- On December 7, 2016
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At LiveGreen, we have long been proponents of the many medical benefits marijuana offers its users. As cannabis has been legalized in several states, this has led to further medical research into its many health benefits. One key benefit being studied is in the area of cancer treatment.
Current Research Findings
Much of the current research findings are preclinical and involve the use of animal test subjects. Current results show the following:
- Prevents tumor growth: Testing in mice and rats shows marijuana may be able to shrink tumors by killing cancer cells and inhibiting their growth. Examples of this were shown with liver and breast cancer. Normal healthy cells were shown to be unaffected.
- Reduces the chances of colon cancer: In mice it was shown that cannabinoids reduce colon inflammation, which in turn may reduce the chances of colon cancer developing and also serve as a treatment.
- Improves chemotherapy: When paired with chemotherapy, it increased its overall effectiveness as a treatment.
- Other positives: Common established responses such as increased appetite, pain relief and reduction of anxiety also were observed in animals.
Treatment In Humans
A concise study of cancer prevention via use of cannabis has yet to be performed using people as test subjects. However, there have been clinical trials involving cannabis as a treatment for the side effects of cancer and its various treatments. The following results were found:
- Effect on nausea and vomiting: When taken orally, marijuana derivatives were shown to greatly reduce nausea and vomiting. When smoked, results were mixed.
- Increased appetite: Testing of Delta-9-THC as an oral drug did not show itself to be as effective in stimulating appetite in people with cancer when compared to traditional methods. However, HIV/AIDS patients did show an increase in appetite and a reduction in weight loss.
- Pain relief: Vaping marijuana showed effectiveness as a pain reliever when combined with certain painkillers. When used with morphine, pain relief went up but oxycodone did not show an increase in effectiveness. As an oral drug, results were very promising with reduction in pain, nausea and distress, and an increase in appetite reported.
- Anxiety: A small amount of testing has been done concerning anxiety/sleep studies. When inhaled, it was reported that users were more relaxed, less anxious and had an improved overall mood.
The Search Continues
While we are not yet at the point where the statement “cannabis oil cures cancer” can be made definitively, preliminary research is very positive. Marijuana cancer treatment is still in its early stages and more testing will have to be performed.
However, current animal testing results show a good deal of promise, and in human subjects cannabis is shown to be effective in treating the side effects cancer causes. As the number of medical marijuana states grows, the amount of research will continue to expand.