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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

How Cannabis Affects the Human’s Brain

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Cannabis and the Brain

Despite the political and social controversy surrounding cannabis, its medical benefits remain to be part of the public consciousness. From its pain-relieving features to its stress-reducing effect, this green plant has managed to leave a hopeful light in the medical community.

For years, many doctors and scientists have already attested to the incomparable promises the drug suggests, especially to the body’s command center. With this, various studies and researches are continuously being conducted to further expand on marijuana’s effect on the human brain.

Want to know what these several important discoveries are?

Here, we have compiled all the necessary findings modern science have discovered, and what further possibilities relating to cannabis and the brain may lie directly ahead.

Read on.

Cannabis and the Brain: How Does It Work?

Over the years, many substantial details about the relationship between cannabis and the brain have already been discovered. From identifying the active ingredient of the plant to determining how it specifically interacts with the brain, scientists have managed to arrive at different discoveries that have stunned the world.

After several decades of research, a new system called the endocannabinoid system has been unveiled to the public. From there, the question surrounding the enigmatic plant and the body’s command center has become an easier topic to grasp.

Human Brain and Cannabis

As explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when a person smokes marijuana, the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis, will pass through the lungs, go into the bloodstream, and reach the brain. Due to THC’s similar chemical structure with the brain chemical anandamide, the body recognizes the chemical and allows THC to attach and activate the chemical messengers of the endocannabinoid system called cannabinoid receptors.

Depending on the quantity consumed and the method of consumption, THC is likely to overwhelm the whole EC system. This, in turn, could interfere with the ability of the cannabinoid receptors to limit the amount of dopamine in the brain. This, in turn, throws the entire system off balance and stimulates the brain’s reward system, or a group of neural structures responsible for the body’s pleasure system. As a result, the brain generates higher dopamine levels, contributing to the feelings of euphoria or “high” associated with cannabis consumption.

From there, various mental and physical functions will be disrupted, and different effects are likely to occur in the body.

Here are a few you should know:

Health Benefits of Cannabis:

Over the decades, many medical breakthroughs have stemmed from a broad range of cannabis-related studies. Here, we present a few of the most promising medical solutions marijuana suggests to patients.

  • Mental health benefits

Although there is much more to learn about the effects of the plant to one’s mental health, various medical studies already prove marijuana’s potential in treating mental health disorders, especially depression, social anxiety, and PTSD.

In a study conducted by scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), the researchers have discovered how chronic stress may suppress the brain’s production of endocannabinoids or the natural chemical compounds responsible for maintaining homeostasis, which includes physical and emotional health. This, in turn, could lead to depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression,” explained RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane, Ph.D. “Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”

Moreover, in other preliminary studies, it was discovered that cannabis-based products help regulate emotional functions, such as mood and stress response. This stems from marijuana’s active ingredients, such as THC and CBD, which have been reported to reduce anxiety and tension by inducing relaxation.

However, the said discovery only remains true if cannabis is to be consumed in low dosage.

  • Enhance Cognitive Functions

As opposed to the common notion of how cannabis impairs cognitive functions, various studies revealed that the plant can actually pose a tremendous impact on one’s memory. In fact, in a study led by Harvard Medical School Affiliate McLean Hospital’s Staci Gruber, Ph.D., preliminary evidence suggests that marijuana consumption may not impair but may actually improve executive functioning in adults.

Due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory effects, many substantial pieces of evidence have been collected suggesting the drug’s ability to slow down the brain’s gradual degenerative process brought by aging.

In a review published in the Surgical Neurology International journal, researchers from the University of Pittsburg Medical Center discovered how recent neurological studies have used phytocannabinoids, or the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, in treating malignant brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and childhood seizure disorders Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.

‘CBD research in animal models and humans has shown numerous therapeutic properties for brain function and protection, both by its effect on the ECS directly and by influencing endogenous cannabinoids,” the researchers explained. “Broadly, CBD has demonstrated anxiolytic, antidepressant, neuroprotective anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits. CBD decreases the production of inflammatory cytokines, influences microglial cells to return to a ramified state, preserves cerebral circulation during ischemic events, and reduces vascular changes and neuroinflammation.”

To date, researches concerning cannabis and other neurological disorders continue to dominate the medical realm. In fact, in a recent study, researchers have discovered how cannabis present antipsychotic effects on the brain, which suggest possible treatment for schizophrenia and dementia.

