Research Into Cannabinoids And Cancer
We need more research to know if cannabis or the chemicals in it can treat cancer.
Clinical trials need to be done in large numbers where some patients have the drug and some dont. Then you can compare how well the treatment works.
Many of the studies done so far have been small and in the laboratory. There have been a few studies involving people with cancer.
Cancer And Nausea And Vomiting
A cannabis based medicine, Nabilone, is a treatment for nausea and vomiting.
A Cochrane review in 2015 looked at all the research available looking into cannabis-based medicine as a treatment for nausea and sickness in people having chemotherapy for cancer. It reported that many of the studies were too small. Or not well run to be able to say how well these medicines work. They say that they may be useful if all other medicines are not working.
What Does The American Cancer Society Say About The Use Of Marijuana In People With Cancer
The American Cancer Society supports the need for more scientific research on cannabinoids for cancer patients, and recognizes the need for better and more effective therapies that can overcome the often debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment. The Society also believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids. Federal officials should examine options consistent with federal law for enabling more scientific study on marijuana.
Medical decisions about pain and symptom management should be made between the patient and their doctor, balancing evidence of benefit and harm to the patient, the patients preferences and values, and any laws and regulations that may apply.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network , the Societys advocacy affiliate, has not taken a position on legalization of marijuana for medical purposes because of the need for more scientific research on marijuanas potential benefits and harms. However, ACS CAN opposes the smoking or vaping of marijuana and other cannabinoids in public places because the carcinogens in marijuana smoke pose numerous health hazards to the patient and others in the patients presence.
Kramer JL. Medical marijuana for cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2014 Dec 10.
Last Revised: August 3, 2022
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Cannabis For Nausea And Vomiting
Cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy often cause nausea and vomiting. Additionally, drugs such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy often lead to the same outcome.
Chemotherapy has such a propensity to cause nausea and vomiting that this side effect has a name of its own chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting .
Depending on when it happens, CINV comes in many forms. For example:
- Acute nausea and vomiting: This occurs in minutes or hours after treatment. Particularly if the treatment was administered through IV infusion or taken orally.
- Delayed nausea and vomiting: Usually starts more than 24 hours after treatment and persists for a few days even after the treatment ends.
- Anticipatory nausea and vomiting: A conditioned response since the body has become used to nausea and vomiting during chemo. And, it can happen either before or after treatment.
- Breakthrough nausea and vomiting: This occurs within 5 days despite the administration of medicine to mitigate nausea and vomiting. Normally, the patient receives different drugs or a higher dose to deal with it.
- Refractory vomiting: Like Breakthrough CINV, refractory vomiting persists even after taking more doses of different types of antiemetic drugs. Often happens after Breakthrough CINV.
Nausea is believed to take place when there is stimulation in one of the sensory centers in the brain or digestive tract.
How does cannabis or CBD oil work to prevent nausea and vomiting?
How You Have It
- memory problems
Cannabis that contains high levels of THC can cause panic attacks, hallucinations and paranoia.
There are also many cannabis based products available online without a prescription. The quality of these products can vary. It is impossible to know what substances they might contain. They could potentially be harmful to your health and may be illegal.
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Anemia And Low Red Blood
Your body tissues receive oxygen from your red blood cells. When your red blood cells are low, it could lead to anemia. Anemia symptoms include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and tiredness. If you have severe anemia, you may have to get an urgent blood transfusion.
Your doctor may give you Erythropoietin which helps your body make more red blood cells. Another way to avoid anemia is by eating good food sources rich in iron like beans, nuts, leafy vegetables, raisins, meat and apricots.
Sativex And Temozolomide For A Brain Tumour That Has Come Back
In 2021, scientists reported the final results of a phase 1 study to treat people with recurrent glioblastoma . The study looked at Sativex in combination with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.
Researchers found that adding Sativex caused side effects, which included, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headache but patients found the side effects manageable.
They also observed that 83 out of 100 people were alive after one year using Sativex, compared to 44 out of 100 people taking the placebo.
However, this phase 1 study only involved 27 patients, which was too small to learn about any potential benefits of Sativex. The study wanted to find out if Sativex and temozolomide was safe to take by patients.
Researchers have now started a larger phase 2 trial called ARISTOCRAT, to find out if this treatment is effective and who might benefit from it. Speak to your specialist if you want to take part in a clinical trial.
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How Does Cannabis Interact With Chemotherapy Drugs
When cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are consumed orally, they interact with other medications that are processed by cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver. The interaction causes the levels of the other drug to rise, fall, or rise and then fall. Our bodies use CYP enzymes to metabolize 60% of the drugs on the market today, including all chemotherapy drugs and several anti-epileptic drugs, heart medications, and antifungal medications .
Chemotherapy drugs are cytotoxic, which means that they are toxic to all living cells. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill as many cancer cells as possible while minimizing the death of healthy cells. Because of the CYP interaction, patients who use cannabis medicine in conjunction with chemotherapy run the risk of having a different concentration of toxic chemicals in their blood than expectedmaking cannabis and chemotherapy a potentially dangerous combination.
Arguments For And Against
The optimistic position favours cannabinoids. Overwhelmingly, patients preferred cannabinoids for future chemotherapy, even though cannabinoids were only slightly more effective than other antiemetics and only for moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. Patients’ subjective view on preference is more important than the scientifically evaluated efficacy of that intervention. Although side effects occur more often with cannabinoids, these may be concentrated in a fairly small number of patients so that most patients find cannabinoids effective without undue adverse effects. There are even some potentially beneficial side effects. Of 100 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who received a cannabinoid 30 more would be sedated, 20 would feel a sensation of a high, and 15 would feel euphoric compared with 100 who received a conventional antiemetic. Some patients may perceive a degree of sedation or somnolence as useful during chemotherapy. Thus, further clinical trials with cannabinoids in chemotherapy are justified.
The pessimistic position favours conventional antiemetics, as cannabinoids are not much better, and their toxicity is unacceptably high . The toxic effects may lead to study withdrawal. There were no comparisons of cannabinoids with a serotonin receptor antagonist, the best comparator for prevention of acute emesis in highly emetogenic chemotherapy. It is, however, unlikely that cannabinoids would be more effective and less toxic than a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist.
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What About Patients Who Cant Inhale Cannabis
Dr. Rosado says that patients should never use oral or sublingual cannabis during chemotherapy treatments. To avoid hazardous interactions, cannabis edibles should not be eaten within 1.5 to 2 hours of treatments. Further, he recommends that patients never use edibles when being treated for liver cancer. Liver cancer greatly reduces the livers ability to metabolize cannabis, not to mention the toxicity caused by the chemotherapy.
If a patient is unable to inhale cannabis, Dr. Rosado recommends a low-temperature tea made from cannabis buds.
Follow this recipe to make a medicinal cannabis tea:
Whatever method you use to take medical cannabis, always fully disclose any self-medication to your oncologist. Some cancers require more monitoring with cannabis use. For example, THC might affect estrogen levels . Because of this, doctors pay more attention to the estrogen levels of patients who have hormone-producing cancers and use cannabis.
I Tried Medical Cannabis During Chemo And Heres What Happened
Health and wellness touch everyones life differently. This is one persons story.
At the age of 23, my world was completely flipped upside down. Just 36 days before I was planning to walk down the aisle, I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.
Before receiving my diagnosis, I was a fitness social media influencer, with a YouTube channel and that chronicled my fitness regimen and my journey to my first National Physique Committee competition. How could a very healthy and active 23-year-old womans world flip upside down in a matter of seconds like this?
When I first started chemo in August 2016, I was told horror stories about peoples experiences with chemo. So to say I was terrified would be a bit of an understatement.
Over the course of my treatment countless rounds of chemo, many hours of surgery, a temporary ileostomy bag, and a new allergy to dairy my weight dropped from 130 to 97 pounds, from muscle to skin and bones. Sometimes, Id look in the mirror and not even be able to recognize myself. Physically, I looked like a different person. Mentally, I had times when I got sad.
Fortunately, I had an amazing support team by my side. They were always there to champion me, reminding me to look inside and remember that I was still me, still beautiful, no matter what my shape or size. And it was that support team who first suggested trying medical cannabis.
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Best Strains Of Marijuana To Use For Chemotherapy Side Effects
Several strains of medical cannabis help with chemotherapy side effects. Each strain has its properties that help with chemo side effects. Some include:
Just remember, each strain comes with its unique distinct effect profile. What may work well for one particular side effect of chemotherapy might not be effective for another. Therefore, you may have to go through some trial and error before you find the best strain or strains that work for your chemo-related side effects.
Best Edibles For Cancer
Many times cancer patients prefer cannabis edibles to other forms of medical marijuana.
This is mainly because of the seemingly more potent and longer-lasting effects of cannabis edibles compared to other forms of medical marijuana available.
However, by picking edibles over other options such as smoking or vaping, patients trade-off immediate relief for the delayed-release and long curve effects.
Another reason cancer patients prefer edibles is because methods such as smoking and vaping may do more harm than good for patients battling cancers such as lung cancer.
