How Medical Marijuana Helps With The Treatment Of Cancer

Cancer is the general name that is given to a collection of related diseases. These diseases are characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably. These abnormal cells have the ability to infiltrate, spread throughout the body, thereby destroying normal body tissues. Cancer can actually start almost everywhere in a body that is made up of a trillion of cells. It is worthy to note that the normal human cells grow and divide to form new cells as needed by the body. When normal cells grow old or become damaged, they die and new cells take their place. However, as soon as cancer cells develop, this orderly process breaks down. The cells rather become more and more abnormal and instead of old or damaged cells dying, they survive and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells could divide without stopping and could also form growths known as tumors.

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in many ways and that explains why they grow out of control and become invasive. One of the major differences lies in the fact that cancer cells are less specialized than normal cells, and while normal cells mature into very distinctive cell types with specific functions, cancer cells do not. Moreover, unlike normal cells, cancer cells continue to divide without stopping.

The signs and symptoms of cancer often vary depending on the area which is affected. Nonetheless, some of the most common signs and symptoms of cancer include fatigue, lump, changes in weight, skin changes such as yellowing, darkening or redness, changes in bowel or bladder habits, sores that won’t heal, hoarseness, persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, unexplained bruises or bleeding, persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating, persistent muscle or joint pain as well as persistent/unexplained night sweats and fevers. According to scientists, cancers are caused by gene mutations and the risk factors include old age, certain lifestyle choices, environmental factors, family history as well as certain health conditions.

Cancer can be cured even though the treatment option depends on the type and stage of the disease. That said, the treatment options, for cancer may include;

  • Surgery: Surgery can remove the cancer or as much of the cancer as possible.
  • Chemotherapy: This is a cancer treatment method that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may either cure the cancer or prolong life.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a treatment option that uses high powered energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. It should be noted that radiation therapy can either come from a machine outside your body, or can be placed inside your body.
  • Bone Marrow Transplant: A bone marrow transplant is also known as stem cell transplant. The bone marrow is the material inside the bone that produces blood cells. A bone marrow transplant could either use the patient’s own cells or make use of cells from a compatible donor.
  • Immunotherapy: This method, which is also known as biological therapy uses the body’s immune system to fight the cancer. It is apparent that cancer can survive unchecked in the body because the immune system does not recognize it as an intruder. However, immunotherapy makes it possible for the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer in the body.
  • Hormone Therapy: Certain types of cancers, including breast, ovarian and prostate cancers are fuelled by the body’s hormones. Thus, removing these hormones from the body or blocking their actions may cause the cancer cells to stop growing.
  • Targeted Drug Therapy: This therapy simply focuses on specific abnormalities within cancer cells that allow them to survive.
  • Clinical Trials: These are studies aimed at investigating new ways of treating cancer. Many of these studies are underway and some patients have even opted for this treatment option.

There have also been scientific evidences that medical marijuana could be effective in the treatment of cancer. Many studies have actually revealed that CBD, one of the major compounds of medical marijuana could be effective in the treatment of cancer. For instance, a 2015 study found a promising link between CBD and cancer. After adjusting for several factors, the findings from this study revealed that CBD users had a 45 percent lower risk of developing bladder cancer.

A 2016 study also noted that the use of CBD could be promising in the fight against cancer. The authors of this study also revealed that the use of CBD is beneficial in inhibiting the growth of different kinds of tumor cells in both test tubes and animal models. That said, some of the symptoms of cancer that can be treated by medical marijuana include, cachexia/wasting syndrome, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, pain, and anxiety. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating cancer depends on the type of cancer as shall be discussed below;

Breast Cancer  |  Lung Cancer  |  Prostate Cancer  |  Colon & Rectal Cancer  |  Melanoma  |  Bladder Cancer  |  Lymphoma  |  Kidney Cancer  |  Endometrial Cancer  |  Leukemia  |  Pancreatic Cancer  |  Thyroid Cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer usually forms in the cells of the breast. It is the second most common form cancer that is diagnosed in women in the United States of America after skin cancer. Even though breast cancer mostly affects women, it could also occur in men. Breast cancer usually occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. It should be noted that the cells may also spread or metastasize through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

There are different types of breast cancers, including Angiosarcoma, ductal carcinoma in situ, inflammatory breast cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), male breast cancer, Paget’s disease of the breast as well as recurrent breast cancer. Breast cancer often has many signs and symptoms, with the most common ones being a breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissues, changes in the size, shape or appearance of the breast, changes in the skin of the breast, redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) breast skin and a newly inverted nipple.

