How much weed does it take to kill you? With the legalization of marijuana in many states, it would seem that the pass press about the dangers of cannabis are in contradiction to so many states opening-up legalized marijuana use, both medicinally and recreationally. Many of the sensationalized articles geared toward possible marijuana related fatalities defy common sense, especially in light of the absolute plethora of deaths caused by pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, and even common overdosages H20 (AKA”water”). Upon further examination, not one, not even one death has ever been a result of an overdose of marijuana. The world and the United States is discovering, it’s not Reefer Madness across the land.
Since marijuana is now legal with a doctors prescription, and in some states, “over the counter”; perhaps it should be compared to the more harmless substances that are taken on a daily basis, such as aspirin, for instance. Aspirin is completely harmless, and even a beneficial drug if taken to prevent heart attacks or strokes, right? Wrong. Every year, over 7,600 people die from consumption of aspirin and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additionally, if a statistical analysis were done of every person who was on aspirin for a headache when they committed a murder, aspirin might appear to be a leading cause, but that conclusion would obviously be dismissed as a researcher would search for a more likely common cause.
The fact is, to much of anything is harmful, whether it’s too much sugar (which is the primary cause of death for 71,382 Americans each year), too much alcohol (which causes 110,000 deaths a year) or even died from taking too much water. It is rare, but every year or two a case pops up in the press telling the sad story of a fraternity student, adult, or child that died during a hazing from consuming too much water, thus diluting their electrolytes and causing cardiac arrest. These cases always make the news for their simple weirdness factor. It is far more sensational to read about a freak accident caused by overdose of a perceptibly harmless, or perhaps even necessary substance.
So How Many People Have Actually Died From a Marijuana Overdose? Zero. Absolutely none. Although you can suffer other side effects of the drug, not one person has ever died from consuming marijuana, this may be due to the fact that it is impossible to consume enough THC to die. A 1970’s study on monkeys (not a fan of testing on animals) showed that when injected intravenously with 92 mg/kg THC, they did not die.
Currently the Merk Index lists that the LD50 of TCH for rats is 42mg/kg. This is the amount it would take for half of them to die. Remember that even the most potent bud on the market is roughly 23 percent TCH, so this would be the equivalent of a 150 lb person smoking about a half ounce of weed all at once, or perhaps smoking 5 grams of very potent hash. Any who have tried to do this will know just how difficult it is to accomplish. Basically, it’s impossible. It may, however, be possible to eat this much in this amount of time, but oral doses have a much higher LD50-730 mg/kg. It would take an almost herculean effort to overdose one’s self with THC. It would be much easier to overdose on sugar, or even water.
Of course this is not to say that people never die because of situations surrounding marijuana. Even though alcohol is definitely deadlier on the road than any other drug, including marijuana, marijuana users will want to know how much affects them, how it affects them, and consider caution when taking cannabis, such as when driving a car, operating heavy machinery, or when placed in common sense dangerous situations.
The results of a major recent poll suggests that most Americans now view marijuana as less harmful than other common substances that are currently legal. The poll, conducted under the sponsorship of NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, suggests a major shift has occurred from the way Americans have traditionally looked at the risks associated with cannabis use.
In fact, the poll suggests that the perception of marijuana as a dangerous drug, which was once commonplace, has dropped dramatically in recent years, and is now, sugar is seen as being more harmful than marijuana.
In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the participants were asked how they rated cannabis, sugar, alcohol and tobacco in terms of how dangerous they considered each substance to be.
Tobacco was overwhelmingly considered the most dangerous, with nearly half of all participants, 49 percent, responding that they considered tobacco to be the most dangerous of the four substances listed. Alcohol was rated most dangerous by 24 percent, with sugar following with a 15% rating. Less than one in ten Americans, or 8 percent, considered marijuana to be the most dangerous substance. Sugar is seen as more harmful than marijuana, yet, we give sugar to our kids everyday.
The poll results are an ironic counterpoint to the attitude reflected in the way cannabis is treated legally by the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule One Controlled Substance. That is the same dangerousness classification in which LSD and heroin can also be found.
