CANCER ALTERNATIVES AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISCUSSED

By Vicki Y. / March 9, 2019

It is important to understand what marijuana does in your body. When you smoke marijuana, the cannabinoids in it pass quickly from the lungs to the bloodstream, typically within 5-10 minutes. When eaten, it is absorbed more slowly, typically taking 30+ minutes to feel effects (for more effects, see below). Therefore, taking mental/emotion-altering drugs, such as antidepressants and MAO-inhibitors, can result in dangerous outcome, including death, when taken with daily marijuana. Caution also must be used, and should be discouraged, when combining daily marijuana use with medications and certain supplements used for sleep, pain/inflammation, allergies (antihistamines), muscle relaxation, neurological disorders, auto-immune disorders, and heart medications. For these reasons, please consult with the link below at Drugs.com. ~ Vicki Yawn

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: WHAT IS IT AND ARE THERE DRUG INTERACTIONS?

The list of interactions between Marijuana and prescribed drugs is extensive; therefore, we are including this link to DRUGS.COM for your convenience. 

Two FDA-approved drugs, dronabinol and nabilone, contain THC. They treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and increase appetite in patients with extreme weight loss caused by AIDS. Continued research will lead to more cannabinoid-type drugs.

How does marijuana affect the brain?

Marijuana has both short-and long-term effects on the brain.

THC acts on numerous areas in the brain (in yellow).

Short-Term Effects

When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, they generally feel the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour.

THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural THC-like chemicals. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.

Marijuana overactivates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that people feel. Other effects include:

  • altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)

  • altered sense of time

  • changes in mood

  • impaired body movement

  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving

  • impaired memory

  • hallucinations (when taken in high doses)

  • delusions (when taken in high doses)

  • psychosis (when taken in high doses)

Long-Term Effects

Marijuana also affects brain development. When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Researchers are still studying how long marijuana’s effects last and whether some changes may be permanent.

For example, a study from New Zealand conducted in part by researchers at Duke University showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing marijuana use disorder lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities didn’t fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults didn’t show notable IQ declines.5

In another recent study on twins, those who used marijuana showed a significant decline in general knowledge and in verbal ability (equivalent to 4 IQ points) between the preteen years and early adulthood, but no predictable difference was found between twins when one used marijuana and the other didn’t. This suggests that the IQ decline in marijuana users may be caused by something other than marijuana, such as shared familial factors (e.g., genetics, family environment).6 NIDA’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a major longitudinal study, is tracking a large sample of young Americans from late childhood to early adulthood to help clarify how and to what extent marijuana and other substances, alone and in combination, affect adolescent brain development. Read more about the ABCD study at Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD Study.

A Rise in Marijuana’s THC Levels

The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.7 For a person who’s new to marijuana use, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.

The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results.

Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.

What are the other health effects of marijuana?

Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental.

Physical Effects

Breathing problems. Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and people who smoke marijuana frequently can have the same breathing problems as those who smoke tobacco. These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Researchers so far haven’t found a higher risk for lung cancer in people who smoke marijuana.8

Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect may increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk.

Problems with child development during and after pregnancy. One study found that about 20% of pregnant women 24-years-old and younger screened positive for marijuana. However, this study also found that women were about twice as likely to screen positive for marijuana use via a drug test than they state in self-reported measures.9 This suggests that self-reported rates of marijuana use in pregnant females is not an accurate measure of marijuana use and may be underreporting their use. Additionally, in one study of dispensaries, nonmedical personnel at marijuana dispensaries were recommending marijuana to pregnant women for nausea, but medical experts warn against it. This concerns medical experts because marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight10 and increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies. If a pregnant woman uses marijuana, the drug may affect certain developing parts of the fetus’s brain. Children exposed to marijuana in the womb have an increased risk of problems with attention,11memory, and problem-solving compared to unexposed children.12 Some research also suggests that moderate amounts of THC are excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers.13 With regular use, THC can reach amounts in breast milk that could affect the baby’s developing brain. More research is needed. Read our Marijuana Research Report for more information about marijuana and pregnancy.

