It is estimated that one in ten people live with some type of arthritis. The damage to these sufferers makes the disease the top cause of disability.
Anyone who still thinks that the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with cannabis is “new age medicine” should really think again. There are records that as far back as 2000 B.C., which is more than 4000 years ago, the Chinese used cannabis as a treatment for this very disease.
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis that is seen when an individual’s cartilage begins to wear away. This can affect the neck, hands, lower back, hips, and knees. Osteoarthritis becomes more prevalent as a person ages and actually considered common among the elderly population. The bad news is, there is no cure for this disease. However, treatments, including cannabis have shown to reduce the swelling that occurs in the joints to relieve the pain for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
RA is different. It is an autoimmune disorder that actually attacks a person’s joints. In fact, it is common for RA to be thought of as a malfunctioning immune system. The disease may cause debilitation for all ages in addition to a number of other types of immune system related issues.
The good news is, cannabinoids can provide relief. Two that have been proven especially beneficial for arthritis sufferers are THC and CBD. CBD, which is cannabidiol, helps to modulate the immune system. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol – and the byproducts of its metabolism – have been proven to provide pain killing and anti-inflammatory benefits. THC also helps to reduce cases of depression and anxiety that often go along with chronic or severe diseases, such as this.
Using cannabis for the treatment of RA can be especially beneficial for those suffering from arthritis who want to wean themselves away from the pharmaceutical drugs that are used commonly to treat the condition. In many cases, in the long term, these types of drugs do more harm than good. For those patients who have to continue using these prescribed medications, marijuana will often reduce the negative side effects they experience.
Cannabis is considered useful for those suffering from RA, as well as many other types of chronic pain conditions because it works to help patients sleep, minimizes inflammation and alleviates pain. Another common issue for those who suffer from chronic pain is a loss of their appetite. However, cannabis therapy not only helps to alleviate the pain, but also stimulate the person’s appetite and encourages them to nourish themselves properly, which helps in fighting this disease.
RA is one of the many conditions that can be effectively treated with cannabis. The actual use and benefits of this herb are seen when it is able to reduce or even completely eliminate the need for a number of pharmaceutical drugs and eliminate the negative side effects they cause.
Arthritis is a condition that involves the swelling and inflammation of a person’s joints, the area where the bones are connected, which provide the body with support and maintain a person’s mobility. Osteoarthritis is considered the most common type of arthritis and typically caused by general “wear and tear” or extended use of the joints. In several cases, this condition has a genetic basis.
This extended use of the joints can result in the hyaline cartilage being destroyed. This is a firm type of connective tissue located in joints that help to keep the bones from rubbing up against one another and becoming damaged. The most commonly affected joints of the body include the spine, hips, knees and hands. The symptoms that most people have with this condition include swelling, stiffness and pain.
When osteoarthritis occurs, it can make a number of day to day activities, such as tying shoelaces, bending, eating, typing, writing and more, extremely challenging. As the disease progresses it can become severely debilitating and interfere with the lives of the individuals who have it.
In many cases, osteoarthritis can also lead to a shorter lifespan for those who have it because of the direct condition, as well as the treatments used for it – NSAIDS that causes bleeding of the stomach. While exercising regularly and working to maintain a healthy weight can help and prevent cases of osteoarthritis from becoming worse and may reduce the symptoms, it is not a cure for this condition.
This is where cannabis for osteoarthritis may be beneficial. There are studies that have successfully demonstrated that the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis are extremely effective. According to a recent study, there is a specific cannabinoid that is reduced when osteoarthritis occurs, which results in more pain and the condition rapidly progressing. This is why it has been concluded that working to activate the cannabinoid that is reduced, CB2, will help to minimize pain and maintain the symptoms while inhibiting how quickly the disease progresses.
Right now the benefits of using cannabis for osteoarthritis pain include reducing pain associated with the disorder and reducing the speed at which the disease progresses. Unfortunately, it will not undo the damage that is present. However, treating the symptoms is highly beneficial and a relief for patients who have been on multiple prescriptions for the condition for several years.
