Article by Dr. Frank, Cannabis Culture
Whilst the jury is out on whether cannabis can cure cancer, there are a heck of a lot of people saying that using it helps at least. At the moment, cannabis is usually recommended for help in overcoming the side-effects of chemotherapy, rather than the cancer itself.
However, there is an increasing amount of evidence – mostly observed – coming out that cannabis has anti-cancer properties as well, suggesting that it has a double-pronged use: mitigating the nausea and pain of chemotherapy as well as helping beat cancer. This already gives cannabis a therapeutic potential far bigger than many other drugs or treatment methods out there at the moment. Now, this isn’t to say that “cannabis makes other drugs and treatments unnecessary”, but it certainly seems that it can be an excellent complement to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Also, when it comes to evidence, there is a study by GW Pharmaceuticals, entitled “GW Pharmaceuticals Achieves Positive Results in Phase 2 Proof of Concept Study in Glioma”. This is a phase 2 placebo-controlled clinical study of 21 patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM – a type of brain tumor that grows from glial cells in the brain), who were all given a proprietary combination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The results? To quote:
“The study showed that patients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients in the placebo cohort (p=0.042). Median survival for the THC:CBD group was greater than 550 days compared with 369 days in the placebo group. THC:CBD was generally well tolerated with treatment emergent adverse events leading to discontinuation in two patients in each group.”
Further on, Professor Susan Short, PhD, says:
“The findings from this well-designed controlled study suggest that the addition of a combination of THC and CBD to patients on dose-intensive temozolomide produced relevant improvements in survival compared with placebo and this is a good signal of potential efficacy … Moreover, the cannabinoid medicine was generally well tolerated. These promising results are of particular interest as the pharmacology of the THC:CBD product appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.”
Of the 21 patients who took part in the study, only 2 people in each group had adverse side-effects and discontinued cannabis use due to them. The most common adverse effects were vomiting (75%), dizziness (67%), nausea (58%), headache (33%) and constipation (33%).
This study by GW Pharmaceuticals is not the only one. There’s also (be ready for a mouthful) “The Combination of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model” by Katherine A. Scott, Angus G. Dalgleish and Wai M. Liu. This study suggests that a combination of CBD and THC “can prime glioma cells to respond better to ionizing radiation, and suggest a potential clinical benefit for glioma patients by using these two treatment modalities”.