Intense Nausea and Vomiting. Regular, long-term marijuana use can lead to some people to develop Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. This causes users to experience regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention.14

Mental Effects

Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some people, such as:

  • temporary hallucinations

  • temporary paranoia

  • worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia—a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking

Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens. However, study findings have been mixed.

CURRENT FDA APPROVED MEDICAL MARIJUANA

DRONABINOL

pronounced as (droe nab’ i nol)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Dronabinol is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in people who have already taken other medications to treat this type of nausea and vomiting without good results. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Dronabinol is in a class of medications called cannabinoids. It works by affecting the area of the brain that controls nausea, vomiting, and appetite.

How should this medicine be used?

Dronabinol comes as a capsule and as a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. When dronabinol capsules and solution are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, it is usually taken 1 to 3 hours before chemotherapy and then every 2 to 4 hours after chemotherapy, for a total of 4 to 6 doses a day. The first dose of the solution is usually taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before eating, but the following doses can be taken with or without food. When dronabinol capsules and solution are used to increase appetite, they are usually taken twice a day, about an hour before lunch and supper Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dronabinol exactly as directed.

Swallow the capsules whole; do not chew or crush them.

Swallow the dronabinol solution with a full glass of water (6 to 8 ounces).

Always use the oral dosing syringe that comes with dronabinol solution to measure your dose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how to measure your dose of dronabinol solution.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of dronabinol and may gradually increase your dose. Your doctor may also decrease your dose if you experience side effects that do not go away after 1 to 3 days. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with dronabinol.

Dronabinol may be habit forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you find that you want to take extra medication.

Dronabinol will control your symptoms only as long as you take the medication. Continue to take dronabinol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking dronabinol without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking dronabinol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, restlessness, hot flashes, sweating, runny nose, diarrhea, hiccups, and loss of appetite.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking dronabinol,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic (lip swelling, hives, rash, oral lesions, skin burning, flushing, throat tightness) to dronabinol, other cannabinoids such as nabilone (Cesamet) or marijuana (cannabis), any other medications, any of the ingredients in dronabinol capsules including sesame oil, or any of the ingredients in dronabinol solution such as alcohol. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.

  • tell your doctor if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse) or metronidazole (Flagyl, in Pylera) or if have stopped taking these medications within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take dronabinol solution if you are taking one or more of these medications. If you stop taking dronabinol solution, you should wait 7 days before you start to take disulfiram (Antabuse) or metronidazole (Flagyl, in Pylera).

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone); amphetamines such as amphetamine (Adzenys, Dyanavel XR, in Adderall), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, in Adderall), and methamphetamine (Desoxyn); amphotericin B (Ambisome); antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac) and erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Ery-tab, others); antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), and ketoconazole; anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); antidepressants including amitriptyline, amoxapine, and desipramine (Norpramin); antihistamines; atropine (Atropen, in Duodote, in Lomotil, others); barbiturates including phenobarbital and secobarbital (Seconal); buspirone ; cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); diazepam (Diastat, Valium); digoxin (Lanoxin); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, in Symbyax); ipratropium (Atrovent); lithium (Lithobid); medications for anxiety, asthma, colds, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; muscle relaxants; naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol, in Contrave); narcotic medications for pain such as opioids; prochlorperazine (Compro, Procomp); propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Innopran); ritonavir (Kaletra, Norvir, in Technivie); scopolamine (Transderm-Scop); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theochron, Uniphyl). Before taking dronabinol capsules, tell your doctor if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with dronabinol, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.

  • tell your doctor if you use or have ever used marijuana or other street drugs and if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, high blood pressure, seizures, dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality), or a mental illness such as mania (frenzied or abnormally excited mood), depression (feelings of hopelessness, loss of energy and/or loss of interest in doing previously enjoyable activities), or schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking and strong or inappropriate emotions),

  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking dronabinol, call your doctor immediately.

  • do not breastfeed while you are taking dronabinol capsules or solution. If you are taking dronabinol solution for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, do not breastfeed during your treatment and for 9 days after your final dronabinol dose.

