Symptoms Treated With Medical Cannabis
Diseases and other medical conditions do not discriminate. One way or another, we all fall victim to them – be it pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and even more serious conditions such as cancer. Unfortunately, medical conditions/diseases and sometimes treatment can lead us to various annoying, and in many cases, DAILY unwanted symptoms.
Let’s dive into the symptoms/conditions! If you suffer from any of the below symptoms/conditions, you may qualify for medical cannabis.
Stress is a natural reaction our body has to situations that have a sense of threat or major challenge (be it real or imaginary). Most, if not all of us, will suffer from stress at some point because it arises from being exposed to any kind of everyday life experiences, such as when we’re at work, at home taking care of the family, going to school and giving an oral presentation, among other things.
Due to the fact that it’s a natural biological reaction of adrenaline in our bodies, stress is not considered to be particularly bad. In and of itself, stress is part of the flight-or-fight responses humans have that help us survive even since the beginning of time, and it now helps us deal with life-threatening or mind-boggling situations.
Some common symptoms of adrenaline-induced-stress include:
- Increase in heartbeat
- Breathing acceleration
- Muscle tension
- Sweat and perspiration
- Inhibition of insulin
What’s important to keep in mind is that stress should be temporary. Once a stress-inducing situation has passed, our bodies should be able to naturally recover. This should be a quick process, letting us return to our normal states without having any long-lasting negative consequences.
There are several kinds of stress, the most common being acute stress. This is the kind of stress we all go through, and it’s a very normal thing to experience. Other more severe cases, such as episodic acute stress and chronic stress, can impede our ability to function properly in our everyday lives.
In cases where stress is more frequent and severe, it can also get to a point where it’s physically and/or mentally damaging to our bodies. Adrenaline surges can also lead to other damaging effects such as high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and an even higher risk of heart attack and stroke. These can be the case for people who suffer from episodic acute stress and more frequently for those who go through chronic stress.
There are many different stress triggers that can be treated in many different ways, and medical cannabis can definitely help! The right CBD – THC balance is known to be very effective in reducing stress, decreasing its frequency and diminishing the probability of obtaining negative consequences of a process that should be natural and temporary in our bodies.
Anxiety is, coincidentally, a natural response our body has to stress. It is commonly experienced as a feeling of insecurity, fear and the constant expectancy that something is about to happen. Often confused with feeling fearful or nervous, anxiety is merely a normal state our bodies experience when presented with nerve-racking situations, such as giving a speech, walking by ourselves at night and even assisting in your first job interview.
Anxiety affects most of us, and it is considered perfectly normal and even healthy to experience it from time to time. It’s commonly accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty falling asleep
But, like with stress, anxiety can become more severe. Anxiety disorders are a bigger challenge. With these, the feeling of fear is present all the time, usually interfering with simple tasks and impeding a person’s ability to function properly at any given moment. As with stress disorders, anxiety disorders also vary, and panic disorders, phobias, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are all different manifestations of anxiety.
Everybody experiences anxiety differently, and some symptoms of more severe cases can also include a disconnect from mind and body or a loss of control of one’s ability to talk, process, think and feel. Things that trigger anxiety attacks also vary from person to person, as they can range from mundane social interactions to more personal and traumatic experiences. There is no one-size-fits-all experience regarding anxiety, but experts have found that genetic and environmental factors, as well as brain chemistry, play an important role in it.
Thankfully, medical cannabis offers relief to people who suffer from anxiety disorders. For people with mild cases, medication is not a necessity, but a balanced dose of medical cannabis can help reduce symptoms of uneasiness, prevent episodes and balance chemistry in the brain no matter the case. It also doesn’t come with the secondary effects common antidepressants and sedatives are often accompanied by.
Experiencing sadness and other similar feelings are regular parts of life. Losing interest in things that one filled us with passion is also something that we all have in common, and it’s completely normal to feel down every once in a while. But when these feelings interfere with our daily lives and impede us from being functional for a prolonged period of time, it’s probably a deeper issue than just unmotivated or going through a slump.
