What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 1

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

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

As legalization proceeds and barriers to medical marijuana research are knocked down, we are becoming more aware of just how powerful wide-reaching medical marijuana is. One of the cannabinoids getting the most attention is cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can help a myriad of conditions. In this series, we will discuss some of the many conditions CBD can treat.

Numerous studies have suggested CBD can reduce anxious feelings in those with anxiety disorders, and that it can effectively treated a variety of anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder. Studies also suggest CBD could benefit those who suffer from depression. Animal studies have shown CBD acts on the serotonin pathways in the brain, allowing it to act as an antidepressant, and one study found CBD reduces anhedonia, which is a symptom of depression that prevents people from feeling joy or happiness. CBD can also stop nausea and vomiting. One study found CBD effectively helped treat nausea in patients who did not get relief from traditional treatments. CBD may also help those with diabetes, and animal studies have found the cannabinoid slows the progression of diabetes and diabetic inflammations, as well as benefit complications associated with diabetes. CBD may also protect against diabetes, and one study found CBD prevented at-risk mice from developing the condition.

Perhaps the most well-known success story for CBD is its ability to treat epilepsy. CBD has acted as an anticonvulsant in animal models, and GW Pharmaceuticals have been testing their CBD oil Epidiolex with success. In the study, 25 and 50 mg/kg a day lowered seizure frequency by half while producing few mild side effects. Additionally, a 2013 survey of parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy found 84% reported reduced seizure frequency with CBD use. Lastly, and contrary to previous beliefs, CBD may treat schizophrenia and mental illnesses related to psychosis. It has been found to be as effective as antipsychotics with fewer side effects, and scientists believe this could be attributed to the stimulation of anandamide production. One study found CBD helped with hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotion, and reduced social functioning. CBD can also benefit those with Parkinson’s disease, and various studies have found CBD can help treat the sleep disturbances and psychosis associated with the disorder without worsening motor symptoms and while improving overall quality of life.

This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. In tomorrow’s post, we will continue to discuss some of the conditions CBD is able to treat.

Double-Blind Study Finds CBD Is Effective with Helping Schizophrenia Patients

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

In a recent double-blind study, researchers determined cannabidiol (CBD) may be able to benefit patients who suffer from schizophrenia. In the study, researchers gave CBD to half of their enrolled volunteers, while they gave the other half placebo. Both groups used these medications in addition to their traditional therapies. Researchers found, "After 6 weeks of treatment, compared with the placebo group, the CBD group had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms and were more likely to have been rated as improved and as not severely unwell by the treating clinician… Patients who received CBD also showed greater improvements that fell short of statistical significance in cognitive performance and in overall functioning. CBD was well tolerated, and rates of adverse events were similar between the CBD and placebo groups." The researchers also noted that, because CBD does not depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, the cannabinoid could become a new class of treatment of schizophrenia.

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

New Study: CBD May Help Treat Schizophrenia

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

In a recent animal study published in Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute determined cannabidiol (CBD) could help treat the negative and drug resistant symptoms of schizophrenia. The team set out to investigate whether or not the non-psychoactive CBD could improve the cognitive impairments and concentration and memory difficulties that often coincide with schizophrenia, and found CBD improved recognition and working memory, and social behavior. To conduct the study, the team used a prenatal infection model to examine the effects of consistent CBD treatments on cognition and social interaction. On the 15th day of gestation, the pregnant rats were infected with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid to produce psychiatric disorders. The male rat offspring were then given 10 mg/kg CBD for three weeks, and were then tested for cognition and working memory and sociability. The team also looked at body weight and food and water intake. 

The medications that are currently used for schizophrenia are generally effective at reducing delusions and hallucinations, but they are not particularly good at treating the cognitive and negative emotional and social symptoms, and they can produce negative side effects. Study author Ashleigh Osborne explains, “These findings are interesting because they suggest that CBD may be able to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that are seemingly resistant to existing medications. In addition, CBD treatments did not alter body weight or food intake, which are common side effects of antipsychotic drug treatment.” The team was inspired to undertake this study after sifting through 27 previous studies, where supervisor Dr. Katrina Green says they discovered “CBD will not improve learning and memory in healthy brains, but may improve aspects of learning and memory in illnesses associated with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as neurological and neuro-inflammatory disorders. Evidence suggests that CBD is neuroprotective and can reduce cognitive impairment associated with use of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis.”

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

CBD Could Help Treat Schizophrenia Symptoms, Study Finds

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Researchers from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have recently determined CBD isolate could treat the negative cognitive symptoms that coincide with schizophrenia, including social withdrawal and blunted emotional expression. The study, which was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, involved using a rodent model of schizophrenia and comparing rats treated with CBD to those left untreated. The researchers found CBD restored cognition, working memory, and social behavior.

