Medical Cannabis Report http://medicalcannabisreport.com Breaking news on medical marijuana. Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:15:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 86052462 CBD & Terpenes: The Entourage Effect http://medicalcannabisreport.com/cbd-terpenes-entourage-effect/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/cbd-terpenes-entourage-effect/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:37:20 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1779 Cannabis is truly one of the most amazing plants on Earth. As the female’s flowering phase progresses, she becomes a virtual chemical factory, producing hundreds of various cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and terpenoids. Science is only beginning to understand the role these individual chemical compounds play when ingested in the human

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Cannabis is truly one of the most amazing plants on Earth. As the female’s flowering phase progresses, she becomes a virtual chemical factory, producing hundreds of various cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and terpenoids.

Science is only beginning to understand the role these individual chemical compounds play when ingested in the human body, and much more study is needed. One thing that we do know is that when these compounds are separated from the rest of the plant, they become less effective for the treatment of medical symptoms, and can even produce unwanted side effects that are not present when left combined with one another as nature produces them.

We call this enhanced efficacy “the entourage effect”. Simply stated, there appears to be an exponential health benefit when the various chemical constituents of cannabis are fully represented. This stands in stark contrast to the existing targeted approach of western medicine that endeavors to break everything down into the minimal number of chemical compounds that can effectively target a specific response in the human body in the treatment of symptoms or disease, often with seriously bad side effects.

Unfortunately, this highly targeted pharmacological approach puts modern western medicine at odds with the cannabis plant, which many in the medical field consider to be “crude medicine”. Yet if we are to trust the present conclusions of both pre-clinical scientific and anecdotal studies, we must conclude that in the case of cannabis, crude is actually superior.

Many people are aware that the 2 main cannabinoids found in cannabis are THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the “high” that cannabis is famous for, and the relative newcomer to the party, CBD (cannabidiol), which is rapidly becoming known as the more medicinal, non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Multitudes of studies show a wide range of medicinal benefits connected with CBD, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Antibacterial
  • Inhibition of cancer cell growth
  • Neuro-protective
  • Promotes bone growth
  • Reduces seizures and convulsions
  • Reduces blood sugar levels
  • Regulates function in the immune system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces risk of artery blockage
  • Reduces small intestine contractions
  • Reduces vomiting and nausea
  • Relieves pain
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Slows bacterial growth
  • Suppresses muscle spasms
  • Tranquilizing
  • Treats psoriasis
  • Vasorelaxant

Recent pre-clinical studies show great promise utilizing CBD for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, mood disorders, acne, irregular heartbeat, stem-cell neurogenesis, and even mad-cow disease!

Clearly, on it’s own CBD is a pretty amazing molecule that virtually everyone could benefit from. Yet, when combined with the natural terpenes found in various cannabis strains, it’s healing properties are multiplied and the possibilities are nearly as endless as the number of combinations that this amazing plant can provide us with.

Whenever you experience the fragrance of any foliage, flower or fruit, what you are smelling is primarily the plant’s terpenes, which are found throughout nature in abundance. Pine trees are rich in the terpene Pinene. Lemons are full of Limonene. Caryophyllene is found abundantly in cloves. Linalool is a component in many flowers and spices such as lavender and coriander. Both hops and mangos contain Myrcene.

Amazingly, all of these terpenes and many more are almost universally found in varying percentages across the vast spectrum of cannabis strains on the market today. Cannabis breeders have intentionally and lovingly created these strains through the crossbreeding of different phenotypes over the past several decades. These strains vary widely in smell, taste and effect according to the different percentages of terpenes and cannabinoids present.

Each of these specific terpenes also bring their own list of possible medical benefits to the entourage party. The overwhelming popularity of the essential oils movement over the past few years provides significant anecdotal evidence that terpenes (the primary active ingredients in essential oils) hold tremendous potential for human health benefit and disease prevention. Terpene-rich plants are truly nature’s medicine cabinet!

Never before has there been such a vast array of product choices for those who live in states where medical cannabis strains are now showcased in legal dispensaries. It seems certain that it’s only a matter of time before cannabis is legal for medical use in all 50 states as more and more people discover the health benefits it can safely provide.

In the meantime, for those who do not have access to medical cannabis, or for those who want to avoid the psychoactivity of THC, CBD products are a great option. While marijuana remains illegal in many states, when the THC level of measures .3 percent or less, it is officially designated by the Federal government as hemp, and is legal to purchase in all 50 states (depending on who you ask). This makes hemp-based CBD a great option for those seeking the medical benefits of cannabis without the legal or physical downsides of THC.

However, all hemp-based CBD is not created equal. Most CBD comes from industrial hemp imported from Europe or China. Because hemp is a “bio-accumulator”, which effectively pulls any toxins from the soil in which it grows, knowing that your CBD is free from chemicals is critical. Industrial hemp is a poor source for CBD because it takes tons of it to produce even a small amount of oil and any toxins will be concentrated in the oil that is produced.

Further, many CBD companies sell products made from 99% pure CBD isolate, which is highly processed and void of the valuable terpenes and other active ingredients that were present in the plant’s natural state. While this product can be good for certain applications, it is considerably less desirable than products made from a full-spectrum oil that contains the complete entourage of components found in the raw cannabis plant.

