CBD Oil Journal - The First 48 Hours
The Journey Begins...
First a little history; I have been living each day of my life in constant pain since October 7th, 2015 when I was injured on the job. There has not been a single day - a single minute of pain relief since that day and in fact, it has become worse to the point of depression and a sedentary lifestyle in the place of what was once a depression-free, very active and very productive life with a long career in the education system. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally depressed 24/7, but what there is, is taking a serious toll and that's not cool.
The doctors I saw during my “care” were very helpful and did their best to cram painkillers and anti-depressants down my throat, but I am not one for heavy-duty drugs. One particular instance was when I was prescribed Neurontin, (Gabapentin) for severe nerve pain. The Pharmacist was so concerned about this particular prescription, he asked me why it was prescribed to me and advised me not to take it unless I was, “absolutely desperate and could not stand the pain” because it is a dangerous drug and cause severe damage to the heart and possibly death.
Common side effects of Neurontin (Gabapentin) are listed on MedicineNet.com as: “Dizziness, Sleepiness, Ataxia, Fatigue, Drowsiness, Fluid retention (edema), Hostility, Nausea, Vomiting, Difficulty speaking, Jerky movements, Unusual eye movements, Double vision, Tremors, Memory loss, Unsteadiness. Other adverse effects and serious side effects associated with gabapentin include Weight gain, Joint pain, Motion sickness, Blurred vision, Viral infection. Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.”
WOW! Prior to the pharmacist’s information and advice, I had no knowledge of this drug and trusted my doctor’s judgment. Needless to say, I never took the medication. I'll take some ibuprofen if I really just can't stand the pain, and watch a funny movie to lift my spirits, thank-you-very-much! According to WebMD,
“Cannabidiol is possibly safe when taken by mouth and appropriately in adults. Cannabidiol doses of up to 300 mg daily have been used safely for up to 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been used safely for up to 4 weeks. Cannabidiol sprays used under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks. Some reported side effects of Cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.”
Again… WOW! Pass the CBD Oil, please!
Fast-forward a year; coming to the closest point of desperation I’ve ever been, has pushed me to do a lot of research on pain management. I have talked to a couple friends who have found relief in CBD Oil. In case you are not familiar with it, CBD oil is non-psychoactive and does not get you “high” as happens when smoking or ingesting marijuana. We've all heard the whole argument both for and against the use of marijuana or cannabis and its related hemp products for medicinal purposes, but I have never personally tried CBD Oil for anything, much less pain management, and depression. I've come across some really interesting information on the stuff and also found it has been proven to alleviate symptoms of menopause from hot flashes to mood swings, to anxiety attacks. Quite frankly, I need this in my life, pronto!
Much of the pain I deal with comes from nerves which are smashed between the bones in my ankle and heel, as a result of a ruptured synovial sack and torn Achilles Tendon. Because these were on the job injuries, the Worker's Comp insurance and doctors waited a full year to tell me the truth about what was wrong and instead of repairing the damage opted to lie to me, telling me I had Achilles Tendonitis and put me through several rounds of physical therapy, an orthopedic boot and even a cast from toes to knee. Unfortunately, none of this helped and in fact, the cast actually made things worse and caused more nerve damage and therefore, more pain. When I expressed my frustration to the doctor, I was told, "We're giving you all the prescribed treatments and you should be fine. Don't you want to go back to work?"
Interestingly, I did want to go back to work and had been begging to be allowed to go back for the six months prior, but the doctors had refused to release me for my normal duties and my former employer has a “No Accommodations” policy. When I did finally get to go back, it was on a modified schedule and two weeks into it, my employer came to me and told me they, “Could not accommodate” my injury and sent me home back to the doctor. But I digress... Fast-forward a bit and we have an unhappy woman, walking with a cane and unable to do most of the activities she once did on a daily basis without thinking about it. That's no fun, now is it?
Enter the CBD Oil. I acquired a sample bottle of a reputable, high-quality brand and was advised to start out at 5 drops. According to the standard protocol for CBD Oil, it should be administered under the tongue, held there for 90 seconds twice a day and work up to the suggested serving of 20 drops twice per day. That seemed reasonable enough, so about an hour before bedtime, I followed the instructions to the letter and was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor of the oil. It was more of an earthy aftertaste which reminded me of how cannabis smells. Okay, okay, I was in my teens and early twenties in the 80's so don't judge. Besides, it's legal in most states now and it's been a good twenty-nine years since I smoked the stuff, so don’t judge me. I decided to document my experience with the CBD Oil, to determine its effectiveness on my specific problems, and share it here on the blog in order to hopefully help others.
During the first hour, the only thing I noticed was a bit of heartburn, but that's nothing new for me and I'm not even sure it had anything to do with the oil, but it's a thing, so I'm tracking it. I did have a moment where I panicked a bit because of the new foreign substance in my body, but that isn't anything new either, which is why I tend to stick with mild over-the-counter medications unless absolutely necessary. To say I don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry is an understatement, and to see why you have only to watch any prescription drug commercial. My favorite phrase in some of those is, “Fatal Episodes.” Really? You mean death, don’t you? To tell the truth, that doesn’t sound much like an “episode” to me, but a season finale. No thanks.
During the first thirty minutes, I felt no different at all. By an hour, I had become mildly relaxed, but not overly tired, so I stayed up another hour to do some writing. My mental clarity was just fine and I was able to focus without any problem, which made me happy since I'd been expecting to get tired and lazy or slightly edgy and mildly jittery as I've read can sometimes happen to some people when first trying CBD Oil. It could be starting out on a lower dose that helped avoid those side effects, or it could simply be my physiology, I have no idea, but either way, I'm cool. I checked my blood pressure and it was a completely normal - for me - 121/73. It should be noted here, that I do not have high blood pressure and am not on any kind of blood pressure medication. My BP regularly runs between 117/73 to 125/85 depending on whatever is going on at any given time. Not too bad for an overweight fifty-year-old woman, right?
Now normally, I have a rough time when it comes to sleep. I am always in so much pain, sleep doesn't come easy and when it does come, it's met with a good deal of tossing and turning. Naturally, sleep deprivation adds to the mood problems. My typical wake and get out of bedtime is between 4 - 5:30 am, and I'm generally moving slow and very uncomfortable for a couple hours. However... that first night, I did sleep more than usual, with much less tossing and turning, so that is significant. I was also able to stay in bed until about 6:30 am when Mother Nature called my dog and someone had to open the door for her. Movement the next morning was still stiff and sore, but perhaps not as bad as usual, so there's hope. I also noticed I was only subjected to two hot flashes instead of the usual five or six per night, so that's significant. Today, with the exception of a single hot flash, I slept until 7 am and had only mild aches and pains upon waking. I felt rested for the first time in a long time.
Both days, I decided to take a dose after breakfast and follow the same five drop dose as the previous nights, just to see how I would feel during the daily activities. I was not tired or sluggish but rather felt good enough to make a batch of homemade bread fairly early on in the day. My mood has been lighter and I feel more mentally focused. I have also had a significant decrease in shoulder pain to the point of actually being able to lift my arm over my head for the first time in all the months since I dislocated it during a fall caused by my bad ankle giving out. That’s huge, people… huge.
So once more, I say there is hope. Hope for less pain, hope for relief of menopause symptoms and hope for mood support. Naturally, there are a ton of other health benefits associated with CBD Oil, not the least of those is its anti-cancer properties, but the ones mentioned in this article are the most relevant to me, so we will focus on these for now and I will update with anything new as it comes along.
**Disclaimer: C.A. Bennett is not in any way associated with the medical/pharmaceutical community or any cannabis grower, manufacturer or distributor and does not claim to know what is the best treatment for any medical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical or other conditions implied or otherwise and does not advocate the use of any medication or method whatsoever. The experiences in this article are the single and sole experiences of C.A. Bennett and should not be taken as advice for any living being, human or otherwise. C.A. Bennett is not responsible for interpretation of or practice of any or all information herein. Please consult your doctor before trying any medication or method of treatment for any and all symptoms and/or conditions of any kind.**
© 2018 CA Bennett