Tag Archives: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana For Chronic Pain In New York

Chronic pain sufferers will now be able to get medical marijuana prescribed to them in New York.

After announcing in December it planned to add chronic pain to its list of eligible conditions, the state Health Department on Thursday said medical marijuana for the ailment will be available starting Wednesday.

The Health Department also said physician assistants can now register to prescribe medical marijuana — the latest group of health-care professionals allowed to prescribe the drug

The moves, which the state outlined last year, are aimed at bolstering the state’s medical marijuana program, which started last year and has had difficulty registering patients and prescribers.

“Improving patient access to medical marijuana continues to be one of our top priorities, as it has been since the launch of the program,” Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement. “These key enhancements further that goal.”

The state has sought to address the concerns by allowing more conditions to be treated with medical marijuana and allowing nurse practitioners — and now physician assistants — to prescribe it.

The state has nearly 900 health-care professionals who have registered to prescribe medical marijuana and and 14,437 patients have been certified to buy the drug at one of 20 dispensaries in New York.

Practitioners have to take an online course to prescribe medical marijuana; patients have to be certified by their doctors to get the drug.

The state defines chronic pain as “any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability” and when other options have been unsuccessful.

It also defines chronic pain as “having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset.”

Chronic pain is now added to the list of 10 conditions that qualify for medical marijuana usage: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS; Lou Gehrig’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; spinal damage; epilepsy; inflammatory bowel disease; neuropathies; and Huntington’s disease.

As for physician assistants, they can register with the Health Department to certify patients, as long as their supervising physician is also registered to certify patients.

For more information about New York’s Medical Marijuana program, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/

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Why New York Medical Marijuana Is Not Like Any Other State


This video is about why medical marijuana in New York State is not like the medical marijuana laws in other states. People like to believe that NYS is very progressive but in some ways we are very conservative. When it comes down to it smoking pot in NYS is still a big no no. This is true whether you just get a New York State marijuana (pot) charge, also called Unlawful Possession of Marijuana section 221.05 or a higher level possession of marijuana offense.

Even small amounts of pot for personal use or medical need are being fully prosecuted.

Some judges require drug/alcohol evaluations to determine necessity for treatment for abuse or misuse of marijuana.

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Why You Should Be Eating Raw Weed !!

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Marijuana is a superfood. This incredibly unique plant contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The number of vitamins, essential oils, and acids found in cannabis has led experts like Dr. William Courtney to call weed a “dietary essential.” Marijuana is a particularly special plant in the world of nutrition because the herb contains extremely high concentrations of cannabinoid acids. Turns out, these acids are incredibly important for basic cell function. Image result for Why You Should Be Eating Raw Weed

 

Cannabinoid Acids:

Two of the primary cannabinoid acids that have been studied thus far are THCa and CBDa. When you heat these acids via smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis you break them down into slightly different chemicals. Specifically, you degrade them into psychoactive THC and cannabinoid CBD. The process of converting these cannabinoid acids into their “active” form is known as decarboxylation, or “decarbing.”

Active THC and CBD have their share of benefits, but the one major downside to decarbing is that your body can only handle small amounts of these now activated cannabinoids. Explained best by to Dr. Courtney:

“We have a series of cannabis strains called ACDC. ‘AC’ stands for alternative cannabinoid, which is the CBD acid molecule, which has come into focus lately as being very important as an anti-inflammatory. And ‘DC’ stands for dietary cannabis. […] If you do heat it, then your dose is around 10mg. And if you don’t heat it, if it’s raw, then your dose is around one to 1-2,000mg.”

When you eat raw cannabis, your body is able to process extremely large amounts of THCa and CBDa without issue. Your body then converts these acids into the nutrients it needs via your own metabolism.  Image result for Eating Raw Weed

Consuming these cannabinoid acids is important because they help your cells communicate with each other via the endocannabinoid system. Consuming more cannabinoid acids may be the key to theprevention of chronic diseases caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies. Endocannabinoid deficiencies are thought to play a major role in the development of medical conditions like:

  • Migraine
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • …and potentially many more!

Courtney suggests that high doses of raw CBDa and THCa are much more effective than their broken-down counterparts when it comes to their:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-diabetic properties
  • Anti-ischemic properties (ischemia occurs when your blood vessels constrict, preventing oxygen from flowing to certain parts of your body.)
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FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, Matt Figi hugs and tickles his once severely-ill seven year old daughter Charlotte, as they walk together inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which was named after the girl early in her treatment for crippling severe epilepsy, in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Colorado is poised to award more than $8 million for medical marijuana research, a step toward addressing complaints that little is known about pot's medical potential. Among the research projects poised for approval on Wednesday,  Dec. 17, 2014, are one for pediatric epilepsy patients, and another for children with brain tumors. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Autistic Children Could Soon Be Provided Medical Marijuana

 

The Minnesota Department of Health is considering adding autism to the growing list of conditions in which the patients can be prescribed medical cannabis.

