The People's Perspective on Medicine

Seniors Swear by Marijuana Oil for Pain Relief

Marijuana oil applied to the skin helps one senior with persistent nocturnal foot pain. Others in the retirement community are taking note.

In an increasing number of states, the legislatures have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. (Ten states and the District of Columbia have made recreational use legal, usually in addition to medical use.) As a consequence, many people have become interested in the potential of this botanical product as medication. One reader reports that she uses marijuana oil to alleviate pain.

Can Marijuana Oil Relieve Nerve Pain?

Q. I have had great results from marijuana oil for neuropathy. Last year, I had extreme pain in my feet at night. They were so swollen I had trouble putting my shoes on in the morning. Consequently, I could not be as active as usual.

I took prescribed gabapentin for the pain. When I read in your column about natural approaches such as benfotiamine, curcumin and alpha-lipoic acid, I started taking them. Almost all my neuropathy symptoms disappeared, and I no longer need the gabapentin.

I still get occasional foot pain at night, however. It is instantly relieved by topical marijuana oil. My doctor said many of his patients are finding it helpful for pain. I live in an upscale retirement community and a large number of people here are using marijuana oil to relieve pain without side effects.

Cannabis-Based Medicines:

A. Cannabis-based medicines have some scientific support for chronic pain (Pain Physician, Sept. 2017).  In states where medicinal marijuana is unavailable, some people are using cannabidiol (CBD) oil instead. That is because this cannabis-derived compound does not make people high and has become widely available without a prescription.

To sum up, scientists believe more clinical research would help them explore its pain-relieving potential. As a result, researchers are actively exploring topical use of cannabis-based medicines such as marijuana oil (Molecules, Sep. 27, 2018). Your friends in the retirement community should consider the possibility of interactions with their other medications.

Learn More:

If you are interested in medical uses of marijuana oil or other cannabis-based compounds, you might want to listen to our interview with Dr. David Casarett. It is Show 1027: How One Doctor Changed His Mind About Medical Marijuana.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I have arthritis in my back as well as spinal stenosis, scoliosis and a herniated disc. I’ve been through 9 sessions of injections and 5 sessions of acupuncture and have tried different prescription and OTC medications, but nothing has helped. Since no form of marijuana is legal in South Dakota, I have not tried CBD oil, etc., but I’m wondering if some form of marijuana would be helpful for the pain which prevents me from standing up straight most of the time or walking much. Does anyone out there get relief from similar symptoms with CBD oil, etc.?

Actually, if you want to reduce your pain AND have fun (when/where feasible), then you could just skip the oil and go for the mj! Believe me, the regular mj relieves pain fantastically too. I used to have knee pain and it helped a lot. Now the pain is gone, but the fun remains.

I had multiple herniated discs from an injury, with lots of leg pain, numbness, weakness. My MD, after looking at my MRI results, pronounced my back a “trainwreck” and not a candidate for surgery. Crutches were required just to cross the room. My self-prescribed therapy (with the guidance and concurrence of my MD) included (1) three 250mg CBD capsules by day and sublingual CBD oil at night; (2) lots of ibuprofen (initially one every 2 hours, gradually tapering off to one twice a day), (3) purchase of a well-known; 3rd-party certified inversion table (get the model with the easy reach ankle system); and (4) physical therapy to strengthen core muscles all the way around my midsection. Now I’m using a backpack blower, push-mowing 1/2 acre, and completely pain-free.

The on-line CBD source I found after a lot of reference checking has prices less than half our local pharmacies and is socially responsible, offering a further 60% discount to those who qualify for their assistance program: veterans, individuals on long-term disability, low-income households. The verification process for assistance is straightforward, and their products are 3rd-party tested, something that’s especially important due to a multitude of CBD sources on the web with widely varying quality standards.

Dear Engineer 10388 – Since you’ve done a lot of research on a reliable source, would you consider sharing the company or website you landed on which was reliable and cost-effective? I know how much time and energy it takes to research and compare & I (as well as some others) would appreciate not having to start from scratch and “re-invent the wheel”, so to speak. Every person should evaluate for themselves, but starting with a suggestion from your experience certainly gives a good jumping off point. Thanks

CBD oil is the most effective remedy for my arthritis. I was taking Meloxicam for years and the side effects made me look for alternative relief. CBD oil from Hemp is fantastic for arthritis pain and it helped me recover fast from a serious concussion. It’s good for a number of things. Buy CBD oil on line. There are many sources but do a little research for the purest form of hemp oil (CBD).

I have idiopathic neuralgia, with pain walking and at night. I took gabapentin for a short time, with significant side effects and no real improvement in symptoms; so I stopped before it got too hard to withdraw.

While traveling to Washington state, I purchased a THC infused salve. It, and several others of the types of the marijuana topicals which I tried, are extremely effective for me. I still have neuropathy pain and tingling, but it is bearable with the salve. I can walk for hours after applying; and I am able to sleep through the night without being awakened by the pain.
I find that the higher percentage of THC to CBD in the mix, the better it works. I am one of a few people my age who actually never tried pot in my youth. But now it is helping me avoid adding another prescription to my life.

