Here’s how to solve the NHS’s chronic underfunding: legalise cannabis Lily Steele

Criminalising weed hits patients twice. It deprives them of a tax revenue that could fund their care, and also robs them of a potential medical aid

If there existed a lucrative industry, with proven success, that helps people get better and could save money for the NHS, shouldn’t we be talking about it?

After attending a cannabis conference in Denver, Colorado, it struck me that here was a real solution to some of the difficulties our health services is facing. Cannabis has been medically legal in Colorado since 2000, and recreationally legal since 2012. While there, I realised I had my own dated idea of what “recreational” use actually entailed and was swiftly enlightened. Athletes apply cannabis infused balms for muscle soreness, arthritic pets are treated with cannabis biscuits and mothers take “edibles” (cannabis infused treats) to relax, swapping the wine bottle for weed wine gums. The line between medicinal and recreational use is very hazy anyway. Is your evening glass of Malbec or that pint in the pub for recreational or medicinal purposes? In my case, both.

A man smokes a cannabis joint.

Colorado was voted one of the happiest places to live in the US and not because they are all stoned. The state government collected almost $200m in cannabis taxes in 2016. There they argue about what to do with all the cash, as opposed to how to salami-slice ever-decreasing budgets, as is the norm in Westminster. Colorado set up the Marijuana Cash Tax Fund which finances education and health programmes. There are now more health care professionals in schools, providing education, as well as care, for those suffering from substance abuse or in need of mental health services.

The estimated value of the UK cannabis industry is £7bn per year, according to a report released last year. Colorado’s model could be effectively replicated in the UK, but on a much bigger scale, with tax money received from the sale of cannabis products diverted to the NHS.

Each year, our health service comes under greater strain from rising costs, staff shortages and increased patient demand. A report released by the Nuffield Trust, the independent health charity, estimated an overspend of £4bn between 2016-2017, which is significantly higher than the official figures released by the NHS. Legalising cannabis would be a great way to start plugging this gap.

In addition to generating a lot of cash, cannabis can help reduce costs within the NHS. Last year in the UK, a record number of anti-depressants were prescribed, costing the NHS about £260m. After Colorado legalised cannabis, there was a fall in prescriptions aimed at treating anxiety and depression.

These benefits are compelling, but a serious collaborative effort between policymakers and healthcare professionals is required to ensure that the tax policy is effective and the regulation stringent. Just like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis use can have serious health implications. Responsible cannabis businesspeople in Colorado sometimes say they are “in the compliance business first and the cannabis business second”. Products can’t use the word “candy” on their packaging.

But ultimately, this is a conversation about choice – particularly when it comes to healthcare. After my sister was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011 and my father with Parkinson’s disease in 2007, their only option was prescription pharmaceutical treatment. Pursuing cannabis as a therapeutic alternative would have made them criminals in the eyes of the law, with possession punishable by an unlimited fine and a five-year prison sentence. Although that is something I would be prepared to risk if I were in chronic pain, many would not, members of my family included.

Criminalising cannabis deprives patients twice over – first of tax revenue that could be used to fund their care, and second, of the ability to explore the drug as a potential aid to their treatment or recovery. The UK has a chance to improve not only the financial wellbeing of the NHS but most importantly, the wellbeing of the people. My time in Colorado has taught me that public perception needs to shift – from cannabis as a criminal “wrong”, to a healthcare right.

Lily Steele is chief executive of WildeNest, an eco-conscious movement educating and informing about the natural world


13 Things to remember Top Proven Natural Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia Pain Relief.Must Read

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome affecting the soft tissues and muscles. This condition has some signified features like chronic muscle pain, sleep issues, fatigue, painful tender points and trigger points. They could be relieved by using medications, stress management and lifestyle changes. So how to do it the right way? This article on will show you how to get rid of fibromyalgia symptoms by applying home remedies for fibromyalgia pain relief. At first, you should acknowledge some basics about fibromyalgia, including what it is, what causes it, and what its symptoms are, what risk factors are, etc.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

It is a long-term and sometimes chronic disorder that is accompanied by widespread pain in the bones and muscles, general fatigue and tenderness of the areas. The symptoms like that are reckoned subjective, which means that they could not be measured or determined by tests. As the symptoms are subjective, there is not any clearly known cause, and fibromyalgia is usually misdiagnosed as another condition[1].

Because of the lack of objective, reproducible tests for this condition, some doctors may question the disorder altogether. Despite it is much more widely accepted in the medical fields now than previously, some researchers and doctors do not reckon fibromyalgia an actual ailment. In accordance with Mayo Clinic, this condition may enhance your potential risk of getting depression, stemming from a struggle in gaining the acceptance for its symptoms.

Many doctors now find that changes in lifestyle might be better than using medication in both managing and treating this ailment.

What Are Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia?

Usually, fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by areas of tenderness that are called tender points or trigger points. In such places on the body, even light pressure or reaction could lead to pain.

Nowadays, such points are not commonly used to diagnose fibromyalgia. Rather than, they might be used as a way for experts or doctors to reduce the number of possible diagnoses. Doctors can use a mixture of consistent symptoms along with some medical tests to help them identify the cause.

The pain resulted from those trigger points could be described as a consistent dull ache impacting a lot of body areas. If you experience this pain for more than 3 months, then doctors might recognize this as a symptom of fibromyalgia.

People having this disorder also experience trouble sleeping, fatigue, headaches, sleeping too much without feeling rested, anxiety, depression, inability to pay attention or focus, dull aching or pain in lower abdomen.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia might be a consequence of the nerves and brain misinterpreting or over-reacting to regular pain signals. This might be because of a chemical imbalance within the human brain.

What Are Causes Of Fibromyalgia?

Medical researchers as well as doctors, in fact, do not know the real causes of this condition. But, over time, with the development of medical field, they have recently figured out some factors contributing to cause it:

  • Infections: initial ailments might trigger fibromyalgia or make the symptoms of the issue worse.
  • Genetics: oftentimes, fibromyalgia is of heredity. If one of your family members has t his condition, chances are, you will develop it. Many researchers show that certain genetic mutations might play a specific role in this issue. Those genes have not been identified yet.
  • Trauma: People experiencing physical and emotional trauma might suffer from fibromyalgia. This condition has been connected with post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Stress: Similar to trauma, stress could create long-reaching impacts on your body. It is linked to hormonal disturbances which can contribute to fibromyalgia.

What Are Trigger Points?

