CBD Could Potentially Fight Cervical Cancer Cells

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A pair of researchers in South Africa have published a study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that identifies CBD as a potential treatment option for cervical cancer. Using in vitro analysis techniques, researchers Lesetja R. Motadi and Sindiswa T Lukhele compared anti-proliferative effects of cannabis sativa extract (and its main component CBD) on human cervical cancer cells, and found varying concentrations of both CBD and cannabis sativa extract were effective in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. CBD was especially beneficial, however, for its ability to induce apoptosis, even at low concentrations. Authors wrote, “In conclusion, these data suggest that cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa crude extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines.”

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

Study Suggests CBD and THC Help Treat Neuroblastoma in Kids

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study from Israel suggests cannabinoids like THC and CBD could mitigate the multiplication of neuroblastoma, which is primarily a childhood disease. In the study, which was published in Current Oncology, researchers found CBD and THC were able to impede the growth of tumors by reducing their viability and invasiveness, and induce apoptosis. Of the two cannabinoids' anti-tumor effects, CBD was found to be more active.

Researchers used culture and animal models to test the effects of these cannabinoids on neuroblastoma. In the culture models, cells were treated with either cannabinoid or left untreated. In the animal models, mice were induced with tumors via subcutaneous injection, and were then injected with 20 mg/kg THC or 20 mg/kg CBD or left untreated for 14 days. Both models investigated the tumors by measuring and testing viability, cell cycle distribution, growth rate, cell invasiveness, and apoptotic cell death rate. Researchers conclude, “Our findings about the activity of CBD in [neuroblastoma] support and extend previous findings about the anti-tumor activities of CBD in other tumors and suggest that cannabis extracts enriched in CBD and not in THC could be suitable for the development of novel non-psychotropic therapeutic strategies in [neuroblastoma]."

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

Medical Marijuana for Cystic Fibrosis

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited progressive disorder that causes infections in the lungs and damages the digestive system, and it causes salty-tasting skin, the inability to gain weight, male infertility, frequent bulky stools, aches and pains, and coughing that can lead to nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to other respiratory, digestive, and reproductive system complications. Because researchers associate the disorder to impairments in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which results in an imbalance of fatty acids, cannabis may be able to help manage the symptoms of cystic fibrosis through its ability to normalize the ECS.

Studies have found THC benefits those with cystic fibrosis by relieving nausea and vomiting, acting as a bronchodilator, and providing anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, and pain-relieving effects. An animal trial found mice with cystic fibrosis who were treated with THC during infancy prevented infertility in males. Another found regular THC treatments during infancy benefited motor activity and improved anxiety levels. Marijuana treatments even combatted the mortality caused by decreased appetite and malnutrition in cystic fibrosis patients. Researchers believe cannabinoid treatments for children or young adults with cystic fibrosis might improve food intake, reduce inflammation, and overall improve their health. 

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

 

New Study Finds Cannabis May Help Preserve Brain Function As We Age

 Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

In the previous posts, we discussed the growing amount of information suggesting marijuana can help the brain. Now we have another study to add to that list. Scientists at the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) have now found away to reverse the process that leads to cognitive decline as we age in mice, a process which makes it harder to learn new things, manage attention, and develop or recall short-term memories. The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, reported low-doses of THC helped restore and even reverse some effects of age-related decline in cognitive performance in mice. It also enhanced the expression of synaptic marker proteins, and increased hippocampal spine density. All of these results create hope in the treatment and prevention of dementia and neurodegenerative disease.  

Researchers chose to experiment on mice because, like humans, their hippocampus and other parts of the brain function similarly in memory and learning. Additionally, they have the same proteins and biological systems, like a similar endocannabinoid system. For the study, mice were grouped by age (2, 12, and 18 months). There was also a control group left untreated. The treated groups were implanted with a device that administered low doses of THC. All groups were tested before and after treatment for cognitive capacities, and the mice underwent a series of behavioral and ability tests to see how they were able to adapt and learn in a changing environment. They were also observed for their ability to recognize others. After treatment, researchers looked at brain tissue and gene activity of the treated mice and found the molecular signature no longer looked like that of an old animal, but instead had a more youthful signature. Professor Andreas Zimmer explained, “The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals. It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock.”

