Cannabis Reduces Seizures in 9/10 Adults With Epilepsy, Survey Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

According to a nationwide Australian survey involving 976 respondents and published in Epilepsy & Behavior, cannabis effectively reduced seizures in both children and adults. The study, called the Epilepsy Action Australian study, found 14% of patients with epilepsy had used cannabis for treatment, and of those patients, 90% of adults and 71% of parents or guardians of children with epilepsy found cannabis reduced the frequency of seizures. The study found a correlation between past anti-seizure drugs and medical cannabis use in both adults and children, in that with every anti-seizure medication tried in the past, patients were 1.1 times more likely to experiment with cannabis as an alternative treatment. All respondents noted their main reasons for trying medical marijuana products was in an attempt to better manage their seizures that had proven resistant to traditional pharmaceutical options, and they hoped for a regimen with fewer and more favorable side effects.

The study's lead author, Anastasia Suraey, wrote, “Despite the limitations of a retrospective online survey, we can not ignore that a significant proportion of adults and children with epilepsy are using cannabis-based products in Australia, and many are self-reporting considerable benefits to their condition.” Co-author Carol Ireland added, “This highlights a growing need to educate consumers and health professionals on the use of cannabis by people with epilepsy, and to provide safe and timely access to cannabinoid medicine in order to lessen people’s reliance on illicit black market products.” This study partnered with the Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Find text of the study here

The Endocannabinoid System: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

The physical and psychological effects of cannabis can all be attributed to its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids are deemed the "chemical messengers" for the ECS, and they interact with cannabinoid receptors (categorized as CB1 or CB2 receptors) to provide a wide array of therapeutic relief. Some cannabinoids are endogenous, called endocannabinoids, and they are occur naturally within the body. Other exogenous cannabinoids, like those provided by cannabis, occur outside of the body but can similarly interact with the body's ECS. The list of functions the ECS is involved in seems endless, and it includes: appetite, metabolism, pain, sleep, mood, movement, temperature, memory and learning, immune function, inflammation, neural development, neuroprotection, cardiovascular function, digestion, and reproduction. In addition to regulating these functions, the ECS responds to illness to return the body to homeostasis. 

Because of its involvement in such a wide variety of bodily function, the endocannabinoid system could help treat a myriad of medical illnesses and conditions. Researchers and physicians are currently using medical marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids to target the system. Medical marijuana is commonly prescribed to treat chronic pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and palliative care. Synthetic cannabinoids are engineered to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids in a more efficient way, and target specific parts of the system. Some synthetic cannabinoids include a synthetic THC call Marinol, used to reduce nausea and increase appetite for AIDS and cancer patients, and a synthetic cannabinoids similar to THC called Cesamet, which reduces vomiting in cancer patients and manages pain for fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and chronic pain.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Cannabinoids Show Treatment Potential For Traumatic Brain Injury

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study conducted by Lesley D. Schurman and Aron H. Lichtman, which can be found in Frontiers in Pharmacology, suggests cannabinoids may have the power to benefit traumatic brain injury (TBI). Researchers reviewed preclinical studies that looked at the potential for cannabinoids to reduce the neural damage associated with TBI, and found cannabinoids interacted with the endocannabinoid system to regulate its immune response in order to prevent brain damage caused by a TBI. Following an injury, the body releases mediators like proinflammatory cytokines that can be harmful and lead to oxidative stress, inflammation, and excitoxicity, but this study suggests cannabinoids can modulate this response. The researchers conclude, “The [endocannabinoid] system, through release of its endogenous ligands or by changes in cannabinoid receptor constitutive activity possesses promise in the treatment of diverse TBI pathway.”

