Can cannabis help with prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in elderly males but is generally very slow growing.

A lab experiment in Italy in 2000 was able to demonstrate that anandamide, our body’s own cannabis-like product, was able to inhibit the growth of both breast and prostate cancer cells.

A study in 2004 in Wisconsin showed that prostate cancer cell membranes contained significantly higher amounts of CB1 and CB2 receptors, the receptors for cannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 receptors are two of the most common receptors on cell membranes in the body and can be activated in 3 ways, by the release of the body’s own cannabinoids such as anandamide, by plant-based cannabinoids such as cannabis and by manufactured cannabinoids such as Dronabinol.

In 2009 in Hungary, CB1 receptors were discovered in the epithelial and smooth muscle cells of healthy prostate tissue and there may be a way for scientists to use this CB1 receptor in the future to treat prostate cancer.

So, as you can see, the medical evidence for using cannabis specifically for prostate cancer is very limited. That being said, there are studies in mice and rats showing cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow and that cannabinoids may kill cancer cells while managing to protect normal cells.

As always, I recommend consulting with your oncologist and using cannabis as an adjunct therapy.


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