  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking dronabinol.

  • you should know that dronabinol may make you drowsy and may cause changes in your mood, thinking, memory, judgment, or behavior, especially at the beginning of your treatment. You will need to be supervised by a responsible adult when you first begin taking dronabinol and whenever your dose is increased. Do not drive a car, operate machinery or do any other activity that requires mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you.

  • do not drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking dronabinol. Alcohol can make the side effects from dronabinol worse.

  • you should know that dronabinol may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This may be more common when you first start taking dronabinol. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor or nutritionist and read the manufacturer’s information for the patient to find out about ways to encourage yourself to eat when your appetite is poor and about which types of foods are the best choices for you.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking dronabinol oral solution.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dronabinol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • weakness

  • stomach pain

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • memory loss

  • anxiety

  • confusion

  • sleepiness

  • difficulty concentrating

  • dizziness

  • unsteady walking

  • feeling like you are outside of your body

  • ”high” or elevated mood

  • hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)

  • depression

  • strange or unusual thoughts

  • headaches

  • vision problems

  • feeling lightheaded

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • seizures

  • fast or pounding heartbeat

  • fainting

Dronabinol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • drowsiness

  • inappropriate happiness

  • sharper senses than usual

  • changed awareness of time

  • red eyes

  • dry mouth

  • fast heartbeat

  • memory problems

  • feeling that you are outside of your body

  • mood changes

  • difficulty urinating

  • constipation

  • decreased coordination

  • extreme tiredness

  • difficulty speaking clearly

  • dizziness or fainting when standing up too fast

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your dronabinol (Marinol®) prescription may be refilled only a limited number of times.

If you are taking dronabinol (Syndros®), it is not refillable. Be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor so that you do not run out of dronabinol (Syndros®) if you are to take this medication on a regular basis.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Marinol®

  • Syndros®

Other names

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

  • delta-9-THC

Last Revised – 09/15/2017

NABILONE

pronounced as (nab’ i lone)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Nabilone is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy in people who have already taken other medications to treat this type of nausea and vomiting without good results. Nabilone is in a class of medications called cannabinoids. It works by affecting the area of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.

How should this medicine be used?

Nabilone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two to three times a day during a cycle of chemotherapy. Treatment with nabilone should begin 1 to 3 hours before the first dose of chemotherapy and may be continued for up to 48 hours after the end of the chemotherapy cycle. Take nabilone at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nabilone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of nabilone and may gradually increase your dose if needed.

Nabilone helps control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy when taken as directed. Always take nabilone according to the schedule prescribed by your doctor even if you are not experiencing nausea or vomiting.

Nabilone may be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you find that you want to take extra medication.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking nabilone,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to nabilone, other cannabinoids such as dronabinol (Marinol) or marijuana (cannabis), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in nabilone capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants, including amitriptyline (in Limbitrol), amoxapine, desipramine (Norpramin) and fluoxetine (Prozac); antihistamines; amphetamines such as amphetamine (in Adderall), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat, in Adderall), and methamphetamine (Desoxyn); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); atropine (Atropen, in Hycodan, in Lomotil, in Tussigon); codeine (in some cough syrups and pain relievers); barbiturates, including phenobarbital (Luminal) and secobarbital (Seconal, in Tuinal); buspirone (BuSpar); diazepam (Valium); digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); disulfiram (Antabuse); ipratropium (Atrovent); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for anxiety, asthma, colds, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; muscle relaxants; naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol); narcotic medications for pain; propranolol (Inderal); scopolamine (Transderm-Scop); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and theophylline (TheoDur, Theochron, Theolair). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

  • tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks or has ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or uses or has ever used street drugs such as marijuana. Also tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had a mental illness such as bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods), schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) or depression. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure or heart, liver, or kidney disease.

  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking nabilone, call your doctor.

  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking nabilone.

