Dr. Mary Jane: Cannabis and Cancer

About 3,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each day. Would not it be great if there was something that could help the massive number of people that have to suffer with the effects of having cancer? Some doctors recommend that their patients use marijuana to help with the illness. “Medicinal marijuana use has been debated long and hard for years everywhere from state courts all the way to the supreme court,” (Rochelle, 2002). During my research I myself have found articles dating back as far as the year 1970.

I believe that Marijuana should be legalized and recommended by doctors to help cancer patients embrace the results. They have to go through a physical and mental toll and by just smoking a little can help them become stabilized and relax. So what if the cure to cancer turned out to be cannabis? Would people still consider marijuana a drug? According to journalist Mary Rochelle, “The number one reason that patients seek the use of marijuana is pain. ” No doubt that there are side effects to using cannabis, but those side effects can be considered “medically useful.

” (Rochelle, 2002). The cool thing about using marijuana to relieve pain is that there is not a limit on how many times you can take it like with painkillers. If you are feeling like you are 40 years older than you actually are form all of the chemotherapy instead of only being able to take a certain number of pills, the patient can smoke whenever he feels pain and not have to worry about over dosing on anything. Within every article that I have researched and read about the subject, every single source has stated somewhere that the use of cannabis relieves nausea and vomiting.

The anticancer medicine sometimes prescribed to patients has side effects causing nausea and vomiting “because they irritate the stomach lining and affect the brain parts that control vomiting. ” (Fiket, 2010). Fiket also says “in 1985, the FDA approved the drug dronadinol—a synthetic form of THC in pill or suppository form—for treatment of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients who do not respond to standard treatment. ” (Fiket, 2010). In 1989, the administrative Judge of the Drug Enforcement Administration stated that marijuana “in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.

” Although some doctors prefer to prescribe the THC in pill form to patients to relieve nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, National Cancer Institute scientist say that “THC is more quickly absorbed from marijuana smoke” Since the patients are constantly dealing with the nausea feeling in their stomachs and always vomiting, they often have trouble maintaining a regular diet and end up becoming anorexic. Anorexia is the most common symptoms in cancer patients. (National Cancer Institute Fact Page, 2000). It is well known that the use of marijuana can stimulate the appetite.

This disease usually comes along with cachexia which is the weakness and progressive loss of body weight, fat and muscle. “Maintenance of body weight and adequate nutritional status can help patients feel and look better, and maintain or improve their performance status. It may also help them better tolerate cancer therapy. ” (National Cancer Institute Fact Page, 2000). Since the chemotherapy is so hard on the body and making people with cancer very weak and sensitive the certain things. The anti-cancer pills are difficult to swallow when the patients gag reflexes are weakened.

One study shows that cannabinoids can also help prevent or delay the development of cancer. “Treatment with cannabinoids, one of the active ingredients of the medicinal side of marijuana, has been shown to reduce the invasiveness of cancer cells. ” (King, 2008). In a study done by researchers from California, low toxicity cannabinoids could slow growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also together with THC could slow the growth of glioblastoma. Smoking marijuana can relieve stress, mental and physical, which can help the chances of your body fighting the cancerous cells.

Medical marijuana can help the patients with depression. Scientist have been testing marijuana on lab animals for years now trying to figure out exactly what it does, how it works, and the qualities it holds, like whether it is addicting or not. Both sides can be debated for back and forth and have been and still no answer has been established. Two groups of monkeys were observed and recorded. One group was given cocaine regularly and the other marijuana. The scientist left a supply of the drugs with each group and both groups resumed using both drugs even though they were not being forced anymore.

Even though the group of monkeys that had the marijuana continued to use the supplement that doesn’t mean that it was the cannabis that is addicting, maybe monkeys just have an addictive personality. What if one day we can cure cancer by having the patients just smoke marijuana? Somewhere down the line a group of scientist ultimately uncover that the cure was sitting right in front of us. Thousands of lives will be saved, marijuana would be legalized in every state and it would completely change the way the world looks on the element.


National Cancer Institute Fact Page. (2000, december 12). Retrieved from National Cancer Institute : http://www. cancer. gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Support/marijuana Fiket, M. (2010, august 25). How does Marijuana Help Cancer Patients. Retrieved from LIVESTRONG: http://www. livestrong. com/article/219707-how-does-marijuana-help-cancer-patients/ King, T. (2008, janary 11). Breakthrough Discovered in Medical Marijuana Cancer Treatment. Retrieved from Salem-news. com: http://www. salem-news. com/articles/january112008/cancer_treatment_11008.php Pranger, B. (2010).

The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Cancer Patients. Retrieved 2010, from www. adatum. com: http://www. articlefeeder. com/Diseases__Conditions_and_Treatments/The_Benefits_Of_Medical_Marijuana_For_Cancer_Patients. html Rochelle, M. (2002, january 7). Cannabis: Passing the Pipe to Cancer Patients. Retrieved from Serendip: http://serendip. brynmawr. edu/biology/b103/f00/web2/rochelle2. html Treaster, J. B. (1991, may 1). Doctors in Survey Support Marijuana use by cancer patients. Retrieved from The New York Times.

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