The role of medical cannabis in treating cachexia in cancer patients

Medical cannabis is growing in popularity in the UK, in large part because of the transformational effects it can have on people who suffer from a wide variety of mental and physical disorders.

One application of cannabis that the medical field is becoming more aware of is the treatment of cachexia in cancer patients. Cachexia is a dangerous and potentially fatal syndrome that doctors have previously found very hard to treat. Finally, medical cannabis may offer a potential solution.

What is cachexia?

Cachexia is a wasting syndrome that results in the loss of muscle and fat. It’s a common symptom of advanced cancer, estimated to occur in up to 80% of people suffering from advanced cancers (Study Report) . It’s also thought to cause up to 30% of deaths from cancer.

When cachexia is severe, it leaves a person too weak and fatigued to stay mobile. This can cause immense difficulties in daily life, making it harder to prepare food and eat, meet friends, go to the shops, and carry out basic self-care and cleaning tasks.

Cachexia is a serious syndrome with few formal recommendations for treatment, until now.

How medical cannabis can relieve cachexia

Some studies have shown that medical cannabinoids, or CBD, could provide relief to patients suffering from cachexia. A meta-study published in 2019 considered the results of three studies into the impacts of cannabis on cancer cachexia or CCA.

This meta-study confirmed that cannabinoids can increase appetite, which is a vital step in reducing cachexia in cancer sufferers. This, combined with other indications that cannabis may even have anti-tumour effects when taken medicinally, supports the use of cannabis in the treatment of CCA.

Get in touch

While many doctors in the UK are still hesitant to prescribe medical cannabis, even for those conditions that it has been approved for, at the London Cannabis Clinic we understand the life-changing effects that CBD and cannabinoids can have on people’s lives.

If you’d like to find out more about how CBD could relieve your pain and other symptoms, get in touch with us.