Hyderabad: Crushed cannabis, used as an alternative treatment in the progression of cancer cells has proved effective in lowering inflammation and decreasing pain. But its use is restricted in India as there is a fear that it will be misused. Cannabis lowers the user’s control over movement, causes disorientation and leads to anxiety, paranoia and euphoric feelings.
Studies of smoked marijuana have, however, shown that it helps in treating nausea and vomiting caused by the chemotherapy treatment of cancer, treating of pain caused by damaged nerves and also lessens the pain to a great extent in terminal stage cancer.
The studies carried out in laboratories have shown that cannabis slows and also reduces the growth and spread of some forms of cancer, but there have not been any human trials carried out for the same. Dr Srinivas Chilukuri, senior oncologist, explained, “To rely heavily on marijuana as a means of treatment is wrong. There are many other narcotic drugs and also a variety of pain killers which are helping patients in easing the pain. In palliative care units, marijuana is used only at the very last stage where they know the patient will not survive for more than two or three weeks. In early stages it can lead to adverse side-effects.”
But herbal medicines have been using crushed cannabis in various combinations with other drugs. The US Drug Enforcement Administration lists marijuana as schedule I of controlled substances where it cannot be legally prescribed, possessed or sold for commercial use. It can be used to treat medical conditions only. The marijuana oil is not approved by the US FDA for any medical use. Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of marijuana with a drug are approved by FDA to be used to treat some medical conditions only. In India, it is available only in approved palliative care units to be used after proper documentation.
Marijuana is legalised in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands