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

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

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

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

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

Medical Marijuana Can Help Reduce Opioid Abuse

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

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

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

Study: Canadian Patients Substituting Marijuana for Prescription Drugs

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

Photo Credit: Marijuana Industry News

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

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

Influencing the Endocannabinoid System Beneficial for Parkinson's Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

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

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

Cannabis Tinctures: Uses, Effects, and Recipes

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

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

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

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

Study Confirms Marijuana Can Help ADHD

Photo Credit: Amen Clinics (http://bit.ly/1pTNBdk).

Photo Credit: Amen Clinics (http://bit.ly/1pTNBdk).

A recent study conducted by researchers at King's College London in 2016 suggests cannabis spray helps those who suffer from ADHD. The study provided 30 adults with ADHD with either a spray called Sativex or a placebo over the course of four weeks. Sativex is a cannabis-based spray containing a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD that has been approved for prescription use. Those who received Sativex experienced improved hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, cognitive performance, and emotional stability. Researchers determined, “ADHD may represent a subgroup of individuals that gain cognitive enhancement and reduction of ADHD symptoms from the use of cannabinoids.”

Some scientists theorize cannabis may be effective for treating ADHD because, similar to current pharmaceutical medications already being used for its symptoms, cannabis has the ability to increase dopamine levels in the brain. Additionally, marijuana may have less side effects than traditional medications. 

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

Cannabidiol (CBD): Medical Uses, Effects & Safety - Pt. 2

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

In our previous post, we gave a brief overview of CBD and its interaction with the body. In today's post, we will take a deeper look at how CBD affects different symptoms and illnesses.

Of all the conditions CBD can treat, it is probably best known for its effects on epilepsy. The FDA has even approved the research of a drug call Epidiolex, which is almost pure CBD oil. In those 12 week trials involving 214 patients with severe and treatment resistant forms of epilepsy, doses between 25 and 50 mg/kg a day lowered seizure frequency by 50%. Another study found CBD can treat anxiety. In 24 patients with social anxiety disorder, patients who received CBD as opposed to placebo measured better in terms of cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alertness before taking a public speaking test than those who were treated with placebo. In fact, those treated with CBD performed as well as cohorts that did not suffer from social anxiety at all. In one study of 29 patients with first-break paranoid schizophrenia, some received either 600 mg CBD or placebo over the course of 14 days, then the treatments were reversed. CBD significantly improved psychotic symptoms.

Another study found 5 patients with dystonic movements disorder improved their symptoms over the course of 6 weeks after they combined 100-600 mg/day CBD with their usual pharmaceuticals. When comparing a group of patients who received a transplant without receiving CBD to a group of 48 patients who received 300 mg/day CBD orally 7 days before receiving a bone marrow transplant to 30 days after treatment, those who received the CBD treatment were less likely to develop graft versus host disease. CBD can also reduce substance dependencies, and in a study of 24 smokers, some received a CBD inhaler in which they were instructed to use whenever they felt a craving to smoke. Over one week, those who received the inhaled reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40%, while those with a placebo inhaler witnessed no change. Lastly, CBD can act as a buffer for THC, so that patients can feel the benefits of THC's therapeutic properties without experiencing the psychoactive side effects.

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

Cannabidiol (CBD): Medical Uses, Effects & Safety - Pt. 1

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Many medical marijuana patients opt to medicate with strains containing higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) because it offers a wide range of therapeutic benefits without producing psychoactive side effects. In recent years, CBD has gained attention for having such a wide range of therapeutic benefits, and so has been a main subject of medical marijuana research. Clinical trials have found CBD could be beneficial for those who suffer from epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, dystonia, graft vs. host disease, nicotine addiction, and THC impairment and withdrawals. All of these will be discussed in more detail in the following post.

CBD is considered to be a safe treatment option due to the fact there has not been any documentation of cannabis-related fatalities. There is no documentation to suggest it produces significant side effects in the central nervous system, mood, or vital signs even at doses of up to 1500 mg/day. At times, however, CBD can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, sleepiness, dizziness, and changes in appetite. CBD can also affect levels of other drugs in the body because it is metabolized by the same liver enzymes that metabolize other drugs. 

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for the next post, in which we will go into greater detail about CBD and its effects on specific illnesses. 

Survey: CBD Popular Among Medical Marijuana Patients

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A recent annual survey in California has determined medical marijuana patients are likely to opt for more CBD-dependent strains. The company, Eaze, utilized data from its 250,000 medical marijuana customer base along with the survey responses from about 5,000 customers. Customers cited they are more likely to choose CBD because they believe it helps ease anxiety and inflammation, and also increase focus. Studies have also found that this cannabinoids possesses antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. The survey also found its fastest growing customer base ranges in the baby boomer generation, and that customers are beginning to choose vaporization as their vehicle of choice. 

