Can CBG Be The Answer To Treating Glaucoma?

Glaucoma was one of the very first
conditions to be treated with medical cannabis, but over time it’s been
determined that certain cannabinoids can make the condition worse.

Back in 1971, Hepler and Frank reported a 25–30% drop in intraocular eye pressure in a small number of subjects who had recently smoke cannabis. To this day, glaucoma is still a commonly cited reason for prescribing medical cannabis.

When it comes to glaucoma, the cannabinoid most commonly associated with healthcare – CBD – is actually detrimental to this condition. Historically, THC has been successful treatment option, but new studies indicate that another cannabinoid might be even more effective – CBG or cannabigerol.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition categorized by
increased pressure in the eye, called intraocular eye pressure, caused by fluid
buildup in the front part of the eye. Over time, the pressure builds up and
damages the optic nerve, which is what sends images from your eyes to your
brain. This can eventually lead to blindness.

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause
of blindness in the United States. There are certain criteria that make certain
people predisposed to glaucoma. It’s more likely to effect African Americans
and Hispanics, and it’s there is an elevated risk for people who have a family
history of this condition. Other risk factors include: thinner corneas, chronic
eye inflammation and certain medications.

Glaucoma effects more than 3 million
Americans, 2.7 million of whom are over the age of 40. Although it primarily effects
adults, there is an infant (congenital) form that exists. There are two main
types of glaucoma: Primary open-angle glaucoma, which happens gradually over a
long period of time; and Angle-closure glaucoma, which is acute onset and
considered a true ocular emergency.

What is CBG?

Since cannabigerol is usually only
present in cannabis in very small amounts – normally less than 1 percent – it’s
considered a minor cannabinoid. CBG is important for another reason though, and
that is its ability to synthesize other major cannabinoids. Because of this, CBGA
(cannabigerolic acid) has been appropriately nicknamed “The Mother of
Cannabinoids”.

CBGA is a direct line to three main cannabinoids:
tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and
cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Once exposed to heat or light during a process referred
to as decarboxylation, THCA, CBDA, and CBCA will shed their carboxyl acid group
and become THC, CBD, and CBC, respectively

If we’re following the pattern above, CBGA should break down to CBG, but this doesn’t happen very often. Usually, certain enzymes break down CBGA and it is immediately converted to THCA, CBDA, or CBCA. This is why more THC means less CBG, because of the unique way these compounds interact and are synthesized.

However, in certain strains, CBGA naturally converts to CBG. These strains are low in THC and easily able to pass compliance standards. To get more flowers with these high levels of CBG, breeders are practicing plant cross-breeding and other forms of genetic manipulation.

The Research: CBG for Glaucoma

CBG may also help with treating
glaucoma, because of the way it reduces intraocular pressure. Our eyes contain
many endocannabinoid receptors which can be activated by cannabinoids like CBG.
When activated, the result can be a shift in intraocular pressure. While cannabinoids
in general have been suggested as helpful for this, some studies show that CBG
may be particularly helpful with decreasing pressure and expediting the
draining of fluids.

A study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1965836 conducted by the Department of Ophthalmology at
West Virginia University Health Sciences Center North in Morgantown, determined
that “After chronic administration of CBG unilaterally to the cornea via Alzet
osmotic minipumps and connecting extraocular cannulas, a considerable fall in
ocular tension amounting to 4 to 7 mm Hg occurred. Both CBG and THC produced a
two-to three-fold increase in aqueous outflow facility. These results suggest
that cannabigerol and related cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential for
the treatment of glaucoma.”

Final Thoughts

CBG is cannabinoid that hasn’t gotten much attention but seems to have very much therapeutic value, and this is especially true when it comes to treating glaucoma, which can be a completely debilitating condition. Endocannabinoid receptors are prevalent in eye structures, and interestingly, CBG is thought to be particularly effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is a powerful vasodilator and has neuroprotective effects to boot.

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Using CBG To Treat Clinical Depression

Cannabis has long been used to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, but which cannabinoid is most effective has always been up for debate.

Today we will focus on Cannabigerol, or CBG, and the different reasons why it’s an excellent option for treating depression. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 264 million people worldwide. Depression is a leading cause of disability as well as a major contributor to the overall poor health.

Finding a healthy, effective, and sustainable treatment option is of utmost importance. Prescription antidepressants can have numerous unpleasant side effects including but not limited to nausea, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, insomnia, blurred vision, dizziness, and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts.

This is exactly why researchers are looking at individual cannabinoids as a possible solution to this growing problem.

