Cannabis May Help Those With Heart Failure - But Caution Before Use

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

New research suggests cannabis may be able to help those suffering from heart failure, but patients should remain cautious until further research is conducted. Investigators led by Dr. Oluwole Adegbala from the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey found patients who had used cannabis were less likely to die in the hospital or experience atrial fibrillation (A-fib), an irregular heartbeat that can cause more serious complications like blood clots and stroke. The team looked at data from over six million patients that were hospitalized for heart failure between 2007 and 2014, and found 1,200 were considered dependent on cannabis and 23,000 had used cannabis without dependency issues. Those who weren’t dependent on cannabis were 18% less likely to develop A-fib, and dependent users were 31% less likely to develop the condition, than those who didn’t use cannabis. In addition, nondependent users were 46% less likely, and dependent users were 58% less likely, to die while hospitalized than those who abstained from use.

While the link remains unknown, Dr. Adegbala theorizes cannabis may be able to reduce A-fib and heart-related mortality due to its ability to reduce high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and inflammation. That said, she cautions heart failure patients against using the plant until more research is conducted. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis Reduced Pain, Improved Quality Of Life For Cancer Patients In New Study

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Photo Credit: Civilized

According to an Israeli study from Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Centre which involved hundreds of palliative care cancer patients, cannabis reduced pain and increased quality of life. Researchers looked at data from March 2015 to February 2017 which involved 1,152 cancer patients who used cannabis as a medicine. The patients first met with nurses, and then had follow-up phone interviews a month after and six months after. Before the treatment, 50.2% of patients experienced pain rated between 8-10, with 0 as painless and 10 as unimaginably painful. Six months later, only 5% still reported pain within the 8-10 range. Additionally, prior to cannabis treatment, only 19% of patients rated their quality of life as “good.” After six months of cannabis treatment, however, this percentage jumped to 70%. Although 1,152 patients participated in phone interviews, there were actually 3,357 patients who started the palliative cannabis care during the study. However, 903 patients died, 483 patients stopped cannabis treatment, and 339 reported feeling dizziness, dry mouth, and tiredness.

This reminds us that cannabis may not be the best treatment option for everyone. To determine whether or not cannabis treatment might work for you, our app can help! With this journaling tool, you can keep track of the dosing amount, cannabinoid ratio, and frequency of usage to document which combinations provide desirable relief and which combinations produce unwanted side effects. In this way, you can figure out the dosing routine with consistently makes you feel the way you want to feel. We recommend journaling daily for the most accurate results.

This information has been provided in part by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement by Civilized for any CannaBest Medical products.

More Than 20 Percent of Military Veterans Use Medical Marijuana

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Photo Credit: Civilized

The American Legion recently conducted a study that stated 22% of veterans used medical marijuana to treat a mental or physical condition, and 39% know someone who uses medical cannabis for those purposes. Additionally, 81% of veterans support federal medical marijuana legalization. This information supports previous surveys which found veterans are more likely to use medical marijuana than the general public. This survey suggests that veterans are actively treating their conditions with medical marijuana, and that they would like medical marijuana access at a time when opioid prescriptions are too easily available.

This information has been brought to you in part by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Delving Into The Science Of How Cannabis Can Treat Migraines

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Photo Credit: Civilized

Migraines are severe headaches that are thought to be produced by inflammation in the dura mater, or the brain’s outer casing. This inflammation may result from activation of the trigeminovascular system. MIgraines are also associated with dilated blood vessels, caused by neuropeptides and gas nitric oxide. The endocannabinoid is a key player in regulating the trigeminovascular system, and too few endocannabinoids are thought to increase the chance of developing a migraine. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, may be able to reducing trigeminovascular activity and reducing the presence of neuropeptides and nitric oxide.

In one rodent model, in which researchers induced migraines in rats, THC effectively reduced symptoms if administered before their onset. In the study, researchers observed that the rats drastically reduced their time spent running on a wheel when in pain from migraine. However, when given THC, they spent more time on the wheel after the migraine was stimulated. If THC was administered after the onset of symptoms, it was not as effective. In a human study from 2016 which was published in Pharmacotherpy, 121 migraine sufferers averaging 10.4 migraines a month began using medical cannabis therapy. Within one to three years, the average migraine frequency was reduced to 4.6 a month, and over 10% actually eliminated their migraines with the therapy. Because of its fast onset of relief, smoking marijuana was considered the best vehicle of administration. Forty-eight percent of participants experienced relief, and side effects were minimal.

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

Canadian Scientists Are Using Marijuana to Help People With Crack Cocaine Addictions

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study coming from researchers in Canada suggests marijuana may be able to help curb crack cocaine addiction. The study looked at 100 people addicted to crack cocaine who had used another drug in an attempt to stop use. Of those involved, marijuana was substance that was most successful in decreasing the rate of crack usage. This study supports another study coming from Brazil, in which 68% of the 25 participants involved were able to cease crack usage with the help of marijuana.