Yet, this latest poll suggests that the American people now consider marijuana use to be less dangerous than eating a sugary snack. Most Americans also consider cannabis to be less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, both of which are legal for adults.
Risks of Legal Drugs
The belief of many Americans that the use of tobacco, alcohol and sugar can be dangerous is backed by scientific studies showing that diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and premature death are all linked to the regular use of all three substances.
Although few people consider marijuana completely harmless, the sentiment appears overwhelming that most Americans do not consider the use of cannabis to be major health threat. There is no known documented case of a person proven to have died from a marijuana overdose. In the meantime, many people are suffering and dying form the effects of sugar.
Marijuana as Medicine
Perhaps even more ironically, studies indicate that marijuana has properties that are helpful to the treatment of a number of medical conditions such as cancer and AIDS. Cannabis has also been linked to improved psychological health, with suicide rates among young men actually lower among cannabis users.
So while cannabis is legally classified by the government as among the most dangerous of drugs, the facts suggest that marijuana can actually be beneficial to the physical and mental health of those who use it.
Time for Change?
The poll results reveal how the perception of most Americans has shifted in recent years towards a less critical viewpoint of the risks associated with marijuana use. The results suggest that Americans now consider cannabis to be less harmful than drugs that are currently legal, perhaps even less risky than eating a sugary diet. This change in public attitude supports the contention that any problems associated with marijuana should be regarded as primarily a public health issue rather than a matter for law enforcement.
Yet, current federal law continues to reflect policies based on a fear of marijuana that is no longer justified by either the facts nor the opinions of the American people. Therefore, this poll could be an indication that it might be time for a major reappraisal of marijuana policies in the United States.
NORML Depity Director, Paul Armentano, had commented on the poll results stating: “These results once again reaffirm that an overwhelming majority of the American public understands that any potential risks associated with the use or abuse of cannabis are relatively minor to those associated with many other legal and regulated substances. Criminalizing cannabis and those who consume it responsibly is a disproportionate public policy response to what is, at worst, a public health issue but not a criminal justice concern.”
Most parents will go to great lengths to help their children. Cheri O’Connell, who is a mother who resides in Victoria, Australia, is an example of a mother who went the extra mile for her epileptic child. O’Connell felt like she was out of options. Her eight-year old daughter Tara had severe epilepsy and she was having up to 60 seizures in one day. Tara was taking several pharmaceutical drugs, but they were not helping. Her condition continued to get worse. She had problems walking and speaking. Additionally, doctors had told Tara’s family to prepare for the worst.
Tara’s mother was desperate. She could not stand to see her daughter suffer anymore. She began to do research on medical marijuana and found that it had many benefits. Medical marijuana is not legal in Victoria, and the government has no intention of changing the law. Cheri stated, “We had to break the law or watch her die.”
Cheri began giving her daughter THC-A, which is also known as the liquid form of marijuana. Tara’s recovery was nothing short of remarkable. Her seizures have stopped, and she has had a major improvement in her overall quality of life. Before Tara was given medical marijuana, she was not able to walk properly. Today, she is able to get around without using her wheelchair. Tara also had problems writing before she was given medical marijuana. Today, Tara’s mother says that her daughter is a “budding artist.”
Not only did the medical marijuana help Tara make a miraculous recovery, but she was able to recover without any serious side effects. Fatigue and increased appetite were the only side effects that Tara experienced while she was given marijuana. Despite the fact that the government in Victoria does not seem to have any interest in medical marijuana, Tara’s amazing recovery has prompted many researchers to test the effectiveness of medical marijuana.
Wayne Pfeiffer is the general manager of client services for Epilepsy Australia. He stated that many families have been interested in trying medical marijuana to treat epilepsy, but he cannot recommend because it is not legal. It is estimated that seven out of 10 people who use medications for epilepsy will be able to get relief. The 30 percent of people who still suffer from seizures despite the fact that they are taking medications are looking for something that is both safe and effective.
