Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Medical Marijuana and Diabetes

 

Diabetes mellitus (also known as primary diabetes) affects approximately 8.3% of the US population and 6.8% of Canadians. In 2007, diabetes contributed to over 200,000 deaths in the US alone.

Although the early development of insulin medications made diabetes treatable, no cure exists and symptoms tend to worsen as the disease progresses.

Now, a growing body of evidence points to medical marijuana as a promising therapy. In fact, research shows that marijuana may not only be useful for managing symptoms of pain and cardiovascular disease, but also aid in combating the disease itself.
 
What is Diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels. The two most common forms of diabetes are known as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in individuals under the age of 30 and involves an autoimmune attack on islet cells of the pancreas – cells that produce insulin. Approximately 10% of diabetics suffer from Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and tends to affect individuals that are obese and over the age of 40. It is usually a result of a combination of defective insulin production and insulin resistance.

In both types of diabetes, high blood sugar levels eventually lead to a variety of other metabolic and non-metabolic complications.
 
Endocannabinoids and Diabetes

Endocannabinoids are natural compounds found within all humans that happen to act in a similar way as plant-derived cannabinoids such as THC. Along with cannabinoid receptors, they make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system.

Cannabinoid receptors have been identified in the pancreas, heart, blood vessels, nervous system and many other organs – all of which suggests a potential role for cannabinoids in treating diabetes.

Interestingly, large-scale surveys have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus among marijuana users compared with non-users, suggesting the potential for cannabinoids to affect this disorder. Studies have also identified higher endocannabinoid levels (anandamide and 2-AG) in diabetic patients compared to healthy individuals.
 
Marijuana and Insulin

Insulin dysfunction is the underlying factor in diabetes as well as the primary target of medical treatment. Interestingly, the presence of cannabinoid receptors has been identified in cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.

Studies involving human cell cultures have linked activation of CB1 receptors to an increase in insulin production. On the other hand, the role of CB2 receptors is conflicted, with some studies showing an increase in insulin secretion and others showing a decrease.

Marijuana compounds may take on another therapeutic role in type 1 diabetes by regulating activity of the immune system. In an animal model of type 1 diabetes, THC demonstrated an incredible ability to counter autoimmune attacks. THC treatment was also able to preserve insulin levels and lower blood glucose levels compared with the untreated group.

Other studies have found CBD (cannabidiol) and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) – two non-psychoactive compounds found in marijuana – to have similar protective effects.

A study published in 2006 found that CBD could reduce the chance of developing type 1 diabetes in mice by reducing inflammation of pancreatic cells. In a study involving obese mice, THCV treatment led to improved glucose tolerance, reduced glucose intolerance and increased insulin sensitivity, leading the authors to conclude that THCV could be a useful therapy for type 2 diabetes either alone or together with CBD.

    “Based on these data, it can be suggested that THCV may be useful for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes, either alone or in combination with existing treatments… a CBD/THCV combination may be beneficial for different types of diabetes mellitus.”
Excerpt from The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) ameliorates insulin sensitivity in two mouse models of obesity.
 (Wargent et al., 2013)

Finally, a large-scale observational study published in 2013 by Harvard University researchers found that adults who used marijuana had lower fasting insulin levels and a lower probability of being insulin resistant. The study collected data from over 4,500 adults during a 5 year period.
 
Marijuana and Obesity

Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with obesity and related cardiovascular problems. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system appears to be involved with obesity and regulating energy balance as well.

Early studies revealed higher levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG in obese individuals, which led experts believed that activity of the endocannabinoid system promoted obesity. Along the same line, activity of the endocannabinoid system has been shown to decrease energy expenditure and increase food intake and fat storage.

However, more recent evidence suggests an opposite effect on obesity. In the same Harvard University study, researchers found that marijuana users had lower waist circumferences, despite the fact that they tended to consume more calories. Similarly, a 2011 analysis of 2 large U.S. surveys linked marijuana use with a lower BMI and a decreased prevalence of obesity.
 
Marijuana and Cardiovascular Disease

Recent studies also suggest a therapeutic role of cannabinoids in a number of cardiovascular complications that accompany diabetes. As it turns out, CB1 and CB2 receptors are expressed in various cells of the cardiovascular system, including the immune cells that infiltrate them.

In mouse models, cannabinoids have demonstrated the ability to regulate vascular inflammation, oxidative stress and atherosclerosis, leading experts to suggest that marijuana-based medications may be useful in the treatment of these dysfunctions.

    “Modulation of the endocannabinoid system… may hold tremendous therapeutic potential in various cardiovascular disorders associated with inflammation and tissue injury, ranging from myocardial infarction and heart failure to atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disorders.”
Excerpt from The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in cardiovascular disease (Pacher and Steffens, 2009)

Marijuana and Neuropathic Pain
Approximately 60-70% of diabetics suffer from some form of nerve damage, which can often lead to a specific type of pain known as neuropathic pain.