  • you should know that nabilone may make you drowsy and may cause changes in your mood, thinking, memory, judgment, or behavior. You may continue to have these symptoms for up to 72 hours after you finish your treatment with nabilone. You will need to be supervised by a responsible adult during and for several days after your treatment with nabilone. Do not drive a car operate machinery, or participate in dangerous activities while you are taking this medication and for several days after you finish your treatment.

  • do not drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking nabilone. Alcohol can make the side effects from nabilone worse.

  • you should know that nabilone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Nabilone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • unsteady walking

  • drowsiness

  • sleep problems

  • weakness

  • dry mouth

  • changes in appetite

  • nausea

  • ”high” or elevated mood

  • difficulty concentrating

  • anxiety

  • confusion

  • depression

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • fast heartbeat

  • hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)

  • difficulty thinking clearly and understanding reality

Nabilone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • fast heartbeat

  • dizziness

  • lightheadedness

  • fainting

  • hallucinations

  • anxiety

  • changes in thinking, behavior, or mood

  • confusion

  • slowed breathing

  • coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. This prescription is not refillable. Be sure to see your doctor to get a new prescription before you begin each cycle of chemotherapy.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Cesamet®

Last Revised – 08/15/2016

TOP HOPE AMONG ADVANCED CANCER PATIENTS IS NOT CURE

What do American metastatic cancer patients hope for from their cancer treatment? Most commonly, they desire a good quality of life, according to a rare large survey on the subject in this patient population. “Cure” was not even in the top five responses among the 216 participating patients, report Jeremy DeMartini, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis, and colleagues in a new study PUBLISHED IN THE JANUARY ISSUE of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

The most prevalent hope (42% of the total responses) was maintaining quality of life. Life extension (32%) ranked second, followed by tumor stabilization (26%), remission (20%), reaching a milestone (such as seeing a child married; 14%), and “unqualified” cure (12%). Another 5% had hope for a cure that was “tempered by realism” (such as hoping for a cure, but admitting it was not possible). Thus, even if both cure categories were combined, they still only accounted for 17% of the patients’ expressed hopes.

WHAT FIGTREELIVE.COM THINKS

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy do NOT “cure” cancer; in fact, recent studies suggest that they actually can contribute to future forms of cancer if you do not make changes to your lifestyle, which to this day, few oncologists know, or if they do know, they fail to share.

We highly recommend using a combination of:

SOURCE NATURAL YAEYAMA CHLORELLA POWDER 16 oz (1 tsp mixed in water upon rising, 1 tsp mixed in water midday and 1 tsp mixed in water at bedtime EMPTY STOMACH; ok to take with other EMPTY STOMACH supplements)

WITH

VITACOST FLAVENZYM, 800 (10 upon rising, 10 midday and 10 at bedtime EMPTY STOMACH; ok to take with other EMPTY STOMACH supplements)

AND

SOURCE NATURALS BETA GLUCAN 250MG Tablet (Therapeutically, take 1 upon rising and 1 at bedtime EMPTY STOMACH; ok to take with other EMPTY STOMACH supplements)

Wormwood has been shown in multiple Japanese studies to dissolve tumors and cysts because it is both antifungal AND antiparasitic, so using KROEGER HERB WORMWOOD COMBINATION (2 upon rising, 2 midday and 2 at bedtime EMPTY STOMACH; ok to take with other EMPTY STOMACH supplements); Need 2 bottles for one month supply!

You MUST correct your diet and change certain environmental conditions as quickly as possible, regardless of what treatments you use; if you do not eliminate the exposures that got you to this point, you may have cancer again down the road. We recommend following our RAW CLEANSE Diet for 1-2 weeks, followed by our ANTIFUNGAL FOOD CHOICES LIST diet.   

In addition, soy contains estrogenic compounds, which may contribute to prostate, testicular, breast, uterine and ovarian diseases and disorders. Read more about soy in our Reference Center or simply link here:

Read more at SOY FUN FACTS.

BEFORE YOU CAN READ REFERENCE CENTER ARTICLES, if you have not already become a FREE Member, we invite you to REGISTER (and each time you visit thereafter, be sure to LOG-IN each time you visit FIGTREE LIVE.com, so that you can access all of the features on our site.

