Welcome!! This blog features cannabis and neurological research, wellness journals and more. Please subscribe by email to keep up with my posts. Thank you for visiting! ~CC

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Research | Functional Neurological Disorder Diagnosis Acceptance

Dear, Readers! First off, I would like to apologize that I haven't been writing blog posts for my "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis" series. I've been having some hard health days lately and I'm just not able to keep up. The stress of trying isn't helping either. I am committed to completing the project, but it will take me quite a bit of time to catch up and I'm going to do it slowly so it can be done correctly. :)

I have been diagnosed with Psychogenic Movement Disorder by three different neurologists, and, until today, I did not believe it. There isn't much research on this disorder in the U.S., but the world's leading expert, Dr. Mark Edwards, is in the UK and that's where all research on it stems from. In the UK, Psychogenic Movement Disorder is classified as Functional Neurological Disorder or Conversion Disorder. I prefer the term, Functional Neurological Disorder, over Psychogenic, because after just a bit of research, I discovered that it is actually a physical disorder, not a psychological one. While watching the following videos I started to believe that Functional Neurological Disorder is my correct diagnosis. Take a look and see why.

Holly's Conversion Disorder Fight, 5 min.
This video shows that the symptoms are very real. Health experts cannot explain FND fully.

Second Opinion | Conversion Disorder, 26 min.
Listen to the neurologist's explanation of how this is diagnosed and
"...the differences between neurology and psychology are becoming increasingly blurred."

After watching this video I looked up the definition to further my education.

What is Functional Neurological Disorder?

It is important to note here that the terms, "Functional Neurological Disorder" and "Conversion Disorder" are used primarily in the UK where the world's leading expert resides. This leaves many confused on their diagnosis and struggling to find where they fit in.  They individually mean different things, however, they are all labels for the same disorder.
Functional Neurological Disorder provides an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms of apparent neurological origin but which current models struggle to explain psychologically or organically.  Presentation may be similar to a wide range of other neurological conditions.  FND/CD can be as debilitating as Parkinson’s disease and MS and have many similar symptoms.  The most common misconception is that patients are in control of some or all of their symptoms.  The patient does not consciously produce functional symptoms.   A patient with conscious control of their symptoms has a different diagnosis such as Feigning, Malingering, or Munchausen Syndrome.

Functional Neurological Disorder can present with any motor or sensory symptoms in the body including:
Given the occurrence of these medically unexplained symptoms in patients with organic brain injury, spinal injury, post-anesthesia and post-viral illnesses, the modern term moves away from psychodynamic theory and provides a useful label for what is a complex and little understood disorder. [Source]

 What is Psychogenic Movement Disorder?

To better explain this disorder, I find it pertinent to add this information from the U.S.
Psychogenic movement is an unwanted muscle movement such as a spasm or tremor that is caused by an underlying psychological condition. Psychogenic movement can involve any part of the body and resemble the same muscle movements that occur with a biological condition or structural abnormality. Most psychogenic movement is involuntary—done without being consciously initiated by the individual. Psychogenic movement may develop as part of a conversion disorder (in which a psychological event causes physical symptoms with no known medical cause). It also may result from a somatoform disorder (characterized predominantly by multi-system symptoms that are associated with distress and/or dysfunction), factitious disorder (an illness that simulates symptoms for psychological reasons), or malingering (not characterized as a psychiatric disorder but where illness is pretended as a way to achieve a secondary goal such as the acquisition of drugs or disability benefits). Unlike movement disorders caused by biological or structural conditions, psychogenic movement disorders commonly develop suddenly, progress rapidly to maximum severity, may increase in intensity, and come and go with complete or partial remissions.  The movement may be less when the person is distracted, and the severity of symptoms varies among individuals.  The course of the psychological condition may be short-lived or lead to chronic disability.  
Psychogenic movement is uncommon before the age of 10 years. In children, the dominant limb is most often affected, while adults most frequently see movement in the nondominant limb. 
Psychogenic movement disorders include: 
Psychogenic tremor (also called functional tremor) can appear as any form of tremor movement. Characteristics may vary but generally include sudden onset and remission, increased incidence with stress, change in tremor direction and/or body part affected, and greatly decreased or disappearing tremor activity when the person is being distracted. Many individuals with psychogenic tremor have a conversion disorder. 
Psychogenic dystonia involves involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow, repetitive movements or abnormal postures that are often severely painful. Onset may be abrupt or appear as part of a recurring attack. Psychogenic dystonia typically involves fixed postures, particularly from the start, whereas dystonia caused by a muscle or structural abnormality tends to involve more mobility and be action induced.Psychogenic myoclonus refers to sudden, involuntary muscle contractions (twitches) or jerking of a muscle or group of muscles that are caused by a psychological condition. Myoclonic jerks may occur alone or in sequence, in a pattern or without pattern. Increased startle or startle-like movements are frequent. Psychogenic myoclonus may occur spontaneously or be generated by an action or reflex. The twitching cannot be controlled by the person experiencing it. 
Psychogenic parkinsonism involves rigid movements that are extremely slow and often associated with a great sense of effort and rapid onset of severe fatigue. Individuals with psychogenic parkinsonism may also have tremor. Symptoms are usually seen on both sides of the body. 
Psychogenic gait disturbances feature unusual patterns of stance and gait. Individuals may stagger or veer from side to side when walking and appear to be losing their balance, but only rarely fall. Sudden knee buckling without falling is common. [Source]
The Research Process...

