A lot of people are turning to cannabis because of its medical benefits. Cannabis is a natural herb with no side effects as compared to other pharmaceutical drugs if taken with the recommendation of a doctor. But can we also use cannabis in chemotherapy?
In the case of cancer, there are not enough clinical trials that could give a categorical answer. But patients have shared a lot of positive results who have used cannabis during and after chemotherapy. As cannabis is great in treating the symptoms of cancer such as loss of appetite, pain, and nausea.
In a survey of cancer patients, every one out of eight patients claimed using cannabis to treat the symptoms of cancer. From the same survey, only 15% of the patients concurred with the statement that cannabis interferes with different prescriptions.
No doubt, this is a hazardous misguided judgment. Doctor Joseph Rosado, who is a cannabis doctor says that cannabis typically interacts with every single medication including chemotherapy drugs. Especially those that are particularly processed through the liver. Moreover, Doctor Rosado has treated almost 400 cancer patients with cannabis drugs.
Cancer patients and cannabis
Cancer patients use cannabis for two reasons:
- to reduce the reactions of cancer treatment.
- to accomplish anti-tumor responses.
As to the first of these objectives, THC has clinically exhibited to avert the sickness and loss of craving brought about by chemotherapy. People have also started using cannabis because of its anti-tumor effects, some of these positive results have also been seen in various animal models of cancer.
Because of the positive benefits of cannabis thousands of oncology patients are using it around the world to treat cancer.
Is it safe to use cannabis during chemotherapy?
According to researches, cannabis can be utilized safely in conjunction with chemotherapy treatment. The interactions of the cannabis with other medications in the liver have easily avoided by changing how you direct your cannabis drug.
The interactions in the liver mostly occur by taking pills or edibles. We can avoid it if we take cannabis by vaping, inhalers, or smoking. Doctor Rosado suggests that out of all these methods patients should use inhalers. It’s very effective because when you inhale cannabis all of it is absorbed in three to four minutes.
This happens through an exchange of gases in the lungs. Cannabinoids immediately tie to the red blood cells, advancing into the circulatory system. By this patient can take the best dose of cannabis with the best possible results.
After inhalers, Doctor Rosado suggests vaporization. It’s another effective method of consuming cannabis. However, smoking cannabis has not recommended for medicinal use as it can have negative effects.
What to keep in mind?
Doctor Rosado suggests that the cancer patient should never take cannabis in the form of pills or edibles during chemotherapy treatments. It can have adverse effects within 1.5 to 2 hours of treatment. Moreover, liver cancer patients should never take edibles because liver cancer reduces the ability of the liver to metabolize.
Doctor Rosado also says that if you have a problem in inhaling cannabis then you can take a low-temperature tea made from cannabis buds.
Can Cannabis Intervene in the Ovulation?
A recent study recommends women having fertility problems should avoid smoking cannabis for better treatment. It says the usage might intervene in the normal ovulation process.
Females over a count of 400 having treatment through cannabis health reported having pregnancy loss through using the substance. Surprisingly, a few couples with only the male utilizing the cannabis had more probability of having babies.
However, the pilot study shows a lack of evidence that proves that cannabis might improve fertility rates in males. The study appears in the journal of Human Reproduction.
Furthermore, the bad news is that there is very little knowledge about the effects of cannabis on reproductive health. This lack of data is highly concerning as the new trends of more legalization and increasing awareness of its benefits are getting more popular.
Notably, the use is more common among adults of reproductive age. Till now, only a handful of studies have considered the effects of cannabis smoking on both genders relating to fertility.
Is there a direct link of cannabis with reproduction?
In two of the scientific studies, they found no effect on the couples trying to conceive through natural process.
However, another study showed that couples using ART had low fertilization rates due to decline in egg count.
The new research had 421 females who got through 730 cycles of ART around the years 2004 and 2017 at the fertility center at Boston. In the study, partners of 200 women also participated.
Out of the women, 44 percent women and 61 percent men used cannabis. Whereas, 3 percent of the females and 12 percent of the males reported to be regular cannabis smokers.
In the study, 317 females had a positive blood test for pregnancy in 395 ART cycles that had 9 women who were cannabis users. Loss in pregnancy was evident in 54 percent of the cannabis smokers and 26 percent of the non users.
The male partners in the couples who smoked cannabis regularly, 48 percent of them had a baby. The 29 percent of the couples had the partners who did not smoke cannabis.
Can cannabis improve reproductive health?
Some studies on animals have shown that endocannabinoid system in the active state improves testicular function. Whereas, on higher levels, the functionality decreases.
Moreover, scientists have been focusing on the effects of cannabis on males more than on females. This has lead to an improper knowledge about the fertility debate.
However, around a thirty of the scientific studies have showed evidence related to increase in low birthweight risk in women using cannabis. With a weekly use of cannabis, or even more, the risk elevates to an even higher level.
A study published in June in the CMAJ Journal with an existing evidence on cannabis and fertility echoed the same warning.