When Cheri was asked about what prompted her to make the difficult decision to give her daughter the medical marijuana she replied by saying, “The side effect of not giving her the drug was death. We have now passed the 12-month mark and she is healthier than ever. We just thought, what else do we have to do?” She decided that the consequences of breaking the law was worth in order to save her daughter. Tara was taking eight pharmaceutical drugs every day before she received the medical marijuana.
More parents are turning to medical marijuana to help their epileptic children. A mother from Melbourne gave medical marijuana to her 18-month son who had been suffering from seizures. She was hesitant at first, but she noticed a major difference in her son within 15 minutes of administering the first dose. The toddler was able to track things with his eyes for the first time. She believes that the laws should change so that she will be able to access the drug legally.
The pro medical marijuana movement has gained yet another powerful voice in favor of the Legalization Debate, allowing states to decide whether to allow patients to use marijuana to treat various diseases. In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, former President Bill Clinton conceded that “there is a lot of evidence pointing toward the positive benefits of medical marijuana”.
The man who famously “didn’t inhale” said, “I think there are a lot of unresolved questions, but I think we should leave it to the states. This really is a time when there should be laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where this is going.”
Mr. Clinton is just the latest in a long line of influential people who seemingly agree that it is time to take a serious look at allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes. During his time as president, Barack Obama has tended to agree that the decision should be left up to the states, which has led to marijuana being legalized for various purposes in multiple states. So far, only Colorado and Washington are the only states to allow marijuana use for recreational purposes. However, the Republicans have largely opposed the effort to allow marijuana to be legalized for any purpose in the Legalization Debate.
Even the most staunch supporters of marijuana can’t know the long term effects of legalizing marijuana use, and Mr. Clinton feels that marijuana still should not be endorsed at the federal level until more is known about how the situations play out. He argues that states should be allowed to determine whether or not they want marijuana in their state, and then the experiments can be examined over time to determine whether this is something that should be pursued at the federal level.
That a prominent political figure would speak in such a way about marijuana, Clinton remains active in various projects around the world, reflects the progress that has been made by supporters of the legalization movement. Marijuana is no longer the social taboo that it was just 15 years ago, and this has changed it from being a politically untouchable issue into a mainstream cause.
Medical marijuana is now approved for use in 22 of the 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, which is impressive considering where the movement stood just a few years ago. Although cannabis is approved for use in all these states, it does remain a Schedule 1 substance. Schedule 1 drugs include the most addictive substances on the market, and these substances are usually punishable with time in jail. The Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing this classification at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
If people as prominent as Bill Clinton continue to endorse the experiments that are going on with medical marijuana, the movement is sure to continue to gain traction with voters. There hasn’t been a movement in the legalization debate like this since the controversy with alcohol in the Prohibition Era.
It’s an exciting time to be paying attention to politics and no matter what side of the fence someone stands on in relation to marijuana, it’s important to be informed about the current trends in the marijuana debate. It’s something that potentially affects everyone in the country.
Add another state to the list that will be legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons. The New York Senate voted 49-10 on June 19th to pass a bill (known as the “Compassionate Care Act”) legalizing access to medical marijuana in NYS. This Bill has been passed by both houses of the Legislature and is supported by Governor Cuomo.
Now that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law later this week, the focus has shifted from getting the bill passed to how it is going to be implemented. Gov. Cuomo has until July 5th to sign the bill, and an 18-month window will begin as soon as the bill is signed to begin creating regulations for the program, award contracts to grow the marijuana and decide what conditions should be included in the list of people who will have access to the drug.
Although other states are legalizing marijuana for medical use, the program that will be implemented in New York is going to look a little different than those in other states. For example, New York is going to place restrictions against smokable forms of marijuana. They are also going to limit the amount of dispensaries that will be allowed to grow and sell the drug. Initially, there are going to be five organizations that will be allowed to dispense the drug at four different locations each. This means that there will be no more than 20 dispensaries across the state of New York, and the locations are going to be regulated so that they will be evenly distributed throughout the state.
