Columnist Andrea Wyckoff shares her experience with trying medical marijuana for AS, and which forms of cannabis offer the most pain relief. Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. If you are a WordPress user with Ankylosing Spondylitis is a rare condition effecting mostly men that can cause problems with the spine. Learn more about how CBD can help with AS problems.
How Medical Marijuana Has Reduced My AS Pain
Medicinal marijuana has been a true lifesaver for me as someone with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). I have so much gratitude and appreciation for this plant, as it provides pain relief and brings balance and well-being into my life. On top of that, the cannabis industry has provided me with a job that I love.
I got serious about using medicinal marijuana three years ago, and my health and quality of life have continued to improve the more I use it. I live with some pretty serious spinal fusions because I had AS for so long and didn’t know it. I had no idea my spine was actually fusing together throughout my 20s when I was experiencing all of that mysterious, undiagnosable back pain. But even with a fused spine, kyphosis, and scoliosis, I am thriving today at age 42, pain free thanks to cannabis.
Following are the cannabis edibles, extracts, and flowers that help me feel my tip-top each day and live my best life with AS.
THC edibles, Rick Simpson Oil, joints, and a few marijuana buds, all purchased from a legal dispensary in Oregon. (Photo by Andrea Wyckoff)
For anyone new to trying medicinal marijuana for pain relief, deeper sleep, and its overall relaxing benefits, I recommend starting with edibles that contain THC, the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, and obtaining them from a licensed dispensary. Most edible products come in serving sizes of 5 to 10 mg of THC per dose, and you can adjust the dosage as needed.
I find 10 mg of THC in an edible to be a greater pain reliever than an NSAID or an opiate. And I love that I experience zero negative side effects from cannabis.
Part of marijuana’s magic is the way it helps relax my body, mind, and spirit to be in a better state of flow.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), also known as full-extract cannabis oil, is the most potent cannabis medicine I’ve tried. It is a thick, black, tar-like extract that comes in a syringe, minus the sharp needle. You squeeze out a dose the size of a grain of rice and eat it. A full syringe typically costs $30 to $40 and contains about 600 mg of THC.
RSO is sold in dispensaries in three different concentrations. One contains mostly CBD, the nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis that produces feelings of relaxation and calm. This high-CBD concentration will usually have a little THC to help amplify the effects, but not enough to cause much of a “high.”
Then there is 1:1 RSO, or one part CBD to one part THC. This is my favorite option, as you get a large concentrated dose of each cannabinoid (the compounds found in cannabis).
Or, you can buy THC-only RSO that will induce the most “high” feeling, which I also enjoy. This is especially nice when I can get cozy and relax into a deep meditative dream state, such as a DIY spa day state of bliss .
I discovered the Phoenix Tears Cannabis Oil Advice Facebook group, where people share their personal experiences using RSO extract to treat many serious health conditions including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, body aches, bone pain, leukemia, and other cancers. You can visit Rick Simpson’s website and watch his video, Run From the Cure, to learn more.
Flowers for smoking
The two main types of cannabis strains are sativa and indica. Like many, I find that sativa is generally a good choice for the daytime, as it can be more energizing, while indica strains tend to bring deeper relaxation, pain relief, and help with falling asleep.
Dispensaries sell these flowers either as loose buds for smoking in pipes and bongs or as pre-rolled joints.
Vaping and dabbing
You can also explore vaping (inhaling heated cannabis oil through a vaporizer) and dabbing (inhaling concentrated doses of cannabis through a dab rig). But I find that edibles, RSO extract, and a few puffs from a joint work best for me.
CBD vs. THC
These days you can find CBD-only products for sale almost anywhere, including grocery stores, mini marts, and the internet. I have not found any great pain relief benefits from CBD-only products. Through trial and error, I found it takes a little bit of THC to amplify the effects of the CBD enough to provide any noticeable relief.
If you start experimenting with CBD, I highly recommend buying it from a licensed dispensary where they can legally add the tiniest bit of THC to help the user feel a wider spectrum of benefits.
As with anything new, consult your doctor, start in small doses, and be patient, as it may take a few weeks before you find the right dose of CBD and THC for your body, mind, and spirit. It took a few weeks of trying different cannabis products and allowing my body to adjust before I was convinced this was the medicine for me.
Note: Ankylosing Spondylitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis , or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ankylosing Spondylitis News , or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ankylosing spondylitis.
About the Author
Andrea Wyckoff Andrea lives in a little off-grid cabin on Mt. Shasta with her cat, dog, and a forest full of critters. She currently works on a cannabis farm with the nicest co-workers on the planet. Andrea has found medical marijuana to be a lifesaver for treating the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and she feels so lucky to enjoy working in that industry, too. Over the years she has shared many of her favorite anti-inflammatory paleo, keto, and raw-food recipes on her blogs, BettyRawker.com and ForestandFauna.com. She looks forward to sharing her adventures in “Kicking AS” with all of you.
