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Integrating Medical Cannabis Into Your Health Regimen

Healthcare in the Western world is dominated by doctors, physician assistants, nurses and other professionals who practice “standard” medical care. There are, however, others that specialize in providing compassionate integrative medicine and use all healing sciences to promote health and prevent illness. Dr. Donald Abrams, a world-renowned doctor utilizing the latest integrative cannabis therapies with patients, is on the record for saying “I believe people, especially those getting cancer treatments, really benefit from having both a Western diagnosis, as well as a whole-person approach. Good nutrition is an important part of the prescription, but other options are: fitness training, massage, acupuncture, herbs, biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery, integrative psychiatry, yoga, or ta...

The First Licensed Cannabis Retail Shop In Massachusetts Prepares For Its Big Opening

A major hurdle for recreational cannabis sales in the Bay State was cleared on Monday. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has granted its first provisional retail license to sell adult-use marijuana. The five member commission unanimously voted to grant the license to Cultivate, a medical cannabis dispensary currently operating in Worcester County. The company describes itself as a farm-to-table operation, and takes pride in the fact that it grows and sells medicinal grade cannabis at the same location. The company has also applied for cultivation and manufacturing of adult-use cannabis. Planning documents show it plans to use the same address for retail sales, as well. “We’re very excited to be the first and with this exciting industry ahead, we all feel it’s going to be ...

Approval of Epidiolex Validates What Many CBD Users Already Knew

The FDA announced in a press release on Monday that it had approved the “first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy.” Prior to this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved only three cannabinoid-based medicines. None of the approved drugs contain, or are derived from, the whole cannabis plant. Instead, they are all created from isolated synthetics that do not offer the benefits of the entourage effect. FDA Grants Approval of Epidiolex On June 26, 2018, the FDA granted approval of Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution, to GW Research Ltd (GW). The new drug is indicated for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, ...

How to Talk To Your Doctor About Becoming a Legal Medical Cannabis Patient

At the time of this article’s publishing, thirty states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation permitting use of medical cannabis. Of those, nine states and DC have went a step further and legalized marijuana for all adults 21 and over. Although this is exciting for many advocates of the plant, many patients that are suffering from ailing health conditions are left wondering what this means for them, and how exactly all of these changes will impact their healthcare options. Do you qualify for medical cannabis? There is no universal handbook for a medical cannabis program. You will find that the requirements for becoming a legal medical cannabis patient vary from state to state, especially with regard to qualifying conditions. For example, in Pennsylvania the list of qualifyi...

Oklahoma Voters Approve The Use of Medical Marijuana Across The State

On June 26, Oklahoma voters approved State Question Number 788 – Initiative Number 412, an activist-led, signature-driven ballot measure launched more than two years ago. This makes the Sooner State the 30th state in the nation to permit the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and perhaps the most conservative state yet to approve its use. The measure  is one of the most permissive cannabis policies in the U.S. The typical list of qualifying conditions doesn’t exist. Instead, doctors will be able to recommend cannabis using the same accepted standards for recommending any other medications — a fact that sparked bitter opposition, particularly from law enforcement. The new law would allow patients with a medical marijuana license to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis in their reside...

New York’s Medical Marijuana Program: The Patient-Doctor Disconnect

Introduced in July 2014, New York’s medical marijuana program has been a work in progress from the get-go. The state recently announced an expansion to its program that is beginning to open the door to improved patient access. These changes included adding chronic pain and PTSD to its list of qualifying medical conditions. Chronic pain, on its own, is already responsible for more than 7,500 new patients joining New York’s MMJ program. This is a step forward for the state that was once criticized for its strict rules. Similarly so, New York recently took steps to end some of the issues plaguing patients and medical professionals alike. Unfortunately, many problems still remain, including woes that can only be addressed by certain segments of the pipeline. This means politicians, medical pro...

New York State’s PTSD Expansion Analysis

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marked this past Veteran’s Day by signing a measure that expanded the state’s medical cannabis qualifying conditions to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The legislation was sponsored by Senator Diane Savino, a proponent of the inclusion since the program’s infancy. The bill received near unanimous support in the Assembly with a 131-8 vote, and with a Senate approval of 50-13. Its passing expands coverage to an estimated 19,000 New Yorkers. In doing so, it is expected to bring needed relief to a series of New York residents, including its veteran population. Additionally, it could bring hope to the state’s sagging medical cannabis market, but only if neighboring states don’t deflate New York’s market. With time against New York State, the expansi...

Study: Chili Peppers and Cannabis Could Be The Answer To Gut Disorders

Patients with special dietary needs or those with diseases of the gut/pancreas often find themselves frustrated and in tremendous pain. Figuring out how to calm down the immunological response of the gut may make it possible to create a treatment for gastro diseases and disorders, and it turns out part of the solution may be found in both chili pepper and cannabis. You wouldn’t think chili peppers and cannabis have much in common; but researchers have now found that the chemical that gives chili peppers their heat targets a receptor in the gut that produces a compound called anandamide, which is chemically similar to some of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, and one which our body already produces. The Hot Pepper Study A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Ac...

Bernie Sanders Vows to Legalize Marijuana (If Elected President)

  Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just released his plan to legalize marijuana within his first 100 days in office (should he be elected president). He’s vowed to use executive powers to make it happen. Sanders would limit the industry’s size and scope, Vox reported. In the plan, Sanders notes that the attorney general would be instructed to declassify marijuana, completely removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Congress would be pressured to permanently legalize marijuana. His plan also includes expunging previous marijuana convictions. A clemency board would be formed to expunge certain federal convictions and provide some with “early relief.” Marijuana tax revenues would be used to create a $20 billion grant program for persons of color that are discriminated against...

National Support for Marijuana Legalization Is at 66%

For the last year, support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has remained at 66%. That stability comes from a 30% increase between 2005 and 2018. Factors like gender, income, region, residency type or education don’t seem to make any kind of meaningful difference in support for marijuana legalization, Gallup said. Where things do start to vary is age, generation, race, religion and politics. “Americans have rapidly shifted to backing legal marijuana in the past decade after consistently expressing opposition for 40 years,” Gallup’s site says. “It appears the increases in support have halted for the time being, with no change in the percentage favoring legalization over the past year. However, given generational differences in support for legalizing marijuana use, it is likely the percen...

Michael J. Fox’s Foundation Supports Rescheduling Cannabis

Actor Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), is supporting the rescheduling of cannabis to lift the barriers for medical professionals to research the health benefits of cannabis. “The MJFF supports increased access to cannabis for medical research,” says the MJFF website. “Congress has begun to recognize this need, and there are several bills in the U.S. House and Senate designed to remove barriers that impede safe and legal access to cannabis by medical researchers. The MJFF public policy team is tracking these bills and working to educate members of Congress and their staff on their importance to the Parkinson’s community.” The MJFF believes that more research into marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) could lead to trea...