Some cancer patients already know the benefit of marijuana therapy, but the NCI made it official earlier this year with their facts sheet on Cannabis and Cancer. The National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institute of Health, issued the following statement of facts about the health applications and implications of cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer:
Cannabis , also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness)
The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times
By federal law, the possession of Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states, territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana
In the United States, Cannabis is a controlled substance requiring special licensing for its use
The main active cannabinoid in Cannabis is delta-9-THC. Another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which may relieve pain, lower inflammation, and decrease anxiety without causing the “high” of delta-9-THC
Cannabinoids can be taken by mouth, inhaled, or sprayed under the tongue
There is growing interest in treating children for symptoms such as nausea with Cannabis and cannabinoids, although studies are limited.
Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory
At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy. Despite the fact that numerous states have passed compassionate care legislation and others have legalized marijuana for medical or personal use, cannabis is not approved by the FDA for use as a cancer treatment. We look for this to change in the future as more and more states legalize it. Doctors and patients alike are already making the correlation between cannabis and cancer and seeing incredible therapeutic benefits.