Since the pain from fibromyalgia started, I tried a lot of stuff to ease my suffering. I took lots of different pills, did physiotherapy, tried exercising but stopped because even light exercise increased the pain, meditation, and so on. One time, by the end of November 2020, I tried CBD. It worked at the time, but I only started to feel the effects on the first days of December that year, when I returned to work. They lasted until February 2021, when the pain increased again no matter how much CBD I took.
During the first weeks of taking CBD, I sometimes mixed it with regular weed, but only after work hours. Looking back now, that may have increased the effects and their duration. I continued to use CBD for a few weeks more, feeling relief, until it gradually decreased and began having no effect whatsoever.
Mid 2021, more or less, I gave CBD another shot, and, this time, it had no effect. I did the same in February 2022, and the same thing happened: no pain relief. CBD is supposed to increase the organism’s tolerance to pain, so feeling no effect was a bummer for me and a major letdown.
During all this time, I used weed occasionally (it can be expensive, so I only buy two to three grams, a very small ammount, every few months) and noticed something: when I was high, I felt less pain. I had read some stuff about weed over the years, took the opportunity to read some new (at the time) things about pain, and came up with a theory (just based on my experience, nothing scientific or anywhere near that): the way THC works on the brain seems to act as a buffer for the pain signals.
Putting it more straightforwardly, the brain is a bit like a computer: it only has limited processing resources. When it has more than one task that requires a lot of processing power, it has to balance its capabilities somewhat by not giving one demanding job all the focus and forgetting all the others. And let’s not forget all the background stuff it does: spatial processing, signals from all over the body, etc.
THC attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors on neurons and functions as a neurotransmitter. When you’re high, the brain has another thing sending it a lot of signals, thus acting as some sort of buffer for the pain signals. Our grey matter only has limited processing power; it can’t give maximum priority to all this information reaching it simultaneously.
Last week, I smoked weed every day. I’m no longer young, so I can’t smoke 3, 4 or 5 joints in a morning or an afternoon, only 2 at best and in small paper sheets. The decrease in the pain level was immediately felt. During the first days, as soon as the high disappeared, the pain relief did too. After that, it would last up to two hours after the high.
On Monday this week, Pedro Fonseca stopped by on his way on a road trip to have lunch and chat. Because I smoked on Sunday night (it was ‘visit the in-laws’ day, and I didn’t want to meet them completely stoned), I could keep enough focus on the conversation. I still felt pain but had enough relief to not lose my concentration every other second. By the time he left, I was already feeling more pain, even having difficulty putting one of my feet on the ground because it hurt too much.
When Pedro left, I washed the dishes, lay down on the couch and smoked weed. It gave me pain relief for a bit, which was what I intended. I don’t have weed now, and the pain level is returning to normal. I may buy it soon if the decrease in pain completely disappears.
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