Reading Time: 4minutesThe CBD industry has become a highly competitive arena, with many new brands springing up in the last three years.
Many companies are refining the extract under the umbrella of a legal non-psychoactive hemp supplement.
As a hemp compound, CBD helps several medical conditions and is far healthier than opioids prescribed by doctors and promoted by big pharma.
What is CBD, and how does it help medical conditions?
Of the many compounds discovered in the cannabis species, the most often discussed are THC (Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).
THC is responsible for the potent psychoactive effect on the brain, creating a high or stoned mental state. Alternative medicine practitioners also use it for its therapeutic quality in treating severe medical conditions.
On the other hand, CBD has a minimal psychoactive effect but can alter mood and is renowned for stress relief, anxiety reduction, and several other therapeutic effects.
CBD is unlikely to get you high in small doses. Still, it can create euphoria in large quantities, perhaps due to any trace amounts of THC present left from extraction.
The technology to extract and separate these elements has given birth to an entirely new industry dedicated to producing CBD in different forms.
As an alternative medication, CBD helps manage several health disorders and is legal in most countries for distribution as a non-psychoactive supplement.
Many entrepreneurial brands tout CBD as the new wonder drug to solve the opioid epidemic, destroying the lives of thousands each year.
Perhaps rightly so, as serious research is studying the benefits of CBD in aiding severe disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you live in the US, CBD from Hemp with a THC content of 0.3% or below is federally legal but restricted in some states. CBD derived from cannabis plants with a THC content of 0.4%, or more are federally illegal but legal in some states.
But there should be no misunderstanding. Hemp and cannabis plants are the same species, legally differentiated by their THC content.
As CBD from hemp is legal, the FDA does not regulate its consumption or commercial use.
As with many supplements, it’s crucial to purchase CBD from a reputable brand. Many entrepreneurs are popping up on the market, vague about their cannabinoid content and ingredients.
In which form is CBD available?
The cannabis and hemp industry has developed a plethora of CBD treatments.
Oral intake CBD is available as oils, tinctures (alcohol-based), oil capsules, pills, gummies, CBD-infused soft drinks, tea, and even beer. Other treatments for external use include skin lotions, creams, massage oils, and bath products.
It’s important to note that products with the general label CBD can have various cannabinoid elements extracted from hemp plants with different effects.
Full-spectrum CBD and the importance of terpenes
Most notable is the entourage effect of several elements in hemp and cannabis plants that have the significant therapeutic ability in treating anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
Extracts that contain the cannabinoid CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and low levels of THC (below 0.03% in cannabis dry weight), are considered Full-spectrum CBD.
Terpenes are plant compounds that give off an aroma, appearing in high concentration in cannabis and hemp and affect human physiology.
For example, Myrcene, a terpene common to cannabis, is renowned for being relaxant and sedative. Pinene with a pine scent has anti-inflammatory properties, and Limonene can aid anxiety and depression.
That’s why the inclusion of terpenes in full-spectrum CBD products is highly beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, pain and can act as a muscle relaxant.
In contrast to full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD has several cannabinoid elements, including CBD, CBN (cannabinol), CBC (cannabichrome) and terpenes.
Each cannabinoid compound has a different physiological effect. For example, CBD can reduce appetite, whereas CBN stimulates appetite, both relieving pain and inflammation.
Using advanced distillation techniques, CBD Isolate is a distillate created with the isolated element of CBD that is 99% pure. The distilled extract can take the form of crystalline powder or solid.
By adding the isolate to hemp oil, the producers can dramatically increase potency without any other hemp compounds, terpenes, flavonoids, or THC.
Which type should I take?
When treating anxiety with CBD, it’s best to get advice from a medical professional that understands CBD and cannabis products. What’s more, each person’s needs and experience are different.
CBD for treating anxiety can come in oils, capsules, gummies, other edibles, and even soft drinks.
Each form comes in varying potencies and quantities and will have a different effect, some mild with short-term results, other forms stronger and longer-lasting.
What are the side effects?
As much as CBD is effective in a variety of medical conditions, it may cause side effects. Your experience will depend on the brand and type of CBD, the amount, frequency, and the individual concerned.
Side effects may include dry mouth, diarrhoea, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications. That’s why it’s essential to know the quality of the brand being used and consult with a doctor.
How to start with CBD
Before using CBD, it is essential to be familiar with your state of health. Furthermore, it’s also important to consider the medication you are taking in conjunction.
Consideration also must be given to body weight and blood chemistry. Always start with a low dose and gradually increase the amount over a period, noting any side effects.
Besides the content and strength of CBD, the form you take can have a starkly different effect.
By comparison, CBD for oral intake can give a very different experience both in immediacy and length of impact, to a topical cream, for external use.
For older patients with difficulty with anxiety, CBD from a hemp variety that does not contain THC above 0.03% is more suited. That’s why it’s advisable to consult a doctor before prescribing CBD for treating anxiety in older patients.
If you want to try CBD and are looking for a trustworthy, reputable brand, check out the article Reputable CBD Brands You can Trust
Let’s have your thoughts and comments below. Have you tried CBD, and what experience did you have? Don’t forget to subscribe and check out more articles on medical cannabis and what it can do for you.
If you’re new to CBD and want to know more, check out the article explaining CBD and how it helps common medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, and pain, covering CBD legality and the different forms available.
Over the last few years, so many different CBD brands have appeared online, it’s challenging to know which one to choose. The legal loophole of marketing CBD as a hemp product devoid of THC, the potent psychoactive element common to recreational and medical cannabis, is what has attracted so many startups to the industry.
And why not? If the product is legitimate and better than the opioids pushed by big pharma, CBD medication should be encouraged.
However, the use of cannabinoids as a solution to the opioid epidemic is slow in forthcoming. Mainstream medicine, influenced heavily by pharmaceutical companies. So much so, they do not want to replace their money-makers with a product with intense competition that allows easy entrants.
The flip side is that CBD brands marketing their products as hemp derivatives are reticent about stating their medical benefits. Product descriptions appear careful to an extreme about describing health aid, relying heavily on customer user ratings and testimony.
Furthermore, CBD brands are transparent about their production processes, aiming for organic status. A side-track effort to at least show their products doesn’t cause further damage with contaminants and dangerous fertilizers.
Medical cannabis brands, however, are subject to FDA and health authority scrutiny. For companies to gain medical legitimacy, they detail the exact content of their products, including terpene profiles, and the medical conditions they treat with research to back their claims.
Cannabis medication is available in states that have legalized medical cannabis, in contradiction to federal law.
So far, the only medical cannabis company to gain FDA approval is GW Pharmaceuticals, producing Epidiolex for treating seizure disorders.
However, the lines blur as more medical cannabis brands cross over to provide CBD products with low THC levels coming close to FDA requirements by marketing their products as hemp.
A reminder about the legal status of hemp products
If you live in the US, CBD from Hemp with a THC content of 0.3% or below is federally legal but restricted in some states. CBD derived from cannabis plants with a THC content of 0.4%, or more are federally illegal but legal in some states.
But there should be no misunderstanding. Hemp and cannabis plants are the same species, legally differentiated by their THC content.
As CBD from hemp is legal, the FDA does not regulate its consumption or commercial use.
As with many supplements, it’s crucial to purchase CBD from a reputable brand, and not one that is vague about their cannabinoid content and ingredients.
The truth about CBD contamination and organic production
Modern farm production often uses pesticides to ward off parasites and disease. What’s more, they add hormones and make genetic modifications to their seeds giving higher production yields. Furthermore, their production techniques alter the size and taste of the produce.
Cannabis and hemp production is no exception. That’s why there is an outcry for organic produce not only in supermarkets but now taking hold in the CBD industry.
Actual organic status without genetic manipulation is rare, and any brand claiming otherwise should be regarded with questionable skepticism unless officially certified.
However, it is perfectly reasonable to demand hemp and cannabis products are free of pesticides, hormone growth additives, and cultivation with natural organic fertilizers.
Most hemp cultivators for CBD brands understand the need for transparency and natural ingredients and comply with public demand for organic farming methods.
Realistically, genetic manipulation is here to stay, and the genie will not go back in the bottle.
It wouldn’t be out of order to state that most hemp and cannabis seeds have genetic manipulation. Hybrid strains are created with preferred cannabinoid content and terpene profiles for specific recreational and medical needs.
CBD brands with professional medical research
Since 2018 CBD has become a commodity, with expert marketing brand and price strategies separating brands to achieve market share.
The vast majority of CBD brands promise the same, with organically grown products and independent lab tests.
Few, however, are backed with medical research, and even less are in a position to legitimately claim any medical benefits, which remain vague when reading their product descriptions.
If CBD brands were to make medical claims, they would be subject to FDA scrutiny.
However, medical cannabis brands are transparent about their cannabinoid content and state the exact terpene profile. Further still, the medical conditions they are used for are list on their websites. They’re able to do this as they are consistent in using the same hybrid strains to produce each harvest.
CBD brands without terpene breakdowns in product descriptions are more likely to use different hybrids for each extraction batch. The terpene profile may well be different with each production cycle.