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. If you want learn more about the data from this survey, you can find the report here

MMJ for Eczema

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Eczema refers to a skin condition that irritates and inflames the skin, causing it to become itchy and red, and develop rashes. Studies show medical marijuana, specifically in the form of topicals like ointments and creams, alleviates the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions by reducing the itching, swelling, and redness of inflammation. 

Studies show that cannabinoids possess immunosuppressive properties that allow them to effectively alleviate inflammatory skin diseases. Some researchers believe eczema may develop as a result of an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system, a part of the body that plays an important role in regulating skin functions. The cannabinoids in cannabis interact with receptors found in this system to reduce inflammation, pain, and itching. Studies have found that activating the CB2 receptors can even reverse skin inflammation damage. In a trial involving 2500 patients with eczema, cannabinoid cream treatments reduced redness, scaling, itching, chafing, and thickening of the skin. As many as 38.3% even became itch-free. A similar trial found cannabinoid creams, used twice daily for three weeks, eliminated itching in 38.1% of patients, and reduced the intensity of itching in 52.4% of patients. 

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

Jamaican Scientists Close in on CBD-Based Hepatitis Treatment

Photo Credit: Hight Times 

Photo Credit: Hight Times 

A team of researchers led by Dr. Henry Lowe at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica (UWI) recently discovered CBD effectively combats the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This means that CBD is thereby also effective at treating conditions of the liver like cirrhosis or liver cancer. Lowe said of his study, “We report here for the first time in vitro studies to demonstrate the antiviral activity of CBD against HCV.”

This discovery could mean a game changer for the medical industry. Currently, there are no vaccines against hepatitis C, and the only medication that treats the condition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lowe believes his discovery could lead to a more affordable treatment option in the form of nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.

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

Exploring the Mysterious Endocannabinoid System

Photo Credit: VICE Media | http://bit.ly/2wtPF8v

Photo Credit: VICE Media | http://bit.ly/2wtPF8v

One of the reasons cannabis offers such effective therapeutic relief is because it contains cannabinoids that are able to interact with our body's endocannabinoid system. The body's endocannabinoid system provides a framework of cannabinoids receptors that can interact with endocannabinoids (the body's internal cannabinoids), phytocannabinoids (like those found in cannabis), and even synthetic cannabinoids manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory mechanism, and cannabinoid receptors are found in neurotransmitters in our brains, immune systems, nervous systems, cardiovascular systems, reproductive systems, gastrointestinal tracts, and urinary tracts. 

Various ailments seem to result from endocannabinoid deficiency. When we as humans develop endocannabinoid deficiency, and are unable to produce sufficient endocannabinoids, our bodies can utilize phytocannabinoids to fill this void and help our bodies return to homeostasis. Research is showing that as we microdose with cannabis, our endocannabinoid system not only produces more endocannabinoids, but also creates more cannabinoid receptors, which could lead to a stronger and healthier endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids can help fight certain diseases, prevent others, and promote overall health. 

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

What is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

While marijuana is therapeutic for most, some users may experience an adverse reaction to the plant in what is called cannabinoids hyperemesis syndrome. The syndrome only affects a small percentage of users, but it can cause sufferers to experience extreme nausea and vomiting for as long as 24 or 48 hours. Surprisingly, CHS is more prevalent in long-time and frequent cannabis users. Patients who experience CHS often feel temporary relief while taking a hot bath or shower. While this theory is not understood, some researchers point to the idea that there are cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain that regulate body temperature.

Symptoms of CHS commonly occur in three phases: pre-emetic, hyperemetic, and recovery. The pre-emetic phases consists of mild symptoms, such as nausea, a fear of vomiting, and abdominal discomfort, as they begin to appear over the span of months or years. The hyperemetic phase is the most severe phase, lasting 24 to 48 hours and consisting of intense nausea and vomiting, a decreased appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration, and weight loss. Many patients seek treatment during this time. Patients then experience a symptom free period in what is known as recovery. This can last days, weeks, or months, and patients return to their normal weight and resume regular eating habits. However, patients may feel they can return to cannabis use which could result in a relapse of symptoms.

