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Medical use of Cannabis

Forums Caregiver Community Medical use of Cannabis

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      Hi, all — still struggling with my 83-year-old dad’s pain management. He was taking 15 mg Oxycodone as needed for pain because he didn’t want the 12-hour Oxycontin, but that wasn’t helping and he lost about 6 lbs. between his first and second infusion, I think because he didn’t have much appetite due to the pain.

      He started on Gabapentin (Neurontin) for the nerve pain, titrated that up from 300 mg to 600 mg only at night the past couple weeks (eventually aiming for 900 mg) and then added 20 mg Oxycontin about four days ago. He’s had no issues with the Gabapentin, but the Oxycontin has had the zombie side effect — he’s barely left his recliner between his 6-hour naps! I lowered it to 10 mg today to see if it helps the side effects to move up more slowly.

      At any rate, he was on the phone today with one of his childhood friends who battled another form of cancer last year. She told him to use cannabis, as that was the only thing that really helped her pain without knocking her out. (It’s amusing to me that these two 80-somethings are having this conversation!) At any rate, Dad reported back to me that it’s time for him to try marijuana — I don’t think he was completely serious, but it got me thinking.

      We’re in the Netherlands, so medical marijuana is sort of legal here, but I would have no idea where to start to find 1) a prescribing doctor (since I doubt the doctors at UCSF or his primary care doctor would prescribe it), and 2) the type and dosage. I did a search and saw that several people are using cannabis oil, so I’m just wondering if anyone could give me some guidance. I’ve read that it has been shown to help with tumors, but I’m particularly interested in the anagelsic effects since Dad’s having such pain.

      I’ll ask his oncologist about it next week, but I expect this is something we’d have to do on our own.


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          Good day Jessie. It makes me sad to see the troubles that your Dad is experiencing now. Back in 2012, it looked like my life would be ending due to melanoma. At that time, one of our sons passed away. My wife used prescriptions to help her cope for a couple of years. Then she tired of the side effects that she was receiving. She went to a psychiatrist to receive a prescription for medical marijuana. No problems and the staff at the medical marijuana store were quite helpful.

          Right now, you’re probably looking at the medical marijuana as a complicated procedure.
          I can assure you, it’s just as easy as getting a prescription from your doctor and picking it up at the pharmacy. I’ll write more when my wife comes home from work.
          I feel it’s a good move, getting your Dad off the opioids.


            I think you really need to get a response from somebody in The Netherlands. But, I am a little confused, you mentioned UCSF, which if I am thinking correctly is UCAL San Francisco. In California they have a great medical cannabis program and have been doing it for years. I live in Minnesota and our program is relatively new but my experience was great. I got a prescription from my doctor, enrolled online, found a pharmacy near me, and got my prescription. Really helped with my pain. I would think either The Netherlands or California would have an excellent program, so it would be more than worthwhile for you to check it out.

            Good luck and blessings to you and your father.


              Hello again Jessie. My wife told me that she searched online for a psychiatrist/ marijuana. You will get a prescription for the marijuana dispensary. At the dispensary, you will speak with the pharmacist and she will give you all the information that you need. I feel that your oncologist would be pleased getting Dad off of the opioids and then put on the marijuana oil, extract or concentrate. Hopefully this puts Dad in a much better place.
                Medical MJ use can definitely help curb opiate reliance. I have 5 mg oxys as needed. Have never taken 2 at the same time but 2 over 6 hours is quite a pleasant evening. Much prefer to have a gummy or vape of cannabis and not go down the road of gaining opiod tolerence.

                There have been a day or two though where the opiod does provide a level of almost magic elevation in vitatity and relief including deeper longer sleep. But it’s the back up drug cause I’m a stoner historically.

                20 mg would absolutely knock me out. And I’m not saying my pain is similar. I resist opiods in part because I don’t want to risk undermedication if my pain gets worse.

                You do want to be careful introducing a non-stoner to marijuana use. It can have a negative effects like paranoia and overthinking. So go gently and with experienced hands.

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