That’s why there is a significant difference between medical cannabis brands and entrepreneurial brands, the latter taking advantage of loopholes in the laws surrounding the sale of CBD as a supplement.
How to choose the right CBD brand?
The best way to verify the quality and claims of CBD products is to check the full transparency of ingredients, including a detailed terpene profile.
Many brands offer a certificate of analysis that examines contaminant content, purity, and element potency. Additionally, labs provide peace of mind exposing pesticides, heavy metals, and fungi.
However, labs will not verify the therapeutic effect. Only a specialist doctor in CBD treatment or a medical cannabis brand backed with years of established research can advise on products suitable for specific medical conditions.
Relying solely on a few social media and customer ratings touting efficacy is not wise. Such reviews aren’t always legitimate and may not be trustworthy unless verified or in overwhelming numbers.
The best recommendation for CBD quality and suitability is a certificate of analysis by a reputable independent lab or purchasing from a medical cannabis brand backed with years of verified medical research.
For complete peace of mind, always seek advice from a qualified medical professional that is an expert with medical cannabis therapy and CBD products.
A qualified doctor can prescribe the right brand, form, and dosage suited to your individual needs.
5 CBD Brands for treating anxiety in older patients
As pioneers in medical cannabis research, Tikun has blazed the trail in developing CBD products to relieve anxiety and pain.
The brand belongs to an elite group of medical cannabis producers who have undergone 15 plus years of study in developing cannabis products to treat numerous medical conditions.
Tikun’s research was carried out in cooperation with the forefather of cannabis research Professor Raphael Mechoulam.
Avidekel is a full-spectrum cannabis strain used to produce CBD tincture, vape oil, and topical cream. It is exceptionally effective in relieving anxiety and other ailments.
A higher concentration of CBD increases serotonin levels that help alleviate stress throughout the body. The THC content is Avidekel is less than 1% and unlikely to get you high, other than calming your mood.
Tikun provides a complete breakdown of its Avidekel terpene profile, explaining each terpene’s aroma, together with the medical condition the cannabinoid and terpene profile is suited.
The information is in stark contrast to other CBD brands and grounded in extensive medical knowledge and experience.
Due to Tikun’s extensive library of published medical research, Avidikel’s health benefits are documented with the following:
Elevates energy levels
Reduces stress, agitation, and anxiety
Improves symptoms of depression
Reduces rage attacks
Acts as a sleep aid
Helps digestive problems
Improve airflow to the lungs
Prevents memory loss
Slows the spread of infection and cancer cells
Relief of Autism symptoms
Relief in pain related to MS
Type: An Indica-dominant hybrid strain that helps stabilize the nerves. CBD: 16-19% – 600Mg / 30Ml bottle THC: <1% (Avidekel is a cannabis product as it has a THC content above 0.3%) Available as a Tincture, Vape, Topicals, and more.
Terpene content in Avidekel CBD products
Avidekel is available online, in Europe, Israel, and throughout California, with distribution soon throughout the US, in states where cannabis is legal.
The Stanley brothers developed the CBD brand Charlotte’s Web to treat seizures related to Dravet syndrome.
Originally named Hippie’s Disappointment and later rebranded Charlotte’s Web, the CBD was used to treat Charlotte Figi, from Colorado, who suffered throughout her life with extreme epileptic seizures.
Charlotte sustained in the region 300 attacks per week at the peak of her condition, eventually reduced to two or three per month. Charlotte passed in on April 7, 2020, after being hospitalized with pneumonia and resulting complications.
Charlotte’s Web has helped thousands of families, many of whom moved to Colorado to gain access to CBD treatment.
The brand has well-earned a reputation in its ability to help sufferers of seizures, stress, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and other autoimmune conditions.
Due to the laws governing CBD products in the US, the Charlotte’s Web brand relies on customer testimony regarding its medicinal benefits.
As a full-spectrum hemp extract, Charlotte’s Web includes CBD (Cannabidiol), CBC, CBG, and other beneficial phytocannabinoids. What’s more, it is available in a variety of strengths from 500-1800Mg and container sizes.
Flavors include Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Mint-Chocolate. Also, the products come in an array of forms such as oil, gummies, and capsules, infused with additional ingredients such as Ginger Turmeric and Melatonin.
Charlotte’s Web is available online and throughout the US.
Lazarus is a CBD brand in complete transparency about its operations, critical when selecting a reputable CBD supplier. Farmed in Central Oregon, they supply organic non-GMO hemp with USDA Organic certification, a rare accreditation among CBD brands.
Lazarus control cultivation on their three farms, from seed to harvesting, managing extraction, packaging, and delivery. The only process falling outside the purview of their control is Third-Party testing, which is as it should be.
Founded in 2014 before the onslaught of wannabe CBD entrepreneurs that have flooded the US market, like the production of its products, the company has grown naturally from a fledgling operation to today’s stellar organization.
Most notable is the Lazarus Assistance Program, whose aim is to lower the price of CBD, making it more accessible to the masses.
Lazarus has an upfront approach to recommending its products for specific health conditions. If you visit their website, an AI questionnaire will walk you through a series of questions intended to find CBD product solutions for specific health issues.
The company’s products relieve stress & anxiety, help with sleep, reduces aches in muscles and joints, helps with general wellness, focus & energy, aid skin conditions and problems related to digestion.
Among the more creative producers, Lazarus CBD products are available as tinctures, softgels, balms, skin lotions, and edibles such as flavored tarts.
Lazarus is available online and throughout the US.
For the last review of select CBD brands, Joy organics is remarkable, considering it’s only been around since 2018. A relatively new brand, Joy achieved USDA Certified Organic Full & Broad Spectrum CBD Tinctures. Quite an achievement and hurdle many CBD brands do not claim.
Organic certification means their seeds are natural and not genetically modified, and their farming processes and extraction techniques are devoid of chemical fertilizers and additives.
Joy Smith, the co-founder, started as a CBD user with first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations in finding quality CBD that was effective in treating her medical condition.
After doing her due diligence to understand and solve the complex issues surrounding the production of organic CBD from a user perspective, Joy founded a company that has set a benchmark for transparency.
The business sets the highest standard in manufacturing, quality, and testing, with a prime directive to ensure all processes meet USDA organic status.
A family business, Joy Organics, is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a second operational center in Austin Tx, run by her daughter Danielle.
Products include Full and Broad-Spectrum tinctures, salves, gummies, softgels, energy drinks, bath bombs, creams, and even supplements for pets.
We looked at the 5 best symptom checker apps that scored highest among tests from a team of independent doctors and the features they offer. As a result, we found, all the apps use a Chatbot– AI technology that asks questions about your symptoms and spits out suggestions about possible conditions, treatment, and urgency.
Do you feel something’s not right and don’t have the time to make an appointment with a doctor? What’s more, you may even hesitant about visiting a clinic with the risk of catching something, even worried about COVID-19 symptoms.
Firstly, you’re not alone, and that’s why many in the same boat are turning to symptom checker apps for possible medical conditions, and demand has grown more than ever. As a result, with so many symptom checkers on the market, you may be wondering which apps are trustworthy?
Can you trust an algorithm to give you the correct answer about your health? Also, you may have privacy concerns about who has access to your data.
What To Expect From A Symptom Checker App For Patients
Not all symptom checkers are equal, and few, if any, are approved by the FDA or your local health authority. What’s more, many don’t know that in the US, a medical app for diagnosis or used in conjunction with a medical device must have FDA approval. That’s why symptom assessment apps state they do not provide a diagnosis and commit you to that understanding.
For this reason, an app that answers your symptoms is not a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified medical professional.
Essential Features To Look For In A Symptom Checker App
An independent team of doctors carried out a vignette study on symptom assessment apps and reported their research in the British Medical Journal. For this purpose, the study measured the apps against three criteria– Coverage, Accuracy, and Urgency. For which, we’ll get into each apps’ score later.
Coverage of Medical Conditions
The study tested doctors as a benchmark, accounting for all the possible medical conditions, for symptoms, with a score of 100%. Researchers also tested apps to see if they listed all the medical conditions the doctors diagnosed. The top app scored 99.0% for coverage. The app with the lowest range scored 51.5%.
Accuracy of Medical Conditions
Beyond listing all the possible medical conditions, researchers also tested doctors for accuracy, and they scored 82.1%.
The highest accuracy score for apps was 70.5%. The lowest score was 23.5%, showing a vast difference among the apps. Furthermore, there’s no substitute for a doctor.
The urgency of Medical Conditions
The third criterion tested the urgency in seeking medical advice. Doctors scored 97.0%. In contrast, the top app scored the same, and the lowest app scored 80.0%, with one app that didn’t address urgency at all.
Additional Symptom Assessment App Services and Features
All of the symptom checker apps ask your age and gender. Some ask about your lifestyle and general health– whether you smoke, suffer from diabetes, or have high blood pressure.
Some apps only check symptoms, offer possible medical conditions and suggestions for treatment. By comparison, other apps focus heavily on providing medical information, news, tips, and even joining a community of patients with similar conditions. However, certain apps will offer to put you in contact with an online doctor for a fee or subscription.