Interestingly, neuropathic pain has been one of the few applications of medical marijuana to be investigated in clinical trials. Sativex – a cannabis-derived oral spray – has already been approved by countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom for the treatment of pain associated with cancer and multiple sclerosis.

While yet to be approved for diabetics, cannabis-based treatments have also shown promise in clinical trials involving diabetes-related neuropathic pain.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial published in 2012 found that 85% of patients given synthetic THC (Cesamet) experienced a reduction in pain of at least 30%. Furthermore, all patients that received the strongest dose (4mg/day) experienced a reduction in pain of 30% or more. The study also identified significant improvements in overall disease scores. Side-effects were relatively minor and included confusion, drowsiness and dizziness.

Finally, other studies show that cannabis use can lead to improvements in sleep, mood and quality of life in patients with neuropathic pain.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Principles Are:


Practice Purity...
be unsullied by anger or vengeful thoughts.

Practice Contentment...
be at peace with what is and what is not.

Practice Austerity...
purify, reject greed, lack, and envy and the endless desire for more. 

Study...
and cultivate wisdom.
Open your heart to all that can be known.

Surrender...
become one with Spirit, aware of your sacred nature.
Know that you are woven into the intricate matrix of creation.



"Yoga, Power, and Spirit - Patanjali the Shamon"
by
Alberto Villolda M.D.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Great Vows Are:


Nonviolence...
bring no harm to yourself or others.

Truthfulness...
be true to your word, and let your word be true.

Integrity...
do not steal, walk your talk.

Moderation...
use wisely the life force within you.

Generosity... 
give more than you take, for nothing in the world really belongs to you. 



"Yoga, Power, and Spirit - Patanjali the Shamon"

by

Alberto Villolda M.D.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

14 – Temperance
 


Upright: Balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning

Reversed: Imbalance, excess, lack of long-term vision




 

Temperance Tarot Card Description:

On the Temperance card stands a winged angel. The angel is actually a hermaphrodite (the child of Hermes and Aphrodite), showing a balance between the genders. The angel has one foot on dry land, representative of the material world, and one foot in the water, representative of the subconscious. In this position, she also represents the need to ‘test the waters’ before jumping headfirst into unknown circumstances. The triangle inside the square on her robe represents the female being protected by natural law. In her hands she holds two cups which she uses to mix water. The cups represent the sub- and super-conscious minds. One cup can be thought of as holding hot water and the other cold water. The water flowing between them is actually going from the lower cup to the higher one, signifying rising from a lower plane to a higher one. The temperate individual mixes the opposites and finds a balance in life by avoiding extremes. The astrological sign is Sagittarius, the teacher of truth, enthusiasm, tolerance and beauty.


Upright Temperance Tarot Card Meanings:

Temperance indicates that you are learning to bring about balance, patience and moderation in your life. You have been able to take the middle road, avoiding extremes and maintaining a great sense of calm in your life. You have learned to keep calm in situations of great stress or anxiety. You do not let things get to you, and you have found a place of peace where you can put things into perspective when things get hectic. Your respect for balance and tranquility is what will help you to achieve and experience fulfillment in your life. Your temperament will be well balanced and you demonstrate good management in your outlook on life.

The Temperance card reflects that you have a clear, long-term vision of what you want to achieve. You are not rushing things along; rather you are taking your time to ensure that you do the best job you can. This card also reflects a higher learning in what you are doing and demonstrates that you are learning a great deal on your journey. You are at peace with what you are doing and it is all coming together very well. Your inner voice is guiding you gently to the right outcome and you are patiently listening and following. You have a very balanced perspective on the situation at this time and you are in a very good position to make the right choices.

In relation to others, Temperance represents adaptation and coordination of external influences. You are able to work in harmony with others and there is a heightened level of co-operation in your activities with others. You are able to combine forces and join with others in order to bring it all together. There is a beautiful synergy at work that leverages the right mix of talents, experiences, abilities and skills.

Temperance asks you to be patient so that you can act with timing and precision. Patience and moderation will result in good management of all things. Do not feel that you need to rush, just let the situation evolve at its natural pace.

Temperance can also reflect a period of self-evaluation in order to re-examine your life priorities. You are now seeking a much greater balance between your inner and outer selves, searching for a higher meaning and purpose in life. Throughout this transition, you may also experience a clash between the old and the new you, sometimes feeling confused about which direction you ought to take and what is really important to you. You will evaluate seclusion, detachment and retreats as methods for accomplishing great things. You will avoid pain, conflict and distractions and lessen your stress and anxiety. Looking inward will re-charge you. There is nothing to fear, it is part of the process and without it change could not occur.


Reversed Temperance Tarot Card Meanings:

Temperance reversed reflects a time when something is out of balance, in conflict or excessive, and is therefore creating stress and tension in your life. Look to the other cards in the reading to understand what is out of balance or contributing to this feeling. Temperance reversed can also be a lead indicator that, were you to follow a certain path, you would create imbalance in the situation. You may be acting impatiently or refusing to take the moderate, gentle approach. Be wary of hasty action as this will only lead to further imbalance.

