Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


For the Female Patients out there


There are very few acronyms that effect our lives as much as the one that torments women monthly, PMS.  Premenstrual Syndrome is something that will effect most women at some point throughout their lives.  On a far lesser scale, men can also be impacted by PMS, especially if they are concerned with providing relief for their loved ones.  So how is it that this syndrome which can cause such discomfort and pain to so many people is still left to pharmaceutical treatments with such mixed results that many women often don’t know where to turn?  The problem is  for over a century doctors have turned a blind eye to the herbal remedy which has helped so many women.  For hundreds, if not thousands of years women have used the cannabis plant to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS.  It varies in symptoms and intensity from patient to patient, but often includes headaches (even migraines), cramping, bloating, pelvic pain, breast pain, sleep difficulty, irritability, anxiety, depression, and inability to concentrate.  Most men have difficulty understanding it, and just opt to keep their distance.  Perhaps giving herbal-infused chocolates as a gift would be a more helpful approach.

As doctors’ understanding of the female biology has increased, they have prescribed numerous pills to help ease women’s suffering.  For those who endure mood swings, irritability, depression or anxiety they have offered Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) as antidepressants.  These may include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil or many others.  Unfortunately they do not always work and carry a long list of side effects that can be much worse than the PMS itself.  Also, these drugs take time to come to full strength in the body, so they must be taken over periods of time. So, patients must take a potentially dangerous drug for long term, even though it is only to treat symptoms that effect them for just a few days per month. For pain relief, doctors offer Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Midol.  These are better because women need only take them as symptoms occur.  But these also have a potential to cause harm, from intestinal bleeding or renal damage.  They may also interact with other drugs for other dangerous effects.  For those with trouble sleeping, physicians recommend Ambien, but that leaves users very groggy, and has instigated many scary sleep-walking stories.  Once again, modern science offers a glimmer of hope, but casts a long shadow uncertainty.

Luckily, for all the women there exists a natural-occurring remedy that can treat any or all of their symptoms with minimal side effects, none of which can be called dangerous.  Before marijuana prohibition went into effect, cannabis was a standard item in doctor’s tool bags, and often prescribed to females.  One doctor answered to the highest (pun not intended) woman in the world.  In the 19th century Sir Russell Reynolds was the Royal Physician for Queen Victoria of England.  As many women before her, she suffered from painful menstrual cramps.  So he dug into his black bag and offered tincture of the Indian Hemp plant for her relief.  He even included it in the first issue of The Lancet (a foremost medical journal) writing, “When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess.” As many states have passed compassionate use laws, doctors are willing to again utilize this plant for treatment.

Dr. Breen, of Medical Cannabis of Southern California, sees many women everyday who come to him for help with their PMS suffering.  Many have tried pharmaceuticals for years without satisfactory treatment.  He prescribes cannabis because it is safe and effective.  He counsels his patients that while it may not be the right fit for every woman, it is worth trying out.  It can treat the headaches and pains, bloating and cramping.  It helps mellow out those mood swings, and can assist with sleeplessness.  It also can aid flagging libido (exactly opposite to the effects of SSRIs).  And finally, it is safe and has short term effects.  When it works for a patient, she can self-medicate as she sees fit.  For those who do not receive any benefit from it, or if they don’t agree with the “high” feelings associated with smoking, they can discontinue its use without any fears.

So, for all the female patients out there who are dealing with such discomfort, there is something out there that can help with the pain.  Next time you are sifting through ineffective pills at the pharmacy, remember the remedy that has been used for far longer and with greater success.