This study supports the findings of other studies that similarly suggest cannabinoids, like both THC and CBD, have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that improve the survival rates of brain cells following a TBI. Other research has shown when cannabinoids are administered right after injury, they prevent the release of harmful mediators that cause brain damage.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc, and you can find the text of Schurman and Lichtman's study here. This post has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

New Study Suggests CBD Could Help Treat Anxiety and Substance Abuse Disorder

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study coming from the University of Nottingham suggests CBD could play a therapeutic role against anxiety-related substance abuse disorders. The team of researchers led by behavioral neurologist Dr. Carl Stevenson looked at studies surrounding the impact of CBD on fear and drug memory processes, and found CBD effectively reduced the expression of fear and drug memories. These findings suggest CBD not only could interfere with fear recollection and help those suffering phobias and PTSD, but also prevent relapse in those recovering from substance abuse disorders.

Researchers write, “Converging lines of evidence have established that acute CBD treatment is anxiolytic in both animals and humans...A growing number of preclinical studies also indicate that this drug reduces fear memory expression when given acutely. Importantly, CBD produces an enduring reduction in learned fear expression when given in conjunction with fear memory reconsolidation or extinction by disrupting the former and facilitating the latter. This makes CBD a potential candidate for testing as a pharmacological adjunct to psychological therapies or behavioural interventions used in treating PTSD and phobias.” He adds, “Understanding how cannabidiol regulates emotion and emotional memory processing may eventually lead to its use as a treatment for anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. The published literature makes CBD a potential candidate for testing as a pharmacological support to psychological therapies or behavioural interventions used in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias,”

You can find the text of this study on the Online Wiley Library website. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical officer. 

MMJ for Lyme Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused caused by deer ticks, and the disease produces a skin rash called erythema migrains, fever, chills, body aches, headache, fatigue, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Lyme disease requires antibiotics, but if it's left untreated it can result in severe chronic joint pain, inflammation, and potentially neurological problems like meningitis, paralysis in the face, limb numbness, and impaired muscle movement.

Research suggests cannabis' antibacterial properties can help those affected by Lyme disease, and it's various properties can also help manage the symptoms associated with the disease. While research on the specific bacteria that causes Lyme disease is lacking, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are effective in reducing the activity of numerous other bacterias. Cannabis may also help relieve the symptoms of later stage Lyme disease. CBD and THC relieve pain, produce anti-inflammatory effects, and have anti-nausea properties. They can even relieve treatment-resistant pain, and their interaction with the endocannabinoid system regulates the immune system and suppresses inflammatory responses.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

The Beginner’s Guide to Consuming Medical Cannabis

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Beginning a medical marijuana regimen can seem like a daunting task. Not only does the efficacy depend on a wide variety of factors, like the cannabinoid composition, vehicle, frequency, and dose of the medication, but the therapy also varies from patient to patient. For patients who don't know where to begin, here are some good tips across the board. Remember to start with a low dose and go slow when considering increasing it. The efficacy of the dosing regimen is highly dependent on the vehicle of administration one chooses. With some vehicles, like smoking, you will be able to gauge how effective your dose is fairly quickly. Smoking is also a fairly inexpensive method to dosing, but combustion can be harmful to the lungs and is not ideal for patients suffering lung damage, asthma, or emphysema. Similarly, vaporization offers almost instant relief, and it's much less harmful to the lungs. 

Other methods, like edibles, can take a long time to take effect, so you may not want to increase your dose until you have waited at least an hour. Once in effect, however, the relief they produce can last for hours. Many thing edibles can be measured at a more precise level than other methods, and they are a great alternative for patients who do not want to inhale their medication. The effects can be radically different from other methods of administration, and can be longer lasting and stronger. Patients should use caution when trying edibles for the first. time. 

Fortunately, if you're just starting out with medical marijuana and fear experimentation, our tool can help you along the process. As you begin to experiment with your regimen, you can keep track of it by journaling on a daily basis so that you can monitor what does and does not work for treating your symptoms. You can use our Medical Officer approved base guidelines for specific symptoms, and then titrate your dose until they adequately meet your needs. This post has been provided in part by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Clinical Study Confirms Effectiveness of CBD as Treatment for Seizures

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Medical Marijuana Inc. recently released the results of a clinical trial involving CBD-based Real Scientific Hemp Oil for relief from Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). LGS is described as severe childhood encephalopathy that produces frequent seizures and cognitive impairment, and it had previously been considered treatment-resistant to conventional therapies. Recently, however, researchers have found CBD to be a more successful treatment option. This new study from Medical Marijuana Inc. found RHSO-X 5000 reduced seizures for 84% of their patients, and over half of the patients reported their seizures reduced by 75%. Another 17% of patients reported becoming seizure free. Additionally, 89% of patients reported an improved quality of life without experiencing negative or severe side effects. 

