Cannabis is legal in several US states including Washington DC. However, despite its legal status in several countries including the US, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is still a trending topic in the medical world.
Many people are beginning to use cannabis to treat different types of ailments including cancer.
One form of cancer type of cancer that taking the world by storm is multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. In this article, we will focus on how cannabis can multiple myeloma.
Multiple myeloma is a severe type of cancer that specifically affects the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells primarily found in the bone marrow along with other blood cells. These white blood cells generate antibodies that combat germs and stop infections. When these cells are affected by cancer, they multiply excessively to the extent that they surpass your other blood cells.
The myeloma cells also generate excess antibodies which damage the marrow rather than protecting it. After damaging the marrow, the cancerous cells eventually leave the bone marrow and spread to different body parts to cause more damage.
Since multiple myeloma can potentially affect different bodily parts, its symptoms may differ from one individual to another.
Some common symptoms of multiple myeloma include.
- Low blood count – Because it multiplies plasma cells, it can easily cause anemia (low red blood cell count), and low platelet levels.
- Thickened blood – An unnecessarily high amount of white blood cells can result in hyperviscosity, which is the main reason for blood clots, nosebleeds, frequent bruising, and vertigo.
- Breakable Bones – Myeloma cells damage your marrow preventing them from regenerating. This makes them easily breakable. This allows the cells to spread to other parts of the body.
- Kidney failure – Excess amounts of protein and calcium can prompt kidney failure, which results in issues such as fatigue, weight loss, inflammation, and nausea.
- Frequent or multiple infections – Since your antibodies are now against your wellbeing, your immune system becomes weak and you can easily become infected. The symptoms of multiple myeloma highly differ and while some people may not have any of these symptoms some people will have all of them. The symptoms usually manifest when you have already suffered major organ damage.
Medical Cannabis for Multiple Myeloma
In a 2018 study, it was discovered that the main compounds in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can slow the growth or even induce the death of myeloma cells. Cannabinoids may also stop cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
In this study, CBD and THC could also effectively work with chemotherapy treatments.
Other than managing myeloma cells, medical cannabis may also help to alleviate the symptoms of multiple myeloma. It can manage several symptoms including:
- Appetite loss
- Spasms and nerve pain
Medical cannabis can also help patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some common chemotherapy symptoms treatable with cannabis include:
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neuropathic damage
- Weight loss
Cannabis can stop the progression of multiple myeloma cells. It can also work in combination with chemotherapy treatments. If you want to use cannabis for multiple myeloma consult your doctor first to get instructions on proper intake.