Tags Posts tagged with "ptsd"

ptsd

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South Carolina is a state that barely allows patients access to non-intoxicating types of cannabis oil. One state lawmaker plans to change that in the 2017 session by suggesting a proposal aimed at establishing a more comprehensive medical cannabis program.

Senator Tom Davis, who is thought of one of the state’s leading forces in the push for marijuana reform, has introduced a bill called the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow patients with a variety of health conditions to purchase cannabis from state licensed dispensaries as long as they have a doctor’s approval.

Senator Davis told a group earlier this week, “If a doctor in his or her professional opinion believes that cannabis can be of a medicinal benefit to a patient for whatever reason, whether it’s epilepsy, PTSD or glaucoma or any number of things, and then why should 170 politicians in Columbia be the ones that say no?” Davis continued, “ I really think it says something about our state negatively that we do not allow doctors to make decisions that are in their patients’ best interest. I mean to me that’s not what an enlightened, concerned and caring state does.”

Davis’ bill would not give patients the freedom to engage in home cultivation, unlike similar legislation introduced by State Representative Todd Rutherford, which would give individuals with only a handful of serious conditions access to medical cannabis. Providing patients with safe medicine, while keeping a tight leash on marijuana production, is the goal of the Compassionate Care Act, according to Davis.

Last year, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said that she would be open to discussing the issue of a more comprehensive program. Reports indicate that Haley has already had several meetings with Senator Davis on the subject, but she has not signaled whether she would sign a reform of this magnitude if it lands on her desk this year.

It will first be up to the state legislature to get onboard with the concept. Last year, the South Carolina Senate voted 7 to 4 against a medical cannabis bill brought forth by Senator Davis. One thing is certain, South Carolina residents support the issue. The latest Winthrop Polls finds that 78% of the state’s citizens are in favor of medical cannabis.

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According to a New York University press release, a new study by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine has discovered a relation between the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This discovery is paving the way towards a more efficient treatment.

This research is the first to use brain imaging to show that patients suffering from PTSD have lower concentrations of anandamide than the average person. The researchers tested 60 people from three different groups: some who have been diagnosed with PTSD, some who have had a history of trauma but no symptoms, and some with a history of neither.

Scientists administered a safe radioactive tracer which illuminated the participants’ CB1 receptors when exposed to a PET scan. The conclusions show that the patients suffering from PTSD had more CB1 receptors in the areas of their brains that are tied in with anxiety and fear than those without PTSD. It was also discovered that people with the condition have lower levels of anandamide, which leads to an increased number of CB1 receptors.

What this demonstrates is that using cannabis could ease some of the effects of PTSD. It could greatly reduce the anxiety, fear, and stress that many who suffer from the disorder feel on a regular basis. The cannabinoids found in the marijuana are what provide such strong medicinal value for the individuals suffering from PTSD.
Researcher and lead author of the study Alexander Neumeister stated, “There’s not a single pharmacological treatment out there that has been developed specifically for PTSD. That’s a problem. There’s a consensus among clinicians that existing pharmaceutical treatments such as antidepressant simply do not work.” He notes that individuals suffering from PTSD typically find more relief from cannabis than antidepressants.

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Not all products made from cannabidiol, which is the chemical compound found in marijuana, are the same not only does the potency vary from product to product but so too does its legality in the United States. In large part, where the CBD oil, as it’s called, is derived from makes a big difference. CBD has seen a spike in popularity-even in states where medical marijuana is not legal, CBD oil often is.

CBD does have a slight calming effect and is useful in treating epileptic seizures, pain, inflammation, arthritis, alcoholism, depression, PTSD, and so on. Next to THC, it’s one of the most prominent cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, in cannabis. It’s legal in many states where medical marijuana is not. The legal difference between hemp and marijuana, both products of the cannabis plant, rests on the plant’s THC content. If a plant has less than 0.03 percent THC, it qualifies as hemp.

