There was conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids (that are found in the marijuana plant) can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, according to the report issued January 12, 2017, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. After reading over 10,000 studies, this is one of 100 conclusions the committee came to regarding marijuana and its effects on people, as well as the social impact on states that have now legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana.
But more importantly, does marijuana help MY back pain? What follows is a personal, non-scientific “study” that shows it does indeed.
When I got home from the dispensary I realized I had nothing to smoke the flower with. No papers, no pipes, no bongs – nothing! Then I remembered I had a small wooden pipe that I used many years ago, and I don’t even know why I hung onto this thing, but “present me” was happy “past me” did not throw it away.
I cleaned out the old residue that was amazingly still in the pipe, then broke out the little plastic container with my newly acquired AC/DC weed. Since I didn’t have a grinder, I had to go old school and simply break up the bud between my index finger and thumb getting it small enough to smoke. The smell, the feel, the sight of it brought back memories of being in my twenties when we would sit around as a group and pass a joint around. Although today’s weed is much stickier with potent resin; the weed we had in the 70s was fairly dry and not very strong. Yes, we paid $10 for a “lid” of low THC grass in those days and you could probably smoke a whole joint by yourself and not get too high.
Anyway, deja vu notwithstanding, I focused on the task at hand and packed the old wood pipe with some crumbled up flower and looked at it for a while before I fired it up. My back was hurting, aching, as usual. So I was looking forward to some relief from the ever present pain.
First puff. Oh, dear. I think I should have bought a new pipe because this old one is raspy as all get out. Yuck. But I managed to get a couple of good hits. This was AC/DC, so it was high CBD to THC ratio, something like 20:1 or so which is very high CBD. So, I’m not expecting much of a “head high” but there are still some psychoactive effects with a kind of numbness in the forehead, slowed thoughts, and heavy lidded eyes within five minutes or so, and a physical relaxation beginning to take effect. There’s a little bit of ringing in the ears as well. Also, I’m not giggly or paranoid or raiding the refrigerator or moving around slowly like I remember doing in the past whenever I would smoke.
But within a half hour or so my back pain is lessened to the point where I could move around better than usual and I wasn’t fearful of triggering a muscle spasm. To be clear, this isn’t a pain relief like percocet would give me, but there is a definite reduction of achiness and it’s quicker than taking a pill, too.
I Am Happy
Does marijuana help back pain? I am happy to report that yes, it does. Is it something I would want to do every day? With the first smoking experiment I would have to say, no, I don’t want to smoke every day but maybe every other day. There are many other ways to ingest CBD and CBD/THC, thankfully, and I will alternate methods to prevent abusing my poor old lungs. I will report on those methods in a later post.
As an aside, I also tried the Golden Panda which was a hybrid strain (Indica & Sativa) so it had much more THC in the mix. With this strain I was taken back to the 1970s and experiencing some of the side effects I didn’t care for, like having some paranoia (the phone rings and it’s my mother-in-law, no way in hell I’m answering that), giggling at pretty much everything, and oh boy, let’s order a pizza! So, sticking with the high CBD to THC ratio will be in the cards for me. It can be fun but, you know, I still feel the same way I did in the 70s when I decided that getting super high wasn’t something I enjoyed all that much.
But the pain relief from the AC/DC? That was something I liked. Very much. Enough to try some other high CBD strains in the future. And I will give you a list of some of the high CBD strains I tried later as well as talk about the differences between Sativa, Indica, and hybrids.
It’s Just a Plant – Why is it Illegal?
Here’s my opinion – it shouldn’t be illegal. But there’s a long, tortured story as to why marijuana has been demonized. And there is no better book that explains it all than “Chasing the Scream,” by Johann Hari. I highly recommend this book if you have any interest as to why and how America declared a “War on Drugs,” who was behind it and why the “War” has failed. It’s a great read.
What’s to Come
Up to now I’ve told my story as to how I, a 62-year-old woman, have turned to marijuana for chronic back pain relief. From here on out I will explore how Boomers, or senior citizens if you prefer (and you probably don’t prefer that – I know I don’t!) are turning to marijuana for various reasons and the sociological impact that has.
Is this trend a good thing or a bad thing? Is it even really a thing? For sure the vast majority of seniors are not involved with marijuana, but a growing percentage of them are and it’s worth looking into.
I’ll also be reviewing some marijuana related products and have some recommended reading for those who want to learn more about the subject. It is a fascinating subject!
Thank you for sticking with me on my self-indulgent journey. There’s lots more to come.