Marijuana: The Answer To Chronic Pain?

  Marijuana: The Answer To Chronic Pain?

Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2007 at 06:00:45 PT
By Robyn Moormeister 
Source: Union 

California -- As a painkiller, the use of marijuana may be controversial, but some patients and doctors swear by it.At a recent forum on medical marijuana hosted by the Nevada County District Attorney's Office, dozens of Nevada County residents swore the plant was the only thing that could treat their chronic pain, brought on by everything from back injuries to colitis.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institutes of Health held a workshop in 1997 to discuss research on the possible therapeutic uses for smoked marijuana. Panel members concluded that, because there are too few scientific studies to prove marijuana's therapeutic utility for certain conditions, additional research is needed. There is evidence, the NINDS reported, that "receptors to which marijuana binds are found in many brain regions that process information that can produce pain."While federal law prohibits the use of cannabis to treat pain, state law allows use of the plant for medicinal purposes. Local governments are charged with determining enforceable limits.Grass Valley pain management specialist Dr. Stephen Banister said his patients also use marijuana to treat pain associated with fibromyalgia and migraines. Patients use cannabis a variety of ways, he said, including eating, inhaling and as a topical solution.He said cannabis can produce a "four-point pain drop," cutting a person's pain level in half.According to O'Shaughnessey's, The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice, different strains of cannabis contain different mixes of cannabinoids and terpenes that give them distinct qualities."It's a rather individual thing," Banister said. "A lot of people use it to sleep, for some, it keeps them awake. There are more an more strains all of the time."He said he knows of at least 50 strains, each with different mixtures of Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)Author: Robyn MoormeisterPublished: June 8, 2007Copyright: 2007 The UnionContact: letters theunion.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #25 posted by JohnO on June 09, 2007 at 14:34:19 PT:
Strange things happen while on LSD
Invariably when I took LSD (years ago) I would nearly always experience something completely out of the ordinary, or at least my perception was that this occurrence is not anything that would have happened if I hadn't been tripping. While I don't consider these things a spiritual event, I will say they definitely are strange events. As far as benefits go, I would say that LSD was an overall positive in helping me along with some of my own innate talents such as musical appreciation, fanciful flights of imagination leading to song writing, essays and such. Some things remain a complete mystery to me though, looking back, I still wonder how in the world was I able to open a combination lock the on first try since I could not even remember the numbers, let alone comprehend what the elastic/fluid numerical characters I was looking at represented. I am reminded of what they say about Hendrix taking several hits of LSD before wowing the world on the stage at Woodstock, I don't think he knew what he was doing, but it didn't hurt his performance at all. Strange days indeed. JohnO
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Comment #24 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2007 at 22:21:37 PT
Cannabinoids relieve allergic skin reactions
Marijuana could help keep skin allergies at bay
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2007 (EST) 
SAWF News (India)
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Comment #23 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2007 at 21:04:46 PT
whig #10
I agree the LSD "high" with its attendant visualizations (some call them hallucinations) and self-analysis tends to last 8 hours. I had to post in a hurry before work and realized on the way to work that my previous post could be misinterpreted. After the "high" comes a period of reconstruction, which as you say could last as long as a week. I meant to say that a day should be set aside in order to have a meaningful "trip." Dr. Leary spoke of the LSD experience as Life - Structure - Death (of the ego). It seems that the usual sequence is actually ego Death - Life (bursting out of new connections and perceptions) - Structure (the reorganizing of subsequent life view). The Native American Church has traditionally used peyote (the source of mescaline) in a tribal ceremony with the drum as the centering focus. Participants have reported life-changing experiences, spiritual breakthrough and healing from alcoholism in the supportive and community experience of the peyote session.Aldous Huxley wrote in the Doors of Perception that the mescaline experience could be "heaven or hell" depending on the expectations and ability to cope with the experience. I was also contrasting the LSD experience with the inconvenient STP 3-day experience, and with the 30-minute DMT experience. ("With DMT, the usual pattern is to get very high immediately and maintain that for about five minutes, then drop down to a lower plateau of experience which continues for about another fifteen to twenty minutes. Then, suddenly, the user discovers she or he is back in ordinary, everyday consciousness." Psychedelic Encyclopedia by Petter Stafford (1977), Chapter 6. Short-acting Tryptamines, pp.293-294.) DMT is often referred to as "businessman's lunch" because of its short duration. RELEASE: DMT (Businessman's Lunch) Allows Church To Use Hallucinogenic Tea 
Posted by CN Staff on December 11, 2004 at 11:59:20 PT
By The Associated Press 
"[attorney Nancy] Hollander said the tea is drunk in a ritual similar to the Catholic Communion. Church members then sit in a circle and meditate; they believe the tea brings them closer to God."The [hoasca] tea is brewed from plants found in the Amazon River Basin and contains DMT"As for your ability to use LSD as an emergency pain medicine: I believe that novice users would have difficulty with that due to unfamiliarity with the experience and possible panic reactions. A guide would help and, of course, experience from previous practice.Interesting discussion everyone.
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Comment #22 posted by whig on June 08, 2007 at 20:35:47 PT
I could tell you a lot more but I don't want to get too specific about everything I tried. I will say that mescaline-cactus does not kill pain. At all. Not a bit.The difference between those psychedelics which worked and those which didn't seems to be what enters the Raphe nucleus and stimulates receptors sufficiently to cause downregulation.It takes a week for those receptors to recover, in the case of LSD and psilocybin. Chronic pain signals travel through the Raphe nucleus, but when the receptors are "on vacation" that downregulation means you won't feel it nearly as much.Ethylcybin and other synthetic tryptamines work as well. Research chemicals like this are not something I would advise people take, however.In all cases, the effect was approximately a week, which means we're not looking at direct "drug effect", but the time required for the receptors to recover.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 20:19:33 PT
That was a wonderful comment. Thank you.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on June 08, 2007 at 19:48:55 PT
That is amazing about the LSD. It should be seriously studied with an open see if there are good things there for mankind. If they only look for bad things...they will likely only find bad things.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on June 08, 2007 at 19:39:59 PT
comment 5
That's why we call certain things, "A downer"...or a "Buzzkill"."Don't bring me down!""Talk about wasting a good high!"An emergency brings you down. Instantly. Or at least, that's happened to me. Immediately...not high...down... and effective at doing what needed to be done.
