My first medical marijuana haul

This article was originally published on NationalPainReport.com. It is being republished here with permission from the editor. 

I was about a year into my fibromyalgia diagnosis when I figured out the typical drugs – Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin and the like – weren’t going to be the answer for me. Since then, I’ve been on a journey of trying different treatments in an effort to stop the pain. Some have helped; most have not.

I recently started using medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. Is it the answer I've been looking for? Read my first impressions here!

Throughout my search, there was always one treatment that I held out as my last resort: medical marijuana.

I’m not anti-marijuana. I smoked my share of it in college and have always supported legalization. My reservations centered more around my hubby. As a former law enforcement officer, he didn’t really approve of his wife smoking pot. He was worried I would turn into a stoner, eating chips and watching soap operas all day.

By the time I applied for my medical marijuana license earlier this year, the usual fibro drugs had failed me. I’d spent hundreds of dollars on supplements and products that gave modest relief or none at all. I’d overhauled my diet, cutting out gluten, sugar and most dairy – again, with partial success. Given the current political environment, opioids aren’t an option for me.

In September, I received my medical marijuana card from the state of Delaware. My first trip to the local dispensary was surreal. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was greeted with the skunky smell so familiar from my early adulthood. Entering the dispensary is probably a little like visiting someone in jail. I was required to show multiple IDs, leave most of my personal belongings in the car, and was buzzed through two sets of locked doors manned by security guards. When I finally made it into the lobby, two things stood out to me: First, it was odd to see and smell cannabis and its related paraphernalia as law enforcement officers stood near by. There were several cases filled with pot paraphernalia – bongs, pipes and even slow cookers for making cannabis butter. There was a large-screen TV on the wall, advertising that day’s available strains. Behind the sales counter were racks where the product was kept. It was all very professional, but it felt like a dream. Was I seriously getting ready to buy pot legally?

Secondly, the lobby was noisy. Strangers were actually talking to each other because no cell phones are allowed inside the dispensary. One customer was explaining how to make cannabis gummy bears. Others were discussing changes that needed to be made in Delaware’s medical marijuana law. I had forgotten what it was like when people didn’t have their heads buried in their phones.

I overheard one customer say, “Man, ain’t nobody want that Jet Fuel or AC/DC stuff. That stuff don’t do nothing!” Funny thing was I was there to buy those particular strains because they contain higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 85 cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant. Most people are familiar with CBD’s family member, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that gives marijuana users a pleasant (at least to some people) high when they smoke it. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high. Some tout it as a great alternative for people who are seeking the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but don’t want the stoner effect.

And then, my name was called, and it was my turn to go up to the sales counter. Kevin, my customer service rep, was a long-time stoner, and for that, I was grateful. I had no idea what to ask for, other than I sort of knew I wanted to try cannabis oil, and I also wanted something to help my sleep.

With Kevin’s guidance, I ended up purchasing the following items – my first medical marijuana haul:

  • AC/DC tincture in grain alcohol 1 oz. ($55) – I’ve used hemp CBD oil off and on for about a year with decent results for pain relief, but I’d been told over and over that cannabis oil’s pain-relieving benefits were far superior to hemp, so I was pretty excited to try this. AC/DC contains a 20:1 ratio of CBD:THC, so it does not cause a high. I’ve been dosing around six drops every six hours, on and off, for about two months now. I can’t say that it works any better than the hemp oil I used, but I’m still playing with my dosage, and I admit I need to be more consistent about using it. I also wish the dispensary would use a coconut-oil base instead of the grain alcohol because it stings the heck out of my mouth. The dispensary sells another cannabis oil product that’s coconut based, so I will try that next time.
  • I recently started using medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. Is it the answer I've been looking for? Read my first impressions here!Preloaded Vaporizer Cartridge 565 mg ($60) + Vape Pen ($20) – For sleep, Kevin recommended a preloaded vaporizer cartridge containing a liquid mix of different cannabis strains. I don’t feel comfortable smoking pot anymore because I’m worried about developing lung cancer. My mother died of lung cancer, I’m a former smoker, and genetic testing indicated I’m at elevated risk for lung cancer. I decided to try the vape pen/cartridge combo because vaping is supposed to be gentler on the lungs. I’ve been using the preloaded vape pen at night before bed. Because it contains more THC, it definitely makes me woozy. One night, it took me five minutes to figure out how to put my shirt on because I couldn’t find the right arm holes. When I told one of my girlfriends that, she looked at me alarmed. I had to explain that was a good thing! It meant I wasn’t thinking about my pain! I have used the preloaded vape pen a few times during the day when my pain gets intense, but I can’t do that every day because it gives me the munchies and then puts me to sleep. As for pain, it seems to work similar to how I feel on Tramadol: It puts a buffer between the pain and my brain. The pain is still there; I just don’t care about it. As for sleep, I do fall asleep quickly when I use it, but it hasn’t lessened the number of times that I wake up during the night. I’m still up about every three hours or so. I was hoping cannabis would zonk me out so I could get a full night’s rest. I’m still looking for a strain to do that.

