Cancer patients in Texas who get a Texas Marijuana Card may now treat their conditions with cannabis, thanks to the recent expansion of Texas’ Compassionate Use Program.
But that’s not just good news for cancer patients, who now have a safe and effective new option for treating their symptoms and alleviating the side effects of that treatment; it also means that Texas has taken a bold step to reclaim its position as one of the nation’s leaders in fighting this horrible disease.
Texas is a National Leader in Cancer Research
The Lone Star State came to the forefront in the fight against cancer in 2007, when voters authorized the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
CPRIT awards grants for cancer research, product development, and prevention programs, all funded by the 20-year, $6 billion investment approved by Texas voters. It’s the single largest state-led cancer initiative, and a sign of how dedicated the state is to protecting the welfare of its residents and the nation as a whole.
Just last month, CPRIT announced $142 million in grants awarded across 73 cancer research and prevention initiatives, and they’ve been making investments like that for more than a decade now.
Texas had a Cancer-Fighting Blind Spot Regarding Medical Marijuana
Unfortunately, for some time the state took its eye off the ball in the fight against cancer, allowing the stigma surrounding one safe and effective medication to distract from the clinical evidence of its value to cancer patients.
That medication is of course medical marijuana. When the CUP was first passed in 2015, it allowed terminal cancer patients to access medical marijuana, but cancer patients at all other stages were limited to traditional cancer treatments.
Upon the creation of the CUP, terminal cancer patients could treat their conditions with medical marijuana, but cancer patients at all other stages were stuck with the traditional treatments for their chemo side effects and symptoms.
Fortunately, this year’s expansion of the CUP has corrected that flaw, which is great news, especially when you consider just how many Texas residents could benefit from the expanded CUP.
The American Cancer Society estimates that almost 134,000 Texans will receive new cancer diagnoses this year, and that almost 43,000 Texans will succumb to the disease. Fortunately, those patients now have a safe and effective tool at their disposal for treating their symptoms and alleviating their suffering.
What can Medical Marijuana do for Cancer Patients?
While there is growing and exciting research to suggest that medical marijuana can slow the spread of cancer (and perhaps even shrink, cancerous tumors), that research is in its early stages. Medical marijuana’s potential to actually slow or reverse cancer is far from scientifically proven.
There are, however, a number of cancer symptoms and medication side effects that can be alleviated with medical marijuana.
Cancer, Medical Marijuana, and Appetite Loss
Chemotherapy and radiation treatment often diminish cancer patients’ appetites to the point that they struggle to consume enough calories. This in turn can lead to fatigue, immobility, and loss of muscle mass, making their battles with cancer even more difficult.
Fortunately, some cannabinoids have proven to significantly increase the appetites of patients being treated with radiation.
Radiation-Induced Nausea and Medical Marijuana
Radiation and chemotherapy also often induce nausea, which can further contribute to patients’ difficulties in eating enough. Fortunately, this is yet another side-effect that medical marijuana can help alleviate.
Medical Marijuana Effectively Treats Chronic Pain
The pain cancer patients endure can sometimes be unbearable, driving many of them to use opioids like codeine or oxycodone. Unfortunately, opioids can be highly addictive and are associated with major side effects. In fact, it is the addictiveness of this class of drug that has led to the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis.
Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has been shown to be a safe and highly effective pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
Medical Marijuana Alleviates Suffering Caused by Neuropathy
Yet another common side effect of chemo and some other cancer treatments is neuropathy, or damage to nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, neuropathy can be difficult to treat with traditional pharmaceuticals, because the specific nerves that are damaged vary so widely from patient to patient, resulting in diverse symptoms across patient populations.
While symptoms are difficult to predict from patient to patient, common ones include numbness, burning sensations, tingling, and weakness.
Researchers aren’t yet sure how medical marijuana helps neuropathy sufferers, but many patients with neuropathy experience significant relief from using cannabis.
Learn What Medical Marijuana Can Do For You
If you’re like so many other cancer patients who’ve found traditional treatments to be ineffective, intolerable, or both, why not find out if medical marijuana is right for you?
Reserve an evaluation with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable doctors today, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as we’re cleared to see patients.
You’ll meet with your new doctor safely and conveniently via a telemedicine appointment. Using your smartphone or computer, you’ll discuss your treatment options and whether medical marijuana might be right for you without even leaving your home. Not only that, but you’ll save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.