Medical Marijuana For Cancer Patients In Alabama
Can Cancer be Treated with Medical Marijuana in Alabama?
Alabama’s medical marijuana law, Senate Bill 46, was signed into law by Governor Ivey on May 17, 2021. While it is unclear exactly when medical marijuana will be available here in the Heart of Dixie, the law requires the state to be ready to accept applications for an Alabama Marijuana Card by September 1, 2022.
Most states that have established medical marijuana programs have recognized cancer as a qualifying condition, and Alabama is no exception.
It’s no surprise that so many states, including our own, have determined that marijuana should be added to doctors’ cancer-fighting toolboxes. The National Cancer Institute notes that roughly 15 million Americans are fighting cancer.
As if that number wasn’t intimidating enough, the American Cancer Society has found that there are more than 30,000 new cancer diagnoses annually in Alabama.
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How Can Medical Marijuana Help Bring Cancer Patients Relief?
As the medical value of marijuana has only recently received widespread recognition, and because marijuana remains illegal at the national level, there is only a limited amount of research into how it helps cancer sufferers.
However, There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of its efficacy in treating some cancer symptoms and some side effects commonly associated with cancer medications.
Furthermore, the available scientific evidence indicates that cannabis can be highly effective and safe for patients trying to manage their cancer and side effects related to their treatments.
Marijuana has been shown to be especially useful for treating nausea, vomiting, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and loss of appetite. These findings have been well documented, and they offer patients the potential for significant relief, giving them a little less to worry about in their struggle against cancer.
Although the federal prohibition of marijuana has limited the amount of research from the United States, international researchers often have no such limitation, and their findings clearly suggests that marijuana can help patients manage:
The pain associated with cancer is frequently unbearable, causing many patients to turn to opiate-based medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Unfortunately, use of opiate-based medications often leads to major side effects and potential addiction. In fact, this addictiveness has led to America’s opioid crisis, which is so severe that the CDC recognizes it as an epidemic.
On the other hand, medical marijuana has been shown to be highly effective at providing pain relief, and it may even have some anti-inflammatory effects.
Some doctors may prescribe treatment plans that make use of opioids and marijuana together in an effort to reduce their patients’ intake of opiates. Studies show that individuals who use marijuana extracts in clinical trials were more likely to rely less on opioid pain medication.
Neuropathy, or damage to nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, can occur as a side effect of chemotherapy and some other cancer treatments. Neuropathy can be difficult to treat, as symptoms vary depending on the specific nerves damaged. There are also significant variations in symptoms from patient to patient. Common neuropathy symptoms include tingling, numbness, burning sensations, and weakness.
It isn’t clear to researchers yet exactly how marijuana helps neuropathy sufferers, but many patients with neuropathy experience significant relief from using cannabis.
Nausea and vomiting are well known to be common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment Fortunately, medical cannabis products have demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce nausea and other unwanted side effects in patients undergoing these treatments.
Loss of appetite is another well known and common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Patients dealing with both cancer and appetite loss can struggle to consume enough calories, resulting in chronic fatigue, a lack of mobility, and loss of muscle mass, all of which can make battling cancer even more difficult than it already is.
Fortunately, some cannabinoids have been shown to be effective appetite stimulants for patients who are being treated with radiation.
Get Approved for a Medical Marijuana Card Without Leaving Your Home
You can get approved to receive an Alabama Marijuana Card from the comfort of your own home! We offer telemedicine appointments, so you can meet virtually with one of our doctors by using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. We make discovering if medical marijuana is right for you easy and convenient.