For a free app with only a symptom checking service, you may want to consider how they make their money, as the app likely sells your data to third parties.
Apps that offer to put you in contact with a doctor are more transparent about their services and furthermore, stress that your information will not be sold to third parties, used only for improving the service.
The 5 Best Symptom Checker Apps For Patients
Below are the five best symptom checker apps sorted by rating for medical criteria using AI, not by available features. With this in mind, If you’re looking for an online doctor, note the apps that provide that service.
Symptom Checker Apps in order of AI Medical Rating
Let’s dive into each app and look at their test scores, how they work, and their pros and cons.
1. Ada – Symptom Cheker App
Firstly, Ada that’s taken the market by storm. Developed in Germany, the medical symptom assessment app has over 10 million subscribers and a 4.7 user rating. What’s more, the app is available in 7 languages running on iOS and Android.
Secondly, with the help of 50 in-house medical experts and AI software engineers, the symptom assessment app scores top marks for its medical coverage and accuracy among health professionals. Accordingly, Ada prides itself on an updated comprehensive medical library available on the app.
The app asks for a series of GDPR data consents. However, be in no doubt, Ada will use your data at their discretion.
The chatbot systematically asks questions about your symptoms, starting with the basics– age, gender, and birth date. It also asks underlying health-related questions– ‘Are you a smoker?’, ‘Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure?’, and ‘Do you have diabetes?’
You can answer Yes, No, or I’m not sure. The questions are thorough, covering multiple symptoms. Consequently, with relative speed, the result is three possible causes, and red highlights if you need to seek medical advice.
The interface is clean, professional, simple to follow, and easy to understand. What’s more, Ada is thorough, with detailed explanations about each possible cause.
How Ada Works
Download the app to your phone
Register your email
Give GDPR consent
Provide optional data consent
The app asks base-line demographic & health questions
Enter your symptoms
Answer the chatbot questions
Receive a detailed result with three possible causes
Test Scores & Notable things about Ada
Out of all the apps covered by the UK’s British Medical Journal, Ada placed first in its coverage of medical conditions, scoring 99.0%. Ada also scored highest on symptom accuracy with 70.5%, compared to 82.0% achieved by real-life doctors.
Ada manages your data under the European GDPR data protection laws. However, you should consider where Ada is passing your data.
As a free service, Ada must be making money somehow. Selling data is a lucrative business.
Overall, Ada shows professionalism and reliability, offering the highest score for symptom assessment but cannot replace consultation with a health professional.
Wanting to create a bridge between patients and doctors, Andrew Le, from Harvard Medical School, founded Buoy health with the help of young software engineers. Consequently, they created a medical symptom assessment service, which is available via the website and for app download from the US iOS store.
The friendly chatbot asks symptom questions using AI algorithms connected to a medical database. As a result, the app offers three possible causes for your medical condition, treatment recommendations, and which options make the most financial sense.
Most apps work with a decision tree to proceed towards possible causes of your symptoms. However, Buoy uses statistics together with the patient’s unique circumstances to prioritize medical conditions.
The app searches its medical database, adapting its forecast, unique for each patient replying to each successive question. Accordingly, the system learns as it goes along.
The app’s interface is clean, simple, user-friendly, and easy to understand.
How Buoy Health Works
Go to the Buoy website
Receive three possible causes
Buoy suggests treatment options relative to your medical coverage
Allow Buoy to check back on your progress
Receive access to the buoy community
Test Scores & Notable things about Buoy
As a relatively new system, Buoy is learning, and for this reason, it placed second in the test with 88.5% for coverage of possible medical conditions, 43.0% for accuracy, and 80.0% for urgency.
However, you should consider your privacy rights. By signing up to Buoy, it appears you give away all your rights of data to third-party health insurers and providers. You may want to consider that before engagement.
Overall, Buoy appears professional, easy to use, with relatively good coverage of possible medical conditions, but you should use the service in consultation with a health professional.
Mediktor’s homepage opening gambit is ‘the most accurate AI-based medical assistant for triage, prediagnosis and decision-making support.’
Considering it scored third overall on a test by independent doctors for symptom assessment apps, that’s quite a statement. Mediktor continues with ‘The only app that is clinically validated.’
However, the question is, beyond the accuracy of those statements, is Mediktor an app you can rely on for answers to your symptoms?
In support of their claims, Mediktor operates in 180 countries and has a heavy focus on COVID-19 assessment, with the service available on the website and mobile apps.
Mediktor offers consultation with an online doctor. It also provides a Chatbot symptom assessment service that does an excellent job of using checkbox questions quickly. In fact, it even adds friendly emojis to describe your level of pain.
Remarkably, Mediktor is the only app to ask if you are male, female, or non-binary. No offense if you claim the latter. However, the question begs, what happens in gender-related medical conditions, such as pregnancy, periods, Turner syndrome, Rett syndrome, or ovarian and cervical cancers?
Mediktor takes a more hands-on approach and asks if you can take your blood pressure. What’s more, if you can’t, it asks about your location for recommendations.
Further, the app is thorough in symptom analysis, with detailed specifics on pain location with multiple-choice diagrams.
The results offer three suggestions, along with urgency. Also, a standout feature is putting you in direct contact with online medical professionals for a small fee.
How Mediktor Works
Download the app and register
Alternatively, use the website without registration
Give GDPR consent for your data
The app asks base-line demographic questions
Follow a series of comprehensive symptom questions
Get results with three possible causes
Test Scores & Notable things about Mediktor
Mediktor placed third on app tests with 80.5% on condition coverage, 36.0% on symptom accuracy, and 87.3% for the treatment’s urgency.
Mediktor abides by GDPR data protection rules, giving you the right to access the information they store. But it is uncertain how they use your data. For instance, it collects data related to the spread of COVID-19. However, the business model earns revenue from consultations with doctors.
For this reason, any deficiencies in chatbot coverage and accuracies Mediktor mitigates by offering consultation with a validated doctor.
WebMD is probably one of the most popular and trusted medical advisory sites, with medical news and a resource-rich online platform, especially if you want information about COVID-19.
The app is available for download on iOS and Android and reflects the website’s model, including a symptom checker.
You don’t have to register to check your symptoms, and WebMD scores a 4.4 app user rating, better than other apps, but not the highest.
Besides a symptom checker, WebMD also offers health tools– a BMI calculator, Calorie Counters, a low-cost drug finder, ovulation, and due date calculators. Furthermore, WebMD has other apps for specific groups and medical issues.
The app asks your age and gender and immediately about your symptoms. To illustrate this, the app disisplays an interactive anatomy diagram (non-binary) to click your condition’s location and symptom lookup tables.
Some of the terminologies may require going to medical school– do you know what subacromial bursal tenderness is? But there are plenty of more common symptom descriptions, such as a ‘lump on the shoulder.’
The interface is excellent. What’s more, you can add as many symptoms as desired to a list, and edit, if you change your mind. The app will update the result’s strength as you add more symptoms.
WebMD is well-thought-out, taking a different approach, displaying the stage you’re at, and ending with your condition details and suggestions for treatment, for instance.
In contrast, the app asks your opinion about which condition you think is likely. It will also provide Risk Factors and suggestions for treatment, advising consultation with a doctor, if need be.
How WebMD Works
Access the app on the website
Alternatively, download the mobile app
Answer basic gender-age questions
Add your symptoms to a list
Choose from a list of medical conditions
Get suggestions for treatment and consultation
Test Scores & Notable things about WebMD
Tests revealed WebMD scored 93.0% in possible medical conditions, ranking second-highest, but only 35.5% on symptom accuracy. The test could not examine urgency, as WebMD’s orientation is information resources.
As a US company, GDPR data protection rules don’t apply. However, the company is transparent about the information you submit to their services.
The service encourages consultation with medical professionals. Furthermore, the company has won several awards for medical journalism, connecting people with community programs, and providing reliable general health advice.
WebMD Pros & Cons
Excellent user interface
Interactive symptom assessment
Easy-to-use visual aids
Solid coverage of medical conditions
Comprehensive medical news and information
Abundant information about COVID-19
Free service without registration
Scored lower on chatbot symptom accuracy
5. K Health – Symptom Checker App & Tele-Med
Claiming ‘The #1 most downloaded medical app in the US.’ Let’s take the K Health symptom assessment app for a spin.
First off, the business model is different from other symptom checker apps, focusing on Tele-Med services. The company has 100+ online doctors ready to consult.
Secondly, for a relatively small fee, you can opt for a one-time ‘urgent visit.’ Alternatively, you can subscribe for an even lower-cost monthly fee; both require registration.
The service also includes a symptom checker app free and available for download on iOS and Android. The app’s current user rating is 4.0.
Once downloaded, asking the basics, name, gender, and age, the app lists your answers as you engage with ‘K,’ a chatbot. As a first response, K will boast of ‘anonymizing several million people with your age and sex and will be comparing your symptoms to theirs.’ For laypeople, that sounds painful, and one hopes they’ll be gentle.
Right off the bat, K asks for your email address, explaining you can use it to log in and review your medical history.
Once you’re in, the app soon offers interactive diagrams so you can point to where it hurts, with checkbox lists to describe your symptom and degree of pain.
