Titration in Cannabis Medicine – The Importance of Understanding & Following Dosage

Titration in Cannabis Medicine – The Importance of Understanding & Following Dosage

Maximize benefit and minimize risk in using ayurvedic cannabis medicine through titration. The common direction by cannabis doctors is to ‘start low and go slow’.   If you or someone you care for have recently been prescribed cannabinoid medicine you’ve likely been introduced to the concept of titration. This might have been done through a dosage chart, or by your doctor providing dosage instructions that are perhaps a little more complicated than usual.  SIMPLE DOSAGE CHART Formulation Indications Initial Dose Titration Increment(Increase Daily By) Cannabis Oil ‘001’ Pain Inflammation 15 drops 10 drops This is because the effects of a specific dose of cannabis medicine can vary from person to person regardless of age, weight, gender, or many of the other factors that are typically relied upon to establish standardized dosages. It is also important to note that cannabinoid medicine is biphasic in nature. Meaning that you can potentially experience the opposite effects from a low dose than you might from a high dose. MAXIMIZE BENEFIT MINIMIZE RISK Titration is the process of starting a medication at a low dose and gradually increasing the dosage potency or ‘up-titrating’ until the maximum therapeutic benefit is achieved, while attempting to prevent or minimize the onset of any side effects. By allowing a substance to slowly build up within your system, you can allow your body to acclimate while safely testing your initial reactions. The common rhyme amongst cannabinoid medicine health care providers is to ‘start low and go slow,’ or to borrow from another old cliché, ‘it’s a marathon not a sprint.’ Titration is certainly not exclusive to cannabis and is common among many other medications and over the counter supplements. However, titration is not often associated with cannabis amongst the general public, as the black market has given cannabis the stereotype of being an ‘instant reward’ type of product, and not something typically viewed as being taken gradually over long periods of time. COMMONLY TITRATED MEDICATIONS Antibiotics Anticoagulants Anticonvulsants Antidepressants Antidiabetics Antipsychotics Opioids Sedatives Stimulants At the time of your consultation, your doctor and/or educator may have provided you with a straight forward dosage chart similar to the one pictured above in order to maximize your success by not over complicating the process. However, depending on the types of medications you have taken previously and the level of personalization within your treatment plan, you may instead have been provided with a more complex titration schedule outlining the different steps for each day of your initial course of treatment. TITRATION CHART Time of Day Formulation DAY 1  DAY 2  DAY 3  DAY 4  DAY 5  DAY 6  DAY 7  Morning Cannabis Oil ‘001’ 8 drops 8 drops 12 drops 12 drops 16 drops 16 drops 20 drops Afternoon Cannabis Oil ‘002’ 8 drops 8 drops 12 drops 12 drops 16 drops 16 drops 20 drops Night Cannabis Oil ‘003’ 8 drops 8 drops 12 drops 12 drops 16 drops 16 drops 20 drops OPTIMIZE YOUR DOSAGE Dosage is very individualized with cannabis medicine, and when taking the care to increase dosage incrementally, you can both optimize your dosage to achieve maximum therapeutic effect, and reduce any wastage or unnecessary overconsumption. This process can additionally allow you to more accurately predict your refill schedule needs, which will help simplify things when it comes time to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor.  In order to begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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Cannabis & Pain – An Old-Fashioned ‘Alternative’ Treatment Option

Cannabis & Pain – An Old-Fashioned ‘Alternative’ Treatment Option

One of the most common uses of medical cannabis is to treat chronic pain. But how do cannabinoids relieve pain? Read on.   Cannabis medicine has gained increased focus and importance in recent years with regards to pain management and treatment. Not only is cannabis commonly sought out as an alternative to traditional pain medications, but also as a treatment option for conditions known to be treatment resistant, and more critically as a tool to be used in opioid use reduction strategies and in reducing opioid related deaths.  The sensations of pain are a natural result of the body’s response to the experience or perception of injury or illness. Damaged cells signal the brain, resulting in the sensation of pain.  SYMPTOMS & IMPACTS OF PAIN Anxiety Cramps Depression Joint Stiffness Limited Mobility Loss of Stamina Muscle Stiffness Nausea / Vomiting Reduced Flexibility Reduction in Strength Sleep Disturbance Spasms Swelling Difficulty Performing ADLs Difficulty Managing Relationships Difficulty Sustaining Employment Increased Pain Sensitivity (Hyperalgesia) Increased Perception of Pain Severity (Allodynia)   The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in the process of pain signalling. This pain signalling can be suppressed or blocked by activating the CB1 receptors of the ECS. Cannabinoid medicine treatment can also result in noticeable improvements in sensations of mobility pain, and pain at rest. In countries and jurisdictions where access to cannabis medicine products has been legalized and/or decriminalized, pain is among the top conditions prioritized by health care providers specializing in cannabinoid medicine treatment.    COMMON CAUSES / SOURCES OF PAIN Arthritis Back Injury Bleeding Tumor Cancer Chemotherapy Diabetic Neuropathy Endometriosis Fibromyalgia Hormonal Changes Immune System Changes Infection Inflammation Intestinal Blockage Lymphoedema Multiple Sclerosis Migraine Nerve Damage Phantom Limb Previous Injury Stroke Urinary Blockage Deep Vein Thrombosis Biopsies / Lumbar Puncture Surgery Steroidal Medication Bone Damage Burning Around Injection Sites   Pain can have many causes both known and unknown, and can often be the result of a variety of interconnected factors. CHRONIC PAIN Worldwide, chronic pain is among the most common factors in patient reported years lived with disability. Individuals experience chronic pain differently in both severity and duration. For many the source of their pain may be elusive and remain undiagnosed. These sensations of pain can at times be constant, or experienced in unpredictable intervals or waves.  NEUROPATHIC PAIN When a patient suffers nerve damage from an injury or illness, pain signaling can persist well beyond the healing time of the initial injury itself. Patients with neuropathic pain may experience persistent or episodic sensations of burning, tingling, sharp, or stabbing/shooting pain. Studies have shown that cannabinoids have the potential to cause a significant reduction in neuropathic pain symptoms.  CANCER RELATED PAIN Pain related to cancer can often be the result of tumors applying pressure to soft tissue, organs, nerves and/or bones. Pain is also an associated side effect of common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Patients using cannabis medicine have reported varying levels of reduction in cancer related pain.   TRADITIONAL MEDICATIONS FOR THE TREATMENT OF PAIN NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen) Opioids (Codeine, Morphine, Oxycodone, Buprenorphine) Anti-Seizure (Carbamazepine, Valproate) Muscle Relaxants Medicated Topical Creams Paracetamol Tramadol Gabapentin Pregabalin Antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Duloxetine)   OPIOID USE REDUCTION The primary focus of pain treatment is to improve overall pain management and to limit the impacts on an individual’s activities of daily life. With this focus in mind and with the information available at the time, many doctors all over the world for the past several decades have prescribed opiates for the treatment of pain more and more frequently and in higher doses. This has resulted in what many characterize as a crisis of opioid related use disorder and mortality.  This growing crisis has driven a fundamental need to source effective and evidence-based treatment options for reducing the pain management community’s reliance on prescription opioids. Cannabis medicine has proven not only to be an effective alternative to beginning the use of high-dose opioids in the first place, it has also been shown to be useful as an opioid-sparing medication. By reducing the overall opioid dosage potency required to achieve pain symptom management, the use of cannabis medicine along with opioids can reduce daily dosage needs, and thus potentially reduce the occurrence of opioid-related overdose and death.  In jurisdictions where access to cannabis has already been granted, there is often a correlated reduction in the total number of opioid prescriptions given by health care providers, as well as a reduction in the duration of dosage supplied. Researchers have also noted reductions in the prescribing of other drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin.   ADDITIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT Regular Exercise Frequent Stretching Physiotherapy Occupational therapy Relaxation / Meditation Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Acupuncture Injections Surgery Nerve Signalling Devices   While studies are still ongoing, additional research is needed to fully understand the therapeutic potentials and possible side effects of cannabis medicine as a treatment option for pain and as an opioid use reduction tool. CANNABIS PRODUCTS AVAILABLE IN INDIA Infused Edible Oils Topical Creams Hemp Oil Full Spectrum Infused Oils Gel Capsules Tinctures   To begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. Research regarding cannabis, pain and opiate use reduction: The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229919308040  Endocannabinoid system and pain: an introduction https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24148358/  The Effect of Medicinal Cannabis on Pain and Quality-of-Life Outcomes in Chronic Pain: A Prospective Open-label Study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26889611/  Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549367/  Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. https://europepmc.org/article/med/28934780 Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2338251  Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885392409007878 Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.nature.com/articles/npp201751  Cannabis Use is Associated with Lower Odds of Prescription Opioid Analgesic Use Among HIV-Infected Individuals with Chronic Pain https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10826084.2017.1416408?journalCode=isum20  Impact of co-administration of oxycodone and smoked cannabis on analgesia and abuse liability https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-018-0011-2  The Efficacy of Medical Marijuana in the Treatment of Cancer-Related Pain https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2019.0374  Consensus-based recommendations for titrating cannabinoids and tapering opioids for chronic pain control https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijcp.13871  The impact of cannabis access laws on opioid prescribing https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167629618309020  Opioid Prescribing in Canada following the Legalization of Cannabis: A Clinical and Economic Time-Series Analysis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33491149/  DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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Cannabis & Hemp – Similarities, Differences, and Consumer Products

