Sunday, February 26, 2012

MariNoia, Vol. I: Personal account

(special thanks to Medical Marijuana Blog for the art!)
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DISCLAIMER:
Dear fellow investigators,
Please beware the completely speculative nature of this blog.  Deep, steady breathing is the best way to proceed. 
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Over the last several months I’ve tried vaporizing some pretty, fragrant sinsemilla buds from a local cannabis clinic.  (I’ve got an OMMP card, of course…)  I have found the medicine indispensible for relieving the pain, nausea, and muscle tension/pain of my migraines, which have been coming daily recently.  I’ve also found the drug useful for treating my spinal pain – which enables me to use physical therapy movements at home to continue the pursuit of proper spinal alignment.  I feel sad for those patients who have chronic daily headache who don’t have access to marijuana and consider myself fortunate.  I've sampled about twenty strains over several months and actually have find one that stands out – “Shishkaberry,” less commonly but more aptly known as “Snow Trek.”  It works much better than any other strains for relieving the actual head pain part of my migraines.  It seems to actually constrict the blood vessels in my head and make my head feel as if it is cool on the inside.  [It might be very interesting to study “Snow Trek” and other strains which are considered most useful among CM patients!] 

Of course, it also has other effects which aren’t specific to the strain but are specifically incredibly useful for treating migraine symptoms: drastic reduction or elimination of nausea, reduction of muscle tension, analgesia, etc.  So, naturally, I have actually developed somewhat of a Pavlovian response to the smell of this strain in particular and to marijuana in general  - it signals relief!  I’ve got the same thing with green tea, too. 
I found that I was surprisingly insensitive to the drug right from the start.  It didn’t seem to get me “high” or have any powerful effect, even though the cannabis had a very high THC content.  Basically, I could toke like an old veteran from day one and not feel loopy.  This didn’t make much sense to me – sensitivity is a virtue in my book and is usually my ‘trait examplar’ with drugs and all other matters.  I now suspect some sort of disruption of my own individual endocannabinoid system due to/as a cause of the chronic nature of the migraines (if they weren’t daily, these biochemicals would not be so depleted from my body, spec.).

Check out these papers:
Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD): http://www.nel.edu/pdf_/25_12/NEL251204R02_Russo_.pdf
Endocannabinoids in Chronic Migraine: CSF Findings Suggest A System Failure:
Hemp for Headache:
http://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/hemp_for_headache.pdf

I even have a more specific suspicion: that ‘the reason’ I seem to be so insensitive to cannabis is due to a Russonian CECD type of situation caused by chronic pain and the resultant adrenal fatigue.  If there is a deep 'endocannabinoid well’ to fill, then the ‘high threshold’ won’t be reached unless a higher dose of cannabis is used.  Hence the common statement: "it doesn't get you high if you're in pain."

This is pure speculation, of course.  But on this journey of trying to achieve proper spinal alignment, there have been brief periods where the migraines have gone away for perhaps three days at a time (which I attribute to finding relatively, but not absolutely more biomechanically favorable spinal transition states along the way) and my sensitivity to cannabis has varied by as much as an order of magnitude and even more at those times.

Personally, I feel that cannabis (particularly “Snow Trek”) would be very easy to call “nature’s perfect migraine drug” – it provides significant relief from most of my symptoms.  I even suspect, as do some others, perhaps foolishly, that human and cannabis coevolution will continue to produce more and more effective and specific medicines and it might be a good idea to allow this to happen or even encourage it.

Since marijuana has given me so much more relief from the bulk of migraine symptoms than any other drug, I decided some time ago that I should do a little reading.  I didn't know anything about marijuana.  So I’ve been playing marijuana detective lately – for the sake of my own migraines, and of course for the sake of other people who use it as an herbal medicine in some way. My personal experience with the drug was a springboard into a surprising investigation - and over time I realized that I hadn't been willing to even learn about it until I had already been using it to control my symptoms for some time! 

The next post will begin to scratch the surface of the connections between cannabis and cancer!

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