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

Two Thirds Of Pain Patients In A New Study Used Cannabis To Get Off Opioids

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Photo Credit: Civilized

According to a new survey of 400 patients and 500 pharmacists conducted by Aclara Research, two thirds of pain patients successfully weened off of opioids with the help of cannabis. Of those polled, 67% ceased use of opioids once enrolled in state regulated medical cannabis programs, and 29% able to reduce their use of opioids with cannabis, leaving only 4% with opioid use unaffected by cannabis access. Additionally, 30% of patients stopped using all prescription medications with the use of medical cannabis. Of the pharmacists polled, 87% supported legalized medical marijuana access, and 69% pharmacists should dispense the medication and provide guidance for its use. With the current situation, only 15% of patients discussed cannabis with their pharmacists, with 40% of users learning about the medication online. This survey supports findings from previous studies, and further illustrates how medical cannabis could be a powerful player in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is gripping the nation.

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

Study: Minors With Seizures, Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea May Benefit From Cannabis

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study from Harvard’s Department of Psychiatry suggests medical marijuana may be able to help children and teenagers who suffer from seizures or chemotherapy-induced nausea. In the meta-analysis, which looked through 22 studies involving medical marijuana administration to children and teens, it was found THC improved nausea and vomiting in young chemotherapy patients, and CBD helped reduce seizures. Researchers point to proper dosing in order to avoid concerns that cannabis could hinder motor skills and memory function or produce psychoactive effects. Lead author Dr. Shane Shucheng explains, “Our research supports the AAP’s concerns that cannabis can be harmful to children’s brains… Studies of children and adolescents who use recreational cannabis, particularly frequent use of high potency cannabis over longer periods of time, suggest negative effects on learning, memory, attention, and problem-solving ability.”

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


3 Pros and 3 Cons of Using Edibles

As is true of any method of intake when it comes to dosing with medical marijuana, or any prescription medication, there are benefits and downsides to any vehicle of administration. In the above video, Civilized discusses the pros and cons to consuming the medical marijuana edible, which is a popular form of medical marijuana dosing among consumers. If you don’t have time or are not in a good place to watch the video, here’s a rundown of what it says.

For patients looking longterm relief, the effects of an edible are long lasting. Its effects remain stead and constant, and can range anywhere from three to seven hours. The unique process involved in metabolizing an edible results in a more potent effect than can permeate across the body. On the downside, the onset of relief from edibles are delayed, and can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours to take effect. The edible’s stronger potency along with its delayed effects can cause consumers to either take too little, for fear of experience to strong of an effect, or too much, out of impatience in waiting for relief. Lastly, it can be difficult to distinguish marijuana edibles from other consumable goods. This can should be considered when keeping edibles away from children, and it can cause concern of accidentally ingestion when eating an edible is not desired.

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

Treating Autism With Cannabis Now Has Scientific Support

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study has found CBD extract may be able to provide support for those diagnosed with autism. Many researchers attribute the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which include problems in communication, odd social interactions, restricted or repetitive movements, to reduced inhibition in the brain. Now, in a breakthrough study, a team of researchers from the University of Washington has sought to use CBD as a way of restoring inhibition in the brain. Scientists used a genetic mouse model, in which the genes have been mutated in order to produce the symptoms of Dravet Syndrome, which includes inducing spontaneous seizures and exhibiting autism-like behaviors, to determine the effects of CBD on autism, specifically. In the model, mice were offered a choice between interacting with other mice or objects. While mice would usually prefer to spend time with other mice, the autistic-like mice usually have no preference and will split their time equally between the two. Upon receiving small amounts of CBD (about 10-20% of the anti-epileptic dose), the autistic-like mice significantly increased the amount of time they spent with other mice. Additionally, CBD reduced the urge autistic-like mice felt in escaping these social situations, and they exhibited improved performance in regards to the quality of their social interactions.

To understand these results, the researchers recorded electrical signals within the brains of the individual mice. They found CBD blocked the brain receptor GPR55 from interfering with how the brain cells communicated, thereby restoring balance and brain inhibition. The next steps will involve breaking down the barriers that exist as a result of cannabis’ Schedule I status so that researchers can test the effects of CBD on autism in large-scale human models. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cancer Patients in Seattle Effectively Treat Symptoms with Cannabis

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Photo Credit: Civilized

Information coming from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle has found of 926 patients at the Seattle Cancer Centre Alliance in Washington State, nearly a quarter self medicate with cannabis to treat symptoms like physical pain, nausea, stress, insomnia, and depression. In the study, which was published in the journal Cancer, 24% of patients used cannabis within the year, and 21% within the month. Around 66% had used it at some time in their lives. Three-quarters of those surveyed also expressed interest in learning about cannabis from reliable sources like healthcare professionals.

