Conditions that are alleviated by marijuana – Part 1

 

Every day scientific research indicating that cannabis can help treat various health problems arise efficiently. The natural interaction of this plant with our endocannabinoid system makes often, can complement and in some cases, replace traditional medicines, besides serving as reinforcement therapies to provide a better quality of life for patients.

Scientific evidence has also led many countries raised their prohibitionist policies on cannabis, putting on the table the medical, social and economic benefits it could bring to its citizens. To realize its true dimension, these are just ten examples of diseases that, according to studies, are favored by marijuana use:

  • The cannabis can activate the self-destruction of cancer cells

Possibly it is one of the greatest advances in the social impact of this disease. There are many scientists who are currently studying the ability of cannabis as therapy against cancer, but one of the pioneers is a team, who spent ten years using cannabinoids to deal with certain types of tumors. Led by Professor Guillermo Velasco, focus their efforts on analyzing the usefulness of these organic compounds.

And they have found that cannabinoids have an “anti – tumor” effect that acts in three ways: On the one hand, induce death of tumor cells because they operate on activating your metabolism aggressively. Furthermore, prevent blood vessels which enable sending nutrients between cancer cells and thus prevent the tumor becomes larger generated. And thirdly, decrease the ability of tumor cells to move and invade other tissues, thus blocking the process of metastasis.

 

Implications:

The most important thing is that the US authorities have already given credibility to this type of study. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) ensures that marijuana has the ability to kill cancer cells; and a few months ago the website of the National Cancer Institute of the United States was updated to indicate that cannabinoids help kill cancer killing damaged cells in the body while protecting healthy. This change in the official information is a breakthrough, almost quite an achievement, for those who have been fighting so long for recognition, in a visible way, the benefits of cannabis against cancer.

 

  • The cannabis can help treat Alzheimer’s disease

Again are the pioneer’s professionals in this field. The researcher demonstrated that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties, so they can reduce the process that causes swelling and protect neurons (when a person has Alzheimer’s, your brain swells, suffers “neuroinflammation”).

But beyond its neuroprotective property, use cannabinoids in the treatment of incipient Alzheimer’s disease can help alleviate other problems that often occur. Has, for example, vascular properties as vasodilators are compounds; and help reduce hypertension and cardiovascular disorders often suffering patients.

 

Implications:

The latest research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease   (US) even suggest that THC can reduce levels of a protein linked to symptoms and could stop their advance. However, so far only been tested in rats and mice. It does not work with humans.

To be human experience, should be involved clinical neurologists and so far they have not. And there’s a bigger problem: drug companies do not seem very interested. A big mistake given the health and social problem of a disease such as Alzheimer’s, where very little is reversed compared to, for example, cancer research.

Conditions that are alleviated by marijuana – Part 2

 

  • CBD extract can reduce seizures in children with epilepsy


For a couple of years ago we come to know the experiences of children with epilepsy and with the help of oil rich in CBD cannabis, notice great improvements. For Charlotte Figi it is best known, because it has helped to change medical marijuana laws in the United States. But it is not the only data show that cannabidiol could become an important tool for treating different types of epilepsy option.

In fact, he is about to jump into the market Epidiolex a marijuana extract produced by the pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals (the same which markets Sativex) and containing cannabidiol. According to tests after 3 months from the first taking this drug, the overall frequency of seizures is reduced, on average, 45% in all participants. Another 47% experienced a reduction of 50% or more in such crises and almost 10% remained free of seizures. The Dravet syndrome who had managed to reduce their seizures by 62%; of them, 13% was free. Likewise, those who suffered from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome reduced them by 71%. Only 10% of those who participated in the study noted adverse effects such as drowsiness, fatigue and diarrhea or had to discontinue treatment.

 

Implications:

Thanks to this kind of evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics United States has taken a big step to accept medical marijuana as a medical alternative for treating children. The institution supports every medical record is reviewed and is an optional decide whether the patient really needs cannabis to improve their health.