Some people remain apprehensive that this amount of locations is going to be able to appropriately serve the amount of people who are eligible for the drug. The Department of Health is going to maintain authority over what diseases and conditions are going to be eligible for the NYS medical marijuana. Right now, the list includes:
- HIV or AIDS
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal-Cord Injuries
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
There are also five other conditions that are currently up in the air to receive status as diseases that would be eligible for NYS medical marijuana: Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, post-traumatic stress disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. The health commissioner will have until the end of the 18-month window to determine which, if any, of these five will become eligible.
It is important to note that some still remain cautious about the potential of this program. While The Medical Society of New York State applauded the efforts to pass the bill, they also want everyone to know that there is still some risk to this movement. They warn that there is still potential for addiction to marijuana, which means that the program will need to be monitored closely to ensure that the proper procedures are being followed.
The “Compassionate Care Act” Will:
- Establish a certification and registry process for physicians to administer medical marijuana;
- Put in place a process for patients to obtain, and manufacturers to dispense, medical marijuana;
- Specify that the serious conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed are cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication on intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s Disease;
- Establish a Class-E felony for a practitioner that certifies an individual as eligible to facilitate the possession of medical marijuana if he or she knows or reasonably should know the person who is asking for it has no need for the medication;
- Establish a misdemeanor offense for recipients of medical marijuana that sell or trade the medication; and
- Create a 7% excise tax on every sale of medical marijuana by a registered organization to a certified patient or designated caregiver.
We applaud the bill’s sponsors, Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Member Dick Gottfried and the patients, family members and other advocates who worked so hard to secure its passage.
If you, or anyone you know, thinks that they are potentially eligible for medical marijuana, please visit www.marijuanaproducts.com to find a list of dispensaries as they open for business.
Brave Mykayla is the 9 year-old lymphoblastic leukaemia survivor who used paediatric cannabis therapy. There have been numerous cases that prove Paediatric cannabis therapy in children can be an effective treatment for many diseases such as cancer. In the United States there are two approved treatments for cancer, which are chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy and radiation are toxic to the body, and they often cause harsh symptoms in patients during treatment. With the growing amount of evidence that proves medical marijuana can cure cancer in children, it should be an approved treatment option for adults and children. This natural alternative to cancer treatment has been used to cure the cancer in a 9 year old girl named Brave Mykayla Comstock.
Mykayla is a nine year old girl who had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and her parents chose to treat her cancer by using cannabis treatment. Mykayla was diagnosed with the disease when she was seven. On July 14, 2012, doctors discovered a tumor in her chest that was the size of a basketball. Due to the size of her mass, doctors would not be able to sedate her for the needed surgery. The sedation would put Mykayla at risk of death from the pressure that would be on her esophagus and heart. This form of leukemia is very aggressive. The white blood cells that are infected are called lymphoblasts, and they do not die like normal cells. Because the lymphoblasts never die, they build up and accumulate in the chest causing a tumor to develop.
Mykayla’s parents decided to use Paediatric cannabis therapy on their daughter to ease the symptoms of chemotherapy. As soon as Mykayla began cannabis treatment her cell counts decreased. Mykayla’s appetite and mood improved immediately after starting cannabis treatment, and she was also in less pain. In July of 2012, she had a 51% lymphoblast count. In August of 2012, Mykayla’s lymphoblast count was non-existent. The last time lymphoblasts were found in Mykayla’s blood smear was July 30, 2012. Mykayla’s parents believe using cannabis treatment on their daughter resulted in the best outcome.
It has been proven that cannabis therapy can treat leukemia by causing programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Medical marijuana is a natural treatment option that does not expose children to the same effects of chemotherapy or radiation. Children that undergo traditional cancer treatments are also given narcotic pain relievers, which can have negative side effects. There have been 20 studies about cannabis being an effective treatment for cancer. These studies have shown that cannabis can reduce cancer cells, and cannabis can raise immunity levels in cancer patients. A natural plant that has been proven to cure cancer, and effectively treat chemotherapy symptoms should be an alternative treatment option for cancer patients. As the legalization of marijuana continues to grow, so should the exposure of cannabis as an approved treatment option for cancer patients.
