What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 3

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

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.

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

Photo Credit: Civilized

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.

Study Suggests Cannabis May Help Crack Addicts Reduce Use

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Researchers from the BC Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver surveyed over 100 crack users in the city between the years of 2012 and 2015 and found cannabis may be able to help reduce crack cocaine addiction. The data was sourced from three prospective cohorts of more than 2,000 drug users. Some users intentionally used cannabis to control their addiction, and saw crack consumption drop significantly, with the proportion of daily reporters dropping from 35% to 20%. The BC Centre on Substance use would like to continue examining whether cannabis could be an effective tool for those looking to reduce their use of crack or other stimulants. 

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

Research Says Cannabis Helps Fight Addiction

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Research is mounting suggesting cannabis can help fight addiction. One study published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) found states with legalized medical cannabis experienced 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rates than states where medical marijuana was illegal. Another study found states saw a sharp decrease in patients admitted for opioid abuse after legalizing medical marijuana. Patients also spent less on prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, as a result of cannabis use. Researchers from the University of Montreal and the University of British Columbia found patients used cannabis to cope with crack cocaine addiction, and concluded, “Given the substantial global burden of morbidity and mortality attributable to crack cocaine use disorders alongside a lack of effective pharmacotherapies, we echo a call for rigorous experimental research on cannabinoids as a potential treatment for crack cocaine use disorders.”

Cannabis users and former heroin addicts are also more likely to complete their addiction treatment program than non-cannabis users. Lastly, cannabis can also combat addiction to legal substances like cigarettes and alcohol. One clinical trial found CBD helped patients reduce their cigarette use by 40% in comparison with patients who received placebo. Another study found 40% of medical marijuana patients were able to reduce their alcohol consumption. Authors call for a desire for more research, but say, “cannabis does appear to be a potential substitute for alcohol.” Additionally, cannabis may ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

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

Researchers Find That Cannabis Use Can Help Curb Crack & Cocaine Addiction

Researchers in Canada have found marijuana may be able to help those suffering from crack cocaine disorders ween off of their addiction. Between the years 2012 and 2015, 122 participants said marijuana helped lower their use of crack. While the study mainly focused on crack users, the pharmacological similarity between crack and cocaine allows researchers to speculate about the effectiveness of cannabis for cocaine users as well. This report supports similar findings from a Brazilian study from 2015, in which marijuana seemed to reduce addictive behavior and aggressiveness, as well as promote relaxation, in those addicted to crack and cocaine. Even studies involving rodent models found mice who were addicted to cocaine and who were taught to self-administer it reduced their use significantly after the administration of a synthetic cannabinoid compound. Still, while this information is hopeful, researchers believe further clinical research is left to be desired before they can make any solid conclusions. 

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

Increased Risk of Psychosis With Cannabis Use Rare, New Study Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

For many patients suffering a wide array of illnesses and conditions, traditional treatments are unsuccessful or provide unwanted side effects. They may be interested in beginning an alternative therapy, like starting a medical marijuana regimen, but fear the harm it could cause, like weight gain, a decrease in motivation, and even psychosis. Luckily, research has debunked many of these fears, and now a new study from the University of York that was published in Addiction suggests psychosis as a result of cannabis use is rare. In the research review, which was directed by Dr. Ian Hamilton, researchers concluded 23,000 people would need to cease cannabis use just to prevent one case of psychosis. In fact, they concluded the greatest health risk with cannabis use was not attributed to cannabis at all, but actually to it's use in combination with tobacco, which is a common practice in the United Kingdom. The use of tobacco can result in increased risk of cancers, infections, and other health issues.

While this news is positive, it is important to note that most of the research included in the review is not from the current time. Hamilton writes, “The link between cannabis and psychosis has been an ongoing research topic since the drug became popular in the 1960s... Most of the high profile studies that we have access to, however, are from a time when low potency cannabis was the norm, but today high potency is more common.” Hamilton hopes to continue his research involving strains of marijuana that are high in THC like many of the strains of today. He continues, “In this new study, we looked at both low and high potency, but it is clear that we need more evidence from high potency-related health cases to further investigate this link in modern-day users." Additionally, Hamilton found that cannabis did exacerbate symptoms for patients already diagnosed with schizophrenia, and heavy users of cannabis were more likely to experience mental health issues.

