More Cancer Patients Using Cannabis With Great Success Say New Studies
Few things can spike more fear in the hearts of people than the mention of the Big C.
For decades, we thought that cancer was an incurable disease. A death statement, if you will. Until cannabis came along.
Though there are many studies pointing to the efficacy of cannabis for cancer, a new study compiles 10 years’ worth of data reveals that more patients are using cannabis to deal with this terrifying disease. The study, led by University of California, San Diego doctors Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, MD, and Kathryn Ries Tringale, MD, MAS, analyzed survey data to study the consumption patterns and opioid use of cancer patients in the United States over the course of 10 year obtained from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The information was based on self-reported use of cannabis and opioids from patients aged 20-60.
They found that 40% of patients use cannabis for addressing their symptoms, though these figures only grow with time.
According to Dr. Hattangadi-Gluth, some patients did report substituting cannabis for opioids, but they need more research. “Medical marijuana legalization has been previously associated with a reduction in hospitalizations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting that if patients are in fact substituting marijuana for opioids, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality,” she says.
“Of course, it will also be important to identify risks and adverse effects of marijuana, which has not been previously studied on large randomized clinical trials, given its scheduling as a class 1 controlled substance.”
“Although opioid use did not significantly change from 2005 to 2014 among all respondents, marijuana use did increase, likely reflecting increased availability and legislative changes,” they concluded.
An Astounding 96% Of Cancer Patients Find Relief With Cannabis
If that wasn’t enough, here’s more proof that cannabis does work for cancer.
A recent Israeli study of 2,970 cancer patients, which was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, found that 96% of cancer patients who used cannabis reported great improvements in their symptoms.
The study, led by Israeli medical cannabis producer and research firm Tikun Olam, intended to understand how cannabis assists with palliative care for those with cancer. They specifically studied the impact of cannabis on the main cancer symptoms that affect most patients: pain, insomnia, weakness, and nausea.
The study found that aside from the 96% of patients who saw an improvement in their symptoms, 36% of them were also able to stop consuming the opioids they were originally prescribed. Another 10% of them were able to decrease the dosage of opioids they were taking.
“The data establishes that cannabis is effective treatment for the most acute symptoms of cancer, such as pain, which often requires the use of opioids,” said Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider of Tikun Olam, in a press release.
CBD Can Kill Cancer Cells
Not all cancer patients want to get high. While many of us enjoy getting stoned, for cancer patients, the high is actually an inconvenience, something that they don’t want to go through considering how cancer already makes them ill and weak.
For that, there’s cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound in the plant. CBD has been promising as much as the whole cannabis plant in treating cancer, and now studies prove that it can indeed kill cancer cells.
The most recent study conducted by researchers from the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, sought to understand how CBD helps with colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer, being the 3rd most common cancer in the entire world, affects 1.4 million people each year.
The researchers subjected human colorectal cancer cells, which were isolated in a laboratory, to a treatment known as TRAIL. TRAIL stands for TNF-Related Aptosis Inducing Ligand, or a protein that has become widely known in oncology for its ability to trigger cell death in cancer cells, known as apoptosis. They compared the effects of TRAIL to CBD.
They found that CBD “significantly increased apoptosis” when compared to TRAIL. “Our studies demonstrate that cannabidiol enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis…and suggests that cannabidiol is a novel agent for increasing sensitivity to TRAIL,” they write.
The researchers also said, “we conclude that the combination of cannabidiol and TRAIL is a significant potential therapy,” which is a milestone for the millions of patients suffering from colorectal cancer.