The Federal Farm Bill of 2014 made it possible for the states to authorize their own exploratory hemp programs. This has opened up the way for us to have safer, organically produced hemp grown right here in the USA. While there remains some legal debate about selling it across state lines, the consensus of the hemp industry is that US-grown hemp is now a legal product in the US, and production has been growing each year without significant interference from the Federal government. While this may change someday, at this time you can purchase organic, full-spectrum CBD oil-based products from US-grown hemp that are lab-tested to be safe and free from contaminants. This is what you want to look for when buying your CBD products. Once you try one of these products, you can smell and taste the difference.

One company offering such products is Green Flower Botanicals in Tampa Bay, Florida. This small, family-owned company was founded in 2016 by two Christian ministers, and has accumulated an impressive amount of testimonials from satisfied customers who have tried their products for a number of various ailments with notable success. Their CBD tinctures and oils are made only from organically-grown medical hemp from Colorado that measures close to 80% purity in cannabinoid and active components, where the industry average is normally 40% or less. Green Flower Botanicals products stand head and shoulders above the crowd, and their commitment to providing healthy CBD-rich products is rock-solid.

Green Flower Botanicals is currently working on several new product lines which include a CBD-enriched skin care line, CBD for pets and farm animals, and most exciting of all, a new line of CBD tinctures and vapes that include specific terpene profiles of many of the more popular medical cannabis strains. We can’t wait to see what these products can do!

For more information, visit their website at http://greenflowerbotanicals.com.

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A Patient’s Path to Cannabis http://medicalcannabisreport.com/patients-path-cannabis/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/patients-path-cannabis/#respond Thu, 19 May 2016 13:15:03 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1756 While Dana Kelley’s pain was unrelenting, her decision was not easy. Dana Kelley recalls the exact moment when her neurologist suggested she try medical marijuana. The retired Army Intelligence linguist said it caused her emotional upheaval and led her to question her willingness to continue living in constant pain. Kelley’s

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While Dana Kelley’s pain was unrelenting, her decision was not easy.

Dana Kelley recalls the exact moment when her neurologist suggested she try medical marijuana.

The retired Army Intelligence linguist said it caused her emotional upheaval and led her to question her willingness to continue living in constant pain.

Kelley’s neck and back were severely fractured in a car crash three years ago in her hometown of Pennsville, Salem County. She underwent five surgeries, including a fusion of a large part of her spinal cord, and was prescribed morphine and opiates.

Dana Kelley with Andrew Medvedovsky, a doctor who is registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program. PHOTO BY CURT HUDSON
Dana Kelley with Andrew Medvedovsky, a doctor who is registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program.
PHOTO BY CURT HUDSON

Last September, Kelley, 53, met with Andrew Medvedovsky, a board-certified neurologist and pain specialist with RA Pain Services, at his Turners-ville office, one of several in South Jersey. She didn’t know then that he was one of the 360 doctors statewide who is registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program and who approve patients to use cannabis.

Patients and their advocates say a shortage of enrolled doctors is one of the big reasons that so few patients only about 7,000 statewide — have been able to obtain cannabis. When the program started, the number of doctors was so small that many patients were traveling to a North Jersey gynecologist who had enrolled and who was willing to examine non-gynecological patients to give them cannabis recommendations.

In an interview last week at the Turnersville clinic, Kelley said she went to Medvedovsky to ask for an injection to relieve her continuing pain.

He said because of my underlying condition and the phone book of things that have been tried on me, he didn’t see the point of sticking another needle in me,” she said. He also told her: “I don’t mind if you walk out, I would understand,” before he finally mentioned she should consider cannabis.

Kelley’s mind raced: “You’re talking to me about a piece of grass, like oregano, and I’ve taken many pharmaceutical drugs … and still have so much pain I want to bang my head against a wall? Are you serious?

Medvedovsky is an easygoing doctor who’s been practicing medicine for nearly eight years, including four years as a resident at Virginia Commonwealth University. He said the stigma surrounding marijuana — that it’s a“drug used by hippies to get high” — is so pervasive that he finds himself getting nervous when he recommends it to a patient.

It‘s not a miracle for everyone, but it sure helps some people,” Medvedovsky said. Since he enrolled in the program last July, he has recommended cannabis for more than 300 patients. He said the results surprised him — 80 percent, including Kelley, have given him glowing reports about how it helped them.

But Medvedovsky said he wasn’t on board four years ago when the state program began. “I didn’t want to be seen as a weed doctor,” he said, explaining why he didn’t sign up right away.

Marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law, and the American Medical Association has said more studies are needed to determine if it is effective and safe. New Jersey is one of 22 states with a medical marijuana program; Pennsylvania is among several states considering creating one. There are five dispensaries in New Jersey.

Insurance does not cover a patient’s doctor visits, and Medvedovsky and some other doctors in the program charge new patients about $400 for visits before they can be approved. Every 90 days, patients are required to have a follow-up visit that costs $100.

Medvedovsky
Medvedovsky is one of the 360 doctors statewide who is registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program. PHOTO CREDIT – PHILLY.COM

Medvedovsky, 33, who earned his medical degree from Ross University, opened his clinic in Turnersville just for medical marijuana patients. One reason he said he decided to join the program was some patients confided that they had used marijuana illegally and that it had helped stop their pain. He said he wanted to offer patients an alternative if they failed to get relief from conventional treatments. “It’s an effective drug,” he said.

In New Jersey, patients are eligible for cannabis only if they suffer from one of about a dozen ailments, including cancer, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. But Medvedovsky said there are “gray zones” in which a physician has discretion to determine whether a patient’s symptoms meet the requirements.

