While there has not been a long-term clinical study on the health benefits of cannabis, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there. There are many cancer patients who swear by its healing properties, and some even believe that it can prevent or reverse cancer. Is this belief true? Let’s take a look.
Not long ago, a California appeals court ruled that a cancer patient was competent to sue his former doctor for health care negligence because of his cancer cachexia. The court based its ruling on two major factors. First, the former doctor had admitted in his deposition that he knew the patient was suffering from cancer, yet failed to provide adequate treatment. Second, the cancer cachexia itself was not recognized as a health problem, despite the fact that the patient’s symptoms were clearly pointing to it.
In addition to the two maladies described above, there are numerous reported health claims. For example, cancer cachexia is a term used to describe an early type of nutritional deficiency that can lead to death. But while it sounds ominous, it is not a life-threatening condition in the slightest. Cancer cachexia does not have to involve malnutrition; it can also be the result of a poor diet or vitamin deficiencies. The difference is that malnutrition can cause organ damage, while a poor diet or vitamin deficiency can cause a general loss of health. And even if a patient is not underweight, prolonged exposure to a poor diet can weaken the body and increase the likelihood of future health complications.
Even more promising than this evidence is the long-standing anecdotal evidence that many people who use cannabis experience complete remission or their cancer disappears completely. This anecdotal evidence comes from hundreds of reported cases of cancer patients who began using marijuana after their cancer diagnosis. These patients say that they began to feel less stressed and worried about their health, and found they could focus more on living the cancer challenge and not on the disease. Additionally, these same patients said that they felt more energetic and alert after they began to begin smoking marijuana. In addition, several cancer patients said that they noticed a marked improvement in their overall moods and ability to cope with emotional stressors.
While this anecdotal evidence is quite compelling, the strongest piece of evidence surrounding the use of cannabis as a treatment for cancer comes from the United States National Cancer Institute. According to the institute, marijuana has been shown to have some effective cancer chemotherapy effects when administered via the oral method. Specifically, the institute reports that marijuana has been effective in the treatment of both pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. It has also demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of multiple myeloma, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. While this evidence is not entirely conclusive, it certainly seems that there is a link between marijuana and cancer. For this reason, it is highly recommended that anyone who wants to try using cannabis for cancer purposes should consult with a qualified physician.
When it comes to using cannabis to treat cancer, there are a few things patients need to know. First, it is important to note that even though clinical trials have demonstrated significant benefits in patients using medical marijuana, it is still important to follow all of your doctor’s orders regarding your marijuana use. Second, it is extremely important that you realize that smoking marijuana can have serious side effects, especially if you are using the drug as a form of replacement for prescription medication. Finally, it is very important to make sure that you are not substituting one form of medicine (i.e., chemotherapy) with another (i.e., marijuana). If you are considering using cannabis to treat cancer, speak to your doctor and consider all of your options.