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5 Things You Might Not Know about Medicinal Marijuana

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April 26, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Things-You-Might-Not-Know-about-Medicinal-Marijuana.jpgWhat we don’t know about medicinal marijuana could fill a book. Contradictory studies and widespread misconceptions about the drug have clouded the public’s judgment. As a result, many of the beneficial aspects of the substance have yet to be discovered. 

However, general knowledge about cannabis increases with every passing year. As more regions decriminalize or legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational purposes, further research can be done. These pioneering areas act as blueprints for policy concerning marijuana sale, consumption and laws. In turn, this shows the benefits of the drug and influences other areas to adopt similar measures. 

Still, everyone has plenty to learn when it comes to cannabis. If you’re still a layman when it comes to lids, read on. This article will fill you in on a few little-known facts about the drug sensation that’s sweeping the nation.

1. People Have Used Marijuana Since Prehistory

Marijuana is a drug enjoyed around the world, and evidence suggests that it’s been that way for a long time. Signs of the plant’s use has been found throughout Chinese, Roman and Egyptian histories, whether as a type of medicine or as a recreational tool. 

Some even believe that Homer was referring to the drug when he described the mythical substance “nepenthe” mentioned in the Odyssey. While this isn’t verifiable, it would be fitting, as nepenthe was a drug designed as a medicine that alleviated sorrow.

2. Estrogen Can Increase Sensitivity to Cannabis

It’s easy to think of marijuana as a drug that affects everyone equally, but that simply isn’t the case. Different strains produce different results, and an individual’s own characteristics can influence the drug’s effect. For example, women have traditionally suffered from greater risk of addiction to cannabis, and now researchers may know why. 

A study from Washington State University found that female rats experienced greater tolerance and sensitivity to cannabis compared to their male counterparts. This may have major implications on the way marijuana is researched, since tolerance studies are usually performed on men. While human patients may react differently to the drug, these findings still represent a sobering development in medicinal marijuana research.

3. THC Levels Have Increased by Eight Percent Over the Past Two Decades

The notion that modern marijuana plants are more potent than their predecessors has been common for years. But is there any scientific backing for this idea? In fact, there is.

A 2016 study published in Biological Psychiatry found that samples seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1995 contained an average of four percent THC. However, marijuana confiscated in 2014 contained an average of 12 percent. Over this same period, cannabidiol levels decreased by more than 0.13 percent. Thus, there’s at least a little truth to the idea that weed isn’t quite what it used to be.

4. Marijuana Doesn’t Necessarily Get You Stoned

If you’ve turned on a television in the last 50 years, you’ve probably seen depictions of marijuana users. Despite what television producers would like you to believe, though, the drug doesn’t necessarily make you giggly or hungry. In fact, certain strains have much different effects. 

Strains like Cannatonic de-emphasize THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Instead, they feature heavier doses of cannabidiol, which produces a more relaxed effect than other variants. These types of cannabis are ideal for medicinal marijuana users who don’t want to live through a fog of impairment.

5. It’s Believed to Aid in Brain Cell Growth

Marijuana is commonly believed to impair function, but it may also have a much different benefit. Results from a 2005 study suggest that marijuana can actually help regenerate brain cells in the hippocampus, improving both mood and memory over time. Many see cannabis as a miracle drug, but this information gives that idea new meaning.

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

QUIZ: Can You Spot the Fake Medicinal Marijuana Strains?

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April 20, 2017 9:00 AM

Can You Spot the Fake Medicinal Marijuana Strains.jpgMedical cannabis is more popular than ever. Nearly 100,000 new patients have registered to use the drug since October 2015, according to Health Canada. While doctors may still be reticent to prescribe the substance, sufferers of nausea, pain, anxiety, and more are turning to it to relieve their debilitating symptoms.

However, gaining access isn’t the final step in the process. Patients still need to find medicinal marijuana strains that both alleviate symptoms and suit their lifestyles. This process doesn’t need to be a slog, though. To prove that point, we’ve devised a quiz that will help participants eliminate some of the mystique surrounding medicinal marijuana strains. Enjoy!

 

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Topics: Marijuana Strains

5 Little-Known Facts About Medical Marijuana

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April 05, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Little-Known-Facts-About-Medical-Marijuana.jpgMedical marijuana already suffers from a boatload of misconceptions. The substance has faced prohibition for nearly a century, and this has placed a resilient stigma upon its users. Cannabis users still have a bad reputation, even when they use it to reduce debilitating symptoms and side effects. 

