CBD for Palliative Care: Pain Management and Other Benefits

Many countries are ramping up medical research and facilities to brace for an increase in palliative care patients. Italy, which has an expansive senior demographic, faces uphill palliative challenges. In Canada, cancer has taken more lives than any other illness. In the future, these statistics are speculated to become even more concerning. Keeping that in mind, let’s discuss the effects of CBD for palliative care patients.

CBD’s main role in treating palliative patients isn’t “curative.” Existing research suggests that CBD could potentially decrease pain and other symptoms characteristic of lethal illnesses. 

Some studies also indicate that CBD is a more potent aphrodisiac than other conventional drugs like morphine. Moreover, CBD can also help pets suffering from catastrophic conditions, thus improving the overall quality of life in their final days. 

Here’s everything you need to know using CBD for palliative to educate you further:

CBD for Palliative Care: A Potential Treatment for Pain Management

 Past and present CBD research provides ample evidence of medical cannabis’s analgesic benefits. 

Preliminary studies conducted in animals show that CBD and THC can alleviate pain in palliative care patients. Many consider CBD oil as a viable and superior alternative to opioids in chronic pain management. Some even claim that CBD could potentially play a key role in curbing the current opioid pandemic. 

Patients in palliative care can experience severe pain. The final stages of some terminal diseases are especially physically and mentally tolling. The primary goal of palliative care is to numb this pain and generally improve the overall quality of life to make the final moments of a patient’s life tolerable. 

Some studies focused on CBD’s role in palliative care have shown promising results. One such study of 1000 participants showed that CBD could significantly reduce pain in terminal cancer cases.  

Banking on this and other studies, The Israeli Ministry of Health greenlit Medical Cannabis for cancer-care treatments. This also followed a study of 2970 patients, which further advocated CBD’s use in palliative care. 

In the study, 96% of participants registered improvements in their conditions within six months. 3.7% experienced no drastic change, while .3% reported an aggravation in symptoms. Moreover, 69.5% of patients said their overall quality of life improved since the first CBD use. 

Some studies suggest that CBD can improve the quality of life in advanced cancer patients and even treat some underlying symptoms. However, the scientific evidence on this is still premature. Therefore, doctors hesitate to prescribe cannabis in these situations. 

In a 2018 survey, 237 oncologists said they peddled cannabis as a potential treatment for their patients. Out of these, only 30% regarded having enough information on the matter. However, an overwhelming 67% considered cannabis as a promising treatment for pain management. Another 65% touted it as an equal, if not more, effective treatment to combat weight loss in advanced cancer patients. Despite these positive figures, only 45% prescribed cannabis for use. 

Palliative Care for Pets

In pets, especially dogs, palliative care is a relatively newer concept. Many pet owners turn to palliative care to help their pets have bearable and peaceful final moments. Aside from anecdotal evidence, there’s not much that sheds light on CBD’s role in pet palliative care

How to use CBD for Palliative Care in Pets

The best way to prescribe CBD for palliative care is to rely on CBD’s benefits associated with chronic pain and other concerning symptoms characteristic of fatal conditions. This especially includes illnesses that can affect critical organs and metastasize to vital parts of your pet’s body; cancer being a prime example. 

According to some personal accounts, pets who went into remission didn’t experience better days. After most oncologist visits involving chemo, their symptoms exacerbated instead of becoming better.

 So, pet carers used alternative treatments like CBD as a “final resort” palliative measure. This significantly reduced pain and improved overall quality of life. Many owners also regarded CBD for palliative care in pets as life-changing. Seeing pets not suffer from excruciating pain provided a lot of relief to many. 

Dosing: CBD For Palliative Care

You’ll need to be in constant touch with your vet if you want to use CBD to treat a dying pet. This is highly important to keep things safe and manageable.

 You’ll also have to hire a holistic vet and arrange sessions between the two to ensure your pet is getting the most comprehensive treatment possible. A holistic vet is much more acquainted with CBD use than a conventional one.

If you’re looking for CBD dosing guidelines, here’s some basic information:

  • Covert your pet’s weight into pounds or Kg = A
  • Divide A by 2.2 = B
  • Multiply B by 1/4 (considering doses in mg).

Here’s how this math works out for a 20-pound dog

  • 20 pound is equal to 9.07185 pounds (be as accurate as you can)
  • Divide:­ 9.70815/2.2= 4.53
  • Multiply 4.53 by 1/4 = 1.1325 mg of CBD twice a day 

It’s advisable to consult your holistic and traditional vet before prescribing CBD for palliative care. Doses may vary based on pet breed, disease symptoms, and other factors.

 If your pet is already on meds, CBD can interfere with them and produce adverse reactions. Your vet can better guide you on dosing, especially on important things like how to gradually increase dosing with time for your pet.

Final thoughts

CBD’s role in palliative care isn’t necessarily to increase longevity but to provide relief from pain and other troublesome symptoms. Although most patients don’t normally rely on palliative care in their final moments, CBD may help change mindsets. 

Medical cannabis has shown to improve appetite, normalize taste pallets to bring back “the taste” in food, and reduce headaches, vomiting, and nausea, among other things. Some patients have also experienced a significant decrease in anxiety and depression. Overall, anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that CBD has helped improve palliative care patients’ quality of life.

That said, research on CBD’s role in palliative care is still in its early stages. As scientists break ground, there’s a strong case that CBD might emerge as a primary treatment for palliative care.

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