CFS and cannabis intolerance

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Ales, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Ales

    Ales New Member

    During the first few years of my CFS I had pronounced alcohol intolerance. My CFS manifests itself as a viral encephalopathy and I don't want to add to it a neurotoxin like ethanol so now I don't drink alcohol at all. What I find interesting is that many friends of mine smoke cannabis and it has anxiolytic and euphoric effects on them. When I smoke cannabis I either feel nothing or start to feel extremely anxious, disoriented and incapacitated. Even one of my friends, who happens to be a neuroscientist of considerable impact and an experienced cannabis abuser in one person, tells me he has never seen such reactions to cannabis smoking. Do you have similar experience?
  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    It's not unusual to become anxious, disoriented etc. when smoking pot. I haven't had any for about 25 years (I'm 58 now) but smoked fairly frequently in my 20's. From what I understand pot is generally much stronger nowadays. I tolerated it pretty well in my 20's and enjoyed it most of the time, but once in awhile somebody would get something very strong, and that tended to make me paranoid and anxious, totally not enjoyable.

    Some years ago I had severe alcohol intolerance - a glass of wine would make me sick for an entire day, 2 glasses would wipe me out for 3 days. Then I did a liver detox under the supervision of a chiropractor, and started taking milk thistle, and since that time I can drink in moderation. I just wonder how many people with alcohol intolerance need to do a liver detox. These illnesses are associated with a high level of toxins and an inability to get rid of them. There are some people who dispute the notion of a liver detox, but it helped my digestion immeasurably, and I can now enjoy a couple of glasses of wine once in a while without getting sick.

  3. simpsons

    simpsons Member

    its quite usual as said above to get those symptoms. as mary said there are stronger types that can cause these symptoms even in experienced users

    there are different types of thc the active ingredient one type that causes euphoria and happy relaxed feelings and one type that causes more trippy anxious but a higher high

    skunk is the latter type and there is some interesting research on this that you can find on the net

    bearing in mind that this is a neurological illness with the brain firing signals with difficulty ie brain fog difficulty concentrating and multitasking it makes perfect sense that you may feel the way you do

    although it as a drug is useful as a muscle relaxant and can thus help relax you and your muscles helping pain. you would need to find a less strong type to try if this is your misssion to find some relief from pain and get some time out from this.

    i think the two types are sativa and lativa excuse the spelling as i know they are wrong but would give you a start. it used to be even but they have developed the up high part so much that the relaxing type is in far less quantity in skunk.

    so yes if your brain is having problems getting things together then this may of course why you feel the way you do.

    most drugs will reflect the way you aer feeling when you take them. so if you feel at all anxious it will emphasise that so best to take when you are secure and relaxed and when you do not need to do anything but chill out and in very good company (which can include yourself and a good cd or dvd you know and love

    you can get it in tablet form which is said to have just the muscle relaxant and pain killer side in it. this may be an option

    so if you feel like trying it again do it with less strong types normally the processed types rather than the green stuff are more relaxing and less anxious high

    do only around those you feel confident and happy in their company

    only when you do not have to do anything else just relax

    the amsterdam museum of cannibis has lots of good facts of the history or hemp

    take care
  4. SnooZQ

    SnooZQ New Member

    Cannabis-Induced Anxiety Disorder is a not uncommon diagnosis, coded as above in both DSM-IV psychiatry ref as well in ICD-9 international med code.

    How it relates to your CFS, not sure. It could be related to dopamine and/or GABA/glutamate receptor function/malfunction.

    It can occur in nonCFS individuals -- whether to a greater degree of severity in CFS, I'm not sure.

    Best wishes.
  5. ulala

    ulala New Member

    can you tell me what you did to detox your liver? I just did a gall bladder flush yesterday and probably need to do it again soon. I know my liver needs detoxing, too. I'm very curious!

    I know some people who didn't have CFS and had the anxiety and disorieentatin from smoking pot. It would be interesting if there was a study on people with CFS and pot.
  6. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I did the detox with the help of my chiropractor. I'd had a job when I was 19, where I worked in a factory and had heavy exposure to chemical solvents, including acetone and suspected that they might be a factor in my liver malfunctioning.

