Medical marijuana programs – Why might they matter for public health and why should we better understand their impacts?

“Although cannabis is an illegal drug, ‘medical marijuana programs’ (MMPs) have proliferated (e.g., in Canada and several US states), allowing for legal cannabis use for therapeutic purposes.

While both health risks and potential therapeutic  for cannabis use have been documented, potential public health impacts of MMPs – also vis-à-vis other psychoactive substance use – remain under-explored.

We briefly reviewed the emerging evidence on MMP participants’ health status, and specifically other psychoactive substance use behaviors and outcomes.

MMP participants report improvements in overall health status, and specifically reductions in levels of risky alcohol, prescription drug and – to some extent – tobacco or other illicit drug use…”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26844050

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Use and effects of cannabinoids in military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

“Published evidence regarding the use of cannabis and cannabis derivatives by military veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is reviewed.

SUMMARY:

When inhaled or delivered orally or transdermally, cannabinoids (the psychoactive components of unrefined marijuana and various derivative products) activate endogenous cannabinoid receptors, modulating neurotransmitter release and producing a wide range of central nervous system effects, including increased pleasure and alteration of memory processes. Those effects provide a pharmacologic rationale for the use of cannabinoids to manage the three core PTSD symptom clusters: reexperiencing, avoidance and numbing, and hyperarousal.

Cross-sectional studies have found a direct correlation between more severe PTSD symptomatology and increased motivation to use cannabis for coping purposes, especially among patients with difficulties in emotional regulation or stress tolerance. Data from 4 small studies suggested that cannabinoid use was associated with global improvements in PTSD symptoms or amelioration of specific PTSD symptoms such as insomnia and nightmares.

CONCLUSION:

While further research into cannabinoid treatment effects on PTSD symptoms is required, the evaluated evidence indicates that substantial numbers of military veterans with PTSD use cannabis or derivative products to control PTSD symptoms, with some patients reporting benefits in terms of reduced anxiety and insomnia and improved coping ability.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26195653

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Biomedical benefits of cannabinoids?

“Cannabinoids appear to be of therapeutic value as antiemetics, antispasmodics, analgesics and appetite stimulants and may have potential uses in epilepsy, glaucoma and asthma.

This paper reviews the clinical trials which have been carried out with cannabinoids including Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone and levonantradol, and discusses the advantages and adverse effects of cannabinoids in clinical use.

The place of cannabinoids in modern medicine remains to be properly evaluated, but present evidence suggests that they could be valuable, particularly as adjuvants, for symptom control in a range of conditions for which standard drugs are not fully satisfactory.”

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Cannabis Use and Reduced Risk of Insulin Resistance in HIV-HCV Infected Patients: A Longitudinal Analysis (ANRS CO13 HEPAVIH).

“Diabetes and insulin resistance (IR) is common in human immunodeficiency virus-hepatitis C virus (HIV-HCV)-coinfected patients…

Cannabis has been associated with reduced IR risk in some population-based surveys.

We determined whether cannabis use was consistently associated with reduced IR risk in HEPAVIH, a French nationwide cohort of HIV-HCV-coinfected patients…

Cannabis use is associated with a lower IR risk in HIV-HCV-coinfected patients.

The benefits of cannabis-based pharmacotherapies for patients concerned with increased risk of IR and diabetes need to be evaluated in clinical research and practice.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25778750

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Potential of the cannabinoid CB2 receptor as a pharmacological target against inflammation in Parkinson’s disease.

“Inflammation is an important pathogenic factor in Parkinson’s disease (PD), so that it can contribute to kill dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra and to enhance the dopaminergic denervation of the striatum.

The cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptor has been investigated as a potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective target in different neurodegenerative disorders, but still limited evidence has been collected in PD.

Here, we show for the first time that CB2 receptors are elevated in microglial cells recruited and activated at lesioned sites in the substantia nigra of PD patients compared to control subjects.

Using this experimental model, we recently described a much more intense deterioration of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-containing nigral neurons in CB2 receptor-deficient mice compared to wild-type animals, supporting a potential neuroprotective role for this receptor. In the present study, we further explored this issue…

In conclusion, we have provided the first evidence on the up-regulation of CB2receptors in glial elements in postmortem tissues of PD patients, which has been confirmed in an inflammatory model of this disease. In addition, we have provided evidence on the benefits derived from their activation in relation with the activation of microglial cells, the infiltration of macrophages and also certain capability of these cells to generate proinflammatory factors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25863279

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/parkinsons-disease/

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Medical Marijuana is Being Used to Successfully Treat the Symptoms of Lupus in Patients

“Cannabis is considered an ideal medication to help Lupus patients cope with the symptoms of the disorder like nausea and pain. It’s also known to be an anti-inflammatory, suppressing certain parts of the immune system.”

