well.
and your still in my prayers.
ray.

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Hiya Ray,
You've been MIA for a while, hope you're managing ok. I'm still pushing forward. (Although that tends to be more, "running from today," hoping tomorrow will bring something better.) I really am making an effort in "being in the moment" because none of us know if there'll even be a tomorrow. It's an easy concept that's not so easy to apply. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. (We all do it, especially when we're in pain.)
Did you get disability yet? I'm still stuck dealing with w/comp. My last fusion didn't help with the nerve pain at all. In fact, I'm worse off than before. I have an app. with the surgeon in Feb., I'm not holding my breath though. There's a limit on what they can do.
I just want to get the pain under control (Without killing my liver with meds), and move on with my life and do everything this spine of mine will allow. Get some quality back ya know? I'm just so sick of feeling like the victim here. I NEED some control back.
Anyway, I have been watching for you and glad to see you're still around. Let me know how you're doing...It's been a bumpy road hasn't it!
keep in touch,
Janet. :)

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Didn't help my pain at all....can get you kicked off of disabiity if your doctor tests you and you are positive. It should be medically legal everywhere..I agree...then we can have the benefit of the pharmacists expertise as to which type is best for our certain pain.

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Sarah, as to getting kicked off disability, I don't see how that's legal. I'm sorry to hear it didn't help you. That's sort of what I was trying to do here. Find out what works for other people. So thank you for responding.
I did a little research on something called Devil's claw. It's some sort of root that has been used for pain and an anti-inflammatory for centuries. I'm going to have my Dr. check it out and make sure I wont be poisoning myself if I take it. It's worth a shot anyway, there just aren't that many options out there.

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i struggled with chronic pain after a fall as an RN at work in '98. it got progressively worse until an emergency L4'L5 microdiscectomy in 8/11. i had worked up until that day, even though i could barely do it at the end.

well, the surgery failed, and i was in so much pain i barely moved. due to the immobility i developed a blood clot which went to my lung and nearly killed me. this was the following month after surgery. now the pain was worse than before. i could no longer work, and went on disability. i was on oxycontin 20 mg. 2X/ day.

i researched a great deal, and experimented a bit via friends until i found a strain of marijuana that worked for me. a saliva strain, it enhances feelings of well being, is energizing and has narcotic properties. i had an ethical dilemma being a nurse, but when i received a letter of termination from my longstanding per-diem job, all bets were off. i visited the medical marijuana clinic the next day, toting my medical history. the doctor took a great deal of time with me, and i was approved. from there i went to the dispensary and purchased a small amount of medicine to give it a trial.

i immediately found that if i took a puff at breakfast, i did't have to take my first pain med dose until sometimes 11am, or so. i felt more social and sought out friends, where i was previously despondent and isolative. my hired caregivers noticed a big change. i would help folding laundry, and walk frequently with my walker. i generally took 2 puffs/ day and would stay away from it at night, as this strain was activating.

my husband was totally opposed initially, but when he saw the change, he came around.

we moved to arizona in december, and i am scheduled for the spinal fusion on march 3rd. i spoke with a medical marijuana clinic here just yesterday, and will see them tomorrow. i know it works to help me with all the facets of chronic pain- physical and psychological.

it's approved for medicinal use for a reason- it works. i hope this was helpful.

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hello,
i hope you are well.
hope that you have less pain today.
god bless.
ray

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to: upanddown & bassetmommy....i totally agree with you both....i asked one pain management if they gave the prescription and they said "no, BUT".. they wish they could because they agreed on how it so helped with the pain and helping the body to relax which in turn helps the pain subside...i do feel that there should be an age limit and also not given to just anyone....thanks for the discussion...
wishing everyone a peaceful night....spiralfall

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I am on Marinol. It was prescribed by my pain management doctor. The fentanyl patch make me violently vomit and the marinol helps with the nausea and the pain.
http://www.themarinol.com/marinol-dosage/marijuana-vs-marinol.php

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hi upanddown
just ray wanted to say hello.
hope you are well.
praying for you.
ray.

