How medical cannabis can aid cancer patients

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On National Cancer Survivors Day – Sunday, June 3, 2018 – cancer survivors and supporters in communities around the world will come together to celebrate life and raise awareness of the challenges faced by cancer survivors.

The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for your community to demonstrate that it has an active, productive cancer survivor population and to bring awareness to the challenges they face during and after treatment.

THC, and cannabinoid pharmaceuticals have been studied for several medical applications, including the treatment of nausea, pain, anorexia and weight loss, neurodegeneration and neuropathy. Anorexia and weight loss associated with cancer treatment can contribute to cancer-related fatigue, functional loss, impaired survival, and intolerance of treatment. Cannabis can be an effective supplement for those undergoing cancer treatment to alleviate the unpleasant side-effects of radiation and chemotherapy. The use of cannabis therapy may also aid in improved sleep quality and reduced anxiety, two factors that may coincide with cancer treatment.

We must explicitly declare, while there have been articles supporting the use of cannabis to cure cancer, these claims are not thoroughly supported, rather they may be testimonials not fully backed by science or medicine. We are in no way insinuating that cannabis can cure cancer, rather it acts as an aid to the symptoms associated with treatment.

THC and CBD mimic anandamide, a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate mood, pain, hunger and immunity. This naturally depletes over time, so cannabis helps to stimulate positive responses. THC acts on CB1 receptors, which have an effect on nerve tissues, while CBD acts on CB2 receptors, having an effect on the peripheral tissues. Because there are no CB1 receptors in the chemoreceptive trigger zone, low doses of THC can reduce nausea. THC can also have a positive effect on pain, nausea, vomiting and disordered eating. CBD acts on the peripheral system, it can reduce neurodegeneration, muscle spasticity and anxiety.

While synthetic cannabinoids are another treatment option, natural cannabinoids have longer and more prolific effects due to something called “the entourage effect”. Synthetic cannabinoids normally contain only one cannabinoid molecule, whereas natural cannabinoids contain multiple. Multiple molecules work to enhance the positive effects of cannabis.

Smoking cannabis may produce carcinogens, which could be harmful to those in remission or in treatment. Other ways to consume cannabis include edibles and vaporizing.

Please contact us if you have questions regarding medical cannabis and cancer.

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