How Cannabis Helps Menopause

What is Menopause?

Menopause begins 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle and signals the end of fertility, or the ability to reproduce. Symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes during the day, night sweats that keep you from staying asleep, trouble concentrating, vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex, decreased sex drive, metabolism slow down, muscle loss, and weight gain, and urinary incontinence (also known as peeing a little when you laugh or sneeze).

Menopause typically occurs in your 40s or 50s, with 51 being the average age of menopause in the United States.  By 2020, there will be more than 50 million American women in menopause, and most women are living a third or more of their lifespan after menopause. As life expectancy increases around the globe, so does the amount of postmenopausal women. In 1998 there were 477 million postmenopausal women globally; in 2025 there will be 1.1 billion.

Premature Menopause

Approximately 1% of women develop premature menopause. Women can go through premature menopause before entering their 40s, due to genetics, illness, or medical procedures. Age at menopause is mostly inherited and due to your genes. Genetic diseases like Turner syndrome can cause ovaries to not function, resulting in very premature menopause. You may experience natural premature menopause if your mother or sister have also experienced premature menopause, or you have unsuccessfully tried to become pregnant for over a year. Premature menopause may also occur if you or a family member has an autoimmune disorder such as lupus, hypothyroidism, or Grave’s disease because inflammation caused by these diseases can harm the ovaries. Women with epilepsy, a seizure disorder, are more likely to have premature ovarian failure (POF), which leads to menopause. In fact, 14% of women with epilepsy will have premature menopause.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat cancer can cause premature menopause, making cannabis a brighter alternative for young women with cancer that want to have a child one day. Chemotherapy can first cause irregular menstrual cycles or dissapearance of menstrual periods, due to damage to the ovaries or physiological stress. Menopause can come immediately after chemotherapy or be delayed by several months or years. It can also be permanent or temporary, lasting several years, and there is no way to predict how chemotherapy will impact you. However, the older you are when you begin chemotherapy, the more likely it is you will experience menopause and that it will be permanent.

Medical treatments, such as Lupron shots to shut down estrogen production in women with endometriosis, can cause temporary and reversible menopause. Pelvic surgery, in the form of ovary or uterus removal, results in surgical menopause. In 2006 almost 200,000 American women were put into surgical menopause.

Early Menopause

Lifestyle factors can bring on menopause up to 5 years earlier than your genes have programed. Exposure to environmental toxins such as dioxin or cigarrette smoke may  cause early menopause. Regular smokers or those who have a history of smoking for a long time may experience menopause 1-2 years earlier than non-smoking women. This is because smoking reduces estrogen. Having a low body mass index (BMI) can also result in early menopause because women with low amounts of fat tissue have less estrogen in their bodies. If you have never been pregnant you may also have menopause at a slightly earlier age.

Where you live can change when menopause happens. Living at a high altitude, such as Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mexico City, Mexico, or Bogota, Columbia can cause menopause to come 1-1.5 years earlier than normal. Living in a rural country such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Chile, and Peru can cause menopause to come several years earlier than it does in developed countries.

Late Menopause

Later menopause does not mean your body is healthier than it is if you have menopause earlier. Late menopause may be in fact caused by high BMI. Using hormonal birth control is also associated with late menopause. Women who enter menopause after the age of 55 are at greater risk for breast cancer because they have been exposed to more estrogen during their lifetime.

Testing for Menopause

FSH is a hormone that stimulates your ovaries to produce estrogen, and when your ovaries stop producing estrogen, your levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) increase. Premature menopause is diagnosed when blood levels of FSH are above 40 µL/mL. Estrogen levels below 30 can also signal menopause.

Consequences of Menopause Timing

Early menopause can have additional negative effects besides loss of fertility. Reduced estrogen levels for  longer time than most women put you at greater risk for osteoperosis, heart disease, and even premature death. Late menopause is associated with greate life expectancy, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and osteoporosis.

How is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Disrupted in Menopause?

Reduction in endocannbinoids signaling may be responsible for some of the negative symptoms we associate with menopause. This is not surprising as estrogen levels are linked to endocannabinoid levels, and both peak at ovulation, something that does not occur in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that breaks down the endocannabinoid anandamide and controls it levels, is regulated by estrogen. In fact, activation of estrogen receptors and cannabinoid receptors on the same cells often synergize to produce greater effects than the combination of both by themselves.

All parts of the endocannabinoid system are present in the human ovary, including the endocannabinoid anandamide, and its receptors, CB1 and CB2. Anandamide has role in egg maturity and release during the menstrual cycle. Endocannabinoid deficiency, a state in which levels of anandamide are too low, may spur early menopause. Interestingly underweight women or women with anorexia, who enter menopause early, also have low endocannabinoid levels. Boosting levels of endocannabinoids or stimulating cannabinoid receptors with cannabis may help delay menopause.

Estrogen recruits the endocannabinoid system to regulate emotional response and relieves anxiety and depression through its actions on the brain. Lowered levels of estrogen during and after menopause means less activation of the endocannabinoid system, and poor ability to respond to stress and elevate mood accordingly.

The endocannabinoid system regulates the bone loss seen after menopause. Cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) are found on bone cells, called osteoblasts. A common mutation in the gene that codes CB2 in humans, resulting in fewer CB2 receptors,  is associated with osteoperosis after menopause.

Women are more responsive to the pain relieving effects of cannabis and THC when their estrogen levels are at their highest. Because menopausal and postmenopausal women have low levels of estrogen, this means they will be less responsive to THC and require higher doses than premenopausal women to achieve the same amount of pain relief, and are likely to be closer to men in their response to cannabis. Premenopausal women develop tolerance to THC quickly, and may be more vulnerable to negative side effects of cannabis such as paranoia, anxiety, or dependence. Postmenopausal women may be able to stay on a stable dosage of THC or cannabis for the long-term, and may be less likely to feel anxious or paranoid from cannabis.

The endocannabinoid system’s role in menopause and postmenopausal health is an area of medicine lacking in research. One day genetic studies will see if mutations in endocannabinoid system genes are correlated with early or premature menopause. Because the reproductive system contains cannabinoid receptors that interact with estrogen, endocannabinoids directly influence the menstrual cycle and menopause.

How Does Cannabis Help Menopause?

Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is hormone therapy prescribed to millions of menopausal and postmenopausal women to control symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and bone loss. Cannabis is an optimal alternative for women who can not take ERT due to history of breast or ovarian cancer, heart disease, or lack of health insurance. ERT is associated with increased risk for heart attack, blood clots, gallstones, stroke, breast cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease, which makes the benefits of ERT not worth the risk for most women. Instead of taking ERT, look into taking alternative phytoestrogens, like increasing soy in your diet and taking red clover supplements. As an added bonus, phytoestrogens also boost endocannabinoid levels.

Bone loss is one of the major reasons doctors prescribe ERT, but it is clear cannabis treatment can be an alternative for stopping bone loss and treating menopausal symptoms. Cannabis, specifically the cannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidiol (CBD), (CBC) and THCV, stimulate bone growth and may be able to prevent osteoperosis after menopause. A synthetic drug that activates CB2 receptors prevented bone loss after surgical menopause, suggesting women that undergo surgical menopause should use cannabis.