The consideration carries with it a lot of emotion for families looking for something to help their loved ones with a condition where so little is known.

In a life full of uncertainty, Kammy Krammer is sure of one thing: medical cannabis helps her autistic son, Elliot, in profound way. But 15-year-old Elliott’s autism is not why he’s allowed under state law to take

“Elliott suffered from debilitating anxiety and that affected every aspect of his life,” Kammy told Fox 9. “He had hundreds of tics every single day and was suffering with peer relationships because of that. He was embarrassed and he couldn’t control them.”

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Kammy said Elliot started using medical cannabis July 1, 2015 – the first day it was legal in Minnesota – to help manage his Tourette syndrome. He had an immediate 90 percent reduction in tics, but his mom also started to notice it was also helpful for many of the side effects related to autism.

Tourette’s, not autism, is one of a handful of conditions in Minnesota where medical cannabis can be administered.

Now, the DOH is considering adding autism to the list, but in that consideration, they really only have anecdotal evidence from parents like Kammy and kids like Elliott that it actually works, creating a degree of “uncertainty” around an already mysterious condition with no cure.

Autism is the result of alterations in how the brain processes information which then alters how the mind sees the world. For someone with autism, that often means communication problems, social challenges and repetitive behaviors.

As for how it’s leaning on the decision, the DOH issued a statement saying the process needs to take its course before we comment on specific proposals. The state’s medical cannabis review panel will report on the public health benefits and risks of any proposed medical conditions by Nov. 1.

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Cannabis And Fibromyalgia

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Due to the lack of scientific evidence, marijuana doctors used to be hesitant about recommending medical cannabis to patients with disorders like fibromyalgia, even if they personally believed in the plantspalliative effectiveness. Fortunately, thanks to recent studies depicting the effectiveness of medical marijuana as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia, medical marijuana doctors’ hesitation is now being replaced with a growing confidence that cannabis can benefit these patients plagued by chronic  pain  debilitatingfatigue.             Image result for chronic pain

For decades, both patients and medical cannabis doctors have advocated for the effectiveness of medical marijuana as a treatment for various diseases and conditions. However, in the past, these people rarely received support from the general public because they only had anecdotes to offer as evidence. Fortunately, recent studies have provided more concrete evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis for diseases, including fibromyalgia.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibrillation, also referred to as fibrosis, is a disorder that involves musculature pain that impacts the entire body, according to Mayo Clinic. This musculature pain is frequently accompanied by memory, fatigue, sleep, and mood issues. Most researchers believe that fibromyalgia impacts the function of the brain, particularly when it comes to processing pain signals. This results in the amplification of all painful and uncomfortable sensations.Image result for fibromyalgia

An individual can develop fibromyalgia after a surgery, infection, physical trauma, or psychologically stressful event. However, some individuals accumulate the symptoms of fibromyalgia gradually over time with no one triggering event.

Women have a greater risk of developing fibrositis than men. Most people who have this disorder experience irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, depression, anxiety, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.Image result for temporomandibular disorder

Unfortunately, researchers still have not developed a cure for fibromyalgia. Therefore, the only option for individuals suffering from this disorder is taking medications and developing new habits to control the symptoms. For example, relaxation, exercise, and stress-reduction measures are effective ways to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Due to recent research and anecdotal evidence, many believe that medical marijuana is also a possible way to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.

What Are the Causes of Fibromyalgia?

One topic that is widely debated among researchers is the cause of fibromyalgia. Dr. Ethan Russo, a pharmacologist and neurologist, believes that fibromyalgia may be associated withClinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD).

The endocannabinoid system refers to a communications network in the body that promotes communication between organs, the brain, glands, connective tissues and more. Maintaining the homeostasis, or stable internal environment, of the human body is one of the main goals of the endocannabinoid system.

Accordingly, one’s health will suffer if the endocannabinoid system is disrupted. A disruption can cause many issues influencing gastrointestinal health, mood, sleep, and muscle spasticity. Dr. Russo realizes that these symptoms are also commonly experienced by those suffering from fibromyalgia.

Can Medical Marijuana Treat Fibromyalgia?

Like many chronic pain disorders, fibromyalgia is difficult to treat and impossible to cure. In 2008, Russo discussed his findings about the effectiveness of medical cannabis when it comes to treating the pain associated with fibromyalgia. In the paper, Russo discussed the ability of THC to reduce hypersensitivity to pain for patients suffering from fibromyalgia and migraines. The THC imitates anandamide, which is the natural endocannabinoid of the body. This also supports the idea that fibromyalgia is linked to the endocannabinoid system.

