12 Diseases That Can Be Treated With Medical Cannabis

Note: The following information in this blog is specific to the state of New York. If you want to learn more about the information on medical cannabis programs in your state, contact your state health department.

 

New York State’s Medical Cannabis Program allows patients who suffer from certain serious conditions, certified by a practitioner, to receive medical cannabis products for medical use. The New York State Health Department has listed the following conditions qualifiable for medical cannabis care:

 

– Cancer

– Positive status for HIV or AIDS

– Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

– Parkinson’s disease

– Multiple Sclerosis

– Spinal Cord Damage

– Epilepsy

– Inflammatory bowel disease

– Neuropathy

– Chronic pain as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)

– Post-traumatic stress disorder

– Huntington’s disease

 

Patients must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or persistent muscle spasms. The information below is an in-depth look at how medical cannabis can treat, offer relief and suppress certain symptoms of these serious medical conditions.

 

Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in America. Cancer is a collection of diseases in which the body’s cells divide and spread to other surrounding tissues, often leading to the formation of dangerous tumors. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in America. The American Cancer Society states that medical cannabis can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain, nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, improving food intake and lowering the numbers of patients in need of pain medicine.

 

HIV/AIDS

HIV and AIDS is an infection that attacks and destroys infection-fighting cells of the immune system. Neuropathic pain often lowers the quality of life of HIV-infected patients, despite opioid pain management. Cannabinoid receptors located in the peripheral and central nervous system have been found to alleviate the perception of pain. Nausea, lack of appetite and cachexia or muscle wasting, are common problems among those with the disease. Many clinical studies have found HIV patients have profound reductions in nausea and increases in appetite with medical cannabis. Cannabis therapy has been highly effective in alleviating symptoms of nausea, leading to the maintenance of a healthy weight or even weight gain in those who are already underweight.

 

Amotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is an extremely degenerative neurological disorder that impacts nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord causing muscle weakness, wasting, paralysis of the limbs, loss of control of speech, swallowing and breathing. It’s estimated that this disease affects more than 20,000 Americans. Medical cannabis has been used to treat this disease for a long time. Preclinical research has found that cannabis has powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties which may slow the progression of ALS and prolong the lives of people affected.

 

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Researchers have observed that THC and CBD, through vapor inhalation, help to alleviate the tremors and shakes associated with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS causes multiple malfunctions in a person’s immune system, often triggering many different symptoms including vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. Studies have shown that medical cannabis can be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of MS, even in patients who have suffered from it for years. CITIVA is proud to announce that they have developed a special line of cannabinoid medications that are tailored to treat common MS symptoms such as spasms, bladder control issues, shaking, insomnia, and overall pain. Clinical testing of these medications is currently being done.

 

Spinal Cord Damage

Spinal cord damage is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves on the spinal canal. This injury often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and body functions. Clinical studies have shown that THC and CBD, the effective chemical constituents of medical cannabis, can control symptoms in people with spinal cord damage. Furthermore, patients generally experience fewer unwanted side effects with this option than with traditional pharmaceutical drugs.

 

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. This disorder affects around 3 million Americans. Studies from 2016 recorded 36.5% fewer seizures per month in participants after 12 weeks of using oral does of 2 to 5mg of CBD oil every day. The American Epilepsy Society states that CBD research offers hope for seizure disorders and that more research is currently being done to better understand the safety concerns behind this type of treatment. CITIVA is actively developing cannabinoid ratios specifically designed to suppress seizures for a broad spectrum of epileptic syndromes.

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. These include Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD can be an extremely debilitating condition and sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. Researchers in 2011, performed a study on 30 patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and discovered that the use of medical cannabis led to a significant drop in the amount of pain and discomfort experienced by sufferers. CITIVA’s medical team has seen many sufferers of Crohn’s disease and IBD see significant pain reduction when using medical cannabis. CITIVA is working on a new line of medical cannabis products to specifically treat IBD.