“However, if we’re talking about the federal legality of a CBD product, it depends on where it derives from,” said attorney Michael Chernis, founder of Chernis Law Group P.C. The federal definition of marijuana doesn’t exclude CBD, industrial hemp, or products with less than 0.03 percent THC. According to Chernis, “The legality of a product containing CBD depends on the plant material from which it was derived, and not its percentage of THC.” Therefore, CBD products made from marijuana bud are still federally illegal, while CBD products made from hemp stalks cultivated outside the United States are legal.

Only government-licensed hemp growers or state-licensed medical marijuana growers can grow cannabis for CBD, though many CBD products also come from international sources. Watch out because a lot of these products are just snake oil. The FDA regulates CBD products derived from hemp only as a dietary supplement, meaning the FDA isn’t authorized to review them for safety and efficacy before they’re marketed. This is ironic, given how strictly regulated and enforced other marijuana products are on the state level.

In February 2015, several firms marketing CBD products for the diagnosis, cure, and treatment of diseases received warning letters from the FDA. After having tested these products, the FDA found that some of them didn’t even contain CBD. “Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products,” the FDA stated. Some have reported getting sick from “CBD products” that were manufactured poorly with a cocktail of other chemicals. Project CBD, an educational site, recommends CBD products derived from whole-plant cannabis.

CBD from industrial hemp, which is grown to make other non-ingestible products like textiles or rope, contains less CBD than marijuana strains like AC/DC, Charlotte’s Web, or Harlequin, that are rich in CBD. Industrial hemp CBD products risk possessing contaminants, since hemp is a “Bio-accumulator,” meaning that it “Naturally draws toxins from the soil,” according to Project CBD. Hemp-derived CBD also lacks essential terpenes and other cannabinoids that cannabis oil CBD contains. The entourage effect, or the synergistic relationship between all the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis, is lacking from industrial hemp-derived CBD products. It’s technically illegal to use hemp leaves and flowers for drug products.

“Hemp oil entrepreneurs attempt to sidestep this legal hurdle by dubiously claiming they extract CBD only from hemp stalk before importing it to the United States, a grey area activity at best,” according to Project CBD. While the CBD market can be tricky to navigate, CBD itself could add very straightforward relief to those who need it.

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A recent study indicates marijuana may help individuals suffering with mental health disease. There are currently 28 states which allow the legal use of cannabis in one form or another. Recently (November 2016) recreational use of pot was approved by four states with four others approving medical marijuana. Scientists have discovered that cannabis contains greater than 100 cannabinoids which cause biological effects on the body. Medical marijuana is currently prescribed for conditions such as: arthritis, cancer treatment side effects, PTSD, depression as well as anxiety.

Pot’s role in modern medicine is still a bit blurry. There is a shortage of clinical research in this area mainly due to the fact that the majority of studies focus on illegal use of cannabis instead of researching its therapeutic effects. Another huge factor in the lack of research is the fact that marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug, making it practically impossible to study. A team of scientist in the U.S. and Canada conducted a study of the science in search of answers regarding pot’s possible mental health benefits.

During this research scientists found proof that marijuana may benefit individuals suffering from depression, social anxiety as well as PTSD and published their finding in the journal Clinical Psychology Review. On the other hand; the use of cannabis appears to have greater negative than positive side effects for individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. “This is a substance that has potential use for mental health,” said an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, Zach Walsh. “We should be looking at it in the same way [as other drugs] and be holding it up to the same standard.”

Even though further study is necessary, research proposed that marijuana can possibly deal with addiction. “We are really excited about the potential substitution effect,” said study author Zach Walsh, associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. “If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits. The level of opioid overdoses is so high right now.”

All drugs can have side effects. Walsh along with other scientist agreed that until more is revealed all aspects of marijuana need to be further researched in order to better understand its benefits as well as any possible dangers.