    My chiro did muscle testing and confirmed that I had chemical solvents in my liver. Based on his muscle testing, he gave me Parotid PMG, a supplement from Standard Process (I know there's a gland called the parotid gland too), and also Cholacol II, which is a betonite clay formulation with a few other things. I took these for a month, and felt quite sick - very tired and just crappy while doing it, and at the end of the month, my liver and overall digestion were much better - I was able to tolerate alcohol, just digested food better, stomach felt better. I also started taking milk thistle and continue to take it.

    I highly recommend chiropractors who do muscle testing. I've had very good results overall with it, with one exception. It's also affordable. If you call Standard Process customer service (google them to get the number), they can give you the number of practitioners in their area who buy their products. There are other good companies out there making nutriotinal supplements, but many chiros do use SP products.

    That's what I did. If you have good health food store in your area, then you can ask people there for advice too.

    I have read it's very important to go slow. If your liver is full of toxins, it can overwhelm you when you start to detox.

    Best wishes,

  7. Svette_Palme

    Svette_Palme New Member

    I put some stock in the idea that "pot makes you feel more of what you are allready feeling".

    In other words, if you just had a run in with someone, and then smoke pot, you will feel that anxiety even more.

    Or, if you are mellow, like in the evening, pot will relax you even more.

    And so on... but there are some exceptions, such as with PAIN, you might feel less of it or maybe you are just distracted from awareness of the pain [and some pains increase after a toke].
  8. Ales

    Ales New Member

    I have tried thousands of OTC, prescription only, approved, research, experimental and illegal drugs to find something that would cure my CFS. With all this experience I would still say that my reaction to cannabis is something unusual.
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Did you all hear about the Denver newspaper looking for a reporter who had an RX for cannabis/marijuana? They want the person to not only go to different places dispensing it, but also to give reviews on the different types of cannabis. Apparently there are quite a few, one place says they sell 40 different types, and the effect is different per type (and likely the individual).

    This is an interesting article about what types of pain it helps... I'm sure there's more detailed info if you google as to what types are good for what types of pain as there's no way to be sure this is the final word on it:


    Pain is the primary single reason people reach out for medical attention. . .Pain comes in different intensities and is experienced in different ways and for varying durations.

    Truth be told, there is not a single pain relief medications on the market today that does not also pose some significant health risk or side effect. This is one reason why marijuana has been such an attractive alternative for so many people. For many, medical marijuana is the only alternative to having to take heavy narcotics such as morphine to obtain relief of any measurable significance.

    Medical marijuana has been used to reduce the acute and chronic pain associated with terminally ill cancer patients. Marijuana also has its disadvantages. One disadvantage is that medical marijuana, especially when smoked, has a fairly short lifespan. The estimated duration of active THC effectiveness is only about 3 hours. This means people with chronic and acute pain might have to smoke 10 or more times a day (to) remain pain free. Medical marijuana however does not work on all types of pain.

    A serious neck strain produces a very specific type of pain sensation. The pain sensation that results from a bad stomachache feels quite different as well. This is because we have different types of pain sensors and neural pathways throughout our body.

    There are 3 major types of pain that our body senses:

    Somatic pain comes from physical trauma such as cuts, scrapes and burns. Somatic pain originates from the billions of tiny receptors that exist throughout our bodies for the sole purpose of warning us of impending danger....Unfortunately, marijuana has little if any beneficial effect in reducing somatic pain.

    This however is not the case for visceral and neuropathic pain, where medical marijuana use has been considered reasonably safe, highly effective and widely used.

    Visceral pain is the pain we feel when our internal organs are damaged or compromised by disease. Common forms of visceral pain can range from mild indigestion to the sudden and acute pain associated with a serious heart attack.

    Neuropathic pain comes from an injury or dysfunction to the nervous system, such as the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome or from the shooting pain that can come from a bulging or herniated disk.

    The use of medical marijuana to treat both neuropathic and visceral pain has shown significant promise with very few side effects.

