Posts tagged with "Medicine"

Hanna Brand, Autumn Shelton, 360 MAGAZINE, Autumn Brands

Empowering Women Everywhere

Highlighting these Soaring Entrepreneurs on Women’s Equality Day

On August 26th,1920, the United States passed the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Creating a much needed day to celebrate how far women fought to let their voice be heard.
We’ve come a long way, the rise of women, the laws we’ve overcome for women to make a stand, to the freedom we’ve secured in a society to become owners and trailblazers for today’s controversial passed laws — one being Cannabis. 

With heads standing tall, Autumn Shelton (Owner/ CFO) and Hanna Brand (Owner/ Sales Director) of Santa Barbara-based Autumn Brands are changing the culture and conversation around the female use of cannabis. The first to receive a California Provisional Annual Cultivation license in Santa Barbara County, Autumn Brands is a family-run, 50% woman-owned company known for its holistic focus and artisanal approach to producing powerfully potent strains of pesticide-free cannabis. From day one to the present, the company has sought to shift the female perspective, stigmas, and misunderstandings associated with the use of cannabis as part of a whole and healthy lifestyle. The extraordinary women behind Autumn Brands bring an uncompromising work ethic to the task of producing hand-selected, sun-grown buds which are hang-dried, hand-trimmed and cured to preserve maximum potency and full healing benefits. Determined to make their mark on a male-dominated cannabis industry, the company aims to serve a growing female health and wellness market eager to embrace the myriad benefits of cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Women’s Equality Day is more than just a day to celebrate our achievements, it’s also gives us a chance to empowering and uplift our fellow women! 

Let’s highlight these soaring women who are making an impact and are standing for something they believe in.

About Autumn Brands:

Autumn Brands is a licensed California cannabis cultivator dedicated to the synergy of health and wellness. The Autumn Brands’ family farm started in Holland more than a century ago, and today, sixth-generation farmers apply the same expertise garnered in growing the world’s finest tulips to producing pure and potent strains of cannabis in sunny, coastal Santa Barbara County. Autumn Brands is proud to be 50 percent woman-owned, free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. For more information, visit www.autumnbrands.com

Three Things To Consider When Setting Up Your Wellness Business

The wellness industry is currently booming: more and more people are forgoing traditional medicine for holistic therapies, natural remedies and a more planet-friendly lifestyle – so there’s never been a better time to set up your own health-based business. Like all businesses though, there’s plenty to consider before you take the plunge and announce yourself open for trading – we’ve come up with three of the most important things to think about, so if you’re thinking about anything from teaching yoga, to writing self-help courses, read on!

Consider Your Speciality

The first thing to do is decide on your area of expertise; if you’ve studied for a specific career path such as aromatherapy or herbalism, you’re already set – but if you’re thinking of writing courses or e-books, or hosting workshops, then you’re going to need to know your subject inside out. If you’re interested in a variety of wellness topics, consider which one you find most interesting – and think about what you can offer people; they’ll be expecting knowledge and guidance that they can’t find anywhere else on the internet.

It’s also worth noting that you legally can’t provide medical advice or practice any form of therapy unless you have a formal license to do so – so reading books might not be enough of a background!

Decide On Your Premises

For any business, you’re going to need to think about where you’re going to be trading from; if you’re writing courses or blog posts, all you’ll need is a laptop and a desk – but if you’re going to host workshops, offer physical treatment sessions or manufacture your own products, you’re going to need more space. A spare room is a great place to start, but if you’re already at maximum capacity with family members, then why not consider adding a large shed or summer house in the garden?

Once equipped with light and power, they can be just as comfortable as professional premises – and the bonus is that you won’t have to travel far for work! You could also look into pop-up or co-working spaces – these are provided with a shorter term lease, so they’re ideal if you’re just starting out and testing the water.

Look Into Expenses

Although it’s easy to focus on the profit margins, any business comes with a long list of expenses – so it’s important to sit down and calculate these before you commit to anything. The best way to do this is to research everything from materials and equipment to postal costs, internet fees and lease prices – make a note of everything and then look at forecasting your potential income to provide an accurate estimate for profits.

Even if you’re going to be working from home, it’s worth looking into business accounts for your energy supply, and getting some business electricity quotes – this could save you a lot of money in the long run. You should also look into what you can deduct as taxable expenses, as there might be some things on the list that surprise you (and there might be some things you’re expecting to see that don’t appear!) – so it’s definitely something to take some time over.

