Is Cancer A Qualifying Condition For Medical Marijuana?
In Georgia, cancer is a qualifying condition for medical marijuana treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 15 million Americans currently living with cancer, with roughly 58,000 new cancer diagnoses made just this year in Georgia.
Research shows that medical marijuana is an incredibly powerful and safe medicine for individuals living with cancer and treatment-related side effects. The power of marijuana to alleviate nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, pain, depression, anxiety, and insomnia has been researched. Medical marijuana offers the potential for significant relief for cancer patients.
How Does Medical Marijuana Interact With The Body?
Medical marijuana influences the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the network of cannabinoid proteins and receptors that are throughout the body that influence the central and peripheral nervous system. This system helps regulate bodily processes, such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
Many of these cannabinoid proteins that are naturally produced in our bodies are also found in marijuana. For example, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most common compounds found in marijuana that many of the plant’s medicinal benefits are attributed to.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Patients With Cancer
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of marijuana in helping those living with cancer, however the amount of research from the United States is limited due to the legal status of marijuana under federal law. If a drug is a “schedule one” drug, the research is limited based on regulation. However, researchers from overseas have filled in the gaps, and they have clearly demonstrated that marijuana can help in managing the following:
Many patients turn to opiate-based medications for the relief they need since living with pain can be unbearable. Unfortunately, continued use of opiate-based medications can result in unwanted side effects even has the potential to lead to an addiction. Medical marijuana has proven incredibly effective at providing pain relief, and it also has anti-inflammatory effects. Some treatment plans may make use of both opioids and marijuana in order to reduce the dosage of opiate medication that is needed. Recent studies have long found that individuals using marijuana extracts during clinical trials tended to need less opioid-based pain medication.
Neuropathy is damaged nerves which can occur during chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatments. Neuropathy can be a difficult sensation to describe, as symptoms vary from person to person. Patients often experience weakness, numbness, tingling, needles, or burning sensations. Exactly how marijuana helps with neuropathy isn’t yet clear, but many patients report feeling significant relief after using marijuana.
It is well known that nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. A variety of medical cannabis products have been demonstrated to significantly reduce nausea and other unwanted side-effects from these treatments.
Similar to nausea, loss of appetite can be a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Without an appetite, it can become challenging for cancer patients to get the nutrients and strength that they need to fight cancer. This can result in loss of muscle mass, chronic fatigue, and a decline in mobility. However, cannabis has proven to be an effective method to restore appetite for individuals undergoing treatment.
As of right now, there are two drugs, which are derived from marijuana compounds, that have been granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cancer patients:
Dronabinol (Marinol) is a gelatin capsule containing delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that’s approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also intended to help with weight loss and poor appetite in patients with AIDS.
Nabilone (Cesamet) is a synthetic cannabinoid that acts much like THC. It can be taken by mouth to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy when other drugs have not worked.
Is Medical Marijuana Right For You?
Medical marijuana works differently for every person. Medical marijuana has the potential to provide significant relief for patients. With medical marijuana now legal in Georgia, the choice is up to you. If you are interested in trying medical marijuana, but you don't want to get the "high" feeling often associated with the plant, don't worry! There are new medical marijuana products that isolate the plant's therapeutic compounds while eliminating much of the THC that is responsible for the "high".
If you or someone you know has cancer and is considering medical marijuana treatment, schedule an appointment with us!
If you are a Georgia resident suffering from a medical condition you think may benefit cannabis, you're likely eligible for medical marijuana treatment.
Click here to learn more about what Virginia Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 877-305-5563 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.