I wasn’t overjoyed with the results of my first two products, so I returned to the dispensary the following week and purchased the following:

  • Rick Simpson Oil Sleep Salve 50mg ($10) – A fellow customer raved about how his wife used this for her joint pain. Since I’m a sucker for any pain-relieving cream, I had to try it. The salve consists of Rick Simpson Oil, lavender, vitamin E, aloe gel, beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and some essential oils. It comes in a small container, so it’s best for localized areas, like the knees or hands. I’ve used up most of the container, and although I love the smell, I haven’t seen any benefit from it.
  • I recently started using medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. Is it the answer I've been looking for? Read my first impressions here!Jet Fuel 1 gram ($13.50) – I was most excited about trying this strain because it contains an equal ratio of CBD:THC. It still causes a high, but it’s more of a body high, meaning most of the stoned feeling is centered in my body instead of my brain. My mind remains pretty clear. I’m still experimenting with dosage, but I think it would be possible to use this during the day in very small amounts and still be able to function and work.
  • Alchemist 1 gram ($16) – Of all the strains I’ve tried, I like this one the best. It’s supposed to help with pain and sleep, and it definitely does that. It’s a THC-based strain, but the high is very soft and mellow, and it’s good at blocking pain.
  • Small glass bong ($16) – I let Kevin upsell me on a small glass bong. He said there’s no evidence that marijuana causes lung cancer, but a subsequent Google search told me the jury is still out on that. I did use the bong once. It felt like I was going to singe my eyebrows, and I’m still concerned about the cancer risk, so it’s tucked away in a basket where it’ll probably never be used again. I have buyer’s remorse.

I made one online purchase:

  • I recently started using medical marijuana for fibromyalgia. Is it the answer I've been looking for? Read my first impressions here!Atmos Jump – I invested in a refillable vaporizer for dry herb. (The other vaporizer I bought only fits the dispensary’s preloaded cartridges.) After some
    research, I settled on the Atmos Jump ($45 via Groupon) because it’s relatively small (about the size of a cigar) and it got good reviews. I usually step out on my porch at night to vape before bed, so I wanted something that was easy to grab and use. It’s working well so far.

Final thoughts

I was pretty excited to start my medical marijuana journey because so many fibromyalgia sufferers have good results with it. It’s not the cure-all that I was hoping for, but it is helpful. I had hoped the cannabinoids in the cannabis would kill the pain over time. That hasn’t been my experience yet. Yes, it dulls the pain, but it does it by creating a hazy barrier between me and the pain; it doesn’t actually make the pain stop.

I’m still experimenting with how to incorporate cannabis into my day-to-day life. I frequently use it at night to relax or help with sleep, but I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate it into my daytime hours and still function. I am still finding my way.

So now it’s your turn…Have you tried medical marijuana for fibromyalgia? Did it help? Is there a particular strain you would recommend for pain and/or sleep? Please share in the comments below!

You might also like…

What you need to know about using CBD oil to treat fibromyalgia pain. Is it legal? Find out here. |FedUpwithFatigue.com

Some emerging research indicates fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome may be tied to a deficiency in the body's endocannabinoid system. This could explain why cannabis benefits so many fibromyalgia sufferers.

By using CBD-rich cannabis products, you can reap some of the medicinal benefits of marijuana without the high. | FedUpwithFatigue.com


  1. Watch out for quinine. It can lower platelet counts.

  2. I am new to the cbd stuff. It is hard to read all this and learn when you have been ill with Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and fatigue ect. I don’t need to go on . I am so fed up with these people in W Vathat said medical marijuana approved but is still yet to be seen . Our Reps in DC don’t want it because of the addictions ect. All I have done is tried to find out where to get a card for the medical marijuana . How to get a Good Doctor that will see you for this without be on a list for another year. I did see something awhile back that said the state will require you to see this doctor every month for 6 months before you can even get anything. But I can’t get any answers for anything along those lines. I’d see a wv where you can sign up and when docs do start this, if they do, this web will let you know, you can make appointment s on this site but I don’t know if safe or are they going to stick you later.
    So therefore thought I would use cbd to get started for now. I have checked out Leafy, which I appreciate the reference. At least I feel safer there. Any other info would be appreciated with medical marijuana. In WVa.

  3. I guess it has been at least a year and a half since you started this. Have you made any newer ideas or interpretations of other products since then? Do you have a new favorite since you wrote this? I have fibromyalgia, PCOS, chronic back pain, arthritis, and migraines= a full load of painful maladies. I have been using CBD oil for a month or so and only noticing a very mild difference.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Hi Angie, I’ve actually been thinking about writing a new blog post or doing a YouTube video on this topic. I have developed somewhat of a routine. I still haven’t been able to find the right combo of products so that I can use cannabis during the day while working. The products at my dispensary w/ high CBD just didn’t provide the pain relief that I need. I’ll continue to try various products as the local dispensaries add new items, but at this point I am using cannabis mainly for sleep and to relieve pain at bedtime. My protocol involves two steps: First, I vape cannabis. I find that strains w/ 20% or more THC work best. My favorite is MK Ultra. The vaping helps me to relax and takes the edge off of the pain so I can fall asleep. Then, for step two, I ingest either a small amount of cooking hash in MCT oil OR a rice-size chunk of Rick Simpson Oil. The edibles last much longer than the vaping, so those help me to stay asleep w/o as many wake ups during the night. In addition to this, I do still use a body lotion with CBD in it. It’s called Invigorate from Resonant Botanicals. It seems to help w/ general aches and pains so sometimes I use it during the day and also after showering. I hope this helps!

