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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Can CBD Help Treat Bone Diseases Among Seniors?

Jordan Webber

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Bone Diseases among Seniors

Bone diseases are among the most typical health issues of the elderly. As you get older, your body gradually loses its flexibility and strength a point that even the slightest movements become painful. But thanks to the advancement of science, skeletal deterioration can be slowed with the help of therapy and medication like CBD oil.

The Need for Building Healthy Bones

Weakening bones is a primary reason why you experience a host of health problems as you age. Aside from allowing you to move, your skeletal system is also significant in giving shape and support to your body. Just like any body part, your bones are living tissues that replenish itself throughout your life. Their regeneration is very evident during your childhood and teenage years.

During your youth, your body can produce new bones faster than it sheds away old bones. However, after the age 20, this process starts to reverse. Now, your body loses bone cells more quickly than making them. This is the best time to increase your intake of the necessary nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to help maintain a healthy skeletal system. You also need to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle to prevent the acceleration of bone loss.

Failure to maintain your bone health could lead you to experience occasional pain in various parts of your body. As your bones start to lose its sturdiness, it provides lesser support to your muscles. As such, you can feel episodes of chronic back pain, swollen joints, or muscle cramps that become more frequent as the years pass. The searing and debilitating illness at some sections of your body could be a sign that you have acquired a bone disease, some of which can be life-threatening, especially in seniors.

Common Bone Diseases in the Elderly

While issues in the skeletal system can take place at any stage of life, most of them manifest as you reach senior years. Below are some of the most common for people in their advanced age.

  • Osteoporosis

This bone disease is the most common among seniors. Osteoporosis takes place when the bones become thinner as their density reduces. Patients of this disease may also see their bones lose their quality. This ailment is also often called a “silent disease” because it usually remains undetected until a bone of an elderly gets fractured.

  • Paget’s Disease

As the second most common bone disease of seniors, Paget’s Disease affects the body differently. Patients of this disease initially experience a massive amount of bone removal. It would soon be followed by more excessive bone formation, resulting in the production of larger bones. These new bones could either be soft or deformed, which can lead to pain and fractures. Doctors may recommend surgery for some patients with severe cases.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

These two conditions cause severe pain among the elderly. Osteoarthritis takes place when the cartilage, a tissue found at the ends of the bones that connects the joints wears down and restricts the movement of bones. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the joints get swollen. Like in osteoarthritis, this condition can be excruciating. Health researchers estimate that most seniors over the age of 75 suffer from osteoarthritis in at least one joint.

Risk Factors

Bone deterioration is part of aging. However, some seniors are more prone to bone disease because of genetics, gender, and lifestyle.

  • Genetics

Bone diseases usually run in the blood. People who have a family history of any bone diseases should start preparing for the onset of the disease in the future.

  • Gender

Females are at higher risk of osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Women have a higher chance to suffer from osteoporosis because of having a lighter and thinner bone structure. The onset of menopause also leads to a reduction in bone density. During this life stage, the body produces lesser estrogen, the female hormone responsible for the formation of the bones.

Among the bone diseases, it is only in Paget’s disease where men are at higher risk.

  • Lifestyle

Having an unhealthy lifestyle is usually a contributor to the onset of these diseases. Just like muscles, you can take care of your bones by maintaining a healthy, nutrition-rich diet, exercise, and regular visit to doctors. Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs can also cause the bones to decline faster. Habitual smokers and alcohol drinkers are at higher risk of suffering a bone disease as they grow old.

CBD Benefits to the Bones

The legalization of medical cannabis in most US states is a blessing for seniors suffering various diseases, including those in their skeletal system. Marijuana contains compounds that have been proven to promote and restore bone health. One of them is cannabidiol.

  • CBD Helps Heal Bone Fractures

In a highly publicized Tel Aviv University study, researchers found that CBD extracted from cannabis was able to boost bone fractures in laboratory rats. Researchers say that the cannabinoid (a compound from cannabis) trigger endocannabinoid receptors found in different parts of the body of humans and many animals, including rodents.

Researchers discovered that CBD accelerates bone healing by fortifying the cartilage “bridge” that forms when a bone is mending after an injury or damage. This bridge is made of collagen, which gradually mineralizes and hardens to produce a new bone.

This collagen tissue was stronger in rats treated with CBD. Moreover, the collagen molecules more tightly joined with one another, compared to rats not treated with the cannabis substance. Researchers conclude that the healed bone in CBD-treated rats is prone to break in the future in comparison to the healed bone in rats that did not receive CBD. The treated bone under this treatment method also has a greater strength (between 35% and 50%).

