Medical marijuana could help son with rare disease
WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WKYT) - "Everybody loves Charlie," boasted father, Eric Byrd,"he's just always smiling, it's his personality, he just glows."
Charlie Byrd looks like every little five-year-old boy and has a smile that will melt your heart. But Charlie is in a dangerous battle for his life against a rare, and even deadly, form of epilepsy called "Dravet Syndrome."
"He keeps smiling and he doesn't even know that he's sick," said Crystal Byrd, Charlie's mother, through tears.
The Byrds say the first seizure happened when Charlie was just a few months old, the second came just a few months later when he was six months old. From there the hospital trips added up, as did the pain and the seizures.
"We quit counting, it had become a little hard to deal with," stated Charlie's mom.
The Byrds have given their only son everything they can find.
"We've tried numerous therapies, medicines, and nothing's ever worked," said Eric Byrd, "Today, he's on four different types of anti-epileptic drugs. This morning he had two seizures in his sleep."
The West Liberty family even started the young boy on medicine from other countries after doing research. Along the way they connected with other families with children battling "Dravet Syndrome."
One case stands above the rest. Crystal Byrd pointed to a girl in Colorado who seems to have found a strong remedy, "The child went from 300 seizures to one a week, and sometimes the one-a-week doesn't even come."
The medicine, though, is only legal in 19 states and Kentucky isn't one of them.
"It was the medical marijuana, the CBDs," answered Crystal.
CBD, or cannabidiol, isn't like other forms of marijuana, as Crystal explained, she's not giving her son a cigarette. Instead, she said it can come in the form of an oil or even pill.
"He won't be high from it, it doesn't have the taboo marijuana association with it," she said.
Read more: http://www.wkyt.com
New Government Funded Study Finds THC Improves Sleep
One of my favorite qualities about marijuana is it’s ability to help me sleep. I don’t know how many times I have been on a trip without marijuana and it is extremely difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Compare that to nights that I consume marijuana, and I sleep like a baby. It’s something that I try to point out to some of my senior friends who constantly complain about the poor quality of their sleep patterns. Maybe now that there is a study out, more people will consider using marijuana to help. See below:
Courtesy of The Joint Blog
A new study published by the American Journal of Addiction, and funded in part by the National Institute of Health has found that THC - one of the primary components of cannabis – is “significantly associated with shorter sleep latency”, as well as “less difficulty falling asleep”.
For the study, “Thirteen male chronic daily cannabis smokers were administered oral THC doses (20 mg) around-the-clock for 7 days (40-120 mg daily) starting the afternoon after admission.”
Every morning, a questionnaire was completed by the participants, and “Plasma THC and 11-OH-THC (active metabolite) concentrations were measured in venous blood samples collected every evening. Changes in sleep characteristics over time and associations between sleep characteristics and plasma cannabinoid concentrations were evaluated with repeated measures mixed linear regression.”
Using this method, researches conclude; “Higher evening THC and 11-OH-THC concentrations were significantly associated with shorter sleep latency, less difficulty falling asleep, and more daytime sleep the following day.”
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Can Marijuana Improve Your Emotional State?
It's no secret that marijuana can put a smile on many people's faces, but research suggests that the drug's positive effects go beyond just getting high. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed academic journal European Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that the brain's endocannabinoid system – which is activated by THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – may play an important role in emotional processing, "an essential aspect of appropriate social interactions and interpersonal relationships."
Specifically, the study's authors found that participants given THC in a controlled experiment showed lower brain activity in response negative stimuli than did those given placebo. A bias toward negative stimuli has been linked to mental illnesses like depression, and evidence that THC reduces this effect suggests that the endocannabinoid system could play an important, beneficial role in how humans experience emotions and mood.
Researchers measured test-specific effects of THC administration on about a dozen men who had used marijuana at least four times in the past year, but no more than once a week. Half of them were given THC, the other half placebo; the researchers then showed all the men images of faces with expressions that appeared either "fearful" or "happy." They found that participants given THC showed significantly decreased accuracy in matching facial expressions with negative emotion, but showed about the same accuracy for positive associations. Using brain imaging technology called fMRI, they were also able to watch the effects of THC on the parts of the participants' brains that process emotion – identifying a "network-wide shift from a bias for negative emotional content towards a bias for positive emotional content."
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com
Why Can't Sick , Elderly Patients Have Marijuana Brownies Too?
NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, one of the prime sponsors of the state's three-year-old medicial marijuana law, is puzzled by Gov. Christie's veto of a bill that would remove hurdles that keep seriously ill children from using cannabis. The veto was conditional, meaning Christie is demanding changes before he will sign the bill.
The bill was passed after Brian and Meghan Wilson told lawmakers their two-year-old girl needs cannabis because it has the potential to stop her frequent, life-threatening seizures. The Scotch Plains couple urged amendments to the law, which they said was flawed. A big problem was the ban against edible marijuana.
Their daughter, Vivian, cannot smoke and requires a solution that may be added to butter, they said.
The bill would have lifted the restriction for all registered marijuana patients but Christie wants edible marijuana to be available only to minors.
"What about a 70-year-old woman who has emphysema?" Gusciora (D-Mercer) said in an interview.
"What is the harm if elderly patients take it in a brownie? Christie says he wants to make sure marijuana is restricted to only severely ill patients and wants to take safeguards so it is not abused by people "with a migraine." He favors strict regulations, he says, so that "potheads" don't get their hands on the drug.
Read more: http://www.philly.com
Does Marijuana Help Grow Brain Cells?
A new study published recently in the journal Neurochemistry International has found that a compound in cannabis can help grow brain cells.
“We tested three compounds: cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and cannabichromene (CBC), and found that CBC has positive effect on the cell viability of mouse NSPCs [adult neural stem progenitor cells] during differentiation in vitro“, states the study’s researchers.
The study, which was conducted by the Institute ofBiomolecular Chemistry and funded by a GW Pharmaceuticals grant, is one of several studies which has found that cannabis can stimulate brain growth.
Researchers conclude that; “Taken together, our results suggest that CBC raises the viability of NSPCs while inhibiting their differentiation into astroglia, possibly through up-regulation of ATP and adenosine signalling.”
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
White House Won't Say If Obama's Medical Marijuana Stance May Be Swayed By Sanjay Gupta
WASHINGTON -- The White House declined to weigh in Tuesday on whether President Barack Obama has changed his position on medical marijuana use after the president's onetime choice for surgeon general, Sanjay Gupta, reversed his stance and apologized for misleading the public on the drug's effects.
During the daily press briefing, CQ-Roll Call reporter Steve Dennis asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest if the administration had any reaction to Gupta's Aug. 9 column, "Why I changed my mind on weed," in which Gupta explores the discrepancy between the Drug Enforcement Administration's classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug and scientific research demonstrating its benefits. Gupta, who serves as CNN's chief medical expert, not only apologized for dismissing the evidence from medical marijuana patients, but said he had concluded that marijuana has a low potential for abuse and "very legitimate medical applications."
Dennis also asked if Obama had personally been looking at the issue, given that national polls show rising support for marijuana legalization since he took office.
Earnest ducked the question, responding, "I have to confess I did not see the Sanjay Gupta column you're referring to, so it's hard for me to comment at this point."
The Obama administration has cracked down hard on medical marijuana, even in states that have legalized its use. A recent report found that this administration spent nearly $300 million on medical marijuana intervention through lawsuits, indictments and asset forfeiture attempts by the Justice Department. Over the past few years, the Internal Revenue Service has also targeted medical marijuana dispensaries, forcing many of them to the brink of closure, and largely ignoring the fact that many such businesses were in compliance with state laws.
But as the White House continues to wage war on pot, public opinion has shifted in the opposite direction. A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in April found that 51 percent of Americans said marijuana should be "legalized, taxed and regulated like alcohol." An earlier Pew Research Center survey also found majority support among Americans for marijuana legalization.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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