How Medical Marijuana Can Help America’s Seniors

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Did you know that senior citizens are the fastest growing population of new medical marijuana patients? Now that the stigma of medical marijuana is lifting, it’s no surprise that seniors are taking more control of their health and the medication they are putting into their bodies with this shift. If medication is just medication, what makes medical marijuana better for senior citizens than traditional medications?

Cut Down (Or Eliminate) Prescription Medication

One of the main complaints both senior citizens and their caregivers discuss is their daily medications. Often, both parties feel they take one medication to offset the side effect of another. This can lead to an endless cycle of medication. Studies have been shown that medical marijuana targets conditions that affect many senior citizens like chronic pain, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and inflammation. Not to mention helping treat the symptoms of such diseases as cancer and cancer treatment, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Many strains of medical marijuana have also been shown to work for a variety of pain-related symptoms. This leads to a reduction in the use of pharmaceutical pain medications, including opioids.

Treating Depression and Mood Disorders

Studies have shown that senior citizens who consume medical marijuana are less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Symptoms of depression in senior citizens can manifest in seclusion, lack of motivation, and rapid decline in health. Mood-boosting medications, such as medical marijuana, play a large role in declining depressive moods and increased sociability. This is largely caused by two factors:

  • Cannabis Community: Unlike some prescription drugs or alcohol abuse, cannabis is largely used as a social or communal activity. Being a part of an active community leads to lower isolation rates.
  • Happy Together: The mood-boosting properties of THC and CBD do more than just promote happiness. The therapeutic benefits of laughter include relaxed muscles, a decrease in pain, increased immune function, and a decrease in stress levels.

The Manageable Side Effects of Medical Marijuana

Just like with any medication, medical marijuana does have its side effects. These side effects tend to be harmless, and easier to control than many prescription drugs. Side effects tend to include:

  • Dry mouth, or excessive thirst
  • Excessive appetite (helpful for those suffering from disease-induced appetite loss)
  • Sleep issues like fatigue or insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss

Many patients often deal with these side effects by finding an alternative strain or adjusting their dosage to fit their lifestyle.

How To Become A Medical Marijuana Patient

It may be a bit overwhelming to be a new medical marijuana patient, but you can start by following a few simple steps.

  1. Research your state’s medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is not protected on a federal level and is not available in all states.
  2. Look into different strains and what treatment options they can offer. What works for one person might not work for you, but if you have an idea of what you’re looking for, dispensary owners will be able to help or find an alternative.
  3. Speak with a medical doctor to see if medical marijuana is right for you. Like any medicine, it may interact with your current medications.

Are you a senior citizen new to medical marijuana? How have you seen a change in your overall health?

This article was originally published on www.medicalmarijuana.com on February 28, 2018.

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How Medical Marijuana Can Help Curb The Opioid Epidemic

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In the beginning of February, the Food and Drug Administration requested Endo International PLC to take its Opana ER painkiller off the market, saying the drug’s benefits no longer outweigh the risks. This marked the first time the agency called for a removal of an opioid painkiller for public health reasons. Opioid addiction and death by overdose are at an all-time high in the United States, causing patients, doctors, and even lawmakers to search for alternative pain relief options — mainly medical marijuana.

In the most-detailed examination to date, the RAND Corporation found that states with legalized medical marijuana were associated with lower levels of opioid deaths. It was also concluded that opioid deaths began to rise once again in 2010, around the same time states began tightening requirements on sales by dispensaries.

With regards to the findings, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, the study’s co-author and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center stated, “Our findings are consistent with previous studies showing an association between the legalization of medical marijuana and lower deaths from overdoses of opioids.”

She also stated that the mechanism for the finding was due to loosely regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. ‘This is a sign that medical marijuana, by itself, will not be the solution to the nation’s opioid crisis today.”

Working Towards FDA Approval

Experts say an FDA-approved marijuana-based painkiller would ensure consistent dosing, potency, and availability. As we all know, marijuana is considered a schedule 1 substance — a dangerous drug with no medicinal value — meaning there are no FDA-approved painkillers with marijuana derivatives. But, that’s not stopping companies like Intec Pharma Ltd, Nemus Bioscience, and Axim Biotechnologies Inc from developing new drugs for testing.

“Doctors like to be able to write a prescription and know that whatever they wrote is pure and from a blinded, placebo-controlled trial,” Nemus’s CEO Brian Murphy said in an interview with Reuters.

Rival Axim, based in New York, is conducting preclinical studies on a chewing gum containing synthetic CBD and THC. The company is hopeful they can submit an FDA application to start a trial on opioid-dependent patients this year. Israel-based Intec announced the start of study testing its painkiller made from naturally-derived CBD and THC extracts.

Alternatives and Legislation

Pfizer Inc and Biogen Inc are current drugmakers that are developing a non-opioid painkiller, and are in the advanced clinical studies. While that’s great news, opioids are still widely prescribed, especially for post-surgical patients.

Other independent scientists are looking to find non-pharmaceutical alternatives to opioids, but have extreme difficulty accessing the government-approved marijuana to even conduct the research.

“It’s taken me seven years to get the DEA license,” said Dr Sue Sisley, who is planning to conduct an FDA-regulated study evaluating whether marijuana can help opioid-dependent patients.

And while both big corporations and independent researchers work to find alternatives, a recently unveiled, Republican-led healthcare bill proposed large cuts to the Medicaid budget, cutting what is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment, which advocates say will hamper the fight against opioid abuse.

At medicalmarijuana.com, we support the fight to find safe, alternative ways to treat pain relief. How has medical marijuana, or alternative pain relievers helped you in your quest for a pain-free life. We’d love to hear from you.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on February 20, 2018.

Do You Have One Of These Common Medical Marijuana Ailments?

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With the many changes happening with medical and recreational marijuana, it can be hard not to be curious. Many patients are hoping to move to a more natural approach to pain relief and relief from constant sickness. It can be hard to determine whether or not medical marijuana is a good fit for your condition. We’ve put together the most common ailments that doctors prescribe medical marijuana for.

Cancer and Cancer Treatment-Related Symptoms

One of the first non-disputed ailments used to treat the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments, the general term applies to more than 100 conditions. Each has their own characteristics, but symptoms usually include fatigue, substantial pain, fever, cough, severe weight loss. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery often lead to pain and a whole host of other side effects. THC has been proven to reduce nausea and vomiting and helping the patient regain their appetite.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disorder that debilitates your central nervous system and is often fatal. Symptoms include painful joints, headaches, muscles spasms and tremors, bowel issues, and painful headaches. The current course of treatment for MS can lead to heart damage and cause sufferers to be more susceptible to infections. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce pain and seizure-like symptoms.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that causes patients to convulse and in some cases lose consciousness. While the cause of epilepsy is unknown, in many cases it is the result of infections, tumors, and brain damage. Side effects of traditional medications used to treat epilepsy include difficulty sleeping, changes in mood, double vision, and general unsteadiness. Some Epilepsy sufferers use medical marijuana in conjunction with traditional medications. Some find that medical marijuana helps to control their convulsion so well, they no longer have the need for traditional medication.

Major Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Just like those suffering from cancer or AIDS, depression and anxiety are medical conditions that can affect the way someone goes through everyday life. Sufferers of extreme anxiety can have intense reactions such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating. People with depression can feel these symptoms while also including, insomnia, feelings of apprehension or dread, restlessness, and an inability to concentrate.

Many treatments are available for both issues, though for some it had be hard to determine which one. Medical Marijuana has been shown to reduce extreme anxiety, as well as produce a calming effect, leading to someone suffering from anxiety and/or depression to continue their everyday activities. A CBD-heavy strain is usually the first course of action with medical marijuana.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease affecting the eyes which lead to ocular pressure, vision problems, and eventually blindness. Severe pain, vomiting, nausea, and tunnel vision are a few of the symptoms that an estimated three million sufferers endure. Traditional treatments such as surgery are used to lower the intraocular pressure.

In 2003, The American Academy of Ophthalmology stated that medical marijuana and its derivatives can lower the intraocular pressure of the eye when administered by an IV, or orally. This reduction in pressure results in a slower progression of the disease.

AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the final stage of HIV. It causes a severe breakdown of the immune system, making it very difficult for the body to combat other diseases and infections. Even though there have been significant advances in treatment options, the disease is almost always terminal. Throughout the course of the disease, patients may suffer from extreme weight loss, vomiting and nausea, excessive fatigue and weakness, chills, and fever.

