Wasting Syndrome and Cannabis: Can it Help?

Cannabis for wasting syndrome feat

A Vice article, “Without Early AIDS Patients, The Medical Marijuana Movement Wouldn’t Exist,” says it all. Without the activists from this era who advocated for cannabis reform, we may very well not have cannabis as a treatment option. Back in the 1980s, many individuals with HIV/AIDS found relief from cannabis for their symptoms, particularly those associated with wasting syndrome. While wasting syndrome — also known as cachexia — doesn’t only affect patients with AIDS, it was these patients who became the most visible activists in the late 1980s. But has cannabis been shown to be a viable treatment for wasting syndrome?

What Is Wasting Syndrome (Cachexia)?

Wasting syndrome isn’t a specific disease. Instead, it’s symptomatic of a serious medical condition like cancer, heart failure, and advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s commonly defined as a progressive and unintentional loss of 10% or more weight that’s often accompanied by a lack of appetite, decreased strength, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, and weakness. Wasting syndrome increases the chance of dementia, opportunistic infections, and death.

What Causes Wasting Syndrome?

Wasting syndrome is a common symptom among many severe medical conditions. However, serious medical conditions aren’t the only causes of wasting syndrome. There are many issues that can lead to loss of appetite and weight loss, including:

  • Depression and low energy
  • Medication side effects such as nausea or changes in taste
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Your body’s failure to absorb all the nutrients you’re consuming
  • Damage to the lining of your intestines commonly caused by AIDS, HIV and other conditions

Can Cannabis Treat Wasting Syndrome?

What are some of the most common effects of cannabis? The munchies. Pain relief. Lessening nausea. The well-known effects of cannabis make it a near-ideal treatment for wasting syndrome. One caveat, though. Most medical professionals warn patients against smoking cannabis. Smoking can worsen respiratory issues like bronchitis or COPD. Instea, many patients prefer vaping or edibles, which doesn’t impact the respiratory like smoking.

Marinol (dronabinol), a synthetic form of THC, produces similar effects of cannabis. It can boost your mood and appetite and stabilize your weight. And it’s been approved for use by the FDA. However, many patients report that Marinol causes more side effects and is less effective than botanical cannabis. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t cover medical cannabis, and many don’t cover Marinol either.

Remedy Columbia Wasting Syndrome and Cannabis patient and doctor

What Else Can be Done to Treat Wasting Syndrome Beyond Cannabis or Pharmaceuticals?

First and foremost, if you find yourself quickly losing significant weight, contact your physician. The same goes if you have severe diarrhea or you notice an infection that’s impacting your stomach or guts.

Make Dietary Changes

In addition, consider making some of the following changes to your diet (with the support of your doctor, of course):

  • Manage your diet: Monitor your diet, weight, and dietary habits. Make sure to eat on a schedule, whether you’re hungry or not.
  • Limit fat, insoluble fibers, whole grains, and vegetables: Consider limiting fat, insoluble fiber (found in some vegetables and whole grains), and lactose found in dairy products. Simple dietary changes can often prevent diarrhea or provide relief from it.
  • Eat more soluble fibers: Some fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, lentils, and oat bran can help your digestion.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar sweets: All of these can only worsen your symptoms.
  • Take nutritional supplements: If you’re not getting enough nutrients you may benefit from protein supplements or nutritional supplements like Ensure and Advera.

Best Strains to Treat Wasting Syndrome

According to crowdsourced reports from medical cannabis patients, the strains below are the most popular among those living with wasting syndrome. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it gives you some ideas:

Wasting Syndrome and Cannabis buds
  • Ancient OG
  • Pure Afghan
  • Red Dwarf
  • Grapefruit Haze
  • Hawaiian Thunder F–K
  • Purple Tears
  • TJ’s CBD (high-CBD)

Our inventory often changes, so we don’t always carry all of these strains. You can check our online dispensary menu to see what is currently available. And if you come by Remedy Columbia, our team will be happy to suggest similar strains with comparable cannabinoid and terpene profiles as these strains.

Final Thoughts

Few things are more distressing than suffering from wasting syndrome or witnessing a close friend or family member endure the symptoms of wasting syndrome. While research is still ongoing, the fact that so many people report medical cannabis has helped them treat wasting syndrome should provide hope to the millions of people affected by this syndrome.

Whether cannabis is right for you is a highly personal decision that most patients make with a knowledgeable cannabis physician. If you decide to use cannabis as a treatment for wasting syndrome, we’d love to you help you. Our team is made up of people who are compassionate, well-trained, and eager to help our patients.

Schedule an appointment today to learn more.

Can Cannabis Work as a Treatment for Anorexia?

anorexia treatment

Anorexia is a lot more common than you might think, affecting almost one in 200 Americans at some point in their lives. While the word “anorexia” comes from the Greek words for “without appetite,” patients with this eating disorder don’t lose their hunger for food—they spend their days struggling to conquer it.

