Cannabis

Use this section to discuss your experiences with prescription drugs, iron injections, and other medical interventions that involve the introduction of a drug or medicine into the body. Discuss side effects, successes, failures, published research, information about drug trials, and information about new medications being developed.

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
stjohnh
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Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Cannabis

Postby stjohnh » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:58 pm

QyX wrote:My doctors says that THC will help you fall asleep and CBD helps with staying asleep.


Hmm, that is interesting. If I need THC in the future, I may try some with high CBD content to help stay asleep. Previously I had used gabapentin, which works, but has nasty side effects the next day.
Blessings,
Holland

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:17 pm

Last night I slept 5 hours during a time period where it is normally impossible (!) for me to sleep without Benzodiazepines. This time I did not take extra CBD before I took the spy and it was only after I took the extra CBD when I suddenly got crazy tired. This combination of THC and CBD literally takes my brain out, but not in an unpleasant way like Antipsychotics or some Benzodiazepines do it, it is very relaxing and smooth, without feeling high, just super relaxed, tired with additional analgesic and muscle relaxant effects.

However: the effects are super strong. I took my dose at 8:30 pm yesterday and I still can feel a huge portion of it.

At the moment I can't see how I should be able to take it in the morning. This would make me chill on the bed all day long.

From what I've read my response should not be as strong as it currently is. It is really surprising how powerful this THC / CBD spray is.

My current theory about this is: I recently read that some disorders have something to do with a lack of natural endocannabinoids. Let's assume this is a factor in my case. A lack of endogenous endocannabinoids would result in chronic under stimulation of my endocannabinoid system (ECS) and therefore result in a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors (up regulation) to compensate for the lack of endogenous endocannabinoids.

So maybe, just maybe cannabinoids are exactly what my brain is missing and maybe I was feeling this as a teenager and young adult when I developed an interest in Cannabis. But unfortunately like many other people in this age group, I enjoyed Cannabis too much even though I was smoking way less than most of my friends, I still got into trouble and had one Psychosis which was at least related to my Cannabis intake.

I remember back then I had a hard time stopping Cannabis because it was the only way to find sleep. But after the Psychosis and hospitalisation I was told I do have a bipolar disorder, that I should smoking Cannabis forever since it is harmful for me and should take antipsychotics like Zyprexa (Olanzapin) or Seroquel (Quetiapine) instead. And because I was diagnosed as bipolar, I also got a prescription for Lithium, all drugs from which we know are super harmful for RLS patient.

That's how my nightmare started and back then I had no idea what was happening to me, felt guilty because I was using Cannabis and the Psychosis was a wildly, irritating experience. Most likely I should have been treated with antipsychotics only for a short period of time or maybe just CBD since it is an effective antipsychotics and after my psychotic episode was stabilized, they should have investigated my sleeping problems ... but ya, those modern antipsychotics were such an easy and quick solution. For months nobody wanted to believe me that Zyprexa was only making me depressed and because my father committed suicide when I was 16 and my aunt (the sister of my mother) has a bipolar diagnose, it was just too easy to diagnose me with a bipolar disorder too.

At the time nobody realized that the Psychosis was mainly connected to the social stress resulting from an undiagnosed Asperger-Syndrome resulting in lots of problems in school and at home, not to mention the trouble in the years before and after the suicide of my father.

Now after 14 years of being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, I kinda have come full circle and I am back to Cannabis.

I still remember so well how everyone was telling me how bad Cannabis is for me, my doctor, my psychotherapist, my mother and how bad some psychiatrists thought of me when I was hospitalised with mood problems and they detected Cannabis in my urine because sometimes I was still smoking a bit. They thought I am one of those addicts who simply do not want to learn.

At least later I got lucky with a new doctor who did not believe a thing those doctors from the hospital, clearly saw that I did not display any signs of an addict, something he really cared since in the past he had a lot of trouble with addicts abusing his good will and so he made sure to ban those kind of patients from his practice.