Medical marijuana has been shown to increase appetite, combating what is known as “wasting syndrome,” and allowing the patient to receive nutrients through food again. Medical marijuana also reduces nausea and vomiting, and relieves pain. Many AIDS patients who use medical marijuana find they no longer need to take opioids to decrease their severe pain.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease that affects a person’s ability to move. It is estimated that about one million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s disease. Typical signs of Parkinson’s range anywhere from a subtle tremor to increased jerking or shaking movements, and can cause partial paralysis of the body. As the disease progresses, the patient may begin to suffer from dystonia, changes in speech, difficulty swallowing, hunched posture, and loss of fine and gross motor skills.

Many of the typical medications prescribed for Parkinson’s come with significant negative side-effects. Medical marijuana can offer a combination of anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and pain relief. Medical marijuana is currently available to Parkinson’s patients in 28 states.

Medical marijuana has shown to be effective for treatments of over 100 more ailments in a variety of different states. If you want to know if your ailment is covered in your medical marijuana state, contact your local dispensary for a complete list of what’s available to you.

Are you currently using medical marijuana to treat your symptoms? How has it helped you in your journey? We would love to hear from you.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on February 7, 2018. 

 

Cannabis Skincare: Just a Fad, or Here to Stay?

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Every year it seems there’s a new lineup of skincare products promising to do wonders for your skin. They claim to be clinically-tested miracle solutions for various skin issues ranging from acne to eczema and even wrinkles, but they are rarely live up to the hype. So, it’s natural to be skeptical about cannabinoid products and their usefulness in improving your skin.

Marijuana topicals comprise a wide range of balms, lotions, salves, creams, and oils that have been infused with cannabis. When absorbed through the skin, they can provide targeted relief for various forms of pain and inflammation. For those concerned about any psychoactive effects or “high” often associated with marijuana, it’s important to note that although topicals contain cannabinoid elements, they are non-psychoactive.

There’s still plenty of debate around the efficacy of these products, and results may vary depending on the individual user. So, Do Cannabis Skin Care Products work? Logically, one would expect that they would. Biologically speaking, your body has something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) when is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors in your brain and throughout your nervous system. This system is involved a number of physiological processes and can help regulate things like your appetite, mood, and even your level of physical pain. In other words, your ECS helps maintain homeostasis throughout your body.

Cannabis-based skincare products may be limited in their efficacy due in part to the fact that it mostly affects anatomical structures within 1 centimeter of your skin. Deeper issues such in your muscular or skeletal system may be too “deep” to be actively relieved by a topical cream or balm.

However, your skin itself is an organ—the largest organ in your body, actually. And your skin performs a lot of functions that may not readily occur to most people. Your skin cells have the ability to synthesize vitamin D, it protects your internal organs, and can help regulate body temperature. So keeping your skin healthy is key to an overall healthy body.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in cannabis topicals can help combat dry skin and rashes which can lead to other long term skin problems such as persistent wrinkles. In addition, these products are often combined with other scientifically proven analgesic compounds such as menthol, capsaicin, or camphor.

So are cannabis skincare products the latest “fountain of youth” we’ve all been searching for? Well, they say that beauty is only skin deep, so if you’re trying to improve the look and feel of your skin, it might be worth a shot. Will it stick around for a while? The odds seem good, and we’ve already become accustomed to seeing hemp oil used in various shampoos, lotions, and other body care products. So it’s not difficult to envision a future in which we are all stocking up on cannabis topicals to improve our epidermis. Whether or not it will work for you in treating a pesky skin issue, you may just have to try it out for yourself, and as always, consult a physician for serious skin issues.

Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on August 4, 2017.

What are Marijuana Stocks and Why are People Investing in Them?

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Investing in your future is always a smart idea. Many people choose to invest their hard earned money in to the stock market. The idea is that buy investing in the stock market, you should be able to sell off property or land to others at a higher price than you would normally pay, or have it put in your family members’ names’ so that they are not without after your passing. While discussing this can seem crass, it is actually a way that people can ensure they their loved ones will be cared for appropriately. This article will discuss buying marijuana stocks and why people are choosing to invest in this controversial substance.

