Cannabis cancer cures

15/9/19

First off, cancer is a frightening, scary diagnosis that often means patients having to undergo treatments that are invasive with very harmful side-effects. Anyone seeking alternative treatments, no matter how outlandish, deserves compassion, sympathy and understanding. One such treatment that has been going the rounds recently is using cannabis and its derivatives - often referred to a cannabinoids. In 2018, Cancer sufferer Joy Smith appeared on Good Morning Britain being interviewed about her use of cannabis oil in the treatment of her ovarian cancer. Her claim was that taking concentrated cannabis oil containing large amounts of THC (the substance that gets you stoned) had cured her cancer. On the interview she says she "hit the oil every night" and after she had "had one lot of chemo" the "results were absolutely astounding. It's all gone..." though she admitted later there was "a little bit left in her gastric stomach".

Joy continues to self medicate with these oils and we are extremely happy she is in remission. However; by her own admission she had had conventional treatments alongside her self medication, so how can we determine that it was the cannabis wot done it? There are studies and some evidence that taking cannabis can help alleviate the side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy, and there are some in vitro studies showing cannabis extracts have an reducing impact on some cancer cells but alongside there are studies which show they can also cause cancer cells to proliferate. The trouble is there is no good evidence that taking THC or CBD (the other non-psychotropic ingredient in cannabis) has any real-world effect on cancer in human beings.

Because of the historical outlawing of cannabis products around the world, no good, large-scale tests or studies have been possible and any claims made by alt-med practitioners is simply marketing not backed up with any proper, rigorous drug testing. As Cancer Research UK state: 'Claims that there is solid “proof” that cannabis or cannabinoids can cure cancer is highly misleading to patients and their families, and builds a false picture of the state of progress in this area.' But they add: 'There is good evidence that cannabinoids may be beneficial in managing cancer pain and side effects from treatment.'

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