Medical Marijuana for MS

The Unspeakable Bits; From a Life with MS

4/20 was long counterculture code for the use of marijuana. So on April 20, I put out a broad question about the medical use of marijuana (MMJ) for multiple sclerosis to the Life with MS Facebook page. I was surprised by the overwhelming response and support for the legal use of the substance.

Legal history

It is important to remember that while MMJ (Cannabis Sativa) has been used as medicine in many of the world’s cultures for thousands of years, it is federally illegal in the United States, even for medical use. Though several states (18 and the District of Columbia at this writing) have medical use laws on the books, a 2005 Supreme Court ruling upheld the federal government’s right to prosecute patients who possess marijuana no matter how their state stands on the issue or whether the patient holds a prescription to use MMJ for medical purposes.

The U.S. government deems MMJ and its active chemical compounds a Schedule 1 Narcotic and Congress, in doing so, has determined the following to be true:
  1. The drug has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.   
Even if you live in one of the 18 states that allow patients access to marijuana, you are still breaking federal law and subject to arrest and prosecution if you use it as medication the way your doctor prescribes.

The inability and/or unwillingness to try MMJ for symptoms due to the legal status of the drug was one I read over and over in the comments on my post. Some posted that they would really like to try MMJ as many of their MS-related symptoms (particularly pain, spasticity and sleep issues) aren’t responsive to many prescription meds. Some people went so far as to say they were considering moving to another state (as some have done to be closer to MS Centers and MS specialists).

Speaking from experience

The most common MS symptoms named in conjunction with the medical use of cannabis include spasticity, pain, sleep quality, bladder issues, tremor and depression/anxiety.

As a person who formerly lived in one of the states allowing for medical use of cannabis, I availed myself of a prescription and found relief of one particular, medication-resistant symptom. Now, living away from that state, it is illegal for me to treat the MS spasticity in my neck with MMJ, so I am forced to experience that symptom without relief.

My MS doc – seen here, along with me, in a news video about a recent study on MS symptoms and MMJ – feels like the research is just now beginning to catch up with what people living with MS have been saying about MMJ for a while now: that for many of us it works.

I know from comments on my blog that some people with MS wouldn’t consider using MMJ even if it were made legal. Others use the drug for MS symptom management in spite of serious legal ramifications. Most of us, I suspect, simply abide by our state laws and wonder “what if?” as we wait for new treatments and an eventual cure.

These things only move forward with open discussion. Open discussion is something I would suggest with great caution when commenting about your personal use of MMJ. In fact, I think it’s a really bad idea to publicly reveal regular usage online given the current state of things. I do, however, believe that an exchange of ideas on the topic is possible without need to incriminate oneself. Keep it impersonal and don’t disclose what you’re doing in actuality. Whether you are of the “live and let live” side of the conversation or you see medical use of marijuana as a step down a slippery, moral slope, or possibly you find yourself somewhere in between, I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the use of MMJ for MS symptoms.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.


*Tune in tomorrow for a follow-up post from behavioral scientist and professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Anthony Feinstein, PhD.
Tags Activism & Advocacy, Research, Symptoms, Treatment      7 Appreciate this
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Trevis Gleason, Blogger

You can follow Trevis via, his Life With MS Facebook Page on Twitter and on the “Life With MS” Blog. And also, check out his bi-monthly blog for the UK.  

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  • AnonyMS   Jun 10, 2013 12:23 PM
    I have multiple chemical sensitivities that prevent me from using traditional pharmaceuticals to manage my various symptoms.

    Various medications to handle symptoms always cause a bigger or more complicated issue than it was originally for.
    Muscle relaxers cause bowel and bladder issues regardless of using more meds to counter.
    Antidepressant side effects range from insomnia to GI issues.

    The primary symptom that cannabis helps me with is Spasticity.
    While its not able to completely clear my body of any spasticity, it is able to keep some of it at bay and most importantly it takes the edge off the spasticity where the muscle doesn't feel like its getting completely ripped off the bone...
    This relief in spasticity/spasms also helps with getting a better night's rest.

    Currently reside in a state where it is illegal. It's bad enough having MS but to be a criminal by attempting to improve my quality of life is depressing.
    I have gone through long stretches without cannabis and I can tell a clear difference in my body with and without it.

    The tide is turning in the US and while I never thought I would see it decriminalized in my lifetime, here we are.
    Science will prevail where religion and politics have failed us.
  • Jim   Jun 10, 2013 5:16 PM
    I am mystified how we can tolerate ljving in a world where GMO food is legal (in fact there is no law governing the labeling of GMO foods), cigarettes are legal, alcohol is legal and advertised at sporting events, i can buy a Big Mac and supersized frie meal, and I can take a drug for MS which has been on the market for all of 8 years - a drug where little is known about it's long term safety or efficacy....but costs $50,000 per year. All of this against the back drop of a drug (cannabis) which is still illegal even though it has been used and studied for over 100 years, is tolerated
    well, has proven benefits etc...? Follow the money. If Biogen gets a hold of a way to grow weed and market it it will be instantly approved!
  • Barb   Jun 10, 2013 5:20 PM
    Isn't there an RX, in pill form, you can get that has the same ingredient as what is in MMJ? This way you can reap the benefit without messing up your lungs. I haven't taken it, but it seems logical.
  • Kira   Jun 10, 2013 5:29 PM
    @Barb you do not have to smoke MMJ to reap the benefits. i have made brownies for my mom who also suffers with night time issue with her MS and she was able to rest and ease her pain. You can smoke it if you want but lots of people eat it or swallow it in a pill form. As far as I know there is no synthetic drug that is the same as a natural growing plant like MMJ that can do the same thing. And if there was why do you want to expose yourself to more chemicals? This is a very real and natural way to treat your pain shame on the government for making people feel like they have to break the law to use something so much more effective than that of a drug made by a huge pharmaceutical company. I am in the process of making some salves that will help as well. I hope someday soon no one will have to fear prosecution for using a holistic method to heal their body.
  • AnonyMS   Jun 10, 2013 5:45 PM
    @Barb - Kira is correct, there are many smokeless options.
    A simple search online will produce results.
    I have made Tinctures and butter myself at home. If you can follow instructions or a recipe (and physically able), then you can grow and harvest your own medicine (grows in the garden with my vegetables).
    Studies have debunked the belief that smoking cannabis damages your lungs, and actually showing it beneficial.

