Cannabis In The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Article by Ljubica Kostovic, GrowWise Health


Breast cancer is a complex form of cancer, with nearly 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2012 . According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, “in 2015, it is estimated that 25,000 women and 220 men in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and that 5,000 women and 60 men will die from the disease”. As the second most common cancer, raising awareness about breast cancer is an important part of furthering public education and encouraging early detection.

Symptoms of cancer are wide-spread and can be very difficult to manage. Approximately 50-95% of all cancer patients experience pain at some point in their illness. For many, this pain remains uncontrolled and many more experience severe nausea, vomiting, and fatigue related to chemotherapy treatment. In addition, the experience of cancer, cancer-related pain and treatment side effects can often lead to feelings of anxiety and disturbances in sleep.

Given the severity and complexity of the symptoms experienced by cancer patients, it is essential that all treatment types are explored. Medical cannabis therapy offers a variety of therapeutic effects for numerous symptoms, including pain, nausea, vomitingsleep, and anxiety. In addition to raising awareness of breast cancer, it is also important to raise awareness about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis in assisting patients battling breast cancer.

Cannabis And Anti-Tumour Effects:
Preliminary research indicates that cannabis may contain some cancer fighting agents. A 2015 study examining the anti-tumour role of cannabidiol (CBD), a non psychoactive component of cannabis, indicates that CBD has great potential to inhibit tumour growth in a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer called Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. These findings are echoed by additional research which investigates thepotential of CBD as an anticancer drug. Research also shows that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol has the potential to induce programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and also inhibits tumour growth without any toxic effects on healthy cells.

Additional research is needed in this extremely important realm. However, we do know that cannabis has therapeutic effects which can assist with cancer related pain, nausea, vomiting and anorexia. It can additionally promote a sense of calm during this extremely difficult time.

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