Medvedovsky said many patients come to him and complain of a vicious cycle in which their pain leads to a lack of sleep, irritability, loss of friends and employment, and then to a lack of exercise and to other ailments. Chronic pain is not on the list of ailments that qualify a patient for cannabis, but Medvedovsky said that if a patient has secondary ailments, such as severe muscle spasms, he or she may meet the requirement.

A report released last month by the Health Department found the majority of cannabis patients suffer from intractable skeletal muscular spasticity.

Kelley is among them. At first she worried about the stereotypes surrounding cannabis, saying many people believe it is used by “lawbreakers and those who want to get high.” But after three weeks of weighing the decision and discussing it with her fiance, she decided to give cannabis a try.

First, Kelley had to be weaned from Fentanyl, a highly addictive opiate that she had been using. She feared that she would become vulnerable to another round of excruciating pain and that the marijuana wouldn’t work. At one point she felt so low, she told her fiance she wished she had died in the car accident. “I felt I was trapped in my body and how could I go on?” she said.

Kelley wept at Medvedovsky’s office when she recalled how she had revealed to her fiance her feelings of hopelessness. She was about to start using cannabis the next day but had serious doubts about it.

Then, 10 days after she started using it, she said she felt as if a cloud had lifted. “I won’t say it’s a miracle cure,” Kelley said. “I will always have pain, but it’s not unbearable anymore.” For the first time in three years, she sees a future without constant agony. She can walk with a cane and has lost 50 pounds.

But with her joy came anger. “My government had kept me from having this relief,” Kelley said. When she visited Medvedovsky, she thought marijuana still was illegal in New Jersey.

Audrey Rosania, who screens Medvedovsky’s patients, says others also have reported success with cannabis. “I’m a big believer,” she said. “It works.

Kelley said she purchases an ounce of cannabis a month at the Compassionate Sciences dispensary in Bellmawr. She bakes cannabis into cookies or smokes it when she needs quicker relief.

Reflecting on her four months of recovery, Kelley’s words tumbled out. Suddenly she stopped, and looked over at Medvedovsky, who sat at his desk during the interview, listening and nodding.

I never got to thank you, Doctor,” she said, stopping suddenly. “I want to thank you,” she said, smiling.


Article by Jan HeflerSTAFF WRITER for The Philadelphia Enquirer
Article Source: 
www.philly.com/burlcobuzz

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Op-ed: Why I broke the law to use medical cannabis http://medicalcannabisreport.com/op-ed-why-i-broke-the-law-to-use-medical-cannabis/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/op-ed-why-i-broke-the-law-to-use-medical-cannabis/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:00:19 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/target/op-ed-why-i-broke-the-law-to-use-medical-cannabis/ Op-ed: Why I broke the law to use medical cannabisClick here to view original web page at www.sltrib.comBy Enedina Stanger I did not choose this life of excruciating pain. I did not choose to have the collagen in my body betray me, and within a year of the initial diagnosis have all the bones in my body dislocate. I

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Click here to view original web page at www.sltrib.com

By Enedina Stanger

I did not choose this life of excruciating pain. I did not choose to have the collagen in my body betray me, and within a year of the initial diagnosis have all the bones in my body dislocate. I did not choose the frailty of my internal organs and my whole nervous system, the constant dislocations that shred my tendons and wreak havoc on my muscles.

For too long, I was in a haze of prescribed pills — a drugged up mother whose life was passing as if I was in a glass house. These pills resulted in round after round of ambulance trips and emergency room visits with no relief.

I prayed. My husband watched his wife’s body fall apart. I saw the life I wanted gone in an instant with a condition that I had never heard of. I cried.

The nerve pain and the muscle spasms threw me over the edge. I contemplated suicide. Aside from the horrendous pain of bones constantly dislocating, the tendons, muscles and nerves around all my joints were strained, and most eventually gave out.

I do not hesitate to state that medical cannabis saved my life. It saves my life every day — not because it can ease the horrendous pain, but because it relaxes the muscles that are cramping and calms the never-ending misfiring of nerves. Opiate medication has nearly killed me; my frail body could not withstand the side effects. Cannabis brings relief without the side effects. To me, it is a miracle — albeit an illegal one.

I am — and want to be — a mother who can nurture and raise her children. Prescription drugs made me dazed and bedridden. Using them, I was an incapable mother and fully dependent upon my husband. Using cannabis, I can function and be a part of my daughter’s lives.

I am a patient — not a criminal. I have great respect for the law; my father is a retired FBI agent. Marijuana is easily accessible for those who want to break the law and use it; law-abiding citizens are denied its legitimate medical benefit. Like thousands of Utahns hiding in the shadows, I want — I need — legal access to tested cannabis from regulated sources. We cannot be ignored any longer.

Far too many people have died, or lived their lives in constant pain because they were not given the freedom to choose a natural, God-given plant to save or improve their lives, or the lives of their loved ones. Government should help — not hurt — its citizens. Medical cannabis must be legal.

Critics of medical legalization are guided by fear. Myself and thousands like me are guided by hope. Sen. Mark Madsen’s legislation helps patients. It would allow my family, and many other medical refugees like us, to return home. It would give us access to the whole cannabis plant that we need.

Competing legislation meant to derail Sen. Madsen’s bill claims to be “cautious” by only legalizing cannabidoil — one of many components in cannabis. I could drink the stuff by the gallon and it would do absolutely nothing for me. Like countless others, I need all of the many cannabinoids in the plant whose properties interact with and complement one another.