    For more information on medical marijuana, pain relief, dispensary information and medical marijuana identification cards, visit (above website)

  10. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I had the alcohol intolerance for years and years from this. Then, for a short while, I was able to have alittle. But then I got the intolerance back. I can't get to a point where I'm drunk because just alittle gets me sick.

    While I don't smoke pot, I have found that regular cigarettes immediately blow my lymph glands up and I end up really sick. So I can't smoke with this disease at all.

    I'm not surprised at having a bad reaction with pot. I've suspected I'd be intolerant to it, so that's why I don't do it.
  11. Ales

    Ales New Member

    I think there is always a problem with the herbal drugs and that is the uncontrollable dosing. There are some medicines containing THC or its synthetic analogs like Marindol, Dronabinol, etc. if I remember well but it is virtually impossible to obtain them. Surprisingly it is much easier to obtain much more potent synthetic agonists of canabinoid receptors like JWH-018 etc. on the black market. It is perhaps a nonsense but if people with CFS don't tolerate alcohol and naltrexon is both used to treat alcohol addiction and helps some patients with CFS, why not to try antagonists of cannabinnoid receptors like rimonabant (Acomplia, Slimona) to treat CFS?
  12. ulala

    ulala New Member

    and letting me know how you detoxed. I'm sure that heavy exposure to chemical solvents, i.e. acetone would definitely cause liver problems, as well as other problems. I used to like to re-finish furniture and I know that I breathed a lot of chemicals while doing that. I always felt sick after working with the products, but must not have correlated the two.

    I'll have to look in to the muscle testing. I'm sure there's a doctor around my area that does muscle testing. I have Drenatrophin PMG by Standard Process, but that’s probably different from what you're talking about. Charcoal sounds like a good place to start. I've taken Bentonite clay in the past but forgot about that. It's good to be reminded about these things because after awhile they all become a blur.

    That's such good news that you eventually felt better after the charcoal, Standard Process, etc. At least the pain was worth it for better digestion and tolerating a little alcohol. I have milk thistle but haven't been taking it regularly. I guess I should start back on it.

    There's a local health food store near me that carries Standard Process products. I didn't really notice any difference with the PMG, so I guess I should look into getting muscle testing. I think my spleen is clogged up, too. I had acupuncture today and the acupuncturist pressed on one place that really hurt. I yelped and she said something about my spleen.

    Thanks again for letting me know what you did. It's a good place for me to get started. I started eating bread and cookies and that really seemed to block my stomach up even more. I'm determined to keep away from those kinds of things and get back to healthy eating and some detoxing so that my digestion gets back to normal, which was never great in the first place.

    Thanks for the head’s up on going slow, too!

    Best wishes!
  13. swedeboy

    swedeboy Member

    There are three species of Cannabis. Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are the ones sold at the pharmacies here in California. And among those two species there are literally hundreds of hybrids and strains. One person can can take two totally different types of cannabis and have two totally different experiences/side effects! Doctor Goldstein talked about the benefits of prescribing cannabinoids to CFS/ME patients...cannabinoids are the lipid base compounds found in medical cannabis.

    And one does not have to "smoke" it anymore. Here in California medical cannabis is allowed in the hospitals for patients who medically need it. Instead of smoking it they use what is called a "vaporizer." A vaporizer heats the cannabis to a level that does not produce the carcinogens and only allows the lipid cannabinoids to be transformed into vapor and that vapor is emptied into a balloon and then the patient sucks the air out of the cannabis vapor balloon just like it was helium. The vaporizer allows one to "smoke" cannabis with out the cancer causing carcinogens that are found in the tar/resins from the smoke.

    Personally, I use LEGALLY use medical cannabis for my chronic nausea. The first few times I used it I experienced anxiety, increased heart rate and tremors/shaking, but after a while I was able to become more and more calm (I use very specific strains and species depending on my symptoms). Now when I use it I don't get tremors I get relatively more relaxed, and the anxiety from it is rare and or only lasts a few minutes. I have a California state legal physician's recommendation for medical cannabis. There are over a 1000 cannabis dispenceries/pharmacies in Southern California alone. I am in the Santa Cruz/San Francisco Bay Area.

