Menière’s Syndrome
Charlie Ritchie

I would like to relate my experience with the therapeutic properties of cannabis. For several years now I have suffered from a form of vestibular disease known as Menière’s syndrome. This condition is characterized by episodes of severe vertigo and accompanying nausea. These attacks were bad enough to render me completely helpless. All I could do was lie down keep as still as possible and wait for it to pass, a period of several hours. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Furthermore, these attacks would occur at random with little forewarning. I could often have several attacks within the space of a week.  As if that weren’t enough, this condition also has caused partial deafness and continual tinnitus.

Standard medical treatment involves either surgery to sever the nerves that serve the offending ear (resulting in total deafness in that ear), or a drug and/or dietary regime. Eventually (together with my doctor), I decided that treatment with antihistamines and Valium (diazepam) was the most effective. They seemed to work to a degree, but the attacks continued. Quite by accident I found that smoking a small amount of cannabis markedly relieved the symptoms of nausea. I also discovered that when I feel an attack looming (usually they are preceded by a characteristic suite of symptoms) a small amount of cannabis will avert it. Since then I have increased the frequency of the times I smoke. I now find that a small but regular consumption of cannabis (commenced about 18 months ago) has almost completely relieved the condition. The only remaining symptoms are the deafness and the tinnitus; however both of these have improved (and of course the cannabis helps me cope with these problems psychologically).

Obviously my medical history is a little more complex than I have shown, but in a nutshell it appears that I can control this disease with cannabis. I might also mention that I now use no other medication at all, nor do I use alcohol or tobacco Here in Australia our laws on cannabis consumption are not nearly as tough as they seem to be in America. Small quantities are usually disregarded by the authorities if they are for the personal use of an adult. Some parts of Australia even permit cultivation of a few plants. It is a healthy trend. I hope that governments around the world will come to their senses and stop making criminals out of otherwise innocent people. For myself, to be honest, I don’t care; the relief I obtain from cannabis is of more importance than any legal technicality. I commit no other illegal activity whatsoever; I have a job (itself far easier to undertake without the complications of Menière) and a happy family life. I am not a bad person; all I do that could be considered wrong is smoke an herb that helps me in a very substantial way. In any case, I would far rather be penalized by the courts than suffer those horrible attacks again.

I am fortunate in that my doctor has liberal views on medical treatment Reading your site has made me wonder whether or not I should tell him about this, though I think I would be interested to know if others have had similar experiences first.

So there you have it, a medical success story, or at least I hope so. It’s possible that that the relapse is due to other factors. The problem with that hypothesis is the fact noted above, that impending attacks can be averted. I hope that my account may be of some use to you.