Medicinal Cannabis

Drug Dangers & Alternatives by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona, MD, M.Sc excerpt below:

Therapeutic Properties of Cannabis

Cannabis contains several active chemical components (mainly CBD and THC) that drug companies have been unsuccessful in mimicking or marketing for huge profits. Drug versions of these active compounds have significant toxic side effects. This is not the case with the intact, whole cannabis plant or its unadulterated components.

Pain – Numerous studies report that cannabis can work to replace opiates and several commonly prescribed drugs. Depending on the strain of cannabis, and the concentration of THC or CBD (cannabidiol), the plant has been successfully used for pain control, anxiety, depression, seizure disorders, autism, and insomnia.

Cannabis can successfully control moderate-to-severe pain, as an alternative to opioids in conditions such as MS and in different types of cancer. At present, various licensed dispensaries can make it available to people on a doctor’s prescription in Ontario. Changes in the laws governing access and use will likely be in place in the coming years with the new Liberal government.

Anxiety – People using opiates in an effort to control anxiety, or who are trying to wean off opiates and experiencing anxiety as a result, can often use cannabis as an alternative. Research shows that cannabis can attach to receptors in the amygdala of the brain and ease anxiety. Instead of using prescription opiates or anti-anxiety agents like benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium, etc.), cannabis will do the trick much more safely.

Stress and Sleep Disorders – Studies also show that stress and insomnia can be far more effectively treated by cannabis than by prescription tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Numerous patients in my practice have been able to wean themselves off these drugs, using cannabis.

Seizure Disorders – “In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works. Take the case of Charlotte Figi, whom I met in Colorado. She started having seizures soon after birth. By age three, she was having 300 seizures a week, despite being on seven different medications. Medical marijuana has calmed her brain, limiting her seizures to two or three per month.” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta (on CNN)

In my practice, I have prescribed high dose cannabis CBD extract for two patients who were experiencing daily seizures, with no benefit from prescribed medications. The daily seizures were reduced to two per month, with zero side effects in each case.

Depression and PTSD – Numerous studies also link cannabis benefits for depression and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), two conditions with a high suicide potential for which numerous drugs have often been prescribed. People suffering from these conditions often turn to opiates for relief, ending up either addicted or overdosed. Cannabis might just be one viable alternative to all that.

Help For Anxiety, Better Sleep, and Inflammation by Dr. Ben Kim

As for what we know CBD can do for human physiology, sleep researcher Matthew Walker has found that CBD makes us fall asleep faster and doesn’t appear to disrupt REM sleep. There isn’t enough data yet to make any broad statements on CBD’s impact on overall sleep quality in any long term context, but early evidence points to CBD being helpful for restorative sleep by reducing core body temperature and anxiety.

On anecdotal and experiential bases, I regularly hear from adults of all ages who are finding CBD oil to be highly effective in managing anxiety.

And though less frequent, I occasionally hear from parents who are finding CBD oil helpful for young children with autism and even for children with epilepsy.

There have been a few cases where those who have tried CBD oil on my recommendation reported feeling no benefit whatsoever, so for reasons beyond my understanding at this point, it seems that CBD isn't helpful in all cases, though my experiences tell me that it's worth trying for the health challenges mentioned above.

Many take CBD for chronic pain and inflammation.  I'm not aware of any literature that definitively explains why CBD can help reduce inflammation on a systemic basis, but based on the feedback that I've received thus far and firsthand experience, I feel that a high quantity of CBD oil can have an anti-inflammatory effect not unlike that of ibuprofen or naproxen.  But again, I can't say with certainty that this would hold true for everyone.

As for how CBD oil works, I think it's fair to say that we don't yet know exactly how it interacts with all of the elements of our endocannabinoid system.  Working hypotheses suggest that CBD promotes better overall balance in endocrine health by acting on specific receptors that are a part of the endocannabinoid system - time and further research should clarify any such mechanisms.  For now, for those who wish to learn more about the endocannabinoid system and the role that it plays in central nervous system function, including with synaptic plasticity, I would suggest either of the following summaries:




More Resources

Learn about Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations mmar-vs-mmpr-canadian-cannabis-regulation-simplified

Learn about caanabis oil cannabis-oil-whats-the-hype

Marijuana Could Literally Replace These Five Prescription Drugs.

Substituting Cannabis for Prescription Drugs, Alcohol and other Substances among Medical Cannabis Patients: The Impact of Contextual Factors.

Here’s What Marijuana Does to Pain.

Cannabis for Management of Pain.

Cannabis for Anxiety.

‘What Marijuana Really Does to the Brain’.



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The majority of Apollo patients suffer from chronic pain, and traditional medications and therapies have been ineffective for them so far.

Chronic pain conditions can be extremely strenuous on your mind, body, and soul. With the right pain management program, our physicians can help you regain the well-being you once had.

If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms that have lasted longer than 6 months, and your pain is preventing you from living the quality of life you desire, medical marijuana may be the solution for you.

Canadian Cannabis Clinics

At Canadian Cannabis Clinics, our goal is to provide our patients with the highest level of care and an improved quality of life through education on the therapeutic use of cannabis. We’ll determine whether cannabis is a suitable option and our counsellors will guide you throughout the process. To date, we have helped over 65,000 Canadians with medical conditions, providing over 31 million Better Days for patients. Choose to have your appointment in one of our 33 clinics across Canada or with Home Care, our convenient video call service available to residents of Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia.


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