Cannabis & Hemp – Similarities, Differences, and Consumer Products

What is hemp? Is cannabis the same as the hemp plant? What is hemp used for medically? Which is better - Hemp or Cannabis? These are some very common questions on hemp and cannabis. Especially now as cannabis and cannabis-derived products become more accessible globally.   Cannabis and hemp share quite a few common traits beyond just their genetic similarities. Both species of plants produce similar looking leaf structures, their seeds have high nutritional value, and their plant fibers are strong and can be used in the making of rope and textiles. However, in today’s times both are primarily cultivated in order to harvest the buds they produce which can contain varying potency levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are the central focus of a rapidly expanding global industry of medical, wellness, cosmetic, and other consumer products.  CANNABIS Cannabis Sativa, commonly known as cannabis or marijuana, is a grouping of plant species found to grow naturally in various regions across the globe. Varieties include indica, sativa, and ruderalis, however most modern cultivars of cannabis are a hybridisation of these varieties. Mature cannabis plants produce highly resinous buds that are utilized for their therapeutic medicinal value. Over 140 cannabinoids can be found within the cannabis plant, as well as over 200 terpenes. HEMP Hemp is a variety of plant species closely related to cannabis. In jurisdictions where the cultivation of cannabis is prohibited, hemp is most commonly utilized for its cannabinoid content, primarily low to moderate potencies of CBD along with negligible to low potency values of THC. Harvested hemp can be used in the creation of therapeutic cannabinoid extracts, nutritional supplements, fabrics, rope, plastics and other products and industrial applications.  CONSUMER PRODUCTS For centuries many different cultures have cultivated cannabis and hemp to be used in the creation of a wide variety of consumer products. CANNABIS HEMP Infused Edible Oils Nutritional Supplements Tinctures Cosmetics Sublingual Sprays Textiles Topical Creams Paper Transdermal Patches Plastics Whole Dry Flower Building Materials Vaporized Extracts Fuel    To begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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What Does Full Spectrum Mean? – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and the Entourage Effect

What Does Full Spectrum Mean? – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and the Entourage Effect

If you are one of the many people trying out cannabis, you have probably come across a variety of terms. What does full spectrum mean? What do terpenes mean? What does entourage effect mean? All have different uses and benefits and most people don’t really know the difference.   As the global cannabis industry continues to mature, it is still common to hear a wide variety of terms used to describe and/or classify different extracts and compounds used in the manufacturing of medical and other consumer cannabis products.  COMMON TERMS FOR CANNABIS MEDICINE INGREDIENTS Full Spectrum  Broad Spectrum Full Form Vijaya Extract Crude Oil Extract Hemp Oil Extract CBD Isolate THC Distillate Synthetic Cannabinoids A full-spectrum cannabis product refers to products manufactured using an extract that contains the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals contained within the cannabis cultivar(s) used to create the extract. While individual cannabinoids have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of different conditions, medical cannabis products that use isolated cannabinoids alone do not necessarily have the same treatment potentials as products containing a full-spectrum cannabis extract. Prior to the introduction of regulated cannabis medicine products that can provide detailed chemical content information, it was common for patients to seek out full-spectrum products simply based on consistent anecdotal accounts of their potential for greater efficacy.  THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT Research is still ongoing, however there is support for the use of full-spectrum cannabinoid medicines over the use of isolated THC or CBD extracts. Studies have shown that the combined use of the different cannabinoids, terpenes, and cannabis-based phytochemicals can result in emergent properties not otherwise observed when consuming isolated extracts. This can result in a synergistic amplification of effects and expansion of potential therapeutic applications. CANNABINOIDS – COMBINED EFFECT & SYNERGIES Over 140 cannabinoids can be found within the cannabis plant. By utilizing full-spectrum based cannabis medicines, patients can benefit from all of the cannabinoids found within the cultivar(s) used in the extraction process. Not only does this allow for the potential therapeutic benefits of each cannabinoid individually, it can also lead to additional benefits seen only when used together. Studies have shown that the effective dosage for both THC and CBD can be reduced when they are used together. Research has also shown that CBD can help limit the intensity of the intoxicating effects of THC, preventing some patients from experiencing an unwanted ‘high’.  TERPENES – A THERAPEUTIC CLASS OF THEIR OWN Terpenes are essential oil compounds excreted through glands of the plant and are responsible for the diverse range of scents and flavours found in cannabis. Terpenes are also responsible for some of the differing effects experienced when using various cannabis products, such as whether they feel stimulating or sedating. Over 200 terpenes have been identified in cannabis alone. Terpenes have been shown to have their own therapeutic potentials such as: Alertness Analgesic Anti-Anxiety Antiacne Antibacterial Antibiotic Anticarcinogenic Anticonvulsant Antifungal Anti-Inflammatory Antimalarial Antimicrobial Antioxidant Antiseptic Antitumor Anxiolytic Appetite Suppressant Bronchodilator Depression Relief Elevated Mood Gastroprotective Memory Retention Muscle Relaxant Sedation Stress Relief Ulcer Improvement Beyond the potential therapeutic effects of terpenes themselves, they can also have the benefit of added synergistic effects when combined with cannabinoids. For example, myrcene can assist cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in passing across the brains protective blood-brain barrier, thus increasing their interaction potentials. To begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. Research regarding cannabis, terpenes and the entourage effect: Synergy research: approaching a new generation of phytopharmaceuticals https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19211237/  Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21749363/  Clinical and Preclinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719112/  The 'entourage effect' or 'hodge-podge hashish': the questionable rebranding, marketing, and expectations of cannabis polypharmacy https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32116073/  The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/  Upper airway and pulmonary effects of oxidation products of (+)-alpha-pinene, d-limonene, and isoprene in BALB/c mice https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12122569/  d-Limonene modulates inflammation, oxidative stress and Ras-ERK pathway to inhibit murine skin tumorigenesis https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0960327111434948  Linalool and β-pinene exert their antidepressant-like activity through the monoaminergic pathway https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320515001381?via%3Dihub  Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711304701804?via%3Dihub  DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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Prescription Cannabis Medicine – Breaking Down the Process