So weird that now many people think Cannabis is a good idea, including my mother, the pharmacy where I fill my prescriptions or friends from the past who back then told me how evil Cannabis is.

What is really sad is how a specific diagnose already pre-determines how a doctor will look at you when he sees you for the 1st time.

I am sure that there are quite a few opioid addicts who only tried it because they had problems with sleep and leg pain, without really knowing a name for it. They noticed how opioids help them but when they later started looking for a doctor, they got told they are simply addicts. Would be interesting to know how many cases like this are out there.

QyX
Posts: 436
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Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:04 pm

A quick update: so it seems that I am showing quite a strong response to THC, way stronger in terms of efficiency and duration.

So while THC can definitely put me to sleep and the effects don't feel bad (no paranoia, no anxiety, no dysphoria, no hallucinations, ... ) it is just a bit too much, basically because I still can feel the effects from the evening until late afternoon and even during the evening of the next day.

The doctor expected I will not feel much by just using one spray but dear god, I definitely do.

I did smoke straints with super high THC concentrations > 20% THC with minimum amount of CBD but that spray works on a different level. The effects of Cannabis when being smoked or inhaled are way more limited in time and it is much easier to dose because you can easily feel when you have "enough".

The spray is absorbed via the mucosal in the mouth and the gastro-intestinal system. While this means that overall bioavailability is not that high compared to the same amount of THC when smoked or inhaled, the effects will last much longer.

So for now I will keep the dose as low as possible. I really do not enjoy feeling drugged and sedated all day long. Sure, the effects of THC are relaxant, its analgesic properties are quite nice but the sedative properties are simply to powerful for being productive. That stuff really makes my brain stop thinking which I think is kinda the only way to get my brain to sleep.

When you are a crazy hyperactive ADHD person, I can see how this can helpful but I normally lack energy during so most likely some Cannabis strains with a smaller concentration of THC relative to CBD which I can simply inhalte 1 hour prior to sleeping.

Atm I just hope I will develop a bit of tolerance towards THC since the effects during the night are really nice ... but damn, I do not enjoy them at all during the day.

Never underestimate THC. It is a powerful substance.

QyX
Posts: 436
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Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:23 am

Okay, gonna have to admit: to my (big) surprise it seems that it is working for me. However things are a bit complicated. Let me explain:

1) Seems like I am super sensitive to THC meaning I already have a powerful effect from one spray. From what I've read most people don't get stoned when using only 1-4 sprays ... however one spray is enough for me and I have a lot of classic THC effects. Also the effects are very long lasting. I can feel at least minor effects up to 16 to 20 hours after I took a dose.

2) while the primary overall effect of the spray is sedation, there are also some very mild stimulating effects during the period where THC affects you the strongest. I have to wait a couple of hours until the "stoned" feeling goes away a bit and I start to feel a little bit more clear again.

3) and it is at that exact moment when I get tired ... it kinda feels like the normal, natural feeling of being tired with noticeably THC relaxation in the background. The more time passes, the more tired I get and the analgesic effects and relaxation provided by the THC makes me simply close my eyes at some point and I fall asleep ... and it kinda does not really matter what time it is.

4) so it seems that this experience of being "stoned" (I would not say "high" since I personally associate high with a stronger stimulating experience even though the overall consequences might just be the same) is kinda a necessary thing to feel tired later. Maybe a good way to put it is like this: being stoned is a mental "exercise", induced by THC which as a consequence results in being tired and sleepy.

5) for this all to work, I need to take the spray early enough. I would say somewhere between 6 pm and 8 pm to be able to sleep around 11 pm. The thing just is that I don't like being impaired by THC so early in the evening. But unfortunately when taking orally, it can take long time for the THC to become effective. In addition to that it also seems that I am a slow metabolizer which means I will have high longer peak plasma THC concentration then average person. I don't know if that is really true but it sure feels like it.

