What is cancer?
Cancer is a broader term for diseases in which cells divide uncontrollably and, as a rule, can invade other tissues. Cancer is not just one disease, it is a multitude of diseases, the World Health Organization describes over 100 different types of cancer in terms of their tissue characteristics, and there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of cancers when viewed in terms of their molecular characteristics. and genetic profile.
There are many reports of patients on the internet who have been able to cure their cancer with cannabis. Canadian hemp activist Rick Simpson has been supplying patients with cannabis oil containing THC for years. It is said that many who swallowed Simpson’s oil saw significant improvements. Is THC oil a welcome miracle cure? Or is it Rick Simpson and a charlatan who just wants to cash in on his books and lectures on healing effects? What is the current state of scientific knowledge? Are there any cannabis preparations that can be used to treat cancerous tumors? Where can I get them?
So far, only basic research has been done on the effects of cannabis on cancer. With a few exceptions, all research was conducted on animals or cancer cells grown in a laboratory. Many studies have shown that cannabinoids can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Various mechanisms are present:
- Induction of cell death (apotosis).
- Interruption of cell division.
- Prevention of the formation of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Reducing the ability of cancer cells to form daughter tumors in the body by preventing cells from moving or invading adjacent tissues.
Research with animals.
Experiments in rats or mice injected with various cannabinoids have shown effects on the following tumors: brain cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, cancer oral cavity, neuroblastoma, plasmacytoma (multiple myeloma).
However, the results obtained from animal experiments cannot simply be applied to humans. Cancer is a very heterogeneous disease of different types, and no one has gathered a large enough number of patients with any particular cancer to support the notion that cannabinoids are effective for this particular cancer.
Research with people.
In 2006, a study was published on 9 brain cancer patients in Tenerife, Spain. The patients had previously had no success with standard therapy (surgery and radiation therapy). Comparisons with survival times in pilot studies with other drugs suggest THC was beneficial for the patients in this study. Scientists found that THC at least «does not promote tumor growth and does not decrease patient survival.»
In 2017, manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals tested its Sativex cannabis extract in a study involving 21 glioblastoma patients, resulting in significantly improved survival rates.
Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, one of the few doctors in Germany prescribing medicinal cannabis to patients, reports on a case where cannabis has successfully cured skin cancer.
Burkhard Hinz, director of the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology at University Hospital Rostock, discovered that cannabidiol can help the body destroy cancer cells. The ICAM 1 protein is increased by CBD, which, in turn, leads to the deposition of the body’s own killer cells on the surface of the tumor cell and its “explosion”.
These and other new discoveries are promising, but there are still many answers to be found before any definitive conclusion can be drawn about how cannabis works for cancer.
The use of cannabis in cancer treatment.
However, the positive effects of cannabis drugs in combination with radiation or chemotherapy are undeniable. Cannabis helps relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. The “brightening” effect of THC can also play a positive role and improve the general condition of the patient.