Cancer: Medical Marijuana’s Many Benefits

According to medical survey, an estimated 30 percent of the entire American population will have cancer in their lifetimes and though two-thirds will ultimately die as an outcome, a lot will still be able to live with cancer even for years earlier. It is for this main reason that researchers and scientists are not only in quest for medicines to avert and treat the disease but also discover drugs that would make life more comfortable and convenient for patients suffering from cancer.

The question whether marijuana is the answered medicine needs to be further explored. Several patients including their relatives, mostly of who do not have previous experience with marijuana, have attested that medical marijuana is indeed the answer. A woman, who is the author of a medical marijuana proposal way back in 1992 that was made as a basis for California’s Proposition 215, said that though she herself has no experience using the drug, she was prompted to take necessary actions by her husband’s battle with the disease which she has shared with the IOM team.

When her husband started chemotherapy, it was as if he got sicker because of the chemotherapy than he actually was because of the disease and only three months was given for him to live. When the oncologist approved of him using marijuana, she had to go through the back alley in order to acquire some and since the first marijuana she got was not that quite effective, she had to find a better quality of the drug. Two puffs of the marijuana would send her husband into chemotherapy with a nice smile on his face, coming home happy. Her husband died of cancer as expected but his wife puts it that using marijuana – a drug that he never thought of trying – made his latter months enough to bear.

Cancer patients who are marijuana-users claim that the drug helps them in a number of ways including suppressing vomiting, increasing appetite, quelling nausea, soothing anxiety, and relieving pain. Clinical studies show that marijuana possesses the evident benefit of simultaneously treating most of the symptoms. Medicines that are produced through specific chemicals in marijuana may as well be taken advantage of in order to supplement standard medications or to cure people with the disease who experienced failure in other therapies.

A number of considerable evidence appears that the drug could succumb to a range of helpful medicines particularly for vomiting, appetite stimulation, and nausea. The component THC, in Marinol (dronabinol) form, has constantly been utilized for over a decade already to cure symptoms in both patients with cancer or AIDS. However, other forms of cannabinoids or combinations of the same may be proven more effective than that of THC alone which means that any medicine that would be the result from these findings would benefit both AIDS and cancer patients.

For people with cancer, vomiting and nausea happen when one of many sensory centres that are situated in the digestive tract and the brain is stimulated. It is probable for patients to be nauseous without having to vomit or to vomit without becoming nauseous prior to that. Vomiting, which is also referred to as emesis, takes a complex coordination of the respiratory muscles, posture, and digestive tract. Since all the action can be measured, scientists have been able to recreate the chain of physiological activities that lead to vomiting.

Researchers who study the origins of nausea depend on the subjective descriptions of patients on their own feelings because little is known about the actual mechanisms that trigger the symptom which seems to result from brain activity alone. A majority of clinical studies being conducted then becomes aimed at alleviating the side effects of chemo that concentrates on the capability of candidate compounds to curtail or prevent vomiting as a result of such limitations.

Researchers suppose that the drugs and/or their digestive by-products rouse receptors in main sensory cells although they do not completely understand how chemotherapy agents cause vomiting. There are other agents which include cisplatin that cause almost each patient to vomit repeatedly. Some agents like methotrexate create this kind of effect in a small margine of patients going through chemotherapy. As is the case with drug mustine, vomiting can start only after a while of treatment or could reach until an hour after going through chemotherapy like that with cisplatin. Mostly, trials of antiemetics which are drugs which prevent vomiting are usually administered on patients who are treated with cisplatin, for the reason that medicines that has the ability to reduce the possibility of vomiting that follows cisplatin treatment tend to work to the least and the same is true with other chemotherapy agents.

Medical scientists have been able to test a number of cannabinoids for their capability in suppressing vomiting which include two forms of THC which are delta-9 and the less numerous delta-8 THC. Likewise, two artificial cannabinoids, levonantradol and nabilone, that make active the receptors same as THC have as well been assessed as possible antiemetics. These four compounds are proven to be effective to a mild extent in having to prevent vomiting after cancer chemotherapy. Two other clinical researches likewise showed that to a limited degree, marijuana smoking aids in suppressing emesis that is chemotherapy-induced. Additional studies that are less rigorous came to identical conclusions, that THC decreases the possibility of vomiting after chemotherapy to a limited extent. Nonetheless, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the medicine in Marinol in case that chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea are not alleviated by other medications that are antiemetic.

Although there were participants who claimed having unfavourable side effects which included low blood pressure, dry mouth, and sedation, medical marijuana advocates take a strong stand that when these kinds of patients obtain advanced guidance on marijuana’s effects, they hardly ever experience undesirable psychological response in their first time of using the drug. This claim may actually equally apply to the consequences of THC as marijuana’s chief psychoactive constituent.

Another study, that examined smoked marijuana in patients with cancer who were not aided by antiemetic drugs that were considered conventional, was conducted and results showed that almost 80 percent out of the 56 participants considered marijuana as “moderately effective” or “highly effective” as against to some antiemetics that they have previously used. These results must be considered approximate at best since this cluster of patients differs tremendously with regard to their chemotherapeutic regimen likewise with their previous experience with marijuana.

Breathing in THC through smoked marijuana is more effective in preventing vomiting than through swallowing a pill this is because if sever vomiting started right after chemotherapy, oral THC is not able stay down lengthy enough to start taking effect. Smoking on the other hand, lets patients take only the medicine they prefer, puffing one at a time, hence reduces the risk of side effects that are undesirable.

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