Anyone who knows marijuana is being used as a medication to treat and manage health conditions would know that even cancer is included in the list of conditions that qualify for the use of medical marijuana. So if one has a Medical Marijuana Card Oklahoma, they can use medical marijuana for cancer as well. But is the use of marijuana supported by oncologists?
Is Marijuana for Cancer a Reliable Treatment Option?
It is important to make things clear right at the very beginning of this article that medical marijuana is not a cure. The plant can help in managing the condition by reducing the side effects of other treatments and severity of the symptoms but it should not be seen as an ultimate treatment for cancer. Consider it as an add-on to the treatment you are already taking.
That being said, yes medical marijuana is a reliable option when it comes to managing cancer. The plant has several medicinal properties and it is known to offer anti-inflammatory, psychoactive, and euphoric effects that can alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, and reduce nausea and vomiting.
What Does the Research Say?
There are several small-scale studies conducted on the effects and benefits of cannabis that prove that the plant has the potential to work on the symptoms that are common among cancer patients. In fact, there are studies specifically conducted on cancer patients as well. But these studies are pretty limited. So, even if the studies are in favor of the plant, the lack of large-scale research restricts the oncologists and researchers from passing a firm statement in favor of the plant.
However, there is enough anecdotal evidence that suggests cancer patients have been using medical marijuana for their condition and they have experienced positive effects. In fact, oncologists and medical marijuana doctors have confirmed that several cancer patients confessed to using medical marijuana because prescribed medications weren’t working well for them.
How Can Medical Marijuana Help Cancer Patients?
Medical marijuana, as already mentioned, can reduce the severity of the symptoms of cancer. Cannabis has compounds called cannabinoids that resemble the endocannabinoids present in the human body in chemical structure. The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that has an important role to play in the development of the central nervous system. The system is responsible for producing endocannabinoids that reduce inflammation, pain, nausea, and stabilize mood. Since cannabinoids of the cannabis plant have similar chemical structures, they bind with the cannabinoid receptors and produce similar effects.
When cancer patients undergo chemotherapy they often experience side effects of the treatment which include but are not limited to fatigue, nausea and vomiting, constipation, severe pain, mood swings, and changes in libido.
The medication they have prescribed works to some extent but oftentimes they are not strong and effective enough to alleviate the side effects. Also, there is different medication for every symptom, like for pain, nausea, stress, and insomnia, there is a different tablet. They all can offer side effects and interact with each other in the body.
Cannabis acts as one solution for all the side effects and symptoms. The plant can ease out all the symptoms at once and the best part is that it is absolutely natural and thus safe.
Things to Take Into Consideration before Using Medical Marijuana for Cancer
It is easy to suggest that cannabis is an effective medication to manage the symptoms of cancer but when it comes to actually use the plant as a medication, the process is unfortunately not that simple.
Medical Marijuana Is Not the Same Always
There are innumerable types and strains within the cannabis family and none of them offer the same effects. While it is easy to purchase a medication by name, buying medical marijuana is comparatively quite tricky. And even if you purchase the same strain over and over again, there is a chance that you may still experience different effects. Though the effects may not be drastically different, even the subtle difference may be noticeable. So it is advised to research properly and take low doses in order to avoid undesired effects.
It Is Not a Treatment
In case you skipped this part above, we are writing this again for you. Medical marijuana is not a treatment. It may not cure your condition. It is suggested to consider it as an added treatment rather than relying completely on marijuana for cancer.
Consult a Medical Marijuana Doctor
Your condition is better known to your oncologist or a doctor you will consult for medical marijuana. Even if your state has legalized recreational marijuana, please do not self-medicate without informing your doctor or getting their advice. It is better if you consult a medical marijuana doctor, get a medical marijuana card, and use medical marijuana only.
All Cannabinoids Have Something to Offer
It is better if you choose to consume the whole plant rather than getting a specific cannabinoid, like CBD. The cannabis plant has much more than just CBD and everything is going to offer medicinal benefits. From cannabinoids to terpenes, the plant as a whole has components that will produce the entourage effect which intensifies the therapeutic effects and promises more benefits.
Go Low and Slow
This is the most important one. Even if you are not new to cannabis, it is recommended to go low and slow on the dosage so that you can examine the effects and make sure that it is working as you want it to.
Cancer is a deadly condition. It is definitely not easy to cope with it and the stress without any external help. Medical marijuana can offer you the help and support you may need while getting treated. However, it is really important to talk to a professional who is equipped with the right knowledge and research thoroughly about cannabis, its components, effects, benefits, and side effects to get a better idea of how it will exactly work for you.