JUL 19, 2019 5:14 AM PDT

Cancer and Cannabis: A Good Match?

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

Recently talk of cannabis and cancer treatment have gone hand in hand. Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular amongst cancer patients as they see positive results from using the plant to aid symptoms brought on by the disease, as well as medical treatments like chemotherapy.

For cancer patients, there are various potential benefits to cannabis use, specifically when it comes to managing symptoms. Research shows that Cannabis is successful in combatting chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, as well as depression. Although Cannabis proves to be less potent than other available solutions to these symptoms, for some patients, Cannabis is proving more successful in reducing their suffering.

A 2018 survey demonstrated that cannabis use among patients with cancer was widespread. 43% of the 2040 surveys returned to researchers indicated cannabis use, with one in eight respondents identifying at least one cancer-related symptom for which they used Cannabis. The top reasons for cannabis use included cancer-related pain (46%), nausea (34%), and other cancer symptoms (31%).

According to Leafly, a cannabis information resource, Dr. Joseph Rosado, a cannabis physician and author of Hope and Healing: the Case for Cannabis, says that ingested Cannabis will interact with all medications that are processed through the liver, including chemotherapy drugs. Our bodies use CYP enzymes to metabolize over half of the drugs sold in the market today, including all chemotherapy drugs. When THC and CBD are consumed orally, they interact with other medications that are processed by CYP enzymes in the liver. This interaction results in the fluctuating of the levels of the other drugs.

Chemotherapy drugs are cytotoxic, which means that they are toxic to all living cells. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill as many cancer cells as possible while minimizing the death of healthy cells. Due to the CYP interaction, patients who use cannabis medicine in conjunction with chemotherapy run the risk of having more toxic chemicals in their blood than expected.

According to Dr. Rosado, Cannabis can safely be used in conjunction with chemotherapy treatment if appropriately administered. CYP enzyme interactions in the liver mostly occur when orally administered through pills, edibles, and tinctures, but the liver can be bypassed if the drug is administered using inhalation (vaping, smoking, inhalers), topical creams and patches, or intra-rectal or intra-vaginal routes (suppositories, ovules).

Photo source: Pixabay.com 

About the Author
  • Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
You May Also Like
NOV 05, 2020
Immunology
Immune cells from recovered COVID-19 patients can help protect immunocompromised individuals against infection
NOV 05, 2020
Immune cells from recovered COVID-19 patients can help protect immunocompromised individuals against infection
Our knowledge of COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 is increasing every day, with new research papers published continuously. Resear ...
NOV 12, 2020
Immunology
Anti-bodies against a sugar present in meat and dairy products can increase the risk of Colorectal Cancer
NOV 12, 2020
Anti-bodies against a sugar present in meat and dairy products can increase the risk of Colorectal Cancer
Nutrition is essential to health; what we eat in our daily diet affects our overall health condition and what diseases w ...
NOV 13, 2020
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Oil May Help Burning Mouth Syndrome
NOV 13, 2020
Cannabis Oil May Help Burning Mouth Syndrome
If you’ve ever scalded the top of your mouth with very hot food or drink you'll know the pain it can cause. No ...
NOV 16, 2020
Microbiology
Using the Microbiome to Diagnose or Treat Autism
NOV 16, 2020
Using the Microbiome to Diagnose or Treat Autism
Autism is a complex disorder that has sent researchers searching for what is causing it, as the rates continue to rise. ...
NOV 26, 2020
Cardiology
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
NOV 26, 2020
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are often associated with each other, as many issues caused by diabetes promote hear ...
NOV 23, 2020
Microbiology
Drug Resistance in Tuberculosis Involves a Unique Mechanism
NOV 23, 2020
Drug Resistance in Tuberculosis Involves a Unique Mechanism
The pathogenic bacterium that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, does not multiply quickly, so researchers ...
Loading Comments...