Overall, Hamilton believes his study shows that prohibition of marijuana would have little effect on mental health, and that legalizing and regulating the quality and safety of marijuana would be a much more effective system. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Read the entire study here

New Study Finds Cannabis Helps Reduce Tobacco, Alcohol and Opioid Use

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy has found marijuana reduces the use of tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs, something that could have a large impact on the fight against addiction and the opioid epidemic. Researchers surveyed 271 registered medical marijuana patients and found 25% of people successfully stopped consuming alcohol, and 12% substituted marijuana for tobacco. More strikingly, the study found 63% of participants substituted cannabis for their prescription drugs. Specifically, 30% of patients used cannabis to replace their opioids, 16% used it to swap out benzodiazepines, and 12% used in in place of their antidepressants. The survey contained 107 questions about demographics and drug use patterns. The results support other findings pertaining to cannabis and addiction.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can find the full text of the study online on the International Journal of Drug Policy

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. 

Is CBD the Answer to America’s Opioid Epidemic?

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Yet another research review suggests CBD could help those suffering opioid addiction by reducing cravings and relieving withdrawal symptoms. For this review, which was published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience, the Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders for the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System Yasmin L. Hurd, PhD, looked over animal studies and human pilot studies. Dr. Hurd says, “If you look at both drugs and where their receptors are, opioids are much more dangerous in part because of the potential for overdose. The opioid receptors are very abundant in the brainstem area that regulates our respiration so they shut down the breathing center if opioid doses are high... Cannabinoids do not do that. They have a much wider window of therapeutic benefit without causing an overdose in adults.”

Dr. Hurd is now running a larger clinical trial to investigate whether or not cannabis can help those addicted to opioids. She hopes her findings will encourage doctors to recommend cannabis, which has a much higher safety profile, over opioids to patients with chronic pain. She also hopes the bars that have been blocking adequate marijuana research will be lifted so that the findings can guide future medical recommendations and legalization policies. She says, “For one of the first times in U.S. history, it is the general public and politicians, not scientists and physicians, who are determining the medical value of this drug in states where marijuana use has been legalized for medical purposes. Clearly, the legalization of marijuana has outpaced the science. But if we want to be able to accurately say something is medical marijuana, we have to prove that it is, indeed, medicinal.”

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

Study: Cannabis Could Be a Non-Addictive Treatment for Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A study from Oregon Health and Science University and published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests the chemicals in cannabis could effectively treat chronic pain without the addictive side effects that traditional opioids would produce. Opioids are traditionally prescribed to treat pain, but they carry the risk of addiction, abuse, and overdose which can be fatal. Cannabis, on the other hand, could be a much safer alternative options as it has been found to reduce various types of pain, including those that are resistant to traditional treatment methods, without posing the same risks as opioids.

In this new study, lead researchers Ming-Hua Li, Katherine L. Suchland, and Susan L. Ingram used a rodent model to analyze the interactions between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. When it comes to chronic inflammatory pain, Ingram said, “We found that CB1 receptors — the receptor that is associated with addictive properties of the drug — are decreased. But that CB2 receptor activity is increased. Cannabis actually activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors equally. But it’s known that CB2 receptors can decrease pain.” These findings suggest cannabis could reduce pain while limiting tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Researchers concluded cannabis's analgesic properties could provide a new pain management therapy with much fewer side effects.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also read text from the study here

Why Medical Marijuana Is Being Used to Treat Addiction

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical marijuana is starting to be used to treat various forms of addiction, helping relieve symptoms related to prescription drug, alcohol, and opioid abuse, as well as helping manage drugs and alcohol withdrawals and curbing the use of pharmaceutical medications or more potent drugs. Because medical marijuana is not addictive and produces few side effects, it is beginning to be looked at as a superior recovery drug. It also reduces withdrawal symptoms, which in turn reduces the possibility of relapse.

