Educating U.S Hispanics on the health and wellness of cannabis

CANNABIS AND MEDICAL WELLNESS

Cannabis is one of the oldest and most versatile medicines in the world. For centuries, different forms of the plant have been used to treat many different conditions and symptoms. Cannabis has been used to relieve a myriad of symptoms and conditions including pain and anxiety, reduce inflammation, encourage sleep, and prevent seizures. 

Please note, always seek the advice of your physician before starting any new treatment utilizing medical cannabis and, of course, the content contained herein should not be seen as medical advice or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Whether you are just beginning to explore the medicinal powers of cannabis or have been self medicating for years, we hope that you will find value in the information below.

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ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the New York Yankees Hall-of-Famer, is a neurological condition affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that are responsible for mobility. Motor function and control of the limbs and vital organs are lost as these neurons degenerate.

Although the exact cause of ALS is unknown, it has been linked to an overabundance of free radicals in the body, which cause damage to the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. When these motor neurons are damaged and die, the body loses the ability to control muscle movement and function of vital organs. Symptoms can vary from person to person and include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, depression, lack of appetite, debilitating loss of coordination, and eventually difficulty controlling speech, swallowing and breathing. While not all people with ALS experience the same symptoms or the same patterns of progression, progressive muscle weakness and paralysis are universally experienced. Unfortunately, there is no cure and treatment options are limited.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The human body contains systems that are filled with neuromodulators (receptors) and these sophisticated receptors help regulate a variety of physiological processes including movement, mood, memory, appetite, and pain — the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors respond to the compounds present in cannabis called cannabinoids.

At least five of the cannabinoids found in cannabis are shown to alleviate some of the symptoms caused by ALS, and a few are linked to slowing the development of the condition or helping to delay the onset.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component known for producing the feeling of being “high.” This component works to reduce pain and inflammation, stimulate the appetite, and can even battle depression by uplifting a patient’s mood. THC also acts as a neuroprotectant. Cannabichromene, or CBC, enhances the medical efficacy of THC, thereby increasing the healing powers of THC.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is known to significantly reduce muscle spasms, relieve inflammation and act as a powerful antioxidant which helps to remove free radicals from the body.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is also an effective anti-inflammatory. Like THC, CBD, and THCV, Cannabinol (CBN) also fights inflammation while also reducing muscle spasms. CBN is also an effective sleep aid or sedative that can help patients rest even when in severe pain.

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • Cannabinoids and neuroprotection in motor-related disorders.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabinol delays symptom onset in SOD1 (G93A) transgenic mice without affecting survival.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
    READ STUDY →
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: delayed disease progression in mice by treatment with a cannabinoid.
    READ STUDY →

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder named for Dr. Alois Alzheimer who first diagnosed it in 1906 after performing an autopsy on the brain of a woman who died of an unfamiliar mental illness.

Although the exact cause of the disorder is not known, the disorder damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions. Alzheimer’s usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as brain function declines and brain cells eventually wither and die.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Difficulty remembering newly learned information
  • Disorientation
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Deepening confusion about events, time and place
  • Unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers
  • Serious memory loss and behavior changes
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking

The most recent research, however, shows medical cannabis to be a viable treatment option for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The human brain is lined with endocannabinoid receptors that are responsible for regulating many body systems including mood, memory, pain, and appetite. When these communication pathways become clogged, as seen with amyloid plaques and tangles in Alzheimer’s patients, the ability to regulate these systems deteriorates, resulting in symptoms like memory loss and mood instability. Medical cannabis binds to the same receptors that the endocannabinoids do, some as perfectly as a key fits a lock, working to fill in the missing pieces of the healthy brain puzzle.

Medical cannabis research studies are returning hope to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders and their loved-ones or caretakers with recent findings and conclusions that the benefits of medical cannabis treatments far outweigh any risks. It has been revealed that cannabinoids can slow or even halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by improving the condition of communication pathways in the brain. THC, the best-known psychoactive cannabinoid, prevents brain-clogging plaques from growing larger or from even forming in the brain altogether.

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • Neuroprotective effect of cannabidiol.
    READ STUDY →
  • A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabinoids for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: moving toward the clinic.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
    READ STUDY →

Cachexia

Cachexia is diagnosed when a person experiences a severe loss of body mass without making an effort to lose weight. With what is typically a progressive onset, cachexia is most often a symptom of an underlying condition such as cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis. It is estimated that about 50 percent of all cancer patients will develop cancer cachexia. Those with cachexia suffer from a severe lack of appetite and find it difficult to combat the loss of lean body mass (muscle) even when consuming a sufficient amount of nutritionally dense calories. As a result, those suffering from cachexia often experience symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, depression, nausea and overall poor quality of life.