Prescription Cannabis Medicine – Breaking Down the Process

Medical & scientific use of cannabis is allowed under the law in India. Extracts of cannabis, in medical formulations manufactured by registered firms with approvals from India’s health authorities, can be legally purchased by eligible patients.   As the use of cannabis medicines becomes more and more common in India and around the globe, it is understandable that many patients may still feel hesitant or apprehensive when it comes to discussing these treatment options with their doctor, family members and/or peers. For some this hesitation stems from a lack of information regarding access to cannabis medicine and how it works. For others it may be the presence of a lingering stigma associated with the recreational use of the cannabis plant. In either case, the best remedy to move beyond these hesitations is education on the subject and assistance in better understanding the process. When considering cannabis medicine for the first time it is important to remember that it is indeed medicine, and as such should be approached in the same way any patient would approach a new medical treatment option. Through thoughtful discussion, consideration and assessment with a qualified medical professional. As with any other medical discussion with a doctor, patients can expect to receive the same level of professionalism, privacy. discretion, and quality care to which they are accustomed to receiving from their health care providers. LEGAL ACCESS TO CANNABIS MEDICINE Patients in India can currently obtain legal access to cannabis medicine treatment through a prescription issued by a doctor. This prescription is then fulfilled directly by the manufacturer of the prescribed cannabis medicine product(s). FINDING A DOCTOR & BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT Once you’ve identified a doctor who specializes in cannabis medicine, booking an appointment should be quick and easy. Typically, patients will be asked to complete an intake form briefly detailing their medical history in order to help in the assessment of their overall treatment needs. PATIENT ELIGIBILITY Although the use of prescription cannabis medicine in India is not restricted to any specific conditions, there are some potential complicating factors that need to be considered before a patient can receive a prescription. Patients will be screened for possible contraindications and to identify those belonging to vulnerable patient groups. Medical practices that specialize in cannabinoid treatment will typically require new patients to answer a set of standardized eligibility questions as part of the general intake process.  MEDICAL CONSULTATION An overall medical assessment is performed by a doctor to determine if cannabinoid treatment is appropriate for the patient’s specific symptoms and condition, based on potential benefits, risk factors, and available alternative treatment options. If cannabis medicine is deemed appropriate, the doctor will provide additional guidance and recommendations regarding dosage, effects, and treatment best practices.  PRODUCT FULFILLMENT & EDUCATIONAL SERVICES If cannabis medicine has been deemed appropriate by the doctor, a prescription document will be created and provided directly to the patient and/or the manufacturer of the specified cannabis medicine product(s). At the point of purchase, patients are often given an opportunity to receive additional product specific details and educational assistance as needed. FOLLOW-UP CONSULTATION & PRESCRIPTION RENEWAL Following an initial course of treatment, if a patient has been successful in achieving improved symptom management, they will need to book a follow-up appointment with their doctor to discuss a repeat prescription and/or possible adjustments to their treatment plan. Alternatively, patients may be advised to discontinue medical cannabis treatment entirely if the level of symptom relief achieved is insufficient or does not outweigh experienced side effects. To begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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Cure vs Treatment – Why We Choose Our Words Carefully

