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mmoss (@mmoss)

Does medical marijuana work for chronic pain?

Chronic Pain | Last Active: May 22 2:09pm | Replies (527)

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Good evening @erin123
Thanks for dwelling on my past. I do remember writing that post when I was facing the same issue. With cannabis, we are our own prescribers and are also responsible for appropriate dosages. It is not easy to always be on top of the pain "game".

Let me start by mentioning the impact of barometric pressure. When the BP goes below 30……it can mean that even if you take the same dose of 1:1 CBD/THC your body will have more pain than when the BP is above 30. This is one of the most difficult situations to deal with and may explain your "worsening symptoms".

Since you have asked about the need to "up the dose" to get relief as you grow older and your SFN (small fiber neuropathy) becomes more intense, I have been dealing with the same questions and issues. Here is a list of what I have experienced in the last year or so.

1. Five years ago, I had one hourly session of MFR (myofascial release therapy) every week with one therapist. Today, I have two hourly sessions every week and have two attendant therapists at every session.
2. Five years ago, I used just 1/4 of a tincture dropper of 1:1 CBD/THC in the morning and switched to a 1/2 dropper of 2:1 CBD/THC in the afternoon and at bedtime. Today I use 1/2 of a tincture dropper of 1:1 CBD/THC in the morning and a full dropper of 2:1 CBD/THC at bedtime. There may be other times when I want to be more aggressive about the THC because research is showing that THC has greater potential to control pain. So….I endure a bit of psychoactivity just to have an easy pain free afternoon. What I am working on now is fitting in more stretching exercises, especially in my feet and legs. Without the twice-a-week MFR for my feet I would have to give up driving.
3. In addition to Yoga stretches, I also have added exercises for balance and stability to avoid falls. And what works best is the 2-mile walk in the park almost every day that climate permits. It is quite different living in Minnesota than in California and Hawaii.
4. Because living with pain is just plain exhausting, I do find that now that I turned 80 this year, my energy level has diminished a bit and I even take naps more frequently.
5. I do want to mention another issue and that is this: for me, pain tolerance has increased at a certain level. What used to be a level 7 or 8 is now a 4 or 5. Simply put, I can now tolerate pain at a higher level. I know what it is. I am not afraid, and I adjust my behavior accordingly.
6. And finally, I have increased my practice of mindfulness and meditation. I find joy in every day. I am busy with my volunteer work with Mayo Connect which adds considerable value to daily living. My life partner and I have semi-adopted three 14-year-old girls. Last week was his birthday and they came over to cook dinner for him. We are thrilled that they want to share their precious teen time with us. We are also active grandparents for 4 grandchildren. We see them about twice a year and love every minute of our time together.

I hope this helps you. Please remember that everyone is different. Some folks just manage pain and discomfort better than others. You are only 50. I am 80. Let's hope the world continues to meet your requirements for ease and comfort so that you can enjoy your senior years.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I left something out. I am here for you.
May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.

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Replies to "Good evening @erin123 Thanks for dwelling on my past. I do remember writing that post when..."

Chris, I just wanted to thank you, belatedly, for your incredibly helpful and equally inspiring message. Thank you for sharing your routine and experience. I especially loved hearing about semi-adopting those girls. 🙂 Your story helped me feel less alone on the path of navigating lifelong chronic pain.

I had one last question about your dosage experience. You mentioned having to increase your dosing from a half to a full eyedropper, but would you be able to share the increase in the actual milligrams of active ingredients? It should be on the label of the tincture.

To answer the last question on the list, I've been using a 50 mg CBG tincture, Lazarus Naturals, which is THC free. It really does help my pain, but I really do have a terrible rebound reaction when I stop taking it or try to taper down.

For example, it really helps the GI nerve pain that was interfering with sleep, but what used to be 3-4 level back pain goes up to 6-7 when I stop or taper down. I had hoped to take it intermittently, but it seems like that's not going to work for me. But I may still choose to take it all the time, because nothing else helps the GI pain. Still working it all out!