Medical Marijuana and Organ Transplants

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Could smoking medical marijuana take you off an organ transplant list? Yes.

Over the past few years, people who used medical marijuana and signed themselves up to be organ donors have found themselves removed from the lists. Even worse, people who were waiting on organs ALSO found themselves removed from the transplant list, due to the “added health risk” of medical marijuana. CNN has a larger article about it, and we wanted to discuss it here.

This has led to a bill in Maine that, if approved, would not allow hospitals to remove people of an organ transplant list solely based on medical marijuana use.

Obviously, we think this is a great initiative. Can you think of any other medical prescription that would REMOVE your ability to get an organ for taking? The fact that medical marijuana was singled out for this is insane, and the fact that people weren’t told that this would happen to them is almost worse.

Several other bills are going out in other states, such as Delaware, each aiming to combat this unfair categorization. They are raising issues around who gets to determine whether or not people are allowed transplants, and particularly, why different states have their own criteria for this. In several instances, if these patients opted to get surgery in a different state, they wouldn’t have been taken off the transplant list.

We don’t have a solution to this problem ( except for the obvious–supporting these bills) but we just wanted to bring to your attention some of the insidious ways people who use medical marijuana are still discriminated against.


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on April 1, 2017.

How Medical Marijuana Can Increase Your Metabolism

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There’s always the stereotype–someone high on pot, going throughout their house, gobbling up any food they can find. And yes, one of the side effects of medical marijuana can be hunger. But surprisingly, marijuana has actually been found to increase your metabolism despite this stereotype.

How is that possible?

Recently, the University of Miami examined around 8,500 individuals, ranging from 20 to 59 years old, via the National Health and Nutrition Surveys. They found cannabis users on average:

  • Had lower blood sugar levels
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Less risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Less abdominal fat
  • Lower levels of bad cholesterol.

There have also been several other studies reconfirming this research. This led down another series of questioning, because how could a substance famous for making people eat more actually have an opposite effect on their bodies?

Well, it has to do with the chemicals that control hunger. In order to make us feel hungry, an endocannabinoid (yes, that is the actual term) called “anandamide” is released in our system. Anandamide is replaced by THC when we consume marijuana. This compound specifically activates the cell receptor known as the CB1 receptor, which increases appetite in your brain. But at the same time, other compounds in marijuana activate other cell receptors that encourage different urges to deactivate–for instance, the storage of fat from the food that you consume.

In effect, this cancels many of the effects from the added calories you may be consuming, as well as gives you the additional medical benefits associated with medical marijuana.

Does this mean you can use all the medical marijuana you want to not gain weight? Of course not. But it does show that there continues to be more benefits to this substance than we fully understand yet, and we need to keep researching its health properties.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on November 20, 2016.

Stop Feeling Sick to Your Stomach: Medical Marijuana and Crohn’s Disease

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Every few months, as more research on the beneficial effects of Medical Marijuana is released, we find new diseases and ailments that it can help treat. One we haven’t talked about so far is Crohn’s disease, and how studies of shown that Medical Marijuana can help dull or eliminate the symptoms of this chronic condition.

First, a quick crash course in what Crohn’s disease is. Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract, and affects the small intestine more than the large. It can be aggravated in many different ways, but it can lead to problems that include chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and fissures in the digestive tract.

Most interestingly, it’s a disease that flares up from time to time, with patients often going long periods without experiencing a symptom before rearing it’s ugly head again. Because of this, many treatments involve taking steroids during the flare-ups in order to eliminate the symptoms and heal the intestine. However, because steroids can be habit-forming and many times are stronger than one needs, science has been trying to find a better solution to deal with this problem.

Which brings us to the Medical Marijuana study.

Original Published in the journal of  Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and then reposted on Medical Daily, an experiment was conducted to see the effects of Medical Marijuana on patients with acute Crohn’s disease, and the results were pretty shocking. 10 out of the 11 patients not exposed the placebo were weaned off of the heavy steroids used to commonly treat their disease, with medical marijuana having the exact same effects with nowhere near the level of side-effects.

Those are some incredibly promising results, effectively showing that Medical Pot could be a much safer alternative to the current steroid use the disease demands. Over and over again, we see evidence of Medical Marijuana’s ability to relieve the symptoms of diseases and conditions with no known cures. The more science behind the restorative properties of Medical Pot, the faster it’s likely to be approved, so we’re all for science continuing to push the limits of what marijuana can do.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on October 28, 2016.