 Some of you may remember my telling you about my experience a while back with getting caught in a storm, away from home and without my special, no headache pillow or headache pills. I went to bed and woke up a few hours later in terrible pain. Hysterical pain, I call it. Like my pillow, my ibuprophen and acetamenaphen were at home.I made strong coffee and had a hot bag of rice around my neck and on my head. I was miserable. No laying down. Rocking in pain in the kitchen and trying to be quiet about it.Someone noticed I was up. I was offered some plain old ordinary pot. I smoked it...hoping it would ease the pain or at least give me a little comfort. The headache, and it was a bad one, a dreaded one, eased enough that I could rest....although I dared not try to lie down on that killer pillow again. The pain started coming coming back after forty five minutes to an hour. I smoked some more every forty five minutes or so until daylight and clear weather and I could get to some acetamenaphen or ibuprophen.I've smoked and eaten cannabis many times in the last thirty years and I didn't know it would do that. Of course, I'd heard other testimonies about it's power to relieve harsh pain, but I did not know it from personal experience. Why didn't I know it personally? I never had to know it. I usually had the pills to I never knew cannabis could do that.I knew it would comfort and relax a person and could help pain like that...but it eased the MEDICINE...and it probably even helped my liver instead of hurting it.Every once in awhile, I take a few moments to marvel at the wonderful plant that cannabis is. It's a very special gift from the Creator. A good one. Just today. Driving along. I thought, people used to know it was a good and helpful medicine but somehow we lost track of it along the way to whatever "modernity" that was. Scientists and doctors have mostly failed us in the matter of cannabis and it's uses. The scientists were probably snobs to any prodding about the plant they may have recieved from the Maker. When he prodded us....we got it! The people, ... not scientists, not doctors, brought this wonderful plant to the light again.An Old Testament scripture comes to mind. "Woe to the makers of unjust laws."I don't want them to have woe. I want them to stop giving woe to others!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 17:50:28 PT
Do you remember the Traveling Wilburys? The CD-DVD will be released on June 12. It has Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison together. I didn't know if you knew about it or not. I thought you might be interested.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 17:08:22 PT
Rocky Mountain High really took on a meaning for you back then I bet. Everything was planned in those days. People would plan and get together and do LSD and trip all night. LSD was only taken when it was planned. Having a good trip was the goal. I know how powerful it was and about five times was enough for me. I saw Willie Nelson for the first time ever on SNL and I couldn't figure out as I stared at the tv if he was young or old. I'll never forget that! LOL!
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Comment #16 posted by Dankhank on June 08, 2007 at 16:56:37 PT
I tend to agree, FOMIN the sixties/seventies the dose usually was usually high enough to assure powerful hallucinations and self-analysis.Last time I used it was in 1995 outside of Nederland, CO in the Rockies, 'bout 10,000 feet up on my Birthday. Not as strong, which was good, but enjoyable, the stars were something to see.Interesting, the info about pain management, Whig.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 15:01:09 PT
Back in the 70s when everyone practically tried LSD I remember how it was. I never thought that LSD was a substance that I wanted to use more then a few times. I think many people thought that way back then. 
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Comment #14 posted by whig on June 08, 2007 at 14:52:31 PT
Should be "simply" -- sorry for the typo.
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Comment #13 posted by whig on June 08, 2007 at 14:51:59 PT
I dealt with serious situations while on LSD. Understand, I was taking it as an emergency pain medicine because I had a collapsed hip and no real alternative that worked as well.It wasn't hard, it was in some ways easier, but the alteration was not something that went away. LSD feels very stimulating and energetic, and this simplt does not lapse for hours.
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Comment #12 posted by whig on June 08, 2007 at 14:49:31 PT
In general, these are all capable of providing real benefits to people, but it should be remembered that LSD and MDMA and other synthetic chemicals like this are not something that humans have coevolved with. The long-term effects on the nervous system are harder to know or appreciate. I took a lot of things for pain, and subsequently, to this day, I have trouble sleeping. Whether that is due to the pain itself, or the things I used, it's hard to say.Cannabis, mushrooms, cacti, and some other natural plants have been used by humans since prehistory. They have well characterized effects and no evidence of harm.As far as that goes, however, cannabis is the most controllable and least impairing. When emergencies arise, cannabis goes completely into the background of consciousness, allowing full function to be obtained instantly. It may be the effect of adrenaline simply overrides it for the purpose.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 14:48:05 PT
I didn't know that. Cannabis is so different then most other substances. I bet it would be hard to have to deal with a serious situation while under the influence of LSD. 
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Comment #10 posted by whig on June 08, 2007 at 14:44:40 PT
My own experience of LSD was it takes about eight hours before sleeping is easy. The effects on pain last approximately one week per dose. One whole week.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2007 at 13:56:20 PT
FoM #5 What you said
This is the same safety argument that the Black Panthers used when they opposed Tim Leary's advocacy of LSD:LSD stays in the system for 24 hours and the taker needs tranquillizers to "come down"; cannabis in easy to come down from in an emergency.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 09:20:39 PT
I hope I live to see the day when this medicinal plant is finally free to do all the good things it can do for people. 
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Comment #7 posted by JohnO on June 08, 2007 at 09:12:48 PT:
"Why is it illegal again?" You ask....
FoM, Good point. The validity of the status of cannabis as an illicit substance never made any sense from the very beginning, and to date there is nothing but rhetoric to support its status remaining so. It seems some people needed a job to do and so jailing people for minding their own business became the state sanctioned sport of the day. From the start there was ample evidence to the contrary, and yet the status alone carries a stigma which is like a vast mountain which cannot be climbed. I argue the pros frequently only to be trumped with the handiest of all cards, "BUT IT'S ILLEGAL!" I have yet to overcome that in any meaningful way. To me there is no satisfaction in hearing lame answers when I retort "BUT WHY?" John
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Comment #6 posted by DjLoTi on June 08, 2007 at 08:57:30 PT
Yeah, I guess I'm just speaking from expierence. 
As a more-effective painkiller, I think it has great potential. But when it comes to using it like asprin, I guess whenever I'd have a headache, and then smoke, it usually didn't make me feel too great. However, with vaporizing technique and specifically devoted strains... it's really amazing how the possibilities could turn out. We could see the most revolutionary change in medical science (once it's legalized, of course). After all... health and science is not nearly as important as legislation /end joke 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 08, 2007 at 08:43:10 PT

