Cannabis: The Key to a Better Life for Parkinson’s Patients

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Cannabis treatment is a powerful tool, one that may also help with mobility disorders, like Parkinson’s. Its performance so far is staggering. Considering how debilitating Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is, medical marijuana could dramatically improve the lives of countless Americans.

PD has a variety of treatments to combat its debilitating symptoms, but predictably, marijuana isn’t on that list. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), this degenerative “movement disorder” affects almost one million people in the United States.

Ironically, millions of dollars continue to be spent trying to find effective countermeasures. Yet judging by recent discoveries, the solution was right under our noses since the dawn of agriculture. Once again, medical cannabis appears to have the answer – with remarkable results.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

The PDF explains that Parkinson’s Disease involves the “malfunction and death” of neurons in the brain. Neurons play a variety of roles, with movement control being just one of them. Naturally, the death of these cells affects their associated functions. Symptoms worsen as time goes on, ultimately causing severe debilitation of movement control.

Parkinson’s symptoms include tremors in the extremities, jaw and face; slow movement (bradykinesia), body stiffness and issues with balance or coordination. Aside from drastically reducing quality of life, these afflictions have something else in common. They are all things that cannabis could reduce or alleviate.

A Case for Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Despite significant push-back from the medical community, evidence mounts in favor of medical marijuana. Adding to the growing body of anecdotal evidence, this video all but seals the argument.

The video features “Larry,” a retired police officer who suffers from “Severe Parkinson’s” using cannabis – in this case, oil – for the first time. Naturally, he’s a bit nervous, but the people off camera talk him through it.

Within minutes, he goes from barely being able to speak or control his movements, to relaxed and still. He speaks clearly and even gives singing a brief try. The transformation is nothing short of shocking. Sadly, Larry laments that medical cannabis isn’t available in his home state.

Benefits of Cannabis Treatment

Although still lacking much peer-reviewed research, marijuana seems promising as a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. For instance, a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains: “Preclinical research in animal models of several movement disorders have shown variable evidence for symptomatic benefits but more consistently suggest potential neuroprotective effects in several animal models of Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD).”

In other words, not only could marijuana effectively mitigate symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but it protects existing, healthy cells.

While the medical community continues to debate the benefits and drawbacks, the National Parkinson Foundation acknowledges the benefits of marijuana. They advocate how cannabis can help with “pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea” in Parkinson’s patients.

<h2>Parkinson’s Disease and Cannabis Risks</h2>

Individuals who intend to try medical marijuana for Parkinson’s have a great deal to gain; however, it’s important to be informed about potential side effects.

Obviously, the most prominent effect is the physical and mental impairment, or “high.” The National Parkinson’s Foundation also lists other symptoms, specifically “…dizziness, blurring of vision, mood and behavioral changes, loss of balance and hallucinations.”

They also warn that extended use could increase the chances of lung cancer; however, since cannabis comes in oral drops or pills, simply avoid things such as joints, pipes or bongs.

The Future of Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Ultimately, only time will tell whether marijuana will be universally accepted as a treatment. As we see in “Larry’s” case, this potential discovery can’t be ignored. Hopefully, individuals with Parkinson’s Disease will be able to safely reap its benefits.

 

 

Recreational Dispensaries in Nevada Set to Legal Sell Marijuana in One Month

If everything proceeds without any delays, recreational dispensaries in Nevada are about to join a select few other U.S. states in which retailers are legally selling marijuana to customers for recreational purposes, to be used the way millions of Americans use alcoholic beverages on a daily basis.

People in Nevada, both residents and the Sagebrush State’s many tourists, without fear of sanction from their government or marginalization from their society will be able to freely make a choice about their own body and consciousness, and utilize the uncanny effects, of a marvelous molecule, in a notorious and highly valued plant to unwind, relax, enhance their social interactions, increase their creativity levels or ability to gain deep insights, or even improve their ability to appreciate music or food.

That’s just on the consumer side. Meanwhile planters, distributors, vendors, advertisers, and enterprising small business startups will be able to freely and openly engage in peaceful commerce in the trade of this highly sought after plant. It’s a monumental sea change in how our society is constituted, and if the examples of Colorado and other states who are further along this path now are any indication, it’s a change that will enrich and enliven our world.