It’s no secret that cannabis has a notorious reputation for inducing the munchies, but can it be useful as an anorexia treatment? In this article, we will take a look at the evidence and how cannabis can help with this deadly disorder.

What is Anorexia and How Do Eating Disorders Develop?

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder characterized by self-starvation, excessive weight loss, and an intense fear of gaining weight. Aside from its dangerous and potentially deadly physical effects, it is considered a mental illness.

People who develop anorexia often use food restriction and weight loss as a way to gain a sense of control in their lives and to cope with emotional problems or unresolved trauma. They also tend to associate being thin with self-worth. External cues from the media starting at a young age can lead a susceptible person to lose weight and set in motion an obsession with body size and food restriction.

Anorexia treatment mom and daughter

Is Cannabis an Effective Anorexia Treatment?

While medication and talk therapy can be life-changing for many people with mental health disorders, anorexia has proven to be very difficult to treat. The idea that cannabis can stimulate the appetite and help someone gain weight seems obvious, but anorexia is a complex disease with no simple solutions. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of studies on the effectiveness of cannabis for anorexia, but what we do know looks promising.

A 2011 study found that an unbalanced endocannabinoid system is common among people with eating disorders. This imbalance can cause you to feel less pleasure from eating and develop negative associates with food. While more research is needed to better understand the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and eating disorders, this evidence suggests that activating the brain with cannabis could help people develop healthy food habits in place of bad ones.

While one study showed that a synthetic form of THC could help patients with anorexia gain weight, there might be a more useful role that cannabis can play. According to some theories, the key to anorexia treatment is addressing the root emotional trauma underlying the physiological symptoms. Medical marijuana may help relieve some of the anxiety and stress associated with the emotional and psychological trauma at the root of the problem.

Cannabis as anorexia treatment

While mainstream medicine is still on the fence about cannabis and anorexia, many credit medical marijuana with helping them beat the disorder. Cannabis shouldn’t be the only course of action for anorexia, but part of a toolset that includes behavioral modification, psychological counseling, and nutritional support. If you are interested in using cannabis to help treat an eating disorder, always consult a medical professional to discuss all your options as well as their risks and benefits. Schedule an appointment to learn more.

Seizure Treatment: The Effectiveness of Cannabis

We’ve all seen the stories in the news about children who suffer from debilitating forms of epilepsy who find relief with cannabis. People who searched for years to find a seizure treatment are discovering that medical cannabis can do for their loved ones what no other drugs have been able to do. In this article, we will explore the evidence that new scientific research provides about cannabis and epilepsy and how it could help millions of patients who suffer from seizures.

seizure treatment mom and daughter

What is Epilepsy and Why Does it Cause Seizures?

Seizures that start in the brain are known as epileptic seizures. While some seizures are caused by conditions like low blood sugar or a high fever, people who experience recurrent seizures typically suffer from epilepsy, which is a chronic disorder.

Epilepsy affects people of all over the world, from all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. About 2.3 million American adults suffer from epilepsy, along with 450,00 children and adolescents.

Sometimes epilepsy is triggered by a brain injury or trauma, but the cause is often unknown. Although seizures can affect different parts of the body, the electrical impulses that cause the event begin in the brain. When normal electrical and chemical activity in the brain becomes disturbed, neurons start to fire erratically and cause seizures. People with epilepsy don’t know when or where their next seizure will come on, which makes leading a normal life very challenging.

Is Cannabis an Effective Seizure Treatment?

Seizure Treatment CBD

Cannabis has received a lot of media attention in the last few years for its ability to treat people with epilepsy and reduce their seizure activity, but does it work? Over the years there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence about the effectiveness of cannabis as a seizure treatment. It was even one of the most popular treatments for epilepsy in the Victorian era. But only recently is science starting to take a serious look at its potential benefits.

What we currently know about how cannabis treats epilepsy can be attributed to the cannabinoids CBD and THC. Due to the intoxicating effects of THC, CBD has moved to the forefront of seizure treatment for children. In a 2018 analysis of 23 CBD trials involving children with severe forms of epilepsy, researchers found a significant reduction in the frequency of seizures.

One of the most impressive studies on the effectiveness of the CBD on seizures included 120 children with a rare drug-resistant form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. The study found that over 14 weeks, children who received CBD experienced more than a 50% reduction in convulsive seizures compared to the placebo group.

Seizure Treatment thc

Science is still learning how CBD helps reduce seizure activity, but it likely involves the body’s endocannabinoid system. One of the primary functions of the endocannabinoid system is to keep all the systems in our body in a state of equilibrium. When our systems become so out of balance our natural endocannabinoids can’t return them to normal, cannabis might be able to help. The theory is that cannabinoids from medical marijuana can access the endocannabinoid system in a natural way and help bring the body back into a balanced state.

Although we are still learning how cannabis works as a treatment for seizures, there is promising evidence that it can improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy. If you are interested in learning more about the medical benefits of cannabis for treating seizures or other health conditions, we can help.

