Cannabis And Cancer Video Transcript
In this video I’m going to talk about one of the most common questions I get asked and what the heck to do with cannabis and cancer. So I get asked this question all the time by my patients by email on social media and usually it comes in the form of you know.
I have cancer or one of my loved ones have cancer can I use cannabis to help them is it the treatment for cancer can they use it as for side effects management what the heck can they do with it and how to actually use it and what products to actually use so before I get into how I’ve used it with my patients who do have cancer.
Just something to be really clear on is I don’t use cannabis as a primary treatment for cancer. I used to help them with their side effects of their primary cancer treatments to get them through the treatments and make their life easier, made their quality of life better and to help a fatigue and nausea, and all those other side effects. In fact I often get asked you know, can I just quit all of my cancer therapy and just use cannabis instead?
The answer right now is no, because we just don’t have the evidence to say that cannabis can cure cancer. And in fact I’ve actually had patients who before they got to see me had tried to treat their cancer on their own and for going all medical help except for just using cannabis themselves to treat their cancer. And they’d actually missed a really important treatment window to treat their cancer when it was curative.
So I’m really really clear when I talk to patients and when I talk to my family members and my friends, who are going through cancer that they should definitely not use cannabis as their primary method of treating their cancer. And they should always go with Western medicine best approaches first.
So how do I actually use it when I have a patient sitting in front of me in my medical practice, who’s come to me for help with their cancer symptoms. So a lot of my patients going through chemotherapy radiation all the kinds of cancer therapies often have a really hard time getting through those therapies without lots of help, because they’re really really hard therapies they’re really hard badi, they’re hard on your brain and I have found cannabis to be quite useful in helping people get through these treatments.
So normally what I would do is I start with what’s called a CBD oil. And I often use to help with cancer related anxiety and treatment related anxiety, because going through cancer treatments is really anxiety provoking. It’s just a normal response so that can be really useful it can also be really useful in helping with the calming down of the nervous system and potentially even with the neuropathy, or the nerve pain side-effects from some of the chemotherapy drugs.
I also sometimes recommend vaporizing cannabis to help with the chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, because it works really quickly. We need a prize it and also to help with appetite and to help with the other fatigue associated side-effects from the chemotherapy, or from the cancer itself. I found when people vaporize cannabis and usually I use a combination of CBD and THC. We start with just a little bit of a string the THC and high CBD and then we add more THC. If we need to and we have the vaporizer in a vaporizer it really can be helpful.
And it’s kind of an immediate onset action to help with some of these side-effects that other drugs sometimes, just don’t really work that well for with my patients who I’m treating, Hugh have cancer they have found it to be such an incredible tool to help them get through the treatment. But also to just improve their quality of life, help them really spend time with their loved ones, help them actually have some quality of life as they go through their treatments. And also as they recover from their cancer once they finish their treatments and also in my patients who were considered, you know palliative care where their cancer is probably not going to be curative but they really want to have a quality of life with the time that they have and they want to really enjoy their friends and family. and they want to have good pain control without relying on huge doses of morphine, that they need to manage that pain.
I’ve found with my patients who are palliative and they have a terminal cancer diagnosis, it can still really really help them with pain management. With things like being able to be awake and alert and able to interact with their loved ones, in a way that morphine and those other pain medications that we often use are just not really that helpful with. Because they make people feel really slow and they have lots and lots of side effects. Sometimes when people come to see me for a cancer and they’re asking me, okay how is the cannabis gonna interact with my chemotherapy? that’s really where I have to tell them that we don’t really know the answer to that question for sure.
The research is just at the beginning, when it comes to the drug in the herb interactions between cannabis even CBD and cancer drugs. So really it’s a big question mark and people really have to understand this if they’re gonna use cannabis as they go through their chemotherapy. And I’ve had a few patients who have for example cancers that are curative especially ones related to a melanoma type of skin cancer, and certain types of lung cancer. where there’s been in one small study showing that cannabis combined with the chemotherapy drug which works on the immune system for that kind of cancer it may actually decrease the response to that drug.
So in some cases with those patients, they’ve actually decided to wait and hold off on using cannabis until they’re finished their treatments. There’s also been a lot of research done in animal models aid with cannabis and cancer, but the tricky thing is when we apply an animal model so like research done in rats or in the test tube or in a petri dish. To humans it doesn’t always pan out and we’ve tried to do this before with other drugs and got all excited about animal models. And then when you put it into real humans it doesn’t work the same way, because we’re not actually the same as an animal model or a future dish model.
So we know that a lot of the cannabinoids like THC and CBD have anti-tumor effects in a petri dish and it’s a promising area of research for cancer, but we don’t know yet how exactly to use it to actually treat cancer yet in humans. The most the furthest we’ve got with this research is with a type of brain tumor called glioblastoma. Where they’ve combined certain types of cannabinoids with conventional medications conventional chemotherapy agents to try to reduce the tumor size. And so far those studies are promising but they’re still early stages. Then there’s this whole thing about tumor receptor types so every tumor has little proteins on it and there’s different receptors for every tumor type and some tumors actually have cannabinoid receptors.
So again how does that work when we add cannabis into the mix does it help the tumor grow does it shrink the tumor the answer is probably maybe a combination of both depending on the dose, depending on the type of cannabis use whether it’s CBD or THC. And again even within that we’re not really sure what dose is best for each type of cancer and there’s probably some cancers where cannabis is just not good in general. And there’s probably some cancers where cannabis may help shrink tumors potentially especially in combination with some other therapies. So there’s a lot that we still don’t know, so really right now the bottom line is cannabis can be helpful with treatment side-effect management as long as people are aware of the relative potential risks of using it.
That way another really exciting and promising area that I’ve used where I’ve used cannabis with my cancer patients is helping them with the cancer recovery process. So the crushing post-cancer fatigue that kind of can turn into this kind of chronic fatigue type syndrome that can go on for years after people have finished their primary cancer treatments, is something that not a lot of people talk about. Doctors don’t really warn patients about it and patients are always left on their own a lot of the time to deal with this crushing fatigue, and they can often get anxiety and they have you know emotional trauma from going through their cancer, you look a bit of PTSD type symptoms.
And this is where I find medical cannabis really helpful, so in my patients who have stopped their treatments there they’ve been sent they’ve been discharged, so they’ve been kind of given that you know you’re free card from their cancer team. And they’ve been sent back into the world to live their normal life post cancer. I use CBD usually in an oil form and also sometimes vaporized cannabis with a little bit of THC to help with things, like daytime fatigue to help with things like sleep. And to help with this really this whole recovery process of cancer that not a lot of people really talk about.
I find when I use it this way even helping with people recover the nerve pain damage that sometimes the chemotherapy drugs can cause, it’s been really helpful for a lot of my patients. So the taxane based chemotherapy agents for example can cause a lot of numbness and tingling and burning hands and feet. And I’ve used CBD oil in some of my patients who are recovering from cancer to help with their their pain and they found it very useful over a period of months. So these are just some of the ways that I have found cannabis and useful CBD oil useful and helping my patients who are going through cancer to help get through their treatments recover.
And as far as an actual treatment for cancer we hope that we will have more information on this in the near future as more research emerges. So if you liked this video please give it a like please leave me a comment and share it with someone, who may benefit to someone in your life who may be suffering with cancer and wants to know about cannabis. and if you want more on CBD cannabis wellness evidence-based natural medicine and brain wellness come join me on drdanigordon.com and sign up for my free resources.