Many pharmaceutical companies that currently manufacture medical marijuana have been selling stocks to consumers. The consumers who have chosen to purchase the stocks are those who believe that marijuana will be legalized and they are in hopes of making a great amount of money on the return on their initial investment. Many have jumped on the bandwagon but these stocks are thought by experts to fail. However, there are some bigger name brands that are expected to do well.

Scotts Miracle-Gro is a big-name company that has been jumping into the marijuana stock business. Believe it or not, they have been creating various products for cannabis growers such as pesticides. Should marijuana be legalized, Scotts’ stocks are most likely going to soar. Other companies who are considered “safer” to invest in are those who manufacture pharmaceuticals.

When it comes to investing in any stock, there are certain fundamentals that you should follow in order to be successful. When you purchase stock, you are in essence purchasing an aspect of a company. If you choose to invest in the company and buy their stock, you want to make sure that the business is functioning well and has a bright future ahead of them. If you are unsure if a company is solid, you should avoid purchasing their stock unless you don’t mind taking a risk.

It is unknown whether or not cannabis will be legalized to the point of being able to use it recreationally in the form of cigarettes or other ways. Right now the federal government is determining the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. At this point in time it appears that marijuana is going to be a schedule 1 substance for a period of time which can create disadvantages such as no tax deductions for corporations.

If you want to invest in marijuana and are not interested in taking a huge risk, then it is best to invest in the medical marijuana industry as this is less likely to have trouble with government laws. If you have money to spend on investments, it just might be wise to put your money into other stocks that have less risk. Then again, the risk is part of the fun when getting a big return on your investment.

Originally posted at www.medicalmarijuana.com on June 22, 2017.

Can Medical Marijuana Kill Tumors?

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Yes, this title isn’t just a hypothetical. Earlier this week scientists discovered a link between medical marijuana and the elimination of cancerous tumors.

Reported at MensHealth.com ( in addition to many other outlets), these scientists found that using medical marijuana in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs actually INCREASED the effectiveness of those drugs.

According to research coming out of the University of London, THC and CBD both increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. However, it turns out this only happens when the chemicals are ingested, not when they are smoked. Smoking, it seems, nullifies most of the benefits that these chemicals give you.

Why? Because ingesting these chemicals allows a much more concentrated dose to hit you, like swallowing a pill, rather than the slow diffusion of it through your lungs.

Now keep in mind, this is only one scientist’s research, and it will have to be backed up by further experiments in order to actually go forward and be useful. But still, it’s an exciting development for something that continues to surprise us with the sheer amount of uses it has for helping sick people in need.

We’ll be sure to keep following up on any more information that comes out of this.

 


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on June 15, 2017.

Is Your Grandma Growing Pot?

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The New York Times ran one heck of a story this week covering the growing trend of grandparents getting into the medical marijuana industry.

How so? Well, it turns out (and likely to no surprise of people who work in the industry) medical marijuana tends to be very popular with seniors as a way of managing pain while cutting down on the amount of pills they have to take to manage their daily life. In fact, many of the elderly people interviewed for this story discussing how they had no idea how many people they knew were also using medical marijuana.

This can actually be a barrier for many senior citizens when it comes to adapting medical marijuana. If they’ve never used it before, they can still feel a great stigma attached to the drug that many younger people today simply don’t feel.

However, the article discusses that one of the main reasons older folks, particularly older women, are getting into actually growing pot is because it’s one of the few businesses without a bias against the elderly. If you grow great pot, people will buy it, regardless of the age of the person selling it, whereas most jobs tend to avoid hiring older workers to fill out their payrolls.

This shows a rarely talked about upside to the new industry. The fact is, when implemented properly, medical marijuana truly is an equal opportunity business across age, race, and gender. In letting the elderly take control of their own pain relief, as well as their own income and livelihoods, medical marijuana is benefitting them more than many pundits believed it would.

We highly recommend that you read the full article, as there’s no way we could do it justice in a short blog post. If you’ve been interested in getting deeper into the industry, hopefully this article convinces you to take the next step, no matter what your age is.

 


Originally published at www.medicalmarijuana.com on May 29, 2017.