Back pain is the second most common cause for doctor’s visits in America, with approximately 65 million Americans suffering from some sort of back injury (sports, vehicle accident, etc.). Lower back pain affects approximately 1 in every 4 adults between the ages of 30 and 50 which is due in part to a sedentary lifestyle and the aging process.
Back pain can be nociceptive or neuropathic; Nociceptive pain is caused by diseased tissues outside the nerves with pain that is described as described as a sharp, throbbing, aching pain; Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to a nerve with pain described as a burning, heavy sensation, often with a numbness along the course of the affected nerve, Most patients who seek medical attention for their back pain will have some sort of medical evaluation such as X-rays, MRI or CT scan and in some cases a bone scan or myelogram. Unfortunately, there are many times that the cause of back pain cannot be determined.
Patients suffering from acute pain that occurs more than 3 times a year or who go through long periods of back pain that effects daily activities like driving the car, standing, sitting, walking, bending and sleeping are more likely to develop chronic back problems. Some patients with chronic pain don’t respond to conventional treatments and have to find a way to deal with the pain which is extremely difficult and can lead to drug addiction, insomnia, depression and anxiety.
Complex pain receptors are present in the spine and its surrounding tissue so injury to any of the spine’s structures (vertebrae, joints and discs between each vertebrae, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerve roots etc.) will be recognized as pain. In most cases, low back pain problems clear up in around 6 weeks. Unfortunately, around 10% of cases, back pain becomes chronic, usually caused by a bulging or herniated disc, spinal stenosis, myofascial pain (pain in the muscle and encompassing connective tissue) or due to a narrowing of the opening the spinal nerves pass through.
The Pain Treatment of Choice
Medical marijuana has become the chronic pain treatment of choice for many patients and it comes with minimal side effects. Conventional pain treatment remedies, including over the counter inflammatory and non-steroidal like aspirin, naproxen sodium and ibuprofen (NSAIDS) can be helpful, but they also come with side effects that include nausea, ulcers and gastric bleeding. Prescription medications like Celebrex (other NSAIDS) or Norco and Vicodin (opiates) can be effective at treating pain, however they also cause a long list of adverse side effects including their addiction potential. A lot of people have tried to live with the pain to avoid taking prescription medications because of their side effects but now many are considering using medical marijuana and those who have been using this healing herb have found it to be a very effective remedy for their chronic back pain.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Chronic Back Pain
- Reduces and/or eliminates pain, allowing patients to live active lives
- Reduces or eliminates the need to take medications that have dangerous side effects include addictive properties
- You’ll experience a sense of relief knowing you’re using a safe and natural solution for chronic pain
- Reduces or eliminates depression, anxiety, nausea and problems sleeping
- You will have better quality of life
Scientists have discovered that there are more than 100 distinctive molecules in the marijuana plant referred to as cannabinoids. Some examples of cannabinoids include psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and non-psychoactive cannabinoids (CBD or cannabidiol). These cannabinoids work by binding to the natural receptors found throughout our bodies known as endocannabinoid receptors, exerting a wide array of positive medical benefits that include the relief of inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, inflammation, insomnia and anxiety and depression.
Cannabinoid CBD in particular shows promise for being particularly effective in the treatment of muscle spasm, nerve pain, insomnia and anxiety, all symptoms that can be caused by lower chronic back pain problems. CBD is more dominant in marijuana strains identified as Indica.
A recent study at the Spine Center at University of Coloradoís Spine Center analyzed in 200 patients that suffered from degenerative disc issues and other back pains. The results of the study were that 89% of the test subjects that ingested marijuana, said it moderately or greatly relieved their back pain and 81% said it worked as well as or much better than narcotic pain relievers. Patients in the study that used the marijuana only did so one or twice a day. (http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AdditionalMeetings/42228?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2013-10-12)
Several additional studies have found that marijuana is often associated with some kind of improvement in when it came to back pain symptoms. In 2010, Scientists from McGill University and McGill University Health Center found that patients with chronic neuropathic pain encountered pain relief, better quality of sleep and improved mood after smoking marijuana. Researchers at Imperial College London discovered, reported in the journal Anerthesiology, that Cannador, another marijuana plant extract, successfully relieves pain after major surgery.
