You Have A One In 23,000 Chance Of Having A Psychotic Episode If You Use Cannabis

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Opponents of marijuana legalization fear that smoking marijuana increases ones chances of suffering psychosis, but one researcher from the University of York says the likeliness of this is extremely rare. Researcher and lecturer Ian Hamilton looked over more than 50 years of studies on marijuana and mental health, and found that cannabis users experiencing a psychotic episode is relatively low, and that legalizing and regulating marijuana could actually further reduce these incidents. Hamilton explains, "The link between cannabis and psychosis has been investigated by researchers since the drug became popular in the 1960s... A new review of research carried out since then has concluded that ‘at a population level the increased risk is weak and the vulnerabilities relatively rare'. To put this in perspective we would need to prevent 23,000 people using cannabis to prevent one case of psychosis."

Cannabis psychosis results when THC triggers psychotic symptoms in the user, and teenagers or those with schizophrenia are at a higher risk. Hamilton fears cases of psychosis may be increasing due to the fact today's marijuana has higher concentrations of THC than the marijuana that was studied in the 60s, but he believes legalizing and regulating marijuana will provide quality controlled products in packages that can provide warnings to consumers.

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

Full Spectrum CBD vs Isolate- Which One is More Effective for Treatment?

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining popularity as a therapeutic agent for a wide variety of illnesses, and even those who oppose medical marijuana are beginning to see the benefits of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBD has been recognized for its potential to treat epilepsy and reduce inflammation, among many other benefits, and it is now available in various products like oils, topicals, and gummies/edibles. Some products isolate CBD from other cannabinoids that exist in the marijuana plant, while others are considered full spectrum, and keep other cannabinoids like CBN, CBL, THCV, and CBCVA, for their own unique benefits. Some even contain small amounts of THC. 

Previous beliefs held that CBD isolates contained higher concentration of CBD and were more potent than full spectrum CBD, but this was debunked in a 2015 study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. Researchers from the study administered increasing doses of full spectrum CBD to mice and found it offered greater levels of relief than CBD isolates of the same dose. Some researchers belief this is because CBD buffers against the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids so that patients can reap the full benefits of different cannabinoids without experiencing side effects.

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

Study Shows MMJ Drastically Cuts Patients’ Use of Benzos

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

A study conducted by the Canadian company Canabo Medical, Inc., has found 40% of its patients have been able to eliminate their use of benzodiazepines within 90 days of beginning medical marijuana treatment. After a year, 45% of its patients were able to quit their use of prescription medications. Canabo and a team of researchers looked at data from 1,500 patients to establish a link between medical marijuana and the need for pharmaceutical medications. Early results, which were confirmed by ongoing research, found medical cannabis treatments that were supervised by a physician resulted in a significant drop in benzodiazepine reliance. This study then followed a group 146 patients suffering pain and other disorders for one year. Canabo chairman Dr. Neil Smith says of the study, “To say that we’re encouraged is an understatement, but there’s a lot of work still left to be done... We hope to conduct formal trials both in-house and in collaboration with others, pending further analysis of what we believe to be one of the most promising advancements in many years.”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Linked to Lower Medicaid Costs

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Data published in the journal Health Affairs revealed patients who have legal access to medical cannabis use fewer prescription medications. Researchers from the University of Georgia looked at the link between medical cannabis and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries between 2007 and 2014, and found prescription drugs from Medicaid was lower in legal medical marijuana states than in prohibitionist states in five out of nine clinical areas. These findings support similar findings regarding Medicare Part D and studies that found medical marijuana reduced the use of opioids, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, migraine-related medications, and sleep aids, to name a few. These studies point to the potential for medical marijuana to not only reduce prescription drug use and combat the abuse of medications and opioids, but also to the potential to save states billions of dollars in Medicaid and Medicare spending. 

