How I Medicate with Medical Marijuana
In this post I share how I treat my chronic illnesses, which includes psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, with medical marijuana (MMJ).
Medical marijuana options for psoriatic arthritis
While choosing to medicate with marijuana was the best decision I’ve ever made, it was also nerve-wracking in the beginning. Most people who embark upon this path do what I had to do which is to do our own research and figure out what works through trial and error. I highly suggest that you seek the advice of people who medicate with marijuana along with the doctors who recommend it and the staff at your dispensary.
Here is what works best for me:
CBD lotions for psoriasis rashes
CBD lotions, they reduce my pain within minutes and my skin clears up faster than with any prescription cream that I have ever used in the past. Good news for those who don’t live where MMJ is legal; CBD products are legal in all 50 states and can be ordered online.*
A combination for muscle and bone pain
I use a combination of indica edibles, tinctures, and CBD lotions. I prefer edibles like Cheeba Chew as I can pinch off small portions for micro dosing. How much I use depends on my pain level. If I am experiencing a lower pain level I only use a CBD tincture or lotion.
Using medical marijuana to help with insomnia
Each night I typically take 10-25mg of an edible or tincture and use CBD lotions to relax my legs and feet. This has improved my sleep pattern immensely. Before using marijuana I was lucky to sleep for more than 4 hours at a time or have one or two full night’s sleep per week. Now I get a good 8-10 hours of sleep almost every night. While I still suffer from an occasional sleepless night, I have yet to experience more than 3-4 per month. Even better is that the quality of my sleep. My body experiences a deep and restorative sleep which makes it possible for me to not have to medicate during daytime hours more often than not. The reason I prefer edibles is because the high and relief from edibles lasts through the night, where the effect from smoking or vaping wears off faster.
Options for nerve pain
Because sativa makes my mind race I avoid using it unless I am experiencing unbearable nerve pain. However, it is the only thing that reduces my nerve pain. In the past pharmaceutical medications that were supposed to have the same effect actually increased it. I use a sativa tincture for deep nerve pain and apply sativa oil for pain that is felt more near the surface.
Finding relief but not pain free
Please note that I am not pain-free; however, I don’t need to medicate 24/7 like I did with pharmaceutical medications. I am not living the life I had before becoming chronically ill; instead, I am living the best I can despite my conditions. The best part is that dispensaries carry MMJ in a variety of forms which allows me to discover new products and ways to relieve my pain all the time.
*Editor's Note: The list of states that have legalized cannabis and its constituents including THC and CBD for either medical or recreational use as well as specific details of legality are being updated regularly, and can be accessed here. Due to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill hemp cultivation and the extraction of CBD from it may now be legal, but what the federal government will allow to be done with CBD products from that point has not been defined. Despite the fact that many states have legalized some or all forms of marijuana, federally the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify CBD as a Schedule I drug. The DEA only rescheduled CBD drugs that have been approved by the FDA, and that contain no more than 0.1% THC. Currently, the only re-classified drug is Epidiolex, an epilepsy drug containing a purified form of CBD oil derived from marijuana. Since laws vary state to state it is best to check your state's laws as well as speak with your healthcare provider about your current treatment plan.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?