The confusing stance of the United States on cannabis and policies surrounding its use has always been a topic of debate between different stakeholders. Not so long ago, the topic attracted large-scale repudiation from the constitution, the general public, and the government in more or less similar proportions. With time, however, the scales have shifted.
There has been a significant increase in the number of advocates that support the use of marijuana, especially medicinally. The shift has occurred across the board, with staunch opponents of legalization like Joe Biden now adopting a softer attitude towards the drug. This has been made possible by the constant struggle of advocacy groups that have worked hard towards urging lawmakers to revise policies and change attitudes towards cannabis treatment in the country.
Names like NORML, MMAPA, and American Alliance for Safe Access are just a few prominent names from the elaborate list of marijuana supporters that have helped in bringing about this huge change in the outlook towards the cannabis industry.
In addition to entire organizations, some individuals have also gained prominence for their work towards bringing a change in attitudes towards marijuana. Among them is Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Grinspoon has a very critical view regarding policies on cannabis treatment in the USA.
Let’s take a review of how he sees the current cannabis policies and their impact on the country.
Cannabis for Chronic Pain
According to Dr.Grinspoon, cannabis has helped to evade the opioid crises in more than one ways. Firstly, marijuana and its derivates have helped to treat chronic pain. This has helped patients to avoid using opiates for relief, protecting them from any possible addiction. Since CBD (derivative of cannabis) is non-psychoactive and potentially non-addictive, it has helped combat the opiate crises.
Secondly, areas, where marijuana has been legalized, have seen a significant decrease in opiate addiction. Not only has cannabis helped in controlling managing withdrawal symptoms, but the results have also been at par with medicines like buprenorphine. Dr.Grinspoon has also made a mention of cases where patients have used cannabis to get off heroin and prescription opiates.
Addiction Treatment and Cannabis
It is important to address the fact that cannabis should always have been the domain of the medical sector. The involvement of aw enforcement agencies has led to racism, politics, and injustice in society.
With the positive impact that cannabis is having on patients fighting different ailments, its medical effectiveness has become unquestionable. But in order to fill the gap between what works and what is done in mainstream medical practice, it has become essential to officially incorporate cannabis in the medical sector.
For doing this, there is an increased need for physicians to step up their game. They need to address the fact that whatever they have been taught against cannabis has been the result of propaganda. To reap full benefits, they have to begin research with an open mind and acceptance of new evidence.
In addition, scientific studies have ignored the endocannabinoid system of the body. Despite being a crucial neurotransmission system, there is not much that is known about it in the scientific world. A major cause of this ignorance is the resentment towards cannabis that was nurtured during the war on drugs. Therefore in order to gain a better understanding of cannabis, it is important to study its interaction with the ECS.
What Do 2020 Presidential Candidates Have In-store for the Cannabis Industry?
At the surface, neither candidates of the 2020 elections seem to be very enthusiastic about marijuana legalization. Dr. Grinspoon also agrees.
He believes that although Joe Biden ‘ will put intelligent people around him’ as opposed to ‘the medieval barbarians’ that Trump is appointing, the cannabis industry requires full-scale legalization.
Legalization will allow the industry to receive rightful funding for carrying out the much-needed research. This is because despite agreeing with the medical benefits of cannabis, most physicians are reluctant about prescribing it due to a lack of research. For those who are already using it, there is no specific dosage recommendation, all because of a lack of research.
Therefore, legalization is the only solution to the confusion, racism, and social injustice that America is facing.
Potential uses of mixing CBD and Essential Oils
CBD and essential oils have a common denominator that makes them somewhat similar to each other. Both of them are derived from plants and are believed to have therapeutic benefits on the mind and body. In addition to this, both of these are quite rich in special compounds called terpenes.
Terpenes are aromatic oils that give plants their distinctive smells. The fascinating part about terpenes is that each strain or variety has a different impact on the body. While some strains soothe stress and anxiety, others might enhance alertness, memory and cognition.
Interestingly, the effect profile of each terpene can change in the presence of other compounds. Since both cannabis and essential oils carry terpenes, combining them in a single formula has had collective benefits on users. Furthermore, terpenes also amplify the benefits of these natural compounds.
Lets begin examining some most widely used combinations of CBD and essential oil varieties.
