Why We Should Study Marijuana Use

Why We Should Study Marijuana Use

With medical marijuana legal in 29 states, and the District of Columbia, healthcare professionals in those jurisdictions have an ethical duty to be familiar with medical marijuana, including potential uses of medical marijuana to address problems their patients have with numerous medical issues.

WebMD is one good source of information, including a recent posting on the use of marijuana in pain management (https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/medicalmarijuana-uses). For most people, marijuana increases appetite, decreases nausea, improves falling and staying asleep, decreases depression, and decreases pain, etc.

To have a patient with any of the problems that may be helped by medical marijuana, it strikes me as unethical for the therapist not to discuss medical marijuana as one alternative – just as we would discuss other medical treatments that may be helpful.

A given patient could spend months or years in treatment if the therapist does not assess for potential benefits from medical marijuana – or any other medication that might be helpful. Marijuana (cannabis) was a patent medication available over the counter until 1937 in the United States.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown repeatedly to reduce spasms in children, and is showing promise in reducing symptoms of epilepsy. All 50 states permit the prescribing of CBD for seizures in children and, possibly, for other seizure disorder for children or adults.

For a lot of information about the history of marijuana as medicine, one can download a free copy of by far the best book on the subject, Licit and Illicit Drugs by Ed Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports published in 1972 (http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm).

While the Controlled Substances Act places any form of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in Schedule I, as having NO medical use, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) places synthetic THC (Marinol, dronabinol) in Schedule III, meaning that it can be prescribed by any physician for any medical purpose.

One of the many good websites for information about marijuana/cannabis is https://www.thecannabist.co/. I believe healthcare professionals have an ethical duty to be aware of the above and other web sites that give current, accurate information about medical marijuana.

By Andrew W. Kane, PhD

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Medical MarijuanaMedical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious.

This course will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Legally High? Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse

They seem safe enough – after all the doctor prescribed them. Yet, according to a new study in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, legal drugs such as OxyContin now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.

The CDC has now classified the situation as an epidemic, perhaps due in part to the fact that prescription drug use has been found to increase in direct proportion to psychological states such as anxiety, and use of other restricted substances such as alcohol (Netemeyer et al., 2014). Moreover, in research conducted with Scot Burton of the University of Arkansas, Barbara Delaney of the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, and Gina Hijjawi of the American Institutes for Research, prescription drug abuse was found to accelerate exponentially under specific conditions, such as when the level of anxiety or desire to be popular was at its very highest (Netemeyer et al., 2014).

“Prescription drugs are seen as blessed by a trusted institution, the FDA, while increasingly aggressive advertising by drug companies simultaneously floods parents and children with messages that these substances are safe, popular, and beneficial,” notes Richard Netemeyer of the University of Virginia (Netemeyer, 2014).

Another study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that 70 percent of Americans are on some form of prescription drug. The second most common prescription was for antidepressants, and the third most common drugs were opioids. Further, in just 2009 alone, spending on prescription drugs accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures (Sauver et al., 2016).

The problem is also not exclusive to the United States. Investigating nonmedical prescription drug use in five European countries – Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK, a research team led by scientists at RTI International in the US examined three different classes of subscription drug – opioids, sedatives, and stimulants.

Defining nonmedical prescription drug use as either the self-treatment of a medical condition using prescription medication that was not prescribed to the user, or as the use of prescription medication to achieve euphoric states, the researchers found that the most common sources of prescription drugs for nonmedical use were family and friends – 44% for opioids and 62% for sedatives. The next most common source was taking drugs from another person without their knowledge.

Nonmedical prescription drug use was also more common among men than women, among white than non-white people, and among those who were unemployed than those with other levels of employment. Young people aged 12 to 17 years were at lower risk of nonmedical prescription drug use than people aged 18 years or older. Of the five countries examined, Germany had the lowest levels of nonmedical prescription drug use, while the UK, Spain and Sweden had the highest levels (Novak et al., 2016).

Dr. Scott Novak, who led the study, concluded, “Previously it was thought that the prescription drug epidemic was limited to the United States, but this study shows that the epidemic extends well beyond the US” (Novak, 2016).