The person will be diagnosed with fibromyalgia if having widespread tenderness and pain in at least 1 out of the 18 known trigger points. Healthcare professional will check how many points were painful by firmly pressing on them.

Some popular trigger points are:

  • Upper chest
  • The back of the head
  • Upper chest
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Outer elbows

Normally, trigger points are not the focus of the diagnosing process for fibromyalgia. Rather than, if the symptoms of widespread pain are felt for over 3 months without any diagnosable medical condition, you will be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

What Are Risk Factors?

Despite the causes of fibromyalgia are not clear, the flare-ups of this condition could be the consequence of physical trauma, stress or an unrelated systemic ailment like the flu. The nervous system and brain might misinterpret or overact to usual pain signals. The incorrect interpretation might be because of an imbalance in the brain chemicals.

Besides, there are also other risk factors of fibromyalgia:

  • Gender: women seem to outnumber the quantity of people suffering from fibromyalgia.
  • Family history: heredity plays an important factor in the risk of developing fibromyalgia.
  • Disease: despite fibromyalgia is not a specific form of arthritis, suffering from a rheumatic disease including rheumatoid arthritis or lupus might increase your risk.


One of the great options to relax your tight muscles is applying a heat method such as applying a hot bath or using heating products. This method is also very useful for people who are often cold and who can have a hard time for warming up. There are many heating products that are available such as:

  • Rice bags
  • Heating pads
  • Mattress pads or electric blankets
  • Heated slippers or socks

Epsom Salt

This salt is a magnesium sulfate. You just need to soak your body into the Epsom salt bath to help the body absorb magnesium. A magnesium deficiency is often linked to fibromyalgia, so applying this soothing remedy will help relieve pain & induce relaxation.

  • You mix 2 cups Epsom salt into the warm bathwater.
  • You soak in this bathwater for roughly 20 minutes.
  • You do this way about 3 times per week till your condition is improved.
Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Massage

A 2010 study from Spain showed that participants having fibromyalgia underwent the 90-minute sessions of a form of massage named myofascial release for 20 times had noticed less anxiety and pain. Fascia, which is the connective tissue surrounding organs and muscles, tightens in those with fibromyalgia, thereby increasing the pain; however, with gliding, slow pressure, massage can tight bands of fascia, thereby making them softer.

Massage can relax your muscles as well as improve motions of your joints. A kind of massaged named manual lymph drainage therapy is beneficial for this condition. It can loosen up the lymph blockages which can be contributing to the associated pain.

In order to get the best results, you should have a massage therapist to do it.


If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, consider practice aerobic exercise as well as resistance training or strength training because it is linked to alleviation in tenderness, pain, stiffness, and sleep disturbance in a number of sufferers

If exercise can relieve the symptoms, it is crucial to maintain consistency to see progress. You can work out with a personal trainer or partner to keep it proactive.

 Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Acupuncture

This therapy is one of common home remedies for fibromyalgia used. It is found that 1 in 5 individuals having fibromyalgia make use of this therapy in 2 years of diagnosis and the results are good which stiffness and pain were improved. Nonetheless, more studies still need to be done. The quantity of sessions recommended will depend on the severity and symptoms. But some experts claim that sham acupuncture might impact the pain and brain.


According to a small study, women attending a 2-hour weekly yoga program and did the poses at home from 20 to 40 minutes per day experienced a reduction of 31% in symptoms, including fatigue and pain. The techniques of breathing might induce a relaxing response which alters signals of pain[3] [4] [5].

Tai Chi

The study carried out by researchers in Tufts University claimed that gentle mind-body exercise could improve sleep and ease fibromyalgia’s depression and pain. The controlled breathing and movements of Tai Chi promoted a restful state, interrupting the pain cycle.

Weight Loss

Decreasing your weight can alleviate your symptoms and might prevent you from suffering from fibromyalgia at the beginning. Despite it is not clear why it could do so, the increased levels of inflammatory substances named cytokines, which is common in both those with fibromyalgia and obese people, could trigger the pain and increase sensitivity to it.  Increasing some extra weight might worsen symptoms. This may contribute to stress and fatigue on joints, increasing the pain [6].

Epsom Salt

Being magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is one of worth-trying home remedies for fibromyalgia. Soaking in Epsom salt bath could help your own body take magnesium. Fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by the deficiency in magnesium. The soothing bath also decreases pain and induces relaxation. What you need to do is:

  • Mix 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub of warm water
  • Soak in this solution for 20 minutes or so
  • Repeat this routine thrice per week
Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, can help in reducing neuropathic pain and inflammation. Also, they could curb the joint stiffness and pain [7].

  • Consume 1-2 tablespoons of fish oil every day
  • Alternatively, consume fatty fish such as sardines, herring, anchovies, wild salmon or tuna for twice or thrice per week. Some other sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseeds, soybean oil, and canola oil.
  • Choose fish oil or omega-3 supplements, but consult your healthcare provider in advance.

Note: Those people using blood-thinning medications should be careful when using omega-3 supplements because fish oil might interfere with it.

 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can balance the pH levels of the human body, decrease oxidative stress and boost blood circulation. This could reduce fibromyalgia symptoms including gastrointestinal problems, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, inflammation and swelling.

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water
  • Optionally, you can add some honey to taste
  • Have it twice per day

In case you are not familiar with apple cider vinegar, add 1 teaspoon of a glass of water and steadily enhance the storage.

Learn more: 27 Natural Home Remedies For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain


Because of its amazing anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric could deal with fibromyalgia associated with rheumatic disease. It has a compound named curcumin which can help relieve stiffness and pain.

Method 1:

  • Mix ½-1 teaspoon of turmeric powder into a cup of milk
  • Then, boil it and let it cool down.
  • Have it 1- 2 times per day

Method 2:

  • Take this herb in the form of supplements for 400-600 mg thrice per day. Consult your doctor prior to using any supplement.

Or you could also add turmeric to your daily cooking routines.

 Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Ginger

Ginger has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties which can decrease fibromyalgia symptoms.

Method 1:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of the freshly grated ginger to about 1 cup of boiling water
  • Wait till it simmers for 10 minutes.
  • After straining, have this tea for 3 times per day

Method 2:

Take ginger tablets with the proper dosage consulted by your doctor to get maximum results.

Cayenne Pepper

One of powerful home remedies for fibromyalgia is cayenne pepper is cayenne pepper. It has capsaicin which acts as a natural pain reliever and is good for good blood circulation.

