Marijuana is derived from the buds and leaves of the plant, and its use is still a source of controversy within the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration is labelling it as a Schedule I drug, which means it is prohibited in federal laws. However, medical marijuana in a particular form is permitted within 36 states, including the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With the growing accessibility of marijuana across the United States, it is essential to be aware of its legality and medicinal applications. The marijuana plant contains various active components, also known as cannabinoids. As of now, two of these could be used in the future as potential treatments.
The first is THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which produces the “high” feeling associated with marijuana. Another one is CBD (cannabidiol), which can relieve anxiety, pain and appetite and alter symptoms like seizures in certain patients.
Medical marijuana could include either or the other of these substances available in cream, pill or different types. The study of the effects of medical cannabis is in progress; however, labelling marijuana as an illegal drug has significantly reduced the research opportunities.
The FDA has approved three cannabinoid drugs within the U.S. Two of them are specifically recommended for use in cancer patients. More research is required to understand their advantages to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients with cancer. Our understanding will change over time.
Acute And Chronic Cancer And Marijuana:
Numerous studies have demonstrated that medical marijuana can aid in the treatment of the following conditions:
Marijuana can be beneficial in managing pain associated with cancer when traditional treatments are not working or cause adverse consequences. Opioids are considered the most effective treatment option for those suffering from chronic pain from cancer. Still, the concurrent usage of marijuana can reduce neuronal pain signaling and anti-inflammatory properties.
Neuropathy, also known as damage to nerves, can be described as the feeling of weakness or numbness, burning, or tingling on the feet or hands. It is a frequent reaction to chemotherapy and other treatments for cancer. Animal studies have shown that CBD can be beneficial in relieving some signs of damage to the nerve. However, studies of a small size involving patients experimenting with different mixtures that comprise THC and CBD have yielded mixed results.
Nausea and vomiting:
A lot of sufferers experience vomiting and nausea as a result of chemotherapy. Dronabinol and nabilone are synthetic cannabinoids FDA approved to treat nausea and vomiting triggered by chemotherapy. The studies that have been conducted so far only look at the oral use of cannabinoids, not other types of marijuana like smoking, vaping, smoking, or oral sprays. This is a subject that could need to be studied more thoroughly.
Loss Of Appetite And Weight Loss:
A few studies have shown that THC increases appetite and can help in reducing weight loss in patients who have advanced cancer. However, it wasn’t considered to be more effective than conventional treatment.
Yet, a few states have authorized medical marijuana for treating anorexia caused by cancer (the medical term used to describe weight loss) or cachexia (wasting of the body due to an illness that is chronic and severe).
What effects can marijuana have on the symptoms or side effects of treatment for cancer or chemotherapy?
Research on the chemical compounds (or cannabinoids) discovered in marijuana plants suggests that certain cannabinoids could be beneficial in dealing with nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy for cancer, as in the treatment of neuropathy pain (pain due to damaged nerves).
The U.S Food and Drug Administration external icon (FDA) has approved two specific drugs (dronabinol [name brands Marinol and Syndros] and nabilone [name brand Cesamet]) that are synthetic (artificial) forms of particular cannabinoids for use in cancer patients with chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting.
Further research is required to determine the impact of marijuana as a remedy for cancer-related issues or a negative side effect from chemotherapy.
Do you think there is a link between cancer and marijuana?
Smoked marijuana provides THC and other cannabinoids into the body; However, it also releases harmful substances, like several toxic substances and carcinogens (cancer-causing chemical compounds) found in tobacco smoke that harm the lungs as well as the cardiovascular system.
Further research is required to understand better the effect marijuana may affect lung and other types of cancers in the respiratory tract. There is limited evidence that suggests a connection between frequent, current or ongoing marijuana consumption and cancer of the testicle (non-seminoma-type) has been established.
Because marijuana can be utilized in various ways and with different levels of active substances, It can affect every individual in another way. Further research is required to understand the impact of marijuana on cancer fully.
What are the effects of cannabinoid medications on cancer-related symptoms?
The presence of THC in marijuana could aid in relieving symptoms of nausea and discomfort for cancer patients, and CBD helps reduce inflammation and functions to protect against oxidation. Marijuana can be consumed or smoked, and a vape and the effects vary based on the method employed.
When consumed by the mouth in the form of oils, food, and drinks, THC will take longer to absorb into the body and then be processed by the liver. It is difficult to determine the amount of THC in food items that contain marijuana and the amount of THC that could trigger symptoms of an overdose.
When vaping or smoking, when smoked or vaped, THC found in marijuana swiftly is absorbed into the bloodstream and then through the cerebral cortex. Its effects are significantly faster than when it is taken orally.
In the case of cannabis and cancer, a few studies have revealed that marijuana may reduce signs of nausea or vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Additionally, it could assist in treating the pain neuropathic due to nerve injury. According to the ACS, patients who have cancer who smoke marijuana are often less dependent on pain medications.
How do I acquire medical marijuana for medicinal use?
The regulations for medical marijuana usage and possession differs from state to. In the end, medical decision-making is shared by the individual patient and their doctors.
If a physician decides that there’s a medical need to use the product, then getting the drug follows the state’s laws. It is your responsibility and doctor to establish and follow the federal and state regulations.