Cannabis continues to break new ground, almost on a daily basis, as a treatment for an increasing number of medical conditions. What is sometimes forgotten now is how cannabis first became accepted as a medicinal therapy.
This was as a medicinal aid for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer. Cannabis is an extremely effective anti-nausea medication. It is also a well-known appetite stimulant.
Both of these properties can literally mean the difference between life and death for cancer patients undergoing these brute-force medical treatments. Simply surviving the chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy itself is a critical factor as these treatments (hopefully) kill the cancer before they kill the patient.
Even for the cancer patients who do not survive, medicinal cannabis at least reduces the suffering from those treatments. We also now know that cannabis helps to relieve the pain that many cancer sufferers must also endure.
Beyond being a medicine, cannabis has therapeutic health-promoting properties in other areas as well. It reduces anxiety. It helps people sleep. For all of these reasons, cannabis represents the ultimate medicinal therapy for palliative care.
Relieves nausea. Stimulates appetite. Eases pain. Promotes relaxation. Reduces anxiety. Improves sleep.
For terminally ill patients, which of these health-promoting properties are important/highly desirable? All of them.
As “recreational” cannabis use spreads in our societies (whether or not cannabis is officially fully legal), there is increasing evidence that adult use is less about “getting high” and more about simply feeling good.
Athletes are now consuming cannabis – before and after their workouts.
Cannabis is becoming the drug-of-choice among educated professionals. You don’t become an educated professional by being some “drug-using hippy”. But educated professionals do have a significant need for a substance that relaxes, improves sleep, stimulates appetite, and simply enhances our mood.
Cannabis use is increasingly becoming a means for people to (safely) alleviate the stresses of day-to-day life. For this reason, cannabis consumption is steadily replacing alcohol – which has been an unsafe/unhealthy way for people to cope with such stresses.
We already use cannabis as medicine. We already use cannabis to improve quality of life. It is a natural extension to use cannabis as a medicine to improve the quality of life of the terminally ill. And now we are seeing regulatory movement here.
…on September 11th, 2019, the California State Legislature unanimously approved their Senate Bill No. 305, which was aptly, and powerfully, titled “Ryan’s Law.” It’s now on its way to California’s pro-cannabis Governor Newsom, who is expected to sign it in the coming weeks. If all goes as predicted, it will come into effect on January 1st, 2020.
Palliative care is yet another multi-billion dollar market for cannabis (in the U.S. alone), with an estimated 8.1% CAGR. As with many of the medicinal applications for cannabis, cannabis isn’t merely an adequate treatment aid for palliative care, it is a superior treatment option.
Terminal illness is an inevitable tragedy of life. For compassionate reasons, we place great importance an easing the suffering of terminal patients.
It is not at all surprising that cannabis is now being seen as a valuable addition to the palliative care industry. What is surprising is that it has taken this long to begin to introduce cannabis as a medical therapy here.
Published at Mon, 07 Oct 2019 10:00:09 +0000