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Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie stunned critics this past Wednesday by stepping up and expanding the state’s medical marijuana program, signing his name on a bill allowing post-traumatic stress disorder to be added to the program’s list of qualified medical issues. On Thursday, the Republican governor, who has previously characterized the efforts to expand medical marijuana as a “Front for legalization,” signed his name on a proposal that includes PTSD sufferers in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Highlighting that close to 20 percent of the veterans who served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are living with PTSD, Christie states the new law “Would provide struggling veterans and others with the ability to use medical marijuana to treat PTSD.”

The law requires the patient’s doctor or medical physician to confirm that conventional medical treatment is useless. Assemblyman Tim Eustace, the lawmaker responsible for moving Assembly Bill 457 through the legislature, stated that while adding PTSD the list of medical issues that would allow patients to use cannabis is a victory, New Jersey’s law remains far from comprehensive.

Eustace told North Jersey.com that he plans to address the issue of adding more qualified conditions in the near future, as well as make a push to allow edible cannabis products for children suffering from epilepsy. Currently, New Jersey ‘s medical marijuana program only provides patients with a handful of serious medical issues to access the program.

Christie’s supports adding PTSD to the state’s list of qualified medical issues which comes weeks after more than 18,000 people signed a petition on Change.org calling on him to add his signature to the bill.
Christie can’t run for re-election in 2017 because of the state’s term limits law. Ironically, veterans hoping to get their hands on medical marijuana will need to find a doctor outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs to make it happen.

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The state of New York is about to expand its medical marijuana program to help better meet the needs of all patients and improve accessibility. The state’s new regulations were endorsed by the Department of Health and will incorporate things like home delivery and doubling the amount of businesses that can provide medical marijuana. The New York Times documented that the amended policy is expected to be announced on Tuesday. Supporters of medical marijuana have previously scrutinized New York’s program for being too limited.

“We’ve always been interested in expanding the program,” Alphonso David, Governor Cuomo’s counsel, said to the Times.

Kassandra Frederique, the state director at the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York office, released information to the Times that patients have been asking for a lot of these changes for the past year and a half. Many of the new policies will make life a lot more subtle for patients who use medical marijuana. As of now, there are only five firms in the state of New York that are allowed to sell the marijuana legally. The state intends to expand that number to 10 so that patients hopefully will not have to travel a great distance to find a dispensary.

Home delivery will help those who have difficulty traveling at all. Nurse practitioners will now be allowed to certify patients for using medical marijuana. Some physicians are reluctant to recommend marijuana, or even refer a patient to someone who would be able to because marijuana is still a Schedule I drug in the eyes of the federal government.

Expanding the role of nurse practitioners will hopefully ease that problem. New York plans to add more conditions to the list of those that qualify a patient for medical marijuana use. The state is expected to expand its list of qualifying disabilities to include PTSD and similar mental health disorders, and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

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Eating disorders have been becoming much more prevalent, although they were already popular in the past. Some people simply do not get the urge to eat, and obviously, they must. Here is one solution that they likely have not tried: marijuana. After smoking marijuana, everyone knows that your appetite opens up, and you will likely eat more. This is what is known as “the munchies” in cannabis cultures.

“I used to never be able to eat. There was definitely something wrong with me… As a result, I couldn’t obtain enough energy for my days, and just knew I was slowly killing my body,” says Brian Rice about his eating disorder. “Thanks to weed, though, I’ve been able to open that appetite up. I no longer lack energy, nor do I fear for my future.”

Often, cancer patients are given marijuana in order to open up their appetite, so, theoretically, why wouldn’t someone be able to obtain medical marijuana if they are having problems with their appetite? Of course, there are some issues that come with this. For instance, there is no way to ensure that this person is actually not feeling hungry and would rather just smoke weed. And additionally, it would need to be approved by Congress.

