Self-Medication of Somatic and Psychiatric Conditions Using Botanical Marijuana.

“As a complement to research evaluating botanical marijuana as a medical therapy for various somatic and psychiatric conditions, there is a growing body of research assessing marijuana users’ self-reports of the symptoms and conditions for which they use marijuana without a physician’s recommendation.

As part of two larger web-based surveys and one in-situ survey at an outdoor marijuana festival, we asked regular marijuana users if they consumed the drug without a physician’s recommendation and, if so, to describe (or select from a checklist) the conditions for which they used marijuana as a medication.

Participants reported using marijuana to self-medicate a wide variety of both somatic conditions (such as pain, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome) and psychiatric conditions (such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia).

Because fewer than half of the American states, and only a few countries, allow physicians to recommend medicinal marijuana, these findings may be of interest to clinicians as they treat patients, to lawmakers and policymakers as they consider legislation allowing physicians to recommend botanical marijuana for somatic and psychiatric conditions, and to researchers evaluating conditions that individuals elect to self-medicate using botanical marijuana.”

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Self-medication of achalasia with cannabis, complicated by a cannabis use disorder.

“Achalasia is a rare esophagus motility disorder. Medical, endoscopic and surgical treatments are available, but all endorse high relapse rates. No data has been published to date reporting a therapeutic effect of cannabis use neither in achalasia nor on its influence on manometric measurements.

We report the case of a patient diagnosed with achalasia. He could benefit from a large panel of therapeutic interventions, but none of them was effective over the time. He first used cannabis at age 20 and identified benefits regarding achalasia symptoms. He maintained regular moderate cannabis use for 9 years, with minimal digestive inconvenience. A manometry performed without cannabis premedication was realized at age 26 and still found a cardiospasm.

Cannabis use could explain the gap between functional symptoms assessment and manometry measurement. Further investigations are warranted to explore a therapeutic effect of cannabis in achalasia and possible influence on outcome measurements.”

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