More than 5 million people suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) annually, and new research suggests that cannabis may help them find relief and may even offer better care than the current class of drugs commonly used to treat the disorder.

According to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the administering of synthetic cannabinoids to rats after a traumatic event can prevent behavioral and physiological symptoms of PTSD by triggering changes in brain centers associated with the formation and holding of traumatic memories.

The study adds to a growing body of research that “contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD,” the researchers note.

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Many patients have found that medical cannabis provides a safe and effective way to prevent and treat their migraine headaches…

Migraines are chronic headaches that can cause significant pain for hours or even days.  Some migraines are preceded or accompanied by sensory symptoms or signs known as “auras.”  These include flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in the arms or legs.  Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.  Symptoms can be so severe that many migraine sufferers need to find a dark, quiet place to lie down.

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A new clinical study published in the journal Pharmacology and by the National Institute of Health has found that cannabis is effective in treating Crohn’s disease, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBDs such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s affect over a million people in the United States. Many IBD victims suffer from pain, diarrhea and poor ability to digest food, and up to half of IBD cases are so severe that they ultimately require surgery to remove the affected bowel segment.

The study, entitled: “Cannabis Finds Its Way into Treatment of Crohn’s Disease” (International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Vol. 93, No. 1-2, 2013 Dec 17;93(1-2):1-3. [epublished ahead of print] © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
PMID: 24356243) is co-authored by Rudolf Schicho, PhD and M. Storr, both of the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz in Graz, Austria.

In the study abstract, Schicho and Storr note that In ancient medicine, cannabis was widely used to treat and cure bowel disturbances and inflammation, and a recent clinical study now shows that the medicinal herb Cannabis sativa lived up to expectations and proved to be highly efficient in cases of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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By Robyn Griggs Lawrence
Cognitive decline is the No. 1 fear among Americans older than 50, but while we know that exercise, proper diet and social and educational engagement can help maintain brain health, there is as yet no intervention that can fully prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

If no such development occurs, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in the next 50 years. And while there has been hope that natural remedies could have an impact, none has been shown to be effective so far. When a study released last month proved that ginkgo biloba could not prevent Alzheimer’s, one researcher called it the “nail in the coffin” for that theory.

Could marijuana be the answer?

Cannabinoids, the active chemical components of marijuana, can regulate inflammation in the brain and promote neurogenesis — the growth of new neural pathways — even in cells damaged by age or trauma. As more research has indicated that brain inflammation appears to be a cause of several degenerative diseases, marijuana has been getting a closer look as a potential preventive medication.

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The Importance of Enhancing Your Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis extracts are proving to be remarkably effective against a wide range of diseases for thousands of people. Unfortunately, there is a subset of the population that responds negatively or not at all. Numerous factors influence an individual’s unique response to cannabis medicine, including genetics. Some people may never be able to benefit from cannabis due to rare genetic mutations. However, a major cause of poor experiences may be controllable – the health of the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis is effective because it works through the endocannabinoid system, the function of which is to maintain homeostasis. Given this role, it may often be the best place to target for treating disease, which fundamentally is a state of non-homeostasis. For cannabis to work most effectively, the endocannabinoid system needs to be healthy.

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