    I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to "re-educate" themselves. Multiple generations were simply lied to.
    If you can think of a possible health concern with Cannabis, chances are its incorrect and from out-dated propaganda.
  • Jess   Jun 10, 2013 5:48 PM
    I agree with Jim's comment regarding how many things are legal that are harmful to humans but this one thing is a big deal. I further agree that if big pharma had their fingers in the pie, suddenly, it would be medicine - IF controlled and sold for exorbitant costs by them.
  • dave schrader   Jun 10, 2013 5:49 PM
    I live Iin Texas were it is illegal. I have ms I smoke pot and i dont care what doctors say it helps me.
  • Claire McDonough   Jun 10, 2013 5:56 PM
    I think your position was cowardly. If it was ANY other Big Pharma treatment, instead of one God/Nature produces naturally, you would advocate for our ability to access it if it was safe. Strip away the stigma and look at why it works. And if it works and it has benefits - fight like Hell for everyone to access it who wants to try it.
  • Anonymous   Jun 10, 2013 6:01 PM
    How funny that I see this post today of all days. I live in a state where MMJ is not legal but has one of the largest concentration of MS in the US. I had my 6 moths appointment with my MS dr today and the majority of the time I was with him we discussed this exact subject. I am lucky enough to go to the only privately funded clinic in the US, so my time is never limited and we are able to have such discussion. My Dr like to play the devils advocate but also understands the severe issues associated with MS since his wife also suffers with MS. We talked pros and cons and everything in between. I think I left him with a little different view after we talked. Yes there is a THC pills but the effects of marijuana are much different and beneficial when it is smoked. When asked today about the negative aspects of using marijuana the only one I could come up with is the effects on the lungs....
  • msangel   Jun 10, 2013 6:02 PM
    I can take a pill that could kill me and doesn't work as well. If I use mmj because it works and doesn't present the side effects of some of the other medicine I have taken I go to jail. So I risk the chance of diing so to me this makes absolutely no sense I would use it
  • Karl   Jun 10, 2013 6:03 PM
    I've just lived with my MS pain for 3 years because of my unwillingness to use prescriptions like Gabapentin. First time I was put on Gabapentin I went from A student in my SPAN 101-201 classes to borderline F in SPAN 202. I saw people move their lips but my brain wasn't able to take in the sounds that went with the movement. I even had trouble speaking one coherent thought in English. Needless to say my GPA dropped that semester but not as much as it would have if I had stayed on Gabapentin. I stayed clear of it for such a long time because I was scared of the things it did to my brain.

    I'm still bouncing around from prescription to prescription looking for something that works. I'm currently on Gabapentin again but I'm not in school at the moment. I'm at a level of pain medication that my doctor won't allow me to surpass from fear of addiction & other things. I would like to get my pain level to a point where I don't lose sleep. It is very hot where I live & I don't have a car so I rely on public transportation. It takes everything I have to get to & from work every day. Anti-Depressants scare the hell out of me. Honestly I don’t like any drug that screws with my ability to think. So I am not sure if MMJ would be right for me. Yet I don’t think it would be worse than alcohol or Gabapentin before my body became accustomed to it.

    My interest in MMJ obviously comes from hearing the stories of how it works for others. Also every time someone finds out I have MS they immediately ask oh so you probably have a MMJ card? It drives me insane. I don't see how it could be any worse than alcohol & I know many people who use it often & perform their daily duties just fine. I am interested in MMJ & how it might help me but I'm scared to bring it up to my neurologist because he is so dead set on Gabapentin being the best option for my pain.

