For the second edition of our Cannabis and Conditions blog series, we want to focus on another popular reason why people seek out information about cannabis: Cancer. Whether it’s as an alternative to traditional medication and procedures, or if it’s to help deal with the nasty side-effects of them, using cannabis to help with cancer is on the rise!
The word cancer refers to an abnormal growth of cells. There are over 100 different types of cancer. Each type of cancer comes with its own unique description, warning signs, and symptoms.
Just about one out of three people, or 33% of people living in the United States, will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. 90% of all cancers that are diagnosed are in patients who are 50 years or older.
The top ten cancers in America are:
- Skin cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Kidney (renal) cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Thyroid cancer
- Endometrial cancer
With most cancers, the earlier you catch it and begin treatment, the better chance you have of beating it. Cancers like skin, breast, mouth, testicles, prostate, and rectum can sometimes be detected through self-exam or routine doctor visits. If not detected early, the symptoms can be sporadic and are very dependent on the type of cancer.
Depending on the type of cancer and what stage it’s detected in, the prognosis can be anywhere from being able to remove the cancer with a minorly intrusive surgery, to only having a couple weeks left to live. Narrowing down the diagnoses of cancer can be tricky in itself as almost all symptoms can be caused by harmless conditions. However, some general warning signs include: a persistent cough, change in bowel or urination habits, blood in stool, anemia, lump in breasts or testicles, blood in urine, swollen glands, changes to moles or warts, difficulty swallowing, headaches, and/or back pain.
The most popular treatment for cancer is surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. Typical treatment usually combines a few different methods, each with their own unique side effects. Chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, easy bruising and bleeding, and anemia. Radiation can cause skin problems, fatigue, and numerous site-specific side effects.
Treating with Cannabis
Due to the fact that cancer comes in such a wide-array of variations, cannabis has been studied pretty extensively (we still need more research!) to find different ways to treat various kinds of cancer.
The main way that cannabis helps to treat different cancers is by shrinking tumors and attacking cancer cells. Early research has shown us this method is effective for numerous types of cancer and both CBD and THC can have a positive effect on the symptoms of cancer. Some doctors even go so far as to say that proper treatment using cannabis can cure cancer entirely.
Another big use of cannabis with cancer patients is to help with the negative side effects that come from the traditional treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation can wreak havoc on the body, and many have found that cannabis provides much needed relief after the treatments.
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all cannabis cancer cure. Trial, error, and research is needed to find a treatment plan that is best for you. Be sure to reach out, and we can help point you in the right direction for treatment.
In the following article, they discuss 34 medical studies proving cannabis cures many different types of cancer. This is well worth diving into to really see the different uses of cannabis as it relates to the disease, and the studies are divided up nicely by the type of cancer being treated in the study.
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If you are thinking about using cannabis as an alternative treatment, do your own research to obtain all the information necessary for you to make the decision. We can answer many questions and give you recommendations but the research and decision is up to you. We are not licensed physicians. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any cannabis product. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.