Please visit our appointment page for information and to learn how to become a new cannabis patient in Maryland.

How to Use Cannabis for Nausea

cannabis for nausea

Everyone experiences nausea from time to time and it’s no fun. Whether it’s from food poisoning, morning sickness, the flu, or chemotherapy, we can all agree that nausea is one of the most uncomfortable feelings when it comes on. If you suffer from severe nausea, it is even worse. While reaching for peppermint or ginger can be helpful for mild cases, it does little to help those who suffer from severe nausea. Chronic nausea can be caused by a variety of gut disorders or as a result of cancer treatment. Might cannabis for nausea help?

Why Does Nausea Happen?

Cannabis for Nausea woman ill

There are hundreds of things that can cause a person to feel queasy, from illness and poisoning to prescriptions and abdominal issues. The thing about nausea is that its actually a symptom, rather than an illness itself. It’s a sign that something is going on and the body is trying to remove toxins and invaders from the system.

Unfortunately, some people experience chronic nausea and vomiting due to chronic medical conditions — with no relief in sight. If you experience persistent nausea and aren’t sure why, it’s important that you consult your doctor to treat the underlying problem. With their diagnosis, and after exploring treatment options, you may find that cannabis for nausea may be helpful

How Does Cannabis Bring Relief?

It is believed that cannabis works with the central nervous system to bring relief. Unlike localized pain, nausea is an overall sensation that’s created by the nervous system and the endocannabinoid system. This means that cannabis can interact with the cannabinoid receptors to disrupt the nausea signal. Remember that cannabis won’t fix what’s causing the signal in the first place, but it is very effective at blocking the nausea sensation it creates.

Do I Have to Get High to Use Cannabis for Nausea?

cannabis for nausea beakers

The good news is you can use cannabis to fight nausea even if you don’t want to get high. It turns out that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD can work to ease nausea and vomiting without the intoxication associated with THC. A 2012 study found that CBD produced powerful anti-emetic effects due to its interaction with the body’s autoreceptors. CBD is also good at helping patients manage anxiety, which can be helpful in dealing with chronic nausea.

If you are up for a more intoxicating effect, THC also works well as an anti-nausea cannabinoid. It acts by binding to the CB1 receptors in the brain to significantly reduce vomiting. THC can also help promote a positive state of mind for people enduring difficult-to-treat health issues or treatments like chemotherapy.

Cannabis is already accepted by many physicians as a treatment for nausea caused by chemotherapy or radiation and is quickly becoming recognized as a treatment for other causes of queasiness. Although we are still working to understand all the mechanisms of action, cannabis is a well-tolerated and effective treatment.
If you are suffering from severe nausea and need help finding a suitable strain or cannabis consumption method, Remedy can help! Schedule an appointment today.

Is Cannabis a Viable Cachexia Treatment?

Cachexia treatment

Up to one-third of cancer deaths can be attributed to a condition called cachexia, a devastating wasting syndrome that causes weight loss and pain for patients and their families. While cachexia occurs with many types of cancer, it can also develop in patients with other late-stage forms of diseases like heart failure, kidney disease, and HIV/AIDS to name a few, leaving many to consider viable cachexia treatments.

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5 Columbia Holiday Events To Take You Above and Beyond in 2018

columbia md events

Winter is headed our way, bringing frosty nights and noses, but we like to think of this season as an opportunity to share warm times with family and friends. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or none of the above, we’ve collected a handful of our favorite seasonal Columbia MD events here to get you in the holiday spirit.

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How to Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief

The popularity of cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more commonly called, has grown considerably in recent years. That CBD has become so popular so quickly shouldn’t be surprising. CBD is one of the safest and most therapeutically versatile drugs available. And unlike its sibling tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a high. In this short guide, we’ll discuss not only how to use CBD oil for pain but we’ll also provide foundational knowledge on CBD itself.

Ready to learn how to use CBD oil for pain relief? Let’s get started!

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The Best Medical Marijuana Strain for Pain and Anxiety

Best Medical Marijuana Strain for Pain and Anxiety

Many patients want to know what the best medical marijuana strain for pain and anxiety is. The truth is, there’s no magic bullet! Let’s explain.

First, everyone’s physiology is unique. What works for Suzy may not work for Sam. Secondly, cannabis is a highly complex plant. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, which may contain just one — or, at most, a few — active components, the cannabis plant contains dozens. The active components include both cannabinoids and terpenes. And every strain consists of numerous different ratios and levels of various cannabinoids and terpenes that can vary not only from strain to strain but from grower to grower, and even within harvests.

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Taste the World at Our Favorite Restaurants in Columbia, MD

restaurants in Columbia, MD

Here at Remedy Medical Dispensary, we love our neighborhood: The thoughtful and people-friendly design of the community, the beauty of Lake Kittamaqundi, and the simple but revolutionary notion that a city should enhance its residents’ quality of life.

One of the most important factors in quality of life is dining options; and so far as food goes, we have it good! Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in Columbia, MD.

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