Combatting the epidemic begins with understanding what drives it, what diagnoses are related to it, the significant warning signs, and the screening, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment that is effective against it.

By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Prescription Drug Abuse CE CoursePrescription Drug Abuse is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the misuse of prescription drugs (including opioids) in the United States. Misuse of prescription drugs means “taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to feel euphoria” and is a serious public health problem in the United States. When taken as prescribed, medication can be of great benefit to a patient, helping reduce pain, save lives, and improve one’s overall quality of life. However, when individuals misuse their prescribed medications or take medications not prescribed to them, the consequences can be disastrous. Illicit drug use, including the misuse of prescription medications, affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans. Among other deleterious effects, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug use. The important thing to remember is that the medications are not inherently bad in and of themselves – it is how people use (and abuse) them that creates a problem. This course will discuss what drives people to abuse prescription drugs and how they obtain them; diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder; history and progression of prescription drug abuse, including types and classes of drugs used; and the cost of prescription drug abuse on addicts and non-addicts alike. The course will then review the sequence of treating individuals who have a prescription drug use disorder, including screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance. Screening tools, assessment instruments, treatment programs, and evidence-based recommendations are included. Comorbidity between substance use disorder and mental disorders is also discussed. Course 31-00 | 2018 | 50 pages | 20 posttest questions

Anxiety: Practical Management TechniquesAnxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions. Course #40-12 | 2007 | 41 pages | 30 posttest questions

Medical MarijuanaMedical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

These online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Sponsored By:

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Medical Marijuana: What You Need to Know

Medical Marijuana

It will decrease migraine headache pain. It is helpful in treating chronic pain. It may be helping in detoxing from opioids. It has been used to help alleviate some of the pain caused by cancer. These are just a few of the claims made by those who argue that marijuana deserves a place as a medical treatment option. But does medical marijuana use really live up to its promises?

Some studies associate marijuana use with a threefold risk of death from hypertension (Yankey et al., 2017), higher rates of adolescent depression (Lichenstein et al., 2017), and abnormal brain function and lower IQ scores (Osuch et al., 2016).

And as for the claims that marijuana is helpful in treating opioid addiction, new research led by Marian Wilson, PhD, of the Washington State University College of Nursing found that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it (Wilson, 2017).

So what is the truth about medical marijuana? Is it helpful in treating some conditions but not others? What are the precautions to its use? Is it addictive? And what interactions with other mental health conditions, like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior, does it have?

Questions like these become extremely relevant with recent changes in the state and Federal legal status of medical marijuana that allow prescription in some states but not others, and for some conditions and not others.

However, with sparse research and many conflicting opinions, clinicians are increasingly being put in challenging situations when treating patients who are either already prescribed medical marijuana, or are considering using it. Yet with appropriate information about the risks and potential benefits of medical marijuana, the contraindications, and its effects on mental health conditions, clinicians can provide competent and ethical treatment about medical marijuana.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Medical MarijuanaMedical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

March Madness CE Sale!

March Madness Continuing Education Sale @pdresources.org

March Madness is here and we’re celebrating with 30 CE Courses Under $30! How do you pick?

March Madness CE Sale

The following courses are included in the sale, all priced at $29 (savings of $10-$40 per course):

  1. Clinical Supervision for Healthcare Professionals is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will outline best practices in psychotherapy supervision and review the structure of the supervisory relationship.
  2. Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied.
  3. Active Listening: Techniques that Work for Children and Parents is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a valuable compilation of practical and ready-to-use strategies and techniques for achieving more effective communication through active listening.
  4. Gender Identity and Transgenderism is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews issues in the formation of gender identity and the possible resultant condition of transgenderism, formerly transsexuality.
  5. E-Therapy: Ethics & Best Practices is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the advantages, risks, technical issues, legalities and ethics of providing therapy online.
  6. Improving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses the social skills children and adolescents need to develop to be successful in school and beyond.
  7. Really Bizarre Sexual Behaviors is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews a variety of infrequent and atypical sexual practices.
  8. When Your Young Client is Defiant is a 3-hour online CEU course that teaches clinicians effective and practical strategies to manage challenging and defiant behavior in their young clients.
  9. Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Healing Power of Pets is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that discusses the challenges and rewards of human-animal interactions.
  10. Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana.
  11. Codependency: Causes, Consequences and Cures is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers strategies for therapists to use in working with codependent clients.
  12. Improving Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Treatment is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that proposes strategies to engage clients of diverse racial and ethnic groups in treatment.
  13. Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips VII is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in psychotherapy practice.
  14. Improving Communication with Your Young Clients is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches clinicians effective and practical communication and conversational skills to use with young clients and their families.
  15. HIV/AIDS: Therapy and Adherence is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses adherence issues in populations at high risk for HIV infection and provides strategies for healthcare professionals to encourage people with HIV to seek and maintain medical treatment.
  16. Visuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic Symbols is a 2-hour online video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that demonstrates when, how, and why to use visuals with students with autism.
  17. Helping Your Young Client Persevere in the Face of Learning Differences is a 3-hour online video CE course that provides new strategies and techniques for helping students develop a love of learning
  18. Unusual Psychosexual Syndromes, Part 1: Koro, Autoerotic Asphyxia, and Necrophilia is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents three of the most unusual human sexual behavior disorders.
  19. Building Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings.
  20. Beyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 5-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating weight issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors.
  21. Clergy Stress and Depression is a 4-hour online CEU course that provides clinicians with an understanding of the complex factors that cause stress and depression in clergy, along with recommendations for prevention and treatment.
  22. Prescription Drug Abuse is a 3-hour online CEU course that examines the effects of the rise in prescription drug abuse, as well as treatment options for abusers.
  23. Anti-Social Youth & Conduct Disorders is a 3-hour online CEU course that offers tailored tools that you need to manage and help anti-social and conduct disordered youth and children.
  24. School Refusal Behavior: Children Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School is a 4-hour online CEU course that breaks down the distinction between truancy and school refusal and examines a number of psychological disorders that may be causing – or comorbid with – school refusal.
  25. Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that disusses the causes of emotional eating and provides cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern.
  26. Couples No-Fault Counseling is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches how to help couples to give up their BAD (blame, argue & defend) communication style and replace it with active listening.
  27. The Grieving Self is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that looks at stories of the bereaved to determine the major issues to address to reconnect those who grieve to a stable sense of self.
  28. Mindfulness: The Healing Power of Compassionate Presence is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will give you the mindfulness skills necessary to work directly, effectively and courageously, with your own and your client’s life struggles.
  29. Nutrition in Mental Health is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses how good nutrition impacts a person’s mental health and well being.
  30. Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools.


Sale prices are valid Tuesday, March 14, 2017 through Monday, April 3, 2017. Offers valid on future orders only.

Click here to view sale courses available per profession.

 

More Than Sobriety: Rehab Heals Recovering Addicts

By Cecelia Johnson @ Recognition Works

More Than SobrietyIf you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you might feel like there’s no one out there who truly understands what you’re going through. You may even worry that no one would want to understand. But what if I told you there are hundreds of people who don’t just grasp the concept of addiction, but truly relate to the challenges it brings?

According to the addiction treatment graduates I spoke to, rehabilitation is just the place to find that understanding. Here are the ways they told me that the people and experiences in treatment helped change their lives for the better.

The people in treatment DON’T judge …

Addiction comes with a serious stigma. Some don’t understand that it’s a disease, and therefore believe people choose to give in to it. Often, this leads to harsh judgment of substance abusers, even those making genuine efforts to get clean.

Zach admitted that although he knew he’d be meeting others like him in treatment, he still wasn’t sure they’d accept him.

“When I got there, I felt empty and alone,” he confessed. “I was ashamed of myself, I felt guilty, and I didn’t think anyone else was going through what I was going through. I had a wife and kids, other people I was responsible for. I thought I’d go there and have people judging me.”

However, when he arrived for treatment at the Treehouse in Texas, he had a much different experience than expected: he wasn’t just welcomed, he was truly embraced.

“I had just gotten out of my intake with the nurse, and she introduced me to someone. He said, ‘Hey, friend! What are you here for?’ And I told him. He said, ‘Don’t be ashamed — we’re all addicts here!’” Zach recalled.