My brain was going overtime after watching the videos and reading the symptom list and definitions. The first video was shocking. The young lady had shaky voice issues just like me and, though her symptoms were more extreme than mine, I noticed that the twisting motions were the same. Her diagnosis was the same as mine. The second video explained more to me how a doctor actually comes to a diagnosis and I began to think about why it was that doctors were having such a hard time finding out what was wrong. Why weren't the tests conclusive? Why weren't medical tests like EEGs and MRIs showing problems when patients were obviously not faking it? According to the statistics, psychogenic movement disorder is the most common movement disorder in the spectrum of movement disorders with 2-3% of the world's population diagnosed as psychogenic. That means that movement disorder specialists see this type of movement more than any other movement disorder. That means that they must know by now what to look for. It was interesting to hear in the second video what differentiates the tremor in psychogenic movement disorder from a Parkinson's tremor. After watching the video, I knew that I believed I the legitimacy of my medical diagnosis.

I looked online and found that the facts presented in the videos were mirrored by other stories and accounts. I found a Functional Neurological Disorder/Conversion Disorder/fndhope.org group on FB and over 1,000 people discussing their diagnosis. Some of them didn't believe the diagnosis and some of them did. They all experience similar mysterious symptoms, but not all of their disorders present the same. Some of them have just one psychogenic component of the disorder like psychogenic epilepsy while some have multiple areas of concern. Some are attempting to heal themselves with EDMR, a PTSD psychological technique, to access the initial trauma that started their illness. Others focus on their physical symptoms and see occupational therapists to help them relearn how to use their bodies. Some say that their symptoms started in childhood and that they have family members that have Functional Neurological Disorder as well. This last part is particularly interesting both for the fact that this can't be a just a mental illness and for the fact that it can be genetic. That this happens in families also sets my mind at ease about this diagnosis since my recently estranged sister has the same disorder.

I noticed during my research on different types of neurological disorders that almost every condition has a mental illness component. Parkinson's, Huntington's, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and epilepsy all list depression or anxiety as a symptom. I find it safe to say that there is much more medical research that needs to be done on this disorder. When functional neurological disorder patients hear that this disorder is caused by psychiatric trauma, they automatically discount it because they know that they are not making up their symptoms. Some patients have never even experienced any trauma and, therefore, don't believe their diagnosis.

Neurology and psychology are blurred in FND...

One thing that is abundantly clear is that all functional neurological disorder patients are all suffering and they are all upset with the way the medical community has classified the disorder as a mental illness. There is research coming out of the UK from the University of Cambridge that says that when an organic dystonia is present that the brain does something abnormal in one direction. The psychogenic brain is abnormal, too, but in the opposite direction of the organic disorder. This proves that Functional Neurological Disorder is indeed a neurological disorder, instead of a mental illness.

I had heard that I was crazy from doctors before. The first time I heard that my symptoms were in my head was in 2002 after my auto accident with an 18 wheeler. The back doctor told me that he didn't understand why I was in so much pain. I had numerous shots in my back, but still needed vidodin for the pain. After completing a dye test that showed that I had bad disks, I stopped seeing doctors except once a year for pain meds. Then, again, years later when I saw a gastro doctor for a vomiting problem that lasted over a year (it later resolved itself for no apparent reason) they told me that they didn't know what was wrong with me. So, I was fed up with doctors telling me that my symptoms were in my head. I thought I was just seeing stupid doctors, so I changed doctors every time.