According to researchers, hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors may increase the risk of breast cancer. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear why some people with no risk factors develop it, yet others with known risk factors never do. Doctors have also opined that about 5 to 10% of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family. There are also a number of inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer and the well-known ones are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Many factors are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Some of such risk factors include being a female, increasing in age, a personal history of breast conditions, a family history of breast cancer, inherited genes that increase the risk of cancer, obesity, starting your period at a younger age, having your first child at an older age, having never been pregnant, beginning menopause at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy as well as drinking alcohol.

Even though there has been medical advancement in breast cancer in recent decades, certain tumors are still resistant to the conventional treatment. Research has, however suggested that medical cannabis and phytocannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD could be useful in treating all the three major subcategories of breast cancer. According to researchers, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids is particularly important in treating patients with triple-negative breast cancer, as there is no standard therapy that currently exists and prognosis for this group of patients is poor.

In 2007, Dr. Sean McAllister and his team of researchers discovered that the anti-cancer fighting properties of CBD could also be applied in breast cancer. Also, a study that was published in the Oncology Nursing Forum in 2013 further buttressed the claim that medical marijuana could be effective in treating breast cancer. This study actually revealed that cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-tumor activity in preclinical breast cancer models.

The findings from a 2012 study that was published via Pub Med also indicated that when combined with conventional cancer treatment, cannabinoids are able to induce a synergistic action against cancer and tumor cells. This study, therefore suggested that the combination of conventional and cannabinoid-based treatments could be more powerful than the administration of either of the treatment options alone.

Moreover, it is apparent that cannabinoids also provide a variety of other benefits in the treatment of cancer, including preventing nausea and vomiting which are associated with chemotherapeutic treatments. Researchers have also argued that medical marijuana is way safer and less toxic than conventional cancer treatments.

Being said, the scientific research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating breast cancer has mostly been limited to preclinical trials that rather involve cell cultures and animal models. Therefore, there is a need for more research to be conducted on this subject.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that usually begins in the lungs. The lungs are two spongy organs in the chest that are used for inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Lung cancer is very common and it’s known as the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the United States.

Although lung cancer can as well occur in people who have never smoked, smokers are at greater risk of having lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer usually increases with the length of time and the number of cigarettes you’ve smoked. Therefore, you can significantly reduce your chances of having lung cancer if you quit smoking. Unlike other types of cancers that can be detected early, lung cancer is hardly detected early since it doesn’t cause signs and symptoms in its early stage. The signs and symptoms usually show up when the disease has advanced. That said, the signs and symptoms of lung cancer include shortness of breath, chest pain, a new cough that doesn’t go away, coughing blood, even in the smallest amount, hoarseness, effortless weight loss, bone pain as well as headache.

Smoking has been identified as the major cause of lung cancer both in smokers and in people exposed to second hand smoke. However, lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked nor have never had prolonged exposure to second hand smoke. According to doctors, smoking causes lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lung. It should be noted that changes in the lung begin almost immediately once a cigarette smoke, full of cancer-causing substances is inhaled.

There are two major types of lung cancers known as the small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The risk factors for lung cancer include smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to radon gas, family history of lung cancer as well as exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens. The conventional methods of treating lung cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, radiosurgery, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and immunology.

The conventional treatments for lung cancer have adverse side effects and that explains why both medical practitioners and patients have been seeking for an alternative safer treatment option. Medical marijuana has been reported as one of the safest treatment options for lung cancer. Studies have actually revealed that medical marijuana does not only reduce the presence of cancer cells, but it equally leaves non-cancerous cells untouched. Moreover, research indicates that lung cancer cells have more expressed cannabinoid receptors. The cannabinoid receptors communicate messages to the body when cannabinoids activate them. Therefore, cells with more receptor expression have stronger reactions to cannabis components.

