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Dr. David Bearman On Treating His Patients With Medical Cannabis

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Pain Management. Dr. Bearman has treated several patients who have experienced incredible results using medical cannabis.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Bearman and learning more about how the history of medical cannabis and how it can be used effectively.

Dr. David Bearman on treating his patients with medical cannabis

Abbi: Have you only practiced in California?
Dr. Bearman: Yes, I started medical school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle. I have been licensed in California and have been practicing since 1968.

Abbi: How has the legalization of cannabis – recreational and medicinal – impacted your practice?
Dr. Bearman: I’ve long felt that the laws regarding cannabis didn’t make any sense and the more time I spent looking into it, the more it reinforced that thought. I have noticed that as the medicinal use of cannabis becomes more accepted, people are learning more about the therapeutic potential of cannabis as a medicine. It [cannabis] has become more accepted. More and more local physicians are referring patients to me. As I see cannabis gain more acceptance as a medicine, people who are desperate and are using cannabis as a last resort come and see me. I have to attribute a lot of it to the Sanjay Gupta interview. I’m seeing an increasing number of parents asking if I will see their children for Social Anxiety, Aspergers, Autism, severe ADD, and I have. I’ve had some pretty remarkable results and parents who are ecstatic with the improvements seen in their child.

Abbi: How long have doctors been studying medical cannabis?
Dr. Bearman: Doctors have been studying cannabis since 2630 BC. The French did most of the research in the 19th century when it [cannabis] was taken from Egypt by Napoleon. For quite some time every major drug company marketed products that contain cannabis and from 1854-1942, cannabis was marketed in the U.S. pharmacopeia. In 1942, Morris Fishbein, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association said that cannabis was the best treatment for migraine headaches. In 1944, the New York Academy of Medicine recommended cannabis in small dosages for recreational use. The first modern research was done by Ramsy and Davis in 1947. They looked at several kids with Cerebral Palsy and when they were treated with cannabis, 5 out of the 7 had no seizures. In 1964, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam characterized medicinal structure of cannabis and after this, the research really started to ramp up. As of today, over 22,000 pieces of research have been done about cannabis and cannabinoids.

Abbi: What is a Cannabinoidologist and would you consider yourself one? Why or why not?
Dr. Bearman: Well, I call myself a specialist in cannabinoid medicine. Currently in California, I am the top prescriber of dronabinol (THC.)

Abbi: What kind of medication or advice do you typically give your patients?
Dr. Bearman: Well, it depends on the patient’s medical conditions. If a person has pain, I will prescribe certain pain medication. If they have spasms I prescribe anti spasmodic drugs, for anxiety anti anxiety drugs, and in some cases patient needs additional medicines. I’ve been prescribing medications in conjunction with cannabinoid medicine as well. For example, a lot of people with ADD use Adderall or Ritalin in conjunction with cannabis. I prescribe just cannabis based medicine depending on the patient’s medical conditions and desires as well. I talk to them [the patients] about using cannabis cigarettes, vapes, tinctures, edibles, capsules, etc.

Abbi: Why did you get involved with the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine (AACM)?
Dr. Bearman: A number of us put it [AACM] together over the course of a year or two, we had started talking about it at Hempfest in Washington. What we wanted to do was to support those physicians making recommendations and improve professionalism in the practice of medicinal cannabis. We wanted to be an organization that could educate healthcare professionals as well as the public about medical cannabis.

Abbi: What do you think is safer cannabis or Adderal/Ritalin?
Dr. Bearman: Cannabis has fewer side effects than Adderall. Adderall interferes with appetite and cannabis can help that. As a matter of fact, in 1988, the DEA Chief Administrative Law, Judge Francis Young recommended that cannabis be rescheduled from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2. He even went on to say that cannabis is the safest drug known to man.

Abbi: What would you say to a patient who is thinking of using cannabis?
Dr. Bearman: It depends on the individual. I start by briefly reviewing the law and the science with them. I make sure to tell them about studies being done under San Diego School of Medicine and studies done by GW pharmaceuticals. We talk about specific research, doses they might take, since pain requires the largest dose. We also discuss side effects and ways to use cannabis such as smoking, vaporizer, edibles, etc.

Abbi: What are some tips you would give patients who want to talk to their primary care doctor about using medical cannabis?
Dr. Bearman: I think it’s a good idea for patients to talk to their primary care doctors. Even though they know their primary care doctor, I think patients are a little more hesitant to mention it than they should be.

Abbi: Under which circumstances would you recommend a loved one to use cannabis?
Dr. Bearman: I would recommend it if they had a medical condition that responded well to cannabis. It’s safe and effective.

Dr. Bearman’s office is located in Goleta, California. If you are interested in making an appointment with Dr. Bearman you can contact his office at: (805) 961-9988 or email him at davidbearman@cox.net.

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

Medical patients often suffer from not sleeping well. We dug into recent studies to see if cannabis improves sleep. Here are five things you should know:

THC boosts melatonin

The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC has been shown to dramatically increase melatonin production, causing a spike up to four thousand times that of baseline levels. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and sleep.

Increase slow-wave sleep

According to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of San Diego, THC increases the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle, also known as ‘slow-wave sleep’ (SWS). Increased SWS has been linked to an increased reduction of beta-amyloid, the harmful neural protein associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other memory loss conditions.

Reduce REM

While cannabis is known for increasing SWS, it also reduces the fifth phase of sleep, commonly known as rapid eye movement (REM). Less REM means having less dreams, but there is yet to be any evidence of negative effects.

Treat sleep apnea

Cannabis’ sleep-inducing properties are an excellent natural remedy for those suffering from sleep apnea. This helps them to fall and stay asleep easier and with less interruption.

Reduce RBD in Parkinson’s Disease

By using a high-CBD cannabis before bed, you can lessen REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) effects such as tremors, violent movements, and nightmares. High-CBD cannabis has been found to be more effective than Levodopa, a prescription drug commonly prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s and onset-RBD.

More Information

Melatonin and marijuana (Lissoni, P., Resentini, M., and Fraschini, F. “Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol on Melatonin Secretion in Man.”)
Cannabinoids for medical use (Journal of American Medical Association)
Effect of drugs on sleep (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
THC effects on sleep & sleep during withdrawal (Europe PMC)
How Cannabis can help RBD in Parkinson’s (Vanwinkles.com)

Has cannabis had an affect on your quality of sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

Growing your own medicinal marijuana is a liberating experience. You control all the variables. You know exactly what is in the bud you are smoking. grow box is a discreet and easy way to grow marijuana indoors at home, freeing yourself from dependence on both doctor and dispensary.

Gain independence with a grow box

A grow box is like a tiny, camouflaged green house. It is a self-contained unit with soil or hydroponic growing medium, lights, filters and pumps. Just add seeds, electricity and voila! You are growing your own medicinal marijuana.

Choose the right marijuana strain for you

There are two important considerations when choosing a strain of medicinal marijuana to grow yourself:

Your Medical Requirements – Are you looking for a powerful sedative effect to help with your insomnia or a functional day-time smoke to relieve pain and lighten anxiety?

Your Growing Space – Choose small, bushy strains like Indica or hybrid seeds instead of a tall, leggy Sativa. For your first grow an auto-flowering marijuana variety is the best choice because they require very little care or expertise.

Grow enough marijuana to meet your needs

Grow boxes are available in all sizes. Several surveys in the UK, Canada and the US suggest that most medicinal marijuana patients use 1-3 grams per day, or about 2 ½ pounds per year.

Even the tiny PC Grow Box, which holds just two small plants, can produce two pounds of dried bud per year. The compact SuperBox allows you to grow 8 plants at once with annual yields of 7 pounds or more.

Grow your medicinal marijuana under lights

Marijuana grows best under lights that mimic natural sunlight. There are three common types of grow lights used in the cultivation of marijuana:

  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs)
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Most grow boxes use either CFL or full spectrum LED grow lights. HIDs don’t work well in the enclosed space of a grow box because they get too hot.

While you can grow small amounts of marijuana successfully using CFLs, high quality LED grow lights save electricity and produce the highest yields.

Obtain higher yields using hydroponics

A hydroponic system doesn’t use soil. Growing hydroponic marijuana is not as complex as it may sound.

Many grow boxes come with a simple hydroponic system already set-up. You simply add nutrients, which often come with the grow box, and water. You can even choose to grow marijuana with organic nutrients.

Grow marijuana naturally in soil

Some people prefer to grow marijuana as naturally as possible. The Earth Cab grow box series is one style of grow box designed for soil.

Grow a continuous supply of medicinal marijuana

Once you get started you don’t need new seeds for each growing cycle. You can propagate new marijuana plants by taking cuttings, called clones, of your favorite existing plant.

A dual chamber grow box has a special space for making clones. These grow boxes allow you to produce a constant supply of fresh buds.

Find the perfect grow box for your situation

For the many medicinal growers discretion is essential. Look for a specially designed stealth grow box.

You can also choose a fully automated grow box that allows you to leave town for two weeks and come home to healthy plants.

Use this detailed review of the best grow boxes of 2015 to find the perfect set-up for you.

Grow medicinal marijuana at home with a grow box

Are you considering growing at home? Let us know why in the comments below!

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How Edibles Are Made

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How Edibles Are Made

Since there are so many manufacturers throughout the US, cannabis-infused foods are produced in a variety of different ways. Read up on how your favorite edibles are made and learn how to make your own medicinal treats:

They’re usually made with trim

Trim contains the leftover leaf matter from the cannabis flower that growers usually throw away. It’s less potent than bud, but it’s full of trichomes and can be used in large quantities to produce a stronger effect.

Cannabis is decarboxylated

Decarboxylation activates THC and other cannabinoids to result in a more potent product. To achieve this, cannabis needs to be heated either through smoking, vaping, or baking. The flower is typically cooked for a long time over low heat before it’s used to make edibles. Eating raw cannabis won’t have a very strong effect, and it won’t taste good.

Cannabinoids are extracted

Edibles are infused with highly concentrated cannabis extracts. Depending on the extraction method, edibles can contain either tinctures, canna oil, or cannabutter. If you’re wondering how a specific edible was made, ask your budtender or contact the manufacturer.

Canna oil and cannabutter are common

THC is fat soluble, so cannabis is often cooked with oil or butter. When heated, the activated cannabinoids absorb into these ingredients. Check out this recipe for cannabis cooking oil and this one for cannabis-infused butter. Or try making cannabis coconut oil.

Tinctures are used in hard candies

Some edibles don’t go through a baking or cooking process, so tinctures are added instead of flower. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts made from a solvent like alcohol, vinegar, or glycerol. Rather than passing through the digestive system like cannabinoids in most edibles, these are absorbed by the body and can result in a quicker effect.

Have you ever made your own edibles? Tell us in the comments below.

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