Does Cannabis Really Cure Cancer?
A Big Debate
Cannabis as a cancer treatment has been hotly debated for many, many years. There are people on both sides of the aisle. Some people that the research is very promising, while others believe that cannabis could be an all-out cure for cancer.
The truth of the matter is that the answer falls somewhere in the center of the picture. The die-hard supports and the staunch skeptics are both wrong.
There is no evidence to show that cannabis can be a true cure for cancer. However, there is plenty of evidence that confirms that cannabis can be very beneficial for those undergoing certain types of cancer treatments.
So, what is the truth? If Cannabis a great option or just a pipe dream? This question will be explored in greater depth below.
First Research Studies
Cannabis has been researched as a potential cancer treatment for many years. In fact, the first research study was started in 1975. At this time, Albert E. Munson, who worked at the Virginia Commonwealth University, uncovered a startling revelation.
During his experiment with cannabis and mice, the researcher and professor of pharmacology found that certain cannabinoids could actually stop malignant tumor cells from growing inside of the lungs.
After Munson’s discover, others decided to jump on board and more carefully research cannabis as a potential treatment for cancer.
This led to clinical trials with humans. Unfortunately, Munson’s discovery couldn’t have come at a worse time. It was around this time that Richard Nixon started his war on drugs and this slowed the studies in the United States significantly.
2000 Study From Complutense University
In 2000, researchers at the Complutense University in Spain conducted another study on THC in rats and mice. The researchers found that THC was able to cause a considerable regression of malignant gliomas.
This is a specific variety of cancerous tumor, which primarily targets the brain and spinal court. The study eventually caused researchers to suggest that cannabinoids could potentially be a therapeutic approached for combating certain types of cancers. A year later, the same researchers carried out another study.
This time, they wanted to see what cannabinoids would do on gliomas.
Their second study delivered promising results as well. During 2000, another study was carried out at the Institute for the Chemistry of Molecules of Biological Interest in Italy. This study found that cannabinoids could actually inhibit the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. Again, the future was looking very good for cannabis as a treatment for cancer.
The Studies Continue
In 2003, another study carried out in Madrid, Spain concluded that cannabinoids could potentially be used for the treatment of skin cancer.
A 2006 study involving Complutense University backed up these findings. The second study found that activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in mice could actually reduce the growth of melanoma, which is a specific type of tumor commonly linked to skin cancer.
And, how did the researchers active those receptions? They did so by using cannabinoids like THC. Over the course of several more years, researchers continued to investigate cannabis and its ability to treat various types of cancer.
The studies were very promising. They showed that cannabis could be effective for treating many different types of cancers, including breast, colon and even brain cancer. Despite it all, there was one problem still remaining.
While a lot of research has been conducted regarding cannabis and mice, very few trials have been carried out involving humans. As pointed out by Doctor Raphael Mechoulam, “there is a big, big question mark”, due to the lack of clinical studies in humans.
Until further studies can be conducted, people will never know just how beneficial cannabis can be as a treatment for cancer.
American Laws Slow Research
Over the years, Israel has gained a reputation as being one of the leaders in marijuana research. Unfortunately, American laws have recently slowed the country’s ability to research marijuana as a potential remedy for cancer.
At one time, Israel was conducting tons of research studies and aiding other countries do the same.
A recent phone call from President Donald Trump encourages Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to place a hold on Israeli cannabis exports.
These exports would have made conducting trials in the United States so much easier. As long as Donald Trump remains in office, there is a possibility that American laws and politics will continue to slow down marijuana research.
Some Room For Optimism
Despite the recent setbacks, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic. A 2017 study could very well change the way people look at marijuana. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the impacts of oral cannabis-based drugs in connection with the consumption of Temozolomide.
The study focused entirely on these drugs and their impact on patients suffering from recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, which is a specific type of brain cancer. The study’s results were very impressive.
The study concluded that nearly eight-five percent of terminal patients using cannabis-based drugs lived for a year. For the placebo group, only 44% survived a year.
While cannabis might not be a clear-cut cure for cancer, there is solid evidence that it can be effective for controlling and managing cancer and its symptoms. In fact, it can also be a good option for people going through cancer treatments.
Until further research is carried out, a question mark will remain. At the same time, there is a good chance that the debate is not going to end any time soon.
Users Can Be Optimistic
It can certainly be said that this study doesn’t prove that cannabis is the sure thing that many individuals are looking for. However, the results do show that medical cannabis does provide many users with reasons to be optimistic.
Medical marijuana has without a doubt been used for many years to successfully treat the symptoms of cancer patients. Some of these symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and even pain.
Not, it has even been proven that medical marijuana can even slow the progression of many aggressive cancers.