The US government is finally funding cannabis research! For decades, federally-funded medical marijuana research has been significantly lacking– to say the least. The fact that medical marijuana is still federally illegal, makes studying it extremely challenging. Up until now, research has primarily been focused on drug addiction studies. Clinical studies are a fundamental stepping stone to getting a substance verified as a pharmaceutical, which is why this news is so encouraging.
In December of 2018, the federal government, specifically the NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) shared it’s intent to study the potential pain relieving effects of “minor cannabinoids” and terpenes.
The NCCIH is one of twenty-seven institutes that make up the NIH (National Institute of Health). This agency utilizes rigorous, in-depth scientific investigation to examine the effects and safety of different health interventions.
What “Minor Cannabinoids” and Terpenes are being Studied?
We’ve all heard (and probably know quite a bit) about the cannabinoids THC and CBD. There are many others, however, that we know close to nothing about. Some of the “minor cannabinoids” of interest are: CBG (cannabigerol,) CBN (cannabinol,) and CBC (cannabichromene.)
There are several terpenes that are going to be studied as well. These include limonene, myrcene, linalool, terpinene, and more.
As you may also know, all of the different cannabinoids work together to provide different pain relieving results.
Why Pain Relief?
Marijuana has proven itself effective in treating a whole slew of ailments, so why is the NCCIH focusing on pain relief? Chronic pain affects approximately one-third of people in the United States. Treating this pain costs Americans well over $600 billion each year. Furthermore, companies suffer an estimated $300 billion dollars annually in lost productivity.
We know that THC and CBD have effective, pain-treating qualities. We also know that other cannabinoids, and even terpenes, synergistically work together to produce healing effects (especially when it comes to pain relief.)
The cost of current pain treatment and the effectiveness that marijuana seems to have, are two driving factors for why the NCCIH wants to study cannabinoids and terpenes more. Research is a necessary stepping stone to certifying marijuana as a viable treatment option.
This research into alternative pain relief could also help reduce the opioid epidemic. Researchers have determined that cannabinoids and terpenes enhance the pain-relieving effects of opioids, which means opioid users can take lower doses.
The federal government has made developing an alternative pain management strategy a priority. The NIH is especially interested in the pain-relieving, non-intoxicating properties of marijuana. Marijuana has been viewed in a negative light for far too long. The fact that the federal government is finally funding cannabis research is extremely encouraging.
In recent years, cannabis has proven to be quite an effective treatment tool for a plethora of different symptoms. People suffering from a variety of illnesses, including cancer, have found relief by using medical marijuana. Patients that have been diagnosed with cancer are typically prime candidates for the drug. Cannabis improves cancer treatment in a number of ways, but here are the top 10!
1. Pain Relief
One of the most common symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment is bone and nerve pain. This pain can be so severe that it can become debilitating. Cannabis has the ability to relieve these symptoms, much like prescription drugs can, but without the negative side effects. It accomplishes this by blocking the pain signals to the brain.
2. Reduces Nausea & Vomiting
Chemotherapy and radiation are especially tough on the body. One of the many side effects that this treatment causes is nausea and vomiting. Cannabis contains a high concentration of antiemetic properties, which are what make it so effective. Marijuana has helped thousands of people, so much so, that pharmaceutical companies created a synthetic medication that they could legally sell to cancer patients.
3. Stimulates Appetite
Along with treating nausea and vomiting, cannabis has also been quite effective at stimulating the appetite. Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy & radiation struggle with malnutrition. Marijuana triggers the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin and even makes the idea of eating more appealing!
4. Soothes Rash & Itching
Cannabinoids are a component of the cannabis leaf that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. This is particularly helpful in treating rashes and itchiness that cancer treatment often causes. In order to treat these specific symptoms, patients can consume cannabinoids orally, through inhalation and even topically.
5. Promotes Sleep
This is one of the most popular reasons that people choose to use marijuana. Indica strains tend to promote drowsiness. Even further, THC strains can help a person fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Some studies show that these strains will even keep you in a deeper sleep, helping the body recover and heal.
