Learn about anxiety, stress & medicinal cannabis!

Talking about stress and anxiety and how we can cope with them is a very relevant subject. We wanted to see the how medicinal cannabis affects people that suffer from stress and anxiety.

What do we already know?

While checking on the internet we realized that the results differ from case to case. For some people it reduces the stress and helps in coping with a certain level on anxiety. But high THC can sometimes also induce anxiety ad paranoia in some people. In order to get better results it is important to know what cannabinoids are present and in what quantity and which ones help for the certain condition. There is a need for patients to understand the effects of different compounds in order to properly use the plant. For some people it is wiser to use just CBD without THC. For others it is better when they combine CBD with a smaller amount of THC . There are also people that simply do not feel any difference and cannabis it’s probably just not working with their body.

Want to find out more about anxiety, stress & medicinal cannabis?

Next Wednesday (11 November, 2020) you can join a live Webinar hosted by Marc Matoza with Zack Swan as a guest! This is part of the Medicinal Marijuana Awareness Program and it will be an opportunity for interested people to find more information and ask questions.

Claim your spot for free and learn more about the benefits of Medicinal Cannabis for Anxiety and Stress, ask questions and meet interesting people that are already using it.

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First baby in the world to join cannabis therapy trial (UK)

A baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section at a Norwich hospital in March. The same baby became the first baby to join a cannabis treatment trial. The trial aiming at finding out if cannabis medicine are efficient in helping babies at risk of seizures and brain injury.

Oscar Parodi, was born, on 11 March in Norfolk, and encountered difficulties. „The baby was diagnosed with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition caused by a lack of oxygen or blood flow from the placenta to the developing baby.” He was then transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he received cooling therapy for 72 hours.

What is HIE and the cooling treatment?

Cooling therapy is the only treatment for HIE in conventional medicine. Researchers believe that medicinal cannabis can be beneficial as protection. It might be useful for babies that are suffering from bran injury or seizures.

Babies that are diagnosed with HIE have higher risks of brain injury. Oscar’s mother was happy to participate in the trial program at the hospital. She accepted because it is a way to perfect cannabis derived medicine and do the most she can for her son. Also to see if it is efficient in dealing with neonatal care in babies with seizures and brain injury.

„Participating patients will be given a dose of either the trial medication, or a placebo, as soon as possible following birth. In addition, the babies also receive routine HIE cooling therapy to bring their body temperature down to 33.5C.”

“This is the first time a cannabis-derived medicine has been tested intravenously in human babies. It is hoped that it will be good for preventing seizures and protecting the brains of newborn babies with HIE.” said Prof Paul Clarke, a consultant neonatologist at NNUH, to The Guardian.

“We have always had good support from families wanting to take part in research on our [unit] and they often do it from an altruistic point of view to help benefit future babies. One of the attractions of this trial for parents is the closer brain monitoring babies get as part of the study, because a more advanced brainwave monitor is used for the trial babies. This gives parents more reassurance that any seizures will be picked up.”

epidiolex
Read our article about The first FDA approved cannabis-derived medicine here: https://cannah.net/articles/the-first-cannabidiol-based-medicine-gets-fda-approval/

The clinical trial is progressing

Along with Oscar, there is another baby that was born in April which is participating in the trial too. The babies that participate are receiving the standard cooling therapy. Along with that, a single dose of the study drug or placebo followed by blood tests. Babies that are taking part in the trial receive only a 30th of the usual dose to minimize the risks. Furthermore, a single dose or a placebo was gave to them as soon as possible withing 12 hours of birth.

The producing process of the drug is under controlled conditions to ensure that the amount of THC, the psychoactive substance, is minimal.

Prof. Paul Clarke concluded saying: “As with any study of a new medicine there may be unexpected side effects and unknown risks. With this in mind the trial has been carefully designed to make it as safe as possible, and so we are only giving the babies a minuscule dose at the beginning, and we monitor them even more closely than usual.”

epidiolex

The first Cannabidiol based medicine gets FDA approval

On April 6 2020 GW Pharmaceuticals and it’s US Subsidiary Greenwich Biosciences Inc. announced that their cannabidiol based medicine EPIDIOLEX, which is a oral solution, is no longer a controlled substance. While there are no other CBD medicines with FDA approval, this announcement places EPIDIOLEX as the first cannabidiol based medicine that gets FDA approval.

The DEA also confirmed the non- controlled status of the medicine, fully establishing that the medicine is no longer a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Epidiolex is a cannabidiol based medicine that gets FDA approval for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gausetaus Syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age or older. As explained before on this page, CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the cannabis sativa plant, and it has several beneficial effects while not producing any high. Epidiolex contains a pure form of the cannabinoid derived from marijuana plants.

What is Epidiolex good for?

medicinal hemp

In the official FDA press release it is mentioned:

“This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Controlled clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of a drug, along with careful review through the FDA’s drug approval process, is the most appropriate way to bring marijuana-derived treatments to patients.

Because of the adequate and well-controlled clinical studies that supported this approval, prescribers can have confidence in the drug’s uniform strength and consistent delivery that support appropriate dosing needed for treating patients with these complex and serious epilepsy syndromes. We’ll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high quality products. But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims. Marketing unapproved products, with uncertain dosages and formulations can keep patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.”