    Barb there is such a pill. My mother was on a Marijuana derivative in the last stages of cancer. Although, I think the only reason she was prescribed it was the fact that she was close to death. Also there is a video on called Super High Me with the comedian Doug Benson. If you watch it; he will visit a dispensary in California & learns all the different ways MMJ may be administered.
  • Aimee   Jun 10, 2013 6:10 PM
    I have MS and also live with pain, muscle spasms and sleepless nights. These symptoms are frustrating because of their legal drug treatments and their harmful side effects. I can't believe that chemically engineered drugs like pain killers, sleeping pills, and muscle relaxers are better for my body and mind than a natural plant, God made. My only concern with its use is inhaling the smoke; however, with all the edibles and vaporizers on the market today, there is no need to inhale the marijuana smoke to get its benefits.
  • louise keane   Jun 10, 2013 6:12 PM
    I have progressive Ms & believe that if mmj works for people like us then it should be approved. there are people who aren't sick who use & abuse it just to I guess whatever. I cannot use it due to lung issues, but have no objections to others who can & will benefit from it my only fear is the abuse & misuse of it. Hopefully people with MS like myself will use it if it becomes available for that purpose. keep smiling.
  • Susie   Jun 10, 2013 6:14 PM
    I just can not understand why someone would use the drugs they now treat MS with that can cause some serious side effects, but say the would not use marijuana. I am more afraid of the drugs that are legal used for MS than marijuana....even pain pills and muscle relaxers have dangers and high addiction and alcohol is another drug that is more dangerous I know some people drink to relieve pain. I know marijuana would be my choice over pain pills and muscle relaxers if it were legal.
  • Avatar
    Quaker  Jun 10, 2013 6:21 PM
    If grass could help MS, I'm sure they would have a pill made they could sell and control. Of course at great cost....
    The use of grass, (weed) brings back to many memories of the 1960's......Wasn't too good of a time for me......
  • Karen   Jun 10, 2013 6:23 PM
    How ridiculous is it that the Federal Government can arrest someone who has a prescription for medical marijuana and lives in a state where it's legal? Just another example of how the laws need to be changed!
  • Robin Davis   Jun 10, 2013 8:05 PM
    All the drugs and years of disease have added complications and PAIN to my MS. I do live in a state where it is illegal and I am a "rule follower", even as a teen. However, mj is less toxic to your body in the long run. Opiods are necessary but with great side affects. Good MJ is the best drug for many MS symptoms. I use a self -cath all day, using mj and my bladder relaxes and I am normal for the few hours that it lasts. I am for legalization with the same laws as alcohol regarding public use, driving, etc. We need pharmaceutical use. I want to know where it is grown, who is growing and I am a hugh anti-smoker. We need a different form and Marinol DOES NOT WORK!
  • Deena   Jun 10, 2013 8:09 PM
    As an MS patient that has been unable to function for years without the use of pain meds, I was quite optimistic when my state of Delaware made medical marijuana legal a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, this has gone nowhere since the law was changed. Apparently, Delaware won't allow anyone to grow or dispense it since it is still against the federal law. Have other states changed the law and then did nothing??
  • Tara P.   Jun 10, 2013 8:31 PM
    My mom passed away from complications of her MS in July of 2008. At the time I didn't know much about mmj or how it could help with ms symptoms. I wish I had. It now angers me that something that might possibly have helped her was kept from her. I'm not convinced mmj is any more harmful or addictive than the copious amounts of morphine they pumped into her, and from what I've been reading, it may have been more effective. She suffered terrible and constant pain for months. I don't understand why she couldn't have something that might have helped. Why is marijuana so inherently bad? Is it really worse than morphine? Or OxyContin? If I knew then what I know now, and if I knew how/where to get it for her, I definitely would have, law or not.
  • Julie   Jun 10, 2013 9:15 PM
    I live in a state where MMJ is not legal but I know that there are benefits to using it! I would much rather do that than take a handful of pills. I don't understand why it is thought that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol!?!? My neurologist feels that marijuana is beneficial but can't prescribe it because of the laws!! Very frustrating! It's like having a cure for something but not being able to use it!!
  • Shelley   Jun 10, 2013 9:40 PM
    When your in pain the way we are you will try anything.
    i tried it years ago and it hurt my chest. It made the spasms
    Worse. If they put it in its natural source THC, form like they do for
    Cancer patients it might be different.
  • L.Ty   Jun 10, 2013 11:07 PM
    Why not for proven medical problems. My wife had undiagnosed for twenty years yet still little help.

    FYI, You should read this:
  • Aufar farhan   Jun 11, 2013 12:11 AM
    I'm from sethma international we done some research for ms we locate 2 renascence to start the auto immunity but not conform we need the lipoprotin compound at mailin and dna oders of bone marow if we got we can buld the drug to ms
  • Janna   Jun 11, 2013 4:27 AM
    I'm tired of taking the drug s the doctors give me.They are worst than the disease.For me they don't work.laying in bed

    3nights a week with a fever just not going to cut it any More

    all I can take take.think it is inhumane to let us suffer when there something that is organic that can help.The shots aren't working I'm progressing lost my sight in one eye it's not conning back. At least let us give it a try WAnt my life back.
  • Judith Bedward   Jun 11, 2013 6:55 AM
    Please make it legal in Wisconsin. I would move to another state if I did not have family here. I really do not want to break the law. I am becoming addicted to muscle relaxers and I understand MMJ could relieve my spasticity when it happens and not take pills all of the time.
  • Linda Talmage Jackowski   Jun 11, 2013 8:27 AM
    The use of Medical Cannabis should be a persons personal choice with their Dr., it isn't for just anyone to use if it makes you feel strange, but I do know the benefits of this plant is here on this planet for a reason just as many other plants used in treating other diseases and illnesses.
  • MPP   Jun 11, 2013 8:46 AM
    I know that by using MMJ a person with MS can completely go off all prescription drugs. Twelve of them in fact. Taking prescription drugs just covers up so many of the symptoms, it doesn't stop them. I find it frustrating that there are natural remedies a sick person is not allowed to have just to put more money in the pockets of the drug companies. Because if you take thier drugs, you have to take more and more to deal with the side effects caused by them. And isn't it amazing that the government has patents using cannabis, but patients can't make the decision to use the herb without thier ok.
    Reading through the comment section I see there is still a need for education on the various ways to use medical cannabis. It is very effective in so many different ways. It doesn't have to be inhaled as there are ways to use it in food, teas, creams/lotions, ect., that a patient can make themselves!
  • Ronin   Jun 11, 2013 9:17 AM

    Both sides of the argument, presented impartially, with links to scientific research and studies in countries around the globe, where the governments don't suppress their results (the way ours does) just because they contradict policies that make billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies, police and prison unions, and rehab centers, all of whom donate millions to keep this beneficial herb out of the market and the hands of patients.
  • Joyce   Jun 11, 2013 10:28 AM
    The government brainwashed this country years ago against marijuana. They started with our grandparents and then our parents. Just watch that ridiculous movie "Refer Madness" sometime and you will see where this idea that it is such a psychodelic drug came from. It shows a guy smoking with a girl and then he tries to rape her. How bogus is that? Usually if you get real high you want to veg out and eat brownies. Please, the guy would have to be a rapist in the first place. So stupid and this country buys into it still. The only thing I saw acurate in that movie was the people laughing, sometimes that is true but you know, we do that with booze too.
    In reality the government relies on keeping us ignorant so they can be in control. They don't know how to control marijuana in a way that the government can always profit from it. If it is legal, how would they stop us from growing our own and avoid paying taxes on it?
    I have seen in the media lately of children being poisoned by ingesting marijuana. Really? Do people leave their pot lying around for toddlers to get ahold of it? I certainly wouldn't leave an open bottle of booze in a child's reach why would I leave pot out for them?
    And why on earth did our government buy up the patent for cannabis? They want to prevent a cure? Or is it about profit?
    And honestly if they come up with a cure for MS, I wouldn't doubt that they keep it from us. The pharmaceutical companies have and need to continue profit off of us for years and years.
    I remember watching the PBS show "Race to Save the Planet". It was a televised course I took I think in 1991. Volvo had come out with a car that gets 100 miles to the gallon back in the late 70's early 80's gas crunch. They made 6 proto types and they could even put bio gas in it or wesson oil to run it. But then the gas crunch was over so they shelved it.