This may not be the case for much longer, though. Nearly 70 percent of Canadian respondents surveyed in a Nanos poll that they favour marijuana legalization, and 57 percent disagreed with the notion that the drug acts as a “gateway” to other, harder substances. An act that will attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use should also soonhit the House of Commons. 

Of course, more education and research is needed as tolerance for cannabis increases. The full, long-term effects of the drug have not been definitively proven, which makes it difficult for users to fully understand the consequences of their actions. This article seeks to change that. It offers medical marijuana patients a few little-known facts that will help them make more informed decisions about their treatment.

1. Marijuana Contains More Than 400 Chemicals

The exact chemical composition of marijuana varies depending on the source. For example, illegally cultivated cannabis isn’t regulated, so it may contain harmful components that a medicinal alternative may not.

Yet even these versions of the substance contain a multitude of compounds. The drug contains more than 400 chemicals, the most prominent of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The former has shown promise as an appetite stimulant and antiemetic. It has also been isolated and sold as an oral spray that combats chronic pain. CBD, meanwhile, has the potential to treat psychiatric disorders and severe epilepsy, among other ailments.

2. The Number of Registered Medical Marijuana Users in Canada Tripled in One Year

Medical marijuana patients must register with Health Canada to buy their medication. By September 2015, only about 30,500 people had done so, but this number increased in leaps and bounds by the following year. As of September 2016, over 100,000 people had enrolled with the government to use the substance legally.

The Ottawa Citizen cites several factors that explain this boost. These include a move away from a regulatory model that allowed patients to grow their own supply of cannabis, as well as growing acceptance for and awareness of the drug. The article predicts that about 450,000 will have access to medicinal marijuana by 2024.

3. Concentration of Licensed Producers Varies from Province to Province

Canadian medicinal marijuana patients can currently obtain the drug from licensed producers located across the country. Most of these firms are concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia. The former has 24 licensed producers, while the latter hosts nine. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, P.E.I, and New Brunswick contain the final seven, while Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia have none.

4. Medical Marijuana Dosages Can Be Smaller Than Recreational Users’ Intakes

A 2010 Canadian Medical Association Journal study found that patients who used medicinal cannabis experienced greater pain relief than those who used a placebo. While the study featured a small sample size, it did yield another interesting fact. According to researcher Dr. Mark Ware, patients used miniscule quantities of the drug, which were often significantly smaller than recreational users’ average doses.

5. Health Canada Does Not Endorse Marijuana Use for Therapeutic Purposes

It’s important to note that Health Canada has not approved cannabis for medicinal or therapeutic use. The substance currently lacks a drug information number (DIN), which creates a host of regulatory issues for patients. Still, doctors throughout the country are allowed to prescribe marijuana at their own discretion, and both anecdotal and research-based evidence suggests that the drug may have promising treatment applications.

 

 

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

5 Proven Benefits of Consuming Medical Marijuana

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March 29, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Proven-Benefits-of-Consuming-Medical-Marijuana.jpgDespite recent studies, medical marijuana remains a mystery. The drug is a Schedule I controlled substance in the U.S. and a Schedule II narcotic in Canada, which makes cannabis research in these countries much more difficult. 

For example, U.S. researchers must follow procedures with both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to gain legal access to marijuana. Both agencies have imposed strict constraints on these studies, which has resulted in a dearth of credible insight regarding the long-term effects of medical marijuana. 

However, cannabis has still shown promise in certain health and wellness applications. Just under 70 percent of Canadian respondents reported that they supported legalization in some form. As more people dismantle the cultural and legal stigma surrounding the drug, researchers will be able to examine marijuana’s effects in a more objective light. 

In the meantime, here are just five of the most common benefits that are already widely known.

1. It Alleviates Pain

Many conditions can cause chronic pain, but they all share one thing in common: they reduce sufferers’ quality of life substantially. Even routine tasks can become unbearable when discomfort is omnipresent. Pharmaceutical drugs can alleviate these problems, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll work. Certain substances even carry heavy addiction risks that put patients in danger. 

Consuming medical marijuana represents a viable pain management solution. Doctors can prescribe the substance to treat chronic muscle spasms, neuropathic pain, cancer-associated discomfort, and other issues. Unlike other pain relievers, there’s a low risk of dependency, and patients aren’t likely to develop serious complications from marijuana.

