Don’t respect the little ones, but they aren’t the people you should be talking to when you’re talking about medical marijuana — or any other cannabis treatment, for that matter.
Instead, people with conditions ranging from opioid addiction, arthritis and chemotherapy side effects to epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, need to speak to a cannabis-certified physician.
This is a key message from the new resource book by Rebecca Siegel, Brain on hemp (Citadel Press). Siegel is a New York-based psychiatrist and certified psychiatrist for several years who has also been prescribing medical marijuana by the state.
“My side gig,” Siegel joked in a recent interview. But in her book, she is very serious about the risks as well as the promise of medical marijuana. The reason: Today’s medical products lack FDA regulation and extensive research, and they come in all kinds of potency and from all kinds of assets—some superficial. Some also carry unproven claims, unfortunately trusted by uninformed consumers seeking relief from their pain.
Siegel wrote: “In the course of research in my book, I have learned that the cannabis landscape is changing rapidly, and it is difficult for patients to keep abreast of how these developments may affect their own condition and course of treatment.”
In fact, her book starts small with the basics, like CBD vs. THC, but moves on to new developments in the lesser known field. These include:
· Already approved drugs and cannabis: Although marijuana is still not federally legal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved four drugs made from mimetic THC or cannabis extract: Marinol, Cesamet, and Syndros all curb nausea and vomiting for chemotherapy patients. Syndros also stimulates appetite in AIDS patients. Epidiolex based on CBD is intended for children with severe seizure disorders. Another cannabis-derived drug, Sativex, is being examined by the FDA for spasticity and neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis.
· unexpected strength: Average concentrations of THC in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s were 10 percent. Today, that average is up to 20 percent, with one breed in 2016 containing 32 percent. “High potency marijuana today is not your mother’s or your grandfather’s marijuana,” Siegel writes. Such efficacy, she says, makes determining exact doses difficult for clinicians, and if patients themselves get recreational cannabis for health complaints – it can be fatal.
· Restrictions on doctors: Physicians facing legal skepticism about cannabis may be restricted by their states from “prescribing” a treatment as if it were a pharmaceutical drug. Instead, they can only “recommend” it.
· Allowed conditions: Countries may specify the exact conditions that qualify for approved cannabis drugs. This makes matters ambiguous when patients seek help in situations not on the list.
Siegel’s practices Amin Clinics With psychiatrist Daniel Amen, a famous brain disorder specialist and author, often seen on public television, who wrote the book’s foreword. Below is an edited excerpt from an interview with Siegel talking about it Hemp brain:
Why did you write this book?
I want to raise awareness and education. When my first patient came in asking me about cannabis, I found a product that she said, “This has helped me relieve insomnia,” rather than medication. I said, “Wow, that’s cool!” It turns out she went to a legal recreational dispensary in Denver, and the edible chocolate bar changed her life. She said, “Can you help me do this?” And I said, “I don’t know. Could.”
You write that you have seen countless individuals who have been treated with cannabis find relief from both physical and emotional conditions. Can you describe some of these cases? People after all are still wary…
Health caution! People should be careful and careful. So I’ve seen people get help with chronic pain, which is a big, amorphous condition. The other thing is [the condition being presented has] To fit the medical form of what is diagnosed, I am allowed to approve it. A condition such as insomnia in New York State is not approved; This is not a “condition”. Nor worry. But there are a lot of people who come up to me and say, ‘That’s what [cannabis] helped me to. “That’s me walking a very fine line. I don’t want people to take cannabis off the streets; it’s dangerous.”
What I saw? A woman with breast cancer, one of my first patients, was struggling with the idea that she was going to have chemotherapy, and it would make her nauseous. Another woman, much older, had a serious stroke and serious seizures, and was uninjured. [She was subsequently certified for medical CBD, not THC]. She heard from her nephew that her seizures could not be controlled by medication which caused her horrible side effects. [But CBD] He helped her a lot.
What do people not know about the effectiveness and origin of the things they buy on the street?
You don’t know anything! You are taking a big risk, and that means its strength. Since the ’60s, potency has tripled, quadrupled, which is scary to me because first-time teens, or anyone else, is taking a very strong cannabis product, whether it’s smoking or smoking. Not everyone will have a bad experience, but I’ve had many patients come to me – [reactions like] Anxiety, paranoia and psychosis. There is a great deal of disagreement going on within the scientific and research community about whether marijuana is a “gateway” drug…I know more research needs to be done.
You write about “chronic use disorder” or CUD – where people become addicted to marijuana. You reject the popular belief that marijuana, unlike, say, heroin or cocaine, is non-addictive and harmless.
In the psychiatric community, addiction is difficult to quantify. Someone’s addiction may not be someone else’s addiction. for some people, [marijuana] May cause lack of stimulation; Others say it helps them focus.
[On the myth of harmlessness]: It’s where you talk about causation and correlation, where you say, “Cannabis use, there’s a much higher risk of psychosis or schizophrenia,” or “If my daughter or son tried it, they would be more likely to become addicted to it or switch to more powerful drugs.” It is a very complex process. Can marijuana be harmless to some? maybe. But as a doctor I would not recommend it to anyone [younger than 25] whose brain is still maturing and developing.
Good luck with that!
I know! I have three daughters!
What would your message be to young people of their age or anyone else how Do they consume marijuana?
Smoking and vaping with our epidemic: You don’t want to pass anything through the lungs that will harm them. The other thing is that anyone with any pre-existing condition — asthma, COPD, or any other respiratory condition — doesn’t want to put anything in your lungs.
Cannabis Business Owners: What they may not know when it comes to advising clients?
Everyone who passes through the door is an individual. It’s not a one-size-fits-all drug – I hate using the word “drugs”! – But if you’re the owner, you want to have people working for you educated about it. People will come and get information, and you want to have people who know what they’re talking about, not local tenders. That scares me.