Cachexia & Medical Marijuana

Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome is general physical wasting and malnutrition. Characteristics of this condition include loss of weight, muscle atrophy, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite. In Cachexia, body mass cannot be normalized by eating alone.

Cachexia accompanies cancer, AIDS, pulmonary disease, MS, heart failure, tuberculosis, severe neurological diseases, heavy metal poisoning and extreme hormonal imbalance.

Research has confirmed that components of Medical Marijuana helps alleviate Cachexia symptoms in many sufferers and offers treatment of related conditions as well. 

Medical Cannabis & Cachexia


“Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of Medical Cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy.

Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign Cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries are able to give up their walkers,

AIDS patients were able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers.“

--  Jay Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis

Medical Marijuana vs Pharmaceutical Drugs - Wasting Syndrome

Typically, physicians prescribe expensive corticosteroids or other drugs similar to Progesterone to treat wasting disorders. These drugs have very serious side effects and can exacerbate the overall situation.  Easy to absorb nutritional supplements usually accompany drug therapy. Hormonal treatments such as HGH and Testosterone and certain anabolic steroids offer a solution, but are not typically indicated by most physicians.

Now, there is very impelling scientific and anecdotal evidence that Medical Marijuana is an effective and safe way for many patients to mitigate wasting associated with AIDS, Cancer, Cardiovascular and other conditions. AIDS activists have supported the legalization of Medical Cannabis because they KNOW it reduces nausea and stimulates appetite.

Most Marijuana States such as California include wasting syndrome on their list of qualifying conditions (420 evaluations). Physicians across the country can legally prescribe Marinol, a synthetic form of THC (marijuana component), as an appetite stimulant for wasting syndrome patients.

In comparison, Medical Marijuana side effects are a walk in the park, as compared with harsh steroids such as Prednisolone.  Side effects are typically mild and are classified as "low risk," with euphoria, sleepiness and paranoia being commonly associated with THC.  New Medical Marijuana strains afford less of psychoactive component (THC), and higher quantities of non-psychoactive Cannabinoids, such as CBD.  New Cannabis drug derivatives offer solutions for those that do not enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC.

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: Our California licensed Medical Marijuana Doctors can help you get the right, individualized Medical Marijuana Recommendation. We provide 420 doctor evaluations, Medical Marijuana cards, that allows clients to access Medical Cannabis from any licensed dispensary in the state.

Case Study - Weight and Fitness Gains with Medical Marijuana Component

Dronabinol (THC)  a possible new therapeutic option in patients with COPD and pulmonary Cachexia

--  Presentation at the 2005 Conference of the German Society for Pneumology, Berlin, 2005

In this study, THC was found to help mitigate Cachexia.  Patients averaged 1.5 kg gain in weight and also registered an increase in physical fitness (walking)

Further Reading

Evaluation of oral cannabinoid-containing medications for the management of interferon and ribavirin-induced anorexia, nausea and weight loss in patients treated for chronic hepatitis C virus

Conclusion: Cannabinoid therapy may stabilize weight.

Anorexia of aging in long term care: is dronabinol an effective appetite stimulant? - a pilot study

Conclusions: Dronabinol therapy was well tolerated. Overall, there was a trend in weight gain in participants treated with Dronabinol for 12 weeks. Failure to respond to Dronabinol may indicate increased risk of death.

Comparison of orally administered cannabis extract and delta-9-THC in treating patients with cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome: a multicenter, phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial from the Cannabis-Cachexia-Study-Group

Conclusion: Oral dose administered was well tolerated by these patients with CACS.

Long-term efficacy and safety of dronabinol for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated anorexia.

Conclusion: Data supports long-term, safe use of dronabinol for anorexia in patients with AIDS.

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