24 September 2011

Ask An Old Hippie: Can Marijuana Relieve My Back Pain?

Dear Old Hippie: I was in a car accident several years ago that left me with a back injury that unfortunately keeps me in quite a bit of pain a good portion of the day. I have been on a concoction of pharmaceuticals for the past year and a half, and finally decided that I hate their negative effects and I wanted to get off them. I had a very hard time remaining focused and productive. Anyway, I have worked myself down from 6 hydrocodone/4 tramadol a day to just 2 tramadol (and some prescription NSAIDS with no narcotics in them).

While my mind feels significantly better, my back is getting worse daily. I can’t exercise at all without experiencing both short and long term pain, and i’m gaining weight because of it, which puts more strain on my back. Most of the weed I’ve consumed (which I’m sure is nothing but ‘dirt’ or ‘brick’ weed) have actually heightened my sense of pain, making me feel teeth that don’t usually hurt or excessive throbbing in other mild ailments on my body. My desire is to ultimately find a source of marijuana with pain relieving properties. Are my expectations unrealistic?

A: Aw, foo. You’re “lucky” enough to have gotten some sensitizing body high effects, not pain-reducing effects. I’m almost positive that this is, as you mention, due to brick weed, because it sounds similar to the effects of a lot of the stuff I smoked back in the 60s and 70s.

There’s a literally dizzying selection of strains available at legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries, but since you’re not in a MMJ state, let’s get down to basics. Sativas generally affect your head and often stimulate thinking; indicas affect your body but can make you feel too stoned to think. But as I mentioned in my last column, there are always exceptions, and some things work differently on different people. Indicas are definitely more useful for pain relief in general. But there are many different strains available, and more importantly, different doses. This is something many people forget, when they talk about the “effects of marijuana”.

Recreational “doses” are almost always far higher than medicinal doses, and you will have different effects from the same batch of weed at these different doses.

Yes, when you smoke indicas to get high, you will often — depending again on the strain — end up with a fuzzy mind. But it is also true that if you take a smaller dose of the same batch, you will get milder body effects, such as pain relief, without getting mentally bombed. This can be improved by my personal trick of mixing strains in the same bowl, which lets you find the effects you want and cancel the others out.

The best solution is a high-CBD strain, which works like any other good pain medicine (removing the pain without making you numb), and often doesn’t get you high at all. Behold: Pot Painkiller Pills.

What you want can be done and is done every day, and I urge you to do a little more research and eventually get yourself to a medical marijuana state, where you can buy and use the medicine you need without having to worry about everything else.

Got a question for Old Hippie? Ask Old Hippie

24 September, 2011
the 420 TIMES

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