A small Canadian survey has found the majority of participants experienced benefits from medical cannabis for certain conditions after 6 weeks of use.
Carried out by University of British Columbia researchers, the survey involved 214 mainly male patients; with the majority over 50 years of age. Among these patients, the most frequently reported conditions were:recurring painPTSDanxietysleep disordersarthritis and other rheumatic conditions.
Overall, 60% of the medical cannabis cohort reported improvements in their conditions.
Significant improvements were found in relation to recurrent pain, PTSD, and sleep disorders after 6 weeks of medical cannabis use. However, the findings in related to arthritis and other rheumatic disorders were described as “complex”.
They also pointed out while “real-world evidence” hasn’t been utilised by regulatory bodies, changes in public policy surrounding cannabis should occur to reflect patient reported efficacy from such studies, due to the unique way medical cannabis has made its way to legalisation.
As the ravages of the opioid epidemic lead many to avoid these powerful painkillers, a significant number of people with fibromyalgia are finding an effective replacement in CBD-containing products, finds a new Michigan Medicine study.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the second most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, and has been marketed for everything from mood stabilization to pain relief, without the intoxicating effects produced by the most common cannabinoid, THC. THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the ingredient in marijuana that causes people to feel high.
The cannabis industry has exploded, aided by the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in states around the United States and the removal of hemp-derived CBD from Schedule 1 status—reserved for drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse—at the federal level.
Previous research shows that some people substitute medical cannabis (often with high concentrations of THC) for opioids and other pain medications, reporting that cannabis provides better pain relief and fewer side effects. However, there is far less data on CBD use.
"CBD is less harmful than THC, as it is nonintoxicating and has less potential for abuse," said Kevin Boehnke, PhD, a research investigator in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. "If people can find the same relief without THC's side effects, CBD may represent a useful harm reduction strategy."
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the cannabis-enthusiasts of Major League Baseball for many seasons. Though former players said there were “a lot” of users at the bat (Dirk Hayhurst called it a “Cheech and Chong experiment,”) being caught with cannabis was once penalized with mandatory treatment or a fine of up to $35,000.
All that changed at the end of 2019, though, when MLB removed cannabis from their banned substances list. Now, cannabis is treated like alcohol according to the league’s regulations – show up to MLB games, practices, workouts, or meetings high, and you’ll face consequences. But otherwise, as long as they are using it in compliance with local law, players can use cannabis. And the league is even working with a product-testing organization called NSF International to verify legal, contaminant-free CBD products that players could one day use for medicinal purposes.
Last year’s season was cut short by COVID-19, so this is the first full baseball season since the cannabis-enthusiasts of major league baseball have been free to light up. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting three cannabis-loving former MLB players who have talked about using weed while playing professionally, and whose legacies might well have played a role in new MLB pot policy.
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
1. Ryan Tucker
After he dropped out of MLB because of knee problems, opening a cannabis dispensary and greenhouse in southern California wasn’t a next step anyone expected from this Florida Marlins pitcher. But for Tucker, it was a seamless transition.
Medical marijuana patients in Louisiana will now be able to buy the smokable flower form of the drug under a new state law.
Gov. John Bel Edwards recently signed House Bill 391. It passed the state House of Representatives, 75-18, earlier this month and was approved, 23-14, by the state Senate in late May.
The measure allows approved patients to buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana leaf every two weeks from one of the state’s nine medical marijuana pharmacies. Previously, patients could only get non-smokable forms of the drug, such as gummies, ointments and inhalers.
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, and both of the state’s licensed medical marijuana growers have said they would have smokable marijuana for purchase on that date.
Louisiana lawmakers approved the medical marijuana program in 2015 and products became available to patients in 2019.
In recent years, the number of states that have approved cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use has grown substantially. Yet many doctors are still reluctant to endorse cannabis as a treatment for various ailments — and with good reason.
One group, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), issued a statement in February 2021 saying, “There is not enough high-quality human clinical safety and efficacy evidence to allow IASP to endorse the general use of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain at this time.”
To get a better understanding of why the IASP issued the statement and what the group is looking for in the future, we spoke to psychologist Judith Scheman, PhD.
