Natural Herbal Treatments and Medications

This is probably a little controversial but I really think it needs to be discussed. After the decriminalisation of cannabis by 13 states in the USA for medical purposes, specifically MS, has any one ever tried this? I have been told by a Dutch friend who lives in Amsterdam that I should. His point is that there are many prescription drugs being used by MS patients that may have short term benefits but they generally cause long term problems and side effects which (as we all know) are quite unpleasant. Some doctors in the Netherlands and USA are even prescribing cannabis for diseases like MS, cancer, AIDS etc. The research that I have done has really opened my eyes. When you consider that other more harmful drugs are prescribed by doctors to us, why is this not even considered? I appreciate that there is a stigma attached to this but the fact is that not everybody using cannabis is a hippy, pot head or drop out (my research revealed that there are many doctors, lawyers and other professional people who consume without any issues) What I find very bizarre is that the government is happy to allow Sativex to be produced in the UK using an ‘illegal drug’ like cannabis (which has not been offered to MS patients by a lot of health trusts due to cost) but will not allow people to use the plant in its natural state. The other hypocritical policy is the allowance of alcohol and tobacco, which are both undoubtably more harmful and both physically addictive (which cannabis is not) I would appreciate any feed back. From a confused MS sufferer

I think most of the controversy over cannabis is about cancer not MS. Cancer is of course probably the biggest pharma money spinner. Sativex so far as I know is very similar to hemp oil described in this video. So it is an extract of one particular plant.

I have been around the MS scene for a long time so have chatted to a number of people who use or have used cannabis and whilst I think most seem to have benefited to some extent it is no miracle cure all.

I have been trying to get on Sativex for years & almost got on a trial for it once, only to be told that, because I had had a Heart attack a couple of Years earlier I wouldn’t now be eligible.

I have tried smoking Canabis & I found that It released my Hands from a Cramp like Spasticity within a couple of minutes, which is my worst sympton of MS. Unfortunately, not being a smoker I found that I was susceptible to Chest infections & had to stop taking the Canabis. I am now trying LDN but havn’t noticed any changes to my Hands has yet, but its only been a few Days. Heres hoping.

[quote=“david603”]

I think most of the controversy over cannabis is about cancer not MS. Cancer is of course probably the biggest pharma money spinner. Sativex so far as I know is very similar to hemp oil described in this video. So it is an extract of one particular plant.

I have been around the MS scene for a long time so have chatted to a number of people who use or have used cannabis and whilst I think most seem to have benefited to some extent it is no miracle cure all.

[/quote] I have noted, after watching YouTube videos on this, that a lot of medical cannabis patients are using a form of vaporiser, which reduces the cancer potential. I am not suggesting that cannabis is a miracle cure but it seems to help with various symptoms according to many sufferers. Lets face it, Beta Interferon (which I was injected with at 7pm this evening, giving me the most awful headache and flu like symptoms) supposedly slows down the progression of the disease but is also definately not a miracle cure. Hopefully one will be discovered soon! I just really think that this needs to be looked into further by the powers that be. Although I doubt they will in the foreseeable future sadly. Would they rather see people suffer, allow the pharmaceutical industry to make serious money on some very ‘dodgy’ drugs and gain votes from Daily Mail readers… Or help people who really need help to cope with their illnesses. After doing the research I have done it really baffles me as why it was made illegal in the first place. It seems that after prohibition was ended in the USA they needed to have reason for retaining their budgets, so needing a new ‘problem’ or ‘social enemy’ to deal with. Racism and pressure from the pharmaceutical, alcohol and paper industries seem to have played a huge part in this. Maybe I should go to the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland or the USA for a short holiday and try it to see if it helps me?

[quote=“Richie”] …it really baffles me as why it was made illegal in the first place.

[/quote] Cannabis is illegal because it is a dangerous drug which in some people causes psychosis. I have first hand experience of a life being wrecked by cannabis.

i really think that the problems with cannabis is due to people drinking huge amounts of alcohol as well.

i know lots of people who smoke cannabis, some drink too much and get wasted too quickly

some dont drink and just get nice and mellow.

richie, if you try it dont get drunk!

also there are different types and some are far stronger than others.

i have used it for the pain in my legs. very effective but then had a bad time and havent tried it since.

good luck

carole x

[quote=“AnnieB”]

[quote=Richie] …it really baffles me as why it was made illegal in the first place.

[/quote] Cannabis is illegal because it is a dangerous drug which in some people causes psychosis. I have first hand experience of a life being wrecked by cannabis.

This issue however would be about cannabis being and over the counter medicine or a prescription only medicine because the potential dangers need to be monitored by a doctor.
Sativex is now licenced and that is a derivative of cannabis but that is now being rationed on grounds of costs. Or cost effectiveness as the official jargon would have us believe. And this is true of many licenced drugs these days.

I used to think that the link between cannabis and schizophrenia was a scare story and nothing more. However when putting together a lecture on neuropsychopharmacology, part of which was about illegal drugs and their effect, I read a lot of the relevant research and became convinced it is true. From memory (which is not wholly reliable!), 10% of regular cannabis users develop schizophrenia/schizophrenia-like symptoms. What’s worse is that the sort of cannabis one can buy these days is generally very strong and often impure and I can only suspect that that number is on the increase as a result. There is no doubt that cannabis helps with pain and spasticity, but if you are going to try it, I strongly suggest that you only use homegrown, with no chemicals and from a completely safe and trustworthy source if you don’t grow it yourself. And never forget that you may be prosecuted if you are caught. Also, I don’t think there is any evidence that cannabis actually treats MS (only some of its symptoms) and surely there are plenty of legal meds to try before having to resort to illegal ones? Please be very careful. Karen x

The only way to make sure you have pure cannabis is to grow it yourself - or know a friend who grows their own who would let you try some. This way you know it is not being ‘adulterated’ by any dangerous chemicals. And possibly the best way to use it is to make brownies - and add some cannabis to them. l see it is on Coronation Street - Roy’s mum has been eating ‘brownies’ laced with cannabis as a pain relief for her arthritis. Then on the new series of Syndicate - Alison Steadman has been using it for her ‘poor painful knees’. She has been given it by a work colleague - who grows it for himself.

l use Sativex - have done for the last 3yrs. l find it works well stopping the spasticity/spasms/pain. And no side-effects - unlike how dreadful l felt when on Baclofen/Tinazidine. l use it mainly before bedtime. l don’t drink alcohol - and l have never smoked.

So this is my only bit of ‘wickedness’.

F

I would just quietly do your thing. The people who create the laws in this country, the politicians, have clearly taught us that they don’t mind stretching the laws which they created if it suits them. Even the bad ones get minimal sentences when found out. And we read every day about police and lawyers giving way to corruption.

One rule for them, another for us.

Shhhh.

[quote=“AnnieB”]

[quote=Richie] …it really baffles me as why it was made illegal in the first place.

[/quote] Cannabis is illegal because it is a dangerous drug which in some people causes psychosis. I have first hand experience of a life being wrecked by cannabis.

[/quote] I have read a huge amount about the psychosis issue and it seems that if the brain is not fully developed then there is potential for this to happen. If it was regulated or by prescription only, then under aged people would not be able to obtain it and the quality and strength of the medicine would be controlled (as in the USA) Alcohol has also been linked (along with other ‘prescription’ drugs) to psychosis but these are legal. Why is that? Is it possibly because of the amount of money these industries give to political parties maybe? Or am I just being cynical. I do know people who live in the Netherlands (one being a lawyer friend of mine) who prefer to have a joint at the end of a hard day rather than a glass of wine, which he has done for the past 10 years and he is definitely not psychotic. Having said that there are probably plenty of kids smoking cannabis to their detriment, because they are far too young and the stuff they are smoking is of dubious quality or even has other illegal substances added to it. I would just like to feel better and the prescription drugs I am currently taking make me feel aweful.

I have just heard that another member state of the EU, the Czech Republic, has authorised Doctors and pharmacies to prescribe and supply medical cannabis for ailments like MS, cancer and Aids, amongst others. http://youtu.be/PGpEixXNx7A This means that Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and 13 states in the US have now accepted that it has medical benefits. Why are we not even allowed to talk about this in the UK? Are all of these countries wrong and the UK govt right? I am going to the Netherlands this week to see for myself and will post my results on the forum when I return.

I have been self medicating for 6 months. It has helped hugely. Smoking carries obvious risks. Vaporising, a little less so. However both only help my symptoms for up to 1.5 hours. THC is soluble only in fat or alcohol. hence, putting cannabis into a brownie will just keep you more regular! You must make with cannabutter, which you can learn how to prepare on the Internet, likewise where to buy seeds, grow, which ones to buy. Etc. Some specifically recommended for medicinal use. Any family history of mental illness, could be a concern. NB my doc, neuro, nurses all know & approve. I am fed up of feeling like a criminal. It’s about time organisations such as the MS Society stood up for those needing an effective treatment which will not bankrupt the NHS.

