Can Cancer Become More Bearable With Cannabis?


Increasingly, patients are consulting with their doctors about using cannabis, CBD oil, CBD capsules and other cannabis-based products before, during and after cancer treatment. Cannabis and its derivatives are considered soft drugs in the Netherlands. They are listed in List II of the Opium Act, where sleeping pills and sedatives are also found.

The active components of cannabis

Scientists have identified biologically active compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids. The best known of these is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which provides the light-headed feeling known as “high”.

CBD (cannabidiol) is another component. Medicinal CBD oil is sometimes used to relieve pain and nausea. It can reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant. Because CBD oil supports well-being, it can help to process stress better.

Adverse effects

This does not detract from the possibility of side effects. Doctors report that some patients experience an increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure. Disorientation, dizziness, fainting, and recent memory problems can occur. The supplement can cause drowsiness and mood changes.

However, since CBD oil contains only 0.2 THC, it can prevent unwanted side effects. The small dose also reduces the risk of addiction.

After all, it is ironically possible that smoking cannabis itself is the cause of cancer. Evaporation is preferable to the so-called joint. If cannabis is purchased on the street or in an unreliable coffee shop, even more dangerous substances may have been added.

Effects of smoked cannabis against CBD oil

Research into the effects of cannabis and its derivatives is still at an early stage. Until now, the focus has mainly been on smoked cannabis. Its results show that it can help treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Cannabis-based products can also prove useful to relieve pain.

Another important effect is the effect on appetite. Since chemotherapy can drastically reduce taste perception, patients are also inclined to eat less. However, they should strongly avoid unwanted weight loss as this will further reduce their resistance.

Results of tests with CBD oil are not yet known. Still, patients themselves report satisfying experiences with CBD oil. Interpretation should always consider whether there is a placebo effect.

Does Cannabis Prevent Cancer Cell Growth?

For some time now, scientists have focused on whether THC and CBD can slow the growth of cancer cells. It has even been speculated that they can cause cancer cell death. Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence so far. Further research is on the agenda.

In the United States, the American Cancer Society supports the need for more scientific research into plant cannabinoids for cancer patients. Better and more effective therapies are needed to overcome the often debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment.

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Original title: Can Cancer Become More Bearable With Cannabis?
Target audience: Healthcare professionals, Policy makers, Informal carers, Students
Date: 2020-09-28

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