Study Finds Medical Marijuana Is Helping Kids with Cerebral Palsy

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

A new study conducted by Tikun Olam at the Wolfson Medical Canter near Tel Aviv, Israel, has found cannabis oil significantly reduced symptoms and improved motor skills, sleep quality, bowel movements and general mood in children suffering from Cerebral Palsy. The study, which started three years ago, involved 4o children between the ages 1-17 with high levels of motor disorders, of which 20 have completed testing, and the majority will continue medical marijuana use as an effective supplement alongside current medications. For the first two months, researchers looked for changes in each child’s condition before allowing them to receive medical marijuana. After two months of stability, the children received cannabis oil orally or through a feeding tube three times a day, as a supplement to their current medications. There were two types of oils containing different proportions of THC and CBD.

Researchers used indexes that evaluated medical marijuana’s effects on spasticity, dystonia, motor changes, mood, sleep, constipation, pain, and quality of life, and found after three to four months, the children’s conditions began to improve. They found medical cannabis to be safe with few side effects, and children experienced the strongest improvements, statistically, in motor function, followed by pain relief and improvements in sleep and bowel movements. They also found THC to be most effective for symptom relief, but because of its psychoactive effects, use CBD to buffer these effects. One of the research managers Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider explains, “The THC’s effect is especially relevant to motor function, whether it’s Parkinson’s disease or other motor symptoms… But the THC is also responsible for the psychoactive effect, so we picked a variety that also has a lot of CBD, which moderates the euphoric effect.”

Researchers now want to determine the most effective vehicle for administering the medication. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Shows Marijuana Can Prevent Alzheimer's-Causing Protein From Developing

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study conducted by David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California has determined THC may prevent the formation of amyloid proteins which are thought to lead to Alzheimer’s. The study has found THC passes through the bloodstream and enters into the brain where it attaches to neuroreceptors and prevents plaques from forming. Schubert explains, “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”

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

A Look at How Canadian Patients are Using Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Tilray

Photo Credit: Tilray

As access to medical marijuana continues to grow, but relatively little is known about how to properly dose the medication, it can be helpful to look at how patients have already been using the medication effectively. A 2017 study led by Philippe Lucas, the Vice President of Patient Research & Access at Tilray, and Nick Jikomes, PhD, in partnership with with researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, McMaster University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria, surveyed 2,032 medical marijuana patients across Canada. The median age of patients involved in the survey was 40, and men almost outnumbered women two to one. About 70% of users substituted medical cannabis for prescription medications, with most substitutions replacing opioids (36%), antidepressants (21%), and other pain medications. Lucas explains, “In 610 mentions of opioid medication, 59% of patients stopped using these painkillers completely, and another 18% cut their consumption to a quarter or less… This suggests that cannabis may already be playing a harm-reduction role in the current opioid crisis.” Patients (31%) also used cannabis to reduce tobacco use, and half of those respondents were able to quit tobacco use completely. Additionally, 44% of participants were able to reduce alcohol consumption, and 26% substituted cannabis for illicit drugs.

When it comes to specific conditions being treated with medical cannabis, 38% used cannabis to treat chronic pain, and 40% used cannabis to treat mental health issues, which included but is not limited to anxiety and insomnia. High-CBD strains were the most preferable strains, favored by 14.5% of respondents, and sought after by 50% of extract and concentrate customers. Among the variety of forms and vehicles of administration available to patients, the classic cannabis flower remained the most preferred form by a long shot. About 74% of patients used about a gram and a half of cannabis daily, and the majority of patients still preferred the traditional method of smoking the medication. That said, new methods of cannabis consumption are growing in popularity, ant 47% of patients preferred non-smoking methods of administration, with 31% of those respondents choosing to vaporize their medication. The least popular methods of administration were cannabis juicing, at .2% of respondents choosing this method, and topicals, with only .3% choosing this vehicle.

