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Medical Marijuana and Wasting Syndrome

Wasting syndrome is a serious side effect of many debilitating diseases in which muscle and fat tissue "waste" away. Infections and conditions that cause wasting include cancer, HIV/AIDS, superior mesenteric artery syndrome, tuberculosis, chronic diarrhea, chronic obstructive lung disease, congestive heart failure, and familial amyloid polyneuropathy. Wasting can be caused by an extremely low energy intake, nutrient losses due to infection, or a combination of both.

Typically, patients with wasting syndrome are treated with steroids such as corticosteroids or drugs that mimic progesterone.Another approach is the use of nutritional supplements that provide easy-to-absorb nutrients. Scientists are also studying how human growth hormone treatments can help wasting syndrome patients. However, it is extremely expensive and could cost over $40,000 per year to use.

In order to manage wasting syndrome, patients must reduce nausea and vomiting in order to increase food intake. And according to strong scientific and anecdotal evidence, using medical marijuana is a safe, effective way to do so. AIDS activists have long urged the legalization of marijuana because of its ability to reduce nausea and stimulate the appetite in HIV/AIDS patients.

Most marijuana states include wasting syndrome on their list of qualifying conditions, and doctors in every state can legally prescribe Marinol, a synthetic form of a substance found in marijuana, as an appetite stimulant in patients with wasting syndrome. Additionally, marijuana side effects are typically mild and are classified as "low risk," with euphoric mood changes among the most frequent side effects.

If you or someone you care about is looking to find relief from wasting syndrome, can help. Search our database to find a quality marijuana doctor, and learn how to obtain a cannabis card and get medical marijuana in your state. Let us help improve your quality of life!




This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals.  If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.


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