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We are constantly being advised to seek balance in our lives. Whether it is eating a balanced diet consisting of a healthy ratio of vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates or in seeking the proper work/life balance, balance ensures our optimal functioning.

When we apply the idea of balance to our biological systems, it is referred to as "homeostasis." You might recognize this term as it is a common theme throughout all of our blogs concerning Medical Marijuana.

The broader definition of homeostasis refers to an organism’s "ability or tendency to maintain internal stability to compensate for environmental changes." In terms of our bodies, this relates to resiliency. How we fight off infection, compensate for toxins and repair environmental insult. 

In the context of cannabis, we are referring to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the regulatory, balancing effects of the various cannabinoids present in Medical Marijuana. In a fascinating twist of fate, evolution, or divine intervention, cannabinoids from the plant have a unique ability to fit into the CB1 and CB2  endocannabinoid receptors in our brains and on the tissues of our cells. In doing so, they help our body balance and heal naturally.

If Cannabinoids Help Us Heal, What Hurts Us?

We have intricate systems of atoms, molecules and receptors which make up the cells of our bodies. For those a little rusty on their biology, atoms contain protons and electrons. When two atoms attach together, they form a molecule. A collection of molecules grouped together creates cells.

Atoms usually contain equal numbers of protons and electrons and that atom is electrically neutral. If an atom has more or fewer electrons than protons, then it has an overall negative or positive charge, respectively, and it is called an ion. Other atoms with unpaired electrons are known as radicals and are highly reactive.

When oxygen molecules split into single atoms that have unpaired electrons, they become unstable free radicals that seek other atoms or molecules to bond to. If this continues to happen, it begins a process called oxidative stress.

Free radicals can cause large chain chemical reactions in your body because they react so easily with other atoms and molecules. Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to a free radical without making themselves unstable. This causes the free radical to stabilize and become less reactive. 

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. These reactions are called oxidation. This imbalance leads to damage of important biomolecules and cells, with potential impact on our entire body. Oxidative stress can activate a variety of proteins that affect DNA, which leads to the expression of some genes involved in inflammatory mechanisms. This is how inflammation is triggered by oxidative stress.

Stress induced oxidative stress and the resulting inflammation play a major role in aging and development of various diseases. You think of a disease; oxidative stress and/or inflammation are believed to be one of their generative factors. Some of the important diseases in which oxidative stress and inflammation play an important role are: 

  • coronary heart disease (CHD) 
  • hypertension 
  • metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes 
  • kidney dysfunction 
  • pulmonary insufficiency 
  • atherosclerosis 
  • rheumatoid arthritis 
  • inflammatory bowel disease 
  • neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS
  • age-related macular degeneration

Oxidative stress is also thought to be involved in: ADHD, cancer, sickle-cell disease, lichen planus, vitiligo, autism, infection, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and Asperger's syndrome.

The Role of Medical Marijuana on Oxidative Stress

THC and CBD are powerful antioxidants — more powerful than vitamin C and E. In fact a U.S. Government Patent #6630507 is specifically for the neuroprotectant and antioxidant properties of cannabinoids. The government has known about this for some time.

Also, we talk a lot about canabis' “entourage effect” and antioxidants have a “network effect,” too. In his book The Antioxidant Miracle: Your Complete Plan for Total Health and Healing, Lester Packer, a noted antioxidant researcher, explains that antioxidants work together to support each other and therefore are much more powerful together than on their own. They build on each other, working synergistically. Just like the orchestrations of the over 400 cannabinoids present in whole plant, full-spectrum marijuana products. 

So although the government might think they have beaten us to the punch with their patent, they are taking a narrow minded approach by isolating certain compounds from the cannabis plant and deriving synthetic drugs.

The following studies bear up the federal government’s interest in cannabinoids as antioxidants:

Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants (Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institutes of Mental Health, 1998) The study concluded:


Cannabidiol, THC and several synthetic cannabinoids all were demonstrated to be antioxidants by cyclic voltametry. Cannabidiol and THC also were shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well as or better than other antioxidants in a chemical (Fenton reaction) system and neuronal cultures. Cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate (Vitamin C) or alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), indicating it to be a potent antioxidant. These data also suggest that the naturally occurring, nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol, may be a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia.”

