Medical Cannabis: A Complementary Therapy for Cancer Patients

Cannabis is a family of plants from which hemp and marijuana come. It has been in use as a herbal cure since time immemorial. Marijuana comprises many biologically active components that scientists identified. These components are also known as cannabinoids. Two of the most researched cannabinoids are:

·      CBD.

·      THC.

Scientists continue to study other cannabinoids. Unfortunately, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues categorizing marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means it cannot be legally subscribed to, sold, or possessed under federal law. But some cannabinoids are FDA-approved.

Medical Cannabis vs. Cancer

Marijuana is effective in treating vomiting and nausea commonly associated with cancer chemotherapy. The information is according to a few small studies of smoked cannabis. Other studies have also shown that inhaled (vaporized or smoked) cannabis can help treat neuropathic pain.

It is a pain that you experience due to damaged nerves. It is well-reported to help improve HIV patients’ food intake. Test subjects in clinical trials that used marijuana extracts tend to be less dependent on pain medicine. This is according to other studies.

THC and cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) slow the progression or even cause the demise of certain cancer cells grown in laboratory dishes. This is according to studies done more recently. A few animal studies also show that some cannabinoids slow the progression and decrease the spread of certain cancers. Recently, scientists have conducted early clinical trials treating specific cancers in humans using cannabinoids, and more studies are underway.

Cannabis Drugs

Some chemically pure drugs comprising compounds in marijuana are presently legal for medical use in the United States. They include:

Nabilone (Cesamet®)

It is a human-made cannabinoid that works like THC. You can take it by mouth to treat vomiting and nausea due to chemotherapy when other treatments have failed.

Dronabinol (Syndros®/Marinol®)

It is a drug that has been FDA-approved and contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Like Nabilone, it is effective in treating vomiting and nausea as a result of cancer chemo. It also treats weight loss and improves food intake in individuals with HIV.


It is a cannabinoid medication still undergoing studies in the U.S. It comprises a whole-plant extract with CBD and TCH in almost equal proportions. Offered in the form of a mouth spray, the drug is already available in parts of Europe and Canada. It is mainly used to treat cancer-related pain and multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms. Nabiximols is not yet approved in the U.S. but is undergoing clinical trials.

Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Cancer Patients

Some of the benefits of using medical cannabis as a complementary therapy for cancer patients include the following:

·      Antioxidant Effects: Phytocannabinoids have antioxidant effects on your body. Cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy tend to induce oxidative stress. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, help protect your cells from getting damaged.

·      Relaxation: Cannabis is well known for its relaxing effects on your body. THC is the component responsible for making patients feel euphoric and lightening their moods.

Cannabis can be an effective complementary therapy for cancer patients and is available in various forms.

For more on medical cannabis for cancer patients, visit WellGreen Cannabis at our Palm Coast, Florida office. Call (386) 585-4866 to schedule an appointment today.

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