My First Medical Marijuana Haul

My First Medical Marijuana Haul

by Donna Gregory Burch

donnasnowday

Donna Gregory Burch

I was about a year into my fibromyalgia diagnosis when I figured out the typical drugs – Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin and the like – weren’t going to be the answer for me. Since then, I’ve been on a journey of trying different treatments in an effort to stop the pain. Some have helped; most have not.

Throughout my search, there was always one treatment that I held out as my last resort: medical marijuana.

I’m not anti-marijuana. I smoked my share of it in college and always supported legalization. My reservations centered more around my hubby. As a former law enforcement officer, he didn’t really approve of his wife smoking pot. He was worried I would turn into a stoner, eating chips and watching soap operas all day.

By the time I applied for my medical marijuana license earlier this year, the usual fibro drugs had failed me. I’d spent hundreds of dollars on supplements and products that gave modest relief or none at all. I’d overhauled my diet, cutting out gluten, sugar and most dairy – again, with partial success. Given the current political environment, opioids weren’t an option for me.

In September, I received my medical marijuana card from the state of Delaware. My first trip to the local dispensary was surreal. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was greeted with the skunky smell so familiar from my early adulthood. Entering the dispensary is probably a little like visiting someone in jail. I was required to show multiple IDs, leave most of my personal belongings in the car, and was buzzed through two sets of locked doors manned by security guards. When I finally made it into the lobby, two things stood out to me: First, it was odd to see and smell cannabis and its related paraphernalia as law enforcement officers stood nearby. There were several cases filled with pot paraphernalia – bongs, pipes and even slow cookers for making cannabis butter. There was a large-screen TV on the wall, advertising that day’s available strains. Behind the sales counter were racks where the product was kept. It was all very professional, but it felt like a dream. Was I seriously getting ready to buy pot legally?

Secondly, the lobby was noisy. Strangers were actually talking to each other because no cell phones are allowed inside the dispensary. One customer was explaining how to make cannabis gummy bears. Others were discussing changes that needed to be made in Delaware’s medical marijuana law. I had forgotten what it was like when people didn’t have their heads buried in their phones.

I overheard one customer say, “Man, ain’t nobody want that Jet Fuel or AC/DC stuff. That stuff don’t do nothing!” Funny thing was I was there to buy those particular strains because they contain higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 85 cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. Most people are familiar with CBD’s family member, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that gives marijuana users a pleasant (at least to some people) high when they smoke it. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high. Some tout it as a great alternative for people who are seeking the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but don’t want the stoner effect.

And then, my name was called, and it was my turn to go up to the sales counter. Kevin, my customer service rep, was a long-time stoner, and for that, I was grateful. I had no idea what to ask for, other than I sort of knew I wanted to try cannabis oil, and I also wanted something to help my sleep.

With Kevin’s guidance, I ended up purchasing the following items – my first medical marijuana haul:

  • AC/DC tincture in grain alcohol 1 oz. ($55) – I’ve used hemp CBD oil off and on for about a year with decent results for pain relief, but I’d been told over and over that cannabis oil’s pain-relieving benefits were far superior to hemp, so I was pretty excited to try this. AC/DC contains a 20:1 ratio of CBD:THC, so it does not cause a high. I’ve been dosing around six drops every six hours, on and off, for about two months now. I can’t say that it works any better than the hemp oil I used, but I’m still playing with my dosage, and I admit I need to be more consistent about using it. I also wish the dispensary would use a coconut-oil base instead of the grain alcohol because it stings the heck out of my mouth. The dispensary sells another cannabis oil product that’s coconut based, so I will try that next time.
  • Preloaded Vaporizer Cartridge 565 mg ($60) + Vaporizer Pen Set ($20) – For sleep, Kevin recommended a preloaded vaporizer cartridge containing a liquid mix of different cannabis strains. I don’t feel comfortable smoking pot anymore because I’m worried about developing lung cancer. My mother died of lung cancer, I’m a former smoker, and genetic testing indicated I’m at elevated risk for lung cancer. I decided to try the vape pen/cartridge combo because vaping is supposed to be gentler on the lungs. I’ve been using the preloaded vape pen at night before bed. Because it contains more THC, it definitely makes me woozy. One night, it took me five minutes to figure out how to put my shirt on because I couldn’t find the arm holes. When I told one of my girlfriends that, she looked at me alarmed. I had to explain that was a good thing! It meant I wasn’t thinking about my pain! I have used the preloaded vape pen a few times during the day when my pain gets intense, but I can’t do that every day because it gives me the munchies and then puts me to sleep. As for pain, it seems to work similar to how I feel on Tramadol: It puts a buffer between the pain and my brain. The pain is still there; I just don’t care about it. As for sleep, I do fall asleep quickly when I use it, but it hasn’t lessened the number of times that I wake up during the night. I’m still up about every three hours or so. I was hoping cannabis would zonk me out so I could get a full night’s rest. I’m still looking for a strain to do that.

I wasn’t overjoyed with the results of my first two products, so I returned to the dispensary the following week and purchased the following:

  • Rick Simpson Oil Sleep Salve 50mg ($10) – A fellow customer raved about how his wife used this for her joint pain. Since I’m a sucker for any pain-relieving cream, I had to try it. The salve consists of Rick Simpson Oil, lavender, vitamin E, aloe gel, beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and some essential oils. It comes in a small container, so it’s best for localized areas, like the knees or hands. I’ve used up most of the container, and although I love the smell, I haven’t seen any benefit from it.
  • Jet Fuel 1 gram ($13.50) – I was most excited about trying this strain because it contains an equal ratio of CBD:THC. It still causes a high, but it’s more of a body high, meaning most of the stoned feeling is centered in my body instead of my brain. My mind remains pretty clear. I’m still experimenting with dosage, but I think it would be possible to use this during the day in very small amounts and still be able to function and work.
  • Alchemist 1 gram ($16) – Of all the strains I’ve tried, I like this one the best. It’s recommended for pain and sleep, and it definitely does that. It’s a THC-based strain, but the high is very soft and mellow, and it’s good at blocking pain.
  • Small glass bong ($16) – I let Kevin upsell me on a small glass bong. He said there’s no evidence that marijuana causes lung cancer, but a subsequent Google search told me the jury is still out on that. I did use the bong once. It felt like I was going to singe my eyebrows, and I’m still concerned about the cancer risk, so it’s tucked away in a basket where it’ll probably never be used again. I have buyer’s remorse.

I made one online purchase:

  • Atmos Jump – I invested in a refillable vaporizer for dry herb. (The other vaporizer I bought only fits the dispensary’s preloaded cartridges.) After some research, I settled on the Atmos Jump ($45 via Groupon) because it’s relatively small (about the size of a cigar) and it got good reviews. I usually step out on my porch at night to vape before bed, so I wanted something that was easy to grab and use. It’s working well so far.

Final thoughts

I was pretty excited to start my medical marijuana journey because so many fibromyalgia sufferers have good results with it. It’s not the cure-all that I was hoping for, but it is helpful. I had hoped the cannabinoids in the cannabis would kill the pain over time. That hasn’t been my experience yet. Yes, it dulls the pain, but it does it by creating a hazy barrier between me and the pain; it doesn’t actually make the pain stop.

I’m still experimenting with how to incorporate cannabis into my day-to-day life. I frequently use it at night to relax or to help with sleep, but I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate it into my daytime hours and still be able to function. I am still finding my way.

So now it’s your turn…Have you tried medical marijuana for fibromyalgia? Did it help? Is there a particular strain you would recommend for pain and/or sleep?

Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Donna Gregory Burch

There are 28 comments for this article
  1. Tim Mason at 5:40 am

    I don’t think medical marijuana will be prescribed for a patient that has a job that in doing that job could endanger others. Of course there are surgeons, attorneys, accountants for corporations, chemical workers that do polymerization reactions of 20,000 lbs size. I would not want a surgeon operating on me that just had his or her dose of mj for pain. I would not want my attorney losing my case in which I might be sued or spend time in prison because he could not think clearly during his/her work.
    Marijuana may perhaps be used for retired persons or people that are temporally off work on short term disability etc.
    Pre employment drug screens are still used and those testing positive are not hired for any job.
    I don’t see much difference in showing up to work with a blood alcohol level of 0.2 or just having taken two hits of a potent strand of cannabis.

    I do think it should be allowed for recreational use much like alcohol is used today.

  2. Heather at 6:16 am

    Great article and info. Florida just passed so waiting to see how this plays out. We already have the 5 dispensaries throughout the state but now legislature has to pass it. Someone mentioned KRATOM. It does work great as well. I tried it awhile back but no longer use it. But I was rarely taking pain meds when I took it and got off of my Ambien and Ativan and still off. I still take pain meds and follow pain management for myany diagnosis. But it is legal in most states. Check first though. PABotanicals has one called fibroblend and works great. There are different strands and it is natural as well from coffee trees in Asia. Its the leaves. Red is for bed. Green is medium and take during the day mix a little with fibroblend and gives you energy and mental clarity. Last about 5 hours or more. I was really skeptical but it really worked. So can’t wait for MMJ to go thru here.

  3. John S at 9:43 pm

    To: Dr John Quintner, Consultant Physician in Rheumatology and Pain Medicine (retired)

    Dr. Quintner, I read the article from the link you posted and followed up on the study it references. In that study it makes a claim that Marijuana KILLS Brain cells. I believe you are worried that Pain patients that use Pot to treat our pain will pay a higher price by using it.

    Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I was blasted with the ”This is your brain – This is your brain on drugs ! Honestly I didn’t think they meant Marijuana. I used it during my formative years along with my peers on a regular basis.

    Marijuana has been around forever and used for a large number of medical problems. I know its not a real study when millions of people claim that it works or helps with their pain – just like its not a real study when millions of Chronic Pain Patients claim Opiates do help with pain control when used over a long period of time or years.

    In the 2015 ”Journal of Neuroscience” research proved that Cannabis does not kill brain cells. The article went on to say that Cannabinoids in Marijuana may actually help to rebuild damaged cells. I found that the older studies made the claim – it kills brain cells – I found that the most recent articles about studies done, show the opposite – it does not kill brain cells.

    When I was in the 9th grade I was given an IQ test and another when I was in 12th grade. I was told my IQ was in fact 2 to 4 points higher than the first test.

    Dr. Quintner, thank you very much for your contribution and the help you have provided the pain patients you treated. Me, I’m not in a position to use medical marijuana, but when Pa. opens their dispensaries in 2018, I will be giving marijuana a test run, with the hope that the plant will help me to suffer less.

    Thank you,

    John S

  4. connie at 7:23 pm

    I keep hearing that cbd oil is legal in all 50 states yet when my sister tried to order it she was told it couldn’t be shipped to her. She lives in Atlanta Georgia.

  5. Lynne Zaun at 10:02 am

    Have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, reading all this I am past confused . Super sensitive to everything….Florida just passed medical Marijuana law……but from what I am reading CBD oil is legal in all states. Is there a good site for beginners.