Even though it became legal to possess and use marijuana in Nevada on January 1st after the passage of Question 2 last Fall, opening up retail marijuana businesses and recreational dispensaries in Nevada will not be legal until a month after the application deadline has elapsed.

The CEO of one medical marijuana dispensary in Nevada said of the new change which will soon see recreational dispensaries in Nevada spread like wildfire: “I think we have the potential of being the new marijuana hub of the country, taking that crown off Colorado and putting it on Nevada, namely Las Vegas,” adding:

“We have the best nightclubs, the best hotels, the best restaurants, the best shows and now we’ll have hopefully the best cannabis experience as well. I’m really excited to see… in a year or two how much that [tourism] number grows. I think it’s had a positive effect on Colorado and Washington that don’t have the allure that Las Vegas has.”

The impact of legal marijuana on tourism in Nevada, and the impact of the state’s vibrant tourism industry on recreational dispensaries in Nevada will be closely watched. It seems to be the perfect storm for a lot of enterprising individuals and businesses to make a lot of money, while making Nevada a “greener” place to live and visit.

Florida Marijuana Company Invents Way to Grow Marijuana Faster, Without Soil

marijuana hydroponics

In the context of marijuana growing or not, you may have heard of hydroponic gardening, but a marijuana company in Florida is growing marijuana plants out of thin air in a process called “Aeroponics.”

A local Florida news affiliate is reporting that Tampa Bay is home to an agricultural revolution: growing plants without soil, sand, gravel, liquid, or any other substrate.

Although Aeroponics as a plant growing technique has been around for a while, used to grow lettuce and wheat with the plant suspended in mid air, roots exposed and everything, and nourished and watered with a nutrient rich mist, the St.Petersburg marijuana company has mastered growing the marijuana plant in record time using this technique.

Doug Fyvolent of Solaridy says aeroponics are have resulted in “Growing the plants 10 percent faster.” The marijuana company uses a ten-foot-tall proprietary “CropTower,” which makes good use of space as well, growing upward and not outward. Doug says they got the idea from NASA scientists researching methods of gardening in space and improved on their techniques.

Fyvolent masterminded Solaridy after researching the marijuana industry and learning that having enough space was a major problem for cannabis growers. Fyvolent touts the space-saving, square-footage maximizing benefit of his product:

“It allows you to maximize the square footage you already have, saving you the headaches, costs and time of looking for a bigger warehouse.”

The CropTower comes equipped with special cups that prevents the suspended plants from falling out. The custom design for the waterfall system for keeping the plants hydrated and nourished took two years to develop: “We will pump the water in and it will rain over the roots, then we recycle the water into a tan.”

The CropTower can really maximize square footage for a small marijuana company that grows its own plants. Taking three square feet as an example, a grower should be able to grow about nine cannabis plants on the ground, which should yield around two pounds of viable marijuana plant matter.

Using the CropTower, however, a marijuana company can grow 104 cannabis plants in the same amount of space, yielding around 30 pounds. The way the CropTower works is by keeping the roots of the plants moist. The company says it allows pesticide free growing as well and fewer worries about bugs.

Presently the Solaridy crop tower is being leased for use by cannabis growers in Denver, Colorado but Fyvolent hopes that future changes to marijuana laws in Florida will open the door to using the product in his own state.

Marijuana’s Impact on the Brain in This New Study Should Encourage Investing in Marijuana

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Investing in marijuana keeps looking better and better. Earlier this month researchers at Oxford University in the U.K. published the results of a bombshell study that found marijuana can have a positive impact on a brain in decline.

Doses of THC appear to improve memory and learning abilities in older mice suffering from cognitive decline. The implications for human sufferers of age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other forms of dementia are full of hope.

Researchers are studying THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in a £10 million ($13 million) program to “identify new medical therapies through research into the molecular, cellular and systems mechanisms of cannabinoids.”

In the study, published by Nature Medicine, and publicized in a highly cited Newsweek article, “researchers led by Andreas Zimmer, from the University of Bonn, Germany, have shown how THC can provide significant benefits to mice when it comes to age-related cognitive decline.”

To study how THC might affect a brain in decline, researchers administered small doses of THC to mice at 2 months, 12 months, and 18 months- the latter two control groups representing mature and elderly mice.

The team did three experiments.