Who is the IASP and what did they do?
Made up of over 7,000 pain specialists from 125 countries, the IASP is the primary organization for pain specialists in the world. “The IASP is very interested in finding the best and safest way of helping patients manage pain,” says Dr. Scheman.
As the availability of cannabis increased thanks to legalization efforts, the IASP recognized the need to assess the risks and benefits of using it to treat pain. A systematic overview of cannabis and cannabinoids was especially important in light of the opioid epidemic of the last few decades.
U.S. researchers say there’s simply not enough information available yet to determine if using cannabis does or does not influence brain development or functioning in adolescents and young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
That conclusion is part of a detailed new review published last week in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.
“[T]he evidence to date does not clearly support either an addictive effect or an interaction — whether protective or harmful — with cannabis use,” write Dr. Philip Cawkwell of the Stanford University School of Medicine and his study colleagues.
Getting more confident about conclusions either one way or the other demands additional research “to clarify possible effects of cannabis on brain structure, function and behaviour in young people with ADHD,” according to Wolters Kluwer Health, which publishes the journal.
Trying to pin down the combined effects of cannabis use and ADHD in adolescence, investigators looked at 11 studies that assessed any type of neurodevelopmental outcome in the age group who did or did not use weed.
Insomniacs who received nightly sublingual administration of a cannabinoid extract managed to get more and better sleep, suggests a new Australian study.
Investigators found that the extract was “well-tolerated and improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in individuals with chronic insomnia symptoms,” notes a study abstract, published online this month in Sleep.
Participants included those who had been experiencing chronic insomnia symptoms for at least three months. They received either the extract or a placebo over a two-week period.
Comparing the effects of the extract to a placebo, researchers considered self-reports from participants, measurements of sleep onset latency, wake after sleep onset, total sleep time and sleep efficiency, and self-reports of sleep quality and feeling rested upon waking. One person did not finish the study.
The remaining participants, the vast majority of whom were female, did not report any serious adverse outcomes. There were, however, 40 mild, non-serious, adverse events — 36 of those involving subjects being administered the extract — “with all but one resolving overnight or soon after waking,” the study abstract reports.
Following the Florida Supreme Court upholding the state’s seed-to-sale medical marijuana model, the Department of Health is preparing to issue 15 new treatment center licenses.
Those involved in the industry believe the expansion will increase competition and benefit patients, but some lawmakers doubt whether the new players will actually make a dent on cost and availability.
There are more than 575,000 medical marijuana patients in Florida and the ever growing number has opened the door for 15 new MMTC licenses.
Once the patient count hits 600,000, a total of 19 licenses will be available.
“This frankly doubles the size of the industry,” said Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association.
A combination of inflammatory cytokines in the blood and regular cannabis use, or use at a young age, can increase the chances of developing psychiatric disorders, researchers have demonstrated.
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the University of São Paulo‘s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) in Brazil found that individuals exposed to a combination of these two factors – the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood and cannabis use (either daily or during adolescence) – are more likely to suffer from psychosis than those who are exposed to neither or to only one. According to the authors, the study provides “the first clinical evidence that immune dysregulation modifies the cannabis-psychosis association.”
The study was part of a project conducted by the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI), a consortium of research centres in 13 countries, including Brazil. An article published in The Lancet Psychiatry by the consortium in 2019 showed that daily cannabis use increased the likelihood of suffering from a psychotic disorder threefold.
The article has been published in the journal Psychological Medicine.
Cannabis use and body functioning
In the more recent study, the researchers analysed data for 409 people aged 16 to 64, including patients experiencing their first psychotic episode and community-based controls. The sample was drawn from the populations of Ribeirão Preto and 25 other cities in the region. The variables analysed included cannabis use frequency (daily, not daily, or never), duration (five years or less), and onset age (in adolescence or later).
While ibuprofen is very effective, it carries several risk factors that affect quite a significant number of users. Side effects after using CBD, however, are rare.
Pain is a natural and unavoidable occurrence in the human body. It is one of the body’s responses to self-healing. But, sometimes it gets too much and painkillers have to come into the picture.
