A new study has revealed that about 25% of people with cancer in states with legalized recreational marijuana used the substance within the past 12 months. About 21% used marijuana within the past month, for relief of cancer-related symptoms. Compared to national surveys related to marijuana users of any kind, the cancer group usage rates are more than double. When you see how effective marijuana is at treating symptoms that affect cancer patients, it’s easy to see why more cancer patients are using medical marijuana.
How Medical Cannabis Helps Cancer Patients
Cannabis provides numerous benefits to cancer patients. Medical cannabis has been approved for cancer patients in Florida since January 3, 2017. The following are among the many benefits marijuana provides to people suffering from cancer and the effects of difficult cancer treatments:
- A majority of medical cannabis patients interviewed in a study said that they use marijuana to reduce and manage pain. Almost half of those patients prefer cannabis to prescription painkillers. Medical cannabis is less addictive, and it’s a less toxic alternative than other options for treatment of pain.
- Cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy and radiation often have debilitating side effects, including nausea and vomiting. Multiple compounds in cannabis are very effective at reducing chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.
- Sleep is essential to health and well-being, and cancer patients often suffer from lack of sleep. Cannabis is somewhat notorious for causing drowsiness, especially in indica strains. The cannabis compound THC usually helps people fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, and stay asleep longer.
- Cancer patients go through a difficult ordeal that tends to affect mental health. Some strains of cannabis can create a mood-stimulating, euphoric effective that promotes a positive sense of well-being. The way it works is that CBD quickly boosts levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Many antidepressant drugs target this molecule. THC in low doses provides an antidepressant effect, as well.
- Another common side effect of cancer treatments is severe loss of appetite, resulting in dramatic weight loss. The “munchy” effect that marijuana is notorious for is actually very beneficial to cancer patients suffering from appetite loss. Cannabis also stimulates the release of the main hunger hormone and, as an added plus, boosts the pleasure response to food.
- Inflammation-based allergic reactions are also common among cancer patients. Cannabinoids provide tremendous relief for cancer patients who develop skin reactions and feel itchy.
Research about medical cannabis is considered to be insufficient in many ways, but a 30-year study showed that marijuana clearly has anti-cancer properties. This is great news for many families dealing with this awful disease. THC and CBD both trigger cell death, stop proliferation, and halt the spread of cancer cells.
If you have cancer or any of the other conditions approved in Florida for treatment with medical marijuana, contact us at Cannabis+ MD. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Edwin W. Maldonado, to begin the process of being approved for medical cannabis.