Additionally, prescription drugs often produce unwanted side effects like constipation, nausea, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness, all of which can be a detriment to the recovery process. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, produces minimal side effects and has the ability to treat these other side effects a patient may be experiencing. 

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Should Medicinal Marijuana Be Used to Treat Addiction?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

With all of the studies coming out suggesting medical marijuana reduces the need for harmful opioids, one of the big questions developing is whether or not medical marijuana can and should be used to treat addiction. One study released in 2016 and published in the Journal of Pain suggests cannabis' analgesic properties allow patients to mediate and ween off of addictive and at times dangerous medications like opioids. The study suggests many patients prefer medical marijuana to their prescription counterparts, but it also suggests medical marijuana has a high safety profile, making it one of the safer long-term options when it comes to managing chronic pain or other symptoms. Another study coming from Columbia University in 2015 not only suggests medical marijuana is an adequate substitute for certain stronger pharmaceuticals, but also that medical marijuana's THC can alleviate withdrawal symptoms, which is one of the more serious aspects of drug addiction that often leads to relapse. 

Even physicians strongly support the notion of using medical marijuana in place of highly addictive medications, as has been revealed in various articles that discuss the opioid epidemic with physicians. This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Vaporizing Marijuana May Prevent Tobacco/Nicotine Dependence

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

When it comes to medical marijuana, finding the appropriate vehicle is vital to discovering the most effective and efficient dosing regimen. In a letter to the editor/review in Addiction, authors discussed evidence suggesting the method of vaporization, as opposed to smoke inhalation, may reduce the risk of developing nicotine or tobacco dependence. The combustion of plant material can release carcinogens and toxins that harm the lungs. Vaporization, on the other hand, only heats cannabis materials between 250-400 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases different cannabinoids at different temperatures without reaching the point of combustion.

Authors argued one harmful aspect of cannabis use is that it may lead to nicotine/tobacco dependence because of mixing tobacco in cannabis cigarettes, but vaporization may be able to reduce this future nicotine dependence in users. In one sample of 96 people, only 2 reported adding tobacco to their cannabis vaporization device, which lead researchers to suggest vaporizers may create a disconnect between cannabis and tobacco use. One survey from the Global Drug Survey (GDS), only 8% of more than 30,000 cannabis users used vaporizers, but vaporizes were ranked as the optimal vehicle for preventing harm from cannabis use. Nations with the highest rate of vaporizer use also had the lease amount of tobacco and cannabis co-administration.

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

10 Little-Known Uses for CBD - Pt. 1

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

CBD is constantly hailed as a miracle cannabinoid as research comes out pointing to its medicinal benefits. Here are some medicinal uses you may or may not know about CBD. 

One study found CBD may be able to combat cigarette addiction. In the double-blind study, 24 smokers received either an inhaler of CBD or placebo, and were asked to inhale every time they felt the urge to smoke a cigarette. Those who received CBD experienced a 40% drop in cigarette intake and no increase in nicotine cravings, while those who received placebo experienced no change. Another study from the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Health found cannabis-derived CBD on human sebaceous glands is an effective sebostatic and anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits lipid synthesis, thereby treating acne.

Another study found CBD prevented the development of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice through the prevention of IL-12 production by splenocytes, a cytokine that plays a role in human autoimmune diseases. In 2011, a study looked at CBD for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Out of 56 patients, half used CBD while the other half used traditional treatment regimens. Those who used cannabis witnessed a reduction in symptoms and pain, while those who used continued using traditional methods saw little improvement. Lastly, a study from the Journal of Neuroscience in 2007 found CBD can halt the proteins prions, something that would be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow disease. 

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to discover more about CBD's uses. This information has been approved by our Chief medical officer. 

Could Medical Cannabis Break the Painkiller Epidemic?

