This, despite no shortage of historic references to cannabis, or its extract marijuana as to its medicinal effects. Chinese Emperors Fu Hsi and Shen Nung are said to have touted its healing effects. Some authorities claim that the anointing oil in Exodus 30:22-25 contained cannabis, and that “Cane” is a mistranslation from the original Hebrew.
According to this PDQ Review from the National Cancer Institute, and referring to this illustration, cannabis may lessen the progression of cancer cells. An oft-cited study from 1996 on mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma.
A review article-appearing in the British Journal of Pharmacology-entitled “Cannabinoids and cancer: pros and cons of an antitumor strategy” listed few cons, and displayed a largely positive picture: Cannabinoids have the advantage of being well tolerated in animal studies and they do not present the generalized toxic effects of most conventional chemotherapeutic agents.
Even if further in vivo research is required to clarify [their] action in cancer and especially to test their effectiveness in patients, the cannabinoid system represents a promising target for cancer treatment.
As to the palliative aspects of Cannabis during cancer treatment, the official version of things is… curious.
According to a recent document from PubMed Health… Several controlled clinical trials have been performed, and meta-analyses of these support a beneficial effect of cannabinoids on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting compared with placebo. Both dronabinol and nabilone are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention or treatment of chemotherapy-induced N/V in cancer patients.
Owing to the bizarre stigmatization of cannabis, and the difficulty in obtaining proper clearance to study it in clinical settings, there is only a limited amount of published research available on the palliative properties of the source plant itself. The website Surviving Mesothelioma offers inspiring stories of several people who have survived this rare form of cancer.
Far from being resigned to this fate, Andy and his wife investigated and embarked on alternative therapies, including cannabis oil. Six years later, alive and well, he really has beaten the odds and is another one of those “Anecdotal” cases of an alternative approach success. The stigmatization of cannabis is fading, but it won’t come easy.