One particular study found out that 24% of the examined lung cancer cases had CB1 receptors, and 55% had CB2 receptors. The same study further discovered that synthetic cannabinoids were very effective in reducing the growth of isolated lung cancer. To understand the effect of CB1 and CB2 receptors on the growth of lung cancer, the researcher used cannabinoids that were specific to each receptor. The findings revealed that there was a remarkable reduction in the spread of cancer by 40 to 70 percent when cannabinoids were added to lung cancer cells. The findings from this study didn’t only show the effectiveness of cannabinoids on isolated cells, but it also demonstrated their impact on living cells. For instance, after administering cannabinoids to mice with lung cancer tumors, the researchers reported a 50 to 70 percent reduction in tumor growth.

There are also indications that medical marijuana can also curb the symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatments. For instance, sativa strains of medical marijuana are effective in alleviating fatigue caused by treatment options like chemotherapy. Similarly, marijuana is also reported to have antiemetic properties which makes it effective in the treatment of nausea associated with cancer, lung cancer inclusive. Moreover, medical marijuana is also effective in alleviating appetite loss and fatigue associated with cancer and its treatment.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Usually, prostate cancer grows over an extensive period of time initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. Although some types of prostate cancers grow slowly and could need minimal or no treatment at all, other types of prostate cancers are aggressive and can spread easily. That said, if prostate cancer is detected early when it’s still confined to the prostate gland, there are better chances of a successful treatment.

Like other forms of cancers, prostate cancer may cause no signs and symptoms in its early stage. When the cancer is more advanced, it may cause signs and symptoms such as trouble urinating, blood in the semen, erectile dysfunction, bone pain, pain in the pelvic area as well as a decreased force in the stream of urine. The cause of prostate cancer is not yet clear, but doctors’ belief that it usually begins when some cells in the prostate become abnormal.

A mutation in the DNA of the abnormal cells causes the cells to grow and divide more quickly than normal cells do. The abnormal cells then continue living while the other normal cells would die. The abnormal cells, therefore accumulate and form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissues. Of course, some abnormal cells could also break up and spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. The risk for prostate cancer is higher among older people, black men, obese men as well as men with a family history of prostate cancer. Even though some prostate cancers never require treatment, others require treatment and the treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy.

There are some evidences that medical cannabis could be effective in the treatment of prostate cancer. In 2012, a study conducted on cannabis and prostate cancer revealed positive results in lab tests on animals. This publication also cited a 2005 study which suggested that prostate cancer cells have increased expression for cannabinoid receptors, or in other words, that they may be prone to the influence of active therapeutic cannabis compounds.

It is apparent that the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating prostate cancer boils down to the impact of the endocannabinoid system (EC) or more pertinently, the impact of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system. It is also highly speculated that the excessive amount of receptors found on prostate cancer cells suggest that there may be a correlation between cancer cell proliferation and endocannabinoid deficiency.

There are also indications that marijuana has anti-androgenic properties. It should be noted that androgens are male sex hormones (which include testosterone) that cause the growth of prostate cells. Some studies have suggested that marijuana produces anti-androgenic effects, which could be instrumental in the battle against prostate cancer. A 2012 study that was published in The British Journal of Pharmacology also revealed that CBD, one of the most active compounds in medical marijuana could result in the self-destruction of prostate cancer cells.

Of course, more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating prostate cancer as what is available so far is limited.

Colon & Rectal Cancer

Colon cancer is any cancer that begins in the large intestine also known as the colon. The colon is the final part of the digestive tract. Colon cancer typically affects older people, even though it can happen at any age. This sort of cancer usually begins like a small noncancerous or benign clump of cells known as polyps. Polyps often form inside the colon and over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancer. Polyps may be small and produce few symptoms, and during a screening test, the polyps may be identified and removed before they turn cancerous.

Colon cancer is sometimes called colorectal cancer, which is a term that combines colon cancer and rectal cancer, which begins in the rectum. Some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer include a persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, rectal bleeding or blood in stool, persistent abdominal discomfort such as gas, pain or cramps, the feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely, fatigue or weakness as well as unexplained weight loss. It should be noted that many people with colon cancer rarely experience symptoms in the early stage and when the symptoms occur, it could vary depending on the size of the cancer and its location in the large intestine.

