Cannabis Medication and Cancer

Cannabinoids exert palliative effects in cancer patients by reducing nausea, vomiting and pain, by stimulating appetite, and by improving the quality of sleep. But in addition, laboratory studies on lab animals and isolated cancer cells have shown cannabinoids to be capable, under some conditions, of inhibiting the development of cancer cells in multiple ways.

As a result of such exciting findings, a growing number of amateur videos and reports have appeared on the internet arguing that cannabis can cure cancer. But although research is on-going around the world, there is currently no solid evidence from clinical trials to support such claims.

It should be noted, however, that the potential effects of terpenes on cancer, either alone or in combination with cannabinoids, have not yet been addressed in laboratory studies. Indeed, the combined effects of cannabinoids and terpenes are often claimed to be the major difference between ‘holistic’ herbal preparations of cannabis and pharmaceutical products based on single cannabinoids.

Moreover, self-medicating patients often use extraction methods and/or administration forms that are quite

different from conditions used in laboratory or hospital studies. Because of this gap between clinical research and real-life experiences, the curative potential of herbal cannabis preparations for the treatment of different cancer types remains unclear.