  4. Lauren Wilkins says

    Hi Donna,
    I would give anything to live in a state where marijuana is legal. There is a particular product that interest me. It called Mary Medicinals THC:CBD 1:1 10mg patch. From what I’ve read the patch is time released, so it’s slowly released over several hours. Reviews look great for people that experience pain. If you ever try it please let us know what you think!
    On another note, I’ve been considering perchasing my own mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber…. any chance you’ve heard from others who may have benefited? Considering the cost of a lot of meds, therapy and natural herbs over the years, an average cost of $5,000 would be a drop in the bucket if it helps! As a past respiratory therapist, I know the healing properties of oxygen. Would appreciate any feedback! Take care!!

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I have read about a few patient experiences w/ HBOT. Like everything else, it seems like it works for some people and doesn’t for others but on the surface it seems like it would be a good idea. I would make sure to really do your research before investing. From what I’ve read, the home units may not be strong enough to deliver the oxygen levels necessary for healing.

  5. Christina says

    I’ve been using this topical cream that my fiancé gets from a friend of his that is a licensed medical marijuana patient/grower. I’m sure they must offer something similar at the dispensary since they have pretty much any and everything from edibles to oils and every strain of marijuana known to man! Lol. I wish I knew more specifically what it is beyond a “topical marijuana cream”, but I figured it was worth mentioning since it’s been the most amazing thing I’ve ever used for my fibro pain, and I’m sure they must have something similar at the dispensary! Let me add that I would definitely NOT expect the same results from something you can buy online without going through a licensed medical marijuana grower (or maybe just an experienced grower whom you trust) or from a real dispensary where you’d need your MM license to purchase it. So with all that being said, it’s a topical “ointment” Idk what word best describes it, it turns into an oil when it’s warmed and is solid when it’s cold, kinda like coconut oil does. At room temp it’s kinda in between, and it smells like marijuana which is the only drawback for me but I’d walk around smelling like Willy Nelson all day and give not one single eff for the pain relief I get from it! I rub it into whichever pressure points are worst at the moment, then usually onto the specific areas that are in the most pain at the time. Usually my neck and shoulders, knees, calves, the back of my arms, my whole back sometimes and mi bum where the sciatic pain radiates from. Within about 5 mins or so the pain starts to melt away, no exaggeration at all it literally has given me more pain relief than anything else I’ve ever used or taken (except for hot stone massage therapy). I was very skeptical at first that it would work as wonderfully as my fiancé claimed it worked for him, after all the magic pills and creams and treatments that have done nothing for my fibromyalgia pain I’m understandably jaded, but it has been a miracle for me. So anyone who has access to a dispensary or to someone who is a grower and makes edibles, oils, lotions etc. I’d highly suggest you ask about the best topical pain relief products they offer and see what you can find! Good luck & gentle hugs 💜

    • Martha says

      Christina, that sounds like it might be cannabis butter. I tried some that was homemade at a friend’s house in Washington state, and it was amazing for relieving my pain. Sadly, I had to come back to Utah where it’s not legal, but I’m constantly tempted to move somewhere that I could use it, because it was wonderful.

  6. Peter Smith says

    Hi Donna,
    I dont know if this is the right section to ask this but I’ll take my chances.

    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 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 http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/medical-marijuana-has-profound-effect-on-pain-relief/.
    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

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Hi Peter,
      There’s some debate on whether one can become “addicted” to marijuana or not. The general consensus is that it’s not physically addictive, but you can become mentally dependent upon it. Our government has made cannabis research difficult, but studies so far have shown that cannabis is good for pain relief, particularly neuropathic (nerve) pain. You might want to check out Leafly.com. It’s a good website w/ reliable information on cannabis and its uses. Another good one is ProjectCBD.org. You’re always welcome to email me or leave a comment here w/ questions. I’m not an expert by any means, but will answer if I can.