In most countries, colon cancer screening often begins at the age of 50. Doctors are not yet certain about the cause of colon cancer, but colon cancer begins when healthy cells in the colon develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. Normal or healthy cells usually grow and divide in an orderly way to keep your body functioning normally. But when a cell’s DNA is damaged and becomes cancerous, cells continue to divide even when new cells aren’t needed. As the cells accumulate, they form a tumor. The risk factors of colon cancer include older age, being African-American, inflammatory intestinal conditions, family history of colon cancer, inherited syndromes that increase the risk of colon cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a sedentary lifestyle, low fiber, high fat diet, diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol and radiation therapy for cancers. Just like other forms of cancers, the treatment options for colon cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and proton beam therapy.

It is no longer news that medical marijuana has been proven to be effective in treating some symptoms of cancer, including nausea, vomiting, and pain. The therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana are also helpful in combating colon cancer. A study that was conducted by researchers in Italy and the UK and published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine revealed that marijuana containing high amounts of CBD could help prevent the spread of colon cancer in mice. Further findings from this same study revealed that high doses of CBD inhibited tumor cell growth successfully, without affecting healthy cells.

Another study that was published in Phytomedicine revealed that a cannabis sativa extract with high CBD content inhibited cell proliferation of colorectal cancer and weakened colon carcinogenesis through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. According to the findings from another study that was conducted by the Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care at the University of Florence in Italy, CB1 and, more effectively, CB2 endocannabinoid receptors can be used to inhibit the growth of colorectal tumors.

Moreover, the American Cancer Society has revealed that cannabis may help treat symptoms of colorectal cancer by stimulating the appetite, reducing inflammation, treating seizures, reducing paranoia and anxiety, acting as an antioxidant, providing nausea and vomiting relief from chemotherapy, as well as providing significant pain relief, particularly neuropathic pain.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer. This form of skin cancer usually develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin its color. Even though melanoma mostly attacks the skin, it could also form in the eyes and on rare circumstances in internal organs such as the intestines. Although the exact cause of melanoma is yet to be known, there are indications that exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds could increase the risk of developing this form of cancer. That said, you can reduce the risk of developing melanoma if you limit your exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, although it mostly occurs in areas such as the back, legs, arms, and face which have had exposure to the sun. Melanomas can also occur in areas that don’t receive much sun exposure, such as the soles of your feet, palms of your hands and fingernail beds. However, hidden melanoma mostly occurs in people with darker skin.

The first signs and symptoms of melanoma include a change in an existing mole, or the development of a new pigmented or unusual-looking growth on your skin. Melanoma does not necessarily begin as a mole since it could also occur in otherwise normal appearing looking skin. According to scientists, melanoma occurs when something goes awry in the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) that give color to your skin. Skin cells often develop in a controlled and orderly way, with the healthy skin cells pushing older cells towards your skin’s surface where they die and eventually fall off. On the other hand, when some cells develop DNA damage, new cells may begin to grow out of control and can eventually form a mass of cancerous cells.

Doctors are yet to find out what damages the DNA in skin cells and how this leads to melanoma, even though there are indications that a combination of factors including environmental and genetics could result in melanoma. The factors that may increase the risk of melanoma include fairer skin, a history of sunburn, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, living closer to the equator, having many moles or unusual moles, a family history of melanoma and a weakened immune system. When melanoma is in its early stage, it can easily be treated with surgery. However, if it has advanced or spread, the treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, immunology, and biological therapy.

Melanoma patients have found hope in medical cannabis as a result of scientific insinuations that medical cannabis could be effective in treating the condition. A 2015 study that was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology study revealed that both THC and CBD, which are powerful compounds found in medical marijuana could reduce the viability of melanoma cells. The same researchers equally found out that combining small amounts of THC with CBD intensifies the anticancer effects and could destroy the cancerous skin cells, but not the normal healthy cells.

Another study that was conducted in 2015 examined how cannabinoids could effectively stimulate melanoma cell death. This study utilized both in vitro and in vivo approaches, meaning they analyzed both cell samples and cells in living beings. When they treated melanoma cells with THC, cell death and turnover rates increased. The authors of this study also reported the fact that cancer cells also had less viability after exposure, making them more susceptible to treatment.

Researchers have further opined that medical cannabis offers many potentials for the treatment of melanoma. Some of such therapeutic benefits include relieving pain, curbing nausea, boosting mood, improving sleep, rekindling social enjoyment, promoting weight gain as well as stimulating appetite.