This competing bill, sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw and Sen. Evan Vickers — a pharmacist whose business is selling drugs that cannabis competes against — won’t help cancer patients, those with chronic pain, MS, ALS, veterans with PTSD, and many more. It will continue to criminalize us. That is unacceptable.

As a mother, I teach my children the difference between right and wrong. They see their mother doing the right thing — keeping herself alive to be present in their lives — while doing the wrong thing in the government’s eyes. Now I need cannabis to help them as their condition worsens. Please help me fix the law and return home to my family, my caretakers, and my support system.

Our lives, quite literally, depend on it.


Source Article: www.sltrib.com


I did not choose this life of excruciating pain. I did not choose to have the collagen in my body betray me, and within a year of the initial diagnosis have all the bones in my body dislocate. I did not choose the frailty of my internal organs and my whole nervous system, the constant dislocations that shred my tendons and wreak havoc on my muscles.

For too long, I was in a haze of prescribed pills — a drugged up mother whose life was passing as if I was in a glass house. These pills resulted in round after round of ambulance trips and emergency room visits with no relief.

I prayed. My husband watched his wife's body fall apart. I saw the life I wanted gone in an instant with a condition that I had never heard of. I cried.

The nerve pain and the muscle spasms threw me over the edge. I contemplated suicide. Aside from the horrendous pain of bones constantly dislocating, the tendons, muscles and nerves around all my joints were strained, and most eventually gave out.

I do not hesitate to state that medical cannabis saved my life. It saves my life every day — not because it can ease the horrendous pain, but because it relaxes the muscles that are cramping and calms the never-ending misfiring of nerves. Opiate medication has nearly killed me; my frail body could not withstand the side effects. Cannabis brings relief without the side effects. To me, it is a miracle — albeit an illegal one.

I am — and want to be — a mother who can nurture and raise her children. Prescription drugs made me dazed and bedridden. Using them, I was an incapable mother and fully dependent upon my husband. Using cannabis, I can function and be a part of my daughter's lives.

I am a patient — not a criminal. I have great respect for the law; my father is a retired FBI agent. Marijuana is easily accessible for those who want to break the law and use it; law-abiding citizens are denied its legitimate medical benefit. Like thousands of Utahns hiding in the shadows, I want — I need — legal access to tested cannabis from regulated sources. We cannot be ignored any longer.

Far too many people have died, or lived their lives in constant pain because they were not given the freedom to choose a natural, God-given plant to save or improve their lives, or the lives of their loved ones. Government should help — not hurt — its citizens. Medical cannabis must be legal.

Critics of medical legalization are guided by fear. Myself and thousands like me are guided by hope. Sen. Mark Madsen's legislation helps patients. It would allow my family, and many other medical refugees like us, to return home. It would give us access to the whole cannabis plant that we need.

Competing legislation meant to derail Sen. Madsen's bill claims to be "cautious" by only legalizing cannabidoil — one of many components in cannabis. I could drink the stuff by the gallon and it would do absolutely nothing for me. Like countless others, I need all of the many cannabinoids in the plant whose properties interact with and complement one another.

This competing bill, sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw and Sen. Evan Vickers — a pharmacist whose business is selling drugs that cannabis competes against — won't help cancer patients, those with chronic pain, MS, ALS, veterans with PTSD, and many more. It will continue to criminalize us. That is unacceptable.

As a mother, I teach my children the difference between right and wrong. They see their mother doing the right thing — keeping herself alive to be present in their lives — while doing the wrong thing in the government's eyes. Now I need cannabis to help them as their condition worsens. Please help me fix the law and return home to my family, my caretakers, and my support system.

Our lives, quite literally, depend on it.

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Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine? http://medicalcannabisreport.com/cannabinoids-101-what-makes-cannabis-medicine/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/cannabinoids-101-what-makes-cannabis-medicine/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:02:44 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/target/cannabinoids-101-what-makes-cannabis-medicine/ Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?Click here to view original web page at www.leafly.comWe live in ironic times: a plant that’s been labelled criminal and dangerous is providing unrivalled relief for a variety of symptoms and conditions. Cannabis strains bring a colorful variety of medicinal effects, but when confronted with the question of how consuming

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Click here to view original web page at www.leafly.com

We live in ironic times: a plant that’s been labelled criminal and dangerous is providing unrivalled relief for a variety of symptoms and conditions. Cannabis strains bring a colorful variety of medicinal effects, but when confronted with the question of how consuming marijuana could possibly be good for you, not everyone knows how to respond.

This brief look at cannabis chemistry is meant to arm you with a basic knowledge of how marijuana affects the brain and body. Not only will you better understand your medicine, you’ll be able to educate others about why cannabis is truly a safe, natural, and effective remedy.

What are Cannabinoids?

One hefty word that belongs in every medical marijuana patient’s vocabulary is cannabinoid. Cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, and inflammation. These work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur.

When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBN (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. By aiming the right cannabinoid at the right receptors, different types of relief are achievable.

This concept is the cornerstone of cannabis as medicine, and the results are so promising that these cannabinoids have been synthesized for legal prescription use. Some synthetic cannabinoid medications include Marinol, Nabilone, and Rimonabant. While these synthetic forms are effective, research shows that herbal cannabis contains a far wider variety of therapeutic compounds.

The below wheel serves as a handy resource to determine which cannabinoids help treat symptoms associated with mood, eating/gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, pain, sleep disorders, and other medical conditions. Click on the infographic for an enlarged version.

Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?
Image Credit: Leafly.com


We live in ironic times: a plant that’s been labelled criminal and dangerous is providing unrivalled relief for a variety of symptoms and conditions. Cannabis strains bring a colorful variety of medicinal effects, but when confronted with the question of how consuming marijuana could possibly be good for you, not everyone knows how to respond.