Menopausal women don’t have to choose between ERT and cannabis. If you believe ERT has some value, but are worried about the risk of breast cancer associated with it, you can use cannabis or CBD to reduce your breast cancer risk while you use ERT. THC and most of the major cannabinoids do not interact with the estrogen receptor, but CBD does at high doses. Also apigenin, a flavinoid found in cannabis, binds the estrogen receptor strongly and can inhibit growth of breast cancer cells. CBD has been shown to to kill breast cancer cells independent of its activity on cannabinoid receptors, and avoids killing healthy breast tissue. This means if you take CBD while using ERT, CBD may kill any breast cancer cells that start dividing before they grow into a tumor.

Women that cannot use ERT due to breast cancer risk or other medical problems are often prescribed non-hormonal prescription drugs, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Effexor and Prozac or Gabapentin (neurontin), a drug primarily used to treat seizures. Cannabis can be subsituted for any of these drugs to successfully treat symptoms while reducing numerous unwanted side effects of these prescription drugs, including weight gain, gastrointestinal distress and sexual dysfunction. Cannabis can boost serotonin signaling and lower body temperature, which can reduce hot flashes and anxiety found in menopause.

Total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels increase during menopause, which boost risk of heart disease. Cannabis use is associated with higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which can balance out the increase in “bad” cholesterol found in meonpause. Cannabis can also lower insulin levels, which prevents the development of type 2 diabetes.

Menopause can also cause an increase in facial hair. Topical creams containing cannabis or THC have been shown to slow the growth of hair, and may be appropriate to use in conjuction with hair removal techniques such as waxing or depilatories. Cannabis topicals may also reduce skin dryness because they promote oil production in the skin.

One of the most overlooked aspects of female health is healthy and enjoyable sex. Menopause can lower sex drive and cause pain during sex. The doctor’s answer to this is either ERT or a topical estrogen cream (Estrace) to apply to the vagina, which carries the same risks of ERT with the added risk of cancer of the uterus and dementia. Who wants that? Cannabis can help boost sex drive, reduce pain during sex and enhance orgasms, and can be smoked, eaten, or applied topically depending on your needs.

Cannabis use may interfere with ovulation in some women, and long-term use may delay menopause in a similar way to hormone birth control does by preventing depletion of healthy eggs. Genetic studies in the future may reveal what women have their fertility negatively impacted by cannabis use.

How Can I Take Cannabis to Treat Menopause?

There are no clinical studies looking at cannabis use to aid menopausal or postmenopausal women, so dosage guidelines are still being developed. How you will use cannabis depends on what menopausal  symptoms you are treating and whether you mind being slightly “stoned” from consuming cannabis or prefer nonpsychoactive doses.

If you live in a state with legal medical or recreational marijuana, edibles containing 10 mg of THC can help you get to sleep and keep night sweats to a minimum, and you won’t wake up feeling high or hungover.  If you’d like to control your symptoms during the day, without feeling out of it, try “microdosing.” Microdosing means taking doses of THC that will provide symptom relief without causing dizziness or a “high.” Depending on your tolerance, this can be between 2.5 and 5 mg of THC at a time (try breaking a 10 mg THC candy into 1/2 or 1/4 portions). It’s important to eat cannabis daily if you’ve made the decision to forgo hormonal estrogen therapy (ERT), as you will need to stabilize your hormones. Cannabis will also protect against osteoporosis.

Vaporizing cannabis during the day can also relieve symptoms of menopause. Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefit. It is very important women vape cannabis and do not smoke it because smoking can further lower estrogen levels.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as vaporizing or eating cannabis.

If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal, you can order CBD products online, which will help boost levels of your natural endocannabinoids and also protect against bone loss and osteoporosis. CBD can be taken in conjunction with ERT to lower your risk of developing breast cancer. There are several ways to take CBD. You can vaporize CBD only oil, or to get the full health benefits, eat CBD oil, edibles, or pills. A great way to relax is with a tea containing CBD at night time. One note is that taking CBD may make other medications you take stay in your body longer than intended, similar to taking grapefruit juice. If you are going to be taking CBD daily and are on other prescriptions, talk to your doctor about the possibility of lowering your prescription dosages to be on the safe side.

On a final note, let’s get to how cannabis can improve your sex life during and after menopause. Cannabis can increase your sex drive, remove inhibitions, enhance your sensitive to touch, and help you feel closer to your partner. All these things add up to helping you orgasm, and cannabis may even strengthen and lengthen your orgasm. You can vape cannabis before sexual activity, but the effect will not last as long as an edible will. Take an edible 30 minutes to an hour before sexual activity so that it can “kick in.” Since you want to feel the psychoactive effects of THC, you don’t want to microdose, but you also don’t want to eat so much THC you have a bad experience, feel sick, or fall asleep. The perfect dose is different for each person; we suggest you started at 10-20 mg of THC the first time you use cannabis to improve your bedroom activities. If at anytime you don’t feel good, drink water, relax, and know that the THC will wear off eventually, just like the buzz from alcohol does. Remember the dose you gave yourself, and go lower next time. Another option for improving your sexual experience without having any head “buzz” is using a lubricant with cananbis in it, that will only activate your clitoris and the tissue around it. A great brand to try is Foria, but it is currently only available in California and Colorado.

Try These Products

PAX 2 Vaporizer

Vitamin Weed Book

CBD Tea

Red Clover Supplement

IMPACT Alliance

IMPACT Network is proud to announce the formation of the IMPACT Alliance, an affiliated 501c4 organization dedication solely to medical cannabis community advocacy.  IMPACT stands for Improving Marijuana Policy and Accelerating Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

The IMPACT Alliance Board of Directors currently includes Bridget Dandaraw-Seritt (Cannabis Patients Rights Coalition), Michele Ross, PhD (IMPACT Network Founder), Cindy Sovine-Miller, Stacey Linn (Cannability Foundation), and Melanie Rose Rodgers (IMPACT Network Co-Founder).

For more information on IMPACT Alliance or how to support our efforts, please contact [email protected]

IMPACT ALLIANCE MEMBERS

IMPACT Network

Cannabis Consumers Coalition

Holistic Cannabis Network

Hemplements

Cannability Foundation

Drug Policy Alliance

Lux Leaf Learning Center

Heroes Pack

Colorado Patient Rights Coalition

Team Alexis

 Women Grow Denver

Sovine Miller & Company

Strong Alliance

Show Me Kindness

90% Of Cannabis Patients Find Pain Relief With Any Marijuana Strain

More than 90 percent of Illinois medical cannabis patients say they found pain relief with any strain of cannabis, based on results of a survey done by Revolution Cannabis Analytics.

Results from the first-of-its-kind study also show there is a statistically significant positive correlation between levels of cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis, and improvement in mood. In addition, 84.4 percent of responses indicate the patient would recommend the strain they used to treat their specific medical condition.

That’s no surprise to Christine Wildrick, chief operating officer for Quincy-based Herbal Remedies.