Even though there is a need for more research to be conducted on this subject, the strains of medical marijuana that are effective in treating melanoma include:

Obama Kush
Blackberry Kush
Chemo
ACDC
Northern Lights
Super Lemon Haze
Harlequin

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is cancer that begins in the bladder. It typically starts in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. This type of cancer is one of the most common cancers as it affects approximately 68,000 adults in the United States each year. Bladder cancer is more common in men than women and although it mostly affects older adults, it can happen at any age. Even though bladder cancer typically occurs in the bladder, it sometimes occurs in other parts of the urinary tract system. Some of the symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in urine, and pelvic pain. People with bladder cancer could also suffer from back pain and frequent urination.

Bladder cancer always develops when the cells in the bladder begin growing abnormally. Instead of growing and dividing in an orderly manner, these cells rather develop mutations that cause them to grow out of control and not die. These abnormal cells could also form a tumor. Bladder cancer is largely associated with smoking tobacco, exposure to chemicals, especially if you are working in a job that requires exposure to chemicals, chronic irritation of the lining of the bladder, past exposure to radiation as well as certain parasitic infections.

The risk factors of bladder cancer include increasing age, smoking, being white, being a man, previous cancer treatments, exposure to certain chemicals, chronic bladder inflammation as well as a personal or family history of cancer. The treatment options for bladder cancer depend on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, the grade of the cancer and the stage of the cancer, which are taken into consideration along with your overall health and your treatment preferences. That being said, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, reconstruction, radiation therapy as well as immunology.

Growing evidences are also pointing to the fact that medical marijuana could be effective in the treatment of bladder cancer. There have also been insinuations that smoking medical cannabis correlates with lower rates of bladder cancer. The findings from a 2015 study that was published in the journal Urology revealed that cannabis smokers were 45 percent less likely to have a bladder cancer diagnosis than people who didn’t smoke. There also exists anecdotal evidence of people who have found relief for bladder cancer after self-medicating with marijuana.

Even though the research so far on medical marijuana and bladder cancer is very scanty, there are also indications that medical marijuana can boost the moods as well as treat pain, and sleeplessness in people suffering from bladder cancer. Patients report the best strains of medical marijuana that are helpful in treating bladder cancer include:

Blue Dream
Granddaddy Purple
Superbud
Pennywise
Jack Herer
One-To-One (OTTO)
Purple Urkle
Northern Lights
Sensi Star

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer that occurs in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is known to consist of lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow. Lymphoma can therefore affect all these areas as well as other areas of the body. There are many types of lymphomas, but the two main subtypes are Hodgkin’s lymphoma (formerly called Hodgkin’s disease) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The most common signs and symptoms of lymphoma include a painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin, persistent fatigue, fever, night sweats, shortness of breath, as well as unexplained weight loss.

Doctors do not yet know exactly what causes lymphoma, but it begins when a disease-fighting white blood cell called a lymphocyte develops a genetic mutation. This mutation results in rapid cell multiplication and could also cause many diseased lymphocytes that continue multiplying. The mutation also allows the cells to go on living when other cells would die, thereby causing too many diseased and ineffective lymphocytes in your lymph nodes.

The risk factors of lymphoma include being older, being male, having an impaired immune system or developing certain infections. The most common treatment options for lymphoma include active surveillance, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, as well as other drug therapies.

Over the years, there have been evidences that medical marijuana could be effective in treating lymphoma. One of the most positive findings was done through a 2005 study that examined the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). It is worthy to note that this team of researchers had conducted a previous study on the expression of cannabinoid receptors in MCL cells, where they learned MCL had more expression than healthy cells. However, they wanted to expand on the findings by observing how activating cannabinoid receptors in MCL affected it. The findings from this study revealed that both cannabinoids that activate the CB1 receptor and cannabinoids that activate the CB2 receptor decreased MCL’s viability. The study equally showed that a CB1 antagonist could help kill MCL cells.

Most of the authors of the 2005 study also worked on a study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although the authors already knew MCL had more cannabinoid receptor expression, they didn’t know if non-Hodgkin lymphoma did and that explains why they examined the cannabinoid receptors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma B cells. During the study, most of the samples that were analyzed had had more receptors than typical lymph node tissue. It should be noted that the samples had varying levels of expression, but none of them completely lacked it. The authors therefore concluded that cannabinoid receptors could be vital in treating cancers like lymphoma.

