Medical Marijuana After Traumatic Event ‘Prevents PTSD Symptoms’

Providing trauma patients with medical marijuana shortly after the event could help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers have said.

In a study on rats, scientists at the University of Haifa in Israel found that administering synthetic marijuana, or cannabinoids, helped to prevent PTSD symptoms caused by both the trauma and trauma reminders.

It is estimated that about 3% of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with combat soldiers, prisoners and victims of crime particularly at risk.

Researchers Nachshon Korem and Irit Akirav said: “The importance of this study is that it contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD and thus supports the necessity to perform human trials to examine potential ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event.”

Published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the authors note that common phenomenon of PTSD is the ‘trauma reminder’ – which evokes the memory of the traumatic experience.

Previously, Akirav had found that the use of marijuana within a short time frame after a traumatic event helped to reduce PTSD symptoms in rats. In their latest study, the team looked at whether cannabinoids could reduce the symptoms of PTSD following a trauma reminder.
Findings showed that rats treated with marijuana showed no PTSD symptoms compared to the control group that did not receive the drug. The treated rats also showed better results than those that had been given an antidepressant.

“In other words, cannabis made the effects of trauma reminders ‘disappear’,” the researchers said in a statement, adding they believe the cannabinoids prevented the brain from forming and saving traumatic memories.

“The findings of our study suggest that the connectivity within the brain’s fear circuit changes following trauma, and the administration of cannabinoids prevents this change from happening. This study can lead to future trials in humans regarding possible ways to prevent the development of PTSD and anxiety disorders in response to a traumatic event,” they said.

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Finally, Some Hard Science on Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy Patients

A groundbreaking clinical trial may provide some answers to medical marijuana as a seizure treatment

For years, some parents have turned to medical marijuana to treat their children’s debilitating epilepsy, crediting the drug with dramatically reducing seizure activity. A groundbreaking clinical trial about to begin recruiting test subjects may finally provide some science to back their claims.

In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver will study the genes of those with a kind of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome who have been treated with a strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web. The study will attempt to determine if specific genetic components can explain why some epilepsy patients see positive results from ingesting Charlotte’s Web, while others do not.

The plant, grown by five brothers in Colorado through a non-profit organization called Realm of Caring, is low in THC, the compound that produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects, and high in CBD, a compound believed to reduce seizures in those suffering from certain forms of epilepsy. It is administered to epilepsy patients, including many children, in the form of an oil. The plant is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl who was the first epilepsy patient successfully treated with the strain.

While anecdotal evidence suggests Charlotte’s Web can be highly effective in treating such conditions, scientific investigation of the product has been stymied by federal drug laws that severely limit marijuana research. Edward Maa, the principal investigator of the Charlotte’s Web study, says the new trial could be a first step toward building a body of research on how and why medical marijuana can be used to treat epilepsy. “This is the first attempt to get the information people are interested in that is observational in nature,” says Maa, an assistant professor at UC Denver and chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs at Denver Health.

The new study will recruit epilepsy patients who have already taken Charlotte’s Web. The patients will be divided into two groups—those who have seen seizure activity reduced by at least 50 percent on Charlotte’s Web and those who have had less dramatic or no results from taking the marijuana oil. Genetic analysis of the patients in both groups will then be performed in hopes of discovering what genetic components may cause a patient to be responsive to medical marijuana. Interventional studies, in which patients would be given Charlotte’s Web to measure its efficacy, are far more difficult to conduct. “That would be the Holy Grail,” says Maa.

Still, researchers on the UC Denver team will collect data on dosages used by patients in the study, for example, which could allow for further research down the line. “The more data we are able to collect in a large sample, the closer to the truth we will get,” says Maa. He says the study could allow children with Dravet Syndrome to be genetically screened before taking Charlotte’s Web so parents could know ahead of time if their children would benefit. It’s possible to conduct the study in Colorado because Charlotte’s Web is grown there legally and is home to many families who have moved to the state to specifically to access the marijuana strain.

“Do you uproot and move your entire family to not have an effect? I think this could be very helpful to answer this question,” says Maa.

Recruiting for the new study will begin within a month and data will be collected until February 2016.

