Using Cannabis to Treat Cancer
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, and pot, is derived from the medicinal cannabis plant. Its primary psychoactive ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. THC is one of the most well-known cannabinoids, but there are several other types present in cannabis. Cannabinoids are biochemicals that act on cell receptors within the entire body, especially within the central nervous system. This endocannabinoid system has been discovered in most vertebrate species, as well as some invertebrates like leeches and mollusks. Nature intended a use for these molecules, and we are now just starting to better understand the benefits of Cannabis use towards treating different human diseases and ailments.
Some believe that cannabis may help to alleviate or control certain cancer symptoms or the detrimental side effects of modern cancer treatments. However, research hasn’t yet provided clear answers about the benefits of cannabis consumption. Science has previously shown that certain cannabinoids may help, and drugs containing synthetic cannabinoids have been created to treat vomiting, nausea, and pain.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the use of cannabis in the treatment of cancer.
Medical cannabis is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The substance is still viewed as a schedule 1 drug at the federal level, so this causes issues for some medical patients who live in more conservative parts of the country. There are 14 additional states that just endorse the consumption of High-CBD strains of marijuana. These pose essentially no side-effects whatsoever, as they must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Unless you live in a state that has authorized recreational use, anyone who wants to use the herb for medical purposes must get a prescription from a nurse practitioner or a doctor. With this documentation, they can buy medicinal cannabis strains such as CBD Critical Mass from a licensed dispensary just about anywhere in the USA except for a few places. At the time of this writing Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Alabama all continue to be highly against THC, and will only allow CBD products that are derived from hemp.
Cannabis products come in several forms, including dried flower, oils, and many other things that can be smoked, ingested, or mixed into food. America’s medical cannabis laws allow those with cancer to use these products to manage their side effects and symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of medicinal cannabis, and do your own research as well. There are still many varying opinions about this course of treatment, and those seeking treatment options will want to be as well informed as possible.
Alleviating Symptoms and Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Smoking cannabis or using cannabinoid-containing drugs may help cancer patients relax and give them an improved feeling of well-being. However, studies on these products’ effectiveness have provided mixed results. Some patients may find that they help, while others may not. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis may help to treat:
- Vomiting and nausea. A few studies have demonstrated that certain cannabinoids may alleviate vomiting and nausea. These side effects are common with many cancer treatments, including radiation therapy and chemo. Nabilone is a medication containing synthetic cannabinoids, and it has been approved for this purpose. It is sometimes recommended when standard anti-nausea medications do not alleviate a patient’s symptoms.
- Diminished appetite. Many with cancer lose their appetites, and significant weight loss often results. Some patients have found that cannabis stimulates their appetite, and there have been a few clinical trials to evaluate the effects of cannabis on weight loss and appetite in cancer patients. While these studies haven’t found a definitive link, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence.
- Pain. Some believe that cannabis helps to relieve severe and chronic pain. As previously mentioned, research has not yet provided clear answers, but limited clinical trials have showed that some cannabinoids alleviate pain in certain patients. For instance, Sativex is a combination of CBD and THC that’s been approved as a spray to be used inside a patient’s mouth. It is sometimes used to relieve cancer pain that isn’t controlled by opioids.
Before consuming any cannabis product, including CBD-dominant strains like Harlequin Kimbo Kush, discuss its pros and cons with your physician. If your doctor is sternly against cannabis for personal or religious reasons, it may be wise to seek a second unbiased opinion.
Using Edibles to Treat Cancer Pain and Side Effects
Patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma often have trouble breathing because their lungs are so weak. For these people, the consumption of cannabis edibles may be preferable, as it avoids further aggravation of injured lung tissues. There are a few major differences between edible and smokable cannabis, some of which are listed below.
- When Skunk x Northern Lights is smoked, its effects are felt quickly. When it’s eaten, the effects are delayed due to the natural digestive process. The effects of an edible may take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to be felt, but most users experience them within 90 minutes.
- Many cancer patients find that edibles offer milder psychoactive effects and more body pain relief than smokable cannabis. These effects also often last longer, up to 6 to 8 hours for some individuals. The duration of high depends on many factors such as a person’s metabolism and how much food is in their stomach to digest along with the edible marijuana products.
Edibles are available in several types. The most common and recognizable form is baked goods such as cookies and brownies, which are made with cannabis butter. Hash-infused butter or hash oil is more concentrated, so less can be used and the flavor will be milder. This type of cannabis can also be mixed into chocolates. Other edible types include teas, cold beverages, and hard candies. No matter which type of edibles you’re consuming, it’s important to follow the dosing instructions. Cancer patients are recommended to start with small doses to determine the effects.
