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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Medical Marijuana?

#1

Hello all
I am new to this site but not new to this disease. I have struggled to get my stress levels under control and was wondering what your take is on nerve meds and/or medical marijuana as a treatment option. I have done a little research on the medical marijuana and while I don't condone drug use I did find some interesting stuff.........

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#2

Of course you don't condone illicit drug use, but it sure would be nice to find something non-addictive to reduce our stress levels. I've thought about MJ too. There is a significant body of evidence to suggest that it could help with stress and pain. Oh oh, maybe I'll get flamed now ...

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#3

With no details provided, I will say that MJ does greatly help stress and while it doesn't relieve pain that much, it does make the pain less stressful and makes it seem less "in your face". And I'm not sayin' any more about how I know ;-) Hoping I don't get flamed...

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#4

OK, just gonna be straight up honest here. I was a recreational, daily marijuana smoker for many, many years. I have been an advocate for the decriminalization of this wonderful plant for as long as I can remember. I am a firm believer that adults should have unfettered access to this 100% natural plant. Having said this, I had never really given much thought to the medicinal aspect of marijuana through all those years. Since being diagnosed with PsA, I have been humbled by the help that this wonder drug offers. While it is true that it is not a cure all for the pain, I have personally witnessed times that during a severe attack in which my shoulders, neck, and back are very intensely tight and feel as though a vice is being cranked down on them and hydrocodone has done all that it can to ease the pain, marijuana can cause those muscles around the sites to relax. This may not bring a complete end to the pain, but the severity decreases immensely. I also agree with Andrea that marijuana causes a mental change that improves one's ability to process the pain and elevates one's mood in such a way as to also aid in lessening the tension and pain in the affected areas.

I am sure that a lot of people on this forum can tell you of the cascading effect when it comes to PsA pain. The pain is initially brought about by the swelling of the joints or around the cartilage or ligaments. This pain causes the muscles around that spot to tense. The tension itself is painful and adds to the overall level of pain. I have even had my muscles to begin to spasm due to the tension. This is where marijuana can be most miraculous. Both the physical relaxation of the body parts and the mental relaxation can cause this cascade to slow or even end.

I have personally found that eating a Medible, that is a food product containing the marijuana plant, has an even greater effect on the body. I have experienced as much as an 80 to 90 percent reduction in pain, and even swelling, after ingesting a medible. Some patients prefer this method because they do not enjoy the mental high of smoking and this method is more focused on the body. It is often referred to as giving you a 'body buzz', but that is a slang term meaning that your body feels better and even slightly euphoric.

I am in no way an advocate for drugs that do more harm than good. Hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or meth are disastrous in their effects on people and those who love them. I will especially include many of the legally available prescription pain killers such as Oxycodone, Roxycete, and Opana in this list of harmful substances. Where I live, pain killer addiction has devastated entire families and communities by changing people into zombies that only care about the next dose, not to mention killing people left and right, and yet these are legal. To date there has never, in history, been a single reported case of marijuana overdose and it has been proven to help with ailments as far ranging as from glaucoma to multiple sclerosis to aids and cancer to hypertension and even more recently alzheimer's disease.

Unfortunately, due to the barbaric and ignorant laws, I have had to stop the medical use of marijuana recently. I have been laid off for some time and I am currently looking for a job and no one will hire me if I test positive for marijuana. I have seen my pain increase, my mental state and ability to deal with the pain decline to the point of causing depression and a downgrade in my general quality of life, and most importantly my need for and use of hydrocodones and ibuprofen have reached levels that terrify me when I stop to think about it. I now fear that I may reach a level of use of hydrocodone that I may become addicted and that scares me. Detoxing off of such drugs is horrible. And yet, you know what kind of detoxing effect that stopping marijuana cold turkey after years of daily use physically caused? Nothing... outside of the loss of it's pain r

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#5

I would ingest it if I didn’t get tested at work! We are all in incredible pain off and on and what scares us the most with this disease is the possible side effects of these terrible drugs they put us on, and not being able to relieve the pain to at least manageable!!! MJ is natural and god given in my opinion, and less pricey. I am not a rich woman, and its hard at times to pay for all these Dr. visits and labs we have to do.
Minimal side effects, non addictive, and I have never heard of anyone dieing from MJ use.
Maybe one day it will be legal to at least grow our own personal use for suffers. I guess for right now we just have to go from Drug to drug until something works for us.
This is just my opinion, and I’m not MJ user, nor do I condone the use of MJ for recreational use!! Please don’t ban me from this site Thanks!!

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#6

if it was legal i would use it however i am treated threw teh va and they will not nor will medicare cover it nor subscribe it so i am kind of stuck unable to use something that is naural with no side effects instead i am at the mercy of the pharmaceuticals which destroy kidneys livers and who knows what else i would rather take something natural than slowly kill myself with all the meds. now if you want more info on the marijuana here is a site i hope i am aloud to post a link here http://norml.org/marijuana it gives you many great things about the use and all it is good for.

