Cannabis and Cancer: A Cure or Just a Placebo?
One of the matters these days that is most searched up online is can cannabis cure cancer?
Social media platform are filled with stories in which people claim that they got rid of the tumor by smoking cannabis joints. This has made people more curious and they are dying to know more and more about the subject.
Cannabis enjoys both spectrums of its reputation. On one hand it is considered to be nothing less than a harmful substance. While on the other, several studies are linking it as quite a useful drug for treating various health concerns!
Cannabis is helpful when dealing with stress and anxiety related issues, but can it cure cancer?
Although, medical marijuana is recommended to cancer patients (which we will discuss later on) can it help in getting rid of the disease itself?
Cancer is a disease which involves an abnormal cell growth in the body and has the tendency to spread to other parts of the body as well. These abnormal cells form a tumor.
What are the symptoms?
⦁ Presence of a lump on the body.
⦁ Disturbed GIT
⦁ Weight loss
⦁ Bad throat
⦁ Feeling pain while passing urine
⦁ Body pain
⦁ Skin of the color changes to pale
While there is no definite one-size-fits-all cure for cancer, patients receive their treatment mainly through following methods:
In this treatment the patient is operated and a surgery is carried out. In this treatment surgeons remove the tumor affected area from the body. Moreover, the surgery can also be performed to either locate the tumor or to determine whether the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous.
⦁ Radio Therapy
Radio Therapy or Radiation Therapy, is a procedure to kill cancerous cells and to limit their growth. Radioactive rays like x-rays, gamma rays and other charged particles are used for the treatment.
The cancer affected area is exposed to the radioactive rays; radiation kills cancer cells by destroying their DNA, but at the same time it harms healthy cells too.
Also called chemo, this method uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. This method can stop cancer to grow in other parts of the body as well, unlike surgery and radio therapy. It kills cancer cells throughout the body by attacking the growing cells, its stops them to divide furthermore by killing them.
It’s the method that we can say is a potential cure for the cancer. If diagnosed in time, these therapies might help in getting rid of the disease.
Medical cannabis prescribed during cancer treatment
There are certain Cannabinoids present in cannabis that are helpful for the patients going through chemotherapy.
A component like THC which is known to give the high, also helps the mind to relax, fight stress and is also helpful in nausea. Users also report about an increased appetite.
These are the reasons why cannabis based medicines are given to the cancer patients.
But can it cure cancer?
Can cancer be cured by smoking cannabis?
Well, let’s get an answer from the expert himself. Dr. Abrams, a cancer and integrative medicine specialist. He says:
“…33 years of being an oncologist in San Francisco, I would guess that a large proportion of the patients I have treated have used cannabis. If cannabis definitively cured cancer, I would have expected that I would have a lot more survivors.”
You might be thinking, then what about that person on the net who got cured? Well, everything on the internet can’t be trusted.
While a lot of people claim, they got cured by cannabis or some other placebos, but what they don’t mention is while using the placebo method they are on some kind of medical treatment as well. Just merely puffing on cannabis will cure cancer is a claim made without any scientific research.
Wait there is more to the story!
There are research scientists that are positive about cannabis having a potential cure for certain types of cancers, Dr. David Meiri, assistant professor in the biology department at the Technion states:
“There is a large body of scientific data which indicates that cannabinoids specifically inhibit cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death…”
Moreover, Meiri and his team were able to eliminate cancer cells responsible for breast and brain tumors.
Another lab research conducted at Madrid’s Complutense University concluded that THC helped killing tumor cells in majority of the mice. But all these are preclinical studies; in order to claim that cannabis can cure cancer will require clinical based evidence!
The results of preclinical based research are promising, but in order to really test cannabis as a possible cure, ban on medical use of cannabis must be lifted, so tests can be carried out on human subjects.
To be precise, despite demonstrating a promising lab result, it’s quite early to claim that cannabis can singlehandedly get rid of cancerous tumor. But using medical marijuana along with the recommended medical treatment will only do you good.
To get rid of the disease one thing you need to have and that is a positive approach, even if cannabis is not helpful for you in curing the disease, it definitely will uplift your mind into believing that you are getting better. If you think you are getting better, then you are already half way there.
While it may not be the cure for cancer, however medical cannabis comes handy when your body is on chemotherapy. It will keep away you from the nausea, pain and appetite loss that are usually the reported side-effects of chemo. In order to make it easily available, the ban on medical marijuana should be lifted globally.