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Anti-inflammatory strength of cannabis?

Discussion in 'Ask FC' started by oldiebutgoodie, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Hey friends, I'm hoping someone here can help me with an important medically related question . . .

    A month ago I had major orthopedic surgery, specifically a spinal joint fusion. In this procedure a bone graft is inserted in the joint in place of the disc that has degenerated. The body's reaction to the graft material and cage in which it is enclosed is inflammation. It is actually that inflammation itself which causes the materials to "fuse" together eventually into solid bone. (Interesting science.)

    Consequently, it is very important that I avoid any NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, motrin, etc.) because they can slow or even conceivably prevent the fusion. Even aspirin is to be avoided, although I was allowed a baby dose for a couple of weeks as a blood thinner to help prevent blood clots, and could have continued longer with that were it needed (but it wasn't).

    My question is whether anyone had had experience with, or perhaps obtained medical advice, as far as just how strong an anti-inflammatory cannabis is? Obviously there are variations in strains and the amount used, so these would be factors like any other drug. But I've been trying to get a handle on how cannabis compares to the NSAIDS, which are serious anti-inflammatory drugs.

    I've indulged myself a couple small hits a few times, but that's all. I know from the aspirin example that this isn't a black-or-white question, i.e., that even with the NSAIDS it's a matter of how much, how long. So I'm not concerned with the wee bit I've used this past month. I have another month to go though, and I sure would like to vape occasionally. But not at the chance of doing myself harm.

    Anyone have any relevant info that may be helpful?

    Thanks much in advance.
     
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  2. syrupy

    syrupy reitcello - it's what's for breakfast

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  3. xEsoteric92

    xEsoteric92 Member

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    I honestly can't say much from a medical perspective, but I can say those long weekend nights full of meatball subs and pizza along with liquor and lots of beer, well lets just say waking up to a desktop vaporizer next to your bed is just awesome, I usually follow it up with a cup of coffee but we all have our own routines, but to your question, it helps greatly for inflammation in my honest opinion, good luck!
     
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  4. Vicki

    Vicki The Bionic Woman

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    I'm not sure how much better they work as I can't take NSAIDS of any kind, including aspirin. However, I know it helps my inflammation a lot!
     
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  5. FUnhouse

    FUnhouse Well-Known Member

    I had a similar surgery a little over two years ago and was told no NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, motrin, etc.) or Smoking for at least 6 weeks .
    Of course my doctor didn't tell me that until after I had taken Advil for two days .But it did not cause any problem and they were not worried about it .
    I was told it would stop blood flow to the area and slow healing.
    With the amount of pain I was in I was going to every thing they told me to do .
    So I didn't smoke (I was still smoking then ) at all .
    I have no idea how I got through it because I don't take any pain pills at all. But I was too worried about not healing correctly .
    I never asked my doctor specifically about cannabis .
    But As soon as the six weeks were up I started medicating as usual and it was and still is the best relief I can get .
    I say let it heal as much as you can and don't take the chance .
    But I agree that this isn't a black-or-white question at all .
     
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  6. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

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    Location:
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    I just recently got a mmj certificate. I am unable to take anti inflammatories due to kidney function going down when I use them. I have arthritis in my ankles, feet and hands, also some degenerative disc disease going on. I am trying to figure out which cannabis strains works best for the pain that I have.

    Now that I will be buying from the dispensaries, it will be easier to keep track, since I will know for a fact what strain I will be taking. When you buy on the down low you don't always know what you are getting.
     
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  7. xEsoteric92

    xEsoteric92 Member

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    Hey bud, dont wanna come off wrong but take my word on it when I say no two people will be talking about the same strain 85% of the time unless you know the same growers/same area .. I only say this because I seen so many people try taking a glance while guessing, yeah some have distinct smells/tastes and some even may say effects, but the fact is your never gonna get a consistent product unless you grow yourself or find a caregiver thats legit and knows his shit. I only wrote this cause I dont want you to get mislead, alot of people throw fancy names on shit product, but if I were you keep a lookout on some blue dream or northern lights, very potent pain relief. I know ALOT of people get into indica/sativa type conversations but mainly what I have noticed is a majority dont know what they're talking about unless they grow themselves of course, or read some label they believe.
     
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  8. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

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    Location:
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    That's what I'm afraid of might happen with the dispensaries. That I might be getting something different than what they say it is.

    Supposably with the rec cannabis in WA state the product will be bar coded from seed to finished product. No stores will be open for a while yet. Some say July, but I don't know if they will be ready? The cannabis will be expensive in the stores because of taxes, some folks won't be able to afford it. Hopefully the state won't get rid of medical cannabis. Im really not prepared to grow it myself either.
     