“It just further confirms what the patients in the medical cannabis industry have been saying for a very long time — that medical cannabis isn’t a joke. It truly is medicine, and it is very effective at treating pain,” Wildrick said. “This type of data is valuable. It further helps validate the program here in Illinois.”

The Medical Cannabis Patient Survey asked patients to rate their experience with each strain they buy, focusing on symptoms associated with pain, sleep, nausea and more. Herbal Remedies in Quincy was one of four Illinois dispensaries working with Revolution Cannabis Analytics on the study, which included 104 patients submitting 290 individual cannabis strain surveys from Dec. 7 through Jan. 8.

Medical cannabis has been available in Illinois since November for patients with qualifying medical conditions.

Herbal Remedies, open since Nov. 9, has about 100 patients with health conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis and cancer to fibromyalgia, spinal cord injuries and seizure disorders.

“We are seeing an increase in patients. We are seeing more doctors writing the patient certification, and we are continuing to educate a number of individuals who come to the dispensary looking for information,” Wildrick said. “The biggest objective right now is to continue to educate the general public on Illinois’ medical cannabis program, cannabis as a medicine and the process one goes about getting enrolled in the program.

“The program is a benefit to patients, Wildrick said.

“It’s just amazing to be able to be a part of helping these patients with these qualifying conditions to have access to a medicine that gives them relief that they’re looking for and gives them a better quality of life than they had previously,” she said. “That counts for a lot.

“Revolution Cannabis Analytics is a division of Revolution Enterprises, which manages state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and laboratory facilities in Barry and Delavan. It wants to better understand the unique effects of cannabinoids, a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant, and the types of relief they may provide.

“We will use the results from this study to guide the design of our future breeding and formulation programs, allowing us to create new cannabis strains that provide the most medicinal value,” said Dustin Shroyer, Revolution Enterprises chief operations officer. “This study demonstrated that the majority of cannabinoid profiles help patients with pain, and elevated levels of the unique cannabinoid CBD are directly correlated to an overall increase in patient wellbeing. We will utilize this knowledge to select the best cannabinoid profiles for patients.”

This article was previous published on the Herald-Whig by Deborah Gertz Husar: http://www.whig.com/article/20160328/ARTICLE/303289889

How Cannabis Helps Multiple Sclerosis

What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the myelin sheath covering nerves. MS is relatively rare, occurring in just 0.1% of the population. Women are twice as likely as men to have MS, and Caucasians are more likely to have MS than people of other ethnicities.

MS has no cure but the disease can go into remission for months. Symptoms vary in severity based on the amount and location of nerve damage. Symptoms include tremor, lack of coordination, unsteady gait, tingling or pain in body parts, numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, partial or complete loss of vision in one or more eyes, double vision or blurred vision, slurred speech, fatigue, dizziness and heat sensitivity.

How Does Cannabis Help MS?

Sativex oromucosal (mouth) spray is available by prescription and is a 1:1 mix of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Sativex significantly reduces neuropathic pain, spasticity, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances. It is one of the first cannabis-based prescription medications, available in 15 countries including Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK. Unfortunately it is not yet available in the United States.

How Can I Take Cannabis For MS?

Talk to your doctor about a Sativex prescription if you are in a country it is prescribed in. Sativex allows flexible dosing based on your tolerance to the medication. The average dose is 8-12 sprays into the mouth each day. Each spray releases 2.7 mg of THC and 2.5 mg of CBD. The average daily dose of THC is 22-32 mg/day and 20-30 mg/day of CBD.

Eating CBD tincture, CBD pills, CBD drinks, or CBD-rich edibles may help control your symptoms. If you take cannabis oil or pills, you may want to take as much as you can afford as these products are expensive. Try to space out your dose 3 times a day, with a target daily dose of 30mg each of CBD and THC.

Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefit.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as smoking cannabis.

Cannabis topicals, in the form of creams or lotions you put on your skin, can help with pain and spasms during the day.

Juicing raw cannabis may reduce pain and inflammation associated with MS, without that high you get from heated cannabis. That’s because raw cannabis has THCA and CBDA, the non-psychoative forms of THC and CBD. Juice strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD(A) for best results.

What Strains Are Best For MS?

High CBD strains are best to mimic the effects of using Sativex or to use in addition to Sativex. High CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, AC/DC, Sour Tsunami and Cannatonic. We recommend Cannatonic as it has almost the same 1:1 THC:CBD ratio Sativex does.

Let’s Make This Easy

  1. Take a CBD pill during the day to control your symptoms without getting high.
  2. Vape high-CBD cannabis whenever you need pain or other symptom relief. Be safe and don’t drive immediately after using your vaporizer, you could get a chemical DUI in most states.
  3. Eat an edible at night to help you sleep and relieve pain and inflammation. If you eat it during the day you won’t be able to drive or work.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where raw cannabis juice is available, drink it as often as you can afford to buy it.

Try These Products

Firefly Vaporizer

High-CBD Cannabis

Mary’s Medicinals Patch

Apothecanna Pain Creme

Risks

Cannabis users can test positive for THC up to a month after use. Don’t drive while using cannabis, you could be charged with DUI. Long-term CBD use can cause short-term memory problems like forgetting your keys. Write things down and double-check that oven.

Have more questions?

Schedule a phone call, Skype, or in person consultation with the Endocannabinoid Deficiency Foundation at www.calendly.com/drmicheleross.

Want To Help?

Find out how you can become a sponsor: Impact Network Sponsorship Packet

References

Mayo Clinic: Multiple Sclerosis

Summary of evidence-based guideline: complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis: report of the guideline development subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Yadav V, Bever C Jr, Bowen J, Bowling A, Weinstock-Guttman B, Cameron M, Bourdette D, Gronseth GS and Narayanaswami P. Neurology (2014).

The detection of THC, CBD and CBN in the oral fluid of Sativex(®) patients using two on-site screening tests and LC-MS/MS. Molnar A, Fu S, Lewis J, Allsop DJ and Copeland J. Forensic Sci Int (2014).

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Collin C, Ehler E, Waberzinek G, Alsindi Z, Davies P, Powell K, Notcutt W, O’Leary C, Ratcliffe S, Nováková I, Zapletalova O, Piková J and Ambler Z. Neurol Res (2010).

Oromucosal delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis: an uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial. Rog DJ, Nurmikko TJ andYoung CA. Clin Ther (2007).

Meta-analysis of cannabis based treatments for neuropathic and multiple sclerosis-related pain. Iskedjian M, Bereza B, Gordon A, Piwko C, Einarson TR. Curr Med Res Opin (2007).

An Open Letter to Kaiser Permanente Medical School

Dear Bernard Tyson,

It’s very exciting that Kaiser Permanente has embarked on the challenge of opening a new medical school in Southern California and will be training future doctors in its model of coordinated care. I hope that Kaiser’s commitment to “rapidly adopting new technology and adhering to the latest medical evidence in patient care” includes teaching medical students on the endocannabinoid system, recommendation of medical marijuana, and care of patients using cannabinoid medicine.

