The Endocannabinoid System - Part 1

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Cannabis is becoming widely known for providing relief for a variety of illnesses, and it is able to do so thanks to its ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system. In this series, we will take a deep look into the this natural body’s system.

The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in overall health and equilibrium through promoting homeostasis, aiding communication between cells, managing appetite and metabolism, and regulating memory. Although the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role maintaining many of the body’s functions, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues officially discovered the system through the identification of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, two of the body’s naturally occuring endocannabinoids. Since then, in the past two decades, researchers have have published more than 20,000 scientific studies referencing cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. The endocannainoid system is comprised of enzymes that both create and destroy cannabinoids, receptors that receive cannabinoids, and endocannabioids that are produced by the body.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In tomorrow’s post, we will learn more about how the endocannabinoid system functions.

Marijuana Allergy: What You Should Know

Photo Credit: Leaf Science | Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Leaf Science | Shutterstock

Many patients who are unable to find relief through traditional treatment regimens turn to medical marijuana in hopes of reducing their symptoms. Some people, however, may feel worse after starting this alternative therapy due to a marijuana allergy. What is a marijuana allergy, and how do you know if you have one? A marijuana allergy produces allergic symptoms after encountering the cannabis plant, and the severity of allergic symptoms can be anywhere from hypersensitivity to anaphylactic shock. Symptoms can occur immediately, but may take up to an hour to develop, and they last for about half an hour before subsiding. Theories of how you develop a marijuana allergy include environmental exposure, regular cannabis use, cross reactivity between cannabis proteins and and other fruits and vegetables, and smoking. You may have a cannabis allergy if you experience asthma, chest tightness, dry cough, sore or itchy throat, skin rash, blisters, itchy skin, nose, or eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, or watery eyes. To confirm whether or not you have a cannabis allergy, visit your physician or allergist who can perform skin pricks or blood tests.

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

Why Does Marijuana Cause Dry Mouth?

Photo Credit: PixaBay

Photo Credit: PixaBay

For medical marijuana patients searching for the perfect treatment regimen, symptom relief without unwanted side effects is ideal. Medical marijuana is praised for treating a variety of conditions without producing severe adverse side effects, but some mild side effects are possible. One such side effect is dry mouth, which results when the cannabinoid THC binds to receptors in the salivary glands and reduces gland activity. Because of this, marijuana is acting directly on the salivary glands and therefore the side effect is not the result of any one particular vehicle of administration. Dry mouth is thought to be dose dependent, and becomes more severe with more consumption. To avoid dry mouth, patients should attempt to use the minimum dose required to produce symptom relief. If dry mouth does occur, drinking water through a straw can help stimulate the salivary glands.

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

Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Part 2

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2lOZd9V).

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2lOZd9V).

In our previous post, we introduced our discussion surrounding the use of cannabis for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and provided an overview of how its cannabinoids could help patients with the condition. To follow that post, we will look into how specific cannabinoids may be able to help with the condition.

One study from 2012 using a synthetic cannabinoid found the cannabinoid protected brain cells from beta-amyloid plaques and improved memory in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease. Although the study involved a synthetic cannabinoid, the cannabinoid interacted with cannabinoid receptors as natural cannabinoids would. Additionally, a study using human nerve cells found THC supported the removal of beta-amyloid from the cells. It also reduced inflammation and prevented nerve damage. Another study found THC blocked acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme which helps produce beta-amyloid plaques. Aside from memory and cognition impairments, marijuana may be able to help relieve other symptoms like behavioral issues, irritability, and aggression. A study from 1997 found THC reduced behavioral issues and increased appetite in patients with Alzheimer’s. Another trial involving 11 patients and published in 2016 found cannabis oil, when added to treatment regimens, helped Alzheimer’s patients with delusions, aggression, irritability, apathy, and sleep.

