Editor’s note: This column discusses what has worked for Christina Logan, but others may not have the same results.
Second in a two-part series.
In last week’s column, I discussed how fatigue is a Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) symptom that has gotten the best of me. Every day, I internally battle through my tiredness. I shared that I got a larger bed, and how the new, larger mattress has helped me sleep more comfortably and soundly throughout the night.
The second thing that has helped me eliminate my fatigue is cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
It all started when I shared on Facebook that I experience extreme numbness in my arms and legs, plus sharp pain shooting up my legs. Those problems have made sound sleep impossible. The pain happened way too often and I couldn’t fall asleep until 2 or 3 a.m. There is nothing more frustrating than being purely exhausted yet lying in bed unable to close my eyes and fall asleep.
When I wrote that Facebook post, it was early morning — my normal bedtime. A few hours later, a dear friend from college asked for my mailing address because she wanted to send me something. It was around the time of my birthday, so I wasn’t sure if she was sending a present or card. I also thought she might be sending something hospitality-related since we studied that together. A week later I received her package in the mail. It was a small tube of CBD oil. CBD is a nonpsychoactive component of marijuana, so it doesn’t make its user “high.”
When I thanked her for the thoughtful, amazing care package, she replied, “No thanks needed!” She said she read the product reviews and is praying it helps with what I go through each evening because it has helped other people with similar problems. The theory is that CBD helps with pain management, and less pain could mean more sleep. This was a simple, yet impactful gesture and act of kindness from my friend. I am thankful that people near and afar care for me this way.
I have heard of other FA patients who use CBD oil because it helps reduce the pain the body can feel and can encourage better sleep. I used to be against any use of marijuana because many people without medical reasons abuse it. However, I found out that two of my close FAmily members use it to help them sleep. They either put drops of the oil directly into their mouth or onto food for a little late-night snack before bed. When they do this, they both receive about eight hours of sleep — sometimes straight throughout the night!
Once I heard these testimonies, I knew I had to try it. I also did my research on CBD’s positive and negative effects. As I mentioned last week, I was getting only three or four hours of sleep per night. I would become so fatigued that it would be hard to get through the workday and I would feel physically ill. I became desperate to try anything that would help lessen my pain and restless nights, and CBD oil seemed to be the best fit in a positive way. I drip some drops into my mouth and then no longer feel sharp pains in my arms and legs. I can get comfortable and relax.
I am so happy I tried the CBD oil because between this and getting a larger bed, I have been getting great sleep for the first time in memory!
Important note: Different regions have varying laws regarding the purchase and use of CBD oil. Check your local laws before investing in the supplement.
Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.