A lot of attention has been paid to the medical use of cannabis and its effects in recent years. Many have started using cannabis either to be “cured” for their illnesses or to relieve their pain. But does Cannabis work? And in what contexts can you use it? We’ll look at these topics and also look at the effects of medical cannabis on certain diseases.
Can cannabis help cancer patients?
Cancer is a disease that affects many people. The number of cancer cases has increased significantly worldwide. From 2010 to 2014, the annual number of cancer cases in Denmark was around 35,000. Therefore, there is a particular focus on cancer, as the disease affects a very large part of the population. Therefore, there is also a lot of research into the disease and how to treat it as best as possible. Chemotherapy has come a long way, but it can still be a very risky treatment as there are many side effects.
Denmark, for example, allowed medicinal cannabis in 2011. By medical cannabis it is meant that either natural extracts are extracted from the cannabis plant, as is the case with the Sativex drug. These are mainly used to help patients with muscle stiffness or sclerosis, or to produce synthetic cannabis, as is the case with Marinol, for example, which is a preparation that helps against nerve pain.
When we talk about medical cannabis and cancer, it’s mainly used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. Medical studies show that cannabis can have a positive effect on chemotherapy. However, there are also side effects of cannabis, such as mood swings, fatigue and hallucinations. Medicinal cannabis is a good alternative for those who cannot tolerate morphine because the medicinal use of cannabis also acts as an analgesic.
It is not yet known what effect cannabis has on traditional cancer treatment. This is also one of the main reasons why people are reluctant to legalize all forms of medical cannabis because they are not aware of the consequences for traditional treatment. Comparing medical cannabis treatment and the traditional form of medication versus the side effects of chemotherapy, were so-called “randomized clinical trials” where patients are given either treatment option or two, you can see how the whole Course of treatment takes place. However, it is not yet fully established that medical cannabis is more effective than traditional treatment, but it is a very good alternative for those patients who cannot tolerate traditional medication. Some patients are resistant to the effects of traditional pain relievers such as morphine, so cannabis can be a good solution.
- Bridgeman, Mary Barna, and Daniel T. Abazia. “Medicinal cannabis: history, pharmacology, and implications for the acute care setting.” Pharmacy and Therapeutics 42.3 (2017): 180.
- Sulé-Suso, Josep, et al. “Striking lung cancer response to self-administration of cannabidiol: A case report and literature review.” SAGE open medical case reports 7 (2019): 2050313X19832160.