A young columnist confesses his past addiction to Vicodin. He describes how medical marijuana helped him kick the habit and his chronic back pain.
23-year-old Detroiter is proud that he has stopped taking opioids by using CBD for pain
Detroit’s Metro Times covered the story of a young student, using the alias of “Laurent” in fear that he might be discriminated against when he applies for a position as a social worker. He is keen to become a substance abuse counselor.
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Painkillers put him down
Since Laurent started having blinding headaches in grade 10, he has been through a lot, and he has also been through a lot of pharmaceutical drugs. Maxalt killed the pain, but put him down for hours.
He also has a rare form of scoliosis, Scheuermann’s disease, which affects the spine, and is very painful. Having to deal with constant pain led to depression and anxiety. Laurent is also ADHD.
One of few not on pills
He says today he is one of few people not taking painkillers or other medication for his conditions. He could take a Vicodin, and his back pain would subside, but then he would have a panic attack because he knows where it leads.
Laurent takes CBD medical cannabis to manage his pain, relax and de-stress. Most people ask for medical marijuana to be prescribed because of chronic pain. Many pro-prohibition supporters argue it’s just an excuse to get to the drug. But the most frequent reason anyone visits a doctor is because of pain, so why should it be different for medical cannabis?
Pain is what sends you to the doctor
Pain is the most frequent reason for seeing a doctor, and the most frequent response by the doctor, painkillers, has become a huge problem all over the world, not just in the US. A way to avoid these problems would be marijuana, and with CBD, there isn’t even a high.
Marijuana helps with opioid addiction. The Journal on Pain reports on a cannabis study with 64% reduction in opioid use in patients with chronic pain. Better quality of life, and fewer side effects associated with opioid use were reported.
Pain is experienced differently
Pain seems to be as individual as the person suffering from it. Some people can handle high levels of pain, others none at all. Cannabis is believed to bring relief of pain caused by inflammation and neuropathic pain (nerve pain). Each person must find what works for them: the dose, the method of application. Not everyone likes smoking or vaping. Topical applications or creams might work for some, says Laurent.
CBD is most helpful for back pain
Laurent says he finds edibles very relaxing, perhaps too relaxing at times when he has to go to work. He finds strains high in CBD most helpful with his back pain.
Laurent says he has noticed that a lot of people using marijuana for pain describe the pain as more bearable, but not altogether gone. He explains that for him, marijuana puts the pain at the back of his mind instead of right upfront.
CBD for pain makes it bearable
This is interesting, because pain is the way the body tells us something is wrong. But when we fixate on the pain, it becomes unbearable, while if we are aware of the pain we are dealing with it in a subconscious way, and our body will produce what is needed to heal the problem. When we use painkillers, the pain is blocked out, and we become “comfortably numb”. The symptom is treated, but the cause of the pain remains.
Some people will then aggravate matters by doing things their body is trying to tell them not to do, so perhaps having some awareness of pain is more beneficial than killing it altogether. Laurent says that’s what CBD for pain does for him.