I completely understand why anyone that receives this diagnosis wants to refute their doctor's findings. Most doctors are scientist type personalities and are missing a sensitivity chip. If patients were told from neurologists, "All neurological disorders have a component of mental illness and this one is not any different. You have a mysterious neurological illness that may or may not be caused by previous trauma. I can help you with medications, but PTSD therapies and occupational therapy have shown great results in your disorder," then that would make more of an impact.

All neurologists across the world agree that the quicker you can get this diagnosed and the quicker you get into treatment the more likely that Functional Neurological Disorder can be cured, but that happens infrequently. Most patients have reoccurring psychogenic illnesses for the rest of their lives. The disorder cannot be cured and most patients are using prescription medications and psychological therapies to control their symptoms.

Everything happens for a reason...

One more thing to note... After receiving my first diagnosis over a year ago, I researched this topic and found Dr. Jankovic, but forgot about him. A year later, as I was about to give up, I remembered only that he was a leading movement disorder specialist. I saw him two weeks ago and his diagnosis was psychogenic movement disorder. He, too, is missing a sensitivity chip, but not as much as some of the other neurologists. I left his office disappointed and ready to give up on all western medicine doctors. If I hadn't seen Holly's video and heard her story, then I may have gone the rest of my life disbelieving my correct diagnosis. 

Everything happens for a reason. A year ago I wasn't meant to understand, but after watching Holly's video I have hope. Thank you, Holly, for being brave enough to share your story. I will be forever grateful. :)

Holly's Conversion Disorder Follow-up Video, 6 min.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Concentrate Smoking | 8 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis

Concentrates are marijuana plants that have been cooked in a solvent. That means that hash, hash oil, and cannabis oil are all classified as concentrates. Concentrates are merely a stronger, more concentrated form of marijuana which is wonderful news for chronic pain patients wanting some relief. There are quite a few devices that you could use to smoke concentrates and I will detail them below.

Kief in the bottom of a grinder.

Consuming Concentrates...

The most important pieces of advice I can give
...the healthiest pieces of advice...
are to always smoke out of a water filtration device
and to smoke concentrates cautiously 
until you're an experienced consumer!

Penguin Dabber by Chaka Glass
Hash has gotten quite a bad rap since most people associate hash as being a harsher drug when, in reality, it is merely marijuana cooked down. Hash is stronger because the kief (holds most of the trichomes) in the marijuana is used to make it. Dabs, also known as earwax, wax, or shatter, is a form of hash oil that has been cooked into a fine, see through sheet of concentrated liquid which dries hard.
Storing resin in a glass jar is a healthier option.
Another type of concentrate is resin. I would just like to say that I adore resin. I think it's pretty awesome that, after smoking the dry herb, that it is converted into a resin that can be smoked by itself. It is in between the consistency of a gooey dab and a cannabis oil. It is thick and, when smoked, is very potent in odor. There are two very important reasons why I adore resin. One is the fact that it's basically recycled weed because the dry herb got me high and then there's still this left over to smoke! And, two, is that the concentrated resin will get you higher than dry herb and it is extremely potent for chronic pain patients. Collect resin whenever your bong stem gets full into a glass jar and store with the lid screwed on tight to prevent the resin from drying and becoming hard.

Cannabis Oil
A third type of concentrate, and the most important, is Cannabis Oil (also known as Hemp Oil). Cannabis Oil is what everyone talks about when they discuss what cures cancer. When making cannabis oil, the plant is cooked down into a food grade solvent and then it is ingested or smoked for various ailments. This oil is not easy to come by in illegal states or Colorado. Colorado has some sort of law that says that regular people can't get their oil tested and it's causing medical marijuana patients to have difficulty acquiring this very important medicine. It is when the whole plant is ingested that true internal healing and curing can begin. For our purposes here I will be showing you how to smoke it, but in future posts I will be going into further detail about ingesting it.

There are many types of devices to smoke concentrates and I will list them by their ease of use and tell you how to use the device.