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Side Effects May Include…

side effects

For thousands of years the cannabis plant was used medicinally throughout the world.  It is even mentioned in the Pen-ts’ao Ching, the world’s oldest pharmacopeia.  This dates back to 2000BC and is listed as a treatment for malaria, beriberi, constipation, rheumatic pains and female disorders.  It was a standard item in any physician’s black bag until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 outlawed it.  Also around this time, the chemical-based pharmaceutical industry began its reign over medicine.  Men had relied on herbs and tonics, with mixed results, for a long time. The scientific method combined with modern industrial practices led to codifying medicines.  In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and soon after, other doctors were able to reproduce it in quantity.  The treatment of infections with antibiotics was a breakthrough that changed the face of medicine and disease.  The pharmaceutical industry was growing in leaps and bounds; recommended dosages were effective, and people were relying less on home remedies.  As is the case with any company providing a needed product, the pharmaceutical industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar global industry that supplies everything from baby aspirin to cancer treatments and antidepressants.

Despite the successes of the industry, there are a few shortcomings to modern medicines.  Most medications take a targeted approach.  For a bladder infection, doctors recommend one drug; for chest pains they offer another.  It seems as though they shy away from holistic approaches to health, preferring to stick band-aids on all the little problems instead of treating the underlying causes of disease.  For depression a physician may prescribe Prozac or Zoloft.  It helps a person get through the day, maybe. But when the drug wears off, the patient is still depressed.  And then of course, comes the fine print. At the end of every tv commercial for a pharmaceutical comes those four words, “Side effects may include…” And most of the time those side effects sound worse than the ailment itself.  Lunesta (eszopiclone) is a sleep aid medication.  Some possible side effects aren’t so bad, like dizziness, lightheadedness and loss of coordination. That is to be expected from something that will put you to sleep.  How do these sound, heartburn, decreased sexual desire, painful menstrual periods, or breast enlargement in males?  Is sleep really that important (yes it is) but who wants to risk hives, rashes, swelling of extremities, difficulty breathing or swallowing?  A good thump on the head will put you out for the night too.

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants by physicians and psychiatrists.  It is used for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and eating disorders and others.  It also has some very serious side effects, especially in younger patients up to 24 years of age.  In younger people it can occasionally cause worse depression, aggressive behavior, self-harming, panic attacks, frenzied excitement and thoughts of suicide.  How is that helpful to someone who is depressed?  Other “regular” side effects can include nausea, dry mouth, weakness, uncontrollable shaking, hives, fever, joint pain, swelling of extremities including head and neck.  Those symptoms don’t help alleviate depression.

NSAIDs (NonSteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs) are a class of drugs that have many uses and can be quite effective.  Advil (ibuprofen) is probably the most common one utilized by Americans.  NSAIDs are used to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain, and fever.  It’s great for headaches, arthritis, sports injuries and even menstrual cramps.  Another commonly prescribed NSAID is Mobic (meloxicam) and in low doses is also good for long-term use on aggravating injuries from sports such as mild rotator cuffs or ligament sprains.  But these drugs also have their drawbacks.  It’s interesting that they can cause diarrhea, or constipation hitting both sides of that spectrum.  Other effects may include fast heartbeat, nausea, pale or yellowing skin, tiredness, ulcers, cloudy or bloody urine.  They can also cause random death due to heart attack or stroke, because of how it effects blood and clotting.

Actiq (Fentanyl Transmucosal) is a pain medication often given to cancer patients, or others suffering from long-term pain.  It is used as a “breakthrough pain” reliever; that means a patient will be on some other pain medication but if the suffering spikes this is administered in conjunction to “rescue” the patient and bring the pain down to tolerable levels.  A drug such as this one must be carefully administered because patients are usually on many other medications and doctors must be wary of interactions and synergy effects.  Its side effects are also numerous, including (but not limited to) nausea, constipation, trouble walking, vomiting, fever, exhaustion, muscle aches, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and death from overdose.

So, those are just a few of the many thousands of drugs that modern science has given to the world.  As a species are we much better off having them?  It seems that we are unfortunate that so many that  seem meant to give life back, on the one hand, so easily can take it away as well.

