Cannabis has been used around the world and has become known as a treatment that relieves the side effects of chemotherapy. It has been used to treat people’s diseases and sickness for more than 3,000 years according to the National Institute of Health. Cannabinoid therapy has become a more mainstream treatment despite its healing abilities because of the lack of regulation across the U.S.
At the moment, 25 states have made it legal for people to use marijuana for medicinal reasons. However, there is tension because it is effective for many different kinds of ailments but it has not been federally researched. However, some research has revealed that cannabis can be beneficial for cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy.
It Relieves Pain
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine went through 10,000 different studies on the effects of marijuana and the medical benefits. One of the things they discovered was the way medical cannabis can be used to treat pain.
Pain is often one of the side effects of people going through chemotherapy due to a variety of reasons. The radiation creates pain because it is damaging the nerves and can cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a painful numbness in your arms or legs. It can also cause paraesthesia or a numbness or tingling in the feet or hands.
Cannabis can help relieve the pain caused by radiation. The review discovered that the active ingredients in marijuana stimulate the receptors in the brain to relieve pain.
Cannabis Relieves Nausea
Nausea is one of the main reasons why cancer patients don’t eat as much as they should. If you are suffering from severe nausea, cannabis might be the solution. It is one of the side effects that is dreaded by those who are diagnosed. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, otherwise known as CINV, is often severe and can last up to a day after treatment.
Many doctors will provide traditional anti-nausea therapies to help reduce CINV like Dexamethasone to help reduce nausea. However, sometimes these prescriptions do not provide any relief for the symptoms or it leaves them with other side effects like feeling lethargic or delusional.
However, cannabis has been proven to relieve symptoms of CINV. Studies have shown that cannabinoids have reduced nausea more effectively than placebos and other medications. It functions by blocking serotonin and dopamine from bonding at the neural receptor sites.
Cannabis Improves Appetite
Many cancer patients also experience a lack of appetite after treatment and cannabis is well known for its ability to stimulate hunger.
The active ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol, which is better known as THC reaches the brain and affects the receptors. Research has shown that THC affects the hormones that stimulate hunger as well as affecting taste and smell.
THC essentially tricks the brain into believing the body is hungry by mimicking the sensations of hunger in the body and brain, manipulating the proopiomelanocortin.
According to some studies, cancer patients benefit from consuming cannabis because it improves the sense of taste as well as appetite. 73% of those involved revealed an improvement in desire for food while 64% showed an increase in appetite. This can combat both weight loss and lack of nutrition that happens often in cancer patients.
With the benefits it can offer in terms of reducing nausea, improving appetite, and helping control anxiety, cannabis is an option that should be explored when you or a loved one is suffering the side effects of chemotherapy.