So I kinda can't wait to get cannabis I can simply inhale. The way I would want it to work would simply be inhaling cannabis around 9 pm .. then I am a little bit stoned / high for 2 hours an at 11 pm I will be able to sleep.

THC impairs me quite a bit. The combination of sedation and the slowing down of thoughts really knocks you out. It is kinda fun to eat something nice and watch a movie, which is nice when you have nothing to do but when you go to university, you also often have to function in the evening.

It seems that one of the new challenges is to find the cannabis which causes minimal impairment, has a fast onset and only affects me minimal the next day.

Overall being stoned for a few hours is much better then just staying awake night after night and getting nothing done during the day. So even when the spray is not the optimal product for me, it is already an improvement of the situation and I hope that I will develop a bit of tolerance to some of the THC effects I don't like. Especially the initial sedation is simply a bit too much.

stjohnh
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:13 pm
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Cannabis

Postby stjohnh » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:37 am

QyX wrote:Okay, gonna have to admit: to my (big) surprise it seems that it is working for me.
.
.
It seems that one of the new challenges is to find the cannabis which causes minimal impairment, has a fast onset and only affects me minimal the next day.

.
Overall being stoned for a few hours is much better then just staying awake night after night and getting nothing done during the day. ....


Yup. Exactly my sentiments.

I'm so happy for you, you have had such a difficult time and your RLS is so complex.

Here are a couple of thoughts on getting a dose more appropriate for you:
I guess there is no inhaled medical marijuana in Germany? If not, can you try some off the street marijuana from a friend? Lots of people in the US vape their THC using battery powered vaporizers (like e-cigarettes). Some are available here that allow a person to put their own material in the vaporizing chamber. Can you do that with the sprayer contents? Since one spray is too strong, can you take a spray, them immediately wash out your mouth so that you don't get the full dose?
Blessings,
Holland

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:26 pm

There is medical marijuana for smoking and inhaling purposes available via prescription through a pharmacy. My doctor already told me that she is willing to prescribe medical marijuana after I've taken Sativex for a couple of weeks to see what my overall response to THC is.

Overall we have one big problem with medical marijuana in Germany: the demand for it is higher then what the pharmacies can currently fill. At the moment Germany imports all its medical marijuana from Canada and the Netherlands. Only starting this year the first companies in Germany will get a licence to grow and sell medical marijuana.

I think I will just continue taking 1 spray per day for this week and then at the end of the week make a phone appointment with the prescribing doctor and then see what is the best course of action.

Also normally I should develop a bit of tolerance in the coming days and weeks.

I must say I did not expect that I will react so strongly to such low doses. In addition to slow metabolism of THC, this could also mean that I had a up-regulation of CB receptors do to a lack of natural endocannabinoids and to improve the response of my system, my body started building more CB receptors. Prolonged exposure to THC will result in a down regulation at some point ... however I am not really sure if there really is a lack of natural endocannabinoids in my case. Of course this is also a theory.

When I was 18 / 19 ... my overall response to THC was basically the same as my friends. So this is very interesting that I now have such a strong, maybe even "violent" response to THC.

The thing with getting marijuana from friends: yes, that would in theory be an option or I just could get some myself. However you never really know what you get and the last time I did smoke street Cannabis, I was heavily stoned but it also did not help me sleep either.

Anyway, at least I have something to work with. For me this was always a long shot anyway and I'll be able to wait a few more weeks until I have the optimal product for my personal needs.

There is also some oily solution on the market, it has the same THC to CBD ratio as the spray, however one drop of the oil only has 0.5 mg of THC while one spray already contains 2,7 mg of THC. However as of this moment, Sativex is kinda the only Cannabis product which can be delivered by every Pharmacy in a couple of hours. That's why my doctor initially prescribes Sativex when starting a THC containing product.

stjohnh
Posts: 794
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Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Cannabis

Postby stjohnh » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:47 pm

Sounds like a reasonable plan.
Blessings,
Holland

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:02 pm

So I can report that it is still working and that Cannabis was not a two day wonder thingy.

