Hospice Care and Medical Marijuana

Posted on December 4th, 2020 to Adults

Hospice Care and Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is a popular drug in the United States, partly due to its ability to help people in their later life stages. There is no doubt that medical marijuana can help with many conditions, but can it help people living in hospice?

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What is Hospice Care?

Hospice is intense medical care meant for individuals with terminal illnesses. Hospice care increases a patient’s quality of life by handling any issues related to combating the disease and fighting the condition itself. Generally, hospice begins when a patient’s lifespan is short or when their health is quickly degenerating.

Usually, hospice care occurs in a patient’s home or a caring facility. Hospice patients typically receive diet counseling, medications, physical therapy, and even counseling for family members. However, patients won’t receive a cure for the disease. When hospice care started, it was mostly focused on cancer patients, but now it’s extended to patients with heart conditions, dementia, stroke, and more.

Hospice and palliative care are essential due to the high amounts of the aged who are more liable to die from chronic or progressive conditions. Hospice care patients also experience mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. 

Medical marijuana for hospice care

Medical marijuana has a high potential to help patients in hospice, and the drug has gotten wide acceptance in recent years. Both patients and physicians want it legal at the federal level, and a recent survey shows an increase in medical marijuana support.

The increase in medical marijuana support for hospice care is partly due to its use in cancer treatment. There already exist some marijuana-based drugs that can fight the side effects of cancer and relieve its symptoms. One study found that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD may reduce nausea in some users. Also, CBD has potent antiemetic effects and offers several benefits to the user.

Chronic pain is a common condition faced by patients in hospice care, and it’s often challenging to treat with traditional pharmaceuticals. Chronic pain usually affects people with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, and fibromyalgia. Combining CBD and THC can help this condition and several studies suggest adding it to an already established analgesic drug routine. Some studies also suggest that adding marijuana to a patient’s opioid intake may decrease the rates of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms and make the drug more effective. This can be helpful for hospice care patients who are more likely to have an established drug regimen.

Medical marijuana may also help with other common symptoms associated with hospice care, such as fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Several studies show that marijuana increases the quality of life for patients as well as end opioid usage. This indicates that the use of marijuana may help with pain reduction and other conditions. 

Bottom line

Hospice care has seen an increase in recent years due to the high rate of the aging population. Marijuana can help hospice care for patients with chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, reports show that hospice patients who use marijuana gain a higher quality of life and reduced dependence on other medicines. There is a need for the federal government to legalize marijuana so that more hospice patients can gain access to the drug. 

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