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

MMJ Breakthrough Might Be Miracle Treatment for Autism

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

There's an exciting study underway in Israel testing the effects of medical marijuana on autism. Nearly half of the participants of the study had responded negatively to anti-psychotic medications. There has been substantial anecdotal data to support the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for autism, and this clinical study led by Dr. Adi Aran intends to determine if there is in fact a link between CBD and autism symptoms. There are 120 children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 29 who are participating in the study, all of which have a form of autism ranging between mild and severe. Participants receive drops of either a placebo, or one of two different CBD variations, which they mix into food. The study is on track to conclude this year. 

Stay tuned to see what is to come of this study. This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Researchers Find That Cannabis Use Can Help Curb Crack & Cocaine Addiction

Researchers in Canada have found marijuana may be able to help those suffering from crack cocaine disorders ween off of their addiction. Between the years 2012 and 2015, 122 participants said marijuana helped lower their use of crack. While the study mainly focused on crack users, the pharmacological similarity between crack and cocaine allows researchers to speculate about the effectiveness of cannabis for cocaine users as well. This report supports similar findings from a Brazilian study from 2015, in which marijuana seemed to reduce addictive behavior and aggressiveness, as well as promote relaxation, in those addicted to crack and cocaine. Even studies involving rodent models found mice who were addicted to cocaine and who were taught to self-administer it reduced their use significantly after the administration of a synthetic cannabinoid compound. Still, while this information is hopeful, researchers believe further clinical research is left to be desired before they can make any solid conclusions. 

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

What Can't It Do? Study Suggests Cannabis Could Help Treat Various Skin Diseases

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

A report published in in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests  topical creams containing cannabinoids could be effective in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, atopic and contact dermatitis. Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reviewed literature on the subject, in which one study found participants who used cannabinoid cream for three weeks completely eliminated severe itching, likely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids. Senior author Dr. Robert Dellavalle says, “Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch." However, because most of the studies included in the report involve animal models, there remains the need for more substantial double-blind clinical trials performed at large scales on human models. Still, Dellavalle believes cannabinoid formulas without psychotropic effects could be a good treatment option for those who have not found relief with more common medications. 

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

 

Study: Marijuana Compound Is Crucial for Stomach Health

Researchers from the University of Connecticut Health School have found the chemical compound capsaicin, which can be found in chili peppers, produces a chemical compound called anandamide that is comparable to the compounds found in marijuana. These compounds have proven effective in reducing stomach inflammation. In the study, researchers gave capsaicin to mice with type 1 diabetes and found that it targets and binds to a receptor in the gastrointestinal tracts called TRPV1. This resulted in the creation of anandamide and the stimulation of anti-inflammatory white blood cells, which in turn calmed the gut inflammation. Because anandamide is chemically similar to cannabis compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, researchers believe edible marijuana could have similar effects and reduce gut inflammation.

Co-author of the study Pramod Srivastava suggests their findings have implications for treating type 1 diabetes and colitis, and this discovery regarding anandamide points to the interplay that occurs among the immune system, stomach, and brain. Srivastava hopes to further study cannabis' effects on gut inflammation in the future. He says, “I’m hoping to work with the public health authority in Colorado to see if there has been an effect on the severity of colitis among regular users of edible weed... If the epidemiological data shows a significant change [since marijuana legalization in 2012], that would make a testable case that anandamide or other cannabinoids could be used as therapeutic drugs to treat certain disorders of the stomach, pancreas, intestines and colon.”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Israeli Study Exploring CBD Treatment for Autism Yielding Positive Early Results

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Early results from a new study from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, suggests CBD may be effective for children with autism. In the study, researchers gave 120 children and young adults with mild to severe autism one of two cannabis oil formulas or placebo to see if CBD could benefit the condition. While it's still too early to make any definitive conclusions about the effects of CBD on autism, lead researcher and pediatric neurologist Adi Aran says some children have already become more communicative, stopped hurting themselves or throwing tantrums, and those who could return to class had fewer behavioral problems. 

