Cannabis for Cancer in Texas
Texas Expands Qualifying Conditions for All Cancers
- All forms of cancer now qualifying for a Texas medical marijuana certification.
- Compounds produced in marijuana help to relieve cancer pain as well as nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Cannabinoids can also help patients increase caloric intake to prevent wasting.
- Products available to cancer patients at Texas dispensaries include cannabis oils, tinctures, lozenges, topicals, and inhalers.
Good news for cancer patients in Texas! A better form of medical grade cannabis products are now available to all patients suffering from all types of cancer. The Texas Compassionate Use Program also allows patients with medical conditions such as epilepsy and autism to shop at Texas medical marijuana dispensaries. PTSD was also recently added to the list of qualifying medical conditions.
Another bit of welcome news for medical marijuana patients in Texas is the increase in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) limits. The maximum potency has been doubled from one-half of one percent to a full one percent.
THC plays a major role in medical marijuana’s ability to not only relieve pain but also to increase appetite, improve mood, and reduce nausea which are common symptoms in patients being treated for cancer.
Medical marijuana products in Texas must contain a minimum of 10 percent CBD (cannabidiol) — a non-intoxicating cannabinoid compound that is especially effective at reducing nausea as well as inflammation and pain.
There is also some evidence from lab studies that point to the potential for cannabinoids to reverse or slow the progression of cancer in some patients. However, more research needs to be done to confirm these results. Several studies into marijuana’s ability to treat tumors are in the planning stages.
Medical marijuana doctors in Texas are upbeat about the upgrades.
Benefits of medical marijuana for cancer patients in Texas
A May 2019 research report presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology claimed that a large majority of oncology providers believe that medical marijuana can help cancer patients. And lawmakers in more than 30 U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws that include cancer in the list of qualifying conditions.
Cannabis offers a safe and natural herbal remedy that is effective at treating pain and a number of other symptoms commonly experienced by cancer patients.
- Several studies involving smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy.
- A few studies have found that inhaled cannabinoids can help to relieve neuropathic pain caused by damaged nerves.
- Smoked marijuana also helps to increase appetite and increase caloric intake in several studies.
- Several studies have shown that patients in clinical trials who are given marijuana extracts tend to use less of prescription pain medications.
Note that smokable marijuana is not available in Texas. However, cannabinoid inhalers are available.
How does medical marijuana help treat cancer
Marijuana — the dried flowers of the female cannabis plant — contains compounds called cannabinoids which can have profound effects on the human body.
Cannabinoids found in cannabis — technically called phytocannabinoids — have very similar effects to cannabinoids produced by our own bodies — called endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids. There are also some synthetic cannabinoids called exogenous cannabinoids such as Dronabinol and Marinol which have been approved by the FDA to treat cancer pain.
The human brain produces endocannabinoids in response to injury and stress caused by cancer and chemotherapy. These natural cannabinoids help to reduce inflammation and pain, improve mood, increase appetite, and relieve nausea. The two most abundant phytocannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) both have the ability to mimic the effects of endocannabinoids to some extent and have similar benefits.
Cannabinoids don’t just relieve inflammation that causes pain. They also have the ability to adjust the body’s response to pain. This is especially important in patients that develop neuropathy (nerve damage) as a result of chemotherapy or surgery in the treatment of their cancer.
Treating cancer with medical marijuana in Texas
Products available to Texas medical marijuana dispensaries include cannabis oil, lozenges, topical creams and ointment, tinctures, and inhalers.
Patients suffering from sudden onset of conditions such as pain and nausea will benefit from the use of a cannabinoid inhaler. Inhaled cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream directly through the lungs rather than having to pass through the digestive system. Inhalers offer high bioavailability (the amount of cannabinoids that enter the bloodstream) and a fast onset time (the time it takes for effects to become apparent).
For patients who prefer not to inhale cannabinoids, tinctures offer the next best option. Tinctures are applied sublingually (under the tongue) are quickly absorbed through capillaries in the lining of the mouth. Tinctures may take 15 minutes to half an hour to take effect.
For patients suffering with chronic pain and nausea, oral preparations such as tinctures and lozenges offer long-lasting systemic effects. Lozenges may also be especially helpful in treating patients with cancer of the bowel when taken with a meal. Tinctures and oils can also be added to foods and beverages. Oral preparations taken with a meal can take an hour or more to take effect. As such, patients using edible cannabis products for the first time need to be careful not to consume excessive amounts. Fortunately, tinctures, oils, and lozenges all offer accurate dosing.
Topical ointments and creams infused with cannabinoids are applied directly at the site of joint or nerve pain.
How to get certified for cannabis for cancer in Texas
Patients suffering from one of the qualifying conditions that want a medical cannabis prescription will need to be examined by a state-certified medical marijuana doctor. At the time of writing, there are presently 379 medical marijuana doctors in Texas. Find Medical Marijuana Doctors Online in Texas Here
Patients can visit with a doctor online right away or be contacted to schedule the virtual consultation.