In terms of testing the efficiency of the medicine prior to it’s approval: „Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo. The most common side effects that occurred in Epidiolex-treated patients in the clinical trials were: sleepiness, sedation and lethargy; elevated liver enzymes; decreased appetite; diarrhea; rash; fatigue, malaise and weakness; insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep; and infections.”

What changed for the cannabidiol based medicine?

After receiving the first FDA approval, Epidiolex was in Schedule V of the CSA, GW was than got a post-approval supplement with FDA to remove Schedule V designation for the medication.

This approval from the FDA along with the letter from the DEA means that all federal contralled-substance restrictions have need removed. The changes take place immediately and the company starts to implement the changes at state level in the entire distribution network. Once each state is ready, prescriptions for EPIDIOLES wil be valid for one year making it much more accessible. More doctors will now be able to prescribe this medicine without the requirements of state prescription drug monitoring programs.

CBD is now in the spotlight giving a chance for researchers to examine it’s effects. Furthermore, this are good news for the cannabis community and a glance of hope that more research about the properties of cannabinoids will be made and new medicine will appear and have a chance at approval for prescription.


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Indica vs Sativa: How to choose cannabis strains?

Since cannabis is legal in some US states and other countries, it might be difficult to choose a cannabis strain. Usually, there are three categories of cannabis at the majority of dispensaries or coffee shops: indica, sativa and hybrid. This leads to a indica vs sativa clash. Consumers and sellers use two of those, indica and sativa, to describe strains that either are physically sedating or invigorating. Hybrids usually represent a combination of those effects.

While the traditional belief is that those effects are common for those kind of plants, some researchers say that the chemical profile is not much different. That would mean that it is more a difference between strains than types of plants. The three categorizations can help growers, as they describe the way plants grow and how to take care of them. In terms of effect, it is better to look at the cannabinoid percentages and terpene profiles of the strains you are looking for!

Physical differences between cannabis plant types

The indica, sativa and hybrid categorization is convenient for beginners and can still offer some information about the strain, especially in terms of how it grows! There are several differences between how these three plants grow and that is also where the names come from. Indica plants are shorter than Sativa ones. Indicas have wide leaves and robust stalks while sativas have long branches with large distance between nodes. Ruderalis is another kind of hemp plant that grows in colder environments. It doesn’t have huge or powerful yields but it goes directly into flowering cycle. Ruderalis is responsible of the auto flowering gene in other strains.

Those three type are present all around the world! Indica comes from the Middle East, countries like Afganistan, Pakistan and Tibet. Sativa comes from Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Lastly, Ruderalis is coming from colder places such as Eastern Europe and Russia.

Hybrids are results of people crossing strains all around the world. Nowadays it is extremely rare to find a seed of a strain that is 100% indica vs sativa or the other way around.

While there is no scientific evidence that the type of plant has any influence on effects, terpenes and cannabinoid profile actually do. The effects are influenced more by the cannabinoid content of the flower or concentrate but also the terpenes.

This just means that not necessarily all sativas will make you energetic and not all indicas will put you to sleep! So Indica vs Sativa might be outdated at this moment in time. Now we will give more details on the things that do have an influence on the effects.

Cannabinoids

The effects that cannabis have on the body are possible because of the chemicals inside of the plant, namely cannabinoids. Like THC and CBD, the most popular ones, cannabinoids are the main elements that produce the recreational or medicinal effect. They bind to the endocannabinoid system in the brain.

THC is making people feel hungry and high, helping with relaxing, pain and nausea. On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and helps peple with anxiety, pain inflammation and many others. Researches found around 144 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but familiarizing yourself with THC and CBD is a good start!

So instead of choosing your strain based on Sativa, Indica or Hybrid, you can now look at the cannabinoid profile. This would naturally lead us to three new categories: High THC Strains, High CBD Strains and Balanced Strains. High THC Strains are for people who search for potent euphoric experiences or trying to treat pain, depression, insomnia and more.

Although the most popular strains, some people do not want the side effects of THC. High CBD strains are used by people who get anxious from THC, or people that want to quit THC. It is also popular among patients that need to stay sober. Balanced strains offer the best of both worlds, having a mild high effect but also the therapeutic side of CBD.

Terpenes

If you ever practice aroma therapy or like to play around with smells in your house, you already have the basics of terpenes. Plants and fruits produce different aromatic compounds with the name of terpenes. They make cannabis smell like cheese, lemon or fuel.

A question that still stands is how are the terpenes and different combinations of them influence the effects of different strains.

More information about terpenes in general, but also the ones found in cannabis is accessible here.

Choosing a strain

In order to get the most suitable strain it is important to know the reason of consumption in the first place. If it is for medicinal purposes or for recreational ones, and also what is their experience with cannabis. Based on the cannabinoid content, rather than the indica / sativa categrization, it is easier to choose from the vast menu of strains out there.

On the Cannah website, we provide 2 guides on how to choose the perfect strain. We feature High THC strains, High CBD strains and also Balanced ones. Even if we present some high THC strains, we actually recommend the Balanced or High CBD strains even for recreational use since they are also providing therapeutic effects. First article is about the best cannabis strains for depression and anxiety, and the second one is top 10 cannabis strains for indoor outdoor cultivation in 2020!

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