Individuals who suffer from migraines have few methods for minimizing their headache pain. The medication options that are available often have a number of unpleasant side-effects that will limit their usefulness over long periods of time.
Approximately two decades ago, a new drug class was introduced – the triptans. These were considered a safe and effective alternative treatment for migraines. While it worked well for most patients, it has to be taken at the first sign of a headache and can be associated with a number of unwanted side effects, including feeling weak, cold or hot or “unusual” in some other way. The term “serotonin syndrome” is used for these strange feelings. This made the drugs extremely unappealing for some migraine sufferers.
This is where cannabis for migraines comes into play. The fact is, cannabis has been used for the treatment of migraines for several years, but only recently did scientists discover the reasons why. According to a new study from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado evaluated the effects of ingested and inhaled cannabis for those suffering from migraines. The results of this study worked to confirm what other studies had started to discover.
Of the 121 adult participants in this study, the following results were collected:
Inhalation appeared to offer the fastest effects and was seen as being more likely to stop migraine headaches from starting. Edible cannabis took a bit longer to provide relief from pain and more likely to create negative side effects, such as overly intense euphoria and sleepiness.
If you want to see for yourself if marijuana is able to provide migraine relief, there is one important consideration to make – the strain that is used. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of different strains of marijuana, all that are cultivated to achieve different effects and to address various symptoms. Just because one strain of marijuana is not effective, or makes you feel worse, does not mean this is true of all strains. It is a good idea to research the various strains to find out what symptoms they address and the reported adverse effects of the different strains.
It is highly recommended that a person start out with a small dose of marijuana to see if it is effective. Also, they should watch their symptoms carefully to determine if they feel better or worse, or the same. This can help a user determine if they need more or less of the product.
Thanks to the global increase in the use of cannabis for various health conditions, studies and advocates have shown that cannabis and mental health go hand in hand. Advocates agree that the actual chemical makeup of marijuana is beneficial for treating anxiety.
While evidence of use of cannabis as a way to relieve feelings of depression can seen in early forms literature, its scientific properties for relieving psychological disorders did not become clear until the mid-19th century, and began showing up in medical journals as a method of treating depression and anxiety in the early 20th century.
The majority of people who actively use medical marijuana claim it works to relieve anxiety. There are quite a few strains of marijuana, all of which include different levels of chemicals, which is why the effects achieved from each strain can differ widely. In most cases, the treatment of anxiety will be most effective when strains with high levels of CBD are used. CBD works to product therapeutic effects for patients with mental disorders.
According to a study from the Institute of Psychiatry, CBD has also proven to provide quite a bit of psychiatric potential and can be used as an antidepressant like compound. It has also been used for the treatment of social anxiety disorders, which is a problem that is becoming more prevalent.
Medical marijuana is not considered a ‘cure all’ for these mental disorders; however, it is proven to reduce anxiety in quite a few patients. As a result, it is a healthy and safe alternative for many patients to the overused and pharmaceutical drugs that often cause unfavourable side effects.
The five main ways that cannabis for treating mental health conditions is used includes in cases of:
There is a direct correlation between anxiety and medical marijuana. It works with receptors in the brain to help a person relax and enjoy life, rather than suffering from often debilitating anxiety. In some cases, an individual may have to experiment with various strains of medical marijuana to ensure the right one is selected for effectiveness; however, this is a process that can be narrowed down by finding options that have higher levels of CBD instead of THC.
There is no question that using cannabis to treat cancer is a popular method. In fact, more and more doctors are utilizing this treatment method due to the effectiveness of the product. Using cannabis to treat cancer is not a new concept, but it is one that is still not fully understood. Read here to learn more about how cannabis for cancer is used and the impact it can have on those who suffer from this disease.
According to the National Cancer Institute, NCI, cannabinoids can inhibit the growth of tumors by causing cell death or by blocking cell growth. It also works to block the development of blood vessels that are needed by tumors to grow. Studies with laboratory animals have proven that cannabinoids may have the ability to kill cancer cells all while protecting normal cells.