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness

By Cynthia Li, MD

DOCTOR-AS-PATIENT MEMOIR REIMAGINES THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HEALING

“In Cynthia Li’s spellbinding book, we encounter the moving story of a physician struggling with her own autoimmune illness. Li’s writing is so intimate — and so exacting — that it cuts like a knife. She raises fundamental questions about the future of medicine, her own future, and about being a doctor and a patient at the same time. The result is a beautiful book that will be read and remembered for years to come.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

Millions of people worldwide are affected by autoimmune diseases. Some are common, like Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, and others are mysterious conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and dysautonomia. While the latter are gaining attention, patients struggling with these ailments are often dismissed by their doctors, families, and friends. The medical community often refers to them as “difficult patients” because they don’t follow the traditional checkboxes of illness and their symptoms can elude standard testing. When one doctor develops a disabling autoimmune illness and becomes that “difficult patient” herself, the beliefs and methods she once swore by collapse.

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness  takes us on an intimate whirlwind of a journey with Cynthia Li—a doctor who seemingly had it all until her health took an unexpected turn, leading her to question her medical training. Dr. Li’s story is raw, honest, and vulnerable as she describes her descent first into an autoimmune thyroid condition, then mysterious symptoms that leave her housebound with no end in sight. Test after test came back “within normal limits,” baffling her doctors—and herself. Housebound with two young daughters, Dr. Li began a solo odyssey from her living room couch to discover a way to heal.

Dr. Li is forced to dive into the root causes of her illness, and to learn to unlock her body’s innate intelligence and wholeness. Dr. Li relates her story with the insight of a scientist, and the humility and candor of a patient, exploring the emotional and spiritual shifts beyond the physical body. What’s more, she chronicles 15 practical steps on “how to get off the couch,” and expands this list in Part III, so fellow sufferers can find the wisdom and inspiration to begin their personal healing journeys.

“I entered my health challenges as a doctor, and came out a healer,” says Dr. Li.  “I hadn’t known the difference before. I first had to unlearn the idea that chronic diseases are determined by a fixed number or a positive test result, or fulfilling specific criteria. So the body, I realized, isn’t a three-dimensional puzzle to be solved. It’s a living, dynamic ecosystem to be nurtured. At the heart of my healing was learning to embrace my sensitive nature.”

Drawing on cutting-edge science, ancient healing arts, and the power of intuition, Brave New Medicine offers support, validation, and a new perspective for doctors and patients alike. This is the first memoir by a doctor evaluating her own complex illness through the lens of an integrative and root-cause paradigm. While many books are written by laypeople on mysterious illnesses, having a doctor go through this journey, explaining it from the inside-out, embracing the art of intuition—and pairing it with the analytical mind—offers a whole new dimension. Dr. Li explores epigenetics, neuroplasticity, the microbiome, environmental health, and functional medicine along with acupuncture, ancestral cooking, qigong, and grief rituals to get down to the root causes of her illness. In healing herself, she learns she is healing her family, too.

“The simplest step in healing is also the hardest: believing it is possible,” adds Dr. Li.  “An insidious process often happens with chronic disease, when the illness becomes your identity, especially when it’s an all-encompassing, debilitating condition like autoimmunity, chronic fatigue syndrome, or advanced cancer. The key to shifting our beliefs is to step outside of the prognoses and diagnoses long enough to tap into the innate intelligence within our cells. Because the body is where the subconscious lives, and where symptoms are trying to tell us the imbalances that are brewing. This isn’t positive thinking. It’s physiology at its best. By addressing root causes, reducing inflammation, restoring imbalances, and connecting to something greater beyond us, healing happens as a side-effect.

About the Author:

CYNTHIA LI, MD graduated from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and has practiced internal medicine in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, St. Anthony Medical Clinic for the homeless, and Doctors Without Borders in rural China. Her own health challenges led her to functional medicine, a paradigm that addresses the root causes of chronic conditions. She currently serves on the faculty of the Healer’s Art Program at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and has a private practice. She lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and their two daughters.

Connect with Cynthia Li, MD on Facebook @dr.cynthia.li and visit www.cynthialimd.com.

 

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness is available September 1, 2019 in paperback at Amazon and other retailers.