  7. Simone says

    Alaska legalized marijuana across the board last year, and I was encouraged by my husband to try it. I have been suffering from fibromyalgia (retrospectively) my whole life, and severe chronic pain issues for over twenty five years. I am 52 in February. In 1997, before I was married, I had a traumatic horse accident which I never fully recovered from, then was married in 1999, and “diagnosed” (treated for) fibromyalgia officially in 2004. I have been through an ordeal, as I am a Native Alaskan and beneficiary in a health program that only reluctantly treats fibromyalgia and refers to a rheumatologist who only visits our small isolated community once a year. He was an old school doctor who prescribed the typical cocktail of drugs that were about ten years out of date. I think my GP just considered “fibromyalgia” to be a good wastebasket explanation for “the metabolic condition” I had and unfortunately gave a lot of advice that was detrimental to me in the long run. The biggest fallacy was the advice to lose weight and “most the pain will disappear.” After the riding accident I put on the pounds, and I dutifully lost the weight, over a hundred pounds of butter, I say … and two years later found myself in excruciating pain while trying to work two jobs. I had to give up both jobs, and purchased a therapy dog that I had to walk and keep active. We sold our small farm, bought a motor home, and went on a healing quest to natural hot marijuana mineral springs in OR and CA for a whole winter. That was an experience of a lifetime, but misguided. As you probably know, fibromyalgia does not tolerate extreme water temps. I only found one warm water pool I could tolerate in that six month journey, and I was breaching my thresholds of activity daily on that trip. It is surprising what we can endure when we are determined. My doctor had given me prescription’s for this trip, but they were useless where the rubber literally met the road. We returned home, and I began refusing prescription drugs. I could not work, but I walked my dog 5-10 miles per day in sessions. That was all I could do. My doctor thought something since I had lost a hundred pounds and my blood work was normal that I was physically fixed and started to make noise about mental health. It was obvious to me that she thought my perceived limitations were psychosomatic. My father and nephew died within a couple years of each other, then I had an early miscarriage, and my whole world fell apart again slowly. If anyone tells you fibromyalgia is not progressive, they are full of sh*t. It depends entirely upon underlying conditions that your doctor may be overlooking. I went on a new, improved cocktail of drugs, which made me feel okay for a minute or two – placebo effect – then experience spiraled downhill when dosages were increased and contradictions occurred. By this time, I was coming to conclusions that the doctors I was seeing were simply incompetent. I should have gone to a real specialist on our RV trip, but we were uninsured at the time. Five years ago I quit the medical care provided *free* to me in my state, and began my own holistic approach that has been fraught with difficulty, but I learned a lot about my body. Sometimes we have to “listen” to the pain instead of instantly anaesthesizing it. I got into ENERGY MEDICINE, native remedies and meditation. It may or may not have been misguided, because I think the whole experience of fibromyalgia is easier when you have compassionate support that can make good decisions and administer treatments for you during profound and severe flares. Fibromyalgia is a b*tch. My husband is my caregiver, but he has a full time job and his own limitations. Before you go “rogue” you have to consider the burden on other people. I think I was pretty selfishly seeking relief within myself and coming to the end of my rope when my husband recommended marijuana, and my research said it was viable. After 51 years of no experience with it, I researched marijuana trials for fibro in Canada, and devised my own six month trial in 2015. This part is interesting, because while the author of this blog started with CBD Oil and worked her way to full entourage, I began with full entourage and worked my way to CBD Oil. I live in an isolated small town in Alaska, and dispensaries had not opened in the nearest large city yet. I was dependent on my own research and our so called local medical marijuana “advocate” who was a glorified drug dealer transplant from California. He did provide me with top quality medical marijuana that he grew and developed himself for his own use, and encouraged me to try CBD Oil, which he did not have the facilities to produce. I learned to make my own full spectrum oil, and made edibles and bhang tea. Obviously this is a long story. LOL Almost right off the bat I had these strange reactions. Pain cascades. Nausea. Hot flashes. Delirium. It was very hard to control the strength and dosage. The ADVOCATE advised me to “stick with it,” because he believed I was suffering from cannabinoid deficiencies and my body was resetting itself. I rarely experienced euphoria or good physical high at all. It felt like I was being crushed. Yet I did enter into that “objective observer” mode. I learned what Hindu Yogi’s have always known about cannabis. It fires up the energetic body, what yoga mediators call the chakra system, and lights up problem areas like a Christmas tree. There is an aspect of marijuana in this interaction between our body and consciousness, that it can become a diagnostic tool. Obviously, I am not a silly stoner type. I go right into this “super-conscious” state of mind. Any way, I ended having this whole list of weird symptoms to take online to my medical forums and cross reference with other fibromyalgia suffers. Somehow, in my twenty-five year struggle with fibromyalgia, I never quite realized that if you are constantly flaring there is usually an undiagnosed chronic condition underlying it. My doctor gave up after a few tests, even though I know see obvious patterns she just overlooked. Turns out that a subset of of fibromyalgia sufferers who have my same weird reactions to medical marijuana also suffer from chronic myofascia pain disease. It is different from the common myofascia pain syndrome in that the disorder is more aggressive, accumulative and progressive, which has been my experience, which causes the fibromyalgia to go into overdrive. My point is … if it were not for my bumbling self-medication with marijuana and what “the plant medicine” showed me was going on in my body … I would be suffering without hope today and suicidal. These are things that the recreational marijuana community totally miss about the intelligence of this plant as it interacts with us. There seems to be a purpose to its madness and it’s interaction with our endocannabinoid system if we listen to it. However, to make a long story shorter, since it is impossible for me to find the low THC, high CBD product locally, and I am too sensitive to THC in a negative way, I am resorting to CBD Oil – personal trial beginning here in February. I am also going to use industrial hemp oil as an oral supplement. Maybe I will start a blog. Thanks for reading this!

    • Simone says

      FYI – One of the advantages I found in vaping is if you vape at low to moderate heat, like between 200-300 degrees, the remains are still viable. IF THEY ARE NOT OVERCOOKED, AND STILL A LITTLE GREEN, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY. The remains are perfect to process with oil with very little cooking because the cannabinoid has already been preheated and activated. Take it from me this makes a ‘strong enough’ oil or butter, and then you get twice the bhang for your buck. However, you will not know the stats and ratios and will have to play with dosage. I put a teaspoon or two of this in chai tea.

    • Simone says

      After some difficulty locating a hemp CBD Oil with a good reputation who will ship to my location (Alaska), I contacted CBD American Shaman who was willing to work with me and offered product at wholesale. The discount code you listed here last year was not working anymore. Dispensary grade cannabis CBD Oil can also be obtained at the same prices through reputable major distributing centers located in California and Colorado but they only ship UPS, which does not work for my location. The shipping ends up costing more than the product itself. Outrageous. I have made my own full spectrum cannabis oil, but not Rick Simpson’s Oil Concentrate. Even though it is recommended for fibromyalgia, the resulting THC levels would be too high for me with the cannabis strains available in my area. There is a documentary film called “Cannabis To Save My Life” (available on Gaia Channel website) that depicts a brain cancer patient, an older Princeton Research Professor, jumping through hoops trying to find cannabis medicine in her own state and finally resorting to cooking Rick Simpson Oil on her back step. It is worth a watch. Makes watchers want to kick the bureaucrats in the a$$ for making it so difficult. She has got a lot of good fundamental research invested in that film, published in 2015.