Is it true that a very small amount/percentage of thc is more effective?
Small as in 1 %. Thank you

It isn’t clear what percentage might make a difference. The research shows that the interactions between CBD and THC are complicated when it comes to pain:

I take CBD oil every morning for back and arthritis pain, it does help. BUT the most amazing use I have found is that it stops grand mal seizures in our 160 lb male Great Dane – in its tracks! You might have to see it to believe it, but we have used it twice in the last month – even tho he is on 3 different medications for seizures, when he still has one we grab the bottle and give him 1/2 dropper full. It is truly incredible, it is medical which means it has small amounts of thc but nothing that would get anyone (or dog) high in any way. AND it is the truth -that big pharma is fighting the legalization of it because they would not make any $. When is America going to wake up and allow this for all states?

How or where is this obtained?

It is so hard to obtain information lately when free speech is being removed – having to sign in on sites with the agreements allows censorship along with deletion of ones opinions or points of view especially if it opposes the sites controller.

I have CBD oil and it does absolutely NOTHING for my pain.,

Ditto! All I got was dry hard skin. Not where I applied it but on fingers, thumb and palms of hands. Never had dry scaley
skin before, and now I cannot get rid of it. The first cream from a local dispensary did not cause hardening of skin, but a salve Plus CBD did, and the drops are yucky sweet and have very strong peppermint flavor which hurts my stomach. The
plain drops have an awful taste, so the flavor covers it up.

My German Shepherd has the horrible equivalent of ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, so I’ve been trying everything to try to slow his paralysis. When I started giving him CBD oil orally and also rubbing it into his spine, MY pain and swelling from arthritis in my hands immediately got better! I’m not sure if it’s helping my big pup, but I’m still using it on him and at least I’m getting some benefit from it.

When visiting family in Washington state, I discovered a cream containing THC and CBD oils; it gave me relief!! I have herniated discs and arthritis in my neck as well as a worn out knee with arthritis – both areas are so much better with the cream. Since I live in a state that does not allow this, I am not able to use or obtain this wonderful potion. In my youth, I smoked pot; trust me THC oil applied topically does not make one high! Another note, CBD oil from hemp does not seem to be as effective for me as that from marijuana.

What is the name of the cream that you use and where do you get it? Is there a website that sells it? Thank you for any info.

None of the vitamins or herbs mentioned above helped my wife’s nerve pain. She is on gabapentin and even it is losing its effectiveness. She recently tried CBD oil and while it doesn’t get rid of the pain it takes the edge off of it so it is somewhat more bearable. We believe that her pain is due to nerve entrapment so given this Advil helps to reduce any inflammation or tightness of muscles with the result of lessening the pain. So you may want to try CBD/Advil as a possible solution to your pain.

I have used gabapentin for more years than I would like to say. It helped in the beginning but is essentially ineffective now. I believe it helps somewhat with sleep. After taking it for so many years I dare not go off it. I could develop seizures and at a senior age by the time I detoxed from it I would likely be dead. So I just keep taking it.

I have arthritis in my thumb joints. I also have problems with cramps in my calves at night (I use a statin, but take COQ10 and magnesium supplements to help counteract the cramps)). I’ve started using CBD lotion on my hands/wrists and calves before I go to bed, and it definitely helps control the pain at night. I also use it on my knees (I need knee replacements, but can’t do it for a few months), and it helps with that pain. Haven’t tried marijuana oil, but as long as CBD lotion works, I’ll use it.

They relieve my pain. I don’t understand why they do not legalize. It is common sense, and natural. Big pharma doesn’t want it Because of the profit loss to them.

I have friends who use CBD oil for arthritis. It helps some of them a lot. A few say that while it doesn’t help the arthritis, they take it because it makes them sleep well.
That made me wonder…if my arthritic knees ever get really painful, could I use that oil? Apparently, if it makes people sleepy, it must have sedative properties that get into the body with repeated use. I have been taking a small bedtime dose of clonazepam. I’ve tried to quit taking it, but since I’m in my seventies, the withdrawal effects were just too rough. So my primary care doctor said to just keep taking it. And I wonder if, since clonazepam is also sedating, whether I’d ever be able to use the CBD oil since that, apparently, can also be sedating. My pharmacist doesn’t know and says more research needs to be done. Your thoughts?

I was diagnosed with a fairly advanced melanoma on my arm in 2017. Between the time of the diagnosis and the operation, I used CBD oil both topically and internally daily for at least a month. The operation results indicated that the cancer had not spread to the sentinel node. Periodic exams and CT scans have located no problems. This is certainly not proof that CBD usage was a factor, could indicate a possibility that it was efficacious.

As I have neuropathy also in my feet, and I have an embedded nerve stimulator,
I would be am interested in applying Medical marijuana &/or CBD oil.
Since Med/Marijuana is illegal in NC what are your additional thoughts ?
There is a place on Hillsboro in Raleigh, NC where you can buy CBD ?

Medical marijuana is coming to Virginia, not everywhere but it’s worth looking into where they’ll be selling it. Maybe you could drive to Virginia to get it.

Started taking hemp extract and shoulder pain has been alleviated. Hopefully, it will keep me out of surgery. Expensive, but see the results of more research on marijuana for medical purposes. Eventually, I hope to see the general public accept this as a new kind of medicine.

Can you give us an established, honest place where we can purchase cannabis oil? Thank you

Its true. But it goes by the name Hemp extract. My good fiend introduced me to it after watching the jim bakker show. There was a doctor on there talking about the effects of it. It is pricy though. But she has given me great testimonials of its effect. I tried it. I didnt notice a difference right away, but after being without it, i realized the great benefits, I felt much better when getting out of bed. It helped my menopause symptoms, I had much more stamina. And there are many more positive affects.

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