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for the final outcomes of this exciting study. 

Increased Risk of Psychosis With Cannabis Use Rare, New Study Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

For many patients suffering a wide array of illnesses and conditions, traditional treatments are unsuccessful or provide unwanted side effects. They may be interested in beginning an alternative therapy, like starting a medical marijuana regimen, but fear the harm it could cause, like weight gain, a decrease in motivation, and even psychosis. Luckily, research has debunked many of these fears, and now a new study from the University of York that was published in Addiction suggests psychosis as a result of cannabis use is rare. In the research review, which was directed by Dr. Ian Hamilton, researchers concluded 23,000 people would need to cease cannabis use just to prevent one case of psychosis. In fact, they concluded the greatest health risk with cannabis use was not attributed to cannabis at all, but actually to it's use in combination with tobacco, which is a common practice in the United Kingdom. The use of tobacco can result in increased risk of cancers, infections, and other health issues.

While this news is positive, it is important to note that most of the research included in the review is not from the current time. Hamilton writes, “The link between cannabis and psychosis has been an ongoing research topic since the drug became popular in the 1960s... Most of the high profile studies that we have access to, however, are from a time when low potency cannabis was the norm, but today high potency is more common.” Hamilton hopes to continue his research involving strains of marijuana that are high in THC like many of the strains of today. He continues, “In this new study, we looked at both low and high potency, but it is clear that we need more evidence from high potency-related health cases to further investigate this link in modern-day users." Additionally, Hamilton found that cannabis did exacerbate symptoms for patients already diagnosed with schizophrenia, and heavy users of cannabis were more likely to experience mental health issues.

Overall, Hamilton believes his study shows that prohibition of marijuana would have little effect on mental health, and that legalizing and regulating the quality and safety of marijuana would be a much more effective system. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Read the entire study here

The Unknown Science Behind the “Entourage Effect” of Chemicals in Marijuana

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Medical marijuana is known to produce symptom relief for a myriad of conditions and illnesses, but these effects are largely dependent on the chemical makeup of the particular strain chosen. This is because the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis interact with each other in what has been deemed the entourage, and variations in the amount of these chemicals will produce a different effect. Many researchers believe when these compounds work together, they can enhance the therapeutic properties of cannabis and buffer against the psychoactive effects.

That said, the entourage effect is still relatively unknown due to federal scheduling that prevents significant marijuana research. Other researchers like neurobiologist and cannabis researcher Margaret Haney isn't fully convinced, and says more information is needed as to whether or not the entourage effect really exists. She explains, “The lay public has really taken on the notion of the entourage effect, but there’s not a lot of data. The cannabis field can say anything and it does. I’m not against marijuana. I want to study it carefully. We know it can affect pain and appetite but the large majority of what’s being said is driven by anecdotal marketing. These guys are really trying to make money.”

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

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Medical cannabis appears to have a myriad of therapeutic effects, and the reason it's able to provide such relief is due to its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is made up of cell receptors, enzymes, and endogenous ligands or binding molecules, that are responsible keeping the body stable and in a state of homeostasis. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, and when the body experiences a deficiency in endocannabinoids it can cause the body to become out of balance, uncomfortable, and even ill.

This is where cannabis can provide its relief. Cannabis consists of hundreds of cannabinoids which can bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, filling the void of an endocannabinoid deficiency, and thereby returning the body to a state of homeostasis. The cannabinoid THC can bind with CB1 receptors, which exist in the brain, muscles, hear, lungs, and more. CB2 receptors are found in the liver, gut, and muscles, and work closely with the body's immune system. As opposed to binding with receptors, CBD focuses no optimizing enzymes like FAAH and MAGL so that they do not break down anandamide and 2-AG, which thereby allows the body's endocannabinoids to increase. 