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Hi Ray,
I've been better. Knowing I'm going to get worse is hard to wrap my head around, especially when some days, I just can't function.
I started gathering the paperwork for disability, and to be honest, I can't concentrate long enough to even get it organized. I ended up putting it all in a pile, and went to bed in tears. Sitting is what hurts the most, and the longer I sit there, the worse I hurt, until I get to the point I can't think straight. (The meds don't help, I feel like I'm clawing my way through a fog.) I keep telling myself, one step at a time, but I don't know what the first step is.
My surgeon told me that there's nothing he can do and that the pain will continue to get worse. Some days, Ray, I can't imagine worse pain than what I'm already feeling. I've already been down this road before my lumbar was fused, but to have that plus my c-spine already fused, then add my thoracic spine and its 5 ruptured discs on top of it...it's overwhelming, and I'm scared. I feel like I've been given a death sentence, death by pain.
As you can tell, I'm in a pretty dark place. There's no light at the end of the tunnel on this one. I do have some good (ish) days, they're not all doom and gloom, but I can't get out much anymore. I'm even trying to figure out how to get to the Dr. (which is the only place I go outside of my own home) laying on my back, as it's the only position which takes the pressure off the thoracic discs. I can sit in a recliner, but not for more than an hour or so in the morning, then I have to move to the couch, and eventually the bed. I don't know how much longer it'll be before that's the ONLY position I can be in. I don't know what I'll do when laying on my back no longer brings relief. I guess it'll mean I'll be back on hydromorphone. (Told you I was in a dark place.) I know the reason for these feelings of doom are stemming from fear, I just can't seem to break the cycle, and running from my feelings never have worked, they catch up eventually. I would go to counseling, but that means having to sit upright in a car for at least 2 1/2 hours round trip. I'd be in so much pain by the time I got there, I wouldn't be able to put a sentence together. However, there may be a couch in the counselors office. (I can hear me now, making an appointment, saying, " Before I make this appointment, do you have a couch? And I need at least an hour long appointment so I can lay on it long enough to be able to make the ride home.") I say "ride" because my driving days are over, and as a result, I've lost my independence.
I'm sorry, Ray, for harping on, and the "poor me" attitude. I usually don't post when I feel like this, but I wanted you to know that I'm still here, and it was good to see that you still pop in. Who knew, after all this time, we'd still be here.
Enough about me. How are you doing old friend? Did you get approved for disability? Last time you posted, you said you'd found better pain management, is that still working well for you? Also, did the counseling work for you? Let me know how you're doing, Ray. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

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Ray,
Thank you for posting. I don't think we're alone in our thinking. I believe it's part of the process. We have lost a lot, and grief, anger, hopelessness, lethargy, denial, and eventually, acceptance (I'm sure there are more emotions, but I can't think of them at the moment), are all part of healing the spirit.
We've learned, over a lifetime, to plan for tomorrow, to think and live in the future, using our past experiences to guide our actions. We very rarely live in the moment, we tend to leave that behind with our childhood. So it's no wonder we have trouble taking one day, or one moment at a time, we've forgotten how to live that way. It took us decades to get to this point, I think we should give ourselves some latitude here and allow ourselves the time to learn how to think and live differently.
There's a site on the internet called NeuroTalk. There are forums for everything from migraines, to spine, to plain old support. There's live real-time chat rooms as well. You have to post at least 5 times before you can enter a chat room (I've posted 3 times I think), but it might help with the feelings of isolation, and might be a good place to find some support. There always seems to be someone in the chat rooms. It's a little confusing to navigate, but just like anything, practice makes progress. I'm new to the site, and haven't found my way around it yet, but I keep going back there, because I think it will help. And sometimes, helping someone else, actually helps you more.
I haven't been able to find any support groups locally either. I don't even drink that much which means AA isn't even an option. What a mess.
I know neither of us has given up, because we're still searching for ways to help us cope. We CAN do this you know, just not alone. People need people, and when you search, you almost always find. We have to keep searching for that which will help make this road a little easier to travel. And we both BELIEVE it's there, Ray, because we're both still breathing. I for one haven't gone through all of this, just to give up. That, my friend, is bullsh*t. So we keep on keeping on. We're not alone, Ray. Even if it means joining an online support group (real time is best) because we can't get out, or there isn't one locally, then that's what we do.
Thank you, for the honesty of your post. There's been lots of times when someone else has posted what I was thinking or feeling. Just goes to show how NOT alone we are.
Keep posting, Ray, I bet I'm not the only person who reads them. Hang in there, and let me know what's going on and how you're doing. Take care,
Janet.

