There are thousands of anecdotal stories of people with cancer using cannabis oil to cure themselves.
One of the most famous is the Rick Simpson story.
You can find more stories all over the internet of how cannabis oils helped people with their cancer:
But does cannabis really cure cancer?
Are the anti-cancer properties of THC and CBD the answer to this fatal disease?
Unfortunately due to the federally illegal status of cannabis, we lack the necessary human clinical trials to say for sure.
We do however have a large amount of research on the anti-cancer effects of THC and CBD. The majority of the research has not been done on humans – but rather on animals and cells.
Research has shown us that both CBD and THC cause cancer cells to die (apoptosis), inhibit the growth of tumors, stop metastasis and migration of cancer cells, and stop the growth of blood vessels which feed tumors (a process called angiogenesis).
In one of the only published clinical trials done on humans, researchers in Spain directly inserted THC into glioblastoma multiforme cancer cells (brain cancer) in terminal patients. It was found that THC stopped the growth of tumor cells and did not cause any adverse side effects.
While research on humans is lacking, cancer patients who are open to this alternative form of therapy are seeking out both CBD and THC to treat themselves.
I think the biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, “If I had cancer, what would I do?”
I know what I would do. I would definitely be willing to try using cannabis. I would do it under the care of a doctor, preferably a doctor who had experience in using cannabis for cancer. I would be careful to make sure the cannabis medicine was not negatively interacting with my other medications.
Both CBD and THC are known to enhance the effectiveness of other medications. I have experienced this first hand with pain medicine. One of our writers at CBD School (Alex) experiences this every day with his epilepsy medication (valproic acid). Alex is able to take a smaller dose of medication thanks to CBD. The smaller dose provides Alex freedom from negative side effects he was experiencing in the past.
While I always advise everyone to be careful about drug interactions with CBD, there is evidence that CBD can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. I am referring to a study in which CBD was shown to increase the uptake of certain chemotherapeutic agents by malignant glioma cells.
The research is important and we need more of it, especially trials on humans. But more importantly, I wanted to share with you what I read from a doctor on her experience with working with cancer patients.
Dr. Bonni Goldstein writes:
“As a cannabis physician I have many patients use concentrated cannabis oil for cancer treatment, with or without conventional chemotherapy and/or radiation. Some of my patients have had incredible results with complete resolution of the cancer. A number of patients with advanced cancers who were told that they only had a few months to live are living months or years beyond their prognosis. I believe that cannabis treatment can extend life and possibly cure cancer when given early in the course and in relatively high doses.”
In her book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Goldstein highlights the crucial questions we need to answer in order to more effectively use cannabis to cure people of cancer:
- What kind of dose should cancer patients take?
- Should people with cancer use CBD, THC, or both?
- What is the right duration of treatment?
These are the questions we cannot yet answer due to the legal restrictions of performing adequate research on cannabinoids and cancer.
I hope this will change soon.
If cannabis really is the “pharmacological treasure trove” Raphael Mechoulam thinks it is, anybody with cancer deserves access to it to save their life.