Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Community
2.73k Members
Avatar universal

Cannabis and IBS

Hi there,

I have IBS, I also have cardiomyopathy and pulmonary hypertension. I get severe pain in my abdomen. It is beyond any other pain besides the  worst migraine I've ever had. The pain is so bad I usually end up pouring sweat and putting as much pressure on my gut as possible until it passes.

I use guided meditation sometimes and that helps a lot.

My Dr. has run through all of the standard medications, and many are not available to me because of the cardiac problems. So, he perscribed marinol (he wanted to give me options) and told me vaporizing marijuana was ok too. This was actually after my cardiologist thought this would be a good plan for me.

So I tried it. The Marinol works fantastic, the marijuana works almost as well too. There's little to no pain when I use it before I usually get an attack, and during an attack, it stops the pain in its tracks. It's really amazing. The problem:

The problem is that I HATE the psychoactive effects from it. I actually get very happy and giggly, but I feel disoriented, and worst, out of control. The funny thing is the most people can't tell there's anything different. On the surface I appear totally normal, if not a little talkative. But on the inside, my thoughts race, I'm anxiety ridden. I feel "too high" when I use it, and I'm using the lowest dose possible (both marinol and vaporized), it's almost pathetic how little  I use, which is why it's so surprising that I get such strong effects. It feels like I'm going insane when I use it.

I'm a type-a and I like feeling in control. Sometimes it's so bad that I feel like I've slipped out of time, or I see inanimate things moving, like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I was just wondering if anyone here has experience with this and has any wisdom on how to surpress it. Or anything that can help even a little bit. I can't take the pain; this works so well, but the price of losing my mind is a tough choice. Luckily the pain relief lasts longer than the psychoactive duration. So I do get to enjoy some time with a clear head, and no pain.

I've been avoiding using it lately because I'm scared to use it and lose control or fall into an "experience," and I've been in a lot of pain as a result.

Thank  you for any help/advice or anything anyone can provide!
4 Responses
915277 tn?1252576713
Sounds like you are experiencing paranoia, which is a side-effect of marijuana...if it relieves your pain you need to learn to just roll with the flow of the high, nothing bad is going to happen and you just make the paranoia worse by concentrating only on that factor of the drug...just relax and enjoy the fact that you are pain free...the more you use it, the more used to it you will get...what part of the country are you from that they allow you to have medical marijuana??  Some would say that you are very lucky...try to relax and let it work for you...good luck...let me know how you do...
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your reply. It does make sense not to fight it. It's just as an everyday thing I dread taking that step out of clairity.

You did say something that did ring true, and does help a lot. Concentrating on the LACK of pain when I use it is a big comfort. I spoke with a friend of mine who is a recreational user and he said it does take a couple of months to gain a tolerance. (Which I want, because tolerance only occurs to the psychoactive part, not the pain relief.)

I live in Washington where even recreational usage is de-facto decriminalized. Medical use is legal for most chronic illness. Marinol is now only schedule III, which is less than most opioids (which Dr.s have given me without batting an eye). Part of it is that I see a psychiatrist, and have had to undergo evaluation for transplant. Both assesments have deemed me an exceptionally low risk for addiction. (In addition, there's been no drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. in more than 3 generations of both sides of my family.) I hope this doesn't come across as self-righteous. It's not willpower or anything, I don't think. I think it is a genetic thing.

Addiction is no one's fault in my eyes. For example on my cousin's side of the family, her father (who is not blood related to me) is an alcoholic; and she got the same problem even though it never seemed like it would come to that. I just wanted to qualify this because everyone here is so nice, and I feel bad for anyone who is subjected to judgemental people. I don't want to be part of the problem.

Anyway, thanks again! Any other advice is welcome, as well. Thank you.
Avatar universal
I am very sincere when I say marijuana helps stomach pain better than any other prescription drug out there. It's great that your doc recommended it for you I think... I'm not sure how you're administering it, but have you tried taking one "hit" and seeing how your stomach feels and how your head feels? And then do another "hit" and so on and try and find a balance between you not feeling stomach pain and you not feeling the phsycological effects of the marihuana.
915277 tn?1252576713
I would worry more about addiction to opiates than marijuana....I personally do not believe that marijuana is addictive and that it is less harmful than most narcotics and alcohol!  Don't quote me, but, I don't think they have ever found any real medical problem with marijuana other than it is as bad as smoking a regular cigarette!!  Most of the stuff that is written about it is pure propaganda and NOT scientifically proven fact. I have smoked it off and on for over 30 yrs and I am not addicted to it...it is more relaxing than any tranquilizer on the market...it really should be decriminalized for it's benefits far outweigh any harm!
If this were done, think of the taxes that could be levied on it which in turn would help the country.  Anyway, hope you are doing well and are getting accustomed to it's magical healing properties...
Have an Answer?
Top Digestive Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem