The medical progress in the search for a cure for cancer is an ongoing pursuit. Up until today, there is no known most effective remedy to the most heart-breaking and life-altering disease. In 2018, more than 1,700,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the US and more than 600,000 are expected to die from the disease. Unfortunately, the numbers just keep on growing. Nonetheless, there are relative treatments available to cancer patients to help ease their battle with the disease - among them is the use of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana has been around for some time and has been used to treat different ailments. The benefits of marijuana to cancer patients vary, but above all, it calms patients in spite of the hard-hitting disease.
There are different compounds found in marijuana and each have varying effects to the human body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the common agent found in marijuana and it causes the “high” sensation. THC can also help relieve pain and nausea, reduce inflammation, and can act as an antioxidant. Meanwhile, Cannabidiol, or CBD, can counteract the high sensation caused by THC and can also ease the patient’s anxiety or paranoia.
Treating cancer requires a lot of endurance and patience. Because of the ongoing medical research for a cure for cancer, a patient must be open and willing to accept different methods of treatment. Chemotherapy is among the most common medical practice to treat cancer as it attempts to eliminate the cancer cell through drugs. Although many cases have shown that chemotherapy has an almost 50% success rate, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that going through chemotherapy often implies a difficult living condition for most patients. Aside from common symptoms like hair loss, loss of appetite, and fatigue, chemotherapy would also bring health complications like diarrhea, mouth sores, and overall head and bodyache. Moreover, studies have shown that taking marijuana can help relieve a patient’s nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, especially if it is inhaled. THC and CBD are not primary treatment for cancer, however, it can be helpful to a patient’s recovery process.
Recent studies have also found that THC and other CBDs have slowed the growth of cancer cells. However, there is little to no solid proof of its effectiveness as a sole treatment for cancer. The American Cancer Society supports the campaign to have further research into how marijuana can be a cure for cancer. The ongoing research on medical marijuana as a treatment for cancer provides hope for those who are yet to be free from the disease.
It’s vital to consult the doctor first before taking medical marijuana to treat cancer or its symptoms. Any medical decision over cancer treatment should be between the patient and the doctor. Proper information and background on the effects of medical marijuana on cancer should be discussed thoroughly to make a well-informed decision over the matter. It is also essential that the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the harm. Although there are medical agents to the use of marijuana, there is also harm when taken past moderation and reach the level of abuse. The use of medical marijuana as cancer treatment also depends on the patient’s type of cancer. If the patient has lung, testicular, or bladder cancer, then chances are marijuana will be more damaging than beneficial to the patient’s treatment.
There’s no denying the convenience medical marijuana presents to cancer patients. Medical marijuana is not only helpful to cancer patients but also other patients suffering from chronic pain. Cancer patients have suffered and continue to suffer because of the painful implications that come with the disease. Medical marijuana alleviates cancer patients’ pain and nausea when they are being treated through chemotherapy. It also helps with their anxiety and worries regarding their condition. As medical research continues, for now, marijuana can only be used to suppress the painful and exhausting symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Any advances in the field of medicine to treat cancer are being welcomed by patients and their loved ones who are hopeful that one day patients won’t have to suffer anymore.