- D. H. Reilly
Cancer Patients Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Now that Alabama’s medical marijuana bill has passed, it won’t be long before cancer patients in the Yellowhammer State can get an Alabama Marijuana Card and treat their condition with medical marijuana.
There are almost 31,000 new cancer diagnoses a year in Alabama according to the American Cancer Society. That’s 31,000 patients facing bad news, but who, in the days before the passage of the state’s medical marijuana law, would have been facing even worse news.
Battling cancer is hard enough, but battling it without using every possible weapon in your arsenal is even harder. And as medical marijuana is a safe and effective medicine for cancer patients, we’re indeed lucky to live in a time when medical marijuana is coming to Alabama soon.
Medical Marijuana Can Treat Many Cancer Symptoms
In the words of Discover Magazine, marijuana research has been “bottlenecked because of limitations on studying the Cannabis sativa plant, some parts of which remain a Schedule I drug.” Nevertheless, what scientific evidence we do have speaks volumes about cannabis’ efficacy in treating many common cancer symptoms.
Cancer, Medical Marijuana, and Appetite Loss
Cancer patients often struggle to consume enough calories, because chemotherapy and radiation treatment can suppress their appetites. This malnourishment can then lead to fatigue and the loss of muscle mass, making their fight with cancer even more taxing.
Fortunately, cannabinoids have been shown to significantly stimulate the appetites of radiation patients.
In addition to diminishing patients’ appetites, radiation and chemotherapy also often induce nausea, which only exacerbates cancer patients’ struggles to consume the calories they need in order to get better. Fortunately, medical marijuana can not only stimulate patients’ appetite, but cannabis can also help alleviate nausea.
Medical Marijuana Can Help Treat Neuropathy
Another common side effect of chemo and some other cancer treatments is damage to nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord, or neuropathy.
The specific nerves damaged may vary widely from patient to patient, resulting in very different and individualized symptoms. So while common symptoms include burning sensations, tingling, numbness, and weakness, each individual patient’s struggle with neuropathy can be unique. As a result, it is difficult to treat neuropathy with traditional pharmaceuticals.
Fortunately, medical marijuana has been shown to offer neuropathy patients significant relief, for reasons researchers still don’t completely understand.
Cannabis Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Chronic Pain
Cancer patients often endure excruciating pain aside from neuropathy. This pain can be so severe that many patients turn to opiate-based pharmaceuticals such as hydrocodone or oxycodone.
Unfortunately, these medications can cause significant side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression.
Opiates are also highly addictive, which is what led to America’s opioid crisis, a crisis which is so severe that the CDC recognizes it as an epidemic.
Medical marijuana, on the other hand, can be an effective replacement for more dangerous painkillers. Cannabis relieves pain by blocking signals to the brain’s pain receptors, and medical marijuana it is an anti-inflammatory, so it reduces the inflammation that causes many kinds of pain. Put another way, marijuana can treat pain both by blocking the brain’s perception of it and by addressing the underlying causes of it.
Medical Marijuana Effectively Treats Depression and Anxiety
According to Dr. Andrew Kneier, writing for the website of the Stanford School of Medicine, “Many cancer patients go through episodes of depression. Depression makes your entire experience with cancer more difficult, weakens your resilience, and may hamper your overall adjustment. It also can undermine your will to live and compromise the courage, fortitude, and determination that you need to face cancer and to endure the necessary medical treatments.”
Fortunately, medical marijuana use has been shown to significantly reduce patients’ reports of depression. One especially encouraging study reported that “the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects.” Furthermore, the researchers found that the study participants reported an average of an almost 40% reduction in depression symptoms mere moments after using medical marijuana. In contrast, it can take weeks or even months for traditional antidepressants to show results.
Understandably, cancer patients also often deal with anxiety. And once again, this is a symptom that can be effectively addressed with medical marijuana. In fact, according to a study appearing in the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology, treating anxiety with marijuana led to “largely improved cognitive performance, reduced clinical symptoms and anxiety-related symptoms as well as a reduced use of conventional medications, including opioids, benzodiazepines, and other mood stabilizers and antidepressants.”
Some Research Suggests Medical Marijuana Can Treat Cancer Itself, Not Just its Symptoms
In addition to treating many of the symptoms associated with cancer, there is a growing line of research that suggests that medical marijuana can slow the spread of cancer and perhaps even shrink cancerous tumors. Although exciting, this line of research is in its early stages, and medical marijuana’s ability to slow or reverse cancer is far from scientifically proven.
Still, when one considers this potential benefit of cannabis along with the more proven ones we’ve discussed above, we think there is an inevitable conclusion one has to come to: Medical marijuana can be an invaluable addition to doctors’ to cancer-fighting toolbox.
Cancer is One Among Several Conditions Qualifying for Medical Marijuana in Alabama
Medical marijuana is an amazing and versatile medicine. If you’ve been suffering from one of the qualifying conditions recognized by the state of Alabama, why wait any longer to explore what medical marijuana can do for you?
Reserve a medical marijuana online evaluation today with one of our highly qualified doctors, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as Alabama’s medical marijuana market is up and running.
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually, using your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a telemedicine appointment. You’ll discuss your condition and what medical marijuana might be able to do for you, all without leaving your home. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Alabama Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-5633, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Alabama Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.