CBD, on the other hand, may help patients in ways that THC cannot. CBD may be able to reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety, and so may be better at treating psychiatric symptoms than THC which could exacerbate these symptoms. Another study from 2014 which was published in the journal Psychopharmacology found regular administration of CBD could also improve memory deficits, and reversed cognitive deficits in animal models of Alzheimer’s. CBD also reduced proteins contributing to the production of beta-amyloid plaques. A 2011 study found CBD contributed to neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells, in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain which regulates memory and is damaged by Alzheimer’s.

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

Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease Part 1

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2lOZd9V).

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2lOZd9V).

Areas of the brain responsible for controlling memory are regulated by the endocnannabinoid system, leading researchers to hypothesize cannabinoids found in cannabis may be able to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As Alzheimer’s develops, beta-amyloid plaques block and disrupt the endocannabinoid system, which could be responsible for producing the early symptoms of memory impairments. Because cannabis is known to interact with this system and resolve endocannabinoid deficiencies, it could resolve these issues. Cannabinoids not only interact with this system, but also contain neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects that could benefit those with the condition. Studies have found cannabinoids protect brain cells from damage and prevent disruptions in cognition in animal models of Alzheimer’s. Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties could prevent inflammation from damaging neurons and contributing to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s patients, and one study from 2009 confirmed cannabinoids helped to regulate inflammation in the brain.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In our next post, we will discuss how specific cannabinoids like THC and CBD could be useful in treating the condition.

Marijuana and Depression

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Photo Credit: Pixabay (https://bit.ly/2Sx8ZIm)

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, with symptoms of feeling sad, low energy, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Now, evidence is beginning to suggest medical cannabis could be a powerful player in targeting the condition. Although clinical trials are lacking, the research that does exist is hopeful. One study from 2009 found activating the CB1 receptor produces antidepressant effects in animals, and another animal trial from 2007 found cannabis could act as an antidepressant by increasing the production of and activating serotonin in the brain. Medical marijuana may even work alongside conventional antidepressant medications for enhanced relief.

When administered in the optimal dose THC has been effective as an antidepressant in animals, but in the wrong dose it could actually make depression worse. Another study found over time, THC increased BDNF, a protein that is deficient in those who suffer from depression. Additionally, CBD could produce fast-acting antidepressant effects. One study from 2014 found CBD was effective at treating depression in animals, and two years later, a study found CBD activated the endocannabinoid system and the serotonin systems to produce antidepressant effects. Specifically, CBD was able to treat symptoms associated with depression like anhedonia, which prevents people from feeling pleasure.

Those who choose to use medical marijuana for the treatment of depression should use caution due to the fact that marijuana could exacerbate symptoms if not used in the proper dose. Some studies suggest cannabis use could increase the risk of developing depression, however the causation and correlation relationship remains unknown. Youth who use marijuana frequently seem especially at risk of developing depression. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana Tolerance: How It Works

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2m5zKJo).

Photo Credit: MaxPixel (https://bit.ly/2m5zKJo).

Medical marijuana therapy can be a powerful tool in treating a wide variety of symptoms, but over time, can patients develop a tolerance to the therapy and thereby render it ineffective? For chronic users, marijuana may lose its potency over time, requiring users to use larger doses to experience the same effect. As with all medications, a tolerance is developed through a neurological process called downregulation, and over time, the brain reduces the number of receptors, in this case CB1 receptors, that are available to a particular substance in an attempt to maintain homeostasis.

Just as tolerance can be developed, however, tolerance can also be reduced. One study from 2016 looked at the PET scans of 18-35 year old men and found that two days of abstinence from cannabis was enough to increase CB1 receptor activity. After 28 days, the CB1 receptor activity had returned to normal, and the tolerance was lost. However, stopping marijuana use can also result in some minor withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, cravings, and boredom. Although a patient’s use is determined by the need for symptom relief or combatting specific conditions, if possible, infrequent cannabis use could be helpful in avoiding the development of a cannabis tolerance.

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

Marijuana for the Treatment of PTSD

Photo Credit:  Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Dr. Valerie Rice ( https://bit.ly/2FAxBtt).