Kate Pickert

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Federal Bill would legalize low THC / high CBD strains

Federal marijuana bill
Daily Dose: Federal marijuana bill would legalize some strains of cannabis

Doctors in Macon, Georgia, told Janea Cox that her daughter, Haleigh, might not live another three months.

That was the middle of March, when Haleigh’s brain was being short-circuited by hundreds of seizures a day, overrunning the array of five potent drugs meant to control them. Worse, the drugs were damaging Haleigh’s organs.

“She was maxed out,” Cox said. “She’d quit breathing several times a day, and the doctors blamed it on the seizure medications.”

Cox had heard that a form of medical marijuana might help, but it wasn’t available in central Georgia. So a week after hearing the ominous diagnosis, she and Haleigh packed up and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, Haleigh began a regimen of cannabis oil: four times a day and once at night.

By summer, she was down to just a handful of seizures a day. In less than three months, doctors were able to wean her off Depakote, a powerful medication that had been damaging her liver.
Haleigh had never been able to walk or talk. But freed from seizures in Colorado, “She said ‘Mama’ for the first time,” Cox said. “She’s playing with puzzles; she’s walking. She’s almost being a normal child.”

Despite all the good news, Cox is living in limbo. Her husband, a paramedic, couldn’t afford to leave his job and pension; he still lives and works in Forsyth, Georgia. The family is relying on charity to keep their Colorado apartment for the next few months; beyond that, the future is uncertain.

A bill being introduced Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives could be Cox’s ticket home. The three-page bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act — the federal law that criminalizes marijuana — to exempt plants with an extremely low percentage of THC, the chemical that makes users high.

If passed, it would be the first time that federal law allows any medical marijuana use.

“No one should face a choice of having their child suffer or moving to Colorado and splitting up their family,” said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, the bill’s sponsor. “We live in America, and if there’s something that would make my child better, and they can’t get it because of the government, that’s not right.”

The bill will land in a Congress that may be open to change. Across the country, highly sympathetic patients and a nonintoxicating product have proved a popular mix. This year alone, 11 states have passed legislation loosening regulation of cannabis strains with high cannabidiol and/or minimal THC content.

In this atmosphere, Perry says that once members and their staffs are brought up to speed, he expects the bill to attract “overwhelming” support. “In a time of intractability in Washington, D.C., this is something where we can show some progress.”

Dubbed the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014, the bill is named after Charlotte Figi, a young Colorado girl whose parents have campaigned nationwide for easier access to medical marijuana after successfully controlling their daughter’s seizures with cannabis oil. Since her story became known, a growing number of parents have flocked to Colorado, hoping for similar success.

The Charlotte’s Web cannabis strain, developed by the Realm of Caring nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs, is in high demand, in part because of the attention it’s received in the media. Many families wait months for a batch to be grown and processed into cannabis oil. Perry’s bill, however, would apply to any cannabis strain with a THC content of less than 0.3%.

Charlotte’s Web and similar strains not only have minimal THC, they have high levels of cannabidiol, another chemical. A growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabidiol can effectively control seizures, though there are no published studies to support its use.
It’s easy to find critics who say parents should follow a more traditional route.

“There is no evidence for marijuana as a treatment for seizures,” Rep. John Fleming, R-Louisiana, a physician, claimed during a congressional hearing last month. “We hear anecdotal stories, and that’s how myths come about.”

Fleming and others point out that a pharmaceutical version of cannabidiol oil, called Epidiolex, is being tested in clinical trials. But many children aren’t able to get into the trials. Haleigh Cox is disqualified because she has type-1 diabetes. Others aren’t willing to wait several months to be enrolled.

“With Epidiolex, there just aren’t enough seats at the table,” said Mark Knecht, a father from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, whose story helped inspire Perry’s bill.

His daughter Anna, 11, has epilepsy and suffers anywhere from a handful of seizures a day to more than 100, despite her four anti-convulsant medications. Knecht, the chief financial officer of a large Christian medical nonprofit, says Anna has been evaluated at several top hospitals but couldn’t land a spot in the Epidiolex trial.

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The Eighth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics

Off to the 2014 Endocannabinoid Medical Conference! Looking forward to hearing about the latest research…! We will update you on the blog when we get back!

The Eighth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics

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Our Video Introduction

Click on this Video Link to learn more about What we Do at the SW Medical marijuana Evaluation Center!