It may be hard to believe — especially if you’ve faced harsh criticism at home — but treatment isn’t about judging. It’s about healing.

… and they DO understand.

Think you’ve got the worst possible story? Convinced that no one on this planet has made as many mistakes as you, or at the very least as many BIG mistakes as you? Think again.

Wendy, who now works at the rehab center where she found lasting sobriety, said that the patients she meets frequently have much in common.

“When I take clients back to [the treatment facility] after meetings, they often say, ‘Wow, someone shared a story today that sounded so much like what I’ve been through. I can’t believe it!’ Everyone thinks they’re out there alone, but when you’re in recovery, you meet a lot of people who know what you’re going through,” she explained.

Sally, who recently celebrated one year of sobriety, agreed that leaning on your peers is a crucial part of the recovery process.

“It’s support in all different ways, whether it’s someone listening to you about things you’ve never gotten off your chest, or support after a rough day and you can just laugh together,” she said. “You have to have it all when you’re going through it. If nobody cared, we’d all be screwed.”

You feel the positive effects even after you’ve left

Going home following treatment can be tough for anyone, but John said that his experience in treatment made him eager, not anxious, to get his life back on track.

“When I went home, I didn’t feel used. I wanted to make the people who invested in me with their hearts, not just their program, proud,” he remembered.

John explained that rehab taught him to accept himself as he was, flaws and all. The support he gained gave him courage, even on his tough days.

“They gave me a part of their heart through the process,” he said. “I felt more willing to keep going when I was outside knowing that it’s OK to not be OK outside of treatment.”

If you’re struggling with an addiction, hope is out there, and there are countless people who have experienced the same issues that you’re facing — you just need to be willing to reach out and find the path to healing that you deserve.

Recognition Works connects award recipients with companies that want to contribute to their achievements through donations, gifts, and sponsorships.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction is a 5-hour test only course based on the book “The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors” (2012, 232 pages). This workbook presents a comprehensive approach to working with clients in recovery from addictive behaviors and is unique in that it addresses the underlying loss that clients have experienced that may be fueling addictive behaviors. Counseling skills from the field of mindfulness therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy are outlined in a clear and easy-to-implement style. Healthy strategies for coping with grief, depression, anxiety, and anger are provided along with ways to improve interpersonal relationships. Course #50-14 | 30 posttest questions

Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

Prescription Drug Abuse is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of the rise in prescription drug abuse, as well as treatment options for abusers. Pharmaceuticals like OxyContin®, Adderall®, and Xanax® are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. For some prescription drug addicts, medication was originally taken as prescribed – until they started developing a tolerance for it. For others, members of their peer group began to abuse prescription drugs because they are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive on the street. Prescription drug abuse also affects those who don’t use – through increased costs and the inconveniences of increased security at pharmacies. Treatment is comprised of a series of steps, including detoxification, inpatient/outpatient treatment, and maintenance. In some cases, patients must be closely monitored because of the potential for withdrawal effects. Once treatment is completed, there are various options for maintaining sobriety. Laws are being tightened, and some medications have become difficult to find due to the increased rate of prescription drug abuse. Course #30-61 | 2012 | 30 pages | 20 posttest questions

Codependency: Causes, Consequences and Cures is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers strategies for therapists to use in working with codependent clients. The author offers in-depth and in-person strategies for therapists to use in working with clients who present with the characteristic behavior patterns of codependency. Clients are usually unaware of the underlying codependency that is often responsible for the symptoms they’re suffering. Starting with emphasis on the delicate process of building a caring therapeutic relationship with these clients, the author guides readers through the early shame-inducing parenting styles that inhibit the development of healthy self-esteem. Through personal stories and case studies, the author goes on to describe healing interventions that can help clients identify dysfunctional patterns in relationships, start leading balanced lives and connecting with others on a new and meaningful level. Evaluative questionnaires, journaling assignments and other exercises are included to help you help your clients to overcome codependency. The rewards of successfully treating codependency are great for client and clinician alike. Even though the propensity for relapse always exists, it’s unlikely that a person who has made significant progress towards overcoming this disease will lose the gains they’ve made. Course #30-83 | 2015 | 40 pages | 21 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.

