Cancer and Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana helps cancer pain relief for patients in several ways. By alleviating the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy, relieving pain, improving mood and outlook, and in some cases, attacking cancer cells, patients have experienced medical marijuana bringing temporary relief to their symptoms.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy report that medical marijuana relieves spasms, promotes appetite, and reduces nausea and vomiting.

Marinol, a synthetic cannabis drug prescribed to treat nausea, does not contain the other ingredients of whole-plant cannabis that reduce side effects and provide other benefits.

Medical marijuana can be used to relieve cancer pain that is resistant to opiate pain killers. Cancer pain has several causes, including inflammation, nerve injury, and tumor growth invading bone and other sensitive tissue. It is chronic and persistent. Cannabinoids act on the body in a different way from opiates, reducing inflammation and stimulating the body to produce a natural analgesic. Medical marijuana does not have the negative side effects of opiate use, such as constipation and confusion. The body does not develop tolerance as it does to opiate drugs, requiring stronger and stronger doses to achieve the same level of comfort.

There is increasing evidence that for some types of cancer cells, medical marijuana triggers apoptosis, the process by which cells kill themselves and are naturally cleaned up by the body. Cancer cells with cannabinoid (CB)1 or CB2 receptors react to the presence of THC or CBD, the two most active ingredients in medical marijuana.

Studies have indicated that some liver, prostate, lung, pancreatic, oral, and colon cancer cells have CB1 and CB2 receptors. Abnormal immune cells in blood cancers such as leukemia also have CB1 and CB2 receptors. Some breast cancers have receptors for CBD. Numerous studies have found that medical marijuana has the potential to kill cancer cells.

Please note that the response of cancer cells to cannabinoids is sensitive to dosage. Treatment should be closely monitored by your doctor.

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The passing of Florida Amendment 2 now allows for Florida patients to now take advantage of Medical Marijuana as an alternative treatment for cancer pain relief!

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Cancer Pain Relief and Medical Marijuana Further Reading


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