The assertion that marijuana’s active components, cannabinoids, alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy is not a new one.
The American Cancer Society relays that “marijuana is promoted to alleviate pain, control nausea and vomiting, and stimulate appetite in people with cancer.” In 1997, the Office of National Drug Control Policy commissioned the Institute of Medicine to assess marijuana’s health benefits and risks.
The results confirmed the positive effects of marijuana, but because it contains numerous active compounds, it cannot be expected to provide precise effects unless the individual components are isolated.
“Marijuana is promoted to alleviate pain, control nausea and vomiting, and stimulate appetite in people with cancer.”
More recent laboratory studies have shown that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other cannabinoids slow growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells.
Some early human clinical trials of the effects of cannabinoids on cancer have indicated that they can be safe in treating cancer, but they have not been shown to control or cure the disease yet.
A brand new study out of the University of London suggests that two of marijuana’s key ingredients, THC and cannabidiol, can help to shrink brain tumors. This article highlights the results of the study and explains how the cannabinoids act on the glioma cells.
You can find additional information related to the use of cannabinoids to treat cancer and its side effects in some of the following articles and essays.