Ibuprofen is one of the most effective drugs for alleviating chronic pain symptoms from things like headaches, toothaches, and backaches. More than 50% of the American population has used ibuprofen at one point or another. Unfortunately, it sometimes comes with side effects like ulcers, etc.
Photo by Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash
Now, with the newly tested and proven therapeutic qualities of the cannabidiol (CBD) compound, one is left to assume that it may be an effective alternative to treating pain. But, CBD has not been approved for medical use yet.
Medical cannabis campaigners visited Westminster as part of a walk from Belfast to London to raise funds for the UK’s most vulnerable, chronically ill that need access to medical cannabis.
In 2018, Billy Caldwell who lives with epilepsy successfully campaigned to get medical cannabis legalised in the UK. However, there is still no ongoing, government-funded clinical research into the efficacy of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis campaigners Billy and Charlotte Caldwell arrived in Westminster on Monday, 14 June, to request a roundtable meeting with Matt Hancock and the National Institute for Health Research.
Billy and Charlotte proposed a specially designed study for medical cannabis and letters were hand delivered to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Access to cannabis in the UK
Following the 1000-mile walk from their home in Belfast, via the British Crown Dependency Islands, Billy and Charlotte were joined on College Green by constituents lobbying their representatives for greater patient access.
The I am Billy campaign, supported by leading cannabis companies Kanabo, LVL Health Clinics, Medisonal, Grow Biotech, and Northern Leaf, is calling for the UK’s first specially designed study, to be paid for by the National Institute for Health Research, to see patients with medical conditions receive their medicine for free.
In a new study, a group of international researchers investigated whether adolescent cannabis use has any effect on cortical thickness in the brains of teenagers.
Very few studies have looked at the link between cannabis use in adolescents and its impact on neurodevelopment, and although studies in animal models have pointed towards altered neurodevelopment with lasting behavioral effects with early cannabis use, studies in humans have provided conflicting results.
Now, reporting in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers show that cannabis use during youth might be associated with changes in neurodevelopment – specifically, the thinning of cortical regions rich in cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1 receptors).
In the study, the researchers used longitudinal neuroimaging and behavioral data (self-reported) from the IMAGEN study data set and investigated 2,223 school children from 8 different European regions who were all approximately 14 years of age.
Out of that cohort, the authors identified 799 participants (450 Female and 349 Male) that had not used cannabis at a baseline of roughly 14 years. They were followed up after a five-year period to determine changes in their cannabis use habits during adolescence while having Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data of their brains available.
Medical cannabis offers benefits for many different ailments, and one of the predominant ones in medical literature is connected to sleep. Which part of the plant is responsible for this? It looks like cannabinoid CBN might be partially responsible, at least in conjunction with other elements of the plant. CBN sleep products are already becoming quite popular.
Delta-8 THC is a great reminder that not all THCs are created equally. Whereas delta-9 THC is known for causing anxiety in some users, and leading to couch-locking effects, delta-8 does neither of these things. This provides a better option for those disenfranchised with the anxiety and heaviness of delta-9. If you’re looking to switch up your THC, give our collection of Delta-8 THC deals a look-thru, and we’ll ship you out your products ASAP.
What is CBN?
We’re all pretty aware of what the cannabis plant is at this point. We’re all pretty aware, whether we agree with the statements or not, that there is a growing body of medical research in support of the positive benefits of marijuana for a number of different medical issues, as well as for recreational purposes. By now, most of us are even aware that the US designates higher-THC cannabis as marijuana, and lower-THC cannabis as hemp, with a cutoff line at .3% THC to make the designation.
When looking into the plant closer, we can designate different effects of the plant to different molecules like THC, CBD, and limonene. We know there are cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant constituents, some of which are useful, and some of which we aren’t as concerned with. THC, of course, is the main psychoactive component, with a Schedule I spot in the Controlled Substances list of the US, while also being in Schedule I of both the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
THC isn’t the only psychoactive compound though. Not only does delta-9 THC oxidize to form another version of THC called delta-8, but there are other cannabinoids – albeit showing up in very small quantities – that also have psychoactive properties, and one of these is CBN, or cannabinol.