By journaling daily on the CannaBest Medical app, you are anonymously contributing the growing medical cannabis knowledge base and better understand how patients are using medical marijuana to treat symptoms. With this information, we can better understand how patients are precisely and effectively dosing their medical marijuana, which will offer guidance to other patients with their own regimens and will help physicians with their recommendation moving forward. We thank you for your participation, and hope you continue to use this tool daily so that, collectively, we can help others. This information has been provided in part by Leafly and Tilray, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study Suggests Higher CBD Levels Could Counteract Any Potentially Harmful Effects of Cannabis

Photo Credit: https://bit.ly/2Rhg2Jb

Photo Credit: https://bit.ly/2Rhg2Jb

Researchers from Indiana University have found equal parts THC and CBD can prevent memory impairment and prevent increased anxiety in mice. The new study has found that higher amounts of CBD could buffer against potentially harmful long-term effects associated with smoking marijuana. In the study, researchers injected mice everyday for three weeks with doses of either THC or CBD, THC and CBD, or neither cannabinoid. When only given THC, mice experienced increased anxiety and memory impairment. When they received equal parts THC and CBD, however, they did not exhibit the same side effects. Lead author Dr. Ken Mackie explains this information "suggests that strains of cannabis with similar levels of CBD and THC would pose significantly less long-term risk due to CBD's protective effect against THC.”

The adolescent and adult mice were divided into five groups, those who received THC only, those who received CBD only, those who received equal parts of both cannabinoids, those who received placebo, and those who received no treatment. Researchers observed immediate reactions after testing, and then tested them again six weeks later. Adolescent mice who received only THC exhibited negative symptoms six weeks later, while adult mice did not, suggesting teenagers may experience side effects that differ from adults. Equal doses of THC and CBD did not affect neither adolescent nor adult mice.

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

Study Finds that People Who Use Marijuana Are Less Likely to Develop Diabetes and Obesity

Photo Credit: https://bit.ly/2vmeeU6

Photo Credit: https://bit.ly/2vmeeU6

New research coming from the University of Nebraska has determined marijuana may deter obesity and diabetes. In thousands of adults, both those who regularly use cannabis those who abstain, marijuana users did not have a higher body mass index despite consuming around 600 more calories per day. Additionally, when other factors like age, gender, and tobacco use were taken into account, marijuana users had smaller waist circumferences, better regulated insulin levels, and higher levels of good cholesterol. Even occasional marijuana users exhibited better overall health than those who abstained. The researchers were unable to determine the direct causal relationship as to why marijuana produced better health results, but think it could be related to marijuana’s ability to manage inflammation and provide neuroprotective effects and improve the metabolism.

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

Cannabis Reduces Severity of Pancreatitis, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

According to a new retrospective study published in the journal Translational Gastroenterology and Hepatology, patients with a history of cannabis use experience less severe symptoms of acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) than those who abstain from cannabis use. AAP produces acute bouts of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting in patients with progressive and irreversible damage to the pancreas gland caused by prolonged and extreme drinking. Researchers from the Mercer School of Medicine examined the severity of AAP in 116 patients by looking at blood urea nitrogen, bedside index for severity in acute pancreatitis (BISAP) score, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and Balthazar computed tomography (CT) scan grade, at the time they were admitted into a tertiary care teaching hospital between January 2006 and December 2015. Of those patients, 38 were identified as having a history of cannabis use, and 76 tested negative for THC. Patients were then matched based on their age and sex. Patients who tested positive for cannabis displayed less severe manifestations of AAP and were less likely to visit the ICU than those who tested negative.

Researchers explained, “[W]e found that cannabis positive patients had less severe presentation of AAP indicating that cannabis could modulate the inflammatory effects of alcohol on the pancreas.” These results support previous studies that suggested cannabinoids had anti-inflammatory effects on the pancreas, and that cannabinoids relieved pain associated with AAP. The researchers still conclude that further large scale studies are necessary to determine the effects cannabis has on AAP.

