Sadly, CC has to live in Colorado Springs, as Colorado is the only state that fully legalizes Cannabis. The one drug that finally put him into remission.
Now, I don't want anyone to think I wholeheartedly believe Cannabis should be legal in all states for any reason. I don't. We have enough trouble with alcohol. But I do think we need to do a lot more research into Cannabis and its medicinal properties and I don't think it needs to be done by big pharmaceutical companies. Otherwise, before you know it, Monsanto will step in and patent the seeds. /sarc
I do want to thank CC for sharing his story. While the photograph above is not CC, I deliberately used a picture of a child in a hospital bed because that's where most Crohn's patients end up at one time or another. I cannot stress what a horrible disease this is for adults. I cannot even imagine what a mother and father go through watching their children suffer from a disease that threatens their lives. Granted, Crohn's disease strikes everyone differently and there is no guarantee Cannabis will put Crohn's into remission, but if there is even a chance, that chance needs to be thoroughly researched.
On that note, let's welcome CC.
Hi, CC! Tell us, how old were you when you were first diagnosed?
I was 11.
That's awfully young. Can you share with us what your first year was like?
Well, it was hell. It was painful, stressful, frustrating, interesting, scary, you name it, I went thru it, it was bad.
GREAT description. I think that's how it strikes everyone. I wish kids your age didn't have to experience life at such a level. Even selecting a treatment can be overwhelming. Can you tell us about the medications you've tried and did you have any unwelcome side effects?
First was Asacol, then Entocort, then Remicade, then Methotrexate, then Prednisone, then Humira, now
Cannabis. Asacol and Entocort just didn’t help. When I was on Remicade I made antibodies toward it which was bad so I got serum sickness. It made me tired and hurt all the time. It gave me Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. I made antibodies after the very first infusion.
The next day I ended up in the ER because I hurt so bad. My doctor thought he perforated my colon from a colonoscopy. But it was just my body fighting the Remicade. With Methotrexate, I only got one shot and my face swelled and I had really bad nose bleeds. So we quit that. I had the typical side effects from Prednisone. The moon face, sensitive to the sun, but it started eating at my heel and I lost a little bone density about the size of a dime. But its OK now.
I was on Prednisone for 8 months. Then I went on Humira. My mom didn’t like it from the beginning. We waited 3 months before I started it because she had a bad feeling about it. She was right. Even though it worked for a while, I ended up getting swollen lymph nodes and then the madness began. One hospital said I had pneumonia, then another said it was Tuberculosis. I went thru a lot of tests and hospital visits trying to figure out what type of TB I had. I ended up having surgery where they were supposed to have lymph nodes taken out to biopsy and they took out my salivary gland on “accident"!
So I went to the Mayo Clinic where they tested for TB but also lymphoma and that was really scary. It all came out negative but my blood work was still a little wacky so the doctors thought going back on Humira was a bad idea because they were afraid I might get lymphoma. They said the next step was either Cimzia (another TNF blocker/biological) or we had to find “alternative” methods. I decided to do my own research on Cimzia and I didn’t like the things I read so I told my parents to figure something else out because I wasn’t going to take Cimzia. That's when they started looking into Cannabis.
Oh, CC. Like you, I've failed just about everything and I know how frustrating it is. My local hospital is where I vacation. *grin* How often were you hospitalized and what types 0f surgery have you had?
I’ve been in the hospital a lot, like 100 times! I haven’t had surgery for my Crohn’s. Like on my guts! Just the lymph
What did you think when your parents brought up the subject of Cannabis?
What do I have to lose? Is it gonna hurt?
Is Cannabis legal in your state?
No, not for me. It is for kids with epilepsy. But I would have to go thru the appeals process to get it and they can still tell me no. We’re trying to change that.
I wish you and your family the very best of luck and I will keep you in my prayers. Did you need a prescription to purchase Cannabis?
Yes. I had to get my red card. My Dad and I became residents of Colorado and we had to get two doctors to approve my
card. It took a while.
*Deep sigh* You must miss your family very much. I'm sure you don't smoke so can you tell us in what form you ingest Cannabis?
I take it in oil form. We get it from my caregiver in a little bottle with a dropper and a syringe and then my Dad puts
it in vegan capsules for me.
How much and how often?
3ml 4x daily
What type of cannabis do you use?
I have a hybrid Stativa/Indica strain that is a 19 CBD to 1 THC ratio.
I don't mean to shout questions at you, so to speak, but I'm really interested. Do you have issues with THC? If so, what do you use to counteract the symptoms?
I don’t have issues with THC. Most adults that use Cannabis for Crohn’s have a higher THC ratio than mine. It helps with the anti-inflammatories.
Do you ingest cannabis while you are in school? If yes, do your classmates/teacher’s know?
Fortunately, I’ve always been home schooled. But my Boy Scout Troop knows and everyone is really supportive. They know how sick I was before Cannabis.
Can you give us a timeline as to how long it took you to get into remission and whether or not you take additional Crohn’s medications?
I think it only took a couple of weeks. In January my family went on vacation to New York and I had to be pushed around the city in a wheelchair because I was hurting and so tired all the time. After just a couple of days on Cannabis, I had energy again and I chased and threw snowballs at my Dad. I don’t take anything else.
Lastly, what is your definition of remission and would you recommended Cannabis for others suffering from Crohn’s
My definition of remission is no inflammation and no pain. I don’t have to sit in the bathroom for hours. I used to do my homework while in the bathroom. I would definitely recommend Cannabis for anyone with Crohn’s.
Thank you CC for sharing your story. I know it isn't easy, but if more people speak up more money is generated for research. I wish you and your family the very best in your journey with Crohn's disease. Most of all, I wish health for us all.
Thank you, again.