Study Confirms Marijuana Can Help ADHD

Photo Credit: Amen Clinics (http://bit.ly/1pTNBdk).

Photo Credit: Amen Clinics (http://bit.ly/1pTNBdk).

A recent study conducted by researchers at King's College London in 2016 suggests cannabis spray helps those who suffer from ADHD. The study provided 30 adults with ADHD with either a spray called Sativex or a placebo over the course of four weeks. Sativex is a cannabis-based spray containing a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD that has been approved for prescription use. Those who received Sativex experienced improved hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, cognitive performance, and emotional stability. Researchers determined, “ADHD may represent a subgroup of individuals that gain cognitive enhancement and reduction of ADHD symptoms from the use of cannabinoids.”

Some scientists theorize cannabis may be effective for treating ADHD because, similar to current pharmaceutical medications already being used for its symptoms, cannabis has the ability to increase dopamine levels in the brain. Additionally, marijuana may have less side effects than traditional medications. 

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

3 Pain Conditions Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For those who suffer from debilitating pain and want a safe option for relief, they may want to look to medical marijuana for pain relief without the addictive or harmful side effects of opioids. Medical marijuana can treat a wide range of pain conditions, including the pain caused by HIV/AIDS and cancer treatments, chronic pain, and pain caused by damaged nervous systems. Cannabidiol and delta-9-THC are already used in an oral spray called Sativex that is used to relieve severe cancer pain. Along with cancer patients, cannabis can also help HIV/AIDS patients by relieving pain, nausea, and increase appetite, and improving overall quality of life. In these cases, cannabis should not replace traditional treatment methods, but rather supplement them.

Patients who suffer from chronic pain can also benefit from cannabis use, and studies have found test subjects who take daily doses of medical marijuana report no ill-effects on their kidneys, livers, or hormonal function. They also report that cannabis is a successful treatment even when conventional therapies fail. Patients who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other debilitating disorders could benefit from medical cannabis. Lastly, cannabis helps those who suffer from pain in their central nervous system by treating the pain itself, but also by targeting other symptoms like sleep and anxiety.

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

Case Report: Cannabinoid Extracts Safe and Effective in Tourette Syndrome Patient

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A case report published in the journal Australasian Psychiatry has determined the standardized cannabinoid extract Sativex is both safe and effective at mitigating symptoms of Tourette syndrome. Investigators at the Tauranga Hospital, Department of Psychiatry in New Zealand administered Sativex, which is a spray with equal parts THC to CBD, twice a day to a patient with treatment resistant Tourette syndrome. They found the patient's motor tics reduced by 85 percent and vocal tics reduced by 90 percent. Authors said, "Our results support previous research suggesting that cannabinoids are a safe and effective treatment for TS and should be considered in treatment-resistant cases.”

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

Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows. Part 2

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Due to the fact there is no single organization that conducts research surrounding marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is hard to keep track of the information that exists. Luckily, Web MD has compiled some of the information obtained from various studies and organizations and created a summary of the different uses of medical marijuana.

One study found that synthetic THC was able to stimulate appetite and reduce agitation when used as a treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Two studies conducted on animals revealed the chemicals in cannabis could help symptoms of some forms of autism, and a human study is currently being conducted on children with autism at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. There are several studies that reveal THC and other cannabinoids may slow the growth of brain cancer, and some lab studies on human cells show there is potential for cannabinoids to slow other other types of cancer as well. Over 45 studies have analyzed the effects of marijuana on the pain associated with chronic diseases, the majority resulting in pain relief as effective as and preferable to placebo or traditional pain medications, but about a quarter of the studies showed no improvement whatsoever. 

There exists a significant amount of anecdotal and clinical evidence that suggests the cannabidiol, or CBD, found in cannabis may help reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. Personal stories and early studies suggest smoking marijuana could relive the symptoms of colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and other digestive diseases by relieving bowl inflammation and reducing acid reflux. In addition, because relieving these symptoms allowed some patients to retain more nutrients, their diseases subsequently went into remission. Studies looking at marijuana for the treatment of MS have reported the therapy relaxed patients' muscles and reduced pain. While not approved in the U.S, Sativex, a marijuana based drug, is approved in 24 countries for the treatment of MS. Lastly, there are two clinical trials that show THC and CBD could help reduce psychosis and other symptoms related with schizophrenia.

This post comes as part of a two part series, and the information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows. Part 1

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (https://www.flickr.com/photos/117032936@N08/14634860422)

Twenty years ago, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system, a system in the brain that responds to 60 chemicals found in marijuana. Since then, research has shown the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in various bodily functions, like those of the heart, and the endocrine, digestive, immune, nervous, and reproductive systems. Because of this, marijuana's ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system makes it a viable player in relieving various symptoms, like managing pain, reducing muscle spasms from MS, stimulating appetite, and even acting as a substitute for medications that treat brain disorders like schizophrenia or Tourette's syndrome. While there are various studies to back up these claims, it is important to note that many of the clinical trials were conducted at relatively small scales and weren't double-blinded placebo controlled studies, leaving more extensive research to be desired.

As supporting evidence showing cannabis does in fact contain therapeutic cannabinoids, there are three marijuana-based drugs that have been approved by the FDA. Marinol and Cesamet are two marijuana based pharmaceuticals that treat the nausea and loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy and related to AIDs patients. Both drugs use man-made THC as a major component. Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in 2013, and while it's use is highly restricted, it is used to combat childhood epilepsy. Another cannabis-based drug is Sativex. It is currently undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. for the treatment of pain associated with breast cancer, but it has already been approved in over 20 countries for the treatment of muscle spasms in MS patients and cancer related pain.

This post is part of a two part series, and the information has been provided by Web MD and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.