By lowering the levels of the inflammation-promoting protein interleukin-2, and raising levels of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-10, cannabis shows that it may be beneficial for treating autoimmune disorders where inflammation is the main complication.”

“There is no doubt that cannabis has some medicinal benefits, and helps patients to cope with symptoms of Lupus. On the contrary, medical cannabis is only legal in a number of states. The naturally grown “drug” remains illegal on a federal level, so one should consider the law and its consequences before deciding to self-medicate. Even if you live in a state where cannabis is legal medicinally, always consult your doctor before using cannabis to treat your condition.”

More Helpful Medical Marijuana & Lupus Resources:

  • http://www.mcsocal.com/blog/plaquenil-rheumatoid-arthritis-lupus-and-marijuana-cannabis
  • http://cure4lupus.org/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=164&chapter=1
  • http://www.thelupussite.com/
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/lupus/
  • http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html
  • http://lupus.webmd.com/news/20030415/cannabis-may-suppress-immune-system
  • http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/features/autoimmune-disease-and-ra
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lupus/DS00115/DSECTION=alternative-medicine

More: http://www.medicaljane.com/2013/01/07/lupus-and-medical-marijuana/

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Marijuana tied to better blood sugar control – NBC

“People who had used marijuana in the past month had smaller waists and lower levels of insulin resistance – a diabetes precursor – than those who never tried the drug, in a new study.

The findings, based on surveys and blood tests of about 4,700 U.S. adults, aren’t enough to prove marijuana keeps users thin or wards off disease. And among current pot smokers, higher amounts of marijuana use weren’t linked to any added health benefits, researchers reported in The American Journal of Medicine.

“These are preliminary findings,” said Dr. Murray Mittleman, who worked on the study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

“It looks like there may be some favorable effects on blood sugar control, however a lot more needs to be done to have definitive answers on the risks and potential benefits of marijuana usage.”

Although pot smoking is a well-known cause of “the munchies,” some previous studies have found marijuana users tend to weigh less than other people, and one suggested they have a lower rate of diabetes. Trials in mice and rats hint that cannabis and cannabinoid receptors may influence metabolism.”

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51981899

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Marijuana has newly discovered benefits with profound possibilities

Benefits of marijuana may include help for diabetes type 2, obesity, 'good' cholesterol and more  

“According to new scientific evidence, breaking out the bong for some Mother Nature has multiple health benefits. According the American Journal of Medicine (AJA), the benefits are remarkable and some fly in the face of what should be expected from a drug that produces the ‘munchies’, a rabid appetite. The AJA reports no weight gain from marijuana users and reports marijuana may help prevent diabetes type 2 and obesity.

These benefits apply specifically to perennial pot smokers and not to former smokers.”

More: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/steps-authentic-happiness-positive-psychology/2013/jun/4/marijuana-has-newly-discovered-benefits-profound-p/

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Is marijuana good for your health? New study shows benefits

“People who had used marijuana in the past month had smaller waists and lower levels of insulin resistance – a diabetes precursor – than those who never tried the drug, in a new study.

“These are preliminary findings,” said Dr. Murray Mittleman, who worked on the study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. 

“It looks like there may be some favorable effects on blood sugar control, however a lot more needs to be done to have definitive answers on the risks and potential benefits of marijuana usage.”

Although pot smoking is a well-known cause of “the munchies,” some previous studies have found marijuana users tend to weigh less than other people, and one suggested they have a lower rate of diabetes. Trials in mice and rats hint that cannabis and cannabinoid receptors may influence metabolism.”
 
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Marijuana blood sugar study shows potential health benefits for users

“A study shows a positive link between marijuana and blood sugar control in diabetes patients. A study by the National Health and Nutrition Surveyfound that marijuana use is linked to smaller waists, better blood sugar control and insulin resistance.”
 
File/UPI /Jim Bryant
 

“Researchers based in Boston compared five years’ worth of data from 579 marijuana users and thousands of non-users, LA Weekly reported.

The results come from a comparison of insulin and glucose levels in both groups. Participants that had used pot in the last month had much lower levels of fasting insulin and higher levels of so-called “good” cholesterol HDL-C — which may mean big news for diabetics.

Researchers hypothesize that marijuana could be used to control and manage diabetics’ blood sugar levels.”

More: http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/05/23/Marijuana-blood-sugar-study-shows-potential-health-benefits-for-users/8731369343626/

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