In the United States, only 13% of medical school even mention the endocannabinoid system in any course, even though the endocannabinoid system is the largest neurotransmitter system in the body. Not a single medical school has an organized course on cannabinoid medicine. There are no residencies in cannabinoid medicine. Yet the endocannabinoid system regulates every other neurotransmitter system, and is present throughout the brain and body.

Doctors that want to educate themselves on the endocannabinoid system must teach themselves, or attend sporadic CME events throughout the country. New York moved in the right direction by requiring doctors that recommend medical marijuana to take a four hour course on cannabinoid medicine. Sadly this does not go far enough, as even doctors that completed the class felt inadequately prepared to care for medical marijuana patients. In California, a state where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, there is no mandated training for doctors, and patients do not receive the care they deserve.

American medical schools have not adapted their training to meet the needs of a nation rapidly legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana at the state level. Kaiser Permanente Medical School can fill this desperate need for cannabinoid medicine training, and provide a model for training doctors across the nation as well as the globe. I strongly urge Kaiser Permanente to take a leadership role, as it is far easier to implement a program in a new medical school than it is to adapt curriculum in established schools.

Medical marijuana treatment should be integrated into a patient’s holistic treatment plan, not something a patient has to hide from their doctor or seek advice for from internet forums. Even if a doctor does not want to recommend medical marijuana to their patients, they need to at least understand that their patients may seek another doctor that will. They need to understand that patients seeking medical marijuana are not drug addicts, mentally ill, criminals, or bad parents. They need to consider cannabinoid medicine not as a treatment of last resort, but as one of several options to be discussed with patients at the beginning of their diagnosis.

Medical cannabis works for more than just patients with cancer or terminal illness. New doctors need to understand how cannabis can reduce dependence on prescription opiates for pain management, and save lives by reducing opiate overdoses. They need to understand how CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can be purchased outside of dispensaries in all 50 states, can reduce seizures in epileptic patients. Doctors need to know patients cannot overdose on cannabis and how the safety profile compares to other treatments for individual diseases.

The evidence that medical marijuana works has been shown through clinical trials conducted around the world, the U.S. government patent on “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants,” and thousands of publications on the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid medicine. The American Medical Association (AMA) agrees cannabinoids are an effective treatment for chronic pain, spasticity, and other conditions. It’s time start integrating this knowledge into the curriculum of American medical schools, starting with Kaiser Permanente Medical School.

As Chairman of Kaiser Permanente, I hope you take this opportunity to make cannabinoid medicine and education a priority within the Kaiser Permanente system and the new medical school. Your patients and doctors will truly benefit.

Sincerely,

Michele Ross, PhD

President of Impact Network

How Cannabis Helps Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis impacts 10% of all women, a total of 176 million women worldwide. Symptoms can range from no pain at all, just infertility, pain and heavy bleeding only during menstrual periods and disabling pain 24/7. There is no cure and diagnosis may take up to a decade.

Endometriosis can be found growing in the ovaries, bowels or pelvis, but occasionally grows in the lungs, brain and other areas. Endometriosis sheds similarly to uterine lining, causing bleeding and pain in organs during the menstrual period. Severe endometriosis can cause adhesions and scar tissue. Organs to attach to each other or the spine, causing severe pain and reducing mobility permanently.

How is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Disrupted in Endometriosis?

Many components of the ECS are found in endometrial tissue and their levels are regulated by the menstrual cycle in rodent models of the disease. These include cannabinoid receptors type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2), N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), an enzyme that synthesizes endocannabinoids, and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids. The highest concentration of the endocannabinioid anandamide (AEA) in the reproductive system is found in the uterus.

Endometriosis is linked to endocannabinoid deficiency (ECD). Women with endometriosis have lower levels of CB1 receptor in endometrial tissue. Reduced ECS function leads to growth of endometriosis throughout the body and more pain, and endometriosis pain is mediated through the CB1 receptor.

Human endometriosis cells proliferated (divided and grew) less when stimulated with a synthetic cannabinoid called WIN 55212-2. Rodent studies of endometriosis found animals had more pain when treated with AM251, a drug that inhibits the cannabinoid receptors, and less pain when treated with WIN 55212-2.

Why is the ECS disrupted in women with Endometriosis?

Environmental toxins such as dioxin have been linked to endocannabinoid deficiency. Dioxin decreases levels of CB1 in endometrial tissue. As we are subjected to pollution in our air, water, grass, and food as well as BPA in water bottles and receipts, it’s no wonder why so many women in developed countries now have severe endometriosis. In the future we are certain more toxins will be linked to endometriosis risk as well as endocannabinoid deficiency.

Should I Discontinue Hormonal Treatment For Endometriosis?

Please see our section on how Hormonal Birth Control disrupts the Endocannabinoid System.

Hormonal treatments for endometriosis carry other risks, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVTs) which are blood clots in your legs that can travel to your lungs and kill you. Our founder, Dr. Michele Ross, was diagnosed with endometriosis and was put on hormonal birth control and Lupron to manage her symptoms. She was recently hospitalized for lung blood clots which almost killed her. She hopes that cannabinoid products will help other women avoid the same life-threatening condition, which feels like a heart attack and stops your ability to breathe.

How Should I Take Cannabis to Treat Endometriosis?

It is very important that women with endometriosis on hormonal treatments do not SMOKE, and this also means smoke cannabis. Smoking increases your risk of deadly blood clots, which I described above. If you prefer to inhale rather than eat your cannabis, please vape. Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefit.

Eating large doses of cannabis oil daily is essential if you want to make the switch from pills to cannabis only. You can purchase cannabis oil in capsules to make it easier to swallow and remember dosing. If capsules are not available in your area, you can also purchase preloaded syringe of oil that you squirt into your mouth, or take cannabis tincture drops that you put under your tongue. If you have sleep issues, eating an edible (brownie, candy, etc) infused with cannabis at night can help.

Cannabis topicals, in the form of creams or lotions you put on your skin, can help with pelvic or back pain during the day.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as vaporizing cannabis. It’s a great way for women with endometriosis to be able to be active and return to their normal lives. Imagine having a social life again? You can use non-psychoactive versions such as CBD-only patches to get through work or other functions would don’t want to feel “high” at.

Juicing raw cannabis may reduce pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis, without that high you get from heated cannabis. That’s because raw cannabis has THCA and CBDA, the non-psychoactive forms of THC and CBD. Juice strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD(A) for best results. We’re especially excited about this new method, as daily juicing may cause remission of endometriosis.

Women with endometriosis are also encouraged to avoid chemicals in their food, hair and beauty products, and environment in addition to using cannabis therapy. Go green!

Try These Products

PAX 2 Vaporizer

Vitamin Weed Book

My MMJ Journal

Apothecanna Pain Creme

Further Research Needed

Endocannabinoid levels in human women need to be studied.

  • Are endocannabinoid levels in plasma or in endometriosis cells lower in women with endometriosis?
  • Do endocannabinoid levels change throughout the menstrual cycle in humans like they do in rodents?
  • Do women using cannabinoid therapies experience less pain and decreased endometriosis growth?
  • Are women who use cannabis less likely to develop endometriosis?

