Study: Marijuana Use Not Linked With Reduced Motivation in Adolescents

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

When considering medical marijuana therapy for their children, parents may be concerned about the side effects marijuana has on adolescent brain development and behaviors. Now, a study conducted by a team of researchers from Florida International University could ease these fears. In the study, which was published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, researchers looked at the relationship between cannabis use and motivation among 79 adolescent subjects who were either long-term regular cannabis consumers or occasional users. They then looked at motivational tendencies using the Apathy Evaluation Scale and the Motivation and Engagement Scale, and found neither occasional nor heavy marijuana use was linked with a decrease in motivation.

The authors concluded, “After controlling for confounds, no significant differences were observed between regular and light users on any motivation index. Similarly, no associations between motivation and lifetime or past 30-day cannabis use amount were observed… Our findings do not support a link between reduced motivation and CU (cannabis use) among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds.”

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

Rates of marijuana, prescription opioid use higher among patients with cancer

Photo Credit: Health Mil

Photo Credit: Health Mil

A new study published in the journal Cancer has found rates of marijuana use have increased significantly among cancer patients, likely as a result of expanding cannabis access. The study looked at data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to study self-reported marijuana and prescription use trends between 2005 and 2014 among cancer patients and those without cancer, who were the controls. The survey involved 19,604 respondents between 20-60 years old. The 826 patients with cancer averaged 47.4 years old and were 66.7% women, and the 1,652 patients noncancer controls with similar propensity scores averaged 46.7 years old and 66% were women. Compared to controls, more patients with cancer reported using marijuana in the past year (40.3% in cancer patients vs 38% in controls) and current marijuana use (8.7% in cancer patients vs 6.6% in controls). Between the 2005 and 20014, marijuana use among cancer patients increased 118%, while there was only a 12.5% increase among the controls. It’s important to note that while opioid use increased among both cancer patients and controls, researchers calculated opioid use based on prescription access and did not account for potential abuse.

Those with cancer were also more likely to use prescription opioids than those without. Chief of the central nervous system tumor and liver tumor services at UC San Diego Health Jona Hattangadi-Gluth explains, “Medical marijuana legalization has previously been associated with a reduction in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting that if patients are, in fact, substituting marijuana for opioids, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality… Of course, it will also be important to identify risks and adverse effects of marijuana, which has not previously been studied in large randomized clinical trials, given it’s scheduling as a class 1 controlled substance.” He continues, “These data provide the first insight into marijuana and opioid use over time in people with cancer across the United States… Prospective clinical trials are needed to quantify the efficacy of marijuana in cancer-specific pain as well as the risk [for] opioid misuse in this patient population.”

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

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 4.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

After having discussed so many way marijuana can be applicable in medicinal instances, it’s time we conclude our discussion.

Many people may be aware of short spurts of anxiety following marijuana use, but what they don’t know is that marijuana could actually improve anxiety long-term. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, specifically, has been deemed as effective as approved anti-anxiety medications. Studies have found marijuana may manage the overactive immune system associated with lupus. This, as well as marijuana’s inherent anti-inflammatory properties, can help alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation that coincide with the condition. Many patients have experienced relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, however these results have proven inconsistent in what studies exist, and while the medication is well tolerated, some patients did not experience any relief at all. More research is desired.

Cannabinoids also help stimulate bone formation, prevent bone resorption, and prevent loss of bone mass making marijuana a potentially powerful player in therapy for osteoporosis. By reducing the side effects associated with Hepatitis C treatment regimens, marijuana use encourages patients to complete their treatments and helps lead patients to remission. Its stimulation of certain receptors may also improve treatment outcomes. Marijuana may also help those who suffer from severe headaches like migraines by reducing their frequency and severity. Lastly, researchers have discovered lower prevalence of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in marijuana users. Marijuana users, in general, have lower insulin levels, smaller waists, are less likely to be obese.

This concludes our post on the many ways marijuana can treat a myriad of symptoms. Thanks for following along for the discussion! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

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.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 2.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

In our previous post, we began to look at the conditions medical marijuana can help, but it doesn’t end there! Let’s continue that discussion now.

Medical marijuana may help those with inflammatory bowel disease, including conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Marijuana may improve symptoms to the point of remission and can help patients ween off of traditional medications. Marijuana may also help those with Parkinson’s disease, and patients have experienced relief from tremor severity and pain symptoms. Surprisingly, marijuana may also help those with asthma. Because THC acts as a bronchodilator, it opens up the pathways of the lungs, reduces spasms, and prevents over-inflation of the lungs. Not surprisingly, marijuana is known to stimulate appetite, which can be extremely beneficial for patients suffering from conditions like AIDS and cancer, where appetite loss is a common symptom of the conditions and side effect of the disorders’ treatments. On the other hand, marijuana can also help combat obesity. Although it is able to increase appetite, marijuana is still associated with a smaller waistline and lower cholesterol in users than in non-users, and it has been found to better manage glucose levels.

As mentioned in the previous post in relation to cancer, medical marijuana is effective in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, and it can be so effective at treating this common side effect associated with chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS treatment regimens that it can allow patients to continue with these unpleasant treatments. Medical marijuana can also improved the recovery and survival rates of patients with traumatic brain injury. Similarly, researchers believe phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids could improve the outcomes of spinal cord injury, as well, due to the fact they have observed increases in the body’s natural endocannabinoid production following injury in an attempt to prevent damage.

Thanks for following up with today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana. Still, there are so many more conditions where medical marijuana is useful! We’ll continue our discussion of more conditions in the next post. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

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.

Study Shows Marijuana Can Prevent Alzheimer's-Causing Protein From Developing

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study conducted by David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California has determined THC may prevent the formation of amyloid proteins which are thought to lead to Alzheimer’s. The study has found THC passes through the bloodstream and enters into the brain where it attaches to neuroreceptors and prevents plaques from forming. Schubert explains, “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”

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