SHIFT Daily News

News

Is medical marijuana a cure for anorexia?

Is medical marijuana a cure for anorexia?
July 10
13:58 2017

you apply for a medical-marijuana card in California, you may be asked a counterintuitive question: have you ever been diagnosed with anorexia? It’s no secret that weed has a notorious reputation for causing the munchies, yet few people realize that medical marijuana is actually an effective cure for anorexia and other eating disorders — both emotionally and physically.

With the recent legalization of the drug and numerous casual and “luxury” medical dispensaries popping up all over the state (especially in the ever-stoned Bay Area), huge numbers of Californians have flocked to medical marijuana — one estimate suggests 3.83 percent of Californians are medical-marijuana patients. But when I applied for my own card, I was a bit stunned to check the “Anorexia” box as one of my past or present conditions. This got me to thinking about how cannabis, an arguably misunderstood drug, could help treat anorexia, a greatly misunderstood disease. I spoke to Francis D’Ambrosio, an orthopedic spine surgeon who became a cannabis prescriber in Los Angeles, California. He swears by marijuana’s healing capabilities.
“It was a revelation to me that a plant that has been so vilified and so demonized over time has such potential for so many different people, so many different ailments.”

“Well, as a spine surgeon, I used to do a lot of surgery,” D’Ambrosio said. “And nobody was getting better.” He described how he was searching for a new, “non-invasive, non-narcotic way” to treat his patients. Upon entering the cannabis industry, D’Ambrosio saw people getting much, much better. “It was a revelation to me,” he said, “that a plant that has been so vilified and so demonized over time has such potential for so many different people, so many different ailments … I couldn’t stand by and not let its wonderful abilities not be accessible to the public.”

Since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, it’s not currently possible to use it to conduct research on human subjects. So rats are often induced with a brain-chemical imbalance that’s similar to that found in patients with anorexia. The rats are then treated with cannabis, which has been proven to increase their appetite. The research suggests that cannabis might do the same to humans; still, we are more complex and emotional than these animals — at least we would like to think so. Until human research is legal, we might not know for sure.

D’Ambrosio explained that cannabis not only improves the patient’s digestive tract — obviously necessary for recovery — but also allows the patients to free themselves from the anxiety around eating.

D’Ambrosio believes that cannabis can help with disordered eating, but he admits that more research is needed. The problem is that D’Ambrosio’s patients aren’t the best at communicating their results. Since you need to check in with your cannabis prescriber only once a year to renew your medical-marijuana card, doctors in the cannabis industry are left without any follow-up throughout the year; unlike other doctors, who regularly check in on their patients. D’Ambrosio expressed his gratitude after seeing many of his patients with anorexia return, feeling much better than before.

“Having done this for three years and having seen cycles of patients come back, with anorexia, I can tell you that it does work,” D’Ambrosio said. He explained that cannabis not only improves the patient’s digestive tract — obviously necessary for recovery — but also allows the patients to free themselves from the anxiety around eating. From both a physical and a psychological standpoint, D’Ambrosio believes in medical marijuana’s ability to treat anorexia. “I’m seeing excellent results,” he assured. “To see the effect — the positive effect — on the gastrointestinal tract … was the most shocking thing … [as well as] the relief that patients who have been suffering for so long have gotten from cannabis — incredible.”

195 total views, 1 views today

About Author

Shift Daily News

Shift Daily News

Related Articles

[^@s]
[^@s]
[^.@s]
[^.@s]
[^@s^.]
[^@s^.]