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Good advice.
Thank you.
Ray

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I have been struggling with chronic back pain for several years now. I know first hand what it is like to wake up every morning in severe PAIN and wanting it to go away any way possible! Over the past 10 plus years now I have been taking more and more methadone and percocet as my tolerance has increased. I have also tried accupuncture, Chinese Medecine, massage, chiropractic, meditation, physical therapy, prayer, and just about every thing out there one might expect with no luck!!!
I am in a 12 step program an have been sucessfull with them for over 10 years now. So getting high or stoned is out of the question for me. I live in Washington state and when they legalized medical marijuana for chronic pain I started researching everything I could find out about it. I had to get over alot of preconcevied ideas I had about the plant. After all I had spent 26 years in the US Navy riding submarines and working on both nuclear and conventional weapons so as far as the US Navy and I was concerened any drug use was lets say a BOZO No No!
I discovered that there are several strains of marijuana that are available to relieve pain without getting you high. I met with a Naturopathic doctor and she explained that I needed to get a strain that was high in CBD's and low in THC to take care of my pain. I also have COPD so smoking marijuana was out for me. So she told me to use a tincture that is placed under my tongue and it will do the trick.
So far I'm happy to report that I have been able almost stop taking any narcotics to relieve my pain. I just wish that I could get my insurance to pay for my natural pain meds!!!

Have a great day!

Joe

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Joe, could you help with a few more details please? I have been reading all I can about this!!! What is the plants name you found that works? Dose? How exactly do you take it and how much? How often? Please tell me any side affects you have like sleepiness or wanting to eat? I'm on 100mlg morphine a day and take loratab 10/500 several times a day and its not doing anything but scratch the surface I also take ambien for sleep

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Hi Janet.
I'm still here. Oh.... Well not must has changed.
Rain has been killing me. Wish there was something to do.
Been trying to stay busy doing the small things I can here.
One of my aunts came in and I'm not found of her.
Course she starts the drama. Then leaves. My Counslor doesn't
Know what to think. I'm surounded here with so much
Depressed people he has a hard time coming up with answers.
My mom is sick and very depressed. My sister that comes up her life is
In a nose dive. He's hoping if and when I get my SSDI
I can find a nice quiet place. And in hopes I'll get better because.
I'll have the chance to make my surroundings possative.
I'm doing my best to hang in here. I promised myself if I find a nice little place.
That I will stay single for the remander of my days. And that I will do
All I can to improve my life. In spirit health and over all well being.
Good things are a head. :) I hope you are doing well.
We both were in bad ruts the last we talked. And I wanted to ask.
Do you have a spouse helping you threw all this? You don't have to answer.
Just nicer when you have the support from another.
I hope and pray you are well.
Your in my prayers.
Keep my eye out for you.
Ray.

