My Doctor Suggested CBD Oil for Pain

“The greatest evil is physical pain.”

If you know me or have read my posts, you know that I avoid drugs and prefer natural approaches and lifestyle choices to cope with my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. That is not to say I don’t use any drugs, it’s just that I minimize what I take due to my heightened sensitivity to side effects.

There has been a lot written about CBD oil the past few years, especially as more states begin legalizing marijuana. It’s even made its way onto the pages of my beauty magazines. But since I am reluctant to use drugs (legal or otherwise), and I work for the government, I have never considered this as an option until recently.

My Pain Background

I was diagnosed in June, 2000, with a herniated disc in my lower back (L5-S1). In September, 2000, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have suffered for years with the pain from both. When my back flares up, I try everything: rest, ice, heat, massage therapy, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, TENS, etc. I even gave up walking on the treadmill in favor of gentler, kinder yoga. A bad flare will cause one or both hips to lock up, causing sciatic nerve pain down one or both legs, so at times I also visit the chiropractor for an adjustment. And then of course, back pain often also leads to a fibromyalgia flare. Double whammy.

A recent MRI shows I now have three bulging discs in my lower back, coupled with some misalignment, dextroscoliosis, and stenosis. Add to that two more bulging discs in my neck above and below the disc fusion I had, and that is a lot of spine issues and a lot of pain.

Three weeks ago, right before a trip planned to Portland, my back went out for no known reason. Knowing I needed to get on a plane in a few days and couldn’t wait this one out, I got a shot of Toradol, a steroid pack, and I visited the chiropractor for an adjustment. I was recounting the story of my shoulder problems and how I discovered magnesium malate for the pain. I mentioned to her that I was headed to Portland in a few days, and she suggested I try CBD oil while I was there since I could get it from a dispensary. She said she knows people who have had a lot of success with it. Wait, what? We live in Texas, after all.

Why CBD Oil?

I knew I had to do my research before even considering this as an option. Some would argue that this is definitely a more natural approach than pharmaceuticals, after all. First and foremost, I was concerned about the possibility of CBD oil triggering a positive result in the event I was drug-tested at work. Second, I wondered if all of the hype was really true. And third, is it legal in Texas?

There has been a lot written about CBD oil, and it is a very confusing topic, so I will try to boil down down what it is and what the pros and cons are.

Just the Facts

  • Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) is a naturally occurring compound in varieties of the cannabis plant, such as marijuana and hemp. Industrial hemp is bred and grown with the lowest concentration of Tetrahydrocannabidol (THC) and the highest concentration of CBD, the big differentiation from marijuana. The key lies in the extraction process as to whether there are other compounds and contaminants in the oil.
  • In December, 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill removing hemp from being classified as a schedule I narcotic. But states still have the right to determine legality.
  • The difference between legal and illegal hemp plants is the amount of THC, which must be less than 0.3%.
  • CBD products do not produce any sort of “high” – that comes from THC – or have potential for misuse. In fact, research shows that CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.
  • Patients do not build up a tolerance to CBD.
  • CBD binds to receptors in the brain to stimulate processes that improve mood and stress control.
  • CBD binds to neuropathic receptors in the brain to suppress chronic pain.
  • In July, 2018, the FDA approved the first marijuana-derivative drug to treat two forms of epilepsy that have been resistant to anti-seizure medications.
  • New studies from the National Institute of Health have shown the use of CBD oils as an anti-inflammatory for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • There’s no testing levels for CBD at this time. The problem with this is that CBD products on the market can be unreliable, having too little or too much of the oil, or containing THC. Buying from a dispensary in a state that has legalized marijuana at least gives you some assurance of safety.
  • CBD oil is touted to help everything from glaucoma, anxiety, pain, acne, insomnia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, to name a few.
  • CBD oil can be found in a variety of products – oils, lotions, bath salts, skin care, capsules, edibles, and vaping oils.
  • Possible side effects can include: dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness, lightheadedness, tremors, and changes to the liver enzymes used to process drugs.
  • Most employment drug tests screen for THC, not CBD. But CBD is metabolized by the body and can be picked up if it’s screened for. And since some products contain trace amounts of THC, that could register a positive screen, depending on the sensitivity of the test. And of further concern: “CBD oil is not regulated in the U.S. That means the government is not regulating that THC levels stay low.”
  • Is it legal in Texas? Still a gray area. Despite being able to find it on shelves, it is only legal if you have a prescription. “It is a felony to possess CBD with any trace amount of THC, the component that, in larger amounts, produces a high. It is a misdemeanor to have THC-free CBD.” But not all District Attorney’s have the same opinion and are pursuing these cases. (Read about it here and here.)
Despite the typo in “Seizures,” I’ve included this infographic because it has several reference articles. Source: https://enlivenessentials.com/blogs/cbd-therapy/12-benefit-of-cbd-oil

