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Epilepsy

Epilepsy is an approved Category 1 Health Canada MMAR Condition

Under no circumstances should any person with seizure disorder change, augment or substitute any prescribed antiepileptic medication for another registered drug or other (alternative, complementary or herbal) treatment without specific instructions to do so from their neurologist or attending physician.

Condition Description

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that afflicts approximately 1% of the world’s population.There is a range of possible types of seizures depending on how wide spread the neurological disturbance is in the brain. Sometimes there are triggers for seizures such as low blood sugar, stress, sleep loss, or even boredom. There is no known cause of epilepsy in approximately 60-75% of all cases. Of the remaining 25-40%, there are a number of identified causes. These include brain injury to the fetus during pregnancy, birth trauma (lack of oxygen), aftermath of infection (meningitis), head trauma, alteration in blood sugar, other metabolic illness, brain tumor and stroke.

Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Anti-convulsant drugs help control some kinds of epilepsy, but a few forms of epilepsy do not react well to these pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs have possible serious side effects, including bone softening, swelling of the gums, decreased production of red blood cells, and emotional instability Furthermore, anti-convulsant drugs only completely stop seizures in about 60% of epileptic patients

Benefits of Marijuana

Marijuana has been investigated for its anti-convulsant properties since the 19th century. Many patients with epilepsy believe medical marijuana is an effective therapy for epilepsy and are actively using it. Many anecdotal reports as well as patient case studies indicate the assistance of medical marijuana in controlling seizures. Some epileptic patients state that they can wean themselves off of prescription drugs and stay free of seizures as long as they have a regular supply of medical marijuana.

Cannabinoid Research

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the primary and non-psychoactive cannabinoids found naturally in marijuana. CBD appears to benefit some epileptic patients who ingest it to avoid seizure activity. For epileptic patients who cannot tolerate or do not benefit from their antiepileptic drugs, medical marijuana can be a good alternative to successfully control their seizures, without experiencing debilitating side effects.

Recommended Resources

Please take a look at these interesting articles and books for further information on epilepsy and the benefits of medical marijuana.

Articles

Multiple Sclerosis is an approved Category 1 Health Canada MMAR Condition

Medical Marijuana is NOT for everyone and is often a last resort for people that have tried a variety of the pharmaceuticals below with little relief or too many side effects. Strong anecdotal evidence exists for the support of medical marijuana in treating MS symptoms but scientific research has been hampered by government legislation. We strongly suggest you discuss the potential benefit of medical marijuana with your doctor or specialist.

Condition Description

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a painful, debilitating disorder of the central nervous system. MS is unpredictable, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. There is no cure for MS. Symptoms vary considerably from person to person; however, one frequently noted symptom is spasticity, which causes pain, spasms, and loss of function. MS is an autoimmune disease, the exacerbations experienced with MS appear to be caused by abnormal immune activity that causes inflammation and the destruction of myelin (the protective covering of nerve fibers) in the brain or spinal cord.

Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Drugs commonly prescribed for muscle spasticity and tremor include Klonopin, Dantrium, Baclofen (Medtronic), Zanaflex, Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam). These medications come with a list of side effects ranging from feeling lightheaded or drowsy, to slurred speech, blurred vision, changes in sexual drive and performance, gastrointestinal changes, muscle spasms and a fast or pounding heartbeat.

Benefits of Marijuana

Some benefits of medical marijuana that many MS patients have reported include improved:

MS Patients have reported that smoking medical marijuana reduces symptoms such as muscle stiffness and tremors, and allows for greater mobility. Many studies of the pharmacology of marijuana have identified effects on motor systems of the central nervous system that have the potential of affecting tremor and spasticity. Moreover, marijuana has demonstrated effects on immune function that also may have the potential of reducing the autoimmune attack that is thought to be the underlying pathogenic process in MS.Cannabinoid Research

Cannabinoids are chemicals that are found naturally in Marijuana. Researchers believe that these naturally found cannabinoids could create immune suppression. Much like steroids, but with fewer side effects, cannabinoids can "switch off" a portion of the immune response and bring down inflammation and hyperactivity of immune cells, possibly preventing or slowing some of the damage caused to the myelin by immune cells. The cannabinoids do this by interacting with the receptors on specific immune cells.

