The use of topical cannabis products to treat symptoms of psoriasis and arthritis, or to help reduce localized pain and inflammation is a relatively new concept in modern medicine. Those among the medical cannabis community will not be surprised to learn, however, that a homemade cannabis salve is currently providing relief to a toddler suffering in Nevada when doctors and pharmaceuticals could not.
When Carter Grey Padelford entered the world on November 26, 2016, he did not look like most newborn babies. Carter’s skin was bright red, and pulled so tight that it was impossible for his eyelids to close all the way. “He was very…almost swollen,” said Shai Sifford, Carter’s mother. “Bright red–like fire engine red. And his skin was just extremely, extremely tight.”
These symptoms are caused by a rare skin disorder called lamellar ichthyosis. Affecting only one out of every 100,000 babies born in the United States, few doctors are familiar with lamellar ichthyosis, and even fewer understand how to treat the symptoms. “Doctors didn’t offer us much advice or help. I feel they neglected us because they didn’t know what was going on,” Shai said. “They told me to keep him covered and to avoid baths and to come back in two years when he was two.”
What is lamellar ichthyosis?
Affecting the skin, lamellar ichthyosis is a genetic condition that displays slightly different symptoms depending on the person. In Carter’s case, it causes his skin to grow up to 14 times faster than normal. His body cannot keep up with shedding the dead skin cells at that rate. As a result, the dead skin cells build up into dry, itchy, and painful scales which cause his skin to be pulled so tightly that it limits his mobility and causes bloody sores. His parents have to give him multiple oatmeal baths each day to moisturize his skin and scrub the scales off. As he grows rapidly, like toddlers do, this is overwhelming for Carter and his parents.
Very little is known about this rare genetic disorder, and Carter’s parents were desperate to do anything to help their little boy live a normal life. Posting about Carter’s experience on popular social media sites brought them a tip from a helpful stranger who found relief using cannabis infused shampoo.
Topical Cannabis to Treat Lamellar Ichthyosis Symptoms
Lucky to be living in Nevada, a state where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use, Carter’s grandmother learned how to make a salve at home using cannabis oil and other essential oils. Now, Shai covers him in the topical cannabis from head to toe multiple times each day, and it has produced dramatic results. “His progress has been insane,” Shai posted on social media. “His eyes could never really close completely, but since I’ve been using the cannabis oil on his eyelids, they are almost closing all the way.”
Like in the brain, immune system, and nervous system, endocannabinoid receptors are also found in skin cells. The cannabinoids in cannabis, like CBD, bind directly to those receptors in the skin when applied topically, delivering help directly where it is most needed. The psychoactive properties of cannabis are not translated through topical application, so Carter is not getting high or experiencing any negative side effects from this treatment method. It is simply helping his body work to heal itself naturally.
Carter’s parents understand that many people in the United States are not yet aware of the medical efficacy of cannabis. “I know there is a lot of controversy about cannabis use with kids, and I’m sure I’ll receive some backlash for choosing this method,” Shai said. “But cannabis has been literally changing his life, and I’m so excited I could burst.”
Photos courtesy of: KTNV Nevada
More people are using marijuana as a substitute for traditional pharmaceuticals—and so are man’s best friend: dogs.
To date, there’s been limited research into the effects of administering cannabis to pets. But a recent study, published in the journal Frontiers last month, offers new details about how cannabidiol (CBD) oil can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs.
Researchers at Cornell University recruited 22 dogs with osteoarthritis—a condition characterized by inflammation caused by the deterioration of muscle tissue connected to bone joints—and administered different doses of hemp-derived CBD oil as part of a “randomized, placebo-controlled, owner and veterinarian double-blind, cross-over trial.”
The results appear to confirm what many pet owners who’ve given their dogs CBD have anecdotally reported: It helps. Throughout the experiment, researchers relied on licensed veterinarians, as well as the pet owners, to document each dog’s pain status and activity.
The study “showed that CBD oil increase comfort and activity in the home environment for dogs with [osteoarthritis],” the study authors wrote. “Additionally, veterinary assessments of pain were also favorable.”
While news reports have circulated about the dangers of accidental pet ingestion of psychoactive THC-infused marijuana products, the researchers didn’t observe any serious, adverse side effects from the CBD-focused treatment. Some dogs received 2 milligrams of CBD per kilogram twice daily, others received 8 milligrams of CBD per kilogram twice daily, and a control group received a placebo oil. The dogs who got the CBD seemed to do just fine.
The only side note is that researchers observed “incidental rises in alkaline phosphatase that could be related to the treatment” for some of the dogs when they tested their blood.
