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Understanding the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis in Terminal Care

Patients who are suffering from a terminal illness may experience a wide range of psychological and physical effects in addition to overwhelming feelings or struggles. Patients who are receiving a terminal diagnosis are faced with not only a devastating diagnosis and how to deal with it but also with the need to find rejuvenating measures to lessen the most common symptoms and effects. 

To enhance their comfort and general quality of life during this hard time, terminal patients may find it helpful to concentrate on more relaxing treatment options and goals when using conventional medication methods like opiates. But a lot of these prescription drugs can actually make people who are sick feel more incapacitated and worse. 

Many of these psychological and physiological symptoms related to terminal illness have been studied about the effectiveness of natural plant therapy and cannabis in particular. With the scientific data and knowledge available today, patients who are terminally ill can greatly benefit from a medical marijuana prescription and their remaining quality of life. One can apply for a MMJ recommendation Cedar Rapids from the comfort of their homes by filling out a simple form on our website. 

In this blog post, you will learn more about what it means to be diagnosed with terminal illness and how medical marijuana can help patients manage the negative effects of other medications. 

Understanding a Terminal Illness Diagnosis 

Terminal illness is a type of disease that is incurable or untreatable. A patient who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness has been informed by their physician of their specific time remaining to live. It is a type of diagnosis made after every other attempt has been made to treat this illness, usually because it is too severe or protracted to be completely cured, as in the case of a disease like cancer. 

42% of Americans know of a friend or relative who has a terminal illness or has dealt with one in the past, according to the Pew Research Center. 

As one might expect, there can be significant psychological trauma in addition to the physical suffering that a terminal illness can cause. Because of the symptoms and effects of their disease, some patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness may start feeling depressed or physically and mentally lazy. Additionally, to their main ailment, additional symptoms or diseases might manifest. 

Patients are given a variety of conventional and pharmaceutical medications to treat the symptoms related to a terminal illness, depending on the type of illness the doctor has diagnosed. This may involve anti-nausea drugs, antidepressants, and opiates for chronic pain. 

Research indicates that cannabis has a number of therapeutic effects that could aid in the treatment of a number of illnesses. Obtaining a medical marijuana card Cedar Rapids is essential if you want to include cannabis in your treatment plan because it is illegal to use cannabis for medical purposes in Cedar Rapids. 

Symptoms of Terminal Illnesses 

Depending on the particular illness or disease at hand, the precise effects and symptoms of a terminal illness may vary. However, there are typical physical symptoms that can be present in patients who are suffering from advanced stages of their illness. Among these symptoms are: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue or insomnia 
  • Difficulty Breathing 
  • Constipation 
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic pain 
  • General weakness of muscle 

The diagnosis of a terminal illness can have a profound effect on the patient and their family. A terminal illness can cause not just physically crippling symptoms but also psychologically and emotionally crippling symptoms that can damage or completely disable a person’s quality of life. This could consist of: 

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Helplessness
  • Mood shifts 
  • Fear
  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Blame

Several patients are turning to medical cannabis for different reasons in an attempt to mitigate the effects of these expected terminal illness symptoms. 

Alleviating Symptoms with Cannabinoids 

Many medical professionals and scientists are investigating the effectiveness of cannabinoids like CBD and THC for reducing these symptoms as more states legalize medical marijuana. Several noteworthy studies have demonstrated that medical marijuana may alleviate the symptoms of terminal illnesses, as the cannabis industry continues to evolve. 

  • Palliative Care and Symptom Management

The Palliative care medical approach to patient care helps patients with complex and serious terminal illnesses and helps them live as long as possible and minimize their physical and emotional suffering. 

The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management published a study titled “Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel-Group Study of the Safety, Efficacy, Tolerability of THC: CBD Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain” that provides evidence in favor of the effectiveness of cannabinoids. 

In this study, cancer patients with unbearable chronic pain were given a combination of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) extracts. 

The findings revealed that a combination of THC and CBD extracts reduced pain and enhanced sleep better than a placebo, which was administered to certain patients.

Overall, the study discovered that the therapeutic and symptom-relieving effects of medical cannabis contributed to the cancer patients’ increased quality of life during their remaining years. 

  • Nausea and Vomiting Control

Vomiting and Nausea are among the most typical physical symptoms experienced by terminally ill patients. Following chemotherapy, strong medication, radiation therapy, or other medical procedures, patients frequently experience nausea or other health issues. 

The British Journal of Pharmacology published a study titled “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids” that examined the possibility of using cannabis to treat these symptoms. 

This study examined the efficacy and accuracy of major cannabinoids, like THC, in treating the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. THC and other medical cannabis cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors when taken orally. 

This connection is built throughout the body and, in turn, enhances the sense of homeostasis, or balance, by sending signals to the brain that block the effects of nausea and pain. 

  • Appetite Stimulation

Patients who are suffering from terminal illness frequently experience an overall loss of appetite in addition to vomiting and nausea. The quality of life of a patient may also be affected by their lack of appetite, given that certain treatments and drugs can suppress appetite. 

A Journal of Clinical Oncology study looked at the effectiveness of cannabinoids in stimulating appetite. North Central Cancer Treatment Group conducted research and was named “Dronabinol Versus Megastore Acetate Versus Combination Therapy for Cancer-Associated Anorexia.” 

Dronabinol is a synthetic THC compound that was found to be effective in enhancing appetite and weight gain in patients who were experiencing anorexia in this clinical trial. The way THC interacts and binds with endocannabinoids in our ECS is primarily to blame for this. 

According to this study, THC can significantly increase a patient’s food intake and overall body weight while also boosting their hunger and appetite in patients receiving terminal care. 

How Medical Cannabis Benefits Individuals Facing Terminal Illness?

Recent research indicated that medical marijuana can benefit patients in several ways rather than just nausea and pain. Pain and nausea are among the main reasons why patients choose medical marijuana for their terminal illness.

According to a UCSF study, inhaling medical marijuana by combining it with opiates like morphine reduces symptoms for terminally ill patients with chronic pain by 95%. It even demonstrated that when combined with medical cannabis and cannabinoids, opiate dosages are frequently lowered. 

Moreover, a clinical study involving over 3,000 cancer patients in Israel using medical marijuana demonstrated a noteworthy amelioration and management of additional typical symptoms like:

  • Restoring sleep problems (70.8%) 
  • Alleviating anxiety and depression (74.1%)  
  • Decreasing fatigue (55.9%) 

Additionally, 36% of the cancer patients in the study completely gave up using opiates or painkillers in favor of cannabis. 

According to research findings and with your doctor’s approval, medical marijuana can help patients suffering from terminal illness feel more at ease and manage their symptoms. 

Get Medical Cannabis Care at Cedar Rapids MMJ Card Doctor 

Clinical trials and research are still revealing the potential benefits of medical marijuana in treating particular symptoms related to terminal illnesses. Using medical marijuana is a safe way to help patients continue to feel the comfort and relief they require during these challenging end-of-life moments. 

Patients may elect to receive medical cannabis treatments if they are suffering from a terminal illness and its side effects. It is available in the form of topicals, edibles, transdermal patches, vape cartridges, inhalable flower, or cannabis tinctures. 

You must consult your designated physician or cannabis doctor before using medical marijuana as a means of managing symptoms associated with a terminal illness, as the terminology and landscape surrounding this treatment are subject to constant change. Cedar Rapids MMJ Card Doctor offers compassion to anyone receiving care for a terminal illness and would be happy to help in any way we can. You can fill out a form on our website and consult online with our licensed marijuana doctors in Cedar Rapids from the comfort of your home.