How Cannabis Kills Cancer
The release of the documentary „Run from the cure“ was when the cat was let out of the bag. Although studies documenting cannabis’ anti-cancerous effects go back all the way to the 70s, it was obscure knowledge. In the last few years, this has changed drastically, as new studies are confirming the findings, and offering a more detailed understanding of the process.
There have been well over 30 studies showing that cannabis can shrink tumors, the earliest dating back to 1974. In the meantime, numerous research projects have emerged that focus on a particular type of carcinoma. From brain cancer to lung cancer and breast cancer, the findings are the same: cannabis kills cancer.
However, almost all studies have been done either in vitro or in mice. In one of the more recent studies, Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti from the university of South Carolina and his researchers were able to eradicate cancer completely in test tubes, so a follow-up on mice was performed. What they found was stunning: 25 to 30 percent of the mice were completely cured - their tumor was 100% gone. All of the rest of the mice had significant reduction in their tumor size.
Studies on humans are only now slowly beginning to emerge. The legal status of cannabis is making human studies significantly more difficult, as are the high costs associated with human trials. However, a fast growing community around the cannabis pioneer Rick Simpson is exploring the cancer cure with equally amazing results. Testimonies of people who have successfully cured their cancer are easily found on the internet.
How Cannabis Kills Cancer
There has been an overwhelming amount of laboratory evidence showing that cannabis can kill cancer cells in a variety of ways. These are:
One of the central characteristics of a cancer cell is that it just keeps reproducing over and over again, which is how cancer grows and spreads so quickly. The antiproliferative property of cannabis inhibits this process of endless multiplication, preventing cancer cells from reproducing indefinitely and stopping the tumor in its tracks.
The anti-angiogenic effects of cannabis prevent cancer growth in a different way. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, prevent the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor. The tumor needs these blood vessels to grow, so by cutting them off, tumor growth is halted.
The anti-metastatic effects prevent cancer from spreading to other organs of the body. This is very important to keep the tumor contained to one spot in the body.
The apoptotic effect is probably the most amazing of the abilities of cannabinoids. Apoptosis is the ability of the cannabinoids to speed up the death of abnormal cells. Not only does it kill abnormal cells, but it leaves healthy cells entirely intact without harm - unlike chemotherapy.
The endocannabinoid system
„Endo“ is greek and literally means „from within“. Amazingly, our body produces substances that are very similar to those found in cannabis - the endocannabinoids. Our endocannabinoid system is involved in a number of important physiological processes, such as homeostasis, sleep regulation and immune function. The endocannabinoid system is composed of different receptors that interact with both cannabinoids from the plant and our self-produced endocannabinoids. The two main receptors are the CB1 and CB2 receptor, the CB1 being found in the brain and in the nervous system, while CB2 receptors appear in the immune system. Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD directly influence our own endocannabinoid system, quite apparently to our benefit. However, the precise mechanisms how this interaction looks and unfolds is still not properly understood.
Smoking Marijuana vs. Using Oil or Edibles
Evidence suggests that smoking cannabis does not assist much in treating cancer. One reason is because the effective dose for this effect cannot be achieved through smoking. The process of burning cannabis results in the direct destruction of a large percentage of cannabinoids, thereby significantly reducing its impact. However, even when using a gentle process such as vaporization, the amount reaching the system is too small to be effective. As discovered by Rick Simpson, the most effective method is the full spectrum oil, which is produced through a solvent-based extraction. High amounts of this potent oil are ingested over a period of at least 3 months.
Much progress has been made in the last few years to make cannabis available as a medicine. However, much more needs to be done. This form of treatment is still out of reach for most and those who chose this path are moving in a grey area, or are even straight out criminalized. The time to end the war on drugs is long over due, paving the road for honest and scientifically based approach to drugs and medicine.