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#7

I'm lucky up here in Canada, it's legal for medical purposes as long as you meet the criteria. I'm told that I may well be eligible, so I will query my Rheumy in a few weeks when I see him.

I'll be up front and tell you that I smoke one (joint) pretty much every evening. My pain is at it's worst late in the day, and it works well with no interactions. I find I have to dose every hr. or two (a few puffs) but it really helps with the pain. It's also very relaxing and helps me sleep. It's not for everyone but if you're eligible, I'd definitely suggest trying it: works for me!

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#8

I have been living with PsA for over 10 years now, and I am only in my early 30s. I experimented with marijuana when my swelling and pain became unbearable and I couldn't afford to go to the doctor again to pay the co pay and then the prescriptions for pain meds. At first, I didn't notice any difference in my body or the swelling. After a week of only smoking two joints, I noticed I had more range in motion in my knee and I didn't need my cane as much anymore. I believe that medicinal marijuana alleviates a lot of the symptoms. Unfortunately, I have found another job that is requiring a preemployment drug screen. I have stopped taking marijuana and now my knee is swollen and I have had to drain it twice with cortisone shots. They have given me steroids, methotrexate, and Celebrex, but it hasn't alleviated the severity of the symptoms. I am a firm believer that medical marijuana worked on my symptoms and it doesn't have all the side effects on my liver and kidneys as the other medications do. My only worry is, that I live in the state of Illinois, and they are about to pass medical marijuana, but would only cover Rheum. Arthritis. Do you guys think that they would count PsA under this illness as well?

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#9

I've recently stopped taking narcotic pain killers, I tried Cymbalta and I gained weight and my BP went up. I still need something for pain but I am afraid of side effects. So searching Google I found this discussion. I tried pot just a few times 40 years ago, and didn't like it much; but I didn't have PsA or pain then. I am actually considering it. Can anyone tell me how much pain relief you get in comparison to other drugs? I live in Ohio where it isn't legal, but it is pending.

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#10

With the momentum building across the USA as to reevaluating the perspective on marijuana I’m curious as to the lack of activity on this topic. I have never used marijuana but neither have I seen so many different med options for psA and they all seem somewhat of a crapshoot with many working for some but not for others…then all the crazy potential side-effects. Why isn’t there more of a cry for the marijuana alternative??

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#11

Thanks Ron for your upfront reply in this discussion.
I am currently researching some indica strains to assist me.
This is for ingesting daily and I have hope that this may work.
I am so tired of being a guinea pig with manmade drugs that have no longitudinal studies done on the long term side effects.

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#12

I am new to this site and recently diagnosed with PsA. Stress seems to be a trigger for me. I am already having liver problems b/c of the Aleve (3 - 2x a day) that I've been taking. I also have Norco, which I break in half and take 1/2 every couple hours when I have a flareup. Cost of medication is a huge issue for me and I hate taking so much medicine. I'm in Michigan where medical MJ is legal but am afraid to ask Dr. to prescribe it for me. I was diagnosed with emphyzema this year too so smoking it is out of the question. I would love to be able to ingest MJ because I know it would help me. Just at a loss as to what to do.

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#13

I disagree. I have had great success with pain relief and marijuana. I tested this with an every night two or three hit use for two months. I would use between 8 and 9 pm. At first it only gave me two hours of pain relief before I fell asleep to a usually great night sleep which I wasn’t getting before. I would wake up in pain in the morning. However I forged ahead in my trials with marijuana. After about two weeks I found that it seemed to be helping my long term pain as well. I had completely stopped using the daily two to four aleve. I am in cincinnati and ohio only recently approved medical marijuana. I have just a week ago been approved for my medical marijuana card. No dispensaries are open near me yet but they are close. I haven’t used in a month or so and my pains are returning. I don’t use too get high. In fact cab only say that thur first time I tried and maybe two or three times after that did I ever feel high. It’s a process figuring out where you need to be if you don’t want to get high. However if you can give it your own safe trial I would recommend it.

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#14

While MJ may help with the pain, it will not reduce the distruction to your joints. This is why when you see a rheumatologist, they generally don’t prescribe pain killers. The goal is to get the inflammation under control; thereby reducing the pain. I live in a state where MJ is legal, but I still have to work and drive. My fear, as with any pain killer, is if I reduce pain in this way, will I overdue stress on my joints.

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#15

This goes for every complementary therapy and is worth repeating time and again, no matter how tedious it can be to hear it.

Tackling pain safely is important and vital to quality of life. But if anyone thinks that pain is the disease and that a reduction in pain means that joints are protected, they’re likely fooling themselves.

Prescription drugs are getting a bit of a bashing around here recently. I do not want to take them per se. However I consider the disease to be toxic in itself, let alone the effect it can have on joints. The disease has at times left me unable to stay awake, mildly nauseous 24/7, skinny as a rake and so brain-fogged that I felt unable to connect with anyone or anything. If that isn’t toxicity I don’t know what is.

I’m not knocking MMJ, I’d try it if I needed to. I don’t think the UK police would be overly interested unless I started supplying the neighbourhood.

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