Moreover, there are indications that medical marijuana can alleviate the symptoms of lymphoma as well as the symptoms associated with its treatment and some of such symptoms include sleeping difficulties, nausea, vomiting, and pain. Also, the fact that medical marijuana does not have serious side effects like the conventional treatment options also makes it a great therapy for cancer patients. That said, the need for more research on this subject is eminent.

Kidney Cancer

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs which are about the size of your fists. Kidney cancer is any cancer that begins in the kidneys. The most common form of kidney cancer in adults is known as renal cell carcinoma and it accounts for about 90% of cancerous tumors. Of course, there are many other types of kidney cancers and young children are likely to develop a type known as Wilms’ tumor.

Kidney cancers hardly cause signs and symptoms at its early stage. Unlike other types of cancers like breast, cervical, and colon cancers, there are no routine tests to screen kidney cancer in the absence of any symptom. Thus, in the later stage, the signs and symptoms of kidney cancer may include blood in the urine, back or side pain that doesn’t go away, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue/tiredness as well as fever that usually comes and goes away.

It is not exactly clear what causes kidney cancer, but doctors believe that it starts when some kidney cells acquire mutations in their DNA. These mutations cause the cells to grow and divide rapidly and the abnormal cells eventually accumulate to form a tumor that could extend beyond the kidney. Some kidney cells can also break off and metastasize or spread to distant parts of the body. It is worthy to note that certain factors can increase the risk of developing kidney cancer. Some of such factors include older age, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, treatment for kidney failure, certain inherited syndromes, a family history of kidney cancer as well as exposure to certain substances in the workplace. Kidney cancer can be treated through a variety of ways, including surgery, biological therapy, targeted drug therapy, and radiation therapy.

It is no longer news that medical marijuana is effective in the treatment of cancers. The most active components of medical marijuana, which are CBD and THC have been reported to not only have anti-cancer properties, but to equally treat the symptoms of cancer. For instance, CBD has been largely reported to be effective in reducing paranoia, anxiety and seizures associated with cancer, whereas THC is effective in combating pain, nausea and inflammations associated with cancer.

So far very little research has been done on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating kidney cancer. Nevertheless, information reported by the American Cancer Society has revealed that medical marijuana has so much therapeutic benefits on people suffering from kidney cancer. For instance, the association reported that patients that consumed pot extracts in clinical trials needed less pain medication and that smoking pot can alleviate nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. The association also reported that inhaling pots can treat neuropathic pain. More evidence from an animal study also revealed that consuming cannabinoids can reduce the spread and slow the growth of some types of cancers, kidney cancer inclusive.

Even though more research needs to be done on this subject, some strains of medical marijuana have been reported to more effective in the treatment of kidney cancer. Some of such strains include:

Blue Dream
Chocolope
Super Lemon Haze
Jillybean
Platinum Purple Kush

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where fetal development occurs. According to scientists, endometrial cancer often begins in the layer of cells that form the lining of the uterus and it is sometimes called uterine cancer. Of course, other types of cancers, including uterine sarcoma can also grow and form in the uterus, but they are less common than endometrial cancer.

Most often, endometrial cancer is diagnosed at an early stage since it usually causes abnormal bleeding that prompts women to see their doctors. If detected early, removing the uterus surgically often cures endometrial cancer. The most common symptoms of endometrial cancer include vaginal bleeding after menopause, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain and an abnormal watery or blood-tinged discharge from the vagina.

Doctors do not yet know the cause of endometrial cancer aside the fact that something occurs to create a genetic mutation within cells in the endometrium. The genetic mutation then, turns normal healthy cells to abnormal cells, which grow and multiply out of control. The abnormal cells then accumulate to form a malignant mass or tumor that could invade nearby tissues or even spread or metastasize to other parts of the body.

The risk factors for endometrial cancer include changes in the balance of female hormones in the body, more years of menstruation, never ever been pregnant, older age, obesity, hormone therapy for breast cancer, as well as an inherited colon cancer syndrome. The treatment options of endometrial cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy as well as supportive or palliative care.

