Here’s why cancer patients turn to medical marijuana

medical marijuana dispensary

In a world with so many technological, scientific and medical advances, it sometimes seems shocking that we have not yet discovered a true cure for cancer. The closest we have are treatments, which may include radiation and/or chemotherapy, neither of which are particularly enjoyable. In fact, the process of undergoing radiation, chemotherapy or even a combination of the two, can be downright unpleasant, painful and difficult.

Radiation is essentially a way of using energy to damage DNA within cancer cells so they stop dividing and multiplying. This has been shown to kill off many cancer cells and even shrink tumors. Radiation is not without its side effects, though. While the gamma or x rays can kill cancer cells, they can also damage healthy cells too, which can lead to numerous side effects for a patient such as fatigue, skin irritation, loss of hair (particularly when radiation is done near the head, neck or chest), and fairly commonly, damage to the salivary glands which causes dry mouth.

Chemotherapy is similar to radiation therapy in the way that is aims to attack and kill cancer cells by damaging them and stopping them from multiplying. Chemotherapy, however, is done through the use of intravenous drugs. It also has its own set of complicating side effects as well. These side effects can include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and general pain, among other things.

Because patients are not only battling cancer, but also undergoing treatments that can cause them additional discomfort, many are turning to medical cannabis to help them manage their symptoms and find a little relief.

One of the common ways for people to do this is by consuming cannabis edibles which are especially great for patients who do not feel like smoking marijuana is right for them. Particularly for lung cancer patients, who do not have the lung health or capacity to smoke, a marijuana edible is an excellent choice as it can help provide relief through simply eating a candy, brownie or cookie.

Another issue that can be aided by a visit to a place like Greener Pastures is the loss of appetite symptom. Marijuana is notorious for giving people what many call “the muchies”, which is essentially the strong desire to eat or snack. For patients undergoing chemotherapy, it is very rare for them to want to eat, which can cause dangerous weight loss as well as precludes them from properly nourishing their bodies. When using medical marijuana, patients also find that they have increased hunger, which helps their bodies to stay stronger.

Finally, marijuana is helpful for patients who have trouble sleeping. These types of patients, whose discomfort is great at night and causes them to toss and turn, have found that marijuana can really help relax them and help them sleep. Much like with food, sleep is nourishment for the body, which helps it to be rested and stronger, meaning it is more capable of fighting off the cancer.

For these reasons, numerous patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy have opted to add medical marijuana to their regimen.