I needed two sprays yesterday ... however I was less impaired and sedated than the day before while falling asleep at my normal RLS peak hour was still not a problem. Also I feel much better this day, not so tired, sleepy and lazy.

I knew from the beginning that even when it was going to work that the first days would be difficult and that the effects might be too strong. And especially the first 3 days, I was totally knocked out and barely got out of my bed. But who knows, when you slept horribly for many months and suddenly you start sleeping again, it is no surprise that the big changes in biochemistry might knock you out for a bit.

Here is what I like and dislike so far:

Dislike: I don't like the short term memory impairment caused by THC. Still, it was much better yesterday and I don't have any doubts that the benefits of getting control back outweighs the memory impairment I suffer during the time of peak THC effects.

I did have some vertigo and nausea in the first days. The reason for this was simply too much THC in the first days.

What I really like is improved appetite. Normally as long as I am not super hungry, I don't eat because I always feel so stressed. It always feels like eating is "work". Since I take the spray, I started cooking again instead of ordering unhealthy fast food. Everything just tastes a lot better.

It seems like I do tolerate Caffeine again. I know it is not good for me but in the past, even a small glass of Coke did cause burning sensations in my foot. I did drink ice tea on a daily basis in the last days without any issues.

THC has analgesic properties. With my normal opioid + Oxcarbazepin combination I was barely able to control RLS symptoms during peak hours. The analgesic properties are maybe not as strong as you might expect however the combination finally allows for an extended period without any symptoms during peak hours.

Overall I don't think THC is a solution for everyone since THC can have some heavy psychiatric adverse effects like anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations when you are sensitive to THC. However: CBD can help avoiding those side effects and when you suffer from RLS related insomnia, especially when you simply can't fall asleep even when you feel super tired.

Most important for me atm: I got some control back, I can sleep when I want to sleep. This finally allows me to make plans and start going to the gym again. I was not able to go for a long time because when you can't sleep, you won't be able to regenerate and as a consequence I only got more tired and more depressed. Also from what I've heard exercise also helps with reducing THC side effects.

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:07 pm

It is honestly incredible how great Cannabis is working for me. In the past days I was going into town every day while normally I stay home for weeks, barely got out of bed because I felt so exhausted and wasted. Now even with (minor) sedation caused by THC during the day, I am so much more active and tonight it will be the first time for many many months where I will go into town with friends to have some fun.

After only 10 days Cannabis already transformed many aspects of life into a positive direction.

I can imagine that once we have a better understanding of how Cannabis works it will become first-line treatment for RLS related insomnia since all the other drugs either worsen RLS (drugs like antidepressants and antipsychotics) or cause horrible physical dependence and in many cases worsen symptoms like depression or anxiety when taken long term (Benzodiazepines, Z-Drugs).

I wish there would be more research investigating which strains work best for RLS related insomnia & pain. Even when the product has the same amount & ratio of THC to CBD, there are lots of other factors who determine its overall effects on a specific disorder.

Yesterday I watched this talk by a leading Cannabis researcher from Israel. This really opened my eyes how complex the hole topic is. I highly recommend watching this. His examples are quite stunning.

https://youtu.be/9ioJbVyNg08

Polar Bear
Moderator
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Re: Cannabis

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:20 pm

:clap: Have a great time tonight
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

legsbestill
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Location: Dublin Ireland

Re: Cannabis

Postby legsbestill » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:46 am

Can you say what strain of cannabis you are taking, QyX? I looked at the tedtalk you linked and one thing that leaped out was the effect of the slight change in strain on the autistic kids - one strain worked like a miracle and a different one made no impact at all. None of the four strains of cannabis I have tried (sensi skunk, white widow, northern lights and medical mass) have made an appreciable impact on my rls but I have read of people for whom it has made a big difference. Natwest who posts on here about cannabis (I think it is Natwest) has said that she found the impact of cannabis on her rls quite strain specific.

