The Star Tribune featured a story by a Minnesota resident that suffers from a musculoskeletal condition and experiences chronic pain.
She was desperate to find out if CBD oil for pain could work for her, as she suffered severe pain. Just before she went to her first appointment to “qualify”, a friend wanted to know if she would get stoned. She wasn’t sure if she would.
She didn’t know much about medical cannabis, and struggled to make sense of what she found online. She expected straightforward explanations and information with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Furthermore, she became extremely confused by the terms and lingo being used.
Her quest started in February, when she asked her doctor if she “prescribed” medical cannabis. The answer was a direct “no”. Only later did she discover the term “qualified” and understood that federal law prohibits doctors from prescribing medical cannabis, as it is considered an illegal substance.
Back to the Internet our storyteller went. She searched “doctors in MN who prescribe medicinal weed.” Two names came up and after some more research she decided on a doctor in Golden Valley because of his experience in pain management.
An unfamiliar experience
On her first visit, she expected the familiar “How are you today? What can we do for you?” approach, instead clinic staff went through a long list of instructions. She followed the instructions to the letter. She even had to have her e-mail password handy for the first appointment. The reason also became clear later; it was all very secretive, but she followed the instructions diligently.
Her pain was increasing, and she became more desperate. The nature of her conditions were not going to improve; they were only going to get worse. She has very little cushioning left between her vertebrae, as they degenerated, and one vertebra is constantly pressing on another, trapping the nerves of the spinal cord, which causes incredible pain and immobility. Her neurologist says she is relatively young for such a degree of degeneration. If she didn’t qualify for medical cannabis, her only alternative would be oxycodone, which has a high risk of addiction.
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She was elated to tell her husband she had qualified for medical cannabis. She called a lab selling medical cannabis the very same day, and got an appointment for the next day.
She came to a locked door, and a staff member quietly let her in. The pharmacist prescribed oil she had to take orally and a formula to inhale using a vaporizer or vape pen.
It was with caution and glee that she took her first drag on the vape pen, remembering her last experience with THC 30 years ago. She didn’t get stoned, but her muscle spasms dissolved almost immediately. So did the stabbing pain in her feet which had been curling up with severe spasm for months by then. She was freed from the excruciating pain, gone were the surges of pain from her legs and knees. She felt like a new person.
Before she started with the medical cannabis treatment, she could barely sleep because of having several spasms every hour. The spasms decreased to only a few per day, and she gets five hours of restful sleep at night.
No traveling allowed
The only drawback is that traveling is limited, as she can only stay in Minnesota if she uses medical cannabis. There she is allowed to use the vape pen in public, or even while driving, as long as she keeps a distance of 1000 feet from schools and avoids federal government buildings.
Crossing state lines or entering airspace with medical cannabis is strictly prohibited. After reading an article mentioning that airline staff might turn a blind eye on passengers carrying medical cannabis, so she called to find clarification on policies. Again, she expected a straightforward answer, but got passed from one person to the next. A day later an airline representative gave her the answer; it is illegal to carry a federally illegal substance across state lines, driving or flying.
If she and her husband decide to travel, she will have to use oxycodone and take the risk. This is a “Cadillac” problem as she puts it, an employee at the cannabis lab said most clients don’t travel because they are immobilized.
Never stoned but with a new lease on life
She has never been high on medical cannabis and explains it is nothing like the buzz she got when she was young and smoked it with friends. She stayed home at first, because she was afraid of being stoned. After a while, she went for a test drive around the block, just to be sure. There was no similarity to when she was young, but she did notice an increased awareness of sight and sound. The pharmacist at the cannabis lab explained that if she felt “loopy” she must know she took too much.
She describes her experience with medical cannabis as “solitary yet blissful”, and she can move again. The devastating spasms are gone, and her body is relaxed. She can go shopping at leisure, and doesn’t have to be frantically worried about her legs giving way into spasms of pain.
She realizes cannabis oil for pain is not a cure for her condition, but she gets relief, even if she never leaves Minnesota again.
CBD oil for pain
It is not entirely clear if the patient who told this story is using a strain high in CBD for pain, but since it doesn’t make her feel high, chances are good that she is.