  • Treats Chronic Pain

Pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis could be too severe for seniors. Many doctors prescribe CBD as an alternative to many pain medications like opioids. Aside from treating osteoarthritis pain, cannabidiol could also heal joint neuropathy. Researchers found that cannabidiol can do both because the compound reduced joint inflammation. The compound has also been found to protect the nerves.

  • Non-Psychoactive

Cannabidiol is considered safe for consumption by many doctors and health organizations, including WHO. Unlike THC, another compound from marijuana, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties, meaning taking this substance does not make you intoxicated even at high doses. Compared to prescription pain medications, CBD doesn’t also have harmful side effects.

CBD Products for Seniors

Healthy Bones and CBD

One of the benefits of treating bone diseases using cannabidiol is consumed in various ways. You can buy CBD oil capsules, topicals, tinctures, and edibles online or in cannabis dispensaries. This flexibility of consumption allows you to apply this substance directly on the area where it is needed the most. If you’re suffering from osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, you can get your recommended daily dose of CBD by taking oil, tincture, or capsule. You can also consume CBD edibles if you don’t like the taste of the compound.

If you suffer pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, you can apply CBD topicals (like ointment, lotion, or balm) on the affected area. You can also get your dose by inhaling CBD vape oil.

Tips for a Healthier Bone

While many seniors would eventually suffer at least one of the bone diseases, you can work on slowing its progress by having a healthy lifestyle. But keep in mind to consult your doctor before starting to carry out the activities that you’ll find below.

  • Exercise outdoors

Keeping your body fit and active is a great way to strengthen your bones even during your senior years. Even a regular brisk walk outdoors could be enough. This mild workout is enough to keep your bones healthy while getting Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for bone growth and healing, from the sun.

  • Take supplements

Osteoporosis and other bone diseases can be prevented by regular intake of supplements such as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. For patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, taking herbal supplements like Omega 3, willow bark extract, collagen, and CBD capsules can help. These substances don’t only prevent the onset of these diseases; they can also provide relief to the excruciating pain.

  • Quit Smoking

Tobacco contains nicotine, a chemical that can bring severe impact on the bones. For one, smoking lowers the blood supply to the bones. The nicotine also slows the production of bone-producing cells, known as osteoblasts. It also decreases the body’s absorption of calcium, which is vital to bone health and crucial cellular functions. Smoking also affects the balance of hormones, including estrogen, which is significant in building and maintaining a sturdy skeleton in women and men. Quit smoking now.

  • Limit Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol intake can also adversely impact the bones. Like nicotine from cigarettes, alcohol can disrupt the calcium balance in the body. This drug can also lower the production of hormones like testosterone and estrogen, which are responsible for bone growth.

Having healthy bones is crucial to enjoying your life as you reach your retirement age. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking CBD supplements, you can keep a healthy skeletal system to retain your mobility and activity in your senior years.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Demetrix Gains $50m in Series A Funding, Aims to Brew Cannabis

Stacey Wellington

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Demetrix Funds to Brew Cannabis

Demetrix Inc. recently announced its successful foray into the Series A funding round. Following this, the company garnered $50 million, which the business states will be used for researching and producing synthetic cannabinoids in the market.

The Series A funding round was led by Tuatara Capital, a New York-based investment group, together with Horizon Ventures, a Hong Kong-based firm. Based on the press release by the cannabis firm, Horizon Ventures also participated in the Series Seed round, contributing $11 million to the business.

Shaping the Future

Demetrix’s press release revealed that the global market for cannabinoids are slated to reach $100 billion comes 2029. Alongside the boom of this industry, Demetrix intends to “help the world benefit from nature’s rarest ingredients.”

Besides brewing, the startup is also looking to isolate the cannabinoids. The firm also looks to expand the business and commercialize its products in the future. With more than 100 cannabinoids being explored by the California-based startup, it believes that it can cater to different consumer product companies, including the pharmaceutical and supplement sector.

To achieve their goals, the California-based company reportedly intends to use baker’s yeast to yield a larger volume of cannabinoids. Through the company’s “industry-leading fermentation technology that accelerates the production of cannabinoid,” it hopes to shape the future of the field.

Continued Show of Support

Both Tuatara Capital and Horizon Ventures released statements revealing their promising futures by working with the cannabis firm. In the press release, Tuatara Capital partner, Marc Riiska shares that they believe Demetrix has what it takes to “consistently produce high purity, single cannabinoids in a process that easily scales to meet demands.”

