Marijuana for patients with Bipolar Disorder

on Thursday, 30 January 2014. Posted in Medical Marijuana

Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal mood shifts, as well as fluctuations in energy, activity levels and the ability to complete everyday tasks. Bipolar is a serious mental illness that can damage relationships, career prospects, academic performance and can even lead to suicidal tendencies. A patient with Bipolar Disorder has severe fluctuations in mood (poles) - from depression to mania. Usually, moods are normal in between the peaks and troughs.

Bipolar disorder has nothing to do with the ups and downs we all experience sometimes; it is much more severe, debilitating and incapacitating. Fortunately, it is treatable and with proper care and the right medication, patients can perform well at work and academically and are able to live full, productive lives. About 4.4% of US citizens have had a diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder at some time in their lives, while the world average is 2.4% it could affect most anybody as it has some of the notable individuals like Jesse Jackson Jr., Jane Pauley, and Sinead O'connor.

A new study found that use of cannabis (marijuana) couldi be helpful in improving certain neurocognitive functions in people who have Bipolar Disorder. It has also been a belief that the use of marijuana in moderate doses is non-addictive and as such, during the pendency of suffering from Bipolar Disorder, patients gain relief. There are research studies which has also shown marijuana to be helpful in managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

In a more recent study, a collaborative effort between researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Long Island, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York explored the impact of medical marijuana on the cognitive performance of 50 individuals with Bipolar Disorder who had a history of cannabis use compared with 150 people with the same mental disorder but had no history of cannabis use. All the participants were similar in racial background, age, and educational level, as well as when Bipolar Disorder was diagnosed. Results revealed that individuals who had a history of marijuana use showed "significantly better neurocognitive performance, particularly on measures of attention, processing speed, and working memory" than those study participants who did not use marijuana.

This finding is similar to the one reached by researchers at the University of Oslo and reported on in Psychological Medicine in 2010. In that study, 133 patients with Bipolar Disorder and 140 with schizophrenia were evaluated, along with their use of marijuana. The Oslo investigators found that use of marijuana among Bipolar Disorder subjects was associated with improved neurocognitive function. Bipolar patients who used marijuana showed good focused attention, verbal fluency, logical memory learning, and memory recall.

Scheduling Your Cannabis Use Around Your Workouts

on Monday, 27 January 2014. Posted in Marijuana Smoking

If you're using cannabis to treat a medical condition and you're a very active person, you'll want to use your cannabis at the right times. There are some effects of this particular medicine that make it not the best choice before a workout, but there are ways that you can work around this.

Understanding the Effects

One of the sides of cannabis is that it does tend to cause an increased heart rate. This isn't really noticeable if you're not being active, though some people notice it just from the sensation. It's not a problem for most people but, if you have a target heart rate that you're trying to maintain while working out, it may complicate that effort. Save your cannabis for after you're done with your workout.

How it Feels

Cannabis does have head effects and they are relevant when you're working out. One of the head effects is a distortion of the sense of time. This is really not an issue if you're just relaxing, but if you're running, for instance, it may make it seem like your run is taking forever to complete. You may want to skip the cannabis altogether before working out because of this. The endorphin rush you get after working out is a nice natural feeling anyway and you'll be able to use your medication after you've worked out, when the time distorted feeling is gone.

Lethargy

Some strains of cannabis are known to have a strong effect on the body. This can make people using this medication feel a bit lazy. It also has the effect of getting rid of pain, which is why it's used as medication.

If you're using a strain of cannabis that's mostly recommended for pain, you may want to avoid using it before you get your workout in. It can make you feel a bit too content sometimes and you may just not get around to your workout at all. Take care of your body with your workout and then use your medication and you should be fine. You certainly won't be in pain!

A Good Schedule

Depending upon when you work out, you may want to alter the times at which you use your mediation. If you're a chronic pain sufferer, you're probably using medication to treat it most of the time. This may mean having to leave something of a window during the day to get your workout in.

If you're only using your medication once or twice a day, use it after you work out. If this isn't feasible, consider using it many hours before you work out, as the effects will be gone by the time you need to get your workout in.

Remember that cannabis is a real medication and it has to be used responsibly, just as does every other type of medication. Do so and you'll still be able to stay fit, get your work out in and get the treatment you need to deal with whatever ails you.

Why People Prefer Marijuana for Pain

on Thursday, 23 January 2014. Posted in Medical Marijuana

One of the arguments that anti-marijuana people try to make is that medicinal marijuana actually has no medical value. It would be hard to convince someone who has used medicinal marijuana for pain of this. The drug is regarded well for its ability to kill pain and, compared to other pain relievers, you may find the experience to be quite different than what it is with other treatments.

It's not Horribly Strong

If you've ever been prescribed opiate pain killers or other types of pain killers with strong ingredients, you're probably very familiar with a wide range of side effects, not all of them particularly pleasant. Marijuana doesn't have these extremely strong effects and that is one of the reasons that some people vastly prefer it.

Marijuana does have some effects, of course, but these are much different than what most other pain killers come with. For instance, you're not likely to spend the entire afternoon incapacitated and on the edge of sleep as is likely to be the case if you're on an opiate.

The Effects are Pleasant

Unless you get addicted to opiates?more on that later?their effects are really not that pleasant. Most people report feeling like they have no energy, wasting hours of time unable to do anything and worse. The physical side effects are usually equally unpleasant.

Marijuana has a mild euphoric effect. This doesn't directly treat pain, but it helps tremendously psychologically for many people. Sometimes, the mental effect of being able to focus on other things, just feeling generally happier and being able to relax goes a long way toward relieving pain. It's been shown over and over again that people do heal up better when they feel better from the start and marijuana does make a lot of people feel better, allowing them to escape the anxiety that oftentimes comes with chronic pain.

