Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and it was only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that society began to consider the substance as something dangerous that needed to be prohibited. In most cases, these ideas were based on discrimination and xenophobia towards sectors of the population that used the plant for recreational purposes. But regardless of the cause of prohibition, the fact is that since it was outlawed, we have been missing the opportunity to research it and discover sooner than we did, that cannabis is a great tool to treat cancer.
Cancer cell death
One of the main reasons cannabis is effective in treating cancer is because it kills cancer cells through a process known as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. The cannabinoids THC and CBD (found in the marijuana plant) have been shown to have the ability to activate receptors in our body's endocannabinoid system, which triggers a series of events that cause cancer cells to die. In addition, these cannabinoids can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells by preventing them from forming new blood vessels.
Reduction of vomiting and nausea
In addition to its anti-cancer properties, cannabis has been found to be effective in reducing some of the symptoms associated with treatment. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer, but as most people know, it can cause a number of side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. The cannabinoid THC has been found to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting, as well as stimulating appetite. This may improve the quality of life of cancer patients and make it easier for them to tolerate chemotherapy.
It is known that THC and CBD can reduce pain by down-regulating the response of our neurons (brain cells). For cancer patients this is important because it can help reduce inflammation and modulate pain signals, which can relieve both cancer-related pain and pain associated with treatment. In addition, some cannabinoids, such as THC, can also produce a sense of euphoria or relaxation, which can further help relieve pain and improve overall well-being and mood during the difficult process.
Methods of cannabis use
Despite the promising findings on the use of cannabis in cancer treatment, there are still many questions that remain to be answered. One of the biggest challenges is determining the optimal dose and method of administration for cannabis-based treatments. Different cannabinoids have different effects, and the optimal dose for one patient may not be the same as for another. In addition, the method of administration may also affect the efficacy of cannabis-based treatments. For example, smoking cannabis can be harmful to the lungs, so other delivery methods, such as oils, tinctures and edibles, may be preferable.
Another challenge is the legal status of cannabis. While cannabis has been legalized for medical use in many countries, including Canada, the United States and several European countries, it is still illegal in many parts of the world. This makes it difficult for researchers to conduct clinical trials and for patients to access cannabis-based treatments. Fortunately, here in Spain, and more precisely in Barcelona, we have access to cannabis associations and legal weed clubs where we can get all kinds of cannabis products. Just remember that when it comes to something related to health, you should consult your doctor and follow his indications regarding which products and doses you should consume.
Cannabis has shown to be a promising option for cancer treatment. Its anti-cancer properties and its ability to reduce symptoms associated with cancer treatment make it a promising option for patients. However, much research is still needed to determine the optimal dosage and method of administration for cannabis-based treatments, and to fully understand the risks and benefits of using cannabis in cancer treatment. We hope that now that the world is slowly changing its policies on the legality of cannabis, marijuana derivatives can become an important tool in the fight against cancer.