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

Cannabis is Actually Good for Your Brain - Part 2.

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

In our previous post, we began to dive into the studies that suggest marijuana may actually benefit the brain, as opposed to damaging it as many marijuana opponents claim. Today we will discuss more studies that add to the growing amount of information supporting the brain health benefits of marijuana.

One new study from a Harvard University affiliated hospital found three months of cannabis treatment increased the speed in which adult patients could complete word and color tests. Author Stacey Gruber PHD explains, “After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex."

Lastly, Chinese researchers in 2005 found stimulated the production of new neural cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for cognitive and emotional processing. This suggests marijuana could possibly reverse the brain damaging effects of addiction to other substances, which are known to suppress the production of new brain cells in the hippocampus. A 2013 study found CBD also had this ability, reversing depression and anxiety which led to the stimulation of the growth of new cells in the hippocampus. 

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

Science: Cannabis is Actually Good for Your Brain - Part 1.

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Some patients may be interested in medical marijuana, but may fear claims that it can lower IQ and can cause brain damage. Studies, however, might say others. Studies have found marijuana doesn't lower IQ, and that marijuana actually has the ability to stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

A breakthrough study published by the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 found THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids protected brain cells in rats that had been poisoned by the neurotoxin glutamate. They determined all cannabis compounds prevented oxidative damage caused by the toxin, and CBD had higher antioxidant function than even the well known vitamins C and A. In more recent years, other studies have confirmed these neuroprotective properties. Last year, at UC San Diego, researchers found cannabinoids blocked age-related plaque buildup on beta amyloid (Aβ), a neurotoxin which scientists believe contributes to cell death and leads to dementia in the elderly. 

Other studies have found cannabis can help improve cognitive function. One study from Israel in 2013 found marijuana may improve learning and memory function. Researchers exposed rats to high levels of stress for two weeks to simulate cognitive deficits found in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression that causes problems in short-term memory recall and solving spatial tasks. They found cannabinoids not only prevented the onset of these problems, but that they also could reverse them after they set in.

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for our followup post, which discusses more studies in which cannabis may benefit the brain.

Research Says Cannabis Helps Fight Addiction

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Research is mounting suggesting cannabis can help fight addiction. One study published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) found states with legalized medical cannabis experienced 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rates than states where medical marijuana was illegal. Another study found states saw a sharp decrease in patients admitted for opioid abuse after legalizing medical marijuana. Patients also spent less on prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, as a result of cannabis use. Researchers from the University of Montreal and the University of British Columbia found patients used cannabis to cope with crack cocaine addiction, and concluded, “Given the substantial global burden of morbidity and mortality attributable to crack cocaine use disorders alongside a lack of effective pharmacotherapies, we echo a call for rigorous experimental research on cannabinoids as a potential treatment for crack cocaine use disorders.”

Cannabis users and former heroin addicts are also more likely to complete their addiction treatment program than non-cannabis users. Lastly, cannabis can also combat addiction to legal substances like cigarettes and alcohol. One clinical trial found CBD helped patients reduce their cigarette use by 40% in comparison with patients who received placebo. Another study found 40% of medical marijuana patients were able to reduce their alcohol consumption. Authors call for a desire for more research, but say, “cannabis does appear to be a potential substitute for alcohol.” Additionally, cannabis may ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

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

Part 2: Medicinal Applications of CBC (Cannabichromene)

 Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In today's post, we will continue our discussion of cannabichromene (CBC) by discussing the different ways it can be used for medicinal relief.

While CBC has not been studied as thoroughly as other cannabinoids, it may be useful in a variety of applications. One study from 2016 found CBC reduced the production of sebum by sebaceous glands, and reduced the effects of arachidonic acid, making it particularly useful in the prevention of acne. CBC also has anti-inflammatory properties that could enhance these effects. Another study from 2012 found CBC reduced inflammation-induced hypermotility without causing hypomotility or constipation, making it an ideal alternative for anti-diarrheal medications that often cause constipation. Scientists have also hypothesize CBC may play a role in regulating bone growth by increasing levels of endocannabinoids, which leads to enhanced osteoclasts. While its anti-cancer effects have not yet been investigated, scientists theorize CBC may contribute to the anti-cancer effects of marijuana by influencing the activity of endocannabinoids like 2-AG and anandamide.

