TXOG

Medical Cannabis and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer reported in Texas, with 21,040 new cases expected in 2022. The therapeutic potential of medical cannabis has been a topic of interest for many years due to its ability to alleviate many symptoms caused by cancer. Not only may medical cannabis improve a patient’s quality of life, but it may also relieve many side effects of cancer treatment and improve prognosis. All stages and types of cancer are eligible to receive medical cannabis in Texas through the Compassionate Use Program. Learn more about medical cannabis for breast cancer below.

Can Medical Cannabis Help Breast Cancer Symptoms?

Medical cannabis is a safe and effective alternative treatment to help alleviate many breast cancer symptoms. Patients living with breast cancer are typically recommended to undergo surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. These treatment options may result in many unwanted side effects such as nausea, pain and more. Medications such as opioids, steroids and nausea medications are generally prescribed to counteract the effects of cancer treatment but may also produce an additional set of unwanted side effects. 

Studies suggest that medical cannabis may help reduce:

  • Nausea and Vomiting 
  • Inflammation
  • Opioid Use
  • Pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

How Does Medical Cannabis Work to Relieve Symptoms? 

Medical cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system. THC and CBD are two of the most common cannabinoids used for treating a wide range of conditions and symptoms. These compounds are capable of interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body to regulate our mood, pain levels, appetite and more. Cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant can provide patients with relief from many cancer-related symptoms and may lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. 

Pain is also a commonly reported side effect of cancer and cancer treatment. A survey study found that 42% of breast-cancer participants reported using medical cannabis to manage their symptoms, while 78% of participants reported using medical cannabis to relieve pain. Not only is medical cannabis a safe and effective treatment option for relieving many unwanted side effects of cancer, but it may allow patients to reduce prescription opioid medications. 

Medical cannabis is legal in Texas for a wide range of conditions approved under the Compassionate Use Program. Start your journey to relief by clicking below.

References

National Toxicology Program . “NTP Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 1-Trans-Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (CAS No. 1972-08-3) in F344 Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Gavage Studies).” National Toxicology Program technical report series vol. 446 (1996): 1-317.

American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Statistics.” American Cancer Society | Cancer Facts & Statistics, 2018, https://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org/#!/state/Texas. 

“Cancer Statistics.” National Cancer Institute, 25 Sept. 2020, www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics.

“Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version.” National Cancer Institute, 7 June 2022, www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq.

Weiss, Marisa C., et al. “A Coala‐T‐Cannabis Survey Study of Breast Cancer Patients’ Use of Cannabis Before, During, and After Treatment.” Cancer, vol. 128, no. 1, Wiley, Oct. 2021, pp. 160–68. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33906.

Weizman, Libat et al. “Cannabis analgesia in chronic neuropathic pain is associated with altered brain connectivity.” Neurology vol. 91,14 (2018): e1285-e1294. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000006293

Parker, Linda A et al. “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1411-22. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x 

News Release: Medical Cannabis Reduces Severity of Symptoms for Some Patients With Cancer, According to New Study. www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2019/cannabis040819.html. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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