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.

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.

Marijuana And Sleep - Part 1.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Marijuana is beginning to gain notoriety as a sleep aid, helping those who struggle with sleep apnea and insomnia, and those who suffer from conditions like chronic pain and PTSD that are known to cause sleep disturbances. Even in healthy users, one 2013 study found volunteers who used marijuana had less difficulty falling asleep and it took a shorter amount of time to fall asleep. Another study from 1973 found THC reduced the amount of time insomniacs needed to fall asleep by over an hour. That said, proper dosing is important as too high of a dose could actually exacerbate symptoms. THC also could help those with sleep apnea by calming and stabilizing breathing. One study from 2013 found synthetic THC worked in a dose-dependent to improve breathing throughout the night in those who suffered from sleep apnea. THC was also found to help those who suffer from PTSD-related nightmares, and one study from 2009 found patients with PTSD slept longer, experienced higher quality sleep, and did not experience as many daytime flash backs the following day after synthetic THC administration. Lastly, chronic pain users attest to marijuana’s ability to improve their quality of sleep.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In the following post, we will continue our discussion by looking into the specifics on how marijuana is able to affect sleep.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 1.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Medical marijuana is now being touted for having a wide range of medicinal benefits that allow it to provide therapeutic relief for many different conditions. In this four part series, we will take an in depth look at many of the medical conditions it is capable of treating.

One of the most commonly cited and widely approved conditions for marijuana use is chronic pain. Marijuana is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing pain and providing relief for the conditions that cause it, like arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and migraines. Medical marijuana is also used for treating glaucoma, a condition that affects sight and can damage the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye. Studies have found marijuana decreases intraocular eye pressure by 25-30%, and scientists believe its neuroprotective properties could prevent the optic nerve from getting damaged. Medical marijuana may also help those suffering from liver disease. The cannabinoid CBD can prevent liver fibrosis, while THC may be able to help improve the symptoms associated with cholestatic liver disease.

Marijuana is also promoted as a hero for cancer patients, mainly for its ability to reduce the nausea and vomiting accompanying chemotherapy treatments. Even more exciting, in rodent models, THC and cannabinoids have been found to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. In other rodent models, THC reduced tumor size. Contrary to what has long been claimed by prohibitionists about cannabis’ relationship to schizophrenia, studies have found non-psychoactive compounds like CBD may actually benefit psychosis. CBD is antipsychotic and generally well tolerated. But be careful, as THC may actually exacerbate symptoms. Lastly, recent clinical trials have found medical marijuana help those with multiple sclerosis by combatting muscle spasticity, reducing pain, and improving sleep quality.

That concludes today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana, but there’s still so much more to discuss! Tune into the following post where we will look at more conditions where medical marijuana’s usage is applicable. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Using Cannabis Pain Patches for Fibromyalgia

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Medical marijuana patients have access to a myriad of different methods and vehicles for administering medical marijuana therapy. Now, the company Cannabis Science has developed two new transdermal patches that can offer relief for fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy nerve pain. Transdermal patches allow cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream directly through entering the skin. Some patients prefer this method because it allows for more precise dosing, so the patient can receive specific dosages and can target the affected areas of the body. The cannabinoid most responsible for providing relief through these patches is CBD, because studies have found it effectively provides pain relief for inflammatory pain, including that associated with fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy, without producing any psychoactive side effects.

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

New Study Finds Marijuana is Useful for Treating Chronic Nerve Pain

Photo Credit: Civilized

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.

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

Photo Credit: Civilized

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.

Marijuana Infused Tea is Effective in Treating Chronic Pain, Study Finds

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A new study published in the Journal of Pain Research has determined oral cannabis is safe and effective at managing chronic pain. Using a group of 600 patients mostly over the age of 60, Italian researchers conducted a retrospective case series analysis that looked at using cannabinoids in the form of infused tea to treat intractable pain. They reported that subjects did not complain of severe side effects, and few discontinued treatment. Researchers concluded, “[I]t can be stated that the treatment seems to be effective and safe in the majority of patients.”

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

How Effective is Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Relief?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

According to a study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis and cannabinoids effectively treat chronic pain. Cannabis was proven most effective for treating chronic pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) or chemotherapy. Additionally, cannabis and its cannabinoids helped to manage the muscle spasms associated with MS and the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatments. Researchers have determined THC and CBD are the most favorable cannabis compounds for pain relief, and our bodies naturally receive and interact with cannabinoids using receptors within the endocannabinoid system in order to produce optimal pain relief.  

