Medical Marijuana and Opioid Use Disorder

Can Medical Marijuana Help Opioid Use Disorder?

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a serious medical condition that involves ongoing dependence on opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers. Opioids are highly dangerous drugs that can easily result in overdose, coma, and death if misused.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 128 people in the U.S. die from opioid overdoses each day, and over 2 million Americans struggled with opioid addiction in 2017 alone.

While not an effective OUD treatment on its own, medical marijuana may help this crisis by easing withdrawal symptoms, reducing feelings of opioid pleasure and reward, and reducing overdose rates.

What Is Opioid Use Disorder?

Opioids produce feelings of euphoria and reduce feelings of pain. Using opioids over time leads to dependence and an increase in tolerance, which means that a person with OUD will need to take more of the drug to feel these effects over time. Common opioids include heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

OUD occurs when a person experiences at least two of the following symptoms within a 12-month period:

  • Strong desires to use opioids
  • Unsuccessful efforts to reduce opioid use
  • Taking larger amounts of opioids or taking opioids for a longer period than intended
  • Avoiding activities to use opioids
  • Increased tolerance
  • Increased tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Inability to fulfill responsibilities due to opioids
  • Difficulty with relationships due to opioid use

If you develop OUD, you can experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using opioids, even for a short period of time. These symptoms can be very unpleasant, including pain, chills, diarrhea, insomnia, and severe nausea.

Professional treatment is necessary to overcome withdrawal symptoms and recover from OUD — and research shows that medical marijuana may help.

Can Medical Marijuana Help Opioid Use Disorder Patients?

While further research is necessary, recent studies suggest that medical cannabis may help relieve some symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

When a person takes opioids, they will experience feelings of euphoria due to the drug’s triggering of the reward response in the brain. CBD, the non-psychoactive component of medical marijuana, may help reduce the impact of this reward response without producing replacement feelings of euphoria. In addition, CBD may also reduce heroin cravings.

Medical marijuana may also help improve the outcome of OUD treatment programs. When used as a supplement to professional rehab treatment, small doses of medical marijuana may increase rehab retention rates, as well as ease unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

States who operate medical marijuana programs also see lower rates of opioid overdoses than other states. Studies found that states with legalized cannabis laws saw a 23% reduction in emergency room visits for nonfatal overdoses and a 24% reduction in overdose deaths.

Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card for OUD

If your state legalized medical marijuana and has opioid use disorder on the list of qualifying conditions, you can apply for a cannabis card to receive the treatment you need. The Sanctuary Wellness Institute is here to guide you through the process.

Our friendly staff members can connect you with a physician licensed to certify patients for medical marijuana in your state and answer any questions you may have about the application. Contact the Sanctuary at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your evaluation.

Medical Marijuana and Tourette Syndrome

Medical Marijuana Doctor Treament for Tourette Syndrome

If you struggle with Tourette syndrome, you understand how invasive this condition’s symptoms can be. From unexpected outbursts to repetitive movements, Tourette symptoms can interfere with many aspects of your life, and controlling these symptoms can be difficult.

Evidence shows that medical marijuana may be an effective treatment option for people with Tourette’s, helping reduce symptoms and their frequency. If you have Tourette’s, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Tourette Syndrome?

Uncontrollable tics are the primary symptom of Tourette’s. These tics are sudden, brief movements or sounds that can interfere with communication and day-to-day activities.

Tourette syndrome is a disorder characterized by unwanted tics and repetitive movements that are difficult to control. This condition usually develops between the ages of 2 and 15, with symptoms that can last well beyond adolescence.

Common tics include:

  • Head jerking
  • Coughing
  • Throat clearing
  • Repeating observed movements
  • Using vulgar words
  • Hopping
  • Stepping in a specific pattern
  • Shrugging

Controlling these tics can be extremely difficult, and there is no cure for Tourette syndrome. Treatment options include medications to reduce the onset of tics, as well as therapies to help develop coping skills and tic control. Medical marijuana may also be an effective treatment for Tourette’s.

Medical Marijuana and Tourette Syndrome

Studies show that medical marijuana may help relieve the frequency of tics in patients with Tourette syndrome, as well as alleviate some of the behavioral symptoms of the condition.

A study from the University of Toronto discovered that medical marijuana may reduce tics in Tourette’s patients. Additional research from Hannover Medical School found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in medical marijuana, may help reduce tics in adults who do not respond to traditional Tourette’s treatment. This research suggests that medical marijuana may be an effective addition to a Tourette treatment regimen, especially for people with severe tics and co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety.

Certain strains of medical marijuana have calming effects, which may help reduce feelings of anger, anxiety, or irritability in patients. This anxiety-reducing impact may be the reason why tics decrease in frequency among Tourette’s patients who use medical cannabis, as well as people with other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card for Tourette Syndrome

If you live in a state that operates a medical marijuana program, you could apply for a cannabis card as long as your state has approved Tourette’s as a qualifying condition or provides an option to add Tourette’s as a qualifying condition. You will likely need to visit a qualified physician who can certify you for cannabis use before you can apply for a cannabis card.

The Sanctuary Wellness Institute connects qualified patients with licensed physicians who can provide medical marijuana evaluations in their home states. Our friendly staff members will answer any questions you may have about the process, and can provide guidance on how to apply.

