There are at least 10 good reasons why cancer patients ask for medical cannabis recommendations. While the verdict is still out on whether or not cannabis can treat or cure cancer, there are many ways in which the herb is beneficial for cancer patients. Here are 10 ways cannabis can make life with cancer a little easier.
Chronic pain is among one of the most severe side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. It’s also one of the most common reasons why patients seek out medical cannabis recommendations.
In fact, in a survey of 271 Canadian medical cannabis patients found that 60 percent of respondents opted to use cannabis to manage symptoms over pharmaceutical drugs.
Of that 63 percent, 30 reported that they preferred cannabis to prescription painkillers. Prescription painkillers are often prescribed to cancer patients to manage their symptoms even though cannabis, which is considered a less-addictive and non-toxic alternative, exists as a potential treatment option.
2. Nausea and vomiting
There is no doubt that chemotherapy and radiation treatments are grueling. Intense nausea and vomiting are perhaps two of the most debilitating side effects of the cancer treatments.
Human studies have shown that multiple cannabis compounds have antiemetic properties and successfully reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
In fact, cannabis compounds were so successful that pharmaceutical companies even created synthetic versions to legally sell to patients undergoing chemotherapy. This drug is marketed as Marinol.
3. Skin irritations
Feeling itchy? Developing a skin rash? These irritating ailments are common in patients undergoing conventional cancer treatments. The compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids, are potent anti-inflammatory agents. This means that they may be helpful for calming minor inflammation-based allergic reactions like allergic dermatitis.
Interview research of cancer patients using medical cannabis treatments found that patients reported relief from itchy side effects. While most patients consumed oral or inhaled cannabis, the herb can also be applied topically in balms and salves. Topical cannabis application does not cause a psychotropic “high.”