Cancer and Medical Marijuana Treatment
Cancer is what happens when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. It starts in your cells, the structure of your body. When you need it to, new cells will form in your body, replacing the old ones that die. This process sometimes goes wrong, new cells grow when they are not needed, and the cells that were supposed to die remain alive. When it happens, these extra cells become a mass that we know as a tumor. Cancers of blood like leukemia usually do not form solid tumors.
There are two types of tumors, benign tumor and malignant. Benign tumors do not spread to other tissues, like the malignant tumor and they can grow to be quite big, but after they are removed they don’t grow back. However, benign tumors in the brain are life-threatening. Malignant tumors are what we call cancer, they eventually spread to other tissues, tend to grow back after they are removed and they can also break away and spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer is a group of numerous diseases and now there are more than 100 different types of cancer. The names of the cancers are usually named after where they start. Breast cancer starts in the breast, prostate cancer starts in the prostate, etc. When cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is called metastasis. The symptoms and treatment vary according to what type of cancer it is and how advanced are the stages of the disease. The usual treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. There are other types of treatment such as hormone therapy, biologic therapy or stem cell transplantation.
The 10 most common types of cancer are:
- Lung Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
There are many causes of cancer but the most common causes are smoking, diet and physical activity, sun and other types of radiation, viruses or infections. Sometimes cancer is genetic and runs in some families.
There is a vast number of studies talking about marijuana and cancer. Dennis Hill, a biochemist said he cured his cancer with cannabinoid oil and that it works for curing other types of cancer too. In this forum, he said “THC and CBD cannabinoids have the ability to kill cancer cells directly without going through immune intermediaries. THC and CBD hijack the lipoxygenase pathway to directly inhibit tumor growth.”
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Alacá University in Madrid conducted a NCBI study about the actions of cannabinoids on Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), the third cause of death-related cancer in the world. They found that substances contained in cannabis reduced the viability of the human HCC cell lines HepG2 (human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and HuH-7 (hepatocellular carcinoma cells), an effect that relied on the stimulation of a cannabinoid receptor. Along with other findings of this study, the authors concluded that new therapeutic strategies could be created with cannabinoids for the management of HCC.
The National Cancer Institute has a page about cannabis and all its relation to cancer. Many institutes and researchers such as The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines recommend cannabinoids as a breakthrough treatment for chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. In a study made with 30 randomized comparisons of delta-9-THC preparations with placebo or other antiemetics, showed that among all 1,366 patients that were on the review, cannabinoids pointed to be more effective than conventional antiemetics like prochlorperazine, metoclopramide, chlorpromazine, thiethylperazine, haloperidol, domperidone, and alizapride. However, the effects were not so good for patients receiving very low or very high emetogenic chemotherapy. There were some side effects including dizziness, dysphoria, depression, hallucinations, paranoia, and hypotension.
Cancer patients often have problems with early satiety, weight loss, anorexia, and cachexia. In trials conducted in the 1980s that involved healthy control subjects, subjects that inhaled cannabis had an increase in caloric intake, mainly in the form of between-meal snacks, with increased intake of fatty and sweet foods.
In a study published in the American Association for Cancer Research, the results presented pointed that “cannabinoids exert a remarkable antitumoral effect on pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo due to their ability to selectively induce apoptosis of these cells via activation of the p8-ATF-4-TRB3 proapoptotic pathway.” With this, a different approach on how to create a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.