Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I was asked to join a CBD study for people with Statin damage

I have been posting about this here for years. The damage done to me after taking the cholesterol lowering drugs called statins. 

I have made my way through the world not being educated or smart but by being clever. I have talked about my upbringing in earlier posts. I thought it was just a slightly odd childhood that made me think I was different from other people. What with having undiagnosed ADHD the regular educational system was essentially useless to me; I had to find my own way. I have been able to cope and have at least part of a life by being clever enough to wrangle the extra brain activity of my cognitive uniqueness into problem solving and other usable skills. Cutting a unique life path with the tools I was given. Having romantic relationships and control over my weight are two places the path hasn't lead. Not for more than a month or three at a time anyway. While I have done some remarkable feats of determination, effort and self discipline during my life; places like those; where the paths of emotion and extra brain cycles cross have . . . to continue the metaphor - those paths just petered out. [the metaphor of a circuit breaker tripping might have been better]. SSRIs have been prescribed in the past but only patched with neurotransmitters what was a situational depression. Depression is sometimes described as suppressed or unaddressed anger. Every human deserves to have someone to love and to be loved. In that way I am the same as anyone else that hasn't had that. Aside from the time spent pining for one woman or another this has let me have plenty of time to seek - That which is beyond words and forms. A rich spiritual life has been my consolation prize.

My house of cards began slowly and subtly to fall apart after I was first given Zocor, a statin drug, in 1997 (maybe, I don't remember exactly what year). It is only with the perspective of nearly 20 years later that I can see what I was going through. As some brain function were shorting out and not others, I did what I have always done, adapt. This knack for adapting and my connection to the universe has allowed me to get by, if not thrive exactly, since then. The increase in confusion and general dysphoria hit a peak in 2001 when I spent a week in the hospital with runaway diabetes that I didn't know I had. Since I have always been so obese it was assumed my poor american diet is to blame for giving me diabetes. This is likely to be true in my case but stains may also be a contributing factor.

I was working as an graphic artist contracted to develop an alternative local phone directory. I did all the art, layout and design myself for the 2000 edition. Again for the 2001 edition after I got out of the hospital. In 2002-3 Then I contracted to be the art department for a different entrepreneur. This was purely a task related job not requiring art skills, as such, but some problem solving skills in setting up a system for placing the stock art on the products then a way for customers to proof the artwork for their orders and processing orders through the factory in Beijing. Then something happened. After that contract expired I began to lose it. the cleverness was going away. Rounds of depression started that dwarfed the ones 10 years before by several times. I had always been a quick witted bastard but that faded too. This is when I contracted to do a job that required driving all night 7 days a week. It was that complicated but it took me months to organize the parts of the job to where I could understand it all and start to make it my own.

There are some commonalities among the members; muscle damage, like I have in my butt muscles, neurological damage like brain fog and mental confusion that has me several days a week. The way I have started my days all dizzy and lightheaded since 2004 is less common but I have met others that have these symptoms too. For me it seems like an exacerbation of whatever genetic difference ADHD poses. The thing is it is difficult to prove and after a number of years and  

Since I started taking the damned things in 1997. Reports that taking statins can cause type II diabetes also give me pause, if even the 'slow to move' FDA is onto it. Some of you have seen the depression and irritability I have experienced. The damage caused by the depletion of cholesterol, a major component of many bodily systems, is insidious.  Ferreting out just how this happens is difficult.  After many years on the market a number of studies have been done and can be found at The National Institutes of Health. The pattern and range of side effects keeps growing. Some estimates are that up to 25% of people that have taken statins have difficult to life altering side effects.
The study I have been asked to join through the internet group is to track the positive effects of CBD on my symptoms. This is far from being what I would consider a hard science trial It is being conducted on behalf of a european company that extracts the CBD from industrial hemp. CBD is the other major substance of interest in marijuana aside from THC. Hemp has no THC so this extract is legally sold in all 50 states as a food supplement.  Conditions CBD may help with are: chronic pain, neuropathy, migraines, anxiety, arthritis, inflammatory bowel and insomnia. In human studies CBD has been shown to be effective in epilepsy and schizophrenia. For other conditions studies have shown improvements in animal models of diabetes, kidney, heart, vascular disease, and cancer. I got 4 of these bottles in the mail on Monday May 23. I am supposed to take 3 capsules in the morning and 3 more 12 hours later everyday for 6 weeks. I started on May 25th.
The man supervising the study is Philip Blair MD. As you can see by his website that not only is the Elixinol company biased he has a vested interest in how the trial goes too.
So it a toss up as to whether I should expect a dramatic changes once the study begins. The biases aside there is a growing body of evidence of beneficial effects from cannabis and its derivatives. Some say that it is the whole plant that provides the best benefit. As much as I used to enjoy getting high I just don't get around to it very often anymore. However if it goes well I'll have to experiment with the kind that has THC. Maybe. Here in California the medical marijuana law was written so that it would be available to those in need at low cost through co-ops. From what I have seen the 6 dispensaries in my neighborhood are very much for profit. If they are co-ops it is in name only.