Another study done in 2000:

Neuroprotective antioxidants from marijuana (Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, NIMH, 2000) concluded:


it was demonstrated that Cannabidiol, THC and other cannabinoids are potent antioxidants. As evidence that cannabinoids can act as an antioxidants in neuronal cultures, cannabidiol was demonstrated to reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. In a head to head trial of the abilities of various antioxidants to prevent glutamate toxicity, cannabidiol was superior to both alpha-tocopherol and ascorbate in protective capacity.”

That was twenty and eighteen years ago respectively folks. These studies go against the federal government’s militant stance on marijuana and its Schedule One designation.

Then in 2009 scientists studying diabetes and Cannabis in this study:

Beneficial effects of a Cannabis sativa extract treatment on diabetes‐induced neuropathy and oxidative stress (Phytotherapy Research, Wiley Online Library, Nov 2009) found that in rats with induced diabetes, Cannabis sativa decreased glutathione (one of our bodies naturally produced and most effective antioxidants, also known as the master antioxidant) loss in the liver while preventing nerve damage.


These findings highlighted the beneficial effects of cannabis extract treatment in attenuating diabetic neuropathic pain, possibly through a strong antioxidant activity and a specific action upon nerve growth factor.”

In 2010 this was further investigated while also highlighting Medical Marijuana’s potential to treat heart disease in this study:

Cannabidiol Attenuates Cardiac Dysfunction, Oxidative Stress, Fibrosis, and Inflammatory and Cell Death Signaling Pathways in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 56, Dec 2010)

Collectively, these results coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death and fibrosis.

These studies show pretty convincing evidence that cannabinoids may reduce oxidative stress by not only acting as powerful antioxidants but also by blocking the production of oxidative stress markers and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities while preventing glutathione depletion.

This knowledge has huge implications! With oxidative stress thought to be an underlying factor in everything from aging to cancer and almost every disease in between …aren’t you interested in whatever substance, working alone or synergistically with other compounds, has been shown to effectively address this condition? 

And that is a more powerful antioxidant than both Vitamins C and E?

Now keeping our crash course in biology fresh in our minds, let’s turn our discussion to relevant studies that have shown cannabinoids to have anti-inflammatory effects, understanding that it is thought to be directly related to oxidative stress.

Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs (Future Medicinal Chemistry, Oct 2009).

The fact that both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found on immune cells suggests that cannabinoids play an important role in the regulation of the immune system. Recent studies demonstrated that administration of THC into mice triggered marked apoptosis in T cells and dendritic cells, resulting in immunosuppression. In addition, several studies showed that cannabinoids downregulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, upregulate T-regulatory cells (Tregs) as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in immunoregulation. For example, administration of endocannabinoids or use of inhibitors of enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids, led to immunosuppression and recovery from immune-mediated injury to organs such as the liver. Manipulation of endocannabinoids and/or use of exogenous cannabinoids in vivo can constitute a potent treatment modality against inflammatory disorders.”

And scientists in Switzerland studied an interesting, often overlooked cannabinoid — beta-carophyllene, which has a very different molecular structure to that of the classical cannabinoids and is non-psychoactive. It composes between 12 and 35 percent of the cannabis plant’s essential oil, and activates the CB2 receptor selectively. 

In Why Cannabis Stems Inflammation (ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, July 2008), the scientists were not only able to prove that beta-carophyllene binds with the CB2 receptor in vitro but also in animal tests, where they treated mice that were suffering from an inflammatory swelling on their paws with orally administered doses of the substance. The swelling declined in up to 70 percent of the animals.

Whilst the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system influences perception, the CB2 receptor in the tissue plays a crucial role in inhibiting inflammation. If the receptor is activated, the cell releases fewer pro-inflammatory signal substances, or cytokines.

In a related study undertaken at the University of Milan, Italy, Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw(Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, March 2004), scientists found that CBD reduced induced inflammation in rat paws:

There were decreases in PGE2 (prostaglandin E2plasma levels, tissue COX (cyclooxygenaseactivity, production of oxygen-derived free radicals, and NO (nitric oxide) after three doses of cannabidiol…In conclusion, oral cannabidiol has a beneficial action on two symptoms of established inflammation: edema (fluid retention) and hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain).

Another study found the effectiveness of yet another lesser known cannabinoid, CBC or cannabichromene, on fighting inflammation:

Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice (British Journal of Pharmacology, June 2012)

CBC selectively reduces inflammation-induced hypermotility in vivo in a manner that is not dependent on cannabinoid receptors or TRPA1.”

