Q&A

Can cannabis oil be used to prevent cancer?

"Both my parents have cancer and I’m concerned I will develop cancer too. Is there any evidence that marijuana oil can be used prophylactically to prevent cancer?

"


As we search for anti-cancer treatments, the anti-cancer potential of cannabis has been examined in numerous scientific studies, resulting in promising leads. Significant research has demonstrated that cannabinoids may inhibit or stop the growth of cancers — including breast, brain, liver, pheochromocytoma, melanoma, leukemia, and other kinds of cancer — from spreading or growing. Moreover, cannabinoids have proven to promote apoptosis, the programmed death of tumor cells, while stopping angiogenesis, blood vessel production to the tumor. One study, conducted by Madrid’s Complutense University, showed that in one-third of rats treated, the injection of synthetic THC eliminated malignant brain tumors while extending life in another third.

The research is promising, but thus far it has been limited to pre-clinical studies, which are studies of drugs or treatments in animals prior to being carried out in humans. While the pre-clinical research offers hope, before anyone can confidently claim that cannabis can provide a “cure,” clinical research needs to be done.

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