27 Dec

Breakthrough Research For The Treatment of Glaucoma

According to numerous studies published recently, medical marijuana holds great promise as a possible treatment for glaucoma. Statistics collected by the National Society for Prevention of Blindness indicate that more than four million Americans are afflicted with the eye disease glaucoma with 178,000 new cases of glaucoma being diagnosed each year. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States that is prevalent in all age groups, most often seen in people over the age of 65. Open angle or chronic glaucoma is one of the most common forms of glaucoma that is characterized by an increase in the IOP (intraocular pressure) within the eye that potentially damages the optic nerve if the condition is not treated and controlled effectively.

There are other types of glaucoma such as secondary or narrow angle glaucoma whose primary treatment is through surgery. A combination of oral medications and topical preparations is used to control 90% of the cases of open angle and narrow angle glaucoma. Around 10% of all cases fail to be treated or controlled effectively using the prescription drugs that are available currently.

These glaucoma medications are known to trigger side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, blurred vision, kidney stones, headaches, a burning sensation of the eyes, headaches, nervous anxiety, and cardiac arrhythmias that results in patients discontinuing their use. Principal investigator in controlled studies at UCLA, Dr. Robert Hepler, reported that compared to conventional medications, medical marijuana was more effective in reducing eye pressure. On an average, patients who smoked MMJ experienced a 30% decrease in eye pressure depending on the dose and the effect lasted at least four to five hours.

Medical cannabis could eliminate the requirement for surgical intervention that costs Americans an estimated USD 8.8 million annually. A pharmaceutical company in the West Indies has developed eye drops containing synthetic marijuana. However, this is currently not available in the United States. Several other pharmaceutical companies are currently investigating drugs that possess a chemical similarity to the various psychoactive ingredients in cannabis that might have possible glaucoma applications.

Currently, the only marijuana that has been approved for medical use at the federal level is a synthetic form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the most active component of marijuana called Marinol. Manufactured in a capsule form, it can be taken orally and was initially developed as an antiemetic in chemotherapy treatments. Natural marijuana consistently decreases IOP as synthetic THC is effective for only a short period of time.

There are currently 16 states that have laws allowing the purchase and possession of Medical Marijuana for use in treatment of disease. According to medical research medical cannabis is effect for relief of glaucoma symptoms. It is recommended to check with government agencies in your state regarding legality of medical marijuana use in your area.

Source by Mercy M. James

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05 Dec

Medical Marijuana Shown to Help Patients With Crohn’s Disease

Marijuana May Help with Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease that causes the body's immune system to attack the healthy portions and cells of a person's gastrointestinal tract. This causes inflammation, which can lead to a number of symptoms including abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fistulas, diarrhea, and more. Crohn's is an unfortunate disease that affects many.

Studies Show Cannabis Helps with GI Problems

Fortunately, a new clinical study to come out in Pharmacology and the National Institute of Health shows there may well be a new and effective way of treating Crohn's disease with the use of medicinal marijuana. The study actually shows that cannabis is effective in helping those who are suffering from the disease. Researchers have found that cannabis is useful in helping to reduce inflammation of the bowel, and it is proving to be helpful with Chron's and other similar diseases.

Crohn's disease is a chronic condition, and this means that once someone has it, he or she has it for life. However, the disease can go into remission, and during those periods, the sufferer may not experience any symptoms. They will occasionally have "flare ups" of the disease. Even though there is no surefire cure of the disease, these and other recent studies are showing that not only can cannabis help with the inflammation and pain, it may also help to achieve a full remission of the disease.

Of course, before sufferers become too excited about this news, they must remember that it is still quite early, and many of the reports are anecdotal. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a study that examined the effects that medical marijuana use has on patients with Crohn's disease. The study features just twenty-one subjects, but it shows that the marijuana was able to treat the symptoms in the majority of the patients, and the others had complete remission.

The study included eleven subjects who were able to take two joints of medical marijuana each day for a period of sixty days. The other ten patients were the placebo group. Out of the eleven patients using marijuana, five had complete remission of their symptoms and were able to improve their sleep as well as improve their appetite. Ten out of the eleven achieved at least some element of positive clinical response from using the drug.

Even though Crohn's disease does not have a cure - remission is not an actual cure - it shows that there is hope and promise for patients who are suffering from the disease. The addition of cannabis to their medical treatments could well be the way to help them deal with their disease.

Approximately half a million people in the United States suffer from this disease.

Source by Robert Roundtree

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