This brief look at cannabis chemistry is meant to arm you with a basic knowledge of how marijuana affects the brain and body. Not only will you better understand your medicine, you’ll be able to educate others about why cannabis is truly a safe, natural, and effective remedy.

What are Cannabinoids?

One hefty word that belongs in every medical marijuana patient’s vocabulary is cannabinoid. Cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, and inflammation. These work their medicinal magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health. To put a complex system simply, they mediate communication between cells, and when there is a deficiency or problem with our endocannabinoid system, unpleasant symptoms and physical complications occur.

When cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites throughout our brain (receptors called CB-1) and body (CB-2). Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to. For example, THC binds to receptors in the brain whereas CBN (cannabinol) has a strong affinity for CB-2 receptors located throughout the body. By aiming the right cannabinoid at the right receptors, different types of relief are achievable.

This concept is the cornerstone of cannabis as medicine, and the results are so promising that these cannabinoids have been synthesized for legal prescription use. Some synthetic cannabinoid medications include Marinol, Nabilone, and Rimonabant. While these synthetic forms are effective, research shows that herbal cannabis contains a far wider variety of therapeutic compounds.

Cannabis contains at least 85 types of cannabinoids, many of which have documented medical value. Products and strains have been developed to deliver larger doses of different cannabinoids, so knowing which types best treat your symptoms is a handy piece of knowledge to bring to your next dispensary visit.

The below wheel serves as a handy resource to determine which cannabinoids help treat symptoms associated with mood, eating/gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, pain, sleep disorders, and other medical conditions. Click on the infographic for an enlarged version.


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US Veteran’s Children Taken Away Over His Use of Medical Marijuana http://medicalcannabisreport.com/us-veterans-children-taken-away-over-his-use-of-medical-marijuana/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/us-veterans-children-taken-away-over-his-use-of-medical-marijuana/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 20:00:31 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1713 Tensions running high between courts, family attorneys and child protective services, who are unsure where lines are drawn in a world of legalized cannabis. When Raymond Schwab talks about his case, his voice teeters between anger and sadness. “People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my

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Tensions running high between courts, family attorneys and child protective services, who are unsure where lines are drawn in a world of legalized cannabis.

When Raymond Schwab talks about his case, his voice teeters between anger and sadness.

People who don’t understand the medical value of cannabis are tearing my family apart,” says the Kansas father and US veteran, who has a prescription for marijuana in neighboring Colorado, where it is legal.

Nine months ago, Schwab tried to move to Colorado to grow medical marijuana for fellow veterans. While he and his wife were there preparing for the move, the state of Kansas took five of their children, ages 5 to 16, into custody on suspicion of child endangerment, ensnaring his family in interstate marijuana politics.

Cases like the Schwabs’ have become a lightning rod for marijuana activists and have left courts, family attorneys and Child Protective Services (CPS) unsure of where the lines are drawn in this brave new world of legalized cannabis.

There’s still a stigma against parents who use medical marijuana,” says Jennifer Ani, a family law attorney who says she sees around five similar cases a month – in 95% of which she believes the child was in no reasonable danger. “As much as marijuana is a moving target throughout the nation, with Child Protective Services it’s even more so.

She says that concerns about contact-highs or children eating raw cannabis are often cited but are not scientifically sound arguments that a child is in danger. Contact-highs have been widely discredited as a myth, and cannabis must be cooked before it can get you high.

The US Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the Schwab case but pointed us to their guide “Parental Drug Use As Child Abuse”, which says that “exposing children to the manufacture, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs is considered child endangerment in 11 States [including Kansas]” and “the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act requires states to have policies and procedures in place to notify child protective services agencies of substance-exposed newborns”.

A case like Schwab’s has one foot in both the legal and illegal dynamics of marijuana, since his case involves Kansas, where cannabis remains illegal, and Colorado, where it is legal for both medical and recreational sale.

Tensions have been running high between Colorado and neighboring states whose residents want to purchase cannabis. Last year, sheriffs from Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas filed a lawsuit against the state for its marijuana laws, citing trafficking concerns; and this month, the Kansas attorney general sent out 500 surveys to their county and district attorneys, sheriffs and chiefs of police asking how Colorado marijuana is affecting their work.

A US navy veteran who served in the Gulf war, Schwab says that he uses a homemade cannabis butter to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and chronic pain. For years, he says, his mental health issues went undiagnosed, resulting in a bout of alcoholism and substance abuse. He was prescribed a variety of sedatives, antidepressants and chronic pain medication, which he says often made him feel worse. “I got addicted to the pain medication, which led to heroin addiction.

Schwab says that he has been sober since a stint in rehab in 2011, and that cannabis is the only medication that helps with his anxiety, depression and physical pain.

Schwab arranged in early 2015 for his job at the Department of Veterans Affairs to be transferred from Kansas to Colorado, where he could legally grow his own cannabis and work with veterans who, like him, use the plant medicinally.

While dealing with the move, he and Amelia arranged for the five children to stay with relatives. (The four youngest children were born to Raymond and his wife, Amelia; the 16-year-old and a 19-year-old who was not taken into custody are Amelia’s children from previous relationships.) After driving 60 miles away from home, the Schwabs received a call saying they needed to appear in an emergency hearing that day because their children were in state custody.

