How Does Marijuana Help Cancer Patients?

As the legalization of marijuana continues to grow in the number of states allowing it, it is easy to forget that the medical use of marijuana spread first, reducing resistance and political opposition to everyone being able to use the drug. Many people know someone who went through cancer treatment that involved marijuana, but they might not know just how does marijuana help cancer patients exactly? Keep reading to learn out 5 specific benefits:

1) It can minimize their number of medications: While it varies from patient to patient, and is very dependent upon the treatment regimen they are going through, the number of medications a cancer patient might have can be pretty high. As the number of prescriptions a patient has goes up, the chances of cross-effects and interactions grows. Even in an otherwise healthy person these can be dangerous, but in a body weakened by cancer, and possibly also the treatment, such problems can prove debilitating and even fatal. If a marijuana regimen is able to eliminate two or more drugs from the overall cocktail, or at least reduce the dosage and frequency, then it can seriously improve the safety of that patient. Given that marijuana often has few to no side effects of its own, it’s also a safer alternative to many medicines in its own right.

2) It can alleviate the nausea and physical pain of treatment: Some cancer treatments wreak havoc on the human body, causing high levels of discomfort and even pain. Marijuana can help combat the ill feelings that someone gets from their chemotherapy or surgical recovery, meaning they’re more likely to stick with everything they are supposed to do.

3) It helps them manage their stress: Cancer is scary, and almost always puts a person’s mortality into question, even if prognosis looks good. While dealing with the existential crisis it creates, a cancer patient also needs to have the discipline and mental stamina to be a good patient through their therapy. Good stress management is always a must for a person’s health, but especially critical in a stage of life such as this.

4) It gives them something relaxing to do: A cancer patient’s day might be filled with treatment, boredom, and visitation from friends and family that they want to put a brave face on for. Their time with their marijuana, especially with other patients, might the only time of day that they can actually relax and unwind through the ordeal.

5) It’s cheaper than a lot of medications and treatment options: In addition to sometimes being safer than other medications, marijuana can save the patient money in being cheaper than other medications. Some prescription medications are notoriously expensive, especially if they are still patent-or trademark-protected and only manufactured in limited quantities because they pertain only to specific diseases or rare conditions.

The next time you wonder yourself or hear someone speculating whether or not if or how marijuana helps cancer patients, keep these 5 benefits in mind.

What Ingredient Is The Most Active In Marijuana?

Marijuana is just one of several names that is used to refer to the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant is generally used as a drug, and the most active ingredient in this plant is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.

Marijuana’s Appearance

The physical appearance of the plant can vary depending on not only the way it is harvested but also the way it will be used. However, marijuana generally resembles tobacco. Marijuana that is considered to be higher quality only utilizes the flowering buds of the plant, but the seeds, leaves, and stems can also be used as well.

It can also vary in color including:

  • Gray
  • Brown
  • Green

The Reasons People Use Marijuana

There are various reasons why people choose to use the plant. It has been used to treat symptom related to depression, anxiety, and epilepsy. Some people have also started to use marijuana as an alternative treatment for cancer, skin issues and chronic headaches and migraines. Some women have also reported using marijuana to help ease menstrual cramps.

Marijuana has been reported to help reduce nausea, glaucoma symptoms, fibromyalgia and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Several recent studies have shown that THC may help prevent the formation of the plaque deposits in the brain that cause dementia and Alzheimer’s.

THC, the primary ingredient in marijuana helps users feel a heightened state of relaxation, while also allowing users to feel short term acuteness in their senses. Even though more research will be needed to determine all of the medical conditions that could be minimized by the use of marijuana, the current list is very encouraging.

The Different Ways To Use Marijuana

Marijuana can be smoked in a vaporizer or rolled into a cigarette or blunt, but these methods of use are strongly frowned upon by the medical marijuana community. The community promotes safer ways to use the plant. It can be added to food or used as a tea.

The oil from the plant can also be extracted and used for certain medical issues. These alternative methods help users bypass any of the risks that are associated with smoking marijuana.

What Are The Effects Of Marijuana Use?

The effects of smoking the plant can be felt as soon as THC, the active ingredient, enters into the bloodstream. These effects can last up to 3 hours. The absorption of the active ingredient is a lot slower if marijuana is ingested through food. It generally takes up to an hour for the effects to be felt after ingesting, and they can last up to 5 hours.

Marijuana is considered a depressant, but it does increase heart rate while also enlarging blood vessels in the body. The dilation of blood vessels in the eyes is responsible for the common ‘blood shot eye’ appearance users have.

Dry mouth is a common effect and intense hunger and thirst can occur. Users often become sleepy, tired or depressed.

THC, the common ingredient active in marijuana, is a psychoactive constituent. It is only one of almost 400 chemicals in a plant that has promises of giving people an alternative treatment for chronic health conditions.