Cure vs Treatment – Why We Choose Our Words Carefully

Specialists in cannabis medicine carefully use the term "treatment" instead of "cure" - to give a more accurate understanding of the confirmed benefits of cannabis, and to accurately manage expectations of patients who are often accessing cannabis in the absence of other effective treatment options for chronic and acute conditions.   When discussing natural medicines or making casual statements regarding medical care, it is very common for people to use the term ‘cure’. We often think of this word as a catch all term for effective medicines or as being interchangeable with words like remedy or treatment. However, it is important to note that cure is not a term one will often hear used by healthcare professionals when discussing medical care and medications, as they must always be mindful of the important distinction between a cure and a treatment.  Cure: When a patient no longer suffers from a medical condition following a procedure/treatment. Treatment: The successful management of a patients’ symptoms resulting from an ongoing medical condition. Medical professionals who specialise in cannabis medicine are especially weary of using the term cure rather than treatment, as in the past the term has often been inappropriately and enthusiastically used by both cannabis advocates and outlaws alike.  On the subject of cure vs treatment, a notable tale in the larger international story of cannabis medicine is that of Canada’s Rick Simpson. Prior to the introduction of a robust regulatory framework for access to cannabis for medical purposes, a gentleman by the name of Rick Simpson gained fame and infamy through his passion for the use of cannabis medicine as what he would describe as a ‘cure’ for cancer. Having cultivated and processed cannabis extract to be used in the alleged treatment of his own skin cancer, Mr. Simpson soon became an outspoken advocate for the use of cannabis as a cancer ‘cure’. Despite federal law prohibiting him from doing so, this led to him cultivating and processing considerable amounts of cannabis extract which he then freely distributed to other cancer patients looking to follow in his footsteps. To this day, many still refer to ethanol extracted full spectrum cannabis crude oil as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil). While Mr. Simpsons efforts did earn him a place in the cannabis history books, those advocating for cannabis to become a fixture of modern medicine have made efforts to distance themselves from him and other prophets claiming cannabis to be a miracle cure.  Today’s cannabis medicine professionals choose instead to highlight ongoing efforts in clinical research on treatment efficacy to support the inclusion of cannabis in everyday modern medicine. The current body of research regarding the possible treatment applications of cannabis medicine has expanded to include a long list of conditions/symptoms. COMMON SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS FOR CANNABIS MEDICINE THERAPY Acute Pain Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Anxiety Arthritis ADHD Autism Spectrum Disorder Autoimmune Disorder Bipolar Disorder Cachexia / Poor Appetite Cancer Related Pain Chronic Fatigue Chronic Pain  Crohn's Disease Depression Endometriosis  Epilepsy Fibromyalgia Headache / Migraines HIV / AIDS Inflammatory Bowel Disease Irritable Bowel Syndrome Inflammation Insomnia / Sleep Disorders Menstrual Pain / Cramping  Mood Disorders Multiple Sclerosis Muscle Spasticity Nausea and Vomiting Neuropathic Pain / Nerve Damage Palliative Care Parkinson’s Disease Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  Seizure Disorders Spinal Injuries Stress   To begin your cannabis medicine journey today, book an appointment now with the Savikalpa Virtual Clinic for an online doctor consultation, or request more information from a member of our highly trained clinic staff (eclinic@savikalpa.com). We pride ourselves on being one of India’s most qualified sources of fast, friendly, and professional access to cannabinoid medicine online! Interested in learning more? Send us your questions (eclinic@savikalpa.com). It is our mission to educate patients in any way we can, and we would be delighted to hear from you. DISCLAIMER – All individuals accessing this site undertake full responsibility for their own assessment of the accuracy/relevance of any and all content found herein. The content found on this site is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical advice/diagnosis/treatment from a qualified and licensed health care provider. This information should also in no way be misconstrued as professional legal advice regarding legislative, regulatory or any other matters. Individuals should always seek guidance of fully qualified professionals.

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CBD Myths Debunked

CBD Myths Debunked

There are several false claims attached to cannabis, which has hampered an industry with tremendous potential. Experts debunk 5 myths about CBD in this article.   There’s a lot of information out there about cannabis these days — and it’s not all accurate. For instance, in the excitement over the seemingly miraculous healing potential of CBD, THC can become unfairly demonized. And while CBD does have some pretty incredible qualities, it’s a good idea to have a realistic understanding of both its benefits and its limitations. Let’s set the record straight about some common misconceptions and myths regarding CBD.   Myth 1: CBD is the “good” cannabinoid and purely medical while THC is the “bad” cannabinoid and purely recreational False. Both cannabinoids have a lot to offer, and neither are inherently “good” or “bad.” Although, if you mean one is medicinal and the other recreational, both CBD and THC have a firm claim for being both.   THC is known for providing the controversial, mind-altering, recreational high. However, it is replete with medicinal benefits as well. For example, THC treats pain, soothes nausea, reduces inflammation, and can improve metabolism. CBD also treats pain and reduces inflammation. CBD has other medical uses as well, such as the potential to treat anxiety and depression. Perhaps most famously, CBD is used  to reduce epilepsy related seizures.     Numerous studies have also shown both THC and CBD to be effective in relieving many of the negative side effects that cancer patients battle with. It can be dramatically helpful in treating nausea and GI symptoms associated with chemotherapy along with significant weight loss and wasting (cachexia) associated with cancer. Early research even suggests that CBD and THC might be disease modifying in cancerous tumour growth. Furthermore, medical benefits of cannabis are often seen to be more effective when both CBD and THC are present — something known as the “entourage effect". As for recreational use, THC is typically what people think of as the desired cannabinoid. However, while CBD is not specifically “recreational” in spirit, plenty of recreational users seek out strains with higher CBD because of its ability to naturally reduce the potential for THC-induced anxiety — as well as its ability to inhibit some of the more extreme psychoactive qualities of THC. In other words, the presence of CBD allows for a more relaxed recreational high. Myth 2: CBD is not psychoactive — and psychoactivity is an inherently negative side effect Untrue. The word “psychoactive” is often given a narrow definition that is both limiting and, frankly, inaccurate. In fact, CBD and THC are both psychoactive, though in quite different ways. Given that CBD has the potential to affect mood, that is indeed affecting our psyche. And CBD purportedly affects mood, including anxiety, depression, and mood elevation. That said, while CBD is most certainly psychoactive, it is NOT an intoxicant or psychotropic. This is what most people think of when they hear the word psychoactive. So, to be clear, CBD is not impairing or hallucinogenic and creates no “high.” However, while we’re on the subject, it’s important to note that even the kind of psychoactivity that gets you “high,” such as some of the psychoactive effects of THC, is not inherently bad. In fact, the euphoria it creates may be therapeutic too, as many people find the effects to be calming and up lifting. Myth 3: CBD is most effective when used without THC This is not always true, and they often work together hand in hand. As noted above, CBD and THC are like best friends. These two cannabinoids work together synergistically, meaning they support one another and are most effective when taken together. For example, one study found that whole plant CBD was twice as effective for treating epilepsy, as compared to CBD isolate. Furthermore, lower doses were required to achieve a therapeutic effect. In fact, cannabis and hemp plants contain a huge variety of cannabinoids which we are only beginning to understand. One thing seems evident, however — these cannabinoids seem to work best when used in unison. This is known as the entourage effect. For example, a study done by Spanish doctors found that whole-plant cannabis was far more effective in three types of breast cancer than pure THC used alone. Another study done by British doctors indicates that CBD helps to potentiate THC in treatment of arthritis. While there are situations in which pure CBD might be preferable to whole-plant cannabis — as it depends on the condition and changes from patient to patient — evidence indicates that the combination of cannabinoids is generally more effective for most medical treatments. Myth 4: CBD derived from hemp isn’t as good as CBD derived from cannabis This one  is a bit trickier. CBD is the same whichever plant it is derived from — in theory. It would be more accurate to say that CBD as an isolate is the same wherever it is sourced. Hemp is simply the name for cannabis plants that have less than 0.3% THC, whereas cannabis or marijuana refer to plants that have more than 0.3% THC. While it is true that pure CBD will be the same compound whichever plant it comes from, if you’re going for the whole plant, the entourage effect of the various cannabinoids working together, the hemp plant could be less effective in certain treatments. Another issue comes up in the sourcing of quality CBD. All cannabis plants are excellent at phytoremediation. This means that cannabis plants actually clean the environment of toxins such as heavy metals and radioactive strontium-90 (one more incredible attribute of this plant!). The problem with this is that it is very easy to wind up with contaminated plant material.  Hemp-derived CBD can contain larger amounts of contaminants, as it requires more acres to be cultivated since hemp contains far less CBD than medical cannabis. If it is picking up toxins, it can also relay those toxins to you. While it can be easier to source quality — meaning less contaminants and accurately labeled — CBD from medical cannabis due to its higher regulation in legal states, this isn’t always the case. The important thing here is to do your research when sourcing CBD, so you don’t wind up with plant material full of toxins. Myth 5: CBD has no side effects Actually, some people do experience unwanted side effects from using CBD. Potential side effects of CBD can include nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD can also interact with certain medications, such as the blood thinner coumadin.  Still, most studies generally conclude that CBD is overwhelmingly safe.  It’s understandable that with so much cannabis hype pouring into the zeitgeist, not all the information is going to be dependable. It’s also worth noting that scientists are learning — and publishing — more about the cannabis plant every day.   This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.