Meanwhile, Patrick Zhang of Horizon Ventures state that “Demetrix is uniquely positioned to bring these compounds to market in a cost-efficient way.”

Industry Background

Demetrix chief executive officer Jeff Ubersax is planning to use technologies surrounding yeast genetics and biochemistry and applying this to cannabis. Although the business employs the same method of brewing beer, the fermentation process using the marijuana plant will produce synthetic cannabinoids instead.

While the company’s approach to making a larger volume of cannabinoids sounds promising, Tech Crunch notes the startup “has a long way to go before it becomes competitive with extracts from the marijuana plant.”

As of writing, the company has successfully raised a total of $61 million.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Research Found Recreational Marijuana Users End Up Consuming the Plant as Medicine

Jordan Webber

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Recreational Marijuana

Many cannabis users who buy in Colorado adult-use cannabis dispensaries use the product as a medicine, a study revealed.

The study found that people who purchase items that are supposedly for fun have used them to treat specific health issues, like chronic pain and sleep disorders. The researchers led by Marcus Bachhuber of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said customers of adult-use cannabis usually end up consuming it for symptom relief.

The combined research team from the New York-based college and the University of Miami polled 1,000 customers in two Colorado dispensaries between August 2016 and October 2016. Around 65% of the respondents said they used marijuana for pain relief, while 74% reported using the plant to promote sleep.

The study was recently published in the “Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.”

Potent Prescription Medicine Alternative

The respondents ended up using cannabis for medical reasons because of its potency. Many of the respondents who use marijuana for health reasons said that using the plant helped them to reduce the use of other medicines. More than two-thirds (82%) reported cutting or stopping their prescription medications.

Nearly 90% of those who purchased cannabis for pain relief said they had reduced or stopped taking opioid pain relievers. Meanwhile, 87% of users who use marijuana as a sleeping aid reported they minimized or halted their use of over-the-counter taking aids. Moreover, 83% of those taking medicine sleeping pills said cannabis helped cut down or stopped their use of these medications.

While the study has somehow shown the potency of cannabis for medical use, it has some limitations. Of the 1,000 study respondents, 90% were below the age of 50. Less than half (42%) of them were women while a little more than half (66%) were white.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) deputy director Paul Armentano backed the findings of the study. In a press release, he said that the study proved the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana. He also acknowledged its possibility as an alternative medication to prescription medications, particularly opioids.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the U.S. die following an opioid overdose. The agency admitted that the abuse and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is a national crisis. Prescription opioid misuse costs the U.S. $78.5 billion a year and affects not only public health, but also impacts social and economic welfare.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Approved Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer’s

Jordan Webber

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Minnesotta OK'd Medical Cannabis for Alzheimers

Starting July 1, all registered patients with Alzheimer’s disease can begin registering for Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. This will enable them to purchase medical marijuana from the state’s two manufacturers starting August 1, the High Times reported.

The recent approval marked Alzheimer’s disease addition to the 14 conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana in Minnesota. This includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette Syndrome, ALS, seizures (e.g. epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms (e.g. multiple sclerosis), inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease), terminal illness, intractable pain, PTSD, Autism, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Alzheimer’s disease is the only qualifying condition approved by Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm among the seven new conditions proposed by a citizen’s review panel. Conditions that didn’t make the cut includes hepatitis C, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, panic disorder, psoriasis, and traumatic brain injury.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Health Commissioner Malcolm. “However, there is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep, and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Currently, there are more than 94, 000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s living in Minnesota, and 254, 000 people providing care for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

For the next 30 days, the Minnesota Department of Health is expected to be working in registering Alzheimer’s patients to the state’s medical marijuana program. Among the requirements included for a patient to obtain medical cannabis is for a licensed health care practitioner to certify that the patient indeed has the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. It’s a neurodegenerative disorder that happens when plaques containing beta-amyloid develop in the brain. This leads to cognitive impairments, such as problems with one’s memory, thinking, and behaviour. As of today, there is still no available cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, various studies show that cannabis helps improve symptoms or slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

The recent move by Minnesota marked its entrance into the twelve U.S. states that have included Alzheimer’s disease in the list of their qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.

“I believe that advanced dementia patients with tremendous anxiety, restlessness, and pain will benefit,” wrote Dr. William Orr, a Minneapolis-based geriatric psychiatrist who supported the petition.

“Such patients are episodically distraught and become quickly angered and paranoid of staff trying to help them due to their confusion and inability to understand their circumstances,” he added.

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