Russo argues that medical marijuana possesses other side effects that can prove helpful when it comes to treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some of these side benefits include anti-insomnia, anti-nausea, and neuroprotective antioxidant properties.

University of Manitoba researchers used Nabilone, which is a synthetic cannabinoid, to treat patients suffering from fibromyalgia. These researchers concluded that not only did the cannabinoid decrease the pain, but also the patients tolerated it well. Most patients saw major improvements when it comes to anxiety symptoms and tender points ato through 4-week mark. The researchers also found major improvements in the results of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaires (FIQ). This questionnaire tests for disturbances of quality of life like fatigue, muscle stiffness, depression, interference with work, fatigue, and physical functioning.Image result for Nabilone

Medical marijuana doctors from Germany’s University of Heidelberg published a study in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion. In the study, the investigators studied the analgesic effects of oral THC. Nine patients suffering from fibromyalgia were involved in the study over three months. The subjects took daily doses of of oral THC. Subjects either took 2.5 or 15 mg of THC throughout the study. These subjects did not receive any other pain medications throughout the duration of the study. All of the subjects in the study reported a major improvement when it comes to daily recorded pain as well as electronically induced pain.

Every year, more states opt to legalize the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for a number of conditions and treatments, including fibromyalgia. Due to the legalization of medical marijuana and recent studies showing the effectiveness of medical marijuana, many marijuana doctors are recommending that their patients take medical marijuana. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia have been traditionally disregarded, so many are pleased to find an effective way to manage symptoms.

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Marijuana And Diabetes

Marijuana plants (Cannabis sativa) may play a role in preventing and controlling diabetes, and treating diabetes complications according to several research articles.

That is the surprising conclusion reached after reviewing some science on the subject in order to answer questions along the lines of, “Will pot make my diabetes worse?” Politics and legalization issues aside, this article will highlight some of the findings. It does not suggest you start using marijuana or condone its use.

Terminology
For the purpose of discussion, the research on marijuana and diabetes focuses on a compound in Cannabis called Cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned.” It actually counters some of the disconcerting effects of euphoria or lethargy associated with another substance found in Cannabis called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). After decades in which only high-THC Cannabis was available, CBD-rich strains are now being grown by and for medical users and may make it a more appealing treatment option. More than 25 CBD-rich strains have been identified, according to Project CDB, a nonprofit educational service dedicated to publicizing research into the medical utility of CBD and other components of the Cannabis plant.

Another important term to understand is endocannabinoids. “Endo” meaning inside, and cannabinoid — a chemical compound found in receptor sites of the nervous and immune systems. These receptors are in high concentrations in the brain, liver, muscle, gut, and fat tissue. Endocannabinoids are known as the brain’s “chemical marijuana.” Following, we explore the novel aspect of endocannabinoid system (ECS) research and the biological effects of plant cannabinoids as it relates to diabetes.

The Brain’s Own “Chemical Marijuana” Affects Metabolism and Glucose Control
Recent studies suggest that endocannabinoids may be a factor linked to metabolic syndrome. Endocannabinoid receptors have been identified in areas of the body responsible for modulating energy balance, feeding behavior, and glucose control.

Endocannabinoid stimulation leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, abnormal lipids (blood cholesterols), and impaired glucose tolerance. Overactivity of this system has been found in human obesity and in animal models of genetic and diet-induced obesity. So why not block this activity? Been there, done that — it was not safe.

The treatment with a specific endocannabinoid inhibitor drug, Rimonabant, showed incredible promise, but because of significant safety issues, is no longer available. In clinical trials, it reduced excess body weight; lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients; improved insulin sensitivity, glucose control and A1C levels; corrected dyslipidemia; and decreased the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The SERENADE (Study Evaluating Rimonabant Efficacy in Drug-NAive DiabEtic Patients) trial was a 6-month, multi-center/country, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study comparing rimonabant 20 mg once daily to a placebo on top of diet and exercise. Rimonabant lowered A1C and other important cardiovascular endpoints, but had serious side effects. These included increased risk for severe depression leading to suicide and development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Since it was pulled from European markets and was never approved by the FDA in the U.S., the best remaining option to maximize the endocannabinoid pathway is with Cannabidiol (CBD) use.

 

Cannabidol uses : 

  • Attenuates (slows the effects of) cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy.
  • Retards beta cell (-cell) damage in type 1 diabetes.
  • Manages obesity and its associated cardiometabolic sequelae, and should remain open for consideration.
  • Prevents type 1 in mice and protects against diabetic retinopathy in animals (American Diabetes Association funded a $300,000 study looking into it).
  • Decreases clot formation (an important consideration for people with diabetes at risk for heart attacks and strokes, especially if taking other “blood thinning” medications).
  • Protects nerves and preserves retinal barrier.