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Ray,
Yes, I do have a spouse. He's amazing (he'd have to be to stick with me through all this, but I would do the same for him). We've been married for 33yrs (I was 17 when we tied the knot). He's never doubted me, even after my 1st injury, when the w/comp Dr.'s said there was nothing wrong with me and kept sending back to work, he demanded they run some tests...and of course, two weeks after the tests were run, I had my 1st surgery. (We figured if we both survived the raising of teenagers, we could survive this!) I can't tell you what it means to have someone who never doubts you, and is there every step of the way.
If you can hang in there until your SSDI comes through, I agree you'll be in a much better place as you'll be able to control your surroundings a little better. It's hard to beat depression when you're surrounded by depressed people. It's just one more thing added to the list of things we have to overcome. But yes, it'll be easier for you when you have a place of your own. Not easy...but easier.
Cold weather (and snow) is just around the corner and you'll be able to get out with your dogs. Hopefully, that'll help lift your spirits too.
Don't lose touch, I'll keep an eye out for your posts. I figure, if we've come this far, we can make it the rest of the way. We may stumble and fall every once in a while, but we get back up, just like we've been doing.
:)

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Hi...
Thanks for the post.
I hope you are having a good day.
Been praying for you.
If you get a chance. Nurse Nancy is in need.
This weather ahhhhhh ... Killing me.
I just took a fair amount of pain meds.
Have to say ..... I feel really nice right now :)
But write me. Let me know how you are.
I pray you are doing well.
God bless you.
Ray

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hello janet
wanted to see how you have been.
its been crazy here, day before me birthday my brother in law shot him self.
he took my sisters 38 put it to his stumach and puled the trigger in front of her and my nephew.
he is lucky. nicked his small intestance and thats it as far as i know.
went strate threw him.
i was so pist. he's healthy and here i am with a mess of a back.
i prayed hard for him that night.
seems everything is going out of control.
i haven't been sleeping so good at night lately.
i was counting the days to see my counslor.
i'm at the point i don't know what else to talk to him about.
i swear he has to think my life is a living soap you would see on tv.
for the most part i'm doing ok.
just the same every day control the pain.
get out and try to walk a bit.
trying to go see some people i haven't visited in a while..
reading a new book about the bible.
trying to teach my self to stop thinking and when i do to leave it to god and just stop.
its hard but trying.lol
tried to reach my oldest daughter to wish her a happy 17th birthday but couldn't reach her.
i haven't seen her in a long time.
i miss both my children.
i'm happy to see winter is just around the bend. : )
seen some gease leaveing for the south.
its going to be a early winter.
i have been praying for you as well as nurse nancy.
i hope the good lord is easeing the pain for you both.
i keep everyone in mind in my prayers.
well i hope all is well there.
god bless you.
ray.

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Hi, I live in Washington State but was told that it would break my drug contract if I tried marijuana. I am on 20mg of methadone 2x day and 100mg lyrica 3x day. I guess it's better to blow out my liver! I ave had all the treatments out there plus surgery that made the pain worse. Had to retire my nursing license and spend my time trying to find that one treatment that would at least lessen the pain. I had a T4/L2 fusion at 16, then fine until 92 when I woke feeling like I stepped on a rock and by the end of my shift I had severe lower back and left leg sciatica pain. Here I am, in 2013, still repeating the treatments that I had already had. I now have diminished bowel sensation but I'm not sure if that's because I have a bladder prolapse and have no pelvic floor left. I have had a repair of that but had what my doc termed as The Three Musketeer's! My bladder, bowel and cervix's had tried to escape my body.haha. Well, the surgery did kind of work since I had a total hysterectomy and my bowels stayed put. Just another operation to recover from I guess. Could be worse. ( my favorite thing to say!!!) I could be really butt ugly!! It doesn't help getting a date. Here I am all hunched over, my body turning toward the left and my bladder falling out! Not dating material. I was married for 20 years but he told me he didn't want to be married to someone disabled. Later he said that he was just being mean. Wow, what a catch!! I wake up every morning alone and think..."What a lucky woman I am!" See, it could be worse!!!

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I know that MMJ is becoming recognized in more and more states. The research is increasingly showing that it has medicinal properties; especially with epilepsy. There are many, many more benefits that are coming to light. Time will tell.
In my humble opinion, because I have severe chronic pain on a daily basis; medical management is necessary. And my doctors would fire me as a patient because of the need for strong narcotics to manage my pain. So I don't use it at all.
I am not saying that pot isn't good. I am saying that because I am under a doctor's care; I am liable to be only taking what is prescribed for my pain. If I violate my agreement with my doctor-I will be fired. I absolutely need meds for intractable pain.
Who doesn't want to feel good?
Because we are free citizens of the USA; we should be able to make choices for ourselves....
It may help others who don't have contracts with pain management.
I would never risk loosing my doctors care.

