What is so Great about Medical Marijuana?

The simple answer was best given by the “godfather of cannabis research,” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who stated:

“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance. We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.” [1]

The new physiological system he was referring to is called the endocannabinoid (EC) system and the plant was medical cannabis. Knowing about this EC system, has opened new doors for treating certain chronic illnesses. No matter which medical marijuana condition you may have, the Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors at DocMJ can help you, with all of your medical marijuana needs.       

Because medical cannabis contains plant cannabinoids, which humans can utilize within their bodies, it makes it a very special plant. No wonder that it has been used for centuries for medicinal reasons!

About the discovery:

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered the compound THC in 1964. Scientists then wanted to know if our bodies produced similar compounds. About 20 years later, research revealed the first compound and it was named anandamide.  Now we know there are two main endocannabinoids that humans produce (called anandamide and 2-Ag.)  [2]

So, we can thank medical marijuana for both our discovery of THC and our subsequent understanding of the endocannabinoid (EC) system.

Why does medical marijuana continue to be so important?

After 80 years of utilizing a reductionist approach to medicine, a number of chronic diseases are becoming pandemic. Diabetes, obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases are common in children, whereas they used to be rare. While acute problems are miraculously treated by petrochemical drugs, they are causing severe adverse effects to the tune of 2.2 million a year. The underlying root causes of the conditions are not looked into, rather symptoms are medicated.

As the result, many people with one chronic disease eventually gain more chronic issues. Some of these are the result of the adverse effects of the medications taken for the initial chronic disease.

Doctors need more tools in their toolbox to discover new answers for chronic problems. This is where medical marijuana properly utilized can shine. It is important to find a physician knowledgeable about both medical cannabis and  the endocannabinoid system to assist you. Medical Marijuana Doctors at MMJ in Florida will be able to help with all of your medical marijuana qualifying conditions. David Nguyen, MD, a clinical investigator at WTTC Global, says that “ medical marijuana is important because it empowers the patient.” [1]

Helping Epilepsy:

  • For example, there are several forms of childhood epilepsy which are not controlled by the normal combinations of drugs.  The affected child may have thousands of seizures a day, preventing any quality of life, as well as normal brain development to occur.  
  • With the correct strains of medical marijuana, these seizures can be decreased to allow for child development and quality of life to improve.  Alternatively, there is now a drug, Epidiolex, derived from medical marijuana for a type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. [3]

 

Helping Cancer:

  • Cancer-related cachexia (severe weight loss, both fat and muscle loss) occurs in 50-80% of cancer patients. This may continue to occur even when the patient forces himself to eat. It cannot be fully reversed by eating. This weight loss is the result of  severe whole body inflammation, loss of energy, loss of appetite, and a decrease of needed hormones. Patients with cachexia often have poor responses to chemotherapy and have a decreased survival rate. [4] In fact, nearly a third of cancer patients die of it. [5]
  • Up to recently, treatment for cachexia has been hormones and diet. Now, with medical cannabis, there is another choice. Cannabinoids, such as Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, have shown to have considerable potential to improve the appetite, body weight, body fat level, caloric intake, mood, quality of life. [6]
  • Clinically, it has been found that medical marijuana improves appetite, thereby allowing for the patient to receive the needed nutrition. Medical marijuana can help the body via appetite, decreasing the whole body inflammation and decreasing pain. With decreased pain, it allows the patient to exercise.  It also will increase communication between all the tissues of the body  to coordinate and assist in healing.

 

Helping chronic pain:

  • Many people now have chronic pain, which they have been taking opioids or other pain medications. These medications decrease quality of life, as well as causing a toxin load on certain organs. By taking medical marijuana, the patients can often slowly decrease the amount of pain medications consumed. Cancer patients and other patients may not have adequate relief from the pain. Medical marijuana works to relieve pain, as well. This increases quality of life and improves pain relief.
  • Moreover, studies show that states with active legal dispensaries see a drop in opioid death rates over time.  There is also a decline in opioid overdose death rates if they enact legal dispensaries. [7]
  • This longitudinal analysis of Medicare Part D found that prescriptions filled for all opioids decreased by 2.11 million daily doses per year when any state cannabis law was instituted.  Prescriptions for all opioids decreased by 3.742 million daily doses per year when medical cannabis dispensaries opened.[8]

 

What is allowing medical marijuana to work so well with these chronic conditions?

 

  • Petrochemical drugs normally have one or few active ingredients. If the active ingredient causes adverse effects, there is not always another active ingredient to counteract it. With full spectrum medical marijuana, it gives physicians a multi active ingredients tool that has a balanced effect. [1]
  • Medical marijuana, as a more natural approach to working within the EC system,  is more than a blockbuster in improving health. By utilizing medical marijuana, Dr. Dustin Sulak explains that even in small doses, it can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids.  By making more endocannabinoids, our endocannabinoid system becomes more functional and our body healthier. [9] We are allowing our body to then begin healing itself.

 

Why can medical marijuana treat so many different conditions that seem unrelated?  

How can medical marijuana help so many conditions in both curative and palliative (makes more comfortable) ways?  The answer lies in several facts.

    • Throughout the body, there are endocannabinoid receptors. In each tissue, the medical cannabis cannabinoids which attach to these receptors, perform different tasks. The compounds coordinate and allow communication between different cell types. They orchestrate communication between brain and nerves, respiratory, digestive, immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems of the body.
    • Although the goal is always maintaining balance within the body (called homeostasis), the reality is that many different reactions can be occurring at the same time. These reactions create an entourage effect.  This gives it versatility in providing relief for a multitude of medical ailments. [2]

 

  • “A 1981 research study  by scientists Hildebert Wagner and Gudrun Ulrich-Merzenich outlined and discussed the following basic mechanisms of the entourage effect: Whole plant synergy

 

  1.  Affects multiple targets within the body.
  2.  Improves the ability of the body to use the compounds.  
  3. Assists in overcoming bacterial defense mechanisms.
  4.  Contributes to minimizing adverse side effects of active compounds.

From this research, it’s clear that the entourage effect supports the idea that whole plant medicine is superior to single isolated molecules. [1]

 

Medical marijuana has been used by most cultures for thousands of years.  The ancients realized its power. After eighty years of misunderstanding, medical marijuana and it’s components are are now being studied and utilized again. Our generation is very priviledged to have this opportunity for using it for qualifying medical issues. No matter what Medical Marijuana Qualifying Condition you have, the Medical Marijuana Doctors at DocMJ can help you with all of your medical marijuana needs.  

 

References:

  1.    https://curepharmaceutical.com/blog/the-role-of-the-endocannabinoid-system-in-the-human-body
  2.    https://curepharmaceutical.com/blog/exploring-the-entourage-effect
  3.    https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/

ucm611046

  1.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4398892/
  2.    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/research/cachexia
  3.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360413/ New Prospect for Cancer Cachexia: Medical Cannabinoid, Jing Wang, Yanling Wang, Mengting Tong, Hongming Pan, and Da Li
  4.    Medical marijuana laws and their effect on opioid-related morality, Economics Bulletin, 2019
  5.    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2676999
  6.    https://healter.com/the-endocannabinoid-system/