2. It Reduces Nausea and Spurs Appetite

Serious illness can take a major toll on the body, so patients need all the strength they can get. Eating properly is essentialto this process, yet those suffering from nausea or decreased appetite may not be able to get the nutrition they need. Appetite stimulants and antiemetic drugs can help, but theirside effects may deter patients.

Fortunately, many cancer and HIV patients have seen their appetites increase after consuming medical marijuana. While these drugs don’t treat the causes of sufferers’s discomfort, they do make symptom management much easier.

3. It Can Reduce Seizures Caused by Drug Resistant Epilepsy

Most people think of intoxication when they consider marijuana, but the substance has other facets to it. While the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is dominant in most strains, cannabis also contains cannabidiol (CBD), which has plenty of medical benefits.

The compound’s effects on epilepsy sufferers are among its most promising features. CBD is believed to reduce seizures in patients who live with severe epilepsy or Dravet’s Syndrome. While substantial clinical tests still need to be done, the anecdotal evidence thus far has proven optimistic.

4. It's Proven Useful in PTSD Treatments

Cannabis’s benefits aren’t confined to physical health. The drug may also have therapeutic benefits for those suffering from psychiatric disorders or mental illness. Proponents argue for the substance’s use in anxiety and depression treatments, but post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients may also benefit. 

Specifically, mental health professionals can use marijuana to alleviate feelings of fear or panic typically associated with the disorder. This treatment isn’t efficient for every case, but it may help in certain instances.

5. It Makes Users More Creative                                                    

Creativity isn’t strictly a medical issue, but it can be related to illness and disorder. Patients who suffer from debilitating conditions may lament the loss of their productivity and function. Consuming medical marijuana can help patients regain some semblance of normality, and even allow them to consider problems in a new light. This can make them solve difficult problems in a faster, more efficient way.

 

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

5 Most Common Misconceptions about Weed

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March 22, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Most-Common-Misconceptions-about-Weed.jpgMarijuana has faced stigma since it first came to the public’s attention. Canada’s House of Commons criminalized the drug in 1923 before it had even earned a widespread reputation. It remained completely illegal for all purposes until the early 21st century, when a court ruling led to Canada’s first medical marijuana laws. Still, cannabis users continue to attract negative attention, even as more Canadians support legalization

This stigma becomes especially problematic when it draws upon misinformation or outright fabrications. False information about marijuana doesn’t just hurt the people who use it recreationally. Medical patients who could benefit from cannabis treatment may not consider the drug due to its poor standing. As a result, they may continue to suffer needlessly from pain, appetite loss, nausea, and other conditions that marijuana can reduce. 

The best way to combat the most common misconceptions about weed is to disprove them. In that spirit, this article will outline just a few of the common myths about marijuana and show why they hold less water than a small bong.

1. Cannabis Is a Gateway Drug

The “gateway drug” myth is so prevalent that many people can’t divorce it from the substance itself. Its guiding principle is that marijuana causes users to develop a taste for its effects, which will ultimately lead them to abuse other, harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Like many marijuana misconceptions, this idea mistakes cause for correlation. It assumes that cannabis causes users to gravitate toward other drugs, when other factors may play a more substantial role in this shift. 

The myth doesn’t even hold up to scrutiny when other drugs are invoked. Alcohol and nicotine usually precede marijuana use, yet neither are criminalized, let alone labeled “gateway drugs.” Marijuana continues to bear the brunt of this falsehood, even though it’s demonstrably inaccurate. 

2. Marijuana Use Causes Violence

Marijuana and criminality have existed side by side in the popular consciousness since the 1930s. What can you expect when a drug is criminalized before the general public even knows it exists? Despite a lack of evidence, cannabis use has long been seen as a harbinger of violent crime. 

While assault and murder have surrounded the marijuana trade in the past, it’s largely due to its status as an illegal drug. A lack of regulation leaves traffickers with little recourse other than violence should something go wrong. There’s little evidence to show that the substance itself actually causes violent behaviour, and recent studies suggest that sites for marijuana trafficking, such as dispensaries, don’t suffer from higher crime rates.

3. Cannabis Is Highly Addictive

Cannabis addiction is a valid concern. Users can come to depend on the drug, especially if they come to abuse. Yet marijuana’s potential for addiction is miniscule compared to other narcotics. 