The use of cannabis in men on a weekly basis linked to a deduction in 29 percent in the sperm count. Also, the use of women during the three months due to a delay in ovulation.
With no solid evidence showing the direct effect of cannabis on conception ability of most couples, cannabis use could aggravate complications.
What Stake Does Congress Have in Cannabis Reforms?
The subcommittee on crime, terrorism and Homeland Security House Judiciary scheduled for debate this year. In the debate, the House decided to have a debate on changing the federal law relating to cannabis and call for cannabis reforms in the cannabis law. This will be a congressional hearing on the cannabis reform in the law for the first time in history.
According to the consensus, there is a need to make most of the cannabis reform. However, there is a difference in opinion when talking about the infrastructure of the legislation and the strategy for it.
There is a very low chance of shedding light on the topic of cannabis decriminalization among the bipartisan parties. The possibility to reach a unanimous agreement is rare.
The debate will be an advancement towards the cannabis law reform action. Legislative bodies and regulators had assumed that the reformation of federal cannabis laws has already discussed regulation. The reality is quite the opposite.
Opinion of people regarding reforms
Many people, including regular cannabis consumers, think that there is a dire need for reforms in the current cannabis law. The cannabis laws at current level do not fully cover all aspects of the substance use and distribution in the country.
The hearing is the first big step in the way of making cannabis reforms. The proposals in the session include discussion on the legislative bodies permitting the states to make their policies. These policies would be rescheduling cannabis and also contain social equity provisions.
Reluctance from big banks
There are some big problems relevant to the payment methods in spreading of legal cannabis in the country. This is because federal law still considers cannabis as an illegal substance. As a consequence, many payment card networks, credit companies, and banks are not comfortable participating in the cause.
This is an inevitable fact that the situation of the policy of legal cannabis at this time is not made of uniform opinion. There are differences of opinion everywhere, and no single seating has been successful in making the uniformity a reality. This has caused a loss in the otherwise potential market for profit.
What does the State’s Act say?
The state’s Act is regarded as one of the most famous bills relevant to cannabis. It would amend the Food and Drug Administration Controlled Substances Act. In addition to this, it also rules out the legal cannabis activity from the federal enforcing bodies.
Some voices suggest that this overall full legalization of cannabis will cause the federal government to no longer intervene in the internal matters of the states. On the other hand, some people think that the bill does not hold a vision. This is because according to them, it does not thoroughly look deep into concerning issues like racial and social discrimination.
While this is going around, the future of the cannabis industry is still bright despite the difference of opinions regarding its reforms. By now, 11 states have legalized and 15 other states have decriminalized cannabis, which is a big win.
How Can Government Help in Cannabis Research?
Dick Durban is the first Senator in the United States to initiate a legislation that would be encouraging cannabis research on the federal level.
The new act is the Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act according to which there will be complete allowance of research on cannabis federally.
It will be expanding studies on the pros and cons of cannabis use. Scientists in 2017 conducted a study on the current situation of research on cannabis via National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
They found that cannabis is beneficial for coping many medical conditions. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research considering its side effects and harms. There is a narrow scape for research on the public health and safety effects from cannabis usage.
More room for advanced research
Over thirty US states have now legalized cannabis in some sort. With the lift from the federal ban, there will be room for cutting edge medicinal research on cannabis. There will be an in-depth understanding of cannabis usage for treating a specific population with disease. These target groups include pregnant women, children and elderly as well.
The federal law considers cannabis and its compounds to be Schedule I controlled substances according to the Drug Enforcement Administration DEA. It further states that cannabis does not have any medical benefit.
The classification implies limitations on cannabis accessibility and usage for research. Scientists will have to undergo many twisting procedures of regulations for every new research on cannabis.
It includes getting cannabis strains through the National Institutes of Health and licenses from the Drug Enforcement Agency. These are formalities in addition to the basic prerequisites.
It has made many conflicts in which many scientists were unable to conduct studies even in states where cannabis was fully available for all purposes.
What will the act imply?
It will be under the consideration of the act to direct these major authorities and regulatory bodies to develop an agenda for cannabis research on national scale. This will be prioritizing fundamental queries and loopholes in evidence.
Furthermore, it will include a study of diseases cannabis can cure effectively. In addition, it will study how cannabis influences susceptible population.
Moreover, there will be a study of long-term effects, delivery modes and addressing public safety concerns.
It will be directing higher authorities to acquire data on cannabis usage and its impact on public health. Surveys and analyses of medical records will help expanding data collection of public health about outcomes and product types.
Cannabis will now have an image of a schedule III instead of a schedule I substance under the Drug Enforcement Administration. It will lift barriers that scientists face while having access to cannabis.
The Centers of Excellence designation established through NIH would help streamline the research pathway. It will enabling universities to have a DEA inspection that would last around five to ten years. This will omit the need for specific approvals for every study.
In addition, it will be also expanding permissible suppliers for cannabis cultivation for research purposes.
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