For those watching their sugar, fat, and calorie consumption, there are a few alternatives.
- Tinctures are put under the tongue and then ingested. According to some cancer patients, the effects of a tincture are not as sedating as edibles, and the product is absorbed sooner.
- Capsules typically contain a blend of cannabis and carrier oils, and patients take them as they would any other tablet or pill. These are easy to dose in set increments and present many custom blends of THC and CBD ratios.
For those who can’t consume edibles, tinctures, or capsules, topical cannabis products are popular. These products are used to reduce pain and inflammation in the areas to which they are applied, and they may help those experiencing pain due to tumor growth. In some areas without medical marijuana laws, the sale of non-psychoactive products such as this is still allowed.
Because not all cancer patients can readily access medical marijuana or grow their own THC strains, drug manufacturers have created synthetic varieties of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
- Marinol was approved by the FDA to stimulate appetite and minimize nausea.
- Nabilone contains a THC-like compound, and it is approved to treat vomiting and nausea related to chemotherapy.
Cancer patients who have tried natural and synthetic cannabis versions often say the natural variety provides more symptom relief. Synthetic THC may also bring serious side effects that aren’t found in natural products, such as irregular heartbeat, vision blurriness, seizures, dizziness, and headaches.
The Risks and Side Effects of Medicinal Cannabis
The risks and benefits of medical marijuana aren’t yet fully understood, and certain products haven’t been through the approval process. When approving drugs, the Food and Drug Administration reviews all the evidence to ensure that the benefits outweigh the side effects and risks. Talk to your doctor if you’re considering using cannabis products for medicinal purposes. There’s insufficient information as to how cannabis interacts with cancer drugs and treatments like chemotherapy.
Some medical studies show that prolonged cannabis smoking may increase the risk of certain cancers, but other studies have offered very different results. Using weed strains such as Auto Bubba Kush may cause side effects such as:
- Problems with concentration, memory, and focus
- Sensory shifts, including longer reaction times and problems with balance
- Elevated heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Increased blood pressure
If you’re in an area with more progressive medical marijuana laws, ask your doctor and oncologist if cannabis would help or hinder your current treatment plan. Most people assume that weed is safe because it is natural, and it is true that no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. In fact, cannabis contains a great deal of antioxidants that might protect cancer cells from the effects of radiation therapy and chemo.
With this in mind, some think that medical marijuana products may prevent cancer treatments from working as they should. As they’re trained to treat cancer, oncologists are a great source of information on these matters. Many cancer survivors say that they’ve consulted their doctors before using cannabis in conjunction with conventional treatments, which is often called integrative oncology.
Things to Consider Before Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Cancer Symptoms
- Be sure to tell your physician about any herbs, supplements, vitamins, and OTC medicines you’re using, including cannabis. If you’re in a state with medical cannabis laws and you’d like to talk to people who have used the herb to treat the side effects of cancer, ask your care team about patient advocacy groups.
- Medical marijuana isn’t covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. Its cost can be significant, depending on a patient’s needs. For this reason, many individuals decide to begin growing their own medical marijuana from seed, which can be done either outdoors or indoors.
- CBD and THC levels vary from one strain to another, and these cannabinoids offer unique benefits. For instance, CBD is known to relieve pain, while THC may alleviate nausea.
You’ll probably have to do your own research to determine the optimal CBD-to-THC ratio that controls your unique symptoms and struggles. It may take trial and error, and what works for others might not be right for you. If you decide to venture into growing yoru own cannabis, wither as a hobby or a way to save money, i49 seed bank has yoru back with many varieties of easy to grow seeds.
Continuing Research Into Cannabinoids and Cannabis Products
As of the time of this writing, scientists are studying cannabis and synthetic drugs to learn how they may alleviate cancer symptoms and treatment side effects. Additional research is needed to determine the type and dosage of cannabis that’s most beneficial without adverse effects, the pros and cons of prolonged usage, and how medicinal marijuana may interact with other cancer drugs.
Medical researchers are still trying to prove that cannabinoids or cannabis should be used to treat cancer and other diseases. Research into how cannabinoids affect cancer cells has shown great promise, but it is still in its earliest stages. More research is needed before cannabinoids or cannabis products like Northern Critical can wholeheartedly be recommended for the treatment of cancer.
The anecdotal benefits of cannabis as a natural treatment for cancer are well-known, but science has not yet established a definitive link. This hasn’t stopped thousands of Americans from using this natural herb, and many of them will maintain that is has cured or reversed their cancer completely. If you’re looking for a natural, safe way to alleviate certain symptoms, we’re here to help. Visit i49.net for tips, tricks, and strain selection advice to help you navigate this journey as you seek the answers you need.
Grow The Best Seeds For Cancer