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

Review: Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced Mortality

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

According to a scholarly review paper published by the biology department chair at the University of Indiana, South Bend, marijuana use has the potential to reduce rates of obesity, diabetes, opioid abuse, and other conditions that contribute to premature mortality. Authors estimate 23,500 of 47,500 annual premature deaths could be prevented if marijuana was legally regulated at a nationwide scale. This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study: No Link Between Cumulative Cannabis Use and Kidney Disease

Photo Credit: Sonya Yruel / Drug Policy Alliance

Photo Credit: Sonya Yruel / Drug Policy Alliance

Longitudinal data published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has determined neither current nor long-term cumulative use of cannabis contributes to kidney disease. In the study, investigators from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco looked at the impact of past and current marijuana use over the course of ten years on estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which is a screening measurement that detects early kidney damage. Authors explained, “[O]ur findings did not demonstrate a longitudinal association between marijuana use and eGFR change, rapid eGFR decline, or prevalent albuminuria (the presence of albumin in the urine, typically as a symptom of kidney disease).”

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

Can Marijuana Help Treat Asthma?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

It may seem strange that inhaling medical marijuana may benefit those suffering from asthma, but its cannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-anxiety properties may offer therapeutic relief. Asthma is a condition in which the bronchioles of the lungs become inflamed, and in turn cause difficulties in breathing. Symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing. Although studies analyzing the effects of marijuana as an asthma treatment date back to the ‘70s, there is evidence to suggest that it can provide a powerful treatment option. In one study from 1974, investigators found smoked marijuana acted as a bronchodilator in asthma sufferers. Another study the following year, which was published in the American Review of Respiratory Disease, found marijuana containing 2% THC relieved symptoms of bronchospasms in healthy volunteers experiencing induced airway contractions that mimicked bronchospasms. The participants recovered immediately after smoking .5 grams of the 2% THC marijuana. Following studies found small doses of THC administered through an inhaled aerosol also served as a bronchodilator in patients with asthma.

Alongside THC’s success as a bronchodilator, CBD could also be helpful for asthma sufferers due to its ability to reduce the anxiety and stress that often contribute to asthma attacks. Its anti-inflammatory properties allow it to reduce inflammation in lung tissues and reduce the production of inflammatory compounds, known as cytokines, in the lungs. Additionally, one recent study from Brazil found CBD reduces mucosal production, something that is common in asthma. Lastly, a study from 2014 found THC and other cannabinoids reduce contractions in the lungs by acting on the CB1 receptors. The effect is dose-dependent, and symptoms were reduced by up to 39%. For best symptom relief, patients with asthma should avoid smoking due to the fact it is hot and irritating, and can result in further inflammation of the lungs. Additionally, while edibles can be helpful on a regular basis as a supplement or replacement for systemic steroids, its delay in effects make it impractical for patients seeking immediate relief. The best method for asthma sufferers may be vaporization. This allows patients to inhale the beneficial compounds of marijuana and experience immediate relief while avoiding the toxins found in marijuana smoke.

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

Can Marijuana Help With Fibromyalgia?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Fibromyalgia is a condition that produces pain throughout the body and specific tender spots where the pain is characterized as deep tissue tenderness. Fibromyalgia patients also suffer symptoms similar to that of the flu, feeling fatigued and exhausted, or experiencing stiffness. Current treatments for fibromyalgia usually include exercise, cognitive behavioral treatment, mind-body awareness, and lifestyle changes, but now, some patients are looking to medical marijuana for symptom relief due to the fact it has been found to relieve pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, mood disorders, and digestive disturbances. There are few controlled clinical studies revolving around marijuana use for fibromyalgia, but surveys have found fibromyalgia patients find medical marijuana effective for their symptoms. In a survey from Canada, one out of every eight people with fibromyalgia use marijuana or its cannabinoids for symptom relief. More men opted for marijuana than women, and marijuana users tended to be younger. Of the study’s participants, 77% of cannabis users were unemployed, leading researchers to theorize the marijuana was either ineffective at improving function, or patients who opted for marijuana were more severely affected by their symptoms from the beginning.

Another online survey of 1,300 fibromyalgia patients found 62% of patients who had tried marijuana had found it effective for treating their symptoms. The survey, which was conducted by the National Pain Foundation, also found that many sufferers claimed marijuana was the only option that helped provide symptom relief. In another survey, in which fibromyalgia sufferers were divided into groups of marijuana users and non-users, marijuana users smoked or ate marijuana not only to help with pain, but also to alleviate all of their other symptoms. Patients reported decreases in pain and stiffness and improved relaxation, sleep, and well-being, within two hours of dosing. Side effects were mild, but included dry mouth, dizziness, or sedation. Over 80% felt relief from sleeplessness. Lastly, a 2008 randomized trial published in the Journal of Pain found the administration of nabilone, which is a synthetic form of THC, improved pain and other symptoms in 40 fibromyalgia patients. A following study in 2010 found nabilone produced similar improvements.