    I am not a doctor! and I would first talk with your physician before trying medical cannabis!!!

    My pharmacy provides California grown pharmaceutical grade organic medical cannabis and they have both species and a large variety of about 40 different strains, each with it's own
    different effect on me.

    Here's an Abstract on Medical cannabis:

    Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?
    By: Russo EB.

    Journal: Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 2008 Apr;29(2):192-200.

    Authors and Affiliations: Russo EB. GW Pharmaceuticals, 2235 Wylie Avenue, Missoula, MT 59802, USA.

    PMID: 18404144 [PubMed]

    OBJECTIVES: This study examines the concept of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD), and the prospect that it could underlie the pathophysiology of migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by clinical cannabis.

    METHODS: Available literature was reviewed, and literature searches pursued via the National Library of Medicine database and other resources.

    RESULTS: Migraine has numerous relationships to endocannabinoid function. Anandamide (AEA) potentiates 5-HT1A and inhibits 5-HT2A receptors supporting therapeutic efficacy in acute and preventive migraine treatment. Cannabinoids also demonstrate dopamine-blocking and anti-inflammatory effects. AEA is tonically active in the periaqueductal gray matter, a migraine generator. THC modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission via NMDA receptors. Fibromyalgia is now conceived as a central sensitization state with secondary hyperalgesia. Cannabinoids have similarly demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in headache, fibromyalgia, IBS and related disorders. The past and potential clinical utility of cannabis-based medicines in their treatment is discussed, as are further suggestions for experimental investigation of CECD via CSF examination and neuro-imaging.

    CONCLUSION: Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.

    Peace and Joy,

    Oh can also eat it aswell.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/09/2009]
  14. swedeboy

    swedeboy Member
  15. victoria

    victoria New Member

    tho happily I don't need it... I'm glad it's becoming more available for those who do.

    I've heard that not only is it available for sale (with an RX) cooked into food (yes, including brownies) but also in honey and even coffees somehow.

    Seems like the vapor would work the quickest and with the least side effects, however.

    all the best,
  16. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    I didn't know this was an actual diagnosis! The last time I ever smoked pot, I was about 19. I had smoked occasionally as a younger teenager, and got the euphoric relaxed feelings. That last time was a nightmare though. I had a severe panic attack that almost landed me in the ER. It lasted most of the night. My heart pounded and pounded, and I was sure I was going to die.

    After that, months went by and my panic attacks got worse and worse. I developed a full-blown panic attack disorder and had to go on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. I'm still on them now.

    I didn't realize this was actually common and happened to other people. I had a cardiologist tell me it was "impossible". <rolling eyes>
  17. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    I am almost 44 and haven't used since I was 18 or so. I used for emotional pain. At the time I was 14. My parents were divorcing and my father almost succeeded in commiting suicide. Everything for me stopped. I no longer cared about grades or reading or anything. I think in some ways the marijuana helped me for a short while. I tried to commit suicide with a lot of pills at 14. Then as time went by the marijuana began to make me paranoid, anxious and I stopped. I will NEVER take that stupid stuff again although I must say at the time it probably numbed me enough to survive.

    This was back in the late 70's and 80's and they said oh marijuana is stronger now. Now I hear it is stronger still. Really? Must be insane now.

  18. kat211

    kat211 New Member

    I have CFS and FM. None of the meds the drs have had me tried have worked. I tried to smoke last week and it made me sick just to smoke (which is funny since I used to smoke tobacco). It did help my pain and helped me sleep a little better. I made tea last night with it and mixed it with green tea and I found that worked much better for me and I did not feel 'high,' which is not a feeling I care for. I also had a pretty good day today, which is GREAT b/c Mondays are usually very difficult for me.
  19. huuk

    huuk New Member

    I've had lots of CFS related symptoms and while I didn't know the name of the illness, I tried to help myself somehow and decided to try cannabis because I had read lots about it and how it can be beneficial to health.

