Is there any evidence that cannabis can fight cancer?

Published Apr 25, 2019 11:36 a.m. ET
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

In a time where so many people are living well into their senior years, there seem to be many more cases of different kinds of cancers being what ultimately ruins people. There are various reasons why this might be the case. Some point to environmental factors such as emissions and pollution, while others think we are just living longer and therefore it’s kind of inevitable that something takes us out eventually. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, what most people want is to find a cure so that losing our loved ones to cancer can be a thing of the past. The problem with cancer is that it’s a rather vague primary diagnosis, and there are many different kinds of cancers that are believed to be brought on by various things. This makes it a tricky illness to understand, and ultimately cure across the board. We have made leaps and bounds in medical science, and now many who receive cancer diagnoses are living longer or even cured, but there are still too many left with permanent scars from the treatment options they do have. Some people will die from mere exposure to the treatment that is meant to save their lives, which has many more individuals seeking safer, more natural, alternative treatment methods.

One of the most popular alternative cancer treatments making headlines in recent years is cannabis oil. With some options like Rick Simpson Oil being touted online as miracle cures that should be taken immediately instead of traditional treatments. The problem is that there is very little scientific evidence to show that THC or marijuana in any capacity can outright cure cancer. What there is instead is small pre-clinical trials that have been conducted on animals and live cancer cells that do suggest medical marijuana may have an anti-cancer effect when taken in concentrated doses, just like with Rick Simpson Oil. Both THC and CBD have shown the ability to create an anti-cancerous environment within a person, but not a single one has shrunk or dissipated cancer on its own.

What about Rick Simpson Oil? Didn’t he cure his cancer back in the 90's?

Cannabis research into Rick Simpsons oil has turned up some pretty incredible discoveries, but no cured as of yet. Even though Rick himself claims to have put his cancer into a complete remission using only cannabis oil, there is no proof of his diagnoses, or official medical all clear anywhere.

Does medical marijuana still have potential benefits for those with cancer?

Of course, and some may even swear that it is the only reason that they are alive today, but the majority of those claims stem from an improved quality of life overall due to effective management of symptoms rather than a cure. Even though there is very little evidence to show that marijuana may have the ability to beat cancer, it can help patients to manage the effects that are caused by the illness itself, or more traditional means of treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy. Medical marijuana can help to control and manage pain, nausea, sleep troubles, inflammation, appetite, and mood in cancer patients.

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