As a registered nurse with a background in oncology and hospice care, I believe medical marijuana provides another avenue of symptom relief for this group of patients. Marijuana has the components to offer relief from pain, nausea/vomiting and anorexia; all of which these patients suffer on a daily basis and with treatment protocols (ie. chemotherapy). The closest medication that has been created is MARINOL. This is used to increase appetite in this patient population, but doctors seem hesitant to prescribe it. In Canada, a phamaceutical company is involved in clinical trials using the oils from marijuana in a sublingual form (sublingual is a preferred route if the patient is having nausea and vomiting). According to the researchers, it has been successful so far. Marijuana provides relief for a myriad of complications presented by oncology and hospice patients and if legalized would give medical professionals another option for treating this patient population, as well as other distressing medical conditions (ie. back pain, panic attacks, PTSD, etc.).
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