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.

Cannabinoids Improve Speech In Patients With Tourette Syndrome

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

A study published in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences has determined the daily use of cannabinoids may improve speech fluency in patients diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Researchers from the Hannover Medical School in Germany looked at the impact of daily cannabinoid treatment in two patients with treatment-resistant vocal blocking tics, with one patient using THC-dominant whole-plant cannabis and the other using dronabinol (oral THC). Both treatments produced “significant improvement not only of simple and complex motor and vocal tics, but also in the overall symptomology including comorbid conditions and most importantly significantly improved patients’ quality of life including their social contacts and performance at school without side effects.” While this study is small, it supports previous studies that have found inhaled cannabis or oral synthetic THC improve the symptoms associated with Tourette syndrome. More research is left to be desired, but the researchers claim, “[C]annabis-based medicine appears to be effective in treatment-resistant TS patients with vocal blocking tics.”

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

Cannabis Could Treat Tourette Syndrome: Study

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study coming out of the University of Toronto suggests that cannabis may be an effective alternative treatment option for Tourette's symptoms. In the study, which was led by Elia Abi-Jaoude and published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, researchers found 18 of 19 participants who used cannabis routinely for over two years saw significant improvements in symptoms. While the study is hopeful, it could have benefited from a larger sample size, more consistency in cannabis strains, and placebo control. Abi-Jaoude hopes to take this study further, using controlled and double-blind methods along with various cannabis strains. Still, Abi-Jaoude believes cannabis shows promise as a treatment for tics and other Tourette's-related symptoms.

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

Study Finds Cannabis is Effective for Treating Tourette’s Patients

Photo Credit: Marijuana Times

Photo Credit: Marijuana Times

A new study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences has found cannabis effectives reduces symptoms in those suffering from Tourette's syndrome. Researcher Elia Abi-Jaoude, with the help of the University of Toronto, conducted a retroactive study on 19 patients, and found cannabis not only allowed 18 of them to experience a 60% reduction in tics but that the medication was also well tolerated among participants. Abi-Jaoude explains, “Several of my patients with Tourette syndrome had noticed that if they used some marijuana, their tics decreased significantly... We began prescribing medical cannabis at our clinic and were struck by the improvements we saw in tics and related symptoms. We eventually decided that we should investigate this topic further.”

While this observational study is hopeful, there is still much to be discovered through more investigative clinical research that is controlled and involves placebo. Abi-Jaoude explains, “We hope that with further research we can get a clearer picture of the potential benefits and risks with using cannabis for tics and related symptoms.” 

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

Cannabinoids Found Beneficial in Treatment of Tourette Syndrome

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Neuropsychological studies have found high concentrations of CB1 receptors in areas of the brain that are linked to cognitive functions, suggesting it could influence areas that are effected by neuropsychiatric disorders like Tourette syndrome, a condition characterized by involuntary and repetitive movement, and vocal and phonic tics. Two studies have found THC have validated that use of THC for the treatment of Tourette related symptoms when other treatment options have failed. The cannabinoids may be able to treat stimulant-induced exacerbation of tics and related co-morbidities through its enhancement of intra-cortical inhibition and its induction of neurotransmitter release. Cannabinoids can also treat the behavioral symptoms of tics by modulating the brain's neurotransmitter systems. One review led by German researchers found a 25 year old male patient suffering from Tourette syndrome successfully treated his symptoms using a single dose of 10 mg of THC. Unfortunately, this study was open-labeled and uncontrolled. 

One double-blind, randomized single-dose and placebo-controlled study found THC safely and effectively reduces tics and related behavioral disorders like obsessive compulsive behaviors (OCB). 12 patients with Tourette syndrome were treated with either 5.0, 7.5, or 10.0 mg of THC, and researchers and patients reported significant improvements in tics and OCB in comparison to the group receiving placebo. The severity score dropped from 41 to 7 within only two hours of administration, and the relief lasted several hours without producing adverse side effects other than what was considered minor psychoactive effects. Plasma analysis indicated a relationship between higher 11-OH-THC plasma concentration and tic improvement. One follow-up study involving 24 patients with Tourette syndrome found patients who received 10 mg THC for 6 weeks experienced clinically significant reductions in tics. The other follow-up and cross-over study, which involved 12 patients who received a single dose 10 mg THC, reported significant improvements in the treated group in comparison to the placebo group without producing side effects. 