  8. SuburBint says

    I live in Arizona and got my MMJ card three months ago. I never enjoyed pot recreationally, but it was the only thing I hasn’t tried yet for my fibro and I was desperate.

    I feel better now than I have in 5 years. There’s been some trial and error involved — the first thing I tried was a peanut butter cookie edible and I ate way too much for my tolerance level, not fun at all! I have since worked out a routine where I use a vape pen during the day to maintain (Dream Queen, an indica-dominant hybrid) and eat part of an indica strain brownie before bed. I am finally able to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeply (usually have to get up after about 4 hours for a hit on my vape pen due to leg pain, but it used to wake me every hour) and during the day I have the energy and low enough pain to keep up on housework, laundry, errands, etc.

    For those just starting out, I highly recommend trying multiple products and methods of ingestion until you find what works for you. I don’t enjoy smoking, so edibles and vaping work best for me. I have also found that I do better with pure indicas or indica-dominant hybrids than I do with sativas, which make me jittery and exacerbate my anxiety. Ask your “budtender” lots of questions, they want to provide you with the best experience possible.

  9. Dana Jones says

    As with many of you, MMJ was the last resort for me. I had used LDN, OD, PT Chiropractric, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and I cannot tell you how many supplements have been tried.

    Along with the fibro, I suffered with IBD-D, to the point of being scared to leave my house some days.

    I believe I have had fibro for many years but, a car accident set every ache and pain into absolute high gear. Prior to the accident I was working 12 to 15 hours some days rehabbing houses. Pretty good for someone over 50.

    My son’s friend came to visit and at that point in time the pain had settled into both ankles. Every step felt like shard’s of glass were in my heels. Walking was literally like limping on both feet. I had tried a CBD topical and CBD drops at that time. He went to the rec store and came back with a pipe and 4 strains for me to try. (He had to show me how to use the pipe). The type I used was called Blue Dream. While I was so high I couldn’t have told you whether or not my feet and ankles were better what did happen was the following morning my IBD-D was different (I couldn’t always make it to the restroom in time by then). I carefully thought about anything I had eaten the prior 24 hours and there was nothing to put my finger on. I was so skeptical that I waited until the symptoms came back (WHICH was 7 days later) and tried smoking the Blue Dream again. Hmmmmm, the same thing happened. I went to one of the doctor’s who can prescribe and received my card. Within days I had tried smoking some Harlequin (high CBD low THC strain) and was able to walk normally that afternoon. In the past 5 months, I have treated all symptoms except for the back and neck pain (still haven’t found a strain that works).

    What I have discovered is I don’t have to be high, I decarb and use 1/8 of an ounce of MMJ in 2 cups of coconut oil in a Magic Butter Machine and when the machine is done I measure it into 1/2 tsp. serving size. I take the Harlequin mix 3 times a day and the Blue Dream 1 time a day (evening) and never am high except for the “different mix” I smoke at night. I cannot tell you how much difference a good night’s sleep makes. The bud tenders seem to think that I am ingesting such a small amount that I am relieving pain and symptoms WITHOUT the brain high.

    When I overdo any physical activity (like grocery shopping for too long) I can plan on some pain but, I am 90 percent better most of the time. People tell me I look much better and for sure I have more energy and thought process. I have finally been able to return to a hobby that I was not able to do.

    It is most frustrating to go to the dispensaries and know that no one is able to tell what type or how much you need. I have found a dispensary that will sell in 1/2 grams (most things I have tried I am not doing again). The budtenders are knowledgeable and I am confident that as I continue to experiment I will find the strain for the back and neck pain.

    I wish all of my fellow fibro suffers the best of luck. I hope that these ideas will help someone else. There is also a website called BeyondChronic.com. He seems to be a knowledgeable online resource.

  10. Thanks for sharing Donna, this is a fascinating post as it is all so alien to me. I hope in future we see legalisation here too. I’m sorry to hear it hasn’t given you the pain relief you were looking for but I hope that you see further benefits over time. I imagine there’s an element of experimentation to all of this 🙂

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Yeah, it’s definitely an experiment, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It will be nice when there’s actual research to help determine the best dosages, strains, etc. Right now, those of us in the medical marijuana community are guinea pigs. Of course, I’d rather be experimenting w/ a natural plant vs. some pharmaceutical concoction.

  11. Amy C Howe says

    Im in Idaho, where medical marajuana is a big no no! They strongly enforce violations!! So, while I cannot experience with you all, I am so grateful for all your information & the openness of your articles! The posts from your followers are terrific & Im paying attention to the info, just in case!!
    I just wanted to say thank you!!

  12. Thank you for sharing your experience with this! I live in North Carolina where it is not legal…maybe some day. I have often wondered if this option would provide any real relief for me.

  13. Nicolé Welch says

    Hi Donna & followers,
    I have to admit that the more writings of yours that I read, the more I learn we have in common. We are basically neighbors, being that I live just over the state line in PA south of the Philadelphia airport.