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

CBD Hemp Oil Beneficial for HPV Vaccine Side Effects, Study Suggests

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study published in the Israel Medical Association Journal suggests CBD hemp oil could help reduce the symptoms and improved the quality of life for patients who suffer from adverse side effects like severe somatoform and dysautonomic sydrome after receiving HPV vaccination. Researchers entered the study with the notion that adverse side effects resulting from HPV vaccinations may be related to an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system. Authors of the study, who hailed from the University of Modena and the Reggio Emilia Medical School, wrote, “Due to the absence of a safe and effective therapy for these girls who were living with their families and having to deal with difficult conditions (such as emotional instability, social problems as well as school obligations), and suspecting that an endogenous cannabinoid network imbalance might be responsible for some of the described symptoms, we selected a natural therapeutic approach based on CBD-enriched hemp oil over a 3 month period in our Italian cohort.”

In the open-label study, 12 female patients between the ages 12 and 24 that had an adverse response to HPV vaccinations received sublingual CBD hemp oil drops over the course of three months. Each patient received 25 mg/kg daily, alongside 2-5 mg/ml CBD once a week, until they received the maximum dose of 150 mg/ml CBD per day. Researchers observed the oil presented, “significant benefits in the physical component score, vitality and social role functioning… This study demonstrated the safety and tolerability of CBD-rich hemp oil and the primary efficacy endpoint.” Two patients withdrew from the study claiming they experienced no benefits. While the results are hopeful, the researchers urge for blind clinical research to substantiate these results.

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

Cannabis Topicals: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Cannabis topicals refer to cannabis-infused products like lotions, creams, oils, and slaves, that are applied to the skin, and they’re gaining in popularity due to the fact they can target localized areas of the body for instantaneous symptom relief without producing psychoactive effects. With topicals, cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin before reaching the endocannabinoid system, where they interact with cannabinoids receptors, which happen to be abundant in our skin’s epidermal cells, mast cells, and sensory nerves. The effects of topicals generally last one or two hours and can be safely reapplied as much as needed, but patients should be aware of any other ingredients included in the topical so as to avoid any sensitivity or allergic reactions.

The reason topicals produce localized and non-psychoactive effects as opposed to effects that influence the whole body is that the skin is a difficult barrier to penetrate, thereby preventing cannabinoids from entering the blood stream and flowing throughout the body. Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, explains, “THC and CBD work through independent mechanisms in a complementary fashion,” says Dr. Russo. “Both work well on the skin, but are poorly absorbed via this route… The skin is a difficult barrier to broach with medications…There are layers that require a drug to be water-soluble and others that must be lipid (fat) soluble. Cannabinoids are lipophilic (fat-loving) and do not penetrate readily into the bloodstream.”

Topicals are most commonly used to reduce pain and inflammation, and treat the symptoms of various skin conditions, like psoriasis and dermatitis. One study from 2009 published in the journal Experimental Dermatology suggested cannabinoids have immunosuppressive properties that could make it powerful as an anti-inflammatory drug, and that when administered topically, cannabis produces pain relief and antipruritic effects that reduces itching sensations. Americans for Safe Access also references anecdotal reports on the efficacy of topicals for treating superficial wounds, herpes, hemorrhoids, menstrual pains, migraines, and more.

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

What is CBN (Cannabinol)?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cannabinol (CBN) is one of the 113 identified therapeutic cannabinoids found in marijuana, which not only interacts with the endocannabinoid system to provide its own unique effects, but which also boosts the effects of other cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Because CBN does not fit well with CB1 receptors and has difficulty binding with CB2 receptors, CBN produces only minor psychoactive effects if produced at all. CBN is present in cannabis in very small proportions, and is produced by the degradation of THC after exposure to high temperatures or after aging in improper storage. Researchers have found CBN has strong antibacterial properties, and in one study it showed strong antibacterial effects against strains of antibiotic-resistant MRSA. CBN may also act as an anticonvulsant, although other cannabinoids like CBD remain more potent as an anticonvulsant. CBN may combat inflammation by influencing immune cells to produce anti-inflammatory effects and by altering levels of the compounds that cause inflammation.

