A recent clinical trial has shown positive results for a treatment plan for a rare form of lymphoma blood cancer.
What is Lymphoma?
Found in humans, Lymphoma is one of the most common types of blood cancer. Developing from a group of lymphocytes, the cancerous growth occurs around the lymph nodes, causing them to enlarge. However, a rare subtype of the cancer – Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVLBCL) is sometimes hard to diagnose. Hence, leading to a relatively high mortality rate.
IVLBCL is a form of ‘extranodal malignant non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)’, that causes the lymphoma cells to grow within the capillaries and small arteries or veins. Since the growth takes place inside the blood vessels, the cancer is extremely difficult to diagnose. Particularly during its early stages of developement. Further, the presentation of symptoms is generally non-specific, which makes the diagnosis even more challenging.
As of date, there is no effective treatment for IVLBCL. Since, it mostly develops in senior citizens, the patients are not able to withstand the side effects of extensive chemotherapy. Hence, majority of the patients end up denying the treatment altogether. There is an elevated risk of developing permanent “central nervous system” disorders, even after the treatment.
Numerous studies have focused on finding a possible treatment for the disease, however, nothing significant has been developed so far.
A group of researchers from Mie University and NogoyaUniversity, Japan, recently tried to test a new treatment plan that would effectively target the cancer and also minimize the side effects. The study analyzed the patients’ data and concluded that those who underwent chemotherapy combined with “rituximab” drug, showed promising improvements in their overall condition.
However, it still does not prevent or reduce the secondary side effects on the central nervous system. According to Dr. Kazuyuki Shimada, “We considered that rituximab-containing chemotherapies combined with treatment for the secondary CNS problems could lead to further improvement in the clinical outcome.”
The trial consisted of 38 patients between the ages of 20 and 79. They were diagnosed with the Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma but were not showing signs of any central nervous system disorders. The subjects were monitored over several years and the finding were published in a scientific paper, The Lancet Oncology.
The treatment procedure showed some positive results. Out of the total patients, 76% reached the two year survival goal without the progression of disease, whereas 92% reached the overall survival goal. The treatment significantly reduced the overall side effects and only 3% of the patients showed CNS damage. The team also reported that there were very few serious complications that occurred during the trial, especially in comparison to the average number of complications with a standard treatment.
Dr. Shimada summarized the findings, saying, “It appears that the proposed treatment protocol might be effective in patients without apparent central nervous system involvement at the time of diagnosis.”
However, further research needs to be done to come to any definitive conclusion. Especially, since the trail group was very small, and the results might be purely coincidental. Despite that, the treatment can stills be employed in clinical practices, since it does not use any ‘novel’ drugs – i.e. all the compounds used are already being used for IVLBCL’s treatment across the globe.
Is It Commendable to Combine Cannabis and Yoga?
Over the years yoga has played a significant role in combination with animals, music, and lights. Yoga and cannabis together pair better than you can imagine. Its combination with cannabis is non like the other. Unlike other mind-altering substances like alcohol or opiates, cannabis doesn’t close your mind off to the things that cause you pain and sadness. Indeed cannabis brings you into the present and enhances your mind-body connection.
Yoga and Cannabis together
Yoga practitioners say phrases like feel the glow of light into heart radiating love and acceptance. These phrases aid you in bringing your bodies into the phase of relaxation and peacefulness. One of the yoga teachers and cannabis user urges that he feels a more grounded and inward connection to his body when he combines yoga and cannabis. He says it feels that all the unnecessary thought and the worry to complete to-do lists turns off leaving him in immense pleasure. This relaxes him immensely and tunes his muscles and joints with each movement. All the way with legal jurisdiction this isn’t only him feeling this way.
Advantages of yoga and cannabis
Most yoga classes in combination with cannabis are slow and help you to restore. In addition to this, it focuses less on sweating and building up muscle mass. It is a way to reignite the love for you and have a mindful experience. Typically before these classes, there is a session of marijuana for 30 minutes to leave you into deeper thoughts. Also the classes that mix yoga and cannabis suggest the minimum usage of cannabis just to produce the effect. It is never a good idea to consume a whole slice of cake and smoking a huge amount of marijuana and then entering into the class.
