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Cannabis Improves Ability To Cope With Cancer According To Survey

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Battling cancer is one of the worst things that a human can go through. Even if a patient is able to battle and overcome their cancer, the toll it takes on their body and mind is often substantial. Part of that is due to the condition itself, and part of it is the result of the treatment(s) that they have to endure to treat their condition.

Anyone who has battled cancer or watched as a loved one had to battle cancer will often be quick to describe how hard life is to cope with during their battle. Modern medications can only provide a certain level of comfort, and often that comfort is very temporary.

Many patients report using medical cannabis to help them cope with their cancer battles, and according to the results of a new survey conducted in Israel, the strategy seems to help. Below is more information about the survey and its results via a news release from NORML:

Tel Aviv, Israel: The majority of cancer patients suffering from refractory pain say that the use of medical cannabis helps them cope with their illness, according to survey data published in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

Israeli researchers surveyed 138 cancer patients authorized to use cannabis products. (Medical cannabis is legal by prescription in Israel.) Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that cannabis significantly helped them to cope with their illness while 32 percent said that it “partially” helped them.

Authors concluded: “A large majority of patients using cannabis report that the therapy significantly improves their ability to cope with their illness, with almost 40 percent stating it has done so to a large extent. In this cohort of patients with intractable cancer pain that has proved minimally responsive to numerous conventional treatments, including of course powerful opioids, adjuvants and radiotherapy, this seems to be a striking response. … This … seems to suggest that this therapy should be considered in addition to current therapies for cancer-related pain and could be offered to patients even earlier in the course of their illness and treatments than is acceptable now.”

Other studies have documented sustained improvements in pain intensity, cognition, and sleep quality among cancer patients who consume cannabis products. Cancer patients also report decreasing their use of opioids following cannabis therapy.

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis for refractory cancer-related pain in a specialized clinical service: A cross-sectional study,” appears in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.