Schwab says that one of the relatives caring for his children (whom he declines to name) took them to the police station, saying their parents had abandoned them to go work on a pot farm in Colorado. That was in April last year, and Schwab says he has only seen his children three times since then.

The communications director for the Kansas department of children and families (DCF) declined to comment on the Schwab case but said that “children are not removed from the home for [parental] marijuana use alone”.

Yet Schwab says that no investigation was done of him or his home, and that the only evidence against him was the testimony of the police officer that took the children into custody. There were allegations of “emotional abuse” but a DCF report in July found those to be “unsubstantiated”.

Included in the police report was a screenshot of Schwab’s recent Facebook post, where he discusses moving to Colorado to start a marijuana business. The Schwabs have been asked to submit a urine sample that would be tested to see if they have used marijuana before they can visit their children – despite having relocated to Colorado, where he has a prescription.

The district attorney of Riley County, Kansas, where the Schwabs’ case is currently being handled, did not return requests for an interview.

Ani says that it’s not unusual to see children removed from their home for marijuana use, even in states where it’s legal. In 2014 she defended a California couple whose children were taken by CPS after a police officer smelled marijuana in the house, despite having prescriptions for the substance. The additional charge against them was that their home was in disarray.

Last year, Ani worked on the highly publicized Kansas case of Shona Banda, whose 11-year-old son was taken from her after he told his drug education program teacher that his mother used cannabis.

For cases like Schwab’s, the legal spiderweb of cannabis law becomes compounded by his PTSD.

Dr Sue Sisley – a psychiatrist who recently received a $2m grant to study the effects of cannabis in treating PTSD, the first study of its kind – says that for vets like Schwab, “they need their medicine in order to be a good parent”.

A lot of these vets, they can’t function without their meds. And they have to live in fear of a positive drug test, and losing their kids to Child Protective Services. So they live this crazy, covert lifestyle where they’re afraid to be open to the people around them, for fear that they’ll call CPS.

Last month, Schwab testified before a Kansas state senate committee and, with tears in his eyes, pleaded for the state to “give me back my children”.

The committee was considering a bill that aimed to lower criminal penalties for marijuana possession and allow hemp oil to be used medicinally – moves that he criticized for not going far enough.

Schwab says that once he regains custody of his children he plans to sue the state of Kansas for violation of his constitutional rights. “They’re holding my kids hostage and threatening to terminate my rights if I don’t seek cannabis-abuse therapy in a state that’s legal. They’re threatening other people with jail time or losing their kids if they speak out, but I will not submit. I’ll take this to the supreme court if I have to.”

  • The article was amended on 1 February 2016 to clarify that the Schwabs have six children; the oldest is 19 years old.

Article By:  Josiah Hesse
Article Source: TheGuardian.com

 

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Physician’s Letter: Cannabis Can Help Patients With Chronic Pain http://medicalcannabisreport.com/physicians-letter-cannabis-can-help-patients-with-chronic-pain/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/physicians-letter-cannabis-can-help-patients-with-chronic-pain/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:00:49 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1710 Posted Jan. 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM on RRStar.com: “I have been a practicing physician in the Chicagoland area for more than 30 years, with a specialty in pain medicine. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draws attention to the fact that Illinois must allow

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Posted Jan. 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM on RRStar.com:

“I have been a practicing physician in the Chicagoland area for more than 30 years, with a specialty in pain medicine. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draws attention to the fact that Illinois must allow patients the opportunity to choose cannabis over highly addictive and sometimes deadly prescription drugs. Opioids and narcotics remain the primary drugs for treating chronic pain despite their dangerous side effects. According to the CDC, 46 people die each day from prescription drug painkiller overdose, and health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012 — enough for every American adult to have a bottle of narcotics. This epidemic is disproportionately impacting women with a more than 400 percent increase in painkiller overdose deaths since 1999. Cannabis has a critical role in treating pain, minimal toxicity and presently no risk of lethal overdose. THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and there are cannabinoids receptors in the same areas of the brain that are shown to have changes in chronic pain.”

“‘Cannabinoids for Medical Use,’ written in 2015 by The Journal of the American Medical Association, reports there was a 30 percent reduction of pain with the use of cannabinoids. Additionally, these patients reported a decrease in the use of narcotics. Furthermore, “Cannabinergic Pain Medicine,” written in 2012 in the Clinical Journal of Pain, reports 71 percent of the studies found cannabinoids were associated with pain-relieving effects. Like all present medication, cannabinoids are not the cure for chronic pain. However, it is a highly effective pain management tool that is a safer alternative to many prescription drugs. I call on the Illinois Department of Public Health and Gov. Bruce Rauner to allow physicians the opportunity to use medical cannabis as an effective treatment option.”

— Dr. Marc Sloan, Deerfield


Article Source: RRStar.com

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New Sleep Apnea Pill Derived From Cannabis http://medicalcannabisreport.com/new-sleep-apnea-pill-derived-from-cannabis/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/new-sleep-apnea-pill-derived-from-cannabis/#respond Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:00:02 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1706 Sleep apnea, a condition affecting more than 12 million Americans, can lead to a host of health problems including heart disease. But, a new treatment containing ingredients derived from cannabis is being developed to help those with the disorder. Getting a good night’s sleep hasn’t been easy for Lisa Smith

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Sleep apnea, a condition affecting more than 12 million Americans, can lead to a host of health problems including heart disease. But, a new treatment containing ingredients derived from cannabis is being developed to help those with the disorder.

Getting a good night’s sleep hasn’t been easy for Lisa Smith as each night has been the same – tossing and turning and staying awake.

