It’s hard to avoid the news citing medical marijuana’s potential to fight against different types of cancer, including the most aggressive and treatment-resistant forms of cancer. Breast cancer, specifically, affects one in eight women in the United States and is the second leading cause of death in women. Only 1,000 men develop it throughout their lives. Marijuana can be a supplemental or alternative treatment option for breast cancer patients.
Tumors have an abundance of cannabinoid receptors on them, as our bodies way to protect itself from it. The over-expression of cannabinoid receptors on the tumor makes it an easy target to cannabinoids in marijuana against these cancerous cells. Apart from helping fight against cancer, cannabinoids have been known to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and even mental health benefits.
CBD Stops Breast Cancer Growth
According to the California Pacific Medical Research Center, CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in medical marijuana, has the potential to restrict tumor growth in breast cancer patients, especially triple-negative breast cancer. CBD works by inhibiting certain genes (Id-1 and Akt) that help the tumor grow. Compared to standard cancer treatments, CBD could provide patients with effective relief for not only their chemotherapy symptoms, but can also help prevent the breast cancer from spreading.
CBDA Fights Breast Cancer
CBDA, the acidic form of CBD that exists on the marijuana flower when it hasn’t been burned yet, can help inhibit the spread of breast cancer cells. A study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines stated that CBDA stopped malignant tumor cells from migrating across the body. CBDA works by inhibiting the gene (COX-2) involved in inflammatory responses and tumor growth. Hemp derived CBDA and CBD can be an effective way to use cannabis to fight breast cancer.
THC Can Shrink Cancer Cells
A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that THC, the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, can shrink some cancerous tumor cells. Purified THC was used to induce apoptosis, “cell death,” in breast cancer cells and inhibit its growth. In conjunction with CBD, a THC and CBD combination treatment can fight breast cancer on many fronts. CBD has also been found to induce apoptosis to assist with the natural processes of cell death on the cancerous cells.
Cannabinoids have many benefits, including that they’re non-toxic. This makes them an excellent alternative treatment so you can avoid the toxic effects of conventional treatment methods like chemotherapy. Even more promising, the cannabinoids only interact with the bad cells and not the good ones. New research is finding that other cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, and more can amplify the tumor reducing effects of marijuana. For now, marijuana can prove to be a safe way to handle the symptoms of chemotherapy and has a promising future in treating all forms of breast cancer.