  • Take the cayenne pepper capsules or extracts. For suitable dosage, you should consult your doctor beforehand.
  • Add cayenne pepper to your daily cooking.
  • Besides, you can add a small quantity of capsaicin cream having 0.025% capsaicin Note: Avoid applying cayenne pepper as well as capsaicin cream on inflamed or broken skin.

Camphor is another good way to deal with fibromyalgia naturally. It can tighten muscles, thereby decreasing pain. A decrease in pain will boost the overall efficiency of the human body as well. A lot of people suffering from backaches had better try out this. They could either use it in the form of oil by applying camphor oil on the bones or muscles to help relieve the pain or eat camphor oil in the forms like coriander or anything else which is a member of the mint family.

 Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Vegetables

Greens are important because they offer necessary ingredients for the muscles and bones to remain well-maintained, thereby making them healthier and stronger. The consumption of veggies such as pumpkin ought to be increased as well. In general, cabbage, potatoes, brinjal, spinach, and potatoes should be avoided whenever possible. Have as much green as you could. Make sure that you use lemon juice for boosting the taste.


Liquid is one of simple home remedies for fibromyalgia because it helps to flush out toxins from your body and detoxify the system.

Arthcare Oil

This herbal treatment, one of worth-trying home remedies for fibromyalgia, can be applied to your joints. It can relieve backaches, joint pain, and pain in muscles. It can strengthen bone tissue while penetrating into the body tissues much faster. As it is anti-inflammatory, it can give an instant relief and remove the stiffness from your bones, joints and muscles.

 Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Heat

This great remedy for relaxing muscles is also helpful for fibromyalgia, particularly for people who are regularly cold and have hard time to warm up.

Many heating products are now available, such as:

  • Heating pads
  • Rice bags
  • Hot water bottles
  • Mattress pads or electric blankets
  • Slippers or heated socks
 Deep Breathing

In regard to home remedies for fibromyalgia, deep breathing might sound too simple, yet it might help alleviate the anxiety associated with this illness.

Many people take shallow, short breaths, which could trigger the “fight-or-flight” response in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When slowing down your breathing consciously, it may have opposite effects on the ANS, thereby letting your mind and body relax.

In addition to deep breathing, mindfulness, which has been appreciated by many people and involves deep breathing and other practices, might help you a lot.

If you practice deep breathing for relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia, should not move upward. Rather than, you direct it lower your ribs and slowly breathe. Also, use this tip to calm your whole body when feeling stress and anxious. Practice it at other times for faster healing process as well [8].

Choose The Right Pillows And Beddings

It is important for fibromyalgia sufferers to use soft sheets. If you are suffering from this condition, find some clip-on sheet stays in order to things flat and taut. Also, they are called sheet suspenders as well as sheet garters.

In case you get morning pain due to fibromyalgia, you should switch to another type of pillow. Experiment with other pillows with different thicknesses, or try out body pillows in order to see which ones are suitable for you.

Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Vitamin D

People with fibromyalgia often have deficiencies of both magnesium and vitamin D levels. However, there is not any evidence that taking supplements of these vitamins are an efficient fibromyalgia remedy. Vitamin D has some effects on muscle and nerve function. Studies have shown that low level of Vitamin D might be associated with the chronic pain – one of symptoms of fibromyalgia[9] [10].

Capsaicin Application

Capsaicin is originated from pepper plants and is reckoned as an effective, natural pain reliever. Being an active ingredient in many OTC lotions and sprays, capsaicin when being applied on the painful body area, it can stimulate the production of a chemical named substance P. Because this substance is depleted, the sensation of pain may reduce. Usually, capsaicin has been used for chronic pain in cancer, diabetes, and cluster headaches. Also, it might relieve fibromyalgia pain temporarily.


This alternative therapy for fibromyalgia uses the connection between mind and body to help you control your pain by using the mind power. The feedback might come in different forms, be it muscle tension, brain wave measurements or skin temperature.

Biofeedback is beneficial for a number of painful condition if used accompanied by other therapies. However, there are not adequate studies about the effectiveness of this method.


Last but not least effective in regard to home remedies for fibromyalgia is meditation. Sometimes, just simply taking away from the hustle and bustle of city life could ease severe fibromyalgia symptoms naturally. Meditation has been shown to help some individuals having fibromyalgia deal with the side effects of anxiety, stress and depression. Especially, according to a 8-week study conducted by researchers in the University of Basel, a meditative technique called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), gave promising results from some fibro sufferers who used it at home to decrease stress as well as pain associated with fibro. With MBSR, you just need to find a quiet place to lay down without being disturbed by anything else for a while. Close the eyes, concentrate on your breathing patterns till it slows down into a meditative state. After that, feel where the stress and pain are situated within your body, and use the visualization to imagine that pain is flowing out from your body. MBSR might take some efforts to do it right, but it is very worth a try as a natural option among home remedies for fibromyalgia[11].

Home Remedies For Fibromyalgia – Extra Tips

Aside from applying some of 24 home remedies for fibromyalgia mentioned above, there are some steps you should take to get faster healing and prevent it from coming back:

  • Build a regular sleep routine and get adequate sleep
  • Plan a balanced, healthy diet
  • Try out elimination diet in order to test for any possible food sensitivities so that you could eradicate potential food allergens from your own diet.
  • Avoid caffeine because it might disrupt your sleep pattern and worsen symptoms of restlessness and anxiety.
  • Take a magnesium supplement every day. Consult your doctor in advance.
  • Take some supplements such as 5-HTP (50mg, for 1-3 times per day), L-carnitine (500mg, for 2 times per day), and SAM-e (about 400mg, for 2 times per day). Always have consultations of your doctor first.

It is not necessary for you to dance in the moonlight at midnight in order to get relief with the use of these natural home remedies for fibromyalgia. These 25 methods might give you added relief aside from the treatments that your regular doctor have given you. Make sure that you control your feelings and results from these remedies so that you could report them to your healthcare provider and decide if you want to keep doing it or not.

Hopefully, some of these home remedies for fibromyalgia will help you get better so you can live the way you want.

For any contributing ideas about this post, feel free to drop your words at the comment box below.


Cannabis Walking supercharges metabolism and fat cells in half

In Healthy Living Holistic seek alternative web content to share with you health. This article is shared with permission from our friends Waking Times.

