Cannabis Reduced Pain, Improved Quality Of Life For Cancer Patients In New Study

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

According to an Israeli study from Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Centre which involved hundreds of palliative care cancer patients, cannabis reduced pain and increased quality of life. Researchers looked at data from March 2015 to February 2017 which involved 1,152 cancer patients who used cannabis as a medicine. The patients first met with nurses, and then had follow-up phone interviews a month after and six months after. Before the treatment, 50.2% of patients experienced pain rated between 8-10, with 0 as painless and 10 as unimaginably painful. Six months later, only 5% still reported pain within the 8-10 range. Additionally, prior to cannabis treatment, only 19% of patients rated their quality of life as “good.” After six months of cannabis treatment, however, this percentage jumped to 70%. Although 1,152 patients participated in phone interviews, there were actually 3,357 patients who started the palliative cannabis care during the study. However, 903 patients died, 483 patients stopped cannabis treatment, and 339 reported feeling dizziness, dry mouth, and tiredness.

This reminds us that cannabis may not be the best treatment option for everyone. To determine whether or not cannabis treatment might work for you, our app can help! With this journaling tool, you can keep track of the dosing amount, cannabinoid ratio, and frequency of usage to document which combinations provide desirable relief and which combinations produce unwanted side effects. In this way, you can figure out the dosing routine with consistently makes you feel the way you want to feel. We recommend journaling daily for the most accurate results.

This information has been provided in part by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. This post does not represent an endorsement by Civilized for any CannaBest Medical products.

Rates of marijuana, prescription opioid use higher among patients with cancer

Photo Credit: Health Mil

Photo Credit: Health Mil

A new study published in the journal Cancer has found rates of marijuana use have increased significantly among cancer patients, likely as a result of expanding cannabis access. The study looked at data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to study self-reported marijuana and prescription use trends between 2005 and 2014 among cancer patients and those without cancer, who were the controls. The survey involved 19,604 respondents between 20-60 years old. The 826 patients with cancer averaged 47.4 years old and were 66.7% women, and the 1,652 patients noncancer controls with similar propensity scores averaged 46.7 years old and 66% were women. Compared to controls, more patients with cancer reported using marijuana in the past year (40.3% in cancer patients vs 38% in controls) and current marijuana use (8.7% in cancer patients vs 6.6% in controls). Between the 2005 and 20014, marijuana use among cancer patients increased 118%, while there was only a 12.5% increase among the controls. It’s important to note that while opioid use increased among both cancer patients and controls, researchers calculated opioid use based on prescription access and did not account for potential abuse.

Those with cancer were also more likely to use prescription opioids than those without. Chief of the central nervous system tumor and liver tumor services at UC San Diego Health Jona Hattangadi-Gluth explains, “Medical marijuana legalization has previously been associated with a reduction in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting that if patients are, in fact, substituting marijuana for opioids, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality… Of course, it will also be important to identify risks and adverse effects of marijuana, which has not previously been studied in large randomized clinical trials, given it’s scheduling as a class 1 controlled substance.” He continues, “These data provide the first insight into marijuana and opioid use over time in people with cancer across the United States… Prospective clinical trials are needed to quantify the efficacy of marijuana in cancer-specific pain as well as the risk [for] opioid misuse in this patient population.”

This information has been provided by Healio and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Marijuana Can Help Children with Seizures, Cancer Nausea

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests medical marijuana can treat seizures and reduce chemotherapy-related nausea in adolescents. The study analyzed 22 studies related to the use of marijuana as a therapy for children and young adults, and found THC improved nausea and vomiting in young patients undergoing chemotherapy, which CBD was beneficial for treating seizures. This information is especially welcomed for children who have not responded well to other treatment options. While cannabis was seen as beneficial for young patients suffering cancer or epilepsy, the review did not find promising information regarding its use in pediatrics for the treatment of neuropathic pain, PTSD, and Tourette’s syndrome.