Cardiologist Releases Memoir Detailing Her Own Heart Break & Lessons Learned

Today women are fighting for rights to our bodies, searching for success in what is still a men’s dominated workforce, and balancing motherhood along with everything else. We look to influencers and self-help experts for guidance. But the one woman we should look at is someone who helped pave the way for females in all these areas: Barbara Roberts, MD, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island (as a single mother of 3 no less) and outspoken feminist who fought for safe abortions.

Dr. Roberts’ life is a story of passion: for women’s rights, motherhood, medicine, love, and the underdog. She stood up for what she believed in and battled politics, career stereotypes, her children’s fathers, the Family Court system, public scrutiny, and even her own conscience at times. And she made it through all, proving to be the hero of her own unique journey. Her memoir, The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story [Heliotrope Books, September 3, 2019], details it all.

“I wrote this book because the world has changed so much from the world I grew up in,” Dr. Roberts recently told NBC 10’s Coffee Break with Frank and Friends Facebook TV Show. “I wanted particularly younger women to be able to learn some lessons in how to survive adversity, how to overcome heartbreak and how to come out in the end and really have led a full and happy life.

About Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD

Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD was the first female adult cardiologist in the state of Rhode Island. She graduated from Barnard College and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. As a resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, she became active in the pro-choice movement, before Roe v Wade made abortion legal. She helped found the Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and was the keynote speaker at the first national pro-choice demonstration in Washington DC in November 1971. She also was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and spoke at the last mass anti-war demonstration on the grounds of the Washington Monument on the day of Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. She was a staff physician at Planned Parenthood for many years, and continues on the voluntary faculty at Brown where she is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine.

About the Doctor Broad

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story is the memoir of Barbara H. Roberts, MD.  There are people in the know who say that she caused the downfall of the New England Mafia. She did this, not by killing someone, or sending someone to jail, but by keeping someone alive, and out of prison, for about a year too long. During this time, Roberts navigated life in two separate worlds. In the “straight” world, she was a single mother of three, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island, and an active feminist. In the other world she was the physician whose testimony prevented Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the head of the New England Mafia, from having to go to trial, and the secret lover of the alleged #3 man in the New England Mafia, Louis “Baby Shanks” Manocchio. Roberts’ commitment to feminism and medicine leads her into unexpected byways as she faces moral dilemmas she never envisioned, but two things of the girl she once was remain: a love of children and a desire to heal. Her story was even featured on an episode of the Crimetown podcast.  

  Connect with Barbara Roberts on Facebook @barbara.roberts.14, Instagram @bhrdoc, Twitter @BarbaraHRoberts and visit www.thedoctorbroad.com.

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story releases on September 3, 2019.

Student Invention Gives Patients the Breath of Life

Natalie Dickman squeezed the bag again and again in an effort to revive a victim of cardiac arrest. After a mere 3 minutes, she could squeeze no more. 

“The patient had been down for 30 minutes and there wasn’t much hope, unfortunately,” said the Rice University student, a soon-to-be graduate of the Brown School of Engineering, who was covering a shift with Houston EMS as required by a Rice class in emergency medical techniques. “I was allowed to bag, but they make you switch in EMS settings because they know you won’t be as accurate once you hit that 2-to-3-minute mark. You get really tired.”

She thought about that often over the last year when she and her senior teammates worked at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) to perfect a cost-effective device that automates the compression of manual bag valve masks, which feed fresh air to the lungs of intubated patients. 

The senior capstone design team — bioengineering students Dickman, Carolina De Santiago, Karen Vasquez Ruiz and Aravind Sundaramraj, mechanical engineering and computational and applied mathematics student Tim Nonet and mechanical engineering student Madison Nasteff — is known as “Take a Breather.” 

The team has developed a system that compresses the bags for hours, rather than minutes, with settings to feed the right amount of air to adults, children and infants. The device seems simple — a box with paddles that rhythmically squeeze the bulb a programmed amount – but the engineering behind it is not.

The students used a $25, off-the-shelf motor and $5 microcontroller to power and program the rack-and-pinion device made primarily of plastic parts 3D-printed at the OEDK. They hope their use of inexpensive materials and the growing availability of 3D printers will make their machines easy to repair on-site.

They anticipate the device, which cost them $117 in parts to build, will be most useful in low-resource hospitals or during emergencies when there aren’t enough portable ventilators to meet the need. 

