Williams Cancer Institute

Marijuana or cannabis and its medical uses

Marijuana was originally cultivated in Central Asia and is now cultivated in many countries around the world. This plant has been analyzed by many scientists for its analgesic properties in humans, but unfortunately it has not yet been made sure this product helps treat cancer.
Like many medicines, the use of marijuana can cause serious health damage, which can lead to complications and side effects when taken.
Similarly, smoking marijuana brings harmful substances such as toxins and carcinogens to the human body, which are contained in cigarette smoke and can cause cancer, being also harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular system as well. Although more research is needed to verify the incidence of marijuana at respiratory levels in lung and other cancers. It is also known that cannabis can produce concentrated substances, including cannabinoids of which some of them are psychoactives that may affect the human mind and mood. That is why it is a plant that is still being studied due to post-consumption side effects.

On the other hand, it is said that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are being used for medical purposes in patients with chronic diseases, but there is no evidence that they are effective in treating cancer. There are also many legal and bureaucratic barriers complicates the researching on its uses.

Even though many claim that the cancerous disease has healed after taking cannabis, until recently, there is no real evidence to prove these testimonials because most of the cancer types these people claim to had are cancers that a human can get and still live for at least 10 more years. So then stating that a person is alive after a year of cannabis use is not the desired result.

Cannabis may help with the symptoms caused by cancer, but it does not mean that it cures it. In addition, cannabis is known to be a highly complex mixture containing many compounds that can have many analgesic effects in humans, but immune responses with intratumoral injections are still being studied. Therefore, cannabis is said to be a usable product, as a palliative therapy, but not as a cure for cancerous diseases.

Studies with patients receiving intravenous immunotherapy have suggested negative effects. For this reason, we generally advise patients receiving immunotherapy to avoid cannabis products

Reference: Maule W. J. (2015). Medical uses of marijuana (Cannabis sativa): fact or fallacy?. British journal of biomedical science, 72(2), 85–91. https://doi.org/10.1080/09674845.2015.11666802

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