One of the most commonly used ILLEGAL drug in the world (with few exceptions) with almost 125 million people consuming it some or the other form, Cannabis has generated a wave in the world of therapeutics as well. This Billionaire Crop has a psychoactive ingredient, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), that has been found to benefit cancer patients struggling with pain.
How realistic is this story of PAIN RELIEVING? Can we picture this to bigger pros and cons of having Cannabis legalised for treating cancer pain?? Read on to know……
Cannabis can be obtained in different forms, dried, cannabis oil or fresh buds and leaves that can be smoked, vaporized or consumed in food. The chemicals from the plant acts on the receptors on cells of the central nervous system that helps to relieve associated pain and therefore assist a wellbeing.
Use of Cannabis was bracketed as a solution for common cancer associated problems such as nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Cannabis was found to be effective against all these problems. Published clinical data outlines the favorable effects and the side-effects reported by the patients that were given Cannabinoids. Meta-analysis report for the effect of cannabinoids on treating cancer pain in patients through 43 randomized trials clearly supports the favorable effect of drug, alongside CNS and gastrointestinal side-effects. Data obtained from these studies is indicative that though cannabinoids have been found to be effective in reducing the debilitating cancer pain, however, it showed maximum effect in patients who already were on high dosage of opioids.
Grounds with reality clearly shows that Cannabis alone may help to reduce cancer pain in patients, however, the use of the same does not avert the chances of serious side effects. Some of the commonly reported side effects of Cannabis are, rapid heartbeat, drying of mouth, rise in blood pressure, memory and concentration problems and lack of balance.
With almost half of the Indian population (~1.3 billion population) under 25 years of age, of which almost 1/4th have the probability of falling prey to drug abuse, how sensible will it be to have Cannabis legalised in India? Also, not to ignore, the clinical data that still debates the use of Cannabis as a drug for cancer pain, we should be able to picture the repercussions associated with the same!