Children with epilepsy, for example, suffer hundreds of daily seizures (even more than 200 or 300 in pathologies such as Dravet Syndrome) that prevent them from being normal children, smile, talk, eat and move. For many of these children, cannabis is practically their only hope.

 

  • The medicinal cannabis can reduce opiate addiction


USA currently suffering an epidemic of addiction to painkillers, mostly opiate-based, a very effective substance, but at the same time very addictive. Sales have quadrupled in recent years and 2 million Americans are now addicted to these prescription drugs, while 16,000 people die each year from overdoses.

Numerous investigations assure that medical cannabis is an effective and safe analgesic that helps those dependent on opiates that “detoxify”, as shown in this study led by Columbia University. Cannabis has a higher safety profile against most pain medications on the market; and side effects associated with their use are typically mild (headache, drowsiness and dry mouth). Opioid drugs have many more health risks and unpleasant side effects.

 

Implications:

At a time when this addiction is wreaking havoc in our society we have to find a practical solution to manage pain. The “good news” is that states where medical marijuana is legal have significantly lower rates of addiction to these drugs and overdose deaths have fallen by an average of 25%. In Switzerland, it is the state which distributes small dose of cannabis to treat their citizens hooked on heroin. And in Portugal, the number of overdoses has declined markedly since the decriminalization of drugs in 2001.

Conditions that are alleviated by marijuana – Part 3

  • Cannabis is able to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis


The question of whether marijuana should be used to treat this disease is complex, as there is uncertainty about its benefits in relation to its side effects. Multiple sclerosis patients suffer permanent muscle contraction, spasms, severe pain and difficulty sleeping. Drugs that have traditionally been used to treat these symptoms are not effective, so many have chosen to consume cannabis.

Already in 2012, a study revealed the positive effects of cannabis in a model of multiple sclerosis in mice, demonstrating an improvement in disease progression. And there are more jobs that provide a scientific basis for drug development in order to develop based on the modulation of the endocannabinoid system therapies.

 

Implications:

These studies were the germ of Sativex, an oral spray derived from cannabis which significantly improves spasticity in a proportion of people with multiple sclerosis who had been identified as likely to respond to therapy. Well-controlled, clinical trials help resolve the contradictory conclusions about the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of MS. Today Sativex cannabis is the drug most commonly used to treat spasticity: now available in 15 countries and approved in another 12, including the United States.

 

  • The cannabis can alleviate the chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome of unknown origin characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and multiple tender points on the body. Some patients often use cannabis therapeutically to treat the symptoms; however, there are still few clinical trials to evaluate its effect.

What we do know is that cannabis sativa has about 400 different chemical molecules, of which about 60 have analgesic properties. Some experts have suggested that cannabinoids are applicable for the treatment of chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, and have theorized that the disease may be associated with a deficiency underlying clinical endocannabinoid system, which also plays an important role in migraine syndrome irritable bowel and a growing list of medical conditions.

 

Implications:

One of the most important studies evaluated the benefits associated with cannabis use in patients with fibromyalgia. Their conclusion was clear: “Patients who use cannabis not only helps relieve pain and almost all associated symptoms, but also no one reported worsening after consumption”.

Also in a recent online survey by the National Pain Foundation in the United States, which involved more than 1300 patients with fibromyalgia, the result appointed cannabis as the most effective for symptoms treatment, beating all drugs on prescription (Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella). Morgan Freeman the actor said that medical with medicinal cannabis after a near-fatal car accident in 1997. Since then he has suffered from fibromyalgia on his left arm: “I have chronic pain and the only thing that relieves me is marijuana.”

Conditions that are alleviated by marijuana – Part 4

 

  • Marijuana regulates blood sugar levels and could fight diabetes

Many preclinical studies have indicated that cannabinoids are inversely correlated with diabetes, as you can modify the disease progression and provide symptomatic relief to those who suffer. Somehow it seems paradoxical, because cannabis has always been associated with the need to eat sweets or treats. Nevertheless, the data analysis showed a lower rate of obesity and diabetes among those who consume cannabis.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School evaluated the relationship between marijuana and fasting insulin, glucose and insulin resistance in a sample of 4,657 male subjects. They came to a conclusion: “Subjects who reported using marijuana in the last month had lower levels of fasting insulin and lower waist circumference and higher levels of HDL-C (or” good “cholesterol) “. More recently researchers evaluated the patterns of cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) in a tribe of 786 Inuit (aboriginal Arctic), reaching the same results.

