Without announcing it publicly, the National Cancer Institute changed its policy (listed on its website) regarding the potential for the use of cannabis in the treatment of cancer. The change listed the governmental website outlines the various medical uses for cannabis, and acknowledges its practical use for fighting cancer and helping with treatment, which is significant considering the DEA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medicinal properties.
The website discusses various laboratory studies and studies involving animals. One laboratory study involving CBD in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells resulted in cancer cell death with little effect on normal breast cancer cells. Another study on mice with metastatic breast cancer revealed cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors. In addition to actually combatting cancer, cannabis could help reduce the negative side effects associated with traditional cancer treatment therapies, like helping with appetite stimulation and the nausea brought on by chemotherapy. Cannabis could also work to enhance the effects of current treatment options, for example it could help reduce pain in patients where traditional therapies alone have proven insufficient.
Although NCI made this alteration, it should be noted that the government still does not condone the use of marijuana, and there is still a drastic need for clinical research on the effects (both positive and negative) of cannabis and the ways doctors can best administer the substance before marijuana is hailed as a strong cancer-treatment option. This information has been brought to you by The Breast Cancer Site and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.