As cannabis becomes more integrated into the dominant culture, millions are becoming more educated about the many benefits of THC and cannabinoids. Not only the strength of cannabis consumption lower insulin, but also improves fasting insulin and facilitates metabolic function. More athletes and even those engaged in moderate recreational fitness have incredible benefits of daily consumption of the plant once demonized.

Along with the analgesic effects of vegetables and human cannabinoid derivatives, cannabis and exercise seem to go hand in hand if you are looking to improve their physical health.


Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the body to use sugar (glucose) from the carbohydrates in the food you eat for energy or store glucose for later use. Insulin helps maintain its level blood sugar gets too high or too low. If you eat a meal that make blood glucose levels rise rapidly, insulin secretion to compensate and often exceeds the excess is stored as fat. If you have unused too much glucose in your cells, you will gain weight. If your body is not handling insulin, may also gain weight.

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that regular cannabis users have fasting insulin (insulin in your body before eating) levels 16% lower than non-users. The study also found that cannabis users had levels of insulin resistance and 17% lower average waist circumferences. the researchers concluded that there was a significant association between the use of marijuana and smaller waist circumference.

Some athletes swear by the use of marijuana or its active substance alone, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as doping, saying these substances relieve anxiety and increase the pain threshold so that they can push themselves during training .

Journal of the men interviewed Clifford Drusinsky elite triathlete, gym owner from Colorado who also conducts training sessions driven edible marijuana.

“Marijuana relaxes me and allows me to enter a place of meditation controlled,” he told Men’s Journal Drusinsky.“When I get high, I train smarter and focus on form.”

Researchers say that marijuana has an anti-inflammatory effect and chemicals that come from weeds could mimic natural endorphins in the body, which could help increase our pain threshold as high of a natural corridor and make it easier to push through a tough workout.

THC release during exercise

Contrary to popular belief, they are not just endorphins (the compounds that make you feel excited after activities such as exercise and sex) that make big physical activity. One study found that 2003 actually activates the endocannabinoid system Likewise does the cannabis plant. the endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) are attached to the inside of the body.the endocannabinoid system is responsible for pain relief, appetite control, and influences the mood and memory.

Perhaps as a coping mechanism for pain relief, the body naturally produces its own cannabinoids during exercise.In that study, researchers found that cannabinoids manmade increase as exercise, causing it to feel some “high”.

It is not news for the body stores human tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the major psychoactive cannabis in fat medical community. However, a study put out this August in Drug and Alcohol Dependence has shown that this process storage exercises can give an extra boost, even up to 28 days after consumption.

As the body begins to burn fat, small amounts of THC are released into the bloodstream, producing an effect similar to the consumption of a small amount of cannabis effect. The blood levels of THC increased by approximately 15% immediately after exercise moderate, however, this increase was not present two hours after training.

The researchers found that exercise can provide a strong buzz and increase the potency of marijuana. The fact is that making only half an hour a strong additional higher for marijuana trigger.

This study also showed a correlation between the release of THC and BMI. The higher the BMI, the greater the increase in THC reintroduced into the body.

Exercise also activates the endocannabinoid system in the brain

In a 2003 study, researchers found the truth that marijuana and exercise both activate the same endocannabinoid system in the brain.

As a group of lipids, fats and cell receptors that bind to THC during smoking weed, the endocannabinoid system plays a prominent role in the neurological system for maintaining the homeostasis of human health. In short the endocannabinoid system is responsible for alleviating our pain, control appetite, relieve our stress, affecting our mood, and even the regulation of our memory. in order to help our body cope with pain rigorous physical activity, our brains naturally produce its own version of cannabinoids to stimulate this system during exercise. like taking a hit of marijuana, natural cannabinoid start circulating through the endocannabinoid system when you exercise to produce a high.

The highest blood concentrations of cannabinoids occur 3-8 minutes after inhaling, rather than 60-90 minutes after eating a weed or containing edible oil, neural effects that begin after 20 minutes in a maximization range of 2-4hours.

THC binds to cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), mainly located in the brain, while cannabinol (CBN) binds CB2, which exists mainly in immune cells. CBD binds or receptor, but still affect many metabolic processes, including appetite, pain sensation, immune function, stress reactivity, hormonal secretions, and muscle and fat tissue signaling.

2013 set an epidemiological study showed that obesity rates are significantly lower for all groups of cannabis users (including gender and age) compared with those who had not used cannabis in the last 12 months.

The lower body mass index (BMI) of marijuana smokers may be explained by low adaptive regulation of cerebral endocannabinoid signaling. While acute THC stimulates appetite, repeated stimulation of CB1 receptors by THC decreased receptor expression and sensitivity, and long-term stimulation can lead to antagonistic instead of agonist activation of CB1 receptors, which dampen hunger signals.

Moreover, the CBD and the other component of marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), can reduce body weight, as obesity animal models have shown THCV to increase metabolism of fat cells.marijuanafatlossBut before you get excited that the marijuana can burn fat, please realize that very few market tensions have significant levels of THCV, so do your research (how are you skinny-four strains of pot are not put in evidence the munchies).

Chronic Pain Management: Lower Back Pain

Fibromyalgia and lower back pain

If you have fibromyalgia, then you have likely experienced fibromyalgia related back pain. With many nerves and muscles in the back and around the spine, this is a vulnerable area for anyone but especially those with fibromyalgia and chronic pain issues. Chronic pain management techniques are often called for with every kind of back, spine and/or nerve related pain.


In fact, because lower back pain is more common today, even in the non-fibro population, it’s no wonder that so many people are challenged with this often debilitating pain. 

With many nerves and muscles in the back and around the spine, this is a vulnerable area.Chronic Fibro Back Pain

With fibromyalgia, lower back pain is easily exacerbated mostly during activities of daily living. This can occur when trigger points are both present and/or active and radiate pain from the lower back into the SI joints, hip flexors, glutes and pelvic area.

The involvement with SI joints on the upper side on the buttocks also radiates pain to the lower back and even into the pelvic area. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can keep these areas tight and radiating.

For those with more severe fibro, even shorter periods of sitting can pose the same issue and should be limited, especially with a tendency toward inflammation within the SI joints of the lower back.

Elements of Chronic Pain

Although regular chiropractic adjustments can be helpful to keeping the fibro body in better alignment, there are many perpetuating factors that need to be addressed and other chronic pain management tools to be used consistently as well.

