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“Sickle cell anemia does not bind me, it drives me. It covers with hurt allowing you to see and taste the freedom of health and when you least expect it makes you beg to be normal. I am its keeper and though it hurts to live, I’d die not to I was blessed with a gift and the only way to help others and appreciate life is to live with this curse…” Davinna Thrower. Medical Marijuana Should be an Option for patient with SCD in all States that allow medical marijuana to be used. Medical Marijuana has proven to aide patient with pain for Sickle Cell Anemia. Opioids given to relieve pain for Sickle Cell Patients are known to activate mast cells. Medical Marijuana is more convenient to get than their prescribed medications.
Medical Marijuana has proven to aide patient with pain for Sickle Cell Anemia. In a survey done at Yale, patients diagnosed with SCD, 79% said stated that marijuana caused them to have less use of their pain medications. There are two cannabinoid receptors, CB1R and CB2R. Researchers wanted to specifically target cannabinoids receptors to alienate mast cell activation which is present on sickle cell patients. Cannabinoids receptors are located in the central nervous system and non-central nervous system tissues, along with cells associated with inflammation. Researchers suggest, “Selective activation of peripheral cannabinoids receptors is appealing because it would avoid neuropsychiatric adverse effects associated with activation of CB1R in the central nervous system.” This states that if there was a more direct way to get access to these receptors it would undo the effects that come with SCD. cannabinoids are also used to reduce inflammation which is what can cause pain in SCD patients. cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects that shield from ischemia injury. Researches who conducted this experiment on a group of mice determined, “Earlier we showed that a single injection of CP55,940, a non-selective cannabinoid receptor agonist, at a dose of 0.3 mg/Kg relieved tonic deep tissue as well as CFA-induced mechanical hyperalgesia in these sickle mice”. This proves that the receptor aided in relieving pain. Doctors do prescribe something for patients with SCD to take so they reduce the pain behind the inflation and cell production called Morphine.
Opioids given to relieve pain for Sickle Cell Patients are known to activate mast cells. Morphine is the main drug used to treat sickle cell pain. Although, it is the main choice, it is highly histaminergic. This means it uses a substance that aides in allergic reactions and the dilation of blood vessels. When this occurs mast cell activation happens which can be apart of causing neurogenic inflammation which was shown in an experiment with Sickle Cell Mice conducted by Lucile Vincent. Another issue with taking morphine of pain is that risk of addiction, especially in patient with Sickle Cell Disease, because these patients have episodes that can last from minutes to hours from the time they are infants to adult life. Morphine is considered an opioid narcotic and comes in different forms. It is known to be addictive to patients and the longer use of the drug, the lower effectiveness it has. This can cause patients to require a larger dose that stabilizes the pain in patients with SCD. Morphine usage can cause many side effects. It is more detrimental too patient with SCD, again because these patients are constantly having episodes of pain from infancy to adulthood. Some of the side effects may include, nausea, stomach pain, confusion and even respiratory depression. Patients with SCD, already have enough going on with the amount of pain they are in, and to think the medicine they are given, can cause more abnormal cells to grow, put a patient at risk for potential opioid addiction, and side effects on top of the symptoms that come with SCD.
Medical Marijuana is more convenient to get than their prescribed medications. There are many patients who have issues obtaining their medication prescribed by their doctors. A patient announced, “They had me on 180 milligrams of oxycodone and 30 milligrams of methadone. That was my pain regimen at home every day. I went from a very social person to a very isolated person and I would sleep all the time. I only vape when I am in pain or when I feel it so it is not an everyday thing for me. As of right now, I’m not affected by the opioid epidemic because I took myself out of it”. It is stated that after vaping the patient was able to remove themselves from the opioid addiction and find a way to maintain her pain with opioids. Medical Marijuana use has be proven to lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety with the fatigue and constipation brought on by the opioid usage. Patients with SCD, say that it is hard to maintain a social life due to the absence of social outings and which can cause patients to feel sad and depressed. Finally, Medical Marijuana is easier to obtain than opioids. According to a SCD patient is it hard to acquire an opioid prescription. “. Once CVS got their first prescription there’s only just that 1 prescription and then I needed a refill or whatever after taking public transportation to pharmacy. I had to like go back to my clinic and tell them I need a refill. They have to send it upstairs and I had to take it up there myself. Then I have to take the public transportation and this paper back to CVS. Then CVS said they’re missing something so I had to go back to my clinic. Honestly, really and truly, I do not use my pain medicine opioids…I smoke marijuana.” The amount of time spent attempting to drop off prescription to be filled is slower than it is to get medical marijuana for some patients. This is even more of a reason why people should be more open to letting adults have the right to Medical Marijuana for Sickle Cell Disease.
In conclusion, medical marijuana should be an option for all adult patients diagnosed SCD. Medical Marijuana has been proven to help aide with SCD pain. Cannabinoids receptors can contribute to pain associated with SCD and inflammation caused in SCD. The Opioid epidemic is at an all time high, and the less usage of opioids the better, although Morphine is the top medication prescribed for patients with SCD, it can cause bad side affects and patients can be become addicted, not to mention patient say it is hard to even obtain a prescription for opioids. Finally, Medical Marijuana has not just improved the physical health in patients with Sickle Cell Disease, but also the mental health as well. Patients with SCD may feel excluded from their social life due to their constant episodes of pain that can happen any time and can last as long as hours. Medical Marijuana has helped patient with SCD with their depression. Although Medical Marijuana is not accepted in all states yet, I believe it is important that we give more light to Sickle Cell Disease and offering more options of pain relieve that not only make patients feel good, but keep the patients mental and physical health healthy as well.
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