Recent studies have shown promise in medical marijuana as an anti-cancer agent. The reason is that cannabinoids found in medical cannabis regulate the key cell signaling pathways involving cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis and more. That said, the CB1 and CB2 receptors are the main focus. The findings from a preclinical study have gone a long way to buttress the claim that medical marijuana could be effective in the treatment of endometrial cancer. According to the study, the THC, synthetic cannabinoid agonists, naturally occurring cannabinoids and endocannabinoids all produce anti-cancer effects in vitro that fight against uterine carcinoma.

Like many other parts of the body, the uterus can directly interact with the components in cannabis to relieve cancer symptoms. The uterus actually contains two (CB1 and CB2) types of cannabinoid receptors built to react to cannabinoids. Research has equally revealed that the uterus has the CB1 receptor, which uses cannabinoids to affect the central nervous system. It should also be noted that cannabinoids affect the rest of the nervous system, thereby potentially reducing pain, mood problems and other symptoms. Thus, patients dealing with nerve pain as well as other cancer symptoms could also take advantage of cannabis’ palliative relief.

Some researchers also investigated the antitumor abilities of medical marijuana for cancers like uterine cancer through vitro methods, or studying cells in isolation. The researchers found that many different kinds of cannabinoids could help inhibit the growth of all kinds of cancer cells.

Some strains of medical marijuana are known to be more effective in treating uterine cancer. Some of such strains include:

Chemo
Death Star
Blackberry
White Fire OG
Jillybean
Sunset Sherbet
Bubba Kush
Granddaddy Purple

Leukemia

Leukemia is cancer in the blood forming tissues of the body, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are many forms of leukemia, some of which are more common in children while others are more common in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells, which are potent infection fighters. It should be noted that the white blood cells normally grow and divide in an orderly way just as the body needs them. However, in people with leukemia, the bone marrows produce abnormal cells, which do not function properly.

The symptoms of leukemia usually vary depending on the type and the stage, but the most common signs and symptoms of leukemia include fever or chills, persistent fatigue or tiredness, frequent or severe infections, unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, tiny red spots on the skin, recurrent nose bleeding, easy bleeding or bruising, excessive sweating especially at night as well as bone pain or tenderness.

Scientists do not yet know the cause of leukemia, but there are indications that it results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The risk factors to developing leukemia therefore include previous cancer treatment, genetic disorders, smoking, exposure to certain chemicals and a family history of leukemia. The treatment for leukemia can be complex, depending on the type and other factors. That said, the treatment options of leukemia include chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.

There are scientific evidences suggesting that medical marijuana could also be effective in treating leukemia. A new study that was conducted by UK researchers particularly revealed that medical marijuana increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy when it comes to treating leukemia. The researchers actually found out that CBD and THC, which are major compounds in medical marijuana were both effective when combined with chemotherapy.

A 2015 study also buttressed the claim that medical marijuana could be effective in treating leukemia. This study examined the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in cannabinoid-induced leukemia cell death. It should be noted that before observing the cell death, the researchers reaffirmed that their leukemia cells had CB2 receptors. After confirming their presence, they administered THC and another CB2-related cannabinoid. The results of this study revealed CB2 receptor’s ability to kill leukemia cells.

Another study that was conducted by Israeli researchers supported the possibility of using cannabis as a supplement to radiation therapy. During this study, the researchers observed the effects of CBD and a synthetic counterpart on leukemia cells and recorded the effects that occurred in cells with and without prior gamma radiation exposure. The authors of this study observed that although the compounds killed plenty of leukemia cells on their own, they worked even better when used after radiation therapy. Further observations revealed that without radiation, CBD killed about 61% of cells, while the synthetic counterpart killed around 43% of leukemia cells. But, those numbers respectively rose to 93% and 95% for cells with previous radiation exposure.

Medical marijuana can also ease the general symptoms of cancer and its treatment, including pain, nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite, etc. Having said that, patients report the best strains of medical marijuana that are helpful in the treatment of leukemia include:

Chemo
Blackberry
Death Star
White Widow
Granddaddy Purple

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer usually begins in the tissues of the pancreas, which is an organ in the abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower parts of the stomach. The pancreas plays the crucial role of releasing enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help manage your blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected in its early stage and that explains why it usually spreads to nearby tissues.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer do not show up until the disease is advanced and the symptoms typically include pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back, loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, blood clots, new onset diabetes, depression, fatigue as well as yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice).

