National Cancer Institute Lists Cannabis as Potential Cancer Treatment

 Photo Credit: Flickr/NIH Image Gallery

Photo Credit: Flickr/NIH Image Gallery

The National Cancer Institute has updated its website to include information acknowledging that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells without affecting normal cells. The website now lists several preclinical trials that reference the potential for cannabis to fight cancer, many of which have been conducted on rodents and have found CBD can induce breast cancer cell death without affecting normal breast cells, cannabinoids can decrease the growth, number, and spread of tumors, and cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, preventing cell growth, and keeping blood vessels from contributing to tumor growth.

The site also mentions two cannabis-based medications that have been approved by the FDA, dronabinal and nabilone, that are intended to treat the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Additionally, CBD alone and CBD in combination with THC may be able to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy and increase cancer cell death. Unfortunately, because cannabis is still Schedule I, the institution does not advocate its use for cancer treatment, and says clinical trials are still left to be desired.

This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.