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Is Cannabis Good For ADHD?


(Photo: amenclinics_photos/Flickr)

(Photo: amenclinics_photos/Flickr)

Doctors and researchers are voicing support for cannabis as a way of managing ADHD.

Relaxation is one of the most known effects of cannabis. But many wonder if marijuana can also be used as a treatment to calm ADHD symptoms.

A person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is hyperactive and has difficulty staying focused. Likewise, doctors who prescribe cannabis to ADHD patients believe that it can help decrease impulsivity.

What’s more, some evidence shows that people not formally treated for ADHD have found cannabis works for them and self-medicate as a result.

Studies on Marijuana and ADHD

A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Substance Use & Misuse found that some people may be self-medicating with cannabis to help manage hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. This suggests that it’s possible cannabis might help in treating hyperactive forms of ADHD, according to researchers.

Dr. David Bearman, a practicing physician in California and an expert in the medical marijuana field, agrees with the notion that many people may be unknowingly using cannabis to calm their symptoms.

“Anybody who uses cannabis before the age of 15 either has ADHD or PTSD until proven otherwise,” he explains.

A German study published in 2015 investigated the effects on 30 patients who didn’t respond to Adderall or Ritalin. After cannabis treatment, the majority of subjects experienced “improved concentration and sleep, and reduced impulsivity.”

Dr. Eva Milz, a psychiatrist who co-authored the study, said that standard medications were “more demanding” on patients, whereas cannabis brought them “control that helped them in life, love and work, without feeling intoxicated.”

According to Bearman, ADHD is one of the disorders associated with a proposed condition termed clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD).

If a person who is deficient increases their amount of cannabinoids, “you’re likely to slow down the speed of neurotransmitters and you’re going to give the brain a little bit more time to concentrate and focus,” Bearman says.

Cannabis vs. Stimulants

ADHD patients are typically prescribed stimulant medications, such as Ritalin or Adderall. However, both Milz and Bearman say patients often combine cannabis and stimulants.

According to Bearman, cannabis not only treats ADHD, but also treats possible side effects of stimulant medications. For example, stimulant drugs can cause nervousness, loss of appetite and sleep problems, whereas cannabis can treat those issues.

However, Bearman says his first choice would be to treat a patient with cannabis alone.

“One of the important criteria in practicing medicine is to balance the side effects versus the therapeutic effects. The therapeutic effects of marijuana are the same or better than conventional drugs… and the side effects are much less.”

Milz agrees and says many patients prefer marijuana treatment.

“ADHD patients don’t seem to use any medication without a clear cost-benefit analysis. Cannabis seems to have the lowest cost,” Milz says.

Marijuana Treatment and Dosage

For ADHD patients who do choose cannabis treatment, Bearman sometimes prescribes two and a half milligrams of Marinol, two or three times a day.

A relatively low dose of cannabis with a low amount of THC will also treat symptoms, he says. Milz says a portion of CBD seems to help patients with pronounced impulsiveness.

Limiting impulsiveness and increasing concentration with marijuana treatment has largely impacted patients, according to Bearman.

“I had a patient who credited graduating with his use of marijuana. And I had a PhD candidate who credited marijuana with being able to get his PhD, and that’s because it helped him concentrate.”

“The feedback I’ve received from patients that have ADD or ADHD who use cannabis have been universally favorable,” he says.

Study: Marijuana May Ease Migraine Headaches

Around 12% of the U.S. population suffers from migraine headaches. (Photo: Peter Hellberg/Flickr)

Around 12% of the U.S. population suffers from migraine headaches. (Photo: Peter Hellberg/Flickr)

New research suggests marijuana may be an effective treatment for migraine headaches.

Migraines are a severe form of reoccurring headache that affect 36 million Americans — about 12% of the population. Surprisingly, new findings suggest medical marijuana may bring relief to those who suffer from this painful condition.

The study, published Jan. 9 in the journal Pharmacology, found that using marijuana led to a significant decrease in the number of monthly migraines suffered.

“There was a substantial improvement for patients”Of the 121 patients who were studied, 103 reported a decrease in migraines after using marijuana. 15 patients showed no change while 3 had an increase in headaches.

Overall, the frequency of migraine headaches dropped from 10.4 to 4.6 per month among participants in the study.

