Narcolepsy And Marijuana
Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:26 PM
Hi! Iím a 20 year old college student who was diagnosed with narcolepsy (w/out cataplexy) about a year ago. I am currently taking 30mg of adderall XR during the day along with xyrem at night.
I also smoke weed a fair bit.. Obviously there are potential implications that go along with smoking weed especially when youíre narcoleptic, and iíve tried to use reasonably good judgment in that regard over the last year. I enjoy smoking weed and truly feel that getting high (in moderation) is often a very beneficial experience for me personally. At this point in my life, at least.
So naturally i at least want to understand the effects of marijuana on narcoleptics, but there is a surprising lack of information on the subject. I know smoking weed can make EDS worse (duhh) and that it doesnít necessarily promote the best quality of sleep...
What else should I know? better yet, what experience has anyone had in this arena?
for example, one of my biggest concerns has to do with taking xyrem at night. If iíve smoked within 2-3 hours, i avoid taking the xyrem. This is simply because i have no clue how the 2 drugs would interact.
but remember: ANY information at all is welcome! thanks
Posted 19 August 2008 - 05:48 PM
I am a recent grad who spent a good bit of high school and some of college using marijuana with varying degrees of consistency. It so happens that I was using fairly consistently when I was finally diagnosed and was concerned. I tried something that you should as well...I just asked my doctor straight out. He said it probably wasn't that good of an idea, but that it doesn't make much sense to discount one drug when he's pumping me full of another. I, being a complete nerd, decided to do some tests.
***NOTICE: THIS IS SUBJECTIVE INFORMATION FROM ONE INDIVIDUAL WHOM MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BRAIN CHEMISTRY SIMILAR TO YOURS.** This is simply the account of MY reaction...
The reason that I did not want to quit was because I had been using MJ to help me sleep through the night. As many with narcolepsy can attest, getting quality sleep through the night can be difficult. I have found (even though I do not do it anymore due to work concerns and such) that smoking a very small amount (for the smoker...this is 2 to 3 hits...not a blunt or something equally ridiculous) helps me sleep better through the night and manage my narcolepsy better during the day. I want to make it very clear that just as there are differences between a glass of red wine and a bottle, there are differences between a few hits and getting baked out of ones mind.
You should know that I take Provigil in the morning ONLY and have no idea what type of effects mixing with Xyrem would be.
I hope this helps...remember...ask your doctor and, if you decide to experiment, be careful and keep track in writing of the effects different behaviors have on you.
Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:45 PM
Bravo!!!! Thank you for your excellent post, Spiff! I could not agree with you more! If I had a POTD (Post of the day) award, you would have won it!
The ignorance that surrounds the use of MJ is assounding, and there is DEFINTELY a difference between a glass and a bottle.
Hope to see you around her more.
Posted 25 September 2008 - 03:16 PM
This is really stupid because there are TONS of beneficial effects of Marijuana completely undocumented or scientifically controlled.
Marijuana is most commonly prescribed for nausea in chemo patients, taking 0.2-1.0g as needed to help you eat. It is sometimes prescribed for glaucoma because it dilates the blood vestals in your eyes (hence red eye). It is also commonly used, but not prescribed or clinically researched (that I know of) for joint/back pain.
Different kinds of marijuana have different properties. Cannabis-Indica is "sleepy weed", it has the benefit of supressing dreams and hallucinations but might make you crash and burn. The congnitive properties help deal with depression as it acts as a satablizer in small doses. Cannabis-Sativa (the tall kind that usually grows outdoors) has almost the opposite effect in that it will wake you up temporarily. Most strains are a mix.
Choose a strain that boasts 'a clear headed high' and experiment with different strains that work for YOU. Write down the strain, who grew it, and what the effects were and if they helped you at all. In the end it will be good to have a few different strains to bounce between because you'll just get way too used to the effects as the week progresses. It might also be helpful to find different strains that target specific symptoms. Use 'clear headed' highs to deal with hallucinations and depression, use 'sedative' highs to deal with sleep at night.
When choosing your marijuana and your marijuana source use extreme bias. Since it's illegal, nobody has established a "Marijuana Growing Standard". Since most people are in it for profit, they tend to 'crop out' long before flushing their plants properly, leaving excessive amount of fertalizer still in the buds when you smoke it. This is very bad. Marijuana should burn and 'cherry' at 350-355 degrees celcius. This is a very low temperature, meaning your 'doobie' should burn cleanly after being lit and smoke to the end WITHOUT going out or 'running'. If you marijuana is dirty, it will have inconcsistant grey and/or black ash and may not stay lit. If this is the case it is bad for you, it will burn your throat and build up in your lungs, throw it away despite the $25.00 investment. It should be smooth to smoke. Whenever possible use a Volcano vapourizer. I specifically mention the valcano because no other vapourizers are built quite the same, they will waste your marijuana and deliver a lot less of the active ingredients to your system. Vapourizing emits virtually 0 carcinigines (less than city air) and may be a healthy activity since the essential oils have been known to actually clense your lungs.
Now trust me on this one, MARIJUANA AS A MEDICINE WILL NEVER HARM YOU PHYSICALLY OR PSYCHOLOGICALLY no matter what anyone has told you unless it's dirty. Most people base their /opinions/ on stigma, anti-drug propeganda, and forged or blatantly compromised research documents from Phizer and Bayer (something both companies have now legally had to admit to). Socially it can be a pain due to stigma and legal issues and most doctors simply don't know enough about it and will very rightfully tell you "it's a bad idea". It's also best the people around you understand your marijuana usage, that you not hide it. Try to explain your reasons in a rational, mature, and informative manner. If they continue to be stubborn and ignorant about it, well.. welcome to the club!
Personally, I stayed 'stoned' with narcolepsy for about 4 years before taking a break. I took a break for 1 year and I noticed I had much worse depression, no noticeable difference in EDS, no noticable difference in automatic behavior (from my peers), and noticeable increase in sleep paralysis, hallucinations, dreams, and nightmares. I DO NOT do ANY other drugs, including Alcohol, Speed, Re-Uptake Inhibitors, ASA, LSD, Codene or Nicotine, and NEVER HAVE. When it comes down to it, I smoke marijuana because I am a thinker, I enjoy reflective thought and creative engineering. It has nothing to do with my narcolepsy, although in SOME instances I do admit, it does help.
As always, be smart. Research how to grow and cure marijuana so you can look for the signs of 'bad weed'. I can't stress these points enough since 90% of the marijauan I've seen was grown and cured incorrectly. Don't just buy random bags off of random people you don't know. Develop a good relationship with your dealer, they should be as smart as any other kind of professional.
Finally, don't go putting yourself in risky situations just because it's illegal. Go without when the law has messed you around and fight for your consititutional rights. Refuse it's illigitamcy, advocate progress, and enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Hope that helps.
Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:48 AM
This was before I was diagnosed and actually got the ball rolling, so it's not all that bad I guess. I knew nothing about narcolepsy. I was smoking with my brother and a friend in my apartment and especially when I'm with my brother things get really hilarious. We are both gigglers and we feed off of each other. (Can you see where this is going?). This was my first (noticeable) experience of cataplexy and it went on for a very long time. I think it was at least 10 minutes. 5 of them I could not move at all or talk. I felt like my arms were moving uncontrollably but they were not. I went to the emergency room and they just told me I was high.
Now that I have a diagnosis and am on anti-depressants to control the cataplexy I think I know the perfect way to test it to see if it works. But that's still too scary to think about right now.