“ Does Medical Marijuana Help Cancer Patients?”
Everywhere we turn, people are wanting more information on this very controversial topic. So here we go with what we have found regarding “ does medical marijuana help Cancer patients”.
First of all, let’s understand the definition of cancer before we answer “does medical marijuana help Cancer patients”
Per The American Cancer Society “ Cancer is the name for a group of more than 100 diseases in which cells begin to grow out of control and crowd out normal cells”
So what the heck does all of that mean exactly?
Scarlett and I are asked this frequently “Why do doctors use such big words that we do not understand, they speak in a different language“?
Hence “Let’s Talk” has become so important to us!
There is a need for information to be given where it’s understood!
So what happens when these cells grow out of control? Bottom line when this occurs it makes it difficult for the body to function the way it should. Why do you ask? Good question.
You see, cancer can start anywhere in the body and spread to other parts of the body.
The cancer cells, the bad cells invade the healthy space that is needed for nutrition for example that the healthy organs would need to function.
Some cancers are slow growing and some are more aggressive and faster than others. The Doctor, often referred to as the Oncologist will need to determine what type of cancer one has so he/she can treat appropriately.
We have found when the word “ Cancer “ or the “ Big C” is mentioned to our patients and families it causes much stress, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and even vomiting.
I think it is safe to say most everyone knows or has heard of someone in their family of being diagnosed with Cancer.
There are many terms that you may hear the medical team use.
Biopsy – this is taking out a piece of tissue to see if cancer cells are in it
Benign – a tumor that is NOT cancer
Malignant- it DOES have cancer
Metastasis- this means the cancer has spread
Stage- This tells the Doctor if the cancer has spread and how far
And our favorite word is –
Remission- Evidence that symptoms or signs of cancer are all or partly gone.
Fortunately, Cancer can be treated effectively for many people. Some will need Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery, or oral medication and some will need a combination of these treatments. Everyone responds differently.
Let’s talk about these options –
Chemotherapy – this drug can be used orally, (by mouth) or in the vein through a needle / IV.Its used to kill cancer or slow it down. Chemotherapy is usually used when cancer has spread.
Surgery – This is used to take out the cancer. For example prostate cancer, the surgeon may be able to remove the prostate gland. Or if someone has breast cancer, the entire breast or part of a breast may be removed.
Radiation-This can be like an X-ray or sometimes the Doctor will place a “ seed” inside the cancer to give off the radiation.
When someone has been told the words “ you do, or you may have cancer, that causes a lot of reactions and actions.
It’s a lot to hear and process.
Scarlett and I have heard many comments in the decades of caring for our patients. Here are a few comments –
Why not me
We will lose our home
Which treatment is best
We are gonna sell everything and travel until we just can’t.
I am going to get that divorce that I wanted years ago.
I am going to find my first love and tell him I never got over him I am coming out of the closet and I don’t care who has a problem that I as a man, am in love with another man and we are getting married
Denial, to refusing treatment.
YES, Medical Marijuana can and does help cancer patients every single day!
Medical Marijuana offers a wide range of benefits to patients with cancer.
Here’s a list of 10 ways that marijuana helped patients in multiple studies and direct quotes from some of our patients.
1. Nausea and Vomiting
Marijuana may be best known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It’s so effective that a pill form of THC (Marinol) has been approved by the FDA for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting since 1985 as well as CBD that does not contain THC.
2. Weight Loss
Along with nausea, patients undergoing chemotherapy often find it hard to maintain the normal weight. Thankfully, medical marijuana has been shown to not only relieve nausea but stimulate appetite as well. It can help improve food intake and prevent unhealthy loss of weight.
Cancer patients often suffer from mood disorders such as depression. Many studies have found, chemicals in medical marijuana appear to have significant anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
Another well-known effect of medical marijuana is pain relief. And while its benefits seem to span a range of chronic pain disorders, studies show that medical marijuana can help reduce pain in cancer as well.
Patients with cancer often suffer from sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep and maintaining sleep.
Cancer-related fatigue can also cause patients to feel sleepy during the day. Interestingly, medical marijuana seems to help patients combat daytime fatigue, while at the same time helping patients get to sleep at night. It’s multi-faceted effect on sleep may depend on the strain of medical marijuana and the balance of cannabinoids that they contain.
7. Sexual Function
Sexual dysfunction is a common, yet the lesser known effect of cancer and cancer therapies. While findings are inconsistent, medical marijuana has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, dating back at least 3,000 years to ancient India.
Chemicals in medical marijuana help regulate the digestive system and have been suggested as a treatment for a wide range of bowel disorders. While medical marijuana seems to help by reducing bowel movements in inflammatory bowel disorders, it appears to have an opposite effect in constipation.
Itching can be a side effect of various cancers as well as various cancer treatments. While the underlying causes of itching in cancer patients vary, medical marijuana seems to help some patients deal with this irritating symptom.
Perhaps the most promising (and controversial) benefit of medical marijuana in cancer is the treatment of cancer itself.
While preclinical studies have long supported the ability of medical marijuana to kill cancer cells and stop the disease from spreading, studies in cell culture and animal models continue to show evidence of a cancer-fighting effect.
There are major cancer organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Cancer Research UK — are dedicating their time and effort to the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in fighting cancer.
if you would like to check out CBD oil which is perfectly legal JUST CLICK HERE.
Scarlett and I are not Doctors but we as healthcare professionals are bringing important information to you in simple terms. Not medical jumbo words.
We want you to be informed. Feel confident to discuss your choices with your healthcare team.
We would love to hear your comments and if we are helping you. Also please leave topics that you would like for us to research.
Elaine and Scarlett