• Medical Cannabis

    Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It’s basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it’s taken for medical purposes. The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids.

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    Dr. Danial Schecter, MD, CCFP, Family Physician, gives a comprehensive overview of the cannabis plant and how cannabinoids can be used to treat some medical conditions.
    Dr. Danial Schecter, MD, CCFP, Family Physician, gives a comprehensive overview of the cannabis plant and how cannabinoids can be used to treat some medical conditions.
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    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses Cannabinoids in the Symptom Management of Breast Cancer.
    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses Cannabinoids in the Symptom Management of Breast Cancer.
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    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses how Cannabinoids can be used safely in conjunction with other therapies to alleviate the burden of chronic pain.
    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses how Cannabinoids can be used safely in conjunction with other therapies to alleviate the burden of chronic pain.
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    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses Cannabinoids in the Symptom Management of Breast Cancer.
    Dr. Michael Verbora, MBA, MD, CCFP, Cannabinoid Physician, discusses Cannabinoids in the Symptom Management of Breast Cancer.
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    Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses where medical cannabis can play a role in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes.
    Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses where medical cannabis can play a role in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes.
  • Understanding Cannabinoids For Medical Treatment

    Patients are increasingly asking physicians if cannabis is right for them. Unfortunately, health care providers rarely learn about cannabis and cannabinoids in medical school or throughout residency training. And as such, we lack the knowledge, the vocabulary to provide these valuable – or this valuable information.

                        

    In order to get this information, it’s important to understand what it is we’re talking about when we use the term cannabis. The term cannabis actually refers to the cannabis plant. This is very different from marijuana – or weed, or pot, or ganja or reefer. All of those terms are actually slang terms. And they’re slang terms that refer specifically to a portion of the cannabis plant. It refers specifically to the flowering buds and leaves of the female cannabis plant. The cannabis plant is a genus of plant that has a few different species, and it is actually a genus of plant that comes in both males and females.

    Marijuana refers particularly to the flowering buds and leaves of the female cannabis plant. Marijuana is actually covered in a sticky, resinous goo. And if we look at this resin under a microscope and analyze it, it contains over 450 different compounds.

    Of those 450 compounds, about a hundred of them are considered cannabinoids. Cannabinoids actually refers to an entire class of molecules. This class of molecule has a common structure that can interact with the body, most often with cannabinoid receptors. The other main group of molecules within the cannabis plant, or marijuana, are terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give the particular smell to cannabis. Terpenes are actually not particular to cannabis, they’re found throughout nature. Terpenes are commonly found in nature and they actually form the basis of aromatherapy.

    If we think of things such as lavender, mangoes, pepper, all of the scents that they produce come from terpenes. The terpenes that are found in cannabis not only have an effect on the human body, but they can also have an effect on cannabinoids and the treatment with Local Family Physician

    There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Of those 100 cannabinoids there are two that are found in higher concentration than all others. These two cannabinoids are referred to as THC, also called delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD, also called cannabidiol.

    THC is the only cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that causes euphoria. Cannabis that has been grown for recreational purposes has actually been grown and selectively bred over the generations to have increasing amounts of THC and the treatment with Local Family Physician

    And that’s why they say cannabis nowadays is about 5 to 10 times more potent than it was back in the 1960s and 70s. CBD, on the other hand, does not cause euphoria, and can actually decrease the amount of euphoria that you get from THC. CBD, in and of itself, has actually been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and is also under investigation to be antipsychotic, as well as antiepileptic, and even anxiolytic.

    For more information on cannabinoid medicine, it’s important to reach out to a colleague or other health care professional that has knowledge and training within the field. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.    

    Presenter: Dr. Danial Schecter, Family Doctor, Midland, ON

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

  • Treating Anxiety Disorders With Cannabinoids

    Anxiety is actually the most common reason why people use cannabis. It’s interesting to note that patients report cannabis can alleviate anxiety, but in a certain subset of patients cannabis can actually worsen both anxiety and depression. There are many different components of cannabis. The main two components are THC and CBD. THC is a component that actually makes you feel high, or causes that typical sense of euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t cause euphoria and will counteract the high that you get from THC.

    The part of cannabis that causes relief from anxiety is usually reported to be THC. There’s interesting research looking at CBD as being an anxiolytic, or anti anxiety, although research in CBD as being an anxiolytic is still in its infancy, and a lot more research has to be done before we start recommending CBD as a primary treatment for anxiety. Many patients wonder whether using cannabis for anxiety can cause tolerance or dependency, or even things such as addiction. Most patients who use cannabis do not become addicted to cannabis, although in certain situations it can actually worsen anxiety.

    Cannabis usually makes you feel happy, hungry and sleepy. When you use it often and regularly enough you become dependent on it, and when you don’t have it in your system or you stop using it, you can start feeling the opposite.

    So instead of happy, you can actually become more irritable, or some people feel more anxious. Instead of hungry you can have nausea or lack of appetite, and instead of sleepy you can feel like you have insomnia or difficulty sleeping. So while you don’t become addicted to cannabis, you can definitely get worsening of anxiety when you get withdrawal from cannabis. Often seeing a local family physician  in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.    

    While everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety, it’s actually not necessary to treat anxiety in every single situation. Anxiety is a perfectly normal state of being. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, it’s what makes us go to work. Anxiety only needs to be treated when it starts interfering with day-to-day activities.

    If you would like some more information on how cannabis might be able to benefit treatment in anxiety disorders, please go and speak with your family physician, pharmacist, or health care provider.

    Presenter: Dr. Danial Schecter, Family Doctor, Midland, ON

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

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