Cannabis and Chemotherapy- What You Need to Know

Cannabis and Chemotherapy: What You Need to Know - July 25, 2022

With cannabis laws and regulations constantly changing throughout America, millions now have access to the herb. According to the CDC, at least 18% of the citizens consumed marijuana at least once in 2019. So, with acceptance and legalization on the rise, there have been an increasing number of studies focused on researching marijuana as a natural alternative to modern medicine. So far, people have found cannabis to be an effective treatment option for anxiety, PTSD and chronic pain. So, do these benefits extend to other medical conditions such as cancer?

Cancer is a disease that is often related to medical marijuana. Although it is said that the herb helps suppress the side effects of chemotherapy, some studies have also shown that it can kill cancerous cells. So, can chemotherapy patients rely on MMJ to provide them the much needed relief? Is cannabis and chemotherapy an effective combination? Keep reading to find out.

Cannabis and Chemotherapy Is It Safe to Consume?

cannabis and chemotherapy- is it safe

Cannabis in itself, is a safe herb – the key factor is knowing how to use it to feel the desired effects. An increasing number of cannabis patients have turned to weed to help them feel relieved of chemotherapy symptoms. CBD may also hold the ability to kill cancer cells.

Marijuana has a plethora of health benefits, which is why more and more states have begun legalizing the herb. This legalization comes with rules and regulations that ensure the quality of the products sold in the market. Thus, making it easier for users to safely consume cannabis.

This is one of the major benefits of getting an MMJ card, if you live in a medical state, you wouldn’t have to buy weed from sketchy places. Plus, you would save on a lot of tax, along with some other benefits.

This assurance of quality is a great relief for the people suffering from cancer and other serious diseases as the last thing they need is more health problems. Although there is still need for more research, doctors and other healthcare professionals have become very open to using cannabis as an aid to relieving chemotherapy symptoms.

If you are looking for a 420 doctor to inquire about its benefits, learn about the dosing, and much more, visit Online Medical Card. We provide consultations through telemedicine so you can get an MMJ card from the comfort of your home, and focus on your health.

So if you’re wondering if it is to use cannabis for relieving symptoms of chemotherapy, the answer is yes! However, it is crucial to remember that patients should not entirely replace their medicine with cannabis. Remember that the herb should be used to help improve the quality of your life by reducing the intensity of chemotherapy symptoms, not to cure the disease itself.

Using MMJ for Chemotherapy Symptoms

In most cancer patients, the disease itself doesn’t make them as miserable as the treatment. Chemotherapy is a vigorous treatment that can significantly impact one’s health, reducing the quality of their life. While there are many ways to deal with the symptoms, cannabis often shines through as a natural and equally, if not more, effective than conventional medicine.

Let’s take a quick look at the symptoms, and how marijuana helps relieve them.

Fatigue/ Tiredness

Chemotherapy patients often feel tired to the point of being unable to perform simple tasks, like walking to the washroom, unassisted. A research conducted by the University of Mexico, suggests that cannabis can help reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. Some marijuana strains are known to boost energy and help you feel creative again, so you aren’t stuck in a mental fog. Try these strains:

  • Mimosa
  • Jack Herer
  • Sour Diesel
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Super Lemon Haze

Nausea

According to cancer.org, Nausea is the most common side effect of chemotherapy, which can begin either minutes after the treatment or even after 24 hours. However, certain factors may decide how likely you are to experience it after chemotherapy. Nausea makes the patients highly uncomfortable, causing them great discomfort. Marijuana has been long used to help reduce nausea and vomiting. In fact, synthetic forms of THC, Dronabinol and Nabilone are use for Cannabinoid antiemetic therapy.

These strains work the best to combat this side effect:

  • OG Kush
  • Lavender
  • Headband
  • Jack Herer
  • Sour Diesel
  • Northern Lights
  • Super Lemon Haze

Loss of Appetite

Chemotherapy kills appetite as you would already be feeling nauseous and physically drained, you wouldn’t be able to eat well. Not eating leads to lack of energy, which further makes you feel emotionally and physically unwell. Cannabis helps fight this symptom with it’s ability to stimulate appetite. The following strains are great for regulating appetite:

  • Vader OG
  • Venom OG
  • Banana OG
  • Blue Dream
  • Skywalker OG
  • Amnesia Haze

Body Pain

As per research, CBD and THC both are known to relieve pain. Chemotherapy is followed by continuous pain and physical discomfort that lowers ones ability to perform daily functions. In that case, a patient can benefit from the pain-relieving properties of cannabis.

The best part is that you do not have to whither around in pain, waiting for the medication to work. Cannabis kicks in pretty quickly, and you would feel the effects almost instantly.

Strains with CBD > THC

  • Harlequin
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Stephen Hawking Kush
  • Sweet and Sour Widow

Strains with THC > CBD

  • Blue Widow
  • Purple Haze
  • Bubba Fett
  • Mother’s Milk

Related – Is Dabbing the Most Effective Way to Get Your Cannabis Medicine?

Furthermore, medical marijuana helps you feel better in many ways, such as boosting metabolism, regulating sleep, and more. Still, many people remain skeptical of its benefits, due to the misconception that they will “get high.”

To clarify, all cannabis does not get you high, and the strains with low THC and high CBD content will just help you feel better, rather than intoxicated.

Is Medical Marijuana the Right Choice for You?

is medical marijuana the right option for chemotherapy patients

Yes, and no. The answer will vary with individual factors such as age, history of use, genetics, metabolism, etc. that impact the final effects experienced by a user. Although vaping is the quickest method to administer cannabis, it is quite similar to smoking. So if you wish to consume marijuana without smoking it, don’t worry there are many ways you can do so. Let’s take a quick look at them.

  • Apply it topically using creams and ointments such as balms.
  • Stick transdermal patches to an area of discomfort for 6-12 hours of relief.
  • Inhaling the smoke from cannabis flower is the quickest way to feel relief but it also won’t last any longer than 2 hours.
  • Eat gummies/ edibles for results in the next 1-2 hours. They take a while to work but their effects stay for a very long time as well.

So there you have it! You can now explore cannabis to treat chemotherapy symptoms. Just make sure to do so under medical supervision for your safety.

Dr Xinming Fu

Dr. Xinming Fu, MD is an Internal Medicine Specialist from Santa Ana, CA. He is a graduate of the West China University. He understands how effective cannabis can be for people suffering from a number of different issues and has been a strong advocate for the matter. With more than 11 years of experience, he is a veteran in the field of medical cannabis.

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