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Dr. Valerie Rice (https://bit.ly/2FAxBtt).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that develops as a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Common symptoms include intrusive unwanted thoughts, avoidance of potential triggers, negative thoughts like fear, anger, shame, and horror, and hypervigilance and irritability. Many physicians and researchers believe medical marijuana could be helpful in treating the symptoms associated with PTSD, and that it could serve as a substitute for the powerful and potentially dangerous pharmaceutical medications that are currently used for its treatment. In fact, marijuana use among those with PTSD is already common, suggesting it may be helping patients cope with the condition. Research is lacking, but the Multidisciplinary Association for Pyschadelic Studies (MAPS) has begun a clinical trial looking into the use of cannabis for PTSD, and the study will look at the safety and efficacy of different strengths of cannabis for use by PTSD patients. Researchers also theorize cannabis may help those with PTSD because it already is known to treat many symptoms that coincide with the condition, like the loss in quality of sleep, anxiety, and protecting against fear memory.

While cannabis is mostly thought to help those with PTSD, some fear it could make symptoms worse. The treatment of anxiety with cannabis is complex, and certain strains of cannabis, especially those containing high levels of THC, could make anxiety worse and thereby make the symptoms of PTSD worse. Some fear marijuana only serves as an emotional crutch, and may prevent sufferers from finding healthy ways of coping with their disorder. The cannabinoid content is responsible for whether or not cannabis use could be successful or not, but understanding these effects is not so simple. THC may be able to help those with PTSD by inducing sleep, but it could making symptoms worse by producing paranoia and anxiety. CBD could help in this by balancing out the effects of THC, while also acting as an anti-anxiety and antipsychotic medication.

Cannabis in conjunction with pyschotherapy could be a powerful team in the treatment of PTSD. This information has been provided by Leafly and approve by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Best Marijuana Strains For Anxiety?

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Photo Credit: NicePik (https://bit.ly/2kp1Df4)

Treating anxiety with medical marijuana can be a complex process, and it comes down to the composition of a strain’s cannabinoids and terpenes that determine whether or not the plant will ease or exacerbate symptoms. While there isn’t a ton of research on medical marijuana for anxiety, the research that does exist has been positive. One study from 2017 found 40% of patients who used medical marijuana were able to ween off of their benzodiazepine anxiety medications.

Many suggest Indica strains, which tend to be more calming, are better at relieving anxiety symptoms, but to better understand which strains provide the best relief it is helpful to understand the precise cannabinoid and terpenoid makeup of the strain. When you understand the makeup of a strain, look for high-CBD strains for anxiety relief and avoid THC, which can actually produce feelings of anxiety and paranoia. CBD has been shown to counteract social anxiety disorder. Additionally, CBD can buffer against the side effects of THC, so that users can experience the relaxation and sedation that THC offers without experiencing the paranoia or anxiety it might induce. On the terpenoid end of the spectrum, researchers point to Myrcene as having the most powerful sedative anti-anxiety properties, but other terpenes that could help include linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and terpinolene.

When you begin to titrate your medical marijuana dosing regimen in the search for better relief, our app can guide the way. Document your regimen daily, and you’ll discover which changes are beneficial to your routine and which should be avoided. In turn, this information can be collected anonymously to help others determine a starting place in their own search for symptom relief. This information has been provided partially by Leaf Science. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for CannaBest Medical.

Marijuana and the Entourage Effect

Photo Credit: MaxPixel

Photo Credit: MaxPixel

Marijuana has a plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes, and while they’re known to have their own unique medicinal benefits when isolated, it’s when they work together that something truly amazing happens. For example, the two most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD, work to balance each other, so that CBD can reduce any negative side effects that THC might cause while boosting its positive outcomes. CBD has been show to counteract some of the negatives associated with marijuana, like tachycardia, sedation, intoxication, and other psychoactive effects.