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated with Fewer Opioid-Related Hospitalizations

Data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence suggests statewide medical marijuana access reduces opioid-related hospitalizations. A researcher from the University of California at San Diego analyzed medical cannabis laws and opioid-related hospitalizations and found both immediate and long-term reductions in these hospitalizations following the implementation of such laws. The author reported, “This study demonstrated significant reductions on OPR- (opioid pain reliever) related hospitalizations associated with the implementation of medical marijuana policies. … We found reductions in OPR-related hospitalizations immediately after the year of policy implementation as well as delayed reductions in the third post-policy year.” The author also stated, “While the interpretation of the results should remain cautious, this study suggested that medical marijuana policies were not associated with marijuana-related hospitalizations. Instead, the policies were unintendedly associated with substantial reductions in OPR related hospitalizations.”

This information has been provided by The Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: CBD-Dominant Cannabis Extracts Reduce Seizure Frequency

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Recent data published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior suggests whole-plant cannabis extracts that contain high levels of CBD are associated with reduced seizure frequency in patients with refractory epilepsy. Researchers reviewed the clinical records of 272 patients who were taking whole-plant CBD extracts and found 86% of them observed clinical benefit, or a reduction in seizure frequency, while 10% experienced complete clinical response. The other patients either felt no relief or experienced an exacerbation of seizures during therapy. Patients also reported improved mood, better sleep quality, and increased appetite. Authors concluded, “The cannabinoids’ novel mechanisms of action are an attractive consideration for possible seizure control... In patients with refractory epilepsy that have a low likelihood of responding to a subsequent AED (anti-epileptic drug), a trial of artisanal cannabis formulas may be indicated.”

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

The Role of Medical Marijuana in Hospice Care

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Hospice care consists of individually-tailored care programs for terminally ill patients who are in their final stages of life. The main focus of hospice care is to manage pain and other symptoms so that the patient can pass comfortably. Hospice patients may face pain, anxiety, spasms, nausea, and appetite or sleep problems, all of which cannabis can help manage. Both THC and CBD have been found to effectively lower pain levels that had previously proven unresponsive to traditional treatments. Studies have also found medical cannabis can improve muscle spasticity for extra relief. CBD lowers anxiety and stress levels, which can benefit emotional health of those under hospice care. Additionally, CBD reduces cognitive impairment and discomfort under stressful situations. THC can stimulate appetite with those who struggle to eat, and both THC and CBD can help regulate nausea and vomiting. Lastly, THC can help improve the quality and duration of sleep so that patients fall asleep quickly and better sleep through the night. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana, Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Can Marijuana Help Treat Migraines?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Migraines are headaches that consist of severe pain and last for an extended period of time. In addition to pain, migraines can increase sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, as well as produce nausea and vomiting. Most information surrounding the use of medical marijuana for migraines is anecdotal, but one formal study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy in 2016 found regular consumption of cannabis decreased migraine frequency from 10.4 migraines a month to 4.6. The study surveyed 121 adults with migraines from 2010 to 2014, all of whom were prescribed medical marijuana and who attended a minimum of one follow-up appointment.

Patients self-reported their consumption method and dosage frequency, in which researchers were able to determine the mean monthly dosage per patient was 2.64 oz of vaporized cannabis, 2.59 oz of edibles, 2.73 oz of topical applications, and 1.59 oz of smoked marijuana. Patients preferred vaporizing or smoking cannabis because it is easier to dose and offers quick relief, whereas edible are harder to measure and take longer to reach maximum effect. Improvements can be made for future studies. More data is desired on the types of cannabis use and the dosage, patients needed to consistently fill out their forms, and some patients were excluded from the study for not attending follow-up appointments.