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

Randomized Controlled Trial Finds CBD may Reduce Pediatric Seizure Frequency by 50%

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective treatment of a rare and severe form of epilepsy. The study, which was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, involved 225 people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome who received a CBD agent free of THC over the course of 14 weeks. Before enrolling in the study, participants had tried an average of 6 traditional anti-epileptic medications without success, and experienced an average of 85 weekly "drop seizures," which occur when the muscles become limp and cause an individual to fall. During the study, patients received either high doses of CBD (20 mg/kg), low doses of CBD (10 mg/kg), or placebo, of which 40% of high-dose patients and 36% of low-dose patients experienced 50% or greater reductions in drop seizures. High-dose patients experienced a decrease in drop seizures by 42%, on average, per week, and low-dose patients saw this decrease by an average of 37%. Those who received CBD were 2.6 times more likely to say their condition had improved than the patients who received placebo and experienced a 17% reduction.

Study author Dr. Anup Patel writes, “Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control.” Patel noted that those who received CBD were more likely to experience side effects like a decrease in appetite and sleepiness, but that these side effects were mostly well-tolerated.

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

Microdosing: The Minimum Effective Dose

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

As is the case with all medications, a patient should look for the minimum effective dose when using medical marijuana in order to achieve symptom relief without producing unwanted side effects. This is where microdosing marijuana comes into play for effective therapy. Finding the perfect dose requires experimentation and varies from person to person depending on his or her weight, height, metabolism, diet, and overall health, all of which affects sensitivity to cannabinoids. One medical marijuana physician in Maine has identified this effective way for determining the right dose: “Abstain from cannabis for two days. On day three, consume one milligram of THC and one milligram of CBD, preferably in a tincture or oil where they can be measured precisely. Before consuming, ask yourself three questions, and answer on a scale of one to 10: How easy is it to breathe, how comfortable and calm does your body feel and how easy is it for you to smile authentically, to feel content and grateful?” You can then increase the dose by milligrams until the effects become noticeable. Sulak says this 48-hour abstinence allows one's tolerance to re-set, so that a patient can discover the most accurate dose for relief.

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. If you're beginning the titration process, CannaBest Medical makes it easy! Start your dosing low and slow, and document the process daily using the journaling section of our app. In this way, you can track the efficacy of your dose with each change in your regimen until you find the method that works best for you. 

For Weight Loss, Stick to THCV-potent Cannabis Strains

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Researchers have found the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) can act as a dietary compound that suppresses appetite and provides energy. The cannabinoid also reduces insulin resistance, making it beneficial for patients who suffer from Diabetes. One study from 2013 coming from the University of Buckingham found oral doses of THCV, when given to groups of genetically obese and dietary-induced mice, improved insulin signaling and sensitivity.

THCV is non-psychoactive at small doses, and while it does stimulate the brain in similar ways to THC in high doses, the effects do not last long. Steep Hill, a cannabis science and technology firm, suggests THCV can aid in panic attacks, anxiety, and stress without affecting one's emotions, something that could be beneficial for patients with PTSD. Patients with Parkinson's disease may also benefit from THCV's effects on motor control. Scientists believe THCV may also stimulate bone growth, which could help those with osteoporosis. Lastly, like CBD, THCV produces anti-inflammatory effects. 

To learn more about this cannabinoid and where you can find THCV-potent strains, read the full article on MassRoots. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Nationwide medical marijuana laws would save lives — and a billion taxpayer dollars

A new study conducted by Ashley Bradford and W. David Bradford from the University of Georgia and published in Health Affairs found Medicare prescriptions for painkillers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications decreased significantly in states with implemented medical marijuana laws. This suggests patients prefer medical marijuana therapy over traditional prescriptions when given the choice. The researchers then extended their analysis to prescriptions under Medicaid, so that they could see if the data resulting from older patients could be applied to people of all ages. Similar to the Medicare analysis, Medicaid prescriptions for certain medications dropped significantly in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Anti-nausea prescriptions dropped by 17%, antidepressants fell by 13%, seizure and psychosis medications fell by 12%, and opiate painkillers prescriptions dropped by 11%.