One of the earliest studies involving CBC, dating back to 1981 at the University of Mississippi, found CBC exhibited "strong" antibacterial effects on various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This includes E. coli and staph (S. aureus). It also showed "mild to moderate" effects on various fungi as well. Animal studies have found CBC can reduce edema (swelling) and inflammation of the intestinal tract. Since it fights inflammation without targeting cannabinoid receptors, this effect can be further enhanced when combined with cannabinoids like THC that do target receptors. CBC also reduced pain in animal models, and a study in 2010 found CBC in combination with CBD both fought pain by "interacting with several targets involved in the control of pain" at the spinal level. Another study from the same year at the University of Mississippi found CBC acted as an antidepressant in rat models, contributing to "the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis." Lastly, studies have found CBC may promote neurogenesis, which is a process that increases the viability of brain cell development. 

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

Part 1: What is CBC (Cannabichromene)?

 Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and while it is lesser known, it is actually the second most prevalent cannabinoid in the marijuana plant. It is a non-psychoactive, and like THC, CBC gets converted from its acidic form when it is exposed to heat through a process called decarboxylation. CBC does not bind well to the cannabinoid receptors in the body, but it is able to bind with a number of other receptors in the body, like vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). Activating these receptors increases endocannabinoid presence in the body and interrupts the natural processes that degrade them. This indirectly activates cannabinoid receptors by enhancing receptor activity of naturally-occurring cannabinoids. 

Check back Monday to learn about the various ways CBC can be utilized for medicinal purposes. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

 Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Cannabis Ruderalis is a category of cannabis strains that are high in CBD and contain very little THC. These types of cannabis originated in Central Asia and Russia, they are sturdy and short in appearance, and they are auto-flowering plants. Cannabis Ruderalis could likely become a key player in the crossbreeding of currently utilized strains, which could lead to the introduction of new cannabis breeds tailored towards the treatment of specific symptoms for different conditions. It can be bred with strains higher in THC or it can be used to produce high-CBD strains, while at the same time offering its own unique benefits to the cultivation process. Because it is auto-flowering, it can speed up the maturation process. Its small stature could make it ideal for indoor cultivation, and its natural pest resistance could greatly benefit outdoor grows. 

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

Marijuana and Anxiety: A Guide

 Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Marijuana may be able to help relieve anxiety and stress, but this relief is largely dependent on the cannabis strain's composition and on the individual's drug tolerance, pre-existing conditions, and other environmental factors. Cannabis may provide a safe and effective alternative to the pharmaceuticals traditionally used to treat anxiety, and now studies are beginning to backup the anecdotal claims to its efficacy. A study from Canada found that within 90 days of prescription medical cannabis use, 40% of patients treating anxiety and pain were able to stop their use of benzodiazebines. Another study from Vanderbilt University in 2014 found smoking marijuana increased the presence of endocannabinoids, which are naturally-occurring brain chemicals that can decrease as a result of chronic stress. Some researchers theorize reduced endocannabinoids could potentially cause anxiety disorders. Additionally, marijuana's role in memory extinction has led experts to believe it could be suitable in the treatment of PTSD. 

While cannabis may be able to help treat anxiety disorders, it has also been known to cause short-term anxiety and paranoia in some instances, especially when the individual is new to the plant or consumes large doses. Anxiety can also occur after abruptly stopping cannabis use. That said, studies have found only a small association between cannabis use and anxiety disorders, and some have deemed it only a "minor risk factor" in developing symptoms of anxiety. Many find THC helps anxiety for some, while it exacerbates its symptoms of others. CBD acts on serotonin receptors so that it can help regenerate brain cells that are lost or damaged due to chronic anxiety and depression. The ratio these two cannabinoids can determine whether cannabis helps or worsens symptoms, and strains that are higher in CBD are less likely to cause anxiety. In addition to cannabinoids, terpenes found in cannabis can also influence relief. Some terpenes that may help treat anxiety include Myrcene, Linalool, β-Caryophyllene, and Terpinolene.

When trying out cannabis for anxiety, knowing your optimal dose is crucial, and our app can help! Document your regimen daily in the journaling section of our app so that you can see which strain of cannabis and dosing amount provides the most effective relief. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What Are Trichomes?

