What Patients Need to Know About Cannabis for Cancer

The side effects of cancer treatment can be particularly harsh, and many people are looking to cannabis products for relief. Would it be a good addition to your treatment program? Read on while we explore the various ins and outs relating to cannabis usage for cancer treatment.

Begin with Some Basics

If you’re considering adding cannabis to your treatment, one of the first things you should do is check to see what’s legal where you live. Different states have different restrictions regarding cannabis products and use. There are plenty of therapies available, but rules vary by product and location, and without checking, you could get into trouble with the law for your decision.  

Next, speak with your doctor. Cannabis contains numerous chemical compounds, and some of them might interact with other medications you’re taking, especially if you take any antidepressants, sleeping pills, or anxiety medications. The effects from some cold and allergy medications can also be altered when used alongside cannabis. The last thing you want is to do something that is going to adversely affect your medical treatment plan, so check before you add anything new.

Lastly, no matter how well-versed you think you are regarding common cannabis terminology, chances are you’ll stumble onto some new words and phrases while you’re learning about therapeutic options. So, do your homework to help you learn any challenging jargon so you can make an informed decision.    

Common But Questionable

When it comes to broadly available choices, CBD oil can be one of the more easily turned to solutions for cancer patients. However, although it’s easily accessible as a supplement, that doesn’t mean it will be safe for your circumstances. What’s more, CBD oil is not yet government regulated. With that in mind, some experts suggest carefully vetting potential suppliers, and you should still discuss the option with your doctor. 

All that being said, Healthline notes that CBD oil appears to offer several benefits for those undergoing cancer treatment. It seems to reduce inflammation, can lower pain levels, and there is speculation it could prevent the growth of cancer cells. If you tend to have anxiety about your cancer or cancer treatment, it could also help relax you.  

There are some potential negative side effects as well, such as hallucinations, low blood pressure, depression, and dizziness. Some side effects could be hard to distinguish from cancer-related side effects, so if you elect to try CBD oil, be alert to those symptoms.  

What About Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is an option available to many cancer patients. However, Clinical Oncology News notes that while it’s legal in 33 states, each state has its own rules regarding medical marijuana. There are requirements relating to patient certification, whether you can grow your own, and the quantities you can possess. Additionally, there are limitations on certain prescribers. Some places limit what medical conditions can be treated with medical marijuana.  

Cancer patients often use medical marijuana to manage symptoms such as pain and insomnia. It can also help with mood regulation, particularly if you battle depression or anxiety, and there are some indications it could help treat cancer cells, although more research is needed. There are potential negative side effects of medical marijuana, such as dizziness, fatigue, and rapid heartbeat. There is also a possibility of developing respiratory issues from its use.

All in all, while there are some viable options available, you should do some checking before adding cannabis to your treatment program. Examine legalities, products, and side effects, and discuss your situation with your doctor. Cannabis might be an asset to your treatment plan, or it could be a problem — so it’s wise to proceed with caution.

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