Tags Posts tagged with "ptsd"

ptsd

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Attempts over the years to add PTSD as a qualifying disorder for medical cannabis in Colorado have been unsuccessful. The Colorado Board of Health refused several petitions for the inclusion, citing the need for more scientific research. Bills’ passes through the General Assembly have been brief, and individuals suffering from PTSD’s legal bids were overruled.

2017 brings new attempts, both legislatively and legally, to authorize PTSD as a qualifying condition. “I’ve met a number of veterans who really feel like it improved their quality of life,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Denver Democrat and physician who co-sponsored a bill to have PTSD and acute stress disorders be considered “debilitating medical conditions” under the state’s medical cannabis law. Aguilar stated that in a time when worry is raised about veterans’ increased risk of suicide, there should be consideration for all potential options to help prevent that.

Senate Bill 17, co-sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, is anticipated to go before the Senate’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. The initial committee hearing that was scheduled was postponed as lawmakers evaluate whether there is a legislative mechanism to add a qualifying condition or if that is limited to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Aguilar stated. Some of the initial resistance to the bill has come from members of the medical community. Dr. Jennifer Hagman, representing the Colorado Psychiatric Society stated, “Our main concern is really the risk of harm to the individual.”

Hagman stated, “I would hope that we continue to wait until there’s adequate scientific support for using marijuana for this condition. I think it’s premature and the data isn’t there.” The limited individuals people are working with around veterans with PTSD and cannabis, Hagman said, has shown negative correlations. She explained a longitudinal study of veterans over a period of 30 years that showed some who started using cannabis following therapy had increased incidences of violent behavior.

Hagman noted that more studies are still happening and that the state of Colorado has put money toward research on cannabis’ effects on those with PTSD. The research received federal approval in 2016, a year and a half after Colorado awarded the grant. “I think the best thing that could happen is for the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I so that research is much easier to do,” Hagman stated. Happening in the background of this latest play from legislators is an ongoing appeals case in state court that challenges the board of health’s 2015 decision on PTSD. And nationally, an increasingly growing slate of medical cannabis states have looked positively on PTSD as a qualifying disorder.

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Marijuana Stocks, Inauguration Day, & Trump’s Bump

Here we are, just after the official inauguration day of our 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. A lot has been said about him over the last few years during the election race but what many may not have expected was a clear “Trump Bump” for marijuana stocks.


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Facts Regarding Denver’s New Marijuana In Public Law

Denver has begun working on the country’s first law allowing use in public places like coffee shops and cannabis clubs. However, the details about what those marijuana clubs would look like are still unclear. Here are some answers to questions about the cannabis clubs headed to Denver.


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Veterans In Support Of Medical Marijuana



Indiana American Legion reached an agreement on Sunday that would support a medical cannabis study to treat injuries to military service members, such as traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. The veteran service organization said they are working to urge Indiana legislators to approve the private growth and research of medicinal cannabis and to reclassify marijuana as a drug with potential medical value.


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Indiana American Legion reached an agreement on Sunday that would support a medical cannabis study to treat injuries to military service members, such as traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. The veteran service organization said they are working to urge Indiana legislators to approve the private growth and research of medicinal cannabis and to reclassify marijuana as a drug with potential medical value.

Department of Indiana Commander James B. May stated, “Our members have made the decision through the voting process to urge our state legislature to look into the benefits of medical marijuana in treating veteran related conditions like PTSD and TBI. PTSD and TBI are the signature wounds of Post 9/11 veterans. We support the medical research of marijuana to find if there are any alternatives to treating these conditions.”

Indiana’s American Legion currently has over 81,500 members. One of those members, Jeff Staker, has created a website called Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis. The HVMC’s Mission is listed as: “To inform, educate, lobby, support and maintain legislation for the legal Medical use of Cannabis within the state of Indiana. In addition, when we have fought and won for the legalization of Medical Cannabis, HVMC will work with our legislators to continuously review, revise, and update legislation as may be necessary from time to time.”

Last summer, the national American Legion asked congress to remove cannabis from a list of drugs with no medicinal value. May said, “We in no way condone the illegal use of marijuana or any other drug. We are focused on bettering the lives of our fellow veterans, and we believe they are worth conducting the research.”

The American Legion’s decision to support this research isn’t without good cause. They said many veterans have been prescribed opioid-based painkillers as part of their therapy plans which has resulted in addiction and drug abuse in surprisingly large numbers. May stated, “If it helps one veteran, if it prevents one veteran from dying from prescription overdose, or from becoming addicted to opioid based prescription drugs, then the research is worth it.”

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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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