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

If you've handled the marijuana plant, you've probably encountered its trichomes. Trichomes are the little sticky and aromatic resin glands or outgrowths that exist on many plants like algae and lichen. Trichomes are the last part of the cannabis flower to develop, and it is within these glands that the highest concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are produced and stored. For this reason, it is the trichomes that are extracted for the production of infusions and concentrates. Cannabis contains three different types of trichomes: bulbous, capitate-sessile, and capitate stalked. The capitate-sessile trichomes secrete cannabinoids and other compounds that have accumulated between the rosette and the outer membrane, but it is the capitate-stalked trichomes that produce the highest concentrations of cannabis-unique chemical compounds.  

Cannabis concentrates, or extracts, are more effective and potent than the herb form of cannabis due to the fact there are higher concentrations of cannabinoids and other compounds. They can contain up to 99% pure CBD and THC. If you have encountered kief, dry dieve, hash, hutane hash oil (BHO), Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), or Rosin, then you have encountered cannabis concentrates. Kief is the lowest-quality extract, and dry sieve is a more refined version of kief. Hash uses icy water extraction to separate trichome heads from parts of the plant with no medicinal value. BHO can contain THC concentrations in the 80-90% range. RSO, also known as cannabis oil or hemp oil, is frequently used for treating cancer and other diseases. Rosin is a simply and quick technique using heat and pressure to create quality solventless hash.

In the end, the efficacy of concentrates and extracts still depends on the cannabinoid content of the strain used before extraction. If you are testing out any of these methods, document all of the information you have available to you in addition to your symptom relief in the journaling section of our app so that you can better understand which dosing regimen is most appropriate for you. This information has been provided in part by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.   

Study Aims to Find Out if CBD can Shrink Children's Tumors

 Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

Scientists from the Nottingham University's Children's Brain Tumor Research Centre aim o find out whether or not CBD could be beneficial in treating brain tumors in children. The studies that already exist are all preclinical trials, but they have found CBD reduces mitochondrial oxidative metabolism to reduce the viability of cells that make up tumors and inhibit their progression in animal and culture models. The study underway involves administering CBD to to laboratory grown cells made from ependymoma and glioma tumors over the course of seven days. Then, the spreading behavior of the treated and untreated cells will be compared using cell staining. The professor leading the study, Professor Richard Grundy, says, “We expect the cells – brain tumor and normal brain – grown in our standard conditions to be healthy and actively dividing. We expect that normal brain cells grown in cannabidiol will remain healthy. However, we expect the brain tumor cells grown in cannabidiol to stop growing and die.”

With the rates of cancer diagnosed in children has slightly increased in recent decades, finding more effective treatment methods that are not as toxic as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is desired. Grundy explains, “New ways to treat childhood brain tumors are urgently needed to extend and improve the quality of life in malignant brain tumor patients, so we are excited at the prospect of testing the effect of cannabidiol on brain tumor cells.”

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

Will Cannabis Help End the Opioid-Abuse Epidemic?

 Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

In the past decade, the use and abuse of opioid prescriptions has grown exponentially, resulting in an explosive rise opioid-related fatal overdoses. Now, handfuls of studies suggest cannabis could be a powerful natural replacement for opioids, and with no risk of fatalities, it could make a significant dent in the amount of opioid related deaths. Research shows medical marijuana can benefit chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis, all of which are conditions where opioids are traditionally prescribed. Some researchers also hypothesize its neuroprotective properties could play a role in reducing dependence on opioids when used in conjunction with marijuana. 

The results are already pointing towards to efficacy of marijuana in the reduction of opioid use. An analysis of Medicare programs in marijuana-legal state found doctors prescribed fewer painkillers than in non legal states. Additionally, chronic pain patients account for the largest portion of medical marijuana patients in states where chronic pain is a qualifying condition, suggesting medical marijuana is effective as an analgesic. 