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What is CBG?

Cannabigerol is considered a minor cannabinoid because its presence
in cannabis is usually in very low levels – typically less than 1 percent. It
does have an important role as a  precursor to other cannabinoids, and thus, CBGA
has been rightfully dubbed the “Mother of Cannabinoids”. Its ability to
synthesize major cannabinoids has pushed into the limelight for researchers,
investors, and consumers alike.

Specifically, CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) is a direct line to
three main cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic
acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Once
exposed to heat or light in process known as decarboxylation, THCA, CBDA, and
CBCA will shed their carboxyl acid group and become THC, CBD, and CBC,
respectively.

When it comes to CBGA though, certain
enzymes break it down and it is immediately converted to THCA, CBDA , or CBCA.
This is why more THC means less CBG, because of the unique way these compounds
interact and are synthesized.

In certain strains, CBGA naturally converts
to CBG. These strains are low in THC and easily able to pass compliance
standards. To get more flowers with these high levels of CBG, breeders are
practicing plant cross-breeding and other forms of genetic manipulation.

The Research: CBG for Depression

Although minimal research exists, there
are numerous possible therapeutic uses for CBG which have been previously noted.
For example, it can be used to treat glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease,
colorectal cancers, and Huntington’s disease.

Another area of interest is the role of CBD in mental health and the treatment of clinical depression. Researchers have discovered that CBG can inhibit uptake of GABA and serotonin in the brain, which can lead to increased levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Decreased levels both GABA and serotonin have been linked to depression, making CBG a promising option when it comes to treating this disorder.

What’s also interesting is that when
in comes to GABA, CBG is said to inhibit uptake more effectively than other
cannabinoids, namely CBD and THC. This is noteworthy because, just like CBD,
Cannabigerol is also non-psychoactive and has no intoxicating effects whatsoever.
It can be a mild, alternative mood enhancer.

And finally, it’s also believed
that CBG can boost production of Anandamide, an endocannabinoid
known as ‘The Bliss Molecule’. Anandamide naturally increases dopamine levels and
is responsible for regulating various functions such as sleep, mood, and
appetite.

2015 study, which examined both humans and rats, found that high levels of anandamide contributed to mood enhancement and fear reduction. When the enzymes that break down anandamide were inhibited, that led to a decrease in fear and anxiety when threats were perceived. This is another way that CBG can be used for depression.

Final Thoughts

Although much more research is needed, it does seem that CBG
has potential as a natural and holistic method for treating depression, a condition
that effects so many people across the globe.

As the number of sufferers continues to rise, health organization
in major nations will have to dedicate a lot more time and resources to
combating this condition. And instead of using potentially dangerous drugs like
SSRIs, the answer may be found in something natural and much safer: CBG-rich
cannabis plants.

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Despite Documented Munchies, Cannabis Users Are Thinner Than Non-Users

If you enjoy smoking cannabis, you’re likely aware of the munchies – which is the powerful urge to eat after a smoke sesh. However, what may come as a shock to many is that even smokers who get the munchies regularly are thinner than their counterparts who don’t use cannabis.

The link between cannabis and weight/appetite is not a recent development by any means, with research dating back to 1988 coming from John Hopkins University. The late 80s study found that subjects who smoke cannabis regularly also ate an average of 40% more calories than the non-smoking control group.

These results were echoed in a recent survey that found a whopping 28% of people believe that eating is the most enjoyable activity after smoking bud – this is nearly double the amount of people who cited “having sex”.


And this gluttony isn’t random, there’s a scientific reason behind this phenomenon. As it turns out, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), stimulates the release of a hormone called ghrelin, which is typically released when the stomach is empty to signal the body to feel hunger and find food. Also, according to a study conducted by a neuroscientist in Bordeaux, THC may also enhance the olfactory system, which controls smell and may be another trigger for eating.

It’s also been officially noted that cannabis doesn’t enhance general food cravings, but it specifically makes people go for high-calorie foods like ice cream, cookies, and chips.

What’s most interesting about all this though, is the fact that the excess snacking doesn’t lead to weight gain. Researchers at Michigan State University came to this conclusion after looking at data on 33,000 subjects collected over a three-year period by the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions.

“We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight,” said lead study author Omayma Alshaarawy. “Only 15 per cent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 per cent of non-users.”

The reason for this is not yet known, and before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s not the time to jump on the “cannabis as a diet” fad just yet. But considering the quickly rising rates of obesity in the United States and other parts of the world, it’s worth investigating how exactly cannabis correlates with weight and how we can use this to our advantage.