 

Implications:

These findings show a link between cannabis use and diabetic markers. And besides, they are based on data from previous population show that people who use cannabis are less likely to be obese compared to those who do not.

All this goes to show that marijuana helps control the effect of blood sugar. Apparently, this beneficial effect could be related to improving the activity of the hormone adiponectin, which is responsible for modulating various metabolic processes, including the regulation of glucose is.

 

  • The marijuana helps treat PTSD

It is estimated that one in ten Americans suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental disorder in response to a traumatic event whose symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety. And it is believed that the endocannabinoid system plays a fundamental role in these disorders.

Researchers theorize that cannabis can dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories making it easier for patients to sleep, relax, feel less anxious and suffer less flashback memories. Evidence increasingly points to that cannabinoids could play an important role in fear extinction thanks to its antidepressant effects.

 

Implications:

The therapeutic use of marijuana has proven very beneficial to treat symptoms and pathologies recurrent among veterans. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs US agency responsible for protecting the rights of its more than 22 million veterans, were banned until just a month ago prescribe such treatment. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to the suicide of some 8,000 of them a year; 22 people losing their lives daily for this reason, according to a shocking estimates of the department itself.

 

Conditions that are alleviated by marijuana – Part 5

 

  • The cannabis helps regulate bone mass and may prevent osteoporosis

Several investigations claiming that cannabinoids stimulate bone formation, a discovery that seems to pave the way for future drug use marijuana in the fight against osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.

The latest study finds that the rats used for the experiment welded faster when they are administered cannabidiol femoral bones, non – psychoactive component of marijuana. Treatment markedly improved the healing of the femur after eight weeks. Scientists found that the CBD alone makes the strongest bones during healing and improves the development of the base of collagen, which provides the foundation for the new mineralization of bone tissue. “After being treated with the CBD, curing bone will be harder to break in the future, ” they concluded.

 

Implications:

One in three women and one in five men over 50 will experience some form of injury bone weakness. It affects more than three million and a half people in Spain alone, and yet, more than half of patients do not know they have it. Remains poor diagnosis and treatment, often nonexistent.

Now, scientists speculate that the main physiological involvement of specific endocannabinoid receptors (CB2) is to maintain “bone remodeling in balance, thereby protecting the skeleton against bone loss related to age,” which leads some experts to believe that cannabinoids may be a newly planted field for the development of anti-osteoporotic drugs in the future.

 

  • The cannabis may be useful for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease and Tourette syndrome

Although usually associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, there are actually hundreds of diseases of this type for which normally there is no cure. How could the cannabis help these patients diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder? Because have a potent cannabinoid anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties antioxidants, also they have the ability to alleviate the symptoms of the disease engines, thanks to its hypokinetic profile which can act on the movement ability. And besides, they relieve pain and thus improve patients’ sleep.

In August 2015, the American Academy of Neurology published a review of trials that used cannabis for the treatment of neurological disorders. They found several cannabinoids have demonstrated “effectiveness” or “probable effectiveness” to relieve spasticity, spasms or central pain. They went so far that even supported that health insurance should pay for drugs based on synthetic cannabinoids (such as dronabinol and nabilone) for patients who could benefit from them.

 

Implications:

For patients and their families, these debilitating and incurable diseases can be devastating; and given the long-term impact of their treatment, finding cost-effective solutions should be a priority. Despite the enormous progress, you need further research to establish accurate way the role of the endocannabinoid system in these pathologies and evaluate the possible use of medical marijuana to treat their symptoms. Cannabis could well become an additional therapy for patients who suffer adverse effects caused by current therapies.