Smith was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2014 after her daughter overheard her trying to sleep.

“She says, ‘You sound like somebody is in that room starting motorcycles in your room.’ She said, ‘You snore real loud and sometimes you’re not coming back,’” Smith said.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder that can cause a person’s breathing to start and stop during sleep.

Doctors prescribed Smith with a CPAP machine to help her restless nights.

The CPAP, although it helps me sleep, I get these marks and I’ve got to wait all day and try to pump my face back up because I got the marks all over my face,” she said.

Researchers, however, have begun studying a new pill that could change that.

The medication is known as dronabinol. If approved, the synthetic form of cannabis would be taken once at nighttime, according to Dr. Roneil Malkani of Northwestern Medicine.

It is a medication that we think acts on nerve cells in the brain that activate the muscles in the upper airway,” Malkani, a specialist in sleep medicine, said.

It helps keep them open for more restful sleep, which is just what Smith longed for.

If it will put me to sleep, I’ll do it,” she said with excitement.

The drug has been used to help cancer patients gain weight and control nausea.

The dosage for sleep apnea, though, is much smaller and researchers are hopeful the only side effect patients will experience is a good night’s sleep.


Article Source: ABC11.com

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Help Us – Share the Love! http://medicalcannabisreport.com/help-us-share-the-love/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/help-us-share-the-love/#respond Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:11:04 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1717 Education is Our Goal… One of our biggest challenges is overcoming all the IGNORANCE about the many proven benefits of cannabis and the value of this amazing plant to mankind.  While there is certainly a measure of WILLFUL ignorance among lawmakers, law enforcement, and government bureaucrats, as the PEOPLE are

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Education is Our Goal…

One of our biggest challenges is overcoming all the IGNORANCE about the many proven benefits of cannabis and the value of this amazing plant to mankind.  While there is certainly a measure of WILLFUL ignorance among lawmakers, law enforcement, and government bureaucrats, as the PEOPLE are informed, laws and policies will inevitably change.

In the meantime, we must all do our best to EDUCATE the masses.  We spend a lot of time and energy locating and publishing all the helpful articles and resources you find on this site.  All we ask is that you take just a moment and LIKE the posts you find interesting, and more importantly, to SHARE them with your friends.  When articles go viral, they get in front of new sets of eyes – removing the blinders and changing attitudes along the way.

Please LIKE and SHARE what you find here.  Thank you for your help!

Much love,
Angus

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Does Smoking Pot Actually Make You Stupid? http://medicalcannabisreport.com/does-smoking-pot-actually-make-you-stupid/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/does-smoking-pot-actually-make-you-stupid/#respond Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:35:29 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1703 As legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana becomes increasingly common among U.S. states, many are left wondering: Is smoking pot actually harmful to developing brains? The claim: Smoking marijuana does not make teenagers stupid, concludes a study in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contrary to other research that

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As legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana becomes increasingly common among U.S. states, many are left wondering: Is smoking pot actually harmful to developing brains?

The claim: Smoking marijuana does not make teenagers stupid, concludes a study in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contrary to other research that linked getting stoned to impaired cognitive function in adolescents.

The backstory: Research on how marijuana affects the developing brain goes back decades, but has heated up as more U.S. states decriminalize or legalize the drug for adults. According to 2015 government data, 15 percent of 10th graders and 21 percent of 12th graders have used marijuana in the past month.

Most studies have compared marijuana users to non-users at a single point in time, and so can’t assess how marijuana changes brain function over the years; any observed differences might have always existed, marijuana or not. And all the studies have been observational — assigning some people to smoke marijuana and others to abstain would yield cleaner results but is obviously unethical. Given those limitations, it almost doesn’t matter what the studies have found, but here’s a sampling: marijuana use is associated with decreased intelligence, a 2007 study from New Zealand found; or with poorer memory, according to a 1996 study of Costa Rican men and a 2002 US study of long-term users; or with poorer attention and verbal skills, a 2010 study reported. Other studies, but fewer, find no long-term association between marijuana and IQ, like this one from Canada in 2005 and this 2004 research on twins by scientists at Boston University.

In a key paper from 2012 — it was the largest and longest-running study to date, testing 1,037 people at age 13 and 38 — scientists at Duke University found a dramatic drop in intelligence among long-term marijuana users “suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain,” they wrote in PNAS.

As is often the case, even reputable researchers publishing in reputable journals run roughshod over the difference between correlation (two phenomena go together) and causation (one causes the other). One 2015 paper declared that “regular cannabis use in adolescence approximately doubles the risks of … cognitive impairment.” No: At most, such use is associated with impairment. Observational research cannot rule out the possibility that a third factor causes both cognitive decline and marijuana use.

First take: The new PNAS study is also observational, but with an important twist: It zeroes in on that “third factor” possibility by studying twins, 789 in California and 2,277 in Minnesota. The twins underwent standard intelligence tests at ages 9 to 12 and again at 17 to 20, and reported whether or not they smoked marijuana (60 percent in California and 36 percent in Minnesota did). In hundreds of cases, one twin smoked and the other didn’t.

Overall, users’ IQ dropped 4 points relative to non-users over the study period. But more frequent marijuana use wasn’t associated with greater IQ decline, as you’d expect if marijuana were toxic to brain function. And measures of so-called inherent intelligence, like problem-solving, didn’t fall in users; on some measures, like puzzle-solving, scores actually rose. That also undermines the idea that marijuana impairs cognition. Instead, said co-author Joshua Isen of the University of Minnesota, it suggests that something was going on “in how much information they were absorbing,” which can reflect truancy, conscientiousness, and other factors apart from inherent cognitive ability and brain function.