 

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a disorder of the nerves apart from the brain and spinal cord. Those who have this disorder may have tingling, numbness, loss of bodily functions, weakness and pain. Research between 2005 and 2010 on the benefits of synthetic CBD and inhaled cannabis products concluded that both options can successfully manage symptoms linked to neuropathy. The researchers noted that the synthetic oral CBD called nabilone was effective for individuals with intolerance, resistance and allergic reactions to conventional treatments. Research conducted in Canada and the University of Pennsylvania also show the benefits of cannabis for neuropathic patients. They have less pain, more manageable side effects and improved sleep.

 

Chronic Pain

One in every four Americans, (roughly, 76.2 million people) have suffered from chronic pain. With the high amount of people seeking treatment for chronic pain, CBD has emerged as a natural remedy for pain. To qualify for medical cannabis treatment, the New York State Health Department requires that a patient “has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options” and that pain has lasted longer (or is likely to last longer) than three months. Medical cannabis treatments such as CBD, is non-addictive in comparison to medications commonly recommended by doctors such as Vicodin, Codeine and OxyContin. Medical cannabis is shown to reduce chronic pain, inflammation and nausea (caused by pain medications), when used alone and in conjunction with other traditional treatments.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, is a mental health condition that people can develop after experiencing a life-threatening event such as combat, a natural disaster, car accident or sexual assault. PTSD can cause anxiety, insomnia, depression, episodes, paranoia and more. CBD has shown to help ease many of these symptoms and even change the way the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin.

 

Huntington’s disease (HD)

HD is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder that causes degeneration of the brain. As the disease progresses, it diminishes a person’s ability to talk, walk, and reason. People with this disorder may experience involuntary twitching movements. In addition to affecting a person’s ability to reason, those who suffer from it will also experience changes in their personality. New evidence reveals that cannabinoids may potentially work as neuroprotectants by improving the functioning of mitochondria and reducing the cellular debris that is caused by inflammation. This, along with several other studies has shown that medical cannabis can be a useful treatment for HD.

 

While there is still a lot to learn about medical cannabis and its affect on treating diseases and illnesses, it has brought hope for many patients who suffer with these debilitating conditions. CITIVA is committed to standardizing and scientifically proving the therapeutic and clinical effects of cannabinoid medicine. CITIVA understands that natural cannabinoid medicine has the potential to revolutionize the way pain and disease are treated. The early signs are there. Millions are finding relief from cannabis extracts. CITIVA believes we can do better for these patients by offering them natural medicines that are tested, reliable and consistent.

 

For more information on medical cannabis, our treatments and research, follow us on social media and get updates on industry news, medical treatments and more.

 



How and Why Cannabis Stops Pain

Pain is a signal to your nervous system that something may be wrong. It can be a tingle, sting, burn or ache. It can be sharp or dull. There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain lets you know that you may have been injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Acute pain typically goes away with treatment of the root of the problem. Chronic pain is different. It usually lasts more than 12 weeks and can last for months or even years. It may be there because of an infection, cancer or an injury, or in some cases there may be no clear cause. Chronic pain isn’t always curable but treatments can help. In this blog, we’re going to focus on medical cannabis as a treatment and how and why it works.

 

Chronic pain can be an extremely impairing condition. For people who live with chronic pain on a daily basis, it can alter their mood, overall health and well-being. Back pain is one of most common types of chronic pain. Because chronic pain is so debilitating, there can be other problems associated with it such as sleeplessness, diminished appetite, depression, irritability and fatigue.

 

Medical cannabis is shown to reduce chronic pain and inflammation when used alone and in conjunction with other traditional treatments. Clinical research shows that medical cannabis is a more effective and safer alternative than opioid medications that frequently result in abuse and addiction.

 

The reasons that medical cannabis benefits chronic pain as well as many different illnesses and medical conditions, is the fact that some of the active pharmacological components of the cannabis plant imitate an internal chemical harm reduction system in the human body that keeps our health in balance. This is called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Three main components of the ECS are: Cannabinoid receptors, Endocannabinoids and Metabolic enzymes. Cannabinoid receptors transmit information to any changing conditions and kick start the appropriate cellular response. Endocannabinoids are chemicals our body produces. These endocannabinoids keep our biological functions in balance such as our immune system, pain, sleep, appetite and more. When something gets out of balance, endocannabinoids get to work to fix the imbalance. Metabolic enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they are used. Cannabinoids appear to bind to the receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which supplements the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, thereby improving the physiological response. These cannabinoids help the body manage crises and restore itself after trauma when the body’s endocannabinoids are not able to restore balance alone.