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6 medicinal plants that pharmaceuticals can’t replace

6 medicinal plants that pharmaceuticals can’t replace

Modern pharmaceuticals — based on rigorous, peer-reviewed research and state-of-the-art developmental methods — make up the vast majority of the medicine used today. But they have not managed to eliminate the time-tested natural remedies that have been trusted across the world for eons.  Here’s a look at six trusted, natural remedies that have stood the test of time. Turmeric While most people in the West know it as the spice that gives curry its deep yellow/orange hue or as the key ingredient to the “golden latte,” turmeric has for thousands of years been a medicinal herb used for a variety of ailments, mainly in the Indian subcontinent.  The turmeric plant is related to ginger and like ginger, it’s the turmeric rhizome (the underground plant stem) which is used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The root is full of compounds called curcuminoids, including the principal one, circumin.  Turmeric has historically been used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional medical system popular in India since antiquity. It is believed to provide relief from a litany of conditions, and research suggests it can help alleviate oxidative and inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia.  In addition, a 2006 research study found that in a control population of elderly Asian participants, those who “occasionally” or “often or very often” had significantly better Mini-Mental State Examination scores (a cognitive tool) than those who “never or rarely” ate curry.  Turmeric can be easily added as powder directly in food or drink, and using the fresh turmeric rhizome to brew tea is also a popular remedy for the common cold and other similar illnesses.  Primrose Oil  Known as “evening primrose,” this Oenothera grows across North America and is known for its yellow flowers and its use as a natural health supplement. For hundreds of years it has been a food and natural remedy used by indigenous people in North America, and the oil produced from its seeds is used to treat a variety of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, asthma, and more.  It has been especially popular as a remedy for women’s health issues, and clinical studies have shown that it has therapeutic potential for PMS, hot flashes, gestational diabetes, and cervical ripening. Another study performed on multiple sclerosis patients found that the oil “had a significant effect on several important aspects of life quality such as the increase of cognitive function, vitality, and overall life satisfaction.” Elderberry For thousands of years, the fruit and flowers of Sambucus Nigra have been used as a food and also a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It was even mentioned  as a natural remedy in the writings of Hippocrates in Ancient Greece.  The liquid extract made from the plant’s berries (known as “elderberry) is “active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses,” and it has gained heightened popularity in recent years as a cure for the common cold.  Research published in 2016 has shown that it is effective in shortening the duration of the common cold when tested on international air-travelers. A previous study published in 2004 found that “elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza,” but it also highlights the need for further confirmation in a larger study.  Liquid elderberry extract is also believed to be effective against herpes simplex virus.  Cannabis Since antiquity, mankind has used the marijuana plant to treat a wide variety of ailments and just to feel better as well. This herbaceous flowering plant grows across the world and has for thousands of years been used not only for medical and recreational use but also to make oil and wearable fibres.  Commonly known as marijuana, the plant is most known because of the psychoactive properties of its chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of at least 113 compounds in the plant which are called cannabinoids. The intoxicating qualities of THC can also help patients dealing with nausea, stress, sleep impairment, loss of appetite, and a wide variety of other ailments.  Marijuana is effective because cannabinoids like THC can activate the endocannabinoid system, which exists in all vertebrates and helps regulate crucial functions such as sleep, pain, and appetite. There is a growing body of research showing how cannabis and cannabinoid treatments can be medically beneficial and dozens of countries around the world recognize its medicinal value. In recent years, an entire industry has developed around cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that is used to treat a variety of ailments, including pain, anxiety, and neurological disorders like epilepsy, to name just a few. CBD products are sold today as wellness products in countries around the world. Ginger  Like turmeric, ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome (commonly referred to as “ginger root”) has a long and storied history as a traditional medicine. It is from the same plant family as turmeric and is grown worldwide for use as a spice and natural remedy, especially in Asia.  The main active ingredient in ginger is the oil gingerol, which “is known to exhibit a variety of biological activities including anticancer, anti-inflammation, and anti-oxidation.”  One of the most common historical uses of ginger has been to alleviate nausea and vomiting, including during pregnancy. It also has a long history as an effective remedy for seasickness.  A 2010 study found that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger “resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury.” Ginger is often consumed in powder form, in juices, or as a tea prepared by boiling fresh ginger rhizome.  Echinacea  Echinacea is a genus of flowering plant from the daisy family, which grows in North America in areas east of the Rocky Mountains as well as in Europe.  Indigenous peoples in North America traditionally used the leaves, stalk and roots of the echinacea as a form of medicine, for everything ranging from external treatment of wounds to toothaches, sore throats, and stomach cramps. In modern times, it has gained popularity as a treatment to prevent and fight the symptoms of the common cold and influenza, and a 2010 clinical trial found that while it “did not make a large impact on the course of the common cold,” echinacea use did trend “in the direction of benefit, amounting to an average half-day reduction in the duration of a week-long cold.” Some research has surmised that extended use of echinacea (more than four months) could overstimulate the immune system, though one 2012 study found that treatment using echinacea for four months appeared to be beneficial and did not induce health risks that should preclude recommending it as a natural remedy. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Savikalpa Academy (@savikalpa.academy)   This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.

