Why I Started Treating My Lupus With Cannabis

RxLeaf August 5, 2018 9 comments

Until I started treating lupus naturally, I had been laying there dying on my couch – for ten years.

Editor’s Note: Any testimonials or endorsements found on this site are for anecdotal purposes only. The information in Rxleaf testimonials is not intended as direct medical advice, nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified healthcare professionals who are intimately knowledgeable about your individual medical needs.

Hello, my name is Tonya Sanders and I am 37 years old.  I have been sick on and off since middle school, but about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with advanced lupus, fibromyalgia, and a million other things…let’s just say we’ve been through A LOT in these past 10 years, before I started treating my Lupus naturally.

Here are just some of health things I went through: stroke, heart and liver problems, bacterial meningitis twice, coma, pain pumps, an abscess, systemic fungal infections, sepsis, peg tubes, ports, PICC lines, blood transfusions, multiple surgeries, 100s of infections, in and out of hospital every month.

Then one day I had an appointment with pain management, and they told me they were going to cut my pain medication back because of the opioid crisis going on!!!! I looked at them like they were crazy!!

I Didn’t Abuse Prescription Drugs

Working as a nurse I have never, ever, abused or taken more of anything than I should!!!

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So, then I said to myself, “I have been laying here dying on my couch for 10 years unable to take care of myself, my two girls and husband, and now this.”  I asked them what I was supposed to do. They stated there was nothing else they could do, but to lower all medication dosages to start the weening off process. I was so hurt, confused, and angry. It felt like now even the people who were supposed to heal me had given up on me too!!

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So, when I got to the car, I tore up all prescriptions. What in the hell was I supposed to do? I mean I was taking at least 20 pills just in the morning alone plus changing a Fentanyl patch every three days and Dilaudid every four hours around the clock, muscle relaxers, injections at home, IV antibiotics 24/7 at home, antipsychotics, plus I took oral chemo for a year and IV chemo for 6 months.

The next day I started withdrawing BAD.

Started off with nausea, then came horrific pain, anxiety, vomiting, suicidal ideation, skin crawling, unable to wear clothes, yawning, no sleep, flopping around like a fish out of water, climbing the walls basically.  I tried to tough it out for 3 more days, my husband and I couldn’t do it anymore…

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Medical Cannabis For Treating Lupus Naturally?

We began research into medical cannabis prior the doctors decreasing my medication. But I still wouldn’t try it because it scared me. I called a friend and had them bring over some medical cannabis. By the time I got back to my porch, everything I had experienced in the past ten years was gone! I felt like I did 15 years prior, with tears running down my face, I said to them “I feel like I could run!”

Ever since that day my whole life has changed I can eat on my own, nausea is gone, pain is almost gone, I can walk (and not have to crawl), anxiety and depression gone, I can sleep and the list goes on and on!! No hospital stays either! Sure, I have bad days, but everyone does! This has been my miracle! My kids have their mom back, my youngest has never got to know the old me and now she can! I can be a wife to my amazing husband and make amazing memories with my family and friends!! Plus, I’m down to just two medicines for my lupus and that is it! Also, my rheumatologist just told me that my lupus is in remission!

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I know for a fact that this plant saved my life and it is my mission now in life to help educate and spread awareness about this miracle plant! Please let cannabis be a patient’s first choice instead of last.

Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope my story can help others!

lupus, cannabis, medical cannabis, CBD, THC, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, treatments, lupus cure, cannabis buds, remission,

What Does the Science Say?

This story illustrates how even nurses can be wary of treating lupus naturally with cannabis. Lupus is a mysterious disease with no cure and no known cause. Medical science understands very little about it — including how to treat it.

What is Lupus? 

From the Latin for “Wolf,” lupus is a silent and deadly autoimmune disease. The body’s immune cells fighting healthy tissue characterize the disorder. This results in chronic conditions like arthritis, pain, chest pain, hair loss, ulcers, tiredness, and much more.

The expansive ways it manifests make diagnosing lupus difficult. It’s what doctors call a “diagnosis of absence. This means that doctors only diagnose lupus after they rule out the other possibilities. Initially, doctors try to tackle each symptom — the swollen joints, mouth ulcers, chest pain — on their own before they finally give up and stick a patient with a dreaded and non-curable lupus diagnosis.

Because its cause is unknown, there’s no great way to treat lupus. Instead, doctors rely on two different therapies: Managing the symptoms and slowing down the immune system.

Managing the symptoms means helping patients deal with the pain and lethargy brought on by the autoimmune disorder. It means taking the medicine chest full of prescriptions that Nurse Tonya was on for year. It does little to affect the underlying disorder, but it can make life with lupus more bearable.

The other way to treat lupus is by prescribing immune-suppressing drugs. These include Imuran and Cellcept. These prevent the confused cells from attacking the body’s healthy tissue. This gets closer to the root of the disorder but leaves the patient with a less robust immune system and thus more likely to get sick from everyday illnesses and recover more slowly.

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Turning To Cannabis For Treatments

Because there are no good options to handle lupus, patients like Tonya have increasingly turned to cannabis in an effort towards treating lupus naturally. While it cannot cure lupus either, it manages to treat the symptoms and suppress the auto-immune response without the same side effects that pharmaceuticals bring.

Tonya believes that cannabis gave her life back to her. Her idea is that it suppressed the symptoms of lupus while potentially aiding her body’s immune system.

A misunderstood plant turns out to be the way someone treats a misunderstood disease. Who’d have thought?


  1. Stephen H Kawamoto

    I think Selena Gomez needs to read your story.

  2. B. H.

    A LOT of people need to read this story, and the rest of the stories here.

  3. Lea Wolf

    How did you take it. In smoke form or tincture (drops).

  4. Droid Crasher

    INDICA. !??? SATIVA.!???
    CBD OIL??? THC OIL ???

    • Jennifer Grant

      It would also be wildly irresponsible to post dosage and strain recommendations based on an anecdotal story. Go see a cannabis physician and get started on trying different options. There are, sadly, no official recommendations based on research yet. Indica and sativa are not relevant. It’s about terpenes and cannabinoids. We do know that CBD treats systemic inflammation and supports the immune system, that THC kills pain, that linalool supports these painkilling properties, myrcene helps with anxiety.

  5. Nick K

    I can completely relate… I became horribly sick 10+ years ago and when nothing worked and ect I turned to cannabis and it worked. It gave me my life back!!

  6. John Lewis

    Complete BS….Cannabis cannot relieve opiate withdrawal. My wife has Lupus and we tried cannabis in every shape and form. While it DID alleviate some of the symptoms, it’s very short lived.

  7. Terra Engebretson

    Hello….my name is Terra and I also have lupus. I understand this mom’s everyday struggles. Living with lupus will turn person’s world upside down, backwards, forward, rightside up then upside down again. Your story is the best thing I have read since being diagnosed when I was 19. To know that it is possible to manage this horrendous disease without all the drugs the doctors want to prescribed is totally eye-opening. I am glad that you have found something to just make being in your own body tolerable throughout the day. I am going to give mmj a try and see if I can tolerate the pain like you have. Because it really sucks waking up in excruciating pain everyday and nothing they prescribed even dulls the pain. So I wish you luck on the rest of your mmj journey and I am excited to begin mine. ???????????????

  8. I need some help with the pain I can’t stand taking pain meds it’s affecting my livers help me please