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What is Cancer?
The word Cancer denotes any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout your body.
Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Instead of dying, old cells grow out of control and form new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumour. However, some cancers like leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma, do not form tumours.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer.
What causes Cancer?
Cancer is caused by changes or mutations to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packed into a large number of individual genes each of which contains a set of instructions that tell a cell what functions to perform and how to grow and divide.
Errors in these instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous.
How does Cannabis medicine help with Cancer?
NOTE: Cannabis medicine should not be considered as a cure for cancer.
The therapeutic and medicinal benefits of Cannabis medicines can help provide relief from symptoms and complications caused by cancer and/or cancer treatments.
There has been a lot of interest in whether cannabinoids might be useful as a cancer treatment. The scientific research conducted so far has been laboratory research with results showing that different cannabinoids can:
- Block cell growth
- Cause cell death
- Reduce inflammation
- Stop the development of blood vessels that are needed for tumours to grow
- Reduce the ability of cancer to spread.
one of the compounds of cannabis, Cannabidiol (CBD) is studied for cancer-related treatment. It has been found to be non-intoxicating in nature and provides a broad spectrum of medicinal properties that can help relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, skin pigmentation, and other complications caused by cancer and/or cancer treatments.
There is solid evidence in support of the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumour growth in animal models of cancer. CBD may also increase the potency of certain drugs used to treat cancer.
Research on CBD Oil and Cancer
- The results of a 2019 study indicated that CBD could induce cell death and make glioblastoma cells more sensitive to radiation without any effects on healthy cells.
- A 2019 review of in vitro and in vivo studies focusing on pancreatic cancer revealed that cannabinoids, such as CBD, can help slow the growth of a tumour, reduce tumour invasion, and induce tumour cell death. However, the authors of the study also wrote that research into the efficacy of different formulations, dosing, and precise mode of action is lacking and urgently needed.
- A large, long-term study of men found that the use of cannabis may be inversely associated with the risk of bladder cancer. That said, a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established.
- A 2014 review of 35 in vitro and in vivo studies found that cannabinoids prove to be a promising compound in the treatment of gliomas.
- A 2014 study in experimental models of colon cancer in vivo suggested that CBD may stop the spread of colorectal cancer cells.
- A 2010 research demonstrated the efficiency of CBD in preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer. The study found that CBD considerably reduced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion.
Potential Benefits of Cannabis Medicine for Cancer
Cannabis medicine has a broad spectrum of medicinal properties that can provide relief from multiple symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments.
- Pain Relief: Cannabis medicine is anti-inflammatory in nature and can reduce acute and chronic pain throughout the body by inducing a number of mechanisms. These include altering pain signals, reducing inflammation, and increasing the immune response.
- Reduced Tremors: tremors and seizures are extreme complications caused by some cancer treatments. A small 1986 study suggests that CBD oil(derived from the cannabis plant) can help ease muscle movement and help reduce tremors. CBD oil also reduces the frequency and intensity of seizures.
- Antiemetic properties: CBD also provides relief from feelings of nausea and vomiting.
- Better Cognitive Functioning: Regular use of CBD oil can improve motor coordination and strengthen overall cognitive functioning.