    My symptoms began in September of 2009 and like most it took many visits to different doctors, tests, becoming unable to work and almost two years before I being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I’ve since been diagnosied with CFS, Hypothyroidism, Neuropathy, Carpal Tunnel, moderate to severe arthritis, degenerative disc disease and other medical conditions that I firmly believe are all related to one another.

    Like most who suffer with chronic debilitating pain, I’ve tried all medications for pain (oral, topicals, patches) anti seizure, anxiety/depression medications and injections none of which worked. The past few years hearing about the many uses and benefits of medical marijuana/cannabinol. Having tried pot and did not enjoyed it when I was younger, I had my reservations. Unsure if it’s pain relieving benefits truly would out weigh feeling a character in a Cheech and Chong movie.

    Last year my daughter traveled to Denver for a girls weekend and while there she visited a dispensary to see what she could learn. She returned with a while lot of knowledge and a couple items for me to try (Against better judgement smuggling it in her luggage) Bothe were in edible form, a chocolate bar and a fruit flavored gummy. I was given strict instructions to start off with very small piece and allow more than an hour to see it’s affects before ingesting any more. The ratio of CBD to THC was equal if not higher in THC than CBD so I feel that there is probably a more beneficial CBD product for me. The pain relief was not as much as I had hoped, the plus side was the ability to get out of my own head for a while and how well I slept.

    Pennsylvania recently legalizing medical marijuana and writing up the laws to regulate what quailifications and requirements needed for the dispensaries, patients and the doctors who will prescribe it. I’m eager to try the treatment so many others have found to be life changing.

    I want to say a big THANK YOU!! I appreciate the time, effort, positivity and knowledge you share on your site, newsletters and FaceBook posts.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      I hope you’re able to navigate Pennsylvania’s system and find relief w/ medical cannabis. It really is trial and error right now b/c there are no good guidelines for treatment and physicians are scared to involve themselves. I keep reminding myself that we are pioneers! I’m so glad you find my blog useful. It makes my day when people tell me that. 🙂

  14. Gerri Curless says

    I live in Oregon and I’m 59 years old. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia/arthritis about 8 years ago. When medical marijuana came here I applied & received a med. marijuana card. I’ve tried just about every form of cannabis (topical, edible, vape & bong). I know it helps me to get to sleep & not have pain all over. I even feel great into the next day. For some reason the high CBD doesn’t help as much as a hybrid (CBD/THC). I was taking gabapentin, vicodin and sleeping meds. No more gabapentin, no more vicodin!

  15. Mary A Miller says

    Hi Donna and folks,
    I have been researching and using cannabis since 2011 (ish)….Please realize that topicals are “up and down” in terms of actually relieving pain, but my thinking is they may have too much THC, not high enough CBD and CBN in the strain (which is the part that works the best for topical application), OR they are using not ‘active enough’ product, or the cream itself isn’t penetrating the skin barrier, just my .O1 cents on this. Many homemade (read: local, products may not be the ‘right oils’, the right cannabis or an active cannabis, or having conflicting things in the creme that could cause the cannabis molecules to be blocked before it is delivered into the body. I found this to be so with a combination of EMU cream and a very low percentage of Cannabis added (without name of strain or anything else), basically becoming a placebo.

    There are options to smoking: there are now transdermal patches with cannabis, medibles (which can be problematic, we suggest “drinkables” rather than buying candies, etc. Because they are more evenly distributed dosages for THC, CBD), and in that, I truly believe that making your own is better than buying them….You know what your cannabis is, often times whats in medibles can be any strain of cannabis, and strains matter. We also suggest to folks FECO (fully extracted cannabis oil), which is basically Rick Simpson Oil (not using NAPTHA to break it down, but high alcohol, put into an empty size o capsule, the size of a half grain of rice.

    Now about my experience; I have been using FECO now since 9/2015. I still have a vaporizer but we don’t need or use it. Like you, I was highly suspicious of using cannabis and didn’t until I contracted “SEROTONIN Syndrome” (it can kill), leaving all opioids, SNRIs, SSRIs, and plenty of innocent over the counter medications lethal for me. AND plenty of research to boot, to make sure that it would even ‘do something’ other than make me ‘high’, which I don’t like the feeling of.

    FECO works, and it works very effectively. DO NOT MAKE YOUR OWN. Ask someone who actually has the right equipment to make it for you. It is far too easy to blow your house up! FECO has worked better than anything else we’ve tried. Getting a 1=1 ratio between THC and CBD is important for something called “the Entourage effect, which is what we need to have effective pain control. You can go lower on the THC to not feel high, but you need at least 10% THC or the CBD isn’t released into the transmitters to control the pain. I hope this helps!!!

  16. Leslie King says

    Hi Donna, Your MJ article was so interesting and had me laughing, too. I live in Colorado so it is legal here. Two years ago I started my venture in the world of MJ never really using it before. I never liked to get high so didn’t experiment with it much in college. The dispensaries with the double locked doors with security watching every move and then wondering if the budsman I would get would be too stoned to actually help me was something every one needs to experience 😉

    I was desperate to find some strain that would take away my relentless fibro pain as nothing after five plus years of trying every drug and modality ( like you ) known.