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Works GREAT for major back spasms UNTIL you pee in the cup.

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Hi...im new to this and have been suffering from stenosis and degenerative disease for 30 yrs. The past 6 mos. The pain has become excrutiating and has left me imobile. Mayo clinic spine center is currently trying to come up with a procedure. It looks bleak I wasnt able to complete an EMG due to pain. drs are unable to isolate which nerves are compressed with 5 vertabrae affected. Pot does give me some relief but does not relieve pain in walking. I am also not a fan of opiates for pain relief and hope I never have to experience the suffering of the severe withdrawls of being addicted to them again. I believe pot in combination with other alternative and conventional methods may provide a solution to my pain management. Its apparent "big pharma"is doing all it can to demonize pot and its a shame that modern medicine in this country is obstructed in being inclusive in pain management. I have my research cut out for me and will keep you posted on results.

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Hi Janet
I just wanted to say hello and was wondering how you are?
Haven't heard from you in some time.
Hope you are ok.
In my prayers.
Ray

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Hi I live in ireland. Where marajuana is illegal? I have heard of. Few people going to Holland for long weekends, having a good smoke and getting relief for few months. Wonder could you get medicinal tabs there? I have chronic pain for 23yrs from back surgery, Fibro, IBS, and recent cervical fusion which was successful but shoulder and neck spasm quite debilitating. Scores 6 where previously I was 12!!!!! Off the scale. Thx for listening

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Hi all,
I am recent to this site. I am having trouble coping with severe lumbar pain and nerve pain down my legs from DDD L3-S1 and failed surgery at L5-S1. The pain is so bad that I cannot think or perform basic tasks sometimes. I am miserable practically every waking hour. Here are my thoughts on cannabis for back pain and chronic pain:

1. There is not one documented death from a cannabis overdose (not 1!)

2. Cannabis is not chemically addictive. While some people report mild withdrawal symptoms, I have not experienced any. The use of ANY substance has the potential to be abused. Talk to your physician about whether you have risk factors.

3. Is cannabis effective for treating pain? Yes. Cannabis is effective for treating pain in a variety of ways:
a. it does 'kill' pain somewhat similar to the effect of an opioid, but it is not as strong as an opioid is this category. Cannabis is effective for nerve pain, the worst type of pain I have ever experienced. I find opioids to be rather ineffective for severe nerve pain.
b. it is an excellent muscle relaxer. Relax the muscles and the anatomical structures of the spine move better and the nerves are less likely to get trapped. When my back 'locks up' on me, I go get cannabis. It works better than any pharmacological muscle relaxer.
c. it changes your perception of the pain. (Opioids do this as well, but their mechanism of action is different.) While cannabis might kill some of the pain similar to an opioid, the majority of my pain relief is from perceptual changes. The pain seems like it's "over there...." or may not seem as intense.
d. Cannabis can enhance mood and make you more social (instead of crying on the couch or on the floor for hours in pain, I notice that I am doing the dishes or making jokes with my boyfriend. I am more like myself.
e. Cannabis is an effective sleep aid. With even stubborn pain, cannabis can allow me to get some needed rest. (Indica strains are better for sleep, nerve pain, and muscle spams.)

Every person will respond differently to cannabis. There are 300+ active compounds in cannabis (THC being the most well-known) and a varied selection of strains.

The Cons:
1. You cannot take it at work or while operating machinery. (There are tinctures that have little to no THC but are high in the non-psychoactive compound CBD, which is the compound thought to help people with seizures. CBDs have a calming effect in the CNS.

Please talk to your physician before adding medical cannabis to your therapy. Peace
T

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