Dr. Rohith Malya, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, brought the problem to the OEDK after witnessing family members at the Kwai River Christian Hospital in Thailand, where he is director of emergency medical services, squeezing intubation bags for hours on end to keep loved ones alive. 

“There is no reliable ventilation,” said Malya, who spends a month at the hospital every year. “Once we intubate somebody, the family has to bag the patient. But the family will get tired after a day and say, ‘They’re not getting better right now, just pull the tube and see what happens.’ And then the patient dies.”

Malya previously worked with Rice engineering students to develop a syringe regulating pump, and did not hesitate to bring a new idea to the OEDK. 

“The bag mask is ubiquitous, like the syringe,” he said. “Nothing has challenged it for 80 years. It’s stood the test of time, it’s reliable and it’s simple. And now we’re adding a modification to the original device so families don’t have to make those decisions.

“This will broaden the access to mechanical ventilation to a tremendous part of the world that doesn’t have typical ventilators,” said Malya, who plans to take the proof-of-concept device to Thailand for field testing next spring. 

The device is much smaller than the sophisticated ventilators found in American hospitals and portable versions used in emergency situations. Critically, it has to be able to operate for long stretches. In its most recent test, the team ran the device for more than 11 hours without human intervention.  

The students expect another Rice team will build a more robust version next year, and hope it will eventually be manufactured for use in low-resource and emergency settings. They anticipate a better-sealed and filtered box will be more suitable for hot, dusty environments, and said future designs should include more sophisticated controls.

For its efforts this year, the team won two prizes at the school’s annual Engineering Design Showcase, the Willy Revolution Award for Outstanding Innovation and the best interdisciplinary engineering design award. But the real payoff would be seeing the device further developed and deployed around the world. 

“If they can get it working fully in that kind of environment, this will be saving lives,” Nasteff said.

NasalGuard®

A Topical Gel that Reduces Inhalation of Harmful Airborne Contaminants Makes National Debut

Perfect for Flu and Cough Cold Season, Indoor Pollutants, Pet Allergies and More

Trutek Corp. announces the launch of NasalGuard®Airborne Particle Blocker®. NasalGuard is an electrostatic topical nasal gel that prevents airborne particles from entering the nose. The product is drug-free and safe for pregnant or nursing women, children, and those concerned about potential drug interactions with other medications. It is a perfect solution to guard you against the Flu/Cough/Cold and all indoor pollutants this winter season.

NasalGuard protects against virtually all types of contaminants in any location. Users can count on it to work in their homes, offices, and other environments where airborne particles may present a health hazard. The product works immediately upon application and lasts up to six hours. NasalGuard gel uses a cationic (positively-charged) polymer that creates a safe electrostatic field around the nasal passages that traps oppositely charged particles and repels similarly charged particles to reduce inhalation of most harmful airborne particles before they enter your body. NasalGuard gel can be purchased online, Amazon or by calling 855-627-2545 in a 3 gram tube for $11.85.

Every day, people are exposed to millions of airborne particles in crowded, confined spaces such as airports, airplanes, transportation centers and subways, homes and offices, hospitals, doctor’s offices and movie theaters. Using NasalGuard gel regularly will help protect against the immediate and long-term risk of breathing harmful contaminated air.

There has been a growing public health concern globally regarding the adverse health effects caused by the inhalation of microscopic airborne particles. Asthma, diabetes, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease are all proven to be linked to air contamination. In response to this widespread problem, Trutek has successfully advanced their technology which was originally focused on blocking allergens from entering the nose for preventing allergy symptoms. This breakthrough provides a greater electrostatic blocking effect that is effective against a much wider spectrum of microscopic indoor and outdoor contaminants including mold, pollen, pet dander, pollution, and virus-sized particles.

NasalGuard technology was invented by Ashok Wahi, the founder and CEO of Trutek Corp., an R&D Product Development Company. An engineer by training, Ashok was inspired to create this technology to aid his own daughter, Aikta, who suffered from severe allergies. “I developed this product because of the vital need to have some kind of personal air filter that was drug free and easy to use,” says Ashok Wahi.

About Trutek Corp.

Trutek Corp. has been marketing patented NasalGuard technology all over the world since 1995. Over 12 million tubes have been sold with no reports of adverse effects.

Follow us on Facebook @nasalguard

Genetic Immunity Presents at First Russian-Chinese HIV Congress in Moscow

Peter Boros, Genetic Immunity’s President presented the Company’s pDNA-based platform technology and clinical trial data relating to HIV in front of an esteemed gathering of HIV experts.