    I found that these dispensaries and the folks that manage them just didn’t have enough knowledge and experience with fibromyalgia to really know what to give me or the big one is how to dose it out. Thus, after many tries at different dispensaries and lot’s of different strains I descided to give it some more time for more research. I am all for using it and am again hopeful with time they will have it narrowed down more for our debilitating disease. I am so glad you are writing about your experience with It and others, too. It is very interesting and I can learn from others.
    We need more doctors who can work with the dispensaries and coordinate almost a treatment plan to help us navigate through this process.

    Really like your site as you are very practical and to the point in your articles!
    Leslie in Colorado

  17. Sandra says

    Donna, first let me thank you for the great info on your website. You do give it your all.
    I am also in MA and was delighted when medical marijuana was approved. However, I am not successful in getting a prescription. My oncologist says her facility does not write prescription. My primary doctor is dead
    against it. So I am frustrated. I have fibro, but suspect there might be something else as well. I do have other doctors but I feel a little silly asking a doctor who doesn’t deal with pain.

    I do hope others will write with there experiences.

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

      Hi Sandra, you might want to check out this website: https://cannacaredocs.com/
      They have offices all over the U.S. I used them for my medical evaluation here in Delaware b/c none of my docs would sign the paperwork.

      • Mary A Miller says

        thank you for this, big, big deal. We had to become cannabis refuges to a state that allowed medical use, prior to that we were in a no tolerance state. I am certain there are plenty of folks like us who had to move to get any care, so thank you for this website link!

      • I am in Delaware as well. My psychiatrist in Wilmington filled out the paperwork. It was funny to see the packages of pot in the familiar bags. One thing I wanted to mention – those vape pens are terrible. If you think you might stick with the pot, I have an awesome vaporizer that I bought after using the pens. It was expensive but well worth it. It uses a convection heat in a ceramic chamber. The marijuana is not combusted but rather heated. The resultant vapor is extremely smooth. Two inhalations max. But I have found if I do more then two I’m stoned. I love alchemist. Helps with tremors. Pineapple Fields is good too but be home to enjoy it. It doesn’t necessarily help the greater pain but it makes being sick tolerable.

  18. Yes, CBD is good for all day and gets rid of all the pain EXCEPT the low back pain when bending. I think if I never needed to bend at all, that would be great! THC: the first time I was totally hyper for 3 hours, and I was praying for peace and my body to stop shaking! Then after a couple days of break, I started back on a minimal of the oil, and once I get to sleep, I sleep for 6-7 hours straight. But I am awake about 4 hours after taking thc , and am able to get another dose in later in the morning, and sleep again after 2 hours. Still experiementing. Mettrum, Canada if where we get it, order by phone and sent out by post and have it in 2-4 days. $90.00 for 40 ml bottle or your choice of stuff. Mettrum.ca or .com gives you choices and numbers. My pain dr. signed my form & faxed it.
    Thanks. Don’t give up yet, it takes our bodies awhile to adjust to different types and uses. I started early Aug/

  19. I have done some reading on the subject but I live in NC where medical Marijuana is not legal. I am not thrilled with the idea of smoking either but would love some pain relief without feeling spacey. I have tried Gabapentin, Tramadol, Baclofen, Flexeril, Cymbalta and some other pain medications and tons of supplements without much relief so I feel your pain. I have also developed severe tension headaches within the past two years and nothing helps. I am now looking at Botox injections as a last resort. My upper back, neck and head are always tight and in pain. Yoga has helped some but not enough. I get muscle spasms in my legs occasionally and ended up nearly tearing a calf muscle last year which left me on the couch for a week and wearing a brace so I could hobble around. The doctors just shrug it off and have no clue. All my blood tests come back normal. It is so frustrating.

    • Try drinking tonic water for leg cramps,it helps..

      • I buy a product called LEG CRAMPS, yep that’s the name on the box. Hubby gets severe leg cramps. The only place I have found it is wal Mart and it’s under $5.00. It’s the only thing that works for him since they stopped putting quinine in tonic water.

  20. My experience is very similar to yours, Donna, waiting years here in MA, having to spend $$$ to get “certified”, going to the jail like facilities finally, spending a lot of money and, for me, having several terrible OD experiences trying to make my own chocolate edible or eating several commercial, apparently mislabeled, ones. The closest I’ve come to relief is two hours of being totally pain free while being totally couch locked, unable to move, not a good experience. I was using 1:1 THC:cbd lozenges (I’ve learned a lot about Mj the last few years) but have resorted to dissolving them in tater and trying to calculate exact amounts of the drugs in each dose so I don’t OD. At least with this strain, Jack Skeffington, the only one provided in that ration, I’m finding the line between pain relief and being unpleasantly zonked but pain free is extremely thin. So far, MJ is just not worth it for me but I have not tried vamping, a whole new expense and venture. My hope is that, with MJ being legal here recreationally 12/15, though in a weird legal limbo with no rec dispensaries, many more edibles and strains will become available.

  21. I have chronic pain. Most of its centered in my hips, but sometimes it’s all over. I have resisted the Fibromyalgia diagnosis I received from my rheumatologist, but am beginning to think that this is what I am dealing with. Paint that is unbearable for weeks, suddenly gone, then back again. What’s that?

    Living in Maryland you have to practically be on death’s door to get a medical marijuana card. However, I did manage to get hold of some pot, actually two different types. While I don’t know the name of the strains, I can definitely see differences. The more expensive, higher THC was very helpful. I smoked heavily for three days and was actually able to walk, like I have not been able to in years!