Don’t wait to seek the treatment you need. Contact the Sanctuary at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your evaluation today.

Treating PTSD with Cannabis

Medical Marijuana Treatment for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Sparked by a traumatic event, symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, irritability, depression, and more.

While this condition may be difficult to live with, multiple treatment options are available to patients. In addition to medication, therapy, and other forms of counseling, medical marijuana may be an effective supplement to patients living with PTSD.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD occurs when someone experiences, witnesses, or knows someone who experienced a traumatic event. While we commonly associate PTSD with combat veterans, anyone can develop this condition and many types of trauma can trigger its onset — from car accidents to childhood abuse to encountering the aftermath of a violent event.

Symptoms of PTSD may include:

  • Recurrent intrusive memories of the traumatic event
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Avoiding activities or situations that may trigger memories of the event
  • Severe emotional and physical reactions when encountering a trigger
  • Avoiding thinking or talking about the event
  • Feeling emotionally numb and/or depressed
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Engaging in destructive behaviors
  • Feeling on edge, easily startled, or frightened
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and aggressiveness

PTSD can severely disrupt a patient’s life. If you have PTSD, this condition may affect your ability to go to work or school, maintain and develop relationships, and live life without emotional distress.

You can receive treatment for PTSD in the form of medication, talk therapy, residential treatment, and more — and research suggests medical marijuana may also help relieve symptoms.

Medical Marijuana and PTSD

Many symptoms of PTSD are difficult to live with and have a direct impact on your quality of life — the depression, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia, for example. Current treatments for these symptoms are not always effective, and the side effects of PTSD medication can be equally unpleasant.

Medical marijuana may help relieve these symptoms and act as an effective supplement to a PTSD treatment program. Marijuana induces drowsiness, causes feelings of euphoria, and has nausea-reducing effects that can help with anxiety-induced queasiness.

In addition, studies suggest medical marijuana may reduce PTSD symptoms. One study based in New Mexico saw PTSD patients see more than a 75% reduction in symptoms after using medical cannabis. Another Canadian study used a synthetic cannabinoid to treat nightmares in PTSD patients, and 72% of patients experienced fewer nightmares after this treatment.

Not all states have approved PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, but many states do certify PTSD patients for cannabis use. If your state does not list PTSD as a qualifying condition, you may be able to petition your state’s medical marijuana program to add PTSD to the list.

Contact the Sanctuary Today

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, medical cannabis may help relieve some of your symptoms. Applying for a medical marijuana card in your state allows you to receive the treatment you need, and the Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help.

Our friendly staff connects prospective patients with state-licensed physicians to help you apply for a cannabis card in your state. Our evaluations are simple, streamlined, and follow your state’s guidelines.

Contact us today at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your evaluation and learn more about the process.

Treating Glaucoma with Cannabis

Medical Marijuana Treatment for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a painful eye condition that can lead to blindness, often caused by a buildup of pressure on the nerves and systems that help the eye function. While the vision damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, many treatment options exist to help reduce and relieve the condition’s symptoms.

Research suggests that medical cannabis may be an effective treatment option for people with glaucoma, both as a way to relieve unpleasant side effects and to reduce pressure in the eye that could lead to this condition.

What Is Glaucoma?

The leading cause of glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve, which is important for maintaining our field of vision. If you develop glaucoma, you will experience blind spots and disruption to your eyesight that can impact your quality of life.

There are many types of glaucoma, each with their own set of symptoms. These include open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, normal tension glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma.

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, include:

  • Patchy blind spots in the field of vision
  • Tunnel vissionj

Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, one of the most serious types of glaucoma that requires emergency medical attention, may include:

  • Headache
  • Pain in the eye
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision

Leaving any type of glaucoma untreated will often lead to blindness. Treatment options include prescription eye drops, surgeries, and oral medications. Side effects of these medications can be unpleasant, and may include fatigue, upset stomach, and depression.

Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Glaucoma

Traditional treatments for glaucoma can be very unpleasant. The side effects of prescription eye drops and oral medication can be overwhelming for some people, and without treatment, these patients may see a negative progression in their symptoms.

Research suggests that medical marijuana may be an effective alternative to traditional glaucoma treatment. Studies from the 1970s show that medical cannabis, when inhaled or taken orally, can reduce the pressure in the eye that contributes to the severity of glaucoma.

In addition, medical marijuana is an effective option for relieving unpleasant side effects and symptoms of glaucoma and glaucoma treatment. Marijuana has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and nausea-reducing effects, and glaucoma and its treatment often results in stomach issues, eye pain, and uncomfortable forms of inflammation. As a supplement to traditional treatment, medical cannabis can be very effective for glaucoma patients.

Need Help Applying for a Cannabis Card?

Glaucoma can be painful, and the side effects of its treatment are usually unpleasant. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, cannabis can be a valuable addition to your treatment regimen. The Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help you receive the treatment you need.

We offer evaluation services to medical marijuana patients looking to apply for a cannabis card in their state. Our network of physicians hold the credentials and registrations necessary to evaluate your glaucoma and provide you with a certification for medical marijuana.

Contact the Sanctuary today at (484) 346-5140 to schedule your evaluation. Our staff members are happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.

The Sanctuary Wellness Institute

226 W Rittenhouse Square Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103