How do you get an MMJ Card in Arizona? Make an appointment with us and we can explain the medical criteria to you and conduct an evaluation to see if you qualify for certification.

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American Academy of Neurology Calls For Research on Marijuana’s Benefits

This gallery contains 1 photo.

“In new guidelines published this week, the world’s largest association for neurologists concluded that marijuana may be an effective treatment for a number of brain-related conditions.”  Read the full article in Leaf Science here…

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Medical Marijuana Professionals Seek Willing Charities

Arizona’s Medical Marijuana professionals want to support charities that are affiliated with conditions qualified for medical marijuana use.  Unfortunately, finding organizations willing to accept their donations is not as easy as it may sound.  Many charities are still reluctant to accept funds from anyone associated with cannabis even though medical marijuana businesses are legal entities in Arizona. Both sides suffer as a result.

A recent event is a case in point.  In an effort to give back, state licensed medical cannabis dispensary, The Holistic Center (THC), recently hosted a community charity event in recognition of the 4/20 Medical Marijuana Holiday. As they prepared for the event, organizers approached various charities but were turned down by several organizations.  Only the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Arizona Chapter was willing to accept their generous offer. They reaped the benefit of a successful event while others missed out.

Dr. Elaine Burns, Medical Director of Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center, participated in the event.  Donating 20% of her proceeds from the day, she also offered reduced fee certifications for the AZ MMJ program and conducted evaluations in the Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation mobile unit.  “Every day, we see patients who suffer from a wide variety of ailments, everything from cancer and MS patients to individuals whose severe seizures leave them with little to no quality of life.  Medical marijuana helps them immensely but most of them also rely on the resources provided by charities that support those with their condition.  We respect those organizations and want to support them.  In fact, to maintain their not for profit status, dispensaries are required to give to other 501(c)3 organizations. Dispensaries and certification doctors are not street corner drug dealers.  We are serious, legitimate medical professionals who wonder how any charity can afford to ignore such readily available funds.”

Dr. Burns, an Arizona-licensed and board-certified Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and Certified Expert in Cannabis Medicine, is the founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center.  She was the first physician in Arizona to pass the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine’s (AACM) physician certification test which established her as Arizona’s only certified expert in the clinical application of cannabis medicine. With interests in both anti-aging and the medical uses of cannabis, Dr. Burns is deeply committed to improving the quality of life for her patients.

In addition to a Mobile Unit that travels around the state, Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center is located in Phoenix at 12620 N. Cave Creek Road, Suite 7 and in Scottsdale at 8010 E. McDowell Road, Suite 105.For further information, contact Dr. Elaine Burns at 480-656-2119, email her directly at or visit www.EVALUATIONTODAY.COM.

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Az Medical marijuana program faces key test in court

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez The Republic | Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:32 PM

The top lawyers for the state and county, strong opponents of Arizona’s medical-marijuana laws, will argue in court today that federal drug laws pre-empt the voter-approved law.

Attorneys arguing on behalf of White Mountain Health Center of Sun City, meanwhile, charge that state law does not require anyone to violate federal laws by issuing permits for medical-marijuana activities since the state has decriminalized those acts. In their lawsuit, they also allege that Maricopa County illegally rejected the center’s registration certificate, which is among the state requirements to become a medical-marijuana dispensary applicant.

At stake is the future of medical marijuana in Arizona, one of 17 states to approve the drug to treat certain medical conditions. If government lawyers prevail, they would shut down the legal growing of marijuana and ensure that dispensaries do not open — making it impossible for patients to legally obtain pot.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Gordon will hear arguments at 3 p.m.

For full story go to :

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White Mountain Health Center v Bill Montgomery, DHS, State of Arizona, et al.

The Medical Marijuana Industry is under attack again! Despite the fact that DHS is doing its job, Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney and the State of Arizona are doing everything they can to thwart the will of the Arizona electorate…using the electorate’s money. For details:

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Sad day: Director Will Humble says “NO” to adding any of the conditions requested

Arizona Department of Health Services director Will Humble has said “no” to allowing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and, Migraines to the list of qualifying condition citing there isn’t enough science to indicate that Cannabis can help any of these conditions.

For complete story go to :

Even though this seems like a big blow to the medical marijuana program, we must stay positive and continue to persevere in what we believe in.
in health & peace,

Dr. Burns

What do you think of this decision ?

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