Temperance reversed can suggest that you lack a long-term vision and/or purpose and, as a result, you are feeling out of balance. This is a time when you need to reflect on what changes are necessary in your life to create greater purpose and fulfillment. Try to understand what you need to leave behind you in the past and what changes you need to embrace in the future.

People you are dealing with are proving to be uncooperative or you may feel as though your interests are in conflict or competition with each other. Getting the ‘flow’ right between you seems an impossible feat. You are both striving to express your individuality in very different ways. There is a lot of energy around now but none of it is being used positively. Unresolved conflicts in both of you have yet to be expressed clearly, indeed you may not be conscious of them, although you are aware that something is wrong. These conflicts may manifest themselves as role reversal. In the beginning one of you was dominant, now the other seeks to take control of the union. An old fashioned argument may be necessary to clear the air and establish new ground rules.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My thoughts are filled with optimism and happiness. 
My positive thoughts attract all that is good. 
I give thanks.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Sunday, June 04, 2017

13 - Death

Upright: Endings, beginnings, change, transformation, transition

Reversed: Resistance to change, unable to move on



Death Tarot Description:

The Death card shows Death himself riding on a white horse, holding a black and white flag. Death is portrayed as a skeleton as the skeletal bones are the part of the body that survives death. The armor he is wearing indicates that he is invincible and unconquerable. Indeed, no-one has yet triumphed over death. The horse that Death rides is white, the color of purity. Death is therefore the ultimate purifier. All things are reborn fresh, new and pure. Notice even the bishop paying homage to him. All sectors of the human race are represented here – men, women and children – showing that Death does not discern between age, race or gender. The banner that Death carries has a black background, indicating an absence of light. The white rose, on the other hand, indicates beauty, purification and immortality. In the background of the card, there is a rising sun, a sign of immortality. The sun appears to ‘die’ each night but is reborn fresh and new every morning. The two pillars are guarding the gateway to the sun, symbolizing the knowledge needed to gain immortality. The boat on the water in the background is the ferry that transports the souls across the River Styx. The background is a neutral grey, again showing Death’s impartiality. Death is ruled by Scorpio (the sign of ‘sex, death and taxes’) and the number is 13, sacred to the Goddess as there are thirteen moons in a year.


Upright Death Tarot Card Meanings:

The Death card is probably the most feared and misunderstood of all the cards in the Tarot deck. In general, people tend to take the meaning of this card far too literally and fear that the indication is for the death of either themselves or others. The card of Death can be one of the most fruitful and positive cards in the deck.

Death is symbolic of the ending of a major phase or aspect of your life that may bring about the beginning of something far more valuable and important. You must close one door in order to open another. You need to put the past behind you and part ways, ready to embrace new opportunities and possibilities. It may be difficult to let go of the past at times but you will soon see how important it is so that you can bring renewal and transformation into your life. If you resist these necessary endings, you may experience pain, both emotionally and physically but if you exercise your creative imagination and visualize a new possibility, you allow more constructive patterns to emerge.

Similarly, Death indicates a time of significant transformation, change and transition. You need to profoundly transform yourself and clear away any of the old in order to bring in the new. Any change at this time should be welcomed as a positive, cleansing, transformative force in your life. The death and clearing away of limiting factors can open the door to a wider, more satisfying experience of life.

The Death card contains elements of a sudden and unexpected change. You may feel as though you are caught in the path of sweeping change and cannot escape its effects, and an end does not mean failure. Or it could be a series of unexpected surprises that bring an end to a period of turmoil or problems. Many changes are going to take place to enable a new direction to emerge.

Finally, Death is an indication that you need to learn to let go of unhealthy attachments in your life to pave the way to a fuller, more fulfilled life of deeper meaning and significance. Death teaches you to let go of outworn and outgrown ways of life and move forward. This is a perfect card for breaking a bad habit or pattern of behavior. This is a time of eliminating excess and cutting out what is not necessary in your life. This may be a good time to remove old belongings, memories and baggage that is getting in your way.


Reversed Death Tarot Card Meanings:


Death is a card of transformation and new life, and typically shows a need to start completely over by letting go of the past. Death reversed typically reflects that you are on the verge of major change but for some reason, you are resisting making that change. You may be reluctant to let go of the past or you may not know how to make the change you need. You are still carrying harmful aspects from the past that may interfere with the opportunity you have for a new beginning. You are refusing to accept change and you are resisting any element of change that may arise in your life. As a result, life has stagnated and you are feeling stuck.

Assess the way in which you are approaching change. You may find that you are in fact halting the very change that will be to your benefit. You may fear the new but rest assured the time is right to accept the new. What is important, too, is that you address and resolve whatever issues are blocking your acceptance of change as soon as you can so that you are then free to start your new journey. Pursuing your new journey now, without having resolved the past, may actually lead to unintended outcomes, so best you deal with what is preventing you from changing first.



biddytarot.com