Using cannabis or marijuana for medicinal purposes is a hot topic right now among patients and health practitioners. It’s regularly touted as a pain reliever for many chronic illnesses, including cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, here are some of the facts about medical marijuana and its suggested uses:
It’s grown all over the world.
The plant is grown in various places around the world but originated in central Asia. The resin of the plant contains compounds called cannabinoids which are active chemicals that affect the brain and central nervous system.
The key is cannabinoids.
Two of the active cannabinoids that are useful in medical marijuana are delta-9-THC and cannabidiol. Delta-9-THC is psychoactive and is the property that gives users the “high,” whereas cannabidiol can help the central nervous system and immune system by decreasing inflammation without any high for the user. Cannabinoids can be taken in several ways: inhaled, sprayed under the tongue, ingested or smoked.
It’s been used for thousands of years.
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes in some civilizations for thousands of years, but it’s only been since the late 19th century that western medicine has started to see the potential for cannabis to be used as a pain reliever.
Medical marijuana is legal in some states.
Recreational use of cannabis is illegal in the United States, but many states now allow the use of medicinal marijuana for patients who are registered.
Cannabinoids can help with the side effects of chemotherapy.
It’s thought that cannabinoid drugs may offer pain relief for cancer patients and help with some of the side effects of treatment, including chemotherapy. Though as of right now, there’s no hard evidence to support the use of ingesting or smoking cannabis to treat nausea and sickness from chemotherapy.
Cannabis has killed cancer cells in laboratory tests.
There has been clinical research which shows that cannabis has been able to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests, but cannabis has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for cancer.
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