  6. Deb D at 2:24 pm

    I am glad to hear you are taking more control of your health. After years of using “the usual” stuff for my fibro, I switched to medical cannabis about 3 years ago. Several things here. If using an alcohol based tincture, thin it with a tiny bit of soda or even water so that the mouth sting is reduced. You do want to “swish” for 20 to 30 seconds to allow absorption into the oral tissues. Alcohol is a far more effective solvent to process the cannabis than is oil or glycerin. As for varieties, you will have to try several. For pain relief without a big high, try Harlequin or Cannatonic. Both high CBD. I grew some Harlequin this season (we live in Oregon) and the resulting tincture is very helpful. For sleep, as other posters noted, use an oral preparation for long results (preferably a high percentage indica). One of the dispensaries in our area is making rectal suppositories for sleep that get rave reviews. Also, be aware that your brain’s pain receptors will build some tolerance to whatever you are using. Most docs recommend a one to two week “vacation” every 4 to 6 months to allow the receptors to clear themselves. If your pain level makes that impractical, try using different strains in an alternating pattern. Generally, sativas are more “energetic” and indica is more sleep inducing or relaxing. For myself (and husband post 5 back surgeries) cannabis has given us our lives back. No more monthly pain doc visits, pill counts, pee tests, and lies. I can grow my very own choices and know that I am very unlikely to harm myself. We cannot control what the DEA will do, and I am tired of pretending that doctors will stand up for their patients. I can control how I use cannabis and get on with my life. Also, I have told ALL of my physicians that I use cannabis and it has allowed me to completely quit a benzodiazipine, a sleeping pill, and one doc was supportive, the others have been neutral, but NOT ONE has disapproved of it. Good luck.

  7. Diane Zimmers at 11:28 am

    CBD oil is legal in all 50 states. I recently purchased a bottle on Amazon. It has worked wonderfully for me. I take 4 drops under my tongue 3 times a day and it has reduced my pain and nausea. There is no THC in it and it has a nice peppermint flavor. It has made my life so much better. I am not stiff anymore and I can move without pain.

  8. John S at 7:33 pm

    Great informative article and a warning to all of us; learn as much as we can about medical marijuana and its components. Marijuana today is nothing like it was back in the 70s,80s and so on. MM has much more to offer ( I hope ) compared to Opiate pain medication. With all the different strains along with bi-products I truly pray that there is a combination that I can find that will work for me.

    What’s nice is, (as far as I know) – you can try what you want, the Dr. doesn’t give you a prescription for “Sour Diesel – 3 hits – 3 x a day with milk”. As a pain patient that is able to use Medical Marijuana you have the freedom to use what works for the pain, muscle spasm, anxiety or sleep – wow – maybe one strain will handle all those symptoms for you. It puts the Ball in our hands on our court and gives us the power to find what will help the best.

    If only Pennsylvania wasn’t 2 years away from opening a dispensary.

  9. Mona Twocats-Romero at 2:55 pm

    I have two comments to follow up on others’ advice. First, I am not sure why people continue to worry about lung cancer when this has really been disproven in the last few years. The last big study that was completed showed that cannabis has a protective effect against lung cancer and COPD in cigarette smokers and NO increased incidence of any lung diseases from heavy, long-term use. Second, if you are only using high CBD strains, please for the love of god try a couple of high THC strains and see if they work better for you. High CDB and THC is best for pain relief.

  10. Laura P Schulman at 1:16 pm

    That’s ironic, that you can take something as potent as fentanyl no prob, but the guvvy gets twitchy about mmj, which no one has ever died from.

  11. Sandra at 1:14 pm

    I also recommend kratom, it helps me moe than cbd oil. All of it cost too much, but my nerve pain was so bad. I am taking less than the ideal amount due to cost of everything. Good luck. I am just in the process of getting a mmj card, meanwhile I will use the kratom which is legal, although for how long who knows.

  12. Laura P Schulman at 1:13 pm

    Holy mackerel! You mean now people who get treatment for their depression are being denied their right to bear arms?

    I lost a good friend and colleague because he was afraid to get his depression treated for fear of losing his job. He shot himself instead.

    When I was in a similar situation, I got treatment, but paid for it out of pocket so it didn’t show up on my records. Now that pharmacy records are accessible to all sorts of agencies (so much for privacy😠), that might be a little harder but not impossible.

    Please don’t take chances with your life. Figure out a way to get treatment for your depression so you can still carry, and still live!

