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.

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.

 

 

Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Waking up with a cold sweat, ringing ears, horrifying flashbacks, and night terrors. This is what life is like for numerous veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is common among veterans in the US. Studies confirm that over 20% of the soldiers who witnessed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Another study estimates that 200,000 plus veterans from the Vietnam War had to deal with the same disorder. It is important to uncover treatment options for veterans dealing with PTSD.

The Drawbacks of Conventional Treatments for Veterans Dealing with PTSD

Doctors typically deploy a combination of clinical therapy and medicines to combat the symptoms of PTSD. Most of the time, these options are not effective. Anti-depressants work but also come with well-known side effects and risks. Even though they are effective at dulling the pain of PTSD, they can bring along a series of issues that will require additional medical attention. Since veterans are in a never-ending search for something that works , many of them are now turning to medical cannabis. This natural plant is as effective in relieving pain as pills, but without the adverse effects.

According to a recent decision by the Drug Enforcement Administration, clinical trials are in progress that will help prove the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for veterans dealing with PTSD. At present, only six states in the US allow citizens dealing with this disorder to get a medical cannabis card, which means there is still room to grow.

How Medical Cannabis Benefits Veterans Dealing with PTSD

However, veterans who do have access to medical cannabis are actually benefiting from the drug in the following ways:

Medical cannabis is fast acting and versatile. Patients who rely on the drug have great flexibility in both the kind of medicine they use and the way they consume it. There are hundreds of strains of cannabis, where each possesses its own special medical benefit. Users also have complete control of their dose. They can choose to ingest, apply or smoke as little or much as they want. In addition, antidepressants take a long time to work and call for a long tapering time in case the user decides to switch medications or stop using them. On the other hand, medical marijuana has no such repercussions.

There is a low risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms with cannabis. With traditional PTSD medication, there is a serious risk of addiction that can bring unbearable withdrawal symptoms once the user stops using them. With medical cannabis, however, veterans dealing with PTSD are at a far less risk of withdrawal and physical addiction, resulting in an enjoyable and safer experience. In fact, some doctors are prescribing medical cannabis to their patients for overcoming addiction with a 75% success rate.

USA Today Discovers People Consume More Marijuana After It’s Legalized

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In a newspaper headline that should go down in history as a momentous “Thank you, Captain Obvious!” moment, USA Today really, actually published this real life headline:

“Pot use, abuse more likely in states with medical marijuana laws, study shows”

Are you serious? People actually consume more marijuana in states where it’s been legalized? How shocking!

Sarcasm aside, before anyone comments that the article is referring to illegal use by people who don’t hold medical marijuana cards or have a doctor’s prescription: That is still an obvious result of these policies. We didn’t need a study to know that would happen.

Even when marijuana was completely illegal in every state but California for medical purposes, there was still a robust demand for the plant and products derived from it on the black market because it’s something that millions of people value.

Some like the feelings of relaxation, insight, or creativity that it gives them. Others like how it improves the taste of food or the feeling of sex.

Still others rely on it desperately for pain relief, to be able to get a good night’s sleep, or to find their appetite for food while on cancer treatments that cause severe nausea.

Many families are finding a miracle in CBD oil, which isolates a chemical from marijuana that doesn’t get you high, but is saving their babies— their toddlers and small children from a severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy that causes extreme seizures.

With or without an official card or prescription, millions of Americans’ lives are improved in some way by marijuana, and when it becomes more readily available, as it has in states that have legalized it for medicinal purposes, the demand is there to meet it.

A note about the increases in marijuana “abuse” mentioned in the USA Today article— the paper quotes a health professor at Columbia University making another “Captain Obvious” statement similar to the article’s headline:

“If you increase the prevalence of users, you are going to increase the prevalence of people who have adverse consequences.”

As you could say about driving a car. As you could say about riding in planes. As you could say about falling in love. As you could say about starting a business. As you could say about… As you could say about…

If these kind of arguments are the very best that a major publication like USA Today can muster against legalizing medical marijuana, then marijuana consumers and businesses are looking great!

West Virginia Medical Marijuana Legalization Is The Tipping Point

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The legalization of medical marijuana in the state of West Virginia last week is a tipping point for the cannabis movement nationwide, an Ohio newspaper argued Thursday.

The Marietta Times of Marietta, Ohio, which is literally a stone’s throw from the West Virginia border, says now it’s time for the federal government to take a position on medical marijuana.

The Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants a crack down, while the Secretary of Homeland security supports medical marijuana and says recreational marijuana is not a priority. Meanwhile, the FDA has not taken an official position about medical marijuana.

The Times says with so many states legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, the policy vagueness of the current administration is unacceptable.

The bill to legalize medical marijuana in West Virginia was signed last week by Governor Jim Justice after passing through the state’s House of Delegates 76 – 24 and sweeping through the state Senate 28 – 6.

As Reason Magazine notes, the new marijuana policy makes West Virginia the 29th state to legalize medical marijuana, and the sixth state to approve cannabis for patients in the last year.

Saving Lives with Medical Marijuana

In August 2016, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy published a study with findings about West Virginia marijuana policy that make last week’s reform great news for the state’s deadly opioid addiction epidemic:

“Marijuana may potentially have a positive impact on West Virginia’s opioid-based painkiller and heroin epidemic by offering another, less-addictive alternative to individuals who are suffering from debilitating medical conditions.”

Cannabis is not only less addictive than opioid-based prescription painkillers and street narcotics. While consumers of marijuana may develop a “tolerance” (they may need more to achieve the same effect over time), the plant and its products do not cause “dependence” (minor to severe withdrawal symptoms after ceasing use).

That’s why in 2010 former US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders (who supports marijuana legalization) had this to say: “Marijuana is not addictive, not physically addictive anyway.”

Not only is cannabis less addictive than opiates, it’s less dangerous. Far less dangerous. West Virginia leads the nation in the rate of fatal drug overdoses. Last year 818 people in the state died of a drug overdose, 86% of them due to opiates.

That was a West Virginian dying every 12 hours around the clock for the entire year. Last year not a single American died of an overdose of marijuana, because it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana.

The new laws in West Virginia will help make hurting people more comfortable and it will save lives. And 29 states into legalizing the plant, it certainly looks like a tipping point.