A cancer diagnosis, be it for yourself or for a loved one, is a very difficult thing to navigate. There are so many things you will have to consider regarding treatment options and potential outcomes – the diagnosis is just the beginning of a fight that will require all of the resources you have available to you to get through.
One resource available to cancer patients is medical cannabis. You may have heard that cannabis can help patients with cancer, and it’s true! But the question is how cannabis might help you.
Can Cannabis Cure or Prevent Cancer?
There has been some evidence that suggests that cannabis can inhibit the growth of many types of tumours, in vitro. This however has not been definitively proven on a large scale, and more studies are needed. At this time, cannabis is not considered a cure or cancer prevention tool. However, a study in 2015 suggests a positive correlation between cannabis use in males and a decreased risk of developing bladder cancer.
What Can Cannabis do?
Cannabis can help relieve many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments. Including pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and symptoms of depression or anxiety commonly experienced by patients diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer and its treatment can leave patients in pain. This can be due to inflammation, pressure on internal organs, or nerve injury.
Other studies have found that the use of cannabis for pain management resulted in a decreased need for opiate pain medication.
It is believed that CBD acts on the CB2 receptors helping to relieve widespread pain, while THC acts on the CB1 receptors relieving pain caused by nerve damage.
One of the most troublesome side effects for many cancer patients is persistent nausea. It is often accompanied by vomiting. This is especially true if you are going through chemotherapy.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011, Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids found, “Both preclinical and human clinical research suggests that cannabinoid compounds may have promise in treating nausea in chemotherapy patients.”
It is believed that the anti-nausea effect comes from the THC in cannabis, rather than from CBD.
Loss of Appetite
Cannabis has been found not only to help with symptoms of nausea, but also to stimulate the appetite unlike other anti-nausea drugs.
Depression and Anxiety
There is no doubt that a cancer diagnosis can lead to depression or anxiety, in addition to all of the damage it does to your body it also messes with your head. Cannabis has been found to relieve symptoms of depression.
While cannabis alone is not a treatment for cancer as of yet, used in combination with other treatments it can help make you more comfortable throughout the process- both physically and mentally. If you have any questions or would like more information about how medical cannabis may benefit you or a loved one, contact us today.