    I have searched and searched online for this car and there is nothing to be found about it. Big guess is the oil companies/government paid Volvo to never make this car and keep it under wraps.

    Is that what the government is holding a patent on cannabis for? To keep it under wraps?
  • Candice Gingles   Jun 11, 2013 10:37 AM
  • Been There   Jun 11, 2013 10:39 AM
    For 9 years I've hidden my use of cannabis for my MS symptoms. I had such terrible leg spasms I wore splints on my legs at night. The neck spasms were also horrible and would send me running to find a place to lay absolutely still and relaxed to help them recede. I had no sexual desire and found myself feeling more and more depressed. Then a friend shared her marijuana with me and I slept the better that night than I had in years. I only use it at night. I never used it after midnight as I had to work in the morning. I didn't want to take narcotics for the pain because I take so many medications for so many medical problems that I was afraid adding a narcotic would probably make me die in my sleep. I know marijuana won't do that. I wish it was legal in my state. I have hated hiding this for all these years and my husband and I discussed the risk of my getting caught but agreed that the change in me and my quality of life was worth the risk. I treat is as medication because to me that is why I take it. It's not led me to "harder" drugs ever in the 9 years I've used it. I wish I could speak out on it publicly but the repercussions would be too great.
  • Hannah   Jun 11, 2013 10:39 AM
    Thank you for your fair article. I find most "official" blogs like the National MS society typically doesn't touch this topic as it is still a hot button issue. I just wanted to share my own experience.

    I live in Colorado, by far the most liberal cannabis state in the US. I have been a state registered user for several years and I must say that Cannabis has changed my quality of life for the better. I was on over 10+ medications for everything from sleeping problems, migraines, spasticity, and pain among other things. I was able to drop all but one prescription medication in addition to my disease modifying treatment after using Cannabis. I want to make one things clear, Cannabis, like any other treatment does have side effects. For me personally, I find them easy to live with and much easier to deal with than my pharmaceutical medication side effects that I was dealing with previously. Just like any treatment, it is not right for everyone. That being said, Cannabis is an integral part of my treatment regiment, one that my neurologist and other doctors agrees with.

