Way back in November I wrote about my decision to treat fibromyalgia with cannabis full-time. At the time, I had just given up going through the will-they-won’t-they of trying to find the right prescribed pharmaceutical to help manage my chronic pain. I talked about the fact that I was tired of trying to live with a new set of crappy side effects every time I had to change medications, but that I already know what cannabis does to me.
Well, this month, I had a colonoscopy and it only solidified my decision because my gastroenterologist found that part of my colon was eroded. My mucosa was damaged. As a result, I am no longer allowed to take any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (e.g., Motrin/Ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, Naproxen, etc.). The reason being that NSAIDs can further damage my colon and/or make the current damage worse. If the lining gets damaged enough, it can cause my bowels to perforate causing their contents to leak into other parts of my body. That isn’t good. That is very, very bad and can cause death.
Even though it sucks to hear that I might have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (which is often the cause of erosion in the colon), it’s nice to know that I made the right decision for my body. Especially since I was going to continue to take Ibuprofen on a need-by-need basis instead of going back onto a medication prescribed specifically for fibromyalgia. Furthermore, it’s nice to have this information to share with all of my prescribing providers because I want to avoid any other medications that have been known to cause gastrointestinal damage.
It’s also another great argument for continuing to manage my pain with cannabis. Certain strains of cannabis have anti-inflammatory properties, which will not only reduce the pain I experience as a result of fibromyalgia and endometriosis, it will reduce the inflammation caused by the damage in my intestines. It might even be able to help prevent future damage.
It will be easier to make more informed decisions at the dispensary now, too. Now that I know that some of my pain is coming from inside my digestive tract, it makes even more sense for me to continue to buy tinctures and other edibles. Cannabis might not heal the damage, but consuming it in an edible form will increase the likelihood that it will get closer to the source of the pain than smoking could.
Speaking of dispensaries, having this information about my intestines as well as my recent endometriosis diagnosis, there’s even more reason for me to pursue my medical card in Washington state. Having a medical card will decrease the cost-restrictive nature of high-CBD consumables (including flower). I have my eye on one local shop that sells a 1-gram syringe of Charlotte’s Web RSO. If you’re not familiar with the strain, it only contains CBD. It was cultivated by a family who was trying to — and have since been successful at — treating their daughter’s seizure disorder. Before Charlotte’s Web, the little girl was debilitated by her seizures. She didn’t speak and she was at risk of becoming brain dead. Now, that girl — who might be a young woman now — is able to talk. I believe she’s also able to walk and has very few seizures anymore. It went from something like 30 a day or more to a few a week. The exact details are probably pretty easy to find online, and I highly recommend that you take the time to research the story if you have time.
Anyways, my hope is that the Charlotte’s Web RSO (or really any variation of the strain) might help me fight the inflammation I experience as a result of fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and the damaged intestinal lining. I’m also looking forward to having a more informed discussion with my Pain Management Provider as well as my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about which meds I should/should not take moving forward.