Many alternative medicines lay tall claims in treating cancer. They may show some promise, but, on the whole, they remain unsuccessful. One such alternative is cannabis oil, derived from the cannabis plant. It claims to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed.

What is cannabis oil?

In its physical form, cannabis oil appears as a sticky and thin material. It is extracted from cannabis flowers using the solvent extraction process. It contains hundreds of cannabinoids, with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) being the main ones.

What makes cannabis oil so compelling is its efficacy in treating a host of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, asthma, Crohn’s disease, dementia, diabetes, etc. However, where it has shown great promise is in curing cancer. For this, it is essential to understand how cancer originates.

How does cancer originate?

Cells multiply and divide to make fresh tissues. This is triggered by oncogenes that regulate their division and growth. Another set of genes, called tumor suppressor genes, tell the cells to impede growing.

If the oncogenes continue to signal the cells to grow and tumor suppressor genes fail to tell them to turn off, the cells will continue to multiply unabated and become cancerous, ultimately taking the form of a tumor. Since the mechanism to stop cell growth has failed, the tumor keeps growing in size till it starts interfering with the surrounding cells.

Ultimately, if its growth remains unchecked, the cancerous cells expand into the blood vessels and then to other body parts. Once the cancerous cells reach other locations, their dividing cycle begins again.

Why the cells continue to grow unchecked and why the genes responsible for stopping the growth fail to do so is not clearly understood. However, the causes have been traced to tobacco smoking, certain chemicals, ionizing radiation, and increased exposure to sunbeams, among others.

How does cannabis oil combat cancer?

Once THC connects to the CB1 and CB2 receptor site, it steps up the ceramide synthesis, thereby killing the cancerous cells. What’s most surprising is that the creation of ceramide only occurs in cancerous cells in the presence of THC and it does not affect normal cells – even if THC is near them. So, the key to the elimination of cancer cells is the accumulation of ceramide on the cancerous sites in the body.

To bolster this claim, a research team from the Virginia Medical College conducted a study in 1974. It showed that cannabis oil inhibited the growth of malignant tumor cells in mice and cell cultures.

As reported by The Huffington Post, despite the positive and heartening findings of the efficacy of cannabis oil in combating cancer that were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the US government did not authorize any follow-up research. It did, however, authorize the US National Toxicology Program to conduct a secret preclinical trial in the mid-1990s.

What it found corroborated with other research. That is, it showed that mice and rats given high THC doses over a longer duration enjoyed superior protection against malevolent tumors, as compared to untreated controls. Strangely, the US government shelved these results without publicizing them.

Taking a leap of faith

Opting for cannabis oil is akin to taking a leap of faith. You must have faith in this alternate method of cancer treatment. Cannabis oil is certain to improve your well-being and the quality of your life, and at the same time help in managing cancer-induced pain.

Let the success stories of other patients finding relief motivate you to submit to the curative powers of this oil. One thing that needs to be noted is it requires an extremely high dose of cannabis oil to treat cancer effectively.

Is cannabis oil legal?

The legality or the illegality of cannabis oil depends upon the amount of THC, the constituent of marijuana that gives a ‘high’, contained in it. To the question, “Is CBD legal?”, the answer is yes since it is derived from hemp that contains only 0.3% of THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, contains higher amounts of THC and is still illegal in most states.   

Conclusion

Although studies conducted on the efficacy of cannabis oil in fighting cancer remain inconclusive, this is not to say that cancer patients cannot try it. It has helped patients in the past and, by every reckoning, it is certain to help people in the future, too. Hopefully, by that time, rigorous scientific analysis of this oil would have made it a viable alternative to conventional cancer drugs.  

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to reflect the views of the publication.