Medical Marijuana in Pain management for Cancer patients

Medical Marijuana cancer pain

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Marijuana is a name given to the dried leaves and buds of the cannabis sativa plant. The plant thrives well in warm and tropical climates. Over the years, it has been given several other names such as pot, weed, ganja, hemp, marihuana and lots of different names.

Marijuana

Thanks to science, marijuana has been found to contain biological components that can remedy several ailments. These elements are known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It has been used as an herbal remedy for quite a long time. The THC is responsible for causing the “high” effect, and it also relieves pain, nausea and other conditions that we will discuss below. The CBD can reduce paranoia, anxiety and the “high” feeling that one gets from the THC.

The different strains of marijuana contain varying amounts of these compounds. Therefore the effects of marijuana heavily vary depending on the strain. The means one uses to take marijuana can also vary regarding effectiveness. Taking it by mouth results to slow and poor digestion of the THC, leading to the production of a different psychoactive that affects changes in mood. When an individual smokes marijuana, THC goes to the brain quickly. Plus, its effects fade faster.

Marijuana and Cancer

During several clinical tryouts, cancer patients have been able to find marijuana beneficial. Studies show that the patients who took marijuana didn’t need to take painkillers. Recently, scientists discovered that CBD and THC slow the growth or completely kill some cancer cells growing in lab dishes. Plus, marijuana has also shown its capability in treating vomiting and nausea from cancer chemotherapy.

Nevertheless, its illegal status in most of the countries limits its research. It’s only legal in Israel and some of the states in the US. As you can see above, marijuana has remarkable effects on cancer patients. There are several reasons why most cancer patients ask for access to medical cannabis. Below are some of the benefits of marijuana in pain management for cancer patients.

What are the Benefits of Marijuana in Pain Management for Cancer Patients

1. Pain Management

Pain is the most severe side effects of cancer treatment and cancer itself. However, marijuana can act as a reliable pain reliever. As a matter of fact, in a previous survey in Canada, more than 60% of the patients preferred to use cannabis to reduce pain compared to the pharmaceutical drugs. Plus, comparing marijuana to prescription painkillers, it is considered non-toxic and least addictive.

The compounds found in cannabis that is THC and CBD are known to relieve chronic pains. The chemotherapy is quite painful. However, with the aid of marijuana, the patients are guaranteed of experiencing little or even no pain at all.

2. Sleep

It is impossible for a cancer patient to sleep appropriately while experiencing all that pain and thus experience some insomnia or poor sleep. However, marijuana happens to have a drowsiness effect on its users. The patients can use this to their advantage and enjoy a good nap. It’s better than taking sleeping pills which are addictive, whereas marijuana is an herbal product. There are certain strains such as the indicas that are known to induce drowsiness when you compare them to others. THC is also known to aid someone to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for long. Plus, doctors highly recommend for cancer patients to sleep for long hours so that the body gets enough time to heal and rest.

3. Chronic Fatigue

Being under pain at all times leads to chronic fatigue. It’s very common in cancer patients. Despite cannabis making you feel drowsy, some types are known to make you feel energetic and stimulated. The strain known as Sativa are famous for giving that stimulating effect. Rather than taking a cup of coffee in the morning, marijuana can be more efficient. Plus, fatigue among patients can come as a result of spending sleepless nights. Therefore, taking it during the day can significantly alleviate daytime fatigue.

4. Skin Irritations

Cancer treatment is often accompanied by developing skin rashes. These skin rashes can be very painful and uncomfortable. However, marijuana contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, it’s quite useful in calming down inflammations. The patients with itchy side effects from the treatment reported finding relief from eating or inhaling marijuana.

5. Vomiting and Nausea

The radiation and chemotherapy treatments can be quite hard to go through. They expose the patient to lots of side effects. The most common ones are severe nausea and vomiting. However, several marijuana compounds contain antiemetic properties which are capable of reducing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

Cannabis was so useful that pharmaceutical organizations came up with a synthetic version to sell it to clients undergoing chemotherapy. The drug is commonly known as Marinol. The pill contains THC and was approved by the FDA as a treatment drug for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Other Benefits of Marijuana to Cancer patients

Other than alleviating the above forms of pain, marijuana aids cancer patients in lots of ways. It’s known to stimulate appetite other than relieving nausea. It can tap into the cell receptor that assists in releasing the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Plus, it also boosts the pleasure response of food in the brain. As a result, the patients can have a higher chance of maintaining their weight. Other than losing it, as it is familiar with most cancer patients.

Marijuana is also able to boost mood. Mood disorders such as depression are common among cancer patients. Pot, on the other hand, makes them feel really good. Cannabis contains chemicals similar to those in anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Undergoing through difficult times of illness can interfere with the mental health. CBD can boost the amount of serotonin which is in charge of making the patient happy.

As you can see above, Marijuana is very capable of relieving pain and several other symptoms of cancer. Did you know that it also contains anti-cancer properties? It therefore not only helps in the symptoms but can destroy cancer and tumor cells. However, medical marijuana should be given by a certified doctor and should be handled with care.

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