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A guide to cannabis compounds

A guide to cannabis compounds

More than 140 plant cannabinoids and a rich terpene and flavonoid profile stand behind the amazing therapeutic effects of cannabis medicine.   Cannabis is a complex plant with a remarkably rich chemical profile. The plant contains more than 550 natural components, out of which over 140 have been classified as “cannabinoids." But cannabis is so much more than cannabinoids like CBD and THC — we can’t overlook the role of terpenes and flavonoids in the overall therapeutic effects of cannabis. Wondering why? Because of "the entourage effect." Simply put, the entourage effect theory explains the outcome of the “teamwork” between all of these compounds. Science found that if cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together — as found naturally in cannabis — they work in synergy to enhance the therapeutic benefits of the plant. You have probably heard about CBD being sold in its isolated form. Well, according to the entourage effect theory, a whole-plant cannabis extract is way more powerful that just using its isolated compounds. Let’s take a more detailed look at the compounds of the cannabis plant. (Phyto) Cannabinoids: Compounds Unique to Cannabis  Wondering where the cannabis plant gets all of its amazing effects? For the most part, it’s from its cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids are compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, most abundant in the plant’s flower buds. Due to their plant origin, the cannabinoids in cannabis are also known as phytocannabinoids. There is another type of cannabinoids — endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced by the body (“endo” is Greek for “within,” meaning within the body), but that’s a topic we’ll discuss another time.  You have most likely heard about delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These are the two most popular and best-studied phytocannabinoids of the cannabis plant.  The discovery of these cannabis compounds led to the revelation of an important neurotransmitter system in our body, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is in charge of establishing and maintaining the balance of several other systems—including the endocrine and immune system, a phenomenon also known as “Homeostasis.” The mechanisms of action of cannabinoids are still being researched, but it is believed that cannabinoids interact with receptors in the body that are part of the endocannabinoid system. By binding or influencing different receptors, cannabinoids produce unique effects.  It’s important to note that phytocannabinoids are present in their acidic forms in fresh cannabis. This means that getting high on raw cannabis is impossible because the THC-acid is not psychotropic. So, how do we get to the psychotropic THC? First, let’s explain how THC-A (the acidic form of THC) is formed. Through phytocannabinoid biosynthesis — the combination of olivetolic acid and/or divarinic acid with geranyl pyrophosphate — the two main cannabinoid acids, cannabigerlic acid (CBGA) and cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA), are made. Under chemical processes within the cannabis plant, the cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) creates the main cannabinoids including, CBG (cannabigerol), THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), cannabigerolic (CBGA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). The cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA) creates cannabinoids such as CBCVA, CBDVA, delta-9-THCVA.  Notice how most of these cannabinoids are still present in their acidic forms in the cannabis plant? To activate the “neutral forms” of these cannabinoids, aka THC, CBD, CBC, people use the process of decarboxylation — using heat, light or long-term storage to convert THCA to THC by causing the removal of CO2. So, when you smoke or cook cannabis, the heat turns CBDA to CBD and you can use all of its benefits. THC—More Than Getting You “High” THC is the cannabinoid that gets a bad reputation in therapeutic contexts because it gives the user the “high” sensation. THC is the principal component of cannabis, and as such, it is extremely beneficial. The compound targets mostly the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and is largely responsible for the pharmacological — and psychoactive — effects associated with cannabis use. THC exhibits strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), neuro-antioxidative (protects nervous tissue), and antispasmodic (relieves spasms) effects. The compound is known to help alleviate chronic pain, insomnia, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, and work as a muscle relaxant. CBD: The Non-Psychotropic Compound CBD is the second most known cannabinoid, which rose to popularity because of its non-psychotropic effects. In other words, CBD won’t get you high.  One of the ways CBD affects the body is by inhibiting the enzyme that blocks anandamide. Anandamide— also known as the “bliss molecule” — is an endocannabinoid that affects sleep patterns, anxiety, pain, and the immune system. By inhibiting the mechanisms of the enzyme that blocks anandamide, CBD contributes to increased levels of anandamide. This has been proven beneficial for diseases such as epilepsy, where lower levels of anandamide have been noticed. CBD is an important compound because it also reduces the side-effects of THC. CBD shows anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, antifungal, antibacterial, and immunomodulatory properties. After THC and CBD, the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are: Cannabigerol (CBG) — this non-psychoactive cannabinoid is found in high concentrations in cannabis. Cannabigerol is a muscle relaxant and shows antidepressant properties.  Cannabichromene (CBC) — this cannabinoid shows anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibiotic, and antifungal effects. In one study, CBC was able to reduce THC intoxication in mice.  Cannabinol (CBN) — Cannabinol (CBN) is a mildly psychoactive breakthrough product of THC mostly found in aged cannabis. The cannabinoid is produced when THC is exposed to heat or oxygen.  Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) — this compound can also get you high, and might present a similar therapeutic profile as delta-9 THC. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) — THCV produced weight loss, decreased body fat, and increased energy in obese mice.  Cannabivarin (CBV) — this cannabinoid is found in the plant in low concentrations, and its pharmacology has yet to be explored.  Cannabidivarin (CBDV) — this cannabinoid has produced some anticonvulsant properties.  Cannabinoids that are not as abundant in the cannabis plant, but have been a subject to study: Cannabinodiol (CBND) — CBND is present in quite low concentrations in the cannabis plant, and it shows psychoactive properties. The pharmacological effects of CBND are unknown for now.  Cannabielsion (CBE) — CBE can be produced by photo-oxidation (oxidation caused by the action of light) from CBD and CBDA. This cannabinoid has not shown any ability to modulate CB1 and CB2 receptors.  Cannabicyclol (CBL) — CBL is created when the phytocannabinoid cannabichromene gets heated.  What Are Terpenes? Have you ever noticed the sticky crystal resin covering cannabis flower buds? It’s where most of the cannabinoids and terpenes are located, and also the source of the signature cannabis smell. That earthy, musky smell mostly comes from the terpene myrcene. What are terpenes? Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give the cannabis plant its unique taste and smell. Terpenes are found in almost all plant life.  There are over 140 terpenes in cannabis, out of which some are exclusive to the plant. The most prevalent terpene in cannabis is b-myrcene, followed by trans-caryophyllene, and a-pinene. But, terpenes are more than compounds that deliver the scent and taste of cannabis. Terpenes offer significant therapeutic effects. Some terpenes yield enhanced sedating effects that help with insomnia and anxiety while others interact with certain cannabinoids and show promise in the treatment of skin and mental health conditions.  The Most Common Terpenes in Cannabis And Their Effects  The wide array of therapeutic properties of terpenes has been reviewed by several scientific publications, but there is still room for research. Myrcene  Commonly found in hops, thyme, and lemongrass, myrcene is one of the most dominant terpenes that give cannabis its earthy herbal aroma. Myrcene is known as a potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) component.   Limonene  Limonene is abundant in the rind of citrus fruits, as well as in rosemary and peppermint, and offers a signature citrus-like smell. Limonene is known for its potent anxiolytic and immunosuppressive properties. A-Pinene  The refreshing pine smell of cannabis comes from a-pinene. This terpene is found in pine needles, basil, and rosemary. Pinene creates alertness, helps with memory retention, and counteracts the memory deficit induced by THC.  Linalool  The floral aroma of linalool is also found in lavender. This terpene is a great mood enhancer and shows sedative, analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and anticonvulsant effects. Linalool is helpful for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and pain.  Beta-caryophyllene  Beta-caryophyllene has a spicy aroma and is found in black pepper and cinnamon. The potent anti-inflammatory effects of this terpene are great for relieving pain. What Are Flavonoids And Why Do They Matter?  Flavonoids are a group of natural substances found in fruits, vegetables, roots, flowers, tea, and wine, usually providing color pigmentation. These compounds are often passed by, but they produce beneficial therapeutic effects for which they are being isolated and included in both medicinal and pharmaceutical applications. Flavonoids have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic effects. Cannabis has more than 20 occurring flavonoids including the most common: Apigenin Luteolin Kaempferol Quercetin Cannaflavin A  Cannaflavin B Flavonoids in cannabis exert a variety of effects, including some that are shared by terpenes and cannabinoids. Flavonoids present anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Apigenin possesses anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and oestrogenic properties. Cannaflavin A and B are potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Why Whole-Plant Cannabis Extract So Important According to a study by Dr. Ethan Russo, “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effect,” isolating one or two compounds of cannabis—such as CBD and THC—doesn’t produce as potent therapeutic effects as is all compounds work together. Even the smallest amount of terpenes in a 1:1 THC: CBD ratio can make a difference. This theory is also known in the science community as the “entourage effect.” Now you know that more than 140 plant cannabinoids and a rich terpene and flavonoid profile stand behind the amazing therapeutic effects of cannabis. Most importantly, you know the secret behind the plant’s potency: an abundance of nature’s best organic compounds that work together to create more powerful effects. Although the cannabis plant contains many cannabinoids without any psychoactivity, and yet to be explored, they may be more promising than THC and CBD.    This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.

