Cancer takes an immense physical and emotional toll. Patients often struggle with pain, poor sleep quality, and cognitive issues. New research shows that cannabis edibles may offer a natural way to manage these symptoms.
A recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder found that cancer patients who use THC edibles experience notable improvements in pain, sleep, and mental fog. The findings were published in the journal Exploration in Medicine.
Edibles refer to food products infused with cannabis, such as gummies, baked goods, and candies. This study tracked 25 cancer patients who purchased edibles from legal dispensaries over a two-week period.
Pain Relief Without Impairment
Patients reported significantly decreased pain within an hour of consuming edibles. Products higher in THC provided more intense pain relief.
However, THC also impaired cognitive function and induced euphoria when taken in high doses.
Remarkably, after two weeks of sustained edible use, patients indicated improvements in pain, sleep quality, and cognitive function. Some even showed objective gains in reaction time during cognitive testing.
Lead author Dr. Angela Bryan explains:
“When you’re in a tremendous amount of pain, it’s hard to think clearly. We found when patients’ pain levels decreased after using cannabis for a while, their cognition improved.”
The Benefits of Balanced THC & CBD
Patients who ingested more CBD-rich products experienced greater enhancements in sleep quality and pain reduction.
This highlights the synergistic benefits of balancing THC with CBD. THC remains invaluable for pain relief, while CBD appears to mitigate its intoxicating effects.
This study provides real-world insights into how cannabis purchased from retail outlets affects cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
Patients tried edibles from 18 different brands, with varying THC:CBD ratios. This demonstrates that people are willing to experiment to find what works best. However, more data is needed to guide choices.
Dr. Bryan acknowledges:
“It shows people are ready to try anything they think could be helpful. But there aren’t a lot of data available to guide them on what works best.”
While surprising cognitive improvements were observed, the authors note that larger, longer-term studies are needed. Different cancer types and demographics may also influence outcomes.
Overall, this research hints at the palliative potential of regulated cannabis products. With more data, edibles could provide a safer alternative to opioids for managing cancer’s distressing effects.