Photo Credit: Scientific American

Photo Credit: Scientific American

The Department of Health and Human Services says the United States is caught in an opioid epidemic, and prescription opioid overdoses have resulted in the deaths of over 165,000 Americans between 1999 and 2014. Fifteen years ago, researchers led by Marcus Bachhuber from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City began looking into the anecdotes of patients who used medical marijuana to treat pain instead of opioids. The study, which was published in 2014, found states with legalized medical marijuana had 25% fewer opioid overdoses annually than states that prohibited medical marijuana. Bachhuber said, “I think medical cannabis could fall into the category of alternatives for treating chronic pain so that people don't use opioids or use a lower dose of opioids than they otherwise would."

This study is not alone. Another study from the University of Michigan analyzed 185 medical marijuana patients, and found they reported reducing their opioid use by more than half. Animal studies found cannabinoid work well supplementing opioids to manage pain. Another study, published in the Clinical Journal of Pain and co-authored by Simon Haroutounian of the Washington University Pain Center in St. Louis, looked at 176 chronic pain patients in Israel over the course of seven month, and found that during that time 44% of them had stopped taking prescription opioids after starting medical cannabis dosing regimens. While these observational studies provide useful data about patients who use cannabis instead of opioids, more in depth and large scale clinical trials are necessary in actually proving the cause and effect relationship between cannabis use and opioid substitution. Unfortunately, cannabis' schedule I status makes it difficult to conduct these trials.

This information has been provided by the Scientific American and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.  

The Incredible Safety Profile for Cannabisw

Photo Credit: Cresco Labs

Photo Credit: Cresco Labs

Pharmaceutical medications can be accompanied by adverse negative side effects, some that are extremely severe, like the possibility of a fatal overdose. With medical marijuana, negative side effects are slim, and those that do exist are often mild. In fact, it is nearly impossible to fatally overdose on the plant. As pharmacologist Dr. Nichol Iverson explains, "Laboratory animals (rats, mice, dogs and monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1000 mg/kg. This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person swallowing 70 g of the drug - about 5,000 times more than is required to produce a high. Despite widespread illicit use of cannabis, there are very few, if any, instances of people dying from an overdose."

Not only is marijuana safer than pharmaceuticals due to its lack of severe side effects and the nearly nonexistent possibility of overdose, but also because it is a far less addictive substance. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, wrote, "Marihuana is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics." Cannabis should not be hailed as a harmless drug, however. Some of the short-term effects include coughing, euphoria, dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite, blurred vision, delayed motor reactions, sedation, anxiety, and on rare occasions convulsions. Long-term effects include the potential for developing bronchitis or a chronic cough, cognitive effects like short-term memory loss and a shorter attention span, and psychomotor effects like a lack of coordination or unsteadiness, . 

Read the full analysis of cannabis' safety profile on the Cresco Labs website. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Debunking the Gateway Theory

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

A patient may be hesitant to begin medical marijuana therapy due to the negative stereotypes and theories that were attached to the plant during the beginning of the marijuana prohibition age. One such theory is that marijuana is a "gateway drug," and that using it will cause one to seek out other more dangerous illicit substances. Now, information is coming out countering this theory that suggests marijuana is instead a "reverse gateway" drug, helping those who are addicted to illegal substances treat their addictions. 

The study, which was conducted by the University of Victoria in Canada and published in Drug and Alcohol Review looked at data from a national survey of Canadian medical marijuana patients. Out of 473 adults, 87% reported substituting cannabis for alcohol, prescriptions, and illegal drugs. To look at these slices more specifically, 80% used marijuana instead of prescription medications, 52% substituted it for alcohol, and 33% used it as an illegal drug replacement. This study is not alone, and it adds support to many previous studies, including one from Berkeley Patients Group in 2009 which similarly found its patients used marijuana in place of other unhealthy and and addictive substances.