The app also gives several possible conditions with their probability percentage and urgency of treatment. It also indicates how long each condition takes to treat, from several days to health issues that affect a lifetime.
How K Health Works
Use the website to register
Alternatively, download the mobile symptom checker
Choose chat with a doctor or use the symptom checker
Answer basic gender-age questions
Add your email address
Add your symptoms to a list
Get suggestions for treatment and consultation
Test Scores & Notable things about K Health
On the app assessment test, K Health scored 74.5% for medical condition coverage, 36.0% on symptom accuracy, and 81.3% on treatment urgency, in comparison to the four other apps, of which it came last
Aware of chatbot limitations in giving relevant answers to symptoms, K Health’s priority is Tele-Med with medical professionals. Hence, their symptom assessment app is a supportive tool.
K Health Pros & Cons
Tele-Med with a doctor online
Low-cost consultation subscriptions
Free, user-friendly symptom assessment app
Includes visual aids
Good coverage of medical conditions
High urgency score for seeing a medical professional
In conclusion, whichever app you choose to check your symptoms, make sure you consult with a doctor for professional advice and consider how the app uses your data when giving away your private information to a machine.
Tell us about your experience and which app suits your needs?
Feeling out of it, but don’t want the hassle of going to your doctor? The first headache is getting an appointment, then there’s the issue of showing up. Warnings buzz around the back of your head, like an annoying mosquito, ‘Don’t come in contact with others; keep your distance at all times.’
The question begs, when visiting your local clinic of all places, what are the chances of catching something worse?
Now a common dilemma— health authorities have seen a 60% decline in visits to the family doctors and health clinics in 2020, with a slow bounce-back since the peak of the pandemic.
With the aid of Artificial Intelligence, finding ways for patients to connect with health professionals while minimizing unnecessary risks of contact, is now in the spotlight of a collaborative focus between healthcare workers and the tech industry.
If you’re unfamiliar with Artificial intelligence (AI), it is the branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of doing tasks that humans typically perform.
AI connects you to the right doctor faster with less risk
Google Cloud and Amwell have just announced a multi-year, strategic partnership to develop telehealth solutions on a global scale. Their aim is to use AI to automate waiting room management and checkout.
As health carers face patients that speak different languages, Google will provide automated language translation services, making it easier for doctors and patients to communicate. AI will also replace routine chores so that doctors can focus on the specialist tasks needing human intuition and decision-making for personalized healthcare.
Doctors seeing patients through video consultation is becoming a common occurrence. Whether you want to see a specialist such as a dermatologist or family doctor, video appointments minimize the risk of contact. Consulting with medical professionals has become much more accessible, without the need to sit in waiting rooms at the clinic, avoiding the risk of infection from other patients.
In the UK, AccuRx built a video chat tool to help family doctors stay in touch with patients during the pandemic. Telemedicine is here to stay. The COVID-era has accelerated the integration of video communication with health professionals into mainstream medicine, which has now become the new norm.
Despite these developments, not everyone has the privilege of quality private health insurance, and there is still the need to wait for a telehealth meeting with your doctor.
For those made recently unemployed, whose health insurance has lapsed or is about too, you may be deliberating about seeing a doctor. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the abundance of info online and the endless possible disorders, affecting you.
Your imagination can make many symptoms appear to be COVID-related, requiring you to read through a ton of information. It’s easy to be paranoid about being infected. The media too often magnifies the possibility that you’re the victim of some mysterious disease, despite not stepping out of your apartment for the last 100 days.
AI chatbots to the rescue
Buoy, a startup led by a young talented group of AI specialists and doctors, has developed a chatbot that guides patients to a diagnosis and medical attention in quick-time.
Used by Harvard medical school, Buoy diagnoses patients with a hand-held approach. The app leads you through a series of questions, asking for symptoms, then reaches a diagnosis, recommends treatment, and whether you need to see a doctor.
The app even asks what health insurance you have and location, a question you can skip if you’re unsure. Buoy also suggests where to go for assistance, and not in the proverbial sense. The app is available on your mobile or via the Buoy website.
But how much can you trust a robotic chatbot? A better question is, how honest and accurate are you when answering questions about your health? There’s also the concern, your answers and data are being shared with third parties, making you another big-data demographic target.
The app relies on your input, as a doctor hasn’t yet checked your symptoms, some you may have missed or thought are unrelated.
Babylon Health is another example of an AI chatbot that personalizes medical screening and even makes a video or a face-to-face appointment with a healthcare professional.
Despite misgivings, chatbots are the latest in a series of AI initiatives helping doctors make diagnosis and treatment more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective.
In fact, chatbots are becoming the frontline filter for directing patients to the right doctor and treatment, even a prerequisite to a video-appointment with a health professional.
AI diagnosis is quicker and more accurate
Reminiscent of an episode in Black Mirror, you chatted with a bot and tele-met with your doctor, resulting in you needing a blood check. You come into the clinic for the test, and the results are through in a snap.
AI blood diagnosis is now routinely analyzing deadly bacteria and blood diseases faster than you can decide on which pizza you’re going to order.
It’s not only about speed. The results are far more accurate. Microscopes at Beth Israel, Harvard U’s teaching hospital, integrate AI to scan for harmful bacteria in blood samples much faster than manual scanning carried out by a human. Scientists have examined thousands of blood samples using AI deep-learning, predicting disease with very high accuracy.
AI diagnosis was ramped up during the COVID19 pandemic. Rapid testing became healthcare’s number one priority. Beyond blood diagnosis, AI is detecting patients for COVID-19 through RT-PCR tests of genes in human cells, taken from test samples.
Whereas radiologists classified patients as being negative for COVID19, studies have shown that AI systems improve detection correctly, identifying symptoms with over 60% higher accuracy.
Zebra Medical Vision, based in Israel, specializes in AI assistive technology for radiologists. Whether it’s diagnosing early stages of lung cancer or osteoporosis, computers using AI, analyze MRIs CTs, and X-rays scans.
AI machine learning records the experience and knowledge of thousands of radiologists. Zebra’s system creates algorithms that identify markers of diseases and disorders in new patient scans, helping radiologists reach a diagnosis with faster and higher output. As technology advances, a daunting question for radiologists is, will they become a thing of the past, with AI-virtual-replacements?
Information can save your life
If there’s a remote chance, you fall ill and rushed to the hospital, the first thing is to register and be directed to the right department. How often have you been stuck at Reception while you brief administrators on your personal details and symptoms?
Qventus AI software helps prioritize patience through emergency rooms while maintaining patient safety through the risk of infection within a medical environment. The software prioritizes patients according to illness and injury. It even tracks current waiting times and helps ambulance services calculate the fastest route to the most appropriate medical facility.
When you finally meet the doctor, you’re often asked a barrage of questions about your health, circumstance, and symptoms. If your medical history is not in the system, the diagnosis can take much longer until tests are completed, and a diagnosis is made.
What if your entire medical history was already in the system?
CloudMedX uses AI deep learning to gather and analyze data and direct patients through the healthcare system. The software helps hospitals and clinics manage patient medical data, storing their clinical history, and even patients’ payment information. The insights provided help doctors and patients make better decisions based on the health context, backdrop, and insurance cover.
Tempus is another company that stores the most extensive collection of clinical and molecular data. Their operating system makes data accessible to doctors in real-time, available for personalized care, with the best options based on the context of a patient’s medical history and current circumstance. Real-time data retrieval saves thousands of hours looking up medical data and records, offering suggested procedures, without which, may not have been considered.
How much will AI healthcare integration cost you?
In light of these AI developments, you may want to ease up on the paranoia about giving your personal information away. Nevertheless, a worrying issue when applying for health insurance is whether pre-existing conditions are covered. If your medical history exposes a previous condition, outside the terms of your policy, treatment can be costly.
It opens the debate about the need for Medicare and nationalized health insurance, such as the UK’s NHS, or free healthcare, available in Europe. But there are downsides to free healthcare. Nationalized health insurance is notorious for long waiting lists, and treatments that are not covered in the budget, only available with private insurance.
How far are you willing to let AI and personal data collection, take control of your life?
The benefits of AI are blatantly obvious. Reaching an informed diagnosis with timely treatment can save your life.
Yet, in light of the pandemic with high-unemployment and risk of infection, affordable quality healthcare has become a big concern for millions. AI technology is advancing patient care in mind-boggling ways you wouldn’t imagine.
The big question remains, who will benefit, and who will fall by the wayside, as AI and data collection increases its grip on your life. At a time when you are most vulnerable, are you Ok with a machine making decisions about your healthcare?
You’ve got a chronic health condition and heard about medical cannabis. With a quick google, it’s not hard to find sites offering cannabis products.
You’ll find a plethora of obscure names, like “Purple Monkey Balls.” Budding marketing departments derive brand names from baked brainstorming sessions.
Wondering if any of these brands are valid? Are cannabis medications legitimate? For which illnesses are they suitable? Can you trust the brand? What do you need to do to get a prescription?
First of all, it’s reasonable to have doubts about the claims of sponsors. Buying online without a prescription from a qualified doctor is a risk.
