Cannabis has been revered as a healing herb by the traditional Chinese medicine system. Even though people tend to associate it with psychoactive effects, the herb has emerged strong with its healing benefits scientifically proven today. Unbelievably, it is being used in treating a variety of health conditions and cancer is one of them. Medical marijuana, as it is called, is derived from the leaves and buds of cannabis plant and is acclaimed for easing several cancer symptoms. Let us know more about the herb and its efficacy against cancer.
What exactly is medical marijuana?
The Endocannabinoid (EC) System is a subtle system that has a balancing effect on the other systems in the human body. It comprises molecular receptors that are responsive to cannabinoids, namely cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both these cannabinoids occur naturally in cannabis, which is the reason that this herb is capable of stimulating the EC system.
THC can cause the high feeling as well as has the potential to alleviate pain and inflammation. CBD, on the other hand, has the same impact but without causing the high. These cannabinoids are, therefore, responsible for the medicinal properties of the herb. This is the reason that marijuana earns the name of medical marijuana.
Understanding the impact of cannabis on cancer
Several research studies have indicated that cannabis can reduce the effect of cancer symptoms as well as side effects of its treatment. Here are some potential benefits that this herb brings for cancer patients.
Some studies have shown the efficacy of medical marijuana for elevating the pain caused by cancer. It binds to the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain and other body parts. Further, it is also capable of easing inflammation, which also helps with pain alleviation as well. Clinical trials have shown that patients who took cannabis required fewer pain killers as compared to the ones who did not.
Neuropathy refers to a condition in which the nerves get damaged and cause pain, weakness and numbness in the affected areas. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy and other treatments of cancer. Cannabis has shown extensive benefits for treating this condition in cancer patients.
Nausea and vomiting
Another common side effect that patients experience with chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. Cannabis proved to be helpful for patients struggling with these issues, where other medications fail to provide relief. Limited studies also show the efficacy of the herb for treating poor appetite and weight loss associated with cancer treatment.
Another advantage of cannabinoid-based meditations is that they can target the tumor cells specifically. At the same time, they do not destroy the non-tumor cells. This means that cannabis has the potential to be used as an effective long-term cancer treatment considering its benefits vis-à-vis chemotherapy.
Slowdown of growth of cancer cells
In recent studies, scientists have reported that THC and as CBD can slow the growth and even cause death in cancer cells of certain types. Similarly, animal studies have also suggested that certain cannabinoids may retard the growth and reduce the spread of certain types of cancer.
Tips for using cannabis for cancer treatment
Now that you understand that cannabis can be effective for cancer symptoms and treatment side effects, you can consider it as a part of your curative protocol. If you plan to do so, here are some tips that can help.
Start with some research
Before discussing the option with your doctor, you should do some research on your own. Talk to fellow patients and specialists. Go through trusted books and online websites that publish research studies from reliable sources.
Buy from a trusted source
When you do buy cannabis for your treatment, always buy from a trusted source. You can shop from a dispensary or buy from websites such as Mission Organic. Wherever you buy it from, ensure that the seller prioritizes quality. Also, look for a product that comes from organic sources, cultivated without the use of pesticides.
Seek advice from an expert
When it comes to the right dosage and other key information about using cannabis for cancer treatment, trust only an expert to guide you. Seek advice only from a professional healthcare provider who is trained and experienced with cannabinoid therapy.
Use only natural cannabis products
Even though cannabis has proven benefits for cancer patients, its synthetic variants can do more harm than good. Look for natural products if you want real benefits without any side effects.
Make cannabis a part of overall treatment plan
The best approach towards cancer treatment is a holistic one. Start cannabis therapy along with the conventional treatment to get fast and effective results. Additionally, bring about positive changes in your diet and lifestyle and also have a stringent exercise plan in place.
Know about cannabis variants
Cannabis is available in more than one forms and being aware about all of them is important to choose the right one. Dried buds and leaves can be used for smoking while cannabis oil can be used for vaping. There is also the option of edibles which come in the form of candies, cookies and brownies. You can try topical creams and oral sprays as well. Effect of smoking and vaping is fast while that of edibles is sustainable.
Be aware about the side effects
Another fact that you should be aware about before exploring this treatment option is that it may show some side effects in some patients. These could be in the form of dizziness, fainting, rapid heart rate and low blood pressure. The good news, however, is that they wear off fast and seldom occur unless you take an overdose.
Cannabis is gradually gathering acceptance as an effective and relatively safe cancer treatment method. You can use it in combination with the conventional treatment plan that you are already following. The therapy has dual benefits as it can slow down the spread of cancer and reduces the side effects of treatment as well. However, it should be taken only in the right dosage and under expert medical supervision for the best benefits.