The first involved teaching mice to navigate a water maze. As expected mature and old mice performed worse than the young group. Then the team treated the older groups with THC, and amazingly found a significant improvement at the task. (Interestingly enough the young mice did much worse after receiving THC doses.)

The second test involved teaching mice to locate objects. Older mice given THC were able to perform as well as the younger mice that had not been administered with the drug.

The third test was related to partner recognition of other mice and also demonstrated the efficacy of THC in improved cognitive performance for mature and elderly mice.

The team wrote:

“Together, these results reveal a profound, long-lasting improvement of cognitive performance resulting from a low dose of THC treatment in mature and old animals.”

The Motley Fool, an Alexandria, Virginia-based financial services and investing company said Sunday that these findings should encourage investing in marijuana businesses:

“The marijuana industry, and marijuana stocks for that matter, have been expanding by leaps and bounds over the past two decades. What was once a completely taboo industry has become a thriving source of legal growth, at least in some states…

What studies like this do is really fan the flame of what might be possible with cannabis-based medicines. While many of the ongoing studies are considered informal in nature — i.e., they’re not being overseen by an accredited regulatory body like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — some developing pot-based drugs have really turned heads.”

If investing in marijuana is of interest to you, then you may be excited to know about the first actively managed marijuana ETFs on their way.

Ridiculous Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization: Part II

Ridiculous Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization: Part II

 

In Part I, we covered three of the most ridiculous arguments against marijuana legalization. But that list is far from short. While there are many to choose from, there are a couple that seem to pop up more often than we’d expect.

It’s easy to embrace something as fact, simply because it fits a certain personal narrative. But this tendency is just delaying a societal change that’s long overdue. So, like earlier, let’s take a look at these claims and see what reality has to say about them.

 

Keeping Marijuana Illegal Makes It Harder to Access

Most anti-legalization advocates either state or just quietly accept this as fact. They’re under the impression that banning cannabis makes it much harder to find. But nothing could be further from the truth.

According to an article by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

 

In 2016, 9.4 percent of 8th graders reported marijuana use in the past year and 5.4 percent in the past month (current use). Among 10th graders, 23.9 percent had used marijuana in the past year and 14.0 percent in the past month. Rates of use among 12th graders were higher still: 35.6 percent had used marijuana during the year prior to the survey and 22.5 percent used in the past month; 6.0 percent said they used marijuana daily or near-daily.

 

If this is an example of prohibition’s success, it doesn’t look very – well – successful. But when you boil it down, it’s a simple matter of logistics. A black market substance, like marijuana, can easily be obtained from family, friends or acquaintances. In short, somebody eventually knows a dealer or person who casually sells. Last we looked, these guys don’t check ID.

Without a clerk and some ID to stop a kid from buying marijuana, students can fill the void with their own side business.

Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

This argument has been shredded over and over again, yet parents and prohibition advocates cling to it anyway. Maybe they refuse to believe it, or keep it around for its rhetorical value. After all, what better way to scare people off than to say cannabis inevitably leads to the use of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD?

Well, the claim is just plain wrong. Once again, we can turn to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for proof. They explain that, although marijuana does increase people’s sensitivity to other drugs – called “cross-sensitization” – (as do alcohol and nicotine), this doesn’t seem to affect future substance abuse. The Institute lays it out in plain English, writing that “…the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”

But that’s just half of it. Not only does cannabis not increase the chances of experimenting with other drugs, but it can actually help addicts come off of them – or prevent use altogether.

According to a 2014 study published in JAMA, states that legalized and dispensed medical marijuana were able to use it to replace opioids as the addict’s drug of choice. They also preferred to prescribe cannabis over narcotics for pain relief. Consequently, the mean annual death rate from opioids was 24.8% lower than that of states where medical cannabis was unavailable.

People also seem to use it for virtually any habit imaginable. Dr. Rick Nauert, PhD writes that ”a poll of 350 cannabis users [found] that 40 percent used cannabis to control their alcohol cravings, 66 percent as a replacement for prescription drugs and 26 percent for other, more potent illegal drugs.”

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve explored some of the more overused and misunderstood arguments by the anti-legalization crowd, it’s easy to see how people can get caught up in hysteria. In their misplaced fear, people turn to misplaced claims. The only way to combat this is to check our facts and always be willing to delve deeper, even if we don’t like what’s presented.