How Medical Marijuana Can Help Those With ADD and ADHD Focus

Step aside, powerful amphetamines like Adderall, and other pharmaceutical Central Nervous System stimulants like Ritalin– according to the current research into the effects of medical marijuana on treatment resistant ADD and ADHD, medical marijuana promises to be a more gentle solution to a persistent problem.

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) are both chronic mental conditions with symptoms that vary and range from hyper activity, to impulsive behavior, to an inability to focus on one task or sensory input for the amount of time that an average, healthy person can.

These mental deficits affect children most commonly, but can certainly persist into adulthood as well, afflicting over three million people in total every year.

As they are chronic conditions, ADD and ADHD are not curable, although they are treatable and sometimes treatment can help provide relief from the symptoms of ADD and ADHD so that patients who suffer from one or the other can live a normal life and not suffer negative impacts at work or at school

Unfortunately for many people, the typical pharmaceutical ADHD drugs, powerful stimulants like Adderall or Ritalin, haven’t been effective at treating ADD/ADHD or come with unwanted side effects.

So what’s the next best treatment?

Medical marijuana is a promising treatment for treatment-resistant ADD or ADHD according to the scientific research that’s been done.

For example, one 2013 study published by the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse discovered that many people are self-medicating with medical marijuana, helping themselves to cope with and manage two of the major problems faced by sufferers of ADD/ADHD: hyperactivity and impulsivity.

The scientific survey was conducted with nearly 280 respondents and the salient finding of the study was that a significantly high number of medical marijuana consumers reported experiencing worse ADD/ADHD symptoms when they stopped self-medicating with the plant or its byproducts.

This discovery opened the door for researchers to begin studying the possible link between the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and ADD/ADHD more closely.

Because of the results of the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse study, medical researchers in Germany decided to more rigorously examine the relationship between cannabis consumption and ADD symptoms in 30 patients. In this 2015 study, the German researchers selected treatment-resistant patients from 2012 to 2014.

In all 30 patients, medical marijuana use resulted in reported improvements in a number of ADD/ADHD symptoms, including the ability to concentrate and impulsivity.

Although the sample size was small, the researchers confidently concluded that medical marijuana is “an effective and well-tolerated” method of treatment— especially for ADD/ADHD patients for whom traditional pharmaceuticals aren’t effective or are not ideal.

Illegal Cannabis Use Increases in Pro-Cannabis States

Medical Cannabis

In recent years, states that legalized medical cannabis are dealing with rising illegal cannabis use. This is in comparison to states that have no such laws, new research suggests. In addition to that, the percentage of marijuana abusers, or people who use the drug in unhealthy ways, is increasing in the same states. This is according to the findings in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Stats about Legal Medical Cannabis and Illegal Cannabis Use

In states where medical marijuana laws are absent, the use of illegal cannabis rose from 4.5% to 6.7%. This indicates an increase of 2.2%. On the other hand, states where medical cannabis is legal saw the figures go up from 5.6% to 9.2%. This shows an increase of 3.6% in illegal cannabis use.

The authors also see a similar rise in marijuana use disorders. Their incidence is increasing faster in states with medical marijuana laws than the states without. Marijuana dependence or Marijuana use disorder is demarcated in the 5th amendment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The sustained use of cannabis in spite of clinically noteworthy impairment, ranging from minor to severe.

The Positive Impact of Legalization

However, even though the study concludes an increase in disorders typically in adults, other studies show that a decline in the same disorder in teens from 2002 to 2013. In the research, two states, Colorado and California, are at the top for their higher percentages of illegal cannabis use. For instance, from 2001/2002 to 2012/2013, the rates of illegal use rose by 7 percentage points in Colorado. The corresponding increase in California is 5.3%. Both these states legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, explains how the medical marijuana laws discreetly send a message that the drug is safe for use and acceptable in some way. With this unspoken message, more and more people feel free to use weed just like alcohol. They use it as a way to relax or deal with problems, such as depression or anxiety.

The spread of medical cannabis dispensaries translates to greater availability of the drug. This might also encourage unlawful use, as per director of the RAND Corporation’s Bing Center for Health Economics, Rosalie Pacula. Mason Tvert of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project criticized Hasin’s team’s data. He said it contradicted previous research on the same subject.

