Pain Management for Cancer Patients
The illegal status of marijuana in many countries has limited its research. Some do undercover research but won’t give their findings because of the fear of authorities. However, there has been excessive research on cannabinoids especially in the Far East (Israel) and the United States. In Israel, marijuana is legal. In the United States, we have some states that weed has been made legal. Since time immemorial, contents derived from marijuana plants have been used to cure different illnesses. A recent study shows that use of marijuana has remarkable effects on cancer and cancer treatment related symptoms. In this article, we are going to look at the various benefits of weed in the management of cancer patients, the possible harms of weed, and the side effects of drugs that contain it.
Benefits of Marijuana in Cancer treatment
- Nausea and Vomiting-During chemotherapy, most patients are prone to nausea and vomiting. Marijuana is known to be a good drug that reduces these effects. Weed contains a cannabinoid known as CBD (Cannabinol) which alongside another called THC help in reducing the Nausea. Cancer patients have used drugs like Marinol which is a form of THC in reducing these chemotherapy side effects. This drug was approved by the FDA for treating nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in 1985.
- Curbing Weight Loss-Cancer patients undergo chemotherapy which results to weight loss that comes about as a result of nausea and vomiting and constant lack of appetite. However, marijuana came to their rescue since it helps curb both. We have seen that it reduces nausea. It also improves the appetite of the user. Any weed smoker out there will be sure to tell you of a day they gained lots of appetite after smoking a joint. Improving the weight ensures that the patients stay healthy always and the body functions properly.
- Sleep problems-cancer patients have difficulties finding and maintain sleep. These problems are rampant and cancer patients are ever at a state of unrest. However, marijuana helps in that one of its side effects include sleep. This is a normal side effect that any weed smoker may have experienced. For cancer patients, it is always prudent to operate on doctor’s prescriptions. Self-medication may not be effective because maybe you smoked/ took a strain that does not induce much sleep. Also, the dosages and frequencies vary from patient to patient.
- Fatigue and Pain-On many occasions, cancer patients find themselves experiencing huge deals of fatigue. This is because at night you did not get sleep and so during the day you become very sleepy. CBD in marijuana reduces fatigue when taken in low quantities. Ideally, it also boosts the mood of the patient.
Compounds found in marijuana, specifically THC and CBD help in relieving acute and chronic pains. You will find that chemotherapy is painful. Sometimes the patients even succumb to the pain. However, with marijuana, patients are assured of reduced levels of pain all even complete relief.
Possible harmful effects of marijuana
- Smoke-The smoke that is produced when smoking marijuana may contain same negative effects as those found in tobacco smoking. For cancer patients, it would be ideal if they changed the method of uptake. After all, the effects will be the same. One can put marijuana in food, use pills and even some eat it raw.
- Feeling High-Marijuana makes people feel ‘high’ when taken. This is especially when taken in large quantities. Cancer patients who take weed should expect this. I would say that it is not a bad feeling, except when anxiety or paranoia creeps in. However, during prescription by a professional, all these possible results are well taken care of. They may give you quantities that won’t make you go off the hook.
With all these benefits in cancer treatment symptoms, researchers say that marijuana might turn out to a cure of itself. This would be controversial since it would lead to the legalization of the herb worldwide. I believe that it would be a good thing. The benefits we have looked at are tied to cancer management. There are tonnes of other benefits to the rest of the population. Therefore, marijuana might be the saviour we have been waiting for in Cancer treatment.