Cannabis is a genus that comprises flowering plants, classified under the Cannabaceae family. The plant is indigenous to Central and South Asia. Cannabinoids from cannabis have been used to manage various medical conditions like cancer.
Cannabis is mostly prescribed for pain relief, thanks to its immense analgesic properties. The plant can also help with anxiety, inflammation, mood swings, seizures, and sleep. And due to its high antioxidant properties, extracts from cannabis can be used to keep various debilitating illnesses at bay.
Cancer is one of the conditions that most medical experts prescribe cannabis for. In this post, we shall discover how the herb can help to escalate the recovery process for cancer patients.
Different Strains of Cannabis
The cannabis genus comprises of four main species, including;
- Cannabis Sativa –Cannabis sativa is a species that produces marijuana. Sativa strains tend to grow tall and thin, take relatively longer to mature, and give higher yields compared to indica strains.
- Cannabis Indica – Indica is a cannabis species that are characterized by short and bushy plants. This species mostly produces hemp.
- Cannabis Ruderalis – This is a specially-engineered cannabis strain that can use light at all times. That means they grow faster compared to Sativa and indica strains. And as long as there’s adequate light exposure, cannabis ruderalis plants will always experience vegetative growth.
- Cannabis Hybrids – These are cannabis species comprising more than one strain. Like cannabis ruderalis, most hybrid plants are modified from indica and Sativa species.
Cannabis Extracts for Cancer Treatment
Cannabis contains more than 100 compounds, also known as cannabinoids. Out of all these cannabinoids, only two are widely-studied and mostly used. They include cannabidiol (CBD) and 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD is mostly prescribed for its therapeutic effects while THC is more common among recreational cannabis users, thanks to its psychoactive properties. THC delivers the famous “high” effect. Choose only top quality cannabis seeds in 2020.
But contrary to what most people believe, the mind-altering effects of THC are not entirely bad. If anything, experts recommend full-spectrum cannabis products for cancer patients. These refer to products that contain the therapeutic CBD, euphoria-inducing THC, and numerous other cannabinoids. Theoretically, all the cannabinoids in full-spectrum products work together to produce a synergistic effect known as the Entourage Effect.
Before using cannabis products for cancer treatment, you should also understand the various modes of administration available.
Essentially, there are five main ways to consume cannabis products, including;
- Dripping tincture oils beneath your tongue;
- Applying creams and topicals;
- Ingesting capsules and tablets;
- Vaping cannabis oil; and
- Ingesting cannabis edibles, such as gummies.
Tinctures and vape oils are considered the most efficient ways to consume cannabis as the substance goes straight into the bloodstream. On the other hand, edibles offer a convenient way to incorporate cannabis into your life. All you have to do is buy edibles online in Canada, and you’ll be able to consume cannabis on the go.
How Cannabis Helps With Cancer
1. Relieves Pain
As we already mentioned, pain relief is the main reason for the popularity of medical marijuana. Cannabidiol is a potent analgesic that treats pain by enhancing the activity of the Endocannabinoid System. The ECS is a system of endogenous cannabinoids that’s responsible for a wide range of functions. Some of the roles of the Endocannabinoid system include pain relief, regulation of appetite, treatment of insomnia, etc.
When your body is in pain, your ECS system should kick in to naturally treat the pain. But cancer is such a debilitating condition that it leaves the victim with a suppressed immunity. That makes it difficult for the ECS to effectively perform its function of pain relief. By using a cannabis product, you’re introducing more cannabinoids to your ECS, thereby improving its ability to numb the pain.
2. Relieving Inflammation
Cannabis also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help to suppress the growth of malignant cancer tumors.
In experiments conducted on mice, animals that received high doses of THC exhibited lower risks of developing cancerous tumors. One of the best reasons cannabis extracts are prescribed for relieving inflammation is that while the extracts deliver anti-tumor effects, they don’t harm healthy tissues.
3. Treats Anxiety
Anxiety is another side effect of cancer that cannabis can help with. Cannabidiol has been prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders for years, and the results have been inspiring.
In this 2015 review, CBD is hailed for its ability to mediate anxiety symptoms, especially among patients with a social anxiety disorder. On its part, THC comes with sedating effects that can also help to banish anxiety.
4. Improves Sleep
Both CBD and THC play a significant role in helping cancer patients to get a good sleep. Studies suggest that cannabis can erase the REM phase of sleep. REM phase refers to the stage during sleep when your body is in deep relaxation, but your mind is most active. Most dreams are experienced in the REM phase, and the logic is that as cannabis eliminates the phase, cancer patients dreamless and sleep more.
Not only do cannabis extracts make you fall asleep easily, but research also indicates that THC can improve your breathing during sleep. Therefore, cancer patients can use THC-based products to alleviate the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
5. Treats Nausea
Conventional cancer medications are notorious for leaving patients with nausea and a loss of appetite. That’s why most medics are looking in the direction of cannabis-based drugs for managing these side effects.
Cannabidiol is effective in treating nausea and gastrointestinal complications, while THC increases the patient’s appetite. Common cannabis-derived drugs used for cancer include Sativex and Nabilone.
Cancer is a debilitating condition that kills millions of people all over the world annually. Most medications used to treat the disease have not been very effective, as they come with serious side effects that may slow down the patient’s recovery process. Cannabis is touted as a healthier alternative to conventional cancer drugs since it delivers no side effects. And even when the side effects present themselves, they’re usually mild and short-lasting.
Another benefit of cannabis for cancer is that it contains antioxidant properties that may help to prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.
However, it’s important to remember that the efficacy of cannabis for cancer is still work in progress. Therefore, cancer patients are encouraged to stay in the loop on the latest findings with regard to cannabis and cancer.