And finally, a study undertaken in 2004 by the Japanese Pharmacological Society, New Perspectives in the Studies on Endocannabinoid and Cannabis: 2-Arachidonoylglycerol as a Possible Novel Mediator of Inflammation (Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, Oct 2004) points to yet another of the lesser known cannabinoids, 2-AG, as a possible anti-inflammatory:

“It is apparent that 2-AG plays an important part during the course of a variety of inflammatory reactions, such as acute inflammation and allergic inflammation in vivo, yet the details of the mechanism as well as the mode of action of 2-AG remain to be clarified. Further detailed studies on the CB2 receptor and 2-AG are essential for a thorough elucidation of the precise regulatory mechanisms of various inflammatory reactions.”

In Conclusion

We have seen how Medical Marijuana, and its bountiful cannabinoids, are instrumental in addressing homeostasis, or balance, at even the most micro levels of existence: on the subatomic level. Not to mention their efficacy on a more macro level in fitting into endocannabinoid receptors located throughout our bodies and brains.

There is undeniable evidence that cannabinoids function as powerful antioxidants which fight free radical damage, reducing oxidative stress and its resultant inflammation. The profusion of diseases attributable to these conditions warrants serious study of almost every element within what has been called one of the “most medicinal plants” on our planet.

The concern that we share is to maintain the freedom to choose the right delivery methods, strains and whole plant options without being confined to the federal government’s ideas around patented pieces of the whole which will then be highly regulated and sold to us through pharmaceutical companies.

Join the movement towards taking back your healing and preventative alternatives for ensuring optimal health. Become an educated Medical Marijuana patient today.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL US AT 833-MMJ-EASY OR CLICK TO SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT WITH THE FLORIDA MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTOR NEAREST YOU.

In Florida’s Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) market, there are hundreds of doctors offering medical marijuana certifications, but do they know anything about cannabis as medicine? Can they describe the differences between indica and sativa? Do they know why CBD can help you relax if you get “too high” from your THC products?

There are also many non-doctors building websites, clinics, and offices. Are they qualified to handle your health records? Are their websites hosted on HIPAA-compliant servers? Do their leaders have proven business backgrounds?

These questions and more should be asked. Don’t let your pain push you into making a snap decision with the wrong partner in your health.

Related: Florida Medical Marijuana Dispensary Guide

Good Doctors Making Bad Cannabis “Prescriptions”

 

If you’ve been to one of our offices, you know that we invest in our patients to help them get educated on medical cannabis.

All of our patients learn about the human endocannabinoid system, a complete breakdown of all available products, and how their Florida Medical cannabis recommendation works. This recommendation states that they should start low and gradually “titrate” higher doses.

A typical “microdose” protocol might look like this: a few drops from a sativa tincture in the morning to ease your pain while maintaining high mental energy, a low-psychoactivity 1:1 in the afternoon for balance, and a sleep-inducing indica before bed.

This allows for safe patient experimentation as you find the right dose, strain, and product.

florida medical cannabis doctor, mmj card, certification, my florida green, nick garulay

Many other doctors are still writing “prescriptions” with dangerous side effects. Recently we had a 70+ year old cannabis-naive patient that called us because she’d had a bad experience.

Her “marijuana doctor” had recently “prescribed” her two 50 mg edibles per day! If you know anything about dosages, you know this is a major dose. Not surprisingly, she was practically paralyzed by the effects!

Surely her doctor is an intelligent person, who’s worked hard in school and life, but he or she is hazardously uneducated on medical cannabis and is putting people’s lives at risk.

Related: Medical Marijuana for Elderly Patients

Greedy Doctors Over-charging Patients

In Florida, you are required to see the doctor in-person every 7 months to maintain your license. And every 70 days, your recommendation must be re-loaded via computer. That’s it. You are not required to see the doctor and pay for in-person visits every 30 days or even every 70 days to maintain compliance.

At My Florida Green we play by the rules and only schedule in-person visits as required by state law.

If your doctor is telling you differently, it’s time to find a new doctor that is honest and not taking advantage of you.

Amateurs Running Cannabis Clinics

medical marijuana doctor, cannabis, mmmj card, certification, my florida greenAnother common issue we’re seeing from medical marijuana patients in Florida is poorly-run medical marijuana clinics.

If their website looks cheap or disorganized, their doctors aren’t clearly displayed, or your gut just doesn’t feel right, don’t trust them with your health!