It’s ironic that conservative countries like the UK, have circumvented regulation by categorizing CBD as a supplement. But are shoppers kidding themselves with this legal loophole? There’s no control over content, concentration, and dosage. As a result, cannabis remedies without supervision can lead to side effects.
Going to your local doctor for weed is embarrassing. It’s bureaucratic and even annoying, especially if your doctor’s stuck in the past. UK’s specialists only recommend cannabis for specific conditions. Some countries are more advanced in their policy towards prescribing cannabis.
Which health conditions benefit from medical cannabis?
Most doctors recognize that cannabis helps in certain health conditions.
Epilepsy cases for patients older than two years. Where the seizures stem from Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome
Multiple-Sclerosis (MS) spasticity for ineffective treatments
Cancer patients with nausea from chemo
Patients that have a lack of appetite and have cachexia wasting syndrome.
Forward-thinking countries treat a broader range of conditions with cannabis. In Canada and the US, research supports marijuana for Arthritis pain. But not all doctors agree. There is however a growing number of clinicians using cannabis for treatment.
Some clinicians prescribe cannabis for insomnia, but only relating to chronic conditions. The most common are MS, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia.
Recent studies have shown that CBD won’t induce sleep. But CBD does reduce anxiety, calming the nerves. Being less anxious about pain and discomfort will help you sleep better.
“A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system.”
In Canada, Dr. Michael Hart treats patience for pain relief and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Cannabis helps Veterans (VETS), reducing dependency on opioids and Benzodiazepine. Due to Hart’s wealth of clinical experience, his current focus is on educating the medical industry.
The FDA is reticent in legalizing recreational marijuana. Yet, the US system of governance permits states to make their own decisions. As a result, on a practical level, the FDA doesn’t interfere.
Health authorities are willing to try new treatments. Accordingly, thirty-five states have approved cannabis for a range of medical conditions. The result of this is an extensive list, some of which are as follows.
Health Disorders Associated with Cannabis Treatment
Alzheimer’s Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lu Gehrig’s disease Anorexia Cachexia Cerebral palsy Chrohn’s Colitis Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Cystic fibrosis Fibromyalgia Glaucoma Hepatitis C Hydrocephalus with intractable headaches Intractable headache syndromes Irreversible spinal cord injury with (an indication of intractable spasticity) Migraines Neuropathic facial pain Osteogenesis Imperfecta Parkinson’s Post Herpetic Neuralgia Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Sickle Cell Spasticity or neuropathic pain associated with fibromyalgia Terminal illness requiring end of life care Tourettes Ulcerative colitis Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
For a comprehensive report on US states providing cannabis treatment, visit Leafy. You’ll need to contact clinics to learn about their available treatments. Now let’s talk about the medication itself.
Leading Medical Cannabis Brands
Johnson and Johnson, join a host of big pharma supporting cannabis research— this is a good thing.
JJ’s incubator is JLABS, a site that resides in the MaRS discovery district of Toronto. JLABS operates a 40,000, square-foot life science innovation center. The environment supports startups, that develop technologies in advanced medical care.
“Companies are free to develop products, either on their own or by initiating a separate external partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation or any other company.”
Businesses that are vying for GMP EU status are backing cannabis research. For this reason, experienced physicians and scientists are undertaking clinical trials. The result of this is the development of new pharmacy-grade medical cannabis products.
Teva is the world leader in generic medication. Last year its daughter company LSE signed an agreement with Israel’s Canndoc. A leading cannabis producer, Canndoc distributes its products worldwide, with a business strategy in developing integrated logistic networks.
It’s refreshing to see cannabis offered in pharmacy packaging. Products come with detailed descriptions and precise contents and quantities. The upshot, transparency that makes regulation easy for health bodies, doctors, and patients.
Following is a list of brands offering medical cannabis products.
Medical Cannabis brands that excel in clinical research
A pathfinder in cannabis-based therapeutics, GW Pharmaceuticals started over twenty years ago in 1998. GW’s subsidiary, Greenwich Biosciences Inc, was the first to achieve FDA approval for a cannabis-based medication.
Epidiolex, launched in 2018, is an oral formulation of purified cannabidiol (CBD). The drug relieves epilepsy seizures for patients with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndrome.
Following this, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the medication as a supplement. Hence, the drug was released in Europe under the name EPIDYOLEX®, patients two years and above can use the drug in conjunction with clobazam.
GW was also responsible for producing Nabiximols (US). The drug was the world’s first cannabis-based prescription medicine, with a 1:1 ratio of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The EU approved the same drug in 2012, under the name Sativex. Consequently, the medication is now available in several countries for treating spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS).
With its quality-of-life formulas, pharmaceutical-grade standards, and FDA approval, GW’s achievements make them one of the top medical cannabis brands in the world.
Active in medical cannabis research, clinical trials, and treatment, for over 12 years, Canndoc produces an extensive line of GMP pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis, for an array of medical disorders.
The company’s success has built upon clinical data gathered from over 15,000 medical cannabis patients dispensing more than half a million treatments.
It’s this solid reputation motivated Ehud Barak, Israel’s former prime minister, to chair its board. The company produces, distributes, and offers its medications in Canada, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, and Israel.
The company has also entered agreements with Canadian, Tilray pharmaceuticals headquartered in Toronto. Consequently, Canndoc can now expand its distribution network to Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.
Building upon its global network of relationships with companies producing medical cannabis, Canndoc is importing medication for distribution in Israel.
Canndoc has just signed an agreement with Super-Pharm. As Israel’s largest drugstore chain, Superpharm will now offer pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to patients with an approved government license.
With the development of proprietary genetic profiles with over 30 cannabinoid compounds, Canndoc’s medications treat numerous disorders.
In contrast to others, Canndoc’s extensive experience in research and clinical application, allows them to list the medical conditions their products are suited.
Some of the health disorders listed are as follows:
Neuropathic and cancer-related pain
Multiple sclerosis-related states of spasticity
Inflammatory bowel disease
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Patients on chemotherapy
Cachexia weight loss syndrome associated with AIDS
Terminal Patients with six months of life expectancy.
Without exception, all of the developer’s medication with its proprietary genetic strains have achieved European, Canadian, and Israeli regulatory requirements.
The company offers a comprehensive range of oils and flower inflorescences (Buds), THC Sativa dominant, and THC Indica dominant varieties.
Like other leading brands, Canndoc’s formulas come in pharmaceutical boxed packages. The product line offers an array of THC and CBD content, in varying strengths from 5% to 24% content, as well as balanced formulas.
Canndoc’s extensive research, treatment history, precise formulas, and ability to make clinical recommendations, makes them one of the best medical cannabis brands on the planet.
As a medical cannabis producer, with grow-farms in Israel’s Galilee region, Tikun was recently purchased by Cannabit. Similar to Canndoc, Tikun has a long history of over 15 years of research. Likewise, they have an extensive database of clinical cases treated with medical marijuana and extracts.
Tikun was the first company in Israel to be licensed and supervised by the Ministry of Health. For this reason, Tikun were pioneers in medical cannabis research. The company worked alongside globally renowned Israeli scientist, Professor Raphael Mechoulam, and colleagues.
These scientists were the first to discover the human body’s endocannabinoid system. Furthermore, they were the first clinicians to research the body’s healing response to cannabinoids.
Like other cannabis pharma medications, Tikun details the specific quantities of cannabinoids and terpene content. Based on their experience, Tikun also has the authority to declare for which medical disorders their products are most suited. In contrast, few companies are privileged to make such declarations.
The strains Tikun offers provide treatment or relief from symptoms of significant health disorders:
Improvement of appetite related to Cachexia
Nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment
The alleviation spasticity related to Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Pain and inflammation control pertaining to:
carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscle spasm and Tremors
The range of Tikun’s medications is extensive and includes dried flowers (Buds), oils, topical creams, prerolls, tinctures, as well as vapes and accessories.
Tikun is not as large as its Canadian counterparts. Still, its research knowledge, association with top cannabis scientists, and its formulas make Tikun a top medical cannabis brand.
Canadian Medical Cannabis Brands
In 2001 Canada legalized the medicinal use of cannabis. It took another seventeen years and many updates to the law to permit recreational use in 2018.
The most significant change was in 2016. The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), licensed homegrown cannabis.
A patient with time and a green thumb may well find cultivation a rewarding pass-time on many levels. Still, growing marijuana at home can be time-consuming and requires know-how. It is not for everyone.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada has attracted considerable investment. Consequently, it’s turned the country into a global powerhouse with some of the best medical cannabis brands on the planet.
The race is on for Canadian entrepreneurs to promote their cannabis products. Certainly, mass production to pharmaceutical standards eases the need for home cultivation. It seems that players’ have gone beyond big pharma in content and operational transparency.
Enter a sterile world of labs, mega greenhouses, and plants built on hundreds of acres. Canadian cannabis producers have distribution networks, unsurpassed by any country on the globe.
Cannabis shopping websites list an array of products with precise doses and content. The distinct impression is one of professionalism—regulated health clinics with the highest care for patients.