Cannabinoids may also protect against colon inflammation. This means that the chances of a person developing colon cancer are reduced significantly when they use medical marijuana and that it may be an effective treatment in the future.
According to a study of delta-9-THC in liver cancer showed that cannabis worked to damage or kill the cancer cells present. This same study showed that cannabis has an anti-tumor effect. Another study showed that using cannabidiol in human glioma cells during chemotherapy make it more effective and lead to the death of more cancerous cells and less of the normal cells.
Some of the other ways that cannabis can help alleviate symptoms in cancer patients include:
While it is not yet established or proven that cannabis cures cancer, as you can see here, it offers a number of impressive benefits. It can help reduce the number of the serious symptoms associated with all types of cancers and help a person who is suffering from this disease lead as normal of a life as possible.
Diabetes refers to the group of metabolic disorders that are characterized by prolonged periods of high blood glucose levels. Diabetes is a disorder that currently affects over 400 million people around the world and results in over five million deaths each year. The prevalence of this disorder is only growing. However, there is substantial evidence that indicates that cannabis for diabetes can be beneficial.
Diabetes is associated with high levels of insulin resistance and fasting insulin, in addition to low levels of high-dentistry lipoprotein cholesterol. In 2013, the American Journal of Medicine published a study of the effects that cannabis had on insulin resistance and fasting insulin and the results were pretty impressive.
The research from this study discovered that those who used cannabis during the test had fasting insulin levels that were 16 percent less than those who had never used cannabis. They also had higher levels of HDL-C and insulin resistance.
What this provides is that those who actively use cannabis will have a lower chance of developing diabetes in the future.
Lowers Insulin Resistance
IR, Insulin Resistance, is what causes cells to reject insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas and essential for regulating glucose metabolism. IR is usually seen with type 2 diabetes; in type 1 diabetes, a person is not able to produce insulin and in type 2, insulin production is not affected, but the cells cannot process it. If cells become insulin-resistant, they cannot absorb the glucose necessary to provide energy and the unused glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and may lead to hyperglycemia.
Possible Treatment for Diabetes-Induced Neuropathy
Those who suffer from diabetes also often experience a number of nerve disorders due to the disease. This nerve damage can affect a person’s peripheries, including the feet and hands; however, can occur in any region or organ of the body. The damage is often symptomless, but in some cases, numbness, tingling and pain can come along with the disorder. While these conditions are difficult to treat with traditional drug therapies, there is some evidence that cannabis may help to relieve the pain. It is also thought that cannabis can work to protect the liver from oxidative stress, which is a factor of developing neuropathy.
Additional Benefits of Cannabis for Diabetes
In addition to the benefits listed above, there are a number of other ways that cannabis can be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes:
When it comes to cannabis and diabetes, there are more than a few benefits it has to offer.
According to a number of studies, medical marijuana is much more effective at treating the symptoms related to fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs that have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for treating the disorder.
This was just one of the findings from an online survey taken of more than 1300 fibromyalgia patients that were conducted by the National Pain Report and National Pain Foundation.
Currently, there are three drugs that have been approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia: Savella, Lyrica, and Cymbalta. While these prescription drugs are able to generate billions of dollars in revenue for Forest Laboratories, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer, among other drug makers, the majority of individuals who have tried the medications claim they simply don’t work.
According to the National Institute of Health, millions around the world suffer from fibromyalgia, which is a very poorly understood disorder that is characterized by alack of sleep, depression, headaches, fatigue and deep tissue pain. There is no cure for this problem and it is extremely difficult to treat.
Cannabis can not only effectively treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia, but a number of other symptoms associated with the condition, as well, which include anxiety, depression, restless legs syndrome, fatigue, and insomnia. Today, the root cause of this disorder is still a mystery, but it is understood that it involves some type of disturbance in the way the central nervous system, which includes the nerves, spinal cord, and brain, receives and sends messages. It has been estimated that the disease currently afflicts four to seven times as many women as men.