  13. Gail at 10:05 am

    I have always been really sensitive to marijuana, and was never a user in the past. However after exhausting the pharmaceuticals, I tried Charlottes Web. It is high CDB hemp oil I ordered online. That helped my mood and energy so much for the first few months. Then it no longer had that effect, so now I combine it with a tiny amounts of 1:1 CDB THC tincture from the dispensary. That is helping me maintain my energy and mood. I take my concoction every 2 hours or so. I still need to figure out how to deal with all the annoying alloy is and neuropathic pain.

    I also made a balm from Trader Joes healing salve mixed with Girl Scout cookies tincture that my husband made. It is great for joint and muscle pain! ( scoop out the TJ’s salve and melt it, then stir in 1 ounce Weed tincture. Return the mixture to the TJ’s tin, and it will solidify )
    I am a parent and have a little job as well, so I can’t be stoned all day. The weed out there now is SO potent! I wish there was a standard dosing measurement .

  14. Tim Mason at 9:59 am

    I have to stick to Fentanyl for now. I really don’t like the high feeling everyday. I still work as a research chemist and purchase substances that are on the DEA watch list. (different solvents, chemical intermediates, etc.).
    If I did not work or was retired I would not worry about it.
    I plan to retire to SW Colorado where my daughter and granddaughter live.

  15. Laura P Schulman at 7:47 am

    The best strain I’ve found so far for nighttime comfort is Sweet and Sour Widow. Another is Harle Tzu. My all time favorite for pain and sleep is Mazar. It’s higher THC than SSW and Harle, but the high is warm and fuzzy and long lasting.

    Since inhaled cannabis goes away after a couple of hours, I use an edible preparation at night. I make cookies or something using canna oil that I make myself. Find out how on Leafly. Since ingested cannabis lasts for up to 12 hours, you should be able to get a decent night out of this. Just be sure your stash of edibles is kept secure in the freezer. If there’s any chance someone else might access your medicinal cookies, store them in a cash box with a lock.

    If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you download the Leafly app. It will help you sort through the strains to find the best ones for your needs. You’ll learn a lot!

    If you can find a naturopath who specializes in helping people use cannabis as medicine, s/he can guide you through this maze. It can be overwhelming at first!

    Wishing you blessed relief!

  16. Stephen M at 7:47 am

    If the author reads this, consider trying a high CBN oil for sleep. It shouldn’t be diluted if at all possible. Then eat that oil about 30 minutes before before. When you eat the oil, it lasts longer and helps you sleep.

    If you like vaping, consider the Linx Hypnos Zero. It uses a ceramic plate that heats cannabis oil more gently. I bought one because I have lung problems and it is so much better than the coil and wick ones.

    CBN is the byproduct of THC degradation. 5mg of CBN is equipotent to 10mg Valium, but without the addictive potential.

    Also, I don’t know Delaware’s rules, but you should consider trying edibles too. There’s no way to know what will work for you until you try it.

