Cannabis oil is a distilled, concentrated form of the plant most people know as marijuana. This is marijuana stripped of all its plant material via a solvent. Cannabis oil has received a lot of attention for its possible medicinal uses. It contains two primary ingredients: the high-inducing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). It’s the second most active ingredient in marijuana. Oil brands promoted for their medicinal uses contain less THC than the average joint. Still, both have been touted for their curative powers.
Oncologists will tell you that “cure” is a huge word in medicine. The term implies that after medical treatment, a patient no longer has the condition, or, in the case of cancer, they have been free of the disease for at least five years without evidence of the disease. There’s, however, still no consensus among scientists as to whether cannabis can cure cancer. Moreover, there isn’t enough evidence to support such a claim. There is a lot of research and study pointing towards its curative properties in regards to cancer treatment. Still, most of the available evidence is scanty and scattered.
Whether it can cure cancer or not is another matter altogether. Nonetheless, below are nine scientific facts about cannabis oil and cancer:
1. Destruction of Cancer Cells
Research has shown that cannabinoids can uniquely target and kill cancer cells. There have been stories of miraculous healings from cancer after using cannabis oil. For cannabis oil to find its way into clinical cancer treatment, rigorous clinical and pharmacological studies should be conducted. Although human testing remains mostly in plans, cannabis is promising to be a huge part of future anti-cancer therapy.
2. Reduction of Chemo Pain and Side Effects
CBD and its related chemical cousins broadly referred to as cannabinoids, reduce chemotherapy-related pain and other symptoms such as vomiting and nausea in patients.
3. Cannabis Oil Contains Cannabinoids
These are interesting biological molecules, whether natural or synthetic. Research investigating their potential in the treatment of cancer and other diseases, and their potential side effects, is currently underway. However, preclinical research lacks solid proof to support the claims that cannabinoids can cure cancer.
4. Cannabis Oil is Highly Concentrated Cannabis
You make cannabis oil by mixing cannabis flowers with naphtha, ethanol, butane, or petroleum. To extract the oil, the plant matter is first removed, leaving behind an oily, sticky substance containing a high concentration of active compounds. While the most potent strains of marijuana have about 20% THC, highly purified cannabis oil can hold up to 80% pure THC. The oil is administered to patients using an oral syringe or dropper.
5. There are Different Types of Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil falls under two main categories: the High- THC oils and the high-CBD oils. These oils are used in the treatment of a range of medical conditions. Oils rich in THC are the most recognized by medical students. These include the Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).
6. There’s a Surge of Patients Seeking to Treat a Variety of Medical Conditions using Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil has become increasingly popular in recent years. This has been mainly due to the many claims of its veracity in treating a wide range of health conditions. In spite of the absence of scientific proof to support these claims, there are many reports of patients using cannabis oil to manage health conditions, most notably cancer, effectively.
7. Rick Simpson Kicked off the Claims of the Healing Ability of Cannabis Oil
While cannabis oil is now widely recognized, it first gained traction in 2003 when Rick Simpson claimed to have cured his cancer with a homemade recipe. After being diagnosed with metastatic skin cancer, Rick Simpson decided to apply his oil-based cannabis extract directly to the lesion on his skin. After only four days, the lesion disappeared. Eventually, his skin cancer was gone.
8. It’s Unclear if Cannabis Oil Cures Cancer
The available evidence that cannabis oil cures cancer is controversial and mostly anecdotal. However, some research appears to give credence to patients’ success stories. For instance, in 2009, researchers established that THC had significant anti-cancer effects on human brain cancer cells. A 2013 report concluded that there is a distinct possibility that cannabinoids may be a part of future cancer treatment. Several studies suggest that cannabis might have cancer-fighting agents. Cannabis bolsters appetite, helps with sleep, pain, nausea, vomiting, mood and anxiety. Most physicians are convinced it’s useful in treating symptoms, but not curing cancer.
9. Cannabis can Kill Cancer
There are no large clinical trials on the anti-tumoral properties of marijuana. According to recent research, there are four ways cannabinoids can block and destroy cancer cells. The anti-metastatic feature prevents the travelling of cells to various locations. The anti-proliferative quality prevents the growing and division of cancer cells. The anti-angiogenetic effect stops the cells from developing blood vessels. The pro-apoptotic property triggers cell suicide (also known as apoptosis) in the not-so-healthy cells. Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer in the laboratory.
Animal and laboratory studies have shown that cannabis might be able to kill cancerous cells while protecting healthy cells. The research claims that a lab study of THC killed cancer cells. Later, when the study was repeated in a mouse model, it showed some anti-tumour effects that could aid the treatment of colon, breast, and lung cancers.