On the other hand, the review found cannabis may present certain harms for young patients, and one of the study’s lead authors, Dr. Shane Shucheng Wong, explains, “Our research supports the AAP’s concerns that cannabis can be harmful to children’s brains… Studies of children and adolescents who use recreational cannabis, particularly frequent use of high potency cannabis over longer periods of time, suggest negative effects on learning, memory, attention, and problem-solving ability.” Because of this, there should be extra care in following proper dosing guidelines. That’s where our CannaBest Medical smartphone app can be extra useful! With it, you can keep track of the amount of cannabis used, the frequency of its use, the cannabinoid composition, and the preferred vehicle for administration, so that you can discover the most appropriate treatment regimen. Journal daily for the most accurate results.

This information has been provided in part by HealthLine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. The views expressed in this post do not reflect an endorsement by HealthLine for our product.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 1.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Medical marijuana is now being touted for having a wide range of medicinal benefits that allow it to provide therapeutic relief for many different conditions. In this four part series, we will take an in depth look at many of the medical conditions it is capable of treating.

One of the most commonly cited and widely approved conditions for marijuana use is chronic pain. Marijuana is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing pain and providing relief for the conditions that cause it, like arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and migraines. Medical marijuana is also used for treating glaucoma, a condition that affects sight and can damage the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye. Studies have found marijuana decreases intraocular eye pressure by 25-30%, and scientists believe its neuroprotective properties could prevent the optic nerve from getting damaged. Medical marijuana may also help those suffering from liver disease. The cannabinoid CBD can prevent liver fibrosis, while THC may be able to help improve the symptoms associated with cholestatic liver disease.

Marijuana is also promoted as a hero for cancer patients, mainly for its ability to reduce the nausea and vomiting accompanying chemotherapy treatments. Even more exciting, in rodent models, THC and cannabinoids have been found to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. In other rodent models, THC reduced tumor size. Contrary to what has long been claimed by prohibitionists about cannabis’ relationship to schizophrenia, studies have found non-psychoactive compounds like CBD may actually benefit psychosis. CBD is antipsychotic and generally well tolerated. But be careful, as THC may actually exacerbate symptoms. Lastly, recent clinical trials have found medical marijuana help those with multiple sclerosis by combatting muscle spasticity, reducing pain, and improving sleep quality.

That concludes today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana, but there’s still so much more to discuss! Tune into the following post where we will look at more conditions where medical marijuana’s usage is applicable. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cancer Patients in Seattle Effectively Treat Symptoms with Cannabis

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Information coming from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle has found of 926 patients at the Seattle Cancer Centre Alliance in Washington State, nearly a quarter self medicate with cannabis to treat symptoms like physical pain, nausea, stress, insomnia, and depression. In the study, which was published in the journal Cancer, 24% of patients used cannabis within the year, and 21% within the month. Around 66% had used it at some time in their lives. Three-quarters of those surveyed also expressed interest in learning about cannabis from reliable sources like healthcare professionals.

Investigators also found most patients were not receiving their information from healthcare professionals, leading researcher Dr. Steven Pergam to state, “Cancer patients desire but are not receiving information from their cancer doctors about marijuana use during their treatment, so many of them are seeking information from alternate non-scientific sources… We hope that this study helps to open up the door for more studies aimed at evaluating the risks and benefits of marijuana in this population ... This is important, because if we do not educate our patients about marijuana, they will continue to get their information elsewhere.”

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Harnessing the Powers of the Body’s Endocannabinoid System to Fight Cancer

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Research surrounding the use of cannabis for the treatment of cancer is scarce, but what has been conducted offers hopes into the potential of this alternative therapy to enhance current treatments, reduce the side effects associated with them, and even slow the progression of cancer cells or kill cancer cells without harming the body’s normal cells. One study from St. George’s University of London found the cannabinoids THC and CBD weakened cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment.