  • Could spur creativity

As opposed to the common stereotypes associated with marijuana users, various studies reveal that the use of cannabis could lead to increased mental creativity.

In fact, in a study conducted in 2012, researchers have suggested that cannabis’ ability to generate psychotomimetic symptoms, which include delusions and/or delirium, could actually lead to an increased level of creativity. According to the researchers, when a person experiences an altered state of mind, he or she is likely to see the world in a different perspective, engage in divergent thinking, and go beyond the limits of normal perception.

Some believe that this sudden spur of creativity could stem from the increased number of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with good cognitive flexibility.

  • Protect the brain after stroke

In a study conducted from the University of Nottingham, researchers have discovered how marijuana suggests possible neuroprotective treatment for stroke – at least for mice.

During the said research, the authors found how cannabinoids could help shrink the area of the brain affected by stroke, posing the drug’s potential to reduce brain damage.

“This meta-analysis of pre-clinical stroke studies provides valuable information on the existing, and importantly, missing data on the use of cannabinoids as a potential treatment for stroke patients,” explained lead author Dr Tim England. “The data are guiding the next steps in experimental stroke treatment in order to be able to progress onto initial safety assessments in a clinical trial.”

Given CBD’s and THC’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, the two compounds continue to attract attention from various medical groups and researchers. However, to date, recent medical studies identify CBD as a better long-term protective solution compared to THC.

  • Control Epileptic seizure

The use of cannabis for treating epilepsy has been studied and debated for years. However, despite the lack of sufficient data, many pieces of research have already established a few substantial pieces of evidence that put marijuana as a possible hope for patients suffering from epileptic seizures.

In fact, in a study conducted in 2003 published the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, it was found that marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana have stopped the seizures of epileptic rats for about 10 hours. This has revealed THC’s ability to control seizures by binding the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

In 2018, Epidolex, a drug derived from CBD, became the first FDA-approved cannabis-derived drug for treating two potentially fatal forms of severe childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome

  • Protect the brain from concussion and trauma

Just like in the case of stroke, some researchers believe that cannabis could help the brain repair itself after a traumatic injury due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In fact, in a study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, experiments have been done involving mice to prove marijuana’s ability to minimize the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ethan Russo of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute presented his recent findings of the relationship of cannabis to head injuries. During his talk, he presented that CBD and THC may help prevent glutamate excitotoxicity or the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged or killed.

He also presented THC and CBD as possible treatment solutions for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) symptoms experienced by football players and other athletes.

Conclusion:

For years, cannabis has stood as one of the stars in medical science. Although there is much more to discover about its effect on the body’s central command, these recent discoveries have opened up a space for patients and medical professionals to find the light amid the seemingly impossible quest for treatments.

Which among these medical findings surprised you the most?

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Can CBD Help with Tinnitus?

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High-pitched tones and ringing in your ears might already be a normal phenomenon to you, but this condition called tinnitus is actually a type of condition that many other people deal with, especially as they grow older over time.

People have heard that cannabidiol has been great for people dealing with different types of health conditions, from chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and many others. With its prominence in the field, it comes as no surprise that there are many people who believe that this can help deal with tinnitus as well.

This article will let you in on what CBD products can do to help with tinnitus or if it can even help at all. Read on to find out.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is commonly described as a term when you hear ringing in your ears. Apart from ringing, you can also encounter high-pitched sounds, a buzzing or hissing sound, whistling, and other similar sounds. This particular condition can actually disrupt or interfere with how you normally hear or perceive sounds.

Tinnitus is often referred to as a symptom primarily because it points to other underlying conditions. For example, this can be caused by an ear injury, hearing loss due to age, high or low blood pressure, wax buildup in the ear canal, and problems relating to the neck, jaw, or teeth, to name a few.

Those who suffer from this condition for prolonged periods of time tend to develop stress, anxiety, and even depression.

This condition is treated and managed with the help of hearing aids, sound generators, environmental enrichment devices such as CD and mp3 recordings, and relaxation techniques.

How CBD Can Ease This Condition

Individuals have their own endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is comprised of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the body, enzymes, as well as cannabinoid receptors. The main goal of the ECS is to provide balance and regulation to our different bodily functions.

The cannabinoid receptors in our body, namely CB1 and CB2 receptors respond to cannabinoids we take, such as that of CBD.

