• Cannabis and Opioid Reduction for Chronic Pain

    Does cannabis help with pain? Watch this video to learn more about the evidence on this topic. Dr. Sexton presented this at the Center for Medical Cannabis Research 2019 symposium at the University of California San Diego.
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  • Am I Too Old to use Cannabis?

    Research has suggested that cannabis may be rejuvenating for the aging brain!

    Many older individuals are accessing and using cannabis for a variety of health needs.

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    One of the medicinal compounds in cannabis

    Affects nerve cell "plasticity", or adaptability

    Facilitates release of acetylcholine

    Up-regulates KLOTHO, an anti-aging compound

    Restored cognitive function in older mice

    Modulates pain pathways

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    Cannabis Acute Effects in Older Individuals

    (Click on the link to read the original research)

    Dr. Sexton and colleagues surveyed cannabis users and found differences in acute effects in older individuals compared to younger users!

    • Less difficulty concentrating

    • Less difficulty with word-finding

    • Less forgetful

    • Fewer short-term memory problems

    • Less likely to have stimulation of appetite (getting the "munchies)

    A Survey of Cannabis Acute Effects

    CBD: Older individuals in our study were more likely to be "shopping" for cannabis with high CBD, which means it is lower in THC content.

    Another healing compound found in cannabis.

    • May allow for lower dosing of THC 

    • Shown to reduce side-effects of THC

    • Has anti-inflammatory potential

    • Has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects

    • May have antioxidant effects in the brain

    • Not likely to have strong effects on pain

    • Effective doses may vary

  • Peer-Reviewed Publications


    Cannabis As A substitute for Prescription Drugs

    The use of medical cannabis is increasing, most commonly for pain, anxiety and

    depression. Use of prescription drugs may be decreasing

    in states where medical cannabis is legal.


    In this survey, 46% reported using cannabis as a substitute for prescription

    drugs. The most common drugs substituted were narcotics/opioids (35.8%),

    anxiolytics/benzodiazepines (13.6%) and antidepressants (12.7%).


    See the paper here!

    Not only "patients", but also adult users, substitute cannabis for pain medications, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs, among others. Women are substituting 4x more often than men. There are gender differences in the response to cannabis.



    American Herbal Pharmacopoeia

    Dr. Sexton is a technical advisor and editor on the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Cannabis Monograph and Therapeutic Compendium

    Processing can significantly change the chemical components, as described in this report by Dr. Sexton and her team:

    "Evaluation of Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Content: Cannabis Flower Compared to Supercritical CO2 Concentrate"


    Vape-pens may not be the best choice for patients, when accessing medical cannabis. One reason is that pesticides may be concentrated along with cannabinoids and terpenoids. Another reason is that "excipients", added ingredients to make the concentrates pourable, could be harmful to health. Third, the "name" of the chemotype may not really describe what is in a vape pen cartridge.

    Cannabis Use Survey - Michelle Sexton ND

    Dr. Sexton's published research on the

    "Cannabis Use Survey" can be found by clicking on the links

    (in blue).


    This paper on Medical Use of Cannabis is one of the top-cited articles in the Journal: Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research!


    "A Cross-Sectional Survey of Medical Cannabis Users: Patterns of Use and Perceived Efficacy"


    "Sex Differences in Cannabis Use and Effects: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Cannabis Users"


    You can purchase Dr. Sexton's Book "Cannabis Use Survey" through Amazon. This book contains the raw survey data: uncensored and unedited responses of cannabis users. Readers can experience the full impact of the frustration or appreciation of users, while also getting a feel for the education and life experience of cannabis users at large.