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World-Leading Medics Slam U.K. Medical Cannabis Regime

World leading medics have issued a stinging rebuke to the U.K health authorities slamming their ‘negative’ approach to medical cannabis.

In a letter to The BMJ – the country’s leading medical research journal – the experts highlight the success of the medical cannabis programmes elsewhere in the world.

They say, that unless the U.K. authorities change their ‘restrictive’ approach and opt to rely on ‘real-world data’ the National Health Service will continue to ‘fail’ patients. And, they call for the creation of ‘real-world patient registers’ ,as used elsewhere in Europe and the U.S, to support the U.K.’s clinical trials.


Lack Of Prescriptions

Whilst many of the signatories are medical officers at world-leading cannabis companies – many of whom will benefit from a thriving U.K. regime – their frustrations are shared across the wider medical cannabis community.

In the letter they highlight the uptake of medical cannabis across the world, as follows:

  • Canada; September 2018, 342,103 patients
  • Australia; over 17,300
  • California, May 2018; around 916,845 patients
  • Germany, legalized in March 2017; an now estimated 60 to 80,000 patients
  • Italy; 12,998 patients

And they compare this to the U.K where only 12 medical cannabis prescriptions had been issued, and this may account for as few as two patients. When the U.K. changed the law in November, last year, there was widespread hope this would be the dawning of a new era for medical cannabis, but it has been anything but.

This point is taken up the dozen-or-so signatories which include; Dr Jonathan Page, PhD, Chief Science Officer, at Aurora and Dr Mark A Ware, MSc. Departments of Family Medicine and Anaesthesia, McGill University and Chief Medical Officer, Canopy Growth Corporation;

They go on to say that demand from patients in the U.K. is ‘unlikely’ to be met, due to the ‘negative’ recommendations from NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

‘Patient-Centred’ Data

And they state the ‘current paucity of data’ is ‘justification for its restrictive guidance despite ‘high quality assessments’ on the efficacy of medical cannabis from bodies such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Like many in the medical cannabis community they rail at the fixation with  the Random Control Trial process and call for a real-world patient centric approach.

The letter says: “Many clinical trials have employed the use of surrogate, composite and subjective endpoints, and have failed to allow patients to inform research outcomes. This has often undermined the clinical relevance of these studies, and has resulted in a failure to adequately capture the real-world benefits of cannabis in the lives of patients.”

With ‘the limited numbers of life threatening and serious adverse events’ attributable to medical cannabis they call for a more ‘open approach which will include the creation of real-world patient registries’.

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U.K. U-Turn Means 10,000 Patients May Get Cannabis Medicine

Global cannabis powerhouse GW Pharmaceuticals has been successful in its talks with the U.K. health authorities and NHS patients can now access its drugs for two types of epilepsy and spasticity.

This should allow over 10,000 patients easier access to GW’s Sativex and Epidyolex cannabis medicines through the country’s National Health Service (NHS). The decision has been welcomed by U.K. firm GW, charities and campaigners whilst others say its a missed opportunity as the new recommendations ‘have not gone far enough’.

In August, the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) interim report into the cost-effectiveness of Cannabis Based Medicinal Products (CBMPs)  was unveiled. 


Epidyolex Over-Priced?

It ruled GW’s Epidyolex and Sativex too expensive, but following months of talks GW Pharmaceuticals has learnt both drugs have now been approved for use by the NHS in England. Experts estimate the cost of Epidyolex at around £20,000 to £30,000 a year and GW’s chief operating officer Chris Tovey said, at the time, it was in discussions with NICE over pricing.

Responding to the latest news in a company press release, he said: “This is a momentous occasion for UK patients and families..(and)… proof that cannabis-based medicines can successfully go through extensive randomised placebo-controlled trials and a rigorous NICE evaluation process to reach patients.”

Doctors will now be able to prescribe Epidyolex, for children with two types of severe epilepsy – Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. An estimated 3,000 people with Dravet and 5,000 with Lennox Gastaut syndrome in England will benefit.

Sativex, a mouth spray that contains a mix of THC and CBD, has been approved for treating muscle stiffness and spasms, known as spasticity, in multiple sclerosis. However doctors will not be allowed to prescribe it to treat pain.

‘Great News’

Prof Helen Cross, a consultant in pediatric neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who led UK trials of Epidyolex, said it was ‘great news’. However the campaign group, End Our Pain, said the new guidelines are a massive missed opportunity.