We are approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be.

5 Facts About Anxiety Disorder Drugs

From Open Forest

5 Facts About Anxiety Disorder DrugsAround 18% of American adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year. That translates into about 40 million people.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.” There are several different types of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

The two most common treatments for anxiety disorders are medication and therapy (or a combination of the two). The symptoms of anxiety can be quite overwhelming, particularly at the onset and medications may be prescribed in order to combat these symptoms. While drugs may offer temporary relief, they are only a short-term solution. Unless you solve the underlying issues, the problem will reappear when you cease to take the medication. While medication can certainly be beneficial and is sometimes necessary to treat anxiety, there are some things that many people don’t know about anxiety drugs.

Here are 5 Facts About Anxiety Disorder Drugs:

  1. Some anti-anxiety drugs can be habit-forming
  2. Withdrawal can occur even without addiction
  3. Anxiety drugs can have serious side effects
  4. It often takes more than one kind of medication
  5. Anxiety medications treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause


Learn more @ https://openforest.net/5-facts-anxiety-disorder-drugs/

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions. Course #40-12 | 2007 | 41 pages | 30 posttest questions

Mindfulness: The Healing Power of Compassionate Presence is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will give you the mindfulness skills necessary to work directly, effectively and courageously, with your own and your client’s life struggles. Compassion towards others starts with compassion towards self. Practicing mindfulness cultivates our ability to pay intentional attention to our experience from moment to moment. Mindfulness teaches us to become patiently and spaciously aware of what is going on in our mind and body without judgment, reaction, and distraction, thus inviting into the clinical process, the inner strengths and resources that help achieve healing results not otherwise possible. Bringing the power of mindful presence to your clinical practice produces considerable clinical impact in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, colitis/IBS, and migraines/tension headaches. The emphasis of this course is largely experiential and will offer you the benefit of having a direct experience of the mindfulness experience in a safe and supportive fashion. You will utilize the power of “taking the client there” as an effective technique of introducing the mindful experience in your practice setting. As you will learn, the mindfulness practice has to be experienced rather than talked about. This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of exactly what mindfulness is, why it works, and how to use it. You will also develop the tools that help you introduce mindful experiences in your practice, and how to deal with possible client resistance. Course #60-75 | 2008 | 73 pages | 27 posttest questions

Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

Professional Development ResourcesProfessional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.

We are approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be.

Legalize Medical Marijuana to Reduce Obesity?

By Christopher Ingraham

medical marijuanaWant to take a bite out of the American obesity epidemic? Legalize medical marijuana.

That’s the counterintuitive finding of a new study in the journal Health Economics. Researchers from San Diego State University and Cornell University found that at the state level, passing a medical marijuana law (MML) “is associated with a 2 percent to 6 percent decline in the probability of obesity.” Over the longer term, this effect could be even larger. Tally it all up and according to the study’s authors, “we estimate a back-of-the-envelope per-person reduction in MML-induced obesity related medical costs of $58 to $115 per year.”

Taken at face value this doesn’t exactly make sense: Marijuana is a well-known appetite stimulant. Smoke a joint, and before you know it you’re reaching for the Funyuns. Or, as the study’s authors put it in reseacher-ese: “randomized control trials provide evidence that marijuana use leads to increased appetite and caloric intake.”

But the researchers wanted to know how increased medical marijuana availability could affect a variety of health outcomes at the societal level. So they analyzed over 20 years of data from the federal Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), including over 5 million individual survey responses. And during the time period they studied (1990-2012), a number of states implemented medical marijuana laws, while many others didn’t. Voila: natural experiment.

They found that passage of medical marijuana laws was associated with declines in obesity and overall BMI, controlling for social and economic factors, policy differences and food prices. As for the “why,” the researchers found that a number of factors may be at play.

For older adults, they found that medical marijuana laws “are associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise.” The possible reason? People are often prescribed medical marijuana for chronic pain, one of the conditions it’s most affective at treating. Older patients are more likely to experience chronic pain. So if medical marijuana reduces pain, it may be allowing those patients to be more active — and hence, burn more calories.

