There is no doubt that cannabis use is a widely debated topic, with many individuals on both sides arguing both for and against legalizing the sale and distribution for various reasons. One of the largest arguments for the legalization of this substance however, comes in the form of legalization for medical purposes. In fact, medicinal marijuana has been used for centuries as a remedy to heal the sick, and has recently been shown to ease chronic pain, help reduce seizures in those with epilepsy, bring back appetites for those who are in chemotherapy and more. Because of this, many states have begun to listen to the pro-cannabis activists and have made medical marijuana legal (22 states in all as of the 2015 election period).
It is no secret that there has been a lot of talk lately surrounding the theory that cannabis can actually help to aid in the treatment and healing of those with cancer, with many people becoming both interested in, as well as excited by, the potential this plant has to offer as a modern, natural, medicine. However, in order for the study of this plant as a possible cure to cancer to continue, it is prudent that the general population be aware of what has already been discovered thus far, so as to decrease stigma and increase funds for study and possible further legalization. Therefore, the remainder of this article will touch upon some of the larger discoveries that have been made thus far as well as a few studies currently happening on the matter.
Cannabis has been proven to be effective in many cases as a treatment to the symptoms that come along with many, more established, forms of fighting cancer. Some of these side effects which cannabis can help to negate are antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In fact, cannabis as a treatment to all of these side effects is only growing in popularity, with more and more cancer patients reaching out for the substance as a means to a less awful experience with treatments such as chemotherapy.
As helpful as this is however, where the real excitement has begun to come into play is in the claims that many have begun to make about cannabis helping to actually cure theirs or their loved ones cancer. The issue with these claims though, is that hardly any of them are scientifically supported. Still, these claims have caused a drastic increase in interest in the subject matter, and science has begun to respond accordingly. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, there are a few accredited studies that have shown definite positive improvement in cancer patients who have used cannabis as a part of their cure.
For example, a small study was conducted in which intratumoral injection of delta-9-THC was given to patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, and in these cases, many patients then reported potential antitumoral activity.
Furthermore, now scientists at the National Cancer Institute are looking into oral cannabidiol (CBD), as the single factor for reducing and or eliminating tumors in patients. In these cases, patients are given a dose of both THC and CBD, (an additional chemical extracted from the hemp plant that requires THC to be activated but has many proven medical benefits), in a 1:1 ration (TCH:CBD), in a Cannabis-based medicinal extract or mucosal spray, specifically in cancer patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, as well as acute graft-versus-host disease, and the results — while not complete — are looking promising.
Despite both of these cases (and others that were not mentioned here), many people continue to make drastic claims that cannabis is/has been one of their key factors in restoring them to their health, so much so that many who are with sick with cancer and located in states that have not yet passed the legal sale, distribution and consumption of medical marijuana, have moved away from their homes, and everything they know, just to get the chance to consume the substance in the desperate hope this will help them.
It is clear that this is a popular subject among doctors, patients, family members of those who have been affected by cancer, pro-cannabis activist and even the general population as a whole, and hence will undoubtedly continue to be studied and looked into until a more definitive answer to whether or not cannabis is/can be a key factor in beating cancer.