Medical Cannabis Basics for Hospice Patients
Hospice care is a compassionate team of professionals who work together to comfort the terminally ill and their loved ones. This thoughtful team generally consists of doctors, nurses, aides, clergy, and therapists who offer various therapies that a transitioning individual may require.
Customized protocols are then implemented to ensure this process is as peaceful as possible.
In most cases, hospice care focuses on offering medication to control unwanted symptoms rather than trying to cure a disease. The most common symptoms related to palliative care (relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition) include chronic pain, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances.
Medical cannabis has proven to be an effective holistic therapy for all of these symptoms. THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannibidiol) are two of the most studied phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
THC activates the brain’s CB1 receptor and acts as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, appetite stimulant, and muscle relaxant. CBD indirectly signals CB2 receptors and other non-cannabinoid receptors, such as dopamine and serotonin. CBD shares many of the pain-relieving properties as THC and has proven to be an effective phytotherapy for anxiety and other mood disorders.
Furthermore, the combination of THC and CBD offers an entourage effect, as it targets endocannabinoid receptors and shows remarkable therapeutic synergy.
It’s apparent that medical cannabis is the multi-faceted remedy that could take the place of or complement the conventional hospice drug cocktail.
In addition, medicinal cannabis could also assist a mourning family by lifting depression, offering an elevated perspective, and inducing a deep spiritual connection to the sick individual.
One of the obstacles that a hospice patient who chooses medicinal cannabis faces is financial burden. Currently, most hospice patients are covered through Medicare and, unfortunately, that doesn’t include this alternative treatment.
For some hospice patients, help will be available in the future, as Peninsula Alternative Health launches our CannaCare Program. This brand-new, innovative program is designed to encourage the community to work together to raise funds for patients in need of medical cannabis.
In conclusion, medicinal cannabis is a natural alternative treatment to many harsh traditional pharmaceuticals. As our loved ones grow old and terminal illnesses become a reality, this natural miracle herb is a huge benefit to the hospice world.
For more information about our new CannaCare program and the status of medical cannabis in Maryland, contact our team at Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland.
Written by Erin Bilenki, Patient Consultant