Chemotherapy and Medical Marijuana

Chemotherapy refers to the process of treating cancer through anti-neoplastic medication. The most common chemotherapy elements function by destroying cells that divide quickly, one of the primary attributes of many cancer cells. There is a multitude of methods in the management of chemotherapeutic drugs utilized today.

Chemotherapy may be provided with either a curative objective or to prolong the patient’s life. Chemotherapy also aims to alleviate symptoms of the condition it is used for. Apart from cancer, chemotherapy agents may also be used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

Side Effects

Due to the fact that chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells, it not only destroys cancer cells but also those that are naturally occurring and needed by the body. This may include cells in the bone marrow, digestive system, hair follicles, etc. The latter is the primary cause of balding in chemotherapy patients, also known as alopecia.

Another common side effect of chemotherapy is myelosuppression, which is the reduction in production of blood cells. Inflammation in the digestive tract lining is also a major side effect of chemotherapy that often requires immediate addressing. Other side effects mainly rely upon the chemotherapeutic techniques and drugs used.

Use of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is used by a variety of medical institutions and healthcare facilities to help patients cope with the intolerable pain and discomfort levels from severe conditions like cancer. While there are medications that hospitals offer to help patients cope with pain, not all individuals respond effectively to such standardized drug regimen. As a viable substitute for traditional medication associated with chronic conditions, medical marijuana offers a great deal of help in lowering pain and discomfort levels in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Another typical use of medical marijuana is to alleviate the symptom of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. According to studies, medical marijuana helps minimize chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting from cancer victims. Medical marijuana also stimulates patient’s appetite. Patients who have cancer, HIV, AIDS and other related problems can increase appetite and therefore impede constant weight loss.

Clinical Trials, Studies and Publications: