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With more than a half a dozen states having now fully legalized cannabis (both hemp & marijuana) and with 19 more medically legalized states, the momentum for full cannabis legalization is accelerating in the United States. Among the many benefits that cannabis legalization would bring, one that is not mentioned as often is the prospect of using cannabis to treat our pets. Many dog owners and veterinarians have already come out vouching for the healing properties of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis.   

A new study shows that many consumers are giving up conventional pharmaceutical drugs in favor of CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in hemp, but unlike THC it doesn’t cause people to get “high.”  In a study released in early August, market-research firm Brightfield Group surveyed 2,400 registered users of Hello MD, a medical cannabis education and advocacy website. One of the study’s most dramatic findings is that 42 percent of people who use CBD report that they’ve given up pharmaceutical drugs in favor of cannabis in some form. This figure includes both strains of psychoactive cannabis, a.k.a. “marijuana,” with high levels of CBD and CBD-only products like CBD oil supplements made from industrial hem

The most prominent form of synovial joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA), is characterized by joint degeneration, pain, and in some patients, articular neuropathy.  Chronic pain associated with OA is a major concern for which there are few viable treatments. The first line therapy used to treat OA pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); however, withlong-term use their efficacy declines and they can lead to major adverse gastrointestinal and cardiovascular events.  Historically, OA has been classified as a non-inflammatory arthritis; however, there is now overwhelming evidence that synovitis can occur in response to pro inflammatory mediators being released into the joint. It is believed that this low-level inflammation contributes to degenerative changes that affect the entire joint leading to the development of peripheral sensitization and nociceptive pain . In addition to structural defects, there is growing evidence to suggest that approximately 30% of OA patients suffer from neuropathic pain. Thus, a therapeutic which can block inflammation, neuropathy, and pain is sorely needed The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important physiological role in the regulation of tissue inflammation and pain. A functional ECS has been demonstrated in the joints of animals and humans, which acts tonically to maintain joint homeostasis.

Research into the potential medical uses of marijuana compounds continues apace. Among the most recent, a study delved into why marijuana is an effective stress reducer. While not conclusive on their own, the results contribute to a longer-term possibility – that marijuana compounds may turn out to be more effective and safer in alleviating anxiety than prescription anxiety meds.

Many people assume that cannabis only impacts their brain. This is far from the truth. Cannabis actually engages with various systems in the body, including your reproductive system. Compounds in the herb actively interact with sex hormone estrogen, which is a key culprit behind menopause symptoms. This segment of our Better With Age series is dedicated to the ladies. We’ll address one major question: does cannabis ease menopause symptoms? 

This stuff won’t get you high, but it might just change your life. After being ignored for several decades, CBD is finally getting its place in the sun, and as the recreational market matures, the opportunities to make CBDs a part of your personal health care are opening up.