6. Fights Fatigue
It’s no secret that cancer & cancer treatment can make a person feel lethargic and exhausted. While some strains are great for those struggling with insomnia, other strains, like Sativas, are great for increasing energy. These strains, which are typically higher in CBD, act similar to a cup of coffee.
7. Boosts Positivity & Mood
Marijuana is specifically known for its ability to boost mood and promote feelings of positivity and euphoria. These feelings are commonly brought on by THC, however, CBD has also been shown to release serotonin (feel good chemical).
8. Reduces Gastrointestinal Inflammation
Many cancer patients experience bouts of diarrhea and constipation. This can be caused by either the treatment itself or even the prescribed medications. Cannabis has the ability to decrease inflammation in the gut and intestines which is a primary cause of the gastrointestinal issues.
9. Increases Libido
While cancer patients undergoing treatment may not be interested in sex, marijuana does contain aphrodisiacs. Cannabis eases pain, relaxes the muscles and decreases anxiety, in effect making it easier for the patient to ‘get in the mood’ to maintain and enjoy their intimate relationships.
10. Slows Tumor Growth
There is evidence that suggests THC and CBD have the ability to slow the spread of, and even kill, cancer cells all together. The anti-cancer properties in the cannabis leaf starve off the formation of blood vessels in tumors, essentially halting growth.
Are you a Florida resident that is also a cancer patient? Are you in need of relief from any of these symptoms? Schedule your free consultation, today! Call us at (786) 224-4005, schedule online or stop in to one of our 12 Florida locations.
There are two primary forms of Cannabis: Flower and Concentrates. In this article, we are going to address the pros and cons of each of these forms of cannabis in order to help you better understand the differences between the two.
The cannabis flower contains approximately 480 natural components, making it extremely rich in natural medicine and nutrients. Because the flower is unprocessed, the patient will reap the benefits of every one of these components. Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam and his colleagues, have said that when all of these components work together the therapeutic effect is significantly greater than if one was to be isolated.
The flower form of medical marijuana is less expensive, making it more accessible to patients in need. With that being said, the cannabis flower can require the use of expensive equipment (vaporization equipment). Another potential downside is that it takes more time to prep and process in order to make it edible. The flower does not have as long of a shelf life as concentrates do, either. Probably the biggest negative to the flower form of medical marijuana is that it’s harder to get high doses of CBD. Patients with certain symptoms may need something stronger.
Concentrates come from the processed cannabis flower. They are condensed extracts of the essential oils in the cannabis plant. These concentrates are much more potent than the flower, making them a great choice for people in need of more intensive therapy. They are often thought of as purer to inhale and don’t require expensive equipment. Concentrates are much easier to add into drinks or food, as well.
One of the downsides is the fact that cannabis concentrates are more expensive, often making it difficult to find affordable, high quality product.
“As a Marijuana Doctor patient, you will have the ability to obtain these high quality products at an inexpensive price.”
Due to the processing routine, concentrates can sometimes lose a portion of the beneficial compounds that the whole flower has to offer. They can also contain more impurities which can cause problems for patients with compromised immune systems.
Full-extract cannabis concentrate is the most popular choice for patients as it not only contains both THC and CBD but also beneficial terpenes. These terpenes enhance the medicinal, therapeutic effects.
Choosing which form is right for you
In summary, medical marijuana in flower form can offer relief to a wide range of patients. Because the flower is unprocessed, you take in the benefits of all components (THC, CBD, etc…) It’s a popular choice for those suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety and more.
Cannabis concentrate has the potential to isolate a certain component, making it an excellent choice for medicinal use. Being able to isolate CBD allows the patient to reap all of the healing benefits without experiencing the high. Likewise, you can choose to get a higher dose of THC, as well. Some patients prefer to ingest their medication instead of inhaling it, which is why they’ll choose a concentrate.
Not sure which form is right for you? Speak with one of our qualified physicians, today.