How Can Cannabis Help?

Although the treatment options for cachexia patients are dependent on the underlying cause, the typical regimen involves some form of a pharmaceutical appetite stimulant.

Experts today reveal why medical cannabis is such an effective treatment option for those suffering from cachexia, and even many of the underlying conditions like cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. The organic chemical compounds responsible for much of the healing characteristics of cannabis, called cannabinoids, bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the human brain and body that are responsible for regulating several body systems including pain, appetite, mood, and memory. What most people may not realize is that several of the pharmaceuticals are synthetic replicas of medical cannabinoids. Whereas patients often report that the pharmaceutical therapies are less than successful, many patients report finding relief in the use of whole plant medical cannabis.

Cancer and Aids cachexia patients also reported preferring the rapid onset provided by smoking or vaporizing, which can provide effective relief in just a few minutes, over waiting for a pill to be processed by the gastrointestinal tract.

 

What Does The Research Say?

Several studies have revealed that the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, is particularly effective at stimulating appetite and weight gain. Another 2005 study conducted in New York state revealed that medical cannabis produced substantial increases in appetite without producing adverse effects. The same study also noted that participants displayed a positive shift in mood.

Most notably, a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers, titled “Neuroscience: A cellular basis for the munchies,” was published in the February 18th issue of the journal Nature.  The research is part of a larger effort to understand how the brain controls a person’s appetite.

The cause of the appetite stimulation resides within the same neurons that are known to produce the feeling of being full, which under normal circumstances effectively suppress the appetite. Under normal circumstances, the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) fire and it causes the body to produce a hormone call a-melanocyte (a-MSH).  The a-MSH then signals the body to stop eating by sending the feeling of being full.

When cannabinoids are introduced to the body, it causes the POMC to work backwards.  Instead of signaling the a-MSH to produce feelings of fullness, the POMC send signals of hunger that result in an increased appetite.

This new discovery has the ability to open doors to a whole new world of appetite stimulation for patients suffering from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS and other patients who’s traditional treatment regimen results in a loss of appetite or difficulty eating.

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • Clinical evaluation and optimal management of cancer cachexia.
    READ STUDY →
  • Medical marijuana in neurology.
    READ STUDY →
  • Nutritional Interventions for Cancer-induced Cachexia.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.
    READ STUDY →

Cancer

The term cancer is used to describe several related diseases which result in the abnormal growth of cells within the human body. These abnormal cells can grow almost anywhere including the brain, breasts, lungs, pancreas, prostate, blood, bladder, colon and skin. Cancerous cells are able to divide and spread quickly, resulting in the buildup of solid masses known as tumors. The first cause of cancer was documented in 1775 when British surgeon Percivall Pott realized that certain tumors were prevalent among chimney sweeps.

Today, there are more than 100 different known types of cancer, and it is estimated that more than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with one form or another in 2015. Cancer claims the lives of approximately 600,000 people in the US each year. In 2012 there were an estimated 14.1 million new cases of cancer diagnosed (with 8 million deaths) in the world – this number is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The human body contains systems that are filled with neuromodulators (receptors) and these sophisticated receptors help regulate a variety of physiological processes including movement, mood, memory, appetite and pain.  In much the same manner that the human body’s endocrine system receptors respond to opiates – the root compounds of many pain relieving medications like morphine, codeine and hydrocodone (Vicodin) – the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors respond to the compounds present in cannabis called cannabinoids.  Interestingly, years before any state had passed medical cannabis legislation, a study issued in 1991 by Harvard Medical School found that Forty-Four percent (44%) of US oncologists were recommending cannabis to their patients to help relieve the side effects from traditional cancer treatments.

Symptom Relief

Unfortunately, many people with cancer experience significant discomfort from both the illness itself and the side effects from conventional medications. Research has shown cannabis to be effective in treating many of symptoms of cancer or side effects from conventional cancer treatments since the 1970s. Numerous studies over the past three decades have reported that the use of cannabis reduces pain, nausea, vomiting and stimulates appetites in patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.

A 1999 Institutes of Medicine report noted that for “patients already experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, pills are generally ineffective, because of the difficulty in swallowing or keeping a pill down, and slow onset of the drug effect…nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety…all can be mitigated by (inhaling) marijuana.”

Condition Relief

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.”

Recently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) revised a publication on medical cannabis to include language specifically acknowledging that “recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.” Furthermore, one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors.”