Terpenes, which are the cannabis compounds responsible for the scent and flavor of marijuana, can also play a powerful role in the entourage effect. These chemicals can actually morph how cannabinoids bind to their receptors, and in doing so alter the effects that are produced. On their own, terpenes can affect sedation, pain relief, and provide antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety effects. When working alongside cannabinoids, however, terpenes could work in tandem to treat acne, MRSA infections, and psychiatric illnesses.

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have dedicated more time researching the combination of different cannabinoids rather than isolating them, pointing to the powerful effects that whole plant cannabis can offer. It is important to understand what cannabinoid and terpenoid combinations can produce the most effective relief for your symptoms, and our app can help! Remember to document your regimen daily in order to monitor which dose works best. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science.

What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 3

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Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Let’s continue our discussion of which conditions could benefit from CBD treatment by beginning with strokes. One animal study found CBD reduced two types of brain damage caused by a stroke, so much so that the outcomes of the group which had the stroke were comparable to the control group that did not. Its neuroprotective properties may help prevent brain damage and help patients heal. When administered before trauma, CBD can also protect against the damage caused by spinal cord injury, and aid in the healing process. Because of its neuroprotective effects, CBD may also be beneficial for those with traumatic brain injury, and studies suggest the cannabinoid protects neurons following injury, reduces the formation of scar tissue, and regenerates neuronal axons. CBD may also treat nicotine addiction, and in one study involving 24 smokers, some smokers received a placebo inhaler while some received a placebo inhaler. Smokers were instructed to use the inhaler when cigarette cravings struck. Those who received the placebo did no reduce their cigarette usage, while those who received CBD reduced their use by 40%.

The medication Sativex, which contains equal parts CBD and THC, has been found to effectively lower scores of spasticity related symptoms in patients with moderate to severe Multiple Sclerosis, even when these patients were previously treatment-resistant. CBD also reduced the production of cytokines, and activated an important biological pathway blocked by multiple sclerosis. Sativex may also help those with ADHD. CBD was also found to improve social interaction and reduce hyperactivity in rats with ADHD. CBD may also promote wakefulness in those who suffer from sleep disorders that cause excessive sleep. CBD also improved the quality of sleep in young patients who suffered from PTSD. CBD may also help patients heal from liver disease. One study found CBD reduces the neurological damage and cognitive impairments caused by toxins that remain in the blood as a result of liver failure. CBD also restored liver and brain function. Lastly, when taken before and after surgery, CBD increased the success rates of bone marrow transplants, and patients who received CBD were less likely to develop graft versus host disease.

This concludes our series examining the many uses for CBD. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 2

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

In today’s post, we’ll continue our discussion of which conditions could benefit from CBD treatment.

We’ll begin with Alzheimer’s disease, which scientists believe CBD could treat or even prevent its onset. A 2013 study found CBD prevented the development of amyloid beta plaques, while another study found CBD promoted the growth of new brain cells that were lost to damage caused by the condition, and that it improved symptoms associated with cognitive deficits. The topical application of CBD may treat acne, and studies have found it can reduce inflammation and the production of sebum oil, as well as halt the development of acne. CBD can also help with psoriasis, and studies have found the cannabinoid can prevent the spread of cells that cause the condition’s patches. CBD may also help cancer patients, not only by reducing the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, but also by preventing the spread of cancer cells and causing cancer cell death. Studies have also found CBD slows the formation of blood vessels within tumors, thereby blocking nutrients from entering the tumor and slowing its growth.

CBD has also been earning a name lately for treating pain and reducing the need for the harmful opiate medications that are traditionally used. Studies have found CBD reduces inflammation and the sensory perception and emotional effects of pain. Research suggests CBD is more effective at treating long-term neuropathic pain than short-term pain. CBD may protect against heart disease, and studies have found the cannabinoid protects cardiac cells when blood supply to the heart is blocked, stops heart arrhythmia, and reduces cardiac damage when oxygen is block. CBD also reduces heart disease from diabetes by reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, scarring, and cell death. The topical application of CBD can target localized areas of pain caused by arthritis. Studies have found CBD blocks pain and prevents nerve damage from osteoarthritis, as well as uses anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects to blog the condition’s progression. Some studies have found CBD may be able to stabilize mood, something that could be helpful for those suffering from Bipolar Disorder. That said, CBD was only effective during depressive stages, and not during manic phases.