Nine percent of cannabis users become dependent on the drug, compared to 23 percent of those who try heroin and 17 percent of cocaine consumers. Even legal drugs are more addictive than cannabis. Fifteen percent of alcohol drinkers develop an addiction to it, while 32 percent of smokers suffer from nicotine dependency. These statistics don’t mean that marijuana addiction is insignificant, but they do show that it’s highly overestimated. 

4. Marijuana Severely Alters Your Brain

Common misconceptions about weed aren’t limited to discussions of public safety and addiction. You’re as likely to hear stories about the substance’s negative effects on the brain as you are to hear about its role in criminality. In reality, both are exaggerated. 

Studies do show that marijuana users’ brains differ from those of non-users. Yet the studies’ authors have never claimed that marijuana is the source of these changes. In fact, they’ve even spoken out against this assertion, showing that confusion between cause and correlation still rein when it comes to marijuana discussions. 

5. Cannabis Is Harmless

Most myths about marijuana inflate its negative effects at the expense of its benefits. Unfortunately, many cannabis advocates do the exact opposite, ignoring its harmful effects while singing its praises. This results in more common misconceptions about weed. 

Marijuana still causes addiction in some users, and smoking the drug does create carcinogens that can cause serious health problems. The stigma surrounding marijuana use is excessive, but that doesn’t mean the drug’s harmful aspects should be disregarded.

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

The Beginner’s Guide to Consuming Medical Cannabis

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March 15, 2017 9:00 AM

The-Beginners-Guide-to-Consuming-Medical-Cannabis.jpgMedical cannabis is an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments and helps alleviate symptoms for patients across the globe. This beginner’sguide to consuming medical cannabis is meant to help new patients and their loved ones understand the many different ways medical marijuana can be administered and how to create a tailored treatment plan.

Start Low and Go Slow

If you are inexperienced in taking medical marijuana, the best rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and take it slow. The dosage needed will vary based on the type and severity of your condition, how much experience you have with consuming medical cannabis, and your method of delivery of the drug into your system. Consult with a healthcare professional to find out the minimum dosage you should be taking and make sure to research interactions with other drugs before starting treatment.

If smoking or using a vaporizer, wait for a few minutes between inhalations to gauge the strength of the strain. If consuming medical cannabis as an edible wait at least an hour to judge the full effects and wait at least four hours until taking a second dose.

Experiment with Strains and Methods

Finding the right medical marijuana strain for your needs can be difficult. You will likely need to experiment with different strains, to find the perfect treatment plan that works for you,fits your lifestyle, and most importantly, is optimal in relieving your symptoms. Finding the ideal delivery method for you can also be difficult.

Here are the main ways of consuming medical cannabis:

Smoking

Generally considered the most traditional way of consuming medical cannabis, this involves packing a small amount of dried cannabis into a pipe, water pipe (bong), or rolling paper, then burning it and inhaling the smoke.

PROS:This method produces instant relief and makes it easy to regulate the dosage; it is an inexpensive method and allows the user to transport the drug as a rolled joint wherever necessary.

CONS: Smoke may be harmful to your lungs and may not be the ideal option for patients with lung damage, asthma, or emphysema. This method also generates a lot of smoke that can make both you and your surroundings smell like marijuana.

Vaporizing

Dried cannabis is inserted into a preheated vaporizer and heated to a temperature hot enough to release its medicinal compounds.

PROS: It offers optimal use of your medical marijuana and will deliver instant relief with less harsh effects on your lungs when compared to smoking. There is very little smell and the amount of marijuana needed to produce the same effects as smoking is much less.

CONS: Good vaporizers can be very expensive and smaller handheld units need to be charged and take time to fully warm up when needed.

Edibles

Eating cannabis is an effective way to treat pain and can provide hours of relief. Today you can find all types of edible foods such as cookies, popcorn, lollipops, and chocolate bars all with precise dosage.

PROS: Long-lasting relief and a great alternative for patients who would rather not inhale marijuana smoke. Not only is it a delicious treat you can take anywhere, but dosages can be carefully administered.

CONS: The effects of edibles can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours to fully kick in and, if not made by a reputable manufacturer, dosages can be difficult to determine. It’s also important to take it slow if new to edibles as the effects can be radically different compared to smoking. Talk to your doctor to find your dosage before experimenting with edibles.

