Breast Cancer and Cannabinoids

With 22.9% of cancer affecting women across the globe being breast cancer, it’s fair to say that this condition is the most common tumor among the fairer sex. In 2008 alone, more than 450,000 deaths were caused worldwide due to this condition alone.

But what does this have to do with medical marijuana, you might ask?

We spoke about cannabinoids before – the medical compounds found in marijuana – which have shown to have anti-tumor effects for a number of types of cancer. It is in cancer of the prostate, lung, liver and breast where cannabinoid receptors are over-expressed in their tumor cells. This has led researchers to conclude that the endocannabinoid system might be up-regulated in cancer to fight off the disease.

What has also been found is that these cannabinoids are usually bound to these receptors, they are able to stop cell growth by preventing the spread of cancer cells and causing apoptosis – in other words, cancer cell death. In addition, cannabinoids also reduce the localized blood flow caused by blood tumor cells and the spreading of cancer to other organs.

The Relationship between Cannabinoids and Breast Cancer

breast cancerWhile there has been good progress in breast cancer research in recent decades, there are still certain brain tumors that resist conventional treatment. That said, research has already shown that synthetic cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (namely THC and CBD) have been found to treat all 3 major types of breast cancer. In fact, there has also been evidence that cannabinoids have been known to treat both HER2-positive and triple-negative breast tumors.

What must be emphasized is that the treatment for patients with triple-breast cancer is vital given the potential of cannabinoids. Currently, there isn’t any standard therapy available for patients suffering from this affliction while the prognosis is very poor.

Apart from this, one of the biggest advantages of using cannabinoids compared to conventional treatment, is that they are non-toxic to non-tumor cells with only milder side-effects such as fatigue and dizziness.

Credit must be given to Sean McAllister along with his team of researchers to discover CBD’s cancer-fighting properties that could be applied to breast cancer. There are other benefits to using CBD in the fight against cancer treatment which includes preventing nausea and vomiting.

What has also been found is that when conventional treatment is combined with cannabinoids, it works far more effectively against cancer and tumor cells than when either of them are administered alone.

Cannabinoids: Current Research

So far, scientific research that measures the effects of cannabinoids on breast cancer has been restricted to preclinical trials that involves both animal models and cell cultures. Researchers have also concluded that more research is necessary to identify which patient population will be the most appropriate type for cannabinoid treatment, and which cannabinoids specifically present the best therapeutic option for patients before trials can advance to the clinical stage.
Breast Cancer and Cannabinoids

If this is established, then oncologists will be able to prescribe cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of cancer.

Still, there are pharmaceuticals based on cannabinoid such as Cesamet and Marinol that work wonders for chemotherapy-based nausea. Apart from this, Sativex, a mouth spray, has also been approved for use in Canada to soothe cancer-associated pain.

One thing’s for sure: given the amount of research conducted on the positive effects of cannabinoids  that verify its ability to fight a variety of cancers, patients should remain positive about finding a cure for cancer which will involve a marijuana-based treatment. Do you agree? Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section bellow.

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