Side Effects of Medical marijuana
Side effects from medical marijuana are minimal and include sleepiness, increased appetite and dry mouth in some cases. Opiates and other prescription medications come with a long list of dangerous side effects, many more (and more severe) than marijuana. As with most prescription medications, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when using medical marijuana. Wait a minimum of 1 to 2 hours after medicating before getting behind the wheel.
Medical marijuana is becoming the treatment of choice for more and more chronic back pain patients. In fact, due to its broad range of medical benefits, some back pain patients have even been able to eliminate some, or in a few cases all, of their prescription medications by using medical marijuana. If nothing else, marijuana can improve the pain relieving effects of opiates and vaporized marijuana has been shown to significantly augment the analgesic effects of some prescription pain killers in patients suffering with chronic pain. It’s important to note that there are several ways to use marijuana besides smoking it including tinctures, topical applications, vaporization and edible products.
There aren’t many things as scary as being diagnosed with cancer; it’s not just the fear of the unknown that gets you, itís the side effects of the drugs and treatments that include nausea, pain, depression and more. Fortunately, it looks like medical marijuana may be a highly effective cancer treatment and a welcomed alternative to the harsher drugs currently being used to treat cancers that include cervical cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia and more.
First, a Bit about The History of Medical Marijuana
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes dates back centuries, coming into use in Western medicine during the 19th century and besides for recreational purposes, it was used to relieve pain, convulsions, inflammation and spasms. The U.S. Treasury started taxing marijuana in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act, $100 an ounce for recreational use and $1 per ounce for medicinal use. The American Medical Association actually opposed regulating marijuana and didn’t want studies of its possible medicinal benefits to be limited. Sadly, in 1942 it was removed from the U.S. pharmacopoeia due to concerns about its safety. In 1951, the Boggs Act was passed, which grouped Marijuana with narcotic drugs which seems ludicrous today.
Under 1970’s Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug along with drugs like LSD, heroin, mescaline, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and several other hard core drugs. At the time, although marijuana wasn’t believed to have any medical uses by most, the government prescribed it to patients under certain conditions between 1978 and 1992. Fortunately, in 2014 it looks like medical marijuana is going to get the attention it deserves.
Marijuana & Cancer
Over the last 20 years, researchers have studied how the cannabinoids in marijuana affect the brain and other areas of the body. Cannabinoid receptors have been identified in the nerve and cells in other parts of the body which suggests that cannabinoids may play a role in immunity and help fight some cancers. In addition, an increasing number of clinical trials are examining a medication produced from a whole plant extract of marijuana that contains precise amounts of cannabinoids. The medical marijuana version they’re studying is applied by spraying it under the tongue.
An interesting fact is that even lung cancer patients can benefit from using medical marijuana because studies have shown that smoking marijuana doesn’t cause cancer; they’ve actually shown that marijuana slows the progress of lung and cervical cancer cells.
Patients undergoing cancer treatment often use medical marijuana to reduce vomiting and nausea and it has been proven to be highly effective. In a study conducted at the University of Arkansas, cannabinoids greatly reduced nausea and vomiting in breast cancer patients following surgery.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids may restrict tumor growth by obstructing cell growth, causing cell death and preventing the development of unnecessary blood vessels that tumors need to grow. In addition, laboratory studies have found that cannabinoids might be able to destroy cancer cells while defending normal cells. Studies have also shown that cannabinoids may protect against the inflammation of the colon, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
A clinical study of delta-9-THC in liver cancer cells demonstrated that it killed or at least damaged cancer cells and the same study showed that it had anti-tumor effects. It is believed that Delta-9-THC may cause these effects by affecting molecules that may also be observed in lung and breast cancer cells. A laboratory study of cannabidiol in estrogen positive and negative breast cancer cells exhibited that it induced cancer cell death without having an effect on normal breast cells. An unrelated study showed that medical marijuana may be able to stop the spread of metastatic breast cancer.