Other methods such as tinctures, patches, and topicals are also available, generally providing a low dose for patients who want to strictly control the dose and stay away from inhaling or ingesting medical cannabis.

 

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

Can Medical Marijuana Help with Depression?

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March 08, 2017 9:00 AM

Can-Medical-Marijuana-Help-with-Depression.jpgThere’s no easy fix when it comes to treating depression. You can’t solve the issue by simply taking two pills and calling your doctor in the morning. Instead, you’ll probably need to take some form of psychopharmaceutical medication and undergo some form of therapy. Since every case is rooted in different chemical imbalances and psychological processes, finding the right treatment option for your specific issue can require extensive time and effort. This can be demotivating, and it may fill you with further doubt or dread. 

As a result, many depression patients look elsewhere for relief. Some turn to marijuana to treat their conditions, claiming that it helps relieve negative symptoms. However, the internet contains numerous conflicting reports about cannabis’s efficacy in treating depression. Some argue that the drug is promising, while others believe that it can actually make psychological problems worse. 

So who’s right, and what do you need to know if you’re considering medical marijuana as a treatment option for your depressive mood disorder? This article will outline just a few facts that you should know before committing to the drug.

There’s Currently a Lack of Research on the Topic

While cannabis users may swear by the drug’s therapeutic properties, scientific research has yet to back up these claims. That’s due in part to a lack of research on the topic. As this Harvard Health Publications article notes, there are very few credible reports regarding marijuana’s general medical benefits, let alone specific studies on its use in treating depression. In the rare cases where medical marijuana is prescribed, it’s often used when other treatments won’t suffice. 

While anecdotal reports suggest that the substance may combat depressive disorders, it’s just as likely to worsen them. The Harvard article argues that while the drug has relieved mood disorder symptoms in animals, it may still have a negative effect on human patients. Ultimately, more conclusive research is needed before medical marijuana can represent an effective treatment option for depressive mood disorders.

The Chemical Components Are Promising (But Not Conclusive)

Cannabis may not have the medical establishment’s full approval yet, but some strains do have the potential to help patients. New strains include terpenes, which may have chemical and aroma-therapeutic benefits.

The linked article mentions how marijuana can have a negative effect on patients’ emotional capacities. However, it also offers some promise for patients whose negative thought patterns are based in low self-esteem or over-empathy. As with most of the other points on this list, this doesn’t seem promising for generalized treatment, but it still demonstrates that cannabis may be effective in some cases.

The Drug May Treat a Depressive Disorder If It’s a Symptom of Another Illness

Doctors have prescribed marijuana to treat terminal and debilitating illnesses for years. Patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and more have used the drug to reduce symptoms and side effects. This has allowed them to lead better, more fulfilling lives in spite of their illnesses.

While it’s rarely discussed, depressive mood disorders often go hand-in-hand with these disorders. That’s why Health Canada allows patients to use cannabis to reduce these symptoms. If you suffer from a similar chronic issue, you may be able to use marijuana to help brighten your mood.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana is not necessarily the most credible way to treat depressive mood disorders. It still suffers from stigma and a lack of authoritative research. However, in the specific cases listed above, cannabis may have a role to play in alleviating mental health issues. 

As always, it’s important to consult a doctor before making a definitive decision regarding medicinal cannabis.

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Topics: Medical Marijuana

Which Medical Cannabis Strains Are Right for Me?

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March 01, 2017 9:00 AM

Which-Medical-Cannabis-Strains-Are-Right-for-Me.jpgIt’s not always easy to find medicine that’s good for what ails you. Conventional medications may not work for conditions like chronic pain, epilepsy, or anxiety. For other disorders like cancer or HIV/AIDs, treatments themselves can create negative side effects that can make life almost unbearable for patients. That’s why medical marijuana has become so popular in recent years. The drug can alleviate negative symptoms and side effects and help users live more functional, productive lives. 

But getting the right medical cannabis strains isn’t as easy as it may seem. Each variety has different properties that significantly alter the drug’s effects. Choose the wrong strain and you may suffer from further discomfort. Patients need to know which strains will best suit their circumstances, which can involve a lot of trial and error. This can be frustrating for those who want immediate relief, but there are ways to learn without sampling too many different varieties. 

For instance, this article will outline just a few medical cannabis strains that are popular among patients. These results are categorized by disorder/symptom, so you can narrow down your search with ease.

