marijuana plants, cannabidiol, THC, cannabis cream

Many doctors are skeptical about the benefits of medical marijuana. That’s because they did not learn about this “herb” in medical school. If it was discussed at all, the likelihood is that the lecture would have been part of a class on drugs of abuse rather than therapeutic benefits. Sadly, there has been relatively little research on medical marijuana. This reader shares a poignant story about cannabidiol oil.

Q. My 19-year-old son had intractable seizures starting at age 12. At age 17, he was up to 9 seizures a day despite taking three different meds (29 pills a day). The side effects were awful; he got so skinny that the doctors considered inserting a feeding tube.

Two years ago, I started him on cannabidiol oil (CBD). In California, you go to a special doctor who asks lots of questions to decide if you’d benefit from it. You get a special card for a dispensary.

We had to experiment to see how much he needed. We were able to gradually decrease his pills.

His neurologist was horrified at the idea two years ago, but he has watched in amazement as my son reduced his medication without a single seizure. CBD has made a world of difference in my son’s life!

A. Many states have approved the medical use of marijuana compounds. Cannabidiol oil does not cause the high associated with marijuana. Research is beginning to show benefit for some people with hard-to-treat epilepsy (Pharmacological Research, May, 2016).

A study in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology (Sept. 30, 2016) also reported improvement:

“Novel antiepileptic compounds with new mechanisms of action, fewer side effects, and better safety and tolerability profiles have been approved over the last years. However, although more than 20 different drugs approved for the treatment of epilepsy exist today, around 30% of patients continue to have seizures…

“The medicinal effects of cannabis in epilepsy have been known for centuries and, nowadays, the anticonvulsant properties of its components have received increasing attention…

“The present report is in line with pre-clinical and preliminary clinical data suggesting that CBD may be effective for some patients with epilepsy.”

These researchers call for randomized controlled trials. We couldn’t agree more!

Stories from Readers About Cannabidiol Oil:

Ellie in Connecticut:

“Were it not for medical marijuana, I’d be taking opioids regularly to deal with my chronic pain. The world of med MJ is indeed a whole new world.

“Initially I stuck very closely to only oil based tincture strains that were very high CBD, with virtually no THC (the pyschoactive element in MJ that gets people high). Now I’m realizing that a small amount of THC along with high CBD produces the pain relief I’ve been looking for.

“Yes, I had to literally jump through hoops to become certified to purchase medical MJ in my state but it’s all been very worthwhile. Does the marijuana totally eliminate my pain? No, it doesn’t. But what it does is ease it back to a far more manageable level. I’m delighted to have this option to control my pain.”

David reports:

“My wife experiences relief from stroke related pain with oral CBD oil: an eye dropper full under the tongue when stomach is empty. She has experienced no adverse effects. It has a pleasant taste. CBD oil is derived from non-THC hemp and doesn’t get people high.”

Brian in California reports on cannabidiol for diabetic neuropathy:

“My diabetic neuropathy came on suddenly and without warning. The severity is such that I’ll literally scream out, even in a public place like a restaurant! The pain is very sharp but only lasts about a second. Sometimes it pulses. I’ve even been prescribed narcotics (opioids) but they don’t even touch it. Neurontin (gabapentin) doesn’t work, even after taking it for months.

“When I tried Marijuana it worked immediately and the relief lasted 3-4 days!

“Now, I make my own tincture and take about two dropperfuls every three days or so. If I forget, the pain will return to remind me, but if I have the tincture handy, it takes care of it immediately with NO side effects. I’m sure it is high in CBD but it also has some THC in it and I think a bit of THC is necessary for this purpose.

“I’m a retired Chiropractor with an additional degree in Natural Medicine. The synergy of the two substances working together is very important in natural products.”

A Doctor’s Perspective on Medical Marijuana:

If you would like to learn more about one physician’s experience with medical marijuana, we recommend our one-hour radio interview with David Casarett, MD, MA. In it you will learn about the use of cannabidiol oil and medical marijuana to treat neuropathic (nerve) pain. Dr. Casarett also explains how medical marijuana may be helpful in calming the agitation experienced by some patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a link to the show. 

Show 1027: How One Doctor Changed His Mind about Medical Marijuana (Archive)

Share your own medical marijuana story in the comment section below.

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  1. Marilyn

    I have been on Neurontin and Tramadol for chronic abdominal pain for at least 8 or 9 years. Last month I titrated off of Tramadol successfully. I am down to 300 mg per day of Neurontin, originally on 900 mg. I plan to go a week with 150 mg per day and then be done. I have had no side effects except possibly some insomnia. A week ago Monday (9 days ago), I started on CBD oil. I began with the lowest dose and used two sprays on the tongue every time I felt the pain returning. It has worked quite well. I am going to increase the strength of the oil I use starting tomorrow. My issue is that since I decreased the Neurontin, I have increased neuropathy in my legs and feet. I have had this neuropathy to some degree for several years (cause unknown) but it has become decidedly worse. My question is will the continuation of the CBD oil and increasing it to a stronger dose give me some relief of the neuropathy?

  2. Doreen

    I’m 58, always active, outdoor enthusiast. Since spinal fusions began @ C4 in 1995 (now total c-spine fused) I’ve been subjected to E-THING BIG PHARM could thow @ me. I’ve suffered compound issues I’ll not bore you with beyond “beware big pharma & the reps otherwise ref. as dr’s. Some mean well, BUT! If I had “stayed” the course, suicide would’ve been merciful for my family & myself.