Currently there the only way to diagnose endometriosis is through an expensive surgery called a laparoscopy which is often not covered by health insurance. This means diagnosis with endometriosis takes about a decade for the average woman. A simple biomarker of endometriosis, such as reduced endocannabinoids in blood or endometriosis tissue, could save millions for the healthcare system and years of unnecessary pain for 176 million women suffering from the disease.

Want To Help?

Become a Member of IMPACT Network:   Join Now!

References 

Mayo Clinic: Endometriosis

The molecular connections between the cannabinoid system and endometriosis. Sanchez AM, Vigano P, Mugione A, Panina-Bordignon P and Candiani M. Mol Hum Reprod (2012).

Progesterone-dependent regulation of endometrial cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1-R) expression is disrupted in women with endometriosis and in isolated stromal cells exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Resuehr D, Glore DR, Taylor HS, Bruner-Tran KL, Osteen KG. Fertil Steril (2012).

Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis. Dmitrieva N, Nagabukuro H, Resuehr D, Zhang G, McAllister SL, McGinty KA, Mackie K and Berkley KJ. Pain (2010).

Antiproliferative effects of cannabinoid agonists on deep infiltrating endometriosis. Leconte M, Nicco C, Ngô C, Arkwright S, Chéreau C, Guibourdenche J, Weill B, Chapron C, Dousset B, Batteux F. Am J Pathol (2010).

How Cannabis Helps Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe, lifelong mental disorder that disrupts the connection to reality. Schizophrenia is found in 1% of the general population and in 10% of people who have a first-degree relative with it.

Symptoms of schizophrenia can include a mix of positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, and movement disorders, including not moving at all (catatonia) and repetitive movements. Negative symptoms include speaking few words even when engaged in conversation, lack of pleasure in everyday life (anhedonia), lack of motivation to begin and finish tasks, and lack of emotion (flat affect). Cognitive symptoms include poor attention span, trouble focusing, problems with working memory and poor executive function.

Does Marijuana use cause Schizophrenia?

No. Research from Harvard Medical found there is an increased risk of schizophrenia in cannabis users, but only if they had schizophrenia in their family to begin with. To be on the safe side, if you do not have schizophrenia but someone in your family does, talk to your doctor before using cannabis. Most cases of schizophrenia begin at age 21 and rare to begin after the age of 30, so if you use cannabis after that age you do not need to worry.

But Hasn’t Every Person with Schizophrenia used Marijuana?

Schizophrenia is highly comorbid with cannabis use, meaning patients with schizophrenia also use marijuana. The reason is likely self-medication, because schizophrenia is linked to endocannabinoid deficiency. While patients with schizophrenia that use cannabis have changes in brain area volumes than patients that do not use cannabis, it is not clear these changes are “bad.”

How is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Disrupted in Schizophrenia?

Patients having their first psychotic episode shows signs of endocannabinoid deficiency. They have lower levels of cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) during than healthy patients. Patients with schizophrenia also have lower levels of the enzymes that makes endocannabinoids, N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase (NAPE) and diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL). Cerebrospinal fluid levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) are lower in non-medicated schizophrenics having an acute episode and are negatively correlated with psychotic symptom severity. This means the lower the levels of AEA, the more psychotic the patients were. Finally, patients with schizophrenia show increased levels of the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

How Does Cannabis Help Schizophrenia?

Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may enhance psychotic symptoms, while cannabidiol (CBD) helps relieve symptoms. CBD inhibits the breakdown of the endocannabinoid AEA, thus boosting the ECS. AEA may even postpone the onset of psychosis. In one study, patients began treatment with 200 mg of CBD a day, and added 200 mg of CBD each day until they reached a dose of 200 mg of CBD 4 times a day for a total of 800 mg a day.

How Can I Take Cannabis For Schizophrenia?

Eating CBD tincture, CBD pills, CBD drinks, or CBD-rich edibles may help control your symptoms. If you take CBD oil or pills, you may want to take as much as you can afford as these products are expensive. Try to space out your dose 3 times a day, with a target daily dose of 600 mg if you can.

Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefit.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as smoking cannabis.

What Strains Are Best For Schizophrenia?

High CBD strains are best for schizophrenia. High THC strains should be avoided, as they may cause more psychosis. High CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, AC/DC, Sour Tsunami and Cannatonic.

Try These Products

PAX 2 Vaporizer

High-CBD Cannabis

Mary’s Medicinals Patch

Apothecanna Pain Creme

Want to help?

Find out how you can become a sponsor: [email protected]

Testimonials

Has cannabis helped your schizophrenia? We’d love to feature patients with a picture and quote from you, and perhaps even a full interview. Please contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to be featured.

Michele Ross, PhD

Author at Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan to Prevent & Reverse Endocannabinoid DeficiencyDr. Ross is CEO & founder of IMPACT Network. As a neuroscientist and cannabis patient, she lectures across the country on the benefits of medical marijuana.

Latest posts by Michele Ross, PhD (see all)

  • Colorado Health Research Council Formed To Oppose THC Potency Cap Law – June 30, 2016
  • Ebbu Announces Cannabinoid Research Program – June 23, 2016
  • IMPACT Network Hosts First Conference on Brain Health and Cannabis – June 9, 2016

Related

Written by Michele Ross, PhD

Dr. Ross is CEO & founder of IMPACT Network. As a neuroscientist and cannabis patient, she lectures across the country on the benefits of medical marijuana.

