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Cannabis and CBD for Cachexia 

Cachexia is a condition that causes extreme weight loss and muscle loss. More than 160,000 people in the United States remain in hospital with a cachexia condition each year have been reported by recent estimates. There are other factors that lead a person to lose weight, but individuals with cachexia lose weight even though they still eat.

Usually, a person who doesn’t eat enough food will lose only fat. A person with cachexia is going to lose both fat and muscle mass.

What is Cachexia

Cachexia is a “wasting” disorder that causes extreme weight loss and muscle wasting and can include loss of body fat. This condition affects people in the late stages of severe diseases such as cancer, HIV or AIDS, COPD, kidney disease, CHF.

The term “cachexia” comes from the Greek words “kakos” and “hexis,” which mean “bad condition.” The difference between cachexia and other types of weight loss is that it’s involuntary. People who develop it don’t lose weight because they try to trim down with diet or exercise. They lose weight because they eat less for a variety of reasons. At the same time, their metabolism is changing, allowing too much muscle to break down their bodies. Inflammation and tumor-caused substances can affect appetite and cause calories to burn faster than usual in the body.

Researchers believe that cachexia is part of the body’s response to disease control. To get more energy to fuel the brain when food stores are low, the body breaks down muscle and fat. A person with cachexia does not just lose weight. They become so weak and frail that their body is vulnerable to infections that they are more likely to die from their disease. It’s not enough just to get more nutrition or calories to reverse cachexia.

Symptoms of Cachexia

When you have cachexia, you may not seem malnourished. If you were overweight when you developed your chronic disease, you will not immediately look emaciated. On the other hand, if you are a slight individual, cachexia may be quite apparent. Doctors use a number of tests to treat cachexia, as it is often hard to recognize the condition.

To assess correctly that you have the disease, the following signs must be present:

  • Having less than 10% body fat.
  • Non-deliberately losing more than 5% of their body weight over six to 12 months
  • Having elevated levels of cytokines in your blood.
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 22 years if you are older than 65 years of age and less than 20 years of age.
  • Albumin levels are less than 35 gr per liter. The albumin of protein in the liver helps maintain the balance of your body fluid. It can cause swelling, particularly in the ankles, when you develop abnormally low levels of protein albumin. 

How Cannabis Can Help Relieve the Symptoms of Cachexia

Patients need a more efficient and safe way to handle cachexia by treating vomiting and nausea and using medicinal cannabis according to anecdotal and scientific evidence.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol (psychoactive marijuana compound) implications for cancer-related anorexia and treatment-related cachexia are studied by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The best way to treat cachexia is through the THC-dominant strains of cannabis.

It appears that the most effective route of administration is sublingual and oral. To date, cachexia has been included in several states ‘ list of qualifying conditions. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont have approved cachexia as a qualifying condition for the use of medical marijuana.

Cannabis, marijuana side effects are also classified as “low risk” and are typically mild, with euphoric changes being among the most frequent side effects. Dronabinol, a synthetic THC derivative for the waste associated with HIV / AIDS, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985. Research has shown its efficacy. The medicine is also administered to patients with chemotherapy to reduce nausea and vomiting, the drawback being that it is costly.

Medical Cannabis Treatment for Cachexia

You certainly heard of weeds that stimulate the appetite. Marijuana is renowned for offering “munchies” to people. This is not the only thing that pot treat when there is cachexia, but also nausea, vomiting, depression, and general discomfort.

The wellbeing of patients is already suffering from this disease, and they definitely don’t want to smoke cannabis. Doctors identified other ways to use medical cannabis to alleviate Cachexia symptoms. 

  • Vaping: Vaping offers quick relief but vaping devices can be costly.
  • Sprays: Cannabis sprays are available in a variety of flavors and are easy to carry with you.
  • Tinctures: You can place these alcohol-based extracts into your drinks and food.
  • Juices: You should combine some vegetable or fruit juice with raw, fresh cannabis leaves. If you don’t have a lot of appetites, juicing is a perfect option.
  • Edibles: You can buy your own food or make it your own. Wherever you are, these are discreet to feed. If you have trouble eating, you can also buy pot-infused lollipops and lozenges.

The above methods remove the need for smoking pot and encourage you to try various ingestion methods before you find the one that suits you best. Cachexia is a dynamic disorder needing further study. While cannabis alone is unlikely to effectively cure the condition, the drug goes a long way to help alleviate the symptoms. Cannabis for cachexia will help you increase your appetite – and thus your body weight – to achieve an improvement in the quality of life.

Personalized Cannabis Consultations

Whether you are new to cannabis and need to learn the basics, or are simply trying to achieve more positive cannabis experiences, Veriheal’s coaches are here to help. You have the opportunity to become informed about this wonderful plant. Book an appointment today with one of our compassionate coaches to have a private discussion about your cannabis journey.

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Data Last Updated 03/16/2020