HEAVY POT SMOKING HAS NOW BEEN LINKED TO THIS STRANGE SYNDROME

MARK SEIGEL/FOXNEWS

As a practicing internist, I am very aware of the distinction between medicinal and recreational use of any psychoactive substance. Unfortunately, when it comes to marijuana, this distinction is too often and too easily blurred. Currently, there are 10 states where recreational marijuana is legal and an additional 23 states where it may be used for medical purposes. Marijuana has been studied and found to be an effective treatment for nausea and different kinds of pain. Many patients swear by it. I am all for it, especially when the alternative is an opioid or when the disease is severe or terminal.

But when it comes to recreational use, the problem becomes one of how much you are smoking and for how long. Studies have shown that regular users can develop cognitive and behavioral problems, and an increased risk of anxiety and depression. And according to a recent study at NYU Langone Health, chronic pot smokers (defined as more than 20 days per month) had almost a one out of three chance of developing Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS – more below), an awful condition associated with varying degrees of pain and uncontrolled nausea and vomiting, which can for last several hours. This translates to over 3 million sufferers in the U.S., when you consider the current numbers of chronic pot smokers.

According to Dr. Joe Habboushe, associate professor of emergency medicine at NYU and first author of the study, the weed-induced vomiting doesn’t respond to routine anti-nausea drugs but only to several hours of hot showers or capsaicin (derived from peppers) cream.

While Habboushe acknowledged to me in an interview that small amounts of marijuana (containing cannabinoids) suppresses nausea and pain in the brain and nerves, at the same time, too much of it over time may “overstimulate and turn off the very receptors that were suppressing nausea and pain in the first place.” Habboushe added, “Hot showers seem to be able to stimulate the same receptors and turn them back on.”

The only real way to cure the problem is to stop smoking pot altogether. This works 97 percent of the time, but if you start smoking it again you are at great risk of the problem returning.

Despite the growing number of cases of CHS, many doctors are still not familiar with this condition and may misdiagnose the problem as something else. Patients have had multiple diagnostic tests and even had their gallbladders removed unnecessarily as a result of the symptoms.

The bottom line to this story is that there is no free lunch when it comes to medicines. You may not consider marijuana a medicine but I and other physicians do. And any medicine has side effects, especially with long-term use.

Medical marijuana was first legalized for medical use in California in 1996, but the first states to legalize it for recreational use were Washington and Colorado in 2012. Last year, a landmark study in JAMA Pediatrics showed that legalization of recreational marijuana use significantly reduced perceptions of marijuana’s harmfulness by 14 percent and 16 percent among eighth and 10th graders respectively. This is a very disturbing trend.

At least doctors seem to be more aware of potential side effects in these states, even if teens aren’t. This past month I was teaching a medical student from Colorado, and I asked her about CHS. I mentioned how few doctors in New York knew about it. “It’s very common in Colorado,” she said. “We see cases in the ER there every day.”

I am for the medical use of marijuana but against chronic use for recreational reasons. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is a wake-up call about the overuse of this drug; so are the long-term behavioral changes and effects on judgement, memory and decision-making.

I learned in medical school and throughout my career that the human body is a complex system of careful checks and balances. It is therefore not surprising to me that what may work for the body at lower doses turns against it over time at higher doses. This medical truth may not solve the current firestorm over whether to fully legalize marijuana or not, but it’s a good place to start.

CANNABINOID HYPEREMSIS SYNDROME

ABSTRACT Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug worldwide. Crossbreeding and genetic modification techniques have dramatically increased the delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol content, with resultant increased rates of cannabis use disorders and other toxic effects among users. Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a recently identified disorder and should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients exhibiting recurrent symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, intractable vomiting, and compulsive bathing. Treatment includes vigorous rehydration with intravenous fluids, antiemetics, proton pump inhibitor administration, weight monitoring, and cannabis use cessation. Awareness of CHS symptomology and clinical management strategies can prevent extensive diagnostic workups and unnecessary hospitalizations.

 

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