Entrepreneur’s hungry for business, are trying hard to present legitimacy. Consequently, having impressed medical authorities worldwide, Canadian cannabis producers have struck several global trade deals.
With the level of investment and aggressive acquisitions, comes the distinct aroma of opportunity. It seems entrepreneurs are trying hard to win the race to the top and earn the bucks and a lot of them.
Significant investment has gone into acquiring smaller brands. The reason being, that specialist operations have extensive experience in medical research and clinical application. After all, medical research has advanced in Canada for two decades.
Accessing a cannabis store website requires a cursory age-check, which is pretty ridiculous. It’s a bit like asking kids to verify their age on a porn site. Unless you have surfing security software installed, anyone can enter. But regulations are what they are. For sure, you can only order products after registration and strict age verification.
Following is a list of some of the notable Canadian medical marijuana brands— all without exception offer pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis. But some have significant differences. For that reason, it’s worth reading through each company to understand its unique specialty.
Aphria has become a giant in the cannabis industry, acquiring Broken Coast and Nuuvera. Founded in 2014, the company has forecasted an annual production of 230,000kg.
Since regulatory changes in 2018, Aphria made a distribution deal with the behemoth US wine and spirits Southern Glazer’s— Its purpose, to distribute recreational Cannabis throughout Canada.
Most notably, the company has developed a reputation for medical cannabis and patient care. Appealing to Veterans, Aphria has a close relationship with health care professionals dealing with a variety of health disorders.
Also, in support of patient care, Aphria offers compassionate pricing and a map locator for clinics throughout Canada.
The product line includes bud, softgels, oil, vapes, replacement cartridges, battery kits, and oral sprays. Most noteworthy, state-of-the-art sunlit greenhouses guarantee product consistency.
Broken Coast produces medicinal and recreational cannabis. Launched in 2013, BC is a boutique brand renowned for British Columbian cultivation. Probably it was their reputation that drove Aphria to acquire them in 2018.
These master growers boast a 44,000 square-foot grow facility on Vancouver Island. Their outstanding cannabis comes as dried bud, oils, capsules, and accessories.
Most significantly, BC prides its product as free from harmful substances. These include pesticide, fungicide, toxic heavy metals, and pathogens.
As with other sites, users must register to access the product line.
With BC’s unique strains, user ratings are outstanding. Yet, you wonder what separates the medicinal varieties. It seems, their approach to medical treatment is more a euphoric distraction.
The company rides high on a reputation for superb top-shelf weed, rather than personalized treatments.
One of the largest Canadian cannabis producers, Aurora, has a license to cultivate up to 150,00 Kilograms a year, in sites around the globe.
Aurora produces high quality (top shelf) CBD heavy strains. With over 30 different products, the line has THC dominant, CBD dominant, and balanced medications.
A must-see, their product line is the most creative of all medical cannabis producers. The result of this is a growing following of exuberant patients delighted with their medication varieties.
It’s eye-opening to visit the online shop of dried bud, cannabis oil, and capsules. For patients that prefer edibles to vape, Aurora offers fruit flavored Gummies, chocolate, and peppermints. They even have drinks with precise doses of THC and CBD.
Of extreme importance, Aurora guarantees consistency. Why this is significant, is that edibles can have a much longer-lasting and powerful effect than vaping or smoking.
Quite rightly gummies are limited to 5 units per package. These are not regular candies, although apparently they taste really good.
With its global strategy, attention to detail, creative product line, and care for patients, Aurora is one of the top medical cannabis brands on earth.
Aurora subsidiary Medreleaf is one of the few companies with certified ISO standards. Their certificates cover quality management, environmental systems, occupational Health, and Safety Assessment.
ISO checks R&D, production, processing, distribution, selling, and the removal of surplus cannabis. MedReleaf’s (GPP) high-grade standards exceed the requirements of Canadian licensing (ACMPR).
Akin to its name, Medreleaf are medical research specialists with a reliable clinical program that validates therapies. Besides linking patients with healthcare practitioners, they also offer financial relief programs.
The online Medreleaf shop offers over 40 medication and accessory products. Categories currently include 16 kinds of dried cannabis.
In difference to other brands, their strains come in a variety of forms, including, crumble wax concentrate. Their 14 oils, and softgel extracts, include Tikun’s Avidekel. The site also offers vapes, and other accessories.
The first licensed British Columbian Cannabis producer, Cannafarms, was recently purchased by VIVO. This remarkable company offers high-grade affordable medical cannabis.
Cannafarm prides itself on a large selection of award-winning strains. Its artisan, hand-trimmed cannabis flowers have varying levels of THC and CBD.
The product line offers 17 oil products with differing balances of THC: CBD ratios. Cannabinoid extraction methods use water, CO2, alcohol, and organic solvents. Most notably, the oil carrier is grape seed oil. If you know your supplements, Grape seed is rich in Omega 3-6 as well as Omega-9 essential fatty acids.
What’s remarkable about Cannfarms is their dedication to detail. Their information-rich website lists the terpene quantity by color, on each product. These are Limonene, Linalool, Myrcene, Pinene, Terpineol, and Terpinolene.
Detailing the terpene content is essential identify the medications’ compounds. Terpenes are part of the entourage effect that medical Cannabis has on health conditions.
That’s why listing the terpenes by color is so significant. It helps clinicians prescribe the precise cannabis strain for a patient’s unique medical condition— a detailed approach helps clinicians and patients alike.
Founded in 2014, Canopy Growth Corporation is a public company, previously named Tweed Marijuana Inc. It is a leading cannabis producer in Canada with significant investment. The company grows high-quality flowers and has partnerships with leading influencer names. CG has built relationships with Icons such as Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen, breeding legends with their own DNA genetics and seeds.
Canopy Growth is expanding to Jamaica, Chile, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Denmark. Additionally, the company made a strategic decision to acquire Spectrum Therapeutics.
Notable is that Spectrum is a global leader in medical cannabis research, operating in 12 countries on four continents.
Unique to Spectrum is a cannabinoid color-coding system. The cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are grouped by color. This makes it easier for clinicians and patients to understand the content of each product. That way clinicians can match the right prescription to the necessary treatment.
Spectrum and Canopy both offer a variety of products, including oils, concentrates, softgel capsules, and dried flowers. Additionally, trial sizes are also available. The line includes vaporizers and accessories as well.
Like other medical cannabis dispensers, Spectrum can link patients directly with specialist clinicians. Accordingly, their website acts as a platform for introduction and direct communication.
As a licensed producer of medical pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, Emerald launched in 2007. The management team comprised of physicians, scientists, and experts in cultivating medical marijuana, some of which have over 60 years of experience.
Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Emerald’s website is geared strictly to medical cannabis. Emerald develops its products and services with reliable research from the combined efforts of a dedicated team.
Emerald stresses its research and focus on the effects of it products on on the endocannabinoid system (EC). As mentioned previously, it’s the EC system that controls how the body responds to multiple health conditions.
As a medical-oriented company, Emerald’s priority is making sure patients have appointments with clinicians. Being so answerable to their patient’s needs, it’s essential that patients’ have the right prescription for their specific medical condition.
The product line includes dried cannabis buds and based on customer demand, pre-rolled products. Emerald also offers cannabis oil with a coconut base.
But, be aware that pre-rolls and joints are more susceptible to carcinogens associated with burning. Emerald encourages the use of vapes and oils that release cannabinoids at lower temperatures.
As a global leader in cannabis research, Tilray-Canada, farm, process, and distribute medical cannabis around the world. Tilray has subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Latin America.
The transparency of Tilray’s operations is apparent. As a result, they’ve attracted investment from collaborating partners worldwide. The company has created a network of approved cannabis manufacturers and distributors.
Tilray’s website illustrates how and where they are operating globally. To further illustrate their openness, the site details the 14 stages of their production process from the genetic development to shipping.
Furthermore, Tilray is supporting several clinical trials. Its currently testing CBD in the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Additionally, other research is studying the efficacy of cannabis on immune activation, especially helpful in HIV patients. Tilray supports research in oral Cannabis solutions for reducing behavioral difficulties in children with intellectual disabilities.
The company’s Canadian website offers 20 medical cannabis products in the form of oil drops, dried flowers, ground cannabis bud, and vape pen accessories.
Tilray’s online stores are quite remarkable for their clarity of labeled products and content search filters.
All products list the exact quantities and ratios of THC: CBD and their respective concentration. Oil products use coconut oil to suspend the cannabinoids, extract bottles coming with a dropper for measured quantities.
In line with their unparalleled transparency, the product descriptions state the manufacturing plant that produces the medication. Also included are the production methods involved. Third-party external labs verify the precise contents.
Tilray pays attention to detail. There’s an explanation of how to ingest, and what to expect. There’s even information on the length of time to take effect and the medication’s duration.
Besides standalone products, Tilray also offers bundles. These are medications that complement each other: Rise and Relax, Day and Night, and Opposites Attract. These opposing Cannabis strains are suited to different times of the day for needing a different effect.
Order these products out of state to territories where it’s illegal is a different matter. As mentioned earlier, it would be wise to consult with a Cannabis specialist clinician before ordering online.
