A recent study showed that marijuana may have the ability to kill cancer cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. Laboratory tests on mice and rats showed that canniboids, compounds found in marijuana, activate receptors throughout the body, specifically in the body’s immune system, that can eliminate deadly cancer cells.
In a country that is on the road for nationwide legalization for medicinal and recreational marijuana, cancer patients have long been using the drug to ease their symptoms and pain. Through studies and tests with rodents with cancer, scientists were able to find substantial evidence that cannaboids kill cancer cells. Medical marijuana has been shown to boost the effectiveness in chemotherapy by relieving the painful side effects associated with radiation therapy.
“Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids (the active ingredient in cannabis) may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. They may inhibit tumour growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumours to grow,” the National Institute of Cancer states.
The benefits from using medical marijuana to treat cancer includes:
- Protecting against inflammation of the colon and reduces the risk of colon cancer
- Damaging or killing hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells
- Causing cellular death to breast cancer cells, while having little effect on normal breast cells
- Making chemotherapy more effective without harming normal cells
- Being an effective pain reliever for cancer related symptoms
Though NCI found evidence of marijuana killing cancer cells in their studies, it released a separate statement saying, “At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy.”
Perhaps further research on the benefits of medical marijuana will lead us to a more effective way to fight cancer and find the cure.