If you experience CHS, do not hesitate to seek medical attention and cease cannabis use. This information has been brought to you by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study: Medical Marijuana Patients Reduce Their Use of Opioids

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Yet another study has suggested patients who have access to medical marijuana are more likely to choose it over prescription medications. The study, which was published in The International Journal of Drug Policy, involved 277 patients registered the Canadian government's medical marijuana program. Researchers from the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia looked at the use of medical marijuana and prescription medications, and found 63% of participants swapped their prescription medications with cannabis. Out of those patients, 32% substituted cannabis for opioids, 16% for benzodiazepines, and 12% for anti-depressants. Patients reasoned cannabis was safer, provided better symptom management, and resulted in fewer side effects.

Authors of the study wrote, “The finding that patients using cannabis to treat pain-related conditions have a higher rate of substitution for opioids, and that patients self-reporting mental health issues have a higher rate of substitution for benzodiazepines and antidepressants has significant public health implications. In light of the growing rate of morbidity and mortality associated with these prescription medications, cannabis could play a significant role in reducing the health burden of problematic prescription drug use.”

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

MMJ for Autonomic Dysfunction

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Diseases that damage the autonomic nervous system (ANS) fall into the category of autonomic dysfunction. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling involuntary bodily functions. Autonomic dysfunction can result in low blood pressure, fainting, weakness, diarrhea or constipation, numbness or tingling, dizziness and lightheadedness, urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and digestive issues. Autonomic dysfunction is often caused by other diseases, so treatment often focuses on these underlying conditions, but it is believed that cannabis may be able to help combat symptoms of the disorder thanks to its neuroprotective and antioxidant effects. 

Studies show cannabis supports the health of the nervous system, and its cannabinoids CBD and THC limit neuron damage and promote neurogenesis. When these cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, they could also potentially treat autonomic neuropathy. Studies have found modulating the endocannabinoid system slows the progression of neural disorders. Activation of the CB2 receptor attenuates autonomic function after a spinal cord injury. Additionally, cannabis acts as a vasodilator, meaning it can normalize blood pressure and blood flow, and can therefore reduce the risk of fainting.

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

Medical Marijuana for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) consists of a group of progressive inflammatory lung diseases that interrupts airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. The condition can lead to the development of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and can increase the risk of respiratory infections, heart problems, lung cancer, high blood pressure, and depression. Symptoms include coughing up mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. Because of cannabis' anti-inflammatory effects, it could be beneficial for COPD treatment. Some studies show cannabis has the ability to manage acute attacks of airway constriction resulting from inflammation.

Both CBD and THC interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in order to reduce airway inflammation, and one animal study has found CBD not only reduces inflammation, but also improves lung function. Another study suggested CBD has anti-inflammatory effects following lung injury. Even cannabis' terpenes contain anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, cannabis acts as a bronchodilator, which helps to decrease resistance in the airways and support airflow. This could be because the CB1 receptor, upon activation, prevents contraction of the smooth muscle surrounding the lungs, which helps to dilate the bronchial tubes and thereby open the airways. While this information is useful, patients should remember that smoking combusted marijuana could only add to lung damage. Patients may want to opt for one of the many vehicles that does not involve smoking.  

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

Medical Marijuana for Psoriasis

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that causes dry, flaky, and red rashes, and at times leads to psoriatic arthritis. It is believed that autoimmune disorders may be the result of a disruption in the endocannabinoid system, so it is plausible that the cannabinoids found in cannabis may be able to counteract this disruption in order to help better manage psoriasis. Studies suggest when cannabinoids interact with CB2 receptors, they are able to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. Additionally, their anti-inflammatory effects and ability to regulate the immune system could prove beneficial for psoriasis therapy. Other studies have found cannabinoids can manage proliferation of skin cells, and cannabinoid receptors regulate T cell activity. Lastly, THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG are all cannabinoids that inhibit overactive T cells, making them important for psoriasis therapy. 

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

Cannabis Extract May Improve Survival Rates in Glioma Patients

Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Mikhail Kalinin

Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Mikhail Kalinin

Clinical trial data published by GW Pharmaceuticals suggests patients with brain tumors who are treated with cannabis extracts may increase their survival rates by a year in comparison to those who do not receive this treatment. Of the 21 patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme who were undergoing conventional anti-cancer treatments, some received a cannabis extract with both THC and CBD while others received placebo. The company stated in a press release, “[P]atients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients in the placebo cohort... Median survival for the THC:CBD group was greater than 550 days compared with 369 days in the placebo group.”

Although these findings support other preclinical data suggesting a combination of cannabinoids and temozolomide is more effective in treating cancer than traditional therapies alone, we would like to see larger thorough clinical trials to confirm this data. This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.