The Pipe*
...glass water pipe or bong is recommended
Recommended for the Intermediate or Experienced Cannabis Consumer

$75 on Artfire

Fill your bowl with dry herb and pick up your dab or resin with your dabber. Place the dab into the marijuana and roll it into the herb. Light and smoke it. Be advised that this is a more pungent smoke. You will need incense even if you think you won't!

A Different Method of How to Use a Pipe to Smoke Concentrates Video.

The Vape Pen*
...for concentrates or cannabis oil
Recommended for the Intermediate or Experienced Cannabis Consumer

I love vape pens! They are so easy to use, they hardly smell when used, and you can use resin, cannabis oil or dabs in this handy vape pen. I have a bubble vaporizer attachment that I use on an old Amazing Vaporizer. A couple of puffs and I'm in heaven! I especially love it for the times when I find it difficult to smoke because I cough very little when smoking out of this device!

How to Use a Vape Pen Video.

The Recycler
Recommended for the Experienced Cannabis Consumer

For dabs, resin, or cannabis oil consumption.

Concentrates with the names of earwax, wax or shatter are all forms of hash most commonly called dabs. Dabs have taken Colorado and the nation by storm. They are a more concentrated version of marijuana, so they should be smoked with caution. I recommend a puff or two or a pin like size dab on your dab nail or dabber for your first time because just those couple of puffs will get an experienced dry herb smoker really, really stoned.

How to Use a Recycler Video.

Smoking dry herb or concentrates are really easy once you get into it. Instagram is a really great learning tool for anyone wanting to learn more. Just search '#dabs' and you'll come up with a wealth of knowledge and videos on how to use all the up to date devices. If you come across CoralReefer420, tell her I said hi!

Whatever device you use to smoke concentrates is of little importance. The most important thing is that you find relief from your illness and its symptoms!!

Stay tuned for a post on edibles! YUM!!!

*Home concentrate consumption is advised, but driving with concentrates is not. Most illegal states have laws with harsher fines and jail time. In Texas one can face a lifetime in prison for possession of concentrates.

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dry Herb Smoking | 7 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis

Now that we've discussed The Endocannabinoid System and how cannabis is the key to unlocking that system, then we can move onto the fun part - Consuming Cannabis! Cannabis can be consumed by smoking or ingesting. This post will discuss the most popular and quickest way to consume cannabis--smoking!

It can be challenging to for new patients to avoid overmedication, since many of the tools --like bongs and vaporizers-- don't come with many instructions on how to use them or how to have a controlled dosage, so I've gathered some info on my favorite consumption devices.

Consuming Dry Herb...

The most important piece of advice I can give
...the healthiest piece of advice...
is to always smoke out of a 
water filtration device.

The Pipe
Recommended for the Beginner, Intermediate, or Experienced Medical Marijuana Consumer

Glass Bubbler is in-between a pipe and a bong.
Finding the right dosage is pretty simple. You just start by consuming a small amount and work up to an amount that is pleasurable to you and that is effective against your health symptoms. For example, if you've never smoked before then I recommend that you smoke out a pipe for the first time. I recommend a "bubbler" like the one pictured above. It is a water pipe, not a water bong.

"Just a little bit" is a saying that goes a long way for your first time consuming cannabis. I recommend taking two puffs and waiting for 15-30 minutes to see how you feel before consuming more on your first time.

How To Smoke a Pipe Video.

The Dry Herb Vaporizer Pen
Recommended for the Beginner, Intermediate, or Experienced Medical Marijuana Consumer

Smoking out of this vaporizer is good for on the go, but smoking out of glass is healthier.

When you're a medical marijuana patient the best thing you can do for yourself is to buy one of these pens. This is the most important smoking device for anyone on the go. Vaporizers work by heating dry herb or concentrates to a temperature at which the active ingredients boil off and form an inhalable vapor, but below the temperature at which these ingredients approach precombustion or combustion. It's important to note that these are relatively new devices and it is easy to purchase a cheaper one and give up because they don't work. You'll need to purchase one in the $150-250 range for it to work properly and for a long duration of time.

How to use a dry herb vaporizer.

I highly recommend the dry herb pen over a concentrate pen (I will be covering concentrates in a future post) for those that live in illegal states. Some states have stricter laws for concentrates and in those instances concentrates are only recommended for in home use. 

The Joint
Recommended for the Intermediate or Experienced Medical Marijuana Consumer

A joint is a cheap way to smoke, but smoking out of glass is much healthier.

