Since people have been using cannabis to unofficially medicate themselves, there has been an ongoing debate:
Is cannabis effective for not only treating cancer symptoms but also cancer itself?
Or in other words, can you use cannabis oil as a cancer treatment?
The traditional medical community is skeptical but open and currently researching this premise — especially now that cannabis is being legalized in more and more countries yearly.
Die-hard cannabis users are less skeptical and profess to know that yes, cannabis absolutely helps treat the symptoms of cancer with some going so far as to say cannabis can “cure” cancer itself.
To understand the complex and evolving relationship between the official medical community and legacy cannabis users, we need to begin with what cannabis is in the context of “medication.”
What is Cannabis for Medicinal Use?
Cannabis is a large umbrella. Technically, cannabis refers to the seed of the plant. There are two types of plants cultivated from the cannabis seed. Marijuana and Hemp.
What differentiates the two? THC content. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana consumption.
The other dominant cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is largely associated with the health benefits of marijuana but without the “high.”
Marijuana plants are grown to maximize THC content with a healthy balance of CBD in the mix.
Hemp plants are grown to maximize CBD content with a minimal amount of THC in the mix. In the U.S. this means a THC content below 0.3%.
In the public consciousness, when people use the terms “medical marijuana,” “marijuana for medicinal use,” or “cannabis oil,” they’re likely referring to CBD-dominant marijuana or hemp oils.
In this article, we’ll take a look specifically at CBD and cannabis oil for cancer treatment.
Can CBD Oil Treat Cancer?
The definitive answer is, “No.” (for now)
There is no conclusive scientific evidence that supports the use of cannabis oil as a cancer treatment.
However, positive results are showing up in studies on animal and human cells.
For instance, there are some studies that have shown that CBD inhibits the growth of cancer cells in mice with lung cancer or colon cancer. Another study showed that CBD, together with THC, killed glioblastoma cancer cells in the lab. Nonetheless, the verdict is still out on whether cannabis oil for lung cancer treatment is viable.
While cannabis oil as a cancer treatment is still tentative at best, cannabis oil as a treatment for cancer symptoms, however, is much more promising.
Cannabis oil is well-known for its ability to relieve problems not unique to cancer–nausea, trouble sleeping, a lack of appetite, pain, and anxiety.
Chemotherapy causes many of these problems. So it stands to reason that CBD oil can help in alleviating some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
Cannabis oil has been shown to successfully relieve nausea. Whether or not it’s heavy THC-dominant oil, CBD oil, or a more balanced hybrid is still up in the air.
CBD has also been shown to influence the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for regulating pain and thus provide chronic pain relief.
CBD oil is quickly becoming a go-to alternative for treating many of life’s ailments. In some cases, it seems like the research is catching up to what experienced cannabis users have been championing for decades.
Is CBD Safe?
Per the WHO and on CBD specifically, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
With that said, every person is different in terms of their body, stresses at the time of usage, and the dosage and quality of the cannabis oils their consuming, so here is a list of possible and common side effects:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Dry mouth
It’s also important to note that cannabis oil consumption can also interact with other medications as well as your liver specifically; the liver is responsible for detoxifying your body from drugs.
Possible medications cannabis oil can negatively interact with are:
- antianxiety medications
- anti-seizure medications
- blood thinners
- chemotherapy drugs
- muscle relaxers
- sedatives, or sleep aids
Cannabis Oil for Cancer Treatment – Looking Forward
The debate about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating cancer will continue between the traditional medical and cannabis user communities.
What looks promising is that because cannabis is becoming legal in more countries year after year, medical Doctors and researchers uniquely educated in cannabis are consistently bridging the gap between anecdotal experience-based data and stringent, scientific data.
Cannabis oil for cancer treatment is here to stay.
Every year, the cannabis community is finding that the idea of cannabis for cancer treatment as well as general medicinal use is not only becoming more and more vindicated but adopted by the general public as well.