Marijuana, the Grinch and Pain Management

On to a more controversial subject……… Yes I’m going there.


Lately there has been a lot of activity online about the benefits of “Mary Jane” for sickle cell. The University of Minnesota is presently conducting research on the benefits of Marijuana on Sickle Cell pain management.  This got me thinking……….. is Mary Jane a good alternative to typical Opioid pain management regimes?


If I were to absolutely believe the literature out there in cyberspace then I would say a resounding YES!!  However one needs to step back from what I like to call ‘the noise’ and really break it down.


Everyone has a personal preference and the reality is right now there isn’t a right answer to the question.  First things first, the use of Mary Jane is strictly for pain management, it is not a cure for Sickle Cell and it will not elevate the frequency of crisis’s.


My relationship with opioids is a love-hate one.  I love them when I need them because they take away the pain, and I absolutely hate them when I’m coming off them.  Confused? Well lets just say that the side effects of opioids – in my case – Morphine are as follows;
  • itchiness – to the point where I’m literally scratching my skin off
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • lethargy
  • Mood swings – more towards the dark, depressed side of the spectrum

Sometimes the recovery from the opioids can take longer than the sickle cell crisis itself, so an alternative means of managing my pain without these hang-ups would be fabulous!!  Now thats not to say that Mary Jane doesn’t have its negative side effects like paranoia, increase risk of lung cancer.

Over the years Marijuana has had a bad rap, demonised by America as a drug for low-lifes and degenerates.  Within the same country medical Marijuana has been found to have properties which help cancer patients with pain and nausea.  So when you think about it, why shouldn’t it be considered as a pain alternative?


One of the champions for the use of Marijuana for pain management was Sister Somayah Kambui – she passed away from suspected lung cancer.  She had several run-ins with the law about her pain management regime.  If you want to read more about her struggle view the video down below.



The phrase ‘self medication’ comes to mind.  At some point in our lives we have self-medicated, from taking flu medicine for the snuffles, to antibiotics for feeling run down, to Malaria pills for a fever.  The issue with self-medication is that nothing is measured, nothing is proven…… it can all go very wrong…. like Gregory House MD wrong.  Now thats not to say that the doctors who prescribe opioids don’t get it wrong – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to send back medication because I felt it was way too much.


The other issues are quality and delivery, because of its ‘illegal’ nature, its not controlled so its sold with impurities in addition to being more commonly smoked.  This will have an adverse effect on your lungs, which can’t possibly be healthy.  Sicklers are already at a disposition for chest infections.  The effects of sweet MaryJane are short acting, so it will involve you smoking a copious amounts daily to even out the pain.


Now I’m not one to judge and frankly every Sickler has their way of managing their pain, but I will say this……. there is a huge jump from using Mary Jane as a recreational habit to a pain management drug.  Until there is a form of Marijuana that is controlled and can be delivered in a form that is safe for Sicklers, I wouldn’t advise its use for pain management.


Would I recommend it as a recreational habit?  No Comment 🙂 The risks are the same, and everyone is entitled to take risks to their health so long as they are willing to deal with the consequences.  So whats your take the subject? Feel free to leave your comments.


And on that note, till next time – Toodles!!!