"I need to have my spleen removed. I am also on chemo for tumors that have appeared my lungs. I am losing weight and wondering if cannabis could help with nausea from chemo and appetite too. I am already on so many drugs though, I don’t want to complicate things more. Your advice? "
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system creates proteins (antibodies) that block or damage acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. Acetylcholine is necessary for muscle stimulation; therefore, patients with myasthenia gravis experience muscle weakness and fatigue which tends to worsen with activity. One of the mainstays of medicinal therapy is acetylcholinesterase inhibition which prevents the turnover of acetylcholine. This allows higher levels of acetylcholine and more time for acetylcholine to interact with its receptor and cause muscle contraction.
It turns out the cannabis not only modulates (inhibits) the immune system but also inhibits acetylcholinesterase. The exact mechanism is not known at this time, but the good news is that cannabis may be helpful as a supplemental therapy for myasthenia gravis!
As far as offsetting the side effects of chemotherapy, cannabis has been helpful for many patients living with and treating cancer. Cannabis helps alleviate nausea and vomiting and is a powerful appetite stimulant. In general, cannabis does not adversely interact with other medications, because it has a different mechanism of action than most drugs. Still, it is recommended that you discuss using cannabis as a supplemental therapy with your oncologist.