Better Metabolism with Cannabis?

Fact #1: Cannabis use increases caloric intake. Fact #2: Cannabis users on average have lower BMI’s (body mass index) and smaller waistlines than non-cannabis users. Initially, these statements appear to conflict on a basic logical level. With “the munchies” being frequently referenced in popular culture, and with some of the first medical cannabis approvals hinging around appetite stimulation, it’s no secret that cannabis can cause users to eat more than intended. Increased caloric intake should mean increased weight gain. So in what world are these two facts compatible? The answer is…our world. Although weight does relate to caloric intake, ultimately the calories stored in the body depend on how completely the body has turned incoming food into usable energy, a process referred to as metabolization. In large data-based studies, researchers have noticed that cannabis users on average have lower BMI’s and smaller waistlines, which means they are less likely to be obese than non-cannabis users. Until recently, this fact has been viewed as a quirky, unexplained observation. Although data-based studies are wonderful for checking the validity of general correlations, once the data is exhausted, the track is dead. Without more data concerning metabolism specifically, researchers were not sure where to go next. However, in 2013, one research group, from the Harvard School of Public Health, focused on this research target and added another variable to the mix: blood samples. Blood samples allow blood sugar and insulin levels to be measured, which then allows a live read of how bodies are…

Organ Transplants and Cannabis

At Cornerstone we feel an obligation to our members to be on the leading edge of medical cannabis information. As a result, we are constantly on the lookout for new roles medical cannabis could serve in society. Recently, we noticed a paper by the University of South Carolina that argued that cannabinoids could have a therapeutic role in organ transplantation. Although we are cautious of taking in new information, after digging through the medical literature currently available, we have reason to believe that these researchers are onto something. Below we’ll outline the reasoning behind exploring cannabis or cannabinoids as therapeutic agents during organ transplants, as well as discuss the current debate surrounding organ transplants for medical cannabis patients. The idea of transplanting organs has existed for thousands of years. Without knowledge of biology, it seems strikingly unjust that some will die of faulty organs when so many other healthy organs exist that will only be thrown into a grave. However, the essential problem with organ transplantation is not a lack of physical similarity or identical function. The problem is the immune system. In normal functioning, the immune system has a variety of watchdog mechanisms that activate upon finding biological “intruders”. Cell networks work together to attack and dismantle various threats, from cancer cells, to bacteria, to viruses. However, what makes the immune system so effective on a day-to-day basis is exactly what makes transplants so hard; the immune system identifies transplanted cells as foreign and proceeds to reject the transplant.…

Does Cannabis help Neuropsychiatric Disorders?

For most states with medical cannabis laws, patients are required to go through a screening process once a year to allow access to cannabis. On the one hand, this screening process is not designed to be severe, and realistically, few people are turned away from help with cannabis. On the other hand, this process is intended to serve as a boiler-plate to keep cannabis out of the hands of individuals for whom it might not be appropriate. Seeing that cannabis does not have harmful side-effects and is physically very safe, the real concern is whether patients who are already in an altered state of mind should be taking a psychoactive substance. Studies have linked early cannabis use to hastening the onset of serious psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. This is not unique to cannabis and also true of any psychoactive substance. If someone is having a hard time navigating reality, taking a medicine or recreational drug that alters his/her mind-state even further may push him/her over the edge. Despite this well-established fact, there are also many psychiatric patients that receive relief from cannabis and tend to do worse without it. The medical field has also shown increased interest in treating psychiatric illness with cannabis. So what’s the deal? Does cannabis contribute to or relieve schizophrenia? Or is there no effect? The difficulty in answering this lies partly in the fact that schizophrenia is not well understood and could actually be multiple illnesses that have been lumped into one category due…