The strongest evidence against the idea that marijuana is neurotoxic was that marijuana-using twins showed no greater IQ decline than their non-using siblings. “This fails to support the implication of the [2012] study that adolescent use of marijuana causes neurocognitive declines,” the researchers wrote in PNAS. Instead, it suggests that any drop in brain function is not from the drug but from “factors that underlie both marijuana initiation and low intellectual attainment” and are present in both twins’ lives.

That is, whatever spurred teenagers to start using also hurt their IQ.

Second take: Although the findings challenge the idea that marijuana use hurts cognitive ability, it’s not the final word. If the drug has only a minor effect, this study might have been too small to find it. And since the researchers didn’t measure working memory or executive function (judgment, decision-making ability, and other higher cognitive skills), they couldn’t rule out marijuana’s effect on those. Also, some twins dropped out of the research; if they were greater users than those who stayed, the study would have missed a possible effect of heavy marijuana use.

The takeaway: This study can’t rule out the possibility that marijuana hurts teenagers’ brains, especially in ways that show up only after decades. But it undermines claims that it does.

This story was produced by STAT, a national publication covering health, medicine, and life science. Read more and sign up for their free morning newsletter at statnews.com. You can also follow STAT on Twitter and like them on Facebook.


Article By: Sharon Begley
Article Source: TheWeek.com

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Ex-Bear Jim McMahon: Medical Marijuana Got Me Off Narcotic Pain Pills http://medicalcannabisreport.com/ex-bear-jim-mcmahon-medical-marijuana-got-me-off-narcotic-pain-pills/ http://medicalcannabisreport.com/ex-bear-jim-mcmahon-medical-marijuana-got-me-off-narcotic-pain-pills/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 20:30:32 +0000 http://medicalcannabisreport.com/?p=1699 Former Super Bowl champion and Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon says an unfairly demonized drug helped him recover from the pain of his football career: medical marijuana. McMahon was in Chicago this week, where he attended Tuesday’s Bears reunion marking the 30th anniversary of their Super Bowl victory. He was

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Former Super Bowl champion and Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon says an unfairly demonized drug helped him recover from the pain of his football career: medical marijuana.

McMahon was in Chicago this week, where he attended Tuesday’s Bears reunion marking the 30th anniversary of their Super Bowl victory. He was also featured in an ESPN “30 for 30” screening of a documentary about the team, which includes a focus on his health struggles.

Now 56, McMahon has been plagued by debilitating health problems following his 15-year career and multiple concussions in the National Football League. He has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and has severe headaches, depression, memory loss, and vision and speech problems. He also said he suffered a broken neck.

As a result, he joined a pending class-action lawsuit accusing the NFL of negligence and misconduct in handling concussions.

Since going public with his health issues, McMahon said he has recently been feeling significantly better after chiropractic neck treatments to relieve the pressure.

But the key to getting off the prescription narcotic painkillers he took throughout his career, he said, was medical marijuana.

McMahon got his medical marijuana card in Arizona, where he lives, after it was approved by a voter referendum in 2010. Before that, he said, he’d been taking 100 Percocet pills a month for pain in his shoulders, neck and arms.

They were doing more harm than good,” he said. “This medical marijuana has been a godsend. It relieves me of the pain — or thinking about it, anyway.

On a typical day, McMahon will smoke marijuana in the morning to help him get up, a little in the afternoon depending on how he feels, and before bed, saying he couldn’t sleep without it.

He prefers the indica strain for its higher content of THC, the part of the plant that gets users high. But he says he maintains a clear head without the “fuzziness” he got from pain pills.

The former “punky QB” said he initially tried to get into the medical marijuana business, but it didn’t work out. Though his interview was arranged through a representative from Cresco Labs, which grows and sells medical marijuana in Illinois, McMahon said he has no financial ties to the industry, but went public to help other people who are suffering.

His comments come as Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner considers whether to approve eight more medical conditions to add to the list of about 40 that qualify for medical marijuana here. A state advisory board recommended adding the new conditions, including pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatment.

The majority of patients in some other states that have legalized medical marijuana, like California and Colorado, qualify to use it to treat pain. But Illinois, which has perhaps the strictest law allowing medical marijuana in the nation, does not allow it for pain, as lawmakers have expressed concerns that the category is too broad and vague and would allow for abuse.

And despite McMahon’s endorsement, marijuana is not recommended for medicinal use by the American Medical Association, among others. Some critics worry that marijuana may merely replace one drug with another, or be used in combination.

But while prescription painkillers have caused what authorities call an “epidemic” — deaths linked to the drugs quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, with more than 22,000 deaths that year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — it is considered virtually impossible to reach fatally toxic levels of marijuana alone.

Still, regular cannabis use has been shown to cause cognitive impairment, particularly in adolescents. Many doctors oppose smoking any drug, because of the damage it causes the lungs, though marijuana also can be eaten, vaporized or taken as an oil or lotion.

Advocates and critics agree research on marijuana is lacking, but it has shown some effectiveness for pain relief.

After reviewing conflicting studies, the Institute of Medicine concluded in 1999 that marijuana’s components can provide mild to moderate relief from pain, comparable to codeine.

The National Academy of Sciences reported that cannabinoids, the active ingredients in marijuana, have shown significant but not conclusive promise for pain relief, particularly in cancer patients.


Article By: Robert McCoppin
Article Source: Chicago Tribune

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