Pain

Chronic pain doesn’t just leave patients in constant discomfort. It also robs them of their ability to perform everyday tasks. Medical marijuana can help them regain these capabilities, but the wrong strain can sap their energy and leave them feeling drowsy and lazy. 

That’s why it’s important to choose the right medical cannabis strains. Generally, sativa varieties will help patients feel energized and relatively focused, while indicas will relax them. 

Green Crack is a sativa that’s commonly used to treat pain. It leaves users feeling refreshed and focused while still reducing discomfort. Sour Diesel generally produces similar effects, while the Blue Dream hybrid offers a blend of relaxation and revitalization. Pain patients will have to adjust based on their unique tastes, but these varieties represent good starting points.

Nausea/Appetite

In isolated cases, nausea can be treated relatively easily. But it’s a different story when this condition develops due to chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS treatments. In these cases, the treatment is necessary, but the discomfort and loss of appetite it produces can further weaken patients. Fortunately, medical marijuana has shown promise in reducing these problems.

Many of the most common anti-nausea strains tend to contain relatively high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Patients must be careful, though; if they use too much, they may develop cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which will only make the nausea worse.

Popular beginner strains include Jillybean, a hybrid that creates a joyous feeling, and Durban Poison, an energizing sativa.

Epilepsy

Marijuana’s efficacy as an epilepsy treatment is still in question, but anecdotal reports are promising. Specifically, the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have reduced seizures when the compound is isolated from the drug itself. This National Geographic feature even profiles a group of families that moved to Colorado so they could treat their children’s epilepsy. 

Adult epilepsy sufferers in Canada can generally find high-CBD, low-THC strains through their licensed producers. These varieties create a relaxed, stable mood for users without the psychoactive symptoms associated with most marijuana strains. Cannatonic is among the most popular of these strains, as it features up to 17 percent CBD content.

Anxiety/Depression

While cannabis is no substitute for therapy and/or prescription medication, it can play a role in treating mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. The relaxing effect of CBD-heavy strains can help calm anxiety sufferers, while sativas and hybrids like Pineapple Express, Jack Herer, and Girl Scout cookies can help ease depression patients’ minds.

 

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Topics: Marijuana Strains

Do You Suffer from a Condition Medical Marijuana Can Help?

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February 22, 2017 9:00 AM

Do-You-Suffer-from-a-Condition-Medical-Marijuana-Can-Help.jpgIt should come as no surprise that cannabis has medical applications. A few of the substance’s chemical components have been synthesized into medications that treat everything from loss of appetite to neuropathic pain and more. But medical marijuana itself has become more prevalent since the mid-1990s. California famously legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in 1996, and a court decision in 2000 paved the way for the Canadian Medical Marijuana Access Regulations the following year. 

While many states and countries have adopted some form of medical marijuana legislation, relatively few people consider it as a viable way to treat their symptoms. This may stem from stigma surrounding the drug or logistical concerns that arise from specific jurisdictions. 

Either way, more patients need to understand that cannabis may help combat symptoms associated with a variety of severe disorders. These are just a few of the illnesses medicinal cannabis can help treat.

Cancer

Chemotherapy is a notoriously difficult process for cancer patients. It often constitutes a necessary part of a patient’s treatment plan, but it can severely impair his or her living standards. Affected parties may suffer from fatigue, nausea, pain, insomnia, and more. 

Medical marijuana may help reduce this discomfort for certain patients. It can counteract all of the symptoms mentioned above and help patients achieve a feeling of normalcy again. While reports that marijuana can treat or cure cancer are often exaggerated, the drug still represents a promising way to take the edge off certain symptoms.

HIV/AIDS

Chemotherapy and HIV/AIDS treatments share many of the same side effects. They can both produce nausea, pain, headaches, fatigue, and other problems in patients, all of which can make life extremely unpleasant. As with cancer treatments, medical marijuana represents a viable solution for these problems. Patients can take a range of different medicinal cannabis strains to achieve a greater degree of relief from these side effects.

Multiple Sclerosis

As with HIV/AIDS, there’s currently no known cure for multiple sclerosis. The disorder affects patients’ brains and spinal cords, which ultimately results in neurological problems, muscle weakness, and more. It can be treated, but available medications may not eliminate all of the side effects associated with the condition. 