    I have a fantastic medical marijuana center in Denver called The Clinic that takes the "medical" side very seriously. The grower of this dispensary's wife has MS and thus they are very MS centered. They tell me what strains are good specifically for MS and they are constantly having their products tested to insure quality, safety, and potency. They also do the MS walk every year and are often the top corporate donors in Denver! For me, a person living in Colorado with MS, this is a wonderful alternative to the pain medication that made me incredibly sick. I know it is not that easy for people who do not live in a state such as mine but I want people to know that it can work given the correct environment and patient!
  • alisha   Jun 11, 2013 1:24 PM
    MS has taken a lot from me but marijuana gave back my life... not legal in Wisconsin but being home bound I am not hurting anyone but the poor drug companies cause I no longer take 9 medications that were the only available for my symptoms....until now 420. Amen
  • Allen Nance   Jun 11, 2013 4:16 PM
    There is fast approaching a time when I become more and more resistant to drugs. Despite the federal restrictions of the VA to allow it on their formulary, the VA Doctors from both the pain clinic as well as neurology, write prescriptions for those with M.S. that have outside ways of paying for it if they so choose.
    As I have said before, and will say again till I drop dead: In the end, Pain Wins. Your horse ***** stigmatism about anything on this planet I can consume to relieve pain means nothing to me. Lobbies to make yourself look good in the eyes of some jackass ideologies mean nothing to me. I have zero intention, nor obligation, to suffer so someone looks good in a social context over guffaws and chuckles and a dinner table. For those finding relief this way, Good For You. For those taking issue and interfering with that: Drop Dead. I have no time for you.
    ...Allen Nance, SPMS w/ RRMS, diag 2007, 100% disabled. Bill W 5yrs, not 420 friendly but would like the option to get THC in pill form some day or anything else...
  • Kim   Jun 11, 2013 8:02 PM
    Thank you Trevis for writing about this topic! I live in Wa where even recreational use was legalized last year. However, there are lots of 'imiplementation problems", of course. A lot of people are watching WA and CO to see what happens. After reading all the comments below, it's so obvious that big Pharma is totally involved. It's always about money. Lets get the money out of politics as best as we can and then see what happens. I was Ms Dx 2 yrs ago and find that MMJ definitely helps me sleep better, waking more rested. It helps spasticity too. I would definitely like to see more available research on which strains and ingestion methods work best for what, but until the Feds give up this Stupid war on drugs, good luck. check out for overturning Citizens United and making a big leap in getting the money out of politics.
  • b. hALEY   Jun 11, 2013 11:44 PM
    my husband had MS .for 8 years. One thing that kept him going for PAIN was marijuana.The State of RI came though with their first store was in Feb. 2013. He passed away 1/6/13. I think it is so sad they let people die in PAIN. There was weeks he didn't have any. Then he went to the pain pills. I think pain pills are real bad. What is wrong with with world. I had a great man the only thing he wanted was to re leave the pain.This is all he asked.
    Wife, caretaker
  • connie   Jun 12, 2013 10:32 AM
    My wonderful son has ME and he is a young father and husband too,I think it's criminal not to legalize marijuana for medical usr to relieve the terrible pain that is engulfed these victims of such debilitating illnesses,people like my son and others !!They truly need it ,just to give them some kinda help so they can live pain free!!!!
  • Valentine   Jun 12, 2013 4:17 PM
    Fortunately, I live in Washington State where MMJ is legal (at least on the state level). I have had a medical marijuana authorization since 2000 when my MS was first diagnosed. I am lucky to have a neurologist that firmly believes in the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Having volunteered at a mmj facility for sometime now, I have seen firsthand the miracles this natural drug can perform. MS, fibromyalgia, Chrons Disease, glaucoma and even cancer to name a few. Seeing is believing and I for one am a firm believer in the beneficial use of this plant! I have not had ANY exacerbations since I began using mmj. I must admit I also give myself a weekly injection of Avonex and therefore cannot accurately state that it is because of mmj I remain so healthy. In fact, if I knew for sure I would have quit doing the injections years ago, but for all I know it is a combination of the injection AND marijuana that is working for me. Regardless, anyone who says or believes there are no medicinal benefits of marijuana is full of poo-poo and needs to come out of the dark ages! The only reason it is still illegal is because big pharma cannot get a patent for this natural remedy and therefore there is no money in it for them! Educate yourselves, my friends! More and more research is being published all the time on this wonderful plant. Watch "Run from the Cure" by phoenix tears on YouTube for a start. Whether you smoke it, eat it, take it in pill form or use it in a salve, there ARE healing benefits and nobody can make me "unsee" what I've already seen. I look forward to this medicine becoming an option for everybody everywhere. Until then, best of luck to all of you!
  • Anne Lyons   Jun 12, 2013 4:47 PM
    This is a great blog here. I have MS and as I live in PA, have often wondered "what if?" myself. I have tried a multitude of medications/therapies over the course of my 12 year fight with MS. I consider myself pretty lucky so far and I intend to keep charging at it with the help, love and support from my family, friends and doctors. I do wonder though, what if my doctors could prescribe MMJ? Would it make a difference in my situation? To have a knowledgeable medical doctor prescribe, in his/her trusted opinion, the proper quantity, dosage, etc. could be potentially a great thing for me. PA has a bill currently, SB528 that may make it a non-issue for me. I would try it and if it worked for my issues, good, if not, well then I would know.
  • Kenneth Thompson   Jun 13, 2013 8:40 AM
    Thank you for being brave enough to post this Travis. I was a user of recreational marijuana for about 15 years. This period of my life ended about 15 years ago, not because I was feeling any harmful effects from the pot use but simply because they put a testing policy in place at my work place. I've recently been made aware of the GMO issue and while researching that I've seen many articles about medical marijuana. It certainly appears to be working for those with the balls to use it. Two days ago I viewed a movie shown by the Pittsburgh chapter of NORML and found the evidence presented there indis*****ble. I don't understand our governments agenda , and I hope it's not simply greed, but I think it's time we demand the truth and refuse accepting anything less.
  • Uncle Mikey   Jun 13, 2013 3:39 PM
    Great article. I run an deivery service in the east bay. It is a double closed lop system where we bring club quality to pt. homes 7 days a week. I see first hand how this miracle plant helps those in distress from MS. My whole life as an Rn and as A farmer has been to help my brothers and sisters have "Access" to their medicine. Lets dialougue.. OnelvUM
  • jeff   Jun 13, 2013 10:06 PM
    during my 5yrs since I was DX'D. about 1/2 way thru I tried it and found it effective with relaxing and calming. I don't do it in front of everyone and keep it mostly to my self. taking any meds away but leave that alone. it helps with the courage o talk and participate. no, I don't use it to get stoned. having issues with my hands and muscle cramps about the size of a quarter all over my legs.
    Thanks Trevis!
  • wm milliron   Jun 19, 2013 5:06 AM
    when my body cramps up only releive is one hit of cannibus body cramps go away life saver
  • jean annan   Jun 20, 2013 12:44 PM
    mmj it dose work for me my night pain is so bad i cant stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i ask GOD to help me every day !!.it is so hard to want to hold on ..i wish GOD.....would just take me ..
  • frank   Jun 20, 2013 1:11 PM
    My son gave me a small bottle of tincture, a liquid with a bit of weed, I use it for Spasticity in my legs along with other meds. so far it works, and helps me get to sleep.
  • Adam   Jun 20, 2013 1:11 PM
    I recently turned 21, and have been taking injections every other day since I was diagnosed at 16. I've also smoked almost daily for about four years now. Long story short it's immensely helpful. It relieves muscle spasms and side effects from injections the most, but it also helps with the stress of it all. It in no way makes me a stoner bum either - I'm able to hold a part time job and internship while smoking at night so as to relieve side effects as well as help me sleep.
  • Dina   Jul 5, 2013 9:17 AM
    jean annan I know just how you feel. I also ask god to take me everyday. Think about your family and friends and connect with them. Find an ms buddy. Find a way to hang in there.
  • Dina   Jul 5, 2013 9:17 AM
    jean annan I know just how you feel. I also ask god to take me everyday. Think about your family and friends and connect with them. Find an ms buddy. Find a way to hang in there.
  • Dina   Jul 5, 2013 9:17 AM
    jean annan I know just how you feel. I also ask god to take me everyday. Think about your family and friends and connect with them. Find an ms buddy. Find a way to hang in there.
  • kelleyb   Jul 7, 2013 12:16 AM
    I really wish that they would pass the law in every state because I know a lot of people that it does work for and it would be better than pain pills that eat at your liver and eventually u become nummeToo
  • Steven   Jul 8, 2013 4:58 PM
    Very informational link. Power of RAW cannabis.
  • RickP   Jul 12, 2013 8:34 AM