    I used to be an athletic person, I would walk 7 miles a day, Pilates bi weekly and Yoga as well. That all stopped when the scourge got me. I went to the chiropractor, who told me he thought I had fibromyalgia and tossed me out, my rheumatologist kept injecting me with steroids in my hip bursa, which actually worked for a while, but now it does not. Tried acupuncture, which while relaxing, didn’t change much.

    Anyway, frustrated with drugs, which never work and make me feel horrible, I tried to work through it. I have been trying pressure point therapy with a very hard ball to break of the tight muscles I frequently get in my buttocks. It’s so painful, but it really helps, along with the pot I am beginning to feel useful again!

    I wish I could get the card and a massage on my health plan! Like that’s going to ever happen, so now I guess I will just have to be a criminal, living on the wild side to alleviate my chronic pain.

  22. Danielle says

    I also live in Delaware and was wondering how hard it was for you to get approved for your MMJ card here. I have been suffering with Fibro and Back Pain for years and I went through Gabapentin until I maxed its dosage and I am currently on Lyrica. I also take Diclofenac/Misoprostol (Arthrotec) twice a day and Cyclobenzaprine when I need it (it always knocks me out though). The mix seems to be working for me, I don’t have all of the pain that I used to. If I happen to miss just one dose I REALLY feel all the pain again. I also realized that my hormone replacement therapy actually is part of my relief too. I get an injection once a month of Delestrogen and a couple months ago I forgot that I didn’t get my next appointment scheduled, because their computers were down, and within a week of missing it I was in so much pain and having severe migraines. Because of a total hysterectomy I will always be on my hormones but I so badly want to get off of the Lyrica and the Arthrotec. On the Lyrica, but starting with the Gabapentin, I started gaining weight and gained 40 pounds in three years. I am now stuck at this higher weight. I also worry about what the Arthrotec is doing to my liver. They took me off of it for a short time for elevated liver enzymes but the replacement didn’t work at all so when my bloodwork came back normal again I asked to be put back on it. I really would like to try MMJ to see if I can get off of these meds that wreak havoc on me. I want a more natural relief, and the possibility of losing all of this extra weight by stopping these medicines. The only thing I have found is that the only dispensary is in Wilmington (I am in Sussex County) but I don’t know exactly how to get started. Any help from you would be SO greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  23. Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says

    Hi Danielle, there are actually 2 dispensaries in Delaware. The second one is in Lewes. I believe they will be opening a third one somewhere around Dover this year. Fibromyalgia is an approved condition for medical marijuana in Delaware b/c it falls under the provision for chronic pain that doesn’t respond to other treatment. I’m sure back pain falls in that category, too. To get your license, you have to find a Delaware doctor who will fill out the paperwork. None of my existing doctors would fill it out so I used a doctor at Canna Care Docs in Wilmington. It was around $200 for the drs appointment, then I had to pay around $125 to the state for the actual license. All of the details are on the state’s website: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/medmarhome.html

  24. Hi, Danielle! Regarding weight gain with your Fibro. meds.: I have been on Gabapentin for years and am now at the max dose my family physician is willing to prescribe. I have never experienced weight gain associated with taking Gabapentin. At one point, I was taking both Gabapentin and Lyrica but was eventually taken off the Lyrica in order to try something else. Turns out the Lyrica (in my physiology) worsened inflammation overall because when I took it I started retaining some fluids which caused visible swelling in my already arthritic knees. My theory is I was retaining fluids all throughout my body on this combo. of meds. Within a couple of weeks of stopping the Lyrica, I had lost 10 pounds without even realizing it. I didn’t find out until I was weighed at a follow-up doctor appointment! Just something to bear in mind when it comes to drugs and weight gain. I’m tall and have always been described as a “string bean” (as a kid), “thin,” or even “skinny.” Weight has never been a big deal for me, except for that last five pounds we all want to lose, but when I was put on Seroquel (for a different illness, NOT Fibro.) I gained over 100 lbs.!! Of course, as soon as I was taken off of it, my weight immediately plunged back down to my typical set-point of around 140 lbs. The weight graph on my family doctor’s computer shows a line of regular weight for years, then a steady upward climb up the Seroquel mountain and then a steady drop down after the Seroquel was stopped. Sure, that wasn’t all water weight! It seems that Seroquel messes with the appetite mechanism in some pretty nasty ways in my metabolism to the point where even my cravings, sense of fullness and sense of taste were altered. So, don’t be too hard on yourself about those forty pounds! I’ve wrestled with this devilish disease since the early-nineties. Even with meds. and other modalities over the years, I have never found complete relief. I’m in pain all over, all day every day, these days often to the point of being bedridden. (I wish I could give my pain, for just one day, to every single medical professional I have ever seen, and then wait to see what they have to say to me on the following day. I think it would be a fascinating experiment, haha! Any volunteers out there?) I’m taking my first steps into PA’s medical marijuana jungle soon, and while I cut my teeth on “cheap Mexican” back in the day, this whole new world of hybrids and strains and learning about them is fascinating to me. Thankfully, I have two qualities that will help with this: I’m endlessly curious and I am damned determined! Walk in peace, walk in light, walk in love.


  1. […] I was approved for my medical marijuana card in September. I’ve shared my experiences with using cannabis in this post. […]

  2. […] I was approved for my medical marijuana card in September. I’ve shared my experiences with using cannabis in this post. […]

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