That’s not all! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post to learn more about which conditions CBD could help. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 1

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

As legalization proceeds and barriers to medical marijuana research are knocked down, we are becoming more aware of just how powerful wide-reaching medical marijuana is. One of the cannabinoids getting the most attention is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can help a myriad of conditions. In this series, we will discuss some of the many conditions CBD can treat.

Numerous studies have suggested CBD can reduce anxious feelings in those with anxiety disorders, and that it can effectively treated a variety of anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder. Studies also suggest CBD could benefit those who suffer from depression. Animal studies have shown CBD acts on the serotonin pathways in the brain, allowing it to act as an antidepressant, and one study found CBD reduces anhedonia, which is a symptom of depression that prevents people from feeling joy or happiness. CBD can also stop nausea and vomiting. One study found CBD effectively helped treat nausea in patients who did not get relief from traditional treatments. CBD may also help those with diabetes, and animal studies have found the cannabinoid slows the progression of diabetes and diabetic inflammations, as well as benefit complications associated with diabetes. CBD may also protect against diabetes, and one study found CBD prevented at-risk mice from developing the condition.

Perhaps the most well-known success story for CBD is its ability to treat epilepsy. CBD has acted as an anticonvulsant in animal models, and GW Pharmaceuticals have been testing their CBD oil Epidiolex with success. In the study, 25 and 50 mg/kg a day lowered seizure frequency by half while producing few mild side effects. Additionally, a 2013 survey of parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy found 84% reported reduced seizure frequency with CBD use. Lastly, and contrary to previous beliefs, CBD may treat schizophrenia and mental illnesses related to psychosis. It has been found to be as effective as antipsychotics with fewer side effects, and scientists believe this could be attributed to the stimulation of anandamide production. One study found CBD helped with hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotion, and reduced social functioning. CBD can also benefit those with Parkinson’s disease, and various studies have found CBD can help treat the sleep disturbances and psychosis associated with the disorder without worsening motor symptoms and while improving overall quality of life.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In tomorrow’s post, we will continue to discuss some of the conditions CBD is able to treat.

Can Marijuana Help You Lose Weight?

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana may actually help people lose weight instead of gain weight. This seems contradictory to the fact that marijuana does in fact cause the munchies. One study from 2014 from the University of Bordeaux found THC interacts with CB1 receptor’s in the brain’s olfactory bulb, leading to a strengthened ability to smell food and increased food consumption. Additionally, research has found CB1 receptor activation leads to the release of the hormone ghrelin, which increases user appetite.

Still, studies have found marijuana use is linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), and one study from 2013 involving 13,000 adults found marijuana users had 16% lower fasting insulin levels and lower insulin resistance levels than non users. Additionally, marijuana users had smaller waist circumferences and lower BMI than non-users. Another study from 2015 found communities that had implemented medical marijuana programs were associated with 2-6% lower rates of obesity. Researchers believe marijuana’s ability to promote weight loss may be attributed to the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). In a study from 2013, mice were fed 10 mg THCV once a day. These mice exhibited lower glucose intolerance, which is a symptom of type 2 diabetes. A lower glucose intolerance is associated with weight loss. Another way marijuana can help with weight loss is through activation of the CB2 receptors, which, according to an Australian study in 2015, reduces appetite and prevents the buildup of body fat. Another study from 2012 involving male rats found cannabidiol (CBD) reduced appetite and caused the rats to eat less food over time than those who were fed placebo.

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

Marijuana for Insomnia

Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez (https://bit.ly/2KQlizp).

Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez (https://bit.ly/2KQlizp).