With this preference for edibles, cancer patients are curious about knowing the best edibles for cancer.
Edibles are probably the most diverse group of medical marijuana available. They come in very many fun shapes, sizes and forms. For example:
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Can Cannabis Help Restore Health After Chemotherapy
Perhaps the biggest negative impact chemotherapy has is what it does to the bodys overall health after the fact. The majority of individuals who undergo treatment will experience a reduction in immune system function for months and sometimes years to come. A 2016 report published in the journal Breast Cancer Research found that chemotherapy led to long-term changes in the immune system, including lower than average levels of lymphocytes and natural killer cells , immune system substances whose job it is to destroy pathogens like cancer cells.
A subtle yet vital part of our immune system is the endocannabinoid system, which helps the body to achieve homoestasis and balance. Because of the various stressors most of us face on a daily basis, most individuals in general are depleted when it comes to this system. After an individual undergoes chemotherapy or radiation treatment , the endocannabinoid system may be severely compromised. Moderate and consistent cannabinoid therapy can help to restore the endocannabinoid system after the shock and drain of chemotherapy.
Perhaps the biggest fear that exists for anyone who has ever had a cancer diagnosis is reoccurrence. A may increase cancer cell tumor production, according to 2008 preclinical trial conducted with colon cancer cells by researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. This and similar research is significant because it indicates that cannabinoid therapy could be cancer preventative.
How Do Cannabinoids Affect Cancer Symptoms
THC in marijuana may help relieve symptoms of pain and nausea in cancer patients. CBD reduces inflammation and serves as an antioxidant. Marijuana may be eaten, smoked, inhaled or vaped, and its effects differ by the method used.
- Edible marijuana: When taken orally in the form of oils, food or drinks, THC takes longer to be absorbed and processed by the liver. Its hard to gauge how much THC is present in foods with marijuana, and how much THC would cause overdose symptoms.
- Inhaled marijuana: When smoked or vaped, the THC in marijuana quickly enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. Its effects are much faster than when taken orally, but they also fade more quickly.
When it comes to marijuana and cancer, some studies have found the plant may lessen symptoms of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, and it may help treat neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage. Cancer patients who use marijuana often need less pain medication, according to the ACS.
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The Fdas Stance On Cannabis And Cancer Treatment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for cancer treatment.
Yet, it has approved two cannabinoids for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who are unresponsive to other antiemetic treatments. They include:
In addition to these, the only other FDA-approved cannabis-derived product is Epidiolex which contains a purified form of CBD to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome.
Buying Guides For Choosing The Best Edibles For Chemo Patients
Even deciding on an insignificant purchase can make you feel like choosing between the red pill or the blue one. But is the headache really worth it? Online shopping was meant to make our experience simpler, easier and enjoyable. But in reality it is quite easy to get confused on the decision which one to buy?
This is where our efforts come in! This list of edibles for chemo patients will surely save you valuable time and effort. However another question remains, what makes our compilation the best? Or on what basis you should trust this edibles for chemo patients list.
Is it virtually possible to know every detail of a product for making a perfect purchase? The answer is definitely NO, its not! Then how do you make the correct decision while buying edibles for chemo patients? Well, the complexity of selecting a single product from a sea of them can be simplified taking into consideration a few key metrics regarding the product.
We feed thousands of data to our AI regarding these products through advanced algorithms. Based on the relevant data i.e. brand, features, specs, ratings and reviews and many others a list of best edibles for chemo patients has been prepared by the AI.
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How It Can Help Cancer Related Symptoms
Nausea and vomiting. A few small studies have found that smoking marijuana can ease these side effects of chemotherapy. The FDA has also approved dronabinol and nabilone , man-made cannabinoids, to treat these symptoms when other nausea medications donât work.
Pain. Some studies have found that smoked marijuana can ease cancer-related pain. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body.
Nerve pain. Neuropathy is weakness, numbness, or pain caused by nerve damage. It can happen as a result of chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. A few studies have found that smoking marijuana can help this specific type of nerve pain.
Appetite and weight loss. Dronabinol is FDA-approved for loss of appetite in people with AIDS, but not specifically for cancer. There are some small studies that show marijuana may also help improve appetite for people with cancer.
Foods To Eat During Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment that uses one or more drugs to combat cancer cells in your body.
Its symptoms, which may include dry mouth, taste changes, nausea, and fatigue, can make eating seem like a chore.
However, its important to eat a healthy, balanced diet during cancer treatment to keep your body functioning optimally. Foods that are mild in flavor, easy on your stomach, and nutrient-dense are some of the best options (
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