Sativex

Sativex is a cannabis-based pharmaceutical product developed by GW Pharmaceuticals in 2005 for treating symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. It is composed mainly of two cannabanoids naturally found in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It comes in the form of a mouth spray. It has been approved as adjunctive treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. It has also been shown to help reduce spasticity, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances in MS patients.

Arthitis

Severe pain from Arthritis is a Health Canada accepted Category 1 condition

Medical marijuana is NOT for everyone. Strong anecdotal evidence exists for the support of medical marijuana in treating pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. We strongly suggest you discuss the potential benefit of medical marijuana with your doctor or specialist

Condition Description

Arthritis literally means "joint inflammation". It consists of more than 100 different conditions. The common symptoms for all these conditions are joint and musculoskeletal pain, which is why they are all considered to be forms of “arthritis'. Often the pain associated with arthritis is a result of inflammation of the joint lining. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat and pain. When a joint becomes inflamed it can prevent the normal use of the joint and therefore it can cause the loss of function of that joint. Severe Forms of Arthritis

· Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. OA is characterized by worn cartilage or tissue that pads the bones in a joint.

· Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and is the second most common form of arthritis. With Rheumotoid Arthritis the body attacks the lining of a joint which leads to inflammation.

· Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. Gout is caused when crystals of uric acid form in the connective tissue and/or joint spaces.

· Ankylosing spondylitis(AS) is a chronic, progressive, painful inflammatory rheumatic disease, which affects the spinal joints, in particular those at the base of the spine (the sacroiliac joints and the lumbar spine)

Treatment

Early diagnosis and appropriate management of arthritis, including self-management activities, can help people diagnosed with arthritis decrease pain, improve function and stay productive.

Take a look at the following websites for further information on self management of Arthritis:

Possible Benefits of Marijuana

One of marijuana’s oldest recorded uses is relieving swelling and inflammation. Currently, modern scientist are exploring a network of cannabinoid receptor sites located throughout the body. This new understandings of cannabinoid research clearly supports the historical references on treating inflammation with marijuana Different cannabinoids founds naturally in marijuana have different benefits for arthritis sufferers. Tetrahydroconnabinol (THC) is beneficial as a pain reliever. Cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been shown in clinical studies to have valuable anti-inflammatory properties.

Cannabinoid Research

Sativex

Sativex(CBM)is a marijuana-based drug that was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals in 2005 as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. Sativex has however been shown to have beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis. Tests of Sativex on arthritis patients showed it helped reduce pain, and improve quality of sleep. Sativex is not psychoactive and comes in the form of a mouth spray composed mainly of two cannabinoids found naturally in marijuana, Tetrahydroconnabinol(THC) and cannabidiol(CBD).

Spinal Cord Injury

Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury are approved Health Canada Category 1 MMAR condition

Medical Marijuana is NOT for everyone and is often a last resort for people that have tried a variety of pharmaceutical medications with little relief or too many side effects. Strong anecdotal evidence exists for the support of medical marijuana in treating symptoms associated with a spinal cord injury. We strongly suggest you discuss the potential benefit of medical marijuana with your doctor or specialist.

Condition Description

A spinal cord injury is damage that occurs to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function. Spinal cord injuries usually occur when vertebrae are dislocated or fractured . The damage to the spinal cord begins at the moment of the injury when displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments from the dislocation or fracture bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue . Most injuries don't sever your spinal cord. Instead, an injury is more likely to cause fractures and compression of the vertebrae, which then crush and destroy axons. Axons are extensions of nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body . Frequent causes of spinal cord injury are trauma such as car accident, gunshot wound or a bad fall. A spinal cord injury is very different from back injuries such as ruptured disks, spinal stenosis or pinched nerves. A person can have a severe back injury and not sustain a spinal cord injury.

