HEALTH

Is This Real? Can Cannabis Treat Terminal Cancer?

The move to study marijuana as a medical treatment for a multitude of illnesses has been stagnant due to its illegal status with many federal entities. However, there is still a strong opinion that cannabis should be investigated as a feasible treatment for cancer. A great deal of evidence exists with people who have used marijuana on the black market received positive results but this is not scientific evidence that sways those in power to make changes to laws. It does appear to be giving businesses a reason to take another look though, and this is perhaps where the drive for stronger scientific studies will emerge.

One teenager from the United Kingdom used cannabis for his leukemia. He had tried several rounds of chemo and radiotherapy but his parents were told by doctors to take him home and make him comfortable. The doctors refused the parents request for medical cannabis so they obtained it illegally, extracted oil from it at home in a pressure cooker, and administered it to their son to help him gain some relief from his pain and suffering. What initially was an attempt to help the son be less anxious through the process of dying, turned into his cure. The boy did not die, and made a great recovery.

Most researchers dismiss stories like this as just one person’s story so there is not much there that can be generalized to other groups of people. For instance, they can’t say everyone who has cancer should use marijuana and they will be cured without having serious clinical trials. Without the clinical trials, researchers cannot say which components of marijuana might be responsible for such amazing recoveries. But people in the situation of facing death with a cancer diagnosis do not have much to lose and continue to try all possibilities. Scientific researchers are trying to catch up with the demand and also trying to quantify the anecdotal information to draw some significant conclusions. Oxford University recent announced plans to spend $12 million in medical cannabis research for cancer, inflammation, and pain. Producers of cannabis products are trying to keep up with the demand as well. American Hemp Oil is one company purveying cannabidiol or CBD which has shown promise with some for treatment of seizures, pain and nausea from chemotherapy, and anxiety.

While no one yet knows for certain whether marijuana was the primary reason this boy in the UK was able to cheat death and survived his bout with cancer, the story seems more than circumstantial. Until complete clinical trials are established and results are reported in peer-review journals, many turn to cannabis product options that are safe and legal, such as CBD oils. These oils do not affect the mind because there is no THC in them. THC is the mind-altering substance of cannabis.

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