Cancer is a life-threatening disease from which millions of people are suffering today. While some people can detect it at an early stage and get a cure, many have lost their lives to it.
For those who suffer from it, life becomes a living hell. People are now resorting to using cannabis, as it provides relief from the side-effects of cancer and chemotherapy.
What is medicinal marijuana?
Marijuana comes from the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant. For centuries, people are using it as a remedy for many diseases. Although cannabis is illegal in most parts of the world, medicinal marijuana is legal.
Marijuana contains a series of compounds, all having different effects on the human body. For instance, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is responsible for giving the user a feeling of high. Similarly, CBD or cannabidiol can counteract the high. Different strains, types, and crops of marijuana have varying amounts of these chemicals, implying that the effect on our body varies with the strain we are using. Various weed types are available to suit various needs.
How can cannabis help in chemotherapy?
Patients with cancer undergo chemotherapy, which aims at the cure, control, and palliation of the cancer cells. The doctors use a drug to treat the disease. Normal surgery or radiation work only on a particular part of the body, but chemotherapy works on the entire body. Chemotherapy can effectively cure the cells that are spreading to the various parts of the body, and away from the original tumor.
Studies have shown that medicinal marijuana can have positive effects on cancer patients. It not only slows down the growth of cancer cells but also treats the side-effects of chemotherapy.
Let’s take a look at how cannabis is beneficial during chemo:
Reduces pain and inflammation
Chemotherapy is synonymous with pain. The people who are suffering from cancer and going through regular sessions of chemotherapy have to deal with a lot of pain and inflammations. Doctors ideally recommend painkillers to all the patients, but using it for a regular period can hook you to it. As per a study by The National Centre for Biotechnology, the natural way to alleviate pain and inflammation is marijuana. It contains compounds and chemicals like THC, which brings you instant relief from pain. THC is similar to the cannabinoid chemicals which occur naturally in our body. With its intake, THC stimulates cannabinoid receptors in the brain. It then activates the brain’s reward system and reduces pain. THC will not make you high but will give you instant relief from the shooting and chronic pain.
Losing appetite is very common for cancer patients. With the harsh treatments and medicine, their diet dwindles down. It can not only impact their health but also reduces the recovery process. Marijuana users claim to have an increase in appetite after its use. They need more food, whether they inhale marijuana, smoke it, or eat it. The chemical THC is responsible for inducing this as well. A clinical trial by, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, proclaims that cancer patients who are facing a lack of appetite can rely on marijuana to increase it significantly.
Reduces nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting usually occur when the sensory centers in the brain and digestive tracts get stimulated. The doctors do not know how the chemotherapy agents cause vomiting or nausea; they believe it is the drugs or their digestive byproducts, which stimulates the receptors in sensory cells. Most of the patients face extreme nausea while they are undergoing chemotherapy. Cannabis has proven to reduce nausea and vomiting in patients, as it contains delta-9 THC and delta-8 THC, which are mildly effective in preventing nausea after chemotherapy sessions. It is evident from this research done by a group of 6 USA based doctors.
Helps to deal with nerve pain
Nerve damage can cause weakness, numbness, and even pain in the nerves. Nerve pain is a common side-effect of chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments. The pain relief agents of marijuana, like CBD and THC, can also help cure nerve pain, states a recently conducted research in the USA. You can smoke marijuana to get instant relief from nerve pain. Through smoking, THC enters the bloodstream and goes straight to the brain, taking away the pain much more quickly.
Reduces the dependence on drugs
The treatment of cancer sure involves a lot of medicines and drugs. The patients are constantly taking synthetic drugs to keep cancer from spreading, or to reduce the debilitating pain that comes with chemotherapy. Marijuana is a natural plant, containing chemicals that are identical to the ones that occur in our body. Using this organic way of treatment can reduce your dependence on medicines and drugs, and keep you away from getting hooked to it as given by a research.
How to consume medicinal marijuana?
As many as there are names of this magical plant, even more, are the ways to consume it. The effect of marijuana certainly depends upon the way you take it.
Here are a few of them:
Taken by mouth
The easiest and convenient way of marijuana intake if through the mouth. You can use CBD oil, get marijuana seeds, or even take it in the form of edibles. It can take hours to absorb into the body, but the effect will last for a much longer period. CBD oil benefits are many and known to all.
Smoking or inhaling
Smoking and inhaling are the fastest way to make marijuana work. Smoking or vaping makes the THC enter the bloodstream, making it reach the brain quickly. You can get relief from pain and nausea in an instant through this method. As the effects start quickly, they also fade away very quickly.
The battle against cancer tumor is a long and exhausting journey. It becomes hard enough to break the very spirit of fighting. Medicinal marijuana can be a ray of hope for such patients. Although it cannot cure the tumor, it can surely bring some relief to the ones going through chemotherapy. Get in touch with your doctor today and take the benefits of medicinal marijuana.