At CannaBest Medical, the anonymous self-reported data you submit contributes to our research databank where we are able to determine how patients are using medical marijuana to successfully treat their symptoms. We hope you remember to document your dose by completely filling out the form in the journaling section of our app while the information is still fresh in your mind. This will not only help you to keep track of what works or doesn't work for your specific symptoms, but it will also be used to influence our guidelines which will help patients who don't know where to begin. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana Research Overview of Menstrual Cramps

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Many women experience reoccurring menstrual cramps, known as dysmenorrhea, during their monthly periods. For some, especially those who suffer from endometriosis, these cramps can cause severe pain. Cannabis is known for its analgesic properties, and some studies have even show cannabinoids are helpful for the pain caused by endometriosis-related menstrual cramps. Research on cannabis and pain are substantial. Studies have found the cannabinoids in cannabis can lower pain levels, even for pain that had previously proven resistant to treatment options, through their interactions with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. In regards to menstrual pain, however, studies are few. That said, a few select studies have found cannabis can treat menstrual pain associated with endometriosis. Additionally, there studies have determined CB1 and CB2 receptors are present throughout many cells of the uterus, which suggests cannabis' analgesic effects could target menstrual discomfort. The CB1 receptor, specifically, can help manage dysmenorrhea-related pain.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

New Study Finds Cannabis Helps Reduce Tobacco, Alcohol and Opioid Use

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy has found marijuana reduces the use of tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs, something that could have a large impact on the fight against addiction and the opioid epidemic. Researchers surveyed 271 registered medical marijuana patients and found 25% of people successfully stopped consuming alcohol, and 12% substituted marijuana for tobacco. More strikingly, the study found 63% of participants substituted cannabis for their prescription drugs. Specifically, 30% of patients used cannabis to replace their opioids, 16% used it to swap out benzodiazepines, and 12% used in in place of their antidepressants. The survey contained 107 questions about demographics and drug use patterns. The results support other findings pertaining to cannabis and addiction.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can find the full text of the study online on the International Journal of Drug Policy

Conditions Medical Marijuana Could Help

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical cannabis is full of chemical compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system. The different concentrations of compounds allow the plant to have a wide array of different effects, which make cannabis suitable for many different conditions and symptoms, or even combat the side effects of other treatment regimens. For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis can alleviate side effects associated with the treatment like fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Similarly, HIV/AIDS treatment regimens produce similar side effects that can be alleviated by medical cannabis. 

Patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience neurological problems and muscle spasms. Medical Cannabis can help alleviate these symptoms, which can allow patients to gain control over their muscles, regain bladder control, improve vision and mobility, and thereby improve their overall quality of life. Cannabis can help those with epilepsy by reducing the frequency of seizures and even, at times, eliminating them all together. Studies have found CBD is an effective treatment option even in those who suffer from forms that had previously proven treatment-resistant. Chronic pain accompanies a wide range of conditions, but research has found cannabis can be as effective as pharmaceutical options. This offers patients a safer alternative to dangerous pharmaceuticals like opioids. Lastly, some patients with depression or anxiety could benefit from the relaxing properties high-CBD strains of cannabis. 

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

Long Term Marijuana Use Doesn’t Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Because research into the uses of medical marijuana is relatively new, there is still concern as to whether or not marijuana can have a negative impact long-term. One such concern was whether or not marijuana use increased ones risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Now, longitudinal data published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests those who use marijuana needn't worry, as long-term consumers are at no greater risk for cardiovascular disease than those with no history of marijuana use by the time they reach middle age. 

A team of researchers from the U.S. and Switzerland looked at cumulative cannabis use and cardiovascular risk in a group of 5,000 subjects over the course of more than two decades. They found, “Compared with no marijuana use, cumulative lifetime and recent marijuana use showed no association with incident CVD (cardiovascular disease), stroke or transient ischemic attacks, coronary heart disease, or CVD mortality... In this community-based cohort of young adults followed for more than 25 years, we found no evidence to suggest that cumulative lifetime or recent marijuana use, at levels typical of most recreational, occasional users of marijuana in the United States, affects risk of future CVD events through middle age.”

