Cannabis, specifically its compounds called cannabinoids, has been studied for its potential to help alleviate cancer-related pain and other symptoms. The two primary cannabinoids of interest are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). AltMed helps outline the potential uses of medicinal cannabis and how it may help with cancer-related pain.
How They May Help with Cancer-Related Pain:
Both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including pain sensation. Many recognise THC for its psychoactive effects and pain-relieving properties. It can bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, potentially reducing the perception of pain. This also helps the body relax and improve sleep.
Both THC and CBD have shown anti-inflammatory properties in various studies. Inflammation can contribute to pain, especially in cancer patients who might experience inflammation due to tumour growth or treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. By reducing inflammation, cannabinoids might indirectly help with pain management.
Cancer and its treatments can sometimes lead to neuropathic pain, which is caused by nerve damage. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD have shown promise in helping to manage neuropathic pain by affecting the way pain signals are processed in the nervous system.
Nausea and Vomiting:
Cancer patients often experience nausea and vomiting, especially after chemotherapy. THC has been used to address these symptoms, as it can interact with the brain’s vomiting centre and help reduce nausea. However, it’s important to note that higher doses of THC can also lead to increased anxiety or psychotropic effects.
Some cancer patients suffer from loss of appetite and weight loss, which can be detrimental to their overall health. THC, specifically in certain strains of cannabis, is known to stimulate appetite and can help patients regain lost weight.
It’s important to mention that while there is some evidence suggesting that cannabinoids can help with cancer-related pain, their effectiveness varies from person to person. Additionally, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is still a topic of ongoing research, and its legal status also varies by region.
If you are considering cannabis for pain management, it’s advisable to consult with a medical professional who is knowledgeable about its potential benefits and risks, especially in the context of an individual’s specific medical condition and any ongoing treatments. They can guide you on appropriate dosages, potential interactions with other medications, and help you make an informed decision about incorporating cannabis into your pain management strategy.
AltMed can help you find a doctor that specialises in the uses of medicinal cannabis to help with your consultation. Contact AltMed today for further inquiries.