This past month we have been running a bit of an experiment in our house. We have been testing the effects of CBD oil on our various ailments as we age or on long term ailments that ‘modern medicine’ and pharmaceuticals have done essentially nothing for.
We need to start with a little background. I will give a little overview of my ailments first:
I have had severe pain in my lower back for decades. Eventually it was diagnosed as arthritis in my spine that radiates to my hips. Over time the pain has gotten so severe that I can bare walk a block without crumpling. As a youngster I was extremely active – a runner (kind of slow), basketball and racquetball and lots of home repair. As I have aged, the pain has really increased. Specific exercises and Tylenol seemed to be my only answers – and that really didn’t do much.
As for my wife, she had an incident at age 31. After the birth of our second daughter, she had a brain hemorrhage – specifically a hemorrhage in the pons region of the brain. When I first met her neurologist after it happened his first words were ominous: “I don’t know what to tell you on what to expect. I have never known anyone who has lived through one of these.”
The pons is a very small organ that does two things. The first is that it is the message distributor from the brain to the body. When it stopped, messages from the brain stopped. She was within seconds of dying. Thankfully a doctor actually happened to see the incident and immediately got oxygen down her throat to save her life.
The second thing the pons does is control some eye movement. As she slowly recovered from the message problem, the eye problem – a constant fluttering in her left eye never recovered. This has drastically affected her balance over the years. The time period for all this was beginning in the 1980s.
She became a bit of a guinea pig for various drugs. She had glasses that looked like Venetian blinds and took drugs that stopped most of her body from moving except for her eye fluttering. Over the years treatment was somewhat refined, but we were basically told that the best that could be done was a drug that smoothed out some spasticity. For decades that is what we did.
After talking of trying CBD oil for a long time a member of our family surprised me with a bottle. It was of course illegal in Iowa. Something about how people would get addicted and become druggies. This is a talking point thrown at me by another family member during Christmas.
On first try, there was immediate relief for my back. It was amazing. We immediately found that CBD oil was legal in Illinois, so we could combine a trip to visit family with the purchase of CBD oil. As an aside this sort of paralleled my father’s trips to Illinois in the 1950s to buy alcohol because Iowans couldn’t buy anything stronger than beer. Funny how that worked out.
Over the years Iowa allowed sale of CBD oil in state. There is a store in Iowa City where we have purchased some product. The product that store carries is different than I was buying in Illinois. This caused a problem because the labelling in the product from Illinois is different than the product at the store in Iowa. I could not compare apples to apples.
So I bought some of the type product I got in Illinois over the internet at quite a savings. They even threw in a ‘thank you’ gift of some gummies. I hate gummies. In an jovial moment over the holidays one of our kids suggested my wife try the gummies. We had talked about doing that but were afraid of interfering with her other meds. So she did it.
The results were immediate. Her still remains spasticity lessened dramatically and her eye fluttered quite a bit less. So the other day we decided to see if we could find her some stronger CBD oil. We went to the store in Iowa City. Once again there was the problem of comparing apples to apples or in this case dosage strength to dosage strength. Different companies had different labelling which was very hard to compare. We bought a bottle of gummies in Iowa City that appeared to be a much stronger dosage.
When she tried the stronger gummies, her eye movement stopped almost immediately. It was simply amazing. After 40 years we seemed to have made some huge progress. We are experimenting at this time between the two gummies and perhaps seeing if she needs a full strong gummy. They are expensive $100 for a bottle of 30. And of course there is NO prescription insurance for CBD products.
The cost led me to an internet search for a comparable product. Sad to say the inconsistent labelling made that nearly impossible. Of course the reason for the inconsistent labelling is that there is little to no regulation of CBD oil. It is kind of a Wild West area for what is a medication. As popular and widespread as CBD oils are it is way past time for our government to get involved and bring it under FDA rules. A bit more on that in a minute.
My frustration led me to call the company I had placed an order with a while back. I had a long conversation with a representative concerning labelling, ingredients, dosages, purity and formulations – that is how different companies make their products. There is one thing that came out of our long conversation:
The big reason that CBD oil and marijuana type products are not being treated as other medications are is because of the strength of the anti-marijuana lobby. Were MJ and CBD be treated as medications and regulated they could put a big hurt on Big Pharma. As I hope you got from my story (and there are I bet millions more) natural products could replace lots and lots of drugs.
Big Pharma is not the only industry that could see an effect. Alcohol could also see a big hit. And oddly enough two other big opponents of legalizing MJ and thus regulating MJ and its derivatives are the private prison industry and the union for the private prison guards.
BTW according to a friend there are still states where possession of CBD oil can get a long stretch in jail – this is where the private prison industry gets its customers at our expense. So be careful.
Way, way, way past time to fix this. While we are at it let’s get the damned money out of politics. Plus there appears to be some very big potential benefits if marijuana and its derivatives are allowed to be researched. Some country will be doing it. Why not us?