A quarter of cancer patients use cannabis to feel better, where it’s legal

Cannabis is extremely popular among cancer patients in states where it is legal, a study in the US has found.Cancer patients use cannabis to improve symptoms such as nausea and pain associated with their treatment, or the psychological burdens of stress, depression and insomnia. So well-known is the link it’s been shown in The Big C, a popular TV drama about a cancer patient.

Seattle, Washington, is one place where the use of cannabis, both medically and recreationally, is permitted under state law. A total of 926 patients at the Seattle Cancer Center Alliance took part in a study on cannabis use, published in the journal Cancer.

Nearly three-quarters said they wanted to find out more from their doctors about cannabis. Two-thirds said they had used cannabis at least once in their lives. This compares with about 45% of the general population using cannabis at least once, according to data from the US’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The researchers found that many of the cancer patients were actively using weed, with a quarter using it in the past year and nearly a fifth using it in the past week. A urine test confirmed that roughly this proportion of the patients tested positive for recent cannabis use.

The patients reported using it primarily to relieve their physical symptoms and improve their psychological well being. Most said that they were very interested in learning more about cannabis as part of their cancer treatment. They said they would prefer to hear about it from a doctor, but realistically would be more likely to get the information they needed from outside the medical system.

Medical or recreational cannabis is not for all cancer patients, the study authors noted, and may lead to unwanted side-effects. Given this, it would be better for patients to have access and feel comfortable raising the topic with medical professionals, they said.

“Cancer patients desire but are not receiving information from their cancer doctors about marijuana use during their treatment, so many of them are seeking information from alternate non-scientific sources,” said study author Steven Pergam, a doctor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE BELOW

Source: A quarter of cancer patients use cannabis to feel better, where it’s legal

Advertisements

One comment

  1. I agree that Cannabis can help reduce pain. I never would have though it. It’s illegal both medicinally and recreationally here in my state. I wish there was more support for cannabis while on opioids. I know that sounds not good, but in the height of my pain, at one point (I’m totally clean), someone brought me some and told me to try it and see for myself. My pain meds weren’t enough and I was a miserable bear curdled up and suffering so I tried it. I’ve always wanted to know if it would really help. I’ve been on the fence in regards to that. I do wish it were legal recreationally, as I used it in my younger days and dropped it on a dime to join the military. No withdraw no nothing. Easy to pick and easy to put away.
    But that day found me hurting so severely I was done. So I tried it. I took a very small amount, as I’m a lightweight, I’ve been out of the game for so long. What I realized is that my pain was under control. What I LEARNED was that it acted like a muscle relaxer and I’ve not been able to take any of those type of meds without multiple side effects and with no relief. But I found myself walking through my house with a bit longer strides and a looseness in the hips I haven’t had in years. I didn’t expect this! I walked all over my house that day with a big grin on my face. I WAS WALKING!!!
    The second thing I realized was that I had made it my total time between pain pill doses without the break through pain I’ve come to expect. What the what!?!! I was able to space out my pills even LONGER than before. What is in this stuff!!??
    That was one of my best days. I could cry it was so helpful. But here I sit, in pain once again, waiting for my next appointment to beg for an increase and to stop the new meds I was given as I do think it’s making everything worse. Chronic pain is no joke. I didn’t chose this life. In fact, I’m not happy, I’m miserable and I can only suffer.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s