Finding relief through the Cannabis Plant:
Within the medical cannabis community, patients with MS are beginning to appear, talking it up and telling their stories about how the plant has drastically helped their disease, bringing glimmers of hope to those that definitely did not see light before and furthermore opening the eyes of families and friends. Additionally, although some conventional medical treatments can assist with certain forms of Multiple Sclerosis, the symptoms of this condition can sometimes not be effectively assisted by pharmaceuticals leaving patients wanting an alternative, more natural method of soothing these painful and often debilitating symptoms. This is where the cannabis plant can play a role in changing a life like no pharmaceutical maker could ever dream of, at least not those of the 20th century. But one thing many don’t consider is the judgment that people endure even after much of the world and most of the U.S. has legalized it in some form or another.
Andrew is one of those patients. He’s 22 and lives in Newark, N.J. and is the boyfriend of an individual that’s followed for a few years on social media. It was beyond humbling to receive his emailed testimony and to find that input given during transit made such a difference for him. “When I first started using the plant it was CBD only because that’s all I could get,” Andy went on to tell me a whole lot more,”When I realized this plant could make me walk again now that’s when I got very serious about it and started asking everyone I knew until I found someone that was growing. It was really scary at first with all of it. I felt like hiding that I was high until my girlfriend started using the term medicated. I felt like I was doing something wrong by smoking it and vaping it. I didn’t know what to do, I was torn but had to keep using it because I want my life back. As a kid I would run all over the playground and then suddenly life changed. I had no idea what the doctors were talking about as a child but when I hit puberty I was already using a walker and a wheelchair. I knew that I was much more than different, I knew that my life was gone before it started. Depression probably was the worst part of it all.”
“Then I started using more of the different oils friends would make and found even more relief but it didn’t feel right when I’d go to church or go someplace where my friends were that didn’t approve of weed. It seemed like all I would hear was that, why am I smoking weed? And to me it was so easy to give the answer that made sense but nobody wanted to hear it. I felt like screaming and crying, these are feelings I’m not used to at all. It didn’t matter what people said I continued using it. It’s been nearly 2 years now and I’m walking. No more wheelchair and no more pain. So many foul words have came through my mind as I thought of all the judgement from the many people that couldn’t understand why suddenly I was smoking pot. Then my girlfriend told me she’d been following this man online that worked for an Academy all about Cannabinoids. It was the first time I ever heard of the word Cannabinoid. Then that night it felt like I was in a college class as Mike taught me from a train. A man on a train in California taught me how to medicate differently than I was. He taught me to ingest a lot more than I was and it’s changed the way I feel. The pain level has reduced. Learning to add the CBD after the THC makes me a little too medicated works really good. Whoever taught him, I am thankful for. This plant, CBD and THC and all the other wonderful parts of it, I am very thankful for. I can walk again.”
I am extremely thankful for Dennis Peron, RIP, the Godfather of Cannabis, co-author and huge name behind California’s 1996 Proposition 215 the first legalization of medicinal cannabis anywhere on the globe since prohibition. Dennis was an extremely humble man that shared a very personal lesson with me that I’ll never forget “Mike, compassion doesn’t always mean convenience, nobody ever left the buyers club without a joint.” Meeting Dennis and spending time with him while writing the “Peron Resolution” which requested the end of the prohibition of gifting of Cannabis in California left memories that last a lifetime regardless of the current veto by California State Gov. Jerry Brown of The Compassion Act that would have restored the gifting of the precious plant. Voters in the state went after Proposition 64 thinking it was the end of prohibition and like most voting booths people don’t spend the time nor have the time to read excessive language. Most California voters were left in a shell shock state of mind when they found out they voted for legalizing getting high (which in Ca. seemed legal already) while outlawing the giving away of oils to save dying peoples lives. “All for the love of money, I’m just an old gay hippie, why should they listen to me?” Dennis told me near the end of his life in December 2017. A man that stayed humble the entire time, a man that never stepped away from compassion regardless of how the world treated him or his idea of freeing us all from the holds of a government that want’s to see us perish instead of heal with the plant. Some days the 100’s or even 1000’s of messages that come through are so overwhelming. Trying to manage multiple phone numbers and so many people that need information and help sometimes gets frustrating until an email like this one comes through. Then it reminds me of Dennis and how he lived in the small room at the bottom of the Castro Castle. Humble.
Exactly what is M.S.?
Multiple Sclerosis is a complex and multidimensional medical condition, that impacts each and every individual in a completely different manner. There is no official cure for MS, although some conventional medical treatments do exist to slow down or even dissolve negative impacts produced by the condition. These specific treatments will be discussed in further detail later on in this article. Even if the effects of MS can manifest in various ways, what is happening deeper within the body is always the same or similar, leading to a variety of outcomes because of one process.
What is occurring within when MS strikes, is primarily centered within the brain and spinal cord and their ability to receive signals and be properly supported by well functioning central nervous system. This results in challenges throughout many aspects of day to day life, because the central nervous system is so vital to human functions, making it possible for humans to do basic activities like walking, all the way to solving a complex problem.
Patients suffering from MS typically have a form of the condition that is categorized into four different groups; with symptoms that are either long lasting or temporary. The majority of patients fall underneath the temporary category, which is defined as relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and involves obvious attacks that seem to have frequent shifts, where remissions are often experienced between attacks and full recoveries often made, only for another attack to follow some time after. This form of MS has some conventional treatments available to assist with stabilization of the symptoms.
The next type of MS is known as clinically isolated MS (CIS), and is somewhat of the preliminary stage to a possible MS diagnosis. Someone given the label CIS must experience symptoms for 24 hours, and they may either go on to make a full recovery, or end up with an official MS diagnosis. Not all who experience CIS end up developing an official diagnosis.
The third classification of Multiple Sclerosis, is known as primary progressive MS (PPMS), and is usually a worsening in symptoms, specifically ones that create disabilities for an individual, as well as a lack of regular relapse and recovery, because the symptoms tend to appear gradually, intensifying with time.
The fourth, and final category of MS, is secondary progressive MS (SPMS), which is typically the result for patients diagnosed with RRMS as time progresses. With this form of Multiple Sclerosis, the symptoms tend to increase, and overall neurological function seems to further decline, often resulting in an even more immense worsening and shortening of periods between relapse and remission.
For those who experience little to no period of remission, such as patients diagnosed with progressive MS, must know that there is not much conventionally that can be done to improve the condition, for no medical treatments have yet been discovered, aside from one FDA approved medicine. The light at the end of the tunnel; plenty of research is constantly being conducted to discover new, effective treatments for progressive Multiple Sclerosis, so there is hope that progress will be made in the near future.
Bottom Line? Cannabis and Cannabis Oils have now treated thousands of patients globally with MS successfully! From CBD oils to THC and terpenes – the entire plant with all of it’s numerous cannabinoids is truly the plant of life for all of us whether it’s Cancer, MS, Epilepsy, Autism, Migraines – you name it and this plant has the answer!
Mike Robinson, Medicinal Cannabis Patient & Cannabinoid Medicine Healthcare Consultant/Research Analyst