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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Things to Know About Marijuana and Depression

Stacey Wellington



Medical Marijuana and Depression

Depression is an insidious disease. In the past, teenage and even adult sufferers of this mood disorder are dismissed as merely sensitive, sad and other names that reduce the actual impact and implication of this medical condition. With more progressive legislations paving towards addressing these very real concerns, we are now able to address mental health in a more productive and proactive manner.

The addition of marijuana state laws to the ranks of the Mental Health Reform Legislation is a huge step in clearing addressing the facts and myths surrounding marijuana and depression. In an effort to clarify the connection between these two, we will talk about the reality of Cannabis use and how it relates to the condition, and vice versa.

Depression Sufferers and Marijuana Self Medication

In talking about the connection between cannabis usage and depression, it is important to know that there are thousands of sufferers who use this plant to treat their mental condition. This is because the effects of the cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is proven to alleviate symptoms of the mood disorder such as social anxiety, persistent sadness, anxiety and emptiness, and loss of interest in hobbies and activities. The compound cannabidiol (CBD) is also known to boost energy, improve concentration, relieve pain and enhance sleep, which also addresses depressive symptoms.

A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence revealed that more and more patients are self-medicating to treat their illness. This is because the cannabis-infused products are now more accessible to residents of states in which medical marijuana is legal. In fact, the number of people who self-medicate is higher in states with legal MMJ.

CBD is known to treat Depression

The plant has two main compounds: CBD and THC. THC is known as the highly psychoactive substance and is thought to increase feelings of anxiety and paranoia. This is because being high causes sensory changes, usually heightened senses, making users more aware of their surroundings. This can cause uneasy and nervous feelings. Aside from these, THC causes euphoria and sedation.

On the other hand, CBD gives a brain or cerebral high. This means that consumers of CBD are bound to experience elevated moods (but not euphoria), sharper concentration (but not extremely heightened senses), pain relief (but not completely eliminates it), improved sleep (but not sedation). CBD is also found to relieve anxiety and panic, making it an ideal treatment for depression. In fact, researchers recognized its potential to be a fast-acting antidepressant.

Marijuana Laws – Depression is not explicitly stated as a Qualifying Condition

States with marijuana laws released a list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. These lists include chronic and debilitating illness, as well as debilitating conditions caused by these illnesses. Many individuals are given MMJ card for their mood and mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that depression is not explicitly stated as a qualifying condition. This is because of its ambiguous diagnostic nature, making it difficult to be pointed out by a physician in an objective manner (through physical tests).

However, the condition can definitely be treated using CBD. In fact, cannabis is a great treatment as it does not require increased dosages to ensure that it will work in long-term situations. This is because of CBD’s reverse tolerance property, which means that the longer you intake CBD, the less amount you need to achieve the same effect.

Depression takes many forms, but one thing is for sure: it is slowly being taken seriously as seen in the legislation and research it has warranted. If you are interested in marijuana as a treatment for the condition, know that the plant does not cause depression at all. Visit a certified dispensary and get help from qualified physicians, making your treatment a more productive and effective one.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Columbia Care Kicks Off First Cannabis Credit Card

Jordan Webber



Columbia Care Cannabis Credit Card

Columbia Care announced the launch of its National Credit program with its CNC Card.

The medical marijuana company licensed to operate in the U.S. and 15 jurisdictions in the European Union said the launch of the card follows a successful test run in New York in the second half of 2018. The introduction of the card led to an 18% increase in the number of in-store purchases. Moreover, the card also helped boost repeat visits and home delivery orders.

With the card, people in the U.S. can now get a credit card for buying medical cannabis.

From New York, the Columbia Care will offer the program to its Delaware and Pennsylvania markets. Later, the company’s Illinois and Arizona customers can apply for the card. The firm aims to expand the reach of its program to all its locations by the end of 2019.

Cannabis Credit Card

Available initially only at Columbia Care dispensaries, the firm is looking into opportunities for expanding the availability of the card across the country through targeted partnerships.

Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said the firm aims on expanding the cannabis market in the country. Through the launching of the first cannabis credit card in the country, the company allows consumers and participants in the industry to purchase cannabis products.

He also said the card would act as a starting point of the company’s nationwide growth initiatives, including home delivery, the launching of an e-commerce site, and automatic fulfillment.

