Marijuana And Its Medicinal Effects On Cancer Patients
Medical cannabis are products of various forms for medicinal use that incorporate cannabinoids from the Cannabis sativa plant. People have used it in herbal medicines for centuries because it helps treat nausea, inflammation, and a variety of other ailments. These medicinal properties make it especially helpful for patients with cancer.
The biologically active components of cannabis are known as “cannabinoids.” Within these cannabinoids is the chemical THC which gives people a marijuana “high”. There is also the chemical cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a substance that has medicinal benefits without the high. There are dozens and dozens of other cannabinoids within the chemical makeup of the plant, all with varying degrees of medicinal use.
Unfortunately, marijuana is illegal in many parts of the world. Even its status in the United States is murky at best. Due to its schedule 1 status, there are limited clinical studies on the benefits for specific conditions, but that is changing on a daily basis. Additionally, there is widespread empirical evidence from many patients that demonstrate the positive effects of marijuana for medicinal use.
Read on as we share the truth about marijuana and its medicinal effects on cancer patients.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy is a powerful and effective way of treating cancer. Unfortunately, it is also well known for its exhausting effects on patients.
Chemotherapy radiation cannot tell the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. Because of this, it destroys both types of cells. This aggressive treatment leaves the patient feeling weak and makes them susceptible to chemo’s side effects.
Common side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting. Both nausea and vomiting can happen right after each chemo session, but can also seemingly occur at random.
There are a number pharmaceuticals designed to combat post-chemo nausea. Unfortunately, many patients do not respond well to these drugs. They end up feeling drugged up and sluggish.
How Marijuana Treats Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)
Cannabinoids work by stopping a person’s dopamine and serotonin from binding. Researchers associate these chemicals with CINV.
Unfortunately, marijuana is illegal under federal law. With that said, the FDA has approved two synthetic cannabinoid drugs – dronabinol and nabilone.
Studies have shown that these medications are just as, if not more, effective than other drugs used to prevent nausea and vomiting.
These synthetic drugs have not been completely effective in every trial though. Natural marijuana has actually been shown at times to be even more effective.
Smoking or vaping marijuana is the ideal way to combat CINV as opposed to eating it. First off, if you are feeling nauseous, eating anything is probably the last thing you want to do. The nausea you’ll experience can have a crippling effect on your day to day life.
Also, when you eat marijuana, it can take up to an hour for the effects to kick in. Inhaling cannabis is a much faster way to achieve results.
How Marijuana Treats Pain
Pain is another common side effect of chemotherapy. Studies have shown that marijuana combined with morphine is more effective at treating pain than morphine alone.
It is true that marijuana may not relieve pain as powerfully as something like oxycodone can. But cannabis does come with the benefit of being non-habit forming. This is especially good to know when considering the opioid and pain-killer epidemic currently plaguing our country.
Cannabis can even work as an effective way to treat opioid addiction thanks to its ability to relieve chronic pain.
How Marijuana Treats Depression
Other side effects of chemotherapy include depression, stress, and anxiety. Marijuana has been proven to treat all these ailments.
Recently, there was a study on medical marijuana users and stress and depression. The users’ self-reported symptoms of stress decreased by 58 percent after ingesting the drug. Also, symptoms of depression decreased by 50 percent.
The first study to show marijuana’s antitumor effects was in 1975. That experiment studied mice who were surgically implanted with tumors. After treatment with THC for 20 consecutive days, the mice “had reduced primary tumor size”.
Unfortunately, the government tried to hide these findings and the truth about marijuana. This way the DEA could continue its war on drugs without contradictions.
Dozens of studies have shown marijuana to be a useful treatment for a variety of cancers. These include breast cancer, brain, prostate, thyroid, colon, leukemia, melanoma, and lung cancer.
So how is marijuana able to fight cancer? The answer is twofold. First, marijuana is antiangiogenic. This means that it is able to cut off the blood supply to the tumor.
Second, marijuana is proapoptotic. This means that it causes apoptosis. Apoptosis is basically when cancer cells destroy themselves without affecting any of the healthy cells.
Cannabinoids can also improve the efficacy of other cancer-fighting drugs.
A study occurred in which researchers combined cannabinoids with anti-leukemia medications. The results showed improved anticancer activity compared to when patients used the anti-leukemia drugs on their own.
CBD from hemp plants also combats ovarian cancer. Hemp and marijuana come from the same family although hemp has little to no THC.
One study showed that hemp CBD stopped ovarian cancer cells from spreading. Another study showed that hemp was able to lower inflammation and thus cancer’s progression.
The Truth About Marijuana
Over the decades, a lot of misconceptions about marijuana have spread. Much of this has to do with politics, special interests, and a list of other reasons.
Thankfully, people are now seeing the benefits of marijuana like never before. And it’s currently medically legal in 33 states, including Florida!
Getting Access to Medical Marijuana
Now that we’ve discussed the truth about marijuana, you may want to procure some for yourself or a loved one.
We provide medical marijuana recommendations in the state of Florida. Contact us today and schedule your consultation!