Depression can affect adults, teenagers and even children, globally affecting more than 264 million people. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the number one cause of disability in the world, and one of the most common mental disorders. As previously described, it affects a person’s overall functionality, including their performance in the workplace, their development at school or their role in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
Some of the signs and symptoms that point towards having depression include:
- Consistently depressed mood
- Loss of sleep, or over-sleeping
- Fatigue or overall loss of energy
- Changes in appetite
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Loss of interest in activities they enjoyed
- Difficulty concentrating, thinking and making decisions
- Recurring suicidal or deadly thoughts
- Suicide attempt(s)
Depending on the kinds and severity of symptoms, a depressive episode can be categorized int a mild, moderate or severe case. The causes behind depression are not always the same, but they vary amongst genetics, environmental factors, brain neurotransmitter levels, and psychological and social factors.
Depression can lead to life-threatening situations, so it’s very important to seek help and treatment. Unfortunately, traditional treatments can come with a wide variety of side effects, such as nausea, constipation, sexual dysfunction and even changes in blood sugar levels.
Many patients and doctors have turned to medical cannabis to help ease the secondary effects of common medication and of depression itself, which often comes accompanied by stress, anxiety and similar factors.
Pain is a natural reaction that often accompanies injuries and illnesses, but chronic pain is a disorder people suffer from that can be consistently present for months or even years. It’s one of the leading causes of disability, and it’s an awful thing to go through.
Chronic pain syndrome takes a toll on a person’s both physical and mental health. While the pain can be near-constant, flares of more intense pain can arise due to an increment in a person’s stress level or activity.
Symptoms of chronic pain can include, but are not limited to:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Sleep loss
- Decreased stamina and energy
- Mood swings and irritability
- Pain from serious medical illnesses such as cancer
These are all common reasons for sufferers to want to ease their symptoms. Within what the causes for chronic pain are, there are various conditions that spread and cause long-lasting pain in a patient. Medical cannabis for pain can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life, especially by decreasing the following symptoms:
- Non-migraine headaches
- Joint pain
Medical marijuana is a great alternative to opioids that are often used to relieve pain and turn down common symptoms of chronic pain disorder, especially if a user is trying to avoid the secondary effects of said medicine. While medical cannabis can be used alongside opioid medicine, it’s often recommended to be used on its own in order to successfully treat symptoms whilst avoiding secondary effects. It’s important to contact your physician and consider all viable options to treat chronic pain, but keep in mind medical marijuana does offer effective relief for it!
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes people to have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, and it leads to lethargy, daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It’s also linked to mood swings, irritability, anxiety and a constant feeling of unwellness.
This disorder can be caused by several factors, often linked with physical and psychological ones. Underlying medical conditions are a very common cause, and lifestyle choices can also influence a patient to suffer from insomnia.
Other common causes for it include:
- Circadian rhythm disruptions
- Medical conditions
- Hormone imbalances
- Psychological issues
- Emotional disorders
- Stress or trauma
- Other factors
Some symptoms that point towards having either mild or chronic insomnia are:
- Trouble falling and staying asleep
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Waking up multiple times at night
- Mood swings
- Difficulty focusing on tasks
- Lack of energy
There are various pharmaceutical treatments available for insomnia, a lot of them available as over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, they come with various long-lasting side effects that can often worsen a person’s daily functionality. There are also prescribable medications that, as with the OTC ones, also come with secondary effects.
Thankfully, medical cannabis offers a solution for people with insomnia, as combinations of CBD and THC help balance chemicals and help patients tackle various symptoms from insomnia and allow them to have a better sleep cycle. Talk with your physician as to what is the best product available for your case!
Nausea is a feeling that we all know too well. The awful stomach discomfort and the feeling of wanting to vomit is something nobody ever wants to experience. While it can happen due to many causes, it’s undoubtedly one of the most uncomfortable experiences to even go through.
Some reasons for nausea can stem from having gastrointestinal problems. Apart from other common causes like motion or seasickness, nausea and vomiting are often symptoms of deeper gastric issues such as infections, viruses, ulcers, sores, and even dietary and medication-induced causes.
