A new study from St. George’s University of London has shown that cannabis is effective in the treatment of aggressive brain cancer. The research was recently published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Journal as well as The International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment.
Dr. Wai Liu, along with a team of researchers, conducted laboratory tests using a number of cannabinoids both in isolation, and in conjunction with radiation therapy to treat aggressive forms of cancer. Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) were tested for their effectiveness against the often untreatable form of cancer. Survival rate for patients diagnosed with brain cancer is just 10% within five years of diagnosis, and around 5,200 people lose their lives to the disease per year.
The study found that cannabinoids are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells and even halt their growth completely, effectively stopping the cancer. In some cases with precise dosage patterns, the scientists even destroyed cancer cells completely.
Dr. Liu told Science Daily, “The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before but the drastic reduction of brain cancers if used with irradiation is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future.”
“This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine. The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising,” Liu says.
The study is one of many being conducted by St. George that focuses on the treatment of cancer. Subsequent studies will likely focus on the combination of cannabis with more “traditional” forms of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
A similar study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology back in 2004, showing results of the same nature. The study found that the combination of cannabidiol and the chemotherapy drug Temozolomide (TMZ) not only significantly inhibited cancer growth, but also reduced the size of tumors in lab rats.
Photo Credit: Jan Charles Ekenstam
Stacey Hutflies of northern California received shocking news one week before her twenty-sixth birthday. She was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, and had no choice but to begin chemotherapy immediately. Breast cancer and chemo therapy is a deadly combination that Stacey told KRCR 7 News that she would not have survived without the help of medical marijuana,
“Its honestly what got me through chemotherapy, hands down.”
Everything happened so quickly for Stacey. One day she was planning her birthday, and the next, she was going through the worst experience of her young life.
The chemo caused Stacey to lose all of her hair, and made her feel sick all of the time. As a result, she was not able to eat or sleep, and her skin tone was showing signs of a body in distress. She lost so much weight that she did not even weight one-hundred pounds anymore, and her doctor warned that if she did not start eating, she may die. Stacey also began suffering from severe anxiety, buckling under all of the unbearable physical and mental anguish.
Stacey’s oncologist prescribed her what she called “the kitchen sink,” a term she used to describe every pharmaceutical medication available that was classified as cancer treatment drug. The kitchen sink prescription on top of the already horrible experience of going through chemotherapy made it difficult for Stacey to stay positive.
Skeptically and luckily, she decided to try medical marijuana. The moment Stacey introduced medical marijuana into her life, she felt a wave of positive feelings, both physical and mental. Her appetite returned, she was suddenly able to sleep at night, and as a result, she started to regain strength. On top of the physical benefits that she experienced, she reported that smoking cannabis also improved her mood, and gave her the will power to fight. The severe anxiety that she developed, also, melted away with marijuana.
Studies have shown that cannabis can help to slow the spread of cancer, and even shrink the size of tumors. For Stacey, the physical benefits experienced were life changing, but it was the improvements in her mental state, experienced from smoking marijuana, that gave her the strength to keep fighting for her life. Today, Stacey is in remission.
Below are before and after photos of Stacey Hutflies.
photo credit: Federacion de asociaciones cannabicas, KRCR 7