  • Brent CarpenterHello. I have been taking anti-psychotic medication for twenty years now for Schizophrenia. At the time I was basically in a state of emergency and treated by hospitalisation but have always known I was in a state of spiritual emergence. To much THC and tick bite fever caused the first psychosis, but I was in a misunderstood inter-dimensional state. Repeated activity to the lure of THC ended me up with further psychosis and eventually when this pattern repeated a diagnosis was given, that I struggle to argue against to this very day. Your research is a godsend. It will probably, time has yet to tell, allow me to heal a lot of what has gone wrong by allowing my mind the freedom of some cannaboidial influence. I can also say I will be going back to the root of the epistemological problem on all levels…emotionally, mentally, spiritually and I need to do this for myself like it’s nobodies business. I tried some the other day and was pleasantly surprised at the relief it brought me from my agitated mind (To say the least).
  • Jace MindueCannabis has helped me with the overlapping voices they we’re too stoned to talk anymore….
  • Gerick BoulomI’m waiting on this process for a shop to become open in Texas. I have Paranoid Schizophrenia and It’s maintained well I still have self medicating tendencies but, those won’t be spoke of. I’m interested in Cannatonic the 1:1 ratio will stimulate mental vibes as well as the CBD. I’m not sure how a high can help me though… I’ll most likely want to find a doctor that knows how marijuana works with my situation and test trial the strains just like any drug. I am struggling to lead a life and a perk for the availability of medical use will invite me into a culture of healing users of well weed. I tend to be reclusive and if this drug is made legal I’ll find comfort and poise in society for they are helping with my handicap. It says it here it’s to help but, I can only do my research without action because there’s no way to obtain help.
    • Moni QDoesn’t weed make you more paranoid? I know smokers and used to be a smoker myself who had worsening symptoms when being high and even had anxiety attacks only while high. I remember getting schizophrenic symptoms but now it’s gone ever since I stopped.
      The answer is a real relationship with God-Christ Jesus who heals us and helps us…
      • BarleySingerParanoia from cannabis use is more strongly linked to the persons existing *fear* than to anything else. Because the substance is illegal, this gets complicated. From what I understand, this is far more common with Sativa and Sativa dominant crosses than with other strains. There are very probably cannabinoid profiles for some strains that could increase paranoia in vulnerable people, but then again there are people who become psychotic and paranoid from drinking a coke. A huge number of pharmaceuticals can cause serious psychological symptoms, and as drugs go, alcohol is a far larger trigger (and coping mechanism) for mental illness than cannabis is.
  • Steven CaldwellFascinating article. But yeah that’s the first time I’ve heard of CBD deficiency.
  • Sonic BoomWhy are schizophrenics the only ones who are shunned from smoking weed if it helps them live a better life?
    • Raz EdgeThey aren’t. I have PTSD and my therapists advise against weed use even though recent studies show promise in using cannabis to treat symptoms. I think once cannabis is legalized on a national level the stigma will be dropped.
      • Sonic BoomPTSD is a valid ailment for medical marijuana cards in many states.Schizophrenia on the other hand has zero support.The funny thing is that their are similarities between the two, if you dont follow mainstream opinion.
    • Blumen TopfGreat you think with an objective mind. I’m schizophrenic and all my doctors say is “keep away from weed” although I always believed and experienced the healing effect.
    • Red EchidnaIs your name really Sonic Boom? That game is amazing.
  • State of PsychosisI have schizophrenia and I’ve used cannabis to treat it for years. I don’t hallucinate anymore, no more delusions, and haven’t had a suicide attempt in years. I haven’t had any adverse side effects from THC either. I can’t access MMJ so I just have to smoke whatever is available and I’ve been fine. Just some stuff is less effective than others in treating it. the schizophrenia has gotten better and better as I’ve been smoking it over the years. The THC didn’t effect anything. I personally think the causation claims about THC are just more bogus reefer madness claims. Like the article says, self medication theory is much more likely to be the right explanation. causation theory gets all of the media attention sadly. typical.
    • AndreaMy name is Andrea, in 2015 my daughter had a psychotic breakdown!!! That’s horrible.((( She stay in a mental health clinic on Florida for 4 months, they are totally lost about her diagnostic.. They gave to her 10 different medicines… She had Parkinson bc so much meds :((( her prolactin was in the high level.. They locked her in a soft room bc she was very aggressive… Florida is the worse place for mental illness…every week they said she had Ocd, border line,bipolar etc. And every single day she was worse:(((so I was so lost… And I contact the best Doctor in Brazil and thanks God and him, he started help my daughter and finally he make some calls and I took her and travel with her from Brazil to treat her with doctor Goldenstein in the best private mental clinic on Rio de Janeiro. For 3 weeks he took all psychotic meds and when he told me that she have squizofrenia!!! But infortully all psychotic medication was bad side effects for her… Only seroquel she can used… He put her on 15 ECT to took her for psychotic breakdown and finally my daughter was back without breakdown!!! She was in this clinic for more 3 months, lots of therapy and art therapy. A 2 months ago she come back to USA. She’s much better 🙏🙏she learning there workout with her voices 🙏now I trying give to her cannabidiol!!! I’m glad that works for you 😀and I hope work for my daughter ‘s too. I’m totally financial broke bc her clinic on Rio de Janeiro was very expensive… But anyway she’s back 🙏
      • State of Psychosisjust make sure you keep her on half of the seroquel while trying out CBD. suddenly stopping a medication for schizophrenia is dangerous. You need to ween in the transition. Glad to hear she’s doing better 🙂 yes, the way they put us in isolation is some places is really bad for us. That’s a fast track way to exasperate the schizophrenia.
      • CocoRoseI have a 24 y/o son with autism who is recovering from schizophrenia. My excellent holistic doctor is located in Miami Beach, Fl – Dr. Andrew Levinson. We have been following the protocol of Dr. Abrahm Hoffer, a Canadian doctor who successfully healed hundreds of patients with schizophrenia using massive amounts of niacin and vitamin C. (orthomolecular medicine) Although my son’s progress has been very slow it has been very effective. We are now including CBD in his protocol.My son had been put on an anti psychotic med (Geodon) before I met Dr Levinson. At one point he was on 85 mg. daily. We are weaning him off and he’s down to 9 mg. daily. I can only reduce by 1 mg. at a time, once a month since he’s super sensitive to the kickbacks of the lowering of the dose.
  • Mackle AlvinIn my late 24 i began to have this silly social withdrawal and depression, at a time many people thought it was because of my new job. This continued for 3 years and i decided to seek medical attention, i was told i was suffering from a brain disorder called schizophrenia and it has no cure, i almost gave up. But all thanks to my half brother who gave me the email address of Dr Joseph and he was able to restore my normalness with his very powerful medication which he sent to me when i explained my condition to him. Ever since then i have been living my normal life without any strange behavior. You want to contact him reach him on ([email protected])
  • tim him currently on 25mg of rispiradal and 40 mg off citalopram i was diagnosed as having schizophrenia and suffer depression i think my breakdown was caused by high THC weed and gambling losses ive smoked thc weed for years after breakdown while on medicaction and it just makes matters worse ( anxiety depression low self esteem social problems panic attacks haulusanations delusions) and so forth but over the last 16 months i found out that i could bye high cbd strains on the darknet so ive been using these strains such as HARLEQUIN CANNATONIC MEDICAL MASS AND OTHERS whilst on my medication but still find i get terrible mental health whilst smoking them (anxiety depression panic attacks haulusanations delusions anger ) does anyone understand why this is do you think its because im on presciption drugs as well as taking high cbd weed which is simply to much amti psycotic going in my body or that cbd isnt actually working as an anti psycotic or anti depressant or anti anxiety its come to a stage know where ive stoped smoking it as it seems just to make me more ill and stops me getting on with mylife
  • CocoRoseGood informative article. You say that for schizophrenia, a daily target of 600 mg. of CBD is recommended. Is there information about persons using that amount and what were the results? To be quite honest I don’t think the average person could afford to take 600 mg. of CBD daily.Do you know if CBD is cummulative in the body and if so would one theoretically be able to reduce the daily dose after a period of time? Thank you.
  • Wesley BlakeThis was how i got a cure for my son who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 9 years ago when he was 19. He told us that he got messages and he heard people telling him that he should hurt himself. He had a terrible temper with cursing and violence towards me and his dad. The doctor gave him different anti-psychotic drugs like Zyprexa, prolixin, risperidone, Ablify but all this even elevated the condition because he became worse over the years not until last two years that help came our way. I got Dr Joseph’s contact from an old colleague of mine who relocated to Kansas city and he told me about this herbal medicine that can put an end to my son’s condition. I contacted the doctor and i explained it all to him and he told me all will be well. I got the medicine and gave him as instructed and before i knew it he was normal again, no side effects at all. I am writing this today because i needed to be sure the cure was a permanent one which it is. I know what schizo is and how heart aching it can be but i tell you today that there is a cure for it. Contact the doctor on (josephakormah @ gmail.com) for psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, he can help you too

How Cannabis Helps Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is the most common disease transmitted by ticks in North America and Europe. It is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria in the United States as well as Borrelia afzelli and Borrelia garinii bacteria in Europe. This bacteria is in the spirochete family and is hard for the immune system to detect and kill. People are at risk for being bit with a tick that carries the bacteria if they spend time in the woods or in high grass. Wearing tick repellent when entering environments where ticks live may prevent contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is not contagious between humans.