Still, CBD may prove to be a preferable treatment options for some dogs with osteoarthritis. The condition is typically treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) painkillers, which can cause problems with the kidney and gut, the researchers noted.
Why this study matters.
There’s growing interest among pet owners in the potential benefits of CBD treatment for a variety of conditions—from arthritis to anxiety to epilepsy.
Several cannabis companies specifically market their CBD products toward pets. (This study was funded via a grant to Cornell University by Ellevet LLC, a company that produces cannabis pet treats). But because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, veterinarians risk losing their licenses if they recommend marijuana-based products.
At the same time that more research is coming out about the potential medical applications of cannabis in humans, other recent studies have bolstered anecdotal accounts about the benefits of cannabis for pets. For example, a preliminary report from Colorado State University found that CBD can reduce the frequency of seizures in epileptic dogs by as much as 89 percent.
And earlier this month, a Canadian company received government approval to test CBD-infused pet food as a means of mitigating anxiety among dogs, Newsweek reported.
To be sure, not all ingredients in marijuana affect animals in the same way that they affect humans. But this and other recent research is giving pet owners eager for alternative treatment options some relief, showing that cannabis can, in fact, provide some relief for dogs without serious side effects.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Dogs With Arthritis Benefit From Cannabis Oil, Study Says
Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash
As America’s Baby Boomer generation heads into their golden years, healthcare is becoming one of the most pressing issues of our times. Both Medicare and Social Security face significant challenges in the coming years. Medicare’s hospital trust will be exhausted by 2026 and Social Security is not far behind, predicted to run out by 2033. It remains to be seen what impact Obamacare can have on the healthcare system, but most Americans understand that there are still significant hurdles in the future.
As the ever-growing senior population continues to climb, these individuals often rely on overprescribed pharmaceuticals (namely opiates) to help them through their later years. The number of opiate prescriptions in the United States skyrocketed to 207 million in 2013, with 55 million of those going to seniors aged 65 and older. Though pain relief is critical in the care of our elderly, these prescriptions have proven to be the among the most dangerous for society. The risk vs. reward analysis continues to show us that cannabis is a viable alternative to prescription opiates.
With 23 states now allowing medical marijuana, seniors are increasingly realizing the efficacy of marijuana for the treatment of pain, nausea, inflammation and dozens of other symptoms. While traction at the federal level is moving slowly, the cannabis industry is extending open arms to elders with senior outreach programs and educational efforts.
Whether you’re entering the golden years yourself or your parents or grandparents are getting older, it’s imperative to know every option available to preserve health and comfort. Here is a list of 4 ways cannabis can help common conditions as we age:
Last year Arthritis Today published an article discussing the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of arthritis. Though some doctors remain skeptical, the bottom line for those suffering from arthritis is finding the medicine that works.
Dr. Fitzcharles, associate professor of medicine in the department of rheumatology and pain management unit at McGill University in Montreal said, “There’s no question that cannabinoids have the potential to have an impact on the disease.” The risk vs. reward may be still in limbo for some, but those who benefit from the plant would likely tell you there is no argument to be had.
Chronic pain comes in many forms, is caused by an endless list of medical conditions, and affects each individual differently. Marijuana may not work for every type of chronic pain, but has proven extremely effective in treating pain associated with multiple sclerosis or nerve injuries.
When compared to opiates in the treatment of pain, it’s becoming ever-more clear that marijuana is the safer option. Between the years of 1999 and 2010, states that had medical marijuana programs in place showed 25% decrease in the number of deaths caused by prescription pain killers. As the evidence in favor of medical marijuana mounts, more people are likely to use cannabis as an alternative to opiates.
Memory & Brain Function
A decline in cognitive function may be one of the most painful and saddening conditions that can afflict the elderly. Recent studies have indicated that there may be promise in the use of cannabis to preserve memory and brain function.
In a 2006 study by Dr. Kim Janda, his team’s research showed that cannabis may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, when compared to popular alzeimer’s drugs like Aricept and Cognex, the use of THC marginally outperformed both pharmaceuticals. There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and research has proven to be difficult. With limited options available, further research is needed to say whether cannabis can be the magic bullet for the disease.
Everyone knows that marijuana use stimulates the appetite, but not so many realize how valuable that can be in a medical context. For anyone unfamiliar with the effects of dialysis or chemotherapy, these treatments cause debilitating nausea and subsequent loss of appetite.
A recent study has validated what we already know about marijuana use, it effects our endocannabinoid system, heightening our sense of smell and taste. These effects are invaluable to those undergoing intense cancer treatments and dialysis, spurring appetite and easing nausea.
Photo Credit: Mini B.