Investigators also found most patients were not receiving their information from healthcare professionals, leading researcher Dr. Steven Pergam to state, “Cancer patients desire but are not receiving information from their cancer doctors about marijuana use during their treatment, so many of them are seeking information from alternate non-scientific sources… We hope that this study helps to open up the door for more studies aimed at evaluating the risks and benefits of marijuana in this population ... This is important, because if we do not educate our patients about marijuana, they will continue to get their information elsewhere.”

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

Survey Finds Coloradans Use Marijuana For Sleep and Pain Relief, Not Partying

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Photo Credit: Civilized

With the wave of legalization gaining popularity in various states across the nation, it is interesting to see the motivations behind marijuana use. In Colorado, where both recreational and medical marijuana are legal, it seems even the recreational users are using marijuana to self medicate, as opposed to using it for fun. The organization Consumer Research Around Cannabis surveyed over 1,200 marijuana users in Denver and it surroundings, and found 47.2% used cannabis as a sleep aid. Another 47.2% used it for pain relief. Falling closely behind, 45.7% used marijuana for anxiety and depression. Only 28.5% used marijuana for recreational fun, and 32.8% responded they used marijuana for expanding creativity and thought processes.

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

New Study: Marijuana with CBD Has Less Long-Term Risks Than Other Forms

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Photo Credit: Civilized

Many people may desire the use of medical cannabis but fear any negative side effects. With cannabidiol (CBD) gaining in popularity for its high-safety profile and lack of psychoactive side effects, people wonder whether or not the cannabinoid is worth the hype. According to a new study, led by Dr. Ken Mackie from Indiana University, the answer is yes. In the study, scientists injected two groups of mice with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with one group only receiving the THC and the other also receiving CBD. Mice who received only THC experienced greater memory impairment and anxiety over the long term, while those who also received CBD did not experience these effects.

Previous studies surrounding THC and CBD have been mixed, but Mackie believes his study is more accurate because “this is the first study in a rigorously controlled animal model to find that CBD appears to protect the brain against the negative effects of chronic THC.” He continues to explain that this experiment "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."

More research is left to be desired to understand how CBD is able to exhibit these effects. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

Trauma Patients Who Use Cannabis Less Likely To Die In Hospital: Study

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A study conducted by the University of Arizona and published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery has found trauma patients who enter the hospital having used cannabis are less likely to die in-hospital than their age-matched controls. Researchers observed the in-hospital mortality rates of 2,678 adults in the intensive care unit, of which 1,339 were cannabis positive and 1,339 are cannabis negative, over a five year period. They found those who tested positive upon arrival were less likely to die while hospitalized.

Researchers explained, “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen… Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.” This information supports previous finding surrounding cannabis and the likelihood of in-hospital survival.

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


New Study Finds Marijuana is Useful for Treating Chronic Nerve Pain

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A new review commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has found there is “low strength” evidence that suggests medical marijuana may provide therapeutic benefits for chronic nerve pain. This acknowledgment supports a previous report from the National Academy of Sciences which determined there is substantial evidence supporting marijuana’s use for nerve pain, muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis, and nausea from chemotherapy. This marks two American institutions that acknowledge marijuana may be useful in the treatment of serious medical conditions. In spite of the report in which the Department of Veteran Affairs acknowledges the potential benefit of marijuana use, its doctors will not prescribe it to patients.

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

42% Of New CBD Users Stop Taking Traditional Medicines

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Photo Credit: Civilized

A survey conducted by Brightfield Group and HelloMD has found 42% of CBD users were able to stop the use of traditional medications, ranging from common Tylenol pain relievers to prescription medications like Vicodin. Other findings included 80% of CBD users found the cannabinoid to be extremely effective, less than 3% found it to be ineffectual or slightly ineffective, and 55% or users were female. The study involved 2400 of HellMD’s members.

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

Another Study Has Found Cannabis To Be An Effective Treatment For Chronic Pain

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Photo Credit: Civilized

Researchers from Montreal and Vancouver have confirmed yet again that cannabis is safe and effective at relieving chronic pain. The study involved 215 adults who used medical marijuana for a year, of which 141 were current cannabis users and 58 were ex-consumers, and a control group of 216 patients who didn’t use cannabis at all. Those who received cannabis were given a flower with 12.5% THC and were allowed to consume it however they preferred, with most choosing to inhale or vaporize it. After the year-long study ended, patients who consumed cannabis reported a significant decrease in discomfort and an enhanced quality of life in comparison to the control group. Additionally, cannabis consumers did not experience a greater risk of side effects, and there was no change in cognitive abilities. Cannabis consumers also reported a reduction in anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

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