Ever since people have discovered the potential health benefits of medical cannabis, its usage has increased worldwide. While medical cannabis products may treat several ailments, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of their usage before consumption.
What Is Medical Cannabis?
Medical cannabis is a plant-based medicine extracted from cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. It consists of three essential active components, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and CBN. Out of these compounds, THC and CBD may contribute to pain relief. Certain research suggests that cannabis products may be effective in relieving pain, nausea, certain symptoms of cancer, and the painful side-effects of chemotherapy. Whether medical cannabis can actually provide pain relief still requires further research. These efforts are unfortunately hampered by the fact that the federal government still considers cannabis illegal and the prolonged prohibition of cannabis has given academia little room for experimentation.
Despite the prohibitory attitude towards the drug, approximately 178 million individuals over the age of 15 have used a cannabis product sometime in their life according to a survey. Additionally, most pediatric cancer experts support the use of medical cannabis for children with advanced cancer as per the Yale Cancer Center.
Where Is Medical Cannabis Found?
Since the legalization of medical cannabis at the state level, it has become easy to obtain it in several states, including Nevada. Individuals over the age of 21 can easily purchase cannabis for recreational purposes with a simple government-issued ID such as a passport or a driver’s license.
Cannabis for medical usage has strict rules, however. Acquiring medical cannabis requires a doctor’s approval and a health department issued medical card. Additionally, medical cannabis can only be purchased from a state-approved dispensary.
Conditions for Cannabis-based Cancer Treatment
Medical cannabis may potentially relieve the pain of illnesses such as cancer. Patients can consume medical cannabis during cancer treatment to potentially prevent pain, nausea, anxiety, vomiting, and other obstacles faced during chemotherapy.
There are several factors that doctors consider before prescribing medical cannabis to a cancer patient:
- Cancer stage
- Patient age
- The cancer treatment phase
How Does Cannabis Affect Cancer?
Observations by doctors show that cannabinoids may be safe for reducing cancer pain, but they cannot eliminate it entirely. There are two cannabinoid compounds that can potentially reduce cancer pain:
Dronabinol is a pharmaceutical form of THC which may help with potential side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting. It is also said that smoked medical cannabis may help with the same side effects.
Nabiximols is another cannabis drug under study which may help people with cancer pain.
Medical Cannabis Precautions and Instructions
It is important to take a few precautions before consuming medical cannabis as a cancer treatment. Please consider the following points:
- Consult a physician if medical cannabis may be beneficial for you
- Medical cannabis should be used as an add-on treatment along with conventional methods
- Consume small doses initially and steadily increase your dosage as your tolerance increases
- Remain hydrated
- Purchase medical cannabis from a state-approved dispensary only
For a more detailed guide on dosage read more here.
According to research in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology conducted in 2018, THC is present in the leaves and flowers of cannabis. When a cancer patient consumes cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) releases into the body, and the consumer may feel relaxed due to its psychoactive properties. Moreover, CBD lacks intoxicating properties which is why consumers do not feel any euphoria.
The above-mentioned research indicates that THC is a helpful cannabinoid for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Based on the pharmacological analysis, THC relieves the pain caused by chemotherapies by more than 19%.
THC aids in increasing the appetite of patients after chemotherapy. In a San Francisco based General Hospital conference, it was stated that “Cannabis is the only anti-nausea medicine that increases appetite. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a cancer patient who has nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, depression, and insomnia.” (Abrams, 2013).
Medical Cannabis for Other Health Conditions
Apart from cancer, medical cannabis may also be helpful for other health conditions such as:
According to research by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), medical cannabis may stabilize blood pressure, balance blood sugar levels, and strengthen overall blood circulation.
Depression is a common mental condition in the US today, with many people being unaware of effective coping mechanisms. Cannabinoids in cannabis may improve mood which may ease the effects of depression.
Medical cannabis is considered potentially safe for individuals with autism. For children and teenagers, medical cannabis helps them calm down and relax.
Medical cannabis may help in preventing seizures in people who suffer from epilepsy. Exactly how it happens is still unclear though.
Individuals diagnosed with ADHD tend to lose concentration and have problems with maintaining attention and overall performance. Medical cannabis may help them gain focus.
Medical cannabis may be effective in mitigating tremors and the pain that comes with Parkinson’s disease. It may help in refining motor skills and may help patients sleep better.
Cannabis Made Products for Cancer
There is a large variety of products made out of cannabis plants to help reduce cancer pain. Some of them can be purchased for medical use such as CBD oil.
CBD oil is obtained from hemp which is a type of cannabis sativa plant. CBD oil does not have psychoactive properties and it does not cause intoxication. Adversely, CBD oil is known for its therapeutic benefits.
At the current time, there is still no evidence that CBD Oil can cure or alleviate the effects of cancer. This is due to the fact that existing studies have not been able to present solid conclusions.
Apart from cancer, CBD oil may help people suffering from migraines in mitigating their pain.
CBD oil has some potential side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and Loss of appetite. These potential side effects do not pose any critical risks to health; they depend on the frequency of the usage as well as the dosage of CBD oil. They are claimed to be temporary and do not last more than a few hours.
CBD oil with its potential benefits is not recommended for long term use as its efficiency reduces over time.
Although the legalization of medical cannabis products is always surrounded with speculation, CBD oil is legal in a lot of countries.
Summing It Up
The bottom line is that many researchers claim the importance of medical cannabis in reducing cancer pain, however, few are confident in the favourable results of the drug. There seems to be no harm in choosing medical cannabis as a last resort cancer treatment and as a treatment for other health conditions provided that the required legal steps are taken.
People can easily find various dispensaries near the Las Vegas strip, where experts have a comprehensive understanding of medical cannabis. Inyo is one of the best dispensaries in Vegas with a wide range of excellent cannabis products. We provide delivery and curbside pickup services for our valuable customers as well as in-store services that never disappoint.