  • Offers therapeutic opportunities for a variety of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, allergic asthma, and autoimmune type 1 diabetes.
  • Has a therapeutic role in managing neurological complications of diabetes.

Tips for Use
Many people with and without diabetes, young and not, use marijuana. Compared with healthy youth, patients with diabetes use less tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs during the first years of adolescence but not later. Just like people who consume alcohol and may reap the benefits and risks of same, this is not intended to encourage anyone to fire up.

  • Watch for low glucose values and plan accordingly. Some patients report drops in glucose up to 40 mg/dL (2.2 mmol/L).
  • Watch for high glucose values and weight gain if you consistently get the munchies.
  • Use in moderation.
  • Stop use if interferes with your life, love/family or career, or other medical conditions.
  • Select cannabis buds that contain more than 4% Cannabidiol (CBD) by weight.
  • Get a vaporizer if you do smoke marijuana and want the cleanest form possible (search the Internet to find examples). That way, you will get the medicinal components without all the products of combustion. Edible forms are also available at most medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Beware of websites that offer “legal” buds or marijuana substitutes as those products are not regulated and often include other non-studied, additive substances.
  • Depend on healthy eating, being active, taking medication, and healthy coping as the mainstays of a balanced diabetes self-management program. Marijuana is a complimentary and alternative medicine.

Marijuana remains illegal, although some states offer legal medical marijuana. The hope of therapeutic applications has lead to a resurgence of research activities. It will take decades before enough science has emerged to integrate into clinical practice guidelines, so the response from individual health practitioners will vary. An honest dialogue will better your chances of comprehensive care.

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Cannabis Compound Removes Alzheimer’s Plaque From Brain Cells, Study Finds

 

Alzheimer’s disease may now be added to a list of diseases with promising treatment from cannabis compounds, a new study from the Salk Institute says

While there has been research and trials to use compounds to treat chronic pain, cancers, epilepsy, and other diseases and illnesses, this laboratory study is the first of its kind to test tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a main component in marijuana, against the plaque buildup of the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers took human neurons that they grew in a lab and altered them so that they created the plaque buildup (comprised of proteins such as beta-amyloid). The researchers then subjected the neurons to amounts of THC and other marijuana compounds.

What they found was that not only did the THC cause a breakdown of the protein buildup, but a reduction in inflammation in the cells. ​Inflammation is bad because it makes it harder for your neurons to communicate with one another correctly.

“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,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper said in a statement.

This study is also novel because the research also provides a stronger link between protein buildup and the inflammation of the neurons. Some past hypotheses had thought that other immune-like cells had been inflamed, and not the neurons themselves.

The researchers believe that the THC was able to reduce the protein buildup and inflammation by working in the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are naturally occurring in the body. Scientists had already known that exercise engages these receptors, and physical activity can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Schubert and his fellow researchers had found in a previous study that the endocannabinoid receptors were involved with the removal of protein buildup and inflammation when testing a new drug. The researchers then decided to investigate the relationship with THC and Alzheimer’s plaque.

Much more study must be conducted before a causal link can be suggested between THC and beta amyloid, the researchers say, including human clinical trials. These exploratory laboratory models are just the beginning.

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Non-Hallucinogenic Cannabinoids Could Cure Cancer: Is A Cheap Anti-Cancer Drug On The Way?

 

Studies that support marijuana’s medicinal properties are met with a great deal of skepticism due to cannabis’ hallucinogenic effects. Researchers from St. George’s University of London have isolated six non-hallucinogenic cannabinoids that could lead to the development of effective anti-cancer medication.

“This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine,” explained the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Wai Liu. “The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids are chemical properties found in cannabis that have been known to produce therapeutic effects by activating receptors in the central nervous system and immune system. While cannabis is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of cancer or any other medical condition, cannabinoids including dronabinol and nabilone have been approved for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.

Although various studies have been carried out regarding the positive and negative effects of cannabis’ main ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), little is known about other cannabinoids. Dr. Liu and his colleagues from St. George’s identified six cannabinoids commonly found in a cannabis plant, including two forms of cannabidiol (CBD), two forms of cannabigerol (CBG), and two forms of cannabigevarin (CBGV).

“These agents are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells, stopping them in their tracks and preventing them from growing,” said Dr. Liu. “In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells on their own.”

The research team introduced all six cannabinoids to cells carrying leukemia, either on their own or in combinations with others. Results showed anti-cancer properties, similar to THC, without any hallucinogenic side effects in all six cannabinoids. Liu said the next step in their analysis will be introducing these compounds to pre-existing cancer medications

“Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer,” Liu added. “Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future.”

 

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