Another study conducted at the University of Sheffield has found inhibiting enzymes that breakdown endocannabinoids, like monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) which is found in healthy tissues throughout the body, will reduce the growth of a variety of cancer cells in mice. A paper from 2011 concluded MAGL blocking drugs resulted in the increased production of endocannabinoids in healthy cells and in cancer cells, and slowed the progression of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Lead researcher Aymen Idris explains there may be a risk to using such drugs, however, in that they make produce psychotic symptoms similar to those experienced by cannabis users. To reduce this risk, they hope to develop drugs that will only enter and accumulate in tumor cells. Idris is hopeful of their studies, saying, “Treatment with drugs that stop the body breaking down its own cannabis in peripheral tissues, or drugs that mimic the action of natural cannabis outside the brain may be a fruitful way to develop safer cannabis drugs for treating cancer.”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

National Cancer Institute Lists Cannabis as Potential Cancer Treatment

Photo Credit: Flickr/NIH Image Gallery

Photo Credit: Flickr/NIH Image Gallery

The National Cancer Institute has updated its website to include information acknowledging that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells without affecting normal cells. The website now lists several preclinical trials that reference the potential for cannabis to fight cancer, many of which have been conducted on rodents and have found CBD can induce breast cancer cell death without affecting normal breast cells, cannabinoids can decrease the growth, number, and spread of tumors, and cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, preventing cell growth, and keeping blood vessels from contributing to tumor growth.

The site also mentions two cannabis-based medications that have been approved by the FDA, dronabinal and nabilone, that are intended to treat the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Additionally, CBD alone and CBD in combination with THC may be able to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy and increase cancer cell death. Unfortunately, because cannabis is still Schedule I, the institution does not advocate its use for cancer treatment, and says clinical trials are still left to be desired.

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis for Cancer: Medicating Without the High

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Thanks to the various cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis, cancer patients may find an alternative treatment option for their conditions without experiencing any psychoactive high. Different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes could have positive implications for cancer treatment. Although THC produces the high that most consumers associate with marijuana, the properties of CBD and the cannabinoid CBG may be able to buffer against these effects. CBG, like CBD, also offers anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have partnered with CURE Pharmaceutical to better understand the best cannabinoids for cancer-specific treatments. The use of cannabinoids as a supplementary treatment option for those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation could have huge benefits in not only reinforcing the cancer fighting capabilities of these treatments, but also in combatting the horrible side effects that accompany them. 

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Examines How Cannabinoids Elicit Anti-Cancer Effects

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A recent research review led by Dr. Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University of Madrid and published in Current Oncology looked into previous studies that examined the molecular mechanisms of the actions cannabinoids use to combat cancer. In the review, the researchers discuss how THC and CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors to initiate chemical reactions that suppress tumor growth. To highlight the importance of the CB1 receptor, one animal study found removing CB1 receptors accelerates tumor growth in the intestines. Another found cannabinoids that interact with CB1 receptors reduce levels of cancerous precursors. Additionally, the removal of enzymes that harm cannabinoids results in the reduction of tumor growth in mice. Through binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors, cannabinoids impair the progression of tumors and induce apoptosis which kills cancer cells and prevents them from spreading.

Other preclinical studies have found cannabinoids stimulate the production of ceramide, a compound known to induce apoptosis, and enhance the expression of p8 (NUPR 1), a stress regulated protein that stimulates autophagy mediated cancer cell death and regulates tumorigenesis and tumor progression. CBD is also able to promote apoptotic death in cancer cells independently of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Cannabinoids also work together with anticancer drugs to reduce tumor growth, and THC and CBD when combined with radiotherapy or cancer drugs enhance anti-cancer effects. Valesco Concludes, “To summarize, cannabinoids induce tumour cell death and inhibit tumour angiogenesis and invasion in animal models of cancer, and there are indications that they act similarly in patients with glioblastoma... Given that cannabinoids show an acceptable safety profile, clinical trials testing them as single drugs, or ideally, in combination therapies in glioblastoma and other types of cancer are both warranted and urgently needed.”

 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc, and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can find the full text of the study here.

Researchers Find Evidence That Cannabinoids Help Treat Cancerous Tumors

Photo Credit: Max Pixel (https://bit.ly/2tb5HQg).

Photo Credit: Max Pixel (https://bit.ly/2tb5HQg).