Will I Try It?

After three weeks of back pain, I finally asked for some pain medication – opioids and muscle relaxer. With all we hear these days about the opioid crisis, I am using these sparingly. But at this point I am willing to try anything!

The pain medication was only helping marginally for three days. After three days more days of constant, excruciating pain and no sleep and no relief, I managed to see a pain management doctor. So by the time this posts, I will be at home recovering from Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) and hopefully have some pain relief.

“The greatest evil is physical pain.” Saint Augustine

My frequent trips from Texas to Oregon are difficult to manage when I’m experiencing pain. I didn’t buy any CBD oil on my last trip to Portland, and probably won’t, given Texas’ position at this time. I hold out hope that states will allow and legalize these sorts of alternatives to big pharma solutions like opioids.

Here are a other resources for you to learn more about CBD:

Do you use or have you tried CBD oils? What do you use it for? What brands do you recommend? I would love to hear your experience!

Cheers!

Cynthia

2018 Nominee for Best Kept Secret

Author: Photobaugh

Wife. Mom. Fibrowarrior. Joy seeker. Picture taker. Coffee drinker. Blogging about living with fibromyalgia and finding inspiration in every day life. Welcome to My Inspired Fibro Life.

17 thoughts on “My Doctor Suggested CBD Oil for Pain”

  1. I have not tried yet but want to. My chiropractor helps with the misalignment in my lower back, along with bulged disks. I will be seeing my doctor because I have edema which causes more pain. I had been given tramadol in very low dose — my brain grabbed it and was not happy when I didn’t take it. No one suspected an issue because it was such a low dose. I’ve since learned if I need an opioid again I must taper off of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once I recover from injections I will be back to my chiropractor most likely. They warned me about that with tramadol but it didn’t do anything for my pain so I probably didn’t take enough to cause an issue. Best of luck!! Back pain is definitely no fun! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I use a hemp salve. Works wonderfully but cost prohibitive. I have tried several types of CBD oils, no relief, and I did get a medical marijuana card (legal in Minnesota) – awful experience! Not helpful. I am going to follow along and see what you find. Please keep us informed!~k.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My wife, Janet and I, are from Florida and recently (Feb 2019) had to go to California for a funeral and had an extended stay. Janet has been on Hydrocodone and stronger Opioids, from a car accident, 30 years ago. The pharmacies would not fill an out of state prescription, so, out of options, we tried CBD Pain Capsules. Janet quit opioids (completely) and used the capsules until we got back to Florida. She has used a combination of Full Spectrum CBD Drops and CBD Pain Capsules to now be OPIOID FREE FOR 90 DAYS.
    We found About.hempSMART.com
    and have become believers in the power of CBD. We now use all the products they offer from Patented Brain Capsules to CBD infused Moisturizers.
    All 100% Legal to Order to Ship across State Lines by USPS. Absolutely NO THC.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I gave been using CBD oil now for 2 months and I will never go without it. I have very bad knee pain, not arthritis, but that doesnt matter when you are on your hands and knees to get up the stairs. I rarely have knee pain now and my oil has gotten rid of my insomnia and helped my depression. I love it so much I joined the company! The oil is called Remedy and it has changed my life. If you would like to read more, my site is www.
    geminihemp.com/janearnold
    I am also on Facebook at Jane’s Remedy if you have any questions. I hope I can help you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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