Brain tumors are growths or masses of abnormal brain cells, which can significantly affect the nervous system's function. Currently, there is no known cure for brain tumors, but conventional treatment methods such as radiation and chemotherapy are widely used. However, these treatments can cause debilitating side effects. Medical marijuana is stepping up to offer patients some relief from these side effects by combining with conventional treatments.
Understanding Brain Tumors
Brain tumors vary in growth rate and effect on the nervous system's function, depending on their development and location. Researchers have identified some known risk factors, including head radiation, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and rare genetic conditions. However, these cases account for only a small percentage of the 78,980 new diagnosed brain tumors every year in the U.S.
There are many different types of brain tumors, classified as primary or secondary. Primary brain tumors begin in the brain, while secondary brain tumors start elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant, depending on whether or not they contain cancer cells and their tendency to spread.
Common types of brain tumors include gliomas, acoustic neuromas, pituitary tumors, brain metastases, and pediatric brain tumors. Each type of brain tumor has unique characteristics and growth patterns.
A Brief History of Brain Tumors
Evidence of tumors has been found in Egyptian mummies and fossilized bones, suggesting that cancer is not a new disease. Throughout history, people have been noting cancer occurrences, with ancient surgical manuscripts reporting eight breast cancer cases but stating that there is no treatment. Fortunately, tremendous progress has been made in cancer treatment in recent years, and many types of cancer now have a better prognosis.
Symptoms of Brain Tumors
The symptoms and signs of brain tumors depend on their location, size, and growth rate. Symptoms can be specific or general. Brain tumor symptoms can include headaches, difficulty with balance, unexplained vomiting or nausea, speech difficulties, vision problems, hearing problems, confusion, loss of sensation in a leg or arm, seizures, and changes in behavior or personality.
In the video below are the basics of the endocannabinoid system along with how medical cannabis works to reduce radiation side effects and chemotherapy side effects.
Dr Sanjay Gupta from CNN talk about how he changed his mind about Medical marijuana.
Especially after researching it’s efficacy on refractory brain seizures in children.
Combining Medical Marijuana with Conventional Treatments
Medical marijuana has become an increasingly popular option for patients with brain tumors. While medical marijuana cannot cure brain tumors, it can help alleviate some of the symptoms caused by conventional treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and chronic pain.
Medical marijuana can help manage symptoms due to its active compounds, cannabinoids, which interact with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps regulate essential body functions such as sleep, appetite, mood, and pain sensation. Cannabinoids can also help reduce inflammation and promote apoptosis, the process by which cells die naturally.
Moreover, studies have shown that medical marijuana can help reduce tumor growth and prevent tumor cells' spread. Cannabinoids can inhibit tumor growth by inducing cell death and reducing cell proliferation. Additionally, the cannabinoids can help sensitize cancer cells to other therapies, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
In conclusion, while there is no known cure for brain tumors, combining medical marijuana with conventional treatments can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with these treatments. Medical marijuana can help manage symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and chronic pain by interacting with the ECS and reducing inflammation. Furthermore, medical marijuana can reduce tumor growth and prevent tumor cells' spread by inducing cell death, reducing cell proliferation, and sensitizing cancer cells to other therapies. As research into medical marijuana's effects continues, it is hoped that more effective treatments will be developed to improve the quality of life for patients with brain tumors.