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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Ache No More: How to Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief

Daniel King

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CBD Oil For Pain

Chronic pain sufferers have a new medication to consume — cannabis oil.

In a study published in the Health Affairs, chronic pain topped the list of the common reasons people give when they enroll in medical marijuana programs. Even though the survey did not find out whether medical cannabis really provides relief, it proved what the many researchers have been telling for years — the plant is a potent medication for different types of pain.

CBD Products as Medicine

The cannabis plant family, which include hemp, produce two compounds that benefit health: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both these compounds work by communicating with the endocannabinoid system, a group of receptors in the body responsible for regulating various physiological processes such as digestion, feeling, pain, and sleep.

While researchers found that both are potent in providing pain relief, more doctors prescribe pure CBD oil to their patients because of minimal harmful effects. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effect — meaning it does not affect one’s mental state. Hence, doctors and other healthcare practitioners prescribe it to most of their patients because of its host of healing properties without the fear of getting side effects.

Aside from relieving pain, other CBD oil benefits include relief for anxiety and depression, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, cancer, and even AIDS.

CBD Hemp Oil for Pain

Cannabidiol comes from either marijuana or hemp. Most of what you buy from dispensaries came from hemp. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalizes the use of products derived from the plant, health experts believe the cannabidiol industry will boom further especially for patients.

CBD hemp oil relieves the pain from:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Temporomandibular disorder (often referred to as TMJ)

Many patients with these conditions take prescription medicine for immediate relief. But since the rise of cannabidiol products in the market, many patients have shifted to a more natural and safer treatment to their sufferings.

How to Consume Cannabidiol

There are many ways to consume cannabidiol. You can apply ointments, balms, or lotions directly to the affected area. You can also try cannabidiol tinctures, edibles, vapes, and capsules. With tinctures, you can drop the substance under your tongue or place it in your food. You can also eat edibles like chocolate bars, gummies, tea, and coffee. Vapers can also buy CBD vape oil. Some patients supplement cannabidiol capsules along with their multivitamins.

In most case, putting on cannabidiol on the localized areas of pain can provide more consistent levels of the substance with less minimal body processes. The body still needs to undergo a lengthy process if they consume the cannabis-derived compound through the mouth or lungs. But for chronic pain emanating inside the body, the Mayo Clinic recommends 2.5mg to 20mg of cannabidiol oil consumed orally every day.

Where to Buy CBD Oil

You can buy the best CBD oil in reputable dispensaries or online stores. There are many kinds of cannabis oil, each with a unique mixture. Some brands contain THC, which can affect your mood if you consume beyond the recommended dosage. Hence, to ensure you are getting the right dosage, you may need to consult with your doctor or a cannabis expert but before buying. You must also ask guidance from budtenders or store attendants especially if you purchase cannabis products for the first time.

Cannabidiol is a natural painkiller with minimal side effects, unlike prescription drugs. Consult your doctor now to find out which product works best for your condition.

 

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis-Derived Compound Has Potential to Treat Pancreatic Cancer

Daniel King

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Pancreatic Cancer Treat

A team of researchers from Harvard University discovered that a substance extracted from cannabis shows promise in treating cancer of the pancreas. Yahoo Lifestyle reports that scientists from the university’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute developed the compound.

The role of Cannabis Flavonoids

The researchers studied how the medication, referred to as FBL-03G, affects pancreatic cancer cells. The experiment was done by exposing tumor cells from the pancreas of a patient. Animals with the same medical condition were also treated using FBL-03G.

The drug was derived from cannabis flavonoids. Flavonoids are substances found in plants that give them their well-defined and bright colors. Back in 1986, researchers also discovered that these compounds have anti-inflammatory effects.

In cannabis, flavonoids give the plants its distinctive aroma and flavor. These compounds also contribute to the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of marijuana.

According to the study published in Frontiers of Oncology, FBL-03G was able to destroy a significant amount of pancreatic tumor cells in mice.

A researcher who is working with the study, Wilfred Ngwa, said that the “tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids” has shown positive results in killing the local and metastatic tumor cell. Ngwa remarked that this can “significantly [increase] survival” of pancreatic tumor patients.

Ngwa also remarked that the team’s research is the first to formulate a potentially new method of treating tumor of the pancreas.

The scientists also found out that the drug can also fight other types of cancer cells. The scientists were surprised to discover that FBL-03G can also target other cells. According to Ngwa, the treatment was able to block the development of new cells in other portions of the body.

Ngwa noted that the new treatment could also be affecting patients’ immune systems.

Challenges

While flavonoids are proven to have medicinal benefits, creating drugs derived from these compounds is proven to be challenging. Yahoo Lifestyle says that cannabis plants have a mere 0.14% of flavonoids. This means that in order to create substantial amounts of the drug, scientists would have to extract the compounds from a large number of plants.

However, researchers have discovered a way to produce flavonoids through genetic engineering. This is expected to allow investigators to explore the effects and potential impacts of these compounds.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer in the US. While it only makes up 3% of all cases in the country, it is foreseen as the second cause of death due to cancer by 2020.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries to Out-of-State Patients

Daniel King

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DC Opens Marijuana Dispensaries

On Thursday, August 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC announced that they will now accept medical marijuana cards from patients coming from any of the states in the U.S. with equivalent medical marijuana programs.

The new program will allow patients to purchase up to four ounces of medical marijuana each month. Patients from other states will only need to show their state-issued medical marijuana card to buy their medicines at any D.C. dispensary.

“This emergency rule making is patient-centric,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “It ensures medical marijuana patients from other states can obtain their needed medicine. It will also promote public safety by allowing visitors to obtain their medicine at one of the District’s six — soon to be seven — authorized marijuana dispensaries rather than forcing them to go without or patronizing the illegal market.”

The new policy will now expand the list of reciprocal acceptance from 19 to 27 states. The new additions include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont. The District is also currently reviewing four other states to include in the list, namely Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

DC’s Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment

First introduced in 2016, the Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment includes a reciprocity arrangement that allows medical marijuana users to use their out-of-state registration cards to purchase medical cannabis in the District. The amendment took effect in April of 2018 and approved 19 states as part of its list of reciprocal acceptance. Under the said policy, patients enrolled in a medical marijuana program from other jurisdictions can access medical marijuana in the District of Columbia.

A year later, Mayor Bowser proposed the Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019, which allows the sale of recreational cannabis in Washington, D.C. with a 17 percent tax. It requires cannabis-focused businesses to meet a threshold of 60% ownership by D.C. residents, and 60% DC-native employees.

“We want to be able to regulate, we want to be able to make sure we are collecting our fair share in taxes, we want to invest those taxes in ways that affect communities that have been disproportionately affected, and we want to train and hire DC residents,” she said at the time. The bill is currently under DC Council review.

The latest emergency rule making is regarded by many to have opened an avenue for non-resident patients to access medication when visiting the nation’s capital.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

How Cannabis Affects the Human’s Brain

Stacey Wellington

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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?

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