Cancer

Cannabis seems to work for so many cancer patients because it not only helps manage the side-effects of chemotherapy, but may also help battle cancer of many types. Bladder, brain, breast, colon, endocrine, kaposi sarcoma, leukemia, lung, prostate and skin cancers have the potential to be beaten by cannabis. The following studies show some promise with regards to treating cancer with cannabinoids:

We also highly recommend reading the works of Dr. Cristina Sanchez who, alongside Dr. Manuel Guzman, has looked at the possibility of using cannabis for even the most aggressive of cancers. Their results are on the most part highly promising. Though there is much research that needs to be done to discover how effective cannabis is for various kinds of cancer, there is significant anecdotal and lab data that suggests we should definitely explore further.

In order to understand why cannabis may help for cancer, it is helpful to understand a little bit more about how cancers are formed and developed. To answer this question, Dr. Michael Masterman-Smith has the most straightforward explanation:

“In order to answer this we have to look at some basic tenets of cancer biology and how cancer cells mutate to stay alive and proliferate as cancer cells. If we look at the classic biological definition of cancer, it is “unregulated cellular proliferation. The mechanisms that allow unregulated proliferation is a realigning of cellular circuitry to for growth cues.

The genetic machinery is essentially altered to overproduce cell surface receptors, called growth factor receptors. These are antennas which amplify and activate chemical signals that run along complex molecular pathways in the cancer cell to drive cancer cell growth and proliferation. Many cancer cancer drugs we use today target these signalling pathways.

There is some evidence to show that cannabinoid receptors are expressed on cancer cells. This supports the pharmacological basis for why cannabinoid receptor agonists (i.e. cannabinoids) could be effective for cancer. A cancer cell is trying to figure out ways to grow so it puts its receptors on the cell, one of which happens to be cannabinoid receptors. The pharmacological action of a cannabinoid receptor agonist depends on the cell type. In cancer cells it may be like a trojan horse.

Current understanding appears that cannabinoids goes through these receptor and activates the production of a compound called ceramide which regulates the differentiation, proliferation and death of cells. In cancer cells, and perhaps cancer stem cells, this effect is widestream system outage, shutting down cancerous signalling pathways, several of which are major targets in cancer drug development and, often difficult to target pathways, I might add.

This is the emerging understanding of the relationship between cancer cells, cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor agonists that can advance new ways to understand and treat cancer.”

So, basically, cannabis can help beat cancers as different types of cancer (but not all types of cancer) have endocannabinoid receptors. Phytocannabinoids can be used to influence these receptors, and give cancer cells the instructions to slow down growth or even kill itself.

There is little evidence that cannabis alone can help beat different types of cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often still needed. Another thing to realise is that not all types of cancer have endocannabinoid receptors, so cannabis may be ineffective. Moreover, for some kinds of cancer, the correct cannabinoid ratio must be used, as the wrong one may either do nothing or even tell the cancer to grow! As cannabinoids can help dampen the immune system, and chemo- and radiotherapy also dampen the immune system, care must be taken lest an infection cause further complications or even death. When it comes to appropriate treatment, should one use as many cannabinoids and terpenes as possible in as high doses as possible and utilize the entourage effect as much as possible (often used in the Rick Simpson method), or should specific profiles be used to beat specific cancers in as clinical a way as possible? Or perhaps we do need to use a specific cannabinoid-terpenoid ratio, and then flood the body so as to ensure the cannabinoids reach all cells in the body? Until more research is done, we do not have any definite answers.

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High, depending on cancer type/5

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