Midsection Musings – Crohns and Medical Marijuana

May 31, 2016

Let me start by saying three things…

1 – I really like the ‘Midsection Musings’ headline and I might actually go grab that domain and point it to a site (of mine if this topic has legs) that focuses on Crohn’s-related posts.

Prior to my Crohn's diagnosis I was active and cute.

Prior to my Crohn’s diagnosis I was active and cute.

2 – As of this moment I have tried marijuana a grand total of three times. All in the past three weeks. None were via smoking. Results have been meh, so far.

3 – Your mileage and experience with pain mediation, drug use, personal health issues and other afflictions/ailments/injuries/illnesses will certainly vary. Everything here, while researched a bit, includes my personal reflection on my experiences. Hence the spot in my collection of blogs where this appears. If/when this becomes a more established line of posts or a regular topic, I will step up the research and reporting a bit so the missives can be used more as a resource and less as entertaining and enlightening writing.

All that said, let’s get into it. Drugs are necessary. Sometimes. For various reasons. With or without a prescription, drugs are used every day by people all over the planet to keep illnesses and pain at bay. My upbringing was more akin to goodie-two-shoes than leather-jacket-wearing hood. Therefore, some readers may smirk a little when they hear about how tame a life I’ve led…until my current foray into pot.

Not my dealer. I'll be getting my marijuana via the Massachusetts Medical Dispensary system...unless it's too expensive there.

Not my dealer. I’ll be getting my marijuana via the Massachusetts Medical Dispensary system…unless it’s too expensive there.

I said it, pot. Hash. Mary Jane. MJ. Weed. And there are about 31 other slang names for it – though it all means marijuana. I’m on a quest to see if it helps with some of the issues that my Crohns Disease has raised and I’d like to share my journey to help other people.

According to actual doctors, thousands of individuals with Crohns and IBS and Colitis, and plenty of researchers, the elements in pot actually work to alleviate pain, anxiety, cramping and other physical manifestations of the disease.

My hope is to find a good balance of features – and a perfect recipe – so I can function productively, creatively, and pain-free while staying away from opioid methods and other meds that might damage other parts of my body.

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As you can see, this is how I usually eat. Being on pot will likely not change that, so when you see #WWJCE and photos of junk food, don't say, 'uh, oh, Jeff has gone deep into this munchies phase'. It's just how I always eat.

As you can see, this is how I usually eat. Being on pot will likely not change that, so when you see #WWJCE and photos of junk food, don’t say, ‘uh, oh, Jeff has gone deep into this munchies phase’. It’s just how I always eat.

Quickly, here’s my medical background and my plan for the next couple weeks. I’ll share the results once I have a bit more data. As I’ve said, I’ve only tried it a few times in my life and that’s all happened in the past month. As I move forward, I’ll be scientific in the approach and will share what worked, what didn’t, why and what I felt. I welcome your comments and resources along the way.

Medical Snapshot – diagnosed in the early 1980s with Crohns. Have had multiple intestinal resections. I have minimal intestinal tract left. It means I absorb very little from the food I eat and I can eat like a horse without gaining weight. It affects my potassium, iron, vitamin D and other minerals and nutrients. I am on Entyvio right now along with Cipro, Ursodiol and a handful of other drugs. I HAVE used opioids for pain – I still have pain four times a week at least at a level of three or four on the silly 1-10 scale doctors use. I still use prescription pain killers to deal with this pain, but am decreasing that level regularly and hope to be fully off them by the fall by using marijuana and its components to address my pain and other symptoms.

My Plan for Mary Jane and Me – waiting on my medical marijuana card here in MA. Once I receive that I’ll talk to a budmaster at the local dispensary and find out what blends are suggested for my specific symptoms; what particular format is most reliable and best managed (my pain comes on quickly and waiting 120 minutes for an agent to kick in is not pleasant) with my level of experience and comfort with form; how much I will need over the course of a week to address my issues; how I should best try the materials to efficiently identify a positive solution for my situation.

I’m not averse to folks who are into weed as a recreational pursuit, but that’s not me. I will enjoy wine or beer to get my buzz. My use of marijuana is solely to address my Crohns and other pain. I might very well find a component of these products that can be taken even more effectively and in a less regulated way. Some people talk about THC vs. CBD and the benefits and use of each. As I begin, I’ll take material that has both together and then see how to simplify the product for best result.

Lastly, I am planning to explore edibles, oils and dried materials. I am planning to use candy, lozenges, oil drops, and vaporized oil and dried material in this journey. I am NOT going to burn or smoke dried material. While giving up on a ‘perfect’ record of never trying pot, that has not fazed my steadfast stance against smoking and the damage it can and does do to ones body. I have read about the impact vapor has and it’s far less than actually burning of leaves and dried herbs.

That’s all for now. More coming as I learn more about the process and myself. Thanks for reading!