(legal) Medical Marijuana Question

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eucatastrophe21

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(legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« on: August 10, 2017, 03:56:23 PM »
I am not listing this under the 'illegal' section, because I have a medical marijuana card in my state and I believe my experimentation with cannabis is honest and legit. Over the years, I've tried various anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.

It wasn't until a few months ago, my therapist recommended CBD. So I tried it and had good results. I proceeded to get my medical card and am now trying various strains of cannabis. Most notably, there is a strain called ACDC which is non-psychoactive (in that it does not produce the 'high' typically associated with high THC content (ACDC had 1 part THC to 20 parts CBD). 

In addition, I am trying to use another blend that helps with sleep.

I am only at the beginning of this experiment, but I wonder if anyone can talk to any of these issues:

1)  Feeling like I'm doing something 'wrong' even though I am a) Working with my therapist AND looking for honest feedback from my wife AND b) Honestly looking for what is supportive.
2)  Looking to balance ease and 'taking a break' with avoidance and checking out.
3)  I notice that some fear seems to turn off with cannabis and something primally social seems to wake up in me when I use.  It's like a part of me that got shut off from years of abuse gets reactivated in part. I seem to learn something that I can take with me when I am not using.

Any thoughts or honest advise on INTENTIONAL use of pot would be appreciated.  I am using a vaporizer and planning on making tinctures so I'm not actually 'smoking.' I just want to stay honest about the whole process but I'm struggling a bit to get over a sense that I shouldn't be feeling good or that I'm doing something wrong (maybe this is misguided...).
   

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Kat

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 04:20:04 PM »
I've often wondered about whether the use of medical marijuana would be helpful to someone with C-PTSD, so it's interesting that you bring it up. 

You sound like you feel guilty about using it, sort of like you don't want to be labeled a pot-head or something.  I get that, especially since so many people abuse the system.  It sounds, however, like you're doing it the right way.  I think if I were your wife, I'd be more concerned if you didn't have concerns about using it. 

I doubt that your therapist would have suggested you try it if he or she thought that would enable simple avoidance of the issues you're working through.  But, you may want to bring it up and look at it with your T. 

Isn't if funny how we so often feel bad about feeling good?  I sometimes feel like something is horribly wrong if I'm feeling good or having a string of good days.  Ugh...

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Three Roses

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 01:40:37 PM »
I use a hi-CBD/low-THC strain, we were growing it for a while, and we made the leaves into butter, which I then use to make edibles. I can't smoke or vape. Don't like that feeling and smoking irritates my throat. Edibles work much better for me.

I found at first that I felt like I was doing something wrong, even tho it's legal where I live, recreationally as well as medically. But I got over that feeling. It helps me with anxiety and also gives my energy a boost.

The flavor is unpleasant for me and so I have recipes that mask that.

With so many people using alcohol in our society, I really am not affected by anyone's view of whether cannabis is good or bad. It's ok to get hammered, but if you use pot you're not a good person? Come on! ;)

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 I notice that some fear seems to turn off with cannabis and something primally social seems to wake up in me when I use.  It's like a part of me that got shut off from years of abuse gets reactivated in part. I seem to learn something that I can take with me when I am not using.

 :yeahthat: My experience as well.

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YogaAbba

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 06:40:56 PM »
I live in a state in which medical use is legal and tightly controlled and PTSD is not yet (but might soon) be an approved condition. I am very interested in the topic due to precisely the possibility that a primarily CBD based medicine with just enough THC to make the thing work, but not enough to get high, could be efficacious. Indeed, my sister-in-law is a nurse in a state that legalized, and she regularly administers a CBD compound to a child as a seizure medication and she says it works wonders.

I think that this point is generally misunderstood and not clearly defined in discussions about medical marijuana. Because it's "marijuana" it's stigmatized, even if one is using a form of it that has little or no effect of making you "high." In fact, I wish the word "marijuana" could be striken from discussion and instead use terms like "canniboid derived medicine."