When looking at the effects of cannabis on pain, the athletic community is often a great place to gain a lot of useful and relevant information, since professional athletes, particularly in sports like football, are known for their extreme injuries. Recently, the NFL has showed a growing interest in CBD for pain treatment.
It’s great that NFL players can use CBD for their pain, and that the NFL is further studying cannabis for this purpose. Lucky for you, there is already plenty of research on the positive benefits of cannabis, whether you’re an athlete or not. And one product that might be good for both groups is delta-8 THC. This alternate form of THC is great for anxiety, and doesn’t couchlock a person, while keeping their head clear – all great attributes for athletes, or really, anyone else. We’ve got a great selection of Delta-8 THC products, so give our catalogue a look-thru, and find the products perfect for you.
NFL wants CBD for pain treatment of athletes
For years, the idea of cannabis used for athletes was a sharp no-no in the NFL, with players being suspended if they tested positive more than once for marijuana. That began changing a couple years ago. Back in 2019, it was reported that the NFL had agreed to be a part of two committees meant for investigating CBD for use with athletes. At the time, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, stated “I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way”. Part of the reason for this turnaround, was because of the problems athletes were having using opioids to deal with their extreme pain issues.
The logic of the situation was made clear by former Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe, who stated in 2017 in an interview for Rolling Stone, “We don’t see the NFL trying to control players’ alcohol consumption or tobacco consumption. In fact, the NFL advertises those things. Cannabis is less damaging, less dangerous, less addictive than both of those. However, we see those being celebrated. The NFL is even expanding its hard liquor advertisement.”
Now, two years later, things have slowly moved forward. On June 8th, 2021, it was reported that the NFL and NFLPA (player’s association), are offering a combined $1 million for researchers who can help with the research and development of cannabis alternatives to opioid treatments. Dr. Allen Sills made an appearance again on the topic, saying, “Players are always looking to find treatments that are going to improve their quality of life… But at the same time, players are significantly concerned about the impact on performance.”
European investigators looking to firm up whether or not there are residual effects of cannabis use on neurocognition say their findings suggest decision-making is not impaired when weed is used in moderation and when first use is after the age of 15.
Beyond that, researchers write in the study to be published this fall in Cognitive Development, “we find no evidence to support the presumption that cannabis consumption leads to a decline in neurocognitive ability.”
Investigators sought to get a fix on weed’s non-acute effects on neurocognition in adolescents. Specifically, they considered details on substance use and neurocognitive measures in 804 adolescents at age 14 and also at age 19.
Researchers did not detect any “significant neurocognitive differences before initiation of drug use,” the study notes. That said, after controlling for confounders, light cannabis use and late-onset of weed consumption “was associated with increased decision-making skills both cross-sectionally at follow-up, as well as longitudinally compared to non-using controls.”
Investigators say that the findings “highlight the importance of trajectories in cannabis use for neurocognition.”
In recent years, many people have woken up to the benefits of cannabis, and all of the different ways in which it can help people to deal with stress, and relax in their daily life. However, there is a balance to be struck.
People might find that certain sativa strains help them, while other people focus on indica strains. Usually, people will want to find a strain of marijuana that is high in CBD, but go too far in with THC and you will probably find that you are provoking more of a “fight or flight” response, and therefore find that cannabis is not the most effective way that you can manage and reduce stress.
In this guide, we’re exploring what the studies say regarding cannabis and stress management.
It helps to understand that the two main impacting compounds in cannabis are CBD and THC. They can be found in different amounts in different strains, depending on whether you opt for sativa or indica or other hybrid strains.
CBD tends to have a very positive effect on the body as it binds to the body’s serotonin receptors to help your mood in general, but too much can make you feel sleepy.
A new analysis by Australian researchers has concluded that there is “little evidence” to justify treating medical cannabis patients differently than those who take other potentially intoxicating prescription medications and get behind the wheel.
Published online in the International Journal of Drug Policy, a team of researchers led by the University of Melbourne’s Daniel Perkins examined regulatory approaches used to mitigate potential road safety risks from the use of “impairing prescription medicines and illicit drugs.”