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  9. caliwisp

    caliwisp Cali Dreamin'

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    My MD recently suggested that for inflammation I get ahold of a vial of super-syrupy high-CBD extract. This is the kind where you need just a small bead of it daily. It might be hard to vape enough of it to get to the blood concentration you are seeking for therapeutic use. (But that is not to say that there's no benefit to sustained smaller doses.) In CA we can get ahold of this in varying ratios of THC:CBD, some as high as 20:1, meaning it would be possible to take a little rice-grain size of it in the evening before bed and let it work overnight, and never have to worry about the THC keeping you up.
     
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  10. xEsoteric92

    xEsoteric92 Member

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    in all honesty being in Northern California, I can't say much for the strains, but your in the right boat fucking with Da Buddha :tup:
     
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  11. MinnBobber

    MinnBobber Well-Known Member

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    No expert but I researched a lot before getting back into cannabis after 30 years without. I had pain issues and all credible cannabis studies indicated the same thing, that cannabis' two most important med properties were pain relief and reduce inflammation. That's why it is/has been for centuries so good at minimizing MANY human conditions where the root cause is inflammation.
    You want inflammation to help fusion so I would err on the side of caution and not imbibe--- better to sacrifice a little now to help maximize odds you get a solid fuzion. Just my opinion/ what I'd do---or not do :)
     
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  12. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Late here so I must keep this reply short but didn't want the day to end w/o saying how much I appreciate all the comments. I know we all agree that FC is a great community, and the caring interest folks here have for one another proves that. Thank you all.

    I'm going to take the "better-safe-than-sorry" approach - too much to risk - and stay away from the flowers until I get an OK on the fusion. Since a small amount of aspirin was OK for a couple of weeks or longer, I'm sure that what little mj I vaped is not enough to have an effect.

    I will say that I have learned that there are many varieties of inflammation, so one anti-inflammatory will not necessarily have the same effect as another. The nature of NSAIDs affecting blood flood makes sense and it is logical that this would have an effect on the fusion process. I researched other types but the subject and possibilities are really overwhelming and require quite an investment of time to understand.

    As a side note, I will add that nicotine is extremely bad for fusion and as I understand it many inflammatory conditions. I was also instructed to absolutely stay away from smoking tobacco, which fortunately for me I do not. I can only imagine how stopping that cold would add a lot of misery to the unpleasant process that fusion already is.

    Again, thanks to all. I'll re-read your comments tomorrow to be sure I've digested all the helpful thoughts.
     
  13. xEsoteric92

    xEsoteric92 Member

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    hey kinda off topic to what you were talking about lol, but how well does the vapexhale work? know its decent I'd assume but changing herb mid session? idk always figured the Buddha was better but can't say cause I haven't tried. I do remember the wife of the company saying if I got a unit she would give one extra for free, or if I got someone to purchase one I guess. *Someone hit me up if your planning on getting one maybe we'll set somethin up? Lol. Idk seemed a bit steep price wise, especially everything considered... And the fact that I got her to agree to that so soon made me a bit concerned as weird as that sounds, especially since I heard about their older models having issues with their old warranty etc.. Not saying its not a reputable company but as steep as the price is, being told that. Idk
     
  14. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    I presume your query is prompted by my "beta test crew" sig. Yea, I confess to having been a strong proponent of the Cloud since the get go, and especially the newest generation EVO. (Note: There are knock-offs of the previous gen being sold; IMO best to avoid those.) While there were quite a few bumps in the road especially at the beginning a couple of years ago (mostly having to do with the company being a very small and very inexperienced new start-up) the new EVO is IMO in a class by itself (some would put the new Herbalizer and Sublimator up against the EVO; each has its strengths but both of those are even more expensive). It definitely is a "connoisseur's" vape. IMHO there is no match for the combination of flavor, extraction efficiency (and hence herb economy), smoothness, and filtration that the EVO delivers. The downside is the cost, but the old cliche applies, "you get what you pay for". Everyone I've shared my EVO with has thought it to be exceptional.

    I don't know what you're referring to about changing the herb mid session. The EVO uses an "Easy Load Bowl" (aka ELB); most users fill maybe a quarter, at most a half, which is prob about in the .1-.2g range. That's easily enough to put you on your rear-end. The EVO also comes with a glass nail accessory which is awesome for concentrates; you get better flavor and use less concentrate in comparison to a typical nail setup.

    Oh btw, the international version ran into some technical issues and has not been released quite yet. Probably this month. The N. American version has been shipping since October.
     
  15. max

    max This space available Staff Member

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    My wife had a fusion at the L4-L5 several years ago and is due for another surgery to repair a collapsed disc. Not only does she prefer vaping cannabis to NSAIDs, she prefers it to Vicodin and Percocet. Vicodin doesn't help her pain much and after a while Percocet makes her want to commit suicide, even though she's not depressed. Nice side effect huh? She says vape away.
     
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  16. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Sorry for late response . . . pls convey my thx to your squeeze.