  17. Kathy Malles-overcast at 7:45 am

    Donna, Thank you for sharing your story. I too have fibromyalgia, “sever” fibro, 18 out of 18 trigger points active, I also have numerous other issues that cause chronic pain, including OA and RA, chronic fatigue, spinal stenosis, a screwed up back from both overuse and and accident at work, and I have had most of these disorders for 17 years, I have tried all the fibro medicines, every supplement I could find that might help and have been on opioids for years, but have always searched for some other alternative to the opioids. I highly recommend the only thing out of all the things I’ve tried that worked was Kratom, kratom is not and opioid but a natural plant from thailand that works on the brains natural opioid receptors. It is about as addictive as coffee, and is actually a member of the coffee family You will fiind much information online about kratom, some of that information is biased some is not. I have been using kratom for a little more than 2 years and it has been a lifesaver for me. recently the DEA tried to ban kratom and list it as a schedule 1 drug, it is not a drug, and it is not dangerous like the DEA is trying to say the only reason they are doing this is because they are in big pharma’s pocket. Kratom takes away my pain, it does not mess with my head and has even worked better for me than opioids have worked, but it is up in the air as far as if the DEA is going to ban it in the future. When they tried to ban it, the kratom community became outraged and fought back and so for now the ban has been stopped, there are a couple of states that have made kratom illegal, but I don’t think Delaware is one of them. I highly suggest you look into kratom. I can refer you to a facebook site where kratom community can educate you on the thousands and thousands of people who use kratom everyday for many different pain disorders and other chronic issues, let me know if you are interested, but first research if your state is legal for kratom , I know one of the states is north carolina, not sure of the other 3 that it is illegal in. Some biased information will tell you kratom gets you high, it has never gotten me high, that is why I prefer it over opioids, my head remains clear. It is pretty much impossible to overdose on, at least to the point of respiratory depression or death because if you happen to do to much of it, it will make you sick to your stomach and your body will reject it and you will throw up, before it is possible to ever OD and die from or anything. This herb can be taken in capsules of made into a tea.It has helped me so much I don’t know what I will do if the DEA bans it, I don’t want to go back to using all the opioid medication I was having to use before I found kratom. It can be bought online, but you have to be careful, because there are some dubious vendors out there who will taint it with other synthetic substances, to give people a “buzz” or make them sick, they do this to up their sales to people looking for a “high” on the kratom facebook group I mentioned above there are available vendors who have been vetted by the admin of the group and they only sell pure kratom that has not been tainted and that will not rip you off. Like I said kratom has helped thousands of people and I swear by it, fibromyalgia is one of the number 1 disorders that kratom works well for. Just thought I’d share this with you, because I know how hard it is to live with the pain and other issues of fibro. Good luck to you.

  18. Derek at 7:23 am

    I too had much hope on MM. Before trying it I’d been on the usual suspects: Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella, Gabapentin, Tramadol, Morphine, muscle relaxants, etc. Some helped a bit, but the side effects killed what little benefit I’d get.

    Much like yourself, I thought MM would be a cure-all, and was disappointed. I’ve had the most luck making my own lotion. High CBD tincture with some essential oils mixed in a lotion base. I rub this on my shoulders and back with more success than compounded pain creams. One dispensary I visit has an ultra high 20:1CBD tincture that tastes horrible but actually works well for pain. however, it costs $150/week!

    As for vaping, I have Asthma, so I struggle quite a bit. At night I use a high THC pen and I have some high CBD ones for the day. I’m not very consistent during the day, but the night vaping has allowed me to stop talking Clonazepam and Flexeril at night, so that is quite a success.

    For me, the jury is still out as I’m not sure I take the right stuff at the right time. However, as I write this I’m realizing that I’m having many more successes than failures. I think we need more research and for doctors to make recommendations. You just can’t trust the Kevin’s know what pain patients need just because they’ve been smoking pot for years!

    My advice to those new to MM is to find others in the Odin community for help and find dispensary’s that focus on MM not recreational, as the latter tend to focus on getting high and don’t carry the variety of high CBD items we in pain need.

    Best of luck to you all!

  19. Angel at 7:21 am

    You need to use a low CBD strain high THC Sativa. Yes that’s exactly the opposite they say for pain patients but after my pain doc forced the issue of med marihuana it’s the only type that’s helped. If you can find “Girl Scout cookies” or any other strain with cookies in the name you will have better success. Anywho I felt the exact same things you have gone through with it. The only type that works is the literal opposite of what the experts claim we need. Low CBD and Sativa not indica. Best wishes.

  20. MG at 6:30 am

    I don’t think I have fibromyalgia because doctors have basically decided long ago there is no need to pin down the source of my neuropathic pain which has changed greatly over my twenty five years of chronic pain but I hope you don’t mind me chiming in.

    I’m in NYS and only have the choice of tincture, vapor and now a pill form which I have not tried. The tincture was not helpful and cost me close to 300 dollars a month for two vials.

