Sickle cell anemia is a rare condition suffered by thousands of Americans and according to statistics, about 1% of African American babies come out as sickle cell patients. Sickle cell is very detrimental, and most patients usually die before reaching maturity. The patients who struggle to survive usually result in costly medications which greatly reduces income over the long run. The symptoms of sickle cell disease can lead to death and due to the expensive nature of prescription medications, most patients are now looking at alternative ways to gain relief from the symptoms of sickle cell. While there is no current cure for sickle cell, several studies are linking medical marijuana as a perfect way to relieve the severe symptoms of sickle cell. This article focuses on the link between medical cannabis and sickle cell to help patients that want to consider using medical cannabis as an alternative treatment.
What Is Sickle Cell disease / Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is a condition that makes red blood cells eventually break down. It’s a genetic disorder that results when the body starts generating unusual hemoglobin known as hemoglobin S. Hemoglobin helps carry oxygen in red blood cells. Red blood cells usually have a circular shape, but defective hemoglobin can cause red blood cells to take a sickle shape. When red blood cells form this structure, it becomes difficult for blood flow and oxygen to move to different parts of the body, and this results in sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell patients undergo symptoms such as vision loss, slow puberty, and slow growth rate. Also, sickle cell patients experience chronic pain called “sickle pain” due to inflammation of the circulatory system. This causes high pain and discomfort which is very hard on the patients.
A potential cure for sickle cell disease (anemia) involves a blood marrow transplant. But its costly nature makes it difficult for most people to receive a transplant. The common medications for sickle cell side effects include pain relievers and antibiotics. While these medications can treat the side effects of sickle cell, they can also cause their side effects. This has made most sufferers consider cannabis as a perfect way to gain relief from sickle cell symptoms.
Medical Marijuana and Sickle Cell Disease (Anemia)
Medical marijuana can help sufferers of sickle cell anemia to gain relief. Medical marijuana may help relieve some symptoms of sickle cell anemia including chronic pain. The primary compound in medical marijuana, CBD has pain-relieving properties that have been tested and proven by researchers. Cannabis also has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit sickle cell patients.
Apart from pain, medical marijuana can help sickle cell patients with anxiety and depression that originates from severe pain. Medical marijuana also works as an appetite enhancer for patients finding difficulties in eating. It can also help reduce mood swings and relieve inflammation in sickle cell patients.
The benefits of medical marijuana on sickle cell patients are many, so if you consider using medical marijuana for sickle cell talk to your physician to gain more information about dosage and the best strains.