Again, medical marijuana can’t treat multiple sclerosis itself, but it can reduce symptoms to the point where everyday life becomes more manageable for patients. Those who use medicinal cannabis for this purpose often gain greater control over their bladders, mobility, vision, and more.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy can severely disrupt sufferers’ lives. Inopportune seizures impede patients’ quality of life, and conventional treatments can’t always prevent them. Fortunately, medicinal cannabis can offer relief.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that isolated cannabidiol (CBD) can severely reduce the number of seizures a patient experiences. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has also been known to prevent convulsions, so marijuana may prove to be greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to epilepsy treatment.

Chronic Pain

From damaged nervous systems to constant headaches, medical cannabis can relieve a wide range of chronic pain. THC is often considered to be an effective anti-inflammatory, but it can also distract patients from the constant discomfort these conditions can bring. As a result, it may represent an effective alternative to opioids and other dangerously addictive prescription medications.

Anxiety/Depression

The links between mental health and cannabis use can be difficult to accurately portray. However, certain strains of medicinal cannabis can reduce patients’ depression or anxiety. That’s because CBD produces relaxing effects that can help mitigate the mental discomfort that these patients face. While this treatment option doesn’t work for everyone, it may give some users temporary relief.

 

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Topics: medical conditions

5 Medical Cannabis Strains for Anxiety

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February 15, 2017 9:00 AM

5-Medical-Cannabis-Strains-for-Anxiety.jpgAnxiety can make every day feel unbearable. Whether it’s a side effect of another medical issue or a mental illness all its own, it can have a severe impact on your ability to lead a normal life. Common interactions can take on an unhealthy significance, you may live in fear constantly and your body could maintain a tension that you just can’t relieve. 

Thankfully, there are options for sufferers. Medication and counselling are two of the most common routes to mental health. If these avenues don’t work, medical cannabis strains with low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high percentages of cannabidiol (CBD) have proven effective at combatting this issue. The chemical make-up of these varieties help patients relax, which eases the physical and mental discomfort associated with anxiety. 

Before patients can take advantage of this medicine, though, they need to know which strains will help them. A poor decision could leave a user feeling even more panicked before. The following are just five of the many anxiety-relieving strains available through major Canadian licensed producers.

1. Bedrocan Bedrolite

Medical cannabis strains’ effects vary depending on their type. Sativas tend to create a more energized, thoughtful effect, while indica users usually feel sleepy or relaxed. Bedrolite falls into the former category, but it won’t necessarily result in the racing thoughts associated with anxiety. Its THC content falls below one percent, while its CBD levels rise above nine percent. Since THC represents the psychoactive component of marijuana, it won’t necessarily result in the impairment for which other strains are known. Instead, users may find that this strain relieves their anxiety and helps them relax.

2. CanniMed 1.13

CanniMed Ltd. caters to those who suffer from long-lasting or even terminal illnesses. Their 1.13 strain has been used to treat everything from neurological issues to anxiety and depression. This variety only contains about one percent THC, so it’s unlikely to generate panic or excessive worries in users. 

If anything, its 13 percent CBD content should help calm patients down without making them feel too drowsy or lethargic. Members of the medical marijuana website CanvasRx report that medical cannabis strains like 1.13 made them feel both relaxed and focused, so users should be able to carry out their daily tasks without too many impediments.

3. Peace Naturals Nina

Unlike the previous entries on this list, Peace Naturals’ Nina represents an even split between THC and CBD. It contains between six and nine percent of the former, as well as five to ten percent of the latter. The strain is a sativa-indica hybrid, with the sativa maintaining a slight dominance. If you’re already acquainted with medicinal marijuana’s effects and don’t mind the extra THC, Nina might be the strain for you.

4. Mettrium Green No. 1 & 2

Mettrum offers two different Green strains that can help with anxiety. No. 1 has roots in Afghanistan, Mexico and Columbia. It contains about five percent THC and 10 percent CBD. Green No. 2 is even stronger and more concentrated than its variant. Its THC level reaches six percent, while its CBD content tops out at about 12. Like Nina, these strains represent a viable option for those who are already familiar with marijuana’s effects.

5. Tweed Argyle

Unlike the other strains on this list, Tweed’s Argyle is predominantly an indica strain. It contains over six percent THC and nearly nine percent CBD, so it’s a more balanced option. Again, this isn’t necessarily ideal for beginners, but experienced patients may not mind the THC content.

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Topics: Marijuana Strains

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