Cannabis and Cancer
Most people think of cannabis to help with side effects of chemotherapy (which it does help alleviate), loss of appetite in people with cancer who are losing weight (which it can and often does help), and chronic pain in cancer and in other chronic conditions.
Some people even think that cannabis kills cancer cells and will get them into remission. They may be right. By now you have probably heard a story or two about how medical cannabis helped heal cancer. This may have even been your experience or the experience of a loved one. Cannabis has proven to be effective against cancer in many ways, from reinforcing the endocannabinoid system to boosting the immune system and cutting inflammation.
The most impressive way that medical cannabis can affect cancer cells, however, is through its ability to be a catalyst for “programmed cell death.” This process is called apoptosis and it is the most effective way that cannabis and other natural substances can turn cancer around for good.
Permit me to explain: Apoptosis is a process that happens to all healthy cells. Just like all living beings, cells are meant to be born, live their life, and then expire. Healthy cells die in two ways: through necrosis and through apoptosis. In necrosis, a cell is damaged by an external force such as an injury, a poison, an infection or a drastic cutting off of blood supply. When necrosis happens, it causes much strain on the body through accompanying inflammatory responses.
Apoptosis, on the other hand, can be thought of as the “clean” means of cell death. Between 50 and 70 billion cells in your body die each day as a result of apoptosis– and this is a good thing. The process of apoptosis leads to cell regeneration, cellular morphogenesis, the maintenance of healthy tissue and the elimination of harmful cells.
Cannabis Affects Cancer Apoptosis in Many Ways
While healthy cells succumb to apoptosis by the billions every day, cancer cells are a whole other story. What makes cancer so unique (and scary) is that the mechanisms of apoptosis have mutated (environmental toxins!) and have basically been turned off in cancer cells. Because of this, malignant cells do not die. Instead, they continue to multiply and spread indefinitely.
There are dozens of natural substances out there that have the ability to effect apoptosis in cancer cells. Phytonutrients such as curcumin in turmeric, sulphoraphane in broccoli sprouts and oleocanthal in olive oil are just three well-studied examples.
Cannabis also has the ability to effect cancer cell apoptosis. As it turns out, cannabis has several substances and mechanisms within it that have the ability to turn apoptosis “back on” in cancer cells. Some of the cancer-fighting substances in cannabis include powerful terp
The most researched ways in which cannabis can be a catalyst for cancer cell death is through the cannabinoids CBD and THC, both part of the cannabis plant.
More and more research is pointing to cannabis’ ability to affect apoptosis in dozens of cancer types, and to possibly even reverse the progression of cancer tumors at many different stages of their development. However, I know that many of you are ordering forms of cannabis online or buying somewhere that may have certain chemical pesticide toxins in them. This is important to know if you have a serious disease like cancer.