Marijuana & Chemotherapy
Cannabidiol in human glioma cells, when given along with chemotherapy, may also increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells, making chemotherapy more effective. Marijuana and cannabinoids have also been studied for ways to deal with side effects of cancer and cancer treatments, including the following:
Nausea & Vomiting
Two cannabinoid drugs, nabilone and dronabinol are approved by the FDA for the treatment of chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting in patients who haven’t responded to more conventional therapy. Several clinical trials have shown that both nabilone and dronabinol work as well as (or better than) weaker FDA approved drugs that are used to treat nausea and vomiting.
Cannabinoids with Opioids:
In a small clinical study involving 21 patients with chronic pain, combining vaporized marijuana with morphine relieved the pain better than morphine alone. Two small studies of oral delta-9-THC also revealed that it relieved cancer pain. In one study, patients experienced pain relief, relief of nausea and vomiting and increased appetite which diminishes chemo related anorexia. A second study confirmed that delta-9-THC could be offered in doses that provided pain relief that compared to codeine.
Whole Marijuana Plant Extract Medication
A study of a whole plant extract of marijuana containing specific levels of cannabinoids, was found to be effective in patients with advanced cancer whose pain wasn’t relieved by potent opioids alone. The patients who were given lower doses of cannabinoid spray demonstrated significantly better pain control as well as less sleep loss when compared to patients who were given a placebo.
Anxiety & Sleep
A small clinical study found that cancer patients who inhaled medical marijuana experience less anxiety, and an improved mood. Whole marijuana plant extract spray that contained specific amounts of cannabinoids, found that patients experience improved sleep quality.
The full potential of medical marijuana as a beneficial part of cancer treatment has yet to be discovered, but what has been uncovered so far is exciting. It’s certain that research will continue to discover new applications for medical marijuana in the treatment of cancer.
Depending upon your particular cancer prognosis and treatment plan, medical marijuana can be used either long or short term and still have a positive effect. Should you decide to use medical marijuana along with your current cancer treatment plan, itís sure to improve your quality of life during the process.
With all of its therapeutic uses, marijuana has a, shall way say, enjoyable side effect that’s been exaggerated as a concern: the “high” which the DEA used to feel was not acceptable. Fortunately, times and opinions are changing and people suffering from chronic health problems can get the relief they so deserve. We put our health and well being in the hands of our physicians every day, even taking the potentially dangerous drug that some tend to pass out like candy; finally it looks like we’ll have a healthy alternative thanks to the legalization of cannabis.
Medical Marijuana Cures & Relief
although it’s extremely damaging to the immune system, chemotherapy helps fight cancer and AIDS patients. The often devastating side effects of chemo include nausea and loss of appetite, but medical marijuana has been found to be a powerful agent for curbing the nausea brought on by chemotherapy treatments. This is also the case with AIDS and can even relieve motion sickness. There are pharmaceutical grade nausea control medications on the market, unfortunately in many cases the patient ends up throwing them back up. Because cannabis can be ingested as smoke, it stays in the system and keeps working even if vomiting continues. Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia found that marijuana is can successfully reduce several kinds of tumors, both malignant and benign.
Over 15 million Americans are impacted by asthma and smoking medical marijuana can be beneficial for as many as 80% of them. Taking a hit of marijuana has the ability to prevent a full blown asthma attack in some cases. Cannabis provides a natural solution to treating Asthma instead of taking toxic medicines like the Theophylline that’s often prescribed to children.
Glaucoma, a progressive loss of eyesight, is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Smoking marijuana can benefit 90% of the nations 2.5 million glaucoma sufferers, and it is two to three times more effective than most of the current medications for reducing ocular pressure. Even more important is the fact that cannabis doesn’t cause any toxic side effects to the kidney or liver and there isn’t a danger of the periodic sudden death syndromes that have been associated with the pharmaceutical glaucoma eye drops/drugs. Interesting face: During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, many California eye doctors discreetly recommended that their patients use “street” marijuana along with their prescribed glaucoma medications.
