Leukemia and Medical Cannabis for Symptom Relief
Modern approaches to treating patients with certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, began in the 1980s with studies focusing on how medical marijuana can help those undergoing chemotherapy.
It’s important to note that marijuana should not be mistaken as a cure for leukemia or any other type of cancer. However, cannabinoids have been shown to play an important part in managing chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and insomnia, all of which are common symptoms associated with leukemia or the side effects of the medications used for treatment.
Today, thousands of cancer patients receive medical marijuana recommendations to treat the side effects caused by chemotherapy.
Can Cannabis Kill Cancer?
A new study confirms that cannabinoids, which are a class of active chemicals in cannabis, can successfully kill leukemia cells. They also find that the combination of chemicals and the order in which they are given is important. The findings will, no doubt, open the door to more effective treatments  and bring new hope to patients diagnosed with Leukemia.
Medical Marijuana for Relief from Nausea
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, more often than not, cause nausea and vomiting. This is referred to as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Approximately half of the patients who undergo chemotherapy experience CINV, caused by anticancer drugs.
Prescription drugs commonly prescribed to treat CINV do not always work for patients. Additionally, there is a concern that these pharmaceuticals may interact with other medications. Fortunately, there are now US Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabinoid-based medicines that successfully treat CINV and reduce, if not prevent, drug interactions.
Medical Marijuana for Leukemia Pain Relief
As if nausea and vomiting weren’t bad enough, cancer patients often suffer from a type of pain called nociceptive pain. This pain is caused by damage to the body’s tissues and feels like aching, throbbing, or sharp pains all over the body.
In response to the damaged tissue, the body produces endocannabinoids similar to the chemicals found in cannabinoids. These endocannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors present in the body to help regulate pain and inflammation.
Medical Marijuana for Appetite Stimulation
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. THC is an important chemical that acts as an appetite booster in cancer patients. Leptin, a hormone that normally tells the body to stop eating when someone eats enough food, is produced after eating so that the feeling of hunger diminishes.
As leptin levels lower, hunger returns, however, THC inhibits the production of leptin and slows the signals that tell the brain when the body is full. Essentially, it tricks the brain into believing a person is hungry even if they’re not. This can help patients suffering from Cachexia.
Medical Marijuana Strains That Can Help Leukemia Patients
There are over seven hundred (700) documented strains of cannabis. And many strains can offer benefits for patients looking for help with symptom management. Here are a few popular strains frequently recommended for patients with Leukemia and other types of cancer.
A Sativa strain that helps to diminish fatigue and provide energy. It is a combination of Cannalope Haze and Chocolate Thai, both of which are Sativa strains.
(Typical Cannabinoid Profile | CBD: unknown, but low; THC: 18-22%.)
A Sativa strain, very low in THC, is used to treat pain and inflammation. It has very little, if any, psychoactive effects.
(Typical Cannabinoid Profile | CBD: 20%; THC: 0.3%-1%) .
A Sativa-dominant strain derived from Cannatonic contains a high level of CBD. Its low psychoactive effects ensure the patient does not feel high, and many rely on it for pain relief.
(Typical Cannabinoid Profile | CBD: 15-25%; THC: 0.5-1.3%.)
An Indica-dominant strain high in THC and low in CBD. It has the main benefit of relieving nausea.
(Typical Cannabinoid Profile | CBD: unknown, but not high; THC: 16-21%.)
An Indica-dominant strain that helps patients sleep and keeps appetite levels high. It is derived from a cross between Big Bud and Purple Urkle.
(Typical Cannabinoid Profile | CBD: 0.1%; THC: 17-23%.)
Is Medical Marijuana Right For You?
If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to schedule a risk-free appointment with one of our licensed medical marijuana doctors. Schedule online today at DocMJ.com!
Aaron Bloom serves as the CEO, overseeing the mission and growth of DocMJ and Medwell Health and Wellness Centers. Aaron’s passion for improving patients’ lives comes from his background in health care. For more than 20 years, Aaron owned, operated, and represented traditional healthcare organizations. This experience created a passion for finding improved ways to relieve suffering. His goal as CEO is to work daily to relieve all patients who seek better health and wellness through the medicinal benefits of medical cannabis and evidence-based alternative medicines.