Malnutrition and the Role of Medical Marijuana

Cancer patients are greatly affected with two syndromes: appetite loss and wasting. These conditions unfortunately reduce quality of life and at worst hasten death. Because patients are unable to take in food that their physical bodies need, the symptoms oftentimes become even more unbearable than the sickness itself. It is for this reason that researchers are in the quest to discover possibilities of medical marijuana addressing these medical conditions to help patients alleviate pain and corresponding syndromes associated with cancer disease.

There is 50 to 80 per cent probability of patients developing cachexia, an unequal loss of body tissues considered to be lean, depending on the type of cancer. Cachexia occurs oftentimes during the concluding stages of highly developed lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Stimulating the wasting process are cytokines, proteins which are generated by the body’s immune system as a reaction to tumor. Both AIDS and cancer patients presently are given similar treatments in case cachexia happens as an outcome of HIV infection.

“Having the munchies” or having the ability to stimulate appetite is what marijuana is really renowned of. Such effect is ultimately because of THC’s action as confirmed in a number of studies. Patients with cancer who have taken THC in its dronabinol form were inclined to experiencing a slowing weight loss and an appetite increase. Other patients could also take advantage of combination therapy which consists of cytokine blocker integrated with THC, to enhance appetite and to a greater possibility reduce anxiety, pain, and nausea.

The primary advantage of cannabinoids is in their power to alleviate numerous symptoms at once, being significant as an addition to the drugs that are stronger. Patients who had poor responses to usual antiemetics may benefit greatly from cannabinoids as a helpful alternative. Likewise, because cannabinoids shown to suppress vomiting and nausea through a variety of mechanisms than other antiemetic compounds, there is also a probability that cannabinoids may be capable to contribute to the effectiveness of higher medications.

The IOM team has suggested the advancement of a drug delivery system that is a rapid-onset that could give the advantages of inhaling cannabinoids devoid of the effects of harmful smoking. The IOM team has resolved that the dangerous effects of smoking marijuana to relieve chemotherapy-induced vomiting might be overshadowed by the benefits of antiemetics. They suggested that such patients be assessed on case-to-case basis and those who qualify the mentioned conditions could be given marijuana for use under strict medical supervision.

  • There is logical probability that the patient’s symptoms would be eased through inhaling cannabinoids
  • Treatment of patients are facilitated within close medical supervision and that their treatment is evaluated for effectiveness
  • An institutional review board oversees all the treatments, which consists of scientists who are experts in the fields being studied yet are not involved in the particular study being assessed, as required for all federally funded research involving human subjects – the review board only approves studies that it will not abuse the welfare and rights of participants.

The harms of smoking are unrelated for the terminally ill. There are actually no grounds to disallow marijuana to a person who is nearing death, from a medical standpoint.

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