“There was a substantial improvement for patients in their ability to function and feel better,” said study author Laura Borgelt, a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study included patients that sought treatment at Gedde Whole Health, a private clinic in Colorado that specializes in medical marijuana for a variety of conditions, between January 2010 and September 2014.

Almost all patients in the study reported using marijuana on a daily basis. About half were taking prescription migraine treatments in addition to marijuana.

Most patients used more than one form of cannabis, including smoked, inhaled and edible preparations.

The study found that patients preferred inhaled marijuana for treating acute migraines, due to the quick-acting nature of cannabis when smoked or vaporized. On the other hand, edibles seemed more effective at preventing future headaches.

But how exactly marijuana works to relieve migraines is still not fully understood, noted the researchers.

Cannabinoids — the active ingredients in marijuana — are believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They are also known to affect important signalling chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin.

“We believe serotonin plays a role in migraine headaches, but we are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids in this condition,” Borgelt said.

“We are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids”According to the researchers, the study was one of the first to show a decrease in migraine frequency in patients that used medical marijuana.

While anecdotal benefits have been well documented, studies on marijuana as a treatment for headaches have been overwhelmingly absent. Part of the lack of research is due to federal drug laws, which make it difficult for scientists to access the plant.

Despite the positive findings, the authors of the study warn that more research needs to be done on marijuana as a migraine treatment.

“Like any drug, marijuana has potential benefits and potential risks. It’s important for people to be aware that using medical marijuana can also have adverse effects,” Borgelt noted.

“If patients are considering medical marijuana they should speak to their health care provider and then follow up so we can track the impact of their overall treatment prix viagra generique en france.”

Is It Safe To Smoke Marijuana While Pregnant?

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Experts are still unsure of the risks associated with using marijuana during pregnancy.

It’s widely known that pregnant women should abstain from drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes because those substances can harm their growing baby. But what about marijuana?

The question of marijuana’s safety during pregnancy has been studied since the 1960s among fears that it would cause birth defects. And over the years, a number of birth-related problems seem to have been identified.

“There have been studies that suggest cannabis use in pregnancy may be linked with lower birth weight and premature birth, and with subsequent behaviour issues in the children,” explains Dr. Arnold Shoichet, a physician who also serves as a board member for the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre, a cannabis clinic based in Vancouver, BC.

On the other hand, much of these findings are weak in nature. In fact, whether there are truly any negative effects of using marijuana during pregnancy remains a mystery.

“Critics point out some of these studies have ambivalent results,” notes Dr. Schoichet. “A cause-effect relationship between the measured outcomes and cannabis use has not been established.”

Problems with Studies

Though there have been many studies done on the effects of marijuana on a developing fetus, most health professionals would agree with Dr. Shoichet that the area is not studied well enough, and there are problems with the studies that have been done.

In fact, many of the studies rely on the pregnant mother to self-report how much marijuana they have been using, and this is not always the most accurate way of collecting data. They might have forgotten how much they really used, or they might under-report their usage for personal reasons. Those problems are always present with studies that rely on self-reporting.

And while you might be hard-pressed to find a doctor or scientist who would tell you that it’s safe to use cannabis during pregnancy, there have been a small number of studies which seem to indicate that it might be.

Jamaican Study

One study conducted by Dr. Melanie Dreher looked at pregnant mothers in Jamaica before and after pregnancy. Dr. Dreher was the dean of nursing at Rush Medical Center in Chicago when she did the study. Today she’s retired and works as independent consultant, and is also a member of the Chicago Board of Health.

Dr. Dreher’s study was published in The American Journal of Pediatrics in 1994. She studied mothers in rural Jamaica, some who were using cannabis to remedy their morning sickness, and others who weren’t using it at all. After the babies were born she used the Neonatal Assessment Scale at 3 days, and again at 1 month, to measure the babies’ neurological performance and behavior.

Dr. Dreher expected to find complications like low birth weight or compromised neurological development, but surprisingly none of those things were found. On the contrary, the babies who were born to mothers that used marijuana during pregnancy showed better social skills than the babies who were born to mothers that didn’t use cannabis.

But Dr. Dreher is quick to point out that these improvements are not attributed to the biochemical action of marijuana. Instead, she believes the different outcomes were more likely due to how the babies were raised.

Over the phone she explains, “[We] attribute it to rather the social differences between the marijuana-using mothers and the non-using mothers. Even though they were the same, they were matched for age and socioeconomic status, but there were differences in the lifestyles of the ingesting and non-ingesting mothers that we believe accounted for the differences. For example, many of the using mothers also were vendors of ganja and so they were pretty much at home most of the time in that neonatal period, so they were quite attentive to their babies.”

Dreher is quick to add that this is not meant to be an endorsement for the use of marijuana to have healthier babies, but it does demonstrate that, in this particular study, there are no adverse effects. She also did a longitudinal study with the same babies when they were four years old. The results, again, were fascinating.

“Again we found the performance of the children wasn’t correlated in any way with the neonatal exposure to cannabis,” says Dreher. “We would have done another study but the National Institute of Health really was not interested in funding a study that did not show something negative about marijuana.” Dreher regrets this denial to continue her study as a missed opportunity.

The Safest Best: Avoid All Substances

But the results of a single study shouldn’t be taken as evidence that marijuana is safe during pregnancy. The scientific community demands more than that. Generally speaking, for pregnant women the safest bet is to just avoid intoxicating substances altogether and this is what your doctor would probably advise.

“I think the best thing is to not use any substances, or medications, or drugs period, so the fetus has the best chance of development,” says Dr. Ilan Nachim, a Toronto-based physician who has prescribed medical marijuana to some of his patients. “With marijuana there have been studies done in terms of neurodevelopment sites in embryos, and I believe it’s mostly animals, but that is some of the evidence that we have that it shouldn’t be used.”

Some of those <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm viagra pfizer″>animal studies are thought to be irrelevant to humans, because human embryos can behave differently. For example, one study into the effects of THC on primate fetuses showed degraded neurological development, but if that same study were done in humans the fetuses might react differently, so the validity of its findings with regards to humans is questionable.

Still, according to Dr. Nachim, if a pregnant woman is using marijuana for medical reasons, she should look for alternatives. “Ideally she shouldn’t use any medication. But if she has to, she should use medications that have more evidence for safety of the baby,” he concludes.

10 Basic Facts About Marijuana

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Marijuana, cannabis and hemp are all names that refer to this unique plant.

The marijuana symbol is seen everywhere these days — on clothing, jewelry, keychains and stickers. It’s no surprise that cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. and worldwide.

The growing popularity of marijuana is evident, but many people lack a standard knowledge about the plant. Here are 10 facts about cannabis that you should know:

1. Marijuana is derived from the Cannabis plant

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The cannabis plant (also known as hemp) usually grows about 8 to 12 feet high and can be grown outdoors or indoors.

The main active ingredient in cannabis — the part that gives the “high” feeling — is called THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC acts on specific molecules in the body known as cannabinoid receptors, which are mostly found in the brain. Different cannabis products have different levels of THC.

The term “cannabis” can also refer to any drug that is derived from the plant, including the three major types: Marijuana, hashish and hash oil.

Marijuana is made from a mixture of dried and shredded flowers of the plant and is greenish-gray in appearance. Hashish is made from the resins of the plant and hash oil is a sticky, black liquid.

2. Marijuana has different strains

(Photo: Drug Policy Alliance)

(Photo: Drug Policy Alliance)

Marijuana strains can be pure or hybrid varieties, usually derived from the two major species of cannabis: indica and sativa. Different strains have been bred to intensify certain characteristics of cannabis.

One of the most popular strains is OG Kush. It has the highest THC content of all Kush strains and is recognized as one of the strongest cannabis strains.

Sour Diesel is another well-known strain, which has a strong odor and mood-enhancing effects.

3. Marijuana can be consumed in a number of ways

(Photo: Drug Policy Alliance)

(Photo: Drug Policy Alliance)

Marijuana can be rolled into a joint using rolling paper. When tobacco is mixed in — to add flavor and to make it burn slower — it’s called a spliff. Marijuana can also be smoked in a cigar shell, which is referred to as a blunt.

Another common method of smoking marijuana is with a pipe. A bong is a special type of pipe that passes smoke through water and is regarded by some as an effective way to reduce exposure to carcinogens in smoke.

Another method of consuming cannabis is by eating it in the form of edibles. Steeping it as a tea is also an option.

Out of all these methods, researchers and doctors agree that using a vaporizer is the safest way to consume marijuana. Vaporizers heat the cannabis to a point that vaporizes the active ingredients without burning it, thus eliminating the harmful effects of smoking.