This information has been provided by The Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana Can Help Reduce Opioid Abuse

Opioid abuse is at an all time high, and medical marijuana's potential to help combat this epidemic is in the center of legalization and reform debates. Various studies suggest medical marijuana is effective at reducing opioid use. Last year, researchers from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found states that have implemented medical marijuana programs have an estimated 25% fewer opioid-related deaths than states that have not. Not surprisingly, another study that was published in Health Affairs found that states with medical marijuana witnessed a decrease in prescriptions of often-abused opioids.

Patients and physicians alike are noticing that medical marijuana offers symptom relief as effective to that of opioids without the threat of adverse side effects, overdose, or even death. Additionally, a review of over 10,000 medical marijuana studies dating back to 1999 found evidence supporting the use of marijuana for chronic pain. However, authors of the study, which was conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, noted the need for additional investigation of the long-term effects of marijuana use. 

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Canadian Patients Substituting Marijuana for Prescription Drugs

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

A recent study from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria which was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy revealed patients in Canada suffering mental health conditions and pain substitute marijuana for opioids, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants. Researchers surveyed 271 patients registered with the cannabis producer Tilray and found 63% of respondents substituted marijuana for their prescription medication to treat pain-related conditions, including chronic pain and arthritis, mental health conditions, eating disorders, PTSD, and psychiatric disorder. The survey consisted of 107 questions that took into account demographics, use patterns, and marijuana as a substitution for medications. Authors noted that in the midst of the opioid epidemic, "cannabis could play a significant role in reducing the health burden of problematic prescription drug use.”

This information has been provided by Marijuana Industry News and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

Influencing the Endocannabinoid System Beneficial for Parkinson's Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A recent review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests interaction with the endocannabinoid system could help manage symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. Researchers from the Department of Systems Medicine at Rome's Tor Vergata University looked at preclinical and clinical studies on cannabinoid therapies and Parkinson's disease. They found that activating cannabinoid receptors successfully modulated the release of dopamine, and improved motor impairment. Two survey's involving patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease found smoking marijuana reduced tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, pain, and improved sleep. CBD was also found to have helped reduce psychosis related to Parkinson's disease. Additionally, a study conducted at the Tel Aviv University and Rabin Medical Center found cannabis reduced motor symptoms and pain in Parkinson's disease patients. 

While this information is positive, more research is left to be desired due to small sample sizes, expectancy biases, and the absence of standardized outcomes. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

Cannabis Tinctures: Uses, Effects, and Recipes

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Patients who are new to medical marijuana may not know about all of the different methods of intake available to them. These different vehicles of administration can make all the difference when it comes to figuring out the optimal dosing regimen for symptom relief. One method of intake that is popular among patients who need to dose frequently throughout their day is the cannabis tincture, which is a concentrated liquid form of marijuana. Tinctures are created by soaking cannabis in alcohol, which extracts the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant and infuses the alcohol. Patients most commonly place a few drops of tincture beneath the tongue, which allows the body to absorb the medicine in as little as 15 minutes. Their effects can last up to five hours. Tinctures can also be combined with other food or beverages and ingested, but this method takes longer to go in effect.

The medicinal benefits of a cannabis tincture depend on the cannabinoid and terpenoid composition of the cannabis strain used to create the liquid. Tinctures afford patients an alternative method of intake that does not involve inhaling the plant, which can be uncomfortable for those with respiratory issues, or eating the medicine, which is difficult for those who suffer from a lack of appetite. Tinctures also offer patients a discreet way for administering their medicine. 

If you're already using or beginning to use the cannabis tincture as part of your dosing regimen, be sure to document your process daily in the journaling section of our app! This will help you to better understand your most effective method for consistent symptom relief. Additionally, the anonymous information you submit will be helpful in informing others who want to try tinctures and don't know where to begin. If you have questions about your dosing process, you can export your information directly to your physician for feedback. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.