Medical Cannabis for Colorectal Cancer
Over the last years or so, there have been many cases of people using cannabis for cancer. Cancer is not a favorite word under any person, but the good thing is that cannabis has a great success rate when it comes to dealing with cancer. There is growing awareness when it comes to colorectal cancer and the effect cannabis has on it. Medical cannabis has certainly earned a place in the daily routine of patients with colorectal cancer.
The statistics for colorectal cancer under Americans are that 1 out of every 21 men and 1 out of every 23 women will develop colorectal cancer some time during their lifetime. In women, it is actually the second leading cause of death. Altogether, it is the third most fatal cancer in the US with the least exposure and public fundraising.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the rectum or colon. Colorectal cancer is also referred to as rectal or colon cancer, depending on where it starts. Both have very similar characteristics; therefore, they are often grouped together. Cancer starts when cells in the body growth out of control. Cells, literally in any part of the body can start with mutation and develop into cancer that easily spreads to other parts of the body.
In the case of colorectal cancer, it often starts as a polyp growth in the inner lining of the rectum or colon. Over time, the polyps can change, but not all polyps change into cancer. The type of polyp determines if it would change into cancer. There are two main types of polyps. They are:
Inflammatory polyps and hyperplastic polyps – These are common polyps and generally not pre-cancerous
Adenomatous polyps – These types of polyps could change into cancer
There are more characteristics of polyps that might change into cancer apart from the type of polyp it is. These are:
The number found- two or more
Bigger than one centimeter in size
Dysplasia (abnormal growth) in a removed polyp
The pathway that induces colorectal cancer has been studied for years. Until now, there was no real success in identifying a way to treat cancer. Cannabis seems to be a hopeful way to go though.
Different types of Colorectal Cancer
About all colorectal cancer are adenocarcinomas. These types of cancers are formed from glandular structures in epithelial tissue. Doctors mostly refer to this kind of cancer. There are also other less common cancers that might form in the rectum and colon known as:
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) – They begin from the interstitial cells in the wall of the colon. They are not very common on the colon as they rather are found in the digestive tract.
Carcinoid tumors – They begin in your intestine’s hormone making cells.
Sarcomas – They begin in the muscle layers, blood vessels, or rectum and colon wall connective tissues. They are very rare in the colon or rectum.
Lymphomas – These are immune system cell cancers that begins in the lymph nodes. They can also be in the rectum, colon or other organs.
What symptoms are evidence of Colorectal cancer?
Sudden changes in bowel movements
Diarrhea or constipation
Feeling that the bowels did not completely empty after a bowel movement
Blood in feces that looks black
Bright red blood coming from rectum
Pain and bloating in the abdomen
A feeling of fullness in the stomach even after not eating for a while
Fatigue and general tiredness
Unexplained weight loss
A lump in the abdomen or back passage
Unexplained iron deficiency after menopause in men and women
How Can Cannabis Help?
Cannabis and colorectal cancer are like two peas in a pod. Cannabis does not only slow down the growth of cancerous cells but also kills it. It also stimulates appetite, reduces nausea and inflammation. Medical cannabis also increases the medicinal benefits of conventional treatments. Primarily cancer patients take cannabis to relieve pain and reduce unpleasant side-effects from conventional treatments. More studies are following the therapeutic effects cannabis has on treating cancer. There is successful evidence that cannabis decrease or prevent tumor growth.
The cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. In colorectal cancer, there has been an increased cannabinoid receptor expression reported. This means the endocannabinoid system is trying to help the body to regulate the proliferation of cancerous cells.
In a study at the University of Florence, the focus was on how cannabinoids can cause cell death. In the study, it was found that both CB1 and CB2 receptors can be used to inhibit the growth of colorectal tumors.
What Cannabis Methods Can be Used?
There are many ways to use cannabis to treat colorectal cancer. It includes:
Transdermal patches and topicals
If you suffer from colorectal cancer, cannabis is a safe way out to get rid of the cancerous tumors.