Researchers from the University of London have determined cannabinoids not only support chemotherapy treatment but also decrease the growth of new tumors. In the study, which was led by Dr. Wai Liu and published in the International Journal of Oncology, a team of researchers observed the effects of different cannabinoid combinations on leukemia cells in order to determine whether or not cannabinoids enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy treatments and to see in which order they worked most effectively. They concluded cannabinoids had an extremely positive impact on the success of chemotherapy, especially when taken after treatments. Not only did cannabis enhance chemotherapy treatments, but it also prevented the growth of new tumor cells and tumor-feeding blood vessels. The team extended their findings through studies involving cannabis-based extracts on animals, and found cannabinoids could be equally effective for glioblastoma.

While this information is positive, patients must understand that the study involved concentrated and purified cannabis extracts, so simply smoking cannabis probably would not produce the same results. If you're using medical marijuana to treat your cancer symptoms or combat tumor growth, we want to know! Whether you're using extracts or another vehicle of cannabis consumption, the anonymous information you provide could help the medical marijuana community better understand how to use the therapy to treat cancer and alleviate its symptoms. By journaling daily, you can provide vital data to physicians, researchers, and other patients, all while keeping your personal information completely private. Additionally, you'll discover insights into your own unique dosing regimen so that you can discover the most consistent and effective method for you. 

This information has been provided in part by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Terpene Profile: Pinene

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

Pinene is one of the more common terpenes found in nature, and it is often used as a building block for other terpenes and even for cannabinoids. Alone, it is said to provide increased energy and alertness, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, and aid in mental focus, memory retention. Pinene serves as a bronchodilator and expectorant, making it a viable option for treating asthma and bronchitis. Additionally, pinene may have anti-cancer properties. In an issue of Journal of Pharmacological Science from 2015, a report from researchers at Guangdong Pharmaceutical University in China found pinene's anti-cancer activity significantly inhibited liver cancer cell growth.

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis Juicing

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

There are a wide range of vehicles available to medical marijuana patients, and each method offers its own unique benefits. One such method gaining in popularity among the medical marijuana community is cannabis juicing, which involves juicing the raw form of cannabis in order to extract its cannabinoids without experiencing any psychoactive effects. When consuming the raw form of cannabis, patients can access unique cannabinoids that disappear when the plant is heated, like THCA, CBDA, and CBG, which are known to help immune and cell function. Juicing cannabis only works with fresh leaves and flowers that have not been cured or age, and it can take days to weeks before its benefits can take effect.

It is believed cannabis juice may be able to treat depression, anxiety, dementia, stroke, insomnia, fatigue, cancer, pain, diabetes, and immune system disorders. It is also a powerful dietary supplement. Because cannabis juice is non-psychoactive, patients can ingest more of it without feeling unwanted side effects, and can therefore ingest higher amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis juice contains cannabinoids in their acidic forms, and while research is still lacking, what does exist suggests there may be a wide array of therapeutic benefits. THCA has shown promise in treating pain and inflammation, nausea and appetite loss, acting as an anti-proliferative against prostate cancer, and protecting against nerve degeneration. CBDA may also treat nausea and fight the growth of cancerous tumors. 

Cannabis juicing may not be for those diagnosed with kidney or gallbladder disorders, and it can interfere with certain medications. For more information about cannabis juice and for recipes or instructions, visit Leaf Science. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Three Different Cannabinoid-Based Medicines Approved by the FDA

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

There are many patients who may want to begin cannabinoid therapy but live in states where cannabis remains inaccessible. Luckily, the FDA has recognized cannabinoids may be effective in treating AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, cancer, and chemotherapy-induced nausea, and so they have approved of three cannabinoid-based medications using isolated synthetics: Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet. 

Marinol, which is the oral form of dronabinol (a synthetic THC), is used to treat anorexia resulting from weight loss in patients with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who don't respond well to antiemetic treatments. Syndros is a newly approved liquid form of dronabinol, and it is used to treat the same conditions as marinol. Cesamet is a nabilone medication that targets the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in order to reduce proemetic signaling, and thereby reduce nausea and vomiting. There are still cannabinoid-derived medications going through clinical trials and awaiting FDA approval. 

