Cancer has touched the lives of almost everyone. It’s one of the leading killers in the modern world, and an estimated 38% of the US population will battle a form of cancer in their lifetime. The good news is that we are always learning about new treatments and ways to manage the disease.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with cancer, you might be wondering how medical cannabis can help. Here’s what you need to know about using cannabis as a tool for managing the symptoms that come with cancer and cancer treatments.
Cannabis and Cancer
While many types of cancer exist, the disease is characterized by the process of abnormal cell growth that can damage healthy tissue. Treatment options depend on the type and severity of cancer. They usually include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, along with therapies that address the many symptoms associated with the disease.
In recent decades, though, many patients have turned to cannabis, and scientists are working hard to uncover how cannabis can play an important role in treatment.
How Can Cannabis Help Fight Cancer?
Cannabis has been used therapeutically for thousands of years in many different places around the world. And studies have shown that the compounds found in cannabis are useful for treating the diseases and relieving symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatments. While we are still learning exactly how it works, we know that cannabinoids like THC and CBD work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help regulate every major system.
Research on Cannabis and Cancer
Unfortunately, research is limited in the US because cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug. But what we do know about cannabis as a treatment for cancer has scientists interested in its potential. Studies have been done on cultured cells and animals that have shown that cannabinoids can work to inhibit tumor growth. It’s also been shown to prevent the development of cancer-feeding blood vessels, inhibit tumor cell metastasis and migration, and fight inflammation. While US research is lacking, other countries have done studies with clinical trials, and the results have been promising.
Cannabis and Symptom Relief
Traditional cancer treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery almost always come with a long list of side effects that significantly decrease quality of life. Severe pain and nausea are some of the worst symptoms that cancer patients experience, and usually require treatment with anti-nausea and opioid-based medications.
But thousands of personal reports tell us that patients who choose cannabis can significantly improve their quality of life. Why? Because cannabis works. Many people find that cannabis can be a much better alternative for pain than opioids. It’s great at stimulating the appetite and treating nausea, which can help patients have more energy and an increase in their daily activity. People also find that cannabis can help improve their quality of sleep and help fight depression and anxiety. Cannabis has helped countless patients improve their overall wellbeing, which in turn can help the body fight off cancer.
Is Cannabis Right for You?
Whether cannabis is used to manage side-effects or as a supplement to cancer treatment itself, deciding to use it is a personal choice. Most of the research focuses on THC and CBD, but there are several other cannabinoids in the plant that have benefits. That’s why many patients choose to use full-spectrum products that contain a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes.
At the end of the day, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to figure out the best way to use cannabis as a cancer treatment. And it’s important to remember that most of the evidence is from personal experiences and not clinical trials. But it’s only a matter of time before we fully unlock the potential of cannabis for cancer, and it finally gets its places as a medicine worth federal funding and extensive cancer research.
If you’re considering using cannabis to manage symptoms associated with cancer or cancer treatments, ask our team members which products may be best for you.