Just a Comment
I look at it this way. Everyday our lives can take a turn that would require a clear mind. If a person decides to sit down in front of the tv in the evening and drink some beer and they get a call to go to the hospital someone is hurt sobering up is impossible. Cannabis is different in that a person can eat something and take a shower and be on their way and their mind would function fine. Most substances don't allow a person to sober up fast but cannabis does. Why is it illegal again?
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on June 08, 2007 at 08:26:09 PT

it's all in the dose
It's all in the dose. With a stronger strain, you need less, that's all. There is, of course, variance in strength and levels of the various active compounds in different batches of cannabis. The beauty of cannabis is that if you take a bit more than you need with a new strain, just wait an hour or two and the effects will dissipate. You will not overdose and cause seizure, liver failure, internal bleeding, coma or death like you may face with various pharmaceuticals.Then, the next time you need it, you know to use just a wee bit less. It's quite easy to titrate.
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Comment #3 posted by DjLoTi on June 08, 2007 at 07:24:44 PT

What I mean is....
I think potent marijuana is too strong to be used as a treatment for a slight headache. :)
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Comment #2 posted by DjLoTi on June 08, 2007 at 07:23:06 PT

"The wonder drug"
I somewhat agree, especially with the safety of vaporizers, however personally I think that marijuana would not quite have the same type of relieving effect as a painkiller such as aspirin. I think you make a good point about the potential of specialized effects with specific strains, and I look forward to the day that the federal ban on marijuana is lifted, so these studies can be conducted. 
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Comment #1 posted by JohnO on June 08, 2007 at 06:54:11 PT:

the value of different strains are overlooked
These various strains or varying combinations of cannabinoids which play differently in individuals have the potential to be manipulated for relief of a multitude of ailments. The texturing and balancing of cannabinoids for specialty medicines is very possible with some controlled growing procedures just as the fine people at GW pharma have demonstrated. Of course, that assumes one could do controlled lab studies at an advanced level which at the moment would attract a legal challenge. The one thing I can say about medical cannabis, it might just be the wonder drug that aspirin is not. 
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