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More cancer patients turn to medical cannabis – study



The study found cannabis use was not uncommon among adults with cancer

A Canadian study has found that cannabis consumption is on the rise among adults with cancer.

The survey examined the use of cannabis in 4,667 Canadian adults and found that within the study cohort, cannabis use was not uncommon. A history of cannabis use was associated with younger age, male, white, non-married participants with higher income.

The findings come as research on the effects of medical cannabis on cancer patients continues to grow. For years researchers have discussed benefits such as pain relief and reduced symptoms – now, many believe that the drug can be used as a treatment, rather than relief alone.

Findings from a study conducted in August 2020 raised the prospect of the drug being used as a cancer treatment, rather than just relief medication. The laboratory tests in Australia, which followed three years of investigations by cancer researcher Dr Matt Dun in collaboration with biotech company Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG), showed that a modified form of medicinal cannabis can kill or inhibit cancer cells without impacting normal cells.

The Dun team ran comparisons between THC-containing cannabis, and cannabis lacking THC but with elevated levels of CBD. They found that, for both leukaemia and paediatric brainstem glioma, the CBD-enriched variety was more effective at killing cancer cells than THC varieties.

Dr Dun said: “The CBD variety looks to have greater efficacy, low toxicity and fewer side-effects, which potentially makes it an ideal complementary therapy to combine with other anti-cancer compounds.”

A 2019 review by Daris, Verboten, Knez and Ferk focused on studies that provided evidence for anticancer effects of plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids and their potential mechanisms of action. Findings showed that cannabinoids were able to effectively modulate tumour growth in different in vitro and in vivo cancer models, however, these effects appeared to be dependent on cancer type and drug dose.

The group concluded: “Understanding how cannabinoids are able to modulate essential cellular processes involved in tumorigenesis, such as the progression through the cell cycle, cell proliferation and cell death, as well as the interactions between cannabinoids and immune system are crucial for improving existing medications and developing new therapeutic approaches.”

In 2020, Cannabis Health News spoke to Canadian resident, Sheriann Baker, who claims cannabis oil helped her beat a brain tumour.

Sheriann was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2017 and given just two years to live by doctors. Three years on she’s tumour free and credits Rick Simpson oil (RSO) – a high-THC cannabis oil – for her survival.

Rick Simpson. Photo by Davor Pongracic

Rick Simpson (pictured) claims to have cured his metastatic skin cancer by using the high-grade hemp oil, which is said to include a particular type of cannabis called Cannabis indica, which produces a sedative effect that helps the body heal.

A year before her own diagnosis, Sheriann lost a good friend who had begun using Rick Simpson oil after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The friend sadly passed away from a splint rupturing his lung, but the autopsy is said to have revealed that he was cancer-free.

Sheriann said: “That’s when I just knew, I was 150 percent convinced that I needed to try cannabis oil.”


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