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

 

New Research Says Cannabis Can Treat Tourette Syndrome

Photo Credit: Jeff Standley

Photo Credit: Jeff Standley

According to research conducted by the Department of Psychiatry at the Tauranga Hospital in New Zealand, cannabis may be able to treat the severe motor and vocal tics associated with Tourette syndrome. The study examined the effects of a whole plant cannabis extract made by GW Pharmaceuticals called Sativex in one patient suffering from Tourette syndrome. Twice daily over the course of four weeks, doctors gave the patient controlled doses of Sativex, an oromucosal spray that administers 10.8mg of THC and 10 mg CBD. They then measured the perceived severity of the tics. The patient and objective observers noted a "marked improvement in the frequency and severity of motor and vocal tics post-treatment."

While this data provides hope for future treatment methods of Tourette syndrome, the study is too small of a scale to suggest anything definitive about the best treatment methods and dosing information for treating the condition with medical cannabis. This is why we at CannaBest Medical can't stress enough the importance of journaling on a daily basis. In doing so, you are becoming an anonymous member of a patient pool that contributes vital data that can inform researchers and physicians about the most effective and ineffective ways of using medical marijuana to treat your unique condition. With more participants and information, we can better assess the true value of this medication. 

This information has been brought to you in part by High Times Magazine 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. 

MMJ for Tourette's Syndrome

Photo Credit: Medical Look (http://www.medicalook.com/Neurological_disorders/Tourettes_syndrome.html)

Photo Credit: Medical Look (http://www.medicalook.com/Neurological_disorders/Tourettes_syndrome.html)

Tourette's Syndrome is a nervous system disorder characterized by simple or complex motor or vocal tics that develop during childhood. The cause remains unknown, but Mayo Clinic theorizes it could result from genetic mutations or brain abnormalities. Tourette's cause lifestyle difficulties, and the syndrome is often associated with ADHD, OCD, learning disabilities, depression, and sleep and anxiety disorders. Treatments focus on managing tics, and studies have shown medical marijuana safely reduces the frequency of tics.

Cannabis effectively reduces tics and also treats the associated behavioral problems of Tourette's syndrome. One study found single cannabis treatment on adult Tourette's syndrome patients significantly improved tics and obsessive compulsive behavior when compare to a placebo. Another study found six weeks of cannabis administration significantly reduced tics over time compared to placebo. Similarly, another study over six-weeks found cannabis treatment reduced tics without causing adverse side effects or impairing neuropsychological performance. Other studies have shown cannabis does not impair verbal or visual memory, reaction time, intelligence, attention span, divided attention, vigilance, or mood compared to placebo for Tourette's patients, suggesting cannabis has no acute or long-term cognitive side effects.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

MMJ for Neurological Disorders - Part 2

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

In our previous post, we covered medical marijuana for neurological disorders and began our discussion of cannabis in relation to specific disorders. Today we will continue that discussion.

Studies have shown the cannabinoids in cannabis slow the neurodegenerative process of multiple sclerosis (MS) by helping the body regulate its immune system, managing its inflammatory response and encouraging the regeneration of neurons. Additionally, cannabinoids reduce inflammatory damage to the myelin, which provided neuroprotection. In an animal study, cannabinoids reduced neurological disability, improved motor coordination, and limited the progression of MS. Another neurological disorder, Parkinson's disease, has witnessed cannabinoids suppress excitotoxicity, glial activation, and oxidative injury damaging the neurons. Cannabinoids improve mitochondrial function and clear away cellular debris, which supports neuronal health.

A group of degenerative brain disorders referred to as prion diseases have found CBD can protect neurons agains prion toxicity. When cannabis is administered immediately following a traumatic event, they can actually reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and delay atrophy and degeneration of neurons, which in turn limits the neurological damage that results from spinal cord injury. Immediate administration of cannabinoids can also help with the recovery of locomotor function. For those who suffer a stroke, CBD can protect neurons and astrocytes from damage, which facilitates functional, histological, biochemical, and neurobehavioral recovery. Studies show cannabis suppresses tics and improves behavioral problems from Tourette syndrome. Lastly, cannabis has anti-tumor properties that can prevent tumor formation in the brain and spinal cord.

This concludes our post on neurological disorders. This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and 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.