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Common Ailments and Corresponding Cannabinoids

There are many research studies that indicate a much wider use for cannabis than ever thought possible by modern medicine. Some notable finds are listed below.  A more extensive list can be found here.

The painkilling properties of THC were initially documented in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1975. Subsequent clinical studies in Europe demonstrated that whole plant THC combined with whole plant CBD work better than THC alone for treating chronic pain.

"Electrophysiological, neurochemical, and behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoids (marijuana-like drugs) suppress pain neurotransmission." - National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, IRP, noted on the NIMH website, updated Jan. 25, 2002

Activating the CB1 receptor has been specifically found to reduce pain sensitivity in the osteoarthritic knee joints. Cannabis-based medicine has been found to significantly improve pain during joint movement, pain while at rest, and quality of sleep in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Numerous preclinical studies have confirmed cannabis’ anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects and they support the idea that the endocannabinoid system is involved in alleviating pain associated with arthritis.

Cannabinoid solutions are a proven safer alternative and available at a much lower cost. The top arthritis drugs are currently costing patients upwards of $3000 per month, resulting in over $35 Billion dollars in revenue for pharmaceutical companies in the United States alone.

U.S. government-sponsored research at the National Institute of Mental Health determined that THC and CBD both protect brain cells from the effects of stroke and acute head injuries. Drawing upon this research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secured a patent, titled “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants,” in 2003. The patent asserted that THC and CBD “are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

Lung Cancer
Harvard University researchers found that THC cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread” – which helps to explain why smoking marijuana doesn’t cause lung cancer.

Breast Cancer
The California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco studied the effects of CBD and THC on breast cancer cells and found that both compounds have significant antitumoral properties, but the combination of CBD and THC had a more potent antitumoral effect on human cell lines than either compound when tested alone.

Brain Cancer
California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) scientists in San Francisco found that CBD enhances the inhibitory effect of THC on human glioblastoma cells, a deadly form of brain cancer. “THC’s anti-cancer benefits were derived largely from activating cannabinoid receptors, something CBD is not known to do,” explained Dr. Jahan Marcu, lead author of the glioblastoma study. “CBD works through other molecular pathways. It enhances the benefits of THC while reducing side effects.”

Alzheimer’s Disease
Investigators at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, showed that THC inhibits an enzyme responsible for the accumulation of amyloid plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

A 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology reported that oral THC improved symptoms of ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome in a teenager.

Tourette’s Syndrome
A 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology reported that oral THC improved symptoms of ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome in a teenager.

Opioid Addiction
Cannabis can be a safer alternative for managing the symptoms patients had been using opioids to treat, such as chronic pain or anxiety. Opioid analgesics are associated with far more health risks, unpleasant side effects, and addiction. Getting people off opioids will dramatically impact the number of deaths related to opioid addiction.

Current research supports the use of medical marijuana in addiction therapy. Patients seeking treatment in fighting opiate addiction that were given cannabis as a treatment rather than an opiate medication had the least amount of withdrawal symptoms. Numerous studies have found positive effects of the use of medical marijuana, including controlling nausea and vomiting, which are the dominate withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of heroin and opiates.
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