The drop in painkiller prescriptions may provide some information as to why opioid overdoses have dropped in states with medical marijuana laws. The Bradfords estimate these drops in prescriptions, if medical marijuana programs were to be implemented nationwide, could save taxpayers $1.1 billion on Medicaid prescriptions and $.5 billion in Medicare savings annually. 

This information has been provided by the Washington Post and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabinol (CBN): The Natural Sleep Aid in Cannabis

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Medical marijuana is composed of various cannabinoids known for their therapeutic value, of which THC and CBD are the most well known. Other cannabinoids also provide therapeutic relief, like the cannabinoid cannabinol (CBN). Cannabinol, like THC, activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBN is best known for its ability to act as a powerful sleep aid. Researchers found 2.5-5mg of CBN produced comparable effects to 5-10mg of diazepam, and when CBN was combined with CBD and D9THC, it could induce sleep for six hours without producing psychoactive effects. CBN is also thought to halt cancer growth, stimulate appetite, provide minor analgesia, fight epilepsy, reduce inflammation, act as an anti-bacterial agent, reduce nausea and vomiting, and stimulate bone growth. CBN can also buffer against the psychoactive effects of THC, thereby relieving some of the anxiety for those who are sensitive to THC.

This information has been brought to you by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Decreased Use of Opioids, Anti-Anxiety Medicines

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

New self-reported data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology reveals patients who have access to medical marijuana decrease their use of opioids, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications. Investigators out of five states looked at the medical history of 1,500 patient-members of state-licensed dispensaries in the northeast and found 77% of respondents reduced their use of opioids after beginning cannabis therapy. Many respondents also decreased their use of anti-anxiety medications (72%), migraine-related medications (67%), sleep aids (65%), and anti-depressants (38%). Additionally, 42% of respondents reduced their use of alcohol. The findings of this study support the findings of previous studies regarding the effects of cannabis on opioids and other prescription medications.

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

Researchers Link Cannabis Topicals to Healing Wounds

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Cannabis topicals are already known to reduce pain, inflammation, and skin infections, but now researchers have linked the vehicle to reducing the spread of aggressive injuries and wounds. Scientists recently published a report in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management that revealed cannabis topicals effectively addressed destructive, disease-related wounds. They specifically noted its use by a 44-year-old Canadian patients who treated wounds from oral cancer with cannabis topicals. After attempting different forms of treatment, a hole formed in the patients cheek. After being prescribed cannabis oil and applying it topically onto the wound four times a day for one month, the patient noticed the wound in his cheek not only stopped growing, but actually decreased in size. He noted pain relief lasted for a duration of two hours after applying the oil.

Those who want to limit the psychoactive effects that can coincide with cannabis treatment may prefer the use of cannabis topicals. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the skin, hair, and sweat glands, so the medicine can be applied to specific target areas without cerebral stimulation. This makes the method highly suitable for the elderly, children, and others who may be sensitive to the effects of cannabis. This information has been partially provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

If you are interested in experimenting with cannabis topicals, remember to document your routine on a daily basis in the journaling section of our app so that you can discover the dosing regimen that works best for your symptoms. 

What is CBD Oil?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

CBD oil is high in CBD and lacks any significant amounts of THC, sometimes containing no THC at all. It has gained popularity in recent years for its ability to provide therapeutic relief without producing any psychoactive side effects. Despite that, there are still inconsistent laws surrounding the oil at both state and federal levels. CBD can alleviate a multitude of conditions, from relieving social anxiety to slowing the progression of cancer. The cannabinoid is most well known for its ability to treat pediatric epilepsy even in the most treatment resistant forms, and pharmaceuticals have harnessed its power for treating Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. High concentrations of CBD come in a variety of forms, including oils, e-liquids, tinctures, topicals, strains, and homemade extracts. 

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