Cannabis and cancer are both complex in nature. Both still widely researched by experts in their respective fields. But recently, findings are pointing to a connection between the two C words. THC and CBD are proving to be somewhat anti-cancer in nature, and effective for patient relief. Especially when considering weed’s common effects that combat common cancer symptoms, and medication side effects, too. So, can cannabis actually cure cancer or act as a source of healing? Let’s review the latest research on the subject to see what experts are finding out.
The Cannabis and Cancer Connection
Cannabis contains over 400 different cannabinoids, that each interacts uniquely with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The system of neurotransmitters or receptors, that are responsible for regulating a number of common body functions and systems. Like the central nervous system, digestive system, the brain, varying glands, etc. When cannabinoids enter the body through consuming marijuana in some way, they influence these receptors to offset their individual effects.
Interestingly enough for cannabis and cancer, is the connection of primary cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These internal receptors are found in ample amounts in the body’s immune and central nervous system. They’re also influenced by cannabis directly. Specifically THC, and CBD, but also by lesser-known cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, and CBG, too. Research so far is showing this interaction and connection is key for cannabis versus cancer. Especially for tumorous growths that are associated with the condition.
Cannabis Versus Tumour Growth
One specific effect from cannabis that is helpful in treating cancer, is its anti-tumour capabilities. But this research is nothing new. In 1975 in a study on rats, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published findings that THC and CBN cannabinoids both slowed or stopped tumour growth altogether. Even more, those rats that were continually treated with THC lived longer lives. As time progressed more studies on cannabis reducing tumours began to arise. Including the following trials –
- When rats and mice were administered THC, one study found a significant reduction in hepatic adenoma tumours and hepatocellular carcinoma, common to liver cancer. Findings also reported a decrease in benign tumours in other organs, too.
- One study found the activation of CB2 receptors and interaction with CB1 receptors inhibited glioma tumour growth.
- Research from 2002 showed targeting CB2 receptors with THC was effective at reducing malignant lymphoblastic type tumours.
- A 2003 study showed the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors was effective at inhibiting the growth of skin tumours.
Even better is the statement that recently came from the National Cancer Institute. They stated, “Cannabinoids appear to kill tumour cells but do not affect their non-transformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death.”
Other Research on Cannabis and Cancer
Beyond targeting cancer tumour growth, cannabis has a few other benefits that may positively affect cancer from spreading. Specifically in relation to cell death, like the National Cancer Institute confirms. One study explored CBD, and found that the cannabinoid was successful at killing breast cancer cells. The cannabinoid did so, by inhibiting signalling between certain cells.
For colon cancer, researchers found similar results. With another study reporting that CBD was effective at decreasing cell proliferation. Cell proliferation is the process of the number of cells increasing, which helps cancers to grow.
Lastly, comes cannabis’ effect on apoptosis. The process of apoptosis is the way our body clears itself of unnecessary cells. Like any living thing, our body cells have a life cycle. When cells die, normally they’re absorbed naturally and automatically replaced with new. If this process doesn’t function properly, dead cells can remain and are highly prone to mutating into cancer. Experts believe that by marijuana stimulating the clarification of dead cells, this may be helpful in preventing cancer altogether.
Common Cancer Treatment Side-Effects
For now, while science catches up with an exact formula or ‘cure’ for cancer with cannabis…many patients with the condition are finding relief from weed for common side-effects. Especially from the chemotherapy treatment that many undergo to treat the virus. Some of the typical side-effects and symptoms that cancer patients are affected by include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nerve pain
From just looking at this list, and knowing anything about cannabis…you can see how the plant can help patients heal. CBD, THC, and a plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes are able to directly address these symptoms to help those with cancer live more comfortably. To show cannabis’ efficacy, Dronabinol or Marinol is an FDA approved medication prescribed to those undergoing chemotherapy to tame the treatment’s side effects. The medicine contains synthetic forms of THC.
Best Strains for Healing
Back to the complexity of cannabis, is the variety of strains that are now available to purchase and consume. Each containing its own unique balance of cannabinoids that provide specific and unique effects. For nausea, loss of appetite, neuropathy pain, anxiety and depression…there are a few options that will be more helpful than others. Here’s a list of the top 5 genetics for these symptoms.
We should also mention Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO as it’s a product that’s often termed to ‘cure cancer’. The extract includes whole plant nutrients that contain a full-profile of cannabinoids, and terpenes. The entourage effect that comes from this blend, is robust and powerful but is still being further investigated for actual proof of combating cancer, effectively.
Cannabis and Cancer – A Long Way to Go
Even though it seems we’ve come so far…there’s still a long way to go. Understanding cancer and its widespread influence on the body’s systems will take science awhile to figure out. Let alone researching cannabis further to find out its exact effects on the elusive virus too. So far, the medical community is holding hope for cannabis’ short-term and long-term benefits for cancer and the patients who suffer from the condition. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from trying cannabis for cancer then you’ll want a high-quality and potent product. At Greenz we offer a variety of goods suitable for any type of consumer – including capsules, tinctures, edibles, and more. Find which one is right for you, now.