New data shows that people are most likely to report using CBD products to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as to improve their quality of sleep, but THC also has a role to play in finding “mental equilibrium”.
A team of researchers from the UK and Denmark conducted an online survey of 387 subjects experienced with the use of CBD.
Participants in the survey resided primarily in the UK, Denmark, and the US.
Mitigating Anxiety was the top-ranked reason for the use of CBD with 43 percent of respondents reporting that they take CBD for this reason. Of these, 87 percent said they felt less anxious afterwards.
This was followed by sleep problems – with 43 percent reporting that they used CBD to help them sleep better, to reduce stress (37 percent), and for purposes of “general health and well-being” (37 percent), with 92 percent of those reporting reduced stress levels afterwards.
Seventy percent of those surveyed reported having only initiated the use of CBD within the past 12 months.
Writing in the Journal of Cannabis Research, authors concluded: “CBD is used for a wide range of physical and mental health symptoms and improved general health and well-being. A majority of the sample surveyed in this study found that CBD helped their symptoms, and they often used doses below 50 mg. Out of the four most common symptoms, three were related to mental health.
“Self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems constitute some of society’s biggest health problems, but we lack adequate treatment options. Further research is needed into whether CBD can efficiently and safely help treat these symptoms.”
The survey was led by Dr Julie Moltke, a prescriber of medical cannabis in Denmark and author of A Quick Guide to CBD.
Specialising in pain, stress and mental health, Dr Moltke has carried out extensive work into stress reduction and has seen cannabis help many of her patients find “mental equilibrium”.
She told Cannabis Health that while she has experienced first-hand the benefits of CBD for relieving stress and anxiety, THC also has a role to play.
“Cannabis is an extremely promising drug for the treatment of mental health concerns,” said Dr Moltke.
“I tend to use CBD a lot for anxiety and for stress, but I also work with many people with chronic pain who use medical cannabis containing THC, and there’s no doubt that this also has great effects on their quality of life and anxiety.”
She continued: “The tendency to overthink and worry is removed by cannabis. I have a lot of patients who are really benefiting from the combination of THC and CBD, which seems to establish that mental equilibrium and have a balancing effect on their mental health.”
Although no psychiatric diagnoses are approved for treatment with cannabis-based medicines yet in Denmark, many of Dr Moltke’s patients living with chronic pain and fibromyalgia also display symptoms of anxiety and Complex PTSD (CPTSD), which is caused by social trauma, such as emotional abuse or a traumatic event in childhood.
“Often in young people with fibromyalgia and unexplained chronic pain there is some kind of trauma at the root of their PTSD and mental suffering,” said Dr Moltke.
“This group of patients respond best to medical cannabis because it can help their pain but it also helps balance the endocannabinoid system and treat the chemical imbalances that have been triggered by the trauma.
“We see a lot of people self-medicating with cannabis to treat the symptoms of PTSD and social anxiety, but as we are not authorised to use cannabis for these conditions, we can only look at it as a secondary outcome.”
Menopause and medical cannabis – how we’re tackling the stigma
A new event will explore how medical cannabis can help women manage symptoms of menopause
Ahead of World Menopause Day on Monday 18 October, Cannabis Health, Integro Medical Clinics and Cannabis Patients Advocacy and Support Services (CPASS) announce a new event exploring how cannabis can help manage symptoms.
The third episode in groundbreaking webinar series exploring the role of medical cannabis in women’s health, will focus on the multi-faceted and often challenging experiences of menopause and perimenopause.
Taking place online on Tuesday 30 November, a panel of expert clinicians and patients will discuss the experiences of women who have found these medicines helpful in managing their symptoms.
Menopause and perimenopause symptoms are chronically poorly treated in the modern healthcare system.
Many women are frequently, simply told to ‘manage their stress better’, ‘lose some weight’ or ‘do more exercise’ when seeking medical treatment for debilitating menopause symptoms which include anxiety, depression, insomnia, low libido, headaches and hot flushes, amongst others.
This lack of recognition can be both cultural and medical. Women often feel ashamed to speak openly about their experiences due to stigma and many doctors lack the training and time to treat symptoms effectively.
Increasingly women are finding cannabinoids helpful in managing some of their menopause symptoms.
Since the legalisation of cannabis-based medicines two years ago, female patients have been able to discover that the rebalancing of their endocannabinoid system can be incredibly helpful in the management of conditions ranging from Endometriosis, bladder and nerve pain, gynaecological pain and PMS to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Aimed at both the general public and caregivers, the event will explore the experiences of women who have lived with perimenopause and menopause symptoms and how they have found cannabis-based medicines helpful.
Dr Sally Ghazaleh
Women’s health consultant at Integro Clinics. She specialises in managing patients with lower back pain, neck pain, neuropathic pain, abdominal pain, cancer pain and complex regional pain syndrome.
Dr Mayur Bodani
A neuropsychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, he has successfully treated many patients with psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, psychosis, dementia and many other conditions.
Sarah Higgins CNS
Sarah is a clinical nurse specialist, with over 10 years of experience working in the NHS. She is also the women’s health lead at non-profit organisation CPASS Nurses Arm.
Having been a successful mental health nurse for 30 years, Lauren had to give up her career after being diagnosed with primary progressive MS. She has found cannabis medicines helpful in dealing with her MS symptoms and menopausal symptoms.