    I've never got bad thoughts from Percocet, but it can give me a king-sized headache if I full dose. NSAIDS do nothing, and I'm forbidden using them anyway because of how they can interfere with the fusion process. According to my doc Percocet is stronger than Vicodin. I've found all the opioids (and tramadol) to be minimally effective with nerve pain though, which is what I have struggled with the most with this fusion. It's begun to get better (this is my 5th week) only recently. For sure, weed is the best of the lot. Actually, a half-percocet, a cocktail, and my EVO are the best combo for me. I was just concerned that my vaping could retard the fusion like the NSAIDS can. Your wife's reassurance helps me rest easier, thanks again. And good luck to her with having to have another ortho surgery; that's rough after only such a short time since the last. Thank god for flowers.
     
  17. max

    max This space available Staff Member

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    Yeah I think that's the case for the vast majority of people. The wife noticed a big difference right away. She just knows now that she can't take it on a regular basis.

    I don't know, but I'd trust Mother Nature's plant over man's concoctions any day.

    As far as marijuana and bone loss/growth, this is interesting - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142341.htm . An older article - http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/96146#.U5txbvldXng

    Good luck with your back. Mine's fine, but I can identify via my wife's problems, and I've had kidney stones multiple times, so I know about pain.
     
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  18. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Good info. Thanks again, Max. :)
     
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  19. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Having just had my 6-week check-up and x-ray, I thought I should post what I learned in the event anyone else has this question.

    The original question again was whether the anti-inflammatory characteristics in weed would interfere with the process of an orthopedic spinal "fusion". The patient is given strict warning to avoid all NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, aleve, diclofanac, celebrex, etc. - and nicotine, btw). The "fusing" process itself causes inflammation; that inflammation is necessary for the bone to "fuse" together. These drugs suppress that inflammation and can therefore block the fusion process.

    From anecdotal reports and the limited research available, I concluded that weed apparently does not have the same mechanism of action as that of an NSAID. I could not be 100% positive, so as a precaution I vaped only after the 3rd week (the first several weeks are the most critical) and thereafter in moderation.

    At my check-up all looked good. And I was told that it is OK to now use NSAIDs again, which indicates that the fusing process has finished its inflammatory stage.

    Vaping is a godsend with this major surgery. It enabled me to reduce my percocet intake, and substantially helped with the (usually worse than before) sciatic nerve pain which follows this surgery.

    I suspect that most doctors will recommend against vaping in this situation because they will not have either clinical data or training that enables them to make a professional conclusion so they will not want to take an unknown risk, and they could also be concerned with the risk of litigation. So it's likely this will be a private decision for the patient.

    Bottom line, each will have to decide for his/herself. My personal conclusion is that, with the conservative approach above that I took, the risk is acceptable. YMMV.



    Moderator: I think I should have posted this thread under Medical rather than Ask FC. Perhaps it should be moved? Thanks.
     
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  20. FUnhouse

    FUnhouse Well-Known Member

    @oldiebutgoodie Glad to hear everything was good .
    I went trough a cervical fusion a few years ago and had to stop smoking (was still smoking then ) for three months . I used some edibles after the third week to help me sleep , But nothing else for pain my whole recovery . Smoking and now vaping helped my nerve pain more than any of the drugs they had me on .
    I hope more information is made available about this . I think i could help a lot of people avoid a lot of pain and live more comfortable lives.
    Again I am glad everything turned out well for you and I wish you the best in you recovery .
     
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  21. oldiebutgoodie

    oldiebutgoodie Apostle, Church of Vaporization

    Thank you very much. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. While I needed heavy oxy the first few weeks, when I started vaping again I found herb to be very synergistic. It also helped with my mental state, and has done a lot to help block withdrawals. The oxy was necessary to control leg pain so that I could manage my walking regimen; once I got up that curve I've been able to steadily replace the oxy with herb. I don't know about cervical fusion, but with lumbar fusion few people know that the post-op pain will at times be even worse than the pre-op. Herb can be such a valuable addition to managing these very difficult recoveries; it's a shame that folks aren't helped more to understand the mechanics of spine disease and why certain treatments will or will not help . . . and how valuable herb can be in working through and recovering from such a difficult condition.
     
  22. caliwisp

    caliwisp Cali Dreamin'

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    It's great that money is starting to flow into research finally. This is an important question.
     
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  23. caliwisp

    caliwisp Cali Dreamin'

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    OMG since I wrote this the important PTSD research has been stopped, hopefully temporarily but time will tell, at University of Arizona. Dr. Suzanne Sisley went through four years of bureaucratic hell to get it going and just before beginning she was fired; reports are legislators against cannabis put pressure on the university to do so in order to stop the train before it left the station.

    Here is a Change.org petition by a veteran asking the university to reinstate her and restart the study: http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-arizona-don-t-terminate-medical-marijuana-research
     
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  24. Tom Funk

    Tom Funk Well-Known Member

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    Ethan Russo MD, in an article on Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD), stated that THC has 20 times the anti-inflammatory strength of aspirin and double the strength of cortisol.

    I don't know about CBD or the effects of cannabinoids on fusion but I think the OP's decision to refrain or lower use dramatically is a good path to take until we have better information from studies in this area.
     
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