Marijuana Could Help HIV Patients Maintain Mental Stamina

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

A new study published in the journal AIDS suggests THC could help those suffering from HIV maintain mental stamina. Researchers from Michigan State University have determined cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties could reduce mental deterioration from the virus by about 50% by preventing white blood cells and their proteins from causing damage in the brain. THC could slow or stop the inflammatory process. Researchers studied the blood of 40 HIV patients, both marijuana users and non-users, and found non-users exhibited a much higher rate of inflammation within their white blood cells when isolate. Co-author Norbert Kaminski explains, “The patients who didn’t smoke marijuana had a very high level of inflammatory cells compared to those who did use… In fact, those who used marijuana had levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.”

Marijuana could be a beneficial supplemental therapy to the antiretroviral therapies that exist today through its ability to control white blood cells and inflammation. This information has been provided by High Times and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

As more states implement medical marijuana laws, and researchers become more interested in understanding the benefits of the medication, we are becoming learning more about the mysteries behind this plant and how it is able to target such a wide range of conditions and symptoms. Many conditions are accompanied by unbearable chronic pain, but now research has shown cannabis is not only an analgesic that provides effective pain relief, but that it does so without the risk of addiction or adverse side effects like its pharmaceutical counterparts. Physicians may prescribe medical marijuana for chronic muscle spasms, neuropathic pain, cancer-associated discomfort, and other pain issues.

Cancer and HIV patients often suffer from nausea and a decreased appetite, which prevents them from receiving the nutrition they need to aid recovery. Medical marijuana, however, has been shown to increase appetite and manage nausea. One of the specific cannabinoids in marijuana, CBD, reduces seizures in severe and treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy. Cannabis might also extend its benefits beyond physical health to mental health in the relief of psychiatric disorders and mental illness. Not only might it relieve anxiety and depression, but studies have found it could also help those who suffer from PTSD by alleviating feelings of fear or panic.

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association 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.  

New Study Suggests Marijuana May Benefit Mental Health

Photo Credit: Flickr @ Jordan Greentree

Photo Credit: Flickr @ Jordan Greentree

In a recent report published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, researchers have found cannabis may be able to help those who suffer from depression, social anxiety, and PTSD. That being said, they did not find it beneficial for those who suffer from bipolar disorder. The study looked through 60 different studies to see if cannabis could be useful as a therapy in relation to mental health, especially on adult psychopathology and assessment. Of those studies, 31 articles discusses cannabis for therapeutic purposes and mental health, and 29 articles that discussed mental health and cannabis but not for therapeutic purposes. 

Author of the study, and associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says, "This is a substance that has potential use for mental health... We should be looking at it in the same way [as other drugs] and be holding it up to the same standard.” The author also noted its potential in combatting the opioid epidemic, and in turn benefiting public health. 

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

Review: MMJ Holds Potential in Treating Mental Health

Photo Credit: Flickr / Dank Depot / CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo Credit: Flickr / Dank Depot / CC BY-NC 2.0

A new clinical review led by associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia Zach Walsh suggests cannabis may actually treat mental health issues, as opposed to the long held belief that it causes it. Researchers examined the connection between medical marijuana use and mental health by looking at all available studies on both medical and recreational marijuana use. They found that medical marijuana may be able to treat mental health conditions like depression, social anxiety, and PTSD, and that the medication could be substituted for other potentially problematic substances. Walsh said, "In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points."

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

Study: No Link Between Teen Marijuana Use and Mental Illness

Photo Credit: MJInvestor News

Photo Credit: MJInvestor News

One of the strong subjects of debate when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana is the effects marijuana might have on children. Marijuana is thought to be useful in the treatment of various illnesses, including epilepsy and other seizure disorders, or autism, many of which afflict children and young adults. While the relief these patients may feel from high CBD strains of medical marijuana seems incredible in comparison to the pharmaceutical options currently available, many parents and caregivers are concerned about how the medication may affect these children both mentally and physically as they mature into adulthood. Now, evidence suggests there is no link between marijuana use and mental or physical health.

The Daily Chronic discusses a study of this link, saying, "Researchers found no link between teen marijuana use and the development of psychotic symptoms, lifetime depression, anxiety, allergies, headaches, cancer, asthma, or high blood pressure." The study divided its participant population (408 males between the age of adolescence to the 30's) into four groups based on how often and when they began to use marijuana. Very few participants had mental health issues, even when ignoring the controlled mitigating factors like access to healthcare, use of other drugs, cigarette smoking, and others factors. 

The results of this study are significant because they seem to show there is little to no connection between the youth use of marijuana and the development of mental illness, but it is important to note that the study is incomplete; the only test subjects were male. We hope that further research will reveal that using marijuana in adolescence is not harmful on mental of physical development, so parents and caregivers can feel reassured when using medical marijuana to treat a child's condition.

For more details on the study, read this article on Marijuana Investor News. 

BBC Video: Is it time the UK looked at reforming its policy on cannabis?

Watch this video for an interesting discussion on Medical Cannabis. In this short BBC video, Professor Nutt cannabis and mental health issues, the effect of current regulations on medical research, and decriminalization. Professor Nutt researches medical marijuana and the brain, and had previously worked as the chief drugs advisor in UK government. 

http://bbc.in/1Hcjzvt