    Then I switched to two vaporizer cartridges which contains 0.4 mL of 20-1 THC each which costs my wife 140 dollars a month. The vapor has helped with my spasms and sleep but really does nothing for the pain itself. I only use it at night since being disabled for so long and we only have my wife’s income we can not really afford the 140 per month.

    This is after stopping oxycodone on my own three ago following the bad advice from my former neurosurgeon. Not only I have suffered a great deal, the cost of the pain medication was covered by my wife’s insurance and only cost us 10 bucks a month. Ten dollars a month to 300 and then 140 out of pocket. I’m sure my wife’s insurance carrier is grinning ear to ear being able to get rid of my costly monthly visits to pain management.

    BTW the low dose of oxycodone allowed me to function where medical MJ acts like a very expensive muscle relaxant from me.

    Now the dispensaries are totally different here in NYS, nothing is displayed and the pharmacists are locked in a separate room so one has two go through security and three locked doors. Sounds to me at DE offers chronic pain sufferers many more choices and I wish I had these choices here in so called liberal NY.

  21. connie at 6:24 am

    The first stores to sell legal marijuana in our town finally opened on Wednesday. Thursday morning when I got there they were closed due to selling out before the day was over on Wednesday! I am looking forward to trying marijuana for pain control. Sure wish it were covered by insurance as I am already paying $50 a bottle for CBD oil with tryptophan which lasts from one to four weeks depending on my pain levels that month. The biggest and most surprising effect of using it has been the very positive effect on my mood! I had been crying for little or no reason and that’s gone! I will not take antidepressants due to the fact that I could lose my concealed carry permit as well as the right for not only myself but my husband to legally own firearms! I hope that I am not expecting too much out of medicinal marijuana!

  22. Mark Ibsen MD at 6:13 am

    Thank you Donna. What I love about your post:
    empowerment is present.
    And
    “Do no harm” also.
    Thank you for addressing some of the issues that patients deal with:
    Overcoming inertia
    Dealing with barriers to access
    Overwhelm
    Self doubt
    Accommodating family concerns.
    I Plan to share this widely.

  23. HJ at 6:03 am

    I hope that opiods still remain a viable option to cannabis. I take Tramadol and I can take a pill at work and still have a clear mind yet get pain relief. I wouldn’t want to be forced into stopping Tramadol which works for me.

    I worry that cannabis would make it hard for me to lose weight. I certainly couldn’t smoke it and would be wary of any form that would affect my lungs as I’m asthmatic. I think I’m also surprised at the high price, which would definitely limit my ability to use this as a treatment.

    I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings and I am afraid of being chased off of a treatment that is working for me (Tramadol). My workplace also wouldn’t be MMJ-friendly, and my job is not something I dare risk. I hope my doctor would understand my concerns. I’m afraid some of us will be forced to use MMJ simply because the pressure exerted by the DEA on medical doctors. That shouldn’t be so. Patient care should still be individualized to our needs.

  24. Katrina at 5:57 am

    Those of us without access to marijuana of any kind are so happy for you. In the meantime I am in the process of finding homes for my dogs so they will be taken care of since I can no longer get pain meds either. My DDD stenosis and nerve damage has not gone away.

  25. Michael G Langley, MD at 5:35 am

    The studies done on smoking cannabis have continued to show that it does not show any increase in lung cancer. It, in fact, in one of the recent studies, showed a decreased incidence of cancer in cannabis smokers, who smoked cigarettes. The ignorance about cannabis continues the drive to keep the safer drug, illegal! The Christians who oppose its legalization do not know that the only reason cannabis use is “A SIN” is because some 14th century Pope declared it that way! I don’t know too many non-Catholics that support Catholic doctrine! The only prohibition in the Bible was to Adam and Eve. They were not to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree! We all know how that worked out! If God can’t prohibit anything, why does man think he can do better?! Just sayin’!

  26. Jill Jensen at 3:33 am

    If you are using medical marijiuana, what happened to the Quell device? Are you still using it? I used it consistently for about 5 weeks and I’m not impressed. Should I give it more time?