I live in a state where it’s not legal yet South Carolina,I’m not sure when if ever medical use will be granted,I can’t keep using pain medication for it makes me sick and I have to use a nother medicine to keep it down,do you recommend anything that is legal here in my state I’m so sick of being in pain and feeling like I have no options for treatment besides pain medication and injections. thank you
I have AS and I am 34 single mother to a little girl and I am in debilitating pain. I have smoked joints for years but now with this new diagnosis I have been told I can no longer smoke tobacco in my joints. How do you smoke a joint? Is it pure marijuana or with tobacco? Is the smoke from the joint even without tobacco damaging (from the paper etc.)? I am terrified of making myself worse as I am already in a serious way but a vape just does not do it for me. Please give me some suggestions if you can and thank you so much for your article, it was really helpful.
I hope you are ok.
I have been in pain now over 10 years with my bk I have nerve damage in both sides off my bk I have had 3 failed pesiders the last one I got was nerve blockers which left me in more pain as I ever had before on my back not only that now I suffer with pain in both my legs I’m worn out I’m on so much medication it’s not even funny all in all 16 tablets a day plus 2 strong patches I’m at my withs end if anyone out there could help me it would b much appreciated
RSO has been such a game-changer for me. I cannot take opiods (they make me sick and dull my mind) and I cannot take NSAIDs either. In truth, if I was not lucky enough to live in a state with medical marijuana, I would move. It’s that big of a deal.
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CBD Hemp Oil for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis is a prevalent chronic health problem in Canada, with around 6 million Canadians currently suffering from this condition. It’s been estimated that by 2040, 24 percent of Canada’s population will have arthritis. It doesn’t target a specific age group, but your chances of getting the disease increases as you grow older.
There are over 100 known types of arthritis today. All of them cause joint inflammation and stiffness which can lead to permanent damage if left untreated for too long. What makes this disease highly problematic is that once you have it, it stays with you for the rest of your life.
Other kinds of arthritis can even cause problems to the eyes, heart, or lungs. One of these more dangerous types is Ankylosing Spondylitis.
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS mainly affects the spine. Given enough time, it will slowly fuse parts of the vertebrae together until you are hunched. It’s not unusual for the pelvis to be affected as well. In more severe cases, this disease can also spread to the shoulders, ribs and other joints in the body.
Some of AS’ symptoms are as follows:
- Pain and stiffness in the lower back, pelvis, legs, or shoulders
- Increased pain in the morning or after being inactive for long periods of time
- Blurry vision and heightened sensitivity to light
AS can lead to other complications, such as
- Inflammation in the eyes
- Restricted breathing
- Increased likeliness of cancer
- Heart impairment
It is a rare condition that is more likely to occur in men. Unlike most forms of arthritis which are more commonplace in older people, young adults are more susceptible to this disease.
But like most other arthritis types, Ankylosing Spondylitis doesn’t have a known cure yet. However, there are medications that you can take to prevent its symptoms from getting worse or at least slow its progress down.
If you’re looking for something else aside from opioids and other pharmaceuticals, one of the most popular natural options is CBD oil.
How CBD Oil Can Help With AS
In recent years, CBD oil use has become commonplace among Canadians looking for an alternative to pharmaceuticals. This is because CBD & CBD hemp products don’t induce the psychoactive effects that cannabis does, thanks to the lack of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
CBD’s Health Benefits
The benefits of CBD can include:
CBD’s famous pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties have made it attractive to people who need help with pain management.
CBD and the ECS
To understand how CBD, or cannabidiol, can relieve arthritis pain, we must first know about the endocannabinoid system or ECS, which we are all born with.
CBD helps your body by interacting with your ECS, which has receptors that receive chemical signals and assist your cells in responding to different stimuli in the body. While the ECS can send pain-relieving signals without the help of CBD, the substance enhances the effects that it has on you.
We offer all Canadians free phone and video appointments with one of our healthcare practitioners where they can inquire about obtaining a medical cannabis prescription.
If you would like to book your free appointment, you can here.
CBD’s Special Anti-Inflammatory Effect
For a long time, it was assumed that CBD’s effectiveness at reducing inflammation was thanks to its interactions with the ECS receptors. However, there’s a recent study by the Brain and Spine Institute in France that reveals that CBD didn’t need the receptors. The chemical already has inherent antioxidant properties and suppresses an enzyme that stimulates inflammation in the body.
For people with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which has severe inflammations, this property is immensely helpful in slowing down its symptoms.
Consult a Physician First
If you are interested in CBD oil for relieving your Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms, it’s safer to consult a trusted physician first on proper dosages and to make sure that it is not conflicting with any ongoing medications and treatments you have. Your healthcare provider should always be updated on your progress and any side effects you may be feeling.
Apollo’s Cannabis Clinic physicians are here and offer free appointments to all Canadians, 7 days a week.
To get safe and high-quality CBD, be sure to buy tested and certified products from trusted sources. Book an appointment with our dedicated doctors today and find out more about how Apollo can help.