The BBC report spokeswoman Millie Hinton saying: “This restrictive guidance is condemning many patients to having to pay for life-transforming medicine privately, to go without or to consider accessing illegal and unregulated sources.”

Genevieve Edwards, from the MS Society, said they had been campaigning for access to Sativex for years and ‘it was brilliant NICE has finally listened’. But, she hit out at the lack of recommendations on pain saying it is a common symptom of MS.

The NICE guide guidelines found a lack of evidence regarding the use of cannabis drugs in the management of chronic pain.

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‘1.4 Million Brits Using Street Cannabis For Health Conditions’

New research suggesting 1.4 million people in the U.K. use street cannabis to treat medical conditions has been questioned by one of the country’s leading experts.

The findings are revealed in a survey by pollsters YouGov for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) and its spin-off organisation CPASS. It finds that 56% of those using cannabis for their medical conditions did so on a daily basis, with a further 23% on a weekly basis – all in the U.K.

Some 44% spend up to £99 per month, with a further 21% spending between £100 and £199, and around 9%, seemingly, growing their own.

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A ‘Pinch Of Salt’

However Ian Hamilton, a Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health at York University, speaking at a the Global Cannabis Institute Conference in London last week questioned the findings.

Pointing to the overall decline in cannabis use in the U.K over the last decade-or-so he said he would take these finding with a ‘pinch of salt’. Mr Hamilton explained how the number of people, using cannabis in the U.K. had fallen from over 5% of the population to around 3% in the last ten years.

However he went on to say the the number of users, who are now presenting themselves for medical help with their cannabis use had risen over that time.

He said: “Overall cannabis use is declining, and most people grow out of using cannabis, as they mature, into their thirties.” He highlighted how the strength and potency of street cannabis had increased over the last few decades.

Social Harm

He said in many instances this could lead to social harm as the implications for many users are in relation to a loss of impulse control, which can plunge their families into debt. 

Highlighting last year’s legal changes allowing for the prescription of  medical cannabis he said the U.K. was developing a two-tier system leaving it out of the reach for this on lower incomes.

He went on to say the U.K. tradition of mixing cannabis with tobacco is uncommon elsewhere and decoupling the two could make a significant contribution to country’s health. In a press release the CMC said that previous research estimated somewhere between 50,000 and 1.1 million people in the UK  use cannabis for its health benefits. 

It said its 1.4m figure ‘accurately identify the incidence of street-available cannabis use for medical intent amongst the general population in England, Wales and Scotland’. It will release further drawls on these finding in the coming weeks, it said.

Dr Daniel Couch, Medical Lead, Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, said: ”For the first time we have reliable, representative data regarding the number of people in Britain using cannabis as a medicine. The findings are astounding and present a national challenge. We urgently require robust clinical evidence to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid medicines.”

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Why are women using CBD products — and do they work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other products containing CBD are being touted as a natural, organic remedy for a wide range of women’s health concerns. Sellers of these products make many claims: CBD has calming effects on sleep, mood, and anxiety; eases hot flashes and improves bone density by balancing hormonal changes of menopause; and has anti-inflammatory properties that clear skin, cure acne, and calm rosacea. It’s promoted for PMS symptoms like bloating and mood swings. And CBD-infused lubricants claim to boost arousal and enjoyment of sex. So, how much of this is true?

First, what is CBD?

CBD is a major ingredient in cannabis plants (like hemp and marijuana). It comes in different strengths and forms, often as CBD oil, but also in pills and powders. It can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled. (Vaping it, however, may not be safe, as this blog post and web page from the CDC explain.)

Unlike marijuana, pure CBD products don’t make you feel high. A different ingredient in marijuana called THC makes people feel high.

Does CBD have proven benefits?

So far, there’s not much evidence on the medical benefits of CBD, partly because laws on marijuana made it difficult to study. Until we learn more, it’s wise to keep in mind that few high-quality studies have been done.

  • In 2018 the FDA approved a drug derived from CBD to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This medication was shown in randomized clinical trials to reduce the frequency of seizures (see here and here).
  • A few studies have found CBD may improve anxiety, but the studies were small and of poor quality (see here and here).
  • Some laboratory research on human cells suggests CBD may have anti-inflammatory effects on oil-secreting glands in the skin. This might have implications for acne and other inflammatory skin disorders, but further research is needed to confirm this. And while CBD in skin products is unlikely to harm you, most dermatologists agree that there are more effective and better-studied medications and treatments for acne and inflammatory skin disorders.

