Cannabis and Cancer
Cancer will likely affect you or a loved one at some point in your lifetime. You may find yourself as a patient or caregiver, wondering what treatments to pursue and what medications to take.
Of course, this is a personal choice between you or the patient and your doctors. There are many traditional as well as alternative treatments available. A comprehensive treatment plan will likely include both. So outside of the traditional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, what alternative therapies can help?
Alternative therapies are often used as secondary treatments to help with the accompanying stress and anxiety of dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatments. Alternative therapies can also help to relieve some of the side-effects caused by cancer drugs such as nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite and insomnia. These therapies can include acupuncture, Tai-Chi, aromatherapy, yoga, exercise, massage, reiki, hypnosis, meditation & breathwork. Many of these therapies can also help to reduce the level of pain experienced by patients living with cancer.
Cannabis is also an alternative therapy option.
As with many other conditions that the PA Department of Health has approved cannabis as treatment for, more research is needed. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. The Federal government continues to enforce policies and regulations that restrict scientists’ abilities to research the health benefits of cannabis products. Because of this, research has been severely limited, leaving patients and doctors without the breadth of evidence they need to make sound decisions. At Soulful Cannabis, we believe this lack of extensive evidence-based information has created a public health risk.
Anecdotally, our caregivers have had extensive experience in helping patients battling cancer. Jason Mitchell, a co-founder at Soulful Cannabis and long-time cannabis industry veteran, tells us that in his experience “cannabis has a profound ability to make patients comfortable, and counteract many of the side effects from conventional cancer treatments.” Julia Kline, also a co-founder of Soulful Cannabis and a registered nurse, had a personal experience with her own uncle who passed away from colon cancer. She explains that her uncle resisted trying cannabis to relieve any of his symptoms until about three weeks before his death. When he finally did, it enabled him to drink and eat, as well as generally elevate his mood. He was able to pass away in comfort and at home rather than a hospital.
Using the limited research that is available, our partners at Leafwell have provided a comprehensive article on the pros and cons of using cannabis as a therapy for cancer. Soulful Cannabis believes patients should feel empowered to take control of their own health and treatments. To this end, we believe it is imperative that patients educate themselves on the research that is available to make sound decisions. We recommend you read Leafwell’s article as well as the research it is linked to, in order to make the best decision for you and your health (or a loved one’s health).