If you have been bitten by a tick in the past month, it is important to get tested for Lyme disease so you can be treated with antibiotics and recover completely. Early symptoms include a small red bump near the site of the tick bite, which is normal from any tick bite and does not mean you have Lyme disease. If a rash appears in a bull’s-eye patten around the bite, this is a hallmark of Lyme disease. Flu-like symptoms including chills, fever, fatigue, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint stiffness, and body aches may also occur.

The second stage of the disease includes heart and nervous system issues. Abnormal heart rhythms occur in less than 10% of Lyme patients, and heart failure is a rare complication. Facial paralysis, known as Bell’s palsy, stiff neck and severe headaches, known as meningitis, confusion, and abnormal sensations in limbs, known as peripheral neuropathy, can develop. About 60% of patients not treated with antibiotics after several weeks of infection with Lyme disease will develop attacks of painful and swollen joints that last for days to months and shift from one or more joint to another. 10 to 20% of untreated patients will develop permanent arthritis.

The unfortunate part of Lyme disease is many people do not know they have been bit by a tick, and find out years later that they have Lyme disease. Treatment with antibiotics years later causes a slow and incomplete recovery from the disease. The third stage of the disease includes damage to motor and sensory nerves and brain inflammation. Anxiety and depression occurs at a higher rate in patients with Lyme disease than those without it. Memory loss, fatigue, changes in mood and sleeping habits, and difficulty with concentration are also common.

How is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Disrupted in Lyme disease?

Little research has been done on this topic. Many patients bitten by ticks infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease get better with no treatment, while some have permanent symptoms years later even after treatment. It is possible that patients with Lyme that do not get better may have underlying problems with their immune systems. As the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is found on immune system cells, it is likely that the ECS is impaired in these patients and prevents them from bouncing back after infection with Lyme.

How Does Cannabis Help Lyme disease?

Cannabis is effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungus. All 5 major cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC) has been shown to kill MRSA, known as the “flesh eating virus.” Less studied cannabinoids such as 8-hydroxycannabinol have potent antibacterial properties, and single extracts may provide new targets to kill the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Cannabis may also be effective at treating the later stage symptoms of Lyme disease. Cannabis can help reduce pain, spams, headaches and nausea. Dr. Sanjay Gupta stated that cannabis is one of the safest and effective treatments for peripheral neuropathy, a crippling symptom most Lymies (patients with Lyme disease) suffer from. Many Lymies take opiate pain medication to deal with their pain, which can be ineffective, addictive, and can even end in overdose. Every 19 minutes a patient dies in the United States from prescription drug overdose.

Initial treatment with antibiotics for Lyme disease can damage your gastrointestinal (GI) system as well as kill all the healthy bacteria in your system, leaving your body open to fungal and bacterial infections. Painkillers can also damage the lining of your GI tract, which is lined with cells containing CB1 receptors. Eating cannabis or taking cannabis oil can stimulate these CB1 receptors to repair the GI tract and reduce unwanted symptoms such as stomach pain, food sensitivity and diarrhea.

Future Research

While whole plant cannabis or extracts has not been examined in a clinical trial looking at its effectiveness against the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, this is something that should be done in the future. We have strong hope that it will be effective. If you’d like to sponsor a future study or be part of a clinical trial, please contact us.

How Can I Take Cannabis For Lyme disease?

In order for cannabis to be effective at fully eliminating the bacteria that causes Lyme disease from your body as well as reverse the long-term damage to your nervous and immune system, we suggest eating as much cannabis oil or cannabis in edible form as possible. Merely smoking it will not cure your Lyme disease, but may aid in pain and nausea relief as well as help you sleep.

Eating cannabis tincture, cannabis pills, cannabis drinks, or cannabis edibles may help control your symptoms. If you take cannabis oil or pills, you may want to take as much as you can afford as these products are expensive. Sprinkle flax seeds on your food at every meal you can, as they naturally contain CBD.

Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefits.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as smoking cannabis.

Cannabis topicals, in the form of creams or lotions you put on your skin, can help with pain and spasms during the day.

Juicing raw cannabis may reduce pain and inflammation associated with Lyme disease, without that high you get from heated cannabis. That’s because raw cannabis has THCA and CBDA, the non-psychoative forms of THC and CBD. Juice strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD(A) for best results.

What Strains Are Best For Lyme disease?

Long-term use of CBD is associated with brain fog and short-term memory problems. This may exacerbate the cognitive symptoms of Lyme disease patients and should be avoided. We suggest using medium THC potency cannabis strains or 1:1 THC:CBD strains as opposed to high CBD strains.

Let’s Make This Easy

  1. Take a CBD pill (or patch) during the day to control your symptoms without getting high.
  2. Vape cannabis whenever you need pain or other symptom relief. Be safe and don’t drive immediately after using your vaporizer, you could get a chemical DUI in most states.
  3. Eat an edible at night to help you sleep and relieve pain and inflammation. If you eat it during the day you won’t be able to drive or work.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where raw cannabis juice is available, drink it as often as you can afford to buy it.

Try These Products

PAX 2 Vaporizer

Cannabis For Lyme Book

My MMJ Journal

Apothecanna Pain Creme

Any Side Effects?

Long-term use of CBD or CBD-rich cannabis can cause mental fog or short-term memory problems like forgetting where your keys are. However, patients with Lyme disease often already have cognitive impairments and the benefits of controlling Lyme disease is likely bigger than the negative side effects of cannabis or CBD on memory. CBD can also cause depressed mood, as it lacks the euphoric counterpart of whole-plant cannabis, THC. If you feel highly depressed, anxious, or suicidal after using CBD or cannabis, please discontinue and call your doctor or call 911.

Patients that are on blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Lovenox are strongly urged to talk to their doctors before taking any cannabis product, as it may increase your body’s ability to block clots.

References

Mayo Clinic: Lyme Disease

Biologically active cannabinoids from high-potency Cannabis sativa. Radwan MM, Elsohly MA, Slade D, Ahmed SA, Khan IA, and Ross SA. Journal of Natural Products (2009).
Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. Appendino G, Gibbons S, Giana A, Pagani A, Grassi G, Stavri M, Smith E, and Rahman MM. Journal of Natural Products (2008).