    Reading others feedback is so heartbreaking. I consider myself informed & responsible for my outcomes. This hx resulted in EARLY RETIREMENT from nursing & joyful living. I wouldn’t presume to advise fellow sufferers beyond do not become a victim of the $ machine (pharma), find your path. Loss of quality of life vrs challenging social/legal taboos too often comes as a last desp. act, by then despair is familiar & influential.

    Unfortunately, I agreed to try neurontin tx ONE more time, big mistake! I’ve not been so depressed, painful & discouraged in 9mo. That may not sound like much time unless you’ve been 100% pharm clean that long. 1995-2016, that’s how long I did it their way.

    Nutrition, no rx’s, h2o, baby step exercise & cannabis products. I remember saying “this is the first time I’ve laughed out loud in yrs!” Then I got news r/t severe osteoarthritis, allowed myself to think I needed to be compliant w new dr’s advice. That’s been 2mos. Here I sit hurtn’ inside & out. Another hill to climb, so unfair to family, me and most of all, my friend & husband for over 26yrs.

    My newest dx of osteoarthritis I think I need help w, so painful to thoracic back & hands, can’t get relief. My hands never stop hurting, 1-10, never <5, can't sleep more than 1-2 hrs before pain wakes me. Anyone? Thanx for listening, doreen

    • Amanda
      Essex, Ct

      Doreen, has anyone talked to you about getting an infusion with rituxan for the osteoarthritis?

  3. Nancy
    Central FL

    I have trigeminal neuralgia and sometimes the pain is unbearable. Does anyone know if CBD has helped or will help with the pain? I checked the link and 3 doctors offices appear to be in central FL.

  4. Cheryl

    After just one week of taking Hemp derived CBD oil my Essential Tremor is undetectable. I had been taking Primidone for the last 4 yrs and I still had to use two hands to hold my glass to drink. I am also weaning myself off of the anxiety med Lexapro at the same time. I have had zero withdrawal symptoms so far and I am thinking clearer, am happier, more energy and no doubt I will drop this 40 lbs I have gained in the last year while being on the medication. My husband is going to start taking it for his hip pain and pins and needles in his feet. I have no doubt it will do wonders for him as well. Thanking God for CBD! Amazing…truly amazing!

  5. OCIE

    I live in Texas can I buy it from here? I have a lot of bulging disks in my tail bone and one in my back. I am a type 2 diabetic and I have the pain from both. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Liz

    The two of us want to try this for help with Parkinson’s and chronic severe back pain. Fla just passed a bill legitimizing medical use. Is ther a list somewhere of docs by state that can do a thorough review and prescribe?

    I asked my pain mgmt doc and he nor his staff had any answes. Can anyone help with this directory information? I am sure we are not alone in this need. Thanks. Liz s.

  7. Debi V
    Burlington, NC

    Marijuana oil is an almost miraculous substance, helping my pain in my back from nerves, my legs & feet from neuropathy as well… I can’t believe they left out the most common form of medical performance in a natural substance there is. And to make it illegal, that’s downright sad……….. for those of us with problems that we can’t afford the medications or the medications don’t work well, the medical marijuana oil and other parts of the plant are the only help. I sure hope the country gets it’s head together soon and lets the use of this substance be used throughout the country by the ones that need it and lift the law that binds it, without having to control it like they do the drugs…. God bless whoever see’s this through and finds for the people of the USA and lets us have our cure…….

    • david
      charlotte nc

      Hi. I have been trying to find a solution for over 3 years now. I have horrible pain in my feet. I cannot even go to the gym anymore.

      Doctor prescribed drugs do not work. I am in NC also. Where do I go to get this oil? Online? Over the counter? Can you tell me?? Thank you so much.

      • Carolyn D

        In case no one has gotten back to you, it is readily available for various prices from, including from great Canadian sources. I am in the process of weaning off gabapentin for neuropathy in the feet and lower legs under my neurologist‘s supervision and plan to try CBD oil after successfully withdrawing from the RX. Good luck to both of us!

  8. Jo-Anne

    I am very dismayed that your reliable and trustworthy newsletter and blog have been influenced by the profits to be made by legal marijuana. Now without hardly any evidenced based research and facts, it has become the panacea for a wide range of ailments.

    Like Cocaine was once in every patent medicine years ago, now marijuana is the new trend. Like opioids, it is being prescribed for the most minor of pains and is causing the misery of mass addiction. “The pigs are at the trough,” my father would say, and pharmacies and pharmacists are lining up to get in on the profits. Big Pharma will be horning in soon.

    Sorry you guys are buying into the hype. I have been reading your articles with more skepticism now than before.

  9. Jean

    Has medical marijuana been used on dogs that suffer from seizures? If not, is there a possibility that this could happen?

    • Dennis
      Stoneham MA

      Jean this is not the Dark Age.

  10. Deloris

    I tried CBD oil derived from hemp (no THC), and it worked for the night-time muscle cramps I get from past statin use. The only downside I experienced was excessive daytime sleepiness on a higher dose. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and peripheral neuropathy, but CBD didn’t bring any relief for these conditions. Unfortunately, CBD is very expensive and not easy to get in my state, so I had to stop it.

    • KAREN T.

      Try Co Q10 for night cramps. I take 200 mg a day, and I quit statins 3 times. I’ll take my chances.

  11. Mary
    North Carolina

    As a well-informed individual with Parkinson’s Disease there are many who have found relief from tremors and insomnia not to mention the anxiety associated with this disease from medical Marijuana. How cruel to deny patients access to Marijuana. Medical Marijuana is now legal in Florida. Why not North Carolina?

  12. Brian

    I wanted to download the radio broadcast for free, as it was still within the “free” period, but I was unable to do so.

    What’s up?

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