First, the fibromyalgia patient may have a more difficult time allowing the adjustment to ‘hold’ like a non-fibro body …This can stem from the TRP’s that may be active in the body OR due to ongoing tightness that we refer to in the article on Myofascial Release (Treatment-For-Fibromyalgia-Myofascial-Release).

Second, any perpetuating factors such as lack of core strength and/or lack of agility need to be addressed with chronic pain management techniques. Maintaining strength and agility will always be necessary to avoid injury and stress on the more vulnerable areas of the body.

If you have Degenerative Disc Disease and Fibromyalgia, it is important to utilize the most effective but least invasive options to treating lower back pain. And like fibro, it can feel progressive, however many experts on treating back pain believe that degenerative disc disease is more of a waxing and waning pain syndrome due to normal wear or aging and not really a “disease”

For more information on sciatica, refer to our article on sciatica pain.

With fibromyalgia, we are more “sensitive” to any kind of injections. If you choose treatments including injections such as epidurals, cortisone or even saline/cartilage injections, it is important to know that the fibro body will likely need more recovery time from the injection sites. That is normal for a fibro patient. However, doctors treating other conditions in a fibromyalgia patient will not always know this.


Don’t neglect the core

One of the more effective elements to decreasing lower back pain includes core strength exercises, performed slowly and consistently. With chronic pain, it is often overlooked. This can be done in a variety of ways, including in the standing position, with knee lifts and side bends that activate the oblique muscles.

Hand weights are also optional with oblique work. These type of exercises are great for people who cannot get down on the floor.
Again, strengthening the core in a safe and effective manner is essential for reducing pain in the lower back and SI joints.
Lack of strength in the gluteal muscles can also affect pain in the lower back.

Weakness in the gluteus area can also exacerbate trigger points in the lower body. Core and glute strength support one another while supporting overall conditioning in the lower back region.

Another effective exercise is to lie on your back on a mat, and like you are building a bridge with your back, gently lift up from the lower back, put your hands under your back and just lift up and down and hold in the upper position 4-8 times. (See if you can go a little higher with each “bridging” session)

Decompression Techniques

Have you ever used de-compression techniques at your chiropractor’s office? This can be a very helpful component of chronic pain management for lower back pain. The spine tends to get compressed through activities of daily living and by sitting and/or standing for extended periods of time so decompression is an effective tool.

Back De-compressor for chronic pain management.Back Wave

We have also found techniques utilizing inexpensive tools that can be used at home. One such tool is a small curved padded device that can aid in de-compression while lying comfortably on the floor or even on a raised table. Available here on this link, this device is called the ‘back wave’.

While utilizing any kind of de-compression, it is important to be very relaxed while ‘allowing’ the entire spine to release. It might not feel normal at first. Start with 1-2 minute increments and work up to 5-10 minutes per session.

What about the inversion table?

An inversion table can also be used for spinal de-compression either at home, at the gym or in the doctor’s office. Go slow when using inversion, especially with any active trigger points in the neck or back area. It has been found that even going just past 50% on the table can be helpful, so going slow and adjusting to the feeling of being inverted needs to be a consistent process.

I use an inversion table at home and my recommendation would be to get a good quality table if buying one for home or office use. I have also used them at the Chiropractors office and we now have one at the gym as well, so they are becoming more widely available.

I will provide another caution with inversion, but this won’t be an issue until you are going past about 70% inversion. If you have weakness in your ankles, you want to be sure to not only wear shoes while inverting, but also thick socks may be helpful and if you feel too much pressure on the ankles, then come back up as much as needed.

A few minutes per day is a good place to start. Again, even at just past 50%, you are taking pressure off the spine. Some people with fibromyalgia and CFS/ME might feel pressure in the head more quickly with inversion. For instance, if you ever feel pressure in your head when leaning down, then this is a warning to go slow with increasing levels of inversion.

The “BeActive” Brace For Low Back Pain

  • The patented pressure pad in the brace applies targeted pressure to the specifc point that provides back pain relief! BeActive is now FDA approved for Class 1 Medical Devices!
  • Helps relieve lower back pain associated with Sciatica!
  • Quick and easy to apply . The Beactive wrap should initially be worn for up to 2 hours at a time. If it remains comfortable, the wrap can be worn for longer periods as needed.
  • Works on either right or left leg! The Beactive wrap fits the calf circumference sizes 12.5 inches to 18 inches measured around the fullest part of the calf. The Beactive wrap is effective when worn on a single leg on the side of the pain.
  • Discreet and easily hidden under clothing.

Another point of consideration and often a perpetuating factor in those with chronic lower back pain is sitting too long first thing in the morning. Do you wake up and sit in front of your computer or TV first thing in the morning?

For chronic pain management, it is really essential to get the blood flowing around any painful areas of the fibro body by following my “fitness protocol”  (fibromyalgia-exercises) and taking a moderate walk before engaging in other activities of daily living. Avoid prolonged sitting during the first part of the day ..

You might also find my facebook fitness page, Fibro Fit People helpful in managing lower back chronic pain.

What About Posture?

When we think of posture, we more often think about our upper body and our shoulders, however the posture within our core and lower body is extremely important to pain management. Do you ever find yourself standing with one hip higher than the other, or unaware of your spine?

How can we become better aware of our posture? Here is a simple move that we can do anytime to remind ourselves of correct posture and improve body memory:

Draw up from the abdomen into the rib cage and hold.. so instead of merely putting our shoulders back, we first draw up from the abdomen area while increasing the range of motion within the entire back and spine. This will also prevent us from putting undue strain on the neck area. You will be surprised at how much pressure you can take off of the lower back when consistently practicing this drawing up from the lower back type of posture. (put a note at your computer/desk or wherever you sit for periods of time)

Other perpetuating factors for back pain include sleeping positions and mattress quality. Extra pillows around the sides of the body and under the knees can be helpful.

Even a decrease in upper body strength can increase lower back pain when we attempt to lift something unusually heavy. We cannot afford the extra strain on the lower back due to over-compensation and/or ineffective posture.
Yes, overall body strength and agility in the fibro body is an essential part of chronic pain management and will always be important to preventing injury and protecting the more vulnerable areas that are susceptible to pain.

Related articles:
Hip Flexor pain and fibromyalgia

A New Excellent Tool for Lower Back Pain Management 

I’ve discovered a new tool for my constant lower back pain which is one of my most troublesome areas of chronic pain; its called the Lo-Bak Trax. I’ve been using this for a few weeks and its helped a lot. I love it. Click on the links and wander on over to Amazon and check it out.

