|“Rabbit hole is a term used to refer to a bizarre, confusing,
or nonsensical situation or environment,
typically one from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.” lexico.com
Those of us with Fibromyalgia (and those treating us or living with us) quickly come to understand that it is a bizarre, confusing, nonsensical journey. I have pain where I am not hurt. One day it’ll hurt all on the left side of my body for no reason that I can identify and the next day it’s completely on my right side. I have energy one minute and feel like I’m wearing lead boots the next. I am so tired all day yet keep myself up and about until bedtime, and then at bedtime, I’m awake and clear-headed having no ability to fall asleep.
We also learn that this bizarre journey is really one we must go on our own. There is not a one size fits all treatment for Fibromyalgia Syndrom (FMS). Slowly and not at all straight forward, I am finding my way out of the confusing, dark tunnels and into the light of being able to manage my symptoms.
At the end of July 2019, I explained how I had gotten to the point of wanting to try medical marijuana to help me manage my FMS symptoms. I was just coming off of withdrawal from Cymbalta (one of the three FDA approved prescription drugs for treating FMS). If you haven’t read it, it would be good to read: Down the Rabbit Hole: Could Medical Marijuana Help?
|Each container of 10-10mg gummies
I have no affiliation or kickbacks for mentioning these products.
I am writing about my experiences only.
Just after getting a Michigan Medical Marijuana Permit (under the category of chronic pain), I decided to go to a local dispensary. My research on Leafly.com was helpful; however, the dispensary didn’t carry what I had thought would be the best to try as reviewed on their site. I knew I didn’t want to smoke or vape. So, I decided to go with Wana edibles (sour watermelon and sour blueberry).
I was nervous about going to this new world of a cannabis dispensary and didn’t quite know what to expect. However, my nerves were calmed by the professional environment and the friendly people who worked there. I stressed that I didn’t want to feel “high” nor did I want to sit stoned on the couch craving munchies (all stereotypical ideas I’ve gotten from movies, etc). They steered me towards the two above edibles, one for day time use and one to help me fall and stay asleep.
That first day, I decided to heed all the warnings to try just a bit, so I cut the “gummy” into halves. The directions say: Start with a low dose of 5-10mg (cut in half for 5mg). Wait at least an hour to feel the effect before consuming more product. Around 2pm in the afternoon, I ate the sour watermelon hybrid of sativa and indica half piece. The hybrid is supposed to give a more balanced effect. I was hoping for less pain and clear-headed energy. One hour later and beyond, I felt little difference besides a bit of light-headedness.
That night, I decided to take the sour blueberry which has indica strain (which helps with falling asleep). Because of the lack of noticeable effects, I took 10mg (so a whole piece) around 9:30 pm (so 7 hours after the first 5mg). From what I’ve researched, the effects of edibles stay in the system for 6-8 hours. So, possibly, I didn’t quite wait long enough for the other to be fully out of my system. Or, the indica THC just had more of an effect on me.
I did fall asleep in short order. However, I woke up, around midnight (just about the time the THC would have been highest in my blood system), to a scary sensation. I felt like I was going to forget to breathe. It felt like I was just going to stop. Also, time felt out of whack. This disorienting feeling lasted for an hour or so and then I fell back to sleep.
I hate feeling out of control. So, I put the gummies away and haven’t tried them again….yet.
Two Week Trial
I took the .25mL sublingually (under the tongue) before bed for two weeks. I’ll be honest, the taste seemed like castor oil meets olive oil, so I quickly learned to wash it down with water.
This resulted in a solid night of sleep each night (fell asleep fairly quickly and stayed asleep). Those of us with FMS and other chronic pain issues know that sleep can be one of the major things affected. As my physical therapist says, “Sleep is when the body heals.” So, loss of sleep compounds issues.
I also noticed less pain during the morning times (amped up again in the afternoons) as well as generally clearer thinking. I did notice that if I took an additional dose in the afternoon (say by 1pm), I ended up getting a bit groggy. I didn’t try that out on a consistent basis, which I plan to yet do.
Results from my Informal Experiment
After the two weeks, I decided to not take it and note what changes I had. I ended up doing this for only three nights. That’s because I had three nights of little sleep. I took it the fourth night and slept soundly again.
- Sleeping soundly. (By taking .25ml of Mary’s Remedy by Coltyn 1:1 at 9:30, I’ve been falling asleep about 10:30 and sleeping until 7:30. If I do wake up to pee, I have been able to roll back into bed and go to sleep.)
- My head seems to be clearer during the day.
- Less pain in the morning.
- My overall mood is lighter.
- If I take it during the morning or afternoon, I tend to get groggy. However, I didn’t try this consistently yet to notice if it was those harder days I took the extra, so the fatigue, weakness, foggy brain were already there, or was it from the chemicals of the CBD/TCH reacting with my body’s makeup?
- It costs $45 a bottle ($1.00 a dose).
- It’s not readily available in my area.
Here are a few of the resources that I’ve used to help in my choices:
“Our data indicates that medical cannabis could be a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of fibromyalgia, especially for those who failed on standard pharmacological therapies.”
“Medical cannabis appears to be a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Standardization of treatment compounds and regimens are required.”
“If you’re trying to treat , like chronic back pain, chronic joint pain, or recovering from a chronic illness, you may need a good bit more CBD, and the thing to do is .”
“When taking edibles for the first time, start with a small dose and work your way up to a dose that produces the desired effect.”
What are your thoughts or experiences with using cannabis for managing Fibromyalgia symptoms? I’m hoping now that cannabis has been legalized, that there will be more research about its uses as well as educated doctors for guidance.