The fact is, cannabis has a long history of effective pain relief. Available as a tincture in any pharmacy until the latter part of the 1930s, marijuana was considered a regular part of medicine cabinets throughout most of the 19th century, prior to being made illegal. Prior to the development of aspirin, which is a drug that is responsible for thousands of deaths every single year, an eyedropper of cannabis tincture to the tongue was how virtually all medical issues were dealt with from broken bones to sore muscles.
According to a study that was done in Manitoba, Canada in February of 2008, the marijuana based compound, nabilone – usually used for treating nausea while undergoing chemotherapy – reduced anxiety and pain for quite a few fibromyalgia patients.
Another study completed by the University of Heidelberg in 2006 showed that oral THC worked to significantly reduce issues of chronic pain for patients suffering from fibromyalgia. This was the very first clinical trial that assessed the effectiveness of the cannabis as a treatment for this disorder. It proved that it worked and that patients had a real reduction in symptoms while taking it.
Various strains of cannabis offer certain effects for sleep and relaxation. For daytime relief, various strains include properties that relieve pain and help the patient relax. Some strains offer the user feelings of relaxation that can induce sleep allowing the patient to get a good night’s sleep and have the feeling of being restful.
HIV and AIDS is a group of conditions that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV. There are approximately 35 million people around the world who are currently infected with the HIV virus and since the 1980s, AIDS has resulted in about 36 million deaths. Medical marijuana for HIV has been shown extremely effective at treating a number of symptoms associated with HIV and AIDS.
Some of the specific benefits offered by cannabis for HIV can be found here.
Stimulate the Appetite
According to a survey conducted in 2005 on over 500 HIV-positive patients, it was discovered that 27 percent of them used cannabis to manage the symptoms they suffered. Of those 143 patients, 97 percent stated they experienced an improvement in their appetite while taking cannabis, which helped them remain a healthy weight.
A common symptom of the HIV infection, nausea continues to worsen as the disease progresses. The reasons a person is nauseous can become more and more complex and arise due to central nervous system disorders, hepatorenal dysfunction, gastrointestinal issues and even result from the treatments used to combat the disease.
Cannabinoids include a synthetic analogue that works to counter the symptoms of nausea associated with HIV and AIDS. The THC analogue dronabinol has been approved by the FDA in the US for the treatment of appetite loss and nausea that is associated with HIV.
Antidepressant/Mood Enhance Agent
Mood disorders, depression, and anxiety are also fairly common with HIV and AIDS. These issues can arise due to a combination of negative social pressures, psychological pressures, and physiological pressures. According to a patient survey in 2005, 93 percent of respondents experienced relief from anxiety after using cannabis and 86 percent saw an improvement in depression, as well.
HIV and AIDS can also cause issues with severe and often debilitating pain that can occur due to a number of complex sources, which include muscle, nerve, and joint pain. Cannabis has been proven to provide long-term, significant reductions in chronic pain that is associated with HIV and AIDS. It is also much safer and potentially more affordable than medications such as opioids that are used for the treatment of pain.
Reduces Cases of Peripheral Neuropathy
A specific type of pain that is commonly associated with AIDS and HIV is peripheral neuropathy. This is when one, or several nerves of the person’s peripheral nervous system are damaged. This can lead to muscle loss, paresthesia, impaired coordination, twitching, and pain. Studies have shown that cannabis can help to improve the symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy in patients suffering from HIV or AIDS.
When it comes to treating HIV and AIDS, cannabis offers a number of benefits that work to treat the most common symptoms of the disorder. In many situations, cannabis is not only the better treatment option, it is also much safer, with fewer side effects and more affordable than other treatments that are currently being used.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic condition where those who suffer have inflammation of the gastrointestinal system. Common forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease include Crohn’s Disease, which is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract; and colitis, which is characterised by ulcers (or sores) in the innermost lining of the large intestine and the rectum. Symptoms appear in different people depending on the form of IBD they live with, but common symptoms include: frequent diarrhea, low-grade fever, chronic fatigue, blood in your stool, pain and abdominal cramps, reduced appetite and unintended weight loss. When untreated, IBD can lead to severe malnutrition if the body is unable to absorb the nutrients provided by food intake.
