FDA Study Concludes: CBD Works for Patients with Epilepsy

The very first FDA approved study done with cannabidiol (CBD) in a compound form called Epidiolex has reached its completion. The reason for this study was to have a reliable and controlled study of how Epidiolex works for patients with epilepsy – which shouldn’t be a surprise as there have been hundreds of stories of seizure-free children being medicated with medical marijuana. 

For the purpose of this study they had a total of 313 children and young adults from 16 different epilepsy centers around the United States. During the three month period each of the patients was given Epidiolex in place of any previous medications. 

After the 3-month period was over, 261 of the 313 patients had seen on average a reduction in seizures by nearly half – all with very few, if any side effects. 

If you think that’s impressive, then consider that 9% of all patients experienced a 100% reduction in seizures – meaning they were completely seizure free, many for the first time in their entire life. Of that 9%, 13% had a specific form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. 

Since this was only the first of what will (hopefully) be many more studies with CBD medications like Epidiolex, this was an excellent result! With results this good they are likely to keep going with it – and the fact that this study was done on a federal level might just have cornered them into having no choice but to reschedule marijuana on the controlled substances list. 

After all – they cannot ignore their own findings forever – especially not when so many people like myself want this to be known! Marijuana IS medicine, end of story. There really isn’t a way to logically deny that anymore and yet people still try left and right.

At least now, in the case of epilepsy, people will know that this really does work. Without marijuana, these people would still be suffering from multiple seizures a day – for some of them hundreds each and every month. 

Can you imagine being a parent with a child with epilepsy, knowing that there is a way to control – and even cure your child’s disease – and knowing you can’t do anything about it because it’s illegal?
This is the reason that so many parents are demanding medical marijuana for their children – and this study proves that they are not wrong, it does work! It works extremely well in a large majority of individuals and all with hardly any side effects. 

via: Marijuana Times

Medicinal Marijuana vs Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is caused by shallow breathing or pauses in breath while sleeping. It can cause snoring and uncomfortable, interrupted sleep, and prevents sufferers from gaining the necessary sleep to function properly in their daily lives. When a person suffering from OSA tries to breathe in their sleep, each breath becomes more shallow and uses more energy until the person wakes and the process starts over. Sleep apnea can lead to increased risk of heart disease from the constant disruption in oxygen flow.

The only known cure for sleep apnea is mouth surgery, which can be prohibitively expensive. More frequently, patients undergo treatment managed with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine; a facemask worn while sleeping that exerts oxygen pressure to the sinus cavity. This solution is uncomfortable and must be worn nightly to the chagrin of many patients.

Soon, however, an alternative treatment option may become available.

The cannabis-based drug Dronabinol seeks to offer a less cumbersome treatment compared to CPAP machines obsolete, making sleep for OSA sufferers much more flexible. Dronabinol is currently being tested by cancer patients to treat nausea and vomiting and to help with weight management. It has been discovered in trials that a positive side effect of the drug is keeping airways open during sleep.

A clinical trial, involving seventeen adults who suffer from OSA revealed a short-term positive and consistent increase in the flow of air to the lungs when Dronabinol is taken in small doses. The study showed, “no degradation of sleep architecture or serious adverse events,” which means it only displayed a positive affect.

The clinical trial’s conclusion was that, “Dronabinol treatment is safe and well-tolerated in OSA patients…and significantly reduces AHI in the short-term.” AHI, the Apnea Hypopnea Index, is used to measure the severity of OSA, and a low AHI is best.

Dronabinol would be the first drug treatment for sleep apnea and could help millions of people easily get the deep sleep they need to function properly while also reducing their risk of heart disease.
The company RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., formerly known as Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., is currently undergoing a Phase 2B Clinical Trial of Dronabinol. The study consists of “120 patients, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial...for use in the treatment of OSA during the third quarter of 2016.”

Read More at: Merry Jane

Marijuana vs Depression

Marijuana has a long history of providing relief from pain, nausea, and depression.

As early as 1621, English clergyman Robert Burton stated that cannabis was helpful in the treatment of depression. Around the same time, doctors in India were also using cannabis to treat the ailment. American physician and professor Hobart Amory Hare in 1887 celebrated the ability of cannabis to subdue restlessness and anxiety and calm a terminally ill patient’s mind. He wrote:

“The patient, whose most painful symptom has been mental trepidation, becomes more happy.”
The treatment of depression with cannabis isn’t without controversy, however. Washington, one of the four states where recreational cannabis is legal, was recently petitioned to include the term “mental illness” within the list of approved uses of medical marijuana. The request was denied by the commission, which argued that no solid scientific evidence exists to prove that cannabis is effective in treating any mental illness.

The Studies

Studies have revealed that marijuana, in small amounts, may be effective in treating depression. In larger amounts, some researchers believe that cannabis may actually increase depression by causing increases in serotonin levels.

A 1997 pilot study examined the effects of cannabis on those suffering from depression. It reported that many of the participants continued their use of marijuana following completion of the study and theorized that they continued to smoke cannabis because they perceived that it relieved their symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A 2006 study entitled “Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users” published in the journal Addictive Behaviors concluded:

“Those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.”

