The words “we found a tumor” are heard by far too many people from their doctor. It can cause an automatic fear of it being cancerous with chemotherapy in tow. Sadly, with some tumors, that is the case.
But today, many research experiments show that there are alternative ways to address tumors. Some have even proven that various herbs such as Astragalus (Huang Qi), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), and Berberis Family (e.g. Podophyllum peltanum), can effectively attack tumors and cancer itself.
The latest and most recognized alternative member to this list is “marijuana” (accurately known as Cannabis Sativa). Many have assumed that marijuana has no health benefits. But in-depth research about the terpenes and cannabinoids that reside in marijuana have provided scientists with better insight to its ability of reducing the size of tumors or slowing down their growth.
What Is Tumor Development?
Tumor development is the formation process of the non-proliferative cell mass. It is caused by to the disruption in the balance between the cell formation, cell proliferation, and the cell death.
There are tumors that are benign, i.e., they do not spread from the organ to another. And then there are tumors that are aggressive which can spread to multiple organs and at a very fast rate.
So What Can Marijuana Do?
Many have assumed that marijuana destroys brain cells and causes severe damage to the brain. But experiments that have been conducted on that same assumption tell a story that is the complete opposite.
It begins with the plant’s terpenes. Out of the all the terpenes present in marijuana, myrcene is the most abundant and the most studied.
A study was done in Switzerland in 2011 on myrcene and was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. It found that myrcene makes up to 50% of the total terpene volume in marijuana and exhibited a multitude of benefits. One benefit being that when it is paired up with particular cannabinoids, like cannabidiol “CBD” and cannabigerol “CBG”, myrcene fought against tumor cells.
By having such a collaborative capability, myrcene became known as the “Synergistic Cannabis Terpene.” When it is combined with other cannabinoids it can enhance the therapeutic effects. This enhancement cannot be achieved by using either of those components alone.
It is also noted that myrcene can suppress cell mutation – one of the causes for the tumor formation.
Cannabinoids And Their Affect On Tumors
The medicinal components of marijuana are the cannabinoids. All the major cannabinoids (CBD, THC, and CBG) are said to fight against cancer. Technically speaking, marijuana, or the cannabinoids to be more precise, does not kill cancer cells. So, what exactly does it do?
Cannabinoids serve as the effective messengers and triggers the natural cell signaling pathways in the human body. This results in the programmed cell death either through apoptosis or autophagy.
Recent research on marijuana has proven that this wonder herb can suppress even the most aggressive tumors like glioblastoma. Glioblastoma, or glioblastoma multiforme, GBM or grade IV astrocytoma, is a fast-growing central nervous system tumor that forms in the supportive tissue of the brain.
In 2006, the American Association of Cancer Research conducted a study on pancreatic cancer and cannabinoids. it revealed that the administration of the right proportion of cannabinoids induced apoptosis, enabling the body to fight against the cancer cells.
Another study was done in 2015, explaining the anti-tumor activity derived from the non-psychoactive cannabinoids, but with using animal models. CBD was shown to hinder the progression of many types of cancers including breast, lung, prostate ,colon and even glioblastoma.
Cannabinoids are efficient at activating the cannabinoid receptors. They effectively inhibit the tumor cell’s viability, metastasis, invasion, angiogenesis and the stem cell-like potential of the cancer cells.
Along with the tumor suppression, cannabinoids can coercively address the side effects of the cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc. These side effects include nausea, loss of appetite, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anemia, constipation and many others. Cannabinoids have proven to be anti-cancerous too while slowing down the tumor formation.
However, cancer is something that should not be self-medicated. The experimental results are very promising, but more evidence is needed before opting for a full fledged cannabis-only treatment.
Stephen Charbonneau is the owner of Stone-Tool-Seed and is a firm believer in the herbal use and is an advocate for recreational marijuana. He and his wife of over forty years live on a farm and believe in organic farming and cultural practices that are eco-friendly and safe for people. He has developed some of his own innovations in plant husbandry that came out of years of experience and observation and tempered with advanced training in agricultural/horticultural science.
Stephen feels it is important to re-educate people about marijuana and expose the “snow job” that it has been a victim of for almost a hundred years in North America. He is determined to bring the truth about cannabis and its positive effects when grown in natural environments.
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