I recommend a joint for two plus persons because a joint is a lot to smoke at one time for one person, however a couple of puffs on this is possible and you can put it out carefully by just snuffing out the flame. For a joint you will need papers, a grinder, and enough cannabis to fill it. You will grind your medical marijuana and place it in the center of the paper and then roll it up using this technique by Eg0re!

How to Roll a Joint Video.
*Metal grinder is a Healthy choice.

The Bong (Ask for "Water Pipe" in Head Shops)
Recommended for the Intermediate, or Experienced Medical Marijuana Consumer

*Glass is a Healthy choice! Use Everclear and epsom salts to clean.

For many smokers, the bong is a personal accessory that is highly sought after for it's design and function. Bongs, or the preferred term of "water pipes" at marijuana paraphernalia shops, are beautiful pieces of glass that are used to consume larger amounts of cannabis. If you are having a bad pain day, then a bong hit is what you'll need. You fill the the bong full of clean, fluoride free water and small chips of ice and you fill the bowl with weed. You will light the bowl and inhale it at the same time. The amount of smoke that comes out depends on how hard you suck, so it's really easy for a newbie to suck in too much smoke. I've found that the easiest way to control that is to suck slowly while lighting the bowl and pull the bowl out of the bong quickly (this stops the marijuana from smoking more) to suck in all the air at one time. If you leave smoke in the bowl and suck it out afterwards, then it will make you cough hard.

How to Smoke a Bong Video.

The Volcano Vaporizer
Recommended for the Experienced Medical Marijuana Consumer

A volcano is not easy to come by, but it can be purchased at some of the nicer head (paraphernalia) shops, but it can be cheaper to find online. I just recently tried a volcano vaporizer for the first time and I loved it. I could taste the delicate flavors of the marijuana and I didn't cough at all (I'm a hacker usually). I appreciated the fact that I could smoke very easily with this device!

The way it works is that you insert the herb into the top middle. You lock the bag into place, turn on the machine and watch the bag fill with the vapor. It is then smoked through the tube and passed around like a joint at parties. The bags that come with it can be reused a lot of times.

How to use The Volcano Vaporizer Video.

Stay tuned for more posts about edibles, oil, and concentrates!

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Right Cannabis Strain for YOU | 6 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis

Marijuana Plants

Before you can consume cannabis, you need to find the right strain that works for your ailment. There are two different strains, Indica and Sativa, and there is a hybrid which is a combination of the two with one being more dominant than the other. Indica is a short and fat, broad leaved plant that promotes rest, relaxation, and pain relief. Sativa is a narrow, tall leaved plant that increases alertness and energy. It is really all about what works best with your body and ailment. Hybrids are a combo of sativa and indica, so they can be highly sought after like the prized Blue Dream.

The Indica variety of marijuana tends to grow short and bushy, with wide/fat leaves. The buds produced by Indica plants tend to cause a more heavy and relaxing effect, known as a "body high", and can cause people to feel "couchlocked."  
Indica plants tend to be well-suited to grow indoors because of their shape and Indica buds are especially suited to relieve insomnia, muscle tension, nausea, lack of appetite, anxiety, body pain, and depression.
The buds from a Sativa plant cause more of an "in your head" high, sometimes psychedelic, sparking creativity, uplifting your mood, and even can be energizing for some people. Sativa varieties of marijuana are often better suited to growing outdoors as they can grow to 20 feet or more in height. While an indoor grower can use growth control methods to control the height and shape of the plant, a full Sativa can be tough for an indoor grower with limited space. Therefore, many indoor growers who love the Sativa effects will opt for a hybrid that carries the same bud properties, but has been bred to be easier for indoor growing.  
Well-loved by artists, Sativas are especially suited to relieve depression, migraines and certain types of pain, while being more "day-friendly" and energizing than many pure Indicas. [Source]

Sativa = Higher THC levels
Check out this handy Medical Marijuana Strain Review created by patients that lists the ailment first and the strain second!

These handy charts will help, but I highly recommend using Leafly's app on a regular basis. Even if you're in an illegal state, medical grade cannabis should still be available to you and you can make a good buy as long as you know what kind of strain you're buying. Some patients ask me how to find it in their area. Because it's illegal you're going to have to know a guy who knows a guy. You can't know if what you're getting is truly medical grade, but since I've been educated about what marijuana looks and smells like then I have a bit more of an expertise than the usual Medical Jane.