About the product:  Lo-Bak Trax

  • FDA Cleared to treat: Herniated Discs, Stenosis, Sciatica & Degeneration
  • Easy, Comfortable and More Effective because you can Target Your Pain
  • You are in TOTAL CONTROL of the amount and direction of the force applied
  • Totally Portable, weighs less than 4 lb’s and can fit in a suitcase
  • Hand welded at 5 different points and comes with a lifetime guarantee against breakage
Great tool for easing low back painLo-Bak Trax for Lower Back Pain

Before you leave, my sitemap can provide you with a “God’s-eye” view of this website laid out in  “outline format”.  It shows the titles of the major sections as well as subpages in an easy to understand manner AND each entry is a link to the respective page.  Click on this link, sitemap, and read one more page before you go. 

Fibromyalgia and Hip Flexor Pain Hip OR hip flexor pain? One of the more common areas affected in fibromyalgia lower body pain, especially if you also have irritation or pain in the SI joints of the lower back … 💞 Lisa.

It is not uncommon to have hip flexor issues or pain in this area when living with fibromyalgia. The hips, hip flexors, and lower back correlate with fibromyalgia pain areas due to tender areas around the lower back, many more trigger point areas and other conditions that affect the surrounding areas.

Fibromyalgia and Hip Flexor Pain
The hip flexor muscles allow your hips to move with flexibility. You are engaging these muscles whenever you move your legs, and that means your hips are involved in most of the movements that you make throughout the average day.

A healthy person may not realize how often they use their hip flexors, but anyone living with fibromyalgia who experiences hip flexor pain will be well aware of this on a more regular basis.

I have personally dealt with hip flexor pain and then later re-strengthening of these areas while developing more fibro safe exercises after my full hysterectomy three years ago. Yes, I do get it. I will address more of this later in the lower part of this article.

While there are some known injuries and medical conditions that can cause pain in the hip flexors, it can be difficult to identify a direct cause of this pain in someone with fibromyalgia, except for the many daily activities that I often refer to.

We might treat the pain as another symptom of the diagnosed condition or take more time to determine an exact cause for the pain. Either way, the fibromyalgia and hip flexor pain is often debilitating if not treated efficiently and promptly.

Understanding Fibromyalgia and
Hip Flexor Pain 

Hip flexor pain is often referred to as flexor tendinosis. The pain from this condition typically comes from one or both of the following muscles: Illicacus and Psoas. These muscles are often lumped together as one unit, referred to as the illiopsoas.

The psoas is responsible for a lot of general back and leg pain because the sitting positions that most people hold throughout the day cause the muscle to shorten for a long period of time. When you stand up and start moving around again, that muscle doesn’t want to lengthen and function properly.

For those suffering from fibromyalgia, the pain may come from other muscles that help the hips move. This includes the quadriceps, even though those muscles are lower than most hip flexor muscles.

While flexor tendinosis caused by an injury or issue not related to fibromyalgia may focus on one particular muscle or area of the hip, fibromyalgia patients may experience pain that spreads out throughout this region of the body. The cause of the pain is often unexplainable, as is typically the case with fibromyalgia pain.

Treating Fibromyalgia and Hip Flexor Pain 

One simple way to prevent some fibromyalgia and hip flexor pain is to avoid sitting in one position for a long period of time. Get up and move around periodically so that your muscles don’t have time to set in one position.

You often hear me recommending safe and effective exercise and the importance of participating in some level of exercise in order to keep your body strong and more flexible, and this is another recommendation for hip flexor pain as well.

As an alternative to straps and/or bringing the neck forward, bring a chair up to you close while lying on floor, then cross one leg over the other just above the knee, and hold. The chair really acts as a person or therapist helping you to stretch in a safer and more effective way.

Hip Flexor stretchingUsing a chair to safely increase the stretch
Hip Flexor Stretchavoid pressing, simply lift the knee.

The more you learn how to move and how angles and over compensation do matter, the easier it is to prevent some causes of muscle pain.  You can follow me on the Fibro Fit People page to learn more ways to safely and gently work these more vulnerable areas. In the video section there you will see exercises like my “side to side” exercises that help to gently work the hips and lower back, piriformis and more.

I also work with women after hysterectomy and other abdominal surgery to gently strengthen these vulnerable areas. I have been there, and yes, it is possible to feel strong after a hysterectomy and while living with the complexity of fibromyalgia and co-conditions.

The stretch I am performing here is great to do anytime, especially after sitting. We draw up on one leg (no shoes) to just above OR below the knee, (this loosens the hips) then draw the arm up on the same side and feel the light stretch from your hips through your obliques. Here, I am putting my heel just ABOVE the knee, not on the knee itself.

Slightly different than yoga, what we do is more range of motion techniques for fibromyalgia. Therefore, avoid pushing into the knee or inside of opposing leg. The idea is to lift and stretch through the movement. 

If you spend much of your day sitting at a desk, invest in an office chair that is highly adjustable. Set the chair higher, allowing your hips to rest above your knees. This position is healthier for your hip flexors and may eliminate pain caused by the shortening of those muscles in the typical office chair position. You may also want to consider a standing desk that allows you to easily lift your work space.

I started using a standing desk last year and find it very helpful, in fact, I do more standing at my desk now than I do sitting. (note: some standing desks can be difficult on the shoulders to put up and down so it might be necessary to get a standing desk that uses an electric control for moving positions)

Do you also suffer with lower back pain?
If you haven’t yet, scroll to the bottom of our lower back pain article here, and check out the Low Back Trax device that is both effective and easy to use!!

Regular strength training and very gentle stretching (done safely) may help keep those muscles strong and flexible. Again, be sure to avoid excessive sitting or this can sabotage efforts to incorporate effective exercise.
Thank you !! Lisa.

200+ Major and Minor Symptoms of Fibromyalgia You are unintentionally Ignoring

Fibromyalgia is classified as a syndrome so people will have some of these symptoms. No two people will be the same (this cause people a lot of confusion).

