cancer

How May Medical Cannabis Help Cancer Patients?

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Tangerine, our high-THC and low-CBD formulation, is our most commonly used medication for cancer patients.

THC often gets a bad rap, but provides a lengthy list of therapeutic benefits such as: decreasing pain, improving appetite, increasing weight gain, and improving sleep. THC is also known for its anti-nausea, anti-emetic (vomiting) and anti-anxiety properties.

The small amount of CBD that is in this product has anti-inflammatory properties. CBD helps to improve the anti-nausea, anti-emetic and anti-anxiety properties of THC, which are helpful in progressive diseases as well as during and after chemotherapy.

THC and CBD have also shown to have anti-cancer properties, similar to chemotherapy but without the systemic damage. This has not been clinically proven, as it is all based on patient reports, but is promising nonetheless.

At LeafLine Labs, we see a variety of patients with cancer, ranging from pediatric to elderly, with a wide variety of diagnoses. We have seen many cancer patients who have experienced decreased nausea, healthy weight gain, pain management, improved sleep, decreased anxiety levels and who have been able to decrease their use of narcotics, sleep aids, or anti-nausea medications.

Read how medical cannabis from LeafLine Labs has helped Char after her stage 4 metastatic breast cancer diagnosis on the blog.

Medical Cannabis & Cancer: Amy's Story

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On June 1, 2016, Amy’s life—and all of her loved ones’ lives—changed forever; she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

Amy—a wife, loving mother and entrepreneur who enjoys eating the incredible food made by her wife—lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has started 2 businesses with her wife: Lucille’s Kitchen Garden and Midwest Pantry.

The first 6 months of treatment were especially trying not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Amy took “really hard, tough” drugs, as she describes, and the chemotherapy would confine her to bed for 5 to 7 days each time. Throughout, she found herself anxious, nauseous and sleeping the majority of the time.

Although the combination of chemotherapy and steroids reduced the size of her tumor, it also destroyed her body. A torn rotator cuff left Amy with a limited (at best) range of motion in her shoulder and constant, excruciating pain. After 4 agonizing months of searching for a medication that would bring her relief with no avail, she was admitted to the hospital. Even once she was admitted, Amy went through trial after trial of opioids to find the one that worked best for her body before she could be released.

Having followed the industry and hearing stories of success from friends in her community, Amy inquired with her social worker and palliative care staff about medical cannabis as a treatment option. Once she received approval of her physician and was added to the state registry, she got her confirmation on a Friday and the next Monday she met with a pharmacist at LeafLine Labs.

Now, Amy has gone from taking 17 pills per day to only 4. Chemotherapy no longer robs Amy of precious time spent doing things she loves with the people she loves, like taking vacations to Costa Rica—which would not have been realistic before she began treatment with medical cannabis.

According to Amy, her experience with LeafLine Labs and medical cannabis has been very positive and amazing. She appreciates the kindness and willingness to help from the staff at her patient care center. The medical cannabis not only helps her with side effects of chemotherapy and the pain that comes with her diagnosis, but with her anxiety, depression and PTSD as well. “…this has been a life saver for me and has raised my quality of life,” Amy shares, “I appreciate the simplicity of the cannabis with no side effects.”

Last summer, she was in such a fog from the chemotherapy that she doesn’t remember much of anything that happened. This past summer, medical cannabis helped to ensure that Amy could function in comfort and enjoy time cooking with her wife, playing with her daughter, and enjoying life’s little pleasures. She has her life back, she claims. She has finally found relief.

Medical Cannabis & Cancer: Tom's Story

Shortly after Tom retired in September 2015, he discovered he had skin cancer. He immediately underwent a procedure to remove two areas, one on the side of his head and the other on his cheek. Things went well for several months, but started to take a turn for the worst in the spring of 2016. Come July, after experiencing extreme fatigue, nausea, and a severe lack of appetite for several months, Tom was diagnosed with John Hodgkins Lymphoma and was informed that his right lung was filled with fluid. Tom underwent a procedure to remove the fluid and then pursued a vigorous health plan to regain his health.

Minnesota born and raised, Tom spent the breadth of his career as a hard-working equipment operator while pursuing his passions of skiing and ski jumping (he was a member of the US Ski Team at one point in time) and performing music with his fellow band members of The Terrapin Brothers—a great group of people who love playing music together—in his free time. Before the symptoms surfaced and he was diagnosed, Tom was active and healthy; he had just begun to enjoy life as a retiree.

Within three months of receiving his diagnosis, his symptoms drastically worsened. His oncologist advised him that his next steps should be surgery to remove the lymph nodes in his chest and chemotherapy.

Having witnessed a close friend battle cancer under similar circumstances and seeing the damage that chemotherapy can have, Tom was weary of this path. Against the recommendation of his physician for a treatment plan that was homeopathic and natural. After implementing methods such as natural oils and herbs, chiropractic treatments, and maintaining a healthy diet, Tom decided to incorporate medical cannabis—his relief sky-rocketed.

Not only can he sleep through the night again, Tom can now ski, stay up late playing music with his band mates, and has noticed a remarkable increase in energy and decrease in pain. Tom describes the pain relief from medical cannabis as a Godsend, and he continues his well-rounded homeopathic treatments to help manage the symptoms of his cancer diagnosis. He attests that because of medical cannabis, those who knew Tom before cannot believe he is the same person—the medicine has improved his life that much. “Cannabis is a blessing, and the people who are trying to change the world with [this] healing plant are also very special,” Tom remarks.