On the Healing Powers of THC

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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I have to admit, I’ve wheeled down the THC path a few times before. Yes, I know it’s very difficult to stay on the path when under the influence. Luckily, I’ve solved this problem by only imbibing in bed. I say imbibing, because for me, smoking the stuff is impossible.

In fact, I couldn’t even roll a joint in my able-bodied heyday, much less now with only one functioning hand. So, I only use cannabis oil, which is a treat when added to a half cup of coffee spiked with a smidgen of dark rum. Luverly.

In truth, I haven’t traversed this particular yellow brick road for six months. I was having terrible trigeminal neuralgia attacks at the time, and cannabis oil sent me crashing off the path headlong into a tree. I’ve been keeping my distance ever since.

Then, last weekend, I started up again. I immediately noticed that my claw of a right hand was far more relaxed than usual.

I’m currently allowed to take a 5 mg diazepam capsule every second night, and I’m on a high dose of gabapentin (at 2,700 mg a day), but that wasn’t sufficient to quell the neurogenic pain in my right arm.

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The diazepam eventually stopped my arm from going into spasms, but if I take anymore, my doctor has warned me that I’d be flirting with dementia. Actually, the way he put it, we’d be stepping out! But it wipes out what little physical power I still have.

THC does nothing of the sort, and unlike alcohol, it doesn’t cause me a hangover. I’ve even managed to go a couple of nights without taking diazepam because of it. So, what’s not to like?

THC and MS | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | John stretches out his fingers into a flattened hand position to demonstrate his flexibility after taking THC

Here’s what I can do with my right hand after taking THC, in the form of cannabis oil. (Photo by John Connor)

THC and MS | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | John makes what is almost an OK symbol with his right hand, to demonstrate his flexibility after taking diazepam.

This is what my right hand can do after I take diazepam, a benzodiazepine. (Photo by John Connor)

THC and MS | Multiple Sclerosis News Today | John's fingers on his right hand are curled due to MS spasticity after he's taken no medication

This is my right “claw” if I’ve taken no medication. (Photo by John Connor)

OK, I’m well aware that marijuana is no panacea, as fellow Multiple Sclerosis News Today columnist Ed Tobias pointed out in a thoughtful column earlier this year titled “Using Cannabis to Treat Your MS? A Word of Caution.”

As this is my column, I can only cite my own reactions to THC. I stress THC, because — again from my own experience — I found that CBD had no effect on my spasticity, not even a placebo effect. I tried it for months and concluded that it might have other benefits, but not in this area. For me, CBD turned out to be expensive, and worse, it was no fun!

Anyhoo, anything that can help the muscles in my right arm and hand relax a bit is great. As I noted in a previous column, “Introducing My ‘MS Popeye-Spinach Hypothesis,'” the constant tensing up of my right arm has built up a terrific bicep. Yet while it might look good, it is completely useless because my arm can’t straighten.

And I can’t even, in American terms, flip the bird.

Even more upsetting, here in the U.K., our more complex “V sign” is now beyond impossible!


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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Broughton Leanne avatar

Broughton Leanne

Ì also found CBD was not helpful for my trigeminal neuralgia. My husband uses it daily for back pain and finds it helps. I am concerned about the long term use of THC on my cognitive abilties (I do have cog fog as they say). I use gabapentin for my TN pain, and if really bad, dilantin in between those doses. These drugs totally stone me, i can hardly walk (with a rollator) to the loo.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Hi Broughton,
I take modafinil [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/narcolepsy/treatment/] for the fog. Have for years now - no wisps at all.
The amount of drugs we take - I'm nae worried about it affecting my ability. Always been negligible.
Cheers John

Martin Cane avatar

Martin Cane

Try Nattokinase for Trigeminal Neuralgia, it's been a lifesaver for me.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Hi Martin,
Curious how a natural remedy that maybe promising for cardiovascular disease [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043915/] help with TG?
Cheers John

Mark Genco avatar

Mark Genco

Hi John,

An interesting post. You seem to be in a similar position to me on your fun journey!

Can I ask, where would you accidently on purpose acquire the aforementioned oil?

The CBD oil does nothing for me me except cost a lot!


John Connor avatar

John Connor

Hi Mark
AH. I can't. Sorry mate.


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