Medical Marijuana For Cancer Patients In Virginia

Does Cancer Qualify For Medical Marijuana in Virginia?

Virginia's medical marijuana law was originally passed in 2015 and further expanded upon in 2018 and 2019. Similar to other states with medical marijuana programs, Virginia has approved cancer as a qualifying condition for treatment with cannabis, and this is for good reason. According the National Cancer Institute, there are approximately 15 million Americans currently living with cancer, with roughly 45,000 new cancer diagnoses made just this year in Virginia 

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How Medical Marijuana Can Help Cancer Patients

The available evidence, although somewhat limited, demonstrates that cannabis is an incredibly powerful and safe medicine for individuals living with cancer and treatment-related side effects. In particular, the power of marijuana to alleviate nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, pain, depression, anxiety, and insomnia have been well documented and offer the potential for significant relief to those undergoing treatment for cancer. 

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of marijuana in helping those living with cancer, however the amount of research from the United States is limited due to the legal status of marijuana under federal law. Researchers from overseas have picked up the slack, and they have been able to clearly demonstrate that marijuana can help in managing the following:

Chronic Pain

Living with pain can be unbearable, and many patients turn to opiate-based medications for the relief they need. Unfortunately, continued use of opiate-based medications can result in significant unwanted side effects and has the potential to lead to addiction. Medical marijuana has proven incredibly effective at providing pain relief, and it may have some anti-inflammatory effects as well. Some treatment plans may make use of both opioids and marijuana in order to reduce the dosage of opiate medication that is needed. Recent studies have long found that individuals using marijuana extracts during clinical trials tended to need less opioid-based pain medication.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is often associated with damage to nerves, which can, unfortunately, occur when undergoing chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatments. Neuropathy can be a difficult sensation to describe, as symptoms vary significantly from individual to individual. Patients often experience weakness, numbness, tingling, needles, or burning sensations. Exactly how marijuana helps isn’t yet clear, but many patients with neuropathy report feeling significant relief after using cannabis.

Nausea

It is well known that nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. A variety of medical cannabis products have been demonstrated to significantly reduce nausea and other unwanted side-effects from these treatments. 

Appetite Loss

Similar to nausea, loss of appetite is often a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Without an appetite, it can become challenging for cancer patients to consume enough calories. This can result in loss of muscle mass, chronic fatigue, and a decline in mobility. However, specific cannabinoids have proven to be effective method to restore appetite for individuals undergoing treatment.

Get Approved For Medical Marijuana Treatment

If you are a Virginia resident living with cancer and are interested in medical marijuana treatment, we are here to help! Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 888-633-5808 or schedule online.

We Are Here To Help!

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