August 29, 2016
Does Medical Marijuana Fight Cancer?
This is the big one that everybody’s been talking about. Both scientists and the federal government have released a good amount of evidence showing that cannabinoids fight certain types of cancer. It doesn’t get much more substantial than that.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana or weed, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness).
The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times.
By federal law, the possession of Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.
In the United States, Cannabis is a controlled substance requiring special licensing for its use.
Cannabinoids are active chemicals in Cannabis that cause drug -like effects throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.
The main active cannabinoid in Cannabis is delta-9-THC. Another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which may relieve pain, lower inflammation, and decrease anxiety without causing the "high" of delta-9-THC.
Cannabinoids can be taken by mouth, inhaled, or sprayed under the tongue.
Cannabis and cannabinoids have been studied in the laboratory and the clinic for relief of pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and loss of Cannabis and cannabinoids may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer therapies. There is growing interest in treating children for symptoms such as nausea with Cannabis and cannabinoids, although studies are limited.
Two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention or treatment of chemotherapy -related nausea and vomiting Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy.
Marijuana has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. Scientists have identified many biologically active components in marijuana. These are called cannabinoids. The two best studied components are the chemicals delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (often referred to as THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids are being studied.
1 At this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration lists marijuana and its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. This means that they cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. Whole or crude marijuana (including marijuana oil or hemp oil) is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical use. But the use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions is legal under state laws in many states.
Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC, and a man-made cannabinoid drug called nabilone are approved by the FDA to treat some cancer related conditions.
How can marijuana affect symptoms of cancer?
A number of small studies of smoked marijuana found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy.
A few studies have found that inhaled (smoked or vaporized) marijuana can be helpful treatment of neuropathic pain (pain caused by damaged nerves).
Smoked marijuana has also helped improve food intake in HIV patients in studies.
There are no studies in people of the effects of marijuana oil or hemp oil.
Studies have long shown that people who took marijuana extracts in clinical trials tended to need less pain medicine.
More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in laboratory dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.
There have been some early clinical trials of cannabinoids in treating cancer in humans and more studies are planned. While the studies so far have shown that cannabinoids can be safe in treating cancer, they do not show that they help control or cure the disease.
Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.
Harlequin is the recommended strain for cancer related symptoms and pain relief.
Harlequin is a 75/25 sativa-dominant strain renowned for its reliable expression of CBD. A descendant of Colombian Gold, a Nepali indica, and Thai, and Swiss landrace strains, you can depend on Harlequin to provide clear-headed, alert sativa effects. Unlike most high-CBD strains, Harlequin almost always develops a CBD:THC ratio of 5:2, making this strain one of the most effective out there for treatment of pain and anxiety, as CBD counteracts THC’s paranoia while amplifying its painkilling properties. Flavors can range from earthy musk to sweet mango, but without a doubt, what draws crowds to Harlequin is its ability to relax without sedation, and to relieve without intoxication.
With more and more states legalizing medical usage and the majority of Americans supporting medical cannabis, we can hope the federal government will finally modify its draconian prohibitory position and if indeed, cannabis can cure cancer, those suffering will no longer have to turn to questionable sources to learn how cannabis may help them.