Addiction Issues

Opiates and other pain killers are strongly associated with their addictive properties. While marijuana was long cast as a horribly addictive drug by anti-drug propagandists, it's established that it is certainly not a particularly addictive substance. This means that, if the pain does go away, the marijuana user doesn't have to worry about kicking an opiate habit at the same time that they're getting back on track with their lives.

It's More Accepted

Marijuana is much more accepted socially today than it was even a decade ago. The prohibitionist fury is largely drawing to a close and laws are being reformed very quickly. Attitudes toward medical marijuana are generally positive and there's no reason to worry about being viewed as some sort of an illicit drug user when you're using medical marijuana. This has helped some people to get over their anxiety and to investigate this option.

Physicians are much more open to the idea than they used to be, as well, and the relatively mild option of medical marijuana sometimes makes them very positive about it as a treatment option. For pain, marijuana is really good medicine.

Medical Marijuana May Benefit 4-Legged Pain Sufferers

on Monday, 20 January 2014. Posted in Medical Marijuana

A recent article in Yahoo news profiles a veterinarian in Los Angeles who believes medical marijuana could benefit dogs as well as people. In fact, this particular veterinarian has a personal story about giving dogs medical marijuana.

The veterinarian, who described herself as being disappointed in having to euthanize animals for pain and suffering started giving her own Siberian Husky medical marijuana when the Husky was recovering after surgery. After getting medical marijuana, the dog was able to start eating again, gained some of her weight back and had more energy. These effects, of course, are similar to what people who use medical marijuana themselves experience when they use it to treat pain.

Caution

Even though this veterinarian had good results using medical marijuana, dogs can overdose on marijuana. This can cause a wide range of symptoms and, because medical marijuana hasn't been tested thoroughly in animals as of yet, pet owners do take a significant risk in giving it to their pets.

Nonetheless, another pet owner in the article reports good results using medical marijuana to help her dog, as well. In fact, both of the pet owners profiled said that their dogs enjoyed a higher quality of life after being treated with medical marijuana.

Anybody who has ever had marijuana and a pet knows that pets will get in the marijuana if they find it. This is one of the reasons that it has to be stored responsibly. A dog or a cat may find marijuana, eat it, and end up getting way too high of a dose, and suffering potentially serious side effects because of it.

As far as treatments go, they are still being developed. The woman profiled in the article uses a drop of extract to treat her dog and recommends one drop per 10 pounds of animal being treated. Of course, this treatment has not been clinically studied as of yet, so it's important to realize that there may be some serious risks involved in this type of treatment.

What it Offers

For some pet owners, the end of their pet's life comes with a horrible decision. The pet ends up being in so much pain that it seems cruel to allow them to go on living but, then again, human beings who are in a great deal of pain are certainly not euthanized because of it.

If you do have a pet who is suffering, it may be worth it to research this issue more. It's already been demonstrated over and over again that human beings suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy, pain from surgery and other conditions can benefit tremendously from medical marijuana. It goes without saying that, for people who own pets, those pets are family.

Nobody would let a family member suffer if they could stop it. If you do have a pet who is suffering, make sure you do the research and make sure that it's safe, but you may want to take a look at whether or not medical marijuana may be a better solution than euthanasia and if it may allow your pet to enjoy another good year or two with your family.

How to Store Marijuana

on Thursday, 16 January 2014. Posted in Marijuana Smoking

If you're using marijuana for medical purposes, you might use it sparingly enough that you need to store it for a while. There are good and bad ways to do this. The best ways are not expensive or difficult and mainly just have to do with the type of container you use.

The Don'ts

There are some methods of storage that are definitely recommended against by most authorities on the matter. Here are some things you shouldn't do.

Don't leave your marijuana in a baggy. There are some rather esoteric reasons that people recommend against this - static pulling apart your buds, to name one - but there are much more understandable reasons than that.

The average sandwich bag is not that strong. It's likely to tear, which means that you could lose all your bud. Bud also tends to cling to the sides of these bags, making it hard to use all of it.

Don't store your buds long term in the storage side of a wooden hitter box. The wood will likely dry out the bud too much and it will be harsh and burn too fast. Instead, leave your buds in a more suitable permanent container and grind up enough to fill up a day or two day's worth of marijuana for your hitter box.

The Do's

Glass is generally regarded as the best way to store buds over the long term. The jars that people tend to recommend highly have the frosted glass sides on the stopper and seal out the atmosphere almost completely. Buds will slide off the glass and not adhere to it, as they would in a plastic bag.

Another option is to roll the marijuana into joints and put them in a prescription bottle or in a glass bottle. Either will work find. This provides adequate protection, ensures that the marijuana is rolled and ready to smoke when you want it and protects it from the environment very well.

Some people worry about UV affecting their marijuana in storage. There are glass types that filter it out almost completely.

You may also want to try storing your marijuana in a cedar box. People who go this route usually leave it in the plastic bag, if they got it in that form. Cedar has good preservative properties. A humidor usually used for cigars is also an option if you want to go the box route. Just make sure you're not using treated woods or other materials that may introduce toxins into the buds.

You can store your weed in a safe or in a locked area, but be sure you secure it. This will keep it out of the hands of anyone who shouldn't have it and ensure that you always know where it is. If you have easy access to a dispensary, consider buying smaller amounts and not keeping any more than you need on hand. This way, you always get it in peak condition and you have to store as little as possible, so there's less hassle.

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