Per your experience:

1)  Feeling like I'm doing something 'wrong' even though I am a) Working with my therapist AND looking for honest feedback from my wife AND b) Honestly looking for what is supportive.
2)  Looking to balance ease and 'taking a break' with avoidance and checking out.
3)  I notice that some fear seems to turn off with cannabis and something primally social seems to wake up in me when I use.  It's like a part of me that got shut off from years of abuse gets reactivated in part. I seem to learn something that I can take with me when I am not using.



It might be useful to distinguish between concerns (1) and (2), which seem to be attitudinal on your part, from (3), which is more a report of how well the treatment works.

With respect to (1) and (2), bearing in mind that you are using a canniboid medicine that is low in THC and thus has little "escapism" value of making you high, I don't see what you're doing as being any different from taking an allopathic medication. It is giving you symptomatic relief. You are in therapy and recognize that "doing the work" is the core of the healing process. The symptoms of PTSD in themselves can be so intense as to make it difficult to do the work. As is the case with antidepressants, if the medicine enables you to do your life and your process better, it's just a good thing plain and simple.

With respect to (3), I noticed that you used the term "using", which is a term with which people refer to the abuse of illicit drugs. Again, you are not "using" in this sense. You are taking a canniboid derived medicine for the purpose of alleviating your symptoms. As for the fact that it enables you to feel more social and have more energy, that sounds to me no different from some of the best benefits about an antidepressant.  Depression makes us numbed out and thus turned off to connection with others. And yet connection with others is a key ingredient to healing. It seems to me that you've found a way to lift the numbing in a way that could be quite beneficial to your healing process.

The effect that you've had with this medicine is what I have been hoping for with medications that I've tried, except that none of them has worked for me. Hearing about your experience gives me hope that at some point I could get some benefit from canniboid derived medicine (if only the governor would sign the bill!).

Best wishes,
--YA
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 06:44:07 PM by YogaAbba »

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Dee

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 06:45:50 PM »

After my psychiatrist kept dropping hints, then just said it, I got my card.  However, I am afraid to try it.  He said one drop of oil on my tongue at night.  I have yet to go get anything.  I suppose because I grew up in a culture that using would of made me bad and I always tried so hard to be good.

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sanmagic7

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 11:28:58 PM »
just a note on the difference between drugs and medicine (this has come up many times at 12-step groups):

people use drugs as a way to escape reality.

people take medicine as a way to be able to function better in reality.

your purpose in taking medicine is not to get high, but to have a better quality of life.  it's no different than taking advil for back pain.   no shame or guilt is associated with taking medicine.  you sound like you're very careful about what you're doing, just like anyone taking a medication.   

i think you're being very responsible.  drug users usually aren't. 

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ah

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2018, 04:50:30 PM »
Thought I'd add to this despite it being an old topic, in case it helps someone else.

I've tried medical marijuana. Legal, with prescription.
High THC made my anxiety worse so I learned that may not be so good for cptsd, but high CBD and as close to no THC as possible really helped.

It seemed to help with cptsd related nightmares and quality of sleep. Other than that there was no effect which was a good thing. No high, no change in anything except less fear of nightmares. It enabled me to cut down on sleeping pills, so much gentler than the pills and even though I still had nightmares they were a bit gentler too somehow.

There's been so much research and change in the past 50 years. I've heard there are labs now working on making different types of medical marijuana in the form of gel, cream, that sort of thing, with a controlled dosage for specific problems.

The stigma was hard though. I feel vague envy when someone who isn't suffering much feels they can afford to scoff at others' pain and medical treatment. But their misunderstanding doesn't make pain go away. It still exists and medicine still has a purpose. I hope all the people who don't understand this will never have to understand it through personal experience.
A drug user's behavior is so, so utterly different from a patient's behavior. It's sad that we confuse the two so often... as though people who have chronic conditions don't suffer enough as it is, they don't need the added stigma :no: I hope that changes one day.