We’re even still seeing examples of virtual clinics offering cannabis via webcam telemedicine visits! This is illegal. If you got your certification from a medical marijuana doctor via telemedicine, your certification could be at risk. We suggest demanding a full refund and changing doctors immediately.

When we consult with these doctors and businesses to bring them onto our platform. Patient records are not organized in a secure platform, patients end up modifying their own online profile in the buggy-at-best Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and putting their compliance at risk.

My Florida Green delivers the knowledge and technology to bring consistency and certainty to this chaotic and fast-growing market.

Choosing The Right Medical Cannabis Doctor

Whatever Florida Medical Marijuana Docotor you choose be sure that they use HIPAA-compliant technology, that the doctors know the difference between prescriptions and recommendations, and the leadership have proven professional backgrounds.

If you want to discuss your conditions or get started with natural alternatives to synthetic drugs call us at 833-MMJ-EASY or click here to securely and easily find the Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor nearest you.

 

“I’ve seen patients hurt by inexperienced staff, poorly handled records, anti-patient regulations, and worse. It has taken me and my team a tremendous amount of work to navigate the muddy waters, partner with physicians willing to learn, and simplify the tedious process for both patients and physicians.

Like anything worthwhile in life, it’s been challenging at times, but we’re delivering incredible results, and we will never stop fighting for our patients. Your results, testimonials, and tears of joy inspire us to carry on. My Florida Green is Florida’s gold standard for Medical Marijuana care, compassion, and compliance. Together we are changing history.”

-Nick Garulay, My Florida Green Founder and CEO

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL US AT 833-MMJ-EASY OR CLICK TO SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT WITH THE FLORIDA MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTOR NEAREST YOU.

Millions of Americans struggle to fall and stay asleep through the night. For many patients, Medical Marijuana for sleep is a miraculous solution.

Unfortunately for patients that cannot access Medical Marijuana for sleep, the struggle often leads to a dependence on synthetic sleep medications like Ambien. The depressing effects of these drugs often requires a stimulant like Adderall to wake back up in the morning.

As most people who have used stimulants know, they often lead to anxiety, addiction, or other mood disorders. The pain of this then requires another pill, with another set of side effects, and another pill to counter act those, and then another side effect….

These issues are driving people towards more natural sleep solutions with Medical Cannabis. The below article will help you understand your options and determine how Medical Cannabis for sleep can help.

Synthetic Side Effects or Medical Cannabis for Sleep?

drug side effects synthetic medical marijuana cannabis my florida green

For those taking synthetic drugs, the side effect wild goose chase is often worse than the condition itself.

Your body is kept out of balance, your mind is constantly stressed, and the crippling cycle of synthetic drugs becomes harder and harder to break.

And when these drugs mix in our bodies, a treacherous cocktail is created. This contributes to why America suffered through at least 70,000 deadly drug overdoses in 2017 alone.

This is an epidemic and we must shift our minds away from propaganda, towards compassion, and towards the science of medical cannabis.

How to Naturally Get Better Sleep

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High-quality diet, exercise, and mindfulness exercises are all connected to helping with sleep. Here are few other key tips:

  • Eat healthy fats like coconut oil, pasture-raised meats, eggs, and avocado all help in building sleep hormones
  • High antioxidant foods help, as well as not eating shortly before bed
  • Try yoga for exercise and relaxation
  • Keep your circadian rhythms on track by following a schedule where you wake up and fall asleep at the same time
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch
  • Use the app f.lux on your computer, tablet, or  phone to block blue light waves that trick your brain to thinking that it’s earlier in the day
  • Take an epsom salt bath before bed
  • Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day, this will help with serotonin which increases melatonin production
  • Pray or meditate. We all have a spiritual side, even if that’s only a deeper connection to ourselves. There are great apps like Headspace that will guide you into meditative states that help you process emotions more effectively and improve your health

Medical Cannabis, PTSD, and Sleep

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Insomnia is the number one side effect from PTSD in veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

In the field today, soldiers are supplied with Ambien, but often have their supply cut off when they return home. These soldiers usually exchange it for sedatives like zolpidem, benzodiazepines like xanax, or heavy alcohol use.

All of these options have a long list of dangerous side effects. Ambien side effects can include sleep-walking, hallucinations, and increased suicide risks.