As part of the presentation, Genetic Immunity announced the launch of a Phase III clinical trial for the company’s lead product candidate, a therapeutic HIV vaccine, to be conducted at the Moscow City Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, with the planned enrollment of up to 200 patients. Upon successful completion, Genetic Immunity plans to apply for marketing approval in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

“It was an honor to have been invited and to present in front of such a highly regarded group of HIV experts from Russia, China and the United States. I believe our presentation was well-received and we are all looking forward to a successful trial completion. If marketing approval is granted, our therapeutic HIV vaccine could introduce a paradigm shift in treating HIV,” stated Boros.

The DermaVir platform contains a novel plasmid DNA that encodes most HIV genes. The vaccine is administered topically using the DermaPrep medical device.

“Mr. Boros gave an excellent presentation about Genetic Immunity’s therapeutic vaccine platform with a special emphasis on the company’s HIV results to date. I look forward to completing the planned Phase III trial, and – upon a successful result – to treating patients with a very promising new vaccine product,” added Professor Alexey Mazus, Head of the Moscow City Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS.

How To Care For Your Loved One After A Big Surgery

Fighting cancer is a huge challenge. From radiation to chemotherapy, to target therapy, stem cell transplants – there are many different ways to fight it. Trying to target the cancer this way, however, will never be quite as effective as removing it from its source. Surgery does not always mean amputations, either. You can get cryosurgery in order to freeze and kill the cancer with liquid nitrogen. Or you can kill it with lasers, or even hyperthermia. Most people who have cancer opt for surgery, because if successful it can completely or at least partially remove or kill off the cancer cells, thus stopping, halting, or slowing down their cancer’s growth.

That does not make it easy, however, to recover. In some cases, patients might not be able to move at home by themselves with comfort or ease. That is why you, as their loved one, need to follow this guide on how to care for them after their big surgery:

Prepare for them to be Bed-Ridden

Depending on the surgery, they might need plenty of rest time to heal correctly. If they are completely bed-ridden, then you need to prepare adequately. Though it can be absolutely beneficial for your loved one to heal at home, rather than in a hospital, it means you need to prepare. Aside from specific medical equipment prescribed by your doctor, you will also need a stockpile of items like dry-touch adult diapers with tabs for nighttime, and in case you need to leave the house, sponge-bath equipment, as well as items like a bed tray to make their recovery easier and more comfortable. Even if they are only bed-ridden for a few days, these items can ease the time and make it more comfortable for them.

Make Healthy, Nutrient-Rich Meals

Healthy eating is a key part to healthy living, and that is especially true when you are battling cancer. This is more so true when you are healing after surgery. The only thing to remember is that you cannot give your body “extra doses” of vitamins, because that is not how it works. Instead, focus on providing your loved one a healthy and balanced diet as per the doctor’s instructions. The body needs to be at its best to heal as quickly as possible, and getting those nutrients it needs from food is a great way to go.

Hire an At-Home Nurse

If the at-home care is a bit beyond simply redressing the wound and cleaning them if they are completely bed-ridden, then it could be wise to hire an at-home nurse or getting the training yourself. It will depend, of course, on what your options are based on your health insurance and state. You could even be paid to care for your loved one, depending on your circumstances.

Having cancer is a terrifying battle, for both the patient and their family. Going through surgery can either remove it entirely or significantly reduce the size of it, thus improving their chances. It is your love and compassion, however, that will really help them, because no medicine will compare to the company of a loved one.

CBD: A Neuroprotective Wonder

Over the past century, neurodegenerative illnesses have significantly increased, and some researchers believe that they will become even more prevalent going forward. A study on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia released in December 2017 suggested that 15 million Americans will suffer from either condition, or “mild cognitive impairment” by 2060, an increase of more than 150 percent on current numbers.

Neuroscience has lagged behind other fields of medicine, with the complexity of the brain proving a difficult code to crack for researchers. The demand for neuroprotective treatments to conserve the health of the brain and stave off mental illnesses caused, at least in part, by brain inflammation is great, but treatments have been hard to come by. However, cannabinoids, an uncommon but seemingly critical set of compounds found in strains of cannabis, have exhibited some intriguing neuroprotective effects in the few studies we have available.