1. Activity level decreased to less than 50% of pre-illness activity level
2. Cold hands and feet (extremities)
3. Cough
4. Craving carbohydrates
5. Delayed reaction to physical activity or stressful events
6. Dryness of eyes and/or mouth
7. Family member(s) with Fibromyalgia
8. Fatigue, made worse by physical exertion or stress
9. Feeling cold often
10. Feeling hot often
11. Frequent sighing
12. Heart palpitations
13. Hoarseness
14. Increased thirst
15. Low blood pressure (below 110/70)
16. Low body temperature (below 97.6)
17. Low-grade fevers
18. Night sweats
19. Poor circulation in hands/feet
20. Recurrent flu-like illness
21. Shortness of breath with little or no exertion
22. Severe nasal allergies (new or worsening allergies)
23. Sore throat
24. Sweats
25. Symptoms worsened by air travel
26. Symptoms worsened by stress
27. Symptoms worsened by temperature changes
28. Tender or swollen lymph nodes, especially in neck and underarms
29. Tremor or trembling
30. Unexplained weight gain or loss

31. Chest pain
32. Diffuse swelling
33. “Growing” pains that don’t go away once you are done growing
34. Headache
35. Inflamed Rib Cartilage
36. Joint pain
37. Lumpy, tender breasts
38. Morning stiffness
39. Muscle pain
40. Muscle spasms
41. Muscle twitching
42. Muscle weakness
43. Pain that ranges from moderate to severe
44. Pain that moves around the body
45. Paralysis or severe weakness of an arm or leg
46. Restless Leg Syndrome
47. Rib Pain
48. Scalp Pain (like hair being pulled out)
49. Tender points or trigger points
50. TMJ syndrome
51. “Voodoo Doll” Poking Sensation in random places

52. Blackouts
53. Brain fog
54. Feeling spaced out
55. Inability to think clearly
56. Lightheadedness;
57. Noise intolerance
58. Numbness or tingling sensations
59. Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
60. Seizures
61. Seizure-like episodes
62. Sensation that you might faint
63. Syncope (fainting)
64. Tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears)
65. Vertigo or dizziness

66. Bumping into things
67. Clumsy Walking
68. Difficulty balancing
69. Difficulty judging distances (when driving, etc.)
70. Directional disorientation
71. Dropping things frequently
72. Feeling spatially disoriented
73. Frequent tripping or stumbling
74. Not seeing what you’re looking at
75. Poor balance and coordination
76. Staggering gait

77. Alertness/energy best late at night
78. Altered sleep/wake schedule
79. Awakening frequently
80. Difficulty falling asleep
81. Difficulty staying asleep
82. Excessive sleeping
83. Extreme alertness or energy levels late at night
84. Falling asleep at random and sometimes dangerous moments
85. Fatigue
86. Light or broken sleep pattern
87. Muscle spasms/twitches at night
88. Narcolepsy
89. Sleep disturbances
90. Sleep starts or falling sensations
91. Teeth grinding
92. Tossing and turning
93. Un-refreshing or non-restorative sleep
94. Vivid or disturbing dreams/nightmares

95. Blind spots in vision
96. Eye pain
97. Difficulty switching focus from one thing to another
98. Frequent changes in ability to see well
99. Night driving difficulty
100. Occasional Blurry vision
101. Poor night vision
102. Rapidly worsening vision
103. Vision changes

104. Becoming lost in familiar locations when driving
105. Confusion
106. Difficulty expressing ideas in words
107. Difficulty following conversation (especially if background noise present)
108. Difficulty following directions while driving
109. Difficulty following oral instructions
110. Difficulty following written instructions
111. Difficulty making decisions
112. Difficulty moving your mouth to speak
113. Difficulty paying attention
114. Difficulty putting ideas together to form a complete picture
115. Difficulty putting tasks or things in proper sequence
116. Difficulty recognizing faces
117. Difficulty speaking known words
118. Difficulty remembering names of objects
119. Difficulty remembering names of people
120. Difficulty understanding what you read
121. Difficulty with long-term memory
122. Difficulty with simple calculations
123. Difficulty with short-term memory
124. Easily distracted during a task
125. Feeling too disoriented to drive
126. Forgetting how to do routine things
127. Impaired ability to concentrate
128. Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
129. Losing track in the middle of a task (remembering what to do next)
130. Losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence
131. Loss of ability to distinguish some colors
132. Poor judgment
133. Short term memory impairment
134. Slowed speech
135. Staring into space trying to think
136. Stuttering; stammering
137. Switching left and right
138. Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you speak
139. Transposition (reversal) of numbers, words and/or letters when you write
140. Trouble concentrating
141. Using the wrong word
142. Word-finding difficulty

143. Abrupt and/or unpredictable mood swings
144. Anger outbursts
145. Anxiety or fear when there is no obvious cause
146. Attacks of uncontrollable rage
147. Decreased appetite
148. Depressed mood
149. Feeling helpless and/or hopeless
150. Feeling worthless
151. Frequent crying
152. Inability to enjoy previously enjoyed activities
153. Irrational fears
154. Irritability
155. Overreaction
156. Panic attacks
157. Personality changes
158. Phobias
159. Suicide attempts
160. Suicidal thoughts
161. Tendency to cry easily

162. Abdominal cramps
163. Bloating
164. Decreased appetite
165. Food cravings
166. Frequent constipation
167. Frequent diarrhea
168. Heartburn
169. Increased appetite
170. Intestinal gas
171. Irritable bladder
172. Irritable bowel syndrome
173. Nausea
174. Stomachache
175. Vomiting
176. Weight gain
177. Weight loss

178. Decreased libido (sex drive)
179. Endometriosis
180. Frequent urination
181. Impotence
182. Menstrual problems
183. Painful urination or bladder pain
184. Pelvic pain
185. Prostate pain
186. Urinary frequency
187. Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

188. Alcohol intolerance
189. Allodynia (hypersensitive to touch)
190. Alteration of taste, smell, and/or hearing
191. Odor sensitivity
192. Sensitivity to chemicals in cleaning products, perfumes, etc.
193. Sensitivities to foods
194. Sensitivity to light
195. Sensitivity to mold
196. Sensitivity to noise
197. Sensitivity to odors
198. Sensitivity to yeast (getting yeast infections frequently on skin, etc.)
199. Sensory overload
200. Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity

Very important article to relieve pain.

new article


Please share it.thanks

Please share it.thanks

Clinical Research Finds: Fibromyalgia Tied to Hysterectomy, Gynecologic Disease: Also Linked to Endocrine and Autoimmune Disorders

Did you have a gynecologic surgery, such as a hysterectomy, in the few years before you developed fibromyalgia?

It’s a trend some people have noticed, and a study published in 2015 shores up the link between these types of surgeries and fibromyalgia onset. It also provides further evidence for an association between fibromyalgia and common overlapping conditions that are gynecologic, endocrine, or autoimmune.