Marijuana also has its side effects.  They include the munchies, which are uncontrollable appetite urges, particularly towards sweets.  This can be laughable, but can have serious effects on some users.  More sedentary users may find themselves with significant weight gain and at higher risk for diabetes.  There is no chance for death by overdose; people have tried but they fall asleep long before they hit the L.D. 50.  But it does increase the chance of accidents and injury because it effects motor control, balance, and perception of external stimuli.   Anytime a person is “under the influence” of marijuana or other drug with neurological effects, they should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.  The side effects of marijuana pale in comparison to the prescription drugs on the market.  The range of treatments marijuana can be used for seems to be growing everyday, without the surprise unknown side effects which can be hidden in fine print until an unfavorable statistic makes it news.  But that time the damage is usually done.

When it comes to any kind of medication, know what you are taking.  Be aware of possible side effects and interactions with other medications or chemicals in your body.  And if a doctor gives a warning about something, you should generally listen them.

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Sit Back and Relax… Without the harmful side effects!

polar bear relaxing


Studies in Relaxation

There are many reasons why people turn to Medical Marijuana.  As a psychoactive drug, one of its greatest benefits is how it relaxes people.  It induces feelings of calmness, serenity and it relieves anxiety for many.  There are lots of substances out there that can also create this effect for patients, so why would one turn to one that is still illegal in most states?  Big Pharma has been pushing all kinds of chemicals on us for years and yet some people still feel uneasy about taking them because of the potential or unknown side effects.  Have you ever read the possible side effects on a bottle of Prozac or Xanax?  Read it and try not to have a panic attack.  So what we see is that people turn to that marvelous medicinal plant that has been with mankind since the dawn of civilization.

How does Cannabis effect the brain and help the patient relax?  There are many active ingredients in medical marijuana which scientists are still discovering, as well as their potential applications.  Two of the most popular ones are THC and CBDTHC (Tetrahydracannabinol) by now most everyone has heard of. There is also CBD (Cannabidiol), which in recent studies has also shown to have a strong effect on users.  THC is responsible for the “high”  or psychoactive feeling that alters your senses.  Colors seem brighter and sharper, food tastes better (especially sweets), sounds seem clearer and things seem to feel better to the touch.  THC helps you notice the details in your environment and is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. CBD has shown “to prompt brain activity linked to appropriate responses to significant stimuli in the environment,” which also helps to prevent feelings of paranoia that can be associated with smoking marijuana. The medical community is spending more time looking into this chemical because it appears to be the active ingredient for pain relief that so many cancer patients are seeking.

At the end of a long day you come home from work and you need to unwind.  For some, a cold beer is all you need.  But not everyone has that luxury. There are many people out there that alcohol simply does not agree with.  It can aggravate digestive disorders, or interfere with other medications; it’s toxic when combined with acetaminophen.  Also, one drink often leads to another and then in the morning you have a hangover.  And hangovers are not conducive to productive days at work.  Furthermore, alcohol has been shown to interfere with REM sleep leading to the next day being unproductive.  Other medications can also leave people feeling groggy the following morning.  Marijuana is great for relaxing  patients as well as treating their uncomfortable symptoms.

There are few things as wholly unpleasant as a trip to the clinic for chemotherapy.  Patients return home feeling exhausted due to the physically draining process.  When you’re fighting cancer you need to keep up your strength, but many chemo patients just waste away due to side effects such as nausea and loss of appetite keeping them from nourishing their bodies with the nutrients they need to combat their illness.  Many cancer victims can testify to Marijuana’s helpful effects; it can pick up your spirits and help keep an active appetite. Medical grade marijuana helps maintain a calm stomach that let’s food stay down so that it can be digested so patients can maintain their strength.

Clearly Marijuana has many obvious medical benefits in regards to physical pain, but the true nature of the plant to help alleviate emotional stresses is still yet to be seen.  With the alternative being physically addictive pills with uncomfortable and potentially fatal side effects, the idea of using medical marijuana in replacement of typical dangerous prescription medications to relax and treat forms of anxiety seems more appealing as the facts pile up.

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