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Sep-22-2013 19:01printcomments

Diabetic Neuropathy: Marijuana Gives Good Relief

Many medical reports say it really works.


(PORTLAND, Ore.) - On Sept 16 2013, I wrote and posted Marijuana: The Next Diabetes Drug, with the subtitle, Is Marijuana good for Diabetic Neuropathy Pain?

Here is the answer.

Patient comments were that: "Marijuana alleviates my pain," and "I started smoking marijuana to help my pain and it cured my Diabetes". With these two comments, I decided that I must browse the web to see if anybody else found that marijuana really did alleviate the Diabetes neuropathy pain.

It has been known in Great Britain where Cannabis as medicine was first introduced for obstetrical pain with Queen Victoria about 1850 that Cannabis/marijuana was effective for pain. The news got to the U.S. in a few months and the greatest use was in our Civil War to get wounded Veterans off opium and alcohol, which it successfully did.

In addition to its medical use, "Turkish parlors" (hash parlors) sprung up like mushrooms and were presumably used mostly by women who back in those days did not work outside of their homes. This was in the pre-"wine in the afternoon days".

Most people today are not aware that marijuana was very much socially acceptable, especially in the United States, between 1880 and 1941. Here is an excerpt from "...New York City, where marijuana "tea pads" were established about 1920. They resembled opium dens or speakeasies except that prices were very low; a man could get high for a quarter on marijuana smoked in the pad, or for even less if he bought the marijuana at the door and took it away to smoke.

"Most of the marijuana, it was said, was harvested from supplies growing wild on Staten Island or in New Jersey and other nearby states; marijuana and hashish imported from North Africa were more potent and cost more. These tea pads were tolerated by the city, much as alcohol speakeasies were tolerated. By the 1930s there were said to be 500 of them in New York City alone."

Getting to the subject, I looked up Marijuana for Diabetes and found a few references to pain (neuropathy) but when I punched up marijuana for diabetic neuropathy I discovered a tsunami with maybe about 35,000 posts. What I found was astonishing!

I found that millions of patients are afflicted with Diabetic neuropathy and it can affect almost every body system with neuropathy in the feet being the most troublesome. I also discovered the most common medications were, in a word, ridiculous. Those were: Tricyclic anti-depressants, other anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, opiates and opioids, and gabapentin (neurontin). None of these work well for the pain, and in effect cause Zombification.

Another list from 1999, by Dr. Aaron Vinik, included: Capsaicin (from chili peppers), Clondine, a brain depressant, Gabapentin (neurontin), Carbomazpine (an epilepsy drug), Dialantin (another anti-epileptic), and anti-depressants, again. I shuddered at this list.

The next oldest reference was from 2003 by Dr. Derrick Wade, at Oxford University, who wrote about neuro-genic symptoms which I conclude is "pain".

It is interesting to me that Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his "WEED epiphany" mentioned that marijuana was used in the U.S. to treat neuropathic pain until 1943. No reference was given. One reference in Nat Med Talk stated that the U.S. Government has a patent for the use of Cannabis for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

One of the most amusing references I read was from a piggy-back on my marijuana article which was called "Neuropathy breakthrough". I thought to myself, this has got to be good!. I found the name of the produce, Neuropathy Support Formula it is in capsules containing super-mega doses of Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, Alphalipoic-acid, Vitamin D, and a handful of herbs. I think one can get the equivalent with a 72 ounce steak. Oh well!

The strangest find of all was a blog entitled, "Why I won't be prescribing medical marijuana". In that article's comments section were other links, including the title to this article, "Randomized Control Trial of Cannabis-based Medicine in Multiple Sclerosis" by Dr. D.J. Rog, et al, from the University of Liverpool, in the Journal of Neurology in 2005. Another was "Smoked medical cannabis for neuropathy pain in HIV", by Dr. R.S. Ellis, et al, from the University of California, SanDiego, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in 2009.

Another was the "Role of Cannabinoids in Management of Neuropathic pain" by Martin Fontelles, in the journal CNS Drugs in 2008. He is from Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain.

The next was "A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of cannabis cigarettes in neuropathic pain" by Dr. B. Wilsey, et al, at University of California Davis, published in the journal Pain.

There were more, but you get the idea.

The main connection between these studies is pain, itself. And it appears that Diabetic Neuropathy (pain) may be just one of the cluster.

The medical evidence seems clear. Marijuana has been known for years as being effective against pain. It is surprising to me to see how many different kinds of pain are ameliorated by marijuana. After all, in Oregon of 55,000 marijuana card holders, 54,000 use it for pain.



Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Minneapolis Nadine February 11, 2016 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

I was given a copy of this article some time ago and brushed it off because I have been exposed to many of the shows that showed the abuses of medical marijuana cards. Basically, out of desperation after my doctor and I had unsuccessfully tried a lot of different treatments for my Diabetic Neuropathy Pain (DNP) most being drugs and many of those were potentially addicting. Well I thought about this article again and spoke with my primary physician shortly after Minnesota legalized medical marijuana. My doctor was more willing to give me the go ahead and referred me to a doctor that was able to issue the card. Now I take my marijuana pill along with my other medications and while I still get DNP it is to a MUCH more bearable level. The pills don't get me high at all and they don't make me paranoid which was a major concern because I tried smoking the stuff when I was in high school in the 1970s and could not tolerate the intense paranoia that it gave me. All I can say is that if you have nerve damage and have access to medical marijuana, give it a try. You may just save yourself a lot of pain that you would otherwise continue to experience while you and your doctor try to find the medication that may work for you. I looked into who Doctor Leveque was because I wanted to be prepared when I spoke with my doctor. Turns out that my primary physician could have told me more than I probably learned online because he's followed Dr. Leveque's career. Sadly it's not something that many doctor's can openly discuss with their patients because of the unfair stigma that marijuana has. Sadly, the good doctor, or "The Pot Doc" which he said he wanted to be remembered as has passed. He sure helped a lot of people, selflessly and to the point of his own peril. He work that he did in his lifetime will surely live on long after anyone reading this today will. Dr. Phil Leveque is a true hero, I just with that I'd had the chance to tell him that.

captaintrips January 9, 2014 12:59 pm (Pacific time)

I diabetic nerve damage, but I am not a diabetic. It does help with pain and the burning caused by the nerve damage.

Brittany September 28, 2013 6:04 am (Pacific time)

Im a type 2 diabetic will it help me? And how do i prescribe it.

deaundray ross September 27, 2013 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

It help me a lot with my pain I'm diabetic

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