Real-Life Stories

While there are countless stories related to the efficacy of cannabis in dealing with the side effects associated with common cancer treatments (as stated above, even in 1991 roughly 44% of oncologists in America were recommending that their patients consume cannabis for relief), there are a significant number of wonderful stories where people have utilized a cannabis-based treatment protocol to help beat cancer into remission.

Sharon Kelly is a British woman in her fifties that was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2013. Sharon was diagnosed at Stage 4, the cancer had progressed to her lymph nodes and the lining of her stomach. Her doctors advised Sharon that chemotherapy and radiation were not valid treatment options for a lung cancer patient at this stage of diagnosis and would truly just make her more sick. She was given six to nine months to live. Shortly thereafter, Sharon began consuming cannabis oil on a daily basis – two grams per day along with a healthy, alkalizing diet. After a couple of months the tumor had decreased from 5 cm to 2cm and her lymph nodes were appearing normal. After seven months – with no other medical therapy or treatments – Sharon tested cancer-free and has remained so to this day. A truly wonderful result utilizing a cannabis-based treatment protocol.

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • Cannabidiol Enhances the Inhibitory Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Human Glioblastoma Cell Proliferation and Survival.
    READ STUDY →
  • The Combination of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model.
    READ STUDY →
  • A pilot clinical study of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.
    READ STUDY →
  • Effects of Smoked Cannabis and Oral δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Nausea and Emesis After Cancer Chemotherapy.
    READ STUDY →
  • Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines.
    READ STUDY →

Chronic Pain

After undergoing an operation, voluntary or otherwise, the road to recovery is paved differently for each patient. Although anesthesia may prevent patients from feeling it at the time, nerves send pain signals to the brain when the tissues or organs are operated on (effectively, damaged). As the body begins to heal after surgery, the severity and duration of the post-operative pain should subside. For some patients, however, the post-operative pain persists for months or even years and is often resistant to treatment.

Chronic postoperative pain, defined as pain lasting more than six months after an operation, can occur as the result of many different factors including the formation of scar tissue, nerve damage, tissue damage, and inflammation. Pain is not a primary condition or injury, but rather a severe, frequently intolerable symptom that varies in frequency, duration, and severity according to the individual. Chronic pain is a public health issue that is widespread across the aging populations of industrialized nations. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. Unfortunately, most are put on pain treatment plans that result in long-term opiate use.

How Can Cannabis Help?

Throughout history, pain relief has been one of the predominant reasons for utilizing cannabis for medicinal purposes.  The human body contains systems that are filled with neuromodulators (receptors) and these sophisticated receptors help regulate a variety of physiological processes including movement, mood, memory, appetite and pain.  In much the same manner that the human body’s endocrine system receptors respond to opiates – the root compounds of many pain relieving medications like morphine, codeine and hydrocodone (Vicodin) – the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors respond to the compounds present in cannabis called cannabinoids.

For patients in pain, the goal is to reduce their pain as much as possible while allowing them to still function as fully as possible. While opioids are the most commonly prescribed treatment for post-operative pain, many patients report preferring the efficacy of medical cannabis because it alleviates the pain without the debilitating side effects often associated with the pharmaceutical alternative. Cannabis is a very versatile option for pain relief for several reasons – it has inherent analgesic/pain relieving qualities, side effects can be minimal and it is capable of working in concert with other traditional prescription medications while also helping to alleviate some of the regular side effects associated with opiates like nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

What Does The Research Say?

As with other conditions, there is a countless amount of anecdotal research that has proven the pain relieving efficacy of cannabis – going back to the beginning of documented cannabis use over 5,000 years ago, pain relief has been a consistent physiological effect seen from cannabis use.  The experience of the leading medical experts has revealed that medical cannabis can be used to safely and effectively treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including chronic postoperative pain, and it is often a successful therapy option when nothing else works. Where chronic postoperative pain is often resistant to pharmaceutical therapies, even very low doses of medical cannabis have shown to effectively reduce symptoms, and experts report that the benefits of medical cannabis far outweigh the risks.

A study released in 2011 from the scientific journal for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics found that the combination of cannabis with opiates may have a synergistic effect.  When patients received regular doses of cannabis along with their twice-daily doses of prescribed opioids, on average participants reported a 27 percent greater decrease in pain.

In Australia in 2014, chronic pain patients reported supplementing their pharmaceutical treatment regimens with the use of medical cannabis, noting that there was a significant difference in efficacy between using only the opioids and combining the medical cannabis with the opioids. Chronic pain patients who participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study revealed that small doses of vaporized medical cannabis provided at least the equivalent efficacy in pain reduction as traditional neuropathic pain medication, but without significant impact on daily functioning.

Is Cannabis As Safe As Traditional Prescription Medicine?

