CANNABIS FOR CANCER SYMPTOMS & CHEMOTHERAPY SIDE EFFECTS
Dr. Dustin Sulak is an integrative osteopathic physician and medical cannabis expert whose clinical practice. Has focused on treating refractory conditions in adults and children since 2009. He is the founder of Integr8 Health, with offices in Maine. They follows more than 8,000 patients using medical cannabis and other integrative healing modalities. Sulak has published in the peer-reviewed literature, and lectures to health-care providers internationally on the clinical applications of cannabis. The following information is adapted. With permission from Sulak’s educational website Healer.com. Which offers a range of programs about medical cannabis. As well as medical cannabis training and a certification program for physicians, other health professionals, and consumers.
TWO DISTINCTIVE PATHS
When working with cancer patients, the treatment efforts often take two distinct paths like using cannabis to reduce symptoms and improve treatment tolerability. As well as using cannabis typically in high doses, to help kill the cancer. In addition to goals aren’t mutually exclusive, according to Sulak, and each requires a different approach to dosing.
When used properly it can be a safe and effective treatment for cancer patients. Who have chronic pain, insomnia, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Animal studies have shown that cannabinoids can prevent the development of neuropathic pain, a common chemotherapy side effect that can limit a patient’s chemo dose or course. Even after achieving cancer remission. Patients left with debilitating neuropathic pain that can be permanent.
“Patients can often achieve significant improvements in quality of life with minimal side effects, using very low doses of cannabinoids in the range of 10 mg to 60 mg per day,” Sulak writes in his course materials: “A combination of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in various ratios can be used to fine-tune the benefits and minimize the side effects of cannabinoid treatment.”
Medical cannabis can help patients tolerate conventional cancer treatments like chemo and radiation, and can be used along with these treatments with a low likelihood of drug interaction. This means there is seldom a reason to avoid combining cannabis with conventional cancer treatments (with a few exceptions noted in the educational materials).
For patients with terminal cancer, coupled with cannabis offers many benefits in palliative care at the end of life. “It’s an incredibly useful addition to conventional treatments in hospice medicine,” says Sulak.
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