QyX
Posts: 436
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Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:56 am

legsbestill wrote:Can you say what strain of cannabis you are taking, QyX? I looked at the tedtalk you linked and one thing that leaped out was the effect of the slight change in strain on the autistic kids - one strain worked like a miracle and a different one made no impact at all. None of the four strains of cannabis I have tried (sensi skunk, white widow, northern lights and medical mass) have made an appreciable impact on my rls but I have read of people for whom it has made a big difference. Natwest who posts on here about cannabis (I think it is Natwest) has said that she found the impact of cannabis on her rls quite strain specific.


The spray I am using is an extract. It simply says "Cannabis Sativa" and the only two cannabinoids included in the spray are THC and CBD (2,7 mg THC and 2,5 mg CBD per dosage).

I am not using regular cannabis atm ... however my doctor will prescribe them based on the results I had with the spray.

After all I am not surprised that the impact of cannabis on RLS is quite strain specific. That seems to be the cause with many other disorders and results might vary from person to person.

At my last appointment my doctor said that the THC is for falling asleep and the CBD for staying asleep and based on my experience I would say that you always need some CBD for the THC to do its work. So maybe those straints with super high amounts of THC and low amounts of CBD (< 2%) are not good for treating RLS. However I have no idea if that is really true and it will take more experiments to figure it out.

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:43 pm

Okay so here is another update: the effects of the spray have changed a bit. The analgesic properties are now much stronger. Just one spray at night already has significant analgesic properties. It seems that in my case ... or maybe even in general, it can take several weeks for the THC to show its full analgesic properties. This finally helped me to get my opioid usage under control again. For the past months I was taking about 150% of my prescribed average dose and I was under a lot of pressure to cut back to my previous dosage.

However ... the spray already lost some of its hypnotic properties. I think the main reason for this is the long THC exposure time when using the spray. My brain does not properly "reset" during the day ... and so with each day I continue to develop a higher tolerance. Also sometimes the spray is working super slowly and it can take up to 5 hours until I finally achieve the necessary effect to fall asleep later.

So without a doubt, inhaling Cannabis would be the better option. It is really difficult to predict how the spray will affect me each evening. It will take at least 3 hours until I know if my dose was high enough or not. And when it was not and you are forced to take more, it will take hours until you have the required effect ... but by then the effect from the 1st dose is already too weak to keep me asleep.

From what I've read, the bioavailability of THC is only about 7% when taken orally ... and it seems that a lot of other factors have an influence how well THC is absorbed and when it will have an effect. Once I had basically no effect for 5 hours .... then I was eating something ... and suddenly within only 2-3 minutes the THC kicked in with the effect being way too powerful.

So overall I am not a fan of taking Cannabis orally. It seems that a oral drug is best to provide a baseline level and then you take additional Cannabis by inhaling to provide the necessary effect to be tired later and reduce the overall exposure time.

stjohnh
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Re: Cannabis

Postby stjohnh » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:11 am

When I was using cannabis I usually used 15mg THC as edible each night. I occasionally supplemented with vaped cannabis oil, though rarely. I found that vaped cannabis alone had too short a duration of action to be useful. I found oral cannabis quite consistent, effects being noticeable about an hour after swallowing it, and good sedation noticeable in 90 minutes or a little less.
Blessings,
Holland

QyX
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Cannabis

Postby QyX » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:01 am

stjohnh wrote:When I was using cannabis I usually used 15mg THC as edible each night. I occasionally supplemented with vaped cannabis oil, though rarely. I found that vaped cannabis alone had too short a duration of action to be useful. I found oral cannabis quite consistent, effects being noticeable about an hour after swallowing it, and good sedation noticeable in 90 minutes or a little less.


Unfortunately it takes much longer for me.

Overall it seems that I metabolize THC slower than other people do.


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