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Can cannabis help endometriosis patients?

Can cannabis help endometriosis patients?

Overview Cannabis can provide significant relief for endometriosis, by modulating and activating the endocannabinoid system — a key system which affects this condition.  While some treatments and surgeries exist to treat this condition, they are not always effective at alleviating the often intense pain that comes with endometriosis, so more options are desperately needed for the women who are suffering from this challenging and painful condition. Cannabis is one potential therapy currently being researched.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Savikalpa Academy (@savikalpa.academy)   How Cannabis Works on Endometriosis  To get a good idea of how cannabis might be able to help with endometriosis, we first need to understand how endometriosis is affected by the endocannabinoid system. This crucial system in the human body is made up of endocannabinoid receptors (called CB1 and CB2), endocannabinoids (natural chemicals in the human body which activate or modulate CB1 and CB2 activity), and enzymes which metabolize the endocannabinoids and clear them from the body. This system is tasked with maintaining homeostasis — and keeps many of our most important functions in balance. Modulating functions like sleep, hunger, pain, anxiety, nausea and energy metabolism, the endocannabinoid is a vital system for maintaining our ongoing health.   While this system is usually activated by our own internal endocannabinoids, they can also be stimulated by chemicals in cannabis called cannabinoids. These chemicals work similarly to our natural endocannabinoids. As it turns out, the endocannabinoid system is also involved in endometriosis and its associated pain. Researchers had suspected this might be the case because women reported reduced pain when using cannabis for their endometriosis. Specifically, scientists hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system was involved in both the development of endometriosis, and in the manifestation of its associated pain. The found several pieces of evidence to support their theory.  For one thing, studies have recently found that sensory and sympathetic nerve fibers actually sprout branches into these abnormal tissue growths, innervating them with sensation and allowing them to feel pain. These fibers are rich with CB1 receptors, and thus can be modulated with endocannabinoids or the cannabinoids in cannabis (which can both activate CB1). Not only are the fibers and growths rich in CB1, but so are the neurons from which these fibers sprout.  Researchers explain that all of this could suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays n important role in the progression of endometriosis and the sprouting of innervating fibers.  We can also see in fertility research that higher levels of anandamide (a CB1 stimulating endocannabinoid) at ovulation and lower levels at implantation is important for a successful pregnancy. Alterations in these endocannabinoid signaling can even lead to miscarriage, so we know that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the female reproductive system.   There is also a significant increase in endocannabinoid levels, along with decreased levels of CB1 receptors, in women with endometriosis compared to those without endometriosis. This result suggests a negative feedback loop in pain regulation, which may impair the capability of the endocannabinoid system to control pain in endometriosis patients.  All of this evidence has even led some researchers to describe endometriosis as an “endocannabinoid deficiency" condition. Medical Studies on Cannabis and Endometriosis So it’s clear that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in endometriosis, but does that mean that cannabis can help treat it? To find out, we need to look at the research on cannabis as a treatment for endometriosis in human subjects.   Of course, using cannabis to treat gynecological problems is nothing new. Cannabis actually has an ancient tradition of being used as a medicine in obstetrics and gynaecology.. It’s been used historically to treat conditions like dysmenorrhea, dysuria, hyperemesis gravidarum, and menopausal symptoms. And to this day, many women report positive effects from using cannabis for endometriosis pain.  Still, there are very few studies (and no clinical studies) which actually research the impact of cannabis on endometriosis in humans. But we do have two recent survey based studies which asked women suffering from endometriosis how cannabis worked for them.  The first study looked at women with endometriosis aged 18 to 45, who live in Australia. They asked about what types of self-management methods the subjects used to work with their endometriosis symptoms, along with questions about changes in symptoms or medication use, costs, and adverse events. Seventy-six percent of respondents reported using self-management techniques, and 13% of those subjects said they used cannabis. Those who did use cannabis reported high levels of pain reduction (7.6 of 10), with 56% also reporting that they were able to reduce pharmaceutical medications by at least half. These women reported the greatest improvements in sleep, nausea and vomiting, and adverse effects were relatively rare (10%) and minor.  The authors of this study argue that these results warrant follow-up with more clinical studies to confirm cannabis’ potential to treat endometriosis.  In another 2019 survey,  patients responded to questions about their experience with cannabis and CBD (another cannabinoid) for the management of endometriosis and pelvic pain. The majority reported that it was moderately or very effective.  Endometriosis and CBD In the same 2019 survey where cannabis was reported to be very or moderately effective in 75.9% of cases, researchers also asked about CBD. Around a third of respondents reported having tried CBD, with more than half of these reporting CBD to be very or moderately effective.  Among both of the participant groups, cannabis was most likely to be reported as very effective, while CBD was most likely to be reported as moderately effective. This study gives more evidence of cannabis’ helpful role for endometriosis, and shows that it is a common treatment being used. It also sheds light on the relative efficacy between CBD and whole plant cannabis — suggesting that cannabis might be more effective that CBD alone.  Potential side effects of cannabis use While there hasn’t been much clinical research on using cannabis for endometriosis, in the studies we do have, adverse effects were relatively rare (affecting around 10% of patients) and were generally minor. In general, side effects from cannabis are modest but can include symptoms like mild difficulties in concentration and memory,  impaired coordination, increased appetite, nausea, racing heart, light-headedness, dry mouth, and fatigue.  In addition, cannabis may interact with some drugs in a harmful way — slowing their metabolism and consequently increasing the amount of the drug present in the bloodstream. This could lead to overdose issues with certain medications. Those taking other medications should always consult with a doctor before beginning cannabis use to ensure there are no conflicts with pre-existing medications.    This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.

