Can Cannabis Help With Brain Cancer Treatment in Milton?
As a member of the hemp family, cannabis is composed of the flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant. These are dried and made into a resinous extract. Cannabis contains compounds known as cannabinoids, important for recreational and medical purposes. Cannabinoids are chemicals in the cannabis plant that cause the body to respond in a certain manner. Of these two compounds, we are particularly interested in:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol – delta-9 (responsible for the psychoactive and addictive effects of cannabis) THC
- Cannabidiol – CBD
Different parts of the cannabis plant are used to produce the different derivatives, which include:
- Cannabis tincture
- Cannabis concentrates
- Cannabis edibles
- Cannabis beverages
Medical Cannabis in Canada
Currently, cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes in Canada, and recreational cannabis has been legal since October 2018. Such cannabis is commonly called medical cannabis.
Patients who want to use cannabis medically must first get a medical document (like a prescription) from their doctor or nurse practitioner. With this document, licensed cannabis producers in Canada can sell them marijuana for medical use. There are many forms of cannabis available at an online weed dispensary, including dried cannabis, cannabis oil, or fresh cannabis leaves or buds that you can eat as edibles, smoked, or vaporized.
People with cancer can use cannabis medically to help manage their symptoms and side effects under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Your healthcare team can educate you about marijuana’s benefits and risks. Your healthcare team can help you decide whether marijuana is right for you.
How Does Marijuana Affect Symptoms of Cancer?
Several studies have indicated that inhaled (smoked or vaporized) marijuana can help treat neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves). Several small studies have found that smoked marijuana can help treat nausea and vomiting related to cancer chemotherapy. Studies have shown that smoking marijuana improves food intake in HIV patients. Marijuana oil or hemp oil has not been studied in humans.
Cannabis extracts have been shown in studies to reduce the need for pain medicine in people during clinical trials. Recent research indicates that THC and other cannabinoids, such as CBD, slow the growth of certain kinds of cancer cells and cause them to die in laboratory dishes. Certain cannabinoids have also been suggested to slow cancer growth and reduce its spread in some animal studies.
Human trials of cannabinoids for treating cancer are being conducted and are still in the early stages, while more are planned. So far, cannabinoids are safe in treating cancer, but they have not been shown to help control or cure it.
Cancer patients who ignore or defer conventional medical care for cancer may suffer serious health consequences if they rely solely on marijuana as a treatment.
Brain Cancer May Be Treated With a Marijuana Chemical
Researchers in Spain reported on April 1, 2009, that the active chemical in marijuana aids in the feeding of brain cancer cells.
According to Guillermo Velasco and his colleagues at Complutense University in Spain, the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is found to cause the death of cells called autophagy. Cells essentially digest themselves through autophagy, which results from their breakdown.
In mice with human brain tumour cells and people with brain tumours, scientists found that cannabinoids like THC had anticancer effects. When THC was given to mice having cancerous brain cells, the tumours shrank.
A clinical trial enrolled two patients in which THC was injected directly into their brain to treat recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain tumour. Tracking their progress was made possible by biopsies taken before and after treatment. There was evidence that autophagy was increased after receiving THC.
The treatment had no toxic effects on the patients. According to a journal article, previous studies have also found THC to be well tolerated in cancer treatment. The authors further state that new strategies can be found to prevent tumour growth
Getting Medical Advice About Cannabis
You or your loved one’s medical team may find it challenging to begin this discussion. For those interested in learning if cannabis-based medicines may be beneficial to them or their loved ones, or for those considering a non-prescription cannabis product like CBD oil, we recommend speaking with your physician about this.
A relatively small number of people are likely to receive medical cannabis prescriptions and only for particular reasons.
You can prepare for this conversation by following these tips:
- You may want to tell us why you are interested in cannabis-based medicines or products and what you hope they will do for you or someone you love.
- Be sure you let your medical team know that you want them involved in decisions regarding the use of cannabis-based products or medicines.
- Obtain information about the clinical and research evidence supporting or discouraging the use of cannabis-based medicines and products on a specific basis.
- Always remind yourself that a medical professional’s primary concern is your health or the health of a loved one. The doctor may be willing to discuss any medications or complementary therapies that may be suitable.
Your medical team might tell you not to take cannabis-based products or medicines. It’s up to you to find out why. Cannabis-based drugs and products may not be appropriate for you or your loved one for various clinical and evidence-based reasons. For instance, they may interact with other medications.
There is still much to be studied, but the results indicate that cannabinoid-based treatments might offer patients a new alternative for treating otherwise untreatable brain tumours. You can contact us if you want to know more about cannabis and other marijuana products.
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