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Why Cancer Patients Turn To Medical Marijuana for Relief in Ohio


Why Cancer Patients Turn To Medical Marijuana for Relief

Modern approaches to treating cancer patients began in the 1980’s with studies about how medical marijuana helps those undergoing chemotherapy. While marijuana should not be mistaken as a cure for cancer, cannabinoids have been shown to play an important part in the management of pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Today, thousands of Ohio residents receive medical marijuana recommendations to treat the side effects of chemotherapy [1]. If you would like to know if medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Ohio Marijuana Doctors. You may complete our eligibility survey in just 5 minutes to find out if you pre-qualify for a recommendation.

Medical Marijuana for Relief from Nausea

In 2019, there will be an estimated 1,762,450 people diagnosed with cancer in the United States, and that number continues to rise [2].  Out of that number, most will undergo chemotherapy and suffer side effects, often mainly chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Approximately half of patients experience CINV, caused by  anticancer drugs and some experience nausea from the cancer. Much of the time, pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed to treat CINV do not work for patients. Additionally, there is a concern that these pharmaceuticals may interact with other medicines.  Fortunately, there are US Food and Drug Administration approved cannabinoid-based medicines that successfully treat CINV and reduce, if not prevent, drug interactions [3].

Medical Marijuana for Pain Relief

As if nausea weren’t enough, cancer patients are likely to suffer pain, one common type being nociceptive pain. It is caused by damage to tissues and feels like aching, throbbing, or sharp pains in the body.  In the damaged tissue, neurotransmitters in the body are released by immune cells then carried up to the brain by nerves. In response to the damage, the body produces endocannabinoids like the chemicals found in cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body to regulate pain and inflammation. In the year 1999, researchers proved the existence of higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in the brain that control nociceptive processing. Therefore, the cannabinoids in medical marijuana can successfully treat pain resulting from chemotherapy [4].

Medical Marijuana for Appetite Stimulation

Characters in modern television shows who use cannabis are often shown binging on junk food afterward. While entertaining, there is truth in that THC is an important chemical to boosting appetite in cancer patients. It works because leptin 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 slows the message to the brain that you are no longer hungry to trick the brain into believing there is hunger even when there is not [5].

Five Medical Marijuana Strains that Help

  • Chocolope, a sativa strain, 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%.)

  • Charlotte’s Web, 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%) [6].

  • ACDC, a sativa-dominant strain derived from Cannatonic, contains a high level of CBD. Its few 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%.)

  • Northern Lights is 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%.)

  • Grandaddy Purple is 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 me?

If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to take our eligibility survey. In just 5 minutes, you could pre-qualify for a recommendation. An Ohio Marijuana Doctor can then determine if you qualify during an in-person exam. For more information, visit https://docmj.com/ohio/.

  1. https://www.kalapa-clinic.com/en/cannabinoids-therapy-cinv/
  2. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2019.html
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Daeninck/publication/6661707_Cannabinoids_in_the_management_of_intractable_chemotherapy-induced_nausea_and_vomiting_and_cancer-related_pain/links/59ef794fa6fdcce2096dbcc5/Cannabinoids-in-the-management-of-intractable-chemotherapy-induced-nausea-and-vomiting-and-cancer-related-pain.pdf
  4. https://www.cannamd.com/marijuana-and-cancer-pain/
  5. https://www.canabomedicalclinic.com/how-does-medical-cannabis-stimulate-appetite/
  6. https://www.marijuanabreak.com/best-marijuana-strains-cancer/amp


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