From history to modern research
You may have heard of the potential use of cannabis plants to treat cancer. Given that it is a herbal remedy people have traditionally used to treat many health problems for centuries, it comes as no surprise to see cancer on that list.
The truth remains that there is a correlation between cancer and cannabis – it is a harmony that can work in favour of the patients. The exact know-how of it is something that scientists are still determining, but the world is full of cancer patients who have found a new lease on life after adding cannabis to their lifestyle.
Even though more solid studies are needed, we cannot ignore the existing word-of-mouth evidence and scientific research. So let’s take a look at how cannabis can help with cancer.
Understanding the cannabis plant
Cannabis plants have different compounds that lead to different actions in our bodies. These are known as cannabinoids and there are over 100 such compounds identified. However, there are only two you need to know about:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – Non-psychoactive element associated with various health benefits
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – Responsible for the ‘high’ sensation when you smoke a joint or consume other THC products
These compounds can help reduce nausea, vomiting, chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, anxiety, paranoia, depression, among others.
How can cannabis help with cancer?
Cannabis interacts with us via the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is spread all over the body and is responsible for maintaining its internal stability/homeostasis. It is involved in several functions like sleep, appetite, mood, pain, inflammation, reproductive health, memory, etc.
The cannabinoids present in cannabis plants trigger the ECS differently, leading to our well aware effects.
Purely in the case of cancer, cannabis can help with the following:
1. Nausea & vomiting
If you know someone who has suffered from cancer, then chances are they may have gone through chemotherapy. You may have seen them nauseated and frequently vomit – something which is a common side effect of chemotherapy.
However, this can be reduced with cannabis. Research has indicated cannabinoids in the plant can greatly help reduce nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy and other treatments.
In fact, for the very same reason, the United States Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) has approved cannabis-based medications – Nabilone and Dronabinol – for treating nausea and vomiting caused by chemo.
Even taking simple cannabis products like CBD oil can reduce these symptoms.
2. Pain relief
The story of cannabis and pain is as old as time itself. It has been used to treat pain for thousands of years, thanks to its pain-reducing benefits.
Within the context of cancer, cannabinoids like THC and CBD have been shown to reduce pain linked to the disease.
Case in point, Sativex is another cannabis-based medicine approved in parts of Europe and Canada. It is used to treat cancer pain, alongside muscle spasms and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
If you are looking to use CBD for cancer pain, products like CBD oil, gummies, and topical creams are the way to go. As for the dosage, start with 40 mg per day (recommended dosage for treating pain) and then increase it to 45 mg after a week and so on. The idea here is to find the dosage that works the best for you
3. Improve appetite
If you consume marijuana frequently, you are more than familiar with ‘munchies.’ It is nothing but the increased hunger and appetite driven by the THC in your body.
Did you know that cannabis is highly useful in inducing appetite in cancer patients?
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments are often accompanied by weight loss, loss of appetite, and reduced hunger. Inhaling/consuming cannabis (with high quantities of THC) can re-stimulate hunger and encourage the patients to eat more food.
For instance, one of the other uses of Dronabinol is to treat poor appetite and weight loss in AIDS patients.
4. Anti tumour properties
Cannabis has anti-tumour properties, which makes it a fantastic agent in the fight against cancer.
Going by the data available so far, cannabis has reduced tumour growth rate in a few studies. In some cases, oncologists have also observed a reduction in the size of the tumour and systemic targeting of cancer cells without harming the nonmalignant cells.
These anti-tumour effects also depend greatly on the type of cancer and the concentration of the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and so on). In many cases, it has been also observed that CBD can help enhance anticancer activities of medications and treatments.
Moreover, a majority of these conclusions have come from preclinical models and animal studies. Nonetheless, these results are promising and have led to multiple clinical studies globally.
5. Improve mood, reduce depression
Battling cancer is difficult – it takes a toll on your body and mind. While we can’t do much about the body, we can certainly take care of our minds and ensure that we stay positive throughout the treatment.
Cannabis, particularly CBD, is known to treat anxiety and stress. Regular use of CBD can reduce your stress levels and make you more calm and relaxed – it happens because CBD can alter your serotonin levels. It also allows Anandamide – the so-called bliss molecule – to flow more freely in your body.
This state of mind is just as crucial if you want to beat cancer.
Let me share something with you.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer (rectum), I could clearly see that she wasn’t keeping well, especially when it came to her anxiety. Negative thoughts, depression, sadness – these were understandably the typical symptoms I saw in her.
You see, she had two operations. In the first one, doctors removed parts of her large intestines in a colostomy surgery. As a result, she had to excrete through a hole in the stomach in colostomy bags. At the same time, she was also told she has only six months to live. Imagine that!
However, being the warrior that my mom is, she never gave up. One day when she was reading a newspaper, she came across an article about a doctor who specialised in this field. She consulted him and soon, the second operation was performed.
This was more than 15 years ago and my mom is living a healthy, fun life. While she did manage to beat cancer eventually, I only wish I had the foresight to give her CBD during her treatment. If not anything else, I’m sure it would have made her calmer, peaceful, and less stressed.
How to take cannabis for cancer?
Suppose you are diagnosed with cancer and are looking to incorporate cannabis as a part of your treatment routine. In that case, we recommend consulting with your doctor beforehand – especially if you are on other cancer medications since it may interfere.
Moreover, it can also have some side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhoea, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and dizziness. However, it also depends on which compound of cannabis you are taking and in what dosage.
After all, if you have lung cancer, we do not recommend you smoke a joint to reduce your symptoms. Instead, you can consume it through oils and edibles.
CBD is well-tolerated in all doses, but THC comes with more side effects. CBD products are legal in Thailand.
As for THC, you will need a doctor’s prescription to buy THC-infused medications to treat your ailment.
If you are looking at cannabis for cancer, we recommend you start with CBD oil. Cannabidiol is not only non-psychoactive, but it also has plenty of benefits that can help with overall health.
Cannabis has proven a great resource in managing the symptoms of cancer and its treatments. However, we need more studies in addition to the existing data to validate the anticancer properties of marijuana. Nonetheless, the fact that it can help with the side effects of cancer treatments is a huge plus.
Moreover, CBD is a terrific anti-stress agent that can reduce your anxiety and depression, which is just as crucial in the fight against cancer. Thanks to the favourable cannabis laws in the country, patients can access quality products with ease and find a natural remedy to tackle cancer.
At Bloom, we are proud to present an online appointment booking system for prescribing THC oil. Through our online form stream, you will get in contact with a doctor who will assess your conditions and send you a prescription valid for three months.
Additionally, we also have high-quality CBD oil from some of the best suppliers of cannabis oil in Thailand.