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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

How to Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

Medical marijuana is rapidly polarizing as a treatment option among people suffering from chronic pain and disease, especially since 29 states across the US have legalized it. Despite its legalization, medical marijuana isn’t available to everyone who desires it. The use and distribution of medical marijuana is monitored closely and there is a way to acquire medical marijuana legally: a medical marijuana card.

Having this card lets you acquire medicinal marijuana completely. However, it can be quite confusing and almost impossible to get the card. This is because doctors are not so quick to prescribe this treatment to their patients. You will find this to be the case when compared to the prescriptions you receive for other pharmaceutical drugs. There are fewer considerations to make and patients only need to fulfill a few specific requirements before they start using.

Fortunately, with the correct information and guidance, you can acquire medical marijuana legally. Here are the 3 key requirements that will help you start the process:

Requirements to Acquire Medical Marijuana Legally

1.      Proof of Residence

First, you need to provide proof of residence. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is not legal, sadly for you, your journey ends here. However, stay up to date with the news and as soon as you find that medical marijuana is legal in your state, you can move on to the next step.

2.      Eligible Condition

You should be suffering from a health condition that makes you eligible for medical marijuana. The list of eligible conditions will differ from state to state so make sure you go through your local laws for more information on the subject. Serious, incapacitating, or terminal diseases, such as glaucoma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and cancer are on almost every list. Other conditions, such as anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, wasting syndrome, nausea, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis C, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease and depression are also usually on the list.

But it is important to remember there are some areas that focus more on the symptoms instead of the condition. Here, a doctor will decide whether you qualify or not. If you are able to verify through an examination that you suffer from chronic pain that is a result of a condition which is not listed on the on the eligibility list, you might still have a shot at being eligible.

3.      Doctor’s Documents

The final and most crucial step to acquiring your medical cannabis card is finding a doctor to prescribe it. Keep in mind that not every doctor will be comfortable with prescribing medical marijuana. Hence, you might have to go back and forth before you finally find a doctor who will do it for you. Fortunately, there are doctors and medical cannabis clinics that specialize in working with patients who need medical marijuana.

If you manage to prepare all these documents, you can acquire medical marijuana legally.