Cannabinol may also increase appetite, according to rodent models in which rats receiving CBN ate larger amounts of food for longer periods of time and more frequently. In Lewis lung carcinoma, researchers have found CBN is effective at reducing tumor growth. CBN may also be effective at reliving pain through stimulating the release of peptides from sensory nerves, which decreases sensations of pain. When combined with THC, CBN may be able to enhance effects of sedation and promote more effective sleep. CBN may also act as a vasorelaxant, so that it relaxes blood vessel walls and thereby lowers blood pressure. Lastly, CBN may recruit stem cells from bone marrow to help heal bones. CBN increases fibroblast cells, making it beneficial for the bone-healing process.

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

Why Marijuana Compounds Could Eventually Replace Anti-Anxiety Meds

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

A recent study has found medical marijuana effectively reduces stress, and implicated the medication may be safer in reducing anxiety than traditional anxiety medications. In the study, researchers measured levels of stress by tracking the amounts of cortisol, a “stress hormone,” in participants’ saliva. Participants were divided into two groups, those who used marijuana daily and those who abstained from use, and the results remained consistent throughout the study. Regular marijuana users had a reduced response to acute stress. Study co-author and clinical assistant of psychology Carrie Cuttler explains, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users…. While we are not at a point where we are comfortable saying whether this muted stress response is a good thing or a bad thing, our work is an important first step in investigating potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis at a time when its use is spreading faster than ever before.”

These findings support previous research that determined compounds in marijuana like CBD can enhance the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that holds back anxiety and counterbalances the effects of excitatory brain chemical. This mimics the effects of anti-anxiety medications like Benzodiazepines, but with fewer risks and side effects. Future research is left to be desired, but these early findings are hopeful, suggesting marijuana may offer anxiety and stress relief without resulting in dependency or producing severe or even fatal side effects.

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

Marijuana Edibles: A Beginner’s Guide

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

For patients who wish to partake in cannabis therapy but who do not want to inhale the medication, marijuana infused edibles may be a suitable alternative. Marijuana edibles is an ingestible product infused with oils, butters, extracts, or tinctures, that contain cannabis’ therapeutic cannabinoids. Edibles are more discreet than smoking, making it so that medical marijuana patients can consume their medication easily and secretly. Additionally, edibles do not produce any negative health consequences that are associated with smoking and inhalation. Patients who choose to use edibles should be aware that there is a delay in effects when consuming edibles because of the time it takes for cannabinoids to absorb through the digestive system. This process may take anywhere from half an hour to 90 minutes. Once absorbed, the effects may also be more potent and may last longer than those of other vehicles of cannabis administration. The effect of a cannabis edible could last four to twelve hours.

Because of this, it is important that patients find the proper dose for consuming medical marijuana, especially when it comes to marijuana infused edibles. This can be a challenging process, and the dose is dependent on which marijuana edible is consumed and by whom. Patients should be aware of the dosing suggestions on the packaging, and slowly going from there. Many recommend starting with a low dose and waiting before deciding whether or not to increase the amount. When titrating, our app can be a powerful tool! CannaBest Medical’s journaling function allows patients to keep track of the cannabinoid composition of their edibles and the amount they consume, so that they can make minor changes with each dose until optimal relief is reached. Patients will discover their perfect dose so that they can experience repeatable success and remain symptom free. Journaling daily is recommended for the most accurate results.

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

Harnessing the Powers of the Body’s Endocannabinoid System to Fight Cancer

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Research surrounding the use of cannabis for the treatment of cancer is scarce, but what has been conducted offers hopes into the potential of this alternative therapy to enhance current treatments, reduce the side effects associated with them, and even slow the progression of cancer cells or kill cancer cells without harming the body’s normal cells. One study from St. George’s University of London found the cannabinoids THC and CBD weakened cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment.

