‘Apocalypse Now’: I Love the Smell of Hashish in the Morning

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by John Connor |

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Helicopters were whirling in my brain.

Turns out, it was a solitary police one.

Though it was another hot night, my wife closed my windows in case of a prowler. I’m on the ground floor, after all.

It was a dark moment in my life. Another relapse had struck and all I could see was more coming.

The helicopter kept whirring, so I imagined more of them and leapt into the opening scene of “Apocalypse Now.” In an impossible situation, there was no point in doing the possible. I might as well push the envelope to 11! I don’t use mixed metaphors but am all for mixed cultural (film) references!

I had some pure liquid THC on me that I had used for my neuropathic right arm leading up to Christmas! But, with the withdrawal of my disease-modifying therapies and my increasing pain, I threw my arm to my local GPs for help. I was incredibly grateful to be prescribed gabapentin, and, when this was insufficient, Lioresal (baclofen). On top of this, I was eventually prescribed diazepam to deal with spasms.

At first, it was very choppy sailing. The gabapentin was not enough on its own or during spasms. I was taking rather a lot. My doctor gently told me this drug worked slowly, then prescribed half of a 10-milligram tablet of baclofen three times a day.

Besides being rather impossible to manage, this didn’t really cut it. We settled on one tablet three times a day. This has worked, and we’ve stuck with it. A discussion with a doctor is heavily weighted toward the patient when screaming is used. Not then and there, unless it happens, but more as a descriptive incentive!

The spasms, though, were another thing. For those, 5 milligrams of diazepam has worked brilliantly. At times I’ve had to take two tablets to quell the beast. (It’s OK — that’s allowed.)

Now, I can also arm it off at the pass. Like any animal, I know when a storm is coming. And I have the power to quell it!

Back to my liquid naughtiness. Since my pain had been controlled, I hadn’t used the THC. It would be for pleasure, and I had so many medications in my system that I didn’t see the need for any more.

In fact, I had no idea that marijuana came in a liquid form until I was 23 and on my own soul quest across Canada. It was amazing what a suburban boy learned from this adventurous sojourn — more than I learned in three years at university. It also taught me resilience and to accept what something was, rather than what I wanted it to be. Maybe some of that is still with me now.

In the present moment, I felt lost. Diazepam controlled the pain, but only my left arm worked. I pressed pipette fulls of THC into the dregs of my cocoa. Some missed and landed on my nappy. I licked it off with my good hand! Quite a trick balancing my cocoa and all. What would my carers think in the morning?

For the next 36 hours, I was completely stoned. The downside for my family is that I cried an awful lot. Nearly as much as when Bowie died!

The upside is that I felt no trigeminal neuralgia (TN) pain for those 36 hours. Well, I felt it, but I just didn’t care! My doctors want me to cut down on the oxcarbazepine I use for it. So much so that I’ve recently taken three 300-milligram tablets of gabapentin instead of two tablets three times a day! What’s strange is that I was told my TN pain took a completely different route and couldn’t be controlled by normal painkillers!

So, I’ve independently discovered that an enormous dose of THC will sort it. My family will just have to deal with a reckless power wheelchair-driver who weeps a lot.

And there’s the impossibility of me working as a moderator on Multiple Sclerosis News Today (MSNT) — not just because I was stoned and weeping, but because all the letters were blurs.

That could be the result of the diazepam or just the mix.

For obvious reasons, this is the only trip I can now take! When it was over, I actually felt better.

Apologies to my family and those at MSNT who had to deal with it.

Out. OK, I was well out!!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Marie Lippman avatar

Marie Lippman

What a terrific story! I found out by accident by ingesting 125 mgs of THC! I bought a 750 mg chocolate bar. Didnt do the math, I always have been bad with numbers! So I took a square off and ate it. My sister in law was with me inside a K-Mart when it hit me. I was on my scooter when it hit me like a train! So i had to decide how i was going to deal with this intense buzz. I decided I was going to ride it out enjoying the buzz and being stupid! I had a blast till I got lost in the tiny mens section of clothes racks! She found me laughing my ass off just feet from the isle! The good news is I didnt run over anyone, the spasticity was non existent, and I had one hell of a good time! Unfortunately I cant do it daily or nothing would get done...right!

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Yup x

Ant avatar


Great to read an honest account of how the fun part of Cannabis is beneficial to you too. Im fortunate not to suffer the pains that you have had, but who cant applaud your story. I hope the tears were a release and that next time you end up in giggles in K-mart.

Jeff avatar


My father used to suffer from TN and my nephew brought over some marijuana and a pipe. When my dad had an attack, he tried it and said it was the only thing that instantly relieved the pain. Since, he's undergone brain stem surgery, but has become a proponent of medical marijuana. A Christian conservative changed his whole opinion.


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