 

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or recreational quality. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effect associated with cannabis.

 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in cannabis plants that would be considered medicinal or hemp quality. Cannabis high in CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect, which means it’s unattractive for recreational consumers. Because of its medicinal qualities CBD remains in high demand among medicinal users.

 

These combinations of cannabinoids provide many benefits to the body with the correct combination. These include stimulating bone growth, easing pain and nausea, protecting damaged brain cells, killing certain kinds of cancer cells, preventing seizure, protecting the brain from damaging effects of Alzheimer’s, controlling muscle spasms, killing viruses and bacteria. THC and CBD show a powerful effect when used together. Patients tend to report more symptom relief when these cannabinoids are taken together. Also, CBD appears to temper the intoxicating effects of THC so patients can enjoy its therapeutic qualities without the more pronounced psychological effects.

 

While medical cannabis can benefit a variety of illnesses and diseases, it’s important to note the complexity of the plant. There’s hundreds of different strains which means finding the right dosage and components is important in order for you to maximize the health benefits.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about medical cannabis, follow our blog for updates and industry news. For more information about cannabis and chronic pain click here.

 



What Cannabis Actually Does to Your Brain and Body

 

 

People all over the world use cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, however, do you ever wonder what cannabis actually does to the body and brain? In this blog, we’re taking a look at this popular drug, it’s health effects on the body and brain, and any potential concerns about it.

 

While cannabis has been used for centuries as a medicine and drug, there’s not much medical information on the health effects of using it. This is due to there being essentially no controlled studies on it because of the way it is classified by the federal government. The DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3, 4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.” Because of this classification, in order to do clinical research on cannabis you would need a license from the DEA, your study approved by the FDA and to obtain the researched-grade cannabis, you’d have to go through the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Based on this process, it has proved problematic for researches to study the potential medical benefits of cannabis.

 

That being said, here is what we do know about cannabis and how it effects our brain and body:

 

1. Cannabinoid Receptors

 

Compounds in cannabis interact with our brain cells which contribute both a psychoactive and therapeutic effect. Different cannabinoids have different pharmacological effects.

 

The primary psychoactive in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and has a psychoactive effect because of the way it engages with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It is known that these receptors are located in the central nervous system which control: pain, pleasure, motor function, memory, mood, appetite.

 

The second most popular cannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol) which can have a therapeutic effect. CBD does not directly interact with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), instead, it affects signaling through CB1 and CB2 receptors indirectly. This partly explains why, in contrast to THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. Because of its medicinal qualities, CBD remains in high demand among medicinal users.

 

CBD is especially effective at clearing glutamate, a toxic chemical that accumulates following traumatic brain injury. These cannabinoids used together or separately, have also shown consistent effectiveness to protect nerve cells damaged by MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, stimulating bone growth, easing pain and nausea, killing certain kinds of cancer cells, preventing seizure, controlling muscle spasms, and killing viruses and bacteria.

 

2. Memory

 

THC appears to impair short term memory in two significant ways. The first being difficulty forming new memories while under the influence. The second being difficultly recalling events while under the influence and sometimes after the high wears off. The good news is that in most cannabis users, these two memory impairments are temporary and wear off around 24 to 48 hours.

 

In addition, cannabis may potentially fight bad memories. Preclinical research shows that THC and CBD can “disrupt the reconsolidation of negative memories“. Veterans regularly complain that pharmaceutical treatments prescribed to them by doctors, such as the highly addictive anti-anxiety medications Xanax and Valium, don’t work well and sometimes worsen symptoms.

 

3. Concentration and Attention

 

Cannabis can impair some attention and concentration for light users. However, it doesn’t appear to affect heavy users concentration within 6 hours of using it. Researchers have found that after 3 weeks since last using cannabis, attention in users returns to normal. In other studies, no concentration or attention deficiencies were found at all for subjects who were abstinent for a month to a year.

 

For more information on medical cannabis and the health benefits it provides, follow our blog or contact us for more information.

 



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