The Findings

In the study, researchers reviewed charts of 219 women with fibromyalgia and 116 women with non-fibromyalgia chronic pain. Specifically, they examined the time between illness onset and gynecologic surgery as well as the number of overlapping conditions in each group.

They also found that each of the three diagnosis types they were looking at was independently associated with fibromyalgia. Thyroid disease and gynecologic surgery were significantly more common in women with fibromyalgia than those with other types of chronic pain.

The timing of the gynecologic surgeries in relation to pain onset was especially interesting. They found more surgeries in the years just before fibromyalgia pain began, or in the year after pain onset. That pattern was unique to the fibromyalgia group.

At first glance, it may seem odd that gynecologic surgeries in the year after pain onset would be considered related to the development of fibromyalgia.

However, an association like that may be due to several pertinent factors.

For example, consider that many women have gynecologic problems well before they opt for surgery as the preferred treatment. It may be that hormonal changes or gynecologic disease are risk factors for fibromyalgia because of some underlying relationship that we don’t yet understand.

According to the study, hysterectomies and oophorectomies (removal of the ovaries) were most likely within the four years before or after the onset of fibromyalgia pain.

This is certainly an area that calls for more research. In the end, it could help us understand why 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women. Beyond that, it may reveal physiological changes that can trigger the development of the illness, which could lead to better treatments and possibly even prevention.

For the women who develop fibromyalgia after gynecologic surgery, we also need to know what role, if any, the surgery itself plays, as well as the possible roles of hormonal changes caused by the surgery. Post-surgical hormone replacement therapy deserves a look, too.

Earlier Research

Doctors have long suspected that fibromyalgia has strong hormonal ties and triggers. A 2013 studyfound links between early menopause and increased pain sensitivity in fibromyalgia patients, which may relate to dropping estrogen levels.

Women with fibromyalgia are especially prone to painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea) and certain pregnancy complications.

My Experience

This study really speaks to my own experience. I was 34 when my youngest child was born via c-section, and 35 when I stopped breastfeeding. The hormonal changes from that, according to my gynecologist, launched me into premature perimenopause.

My menstrual cycle became erratic and periods were extremely heavy and painful, whereas they’d always been regular and fairly mild. Fibromyagia symptoms soon followed.

Six months later, I had a diagnosis and had identified a pattern—my flares came regularly between ovulation and the start of my period. My gynecologist recommended an endometrial ablation to get rid of hormones put off by the thickening uterus.

The ablation not only put an end to the painful periods (and periods in general,) it took the edge off of my flares and made them fewer and farther between. (Learn more about my personal journey in Thrown Off Course: Fibromyalgia Enters My Life.)

I hadn’t have a hysterectomy, but between two pregnancies and two c-sections, plus breastfeeding, my body had clearly been put through a hormonal ringer.

I suspect that research will continue to bear out the links between fibromyalgia and hormonal changes and hope that someday, we’ll be a lot better equipped to recognize, treat, and prevent hormone-related fibromyalgia.


Brooks L, et al. Journal of pain research. 2015 Aug 20;8:561-9.Assessing the prevalence of autoimmune, endocrine, gynecologic, and psychiatric comorbidities in an ethnically diverse cohort of female fibromyalgia patients: does the time from hysterectomy provide a clue?

Martinez-Jauand M, et al. clinical rheumatology. 2013 Jul;32(7):975-81. Age-of-onset of menopause is associated with enhanced painful and non-painful sensitivity in fibromyalgia.

Legalization U.S. Attorney General Admits Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug

Top federal official crushes this popular anti-legalization argument. One of the most popular arguments against the legalization of marijuana is that pot is a “gateway” drug with the potential to turn the great American populous into a nation of dope fiends. But today the country’s leading law enforcement official denounced this common misconception by admitting that the consumption of marijuana does not lead to the use of harder drugs.

Top federal official crushes this popular anti-legalization argument.
One of the most popular arguments against the legalization of marijuana is that pot is a “gateway” drug with the potential to turn the great American populous into a nation of dope fiends. But today the country’s leading law enforcement official denounced this common misconception by admitting that the consumption of marijuana does not lead to the use of harder drugs.
As part of what President Obama has declared National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch appeared at town hall meeting this morning in Richmond, Kentucky to discuss the dangers of opioid abuse with a group of teens.
In her opening statement, Lynch was adamant that the leading culprit behind Kentucky’s heroin epidemic was the use of prescription drugs.
“When you look at someone that, for example, has a heroin problem, it very often started with a prescription drug problem. Something totally legal. Something in every medicine cabinet. Something you can have prescribed to you in good faith by a doctor,” Lynch saidbefore taking questions from the audience.
It did not take long before the discussion turned to the issue of marijuana.
Tyler Crafton, a student at Madison Central High School, took the opportunity to ask Lynch whether she thought the recreational use of marijuana among high school kids would lead to opioid abuse.
Shockingly, Lynch, the top dog at the U.S. Department of Justice, did provide the young man with a response straight out of the federal government’s propaganda handbook.
“There a lot of discussion about marijuana these days. Some states are making it legal, people are looking into medical uses for it, and I understand that it still is as common as almost anything,” Lynch replied. “When we talk about heroin addiction, we unusually, as we have mentioned, are talking about individuals that started out with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids.”
For a moment, it sounded as though the Attorney General was preparing to backtrack on her statement to some degree, adding that, “if you tend to experiment with a lot of things if life you may be more inclined to experiment with drugs.”
But then Lynch followed up with what should be considered one of the most important statements a federal official has made in 2016.
“It’s not as though we are seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway,” she said.
The attorney general’s admission that marijuana is not a gateway drug is fairly consistent with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which finds “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances. Yet many of marijuana’s opposing forces are going up against ballot measure in several states this election season by trying to convince the general public that legal weed will cause the opioid epidemic to spin further out of control.
Interestingly, an investigational report published earlier this week by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that lobbyists for the drug makers responsible for the same prescription drugs that Attorney General Lynch says is responsible for the opioid epidemic have spent $880 million legally bribing state representatives and senators to vote against legislation concerning the restricting of opioid use.
It stands to reason that these lobbyists are also responsible for getting federal lawmakers to turn a blind eye to marijuana.
Attorney General Lynch will be speaking at more than 250 events this week in support of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. It will be interesting to see if she offers additional comments about the safety of marijuana.