Testimonials

Lyme disease patients Pamela Baily and Lisa Sikes talk about how cannabis oil has helped them on “High Noon” radio show

Has cannabis helped your Lyme disease? We’d love to feature patients with a picture and quote from you, and perhaps even a full interview. Please contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to be featured.

Lupus

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your body can’t tell the difference between viruses, germs and bacteria and your body’s own healthy tissue. This leads to your immune system creating antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue, leading to inflammation, pain and damage to body parts. Lupus is characterized by flares, where symptoms worsen, and remissions, when symptoms improve. Unlike HIV or AIDS, where the immune system is underactive, the immune system is overactive in lupus.

Between 1.5 and 2 million Americans live with lupus, and most are women between the age of 15-45. The most severe cases of lupus are found in Asians and African-Americans. The most common type of lupus is system lupus erythematosus, which attacks several body organs. Drug-induced lupus is caused by using one of over 400 legal prescription drugs. Other types of lupus include cutaneous lupus, which mainly attacks skin and forms a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose, lupus nephritis, which attacks the kidneys, and neonatal lupus, which occurs in babies born to mothers with lupus.

Symptoms of lupus include pain all over but focused in hands, fingers, wrists, and knees, skin rashes, mouth sores, fatigue, mood changes, swelling of hands and feet, nausea, vomiting, depression, anxiety, seizures, fevers, weight loss, chest pain, hair loss, ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, anemia and abnormal heart rate.

How is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Disrupted in Lupus?

This is an area of medicine lacking in research. One day genetic studies will see if mutations in ECS genes are correlated with lupus. Because the immune system contains cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2), endocannabinoids directly influence the immune system.

How Does Cannabis Help Lupus?

Pain and inflammation are two major symptoms of lupus, and cannabis helps relieve both, without nasty side effects that prescription medications have. Cannabis increases the levels of anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-10 and decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory protein interleukin-2. Cannabis has also been shown to suppress the immune system by activating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). MDSCs may help dampen the hyperactive immune system found in lupus.

Cannabis also helps treat symptoms of nausea and abdominal cramping that are often severe side effects of commonly prescribed drug for lupus, such as Plaquenil and corticosteroids.

How Can I Take Cannabis to Treat Lupus?

For patents who are not ready to quit taking their prescription medications yet, vaporizing cannabis is a great way to ease pain, reduce inflammation and decrease the severity of side effects from prescription drugs given to lupus patients. Vaporizing cannabis is better than smoking cannabis in a joint, pipe, or bong because it doesn’t burn the cannabis. Smoking cannabis releases toxins similar to cigarettes, can cause lung irritation and often disintegrates cannabinoids with healing properties. Vaporizing cannabis heats the air around the cannabis, releasing a range of cannabinoids, each with unique health benefit.

Eating large doses of cannabis oil daily is essential if you want to make the switch from pills to cannabis only. Cannabis oil made from high-CBD strains are best. You can purchase cannabis oil in capsules to make it easier to swallow and remember dosing. If capsules are not available in your area, you can also purchase preloaded syringe of oil that you squirt into your mouth, or take cannabis tincture drops that you put under your tongue. If you have sleep issues, eating an edible (brownie, candy, etc) infused with high-CBD cannabis at night can help.

Cannabis topicals, in the form of creams or lotions you put on your skin, can help with joint pain and swelling during the day.

A new way to get cannabis into your body is via a transdermal patch, similar to the birth control patch or the nicotine patch. This discrete method provides extended release medication for up to ten hours and is perfect for people who feel uncomfortable with other methods such as smoking cannabis.

Juicing raw cannabis may reduce pain and inflammation associated with lupus, without that high you get from heated cannabis. That’s because raw cannabis has THCA and CBDA, the non-psychoative forms of THC and CBD. Juice strains of cannabis with high levels of CBD(A) for best results.

What Strains Are Best For Patients with Lupus?
Strains with high levels of CBD are optimal for lupus. These include Cannatonic, which has close to  1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, and Sour Tsunami.

Let’s Make This Easy

  1. Use cannabis cream on your achy joints during the day. Don’t worry, it won’t get you high.
  2. Vape high-CBD cannabis whenever you need pain or other symptom relief. Be safe and don’t drive immediately after using your vaporizer, you could get a chemical DUI in most states.
  3. Eat an edible at night to help you sleep and relieve pain and inflammation. If you eat it during the day you won’t be able to drive or work.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where raw cannabis juice is available, drink it as often as you can afford to buy it.

Try These Products

  • PAX 3 Vaporizer
  • Vitamin Weed Book
  • My MMJ Journal
  • Apothocanna Pain Creme 

Testimonials

Has cannabis helped your lupus? We’d love to feature patients with a picture and quote from you, and perhaps even a full interview. Please contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to be featured.

Want to help?

Find out how you can help the nonprofit IMPACT Network as a partner, sponsor, or volunteer by sending us an email at [email protected]

References

  • Lupus Foundation of America: What is Lupus?
  • Cannabinoid receptor activation leads to massive mobilization of myeloid-derived suppressor cells with potent immunosuppressive properties. Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M, Nagarkatti PS. European Journal of Immunology (2010).

Endocannabinoid Deficiency

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004 to characterize symptoms found when there is not enough endocannabinoid system signaling. Most of the disease states related to CECD are marked by chronic pain, dysfunctional immune systems, fatigue, and mood imbalances. This is not surprising as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates most of these physiological processes.

The ECS is the largest neurotransmitter system in the body. There are more endocannabinoids in your body than dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, glutamate or GABA. Your body can have too much or too little signaling of any of these neurotransmitter systems, leading to disease. Parkinson’s disease is caused by deficiency in dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for movement and motivation. Depression is suggested to be a deficiency in serotonin, and is treated with antidepressants that raise serotonin levels. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by deficiency in acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that modulates memory, decision making and wakefulness. It makes sense then that there are diseases caused by deficiency in the endocannabinoids, the largest neurotransmitter system.

Your body makes two main endocannabinoids called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). These neurotransmitters are released, activate cannabinoid receptors, and are broken down mainly by enzymes including fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively.

There are several ways in which your body can have a deficiency in ECS signaling. First, there might not be enough endocannabinoids synthesized. Second, there might not be enough cannabinoid receptors. Third, there may be too much of the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. Finally, there may be enough endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, but there is not enough signaling happening.

There are several ways to remedy a deficiency in ECS signaling. You could eat more substances that boost levels of endocannabinoids in your own body and brain. You can get rid of lifestyle factors like medications and foods that decrease endocannabinoid signaling. You can also consume phytocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that come from plants. The most abundant source of phytocannabinoids is cannabis, with over 130 types of cannabinoids discovered. Other sources of phytocannabinoids include commonplace foods such as flaxseed, black pepper, and echinacea.

It is likely that Western lifestyle of unhealthy diet, infrequent exercise, poor sleep, and lack of stress managment contributes to endocannabinoid deficiency. Many diseases suggested to be caused by endocannabinoid deficiency are in fact much more frequent in countries that have adopted the Western lifestyle.IMPACT Network believes all humans have the right to restore balance to their endocannabinoid system using the phytocannabinoids of their choice, and fully supports cannabis legalization.