Those who have IBD are constantly in a struggle of ensuring their body is getting what it needs to survive and remain healthy. For some, the symptoms of IBD can come and go. They can go long periods of time without experiencing any IBD associated symptoms (a remission), then have a sudden and severe onset that lasts for some period of time (a flare-up). For others, the symptoms of their IBD are a chronic, every day part of their lives. Many feel as though they have to arrange their life around their IBD, especially during severe flare- ups. Often, those who live with IBD are hesitant to stray too far from home or go within environments where they cannot comfortably deal with the symptoms of their IBD.
Many of those who suffer from IBD do not respond to pharmaceuticals or prescription medications. Many opt to have surgeries that remove or alter the affected areas so to reduce the symptoms. The endocannabinoid system, a naturally occurring set of compounds in our bodies that help keep balance and well-being are a crucial part of maintaining a healthy gut and reducing inflammation, thus, it has been common for those with IBD to seek cannabis medicine as an approach to reducing their IBD symptoms. While studies that examine the treatment of IBD by cannabis are still emerging, but early observational studies are seeing that using cannabis medicine is reducing the amount of inflammation flare-ups and aiding in increasing appetite and sleep for those who have participated in the studies. Leading organizations who support those with IBD support further research into the link between cannabinoids and the gastrointestinal system with specific attention to be paid on the treatment of Irritable Bowel Disorders.
Peripheral neuropathy, commonly just referred to as neuropathy, is a condition where the nerves are damaged, resulting in pain, numbness and weakness. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is the disease diabetes mellitus; however, the condition may also be the result of inherited disorders, tumors, infections, medications, autoimmune diseases, traumatic injuries, alcoholism and infections.
The actual symptoms associated with neuropathy will depend on the types of nerves that are actually damaged. The damage to the sensory nerves, which are what receive damage and sensation, can result in a stabbing, burning or tingling pain. If there is damage to the motor nerves, which are the ones that control how muscles move can result in a lack of coordination and muscle weakness. If damage takes place to the autonomic nerves, which control the functions such as bladder processes, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure, a person may begin to experience changes in their blood pressure, digestive issues, bladder and bowel problems and heat intolerance. When a person suffers from neuropathy, they are also at a higher risk for burns and infections, as well as other skin traumas since a person may not realize there has been a temperature change, that they are injured or in pain.
The treatment of neuropathy is focused on the management of the underlying condition that is causing it and relieving the symptoms. In many cases, prescription medications are used for the management of pain.
Another option is treating neuropathic pain with cannabis. It has been proven effective through a number of studies. The two main cannabinoids in cannabis – CBD and THC – activate the two primary cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2 – in the endocannabinoid system in a person’s body. These are the receptors that regulate the release of central nervous system and neurotransmitter immune cells for managing pain levels.
In quite a few studies, cannabis has been proven as an effective neuropathic pain treatment. It works to lower pain levels and reduce the pain that is related to neuropathic conditions caused by diabetes. CBD was also shown to reduce neuropathic pain that occurred in cancer patients without diminishing the function of the nervous system or affecting the effectiveness of chemotherapy in an adverse manner.
Because cannabis is so effective at reducing pain, it is widely used in for treating all types of chronic pain. It is proven that this is a safe method, which is why it is such an appealing option for those suffering from neuropathy.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, often referred to as PTSD describes a psychiatric disorder that can develop in individuals usually as a result of a life-altering or traumatic event or experience. Common examples of events that are known to lead to PTSD include physical or sexual abuse, serious accidents, natural disasters, military combat, or terrorist incidents that occur in someone’s life and cause serious problems for that person going forward. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that is marked by physical and psychological symptoms that can manifest in an individual at any time following a traumatic or life-altering incident. While those who live with PTSD find that its experienced in different ways, many state that flashbacks, nightmares and insomnia are common.