    All I can say is the efficacy is unparalleled for relieving the tightness, spasms and painful gripping sensations from hips to feet. When these issues are relieved, the associated anxiety is also suppressed. It's a great day with SPMS.
  • Avatar
    noahspop  Jul 22, 2013 7:10 PM
    just joined this forumn and have been wondering about what effects pot would have on our disease. I was diagnosed in 2002 . tried Avonex for 6months, 21 shots and I was in a wheelchair. Been in a chair since May 2005. I was dxd with spms , in the last yr I have been feeling more and more pain from legs, feet, hips, and low back. Nothing seems to help. I'm serious considering Pot.
    Now after reading all these comments I think I am convinced. I live in NJ . Is it at all legal here? Anybody know ? Really doesn't matter , but would be good to know. Thx All
  • Maria MacMinn   Jul 23, 2013 11:12 AM
    I live in Canada and have a legal licence to use ans well as to grow Marijana. I have used the Marijana that I grow since 2004 when my symptoms began to get worse. I have embraced the drug because it works. When I use it in the evening to prepare me to get through a long night of pain from spasms and pain, I never wake up with a fuzzy head as I would if I had taken the drugs like baclofen. Marijana is not addictive. I can use it when I need it and do not feel desperate for it when I don't need it. Many people get hooked on pain medication and your body craves drugs like OxyContin that are used to relieve pain. I don't get stomached aches from using it unlike over the counter pain relief drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol. Nor do I have to worry about the negative effects on my liver like betaseron has done to my liver. I am not promoting the use of Marijana over other MS drugs. I am just promoting the use of Marijana as an alterative to pain medication.

    I hope that this post has given another perspective on the use of Marijana for MS sufferers and that it has alliviated the fear of those who have such a negative view of the use of MMJ because of the legality of the drug. There is a reason that MMJ has been licences in 18 US states as well as in Canada.
  • mdwilliams-  Jul 27, 2013 9:57 AM
    bare some nasty opiod marijuana could help me with pain spastic limbsnd insomnia please let me get some makes more sense than etoh which wrecks families and causes accidents,unlike thc
  • mary   Jul 30, 2013 10:22 AM
    Hav anyone ask a person with MS how they feel smoking weed withMS?
    Itz better then the reg. Meds I think it needs to be legal, it comes from the earth
    It ain't never killed a soul...itz needed for the sick get over it its from the earth, from the dirt and we MS the people need the weed...thanks!!
  • mary   Jul 30, 2013 10:22 AM
    Hav anyone ask a person with MS how they feel smoking weed withMS?
    Itz better then the reg. Meds I think it needs to be legal, it comes from the earth
    It ain't never killed a soul...itz needed for the sick get over it its from the earth, from the dirt and we MS the people need the weed...thanks!!
  • breakinthelaw   Jul 30, 2013 10:35 AM
    as a kid I always heard drugs are bad, went through the DARE program (that's Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and swore id never smoke cigs or drink beer or use drugs, Now fast forward to being diagnosed w MS at age 22. Now fast forward to a few years later suffering from enormous intractable pain from the MS hug, its nothing any pills had touched. A good friend suggested I try it. I did research, and I prayed about it, I read the Bible and I prayed some more. I believe God didn't just accidentaly make it. It was created to be used as medicine. Nothing helped me except for smoking. Im an adult and taking the chance of being arrested. I realize that, but I use it responsibly and in moderation. Its a chance I am willing to take.
  • Scaredy Cat   Jul 31, 2013 1:20 PM
    I live in CA and medical MMJ use is confusing. They say is has been :"decriminalized", but you can be arrested for being in possession. The confusion in the interpretation of the law is what keeps me from trying it. I know with my health issues I probably would not go to jail, but an arrest, bail, hearing/trial, etc could set me back beyond any benefits the MMJ might result in.
  • Weed the People   Aug 22, 2013 2:30 PM
    If Pope Benedict the Fatigued blesses Verse Eleven of Chapter One in the Book of Genesis, Christians can petition the Supreme Court with Papal infallability and influence the course of humanity, with God and law on their side.
  • Kim   Aug 22, 2013 2:48 PM
    Bring it on! I am ready for MMj . I have heard here and there on the news that they are trying to legalize it in Florida. I am waiting to see if Georgia is next. I hate to know I would have to move across the state line, but would be willing to try anything that would actually work. I hate MS with a PASSION!!! I want a life again....
  • Andrea   Aug 22, 2013 3:46 PM
  • msandreaw  Aug 26, 2013 12:01 PM
    I live in A state that will allow MMJ in January, I will seriously consider trying it for pain relief if this last ditch effort of nerve blocks do not work. I have been on LTD for a year due to multiple MS related issues, but would really like to get back to my life! If Marijuana brings relief and function back to my life I think the powers that be should be on board with that!
  • nemo   Aug 29, 2013 10:47 AM
    My husband has lived with progressive ms for almost 10 years. He was on disease modifying drugs for years--they did not help and had terrible risks and side effects. He has spacticity in his left leg so bad it is like rigamortis. We live in one of the first states to approve MMJ, and he asked his neuro previously for an approval and the neuro declined, stating that "there is no proof it does any good" and gave my husband a perscription for baclofen--a muscle relaxer that does nothing but make the poor man more tired and dopey. Now he has a new symptom--tremors. He moves the slightest way and just starts vibrating--its terrible! My husband just turned 40 and has suffered so many MS related injuries--deep cuts, bruises, 5 broken ribs. FINALLY the neuro approved him for MMJ, and he applied for the card. He is so excited and I so hope that he will not be disappointed.

