As per WHO, the global need for palliative care will grow continuously as a result of an aging population and the rising burden of diseases. Each year, over 40 million people need palliative care, and a majority of them suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and their symptoms.
Medical professionals have deployed a variety of medications and opioids to treat those symptoms. But they came with intolerable adverse effects and poor symptom control. This encouraged researchers and medical experts to search for different therapeutic strategies, and a prominent finding being cannabis-based medication!
Understanding Palliative Care
Palliative care is comprehensive care for patients facing serious illness and their families. It focuses on reducing the suffering and helping the patients achieve the best possible quality of life.
It looks at the patients and their families holistically and gives them the necessary tools to help them alleviate the illness symptoms and treatment side-effects.
It can include giving counseling for managing the grief that comes with the disease, methods of handling stress and anxiety, or even something as simple as prescribing a mouthwash for mouth sores.
Why It Is Done
As mentioned, palliative care is offered to people with serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses, such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Advanced rheumatoid arthritis
- Lung disease
- End-stage liver disease
- Kidney failure, etc.
And the symptoms that palliative care mainly focuses on reducing are:
Role of Vijaya in Palliative Care: The Experts Speak
Claude Cyr, MD, from McGill University, Montreal, spoke in an interview with Bryant Furlow from Cancernetwork about the usage of Vijaya (medical cannabis) for palliative care in patients with cancer.
He said that besides controlling pain and nausea, Vijaya aids in treating many different symptoms associated with palliative care and can be considered for patients with a terminal illness at any stage. It has a good safety profile with considered doses, and its chemical compound CBD is well-tolerated even at high doses by all types of individuals.
Dr. B.J. Miller, a Palliative care physician at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, stated that cannabis-based medication heightens sensory perception and awareness and increases people’s appreciation of
- Music, and
- Other aesthetic pleasures.
It also aids in heightening the awareness of a moment-to-moment presence, which is even more vital when one’s days are numbered. It hence plays an important therapeutic role for patients facing terminal illness and the despair and loss of function accompanying it.
Moreover, it is very potent in reducing the psychological trauma that comes to patients undergoing diagnosis and invasive treatments for their terminal illnesses. This is because THC stimulates the cannabinoid activity in the brain and plays a chief role in reducing anxious thoughts, behaviour, and aversive memories.
Furthermore, many patients going through unbearable physical and psychological symptoms of an illness consider Vijaya safer and more desirable than opioids. This is due to its-
- Wide range of therapeutic benefits
- Favorable safety profile, and
- Absence of conventional drug side-effects.
Providing Effective Palliative Care: Symptoms That Vijaya Can Manage
Here are some prominent symptoms that patients needing palliative care face that Vijaya treats, thus aiding their overall treatment life quality:
- Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the most frequent symptoms that patients with serious illnesses experience. It is also one of the most prominent areas of Vijaya’s medical implementation.
A study in the Journal of Pain conducted by various Canadian universities says that Vijaya not only treated chronic pain in the patients but it also alleviated the pain’s psychological and emotional impact. Moreover, it achieved this without showing any adverse side effects.
The patients consuming Vijaya reported significant improvements in pain, as well as the overall bodily function and life quality as compared to the ones taking conventional painkillers. This is the reason why modern science acknowledges it as the safest and the best pain-reliever medicine today.
Insomnia can be caused by a variety of reasons, the most common being pain and mental disorders, including anxiety and depression. Vijaya, the best pain-reliever medicine, also exhibits anxiolytic properties, as mentioned above.
A 2019 research shows Vijaya’s impact and its derived medicines such as Trailokya Vijaya Vati have on sleep. In the study, over 67% of patients reported better sleep along with improvements in anxiety and pain.
- Appetite Loss
Appetite loss is common in patients with serious illnesses. It can be due to various disease symptoms and treatment side effects, including nausea, pain, drug side effects, etc. The Study acknowledges Vijaya’s potential in stimulating appetite.
And since it effectively treats conditions like pain and nausea and reduces conventional drug side-effects, it is no surprise that Vijaya-derived medicines such as the Trailokya Vijaya Vati prevent appetite loss and aid the patients’ life quality.
As per Forbes, a study conducted at the University of New Mexico showed that Vijaya provided immediate nausea relief. More than 96% of patients reported relief from the symptom.
According to the study, a significant nausea relief was seen after just 5 minutes of consumption, and it continued to increase with time.
- Anxiety and Depression
The CB1 cannabinoid receptors have a high concentration in the brain areas responsible for mood and cognition. Vijaya’s cannabinoids bind with and activate them. Thus the herb has a strong influence on mood, emotional processing, and the regulation of anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, it prevents anandamide breakdown and increases serotonin production, which is the chief hormone that stabilizes feelings of well-being, mood, and happiness.
Vijaya and Quality of Life
Vijaya has an incalculable value in improving life quality in patients suffering from serious illnesses. Due to its vast therapeutic properties, it distances patients from pain and suffering, alters their mood, and helps them achieve the much-needed feeling of happiness.
Medical practitioners increasingly prescribe this herb as it treats the disease symptoms along with the treatment side effects. It furthermore lowers the number of conventional prescription drugs that the patients require, such as:
- Anti-rheumatic drugs, etc.
And decreases their psychological dependence on them.
The physical and emotional support that Vijaya provides improves the life quality in patients and helps them adhere to and achieve satisfaction from their treatment.