There has been a lot written and discussed on whether marijuana can cure cancer or if it can only help with pain management. This is not surprising since the cannabis plant has been used to remedy all types of illnesses and pain for thousands of years.
Cancer is a horrible disease that affects many people and is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Many people are affected by the disease and each year billions of dollars are poured into finding a cure for the disease. It’s almost certain that cannabis cannot kill cancerous cells, at least not at the rate needed to rid the body completely of the disease. For starters, cannabinoids play no known role in cell growth. However, since the late 1990s, researchers have been pursuing the question of whether the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, particularly in the brain, might defend against cancerous tumours.
But how does cannabis help cancer patients? In this blog post we’ll take a look at many of the facts about marijuana and cancer. But before we start, please note that this blog is not intended for medical advice and shouldn’t be taken as such.
Cancer and Cannabis
Cannabinoids are the active compounds in marijuana, which include the two most well-known, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) as well as over one hundred others. When the cannabinoids enter the body, they stimulate a network of receptors. CB1 receptors are found throughout the brain and nerve ends, while CB2 receptors congregate in the immune system.
According to a series of studies inwhich lab mice were blasted with THC, researchers saw cancer growth halted in one third of their subjects and it was reversed in another third until the tumours were completely eliminated.
In another 2014 study with mice, scientists examined the effects of THC and CBD extracts alongside radiation therapy. Marijuana appeared to increase the effectiveness of radiation against an aggressive type of brain cancer. These results suggest that THC and CBD may help to prepare cancer cells to respond better to radiation therapy.
Of course, for most cancer patients, chemotherapy is a large component of cancer treatment. According to a survey done last year of cancer patients, one in eight patients reported using cannabis to treat cancer. Marijuana is an incredible tool for assisting in symptoms of chemotherapy. Using cannabis while undertaking chemo can greatly improve the patient’s quality of life.
For example, marijuana can help with everything from:
- pain management
It is also beneficial since it doesn’t have any of the side effects that other pharmaceutical drugs have. Whatever method you use to take cannabis, always fully disclose any usage to your doctor. Some cancers require more monitoring with cannabis use. For example, THC might affect hormonal levels. Because of this, doctors pay more attention to the estrogen levels of patients who have hormone-producing cancers such as ovarian, breast, prostate, and testicular cancer.
While cannabis does indeed appear to be a beneficial compound for many cancer symptoms and can probably help with some types of cancer, there is no conclusive scientific research to suggest it. Cannabinoids and cannabis itself may have their place as a treatment in some cases, especially for people who need help managing chronic pain. The reality is that cancer is a complex family of disease, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a single cure.
Whatever you decide to do, please consult your doctor to find out what is right for you since each person and, therefore, different treatment methods might be best.
If you need to purchase cannabis then please take a look at our selection of flowers, oils and edibles HERE