Other potential benefits of CBD aren’t clear. No high-quality research shows that CBD improves sex drive, decreases pain, treats depression or mood disorders, decreases PMS symptoms like bloating and cramps, or relieves symptoms of menopause like hot flashes. This may change as more studies are done, but for now, the jury is out.

Are CBD products safe?

The short answer is this: pure CBD seems to be safe for most people. However, we don’t have rigorous studies and long-term data to prove whether or not a wide range of CBD products are safe for everyone. For example, there is no evidence to suggest that CBD is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or for people who are immunocompromised.

Because CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA in the way that drugs are, there is huge variation in quality and, quite possibly, safety. In 2017–2018, counterfeit CBD oil was found that contained synthetic cannabinoids and led to a poisoning outbreak in Utah.

Testing shows purity and dosage can be unreliable in many products. One study found less than a third of the products tested had the amount of CBD shown on the label. Another study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than stated. In addition, THC (the component that can make you feel high) was found in 18 products.

Does CBD cause side effects?

CBD can cause side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness. Additionally, it can interact with certain medicines, such as blood thinners and antiseizure drugs. If you would like to start using CBD products, it’s best to first talk to your doctor.

The takeaway

There are a lot of extravagant product claims out there about the benefits of CBD for women, but little high-quality research supports them. CBD oil and other CBD products aren’t well regulated. It’s possible what you are buying is counterfeit or contaminated. Before using CBD — especially if you plan to vape or ingest it — first talk with your doctor or healthcare provider to learn whether it could be safe and helpful for you.

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Israeli Cannabis Company Secures Country’s First Canadian Flotation

After securing C$20 million to boost its European operations, International Medical Cannabis (IMC) has become the first Israeli company to list its shares in Canada.

IMC will trade under the ticker ‘IMCC’ on the Canadian Securities Exchange and may well be the first of many Israeli companies to follow this path, reports Cannabis Investing News.

Israeli daily financial website Calcalist recently reported on an anticipated flow of domestic companies to Canada. With cannabis being legal in Canada it affords ambitious firms proximity to some of the leading global cannabis companies and access to an established cannabis-savvy financial system.


Global Ambitions

IMC has global ambitions with an keen focus on the European market and it will use the proceeds of a successful $20 million private fund-raising round to bolster its footprint in Germany, Portugal and Greece

Oren Shuster, Chief Executive Officer, said it was doing ‘exceptionally well to position the company as a market leader in the European Union’. He said its European expansion strategy includes operations in Germany, a supply agreement in Europe, and will soon include operations in Portugal and Greece

IMC says it views the German market as particularly attractive given its size, regulatory structure and proximity to Israel, and earlier this year it purchased Adjupharm a German EU-GMP manufacturer and distributor. 

Import Licenses

This business has licenses to import, export and distribute medical cannabis in Germany and has been distributing medical products to pharmacies for over 10 years, says IMC

Mr Shuster went on to say he expects the demand for medical cannabis in the EU to ‘continue to increase over the long-term’, and its ambitions in Europe will will be supported by a continued focus on its domestic research and development. Over 50 cannabis companies have made their initial public offering on Canadian stock exchanges Toronto Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange Venture Exchange, which are both operated by TMX Group. 

Rob Peterman, a vice president of global development at TMX,  told Calcalist that Israeli companies will find a large investor base and access to research and cash fluidity in Canada.

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Using Cannabis to Treat Crohn’s Disease – Does it Really Work?

Over the last few years, people have been using cannabis to treat a myriad of diseases, including Crohn’s Disease; but what does science have to say about this?

There are numerous articles going so far as to claim cannabis can actually cure patients who are suffering from Crohn’s Disease. Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease have even appeared together in the mainstream media when a Kansas mother was arrested a few years prior for using the plant for this condition.

It seems like the evidence – anecdotal at least – is promising, but unfortunately the research isn’t so cut and dry. Let’s take a look at what scientists have discovered so far.


What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of the bowels. Because it impacts the digestive tract, Crohn’s can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and/or nausea, anemia, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Severity varies from uncomfortable to life-threatening. In some cases, portions of the colon might be lost and the patient may need a colostomy bag.

There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease but for some people, the symptoms can be manageable. Patients will need regular screening for colorectal cancer due to increased risk and some will require surgery. However, for the bulk of people suffering from Crohn’s Disease, steroid and immunosuppressant drugs are the go-to treatment option.

These drugs aren’t without their negative side, however. Side effects include: Blurred vision, cataracts or glaucoma, easy bruising, difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, and increased susceptibility to infection.