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5 cannabis facts for your grandparents

5 cannabis facts for your grandparents

Researchers report that older adults are increasingly using cannabis medicine to treat a variety of common health conditions, including pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. Are your parents or grandparents curious about cannabis medicine?   When you think of cannabis, chances are you don’t picture your grandma or grandpa sitting on their plastic-wrapped couch passing a bong around, or bringing a batch of pot brownies to their bridge club.  The truth is, cannabis can have benefits for people of all ages, including your grandparents. And if recent polling is any indication, at least in states where it is now legal medically or recreationally, they’re probably already pretty curious if not lighting up with their friends. There’s a good reason for that. Not only is a once-taboo and illegal substance now socially acceptable and legal, we also have a massive body of scientific evidence about its medical benefits. Many of those benefits are of particular interest for the maladies older folks tend to deal with. So how should you talk to your grandparents about pot? A lot has changed in the past decade or so, but it may still be a bit awkward the first time you bring up marijuana. To make things easier, we put together some facts to help you make your case. 1. You don’t have to smoke anything  The iconic image of cannabis use is somebody smoking a joint, and it’s probably the one your grandparents are familiar with. And while they grew up in an era where cigarette smoking was far more common than today, if they’ve made it to their age without ever using cannabis, then smoking it may seem like a bit of a turn-off.   The good news is they never have any reason to smoke at all if they don’t want to. There are more than enough alternatives to smoking, and all of them can be highly effective ways to consume cannabis. You could recommend your grandparents start off with a low-grade edible, some gummies, or show them how to use a tincture. Just keep in mind that they’re new to this — so start low and go slow.  2. It can relieve pain The leading reason patients receive medical marijuana in the United States is to treat chronic pain, and considering the unavoidable aches that accompany growing older, this could be music to your grandparents’ ears. Cannabis can be an effective treatment for many different types of pain, including neuropathic pain, arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia, among others. There is also a growing body of evidence that cannabis can help with inflammation. A review of more than two dozen scientific studies found that “there was moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain,” while a 2016 study found that the use of medicinal cannabis “resulted in improved pain and functional outcomes, and a significant reduction in opioid use.”  We also have more evidence today that cannabis can be effective against pain when taken in small doses, so your grandparents don’t need to worry about getting high or disoriented to get some relief.   And the variety of delivery methods for cannabis means that it can even be applied locally as a topical solution to treat pain, or taken as ingestibles or inhaled. 3. It’s unlikely to cause cognitive decline Your grandparents have already reached their full physical and cognitive development, so there seems to be little risk that the occasional joint would cause any sort of mental decline. One study actually found that “strong evidence that medical marijuana treatment may normalize brain activity,” and a comprehensive review carried out in May of this year asserted that the limited evidence we do have on this suggests that “[cannabis] use in older ages may not be linked with poorer cognitive performance.” Simply put, while there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that cannabis use poses zero cognitive risk for seniors — or that it could help improve their cognitive function — research has shown that the brain-addled pot smoker stereotype is just that, a stereotype that isn’t borne out by science. And while there is a growing body of evidence that cannabis use during adolescence can lead to reduced cognitive function and IQ later in life, there is evidence that it has no such effect. Recent studies, including one that followed hundreds of pairs twins for decades, found that there was no difference in cognitive functioning between those who used cannabis and those who did not.  4. You don’t have to get high  Your grandparents may be a bit turned off by the prospect of getting stoned and giddy, giggling at daytime TV as they are unable despite their best efforts to remember where they put their car keys or why they went to the kitchen. If they are already starting to experience more “senior moments,” then this trepidation is understandable.  The good news is that you don’t have to get stoned in order to enjoy the benefits of marijuana.  "Microdosing" cannabis is growing in popularity as of late, and it can be a great way to treat pain, nausea, and other ailments, without feeling intoxicated, or developing other side effects like anxiety. Microdosing entails just that — using a very small amount of cannabis — and it can be easily done through using small doses of a THC-dominant product, using a low-THC cultivar, or a wide variety of low- or no-THC products that are high in cannabidiol. Research has shown that it can be just as effective as at treating pain. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid hat provides many of the health benefits of full-spectrum cannabis, without the psychotropic effect caused by THC. CBD can be taken in a variety of forms — from gummies to pills to topical solutions and tinctures. It can even reduce the psychotropic effects of THC and can be taken on its own to treat a variety of conditions including anxiety and depression. It can also be used to relieve pain, inflammation, and ease nausea and vomiting, among other uses. The bottom line: CBD is a sound way to get medical benefits from cannabis without the “high” most people associate with the plant.   5. Cannabis can help you sleep better Cannabis has grown in popularity in recent years as a sleep aid and for good reason. A 2010 study found that cannabis use led to “significant improvements” in sleep. A study carried out in 2014 found that cannabis improved sleep for “a meaningful proportion” of those patients who had treatment-resistant sleep problems.  One thing to keep in mind about using cannabis for sleep though, is it can inhibit REM sleep, and a common experience many people have with cannabis is that they dream less, or remember their dreams significantly less than before. But while healthy REM sleep is important, what’s often more important is that patients are able to sleep at all. So if marijuana can help your grandparents get some shut eye, that can be a major improvement to their quality of life.  6. Cannabis is fun  Okay, we lied — there are six facts. This last one may be a bit subjective, but the fact is, cannabis is popular for another reason — it’s fun. This is mainly because of its ability to cause euphoria and laughter, make food more delicious, and movies funnier. For your grandparents, using cannabis as a couple can be a great way to get closer and have fun together, and can also help pass the time in and enjoy retirement.  Speaking to your grandparents about cannabis may be awkward and a bit strange, but there are more than enough reasons that you can give them for how marijuana can improve their lives, or at the very least, why they shouldn’t be scared of it. And besides, who loves you more than your grandparents? They’re bound to listen.  And they’re not alone in having “the talk.” The image of cannabis today may be more tied to the younger generation, but your grandparents’ generation is also increasingly open to taking part.  According to a recent survey, 80% of adults over the age of 55 said that while they have not used cannabis or cannabis-derived products in the past year, they would be interested in trying them.  The survey also found that the 55-64 age group believe more than any other age group that cannabis should be legalized. Another study from February found that marijuana legalization has contributed to a 75% increase in cannabis use among Americans over the age of 65.  That may be a bit younger than your grandparents, but the baby boomer generation that helped popularize cannabis use across the country is now in its 70s, and many of them are rediscovering marijuana.  In other words, while it might be a little awkward to recommend cannabis to your grandparents, you can definitely tell them that if they think they’ll be the only people in the retirement community using cannabis, at least in a legal state, they’ll probably be surprised. And if they’re interested, getting a card has never been easier. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Savikalpa Academy (@savikalpa.academy)     This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.

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