Does Cannabis Oil Cure Cancer?
Does Cannabis Oil Cure Cancer?
Can cannabis oil cure various forms of cancer? And if so, when will national health care systems start supplying cannabis oil to cancer patients as a first-line treatment, in preference to toxic chemotherapy?
This article will attempt to answer both of these questions. It will attempt to explain the science behind how cannabinoids fight cancer, and it will ask, “Where do we go from here?”
“THC is antimitogenic or antiproliferative (inhibits Cancer cell division), antiangiogenic (inhibits the growth of new? blood vessels in Cancers), proapototic (encourages old cell death before mutating then leading to Cancers) & antitumoral (counteracting or preventing the formation of malignant tumors; anticancer). Those appear to be the mechanisms that might account for these antitumoral effects of THC.”
– Dr. Donald Tashkin, UCLA
(November 2014): Cannabis vs Brain Cancer
As has been widely reported in recent weeks, Cannabis oil (in the form of pharmaceutical product Sativex) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of brain tumors. Researchers at the St. George’s University of London investigated whether radiation treatment would prove more effective with the addition of CBD and THC. The results were stark: THC and CBD not only worked to enhance the effectiveness of the radiation, but also appeared to shrink tumors when administered without the radiation.
“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” Dr. Wai Liu, co-author of the study said. “The results… could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.”
Dr. Liu went on to assert that, “The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before but the drastic reduction of brain cancers if used with irradiation is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future.”
As Dr. Liu reminds us, this isn’t the first time cannabis has been shown to shrink brain tumors. It isn’t even the first time in a GW Pharmaceuticals’ funded research project.
In 2003 GW looked into the effects of cannabidiol on brain cancer. Results showed that: “CBD, administered s.c. to nude mice at the dose of 0.5 mg/mouse, significantly inhibited the growth of subcutaneously implanted U87 human glioma cells.” The study concluded that, “The nonpsychoactive CBD was able to produce a significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
In 2015/16 GW Pharmaceuticals intend to begin human clinical trials into the effects of Sativex on brain tumors. Sativex’s Cannabis Oil is 1:1 THC to CBD, so below the optimal 4:1 THC to CBD recommended by real experts in the field: namely the unheralded caregivers already saving lives with the oil.
Presumably GW would rather use their existing product instead of spending many more millions developing a specific cancer product, but at least they’re pumping millions of dollars into research, and reinforcing the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based treatments. Governments around the world and/or philanthropists should have long since stepped up – I mean, even if you view cancer from a purely monetary perspective, how much would tax payers save by having a cancer cure you could grow in your back garden? And while GW seem to have screwed the pooch on Sativex for multiple sclerosis, by including way too much THC (50%!), they should still be commended for bringing research into the world that will persuade the medical profession that cannabis oil is a) safe, b) efficacious.
But beyond the antics of GW there is a much wider story unfolding. Brain cancer is not the only cancer for which cannabis oil can assist. I’ll run through some of the enormous library of research, and add some patient testimonials to give you a sense of which cancers have been shown to respond best to cannabinoids: