If human trials prove the same, this groundbreaking study will change the future of cancer treatment.
New research exploring cannabinoid therapy in conjunction with chemotherapy suggests cannabis could mean less chemo, better results for cancer patients. This new research is yet another possible avenue for cannabis therapy in a holistic approach to cancer treatment.
It may be early days yet, but the scope of research into cannabis for cancer is quite convincing. First, studies have evidenced the preliminary anticancer properties of cannabinoids. Second, the plant is already an established conjunctive therapy with chemotherapy. And now, cannabis has the potential to increase the value of conventional chemotherapy treatment? It’s hard to imagine a future where cannabis isn’t an essential aspect of cancer treatment.
The History of Cannabis and Chemotherapy
In the Journal of the Association of Basic Medical Sciences (2019), the article “Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation,” summarized the relatively recent rise of cannabis as an anticancer agent.
One of the first papers to analyze the antitumoral potential of cannabinoids was from 1975. Since then, there has been a slow and steady study of how many cannabinoids decrease cancer-cell migration and growth. Current research into this subject focuses on THC, CBD, ∆8-THC, CBN, CBL, and several synthetic cannabinoids. For example, how CBD could positively effect ovarian cancer.
The antitumoral properties of cannabis are, by now, well-established in the early phases of research. In a petri dish, and even in animal studies, certain cannabinoids do kill cancer cells. Comprehensive human trials are still a long way off.
A more advanced area of study is establishing cannabinoids as a conjunctive therapy with chemotherapy. Cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, frequently help reduce some of the most challenging adverse effects of chemotherapy, such as appetite suppression, nausea, vomiting, and pain.
As discussed in, “Cannabinoids for Symptom Management and Cancer Therapy: The Evidence,” the evidence behind cannabis for the treatment of cancer side effects and symptoms is low to moderate when compared to a placebo. In a recent survey of oncologists, approximately eighty percent report talking to their patients about cannabis. Cancer patients are turning to cannabis in record numbers to relieve the adverse effects of chemotherapy.
But, beyond the side effects of chemotherapy, does cannabis mean less chemo for better results?
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