In addition to having a tool for an electronic form of payment, CNC cardholders can also be eligible for other benefits including discounts, cash back affinity programs, educational seminars, privileged access to new products and other exclusive offers.

Cannabis Banking Gaining Steam

Aside from having a cannabis credit card, medical marijuana customers may also enjoy the benefits of banking. Earlier this month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation that kicks off a three-year pilot program wherein cannabis firms could use an online system in sending and receiving digital currency.

Last month, the California State Senate passed a bill allowing financial institutions to offer products and services dedicated to cannabis financial transactions.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the legislation, around 900 bank branches in the state would be allowed to handle cannabis cash, California Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg said.

The federal government is also working on protecting legitimate cannabis financial transactions. Earlier this month, a U.S. House committee approved a bill that includes a provision that would safeguard banks serving legal marijuana businesses from getting penalized by federal financial regulators.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Church of England Backs Medical Cannabis Use and Investment

Stacey Wellington



Church of England Cannabis Investments

The Church of England (CofE) has recently given the green light on the use of medical marijuana and cannabis investment.

The investment arm of CofE, the Church Commissioners of England, said it would lift its self-imposed ban on investing in medical cannabis. This reversal takes place at a time when many significant investment funds remain steadfast on so-called “sin stocks” or companies operating in industries facing legal uncertainties.

The CofE investment arm, which manages the church’s £12.6 billion ($16 billion) portfolios, had previously enforced an investment exclusion policy on cannabis. So far, it has not yet invested in companies related to the sector, Church Commissioners head of responsible investment, Edward Mason, said.

Mason said the change in CofE’s stand comes after it has made a distinction between recreational and medical cannabis. After realizing the potency of the plant’s medicinal properties, the church is content with its proper use for therapeutic reasons.

The UK government legalized medicinal cannabis in October 2018. However, only a fraction of British patients received a medical cannabis prescription, citing difficulty in persuading specialists about marijuana as a right medical option as a primary reason. Other reasons include the problems dispensaries face in obtaining licenses for cannabis-based products as well as the trouble in transporting them once they arrive in the country.

The Duality of Marijuana as an Investment

Like the Church Commissioners of England, other ethical investors are also starting to recognise the dual nature of marijuana as an investment. KLP Fund, an Oslo-based firm with $80 billion in assets, has recently sold its stocks in recreational cannabis. But it retains its stakes in medicinal marijuana

The AP Funds in Sweden also recommended the exclusion of recreational marijuana from its $180-billion portfolio. Like KLP, it said, it will still invest in medical marijuana companies. The Swedish fund referred to the recent guidance of the UN on both ethical investment and narcotics.

The CofE said it will not invest in companies that get more than 10% of their revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. This rate is the threshold the company uses for the majority of its other ethical exclusions, including tobacco, gambling, pornography, and lenders charging at high interests.

The UK’s church is known for publicly voicing its positions in ethical investment issues. It considers factors such as morality, environmental impact, corporate governance, and social good. It the past, the church has challenged ExxonMobil and Glencore by pressuring executives to improve their policies related to environment preservation.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

VA Restricts Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

Jordan Webber



VA's Restriction to Medical Marijuana

Veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are having difficulty accessing medical marijuana for their medical conditions, says US News. The department has policies in place preventing doctors from prescribing medical cannabis to retired military personnel.

The VA has taken this move because of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. The policy applies even in medical facilities in states with legal medical marijuana. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal cannabis, 10 of which allows recreational use of the plant.

Marijuana laws in these states allow medicinal application for chronic pain, spasms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just to name a few. However, Lt. Col. Doug Distaso of the Air Force has not been able to access the plant for therapeutic purposes due to VA’s restrictions. Instead, Distaso was prescribed a ‘drug cocktail’ which causes him to undergo a ‘medicated stupor.’

Aside from Distaso, there are thousands of veterans experiencing chronic pain and treated using opioids. Moreover, these military personnel also retire from service with PTSD. Reports show that there are at least 20 deaths through suicide recorded every day.

According to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the Schedule I list is composed of drugs, substances, and chemicals that have nor currently accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Marijuana is listed along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The US News reports that the VA has only created two opportunities to discuss cannabis for veteran patients when they request information.

Meanwhile, veteran groups such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are calling for reforms to VA’s systems. These groups also promote cannabis for pain management and mental health illnesses. They also recognize the plant’s potential to address the opioid epidemic.


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