New research suggests medical marijuana may be able to help people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, sleepiness during the day, depression, anxiety, irritability, and worrying about sleep. The American Sleep Association claims 30% of adults suffer from short-term sleep issues, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Current treatment options include prescribing sleep medication, treating conditions which may be causing the disorder, or undergoing behavioral therapy. Studies have found marijuana may be able to offer an alternative therapy for insomnia. One research review from 2017 found the cannabinoid THC could help patients fall asleep faster. Another study from 2004 found CBD had the opposite effect, and actually produced wake-inducing effects. Another study from 2006 found patients who were prescribed synthetic marijuana for pain also used the medication because it improved sleep. A study from 2004 found THC and Sativex reduced pain and increased sleep.

While marijuana can serve as a sleep aid, there are side effects that coincide with using the medication as well. It may reduce dreaming through diminishing REM sleep, cause a hangover-like effect, and become less effective over time. For most, reducing dreams would be a negative side effect, but acoording to one scientific review in 2017, this was actually a beneficial outcome for patients suffering from PTSD. For those patients, the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone effectively reduced nightmares. Various studies have found that using marijuana before bed can produce increased sleepiness, changes in mood, memory impairment, and increased daytime sleep the following day. Lastly, marijuana may be best used as an occasional sleep aid. Overtime, chronic used of the medication becomes less effective, but at the same time stopping its use can further make sleep difficult.

There are pros and cons to using marijuana as a sleep aid. When choosing to use the medication, it is best to use in lower doses and infrequently. If you use the medical cannabis for sleep, be sure to keep track of it with our journaling function. That way, you can monitor the frequency and strength of your dose, while also keeping track of whether or not its benefits outweigh its negative side effects. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for our product.

Can Marijuana Help With Back Pain?

Photo Credit: WolfBlur/Pixabay

Photo Credit: WolfBlur/Pixabay

Marijuana’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential candidate for reducing back pain. Currently, massages or chiropractic therapy, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications like opioids are used to treat back pain. There are many clinical trials that suggest cannabis could be a powerful treatment option for pain reduction. One study found patients who inhaled vaporized cannabis three times a day over the course of five days significantly reduced their chronic pain. Another review of six clinical trials found “high quality” evidence that cannabis could provide powerful pain relief. One study found 34 patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain cannabis extracts significantly improved pain management. Indeed, most patients in the U.S. and Canada cite chronic pain as their main reason for using medical marijuana. Researchers believe cannabis is able to combat pain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and blocking pain signals from being sent to the brain.

At a time when opioids are seemingly overprescribed and the opioid epidemic is rampant, medical marijuana is a welcomed player in pain management. One survey found 97% of participants successfully decreased their use of opioids thanks to marijuana. and 81% found cannabis was more effective on its own at treating their condition. Another survey found 63% of 166 respondents enrolled in Canada’s national medical cannabis system substituted prescriptions with cannabis, and 32% attributed their substitution to fewer side effects and better symptom management.

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

Marijuana for Autism

Photo Credit: PlusLexia.com

Photo Credit: PlusLexia.com

Autism is a developmental disability that may benefit from medical marijuana use. Although research surrounding medical cannabis for autism is lacking, interest is growing within the medical community, anecdotal evidence, and preclinical trials suggest medical marijuana may be able to help.

One 2017 study found the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating neuroinflammation, something that would have a large impact on autism spectrum disorder. Researchers explain, “We postulate that modulation of the ES in ASD could prove a valuable tool to prevent or delay the progression of disease.” Because marijuana has the ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system and bind with its receptors, it could be a way to target the system and help those with autism. Another study found, specifically, that the CB2 receptor could be a potential target for pharmacological care for autism. Another study from Stanford University found altering the endocannabinoid system could contribute to autism pathophysiology. That said, these studies have been conducted on animal models, and so there should be caution before implementing medical marijuana as part of your treatment regimen until there ave been trials translating these effects to human models.