Combining CBD and essential oils
1. Chamomile and CBD for depression
According to a study conducted by Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine Pharmacognosy Review, chamomile is full of anti-depressing and anti-anxiety properties. The conclusions were based on a sample size of 57 participants who had anxiety, depression or a combination of both.
As opposed to placebos, the improvement of symptoms was much better in patients that were administered chamomile for relief.
Similarly, CBD has also been showed to have anti-depressant qualities. It achieves this by activating the 5-HT1A receptor which basically starts expressing serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone of the body.
There are a number of ways to combine chamomile essential oil with CBD oil to benefit from their combined effects. Both of these ingredients can be added in favorite beverages, few drops at a time to enjoy relief. inhaling chamomile tea, and taking CBD supplements can also help in having the entourage effect.
2. Lavender essence and CBD for sleep
Insomnia is a very common problem that is faced by an increasing percentage of the adult population. Lavender oil has being hailed for its remedial effect on insomnia, while CBD induces relaxation.
Combining these two elements can help promoting a peaceful nights sleep for insomniacs. One way to do this is adding a few drops of lavender oil extracts in CBD massage oil and lotions.
Lavender can also be rubbed on the pillow case before sleeping. Together with a CBD supplement, the benefits can be multiplied.
3. Peppermint essence and CBD for improved digestion
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an inflammation in the digestive tract that is very uncomfortable and painful for the victims.
Cannabis and its derivatives like CBD are making their way in the health sector as possible treatments for various bowel conditions including IBS. Although researches are still in their infancy, the evidence is still supportive of its benefits on the digestive functioning.
Peppermint, on the other hand has been used for soothing digestive complications for quite some time. It works quite well for reducing bacterial growth in the gut, preventing indigestion, bloating and other digestive problems.
Combining these two together may unleash a set of benefits that do much more than aiding digestion. The concoction will help in reducing migraines, boost relaxation and also improve respiratory health.
For using them together, again CBD capsule with fresh peppermint tea is always an option. Since both oils are gentle on the body, trying out different dosages will most likely be a safe option for users.
4. CBD and Bergamot oil for anxiety
Bergamot oil is well-known for its calming and uplifting abilities. The same is true for CBD as well. Therefore, by combining these two oils, the benefits can surely be maximized for the users.
One way of using these together as suggested by experts is to apply a few drops of bergamot oil on pulse points for easy inhalation. Next, CBD can be consumed in any form either through vapes or edibles for a combined and amplified effect.
Quality always matters
The options for combining CBD with essential oils are endless. The combined qualities of both of these natural ingredients sometimes amplify the benefits that users intend to reap from a particular combination.
However, it is very important to practice caution when selecting products. Although both products are natural products and are comparatively safe from drastic side-effects, it is important to focus on the source from which they are obtained.
There are countless number of cases where people ended up damaging their health due to poor quality of ingredients. Hence obtaining CBD and essential oil from the most reliable sources is definitely important for reaping full benefits.
Cannabis Shown To Be Effective In Treating Depression and Anxiety
There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to relax the body and mind. We’ve all heard that saying, and most of us take the hours of sleep we get for granted. If we feel tired after work, we don’t really mind, because we can easily fall asleep a bit earlier, right? But imagine if you couldn’t sleep. Or if you felt so anxious at night that falling asleep terrifies you. These are real problems facing a huge number of people today, especially those with clinical depression.
Mental health disorders are responsible for worsening physical health disorders and reducing quality of life. The two most commonly faced forms are depressive disorders and anxiety disorders. Understandably, a worldwide pandemic leaving billions detached from their friends and family has made things worse. In times as uncertain as ours, there’s plenty to be depressed or anxious about too. Luckily, studies have shown that cannabis can be a powerful combatant against these two conditions, as we’ll see below.
What’s the difference between being depressed and depression?
While it is basically a normal to undergo ups and downs in life that affect your mindset, we’re not talking about just feeling sad or worried. Almost everyone experiences moments where things seem pointless or bleak. That’s part of life and while it isn’t good, it isn’t a disorder. Disorders are defined as a period of depression lasting consistently over more than six month.
Depressive disorders, commonly called depression, are among the most common ailments affecting people today. And what’s worse is that they are either caused by or cause anxiety disorders as well. Again, that’s not like anxiety from not submitting homework on time. Anxiety disorders can cause breathing problems so bad, they are sometimes confused with heart attacks.
Okay, so how common is it?
You’ve probably heard a lot about ‘mental health awareness week’ or maybe charity events for people with mental health problems, but no matter how much they talk about it on the news, it’s still not enough. Because it’s suspected that as many as one in five people worldwide are suffering from serious mental health issues right now. And at some point in life, most people experience those issues too. It’s a pandemic like COVID-19, but we don’t even know how bad it is.
Of all the people who experience these issues, only thirty six percent even get checked out. That means we don’t even know how common it is for people to be suffering from mental health problems. The situation, extremely dire as it is, needs more awareness and discussion.
Luckily, an age old remedy is making news
Since time immemorial, people have been smoking select plants for their psychoactive effects. Even monkeys like using cannabis, and it might be for a lot of the reasons we do too. Besides the pleasurable effects of the drug, in particular certain benefits need to be less overlooked: marijuana fights depressive and anxiety disorders. This is due to the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) that play psychoactive and physiological roles respectively.
Marijuana, linked, fortunately, to lowering negative thought processes in patients, saves lives. Also, it typically grants very soothing, relaxing sleep for those with insomnia issues. People who find difficulty in relaxing before bed have commonly used the drug to help rest more comfortably. And this isn’t news to us; indigenous peoples have been using cannabis for centuries. We owe a lot to these cultures, after all.
How Cannabis Is Now Being Used To Treat COVID-19
The novel coronavirus has taken hold of our lives and many live in fear of getting sick. In times where nothing is certain, there is a ray of hope beaming through the gloom. And it comes wrapped in paper for your convenience. It is cannabis, and it may just save lives.
Researchers have good evidence that leads them to believe there’s more to weed than meets the eye. In some tests, they were able to show with confidence that cannabis contains chemicals that reduce inflammation from COVID-19. We discuss the news and its highlights below.
The chemical in question is Cannabidiol Oil, or CBD Oil, as it is commonly known. Scientists at the Dental College of Georgia and the Medical Dental College of Georgia have made significant strides in proving this chemical is helpful in fighting the virus.
What is inflammation and why is it bad?
Inflammation is a medical term for one of the responses shown by the body to infection. Cutting the jargon out, this means when your body gets infected by a bacterium or virus, it can choose how to react. One of the ways cells that are right at the site of infection respond is by releasing special messenger chemicals which alert the body to the invading pathogen. This is the equivalent of raising the alarm for intruders. One bad side effect of this, though, is that sometimes, it can hurt you worse than the intruders. Inflammation causes reddening of the skin, swelling, heat and other bothersome effects.
Along with inflammation, the body has many other ways to respond to pathogens (disease causing particles). However, in the context of coronavirus and its side effects, these are not important so we will not discuss them.
What does CBD Oil do, and how does it help against coronavirus?
Cannabidiol is a compound found in most species of cannabis. Such compounds that are present in cannabis plants are usually referred to as cannabinoids. CBD Oil is unusual even among cannabinoids because it helps fight against the inflammation response of the body.
To avoid boring you with all the details suffice it to say that when you get a fever, that isn’t because of the pathogen inside you. A fever is caused by the body itself because it raises the temperature of the blood. This can kill pathogens, but it can also kill you if it goes on for too long. One way CBD Oil can help is by putting a stop on all that. It causes chemical reactions to take place that don’t allow the body to respond so drastically to the virus. Instead, the Oil moderates a better response that doesn’t hurt you as much.
What does this mean for the future of cannabis?
For now, it’s really good news. It means that cannabis has a shot at making it big in the medical industry. If medical industries push for cannabis legalization to help keep up with demand, it’s a win for everyone. Also, using cannabis in medicine hasn’t been a practice for centuries, but this new research is definitely promising.
If the research holds up on a much larger scale, it could turn the rides for those demanding better cannabis laws. For starters, if the drug can be used to treat COVID-19 patients, then it’s great for the majority of the world. Also, it will help to normalize marijuana and show that this drug isn’t what it’s made out to be. Lastly, it will help create more demand and that means better regulation for cannabis overall.
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