There are two types of spinal cord injuries, complete and incomplete. In a complete spinal cord injury, both sides of the body are equally affected , and the spinal cord cannot relay messages below the level of the injury. This results in being paralyzed below the level of injury. In an incomplete injury, there is some movement and sensation below the level of injury. An incomplete injury does not affect both sides of the body equally, as a person may be able to move one limb more than another, have more functioning on one side of the body than the other, or be able to feel parts of the body that cannot be moved.

Symptoms

Besides a loss of sensation or motor functioning, individuals with a spinal cord injury can also experience other symptoms. From a sample population of individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries, 65%–78% had symptoms of spasticity . Spasticity often negatively influences quality of life for spinal cord injury sufferers by restricting activities of daily living. These restrictions include but are not limited to effecting walking and self-care, causing pain and fatigue, disturbing sleep, and compromising safety . Other symptoms related to spinal cord injuries are loss of bowel and bladder control, sexual dysfunction, blood clots, depression and anxiety, pressure ulcers and muscle contractions.

Traditional Treatments

In general, no one treatment option will successfully manage the symptoms related to spinal cord injuries in all individuals .After the initial injury stabilizes, doctors focus on preventing secondary problems from arising .Many patients who are long term sufferers of a Spinal Cord Injury have secondary complications from prescription drugs. They can suffer with ulcers, nausea, intestinal tract complications, lack of appetite, internal or external hemorrhaging and depression. Many SCI patients can dramatically reduce their prescription drug intake by including Medical Marijuana. Most prefer ingesting through either a cannabis tea or an edible for a longer lasting calming affect.

Rehabilitation

During rehabilitation, emphasis of often put on maintenance and strengthening of existing muscle function, redeveloping fine motor skills and learning adaptive techniques to accomplish day-to-day tasks.

Medications

Medications may be used to manage some of the effects of spinal cord injury. These include medications to control pain and muscle spasticity, as well as medications that can improve bladder control, bowel control and sexual functioning.

New technologies

Independence and mobility levels of people with spinal cord injuries can be greatly helped though medical devices. Some devices may also restore function. These include:

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Some benefits of medical marijuana that many patients with spinal cord injuries have reported include improvements in:

Spasticity

Cannabinoids found in medical marijuana have been shown to be effective in reducing spasticity and are currently being studied. Anecdotal reports by individuals with spinal cord injuries have revealed a beneficial effect of marijuana on the management of spasticity. The relaxing effect of marijuana on muscles in patients with spinal cord injury related spasticity is due to an anti-spastic effect rather than simply due to a general relaxation response.

Pain

Medical marijuana has been shown to help control pain levels in patients with spinal cord injuries. Basic research conducted over the past 20 years has allowed researchers to identify the cannabinoid receptor system, which is the most widespread receptor system in the human body.

The CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, spinal cord and periphery. Endocannabinoids are produced by the body and interact with CB1 receptors. Numerous studies have now established that cannabinoids found in marijuana help lessen pain .

Sleeping Problems

Drowsiness is a known common side effect of marijuana. Many patients with spinal cord injuries have a hard time sleeping due to pain. A small dose of marijuana before bed often helps patients with spinal cord injuries get a good nights sleep.

Bladder Control

Many patients who suffer loss of bladder control find that medical marijuana helps control this symptom.

Depression

In small doses, marijuana increases serotonin, similar to SSRI antidepressants. Marijuana’s antidepressant effects are because of its chemical similarity to natural substances in the brain known as endo-cannabinoids.] These endo- cannabinoids are released under conditions of high stress or pain. These receptors have a direct effect on the cells producing serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates the mood.

Spinal Cord Disease

Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord disease are approved Health Canada Category 1 MMAR condition

Medical marijuana is NOT for everyone and is often a last resort for people that have tried a variety of pharmaceutical medication with little relief or too many side effects. Strong evidence exists that support the use of medical marijuana in treating symptoms associated with spinal cord diseases. We strongly suggest speaking with your doctor and discussing the potential benefits of medical marijuana in regards to your condition.