In most cases, medical marijuana is a beneficial treatment option for as high as 60% of epileptics. Cannabis extract is actually more effective than other commonly prescribed anti-epileptic drugs like Dilantin, which also comes with several known severe side effects. Cannabis users’ epileptic seizures are less intense than the more hazardous seizures endured by those that took pharmaceuticals.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Smoking cannabis has been proven to provide a major source of relief for those afflicted by multiple sclerosis. MS impacts the nervous system and is characterized by tremors, muscular weakness, etc. Treating Multiple Sclerosis with medical marijuana can reduce or ease symptoms that include pain, spasticity, depression, sexual dysfunction, ataxia and anxiety, according to several case studies and clinical trials. In addition, medical marijuana may be able to slow the neuro-degeneration that’s associated with MS.
Ohio State University’s Gary Wenk, PhD, a prominent professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics has stated that using low doses of marijuana for extended periods of time at some point in their lifetime could slow the onset of dementia, to the point where you’d probably die of old age before you get Alzheimerís. Wenks has been studying how to fight brain inflammation for more than 25 years and marijuana could be a solution. Part of the success of marijuana when it comes to Alzheimer’s is that the THC in it has a direct effect on the disease cycle.
Inflammation plays a key role in not only Alzheimerís, but Parkinson’s disease, dementia, autism, ALS, schizophrenia, AIDS, dementia, multiple sclerosis and more. Taking anti-inflammatories has preventative effects on the brain and cannabis is one of the oldest, safest, strongest and cheapest anti-inflammatory there is.
While tobacco constricts arteries, marijuana opens them up. Since migraine headaches are caused by artery spasms combined with an over relaxation of the veins, the vascular changes marijuana causes in the brain’s meninges (covering) can make migraines go away. Evidence of the vascular change induced by cannabis is apparent when you look into the user’s red eyes, which are actually the extensions of the brain. Unlike most drugs, marijuana has no evident effect on the vascular system except for a somewhat increased heart rate during the onset of the high.
Smoking marijuana, while having a reputation for increasing the appetite can actually help users to stay slim which has the potential of lowering their risk of getting diabetes, according to a 2013 study, which also suggests that certain compounds in the herb can also help control blood sugar. The 2013 research which was published in the American Journal of Medicine isn’t the first to find that Cannabis plays a dual role when it comes to its relationship to weight. Three preceding studies discovered that marijuana users are less likely to be overweight, have lower body mass index measurements and a lower risk for diabetes. The most amazing fact is that these tendencies transpired in spite of the fact that the users seemed to be consuming more calories.
Another important finding regarding the connection between medical marijuana is that current users appeared to have a better carbohydrate metabolism than those that don’t use it according to Harvard Medical School’s Murray Mittleman, an associate professor and the lead authority of the study. Mittleman found that their fasting insulin levels are lower, and they seemed to be less resistant to the insulin that is produced by their body to sustain a normal blood sugar level.
Even with a growing number of states now legalizing marijuana, the politics of pot may still overshadow research efforts to understand everything that cannabinoids can treat or prevent. The fact that it may help us tackle the current obesity problems the U.S. is facing may help resolve one of our biggest public health issues, one that leads to an endless list of medical issues.
Smoking is the most expedient way to find relief because it deliversís an immediate effect. It is suggested that you use a pipe for a more predictable dosage.
Using a medical marijuana vaporizer which releases its active medical components, is the most recommended alternative to smoking it
Eating cannabis takes longer to kick in but it deliver a body effect instead of the brain making it a good option for individuals with chronic pain problems.
Tonics and Tinctures
Marijuana can be made into liquid form and added to food, consumed in small amounts by putting drops on your tongue. These tinctures are particularly useful in treating nausea and vomiting.
Your physician (hopefully you have an open minded one) will be able to determine whether or medical marijuana can help treat your specific condition and its symptoms. One of the many positive aspects of using this exceptional herb to treat health problems is that it doesn’t come with the long list of hazardous side effects most of today’s pharmaceuticals come with.
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