Tilray’s transparency, attention to detail, pharmaceutical-grade product, and global reach, make them one of the world’s top medical cannabis brands.
Based in Ontario, Weedmd is a fully licensed medical Cannabis public company listed on several exchanges. Launched in 2014, the company has an impressive 158-acre state-of-the-art facility in Strathroy, Ontario. Its operation includes greenhouses, outdoor farms, and processing plants. The company also has another 26,000 sq Ft. production facility in Aylmer, Ontario, specializing in cannabis extraction and processing.
Weedmd is a principal operator in the production of Canadian medical cannabis. The firm recently acquired Starseed Medicinal Inc. of Bowmanville, Ontario. Complementing Weedmd’s direct patient approach, Starseed distributes to the medical industry.
Additional agreements are in place supplying Shoppers Drug Mart and six provincial distribution agencies. Renowned for competitive pricing and excellent service, Weedmd has a high customer-rating among patients.
Customized cannabis blends target patients’ unique medical conditions. The WeedMD product line includes dried cannabis flowers and oil, live cannabis plants, and accessories.
The brand lives up to its name, with a transparent, detailed approach to Terpene profiles and Cannabinoid content. Its 12 strains of medication, list the full table breakdown illustrating terpene percentages.
Weedmd’s uncompromising standards, mega-production facilities, detailed formulas, and patient reputation, make them one of the best medical cannabis brands on the planet.
These are just a few of the ever-growing list of reputable medical cannabis brands. The importance of consulting with a doctor before ordering online, cannot be overstressed. Be well and stay safe.
Dating back two centuries, doctors have been prescribing cannabis extracts in tinctures and ointments for numerous health conditions. They didn’t understand why cannabis worked, but as clinicians, they found it a helpful remedy for several health conditions, including migraines, infections, hallucinations, nausea, and even depression.
Healers used cannabis therapeutically for treating pain and spasms in Asia for thousands of years. The historical Chinese name is Má, 麻associated with the Chinese word for hemp, Dama. In India, where physicians prescribed edible cannabis, the Hindi word is Bhang भांग. Mexican Spanish refers to cannabis as Marihuana, spelled today as Marijuana.
Medical cannabis became more predominant in the west in the middle ages. Later on, British army surgeons experimented with cannabis in the early 19th century, using it as a pain killer together with Opium.
In 1890, J.Russell Reynolds, MD. (Physician to Her Majesty) reported that cannabis was one of the most valuable medicines they possessed when pure and administered carefully.
Since the 1960s, the leaders in medical cannabis research have come from Israel, The Netherlands, Canada, and the Czech Republic. Studies have shown that cannabis has hundreds of substances, around 113 of which are phytocannabinoids. These act upon the endocannabinoid system receptors that signal the body to handle physiological and psychological functions— appetite, metabolism, pain control, memory function, and more.
Two principal phytocannabinoids are delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (d9THC), psychoactive, and Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive pain-relieving compound. Collectively with cannabis terpenes and flavonoids, these substances act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, benefiting the immune system. It’s this entourage effect that makes medical cannabis so effective.
In the last half-century, medical cannabis development is relatively new compared to other prescription drugs, requiring a physician to understand patients’ medical history, present condition, and most significantly, comprehensive knowledge in the practical application of medicinal cannabis. Clinical use of medical cannabis requires experimentation through trial and error.
Today, clinicians use medical cannabis for numerous health conditions, including epilepsy seizures, pain relief related to Fibromyalgia, and Muscular dystrophy (M.S.). The drug’s prominence developed with AIDS patients suffering from Wasting syndrome (cachexia). Since then, patients suffering from the effects of chemotherapy cancer treatment use medical cannabis for nausea and inducing appetite. Medical cannabis relieves the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and is an effective sleep aid for insomnia. Researchers are also investigating Cannabinoids for treating anxiety, depression, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and Crohn’s disease.
Cannabis can counteract the effects of stress and is a probable reason why weed is such a popular recreational drug.
The following paragraphs detail how Doctors and researches are using cannabis for several of these health conditions.
CBD for treating epilepsy seizures
As previously mentioned, the entourage effect of several compounds, and particularly CBD, dramatically relieves symptoms of seizures in epilepsy.
In severe epilepsy cases, cannabis oil containing d9THC and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), commonly known as Cannabivarin, helps control uncontrolled seizures.
In the U.S., the FDA has approved a pharmaceutical-grade, highly purified form of cannabidiol (CBD) oil Epidiolex, produced by G.W. Pharmaceuticals in the UK. Epidiolex is suitable for young children, for the relief of seizures.
Research in Israel has concluded that there is tolerance buildup, requiring increase dosage over time.
“Our findings suggest that cannabidiol tolerance exists, and it limits the efficacy of this antiseizure treatment in the long-term clinical management of epilepsy in the pediatric and adults population.”
How Cannabis relieves pain
Studies suggest that migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome may arise from a deficiency of endocannabinoids. Clinical trials with medical cannabis have shown relief for these disorders. Physicians have used cannabis to treat migraines for thousands of years, the use of which has been well documented.
The problem has been the inconsistent application in the quality, type, and dosage applied. Modern medicine is exacting in the dosage of standardized chemical-based medication produced by pharmaceutical companies. The exact dosage is the primary reason why the medical community and regulatory bodies such as the FDA haven’t mainstreamed cannabinoids to replace opiates for health conditions.
THC is the primary cannabinoid that alleviates migraines, as well as cluster headaches. THC can be administered in low quantities of less than 2.5mg, as a prophylactic, to prevent the onset of migraines. At the start of a migraine headache, taking THC through vaping may mitigate a migraine episode in larger doses.
Cannabis for treating fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia symptoms include musculoskeletal pain, tiredness, disturbed sleep, memory, and fluctuations in mood. Studies show that fibromyalgia magnifies the brain’s signals of pain sensations. The cause of this condition may be due to an endocannabinoid deficiency. The cannabinoids in medical Marijuana replace the missing endocannabinoids and reduce the sense of pain. Cannabinoids relieve a variety of pain through its analgesic and antiseptic agents.
Cannabis in the relief of arthritis
Studies have shown that cannabis can reduce arthritis pain. CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory. Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.) is an autoimmune disease, causing severe inflammation of a joint’s inner lining. R.A. causes severe chronic pain, joint damage, and disability. Osteoarthritis (O.A.) is a cartilage breakdown in the joints, neck, elbows, thighs, and knees. O.A. causes stiffness, pain, and loss of movement and joint deformation.
Cannabis therapy can relieve discomfort, but the psychoactive compounds can have a disturbing effect on older patience. Plant cannabinoids can reduce inflammation and pain and induce joint cartilage survival. Interestingly, THC has double the potency of hydrocortisone on the CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. Doctors increase dosing with precaution and control tolerance buildup of long-term use, with intermittent breaks.
Oral ingestion takes longer to be absorbed but is better for arthritis as it has a more prolonged effect on the body. Take extreme caution if you are a novice with cannabis edibles, as using the wrong type of cannabis can lead to psychedelic experiences. Vaping has an immediate impact but stays for a shorter time in the body.
Cannabis use in stress management and insomnia
For many, stress has increased over the years. Cannabis use for recreational use has grown significantly, particularly in regions with a social-economic decline. The rise of traumatic events globally and pressure in work conditions have led people to take up cannabis vaping, smoking, and edibles.
Stress can increase heart rate and blood pressure and aggravates many health conditions. Cannabis can counteract the effects of stress. That’s why weed is such as common recreational drug, lifting people beyond worry and concerns. Certain Hybrids of cannabis effectively manage stress, but over-use and dependence can be just as destructive as stress itself.
The endocannabinoid system reacts to stress, regulating the body’s response. The EC-system also manages the emotional memory associated with stress, the right kind of weed can help you forget the reason for being stressed in the first place.
The EC-system regulates the Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) responsible for the immune system, digestion, emotions, sexual response, and energy expenditure. The EC-system helps the body adapt to stress by releasing steroid hormones. As cannabinoids naturally fit well the EC-system, they have an immediate effect in triggering the EC-system to respond to stress. CBD encourages nerve production in the hippocampus.
Long-term overdosing can reduce the system’s ability to handle stress and even have the opposite effect. The most effective dose for stress relief may be relatively small and below the psychoactive threshold, below 2mg of THC. Oral intake is an effective method of administration, as well as vapor inhalation in small doses. Cannabis breeds with terpenes Myrcene, Linalool, and Limonene are also more effective.
Cannabis has been used extensively for sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. CBD has a sedative and soothing effect. A lot depends on the cannabinoid composition and ratio of CBD to THC and dosage. Sativex, a 50/50 balance of CBD/TCH, and Myrcene, a terpene found in Indica cannabis oil, are useful as a sedative.
Studies have also shown there is no development of tolerance when using Cannabis as a sleep-aid. It can be useful for prolonged use, beneficial for cancer patients, who may have difficulty with exercise to induce sleep. People with insomnia should first consider their exercise regime and try meditation. The latter is a highly effective method of relaxing the mind before bed.