While these medications may be able to offer some of the relief that cannabinoids are able to, they are unable to provide some of the benefits that can only be offered by natural and/or whole plant cannabis. To learn more about these medications, their contraindications, and where the FDA stands on medical marijuana, visit Medical Jane. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Conditions Medical Marijuana Could Help

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical cannabis is full of chemical compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system. The different concentrations of compounds allow the plant to have a wide array of different effects, which make cannabis suitable for many different conditions and symptoms, or even combat the side effects of other treatment regimens. For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis can alleviate side effects associated with the treatment like fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Similarly, HIV/AIDS treatment regimens produce similar side effects that can be alleviated by medical cannabis. 

Patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience neurological problems and muscle spasms. Medical Cannabis can help alleviate these symptoms, which can allow patients to gain control over their muscles, regain bladder control, improve vision and mobility, and thereby improve their overall quality of life. Cannabis can help those with epilepsy by reducing the frequency of seizures and even, at times, eliminating them all together. Studies have found CBD is an effective treatment option even in those who suffer from forms that had previously proven treatment-resistant. Chronic pain accompanies a wide range of conditions, but research has found cannabis can be as effective as pharmaceutical options. This offers patients a safer alternative to dangerous pharmaceuticals like opioids. Lastly, some patients with depression or anxiety could benefit from the relaxing properties high-CBD strains of cannabis. 

This information has been brought to you by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

GW Pharmaceuticals Shows Cannabis Effective Against Cancer

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

The pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals has been testing a cannabis-based medication for a few years, and now they've announced their findings have proven the medication is effective in reducing the mortality rate of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a brain cancer. Symptoms of the illness range from headaches to personality changes, and many diagnosed with it are only expected to live less than two years, but GW Pharmaceuticals suspects their medication is helping to expand this lifespan. CEO Justin Gover says, "We believe that the signals of efficacy demonstrated in this study further reinforce the potential role of cannabinoids in the field of oncology and provide GW with the prospect of a new and distinct cannabinoid product candidate in the treatment of glioma."

The results of the study, however, do not suggest that the cannabinoids are alone responsible for these results. In the trial phase, patients were given a combination of THC and CBD to supplement an oral chemotherapy drug called Temozolomide. Of the patients who received this mixture, 83% experienced a one-year survival rate, a large difference from the 53% survival rate of patients given placebo. 

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

3 Pain Conditions Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

For those who suffer from debilitating pain and want a safe option for relief, they may want to look to medical marijuana for pain relief without the addictive or harmful side effects of opioids. Medical marijuana can treat a wide range of pain conditions, including the pain caused by HIV/AIDS and cancer treatments, chronic pain, and pain caused by damaged nervous systems. Cannabidiol and delta-9-THC are already used in an oral spray called Sativex that is used to relieve severe cancer pain. Along with cancer patients, cannabis can also help HIV/AIDS patients by relieving pain, nausea, and increase appetite, and improving overall quality of life. In these cases, cannabis should not replace traditional treatment methods, but rather supplement them.

Patients who suffer from chronic pain can also benefit from cannabis use, and studies have found test subjects who take daily doses of medical marijuana report no ill-effects on their kidneys, livers, or hormonal function. They also report that cannabis is a successful treatment even when conventional therapies fail. Patients who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other debilitating disorders could benefit from medical cannabis. Lastly, cannabis helps those who suffer from pain in their central nervous system by treating the pain itself, but also by targeting other symptoms like sleep and anxiety.

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

FDA Approves Liquid Marijuana for AIDS and Cancer Patients

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

Photo Credit: High Times Magazine

There is now a new treatment option available to AIDS and cancer patients now that the FDA has approved of a liquid synthetic version of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC). The liquid THC synthetic, which will be sold under the name Syndros, could help treat "anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.” This new form of synthetic THC can be swallowed easily and is designed to be quickly absorbed, which is considered an improvement from the other synthetic cannabinoids that already exist like dronabinol. 