US Army Officer David Bass describes the problem:

“One of the reasons [we’re] so adamantly working for medical marijuana was that we discovered it was the answer to insomnia,” Bass said, referring to himself and his veteran friends who were experiencing sleeplessness. “[We] were able to use it to have very peaceful and restful sleep. I realized I didn’t need Ambien and didn’t need to drink myself to sleep.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and even pharma company Sanofi-Aventis funded a study that showed THC-enabled patients to fall asleep easier and more quickly.

As readers of this blog might already know, PTSD is a struggle for millions of people. The vast majority of whom aren’t veterans. Those who suffer know that they are often crippled by flashbacks, nightmares, and debilitating anxiety.

If you’re among them, Medical Cannabis for sleep may be a great solution to utilize, especially in conjunction with the other natural solutions listed above.

Medical Cannabis for Sleep

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If you’re wondering why Medical Cannabis is effective for sleep here are a few reasons:

  1. THC connects with the receptors in the brain that control sleep and wake cycles. Medical Cannabis for sleep helps by stimulating the hippocampus and the limbic system. These parts of the brain control sleep and are rich with cannabinoid receptor sites. The specific “cannabinoids” that interacts with these receptors is anadamide. The root of this word is “ananda” which means bliss in Sanskrit.
  2. In a 2002 study from the University of Illinois, Dr. David Carley found that THC was effective in stabilizing respiration during sleep. In his study, people suffering from sleep apnea that used Medical Cannabis for sleep had their symptoms reduced by an average of 32%.
  3. Indica-strain cannabis helps with sleep by triggering the production of PGE2. This helps sleep by aiding in the production of melatonin, a known sleep enhancer. Some people find the effects of supplemental melatonin and cannabis together to be pleasurable, more relaxing, and easier to fall asleep. Others find that they have more vivid dreams that are more likely to be lucid.

With all medicines, be careful with dosage and frequency. If you take more Medical Cannabis for sleep than you need, you may have difficulty waking from such deep sleep, and any dependence has risks.

As we advise all patients, start low, go slow, and gradually increase as needed to your minimum effective dose.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL US AT 833-MMJ-EASY OR CLICK TO SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT WITH THE FLORIDA MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOCTOR NEAREST YOU.

A Feminine Plant for a Feminine Body

If you didn’t know, cannabis plants are either male or female. Unsurprisingly, the females are far more interesting and produce the beautiful flower ‘buds’ that are the source of medical marijuana products. As some women have known for thousands of years, medical marijuana is a miraculous cure for many feminine issues. The below youtube video and article from Dr. Michelle Ross is an excellent resource on the subject of medical marijuana for women.

6 Ways Cannabis Helps Women’s Health With Dr. Michele Ross

Your reproductive organs, including your uterus and ovaries, contain both types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These are the receptors that respond to the cannabinoids found in marijuana or your body’s natural endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, which is known as the “Bliss Molecule.”

Your uterus has the highest levels of anandamide in your whole body. During certain times in your menstrual cycle, like ovulation, your uterus has 100 times more anandamide than your brain does. No wonder why we are feeling our best then!

 

Estrogen is tightly linked to anandamide. When our levels are low, anandamide is also low. When anandamide levels drop, we might feel moody or irritable, crave fatty foods, or feel in pain or crampy. Sound familiar? That’s PMS. In fact 3.5% of patients in HelloMD’s 2016 survey of cannabis users use cannabis to treat PMS.

84% of women have painful periods. Some women are lucky enough to use a Tylenol or a Midol and have sufficient pain relief.  Others have to call in sick from work or take opiate painkillers. Will smoking a joint help for instant relief? Yes. So will rubbing a cannabis-infused topical lotion on your pelvis, a great option if you get drug tested at work and can’t have THC in your bloodstream.

Chronic pelvic pain lasting 6 months or more impacts 25% of women. 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, a condition poorly treated by regular surgeries, hormone shots, and hysterectomy. Can cannabis help? Yes, but you’re going to have to do more than smoke it for lasting relief. Try eating 1:1 or 2:1 CBD:THC ratio tinctures or candies. For prevention of pain and actually treatment of your symptoms, try a vaginal suppository with THC and CBD, like FORIA relief.

Menopause – it’s something 50% of humans on earth will go through. Hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, it’s not something anyone looks forward to going through. Current treatments include hormone replacement therapy or HRT, with a list of harmful side effects like increased risk of stroke or breast cancer. Cannabis can relieve many symptoms of menopause without these scary side effects. 

To see if your conditions qualify for Medical Marijuana for Women in Florida, click the Get Started button below!

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