Caution in using Cannabis chronic anxiety
The first step in managing chronic anxiety is to seek professional help. Chronic conditions may be symptomatic of something worse. Psychiatric advice is essential for OCD, panic-disorder, PTS-disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and Schizophrenia.
When considering treating anxiety with Cannabis, lower doses of TCH and a higher CBD ratio are necessary. High amounts of THC can exacerbate anxiety and panic. Too high CBD can cloud judgment and create apathy and over-sedation. There are studies about using them separately.
Varieties of cannabis with the terpene Linalool and the herb lavender are successful in relieving anxiety.
The balance of cannabinoids and dose amounts need to be measured carefully with considerable caution. The method of ingestion, smoking, vaping, eating, or suppositories makes a difference. Learning to titrate by feeling the effect will naturally control how much of the cannabinoids are absorbed.
Long-term use of Cannabis develops tolerance. Intermittent breaks are necessary. Treatment of anxiety and stress should take into account exercise, diet, and meditation. Cannabis is not a solution to anxiety on its own.
Alleviating the suffering of AIDS
The danger of weight-loss and nausea in patients with AIDS inspired the growth and legalization of cannabis for medical purposes four decades ago. The epicenter of the gay community in San Francisco was the perfect catalyst for experimenting with Marijuana for treating the symptoms of AIDS, as cannabis was commonly available. Cannabis is exceptional in increasing appetite in patients regardless of the type of illness; its use has no negative impact on the immune system.
Cannabis and cancer
Patients that undergo chemotherapy use cannabis for treating diarrhea and vomiting. Marijuana increases appetite, relieves anxiety, lifts depression, promotes relaxation, and treats cancer-related pain. Studies show that Sativex works well in treating nausea associated with chemotherapy. Alleviating symptoms of cancer treatment improves patients’ quality of life.
Cannabinoids do a better job of treating the pain associated with cancer than opiate-based drugs. Sativex is now undergoing testing for treating advanced pain, where opioids are ineffective. Cannabis is also useful in inducing sleep.
Tests have shown that Cannabinoids also suppress tumor cells’ growth, but needs further testing in human clinical trials. Studies have shown a reduction in cancer signaling pathways, tumor-cell proliferation of blood vessels, and the programmed death in cancer cells.
There is still insufficient evidence that cannabis is an effective medicine for curing a wide range of cancers. Cannabinoids may be useful in treating specific types of cancer. THC in high doses can inhibit tumor cells, but in low-doses may increase growth. Cannabis is maybe helpful in the treatment of cancer in the head, neck, and lungs. Some studies have found that cannabinoids may stop prostate cancer cells from growing.
“Studies found that cannabinoids may stop prostate cancer cells from growing and dividing, cause prostate cancer cells to die, and stop prostate cancer cells from invading other tissues and spreading.”
There are over 100 types of cancer types. Each disease and patient needs a different kind of treatment. It’s a massive project to research cannabinoids and their respective effects on each cancer type.
Cannabis research for treating glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease that reduces peripheral vision and can lead to blindness. The condition is the result of the optic nerve deteriorating over several years. High pressure of the aqueous humor fluid inside the eye presses upon the cornea at the front of the eye.
Research dating back over 50 years has shown the alleviation of pressure in the eyes for several hours after THC is ingested as a pill or injected. But treatment needs controlling, with significant amounts of THC, several times during each day. The side effects of using THC also need consideration, as it is psychoactive.
Cannabis research for treating diabetes
According to the center for disease control, healthy levels of insulin result in fewer cases of diabetes. Often associated with obesity, diabetes is a growing phenomenon globally, especially in the U.S., annually costing 100s of millions of dollars. Diabetes affects more than 100 million Americans.
Hemp and cannabis-based drugs may be useful for new treatments of diabetes symptoms.
Clinical research studies have linked the possible benefits of cannabis for treating diabetes. Recreational users that have used marijuana frequently over several years show lower rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus.
These reports do not address the state of health in these users concerning other medical conditions.
“Epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared with people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes.”
Treatment with cannabinoid compounds and derivatives may help control blood sugar, may be less likely to be obese, even with higher calorie intake. Users may also benefit from higher levels of good cholesterol.
What is clear from these reports is that more controlled clinical trials are needed.
Other studies have shown that while there may be no delay in type 2 diabetes, medical cannabis can benefit those already diagnosed who suffer complications from type 1 or type 2.
Studies have confirmed that people with diabetes that have used medical cannabis have shown the following benefits:
Cannabis helps with stabilizing blood sugars.
The anti-inflammatory action of cannabinoids on arterial inflammation
Neuroprotective attributes that can help with general pain reduction, including gastrointestinal pain.
The reduction of muscle cramps.
Cannabinoids may act as vasodilators to improve circulation, lowering blood pressure.
Cannabis ointments may relieve the skin tingling sensations associated with diabetes.
Cannabis can with “restless leg syndrome” (RLS) and aid sleep.
Cannabis research for treating asthma
Cannabis can act as a bronchodilator for broncho-related spasms. There is contradictory evidence that cannabis is beneficial in treating asthma, as it depends on the method used for inhalation. Smoke inhalation can inflame lung tissue. Vaporization at a lower heat can deliver bronchodilation cannabinoids without the damage associated with smoking. Cannabis studies have even shown that regular users have increased lung capacity.
“Vaporization can deliver therapeutic doses of cannabinoids with a drastic reduction in pyrolytic smoke compounds.”
Cannabis research for treating Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s correlates with severe cognitive decline. The causes are beta-amyloid protein fragments, plaque deposits in the spaces between nerve cells, and tangles, twisted fibers of a protein called tau, that builds up inside cells—these kill nerve cells and block communication among nerve cells that affect memory. Inflammation of the nerve cells plays a considerable part. The result is senile dementia.
Historically, doctors recorded medicinal cannabis as having a calming effect on senile dementia and increase appetite.
Cannabis also acts as an anti-inflammatory and has neuroprotective properties. Ongoing research is studying the ability of cannabinoids to arrest the progression of the disease, as endocannabinoids are involved in signaling between nerve cells.
THC and CBD may be able to delay plaque and tangle accumulation. However, treatment using THC needs to be monitored with extreme caution. Cannabis varieties with high CBD content are preferable for their neuroprotective effects.
Cannabis for treating Crohn’s disease
As a chronic condition, Crohn’s disease (CD) is an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that decreases life quality. If gone untreated, it can cause severe or even fatal complications.
Research is showing that treatment with cannabinoids can potentially provide a therapeutic benefit in decreasing inflammation. However, there’s also evidence suggesting temporary side effects such as weakness, dizziness, and diarrhea.
The research is still in its early stages and remains inconclusive. Future studies with more participants will test the effects of cannabis on people with active and inactive Crohn’s disease, with different cannabinoid compositions and doses.
Cannabis research for treating Anorexia and Bulimia
Both conditions of Anorexia and Bulimia are psychological conditions related to eating disorders. The former was an aversion to eating food altogether while remaining pre-occupied with thoughts about food preparation and content; the latter included a total restriction on eating or a lack of self-control with self-inforced vomiting.
Both health conditions may be an imbalance in brain chemistry, particularly in the brain’s insula region. The insula is responsible for pain, temperature, touch, regulating stomach acidity, and pressure within the intestines.
Studies have shown that patients with Anorexia and Bulimia significantly reduce neurotransmitter activity in the endocannabinoid system. People with these conditions experience and respond to the pleasure of eating food differently.
Without a doubt, the endocannabinoid system regulates appetite. Those using Marijuana for recreational purposes, and both AIDS and cancer patients have experienced increased appetite when using cannabis. Anorexia and Bulimia are psychological and physiological conditions that may be suitable candidates for treatment with cannabis.
However, as with other conditions, one shouldn’t conclude that Marijuana is the only answer. Further research is required, and guidance from a doctor is essential.
Cannabis research for managing ADHD
Studies show that narrow ranges of cannabis breeds can also help with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), allowing sufferers to focus. Cannabis medication for younger users is problematic as it can inhibit the development of the brain. The research and application of cannabis for ADHD have only happened in the last decade.
There are three subtypes of ADHD, a mixed type, an inattentive type, and a hyperactive form. Common symptoms are distractibility, hyperactivity, and poor impulse control. Each patient is unique in how these symptoms manifest.
Changes in the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain seem to be responsible for causing ADHD. These neurotransmitters interact with the endocannabinoid system.
Treatment for ADHD targets the CB1 receptors in the brain’s EC-system using doses of THC less than 2.5mg. This treatment enables focus for around 90 minutes. Control of this type of treatment avoids the development of dependence and tolerance, that require increased doses.
Cannabis Research for Skin Conditions
The list of health conditions for cannabis research is extensive. The human endocannabinoid system also regulates allergic response and skin inflammation. Research is ongoing in using cannabis compounds for skin conditions, mild skin inflammation, psoriasis, eczema, and even skin cancers, such as melanoma. CBD tinctures, taken orally, can alleviate itching related to many of these diseases.
If you wish to learn more about using medical cannabis for specific health conditions, you should seek guidance from a qualified Doctor with expert knowledge in medical cannabis application. The following list is some of the global leaders in the research and prescription of medicinal cannabis.