The latter is more of an issue than the former. In fact, the former can not exist without the latter. Congress has been very tough when choosing what conditions and diseases will have access to medical marijuana. For example, Congress has been very tough when dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. PTSD is a common condition among veterans who have been traumatized. They have been fighting for Congress to allow them to access medical marijuana, which is believed to have benefits for PTSD, for quite some time now. However, Congress has not budged.

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The $2.2 million study, paid for by a stipend from the state of Colorado to the philanthropic Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, will be led at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Sisley’s Scottsdale Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. An aggregate of 76 battle veterans will be examined for more than 12 weeks, yet just around four subjects will start every month crosswise over both destinations, so the study itself is required to take two years to finish.

More than 100 veterans already have volunteered, Sisley says. Those keen on participating in Arizona can email their contact data to arizona@marijuanasites.org. Those in the Baltimore zone can call 410-550-0050 to register their enthusiasm for taking an interest. Introductory enlistment is relied upon to start one month from now. The perfect applicant, Sisley says, will have a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs for battle related PTSD yet generally be for the most part sound and have no other real therapeutic issues. Those with traumatic cerebrum wounds, be that as it may, will be qualified to partake.

Applicants as of now have been dealt with for PTSD with treatment and/or physician recommended sedates yet at the same time have side effects, she says. Study participants can be totally new to cannabis use or as of now an accomplished client, however, she prescribes against day by day clients applying for the study since all members will be free from any weed use for no less than two weeks before starting the study.

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Colorado residents currently seeking the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD are taking their court case to the Court of Appeals. Just last year, four military veterans and one sexual assault survivor filed a complaint against the Colorado Board of Health, which had ruled that PTSD was not a qualifying condition under the state’s medical marijuana program.
In May, Denver District Court Judge R. Michael Mullins affirmed the Board of Health’s decision,  ruling that the members acted within the code of the state constitution and within the means of the state statutes. Evidently, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the majority of the Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council favorably viewed the addition of PTSD as a qualifying condition, although it did not preclude the board from denying the petition based on a lack of sufficient evidence, Mullins wrote in his court order.
Including Illinois, which recently was ordered by a judge to add PTSD as a qualifying condition, a total of 17 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Guam allow for medical marijuana as a recommendation for PTSD, according to data from the Marijuana Policy Project. That number holds the ability to grow depending on how ballot initiatives fare in other states this fall.
The Colorado Board of Health has not added any new conditions for the medical marijuana program since its inception, said Mark Salley, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Citing state regulations, Salley said the board moved to deny petitions mainly due to a lack of “peer-reviewed published studies of randomized controlled trials or well-designed observational studies showing efficacy in humans.” Depending on whether oral arguments are to be requested, a decision from the appeals court could come

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Stephen Otero has been in the Airforce for eleven and a half years; it was typically simpler to be on duty than to be at home, he says. Photographing combat, Otero was sent with the Army and Marines to be sent to the ground and go over thousands of miles, typically in the darkness of the night. The son of a police officer as well as a teacher not only enjoyed the missions he was performing, but he also was pretty good at it too.

“I wasn’t good at coming back home and being a husband or being an office military worker,” Otero stated.

His job required him to be available during all hours of the day. He had become pretty accustomed to the pain of a hernia with an ACE bandage. In addition to that, his body went through heavy damage from bombs and bombers. And worst of all, just like in any war, he watched friends die.

“I was diagnosed with (post-traumatic stress disorder) the first time in 2008,” Otero added. “I kind of chalked it up to the fact that I hated the office environment. I was more aggressive than anybody else.”

But the issue was that he really wanted to get back into action. It turns out when he got home; his wife reported, he was much more aggressive and experiencing worse nightmares. It turns out that he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He felt awful, though, after having to take eight pills daily. After a near suicide, a friend of his spoke and began to look into marijuana. He began smoking before bed.

“All I took was that,” he affirmed. “That night had the best sleep I had ever had, it felt like, in my life.”

Otero had found a type of medicine that was successful for him, and he became a daily user of marijuana. That plant, he stated, “worked 100 times better” for him than the daily mixture of pills.

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