Medical cannabis is often used to treat cancer patients that go through chemotherapy. It has been linked to helping induce relief for stomach pains and nausea, which are a common side effect of the medical procedure. General gastric problems are very common, and they can heavily affect our quality of life, and medical cannabis offers a solution to help relieve symptoms of pain and prevent nausea and vomiting.
Involuntary muscle movements can be caused by a variety of disorders. A tremor is an unintentional and uncontrollable muscle movement that’s usually a result of an issue on the part of a patient’s brain that controls movement. From Dystonia to Parkinson’s Disease, tremors come in a variety of types, which can all impede patients from performing daily tasks and are often uncomfortable.
They are categorized into two types: resting tremor and action tremor. Resting tremors occur when a person is sitting or laying still, and they go away once a person starts moving around. Due to their nature, they often affect the hands or fingers.
Action tremors, on the other hand, are tremors that take place when a person is trying to move, affecting a specific body part’s ability to stay in control. Action tremors are further classified in the following types:
- Intention tremor: Visible when a person is trying to do a target movement, such as pointing toward something or touching a specific thing with their fingers.
- Postural tremors: Occur when a person is trying to move or stay in a position that defies gravity, such as lifting their arms or legs.
- Task-specific tremors: Appear only when a person is doing a specific task, such as drawing.
- Kinetic tremors: Occur when a person moves a body part.
- Isometric tremors: Take place when a person is voluntarily contracting a muscle, without any other movement.
Apart from type, tremors can be disorder-specific. These are categorized by their appearance and specific cause. Some examples include essential tremor, Parkinsonian tremor, Dystonic tremor, Cerebellar tremor, Orthostatic tremor and Physiologic tremor.
There are many treatments available in the market for tremors. Medications, botox injections and physical therapy are some of the most common, and even brain stimulation surgery is available for more severe cases. All of these are reliable, but medications often come with unwanted secondary effects and they all are overall very expensive treatments.
Medical cannabis contains CBD, which is an active cannabinoid that engages with endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies. It helps regulate inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters, which diminish muscle tremors and spasticity. Many patients have confirmed
that medical cannabis is a good treatment to diminish tremors, which allows them to live more comfortable lives and reduce the levels of pain they experience. Every case is different, of course, and patients should talk with their physicians and analyze what treatment is the best fit for them.
Appetite loss can come from a variety of causes, but it’s often a symptom of chronic illnesses, a secondary effect of these diseases’s respective treatments or a result of a mental illness. With a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life, loss of appetite can create many issues in their lives and lead to immense weight loss and malnutrition. These are things that, if untreated, can worsen a patient’s state overtime.
Decreased appetite can be caused by:
- Psychological causes: Appetite can have trending fluctuations depending on your mood, stress level, and overall mental state. It’s also directly linked to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.
- Bacteria and viruses: An infection caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi can activate this symptom.
- Medical conditions: Kidney failure, hepatitis, HIV, hypothyroidism and dementia are just some of the medical conditions that can have appetite loss as a symptom.
- Chronic illnesses: Many patients that suffer from chronic liver disease or cancer (particularly ones where their cancer is located in a digestive organ) go through appetite loss.
- Medications: Loss of appetite can be a secondary effect to many medications. Certain antibiotics, codeine, and chemotherapy drugs are often a direct cause of this symptom.
Depending on the source, loss of appetite can be treated differently. In any case, studies have found that medical cannabis has an appetite-inducing property in CBD that stimulates appetite circuits in the brain. Depending on the disorder or direct cause, patients can talk with their medical professionals and physicians to see if medical cannabis is a viable treatment for their appetite loss.
These are just some of the many symptoms/conditions medical cannabis can help relieve. With the help of SmartLeaf Health Services, located inside Castleridge Medical Centre at 12 Castleridge Drive NE Calgary, AB T3J 1V4, you’ll be able to reach the right physician that will learn your symptoms and write a prescription so you can have access to the correct strains, dosage and levels of THC to CBD you need for your unique situation.
Get in touch today and we’ll connect you with the right qualified physician covered by Alberta Health, and Health Canada Approved Licensed Producers. Book an appointment today to start receiving treatment by choosing one of the options above.