Help Calm Nerves

CBD oil and other cannabidiol products have the capacity to help calm the nerves and the body. With cannabinoids being found to be of great help in neural processing within the auditory system, using CBD products can slow down these neural impulses. In turn, tinnitus, and the ringing it brings in your ears, can be toned down.

Potential to Reduce Hearing Loss

A study conducted in 2020 shows a positive disposition towards the use of cannabidiol and treating hearing conditions such as tinnitus. Since CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects, this can reportedly aid with the condition and reduce the chances of hearing loss.

Address Side Effects That Come with Tinnitus

As mentioned, people dealing with tinnitus, especially those who have dealt with this condition for a long time now, tend to develop stress, depression, and anxiety. CBD products are effective in reducing these feelings by interacting with the serotonin receptors in the brain.

The Bottom Line

There is still quite a way to go in studying the effects of CBD on tinnitus. However, with the preliminary studies conducted, it shows that cannabidiol is promising with its ability to manage symptoms of this condition.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Best CBD for Sleep [VIDEO]

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CBD for Sleep

In recent years, CBD has become a buzzwordd for its ability to reduce anxiety and treat poor slumber. However, when it comes to addressing sleep problems, not all CBD is created equal. If you’re dealing with insomnia or any kind of bedtime issues, then find out which type of CBD should you use.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

How to Take Epidiolex and What Are Its Side Effects

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Epidiolex

Epilepsy sufferers with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome can now use Epidiolex oral solution, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on June 25, 2018. To our knowledge, this is the first marijuana-derived medication to be authorized by the FDA. For the first time, an FDA-approved medicine has been approved for the treatment of Dravet syndrome patients.

But aside from being the first-ever accepted CBD drug, do we really know what Epidiolex is? In this article, we will give you more information about this drug, the benefits, and side effects. Read on for more details.

Epidiolex and Its Effectiveness

Epidiolex
© CNNWire

To treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut, Dravet, or Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) in persons 1 year of age and older, Epidiolex is prescribed. For those using the medicine, Epidiolex was found to reduce the number of seizures they had during clinical trials. Cannabidiol is the active component in this medication. It’s only
available under the brand name. Isn’t presently accessible as a generic medication.

How to Use Epidiolex

As instructed by your doctor, take Epidiolex medicine twice a day by mouth. With or without meals, this drug should be taken in the same manner for each and every dose. Choosing one method and sticking to it is essential. How much medicine you take is determined by your health status and any other drugs you may be taking.

If you’re taking any kind of medication, whether prescription or non-prescription, inform your doctor and pharmacist about it. Your doctor may instruct you to begin taking this medicine at a lower dosage and gradually raise your dosage in order to minimize the chance of adverse effects.

Your doctor may also gradually lower your dosage if you are told to stop using this medicine. Observe your doctor’s advice to the letter.
Using a specific spoon or measuring equipment, carefully measure the dosage. Avoid using a household spoon since you may not receive the right dosage.

Side Effects

Sleepiness, exhaustion, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, a lack of energy and a decrease in appetite, weight loss, or diarrhea are all possibilities. It’s important to notify your doctor or pharmacist if any of these side effects continue or worsen.

Remember that your doctor ordered this medicine because he or she believes that the benefits outweigh the risks. The majority of people who use this medicine do not have any substantial adverse effects.

Signs of liver damage should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. Anti-seizure medicines may cause depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental/mood issues in a tiny percentage of people.

The risk of a severe allergic response to this medication is quite low. However, if you detect any signs of a severe allergic response, such as a rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How Much Is Epidiolex?

The price of Epidiolex might vary, just like the price of any other drug. Epidiolex may only be available at a specialized pharmacy. Specialty drugs are permitted to be sold at this pharmacy. Patients may need assistance from a healthcare professional in order to properly and efficiently utilize these medications.

Your insurance provider may demand that you obtain prior authorization before covering Epidiolex. As a result, before your insurance company will pay a prescription medication, your doctor and insurance company must talk about it.

Whether or not a medicine is covered by insurance depends on the outcome of the prior authorization request. Your insurance provider can help you determine whether or not you need prior permission for Epidiolex.

Conclusion

Though Epidiolex is an FDA-approved drug, there are no guaranteed similar good effects on every person. So if you ever encountered side effects that are listed above or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable after taking Epidiolex, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.

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