Rachel is founder of ‘Our Remedy’, a wellness brand for women. She has found CBD to be very helpful in dealing with her menopausal symptoms.
Lauren worked successfully as a mental health nurse for 30 years before menopause symptoms, alongside the symptoms of her primary progressive multiple sclerosis became so debilitating that she could no longer work and found daily life too difficult to handle.
“When I discovered cannabis medicines (CBMP’s), they completely changed my life. CBMP’s eased my anxiety and meant that I could get a decent night’s sleep. The fact that I was well-rested, meant that I could start to lightly exercise again, which was unthinkable a year ago,” Lauren said.
Medical cannabis has helped Lauren to deal with anxiety, brain fog, and gave her an overall sense of wellbeing. Lauren has found cannabis medicines have given her life back, she can once again exercise and return to her daily routine.
The webinar takes place on Tuesday 30 November at 7pm and is completely free of charge, go to the Eventbrite link here to register.
Integro Medical Clinics Ltd always recommends remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition while using cannabis-based medicines. The Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.
Breast milk of THC-positive mothers not harmful to short-term health of infants – study
Researchers reported no differences in short-term health impacts such as breathing difficulties or feeding issues.
According to a new study, the breast milk of THC-positive mothers was not found to be harmful to the short-term health of premature infants.
Researchers compared early pre-term infants who were breast-fed from mothers who consumed THC to those who were fed formula or breast milk from non-THC consuming mothers.
They reported that breast milk caused no differences in short-term health impacts such as breathing difficulties, lung development or feeding issues.
The study analysed the medical records of 763 early pre-term babies from 2014 to 2020. Researchers discovered that 17 per cent of the mothers tested positive for THC at the time of giving birth. They also examined post-natal exposure through breast milk.
Researchers found that overall the babies born to mothers who tested positive for cannabis were similarly healthy at the time of their discharge when fed their mothers breast milk in comparison to those who did not receive their mother’s breast milk.
The authors wrote in the abstract: “In our study, we found no evidence that providing [mother’s milk] MM from THC-positive mothers was detrimental to the health of this early preterm population through hospital discharge. A better understanding of longer-term perinatal outcomes associated with THC exposure both in-utero and postnatally via MM would inform appropriate interventions to improve clinical outcomes and safely encourage MM provision for early preterm infants.”
Breast milk from mothers who consume THC is often restricted by neonatal intensive care units because the effects on early preterm infants are unknown. It is thought that the active ingredient can pass through breast milk. Studies have shown that breast milk is a good way to improve pre-term baby outcomes and reduce infection risk along with intestinal issues.
Researchers cautioned women to abstain as the long term effects are still unknown.
THC-positive breast milk
Natalie L. Davis, associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said: “Providing breast milk from THC-positive women to preterm infants remains controversial since long-term effects of this exposure are unknown.”
She added: “For this reason, we continue to strongly recommend that women avoid cannabis use while pregnant and while nursing their babies. Our study, however, did provide some reassuring news in terms of short-term health effects. It definitely indicates that more research is needed in this area to help provide women and doctors with further guidance.”
“Teasing out the effects of THC can be very difficult to study,” Dr Davis concluded. “We found that women who screened positive for THC were frequently late to obtain prenatal care, which can have a detrimental effect on their baby separate from cannabis use. This is important to note for future public health interventions.”
The study abstract will be presented at the virtual American Academy of Paediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.
Half of US breast cancer patients use cannabis alongside treatment
A study also revealed that many patients do not share this information with their doctors
New research indicates that almost half of US adults with breast cancer use cannabis alongside their cancer treatment to manage symptoms.
Cancer patients often turn to cannabis for symptom relief alongside their treatment, with symptoms including pain, fatigue, nausea and other difficulties depending on the type of cancer and treatment.
Cancer is also one of the qualifying conditions for a prescription in several different US states. However many doctors feel they do not have the knowledge to discuss it patients, making more education essential for those working in healthcare.
Researchers conducted an anonymous online survey designed to examine cannabis use among adults who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The participants were all members of the online communities, breastcancer.org and heathline.com.
The results revealed that of the 612 participants, 42 per cent reported using cannabis for symptom relief which included pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress and nausea. Among those, 75 per cent said it was extremely helpful at relieving their symptoms while 79 per cent said they used it during treatment such as systemic therapies, radiation and surgery.
Almost half of the participants who consumed cannabis believed that it can be used to treat cancer itself despite its effectiveness being unclear. Most participants believed that cannabis products are safe.
Patients in the survey used a wide variety of products with various qualities and purities. Half of the participants sought information online. They felt that other patients were the most helpful source of information while doctors ranked low on the list.
Most of the participants who sought information on cannabis use for medical purposes were unsatisfied with the information they were given.
Lead author Marisa Weiss, of Lankenau Medical Center, said: “Our study highlights an important opportunity for providers to initiate informed conversations about medical cannabis with their patients, as the evidence shows that many are using medical cannabis without our knowledge or guidance.”
She added: “Not knowing whether or not our cancer patients are using cannabis is a major blind spot in our ability to provide optimal care. As healthcare providers, we need to do a better job of initiating informed conversations about medical cannabis with our patients to make sure their symptoms and side effects are being adequately managed while minimising the risk of potential adverse effects, treatment interactions, or non-adherence to standard treatments due to misinformation about the use of medical cannabis to treat cancer.”
Introducing our new B2B title
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