Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. In recent years, studies have suggested that it may have the potential to treat certain types of cancer. This article will explore the efficacy and safety of cannabis as a potential cancer treatment, as well as the potential side effects and potential interactions with other medications. The article will also evaluate the current evidence regarding the potential of cannabis to treat cancer and discuss the challenges that remain in furthering research in this area.
What is the evidence that cannabis can be used to treat cancer?
There is a growing body of evidence that cannabis can be used to treat cancer. Studies have shown that cannabis compounds can slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells, reduce inflammation, and reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. Additionally, research has shown that cannabis can help reduce pain and nausea associated with cancer treatments. However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of cannabis in treating cancer.
Is there a difference between THC and CBD in terms of cancer treatment?
Yes, there is a difference between THC and CBD in terms of cancer treatment. THC is known to have anti-tumor effects, while CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with cancer. Both compounds have been found to have potential benefits in treating various types of cancer, however, further research is needed to understand their exact effects.
How is cannabis administered to cancer patients?
Cannabis does not have the ability to cure cancer, however, it can be administered to cancer patients in several ways. These methods include smoking, vaporizing, consuming cannabis edibles, and applying cannabis topicals. Cannabis may help to reduce cancer-related symptoms such as pain, nausea, and appetite loss.
Are there any clinical studies that have looked at the effectiveness of cannabis in treating cancer?
Yes, there have been several clinical studies that have looked at the effectiveness of cannabis in treating cancer. For example, a 2010 study found that cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis, had a positive effect on glioma cell lines in vitro, suggesting that cannabis may have some potential to be used in the treatment of glioblastoma. Additionally, a 2014 study found that cannabinoids were effective in reducing the growth of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
For thousands of years people have used cannabis for recreational, ritualistic and medicinal purposes. In the modern era, the latter property excites a lot of people, and there is no shortage of wild claims about the supposed medical benefits of the plant. Of all the claims, perhaps the most bold is the assertion that cannabis can cure cancer. Astounding testimonials about cannabis and its derived products shrinking tumours or curing terminal cases are easy to find on the internet. But alluring as these stories are, they tend to be based on misunderstanding, wishful thinking or outright falsehood. Contrary to what most people believe, medical uses of cannabis have been widely studied. A review by the National Academy of Science looked at over 10, studies. They found evidence for some applications of cannabis, including managing chronic pain and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. There was also good evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol THC , the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, can reduce the nausea caused by chemotherapy. Indeed, a synthetic form of THC, called dronabinol, has been prescribed for just this use for decades. But, crucially, there is zero evidence that cannabis has any curative or even helpful impact on cancer , despite enthusiastic claims to the contrary. Why then is there such a gulf between public perception and scientific evidence? Part of this is misunderstanding. For example, an often aired claim is that high-dose THC kills cancer cells in a petri dish. This is true, but not very meaningful. Killing cells in a dish is extremely easy you can do so with anything from heat to bleach. But effective anti-cancer agents must be able to selectively kill cancer cells in the human body while sparing healthy ones. The reality is that cannabis simply cannot do this. Arsenic, plutonium and cyanide are also natural, yet it would be a poor strategy to binge on these substances. The active compounds of many drugs are themselves discovered in plants, synthesised to control the dose and maximise efficacy. We already have THC-derived medicines, but these do not cure cancer, and neither does cannabis. This is abject nonsense. Such a conspiracy would be massive and would rapidly collapse. The idea that researchers would be callous enough to suppress a cancer cure, and the rewards that would go with it, is ludicrous. The reality is that cancer is a complex family of disease, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a single cure. Three reasons why scientific advice on drugs is ignored. An ingredient in cannabis may be useful for treating psychosis new study. Edition Available editions Global. Become an author Sign up as a reader Sign in. Cancer Cannabis Medical marijuana Is it true? Events More events.
Marijuana and individual cannabinoids compounds in the plant like tetrahydrocannabinol THC or cannabidiol CBD have been studied to manage the side effects of cancer and cancer therapies like chemotherapy. Findings suggest that certain cannabinoids can help relieve some of those side effects. However, studies have not shown that marijuana or individual cannabinoids can cure cancer. Avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer or relying on marijuana alone to treat or manage the effects of cancer may have serious health consequences. Studies of the chemicals or cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant suggest that certain cannabinoids can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy, 1 as well as in treating neuropathic pain pain caused by damaged nerves. S Food and Drug Administration external icon FDA has approved two specific drugs dronabinol name brands Marinol and Syndros and nabilone name brand Cesamet that are synthetic man-made forms of specific cannabinoids for use in cancer patients with chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. More research is needed to understand the effects of marijuana as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy. Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, but it also delivers harmful substances, including many of the same toxins and carcinogens cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke, 3 which are harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular system. However, limited evidence of an association between current, frequent, or chronic marijuana smoking and testicular cancer non-seminoma-type has been documented. Because marijuana can be used in different ways, with different levels of active compounds, it can affect each person differently. More research is needed to understand the full impact of marijuana use on cancer. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Marijuana and Public Health. Section Navigation. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Minus Related Pages. Is there a link between marijuana and cancer? National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.