Doctors do not yet know the cause of pancreatic cancer, but they have identified certain factors, including smoking to increase the risk of this form of cancer. Other factors that may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer include diabetes, chronic inflammation of the pancreas, family history of genetic syndromes that can increase the risk of cancer, family history of pancreatic cancer, obesity as well as older age. A large study has demonstrated that the combination of smoking, long-standing diabetes and a poor diet increases the risk of pancreatic cancer beyond the risk of any one of these factors alone. Like other forms of cancers, the treatment options for pancreatic cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, clinical trials as well as supportive or palliative care.

Research has however, indicated the possibility reducing pancreatic cancer cells with a medical marijuana treatment option. The findings from a 2008 study that was published in PMC revealed that medical marijuana could reduce pain associated with pancreatic cancer. Further findings from this study revealed that while the patients’ immune respond stayed the same, their pain levels reduced while their survivability increased.

Another study that was published in 2006 observed the relationship between cannabinoids and pancreatic tissue. The researchers found out that pancreatic tumor cells have more cannabinoid receptors than normal pancreatic tissue, making them more reactive to cannabinoids. The findings of this study go a long way to suggest that cannabinoids inhibit the progression of pancreatic tumor cells without damaging healthy cells.

Moreover, medical marijuana has also been reported to treat many issues associated with pancreatic cancer, including pain, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, fatigue as well as sleeplessness. Having said that, the best methods of medicating with medical marijuana for pancreatic cancer are vaping, smoking, edibles and topicals. But of course, it is imperative to discuss your intentions with your doctor before indulging in any alternative treatment.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Unlike other forms of cancers, most thyroid cancers can be cured without treatment. Thyroid cancer does not normally cause symptoms, but as the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms may include a lump which can be felt through the skin on your neck, changes to your voice, including increasing hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, pain in your neck or throat, as well as swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

The cause of thyroid cancer is not yet known, but according doctors, this form of cancer occurs when the cells in the thyroid undergo genetic changes or mutation. The mutation makes it possible for abnormal cells to grow and multiply rapidly. The abnormal cells then accumulate to form a tumor, which could invade nearby tissues or spread to the rest of the body. There are many types of thyroid cancers, including Papillary thyroid cancer, thyroid lymphoma, Follicular thyroid cancer, Medullary thyroid cancer, and Anaplastic thyroid cancer. The risk factors of thyroid cancer include being a female, being exposed to high levels of radiation, as well as certain inherited genetic conditions. The treatment options depend on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer as well as your overall health, and your preferences may include chemotherapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy injecting alcohol into cancers, targeted drug therapy as well as palliative or supportive care.

Medical marijuana is also effective in the treatment of thyroid cancer. Unlike the conventional treatments of cancer that have adverse side effects, the effects of medical marijuana are a lot milder and do not typically last for long. Generally, marijuana relieves symptoms such as nausea, sleeping problems, vomiting, fatigue and pain which are associated with all types of cancers.

The amount of research available on medical marijuana and thyroid cancer is quite scanty. However, a study that was conducted on men suggested that THC, one of the active compounds in medical cannabis could be effective in treating thyroid cancer. But it should be noted that there is a need for more in depth research on this subject because this same study also suggested that THC can reduce thyroid hormones, which isn’t ideal for patients with thyroid cancer.

In 2008, a research was conducted by the Department of Genetics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed at exploring the possibilities of using cannabis in cancer gene therapy and its potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. The authors of this study found out that using marijuana to induct the endocannabinoid receptor CB2 allowed for cancer gene therapy to have a more profound effect. The researchers equally found out that when combined with cancer-fighting gene therapy, the induction of CB2 receptors contributed to thyroid tumor regression and prevented the growth of anaplastic tumors.

Nonetheless, there is a need for more research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating thyroid cancer.

Strains of medical marijuana reported to help in the treatment of cancers:

Charlotte’s Web
Granddaddy Purple
Chocolope
Northern Lights
ACDC
Blackberry
Death Star
White Widow
Jillybean
Sunset Sherbet
Bubba Kush

How To Get Medical Marijuana

If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Cancer or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.

CBDbay

Sources:

UTT BioPharma
Medical News Today
Mayo Clinic

Scroll to Top