One good piece of advice is to keep your cannabis in a brown colored jar. I make homemade bread so I used a leftover yeast jar. It's a large size and, because it's a dark brown glass, it stays fresher longer. The jars are easy to find in the grocery store and cost at most $3. Sounds like a cheap and wonderful marijuana jar is waiting on Aisle 6, huh? ;p

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cannabis & The Endocannanoid System | 5 of 31 Days to Free Your Mindabout Cannabis

A good friend of mine got me "Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana" to read about cannabis and I found a ton of information that I want to share with you about what medical conditions cannabis alleviates and all the information you need to know if you're a medical marijuana newbie!

Medical marijuana benefits the following illnesses, but not limited to:
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cachexia and Appetite Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Gerontology
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Insomnia and Sleep Disorders (including Sleep Apnea)
  • Migraine and Headache
  • Multiple Sclerosis and Movement Disorders
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Neuropathy
  • Pain
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Skin Conditions
  • Stress

Due to the fact that today's physicians are not taught that cannabis can be an effective medicine medical marijuana patients typically know more about what cannabis can or can't help. The problem stems from the difficulty of conducting peer-reviewed medical research on the medical uses of cannabis when the primary US government agency supervising that research is dedicated to the proposition that cannabis is a dangerous drug of abuse with no accepted medical use. However, this situation is changing with 23 legal states and more to come this next election season.

We do know how cannabis works in the body and there is much research being done on the endocannabanoid system in our body that mimics the chemicals in marijuana. In order to understand medical marijuana and how it can be beneficial for your health, it's good to understand the endocannbanoid system. 
The endocannabinoid system consists of a network of endocannabinoid receptors, which are distributed throughout the body. They system is a very complex regulatory system, board in its function, and found within all complex animals, from fish to humans. The endocannabinoid system supports such diverse functions as memory, digestion, motor function, immune response, appetite, pain, blood pressure, bone growth, and the protection of neural tissues. Many researchers believe that there are even more physiological processes with which the enocannabinoid system is involved, still yet to be discovered.
The two primary subtypes of cannabinoid receptor in the enodcannbinoid system are CB1 and CB2. These receptors are distributed throughout the entrap nervous and immune systems, and within many other tissues, including the brain, gastrointestinal system, reproductive and urinary tracts, spleen, endocrine system, heart and circulatory system. Furthermore, researchers have uncovered new evidence that points to at least three other cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, in addition to CB1 and CB2. 

Endocannabinoids serve as the primary messenger across synapses (the gaps between nerve cells. They signal neurons to communicate with each other through the release of neurotransmitters, keeping our nervous system running smoothly. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand, released back across the synapse, then taken into the cells and rapidly metabolized. They appear to be profoundly connected with the concept of homeostasis, helping redress specific imbalances presented by disease or injury. Their role in pain signaling has lead to the hypothesis that endocannabinoid levels may be responsible for the baseline of pain throughout the body. This could mean that the constant release of the body's own endocannabinoids could have a tonic effect on muscle tightness in multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, inflammation and even baseline appetite. 
 The CB1 receptor is expressed throughout the brain, where endocannabinoids and CB1 combine to form a circuit breaker, which modulates the release of neurotransmitters. The brain functions affected by the endocannabinoid system are decision making, cognition, emotions, learning, memory, regulation of body movement, anxiety, stress, fear, pain, body temperature, appetite, reward center, motor control and much more. The brain stem is one region where the CB1 receptors don't work and that's the area in control of respiration and circulation which is why cannabis overdoses are not fatal. One thing to note here is that the CB1 receptor that is responsible for modulating neurotransmitters is also the one that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. 
The CB2 receptors control the release of cytokines (immunoregulatory proteins) linked to inflammation and general immune function throughout the body.
Watch "The Endocannabinoid System" Video.

While there are over 100 cannabanoids, they can be categorized into 10 different types with these being the primary forms.

  • THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis and interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors.
  • CBD (cannabidiolic acid) is mildly psychoactive and is produced mainly from hemp.
  • CBG (cannabigerol) is an analgesic non-psychoactive cannabinoid with antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-tumor agents. 
  • CBC (cannabichromenic acid) has anti-depressant, antibiotic and anti fungal properties.
  • CBN (oxidation byproduct of THC) is not found in the cannabis plant, but in resin or oil.

