Last year, I wrote about the unfortunate side effects of the medication Lyrica (pregabalin), which I’ve been taking for my fibromyalgia pain. For a while now, I’ve considered the option of switching out my medication for medical marijuana.
I’m familiar with the use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons because my family has treated my dog’s obsessive-compulsive behavior with it. Now it was my turn.
At the dispensary, my hands shook with nerves and excitement as I presented my ID to the receptionist. I was in a place that sold the devil’s lettuce, after all.
A man named Cole greeted me as I entered the back room where all the goodies are kept. He kindly asked me the reason for my visit and I explained the pain I experience from fibromyalgia. I told him I was searching for a product that would work quickly when I have an episode of pain at night. He led me toward the Mary’s Medicinals CBN Transdermal Patches.
Cole explained that cannabinol, or CBN, occurs when the cannabis flower is dried, and it isn’t as psychoactive as other more THC-based products. CBN has pain relief properties, and along with calming anxiety, it also can help with sleep, making it the ideal product to put a stop to my nighttime pain.
Because the CBN is delivered through your skin and into the bloodstream, it’s effectiveness is almost immediate. I was instructed to place the patch over a venous area of the body such as the wrist or neck. Each patch is waterproof and lasts up to 12 hours. It can be cut in half to split the dosage.
Unfortunately, the dispensary was sold out of the patches, but Cole offered to back-order them and contact me when they were available. Meanwhile, he found some promotional samples for me.
He then brought out Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Topical compound and explained how to use it. It contains a 1:1 ratio of both THC and cannabidiol, or CBD. Because the THC is delivered through the skin, it won’t give you that “high” feeling.
I rolled out of the dispensary with my green bag filled with the patches and the topical compound and a huge smile on my face. I had products that could potentially relieve my pain because someone had gone above and beyond to help me through the process.
That night, I had the opportunity to see if this stuff was just snake oil. I could feel the faint, annoying ache behind my eyes signaling the coming of a headache. I applied half a patch to my wrist, and in a few minutes, calmness washed over me. I felt my heart rate slow to 82 beats per minute, while my usual resting heart rate is around 88 to 90. Within 10 minutes my headache had disappeared.
A week later, I found myself with another headache. This time I decided to try the topical. As I rubbed it into my forehead and temples, I felt the mentholated salve absorbing into my skin, slowly spreading a cooling effect throughout my face. Eventually, the brain fog that I normally experience during a headache cleared, making me feel revitalized.
If you choose to take the leap into the world of medical marijuana, be aware that for most people, it is a journey to find the right product and dosages for your body. I just happened to get lucky on my first try.
I am elated to have found a solution to my pain that won’t cause me to experience any negative side effects. I actually wish I had gone down this road much earlier.
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.
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