To mitigate these side effects, many people are turning back to nature and self-medicating with cannabis.

Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease: The Science

A 2018 study conducted by the University of Western Ontario looked at whether or not cannabinoids were capable of inducing and maintaining remission for Crohn’s. Researchers came back with inconclusive results.

A Maine-based physician believes in the treatment, however, and he uses it regularly at his own practice. “We’ve treated maybe 400 people with inflammatory bowel disease, [and] we’ve seen a whole range,” says Dr. Sulak in an interview with Leafly.

“We’ve seen people who are on biologic drugs that have been able to achieve better control when adding cannabis, and then over time get off those drugs and retain their remission. We see people who just don’t tolerate those drugs because they have a lot of side effects and they come here for alternatives, and cannabis works well. And [for some], cannabis doesn’t work.”

“There’s no single approach that can specifically address the symptoms,” he continued. “For example, low dose of CBD isn’t likely to help a chronic patient, whereas THCA is an important cannabinoid that should be included in treatment.”

What is THCA?

THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the precursor compound to the most dominant cannabinoid in cannabis plants, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Contrary to popular belief, THC isn’t found in fresh buds; it’s actually THCA until heat is applied, then the THCA loose it’s carboxyl acid group and becomes THC. This process is known as decarboxylation.

So when you buy buds from a dispensary and you see “THC content” on the label, that’s technically inaccurate. It’s listed this way because the cannabis buds must be heated or altered in some way to be consumed, so the consumer will feel the effects of THC. However, when it’s sitting in that jar on the dispensary shelf, it’s still full of THCA.

Looking Forward

There is currently a clinical trial in the works that will assess the effects of cannabis on 500-1,000 patients with Crohn’s Disease. The study will take place at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel. This will be led by Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, a medical cannabis physician from California.

Aside from that, patients are relying on anecdotal evidence and (hopefully) candid conversations with their healthcare providers to learn more about using cannabis to treat their Crohn’s Disease.

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The Connection Between Cannabis and Lupus

Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that’s increasing in prevalence in the United States, and many people are searching for relief in the form of cannabis. 

Lupus is chronic condition, inflammatory-based, in which the body’s immune system becomes too active and begins to attack normal, healthy tissue and organs. The effects of lupus can be widespread, impacting the skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs. Lupus is mainly seen in women between the ages of 15 to 44, although in some rare cases, men and infants can be affected as well. African American women are more likely to suffer from lupus than any other race.

There are 4 different types of lupus; Systemic (most common), Cutaneous (skin only), Drug-induced, and neonatal (to infants of affected mothers). Aside from cutaneous, all the other types of Lupus share similar symptoms which include: Fatigue, fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, chest pain, difficulty breathing, headaches, rashes.

There is no cure for lupus and the number of cases continue to rise in most of the developed world, particularly in the United States. Treatment options vary but many patients are turning to cannabis to ease their symptoms, and the results seem promising.


Does Cannabis Actually Work?

At the moment, there are no studies or clinical trials looking specifically at the use of cannabis to treat symptoms of lupus. There is, however, interesting research on how cannabinoids interact with the immune system.

According to the findings of a prominent, 2010 study, “Cannabinoids have been tested in several experimental models of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and hepatitis and have been shown to protect the host from the pathogenesis through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways.”

The study went on to explain that “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms. This property of cannabinoids is mediated through multiple pathways such as induction of apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppression of cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites and upregulation of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.”

Based on these discoveries alone, lupus-focused research is certainly warranted, but legal hurdles and issues with product consistency remain barriers to overcome.

What Kind Of Numbers?

A survey conducted by LupusCorner discovered that 36 percent of the 781 people interviewed use cannabis in some capacity. Out of those, 83% said it helped their symptoms and they would recommend it to others. 71 percent report smoking it, while a total of 40 percent use some type of CBD-only product like oil, hemp flowers, or softgels.

Something else noteworthy about this study is that 96% of people say they had no discussion with their primary care provider about the use of cannabis for treating Lupus. Briana Smith, 27-year-old from Texas says that she’s been using CBD oil for a long time to treat her symptoms once they started becoming frighteningly severe. She did this without any advice from a medical professional.

“To this day, it’s still a question that I’m too afraid to ask my doctor.”

This disconnect between doctors and patients indicates that people are relying on their own research and recommendations from people they know. Self-medicating can be empowering, but also complicated when dealing with an unregulated industry.

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The post The Connection Between Cannabis and Lupus appeared first on CBD Testers.

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