This medication is easily accessible as a Schedule III substance, meaning it has low risk for abuse and has medicinal value. That being said, for those who can access medical marijuana, there are benefits to using the whole natural cannabis plant due to its varieties of cannabinoids and terpenes that work synergistically in what is known as the entourage effect. Even Dr. Sanjay Gupta has said of marinol vs. whole plant cannabis, "When the drug became available in the mid-1980s, scientists thought it would have the same effect as the whole cannabis plant. But it soon became clear that most patients preferred using the whole plant to taking Marinol... Researchers began to realize that other components, such as CBD, might have a larger role than previously realized.”

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Can cannabis cure cancer? What the research says

Photo Credit: Jordan Greentree/Flickr

Photo Credit: Jordan Greentree/Flickr

While human clinical trials are sparse, there are several preclinical and animal trials that suggest cannabis can help combat various types of cancer and manage the symptoms associated with the diseases and their treatments. Rodent studies found cannabinoids inhibit tumor grown by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels, and cannabinoids can kill several types of cancer cells without harming normal cells. A trial on human glioma cells found CBD can enhance the effects of chemotherapy and increase cancer cell death. Additionally, cannabis stimulates appetite, offers pain relief, prevents nerve problems, reduces anxiety and facilitates sleep, and manage the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

The human trials on cannabis and cancer that exist focus on ways to manage the symptoms associated with cannabis and reduce the side effects associated with its treatments. There are two FDA-approved cannabinoid based drugs, Dronabinol and Nabilone, that are used to treat cancer. Trials have found both inhaled cannabis and cannabis oral sprays effectively treat the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Studies have also found cannabis can stimulate appetite, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and offer pain relief. While the use of cannabis for cancer is hopeful, there are some side effects that exist, including rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, muscle relaxation, blood shot eyes, slowed digestion, dizziness, depression, hallucinations, and paranoia. Additionally, smoking cannabis may negatively affect the lungs, and long use of cannabis may negatively affect the endocrine system and the reproductive system. 

Visit Health MJ for a more in depth look at the current state of cannabis research on cancer. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Survey: Pediatric Oncology Providers Favor Cannabis For Pediatric Treatment

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

Current research shows cannabis is a well tolerated and effective treatment option for treating a wide range of symptoms, including those caused by cancer and cancer treatments. While young cancer patients could benefit from this treatment option, many people are wary of the medication due to the potential negative side effects on children during their important development. Now, however, a survey presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2016 suggests more than nine in ten pediatric oncologists surveyed favor patient access to medical cannabis.

Over 300 of the 654 pediatric oncology providers from US cancer treatment centers in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington completed the survey, of which 92% said they were "willing to help pediatric cancer patients access medical marijuana." Over a third of the participants also said cannabis therapy is "appropriate in the early stages of cancer treatment." Authors of the survey concluded pediatric oncologists presented "predominantly favorable attitudes toward medical marijuana use in pediatric cancer patients."

This information has been adapted from NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Health Benefits of Cannabis

Photo Credit: iStock.com/LattaPictures

Photo Credit: iStock.com/LattaPictures

By now it's no surprise that cannabis can offer a wide range of medicinal benefits for a wide variety of illnesses and symptoms. Here are a few ways cannabis can help patients improve their health:

Cannabis has the ability to attack cancer cells. According to a study published in 2014 in the Molecular Cancer Therapies medical journal, researchers from St. George's University of London found marijuana killed certain cancer cells and reduced the size of others in animal trials. They found whole-plant extracts shrank some of the most serious types of brain tumors. Cannabis can also tackle arthritic pain, and Canada has been using it to treat arthritis since 2001. Those who suffer from lupus can benefit from cannabis' ability to manage chronic pain and reduce swelling. Contrary to the beliefs of many, cannabis is not as harmful on the lungs as previously thought. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found moderate amounts of cannabis consumption might actually improve lung capacity. Taking either CBD or THC before falling asleep can help improve one's overall sleep. Lastly, findings published in the American Journal of Medicine suggest cannabis can actually help you lose weight. 

This information has been adapted from Black Enterprise and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.