A new literature review summarizing the recent findings relating to cannabis and anxiety.
Researchers conclude that CBD and low-dose THC can cause relaxation and decrease anxiety and self-spun thoughts. Some studies show that high-dose THC can cause psychotic symptoms; however, studies also show that CBD can protect against those THC-induced symptoms. Therefore, using cannabis extracts with THC and CBD could be a safe way to reduce anxiety.
Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis in Fibromyalgia
A recent study has concluded that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and issues sleeping. Cannabis is well known for its ability to treat pain, especially in lieu of opioids as the side effects are minimal and the risk of addiction minimal. This study found that over 200 patients were greatly benefited by cannabis as it moderated their pain and improved their mood. Future studies should aim to directly compare cannabis-based treatment with the currently accepted methods of fibromyalgia treatment to validate efficacy.
This study highlights how beneficial cannabis can be for those patients who are treatment-resistant for the general treatment of most disorders, especially when pain is involved. Cannabis has been proven to be much safer than opioids, and yet our lack of complete information, concerning the exact mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system and how different cannabinoids act on those mechanisms severely limits our ability to offer practical, novel therapies. Cannabis has previously been shown to be beneficial for treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy and depression, which holds promise when continuing to look for novel treatments for other disorders that have proven difficult to treat.
A report published by the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2001 demonstrates the progress the medical community has made but also what gaps still need to be filled in when utilizing cannabis. This report found that excess consumption of cannabis leads to feelings of panic and anxiety and that 15% of those willing to respond to a survey experienced acute psychotic symptoms. It was also found that cannabis dependence can occur, as well as withdrawal, which can last for close to a week. This article was a review that synthesized relevant studies but also claimed that the casual conclusions of these papers were difficult to find or replicate.
This paper is interesting given its age considering it put out what was current data but then ended by stating the casual conclusions of each paper may not stand. 18 years later, some of the data has stood, and some have not. Users can gain a tolerance to cannabis but many are looking to mitigate it. The author uses the word dependence when discussing cannabis which is a word that holds weight and is up for debate. Intoxicating cannabinoids, like THC, affect the reward center, but non-altering cannabinoids, such as CBD, tend to work more noticeably outside of the brain, although all have mixed effects in both regions. Cannabinoids are not all the same, apply quite differently to various ailments, and have divergent effects. Blanketing an entire crop with a misinformed warning label seems irresponsible and unduly harsh. Users or those looking into cannabis-based medicine are encouraged to do their research.
The Effects of Trait Emotional Intelligence on Adolescent Substance Use- Findings From a Hungarian Representative Survey
A recent study has revealed that teenagers who have a difficult time managing stress and appear to lack empathy were more likely to abuse tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis.
The studies initial goal was to determine if emotional intelligence could predict future drug abuse, but found that those with more empathy and interpersonal competencies were less likely to engage in substance abuse. This study provides data that may help to develop targeted drug prevention programs in order to lessen adolescent drug abuse or the development of any future substance abuse disorders.
Highlighted in this study was the possible inaccuracy of the conclusions as the results may have been skewed by teenagers merely providing what they thought was a socially acceptable answer. Despite the fact that the majority of states have legalized the use of medical marijuana a stigma against cannabis use remains.
Stigma has and continues to stand in the way of medical research. If the consumption of cannabis were less frowned upon then perhaps more observational studies, studies that relied on self-reporting use, or even appropriate medical treatment, would be improved. The more information that can be gathered, the more accurate the research that can be conducted. In order to fully understand all the benefits and limitations of cannabinoids, although this also applies to tobacco and alcohol consumption, the uninformed stigma must also be eroded.
A Budding Source of Targets for Treating Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain ECS
The cannabinoid system provides momentum to develop cannabinoid-based medications to treat inflammatory and neuropathic pain as researchers continue to find promising therapeutic targets. These new targets may lead to the formation of novel pain-relief medications that may serve well to alleviate pain for those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia. Cannabis-based pain medicine is also being researched for opioid-sparing effects and effectiveness in reducing the necessary dose of opioids.
Massachusetts has come one step closer to a pilot program involving cannabis cafes across the state. This will also bring about more licenses for cannabis delivery and social consumption, as a less capital-intensive option for entrepreneurs to enter the industry. http://bit.ly/2IOjOUz
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Some people are concerned that Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS,) a rare condition involving cyclical vomiting, may be caused by neem oil or pesticides. However, symptoms are more consistent with an overload of CB1 receptors, circumstances that occur primarily with habitual, large-volume consumers. Here, an interesting review of the ongoing public conversation: http://bit.ly/2LepwAV
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Benjamin Caplan, MDNeem Oil vs Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Long-term medical cannabis use and risk factors for diversion- report on physician’s guidance and patients’ behaviour
A recent examination of long-term medical cannabis users has demonstrated the need for more consistent training of storage and disposal practices from oncologists. Chronic users tend to increase the dosage taken of medical cannabis over time due to tolerance; higher doses of cannabis are associated with dangerous storage and disposal practices. The current study calls for oncologists who recommend cannabis-based medicine to their patients to have more consistent training in safe storage and disposal methods to prevent patients from ingesting or giving away impure cannabis.
An important point brought up in this article is the pressure some patients experience from their peers to buy cannabis for multiple people with their medical marijuana identification card or certification. Physicians should be wary of this practice and support their patients, reminding them of the accidents that can happen when medications are shared.
Researchers published a literature review that investigates the relationship between cannabis and sleep. They examined six major sleeping disorders: insomnia, sleep apnea, REM behavior disorder, nightmares, sleep with chronic pain, and daytime sleepiness.
They found that THC might worsen daytime sleepiness and delayed onset of sleep; however, THC might help patients who suffer from sleep apnea and nightmares. Meanwhile, CBD might reduce daytime sleepiness and insomnia while increasing the total amount of sleep.
Especially in Colorado and Washington, people are taking note of teens’ use and access to potent marijuana, and many are concerned that there are not enough measures in place to prevent this. Newly legalized states should look into this before it becomes a national issue. https://wapo.st/2Fgmto9
Benjamin Caplan, MDHow to prevent inappropriate teen use?