October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and many people suffering with breast cancer are seeing symptom relief and long term healing with cannabis.
Amy S., a native of Milwaukee, shared that her breast cancer treatment took a toll not only on her body, but relationships as well. “Exhaustion was an understatement. I didn’t have the brain power or the patience to give to my children, or my husband.” Amy went on to explain that during particularly difficult chemotherapy sessions, while they were targeting her left breast, she had continuous nausea and insomnia. One bright spot, Amy shared, was that a friend passed her some CBD oil.
After discussing combining the oil with her other treatment, she found relief in small doses. “It didn’t fix the fear, but it gave me a little bit of my life back, between vomiting and overthinking.” Amy credits CBD oil with helping her deal with anxiety and pain during treatment. And, she’s not alone.
Well-known organizations like the American Cancer Society have already had frank discussions about the benefits of CBD and cannabis during cancer treatment.
Here are five ways cancer patients may use cannabis or CBD oil to alleviate symptoms during cancer treatment:
Anxiety: A cancer diagnosis can bring feelings of uncertainty and tension within the mind and soul. From second-guessing to understanding larger questions around the disease, many patients can experience anxiety and depression. Cannabis oils have been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety related to having cancer.
Pain: Men and women experiencing cancer treatment often experience chronic pain. Dr. Johnathan Kaplan shared that Marijuana and CBD offered a myriad of after-surgery benefits, including stopping eliminating opioid addiction, increasing appetite, and decreasing pain and side effects such as constipation.
Nausea: The American Cancer Society cites a study where individuals using cannabis felt relief from symptoms of nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.
Insomnia: Often caused by anxiety or chronic pain that comes with a cancer diagnosis, insomnia may tag along. CBN is a component in cannabis that may help with pain and regulating a sleep pattern.
Overall unease: From helping to balance stress and mood to reducing episodes of depression, Linda A. Parker found in writing her book, Cannabinoids and the Brain, found, “in a survey of nearly 4500 people revealed fewer depressive symptoms in cannabis users than in non-users.”
Even better? Research recently found that cannabinoids (CBs) offered relief for tumor-related symptoms in not just nausea, vomiting and pain for cancer patients, but in attacking the actual tumors. Cannabinoids may slow tumor growth in breast cancer patients because they are active against estrogen-positive breast cancers, but non estrogen breast cancers as well.
For those experiencing a cancer diagnosis, it’s always best to discuss CBD or cannabis use with your doctor to ensure they have all the up-to-date information of your lifestyle and medicines- especially since CBD or cannabis can interact with medications you may be taking.