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

Research Explores Cannabis to Relieve Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

New research conducted under Dr. Jason Busse investigates whether or not cannabis could be an effective pain reliever. In his research, Busse looked at 1,915 patients across 26 studies in an "attempt to provide preliminary findings, as part of a larger workshop on the role of medical cannabis in managing chronic pain." Clinicians evaluated a patient's pain symptoms on a 1-10 scale, and found for 12% of patients, cannabis reduced their pain by one point on the scale. Finding alternative pain medications at a time when the opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions is essential, and Busse claims "there is some evidence that (medical cannabis) may be effective for some patients." Busse is also interested in whether or not cannabis can be added on as a therapy that allows people to come down from their opioid medications.

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

What is CBG (Cannabigerol)?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

When learning about medical marijuana, it's easy to find information surrounding the major cannabinoid compounds like CBD and THC, but there are some lesser known cannabinoids that are also valuable. One non-psychoactive cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), is considered the building block or parent of THC and CBD, and once it is synthesized, it is converted into these other cannabinoids. Most cannabis strains have little to no concentrations of CBG, and it may be more common in hemp. 

The cannabinoid can buffer against the psychoactive effects of other cannabinoids by promoting synergy. It also acts on both CB1 and CB2 receptors, although its interactions are weak in comparison with stronger cannabinoids like THC. Still, it may benefit in the treatment of central nervous system disorders, neurological diseases, skin disorders, chronic pain, and more. It may also combat depression by blocking serotonin receptors. CBG increases anandamide levels, and thereby benefits the regulation of sleep, appetite, and memory. CBG inhibits the uptake of the brain chemical GABA, which regulates the activity of neurons, and it may do so at a greater extent than both THC and CBD. More research is left to be desired, but studies have already shown CBG may stimulate bone formation and healing, halt tumor growth, act as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, relieve pain, provide neuroprotective effects, reduce inflammation, and treat overactive bladder, psoriasis or other skin disorders, glaucoma, depression, and anxiety. 

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

Conditions Medical Marijuana Could Help

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical cannabis is full of chemical compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system. The different concentrations of compounds allow the plant to have a wide array of different effects, which make cannabis suitable for many different conditions and symptoms, or even combat the side effects of other treatment regimens. For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis can alleviate side effects associated with the treatment like fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Similarly, HIV/AIDS treatment regimens produce similar side effects that can be alleviated by medical cannabis. 

Patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience neurological problems and muscle spasms. Medical Cannabis can help alleviate these symptoms, which can allow patients to gain control over their muscles, regain bladder control, improve vision and mobility, and thereby improve their overall quality of life. Cannabis can help those with epilepsy by reducing the frequency of seizures and even, at times, eliminating them all together. Studies have found CBD is an effective treatment option even in those who suffer from forms that had previously proven treatment-resistant. Chronic pain accompanies a wide range of conditions, but research has found cannabis can be as effective as pharmaceutical options. This offers patients a safer alternative to dangerous pharmaceuticals like opioids. Lastly, some patients with depression or anxiety could benefit from the relaxing properties high-CBD strains of cannabis. 

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association 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

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. 

How Medicinal Marijuana Can Help with Chronic Pain

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Mounting evidence suggests marijuana has therapeutic effects for those who suffer from chronic pain. Those who suffer from migraines have witnessed these benefits, and in a study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 103 of 121 people examined experienced a reduction in migraines as a result from the medication. Patients witnessed a reduction from 10.4 average headaches a month to as low as 4.6 headaches a month. Scientists believe this can be attributed to activation of the CB2 receptors and marijuana's ability to reduce stress. 

Another study from McGill University involving 21 patients with chronic neuropathic pain administered marijuana of varying potencies and placebo over the course of 5 days, and found the potency of marijuana made recordable differences in pain levels, with placebo having the lowest impact. Researchers from Oxford University suggest THC decreases signals from the brain that produce painful sensations. 

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

MMJ for Chronic Pain and Neuropathy

Photo Credit: Lee Health/Vimeo http://bit.ly/2opd189

Photo Credit: Lee Health/Vimeo http://bit.ly/2opd189

Doctors have substantial evidence documenting the use of cannabinoids to target chronic pain and neuropathy, but in most cases, according to Dr. Grossman from the Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance, cannabinoids are compared to placebo as opposed to other pain medications that patients have access to.

One systematic review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed 79 studies and involved 6,462 participants. The review found cannabinoids offered a greater average number of patients complete nausea and vomiting response (47% in comparison to 20%), pain reduction (37% as opposed to 31%), and a greater average reduction in patients' pain assessment when rated on the numerical scale and the Ashworth spasticity scale. Another study meta-analysis which can be found in the Journal of Pain looked at the effects of inhaled cannabis sativa versus a placebo when targeting chronic painful neuropathy. Researchers found patients who were offered cannabis sativa were 3.2 times more likely to reach a 30%  or greater reduction in pain than those who were not. 