Overall, researchers admit to a number of limitations in the study. These include potential inaccuracies and discrepancies regarding self-reported data. For example, many marijuana users today may feel more comfortable about disclosing their use of the substance. This was not the case in the past. It will take more research and studies to draw a solid conclusion. Only then we can explain exactly why medical cannabis laws trigger the increase of illegal cannabis use.

Which Marijuana Stock Could Be The First to $1 Billion?

There are already several high-performing marijuana stocks on the NASDAQ today, and some investors are already wondering, which will be the first to reach $1 billion in market capitalization?

Over the last couple years the marijuana industry has been growing like a– well– growing like a weed!

According to Forbes Magazine, at the marijuana industry’s current rate of phenomenal growth (even faster than the dot com boom of the 2000s), we can expect to see legal marijuana business sales north of $20 billion by the year 2021 just five years from now.

U.S. public opinion in favor of legal marijuana is more robust than ever and on an upward trend while 29 states have legalized medical marijuana and several of them like California, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington have legalized it for recreational consumption.

As the inevitability of legalized marijuana businesses nationwide becomes more and more apparent, and as marijuana business sales take off into the stratosphere in 2017, there’s already chatter out there about which marijuana business stock will be the first to top a $1 billion valuation.

The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company that employs 300 people in Alexandria, Virginia, providing financial and investment advice since 1993, has raised the question and says the five marijuana stocks most likely to hit that big triple comma stock valuation are:

1. GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) – A cannabinoid-based drug developer that currently has the highest market cap by far of any marijuana stock.

2. Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CRBP) – It’s more of a high-risk, high-reward stock than GW Pharmaceuticals, because if one specific clinical trial for a synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug goes its way, Corbus could leap to $1 billion in annual sales with a medical marijuana treatment for cystic fibrosis, which is notoriously difficult to treat.

3. Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQOTH:TWMJF) – A Canadian producer and retail seller of medical marijuana products and oils. (Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001.) Canopy just completed its acquisition of Mettrum Health earlier this year, and got a 472,000 square foot facility for it that includes its current corporate headquarters, plus access to more medical marijuana patients.

4. Aphria (NASDAQOTH:APHQF) – Aphria is one of Canopy’s biggest competitors, and holds the distinction of being one of the most consistently profitable marijuana stocks after reporting five consecutive quarterly profits.

5. Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH:ACBFF) – Aurora Cannabis has been light on profits lately, but only because of an aggressive round of expansion-based spending, which it says will increase its marijuana plant production capacity nearly ninefold, after investing in creating the most technologically advanced automated cannabis-grow facility in the world.

Anxiety and Medical Marijuana: The Impact of Cannabinoids

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Anxiety affects roughly 18% of Americans. This makes it the most common mental illness in the country, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Of the over 40 million patients in United States, many use conventional medications to deal with the problem. While effective, they often come with unpleasant side effects. Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, weight gain and sexual dysfunction are just a few issues. Consequently, patients are caught between a rock and a hard place. They can’t function without their medication, yet they’re just as crippled while on it.

This is where medical marijuana comes in. Recently, this drug has become a jack-of-all trades, treating several physical and mental problems ­– anxiety being one of them. But unlike chronic pain, nausea or insomnia, for instance, anxiety is a bit tricky. In fact, properly treating anxiety with cannabis requires care. Using the wrong strain could actually make things much worse.

So how can we know which strain is right? The answer lies in marijuana’s active chemicals, called cannabinoids. Understanding what these are and what they do is critical for the effective treatment of anxiety.

THC, CBD and Anxiety

How marijuana helps (or hinders) the treatment of anxiety is entirely dependent on the cannabinoid concentrations. Understanding how each of them affect this condition is critical.

THC

The first – and arguably the most well-known – cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the chemical that creates the euphoric “high” we’re familiar with. It’s the main reason people use marijuana, legal or otherwise. But while it may be a fun way to relax or ponder the mysteries of the universe, it’s not the greatest thing for anxiety.