Many state that PTSD often acts as an interruption for activities of daily life, where anything is able to trigger an undesirable memory or flashback. PTSD can lead to other psychological or mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, inability to focus, memory and cognition problems, or an inability to form close relationships with other individuals. There are three main ways that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms tend to manifest and be classified:
1) Re-Experiencing: With PTSD, re-living or re-experiencing memories are a common experience, often creeping up on those with PTSD with little notice. Re-experiencing memories of a traumatic experience or event can often be debilitating, especially when triggers in one’s environment serve as a source of vulnerability
2) Avoidance and Numbing: Those who have experienced something traumatic may go to great lengths to avoid any repeats or reminders of that event. They may choose to avoid certain places, or not participate in certain activities for fear that they may be triggered.
3) Arousalor Hyperactivity: When someone with PTSD is experiencing arousal or hyperactivity, they will actively manifest behaviours such as acting irritable or being “on guard” and ready to react to any potential triggers.
Many individuals who suffer from PTSD turn to many remedies to help with the symptoms. For instance, some people may use pharmaceutical products such as Adderall to treat symptoms of arousal or hyper- activity while others may resort to sleep aids to treat the insomnia that can often result for those who live with PTSD. Some people who live with PTSD use marijuana or the cannabinoids from the cannabis flower to threat the anxiety that often comes along with PTSD. With legalization becoming more common in some parts of the United States, and Canada’s recent announcement of moving towards legalization, emergent research will seek to support the affect that cannabinoids have on the anxiety associated with PTSD. The preliminary research supports that cannabis therapy can help replace the naturally existing endocannabinoid compounds that exist in our systems that are activated to maintain internal health and balance. In situations where PTSD or related anxiety is present, there is likely a deficiency of endocannabinoids needing replaced, and cannabis therapy can provide a safe and medically supervised option.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder affecting the nervous system in which there is damage to the covers of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which affects the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate resulting in a number of symptoms for the individual. The disease manifests itself in different ways for different individuals, where symptoms can be recurring in isolated “attacks”: or where symptoms build up over time to be more progressive. Those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis report symptoms such as double vision, difficulty thinking, lack or loss of balance or coordination, numbness or tingling in the limbs, difficulty with sensations, or muscle weakness.
It is also common for those with Multiple Sclerosis to report muscle spasticity and tremors. It is also common for those with MS to have what they call exacerbations (relapses) that involve a sudden episode of negative symptoms associated with the disorder. Those who have Multiple Sclerosis can live active and productive lives as symptoms are not chronic (rather episodic) allowing those who are in the early stages the ability to live a relatively high- functioning life.
Treatment of the disorder is often comprehensive and focuses on identifying the disease course and how it will manifest over the long term, dealing with exacerbations, promoting activity and function through rehabilitation, and providing emotional support for those living with the disorder. The cause for Multiple Sclerosis is not clear but the presence of the disorder in individuals can often be attributed to genetics or environmental factors such as a viral infection. Often difficult to diagnose, the presence of the disease can be confirmed through a series of tests. It is often treated by physical therapy or pharmaceuticals that can often have negative side effects.
Multiple Sclerosis does not have a cure. With emergent research on the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, preliminary results are showing that cannabis medicine is beneficial for helping to reduce patient reported symptoms of muscle spasticity and tremors, with several products being marketed in North America such as oral sprays that contain cannabinoids. It is important to note that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and other important organizations who support those living with MS support the right of patients to consider with their medical provider whether cannabis medicine can relieve specific symptoms. Also of note is that many national organizations support and advocate for further research into the benefits and potential treatment of symptoms of MS by cannabinoids.
Our physicians and consultants are here to assist and educate. There are many misconceptions about the benefits of marijuana treatment. We are here to help.
It is our goal to educate and provide the best solution when other traditional methods proved to be ineffective.
Our experienced Cannabis Counselor will identify the most effective strain to use for your condition. Prior to prescribing medical marijuana each patient undergoes a thorough evaluation to make sure that this cannabis treatment is a suitable option.