“Road safety risks associated with medicinal cannabis appear similar or lower than numerous other potentially impairing prescription medications,” the investigators write.
Medical cannabis users have long faced issues when it comes to driving, especially since THC can be detected for days or weeks after any acute impairment has ended. In 2019, a Nova Scotia woman even launched a constitutional challenge after she was arrested for impaired driving during a roadside test more than six hours after she had consumed her medication.
The authors speculate the fear of medical cannabis users on the road, and the subsequent legislation, stems from the legal status and social stigma of cannabis, as opposed to an elevated safety threat.
Doctors are slowly enrolling patients in France's first experiment with medical cannabis, three months after it began. Many are eager to access the drug to address a range of disorders, including chronic pain, but participation in the experiment is onerous – and chances of success, for most, are slim.
“Patients are really eager to get these products. They know they are available in other countries and some of them have been abroad to get them,” says neurologist Didier Bouhassira.
He is a pain specialist at one of France’s largest pain centres at the Ambroise Paré hospital in Boulogne, west of Paris, and is involved in an experiment that is testing out the prescription and distribution of medical cannabis in France.
Though rules are changing, and CBD, one of the components of cannabis, is becoming increasingly available in France, THC, the main psychoactive element of the plant, remains illegal, and consuming marijuana is an offense.
“Many patients are asking for cannabis. They are impatient for this experiment,” says Bouhassira. “But unfortunately very few are going to be involved.”
Although it was once believed that only humans had an endocannabinoid system (ECS), we have recently learned of its existence in nearly all animals, including vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish) and many invertebrates (sea urchins, leeches, mussels, nematodes, and others).
Yes, you read that right. Almost every animal you could possibly think of has an endocannabinoid system. As far as we know, the only animal group found to be lacking this system are insects. So, what exactly are the implications here? Aside from the numerous veterinary possibilities, what this really means is that we’ve been looking at cannabis all wrong. It’s not just a drug that get’s us high, it’s a plant full of compounds that are much more interconnected to the natural, living world than we previously believed.
The endocannabinoid system is an incredible discovery. So many of our physiological functions are dependent on the proper functioning of these neurotransmitters and receptors. To learn more about the endocannabinoid system, in both human and animals, subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter, your source for all the leading cannabis industry information
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
The only reason cannabinoids even work and have an effect on so many different living organisms is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a system that was only recently discovered in March of 1992. Simply put, the ECS is a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that exists in the bodies of all animals. Cannabinoid 1 and Cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the brain and nervous system, as well as in peripheral organs and tissues.
As a whole, the ECS regulates numerous different functions and processes in our bodies and maintains internal balance and homeostasis. The ECS modulates the nervous and immune systems and other organ systems to relieve pain and inflammation, regulate metabolism and neurologic function, promote healthy digestive processes, and support reproductive function and embryologic development.
Researchers have discovered two different endocannabinoids so far, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA). 2-AG is made from omega-6 fatty acids and is present in fairly high levels in the central nervous system, but it has also been detected in human (and bovine) milk. 2-AG is a full agonist of both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it has a stronger influence over the CB2 receptor. Because of this, 2-AG is thought to have a substantial impact on the immune system. Anandamide (AEA), also commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule”, is known to play a major role in the in all our basic daily physiological functions including sleep/wake cycles, appetite, mood, and even fertility.
When choosing a sunscreen, either containing CBD or not, try to check the ingredients used and try to pick one with broad-spectrum protection that is capable of guarding against both types of UV rays.
Summer is around the corner. It’s almost time for us to dip ourselves in beaches and pools, take tours around beautiful locations and just enjoy the warmth of the sun on our skins. This time of year (especially with vaccinations!), there are wonderful activities to undertake, people to meet, and places to see.
It’s not unusual that many of us may not take enough precautions to protect our skins. While a few will make out time to apply and reapply sunscreens, despite taking these precautions, they’ll sometimes still suffer from tortuous sunburns.
Around the world, aloe is commonly used to rectify the effects of sunburns, but this article will be exploring whether or not cannabidiol (CBD) products are a good option for treating sunburn.
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