A new finding just released on Pubmed presented a study recently performed in London providing preliminary evidence for whether cannabis can be used to treat patients with ADHD, potentially opening the door for a new way to treat adults and kids.
Many patients find that smoking a bowl or lighting up a joint of the right strain can be particularly beneficial in combating the symptoms of anxiety & depression, but what about concentrates? Can these potent cannabis extracts provide relief or could they actually make symptoms worse? The answer isn’t so clear cut.
If there is one thread that is strung throughout humanity and continues through us all, it is the constant human need to survive. For most, eating is a natural and easy part of this instinct to survive. For some, like me, eating can be one of the most difficult battles we face. Anorexia and bulimia are emotional disorders that cause an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat or purging recently eaten meals. Years of this behavior only increase the stress caused by the sight of food.
Anxiety is a common emotion. Everyone feels anxious now and again: before a big test, facing a tough problem at work, or before making a big decision. However, anxiety disorders are not the same thing as just experiencing the emotion of anxiety. If someone has an anxiety disorder, the fear, worry, and stress they feel is so excessive, constant, and uncontrollable that it can interfere with that person’s ability to live.
Schizophrenia is a severe, lifelong mental disorder marked by impaired thinking, emotions and behaviors. It is found in one percent of the general population and in ten percent of people who have a first-degree relative with it. Schizophrenic patients are typically unable to filter outside stimuli and may have enhanced perceptions of sounds, colors and other affects of the environment. If untreated, most schizophrenics withdrawal from interactions with other people, and lose their ability to take care of personal needs such as grooming and eating.
Returning veterans are more at risk of homelessness due to their specialized training which is not always transferable in the regular workforce, substance abuse, shortage of affordable housing options and mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that affects two-thirds of our homeless veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The cause of the disorder and why some individuals are more prone to it than others is unknown.
In this day and age, mental health care is expensive and difficult to attain for many people—some health insurance plans don’t even cover seeing a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. For those that do cover it, you’ll still end up paying over $100 an hour, on average, as your co-pay depending on the doctor. Even for those of us with a full time job and health insurance, getting proper mental health care can feel overwhelming and overpriced. Now imagine that you don’t have a job, health insurance…or even a place to call home. Approximately 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some portion of the year, according to the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center and an estimated 25% of these homeless individuals in Los Angeles County suffer from some form of mental illness. That means that on average, there are around 63,500 homeless individuals in Los Angeles each year struggling with mental illness who are not in a position to consistently pay to see someone or be on medication.
At first glance, the man who sits before me doesn’t seem like someone who would need medical cannabis—but looks can be deceiving. It’s a common misconception that medical cannabis is only for physical ailments; but numerous patients use medical cannabis to help with mental ailments as well. For Patient A (as we’ll call him moving forward) and many others, medical cannabis plays a critical role in their day to day well-being, both physical and mental.
According to the 2007 documentary Gulf War Syndrome: Killing Our Own, 400,000 veterans have been affected with Gulf War Syndrome, an illness which includes a long list of symptoms such as: fatigue, persistent headaches, muscle aches/pains, neurological symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, insomnia, skin rashes, unusual hair loss, bronchitis, and more. Gulf War Syndrome affected over half of the soldiers who returned home from The Gulf War, but those soldiers were denied treatment. A PR campaign was designed to confuse scientists and make the public believe that the symptoms veterans were experiencing were stress induced and similar to PTSD. During The Gulf Wars, soldiers were given chemical suits for protection; however, those same suits were determined to be ineffective in 1988.
Each year over 18,000 American Veterans take their own lives. That equates to a little over 50 a day, or 2 every hour. Many of these are overdoses on prescription drugs, taken with the hope of coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Too often these drugs end up causing more harm than good in the form of physical side effects or financial cost. Sadly until now, prescription drugs have been the only option open to our military servicemen and women once they return home from war. Thankfully, there is an organization working to change all of that.