Cannabis may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
All cancer or anti-cancer treatment-related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, mood disorders, fatigue, weight loss, anorexia, constipation, sexual function, sleep disorders, itching, and pain had significant improvement.
Evidence of the use of cannabis for medicinal and ceremonial purposes goes back 4000 years. In 1854, the plant appeared in the United States Dispensatory and was sold freely in pharmacies in Western countries. It also appeared in the British Pharmacopoeia as an extract and tincture for over 100 years. In 1942, cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia, and, with that, its legal medicinal use was stopped.
Other Conditions Treated:
Cannabis has been shown to possess antitumor properties. Brain Cancer, Mouth and Throat Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Uterine, Testicular, and Pancreatic Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Blood Cancer, Skin Cancer, Liver Cancer, Biliary Tract Cancer, and Bladder Cancer have been treated with cannabis medicines.
Other possible effects of cannabis include:
Since pain symptoms vary from person to person, pain management treatment strategies and treatments also need to be individualized. Medication alone is often not sufficient to treat pain and sometimes too many medications or taking them for prolonged periods of time can cause other problems. Additional treatments for you might include interventions for your specific type of pain or non-traditional treatments. As time passes, it is important for you and your doctor to reevaluate what's working for you and what can be done differently to accommodate any changes in your symptoms. Finding the right combination is the key.
Other things you can do yourself are: therapies for the mind and body such as meditation and yoga (non-traditional treatments often referred to as Complementary and Integrative medicine practices). These may help reduce stress, improve mood, and make you less aware of pain which will help you feel better. Again, your doctor can help you decide which techniques may be beneficial for you. You can refer to the WRIISC fact sheet on Complementary and Integrative Medicine for more information on meditation and yoga and other non-traditional treatments that are helpful in managing pain.