    I had never smoked it and I don't like smoke in any way, makes me sick. But I grew up my own plant and tried the product for the first time by vaporizing. It made me feel generally better and also the elevated mood and energy levels were still there after the "high" had weared off. It also helped to relieve tension caused by tinnitus and stress, both psychological and physical stress and muscle relaxation.

    Later I met a guy who told me to try smoking from a bong. Instantly after inhaling I coughed very hard and soon I started to feel totally different than hen vaporizing..kind of heavy and disoriented and toxicated feeling. I don't remember if I got any health benefits this time, because my concentration went to the awful feeling I got.

    Later I also tried smoking a joint. It was no better, no good feeling, a little bit the same as the feeling I get with alcohol nowadays which I can't tolerate, not nice at all. I guess I am sensitive to toxic chemicals which always exist in smoke so that is why it is not working when I try to smoke.

    On the other hand, eating is also one option and should not be toxic unless you are allergic to something in cannabis plant or if you eat too much which is bad since you can't undo it if you have eaten too much. I would say the feeling is totally different and very long lasting and at least when taken irregularly, the correct dosage is not that easy to take.

    I was stupid and took about 1 gram of good quality strong cannabis on the first time but the good news is that it doesn't kill you, but you are surely going to remember it because it is kind of overdose and you can feel very weird, nausea, vomiting, trembling, loss of coordination and so on..I would strongly advise taking a small amount at first when eating, no more than 0.2 grams on first times and never taking more during the few hours after taking it if you feel it is not working, because it takes a long time to absorb from digestion and that is how I overdosed, took more after waiting for 2 hours and then it kicked in.

    I have heard that when you use it regularly for medical purposes, you don't feel anything special anymore, your system gets used to cannabis and you only get the health benefits.

    For me the best option seems to be vaporizing. You don't need much of cannabis because it is very efficient, you feel the results instantly which is not the case when eating and it is easy to take as much as you need.

    I did try some commercial vaporizer products and as I wrote earlier, it was a positive feeling. But seems that I am a sensitive person to almost everything and later I started to get some swelling on my throat, maybe the thyroid gland and it always started after vaporizing. I started to fear that I had become allergic to cannabis, but it didn't make sense since I didn't get those symptoms when eating. Then I thought that maybe the vaporizer itself releases something toxic, after all they run hot in use and that seemed to be the case..after I built my own vaporizer trying to make it as clean as possible using safe materials, I have been able to use it without problems.

    I have never taken cannabis for a longer time regularly so I can't tell how that would work, maybe there would be some additional health benefits. For me it has worked when I take once in a while..sometimes I don't feel like taking it for 2 weeks, sometimes I take it everyday and the good thing is that there does not seem to be any adverse effects to this kind of medication. When I don't feel good, or have lots of CFS symptoms or my muscles are sore, or sometimes just want to feel good, I can take some vapour and it always helps and makes life more enjoyable. Actually this seems to work so greatly that I don't want to try taking it everyday, since as far as I know, then i would not get the feeling of "high" anymore which is actually very nice once in a while, especially now that I cannot tolerate alcohol anymore at all.
  20. slammed

    slammed Member

    hello ales
    there is no doubt that you are well- educated re this topic, and i commend you as such.

    however, if the true goal of treating CFS is to wipe out the causal agent, then what you suggest is only to treat a Symptom. this will be/possibly be/ ok for a while, but you aren't paying attention to the long-term goal.

    if your causal agent is viral, as it seems most are, then maybe turning your knowledge toward the research and huge effort that's going into defeating the XMRV seems like a more relevant way to use your intelligence. if CFS didn't exist, no one would have to consider why there 's a problem with cannabis & CFS.

    people are getting their blood tested through the Whittemore-Peterson Institute in Reno to find out if they have this virus in their body. if you do, then it's time to go with the flow of defeating it. but, one step at a time. if you don't test positive for it, then it's back to the drawing board so to speak. in other words, i feel that getting to the root cause of your CFS is very important, and will ultimately lead to our feeling well (we all hope so, right)