This information has been provided by the JAMA Network and the Journal of Pain and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Terpene Series: Caryophyllene

Photo Credit: The Leaf Online

Photo Credit: The Leaf Online

Beta-caryophyllene, a peppery, woody, and spicy smelling terpene, is the only terpene known to interact with the endocannabinoid system. The terpene binds with CB2 receptors, acts as a functional CB2 agonist, and functions as a non-psychoactive ligand. Research suggests the terpene may be promising for cancer treatment and serves as a macrocyclic anti-inflammatory component in cannabis.

One study found beta-caryophyllene, in combination with cannabinoids like CBD, provided chronic pain relief without adverse side effects when administered orally. Another found the terpene, through a CB2 receptor dependent pathway, could prevent nephrotoxicity caused by chemotherapy drugs. Another study isolated the chemical compounds of black pepper, of which beta-caryophyllene is a large constituent, and found black pepper oil contained antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive properties. This suggests cannabis strains that also contain high levels of beta-caryophyllene might be able to treat issues like arthritis and neuropathic pain.

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

Can Medical Marijuana Solve the Opioid Problem?

Photo Credit:  Brennan Linsley, Associated Press

Photo Credit: Brennan Linsley, Associated Press

Marijuana is a safer painkiller than its pharmaceutical opioid counterparts. With all of the information and research available supporting this claim, it may seem like common knowledge by now. Studies have shown medical marijuana is as effective as opioids in the treatment of chronic pain, and many patients prefer marijuana to opioids, allowing them to reduce their opioid dose and sometimes ween their way entirely off of the medication. In addition, medical marijuana is safer and less addictive than opioid medications that have to ability to cause fatal overdoses. Harvard Medical School's Dr. Kevin Hill, author of a study confirming the benefits of medical marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, MS, and seizure disorders, says, "You may end up in the emergency room, but you're not going to have a fatal overdose from marijuana."

This all might sound familiar, but there are other lesser-known ways that medical marijuana can help chronic pain patients. Greg Gerdeman, a pharmacologist and professor at Eckerd College in Florida, researches the endocannabinoid system and says medical marijuana can help pain patients in three ways: it dampens pain signals from the body to the brain, it turns down or prevents inflammatory responses, and it relieves "emotional pain" so that marijuana users think less about their pain. We remind you to journal daily, so that your anonymous information can show others how medical marijuana effectively treats your symptoms.

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

Medical Cannabis Access Associated With Decreased Opioid Use In Chronic Pain Patients

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

According to data published online in the Journal of Pain, chronic pain patients who can legally access medical marijuana use far less opioids. In a retrospective survey of 244 chronic pain patients qualified to consume medical cannabis and with access to a dispensary, investigators at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found respondents likely substituted cannabis for opiates and claimed marijuana was more effective.

Investigators wrote, "Among study participants, medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use, decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life. This study suggests that many chronic pain patients are essentially substituting medical cannabis for opioids and other medications for chronic pain treatment, and finding the benefit and side effect profile of cannabis to be greater than these other classes of medications."

This information supports the findings of various other studies on the use of cannabis for pain treatment and opioid replacement. According to the CDC, about 40 people in the U.S. die daily from opioid overdoses, so these results bring welcomed news, pointing to a safer future in pain treatment. This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis for Pain Reduction and the Discontinuation of Opioid Medications

Photo Credit: Steven Schwartz/Flickr 

Photo Credit: Steven Schwartz/Flickr 

A new study approved for publication in The Clinical Journal of Pain has found cannabis treatment may be able to produce long-term improvement in pain scores and reduced opioid consumption for those who suffer from treatment-resistant chronic pain. In the six month open-label study, participants added cannabis treatment to their existing medication regimens. Researchers then compared participant response surveys to assess the efficacy of medical cannabis on pain and other symptoms, and found that 66% of participants experienced pain reduction.

Some participants experienced moderate to severe adverse side effects, like sedation or difficulty concentrating, resulting in the discontinuation of cannabis treatment by nine participants. Two others discontinued cannabis therapy due to severe apparent adverse reactions, like elevated liver enzymes or confusion requiring hospitalization. While these effects shouldn't be taken lightly, the rate of these side effects is considered to be low, resulting in only 11 out of 206 participants who completed the survey. What's more important is that of the 73 participants who consumed opioids at the beginning of the study, 32 completely discontinued opioid use by their six-month followup.

This study is encouraging, but it should be noted that because it was open-label, both researchers and participants knew exactly what medication they were receiving, and therefore may have been biased as to the effects of their therapies. A similar controlled and double-blinded study should be conducted to verify these results. This information has been provided by JDSupra and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.