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Three Roses

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2018, 04:53:29 PM »
 Great discussion, worth a bump, thanks ah.

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Sceal

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 05:21:57 PM »
I'm from a place where this is all illegal, and it's not likely to change anytime soon.
You are talking about TCH and CBD, I was just wondering if you could tell me what that means?  Is it modified weed to make it less addictive/dangerous?
What I was taught was that weed, was one of the drugs that could potentially make you more paranoid. I'll admit I tried it once, outside of my country, and I did become paranoid for the rest of that evening. My knowledge on these matters are embarrassingly low.

I just want to learn so I avoid judging someone based on lack of knowledge in the future. :)

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ah

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 11:07:41 AM »
This is just my personal partial knowledge, not complete or professional in the slightest. As far as I know there's been a lot of research done into medical marijuana in the past 50 years, and there are now hundreds of compounds known to work in it. Quite a few countries are now working hard on developing different types of it for different medical problems - in gel, capsules, oil... it's a whole budding medicalized industry.

There's a lot to it but the two main compounds that have been studied so far are THC which makes you high, so it isn't so good for anxiety. It tends to make you more creative and mentally hyper, blood pressure can get higher - but people with trauma are already hyper to begin with so it may make anxiety worse.

The other is CBD. If someone is taking medical marijuana with CBD and almost no THC, they don't get stoned.
The two can be combined depending on why someone is given it in the first place.

CBD on its own is good for infections and neurological symptoms like tremors, it can relax and improve sleep and relieve anxiety too.
Where I lived medical marijuana was prescribed for PTSD as long as there was no history of psychosis and it can really save lives. The stigma and difficulties in getting it can get in the way though.

But a similar stigma exists for chronic pain patients too. The number of people who have called me an addict just because I'm ill...  just yesterday someone said to me "Oh, you just pop those like m&m's!" as if suffering and being ill is some life style choice or an interesting hobby that one enjoys.  :no: people...  :doh:

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Estella

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 11:31:31 AM »
Sanmagic said it very well

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your purpose in taking medicine is not to get high, but to have a better quality of life.  it's no different than taking advil for back pain.   no shame or guilt is associated with taking medicine.  you sound like you're very careful about what you're doing, just like anyone taking a medication.

You have a cautious attitude, which I think I would have. And yet if your T prescribes it and you feel it could make a change for you, please don't feel guilty about it.

My only question, for the people here that have used it, is - it might not be addictive but if it worked so well, would the person taking it need to continue taking it for life?

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artemis23

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Re: (legal) Medical Marijuana Question
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 03:34:34 AM »
I've used mj both as medicine and to escape suffering, and honestly, who cares either way. It really isn't harmful unless it makes your anxiety worse, you stop functioning in life (addiction), it triggers psychosis (more risky for BP populations). To be fair I live in the MJ capital of the world lol, so people use it all the time everywhere here. I no longer can handle THC it makes me feel worse anxiety and I end up abusing it, but I use an amazing CBD sleep extract that is saving me. There is so much stigma around MJ, but the literal 1000s of studies on it can't really back up the fears we have about it, which are extremely outdated and created in time of extreme racism and ignorance, to put it mildly.

But anyways, the real issue here is the guilt or shame you are feeling about doing something that helps you, and I can absolutely relate to that. This persistent feeling that can happen with CPTSD where it's 'wrong' to feel good. Where we weren't allowed to and so now it's uncomfortable. Considering how few medications actually help people with PTSD, and the little to no dangerous/harmful side effects of MJ, plus all the other incredible health benefits of this herb...I think your focus could be on practicing letting yourself enjoy it. It's ok to have some relief and even ENJOY the effects of THC, we all suffer enough here. It can be hard to break the cycle of keeping ourselves in suffering unnecessarily. You found something that works for you, bravo, you deserve it.