What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 3.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

In the last post, we continued to look at the conditions where medical marijuana is effective. It’s not done yet! We’ll continue the discussion below.

While the relationship between marijuana and heart disease is complicated, and cannabis can actually exacerbate symptoms in some users by increasing heart rate and blood pressure, scientists have found low doses of THC can reduce damage from heart attacks, and CBD can be used as a treatment for cardiovascular disease. Cannabis may also reduce the severity and lessen the impact of a stroke. Although most studies thus far have been animal studies, researchers believe medical cannabis may help treat the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, and one human study found synthetic THC improved motor-related symptoms of the disorder. Animal studies have found cannabis may slow the progression of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and many properties of cannabis could help reduce pain, relax muscles, reduce saliva, stimulate appetite, and induce sleep. Synthetic cannabinoids also improved pain symptoms in fibromyalgia patients, and one survey found patients actually preferred cannabis to any approved pharmaceutical medication.

New support is starting to accumulate for the use of marijuana for Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana may be able to do so by reducing inflammation and the formation of plaques. Marijuana has been found to alleviate tics and be well tolerated in patients with Tourette’s syndrome. Cannabis topicals are now offered as effective treatments for varying skin disorders, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties make it effective for the treatment of acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Marijuana may also help those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea fall asleep quicker and improve breathing during sleep. Lastly, and probably most well known, is medical marijuana’s ability to treat epilepsy. Specifically, the cannabinoid CBD is well-tolerated and effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures.

There are even many more conditions to talk about regarding medical marijuana treatment. Keep reading as we conclude our discussion in the next post! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

MMJ for Neurological Disorders - Part 1

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Neurological disorders refers to over 600 disorders that attack the body's nervous system, affecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neurological disorders can cause muscle weakness, loss of muscle control or poor coordination, paralysis, loss of sensation, spasms, seizures, loss of mental control, loss of consciousness, confusion, and pain. Cannabis has neuroprotective properties that support brain health, spinal cord and nerve health, and prevent or limit the progression of certain disorders. Cannabinoids in cannabis protect neurons, mediate inflammatory responses, and encourage regeneration. Cannabis may halt the progression of neurological disorders, delay their onset, and manage associated symptoms like spasms, seizures, tics, pain, and more. Because there are so many disorders considered neurological, we will divide this post in to a two part series. 

The cannabinoid CBD has been shown to delay the onset of the neurological disorder Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), prolong the neuron survival, and halt ALS progression. Additionally, cannabis has properties that can help manage ALS symptoms of pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping issues, spasticity, and drooling. Countless studies have shown CBD can help reduce or even eliminate seizures in those who suffer from another neurological disorder: epilepsy. Cannabinoids also help those who suffer from migraines by inhibiting the pain response through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Lastly, cannabis-based medicines have proven effective at reducing chronic neuropathic pain that are unresponsive to traditional treatments.

This information has been adapted from Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for part two of the series!

Medical Marijuana for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that results in the death of neurons in the brain, spinal cord, and motor cortex that control voluntary muscle movement. Currently, those who suffer from ALS are prescribed prescription medications intended to slow the damage to motor neurons, combat fatigue, ease muscle cramps, minimize muscle spasms, and reduce excess saliva and phlegm, but the pharmaceuticals do not reverse the neuron damage that has already been done and the medications only prolong survival for a few months.

Now, research shows that cannabis may be able to stall the progression of the disease as well as help ALS patients manage their symptoms. Preclinical studies have shown the cannabinoid THC has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. CBD has been shown to significantly slow the onset of ALS. These effects have been demonstrated in various animal models, in which the administration of cannabinoids delayed the onset of ALS, prolonged the survival of neurons, and slowed the progression of ALS. In addition, cannabis helps ALS patients manage their symptoms, which may include pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping issues, spasticity, and drooling. Fourteen medical marijuana states have already recognized and legalized the therapeutic use of cannabis for ALS, and six other states require approval for the condition. 

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

Understanding Cannabidiol (CBD) - Part 2

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

In the previous post, we set up the background of what CBD is and what therapeutic effects it can provide. Now we are going to dive in and discuss specific conditions and the ways CBD can help relieve their symptoms. 

CBD fights the progression of Alzheimer's disease by blocking microglial activation, which provides neuroprotection. By combining neuroprotective, anti-oxidative, and anti-apoptotic effects, CBD decreases the oxidative stress associated with the disease. CBD also slows the onset of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and reduces symptoms of pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping issues, spasticity, and drooling. Those who suffer anxiety can benefit from CBD's effects on the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain, reducing subjective anxiety, cognitive impairment, and the discomfort associated with public speaking in those who suffer Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). CBD limits the progression of arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties and anti-arthritic effects that protect the joints. The cannabinoid also supports bone health by enhancing the maturation of collagen and thereby improving the strength and healing process of bones.

Research is revealing how important CBD may be for treating various cancers. CBD has successfully slowed the progression of cancer in animal models, suggesting the cannabinoid would be effective in mediating cancer cell death in humans. It inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion, and decreases the gene expression in breast cancer cells, thereby lowering tumor aggressiveness and reducing tumor size. The acidic form of CBD (CBDA) down-regulates invasive human brain cancer cells and prevents its growth. For leukemia specifically, CBD prevented complications that may occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant operation. CBD reduces the nausea, vomiting, pain, and appetite loss that cancer treatments produce.

That concludes today's post, but we will continue the discussion of CBD for specific conditions in the next piece. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana Users Believe Drug's Effectiveness Is Greater Than Other Treatments

Very little comprehensive clinical research exists on the uses of medical marijuana in the treatment of various illnesses. That being said, countless patient testimonies attest to the efficacy of the treatment. We at CannaBest Medical believe this anecdotal evidence is substantial, and so do the people at PatientsLikeMe, who conducted a survey and found "a little more than 75% of users said they use medical cannabis because other treatments aren't as effective or cause too many side effects, or both." The survey also found that patients preferred the treatment because it was natural. They used it to treat pain, muscle stiffness or spasm, insomnia, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, depression, PTSD, and ALS.

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ALS and Medical Marijuana

You may know ALS as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. You may know ALS as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Or, you may know ALS because of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the recent social media trend that brought the condition to the public eye. However you think of the neurological condition, everyone knows ALS for its ability to affect a person's motor function in the muscles of organs and limbs. Symptoms of the condition include muscle weakness, muscles spasms, depression, lack of appetite, and debilitating loss of coordination. 

Currently, there is no known cure for ALS and there are few treatment options, but some doctors suggest cannabis can help. ALS patients can benefit from the complex interaction between multiple cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, CBN, THCv, and CBC. Most of the evidence that exists in support of cannabis for ALS is anecdotal, but in 2001 a group of researchers published a review in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care saying a "variety of symptoms caused by ALS can be alleviated via the use of medical marijuana, including pain, spasticity, wasting, drooling, and depression." Other researchers found that THC actually prevented the condition from progressing. 

As with most conditions, there is a substantial need for clinical trials that will help us better understand medical marijuana's ability to treat ALS. For more information on what is already known for medical marijuana and ALS, read this feature written by Whaxy: http://bit.ly/1KVGBcS