Another study conducted at the University of Sheffield has found inhibiting enzymes that breakdown endocannabinoids, like monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) which is found in healthy tissues throughout the body, will reduce the growth of a variety of cancer cells in mice. A paper from 2011 concluded MAGL blocking drugs resulted in the increased production of endocannabinoids in healthy cells and in cancer cells, and slowed the progression of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Lead researcher Aymen Idris explains there may be a risk to using such drugs, however, in that they make produce psychotic symptoms similar to those experienced by cannabis users. To reduce this risk, they hope to develop drugs that will only enter and accumulate in tumor cells. Idris is hopeful of their studies, saying, “Treatment with drugs that stop the body breaking down its own cannabis in peripheral tissues, or drugs that mimic the action of natural cannabis outside the brain may be a fruitful way to develop safer cannabis drugs for treating cancer.”

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

More Studies Prove the Effectiveness of Cannabis in Lowering Blood Pressureww

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Preliminary studies suggest CBD may effectively reduce stress. In a double-blind study, researchers from the University of Nottingham, led by Professor Saoirse O’Sullivan, examined nine healthy volunteers. They discovered one treatment of CBD resulted in reduced blood pressure responses in the face of stress. Although CBD lowered blood pressure responses, blood flow was not degrade and circulation continued as normal.

More research is left to be desired, and O’Sullivan discusses the next steps, saying, “What we’re doing now, currently, is looking at whether or not we can repeat that, and, also: what happens when you do repeated dosing?”

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

Yet Another Study Says Cannabis Can Curb Or Even Prevent Opioid Use

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

The idea that cannabis may be able to combat the opioid epidemic is nothing new, and now, yet another study is providing evidence that cannabis may be able to curb the crisis. A new study from British Columbia and published in the Harm Reduction Journal suggests medical marijuana can reduce or prevent opioid use, and offer those suffering from addiction an exit strategy. Author Philippe Lucas explains, “There’s a growing body of evidence that cannabis can be a safer substitute and play a harm-reduction role by reducing the use of prescription opioids, reducing the use of alcohol, and even reducing the use of tobacco and illicit substances… [Cannabis has] no chance of [fatal] overdose, far less of a chance of developing dependence, and you don’t have a lot of the similar side effects you do with opioids.” Next steps for Lucas including studying cannabis as an adjunct treatment for methadone and suboxone, in which half of participants will take opioid medications and the other half will take cannabis.

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

Consuming Cannabis Could Slash Your Chances Of Blood Clots, Stroke: Study

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas that was published in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, cannabis may significantly reduce the risk of having a stroke. The team, headed by Dr. Francesca Filbey, looked at 175 volunteers, 74 of whom were drug users and 101 non-users, over the course of 60 days and found cannabis improves the flow of blood and oxygen, thereby reducing the risk of clotting and experiencing a stroke. Regular cannabis consumers had greater global oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) than non-users. Additionally, cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the putamen, an area of the forebrain associated with learning, was greater in cannabis users than non users.

The study involved administering MRIs to the volunteers and analyzing THC metabolite levels through urinalysis. All participants were required to abstain from drug use for 72 hours leading up to the examination. Those selected as drug-users had consumed cannabis at a minimum of 5,000 times in their lifetime. Dr. Filbey explains, the "primary psychoactive ingredient present in cannabis —tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — relaxes arterial walls resulting in lower blood pressure and increased blood flow to tissues… Past marijuana research has shown changes in cognitive functions such as memory and executive functioning… Our study seeks to understand the possible neurophysiological mechanisms that may drive these cognitive changes.”

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

Topical Cannabis Preparations Associated With Reduced Opioid Use

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A series of case reports conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto and published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management has determined whole-plant cannabis extracts, when applied topically to ulcer wounds, is associated with reduced pain and opioid use in patients with leg and ankle ulcers resulting from Pyoderma Gangrenosum (PG). In all of the three patients who participated in the study, extracts containing equal parts THC and CBD effectively reduced pain and opioid utilization. Authors concluded, “This is the first case series to demonstrate the potential of TMC (topical medical cannabis) to provide effective analgesia that was opioid sparing in the setting of PG… TMC has the potential to improve pain management in patients suffering from wounds of all classes.”

A larger study is left to be desired to confirm these findings. This information has been brought to you by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.