This information is provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

Study Finds People are Using Cannabis in Place of Prescription Drugs

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A survey conducted by researchers from Bastyr University Research Institute and published in the Journal of Pain Research found individuals use cannabis instead of prescription medication, whether or not they are registered medical marijuana patients. Of the self-selected national sample of 2,774 self-identified marijuana user respondents, 46% used cannabis instead of prescriptions. Marijuana was most commonly used instead of pain-relieving narcotics and opioids (36%), anti-anxiety medication like anxiolytics and benzodiazepenes (14%), and antidepressants (13%). The implementation of medical marijuana roles played little role in whether or not respondents made this substitution. Researchers determined, "Despite the illegality of cannabis in many states and the lack of professional guidance on dosing, routes of delivery and inadequate standardization or quality control for medical use, individuals are taking it upon themselves to augment, or discontinue, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs in favor of a largely unregulated herbal one."

This information supports previous findings, and researchers say, “These data contribute to a growing body of literature suggesting cannabis, legal or otherwise, is being used as a substitute for prescription rugs, particularly pain relievers." This information can be found on Medical Marijuana Inc., and it has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Cannabis Reverses Aging Processes in Brain

 Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

Scientists from the University of Bonn have found daily doses of THC in aging mice actually reverses cognitive decline, so that they were better able to complete cognitive tasks like navigating a maze. That said, THC had the reverse effect in younger mice, and actually hindered their cognitive abilities. The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, has implications for the potential treatment and prevention of dementia. Lead researcher Andras Bilkei-Gorzo says, "If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care, then that is more than we could have imagined.”

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

Research Overview of Cerebral Palsy

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Cerebral palsy categorizes certain neurological disorders that cause permanent motor disability by disrupting muscle coordination and body movement. The disorder not only affects muscle coordination, but also can produce stiff or tight muscles, or spasticity which can cause cartilage degeneration and lead to pain. The condition can also lead to seizures, hearing loss, bladder or bowel control problems, and impaired vision. 

Although studies for the use of cannabis on cerebral palsy are few, the plant may be able to manage its symptoms of spasms, seizures, and pain. One survey found marijuana effectively reduced pain in adults suffering from cerebral palsy. A study found cannabinoids also provided neuroprotective effects in animals with brain damage similar to that of cerebral palsy in humans. In one 28-year-old patient with severe cerebral palsy, two mouth sprays of cannabinoids a day improved his quality of life and reduced his need for assistance. Research has also determined cannabinoids can benefit symptoms that are associated with the disorder through seizure and spasm reduction, and decreased pain.

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

CBD to Buffer the Psychoactive Effects of THC

 Photo Credit: Mass Roots

Photo Credit: Mass Roots

It's no secret that THC is the cannabinoid responsible for producing the psychoactive effects of marijuana, while CBD provides symptom relief without the feeling of being "high." Both cannabinoids are applicable in the treatment of different symptoms, or they can work together to provide relief through what's termed the "entourage effect." In addition to working together to provide symptom relief, CBD can also work to reduce the psychoactive effects that THC produces. In this way, patients can experience the therapeutic relief of THC without experiencing an overabundance of its side effects. CBD can also buffer against terpenes, like myrcene, in order to reduce unwanted effects like sedation. 

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

Daily THC Microdosing Could Help the Elderly Improve Memory Function

 Photo Credit: Merry Jane

Photo Credit: Merry Jane

A new study coming from Germany on the effects of cannabis on the brainpower of mice suggests microdosing marijuana may help the elderly improve their memory function. The study, which has been published in the journal Nature Medicine, examined cognitive function in a control group of mice and a group of mice given a daily microdose of THC. The active compound in cannabis helped the brain make connections in the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory function. The study was performed several times on different age groups of mice, including 2 month-olds (adolescents), 12 month-olds (middle aged), and 18 month-olds (elderly). For the youngest mice, those who given microdoses of THC were outperformed by those who were not, but in the two older groups, the microdosing mice navigated mazes and recognized each other at a better rate than the control groups. The dose of THC was equivalent to about 3 mg/day for humans. Researchers hope to continue these studies in human trials. 

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

Terpene Profile: Pinene

 Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Pinene is one of the more common terpenes found in nature, and it is often used as a building block for other terpenes and even for cannabinoids. Alone, it is said to provide increased energy and alertness, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, and aid in mental focus, memory retention. Pinene serves as a bronchodilator and expectorant, making it a viable option for treating asthma and bronchitis. Additionally, pinene may have anti-cancer properties. In an issue of Journal of Pharmacological Science from 2015, a report from researchers at Guangdong Pharmaceutical University in China found pinene's anti-cancer activity significantly inhibited liver cancer cell growth.

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