The spinal cord is a tubular bundle of nervous and supporting tissues that extend to the brian and together make up the central nervous system. The spinal cord functions as a transmission to the brain for motor information, sensory information and co-ordinating reflexes.

There are two make ups of abnormality in disease of the spinal cord: longitudinal and segmental. They correspond to motor neurons. Both forms are present together. Longitudinal damage produces function loss of the entire motor or sensory systems. Segmental damage produces limited signs in the single segments. There is segmental motor losses, sensory losses and autonomic losses that lead to atrophy weaknesses in a myotomal distribution.

Some examples of spinal cord disease include but are not limited to:

Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Spinal Cord Disease

Muscle Twitching, Jerking and Spasticity - THC has been shown to relieve symptoms and show significant beneficial effect on twitching, jerking and spasticity. It has been suggested that medical marijuanas cannabinoids are similar to a body s natural chemical called anandamide. This switches on nerve receptors that effect motor functions in the central nervous system to aid in the relief of muscle spasms. Medical marijuana is a understandable choice for someone experiencing these conditions. It allows to experience minimal side effects and an increase in motor function.

Pain - Marijuana acts as a analgesic or natural pain killer in the bodies basic operational system. There is a role for the cannaboids founds in marijuana for the body s pain and movement receptors. A number of areas in the brain that produce sensing and processing receptors respond to the analgesic effects of cannabis. Cannaboids are often successful to treat pain that is resident to the opiate treatment plans. Acting as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory medical marijuana is far less addictive than many other pain killing medications.

Sleep Aid - A common side effect of marijuana is drowsiness. It is thought to be used for patients who have difficulty sleeping due to their condition or treatment method. Patients experience a more restful sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed. Medical marijuana is not toxic to major organs like many other sleep aids and has very few side effects. Marijuana causes the body to drop temperature by half of a degree. This allows for a human to become more relaxed and stress free allowing you to fall asleep faster.

Increased Appetite - Marijuana produces an over all desire and want for food. It can allow for the bodies pain receptors to become reduced and allow for for consumption to become desirable. This effect is considered " the munchies ". Marijuana stimulates taste buds and allows for food consumption to become even enjoyable. The molecules that act as receptors in the brain are called endocannabinoids they ultimately make humans hungry and increase appetite.

Depression - Since depression can be a build up of many other emotional triggers such as fatigue, insomnia, appetite changes and restlessness it is understandable why medical marijuana can be seen as effective in aiding. With appropriate use of medical cannabis patients may be able to eliminate depression causing opiates, sleeping pills, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications. The power of cannabis to treat depression is perhaps the most important property.

The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Chronic Pain Sufferers 2010

Cancer

Cancer is an approved Health Canada Category 1 MMAR condition

Medical marijuana is NOT for everyone and is often a last resort for people that have tried a variety of pharmaceutical medications with little relief or too many side effects. Strong evidence exists for the support of medical marijuana in treating symptoms associated with Cancer. We strongly suggest you discuss the potential benefit of medical marijuana with your doctor or specialist.

Condition

Cancer is a class of diseases in which abnormal cells divide and invade other tissues in uncontrolled growth. Cancer cells can often start in one location and then spread through the blood and lymph note systems to other parts of the body. The body is made up of various types of cells that grow and divide as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged they die and are replaced with new cells. However, sometimes the DNA of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Cancers are primarily due to environment and lifestyle factors but some have been found to be genetic. Currently, there are over 100 different types of cancer so they are often grouped into broader categories.

Types

Carcinoma - Cancer that beings in the epithelial cells in tissues that line or cover internal organs. This covers most common cancers such as breast, prostate, lung and colon. Sarcoma- Cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissues.

