Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of Cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer-related side effects, such as nausea and vomiting.
This summary contains the following key information:
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
By federal law, the possession of Cannabis is illegal in the United States, except within approved research settings; however, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize its medical use.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Cannabis as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition.
Cannabis, or marijuana, is one of the oldest psychoactive substances. It is often smoked, brewed or eaten for its medicinal and recreational effects.
Medical marijuana advocates tout the drugs’ ability to soothe nausea and increase appetite, quiet pain, soothe anxiety and even reduce epileptic seizures. However, because research on the drug is so tightly restricted, few studies have tested these medical claims.
A THC metabolite was found in the urine of young children exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.
Children exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke have measurable amounts of a metabolite of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, according to results of an investigation published online December 2 in Pediatric Research.
While searching for information on the palliative affects of cannabis for chemotherapy patients, I came across an article describing a Cancer study from Spain which boasted remarkable results treating patients with cannabis. The results of the study showed reduction in tumor size and even complete cellular death in the tumors of patients who ingested concentrated THC. The claim sounds extraordinary but with a little research I was surprised by the amount of information I found supporting the treatment of cancer with concentrated cannabis.
The findings are clear: application of cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) has the potential to slow the growth of Cancer cells, in many cases causing a reduction and even death in those tumor cells without harming the surrounding healthy tissue.
Cannabis doesn’t kill Cancer in the same way as chemotherapy treatment. With chemo everything dies. They flush the body with whichever brand of poison they’ve deemed the most effective, and the chemo attacks the cells in the body indiscriminately, cancerous and healthy alike. The patient’s job is simply to survive and outlive the cancer. There is no arguing that chemotherapy has shown to effectively kill cancer. But I think there is also little denying that it can greatly damage the body during the course of the treatment. Conversely, cannabis is not lethal and does not harm healthy cells.
There may be an initial period of adjustment during which patients can experience the side effects of excessive cannabis toxicity while building their tolerance to the oil, however once tolerance is achieved cannabis treatment comes with a long list of beneficial side effects such as lowered blood pressure, less depression and anxiety, better quality of sleep, and more.
With Cannabis treatment, patients ingest regular doses of highly concentrated oil (see blog by H2B President on Treating Cancer with Cannabis). Some choose to use it in conjunction with their current chemotherapy treatments, while others have turned to cannabis oil alone (usually coupled with a balanced diet and natural supplements). I won’t sit here and say that beyond a doubt Cannabis is the answer and cures all cancers. Truth is every cancer is different just like every person is different; and not all cancers (or people for that matter), react the same to treatment. Also depending on where the cancer is in relation to the cannabinoid receptors, the tumors might react to different types of cannabinoids (see our blog on cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system).
It is important to note the patients coming forward with personal testimony showing their remarkable results: cancers declared inoperable, untreatable, or which didn’t react positively to conventional therapies showing successful treatment using cannabis oil. A growing number of cancer patients are turning to this therapy and the stories are finally beginning to emerge, though because of the varying legality and stigma surrounding this treatment, patients are hesitant to come forward and talk about their experiences. My grandmother, who found success using cannabis oil for her stage 4 breast cancer, has been met with doubt and criticism for her choice and for talking about it. It upsets me to think that though she found positive results, she can’t freely share this information with others.
I think the point here is if it is possible, if this might help someone, if it might give a cancer patient and their family their lives back, isn’t it important for it to be made known that it IS an option? With all the different types of chemotherapy doctors are willing to try out on patients, this nontoxic solution should also be available. Patients like my grandmother shouldn’t be afraid (or unable due to legal reasons) to seek out this medicine and they shouldn’t be met with criticism for sharing the success of their treatment with other cancer patients, family, and friends. We should all be sharing this information. The government needs to be allowing human clinical trials and pushing for more studies to be done. If we are trying to spread awareness and asking for more research to fight this terrible devastating disease, ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME WE TALK ABOUT CANNABIS?
Additional Blogs to Support Patients Considering this therapy:
I have read a lot of research on cannabinoids and their potential as an effective Cancer treatment, and I encourage you to do the same. To get you started I am including links to the information I found; please read for yourself. There is a lot of out information out there. Don’t ignore this any longer. Spread awareness. Cannabis has the ability to fight Cancer. If you or someone you know has been touched by Cancer, now is the time to Share this information with them, before it is too late to try.