A 2008 study involved the administration of THC to those suffering from depression. Employing brain scans performed by a special type of MRI, researchers found that THC was specifically responsible for reducing anxiety and fear in subjects who were exposed to pictures of threatening faces.

A 2012 study conducted by The Institute for the Study of Labor entitled “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide” revealed that “marijuana can be an effective treatment for depression and other mood disorders” and noted a sharp decrease in the suicide rate of 15- through 19-year old males who consumed cannabis.

Scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) in 2015 studied chronic stress and depression, with a focus on endocannabinoids, the body’s internal cannabinoids that closely match those in marijuana and fit the same receptors throughout the brain, nervous system, and immune system. Said RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane:

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”
Beyond obtaining a solid sativa for the treatment of depression, patients can also seek out strains that are high in a terpene called BCP, or beta-caryophyllene. This unique terpene also acts as a cannabinoid by fitting into CB2 receptors in the brain.

More at: MassRoots

Medicinal Marijuana and CBD for Pets

Cannabis for pets? Sure, but old Fido won’t lose all motivation and vigilance; Felix won’t stop bringing half-dead mice into the house; the bird won’t start spouting philosophy; and Seabiscuit would still win races. There is no cause for alarm or skepticism, because this stuff only contains cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa.

Cannabinoids have been found throughout the animal kingdom by scientists. Called endocannabinoids, they are distinguished from the phytocannabinoids (phyto=plant) derived from cannabis. These naturally occurring compounds are produced by our bodies and circulate in our bloodstream, binding to cannabinoid-specific (CB) receptors in our brain and peripheral nervous system to regulate certain vital functions like higher thought, sleep, and appetite.

CBD, however, has no affinity to CB receptors, instead of prolonging the effects of our body’s own cannabinoids. Without this affinity, there is no psychoactivity, and hence no euphoric narcosis. What is more, CBD has been found to mitigate the effects of delta-9 tetrohydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid in marijuana that gets us high.

Having anti-oxidant and antipsychotic properties, CBD has been proven effective in the treatment of many otherwise pharmacoresistant ailments including cancer, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and migraines. There are also no known adverse side effects related to the application of CBD. As we humans occupy our own niche in the animal kingdom and have similar cannabinoids in our biological systems, there is no reason to believe that CBD wouldn’t help our pets as well. And the anecdotal evidence is starting to pile up.

Much More at: Merry Jane

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Cannabis infused honey can be a tasty way to enjoy the medical benefits of marijuana. The following recipe will yield a lot of honey for the average patient, and for a long time. Consider cutting the recipe in half, or whatever amount you feel you will need. Your cannabis honey will last for up to 8 months if stored in a dark, cool place.

What You Will Need:
  • A crock pot
  • One ounce of cannabis (grind or cut up first)
  • 5 pounds of honey (locally sourced honey is preferred)
  • Cheese cloth
  • String or bread tie
  1. Wrap your cannabis in a cheese cloth. Tie the end with a string.
  2. Put the cannabis in your crock pot and pour honey over top.
  3. Cover crock pot and cook on low for five hours, stirring couple times per hour. Do not let boil.
  4. Turn crock pot off. Let honey sit to cool for up to 24 hours.
  5. Remove bundle from the honey, squeezing as much honey from the cheesecloth as possible.
  6. Put your honey into a jar(s).
  7. Enjoy.
via: Marijuana Patients.org

Marijuana Plant Anatomy

The cannabis plant is comprised of several structures, many of which we can find on any ordinary flowering species. Cannabis grows on long skinny stems with its large, iconic fan leaves extending out from areas called nodes. Cannabis really starts to stand out in her flowers where unique and intricate formations occur.

Also known as the terminal bud, cola refers to the plant’s “bud site” where tight female flowers bloom. The main cola (sometimes called the apical bud) forms at the very top of the plant, while smaller colas occur along the budding sites below. The number and size of cannabis colas can be increased through a variety of growing techniques like topping, low stress training (LST), and screen of green (ScrOG).

To the unknowing eye, cannabis buds just look like a knobby tangle of leaves, but the calyx is what actually comprises the female flower. Look closely underneath those tiny leaves (called “sugar leaves”) and you’ll find those tear-shaped nodules. These are the calyxes, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Calyxes typically contain high concentrations of trichomes, or glands that secrete THC and other cannabinoids.

Out from the calyxes peek tiny red-orange hairs; these vibrant strands are called pistils, and they serve to collect pollen from males. Pistils begin with a white coloration and progressively darken to yellow, orange, red, and brown over the course of the plant’s maturation. They play an important role in reproduction, but pistils bring very little to the flower’s potency and taste.

Despite their minute size, it’s hard to miss the blanket of crystal resin on a cannabis bud. This resin (or “kief” when dry) is secreted through translucent, mushroom-shaped glands on the leaves, stems, and calyxes. Trichomes were originally developed to protect the plant against predators and the elements. These clear bulbous globes ooze aromatic oils called terpenes as well as therapeutic cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The basis of hash production depends on these trichomes and their potent sugar-like resin.

More at: Leafly

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