Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and it was only during the late 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th that society started to look upon the substance as a dangerous thing 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 for the prohibition, the fact is that ever since it was declared illegal we have been missing the opportunity to research it and find out earlier than we did, that cannabis is a great tool to treat cancer.
Killing cancer cells
One of the main reasons why cannabis is effective to treat 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) both have shown the capability to activate receptors in the 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.
Reducing vomit and nausea
In addition to its anti-cancer properties, cannabis has also been found to be effective in reducing some of the symptoms associated with the treatment. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer, but like most people know, it can cause a range of side effects, including 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 can help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and make it easier for them to tolerate chemotherapy.
It is known that THC and CBD can reduce pain by downregulating 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 alleviate both cancer-related pain and pain associated with the treatment. Additionally, some cannabinoids, such as THC, can also produce a feeling of euphoria or relaxation, which can further help alleviate pain and improve overall well-being and mood through a difficult process.
Methods of using cannabis
Despite the promising findings on the uses of cannabis in cancer treatment, there are still many questions that need to be answered. One of the biggest challenges is determining the optimal dose and delivery method for cannabis-based treatments. Different cannabinoids have different effects, and the optimal dose for one patient may not be the same as the optimal dose for another. In addition, the delivery method can 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. Thankfully here in Spain, and more precisely in Barcelona, we have access to legal dispensaries and weed clubs where we can get hands on all types of cannabis products. Just remember that when it is for anything medical related, you should consult your doctor and follow their indications in regards to which products and doses you should consume.
Cannabis has shown promise as a potential treatment for cancer. Its anti-cancer properties and ability to reduce symptoms associated with cancer treatment make it a promising option for patients. However, a lot more research is still needed to determine the optimal dose and delivery method for cannabis-based treatments, and to fully understand the risks and benefits of using cannabis in cancer treatment. We hope that now the world is slowly changing its policies about the legality of cannabis, the derivatives of marijuana may become an important tool in the fight against cancer.