When traditional medicines stop working, doctors can only do so much to treat their patients. Patients who become desperate often turn to other possible solutions for their treatment. This desperation is the case for most mesothelioma patients. Many of them report relief from taking medical marijuana. Despite the approval of the use of medical marijuana and derivatives such as CBD oil among cancer patients in many states, there are still some states that do not.
What is Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin layers of tissues that cover most of the internal organs or the mesothelium. It is a deadly and aggressive form of cancer that, in most patients, is incurable.
The most common cause of this cancer is asbestos exposure. During the mining process and removal of asbestos insulation, asbestos dust can be inhaled or swallowed. When this happens, asbestos fibers can settle in the lungs and stomach where they can cause irritation that may eventually lead to mesothelioma. The entire process is yet to be understood since symptoms can occur anywhere from 20 to 60 years after the initial exposure.
Not all those who were exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, which points to various other risk factors may cause the malignancy. Some persons are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, particularly those who have a family history and those who have had radiation therapy to the chest.
Asbestos is also present in talc in its natural form. In an article published by Bergman Legal, it showed that talc miners and their families were mostly misinformed of the risks of mining the substance. Only a few knew about the potential dangers of exposure to asbestiform tremolite that are prevalent in talc mines.
What are the Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Mesothelioma Patients?
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in cannabinoids. Several studies were done to discover if these naturally occurring substances can have positive effects on cancer treatment. Studies also support that marijuana has anti-tumor activity, particularly in lung cancer. Most of these studies showed that cannabis could:
- Cause cell death
- Prevent cell division
- Stop cells from forming new blood vessels
Taking these into consideration, the use of medical marijuana has become an option for most cancer patients.
For patients with mesothelioma, medical marijuana helped them deal with pain, nausea, and anxiety. Similarly, there are also reports of improved appetite and sleep quality. Patients using medical marijuana also report side effects such as:
- Low blood pressure
- Bloodshot eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
However, these reported side effects are often mild and depend on the amount consumed. Cancer patients who take it claim that the benefits outweigh the side effects by a large margin.
CBD Oil in Focus
In the U.S., some states allow patients with cancer to use CBD oil. CBD oil does not have THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which gives marijuana the psychoactive effects that make it (in)famous. This absence of THC means that CBD cannot produce the same high you would get from using marijuana by smoking. Cancer patients using CBD oil report dramatic improvements in their health. They usually start by taking in small doses first, about a few drops, before taking a gram a day.
Since there is still no known cure for mesothelioma, people are strongly advised to lower their exposure to asbestos. Cancer patients, in their desire to find a treatment or relief from their symptoms, may rely on unconventional therapies. It is a good thing that a lot of research studies regarding cancer and marijuana are underway. Based on testimonials alone, patients do experience benefits from medical marijuana. Still, it would be best to support these findings with detailed studies in a clinical trial setting.