Cannabis and Cancer
Cannabis and Cancer: What You Need to Know
For many people, a cancer diagnosis is one of the most frightening things they will ever experience. In addition to the physical pain and suffering that comes with the disease, cancer patients must deal with the mental and emotional anguish of a cancer diagnosis.
Thankfully, cannabis may be an effective treatment for many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments.
Let’s take a look at how cannabis can help those dealing with cancer.
How Cancer Affects the Body
Cancer is a disease that happens when certain cells grow out of control in our bodies. These cells can form tumors and, if left unchecked, can spread throughout the body. Cancer cells are different from healthy cells in a few key ways. First, they grow and divide much more quickly than healthy cells. And they often don’t respond to signals telling them to stop growing.
Second, cancer cells can attack nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. This process, called metastasis, is how cancer can turn from a localized disease to a life-threatening condition.
Cancer cells can also interfere with bodily functions. As a result, the side effects of cancer and its treatments can be debilitating. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression.
Thankfully, recent cannabis research shows that the plant’s compounds may help to alleviate many of these symptoms.
Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
Anti-nausea medications are commonly prescribed to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but these drugs often have unpleasant side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, and constipation.
Cannabis may be an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy with few, if any, adverse side effects.
Pain and Discomfort
Cancer pain is often debilitating, making it difficult for patients to carry on with their everyday lives. Traditional pain medications like opioids can effectively manage pain, but they come with a risk of addiction and potentially fatal overdose.
Cannabis, on the other hand, is a safe and effective alternative to opioids for treating cancer pain. In addition, many people with cancer have reported a substantial reduction in pain compared to those not treated with cannabis.
Cancer and its treatments can often cause a decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss and muscle wasting. This can make it difficult for patients to get the necessary nutrients to fight their disease.
Cannabis may help cancer patients maintain their weight by making food more desirable. A 2019 study found that patients treated with cannabis reported improved appetite after treatment.
Anxiety and Depression
Cancer and its treatments can often be anxiety-inducing and depressing. But, according to recent research, marijuana may help patients cope with their disease’s mental and emotional aspects.
A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly overwhelming. In addition, patients have to deal with feelings of hopelessness and sadness. With cannabis, however, patients can benefit from its many medicinal properties to help ease the mentally debilitating symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments.
As you can see, cannabis has the potential as a treatment for alleviating many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments. From potentially relieving pain to stimulating appetite, cannabis offers cancer patients a natural way to find relief from the symptoms related to their disease.
If you or a loved one is battling cancer, talk to your doctor about whether cannabis might be right for you.