4. Marijuana has physical and psychological effects

(Photo: NIH/Flickr)

(Photo: NIH/Flickr)

The effects of marijuana begin within a few minutes after inhalation and can last a few hours. THC is absorbed more slowly when it’s taken as a food or liquid and the effects take longer to be felt.

The marijuana high can affect a user physically in a number of ways, including an increased heart rate, dry mouth, bloodshot/glazed eyes and an increase in appetite (often referred to as the “munchies”).

When a user is high, they most commonly feel euphoria and a sedative tranquility. Effects may also include lowered inhibitions, drowsiness, and silliness/giddiness. Some users also report anxiety and paranoia.

People who smoke marijuana may experience long-term effects, similar to that of a cigarette smoker, such as a cough, frequent chest colds and chronic bronchitis. Using a vaporizer has been shown to prevent these effects.

5. Marijuana has many street names

(Photo: Bob Doran/Flickr)

(Photo: Bob Doran/Flickr)

Street names for cannabis vary by region and demographic. Older slang terms for cannabis include pot, herb, Mary Jane, grass, reefer, dope and weed. Ganja, bud, chronic and skunk are also commonly used.

Other slang terms related to marijuana include pothead, which refers to a heavy user; headshop, which is a store that sells paraphernalia; and 420, which can refer to the time for smoking marijuana (4:20) or the unofficial holiday (April 20th).

6. The legality of marijuana varies by country



Countries around the world have different laws about the use of cannabis recreationally and medicinally. There are also different regulations for possession and sale of the drug.

Possession of cannabis is legal in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Netherlands, North Korea, Uruguay and a number of states in the U.S.

Cannabis is decriminalized in many countries, meaning it’s prohibited but is not considered a criminal offence and would merit minor penalties.

Marijuana is legal in some U.S. states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It is medically legal in 25 states and decriminalized in 20 states.

Although cannabis is widely used in Canada, it’s illegal in all provinces and territories without a doctor’s prescription. However, a newly elected government is currently drafting legislation that would legalize and regulate marijuana for all adults nationwide.

7. Marijuana is commonly used

<img class="size-full wp-image-21549" src="http://www viagra en vente libre en” alt=”(Photo: Tinou Bao/Flickr)” width=”720″ height=”340″ />

(Photo: Tinou Bao/Flickr)

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.2 million Americans used marijuana in the past year — a significant jump from previous years.

According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 44% of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime.

The percentage of Canadians who have tried the drug is also 44%, according to data from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. A 2012 survey found that 12.2% of Canadians used marijuana in the past year.

8. Marijuana is one of the world’s oldest crops

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The cannabis plant is believed to be one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. Records of its use date back over 6000 years. Early civilizations relied on hemp crops as a source of food, fibre, oil and paper.

A Chinese medical reference as old as 2700 BC is usually cited as the first mention of medical use of marijuana. The Ancient Chinese used cannabis to treat constipation, malaria, rheumatic pain and female disorders.

Consumption then spread to India and the Middle East, where Muslims used hashish. It eventually reached Europe around 500 BC.

9. Marijuana is safer than alcohol

(Photo: Kimery Davis/Flickr)

(Photo: Kimery Davis/Flickr)

According to a 2014 survey, seven out of ten Americans believe alcohol is more harmful than marijuana — and they’re right.

The most commonly cited reason for this belief is that cannabis has never directly caused a death, while alcohol claims many lives each year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, there were 3.3 million deaths attributed to alcohol in 2012.

Of course, alcohol poisoning is responsible for some of these deaths. On the other hand, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.

But the long-term effects of alcohol, such as chronic illnesses, cause the most deaths. Another argument is that marijuana has a number of proven medical uses, whereas no doctor would ever recommend alcohol to a sick patient.

10. Marijuana can be prescribed for many conditions

(Photo: Alex Proimos/Flickr)

(Photo: Alex Proimos/Flickr)

The use of medical marijuana has become more and more common in the U.S. and around the world. Patients that are approved to use medical marijuana usually buy the drug from a licensed supplier.

Medical marijuana can be smoked, vaporized, eaten or taken as a liquid.

Cannabis is most commonly prescribed for pain. This could include anything from migraine headaches to spinal injury. It can also be helpful for patients experiencing nausea and appetite loss, such as those undergoing chemotherapy.

Some doctors also prescribe marijuana for Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, depression and a variety of other conditions.

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