Of all the diseases and medical conditions that humans face the risk of being diagnosed with—even people who lead the healthiest of lifestyles—cancer is one of the most prevalent and deadly. The devastating disease results in 10 million deaths around the world every single year.
Fortunately, for patients who suffer from bowel cancer, the latest research into medicinal cannabis could provide a ray of hope. Israeli biotechnology company Cannabotech may have hit the nail on the head, with the company recently confirming that their unique medicinal cannabis-based treatment successfully killed 90% of cancer cells in laboratory tests.
Although a cancer cure hasn’t been found just yet, scientists are getting closer to discovering the remedial properties of the cannabis plant. This isn’t the first discovery of its kind—the American Cancer Society has already confirmed that scientists successfully adopted the use of cannabis compounds, such as THC and CBD, to slow the growth of and/or trigger death in certain types of cancer cells.
With more treatment options (such as cannabis), more lives can be saved and less heartbreak can ensue across the globe. Not only this, but cancer treatments could help to free up room in hospitals and conserve valuable medical resources and time, as well as save patients’ money on expensive and debilitating treatment options like chemotherapy.
Statistics published on the Science Direct website indicate that more than 5.25 million people across the globe are living with bowel cancer, which is otherwise known as “colorectal cancer.” It is the second most common after breast cancer, which causes approximately 7.79 million global cancer cases.
The umbrella term “bowel cancer” is used to discuss “colon cancer” or “rectal cancer.” Specifically, this type of cancer affects the colon or rectum, which is located at the lower end of the digestive tract.
In cases that are caught during their early stage, non-cancerous polyps tend to form on the colon or rectum. Although there are usually no symptoms associated with early-stage bowel cancer, a screening can usually detect it; all the more reason for high-risk individuals and people aged over 50 to organize a screening.
According to Cancer Research U.K., more than nine in 10 (92% of) people who suffer from bowel cancer in the earliest stage will live for five years or more after a diagnosis. Treatment is dependent on where cancer is detected in the bowel, which comprises two parts: the small bowel and the large bowel.
Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of bowel cancer are as follows:
When Cannabotech’s researchers first started their experiment, they had no idea that the findings would be as promising as they were: A whopping 90% of cancer cells observed in laboratory tests were obliterated after being treated with medicinal cannabis.
According to senior 0ncologist and professor Tami Peretz, the studies warrant further investigation into the efficacy of using Cannabiotech’s cannabis-based medicine products in patients who suffer from colorectal cancer.
“Colon cancer is one of the most common tumors today. Cannabotech’s products have demonstrated impressive and very promising efficacy in colon culture cells,” said Peretz, who noted that the company intends on performing additional animal studies to learn more about medical cannabis for bowel cancer.
CBD, when administered alone or in combination with other agents, has been shown to improve cancer survival rates, cause tumor regression, induce cell death, obstruct cell migration and invasion in vitro, and reduce tumor size, growth, weight, and vascularization.
A handful of studies have also discovered that inhaled cannabis, such as vaporized or smokable cannabis, may offer fast and satisfactory relief from nerve damage caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery (e.g., neuropathic cancer pain).
It’s not just cancer itself that CBD could prove useful for treating but also the chemotherapy treatment’s unwanted side effects. Numerous small-scale studies of smoked cannabis found that it can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy.
Plus, dronabinol—an FDA-approved synthetic form of THC—has shown promise for easing vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Although the existing clinical trials into cannabinoids for cancer are severely limited, more studies into the suitability of cannabinoids in palliative care are likely to commence in the near future. For example, a three-year trial into the effect(s) of cannabis oil on liver-cancer patients launched in 2021 at the University Medical Centre Groningen in the Netherlands.
Plus, a large-scale British trial of GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-based drug Sativex was believed to have kicked off in March 2022. The study will see 15 National Health Service (NHS) hospitals attempt to use cannabis as a treatment for patients with aggressive brain tumors.
However, until scientists learn more, consumers should practice caution—cannabis should not be relied on as a standalone treatment for cancer, nor should patients avoid the opportunity to receive/delay receiving conventional medical care. Doing so could have detrimental health consequences.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring cannabis as a supplement to your cancer treatment plan, make an appointment with a licensed medical cannabis doctor to discuss your options.
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