    MS is a horrible, horrible disease. It rips the life away from the sufferers. Docs are ready to give people oxycontin and other ridiculously dangerous drugs which the govt approves, but resist allowing suffering people to ease their suffering in a safer way (yes, it is undoubtedly safer and I argue that it does not cause physical dependency the way perscrip pain killers do). People swear by MMJ's efficacy, and even if using it only makes the person high and forget about their suffering for a while--so what?
  • cfnip  Sep 2, 2013 6:21 PM
    I don't have any pain at all. Only I feel fatigue and weak sometimes and my walking balance is not good. I need to take 5mg of methylphenidate everyday for few months already. I don't know what will be doing next since I moved from Asheville to Durham and I am still waiting for his referral.....
  • Peter   Sep 3, 2013 4:16 PM
    Travis - have your doctor prescribe you Marinol/generic dronabinol. It's pure THC and does help. I was briefly on marijuana/cannabis for my stiffness, spasms and pain, especially in my neck and one leg and it did work great, especially at night when it really helped me sleep well. We used a vaporizer in the California study - a device that releases a mist from the drug rather than smoke but otherwise works like smoking, with almost instant effect. I took take one puff of the vaporizer and a few minutes later feel much better. The Marinol doesn't work as well but it does help and is my go-to medication for this problem. Its main problem is it is hard to adjust the dose, being a pill, and takes a really long time to reach its peak action (unlike vaporization where it is close to instant), and it is somewhat more psychoactive than the real stuff. The "high" is rather unpleasant compared to the real thing. Although with both the cannabis and Marinol I try to keep the dose low enough that I don't experience that. Unfortunately, when the Marinol wears off about 4AM it is too late to take more, I'd be up anyway before it starts working. The vaporizer was great, I'd just take another puff and be fine. My state IS a legal medical marijuana state but it is just too big a hassle to get on it plus my employer doesn't allow it even for legal medicinal use, so Marinol is at least a passable substitute.
  • john   Jun 8, 2015 1:32 PM
    How amazing how these powerful herb can have the possibility of curing other disease, Its ability is no doubt effective and safe. No wonder it can be a great substitute to medicine as well. <a href=""></a>
  • Cheri   Jun 8, 2015 7:55 PM
    I have had MS for 18 years and I can tell you I was in the Hospital Emergency and the Registered Nurse asked if I had ever used MJJ
  • Cheri   Jun 8, 2015 8:40 PM
    I have been diagnosed with MS for 18 years while I was in an Emergency Room waiting for the second part of my Dillauid Injection feeling a lot of pain. When the Registered Nurse came in and asked me if I have ever tried MMJ? I told him I had not and he said I should look into it because he has treated many patients who have had much success with pain relief and relief of Spasticity. Within two months I had my card for legal MMJ and it replaced 80% of my medications and works better and helps when prescription medication can't do a thing.
  • Cheri   Jun 8, 2015 8:40 PM
    I have been diagnosed with MS for 18 years while I was in an Emergency Room waiting for the second part of my Dillauid Injection feeling a lot of pain. When the Registered Nurse came in and asked me if I have ever tried MMJ? I told him I had not and he said I should look into it because he has treated many patients who have had much success with pain relief and relief of Spasticity. Within two months I had my card for legal MMJ and it replaced 80% of my medications and works better and helps when prescription medication can't do a thing.
  •   Jul 21, 2015 11:50 PM
    Marijuana is linked with anti-inflammatory activities that block cell growth and prevent the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors, the drug has also be found effective with cancer in the brain, lungs, prostate, cervix, and even pancreas.
  • LKW. Shepherd   Oct 19, 2015 12:55 AM
    I married a Colorado man and moved here from Oklahoma. My neurologist encouraged me to try marijuans....I have Primary Progressive M.S. After 2 years of wrestling with the moral and legal stigmas, I gave it a try. I didn't feel any more impaired than if I drank one strong ale. After that brief feeling subsided, I FELT NORMAL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AT LEAST 10 years. Gone was the dogged depression, fatigue, and spastic leg pain. I was energized! I actually got a great deal was gteat!
  • Kara Lambert   Oct 27, 2015 3:48 AM
    My husband suffered with the symptoms MS from 1999... When the doctors couldn't decide what he had...until 2012 when he passed out of this 2001 he was finally diagnosed and in 2007 was when it was suggested that he use mmj by a doctor in Georgia... Though the doctor was careful to explain that it was illegal in his opinion that was the only thing that would give him back his quality of life and it did until 2011 when we moved back to his home state of Utah when they proceeded to put him on oxycotin to manage his pain...which I believe was the death of him literally...I and my 5 girls ( the oldest 22 and the youngest 7)are left to carry on with out him...I feel robbed because honestly mmj helped him have more of a say in his care, treatment and quality of limiting access to such medication causes not only the MS patient to suffer but so too does the family that just wants their loved one to have a good quality of life...I am a junior in college and working on a law degree...hopefully if my children or grandchildren are diagnosed with this horrid disease times will have changed and MMJ will finally be on the table for patients...all politics aside.
  • Tammy   Jan 11, 2016 1:09 AM
    My husband and I recently moved to Texas. I can't find any where to purchase his medicine from in the McKinney Tx area. He has has MS for 10 years and Medical marijuana is one of the main mess that he has taken that has made his pain bearable
    Ca n Med. Marijuana be mailed from one state to another
    I certainly hope so because I have no idea how to help him
    Ant ad is e will be much appreciated.
    Tammy. (Searching for MS med narihuaba foe husbands Primary progressive MS)
  • CLaude Westra   Jan 31, 2016 6:47 AM
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  • Daniel Ellis   Jun 12, 2016 9:04 PM
    About the only medication that i,ve tryed, that works on multiple m.s. issues. Not really worried about any legal ramifications. But would feel better, if the great state ofTexas would legalize it already. M.S. sux bad enough as it is, Dan
  • Norma   Sep 19, 2016 4:48 PM
    I live in a state where MMJ is legal. I'm currently registered with the Department of Health as a card carrying MMJ patient. I've had a legal recommendation for years now. Smoking marijuana has been the BEST thing I've ever done with regards to my MS. I'm relatively pain free as long as I keep my CBD levels up. I hate Gabapentin and refuse to take it. CBD's are Gods wonder drug if you ask me. Their effects are actually enhanced when combined with THC. God had it right when he created the plant. Being an older MS patient, going on 16 yrs now, I've had a lot of testing done. Would you believe that as both a marijuana smoker, and a cigarette smoker, my lungs show no signs of negative effects and I don't wheeze at all? Of course there are other ways to injest CBD's and THC. But smoking flower is the cheapest. Patients with a legal recommendation from their state can get their "medicine" for about 1/3 the price of someone buying it legally at 21 and over shops. That's why you get your recommendation and renew it every year. It costs me about $100/yr and it's well worth it. It's amazing what you can buy! Food, tinctures, lotions, salves, creams, pills, oils, the possibilities are endless. The more we know, the better it gets! I asked my 1st neurologist what he thought about marijuana and MS because I had been watching Montel Williams. He reported to my therapist that he thought I was drug seeking. Really? Seriously? I asked for his opinion. I knew EXACTLY where to get marijuana. Had for years. I fired him! He's the one that pushed Gabapentin. Figures. I used to take Copaxone shots daily, now I take Techfidera twice/day. Have you seen those commercials? Don't you love the side effects? Major brain infection that can lead to "serious disability" and/or death. Nice to know "they" don't consider MS a serious disability. But I could get one from taking Techfidera to help me with my MS. Good to know. Until we get marijuana off of the Feds schedule 1 status, you know, "no medicinal purpose whatsoever", our doctors will never be able to even discuss the healing effects of marijuana, regarding MS, with us honestly without being in fear of losing their "federal" medical license. That's their livelihood. I get it. Look up the videos "Weed, Weed 2, Weed 3" online. They are done by Dr. Sanjay Gumpta. He's the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. He didn't used to think much of marijuana until he started seeing what it can do for people. Now he has a different take on things. Educate yourselves. It's time for a change.
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  • Tracy   Feb 13, 2017 10:54 AM
    I have to agree that Marijuana does help me tremendously with my M. S. I have a lot of symptoms that hurt or are serverly uncomfortable for me to deal with everyday. I've tried many M. S. Medications and found one that helps but not my pain..I also have Fibromyalgia..which is also very painful as well as CHRONIC PAIN DISORDERS.
  • Peter Smith   Feb 17, 2017 8:23 AM
    I don't know if this is the right place to ask this but I'll just go ahead.

    I've been suffering from a back injury for months now, and been dosing my self with a lot of pain relievers. I'm starting to think that I might take away the pain of my back with the meds i'm but at the same time punishing my liver slowly. So I started reading articles about marijuana and it's medical aspect and found this along the way
    I am already 34 years old and haven't tried smoking or any other means of using marijuana and I have nothing against it. My question is that if i try it would I be dependent at the same time addicted to it? And will it really ease the pain? Thanks in advance to those who'll answer
  • Dr Jurly   Jul 9, 2017 5:56 AM
    Dr Jurly

    My name is Vickie Nickie, my daughter is 31. She has been having terrible problems with alcohol and addicted to drug for about 6 or 7 years. As time goes on she just gets worse and worse. Of course her drinking means that she ends up in the company of some pretty awful people. Drinkers of course. These men that she finds only seem to make her life so much worse. She then drinks more to get away from her terrible life and so it goes on. We have tried for years to give her as much support as we can. Financially she has depended on us for years now.

    Trying to believe that if we let her hit ‘rock bottom’ she would finally quit drinking. All that happened was that she became really ill and had to be taken to hospital. She isn’t the type of alcoholic who can carry on some kind of life. When she drinks, that is all she does. She stays in her flat and drinks and smokes all night and all day until she physicality cannot cope. Then she has a few days off it, then it all starts again.

    She has a good education, is good looking, and when she isn’t drunk she is good company. It is tearing our family apart to see her throw her life away like this. As her mother I seem to be living her life too. If she has a good day – then I have a good day,

    I think she will end up,, by accident, killing herself. It is so, so sad. She had tried AA. That took us years of pleading with her to attend some meetings. They seemed to help a little bit but she has stopped going. I think she realizes that there are people there just like her who have managed to quit and somehow she doesn’t seem to want to be part of that. She just keeps making up excuses or lies about why she won’t go back.

    She has managed to get through interviews and even managed to go to work. That lasts sometimes only for a few days. Then she starts drinking and lets everyone down again.

    i have seen post and i have seen people going through a lot of things cause of a stigma that one doesn’t pray for but all thanks to big help i got from Dr Jurly, who saw me through pains and make me understand that nothing is impossible for God to do. now she is well and started her life over again at a point of breaking down. i still cant say much but God know that i am so happy I know I can’t make her stop all this, I have tried. I realize from reading other peoples posts that I really need to get myself some help, I have paid $10,000. of thousands to get her help and to pay for her life and yet, here I am, depressed and so stressed about something that I am failing to fix. As a mother that i, so painful. Alcohol addiction is a terrible thing. It robs people of their lives really. It often feels to me that I am watching her, very slowly, killing herself. Taking me with her too. After I finish writing this I am going to book my self an appointment with a good therapist and try to find perhaps an AA meeting. I have to do something . thanks to Dr Jurly. for all of your help and assistance to help her regain all she left behind, if you have same problem or mental issue you could contact: Dr Jurly FOR SOME PERSONAL COUNSELING OR FAMILY COUSELING.(CONTACT INFO…
  • medical marijuana   Sep 21, 2017 2:19 AM
    great blog. Finally, I have got some fine information about marijuana. Cheers Up Buddy
    I Think every state should approve marijuana as a medicine, Its really healing our body.
  • Megan Stefan   Oct 1, 2018 8:57 PM
    Hi Mom here, I have a son who's been diagnosed with childhood epilepsy syndrome, this means their epilepsy has specific characteristics. These can include the type of seizure or seizures they have, the age when the seizures started and the specific results of an electroencephalogram (EEG).An EEG test is painless, and it records the electrical activity of the brain. In my son's case, he has "benign" which means they usually have a good outcome and usually go away once the child reaches a certain age. And as a mom, I don't want my son to suffer this kind of illness for a very long time. He's 5 yrs old now and he is doing great in school. That's why I am searching the best solution for my son and as along the way, I read this that cannabis can be the solution to my problem. But I did not try it yet. So am just asking if it safe for my son? Any reply will highly appreciate. Thanks in advance.
  • Tina   Feb 7, 2019 1:35 AM