This information is significant considering past research has suggested cannabis actually heightened the risk of developing psychoses. University of Wollongong PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne notes CBD may fill a void left by current antipsychotic medication treatments, explaining, "This is really important because current antipsychotic drugs don't address the cognitive deficits, which approximately 80 per cent of patients with schizophrenia experience... This is the first study to prove Cannabidiol can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia that aren't addressed by current medications."

Further research is desired to see if the results produced by he rodent model would translate to actual people suffering from schizophrenia. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

10 Little-Known Uses for CBD - Pt. 2w

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Today, we will continue our discussion of the lesser-known uses of CBD. 

Evidence is continuing to mount about the medicinal benefits of CBD for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBD's anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, and anti-inflammatory effects can produce a calming effect, which helps provide a stable mental environment for those who suffer from PTSD and allows them to overcome anxiety and stress. A German study from 2012 and published in the journal Translational Psychiatry compared the antipsychotic Amisulpride and CBD in 45 patients who suffered from schizophrenia, and found that while both treatments were effective, the fewer side effects of CBD made it preferable to the pharmaceutical medication. 

CBD could also benefit bowel diseases, and research shows cannabis' anti-inflammatory properties, along with CBD and THC's ability to control gut function in the body, offers relief for Crohn's disease patients. Using animal models and cell cultures, scientists from the Cajal Institute found CBD reversed inflammatory responses and provided protection from multiple sclerosis (MS). Within 10 days of beginning CBD treatment, mice had superior motor skills and showed improvements in their condition. Lastly, CBD provides a non-habit forming sleep aide that can help those who suffer from insomnia.

This concludes our post about CBD's little-known uses. This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief medical officer. 

MMJ for Shizophrenia

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic mental illness that interferes with clear thinking, emotional responses, and social connections. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, a lack of emotions, disconnect, cognitive issues, and disorganized thought. Schizophrenia is often associated with imaginary voices, nonsensical speech, or a lack of movement or talking. Studies have shown CBD has antipsychotic properties and can reduce psychotic symptoms. 

While CBD may be beneficial in reducing psychotic symptoms, it is important to understand that some studies have found strains high in THC has been associated with an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders. Animal and human studies have found CBD, on the other hand, has antipsychotic properties and is safe and well tolerated. One study found CBD significantly lowers psychotic symptoms and can ameliorate positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Some researchers theorize CBD's activation of the CB2 receptors account for its ability to produce antipsychotic effects. Some psychotic disorders are associated with an altered immune system, which is regulated by the endocannabinoid system and modulated by CB2 receptors. One study found CBD inhibits the degradation of anandamide, an endocannabinoid inversely associated with psychotic symptoms.

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

Understanding Cannabidiol (CBD) - Part 4

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

We will continue our discussion of conditions that can benefit from the use of CBD.

CBD can treat multiple sclerosis (MS) by reducing inflammation, providing neuroprotection and limiting the diseases progression. It also reduces MS symptoms like spasticity and neuropathic pain. Cannabis can fight obesity, and CBD specifically decreases body weight gain and reduces lipid levels. Because of CBD's neuroprotective properties, it supports the health of neural cells mitochondria and prevents neurodegeneration. In this way, CBD treatments improved well being and quality of life scores for those who suffer from Parkinson's disease. CBD might help PTSD sufferers by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors so that it modulates the release of neurotransmitters, increases a sense of pleasure, and initiates the alternation of memory processes. CBD also blocks the continuous retrieval of the traumatic event, thereby enhancing its extension and reducing its associated anxiety.

Not only does CBD have anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties, but trials have also show that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia. Patients who suffer from spinal cord diseases or damage can witness an improvement in bladder control muscle spasms, and spasticity with the use of CBD. CBD also stimulates a neuroprotective response that limits damage when it is administered shortly after a spinal cord injury and improves motor scores following the injury. Similarly, CBD protects neurons and astrocytes from damage when administered shortly after a stroke, which leads to improved functional, histological, biochemical, and neurobehavior recovery. Lastly, CBD's neuropotective effects limit brain damage following traumatic brain injury. 

This concludes our series on CBD and the therapeutic benefits it has for a multitude of conditions. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. 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. 

Latest JAMA Studies Largely Fail to Support Past Claims About Marijuana and Brain Health

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Two studies have been released recently in JAMA Psychiatry that provide little evidence to support claims that marijuana has a harmful impact on the developing brain.

The first study analyzed pairs of siblings, one of which was exposed to marijuana and one of which was not. The results concluded that any differences "were attributed to common predispositional factors, genetic or environmential in origin." In addition, there was "no evidence for the causal influence of cannabis exposure" on the development of the brain.

The second study sought to find out whether the use of cannabis in adolescence changes the brain in a way that increases the risk of developing schizophrenia. A link existed among males who already had a high genetic predisposition toward schizophrenia, but there was no link among males who were at low risk of developing the disease or among females in either category. This disputes the claim that marijuana use directly causes schizophrenia. 

To learn more about these significant studies, read this article on the Daily Chronic.