Cannabis research powerhouse Israel produces more cancer and medical marijuana data
Cannabis can not cure cancer, but it can help in a variety of ways including pain, neuropathy, nausea, appetite and more. But for day to day life, pain and appetite have an oversized influence. Over half of patients in cancer treatment and two thirds of those with advanced or terminal disease experience pain. Now studies are starting to take a deeper look into our medical marijuana can help with cancer pain.
Medical marijuana may be helpful for the management of cancer-related pain when conventional therapies are ineffective or are causing adverse effects. For patients with severe cancer pain, opioids are still considered the standard of treatment, but simultaneous use of marijuana may decrease pain signals in the brain, with additional anti-inflammatory properties. This could lead to a decrease in opioid dependence.
Medical marijuana can help those suffering from cancer-associated pain, as per a Technion study published Friday in the journal Frontiers in Pain Research. Almost half of the patients enrolled in the research discontinued their other pain medication after six months of medical cannabis treatment.
“Traditionally, cancer-related pain is mainly treated by opioid analgesics, but most oncologists perceive opioid treatment as hazardous, so alternative therapies are required,” said author David Meiri, an assistant professor at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.
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According to the peer-reviewed research, medical cannabis helps lower the pain in oncology patients while also alleviating other symptoms as well. Patients fighting cancer are known to also suffer from depression, anxiety and insomnia, which can also negatively impact the treatment and prognosis.
While opioids are effective in reducing pain, they have numerous negative side effects. For example, the synthetic opioid fentanyl is highly addictive and can cause death by overdose. The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis with two-thirds of overdose deaths accredited to illegal opioid fentanyl use.
To address this, federal health officials signaled they are willing to try new approaches to stem the tragedy. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra announced that the Biden administration’s strategy to deal with the epidemic could include allowing supervised consumption sites. Research Offers Hope It seems that this new Israeli research also provides hope that medical marijuana can be utilized as an alternative to opioids. The study included certified oncologists who prescribed medical marijuana to their patients and reported on their progress.