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Medical Marijuana Directory - Treatment of cancer with medical marijuana- The challenges with any cancer treatment lies in effective pain management, while enduring rigorous treatment regimen and escalating discomfort. Hence, it is extremely crucial to improve the general well-being of the patient while treating the disease. In many cases, these pains are resistant to opioids too. It is now well established that medical marijuana has proven beneficial results by reducing pain, as well as alleviating symptoms such as nausea etc. Medicinal marijuana can also serve as an appetite stimulant to improve treatment related anorexia.

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One marijuana based medication that is used to treat chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting is dronabinol (THC taken orally). Although several studies carried out in different types of cancer suggest that marijuana may actually be acting on cancer cells to kill them, relying on marijuana treatment alone for cure of cancer may have serious health consequences. In fact, combination therapy involving marijuana and standardized treatment options may actually be more effective in curing cancer. A study conducted in brain cancer showed that pretreating cells with THC and CBD for four hours prior to radiation therapy, actually improved the efficiency of killing cancerous cells by radiation. Standardization of marijuana treatment may prove to be extremely beneficial for cancer patients as marijuana not only helps shrink the tumor, but also significantly improves general wellbeing of patient.

Medicinal Research and Application of Medical Marijuana

There is significant scientific data to suggest that the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) might exert opposing effects in diabetic retinopathy.

Cannabinoid Receptor I (CB1) – The expression of CB1 is upregulated in diabetic kidneys . In a recent study, the CB1 antagonist SR141716 decreased lipid accumulation in the kidneys and decreased kidney damage and albuminuria in the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes . A similar effect was reported in a streptozotocin-induced model of type I diabetes . Therefore, activation of CB1 might be inadvisable in patients with diabetes.

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Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) – CB2 is expressed in the kidneys, as well as inflammatory cells. A recent study used a mouse model of type 1 diabetes (streptozotocin treatment) to assess the importance of CB2 using genetic deletion. Mice lacking CB2 exhibited accelerated diabetic nephropathy, suggesting that the presence (and therefore activation) of CB2 might protect against diabetic nephropathy .

The active ingredients in marijuana are the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which function via specific target receptors (CB1 and CB2). Several studies have assessed the cannabinoid system in endometriosis, and have suggested that the use of agents that modulate these pathways might affect processes associated with the development of endometriosis, such as cellular proliferation and migration. The use of medical marijuana and related compounds might also exhibit palliative effects in endometriosis patients.

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Medicinal Research and Application of Marijuana Strains

A study published in 2013 reported that the cannabis extract Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) reduced glucose intolerance and increased energy expenditure in diabetic mice . An additional study reported that the treatment of streptozotocin-induced mice, a model that mimics insulin-dependent diabetes, with THDV exerted immunosuppressive effects and protected β-cell function . In addition, the administration of cannabinoid-related compounds reduced the severity of diabetic complications such as the pain caused by diabetic nephropathy . However, additional reports suggested that the use of marijuana could mask the clinical presentation of complications related to insulin-dependent diabetes, such as diabetic ketoacidosis. Therefore, care should be taken when administering cannabinoid-related agents to diabetic patients.

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However, some studies have suggested that marijuana use might cause cerebral aneurysms or their rupture. For example, one single case report described subarachnoid hemorrhage after the rupture of a thoracic radiculomedullary artery pseudoaneurysm in a 41-year-old male patient with a history of abusing synthetic cannabis and methamphetamine . Although the cause of the hemorrhage in this patient could not be determined definitely, individuals using medical marijuana for cerebral aneurysm should exercise caution if additional cases are described.