When the cannabis is heated and consumed, the endocannabinoid receptors are activated. Now that you understand the complexities of how the endocannbanoid system and medical marijuana works together, our next step to understand how it can help YOU is to help you understand how to consume it.

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cannabis Safer than Alcohol and Prescription Medications | 4 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis

For those of us that suffer from disease we can walk into any doctors office and leave with a multitude of medications. Anything we want we can attain. One can get benzos and ambien from PCPs and, if you have something more pressing, you can get some major opioids or pain pills from pain management offices.

I took a look at the CDC's website and found some very, very disturbing statistics that made the above one pale in comparison. 74% of all overdoses are due to opioids and 30% are due to benzodiazepines. Most overdoses had a combination of the two. Opioids are prescribed for pain and benzodiazepines are prescribed for anxiety, so therefore the two leading causes of injury death are due to pain and anxiety.

According to Washington Post marijuana there are more trips to the emergency room for prescription medications or alcohol than marijuana, making marijuana safer to consume than prescriptions or alcohol.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the leading drug for illicit teenage use and is followed second by prescriptions. If we legalize marijuana then that will make it necessary for a driver's license to be used to purchase marijuana at a dispensary just as needed for alcohol or narcotic prescriptions, therefore making it as difficult to attain as alcohol or prescriptions.

Marijuana has been proven by studies to be safer to consume. Since the two leading causing prescriptions are written for pain and/or anxiety it is safe to advise that our society would benefit more from the legalization of marijuana than the continued use of alcohol and prescriptions that cause such a high incidence of death.

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Friday, October 3, 2014

What is Cannabis Oil? | 3 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind About Cannabis

My quest for answers about my neurological disorder led me to cannabis oil. As many of you may or may not know, I'm an activist for marijuana reform in Texas. It's been a passion of mine for a little while now. I became a believer when I sought something more natural to help me with pain. I've been smoking it for the past year for medicinal purposes. It's amazing for pain relief and I don't feel as unhealthy as I did while I on Vicodin.

While doing research on Parkinson's, I came across cannabis medical studies on a regular basis. These studies are about patients not only smoking it, but ingesting cannabis oil. The entire marijuana plant, using alcohol as a solvent, is cooked down into a thick resinous oil. When ingested in this manner marijuana becomes a formidable and powerful medicine.

"Run From The Cure" has a bunch of important patient testimonials and it explains what the oil is and how it is made. It's important to understand this so that you can understand how it heals the body.
"Run From the Cure" was the very first movie I ever watched about cannabis oil. I had heard of cannabis oil, but I didn't really know what it was. Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Weed episode touches on the topic briefly, but I wanted to share this video because it's the most important video that anyone with a debilitating disease can watch.

Cannabis oil is the entire plant cooked down using a solvent (I suggest Everclear, not rubbing alcohol as it's less toxic) and then the patient ingests the oil. This oil is highly potent and it is what everyone is talking about. This is what cures cancer and a multitude of other debilitating diseases. If cannabis can't cure it, it can sure make your quality of life way more enjoyable!

Please watch this video and share it with your friends. Education is key to solving our health problems!

Cannabis Oil can cure a multitude of ailments. This is a short list!

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Public Apology about Cannabis | 2 of 31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis

I have always been a Sanjay Gupta fan. I've been posting about him since my infancy as "Bipolar Chica". When I came across his CNN segment, Weed, I was intrigued. I didn't even know that he was against marijuana until that point. I watched the hour long documentary in surprise. I had no idea that marijuana had so very many, many health benefits!

After watching his first documentary I had to find out more about him and I did find out ever so much more about marijuana and I began to equate Dr. Gupta as my own personal marijuana doctor/guru. I followed what he said and researched everything and found that he is extremely factual. Please watch the following segments.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Apology to Americans for his beliefs about Weed

 Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN documentary, "Weed", 43 min.
(Choose between 16 min. or 43 min. versions)

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN documentary, "Weed", 16 min.
(Choose between 16 min. or 43 min. versions)

Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN documentary, "Weed 2", 43 min.

If Dr. Gupta can admit his misconceptions, then so can the rest of the medical system!

This has been fun! See you tomorrow, folks!

This has been a post from "31 Days to Free Your Mind about Cannabis".
Follow CC's Short-term Cannabis Oil Research & Study for a personal account.
If you're a patient in Texas, please view this information about how you can help legalize!