But for younger adults, age 18 to 24, the study found a different dynamic at play. “Our findings show that the enactment of MMLs is associated with a 3.1 percent reduction in the probability of alcohol consumption and a 4.8 percent reduction in the probability of binge drinking” among this younger group, the researchers found. They posit that medical marijuana availability may lead some younger adults to “substitute away from highly caloric alcoholic beverages toward a lower-calorie marijuana ‘high,’ resulting in lower body weight and likelihood of obesity.”

This so-called substitution effect is often cited in arguments for legalizing marijuana: If you legalize weed, some people will opt for pot over alcohol. Alcohol consumption will fall as a result. And since researchers agree that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, the net effect of such a change for individuals and society would be positive.

But actual evidence for this effect has been mixed, so far. In Colorado, for instance, alcohol sales have continued to rise in the first year of marijuana legalization. Some research has shown that marijuana availability decreases alcohol consumption, others that it increases it.

Some researchers caution against reading too much into the results of this one study. Rosalie Pacula, director of the BING Center for Health Economics at the RAND Corp., says that the nationally representative BRFSS data is not necessarily the best for sussing out state-level effects. Beyond that, in a number of the states in this study, medical marijuana laws are still very new, so the data on the impact of those laws are relatively sparse.

“These data aren’t going to provide us with the definitive answer because of the issues with the data and time period being evaluated,” Pacula said in an email. “Thus, I believe that these findings should be interpreted very cautiously – as they could plausibly be reversed in the future, when other analyses are done using data sets that contain either (a) state representative populations over time, or (b) longer time periods for later policies.”

In the end, after all, we’re looking at just one study. As always with these things, it’s far from the last word on the matter.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/07/want-to-reduce-obesity-legalize-medical-marijuana-researchers-say/

Related Online CEU Courses:

Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online CEU course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana.

Clinician’s Guide to Understanding, Evaluating & Treating Obesity – This course is designed to help clinicians enhance their working knowledge of the etiology and treatment of obesity. Case studies will elucidate different aspects of treatment.

Beyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 5-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating weight issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors.

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that disusses the causes of emotional eating and provides cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Here’s What Potent Marijuana Does to Your Brain

By Arden Dier

Here's What Potent Pot Does to Your BrainA new study raises concerns for those who indulge in potent forms of marijuana. Researchers out of King’s College London and Rome’s Sapienza University studied brain scans of 56 patients who had reported an episode of psychosis and 43 healthy volunteers. They found that those who regularly smoked high-strength cannabis showed small changes in the region of the brain that sends messages between the left and right sides, reports the Guardian. The alteration in this region, called the corpus callosum, “reflects a problem in the white matter that ultimately makes it less efficient,” says neurobiologist Paola Dazzan. The brains of people who had never used cannabis or smoked less potent forms looked normal, leading researchers to conclude that high-strength versions, like skunk, may damage nerve fibers.

The UK Times reports the damage is similar to the effects of a concussion. “We don’t know exactly what it means for the person, but it suggests there is less efficient transfer of information,” Dazzan says, per Yahoo. So what’s doing the damage? Dazzan believes it’s the THC in cannabis; less potent varieties contain 2% to 4% THC, while more potent forms contain 10% to 14%. The chemical acts on the cannabinoid receptors found in the corpus callosum, according to a release. Though researchers haven’t proven cannabis is responsible for the changes, “it is extremely important to gather information on how often and what type of cannabis is being used,” Dazzan says. “These details can help quantify the risk of mental health problems and increase awareness of the type of damage these substances can do.” (Potent pot also raises your psychosis risk.)

Source: http://www.newser.com/story/216698/heres-what-potent-pot-does-to-your-brain.html

Related Online CEU Course:

Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online CEU course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious. This course is intended to present a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. It will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

This online course is offered by Professional Development Resources, a non-profit provider of continuing education (CE/CEU) resources for healthcare professionals. Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Medical Marijuana – New Online CEU Course

By Leo Christie, PhD

Medical Marijuana is a new 3-hour online CEU course that presents a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana

In spite of the fact that nearly half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious.

