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Cannabis has been a traditional herbal medicine to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses for thousands of years, dating as far back as 1000 BCE. In the early 1800s, doctors began using cannabis in Western medicine to treat epilepsy and saw incredible benefits of the plant, which led them to create medicinal tinctures to help spread the word.
Fast forward to today, researchers are constantly proving how cannabinoids are widely used to treat pain, nausea, and other effects caused by cancer and cancer treatment.
Outside of brain cancer, breast cancer patients are using cannabis to help relieve them of symptoms, and few are telling their doctors due to the lack of research and knowledge on cannabis and cancer. Although there’s still lots of research to be done, many cancer patients are using cannabis to their advantage for various purposes.
In a study done by Anticancer Research, they analyzed data of 119 cancer patients over four years to examine the effects of pharmaceutical-grade synthetic cannabidiol.
Of the 119 cases with solid brain tumors, they saw a 92% clinical response that includes a reduction in circulating tumor cells and a reduction in overall tumor size. They were also pleased to see that there were no side effects of any kind when using pharmaceutical-grade synthetic cannabidiol.
Although studies like the one above are proving that cannabis is a helpful aid when fighting cancer, there seems to be a lack of evidence across the board. Some studies suggest that cannabinoid chemicals THC and CBD can stop glioblastoma (GBM) cells from growing, which causes tumors to die due to a lack of blood supply.
In the study mentioned above by Anticancer Research, they saw an impressive case of a 50-year-old patient with progressive tanycytic ependymoma Grade 2.
In 2016, he began taking pharmaceutical-grade synthetic CBD at a dose of 10 drops twice a day (10mg), three days on, and three days off. Seven months later, his scan showed a significant reduction in the size of his tumor.
“Further research and treatment options are urgently needed for patients afflicted by brain cancer,” said Chase Gross, a student in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Science program at Colorado State University and co-author of a new study.
“Our work shows that CBD has the potential to provide an effective, synergistic glioblastoma therapy option and that it should continue to be vigorously studied.”
In the study hosted by Chase Gross and colleagues, they tested the effects of CBD on both humans and canines. They used CBD isolate, which contains 100% CBD as well as CBD extract, which contains small amounts of THC.
“Our experiments showed that CBD slows cancer cell growth and is toxic to both canine and human glioblastoma cell lines,” said Gross. “Importantly, the differences in anti-cancer effects between CBD isolate and extract appear to be negligible.”
That said, whether you’re using CBD isolate or CBD extract, there is clear evidence that proves how cannabis can slow cancer growth and reduce the size of tumors. But using CBD as a singular form of cancer therapy isn’t advised due to a lack of research and whether or not it’s effective enough to cure cancer for good.
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