Columnist Andrea Wyckoff shares her experience with trying medical marijuana for AS, and which forms of cannabis offer the most pain relief. We know that ankylosing spondylitis is difficult to deal with on a daily basis. CBD can help you improve your comfort level. Here is how!
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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Can CBD help with everyday ankylosing spondylitis?
Inflammation of the spine, chronic pain, arthritis, enthesitis, etc. are among the symptoms that affect anyone who suffers from ankylosing spondylitis. If there are treatments to relieve this disease, we will see through this article a treatment that will allow you to support this disease. It is the use of CBD. How can CBD help you relieve your pain? Element of answer!”
Can CBD help support ankylosing spondylitis?
To relieve the pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis, treatments such as physical therapy, exercise, massage or stretching have proven effective. However, for additional relief from pain, some patients turn to medications such as traditional painkillers, corticosteroid injections or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. But the real problem with these products is that they can cause harmful side effects. Because of this, patients are wondering if CBD can help relieve this pain.
Be aware that no exact research has been conducted on CBD to see its effectiveness in relieving ankylosing spondylitis. Nevertheless, there is a study underway to see if CBD is effective on ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to the researchers’ explanations, the primary function of cannabinoids is to reduce inflammation. They work by interfering with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system allows the regulation of many physiological processes in the body and the inflammatory response is no exception. Inflammation is a process that the immune system uses to respond to injury and infection. And in some critical situations, this inflammation proves to be very beneficial.
But beware, the immune system for no reason can be very active and generate inflammation. This creates a variety of pain including ankylosing spondylitis. And it is at this precise moment that CBD can be of great help. The latter helps to mitigate the functioning of the immune system to reduce pain and inflammation.
Compared to THC, which connects directly with receptors, CBD enhances the functioning of the body’s natural cannabinoid components to bring about recovery without unwanted consequences. CBD also affects receptors in addition to ECS which increases its overall effectiveness.
While CBD does not cure ankylosing spondylitis, it would provide relief from pain.
What does the research on CBD oil say about inflammation and pain?
It is true that CBD does not cure ankylosing spondylitis, but some research has been conducted on the effect of CBD oil on inflammation and pain.
According to a study published by the European Journal of Pain in 2016, researchers studied the effects of CBD on rats affected by arthritis. At the end of this experiment, it was noted that massaging the CBD gel resulted in less swelling and pain in the rats. This same study showed that CBD was able to reduce the functioning of inflammatory chemicals.
Also, another study conducted in 2019 on 97 participants with a painful condition who had been using opioids for several months, responded positively after using CBD oil.53% of participants left or decreased opioid use and 94% saw an improvement in their quality of life and enjoy better sleep.
How to use CBD for ankylosing spondylitis
There are several CBD derivatives and choosing the best one to have a positive effect against ankylosing spondylitis can be complicated. So, the first thing is whether to prioritize oral consumption, use as a topical cream or inhalation. But be aware that each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
CBD derivatives that you can take orally include oils, capsules, and edibles. Oral consumption allows the CBD to transit to the bloodstream through the digestive system. Thus, CBD can affect the entire body which allows for an immediate effect on systematic symptoms. Hence, the main benefit.
The disadvantage is the digestive system and the liver metabolizes much of the CBD and leaves only a tiny portion. Also, according to a WHO report, the body only uses 6% of CBD taken orally. This is wasteful considering the very high cost of very good quality CBD.
The consumer who inhales CBD has a very high bioavailability content. This is a method that takes into account vaping or smoking CBD flower. It gives an almost immediate result. But the disadvantage of inhalation is that it leads to smoking which affects the lungs. This is why experts advocate vaping since it does not emit combustion.
The use of topical creams or balms provides relief to sore areas. CBD is absorbed into the skin which provides immediate relief to inflamed or painful areas. Creams and balms may also contain other anti-inflammatory products to increase the level of relief.
The downside is that topical creams and balms are only effective on certain areas. Therefore, they cannot provide relief for people with ankylosing spondylitis.
Complete spectrum or CBD isolate: which oil to choose?
Between full spectrum or isolate, which one should you use for relief from ankylosing spondylitis? The full spectrum contains cannabinoids and terpenes on the other hand the isolate contains only CBD in its pure state or almost.
According to some experts, full spectrum CBD offers a superior result compared to isolate. Cannabinoids such as CBG and CBC are anti-inflammatory and analgesic which allows consumers to take advantage of the therapeutic properties.
In summary, while there is no concrete research on the effect of CBD on ankylosing spondylitis, there is still evidence that attests to the positive effects of CBD against inflammation and pain. This represents a real natural solution to painkillers. But beware, if it is true that CBD is without side effects or harmful, we recommend that anyone who tries it for the first time to take the advice of a doctor. The latter will ensure that CBD is the right treatment in order to solve their inflammatory problems.
Les articles et autres fiches produits en ligne sur notre site web ne représentent en aucun cas des conseils médicaux. Avant toute consommation d’un produit CBD nous vous conseillons de prendre contact avec votre médecin et de lui demander son avis.