THC has its share of negative side effects. One specific issue is how it can cause paranoia or fear. Naturally, this isn’t the type of thing you’d want if you’re trying to curb chronic anxiety. Unfortunately, many new users don’t understand how some cannabis strains can contain massive amounts of THC. White Widow or Royal Purple Kush, for instance, have THC levels in the low to high ‘20s. If these strains were alcohol, they’d be comparable to whiskey or vodka. Anyone with anxiety should steer clear of these strains (and others like them).

CBD

This brings us to the other cannabinoid of interest, cannabidiol (CBD). If high-THC strains are like hard liquor, CBD would be non-alcoholic beer. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It actually reduces the effectiveness of THC. This is why most medical strains will have a higher amount of one or the other. There are some exceptions, but they’re few and far between.

But the lack of a “high” isn’t the only reason why patients should use strong CBD strains. Peer-reviewed research supports its use as an effective treatment for anxiety. According to an article by the University Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI), “…CBD may actually have anti-anxiety effects and lessen the psychoactive effects of THC.”

Mechanism

So how does CBD work? Without getting too technical, it all boils down to our internal cannabinoid receptors, labeled CB1 and CB2. According to Dr. Anany Mandal, CB1 receptors are located in the brain. THC is drawn to these receptors, hence the drowsiness, impaired motor function and overall sense of euphoria.

CBD, on the other hand, affects the CB2 receptors. Dr. Mandal explains that these are predominantly found throughout the body. In turn, CBD can still do things like mitigate pain or anxiety without making users high.

Picking the Right Strain for Anxiety

So now comes the question, “which strain should I use?” Strains vary by supplier. Fortunately, they have the good sense to label the THC and CBD content of their products.

Again, cannabinoid contents are stated in percentages. Anxiety sufferers can obtain strains high in CBD with negligible amounts of THC. The only way to know for sure is to research the product before purchasing it. It also helps to consult with your doctor (assuming he or she supports medical marijuana).

Summary

Using marijuana to treat anxiety requires careful balance and detailed research. Although research into the CBD aspect of medical cannabis is still fairly new, its importance is indisputable. Use caution, especially when beginning marijuana treatment.

States Are Taking Steps to Encourage Minority Marijuana Entrepreneurs to Enter The Marijuana Industry

States have taken it a step further than legalizing marijuana: some are actually encouraging minority marijuana entrepreneurs to enter the market for legal marijuana sales and start their own marijuana businesses! Could we be living in better times for the cultivation, sale, and us of marijuana?

The kind of healing of old wounds and restitution for past injustices inherent in these policies is incredibly encouraging for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry. This is especially true after decades of drug prohibition laws that were enforced with a disproportionate effect of violence and repression on black and Hispanic communities in the United States.

In the Associated Press report on this welcome development for minority marijuana entrepreneurs, the AP featured a photograph of Andre Shavers and told his story.

Shavers, a black minority marijuana entrepreneur who runs a marijuana delivery business in Oakland California, is a living, personal example of the positive changes that have been set in motion by the ascendancy of the legal marijuana movement in American politics.

He was once sentenced to five years of probation on felony charges after police authorities broke into his house (in an area of Oakland with some of the most heavy-handed police enforcement) and found a quarter ounce of the harmless plant.

Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal marijuana laws presently on the books are making an effort to make amends to minorities for the damage marijuana prohibition has done to their families and communities.

According to statistics gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, African-Americans accounted for 5.6 percent of the Golden State’s population, but made up a disproportionate 16 percent of marijuana arrests in 2015.

Oakland officials have now approved a policy that sets aside half of the city’s marijuana licenses for low-income residents who have been convicted of a marijuana crime or who live in a neighborhood ravaged by the fallout from the heavy handed prohibition enforcement.

In Washington state, where recreational marijuana businesses were legalized by ballot proposition in the 2012 election, Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, said the board is looking at ways to ensure minorities are well represented among licensees, including the use of targeted outreach to ethnic communities to diversify the licensee pool.

Just about 3 percent of retail marijuana license holders in Washington are African-American, roughly tracking the percentage of the population in the state where 3.5 percent of Washington residents are black. Like California, in 2015 African-Americans made up a disproportionate share- 11 percent- of marijuana arrests.