This course is intended to present a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. It will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. What are the known medical uses for marijuana? What is the legal status of marijuana in state and federal legislation? What are the interactions with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicidal behavior? Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana a gateway drug? What are the adverse consequences of marijuana use? Do state medical marijuana laws increase the use of marijuana and other drugs? The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #30-86 | 2016 | 55 pages | 24 posttest questions

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT, is a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Past President of the Florida Council on Family Relations, Dr. Christie is currently CEO of Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to deliver continuing education credit courses to healthcare professionals throughout the United States. He has more than 20 years’ experience in private practice with a specialty in child behavior disorders and as an instructor for over 500 live continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

 

 

Medical Marijuana Helps Chronic Pain

By Rachael Rettner

Medical Marijuana ReviewMedical marijuana may provide some benefit for patients with chronic nerve pain or cancer pain, as well as people who have multiple sclerosis and experience muscle spasms, according to a new review study.

However, there is not much evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana for other reasons, such as sleep disorders, Tourette syndrome and anxiety disorders. And marijuana doesn’t appear to help people with depression or psychosis, or those with eye pressure from glaucoma, the study found.

Still, many of the studies done to date that found that marijuana had little or no effect were small, or lacked a rigorous design, the researchers said. Larger, more robust studies are needed to confirm the medical effects of cannabinoids, the compounds that are the active ingredients in marijuana, the researchers said in their findings, published June 23, 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“There is evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity,” said study co-author Penny Whiting, a senior research fellow in epidemiology and health services research at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom “However, this needs to be balanced against an increased risk of side effects,” which can include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and sleepiness, Whiting said.

“Individuals considering cannabinoids as a possible treatment for their symptoms should discuss the potential benefits and harms with their doctor,” Whiting said.

The new findings raise important issues, given that 23 states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana for various conditions, said Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza and Dr. Mohini Ranganathan, of the Yale University School of Medicine, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new study.

“For most qualifying conditions [for medical marijuana], approval has relied on low-quality scientific evidence, anecdotal reports, individual testimonials, legislative initiatives and public opinion,” D’Souza and Ranganathan wrote. “Imagine if other drugs were approved through a similar approach.”

If the goal of legalizing medical marjiuana is to make it available for medical purposes, then “it is unclear why the approval process should be different from that used for other medications,” D’Souza and Ranganathan said. “Since medical marijuana is not a life-saving intervention, it may be prudent to wait before widely adopting its use until high-quality evidence is available.”

The new review, analyzed information from nearly 80 studies that included about 6,500 people total, in which participants were randomly assigned to take cannabinoids, a placebo or another drug. The cannabinoids tested in the study included compounds from the cannabis plant, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), or synthetic compounds such as dronabinol and nabilone.

According to an analysis of eight studies that looked at cannabinoids for patients with nerve and cancer pain, patients using the substances were about 40 percent more likely than the people using a placebo to report a reduction in their pain of at least 30 percent.

Some studies suggested that people with MS who took cannabinoids experienced improvements in their muscle spasms.

There was also some evidence that cannabinoids helped with nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy: In an analysis of three studies, 47 percent of patients using cannabinoids had their nausea and vomiting completely stop, while only about 20 percent in the placebo group had these symptoms completely stop. Some drugs, including dronabinol and nabiximol, are approved to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

There was no evidence of benefit for people with depression, psychosis or glaucoma, but the studies of marijuana use by people with these conditions were small, and in the case of depression, the studies were conducted primarily to look at other outcomes, such as chronic pain.

Common side effects from marijuana included dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, vomiting, disorientation, confusion, loss of balance and hallucination.

Although the acute effects of marijuana are well known, more studies are needed on the effects of repeated exposure to marijuana, which would occur among patients who use the drug regularly for medical purposes, the editorial said.

About 1 in 10 marijuana users develops addiction to the drug, and users can also develop a tolerance, meaning that the dosing of the drug may have to be increased over time to have the same effect, the editorial said.

Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science@livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Professional Development Resources is currently working to develop an online CEU course to help health professionals working with clients who use marijuana (medical or otherwise).