The endocannabinoid system is responsive to these cannabinoids and appears to be neuroprotectant in enhancing deep sleep by regulating the sleep-wake cycle, and by reducing brain inflammation, which endocannabinoids can do by tweaking immune system response.

In this post, we’ll explore in-depth a few of the ways that CBD is an effective neuroprotective drug, with focus on slowing the progression of neurodegenerative illnesses, limiting the damage following brain injuries and facilitating neurogenesis in important parts of the brain, which may hold the key to alleviating depression.

CBD for neurodegenerative diseases

Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia are all types of neurodegenerative illness. Nerve fiber damage occurs naturally due to aging but is also accelerated by these neurodegenerative diseases, as myelin sheath deteriorates – but it appears that CBD can halt or at least stifle this unhelpful process.

Deterioration of the myelin sheath causes a loss of cognitive function and memory, and in the case of Parkinson’s leads to a loss of motor control, hence the uncontrollable and prevalent tremors. While tremors are common among the elderly due to unavoidable neurodegeneration, these are not as severe.

Just recently, a Brazilian doctor was granted a special license by the country’s government to prescribe CBD oil to a patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Brazil has been a hub for medical cannabis research in South America, and in particular for studies on the brain.

Sleep is neuroprotective

Mental and physical health problems arise when the body doesn’t get enough sleep, and adults attempting to regularly get by on fewer than the recommended minimum of seven hours are likely to experience fatigue. Conditions such as insomnia and sleep apnea contribute to a lack of sleep and waking up during sleep, but there are other factors that stop the mind from winding down, including anxiety, depression, stress and physical pain.

Thankfully, slow-release CBD products like CBD gummy bears boost sleep and influences the sleep-wake cycle to promote more regenerative deep sleep, and also treats the aforementioned quartet of sleep-preventing symptoms. CBD is also effective for epilepsy patients who suffer from seizures and spasms which keep them awake at night.

Deep sleep is much more important than rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, a considerably lighter phase of sleep where we have dreams and nightmares. It is only in deep sleep where cerebrospinal fluid, which usually cushions the brain from the outside, enters the brain and flushes away neurotoxins responsible for neurodegeneration. Deep sleep also helps with the production of new cells all over the body. The all-round rejuvenation in this phase is crucial for combatting fatigue.

Reducing and limiting brain damage

Over the past few decades, cannabis has typically been accused of being bad for the brain, with its psychoactive effects triggering mental health conditions such as psychosis. But the studies on CBD have found the opposite, and in fact, administering CBD after a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) may reduce the overall brain damage.

CBD is an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory, which is important as oxidation in the brain has been linked to DNA damage of cells in the organ.

The brain damage that occurs from strokes is referred to as ischemic injury, and the death of brain cells can cause localized paralysis and a loss of speech. The quicker someone suffering from a stroke is treated, the less severe the damage is. Studies have found that the endocannabinoid system is active during a stroke, and that limiting the number of inflammatory cytokines released could be essential to protecting motor control and cognitive function.

Neuroprotection, neurogenesis and treating depression

Research into depression has advanced in the 21st century, although pharmaceutical treatments for the mood disorder, which affects 300 million globally, are still below par. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most widely-used and recent class of antidepressants, can take weeks before benefits begin to show, cause side effects such as insomnia, nausea and impotence, and for some patients do not even work.

However, CBD has been found to elevate mood by promoting anandamide in the endocannabinoid system and agonising the 5-HT1A receptor in the serotonin system. And in 2016, evidence was produced showing CBD and another non-psychoactive cannabinoid called cannabichromene (CBC) to have neurogenesis effects in adult rats, helping to stimulate growth in the hippocampus. This is important, as long-term depression causes shrinkage in this part of the brain.

In 2018, a team of Brazilian and Danish researchers found CBD to be an effective medication for depression in rats from the first dose, with therapeutic effects lasting for a week after treatment was stopped. The study revealed that the number of synaptic proteins in the prefrontal cortex eventually increased, a sign that the antidepressant effects had worn off. Past research has connected a rise in these proteins to depression. Therefore, according to one professor on the study, CBD repairs neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex which becomes damaged due to depression.

CBD vape oil and e-liquid and CBD edibles are both useful products for managing neurodegeneration. However, conditions with acute symptoms must be remedied more quickly, and in those situations, vaping e-juice or taking CBD oil provides the most benefit.