To try medical marijuana for autism, the dosing method is extremely important. Too large of a dose can exacerbate symptoms, while too little may not provide relief. Parents who have anecdotally attested to marijuana’s powers in autism treatment often start with high-CBD low-THC strains, and then titrate from there. Cannabis may also produce negative side effects in those with sub-diagnoses of autism that involve streptococcal infections and/or gastrointestinal and bacterial gut issues. Our journaling tool can make finding the right dose easy! With our app, you can enter the information of your dose, including the ratio of cannabinoids, the amount, how often you take it and the methods of intake, and then keep track of the results, so that you can monitor which combinations provide the best relief! Journaling daily is the most accurate way of keeping track of your regimen.

This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for our product.

All About Cannabinoids - Part 2

Photo Credit: Toomaj F. Bungs | pexels (https://bit.ly/2I6rtyq)

Photo Credit: Toomaj F. Bungs | pexels (https://bit.ly/2I6rtyq)

In the previous post, we introduced the powerful chemicals in cannabis known as cannabinoids. Now, we will discuss in detail the unique properties found in cannabis.

Most people are aware of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a cannabinoid that binds with the CB1 receptor in the brain and is responsible for producing the psychoactive effect of feeling “high.” THC is one of the more prevalent cannabinoids in marijuana, and it may be beneficial for patients who need to reduce nausea and vomiting, and pain. Although THC can offer therapeutic benefits, side effects include rapid heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, dizziness, sedation, short-term memory, impaired concentration, and in severe cases, panic attack, hallucinations, and vomiting when consumed in large amounts. The other most well known cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is popular for medicinal purposes because it does not produce a psychoactive effect, and can even buffer against the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, and most famously, pediatric epilepsy. It provides neuroprotective benefits and is known reduce pain and inflammation.

The cannabinoids cannabinol (CBN) is known for its antibacterial and analgesic properties, anticonvulsant and sedative effects, and appetite stimulation. Cannabichromene (CBC), like CBD, does not produce psychoactive effects. CBC acts as an analgesic, an antidepressant, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The cannabinoid could help treat those with acne or diarrhea. Cannabigerol (CBG) is a building block for all other cannabinoids, and it is known for providing pain relief, antifungal and antibacterial effects, reduce inflammation, and neuroprotective effects.

This concludes our short series on the cannabinoids in marijuana. To learn more, visit the Leaf Science website. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

All About Cannabinoids - Part 1

Photo Credit: Toomaj F. Bungs | pexels (https://bit.ly/2I6rtyq)

Photo Credit: Toomaj F. Bungs | pexels (https://bit.ly/2I6rtyq)

There are 113 known cannabinoids found in marijuana. Cannabinoids are the chemicals in marijuana that interact with cannabinoid receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system in ways that mimic the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids, which allows them to produce medicinal and recreational benefits. Because the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating appetite, sleep, pain, mood, and memory, medical marijuana is capable of producing a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Most people are familiar with the two most popular and well known cannabinoids, THC and CBD, but there are so many more cannabinoids that also offer medicinal benefits. In the following post, we will discuss in more detail what makes these cannabinoids unique and powerful.

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

Marijuana and Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: Jurassic Blueberries / Flickr (https://bit.ly/2OAkcaF)

Photo Credit: Jurassic Blueberries / Flickr (https://bit.ly/2OAkcaF)

Medical marijuana is recognized for its analgesic properties, which makes it beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain or other pain producing conditions, and which could have significant implications in the fight against the opioid epidemic. One study published in 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that analyzed six trials involving a total of 325 patients with chronic pain and six trials involving 396 patients with neuropathic pain found both THC and CBD provided effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Many find marijuana preferable to pharmaceutical medications because it is not only effective, but also has little habit-forming risk, has few side effects, and cannot cause a fatal overdose. States that have enacted medical marijuana laws have witnessed a 15-35% reduction in substance abuse admissions and opiate overdoses, according to public health records. Marijuana may provided an appropriate substitute for opioid medications and may also help with the withdrawal process from such medications.

To read about some of the studies to support these claims, visit the original post on Leaf Science’s website. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.