What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 3.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

In the last post, we continued to look at the conditions where medical marijuana is effective. It’s not done yet! We’ll continue the discussion below.

While the relationship between marijuana and heart disease is complicated, and cannabis can actually exacerbate symptoms in some users by increasing heart rate and blood pressure, scientists have found low doses of THC can reduce damage from heart attacks, and CBD can be used as a treatment for cardiovascular disease. Cannabis may also reduce the severity and lessen the impact of a stroke. Although most studies thus far have been animal studies, researchers believe medical cannabis may help treat the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, and one human study found synthetic THC improved motor-related symptoms of the disorder. Animal studies have found cannabis may slow the progression of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and many properties of cannabis could help reduce pain, relax muscles, reduce saliva, stimulate appetite, and induce sleep. Synthetic cannabinoids also improved pain symptoms in fibromyalgia patients, and one survey found patients actually preferred cannabis to any approved pharmaceutical medication.

New support is starting to accumulate for the use of marijuana for Alzheimer’s disease. Marijuana may be able to do so by reducing inflammation and the formation of plaques. Marijuana has been found to alleviate tics and be well tolerated in patients with Tourette’s syndrome. Cannabis topicals are now offered as effective treatments for varying skin disorders, and its anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties make it effective for the treatment of acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Marijuana may also help those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea fall asleep quicker and improve breathing during sleep. Lastly, and probably most well known, is medical marijuana’s ability to treat epilepsy. Specifically, the cannabinoid CBD is well-tolerated and effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures.

There are even many more conditions to talk about regarding medical marijuana treatment. Keep reading as we conclude our discussion in the next post! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

THCA Shows Promise for Huntington’s Disease, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

In a new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers have found THCA reduced inflammation, served as a neuroprotectant, improved motor function, and prevented brain degeneration in animals. THCA is the acidic precursor to THC, and is found in cannabis that has not yet undergone the heating process decarboxylation. THCA has the a lot of the same beneficial properties offered by THC, but without any psychoactive side effects. One thing that distinguishes THCA from other cannabinoids is its ability to positively affect the PPARy brain receptor, which is responsible for lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis. This has led the study’s authors to believe THCA may serve “as a lead structure for the development of novel drugs for the management of (Huntington’s) and, possibly, other neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.” The authors find their study unique in that they are actively researching the acidic forms of cannabinoids, something that other studies often neglect. They explain most studies “have used neutral cannabinoids, especially THC and CBD… with little attention to the genuine phytocannabinoids of the plant, namely their acidic forms. We provide evidence that these compounds hold significant pharmacological potential.”

This information has been provided by Leafly and approve by our Chief Medical Officer.

Medical Marijuana Research Overview of Huntington’s Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder which causes the nerve cells in the basal ganglia to break down over time, and it can cause psychiatric disorders or affect a person's movement or cognitive abilities. There is no cure for Huntington's disease, but some studies show cannabis may be able to not only combat its symptoms, but also provide neuroprotective therapy that may delay the progression of the illness. 

Research has found Huntington's disease may result from a loss of cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia, and further research has found cannabis' interaction with the endocannabinoid system can be therapeutically beneficial for the disease. Preclinical trials have shown cannabinoids are effective at protecting the life of neurons in the brain, and by activating the CB2 receptors, the inflammation and toxicity of microglial cells is reduced and slows the neurodegeneration caused by Huntington's disease. Additionally, cannabinoids alleviated motor symptoms like tremors and movement disorders and reduced neuronal damage and death by activating the CB1 receptors, which in turn slows the progression of the disease. Research has found cannabis-based medications have also been found to effectively treat the progression of Huntington's disease. Researchers believe cannabinoids may provide neuroprotection by reducing inflammation through activation of CB2 receptors, limiting cell death through activation of CB1 receptors, and by providing antioxidant effects independently of cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids also reduce muscle spasms and increase concentration by activating vanilloid TRPV(1) receptors. 

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

How Cannabis Treats Huntington’s Disease

Photo Credit:  Lindsay Hanford, Geoff B Hall , Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Lindsay Hanford, Geoff B Hall, Wikipedia

Huntington's disease damages nerve cells in the brain and causes patients to suffer physically and mentally, resulting in symptoms like involuntary movements, slurred speech, amnesia, and personality changes. Cannabis may be to relieve symptoms associated with the disease and even slow its progression. In the area of the brain most affected by Huntington's, the striatum, patients lack sufficient levels of CB1 receptors, When activated by cannabinoids, these receptors help preserve nerve cells. One study in Brain: A Journal of Neruology found THC activated these receptors in order to decrease symptom severity and the halt the progression of the disease. 

Another study published in Movement Disorders found medications that mimic THC like nabilone improved chorea, cognition, and behavior in patients. Another cannabinoid, CBD, could provide neuroprotective benefits for Huntington's disease patients, and one study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research found a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC decreased inflammation and shielded striatal neurons from damage. A study from the Journal of Neuroscience found that activating CB2 receptors actually extended life span and suppressed motor deficits in patients. Lastly, a study found in the Journal of British Pharmacology, found that by activating CB receptors, cannabinoids controlled the brain's antioxidant defenses and limited the toxicity of microglial cells. 

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

How Cannabigerol (CBG) May Help Battle Huntington's Disease Symptoms

Treating Huntington's disease is tricky because, as an inherited genetic disorder, the treatment would have to target specific mutated genes. In recent studies involving mice, the results suggested Cannabigerol (CBG), a unique compound in Cannabis, may do just that while also improving many other symptoms associated with Huntington's disease.