One of the most important aspects of using medical cannabis in lieu of opiates for the treatment of pain is directly tied to the comparable risks for lethal overdose – as you’ll see below, the statistics and facts are compelling.

Opiates:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since 1999 the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled.
  • Every day in the U.S. 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose.
  • Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2013 – among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • Of the 22,767 deaths related to prescription drug overdose, approximately 16,235 involved prescription opioid painkillers (71.3%).
  • In 2007, the aggregate cost of prescription opioid abuse (lost productivity, healthcare costs and criminal justice cost) totaled $55.7 billion.

Cannabis:

In 1988, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Administrative law Judge Francis L. Young, Docket No. 86-22 found the following facts to be uncontroverted:

  • There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.
  • Despite a long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.
  • Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. This rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity.
  • The LD-50 rating for aspirin is 1:20. In layman’s terms this means that if the recommended dosage of aspirin is two pills, in order to induce death a person would need to consume 40 pills (20xs the recommended dosage). For valium it’s 1:10 and for some cancer medications it can be as low as 1:1.5.
  • At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:30,000 or 1:40,000 – in order to induce death a person would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response.
  • In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume.

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • The effectiveness of cannabinoids in the management of chronic nonmalignant neuropathic pain: a systematic review.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabis to relieve post-op pain.
    READ STUDY →
  • Persistent post-operative pain.
    READ STUDY →
  • Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action.
    READ STUDY →

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease, named after the scientist who first diagnosed the symptoms, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease affecting the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. This severe inflammation can cause tears which lead to infection. As many as 700,000 Americans may suffer from Crohn’s disease affecting men and women equally.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation (which can lead to bowel obstruction)
  • General symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats and loss of normal menstrual cycle.
  • The exact cause of Crohn’s remains unknown, so treatment regimens usually aim to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and prevent weight loss.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The effectiveness of cannabis and its derivatives for treating gastrointestinal disorders has been known for centuries.  Research shows cannabis to be an effective treatment for Crohn’s, not only because it helps to alleviate symptoms caused by the disease and pharmaceutical therapies, but because its use can sometimes lead to complete remission.  Cannabis provides significant medical efficacy in the treatment of Crohn’s disease because it is made up of hundreds of organic chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, which are able to bind to the same receptors in the brain as the body’s own gastrointestinal tract regulating endocannabinoids.

The best-known psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), does more than produce the euphoric feeling of being “high.” It reduces inflammation and relieves pain, nausea and vomiting while also stimulating the appetite.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the most common non-psychoactive cannabinoid, also relieves inflammation while producing clear-heading, calming effects. CBD is also an effective antibacterial, which is important for patients suffering from infected fissures.

The precursors to THC and CBD, tetrahydrocannabinolic-acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic-acid (CBDA), are also important in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Like THC, THCA relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and helps to stimulate the appetite. CBDA also alleviates inflammation and fights infections.

While individual cannabinoids alleviate specific symptoms of Crohn’s, all of them working symbiotically with terpenes in a process called the entourage effect, can result in a patient’s complete remission. Medical cannabis is able to fill in the missing pieces of the homeostasis puzzle when the body fails to regulate its own endocannabinoid production.

What Does The Research Say?

In 2013, cannabis was shown to have a significant impact on test subjects suffering from Crohn’s disease when compared to a placebo.  The study showed that “a short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of the 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects.”

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Patient Education Committee stated in 2012 that “[e]experimental evidence suggests that endocannabinoids, molecules found in the body that closely resemble compounds found in the cannabis plant may play a role in limiting intestinal inflammation.  IBD [the category of gastrointestinal conditions of which Crohn’s disease is a part] patients have been found to have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in their colonic tissue.”

LINKS TO RESEARCH

  • Cannabidiolic acid prevents vomiting in Suncus murinus and nausea-induced behaviour in rats by enhancing 5-HT1A receptor activation.
    READ STUDY →
  • Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study.
    READ STUDY →
  • Cannabinoids for gastrointestinal diseases: potential therapeutic applications
    READ STUDY →

Fibromyalgia

Thought to be a mental disorder in the early 1800s, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition categorized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and extreme sensitivity to pressure. Although the root cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, it is known that interruptions in sensory pathways of the brain, spinal cord and nerves cause patients to suffer from abnormal, intensified pain sensations.

The first scientific research studying fibromyalgia was conducted in 1981, but the first medication designed to manage the debilitating symptoms was not approved by the FDA until 2007. While usually less than 40 percent of those suffering from fibromyalgia experience symptom relief from pharmaceutical medications, medical cannabis is often a successful therapy option to an otherwise resistant condition.

    How Can Cannabis Help?

    Fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and mood instability or depression, can be effectively treated with the use of medical cannabis because the organic chemical compounds that make up the plant, called cannabinoids, mimic the body’s own naturally produced endocannabinoids. The cannabinoids in cannabis bind to the same endocannabinoid receptors that are responsible for regulating many body systems including pain, appetite, mood and memory.

    Although the increase in the number of states legalizing the use of medical cannabis may seem new to some, it is actually history repeating itself. Medical cannabis tinctures were available for over the counter purchase in drugstores throughout the United States until the 1930s. Phillip Leveque, the Oregon-based doctor known for being a pioneer of medical marijuana activism, was alive when cannabis tinctures could be found on store shelves, and he was also one of the first doctors to recommend medical cannabis once it was legalized in 1998. Leveque reported that he was in care of approximately 100 patients suffering from fibromyalgia, at any given time, and they all found medical cannabis to be a very effective treatment.

    Many patient testimonies align with what experts and researchers have revealed about the symptom relief that results from the use of medical cannabis. Multiple cannabinoids are known for alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia. For example, THC can significantly reduce or even eliminate pain and nausea while helping to improve mood, and CBN is a powerful sleep aid. While single cannabinoid therapy, like the use of just THC or just CBN, will be effective, the efficacy of medical cannabis increases dramatically when multiple cannabinoids are able to work together in a process known as the entourage effect. An example of this is revealed in the results of a recent online survey of fibromyalgia patients, conducted by The National Pain Foundation. Sixty-two percent of participants found medical cannabis to be “very effective” in the treatment of multiple symptoms.

    What Does The Research Say?

    A study conducted in Spain and published in 2011 revealed that medical cannabis can provide fibromyalgia sufferers with both symptom relief and better quality of life. After using medical cannabis, participants reported a significant reduction in pain and stiffness as well as enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in sleeping abilities. Patients also noted feeling an improved sense of well-being after the introducing the use of medical cannabis therapies.

    While clinical studies focusing exclusively on fibromyalgia may be limited, clinical trials focusing on pain in general are rapidly growing in number around the world.  In a double-blind study conducted at the University of California at Davis Analgesic Research Center and published in the Journal of Pain, Dr. Barth Wilsey is quoted stating, “[w]e conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment.”  Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain participated in the study and “mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis.”

    LINKS TO RESEARCH

    • Fibromyalgia Patients Rate Marijuana Significantly More Effective Than FDA-Approved Drugs.
      READ STUDY →
    • Cannabis Use in Patients with Fibromyalgia: Effect on Symptoms Relief and Health-Related Quality of Life.
      READ STUDY →
    • Association of herbal cannabis use with negative psychosocial parameters in patients with fibromyalgia.
      READ STUDY →
    • Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?
      READ STUDY →

    Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is the word used to describe multiple progressive eye conditions characterized by damage to the optic nerve. The two most common forms of glaucoma are characterized by an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) or pressure inside the eye which damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is vital in order to send visual information to the brain, and that route is interrupted when it is damaged.

    As a result of glaucoma, the patient loses their field of vision slowly, over time, and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Many other symptoms, including headaches, eye pain, nausea, and blurred vision, are also suffered as a result of glaucoma. Only about half of the people suffering from glaucoma even know that they have it – for this reason, the disease is often called the “silent thief of sight”.

    The Glaucoma Research Foundation estimates that there are 60 million people suffering from glaucoma in the world – 2.7 million in the U.S. alone.

    How can Cannabis help?

    Although cannabis studies have shown that THC can relieve intraocular pressure, thereby reducing damage to the optic nerve, it may also reduce blood flow to the optic nerve which can have negative effects. THC can be used to relieve symptoms like eye pain, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

    Like THC, CBG alleviates intraocular pressure by increasing fluid drainage. CBN also slows progression and relieves pain. Cannabis can be used to treat symptoms as well as to delay onset, but it does not cure glaucoma.

     

     

    What Does The Research Say?

    As stated in the article entitled “Cannabinoids and glaucoma” published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, cannabinoids have been shown to effectively lower the IOP and have neuroprotective actions. Several cannabinoids have been shown to effectively reduce intraocular pressure and do not contain psychotropic effects that may potentially prevent patients from utilizing the treatment and prevent doctors from recommending the use of cannabis.

    LINKS TO RESEARCH

    • Cannabinoids in glaucoma: a primary screening procedure.
      READ STUDY →
    • Effects of tetrahydrocannabinol on arterial and intraocular hypertension.
      READ STUDY →
    • Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Glaucoma.
      READ STUDY →
    • Marijuana Smoking vs Cannabinoids for Glaucoma Therapy.
      READ STUDY →

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