Potential Effects Of Cannabis

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There is expected to be an estimated 1,658,370 new cases of men and women diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) (p. 5). Of those 1,658,370 individual estimated to be diagnosed with cancer this year as well as those already diagnosed the ACS estimates 589,430 of those men and women will die (American Cancer Society, 2015, p. 6) Those receiving cancer treatments as well as those who are in final stages of cancer receive palliative treatment to help relieve the effects associated with cancer and its’ treatment. Medical cannabis has the potential to alleviate and treat symptoms associated with modern cancer treatments and should be considered a viable option. For those suffering with …show more content…
“worked for 26 years in a high volume emergency department… he never witnessed a single visit for cannabis withdrawal symptoms, whereas dramatic symptoms from alcohol, benzodiazepine, and/or opioid withdrawal were a daily occurrence” (p. 110). It was also found that “even low dose inhaled cannabis has been proven to reduce neuropathic pain.” Web and Web (2014) mention that in studies done by War et al. they found that “therapeutic blood levels of THC (mean 45ng/ml achieved by a single inhalation three times a day) were much lower than those necessary to produce a cannabis euphoria or “high”(>100ng/ml)” (p. 110). This is important in that those who are using cannabis for palliative pain relief may do so without the risk of feeling doped up or high from the medicine. Cannabis also can help alleviate symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression in cancer patients as well. According to Robson (2001), Nabilone in comparison with a placebo in patients with anxiety “produced “dramatic improvements” on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale.” It was concluded that Nabilone was “very effective anxiolytic deserving of further study.” Robson (2001), explain that due to its hypnotic effects THC “may have antidepressant properties in cancer patients and others” …show more content…
According to Sarfaraz, Adhami, Syed, Afaq, and Mukhtar (2008) “cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled division of cells ad their ability to spread. This unregulated growth is caused by damage to DNA, resulting in mutations, defects in cell cycle and apoptotic machinery…agents that can modulate apoptosis to maintain steady-state cell population by affecting on e or more signaling intermediates leading to the induction of apoptosis can be useful for targeted therapy of cancer” (p. 339). Sarfaraz et al. (2008) cites that “cannabinoids inhibited tumor cell growth and induced apoptosis by modulating different cell signaling pathways in gliomas and lymphomas, prostate, breast, lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer cells” and affirms that “there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that cannabinoids can be explored as chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer” (p. 339). Cannabinoids are unique in that they target cancer cells and spare normal healthy cells whereas chemotherapy and radiation not only destroy cancer cell but any and all healthy cells surrounding; not to mention the immunosuppressive nature of the latter treatments which attribute to many cancer related deaths. Even more impressive is that cannabinoids do all this as well as protect health cells from cell death (Guzman, 2003, p.

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