Well, back from my little trip to Amsterdam, where I was given the opportunity to try the (strangely) controversial cannabis in its natural form. I felt strange initially, like time had slowed down but after getting used to the feeling I felt like the mud around my limbs had been washed away! I could walk much better and just felt generally better. BTW I do not feel like I am addicted and need more (as my doctor had warned me would happen) I will admit to actually ‘enjoying’ the side effects but is that a crime? Is a medicine only good if you do not enjoy them? I would highly recommend trying this if the (more addictive) pharma drugs are not working for you. You will need to go to a country where this is allowed like Holland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, USA etc… I wish the UK govt would show a little more compassion and allow the medicinal use of this natural plant!

Sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with some of these comments. Cannabis is illegal for a reason. Throughout my working life, I have seen the drug destroy countless lives and have far reaching effects on the user and their families. Reclassifying the drug from class c to b has meant harsher penalties for cannabis offences and has meant greater assistance for addicts in addressing the habit which is great but as long as it’s use is viewed as “recreational” it will continue to be viewed as a “soft” option. I personally wish the NHS and psychiatric services would make an educational video for use in doctors surgerys etc similar to the shock tactics of the text driving and drug driving videos, showing psychiatric patients and their families talking about the effects on them.

I’m with MrsH on this.

I too have seen lives wrecked by this drug.

You may be lucky and get away with taking it but then again you may not.

I’ve been smoking cannabis for about 25 years, through this time I have known many people to smoke it. I do not know anyone who has developed psychiatric problems, this is not to say people who smoke it (often from deprived backgrounds) do not develop these problems but then these same people probably smoke cigarettes does this mean cigarettes cause psychiatric problem?

Anything that alters the brain has the potential to cause problems but some prescription medication I would have thought will have a lot more side effects even accounting for respiratory issues.

MrsH, AnnieB, how many families and lives are destroyed by alcohol? And do you drink? Is it legal to do so? If you advocate keeping cannabis illegal then surely you should be prohibitionist regarding alcohol too! How many lives are destroyed by the addiction to clinical drugs, prescribed by your doctor? Let me tell you a story: Sadly my mother passed away at the age of 50 yrs old after complications caused by her becoming addicted to the opiates that were prescribed by her doctor to treat her painful symptoms of ME. I really believe that she would still be here if she had used cannabis to ease her suffering, ingesting it in a less harmful way than smoking it (I.e. eating it) This is a discussion that needs to be had and keeping it ‘under the carpet’ is causing no good, as people are still using it as a beneficial medicine. Unfortunately the quality they are buying in the UK is dubious to say the least and these poor people are putting themselves in danger because they have to buy from criminals, which puts otherwise law abiding citizens in danger with the law and the ‘underworld’ Why not follow the example of the countries I have mentioned in previous posts and regulate it. This will stop just anyone buying it including children and those people to whom it would cause harm to, take the profits out of the hands of criminals and even possibly help the economy.

You are absolutely right, anon, there are other addictive substances which are not illicit and freely available, such as alcohol, glue, tobacco, aerosols etc. There are also prescription drugs which are addictive and you would like to think, managed by physicians. Sadly not always. However, people, generally are well aware of the risks associated with smoking tobacco, sniffing glue and drinking alcohol. Cannabis is still very much seen as a recreational drug and a non-addictive, soft option. And that very simply isn’t the case for an awful lot more people than the general population’s perception. I don’t think cannabis is kept under the carpet. Psychiatric services are all too sadly aware of its effects as is the Legal System with us advocates being made all to aware of the sheer misery that cannabis reduces users and their families to. This is a very contentious issue, with users, like all users of illicit substances being very defensive about its use and equally those who are totally against cannabis for a variety of reasons being equally as passionate !! I think the most salient point is, regardless of your stance, your MS is your MS and ownership of its management is entirely down to the individual. My concern will always be that your drug of choice should be taken with full cognisance of the pro’s or con’s of it’s usage. This is simply not the case with cannabis. And an educational video should be available to educate.

I totally agree with what MrsH has written and she has expressed my thoughts far more eloquently than I could. A decision to use cannabis should be a fully informed decision and unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

I would add that whether alcohol or tobacco should be legal is another debate.