CBD or THC
CBD is an excellent alternative to THC as it doesn’t make you high. Also, CBD proves to be a substitution to many medications over the counter for pain, anxiety, strokes, insomnia, and bone fractures. The cannabis industry still has a long way to go in identifying new ways to extract and derive compounds of CBD and its isolates. However, THC helps you in bringing the body together along with your mind to solidify the self-awareness that can be difficult to cater to.
People with chronic pain and medical complications are especially benefitted by using CBD or cannabidiol to make their body ready for practicing it. CBD has many therapeutic effects that result after the interaction of the body’s endocannabinoid system-majorly responsible for substances like sleep, pain, mood, and fertility.
Yoga and CBD- a perfect symbiotic relationship
There is a mirror image or you can say with the addition of CBD the advantages of yoga also increase. In many incidents, the advantages are reported. For example, yoga and CBD improve sleep whereas just the usage of CBD treats inflammation-based disorders. Yoga alone improves brain function.
The Fundamentals of Yoga
Many practitioners believe that yoga and cannabis combination doesn’t let you experience its spirituality. Dr. William Sands, Dean of Vedic Science at Maharishi University says that it detaches you from the inner self and is incompatible with yoga. Few traditional yogis warn about the suspected addiction that can be accompanied by recreational usage.
The topic of yoga and its combination with cannabis is still a controversial topic. Their interdependence and synergy appear to have embryonic roots. For many strict yoga teachers, it is a complete physical and mental discipline that doesn’t require any external substance use. On the other hand, many yogis believe that as its experience is enhanced by the burning of candles, lights and music so is cannabis another substance to create a soothing effect.
Dealing with Insomnia To Overcome Weed Dependency
Cannabis has been the go to drug for ‘locked-down’ people during the pandemic. According to a 2020 survey, a whopping 88% of the participants reported weed use at least once a week. Around 50% of the participants use it on a daily basis.
Other stats from the survey show that around 31% participants feel dependency on it. While 31% participants have some sort of dependency, 27% want to give it up. The problem arises in cases where the drug is in use to induce sleep.
A 2009 study showed that the main cause of cannabis relapse was poor sleeping patterns.
Cannabis As An Energy Booster?
People tend to depend on cannabis for a good night’s sleep. Those who develop a dependency, then have a hard time getting good sleep without its use. People have reported sleepless nights whenever they try to cut their use of cannabis.
For people going through such problems, cannabis actually helps them focus. This is because a lack of it will keep the brain racing at night and it will not be rested for the next day. Deirdre Conroy, the Clinical Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the University of Michigan, thinks that this behavior is typically caused by the withdrawal symptoms from quitting cannabis.
However, if you are looking forward to giving up cannabis, there are some ways you can achieve that.
Confronting Your Problems, The Right Way
Many a times there is some underlying problem that bothers people. They tend to take weed just to distract their minds off of that problem. According to Dr. Conroy, a person must address such an issue straight away. There are better ways of managing mental issues like anxiety and stress than taking weed. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication.
It should be kept in mind that seeking professional help is not always going to get you the answers you seek. One should be mindful and must manage themselves in the best possible manner. It is better to step out of one’s damaging cocoon and set targets that will help in managing stress.
There should a clear cut-off point that separates you from your work. To achieve this, avoid working from your bed or even your bedroom. Jot down all of your worries before bed and leave them on a paper instead of taking them to bed with you.
Instant Results Are a Hoax
Don’t expect to just climb into bed and fall asleep instantly after fine-tuning your routine. According to Conroy, it is very much normal to lay awake in bed staring at the ceiling for some time. There should be wind-down time window where phones and other such distractions are stowed away from sight. So basically the redemption starts by avoiding the more obvious addiction, the phone.
Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert, also suggests that the room should have minimal distractions and one must avoid anything too stimulating. Dr. Stanley believes one must sacrifice that one hour of Netflix before sleep, which keeps your brain working even after you fall asleep.
Weed Inhibits Nightmares
Cannabis suppresses REM sleep. Discontinuing the use of cannabis can cause REM sleep to rebound and this might lead to some nightmares or really tangled up dreams.
People tend to relapse when they face such episodes of dreams. Long-standing users of cannabis experience even stronger traumatic nightmares when they cut-back on the use of cannabis.
While this is not readily solvable, it can be managed to a certain extent by limiting your exposure to traumatic things.
ALSO READ: Two Faces of Marijuana
There is No One Ring Fits All Approach
The fact remains that addiction and control of it are different for every individual. The best method to deal with insomnia after quitting weed is to analyze what makes you feel content. It might be reading a book, yoga, taking a shower, or even playing with your pet. You have to analyze what helps you get the best sleep and stick to that regimen.
Two Faces of Marijuana
The effects of marijuana on your body depends on the style of consuming it. If you consume it through food and drinks, it takes time to get to your organs. However, when consumed directly in terms of smoking or vaping then it instantly makes its way to the organs and brain of the human body. Hence the way you intake marijuana causes different physical and physiological effects.
Marijuana and its medicinal use
Marijuana has been a stress reliever for many people around the world. People use it for different purposes. Medicinal usage of cannabis is significantly more famous. Chemotherapy is already a very devastating treatment, leaving the patient feeling helpless, vomiting and feeling drained. However, marijuana proves to reduce the effect of nausea and vomiting. Also, it may aid in relief from short-term pain and inflammation in the body.
Long-term use of marijuana may result in withdrawal symptoms that might be a setback for a few people. THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, interferes with tumor growth and inhibits it, as carried in the bloodstream. It also stimulates your hunger resulting in increased appetite, which can help treat cancer and AIDS patients.
ALSO READ: Medical Cannabis – Can It Help Treat Asthma?
High levels of Naphthalene and Acrylamide
A new study has found that smoking weed may have similar impacts on your body as smoking tobacco. According to a study published in a journal in the US, it reports that people who have consumed marijuana only have high levels of naphthalene and acrylamide in their urine and blood samples in comparison to non-smokers.
Naphthalene connects with damage to the liver and damage to neurons. Acrylamide has been associated with cancer and other major health issues. On the other hand, the usage of marijuana is legalizing in many of the states. The report says that Mexico is going to be the third-largest population of the cannabis population. People are using it for recreational use. At times, the dosage is uncontrolled, resulting in drug abuse. The war on drugs is finally about to win, and it seems that during 2021 more states would make cannabis legalized.
Dr Dana Gabuzda, an investigator in immunology and virology, states that marijuana use is on the rise in the US with a growing number of states legalizing it for medicinal and non-medicinal purposes.
Comparison of tobacco smokers and marijuana smokers
Tobacco smokers have high levels of a chemical termed as acrolein in their blood. Acrolein leads to cardiovascular diseases in tobacco smokers, whereas marijuana smokers tend to have low acrolein levels in their blood. Upon burning the sugar present in the tobacco it produces acrolein. Exposure to acrolein can cause issues like respiratory tract infection and congestion. Extremity can cause toxicity followed by inhalation or oral exposure. Cannabis smokers have high levels of naphthalene and acrylamide in their blood and urine samples. Acrylamide is even produced from the burning of vegetables such as potatoes, but in the case of weed smokers, acrylamide is three to five times higher in their blood.
Based on animal studies, US National Toxicology acrylamide contributes to being one of the human carcinogens. Manufacturers of plastics and fibers use acrylonitrile as a component in plastics. According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution elevates by cigarette smoking as it is the source of acrylonitrile. Some of the symptoms of poisoning by acrylonitrile are limb weakness, irregular breathing and dizziness. It can also lead to nausea and convulsions. In addition to this, US Environmental has also reported that workers exposed to acrylonitrile have lung cancer.
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