Read more about countering the Gateway Theory and learn about the other supporting studies on High Times Magazine. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis Potentially Treats Gambling Disorders

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

Even though it afflicts nearly as many people as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, gambling disorders are given less attention than other mental illnesses and little is understood about it. Pharmaceutical drug treatments for the disorder do not exist, and the treatments sufferers do receive do not target the disorder itself. Previously, cannabis was thought to have been a hazard for those who suffer from gambling disorders, but in a new research from Canada and Boston now suggest synthetic cannabinoid agonists actually improve "choice performance" in rats who suffer from gambling disorders.

In the study, researchers administered a gambling test on rats analogous to experts who identify the behavior of compulsive gamblers. After the rats received synthetic cannabinoids, researchers re-assessed their decision making skills through the gambling test and found that rats with gambling disorders made more advantageous decisions. To understand rat gambling, rats select one of four "response holes" linked to a different probability of food payout. Rats who continue to select high-risk and high-payout but less favorable holes are categorized as having a gambling disorder. This new research is not only important in discovering potential treatments for gambling disorders, but it also helps to uncover important clues into understanding the addiction's neurological pathology. 

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

 

Study: Vaporizing Marijuana May Prevent Tobacco/Nicotine Dependence

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

A recent letter to the editor/review published in November, 2015 in Addiction, authors discuss evidence suggesting vaporizing cannabis could reduce the chance that a cannabis user will develop tobacco/nicotine dependence. Authors looked at various data points to determine one of the most harmful results of cannabis use stems from the combination of cannabis and tobacco in cannabis cigarettes, which leads to tobacco and nicotine dependence. They claim vaporization could reduce nicotine dependence by eliminating the need to smoke a cannabis and tobacco mixture. Because medical marijuana therapy is gaining popularity and acceptance among patients and the medical community, it is extremely important to find effective vehicles for medicating that reduce the risk of developing harmful dependencies.  

The data points analyzed include: 1) The most common method of cannabis use in Europe include cannabis and tobacco cigarettes. 2) Up to 90% of cannabis smokers have been exposed to tobacco. 3) Cannabis use indicated future nicotine dependence in a sample of Australian adolescents. 4) Tobacco cigarettes could lead to adolescent cannabis use, which could develop into dependence. 5) Only 2 people out of a sample of 96 people admitted to having combined tobacco and cannabis when vaporizing marijuana, o the use of vaporization technology could create a disconnect between cannabis and tobacco use. 6) Global Drug Survey (GDS) data reported only 8% of more than 30,000 cannabis users chose to use vaporizers, but they reported vaporization technology as the best way to prevent harm from cannabis use, and nations with the highest use of vaporization also had the lowest use tobacco and cannabis co-administration.

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

Medical Marijuana and Alcoholism

There is mounting evidence in support of medical marijuana as a method for combatting the opioid addiction epidemic and reducing opioid related overdoses, but can cannabis treat other addictions like alcoholism? Research suggests it can. 

Millions of Americans suffer from alcoholism and alcohol-related disorders, and statistics say when the disease is left untreated it kills about one in three sufferers. Sufferers often experience severe withdrawals, which include irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, seizures, spikes in blood pressure, and tremors known as "the shakes."

In 2004, Dr. Tod Mikuriya published a study involving 92 patients who used cannabis to treat alcoholism. The report stated, "as could be expected among patients seeking physician approval to treat alcoholism with cannabis, all reported they'd found it 'very effective' (45) or 'effective' (38)... Nine patients reported that they had practiced total abstinence from alcohol for more than a year and attributed their success to cannabis." In addition, many patients reported their symptoms from alcoholism returned after they discontinued their use of cannabis.

Many fear that using cannabis to cure alcoholism is merely swapping one addiction for the other, but scientists have proven cannabis is only habit forming if anything. Fortunately, if a user continues use after completing a successful recovery, it is nearly impossible to overdose. The National Cancer Institute claims, "Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur." With fewer side effects associated with cannabis use than alcohol use, and without the possibility of overdose, medical cannabis could be a significant player in the fight against alcoholism. 

If you'd like a more in depth look at the use of medical cannabis in attacking alcohol dependency, visit Whaxy.