Cancer kills nearly 600,000 Americans per year. And this year alone, over 1.6 million people will be diagnosed. So much time and research has gone into the cure of cancer in the last few decades. Yet, because of the stigma associated with marijuana, this wonder plant has been largely ignored by governments and researchers as a potential cure – or a key piece to a cure at least.
But now, States in the US may be one step closer to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, especially when the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has updated its website FAQs to include studies proving cannabis as a natural remedy for cancer.
On its website The National Cancer Institute, part of the US department of health, said: “Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids (the active ingredient in cannabis) may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
“They may inhibit tumour growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumours to grow.”
The studies in rodents show that cannabinoids may reduce the risk of colon, liver and breast cancer, and could make chemotherapy more effective.
That’s not all, in April, the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) stated:
“Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”
In many US states where cannabis is already legal for medicinal use, cancer patients have long been using the drug to ease pain.
The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer (and other chronic illness) include: Anti-nausea, Appetite stimulation, Pain relief, Improved sleep.
But researchers added: “At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy.”
In conclusion, many studies have shown the potential of cannabis being able to kill cancer cells. However, little of these studies have been tested on humans. Only a handful of clinical trials have been held with humans, so it is too soon to say if the effects will work as well in humans. The good news is work is being done, and the topic is gaining interest among researchers.