Cancer symptoms and medical marijuana benefits may include but are not limited to the following:

Persistent Fatigue - Fatigue is one of the most commonly experienced cancer symptoms. It is usually more common when the cancer is late staged, but still occurs in the early stages of some cancers. Anemia is commonly the cause which is a normal and expected side effect from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and biotherapy. A common symptom of cancer is fatigue both in malignant and non-malignant conditions. It can range from mild to severe and may be temporary or long term. Since chemotherapy can cause marked risk for developing nausea and vomiting complications many cancer patients do not eat or do not eat proper diets which ultimately lead to fatigue. Medical marijuana has been shown to provide benefits from the suffering of nausea. The usage of medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate nausea and allow patients to eat healthy diets again and rid of fatigue.

Unintentional weight loss - A reduction of body mass due to the loss of fluid, body fat or tissue. Excessive weight loss is common in cancer and many other conditions. Losing 10 pounds or more is considered excessive. This type of weight loss can occur with or without loss of appetite. Remember, weight loss can be a symptom of cancer but also a symptom of many other illnesses too. Marijuana is famous for its ability to stimulate appetite. It has been reported to enhance the appeal of foods. Marijuana can provide relief for patients who are wasting due to their treatment or condition itself. Marijuana stimulates receptors in the brain that ultimately stimulate appetite and the overall desire for food.

Pain - An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. Typically, pain is not an early symptom of cancer, except in some cancer types like those that spread to the bone. Pain generally occurs when cancer spread and begins to affect nerves and organs. Lower back pain is a strong cancer symptom that is associated with ovarian cancer and colon cancer. Shoulder pain can also be a symptom of lung cancer. Pain in the form of headaches can be associated with brain tumours in some cases. Stomach pains can be related to types of cancer, like stomach and pancreatic cancer. Stomach pain is not a good judgement tool since many illnesses can cause stomach pain. Cannabis can provide relief and control nausea associated with managing pain with other opiates. Inhaled cannabis provides almost immediate relief and has fewer adverse effects then orally injested Marinol. Cannabis may be more effective then Marinol because it contains more cannabinoids than just the THC which is Marinol’s main ingredient. Studies have shown that medical cannabis has more pain controlling properties than Marinol’s THC alone. The majority of people with cancer will experience pain at some time or another. The pain can result from the cancer itself, or from the cancer’s treatment. In addition, some people who have been cured of their cancer can continue to suffer from pain. The discomfort that stems from cancer and its treatments can be controlled most of the time. People who have been diagnosed with cancer and are feeling pain need to inform their doctor immediately. The earlier the pain treatment is started the more effective that it is. Counselling can provide emotional support to patients and family and is strongly encouraged.

Bowel changes - Symptoms that are associated with colon cancer are constipation, diarrhea, blood in stools, gas, and thin stools are an over all change of bowel habits. The active ingredient THC has a relaxing effect on the tissues around the intestines. This in turn provides relief of cramping and abdominal pain. Medical marijuana has been shown to also calm and slow down the gastrointestinal system which gives the ability to have fewer bowel movements, better formed stools and less over all abdominal pain.

Chronic cough - A persistently worsening cough may be a sign of cancer. Blood and/or mucus may accompany the cough and can be caused by many conditions. In relation to cancer, a chronic cough with blood or mucus can be a symptom of lung cancer. Medical marijuana releases tension build up in the body and allows for the lung muscles to relax and aid in decrease of coughing.

Please be aware that these symptoms are broad and vague symptoms of cancer. Having one or more of these symptoms does not equal cancer. If you are concerned about your health please visit your doctor. These symptoms listed above are experienced by most people with cancer at various stages of their disease, but are also linked to many, many other non-cancerous conditions.

Dosage & Administration

The following dosages are suggestions only. These amounts are based on the average G.P.D. that have been prescribed to current MMAR card holders in our database.

 

 

 

* Some patients find it beneficial to combine different forms of administering marihuana. This is permitted by Health Canada simply by ticking off both inhale and oral on the B form. (As an example: edibles help some people function during the day while smoking helps them ease their pain at night)

Quality Strains

Many medical professionals in the western world have forgotten almost all they once knew about the therapeutic properties of marijuana, or cannabis.

Licence Information

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A production license from Health Canada is required to grow marijuana for medical purposes. We hope that we can help you grow the best medicine possible by providing you with tips and resources.

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