Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?
It’s been known for a while that cannabis can help relieve the symptoms of cancer, and of cancer treatments like chemotherapy (e.g., nausea and pain). And many folk have suspected for a while that it can do a lot more. Can cannabis cure cancer? Well, not yet and more research is needed, but at least – and at last – the medical establishment is starting to properly acknowledge that cannabis can certainly play a valuable role in treating cancer.
Can cannabis cure cancer? Researchers are finding out.
The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated on their website that “Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumour growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumours to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells,” they continued.
Read it for yourself here: cancer.gov – cannabis research
Research has been going on in the UK for some time into the effects of cannabis compounds into cancer. For example, Dr Wai Liu, at St George’s University of London, found some cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) could help fight leukaemia cancer cells. His research time have since then been looking into cannabinoids and brain cancer in mice, with such promising results that they’re about to start testing them on humans.
He said: “Our latest findings have shown that cannabinoids can combine effectively with irradiation to treat brain cancer. We showed that using these two together significantly reduced the sizes of brain cancer seen in mice,” he added.
“This data is very new and so exciting that clinical trials have started in patients with brain cancer.”
How Can Cannabis Treat Cancer?
According to Dr Liu, certain cannabinoids “are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells, stopping them in their tracks and preventing them from growing. In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells on their own,” he wrote in a press release.
The key thing here is that the cannabinoids don’t damage healthy cells.
The US National Cancer Institute now has published reports on its website (cancer.gov) of several studies which show that marijuana worked against several kinds of cancer, including colon cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer.
Cannabis and Chemotherapy – A Potent Combination
One study mentioned on the NCI website found that CBD and THC (two of the key compounds in marijuana) may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy. And there are already several animal studies showing that cannabinoids can help with many of the unpleasant side-effects of chemotherapy, such as nerve problems like tingling, swelling and muscle weakness, along with nausea and vomiting.
Other Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Cannabinoids are already known to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve pain and animal studies show that CBD (cannabidiol) can reduce anxiety.
Drugs.com also note that studies have demonstrated medical cannabis can help treat glaucoma, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and neuropathic (nerve) pain.
What About Clinical Studies into Medical Cannabis?
Keep in mind that all the studies mentioned here were done on mice and rats or on isolated human cells in a lab. There haven’t been any completed studies with real humans using cannabis as an actual direct treatment of cancer. A few have begun already though, and Dr Liu in London is about to start conducting clinical trials on the use of cannabis to treat brain cancer.
The NCI website does list quite a few studies that have been done with adult cancer patients looking at the effects of cannabis on countering the side-effects of chemotherapy (rather than on treating cancer itself). Most of these studies have found that cannabis (by mouth or inhaled) can alleviate various symptoms of chemotherapy, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, insomnia and anxiety.
Keep in mind too that many of the existing studies have been out for a while and have been reported on by alternative journals and websites. What’s interesting just now is that finally mainstream medical establishments are actually promoting the research and admitting that cannabis can have powerful medical benefits.
So far, most of the cannabis compounds used in the studies have not yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as cancer treatments or to alleviate chemotherapy side-effects, with the exception of two cannabis-based drugs (dronabinol and nabilone) which have been approved for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients who haven’t responded to standard treatments. So that’s a start, I suppose.
Hopefully this acknowledgement of the benefits of medical marijuana by the National Cancer Institute will lead to increasing acceptance of the value of medical marijuana – and moves to make it more widely available.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana Seeds
You can buy medical marijuana itself at licensed dispensaries in countries and states where medical cannabis is legal. However, many users prefer to grow it themselves, as this way they can be sure of the quality, save money, and grow exactly the strain that suits their needs.
Several good seedbanks sell seeds for medical strains of cannabis. Check out our post on the top medical marijuana strains here, with links to buy seeds: